Purdue Pharma Lawyers negotiated settlement. TRANSCRIPT: 8/27/19, The Rachel Maddow Show.
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: That is ALL IN for this evening.
“THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW” starts right now.
Good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris. Thanks, my friend. Much
HAYES: You bet.
MADDOW: Thanks to you at home for joining us this hour.
Well, overall, this is getting worse not better. Twenty-four hours ago,
this time last night we were sort of trying to get our heads around the
fact that the White House had actually announced that the location of the
next G7 summit would be the president`s private club in Florida. The White
House on its official Twitter feed clipped the president talking about his
Doral golf club thingy in South Florida being the host for the G7, and the
White House Twitter account posted those remarks from the president online
with this caption. “President Trump shares the location of the next G7
Shares the location? Meaning that`s really where it`s going to be? I
mean, among the many and varied problems with the president requiring
foreign countries to pay money directly to him and his family, if those
countries want to attend next year`s G7 summit, among the many and varied
problems with that is the fact that such a thing would be wildly and
flagrantly illegal. There is literally an explicit line in the U.S.
Constitution that says the president can`t take stuff from foreign
countries. He can`t enrich himself from foreign governments while he`s in
So as I say, 24 hours ago, right, this time last night, this whole thing
with the president saying, oh, we should host the next G7 at my club Doral,
it`s perfect. This time last night that seemed insane, yes, but also
totally impossible, right? I mean, yes, clearly, the president wants to
hold the G7 at his private club so he and his family can profit from it
personally, but that is so blatantly illegal it`s literally against the
black letter law of the Constitution. We do still have law enforcement in
So as insane as it was that the president is trying to promote that adds an
idea, at least we can be sure that that won`t happen, right? Right? Well,
then tonight, we got this on the front page of “The Washington Post.”
Attorney General William Barr, top law enforcement official in the United
States, books Trump`s hotel for $30,000 holiday party.
So don`t worry. It is clearly illegal for the president to set himself up
to personally profit from his presidency by making it so that people who
want to or need to do political business with him can pay him in order to
do that. Don`t worry, America, that`s illegal. Law enforcement won`t let
that happen. Law enforcement in this country will get right on that right
after the attorney general, the top law enforcement official in the
country, pays the president and his family more than $30,000. Because this
year after Trump named William Barr to be attorney general, this year,
William Barr decided he would move his annual holiday bash to the
president`s hotel. So this time he can pay the president and his family,
somewhere upwards of $30,000. Might get up to $50,000 depending on how
hard they hit the open bar.
After he pays the president that $30,000 to $50,000, then Attorney General
William Barr will get right on to the people`s business of making sure the
president doesn`t, you know, profit from his presidency. Doesn`t violate
the Constitution by moving the G7 to his private club so those other people
can pay the president, too, just like William Barr is at his Christmas
party this year. He`ll be Johnny on the spot making sure the president is
kept to the straight and narrow on that, soon as the check clears.
At “The Washington Post” today, Josh Dawsey and David Fahrenthold also had
some appropriately gonzo reporting about why exactly the president might be
trying to do this G7 summit thing for his Doral Club in Florida in
particular. President Trump said yesterday, Monday, that he was likely to
hold next year`s Group of Seven summit at his golf resort in Doral,
Florida. That decision would be an unprecedented use of American power to
create private revenue for the American president. If Trump does choose
Doral, he would be directing massive amounts of money to a resort he owns
personally and which according to his company`s representatives has been
Trump spoke about this idea of hosting the next G7 at his private club from
Biarritz, I think that`s how you say it, the French resort town that hosted
this year`s meeting. It was typical of other recent summit sites,
luxurious but see colluded, pretty enough for photo shoots and sufficiently
isolated to be sealed off for security. The past two meetings hosted by
the United States have been held at Camp David, the presidential retreat in
Maryland and on a resort island in Georgia.
But Trump and his – excuse me, but Trump said his advisers have searched
the entire nation and decided the most suitable spot for the 2020 G7 summit
is something different. A golf club set among drab office parks near the
Miami airport. The president`s own golf club.
I mean, even if that golf club that belongs to the president was doing
great, was like a jewel in the crown for the president`s business interests
and was like this immensely profitable thing, it would, of course, still be
crazy and fantastically illegal for him to be trying to pull off this
stunt, to direct all this ill-gotten business, right, this big corruption
windfall that he can direct to that private club by naming it as the venue
for the G7. I get that, right?
What I did not realize before this whole thing actually started happening
is that that particular club owned by the president, that particular golf
resort actually isn`t doing well. It really needs the money. That
severely underperforming line in “The Washington Post” story on this
scandal comes from a tax consultant who was actually hired by the
president`s business. That tax consultant told Florida officials last year
that the net operating income at the Doral club has fallen by 69 percent
and is a, quote, severely underperforming property, even compared with
other nearby resorts.
