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tv   MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson  MSNBC  July 9, 2020 7:00am-8:00am PDT

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good thursday morning, everyone. i'm eamon mohyeldin in new york. let's get you to the supreme court where we are following breaking news this hour. any moment now we are expecting a major ruling on president trump's fight to keep his tax returns and financial records a secret. it is a decision that could have sweeping implications on the balance of power between the white house and congress. we are expecting two rulings on this final day of the supreme court's term. the first has to do with subpoenas from three separate house committees, democrats are seeking several years' worth of business records from the trump organization's accounting firm
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and two banks that loaned money to the president's businesses. the other case involving manhattan district attorney sy advance. wants the president's tax records as an investigation into whether or not the president broke any state laws reimbursing michael cohen hush money paid to stormy daniels during the 2016 campaign. we have an all-star panel to kick things upoff for us. kara lee at the white house, indica katie tur and for expert and analysis on all of this, joined by msnbc legal analyst neil catiel, served as solicitor general in the obama administration and analyst and former missouri senator claire mccass kel and pete williams monitoring the court and will join us when the decision is announced. good morning to all of you.
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kara at the white house, set the stage for us. what are we hearing from the president with regard to the big decision? >> reporter: the president and his team have maintained the subpoenas for the president's tax returns and other financial documents are a distraction from his ability to dot work of the presidency. they've said that they are politically motivated. as you know, the president had refused to release his tax returns since he was a candidate in 2016. his argument is that voters knew this, and it's been decided. they voted for him anyway and they don't care. so it's a moot issue. look, he said they are under audit, that's been his reason for why he hasn't released these, never updated us on why they're under audit after more than three years. that is not a reason why he couldn't release his tax returns. many people's tax returns are under audit. he's chosen not to do so and his political opponents have made this an issue for some time
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saying that it's of import for this president because of his global financial dealings and his ties across the world, including to foreign leaders, and so president trump was asked about this in may. the supreme court's decision, he said he hoped that it sided in his favor, and that this was a distraction from him. interestingly, this comes as we learn that the president asked for another 45-day extension for releasing his financial disclosures, which is a routine thing that presidents do every year. he originally was supposed to be due in may, publicly disclosed in may. he asked for the extension because of the coronavirus pandemic. the president has asked for another 45-day extension for this document and the white house official telling us that that's because they are complicated. eamon? >> all right, carol lee, thank you very much. stay with us. just a quick update to our viewers, because we are expecting these decisions to be released, they are released in ten-minute increments. as we hit the top of the hour we got word the first decision was
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not a case involving the taxes. that means the two remaining decisions for the day since it is the end of the term will come out at 10:10. the following decision will come out at 10:20. we're about seven minutes away from that first decision. katie tur, you covered the president since the beginning of him announcing he's going to run for president. let me play what he has said about his taxes and tax returns over the years. >> if i decide to run for office, i'll produce my tax returns. i don't mind releasing. i'm under a routine audit and it will be released and as soon as the audit's finished, it will be released. >> are you release your tax returns to prove what you're saying about no deals in russia? >> well not releasing the tax returns because as you know they're under audit. >> every president since the '70s has -- >> oh, never heard that. i've never heard that before. the only one that cares about my tax returns are the reporters. well i'm under audit. if i'm not under audit i would
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do it. i have no problem with it. >> so katie, he has said he would do it. he said he is under audit so he won't do it and just been all over the place about it, fighting it all the way now to the supreme court. talk to us about why the president and his team have been so adamant about not producing those tax returns, something that every president has done for decades. >> that is a decision made by the president and the candidate when he was a candidate and the candidate alone. this was not a decision made by the campaign not to release those returns. the president did not want to release those returns so he's been claiming he's been under an audit now for many years, since 2015, when he started running for president. now, we asked him to produce at least the letter from the irs confirming the audaudit. he wouldn't release that. michael cohen said he asked the president to give him that letter so he could produce it to reporters to prove he was under an audit, and he are refused.
