President Trump suffers defeat. TRANSCRIPT: 10/11/19, The Rachel Maddow Show.

Guests:
Tom Malinowski
Transcript:

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST:  That does it for us for “ALL IN” for the evening.  

 

THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now. 

 

Good evening, Rachel.

 

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST:  Good evening, Chris.  Thanks, my friends. 

 

HAYES:  You bet.

 

MADDOW:  I love these live shows.  So great. 

 

Thanks to you at home.  Happy Friday. 

 

Wow.  What a day.  I mean, when the White House released the phone call

that has led to these impeachment proceedings against President Trump, when

they released the call of President Trump speaking with the Ukrainian

president about how President Trump wanted that foreign government to do

investigations for him, wanted to do him a favor and give him something he

might be able to use against the Democrats and Joe Biden in 2020, the most

amazing thing about the release of that transcript, of course, was just the

fact that the White House released that transcript, right? 

 

I mean, the whistleblower complaint, which we knew a little about at the

time had suggested that the president had done this bombshell thing.  He`d

actually gone to this foreign government and asked them for help against

the Democrats.  It was amazing that the White House then in response to the

furor over that reported whistleblower complaint, the White House then

released this document, the notes of that call, proving that, in fact,

that`s exactly what the president had done.  The whistleblower was right. 

 

So, I mean, the most surprising thing about it, that they released it at

all.  But the most chilling thing about it was what President Trump said on

that call about one particular U.S. government employee.  While he was

speaking with this foreign leader seeking help on his re-election effort,

sort of apropos of nothing, the president brought up a senior State

Department official who he had just fired, who he had just recalled as

ambassador to that foreign country.  And according to the White House`s own

notes from the call, which they released, the president told that foreign

leader without prompting, quote, the former ambassador to the United

States, the woman, was bad news. 

 

He then told the Ukrainian president, quote, well, she`s going to go

through some things.  That was chilling.  In fact, that ambassador, that

woman, as the president puts it, Marie Yovanovitch, a 33-year veteran of

the U.S. State Department is now going through some things.  We`re starting

to realize she may have been the wrong person to mess with, though, at

least the way she comported herself if this impeachment proceeding today is

anything to go by.  I mean, God forbid, you or I ever find ourselves in

this kind of circumstance with this kind of pressure on us, with this kind

of incredible power arrayed against us, and with stakes this high, right? 

 

But if it happens to any of us, really the most you could hope for from

yourself is that you would have the stones and the dignity to be one-tenth

as brave and sort of righteous as Marie Yovanovitch was in this

circumstance today.  Marie Yovanovitch still works for the U.S. State

Department, even though they fired her at the ambassador to Ukraine.  We

learned only today that once again in the dead of night, the State

Department apparently on orders from the White House phoned her up in the

middle of the night and told her they wouldn`t allow her to testify this

morning.  She was prohibited from showing up and talking to Congress today. 

 

Well, we also learned that in anticipation of that act from the White House

and the State Department, the impeachment committees planned ahead.  They

appeared to have a subpoena for her ready to go.  Marie Yovanovitch decided

today to obey that subpoena.  She showed up on Capitol Hill today. 

 

She didn`t have like some car service with blacked out windows drop her off

near one of the back entrances where nobody can see.  She got dropped off

right in front, walked all the way across the Capitol grounds, unafraid,

walked into the impeachment committees and testified for hours.  And it was

on the basis of her testimony today that you got these headlines across

every major news organization in the country today.  “The Washington Post”,

ousted Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch tells Congress Trump pressured State

Department to remove her.  “The Wall Street Journal”, Trump pressed for

Ukraine envoy`s removal.  “The New York Times,” Trump had Ukraine envoy

removed on false claims, she tells House inquiry.

 

And there were other headlines that emerged over the course of the day

while she was testifying, that, for example, despite the State Department

under Mike Pompeo putting out this bogus statement that she was leaving her

post in Ukraine as planned, not only was her departure not as planned.  It

was abrupt.  She was literally told to get on the next plane, according to

her testimony today. 

 

She also says the number two official at the State Department under Mike

Pompeo told her that she was being recalled on orders of the president and

also that she had done nothing wrong. 

 

You have also seen headlines from Yovanovitch`s testimony today concerning

these guys.  Yovanovitch testifying apparently in detail today about how

the people working in Ukraine to spread false information about her

appeared to include these two guys who seemed to have been carrying out

this op along with the president`s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. 

 

The reason we have mug shots of these guys is because these, of course, are

the same two guys who have just been arrested and are now facing criminal

charges in the Southern District of New York for, among other things, an

alleged scheme to illegally funnel large Russian donations to various

Republican campaigns. 

 

But the other truly – don`t really know the word – baller?  The other

baller thing Marie Yovanovitch did today was that although her testimony

was behind closed doors at the request of the impeachment committees, she

decided to release her opening statement publicly.  And I don`t know if she

will ever testify in public I don`t know if this is the only way we will

ever hear from her as the American public.  But if this statement that we

got to see from her is her legacy and this impeachment inquiry, it would be

hard to imagine a more sort of stirring and cogent statement about the way

government is supposed to work on a nonpartisan basis, just the way good

government works and the way American values are supposed to be conveyed

overseas by our foreign service officers.

