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tv   The Beat With Ari Melber  MSNBC  December 7, 2020 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

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thank you so much for letting us into your homes again during these extraordinary times. we're so grateful. "the beat" with ari melber starts right now. tonight we have a special report on president trump's legal exposure that will begin when he becomes citizen trump and leaves office. that's coming up soon. our top story, though, is this political fallout over trump's failed attempts to deny he lost the presidential race which had been echoing in the high stakes
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debate in the georgia senate race which could determine control of the united states senate. republican incumbent continues to dodge basic questions about trump losing the race. >> do you stand by his narrative that the election was rigged and you support his demand of governor kemp to call a special session to seek to overturn those results? >> look, it's vitally important that georgians trust our election process and the president has every right to every legal recourse. >> did you believe the election was rigged? >> it's very clear that there were issues in this election. >> this isn't just about issues or denial or rhetoric. some of these conspiracy theories continue to fuel very real scenes like this scary, serious scene under the cover of night in michigan. you may have already heard about it, armed, pro-trump protesters going to an election official's home. >> we will not stand down. we will not stop. we will continue to rise up.
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we will continue to take this election back for the president that actually won it by a landslide. >> this is serious stuff. those protests continuing even as another judge rejected another trump lawsuit in that same state of michigan as a worthless piece of speculation and conjecture with no evidence. this is not a drill. donald trump has now been leading the most sustained and serious denial of a presidential election set of results in history. and the vast majority of elected republicans are still declining to acknowledge biden's victory. you can see it here according to a survey of the entire gop caucus by "the washington post," basically about 88% have no answer on who won. when does this all end? politically republicans can follow the calendar for the upcomi upcoming georgia senate race. they can wait for the inauguration. they can stay beholden to donald trump until he leaves office. i can't report for you what will
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happen there. what i can report is that constitutionally this all ends tomorrow. that is the final deadline for all of these states' certifications, which is obviously bad news for trump because he lost them. so it locks in the safe harbor day locks in those losses in stone, which is why, if you take a look around the web, you'll see everybody conservative outlets like the national review running simple headlines like this tonight, the safe harbor deadline is upon us, preparing their audience for a fact that of course has been clear since that first saturday when the election was called. which donald trump and rudy giuliani and some of their allies have willfully misled their own supporters about. the race is over, the results are certified and the electors are locked into those results which made joe biden president-elect biden. we have a lot to get to in tonight's show, including that special report. we begin on this news with the famed obama pollster. good evening, sir.
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>> good evening, brother. how are you? >> i'm well. >> i mentioned the safe harbor date because it's not something most people have to think about because traditionally everyone acknowledges the call when it comes in. i'm curious where you think things go tomorrow when, as i mentioned, under federal law, there's no backsies, and it's all locked in. >> we are at a precarious time, and you know, i'm channelling marleau from the wire here. they wanted to be one way, but it's really going to be the other way. you know, so they can continue to deny the idea that biden didn't win, and ari, it's really sort of astounding when you have, i think the reuters poll have 81% of republicans think biden won. you have the vast of majority of the country who think they have
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been victimized, something has been stolen, and we have seen it from trump's inauguration moving forward that facts are slipping away. facts don't really matter. so i think we really are a precarious place in our country where facts don't matter. you have a large swath of the opposition party, the other party here, that really, they really do believe that they have been victimized, that something has gone awry and that we're stealing this election from them. i don't know. we're in uncharted waters right now, ari. >> right. and first of all, i appreciate the wire reference, marleau was tough. it was tough. >> to say the least. >> to say the least. but as you point out, the facts create the baseline, so on the one hand, we're going to move forward with this transfer of power, but this may be where the republican party chooses to live for some time, and that brings us to something i want to play for viewers which is the way
