Trump facing investigations on multiple fronts. TRANSCRIPT: 3/5/19, All In with Chris Hayes.

Dan Kildee, Nancy Gertner, Philip Bump, Jeremy Ben-Ami, Mehdi Hassan

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST:  Well, today`s development is a tribute to

promise of human science and those who give their sweat and tears to find

cures.  Thank God we have these researchers among us.  And that`s HARDBALL

for now.  “ALL IN” with Chris Hayes starts right now.







we got 81 letters.


HAYES:  As the President complains.


TRUMP:  81 people or organizations got letters.  It`s a disgrace.


HAYES:  Another investigation is launched.


REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D), NEW YORK:  To your knowledge, did the

President ever provide inflated assets to an insurance company?


COHEN:  Yes.


HAYES:  Tonight, new evidence that Americans increasingly believe their

president is a criminal.  As Democrats outlined plans to get the

president`s tax returns, a brand new investigation of the Trump

Organization began.


CORTEZ:  Who else knows that the President did this?


HAYES:  Then, a who`s who look at the Democrats list of 81 Trump target. 

Plus, is Roger Stone about to go to jail for an Instagram post?





HAYES:  And Ilhan Omar and the fault lines in the Democratic Party when ALL

IN starts right now.




HAYES:  Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes.  The President is

looting losing the battle for public opinion over his own guilt.  The new

Quinnipiac poll finds it 64 percent of Americans believe Donald Trump

committed crimes before he became president and many believe the President

continued to engage in criminal activity from The Oval Office.  45 percent

say that Trump has committed crimes during his presidency.


This despite Trump and his allies insisting again and again at nauseam that

investigators are engaged you know mean-spirited witch-hunt targeting an

innocent and pure hearted public servant.




TRUMP:  The witch hunt continues.  The fact is I guess we have 81 letters. 

There was no collusion.  That was a hoax.  There was no anything.




HAYES:  No anything.  Strong denial.  At this point, not a lot of people

are willing to take his word for it.  Even if warmer trunk fixer Michael

Cohen, a man who was literally convicted of lying to Congress has more

credibility than the President.  50 percent of American now say they

believe Cohen more than they believe Trump.


And despite Trump`s near constant effort undermine Robert Mueller, a

majority of Americans believe he is conducting a fair investigation. 

Mueller is just one of the President`s problems.  He also faces an ongoing

and wide and raging probe from the Southern District of New York.  Just

today we learned that this exchange between Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and

the President`s lawyer from last Wednesday`s oversight hearing is bearing





CORTEZ:  To your knowledge, did the President ever provide inflated assets

to an insurance company?


COHEN:  Yes.


CORTEZ:  Who else knows that the President did this?


COHEN:  Allen Weisselberg, Ron Lieberman and Matthew Calamari.


CORTEZ:  And where would the committee find more information on this?  Do

you think we need to review his financial statements and his tax returns in

order to compare them?


COHEN:  Yes.  And you`d find it at the Trump Org.




HAYES:  Tonight, New York Times reports that New York regulators have

issued an expansive subpoena to the Trump Organization`s longtime insurance

broker, the first step in an investigation of insurance policies and claims

involving Trump`s family business.


Meanwhile, yesterday, Jerry Nadler, House Judiciary Committee issued

document requests as the President mentioned to 81 individuals and

identities with a focus on investigating possible obstruction of justice,

public corruption, and abuses of power.  Adam Schiff`s Intelligence

Committee is also stepping up its investigation hiring among others former

federal prosecutor Daniel Goldman who has overseen prosecutions of Russian

organized crime networks.  Goldman was also until recently a legal

contributor to this network.


Over in the Financial Services Committee, Maxine Waters is probing how

Trump secured loans from Deutsche Bank when other banks refused to loan

Trump any money at all.  And Democrats are also demanding documents

concerning Jared Kushner security clearance in the wake of that New York

Times report that Trump overruled top officials and ordered them to give

Kushner a top secret clearance despite the misgivings of intelligence



The White House is refusing to hand over those documents by the way but

ultimately it may have no choice.  Democrats now have the power of

subpoena.  And then there`s Trump`s tax returns, that you know, the ones he

would love to release if only that pesky audit would finally end.




TRUMP:  As I`ve told you they`re under audit.  They have been for a long

time.  They`re extremely complex.  People wouldn`t understand him.  Nobody

turns over return when it`s under audit, OK.




HAYES:  The President really does seem opposed releasing his tax returns

for some reason, but House Democrats are not having it.  Today, the

Washington Post reports that Democrats are now preparing to seek ten years

of those returns in the coming weeks.  Trump is clearly feeling besieged.


After meeting with the President this morning, Senator Lindsey Graham said

that Trump “believes Democrats are taking a wrecking ball to his life.”  At

this point after literally thousands of lies, the President`s credibility

is so thoroughly shot that Americans believe a convicted liar more than

they believe him.


And that means as the investigations continue, the President is going to

have a pretty hard time convincing Americans that all this is just and I

quote presidential harassment.  Joining me now Democratic Congressman Dan

Kildee in Michigan, a member of the Ways and Means Committee who – which

is reportedly now preparing to seek ten years of the President`s tax



Congressman, can you tell us about what the thinking is there, where your

committee is on that inquiry.


