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tv   AM Joy  MSNBC  December 14, 2019 7:00am-9:00am PST

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after 14 hours of debate thursday night, a party line vote in the house judiciary committee yesterday and a full house vote expected this wednesday, donald john trump will become just the fourth american president to face impeachment hearings and the third to be fully impeached by the house. and he will be the first and the only president to be impeached for jeopardizing the national security of his own country. for betraying his oath and abusing his office in order to strong arm a foreign country to help him get re-elected because he fears he's too weak and too despiced by the majority of the american people to get re-elected on his own. and even if his lackeys let him off the hook as the majority lead leader has vowed they will, donald trump will essentially come the o.j. simpson of presidents, acquitted but many people who cheer the verdicts are going yeah, he did it
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though. trump even has his own version of the if i did it of if i did it. the memo that he keeps calling a transcript which proves he did it and his own chief of staff and his million dollar donor turned eu ambassador gordon sonde larpd both saying he did it, so he will be impeached and he will carry that shame of being indicted by the house for defying. bill clinton was impeached by partisan republicans after he'd already been re-elected and probably because of it. richard nixon had the self-respect to resign before his full impeachment. and later in this show we'll talk about the man whose impeachment and presidency comes close to donald trump's. america's now second worst president,andrew johnson. he is a member of the house intelligence committee and vice chairman of the foreign affairs
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committee. congress m congressman, good morning. >> good morning. >> we know that this vote is coming next week. there's not a lot of suspense about the way it will go, but you talk presumably every so often with members on the other side of the aisle. have you identified or can you tell us, are there any republicans who can look at this evidence against donald trump including his own people saying he did it in a so-called fake transcript, a memo that shows he did it, are any republicans that you know of planning to vote yes on the idea of these two articles of impeachment? >> to be honest, none that i've spoken with have said they're going to vote for it. and it's interesting. early on in september when the phone call broke, all this news broke, there were a lot manufacture republicans who were openly admitting that it was problematic, that there was a problem, that it was inappropriate and it's interesting how slowly it'smorphed into almost a complete defense and a clinging to donald trump and this denial
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of reality of basically saying that there was nothing inappropriate, he did nothing wrong, that this is a witch hunt and so forth. so to see that has been both unbelievable and saddening and disheartening all at once. >> so you're saying that you're now hearing them try to defend him on the substance because at first, what republicans were doing when they weren't just running away from cameras was saying yeah, it might be bad but it's not impeachable so you're saying now when you talk with republicans they're defending the substance of this strong arm of ukraine? >> yeah, it may just be the ones that i talked to also, but yeah, they're trying to -- they're trying to behave as though he did nothing wrong but you're right. there are some that have said yeah, well, maybe it's bad or he shouldn't have done that but it doesn't rise to the level of impeachment. it's a combination of those two things, but the most aggress i have voices within the republican conference have been like doug collins, people -- and jim jordan, folks that come
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across as true believers, the people that go out and completely defend the president no matter what he does and that's what you're seeing more and more. and so when that happens i think this is -- just in terms of the internal dynamics of the congress, when you have a group of people like that who go out and so adamantly defend the president, what i've noticed is that the other republicans then start to cower and they feel as though they've got to toe that line. it draws everybody like a magnet to those arguments and it's what i'm describing that i've seen over the last few months. >> we've now heard mitch mcconnell say that the jury is rigged. he's going to work with the defendant to ensure husbais acquittal in the senate. i'm going to play your colleague in the house and this is what he says he thinks the democrats should do. take a listen. >> i think nancy pelosi and
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house democrats may want to reconsider whether or not they refer the articles next week. what happens in the articles of impeachment is the last paragraph will say and the article is here by referred to the senate for trial. they could strike that paragraph, hold it and either wait for mcconnell and schumer to reach tom some agreement, some assurances that schumer feels that we can go into this knowing that we may have a fair trial or just hold it until the president commits another impeachable act. >> what do you think about that idea of not giving mitch mcconnell the opportunity to rig the jury and just impeaching donald trump in the house and not sending it at least for now to the senate. >> yeah, it's an interesting one and i hadn't thought about it but i do think that leader schumer and speaker pelosi and adam schiff and others will have to think about the strategy because you have mitch mcconnell who's basically saying that he's in cahoots with donald trump and how could anybody expect that this is going to be a fair trial when the guy that's in charge of
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the jury is rigging it for the defense? so the speaker and leader schumer will have to sit back and think about what the best approach is. i still expect that once the house votes on it it's going to be sent over to the senate, but there's no doubt that that interview a few days ago by mitch mcconnell on fox news really sent shock waves not just through congress but i think any american listening to that realizing that this is supposed to be an impartial process and hearing that guy basically say that it's going to be rigged was, you know, kind of shocking. >> congressman, you're from texas. you're also on the intelligence committee which has been really the sort of leading committee in terms of figuring out all that donald trump did and that brought him to impeachment. how do you explain to the average texan who doesn't pay attention to this every day, isn't obsessively watching a.m. joy and msnbc, how do you explain to them, what is it that donald trump did so wrong? what is it that he did that
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makes him deserved to be removed from office. >> he abused his power by trying to trade government resources for a political favor, to knock out a political rival in joe biden. the guy that he thought would emerge as nominee for 2020 and we can't set a precedent where congress says it's okay for a president to do that because if we do that then a few things will happen. number one it opens the door for donald trump to do it again or a few dh future president to do it again. to ask a country to interfere in our elerkss and knock out a political rifle by digging up dirt, but the other thing is it puts a lot of americans in danger and this is what i try to convey to people that aren't in politics. it means that if you're a business person who's doing work or your kids are doing work in ukraine or in sweden or anywhere else, that a president or a governor or somebody else can pick up the phone and ask that person -- the leader of that country to go investigate you or dig up dirt on you and that
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congress would be saying by letting donald trump off the hook that that's okay. that you know, the next democratic president, in fetheo could call saudi arabia and say if you don't investigate we're not going to give you the aid we said we're going to do. is it okay for a president to do that? that's what we'll be doing if we do nothing with donald trump. >> the fact that donald trump has children that does business with fwooreign countries. does he want that applied to his son-in-law or his daughters in relationships. it's an excellent point. >> that's right. in ten years, really i mean, if this goes think, if nothing happens in ten years somebody could ask to investigate jared kushner in israel or somewhere else, and we would be saying that's perfectly fine. thank you very much. really appreciate you being here this morning. >> thank you. >> let's now bring in laurence
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tribe, professor of constitutional law at harvard and author of "to end a presidency." before i move on to the senate i want to get you to comment on that as well. down the road, donald trump may be setting a precedent if he's acquitted that a future president could say, saudi arabia, i'd leek you to give me some dirt on what you and jared kushner have been up to or china, you've bullpeen doing business with e-ivanka. that pressosent is horrifying that a president could do that with a foreign country. >> i think congressman castro is exactly right. the kind of abuse that this president has engaged in is the sort of abuse that we don't want any american president to be able to engage in against any citizen, not only his main political rifle. getting foreign governments to do your dirty work and to go after american citizens whom you
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don't like or who are on your enemy's list or whose business activities disturb you or who are your critics is what dictators do. it's what desperates do and our liberty, our right to vote is not secure as long as a president of the united states especially one who says he can't be indicted, he can't be investigated, and he's going to stone wall any attempt to impeach him can get that kind of power focused against any citizen, we're all helpless against that. that's why this matters to us. it's not just theoretical question. >> and as jeff see tuben said it's only something a president could do to a fellow citizen which is why it's important. mitch mcconnell said he's rigging the jury, that the outcome is already determined. he will determine that donald trump will be acquitted so you