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that this continues to proliferate and republican officials getting understandably pushback for going along with one candidate who's a sore loser. he's not the only candidate in the party. take a look. >> well, they need to vote because the key to a republican victory is to have more votes than the left can steal. >> how are they going to steal them? >> so the process has played out, hasn't it, and there's no evidence of widespread fraud. why can't you accept the results? >> i think it's easy to say it's played out because that might be the most convenient thing to say. >> chris, i welcome vice president biden to the club since the middle of april, the president's guidelines for reopening -- >> the president-elect, sir. >> the president has called -- >> in terms of where things are, you see there at least one anchor on fox news is farther than people who, again, i want to emphasize this. this can feel scynical, but
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people who are our employees, people are hurting out there, but their tax dollars go to pay secretary azar. he has a constitutional obligation to refer accurately to the incoming administration, and as wallace pointed out, the president-elect. >> but this is a creature of their own creation. right? this started -- republicans could have started the pushback on this several years ago when they started coming off president obama, when they started pretending that president obama wasn't born in this country. when they tried to make him an other, when they tried to make him less than a duly elected, you know, american president. so now they're beginning to pay the price for it. they're stuck in a box, ari. what happens if you're a republican in alabama, mississippi, south carolina, a lot of these traditional republican states where the vast
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majority of the republicans now think that the election was stolen from them. they come out and say, you know what, the election wasn't stolen. biden rightfully won, you know as good as i do, next year they're going to be in the primary, and they're going to lose. so it is a sticky place that they have gotten themselves into, but they have no one to blame but themselves. >> all good points and cornell knows the polling well, so when he's reminding us that apparently lies are polling better than facts in some primaries, that's something we have to live with, even if trump or trumpism evolves and mutates. cornell, thank you for kicks au -- kicking us off tonight. this is our special report right now tonight on the critical, legal e pxposure that faces donald trump. most presidents did depart with
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less pressing concerns. they are focused on their memoirs, the next chapter of their careers, those presidential libraries that they tend to fund raise through. very few leave with the talk of potential profession, and that goes for nixon who cut off the risk by engineering that pardon from his successor, and now you have donald trump tonight, this week, and for the past few weeks, really, stoking some similar intrigue, by talking up the more extreme measure of trying to pardon himself. why does donald trump even think he needs a federal pardon? only he knows. and to be as fair as possible, the evidence suggests it would not be for russian collusion, for example, because after all the scrutiny on that issue, remember, the mueller probe did not conclude that donald trump criminally conspired or coordinated with russia. now, a self-pardon would not address state issues in new york
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or elsewhere. but as with so many trump era debates and scandals, this topic, so drenched in the implication of guilt and crime, it's been stoked by trump himself, by talking up the pardons for himself and his family. when the supreme court has long held that taking a pardon is like confessing a crime, everyone knows now how bad this sounds. on the other hand, these are not easy calls. there's renewed debate about how high the bar should be for prosecuting a former president. people around biden have been suggesting the very idea of going after an ex-president concerns them while joe biden has also stressed the thing you're supposed to say that he will not try to meddle in the doj's process. there are also some prosecutors openly advocating for investigati investigating and potentially charging trump: including a famous one, former deputy andrew weissman. as we get into this tonight, i want to be clear. this is serious stuff. this debate cannot be held in the abstract.
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if the nation after what we just lived through is going to consider a legal accountability for an ex-president, the rule of law requires in follow only evidence, not partisanship, and that actually is important as we think about this debate. i don't think we have heard the last of it, because if we're going to do this right as a nation, it can't be some vague discussion of just prosecuting trump or any politician. that doesn't get you very far. the question under rule of law has to be if there is evidence that a person in this case, soon to be expresident trump, committed a federal crime and does that merit prosecution. if you take just an example, should the nation hold the first trial of an ex-president for jaywalking or defacing a mailbox? i mean, those are crimes. most legal experts think the bar has got to be higher than that. tonight, right now, to do this hopefully in an informed way, we turn to one of the most important examples, a specific federal case where donald trump
