Robert Mueller submits report to DOJ. TRANSCRIPT: 3/22/19, All In w/ Chris Hayes.

Guests:
Jamie Raskin, Mazie Hirono, Anna Galland, Glenn Kirschner, Carol Lam, Elliott Williams
Transcript:

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST:  And all the people around him were having all

those meetings with Russians and doing what they wanted done because why

did we change the Republican platform, why did all this happen, why was the

president so gung-ho pro-Moscow all these years now.

 

Thank you David Corn, thank you Joy Reid, thank you Charlie Sykes, and my

friend Michael Beschloss, thank you, sir.  That`s HARDBALL for now.  “ALL

IN” with Chris Hayes starts right now

 

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST:  Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes. 

Tonight the breaking news that the political world has been anticipating

for weeks.  Special Counsel Robert Mueller has now submitted his final

report to the Department of Justice and concluded his investigation of

Russia and the Trump campaign.

 

We got word at 5:00 p.m. today that Mueller had delivered his report to the

current Attorney General William Barr, recently confirmed, for Barr`s

review.  In a letter then to the bipartisan leaders of both the House and

Senate Judiciary Committee, Barr said he`s reviewing Mueller`s report and

may be able to advise them of its principle collusions as soon as this

weekend.

 

The Attorney General told the members of Congress he`s committed to as much

transparency as possible.  In the year and ten months since he was

appointed by Deputy Attorney General Ron Rosenstein, Mueller has achieved a

remarkable record of charges and convictions.  13 Russian nationals

indicted for waging a digital influence campaign to disrupt the 2016

election, perhaps most importantly 12 Russian military intelligence

officers indicted for that seminal moment.  The hacking of Democrats and

distributing the stolen materials.

 

He`s also uncovered an extraordinary ring of criminality surrounding the

current president of the United States.  The President`s fixer and lawyer

pleaded guilty.  His national security adviser on the campaign and in the

White House pleaded guilty.  A campaign foreign policy aide pleaded guilty. 

His longtime friend and advisor indicted.  His deputy campaign manager

pleaded guilty.  His campaign manager convicted, pleaded guilty, currently

serving a 7.5 year sentence.

 

According to reports, Mueller is not planning to recommend any further

indictments which is interesting and we`ll get to that.  Nonetheless, a lot

of questions remain about what happens next.  Individual aspects of the

Mueller investigation are still unresolved like the prosecution of Roger

Stone and Rick Gates and Michael Flynn`s cooperation deals.

 

Other investigations that started in the Special Counsel`s Office have

already been farmed out to other parts of the Justice Department and their

status is still unclear.  And then of course there`s the content of

Mueller`s report itself which remains as of this moment the biggest mystery

of all.

 

Joining me now Julie Ainsley, NBC News National Security and Justice

Reporter who`s been staking out the Justice Department for days keeping us

updated on every Mueller report development and MSNBC`s Chief Legal

Correspondent Ari Melber who is host of THE BEAT right here on this network

every day, weekday at 6:00 p.m.

 

Julia, I`ll begin with you.  So it was transmitted today.  How did that go

down?

 

JULIA AINSLEY, NBC NEWS NATIONAL SECURITY AND JUSTICE REPORTER:  Let`s see. 

It things started to get really tense.  It seemed like something as

happening right around 4:00.  And now we know because we`re able to get the

tick-tock and the behind-the-scenes that at that time shortly before 4:00,

the report was delivered in person from the Special Counsel`s Office over

to the Justice Department.

 

And in around 4:30, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein called Mueller

and thanked him for his work over these past 22 months.  At that same time

around 4:30, Barr`s chief of staff called over to the White House.  We

wondered if they would give them a warning.  They did.  Called over to the

White House to Emmet Flood on the legal counsel over there and said that

the report – that the investigation had concluded and he read him that

letter that they would be then transmitting to Congress.

 

And then this is the part that I think is a most magical.  At 5:00, the

congressional liaison at the Justice Department knew his job would be to go

brief the committees but he didn`t want to have any jealousy about who

might get this first and how this might go down so they dispersed a team to

the Democrat and Republican side of both the House and the Senate Judiciary

to make sure that the letters that I`m holding here now, mine is a little

weathered from being outside, that that was put down in front of both

committees all for a Republican-Democrat Senate and House Judiciary at the

exact same time at 5:00.

 

At that point, we got the word of the Justice Department, ran to the camera

and now we all have this letter and we are waiting for the next step which

is what are those principle conclusions.

 

HAYES:  So let`s talk about that, Ari, the next steps.  What is the

guidance here in terms of what the regulations say and what can we expect

based on what Barr has said.

 

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST:  Here`s what we know.  The regulations state that

Mueller would put forward a confidential report on who we charged and who

we didn`t.  And that is the exact reference that Barr makes in this letter

basically saying that as soon as this weekend potential he could transmit

to Congress those principle conclusions.

 

That could be something as short and as unsatisfying as the list of

indictment we already know about and some other names that are redacted or

it could be more.  But that is the immediate term.  I think it is

fascinating that Barr has decided to give himself a week and time frame.

 

It would have been totally reasonable, Chris, as you know, for him to say

three business days or by the end of next week.

 

HAYES:  Right.

 

MELBER:  Because there`s no automatic assumption of misconduct here. 

Indeed one thing we should all remember in America tonight is that 22

months ago Donald Trump fired Jim James Comey, said he did it because of

Russia, and thought I dare anyone to deal with that.  We do it my way.  And

Rod Rosenstein and some other I think, nonpartisan people in Justice

Department said no.  And they basically held the line.

 

And then later when he tried to fire Mueller, his own White House Counsel

held the line.  And tonight if we know nothing else, we know the Donald

Trump failed in his efforts to remove Comey without accountability or to

stifle this probe and instead has the highest indictment rate for

presidential advisors of any president of American history, six in about

two years.

 

Other presidents have had that only in the second term of Barack Obama when

eight years and none of his advisers were indicted.  So all of that becomes

official tonight because we didn`t know until as Julia just outlined, until

late in the day today around 5:00 p.m. that Bob Mueller was going to finish

his entire probe without incident.

 

HAYES:  You know, we should – we should note something here, I think

that`s important, Julia, which is a note that Barr makes right?  Aside from

talking about the principal conclusions, he says this and this is – this

is sort of directed by the regulations at issue.

 

It says, the special counsel regulations require.  I provide you with the

description and explanation of instances if any in which the Attorney

General concluded that a proposed action by a special counsel was so

inappropriate or unwarranted that it should not be pursued.  There were no

such instances during the special counsel investigation which is

essentially Barr saying what, Julia?

