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tv   Deadline White House  MSNBC  September 16, 2022 1:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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preparing to enter a new legal battlefield, one that could ultimately affect the degree to which donald trump faces consequences for his actions. so what specifically are we waiting for right now? a court challenge to a rather astonishing new decision from u.s. district judge aileen cannon of the southern district of florida. she's the one overseeing the fight between doj and donald trump's lawyers over the classified material seized at mar-a-lago. last night in rather startling fashion, cannon rejected a request from doj that would have allowed federal prosecutors to continue their review of roughly 100 classified documents. as part of the department's ongoing criminal investigations. "politico" reports this, quote, in her ruling, cannon refused to accept department officials' contention that the records they are trying to review as part of an ongoing criminal investigation remain highly classified or contain extraordinarily sensitive defense information that could
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damage national security if released. the department's court challenge again expected any moment would be an attempt to reverse cannon's restrictions. but there's another aspect of all this to keep in mind. the appeal we're talking about would be heard in the 11th u.s. circuit court of appeals where six of 11 judges happen to be trump appointees. all of this remains up in the air. another major advancement to tell you about in this story, judge cannon also appointed a special master to review those seized document. his name is raymond deariement a semi retired u.s. district judge from new york. he was originally suggested by trump's team. he ultimately was approved of by both parties. dearie's deadline is one week after thanksgiving, that's november 30th. weeks, of course, after the midterm elections and more than a month after the date doj had requested. and when we're talking about potential threats to national security, we all know at this point time is of the essence. just what makes it shocking to
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read sections of cannon's decision, sections like this, quote, there's been no actual suggestion by the government of any identifiable emergency or imminent disclosure of classified information arising from the plaintiff's allegedly unlawful retention of the seized property. instead and unfortunately, the unwarranted disclosures that float in the background have been leaked to the media after the underlying seizure. wow. here we go. it's where we begin. joining us, brandon banggrak, former national security official at the department of justice. importantly a veteran at doj. he investigated and prosecuted dozens of cases involving national security and the espionage act. he was also a senior assistant special counsel to robert mueller during the russia investigation. without -- take trump out of it just for a second. what is cannon getting wrong about the material that's been
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seized? >> well, part of it is in terms of her authority to determine what that material is. it is in terms of defining what is classified information, what is national security information, it should be restricted, controlled, that's the purview of the president of the united states because he or she is commander in chief. and the supreme court has codified that. that's sort of a long-standing principle. and in her opinion, she challenges the representation of the department of justice and says ultimately i don't know if i should trust this representation and, therefore, we should provide this classified information to a special master. and ultimately, afford this judge the ability to determine what is classified. that's just not the role of the judicial branch, that's not the role of this judge. >> and i said take trump out of it for a second. it muddles everything. but i think it's an important distinction. you're saying classified information belongs to the government, that classified it.
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and whether trump declassified certain things is irrelevant to what has been seized. talk about the chain of custody now before it could get back into the hands of the government. >> right now the government still has that information. >> can't use it. >> it can't -- well, it can't use it for its criminal investigation, and this is where the judge sort of split hairs and said for the national security assessment, to determine what damage has been caused it can be used. but the government's point is you cannot separate that from the criminal investigation. what the fbi is doing right now is essential to determining what damage may have occurred and how to -- how to mitigate it. they need to know who may have had access to that classified information. where was it stored. that is -- that is essential because damage occurs if this classified information was -- someone had unauthorized access to it. and the more specificity they have, the better they can determine the damage, the better they can mitigate it. right now the government does not have the ability to make that determination. >> when you were at doj, this
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case would have been something you would have been involved in. have they argued this as planely as you think -- plainly as you think they can? what is the best argument to make? >> i think the last two filings that the department of justice has made, it's elegant in terms of its tone and substance, and what you have here is even though we're talking about a special master, they have substantially narrowed the question here. that's what made, to use your words, the decision last night astonishing. they have narrowed it in saying even though we disagree with the imposition of a special master, it's unnecessary, unreasonable, putting that aside you cannot tell the executive branch, and by extension the president of the united states, they cannot control access to classified information. that they -- remember, the special master, the purpose of the special master is to determine is there information that the department of justice and fbi should not have. for example, attorney-client information, sensitive information between attorney and his or her client.
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>> trump and rudy or trump and whoever -- >> you know, even in -- you're taking away trump from the conversation. let's take trump away from the conversation. the point is there are communications between an attorney and his or her client. the government should not have access to and a special master is supposed to determine this information should not be provided. and that's what makes this decision so astonishing, which is it sets up the possibility that the special master and the judge could say the department of justice and the executive branch cannot have access to this classified information. i mean, it is -- it's an untenable circumstance. and the reason we're there is because the department of justice had narrowed the scope of their request and put the judge in a situation to presumably not reach this decision. but it's the reason why i think we're going to see an appeal, you know, any minute now. >> what do you think will happen on appeal? >> well, not near -- up, i don't want to take too many steps ahead. i think we will see the department of justice seeking an
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immediate emergency appeal as quickly as possible. and i think in doing so we're probably going to continue to see a narrowing of the issue as opposed to a challenging the principle of a special master being opposed, and they would have the right to do that, narrowing it to just the classified documents, just this limited principle, because i think it is -- as members of the executive branch, it's not tenable. >> what's not tenable -- i want to make sure i understand. what's not tenable is a private citizen saying it's mine and you can't have it back to proceed with the damage assessment or proceed with the case? >> i actually -- >> what i'm trying to know is why do you have everyone, you know, everyone from the left to the center to john, you, and bill barr saying that trump's case is garbage? >> you're talking about a private citizen. i'm saying the judicial branch is not in apation, should not be in a position to tell the executive branch and the president how to control access to classified material.
