Giuliani associates facing criminal charged in NY. TRANSCRIPT: 11/11/19, The Rachel Maddow Show.

Guests:
Mike Quigley, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings
Transcript:

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST:  Good evening, Chris.  Thank you, my friend. 

Much appreciated. 

 

Thanks to you at home for joining us this hour as well. 

 

I always think it`s worth remembering and reiterating that while Memorial

Day is a very somber day in terms of commemorating Americans who have

sacrificed their lives for our country, today, Veterans Day, is a much

broader and almost purely celebratory occasion for everybody who has served

our nation in uniform.

 

I wish that we didn`t have to work on Veterans Day.  I wish more people

including us got the day off, honestly, but even though that part of

Veterans Day has eroded and more and more of us are either going to school

or working on this day, seems like year after year, fewer people get this

day off.  But it is still a big freaking deal and a happy occasion to

congratulate and thank and honor and, again, celebrate our veterans.  So

happy Veterans Day. 

 

Even though today is a federal holiday and a big one, the news cycle did

not skip a beat, either.  We are steaming, of course, toward the start of

the first public impeachment hearings on the Ukraine scandal the day after

tomorrow, Wednesday morning.  And there`s a lot to catch up on in terms of

that scandal and the developments around impeachment as we head towards

that public hearing.  It feels like it`s kind of piling up with each

passing hour.  So, let`s just – let`s just jump right in. 

 

And you know me, I always like to start with the weird stuff.  So, let`s

bring back my good friends, Lev and Igor.  Hi, guys.  These two gentlemen

have been indicted by federal prosecutors in New York in a criminal case

that is unfolding alongside the impeachment proceedings that are happening

on Capitol Hill involving the president.  Since these two men were arrested

at Dulles Airport with one-way tickets to Vienna, their legal cases have

diverged from each other a little bit. 

 

They were arrested together while they were planning to travel together. 

They initially had the same lawyers and appeared to be mounting a similar

defense, but they now appear to be sort of going their own individual ways. 

 

And now, lawyers for Mr. Parnas in particular, he`s the one here on the

left of the screen, I think of him as more the keyboard player and Igor

more as the drummer.  Mr. Parnas, the guy on the left, his lawyers now tell

“The New York Times” that this spring, as early as the first part of may

this year, he, Lev, and Igor, went to Ukraine to tell the Ukrainian

government that they were not going to get any military aid and

interestingly, they were not going to get Mike Pence at the inauguration of

the new Ukrainian president unless the Ukrainian government coughed up

investigations into Joe Biden and his son.  Investigations designed to help

President Trump in his 2020 re-election effort. 

 

You see the headline there in “The New York Times,” quote: Giuliani

associate says he gave demand for Biden inquiry to Ukrainians.  Quote: Not

long before the Ukrainian president was inaugurated in May, an associate of

Rudy Giuliani`s journeyed to Kiev to deliver a warning to the country`s new

leadership.  That associate, Lev Parnas, told a representative of the

incoming government that it had to announce an investigation into Mr.

Trump`s political rival Joe Biden and his son, or else, or else Vice

President Mike Pence would not attend the swearing in of the new president

and the United States would freeze aid to Ukraine. 

 

What a world we live in, right?  I mean, will the vice president of the

United States attend the inauguration of an important new national leader

in the capital city of one of our key strategic allies?  Well, I don`t

know, we`re going to have to run it through Lev, right?  Lev is the guy who

can broker that kind of thing. 

 

Is he with Igor?  OK, yes, of course, he`s with Igor.  Yeah.  Are they

going to – I mean, what a world. 

 

Now, do we believe that – do we believe Mr. Parnas in this assertion that

this is what he did in Kiev in May?  I mean, his lawyer further tells “The

New York Times” that Lev`s message to the Ukrainians, quote, was given at

the direction of Mr. Giuliani who Mr. Parnas believed was acting under Mr.

Trump`s instruction. 

 

Do we believe that?  Do we believe what Mr. Parnas said he was doing in

Ukraine of May of this year?  I don`t know. 

 

By the end of this administration, are any of us going to be able to

believe anyone ever again especially if they`re associated with the highest

levels of the U.S. government?  Will we ever regain our capacity to belief

someone when they speak?  I don`t know. 

 

I mean, everybody else associated with this story says that we shouldn`t

believe Lev on this.  Mr. Giuliani says he didn`t tell Lev to say anything

like that in Ukraine.  The guy from the Ukrainian government who they met

with in Kiev says, yes, I did meet with Lev and Igor at that time in

Ukraine, but they didn`t bring up military aid.  The Ukrainian government

guy pointedly not bringing up the issue of whether they threatened to

withhold the Mike Pence as well.  It just doesn`t address that part of it. 

 

Igor, himself, or at least Igor`s lawyers who are quite a dream team now,

his lawyer are one of Paul Manafort`s lawyers and one of Russia`s lawyers,

John Dowd, Igor admits through those lawyers, yes, he did go to Ukraine

with Lev for that meeting in early May and, yes, there was a discussion in

Russian over coffee at a cafe in Kiev between him and Lev and a guy from

the Ukrainian government.  He concedes all of that but says that, no, none

of these threats were delivered, not at least the way that Lev

characterizes them. 