According to “The Post” today, quote, the Doral club is a keystone of
Trump`s business, supplying him with more revenue than any other hotel and
also carrying some of his biggest loans. Trump purchased the Coral club in
2012, taking out $125 million in loans to do so from Deutsche Bank.
And so, yes, this is his keystone property in terms of revenue and it`s
failing. And so, yes, the president might want to figure out a way to use
his public office now to force people and force other countries to spend a
lot of money at his severely underperforming club. “The Post” also notes
that Doral had to settle a particularly nasty bed bug claim in 2016. Doral
is also one of the locations where Trump has been called out using lots of
undocumented immigrants to do renovation work and landscape work.
So there`s lots of problems the president has with the Doral Club which
might make him want to shove business in that direction. But the financial
problem there is particularly interesting, right? Because since 2012 for
whatever reason, there is this one bank, Deutsche Bank, that has given
President Trump more than $350 million in loans, even when other banks and
lending institutions long stopped being willing to touch him even with a
ten-foot pole. Nobody quite understands why Deutsche Bank has been willing
to dump so much money into Trump`s businesses when everyone else thought he
was a financial catastrophe.
But if one of the clubs that he owns, one which he owes $125 million on has
just had its operating income dropped by 69 percent and that`s his keystone
property, he`s getting more revenue out of that property than anything else
that he owns, and it`s down nearly 70 percent and he owes all that money on
it. I mean, you can understand why the president may be willing to go to
great lengths to boost his business there, even if he has to do so
illegally, right? He may be worried about that $125 million loan he took
out on now that failing property.
But is he actually worried about that loan? Why did Deutsche Bank give him
that loan in the first place? What were the terms? I mean, was Doral such
a great investment at the time that it was worth Deutsche Bank risking $125
million with this guy who had gone bankrupt so many times in the past and
screwed them on previous loans? I mean, why did that happen?
This one financial institution, Deutsche Bank, is turning out to be a big
black hole financial mystery in the middle of a lot of Donald Trump
scandals. But Donald Trump is also turning out to be its own never-ending
font of scandals and failure itself, just like this most famous client. I
mean, Deutsche Bank is in the middle of so much Trump stuff, but they are a
piece of work themselves, particularly right now.
Just this past week, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed this
document pursuant to a multimillion dollar settlement agreement with
Deutsche Bank after the SEC caught them in multiple violations of the
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which means they were bribing people.
Quote: Between at least 2006 and 2014, Deutsche Bank provided valuable
employment to the relatives of foreign government officials in various
parts of the world as a personal benefit to the officials in order to
improperly influence them to assist the bank in obtaining or retaining
business or other benefits.
So, they`re giving jobs to people`s relatives so that those people will
give business to Deutsche Bank, and those people were government officials
from other countries. So that counts as bribing government officials in
other countries in order to get business for yourself. The settlement
agreement lists all these specific examples.
You know, the daughter of the deputy finance minister from the Russian
government, the daughter of the chairman of a large Chinese state-owned
enterprise, the son of an executive at another Asian state-owned
enterprise, his resume contains so many grammatical errors and typos, a
Deutsche Bank employee actually revised the kid`s resume for him to make it
seems slightly more plausible that the bank was going to be giving this kid
a job for some reason other than just bribing his mom, which was the real
reason they were giving the kid a job.
Quote, even after referral hire B was emailed a cheat sheet that included
interview questions and acceptable responses in advance of his Deutsche
Bank job interview, he still interviewed poorly. Interview notes stated
that his interviewers did not like him, thought he was one of the worst
candidates they interviewed, and thought he showed very little interest or
understanding of market/finance/current affairs.
But do you know who his mom is? Do you know she works for a state-owned
enterprise and Deutsche Bank wants business from that country from that
state-owned enterprise? Well, yes, so they hired that kid, too.
So Deutsche Bank apparently has been doing this all over the world, giving
jobs, giving make work jobs to the children of foreign officials. They`ve
just paid a multimillion dollar settlement to the SEC to cover these
violations of foreign bribery laws, right? They`ve been paying off the
families of government officials so as to get business from those
And they`ve been doing so successfully. In a lot of cases, this thing has
really worked out for them. They give a job to foreign official`s kid,
they report back, oh, foreign official, your kid`s doing great here. Did
you see that good job that we gave her? Foreign official then shovels
Deutsche Bank some money and it helps their bottom line.