 

AINSLEY:  He`s saying that no one should be worried that this Justice

Department under his watch or even before he came that this Justice

Department sought to shut down or limit the scope of Robert Mueller`s

investigation.  He`s saying that Robert Mueller is letting them off the

hook.  That there wasn`t someone that they wanted to charge and the Justice

Department wouldn`t let him.

 

And that`s a key question he was smart to answer right off the bat because

you wouldn`t want the American public tonight to say well, can we trust

this report because really it was under the purview of a Justice Department

and officials at the President himself appointed.

 

So he wanted that transparency, and you see that throughout the letter.  He

also says he`s going to consult with rod Rosenstein and with Robert Mueller

as he decides what else he can make public.

 

HAYES:  You know, there`s also – and we should note the fact that Robert

Mueller ending his work here doesn`t mean that he disappears as a human

being which is to say were there something untoward, he`s still there,

right?  I mean – and Congress, of course, can call him to testify.

 

MELBER:  Exactly.

 

HAYES:  I guess what I`m trying to say here is the whole question here, the

origin of this happens with Comey`s firing and it`s a factual question of

what happened.  Someone figure out what happened here.  What happened in

the during the election.  What did the Russians do and what did they do it,

what if any did the campaign know about it, what ultimately everyone has

been working to get to whatever the facts indicate is what the facts of the

matter were.

 

MELBER:  Well, and let`s be clear.  Donald Trump fired James Comey and lied

about it.

 

HAYES:  Right.

 

MELBER:  And that was exposed.  And then he admitted that the letter that

said that they had to fire James Comey because he was mean to Hillary

Clinton –

 

HAYES:  Too mean to Hilary Clinton.

 

MELBER:  Too mean to Hillary was false and it was really because he had

Russia on his mind.  So that`s an established public fact not necessarily

evidence of a crime by itself, but a fact that he lied about something that

central.

 

And according to the New York Times and sources close to Don McGahn, his

White House Counsel, he also tried to have Bob Mueller fire.  Unlike Comey

that could have been a crime if he pulled it off and that is presumably

also part of this investigation.

 

Another really interesting thing that I`m sure you`ll get to because I

don`t have a lot of great experts tonight.  Isn`t it interesting Chris that

Barr goes beyond the requirements tonight yep and puts is you just alluded

to Mueller`s name in the process going forward?

 

I mean, this is a big headline.  22 months in Mueller finished tonight. 

Mueller stops being special counsel in an operative way tonight.  The

Mueller probe ends tonight.  And what`s the first thing Barr does, he

doesn`t say goodbye, good riddance, were done with Mueller, he says in

paragraph three Mueller is going to consult with me on an ongoing basis

about what else we release.

 

So you have the weekend release, that`s a little – probably a little bit

of stuff, and then you have the wider release and he`s name checking

Mueller on that which is a fascinating thing.

 

HAYES:  Yes, we should have read that here.  He says, I intend to consult

with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Special Counsel Mueller to

determine what other information from the report can be released to

Congress in the public consistent with the law.

 

We should say we just – we just got this from Jerry Nadler who of course

is the Judiciary Committee Chair in the House.  He says, we`ll see what has

been made public.  We`ll react to that.  Take a listen to what he has to

say.

 

No, we don`t have that yet.  Let me know when you do have that.  That`s

Nadler reacting to what has just come out from the Department of Justice.

 

MELBER:  Right.  And so I`m going to be very clear about what we`re hearing

there in that Barr statement.  Either he`s name-checking Mueller on good

faith basis that he wants to finish this out in a great and cooperative

way.  Or he knows what you just pointed out I know you`ve pointed out to

viewers before which is Bob Mueller has a lot of leverage as a former FBI

director and now tonight as of tonight a former Special Counsel because if

you cut him out of the process in ways that are in his view unfair to the

outcome of the probe or the conclusions and evidence that he`s amassed, he

can lawfully respond to a subpoena and tell the Congress.

 

So we don`t know tonight.  I`m not one to say I assume the worst of Barr or

assume the best.  It`s not really our jobs.  We just don`t know whether

he`s doing this to try to finish this out in the best way possible or

whether as a smart lawyer who by the way had managed the Iran-Contra

ending.  He knows that Bob Mueller, unlike any other prosecutor, has some

other cards he can play.

 

HAYES:  Well, and just final thought here, Julia, is that one of the things

we`re seeing already get to some of the reaction is remarkably and I think

this is because there`s a lot of hope on the part of Republicans that this

is – this won`t be some sort of definitive smoking gun that has the

President texting Vladimir Putin about when they can coordinate –

 

MELBER:  Or WhatsApp.

 

HAYES:  Or WhatsApp.  But there is at least a unanimity and I think this is

actually sort of the important point from the beginning here right?  There

was some independent integrity put into a system that was corrupted from

the beginning or perceived to be corrupted, and that the results have some

integrity that can be shared by all sides.  And what you`re seeing right

now is sort of bipartisan unanimity on yes, show what`s what is inside the

box, Julia.

 

AINSLEY:  Yes.  I think everyone wants to see what`s in it.  And I think

that – I mean, we have to remember.  The first thing we see is really

going to be bare-bones.  It`s going to be the conclusions.  It might really

just be a regurgitation of a lot of the indictments we`ve already seen. 

Although the line that stands out to me is that they will also have to look

at declination decision.  So they`ll have to explain why they decided not

to prosecute some people.

 

So I`d like to see how far William Barr goes in explaining those decisions. 

But then it`s what comes next.  And I don`t know if it will be in the same

period again where we wonder when he`ll release those or if we`ll have a

timeline on that, but it`s what comes next.  It`s when he gets into other

pieces.  And they should be able to go further than you normally would at

the Justice Department which does not typically talk about people who are

just doing wrongful behavior but not indicted.  But in this case, he said

he`s going to go far enough to what`s in the public`s interest because

that`s outlined in the Special Counsel Regulation.

 

HAYES:  You know, there`s something Neal Katyal said to me the other night

and we`re going to hae him in just a moment.  You know, he talked about

Ferguson.  In the case of Ferguson there were two reports released.  One

was the investigation in the Police Department and the sort of – sort of

systemic civil rights violations.  The other though was an explanation of

their decision to not indict the officer in question under federal civil

rights charges which was quite lengthy.

 

Even though they were saying we`re not indicted him, they gave a lot of

exposition about what they saw as the evidence as a possible model for

something that we might see in this report.

 

MELBER:  Yes.  There`s the Ferguson example, here`s Anthrax, there`s Iran-

Contra.  There are plenty of cases where you get real details about that,

particularly when there`s public interests at stake that go beyond just one

private potential defendant.  The other thing I`ll mention is you know,

declination is just a fancy lawyers word for decline.  It`s the who he

declined to charge.