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that is the purview of the executive branch. again, that's the reason why the department of justice has no option but to appeal this. there are principles here that go far beyond what is happening in this case. so i think you're going to see a very vigorous defense of preserving the executive branch's ability to protect and classify information. >> that's interesting. that's a first sort of sboind understanding why you have the far right, legal minds like bill barr making the same argument that some on the left are. is that the principle -- >> what's remarkable is like there is no right and left here. >> right. >> this is -- there is not legal principles that are in dispute. i mean, there's a famous case from the 1980s where the supreme court explained this. for decades, including filings i did, everyone cites to this one case because it has to be true. i'll sort of make a further extension. there's a piece in the opinion where the judge challenges the representation of the department of justice when the department of justice says it would cause
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irreparable harm to be compelled to disclose this classified information to the special master because it's highly classified. >> right. >> and the executive branch knows what is classified. they know -- the judge and the special master has no window into that, has no background. it has to be that the executive branch can determine what is sensitive and what can be disclosed, and the judge says that position is meritless. >> how did we get here? how did -- how did trump end up being the one judge that sees this very black and white, as you said, nonpartisan, nonpolitical issue about access to classified information in such a trump-friendly manner? >> it is not uncommon for litigants to try to find favorable courts and for the department of justice to charge cases in favorable courts. i think more so than even determining how -- like was this industrytegicly -- strategically done and how. we're at a point where there are
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serious concerns in terms of the separation of powers. there are really serious concerns about national security based on this opinion. and so it doesn't matter who said it. it doesn't matter who appointed that -- the department of justice and by extension all of us who need this investigation to be conducted thoroughly and completely and quickly, this opinion, this order, this limitation, it just cannot continue. it has to be appealed and overturned. >> let's pull trump back into the conversation. what does it say -- obviously if you're still in the department and if you were working on this case you couldn't weigh in on this. but sort of informed analysis. what is your sense of trump's end game? wants to hang on to classified stuff indefinitely to show his friends? >> you know, i don't -- i don't think the department of justice right now is even focused on the end game because in terms of the national security issue, it doesn't matter. what matters is that for 19 months, hundreds of documents of some of the most highly classified and sensitive information have been unsecured
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and unmonitored and uncontrolled. that is a significant national security issue even if the motivation was sloppy recordkeeping. even if it is the most -- >> you're saying take the motive and end game out, the alleged crimes have already taken place? >> whether they're crimes or not from a national security perspective, it is -- while it's relevant, even regardless of what those motives are, it is significant and serious. and the charges that are being contemplated completely irrelevant what the motive is. it is in terms of the espionage act, it is the retention, solely the retention of that information that is unlawful. there's nothing -- there are laws that make it unlawful to disclose and transmit. the department of justice has not indicated that that's within the purview of this investigation at this time. >> they've sent a lot of tea leaves is the right way to describe it, the department does, it doesn't write in tea leaves. there's a lot of public-facing evidence about obstruction. how would you evaluate what's in
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the public sphere about the obstruction? >> the obstruction is inextricably linked to the fact that right now we have this criminal investigation. it's important to continue to take a step back. the former president of the united states had classified information for over a year, then turned it over to the archives. even though we know now that the fbi, there was a referral made in the open investigation, i don't think we would be talking about this if all the classified information was simply provided to the department of justice then. and then in june the department of justice goes to mar-a-lago, has a subpoena, and collects additional classified information. if all of the classified information was provided at that time, i don't think we would be talking about criminal charges. we would not be having this discussion. something happened, and that's where the obstruction comes into play. there were representations made to these -- these attorneys and these agents from the department of justice. their mission, their -- they are tasked to protect classified information. this is what they do. this is -- and the obstructive
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element it wasn't just obstructing an investigation. like sort of a -- that was, but it was obstructing an investigation to ensure that classified information that could damage national security was obtained and any damage rectified. that's the obstructive act. so it really elevates i think the concern and really the -- level of seriousness of the conduct we're talking about. >> when you look at the public-facing evidence of obstruction, do you see things that normal person wouldn't? i mean, do you see that there's somebody cooperating that had access to this mishandling of classified documents? do you see that there's a flow of information to doj? >> i wish i could say i knew what, you know, redacted paragraph 65 referred to. >> me, too. >> i think more to the point, i think what it shows that there are certainly key people who are, in fact, cooperating, key witnesses who are participating. and i think when you talk about sort of the end game, what this looks like, really the ultimate question is going to be who is
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-- who with direct knowledge of what happened to this information, who handled the information, who directed that certain information be provided to the archives and the department and who didn't -- if those individuals haven't with that knowledge cooperated and participated, that's when you would see criminal charges. >> when you go to a circuit with all of these trump appointees, does that matter if you're making what you just described as a nonpartisan executive branch argument? >> i think it does. i mean, again, you know, one of your questions was how did we get to this judge who appeared to be friendlier to the former president's arguments. and it is a calculation. it is. so if there was -- if you were dealing with a circuit court that perhaps has more experience with this or that wasn't perhaps as concerned, it -- you would potentially see a broader appeal. and again, we're sort of trying to anticipate what the department of justice would do. i think at a minimum it would -- current composition of the issue would influence the department's
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decision to potentially narrow the scope to a very limited window in hopes of getting quick resolution. >> and when -- so what they're narrowing is they're focusing even for their appeal around access to these 100 classified documents -- >> that's right. >> you're saying it was a friendlier -- >> that's right. let's be clear, i could be completely wrong right now. >> we could all be wrong. >> but if they were to file a narrow -- continuing the bred crumbs that they've shown us in their motions and actions before the district court, exactly right, which is just saying the judicial branch, this court, this special master, this private -- the judge, also a member of the judicial branch, by the way -- >> and a former fisa judge. >> and a member of the judicial branch. it should not be in a position to tell the executive branch they cannot use and possess this classified information. that is the narrowing of the -- there are still significant consequences for all of the other information in terms of the many months it will be before the department of justice can get access to it and use
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that to further its investigation. for this narrow issue, that's -- strategically that may be the way to go. >> they're looking for a court to say no, classified information belongs to the executive, and no judicial, no judge and no special master can take it or keep it from the executive. >> or ultimately the executive branch can't be denied access and use of that information. and everything else -- by the way, they're very complicated questions about executive privilege. i think those are contentious, and there are implications there. when we talk about a limited window, that's exactly -- just focused on that classified information. >> a remarkable statement. i want to add to our conversation. "politico's" white house bureau chief, host of msnbc's "way too early early" author of "big lie." and andrew weissman is here, senior member of robert mueller's special counsel. andrew, tell me, i wish i could
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summarize but i'm not that good of an editor, your tweets of the day. so just please recap some of those for me. just do it for all of us in the flesh. >> sure. well, maybe one of them sort of follows up on what my colleague brandon has been talking about. and that is this issue of the executive branch versus the judicial branch. and the way in which this judge got around that issue was by saying "i don't actually believe these are necessarily classified," in other words, everything brandon is saying is totally right. and that's why i think you have the right and the left criticizing this decision because the right obviously believes in executive power and limited role of judiciary. her way around that is to say, you know what, who says these are classified? and that's where one of my tweets was basically her saying, okay, i know it walks like a
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talk, talks like a duck, quacks like a duck, i know the plaintiff says it's a duck, the defense isn't challenging that it's a duck, but i don't think it's a duck. so essentially what she did is even though there is no dispute in the record before her that these documents are classified, namely that the former president, although he has been saying to the media that he declassified this information, that has not been said to this court. and the government repeated that over and over again. and she just did not follow the record. and i think that is a really real -- you know, weak spot. and i agree with brandon that that is going to be the central part of their appeal. i also in tea leaf reading agree that it's probably going to be a narrow appeal on that issue so that they can sort of move forward quickly. but there's -- that's a quick summary of a tweet. >> no, no, we're going to get through all of them while we have you were let me press you on what you said.
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i mean, it feels like, again, there are two instances where she's over-reading what the ex president is asking for. she seemed to recognize the first time around more privileges than he asserted. the second, he's not claiming the material isn't classified. he didn't make that claim. he just said, i could have declassified them -- he didn't say he did. where is she finding, and how are we to interpret her judicial philosophy or her approach to this case if she's reading more than he's asserting? >> so i think she gave up what she really was getting at here at the end of her opinion when she said, you know what, the fact that he is the former president, his prior position does make a difference. and i think what she is doing is according him more than any of us would ever get in court.
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i think that was the most outrageous statement. it is a violation of a judge's oath of office to treat every individual the same. the fact that he is the former president doesn't mean he get treated worse, but it does not mean, as she did, that he's treated better. so i think that's why we're in this position is that she is sitting there i think scared to death to rule against him. i think the reason she's appointation special master -- appointing a special master which she could do the work is she wants to distance there so that she doesn't have fingerprints on if she -- if this ultimately goes against him, which i think of course the special master here is going to rule against donald trump. she can sort of have distance from it. it's really just a disgraceful opinion that she -- her first one and her second one. >> andrew, what are we to make of mr. dearie? he's someone that doj didn't
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suggest. he wasn't one of their candidates, but they agreed to him. what can we expect if expectations are still a thing for any of us on this story, from him? >> sure. i noted fairly well -- you know, i practiced for many, many years in the eastern district of new york, that's sort of brooklyn, u.s. attorney's office. he was the u.s. attorney there. he also was a judge for many, many, many years. he is universally beloved. it is -- he is somebody who the defense bar and the prosecutors both want to appear in front of. that's saying a lot. everyone knows that he is compassionate and fair and wise. and i also think one attribute that he has will come in very handy. he is an extremely good read of people and has very good interpersonal skills. and i think for a judge as new as judge cannon, i think having
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somebody like judge dearie to help out in this situation, to be a bit of a role model, and i also think it will be very hard for her to overrule him. not impossible, but you have somebody who's just so much more qualified and esteemed making the decisions in the first instance that it will allow her to take a back seat to judge dearie. >> let me ask you one logistical question about the special master, about what judge dearie will do. does he already have the highest level of clearances that you would need to look at fisa and -- he's a fisa court judge, i assume that would be an issue. but what was on the subpoena was all sorts of classification levels. is he ready to go? do they drop a box off? do they build him -- how does this work logistically, and how long does it take? >> so he should have because of his position the ability to get almost all -- one question i
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would have and brandon may know the answer, is there is apparently certain compartmentalized information that i think he would need to technically get cleared into. but that should not be a stumbling block. his staff will obviously need to have that same clearance. but i think that that piece is -- was relatively easy piece. i think the issue is going to be that if this information is part of the special master process, then defense counsel also needs to be cleared. and i think that's -- if there's an appeal here, this issue that's going to be a part not just giving stuff to ray mopped dearie -- raymond dearie which i don't think the department of justice would have a concern about. if you ask them privately. i think the issue is the idea that they would give it to defense counsel, and lord knows, you know, donald trump has certainly not had the -- let's just say the most reputable people representing him, and the
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idea of compartmented national security information going to the likes of rudy giuliani or sidney powell or that type is something that i can't imagine that merrick garland and his colleagues can stomach. >> just unbelievable. like a rubik's cube. every twist makes it more complicated. all right. we're aren't going anywhere. i warned you there would be breaking news and there is. when we come back, we're learning that months before the fbi recovered the documents at mar-a-lago, members of donald trump's team told officials that there was nothing in any of them except news clippings. we'll dive into that new reporting with our reporters. plus, we know more now about how conniving and how planned ron desantis' stunt was to ship 50 human beings to martha's vineyard without telling them where they were go. how the political stunt that caught everyone's attention may actually get the governor in
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some hot water. and later in the program, the author of an amazing new book on how one shadowy law firm stacked the nation's courts and helped trump undermine the election. that author, that reporter will join us later in the program. oooh we're firing up the chewy app... what do we want delivered every month. hmm. clumping litter? resounding yes. salmon pate, love that for me.