This latest one is the latest. It is by no means the greatest scandal that
Deutsche Bank is dragging around on its balance sheet right now. I mean,
before the start of the Trump presidency, Deutsche Bank paid hundreds of
millions of dollars in fines related to its role in one of the largest
Russian money laundering cases ever chased down by U.S. regulators. They
paid $630 million fines for that Russian money laundering scandal they were
Not long after Trump became president, there was all that dramatic coverage
of Deutsche Bank`s world headquarters being raided in Germany by multiple
law enforcement agencies. That was in conjunction with a whole different
gigantic international money laundering case, which actually could be one
of the largest money laundering cases in world history. That one is as yet
unresolved, but Deutsche Bank is also allegedly right in the middle of that
to the point they had their world headquarters raided about it.
Deutsche Bank has also recently announced plans to lay off as many as
18,000 of its 90,000 employees because of all of these various scandals and
the ways it`s trying to dig itself out of all of its various holes. When
it comes to particularly vile and grisly high-dollar American scandals,
these days, it seems you`re likely to find a Deutsche Bank connection
I mean, naturally, of course, there is a Deutsche Bank connection to the
Jeffrey Epstein catastrophe. Quote: As Deutsche Bank officials this year
scrambled to extricate themselves from a years-long relationship with
Jeffrey Epstein, the wealthy financier charged this month with sex
trafficking, they uncovered suspicious transactions in which Epstein had
moved money out of the United States. Deutsche Bank executives are still
trying to understand the depth and scope of the bank`s relationship with
Mr. Epstein, who has been a client of its private banking division since at
least 2013, years after his conduct became public in a prostitution case
involving a teenage girl.
At least one other bank dropped Mr. Epstein as a client in the years after
his guilty plea, but not Deutsche Bank. Quote, at least as of late spring,
late spring this year, there were still transactions taking place on some
of Epstein`s Deutsche Bank accounts.
So Deutsche Bank pops up in all the nicest places. But the real albatross
that Deutsche Bank appears to be dragging now is its longtime and still
basically inexplicable relationship with President Trump. And it just
seems to lead to new scandal and new scrutiny all the time.
Here`s “New York Times” financial editor David Enrich in May of this year.
Quote: Anti-money laundering specialists at Deutsche Bank recommended in
2016 and 2017 that multiple transactions involving legal entities
controlled by President Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner be reported
to a federal financial crimes watchdog. The transactions set off alerts on
a computer system designed to detect elicit activity. Compliant staff
members at the bank who then reviewed the transactions prepared suspicious
activity reports that they believed should be sent to the Treasury
Department unit that polices financial crimes. But executives at Deutsche
Bank rejected their employees` advice and the suspicious activity reports
were never filed.
That seems bad. Well, yes, the following month that same reporter, David
Enrich, and the rest of his reporting team at “The Times” advanced the
story by saying, well, federal authorities are now investigating whether
Deutsche Bank broke money laundering laws and didn`t comply with other laws
designed to stop other financial crimes, and that investigation is in part
related to how it handled these suspicious activity reports that they never
filed involving President Trump and Jared Kushner and activity in their
Deutsche Bank accounts.
So, the FBI`s reportedly talking to whistle-blowers inside Deutsche Bank.
The New York state attorney general has subpoenaed Deutsche Bank, is
reportedly investigating more suspicious transactions involving the
president and Deutsche Bank specifically.
So, all of this stuff has been circulating, right? I mean, the most
scandal-ridden presidency of all time and this mysterious financial
connection with this bank that is getting in deeper and deeper and deeper
trouble of its own with every passing day in the news.
And today, we started to come around to what might be the punch line of
this story. What may be sort of the culminating plot point in some of this
strange and seemingly troubling relationship between the president and this
very, very deeply screwed up bank.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
DOUGLAS LETTER, ATTORNEY FOR THE U.S. HOUSE: Some of the key documents we
want are analyses by the banks. Remember, you have a situation where Mr.
Trump is going to Deutsche Bank asking for very large loans when no other
bank apparently will touch him. And so, what for obvious reasons both
committees here want to know, why is it that Deutsche Bank would be willing
to lend a large amount of money to somebody that no other bank would touch
way before he is president of the United States?
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MADDOW: OK. So that is Douglas Letter. We had his name misspelled on
that cue card. It`s L-E-T-T-E-R, not L-E-D-D-E-R. I don`t know how that
happens. I apologize, forgive me.
But Douglas Letter is a famous guy. He is an attorney for the U.S. House.
And that was him arguing on behalf of two committees in Congress, the
Intelligence Committee and the Financial Services Committee in the House.
The reason he is in court arguing on behalf of those committees is that
those committees have both sent subpoenas to Deutsche Bank and one other
bank as well seeking financial records related to Deutsche Bank`s dealings
with President Trump and his business and his family.
That sound from Doug Letter was the oral arguments that took place Friday
at a federal appeals court in New York. And obviously, I`m very excited
about this. Usually we just get transcripts. In the circuit court, we
sometimes get the tape. And in this case we get the sound of how the
arguments are actually going in the courtroom.
