Pelosi: I'm not for impeachment. TRANSCRIPT: 03/12/2019, All In w. Chris Hayes.

Guests: Norma Torres, Brad Sherman, Michelle Goldberg, Jed Shugerman, Jay Inslee, Anand Giridharadas, Tressie McMillan Cotto

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: March 12, 2019 Guest: Norma Torres, Brad Sherman, Michelle Goldberg, Jed Shugerman, Jay Inslee, Anand Giridharadas, Tressie McMillan Cotto

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: This isn`t complicated. It`s not a choice between capitalism and socialism, it`s finding the right combination. And that`s what the debates of this year next will largely be about. And that`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.

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CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I said, why don`t you use this for impeachment, and Nancy said, we`re not looking to impeach you.

TRUMP: I said, that`s good, Nancy. That`s good.

HAYES: Everyone is talking about impeachment.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: They wanted me to impeach President Bush for the Iraq war. I didn`t believe in it then I don`t believe in it now. It divides the country.

HAYES: The Democrats divided over whether to begin impeachment proceedings.

REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D), NEW YORK: We are not governing with a focus on impeachment.

HAYES: Tonight, the pros and cons of charging the President.

REP. RASHIDA TLAIB (D), MICHIGAN: I think every single colleague of mine agrees there is impeachable offenses.

HAYES: Then, a new investigation into the Trump Organization and the bank that financed them. Plus, two famous actresses among dozens of people charged in a bribery scheme to get their kids into college.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some spent anywhere from $200,000 to $6.5 million for guaranteed admission.

HAYES: And the junior senator from Utah has a very special birthday celebration.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What about your gaffes?

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.

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HAYES: Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes. Well, everyone`s talking about impeachment today. It`s all stemming from an interview that Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave to The Washington Post where she said "I`m not for impeachment. Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there`s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don`t think we should go down that path because it divides the country and it`s just not worth it."

Now, there are two distinct questions here as far as I can tell. There`s a question about whether there is a substantive case for impeachment and a question about whether it is politically advantageous. Clearly, there is a consensus view held among the Democrats that too much impeachment talk is problematic, that it results in a backlash, and that maybe even impeachment itself is bad politically.

There`s evidence to suggest that Pelosi is protecting her members by making this anti-impeachment statement, but it`s also the case that our words have triggered a whole new round of impeachment talk which maybe also isn`t an accident.

For his part, Mitch McConnell said today totally agrees with Pelosi. It`s notable that elected Republicans, Fox News, and Trump world really do like to talk about impeachment themselves because clearly they think it gives them a political advantage. Here`s the president himself in the mid middle of his government shutdown earlier this year.

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TRUMP: So I think it`s very hard to impeach somebody who`s done a great job. That`s number one. And we even talked about that today. I said, why don`t you use this for impeachment? And then she said we`re not looking to impeach you. I said, that`s good, Nancy. That`s good. But you know what, you don`t impeach people when they`re doing a good job.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: It is also the case that there are currently nearly two dozen different investigations into President Trump and election interference. At the end of last year, that count stood at 17, but since then nearly every House committee under new Democratic leadership has become an inquiry into the president including a reborn Russia investigation with the House Intelligence Committee and a far-reaching corruption probe by the House Judiciary Committee.

Just yesterday we learned that New York State is now looking into Trump Organization`s financing. There`s also the fact that the President was named -- well, not named, but identified in a criminal indictment and Stormy Daniels former lawyer just said that Trump`s hush money payments to her were in the context of campaign finance. In other words it was exactly what it looked like.

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KEITH DAVIDSON, FORMER ATTORNEY OF STORMY DANIELS: There was very little to no interest for the years preceding Access Hollywood to resolve this case in any way shape or form. And it wasn`t until immediately after the Access Hollywood tape that there was a rush and -- to settle this case.

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HAYES: Now, no matter what else happens, the important thing I think to keep in mind are one of the most important things to keep in mind, and I cannot stress it enough is that the current President of the United States was unquestionably the beneficiary of not one but two illegal criminal conspiracies in 2016 to nudge him over the finish line.

One of those conspiracies he was directly involved in, possibly directed. And the other one involved a foreign adversary who at the very least he praised and cajoled and flirted with and who knows maybe did even more.

Joining me Congresswoman Norma Torres and Congressman Brad Sherman, both are Democrats from California. Congresswoman Torres, do you agree with the Speaker`s comments on impeachment?

REP. NORMA TORRES (D), CALIFORNIA: I do want to say that I very much share Speaker Pelosi`s concerns for Presidents Trump`s fitness to serve an office while I also share the concerns of my colleague the reasons why he filed impeachment papers.

HAYES: So I just want to be clear on that. You do want to see the caucus press ahead with impeachment?

TORRES: I -- not at this point. I think that I want to see the caucus continue its investigations. I want to ensure that the Oversight Committee continues to do its work, the Judiciary Committee continues to do their work. I want to make sure that we are able to look at Muller`s report before we go down that route.

