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tv   The Beat With Ari Melber  MSNBC  September 21, 2022 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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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. hey, ari. >> nice to see you. welcome to "the beat," we have breaking news on legal action hitting trump. new york attorney general letitia james suing donald trump, his children and entire company. this is a culmination of this investigation she has so doggedly pursued. we're going to get into it with our experts. let me tell you, james is saying trump has committed "staggering
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fraud," that he lied about the value of his properties, that he lied to the authorities, that he lied in financial statements, that he did it for over a decade, and that he furnished, and this matters for the law, false information to banks, insurance companies, as well as state authorities and then he would try to get favorable loans and cheat on his taxes. >> pattern of fraud and deception that was used by mr. trump and the trump organization for their own financial benefit is astounding. claiming you have money that you do not have does not amount to "the art of the deal." it's the art of the steal. and there can not be different rules for different people in this country or in this state. and former presidents are no different. no one is above the law. >> that is the statement. that is the attorney general who has proven so aggressive in so many cases, without fear of favor. she's pursued people in both parties, and while the nature of
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her work means that some of this is vaguely familiar, especially to people in new york and people who follow legal news, but really around the country, you might say, didn't i hear about this before? haven't i heard about the asset valuation? haven't i heard about basically that he's under investigation? well, everything just changed with this case. it is the culmination. it is a bigger legal problem for him than he's ever had before in the attorney general's office, and this really first of a kind action today was rocketing across the world of news. >> we are following unprecedented breaking news involving former president donald trump. >> the new york attorney general just hit donald trump with a $250 million lawsuit. >> new york's attorney general, letitia james, alleging widespread business fraud. >> filing a lawsuit against former president donald trump, donald trump jr., ivanka trump, and eric trump. >> documents don't lie, and documents don't forget. >> this is tough, tough stuff for the trump organization. there's no question, this is a
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dark day for them. >> dark and tough for them because of the exhaustive receipts. the lawsuit has over 200 fraudulent actions or misleading valuations. the penalties could go up to a quarter billion. trump and his children could be barred from doing business not only at the trump org but from running any new york company. that's one of the punishments that james is seeking. the family and organization could also not be allowed to get money anymore, to get liquidity, to get bank funding in new york, a big deal. trump has always said he's a deal maker, and let's be clear. he convinced a lot of people with understandable props, actions, funds, support from the banks, at times the new york legal and governmental community, really largely looking the other way, and by the way, that includes a lot of registered democrats in new york who fill out some of these offices. so, a lot of people in america thought, well, he is this rich
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and he must be somewhat good at business. this hits him legally. also hits the core promise and brand he's ever made. what you see on the front of buildings. it also touches on his most high-profile properties, trump tower, 40 wall street in manhattan where james says he doubled the valuation. that's not a rounding error. claiming something that was worth $200 million should be $530 million. seven springs, which is an upstate property, trump said $250 million. it was ten times more than what james thought were comparable properties. mar-a-lago, trump said $739 million, according to james' new case. she says it's worth, no shade, no disrespect, it's not worth $739 million. no matter how large it is or $500 million or $200 million or maybe $100 million? james says, and there will be a court process to find out whether she's more truthful or he is, but she says it's just $75 million. or trump tower, which i mentioned, trump said $800 million. james says that could be fact
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factually valued around $200 million. why do we have to go through each of them? you might say, i think i knew donald trump lied about his properties. why is that breaking news? this is not about what you thought or assumed or what was obvious from his bluster and it's about about whether he told fables on "the apprentice," which was carried on our sister channel. you're allowed to go on entertainment programs and tell all kinds of stories. this is about whether he lied to the government, lied to the authorities, lied to the banks, lied to the irs, in ways that meant you had to pick up the tab, and you, the honest taxpayer, if you are paying your taxes, you pick up the tab while he runs out on the bill. and then claims to be a billionaire. so, where do we go from here? we have the experts to walk us through it. i'll tell you the most important thing we're going to get to in more depth which the is criminal referrals. right now, we have professor melissa murray from nyu law and former watergate prosecutor nick