 

And, again, I mean, who are you going to believe?  Who – do you believe –

do you believe anybody who asserts anything in the middle of this scandal? 

I mean, trying to sort out competing claims among associates of President

Trump and his lawyers is like trying to hold on to your lunch money at a

pickpocket convention without a money belt.  Good luck.  Hope you had

something stashed in your sock because anything that was in your pockets is

going to be gone. 

 

So, I don`t know whether we should believe these guys and their competing

claims as to what exactly they were doing in this extortion campaign and

when, and who was delivering what message, but Lev says he was over there

in early May saying, you`re not getting your aid and you`re not getting

your Mike Pence unless you cough up investigations of Joe Biden.  And

here`s the thing.  The military aid to Ukraine did get held up and Mike

Pence did cancel his plan to go to the inauguration of the new Ukrainian

president and the explanation at the time for why Mike Pence did that was a

little weak and a little weird. 

 

The vice president`s chief of staff said that Mike Pence`s trip to the

Ukrainian inauguration was canceled because nobody sent the advance team to

check it out.  The Secret Service didn`t go over there in advance to plan

it.  And so Mike Pence went to Canada instead of going to Ukraine.  That

was their explanation for why he didn`t go. 

 

Whether or not it was the fault of the Secret Service or the vice

president`s advance team failing to launch and failing to set up the

logistics for that inauguration, for whatever reason, Mike Pence did not go

– just as Lev allegedly threatened at that meeting in advance of the

inauguration.  Pence, in fact, didn`t show up. 

 

But you know who did show up?  You know who the U.S. government did send to

that inauguration in place of Vice President Pence?  They sent this guy. 

They sent Energy Secretary Rick Perry who you may recall somewhat

inexplicably quit his job all of a sudden as energy secretary as soon as

this impeachment scandal started to break open. 

 

Well, in a remarkable news story from the “Associated Press” today, we

learn a little bit about what Rick Perry did when he went over there for

that inauguration.  Again, Mike Pence was initially scheduled to go.  That

was canceled under strange circumstances.  Rick Perry went instead. 

 

And what did Rick Perry do while he was there?  Honestly, it sort of brings

it home.  My god, what must the Ukrainians think of us?  We`ve been so

condescending and patronizing and pushy with them about how corrupt they

are, right? 

 

When it comes to just the inauguration of their new president who ran on an

almost purely anti-corruption campaign, when it comes to the inauguration

of their new anti-corruption president, I mean, in “The New York Times”

today, there`s this story about how the Ukrainian government was threatened

that the vice president of the United States wouldn`t come to that

inauguration unless he could – unless the new government could satisfy

these guys, Lev and Igor, that Ukraine would help try to get Trump re-

elected by cooking up some fake investigation into Joe Biden. 

 

When Vice President Pence, indeed, canceled his trip to that inaugural,

Ukraine instead gets Rick Perry who, according to the “A.P.” today

basically brought his own U-haul full of grift to that first date.  Quote:

Two political supporters of U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry secured a

potentially lucrative oil and gas exploration deal from the Ukrainian

government soon after Rick Perry proposed one of the men as an adviser to

the country`s new president.  Quote: Ukraine awarded the contract to

Perry`s supporters a little more than a month after Perry attended

Zelensky`s inauguration.  In a meeting during that trip, during the

inauguration, Perry handed the new president a list of people he

recommended as energy advisers. 

 

One of the four names was his longtime political backer Michael Bleyzer.  A

week later, Bleyzer and his partner submitted a bid to drill for oil and

gas at a sprawling government-controlled site in Ukraine.  They offered

millions of dollars less to the Ukrainian government than their only

competitor for those drilling rights but nevertheless, their newly created

joint venture won the gig.  They were awarded a 50-year contract because a

government-appointed commission in Ukraine said they should get it. 

 

This same reporting team at the “A.P.” led by reporters Desmond Butler and

Michael Biesecker reported as early as the beginning of May, as early as

the first week of May, this new president-elect in Ukraine had convened his

advisers to talk about all the pressure he was getting from the Trump

administration to gin up some sort of investigation into Joe Biden. 

 

I mean, this guy is newly elected, newly elected on an anti-corruption

platform.  His country has been invaded by Russia.  His country is in an

ongoing war with Russia. 

 

We`re their most important political ally in the world.  We`re their

biggest source of military support.  And he, upon getting elected, even

before he`s sworn in, he`s simultaneously getting pressured to open

investigations into Joe Biden as a political favor for U.S. President

Donald Trump. 

 

He ultimately gets pressured that he`s not going to get a White House

meeting.  That U.S. military aid could be held up.  That the vice

president, who`s initially supposed to have come to his inauguration,

that`s going to get yanked. 

 

Meanwhile, a Trump cabinet official does show up at the inauguration and

slips him a piece of paper that says, hey, I got these buddies that are

into oil and gas stuff, I hear you have government-controlled bids going. 