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does have exposure, where a crime has been proven and convicted, and one that also implicates our democracy, which suggests larger issues than, well, the mailbox thing i said or the jay walking, i'm referring to the conviction of donald trump's long time lawyer michael cohen for providing donald trump's payments in exchange for the silence of stormy daniels. remember, coeny went to jail for that crime. federal prosecutors said it was all to benefit trump. tonight i can tell you we have a very relevant guest for this discussion. a man who would be a key witness in this case, michael cohen himself. he will join me live after this special report. cohen was convicted for his work on behalf of individual 1, donald trump. and if trump was a knowing party to that crime, legally he could still face potential prosecution. i mean, technically he could because the deadline had not yet run for that kind of campaign finance violation. you may recall this whole case,
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it began with a secret. donald trump paying daniels to hide their encounters which date back to 2006. now, the legal problems came when trump and cohen acted around the 2016 election, and there's stronger evidence here than in most stories, that is to say if you're talking to people about, oh, should trump be charged or not, and some of those stories are cases, even the tax issues, they can be vague, but here, mueller's prosecutors had inside players exposing what was happening. we even heard from some of those key witnesses this realtime. this was during the open mueller probe in the reporting on the beat. >> in the probe, they were asking about payments to women. >> they were asking if i knew anything about it. >> they were asking if you knew about payments to women? >> you have this $130,000 payment that was made after the election from campaign to trump org. >> that turned out to be quite
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relevant, because mueller's team, they actually thought there was enough evidence to pursue. they also carefully as a legal matter decided that it appeared beyond their jurisdiction, so they handed it to new york investigators, who ultimately secured cohen's cooperation, and that's why we have the public facts from that probe, which could be very relevant when trump leaves office. this was of course overseen by the trump doj, payments to women who claimed to have had an affair with individual ione, an they found cohen's intent was to influence the election. that can be bad because there can be an offense, that payments were made separate from an election crime, cohen, the one who arranged it, admitted it under oath and the evidence shows trump was in on it. cohen says he did it all at the direction of individual 1, and trump confirmed by paying him for reimbursements which came through, some of them while he was president, with his company involved in a suspicious series
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of payments, 35,000 bucks a pop over the course of a year. this is a lot of hard evidence. now, as far as the courts are concerned, it's a felony committed with and for the benefit of one person. individual 1. and everyone knows who that is. >> yet, last fall, i pled guilty in federal court to felonies for the benefit of at the direction of and in coordination with individual number 1. and for the record, individual number 1 is president donald j. trump. >> cohen testifying he went to jail for executing trump's plan. >> the president of the united states thus wrote a personal check for the payment of hush money as part of a criminal scheme to violate campaign
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finance laws, and i am going to jail in part because of my decision to help mr. trump hide that payment from the american people before they voted a few days later. >> you hear that phrase, hide that payment, and hide the underlying conduct, and hide it for a long time. now, by today's lights it may all sound familiar, but remember, investigators if they pursue a case like this, could bear down on how trump continued to cover up, continued to lie about this. here he was on air force one in 2018. >> mr. president, did you know about the $130,000 payment to stormy daniels? >> no. >> then why did michael cohen make it. >> michael's my attorney, and you'll have to ask michael. >> do you know where he got the money to make that payment? >> no, i don't know. >> false. donald trump knew because cohen
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arranged a cash advance. we have the evidence. and trump paid for it partly through the trump organization. you see it there. you see his signature. this is what they call receipts. even rudy giuliani came out to admit it later that year. >> something to do with paying some stormy daniels woman 130,000, i mean, which is going to turn out to be perfectly legal, and the president repaid. >> oh, he did? >> there's no campaign finance law. >> zero. >> up a little bit. now, does all of this make donald trump a culpable conspirator? that's a tough question. any charges or trial of trump would still be pitting that string of reactions you just saw there, from a lying denial by trump to rudy giuliani he did it but it's legal. it would pin all of that against the evidence, which includes the financials, the receipts, the legal rules to witnesses like
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cohen and daniels. >> suddenly people are reaching out to me again offering me money, large amounts of money, and then i get the call, i think i have the best deal for you. >> from your lawyer? >> yeah. >> it's a $130,000 in-kind contribution by cohen to the trump campaign and if he does this on behalf of his client the candidate, that is a coordinated, illegal in-kind contribution by cohen for the purpose of influencing the election. >> okay. that's a big deal. that last voice you heard there is a republican election law expert laying out trump's potential legal exposure because the law matters and the evidence matters. now, reporting on this case, you'll hear from many different people with direct knowledge or who were involved in some part of this, and they come back to the fact that if this was a crime, and cohen was convicted of the crime, and cohen was taking orders to commit this
