Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: February 22, 2019 Guest: Deborah Pearlstein, William Rashbaum, Ellie Mystal, Joaquin Castro, Chris Lu, Marcy Hamilton
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST: That is "HARDBALL" for now. Thank you for being with us. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.
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CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would you consider a pardon for Paul Manafort?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don`t want to talk about it now.
HAYES: Did Paul Manafort pardons strategy just go through?
PAUL MANAFORT, FORMER CHAIRMAN, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: That`s what I said, that`s obviously our position is.
HAYES: Tonight, reports that new charges are coming for the man who ran Trump`s campaign as we await the last major court filing in Mueller`s Manafort case. Then, breaking news from the New York Times.
MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER LAWYER OF DONALD TRUMP: The man doesn`t tell the truth.
HAYES: What we know about the new information Michael Cohen gave investigators about the Trump family business. Plus, growing calls for the resignation of Trump`s Labor Secretary over his handling of an infamous sex abuse case.
TRUMP: That seems like a long time ago.
HAYES: And Democrats start their push to terminate the President`s emergency.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: There is no emergency at the border.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
PELOSI: There isn`t going to be a wall.
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HAYES: Good evening from Los Angeles, I`m Chris Hayes. It appears Michael Cohen is not done informing on the President to federal prosecutors. According to a new report out tonight, Cohen met with prosecutors in Manhattan as recently as last month offering up dirt on possible wrongdoing at the President`s family business the Trump Organization. We have more on that story with the reporter who broke it ahead.
But first, Robert Mueller isn`t done either. After multiple outlets citing sources familiar with the discussions reported that the Justice Department was preparing to get Mueller`s final report as soon as next week, today, an anonymous senior DOJ official push back. The official telling NBC News and others that Mueller`s report will not be delivered to the Attorney General at any time in the next week.
OK, not clear exactly where the mixed messages are coming from but the President now says he`s eager for the report to come out.
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TRUMP: You know, the nice part, there was no collusion, there was no obstruction, there was no anything. So that`s the nice part. There was no phone calls, no nothing. So I look forward to seeing the report. If it`s an honest report, it will say that.
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HAYES: You catch the no phone calls part there? No phone calls? Little weird. While we may not get to see the final Mueller report in the immediate future, we will get to see a key document in the case against the President`s campaign manager Paul Manafort. In fact, we`re expecting at any now. Tonight is the deadline for Mueller`s prosecutors to file a sentencing memo in Washington D.C. where Manafort pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy involving his work in Ukraine.
Previous court filings held tantalizing clues about what Mueller knows and where he`s going. You might remember we learned from a redaction fail by Manafort`s own lawyers that their client had shared polling data during the 2016 campaign with his Russian-Ukrainian associate Konstantin Kilimnik.
We also learned for the transcript of a closed hearing that Manafort`s contacts with Kilimnik who since has been indicted had fled to Russia, as one prosecutor put it "very much to the heart of what the special counsel office is investigating." Tonight, sentencing memo could contain more information on what exactly that means. We learned from that same transcript a possible reason why Manafort breached his plea deal by lying to investigators as a judge ruled last week.
Prosecutors said Manafort might have lied to them about an extremely sensitive issue to increase his chances of getting a presidential pardon. That is not the craziest idea on Manafort`s part. After all, the President has explicitly said that a pardon for his campaign manager is still a possibility. But now, state prosecutors in New York are pursuing a strategy to hold Manafort accountable regardless of whether the President intervenes.
NBC News has now confirmed a story first reported by Bloomberg that the Manhattan District Attorney is getting ready to charge Manafort with tax evasion and other state crimes. Presidential pardons only apply to federal charges. Let`s go to one of the reporters who broke that story from NBC News, Investigative Correspondent Jonathan Dienst. And Jonathan, what do we know about what the Manhattan D.A. is up to?
JONATHAN DIENST, NBC NEWS INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: We know the Manhattan da has a grand jury looking into the actions of Paul Manafort, that they`re looking into bank fraud possible tax violations and others at the state level and that that process is moving forward. We know subpoenas have been issued. We know witnesses are being called and we know that there are plans perhaps in the coming weeks to file state related charges here in New York.
It is unclear to us at this hour whether the Manhattan D.A. is going to make those charges public and move forward with them or keep them sealed as he watches and waits and sees what happens with the federal case with Mr. Manafort. But we can confirm that the investigation is very much ongoing out of the Manhattan district attorney`s office here in New York looking into state charges that could include mortgage fraud and tax fraud and other related financial matters.
HAYES: Explain to me that decision that he would make them public or keep them sealed. What -- why would he keep them sealed?