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ackerman. professor, you know, we try to keep it clear around here. i mentioned that a lot of people are familiar with the idea that trump doesn't always tell the truth and that, at times, that's legal. what's different here, you know, you can hold this up this way or this way, it's really quite a voluminous case, is documenting the ways that she says lies were illegal. how strong is this new case? >> i think this is a really strong case going forward and it's almost 220 pages, and it details, in really granular detail, the degree to which the trump organization overinflated the value of almost all of its properties in its new york holdings in order to secure more favorable loan policies, more favorable loan terms and also to take advantage of tax breaks, for example, for conservation easements by being able to write off the difference between the alleged value of the property
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and what would be donated because they didn't recoup that by selling it because of the conservation easement. she's done a very careful job meticulously organizing and documenting all of this. one thing i did notice was that she also notes that a number of criminal laws might have been broken, suggesting that this is not just going to be about civil liability, but that there may be possible criminal exposure down the line as well. >> yeah. and i mentioned that too, because that's so interesting, and we'll get to that. here's a little more of what she said today. >> white-collar financial crime is not a victimless crime. everyday people cannot lie to a bank about how much money they have to get a favorable loan to buy a home or send their kid to college. and if they did, the government would throw the book at them. why should this be any different? >> nick? >> she's absolutely right.
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and this case, i mean, actually, is just staggering in terms of what donald trump is facing. and the reason is, because he wound up taking the fifth amendment to every single question asked of him. if you go through that complaint, i guarantee you that he was asked about each one of those allegations. >> right. >> and he basically said, i refuse to answer on the grounds that a truthful answer would tend to incriminate him. that can be used against him in the court. i mean, i don't see how -- any way he gets out of this. i mean, he is backed into a corner, and if i were the a.g.'s office, i wouldn't even make a deal with him at this point, unless he's willing to give up everything. >> you mentioned that, here we have in 2007, the way he -- when he was forced to testify, this deposition, he would sometimes, he didn't run from everything, but he would say, quote, my net worth fluctuates, and it goes up and down with markets and
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attitudes and feelings, even my own feelings. what does it tell you that james so methodically pursued this and got him to sit down, held him in contempt, and then got him to, which you can use in a civil case, duck, and she says that shows something. >> well, i mean, she was very dogged on this. i mean, she did not give up. she took each one of these. if you look through this huge complaint, i mean, there are very specific allegations. they've got him in meetings. they've got him being told certain things by various people. he's involved as the guy -- the capo de tutto capo of the organization that runs everything, and i guarantee you, again, he was asked about each one of these, and each one of these, he took the fifth. that really puts him in the soup, and kind of ends the case. i mean, i just don't see where he goes with this. i think that if -- these are the allegations they've got, and these are the allegations they questioned him about, and he
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took the fifth amendment on each and every one of these, he's looking at the $250 million, he's looking at being barred from doing business in new york state. he's looking at having a monitor put in charge of all of his companies. his children are going to be barred. i mean, there's nothing good in this for him at all. and it certainly doesn't come at a great time with the midterms coming up. i mean, it's just another one of these trump situations that's out in the open in addition to the classified information, in addition to january 6th, that is going to put the focus on donald trump going up to the midterms, which is exactly what the republicans don't want. >> yeah, you mention that timing, and of course, professor, the timing is partly delayed because of donald trump's many tactics. he gave his response today. he also attacked her. he can give whatever response he wants. he's also tried to say it's a witch hunt, it's political.
