Biden (D-DE) apologizes. TRANSCRIPT: 7/8/19, The Rachel Maddow Show.

Guests:
Julie K. Brown, Karine Jean-Pierre, Jess Bravin
Transcript:

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST:  I think he`s handed the Democratic nominee an

enormous weapon in 2020.  We`ll see if they use it.

 

Emily Atkin and Tyson Slocum, thank you both. 

 

That is ALL IN for this evening. 

 

“THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW” starts right now with Joy Reid, in for Rachel. 

 

Good evening, Joy.

 

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST:  Good evening, Chris.  Thank you very much.  Have a

great rest of the night. 

 

HAYES:  You bet.

 

REID:  All right.  Well, thanks to you all for joining us this hour. 

Rachel does have the night off, but she will be back tomorrow. 

 

But I want to start with the story of Courtney Wild.  Here`s her picture. 

She was 14 years old at the time that it was taken living in Florida.  She

was in middle school.  She was captain of the cheerleading squad and played

the trumpet. 

 

She got good grades, she had braces and when she was 14 years old, Courtney

was introduced to a man named Jeffrey Epstein.  Jeffrey

 

Epstein is a well-connected, incredibly wealthy multimillionaire.  He

surrounded himself with powerful high profile people.  His private airline

has hosted high profile guests like former President Bill Clinton,

Britain`s Prince Andrew and various celebrities.  And Donald Trump has

described him as a friend. 

 

In 2005, Florida police started investigating Jeffrey Epstein, and what

they turned up was horrifying.  Investigators say they found that Jeffrey

Epstein was essentially running a criminal operation to molest and at least

in one case rape large numbers of girls, many of whom were underage. 

Jeffrey Epstein was in his 50s, many of his victims were children. 

 

The FBI got involved and was able to identify dozens of girls who had been

Epstein`s victims.  Most of them were between 13 and 16 years old.  Some

people think there could be hundreds of other victims out there. 

 

One of Jeffrey Epstein`s alleged victims was Courtney Wild who again was 14

when she met Epstein.  She said he sexually abused her for years.  Her

story was identified by the FBI spelled out in the “Miami Herald`s” heroic

reporting on the story.  The FBI then used her account and dozen of others

to prepare criminal against Jeffrey Epstein for being a serial child sex

offender.  The indictment the FBI wrote up, the one listing all of Jeffrey

Epstein`s heinous crimes, it was 53 pages long, 53 pages of stories like

Courtney Wild`s. 

 

The indictment accused Epstein of recruiting underage girls for sex across

state lines.  Those are federal charges which could have sent Epstein to

prison for the rest of his life.  Instead, a federal prosecutor named Alex

Acosta prevented Jeffrey Epstein from being charged with any federal

crimes, and prevented federal charges against any potential accomplices of

Epstein, too. 

 

Today, that man, Alex Acosta, is in the president`s cabinet.  He is Donald

Trump`s labor secretary. 

 

But back when that FBI investigation was going on, he was the U.S. attorney

in southern Florida.  Instead of changing Jeffrey Epstein with those 53

pages of child sex crimes, Alex Acosta made a deal with him.  He allowed

Epstein to enter into something called a non-prosecution agreement which

gave him immunity from all federal charges.  Instead, he plead guilty to

two state charges for prostitution as if the girls like Courtney Wild were

prostitutes and not children being victimized by an accused child molester,

thanks to the very sweet deal that he got from Acosta.  Epstein served just

13 months in a county jail.  He got to leave jail during the day to work in

his office. 

 

Since then, Jeffrey Epstein has gone back to living off his millions, jet-

setting all over the world.  As for Alex Acosta, he agreed to do his

special deal for Jeffrey Epstein in secret.  Federal crime victims have the

right to be told when there are plea negotiation going on, but Alex Acosta

did not notify Jeffrey Epstein`s victims before he granted him that plea

deal.  Epstein`s lawyers asked Acosta to keep the deal a secret and Acosta

agreed. 

 

And so, Courtney Wild, one of Epstein`s victim who was kept in the dark

about that deal, she sued the government, alleging that Alex Acosta and his

team of prosecutors broke the law by keeping secret from her and all the

other victims the fact that they gave Epstein this non-prosecution deal. 

She filed that naught 11 years ago.  It dragged on for over a decade. 

 

In the meantime, Courtney Wild bravely and courageously put her name on the

record and told her story about Jeffrey Epstein to the “Miami Herald.” 

Courtney wild did not give up, she did not drop her case after all that

time.  Eventually, earlier this year a federal judge agreed with her,

ruling that the current secretary of labor, Alex Acosta, broke the law when

he agreed to keep that deal with Jeffrey Epstein a secret from his victims. 

 

And yet still, even then, there was no justice for Courtney Wild and her

fellow victims.  Alex Acosta stayed labor secretary.  Jeffrey Epstein

stayed free.  Jeffrey Epstein could not be held accountable for his alleged

crimes toward Courtney Wild and those dozens of other women like her with

that non-prosecution agreement still on the books in Florida.  In Florida. 

 

Over the weekend, federal prosecutors in New York City busted down the door

of Jeffrey Epstein`s Manhattan mansion and arrested him at the airport

after he landed in his private jet fresh off a vacation in France.  This

morning, Jeffrey Epstein was arraigned in federal court on federal sex

trafficking charges in the state of New York. 