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almost wonder whether or not former congressman david jolly is correct. he said earlier that maybe the house just shouldn't send the articles over to him or at least delay sending it. we've talked about that before with you. what do you make about that idea of deleting that last line in the articles of impeachment that says they shall be sent to the senate and at least holding it for now? >> well, in an op ed in the "washington post" early this june i proposed that as a thought experiment. i said if it should turn out that mitch mcconnell in his usual way comes right out and basically says the fix is in so that the so-called trial will be just a whitewash that will never remove the stain from the president but will also not have any chance of removing the president and disqualifying him from future office, that in that event the house should consider simply concluding after a fair proceeding of its own and this one was fair, despite the
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complaints after concluding that the president is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors, just sit on it and not send it over to the senate. that was my proposal. but i don't think it's awfully realistic. the fact is that both articles of impeachment have now been voted by the judiciary committee. there is no real chance that between now and next wednesday that last sentence will be be taken out. and even if it were i wouldn't put it past mitch mcconnell to say under the constitution he can take these articles up once the articles of impeachment are then voted by the house and there would be a plausible argument to that effect. so it's an interesting idea. actually i thought it pretty interesting when i proposed it back in june, but i don't think we should waste a lot of time speculating about it. it ain't going to happen. >> all right. well, then let's look at some things that maybe could happen. one of them would be, there was
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a piece in the "washington post" that talked about some things that democrats could do in the senate to try to force mcconnell to hold a real trial. democrats could demand the mountains of documents the administration refused to turn over to the house impeachment inquiry be admitted as evidence in the trial. democrats could insist on the rights to call witnesses such as mick mulvaney, john bolton and they could use the 1999 impeachment of bill clinton as a model. could they force that to happen with just floor votes? >> i think with floor votes they would have a total of 51 assuming that mention didn't vote the democratic caucus. they would need five votes but 51 vote cans basically do anything in the senate in this process. it's not completely up to mcconnell as though he acts as though he is the ruler in chief of the senate. so it is possible to put pressure on him to have a real
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trial and i think there would be a lot of pub llic support for that. if you do that we will call hunter biden, we will out the whistle-blower. i think those are empty threats. i don't think the nation would stand for that kind of circus so i do think the democrats should press hard to make this a real trial and remember if it isn't then i think what you said earlier making this president the o.j. simpson of presidents would be his fate. that is, he would have not only a red asterisk next to his name but he would become the first president who was impeached in his first term who fundamentally was not really acquitted but just given a pass in the senate, and he would then go down in history in the way that his misconduct deserves. i think that would have effect for the future. it would make it less likely that future presidents would be as outrageously lawless as this
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one has been. >> and trump should remember that eventually a court did get o.j. on another thing and there are other courts out there that are looking at things donald trump does. before i let you go, val demiings, a member of congress from florida has called on mitch mcconnell to recuse himself because of what he said on fox. i think everyone doubts that's going to happen, but you had said that moscow mitch is potentially afraid of crossing vladimir putin who's oligarchs like the owner of the aluminum plants, do you believe that perhaps one of the reasons mitch mcconnell is so loyal to donald trump is that he worries about whatever it is that the russians got on the rnc and not just the dnc or sit just money? >> no, absolutely. i think money is part of it. i think he is very much beholdened to vladimir putin.
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i think many republicans are now and the really scary thing of how they're moving in lock step behind trump is that they are all beholdened to moscow. and trump has again invited russia to help and russia's cyber attack units have been doing a lot of mischief around the world. i think that we really need to worry about our national security. that's why the first article of impeachment talks about the president's abuse of power threatening not only the integrity of our elerkss but our national security. i think we are in a scary place. >> yeah. >> and this president really needs to be brought under control. >> indeed. i'm not a constitutional scholar as you are, sir, but i do know the one thing the framers feared the most was foreign influence on our leaders. laurence tribe, thank you, as always, for being here. >> thank you, joy. coming up, house republicans once again prove loud does not
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this was a kangaroo court, outrageous to put the country through this. >> it is anchor man, not anchor lady and that is a scientific fact. >> you have made joe mccarthy
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look like a piker with what you've done with the electronic surveillance involved. >> it's terrible. she has beautiful eyes and her hair smells like cinnamon. >> i don't know what we're yelling about. >> note to republicans. screaming is not a defense. it's also really unpleasant and unwatchable unless it's on anchor man. as our next guest writes in the face of such overwhelming evidence that their boss donald trump is guilty, house republicans impeachment strategy seems to be distract, deceived. i love talking with you, curt, because you know what the other side would do. >> yes. >> let me show you doing the thing. this is -- i'm sorry. i think it might be element six. this is them yelling during the impeachment hearings. take a listen. >> they don't like the president, they don't like the president's supporters and they
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dislike us so much they're willing to weize the government. now it's the impeachment power of congress going after 63 million people and the guy we put in the wous. >> my question is where's your crimes? >> there's no allegation of bribery, there's no allegation of extortion. >> why aren't they in this impeachment document? because they don't exist. >> what is the point of the anchorman not anchor lady strategy? >> i think that republicans clearly understand that the facts, the truth is not on their side and so the only thing they can do is repeat the same things over and over again and each time they repeat them they have to do it louder and more emphatically because for them they only care about those ten seconds sound bites they're going to play on fox news to make it look like they weren't outrageous about something. >> are they worried they won't hear them? why are they screaming? i mean, they scream. >> because in their paradigm
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screaming equals strength and strength equals righteousness and righteousness equals correctness i guess. >> and maybe donald trump can't hear them. this is the other thing they've tried to do which was turn the impeachment of donald trump into a show trial of someone no one knows other than people on fox which is hunter biden. here it is. >> let's talk about what vice president biden did. this is seeking the truth about corruption. >> there was also significant reason to believe that the bidens were involved in corruption. >> the facts of mr. biden's actions in the ukraine certainly look like they crossed that line. >> it seems absurd, but this is the thing that works. when you were on the other side you know this works, that you can create a false narrative of corruption, they did it to hillary clinton around benghazi, most paem don't know where it is on a map but even liberals saying she must have done
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something wrong. >> benghazi is the perfect example. you have something that started with a terrorist attack on the diplomatic compound. had nothing to do with hillary clinton at all. it had to do with the four americans that were killed that night. what republicans were able to do, what we were able to do when i was there was turn it into a political theater to the point where republicans created a special committee just to investigate hillary clinton and her so called e-mails and much to hillary's critic she sat there for 11 hours. republicans also had what, 67 closed door depositions during this whole thing. >> they had more hearings on benghazi than there were about 9/11 and these were preimpeachment hearings. they were threatening to impeach her before she was even elected president. >> if hillary clinton had within the presidency, make no mistake about it within the first two years when republicans had control of the house they would have impeached her. they would have brought up the hillary foundation and the
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e-mails. >> if you were advising the democrats right now on what they should be doing in these impeachment hearings in order to keep the public focused and to keep republicans from being able to do a benghazi here, what would you advise them to do. >> they need to start fighting fire with fire. why aren't they responding with what about jared kushner. ivanka, why are they not playing sound bytes of republicans like gym gordon and mark meadows whether there were all for congressional oversight when they were investigating barack obama. there are a litany of sound bytes of these guys declaring that congress has authority to get documents, to compel truth, why don't they ever throw that back in their face during these hearings? >> i think they should put hank johnson in charge. he might be the only one that knows how to truly clap back. it's always great to talk to you and we will continue talking throughout this whole
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impeachment thing. william barr does his best to cover up another one of trump's messes. that's next. ther one of trump's messes that's next. puberty means personal space. so sports clothes sit around growing odors. that's why we graduated to tide pods sport. finally something more powerful than the funk. tide sport removes even week-old sweat odor. it's got to be tide. ♪for the holidays you can't beat home sweet home.♪♪ we go the extra mile to bring your holidays home.