We have a lot of work to do. Remember, we were shut down for 35 days. 800,000 people did not get paid. There are priorities and the reasons why we were elected to office. We have so much work to do. Impeachment will take us down a road where we will not be able to focus on all of those priorities that are -- that our constituents elected us to do.

HAYES: Congressman Sherman, your thoughts.

REP. BRAD SHERMAN (D), CALIFORNIA: I mostly agree with Norma and with Speaker Pelosi. It`s clear this president has committed felonies, in particular, a violation of Section 1512 B3 of the Criminal Code when he obstructed justice three times. But at the same time, we don`t have the votes in the Senate to remove Trump from the presidency.

And so we need to build support in this country, the country about half support impeachment and removal from office. In order to convince the country, we need to show them more facts. The investigations will show them more facts. But if we hadn`t talked about impeachment at all in Washington, Trump would -- imagine what Trump would have done if he didn`t think there was the possibility of impeachment.

He certainly would have fired Mueller and I`m sure there`s a dozen other terrible ideas that have crossed his mind that he`s been held back on because there is at least the possibility of impeachment.

HAYES: All right. So let me see if I understand this. What you`re saying is it`s important that the threat loom out there. It`s also important that we not do it too quickly or do it at all if there is not actual grassroots Democratic support for it. But I want to ask you this and I`m going to ask you this the same question Congresswoman Torres -- Congresswoman Torres. There seems to be a weird kind of chicken and egg thing happening here.

You know, you have to make the case. If you think the guy is committed impeachable offenses, it`s in the Constitution. The Founders are very clear in the transcripts of what was happening or the sort of proceedings of the Constitutional Convention. It`s important to check a ruler who is abusing his power. You got to make that case if that`s where you want to end up. You can`t wait for people. What do you say to that Congressman Sherman?

SHERMAN: There`s nothing in the Constitution that says the House has to impeach under this or that circumstance. We`re allowed to impeach when there`s high crimes and misdemeanors. Removing this president would be great for the country but we need to build enough support so that we`ve got Mitch McConnell or at least some of his caucus on our side ready to vote for remove.

We were able to do that with Richard Nixon and perhaps you know, I would have hoped that the facts already on the record would be sufficient for not just half but two thirds or three percent of the population. But we`re not there yet. We need to make the case.

HAYES: I see. Is that your view Congresswoman Torres.

TORRES: It is my view. This is a very lengthy process. It is a difficult process so the first step, the House can impeach by a simple majority. But when we get to the Senate it will take 67 senators to vote to convict. An impeachment without conviction does not get this President out of office. And we are not going to have more than one opportunity to do that.

So that is the reason why I agree with Speaker Pelosi that we must focus on the work ahead of us, in front of us, and ensure that we allow these committees to do their work, to do the oversight. We have to have a transparent process where we gain the support of a bipartisan support of not just our colleagues in the Senate but also the voters, the taxpayers that gave us this opportunity to serve them in Congress.

HAYES: Can you -- Congresswoman, can you imagine a universe a set of facts that were to be revealed, a political universe that we might actually inhabit in the future in which there will be 67 votes for removal?

TORRES: That would be amazing but that has to be a bipartisan --

HAYES: No, but I`m saying like is that a possibility? Like if it came out. I mean, I`ll tell you what I think. If it came out the President actually ordered someone murdered and they`re buried in the front yard of the White House, I`m not sure there`s 67 votes to impeach him.

TORRES: Look, the rule of law -- upholding the rule of law is not a Republican or a Democratic issue. That is a bipartisan issue. Transparency is a bipartisan issue. Corruption, public corruption, that is a bipartisan issue. But we have to have the facts and we have to have evidence to get our colleagues on board.

HAYES: Final thought Congressman Sherman.

SHERMAN: Chris, I don`t think we necessarily wait till we count 67 votes in the Senate, but we do need to see a higher level of popular support in order to be successful in removing. At the same time focusing the country on the crimes he`s committed and on the terrible mistakes that he`s made is an important part of what we`re doing in Congress.

HAYES: All right, Congresswoman Norma Torres and Congressman Brad Sherman, thank you both. I appreciate it. Joining me now Sam Seder, Hosts of The Majority Report podcast, co-host of The Ring of Fire Radio Show and an MSNBC Contributor and Michelle Goldberg, Op-Ed Columnist for the New York Times and an MSNBC Political Analyst.

I find the way Democrats talk about this fascinating. It`s like you`re trying to trap them or everyone is so cramped and careful and cagey about it.

MICHELLE GOLDBERG, OP-ED COLUMNIST, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Well, and it`s because -- and in a way there`s something -- I mean, there`s something true about what they`re saying right?

HAYES: Yes.