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so we warned you as we came on the air that there was breaking news. my phone actually beeped when i sat down. here's what it was -- it had to do with a story we've been talking about for the last 28 minutes. "the washington post" is out with some brand-new reporting citing people familiar with conversations and is now
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reporting that months before the national archives officials found hundreds of classified documents they retrieved from mar-a-lago, they were told that none of the material was sensitive or classified and that trump only had 12 boxes of, quote, news clippings. we're back with our panelist. jonathan, this is what our friends at the "post" are reporting, months before the national archives found the classified documents they retrieved from the mar-a-lago club, they were told that none of the material that was classified. trump had 12 boxes of news clippings. the characterization made vastly misrepresented the scale. here's where it gets interesting -- the source of a deputy white house counsel. it says the new details about the philbin call show that mark meadows was more deeply involved in the communications archives officials than was previously known. some white house advisers have previously said meadows was deeply involved in the final packing in the white house. all these stories circle the drain with mark meadows. >> yeah. it certainly does. and this is a terrific report,
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and it follows up on what my colleagues and i reported a couple of weeks ago painting a frantic picture of those last weeks in the white house. remember, of course, this -- donald trump thought he was still going to be president until january 6th. so a process, methodical process to pack up a departing president usually takes months. they basically did it in two weeks, between january 6th and january 20th, joe biden's inauguration day. and during those two weeks, mark meadows stepped to the forefront and sort of took he and trump took charge of what was going to be taken to mar-a-lago where trump was then going. and this here is just the latest example of not just meadows' role which seems to be growing by the day, but also yet another moment where trump's allies, whether his former staff or his lawyers, misrepresented what was going on with these documents at mar-a-lago. there have been a number of times now where they have attested to department of justice officials, to the fbi saying that, no, everything's in a safe place, everything's in these boxes, everything's in
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storage. we've since learned that some was even in donald trump's desk at his palm beach estate. and now one here, the idea that meadows clearly mischaracterized the information, the documents, the materials that was taken to mar-a-lago saying it was all news clippings when we know it was hundreds of classified documents. so the word that jumps to mind -- obstruction. that's what this is. you're lying to officials, blocking an investigation, you're misrepresenting what's going on. this only heightens the suggestion that obstruction is going to be one of the charges that trump and his team could face. >> and you're talking about meadows, questions about meadows' role. this -- what the "post" is reporting on is the september 21 phone call with top archives lawyer gary stern, trump lawyer pat philbin, and almost everything philbin represents to the archives is something he heard from meadows. philbin tells him that meadows told him no documents were destroyed, according to two people with knowledge of the call and a third with knowledge of stern's contemporaneous
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account. stern had sought the call because he believed there was still more than two dozen boxes of materials that trump had and concerns about whether digital records -- we haven't talked about that -- have been properly retained, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. archives officials continued to believe there was more material that they -- than they were told about. they suspected that the trump team was lying to them back in september. >> yeah. for a while now. the latest one where they had good reason to doubt that the trump team was lying to them. and meadows clearly -- if the lawyers on the panel could tasty to the dangers of leading your client, that's what happened here where the lawyer relayed to the -- the national archives that, you know, that he simply saying what meadows told him. he said it was all news clippings. that, of course, is not the case. and shows that meadows' point as previous reporting has shown knew a lot of what was down there because he was involved in packing it up. he sort of had took charge of
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that process in the last two weeks of the trump administration. and this is now a number of times where someone close to the former president has misrepresented what was there at mar-a-lago. and that seems to only heighten the legal peril. we now know deeply sensitive, classified documents were, in fact, there. >> there is the sort of arena where the information is only disclosed on the department of justice's terms, as they advance the legal pursuit of the government's case. and then there's almost a -- a ring outside of that which is investigative journalism around the story, almost inching closer and closer as it ensnares more people. i wonder what you make of where things stand today. >> listen, the court filings have filled in a lot of the timeline of what happened from the moment that former president trump left office until the raid. you know, the day that the raid
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happened, it was quite a shock, there had been a trickle of information coming out that the archives were interested in these materials, there wasn't really as much sense of urgency around that. i think what we've gotten is a lot more clarity on why archives officials who normally are not part of the breaking news cycle and, you know, part of the political news of the day, why they were so concerned about getting these boxes back and having an accounting of what the president took from the white house. you know, i think it also shapes in some context for information we've learned recently about a grand jury subpoena from the justice department for surveillance footage at mar-a-lago going back to january of 2022. so they are interested in who was -- [ poor audio ] and the information coming out
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and helped fill in -- >> we're going to work on upgrading your audio. i have one more question for you. but i just want to put more of the timeline, i want to bring it up to this week. donald trump this week told conservative radio host hugh hewitt, this was yesterday, that there would be, quote, problems in this country the likes of which we've never seen. i've actually cleaned up some of that grammar, if you can believe it. if he's indicted on charges of mishandling classified documents. quote, i don't think the people of the united states would stand for it, trump said. what do you do with a target of an investigation threatening to turn the people of the united states against the government? >> well, there are two aspects of that question, and certainly there's the broader one in terms of turning -- using your term, turning the people. where i go reflexively is back to my former colleagues and former life.
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and these prosecutors, these attorneys, these agents, these are the good guys. if you look -- if you google right now the counterintelligence and export control section, that is the section that is investigating this case, and you google that and doj press releases, just look what's publicly available. this section, their mission is to protect our nation's secrets. they recently investigated and charged a -- a navy engineer who was trying to sell nuclear sub secrets to a foreign government. they are responsible for investigating malicious cyberattacks by foreign governments. they are responsible for protecting against foreign governments trying to steal trade secrets from companies in the united states, the lifeblood of our economy. these are the good guys. these are people who are dedicated to mission. they're on the front lines of national security for the department of justice. and just because they are doing their job, this critical mission, they now have targets on their backs, there is
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harassment the likes of which not even in the mueller investigation any of us have seen. and it's troubling to hear. >> yeah. andrew, i guess to that point, i think you were tweeted about -- you were attacked. some of the names are redacted in some of what the redacted material is in the filings. but it is a good -- it is a good reframing, not that we need it, but these are the good guys. and there are not two sides here. the difference i guess in the story is that the person who represents a threat to the thing that the good guys are protecting to all of our benefit is the checks of the president of the united states and currently the most powerful figure in the republican party. >> look, the big picture that you're getting at is that you have a former president who when there's any particular interest that can stand in his way, whether it is people in congress, whether it's the media, like as you know well, he
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will attack them and undermine their credibility. the same will happen when he is indicted. that it will be his trying to bring down the rule of law in this country. and it will be a fundamental test of the rules of law and democracy. and to add something to what brandon said which i totally agree with is that i think we are very fortunate to have merrick garland making that ultimate decision because the one thing that you definitely know about him in addition to complete integrity is he has the backbone to do this and know just how important it is to the department and to the rule of law if he determines that it is appropriate to charge that it
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will then happen. and you know, this is a big country with a lot of equipment to bring people to justice. if he can bring major league terrorists and mafias to justice, he certainly can bring somebody who is a former president and trying to threaten violence as a way to not be held to account for his actions. >> and i just love that that is what reassurance us that we can do that, the bar is that high, that's how we know we can do it. brand an, andreau, jonathan, zoe, thank you all so much for being part of our coverage on this incredible fast-moving, developing story. we'll have more in the next hour. we are going to switch gears. ron desantis likely thought he was owning the libs, the media, whatever he thought he was doing. he might have.