 

This was her talking about government as it is supposed to be as opposed to

what has just happened under this administration which has led to the

president now being impeached.

 

Let me just read – let me just read a little bit from her statement today. 

Marie Yovanovitch.  For the last 33 years, it has been my great honor to

serve the American people as a Foreign Service officer, over six

administrations, four republic – excuse me – for Republican and two

Democratic.  I`ve served in seven different countries, five of them

hardship posts, and was appointed to serve as an ambassador three times,

twice by a Republican president and once by a Democrat.

 

Throughout my career, I have stayed true to the oath that foreign service

officers take and observe every day, that I will support and defend the

Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and

domestic, and that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same.  Like

all foreign service officers with whom I have been privileged to serve, I

have understood that oath as a commitment to serve on a strictly

nonpartisan basis to advance the foreign policy determined by the incumbent

president and to work at all times to strengthen our national security and

promote our national interests.

 

Ukraine is a sovereign country whose borders are inviolate and whose people

have the right to determine their own destiny.  These are the bedrock

principles of our policy.

 

Because of Ukraine`s geostrategic position bordering Russia on the east,

it`s the warm waters of the oil-rich Black Sea to its south, and four NATO

allies to its west, it is critical to the security of the United States

that Ukraine remained free and democratic, and that it continued to resist

Russian expansionism.  Russia`s purported annexation of Crimea, its

invasion of Eastern Ukraine and its de facto control over the Sea of Azov,

make clear Russia`s malign intentions toward Ukraine, if we allow Russia`s

actions to stand, we will set a precedent that the United States will

regret for decades to come.

 

She then talks a little bit in her testimony about the threat of corruption

and why corruption is bad, the kind of damage it does, why we should all

fight against it, why it`s in our nation`s interest that we fight against

it.  And I know that in this statement, she is talking about Ukraine, but

it is hard not to hear America in the background, given what we are going

through right now and given the revelations surrounding this impeachment

and this administration. 

 

She says, quote: The revolution of dignity and the Ukrainian people`s

demand to end corruption forced the new Ukrainian government to take

measures to fight the rampant corruption that has long permeated that

country`s political and economic systems.  Why is this important?  Put

simply, anti-corruption efforts serve Ukraine`s interests they serve ours

as well corrupt leaders are inherently less trustworthy while an honest and

accountable Ukrainian leadership makes a U.S. Ukraine partnership more

reliable and more valuable to the United States.

 

A level playing field in this strategically located country, one with a

European landmass exceeded only by Russia and one of the largest

populations in Europe, creates an environment in which U.S. business can

more easily trade, invest and profit.  Corruption is a security issue as

well because corrupt officials are vulnerable to Moscow.  In short, it`s in

our national security interests to help Ukraine transform into a country

where the rule of law governs and corruption is held in check. 

 

To be clear, she says, Ukraine is filled with many citizens and officials

who want the very things we`ve always said we want for our own country, a

government that acts in the interests of its people, a government of the

people, by the people and for the people. 

 

She then goes on to describe the circumstances under which she was ousted

in the campaign that was run against her by the conservative media frankly

and by Rudy Giuliani and apparently by these two guys who have now just

been arrested. 

 

She says, quote: I want to categorically state that I have never, myself or

through others, directly or indirectly, ever directed suggested or in any

other way asked for any government or government official in Ukraine or

elsewhere to refrain from investigating or prosecuting actual corruption. 

Equally fictitious is the notion that I am disloyal to President Trump. 

 

I`ve heard the allegation in the media that I supposedly told the embassy

team to ignore President Trump`s orders, quote, since he was going to be

impeached.  That allegation is false.  I`ve never said such a thing to my

embassy colleagues or to anyone else.

 

Contrary to other similar reports, she says, quote, the Obama

administration did not ask me to help the Clinton campaign or harm the

Trump campaign nor would I have taken any such steps if they had. 

 

And then she talks about her firing: After being asked by the department in

early March to extend my tour until 2020, I was then abruptly told the

following month in late April to come back to Washington from Ukraine,

quote, on the next plane.  You will understandably want to ask why my

posting ended so suddenly, I wanted to learn that too and I tried to find

out. 

 

I met with the Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan who informed me of

the curtailment of my term.  He said that the president had lost confidence

in me and no longer wished me to serve as his ambassador.  He added that

there had been a concerted campaign against me and that the department had

been under pressure from the president to remove me since the summer of

2018.  He also said that I had done nothing wrong and this was not like

other situations where he had recalled ambassadors for cause.  She says, I

departed Ukraine for good this past May. 

 

And then this is the part that somebody somewhere is going to get tattooed

on them: Although I understand that I served at the pleasure of the

president, I was nevertheless incredulous that the U.S. government chose to

remove an ambassador based as best as I can tell on unfounded and false

claims by people with clearly questionable motives.  I have served this

nation honorably for more than 30 years.  I have proudly promoted and

served American interests as the representative of the American people and

six different presidents over the last three decades. 

 

Throughout that time, I, like my colleagues at the State Department, have

always believed that we enjoyed a sacred trust with our government.  We

make a difference every day on issues that matter to the American people,

whether it`s war and peace, trade and investment, or simply helping with a

lost passport.  We repeatedly uproot our lives and we frequently put

ourselves in harm`s way to serve this nation. 