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this week 16-year-old climate change activist gretta
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th thunberg was named "time" magazine's person of the year. it enraged donald trump so much that he took to fitter and tweeted so ridiculous. gretta must work on her anger management program and go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend. so to be clear, that tweet was an attack on a 16-year-old girl, a girl who unlike the president knows that climate change is real and is fighting it with more courage and bravery than any republican politician, but wait, there's more. the trump campaign apparently so incensed tweeted out this bizarre photo shopped "time" magazine cover with donald trump's face on it. how wonderfully soviet. keep in mind this kind of cyber bullying is exactly the kind of thing that melania trump is supposed to be against. remember the outrage over the mere mention of her son's name
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during the impeachment hearings? well, the white house says this is totally different because her son isn't an act vus and the president and the first lady often communicate differently. they do. up next, the cover up king strikes again. t cheover up king strikes again. joyfully. ♪ hello. the united explorer card hooks me up. getting more for getting away. rewarded! going new places and tasting new flavors. rewarded! traveling lighter. rewarded. haha, boom! getting settled. rewarded. learn more at the explorer card dot com. and get... rewarded! ♪for the holidays you can't beat home sweet home.♪♪ we go the extra mile to bring your holidays home.
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do you still stand by your statement that the campaign was spied upon? >> oh, clearly spied upon. i mean, that's what electronic
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surveillance is i think our nation was turned on its head for three years. i think based on a completely bogus narrative that was largely fanned and hyped by an irresponsible press, and the attorney general's primary responsibility is to protect against the abuse of the law enforcement and intelligence apparatus and make sure that it doesn't play an improper role in our political life. that's my responsibility. and i'm going to carry it out. >> donald trump's hand picked chief law enforcement officer put his baghdad bob hat back on this week when he disputed the findings that the opening of the russia investigation was legitimate and that there was no spying on the trump campaign. as viewers of this show will recall, bill barr has a long history of covering up for republican presidents. he did it in 1989 when she was in charge of the justice department's office of legal counsel and misled congress by redacting a report on how the
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fbi handled criminal suspects in foreign countries and if you're wondering who counciled george bush to pardon the iran contragang, just look to good old bill bar, the cover up general. >> joining me now is matthew miller and justice and security analyst and former chief spokes person and msnbc legal analyst. thank you all for being here. to go to you first on this, matt, let me play you chris wray the fbi director talking about the inspector general's report and this was an interview he did on abc this week. >> based on the findings in the inspector general report, is the fush, was it part of some deep state? >> i think that's the kind of label that is a disservice to the 37,000 men and women who work at the fbi. that's not a term i would ever use. >> so the fbi did not spy on the trump campaign? >> well, that's not a term that the fbi we use to describe our work.
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>> do you have any evidence that the fbi targeted trump campaign unfairly? >> i don't. >> he doesn't. he is sort of in an tortured way probably because he realizes that donald trump fires people who don't tell him his conspiracy theories are true, but in the end, he agreed no, they didn't spy on the trump campaign. why the you suppose bill barr still thinks that he the go out and say things that are so blatantly untrue? >> he's a nakedly partisan warrior. that's basically the sum total of bill barr and who he is. i look at those remarks from barr and those remark from wray and i think back to when sessions and rosenstein were in the department and how discouraging it always was when the president would attack the fbi and the justice department as a deep state that was trying to do barack obama's bidding to hurt him and they would never say anything. they would never stand up and defend the career men and women doing their jobs just to follow the facts and the law. what we have now is so much worse. bill barr doesn't quit quietly. he actually joins in the attacks
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and i think it's important that chris wray said what he said but it's really hard for men and women that are the a the fbi and the justice department to know how they're going to carry out investigations going forward. knowing that if the results of that investigation are a result that the attorney general doesn't like he's either going to overrule their conclusions or he's going to publicly spin them or mislead the american public about what they found or he may go appoint his own investigator to go investigate them because he doesn't like either the original results or what the independent inspector general found. i think he is is doing deep, deep damage to the justice department and i think it's a grave disservice to the american people. >> let me play for you another little piece of this pete williams interview for you cynthia. take a listen. >> there could have been a lot of motivations involved and different motivations and the could have been motivations in the fbi and motivations outside
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the fbi by other players in this. this thing focuses on the fbi. there was a lot going on around this that is not the subject matter of the report. but i think it has a direct bearing perhaps on what was going on in the fbi. >> you know, you're a former federal prosecutor. if you heard the head of the justice department going on a pr campaign, which is what he did. he did a whole tv blitz to basically say that his own agency, the fbi was spying on the trump campaign, something that the inspector general said did not happen, and now he's saying well, i've got a different report that's going to find the motivations that he's basically saying are bad motivations of people in the fbi and you're that fbi agent and then you hear that donald trump may be again looking for foreign help and maybe again getting help from russia or forcing help from ukraine, what do you do? would you then not be concerned that if you go ahead and investigate foreign interference in our election william barr may come after you.