DIENST: Well, if Mr. Manafort is sentence of 25 years in prison which is effectively a life sentence for a 70 year old man and there is no pardon, then perhaps there`s no reason to move forward and put the resources of state taxpayers, you know, in putting another trial forward. The New York Times is reporting that the plan as of now is to move forward with charges regardless but we`ve been told it could go either way and that is still something being discussed and considered.
HAYES: And obviously, two considerations here. One, the president can`t pardon state crimes which is clearly friend of mine and driving part of the thinking here. Number two, there are double jeopardy protections these charges have to be different obviously in the federal charges right?
DIENST: Yes. As explained to us, they are different. That federal tax crimes, federal financial crimes are different than the state crimes that would be outlined in the state law violations that have been outlined. It`s not as if he`s been tried once and then going to be tried again on the same crimes. This -- the prosecutor`s position is that these are different charges. These were state crimes and that if they move forward, they would be looking to hold them accountable for those.
HAYES: You -- we may not know the answer to this but I`ll ask it. Is -- do we have any sense of if there`s a trigger for why this may have started or when it started or if this is just Cy Vance the Manhattan State D.A. sort of reading the headlines like everyone else?
DIENST: Our best understanding is that he had started looking into this and then he deferred to the special counsel and that investigation into Manafort and then once that seemed to be wrapping up, that office restarted its work. So the Manhattan D.A. show deference to Bob Mueller but now they are moving forward with taking a look at what state crimes may have been violated.
HAYES: All right, Jonathan Dienst, thank you very much.
DIENST: Thank you.
HAYES: For more on prosecutors pardoned proof strategy, the end game of the Mueller investigation and more, I`m joined by MSNBC Legal Analyst Jill Wine-Banks former Watergate Prosecutor and Deborah Pearlstein who`s a Professor of Constitutional Law at Cardozo Law School at Yeshiva University. Professor Feldstein, let me start with you. Walk us through the way the pardon works and its limitations in terms of state crimes.
DEBORAH PEARLSTEIN, PROFESSOR OF CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, CARDOZO LAW SCHOOL, YESHIVA UNIVERSITY: So the President`s pardon power under the Constitution is really substantially unlimited. The President can pardon whoever he wants as long as he`s partying them for a federal crime, for conduct that might be illegal under federal law.
The President`s power under the Constitution does not extend at all to state crimes. And states have been treated for the last 170 years as separate sovereigns under our law so that -- although the Supreme Court just took a case on this topic which we can talk about, generally double jeopardy concerns don`t attach.
The state government is a separate sovereign and can move forward on its own regardless what the President does with respect to federal crimes.
HAYES: Jill, did you have it -- was there any talk about this back during the Nixon days. I wonder if this is a strategy that`s been worked out before or wargaming before.
JILL WINE-BANKS, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: We never talked about what state crimes might have been committed by the President or any of his other colleagues. We never worried much about that. We did obviously run into the pardon issue because as soon as he was resigned, we felt OK, if you didn`t think we could indict a sitting president, we certainly can indict a non-sitting president, a former president.
But within the time that it took to discuss returning a new indictment and whether it would impact the trial of the other defendants, the new president, President Ford pardoned Richard Nixon for all crimes that he might have ever committed. So it was a prospective. He hadn`t been indicted and he was still pardoned and our research showed that we really had no option that the pardon as a professor just said it is a very unlimited and powerful piece of power that he has to pardon. It cannot be undone. But it doesn`t apply to the state.
HAYES: Professor, so there`s a sort of interesting constitutional question here because of the power of the pardon, right, which is in the text of the Constitution essentially unconstrained as far as I can tell and yet it does seem intuitively that if you were to say, hey criminal co-conspirator I`m going to pardon you if you keep silent that that`s obviously some kind of violation.
And we do know that the -- it`s the position of the Mueller team at least in their transcripts they say they talked about why he would behave the way he is that it would have I think negative consequences determine the other motive Mr. Manafort could have which is to at least argument a chance of a pardon. And we know from the Times that there were discussions with the lawyers about that. What legal constitutional status does a pardon dangle if such exists have?
PEARLSTEIN: Well, this is a question that`s come up a great deal over the course of the Mueller Investigation. And the issue is not whether or not the president has the power to pardon whomever he wishes. I think it`s clear that he does. But the president doesn`t have the power to violate other laws including laws that prohibit obstruction of justice.
So for example, if it were shown that the president was dangling a pardon or offering a pardon or extending a pardon for the purpose of obstructing justice, for the purpose for example of making it possible for Mr. Manafort to in some way continue to not give full information, to not make a full disclosure to the special prosecutor or any other investigation, then there might be concerns that it was being used in a corrupt manner. That the pardon power was being used just like any other otherwise lawful power could be used for unlawful purposes.