So that`s how we get to hear the lawyer for Congress saying, you know, hey,
for obvious reasons the committees want to know why it is that Deutsche
Bank would be willing to lend a large amount of money to someone that no
one else would touch, meaning President Trump, right? Here is the counsel
for Congress saying something mysterious appears to have been going on
between Donald Trump and Deutsche Bank. It makes sense that Congress would
want to look at Deutsche Bank`s records.
That tape of that oral argument, though, is how we got the surprising
upshot from this litigation, the sort of turn in this litigation over the
last few days, which is that Deutsche Bank, for all of its troubles, for
all of its worries right now, Deutsche Bank has been trying to “no comment”
the federal courts as to whether or not they`ve got President Trump`s tax
returns. They`ve been trying to get away with telling the court if part of
what they got in their records from their Donald Trump files is the
So, we`ve got this kind of – this incredible tape. We never get to hear
this stuff. It`s like, you know, court proceedings in real life on TV.
But check this out.
Listen to the Deutsche Bank lawyer trying to no comment a whole panel of
federal judges when they are asking him pointblank, hey, we need to know if
you have his taxes. You`ve been subpoenaed for your Trump records. Does
the Trump record pile that you`ve got include his taxes? Is that part of
what you`re going to hand over to Congress?
They`re asking him in totally blunt terms. He gives this heroic, like,
evasion effort trying not to give them an answer one way or the other until
they well and truly call the question. This is the actual recording from
the arguments. Listen.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
JUDGE: And have you signed in? I think you have, right.
RAPHAEL PROBER, DEUTSCHE BANK: We have, yes.
JUDGE: OK, great. So you`re identified for the record.
PROBER: Yes, Raphael Prober.
JUDGE: And you can identify yourself to us.
PROBER: I`m on behalf of Deutsche Bank.
JUDGE: First, with respect to Deutsche Bank, does the bank have tax
returns of any of the named people or entities?
PROBER: Your Honor, given contractual obligations and other legal
obligations, that`s unfortunately not a question that we`re able to
address. The bank has contractual –
JUDGE: What privilege are you asserting?
PROBER: The bank has contractual obligations to its clients related to
JUDGE: Do you think you can contract away the opportunity to answer a
court`s question without a privilege such as the Fifth Amendment or
something comparable? You can just say we told our client we won`t do it?
I`m not asking you for the content of them at all, I`m asking if you have
PROBER: Even just answering that question I think could run afoul of –
JUDGE: You think it could?
PROBER: Yes, your Honor. We`re not in a position to answer that question
based on the relevant statutes –
JUDGE: If we want an answer to that question, we go to the court and seek
PROBER: Well, we`d be happy –
JUDGE: I`m serious. Well, we need to know because there is a separate
statute on disclosure of returns. If you don`t have them, we don`t have to
worry about it. If you do have them, we do have to worry about them. So
it`s a fairly important question in this case.
PROBER: Understood, your Honor. And given the relevant contractual
obligations in the statute which I just mentioned, I don`t think I`m in a
position to address that here in an open courtroom today. We`d be happy to
continue that conversation with the court, but I`m just not at liberty –
JUDGE: What does that mean, continue it? I just don`t know what that
means, we`re going to continue it. When are we going to continue it?
PROBER: Well they`re – your Honor, I`m simply not able to answer that
question standing here today.
JUDGE: Are you able to answer it tomorrow after research?
PROBER: In an open courtroom, I would not be based on the relevant
contractual obligations –
JUDGE: Would you like 48 hours in which to give us under seal an answer to
the question whether you have the returns?
PROBER: And that`s something we would, of course, be happy to explore.
JUDGE: Explore or explore and do? My colleague – it seems to me we`re
exploring it right now.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MADDOW: You want to explore that, do you? Really? Explore away. You`re
going to have to do it, dude.
The way that resolved in court was that that panel of judges gave Deutsche
Bank until 4:00 Eastern Time today to tell them one way or the other no
messing around if they`ve got Trump taxes. If what they`ve got in their
records includes Trump`s tax returns.
This is like a fraught question, right? You can see the, you know, the
Deutsche Bank lawyer there is like dissolving, trying to make himself
disappear in the court to not have to answer that question, but you got to
You can see why – where the pressure comes from. The president is
absolutely desperate to keep his tax returns secret, to ensure that his
financial records and specifically his tax returns never see the light of
day and never get shown to any investigators. When Congress subpoenaed
Deutsche Bank for that information, Trump hired a whole new legal team just
for the purpose of trying to keep his financial records and his taxes
That legal team sued Deutsche Bank and other financial institutions to stop
them from complying with these subpoenas that would otherwise order them to
hand over Trump`s information. That`s where we got this litigation, right?
