Skip to main content

tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  September 1, 2022 12:00am-1:00am PDT

12:00 am
president. because he asked them to -- >> punched him in the face and that's what the justice department did it -- tonight george conway and stunning doj filing, and the classified documents recovered from the desk of donald trump. -- then, a pixel by pixel this section of that incredible photo and trove of evidence spread out on the mar-a-lago locked. plus, what we know from the doj filing about who else may have legal exposure. >> they don't have anything. there is just nothing there. >> and the legal political and moral implications about the potential decision to indict the 45th president. when all in starts right now. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> good evening from new york, i am chris hayes. it's 8 pm eastern, and we just hit the deadline for don trump
12:01 am
's legal team to respond to the department of justice filing and we are letting you know what it is and what it says. and -- what it says is a little bit of a sideshow at this point. the one thing we know for sure is that the department of justice is not messing around. they are not messing around with their investigation into the classified documents that phone trump kept at his florida home. last night, they dropped the equivalent of illegal nuclear bomb on the ex president, and it came in the form of this 36 page court filing. now that court filing is a response to trump's request for an independent special master, someone who would come -- from mar-a-lago, looking for privileged documents separating them up. the doj did not really have to respond at such length and they said we have already gone through the review. they said they have already gone through the details. they chose to even file for
12:02 am
extra room to get the page limit from 20 to 40 pages and file this big 36-page document with damning evidence of the ex presidents wrongdoing. they chose to make it public, and they chose to make it public for a reason. they are making their case against donald trump, and they want the american people to know it. now the indelible detail from this extraordinary filing is this image that you have probably seen it. a picture worth 10,000 words. it's an fbi photo showing a collection of documents found in the container in the so-called 45 office of mar-a-lago. these are just some, to be clear, some of the documents that the fbi found when they executed the search warrant earlier this month, after donald trump claimed he had already turned everything over after his lawyers swore to that. you can see the brightly colored cover sheets, hard to miss, right? pretty hard to miss, look at those documents. indicating the level of classification. secret, top secret secret and sci, which stands for sensitive
12:03 am
compartmentalize information. according to the doj filing, some of the documents are so sensitive, that even if the fbi counter intelligence personnel and doj attorneys conducting the with the required additional clearances before they were acquired permitted to review them. so not like pedestrian, but now level classified, like super up near the top of the mountain. this photo, it's hard to think of an analog or precedent here. it's as close to a smoking gun as it gets, short of funding finding and actual pistol, barrel hot to the touch, at the scene of a crime with a dead body on the floor. before we get to the rest of this remarkable document, which shows that donald trump is by far the most acute immediate legal peril of his life, let's be clear with contexts here. ever since the ex president revealed the search of mar-a-lago to the world, remember it wasn't that said they're searching my house, the
12:04 am
department justice essentially had its hands behind its back in terms of the court of public opinion. because the writer proper way for the doj to conduct such an investigation especially one like this right, both extremely politically sensitive and highly unprecedented in that regard and includes the investigation into highly classified materials. given all that the right proper way to go is to keep mom. that is the procedure. as attorney general merrick garland described it just last month. d >> the central tenet of the wy in which the justice department investigates the central tenet of the rule of law that we do not do are investigations in public. this is the most wide ranging investigation and the most important investigation that the justice department has ever entered into. we have done so because this efforts represents -- to upend a legitimate election, transfer of power from one administration to another, cuts
12:05 am
at the fundamental of american democracy. we have to get this right. >> to be clear garland theories talking about the department of justice investigation into january 6th. we, don't forget about that -- there is still a grandiose occasion going on in d.c. that has talked to a bunch of trump lawyers. but the procedure is outlining and defending their, we don't investigated public, applies across the board. it's only applies in this case. and so the department of justice didn't put out a press release being like, we are at mar-a-lago today, guys, we are looking at the presidents stuff, no, donald trump did that. mcgill world has tried, from the first moment, when trump announced to the world director to mar-a-lago, to take advantage of the doj's correct policy of silence, filling the vacuum with 1 million different ridiculous contradictory excuses that we now know to be all lies. >> this sounds more like a bookkeeping issue then it is of a national security threat, which means it doesn't rise to the level of justifying reading
12:06 am