I mean, Rick Perry goes over there for the inauguration and uses that

occasion in this context?  To put in a word for these two guys, both of

whom are big political donors to Rick Perry, including the guy who loaned

Rick Perry the use of his private jet for one of Rick Perry`s presidential

runs. 

 

Perry goes over there on May 20th for the inauguration of the new Ukrainian

president-elect, and that`s how he spends his time while he`s there. 

Trying to get his political donors a gig, an oil and gas drilling gig with

the new Ukrainian government.  And then a few weeks later, the Ukrainian

government bites the bullet and is like, OK, Rick Perry, your friends can

have a 50-year oil and gas contract on government-owned land here in

Ukraine, even though they offered many millions of dollars less than the

Ukrainian companies that bid for it.  I guess we have to give them to you. 

 

We`re lecturing them about corruption, right?  But even still, the U.S.

assistance, this crucial U.S. assistance to Ukraine was held up.  And over

the course of the past 24 hours, we`ve had a whole bunch of new information

filling in the gaps as to how that happened and when it happened and how

people inside our own government started to figure out what was going on

there because today the impeachment committees released testimony from

Laura Cooper, who is the deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia,

Ukraine, and Eurasia. 

 

You might remember her testimony happened the day that Republican Trump

supporters in Congress stormed the SCIF.  They stormed into the secure

hearing room that`s reserved for classified briefings and classified

testimony.  They took over the place even though they didn`t have clearance

to be in there.  They, like, ordered pizza and broke security and mounted

the stunt in there for hours and hours to physically block the impeachment

proceedings from going ahead. 

 

Laura Cooper is the Pentagon official whose testimony got delayed that day

for five-plus hours because of that stunt.  But ultimately, she did testify

and we got the transcript of that testimony today.  And in that transcript,

we get this really interesting window into her bewilderment as a seen year

defense department official responsible for that part of the world.  We get

a sense of sort of her bewilderment and shock about this crucial U.S. aid

to Ukraine being held up. 

 

It was, for example, Laura Cooper`s office at the Pentagon that put

together the announcement that Ukraine was about to get their long-planned

delivery of U.S. military aid.  This is from her transcript today.  Cooper

says, quote: By mid-June, we had announced and were moving out on it. 

Question: OK, when you say by mid June, we announced it, are you referring

to the May 18th public release by the Defense Department?  Answer: that`s

exactly what I`m referring to.  Thank you. 

 

Question: Were you involved in the issuance of that public release? 

Answer: Yes, I coordinated on the content of it.  Quote: I believe that my

staff helped to draft it in consultation with our public affairs staff and

they provided me with the draft for review and I approved.

 

Quote, question, and that release essentially said that the Defense

Department was planning on providing $250 million to Ukraine and security

cooperation funds?  Is that consistent with your recollection of the

release?  Answer: yes, that would be the gist of it. 

 

Question, what was the effect of this release on June 18th by the Defense

Department?  Answer: well, one effect was that the Ukraine embassy and the

Ukraine government thanked us for making that public.  They had been

looking for a public acknowledgement of the assistance.  Not because this

was unusual, they just appreciate it when allies publicly note what kind of

support we`re providing Ukraine. 

 

So, that was an immediate reaction.  We got a thank you phone call from the

Ukraine embassy, our team in Kiev at the defense attache office heard

appreciation.  Quote: But the second potential effect was that a few days

later, we got a question from my chain of command, forwarded down from the

chief of staff asking for follow-up on a meeting with the president.

 

Question, who was this email from?  You mentioned the chief of staff. 

Answer, yes, it came through a number of people before it reached my desk. 

I don`t recall exactly how many people, but it came from the chief of staff

to the secretary of defense in our building. 

 

Question: But you indicated you thought this might come from the White

House?  Answer: The way the email was phrased, it said follow-up from POTUS

meeting, so follow-up from a meeting with the president.  So, you know, I`m

thinking that the questions are probably questions from the president. 

That`s how I interpreted that subject line.

 

So, on June 18th, right, this is the senior Pentagon official with

responsibility for Ukraine, and it`s clear, like, she and her office think

this is normal.  This military aid has been approved.  It`s gone through

all its clearances.  They go through the trouble of publicly announcing it,

but then there`s a public announcement of it.  And so, then, they get the

questions from the president, from a meeting with the president, not just a

White House meeting, the president has questions about this. 

 

I mean, again, normal – normal chain of events here, military aid is going

to Ukraine.  Ukraine is delighted.  Ukraine says, thank you for saying

something publicly.  Your support means the world to us.  We got a thank

you phone call. 

 

But then the president hears that this aid is going to Ukraine and they get

this series of questions, right?  Wait a second, why is the president

concerned about this? 

 

And then in July, it all just starts to fall apart.  July 18th, Laura

Cooper sends her deputy to a White House meeting.  At that meeting, it`s

where it`s announced the White House has ordered a hold on some of the U.S.

government`s aid for Ukraine. 

 

At this point, Laura Cooper, this Defense Department official, seems to be

hopeful even if the other aid that`s help up to Ukraine, the aid that goes

through the State Department, at least the military aid is still going to

go through, right?  No. 

