Barr to give Press Conference unveiling Mueller Report. TRANSCRIPT: 4/17/19. All In w/ Chris Hayes.

Guests:
Elizabeth Holtzman, Melissa Murray, Maxine Waters
Transcript:

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST:  – cannot end with only a resentful cringe. 

And that`s HARDBALL for now.  Thanks for being with us.  “ALL IN” with

Chris Hayes stars right now.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST:  Tonight on ALL IN.

 

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  There was no collusion,

there was no obstruction, everybody knows it.

 

HAYES:  On the eve of the redacted Mueller report release –

 

TRUMP:  Because people did things that were very, very bad for our country

and very, very illegal, and you could even say treasonous.

 

HAYES:  The White House braces for what the Special Counsel`s report really

says as it goes to war footing with ongoing congressional investigations.

 

REP. MAXINE WATERS (D-CA):  I came out early talking about impeachment.

 

HAYES:  My guest tonight Congresswoman Maxine Waters.  Plus –

 

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY):  I didn`t expect them to make total

fools of themselves.

 

HAYES:  Why Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was invited, then

disinvited by Republicans in Kentucky.  And just what`s going on with Jared

Kushner`s Middle East peace plan?

 

JARED KUSHNER, SENIOR ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT TRUMP:  You also have some major

threats.

 

HAYES:  When ALL IN starts right now.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes.  At this very moment,

we are right now awaiting a press conference from House Judiciary Chairman

Jerry Nadler on tomorrow`s release of the Mueller report.  We`re going to

live as is it begins because tonight in what looks like yet another

transparent attempt to spin Mueller`s findings in the President`s favor,

Attorney General William Barr announced he`s going to hold his own press

conference tomorrow morning at 9:30 to unveil his redacted version of the

Mueller report.

 

And the thing about that is the timing means reporters will not have a

chance to actually see any of the report before Barr puts his spin on it

just as he did and his now infamous four-page summary clearing the

President of any wrongdoing.  It`s the latest sign of just how hard the

President and his allies including Barr are working to manage the reports

long-awaited release.

 

The President`s lawyers have meeting every day this week to plan their

response.  The Times calls it a rebuttal.  Reportedly – and this is also

important, with the help of the Justice Department itself.  According to

the New York Times, Justice Department officials have had numerous

conversations with White House lawyers about the Special Counsel`s

conclusion in recent days according to people of knowledge discussions. 

The talks had aided the President`s legal team as it prepares a rebuttal to

the report and strategizes for the coming public war over its findings.

 

Now, this comes amid concerns that the rest of us will have to wait for

hours after the Attorney General`s press conference to see the report for

ourselves.  Chairman Nadler tweeting, I`m deeply troubled by reports the

White House is being briefed on the Mueller report ahead of its release. 

Now, DOJ is important to us we will not receive the report until around

11:00 or 12:00 tomorrow afternoon after Barr`s press conference.  This is

wrong.

 

All of this desperate last-minute maneuvering would seem to show just how

much Trump world apparently fears about what`s in the report because

regardless of the redactions or any exculpatory evidence it may contain,

and there may be some exculpatory evidence in there, the full report will

not be better than Barr`s bare-bones four-page summary which let the

president declare an unqualified victory.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

TRUMP:  There was no collusion with the Russians.  There was no obstruction

and none whatsoever.  And it was a complete and total exoneration.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  Explicitly not what bars letter about the Mueller report said.  It

said it didn`t exonerate him.  In fact, it included a quote specifically

saying he wasn`t exonerated.  But with Barr`s summary in the rearview

mirror, there`s now only downside risk to the President.  I think they get

that in the White House because it can only get worse from here.

 

We know that a report contains at least some damaging information because

again Barr even in that bare-bones letter suggests it as much in his

section on obstruction.  “The report sets out evidence on both sides of the

question.  That would be the question of whether the President committed

obstruction of justice, and leaves unresolved what the special counsel

views as difficult issues of law, in fact, concerning with the President`s

actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction.”

 

Now, we`re not expecting any smoking guns, but the details of that evidence

will inevitably be worse for the President than what Barr has said in his

vague outline.  And regardless of how much it`s redacted, the report will

return the public`s focus to the key event that prompted the investigation

in the first place, that is efforts by a foreign adversary to sabotage an

American election and put a candidate viewed as pliable and susceptible to

their interests inside the White House.

 

Barr`s four-page summary already resolved the narrow legal question Mueller

didn`t find evidence sufficient to conclude the President committed a crime

by conspiring with Russia.  Now with that legal question off the table and

to the side, we can all take a broader look at the facts that are to a

large extent already in the public domain.  Russia`s clear preference for

Donald Trump over his opponent, Trump`s affinity for Vladimir Putin and his

eagerness to accept help from a foreign adversary.

 

And tomorrow with the whole thing laid out in more detail we`ve ever seen,

we may be able to draw some new conclusions about the conduct to the

President of United States.  Again, we`re waiting Jerry Nadler, but for

more on the stakes of tomorrow`s rollout, I`m joined by former Congressman

Elizabeth Holtzman who voted for articles of impeachment against Richard

Nixon when she was a member of the committee that Jerry Nadler now chairs,

the House Judiciary Committee.  She`s the author of The Case for Impeaching

Trump, and Melissa Murray, a Professor at NYU School of Law who thinks a

lot about the Constitution and Constitutional Law.

 

Let me start with you, Liz, on just this rollout.  I have to say, I was a

reporter in Washington for years and here`s standard operating procedures. 

And this is true with prosecutor, it`s true with cabinet agencies.  Some

big document is coming out, an indictment, a report.  You get it 10 to 15

minutes before the press conference.  It`s a little embargoed.

 

You sit there it`s going through to try to prep your questions.  That`s

standard and like that`s a little hurry.  Then it gives the people who are

unrolling it a little bit of a leg up because they know it better than you

do.  But I have never ever heard of a press conference on a document that

no one gets to see until after the press conference is over.