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i'm curious what you think of that on the merits. there can be prosecutors who are called into question, not above reproach, but it's interesting with james, because with regard to politics and different parties, we have a headline to remind folks, if you followed the case of a very popular at one time, very popular democrat , if you go back far enough, andrew cuomo, she pursued that case just as she's taken on trump. >> she's really been the model of prosecutor here. she's taken on people on both sides of the aisle, people who supported her own candidacy. i mean, she's really not been bound by any particular ideological constraint. she's really pursued the law here, and again, she's been very careful. this isn't a criminal prosecution. it's a civil suit, which means that the standard of proof is going to be lower than reasonable doubt. it's going to be likely a preponderance of the evidence, which is considerably lower, easier to prove for the government, and it means he may not be going to jail, but as
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nick says, he's probably going to be disgorging vast amounts of his current property and he's going to be barred from doing business in the state of new york, essentially, if you read the terms of this complaint and if a judge and jury agree that this is the appropriate remedy. she's really done a good job sewing this up, making her case, and making sure that she is above the fray. he can call this a witch hunt, he can call her a witch, but he can't say she's wrong on this. >> ultimately, it's going to have to be the judge to adjudicate, did he ask for too much? do they think it's an overreach, or is there a strong case here? one thing that's probably not going to move that judge is name-calling, but much more a question of, if you have a defense, mr. trump, and you didn't want to offer it in the deposition, can you offer it now? why are these things being valued at quadruple, quintuple the rate? why is there evidence that you misled the government, and why should people who have less money than you pick up your tab?
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thanks to both of you for kicking us off. we're going to turn to a special report on how we got here, our experts, and the thing rattling trump most tonight, the criminal referrals. we're back in 60 seconds. the criminal refraerls we're back in 60 seconds 5g network, associated british ports can now precisely orchestrate nearly 600,000 vehicles passing through their uk port every year. don't just connect your business. (dock worker) right on time. (vo) make it even smarter. we call this enterprise intelligence. [school bells] when pain says, “i'm here,” i say, “so are they.” ♪♪ aleve - who do you take it for? aleve that was quick. and rewarding. i earn 3% cash back at drugstores with chase freedom unlimited. that means i earn on my bug spray and my sunscreen. you ready to go fishing? i got the bait. i also earn 5% on travel purchased through chase on this rental car. that lake is calling my name! don't you get seasick? we'll find out! come on. and i earn 3% on dining including takeout.
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so much for catching our dinner. some people are hunters. some are gatherers. i'm a diner. pow! earn big time with chase freedom unlimited with no annual fee. how do you cashback? chase. make more of what's yours. welcome back on this huge legal news day for donald trump and his companies with a top financial officer, you may recall, had already been convicted, and now, he and other executives from the company and trump and his children stand accused by the attorney general of fraud, lies, tax crimes and more. the a.g. is using her power to also refer trump for possible prosecution by the fed, sending new cases to the southern district of new york and the irs. we have more on that later in the broadcast. right now, though, our special report will explore how we got here, because it matters. james says her evidence shows that trump business boiled down to a fraud, and trump has always insisted that it was not that, but rather a golden brand built
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as a family business. >> i'm the largest real estate developer in new york. my company's bigger than it ever was. it's stronger than it ever was. >> it is a family brand. >> we have a great family dynamic. i think that's probably the most incredible thing about the trump organization. we really, really work well together. >> my primary job is making sure not to kill the golden goose, which is the brand, and the brand that he's created over a long period of time. >> everyone you just saw is accused in this new case, which seeks to use government power to ban them not only from running the trump organization or funding it with more loans but to ban them from doing that with any companies in new york. authorities have already made some progress here. take trump's top money man. he's already barred from a range of business activity because he is now a convicted felon. allen weisselberg facing hard time at rikers. there he was on his perp walk, handcuffed after pleading guilty. donald trump denies wrongdoing and says today this is "another witch hunt." like the mueller probe.
