Rep. Adam Schiff on TRMS. TRANSCRIPT: 10/31/19, The Rachel Maddow Show.

Guests:
Adam Schiff
Transcript:

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST:  Thanks to you as home for joining us this hour

as well.  Happy Halloween. 

 

I this year am obviously dressed up as an out of shape, middle aged

lesbian.  Nailed it!  Just like last year.

 

Anyway, happy to have you with us. 

 

It`s going to go down as a weird side bar in American political history

that on the day the House of Representatives voted to move forward on

impeachment of President Donald J. Trump, it just happened to be Halloween. 

It also happened to be a day when basically all of Washington, D.C. was

gloriously, floridly, deeply hung over after the hometown Washington

Nationals won game 7 of the World Series, giving the nation`s capital its

first national championship since the only one it has ever won before,

which was all the way back in 1924. 

 

If the Nationals can win the World Series, then my god, yes, in Washington,

D.C., anything really is possible. 

 

And if you want yet another sign from the news gods that we really should

open our minds to what may have previously been unimaginable, another sheer

coincidence today is that on Halloween and on the day that Washington woke

up to its first national championship in 95 years and on the day that the

House voted to move forward for only the third time in modern American

history with impeachment proceedings against a sitting president, on this

same day, our great allies overseas, the Brits, today started their own

election.  Because as nutty as this Brexit thing is that they are going

through, and as nutty as a lot of things are about British politic, the

Brits do actually have one very, very sensible thing in their politics that

I would do anything to have us adopt here, which is that they have a really

strict time limit on their elections.  Their elections are six weeks, full

stop, that`s it. 

 

I mean, unlike us where even the primary process takes more than a year in

our presidential elections and presidential elections themselves are

basically fought over a period of, like, two plus years and that`s

generous, I mean, it already feels right now like we`ve been in the thick

of the 2020 presidential election process forever.  The 2020 election is

still more than a year away.  But the Brits are having their election in

mid-December, mid-December this year, six weeks away.  So they kicked off

their national election campaign today.  And then it will be over six weeks

from now. 

 

I could cry just thinking about it.  Imagine the opportunity costs, imagine

what we as a country could accomplish if all of the energy and all of the

effort and all of the money and all of the attention that we put into our

never-ending presidential electioneering instead all got compressed to six

weeks and instead for six weeks we worked on other stuff? 

 

But in terms of us being humble about the realm of possibility, about what

may come to pass, about how things will play out in the long run, I think

today it`s worth considering this guy.  This is John Bercow.  He is the

speaker of the British parliament. 

 

It`s not a direct consequence of the Brexit fight or the election they`re

going to have next month largely about the Brexit fight, but it is sort of

a collateral development of all the things that happened today, today also

was the last day that John Bercow will be speaker of the House of Commons. 

And whether or not you follow British politics, whether or not you know the

name John Bercow, you will nevertheless recall his signature style when you

see this clip. 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  In order to take no deal off the table. 

 

JOHN BERCOW, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS:  Order.  Order.  Order.  Very

rude for members.  Order.  Order. 

 

I take to the chancellor of the duchy when he turns up at our children`s

school as a parent, he`s a very well-behaved fellow.  He wouldn`t dare

behave like that in front of Collin Hall and neither would I. 

 

Don`t rant.  Spare us the theatrics.  Behave yourself.  Be a good boy.  Be

a good boy. 

 

Point of order.  Yes, we know the theatrics that he perfected – not

interested.  Not interested.  Be quiet.  Point of order.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

MADDOW:  Honestly, talking about things that it would be nice to import

from British politics, it would also be kind of awesome in U.S. politics we

had somebody who had that job, right, to keep order. 

 

I mean, here`s the thing, with all the other things that are happening on

the same day today, that – the speaker, John Bercow, today the guy who is

stepping down in Britain, this guy who`s known for this sort of thing. 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

BERCOW:  Order.  Order.  Order. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

MADDOW:  As John Bercow steps down today, today as a gift from the news

gods to remind of us of our own humility before them how we news consumers

and citizens really cannot foresee how things will turn out when they

start, as a sort of universal reminder of that today from the news gods.

 

Today, we went back and looked how John Bercow started in his job as

speaker of the British parliament when he became speaker basically a decade

ago, this order, order guy who`s become this sort of international figure

of wonder for the way he handles the British parliament.  I want you to see

this.  This was the very first time he ever called the British parliament

to order. 

 

This is what he was like on day one of that job per coverage that day of

the BBC. 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

REPORTER:  Having abandoned the additional ropes for a more straight

forward suit and gown, all eyes were on Mr. Bercow as he began proceedings. 

 

BERCOW:  Order, order, the club will proceed to read the title of a private

bill for consideration of this day. 