 

ELIZABETH HOLTZMAN, FORMER CONGRESSWOMAN:  Well, they`re desperate to

control this news because this news is going to have something very bad in

it for the President of the United States and what we`re seeing sad, sad,

sad to use the Trump word, or three of his words is the Attorney General of

the United States who is the Attorney General for all the people acting as

a political hatchet man for the President of the United States.

 

Ultimately, this cover-up is not going to work.  Ultimately the people of

the United States are going to see what`s in the report and what the facts

are.

 

HAYES:  Well, what`s weird about it, Melissa, is that it`s not – I mean

it`s not a cover-up.  And that`s why I find this so strange.  Like we`re

going to get to see the report.  We can all read.  Just give it to us.  Is

that crazy?  Am I making too much of this?

 

MELISSA MURRAY, PROFESSOR, NYU SCHOOL OF LAW:  I don`t think you`re making

too much of this.  I think you have to think about the way things play out

in Trump world and I think the only person who comes out looking worse than

this and the President is Bob Barr who is really stained his reputation.

 

He came to the Senate and said he was going to be confirmed as someone who

is interested in transparency.  That`s not what this is.  This is about

getting out as far as you can with this narrative letting it get embedded

and entrenched, and then it doesn`t matter what people read and what

questions they come to or what conclusions they reach.  You`ve already set

up the narrative.

 

HAYES:  Yes.  This is something Bill Barr said that I want to play because

it was like it – when he was talking about why – why`d you just give us

when he was asked for congressional meeting.  Why`d you just give us the

four-page letter when there at these apparently summaries ready to go?  And

here`s what he said.  Take a listen.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

WILLIAM BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL, UNITED STATES:  In my view, I was not

interested in putting out summaries or trying to summarize because I think

any summary regardless of who prepares it not only runs the risk of you

know, being underinclusive or over inclusive but also you know, would

trigger a lot of discussion and analysis that really should await

everything coming out at once.  So I was not interested in a summary.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  Should – it would trigger – this is the problem.  It would

trigger a lot of discussion analysis that really should wait until

everything coming out at once.  It just is so transparent, I`m almost

shocked by how transparent it is because they`re not – like they`re not

getting away with it, right?  We all see what they`re doing.

 

HOLTZMAN:  Right.  We see it.  Well, the whole public see it.  The public

is going to see headlines.  They may not read the report and that`s exactly

what they`re counting on.  That`s why I call it a cover-up.  It`s an

attempt to manipulate the American people, to befuddle them, to confuse

them, and to try to avoid having them understand all the facts.

 

The American people can read the facts, can understand the facts.  This is

a way to try to force-feed them and shape the facts and it`s wrong.

 

HAYES:  I want to talk about propriety and DOJ independence for a second. 

So one of the things I found strange here from the beginning is in talking

to different people who worked in the White House counsel`s office in the

past who said look, it wouldn`t be – it would not be improper to send the

report to the White House Counsel`s office for a privileged review.  That

would be – like they get – they have inequity there.  They get a shot at

looking for privilege review.

 

Barr has insisted they didn`t do that, and then he got squirrelly about

whether the White House has seen it.  And now we get word that they`re

briefing them in preparation to rebut it.  Is that proper?

 

MURRAY:  I don`t know if it`s proper.  It definitely is unorthodox and it

certainly comports with the President`s vision of a unitary executive.  The

idea that the Department of Justice is part of the executive branch and he

is the executive branch which means he`s essentially reviewing this

material on himself by himself.  This is his Department of Justice.

 

I don`t know if that`s what the entire American public thinks but that`s

the theory that`s being issued here and I think it`s absolutely

inconsistent with what we`ve expected from the Department of Justice and

the insulation of the Department of Justice from partisan politics.

 

HOLTZMAN:  But Barr has a history here which has just come out recently. 

Ryan Goodman, a professor at NYU like my colleague here has shown in a

recent report that Barr issued a “summary” about a legal opinion and he

told Congress what he thought was going to be the important things, but

that turned out to be really deceptive.  He left out the critical parts.

 

And so I think the thing we have to look at is not only how Barr is going

to spin this but we have to look at the fact that I believe they`re going

to be redactions in this report –

 

HAYES:  Of course, yes.

 

HOLTZMAN:  – a very inflammatory material that`s going to be damaging to

the President of the United States.  And that`s a big problem that we have

to confront.

 

HAYES:  Two things on those redactions that we should note.  One is that

the Justice Department I think in a filing – a U.S. Attorney has said that

there will be reductions about Roger Stone which makes some sense because

Roger Stone is a case that`s going to go in the fall and you think that

checks out right?  That`s –

 

MURRAY:  There`s a gag order there.

 

HAYES:  Right, there`s a gag order.  And also the Justice Department plans

to make available for review by a limited number of members of Congress and

their staff a copy of the report without certain redactions including

removing the redaction of information related to charges set forth in the

Roger Stone indictment.  So Congress will get some unredacted version

according to a Department of Justice filing today –

 

MURRAY:  Lightly redacted.

 

HAYES:  What`s that?

 

MURRAY:  Lightly redacted.

 

HAYES:  Right, exactly.  It`s not going to be unredacted.  And they have a

claim – I mean, again, you served on that committee.  They have a claim to

the whole thing.  I mean, this idea of lowest-common-denominator we`re

going to make something that releases to the public and also give it to

Congress is crazy.  They can just give Congress a congressional version.

 

HOLTZMAN:  They could, and they could go to – the thing that to me is the

key is if they have any concern about the 6E, the grand jury material, Barr

could have gone to the district court in D.C. and said please release this

report as was done in Watergate.  He`s refused to do that.  So he does not

want transparency, he does not want Congress to see everything.  He wants

to keep secrets.  He wants a cover-up, he wants to protect the President of

the United States and it`s outrageous.

 

HAYES:  What do you think – what are the recourses here right?  So there`s

public pressure and there`s congressional subpoena.  I mean those are

basically what there is right?

 

MURRAY:  So all of those things I think are long game kind of propositions. 

There`s no sort of immediate answer here.  There may be a subpoena from the

Judiciary Committee.  That will play out.  It will probably be series of

negotiations between the Department of Justice and Congress.  And if the

Department of Justice is unwilling now to release this information, it`s

unlikely that it`s going to release the whole thing as a result of the

subpoena.