the former presidents home. >> they just don't give a flying flip about how politicized they look which is terrifying. >> well the rule of law -- >> like the gestapo. >> yeah it feels that way. >> trump's momentum guy. you've seen inside his office. it's a lot of clutter. memorabilia. >> do i know that the boxes of material they took from mar-a-lago that they won't put things in those boxes to entrap him? how do we know that they are going to be honest with us about what is actually in the boxes? how do we know that that was in the box before left the residents? >> with the fbi's probably doing his planting evidence. which is what they did during the russia hoax. we also have a hunch they doctored evidence to get the warrant. >> i know for a fact that president obama has classified access at one of his homes, so no such documents exist there. >> he had a standing order. there is the word i have been looking for. that documents removed from the oval office and taken to the residents were deemed to be declassified the moment he removed them. >> if he says a document is declassified or a set of them, that is it, there is no written material required. >> all of that was pure
12:07 am
nonsense, all that has been knocked down. some of it knocked down in the filing, in fact. again, it did not stop donald trump from continuing the fact fight the justice department with a frivolous court filing asking for that special master. again, they want to make things public, they asked for a special master, they were sort of waving the red flag gettable. the right cape -- so, he's finally managed to go to the doj into just absolutely charging and, metaphorically speaking growing him, as they do in this document. it is incredibly damning, all the way through the on this photo that we showed you earlier, and we will spend a lot more time on. in the filing the doj reveal some of what they know baton trump's team's efforts to hinder their investigation. they allege that in june hitler quote explicitly grave government personnel from hoping or looking inside and eat the boxes that remained in the storage room mar-a-lago giving no opportunity for the government to confirm that no documents with classification workers remain.
12:08 am
remember this is in june when they are trying to basically be like can we resolve this? can you give us the documents? no no can't look at their. don't look in their. okay. then during the search earlier this month the fbi in a matter of hours but covered twice as many documents with classification markings as the quote diligence search the former presidents counsel another representatives had weeks before. they go on to say they have quote developed evidence that government records were likely concealed and removed from the store drone that efforts were likely taken to obstruct the governments investigation. they also share details about how carelessly and improperly the documents were stored. when officers execute the search warrant, they found classified records strewn about in multiple locations not just in the storage room, where they were supposed to be the fbi recovered and i quote, three classified documents that were not located in boxes but rather located in the desks in the 45 office -- somewhere mixed in with trump's personal items. quote the government seized the contents of a desk drawer that contain classified documents
12:09 am
and governmental records comingled with other documents. the other documents included to official passports and one personal passport. the doj notably out of the location of the passports is relevant evidence and investigation of all authorize retention and mishandling of national defense information. right, of course there are evidence because who do you think is doing that? not some low level functionary mixing in the passports with the documents in the desk drawer. no, not a lawyer. speak to several lawyers throughout the hour tonight will help us understand all the implications here but even as a lay person, it's very hard to read this document or not think the doj has donald trump dead to rights. rumpas andrew weissmann, who spt 20 years working the doj simply put it with the doj briefly -- trump's guilty. george conway's prominent conservative attorney and a former republican. he joins me now. first, let's start on that note. weisman's assessment and whether you share it. this is them saying, we have him, we can do this if you want.
12:10 am
>> i share his assessment and i share your assessment. they have him dead to rights. this filing is the most recent explication of how badly with a bad situation he is in. it is absolutely no defenses that i can see. and i have yet to articulate a coherent defense. >> the meta context here is that they didn't have to do this, right? how do you understand the sort of message of this document, as well? there is the particulars of it, which is like, we have you, we have all this evidence. but why they went out of the way to file this, asking, can we get more space and then dropping this with the photos and all this evidence? >> because the trump people of making all sorts of false claims and irrelevant claims and making all sorts of sinister suggestions that the
12:11 am
if i somehow planted evidence or done something wrong or did not have a basis to execute a search warrant. the justice department, we'll, if you're going to put that in a court and you weren't released that publicly, the justice department has a right to respond, and they did. it really was -- they basically hung themselves out there to get blown off the limb by the justice department, and it really was brutal. >> this is the presidents lawyer today referring to the criminal statutes he is being investigated under, including obstruction and espionage act as mundane. take a listen. >> those are the biggest secrets in the road, why would he -- apparently, the former president went through them in january, why wouldn't he say, you know what, i really need to turn that back over. why did he have all -- >> sorry that was the fox & friends this morning. that was kristi noem being
12:12 am
asked by steve doocy, why would you do this? here is the president's lawyer earlier today. take a listen. >> they say themselves in these papers that they filed that this is under the presidential records act. so what they did was to try to criminalize donald trump, as they always do. they found these three mundane statutes espionage and a few others obstruction. and they're trying to claim that there was some sort of criminal activities. >> i am not sure how far that is going to -- i don't know if that is going to work. what do you think? >> espionage and the espionage act is not mundane. it is a highly unusual charge, an extraordinary charge. and an absolutely stunning charge to be leveled, potentially at the president of the united states. it doesn't just doesn't happen every day. and it's really falls within section 3007 93 of the