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crime, then do we all just move on, or do we deal with the fact that this crime committed in public, convicted in public that someone went to jail for, raises a question about whether the ultimate guilt goes higher? >> donald trump was complicit in this conduct. he should face liability for the conduct. >> the weight of evidence will get great e but it's so overwhelming now. >> you think it's nefarious. >> it's a campaign violation, this is the finding of the prosecutors, directing his lawyer to pay hush money to corrupt an american election. >> was the nation"national enqu acting as the arm of donald trump and michael cohen, and is there something wrong with that. >> we strongly suspect those were. >> those parties said they had lots of proof. mr. avenatti who you just saw there, he initially forced a lot of this into the public square but was indicted on other
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unrelated crimes for which he awaits trial. in fairness, there are other legal reasons why this kind of case against donald trump might not hold out if pursued. take the relatively exampleov o edwards, charged on a similar theory but he avoided conviction making the argument that whatever bad things he did, the goal was not violating the campaign finance laws. he was acquitted. the rule of law requires putting one's views of donald trump as a person or as the leader of the ideology of trumpism, if you want to do this fairly, you actually have to put this aside, and you have to seriously reckon with whether there is a crime so serious, that an ex-president ought to be put on trial. some legal experts point to edwards as the kind of case that should give pause to pursue trump under the evidence you just saw, and second and separately, more broadly, there are real questions about the costs and risks of potentially normalizing the prosecution of
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ex-presidents. is this the right direction. would this be the right precedent. we know the office of president has shield donald trump like any other president, but in 44 days, it is a constitutional fact that he becomes a citizen again, not the president. potential prosecution becomes technically more legally possible. but should it be on the table for this alleged offense? well, to take this seriously tonight we're going to get into it. we're going to hear from experts on both sides and the man in the middle himself, michael cohen who joins me live in just 30 seconds. cohen who joins me live in just 30 seconds. before voltaren arthritis pain gel, my husband would have been on the sidelines. but not anymore! an alternative to pills voltaren is the first full prescription strength non-steroidal anti-inflammatory gel to target pain directly at the source for powerful arthritis pain relief. voltaren. the joy of movement.
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i'm joined by donald trump's former attorney, michael cohen, and the author of the book "disloyal," michael thank you for having this conversation, sir. >> hey, how you doing, ari? good to see you. >> good to see you. i'm all right. >> let's start with the basics, did you commit this crime with donald trump's knowledge and direction the whole time and should he be charged in your view? >> so i pled guilty as i'm sure you're aware a little more than a year and a half ago. and it was done as i had stated before the house oversight committee as well as to many other authorities, many other agencies, that it was done not only at the direction of but in
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coordination with donald j. trump, so the answer is if in fact, that i'm required to plead guilty for this crime, then so is the president. >> to be clear, although there were other allegations that you addressed, on this particular one, did you benefit personally from arranging this for donald trump or was he the mainly beneficiary of this arrangement? >> hef was the only beneficiary of this arrangement. i also want to say as we're talking about potential criminal prosecution here, that's not really the issue that donald trump is most concerned about. what he's most concerned about is the irs. he's concerned about issues that's going to show that he does not pay his fair taxes, that he's tax evaded that there's bank fraud, potential insurance fraud, et cetera, et cetera, so that's really what donald trump is more concerned about because it doesn't only just affect him as the stormy
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daniel hush money payments did, but it also affects his children and the trump organization, which of course is his financial ever, you know, cash cow. >> in the way they handled these payments, which i just reminded the audience how much we know about that. we know a lot more than usual, given the range of probes, do you see any other potential legal problems beyond the main one of the campaign finance violation? >> meaning what? >> for example, the way it was routed through the trump org, do you think there was anything else shady in the payment that went to ms. daniels. >> okay. much better question, now i get where you're going with this. >> the answer is yes. >> as a lawyer, sometimes you have to fix the other lawyer's questions, so thank you. >> yes, that's true. sorry for that. this isn't a deposition, though. so the answer to that is yes, and it's yes because they actually hid the payment. instead of marking it down as an expense, they marked it down as