 

Five days later, on July 23rd, Cooper, herself, goes to participate in a

White House meeting.  She`s increasingly concerned because she still hasn`t

heard anything specifically about the military funds, but that other U.S.

aid that`s supposed to go through the State Department, she at that meeting

starts advocating for the release of those funds because those funds are

important, too, and why are those being held up? 

 

And sure enough, July 25th, the day of the call between President Trump and

the president of Ukraine, here comes the hammer.  She gets a legal document

at the Defense Department explaining that, in fact, the military aid is

being frozen, too, on orders from the White House.  And then the day after

the phone call, July 26th, she`s back up at the White House for another

meeting and all ambiguity is gone.

 

Quote: And there it was, to me, anyway, in my experience, it was the first

time it was stated very clearly that, yes, it is both the military funds

and the State Department funds that are both affected by this hold and that

it relates to the president`s concerns.  What kind of concerns?  The

president`s concerns about corruption.  Oh, yes. 

 

President Trump is very concerned about corruption, why he sent Rick Perry

over to go over there to the inauguration with the piece of paper in his

pockets with the names of his political donors he wants to get in on that

50-year Ukrainian gas contract.  Whoo!  Because the U.S. government`s

really concerned about corruption, in Ukraine.  Yes, that Ukrainian

government, they`re very corrupt. 

 

So this testimony from the senior Pentagon official, we just got the

transcript of it today, now indicates that it was the president`s

instruction that was holding up both the U.S. aid for Ukraine from the

State Department and the U.S. aid for Ukraine, the military aid from the

Defense Department. 

 

And “Bloomberg News” has some detailed and fascinating new reporting about

how half of that got freed up.  How the State Department side of that got

freed up.  In a previously unreported classified memorandum to Secretary of

State Mike Pompeo, State Department lawyers reportedly found that the White

House had no legal standing to block the spending of the Ukraine aid

because they had no legal standing to block it, the State Department in

early September freed up that aid to go to Ukraine, apparently without

telling President Trump that they were doing so.  The State Department

reportedly internally concluded that it was illegal to not send over those

funds to Ukraine before mid-September. 

 

Ultimately, the person who ordered the State Department to pull the trigger

after they`d conducted that legal analysis, it appears to have been John

Bolton, the national security adviser.  Quoting from “Bloomberg,” quote:

Shortly before September 9th, John Bolton had relayed a message to the

State Department that the funding could go ahead.  It`s not clear whether

Bolton did so with Trump`s approval.  Bolton resigned from his job one week

later. 

 

So, that`s how the State Department aid gets freed up.  The lawyers

conclude it has to go, legally, then John Bolton says, yeah, let it go,

then he quits his job. 

 

Now, the rest of the fund, the military funds, Laura Cooper, the senior

Defense Department official, she indicates in her testimony which we just

got today that it also appeared to be quite illegal for Trump to be

withholding that part of the funding, too.  She says in that meeting where

it finally became crystal clear that the president had ordered the

withholding of both the State Department money and the military money, she

says, quote, in that meeting, deputies immediately began to raise concerns

about how this could be done in a legal fashion. 

 

Quote: The comments in the room at the deputies` level reflected a sense

there was not an understanding of how this could legally play out.  Quote:

The expression in the room that I recall was the sense that there was not

an available mechanism to simply not spend money that in the case of the

State Department had already been notified to Congress and in the case of

the military assistance was money already earmarked for Ukraine.  So, the

senior leaders were expressing they did not see how this option was legally

available.

 

So you put all this together, and what we`ve got in all of this reporting,

all of this testimony released right ahead of the public impeachment

hearings that start the day after tomorrow, what we got is that while the

president and his amazing cast of characters were working to pressure the

Ukraine government that they had to announce investigations into the

Democrats and into Joe Biden, right?  While that was happening, the

president was simultaneously ordering the withholding of aid to Ukraine –

aid that was supposed to go through the State Department and aid to Ukraine

that was supposed to go through the military and in both instances, his

efforts to hold up that money and not disperse it appear to have been

illegal which both the State Department and the Defense Department were

well aware of and were actively discussing including in at least one

classified memo that they were using to advise at least one cabinet

secretary at the time. 

 

And while guys like Energy Secretary Rick Perry were working out their side

hustle to get their campaign donors drilling contracts from the new

Ukrainian government, while the Ukrainian government was desperate for our

assistance and support, and where, remember, the U.S. government is very

concerned that these Ukrainians might be corrupt, we really need them to up

their game when it comes to corruption because Rick Perry`s come and

somebody needs to get paid. 

 

So when one U.S. cabinet official, Rick Perry, is working his side hustle

for his campaign donors, right, and the vice president of the United States

may or may not be having his time brokered and his overseas trips vetted

and approved by Lev and Igor, and haplessly and desperately in the middle

of all of this mishegoss from this administration, there`s Ukraine, invaded

by Russia for whom we are the most important ally and the most important

source of support, including specifically the most important source of

military support.  And people inside the U.S. government who understand

what that country is going through and why we support them and how

important that is to us and them, I mean, they`re at their wits` end.  They

can`t quite believe this is happening the way it`s happening. 