12:13 am
espionage act which basically says that if you have national defensive formation and the governor asked for, back you have got to give it back or else you are committing a crime. as for the other crimes, she has a point. obstruction is mundane for donald j trump. so she sort of has a point there. it's punishable by up to 20 years in prison, so it's really not mundane for the rest -- but for trump he's got a long practice of that. so she sort of has a point there. but all in all i think she needs to go back to representing parking rushes. because she's not doing her client and a good here. she's not doing >> speaking of t there's a legal filing in response. i know it just crossed at eight, so i am not sure if you i had a chance to look over it. again, i can't imagine -- we are so far field from the special master issue that it almost seems like a sideshow at this point, if they get one. is there anything in there to take note of or that jumped out at you? >> nothing that jumped out at
12:14 am
me other than basically the lack of content. one of the main points in the justice department brief was that trump does not have standing to challenge and make executive privilege challenges before a special master because he can't assert executive privilege against the executive branch of the united states. and the documents don't belong to him. the documents under the presidential act belong to the united states of america, and in particular to the executive branch. so so basically, he's got nothing to complain about was the justice department's argument. and they don't respond to that very well from what i can see here. they basically say, normally, in a search warrant, you got get to challenge a search warrant, but what they are asking for here is for a special master to go through this stuff and there is nothing to go through. it's all in the hands of the archives. the law grants the archives the power to control the these documents. >> your point there about the presidential record, this is a
12:15 am
key point. because there's all the stuff that they tried around the circle of classification. they are not. his he took things that don't belong to him. that is the core of what happened. right, and of all people of all people, karl rove, played this out fairly simply earlier today, who, again, anyone who has had and got gone through this news this. every staffer this happens all the time -- you give the documents over. it was passed in the wake of richard nixon, attempting to intentionally essentially monetizing weaponize his own records. so here is karl rove laying out the fact that they do not belong to him. take a listen. >> the doj is investigating, and the trump side has their lawyers and feelings about what was rightfully his and able to take -- but just interesting -- go ahead. >> let's be clear on this. none of these government documents are his to have taken. i agree with the deputy director that said a lot of the former presidents problems are of his own creation. you can --
12:16 am
out of the presidential records act of 1978, you cannot take original documents outside the white house, when you leave the white house, whether you are the president or any aid. know that it's forbidden under the law. >> the point there that rove says, they are not there is -- they brought him on and said -- that is the greatest thing about all this. i watched him do all kinds of things. previous life and public life, where he seemed either to be breaking law or flirting with breaking the law. and he encouraged russian sabotage, criminal sabotage of the election, right? he heard it on. he attempted to blackmail a foreign leader using u.s. foreign policy and the dirty tricks against his opponent. he attempted the first ever essentially coup in u.s. government history, so he could stay in power. and all of those the motives are clear. he didn't have to do this. it is so wild that he has brought this on himself by deciding to just hoard and steele bunch of documents that weren't his and then lie about it. >> not only that --
12:17 am
he could have given those documents back last year. and this would have been over. >> yes! >> it's incomprehensible. it's just his -- i mean he's a sociopath and he's a narcissist. he's a sociopath who knows no bounds, no rules, does not care about the rights of others, only cares about himself. but even if he can put himself, you would think he would note enough not to do this. >> yes, exactly! >> he can't help himself. everything belongs to him. he is the center of his own universe. we are all obstructions to him. we belong to him. the generals across the river at the pentagon belong to him. they were my generals. these documents, they were my documents. the presidency, it is mine, i get to keep it. if i don't get to keep it, somebody stealing it from me. this is a deranged, defective personality and self destructive to the court and we watching himself to shocked in realtime. >> yeah, and to that point, we just have him in the last hour
12:18 am
essentially confessing, after all the running around, planting the documents and declassifying, he's posting that, well, they did not actually find all the stuff on the floor, they took them out of cartons and spread them around the carpet making them look like [inaudible] that's him saying, yeah there they were -- >> in my office! >> here in the office, you just admit it. oh my god, he admitted it. george conway, thank you very much for your time tonight, appreciate it. >> he is guilty. >> yeah, it's hard not to think he is. up next, the justice department blows up. every trump defense in one setting picture. we will go through where it shows us with the former chief of the doj counter-intelligence section. and it looks like we have brick and news out of alaska where nbc news projects, oh my gosh, a democrat just won the special congressional election? beating out trump's pick, sarah palin, i just learned that reading that on the prompter. wow! wow!