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a legal expense, so it became a tax deductible tryst, which i'm certain the irs is not interested or the u.s. taxpayer is not interested in paying for donald trump's, you know, affairs. >> so they not only hid the payment, your contention and your evidence, you're directly involved in it, is that they then lied to the federal government about what the payment was? >> yes, they marked it down as legal expense, when it clearly was not a legal expense. >> yeah. so those are a series of questions about what you went through. i want to ask you a question about being incarcerated, and it's a difficult thing. we have talked about it before, but you went through this in a way. we have all went through these four years, and people have different views of them. this is america, we can talk them out. i'm curious, if you could let us in on this, did you ever feel and think about, while you were incarcerated in prison, away from your family, at least on this crime, you were in there
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for something you did for him, and he hadn't been held accountable for it. >> yeah, that actually haunted me on a daily basis, and i think as i have said to you before, it doesn't just break your heart to be away from your family because of somebody else's dirty deeds, it shreds your soul each and every day, and you only get ten minutes, maximum to supreme to your family. i have a wife, and my son out of state at school, and my daughter, and i'd get three minutes to speak to them at best a day, and anytime there's an issue that needed to be addressed, unfortunately you just don't have the time on the telephone to do it. so it's really, it's an ugly situation. i should not have been there based upon his dirty deeds and since i did, i pled guilty for a crime that i was certainly involved with. so was the president. >> michael, the flip side of all of this, and i'm going to have
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experts get in this, i wanted to give you the benefit of addressing it, people say whatever one's criticisms are of this president and in period of time, the unite has not historically has not prosecuted ex-presidents and there are many reasons not to do it, including the ordeal of putting the country through it. your response to that argument both as someone involved and as someone who has studied the law and separation of powers, and as you know, there are legitimate argument against that. your response? >> so you could play it either way. first and foremost, you know, the biggest problem of incarcerating a president is the fact that the president has national security information embedded in his head, now, of course we all know that donald trump didn't spend a lot of time at briefings and so on, short of whatever they could write on a piece of paper with crayon, he didn't spend much time in these briefings, but he still has national security information in his head, and that makes him
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obviously a danger to be placed in, you know, an institution. here's the flipside to that. donald trump does not care, as we know about anyone or anything other than himself. if that's the case, is he more dangerous on the outside because donald trump will sell. there's no doubt in my mind, he will sell a national security information to the highest bidder in order to develop a piece of property in iraq. you know, he doesn't care. he is prepared to talk about, which he did with putin, right, unsolicited, he just gives away information. is he more dangerous on the inside or on the outside, but you could play it either way. i think he's a danger no matter where you put him. >> very interesting, and michael, this is one of those threads and that's why we wanted to show the reporting on it, that everyone can move on and forget. i know you and your family
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haven't forgotten it or a question about the best way to deal with it. appreciate you coming back on "the beat," hope you'll come back, sir. >> anytime, ari, thanks for having me. we're going to fit in a break. we have a lot more on the program including the actual debate on prosecuting donald trump. i think you're going to want to hear what our experts say next after the break. nt to hear what our experts say next after the break. season, after season. ace your immune support, with centrum. we started by making the cloud easier to manage. but we didn't stop there. we made a cloud flexible enough to adapt to any size business. no matter what it does, or how it changes.
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we're turning to our debate. we are thrilled to welcome two experts with different views on this issue that we have been reporting on. eric poser is a law professor at
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the university of chicago. he has written that trying to prosecute donald trump is quote a very bad idea. and akasr kadori, says prosecuting trump should not be off the table. that itself would be more dangerous. thanks to both of you for having this discussion. >> my pleasure. >> thank you! ankash, your view? >> i think all options should be on the table. i mean, i think as you said, you know, depending on the facts and circumstances and the evidence at hand, you know, the answer may very well be different in whether you do or do not pursue potentially investigating the president. i don't see any reason for there to be a presumption that says, you know, this is something that cannot or should not be done. i think it's entirely premature. >> eric when you look at the specific case reported on tonight, help our viewers understand why you argue that should not be pursued?