And there I think there would be an unusual and specialized question under constitutional law one doesn`t encounter every day, but that`s about par for the course with this --
HAYES: Well, and here`s where we get to me where the rubber hits the road, Jill, and this is just based on accounts from James Comey and Andrew McCabe and other people in the inside circle. The President doesn`t seem like the kind of person who would have his lawyers or would say personally like I want you to not -- like to shut up so I`ll give you a pardon.
What seems totally possible in the mode that these people have develop rhetorically and we`ve seen this in organized crime for years is basically a communication like the President knows that you know you`ve been through a tough time and if you tell the truth, maybe there can be some mercy at the end of it. Something that`s sort of plausibly deniable enough and that seems to me the sort of heart of all of this which is the -- what is the intent of the President and all these crimes he`s doing all these things that look pretty sketchy but there`s some kind of account they could contend is legitimate.
BANKS: I would have no hesitation as a prosecutor bringing an obstruction of justice case for the use of a legitimate power of the president that is done for corrupt purposes. So that would include firing James Comey, it would include firing Sally Yates, it would include any pardon that he gives. And I think the very fact that his first part was to a person who was Sheriff Joe Arpaio was a message sent to all the other potential witnesses against him, don`t worry, you don`t have to cooperate with the court. I will take care of you.
And I think that that is also a part of him sending a message, is part of an obstruction, and I think we can infer his intent, his corrupt intent under the law by the combination of things that he has done, and I think that that would be a valid and legitimate case.
HAYES: All right, Jill Wine-Banks and Deborah Pearlstein, thank you both for making time tonight. Have a great night.
BANKS: Thank you.
PEARLSTEIN: Thank you.
HAYES: Next, breaking news tonight, the President`s former right-hand man provided new information in federal authorities. We`re just learning about this today about the Trump family business. One of the reporters who broke that story joins me in just two minutes.
HAYES: Breaking news tonight. Michael Cohen has offered up new information on the Trump family business to federal prosecutors. According to a report from the New York Times, the President`s former lawyer who worked at the Trump Org for years spoke about possible irregularities within the President`s family business and about a donor to inaugural committee according to people familiar with the matter, specifically about insurance claims the company had filed over the years.
Cohen will testify at three separate hearings in D.C. next week behind closed doors before both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees and publicly before the House Oversight Committee in just five days. To walk us through exactly what has taken place here, I`m joined on the phone by one of the reporters who broke the New York Times story, Senior Writer William Rashbaum.
William, what do we know about the conditions under which Michael Cohen met with the prosecutors and what he told them?
WILLIAM RASHBAUM, SENIOR WRITER, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, he met with him on a holiday on Martin Luther King Day. He went in perhaps on the holiday to attract less attention and they discussed a number of topics including as we reported their interest in Imaad Zuberi and he told them about these business practices that he alleged involved, certain proprieties.
HAYES: And the improprieties relate to insurance? Is that the -- is that your what you`re reporting indicates?
RASHBAUM: Well, our understanding is that they related to insurance claims that Trump organization made. That`s what he alleged. It`s unclear precisely what that involved and exactly what the federal investigators have found so far in the last few weeks since he -- since he made those allegations.
HAYES: So just so I`m clear on this. This is -- he`s meeting with the Southern District right, not with the Mueller team on this, is that right?
RASHBAUM: That`s right. That`s right.
HAYES: And he has talked -- we know he`s spent a fair amount of time already since he was rated and indicted and arraigned like with both of those offices correct? This has been an ongoing communication.
RASHBAUM: Well, he was briefed extensively by the investigators in Mr. Mueller`s office. I think in total there were 70 hours of briefings. Most of that involved Mr. Mueller`s prosecutors. He also spent I believe two days with prosecutors for the Southern District, but Mr. Cohen chose not to cooperate fully with the Southern District and as a result of that, the information he provided was in their view limited.
HAYES: Yes, that`s right. When they -- when it was time for them to sort of talk about sentencing, they were pretty harsh about him being squirrely evasive and not particularly forthcoming.
RASHBAUM: Right. I mean, they were -- the sentencing memo was extremely harsh. I think in the paper we called it scathing. I do think that you know, his most recent session was in all likelihood part of an effort to provide information that might prompt the prosecutors to file a motion under a certain section of the federal law that would allow them to seek a sentence reduction or post-sentencing reduction for him. Whether that will ultimately happen obviously remains to be seen.
HAYES: Final question, the donor in question from the inaugural committee that you`re reporting indicates was part of the conversation that he had. We know they`re looking into the inaugural committee. Can you tell us more about that?