 

I mean, here`s Laura Cooper.  Quote: So DOD, the Defense Department, was

concerned about the obligation of funds.  Policy, my team, we were also

concerned about any signal that we would send to Ukraine about wavering in

our commitment.  That`s another reason why – I mean, we did not want this

to be a big public discussion, you know, if we were about to get it turned

back on again because we didn`t want to signal lack of support.

 

Question, why would that be a problem for Ukraine?  Answer, so, the first

and easiest way of looking at that is looking at the peace process. 

Ukraine is trying to negotiate a peace with Russia.  If Ukraine is seen as

weak and if they are seen to lack the backing of the United States for

their armed forces, it makes it much more difficult for them to negotiate a

peace on terms that are good for Ukraine.

 

Question, OK, so what would weaken an ally?  That being Ukraine.  Is that

correct?  Answer, it would weaken a strategic partner.  Question, and it

would potentially strengthen our embolden Russia?  Answer, that is correct.

 

We also got testimony released today from two other Ukraine experts in the

U.S. government, Christopher Anderson on the right, Catherine Croft on the

left, both National Security Council officials.  They both testified about

this odd period in U.S. history that they lived through in their jobs this

year with all of our previous support and all stated U.S. policy to Ukraine

was suddenly up ended or weirdly put on the bubble. 

 

Catherine Croft is asked about the upset, anxiety in Ukraine, that it would

become known that the U.S. was maybe not supporting them anymore,

particularly against Russia.  Question, I think you said that word of that,

word of this hold on military assistance got to the Ukrainians and two

Ukrainian officials reached out to you quietly to ask you about this hold. 

Croft answers, yes, that`s right.

 

Question, now, you said the two Ukrainian embassy officials, you understood

that they had no interest in this becoming public.  Is that right?  Answer,

that`s correct, that`s correct.

 

Question, and why would they not want this to become public?  Answer,

because I think that if this were public in Ukraine, it would be seen as a

reversal of our policy and would, to say candidly and colloquially, this

would be a really big deal.  It would be a real big deal in Ukraine and an

expression of declining U.S. support for Ukraine.

 

Question, so as long as they thought they could work through what was

causing the hold, they wanted this to remain out of the public attention? 

Answer, exactly.

 

So the pressure on Ukraine to investigate his political rivals to help him

in his re-election effort, that`s what the president is being impeached

for.  And we will have public hearings on that subject starting the day

after tomorrow.  That said, the effort to put some real muscle into that

pressure by holding up legally appropriated funds from both the State

Department and the Defense Department, those efforts appear to have been

illegal or at least judged as such by officials and experts inside the

State Department and inside the Defense Department who were scrambling how

to figure out – scrambling to figure out what to do with these illegal

instructions. 

 

But on top of all of that, I mean, the damage we have just done to our

ally, right, Ukraine`s standing, particularly when it comes to their

ongoing war with Russia and the appearance of their strength and the

implications of that for their negotiating position with Russia while they

engage in negotiations with them over an ongoing war, I mean, that damage

is done.  That damage is done. 

 

And even though this whole scandal is so ham-handed as to be laugh out loud

funny every day, right, including Rick Perry over there bringing the anti-

corruption message of the U.S. government and the Trump administration to

bear, right?  That`s on one side of the car, where on the other side of the

card he`s got the name of his campaign donors because he needs them to get

the contract from the Ukrainian government, when we`re putting almost

unbelievable existential pressure on them.  Here`s a U.S. cabinet official

being like, hey, hook up my buddies. 

 

I mean, from that to Lev and Igor and Rudy Giuliani and all the rest of

these guys, through all of the other clowns in that particular clown car,

it`s ridiculous, right?  But then there`s a real country in the middle of a

real war with thousands of their citizens dead right in the middle of all

of this and the damage done to them, to our ally, an ally that really needs

our help against an adversary that has invaded them and taken part of their

country, and that means nothing but harm to us, that repair work obviously

cannot even begin as long as this administration is still in office.  Now

that we understand this much more about how they are conducting themselves. 

 

It`s not just about praising Vladimir Putin and having secret

communications with them all the time.  It`s at this is what we are doing

to our closest ally who is at most danger from Russia`s every move.  This

is what we`ve been doing to them.  Not threatening to do it, we`ve done it. 

 

And unless this president is removed in this impeachment process, that

repair job is going to be job one for the next president of the United

States.  If he is not removed by this impeachment process, we can`t start

that repair until he`s gone some other way.  Whoever replaces him will have

that as day one, job one, as the cleanup for what this guy`s already done. 

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

MADDOW:  As we head toward the first public hearings in the impeachment of

President Trump, we got new testimony released today from a senior Defense

Department official and we got new reporting from “Bloomberg News” about

how officials in the State Department and the Pentagon tried to cope with

these decisions by the White House to hold up State Department assistance

to Ukraine and to hold up military assistance to Ukraine, both on orders of

the White House, even though both of those holds appear to have been

illegal. 