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asked for what is in the taxes, we don't know and that's part of the reason why you're having members or committees in congress and also the d.a. here in new york file lawsuits to get a hold of those taxes. we have heard some hints, though, about what could be in them. for instance, michael cohen testified on capitol hill last year about not just hush money payments during the 2016 campaign, but also ways in which the president would inflate or deflate the value of his properties, depending on whether he was filing taxes or seeking a loan, which would be either bank fraud or tax fraud, depending on what he was doing. there are a lot of questions about that. according to sources in the room, michael cohen was interviewed about these taxes, at least twice while he was in otisville jail. it's unclear what prosecutors here in new york the d.a. went up there were able to get out of
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michael cohen, but we're told that it's not just about those hush money payments, but rather a broader array of potential financial crimes that these taxes eamon could speak to and the other underlying documentation, but back to your first question. the reason these taxes, these documents were never released was only because the president has not wanted them to. >> tom, we'll hear two separate decisions i understand from the supreme court in ten minutes' time. the first one not necessarily in the order of how they will be decided but the first one had to deal with the house and their committee seeking information on the president's tax returns and financial documents. i want to talk to you specifically about the case here in new york, the manhattan district attorney, cyrus advance. what is at the heart of the new york case and the financial documents they are seeking? >> the reason why this is before the supreme court at all is because the grand jury subpoena
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was issued to mazar's usa, the company that works with the president to prepare his tax returns so they also get all the underlying documents, eamon. what happened was it was the trump administration and president trump's attorneys that sued the manhattan district attorney saying wait a minute, you can't do this. the president shouldn't be, shouldn't have to face this while he's the acting president or while he's the president. so that's the reason why we're at the supreme court today. as far as the case itself, you know, one of the things that they need to look at, the tax returns i think carol lee laid out what has happened so far with the president very well. katy giving us a little bit of a glimpse as far as the new york case. the heart of this and what investigators in new york city want to know is, what were the documents that were used to make up those tax returns? what do those documents say? is there any sort of a sense here that the tax returns could have been put together fraudulently? were there fraudulent misrepresentations made to the
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banks that were working with president trump? basically what are the guts of the president's finances and are there any crimes that were made as part of his official filings, and also i don't have my entire hands around the totality of this, eamon. i think there's other parts of this investigation that we still have yet to hear about. it will be interesting to see why we go, should the supreme court rule in their favor and might be some time, if at all, before we ever get to see these documents with respect to the manhattan district attorney's case. >> he with are just under a minute from the first decision being posted to the supreme court. let me, neil, get your thoughts on this quickly. you argued before the supreme court many times and court watchers always try to get a sense of where the justices stand really based on the questions they ask. i want to play for you and our viewers part of the exchange from the oral arguments back in may between the president's lawyer, and justices kagan and sotomayor.
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>> neil, from that exchange it doesn't necessarily sound those justices were sympathetic to the president's argument. how do you read the oral arguments? where do you think the other justices stand on that issue? >> it's dangerous to wepredict from the oral argument. the just judges are trying to test the veracity of other decisions. in others it was clear he was
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making up an immunity which isn't in the text of the constitution, which is odd for someone who claims to be a strict constructionist in the context of the constitution to do. we'll see whether the court agreed. a lot of stakes and dynamics go into a decision like this and we're about to find out. >> neil, very quickly, the two cases separate, broad in scope and similarity that they are about the president's documents financial and tax returns but the congressional one probably speaks a little bit more to the issue of congressional oversight. is that something you think the supreme court would and has traditionally weighed in on? >> no. it's a much harder case i think, stronger for trump, just because they are basically, the court is being asked to referee a dispute between two coordinate branches of government, congress and the president. so it's really different than the manhattan case, and whatever we hear in the first case -- >> neil, we have gotten our first decision. i apologize to interrupt you. straight to msnbc justice correspondent pete williams.
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i believe we have our first decision involving the new york district attorney. pete? >> so by a vote of 7-2, the supreme court has said that the president is not absolutely immune from a state grand jury criminal process, the court does not seem that concerned about the second prospect the president raised about harassment from district attorneys across the country who are politically elected, harassing the president by a 7-2 vote, the supreme court has ruled in favor of the district attorney cyrus vance. we are looking through the opinion here to see whether there are any further restrictions on this, whether this has to go back to a lower court, but this is a victory for cyrus vance. now that does not mean -- so the court is saying the president does have the authority to challenge specific subpoenas that deal with the office of the
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president, if any of what the grand jury wants touches on his official duties, but remember, the bulk of what the grand jury is seeking here in this case is material and business records that pertain to matters before he became president, and that don't pertain to his official duties. now, that doesn't mean that we're going to see these tax returns. what it means is that the president's accountants must turn them over to a new york grand jury. under new york laws, as indeed the laws of many other states, grand jury proceedings are secret so the material could be turned over to the grand jury. it could be we the public never see them. the only conceivable way i would think we would ever see these records is if the new york grand jury's investigation leads to some indictment of someone in the trump organization, and that goes to trial, and those tax returns become evidence, but