 

(END IVDEO CLIP)

 

MADDOW:  Order, order.  OK, is that OK with everybody?  OK, cheers, order,

order? 

 

The way things start like this gentleman on the left, often gives you no

real idea at all as to what they`re going to become, aka, the same

gentleman on the right.

 

Things don`t always end up the way they start.  A reminder, I think, as the

House formally starts these impeachment proceedings against President

Donald Trump today.  It`s a reminder I think that any confident forecast of

how this is going to play out in the end is probably folly. 

 

We should be humble before this process.  We just haven`t done this very

many times as a country.  I mean, we haven`t impeached very many

presidents.  We haven`t tried to impeach very many presidents. 

 

And honestly with this one, we don`t know how it`s going to go.  The

inquiry is very much in process.  If they do go on to impeach him in the

House, the political consequences of what appears right now to be a likely

impeachment, I mean, those political consequences are quite opaque to us

from this vantage point.  Yes, you can guess about it but we should be

humble about it. 

 

This is historic day today.  It`s not a time for speculation and

prognostication.  It`s a time to pay attention, because this is now a live

issue, like it has only been a handful of, less than a handful of times ion

our nation`s history.

 

Even as the vote was taking place in the House today, the impeachment

committees were in their secure conference room taking yet another

deposition from behind closed doors from yet another senior Trump

administration official.  This time it was Tim Morrison, a close ally of

the recently ousted national security advisor John Bolton.  John Bolton

himself has been summoned to testify before impeachment as well. 

 

Morrison today testified for about eight hours.  There have been a lot of

speculation, a lot of blind sourced quotes what he was expected to say.  In

the end, the headlines coming out of his testimony were very consistent

with what we`ve been seeing from other witnesses.  You`re used to now

seeing headlines like the one we saw today from Morrison`s testimony. 

 

Here`s how “The New York Times” put it, quote: White House aide confirms he

saw signs of a quid pro quo on Ukraine.  In the subhead, Timothy Morrison,

national security aide, said a top diplomat close to president Trump

suggested a military aid package from Ukraine was conditioned on

investigations into Trump`s political rivals. 

 

“The Washington Post” much the same.  White House official corroborates

diplomat`s account that Trump appeared to seek quid pro quo. 

 

Politico.com, you`re sensing a theme, top national security Russia official

confirms key testimony linking Trump to quid pro quo. 

 

This is what it`s like, these headlines out of every impeachment witness

now, right?  I mean, as the impeachment committees have been taking

testimony behind closed doors, you`ve had all these different officials

come through, career officials, Republican appointees, national security

officials, diplomats.  We`ve had all of these people come through and

provide what appeared to be mutually corroborating accounts about the core

allegation at the heart of the impeachment inquiry, which is that the

president pressured a foreign country into bringing investigations and

announcing investigations that he thought could damage the Democrats`

prospects ahead of his re-election effort for 2020.  All of these mutually

corroborating accounts. 

 

Now, the president pressuring that foreign country, the president

pressuring Ukraine, that pressure alone was enough to start the impeachment

inquiry in the first place.  But now that it has started and now they`ve

had testimony from witness after witness after witness, showing that it

wasn`t just pressure on Ukraine, it was withholding things of value from

Ukraine, things of value both from that country and our own supposed

foreign policy.

 

It wasn`t just pressure, it was extortion.  It was a quid pro quo effort. 

It was trying to force them to cough up what the president wanted to help

him in his re-election. 

 

And so we`ve got news tonight on a bunch of different aspects of this. 

First of all, we`ve got the chairman leading the impeachment proceedings

joining us live here in just a couple of minutes to talk us through what

changes now with today`s historic vote. 

 

Also, some really specific questions for Chairman Schiff like what kind of

report they`re going to make to the public about their findings.  That`s

one of the things in the rules that they will make a public report of their

findings.  What should we expect in terms of that?

 

Also in terms of timing.  “The New York Times”, interestingly, was

reporting all day long it was the House`s intention to start public

hearings in the impeachment of the president a week from Monday, as of

November 11th.  That was in their main impeachment news article all day. 

This evening, they dropped that – excuse me, they dropped that detail out

of the article without any sort of note explaining why.  We`ll speak with

Congressman Adam Schiff tonight to talk more about that, see if he can give

us any clarity then we can divine from the press. 

 

There was also an important court proceeding today on the issue of whether

witnesses have to show up when the impeachment committees tell them to even

if the White House tells them not to.  Really interesting court proceedings

today, quite sparky on the part of the judge.  We will get to that as well

this evening. 

 

There was also a slightly ominous development this evening for the

president`s lawyer, the gentleman on the left, the one who`s actually not

featured here in a mug shot.  Interesting and probably worrying

developments for the White House tonight in terms of Mr. Giuliani`s

potential personal criminal liability in the federal criminal cases that

appear to be unfolding in parallel with this impeachment investigation on

Capitol Hill. 