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but he also put into stark relief that humanity still exists in certain parts of this country. we'll show you that, talk about that after a quick break. don't go anywhere. ♪ we believe there's an innovator in all of us. ♪ that's why we build technology that makes it possible for every business... and every person... to come to the table and do more incredible things.
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riders! let your queries be known. yeah, hi. instead of letting passengers wrap their arms around us, could we put little handles on our jackets? -denied. -can you imagine? i want a new nickname. can you guys start calling me snake? no, bryan. -denied. -how about we all get quotes to see if we can save with america's number one motorcycle insurer? approved. cool! hey, if bryan's not gonna be snake, can i be snake? -all: no. instead of working with us on solutions, republicans are playing politics with human beings using them as props. what they're doing is simply wrong. it's un-american.
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it's reckless. and we have a process in place to manage migrants at the border where we're going to make sure it's safe and orderly and humane. republican officials should not interfere with that process by waging these political stunts. >> this president joe biden last night slamming republican governors for their continued deceitful and, in his words, un-american protests of immigration policies. today new pictures show dozens of migrants in martha's vineyard thankful and hugging the residents there as they left for a military base in cape cod. florida's governor, ron desantis, sent them there unannounced, both to them and to folks at martha's vineyard this week. while texas' governor, greg abbott, sent dozens more migrants to vice president kamala harris' house. it's just the latest escalation of their political behavior. human beings, again, being used as political pawns. republicans have sent thousands of human beings in recent weeks to chicago, new york, and d.c.
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now from activist to democratic lawmakers and reasonable republicans, calls are growing for the justice department to investigate potential kidnapping and political human trafficking. earlier today addressing recent reports about the lies the migrants were told to be lured onto the airplanes flying to martha's vineyard. watch. >> they were told there was a surprise present for them and that there would be jobs and housing awaiting them when they arrived. this was obviously a sadistic lie. they also very intentionally chose not to call ahead to any single office authority on martha's vineyard so that even the most basic human needs arrangements could be made. >> joining our coverage, reverend al sharpton of "politics nation" and president of the action network and charlie sykes, editor at large of "the bulwark" and msnbc contributor. charlie, you've written the smartest piece because it the
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whole picture into account. i worked for a president in 2000, immigration was broken, we trailed and failed -- tried and failed to fix it. it was broken during president obama's term. immigration was broken while donald trump was there. he didn't fix anything including his top priority which was immigration. and immigration is broken today. and what desantis and abbott is doing is sadistic, sick stuff. >> it is. look, i mean, there's a legitimate debate that we can have about immigration. but this is not a debate. this is a theater of trolling. this is, you know, theater of cruelty. and it is -- it's this year's caravan being used as a cheap political stunt. look, the reality is that ron desantis and greg abbott could have made many, many points, could have had press releases, used money, instead they used actual human beings as pawns.
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and they did it based on what that attorney called a sadistic lie. look, i think the saddest part about all of this is that most republicans love this. i mean, this is playing very well among right-wing media who thinks that this is lol, this is triggering the libs, owning the libs. they're not asking about the fundamental immorality of using vulnerable human beings including children in this particular way, in a way that seemed designed to maximize the confusion and the cruelty. but ron desantis knows what he's doing. he knows this is the nature of american republican politics right now. he has scored points with it. and he, tranqly, doesn't care -- frankly, doesn't care what the rest of us think about it or obviously what happens to these human beings. who, by the way, were venezuelans fleeing communism. one would have thought that republicans would have been more sympathetic to that.
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>> sympathy requires empathy which requires a heart. and i think we know how that ends. rev, to charlie's point about the sickness on the right, pompeo, the former secretary of state of the united states, was, you know, mugging and smugly laughing about this. this is the highest levels -- it's not just the smarmy twitter trolls. the highest level of the last republican sort of leadership class, they love this h. what do you do about that? >> well, i think you've got to punish them in terms of making sure they don't come into power, that's what you do about it. but i think that this is as morally despicable as you can get. and i think that is an element of this that is racially tinged. it is not lost on a lot of us that they send them to
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washington, d.c., to mayor bowser, lower lightfoot, all black mayors, and martha's vineyard which is a well-known place where the black elite have their homes including obama. they get an extradition into their crowd. let's send them to these people of color that are in power. and -- and i think it was alex wagner last night did a piece on this is what the segregationists did in the early '60s when i was a child. they would -- they deceived people in a southern state, blacks, and said we're going to bring you to massachusetts, send you to massachusetts, you're going to meet with president kennedy and discuss your rights. and of course when they got to massachusetts, there was no meeting with president kennedy, there was no discussion of their rights. it was to mock them and use them as political pawns and almost as a joke to make their point about segregation. that's exactly what desantis and
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abbott is doing some 55 years later. and it ought to be repulsive. and you see children in there. aren't these the pro-life people? so you're now so concerned about babies being born, but you're going to have babies from venezuela all over the country just being used as pawns on a political chess board? >> it's crazy. i have another question for both of you on this. stick with us through a quick break. h a quick break. we lost about everything trying to pay for prescriptions. we spent our whole pension
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charlie, i not there's an important path to -- i think there's an important path to chartment i remember when sean hannity went to the border with catholic charity and was sitting in a high stool with nuns doing charity work on the border, helping people. and the evangelical christian swath of the republican based used to car about humanity. did the cord snap? i missed it. it snapped completely. rev's point about life is absolutely right. it's absolute -- you know, nothing i can say on tv -- bs that republicans care about life. >> you know, this has been one of the most extraordinary things that i've witnessed. ron desantis recently gave a speech where he talked about his christianity. and you know, urging his fellow conservatives to, you know, step on the armor of god. then he turns around and does something like this which is
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really -- you have many definitions of christianity, but using people in this particular way certainly is not. you're absolutely right, there was a time when american evangelical christians went out of their way to show humanity to immigrants, refugees, migrants. and that's completely gone. i think that that's another marker of the worsening of our culture that we've seen since donald trump went down the golden escalator. look, were there anti-immigrant sentiments all along? absolutely. there were also voices appealing to the better angels of our nature. and at least on the right that's not -- that's not happening anymore. and you know, it speaks volumes that ron desantis thinks that stunts like this, using human beings as pawns, is his ticket to political success. he may not be wrong. >> rev, the response isn't to be on the low road with the republicans. but what is the -- what is the solution-based response?
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what is -- it seems like some of it is happening in massachusetts. they've moved the migrants to cape cod. they've actiated national guard, trying to help the people. what is your advice for how to deal with this issue? >> well, one, i salute the reaction that they've done in massachusetts with cape cod. i also think that they are right to look whether there are legal ways of kidnapping maybe a far reach. there should be a way to penalize people for just outright using deception rather than debate immigration policy. if we want to debate immigration, we want to debate the wall, that's one thing. but to use human beings in such a callous and discarded way should be publishable in this country. and i -- i really believe that we need to receive these people as best we can to accommodate
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them but really put some kind of punishment on those that do this so they know that they cannot in this country just use human people like they're just some place mats or some moveable objects on a chess board, that they can play these games. we're talking about human beings. and when i looked at those youngsters playing volleyball up in martha's vineyard, they're looking for a better way of life. and what are we saying to the world when you got teenagers that we say, yes, leave communism, come to america, and they come, and you're carted around in some massive political chess game by people that claim to be the moralists, that claim to be the righteous? no, they ought to be held accountable for this. >> reverend al sharpton and charlie sykes, me thanks to both of you. another quick break. we'll be right back. other quick.