GOLDBERG: That it`s -- he should -- he has obviously committed impeachable offenses and is unfit and at the same time there are kind of huge risks inherent in doing it now and in the politics of it. And so they`re sort of trying to basically say in so many words they`re kind of giving Mitch McConnell or giving the Republicans a veto over impeachment but they don`t want to say it. And there might be some wisdom in their prudence about not kind of charging ahead.

To me the thing that I think where they make an error is when they talk about and say that the problem with impeachment it`s too divisive, right? The problem with impeachment is that we have a Republican Party that is going to protect a criminal president and so there might be more expeditious ways to check the president. But the problem is not that he does not deserve to be impeached and in a just system wouldn`t be impeached immediately.

SAM SEDER, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: You know --you know, Congressman Sherman says that he agrees with Speaker Pelosi and if I take Speaker Pelosi at her word, I don`t think they agree. Because under Speaker Pelosi`s calculation, there`s no value to impeachment.

HAYES: Unless it`s bipartisan.

SEDER: And the idea -- the idea of it being divisive, I mean the point of impeachment is to set down a marker and say what is being done here is wrong. It`s accountability. And there`s been too many times in this country and I would argue those kinds of times have been just as divisive whether it`s Iran-Contra or she mentioned George W Bush lying this country into a war.

I mean, to cite that as some type of merit badge that we did not impeach George Bush, that turned out to be pretty divisive in many respects. I mean, you know, it`s not hard to draw a line to the lack of accountability for George Bush with all the lack of accountability we see today.

HAYES: Although I will say right, from there -- from the vote counting standpoint, right, and I think this is the way they`re thinking about it, she`s -- you know, Democrats went in 2006. They don`t impeach in 2007, right? And they give this enormous victory, 60 votes in the Senate and huge majorities in the House and Barack Obama becomes president. Here`s actually a fascinating moment of her back in 2006 because I think about this lot. I remember it was an open question when the House took over.

SEDER: I remember that very much.

HAYES: And she shut it down right away. Take a listen to Nancy Pelosi back then.

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PELOSI: Impeachment is off the table.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Off the table. And that`s a pledge?

PELOSI: Well, it`s a pleasure -- yes, I mean, it`s a pledge. Of course, it is. It is a waste of time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So that`s completely off the table?

PELOSI: Wouldn`t they just love it if we came in and our record as Democrats coming forth in 12 years is to talk about George Bush and Dick Cheney. This election is about them. This is a referendum on them. Making them lame ducks is good enough for me.

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HAYES: Same -- literally the same thinking.

GOLDBERG: Although it`s actually -- I think the situations are a little bit --

HAYES: They are different. They are different.

GOLDBERG: You know, and obviously -- I mean, George W Bush`s you know lies and incompetence has killed vastly more people than any of the sins of Donald Trump. He`s done bassing more damage to the world, but he hasn`t done things that were obviously on their face criminal, right?

And so there was -- you could say that was about -- was a political dispute as opposed to him simply breaking the law, obstructing justice. I understand that there might be some exceptions around like Scooter Libby case, but Trump`s kind of outright criminality, his out rights sort of running --

HAYES: And flagrant abuse of power.

GOLDBERG: Flagrant abuse of power, flagrant profiting from the presidency. I mean, it`s just sort of a much more cut-and-dried case of the sort of things that impeachment was designed to address.

SEDER: Well, I guess what I`m arguing is there`s a third -- I mean, you started by saying there were two questions. Is there a substantive case for impeachment? Is it practically -- is it practical in terms of the politics? I`d also argue there`s a third question and that is what is the value of holding people --

HAYES: What`s the point, yes.

SEDER: -- standing up even if you don`t succeed on getting them out of office but saying this was wrong. We have standards. These are the standards we`re going to uphold. We`re not just going to turn the page without having read that.

GOLDBERG: And that`s a problem --

SEDER: And that`s what President Obama wanted to do. And there`s a lot of arguments that I think are legitimate that a lot of what has come back from that era came back because no one was held to account and the American public --

HAYES: During the Bush years.

SEDER: -- was not educated as to what was wrong with what happened.

GOLDBERG: Right. And that`s a problem with waiting for the public to catch up with you, right? The way you convince the public is to start this process and lay out your case.

HAYES: That`s what I mean, of this bizarre chicken the egg thing. They keep -- like it`s not just something sitting out their public opinion. It`s formed through the active making arguments and talking about it.

GOLDBERG: Right. And I feel like if people see Democrats hedging on whether he should be impeached, then of course --

HAYES: It sends a message that --

GOLDBERG: Right. It sends a message that impeachment is not urgent and that this can go on for another two years.

SEDER: I mean, I think Sherman`s calculation is at least on some level recognizing we should hold him to account. We would hold him to account but there are obstacles to us doing that as opposed to there`s no value in attempting to hold to account.

HAYES: Right. Those are distinct -- those are distinct views.