 

HAYES:  Thank you for that.

 

MELBER:  And – no because it`s going to be coming up all weekend.

 

HAYES:  Right.

 

MELER:  What are we waiting on?  We`re waiting on – and so is that a list

of people that`s redacted and it`s three names or ten, and all you know is

ten redacted names but that alone is interesting that they declined to

charge ten people for something else.

 

And I think it`s going to be interesting to see whether Democrats dig in if

Donald Trump`s trying to spike the football because it appears as if

tonight after 37 indictments, there`s not chargeable collusion, then why

would you fight to get any of this out.  What are you afraid of right with

any of these reports or information let it all come out?

 

HAYES:  Julia  Ainsley and Ari Melber, thank you so much for joining me.  I

want to bring in the aforementioned Neal Katyal, former Acting Solicitor

General the United States and NBC and MSNBC Legal Analyst.  He`s the man

who wrote the Department of Justice`s Special Council Regulations back in

1999.  And Neal, your reaction to what we`ve seen so far in terms of the

latitude that`s afforded to the Attorney General here and how he`s

conducted things thus far.

 

NEAL KATYAL, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST:  I think it`s looking pretty good right

now at this sure.  So I mean, what happened today is really the close of a

chapter, the Mueller investigation piece.  And now Mueller is kind of like

a relay racer handing off the baton to other folks, to Congress, to state

attorneys general, to the Southern District New York, to other prosecutors

investigating various things.

 

But part of this investigation looks like it may be closed as well. 

There`ll be those aforementioned declination decisions and the like.  And

what Barr did today in his letter was pretty significant.  He said he`s

committed to transparency, that he wants to provide as much information as

possible, and you know, that`s something that the President himself hinted

out a couple days ago.  And so I think the signs right now are all very

positive.

 

HAYES:  Let me get – let me ask you this.  Will it be the case that some

members of Congress will get to see the whole thing or does you know, in a

legal sense officially, Barr really control access to the report

unilaterally?

 

KATYAL:  I think one way or the other, members of Congress and ultimately

the American public are going to see almost everything.  There could be

some redactions for classified sources and methods and maybe if there`s

some intimate private conduct or something like that, I could see those

being excised.  But the rest – and Ari, I think said this so well, the

touchstone here is public confidence in the administration of the rule of

law.

 

And any sort of hint of a cover-up, anything that tries to prevent that

material from coming out I think will be inconsistent with everything our

Constitution and system of laws based on.

 

HAYES:  I want to play what Jerry Nadler who is the chair of the House

Judiciary Committee just had to say about the report being transmitted to

the Department of Justice.  Take a listen.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE:  We`ll see

what is made public.  We`ll react to that.  And as I said, if it is not

made public its entirety, we take – we`ll use a compulsory process, we`ll

subpoena the report, and if necessary we`ll reserve the right to call

Mueller before the committee or maybe even Barr before the committee.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  That`s the sort of backstop here, right?  I mean, I guess the idea

is as a sort of insurance against something being choked off the public

could see, it is the case of course, that House Committee can call any of

those people as witnesses.

 

KATYAL:  Absolutely.  They can call them and maybe the president might try

and block it on executive privilege or other grounds like that.  But I

think given the magnitude of the public`s interest at stake, any attempt to

squelch Mueller or that basic – everything in the report except for

classified material like that will be a red line.  I think this Congress

will fight that tooth and nail because it is fundamentally a betrayal of

American principles.

 

And so you know that`s a red line that I think I really hope this President

doesn`t cross.  I give him credit this week.  He said he wanted the report

to be public.  That`s what Barr`s statement today also suggests so I think

right now at least we`re in a good trajectory.

 

HAYES:  Yes.  I should – I should say in the opening statement, of course,

William Barr has came before the Senate Judiciary Committee for

confirmation sort of in the midst of all this while the – of dubious

constitutional authority Matt Whittaker was occupying that position.  And

this is what Barr had to say in his opening statement about what he saw as

his role in terms of public transparency.  Take a listen.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

WILLIAM BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL, UNITED STATES:  I also believe it is very

important that the public and Congress be informed of the results of the

Special Counsel`s work.  My goal will be to provide as much transparency as

I can consistent with the law.  I can assure you that where judgments are

to be made, I will make those judgments based solely on the law and I will

not let personal, political, or other improper interests influence my

decision.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  What are you looking for to make sure that that is the case

basically as we go forward here?

 

KATYAL:  I think it`s got to be almost the entire Mueller report except for

those limited exceptions that I said about classified information and

intimate conduct.  I think anything short of that will be seen as smacking

of a cover-up and inconsistent with the transparency that he promised.  And

there`s certainly no regulation, the Special Counsel Regulations don`t

forbid it, and nothing in DOJ policy that forbids a more fulsome

explanation when you have really a unique case of which this is.

 

I mean this is Ferguson times a million and obviously in Ferguson, as you

were just saying, there was a lot of information about the declination

decision that was revealed.  And you know, look, if they don`t do that, if

they try and suppress that, then Congress is just going to have to reinvent

the entire Mueller investigation.  This is going to drag things out but

they`re going to get this material one way or the other.

 

HAYES:  That`s well said.  Neal Katyal, as always, thank you for joining

me.

 

KATYAL:  Thank you.  Thank you.

 

HAYES:  Now we`re joined by Congressman Jamie Raskin, Democrat from

Maryland, Member of the two House committees that are currently – or two

of the House committees currently investigating the president, Oversight

and Judiciary.  We just played that your chair Jerry Nadler is response to

this.  What`s your response so far?

 

REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D), MARYLAND:  Well, we are determined indeed to get the

complete unedited Mueller report turned over to the Congress and turned

over to the American people.  And we want not only the report except for

whatever might be top-secret, classified, but we want all of the underlying

evidentiary materials upon which this special counsel made his judgment.

 

And there`s excellent precedent for that the Department of Justice turned

over more than 880,000 related to Hillary Clinton`s e-mails and that of

course did not result in a prosecution.  And we know that there have been

prosecutions and many guilty pleas related to the Mueller investigation but

we want all of the material turned over to us.

 

HAYES:  I don`t think I quite realized that.  Well, you`re – so what

you`re calling for and what your committees contention is that in addition

to as public and airing of the actual report, Congress should be

transmitted the full evidentiary record upon which the report was based?

 

RASKIN:  Absolutely right.  I mean, of course, we`re an independent branch

of government.  We are the lawmaking branch of government charged with the

duty of constitutional oversight over the executive branch.