 

On top of that, we also got news about the Trump White House in 2017 and

2018 holding up the provision of Javelin missiles to Ukraine.  And holding

up them not at that point in exchange for some investigation they wanted

about Joe Biden, no, they held up the Javelin missiles in 2017 and 2018 for

a different reason.  This is from today`s newly released testimony by State

Department official Catherine Croft. 

 

Quote: The Javelins, provision of the Javelin missiles, do you recall

whether there was a hold or freeze put on the javelins?  Answer: There was

a process, and there was one hold, there was one agency that put a hold on

that decision.  Quote: And which was that agency?  Answer: The Office of

Management and Budget in the White House.

 

Question: Did you understand why?  Answer: I understood the reason to be a

policy one.  Question: What was the policy one?  Answer: In a briefing with

Mr. Mulvaney, head of the Office of Management and Budget, the question

centered around the Russian reaction. 

 

Question: What was the concern around the Russian reaction?  Answer: That

Russia would react negatively to the provision of the Javelins to Ukraine. 

Question: What was the reaction of that concern from the other agencies? 

Answer: I don`t know if I can provide that information in an unclassified

setting. 

 

Question: OK, is there any way to provide it broadly?  Answer: Well, I can

say all the policy agencies were in support.  Question: And you mean in

support of providing the javelins?  Answer, Croft, yes, correct. 

 

Joining us now is Illinois Congressman Mike Quigley, a member of the House

Intelligence Committee.  Sir, thank you very much for joining us.  I

appreciate you being here. 

 

REP. MIKE QUIGLEY (D-IL):  Thank you.  Glad to be here. 

 

BURNETT:  So, I`m drowning in transcripts.  But I know you`ve been through

all these things live.  I wanted to read that one setting up this

discussion with you because I was struck by that sort of bold-faced

testimony that the White House made the decision to hold up javelin

missiles that were otherwise due to be delivered to Ukraine and all

agencies believed should be delivered on White House concerns that Russia

might mind. 

 

QUIGLEY:  Here`s what`s questioning.  What`s Mick Mulvaney doing making

that decision when he`s the head of OMB?  It`s extraordinarily unusual. 

 

It leads me to believe that Mick Mulvaney wasn`t making that decision in

his role, it was making that decision based on something the president was

saying or doing which is more consistent with the rest of the policy in

Ukraine.  The reasons that they state that they`re doing clearly aren`t the

case. 

 

MADDOW:  Well, Ms. Croft goes on to discussion in her testimony that this

direction, she seems to have been under the impression that this direction

on those javelin missiles came from the president.  It is hard for us, I

think, from the vantage point that we have as observers, people who`ve been

reading the transcript released by the impeachment committees, it`s hard

for us to discern how many people were acting of their own volition and how

many people were acting at the direction o the president. 

 

Is that something you can discern from your perspective on the intelligence

committee without being able to depose people like Mick Mulvaney, people

like Rick Perry, people like Rudy Giuliani? 

 

QUIGLEY:  It`s tough, but let`s look what`s in the public record.  You have

Mulvaney`s admission to this whole point.  You have the White House call

transcript.  You have the Volker text. 

 

You have all this testimony here that you piece together and the bottom

line is there`s absolutely no way this takes place.  All the things that

we`re learning about, the extortion of one of our closest allies, without

the president of the United States dictating that.  When these gang of

three or four go to the White House and talk about the new presidency in

Ukraine, the president keeps saying over and over again, talk to Giuliani. 

 

So, clearly, the shadow government, foreign policy they`re talking about,

has set aside the established cream of our diplomatic core so they can do

the president`s bidding to help him politically. 

 

MADDOW:  Congressman, I think a lot of people are wondering whether or not

we should expect the public hearings that start on Wednesday to be just a

public version of the kind of discussions that you all have been having

behind closed doors, that we can read these transcripts of now. 

 

Are – for Americans who have been sort of aware that this is going on, and

watching the headlines but not following it closely, should we expect that

people tuning in on Wednesday to watch those hearings, paying attention to

this closely for the first time, that they`ll be able to follow this in

basic terms starting from square one, or are you guys kind of picking up

with where you left off with these closed-door depositions? 

 

QUIGLEY:  Well, I think there`s a reason in a jury trial, they just don`t

hang out depositions in a civil case.  There`s a lot to be said for

watching these people testify.  And what struck me about them was they were

clear, they were consistent, they were compelling, and I think that they

showed the truth of what they were saying. 

 

I think it was very hard to bump them off their game.  I think that will

help a great deal as the American people watch their testimony. 

 

MADDOW:  We`re going to have to public hearings this week, sir, do you

anticipate that will be a pace going forward where we`ll have a couple of

hearings per week and it will go on for a little while.  Do you have any

sense of the overall timeframe here? 

 

QUIGLEY:  Look, some of this has to go with what time allows.  We do have a

time crumple here, unfortunately, one we didn`t create because of the White

House`s obstruction here and the fact so many of their witnesses were not

allowed to testify. 

 

I look back at Watergate, the Article 3 of the articles of impeachment

against Richard Nixon dictates four times in which Richard Nixon obstructed

that investigation.  We saw that happen once, in one day, they obstructed

four times where four people were supposed to testify did not because the

White House told them not to.  All of these witnesses were told not to. 