 

And we do that willingly because we believe in America and it`s special

role in the world.  We also believe that, in return, our government will

have our backs and protect us if we come under attack from foreign

interests.  That basic understanding no longer holds true.  Today, we see

the State Department attacked and hollowed out from within.  State

Department leadership with Congress needs to take action now to defend this

great institution and its thousands of loyal and effective employees.  I

fear that not doing so will harm our nation`s interest perhaps irreparably.

 

That harm will come not just through the inevitable and continuing

resignation and loss of many of this nation`s most loyal and talented

public servants.  The harm will come when private interests circumvent

professional diplomats for their own gain, not the public good.  The harm

will come when bad actors and countries beyond Ukraine see how easy it is

to use fiction and innuendo to manipulate our system.  In such

circumstances, the only interest that will be served are those of our

strategic adversaries like Russia, that spread chaos and attacked the

institutions and norms that the U.S. helped create in which we have

benefited from for the last 75 years. 

 

I am proud of my work in Ukraine.  The U.S. embassy under my leadership

represented and advanced the policies of the United States government.  Our

efforts – our efforts were intended and evidently succeeded in thwarting

corrupt interests in Ukraine who fought back by selling baseless conspiracy

theories to anyone who would listen. 

 

Sadly, someone was listening and our nation is the worse off for that.

 

Marie Yovanovitch today defying the White House and the State Department to

give that testimony to the impeachment committees in the House after they

subpoenaed her for that testimony.

 

I mean, if there`s still going to be a State Department in this country

doesn`t that make you want to be a Foreign Service officer?  I mean, don`t

you want to grow up to be that nails whether or not you ever get to be an

ambassador?

 

But with this signal testimony today, this dramatic appearance today from

Ambassador Yovanovitch – I mean, let`s just be clear about what`s going on

here.  The impeachment inquiry against President Trump is still as direct

and simple as it ever was.  The president is being impeached by the House

of Representatives because he tried to pull off this game in which he tried

to get help against the Democrats and against Joe Biden from a foreign

country.  That is illegal. 

 

It is illegal to solicit a thing of value for a U.S. election from a

foreign entity, the president has done that.  The White House has proven it

the impeachment inquiry is about that.

 

But what you Yovanovitch shows us is not just how her story fits into this

but how that violation both of American law and of the type of behavior

that is expected of a president that will result in his impeachment for

that behavior, how much that undercuts America`s interests writ large, how

much it undercuts even specific that what we were trying to do with that

one beleaguered country. 

 

What Yovanovitch`s testimony shows us, what a whole bunch of other State

Department people are going to be testifying next week will show us, is

this thing that is going to result in all of the evidence coming out, which

is that the president couldn`t pull this off alone.  He did try to

implement this through the U.S. government.  As such over and over again,

we are seeing this dynamic in which people knew what was going on and

people who would not go along with it, people who were in the way, people

who saw the illegality of the scheme and either called it that or wouldn`t

participate in it, those people had to be removed.  Those people had to be

pushed out. 

 

And Marie Yovanovitch who put on this unbelievably impressive display of

integrity today and bravery today in Washington, she is exhibit A for that. 

We know more about that today than we knew yesterday.  And it turns out

after her, there is a big, long alphabet out there and the rest of that

really came into focus today, too, including a real potential problem for a

Trump cabinet secretary who is not the one who just resigned within the

last hour.  It`s a different one. 

 

Lots to get to.  That`s next.  Stay with us. 

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

MADDOW:  Today, veteran public service officer, former ambassador to

Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, testified to the impeachment committees,

despite orders from the White House and the State Department that she

should not.  She testified about President Trump ordering her removal as

ambassador reportedly because of her insistence that any request to the

Ukrainians for investigations, or any other thing having to do with law

enforcement, those should be handled under proper channels.  There is a

proper and legal way for governments to work together on law enforcement

issues. 

 

That is reportedly what Marie Yovanovitch insisted on when it came to

Ukraine.  That, of course, would not do for the type of scheme the

president was trying to pull off with the help of his lawyer Rudy Giuliani

and a couple of guys who were just arrested the other night at Dulles

Airport trying to flee the country. 

 

When Marie Yovanovitch resisted the idea that what they were requesting

should be handled sort of off the books and unofficially, she was taken out

of her job and we learned today that was on the president`s orders.  Of

course, we now know that within days of her get out on the next plane

departure from Ukraine, which was demanded by president Trump and

apparently carried out by Mike Pompeo within days of her departure from

Ukraine, you may recall Rudy Giuliani within days was on television,

bragging about how is he how he personally was now headed off to Ukraine to

go get some investigations started, which we hoped he hoped would be,

quote, helpful to my client.

 

Giuliani made that announcement on TV that he was heading off to go get

some investigations cooking that would help Trump.  That was within days of

Yovanovitch being told to get out of Ukraine by President Trump and Mike

Pompeo.  We know that Giuliani essentially moved in on the Ukrainian

embassy as if he were a U.S. government employee to try to enact this

scheme in Ukraine, alongside the guys who were just arrested this week when

their indictment was unsealed, and alongside a different U.S. ambassador,

Gordon Sondland, who was sort of detailed to this project alongside

Giuliani. 