REP. DAN KILDEE (D), MICHIGAN:  Well, our committee has been really

deliberate on this.  We had a hearing to establish the legal authority to

gain access to returns.  We`ve been creating a record as to why these

returns are in the public interest.  And you know, I think what President

Trump fears is not that people won`t understand his tax returns.  What he`s

really afraid of is that they will.


We believe that this is a basic transparency.  The President broke a half a

century of norms by not releasing his tax returns.  People don`t take his

word for it when they say he`s done nothing wrong, they want to see the

evidence.  And I think they have the right to that.  This is fundamentally

an issue of transparency and we`re going to get to the bottom of this.


HAYES:  There`s the argument that I`ve seen from Kevin Brady who is the

ranking member if I`m not mistaken on your committee, Republican and others

is that this is a slippery slope.  Next thing you know, this committee is

nosing around everyone`s tax returns to try to detonate political

opponents.  What`s your response to that?


KILDEE:  This is a rarely used law that has been on the books since the

Teapot Dome scandal.  So there`s no slippery slope here.  What is out of

the norm is that the President of the United States who committed to

provide his returns has broken with a half a century of tradition and

transparency.  That`s what`s out of sync with reality.


And the fact that Mr. Brady whom I respect that happened to disagree with

on this would point out that we are using the tool when the fact that we

have to use it is because this president was so opaque when it comes to his

personal interest.  He continues to maintain by the way complete control

over all of his financial holdings, another norm that has been broken.  He

pushed through a tax law that significantly benefited real estate

investors.  He`s one of them.


The idea that this would be somehow out of bounds means that the law itself

must not be a valid.  The reason that this law is in place is just for this



HAYES:  You know, this is part of the – there`s two sort of lines I`ve

seen in the last few days, some from Republicans who obviously have just a

transactional interest in trying to beat back the Democrats.  But I`ve seen

among sort of pundits and so a kind of conventional wisdom that Democrats

have to be careful.  That this is risky territory, that they risk a

backlash, they risk exciting the President`s base.


And I wonder how much – how much that resonates with you as someone who`s

at the center of that.  Is that how you`re thinking about this politically?


KILDEE:  Well, I think thinking about it politically is where we get into

trouble because what I fear is not upholding the oath of office that I

swore.  I said that I would uphold this Constitution and sometimes that

means doing hard things.  Look this isn`t – this isn`t necessarily a

popular thing to do among some and it`s certainly going to be something

that we are attacked for.  But I don`t think we have a choice.


The American people elected us to do a job and I think it would be a

mistake for us to try to overthink this.  We should simply adhere to the

oath that we swore and do the job that we were elected to do.  And that

means revealing to the American people all the interests that this

president will not reveal to them himself.


HAYES:  You know, it`s funny you say that because I see – there`s a story

that`s being told that the Democrats are being pulled towards these

inquiries by their base.  And I actually think that story gets it wrong.  I

actually think by and large the base is motivated about other things. 

There`s a lot of folks on the Mueller report.


What you`re telling me and I just want to clarify, you`re just basically

saying you literally feel a sense of duty, an obligation to do this even if

the politics of it are bad.


KILDEE:  For sure, Chris.  You know, every time I walk into the U.S.

Capitol, I`m awed by it.  And I realize the responsibility that I have. 

And what I say to my Republican colleagues would be – who seem to be so

willing to defend this president no matter what he does is that they should

think about the institution, they should think about what it means to our

democracy, but they should especially think about how the long view of

history is going to measure them in this moment.


I do not want nor should they want to have been a member of Congress who

looked the other way when a president of the United States stomped all over

the rule of law in the basic institutions that have held our democracy

together for two centuries.


HAYES:  All right, Congressman Dan Kildee, thank you so much your time



KILDEE: Thank you, Chris.


HAYES:  For more on the situation the president now finds himself in I`m

joined by MSNBC Political Analyst Cornell Belcher, Democratic pollster and

strategist and MSNBC Political Analyst Michelle Goldberg, Columnist in the

New York Times.


So I want to be clear here, politicians are political animals.  I think

there`s a whole bunch of motivations that are driving Democrats.  An actual

substantive commitment to duty, also a degree that I think they think and

some of them think it will be politically advantageous.  I mean, they`re

going to knock the president around.



think that – and not just that they`ll knock the president around.  I

mean, I think that in as much as there is this conventional wisdom that you

referred to that this is risky, I don`t understand what it`s based on,



This Quinnipiac poll that you mentioned today shows both kind of

overwhelming belief in Trump`s criminality but also you know, 46 percent of

the country – I mean a majority of the country disapproves of the

president.  46 percent of the country strongly disapproves.  That`s a

plurality of American voters.  The percentage that strongly approves of him

is in the 20s, right?  And yet it seems like this small fraction of loud

Trump supporters, they`re the ones that people are always somehow worried

about offending.


And you know, I actually think that the base of the Democratic Party maybe

not the base that`s on Twitter but the base of the Democratic Party, the

people who organized and got out and voted in numbers that people have not

seen in a midterm in whoever –  how many years, they care very much about

the rules.


HAYES:  Yes, that`s true.


GOLDBERG:  You know, they`re desperate to see this president held to

account.  And so I think that you know, this is one of those cases where

the sort of patriotic course of action, the politically expedient course of

action are one in the same.