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>> well, my view is that it would be a mistake for president biden or president biden once he's in office or his attorney general to announce that we're going to launch an investigation to see what crimes trump might have committed while he was in office. i should say i'm not in favor of immunizing trump for any crime that he might have committed if facts come out that suggest that he did commit a serious crime. so we have some facts that people have talked about, which suggest a possibility of criminal activity. i think at the present time, there's not enough to justify a formal investigation. but that could change if additional facts came out. >> well, what about, there was this formal investigation and the sdny, as you know, went forward. someone went to jail. we just talked to him, and they say it was a benefit for individual one who was involved. in that specific case, one could argue that someone other than the president might be in more
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trouble there. what would specifically be the reason against pursuing that. >> if you're talking about pre-presidential behavior, campaign finance violation, i am not a posopposed to an investig of trump's behavior even before he became president. if you're talking about the possibility of the obstructed justice while he was president, then i'm much more concerned, and the reason i'm concerned is that first, no president has ever been tried and convicted of a crime. second, not this particular crime is a very complicated one because of the problem of mixed motive motives. as you mentioned in your report, the issues about what the motive was for making this payoff. and then i think there's a pragmatic concern that goes beyond another point that your report made, namely the worry
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about criminalizing politics. the pragmatic concern is that whenever a political, a form of political leader is prosecuted, the trial is always as much about the prosecutor s as about the leader. any trial of donald trump may be a trial of the democratic party and the current president and that would be enormously divisive. and the reason for that is that the defense in these types of trials will always be you did it too or you've done very similar things, and now you're going after me for political reasons. i think that type of argument is very dangerous and could really backfire on the biden administration. >> right, and that's sort of the less legal, more practical or prudential concerns but we are talking about something that's got layers to it. and you write about that, professor. you say an investigation into the trial of trump would give the circus of the trump
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presidency a place in politics for years, sucking the air out of the biden administration, and feeding into mr. trump's potent claims of mahrtyr dom, how woul you respond to the points there? >> i don't see any reason we should all be held hostage to a perpetually agroovgrieved mania. if he's going to be a martyr for being held to the same standards, tax fraud, financial fraud, i don't think that's a sufficient reason not to go forward, and trump and his supporters are not the only people in this country who have serious, sincere political, civic social concerns and interests and all of those other people's concerns deserve to be taken into account as part of that decision too. and yes, if you're a professor po posner, undertaking the analysis
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of trump and his supporters, you're going to come out a specific way but that's excludeing a portion of the relevant equation? >> again, you know, it depends how clear the evidence is. you know, if there's really -- let's say a journalist discovers that, you know, donald trump literally accepted money in return for some action, you know, some very clear example of bribery. by all means, i'd be in favor of prosecution. my point is really about where we stand now. there is of course, it's possible trump did commit real crimes, and the question is whether the biden administration moving forward should launch a criminal investigation based on that possibility, and subsequently prosecute. it's a little premature to talk about prosecution since we don't know. but in terms of launching a criminal investigation based on what we know. i think what trump's lawyers will say in return is that
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criminal investigations are very rarely launched against previous presidents and you're doing it in order to make sure that i can't run in 2024, and i think people will sympathize with that view, especially if it turns out that trump is acquitted and there's an extremely high probability that that will happen. because we're talking about something that's unprecedented. prosecution of a former president. that means there's no road map for prosecutors to follow. so they will be very unsure of what's going to happen. judges will be hostile because judges don't like prosecutions that are based on, you know, that don't have any precedent both because they can be unfair, and because people don't anticipate them. there are enormous problems because of the president's central role, constitutional role as the head of the executive branch that judges will have to grapple with for
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the first time. >> right. >> and then beyond all of that, you've got the worry that a jury seeing all of these ambiguities and probably the law will be narrowed down by the time it gets to the jury will just say, look, it's not beyond a reasonable doubt. i think that would be explosive, and i do think, by the way, it would take many many years for such a trial to go through because of all of the new issues, and all of the difficulties that would distract from the biden administration, and i think probably would be pretty nightmarish from a political standpoint. >> i think both of you lay out what are some very strong elements on both sides, which i think is useful for people to hear as we go into this uncharted territory. we have an outgoing president who's lying about the results, who's fomenting basically potential electioneering crimes. he's just not very good at them. professor raises the fact that it's harder to go after a president for acts in office
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than the example we gave tonight. as for bribery, it's funny you mentioned that. we'll have to do that on another segment, because the hou impeachment, he was demanding a bribe from a foreign government. and if nothing else, we reminded everyone why law school takes more than seven minutes. i appreciate both of you doing that with us. >> thanks to both of you. >> thank you. >> appreciate it. >> absolutely. we're going to fit in a break. we have a lot more coming up. including why donald trump's mood in the white house and his enemies list are raising problems for his own aides and news on the covid vaccine, and where we go from here. stay with us. and where we go from here. stay with us and if we win, we get to tell you how liberty mutual customizes car insurance so you only pay for what you need. isn't that what you just did? service! ♪ stand back, i'm gonna show ya ♪ ♪ how doug and limu roll, ya ♪ ♪ you know you got to live it ♪ ♪ if you wanna wi...