 

So, like I said there`s a lot going on, busy night, historic day.  We`re

going to get into all that stuff. 

 

But before we do that, I will tell you I am doing this partly because

impeachment is so big that it tends to suck all the oxygen out of the room

for all other news stories.  But I also want to do this story I`m about to

do tonight because just on its face, this is thing that happened today that

is likely to get squeezed out of the news because of everything going on in

Washington and all the other things happening around the globe today.  But

this thing happening today is absolutely flabbergasting on its own terms. 

And regardless of what else is going on, you just know about this.

 

So, yes, we are going to talk about what`s going on with impeachment

tonight in detail.  Before we get there, though, I just want you to know

about this other totally unrelated thing that is unfolding right now in the

great state of Missouri.  This week, you might have seen this headline

floating around.  “Kansas City Star” headlines don`t always go national,

but no matter what paper it`s from, no matter what part of the country it`s

from, a headline like this is going to go national and get some national

attention. 

 

As you can see the headline there is, quote: Missouri health director kept

spreadsheet of Planned Parenthood patients` periods.  Let me read that one

more time.  The Missouri health director kept a spreadsheet of women`s

periods. 

 

And if you`re thinking that can`t be right.  There must be some

misunderstanding.  Maybe this is punctuation issue.  He`s the health

director, so maybe this is something about colons, and got typos,

semicolons and somebody made it into periods. 

 

It`s – no, it`s nothing that – this is for real.  The Republican-led

Missouri state government, the health director there has been tracking

women`s periods on a computer spreadsheet as part of his government job,

which means taxpayers have been paying him to do that. 

 

Reporter Crystal Thomas from “The Kansas City Star” was able to get that

story this week because she was in the courtroom for an ongoing hearing. 

Sort of like a court proceeding, it`s an administrative hearing going on

all week.  It`s a hearing about the efforts of that state health director

you see here, and the state government for which he works, their efforts to

try to shutdown the last remaining abortion provider in the entire state of

Missouri. 

 

The Republican-led state government in Missouri is trying to make that

state the first state in America to go completely dark in terms of access

to abortion.  And they`re doing it by trying to shutdown the last clinic in

the state that does abortions, which is a Planned Parenthood clinic. 

 

Abortion, of course, is legal in this country.  Access to it is

constitutionally protected right in this country.  But Missouri`s

Republican state government want to try to find away around that

inconvenient facts.  They want to find a way to effectively ban abortion in

that state by putting every abortion provider that remains in the state out

of business using state regulations. 

 

They want to use state regulations under the direction of the state health

director to regulate the last clinic in the state in such a way it loses

its license and is forced to close.  That`s how they`re trying to limit

access to abortion for women in Missouri.  And that`s what these hearings

have been about all week. 

 

And in the course of this hearing, the state health director confirmed

that, yes, he actually has been tracking women`s menstrual periods on a

spreadsheet. 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

PLANNED PARENTHOOD LAWYER:  Let me just ask the next question.  So, and

you`ll see here that it includes the patient ID number, date of procedure,

gestational age, right?

 

RANDALL WILLIAMS, MISSOURI HEALTH DIRECTOR:  Yes.

 

PLANNED PARENTHOOD LAWYER:  The last column there, it includes the

department`s calculation of the women`s last normal period, right? 

 

WILLIAMS:  Yes, sir. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

BURNETT:  Yes, sir.  The state health director of Missouri who is trying to

yank the license of the last abortion provider in the entire state.  And a

state administrative board is trying to adjudicate that issue right now. 

In the course of those proceedings, he has admitted he`s been rooting

around in patients` private medical records and making like a star chart of

their periods. 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

PLANNED PARENTHOOD LAWYER:  The last column there, it includes the

department`s calculation of the women`s last normal period, right? 

 

WILLIAMS:  Yes, sir. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

MADDOW:  Yes, sir.  That is how we are regulating the provision of abortion

services here in Missouri. 

 

So, Randall Williams gave that testimony earlier this week, a couple of

days ago after the “Kansas City Star” wrote about it, and it got a ton of

national attention.  It also led to calls that the Missouri state health

director Randall Williams should resign.  It led to the Democratic leader

in the legislator demanding the governor should immediately investigate

this matter as to what this state health director has been up to. 

 

So, Randall Williams gave that testimony on Tuesday, that the state health

department under his leadership created a period tracker as part of their

efforts to yank the license to operate from the last abortion clinic in the

state.  Then late last night, more than 24 hours after Randall Williams

admitted the existence of that spreadsheet under oath, more than 24 hours

after reporters started calling his office from all over the country to ask

questions about it, the Missouri state government put out a statement about

it, again late last night. 