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and he's entitled to defend himself. he's get his day in court. the truth is that some of the roots of today's legal move did begin during that mueller probe, because it was that legal pressure which turned michael cohen from an almost comically extreme trump defender to a cooperating star witness, saying trump's whole business was not about branding, not about innovation, but about lying to banks and insurers in the government to rip off -- to rip off enough money to appear more profitable than the business was. >> i know mr. trump. i've stood by him, shoulder to shoulder, for the past decade. >> did the president ever provide inflated assets to an insurance company? >> yes. >> do you think we need to review his financial statements and his tax returns in order to compare them? >> yes. >> i'm obviously very loyal and very dedicated to mr. trump. i think he's going to be a great president. >> to your knowledge, did the
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president or his company ever inflate assets or revenues? >> yes. >> and was that done with the president's knowledge or direction? >> everything was done with the knowledge and at the direction of mr. trump. >> now, that shift did grow out of that legal pressure on cohen, but that history's not a defense for trump tonight. if the authorities show up to check out a 911 call, about a burglar, and they find evidence of other crimes, they don't just ignore it because it's not why they showed up. it's their job to pursue it. so, let me remind you tonight, we checked. when cohen said, under oath, all the fraud was directed by trump, and said it in public where everyone could hear, the authorities with jurisdiction over that company have a duty to investigate, and that's what the a.g. did within one month of the testimony you just saw. in march 2019, she began this
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probe, culminating in today's 220-page filing, which wages a battle against trump's now infamous tactics. you know about this. he does things to limit his legal exposure, avoiding email, destroying records, using lawyers for dirty work to limit the evidence against him. indeed, this new case picks up at a time when five trump lawyers have faced legal trouble because of his actions. john eastman, the coup plotter you see right there, plus cohen, clark, giuliani, and a new lawyer under scrutiny in the classified documents case. so, this is a thing he does, and prosecutors are very aware of it now, so see what james does here. in this new case today, she lays out a road map for how to win or possibly indict trump if they take the referrals, by documenting evidence that directly implicates trump and deals with how much he uses lawyers and cutouts. so, she has the receipts here, the employees were acting at mr. trump's direction.
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proof that trump knew his acts were improper, personally employing deceptive schemes, personally pushing to increase the value of things. other examples you see on the screen. now, it's not personal, and the law's not supposed to be, but james is saying she has the receipts that trump personally pushed and directed, which she calls a fraud. so, that is a lot tonight. now, is there a "but"? yes. in fairness to trump, the legal history of how we got here also includes another probe into the same stuff which did not determine that it had enough evidence to charge him. that was actually a super interesting part of today's presentation, if you were watching closely. for years, the a.g.'s office and the manhattan d.a. have been talking up their joint probe into these same activities, this alleged fraud. and we know they worked together. today, james largely focused on her findings and her referral to
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the feds. she almost completely elided any reference to the open manhattan d.a. probe led by alvin brack. that is the probe that got the conviction of the cfo but also a probe that reviewed a lot of evidence and did not indict trump when it had the chance. instead, when some prosecutors in that office presented the evidence they thought was chargeable, bragg said, no. he said he didn't see a strong enough case. then, some of those prosecutors resigned over it. we reported on that. today, that same d.a. says their probe is active. so, the d.a. made progress and added to the evidence here, but he did stop short of making a criminal case against trump. and by the way, if you read between the lines of this whole thing, and there are many lines, it seems, although she didn't say it exactly, it seem to me, as a reporter, that james thinks the criminal case is valid, the one that the d.a. passed on. now, if trump loses james's case, the penalties are huge, as we have touched on tonight,
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being functionally run out of doing business in new york, which is the financial capital of america. james also asking the courts to bar all of the people here, trump, his children, the executives, from running these companies or getting funding, and then going through, the case alleges how they lied about trump tower and mar-a-lago, the site of that other federal probe right now. they lied about seven springs, that upstate new york estate which eric trump has talked up for a long time. >> this is a place that's really special to myself, very special to my brother, my father, really the whole family. it's just really our compound, and i've spent so much of my life here. it's a special place for me and one that i'll always be very close to. >> special's fine. that's an opinion. time-lapse photography is fine. that's a way that maybe the property looks better. but this new case alleges that trump hid and concealed information to inflate its value, that eric trump, who found it all so special, also
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felt the business need to "fraudulently increase the value of the tax savings they were trying to get." now, many people ask why this takes so long. i had people come up to me, literally in the street, ari, like, years and years, what's taking so long? well, the truth is there can be several answers to that question. tonight's news adds a version of an answer. james has been methodically investigating and putting people under oath and checking their stories, and then clashing with those witnesses who spent months fighting her, like trump himself, who, remember, he claimed to talk tough, then didn't want to talk at all. that makes him look bad, legally, even if he's availing himself of his rights against getting in more criminal trouble. but the idea that he never wanted to defend himself and talk about it, that, as trevor noah pointed out, in his case, looks suspicious. >> trump decided not to talk?