 

Ambassador Gordon Sondland had no diplomatic experience whatsoever before

his current job as ambassador to the E.U., which he got after he gave a

million dollars to the Trump inauguration.  He funneled it through a few

different LLCs, but he did give the inauguration a million bucks.  He is

the one who according to new reporting from “The Washington Post”

apparently blurted out at a White House meeting that Ukraine was going to

need to cough up some important investigations.

 

Text messages and in internal communications among Gordon Sondland and

others show that he`s the one who was pressing that Ukraine needed to not

just open investigations into Joe Biden, it needed to publicly announce

that it was doing so, because that obviously would have a better political

impact, right, if the public knew that those investigations were underway.

 

He`s also the Trump administration official who according to Republican

Senator Ron Johnson told him directly that President Trump had a quid pro

quo going with Ukraine here in which their military aid would be contingent

on them launching those politically salient investigations that the Trump

administration and the president himself were demanding.

 

So, yes, they needed to get rid of Marie Yovanovitch who saw it as her job

to stand up on behalf of the U.S. government and American natural national

interest, on behalf of the rule of law and against the perversion of

government powers for private or partisan political gain.  Yet Marie

Yovanovitch would not be the one you would want there while you were

carrying out this scheme, so they got rid of her and they brought in these

Trump guys.

 

The same thing appears to have happened specifically around the withholding

of that military aid to Ukraine.  This is what “The Wall Street Journal”

was first able to report last night, it`s now been matched by “The

Washington Post”.  They both are now reporting that career officials inside

the White House who worked on budget issues they reportedly raised the

alarm that Trump withholding this military aid to Ukraine, we now know, as

part of this deal for Trump to get help with his reelection from Ukraine in

exchange for that military aid, career officials inside the White House

reportedly raised the alarm that withholding that military aid was illegal.

 

We now know from “The Wall Street Journal” and “The Washington Post” that

in response to those expressed concerns by career White House officials,

the White House took responsibility for the handling of those military

funds away from those career officials and they instead brought in a guy

who was a Trump guy, who had been the executive director of the Wisconsin

Republican Party, and they put him in charge instead of arguably illegally

withholding those military funds.

 

Yahoo News advances this story further today with a report that the

Pentagon, quote, went so far as to conduct its own legal analysis of the

military aid being withheld, quote, determining that the holds were

illegal.  Quote: a government official confirmed that such an analysis took

place so did several Capitol Hill staffers, they all described the

conclusion of that analysis in similar terms which is that it was illegal

for President Trump to be withholding that money. 

 

If you`re trying to do something illegal, of course, you want your own guy

in there to be put in charge of that illegal thing you`re trying to do, so

the career folks the actual public servants would no longer be in the way.

 

So, we see that happen with the ambassador to Ukraine with Yovanovitch,

essentially being pushed out recalled abruptly because you won`t play ball

and they put in the guys from Trump world who will play ball.  We see that

happening in the White House, right, with the military aid illegally being

withheld.  Well, the people who know that`s illegal, they got to go, let`s

put in our own guy, he`ll play ball.

 

Even on the corrupt side deal that these guys were apparently trying to do

alongside the effort to illegally enlist a foreign government and helping

Trump get reelected – I mean, when these guys were working with Giuliani

on that deal, these guys who have now been arrested were reportedly running

this side hustle, in which they were trying to get the leadership changed

at the biggest natural gas company in Ukraine, even in that instance, on

the side hustle, they still wanted to install their own guys who would hook

them up with contracts from the biggest natural gas company in Ukraine.  I

mean, from the federal indictment of these guys, we know that when they

made a more than $300,000 illegal donation to the biggest pro-Trump super

PAC, they arranged the paperwork so it would look like that donation was

from a natural gas company that they invented. 

 

It`s kind of a weird part of the indictment.  Why would they invent a fake

natural gas company to make this donation rather than doing it in their own

names?  Well, that fake natural gas company they invented, that may be

connected to the fact that they were also running a side hustle, where they

were trying to take over and put their own people in charge of the biggest

natural gas company in Ukraine. 

 

And again in that side hustle, the same pattern holds, right?  Whatever

purpose these guys had in mind for whatever they wanted to do with that

company, right, you`d want to get the real people out of the way, right? 

You want to get the people who are actually doing the work, who might be in

the way of your scheme, who might be alarmed by your scheme, you want to

get them out of your way.

 

NBC News has a really fascinating long report on that part of the scheme

today in which they note that these guys who were working with Giuliani who

were trying to take over this natural gas company, what they were trying to

do was push out the existing CEO of that natural gas company in favor of

somebody else who they wanted to install.  The guy who they were trying to

push out was someone who, quote, had won high praise from U.S. and European

officials for his anti-corruption efforts. 

 

Right.  We`re starting to see how this goes.  It`s like a master class.  If

you`re running a very big corruption scheme, you have to get the anti-

corruption people out of the way. 

 

You have to get the not corrupt people out of the way.  You have to get the

people with integrity who know what`s illegal out of the way.  You got to

get the ambassador fired. 

 

You got to get the White House employees who handled the disbursement of

military aid pushed out.  You got to get the CEO of the company who`s there

to make sure it`s not corrupt, right?  You got to get all of those folks

out so you can instead install your own people and operate this scheme. 