12:19 am
all right. details on that ahead. s on that ahead.
12:20 am
12:21 am
12:22 am
at xfinity, we're constantly innovating. and we're working 24/7 to connect you to more of what you love. we're bringing you the nation's largest gig speed network. available to more homes than anyone else. and with xfi complete, get 10x faster upload speeds. tech upgrades for your changing wifi needs. and advanced security at home and on the go to block millions of threats. only from us... xfinity. this? this is supersonic wifi from xfinity. it's fast. so gaming with your niece has never felt more intense.
12:23 am
incoming! hey, what does this button do? no, don't! welcome to the fastest internet on the largest gig speed network. are you crying uncle ed? no! a little. only from xfinity. unbeatable internet made to do anything just before midnight last night, so you can do anything. the department justice filed that motion responding to don trump spokes legal quest for a special master of you that highly classified documents that he kept in his retirement home. and included that motion was this picture of some -- some -- of the recovered classified documents labeled secret and top secret, neatly arranged by the fbi, on the floor of mar-a-lago or not so neatly. and it became clear almost
12:24 am
immediately this was likely one of the most important images and u.s. politics, probably, from the last decade. it might very well be the kind of thing that would point in history books, depending on what happens now. you could immediately see the reaction. practically everyone but the most devoted maga faithful and condemning trump's handling of the document. republican congressman adam king singer who sits on the january six committee wrote, quote, this makes me beyond angry. when i get access to these types of docks they are in a secure facility, i can't take notes, and someone is in the room with me. trump doesn't care about this country. national security analyst tom michael said that as someone who had clearance for the better part of the day five years, this picture gives me hives. i saw a lot of people who had clearance say something similar. it was echoed by a retired army officer, fred wellman i had a top secret clearance for 19 years, and this photo absolutely sets me. off this is absolutely insane. david laufman is the former chief of counterintelligence and export control section at the department of justice where he oversaw investigations and prosecutions of the espionage act and violations of other offenses. he joins me now. first, david, as somebody who
12:25 am
also had clearance for many years, and i talked to a bunch of people in the last 24 hour ours who did who had very similar reactions what was your reaction to that photo? >> ironically, it struck me as consistent with so many photographs i have seen taken in so many executions of search warrants and so many cases involving the mishandling of classified information. i was like, here is another picture of classified information. and then i stopped and remembered, oh, this is the former president of the united states home, or classified documents are not supposed to be. this is standard practice for the fbi to document for the very kinds of attacks you seen being lodged against him, precisely about how they go about executing a search. they mark it by room, they give it numbers and letters, and a display in a way that often winds up as exhibits in trials, in cases where people are criminally charged. we will see whether this case migrates into that level of
12:26 am
astonishment, but in some respects, this looks to me like another day, another search warrant, another trove of classified documents being supported by a disgruntled homeowner >> this is a great point. i want to stay here for a second. to all of us, it was a shocking photo. the context, people are not -- we are not used to a civilians, seeing even any classified top sheets or whatever, but you are saying, some photo is standard operating procedure in precisely the genre of investigation in which the fbi is currently engaged with donald trump, but they do with other people? >> exactly right, when they conducting with the department and investigation into the mishandling of classified information, and they got a warrant authorized to search four and get, recover, classified information there going to document
12:27 am
photographically explicitly that which they told the judge, which they told the judge what they were going to find. that is what they found here and they are documenting it. firstly, what standard fbi procedures and that is how things are done. >> i want to go through some parts of this. let's start with this first image that highlights these top sheets, which again, i've never had clarence in my life so this is completely new to me. it is just fascinating, to get a little peek into this. those top sheets, what are they, and what is notable about them is that they make the point that it's impossible to miss. you do not have this document sitting there not realizing you had something that was classified. >> that is right, these are standard cover sheets required to be a fixed on top of actual intelligence report, where the classified information is. contained. it is a color coded system, blue for confidential, red for secret, and orange is a color for top secret. those are the three levels of
12:28 am
classification confidential, secret and top secret, top secret being the highest, where information, if disclosed, improperly, can result in exceptionally grave damage to u.s. national security. those are the only three levels a classification. there are compartments and controls that reflect additional sensitivity surrounding sources and methods used to collect the intelligence information of the documents affixed to these cover sheets and some of these documents found have other markings, like a c i, which is compartmentalize information, or hcs, signifying human information collected by human assets of intelligence agency, most likely the cia. >> let's hit that one right there, which we highlighted, secret sci, special compartmented information, hcs which is some kind of human intelligence. what is the p.s. i t k. >> those are other compartments. honestly, i don't remember what p is.