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i mean, now we know something shady's going on, right? when has donald trump ever refused to talk? we can't get the man to stop talking. donald trump not talking is like taylor swift taking the bus. that's not a thing. >> not a thing. now, trump reportedly pled the fifth over 400 times in the testimony in the new case i'm telling you about. now, in a civil case, pleading the fifth can be cited as evidence. everyone, including donald trump, has the right not to be forced to incriminate themselves and go to jail. that's what the fifth is for. incriminate yourself in criminal cases. but that doesn't mean that you can then use that to avoid all other legal issues. precedent on that is very clear, so it can be civil evidence, and james showed an example of that today, noting trump pled the fifth and repeatedly said, "same answer" when asked about lying about these properties. she also uses the evidence that she gathered on trump's three oldest children, also named in
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this case, who are officers of the company, ivanka and don junior testified this summer. eric trump was called back in 2020, and the filing references also allen weisselberg who's now a felon, saying he conceded to improperly inflating apartment values and then invoked the fifth on other lines of questioning. check this out. weisselberg asked, if the value is overstated by a factor of three. he replies, i didn't do the math, one-third, i would agree with that. they follow up, so, on the order of a $200 million overstatement, give or take? and weisselberg confirms, give or take. so, the now-convicted felon, who was in charge of the money at trump org, admits the change here, what james says is fraud, was on the order of $200 million on just that one asset. and again, let's be clear.
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if mr. weisselberg or these trump officials were involved in this for only one asset, you wouldn't have a case, and you certainly wouldn't have 200 pages. what you have here, at least according to letitia james's office and investigation, is a pattern and a practice of a criminal organization. that's not my job to be judge and jury here. as i've emphasized to you, there are some things that could also go in trump's favor, especially at the criminal level that i mentioned with the d.a., and his defenses will come out and will cover them. but right now, as an opening shot at a new case that wants to run him out of business in new york, well, this is a two by four. how do we make sense of it? there's a lot of numbers that are hard to understand. we have one of the reporters at the center of all of this, "new york times" business investigations editor david enrich after the break. ditor da enrich after the break the greatest sandwich roster ever assembled. for more on the new boss, here's patrick mahomes. incredible - meatballs, fresh mozzarella and pepperon- oh, the meatball's out! i thought he never fumbles. the new subway series. what's your pick?
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are you concerned that they may send an indictment your way, your brother's way or your sister's way? >> you know what i'm not, eric, because guess what? we've always lived amazingly clean lives and believe me, if they could have, they already would have, right? i mean, that's what they wanted. that was their end goal. >> eric trump speaking last year. we're joined now by the business investigations editor for the "new york times," david enrich, author of "servants of the damned." one of the most comprehensively informed guests for exactly this story. this is a big one. >> yeah. >> what jumps out to you in it
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that you think is either significant or new? >> well, it's just surprising to me to see, in such vivid detail, the lengths to which trump went to allegedly mislead the people that he was in business with, and that really should not come as a surprise after all of the reporting that's out there and what we've all seen firsthand but i've been covering this stuff for a long time and i was surprised by how clear some of this stuff seems, and obviously, we have not heard a full defense from trump's people, but to see the way that trump himself was directly involved, allegedly, in essentially overstating asset values and things like that to win favor with banks like deutsche bank, it is -- it confirms a lot of what we already knew, but it was surprising to me to see this in the open. >> would you say james got ahold of things that even exhaustive investigative reporters have not yet? >> absolutely. i mean, there's -- i've been covering deutsche bank for years, and you know, if i do say so myself, i've done a pretty good job of getting inside the