SEDER: Those are distinct views. And I think one is far more important to maintain it because you know, there`s a good argument that Donald Trump is there because there was some -- at least some semblance in the country that the elite are not held to account. Now, it may be a miscalculation as to who he was. In fact, he has not been through account for many of those years. He has this administration that`s full of people who are not held to account either in you know, in the financial crisis or whatever.

I mean, so that act exercise of saying hey we have some standards. It`s important to uphold them I think is should not be undersold in the way that it is --

HAYES: Yes. And I actually -- I mean, I don`t have a settled view on this in terms of where I`m coming from. I do think the political argument is not an inconsequential one. Like -- and I do think -- I mean, I really do think what I said there. Like I`m not sure if they literally found out that he`d ordered ahead that you can get 60 -- like it`s not clear to me that --

SEDER: I agree with you.

HAYES: -- 67 votes exist in any --

SEDER: There`s no universe --

HAYES: -- for any set of facts that were to be uncovered.

GOLDBERG: No, and so I think that -- I`m also kind of agnostic on the politics and you know, can see an argument that it just makes more sense to try to ride this out and expose him, but then we`re basically saying that sort of impeachment has no meaning and that there is no -- that there is no punishment for you know, just sort of flagrant corruption, flagrant crimes as long as you have the political backing.

HAYES: Yes. And that`s -- and that`s an important lesson. I mean, the context of what you`re saying particularly in a world in which -- is anyone ever going to have 67 votes for anything controversial ever again in any universe.

SEDER: I do think that there`s some merit to the practical argument both on a political level and the idea that you only get one bite at this apple. And if he does get reelected --

HAYES: That`s right.

SEDER: There may be cause to go back.

HAYES: That`s a great point.

SEDER: Do don`t want -- you want there to be a bullet in that chamber as it were.

HAYES: Sam Seder and Michelle Goldberg, thank you both.

SEDER: Thank you.

GOLDBERG: Thanks.

HAYES: Next, the disastrous fallout from Michael Cohen`s public testimony continues. Tonight, there are yet more subpoenas related to Donald Trump`s businesses. All the details in two minutes.

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HAYES: Yet another front has opened in the ever-expanding investigation into the President, his associates, and his private business. After running for office on a pledge to investigate the President, New York Attorney General Letitia James just issued her first known subpoenas to two banks that have loaned money to the president.

The subpoenas to Deutsche Bank an investor`s bank first reported by the New York Times and confirmed by NBC News appeared to be part of a civil inquiry prompted when Michael Cohen`s testimony before Congress.

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REP. LACY CLAY (D), MISSOURI: Did the President ever provide inflated assets to a bank in order to help him obtain a loan?

MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER LAWYER OF DONALD TRUMP: These documents and others were provided to Deutsche Bank in one occasion where I was with them in our attempt to obtain money so that we can put a bid on the Buffalo Bills.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: The banks were not just subpoenaed about the failed Buffalo Bills bid. Deutsche Bank, in particular, has to turn over records on its roll financing some of the President`s most high-profile real estate projects including Trump National Doral in Miami, the Trump Hotel and Tower in Chicago, and the president`s newest hotel in Washington D.C.

The bank is far and away the President`s biggest lender extending him more than $360 million worth of loan since 2012 according to the Washington Post. Jed Shugerman is a professor at Fordham Law School who just published an op-ed in New York Times yesterday calling on New York State to investigate the President`s business. Good to have you here. Why do you think they should be doing this?

JED SHUGERMAN, PROFESSOR, FORDHAM LAW SCHOOL: Well, this is a key role for the New York Attorney General. In fact, the New York state statutes give the New York Attorney General the specific responsibility to investigate corporate fraud. So there are several statutes that spell this out. This is under one executive law and brings -- there`s really a civil jurisdiction under the New York Attorney General but that could lead to criminal jurisdiction for the Manhattan D.A., Brooklyn D.A.

HAYES: Well, you -- this is a very basic question but it`s so tricky in a sense. What`s the distinction here between a civil inquiry in the criminal one?

SHUGERMAN: Well, it is tricky especially with corporations because either way, you can`t put a corporation in jail. So --

HAYES: Which is why -- which is why I always find it hard to kind of like pin down what the distinction is.

SHUGERMAN: Right. I mean, both -- with both a civil inquiry and a criminal inquiry you could have restitution and fines. The key thing with civil is paying back with a lower burden of proof. Criminal, you need a higher burden of proof. But the key thing under this -- under the New York Attorney General`s jurisdiction which is what my op-ed was about is that there`s a special law that most states have but for corporations, the Trump Organization is incorporated only in New York and Delaware.

And that statute allows a New York Attorney General to investigate persistent rampant fraud. And if it`s a danger to the public then there`s an authority for the New York Attorney General to petition a court to dissolve the corporation.

Now, this investigation should be part of a broader investigation. Given Michael Cohen`s testimony, we see allegations of bank fraud, insurance fraud, and tax fraud more rampant than just these subpoenas. We also have what the New York Attorney General the prior one, not Eric Schneiderman who delayed -- Eric Schneiderman who should have done all of this.