 

And so we have the power to receive all of these documents and this has

been the pattern that the Department of Justice has turned over to Congress

when asked for it not just conclusory findings and basic you know, the

factual or legal judgments, but the underlying materials upon which it`s

based because we, of course, have an independent Constitutional role to

play and we`re looking at a whole set of question that may be completely

different from what they`re looking at.

 

For one thing, justice takes the position that they cannot indict the

President of the United States so obviously they may not be looking for

that.  But we have a much broader responsibility in order to vindicate

democratic confidence in the rule of law in the Constitution.

 

HAYES:  And you`re saying there`s precedent for that than in the case of

just the recently conducted investigation into the e-mail use of the former

Secretary of State that after that decision 880,000 documents were handed

over to the Congressional Committee?

 

RASKIN:  Sure.  I mean, we`ve seen tons of documents turned over from the

Department of Justice related to the Mueller investigation.  And Peter

Strzok and all of the e-mails, remember the late night emails and so on,

all of those were asked for by Republican chairs of the various

congressional committees.  They were turned over by the Department of

Justice.  So we`re just looking for the exact same treatment.

 

We want to see yes, what did the Special Counsel say but what`s underlying

it.  What are all of the documents and the facts and the evidentiary basis

for their decisions and then we`ve got to make decisions of our own of

course?

 

HAYES:  What do you do when – I mean, this is a situation right now

wherein in various document requests not only has various federal agencies

declined to give you that information whether it`s the Oversight Committee

particularly or Judiciary Committee, they have simply not responded.

 

When, the Department of Justice tell you to take a walk off a short pier

when you ask them for those – that evidentiary record, what do you do?

 

RASKIN:  Well, first of all, I don`t think that that`s going to happen

precisely because we can ask the former Special Counsel and Mr. Mueller to

come in.  We can subpoena him and we can begin to ask people to come in to

testify about it.  So we have every expectation –

 

HAYES:  I see.  That`s the alternative?

 

RASKIN:  Yes.  That is the alternative.  We have the subpoena power.  But

we are shocked to tell you the truth that the White House has been failing

to turn over documents requested by Elijah Cummings, the Chair of the

Oversight Committee.  That`s not true of everybody who received the

document requests, thousands and thousands of documents have come in but

not from the White House.

 

And so we hope that the lawyers in the White House will prevail upon the

president to comply with his legal duty to turn over documents that have

been requested by the Oversight Committee.

 

HAYES:  All right, Congressman Jamie Raskin, thank you so much for making

the time.  Joining me now, Senator Mazie Hirono, a Democrat from Hawaii,

Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee where she voted against the

nomination of current Attorney General Bill Barr.

 

Senator, obviously, you had doubts about Mr. Barr.  I think they were

broader than just his behavior vis a vis the Mueller report.  Your reaction

to the letter he`s transmitted to Congress?

 

SEN. MAZIE HIRONO (D), HAWAII:  I think that in his letter he says that

he`s going to be as transparent as possible so he certainly will be held to

it.  And I agree with Jamie that we need to get the underlying material

upon which the Mueller report is made their conclusions.  There`s more to

come.

 

HAYES:  Yes.  I mean what how do you view – if I am not mistaken and I

don`t believe I am, the chair of your committee Lindsey Graham is down at

Mar-a-Lago right now I believe with the President of the United States. 

How do you view obviously Jerry Nadler in the House have their role in this

but your serve on the Senate Judiciary Committee that`s chaired by Mr.

Graham who counts himself a staunch ally of the president, how do you view

the Senate Judiciary`s role on this?

 

HIRONO:  Yes.  Of late, he is a staunch ally of the President.  That was –

it was not always that.

 

HAYES:  No, but people change, Senator.

 

HIRONO:  I hope that our chairman will do his job you know, for the public

good because I know that during the course of Barr`s hearing that there

were a number of us who asked about the transparency that will be attached

to the Mueller report and even Lindsey asked the question, Chair Graham

asked the question.

 

So that`s good.  But as I say, this is a the way I look at, it this is the

end of the beginning of the Southern District of New York.  There are a

number of other entities that will be looking at other aspects of the Trump

Organization`s practices, money laundering or a tax evasion insurance

fraud, etcetera.  So there`s more to come.  I think the President should be

concerned.

 

And if we look at his tweets of late where he has been all over the place

with regard to Poland Heights and Korea, North Korea, and all of that it

seems like it`s – the President is very concern in spite of saying that

oh, the Mueller report, oh, I really don`t know about that.

 

HAYES:  I want to tell you – give you the argument that I think we`re

starting to hear from Republicans and possibly we`ll hear that again

stipulating no one knows what`s in the report.  What we do know at least is

reported number 17 here about no more indictments is that Robert Mueller is

not recommending any further indictments according to a senior Justice

Department official.  I`ve seen that reported in a number of places.

 

What are you going to say to people that say look, the bar here was whether

there were chargeable criminal acts of conspiracy with the Russian

conspiracy to sabotage the election.  There are no indictments on that,

ergo this is totally exculpatory for the President and clear so.

 

HIRONO:  When you talk about a criminal indictment, the bar is very high. 

Well, that was – it`s beyond a reasonable doubt.  And you can look at the

evidence and concluded that while there being a criminal charge, a criminal

charge may not lie.  There may – there may be other avenues accountability

to pursue.

 

HAYES:  That is how you`re thinking about it going forward?

 

HIRONO:  First of all, I`d like to see what the underlying basis is and I

would very much like to see what kind of analysis or discussion was done

with relating to – relating to obstruction of justice.  Because as we all

know the president tried to have Mueller fired through Don McGahn.  He was

very upset with his Attorney General Sessions of recusing himself, he fired

Comey.  So in my view, there were quite a lot of factors that could that

one could conclude there was obstruction of justice.  So I want to know

what the analysis was by the Mueller team on that aspect. 

 

HAYES:  All right, Senator Mazie Hirono, I think you will get a chance to

see it probably soon.  Thank you very much.

 

HIRONO:  Yes.  Thank you.

 

HAYES:  To help parse out exactly what we can expect from the Mueller

report I`m joined by Benjamin Wittes an MSNBC Legal Analyst and editor in

law – Editor-in-Chief of Lawfare and Frank Figliuzzi NBC News National

Security Contributor, former FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence

under Robert Mueller.  And Frank, let me start with you because you work

for Robert Mueller, and talk a little bit about loose ends which I think is

part of what people are trying to get their head around.

 

There are – there are parts of Mueller`s case that are still in motion. 

There`s a company that is unnamed that is owned by a sovereign government

that is unnamed that has been fighting a subpoena.  There`s an associate of

Roger Stone`s named Andrew Miller who`s been fighting a subpoena who

recently said he`s been informed that the Mueller people want him to

testify before a grand jury.