 

In this new indictment, prosecutors allege that between the years of 2002

and 2005, Epstein abused dozens of underage girls at his homes in Manhattan

and in Palm Beach.  The allegations are practically a mirror image of the

allegations written up against Epstein more than a decade ago in Florida,

the ones that were shelved by Alex Acosta. 

 

They cover the same period, the same crimes – kinds of lurid sex crimes

against children, but they are new charges about different allegations from

the last time that he was investigated in Florida.  The ones covered by

that non-prosecution agreement, which has been protecting Epstein from

being charged there. 

 

But that agreement not to prosecute him, that`s only valid in southern

Florida where Acosta made the deal, which left the field wide open for

prosecutors in New York to conduct an investigation of their own into

Epstein`s conduct in New York, in their own backyard, which led to these

brand-new charges today.  And this time, prosecutors in New York do not

think Epstein should be set free with just a slap on the wrist. 

 

Under this new indictment, Epstein faces 45 years in prison.  Now, he`s 66

years old, which means that if he`s found guilty in New York, Epstein could

spend the rest of his natural life behind bars.  And prosecutors seem to

think they have enough evidence to put him there. 

 

Today, investigators announced what they found when they busted through

Epstein`s front door – documents, notes, messages, including names and

contact information for Epstein`s alleged victims, as well as call records

confirming Epstein`s contact with them, with the victims.  Prosecutors say

that all that evidence is, quote, consistent with victim recollections. 

Further strengthening the evidence of the conduct charged in the

indictment.

 

Prosecutors also say they found hundreds if not thousands of lewd

photographs of young women and girls without their clothes on.  Many of

whom are believed to be underage.  Some of those photos were discovered in

a locked safe. 

 

Prosecutors writing today, quote: The defendant is not reformed.  He is not

chastened.  He is not repentant.  Rather, he is a continuing danger to the

community and an individual who faces devastating evidence supporting

deeply serious charges. 

 

That devastating evidence, prosecutors say that they have against Jeffrey

Epstein, that must be relief to women like Courtney Wild, relief to the

dozens maybe hundreds of Epstein`s victims just like her who lost their

shot at justice the first time around because Alex Acosta took that shot

away.  But it`s potentially devastating news for the president`s labor

secretary, too.  Since Alex Acosta gave that sweetheart deal when he was

U.S. attorney, he has defended his handling of the case.  Now, he says

without that deal, Epstein could have gotten zero jail time, zero

registration as a sexual offender, and that there would have been zero

restitution for the victims in this case. 

 

He said that what he did was the best that he could get based on the

evidence that he had.  But with this new indictment, prosecutors in New

York seem to directly contradict that assertion, because according to this

new indictment, there is enough evidence documenting Epstein`s child sex

crimes to put him in jail for the rest of his life.  Alex Acosta, for

whatever reason, did not see it that way. 

 

Joining us now is Julie Brown, the “Miami Herald” investigative reporter

whose in-depth reporting series on Jeffrey Epstein not only broke this

story wide open last year and was credited for by prosecutors with

assisting in the investigation.  She was inside the court today. 

 

Julie, thanks so much for being here. 

 

JULIE K. BROWN, MIAMI HERALD INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER:  Thanks for having me. 

 

REID:  First of all, thanks for being this reporting.  For these young

victims it had to be a relief to see at least what could be the beginnings

of justice.  Does it surprise you that the charges that are being brought

against him today are so similar to the charges that he was given a sweet

deal for before and how can that be explained to sort of the ordinary

person out there? 

 

BROWN:  Well, he had an operation going.  He had people who worked for him. 

He had a whole setup of recruiters all over in New York, in Florida, as far

as we know this was probably going on in the U.S. Virgin Islands where he

also had a home and in Europe. 

 

And he had schedulers, such as like an organized crime organization

operates with a boss at the top and you have the lieutenants and you have

capos and you have soldiers.  He had, you know, pilots and schedulers and

recruiters and people who handled his money, you know, and paid the girls. 

People who, you know, valets who drove the girls back and forth.  He had

his schedule where, you know, two, three of them would come every single

day. 

 

So, it wouldn`t be surprising that – since he had the same organization in

place that that same kind of operation existed in New York as well as in

Florida. 

 

REID:  And how – how publicly known – I mean, among the people who knew

Jeffrey Epstein, was this something that was known?  This was something

that he was doing or was this a secret operation, where as you said the

employees knew, but outside that group of people, no one knew? 

 

BROWN:  Well, there were people outside the operation that probably knew

that what he was doing, whether they participated in it, just knew about it

and looked the other way, we don`t know for sure. 

 

REID:  Yes. 

 

BROWN:  But there was certainly a number of people that had to know what he

was doing because it was just too pervasive for them not to know. 

 

REID:  And how was it that the first time he was sentenced and he got this

deal, I mean, the idea that he was even allowed to be out of jail on a sort

of work release program and he was barely punished at all.  And why – and

the girls were classified – I mean, what he was convicted of was

prostitution? 

 

BROWN:  Right.  Right.  Well, I think that they – they treated these girls

like they were prostitutes, even though they were underage.  I think that`s

one of the excuses they gave for not charging him with more serious crimes,

because they accepted money, it was somehow, you know, their fault in their

minds that, well, these girls, you know, they came from vulnerable

families, broken homes.  Some of them were really pretty much homeless.