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even then -- all right, so what the supreme court is doing here is sending this back to the trial court, to let the president try to see if he can narrow the circumstances of the subpoena. so these records are not going to be turned over to the grand jury immediately. so let's just back up here for a second. >> right. >> number one, the president cannot -- there's no categorical bar. he cannot say absolutely no to cyrus vance. secondly, this goes -- i'm just hearing a little more what this case may portend for the second case we get about the congressional subpoena. it sounds as if the court is
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saying in both cases the president cannot say i'm absolutely immune. i can't be bothered by these subpoenas. so in the first case anyway, they're sending it back to the lower court for the president to duke it out with cy vance to see whether the subpoena can be narrowed in any way but he can't categorically absolutely say no. he has to go back into court and play ball with the new york district attorney. the two arguments he's made so far are now dead letters. the idea that's absolutely immune from any part of the criminal process, including grand jury subpoenas, that's a dead letter, so is his claim that he could be harassed by local prosecutors. now the question is, given that's the president, given the sensitivities of his office, can he narrow this subpoena? so we'll have to see what they say about the congressional subpoena but it sounds to me like they're foreshadowing in this opinion the notion that the president is also not, can't categorically say no to congress, and it may be that what the supreme court does in
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the second case, which will get here shortly is to say something similar that maybe there's a way to narrow the subpoenas because several members of the court during the argument did seem to be concerned the congressional subpoenas were overbroad. >> pete williams, i'll give you a chance to continue to digest that first decision for us. we are four minutes away from the second decision that pete williams has alluwas alluding tg to deal with the congressional committees and their pursuit of financial records. let me bring in msnbc chief legal correspondent ari melber. he joins the conversation. ari, you heard there pete go through the first draft of this. we're still digesting all the various components to it. seems initially overwhelmingly that the president cannot simply say he is immune to any kind of oversight for his financial documents, at least from the manhattan district attorney, his argument that he would be harassed or there is some kind of political harassment by some of these district attorneys in
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various parts of the country, that does not seem to hold up with the supreme court. give me your initial assessment of how this decision has played out. >> that's right. number one, a big loss for president trump here. they were arguing the key word that they had categorical immunity. the court ruling breaking news, no, they don't. the president is not categorically immune, this kind of criminal subpoena for tax returns. number two, echoing pete williams' reporting, very interesting to see justice roberts in a big, broad coalition rejecting donald trump on this pivotal key case that cuts to the heart of his arguments that he had this presidential power, his desire for secrecy of his tax returns. this is not a narrow decision, and so as mentioned for folks wondering okay, does this mean that the prosecutors win and get the tax returns? what the court is saying is no higher standard, that means it's not harder for the prosecutors to get these taxes from the
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president, and no categorical bar meaning this is not some special get out of subpoena card that the president can play. it still could be challenged and fought out in normal proceedings. this is without a doubt a key rejection of the president's attempt to assert a broader power previously recognized and one the supreme court is speaking in a very broad bipartisan voice on, eamon. >> let me bring this question to tom winter if i can. tom, the initial reading of this suggests the manhattan district attorney will get those tax returns at least to buy pete and assessment. still room for the president to try to force a narrow scope of the district attorney's probe, how do you think this will play out in the lower courts as it seems this is where this is heading. >> i think i'm thinking on point. it will likely get kicked back
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to the circuit court which gets kicked back to the district court in lower manhattan, the southern district court. from there they hash out and see the narrowing it needs to occur. this was well briefed and well filed in court. manhattan district attorney jikly askjik jikly quickly asked for an expedited schedule for the underlying documents to be turned over to their office to continue their investigation. it's possibly the president likely possible the president's learns will challenge certain parts or all of it. it will go back to the appellate court, second circuit and at that point make the ultimate determination as far as what is turned over, maybe all of it is turned over but bottom line is we're talking at least weeks away from a district court opinion likely and possibly several weeks or months after that before we get a circuit
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court decision, if it goes that far. long story short, eamon, they will get some of the underlying documents. they are protected by grand jury subpoena so it's important to know that, also to echo keith's point, we're used to these big speaking indictments. when i come on the air and talk about a federal case with you, we're used to some indictment that lays out the narrative why they can charge the person with the charges they've chosen. that doesn't happen in state courts so we're not going to get a lot of initial information if there is eventually somebody charged or prosecuted in this case for the manhattan district attorney cyrus vance. it would not be until trial until we see exhibits that those type of underlying documents would come into play. they're protected by grand jury secrecy. so really as far as the rest of us, the general public, those that aren't investigating this as far as seeing trump's tax returns, it's on the next decision which could come any second, eamon, regarding congress, where we might see something sooner. >> i want to update our viewers.