Meanwhile, there`s a whole other front that he`s fighting, too. The Ways
and Means Committee is also in court right now trying to obtain Trump`s tax
returns through a separate legal channel. There is also a while other
front in New York state where the New York legislature has cleared the way
for Trump`s New York tax returns to be released to Congress. His New York
tax returns will have significant overlap with his federal tax returns that
he`s so desperate to keep under wraps.
And now, you know, poor Deutsche Bank falling apart in its open terms,
right? They`re making their best efforts in courts to like no comment this
whole situation. We do not want to say.
Well, now thanks to troubled teetering Deutsche Bank and its long and
mysterious, unique relationship with Donald Trump, now, it looks like those
taxes may be coming because that lawyer could only no comment that panel of
judges for so long. The bank did file this document with the court today.
They didn`t have a choice. The judges of the Second Circuit demanded that
they do this.
And there are redactions in this letter, but the clear implication of what
they`re telling the court here is, yes, we got his taxes. Yes, if we`ve
got to hand over our records about Donald Trump, if we`ve got to hand over
those records to Congress, we can tell you, yes, those records include his
Quote: The bank has in its possession tax returns in either draft or as
filed form responsive to the subpoenas for blankety, blankety, blankety,
blank, redacted. In addition, the bank has such documents related to
parties named in the subpoenas but who may constitute immediate family
within the definition provided in the subpoenas. And that`s kind of tell
because the only immediate family described in the subpoenas as far as we
know is the immediate family of President Donald Trump.
So, this would seem to be a fairly straightforward admission from Deutsche
Bank despite their best efforts that if the courts do tell them that
they`ve got to obey this subpoena, they`ve got to hand over their Trump-
related documents to Congress, that means they`re going to be giving
Congress, they`re going to be giving Maxine Waters out of the financial
services committee and Adam Schiff head of the Intelligence Committee
President Trump`s taxes at least.
David Enrich, financial editor at “The Times”, who has been all over this
story, particularly as it relights to Deutsche Bank, has said today that he
has indications from his sources inside the bank that the bank does have at
least pages from several years` worth of Trump`s returns. Enrich had, in
fact, previously reported that Deutsche might have that kind of information
about Trump`s taxes with the implication being of that earlier reporting
that the bank might be the weakest link as investigators try to pry out the
president`s taxes and financial information for the purposes of pursuing
any number of congressional or criminal investigations.
It`s also a reminder that even just at “The New York Times” at that one
paper, the financial reporters there who have been able to access Trump-
related the financial documents and Trump-related tax documents in the past
like the Pulitzer Prize-winning team that got hundreds of tax returns from
President Trump`s father – I mean, what that reporting turned up in terms
of the Trump family and its tax and financial history was serious evidence
of financial and tax fraud to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars,
I mean, remember the headline on that Pulitzer Prize winning “Times”
reporting from last year. “Trump engaged in suspect tax schemes as he
reaped riches from his father.” President Trump participated in dubious
tax schemes during the `90s, including instances of outright fraud that
greatly increased the fortune that he inherited from his parents. I mean,
that reporting based on what is out there in terms of Trump family taxes
and financials, that reporting alone resulted in President Trump`s sister
quitting the federal judiciary, quitting her own seat as a federal judge
rather than submit herself to an ethics inquiry based on this reporting
that traced what appeared to be long-running and sort of simple fraud
schemes for the family to avoid taxes, cheat their tenants and otherwise
crime their way to fame and fortune as the Trump siblings, who inherited
basically inherited $1 billion from their dad and called themselves self-
made as if they`d done it on their own.
I mean, more than anything else related to any scandal over the course of
this presidency, right, and you think about the ones that have caused even
just personal embarrassment, the hush money to the porn stars and the
“Playboy” models, the self-dealing with the family business, rigging the
security clearances so his children could have White House jobs, the
fraudulent fake charity foundation being shut down. I mean, this guy has
had a scandal about everything. This guy had a scandal about his physical
and the White House doctor.
I mean, for all of the scandals and the personal embarrassments to the
president of these short two-plus years he`s been in office, the one thing
above all that President Trump has shown himself to be most desperate to
stop anybody from looking at is his financials and his taxes. Well,
Deutsche Bank is a catastrophe. And Deutsche Bank has been his bank. And
Deutsche Bank thus far in the courts has been told they are subject to a
subpoena that orders them to hand over their Donald Trump-related financial
Well, today, Deutsche Bank conceded against its will that, yeah, the
information they`ve got on Trump includes his taxes.
So, hold on. I mean, as I said, this will likely continue to get worse
before it gets better. This is the sweet spot as far as president is
concerned, and I mean that in a bad way.