 

And so they – they didn`t take these girls seriously, which in hindsight

they probably should have because a couple of them actually took them to

court and have been fighting for this for ten years and they`ve been pretty

persistent in fighting for justice. 

 

REID:  How well did Jeffrey Epstein know Donald Trump?  When Donald Trump

calls him a friend, is that an accurate reflection of their relationship? 

 

BROWN:  I think that they were friends.  Yes, I don`t know if they still

are.  But he flew on Jeffrey`s plane.  They were neighbors in Palm Beach. 

Jeffrey at one time belonged to Mar-a-Lago. 

 

The rumor is that Trump actually kicked him out of Mar-a-Lago because he

had hit on one of the member`s younger daughters.  So, I don`t know how

friendly they are any longer, but at one point, yes, they were in the same

social circle. 

 

REID:  And have you been able to interview or talk to people who are in the

U.S. attorney`s office with Alex Acosta that had any thoughts with the way

he ended this case? 

 

BROWN:  Well, Jeff Sloman, his deputy, has been very vocal in his support

of Mr. Acosta.  He agrees that Alex Acosta did everything that he could,

that he faced a lot of pushback by Epstein`s attorneys, that the – you

know, in their view, any way that the girls at the time were reluctant to,

you know, go to trial because they were scared.  You know, they were very

young, 13, 14 years old. 

 

REID:  Yes. 

 

BROWN:  But he here`s what, you know, I always point out to people is that

if this was such a good deal, if this was the right thing to do, why did

you seal it and keep it secret? 

 

REID:  Right. 

 

BROWN:  You know, I don`t understand why anybody hasn`t forced him to

answer that question. 

 

REID:  Yes. 

 

BROWN:  They always say, well, you know, the girls didn`t want to

cooperate.  Oh, their stories were different.  There were all these, you

know, other reasons, but, OK, then why did you seal it and then make them

fight for almost a year?  The government fought them. 

 

REID:  Right. 

 

BROWN:  Wouldn`t even give them the agreement. 

 

So, you know, it`s – it`s baffling that they could justify this by saying,

you know, all these reasons, but in reality, the real reason is that they

kept it from them. 

 

REID:  Yes, it would be nice to ask him those questions during his

confirmation hearing.  Maybe we could have gotten answer. 

 

“Miami Herald” investigative reporter Julie Brown, thank you very much for

your time.  Congratulations on the wonderful reporting.

 

BROWN:  Thank you. 

 

REID:  Thank you.

 

And while the charges against Jeffrey Epstein were welcomed news to anyone

who cares about the welfare of children, something about those charges was

particularly eye-catching.  When Epstein was charged today with two counts

related to sex trafficking of minors, prosecutors in the Southern District

of New York announced the case is being handled by the office`s Public

Corruption Unit.  That`s unusual.  Sex trafficking cases are normally run

out of the – not run out of the Public Corruption Unit, a fact which was

seized upon by reporters at today`s press conference. 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

REPORTER:  Why is it being handled by the Public Corruption Unit if it`s

just sex trafficking charges at the moment? 

 

GEOFFREY BERMAN, U.S. ATTORNEY, SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK:  Well, I`m

not getting into the staffing decisions at the U.S. attorney`s office.  I

will say that I have confidence that the Public Corruption Unit is able –

can ably handle this investigation prosecution as it has so many matters. 

I will, again, urge you not to read into the unit assignment anything one

way or another. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

REID:  Joining us now is Mimi Rocah, who supervised sex trafficking cases

as a prosecutor in the Southern District of New York. 

 

Mimi, thanks so much for being here. 

 

MIMI ROCAH, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR:  Thanks for having me. 

 

REID:  Why is this case?  It did seem interesting that this case is being

handled out of the Public Corruption Unit.  What is that – what should we

take from that? 

 

ROCAH:  It is unusual.  I mean, look, the Public Corruption Unit handles

cases that involve, just like it sounds, public officials, whether it be

elected officials or it can be police officers, it can be anyone who holds

some kind of position of public trust basically.  And so, there are I think

two different ways that that could be something that we see develop in this

investigation.  One is that we see somebody who is either a public official

or an elected official who was involved in this sex trafficking scheme with

Epstein, with which he is now charged.  That is possible. 

 

The other possibility is we know, as you just discussed at length with

Julie Brown, that there was real mishandling at a minimum of the plea in

Florida with Epstein.  Does that – that involves prosecutors –

 

REID:  Yes. 

 

ROCAH:  – and defense attorneys.  Even attorneys can be considered public

officials. 

 

So, is that something now that the Southern District is looking at, sort of

that piece of it of how and why did Epstein get that ridiculous slap on the

wrist that really shocks anyone`s conscience?  I think who understands how

serious this case is.  And that would be, you know, and it could be both of

these. 

 

REID:  Yes. 

 

ROCAH:  It`s not one or the other.  But those are the two ways that I see

it possibly sort of involving public corruption. 

 

REID:  So meaning that, you know, the fact is that Alexander Acosta, he

violated the law that said he should have given these victims notice.  He

did not do that.  Are you saying that there is a possibility that that act

is also being investigating? 