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we are awaiting the second decision at 10:20, it is supposed to be posted on the supreme court decision. pete williams is monitoring the supreme court website, monitoring the decision and will bring it to us as soon as we do get it. senator mccakacaskillccaskill, senator, give me your initial reaction to this pretty significant vote of 7-2 and what this means going forward for a prosecutor like the manhattan district attorney. >> well, it's a bold, broad decision that the president is not above the law, and that is all good. i think the argument that the president made in front of the court was really a bogus fig leaf. both cases deal with subpoenas to third parties, not to the president. this is being litigated over whether or not third parties that have this information have to turn it over. his argument that this somehow
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was distracting was never a very strong argument, and the court indicated that even during the oral arguments. this next decision is really important, as to oversight of congress, and there's two pieces to this, and by the way, i'm not going to be surprised if the court also sends this back, the second decision. there is some belief here that the president is just trying to run out the clock, that he can use a delay by the cases going back to the lower courts to somehow stretch this beyond november the 3rd. it will be very interesting to see if the other case sends this back to the lower courts about the breadth of these subpoenas, and whether or not they separate the three committees, because their requests were different based on which committee they came from. was it an investigative subpoena as to oversight or was it a subpoena trying to get information for potential legislation? the court seemed to distinguish between those particularly justices kagan and others, talked about the difference
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between those two, and whether or not the subpoenas were too broad. but you can guarantee the presidents and all of his men are going to run out the clock on both cases. >> to that point, carol lee, i know it's probably very early to get some kind of reaction from the white house, but we do have some kind of insight into the president this morning with his tweets, presidential harassment, takes on a slightly different tone now that we have that first decision. >> reporter: that's right, and -- >> sorry to interrupt you so quickly. >> reporter: sure thing. >> we are starting to get the second decision now. i want to cross over to pete williams once again with an update on that. pete? all right, we're waiting for pete williams to come up for us but we do know that the second decision -- okay, let's cross over to pete. apologies. pete?
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>> so the president must turn over his taxes to the grand jury in new york unless he can come up with the same kind of arguments that any other person would be able to raise as an objection in court. so the supreme court sent the vance case, the new york grand jury case back to the lower courts, but it took away all the arguments the president made about why he is different and special, that's absolutely immune from the criminal justice process and that allowing local district attorneys to seek things from the president would subject the president to harassment. so what the supreme court says is, okay, now go back to court and make the same kind of arguments anybody else would make about why you think the subpoenas are intrusive. it puts him on the same standard basically, in other words, as anybody else trying to block a subpoena, makes it much, much, much harder for the president to keep this material out of the hands of the grand jury in new york. on the congressional subpoena,
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the supreme court also sent the case back. it has said the president absolutely can't say no, but it has said in a case like this, where a congressional subpoena is so broad, there's a test the lower courts have to apply. they have to make sure that this is tethered to some legitimate legislative purpose, that it's not going to harass the president. so it sent out a series of steps that the lower courts have to look at. so bottom line here, chuck, number one, nothing is going to get resolved in these cases until after the election, because they go back to the lower courts, whoever loses there has a chance to appeal. it could go back to the supreme court. that's the first thing. second thing. even if the new york grand jury had gotten a complete absolute win here, that wouldn't mean that we would see the president's tax records, because of the rules of grand jury secrecy. even if the grand jury ultimately gets the president's taxes, and he can't come up with any good objection for why he
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shouldn't turn them over, they don't become public, and the only way that we would see them is if there's someone indicted and goes to trial, and the taxes are introduced as evidence. those are the two bottom lines. nothing's going to be resolved before the election. we're not going to see any of this stuff on the congressional subpoenas, if the president ever did turn over any of his business records to congress, they might ultimately become public, but it's going to be months and months and months, possibly a year, maybe two before this is fully resolved in court. it's a mixed day for the president. he doesn't have to do anything right now, but the idea he can put a barricade around the white house and say no, i don't have to respond to any of you, that's a dead letter now. >> all right, we want to bring in our panel back into this conversation, carol lee at the white house, msnbc anchor katy tur, investigative correspondent tom winterness and chief legal
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correspondent and host of "the beat" ari melber and also with us missouri democratic senator claire mccaskill and msnbc political analyst. let me get your thoughts, a 7-2 breakdown echoing what we heard from the first one, not necessarily siding completely with the congressional committee saying there has to be a narrower scope, giving the president some legal window here to maneuver a little bit but also rejecting categorically that the president could, as pete williams describe, barricade himself inside the white house saying he is completely immune. >> now we have both decisions, eamon. it's a fascinating day at the supreme court. it is a split decision now as we can see it all together for president trump. first decision basically said you are not above the law? you must cooperate with the federal taxes and materials. you're no different than anyone else. you could make as pete was just reporting the same defenses anyone else would make but when