RASHBAUM: Well, Imaad Zuberi was the one person who was actually named in the southern districts subpoena, grand jury subpoena to the inaugural committee which I think was a few weeks ago and exactly where that will go. And precisely the upshot of the information that Mr. Cohen provided sort of remains to be seen at this point.
HAYES: All right, William Rashbaum, thank you so much for making the time. For more on what this means for Michael Cohen and Donald Trump, I`m joined by Elie Mystal, Co-Editor-in-Chief for Above the Law. What do you make of this Elie, right, like they cooperate, you`ve got this weird thing that happens where there`s to sentencing memos. The Mueller team says yes, he`s been pretty good. The SDNY says he has not helped us at all and we`re pretty furious about that. And now he`s back in there on Martin Luther King Day.
ELIE MYSTAL, CO-EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, ABOVE THE LAW: Yes. I think what it tells us is that SDNY is going to be part of Donald Trump`s life for the rest of his natural life, all right. SDNY is coming that Trump likes syphilis. It`s going to make him crazy and it`s never going away. Everybody is so worried about like, oh the Mueller report, is it going to happen this week, is it going to happen next week, when is it going? SDNY is going to be here. It`s going to be here now. It`s going to be here when Trump is out of office. It`s going to be here for his family. It`s going to be here for his grandkids if he`s not careful.
So I think overall what we see today is that the SDNY is continuing to pull threads on the Trump Organization which appears to be pretty you know, criminally implicated in lots of different ways and they continue to pull that thread. Now what does it mean for Cohen?
There`s no -- there`s no upside for Cohen given that he has already been sentenced. There is no upside for Cohen unless he can actually give them information that leads to the prosecution right? This is a -- this is -- he is now in the like 1-800 tips line part of the -- part of his life where like unless he gets somebody convicted, like he`s going to stay in jail for three years. So the only thing that`s worth it for them -- for him to say is something that he and SDNY think could lead to prosecution of another individual.
HAYES: So you know, I thought about this in light of the insurance part of that reporting which is was interesting and I hadn`t quite thought it before but someone on our staff remember that Donald Trump -- this was about the hurricane damage. This is the 2016 A.P. story that he took $17 million insurance for damage that if you remember, he received $70 million insurance payment in 2005 for hurricane damage to Mar-a-Lago, but the Associated Press has found little evidence of such large-scale damage.
It is -- you know, you can -- people get prosecuted for insurance fraud. That`s a thing the happens in the world. It`s interesting that that term jumped out in that article.
MYSTAL: Yes. I mean, I`m going to have to give credit to my wife here because she`s been saying this for three years now. If we`ve seen so much evidence that Trump committed some kind of illegality or crime in the run- up to the election, if we`ve seen so much evidence that Trump committed some kind of illegality or crime in terms of obstruction while he was president, what makes us think that he hasn`t committed many, many, many crimes over his long and disastrous business career, right?
And so at some point, and I think SDNY is the right point, SDNY has to start investigating actual crimes that happen at the Trump Organization. And you`re exactly right to bring up this insurance fraud thing because that start -- that`s -- what you`re looking at insurance fraud, you were going -- the SDNY is not limited in scope like the Mueller investigation is to just looking at collusion between Russia.
The SDNY can follow the money and they seem to be following the money and that should be terrifying for Trump, and Jared, and Don Jr., and Eric, and Ivanka.
HAYES: Well, and a thing that we always forget which I say -- which I would say is hard to digest. Michael Cohen implicated the president in the commission of the federal felony to which he has pleaded and is sentenced for yes in federal court, in Southern District, with the approval of federal prosecutors who have talked to other people around said crime in which he is individual one who Michael Cohen said directed the crime. That in and of itself, many prosecutors said, is an indictable crime if the man didn`t happen to be sitting in the White House.
MYSTAL: Yes. And that`s why I keep saying he`s not going to be sitting in the White House forever. All right? Like impeachment is a political issue but at some point he`s no longer going to be president and SDNY I believe is going to be waiting for him.
HAYES: Yes, and there`s a question there of statute of limitations particularly on the campaign crimes. It is possible that if it`s -- you just limited that, the president ends up running for re-election to essentially stay out of criminal exposure which is to say if he`s elected, his sort of force field that protects him from being indicted extends for another four years and maybe he can get away with it which is a pretty perverse situation to find ourselves in.
MYSTAL: Nobody needs to win this election more than Donald Trump.
HAYES: Ellie Mystal, thank you so much for joining us.
MYSTAL: Thank you.
HAYES: Just ahead, Democrats unveiled their resolution to stop Donald Trump`s emergency and the man leading that charge joins me next.
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PELOSI: There is no emergency at the border. It`s a mythology of the president, not a reality at the border. And so people have to realize that.