12:29 am
as i typically stands stands for signals intelligence. another department, decades ago, when i was at the agency, referred to imagery collection platform. what did i do now -- but let's suffice to say, it is a collection platform, the parts fruits of which have no reason to be in the private home of a former government employee. >> the top secure sci, which is the other one, the highs, highest, we also saw that. there are those in the background. is that top secret sci. this is a dumb question but i will ask anyway. there are three levels of classification the sci special compartmented information -- is that a level above those rankings or does it run parallel to that? i'm a little confused. >> it is not, literally to get nerdy with you an actual level of classification. it is a compartment or control assigned to documents that are classified typically at least a secret or top secret signify that they are exceptionally sensitive collection of sources
12:30 am
and methods for the intelligence. and so particular controls and safeguards have to be according accorded to how they are handled and sort and transmit it. transmitted. >> and then there are the redactions. that's interesting itself. one case, they even redact the classification. so, that shows these front pages but there is another one where you see at the top it says top secret. and that it has a slash and then even that part is classified obviously. you have no idea what is out there. but it is fascinating that even the declassification markings themselves are so sensitive that the government cannot show them to. >> there could be some crypto name, there could be some controlled air that itself is some exceptionally sensitive that the government doesn't want to risk it being a public but i would only be speculating about what it is. >> let me ask you this quickly. this is not -- the government classifies a lot of stuff and i've covered cases in which people get busted or in trouble first of for stuff
12:31 am
that in the end is not actually that sensitive. those exist inside the millions of classified documents to the united states government has. these don't seem to be that just based on what is available to know. is that a fair assessment? >> we don't know what the substantive nature of the classified information is. but look suffice it to say that it is not chopped liver that the fbi found scores of highly classified material in unauthorized location where the homeowners so to speak was an obvious notice that he was in possession, improperly of these documents. they were brightly covered color sheets, as you point out. they were found in spaces under his personal control, in his office, in his desk comingled with personal effects. and it points ominously to his potential jeopardy for willful retention, national defense information and a violation of section seven 93 793 of the espionage act. there are some additional --
12:32 am
the government has this amount to meet its burden of proof. but it is certainly pointing in the direction of notorious prosecution. >> all right, david laufman, thank you for sharing your wealth of expertise with us. that was really interesting, thank you. still ahead, making attorneys get attorneys, why the bombshell doj filing could be trouble for the people who are supposed to be defending donald trump. next -- p. next - do you have a life insurance policy you no longer need? now you can sell your policy - even a term policy - for an immediate cash payment. we thought we had planned carefully for our retirement. but we quickly realized we needed a way to supplement our income. if you have $100,000 or more of life
12:33 am
insurance, you may qualify to sell your policy. don't cancel or let your policy lapse without finding out what it's worth. visit to find out if your policy qualifies. or call the number on your screen. coventry direct, redefining insurance.