Barbara Underwood became the acting Attorney General. She brought the act -- the action to dissolve the Trump Foundation.

HAYES: Right.

SHUGERMAN: That was really important.

HAYES: And successfully.

SHUGERMAN: Successfully they`ve now stipulated, agreed to dissolve under the supervision with the New York Attorney General and with courts. What was alleged in the dissolution of the Trump Foundation was an intermeshing of fraud --

HAYES: Right.

SHUGERMAN: -- with the campaign with the Trump Organization, all of the crime. But many of the crimes that are alleged in the Trump Foundation petitions are intertwined with frauds from the Trump Organization.

HAYES: You know, I hear this and I have the Paul Manafort question which is how is this just going on in plain sight for so long? I mean, the casualness was like you know, when Rachel did this amazing A block the other night about this property that he jacked up the valuation on, you know, several years ago and then lowered it again. I mean this was all in plain sight. What is it saying about --

SHUGERMAN: Well, it`s great that Attorney General James is now on it. But let`s be clear, we -- there is public reporting about what happened under Cyrus Vance`s watch, the Manhattan D.A., had his office investigating. And they were ready to bring indictments for Ivanka Trump and Don Jr. for criminal real estate fraud. And somehow coincidentally those charges were not pursued when coincidentally there was a massive campaign donation to Cyrus Vance`s re-election campaign by Marc Kasowitz a Trump associate.

HAYES: And we -- they had them essentially with e-mails right in which they`re misrepresenting two people, material misrepresentation for the vacancy rates which is just fraud basically on its face right?

SHUGERMAN: Absolutely. So now at least we have an opportunity for Cyrus Vance to redeem himself.

HAYES: So this goes forward. I guess the other question is what the Deutsche Bank part of this is. Deutsche Bank says that the bank is already subject to two congressional investigations, was examined last year by New York banking regulators who took no action. That`s from the New York Times. They also have Maxine Waters looking into them. How do they fit in to this?

SHUGERMAN: So this -- all of this can work together right? So you`ve got the Southern District of New York investigating that the Trump inauguration and that overlaps with the Trump Organization. You have the -- Cyrus Vance has brought a grand jury to investigate Paul Manafort.

So these -- the bigger picture here is that all of these offices had been working together based upon reporting on a mix of civil investigations and criminal investigations, and they can continue to do so. This is just one step. The Deutsche Bank subpoenas could lead to other evidence of criminal money-laundering as people have speculated, and that really ties into what might be the compromise, what might be the carrot and the stick involving Trump`s compromising with Russians in 2016.

HAYES: Jed Shugerman, thank you very much.

SHUGERMAN: Thanks.

HAYES: Next, Governor Jay Inslee on his decision to make climate change the center of his presidential campaign and the new polling that shows voters are right there with him. Governor Inslee joins me next.

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HAYES: As a 2020 presidential election heats up, one thing is clear, climate change is front and center in the Democratic primary in a way it has never been before. This recent Iowa survey shows that likely Democratic caucus-goers list climate as the second thing out of all issues they want candidates to talk a lot about right behind health care.

And for years Democratic voters have cared about climate change but this year is becoming an undeniable front and center priority thanks both to grassroots mobilization and the increasingly deadly and undeniable effects we can see all around us of the warming that we have already put into the atmosphere.

Those effects from full display just outside of Los Angeles in Agoura Hills California, a site of recent record wildfires where a self-declared 2020 climate candidate Washington Governor Jay Inslee visited yesterday, and governor Inslee joins me now.

Governor, what did you hear from the folks you were talking to there in Agoura?

GOV. JAY INSLEE (D), WASHINGTON: Well, first, courage and resilience. And people will be inspired if they meet these folks of how resilient and how they`re coming together as a community to try to rebuild their community, but tremendous frustration that the federal government and the president has not protected them. They know that climate change has created explosive conditions in our forests across the western United States, they realize that the government`s own scientists have told us that these fires will double in the upcoming decades, and already have, and yet to have the president call this a hoax while their homes were burning down, that does not set well with them, doesn`t set well with me.

That`s why we need make defeating climate change the number one priority of the next president and that`s what I intend to do if I`m given this high honor.

HAYES: You, I imagine, agree that the IPCC calls for emissions to be reduced 45 percent in the next 12 years, by 2030. I imagine you agree with that.

If I am talking to someone and they say I really care about climate. And I say there`s this guy who is running, Jay Inslee, he`s running on a climate agenda, here`s his x-point plan to cut emissions by 45 percent in the next 12 years, what is that x-point plan?