 

There is a trial set for Roger Stone sometime I think later this summer in

the fall.  Someone is going to have to prosecute him.  And then there`s a

whole bunch of you know, status hearings and so forth.  We still haven`t

gotten a sentence from Michael Flynn, there`s been no sentence for Rick

Gates.  Konstantin Kilimnik is still on the lam as it were.  What do you

make of the fact that there are all these loose ends on the table tonight

here as the special counsel`s investigation has apparently concluded.

 

FRANK FIGLIUZZI, NBC NEWS NATIONAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTOR:  So what I know

about Bob Mueller is that he`s not a loose ends kind of guy.  He`s going to

have things wrapped up.  So what does that mean now?  It means he had a

strategy.  He`s got the plan.  He`s worked out the loose ends so that

someone else is going to wrap this up.

 

But what do we – what do we draw from that?  It`s likely that those loose

ends don`t really point to criminal conspiracy with the Russians regarding

the campaign or he wouldn`t be walking away from it.

 

Now I`ve also articulated another insight about Bob Mueller which is that

it would be very much like Mueller to say I`m all about our system of

justice.  I`m all about the rule of law.  You don`t need me anymore but the

system will take care of what remains.  We`re going to let the very people

who Trump may have appointed as U.S. attorneys elsewhere around the country

handle up – handle out what I have farmed out to them.  I think that`s one

of the possibilities here, Chris.

 

HAYES:  Ben, what is your – what`s your sort of expectation.  How do you

understand where we are at this moment?

 

BEN WITTES, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST:  So look, I think there`s a few things

that are sailing out.  One of them which Frank just said is that you know,

there are these referrals back to other entities.  And Mueller, you know we

know of some of them.  There are probably some that we don`t know. And so

usually when we say a special counsel investigation is wrapped up, what we

mean is that the entire investigation is done, but that`s clearly not what

we mean here.  What we mean here is that Mueller has decided that his role

in this investigation is done, that he`s answered the principle questions

he was asked to address.

 

HAYES:  What do you understand as those principal questions?

 

WITTES:  I understand them to be what Jim Comey testified in March of 2017,

which was that, and I`m go to get the exact words here wrong, but they

investigated Russian interference in the 2016 election and any effort on

the U.S. side to coordinate with or assist that interference. 

 

In addition, they added to that any efforts to obstruct the investigation

as an original matter.

 

HAYES:  And I – and this is a factual question that I`m going to ask and

I`m – because I have so many things in my head.  Did anyone ever get

charged with the Podesta hack?  I know that the DNC hack was the subject of

the GRU indictments, was it both of those hacks, or is that also still

hangout out there, because I cannot remember for the life of me?

 

WITTES:  I believe, and someone`s going to tweet at me that I`m wrong about

this, but I believe that the Podesta hack is incorporated in the GRU

indictment.

 

And apologies to anyone who knows but that`s incorrect.  But I believe that

that`s correct.

 

HAYES:  So Frank, the process now goes through William Barr.  I wonder what

you think the

folks in, say, the Southern District of New York, who still have what we

know to be a live investigation about sort of the inaugural committee.  We

know that the deputy national finance chair for the RNC, Elliott Broidy was

raided.  We know that others have been talked to as part of that

investigation, how they`re thinking about their role now in the court, more

normal parts of DOJ going forward?

 

FIGLIUZZI:  Well, there`s no question now that the spotlight`s going to be

on the Southern District of New York, no question about that.  My to what

degree the Mueller team has coordinated with them and deliberately passed

on something strategic to them.

 

But let`s get back to the seminal question Russia – it`s all about Russia,

right, it`s all about what Mueller was going to find out about Russia and

criminality. 

 

And let me pause at a couple of things knowing how Mueller works.  First,

he`s not guy that`s going to throw across William Barr`s desk what we call

a raw intelligence report without some finished intel product.  So by that

I mean I think Ari touched on this earlier about whether or not invoking

Mueller and Rosenstein`s name today by Barr was a PR thing, and yes, it is

a PR thing, but it also means to me that he`s already consulted, or likely

Rod Rosenstein has consulted with Mueller on what is the declassification

picture here? 

 

Declassification can take forever.  It`s very complicated at times.  And so

I don`t think Mueller

would just throw something raw on the AG`s desk without saying I have a

version of suggested declassification here, otherwise we`d be into weeks of

declassification arguments between DOJ and FBI.  I don`t think that`s going

to happen.  I think that`s largely already done, and I think that`s a good

thing for America.

 

HAYES:  You know, Ben, it`s interesting to me as I go through the

statements here from Sarah Sanders, who says we look forward to the process

taking its course, that the White House hasn`t been briefed on it or told

about it.  Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi who basically say they want to

not give

into President Trump, and – not be allowed to interfere with the decision.

 

But what you see from McConnell and Jack Reed, a sort of call for

transparency, a weirdly unanimous call for transparency, which I think is

an interesting moment in the narrative arc of this story.

 

WITTES:  So, I agree with that.  And I think there`s a layer of

transparency that everyone is

skating over, but I think is initially very important.  Everyone is

assuming that when Bill Barr says in this letter that he intends to release

the principal conclusions of the report as early as this weekend, that he

just means here`s how many people we indicted, here`s the cases we brought,

etc.  I`m not sure why people should assume that.  I mean, to me that

sentence read like maybe they prepared an executive

summary that identifies the principal conclusions at a high level of

altitude without getting into some of the more detailed material, and he`s

going to review that.

 

I`m just making this up.

 

And so I could imagine some pretty substantial disclosures happening

relatively quickly that could either be very exculpatory with respect to

the president, i.e. we have found no evidence that the president engaged in

any coordination with the Russians, right?  Or could be completely

devastating with respect to the president.

 

The other end of the spectrum is we found the president obstructed justice

serially and we are not bringing a case against him, because DOJ policy

bars indictment of the president of the United States.  So, you could – I

mean, you could imagine the principle findings being very dramatic in one

direction or another, and I`m not sure why those wouldn`t come out

relatively quickly. 

 

HAYES:  All right, Benjamin Wittes and Frank Figliuzzi, thank you both on

this big night for taking time for us.

 

We`ve got much more on tonight, this big night, when the Mueller report has

been transmitted to the Department of Justice and all of us are waiting to

see what it says.  Don`t go anywhere.  We`ll be back.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

HAYES:  I want to turn two veteran Watergate prosecutors, and MSNBC legal

analyst Nick Ackerman, and Jill Wine-Banks, who have been with us through

this  ride throughout and know a little something about, well, I guess

independent counsel investigation, or special counsel investigations, or

special counsel investigations, actually, it was Department of Justice you

were under.  Your reaction to what happened tonight

 

NICK ACKERMAN, FORMER WATERGATE PROSECUTOR AND MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST:  I was

surprised it was a report.  I really thought that Mueller`s report was

going to be one indictment at a time, as it has been, and I was surprised

that there were no other indictments if that`s true, because there are so

many loose ends out of this whole Russia investigation. 