Many of them had the courage of their conviction to come forward. 

 

This is compelling testimony.  Only a small percentage of the American

people had read the special counsel`s report on what took place with

Russia.  Far more people watch these hearings as they took place.  I`m

hoping we have the same effect here coming this week. 

 

MADDOW:  Congressman Mike Quigley, member of the Intelligence Committee,

sir, good luck this week.  Thanks very much for joining us. 

 

QUIGLEY:  Thank you. 

 

MADDOW:  All right.  Much more ahead tonight.  Stay with us. 

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

MADDOW:  One of the landmark hearings in Congress this year was the

marathon testimony from President Trump`s longtime attorney Michael Cohen

during which Cohen made allegations of serious criminal wrongdoing by the

president from before the campaign all the way up to the White House.  That

was the Oversight Committee in Congress. 

 

It`s also the Oversight Committee that launched an investigation into

Trump`s immigration policy and family separations at the border.  It was

the Oversight Committee that has been relentless on the president`s alleged

efforts to use the presidency to his own financial advantage, whether it be

sending Vice President Pence to President Trump`s golf resort in Ireland

during his official visit to that country, or the president`s pitch to host

world leaders at the G7 at his own property in Miami. 

 

All of those oversight responsibilities all conducted under the leadership

of that committee`s chairman, Elijah Cummings.  And that was even before

that oversight committee took a central role in the ongoing impeachment

proceedings against the president.  The loss of Chairman Elijah Cummings

would be hard at any time, but it has been an incredibly heavy thing to

lose a leader with such gravitas, someone with such a clear ethical core,

at a critical time like this. 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT:  People will look back at this moment and

they will ask the question, what did you do?  And hearing him, we would be

reminded that it falls upon each of us to give voice to the voiceless and

comfort to the sick and opportunity to those not born to it and to preserve

and nurture our democracy. 

 

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE:  He had little tolerance for

those who put party ahead of country or partisanship above truth.  But he

could find common ground with anyone willing to seek it with him.  And he

liked to remind all of us that you can`t get so caught up in who you are

fighting that you forget what you are fighting for. 

 

MAYA ROCKEYMOORE CUMMINGS, WIDOW OF REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS:  Now, it is true

that he dictated every aspect of his service today and he would have told

me, Maya, I don`t want a service at the U.S. capitol, but I felt like very

strongly that they were trying to tear him down and we needed to make sure

that he went out with the respect and the dignity that he deserved. 

 

(CHEERS)

 

This was a man of the utmost integrity.  Do you hear me?  He had integrity. 

And he cared about our democracy.  He cared about our planet.  He cared

about our community.  He wanted to make sure that we left a society worthy

of our children. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

MADDOW:  The last woman you heard from there is Maya Rockymoore Cummings. 

She is Congressman Elijah Cummings` wife and now widow.  She`s always been

an impressive figure in her own right, most recently serving as chair of

the Maryland Democratic Party.  She spent more than two decades working in

the private and public sectors including at the National Urban League and

Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. 

 

And now, in the wake of her husband`s passing, a lot of people are

wondering whether she may run for the seat in Congress that was left by her

beloved late husband.  Maya Rockymoore Cummings joins us here for the first

time next. 

 

Stay with us.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

MADDOW:  Pleased to welcome to the show tonight, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings. 

She is the widow of Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings.  This is

her first television interview since the passing of her husband. 

 

Dr. Rockeymoore Cummings, it`s a real honor to have you here. 

 

ROCKEYMOORE CUMMINGS:  Thanks for having me on, Rachel. 

 

MADDOW:  So, your husband was a very, very valued guest here whenever we

could get him.  We`d talk to his staff and get a 20 percent chance or 12

percent chance or some minor chance that he could join us.  Whenever we

could, we`d hold the spot for him in the hope that he could be here. 

 

We miss him, both his role as a leader and this is somebody we could speak

to whenever we could.  I can`t imagine that this hasn`t been the most

difficult time of your life this past month. 

 

ROCKEYMOORE CUMMINGS:  It`s been a very challenging time, but I got to tell

you, we watched you every night, Rachel.  Even if he wasn`t on, he was

watching.  So, just know that he appreciated you as much as you appreciated

him. 

 

MADDOW:  Oh, that – my heart swells.  Thank you for saying so. 

 

I wanted to talk to you tonight in part because I know that you spoke with

“The Baltimore Sun” recently about your own health and your own status, but

also I believe that you`ve been doing something about your own plans and

the status of your husband`s seat.  I wanted to invite you to share some of

that with us. 

 

ROCKEYMOORE CUMMINGS:  So, tomorrow, I will announce that I will be running

for the Congress, the seventh congressional district of Maryland.  I

believe very strongly that, you know, I have the background and the focus

and the commitment and the ability to take the reins and to make a good run

for this seat.  I fought right alongside Elijah for the last 12 years and

we knew each other another 10 years before that.  And so, I`ve been on this

path for fighting for the soul of our democracy, for fighting for health

care, education, for a better America for all. 