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>> i mean, you have to be concerned about that. i mean, here's the problem. the inspector general has already found that the -- the investigation was not motivated in the way that bill barr is saying it is. and he's directly saying all the work of all the people and he's throwing it in the trash. and he's added this other layer of an investigation and now he's broken all the rules because one of the rules in an investigation is you don't talk about it in the middle and he's done that. and it's a very threatening thing to the person who did the initial investigation, and it's also a way of putting his thumb on the scale with the guy who's doing the followup investigation, durham. he was talked intoish suring a press release that was completely improper. and somehow he did that. you know, i try thd case in abilene one time and i learned this expression from west texas
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when is god is testing brother durham. i mean, what durham should do is not issue that press release, refuse to talk about the case, and if barr insists upon it he should resign. i mean, you have to -- the department of justice regular employees have got to now take the example from the state department standing up to mulvaney and to pompeo, they have to take that example and use it. barr has been totally improper with durham. he's forced him to make this statement, or we presume we forced him because he's an honorable guy and it makes no sense he would make it. he's going with him on interviews to europe. he's getting involved in discussions with witnesses with the italians and with this professor which is totally improper. this is a guy who's never done a criminal investigation in his life and suddenly he's a lead guy with the italians and he's lying about why he has to go there saying he has to go first
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or they won't talk to them which is not true and durham has got to stand up to him and that's got to be true of everybody in the justice department when barr oversteps his bounds and i'm sort of over thinking barr is a bad guy. he's bad guy. and he's actually a metaphor for the entire republican party at this point. i mean, look what happened. lindsay graham used to say that trump is a racist big got and now he kisses up to him all the time. mulvaney said he was a terrible person. now he kisses up to him. so we know that's what -- that's the road the republican party is on. but the real question is, what about these people like har wits who has stood up to trump and what about durham? will he stand up to him? god is testing brother durham. >> the reality is that the record isn't good as cynthia just laid out. the record suggests that all these people will give in
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eventually and that means, your former boss, former attorney general eric holder has called william barr unfit to be attorney general. he's also dangerous because he has the power to send people to jail on things he just invents. should we now expect that he's going to have durham, make his guy come up with a report next summer that pretends that people in the fbi are criminals who went after the trump campaign? because that's what he wants. >> yeah, i think that's exactly right. first let me say i'm from west texas so i enjoyed hearing cynthia repeat some of our homespun wisdom. i'm glad she picked it up when she was in abilene. i think you're exactly right about the attorney general. i think the most damaging thing is look, it wasn't enough apparently for bill barr when the mueller report concluded for him to publicly spin the results and for him to basically overturn the conclusions that mueller came to. remember, mueller didn't reach a conclusion on obstruction of justice. bill barr stepped in and said no, the president is cleared. it wasn't enough for him to overturn those results.
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now he wants to have an investigation that by summer of next year, according to his remarks going into the president's re-election campaign will say not only has the president been cleared of misbehavior but that the entire investigation itself was a witch hunt and it never should have been investigated and that the president is a vuk tictim, not d actor here. and the other part of it is, i think a lot of people missed this. the thing he's doing with john durham is trying to extend the threat to the fbi but beyond the fbi. he's looking at political appointees from the obama administration, he wants to send a signal throughout the government, if you see the president doing something wrong, do not come forward and blow the whistle but keep it quiet because if not, i will send an investigator after you when it's all over. and that is a threatening thing. >> that is i think the biggest threat, that this guy who gave a speech that indicates that he essentially is a monarchist, that he believes the president
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should be more powerful than congress which is the opposite of what the presidency is supposed to be, that he is a threat now to every law enforcement person and every intelligence community person that he will come after them, political prosecutions are coming, no? >> right. and not only pliolitical prosecutions but what if he doesn't like you, joy? we're going to send the irs after you. who's going to stop that? there's nobody who's willing to stop. it has to be the line prosecutors and they have to be willing to lose their jobs over it. >> absolutely and not only that but he's also essentially saying foreign interference in our election is in his mind legal as long as a republican does it. that's terrifying. nobody should investigate it. that's what william barr seems to think. >> coming up, mitch mcconnell's phone a friend impeachment strategy and that is next. stragyte and that is next.
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we'll be working through this process hopefully in a fairly short period of time in total coordination with the white house counsel's office and the people who are representing the president. everything i do during this i'm coordinating with wlohout quoune will white house counsel. there is no chance that the president will be removed from office. and my hope is that there wront won't be a single republican who votes for either of these articles of impeachment. >> and with that he announced that he will be sure to acquit the defendant before the trial has even begun. in other words per legal eagle
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ryan goodman, the fix is in and it is in your 235face explicit. before this week we only assumed that the republicans who had no ability to stop the majority in the house would use their power in the senate to protect the man they treat as if he is their boss. we only presumed that republicans as a party have no shame, and no loyalty to anything other than the person of donald trump. not to their oath of office, not no their country. only to trump. but senator mitch mcconnell appearing on fox news made it firm official. he plans to mock the constitutional process so that trump's flunkies can acquit him. this is the same guy that was dubbed moscow mitch after they blocked election security bills earlier this year in his home state of kentucky, just happened to benefit from a sweet $200
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million investment by a russian oligarch right after mcconnell and his republican friends lifted sanctions against that oligarch's companies. but i digress. we now know from mitch mcconnell itself that the fix is in for donald trump. the only thing we don't know is what voters will do, whether they will do anything toions in and house next election. joining me now, mya wiley, nick ackerman, barbara mcquaid and matthew miller, justice and security analyst for msnbc and former chief spokesman for the department of justice. thank you all for being here. and moscow mitch again after that fox news now infamous interview, which has never been
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walked back, vowing total coordination with the white house on the impeachment trial and we'll note for the viewers that for the first time this year, moscow mitch's party has rejected an election security bill. so keep that in mind that mitch mcconnell has made it clear that he will do nothing to do donald trump from allowing a foreign country to help him get reelected because he wants him there at any cost. he doesn't care. so joe, i want to go to you on this first. you covered bill clinton and obviously the impeachment of bill clinton, the drive to impeach him. donald trump claims that is what is happening to him. it is clearly not. but what do you think that it would -- what did bill clinton's trial do to him and for him or against him politically? >> well,ic th i think the that that he was acquitted helped him in the end. meant that the original impeachment was seen as less legitimate and it had been
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politically motivated in the house. gingrich and others had wanted to impeach him for a long time and they finally had a case with monica la would you sewinsky th had with whitewater and the investigations that they did. >> they were hunting for something to impeach him for. >> and ken starr was the guy that they brought into do it. remember they got rid of the original prosecutor robert fisk who was a republican but not a zealous right wing republican committed to getting clinton the way that starr was. so i think that the senate trial was ultimately beneficial to clinton and in fact there were some important moments during that trial when clinton's defenders, his defense team got up and made important powerful speeches. >> did they put on witnesses? >> no, they didn't. it was not done that way. they accepted depositions and other kinds of evidence, but
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there was not a trial in the sense of a criminal trial. >> right. so essentially what the clinton white house did was they put on just their defense but they didn't put on any witnesses in his defense. >> they did not. and the reason was that that was an agreement that had been reached by trent lott who mitch mcconnell is making look like a great statesman now who began a negotiation with tom daschle who was the minority at the time. and immediately after the articles of impeachment voted in the house and said we have to figure out a way do this that preserves the integrity of the senate, that serves the interests. country, and reaches whatever it reaches. and by the way, no one knew what the vote was going to be. >> it wasn't a foregone conclusion. >> no. there were definitely democrats who were disturbed at what clinton had done and wanted to have some kind of sanction
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imposed on him for it. short of impeachment in most cases, but even so -- and certainly republicans who felt that way. republicans who didn't think it necessarily merited litclinton' removal but again had to sanction him in some way. >> were there any republican voters to acquit or democratic votes to quikts? convict? >> as i call, there were not democratic votes to quinconvict. but arlen specter, coming from pennsylvania did not want to vote to convict and he cast a vote which he called nonproved. which he then referred to as the scottish verdict. and which confused many people. but the reason i'm bringing that up is there are republicans in the senate now who face difficulties getting reelected
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next year. and especially if they cast a vote to acquit donald trump. that will be a heavy vote around them. on the other hand, casting a vote to convict will cost them greatly in their base. so maybe we'll hear somebody else say they are casting the scottish votes. >> yeah, it will be interesting because we're trying to speculate on whether we think anybody will cross that line. it will be difficult for let's say a cory gardner to acquit and then go back to the voters in colorado and say donald trump said he did it, but i'm not going to -- it will be difficult for someone like him to go back and martha mcsally. but let me show you mcsally who was confronted by some of her constituents, part of a group called defend american democracy, they tried to get martha mcsalary csally to talk and here is how she responded. >> can i speak to you? >> got to head. love you guys.