HAYES:  But I would say – I would say just evolving that.  I think they

care about it not as a political – politically instrumental.  I mean,

people feel like they need to restore something that`s been lost as opposed

to this will be the thing that takes them down, although I think there`s

some hope about it as well.


Cornell, as a pollster, what do you make of these numbers from Quinnipiac? 

I actually was kind of surprised by them, I have to say, particularly

because there has been so many – there`s so many warnings to Democrats

about overreach.  64 percent of Americans think the President committed a

crime.  You know, he`s a criminal – before – and 45 percent of them

thinks he`s committed a crime as president.



getting to the point where we`re as baked in.  I think when you look at the

broad swath of Americans, particularly those Americans that are in the

moderate middle, I think they have now decided.  And that`s where you get

numbers like 60 percent.  You don`t get that 60 percent if those moderate

persuadable voters are still thinking about it.


So I think the majority of Americans have landed on what they think of the

president and clearly they think he`s dishonest and perhaps – and perhaps

even a criminal.  And I think if you go further, if you look at the NBC-

Wall Street – you know NBC polling out here, if you look at his reelect

and you look at his job approval going into – going into re-election ,it

is worse than what Obama`s wasn`t worse than what Bush is was.


He has an uphill fight to win reelection because you got to remember he has

not expanded his base of support at all.  In fact, I would argue that he

shrunk the base of support overall for Republicans particularly when you

look at college white voters who once upon a time majority of them were

voting Republican.  This time around they`re not.  And right now Trump has

only a 55 percent disapproval among College white.


That is almost panic size when you start looking at the suburbs around

Philadelphia and you start looking at suburbs around other battleground



HAYES:  Yes, there`s – someone noted today that his approval rating right

now is right around where it was an election day 2018 right?  And it

doesn`t change that much for Donald Trump.  You`ve got a column out spacely

making the point that he has also lost control of the story that`s being



GOLDBERG:  Right.  I mean,  I think that you know, the Michael Cohen

hearing was just the opening right.  I mean, sort of there`s a sense that

we`ve had this madman in charge and he`s had his fingers on all the levers

of power and everybody who opposes him which is the majority of the country

has been totally disempowered.  And now we`re sort of seeing the cavalry

come in right?


And so all of these different committees you know, not only are they

empowered to get information but they`re going to air it publicly.  And so

we`re basically going to see you know, the trial of Donald Trump in several

different venues on television.


And one of the things that happens with this scandal and people talk about

it on this network all the time or the overlapping networks of scandals

that constitutes everything about Donald Trump is that there`s so much of

it that it is very difficult to keep it in your mind, right?


And even those of us who spend all our all of our time thinking about it

can`t keep track of it.  Never mind people who have you know, jobs and

lives or better things to do with themselves –


HAYES:  Right, who are socially useful individual.


GOLDBERG:  Right.  And so what I think Democrats have the chance to do now

is to dramatize it, you know.  To kind of bring in all these characters,

who is Felix Sater who`s going to be testifying next week?  You know,

explain, who was Donald Trump before this freakish thing catapulted him

into the White House?


HAYES:  You know, that point about the sort of dramatization, Cornell,

that`s what was striking to me about the Cohen numbers, who do you believe

Michael Cohen or Donald Trump?  I mean, Michael Cohen is a liar.  He`s an

absolute liar.  He`s lying for other people, lying for himself, illegally

lying, engaged in fraud.  I mean, the guy`s got very little credibility.


For people to watch those hearings and come away being like yes, I believe

him over the president is something.


BELCHER:  Well, also we have – we have a documented liar and the president

– and the president as well.


HAYES:  Of course.


BELCHER:  And while I think – long-term, look, I think sort of the

Americans are making their decision minds upon the president being a liar

and they don`t trust him.  But what I think was problematic for Republicans

is what the Republican members on that committee did and how they were

trying to protect the president at all costs.


When you look at the percentage of Americans particularly in Middle America

who think this president is lying, who think this president has done

something wrong, for the Republicans in Congress to be lockstep in line

with him and trying to protect him, I think long-term that helped – that

hurts them in some districts.


I think they might actually lose more seats going into this election than

they last loss in the midterms.


HAYES:  That`s a bold prediction.  Cornell Belcher, you`ll be back on many

times before that does or does not come true.  Michelle Goldberg, thank you

both for being with me.  Next a closer look of the list of 81 people and

organizations targeted in the new sweeping House investigation.  Some of

the key people you may not have even heard of.  I do this for a living and

I had to remind myself.  We`ll walk you through that with what we`ve

learned in two minutes.




HAYES:  A day after Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee unveiled

their broad investigation into President Trump and his associates, the

President was still raging this morning not surprisingly tweeting among

other things, “The greatest overreach in the history of our country –

capital-C country, arguable and a lot of overages.  The Dems are

obstructing justice and will not get anything done, a big fat fishing

expedition desperately in search of crime when in fact the real crime is

what the Dems are doing and have done.”


Speaking later in an event for veterans, Trump was asked about a different

congressional investigation into his administration but still just had one

thing on his mind.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Sir, your response to the Democrats who are calling

for a criminal investigation into Jared Kushner`s security clearance?


TRUMP:  The witch hunt continues.  The fact is that – I guess we got 81

letters.  There was no collusion.  That was a hoax.  There was no anything.