 

ROCAH:  Well, the lack of notice to the victims is one specific part of

what I view as a just complete mishandling of the plea negotiation process. 

The judge sort of ruled that the lack of notice to the victims was a

violation of federal law.  But there were other things about it. 

 

I mean, why he got this deal in the first place, why Alex Acosta when he

was the U.S. attorney was having private meetings with the – Epstein`s

defense attorney off site by himself.  I cannot tell you how improper and

unusual that is.  Just – it smells really bad. 

 

REID:  It does.  And it also raises the question of whether or not it is

the power and the people that Jeffrey Epstein knows and, you know, is

involved in. 

 

ROCAH:  Right. 

 

REID:  Could it be that he could try to cut another deal by saying there

were other people who were involved in this, too?  You just heard the

reporter say there were other people involved.  Could he be maybe trying to

leverage what he knows about other people who are committing similar

crimes? 

 

ROCAH:  Well, he certainly has a lot of incentive to try to cooperate.  I

will tell you this, though, from what I know of the Southern District of

New York, which is a lot, they are not going to give him a pass.  If he has

valuable information to trade for a cooperation agreement, and it would

have to be really valuable, I only know of two instances in my 16 years

where someone charged with these kinds of crimes was even allowed to enter

into a cooperation agreement and it was not without a lot of debate. 

 

REID:  Yes. 

 

ROCAH:  Because these kind of crimes, you don`t give that, you know, any

kind of break.  Most prosecutors would not do it.  These are the kinds of

crimes that make your blood boil. 

 

REID:  Yes. 

 

ROCAH:  If he had really valuable information, and it`s hard to imagine

what that could be, but it`s possible, he would still have to plead guilty

to everything and be facing a lot of time but then possibly his cooperation

could give him some kind of benefit in that sentence.  And that might be

the only hope that he has because these charges seem very strong to me. 

When I read the Southern District`s bail letter, they`re talking like

prosecutors who are very confident in their case and they don`t do that

lightly. 

 

REID:  Yes, absolutely.  The Southern District of New York standing up for

justice.  Let`s hope that these young girls get it. 

 

Thank you very much.  Really appreciate your time, Mimi Rocah. 

 

Much more to get to tonight, including a development in the race for

Democratic run for president that has us bringing back one of RACHEL MADDOW

SHOW`s favorite special effects.  That`s next. 

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

(BEGIN VIEO CLIP)

 

RICK PERRY (R), THEN-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  And I will tell you, it`s

three agencies of government when I get there that are gone.  Commerce,

education, and the – what`s the third one there?  Let`s see. 

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You need five. 

 

PERRY:  Oh, five.  OK.  So, Commerce, Education and the –

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You can`t name the third one? 

 

PERRY:  The third agency of government I would do away with, the Education,

the – Commerce, and let`s see.  I can`t.  The third one, I can`t.  Sorry. 

Oops.  . 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

REID:  Oops.  It might seem hard to believe now, but there was a point back

in 2012 where Rick Perry was a front-runner for the Republican nomination

for president of the United States.  At one point, Perry held the lead in

more than 15 straight national polls.  That is until the oops moments

started to pile up. 

 

So, he took a second stab at it in 2016.  The only problem, he was the same

Rick Perry. 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Joining me now is former Texas governor, Rick Perry. 

 

Governor, do you want to make news on the real story?  Is Donald Trump

right?  Are you getting out of the race? 

 

PERRY:  You know, a broken clock is right twice a day. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

REID:  A broken clock is right twice a day. 

 

Rick Perry was the first candidate to drop out of the Republican

presidential primary following the departure from the race.  Rachel and

team Maddow started a tradition on this show where by candidates got poofed

when they called it quits.  Rick Perry was the first candidate to get

poofed.  Ten days later, Rachel poofed Scott Walker. 

 

Maddow land poofed our way through the Republican primary.  Poof!  Poof! 

Poof! 

 

With Rachel out, I have the honor of poofing the first candidate in the

2020 Democratic primary.  California Congressman Eric Swalwell today

announced that he is ending his presidential campaign.  Instead, he will

focus on his re-election bid as he looks to serve a fifth term in Congress. 

 

That means this massive Democratic primary field just got one person

smaller.  As a result, Congressman Eric Swalwell is going bye-bye from the

big board.  Three, two, one.  Poof!  There he goes. 

 

Since last week, there have been three major changes in the 2020 race for

president.  The first we just show you.  The field has been narrowed, at

least for the time being. 

 

The second is that Senator Elizabeth Warren turned in a massive fund-

raising haul in the last quarter despite holding no fund-raisers.  Senator

Warren announced today that her campaign brought in more than $19 million

over the past three months.  That`s quite a bit more than the other

candidate, making big polling moves this week and Kamala Harris who raised

$12 million. 

 

But perhaps more importantly it also puts Senator Warren ahead of Senator

Bernie Sanders, the only other candidate to have spurned closed-door fund-

raisers and corporate money.  Warren brought in $1 million more than

Sanders this quarter.  In fact, she pulled in nearly as much money as

former Vice President Joe Biden.  And, again, she did it without holding

any fund-raisers, instead, focusing on a small army of small donors. 