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everyone gets subpoenaed, most people have to turn over just about everything. that's a big loss for the president 7-2 decision and private proceeding. breaking news search looking for. good news for donald trump. this is basically a push back on congress's broad pursuit of the taxes. this means they're putting what lawyers call the four factor test. bottom line congress and the public through this case will not see donald trump's tax returns before the election. that was his goal. he calls that privacy and presidential power, his critics call it unacceptable secrecy. bottom line today, the second decision we just got here says that. it basically says the below courts did not take adequate concern for the very real
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protections the president has, while congress can take requests for intelligent legislation action. it remains the duty of citizens to cooperate in general but congressional subpoenas, i'm reading from the new opinion, congressional subpoenas for information from the president "implicates special concerns" regarding separation of powers. that's good news for donald trump or any other president. if you want to boil it down, eamon, because everyone's been waiting and we've been fighting for the tax rurneturns for two years, the first decision the president is not above the law and probably has to turn over his taxes to prosecutors and a second decision that says the president's not above the law, but the president is still special, and when dealing with congress, because of separation of powers, unlike other citizens, his special powers give him a delay which politically is a big reprieve until november on taxes but it means he's special. both decisions when we think beyond the politics which also matter, eamon, both of these are
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broad, bipartisan decisions written by seven justices, with chief justice roberts, only two dissents. even an an issue as divisive as donald trump's taxes, they're coming together. it's not a narrow decision and that's also really interesting, eamon. >> i was going to say, the fact that it went the way it did in and of itself reveals a lot. ari, i'll let you continue to digest that decision. i want to go to katy tur. one of the headlines out of today is what ari and pete both said. the public will not be seeing the. president's tax returns ahead of the november elections, in both cases goes back toy' lower court in manhattan or back to congress for them to narrow their investigation and provide some more specifics. talk to us a little bit about the implications of that, that the public will not see the tax returns after how we opened the show, playing that mash-up of the sound bites of the president essentially evolving from saying he would release them to now saying he will not release them.
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>> so political implications, we're back to the same position that we were in the 2016 campaign, asking for the returns, and not getting them in order to get more of a visual to exactly what the president is doing financially. so what does that mean for november? sources within the trump campaign say it doesn't really mean much, because the tax is already baked in, if you think the courts going after the president is unfair, you're going to call this all presidential harassment. it's not going to matter to you. he's going to be painted as the victim, as he has always been. if you want to see those taxes, the feeling in the trump campaign is that you were never on the president's side to begin with. so it's not going to move the needle either way. what could potentially move the needle and from all of the discussions you're having with all of our legal experts and tom winter, who does such a great job covering the courts here in new york, is if these taxes were
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to get in cy vance's hands and he moved quickly on an indictment or criminal prosecution based on something inspect taxes or those financial records before november but that's a really big lift. that is a short time line, so barring that, it's unclear where this is going to move the electorate. the tax issue is something that has been chewed over now for going on five years. the president is adam ant he is not going to release them. interestingly, you know, i've been asking tom the campaign for a response before this decision came down, what are you planning on doing with it, if it does not go your way. i've asked multiple campaign officials for this some sort of statement on the record, and i haven't gotten one. in fact, they were almost confused that i was asking them about this, showing that it wasn't a top priority for the campaign to try and spin this decision. they saw it as more of a white house issue, more of a trump organization issue, not
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necessarily their problem. >> senator mccaskill, i'm curious to get your thoughts on the second decision and the issue of oversight. a lot of people are looking at this decision and it is important to note as ari did the 7-2 decision, shows that it was not a partisan vote, so to speak. had some bipartisan support from within the court and maybe not the appropriate term to call it bipartisan but certainly justices apointed by both parties but i'm interested to get your thoughts about what this means specifically about congressional oversight and the powers of committees to try to hold the president accountable for any financial wrongdoings. >> well the door has been left wide open by the supreme court. it has merely instructed congress on how much care they have to use if they are going to subpoena personal records of the president of the united states while he is in office.
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qulomg this is a huge blow to investigations, oversight or legislation. i think we now have a road map going forward for congress, and it will be helpful to them going forward. we never had a president who fought like this. the reason this was so many points of first impression for the supreme court is typically these battles get worked out between the executive branch and the legislative branch. not so much here. eamon this is a terrible day for donald trump personally because he knows that vance is going to get those records. he knows that if those records are in the hands of the district attorney of manhattan that a criminal prosecution might be likely.