12:34 am
12:35 am
12:36 am
after my car accident, i wondered what my case was worth. so i called the barnes firm. when that car hit my motorcycle, insurance wasn't fair. so i called the barnes firm. it was the best call i could've made. atat t bararnefirmrm, our r inry a attneysys wk hahard i could've made. atat t bararnefirmrm, to get you the best result possible. call us now and find out what your case could be worth. you u mit bebe sprisised >> the reason for the apartment ♪ the barnes firm injury attorneys ♪ ♪ call one eight hundred, eight million ♪ of justice department filing we have been going through tonight ways extensively to make and
12:37 am
argument responding to the request for a special master made by donald trump's legal team. should someone be appointed by the court to look over the documents seized by mar-a-lago earlier this month or not? with the doj said in this filing goes far beyond that. it took the opportunity to make an argument that the ex president potentially violated several serious laws. it is an argument that advances well past and we have seen before. new facts incitations, all of which comes right up to the edge of just coming out and saying, this guy committed crimes. here to talk through what we learned at the legal ramifications of the doj filing -- what kind of case they can make -- former federal prosecutor cynthia alksne. cynthia, i want to get that in the moment. let me start with the response brief that trump's lawyers file that just came through at 8 pm if there is -- george conway sort of reading it in realtime offices computer -- if you had a chance to go through, if there's anything that jumps off of you for you in there. >> there is a certain amount of gobbledegook involved. it is a word salad. because it does not address issue. my favorite part on page two,
12:38 am
they say, they're not going to address the allegations made by the positive justice on pages i wrote, page 3 to 14. well, that is the meat of it. so, that is a problem. it is interesting that this lawyer christina bob has not signed it. she is apparently off. and then the allegations are, we were just cooperating and if only narrow, i just followed up -- everything would've been. done everything would've been hockey dory. so it is kind of in keeping with the original motion. it is not well done. and it is a word salad. and should not carry the >> day yeah. it also just seems -- the special master seems a bit of a sideshow. even if you got a special master, their -- special master's don't come with time machines. so they found what they found it has been reviewed. in terms of the legal implications of what the department of justice asserts in its filing about the willful
12:39 am
in this, the dodging us, the sketchiness the deceitful news, of donald trump and his lawyers -- what does that add up to? what does it end up meaning -- >> it ends up to a violation of law and then if it was you or me, we would be in handcuffs were in jail. that is what it means. and it's interesting, sort of lawyer wise, today, tonight it came out that one of his lawyers in new york filed an affidavit in the new york case that she had personally searched mar-a-lago, drawers and all, night stands and everything looking for the documents in the new york case five days before the subpoena came out from the department of justice with the confidential records. so now the new new york lawyer has made herself a witness which makes it impossible frankly, for her to represent trump in new york. and then here, in this case, we have two lawyers that have a big problem. the christina -- whoever wrote that, bobb, whoever wrote that and turned it in and said there are no
12:40 am
more documents, that was a lie. there are plenty of documents. there was over 100 documents. so, she has got a problem. she knew what we she was saying was a lie, at which point she is a codefendant. and if she didn't know, she's a witness, so either way she should not be representing trump. and the same thing was with corcoran. even though corcoran did not sign that out, apparently, he confirms of the department of justice lawyers, who presumably also had an fbi -- wrote it all down. he confirmed to the department of justice lawyers that there were no for the documents and that they had done a diligent search. and every time you turn around the trump team says they have done a diligent search. again, tonight, in their document by the way, they use that term diligent search, apparently the talking point, which is untrue -- so now evan corcoran has the same problem. he's either going to be a witness or he's gonna be codefendant and he should not be represented trump. and what that means is, it's a real threat for trump. because these people are not going to go to jail for him. and it makes it possible -- >> right -- >> and it makes it possible
12:41 am
that they are available for flipping. and it's a dangerous position to end up in. >> right. that is a great point. i hadn't put that, two and two together, the diligent search which the reef talks about -- it says, our agents found twice as many documents in a few hours as your diligent search. they don't come out and say you lied to us, but that is clearly what they are saying. and it is hard to not think that that is the case when you look at the voters in the representations on that piece of paper by the lawyer. and then there is all this stuff. it really is like smoking gun territory. cynthia alksne, thank you so much for laying that out. >> thank you. >> still to come. >> seems like donald trump has -- don trump dead to rights. will they indict? him also, sarah palin loses, a i totally shoe in, winnable seat in alaska. a democrat is going to represent that state for the first time in the state's history. that is next. sleepers get 28 minutes more restful sleep per night. don't miss our labor day weekend
12:42 am