INSLEE: Well, we`re going to roll out the policies to support that, but I`ll just real quickly give you the four pillars. Number one, we have to have a commitment to 100 percent clean energy in the next several decades. We`ve already -- we`re passing a bill in my legislature to start by making sure we have a 100 percent electrical grid. Second, we have got to have a concentrated effort to really put people to work in clean energy jobs that we know are the future. Third, we have to have a principal of a just transition, not just a transition, as we transition to a decarbonized economy and to make sure marginalized communities have a seat at the table, because those are the first victims, people in poverty, of climate change. And fourth, look, we have got to end these subsidies of the billions of dollars that go to the fossil fuel industries that are grossly unfair to taxpayers and essentially are perpetuating this strangle hold on our economy, and now choking the planet and exposing it to the ravages of climate change, those are the four pillars.

But I will be rolling out a very robust set of policies, built on the 20 years I`ve been working on this, wrote a book about this, as you know, years back. We now have 21 states in the U.S. climate alliance. We joined with Nevada today.

So, this is going to be an optimistic plan, because we know we have to solve this problem in the upcoming years, and we know we can do that. This is a can-do nation, we need a can-do president.

HAYES: You are governor of a state right now, and you just mentioned a bill, if I`m not mistaken emissions have gone in your state during your tenure as governor, correct?

INSLEE: Yes, we`ve had about 130,000 people moving here, so we`ve got more cars. And we have taken big steps. We have now built a wind turbine industry of $6 billion with the most per capita, the biggest users of electric cars. We are spinning carbon fiber to go in electric cars. I just got the -- cut the ribbon on the largest solar farm. We`re making biofuels -- you can fly airplanes on biofuels now, F-18s we`ve flown on biofuels. So we`re doing a lot, but we need to do more.

HAYES: Yeah, but doing a lot isn`t enough. This is the whole problem with this problem. I`ve been hearing doing a lot for a long time. They got to go down. I mean, you`re governor of a state that`s a pretty progressive state, although you have had a Republican legislature. What do you say to someone who says, look, you had a chance to bring emissions down in your state, you haven`t done it. How the heck are you going to do it with a Republican Senate maybe or even in the more difficult to manage federal government?

INSLEE: Well, first off the voters have given me now a Democratic legislature, so for the first time I have a working majority, and right now as we speak we have several bills, including 100 percent clean grid, a clean fuel standard that I hope will pass tonight in my house, a super pollutant bill, new building codes for net zero buildings, so we are going to move the needle, and I hope you`ll have me on your show in a couple of months. We`re going to pop the champaign corks.

But the other thing we have to do, we have to get rid of the filibuster. The filibuster will stop us in our tracks. It is an vestige of an antebellum era. It is an antiquated thing that will stop us from saving the planet, so that needs that to go, and I`m challenging the other people aspiring to this office to agree with me that they will agree to get rid of the filibuster.

This is absolutely necessary if we `re going to to defeat this beast. And it is time to shake up D.C., and one of the ways to shake it up is to end the filibuster, and have majority rule like Americans deserve. Only then can we fight climate change, and that`s job number one to get this done.

HAYES: All right, Governor Jay Inslee, thanks so much for making the time. Come back, we`ll check in on your progress.

Still to come, the massive college admissions cheating scheme to help the children of wealthy parents get into elite schools. The details, the remarkable details that famous actresses now facing charges ahead.

Plus, Tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two is dedicated to birthday boy, Senator Mitt Romney, that`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Thing One tonight, remember how before before Donald Trump came along to block out the sun, the peculiarities of the last Republican presidential candidate had a way of becoming news cycles all by themselves.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MITT ROMNEY, (R) UTAH: I`m not a big game hunter. I`ve made it very clear. I`ve always been, if you will, a rodent and rabbit hunter, all right, small varmints, if you will.

Who let the dogs out hoo hoo?

Corporations are people, my friend. We can raise taxes at -- of course they are.

So we went to the company and we said, look, you can`t have any illegals working on our property. I`m running for office, for Pete`s sake, I can`t have illegals.

10,000 bucks? 10,000 dollar bet?

I like to be able to fire people who provide services to me.

This feels good. Being back in Michigan. You know the trees are the right height.

I mean, I think you`d have to be in sport, but he wasn`t in sport.

Tax payers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is $100,000 middle income?

ROMNEY: No, Middle income is $200,000, $250,000 and less.

You can`t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don`t open. I don`t know why they don`t do that.

I went to a number of women`s groups and said can you help us find folks? And they brought us whole binders they found us whole binders full of women.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Ah, Mitt Romney. Those were simpler times. And his moments seem downright quaint now with Trump in the White House. But back in 2012, each of those would turn into a full-on media frenzy, and the burning question on everyone`s mind at the time was, apparently, what about your gas?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Romney...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ...some of the mishaps on your trip.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Romney (inaudible) Palestinians.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What about your gas?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Romney, can you (inaudible)?

ROMNEY: Kiss my [EXPLETIVE DELETED]

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Ah, kiss my ass is the whole (inaudible) for the Polish people, one of the all-time greats.