 

The result is that she more than tripled her first quarter fund-raising

total.  That`s a big deal.  Warren`s big haul comes amid a shifting power

dynamic that produced the third big change this week.  Former Vice

President Joe Biden shifted gears and apologized for comments he made

nearly two weeks ago about working with segregationists. 

 

Here he was this weekend in South Carolina. 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Now, was I wrong a few weeks ago? 

To somehow give the impression to people that I was praising those men who

I successfully opposed time and again?  Well, yes, I was and I regret it. 

And I`m sorry for any of the pain or misconception they may have caused

anybody. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

REID:  Senator Kamala Harris, who has called Biden`s record into question,

had this to say. 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I think that he is –

he is right to recognize the impact of his words, and I applaud him for

doing that, having the courage to do it.  There is still a point of

disagreement between he and I, and that remains, but I applaud for him

having the courage to at least, as it relates to his comments about

segregationists, make the statement he made. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

REID:  So how does all of this change the race going forward? 

 

Well, joining us is Karine Jean-Pierre, chief public affairs officer for

moveon.org. 

 

Karine, always great to talk to you. 

 

And I want to start with Eric Swalwell.  Let me play what Eric Swalwell

said about getting out of the race.  Here he is.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA):  The polling wasn`t moving after the debates,

and, you know, the donor number was going up but it was never going to

reach the point where we could qualify – you know, for the September

debate is 130,000.  And, you know, you know what, I`ll be honest, I welcome

those thresholds.  Just as someone who is putting everything into it,

expecting your family and your staff and your volunteers to put everything

into it, we didn`t want to just screw around here.  We wanted to grow with

the thresholds and if we didn`t, we were going to get out.  So, those

thresholds I think are fair and it`s the best way to narrow the field. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

REID:  So do you think, Karine, that we`re going to start to see more

people catch the realistic bug and move out of the race? 

 

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, CHIEF PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER, MOVEON.ORG:  Can I just

say poof, Joy?  I have to say it. 

 

REID:  Poof. 

 

JEAN-PIERRE:  Poof.  I`m here.  I`m not disappearing. 

 

So, a couple of things.  So, with Eric Swalwell, look, there is not enough

oxygen in the room, right?  You have 20-plus candidates.  Donald Trump

takes about 90 percent of the media political time, the rest of the

candidates have to divvy up the rest of that, 20-some-odd of them. 

 

And, you know, after awhile if you can`t get on the news, if you can`t push

out your agenda because there are so many other candidates, your money

dries up, you don`t move up in the polls so it`s not surprising. 

 

I mean, look, Swalwell, Eric Swalwell is 38 years old.  He was able to put

out his platform in front of 18 million people, which was the gun reform. 

So he got something out of it, right?  He got himself in there for a little

bit, and now he goes back and he runs a re-election. 

 

But, look, as we get closer, as we get more and more debates under – under

people`s belts it`s going to be harder to get on those debates, right?  The

thresholds are going to change.  As he was talking about, the third debate

is going to be very difficult to get on.  And we are going to see a kind of

dwindling down of the race, of the candidates. 

 

REID:  And I wonder, you know, we`re going to talk money in a minute. 

There are two Coloradoans. 

 

JEAN-PIERRE:  Yes.

 

REID:  You still have two Texans.  Is there a certain point in just in

terms of the donor base an attrition within the states?  Because this is

now one less Californian. 

 

JEAN-PIERRE:  Right.  That`s an excellent point.  You saw – I think one of

the things, one of the plays that Julian Castro was doing at the debate two

weeks ago was he went after a Texan, after someone in his own state, which

was Beto O`Rourke, and he went after him pretty hard. 

 

And you could probably if you think about the strategy that Julian Castro

was thinking about, it probably was, OK, let me get someone who is kind of

in my space talking about immigration reform, from a big state like Texas

that Julian Castro would need to do well in, especially with the Latino

voters, as seems to be his play, so he went after Beto O`Rourke, which was

a smart strategy. 

 

REID:  Yes. 

 

JEAN-PIERRE:  So, yeah, I think that makes a lot of sense.  Now you have

one less Californian in the race and he doesn`t, you know, there`s no

competition there for Kamala Harris, assuming that there was any real

competition. 

 

REID:  Yes, absolutely.  And Super Tuesday, California`s in it.  Let`s talk

about money. 

 

JEAN-PIERRE:  Super Tuesday. 

 

REID:  Yes, absolutely. 

 

The big haul by Elizabeth Warren, big deal, right? 

 

JEAN-PIERRE:  Yes. 

 

REID:  That she was able to raise that much money without doing big-ticket

fund-raisers. 

 

JEAN-PIERRE:  That – I have to tell you, Elizabeth Warren is truly

changing the game on all levels.  Leaning in on her plans and talking about

racial inequality as a white candidate in this race.  It`s incredibly

impressive, $19.1 million without big fund-raisers, with small donors. 

This is a grassroots operation that she`s running. 

 

And the thing about it that is really amazing is that majority, virtually

majority of her donors have not maxed out.  So she gets to go back and get

more money from them.  And they`re not from the Upper East Side or the

Upper West Side or Hollywood Hills.  They`re from across the country.  She

is energizing this base, the base, which is what you need to be doing. 

 

And so she is a – she is, number one, a really direct competition to

Bernie Sanders.  But he will have enough money to continue.  She is also –

she`s up there in the tier one as a real competitor with the fund-raising

and the polling. 