special. save 50% on the sleep number 360® limited edition smart bed. ends labor day. and it's easier than ever to get your projects done right. with angi, you can connect with and see ratings and reviews. and when you book and pay throug you're covered by our happiness check out today. angi... and done. >> some really shocking news on
12:43 am
12:44 am
12:45 am
12:46 am
this wednesday night. just this hour, finally getting the results from alaska special election to replace the late republican congressman don young. don young represented alaska in the at large seat for 50 years, since 1972. he has been a republican the whole time. the last time the state was represented by democrat was i misspoke, back in 1972. nbc's predicting that the democrat in that race, a woman named mary peltola --
12:47 am
you see who she won it over, sarah palin, i while governor -- then had a reality show. and then kind of, i don't know what happened to her but want to get back in the game. so she runs in alaska, which is a very red state. it's at large congressional district has existed for 50 63 years. he said, 50 years, to see was held by young. in fact the guy before you and a guy named nick begich it's his grandson who ran against sarah palin as a republican and the two did not like each other very much. and well, this is the result. the election to serve out the remaining few months of young's term was back on august 16th two weeks ago. democrat mary peltola faced off against the former alaska governor. she was imports interest by donald trump. there you see the other, guy republican nick begich, who made a strong showing. there was something a bit of bitter feud between the republicans in the race. in fact, do you know this? palin's former in laws even through begich a party instead
12:48 am
of someone directs not a lot. and because alaska discharging rank choice voting, when voters rank their -- threshold, their vote instead goes to the second right candidate and so on. you would expect a lot of baggage voters to put pale in number two, by now than f did because there were some bad blood because they didn't like sarah palin. and so because enough republicans don't like sarah palin mary peltola, huge upset win for the democratic party. a win that has to buoy the spirits of democrats everywhere, in the midterms, it's not quite scott brown wins ted kennedy's seat in the reverse but it's a little in the ballpark. we will see. this comes on the heels of a democratic victory in new york 's 19th last week. democrats flip to see which had been republican called for almost 50 years tonight, in a red state special election. another sign that the parties headwinds are changing heading into the midterm elections. also, peltola will become the first alaskan native to serve in congress. she will have to run again in november against the same candidates to hold on to the
12:49 am
seat but one of many fascinating races unfolding throughout the country. another senate response of a new republican tv doctor mehmet oz is running against pennsylvania's democratic lieutenant governor john fetterman. tonight in his first national television interview since suffering a stroke back in may fetterman sits down with stephanie ruhle to discuss the latest on his recovery and a senate race. watch the 11th hour with stephanie ruhle tonight at 11 pm eastern on msnbc.
12:50 am
12:51 am
at xfinity, we're constantly innovating. and we're working 24/7 to connect you to more of what you love. we're bringing you the nation's largest gig speed network.
12:52 am
available to more homes than anyone else. and with xfi complete, get 10x faster upload speeds. tech upgrades for your changing wifi needs. and advanced security at home and on the go to block millions of threats. only from us... xfinity. though i am married to a psoriasis really messes with you. try. hope. fail. no one should suffer like that. i started cosentyx®. five years clear. real people with psoriasis look and feel better with cosentyx. don't use if you're allergic to cosentyx. before starting get checked for tuberculosis. an increased risk of infection, some serious and a lowered ability to fight them may occur. tell your doctor about an infection or symptoms or if you had a vaccine or plan to. tell your doctor if your crohn's disease symptoms develop or worsen. serious allergic reaction may occur. best move i've ever made. ask your dermatologist
12:53 am
brilliant lawyer and law professor, i myself am not one. but, that said, the 36-page filing for the justice department about the drop in seats from trump's mar-a-lago residents sure we'd like the doj's ready to indict the ex president, even to a normally like me. even if that is true, as bloomberg points out, it likely won't happen until after the midterms under long-standing department policy. prosecutors are barred from taking investigative steps or filing charges for the purpose of affecting an election of helping a candid or party, traditionally, 60 days before an election. this year that would be by september 10th which would make it unlikely anything would be announced until after the war right. said people asked to marry an anonymous speaking about the potential justice department actions. paul butler served as a federal prosecutor for the department of justice or especially was public corruption. he's now a law professor at georgetown. mona charen served as policy editor for the bulwark. they both join me now. paul as someone in the particularly politically sensitive part of t.j., public
12:54 am
corruption, where doj public corruption where a a lot of the times the people you are indicting her brain casings against our themselves politicians -- for saw, what do you make of this filing in terms of what it means in the likelihood of an indictment and the timing as reported by bloomberg? >> so it's more of the same from donald trump, not actually addressing the good points that the department of justice made in their filing yesterday. but more attacking the prosecutors and investigators. he did not have the nerve to say this time that the fbi planted the evidence. he did not explain why he did had to stake in this. standing is a legal issue that means you cannot bring a case or complain about something that does not involve you. and chris, these documents are the property of the united states of america, not donald trump, whether they are classified or not. >> mona, you wrote a piece about the sort of question of indictment of donald trump, what it would mean for the country. i think you and i have