 

I mean, just to give you an example, we don`t really know what happened

between the time of the Goldstone email to Don Jr., where he loved it when

they were getting all that dirt, which was the emails, up to the time it

goes to WikiLeaks.  I mean, there`s a lot that happens in between there,

including Trump`s own statement about making comments about the Clintons

the following Monday after the June 9 meeting, yet we don`t know anything

about that.

 

HAYES:  Well, I mean, that`s the question, Jill, right, is there`s – to

me, at the center of this

whole thing, as I said at the top, was always just a factual inquiry,

without fear of favor, independent of political interference, which are all

important things that weren`t happening necessarily, of what the actual

facts of the matter are. 

 

And I guess the question is the expectation here I have, right, is some

laying out of the factual matter.  This was – I remember when the 9/11

commission report came out, that was a huge part of what that report was.

Obviously, that`s a different sort of situation, but it laid out a lot of

just the factual matter of what happened when and where.

 

Is that your expectation for what is partly contained in the report?

 

JILL WINE-BANKS, FORMER WATERGATE PROSECUTOR:  I think that will definitely

be in the report, just a chronology of all the evidence that we now have or

that has been discovered through the course of this grand jury

investigation will be a compelling read to find out about.

 

I share Nick`s sort of surprise that they wrapped up without really

wrapping up.  I mean there is the trial still to come, and certainly at

least one or two of the prosecutors can stay on board to handle that case. 

You wouldn`t normally turn over to a whole new prosecutor a case that

you`ve investigated and indicted. So it would be surprising figure if

someone from the special counsel`s office didn`t try that

case.

 

But there are a lot of unanswered questions.  Now they could be answered in

this special report.  It could say what about Cohen`s phone in Prague, was

it there or wasn`t it there?  It could say, yes, there is a phone call, and

yes we know that Donald Trump Sr. knew that Donald Trump Jr. was meeting,

and he knew what the purpose of the meeting was in June in Trump Tower, but

these things…

 

HAYES:  Or the other, right – or the opposite.  I mean, it could also be

like we found no evidence, or we found evidence showing definitively we

don`t think he did.  I mean, again, whichever way it goes is the Prague

question, which Michael Cohen answered under oath, and I`m inclined to take

him at his word, even if he`s lied under oath before. 

 

But on all these matters, again,what matters is what actually happened more

than anything else.  And, you know, today`s the day – I`ve been thinking

about this, Michael Beschloss tweeted this, he said “the Mueller report has

been delivered on the 46th anniversary of the secret Watergate tape in

which Nixon tells John Mitchell I want you all to stonewall it, let me

plead the Fifth amendment, cover-up or anything else, if it`ll save it –

save the plan.”

 

Richard Nixon would have finished out his term if not for the tapes.

 

ACKERMAN:  I think that`s right.

 

HAYES:  He would not have been impeached, or he – or they would not have

moved to impeach him.  They probably wouldn`t have – he probably wouldn`t

have resigned without the tapes?

 

ACKERMAN:  Well, I think that`s right.  He might have been impeached as he

was by the House, but would you have gotten two-thirds of the senate to

remove him…

 

HAYES:  Without the tapes?

 

ACKERMAN:  Without the tapes?  I`m not so sure about that.  I mean, keep in

mind the that evidence that Robert Mueller has brought with the indictments

has really been very direct slam dunk evidence.  If you look at the Roger

Stone indictment, it`s on tape.  There he is saying it in text messages,

you know, take the fifth, obstruct, lie.

 

Manafort, all kinds of documents show that show that he lied, and it`s all

right out there.  You`re not seeing a lot of circumstantial cases being

brought, and so the question is, is what we have on the rest of this

circumstantial such that Mueller didn`t feel comfortable brining criminal

charges?  I mean, that may be the answer.

 

Again, I`m just speculating.  I don`t know what`s in that report.  But that

may be one reason  there`s so many unanswered questions that we don`t have

at this point answers to.

 

HAYES:  And it`s a good point that beyond a reasonable doubt, which is the

threshold

for bring a prosecution, and a bunch of sketchiness around a public figure

are just different standards, right.  I mean, that goes for everything. 

There`s all sorts of figures who have done things that maybe they can`t be

prosecuted for, but have still suffered reputational costs in the public

eye that goes for Democrats, Republicans up and own the chain. 

 

ACKERMAN:  But even so, you can still convict somebody beyond a reasonable

doubt on purely circumstantial evidence.

 

HAYES:  That`s right.

 

What is your anticipation, Jill, of what congress does with – if they are

– if they do get the

record, right.  So, in the case of Nixon, right, the grand jury evidence

was all transmitted, and that was sort of an important step.  If the

hundreds of thousands of documents presumably in Mueller`s – the sort of

evidentiary basis for his findings is transmitted to that House Judiciary

Committee, what is your expectation for what gets done with that?

 

WINE-BANKS:  There`s a very different role for congress to play.  The

indictment has to be

elements of a crime that exists that is a statute, whereas impeachment is a

very ill-defined thing and relates to is the president a threat to national

security?  Is he corrupt?  Is he somehow done something that is a high

crime or misdemeanor, which has yet to be defined?

 

And so they can take the same evidence and reach a conclusion that there is

a threat to national

security from the president, that he has been compromised by the Russians. 

They may follow the money in a way that was not appropriate within the

jurisdiction of Mueller investigation who is

looking at interference in the election by the Russians and then

obstruction of that.

 

And so they have a different role and they can save a lot of time by

getting release of the grand jury testimony, which can be done as we did

our trial team went to the judge through the grand jury.  The grand jury

has the authority to ask the chief judge to release grand jury evidence in

the public interest and the judge approved releasing it to the Judiciary

Committee for its ongoing impeachment inquiry.  It could be for just a fact

finding hearing. 

 

We need a public hearing where people can assess the honesty of the

witnesses, the credibility

of the witnesses, where they can support the conclusion of the Mueller

case.

 

Reading the transcripts isn`t enough.  You don`t get the same feeling.  I

did a poll today at a luncheon about people – how they felt about Cohen

and his credibility.  And after his testimony, they all believed he was

credible.  Before that, they didn`t.  And if they had read the transcript,

they wouldn`t have believed he was credible.