HAYES:  It`s like a dollar you pull a string on.  Joining me now for a

closer look at those 81 people and organizations Philip Bump, National

Correspondent of the Washington Post.  He has written a very, very helpful

article titled The 81 People and Organizations Just Looped Into The Trump

Probe and Why They Were Included, which also good straightforward headline

on that.  Also with me Maya Wiley, Senior Vice President of Social Justice

in the New School and an MSNBC Legal Analyst.


So I was just saying to Michelle Goldberg when she was talking about even

people who follow this day in day out, you can lose the threads.  And when

this came out yesterday, it was going through being like right, right, oh

wait, which one is that.  Let`s talk about some of the more obscure ones

who are in there.  Maybe Rinat Akhmetshin, who is fairly central figure but

a little more on the obscure end.



is a guy – he was one of the participants in the Trump Tower meeting.  He

accompanies the Kremlin linked attorney as she`s referred to Natalia

Veselnitskaya to that meeting.  They had worked together in part apparently

at Fusion GPS as well working on some Russia related issues.  But he was at

that meeting.  He also – has apparent ties to Russian military



Now he – his people push back on me today and said, well, actually he

served in a unit which supported military intelligence and so there`s a lot

of nebulousness there.  But he is – I think a lot of people see him as the

most direct conduit between Russia and what was happening in the Trump



HAYES:  Because he`s sort of a Washington figure right?  Like, he had been

a lobbyist.  He`d lobbied for Russian interests, if I`m not mistaken.


BUMP:  That`s right.


HAYES:  He`s in that world.


BUMP:  That`s right.


HAYES:  What are the one names it that`s stuck out of you, Maya?


MAYA WILEY, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST:  Well, you know, I am – I fall directly

in that category of you could guess what I`m interested in.  I`m looking at

all of like Tony Fabrizio, you know, who is the pollster for Paul Manafort

who knows what was in that polling information that Manafort shared with

Russians.  Like I`m looking at how do we know exactly what kind of

information was shared by whom and of what import, of what impact.


HAYES:  Tony Fabrizio is a great – he`s the pollster that Manafort was

using and there`s this real question that we don`t know because of the ways

things are redacted.  We know that polling data was shared.  We don`t know

the story behind it, how in-depth it was.  Like the most exculpatory

stories like he just printed some stuff off his computer and it was kind of

like a con job to make this guy feel like he was part of something.  The

most inculpatory story is that it was real stuff from inside and presumably

Tony Fabrizio would know that.


WILEY:  That`s right.  And even if he wasn`t part of an arguable – I`m not

saying that there`s evidence yet of a conspiracy but an arguable

conspiracy, you know, he could at least just knowing the substance of the

polls be able to indicate whether or not Paul Manafort was really sharing

something that was of value to the Russians for interfering in the



And you know, I think they`re just several names that kind of float around

that from Cambridge Analytica you know.  So that – all of the people who

kind of float directly to what information may have been shared by the

campaign with Russian operative.


HAYES:  And because that`s the closest we`ve come to the thing the two

sides touching right?  I mean, that`s the one place where we know they

touch, right?  Like we know Paul Manafort gave this polling data which is a

weird-ass thing to do in the middle of the campaign.  What about Annie

Donaldson?  This was someone whose name came up and I think a lot of people

had to do some googling.  Why might she be key and important?


BUMP:  So Annie Donaldson was chief of staff to Don McGahn who was the

White House Counsel.  And so she was right-hand person, right.  And so she

was there.  And one of the things we learned – the New York Times reported

this actually fairly recently is that she took copious notes about what was

going on about her conversations with McGahn, about what was happening in

the White House.  And she was there – she also served in the transition

with McGahn so that may be of interest to investigators.


But she was there for things like the Comey firing.  She was there for the

Flynn firing.  She was there – actually I think, she came after the Flynn

firing but she was definitely here for the Comey firing.  And that is

something that she took notes on paid attention to and that is now actually

in the Mueller`s team`s hands.


HAYES:  Now, that`s something – this is a place where you know you can

make document requests.  You can ask subpoenas although that`s fairly rare,

right?  Usually, this is worked out through a negotiation.  Something like

that is a place where you can see a plausible assertion of executive

privilege coming from the White House, right, Maya?


WILEY:  Absolutely.  And I think this is where even though it`s very hard

to win on executive privilege because it`s the weakest, you know, while it

has been recognized by the Supreme Court.  It`s not a strong privilege. 

You don`t get to withhold things if there`s an indication that a crime may

have been committed.  You can`t use it to withhold evidence.  But you can

litigate it.  And so the –


HAYES:  You can fight and you can delay.


WILEY:  You can fight and you can delay and you can delay for years

potentially and catching it up in a legal process.  So I actually look at

those witnesses in part who are not connected to the administration in

order to –


HAYES:  That`s a great point.


WILEY:  – where they can get information much more quickly and much more



HAYES:  So someone like Tony Fabrizio or Keith Davidson who`s the attorney

who represented Stormy Daniels in the hush money band, it`s really hard to

see any plausible claim of executive privilege there.  Like these people

had nothing to do in the White House, never worked in the White House.


They`re going to probably have to comply or that process we can imagine

being faster.  Things in the White House do you imagine the White House is

going to go nuclear in terms of fighting that in every step they have.