 

It says, quote: Irresponsible reporting has led to false claims that Dr.

Randall Williams tracks the menstrual cycles of women seeking abortions at

Planned Parenthood.  Nothing in the Administrative Hearing Commission

testimony that Dr. Williams gave on October 29 could in any way be cited to

support this false claim. 

 

The state government of Missouri says nothing could be cited to support

this false claim.  State health director Randall Williams doesn`t track the

menstrual cycles of women seeking abortions at Planned Parenthood, no way -

- right, Dr. Williams? 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

PLANNED PARENTHOOD LAWYER:  The last column there, it includes the

department`s calculation of the women`s last normal period, right? 

 

WILLIAMS:  Yes, sir. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

MADDOW:  Yes, sir.  So this is just a – this is just a remarkable thing. 

 

There`s one other piece of this I really want you to see.  We have been

following this story in Missouri for months as Missouri Republicans, the

state government there tries to eliminate all access to abortion in that

big state.  And you may recall from that earlier coverage that it was the

same state health director Randall Williams, the guy in the bow tie here,

who in going after the last clinic in the state last year, he is the one

who decided to order any woman who wanted to get an abortion in the state

of Missouri would henceforth be forced on his orders to undergo an extra,

medically unnecessary internal pelvic examination. 

 

Doctors already give patients a pelvic exam before a surgical abortion. 

That is necessary thing.  But starting earlier this year, Randall Williams

and the state health department told the last clinic in Missouri, new

orders, you now have to start doing this pelvic exam in addition, an extra

one, an extra internal vaginal examination, mandatory, at least three days

before the woman actually gets her abortion. 

 

So, we covered that earlier this year.  It`s just – it`s just astonishing. 

And there was a bunch of national attention to the issue.  The clinic

ultimately defied those orders from the state health department.  And after

that, Randall Williams and the state government caved and they stopped

forcing them to do that. 

 

But today, this is just jaw dropping to me.  Today, at the same hearing,

the same hearing that`s been happening this week where the state health

director has now admitted he`s got a computer spreadsheet tracking women`s

menstrual periods, today there was testimony from Kawanna Shannon who`s

been a guest on this show, she`s the director of surgical services at that

Planned Parenthood.  She testified today in the state hearing about what it

was like when Randall Williams sent his inspectors to the last abortion

provider in Missouri this year as the state was trying to yank that

clinic`s license, and she shared some new, important and startling details

about the conversation she had with those state investigators, the ones who

were instituting this new medically unnecessary pelvic exam requirement. 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

PLANNED PARENTHOOD LAWYER:  You mentioned that during chart review of

Karen, she had brought up why Planned Parenthood doesn`t do a second pelvic

exam.  Did you explain to her why during that conversation? 

 

KAWANNA SHANNON, ST. LOUIS PLANNED PARENTHOOD DIRECTOR OF SURGICAL

SERVICES:  I did explain to her why we didn`t do a second pelvic exam.  I

explained to her it wasn`t medically necessary, but he can explain

medically why it was unnecessary. 

 

PLANNED PARENTHOOD LAWYER:  How did she respond when you explained to her

why? 

 

SHANNON:  So she said that she understood that we hadn`t been doing it this

way, and she also understood it may not have been medically necessary but

they felt we should be doing it.  We went back and forth with it so much

she actually said, look, Kawanna, I`m sorry that it feels like we`re much

harder than you on inspections than anybody else, but we have bosses, too

and there`s things they want us to do. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

MADDOW:  We have bosses too and there are things they want us to do.  So,

Kawanna Shannon went onto talk about what it`s like at Planned Parenthood

after the state of Missouri went ahead with this policy, started mandating

doctors had to do internal vaginal examinations of their patients for no

medical reason other than the state was ordering them to do it.  Just watch

this. 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

PLANNED PARENTHOOD LAWYER:  What about the two pelvic exam issues that you

raised?  Did Planned Parenthood agree to do those? 

 

SHANNON:  So we did for a second.  We wrote that in our planned correction

we would start doing day one pelvic exams on surgical patients. 

 

PLANNED PARENTHOOD LAWYER:  Did Planned Parenthood at some point decide not

to do that anymore? 

 

SHANNON:  We did. 

 

PLANNED PARENTHOOD LAWYER:  And why is that? 

 

SHANNON:  Because it was the worst and most horrible experience ever. 

 

So, patients were made to get undressed – be violated for something that

they already have to do.  I don`t know who cried the most that day, if Dr.

Eisenberg did, if my staff did, if I did.  We explained to our patients

this was not our doing, and that we were only doing what we were told. 