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the opinion i think was wrong, and i think the government should appeal it. it's deeply flawed in a number of ways. i don't think the appointment of a special master is going to hold up, but even if it does, i don't see it fundamentally changing the trajectory. in other words, i don't think it changes the ball game so much as maybe we'll have a rain delay for a couple of innings. >> i think the justice department's chances are pretty good, and i think they are because their main thrust is that some of these may be covered by executive privilege. there's only one executive who can assert the privilege, the one who's the correct second -- current executive, joe biden. >> hi, again. 5:00 in new york. how bad was the judge's ruling to grant a special master in the case of the ex-president's mishandling of classified documents? you know the answer -- it was so bad that trump's own former ag
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big barr and his close ally chris christie didn't think it would hold up. and yet, last night, judge aileen cannon doubled down on her decision, denying doj's request for a stay that would enable the department to continue reviewing the documents seized in the august 8th search of the criminal investigation. "the new york times" describes judge cannon's order as, quote, the latest turn in what has now become a protracted and politically fraught court battle over the trove of documents seized in the search of mar-a-lago." our friend and former u.s. attorney barbara mcquaid points this out, that the stay that cannon rejected from doj was a lifeline that she ignored because any minute now the doj is set to appeal cannon's ruling to the 11th u.s. circuit court of appeals. setting up a remarkable situation in which the justice department thinks it may have a better chance with the 11th circuit which is described like this -- quote, as an appeals court where trump's administration left a particularly lasting mark in its
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frenzied push to fill the federal bench, six out of 11 of the judges on the 11th circuit are trump appointees. the ruling came in a ten-page filing where she announced her appointment of a special master. it's a man by the name of raymond dearie. senior district judge for the earn district of new york. dearie has until november 30th to conduct his review. over a month longer than the october 17th deadline that doj had asked cannon to set for the review. this is where we begin with some of our favorite reporters and friends. "new york times" justice reporter katie benner is here and the aforementioned barbara mcquaid is here, u.s. attorney, now law professor at the university of michigan. both msnbc contributors. katie, where are we, and what can you tell us about -- it seems that doj was prepared, they had already put forward the possibility of appealing to the 11th circuit. but that's where we are.
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is this where they kind of hope to not be? >> well, i'm sure that nobody involved in this investigation wanted to get caught up in a protracted court battle that would put the entire investigation on hold. you know, by not having to finish his work until november 30th, raymond dearie is saying there will be no moves in this investigation until far after the midterm elections, and department will be able to pick it up again sort of around the holiday season. this is not ideal timing for the justice department because they still had investigative measures they needed to take in addition to reviewing all of these documents. so this really slows things down considerably. to your point about what's going on with the courts, you're right, the justice department does feel that it has a better shot with the 11th circuit. and i think we might want to look lady to the -- look ahead to the supreme court. one of the interesting things about cannon's decision is she's essentially putting forth the idea that executive privilege could be held by two different administrations at once -- the current administration and the previous administration, the leader of the previous
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administration. i think that with a right-leaning supreme court, with people who are strong proponents of the unified executive theory, that is going to be a hard piece of information for them to digest. i don't think that they're going to agree with that. so it's not that the justice department is looking to the 11th circuit, they may be looking beyond, as well. there is a feeling amongst people all across the department, inside, outside, former, current, that this is not a reading that most conservatives who believe in the unitary executive theory would agree with. >> katie, that's so interesting. i want to follow up quickly. keep showing bill barr and chris christie, and you are far right legal mind, has made the same argument. explain -- explain this sort of mindset that should it tend up in the united states supreme court, this is a legal theory they feel confident in. >> sure. i think if you sort of pull back the lens, conservatives have long espoused the idea of the unified executive. it's one of the reasons why they
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want a strong presidency. they used a strong presidency. they believe in a strong presidency. and under this theory, it is really the current president who has the power and the power over all of the parts of the executive branch. so the idea that a previous president could come in and do something like exert executive privilege really chips away at that. and you have people on the bench, i'm not sure about the 11th circuit, but certainly on the supreme court who would not want to see that chipped away at. they want this theory, they've been pushing for this theory. the federalist society was founded in part because there was a strong belief in this theory. and now to see judge cannon in her decision sort of weaken it in any way i think is anathema to a lot of folks which is why you're seeing republicans like chris christie, like bill barr, come out and say this ruling shouldn't stand. >> barbara, you tweeted this -- the most outrageous statement in the court's order is her rejection of the government's assertion that documents with classified markings are in fact
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classified. she reaches this conclusion despite an unrefuted affidavit from the head of the fbi's counterintelligence division. this is the part of it that feels like we're looking up from "alice in wonderland's" looking glass. what is this? >> so the classification is one of the core functions of the executive branch. the judge to be saying i don't believe that they are really classified just because you say so, that's what makes them classified, because the government says so. it suggests a distrust of the justice department, and i think an inappropriate second-guessing by a separate and co-equal branch of government. and so i think that even if the justice department thought pragmatically that it might be faster just to let judge dearie go in, look at these documents, make his decision and move on, it might be faster to do that, i think that there are institutional concerns they need to be worried about to not let this record be the final word on
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these issues and to go to the 11th circuit and hope and expect that they will follow the law and do the right thing here. it's not about donald trump. it is about preserving things like the classification of government documents. >> and on the classification issue, donald trump is playing a very obvious game. he's saying things on talk shows that his lawyers who he has their phone number and talks to them aren't saying in their filings. let me show you what he said on a radio show called "hugh hewitt." >> mr. patel said he witnessed you giving verbal orders to declassify the papers that end up at mar-a-lago. do you remember making those orders? >> that is correct, and not only that, i think it was other people also were there. but i have the absolute right to declassify. absolute. a president has that absolute right. and a lot of people aren't even challenging that anymore. >> so barbara, cash patel and nameless other people were there when he declassified him, but
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his lawyers couldn't find those people? what are the chance this any of that is true -- chance that any of this it true? >> zero chance, i think. number one, a president could initiate a declassification process, but it is the originating agency that has to do that. and they do it after investigating to make sure that sources, lives won't be endangered by declassifying, that programs won't be compromised. you don't just wave a magic wand and say i hereby declassify these documents. you'll notice what the lawyers say in briefs is not that donald trump has declassified documents. what they've said is he has the power to declassify documents. and i think they are playing it very close to the line here, but they're not going over it because they don't want to make a representation that is not true. and then on top of all of that, it is legally irrelevant to the charges that have been cited in the search warrant because none of those rely on classification as a status, as an element of the offense. mishandling of government
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records, theies espionage account and obstruction of justice do not require proof that documents were classified. i think it's a good talking point that maybe works well with the base. at the end of the day, it's not going to matter in a criminal case against donald trump. >> such a good reminder. i mean, everything that the doj has filed is about national defense information. there really -- it isn't about the classification. but i guess hugh hewitt hasn't read the documents. let me show what hillary clinton had to say about all of this yesterday. >> i don't care what political party you are, but come on, cut the hypocrisy. this is a threat to our national security. somebody would have in his country club storage room his desk, his bedroom, top-secret information, and you have to ask yourself why? what was he going to do with it? who was he giving it to? >> what had he already done to it. >> what he had already done. let the investigation go forward, and let's find the facts. unlike those guys, i'm not saying lock him up, i'm saying
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let's find the facts and follow the evidence wherever it goes. >> has somebody who stood at the republican convention in whatever -- '16 and heard them screaming "lock her up" and felt it like an electric shock to hear hillary saying "lock him up" made me laugh out loud. the hypocrisy is truly remarkable. and all of -- you know, i wonder actually from you, barbara, what do you make of the asymmetry? you've got an entire right wing with the exception of a few that we've shown on this show. some of the highest ranking legal voices saying the government's case is both strong and sound. but you've got a propaganda wing. just kind of nodding along, huh, declassified -- what does that say about the extent of hypocrisy and the power of disinformation? >> yeah. it's really troubling. i think that there are many people for whom the ends justify the means. i don't care whether i'm being internally consistent, i don't care if it is honest, what i