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HAYES: From the -- from the first day a week ago when Donald Trump declared a national emergency to pay for a border wall and while Mexico was supposed to pay for, Democrats have vowed to stop him. Today introduced a resolution to terminate that so-called emergency, Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the house is going to vote on it on Tuesday.
If it passes, and it will almost certainly will, it goes to the Senate where by law it must be voted on within 18 days. Texas Democratic Congressman Joaquin Castro wrote the resolution that would block the president`s emergency declaration and he joins me now. I read the resolution. It`s basically a paragraph saying the emergency is withdrawn fairly straightforward.
REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO (D), TEXAS: Yes, it is, you know. And about six weeks ago when it started -- the rumor started that the President might call a national emergency to build his border wall, my staff and I started working with the legislative council to figure out the most foolproof way that we could get Congress to take a vote on it and not just the House but get the Senate to vote.
So this should pass in the House. We have about 228 co-sponsors now, and then the Senate will have to vote on it. Susan Collins has already said that she`ll support the resolution so we need about three more Republican Senators. I believe that we can get them between now and the Senate vote, and then after that it`s up to the president.
HAYES: Am I correct that you only have one Republican co-sponsor in the House?
CASTRO: That`s right. So far Justin Amash of Michigan who`s been very libertarian minded Republican is the only Republican co-sponsor so far even though, Chris, we tried to make it very bipartisan in how we`ve approached it. I have said that I believe this is a matter of a constitutional power grab by the president, yet this president has sought to undermine the legitimacy of the judiciary and now he`s basically going after Congress.
And I think that if we allow him to do it this time, this will not be the last time he tries to undermine the Congress and take power from the United States Congress.
HAYES: What`s striking to me is that you`ve had numerous senators voice their unease, right, whether they actually end up voting against it or not is another question, but a bunch of senators voiced their unease. We know from reporting McConnell and Cornyn tried to get the president not to do it in the first place, right.
HAYES: People that...
CASTRO: Yeah, Jon Cornyn said this was a terrible idea, that this was a terrible idea. So, I wanted to make sure that they have an opportunity to express that perspective by voting on this resolution in the near future.
HAYES: But it`s striking to me that, you know, the conservative intelligentsia has said the same thing. This opens the door. It`s striking to me you`ve got one -- you can find one Republican in the House of Representatives our of the -- what are there, there`s 200 of them there now, the one to co-sponsor?
CASTRO: Yeah, well I still have until Tuesday. So, we still have a few more days.
Look, we`ve been working the phones...
HAYES: Maybe you`re not working hard enough, yeah.
CASTRO: Yeah. It`s tough, as you know. I mean, I think a lot of these folks, they are just deathly afraid of how Donald Trump commands the base of the Republican Party. They`re scared of a primary challenge. They`re scared that he`s going to say something bad about him over Twitter and they`re going to get a primary opponent.
But this is -- this is a time when they really need to step up and put fears of losing their own primary -- they need to put that aside and stand up for the country.
HAYES: I want to play something the president said for you today, because it`s -- it continues to just tell patent and obvious, easily discreditable lies about the situation at the border. This is what he had to say today. Take a listen.
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TRUMP: We need a wall. We`ve apprehended more people than we have in many, many years, apprehended, meaning we`ve gotten -- with a wall, we wouldn`t even have to apprehend them.
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HAYES: Apprehended more people than we`ve gotten in many, many years. It`s just not -- here`s the chart. It`s just not true. And this has been the strategy from the beginning. That`s what apprehensions look like.
CASTRO: Yeah. That`s right. I mean, look, we -- apprehensions are at a four decades low.
We also have more federal, state and local law enforcement presence at the border then we`ve had in the nation`s history. We literally have more manpower there then we`ve ever had in the nation`s history.
What`s going on here for Donald Trump is that Mexico refused to pay for the wall, congress refused to pay, and now he`s insisting that the American taxpayers pay for the wall.
HAYES: Are you growing a beard so that people don`t confuse you and your twin brother Julian Castro who is running for president? I read that somewhere.
CASTRO: I said that I would try not to look like a certain presidential candidate. So, I hope you like the beard here.
HAYES: You know, I read -- I think I read into you -- I actually don`t know to this day whether it was you or Julian I ran into at...
CASTRO: Well, that`s the problem, see.
HAYES: At Beto`s event on election night and had a whole conversation. Afterwards, I was like, which one -- I don`t know.
CASTRO: That was my brother. He lives in El Paso.
HAYES: We figured that out. I`m glad you`re going with the beard., it`s helping everyone out here. All right, Congressman Joaquin Castro, thank you for your time.
CASTRO: Thank you.