 

You have patients that have been abused, raped and you were putting them

through an invasive, unnecessary pelvic exam for something that they

already have to do on procedure day.  And you have patients apologizing to

us saying I`m sorry you have to do that to me.  I have to sit in a room

with the Dr. Eisenberg after that show he can emotionally get himself

together to the point where he was saying, Kawanna, I don`t think I can do

this.  I cannot go on violating women and sticking my fingers in women

every single day just because they want me to. 

 

And we decided whatever consequences we were going to have we were going to

have to have because to look in those patients in the eyes the days we had

to do that, it was unbearable.  And not only was it my job to make sure

that floor runs operationally, it is also my job to make sure that I have

staff who can mentally and emotionally be able to do their job, and no one

was able to do their job that day or any other day we made women take their

clothes off unnecessary to be invaded.  So, yes, that was horrible.  So we

decided we weren`t going to do it anymore. 

 

PLANNED PARENTHOOD LAWYER:  Is the State Department of Health still

requiring that patients receive two pelvic exams? 

 

SHANNON:  So they changed the requirement to say it is still in the regs it

is required, but now the physician can decide whether they want to do it on

day one or day two.  And then they have to document it. 

 

PLANNED PARENTHOOD LAWYER:  Do you need to take a break? 

 

SHANNON:  No, I`m fine.  Thank you. 

 

PLANNED PARENTHOOD LAWYER:  We`ll take a short break. 

 

COMMISSIONER:  Yes, let`s take a five minute break. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

MADDOW:  She said she was fine, but honestly the room needed a break after

that.  She left the witness chair to utter silence in that room. 

 

Before the state took back that new extra medically unnecessary pelvic exam

policy, more than a hundred women in Missouri got a vaginal probe they did

not need on orders of the state government.  More a hundred women later,

Dr. Randall Williams, the state health officer in Missouri decided, well,

OK, he`s roll that policy back.  Now we know that since then he`s been

running a spreadsheet monitoring individual women`s periods. 

 

This hearing in St. Louis over whether or not abortion will stay legal in

Missouri, that hearing was scheduled to go through the end of this week. 

But that changed after Kawanna Shannon`s testimony today which you just

saw.  The state did have the opportunity to bring the state health director

Randall Williams back up to testify some more, to deliver more testimony

about all the good work he`s been doing in Missouri. 

 

After Kawanna Shannon`s testimony today, the state decided, A, they needed

a break, and b, they would not put him back on the stand.  So these

proceedings are now over, and we the country wait for an answer about

whether or not the state of Missouri will renew Planned Parenthood`s

license to operate or whether that state government will succeed in making

Missouri the first state in the country since Roe that doesn`t have a

single legal abortion provider anywhere in the state.  Just remarkable. 

 

All right.  We`ll be right back. 

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

MADDOW:  Quote: Moments after President Trump ended his phone call with

Ukraine`s president on July 25th, an unsettled national security aide

rushed to the office of White House lawyer John Eisenberg.  Army Lieutenant

Colonel Alexander Vindman, the top Ukraine advisor at the White House, had

been listening to the call and was disturbed by the pressure Trump had

applied to the Ukrainian president to investigate his political rivals. 

 

Vindman told Eisenberg, the White House`s legal adviser on national

security issues, that what the president did was wrong.  Vindman in

Eisenberg`s office read out loud the notes he`d taken of the president`s

call.  Eisenberg, scribbling notes on a legal pad and then suggesting the

National Security Council should move records of the call to a separate,

highly classified computer system. 

 

He`s told the president did something wrong on that call.  He hears the

notes from the trained national security official who`s listening in who

believes that what the president did was wrong, he is response is to lock

up the notes. 

 

“The Washington Post” reporting from Tom Hamburger.  So, the president is

being impeached – excuse me, from Carol Leonnig, Tom Hamburger and Greg

Miller, it says the bylines there. 

 

The president is being impeached under proceedings approved by the House of

Representatives just today, and the president is being impeached for him

trying to get a foreign country to help him out against the Democrats for

2020.  But then there`s immediately that day this other issue.  The White

House covering that up, hiding the evidence or at least weirdly misfiling

the evidence of what the president did.  I mean, that`s something the

president couldn`t do for himself. 

 

How does that factor into the impeachment inquiry? 

 

The White House lawyer who apparently responded to these alarmed reports

from a uniformed military officer that the president was doing something

wrong, the guy responded to that by saying, well, let`s lock the notes up

then, that lawyer John Eisenberg has been summoned to appear before the

impeachment proceedings against the president.  He`s been told he must

appear on Monday.  Will he appear? 

 

As we await that closed door testimony from key officials like John

Eisenberg and from others who have been summoned for closed door

depositions, as of today, we`re officially gearing up for a whole new phase

of impeachment proceeding, one that will play out before the public. 

Today`s vote by the House to move forward the impeachment of President

Trump changes the whole framework of impeachment process going forward. 