 

They`ll just go through these protracted negotiations.  And then if it

winds up in court, that too will be a protracted battle and raise questions

about whether it`s even an issue that the courts can hear.

 

HAYES:  That`s a really interesting and important point.  And we already

saw this play on once which was that there – Robert Mullen wanted to

interview the President of the United States.  And there was protracted

negotiations and they stood firm and said no, you can`t, you`re not going

to talk to him, and they won.  They didn`t talk to him because – and I

think partly because they were worried about what the courts would rule. 

Liz Holtzman and Melissa Murray, thank you both.  I appreciate it.

 

My next guests have been covering the Mueller investigation at every step

along the way.  MSNBC Contributor Natasha Bertrand, now National Security

Correspondent for Politico and MSNBC Political Analyst David Corn,

Washington Bureau Chief from Mother Jones, Co-Author Russian Roulette: The

Inside Story of Putin`s War in America in the election of Donald Trump. 

What do you make of all this Natasha?

 

NATASHA BERTRAND, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR:  I don`t think that we should be

surprised in the least because we have to consistently remember how Bill

Barr got here.  He got here because he wrote that memo and he submitted it

to the Justice Department completely unsolicited, outlining the reasons why

Mueller`s obstruction inquiry was fatally misconceived.  And that should

have been – well it was, that was a huge red flag but that should have

been our very first indication that this wasn`t necessarily going to shake

out in a legitimate way.

 

But the idea that he`s going to hold a press conference before anyone is

able to see the report is really maddening to Democrats on Capitol Hill as

I`m sure you know, they`ve made it very, very clear over the last couple

hours, and it`s also totally unexpected.  And I think that we can also you

know, read a lot into the fact that Mueller and his team won`t be there

themselves.

 

I don`t necessarily think that that was you know, because Mueller declined

but you – it`s certainly it`s going to be – we`re going to be missing a

lot surely by the fact that they`re not going to be there and that Barr

again is going to be issuing a summary of the report even though his first

indication to the – to the press and to the public was that he didn`t want

to be summarizing Mueller`s report for him.

 

So here we are again kind of back at square one and it`s just very, very

clear that they`re trying extremely hard to control the narrative.  And

Democratic aides are saying, what are they trying to hide here?  If the

report is a complete exoneration of the president, then why are they trying

so hard to rein this in.

 

HAYES:  Well, that`s what – I mean, that is what is sticks out about all

this right, David?  I mean, that word in the New York Times article,

they`ve been working on a rebuttal, a rebuttal to you`re not guilty verdict

right?  I mean, the whole idea was you run – they run around for a week

gloating in their enemies faces like take that you idiots, nothing there,

you`re dumb.  David Court, get out of journalism, yada-yada yada-yada, the

whole thing.  And now they want to rebut the report that gave them that.

 

DAVID CORN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  Well, I think their rebuttal was

probably aimed at what Trump has been saying that this is an illegitimate

investigation which of course it wasn`t and try to keep that narrative

going because they`re likely to get some bad news out of this report.  And

I am as outraged as anyone about what`s happening tomorrow morning, but I

think we should all you know, at least – at least take a deep breath and

focus on the thing itself.

 

HAYES:  Yes.

 

CORN:  The thing itself is the report.  And yes for two hours they`ll be

out there spinning away and what Bill Barr is doing is pretty despicable

and pretty unfair and illegitimate.  But nevertheless, we`re going to look

at that report and see what the evidence is for obstruction and also see if

Robert Mueller gets into this issue of the interactions that did occur, we

know they occurred, between the Trump campaign and Russians and the way

Trump reacted to the news of the Russian attack which was to deny it and

get back to the thing itself, how we were attacked by the Russians, and how

Trump in his campaign did everything they could to aid and abet that attack

even if they didn`t directly conspire with them in a criminal manner.

 

So everybody please you know, the Bill Barr outrage is about one percent of

the outrage that we should have about what happened 2016 which might be

further illuminated by the report that comes out tomorrow depending on

redactions.

 

HAYES:  Right.  I mean, that`s the “might” right?  I mean –

 

CORN:  Yes, “might.”

 

HAYES:  But to your point there, I mean, this I think is part of what

explains the flop sweat that`s visible on the brow of everyone working in

the White House, Natasha, is that let`s say there`s –again, it did not

determine there was sufficient evidence to establish a conspiracy with any

U.S. persons.  That`s quoting again from the report.  There`s no collusion,

right, in this sort of general term.  But Donald Trump hates it when people

talk about the Russian effort to get him elected.  He hates it.

 

And there was always two options which is that they were doing something

they were part of a criminal conspiracy in which they were collaborating

with a foreign adversary or that they were basically useful idiots and

willing dupes.  And if it`s the latter, they don`t like talking about that

either.

 

BERTRAND:  Right.  And see, this is the thing.  Just because Robert Mueller

said that there was not enough evidence to establish that a criminal

conspiracy had occurred, doesn`t mean that there was no evidence, right. 

And so I think that is what people are looking for in the collusion aspect

of the report because surely there`s going to be some explanation of some

of the weird interactions that members of the campaign who might have been

considered central like Paul Manafort for example, had with Russian

nationals that weren`t necessarily members of the Russian government.

 

And I think it`s also very telling that in that partial sentence that Barr

quoted from in his report, he said that Mueller defined this as a

conspiracy between the campaign and the Russian government which is very,

very narrow.  And with regard to the obstruction aspect of this you know,

from the moment that ABC reported a few days ago that the White House was

concerned about what they were going to stay about obstruction, it just

struck me that that indicated that they were not fully confident in the

fact that Barr had effectively exonerated him of that.  That they are now

scrambling to get ahead of what Barr has already come out and said.

 

HAYES:  Well, and I would also say this.  I mean, one of the things, David,

about this is for so long there`s a sort of sense of like is there some

smoking gun out there, was there like some actual conspiracy in which

someone like texted someone else.  Like yes, we will work with you Vladimir

or whatever.  That didn`t appears not to have happened right?  No sort of

smoking gun obvious sort of back and forth.  That –

 

CORN:  Well, except that Don Juniors said we`re willing to work with you. 