Stay with us.
MADDOW: Shortly after Jonathan Sanchez was born, he was diagnosed with
cystic fibrosis, which is a progressive disease that damages the lungs and
other organs in the body. Cystic fibrosis is hereditary. It has no cure.
Anyone with cystic fibrosis needs serious, smart, expert medical care.
Sanchez family came to bus him in 2016 in part so Jonathan could get
treatment for his cystic fibrosis at Boston`s Children Hospital. He has
been getting treatment there and that treatment has been keeping him alive.
Jonathan`s mother says, quote, when he came here, he was practically dying.
In these last three years, we have been able to save him.
The family initially had a tourist visa when they came to Boston, but when
that visa ran out, the family applied to stay in this country legally under
a program that`s called Medical Deferred Action. Medical Deferred Action
allows immigrants to stay in the country legally if a child or another
member of the family is receiving lifesaving treatment for dire health
Then there`s Chanel Norvill (ph). She was visiting the United States from
Guyana when there 4-year-old, her son Joaquim, suddenly fell very ill. His
lungs collapsed. He had a seizure, required doctors to perform a
He also developed an infection in his colon that required the removal of
his large intestine. He was 4 years old. Joaquim started treatment to
control his seizures.
Joaquim and his mother have stayed in this country so he can continue to
receive that treatment due to the same program, Medical Deferred Action.
His mother says she fears for her son`s life if they are kicked out of this
country and forced to return to Guyana because the kind of treatment he`s
been receiving here is not available for him there. She says she would,
quote, be signing my son`s death warrant if they are forced to give up the
care that he`s getting now.
And then there`s Samuel Costa. Samuel Costa was just 3 years old when he
was diagnosed with a rare disease that prevents his body from absorbing
nutrients. He has an external feeding tube that he has to use to take in
nutrition. He can`t eat any solid food.
His mother is from a remote part of Brazil. The complex and delicate
treatment that he`s receiving for his rare disease is not available where
he`s from, or they`re from. His mother says about her son, quote, if he
has to move to Brazil, that`s it. Meaning he`ll die.
She has been relying on the same program, Medical Deferred Action, to keep
her son in treatment, to manage her son`s condition, to keep him alive.
Well, last week, Samuel`s mother got an unexpected letter from U.S.
Citizenship and Immigration Services telling her that that`s all over now.
The agency will no longer renew any applications to stay here under the
Medical Deferred Action program, even if your child will die without it.
The letter says, quote: you are not authorized to remain in the United
States. It then said that Samuel and his mother have 33 days to leave this
country, 33 days. And so, now, kids like Samuel and Joaquim and Jonathan
are facing what amounts to a literal death sentence.
This is not something that the Trump administration announced with great
fanfare. They didn`t make any public pronouncements that they were getting
rid of this program. Families all over the country just started receiving
these letters saying you`re going to be out in 33 days. We know you`ve
been staying here because the U.S. government recognizes that you staying
here is what is keeping your child alive, but we`re no longer obeying that
principle and you need to be out in 33 days.
These letters started arriving last week. They just learned about them
today. Jonathan Sanchez, the first kid I described, the one with cystic
fibrosis, he`s 16 years old now. He says he doesn`t know what he will be
do if he`s forced to return to the country from which his family
immigrated, Honduras, but here`s what he told Boston`s NRP station.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
JONATHAN SANCHEZ, 16 YEARS OLD: If they deny the program, then I need to
go back to my country and I`ll probably die, because in my country there is
no treatment for CF. Doctors don`t even know what`s the disease. The only
ones who can help me are here in the United States.
(END AUDIO CLI)
MADDOW: He says CF there, he means cystic fibrosis.
We`re going to talk next with a Boston lawyer who is about to start
fighting what is literally a life and death battle with the Trump
administration on behalf of these kids.
Stay with us.
MADDOW: We`re just learning today about families all over the country.
Apparently it is thousands of families who have just started receiving
letters with no warning from the Trump administration.
Democratic Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts today described the
revelation of what the Trump administration is doing here, which we`re
learning from these letters to families. He described it by saying we`ve
reach the most inhumane of all of Donald Trump`s policies. And when you
learn what they`re doing from these letters, it`s hard to argue with
Senator Markey there.
These thousands of families around the country have previously been allowed
to stay in this country because their kids are receiving lifesaving medical
care here that they can`t receive in their home countries. The Trump
administration is now with no fanfare sending out these letters alerting
these families that they are no longer going to honor those previous
arrangements and kids who need lifesaving treatment literally to stay
alive, treatment they can only get here, are now being kicked out of the
United States by orders of the Trump administration. These families are
being given 33 days to get out.
They are singling out the families of dying children to facilitate their
deaths by sending them to places they can no longer get treatment.