12:55 am
different positions on this, though i think a lot of people sharing concerns i think some of the consumer limited are once you have as well. like what would it mean for civic peace in the country? i don't think that is frivolous or trivial. but i do wonder what you think, just when you read this document, about, independent of the wisdom about his -- whether to indict him, his actual guilt or innocence in this matter. >> it. right. look, i struggled with this. i did write that piece, laying out many of the problems i see with a protected trump trial. but that much, having been said, there is a point when trump and his people are threatening law enforcement and saying there will be violence in the streets if you indict me, when you absolutely have to, because if you don't at that point, you have given into extortion. it's like when nancy pelosi went to taiwan. you could debate beforehand whether it was a good idea,, a
12:56 am
bad idea, for the sitting speaker to go to taiwan but once the chinese government started making over threats, then you have to go. there is no choice. so that is the situation they are putting the department of justice in, it seems to me. >> i think that is a good analogy. because it does seem to be like that -- they are being -- donald trump seems to be daring them in a way. both with the actions and the subsequent thing, his mission admission now. paul, at some level, what is so strange about this and people have used the falcone analogy, and we're not co-mario the had a good point, this is like a low level drug, casey had found with the cocaine, you are probably guilty. it is not complicated, and does not mean you are running human trafficking, it may take a cuts with the stuff. the stuffat that level, paul, there he's also this point that adam zero made, that is, if anyone else costed with this stuff, like, they would be prosecuted. if that picture was taken in
12:57 am
your living room you would be prosecuted. >> damn skippy i would be prosecuted. i think part of this is about equal justice under the law. because half the people in federal prison right now are there for nonviolent drug crimes. many of those people are black and brown and many of those cases are way more sympathetic than donald trump. but with those folks, prosecutors are still like well you did the crime so you should do the time. being locked up. that is where trump should be on his way to being. >> i don't actually agree with that, chris. i know it sounds like a terrible thing to say. but i do think that, realistically, there has to be a slightly different standard for the president. he's the only person in america who is elected by the people to have access to all classified
12:58 am
information. i mean, it's a different situation from just anybody having it. and so unless -- so if the information is of a nature that, say, endangered human assets if it is something along those lines, then obviously yes, you have to prosecute. if it is a technical violation of just having it in his possession documents that really belonged in the national archives or under lock and key -- that is a much tougher case. >> yeah, i mean -- go ahead, paul. >> people get prosecuted for technical violations of criminal law every day. the message that not prosecuting trump sends is that presidents are, in fact, above the law. and in fact, since the crimes listed in the search warrant would have taken place after trump left office doj would actually be creating a new defence, a former president's defense, that allows somebody to steal and to subvert jobs
12:59 am
this justice and obstruct a grand jury investigation with no consequences. >> let me just split the difference here in the last 30 seconds we have, because i'm sympathetic to both of these arguments. to me, the thing i keep coming back to his, the most egregious crime this man has committed is plotting a criminal conspiracy to stop the peaceful transfer of power. that resulted in people being killed. resulted in people bein and it was an attempt to basically and the american experiment as we know it. i don't know how makeable a case that is in a legal technical sense. but that is the biggest crime he is ever committed. this seems a more readily prosecuted crime, which the smoking gun is sitting there at mar-a-lago, and i'm sympathetic to why they would do that. but i'm keeping those two things in my head. i don't know how to resolve that tension. paul butler and mona charen, thank you both very much. appreciate it. that is all in on this wednesday night. alex wagner tonight starts right now. good evening, alex. od evening, alex
1:00 am
>> well tonight, chris. -- i learned from the prompter about the -- race. i learned in my head. it is ranked choice voting thing -- it's palin who has represented a democrat in 50 years. >> someone who's from one of the indigenous -- genous - think the republicans woke leftist nightmare. >> incredible. >> have a good night. >> you too. >> thanks and thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. do you remember this issue of time magazine? it is from march of 2009 it got donald trump on and underneath the caption, trump is hitting on all fronts, even tv? there is another caption, the apprentice is a television smash. that magazine cover reportedly hung on the wall in at least five of donald trump's golf clubs at the beginning of his with just one problem. it was not real. as "washington post" reporter david onfairnhold uncovered in june of