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>> a constituent, ma'am. >> veterans just really want to have a conversation with you, senator. >> you're walking away from your constituents. why are you pretending to ignore us? we're fellow veterans. >> donald trump is violate being the oath that he swore that we swore together -- >> you're not even talking to anyone. >> and the thing is, martha mcsally didn't even win that seat, she was appointed after she lost. so she proloses statewide state. sinema won. and she now faces a reelect in which she is competing with a military veteran and she has got to now face her constituents after she probably acquits donald trump. i think about her, i think about susan collins is always concerned but never does anything. you've even got lindsey graham who is up by like two points over his democratic challenger.
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not a lot. so that is the politics here, right? >> yeah, the politics are quite fraught. and i think to your point, and i think i'm hearing at least from a democratic senator feeling good broke about arizona, color maine, with republicans saying you will pay at the ballot box. but that is not what we're hearing on the other side. who knows what will actually happen, but it seems like it should be one of the moments where elected leaders choose to lead. and leading should include listening to constituents on all sides. i mean, i think one of the things that stopping and talking and saying let me listen. one of the things that chuck rosenberg has said this week that was so important, a debate isn't just talking. it is also listening. and part of what we're seeing is the refusal to listen. and it seems to me that no
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matter how you vote and whether joe is right and there is a path to a scottish verdict, that you want to be seen as very seriously and actually having a grounded and principal position on whatever you do and being able to communicate that position. republicans have not laid out a grounded principled position yet. and i think what we saw in michigan mcconnell's statement is they are not going to. >> and i will go to the folks outside. what i called it earlier in the show, was an o.j. verdict. even people who felt that for a lot of socioeconomic reasons or a lot of racialized reasons and a lot that went into that trial, that even people who said good, he got off, they thought this was a black man dweetdiefeating justice system, even they said but he did it though. and donald trump now, being
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acquitted in a trial that the outcome is known, and that outcome wasn't even known, it was still a surprise verdict, but if donald trump goes into a trial at which mitch mcconnell has said don't worry, buddy, that is not acquittal. most people will look at him and go, yeah, but he did it. >> you have to keep in mind that there are a number of republicans who like the idea of foreign interference in our elections. they want to stay just where they are because they did so well in 2016. keep in mind donald trump only won the presidency by about 80,000 votes in three states -- >> 77,000. >> and pennsylvania, wisconsin and michigan. so there are people there who have voted down the voting rights bills that you've mentioned before. mitch mcconnell has been behind all of those. you've got mitch mcconnell in bed you said at the beginning of this segment with a person in
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russia who is an oligarch. but what you didn't mention is this is the godfather to paul manafort who is currently serving 7 1/2 years in prison. donald trump's campaign manager. so you have people that are in bed with the russians that are behind all of this, that if you saw this in a normal jury trial in the united states, this is like the hoffa rigging trial basically where he was bribing jurors. donald trump has been taking the jurors to camp david for entertainment, he's been calling the jurors, he's been doing everything that he can to influence the outcome on this. but some of them really are concerned that they want the russian interference. they want foreign interference because it really worked in 2016. >> and i think it is an important point because the jury is tainted even without the trips to camp david. donald trump doesn't have to take them out to his properties or whatever to taint the jury.