Joining us now is Anthony Marino. He`s the director of Immigration Legal
Services at the Irish International Immigrant Center in Boston. That is a
center that is representing many of the families who may be forced to leave
the country due to this change.
Mr. Marino, thanks for helping us understand this tonight. Thanks for
giving us some of your time.
ANTHONY MARINO, IMMIGRATION LEGAL SERVICES DIRECTOR, IRISH INTERNATIONAL
IMMIGRANT CENTER: Thanks for having me here, Rachel. I really appreciate
MADDOW: So let me just ask if I explained this accurately. It`s almost
hard to believe that this really is what they`re doing.
MARINO: Yes, it`s unfathomable. I think you did a good job explaining it.
This is a program that`s existed on the assumption that there was some
humanity left in the government. That if a child falls ill while you`re
here, rather than cowering over a sick child in the shadows, that you would
come forward and explain to the government what was going on and that there
would be some humanity there.
That like a child is sick, is in a hospital bed and I know that we are
supposed to be leaving, but we just can`t. That the government would allow
people to stay for that reason. It just seems ridiculous that – it`s
completely unfathomable that they wouldn`t.
MADDOW: One of the unfathomable things when you try to put yourself into
the shoes of these parents is the timeline here. I mean, they`re being
told get out in 33 days.
MADDOW: They started receiving these letters with no warming over the past
I mean, do these families have any chance to appeal? Do they have any
recourse that`s being offered to them?
MARINO: No, essentially what the government is saying is this is a program
that was always just sort of at our discretion and that`s true on an
individual, on a case by case basis, but they`re saying they have the power
to just eliminate it altogether, which is what they`ve done and that there
is no appeal. I don`t know why they came up with 33 days.
But, yes, they`re telling these people that they need to leave on their
own. And I don`t know how they expect parents to pull their children from
hospital beds, disconnect them from lifesaving treatment and go somewhere
where they know the child`s going to die, but that`s what they`re telling
them to do, and if they don`t, they`re going to drag them through
MADDOW: In terms of the next step here. I mean, obviously people can get
lawyers and try to fight this and try to find some way to argue with the
government here are going to do so. Do you know if there is a plan to try
to challenge this on a policy basis, to try to stop the Trump
administration from making this wholesale change?
MARINO: Yes, there is definitely an attempt. We`ve tried reaching out –
of course we had no notice of this either which is really problematic.
There was no announcement that this program was ending. We were filing
applications up until the week before we started getting the notices.
There was no notice to the – to the immigration attorneys, to the
There was no hint that this was coming. It`s still unclear what`s going to
happen to people already in the program, but there`s also an effort to come
up with a legal strategy to challenge this in the courts because it`s just
so egregious and the way they did it was so egregious, and the exercise of
prosecutorial discretion is a fundamental part of our legal system. It
always has been. And for the administration to just say it`s gone
overnight is unbelievable.
MADDOW: Anthony Marino, director of immigration legal serves at the Irish
International Immigrant Center in Boston – thank you for your time this
evening. As I said, we are only learning here, my staff, of this happening
today. I know this is fast-moving. Come back. Keep us apprised.
MARINO: Right. Yes, I`d be happy to. Thanks again, Rachel.
Stay with us.
MADDOW: Less than two months from today, October 21st, Purdue, the company
behind the highly addictive pain killer OxyContin, is going to be due in
court. Purdue is one of a bunch of pharmaceutical companies facing down
more than 2,000 lawsuits from cities and counties all over the country.
Those 2,000 lawsuits have been bundled together in federal court in Ohio as
what is basically the largest civil action in history, trying to hold
drugmakers and distributors liable for the opioid catastrophe that`s killed
more than 400,000 Americans.
For its part, Purdue Pharma stands accused of helping start the crisis by
aggressively marketing OxyContin as safe when they knew it was highly
addictive and already being abused. Because of that, Purdue Pharma was
undoubtedly watching very closely yesterday when a different pharmaceutical
company, Johnson & Johnson, was held responsible by a judge in Oklahoma for
Johnson & Johnson`s rule in fueling the opioid epidemic in that state.
Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $572 million in that trial verdict.
Now, that was a landmark decision, because that was the first trial verdict
to hold a drug company liable for the opioid disaster. That was just
yesterday. Shiver down the spine of all the other drug companies, right?
That`s only the first verdict and it`s more than half a billion dollars for
that one company. What`s going to happen to the rest of us when 2,000
other cases against us go to court?
Well, today NBC News was the first to break the story that Purdue Pharma
has had a new idea. Today, they`ve decided they will offer a $10 billion
to $12 billion payout to settle all of those federal lawsuits that have
been consolidated in Ohio. $10 billion to $12 billion, billion with a B.