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this if the polls continue to spiral down and if he loses the presidency, he is looking at cyrus vance in a courtroom come 2021. >> i wanted to go to tom winter quickly. i believe we've gotten our first response from cyrus vance, the district attorney who put out a statement. we are monitoring reaction from capitol hill, the white house, but we have our first reaction to the decision from cyrus vance. >> "this is a tremendous victory for our nation's system of justice and its founding principle that no one, not even a president, is above the law." he continues saying "our investigation which is delayed for almost a year by this lawsuit will resume guided as always by the grand jury's solemnble gags to follow the law and the facts, wherever they may lead." that's the initial reaction from cy vance. he has not spoken that much publicly about this. it's ongoing litigation that has
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gone all the way to the supreme court, why we're here today calling it a victory for his office and vowing that the investigation will now move forward, but as i said before and as we've discussed, it's going to be some time before i think this is all sorted out in the courts and before his office eamon, actually gets the documents. >> respective of what happens in november, cyrus vance saying "our investigation will resume." ari, quick word before we go for a quick break. >> very interesting, obviously good day for cy vance and the prosecutors. i'm going to echo what claire mccassical said on the practical part of this. it's two big supreme court cases. we and america will be digesting them for days and weeks to come. there was a potential tell in donald trump and his allies fighting this all the way through the supreme court to try to keep the taxes from a secret state prosecutorial investigation, because people can imagine in their own situations, just in your own
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lives, plain english logic, if someone wanted to take your taxes or medical records and put them on the internet, you might fight that for any number of reaso reasons. if someone privately requested them in a protected process, grand jury details don't leak because of penalty of going to jail, that's a lower bar. fancy, powerful, famous people cooperate with, so senator and former prosecutor mccaskill is reminding everyone, it was not just the public transparency issue, reasonable minds can debate it, a lot of trump supporters we hear from say he's pretty rich. who cares about the rest? there may be something very legally or otherwise important that push them to fight all the way to the supreme court to fight this as tom winter was reporting this open investigation. i can't say i know it. i think the former prosecutor brings up an important context, and that is the other piece of this, and that is where the
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president lost big time today. >> everybody, stay in place for us. i want to bring in nbc news justice correspondent pete williams and supreme court analyst tom goldstein. both of you have been digesting these decisions. give me another take on what you've been reading so far, pete. >> okay, so i'm going to defer to tom here in just a second, but i think the thing to look at here is what the supreme court has said the president now has left. what arguments does the president now have left that he can use when these cases go back to the lower courts to try to resist these subpoenas? in the cy vance case, what he can try to say is he can raise the same objections anybody else would. if you say it's overbroad, it's irrelevant. you have no right to this whatever and they also say he can challenge the subpoena tempt
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to influence the performance of official duties that a normal person can't do in violation of the supremacy clause. this is a victory in some sense he argued that if you unleash the nation's 2,300 prosecutors, they can gang up on the president and harass him. the supreme court is basically saying here you can raise that argument. you can say you're being harassed and this violates the supremacy clause because the local prosecutors and you're the president and work for the federal government. how much of a shield that is, not much, but it's at least a small one. on the congressional subpoenas they basically say now there are at least four questions that the lower court should look at when congress has this sort of a massive subpoena like this. number one, can you get this information somewhere else?
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is the subpoena to the president the only way to get it? secondly, is it too broad? are you asking too much? years and years from lots of people, is there a way to narrow it. thirdly, does it serve a validated legislative purpose. the courts repeatedly said while the constitution doesn't give congress an inherent subpoena power, it needs to be able to find stuff out to pass laws. is this really a legislative purpose or do they just want to get all this stuff and look through it and try to find a pony. and fourth, would this be burdensome to the office of the president. he has some options left, but they're not the strong categorical ones that we started out with. >> all right, tom, before i go to you, i just want to cross over to the white house because we have reaction from the president as expected. that came in the form of a tweet. carol lee, i'll give you a chance to tell us, what is the president saying through his twitter stream? >> reporter: sure, eamon. president wrote "the supreme court sends case back to lower
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court, arguments to continue. this is all a political prosecution. i won the mueller witch hunt and others and now i have to keep fighting in a politically corrupt new york. not fair to this presidency or administration." so obviously the president is not happy with the decision, at least that one decision on the grand jury issue, and we expect to hear more from him in terms of the congressional decision. i wanted to add one thing that i think you're also wanting to keep an eye out for the president to be expressing some frustration over, and that is his own two supreme court nominees, justices gorsuch and kavanaugh voted with the majority against him. that's something that's really going to frustrate him and in his view will be something that he doesn't feel is a good return on his investment, eamon. >> we'll get into that in a second. you're hearing the president reacting to this.