 

REID:  Absolutely.  Let`s talk about the guy who is number one, at least in

the polls, Joe Biden.  Do you think he`s turned the corner during the

debate? 

 

JEAN-PIERRE:  Well, I`ll say this.  Look, black voters understand one

thing.  They understand how dangerous Donald Trump is.  They understand the

hatred.  They understand the bigotry, the outright racism.  And, you know,

that is not surprise why we see black voters, one of the number one things

they care about is to get rid of Donald Trump, to beat Donald Trump in

2020. 

 

And so, when the two things that Biden has to deal with after this debate

was number one, he showed his vulnerability on race.  Number two, he put

that doubt in people`s mind, which was can he beat Donald Trump?  And

that`s a very dangerous doubt to put in people`s minds when you`re the

front-runner and you`re running this electability, this kind of general

election campaign. 

 

And so, you saw that in the polls.  You saw about an average of 6 points he

was going down in polling.  And who are his number one kind of community

that`s lifting him up, propelling him to being a front-runner are African-

American voters. 

 

REID:  Yes. 

 

JEAN-PIERRE:  So for him, it was really important that he apologize for

praising segregationists.  He needed to do that.  It took three weeks.  He

took a lot of body blows and it was showing in the polls. 

 

REID:  Yes, absolutely.  Definitely did take quite awhile.  We shall see

from here. 

 

Karine Jean-Pierre –

 

JEAN-PIERRE:  Poof. 

 

REID:  OK.  Now I`m going to make you poof but in a loving way.  Thank you

very much for being on.  Talk to you later.  Poof. 

 

Now we have a ton of show ahead.  There is – was one person whose diary of

notes was cited almost 70 times in the Mueller report.  Her testimony to

congressional investigators and that is hot off the press and that is next. 

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

REID:  When former White House communications director Hope Hicks testified

before the house judiciary committee, there was a smackdown between the

committee and hicks` fleet of lawyers who blocked her from answering 155

questions, including super basic stuff like where was your office in the

West Wing? 

 

Her lawyer cited a concept called absolute immunity which, for the record,

is not a real thing.  One hundred fifty-five non-answers sounds bad, but

Chairman Jerry Nadler had a strategy, namely that Hicks` stonewalling the

committee gave them ammunition in any future court battle, specifically in

getting Hicks and former White House counsel Don McGahn to testify. 

 

Shortly thereafter, Nadler cut a deal with the other fact witness to go

before Congress, Annie Donaldson, former chief of staff to Don McGahn. 

Donaldson was known for taking copious notes in the White House, notes

cited 65 times in the Mueller report.  Nadler agreed to allow Donaldson to

submit written answers rather than appearing in person. 

 

The theory goes, Hope Hicks stonewalling the judiciary committee gives them

future ammunition for future court battles.  The same thing goes if Annie

Donaldson gives a bunch of “no comments” in her written responses. 

 

Well, tonight, behold.  Chairman Nadler has released Annie Donaldson`s

written responses.  It seems like they were singing from the same songbook. 

Now, we should say when asked where her office was in the West Wing, unlike

Hope Hicks, Annie Donaldson answered, so we`ll give her that. 

 

But Donaldson claimed, quote, constitutionally-based executive branch,

confidentiality agreements 212 times. 

 

She refused to answer whether her boss Don McGahn asked her to takes notes,

and whether the president asked her not to.

 

The committee asked about the time that Donald Trump called McGahn and

ordered him to get Jeff Sessions to unrecuse from the Mueller

investigation.  Annie Donaldson`s notes on that episode are cited in the

Mueller report but the White House wouldn`t let her answer.  They asked her

about handwritten note about being, quote, in the middle of another Russia

fiasco.  And you guessed it, the White House wouldn`t let her answer. 

 

The same thing about her note of serious concerns of own obstruction, as

cited in the Mueller report.  And the time Trump called McGahn and ordered

him to fire Robert Mueller.  No surprise, the White House wouldn`t let

Annie answer that one either. 

 

But it wasn`t a total loss.  Because Ms. Donaldson did confirm a few key

passages from the Mueller report.  Like that when Donald Trump asked –

Donaldson asked, identified several actions that exposed Trump to

obstruction of justice charges and ordered McGahn to meddle in the Mueller

investigation. 

 

The plot thickens.  One week and two days until Robert Mueller testifies. 

But who`s counting? 

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

REID:  So it`s the Monday after a long holiday weekend, when for most

people the priorities are to, you know, readjust, get back into the swing

of the work day.  Take the OOTO thing off of your email. 

 

Well, try being in the Trump era Department of Justice.  They got called

back into work this weekend from vacation due to a presidential tweet.  For

months, the DOJ attorneys had been in court defending the Trump

administration`s efforts to add a citizenship question to the census, which

it done could be expected to result in an undercount of Latinos and an

overrepresentation of white people and Republicans in the U.S. population

count.  That would give those groups more money and more federal resources

and more power over the next ten years. 

 

The lawyers had been defending the Trump administration`s gambit by

claiming that the administration`s reasons for adding the question had

nothing to do with undercounting Latinos or targeting undocumented

immigrants and trying to convince the court that the real purpose was

enforcing the Voting Rights Act.  Well, that didn`t work.  Multiple federal

judges saw through that story and found that the Trump administration`s

voting rights excuse was made up. 