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bank, but i and other journalists lack subpoena power. it sounds like deutsche bank has been extensively cooperate be with her office for years, and we now have a much fuller accounting of not only what the bank was thinking but the information that trump and his lieutenants were providing. >> have you thought about asking your editors for subpoena power? >> i ask all the time. they look at me funny. i don't understand why. >> so, this goes to the point that she got new stuff. when you say some of it's surprising, again, i mentioned, we hear from many people in the nation who say, well, they're on to trump. there's a lot of cons, and none of it's surprising. do you mean specifically not that he might break a rule, but it's surprising that she actually seems to have caught him being sneaky and getting busted with his fingerprints in ways that he's often evaded before today? >> it's the fingerprints, i think, that are surprising to me. trump has been just masterful over the years at kind of maintaining at least some
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plausible deniability, and if what she lays out in this complaint today is true, his fingerprints are all over this in a way that he seems to have violated a lot of his kind of cardinal rules over the years, which is to keep some distance. >> so, we have this on the screen. take a look, because we showed this, but you've got so much background. this is just some of the times where she -- again, these are not tweets. these are not opinions. this is a filing in court where she says she can back up personally, specifically new instructed. what do you see here on the screen? >> well, it's clear that trump is all over this, right? this is not something -- what i had heard from my own reporting was that trump would go to deutsche bank. he or his lawyers would present them financial information. deutsche bank people would look at this and roll their eyes and know that he was inflating his assets, but to see that trump was specifically attesting to this stuff, was specifically presenting this information and knew explicitly what his lieutenants were doing, i mean, that, if true, is really damning
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and hard for him to overcome. >> which goes to whether these penalties will hit him or does he find a legal defense? final question. you had several reporters in the press conference ask, if this was all going on like this, what does that tell you about american banking? >> oh, man. >> i mean, international banking. all the banks. >> it's a reckless, dysfunctional mess, and the fact that deutsche bank knew about -- and had suspicions about him vastly overstating his assets and continued to lend him hundreds of millions of dollars, that is not something a normal, well-functioning, responsible business would ever do in a million years. >> yeah. and that goes to how many other linkages there are and whether the so-called system sometimes has tried to say, oh, maybe it's better for everyone at the top to not get into this kind of stuff. and yet, it's important, as your reporting has showed. thanks for being here. >> my pleasure. >> david enrich. still coming up, we have the sweeping nature of this, if it hits everyone and the attorney general wins. then, there's the case referred
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to the feds. i mentioned this. donald trump has a lot of federal criminal problems right now. james says he should have two more. we have the perfect guest on that, the former chief of sdny next. that, the former chi oeff sdny next becoming a morning person starts the night before with new neuriva relax and sleep. it has l-theanine to help me relax from daily stress. plus, shoden ashwagandha for quality sleep. so i can wake up refreshed. neuriva: think bigger. (vo) with their verizon private 5g network, associated british ports can now precisely orchestrate nearly so i can wake up refreshed. 600,000 vehicles passing through their uk port every year. don't just connect your business. (dock worker) right on time. (vo) make it even smarter. we call this enterprise intelligence.