If that is what you said, I love it.

 

HAYES:  That`s true.  That`s true.  I mean –

 

CORN:  They`re actually – there been several smoking guns but Donald Trump

has – and his acolytes and spinners and mob lawyers like Bill Barr have

tried to define the term near the terms of the debate as he didn`t conspire

directly with the Russians in the attack.  But there were interactions that

certainly encouraged the Russians and of course Trump after being told by

the intelligence community that Russia was attacking came out and said no

they`re not doing this.  And that way gave cover to the Russians.

 

Roger Stone did exactly the same thing while in contact with the Trump

campaign and while trying to get WikiLeaks to do whatever he wanted it to

do.  So never – so you know, this is the frustration here.  We have not

one but like several smoking guns.  But Trump has only said this – the

only one that counts –

 

HAYES:  That`s right.

 

CORN:  – is that you find that text between me and Vladimir.  But if you

don`t find that, nothing else matters.

 

HAYES:  But here`s my – here`s my point though.  That that threshold being

removed, right.  The Barr letter says look, you`re not going to – that`s

not there, right.  One of the things the report does is just occasion us to

re-examine what we already know that`s in the public domain and again

assess the behavior of the president and his members as to whether it was

honorable or praiseworthy or defensible.  Three words that you know, no one

ever baddies around because for so long it`s like are they going to be

indicted, right?

 

CORN:  Right, right.  Well, wrongdoing, as you know, is not always illegal. 

And Paul Manafort did collude with Russians and maybe Trump didn`t.

 

HAYES:  Well, I`m going to – let me stop you right there, David Corn. 

We`re going to take Jerry Nadler, Chair of the Judiciary Committee who is

holding a hastily scheduled press conference at this hour.  Let`s listen

in.

 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

 

REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY):  – and Hakeem Jeffries of New York who is also

the Chairman of the Democratic Caucus.  The Attorney General appears to be

waging a media campaign on behalf of President Trump, the very subject of

the investigation at the heart of the Mueller report.  Rather than letting

the facts of the reports speak for themselves, the Attorney General has

taken unprecedented steps to spin Mueller`s nearly two-year investigation.

 

One, he summarized the report and cherry-picked findings in his March

(AUDIO GAP).  Two, he withheld summaries (AUDIO GAP) consumption.  Three,

he has briefed the White House on the report before providing Congress a

copy which has helped them prepare a rebuttal response for the president.

 

And now the evening before the report scheduled release, the Department of

Justice has informed the committee that it will receive a copy between

11:00 a.m. and noon well after the Attorney General`s 9:30 a.m. press

conference.  This is wrong.  It is contrary to the Attorney General`s own

words to the committee.  “I do not believe it would be in the public`s

interest for me to attempt to summarize the full report or to release it in

cereal or piecemeal fashion.”

 

It now appears the Attorney General intends to once again put his own spin

on the investigative work completed by the special counsel and his team. 

The fact that the Attorney General is not releasing even the redacted

report to Congress until after his press conference will again result in

the report being presented through his own words rather than through the

words of special counsel Mueller.

 

The central concern here is that the Attorney General Barr is not allowing

the facts of the Mueller report to speak for themselves, but it`s trying to

bake in the narrative about the report to the benefit of the White House. 

And of course he`s doing this just before the holiday weekend so it`s

extraordinarily difficult for anybody to react.  This is wrong.  It is not

the proper role of the Attorney General.

 

I should add one other thing.  The Department of Justice in a court filing

in the Roger Stone case today said that some members of Congress may get

access to some of the redacted information only for use in secret.  The

Judiciary Committee has no knowledge of this and this should not be read as

any agreement or knowledge or as sent on our part.  Thank you very much. 

Oh, we`ll take a couple of questions.

 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

 

HAYES:  It looks like there`s going to take a few questions.  Let`s see

what they has to say.

 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

 

NADLER:  We are certainly not satisfied with that.  We`ve repeatedly said

what is demanded by the situation and that is that the Judiciary Committee

be given the entire report and the underlying evidence so that we can make

those judgments for ourselves.  And the Judiciary Committee can as has been

the case in prior situations decide which limited portions of the report

might have to be kept secret so as not to reveal sources and methods of

intelligence or for some other legitimate reason.  But that`s a decision

for the committee to make not for the Attorney General or the

administration.  Yes.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We`ll take one more question. 

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  (INAUDIBLE) Mueller or anyone else for that matter?

 

NADLER:  Well, we`ll have to take the time over the next couple of days to

carefully read the redacted report so that we – so that we don`t find out

that in fact there`s very little left out.  But on the assumption that it`s

heavily redacted, we will most certainly issue the subpoenas in very short

order.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Thank you very much, everybody.

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Did you ask Mueller to testify?

 

NADLER:  I`ll answer that.  We probably – I assume we`ll probably find

that useful to ask Mueller to testify and I assume we may ask members of

his team to testify.  But we`ll have to make those decisions after reading

what we get as inadequate as that may be.  Thank you.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Thank you, everybody.  Thank you.

 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

 

HAYES:  Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler there holding a hastily scheduled

press conference in response to the news that we got today that the

Attorney General United States Bill Barr who`s already summarized a four-

page summary of the Mueller report that the President said vindicated him

completely wrongly claimed, it was a total exoneration despite the fact

that explicitly said it wasn`t an exoneration, that Barr is tomorrow

morning going to have a 9:30 press conference about the report on the day

it`s released.

 

And then after the press conference, the report is going to go there.  They

don`t have access to anything.  They don`t know what`s in the report.  Barr

is going to tell them.  And then at 11:00 after that`s all over, then

Congress is going to get the report and the public presumably after that. 

Jerry Nadler you see they`re not happy with that, also saying that he may

issue subpoenas and make all Mueller members of his team to testify before

their committee in the judiciary.

 

Joining me now, one of the Democrats who`s leading the oversight on the

Trump administration House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine

Waters, Democrat of California.  What do you make of all this?