 

Joining us now is the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee,

Congressman Adam Schiff, who is the leader in these proceedings in the

House. 

 

Sir, thank you very much for your time.  I know you have a lot of – a lot

of things to be working on right now. 

 

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA):  It`s good to be with you. 

 

MADDOW:  So the House has formally approved the process going forward.  By

our count, we believe 13 or so witnesses have already testified.  We know

you have four more who you want to interview on Monday and who you expect

to interview on Monday. 

 

Do you feel at this point you personally in your committee have a good

understanding of what transpired?  Are you in just the corroboration phase,

you feel you have the facts?  Or are there still fundamental parts of the

story that you need to understand? 

 

SCHIFF:  We certainly learned an enormous amount and when you consider that

the call record only became public a month ago, it`s really quite

astounding how much we`ve been able to cover.  I think we`re hearing a

reasonably consistent story in what happened months before that call, what

happened in the weeks and months after that call.  But there are still

missing pieces, and there are still key witnesses that we want to bring in. 

And, of course, there are still key witnesses who are resisting coming to

testify. 

 

And, you know, until they come in, until they`re willing to do their legal

duty and their constitutional duty, there are going to be pieces of this

puzzle that the American people don`t get to see.  But I think when we do

go to it public hearings and the American people have a chance to hear from

these witnesses directly, they`ll certainly get a pretty good picture of

the president`s misconduct. 

 

MADDOW:  We do have multiple reports now that seem to be mutually

corroborative if not exact on the details about the White House having

taken extraordinary action to essentially hide the record of the

president`s call that led to these impeachment proceedings in the first

place.  Can you give us any insight into how that fits into these

impeachment proceedings?  Do you view that as part of the misconduct that

has given rise to the impeachment proceedings?  Is that potentially going

to give rise to some other sort of action or accountability for other

people who did that, who weren`t the president himself? 

 

SCHIFF:  Well, you know, I would say there are a few issues within the

Ukraine portfolio that we`re investigating in the intelligence committee

and, you know, certainly issues around the conditioning of this well-sought

after meeting, this meeting that the president of Ukraine desperately

wanted with the president of the United States to show the most important

relationship he had with the most patron of Ukraine, that is the United

States.  The conditioning of the military aid also in order to get this

political advantage, these investigations that would help the president`s

re-election campaign. 

 

But we`re also look at the broad issue of obstruction, of cover-up.  And I

think that the degree to which this highly classified system may have been

improperly used to conceal what I think many must have recognized was a

highly problematic – to put in the most diplomatic of terms – call

between the two presidents is one of the issues we`re looking at.  But I

think it fits into the broader category of how this administration has

sought to obstruct, to cover-up, to conceal the president`s misconduct. 

 

MADDOW:  We know from Colonel Vindman`s account that at least according to

him he believes that there were important factual details and important

proper nouns that were left out of the White House call notes about that

call.  He says, according to his testimony, that he wanted to correct those

matters but his suggested corrections even though he was asked to correct

the transcript were not factored into the transcript ultimately.

 

I guess I wonder if you feel like that`s a material issue, if you feel

there is an importance for the committee to get to the bottom of what may

have been the exact wording on that call and what may have been

inaccuracies in those notes?  And if you are going to pursue it, how you`ll

do so? 

 

SCHIFF:  Well, one of the aspects of the resolution we passed today

authorizes me to begin releasing transcripts.  And I would expect that

process would begin as early as next week.  Until we do release the

transcripts, I really can`t go into the substance of the testimony on that

particular issue.  That is was this call record accurate?  If it wasn`t

fully accurate, why wasn`t it fully accurate? 

 

I think the public will get a sense of those issues.  We certainly have

inquired about them when we began releasing the transcripts.  And again,

you know, the American people as well as the Congress will be able to weigh

what`s the significance of this, does this go to an effort of conceal?  Or

is there some other explanation? 

 

But until we have those released I really can`t go into the specifics. 

 

MADDOW:  OK, that`s – you`re making news with us tonight already that

those transcripts will start to be released next week. 

 

In terms of what the public is going to see here, I know the rules voted on

in the House also have a provision for a public facing report on your

inquiry thus far.  If you could hold on with us just for a moment, Mr.

Chairman, I`ll ask you on the other side. 

 

SCHIFF:  Certainly.

 

MADDOW:  All right.  We`ll be right back with the chairman of the House

Intelligence Committee, the leader of the impeachment proceedings in the

House, Congressman Adam Schiff. 

 

Stay with us. 

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

MADDOW:  Joining us once again is the chair on of the House Intelligence

Committee, Congressman Adam Schiff, here tonight on this historic occasion

of the House voting to move forward with these impeachment proceedings

against the president. 

 

Thanks again, Mr. Chairman, for sticking with us. 

 

SCHIFF:  You bet. 