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really care about is pushing my agenda. and donald trump supports my agenda, and so therefore whatever he does is right. it's incredibly dangerous in a democracy, in a country that values the rule of law. i've also heard people say, what about hillary? hillary did the same thing. and she did not. let's remember the reasons that jim comey articulated as to why he was recommending that no charges be filed against hillary clinton. he said that there were factors that he looked at that were present in every case that got prosecuted historically. and those were a willful violation of the law, mishandling of documents, or storing them in a way that could expose our secrets or obstruction of justice. he said none of those things happened in the case of hillary clinton, and therefore he was recommending no charges. when you look at those issues for donald trump, he's three for three. so it's a very scenario. the idea that people could want to lock up hillary clinton and not lock up donald trump is a grave hypocrisy. >> katie, i want to ask you --
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you know, we have the last hour talk of the strength of pillars, both of the case with the documents themselves and the obstruction case which every week we seem to see a little bit more of the government's case. this week what was unsealed seemed to be an affidavit from christina bobb where she said it was attested to me that documents were stored in the basement. how are you tracking the two, and is it like the mueller investigation where there are two separate pieces, where little reveals happen, or are that inextricably linked as prosecutors suggest? >> i do think they're linked. if you're going to charge a former president with obstruction, you'll want to have a crime to associate with it and stay that he obstructed this investigation into this criminal act, that he was also likely to have done. i don't think you want to try to criminally charge a former president on a narrower, more process high driven charge, than obstruction of justice is. grave, not that lying to federal
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investigators even potentially through your lawyers is not grave. i think another reason why these things are linked is because of christina bobb. you know, if she signed an attestation that was false, she has put herself in legal jeopardy. and so on the obstruction case to pressure her to put pressure on her to -- put her in front of a grand jury to try to get more information out of her, it -- it puts her in a strange position. would she have information that relates to the rest of the investigation that's to be seen. it's also to be seen whether or not that's what the justice department intends to do. she certainly has put herself into that potentially place by signing that document. >> there's a lot of attesting going on. "the washington post" in the last hour broke a story about some white house counsels attesting to what mark meadows told them about the status of classified documents. they were sure he hadn't destroyed anything and that there was nothing more than news clippings in the boxes in mar-a-lago. talk about all these pieces and people saying i didn't know, mark meadows told me there was
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nothing in there. >> yeah, well, that's why investigation really matters. were these people making false representations themselves, or were they simply unwitting agents of someone else who made these false statements? you know, one really key clue in all of this is noticed in the justice department documents in mar-a-lago there's a lot of use of the passive voice. there was something recently un-redacted in that search warrant that talks about, you know, attorney one who i think is believed to be corcoran saying something like "i was advised that there were no documents stored in mar-a-lago," et cetera. so who was it who provided the advice? normally good writing is not to use passive voice, right? you're a good journalist, you've learned that, avoid the passive voice. when it's used, it's because you want to avoid identifying the subject of the sentence. somebody told him that -- provided that advice, and similarly with regard to the news statement, report being mark meadows.
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is this something he made up, or did someone tell him this was the case? so it would require some interviews to get to that point. so i think mark meadows for so many reasons could be a very valuable witness in both the mar-a-lago case and the january 6th case. >> katie, it's friday, been a remarkable week of sort of incremental reveals. but as barbs talking you realize that what's become clear is that this is very active on both sides. sort of going back and forth now with donald trump's legal team in a way that maybe at the beginning they didn't think they'd have to before there was a judge aileen cannon who saw privileges trump didn't assert and who saw classification that's not classification, and who saw the federal government as not owning classified documents. but it does seem like some of this has been gamed out before it became public facing at all. and one of that is the -- what seems to be the mountain of evidence around the obstruction question i just asked about.
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i've been asking people about what they see in what is still redacted and protected. but is it clear to you at all or as you sort of pursue this as investigative journalist, is it clear to you that there are active witnesses and there's a live stream of information going to the federal government, or what -- what is your sense of where this investigation is? >> so i think the investigation on the document side has come to somewhat of a standstill because this court battle does need to be resolved. however, when it comes to witnesses, when it comes to going through other documents that they may have had, when it comes to going through tapes and trying to basically put together a timeline of the activity that began with donald trump leaving office to the day that they had to go to mar-a-lago to obtain the documents themselves, they are actively trying to plug in that timeline. basically prosecutors, they look at the activity that occurred in
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the time they think that a crime could have been committed. then they subpoena documents, witness testimony, phone records, and other records to try to plug in the holes. and once they do that, they can somewhat step back, and that's where you see things like causality. that's where you see links. that's where you see, okay, maybe we should ask this other person questions. i think that that part of the investigation is very active, and i think there is also some conversation about whether or not it's appropriate to be calling people in as witnesses in this sensitive period before the midterm elections. oftentimes that's not considered such a big deal. but keep in mind that in trump world, these are not people who go and speak before a grand jury and don't say anything, which we've seen in a lot of other cases. trump world allies tend to go speak to a grand jury, come in for an interview, and then immediately go on whether it's steve bannon's radio show or somebody else and divulge every question that was asked and everything they said. this is a tricky thing for the justice department because if they start bringing in witnesses, it's unclear what will happen next.
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>> so amazing that's such an important point. katie and barbara, goo doo us a favor, don't -- do us a favor, don't go far. thank you so much for starting us off today. when we come back with doj now facing an appeals court stacked with trump appointees, a remarkable new book is out, and it traces a whole lot of the story of how we got here and the work of just one law firm and helping to remake the judiciary in the trump era. plus, stunning advances by ukrainian forces bringing new hope for an end to the war and revealing the horrors of the russian occupation. later in the hour, what is next for the migrants who were flown to martha's vineyard used ads props for florida governor ron desantis' approved stunt and the community that came to the aid of those migrants. seth moulton will be our guest. we continue after a quick break. stay with us. stay with us power e*trade's award-winning trading app
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all we talk about, right, a judiciary stacked with trump-appointed judges. it's making an impact across the country from helping to overturn abortion rights to even putting roadblocks in doj's probe into the handling of some of the most sensitive classified documents by the twice-impeached ex-president. there's a new book out that takes a look at one potentially significant and very timely factor in terms of how we got here. "new york times" reporter david emrich's book "servants of the damned," best title ever, examines the role of one law firm, jones-day, and a partner,
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former white house counsel don mcghan, in running the trump administration. here's what he said about the damage fraught with democracy in four years' time, quote, almost exactly four years after the crowd had gathered on the top floor to celebrate its lawyers' migration into the trump administration, much larger crowd assembled nearby. if anyone had been on jones-day's rooftop on the afternoon of january 6th, 2021, they would have enjoyed a splendid view of the violent man storming it the u.s. capitol. the predictable culmination of a president whom jones-day had helped elect. an administration the firm's lawyers had helped run and an election whose integrity the firm had helped erode. wow. joining us now david emrich, "new york times" business investigations editor, the author of the new book "servants of the damned: giant law firms, donald trump, and the corruption of justice." this is exactly where people feel like we are, the corruption of justice. you see it, and that's why we keep showing bill barr and chris
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christie really both speaking to the strength of the government's case and the lack of sense in any of trump's appointee there. aileen cannon's rulings. you trace it back to some deeper in republican politics. tell me about jones day. >> it was a law firm founded in cleveland in 1893. for many decades it was just a very aggressive corporate litigation. it would defend companies like rjr and purdue pharma, and go to the mat helping them fend off threats to their business. >> that's like deregulation, that's -- >> primarily lawsuits. if a company's making products that are -- end up harming people, you know, these companies want a robust defense against allegations. yeah, it's also trying to water down regulations, trying to fend off criminal investigations, things like that. but it start good 10 or 15 years ago, the law firm started shifting to the right and started taking on cases during the obama era where it was