 

And so, he want – he wanted me to continue this fight, and I`m going to

continue this fight and run the race and prayerfully win. 

 

MADDOW:  So you and your husband talked about this before his passing?  He

was enthusiastic about the idea of you carrying this and trying to take

this burden on for yourself? 

 

ROCKEYMOORE CUMMINGS:  Yes, we – you know, we`ve been discussing this for

quite some time because he had been ill for quite some time.  And he had

been pondering his future and what would happen to the seat.  So, about six

months ago, we were talking and he said, you know, I really do think you

should take this seat. 

 

And so with that, you know, he would have expected it of me, and I`m going

to continue the fight.  The fact of the matter is I`ve been fighting all

along.  I have a track record of working on issues like Social Security,

and Medicare, health care and economic security, and certainly technology,

even. 

 

And so, you know, I was in the forefront of the battle to take on George W.

Bush when he tried to privatize the system.  I`ve been working hard in the

trenches at every level of government to advance policies of healthy

working families.  So, I`m prepared and I`m ready to roll up my sleeves and

address what Baltimore needs. 

 

Baltimore is a city of great potential, but it has lopsided economic

outcomes, lopsided health care outcomes, lopsided education outcomes, and

the poorest people of the black and brown population of the city and

certainly surrounding areas are in need of somebody who is willing to

launch what I call an inclusion revolution, someone who is ready to tackle

the structural challenges that are facing the city and the surrounding

areas.  I believe that a better future is possible for Baltimore.  And so,

I`m looking forward to bringing everything I`ve got to make sure we ever a

better future for the city and the region. 

 

MADDOW:  Dr. Cummings, I wanted to ask you about this conversation you had

with “The Baltimore Sun” this week, that you plan to have a preventative

double mastectomy this week, which is an incredible decision, must be a

momentous decision for you at the same time you`re making this huge

decision for your future.  Can you tell me why you went public with this

decision and how serious this is for you? 

 

ROCKEYMOORE CUMMINGS:  Let me just say this was scheduled before running

for office was ever a consideration, before Elijah`s health really took a

bad turn for the worst.  He went with me to the doctor`s appointment where

I got a consultation about this option, and he agreed and begged me several

times before he passed away to prioritize myself.  And so with that, I

decided to keep, even though he passed away and even though this race is

now before me, I decided to keep my promise to him, and I will keep this

appointment on Friday where I will do this. 

 

I should tell you that my mother died of stage 4 breast cancer in 2015.  My

sister was diagnosed with stage 2 last year.  She`s my little sister

diagnosed with stage 2.  She had a double mastectomy, and now I want to get

ahead of the curve and take basically the bull by the horns and stop it in

its tracks before it ever begins. 

 

So I`m going to do this, and the way I`m going to do it is by moving

forward, one step at a time, one day at a time.  That being said, although

it will take two to four weeks in terms of recovery, I will be laser-

focused on making sure that I am active, making sure that my campaign is

strong, that I`m doing everything I need to do to fund-raise and of course

focus on social media and the things that I can do to have a presence even

while I`m not physically able to be out in the community. 

 

MADDOW:  Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, thank you so much for talking with

us about all these matters.  And stay in touch with us.  We`d love – we`d

love – you keep us apprised as you go through all these decisions.  Thank

you so much for being here, ma`am.

 

ROCKEYMOORE CUMMINGS:  Thank you.  MayaforCongress.com.

 

MADDOW:  Well done.  We`ll be right back.  Stay with us.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

MADDOW:  When you see people lining up outside the U.S. Supreme Court, you

know a big case is on the way.  The people who lined up today outside the

court plan to stay all night tonight so they can get a seat inside the

court tomorrow morning for oral arguments over DACA, the Obama era program

that protects 700,000 young people in this country from being deported. 

The Trump administration is trying to end that program.  They want to

deport all the Dreamers.

 

But lower courts, thus far, have rejected that Trump decision as arbitrary

and capricious.  And so, the question now goes to the Supreme Court. 

 

One of the young Dreamers, Martin Batalla Vidal, caught the bus from New

York to D.C. with his mom today.  He`s one of the named parties in the case

that`s going to be argued.  He`s going to be there tomorrow inside the

court for oral arguments. 

 

He told “The Associated Press” today, quote, I don`t know what`s going to

happen.  Whatever the outcome is, we know we fought hard for it and we will

continue fighting.  I`m trying to be positive. 

 

In terms of governance, this case has potential to impact how far the

president can go in rolling back established policy of all kinds.  If this

was done in an arbitrary and capricious manner and the court is going to

block him from doing so, that might mean a lot in terms of other policies

that were treated in the same way. 

 

But in human terms, in terms of what happens now for literally hundreds of

thousands of people in this country, the Supreme Court case on DACA and the

Dreamers tomorrow, it`s as big as it gets.  That hearing is scheduled to

start at 10:00 a.m. Eastern tomorrow.  We`re all over it. 

 

Watch this space.  That does it for us tonight.  We will see you again

tomorrow. 

 

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

 

Good evening, Lawrence. 

 

                                                                                                               

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