 

The problem with all of this from tip to tail is that those human beings

you have to push out, they are people of integrity, the upstanding

executives and the officials and the technocratic people in the anti-

corruption folks, the people who are there to do a legitimate aboveboard

job, those people when you push them out, they turn into witnesses for what

you did.  They`re alive.  They can talk.  They might even defy your orders

not to talk.

 

In behavior we saw modeled by career foreign service officer Marie

Yovanovitch today, they will defy orders from the White House to speak and

they will respond to a congressional subpoena, to turn over to

congressional oversight committees what they know.

 

Now, one of the people for whom this is very bad news is the Secretary of

Energy Rick Perry.  He appears to have connections to that effort to

replace the leadership at that Ukrainian natural gas company, right, to

replace the people who were there including the vaunted anti-corruption guy

who was CEO, to replace that guy and others with people who were more to

the liking of Rudy Giuliani`s now jailed henchmen. 

 

Secretary Perry appears to have been caught up in that.  He has now been

subpoenaed personally.  It should be noted he has also said that his

department will cooperate fully with the impeachment investigation, we

shall see now that he`s got a subpoena on his own desk. 

 

It is also terrible news for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who was up to

his neck in this before today, but now, he`s in a terrible position.  He is

not trying to cooperate.  He has decided that his legacy here will be his

efforts to try to block all State Department personnel from testifying to

the impeachment committees.

 

Well, as of today, that is not working.  Secretary Pompeo, you can order

them all you want not to testify.  In response to duly issued subpoenas

from the impeachment committees, though, they can still turn up. 

 

It was Marie Yovanovitch today.  It will be a longtime State Department

hand Fiona Hill on Monday.  It will be another career veteran State

Department official George Kent on Tuesday. 

 

On Thursday, it`s going to be that Trump donor guy who got sent in

basically to replace you Yovanovitch and deliver the quid pro quo demands

to the Ukrainian government, you won`t get your military aid until we get

our investigations, he was the guy alongside vice president Mike Pence who

appears to have issued that directive to the Ukrainian government.  After

him, there will be more State Department officials who are expected to

speak both in terms of depositions already scheduled and depositions that

we know are coming.

 

Mike Pompeo`s own role in this scheme for which the president is being

impeached, appears to be kind of a marquee thing now.  I mean, it is – it

is not hard to imagine Secretary of State Pompeo being impeached for

exactly what the president being impeached for here.  I mean, he is the one

who carried out the president`s orders to recall that ambassador, which was

apparently part of this scheme to clear the way for what Trump was trying

to do with Ukraine. 

 

Pompeo`s State Department apparently up to the level of the number-two guy

in the department was aware that Yovanovitch had done nothing wrong. 

Pompeo`s State Department put out this false statement that she was

returning from Ukraine as planned when in fact as they knew she was being

recalled early because the president demanded it. 

 

For two weeks, Mike Pompeo tried to pretend publicly that he had no idea

what had gone on between president Trump and the Ukrainian president on the

call for which the president is now being impeached.  It would soon emerge

that in fact Pompeo was on that call, listening in to the entire thing,

even though for two weeks he made it seem like he had no idea what might

have happened there. 

 

I mean, Mike Pompeo today seeing this brave ambassador walk across the

capitol grounds check herself in through the magnetometer and sit down for

nine hours of testimony, seeing that ambassador defy his orders not to show

up today, seeing her show up to say her piece, including releasing a

blistering public version of her opening statement, you can imagine how

today felt for Mike Pompeo.  He might have thought though that he had found

a little bit of a safe haven in his public schedule today.  His main public

event today was a religious freedom event in Tennessee, whoo, that at least

should be safe. 

 

He clearly did not expect to run into local reporters who knew exactly what

they were talking about, who were absolutely read in on this subject, who

knew what to ask, who wouldn`t back down and were ready to answer – excuse

me – ready to advance this story even when he would not answer. 

 

Watch this from Nashville.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

REPORTER:  The announcement yesterday, one of your most trusted senior

advisors resign.  He`s adding his voice to a number of career diplomats

who`ve expressed frustration over what they see as your failure to stand up

for government servants and for servants like Ambassador Yovanovitch have

been caught up in the Ukraine controversy. 

 

Did you do enough to defend the ambassador privately and publicly against

the smear campaign that was being waged against her?  And will you speak to

that now?

 

MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE:  Well, maybe they have some of your facts

wrong.  So you should be careful about things you have served as facts

before you state them.

 

REPORTER:  Can you speak to Michael McKinley`s resignation?

 

POMPEO:  I don`t talk about personnel matters.

 

REPORTER:  Did he speak to you personally about it as he resigned?

 

POMPEO:  I don`t talk about personnel matters.

 

REPORTER:  Did you support an ambassador – the ambassador being recalled

months before her tenure was up?

 

POMPEO:  I`ve supported every mission that the State Department has been

engaged in.

 

REPORTER:  In mid-February, you were in Warsaw and so is Rudy Giuliani. 

During your time there, did you meet with Giuliani?

 

POMPEO:  You know, I don`t talk about how I meet with.  I went to Warsaw

for a particular purpose.

 

REPORTER:  So, you`re not going to say whether you met with him?