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the president is not above the law or have the right to challenge in courts the compliance of district attorneys pursuit of financial records. tom goldstein, give me your take on these two decisions so far and some of the initial reactions that we're getting in terms of how this might play out. >> i think again the president might end up being happier than people think and even immediately realizes he's got legal exposure as people have said, the tax returns almost certainly are going to be given to a state grand jury. we don't know whether or not there's indications of crimes in them but politically he did pretty darned well. his strategy was to push past the 2020 election, and the supreme court has set a high bar for congress subpoenaing information about him, his financial records, his family financial records, and that was the real threat to him, i think because congress almost inevitably would allow that information to be released
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publicly. i think in the end it's a limited set of financial records. i think the president did better than people are thinking. >> all right, let me cross over to katy tur quickly. involving the manhattan district attorney a big component was michael cohen, the president's so-called fixer. he was central to this investigation. we understand that michael cohen we may be getting reaction from him pretty soon, but talk to us a little bit about his importance in all of this, as we go forward. >> it's unclear exactly how much importance we should put on michael cohen at the moment, but that being said, michael cohen did raise a lot of these financial issues in his house testimony last year, when he was talking about how the president deflated or inflated the value of his assets or his property, depending on whether or not he was applying for a loan or filing his taxes so that's very important and he brought that
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up. also on the hush money payments he was the one who brought that up, and that could be very important to this investigation as well. we do know that the d.a.'s office visited michael cohen in otisville when he was in prison in otisville, now on home confinement twice to interview him about what he knew about the president's financial records and now i say he was in otisville because he's been released to home confinement and because of that, eamon, he's now in federal court at 500 pearl street here in new york right now. he's visiting to fill out paperwork having to do with his home confinement, and we're told that when he leaves that courthouse, he is going to stop and talk to reporters, who are standing by outside, to comment on this tax case. michael cohen because of the house testimony did bring much of this to light in the public sphere about the president's inflating and deflating his assets. it will be really interesting to
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find out what he might have to say about this ruling and also what he could potentially say about any interviews that's had with the d.a.'s office, if he's willing to even comment on those. michael cohen certainly an interesting player in all this, somebody who was well within the president's inner circle, and somebody who has a motivation to talk. >> ari melber, let me get your thoughts -- >> you know, eamon -- >> sorry, go ahead, katy. >> we have the sound bite from michael cohen's house testimony. let's play it to remind people about what he said. >> okay. >> to your knowledge, did the president or his company ever inflate assets or revenues? >> yes. >> and was that done with the president's knowledge or direction? >> everything was done with the knowledge and at the direction of mr. trump. >> to your knowledge, did the president ever provide inflated assets to a bank in order to
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help him obtain a loan? >> these documents and others were provided to deutsche bank on one occasion where i was with them in our attempt to obtain money so that we can put a bid on the buffalo bills. >> so there you have it, eamon, exactly what michael cohen testified about. we'll see what he has to say to reporters in just a few minutes. >> we're keeping an eye out on that as well as so many other developments including our first reaction from capitol hill. let's go straight to leigh ann caldwell, first reaction from the chair of the house judiciary committee. why is he central? >> reporter: that's right. we heard from jerry nadler, chair of the house judiciary committee. in a tweet he said "no one is above the lawlaw," responding t the supreme court decision in this case. the reason he is so instrumental in this is of course the impeachment hearings went
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through his committee and he has been investigating this president throughout, even though his specific committee was not part of these subpoenas that led to the supreme court case. we are told that lawyers, the house lawyers of the intelligence committee, the oversight committee are poring through the decision and we'll get the statement as soon as they have it. we'll hear from house speaker nancy pelosi. she's holding a press conference at 11:00 a.m., so that could be the first reaction we get from some democratic leadership, but this is, you know, seems to be a mixed bag for congress on not only were the president's financial disclosures at stake here, eamon but also the balance of power between congress and the administration, and their ability to do oversight. this is a nuanced decision, so we are very interested to see how they respond to this. i want to mention one other thing, and that is, there's an entirely separate case from
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going through the ways and means committee of requesting the president's tax returns. they are not part of this lawsuit, but they are held up, that issue is in the lower courts as well and the judge in that case says they're going to wait to hear how the supreme court rules before it decides on how it's going to address the ways and means committee's attempt to get the president's tax returns, so this could be more far reaching than just specifically the cases that are at stake today, eamon. >> leigh ann caldwell live with reaction on capitol hill. as soon as we get the press briefing from the speaker of the house, nancy pelosi, we'll bring that to you live. i want to bring in to the conversation two men who know more about donald trump and his businesses perhaps than anyone else, msnbc political analyst and "washington post" reporter david faren hold and david
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enrich, "dark towers" author. david, we are getting initial reaction, if you will from deutsche bank saying they will comply with the supreme court's decision but talk to us about the significance of today from the information that you and others have been reporting about and what that means going forward for those investigations. >> well, in short it means that a lot of the information that deutsche bank in particular is sitting on, which is not just tax returns, that reals of other detailed information about trump, his finances, concerns employees had raised about potential money laundering and various accounts, all of that information is going to remain in deutsche bank's electronic vaults and will remain out of the public view at least until after the 2020 election. so for those who were hoping that they'd get a glimpse of donald trump's innermost financial secrets, they have to wait quite a while i think.