 

MADDOW:  The rules voted on today call for your committee to write a report

that as far as I can tell, reading those rules, it looks like intended to

be released to the public.  What can you tell us about your intensions,

your expectations for that report and what, we, the public should expect to

learn from it, when we should expect to see it? 

 

SCHIFF:  Well, we have, of course, studied the prior impeachments involving

Bill Clinton, Richard Nixon for guidance both as to what the process and

procedures ought to be, and you`ll see in the resolution we passed today we

incorporate a lot of those processes, but there`s one fundamental

difference between this impeachment process and the ones that went before

there`s no special prosecutor, no independent prosecutor here to do the

initial fact finding. 

 

And that`s because when the criminal referral was made to Bill Barr`s

Justice Department, he basically said I`m not going to look at this, I`m

not going to authorize any criminal investigation, so we had to do that

ourselves.  So, in some sense, we step into the shoes of the independent

council doing that fact finding. 

 

And as between the two models used between Leon Jaworski or Nixon or Ken

Starr in Clinton, you know, personally, I`m much more inclined along the

Leon Jaworski route and that is presenting a fact-based report to the

Judiciary Committee.  These are the facts that we found, these are the

transcripts from our hearings.  And then the Judiciary Committee will weigh

what to do with those facts rather than a highly opinionated and lengthy

report along the lines of Kenneth Starr. 

 

MADDOW:  Interesting.  And if in the course of your investigation you turn

up evidence of criminal behavior by people other than the president,

obviously this is an impeachment proceeding of the president, if you turn

up evidence, serious evidence of serious crimes committed by other people

either on the periphery of this or elsewhere in the administration, do you

make criminal referrals in that information?  Do you include that in the

type of fact based report you were just describing? 

 

SCHIFF:  We certainly can make criminal referrals and there are times we

have referred matters to the Justice Department where we thought for

example witnesses had committed or potentially committed perjury before our

committee.  So, it`s not uncommon for those referrals to happen.  They`re

not certainly common, but that is a practice that the Congress has used in

the past. 

 

I don`t know that would be a part of this report, which really the purpose

of this report is for the Judiciary Committee and ultimately the House if

the committee were to act to weigh whether the conduct, whether the facts

that have been found warrant this extraordinary remedy of impeachment.  So

that`s really the focus of what our report will be. 

 

MADDOW:  And, sir, I know there`s been no hard and fast announcement in

terms of when we should expect public hearings to begin.  We`re getting the

sense it will be sooner rather than later.  But I have noted a few times on

the show already since we started getting a sense of what these rules would

be, I have to be honest have been positive on the fact that the rules say

in those public hearings, some of the questioning can be done by staff

members, by staff counsel rather than just being done by members

themselves. 

 

I just want to affirm that you expect that that means that House counsel

will be doing quite a bit of the questioning of these witnesses when the

public hearings happen.  And I want to ask you a question that you won`t

answer, which is, are your members mad at you about that?  Because it`s

taking –

 

(CROSSTALK)

 

SCHIFF:  I am more than pleased to answer both.  On the first, you will see

extensive periods of questioning by the staff counsel both majority and

minority.  That`s the practice we use in the depositions.  It`s been very

effective to bring out the facts.  It`s very conducive I think to telling

the narrative of what happened. 

 

And so, you know, frankly, one of the most important purposes from my point

of view of taking up the resolution today was to allow us to use that

format which otherwise wasn`t a part of the House rules.  So, you are going

to see that.

 

In terms of whether the members were upset with me about that, I have to

tell you the answer was unequivocally no.  To a person, the members of

Intelligence Committee said, hey, we want to use a format best conducive to

bringing the facts forward and we think that`s through staff-led

questioning.  So, you know, it`s a tribute I think to members of our

committee they felt that way without any sense of ego. 

 

There is going to be a period for member questioning after these lengthy

periods of staff questioning, but I think the public will be impressed just

how professional the questioning is.  I`m just hoping we can avoid some of

the circus tactics before the questioning begins. 

 

MADDOW:  Can you give us a sense when those public hearings will start? 

 

SCHIFF:  You know, we`d like to do them soon but there`s still any number

of witnesses we want to bring in for depositions and ideally do that before

witnesses can align their stories.  The challenge with giving you an

estimate on timing is that obviously some of these witnesses are doing

their duty, they`re following the law, they`re abiding by the lawful

subpoenas, others at the urging of the administration are fighting the

subpoenas, refusing to show up. 

 

And we`re seeing court after court make short strip (ph) to the

administration`s arguments and indeed in the McGahn hearing just today, the

judge expressed incredulity at the idea that administration witnesses, even

those that left the administration are somehow completely immune from

having to answer congressional subpoena.  But nonetheless, the

administration hopes to obstruct by delay, and often we don`t know whether

witnesses are going to testify until they show up or fail to show up.  And

not knowing that, it`s hard to predict how soon we can go to the open

hearings. 