 

POMPEO:  So when I was in Warsaw, I had a singular focus.  My focus was

singly on the work that we have done.

 

REPORTER:  It sounds like you`re not going to say.

 

POMPEO:  When I was in Warsaw, we were working diligently to accomplish the

mission.

 

REPORTER:  Text messages show that diplomats under your authority told the

Ukrainians that a good relationship with President Trump was only possible

if they investigated his political opponent and theories about what

happened in 2016.  Were you aware that this was happening?

 

POMPEO:  You know, again, you`ve got your facts wrong.  It sounds like

you`re working at least in part for the Democratic National Committee when

you phrase a predicate of a question in that way.  It`s unfortunate.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

MADDOW:  The reporter asking those questions was Nancy Amon from WSMV,

which is the local NBC affiliate in Nashville.  Wow, did she do a good job

there.

 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, listen, can`t answer questions from local

reporters, not when everybody can follow this very straightforward story

and his role in it.  Secretary of State Mike Pompeo may find himself

getting impeached here, not only for his role in this scheme but for how he

has tried to cover it up since. 

 

I mean, Mike Pompeo tried to hide the fact that he was on the call for

which the president is being impeached for a couple of weeks.  He appears

clearly now in an interview with NBC`s affiliate in Nashville, Tennessee,

he appears clearly now to be trying to hide something about when and where

he was meeting with Rudy Giuliani while the scheme was being hatched. 

 

Secretary of State Pompeo, did you in fact meet with Rudy Giuliani in

Warsaw, earlier this year before we all knew this scheme was underway? 

 

Again, this is the scheme for which the president is now being impeached. 

And everybody`s trying to get as far away as they can from this, right? 

But with the first arrests, with not just one but multiple photos of the

president and the vice president, with these men who were just arrested and

the president`s eldest son with these men who were just arrested, with news

about the White House dinner that President Trump invited these men who

were just arrested to just last year, that`s him inviting them to the White

House for a meeting, for a dinner meeting, right – I mean this is a

downward spiral at this point.

 

The homeland security secretary resigned tonight, Kevin McAleenan.  The

Energy Secretary Rick Perry is facing a subpoena for his involvement in

this, including what looks like the financially remunerable side hustle

that these guys who have now been arrested appeared to be engaged in

alongside the thing for which the president`s going to be impeached.  The

secretary of state appears to be at risk of impeachment himself as he is

multiply implicated in the president`s scheme with a State Department

underneath him that a now appears that now appears to have turned roundly

against him, including the resignation in protest of his number two last

night.

 

Buckle up.  I tell you, here we go and this is going to be another weekend

when the news does not stop.  Stay with us.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA):  I think she has been a model diplomat and

deserved better than the shabby treatment she received from this president

and from the secretary of state.

 

REP. DENNY HECK (D-WA):  I just sat through eight hours that went like a

New York second.  It was that amazing, that powerful, that impactful and

just feel very fortunate to have been there.

 

SCHIFF:  I think she is a courageous example for others and I think all the

members were extraordinarily impressed with her testimony today.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

MADDOW:  Members of Congress reacting to the testimony today from the

former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.  If nothing else, her testimony today

appears from the outside to have been thorough.  She emerged from that

closed-door deposition today after nine plus hours.  She didn`t get out

until 7:40 p.m. Eastern Time.

 

Joining us now is Congressman Tom Malinowski who attended this deposition

today.  Before his election to Congress last year, he serves as an

assistant secretary of state, the culmination of a long career in both the

State Department and the National Security Council.

 

Sir, thank you so much for making time tonight.  I know it`s been a long

day.

 

REP. TOM MALINOWSKI (D-NJ):  Thank you so much. 

 

MADDOW:  I was struck by what Congressman Heck there said about how it was

eight hours that went like a New York second, that he seemed – he seemed

moved by the testimony.  How would you describe the testimony today?

 

MALINOWKSI:  I agree you know we spent nine hours with a diplomat, a

patriot of tremendous courage and integrity, who answered questions

honestly, thoroughly and who set an example today that not only should you

obey a legally binding subpoena, but you can.  You can be a career civil

servant or foreign service officer.

 

And despite the president`s efforts to deny you the opportunity, to compel

you to not testify to Congress, you can.

 

MADDOW:  Do you believe that she`s at risk of retaliation or firing within

the State Department because of her today to obey this subpoena?  I know

that the State Department reportedly on orders from the White House told

her not to come when she got the subpoena.  She did.  Are you worried for

her career, for her future?

 

MALINOWSKI:  She better not be at risk.  What she did was to follow the

rule of law and she set an example for everybody else in doing so.

 

And, you know, Secretary Pompeo has a decision to make.  Right now, he is

showing that he either will not or perhaps cannot defend his employees, his

institution.  And if he can`t defend his employees and institution, he has

no business being where he is.

 

MADDOW:  After your career at the State Department, sir, including serving

as assistant secretary of state, I wanted to talk to you tonight if I could

get you in part for reaction to the news that Mr. McKinley at the State

Department has resigned essentially in protest of Secretary Pompeo`s

inability to stand up for career foreign service officers and other people

who have been caught up in this, including Ambassador Yovanovitch. 

Obviously, that struck me as an important resignation.  The kind of thing

we have not seen very often during this administration for all of its

controversies.