 

Finally, the Supreme Court told the Trump administration that the lower

courts were right and they could not go ahead with their census plan, at

least not in the terms they`d been trying to.  Early last week, the Justice

Department lawyers admitted defeat, that the census would be printed

without the question and went on vacation. 

 

Then came the presidential tweet which said the opposite of what lawyers

told the court.  And so, a Justice Department lawyer on Independence Day

eve phoned in to a federal conference from his composed vacation to tell

the judge that, nope, he had no idea what was going on either. 

 

Here are the quotes from the hearing.  Quote: The tweet this morning was

the first that I had heard of the president`s position on this issue.  I do

not have a deeper understand of what that means at this juncture, but

obviously as you can imagine I`m doing my absolute best to figure out

what`s going on.

 

Quote: I can`t possibly predict at this juncture what is going to happen. 

The one thing I would request is that given tomorrow is the Fourth of July

and the difficulty of assembling people from all over the place, is it

possible that we could do this on Monday?  The judge: No.

 

No?  He told the court this was over.  Now, the president says it`s not

over, and you`re going to come back from vacation and figure it all out. 

That was Wednesday, as Rachel explained on this show. 

 

Well, on Friday the Trump administration told the court it was busy coming

up with a new rationale for changing the census, which was impressive

because the administration has changed its rationale for changing the

census at least 10 times in four months.  And this weekend, Donald Trump

himself went ahead and gave away the game, saying they need the citizenship

question to draw congressional districts, which the DOJ lawyers had

explicitly been arguing for months is not the rationale.  Now, today, those

lawyers arguing the census case who have been trying to come up with a

reason the federal courts would believe was real and valid for changing the

census, they`ve all been replaced. 

 

“The Washington Post” was first to report the personnel change could

signal, quote, “career attorneys legal or ethical concerns over the

maneuvering ordered by the president.”  Today, Attorney General William

Barr acknowledged that a number of people who had been litigating the case

preferred, quote, not to continue during this new phase.

 

Oddly enough, if anything that happens during this era could still be

called odd, these DOJ lawyers who specialize in cases like this are being

replaced with lawyers from completely different sections of the Justice

Department, that do not appear to have anything to do with this type of

litigation.  And just in the last hour or so, the plaintiffs in one census

lawsuit have filed a motion to block the Justice Department from replacing

those lawyers, but no matter, Trump`s attorney general, his Roy Cohn, says

they`ve got a plan. 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

WILLIAM BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL:  I`ve been in constant discussions with the

president ever since the Supreme Court decision came down.  And I think

over the next day or two, you`ll see what approach we`re taking.  I think

it does provide a pathway for getting the question on the census. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

REID:  Meanwhile, the census is actually being printed right now without

the citizenship question.  So how is the Trump administration planning to

add it?  Stick a citizenship question post-it note on all the printed

census forms? 

 

I mean, there`s a lot of ineptitude on display here from the Trump

administration, for sure, but there could be serious consequences ahead,

even if they continue to lose in court.  For one thing, if the goal of the

citizenship question is to depress Latino participation in the census then

Trump and Barr at all may accomplish that goal just by sowing confusion

about whether the question is included.  And second, there is the real

possibility here that we could be rolling toward an event that has never

happened in 243 years of American history, the president of the United

States simply defying a Supreme Court order, in f this case by simply going

ahead with a citizenship question regardless, possibly through an executive

order.  And that is real constitutional crisis territory. 

 

Joining us now is Jess Bravin, “Wall Street Journal” Supreme Court

correspondent who`s been covering this story. 

 

Mr. Bravin, thanks so much for being here tonight. 

 

JESS BRAVIN, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL SUPREME COURT CORRESPONDENT:  You bet. 

 

REID:  So let`s talk about that last bit.  William Barr has claimed they

have a plan for how they could somehow get around the Supreme Court ruling

that said they can`t put this question on the census.  Do you have any

reporting what that plan might be? 

 

BRAVIN:  Well, what the think is inside the main justice building, but a

few ideas floated on opinion pages or editorials about a new rationale or

different rationale that the government could put forward.  One idea was

that this was in a Hugh Hewitt column that ran in “The Washington Post.” 

It was to say that the government needs information – precise information

about the number of noncitizens in the United States because several

Democratic candidates have suggested expanding health coverage to include

immigrants as well as U.S. citizens, and they need to know exactly how much

that might cost.  That`s one rationale that has been suggested. 

 

Another is that it could be used to enforce Section 2 of the 14th Amendment

which has a provision that has never taken effect so far, that would reduce

representation in Congress by the number of eligible voters who are denied

the right to vote.  That`s a Reconstruction Era provision to deter former

Confederate States from suppressing African-American votes but it`s never

been implemented.  That`s another idea that was floated in an opinion

column. 

 

What the Justice Department eventually settles on we don`t know, but we

know they hadn`t thought of it before Wednesday because the prior day they

told the courts that they were going ahead with the census form without the

question. 

 

REID:  And let`s talk about just what`s happening inside the Justice

Department.  There`s a couple of things here.  There is reporting that the

lawyers who are now going to be handling this come from things like the

civil division, the department`s federal programs branch, just branches

that have nothing to do with this.  And morale in your piece that you wrote

is pretty low. 