 

HAYES:  All right, Nick Ackerman and Jill Wine-Banks, thanks for being

here. 

 

I want to bring in Anna Galland, executive director of MoveOn Civic Action,

MoveOn has done a lot of – you`ve been doing sort of parallel work, right,

so there`s been a lot of activism on substantive issues of the Trump

presidency whether it was child separation or health care, and also you`ve

organized movements around sort of saving Mueller.  I wonder where you see

your organization, the sort of progressive grass roots at this moment?

 

ANNA GALLAND, EXECUTIVE MOVEON CIVIC ACTION:  Oh, boy, it`s one of those

moments where you have to walk and chew gum and juggle and fight for the

soul of our democracy all at the same time, right.

 

So, this is a moment, look, where – it`s very clear what the next step is. 

There`s a broad base set of people across the political spectrum, actually,

who have been very clear for a long time now that we need to fight for the

soul of our democracy, that we need to find out the full truth of what has

happened, what Trump and his associates have done, and who have been – you

know, we saw 100,000 people march two days after the midterm election when

Jeff Sessions was fired, who is no one`s hero, but it was because we could

tell that Trump was trying to position himself as being above the law.

 

So, there is – in the context of a moment that has been fighting to defend

immigrant communities, that has been fighting to defend other communities

that are under attack, that`s been fighting to project a real clear vision

of what we`re going to stand for together, things like the Green New Deal

and all these other big, bold ideas that you`re hearing on the campaign

trail in sort of a parallel track we`ve been fighting for the rule of law.

 

There was this incredible moment where at one of our rallies in  D.C. I

remember one of our

staff was standing outside the White House leading a chant, rule of law,

rule of law, which is not what you`d usually expect to hear from a kind of

progressive grass roots organization, but that`s where we

are.  And we`re going to fight on that track too.

 

HAYES:  Quickly, do you think that essentially getting to this point marks

some success, that  essentially the various institutions that attempted to

restrain a president who clearly did want to get rid of this inquiry, who,

in fact instructed his White House counsel to get rid of it, was unable to

because

of accommodation of Civic Action and other binding institutions?

 

GALLAND:  Yeah, absolutely.  I think this is an important point, the fact

that we are here, the fact that the investigation was defended successfully

is not a result of courts, it`s not a result at all

of the Republican Party as a brave and principled institution, just to be

clear.  It`s not a result of, it`s the result a lot of things, but a

foundational essential element was people organizing and speaking up

locally time and time again.  450,000 people RSVP`d to the Nobody is Above

the Law network, for hundreds of events around the country so that we could

be ready to march at a moments notice to  defend the Mueller investigation

itself. 

 

That kind of organizing, showing up certainly the signal sent in the

midterm election itself so that voting, right, has been a kind of

preventive force that has gotten us to this point, gotten these dozens off

indictments, these hundreds of charges that have been already leveled.  And

now with the release of the report moment, we`ll be able to see the full

truth of what`s in there, but that`s the next project coming right up.

 

HAYES:  All right, Anna Galland, as always, thank you so much for joining

me.  Appreciate it.

 

GALLAND:   Thank you.

 

HAYES:  We`ve got much more.  I`m going to talk to some folks who used to

work at The Justice Department and the Southern District of New York about

where they see things at this moment.  Don`t go anywhere, we`ll be right

back.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

HAYES:  I want to bring in Elliott Williams, former deputy assistant

attorney general for Legislative Affairs at the Department of Justice, Glen

Kirschner, former federal prosecutor and MSNBC legal analyst, Carol Lamb,

former United States attorney for the Southern District of California, and

Harry Litman who is a former U.S. attorney and Deputy Assistant Attorney

General and now a contributing columnist at The Washington Post.  It`s a

lot of resume firepower there, and lot of experience in the various

institutions that are sort of tasked now.

 

As a former FDNY prosecutor.

 

GLENN KIRSCHNER, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR:  D.C., U.S. attorney`s office.

 

HAYES:  I`m sorry, D.C. U.S. attorney`s office, tell me, Glenn, how you

make sense of this timing, and particularly the point Nick said about the

fact there are in – as a matter of public record other loose strings that

have not been tied down.

 

KIRSCHNER:  For a former career prosecutor, really hard to understand all

of these loose ends, because we seem to have been witness to so much crime

in plain sight, obstruction and otherwise, that it leaves us wondering how

could it be that Mueller wrapped up his investigation without bringing

additional charges.

 

Now, I think it`s worth talking about the standard by which we decide

whether to bring a charge or not, and this is the standard Mueller operates

under, and we all operate under.  We have a reasonable likelihood of

success on the merits.  It `s a mouthful, but that`s the standard.

 

And what that means, we have to have a level of confidence that we can

prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt.  A court has never put a numeric

number on what beyond a reasonable doubt means, but it`s about 95 percent

of the evidence showing criminality.

 

Now, you know, maybe Bob Mueller found that this was the gang that couldn`t

shoot straight.  Ironically, if irony is still a thing these days, it could

be that he found that they colluded.  Why?  Because collusion, it`s not a

legal term, it`s a layman`s term, but people get together to deceive or

defraud somebody else.  But maybe he couldn`t get over the hurdle of

finding an actual agreement to commit a crime and an overt act toward

committing that crime.

 

Now that could be.

 

Now I will say, all the people who worked with and learned from Bob

Mueller, in Bob we trust.  So, I think I`ve heard others – Chuck Rosenberg

and Jim  Comey, say it`s about the process, and we`re all confident that

Bob Mueller has engaged in the process the way it should be handled, so I

think we`re going to have to wait for the results and hopefully we`re all

going to have confidence in the results.

 

ELLIOT WILLIAMS, DOJ FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL:  So, you

know, I think what is striking, Chris, is how much energy the president has

devoted to undermining the very institution of the special counsel and

frankly law enforcement in general.  And if you think about it, like if you

remember the TV show Madmen one of the main lines was if you don`t like

what people are saying change the conversation. 

 

And so rather than address any of the legal issues on the merits, it`s

attack the fact that Bob

Mueller and Rod Rosenstein weren`t a elected officials, and that he won a

big election.

 

This is all part of a long now two, three-year process of undermining

institutions.  He`s gone after congress.  The president has gone after,

now, you know, the special counsel.  We`re going to see much more of that

in the next few days.  And it`s undermining the very, very nature of our

system of

government.

 

And I think, you know, in many respects this is a 20/20 strategy far more

than legal one.  It`s getting people behind the fact that our institutions

are worthless and that the president can just attack them and that this is

all one giant deep state conspiracy, that it`s worthless.