HAYES: Ahead, Trump`s Labor secretary is the latest cabinet official facing a massive scandal. He`s now facing calls for his resignation. That story ahead.
And next, Thing One, Thing Two. We just couldn`t let it get away.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, it`s not so often that one Dutch historian can go viral twice, that`s what happened when Rutger Bregman -- great name -- called out the hypocrisy at the Davos Economic Forum in Switzerland last month.
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RUTGER BREGMAN, HISTORIAN: This is my first time at Davos. And I find it quite a bewildering experience, to be honest. I mean, 1,500 private jets flown in to hear Sir David Attenborough speak about, you know, how we`re wrecking the planet. And I mean, I hear people talking the language of participation and justice and equality and transparency, but then I mean almost no one raises the real issue of tax avoidance, right, and of the rich just not paying their fair share.
I mean, it feels like I`m at a firefighters conference and no one is allowed to speak about water. We`ve got to be talking about taxes, taxes, taxes. All the rest is [EXPLETIVE DELETED] in my opinion.
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HAYES: The video of a historian sticking it to the globalist elite at Davos, that was like catnip for one Fox News host who invited Bregman on his show to revel in the poning.
You know old fable about the frog and the scorpion? That`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.
HAYES: So when historian Rutger Bregman called out the super rich to their faces at Davos, Tucker Carlson had to have him on his Trump TV show, and so they pretaped an interview and then he spiked it. The interview never made it on the air, but Bregman himself recorded things from his end and released it on the Internet.
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TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: That`s one of the great moments, maybe the great moment in Davos history. And part of it makes me wonder, are you the first person ever to note that people are flying private to talk about global warming and then none of them mention tax avoidance?
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HAYES: It started off well enough, but the reason we only have Bregman`s recording is because the Dutch historian went from calling out Davos to calling out Tucker.
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BREGMAN: Well, what the Murdochs basically want you to do is to scapegoat immigrants instead of talking about tax avoidance. So, I`m glad you`re finally raising the issue, but that`s what`s been happening for the past couple of years.
TUCKER: And I`m taking orders from the Murdochs, is that what you`re saying?
BREGMAN: Well, it doesn`t work that directly, it works by you taking their dirty money. It`s as easy as that. I mean, you are a millionaire funded by billionaires, that`s what you are. It`s true, right, that all the anchors, all the anchors on Fox, they`re all millionaires.
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HAYES: And things pretty much fell apart from there, and so obviously it never aired on Trump TV. See it was a prerecorded interview, which you can just throw in the trash if you don`t have the guts to interview someone live.
Bregman released his recording of the interview. Carlson did address it, quote, "there is some profanity, and I apologize for that. On the other hand, it was genuinely heartfelt. I meant it with total sincerity.
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BREGMAN: So, I mean, you`re probably not going to air this, but I went to Davos to speak truth to power, and I`m doing exactly the same thing right now. You might not like it, but you`re a millionaire funded by billionaires, and that`s the reason why you`re not talking about these issues.
CARLSON: But I am talking about these issues.
BREGMAN: Yeah, only now. Come on, you jumped the bandwagon. You`re all like, oh, I`m against the globalist elite, blah, blah, blah, it`s not very convincing, to be honest.
CARLSON: Why don`t you go [EXPLETIVE DELETED] yourself, you tiny brained - - and I hope this gets picked up, because you`re a moron. I tried to give you a hearing, but you were too [EXPLETIVE DELETED].
BREGMAN: You can`t handle the criticism, can you?
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HAYES: Today Donald Trump finally reacted to the arrest of Coast Guard Lieutenant Christopher Paul Hasson, the white supremacist who had amassed an arsenal and was apparently, allegedly, plotting a domestic terror attack targeting top Democrats and prominent journalists who have criticized the president.
Trump has called the media the enemy of the people, he`s encouraged violence against reporters and critics, but he insisted today that he did not need to tone down his rhetoric in the wake of Hasson`s arrest.
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TRUMP: I think it`s a very sad thing when a thing like that happens.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think you bear any responsibility for moderating your language when it comes to that?
TRUMP: No, I don`t. I think my language is very nice.
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HAYES: Authorities say that one of Hasson`s Google searches as he plotted his attack was, quote, civil war if Trump impeached. That is not the deranged lone fantasy of some weirdo. Trump himself has warned ominously that the people would revolt if he were impeached.
But the idea of a second civil war to defend Trump is an ever present topic among the right-wing media, reflected regularly in headlines on conservative news sites. And it`s bandied about on TV and radio by right- wing personalities who make their money selling paranoia to an increasingly agitated...