Seven years later, Mitt Romney is a U.S. Senator. And as for his gas, that`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: The freshman senator from the state of Utah is Mitt Romney, and today is his birthday. Happy birthday, Mitt. His staff posted this video of a little celebration inside Romney`s temporary office, which seems cheery. It`s in the basement. There are bars on the windows.

He`s only there while his permanent office is being renovated.

As for the cake, well, those Twinkies are certainly the right height, and they have candles in them. And honestly it just looked delicious. And then Mitt Romney blew out his candles, and there was nothing weird about it whatsoever.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: Holy cow. That`s fantastic. Wow. What are you guys going to have?

(LAUGHTER)

ROMNEY: Look at this.

This is never going to work, is it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don`t burn yourself.

ROMNEY: These are wishes I`m getting.

(LAUGHTER)

ROMNEY: All of these wishes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Very normal and very cool.

Something like that might have become a full-blown thing back in 2012, but those days are over. We have more important things to worry about. No, I`m just kidding, let`s go to TMZ now with the exclusive.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of people are wondering about your technique to blow out your candles today. What was your strategy behind that?

ROMNEY: Very simple, I have a bit of a cold, and I didn`t want to spray my germs all over the Twinkies for everybody else to eat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, this was about...

ROMNEY: And I joked that with each candle I got a new wish. So I was twofer.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Today, Oscar-nominated actor, Felicity Huffman, and Full House actor Lori Loughlin were arrested and they are just two of the 32 parents, including Loughlin`s husband and other wealthy and influential people criminally charged in the massive college admissions scandal involving 50 people across six states.

At its center was a criminal enterprise, according to prosecutors, which employed cheating and bribery to get the children of well-paying parents into elite schools. The alleged ringleader, William Singer, the head of the college prep business, has pleaded guilty to all counts, including racketeering, conspiracy, and he is among several defendants who are cooperating with federal prosecutors.

The defendants of today`s indictments, included two standardized test administrators, a test proctor, and more than a dozen coaches at elite schools.

Now, they were accused of taking part in a scheme that included, quote, facilitating cheating on the ACT and SAT exams in exchange for bribes, arranging for a third party to secretly take the exams in place of the actual students, or to replace the students` exam responses and designating applicants as purported recruits for competitive college athletic teams in exchange for bribes.

Today Singer, part of his Facebook page showed here, admitted in court that parents paid $25 million over eight years to bribe university coaches to designate the student as athletes. Then there are the parents who prosecutors say knowingly participated throws that are charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.

And prosecutors say they knew exactly what they were doing, quote, "Cooperating witness one met with Huffman and her spouse in their Los Angeles home and explained in substance how the college entrance exam scheme worked. Huffman`s spouse, actor William H. Macy, was not charged today. She, however, is accused of paying $15,000 to facilitate cheating on behalf of one of her daughters."

As to the universities? None were charged today, but the roster of schools that were duped includes, Yale, Stanford, and USC. Prosecutors describe how parents were walked through the fraud, for example, submitting a photo of someone other than their child as part of a ruse to say their child was athletic to go hand in hand with the bribing of coaches.

There are more details and there are multitude of questions about this desperate illegal, side door way for parents to get their kids into school, and what it says about American society at this moment of profound inequality. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: For all the talk of the American meritocracy and the finger wagging over affirmative action, particularly in higher education, the announcement today of indictments in a massive college admissions cheating scandal may clear that as the Dejean Steven (ph) of The Nation tweeted, "turns out that money was the real affirmative action all along."

It was family wealth that helped unqualified students get into elite universities in an alleged criminal conspiracy that involved bribes, fake test takers and more.

Here to talk about this whole scheme and what it says about our higher education system and society, Tressie McMillan Cottom, an assistant professor of sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University, author of the great book "Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy." And Anand Giridharadas, an editor at-large for TIME magazine and an MSNBC political analyst. He`s the author of "Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World."

And I`ll start with you, because you are sitting here here, Anand. You`ve been fired up about this story today. It is right in the wheelhouse of a book that you just wrote. My first book was sort of on a similar topic. What was your reaction to the story?

ANAND GIRIDHARADAS, TIME MAGAZINE: It was so incredible, because what it suggested to me was many rich people in America are no longer satisfied with the kind of generalized rigging of America for rich people that benefits all rich people equally, right -- white privilege, two-tier policing.

HAYES: Property taxes that pay for public schools, like Beverly Hills, et cetera, et cetera.

GIRIDHARADAS: The problem with all of that is it benefits all rich people.

HAYES: Right.

GIRIDHARADAS: And so there`s something that`s not so exclusive about it. And I think what was revealed today was that there is this class of people who wants kind of bottle service rigging over and above the generalized rigging that`s available to everybody. So you have these parents really orchestrating these kind of amazing, you know, scams involving Photoshopping pictures of a child`s face on to an actual soccer player.