 

WATERS:  Well, let me just say that I just listened to Mr. Nadler`s –

Chairman Nadler`s statement and of course he`s unhappy about the fact that

Barr is going to hold this press conference at 9:30 in the morning, and you

know a few hours later the members of Congress will have the report.  He

thinks that`s not right, on and on and on.  But I never expected Barr to do

anything that would be respectful to the members of Congress or to include

us in any real way.

 

He has proven himself.  He auditioned for this job.  He was chosen to

protect the President of the United States.  And that`s exactly what he`s

doing.  So I`m not surprised, I`m not even disgusted because I knew that

once he came out and he said there had been no obstruction of justice and

that there`d been no collusion, that he absolutely stepped out early to

defend the President, to protect the president.

 

I don`t expect any reversal of that.  I expect him to continue to play the

role.  He is basically a lackey and a sycophant for the President of the

United States of America, and that`s all it`s got to be.  This report is

going to be overly redacted and I don`t know if we`re going to get anything

new or important out of that.

 

I just wish that the Mueller team would come forward and I hope that

Mueller will come before the committee and have a chance to tell his side

of what he has done and have the questions given to him by the members of

the Judiciary Committee that will help us to get at the truth about this

president.  I mean, this president and his minions are absolutely

ridiculous and they disrespect the members of Congress.  And you (AUDIO

GAP) involved with each other.  His lawyers and (AUDIO GAP) talking with

the White House about what`s in the report already.

 

And they are going to push back, they have advanced information,

information that the members of Congress don`t even have.  And so members

of Congress better know he`s going to keep doing this, he`s going to keep

disrespecting us, the Constitution of the United States of America.  And

there is no answer to how we should be dealing with him except impeachment. 

I`ve been saying it all along.

 

HAYES:  OK.  Well, you have been saying it all along, although that talk

got tamp down for a bit.  I want to follow up on that but first let me ask

you this question.  You have served in the United States Congress for a

bit, and you`ve been through various administrations Democrat and

Republican.  You`ve watched the interplay between Congress and the White

House often can be tense even within the same party definitely when it`s

opposite parties.

 

This White House`s posture towards Democratic House (AUDIO GAP) stack up in

your experience in terms of how resistant they have been?

 

WATERS:  (AUDIO GAP) say this and I`m glad that you brought this up because

we have the responsibility to do oversight and investigations.  That is a

role that is given to us by the Constitution of the United States of

America.  This President does not like that.  He would simply try and have

the American people believe that somehow we`re on a witch hunt, that we

don`t like him, that we`re unhappy because he won the election.  He doesn`t

believe in oversight at all.

 

But I and other members of Congress who are attempting to do our job are

not going to back up despite all of the tricks and all the maneuvers that

he`s putting into play, I and the other five members committees that have

responsibility to weigh in on this investigation, we`re going to subpoena. 

I know that his lawyers are going to fight us on subpoenas.  As a matter of

fact, we have subpoenaed, as you know, from my committee, finance services,

Deutsche Bank.  And his lawyers have already been in

touch with Deutsche Bank telling them not to respond to us, don`t give us

the documents.  If they do, they will fight him every inch of the way.

 

And so this president obviously has a lot to hide.  He has been hiding ever

since he has been in office.  The kind of involvement he had with Russia

and with Putin and with the oligarchs, et cetera, et cetera, all of the

indictments and the convictions that have been gotten on the people around

him, including Manafort, et cetera, et cetera, the president is guilty of

so many things.  And of course we

should be outraged, and the members of congress should represent their

constituents and stand up against this president and demand that he is

impeached, because he doesn`t deserve to be the president of the United

States. 

 

He is overseeing a criminal enterprise.  We have never seen anything like

this.  And so many of Americans are unhappy.  The Republicans, evidently,

are frightened in speaking up, woke do anything.  And Democrats, this man

is not going to work with us.  He`s not going to cooperate with us.  He`s

going to keep going raising money, getting prepared for the elections, and

basically undermining all of us and putting all of the dirt, all of the

information, everything that he can put together to be able to promote

himself.  And we `re going to be up against it in 2020  trying get rid of

him, as he should have been gotten rid of already.

 

HAYES:  One final and follow-up question, and it`s about impeachment, there

was a period of time – you have been talking about impeachment, and you

think it`s justified, high crimes and  misdemeanors, the constitution

demands it.  You have been saying that for a while.  Leadership has tamped

that down.  Nancy Pelosi said he is not worth the effort.  You are part of

leadership. 

 

Am I hearing a kind of pris de court  that you are breaking with leadership

on this?  I mean, I`ve – less enthusiastic about impeachment, you sound

quite gung ho about it right now.

 

WATERS:  Well, here`s what, I absolutely sympathize with the speaker and

the job that she has

to do trying to hold all of the factions of our party together, whether we

are talking about new Democrats or progressives, et cetera, she has to try

in every way to move our caucus forward and to try and continue to deal

with the issues that the American people would like to hear us, you know,

making, you know, absolutely moving forward on.

 

They want health care.  They want to deal with infrastructure and all of

that.  That`s what she is trying to do.  I absolutely understand that.  But

I believe very firmly that he should have been impeached by now.  I believe

that despite what she has to do and what others may think, I stand exactly

where I started out early on with this president.  That he is not worthy of

the presidency of the United States of America, that he is not worthy of us

trying to even work with him at this point.

 

He has called us all names.  He has lied thousands of times.  It has been

documented.  He has put together a memo.  If you are talking about

obstruction of justice, when he sat on that airplane after his son, Junior,

had been at Trump Tower basically trying to put together information

against Hillary Clinton, he lied in a memorandum and said it was about

something else.  It was about I think…

 

HAYES:  Adoptions.

 

WATERS:  Yeah, adoptions, that`s what he said, when, in fact, it was not

about that.  And we know what Junior has said.  And so when we lineup all

this, his basic defense of Putin, his wrapping his arms around him, even

saying he is going to bring him to congress, he`s going to bring him to the

United States and he`s going to put him in our face.  And we should be

outraged by that.