BUMP:  Yes, absolutely.  I mean, we saw – I think it was last year that

Donald Trump Jr. tried to claim executive privilege in conversations with

his father.  Like they have a very expansive if not legally dubious way of

looking at executive privilege.  But it seems pretty clear that anyone who

still maintains loyalty to the White House will try and exert.


HAYES:  OK, last little thing is the Peter Smith loose thread here which

shows up which is a story that we covered in a story that`s always been

bizarre to me.  Who is Peter Smith?


BUMP:  So Peter Smith is a long term Republican operative.  He was – he is

sort of an anti-Clinton guy back in the 1990s.


HAYES:  And a donor.


BUMP:  Yes, exactly.  And he during the 2016 campaign sort of took it upon

himself to find e-mails that he believed had been stolen from Hillary

Clinton`s private e-mail server.  He raised hundreds of thousands of

dollars to do this.  He claims to have – to have a relationship with

Michael Flynn and other figures within the campaign.


He actually solicited experts trying to weigh in and he was on what he`d

like to call the dark web which I don`t know who`s really the parkway, but

you know, he like to have sort of this air of espionage about himself

pretty clearly and it ended tragically.


He was – the Wall Street Journal reported on him on this effort and ten

days later he took his own life in Minnesota and it remains this sort of

black box and it`s either this guy is doing some sort of weird freelancing

or it`s something that`s potentially –


HAYES:  Yes.  I`ve always wanted a sort of more definitive accounting of

where we ended up on that whole thing because it seemed possible and it is

just a bizarre freelance exercise.  Philip Bump and Maya Wiley, thank you



Still to come, Roger Stone is doing just about everything he can to end up

in jail.  Now despite his gag order planned to release his book about the

Mueller investigation.  What happens next after this.




HAYES:  Not a good day today for Roger Stone who seems to be trying really

hard to land himself in jail.  You will remember that after Stone was

indicted, he was giving press conferences and interviews but he really

managed to galvanize everyone`s attention when he posted an image on his

Instagram account of the federal judge who is overseeing his case with

crosshairs alongside the picture.


Now, Judge Amy Berman Jackson didn`t take too kindly to that.  She

responded by issuing a strict gag order.  Stone was pursuant to her order

forbidden from making public statements about the special prosecutor`s

investigation, his criminal case or anybody involved in that case.


Then last week, Stone`s lawyers came out with a huge oh, by the way, they

asked the court for a clarification on that gag order.  Why?  Because stone

wanted the judge to OK the imminent re-release of a Roger Stone book about

the “myth of Russian collusion with a brand-new intro on the Mueller

investigation packed with lines like this, “clearly, I was targeted for

strictly political reasons.  We know that because it`s already online.


But that`s not all, the special counsel`s office then alerted the judge to

this, “Who Framed Roger Stone,” another post on Roger Stone`s Instagram

account and an instastory, later deleted.


Today, in a new court order, Jude Jackson made the court`s displeasure with

this pattern of behavior crystal clear.  The judge basically shredded the

defense team`s argument that the Roger Stone book wasn`t a violation of the

gag order, because it was previously planned.  And the judge gave Stone

until March 11, next Monday, to explain how he planned to come into

compliance with the gag order.


And to explain all recent social media posts, including deleted one.


And this is the same judge who in issuing the gag order just a couple of

weeks ago had said, quote, “so I want to be clear today, I gave you a

second chance, but this is not baseball, there will not be a third chance.”


Joining me now, Nancy Gertner, who is a former U.S. district judge for the

district of Massachusetts, is now a senior lecturer at Harvard Law School.


I`m so glad that you were able to come on, Nancy, because you sat – you

presided over criminal cases and civil cases, and you have had lots of – I

guess the first question is do you ever someone like Roger Stone who just

can`t seem to help himself?


NANCY GERTNER, FORMER U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE:  Yeah, I`ve had people.  I mean,

you know, on the one hand – on the one hand I want to sort of analogize it

to the child that you say bedtime is 8:00 and they`re going, oh, two more

minutes, another book, except it`s really serious.  And he really is

playing with fire.


HAYES:  Yeah, what did you make of the tone of that order today?  So

there`s this question about whether he`s violated this gag order and the

judge issues this order today and says you have to

present on March 11.  What was your reading of that document?


GERTNER:  Well, the document was way detailed about all the chances that

she had given him, you know, about – and you have to – I do want to step

back and say I mean this judge was very cautious about the kind of order

she was going to give him.  There wasn`t a gag order on him initially, it

was only on the lawyers.  He couldn`t speak outside the court house. 


Then there is the picture with the crosshairs, which the picture of a

federal judge, you know, with negative comments is really extraordinary.  I

have never seen that before, and I`ve seen a lot.  And then, then comes

this incredibly disingenuous pleading last Friday, which is we want

clarification about the imminent release of the book, p.s., it was the book

that had already been released.  


And in an extraordinary footnote in her decision, I mean really, you feel

like this is a decision that the edges should be burned, you know, and in a

footnote to the decision, she says I think I know why he filed that order,

that motion about the imminent release of the book, because it would

attract attention to the book.  It was a way of increasing sales.  I mean,

it was extraordinary.


HAYES:  Yeah, I just want to quote it, because it`s – she writes,

“defendant`s March 4 submission gives rise to the impression that the March

1 motion in which they asked about the book was intended to serve as a

means to generate additional publicity for the book.”