And I have to say, you know, our culture is so celebrity focused, that the news today has been about these two women, these actors, and they did whatever they did, but I think actually one of the most significant developments today was one of the titans of American finance and one of the leaders of so-called new capitalism in America, Bill McClashion (ph), a partner at TPG, huge private equity firm, the CEO of the Rise Fund, which is the leading impact investment fund in the world, as Bernie was rising and Elizabeth Warren was, this guy was saying there is a new capitalism we can fix this from within, partner with Bono, because Bono gets in on any kind of thing that involves helping poor people, and the CEO of this fund was indicted.

HAYES: Tressie, your whole academic field of study and your first book is about what is happening at the opposite end of the college spectrum of these folks, right. What was your reaction to this story?

TRESSIE MCMILLAN COTTOM, VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH UNIVERSITY: Well, my reaction is like the reaction of millions of people who feel deep down, whether they know what I have come to know through my academic research and training, we all, or many of us at least, have this deep down sense that something about the game of getting ahead is fundamentally unfair. We have known, of course, as academics and researchers and people who write and study such things, have known some of these elements that showed up in today`s indictment. There isn`t much here that is groundbreaking.

What is groundbreaking is how rarely we get to see how that process works for many wealthy people, and I would add as not so, you know, helpfully pointed out for all of us that what people are using wealth for in this group of people including this indictment is what almost all parents use whatever privilege they have available to them to sort of game the system.

The takeaway here is that in the system being gamed for a few students who loses are the students who believe that the system is fair. And so I have often said that higher education legitimizes lower ed. Lower ed exists precisely because wealthy students have historically almost always been able to buy themselves into elite higher education, and because of that, we believe that that higher education system works for all of us.

HAYES: Right.

COTTOM: It is the veneer of fairness that legitimizes what is fundamentally a game that is not only rigged, but that can be rigged. And so what we see in today`s indictment is just sort of, you know, the border cases of the extremes of a process that`s playing out across the United States every day for millions of people.

HAYES: You know, what I found fascinating is the desperation of these parents in some ways, right. These are people who are very wealthy and have a lot -- like, on one level you can think like your kids are going to be fine. They`ll be fine. Send them anywhere. Like, you guys are going to be fine, like -- but that`s not the psychology. I mean, they are really desperate.

COTTOM: No.

HAYES: And you got this -- you got this is line -- this is William Singer, right, on the phone who is selling it. He says, "there is a front door it means you get in on your own. The back-door is through institutional advancement, which is 10 times as much money, meaning if you can write a $15 million check, if you`re really, really, really wealthy, you can maybe get a building and get your kid in. I`ve come up with a side door.

So, it`s like if you`re in between those two.

GIRIDHARADAS: I read it a little differently, because what he says in that passage is not just about the amount of money, he says what we do is we help the wealthiest families in the U.S. get their kids into school. And he said, you know, the back-door, it`s not -- there is no guarantee. They are just going to give you a second look, even with maybe a very large check. My families want a guarantee, right?

And I think what`s so telling about this, it`s possible to look at this story as this one story and then it`s possible to go a little broader and look at our education system, some of the things you both raised, but I think it `s also possible to look at this story as a biopsy of corruption as the increasingly all saturating theme of America life in 2019, where the president who essentially did similar things to garden keep his fortune from his parents with the president who has essentially lied his way to the top and lied to stay in, all the way through kind of the legalized bribery system in the post Citizens United world to Michael Cohen and everything he`s exposed. This can`t -- these things can`t be isolated from each other.

This is becoming who we are and the essence of who we are.

HAYES: It is -- Tressie, it is a rule by legacy cases, whatever the Greek term for that, right. I mean, that is the sort of pervert -- that`s where we are right now. Like Jared Kushner is advising his father-in-law after his daddy gave a lot of money to Harvard and god knows how Don Trump got into Horton.

COTTOM: Listen, right, what we`re really seeing here is historical subtext as contemporary text. What these wealthy parents really wanted to buy was not just a more guaranteed point of entry into elite higher education, which, with yawning wealth and inequality just becomes a more valuable commodity for the few who can afford to be there. So, that`s what this relationship is broadly between wealth and inequality and elite institutions who benefit greatly, I might add, from that wealth equality.

Wealth inequality will probably destroy access institutions, those working horse institutions that actually promoted upward mobility for poor and middle class students, but elite institutions are going to win, and that`s what we`re seeing. We`re seeing that win.

But we`re also seeing a culture of wealth, which Anand points out to. This is about -- this is about more than money, this is about what can we get away with. And that is the insidious nature of the culture of being wealthy. It is not that their children will be fine, it is that their children will not be finer than the other children who are fine, right? There is always an additional layer of privilege and status and opportunity-hoarding to be had. And in many ways, it is the entire culture of wealth that says that is what the pursuit of wealth is about, so it`s about not only getting in through a guaranteed side door, but getting in in a way that says you deserve to be there even knowing that you got in through the side door. And that`s the system in which they are trying to preserve.

HAYES: Tressie McMillan Cottom, and Anand Giridharadas, thank you both.

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