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RUSH LIMGAUGH, CONSERVATIVE RADIO SHOW HOST: You might even get away with saying that we are on the cusp of a second civil war. Some of you might say that we are already into it, that it is already begun. However, you characterize it, though, we are under attack from within.
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HAYES: Bill O`Reilly warned of a possible civil war after the 2016 election, Sean Hannity said the nation could be headed toward a civil war after the Mueller report, Roger Stone said impeachment would bring a, quote, "a spasm of violence in this country, an insurrection like you`ve never seen."
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ROGER STONE, CONSERVATIVE POLITICAL OPERATIVE: If there is a coup d`etat, if there is an illegitimate, unconstitutional effort to remove Donald Trump on Trumped up charges by a biased and partisan prosecutors, or an illegitimate take-down by the 25th Amendment, there will be a civil war in this country.
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HAYES: Just yesterday, Joe diGenova, a man that the president nearly brought on to his legal team last year, had this to say to Laura Ingram.
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JOE DIGENOVA, ATTORNEY: We are in a civil war in this country. There`s two standards for justice, one for Democrats, one for Republicans. The press is all Democrat, all liberal, all progressive, all left. They hate Republicans. They hate Trump. So the suggestion there`s ever going to be civil discourse in this country for the foreseeable future is over. It`s not going to be. It`s going to be total war. And as I say to my friends, I do two things, I vote and I buy guns.
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HAYES: That`s nice.
The president and his allies insist that anyone who does not stand with Trump is out to destroy him by any means necessary. They want to have rigged elections and criminal invasions and a deep state conspiracy and a coup d`etat. And when super fan Cesar Sayac (ph) then sends pipe bombs to Trump`s critics and tries to murder about two dozen them, and Christopher Paul Hasson plots to murder Democrats and journalists, they insist that their rhetoric is somehow irrelevant, that their incitement does not matter.
But it does matter. Last year, journalist Ken Vogel of The New York Times, which Trump this week once again declared the enemy of the people, posted a voice-mail he had received from an apparent Trump supporter.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re the problem. You are the enemy of the people. And although the pen might be mightier than the sword, the pen is not mightier than the AK-47. And just remember, Ken, there`s nothing civil about a civil war.
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HAYES: There are growing calls for the Labor Secretary Alex Acosta to resign after a federal judge found that he broke the law when he was U.S. attorney in a case that attracted renewed scrutiny thanks to some dogged investigative reporting by the folks at The Miami Herald.
Earlier today, President Trump was asked for his take on the situation.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, do you have any concerns about the Labor Secretary`s handling of the Jeffrey Epstein case?
TRUMP: I really don`t know too much about it. I know he`s done a great job as labor secretary, and that seems like a long time ago, but I know he`s been a fantastic labor secretary, that`s all I can really tell you about, that`s all I know about it.
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HAYES: Yeah, it seems like a long time ago, all the child sexual abuse.
Well, thanks to The Miami Herald, here is what we know about what happened all the back in 2007. Then U.S. attorney Alex Acosta oversaw frankly a shocking plea deal with Jeffrey Epstein. The politically connected multimillionaire, whose friends with Donald Trump and Bill Clinton and who dozens, dozens of under aged girls say sexual assaulted them.
As part of the plea, any potential co-conspirators received immunity and were never identified. The victims were never told that the case was closed. And Epstein only served 13 months in jail after being accused of serial sexual assault of more than 30 girls, some as young as 13.
Now the Herald reports that Thursday a federal judge ruled that that arrangement, which Acosta oversaw, broke the law. Prosecutors not only violated the Crime Victims` Right Act by not informing the victims, they also misled the girls into believing that the FBI sex trafficking case against Epstein was still ongoing when in fact prosecutors had secretly closed it after sealing the plea bargain from the public record.
Joining me now are Chris Lu, former deputy secretary deputy secretary of Labor under President Barack Obama, and Marcy Hamilton, founder, CEO, and academic director of Child USA, which is an advocacy organization for children.
Marcy, let me start with you. You work in this space, and have you seen a plea like this? Have you seen a case with details like this?
MARCY HAMILTON, FOUNDER, CEO CHILD USA: You know, the only thing that`s even close in comparison is the way in which the bishops covered up sex abuse by the priests. I mean, this is about powerful men working with other powerful men and just agreeing that we`re not going to embarrass you, we`re not going to make you pay all these victims, and treating all the victims like collateral damage. For me, that`s the worst part.
Once again, the kids were just thrown to the side, and it was all about the adults protecting each other.
HAYES: And Acosta is now the Labor secretary, Chris. And I got to say, you know, I lose track of scandals in the cabinet. You know, Wilbur Ross just got dinged by the White House Ethics Office because he apparently lied about selling stock, which he hadn`t. There is a bunch of other things happened -- Ryan Zinke who just left has a grand jury looking into whether he lied. So I lose track of them. But this just seems like a resignable offense to have a federal judge say you broke the law.