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leading the challenge to obamacare for example. and then in 2014, they decided to get into the business of helping elect republicans to office. they started a new political law practice, and they hired very prominent republican attorneys including ben ginsburg, a guy named don mcghan, to lead that. and one of the first clients don mcghan took on upon arriving at jones day was the trump campaign in early 2015. and their mandate really was to help not only get trump elected but to help -- kind of institutionalize this wild campaign and help it build up credibility among the conservative establishment. and they did that and were off to the races. >> but it breaks bad, and even one of the people they -- they absorbed -- >> a few of the lawyers. some of their most senior lawyers. >> republican. >> yeah, yeah. >> ginsburg walks away. why does that happen? what does that do to jones day? >> ginsburg after five years at
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-- six years at jones day in the summer of 2020, by this time don mcghan has come and left the white house, and ginsburg had become the point person for the trump campaign within jones day. and he had been growing increasingly concerned about the president's incendiary and unfounded rhetoric about the threats of an election tainted by fraud and the dangers of mail-in voting. he had voiced these concerns internally, up the food chain, and some of the people at jones day shared the concerns. but the firm continued doing business and representing the trump campaign. and ginsburg, who getting older, he's a veteran of republican presidential campaigns, and has been in controversy himself. but he really thought that he needed to draw the line and did not want his last campaign as he put it to some people involve helping a demagogue destroy democracy. and he resigned. and then went public with some of the concerns, really started taking on the republican -- mostly trump, but also taking on the republican apparatus that
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had been helping him. i think that sent a very clear signal to not only the world but also to the folks at jones day about the -- really the dangers they were flirting with. >> what is jones day's relationship right now with trump on the insurrection cases? >> they do not currently have a role to my knowledge. >> they don't represent any insurrection defendants? >> they have not showed up in any court documents that i have seen doing any of that defense work or any other work directly. what they do -- what is happening, though, is that jones day, at least as of the most recent government filings, is -- remains on the payroll essentially. still receiving fees from trump's political action committees, some trump campaign committee that's are still lingering. and they're representing kind of a who's who was republican power players. that ranges from moderates like susan collins to people like ron johnson who is, as you know, a leading peddler of election lies and herschel walker's campaign
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is being financed by a group represented by jones day. the list goes on. >> when you look at the doj's moves, and they're pretty opaque, but we're starting to see them reach into some of the political action committees that were involved in the big grift as it's been called, do you think there are conversations at -- do you think there's anyone that will pump the brakes on any of the trump associated or trump-adjacent work? >> i don't know is the short answer. there's been this remarkable internal uprising. jones day is a really unique place, almost all of the power is vested in a single individual at the top. a guy flamed steve b -- named steve broganment very conservative and likes to make the decisions and is empowered to make decisions. it's up to him whether they pump the brakes. he's been warned repeatedly over the years by some of his most senior and respected colleagues about the perils of getting more and more entwined with trump and trumpism. and so far at least, at least in public, he does not appear to have pumped the brakes at all.
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>> have they become -- i don't want to use the word hostile because i don't mean it in a legal sense, but have they become an unwelcome place for anyone who isn't all in and gung-ho on trump sglimp. >> i think that would be -- trumpism? >> i think that would be overstating it. this is a law firm with 2,500 lawyers. a great many are not republicans and certainly are not trump republicans. there are plenty of democrats who work there. and occasionally you'll see some of them pop up in for example the biden administration. so i think to be fair, it's certainly at least at the top, it has become an overwhelmingly and noisily conservative place. >> what you capture is sort of high wire, and it is so timely. it's incredibly reported. thank you so much for being here and congratulations. >> thank you so much. >> congratulations on the book. the new book is called "servants of the damned." out now. pick it up. take a look. it will come up in so many of the things that we cover and the conversations. we didn't get to talk about it, but you have to come back. everything about the legitimacy
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of the supreme court seems to be on the line and wrapped up in everything that you write about and report out, as well. >> i'm at your disposal. >> all right. to be continued. we will also have an update to the story we've been covering extensively, the special master in the mar-a-lago investigations, raymond dearie, who was appointed last night has taken his first action in his new role as special master. dearie has summoned trump's team and doj lawyers to the federal courthouse in brooklyn where he currently served as senior -- serves as senior u.s. district judge for preliminary conference. that will be next tuesday. in the wake of a rapid and dramatic retreat by russian forces from parts of ukraine. vladimir putin is making a stunning admission about concerns over the war from a key ally -- china. we'll break that story down next. a monster was attacking but the team remained calm. because with miro, they could problem solve together, and find the answer that was right under their nose. or... his nose.
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we've seen now the reports of this mask raid. and of course this is part horrifically of a continuum, an ongoing story. whenever we see the russian tide recede from the parts of ukraine that it's occupied, we see what's left in its wake. and this latest discovery of apparently 440 mass graves in izyum is a reminder of that. >> that was secretary of state antony blinken today on the horrors uncovered by ukrainian forces as the russian army retreats from parts of eastern ukraine. in the city of izyum,
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authorities unearthed more than 400 bodies, marked with simple wooden crosses. officials say that some of the dead bear the hallmarks of having been tortured. the news out of izyum giving new urgency to efforts to aid ukraine to help them win. on thursday the biden administration announced it will send another $600 million in military aid to ukraine, bringing its total assistance to $15.1 billion. this new tranche of aid comes as russia finds itself increasingly isolated on the world stage. in a meeting with chinese leader xi jinping on thursday, russian president vladimir putin acknowledged that china had, quote, questions and concerns about the russian invasion of ukraine. it's a statement that is being viewed by allies as a sign a crack in russia's relationship with one of its most powerful allies. let's bring into the conversation former u.s. ambassador to russia and msnbc international affairs analyst michael mcfall. retired u.s. army lieutenant colonel alexander binman for the
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national security council. ambassador, i saw you on earlier saying that kind of the opposite point that we just made, that putin is not isolated on the world stage. he has still lots of friends in high places. but this crack with china does seem significant. tell me your analysis of it. >> of course we're just reading tea leaves about what are the public readouts, and the public readouts are not always what are said behind closed doors. but think about how that feels. let me put it more personally. hey, nicole, i have questions and concerns about your behavior. that doesn't sound friendly, does it? that's what xi jinping must have said because that's what putin paraphrased him to say. also think about that -- putin didn't have to say that. he felt that he had to say that as a way to set the stage for their bilateral meeting. second, if you read xi jinping's readout of their bilateral conversation, the word ukraine does not appear, and when you
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read the readout of his speech at that conference, at the shanghai cooperation organization summit, the word ukraine does not appear at all. contrast that, for instance, with a nato summit where it's all about ukraine and all about solidarity with the ukrainians. >> i guess my question, too, and this may be impolite, but would xi if he is concerned be more concerned that russia's losing, or would he be concerned with what is clearly a campaign of terrorism targeting civilians? >> no, he's concerned that his trusted partner, number-one partner there, remember at that seo summit, they're the two leaders of the shanghai cooperation organization. he's concerned that his partner's losing. and he's dragging his partner, putin is dragging him into decisions that he doesn't want to make. so think about it -- when he went to get new weapons and ammunition, who had to go to the north koreans because the chinese are not providing it. i've been told that the chinese
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are not providing various technologies that are now boycotted or now prohibited because of western sanctions, that's a bad sign for putin, as well. i think xi jinping is beginning to wonder is this guy such a great sidekick to have. >> we know the answer's no. he's not. colonel vinman, we got to speak to your brother earlier in the week who's in kyiv. it's perfect to get to speak to you today. what is your sense of what we're learning, new information about the human toll that this war has taken? because it feels like as we're learning about military gains and celebrating our allies' advances, we're also seeing harrowing images of what the ukrainian people have been through. >> thanks. just a quick comment on the f0 conference. it was supposed to be a showcase of the fact that russia still has international standing, still has friends around the world. but in a way, it has not been successful when there's at least a mea culpa on the surface that