GERTNER:  Right.  So he says the imminent release of a book that in fact

has already been released.  And then this past Sunday, so that was on

Friday, Sunday there`s the Instagram post, you know, “Who Framed Roger

Stone.”  I mean this man is – I mean at this point she has – she has two

choices and it seems to me that one is a more likely one.  One choice is to

say don`t do it again.  It`s very hard to do it under these circumstances. 

The other choice is to say I revoke your bail, which it seems to me is

maybe the more likely response.


HAYES:  So she can do that.  She has the power to revoke bail and put him

in jail because he is not complying with the terms of his bail?


GERTNER:  Right.  And what`s extraordinary about this order was that the

language of the order that he is supposed to follow was drafted by his

lawyers.  It was drafted by his lawyers, and he`s disobeyed it.


HAYES:  Oh, you`re saying the language of the order, his lawyer said, here,

we propose these following restraints.


GERTNER:  Right.


HAYES:  The judge signed onto them and he is now violating what his own

lawyers proposed as the rules of the road for being Roger Stone pending



GERTNER:  Right.  And so I don`t know what the explanation is here.  I

don`t know what the  explanation is. 


She`s asked for correspondence with his publisher to sort of figure out

when he knew this

book was coming out, but I don`t see how this isn`t anything but a

violation of the terms of the order.


HAYES:  If it is a violation, does that mean that he would be in a

situation similar to Paul

Manafort in which he`s just in jail in pretrial detention until the trial?


GERTNER:  I mean she`s sort of a little bit in a box.  Yes, she can revoke

his bail because as a condition of bail, you have your freedom on the

condition that you follow the rules of the court.  And if this is an

explicit violation of those rules, then she has a right to revoke his bail. 

She could cite him for contempt, but that is a more complicated process and

a more difficult process.


No, she could easily revoke his bail.  She could cite him for contempt, but

that`s a more complicated process and a more difficult process.  No, she

could easily revoke his bail.  Manafort was in more sense a more serious

offense, because his was tampering with a witness, but this is really –

saying to a federal judge in your face…


HAYES:  Yeah, you`re right about Manafort.  It was more serious, because it

was tampering with a witness and it was violating – but also, you have

these two individuals who have known each other forever, in fact started a

lobbying firm together notoriously in Paul Manafort and Roger Stone, just

as a kind of characterological takeaway that these two individuals cannot

help themselves, but violating rules, laws, things like that, it`s really

pretty striking.


GERTNER:  It`s extraordinary.  It`s unnecessary.  It`s, you know, sort of

undermining the authority of the court.  It`s a sociopath.


HAYES:  That`s what it looks like.


Nancy Gertner, thank you very much.


Still to come, Congressman Ilhan Omar and the polarizing generational fight

within the

Democratic Party.  Plus, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two, starts next.




HAYES:  Thing One tonight, The New Yorker dropped its big report about the

very cozy mutually beneficial partnership between President Trump and his

mouthpiece, Fox News.  And you might think that after getting caught red-

handed like that they both might want to lay low a little bit.  But

instead, the president`s Twitter feed last night was a full-on Trump TV

live blog.  Long quotations, I mean long quotations of his favorite

booster, Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson and guests from appearances on

multiple shows.  I mean, you just watched them all, even shared a clip of

the auburn-haired Fox Business host Lou Dobbs.


And if you listen closely, you can how the perpetual Trump nonsense machine





LOU DOBBS, FOX BUSINESS:  This is nothing but a political persecution. 

It`s not even an investigation.  This is purely and straightforwardly an



I want to talk about what these lazy, indolent, passive son of a guns can

do on a declaration of war against the radical dems against the president

and the American republic.


SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS:  As the the Democrats endless investigations, the

hate Trump

agenda is now hitting literally psychotic levels of derangement.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I heard they actually subpoenaed the chef that makes

the Taco bowls

over at Trump Tower, that`s how dirty they`re getting.  It`s revenge

politics because Hillary lost.  The only thing Trump obstructed was Hillary

getting into the White House.




HAYES:  But, let it not be said that there isn`t journalism being practiced

at Trump TV, the hard-hitting investigation that you might have missed is

Thing Two in 60 seconds.




HAYES:  It`s been nearly a month since Amazon founder Jeff Bezos accused

the National Enquirer of trying to blackmail him.  And although we don`t

know for sure, there`s quite a bit of suspicion that the guy who runs the

Enquirer, David Pecker, was going after Bezos as a way to please his long-

time buddy and kind of business associate, really, President Donald Trump.


Last night,  Trump`s second best investigative journalist friend had a

blockbuster investigative report of his own.  Hannity Watch, an

investigation, into the 2020 candidates.




HANNITY:  All right, time for Hannity Watch, our investigation into a 2020

candidates.  This weekend, Senator Bernie Sanders kicked off his 2020

campaign in Brooklyn, wasted little time before revealing, well, more

hypocrisy.  Democratic socialist, open borders advocate, held a rally and

was happy to greet his supporters from behind a barrier.  Why is the fence

up, Bernie?  Oh, a barrier is acceptable if they protect you personally? 

They`re only wrong if they`re used to protect our border and the American

people, just like how many celebrities in Hollywood and politicians have

armed security guards.  And Bernie flies in private jets.