 

HAYES:  Although, what is fascinating now, Carol, as I watch – as I watch

reaction come in from say, like, you know, here is Mitch McConnell saying I

am grateful we have experienced and capable attorney general in place to

review the special counsel`s report, and Attorney General Barr now

needs the time to do that.

 

You`re going to see –  I mean, after all of the undermining, right,

depending on what the contents are and how much they are spinnable in favor

of the president`s innocence, ultimately, you`ll see a whiplash turn to

bolster and celebrate the findings of what was, what has been told to the

base for 22 months is a totally corrupt witch hunt.

 

CAROL LAM, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA:  Yeah, and

that`s what is so very unusual about this whole situation.  I mean,

everybody on this panel

knows that the lack of an indictment is not an affirmation of innocence,

but one of the things that really strikes me about this whole scenario is

that the special counsel regulations usually has to anticipate a  situation

where the special counsel, there is some antagonism or a lot of difference

of opinion between the special counsel and the attorney general.  But with

Bill Barr and Bob Mueller, I don`t think you have that situation, these two

gentlemen are really cut from the same cloth.  And you can see it in the

way the delivery of the report was done, the careful coordination, you

know, almost like a Japanese tea ceremony.  Everything is planned down to

the second and these two men respect each other. 

 

And most of all, I think they are really concerned about the stability of

the government.  And you`ll notice that the people who have been indicted,

of the people who have been indicted, none of them were active members of

the president`s inner circle actively working in the government at the

time.  And so again, I think everyone on the panel knows the kind of

scrutiny that would go into a decision to indict somebody who is actively

at the highest levels of government.  And I think, you

know, the likelihood is that both gentlemen here agreed that that was not

the case that there should be indictments at this point in time.

 

HAYES:  One other sort of loose thread I`m thinking about, Harry, again as

someone who ran the U.S. attorney`s office at one point in your life,

cooperation agreements.

 

So, Michael Flynn has a cooperation agreement obviously, and, you know, I

think a lot of people thought, well, people cooperate and then it`s in

order to cooperate towards someone bigger then them.

 

Michael Flynn is a pretty big fish in this whole thing.  It doesn`t seem

that he played any part in Manafort, which is sort of the biggest

prosecution, and yet he got a cooperation agreement that`s sort of going to

end up with him probably getting a fairly reduced sentence.  What do you

make of that?

 

HARRY LITMAN, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL:  Yeah, the loose

ends here are in someways mysterious, because they go to the heart of his

investigation.  Nothing bigger than Stone.  Ben Wittes made this point a

few minutes ago for you, it`s one thing to give material to other offices,

it`s another when it seems central to your mission.

 

Three kinds of information that we don`t know what`s going to happen with:

and anything about

the counterintelligence investigation, anything about declinations and what

that was, and anything about the president.

 

When Barr says in the third paragraph of his letter, there is other

information besides prosecution and declination that Rosenstein and he and

Mueller will decide on, that`s presumably the body of it.  Mueller did not

just give him a little list of whom he indicted and whom he declined to

indict.

 

HAYES:  Is that your sense, as well, Glenn?

 

KIRSCHNER:  It is.  So, you know, I had the privilege of actually trying a

case, prosecuting a

case that Bob Mueller investigated and indicted.  It was the shooting of a

police officer in Washington, D.C., he then passed it off to me because he

became chief of homicide in D.C.  And I can tell you,  this is not

hyperbole, when I looked into those investigative boxes, I thought I knew

how to investigate a case.  I was a prosecutor for 10 years at that point

in time, and this was investigative genius.  He literally started with the

defendant`s birth certificate and investigated everything moving forward,

probably learning things about the defendant that he had forgotten about

himself.  Bob Mueller is thorough personified.

 

WILLIAMS:  And I think the greatest testament to that is the fact that we

got a notification today that no major decision that he made was overruled

by the attorney general.

 

Now this is all in the attorney general`s hands.  And he made that firm

commitment to err on the side of public disclosure.  Congress voted – you

know, a very partisan congress, 420-0.

 

HAYES:  Right.

 

WILLIAMS:  …to see that these findings be made public.

 

Now it`s really in William Barr`s hands.  And is he going to live up to the

commitment that he said that he would…

 

LITMAN:  Le`s left himself room to go either way.

 

WILLIAMS:  Sorry?

 

HAYES:  What`s that, Harry?

 

LITMAN:  He`s left himself room to go either way.  He can say I`ve done it

all by the regs, which doesn`t require much to disclose, or he can give the

bigger stuff about the investigation, the declinations.

 

HAYES:  Although, we should say, Carol, that all the folks in the House,

and Jamie Raskin made this point, and Jerry Nadler has made this point, and

I should say that Jack Reed in his statement says that he urges Mr. Mueller

to testify before congress about the evidence he gathered, the scope of his

work and his findings, which I think is going to be a call you`re going to

hear from a lot of Democrats no matter what the report says.

 

But Carol, that is a sort of backstop I think that Democrats  in congress

are banking on should they feel that Barr essentially is a bottleneck here?

 

LAM:  They can do that.  But, you know, neither Barr nor Mueller are

individuals who call a lot of attention to themselves, and, you know, I

don`t know that they are going to get a lot more out of Bob Mueller then

he`s putting in that report.  So, you know, but again, I don`t see a lot of

tension between these two.  I could be wrong, but they may have some

professional disagreements about the scope of executive privilege or the

strength of the executive branch, but, you know, I think they are both

extremely professional.  And if Bob Mueller is called to testify, he`ll

testify.  But he`s probably put everything he can into that report.

 

And I wouldn`t be surprised, frankly, if they coordinated with respect to,

you know, maybe creating a section that Bob Mueller thinks can be

disclosed.  And then a section that has information he doesn`t think can be

disclosed.  I mean, he could have put the report together that way.

 

HAYES:  Yeah, that`s what Frank Figliuzzi sort of said having worked with

him, that he understood from the beginning what he was working towards that

a document that may have to have some sort of compartmentalization.

 

KIRSCHNER:  Yeah, he may have scrubbed it and given it to William Barr

ready for disclosure.

 

WILLIAMS:  And that`s not uncommon.

 

HAYES:  What do you mean?

 

WILLIAMS:  I don`t think it`s uncommon to compartmentalize – there are

portions that, either for national security reasons or criminal justice

reasons or public sensitivity reasons we might not want to disclose, you

know, so we see that sometimes.

 

HAYES:  All right, Elliott Williams, Glenn Kirschner, Carol Lam, and Harry

Litman, thank  you all on this big day for making time to come on by here.

 

That does it for us here at ALL IN this evening.  “THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW,”

starting with the one and only Rachel Maddow, begins now.

 

 

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY

BE UPDATED.

END   

 

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