 

So, I would just say, you know, I appreciate again what Nancy Pelosi has to

do, but I`m not  with that.  I am for impeachment.  I`m for getting rid of

him.

 

HAYES:  Making that very clear.  Congresswoman Maxine Waters, thank you

very much for making some time.

 

WATERS:  You`re welcome.

 

HAYES:  Still with me, Natasha Bertrand and David Corn.

 

Well, congress is hot.  You can see it, right.  I mean, there is – this is

fundamental stuff, right, David?  I mean, fundamental constitutional

questions here, and they have been kind of taking it from this White House

for the first four months.  I feel like you are seeing a little break point

tonight, frankly.

 

CORN:  Well, I think you do.  I think the Barr machinations just really

offend their sensibilities.  We have had the breakdown of norms and the

bipartisan courtesy over the last few years and Trump has certainly

accelerated that.  But I go back to the point I made earlier, Chris, and

that is to the degree to which Democrats get mad about the process and how

things are happening, you know, that will

detract and in some ways help protect Trump from what I think is the

original sin of his presidency, which is aiding and abetting this Russian

attack.

 

So, while they have a right to be upset, they still have to find a way to

focus on the things before

us, whether it`s the Russian scandal, the Deutsche Bank stuff that Maxine

Waters is doing, the emoluments case.  I mean, we have talked about this –

those are the things – they need to show the public there, they can –

while they can be passionate, they need to do the oversight in a reasonable

and effective way and tell the public what the public needs to know.

 

HAYES:  Well, Natasha, when we meet again, maybe you, maybe David,

certainly me and the viewers tomorrow night, we will have some new facts. 

That`s undeniable.  All the machinations, all the process aside, all the

redactions aside, all the manipulations aside, all of the massaging that

Bill Barr is doing to this, we will have new facts tomorrow night.

 

BERTRAND:  Yeah, no, I think so.  I mean, obviously, hard to say for sure,

but the fact that it`s nearly 400 pages long makes it impossible that we

are not going to learn something new unless it`s just a complete recitation

of the indictments that have already been put out there, but again all

indications point to that not being the case.

 

So, whether it`s new facts about, you know, conversations the president had

surrounding efforts to, you know, fire Jeff Sessions or fire Bob Mueller or

engage in some other kind of obstruction, or whether it`s, you know, more

evidence that members of his campaign were actively trying to coordinate

with Russians in 2016.  I think that, you know, a lot of this narrative is

probably going to get filled in.  And just with regard to the impeachment

talk, you know, there`s also a real school of thought out there that in

order to even get the grand jury material  if, for some reason it`s not,

you know, able to get resolved in court, then congress is going to have to

launch impeachment proceedings in order to have that predicate to get the

material.  So, that`s a very real possibility that Democrats are exploring

right now, and they`re facing a reckoning with regard to having to make

that decision to get this very important material.

 

HAYES:  All right, Natasha Bertrand, David Corn, great to have you both on.

 

CORN:  Sure.

 

HAYES:  All rig ht, more to come here tonight, including the lesson

Republicans are learning about what happens when you pick a fight with

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  That amazing story right after this.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

REP. ANDDY BARR, (R) KENTUCKY:  I would invite the gentlelady to come to

eastern Kentucky and meet the coal miners who will tell you what the Green

New Deal would be – what mean for their families, their paychecks…

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  Last month, Republican Congressman Andy Barr, seen there, invited,

or at least publicly performed a facsimile of inviting, Alexandria Ocasio-

Cortez, to come to Barr`s home state of Kentucky.  He said he wanted AOC

to, quote, go underground with me and the coal miners who would school her

on why the Green New Deal is a bad idea.

 

And despite the fact that there are actually not any active coal mines in 

Barr`s district, Ocasio-Cortez, immediately said let`s do it.

 

Now it appears  Barr`s invitation was not exactly sincere.  On Friday, Barr

alighted on a torture justification for withdrawing the offer, which

somehow involved Texas Congressman Dan Crenshaw and Representative Ilhan

Omar.  And the short version is, he doesn`t want her coming after all.

 

Republican Congressman James Comer, also from Kentucky, suggested that Barr

feared getting p0wned (ph) in his own back yard.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

REP. JAMES COMER, (R) KENTUCKY:  I don`t see any upside to bringing Ocasio-

Cortez in.  I think she is very intelligent.  I think a lot of Republicans

are making a mistake picking on her.

 

She is smart.  And I think that we need to be very prepared when we debate

her on issues that we are having a hard time with.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  I just want to say it`s awesome that Kentucky apparently has a PTI-

style politics show.

 

Today, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted in reference to the incident that, quote, GOP

thought they could catch us with a bluff, now we`ve got them on the back

foot stutter-stepping.  She still may go to Kentucky to meet with the coal

miners, despite Barr rescinding his invitation.  Her communications

director, Corbin Trent telling the Courier-General, quote, “luckily,

Kentucky has open borders.”

 

And joining me now is Corbin Trent.  Good to have you here.

 

CORBIN TRENT, ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR:  Good to be

here.

 

HAYES:  You`re from that part of the country.  You`re from eastern

Tennessee.

 

Why do you think the offer was rescinded?

 

TRENT:  I think that they understand that the policies that Alexandria is

advocating for are extremely popular, not just in the Bronx, not just on

the coast, but all over the country.  And I think they also understand,

some of them at least, that she is a fantastic and talented communicator

and that if she goes into their backyard and starts talking about Medicare

for all, federal jobs guarantee, and a Green New Deal, that maybe they will

have a problem come 2020.

 

HAYES:  Is the bet here that you can – I mean, bet here, right, is that

like the actual policies matter and the policies will out in the end,

right.  If you`re coming to people and saying I want to actually – we want

to make your life better and here is how we`re going to do it, that that

can cut through the kind of layers of cultural anticipation that`s been

built up.

 

TRENT:  Yeah, and Andy Barr was saying that, you know, he wants to bring

her down to Kentucky and let the coal miners tell her what is going to

happen with the Green New Deal and how it is going to hurt their community,

how it`s going to destroy jobs.