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we believe the conduct alleged in this action also violates federal criminal law, and we are referring those criminal violations that we've uncovered to the united states attorney for the southern district of new york and the
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internal revenue service. the pattern of fraud and deception that was used by mr. trump and the trump organization for their own financial benefit is astounding. >> new york attorney general james there citing 200 examples of alleged fraud in the new case, referring these claims for criminal investigation. you can see right here. the southern district of new york and the irs. her complaint lists several potential federal crimes including bank fraud, typically handled by the feds. this is a big deal, if they act on it, and we turn now to someone who has received exactly these kind of referrals and the hot potato they can pose. former sdny chief david kelly, also my former boss. welcome back. >> hey, ari, how are you? >> i'm good. it was really interesting to see james make her case. we've covered that for the bulk of our newscast. we turn now to the case she wants others to make. let's start with sdny, which you
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used to run. what happens when a referral comes in? what is its significance? what do you think will happen here? >> well, let's start up with the thing you have to understand, which i think -- i'm sure you do, which is, the bar that she has to bring a civil case is much lower than the criminal case, so you take it that way. that's number one. number two, what caught me when i saw that her -- referred to the irs and the southern district was, this is not really news, right? a lot of this stuff has been out there in the news already about inflation of his worth and basically how he did it, so there's not an awful lot of surprises in this complaint. a lot of this stuff has been out there. and i was thinking, she's making a referral, and while she should, but i think that, you know, isn't this stuff that was already out there that if the southern district and irs wanted to jump on it, wouldn't they
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have done it already? maybe they have, and maybe they haven't. >> but let's get into that, david. if you're sdny, and you say, yeah, we saw cohen testify. we've looked at the federal exposure in new york. i mean, is one of the ways they would receive a referral is to say, you're referring us to something we've already looked at or investigated, and we went no farther. i mean, if they had indicted someone, we would know. >> yeah, it's possible they did that. but look -- and my guess is they already probably have at least scratched the surface on this, and what they may be doing is to say, well, look, she's really pulled together an awful lot of evidence here, so maybe whatever we were doing or have been doing, we should use this and take another look at it. because they may have -- the a.g. may have developed a lot of witnesses that weren't either available or known to the feds, like, you know, for example, you put up on the screen, some snippets from the complaint, which really are very important for a criminal case, because one of the things you're going to
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need to prove, particularly for bringing a case against somebody like, you know, the grifter in chief, which is to say, you know, he knew. he directed. how do they prove that? and the big question is, how do you prove that in a criminal case? so, in that regard, it may be new information for the feds. it may be something they decide to chew on. it may be something that they decide not to. because they may say, look, we already took a look at this, we couldn't do it. my guess is, though, whatever they've done before, they'll probably take this referral and take a closer look at it to see whether or not they have witnesses of which the feds weren't previously aware. some evidence, some witnesses, information, who knows. >> yeah, and they have the new weisselberg stuff. i mean, we read off some of that. you have a guy who's now convicted involved saying, oh yeah, we did that to the tune of 200 mil. if they look at this and decline to go forward on it, would their
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practice be, then, to tell us or not? >> no, practice would not be to say anything about it. i would really find it interesting if the irs hasn't already dug into this. >> well, let's go -- that's what i want to ask you. irs. it seems the issue there is, whatever their history and institutional loyalties are and the top changes, but a lot of the middle doesn't, donald trump has worked over the irs, according to "the new york times," to an incredible degree. i mean, just unreal how many years he didn't pay any taxes. so, when the irs gets this referral, it's james saying, not only -- i mean, this is my read. give us yours. but it seems she's not only saying, hey, look what i found that trump did. she's saying, and look how you were asleep at the wheel. and it's almost like, not that you need one more special counsel running around, but isn't it a tough spot if the irs
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says what they signed on to or allowed to happen forever, they now are going to indict on? walk us through that. >> well, look, i think the irs is going to dig into it. the irs has a lot of processes and procedures they need to go through. i'd be surprised if they're not going to take a really close look at this. so, it's really hard to say. and like i say, i'd also be surprised, notwithstanding what trump did to the irs before, i'd be surprised if they haven't, nonetheless, dug into this stuff. >> interesting. >> not -- maybe it's going to -- look, the other thing too is, figure it this way. is the southern district going to come out and say that they open up investigation? no. they're not going to report the results of the investigation. it's possible that you can think that, you know, congress committee is probably going to call on the irs and say, okay, what are you doing about this? to the irs. they're not going to get answers from the justice department.
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the justice department says, we're not going to comment on investigations, but the irs is a little bit different footing. >> yeah, it's a huge deal and the way we organize news stories, it's sort of, like, it took us to 45 in the hour to get to the fact that the former president is facing two federal criminal referrals. i mean, yeah, if obama or bush were facing those right now, it would be a huge deal. there's a kind of a collective overwhelming quality to his problems. mr. kelley, i got to fit in a break. thank you for being here. >> sure thing. >> appreciate you. coming up later in the hour, i told you last night, announcement about the january 6th report and something i'm doing. we heard back from a lot of you. we're going to explain where beat viewers came down on that by the end of the hour. but next, the scope of this suit, how it hits trump's children, their futures, business, political, or otherwise, and how the right is coping today. that's next. ight is coping today that's next. 600,000 vehicles passing through their uk port every year. don't just connect your business. (dock worker) right on time. (vo) make it even smarter. we call this enterprise intelligence.