CHRIS LU, FORMER DEPUTY SECREATRY OF LABOR: And let`s be clear what we`re talking about, Chris, we`re talking about modern slavery, and it`s estimate that there are as many as 40 million victims of slavery around the world. And one of the most powerful agencies to fight slavery is the Department of Labor.
The Department of Labor inspects workplaces around the country, and because they focus on low wage immigrant industries where you`re likely to find violations, the Department of Labor inspectors are often the first people to find victims of human trafficking. And around the world, the Department of Labor has a powerful bully pulpit, it issues an annual report on child labor and forced labor, and works with foreign governments and businesses to increase awareness.
Just two months ago, Alex Acosta announced $50 million of grants to fight child labor, forced labor, human trafficking, around the world. So, this is incredibly hypocritical for him to be serving in this position.
HAYES: Marcy, what does your experience tell you about what happens to girls such as these in their teen years and quite vulnerable and often sort of at the margins who come forward to tell what happened to them to prosecutors?
HAMILTON: Well, it all depends on what the prosecutors` training is, but it also depends on what the statute of limitations are. If there is a shot at justice, normally at this point in history, they are listened to.
What happened in this case 12 years ago is that the prosecutors took their names. They took the facts, and then they basically shut them out. When the victims came forward and said we really want to make sure that he`s prosecuted, they were told, oh, we`re investigating. Don`t worry about it. And they`d already signed a deal with him not to prosecute him.
It really was a cruel way to deal with these victims.
HAYES: Chris, this was something that came up in Acosta`s hearings, his confirmation hearings, although the Miami Herald had not published this incredible investigative reporting at this point. It was known that this was sort of a fishy plea deal. What can be done? I mean, the Senate has oversight, I guess, House has oversight. What can be done?
LU: Well, the Justice Department Office of Professional Responsibility has an investigation into this, Senator Ben Sasse says they are going to look into this, but you raised an important thing. You know, had this been known at the time that he violated federal law, he did not give these dozens of victims notice about the plea deal and a chance to have their day in court. It would be interesting to know whether he would have gotten confirmed at the time.
And Sarah Sanders today said, look, this was a pretty tough sentence. Well, if it was such a tough sentence, why didn`t the victims know about it in advance?
HAYES: Marcy, today there was also federal charges -- sorry Cook County charges in Illinois brought against R. Kelly who, of course, was famously prosecuted and acquitted in the sexual assault of under-aged girls. He`s been charged with 10 counts of that in this case.
I kind of wonder sometimes, I covered the church for my first book. And I was just shocked and appalled at how much covering up there was, and how little what happened to the victims meant. Have we made progress? Are we making progress on that front?
HAMILTON: Well, I actually think that the Vatican meeting going on right now shows you that the church itself has not made much progress. They are still talking about false claims. They are still worried about the reputations of the ones who are accused, but this decision in the Epstein case is a big deal because it basically says hey, victims, you get to be part of the process, and when you`re not something is going to happen.
So, if in fact, we see a trial of Epstein, which we could, we could see this non-prosecution agreement dissolve, that would be a big deal, and that would show we really have made progress.
HAYES: Wait a second. Explain how that would play out legally.
HAMILTON: So basically what happened is he didn`t have a plea deal, he had a non-prosecution agreement.
HAMILTON: Wat the judge ruled -- right? So, the judge basically said this was based on fraud. The victims were told there was an investigation when there wasn`t, and they weren`t included in violation of federal law.
Now, they can`t get damages under federal law, but they can certainly undo the non-prosecution agreement, and when you undo that he`s right there. They can certainly prosecute him.
HAYES: Right. He ends up never pleaing to any federal crimes, they just don`t prosecute. They sort of throw everything else out, and he does time for local charges, which is the 13 months he does. But the federal government never even gets him to plea. They just don`t prosecute.
HAMILTON: Right. Right. I mean, they just play this whole game with him. And then in 2002, the federal government had eliminated the criminal statute of limitations. So, these women could still testify. They can still be validated.
So Acosta is out of the picture. We have other prosecutors in Florida. I really hope they go for it.
HAYES: That`s a really interesting idea.
Chris, of course, if he`s gone, lord knows we get another acting in that cabinet that basically is half full at this point.
LU: Exactly. But let me just say this, moral leadership matters. And you can`t profess to be a champion for victims of human trafficking if your record doesn`t demonstrate it.
HAYES: Chris Lu and Marcy Hamilton, thank you both so much. Have a great weekend.
That is ALL IN for this evening. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END