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we still haven't really delved into and the mueller report didn't delve into the broader election interference. it wasn't just helping trump, it was helping down ticket republicans. we don't know where all of that russian money went and we don't know what the russians got from the rnc attack which they also did. you've got a lot of republicans who quite frankly would benefit from further foreign interference, would benefit even on the judges from having donald trump stay until 2028 if they can get it. because they want judges, they want power, they want -- no one is an impartial juror. >> and welcome position foreiin interference is a bold being a could you sarks but it seems fair when senators are rejecting ledg legislation that would help. this simply says if russia
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interferences in our elections again, we will impose sanctions. an effort to deter that kind of interference. we can't stop everything from a technological perspective, we can't stop every bit of social media propaganda. but if we promise that there will be sanctions if they interfere, then maybe that will be a way to dissuade russia from interfering. but mitch mcconnell and other republicans are rejecting that he was. it is really bewildering unless as you say they are actually women comi welcoming interference because that is the way that they can hold on to power. >> it is really the worst nightmare of the founders of the country. the idea that foreign country could come to control the president of the united states let alone they didn't even think about extreme partisanship. do we now you face a situation -- let me play you lindsey graham and then i have a question on the other side. >> what i'd like to see happen is for this thing to get over as
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soon as possible. i don't want to give it any legitimacy because it is a croc. my goal is to end this as soon as possible for the good of the country because i think that it is a danger to the presidency to legitimize this. >> do we face the risk that that man lindsey graham also wants to end this for the good of his re-election because he thinks that foreign interference will help him stay in power and help donald trump keep feeding right wing judges on to the court? >> i think so. most of the republican senators are not quite at shameless as twrumpg is about welcoming foreign interference. but if they vote to acquit trump as it seems likely, that is basically the new normal, that is something that they have said is a legitimate thing for the president to do. the facts aren't really in dispute here in any meaningful way. you see the house republicans kind of try to dispute the facts. but when you have the president on tape on the south lawn inviting two foreign countries
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to investigate joe biden, everyone aside from everything else that came out in the course of the house impeachment proceedings, it is pretty clear that the president thinks that it is okay to solicit foreign interference russia if you are listening comment. so they clearly i think would quietly welcome the idea of a foreign government helping the president out, helping them out. but you can tell how concerned they are about the political ramifications of that if you ever turn a camera on and ask any one of them, is it okay for the president -- for a president, any president, to invite a foreign government to investigate his political opponents. you will never see a an opponent senator run faster. but if they vote to being a acquit trump, they have basically said that. and the challenge over the next
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year going into november of 2020 is to make sure that they pay a price for that, make sure that they don't get away with it. >> you talked about not having any witnesses called in the impeachment of bill clinton. the republicans are talking about either calling no witnesses, there is a political piece says no witnesses and simply allow house democrats and the president's attorneys to make their case before the public, or here is hogan gidly, spokesman for trump, their other option. >> i know that the president has made clear i wants adam schiff, the list, joe biden and many others. >> and the idea is to just turn this into a show trial of adam schiff and hunter by keidbiden. >> i don't think mcconnell wants that. he is smart enough to know that that would not work out for
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them. the risks of doing that are very great for the republicans because those are not necessarily good witnesses for them. i would not put joe biden on the stand to talk about what they have done to his stand in front of a national audience. i would not put adam schiff on the stand to talk about what trump and his minions have done with the russians. going back to the mueller report, right now, joy, you have rudy giuliani running around in ukraine or coming back in you a and now saying that he has all this stuff and we find out lev parnas got more russian money, got a million dollars from a russian bank while he is paying rudy giuliani the unpaid attorney who was supposedly helping. what is that? you now have blatant russian interference in this entire situation as we're approaching a senate trial and the senate is going to pretend that nothing is happening here, don't look. you know, nothing to see here.
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no. >> shouldn't they just then say, yes, we will have adam schiff go and testify, but we also want mick mulvaney testify, we want bolton and rudy. >> and maybe even trump's kids. >> here is what i would say from a purely strategic legal perspective. generally as a lawyer you don't ever want to call someone as a witness when you don't know what they are going to say. if it doesn't fit, you must acquit. but not because i think that there isn't reelg information that all of those witnesses who have been obstructed, one of the articles is obstruction of congress for not allowing them access -- >> could you call jonathan turley and tell him that? he didn't seem to know that. >> that is a whole other show. >> but that means there is a danger to the democrats as well to call witnesses who have not
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tak bean deposed. i do think the reality is what democrats should be thinking about because i would be as a lawyer is first of all, you don't want to call any witnesses we didn't get to interview. that is a fundamental premise of a fair process. so that is one thing. and if you want to call anybody then we have a right to call witnesses, period. because really what the republicans don't want, they don't want witnesses who we've already heard from who are so credible, so powerful. you want marie yovanovitch up there, you want a fiona hill? no, you don't. so i think that the thing that i said be going hard for as a democrat is you don't get witnesses unless we do. >> and if you can get them, who would you want. >> donald trump would be the first witness i'd put on the witness stand. he says the phone call is perfect. i think he could be destroyed on
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cross-examination or a direct exa examination. i'd be insisting donald trump be the first witness. >> he could plead the fifth. but good luck to him if that is what he wants to do. i would put him on the stand and go through all the facts with him. and let the american public see this is the guy who says he is completely innocent, he has done nothing wrong. well, if he is so innocent, why isn't he clamoring to be the first witness at this trial and that is who the democrats should serve him with a subpoena and ask justice roberts to order that he show up in the senate well to give testimony on this impeachment. >> and let me give barbara the same question. if you had one witness and you were able to trade them for getting adam schiff or whatever, who would it be? >> i think rudy giuliani. i think that he knows where the bodies are buried. if you can get him to testify
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truthfully, i think that he could tell you about all the negotiations with ukraine. it is not just a call. there is months' long of scheming that went on as well. and what you a he is so uncareful, he'd probably slip in other crimes that president trump has committed as well. >> and first of all, the tv show of donald trump -- we've heard him talk. and rudy giuliani, we've heard how he talks. testifying for donald trump? oh, my god, that would put the -- the forcing the glove on moment in the o.j. trial, it would put that to the back burner. i think they should take your advice. joe, my a wiley, nick, barbara, matthew, great panel. and coming up, the supreme court shell game. supreme court shell game in america, the zip code you're born in
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let's say someone were to retire at the end of this year leading into the summer, you have been very clear if the president appointed somebody, you would follow through on that nomination. >> absolutely. we definitely would do that. >> i was shocked that former president obama left so many vacancies. >> i'll tell you why, i was in charge of what we did the last two years of the obama
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administration. >> and i will give you full credit for that. and by the way, take a bow. >> the self-proclaimed grim reaper of the snath thinks it is so funny how he warped the courts. but he has no problem fill being the supreme court for mr. trump even though he blocked judge merrick garland from getting a single hearing. mcconnell agreed that it shouldn't be filled during an election year. but the real scandal is the grim logic namely that only his party should be able to fill the federal courts. joining me now is ryan goodman, law professor. thank you very much for being here. i want to play you what i think is the most chilling thing that mitch mcconnell has said since he's been in power. here it is. >> one of my proudest moments is when i looked at barack obama in