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>> david fahrenhold the congressional investigations that sought some of the financial documents, the court essentially saying may be too broad in scope. does based on your reporting and what we know about the intent to do similar we're hearing from the district attorney, congress will continue investigations but perhaps narrow the scope to specific questions involving some financial dealings? >> i imagine that's what they'll do. the house took a long time, not just these committees but others to adjust to donald trump's legal strategy. it would be familiar if you had watched him throughout his business career. there are honor systems in the law and he never uses them. he uses delay not just to win cases, but intimidate his opponents, drag out the time, avoid having to give over documents. when trump played those cards in this case, the house basically started too late. they put these subpoenas in in 2019. it's taken this long to get them
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all the way out. but by not anticipating what he was goings to do and doing it in the first few weeks, they put themselves way behind. if they ever get it, it will be after trump stands for re-election. >> what was specifical in the information financially speaking that could lead prosecutors or investigators one way or the other? >> the first thing, the clearest thing everyone has been talking on is trump's tax returns. that obviously could show a lot about how much trump is worth, how much he's been paying in taxes, things like that. that could be very revealing. everyone has been seeking those for the past four or five years. to me the most intriguing stuff is stuff inside deutsche bank which has been trump's primary financial enabler for the past 25 years. the congressional investigators sought everything from details about the transactions that were going in and out of his accounts to whatever information he provided when he was seeking loans or seeking other services
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to the bank to interncorrespond about troubling things they may or may not have seen. we know there are instances where deutsche bank employees have seen what they regard to be suspicious transactions in the president's accounts, and the congressional investigators in their subpoenas sought that information very ex-pliks italy because that could be a clue to either potential wrongdoing or show potential entanglements that he, his family or companies have inside or outside the united states. >> all right. thank you both for joining us. let's bring back our panel. back with us is neil cat y'all. i want to read for you, if i can, a sentence from justice brett kavanaugh, obviously opinion pointed by the president. he writes a very important line. in our system of government, as this court has often stated, no one is above the law. that principle applies with
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force to a president. to carol's point earlier, this was a justice that was appointed by president trump. we know expects unconditional loyalty. how do you read that sentence from justice kavanaugh. >> i'm glad you started there. i've been listening to our reporting for the last hour and i love our msnbc colleague's analyst, but i disagreement with almost everything that has been said. the fact is trump lost resoundingly, 7-2, including his own appointees to the court, kavanaugh and gorsuch. the court rejected his broad claims of immunity. for a president who is sworn to take care that the laws be faithfully executed in our constitution, the supreme court is saying these are bogus claims. it's true the case is now going to go back to new york and to the d.c. courts, but the key question is what's left, and with the manhattan case, very
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little. it's very hard i think for trump to assert any form of immunity. with congress maybe he's got more arguments back in the trial court. but nobody thought he was going to win, that the house was going to win immediate release of the tax returns or anything like that. this is i think the best of what the challengers thought. the only thing in which trump won anything today, he now possibly can delay this after election day and delay getting all the information to new york, but i think that's doubtful. look, these cases can move very quickly. the nixon's tape case was three months. bush versus gore in 2000, 36 days. this is all about the election of 2020. i expect cy vance to move incredibly fast. he described trump as having little shield left in new york. it's not a little shield. it's a paper-thin shield at best. i think it's totally possible for all of this to come out
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before the 2020 election in terms of new york's prosecutors getting this information and acting on it. so i would caution all those folks who have been listening to this for the last half hour and say this is a mixed bag. it is not. if i'm donald trump, i'm scared right now. whether or not it comes before or after the 2020 election, cy vance is going to get this material, and it looks pretty damaging to donald trump. >> senator mccaskill, i'll give you the final word in the program. going forward from what neil just said, his tax returns, we welcome dissenting opinions here, is definitely going to come out at some point. the overarching principle we come out from these decisions today is the president is not above the law. he has to play ball with the justice process. >> i agree with neil. donald trump is sick to his stomach right now, because the only way this is a good day for him is if he didn't lie to deutsche bank or didn't lie to
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the irs. the chances of that being true are nil. he lies like we brush our teeth. he's certainly made lying a central business plan throughout his career. so, of course, there are going to be lies on these bank applications. of course there are going to be lies on his tax returns. the local prosecutor is going to get this information, and i believe criminal prosecution will occur and donald trump knows that in his gut. >> if the president's twitter feed is anything, it is a stream of consciousness of the president. his reaction today says a lot. i want to thank everyone for being here with us throughout the entire hour. it is a very busy day. we have a lot more coming up. thanks for watching this hour of "msnbc live." i'm ayman mohyeldin. after a quick break, more news with my friend craig melvin. don't go anywhere.
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good thursday morning everyone. i'm craig melvin. we continue to follow the breaking news from the supreme court on two monumental cases about president trump's financial records. two parallel cases and decisions on this, the court's final day of session. the first case involving manhattan district attorney cy vance who is seeking president trump's tax records. the court ruling 7-2 that the president is not immune from the manhattan district attorney's attempt to get that information. this case, as you may recall, centers on the investigation into hush money payments to women who claim


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