 

But what people in my neck of the woods, and in Kentucky know, is that

their jobs are being destroyed already – factories are closing, mines are

laying people off, you know, we have seen that happen over the last several

decades.  And what they want to see a plan for the future.  And Republicans

don`t have one and they know that the progressives in the Democratic Party,

that wing that is at least five people, that if we go out there and push

that narrative out there that they`re afraid that they`re not going to have

a rebuttal for it.

 

HAYES:  But I guess the question always here is like is – can you overcome

those sort of cultural fears, right? I remember – remember when Hillary

Clinton went down to West Virginia, right, and that was her attempt to do

that.  I mean, she went down to West Virginia.  There`s the famous in which

the context of it, she was talking about job retraining and job efforts…

 

TRENT:  But also talking about the pain you are going to have to bear,

right.  That there is going to be this realization that those jobs are gone

and we are going to have to move on with our lives and figure out something

else to do.

 

HAYES:  But that`s true.

 

TRENT:  …not really have a great answer for what that`s going to be.

 

HAYES:  But the first part of it is true.

 

TRENT:  The first part of it is true, yes, that we are going to have to do

something new.  But I think, you know, we launched a video today that is

talking about the future after a Green New Deal is embarked upon and

launched.  And it`s got 2.5 million views in the first day.

 

I think people want to see the big, bold ideas, right.  And the Green New

Deal that we are promoting when we put this resolution out, I think talks

about that and I believe the Republicans know that in their whole – in

their heart and soul, and when when they see us going around the country

and talking about that, it makes them a little bit nervous with basically

zero policy ideas to fix this problem.  They`ve just (inaudible) a problem,

right, and that`s only a few of them.  And then they`ve got a president

that`s out of control, and maybe in bed with the Russians.  Who knows.

 

HAYES:  Well, it`s interesting to watch the evolution on climate, which is

that it does seem to be something changed where they at least feel now they

have to say something about it.  Do you think that corner has been turned?

 

TRENT:  Well, we are starting to hear, you know, a little bit of the

muttering from the Republicans about cap and trade and things like that. 

So, yeah, I think we are turning the corner a little bit, but I think there

is still more to do and we have got to continue to push them over to the

window to make sure that what people get is a fair shake.

 

HAYES:  Are you guys going to go down there?

 

TRENT:  I sure hope so.  I think so – I think, you know, whether it`s east

Tennessee or Louisiana or Kentucky, I think this is a message that people

need to hear, that we can do more if we put our minds to it – you know, I

think if people hear that their government is going to get behind them,

help them build businesses, help them, you know, rebuild their communities,

whether it`s Medicare for all, whether it`s federal jobs guarantee, or a

Green New Deal, and I actually support the opportunity the Americans have

to build a better life, I think they will get excited about that.

 

HAYES:  Final question, how did Corbin Trent from Tennessee end up working

for the congresswoman?

 

TRENT:  She is an inspirational person.  I think she`s drawn us in from all

the place.

 

I mean, it was a long journey that started on the Sanders campaign in 2016

and then went to a brand-new congress, Justice Democrats.

 

HAYES:  And now here you are.

 

TRENT:  And here we are.

 

HAYES:  Corbin Trent, thanks a lot for making time.

 

TRENT:  Thanks for having me.

 

HAYES:  Still ahead, Jared Kushner has got a carefully crafted Middle East

plan, why the first son-in-law is telling world leaders to keep an open

mind back in 60 seconds.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

REP. NITA LOWEY, (D) NEW YORK:  When do we, or when should we expect, the

Jared Kushner peace plan that has been talked about and worked on?  I hope

we don`t have to wait another 20 years.  Could you tell us when we will see

the Jared Kushner peace plan?

 

MICHAEL POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE:  Yes, ma`am, I think we can say in less

than 20 years.

 

LOWEY:  How about being more precise?

 

POMPEO:  I just prefer not to be more precise.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  That was America`s top diplomat last month literally laughing at

the idea of an Israel-Palestinian peace plan getting done any time soon. 

Then last week, a tweet from the policy director for the Israel Policy

Forum caught my attention.  He said this, we are going to see the Trump

peace plan.  Bibi,” meaning Benjamin Netanyahu`s priority, “is to pass an

immunity law, or extract promises from his partners to back him once

indictments come.  This won`t happen if they think Bibi is flirting with a

deal.”

 

Interesting prediction.

 

And then today came news of the much hyped, but little anticipated Jared

Kushner Middle

East Peace Plan won`t be unveiled this month after all, holding off until

at least June.

 

Of course, no one has really has been that invested in this extra credit

project taken on by the

president`s son-in-law on one of the world`s thorniest issues for which he

has exactly zero experience and expertise.  But that never stopped Trump

from believing in him.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

TRUMP:  If you can`t produce peace in the Mideast, nobody can, OK.  All my

life, I have been hearing that`s the toughest deal in the world to make. 

And I have seen it.  But I have a feeling that Jared is going to do a great

job.  I have a feeling he is going to do a great job. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES:  He`s got a feeling.

 

The decision to hold off on the peace plan likely as part of a political

calculation to help Netanyahu shows just how much the America first

administration`s foreign policy has been more or less farmed out to foreign

actors, and not just to Netanyahu.  Despite the Saudis apparently hacking

to death a columnist for an American newspaper, the U.S. remains in

lockstep with that regime, even continues to bomb and starve the people of

Yemen.

 

And after an unprecedented bipartisan vote by both houses to finally end

American support for the humanitarian nightmare that is the Saudi war on

Yemen, the president went ahead and vetoed the resolution yesterday,

meaning that Saudi Arabia`s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, buddies with

Jared Kushner, gets to continue to call the shots.  And the people of Yemen

will continue to starve and die and suffer.

 

Now,w if Jared Kushner wanted to actually make himself useful, he should

talk to his father-in-law about that. 

 

Don`t go away, more breaking news about the Mueller report just coming in. 

We will have Carol Leonnig of The Washington Post on her exclusive report

next.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

HAYES:  Breaking News from The Washington Post, which reports the Justice

Department plans to release a lightly redacted version of special counsel

Robert Mueller`s 400-page report Thursday, offering a granular look at the

ways in which President Trump was suspected of having obstructed justice,

people familiar with the matter said.