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the eye and i said mr. president, you will not fill this supreme court vacancy. >> and yet this is the same guy who said that we will plow through on the kavanaugh confirmation and who now says that they get it open and they are going to fill it. with you just walk us through this logic of mitch mcconnell that basically only republicans are allowed to put people on the federal courts? >> so it goes with the same logic where people are saying that they would block hillary clinton on the republican side if she were president of putting everybody on the supreme court. it really is partisan lines. and in 2016, part of the deal there by blocking president trump's nominee for the courtlele made it court l also made it an election issue. so he is actually saying the supreme xhourt is court is on td vote in november 2016 because we're going to cap xhur the
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court. >> and harry reid famously had to end the filibuster rule because mcconnell was blocking not just merrick garland, they were blocking everyone. they would not allow the president of the united states to fill any vacancies. >> that's right. and what is extraordinary, you look at the numbers, and in his third year, president trump now has 50 circuit judges that have gone on to the bench whereas obama only had 55 in eight years. >> and the quality of these judges is the other issue. they are far right wing, they tend to be very young. and in some cases they are deemed unqualified by their own colleagues. this is just one headline. senate confirms trump's 50th circuit judge despite a not qualified rating, trump nominee who was anti-surrogacy. and there is a guy that just got confirmed that was deemed in
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every way by his own colleagues to be arrogant, to be self satisfied, feel self deserving and not fit to be a judge and they krug cjust confirmed him t. >> a fundamental makeover of the federal circuit. and one quarter of all circuit judges right now are trump appointees. think about how that is remaking the kuchb. and like you said, the white house just boasted last month that the average age of the trump appointees are under 50 years old. >> and are you able to just in your reporting, is this more about controlling the culture down the road saying that the culture is becoming more permissive and more liberal for gay people, for trans people, becoming more liberal in terms of race. and so we're going to hold the line in the courts, we're going to say there you can't change anything, we'll stop the progress. is it more about that or is it more about donald trump's pecuniary interests, lets s's s
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his taxes and he wants to stop the release. >> i think that it is mitch mcconnell's game which means that it is the 50 year game and that means that they are trying to as under, they are trying to put a brake on where the country is otherwise going. it is an anti democratic break and that is why he blocked president obama for two years and why he is on a fast track to try to fill as many of these court positions as possible under trump and hawith very you people. >> and it is frightening that he is doing that and then you have the attorney general william barr saying in speeches that the country -- sort of mocking the progressives in the country and accusing progressives of trying to take over a country that liberalish thinking on the culture is the majority. >> that's right. and bash is saying this in the most partisan terms possible which is extraordinary for the united states attorney general to be talking about it in partisan terms. and he is doing to the
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federalist society and where are those judges coming from, federalist society approved judges. so that is the architecture of this. it is mcconnell, barr, the b brains behind the operation. >> what is the risk then? let's say that they take over, which they are doing the federal courts, walk us through what that means for the average immigrant, for the average muslim, for the average person who way gay or trans or lesbian. >> it means a huge regression on all of those issues. and it also means voter suppression. it means gerrymandering and supporting that, it means supporting a lot of wealth and money coming into the republican side on elections. because of things like citizens united. on all these fronts, it changes what americans can do, it changes rights for americans. especially lgbt americans,
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immigration rights, all of it across the board. these are the very people that would stand in their way of having democratic choices to make on these issues. >> didn't they used to call that judicial actity vi tivismactivi? when they thought it meant more rights. >> exactly. >> ryan goodman, thank you very much for being here. coming up, senator michael bennett joins me next to discuss impeachment. to discuss impeachment.
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joining me now is 2020 presidential candidate senator michael bennett. thank you so much for your time. >> thanks, joy. >> so there is an impeachment trial at least in theory coming up in the senate. i want to get your comment on the leader of the senate mitch mcconnell saying that he is going to ensure that donald trump is acquitted. what do you make of that? >> i mean, it is embarrassing. not only did he say that, but i don't have exactly the language, but he said something like i'm going to follow the president's
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lawyers lead. that is not what the majority leader of the senate is supposed to do. this is an overnight responsibility that we have and i guess it is not surprising, but it is embarrassing that he would say these things. >> and the second article of impeachment is the one that would seem from the play person's perspective to be the most potentially tempting to a republican senator. people in the senate tend to understand sort of the graphdy gravity of their own power. so the idea of being a co-equal branch of government in a sense kind of looms larger for a senator. do you know of any senators who could possibly say that if you obstruct the president, you obstructed the senate, i might vote at least on that article, vote yes on it? >> you would hope so. i mean, you know, there were some republicans, not many, but there were some republicans who wanted president declared his
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fake emergency to reprogram money for the wall, there was some republicans that said no, that is congress' job, we have the power of the purse. and just like they asserted independence then, maybe they will do it again. but it is a testament to how much the republican party has become donald trump's party that majority leader mcconnell feels the need to say publicly that he will follow the leefd the president's lawyers. >> and we've seen prepublicans once again vote down an election security bill, the third time. it is the reason that mitch mcconnell is called moscow mitch. are you concerned that some of your colleagues on the republican side actually want there to be at least enough foreign interference to keep themselves and donald trump in power. >> i am really concerned about this. i mean, who in the world doesn't want to know what senator won't
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vote for an election protection bill to keep us safe from russian aggression. and there is only unfortunately one person in america who could let that vote go through and that is mcconnell. i think even people in kentucky should be discouraged about the fact that mcconnell doesn't want people to know who supports election protection and who supports the russians continuing to interfere. it is crystal clear that the ukranians had nothing to do with the 2016 election and that the russians not only interfered, but interfered in a way that was actually material and continue to interfere today. you would think it would be the most basic responsibility of an elected official in washington to vote for election protection legislation and i hope these guys pay a real price at the polls for what they are doing. they have exposed america, they have kept us at risk when the intelligence agencies are all
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telling us that the russians are attacking us right now. >> we know that mitch mcconnell's state got $200 million in money from the oligarch after he led the he relaxation of sanctions on him. but we won't go into that. i want to play you a sound bite of lindsey graham of south carolina this morning from doha. take a listen. >> if you wonder what is going to happen in washington, impeachment will be over probably by mid-january. personally i think president trump will come out of this stronger. >> what do you make of lindsey graham? i don't know how long you've known him, but -- >> i've known him a long time. we worked on the gang of eight together in 2013 writing theism gra immigration bill that got called by the freedom caucus. and we did some good would, on that bill together. but he has become a guy who is just the number one defender of
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donald trump no matter are what it is he does. >> and do you worry that donald trump is intimidating him into it? or was he always this guy and just a sycophant whoever is in power? >> no, i think that sometimes, you know, lindsey graham has an incredible survival instinct and i think he is trying to avoid a primary in south carolina and the best way to avoid a primary these days is to support the great leader on cable television so he can see you doing it out there. it is really too bad because this guy is so far outside the mainstream of conventional american political fodder, i'm talking about trump now, and what we would expect from a president. that we've got to find a way to elevate the standards again. and even if he is not convicted of what he has done in the senate, i hope that what comes out of this is a reassertion by
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the democracy about why the rule of law is important and that no president should be above it. trump obviously doesn't care about that, he doesn't believe in democracy. the rest of us that do believe in democracy can't have a democracy that works if we don't subscribe to the rule of law. and that is really what is at stake in this impeachment. but i would say it is also what is at stake as people go to the polls in 2020. >> senator michael bennet, thank you so much for your time this morning. >> thanks, joy. coming up yyou next, the ma teaching america its history. a. then i realized something was missing... me. my symptoms were keeping me from being there. so, i talked to my doctor and learned humira is for people who still have symptoms of crohn's disease after trying other medications.