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another life-changing technology from abbott. so you don't wait for life. you live it. here's some reports that suggest we might be approaching the citizen cane stage of the trump presidency. there are aids now telling and remember, this is coming from the white house, they tell "the
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new york times," trump moody, depressed. barely shows up to work, the times reports. trump is simply fix sated on rewarding friends and punishing a growing list of perceived enemies, which includes republican governors who won't go along with the pretend strategy or potential criminal plot to erase what their own constituents voted on. trump also reduced to planning his exit as the reality tv star he used to be, axios reports he wants a made for tv grand finale, a white house departure on marine one for a political rally to compete with the biden inauguration. we're joined by daily beast columnist, margaret carlson. great to see you, walk us through what, if anything, in here matters versus what is just sour televised grapes? >> well, he's moody and depressed but very active behind the scenes. and what really matters pretty significantly is the vaccine
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summit. trump's been planning on getting the vaccine named after him, geraldo rivera is leading the crusade, appears on fox, as we called the salt vaccine, he wants this vaccine generically, whoever the manufacturer is, called the trump vaccine. we'll see. but tomorrow's vaccine summit, turns out that big pharma is far more ethical than donald trump, maybe that's not a surprise, but they're not showing up for the vaccine summit. at least not pfizer and moderna who have the two leading vaccines that are coming up because, you know, partly, the faith in the vaccine was already at a low point because trump was advertising it at warp speed, and it was going to be done before the election, and they wanted to be reliable and trusted and for people to get it because if people don't get a vaccine, there's no immunity for
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the population. >> great points. >> so that's tomorrow. >> look, branding and advertising matters in life, in capitalism, in politics, it certainly is going to matter in this public health challenge, given how unnecessarily polarized aspects of this have been. the other limiting principal, and this could affect whether donald trump really stays disciplined in trying to control the republican party or not, there is a limited principal, as i showed in the reporting, that is not doing a lot of work. here he was in georgia, in this campaign stop, take a listen. >> i probably worked harder in the last three weeks than i've ever worked in my life doing this. and i've become friendly with legislators that i didn't know four weeks ago, and actually they're great people. >> there may be a tell there, protesting too much. go ahead, margaret.
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>> remember when it was finally revealed that executive time was tv watching time in the residence until he came downstairs to the oval office around noon and then might have lunch with cancer pompeo, so he may be working harder than he's ever worked, but most of it is m mischief, like making the citizenship test harder while making the actual one that's coming out as a result of this, filled with factual errors so they have to go back and fix that. making it easier to fire the colonel vindmans that are still left in government by dwindling civil service protections, just the other day saying there should be more soot in the atmosphere as he's weakening laws on pollution. speeding up executions, i mean, there's tno end to sort of whats going on behind the scenes. now, he's not actually carrying it out, but i think he's saying do whatever you can to throw an
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ax in the works that i leave behind, and he's freezing the covid spending that's left over of $455 billion. while he's not speaking to his successor, which it could be the first time. it's certainly not since the 1800s when they settled things in duels has there been this kind of reception to the next president. >> margaret carlson bringing the context and the duels, and next time when we have more time, i'll ask you about the extensive pottery collection behind you. i'm intrigued but i've got to fit in a break. margaret, thank you for joining us. >> bye, ari. donald trump has a health adviser speaking out about covid misinformation. trump may not like being fact checked but we'll bring you those facts and vaccine information that we have for you tonight after this. ine information that we have for you tonight after this
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top trump white house coronavirus adviser dr. birx saying this about the crisis in misinformation. >> i hear community members parodying back the situations. that masks don't work. and work towards herd immunity and gathering don't result in super-spreader events. our job is to say that's myths and they are wrong. you can see the evidence base.
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>> fine. true. worthwhile. but you have to deal with myths coming from her own boss. >> it's going to disappear one day it's like a miracle. >> just the other day they came out with statement 85% of the people that wear masks catch it. >> i know that study. >> i see the disinfectant. it knocks it out in a minute. one minute. and is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning. >> it affects virtually nobody. it's an amazing thing. >> if you want to inject something scientists say make it the vaccine. when it's your turn. there will signs of hope with the first doses on track to go out as rlly as this friday. through the subject approval. joe biden will meet with top
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thanks for joining us. i'll see you back here tomorrow. 6:00 p.m. eastern. the "the reidout" is up next. good evening, tonight america is under sustained attack by a pandemic killing thousands of people every day. more than 283,000 americans are dead. more than 100,000 americans are currently in the hospital. millions more are unemployed and thousands of vacant store fronts littered across america. given the current american carnage you think trump would use the power of the


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