 

What was your reaction to that?

 

MALINOWSKI:  Well, he is – he`s someone I know and worked with when he was

ambassador to Afghanistan.  He is a model career public servant.  I haven`t

spoken to him but this is a widespread concern in the State Department,

that the secretary either will not or cannot defend them. 

 

And you know, it`s not just about defending our employees.  It`s about

defending our interests. 

 

Every single person at the State Department, up to and including Secretary

Pompeo, is living under the tweet of Damocles.  They can`t do anything. 

They can`t say anything for fear that the next morning, there will be some

something from the president that undercuts them.  And so, they are frozen,

they are paralyzed. 

 

And, you know, we`re seeing it play out in the in the Turkey-Syria

situation.  We`re seeing it play out when perhaps even the secretary wanted

to defend Ambassador Yovanovitch but felt that the next day Trump could

tweet out, you know, throwing her under the bus and him under the bus.  You

cannot run our diplomacy in this way.

 

MADDOW:  Do you believe that Secretary of State Pompeo is himself at risk

of impeachment because of the way that he has been involved in this scheme,

that the president is being impeached for now and because of his behavior

since?

 

MALINOWSKI:  Look, I think his behavior is shameful.  I don`t think we are

out to impeach the Trump administration.  We are looking at the conduct of

the president of the United States.  He is responsible for everything that

we are talking about today and it is our highest constitutional duty to

hold him responsible, because there is no other institution that can do so.

 

MADDOW:  Democratic Congressman Tom Malinowski, a veteran of State

Department and the National Security Council – sir, thanks for making

time.  I appreciate it.

 

MALINOWSKI:  Thank you. 

 

MADDOW:  All right.  Much more to come.  Stay with us. 

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

MADDOW:  When Donald Trump filed his first financial disclosure report as

president in 2017, it turns out he left a little thing off.  The president

left off that disclosure form any mention of his own role in the illegal

campaign finance scheme that had sent his former personal attorney to

federal prison, a scheme for which the president was designated individual

one by federal prosecutors who said explicitly that he directed the

commission of that felony.  He was financially involved in that crime,

federal prosecutors say he directed its commission but he left off his

financial disclosure form any reference to his financial connection to

that.  Just sure it was an oversight.

 

Him leaving off that reference to his involvement in that felony and later

correcting it to add reference to his financial involvement in that felony,

that led the oversight committee in Congress to maybe want to have a look

at more of the information underlying the president`s financial

disclosures.  I mean, you tend to get a closer look once you`re shown to

have left a little bit out that might have been politically inconvenient

for yourself, right?

 

The committee also decided they wanted to go look into whether the

financial disclosure process itself should maybe be more rigorous now that

we have presidents who have shown a propensity to not include the stuff

that is related to their involvement in felonies.  Right? 

 

That initial financial disclosure debacle, that is actually the very simple

history behind what was a body blow legal ruling against President Trump at

the federal appeals court level in Washington, D.C. today, and what “The

New York Times” calls, quote, the first test at the appeals court level of

the Trump legal teams sweeping challenges to the constitutional authority

of Congress to conduct oversight of his activities.  In that first test

that the appeals court level today, the president lost badly.

 

Quote: The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the

committee and we affirm.  Contrary to the president`s arguments, the

committee possesses authority under both the house rules and the

constitution to issue the subpoena and Mazars must comply.

 

That was a 2-1 ruling against President Trump and his legal team at the

federal appeals court level. 

 

And today was actually a bad a terrible day for President Trump in court on

everything.  His wall got blocked in court today.  Here`s how NBC News`s

Pete Williams described that ruling.  A, quote, federal judge ruled Friday

that President Donald Trump violated federal law when he used his

declaration of a national emergency to get millions for building a wall on

the southern border.  Trump also today lost in three other federal courts,

in three different states where judges blocked his attempt to overhaul

immigration policy that only immigrants with lots of money will be allowed

in.  This is the so-called public charge rule.

 

Trump lost his wall today.  He also lost on that immigration change today

to three times over.  And none of those rulings I just described today are

about impeachment directly, but on the taxes one, this appeals court one,

the president has a couple of really big problems now here.  I mean,

separate and apart from getting one step closer to having to hand over his

taxes which he seems desperate to not do.  I mean, he`s lost all of the

federal cases in which he has argued that he doesn`t have to hand them

over. 

 

He`s lost all of those at the district level so far.  Now, he`s lost his

first one at the appeals level as well.  He`ll presumably try the Supreme

Court eventually, but this has just not gone well for him.  And even today,

there was two judges that voted essentially against the president and one

Trump appointed judge who voted in his favor today.  She lost, but even her

dissent today was terrible for the president.  In her dissent today, she

said the subpoena should be quashed, the oversight committee is not within

its right to demand Trump`s financial records.

 

But the reason she said the committee can`t get those financial records is

because the proper way to get them would be through impeachment

proceedings.  Quote: Impeachment provides the exclusive method for Congress

to investigate accusations of illegal conduct by impeachable officials,

particularly with the aid of compulsory process.  Throughout our history,

Congress, the president and the courts have recognized the gravity and

accountability that follow impeachment.  Presidents since George Washington

have declined demands to produce documents for legislative purposes, while

acknowledging that the same request pursuant to the impeachment power might

be treated differently.