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200 years our nation's history we had one impeachment. andrew johnson. for 200 years. and you now in less than 50 years, we're on our third. which is really unfortunate i believe. i think that they are lowering the bar, they are making this too you routine. and i think that is very dangerous because when you have i think in the near future when you have a president and you have a house of different parties, we're going to see this more and more often. >> if the republicans want to talk about andrew johnson, let's talk about andrew johnson. my next guest pointed out in an epic twitter thread that there is a lot from the impeachment of
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andrew johnson that is more than relevant right now. joining me now is michael harriet from the i'll start by reading you some of this. you wrote about andrew johnson, johnson was also dumb. seriously, he might be the only president dumber than trump. after he became president, he went around the country holding political rallies where he just talked about himself and in one speech he referred to himself 200 times. he called his opponents traitors. and the disasters toward one of the major reasons republicans were wiped out in the elections. and donald trump tweets so-called leaks coming out of the white house are massive overexthink a raover over overexage races blah, blah, blah. what other symmetries could you find between trump and mr. johnson? >> besides the majority party or the president's party being
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white dot in the midterm elections, johnson was a president who overlooked and excused white supremacy which was really the singular issue in why he was impeached. we like to point to the arcane legislation called the tenure act, but the reason the tenure act was enacted was because johnson refused to send his secretary of war stanton down to stop these white supremacist talks on blacks who were getting their rights to vote. so johnson was the original both sides guy. he wanted to appease the confederates and wanted to allow them back into the union. and there are so many similarities between johnson and, you know, when donald trump is impeached, it might come down to one vote which is exactly what johnson's impeachment came down to. so there are so many similarities between these two
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presidents and it turns out both got impeached. >> and i think it is so are arcane in history, the thing about andrew johnson to remember is as you said, he was the running mate for abraham lincoln as sort of a bipartisan ticket, but after lincoln was assassinat assassinated, he wanted to excuse the south. he wanted to stop black people from becoming full citizens. and can you just walk us through -- so he got impeached because of that, right? because he tried to stop the federal government from helping black citizens. >> right. so after lincoln was assassinated, johnson became president. you have to remember link ccoln tried to keep the union together by choosing a running mate from the opposite party. so johnson was a southern white democrat who was a slave owner. so what he wanted to do is let the confederate states back into the union because remember, they aren't a part of the united
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states without any repercussions for turning into white supremacist traders. so the congress tried to do is at least require them to ratify the 14th amendment which made black people full citizens of the united states remember. and you also have to give them the right to vote. and at least stop this white supremacist violence. and johnson refused to do that. and his secretary of war was going to do it because remember, most of these attacks were on black union soldiers. and in the two particular ones that were most egregious was in new orleans and memphis where people just attacked black union soldiers for trying to vote. and in memphis for just existing. and that is what prompted johnson's impeachment because he refused to send his secretary of war down to stop this kind of
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violence from taking place. >> and down to the fact that they are so symmetrical down to the pardons. so you have -- this is another tweet from you. johnson wanted to go easy on the con t f confederate states. and the kkk because founded in the state he represented. and he offered amnesty to confederates anxio s and pardonr crimes. and fast forward to trump, eddie gallagher allegedly stabbed and murdered a prisoner and he said he's not going to have his pin taken away. but can you talk about the two parties flipping? because i think that is a key part of it. a lot of people hear that and they think of the current democratic and republican parties, they were so different down to radical republicans would have been the squad now. >> right. and so we have to remember that beginning in 1948 is when
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republicans started shifting from the democratic party -- to the democratic party simply because the democrats back then, the party of racism, wanted to keep segregation in place and so the only choice that those democrats had were to leave the republican party and first they tried to become what they called dixie crats. that didn't work. and that is how the democrats back then became the republicans of today. and so they were always the party of racism. and back then, there was a group of senators led by senator stevens who really wanted to give blacks the right to vote and all of their rights. and one of the reasons that we have all of these constitutional amendments, the 13th amendment which limg na eliminated slavery, 14th that gave black people the right to be citizens, the 15th amendment
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which gave all the right to vote. is because stevens really wanted to eliminate all of that with one sentence that says all people are equal under the law. johnson wouldn't have it. and that is why stevens' version of the 14th amendment never became the law and that is also why a lot of the republican senators in the impeachment trial acquitted johnson because there was this divide between stevens branch and what they call the moderate republicans. and so that is how johnson didn't get ousted from the presidency even though he was a white supremacist. >> by one vote. history is fascinating. thaddeus stevens, very understand rated. y under rated. thank you very much for being here. and coming up, i'll tell you more about another disgraced
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almost totally absorb the time and attention of both the president and the congress in a period when our entire focus should be on the great issues of peace abroad and prosperity. dlfr, i shall resign the presidency effective at noon tomorrow. >> richard nixon was forced to resign because he cheated to get reelected. men acting on his behalf, on behalf of his election campaign, hired ex-cia agents to break into the offices of the democratic party months before the election. they stole documents and bugged the office's phones to try to help nixon beat george mcgovern. and then nixon and members of the white house tried to cover it up. that was watergate. the bitter irony and the waste is that nixon was going to win anyway and he did big time. so really he did all that for nothing just because he was afraid that he would be out of
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power. nixon of course didn't wait for impeachment. make no mistake, once the tapes proving his guilt came out, he knew the house would impeach and the senate would convict him. so instead after the house judiciary committee approeprove articles of impeachment, he radio sign resigned. but in that final televised speech, he expressed more concern about the country than about himself. and frankly, more concern about americans and what america is supposed to be than donald trump ever has in his entire life. in fact, no president has ever been accused before now of using foreign governments to cheat to get reelected. everyone the worst preside even the worst presidents we've had is not accused of that. and republicans having declared that their loyalty is only to trump, the guy who doesn't care about you or your right to choose your own president
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without foreign interference, your right to is have your congress' decisions on how to spend your tax money respected, the right of your congress to exercise their rightful power to be a check and balance on the president, the fact that so many republicans almost all of them either sit there in this obedient pathetic silence or even back him up when donald trump declares that he can do anything he wants, declares basically that he is a king, not just a president, that he can get any country he wants to help him stay in office. and what are you going to do about it? the fact that this man even jokes that he might never leave, th or if he loses, we'll have a second civil war. the fact that the republicans applaud like puppets, that is not a democracy. and this time next year, we'll either have a democracy the one nixon upheld by having the dig knit t
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that is our show for today. i'll be back tomorrow morning at 10:00. up next is alex witt. >> thank you for that history lesson in the terms of current culture. that was really great. >> it is funny, because we talk so much about watergate, but i think sometimes we forget how simple it was. just cheating to win. and trump has done the same thing. >> and you talk about the
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dignity that nixon resigned for the good of the country. okay, joy, see you tomorrow. very good day to all of you from right here at msnbc world headquarters. just about high noon here, 9:00 a.m. out west. welcome to weekends with alex witt. the next battle begins, the historic impeachment vote leads to a senate trial that could escalate the partisan conflict. rudy giuliani talking big about his secret assignment in ukraine. this hour, a new theory about why we haven't heard specifics about what he is found. and defending the president overseas, the first daughter and two trump allies speaking out about impeachment thousands of miles from home. plus michelle obama and melania trump both responding now after the president took to twitter to attack greta thunberg. you will hear what they are all saying. developing at this hour, one of the president's big


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