 

Joining me now one of the reporters who broke that story, Washington Post

national investigative reporter Carol Leonnig.

 

Carol, what can you tell us about the scope of redactions that we`re

expecting tomorrow?

 

CAROL LEONNIG, THE WASHINGTON POST:  So, Chris, I have to tell you, I have

been expecting heavy redactions, so this was a surprise to me and to my

colleagues I think when we learned from sources that they`re getting

information that the redactions will be fairly light, especially as it

pertains to information about the investigation of the president`s actions

and potential obstruction of justice evidence.

 

And we are also told that the most important redactions will be those,

which implicate people  in ongoing investigations, which is interesting in

and of itself.

 

But we are also told that there will be granular, to quote the source

exactly, granular layout

of the evidence that Mueller`s team reviewed trying to determine whether or

not the president of the United States was trying to thwart a criminal

investigation of his campaign and ultimately of himself.

 

HAYES:  It seems that`s the area where the most – there is the most agita

(ph) from the house on this.  I guess what do we know about how much of

what`s contained therein is already publicly known and how much will be

new?

 

LEONNIG:  That I wish I could answer for you.  If I could, I would have

posted that story.

 

But what we do know will be laid out are things like the president`s

tweets.  There is a view that some of his tweets had the appearance of

trying to threaten the probe, threaten prosecutors, threaten the FBI, the

idea that some of his tweets suggested a narrative that he believed to be

the case.  You know, One of the things investigators often look for in an

obstruction probe is does it appear that a witness is trying to get other

people to saddle up for the same story or compare stories.  And we know

that there will be some discussion of that. 

 

There will also be key witnesses who spoke to Robert Mueller`s team and

gave testimony about

their personal interaction was the president.  You can imagine that some of

those will obviously involve

former White House counsel Don McGahn, former White House Communications

Director Hope

Hicks, conversations they personally had with the president about the probe

and how much it vexxed him, how much he wished it would be over.

 

HAYES:  There is also this – in the story you talk about this sort of

debate that appears to be

taking place about this press conference tomorrow and Barr`s approach to

that, what did you learn about that?

 

LEONNIG:  You know, there is a lot of – that`s not really my area, but my

wonderful colleagues

Devlin Barrett and also Matt Zapatoski (ph) who cover the Justice

Department have been covering

that very well, and it focuses really the controversy is really over why

are you going to have a

press conference at 9:30 in the morning for a report you`re not going to

release until some time later.

 

I`m remembering kind of fondly when a special counsel investigating the

potential leak of a CIA operatives name gave us a few hours to review his

final report, this was Patrick Fitzgerald.

 

HAYES:  That`s right.

 

LEONNIG:  Before we all gathered in a main conference room at the Justice

Department to ask  questions.  That was, you know, I think a public service

in addition to being easy on reporters.

 

HAYES:  Giuliani is said to be preparing a counterreport to the findings. 

There was some back and forth about whether they`re going to go ahead with

that, presumably that would focus on these obstruction issues?

 

HAYES:  Presumably.  I know that the White House team from other sources

we`ve spoken

to is preparing at least some public statements about the wisdom or lack of

wisdom of investigating a president for potential obstruction of justice.

 

So they`ve got a briefing that`s deep enough for them to feel that they can

start crafting their response to Mueller`s report.

 

As for a full counterreport, I have not confirmed that that`s going to be

pursued at this point.

 

HAYES:  T here is a paragraph in the story that really caught my eye.  I

want to read it and get your reaction to it – “a senior White House

official said Trump has praised Barr privately for his handling of the

report and compared him favorably to former Attorney General Jeff Sessions

who Trump grew to loathe over his recusal from what would become Mueller`s

investigation.”

 

It seems like there is a thumbs-up for the new guy in the White House.

 

LEONNIG:  Well, you know, Chris, one thing that we`ve all learned in this

roller coaster of the last two years is that the president likes people

that he views as fighters for him, people he views as loyal to him.  And

that`s certainly his impression of the attorney general.

 

Now we don`t know whether or not the attorney general is coming out

fighting for Trump or not in the way he`s handled this, but the public

impression is not that good about the objectivity of the attorney general

based on two things he`s done.  It doesn`t mean that he`s not objective.

 

HAYES:  Sure.

 

LEONNIG:  …it just means that the impression and the optics are pretty

bad when you say you`re going to summarize Mueller`s report and your first

bullet out of the gun is to say there is no case here.

 

You may remember that we and The New York Times reported – The New York

Times reported it first, and we followed them quickly after, we reported

some time ago that people on Mueller`s team were grousing rather loudly to

their friends and allies that Barr`s summary was unfair and misleading.  So

that was the first strike.

 

The second strike in terms of optics – again, we don`t know about the

objectivity of the  attorney general, only how it appears.

 

HAYES:  Right.

 

LEONNIG:  And the second strike is obviously this pre-press conference

before you get to see

the report.  It`s unclear to me why the attorney general would need to

explain it if we could read it.

 

HAYES:  Yeah, let me just – a sort of technical reporter`s question since

you brought this up with Fitzgerald, I have not – I`ve gone to a lot of

press conferences that centered on a document of public import, I`ve never

had this particular experience where the press conference happens with no

one  having access to it at any time, then it ends and then people are

going to get it afterwards.  Have you?

 

LEONNIG:  I`ve had so many different variations on the press conference and

actual document  that it`s going to be hard for me to have a total recall. 

But I actually think that this probably has happened to me before, probably

not in this high profile a case.

 

HAYES:  All right.

 

Carol Leonnig, whose got breaking news reporting at this hour.  The Mueller

report will be

lightly redacted, which as Carol said, was something of a surprise.  A lot

of people were expecting

heavy redactions given that there are four separate categories that the

attorney general has already said he will be redacting, that they will be

reviewing detailed look at the obstruction of justice investigation.  Carol

Leonnig, thank you very much.

 

That is All In for this evening.  Rachel Maddow Show starts right now.

 

 

 

 

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

BE UPDATED.

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