HAYES:  That`s right, Bernie.  You`re burnt.


OK, this has been a Hannity Watch investigation.  And all kidding aside,

there are serious questions that need to be asked here, like, is that guy





TRUMP:  And Hannity, how good is Hannity?  How good is Hannity?  And he`s a

great guy.  And he`s an honest guy.  And he`s an honest guy.






HAYES:  Do you remember back in December when unexpectedly seemingly out of

nowhere Donald Trump tweeted that he was pulling U.S. troops out of Syria? 

The position itself that U.S. troops should leave Syria is defensible.  It

might even be the right position.  I tend to think it is.  But the decision

was made with little to no preparation, no consultation with congressional

leaders, even much of the Department of Defense itself was in the dark. 


In fact, Trump`s shock announcement appeared to precipitate the resignation

of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis who rebuked the president in a scorching

resignation letter.


And then, because Donald Trump has no mastery of anything or even any

guiding principles, forces quickly went to work on him to reverse that

decision.  And today it looks like he has indeed backtracked, scrawling I

agree 100 percent.  All is being done on a letter sent by a bipartisan

group of

lawmakers in support of keeping U.S. forces in Syria.


Of course who knows what that means in concrete terms, are or even how long

until the  president changes his mind again.  That is the real danger right

now of foreign policy in the Trump era, that an ignorant, incurious,

incompetent president follows his impulses with no planning or consistency

while a coterie of hawkish advisers stand ever ready to swoop in and push

him towards their own ends,

whether that`s to undue the Iran deal, to adopt a maximally aggressive

approach to Venezuela or to keep troops in Syria.


Already the presidential inattention is having an effect.  Donald Trump

once threatened North Korea with fire and fury and seemed to be pushing us

towards the brink of war, war before he and

dictator Kim Jong-un, as he put it, fell in love, that`s a literal

quotation.  And now after a summit that was abruptly broken up for reasons

that remain somewhat unclear, North Korea, voila, appears to

be rebuilding a long dormant long-range rocket site.


A thoughtful, coherent foreign policy might have had a strategy to prevent

this sort of this thing, but that is not how this president operates.  And

the situation is frankly untenable.  We`ve been lucky so far, but at some

point our luck could very well run out.




HAYES:  Tonight, House Democratic sources are telling NBC News that a

planned resolution condemning anti-Semitism will now include language

denouncing anti-Muslim bias.  The vote on that resolution comes as a

response to controversies surrounding freshman Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. 

Omar, one of only two Muslim women in congress, both elected in this last

election, has been attracting criticism for her commentary on Israel since

before she got elected.  Back in 2012, during the Israeli

offensive in Gaza, Omar tweeted that, quoted, “Israel has hypnotized the

world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of



Last month, Omar seemed to imply that U.S. lawmakers support for Israel was

fueled by money, tweeting somewhat glibly, quote, “it`s all about the

Benjamins, baby,” and then amidst a bipartisan

backlash, Omar apologized, writing, quote, “anti-Semitism is real.”  And

then added, “we have to always be willing to step back and think through

criticism just as I expect people to hear me when

others attack me for my identity.  This is why I unequivocally apologize.”


And then last week in a bookstore even in Washington, D.C., Omar spoke

about the frustration she has when it comes to trying to discussing and

advocate for human rights and abuses against the Palestinians.  And then

she said something that again sparked controversy.




REP. ILHAN OMAR, (D) MINNESOTA:  I`m going to talk about the political

influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for

allegiance to a foreign country.  I want to ask why is it OK for me to talk

about the influence of the NRA, of fossil fuel industries or big pharma and

not talk about a powerful lobbying group that is influencing policy?




HAYES:  These comments have polarized the Democratic Party, I think it`s

fair to say.  Some of Omar`s colleagues, like fellow Freshman Rep.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have defended her.  Back home in Minnesota, a

collection of elected officials started a stand with Ilhan hashtag that was

trending on witter yesterday.  Others in the Democratic Party, including

very senior members of the House, have condemned her saying she continues

to perpetuate her full anti-Semitic stereotypes.


To talk about all this, I`m joined by Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of J

Street, and Mehdi Hassan, a columnist with The Intercept.


Jeremy, how do you see all this?


JEREMY BEN-AMI, PRESIDENT, J STREET:  Well, look, let`s start by saying

anti-Semitism is real and we can agree.  My mother fled the Nazis in 1938,

so let`s agree we can condemn it and move on.  If you are going to have a

serious discussion about hate and intolerance in this country, let`s start

at the top, let`s start by having a House discussion about the president`s

intolerance and his racism, let`s have a discussion about the xenophobia

and the racism that`s coming from the other side of the aisle, and let`s

stop using the discussion of anti-Semitism as a way of avoiding a real

discussion about policy towards Israel and Palestine and the issues that

are actually on the table about occupation and the treatment of the



HAYES:  Do you think that`s what is happening here?


BEN-AMI:  I think absolutely.  There is an attempt to silence the debate by

focusing the

discussion on the question of anti-Semitism rather than the underlying

issue that really needs to be discussed which is our American policy toward

the region.