This is from NBC`s scoop today. Quote: Purdue Pharma`s legal team informed
the assembled plaintiffs` teams that if they didn`t take the settlement,
they would go ahead and declare bankruptcy. The company`s lawyers claimed
the value of a fully liquidated Purdue Pharma in a standard bankruptcy
would be considerably lower than the current settlement offer amount.
So if they don`t reach a settlement before then, Purdue Pharma is due in
federal court in October to face down those thousands of lawsuits. They`re
now saying, here, here`s what we`ll pay you, either take it or maybe you`ll
I mean, this news out of NBC today seems to confirm that Purdue is actively
desperately trying to avoid what they know is coming in that courtroom in
Joining us now is Laura Strickler, investigative journalist with
NBCNews.com. Broke this story today.
Ms. Strickler, thank you so much for being with us. I appreciate you being
LAURA STRICKLER, NBC NEWS INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: Thank you very much,
MADDOW: So this is a very important story coming on the heels of that
dramatic verdict yesterday. First of all, let me ask you if I got the high
points here that basically summarize the end part of your reporting.
STRICKLER: Yes. Although I will say that the deal – the proposed deal
was discussed last Tuesday, so prior to the action in Oklahoma. So, last
Tuesday was when in Cleveland, Purdue presented this proposal at the
request and at the guidance of the judge in the case, Judge Polster,
federal judge, and they presented this idea and now the plaintiffs have
until Friday to respond.
MADDOW: Ten to $12 billion obviously is a gigantic amount of money. It`s
obviously an order of magnitude larger than the settlement that was just
ordered for Johnson & Johnson yesterday. But in terms of the gigantic
numbers here, the size of this catastrophe, the estimated cost to the
United States of what Purdue Pharma has done in terms of its role in the
crisis, how do those numbers stack up?
STRICKLER: Well, what`s interesting is in 2017 the White House Council of
Economic Advisers came out with a cost, a dollar amount for the opioid
crisis and they said it was $504 billion.
STRICKLER: That was the cost to the United States. So you have to keep
this offer from Purdue Pharma in that context. And the other bit of
information is that Purdue Pharma made $35 billion from the sale of
MADDOW: So they`re offering roughly a third of what they made on that one
drug as their payment to make all of their legal liability go away?
STRICKLER: Yes. And I, you know, I caution that this is a – this is just
the proposal that`s on the table right now.
MADDOW: Laura Strickler, investigative journalist at NBCNews.com – thank
you for breaking this story. Thanks for helping us understand it.
STRICKLER: Absolutely. Thank you.
MADDOW: Thanks. We`ll be right back.
MADDOW: Tomorrow morning is going to be one of those big dramatic reveals
in the news that we can see coming in advance. The older I get, the more I
like these things that I can brace myself for. I don`t like surprises
But you probably know tomorrow`s the deadline for candidates to qualify to
get into the next presidential debate. There were 20 Democratic candidates
in the first two debates. There are not going to be 20 candidates who
qualify for the next one, for the third one.
It`s harder to get into the third one. You need to have 130,000 donors.
You need to be polling at or above 2 percent in four qualifying polls that
are either national polls or early state polls.
It`s a harder set of criteria. Only ten candidates have qualified so far.
These guys who are on your screen right now.
But will any of the other candidates make it by tomorrow`s deadline? Turns
out to be a very good question, one that is going to get settled in
dramatic fashion tomorrow morning, because we now know that there are two
more polls, each of which does count toward qualifying for that debate, two
more polls that are both coming out tomorrow morning basically right at the
deadline. As the very last thing that`s going to happen before these
candidates either have to fish or cut bait.
So, the first one is 4:00 in the morning tomorrow, 4:00 a.m. Eastern Time.
“USA Today” and Suffolk University, they`re going to release their new
poll. Then four hours later at 8:00 a.m., it`s Quinnipiac University,
they`re going to release their new poll.
Both of those polls qualify in terms of candidates making it into the
debate. And they could make for a totally different debate experience
depending on what they find, because Tom Steyer has enough donations
already. He`s only one poll shy of qualifying. So, if he gets 2 percent
in either of those polls tomorrow, Tom Steyer will be in.
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard also has enough donations, but she is two polls
short of qualifying. So, if she gets 2 percent in both of those polls
tomorrow morning, she too will qualify.
If either Tom Steyer gets in or Tulsi Gabbard gets in, the debate will then
become a two-night affair with five or six candidates on each of the two
nights. If neither of them gets in, all the debate is going to happen on
So like I said, the big reveal, but we can see it coming. Tomorrow
morning`s going to be very fun.
We`ll be right back.
MADDOW: That`s going to do it for us tonight. We will see you again
Now, it`s time for “THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL”.
Good evening, Lawrence.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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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