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(vo) with their verizon private 5g network, associated british ports can now precisely orchestrate nearly 600,000 vehicles passing through their uk port every year. don't just connect your business. (dock worker) right on time. (vo) make it even smarter. we call this enterprise intelligence. it's a political hit job. she grossly overreaches when she tries to drag the children into this. yes, they had roles in the business, but this was his personal financial statement. the children aren't going to know the details of that, nor are they expected in the real world to do their own due diligence. >> attorney general william barr , who served in the trump administration and has been critical of some of trump eats legal problems lately, going out there on defense against attorney general letitia james' new suit, barr basically saying
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leave them alone. meanwhile, james has laid out exactly why she thinks this is collective fraud. >> today we are filing a lawsuit against donald trump for violating the law as part of his efforts to generate profits for himself, his family, and his company. he did this with the help off the other defendants, his children -- donald trump jr., ivanka trump, and eric trump, and former trump organization cfo allen weissleberg and trump organization controller. >> that's some of what she laid out today. it is true you cannot do guilty by association, family, or otherwise. mr. barr is suggesting that perhaps they don't have the goods. the complaint, this lawsuit says the children were intimately involved in the operation of the business, were aware of the true
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financial performance, which the suit alleges they were all lying about and says donald trump jr., ivanka trump, and eric trump knowingly participated in the fraudulent scheme that was integral to the company, that required their participation, and these are exactly the claims and assertions that are backed up partly by evidence in the 200-page suit, and which will be adjudicated in court. now you have allen weissleberg named more than 80 times in this suit. and someone we heard less about, the krofrp patroller. he cut the actual checks. he's now a defendant as well. again, no guilt by association, can't be in trouble just for working for trump or having trump in your family name. each of these people will get their day in court, as i emphasized, but it's a lot of evidence coming down on them that they were involved and they knew. i have something else to tell you. it is interesting news and it builds on the announcement i shared with you last night about
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comcast business. powering possibilities. ™ the final january 6th hearing is slated for next week. msnbc will be covering it live with the special recaps in the evening. we talked a lot about what we learned with investigations from the government, journalistic investigations. what we expect to see next week as this committee taking the last eight hearings, which covered so many disparate pafts the plot, and subject it up for americans. that's not the only way the committee is going to sum it up. they're working on what's expected to be an exhaustive report -- we mentioned this last night while also announcing i'm writing a forward to the harper collins edition of the january
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6th committee's forthcoming report. i'm writing about the coup conspiracy. you see the cover of the book here. we mentioned this to you last night. here's the news tonight. that book has now just hit number one of all books for sale in america on amazon, number one above the novels, the fiction, the cook books. some of you, i got to say, were clearly listening last night when i told you i'll be writing this forward and you can pre-order the january 6th report now. that shows the strong interest not only in the report, but in the committee's work. and i would say that whether you buy that book or not, it suggests there are many americans who want to hear what else this committee has to say in the hearing next week, in the forthcoming report, clearly, and reforms that the congress may pass having gotten its arms around how sprawling the insurrection and coup effort is. i'll say tonight what i couldn't say last night. if you want to buy what is currently the number one book in
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america on amazon, you can still order it now at melberbook.com or any independent bookseller. you can search melber january 6th, you'll get the report when it comes out, and my new original piece on the coup conspiracy. if you already did it from last night, we noticed, and thank you. that does it for me. reidout with reid joy reid starts now. on the on "the reidout" -- >> claiming money that you do not have does not amount to the art of the deal. it's the art of the steal. >> new york attorney general letitia james lays out a massive fraud case against trump and three of his adult children, accusing them of years of tax cheating and fraud. the lawsuit makes clear that the family's claim of tremendous wealth was always a myth, but trump himself busted by entering

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