HAYES:  Mehdi, here is an argument that I`ve seen people make.  And I find

kind of persuasive.  And I say this because Omar herself made it in the

last apology, which is basically, look, there are sort two coalitions in

American life, one coalition is like you`re all snowflakes, why is everyone


offended by everything?  Why can`t you deal with language?  What`s your

problem?  There`s another coalition that says look when you offend people,

and they say in good faith I`m offended, you listen seriously to that and

if they say that language is bad for these historical reasons, then you do

your best to avoid that.  Do you think that applies here in the case of

Omar herself and some of the sort of tropes, for lack of better word, that

some say she played on.


MEHDI HASSAN, THE INTERCEPT:  She hasn`t played on things.  Has she maybe

unwittingly echoed tropes?  Yes.  But I think, Chris, the bigger issue here

is do people have some good

faith objections?  Yes, they do.  Has the reporting been awful, Chris?  It

has.  Let`s be clear.  She hasn`t said anything about Jews.  She`s not said

one word about Jews.


I got an email today from a Jewish reader saying you wrote an article and

you didn`t mention how she accused us Jews of having loyalty to Israel. 

Why didn`t you mention that, because she didn`t say that.  She talked about

supporters of Israel insisting that politicians in the U.S. show allegiance

to Israel, and that`s kind of undeniable.  I mean, that`s been reported on

for years.  And I think that is what is important here, Chris, a lot of

good faith criticism is based on kind of misreporting of what she said and



And the bad faith criticism, I completely agree with Jeremy, the idea that

the Republican Party

are going to give lectures on anti-Semitism it`s like taking lectures on

climate change from the Republican Party.  I mean, these are the guys who

are trafficking in globalist, Soros, all of this language that helped

inspire the guy who walked into a synagogue in October and murdered 11

Jewish worshipers.  That wasn`t a guy who inspired by Ilhan Omar, that was

a guy who believed in the same kind of conspiracy theories that Donald

Trump and Republican members of congress put out day in, day out.


So, it`s the bad faith attacks to the real problem here and I agree with

Jeremy, we need to be looking at the big picture here.


Anti-Semitism is on the rise.  And we need to understand why it`s on the

rise, it`s a far right ethnonationalist problem.  It`s not a problem from

people who are criticizing Israel.


And one quick point, Chris, the most important tweet of the last couple

weeks has not been Ilhan Omar`s tweet for me, it was Juan Vargas, the

California congressman, who tweeted yesterday after criticizing her

additionally questioning the U.S.-Israel relationship is unacceptable.  Cat

out of the bag there.


HAYES:  Well, he said those two sentences right next to each other, which I

thought was honest and important, because he was distinguishing between the

two.  And to me, Jeremy, it also gets at a

deeper issue here, right.  So, there is this discussion about anti-

Semitism, which is very real, I think, you know, it is tearing the Labour

Party apart quite literally.  It`s rendering – it`s rented asunder in

England and there is a lot of sort of complex ways people feel about that,

the degree to which it`s in good faith or bad faith, but it is central



Then there is a question of this sort of generational view of Israel.  And

it seems to be part of 

the issue here is there is a gap between senior leadership in the

Democratic Party and how they

feel about Israel and younger members of the party and younger members of

the base who watched a Netanyahu government for almost a decade, who do not

feel the same way about the state.


BEN-AMI:  Right.  And not only do they watch the Netanyahu government, but

they watch the

similarities between Netanyahu and Trump.  And they know that they`re

opposed to Trump and they oppose his racism and his undercutting of

democracy and his attack on the institutions of our democracy, and they see

the exact same thing happening there and here and they say, well, if we`re

opposed to what Trump is doing here, why can`t we just be opposed to what

Netanyahu is doing over there.  And that`s legitimate.  And it`s a

legitimate thing to criticize the policies of the government of Israel. 

And not everybody who does that is either anti-Israel or anti-Semitic.  In

fact, most of the people that I work with who are critical of Israeli

government policy both love the state of Israel and are Jewish.


And so I think it`s that distinguishing – it`s the distinction of that

line that we need to focus on.


HAYES:  I guess the point – the argument made on the other side, right,

Mehdi, is that those

two things go along for a reason, often.  And when you find the sort of

more conspiratorial corners of

say Facebook posts by Labour members of parliament which are gross and

antis-Semitic, that there is a reason that there is an overlap there,

because people`s views are being driven by anti-Semitism.


HASSAN:  Yes, but the problem is, as Jeremy pointed out at the start, let`s

look at big picture.  This resolution they`re putting forward now on

Thursday says really important things about the rise in the number of anti-

Semitic attacks, the outrageous statements about Jews, discrimination,

hate.  Ilhan Omar it has nothing to do with any of that.  She has not

expressed any hate, animus, or discrimination.


And, you know, she`s been on the receiving end of the hate, and she has a

Republican party in West Virginia saying she`s a terrorist.  You have an

adviser to the president going on Fox and calling

her fifth.  So, the idea that she should be targeted by a resolution is



And would say one thing here, everything she said about Israel, she`s

pretty much said about Saudi Arabia.  So, if she`s an anti-Semitic, she

must be an Islamophobe as well.


HAYES:  She has been hard after Saudi Arabia from the beginning, which is

worth noting.  And that poster there was in the West Virginia capital the

other day, put up by the Republican Party.


Jeremy Ben-Ami and Mehdi Hassan, thanks for joining us.


That is ALL IN for this evening.  “THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW” starts right

now.  Good evening, Rachel.







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