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there's something wrong with the campaign ukraine or maybe something more substantial that was required of him by his -- by counterparts, the principal counterparts being china and india, that would have to be some recognition given to the fact that the war's not going well. i think india in particular had a much stronger series of comments around russia's war making and war mongering in ukraine. that is a -- india's a major partner to ukraine. it's a major recipient of russian -- right now it's a major economic partner, but it's also a major recipient of russian military materiel. with regards to the war, it has been a devastating war for ukraine. although frankly you can't tell when you encounter the population in general. there have been plenty of people that are traumatized, but if you go through most of ukraine, it's a massive country, it's amazing the resilience of the people,
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the fact that they're -- they have a clear sense of purpose, and they also feel quite confident that they're going come out on top. at the same time, they have to deal with these horrific tragedies. i think that we're going to learn about far more russian -- far more russian atrocities around izyum, also the headquarters for combined arms army. so there's -- this of a major -- this is not one of those back woods locations where there was some unit that was on the fridges involved in some of these atrocities. this was major -- almost certainly major key level russian leadership. and this is a fraction of probably the -- certainly what was available by open source imagery on what happened in mariupol where it looks like there are tens of thousands of graves. we're going to continue to discover these and i hope for more than condemnation by the u.s. government. i would hope for action and more support so that ukraine can liberate its territory and not
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continue to be brutalized. >> colonel, what does -- momentum is so key. what does ukraine need to continue to build on the momentum they have right now? >> well, this was for me, this was always going to be a story of russia losing its strengths, sapped of its ability to conduct an offensive and shifting to defense. and ukraine picking up the momentum, choosing where to strike, looking for vulnerabilities, and gaining ground. it's in a lot of ways surprising how effective they've been at russia's weakest points. that story's not done yet. in this northern/eastern access, there are going to be greater gains because there are still considerable vulnerabilities on that northern flank for russian forces. so more ground is going to be lost. more ground is going to be liberated by ukraine. kherson is also going to be liberated. it's just a matter of time. that was going to be a campaign that was going to play out over the course of weeks and months because ukraine needed to
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isolate and drain the strength of those forces there. eventually russia's position is going to be untenable. beyond those two areas, there's still enormous amount of territory under russian control. it seems like a high bar that ukraine is going to be able to liberate those territories any time soon. so they do need support. they need advanced strike capabilities, they need longer range fires, they need unmanned aerial vehicles, they need air defense. they need what they've been asking for from the beginning. >> ambassador michael mcfall, lieutenant colonel alexander vindman, thank you so much for being here. nice to see both of you. when we come back, democratic congressman seth moulton will be our guest on that stunt by florida's ron desantis sending dozens of human beings to his state and how his state has responded and risen. that's next.
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governor, ron desantis. they were transported to a military base on cape cod for temporary shelter and care at the direction of massachusetts' republican governor charlie baker. joining us now, democratic congressman seth moulton of massachusetts. congressman, tell me about the response because it feels like -- i don't want to say it backfired. i think on the right, they had fun on twitter. but it feels like the community stepped up and did what a normal person would do when human beings show up in their back yard. >> that's right. of course we did because this is massachusetts, this is america. these are fundamentally american values. we're the country of the statue of liberty that's welcomed refugees from across the globe for our entire existence. so this is of course the right thing to do. it's also the patriotic thing to do, as the american thing to do. it's what red states should be doing, as well. >> congressman, i think people can hold both ideas this their head at the same time that our immigration system is broke not and it's inhuman to let human
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beings on an airplane or bus and dump them anywhere. do you feel like we're having both parts of that conversation in good faith and in -- in an important and effective enough way? >> well, it's certainly not been effective but we are having that conversation, at least democrats are. democrats have been fighting for comprehensive immigration reform for a long time we have been at the table for years to work with republicans to solve this problem because you're right, this is a problem. our system is broken. and that's why political stunts like this are even possible for these radical people on the right like ron desantis. so we're ready to work on immigration reform l.'s not forget that when republicans controlled everything in washington, when trump was president and they controlled the house and the senate, they did nothing, they did nothing to address this problem. they're not interested in playing politics with it and not interested in solving immigration for the american
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people. >> congressman myles taylor, chief of staff at the department of homeland security, said on this program yesterday that trump wanted to do this, he wanted to bus migrants to san francisco and other places. he marshaled all of the policy and legal voices to tell him that he couldn't because it wass illegal. do you have legal concerns? would you like to see legal consequences for desantis? >> oh, this is blatantly illegal. and that's why several members of the massachusetts congressional delegation and i sent a letter to the u.s. inspector general today, demanding an investigation, because this is a blatant misuse of taxpayer funds. desantis has said that he's using covid relief funds, and we passed that law in congress. it did not allow for political stunts like this. yes, this is illegal. but far greater than that, it's so fundamentally immoral. this is basically human trafficking. this kind of political stunt, playing politics with people's lives is not something we've seen since governors like george
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wallace under segregation. >> yeah, i mean, i worked for two republicans who were at odds with their party, george w. bush tried to work with the late senator kennedy and the late senator mccain to do comprehensive immigration reform and he was rebuffed by his party and john mccain always believed in comprehensive immigration reform. and they're gone. they're long gone and the republican party is at odds with those beliefs. do you think the problem can be solved? do you think it's up to democrats to solve it on their own? what do you think happens to all of the human beings sort of caught in the middle of an incredibly dysfunctional debate in our country? >> well, i would much rather see a bipartisan solution, because then it will be lasting. and the examples you just cited show that there are republicans who actually want to do the right thing on immigration. the problem, of course, is whether there are enough of them left in washington to have the political courage to get down, do the hard work, work with the democrats, and actually come up with a solution that we're all willing to vote for.
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so, whether that happens or not is, i think, really up for debate. democrats have shown time and again that we're willing to tackle these tough problems that america faces, and we're willing to do them on our own, if necessary. the question, though, is whether any reform that we pass on our own will be lasting, and that's why it's important to try, at least, to do this across the aisle. >> congressman seth mullton, on an eventful week for your delegation. thank you very much for spending some time with us. a quick break for us. we will be right back. a quick break for us we will be right back. ralph, that's the chewy pharmacy box with our flea and tick meds. it's not peanut butter. ♪ the peanut butter box is here ♪ i'm out. pet prescriptions delivered to your door. chewy. your mission: stand up to moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis or active psoriatic arthritis and... take. it. on. with rinvoq. rinvoq is a once-daily pill that tackles pain, stiffness, swelling. for some, rinvoq significantly reduces ra and psa fatigue.
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an extraordinary outpouring of grief and tribute and honor in the last few days before the queen's funeral on monday. take a look at this. this was the line of people waiting to pay their respects to the queen. and at one point earlier today, it grew to be more than five miles long. so long, in fact, that authorities decided to close it off for the time being. the british government says that the expected wait in line to view the queen's coffin is now more than 24 hours. final preparations are now underway for the queens funeral on monday morning. 2,000 guests are slated to attend, including president joe biden. another break for us. we'll be right back. biden. another break for us we'll be right back. a month, each lasting 4 hours or more - can be overwhelming. so, ask your doctor about botox®. botox® prevents headaches in adults with chronic migraine before they even start. it's the #1 prescribed branded chronic migraine treatment. so far, more than 5 million botox® treatments have been given to over eight hundred and fifty thousand
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a quick note. we do see and read and carefully consider a lot of the things you tweeted us. we heard from so many of you this week, asking us to put the full interview of former u.s. attorney geoffrey berman up online. ask and you shall receive around here. you can now watch that interview in its entirety on thank you so much for letting us into your homes during these extraordinary times. we are grateful. "the beat" with ari melber starts right now. happy friday. >> i believe you, because i always believe what you say, but i don't feel like any of my tweets to you have ever gotten a reply. >> i don't read yours. >> fair. >> i sometimes look at them when we're on and i want to write back -- someone tweeted today, the podcast isn't up, and i wanted to be like the fix-it department and say, i'm on it,


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