 

At one point from your article, administration officials and attorneys

appear to be scramming.  Nobody has any F-ing idea when someone familiar

with the matter when ask what the president`s tweet is referencing. 

 

So, essentially, are people getting off this case because they want off or

is William Barr pushing them off because he wants more compliant attorneys? 

 

BRAVIN:  I can`t say we know for sure, but it was quite evidence that Mr.

Gardner who you quoted and other attorneys are very uncomfortable with

having to present shifting positions to the court.  It`s one thing if

you`re a politician or public figure making statements for public

consumption, but judges have an ongoing relationship with lawyers and a

lawyer`s credibility is very important because the courts rely on the

representation of these lawyers, who are actually officers of the court. 

That means they have a duty to the court as well as their clients. 

 

We don`t know exactly what it was about the case as it is now that has made

some of those lawyers uncomfortable.  But there are a few things that one

might think about.  For instance, they argued quite strenuously that the

printing deadline was June 30th and that`s the reason that courts had to

expedite this case to get it decided by the Supreme Court before they left

town at the end of last month. 

 

Well, if that turns out not to be so, judges might be unhappy, and the

other side in these cases would say and actually has said in the New York

cases, filed a motion complaining about this, saying that you manipulated

the process. 

 

REID:  Yes. 

 

BRAVIN:  So that is – that`s another area that is apart from any of the

substance of the issue involving whether it is a good idea or a lawful idea

to put this question back on the census. 

 

REID:  Yes, especially since the reporting has already been that the

person, the gentleman who died, instead of what it was.  It was something

they probably don`t want to argue in court in front of a judge if they ever

want to go back in front of that judge again. 

 

Jess Bravin, Supreme Court correspondent for “The Wall Street Journal” –

thank you very much for your time tonight.  Appreciate it. 

 

BRAVIN:  Of course. 

 

REID:  Thank you. 

 

More ahead here tonight.  Stay with us. 

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

REID:  After a week dominated by news of the horrendous conditions under

which the Trump administration is holding migrant children and families at

the southern border, Donald Trump and a couple of his top immigration

officials jumped in and tried to do some PR cleanup, insisting that all the

horrible reports from the border are unsubstantiated. 

 

But right into the middle of that cleanup effort, “The New York Times” and

“El Paso Times” dropped a giant-reported bombshell.  A report for the first

time cites current and former Border Patrol staff detailing the atrocious

conditions at the Clint, Texas, facility where hundreds of children and

babies have been held. 

 

This new reporting confirmed and expanded on what we`ve heard from the

agency`s own inspector general, from doctors who have seen and treated

children being held in these conditions, and from lawyers representing

them.  There`s something else, too.  “The New York Times” and “El Paso

Times” piece for the first time exposed a line of accountability,

allegations that government officials knew what was happening and did

nothing to stop it. 

 

Quote: At least two Border Patrol agents at Clint said they had expressed

concern about the conditions in the station to their superiors months ago. 

Border Patrol agents even spoke to a state lawmaker who visited Clint about

their repeated complaints about overcrowding.  According to that lawmaker,

quote: They said we were ringing the alarms, we were ringing the alarms and

nobody was listening to us.  Agents told me that I genuinely believed the

higher-ups made the Clint situation happen.

 

So, Border Patrol agents are telling lawmakers, they`re telling “The New

York Times,” they`re telling the “El Paso Times” that Border Patrol top

brass knew.  They knew because the agents told them but nothing was done to

fix these conditions, to make them livable and at least legal until the

group of attorneys visited Clint and facilities like it last month. 

 

Those lawyers who started this whole thing, who first made us aware of what

was happening at the border, they are part of the team of attorneys tasked

with making sure the government sticks to a decades-old agreement that

requires the U.S. to provide safe and sanitary care for migrants in

government custody.  And those lawyers scored a major win in court today. 

The court overseeing this case has allowed the appointment of a

pediatrician who will help assess the health condition of kids in U.S.

custody and give advice about the steps necessary to bring the conditions

of custody and systems of childcare into compliance with the law. 

 

The Trump administration might continue to publicly deny the conditions

inside the detention centers, but these lawyers have documented them in

detail and they will see the Trump administration in court. 

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

REID:  OK.  A quick note before we go.  If you have plans tomorrow night,

you need to cancel them immediately because Rachel will be back here

tomorrow and she`ll be joined right here live on this very set by the one

and only Megan Rapinoe, fresh off her World Cup win. 

 

And Rachel has a couple of big guests this week – but Megan Rapinoe.  On

Wednesday night, Senator Bernie Sanders will be here for his first

interview with Rachel since he announced he`s running for president.  Then

on Thursday night, Kamala Harris will be. 

 

So, a big week on THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW.  Actually, make no plans for the

rest of the week.  Megan Rapinoe is here tomorrow.  Hooray!

 

That does it for us tonight. 

 

Now, it`s time for “THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL”.

 

Good evening, Lawrence.  I`m fan-girling.

 

                                                                                                               

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

BE UPDATED.

END   

 

Copyright 2019 ASC Services II Media, LLC.  All materials herein are

protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced,

distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the

prior written permission of ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter

or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the

content.>