 

So, this is the judge – the Trump appointed judge who voted Trump`s way

today in that - ruling against him.  Even in dissent, she`s making clear,

hey, listen though if you`re in impeachment proceedings they can definitely

compel documents and testimony and witnesses. 

 

I mean, hey, Congress, if you really want to do that, you should try

impeaching this guy, because if you`re impeaching him you`re going to get

everything you want from him.  That`s the dissent that went Trump`s way

today.  I mean, even when things go badly for this president in court, the

closer you look at it, the worse it is.  And we have just the person to

talk to about the president`s very bad day in court joining us next.

 

Joining us now is Neal Katyal, who served as acting solicitor general in

the Obama administration. 

 

Neal, Mr. Katyal, it`s great to see you.   Thanks for joining us tonight.

 

NEAL KATYAL, FORMER ACTING U.S. SOLICITOR GENERAL:  Great to see you.

 

MADDOW:  So lawyers for the president have been trying to shield him from

investigation by Congress, trying to say that Congress has no right to do

that, trying to block access to his financial records.  It is my sense that

he is losing all of these cases but that today`s loss might be a bigger

deal.

 

KATYAL:  Absolutely, Rachel.  I mean, you called it a body blow, and it is

a body blow, and there were several other body blows as you mentioned today

in the courts.  The immigration loss and the law – the other losses that

he faced today, and I think basically you`ve got that and you`ve got

Congress really investigating the Ukraine thing hard.

 

And all together, you`ve got a lot of phenomenon all against the president,

and I think it suggests really, you know, what that great legal scholar

Twisted Sister said, we`re not going to take it anymore.  You`ve got

Congress in the courts saying, uh-oh, Mr. President, we have checks and

balances in this country and you can`t do all of these shenanigans that

you`re engaged in.

 

MADDOW:  Dee Snider right now is rocking out to that allusion that you just

made there.

 

Let me ask you, Neal, if my observation about what might be dangerous for

President Trump, even in the dissent today, even in the single Trump

appointed justice who sort of voted his way today, by sort of ratifying the

importance of the impeachment process and its potency for compelling

witnesses and documents, I felt like that was no safe harbor for him and

that might potentially sort of augur poorly for him as this goes up to

either en banc or Supreme Court review.

 

KATYAL:  Your hundred-percent on it, Rachel.  So, I mean, there`s two

problems that I think Trump has with the dissent.  Number one is this

dissent by Judge Rao (ph) is not really worth the paper it`s printed on. 

It`s unconvincing and to the extent that he had hoped for some sort of

rationale that would buy him traction in the U.S. Supreme Court, I don`t

think he got it today.  So that`s problem number one.

 

Then, problem number two is, to the extent she identified a problem, it was

just a paper problem that Congress hadn`t used the magic word impeachment. 

But, of course, we all know Congress is heading toward using exactly that

magic word and so you`re exactly right in saying that the even the dissent

gives the Democrats basically everything they want.  And that`s how it

should be in our constitutional system and the president is asserting

preposterous arguments that he can`t be indicted, he can`t be investigated

because he`s sitting president and now he`s saying in this eight page

letter this week by his White House counsel, he can`t even be impeached.

 

Well, the only person in our history that`s ever been like that is King

George III, and that`s what our revolution was against.  So I think even

the dissent recognized at least that minimum proposition of our separation

of powers.

 

MADDOW:  To see that – to have watched those arguments be made by the

president and his legal teams has been sort of stunning to say – to see. 

As you said, the courts saying, we`re not going to take it anymore and

pushing back did feel like a big change and an important one.

 

Neal Katyal, former acting solicitor general, sir, thank you for making

time for us tonight.  I really appreciate it.

 

KATYAL:  Thank you.

 

MADDOW:  We`re going to be back – I`m told we`re going to be back with

some breaking news.  We`ll be right back.

 

(COMMERCIL BREAK)

 

MADDOW:  Didn`t I just tell you that the news is going to keep breaking

this weekend?  In the last couple of minutes since we have been on the air,

we just got a new report from “The New York Times”.

 

And looking at one way, this is our fourth report I think that the

president`s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, is under some kind of criminal

investigation for his work in Ukraine.  CNN was first to report that and

ABC and Bloomberg had similar reports.  All of those have tied the reported

investigation into Giuliani, to the arrests and indictments yesterday of

these two people he`s been working on, been working with.  They were

arrested on campaign finance-related charges.

 

But “The Times” tonight adds a new wrinkle.  The headline is Giuliani is

said to be under investigation for Ukraine work, but then the description

is specific.  Prosecutors are investigating whether the president`s lawyer

broke laws meant to prevent covert foreign influence on the government. 

That would imply that Rudy Giuliani is under investigation not necessarily

or in addition to campaign finance-related charges, but also for lobbying

laws and potentially foreign agent laws when it comes to this work he`s

been doing in Ukraine.

 

The news is still pouring in this late on a Friday night.  I`m telling you,

this weekend is going to be like the last couple of weekends.  No rest for

the wicked.

 

That does it for us tonight, at least for now.  See you again soon. 

 

Now, it`s time for THE LAST WORD.  Ari Melber is in for Lawrence tonight.

 

Good evening, Ari.

 

 

                                                                                                               

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