 

MADDOW:  Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff – thank

you so much for giving us this time tonight.  This is, obviously, a

historic day but a lot happening and a lot changing all at once.  Having

this clarity from you is really helpful.  Thank you, sir.

 

SCHIFF:  Thank you.

 

MADDOW:  All right.  Much more to get to tonight.  Stay with us. 

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

MADDOW:  Some intriguing/worrying new reporting tonight about the

president`s personal attorney.  In the past few weeks, “The Wall Street

Journal”, “USA Today” and CNN have all reported that Rudy Giuliani and his

bank records and business interests have been the subject of investigation

by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York as well as a

separate counter intelligence investigation touching on him as well. 

 

Last week, “Politico” reported that SDNY and Main Justice, the Department

of Justice headquarters in Washington, quote, have been pressed to more

proactively work together on the Giuliani investigation.  We`re not sure

what that means, but according to “Politico”, that`s a move that is, quote,

causing heartburn at SDNY, since SDNY is famously independent and likes

nobody telling them what to do. 

 

Well, now, tonight, in the wake of that sort of intrigue and worry CNN is

reporting that Mr. Giuliani is in advance discussions to hire a new white

collar criminal defense attorney who`s a veteran of SDNY.  The

investigations into Mr. Giuliani as far as we can tell intersect with the

investigations into his business associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman,

who were arrested at Dulles Airport as they were about to use one way

tickets to fly out of the country.  Last week, our friends Lev and Igor

were arraigned in federal court in Manhattan on campaign finance charges. 

 

Well, an interesting today, the lawyer who represents Igor, Mr. Fruman,

today wrote to the judge in this case requesting a bail modification

hearing for his client tomorrow at 11:15 Eastern.  Mr. Fruman`s lawyer gave

the judge a heads up that at that hearing tomorrow, he`s going to ask the

judge to let Igor ditch his ankle bracelet. 

 

Quote: Based on information after we agreed to this condition, such a

condition is no longer the least restrictive condition that will reasonably

assure the appearance of Mr. Fruman at trial.  I respectfully request the

permission to describe the reason for this request more fully on the record

at the bail modification hearing tomorrow. 

 

What`s that about?  We reached out to our colleague, former U.S. Attorney

Joyce Vance, tonight to get her thoughts on why Igor Fruman`s attorneys

might be pitching this to the judge or reacting this way to his home

detention and his ankle bracelet.  She told us, quote: He`s likely upset

that probation is doing routine financial considerations on him because

he`s afraid they`ll uncover evidence of other crimes. 

 

Joyce says, quote, hilarious.  Been there before with defendants.  They

tried to act like a routine financial investigation all defendants in

federal cases go through is outrageous when it happens to them.

 

For what it`s worth, we don`t know what information was learned after Igor

Fruman agreed to home detention and wearing the ankle bracelet, information

that his lawyer says will now convince the judge Igor is a flight risk and

he should be able to take that ankle monitor off, but we`ll find out

tomorrow at that hearing.  I kind of can`t wait. 

 

Watch this space. 

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

MADDOW:  Odd late breaking news from “The New York Times” tonight. 

 

Apparently, last month, President Trump changed his official residence from

New York city to Palm Beach, Florida.  He`s now listing Mar-a-Lago as his

permanent residence.  A person close to the president telling “The Times”

the reason is, quote, tax purposes.  However that source also tells “The

Times” president Trump was, quote, infuriated by a subpoena filed by Cy

Vance, a Manhattan district attorney seeking the president`s tax returns. 

 

If changing his permanent residence is an effort to defeat the fact that

under New York state law, looks like he and his business might be in

criminal trouble, that`s bonkers – excuse me, that`s probably misguided. 

As “Times” puts it in their report tonight, quote, changing his residence

to Florida is not expected to have any effect on Mr. Vance`s case. 

 

There`s no indication that him changing his residency to Florida will

change his susceptibility to this lawsuit that`s going to get his taxes.  I

don`t know why the president would think that, but he`s also arguing in

court that he can`t be stopped by New York police officers if he starts

people on Fifth Avenue.  So, who knows what kind of advice he is giving

himself or taking from his legal team on matters like this?  Hmm.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

MADDOW:  One quick follow-up to that report we just had about the president

changing his official residence from New York City to Florida.  Governor

Andrew Cuomo has now responded to that report.  The response from the

governor is this.  Quote: Good riddance.  It`s not like Mr. Trump paid

taxes here anyway.  He`s all yours, Florida.  Aww. 

 

That does it for us tonight.  We`ll see you again tomorrow. 

 

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

 

Good evening, Lawrence. 

 

                                                                                                               

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