CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: Even Roy Cohn could not have protected the President with such dash and lack of shame.
And that`s HARDBALL for now. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.
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CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D), CALIFORNIA: Has the President or anyone at the White House ever asked or suggested that you open an investigation of anyone? Yes or no please, sir.
WILLIAM BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL, UNITED STATES: The President or anybody else.
HAYES: Big new questions for the Attorney General as the man attempting to clear Donald Trump meets the Senate.
SEN. MAZIE HIRONO (D), HAWAII: You lied to Congress. You knew you lied, and now we know.
HAYES: Bill Barr responds to Robert Mueller stinging rebuke.
BARR: I said, Bob, what`s with the letter?
HAYES: New concerns about White House interference in ongoing cases.
BARR: I don`t recall, no.
SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D), CONNECTICUT: You don`t recall?
HAYES: The growing calls for Barr to resign.
REP. JERRY NADLER (D), NEW YORK: I think he`s going to have to answer for apparently testifying untruthfully.
HAYES: And can Republicans actually stop Robert Mueller from testifying?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why not call from Mueller to testify?
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTCH CAROLINA: Because I`m not going to do anymore.
HAYES: Full coverage of the Barr hearing with Senator Mazie Hirono and more when ALL IN starts right now.
HIRONO: America deserves better. You should resign.
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HAYES: Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes. William Barr has finally given the President something he`s wanted ever since the day he took the oath of office, an attorney general to protect him and serve the President`s interests above all else including the rule of law itself.
In his press conference and his four-page summary of the Mueller report which we now know Mueller formerly objected to in a letter to Barr. And in his testimony today this morning before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Barr has shown himself to be unfit for the office to which he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate. On top of it all, he`s now refusing to show up to a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee tomorrow.
The Attorney General is unlike almost any other role in the federal government serving in the executive branch as part of the President`s cabinet at the pleasure of the President, but of course, tasked with administering the Justice Department independently without regard to politics.
That`s why for example, it was a huge scandal when a previous Attorney General fired a bunch of U.S. attorneys for political reasons at the urging of the White House. It`s also why that Attorney General who did that was eventually forced to resign.
By publicly misrepresenting Mueller`s evidence and his conclusions about that evidence, by bending over backwards to justify the President`s conduct, and by inserting himself into the process against Bob Mueller`s apparent wishes, Barr has made it impossible for the public to trust his leadership to the Department of Justice.
In his testimony today, Barr dismissed the Special Counsel`s logic for not making a determination on whether the President obstructed justice. Barr revealed that he was already working his own decision to clear the president before actually receiving the final report. And they ultimately made the decision without viewing the underlying evidence relying on the same legal theory outlined in that unsolicited memo to be sent to the Justice Department months earlier as a private citizen perhaps auditioning for a job. That`s how that memo was widely seen.
So in other words, the Attorney General was always going to decide the president can`t obstruct justice. And that may well be why he was hired in the first place. even more troubling, Barr continues to oversee the dozen- plus cases active now within his department, the ones that were spun off from the Mueller investigation, some of which almost certainly involve the President. And we have every reason to expect he will keep on running interference.
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BLUMENTHAL: Have you had any conversations with anyone in the White House about those ongoing investigations that were spawned or spun off by --
BARR: I don`t know -- I don`t recall having any discuss -- substantive discussion on the investigation.
BLUMENTHAL: Have you had any non-substantive discussion?
BARR: I mean, it`s possible that the name of a case was mentioned.
BLUMENTHAL: And have you provided information about any of those ongoing investigation -- any invest -- any information whatsoever.
BARR: I don`t recall, no.
BLUMENTHAL: Let me ask you one last time. You can`t recall whether you have discussed those cases with anyone in the White House including the President of the United States?
BARR: My recollection is I have not discussed those.
BLUMENTHAL: But you don`t recall for sure? Let me move on.
BARR: I can say very surely I did not discuss the substance of any --
BLUMENTHAL: Will you recuse yourself from those investigations?
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HAYES: Besides seeking an A.G. to clear him of wrong-doing, the President has always wanted one who is willing to use the Justice Department and its vast array of forces to go on offense against his political opponents. This is after all the candidate of lock her up.
And today Barr, who repeatedly brought up Hillary Clinton unprompted, inspired zero confidence that he will resist the President`s pressure.
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HARRIS: Has the President or anyone at the White House ever asked or suggested that you open an investigation of anyone? Yes or no please, sir.
BARR: The President or anybody else.
HARRIS: It seems you would remember something like that and be able to tell us.
BARR: Yes. But I`m trying to grapple with the word suggest. I mean, there have been discussions of matters out there that they have not asked me to open an investigation but --
HARRIS: Perhaps they`ve suggested.
BARR: I don`t know. I wouldn`t say suggested.
BARR: I don`t know.
HARRIS: Inferred. You don`t know. OK.
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HAYES: Barr`s total fealty to the President earned condemnation from some conservative lawyers. Plus a scathing editorial from the Washington Post which pronounced that Barr has torched his own reputation and a brutal column in the New York Times by non-other than former FBI Director James Comey reflecting on the President`s ability to co-opt "accomplished people lacking inner strength." Ouch.
The most damning indictment may have been one delivered right to Barr`s faced by Senator Mazie Hirono who`s going to join me live in just a few minutes.
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HIRONO: Mr. Barr, now the American people know that you are no different from Rudy Giuliani or Kellyanne Conway or any of the other people who sacrificed their once decent reputation for the grifter and liar who sits in the Oval Office.
We know more about your deep involvement in trying to cover up for Donald Trump. Being Attorney General of the United States is a sacred trust. You have betrayed that trust. America deserves better. You should resign.
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HAYES: I`m joined now by two people with years of experience working at the Justice Department MSNBC Contributor Chuck Rosenberg, he`s a former U.S. Attorney, a former senior FBI official, host of the new MSNBC podcast The Oath with Chuck Rosenberg which you should definitely check out. And Walter Dellinger former Acting Solicitor General and former Head of the Justice Department`s Office of Legal Counsel.
And Walter, I`ll begin with you. What did you think of Mr. Barr`s performance today?
WALTER DILLINGER, FORMER ACTING SOLICITOR GENERAL, UNITED STATES: I thought it was the most distressing day in the history of the Justice Department since John Mitchell was indicted and forced to resign. I can understand why he`s refusing to answer questions from staff council because he was so deliberately misleading at every turn. I think we watched the tragic fall of a once good reputation.
But I think you know, Chris, more than that as a concern it gave me about 2020 when he gives -- when he cast holy water on the notion you should examine the people who initiated this investigation. What are you going to think if you`re a counterintelligence officer, FBI agent, and you uncover what may be evidence of Russia or other hostile foreign interference in 2020 knowing that if you proceeded down that road you may find yourself holed up before Senator Graham`s committee and otherwise subjective to ruin his consequences.
HAYES: What do you think, Chuck?
CHUCK ROSENBERG, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: It was jarring. You know, I was one of those who started off in the camp that Mr. Barr was a principled Institutionalist. And you know, we all suffer from confirmation bias so you know, the first couple of things I saw, I would force into that bucket.
But I`ve seen too many things now from his echoing of the President`s claim that there had been no evidence of collusion to the notion that the FBI was spying as opposed to obtaining court authorization to conduct surveillance. And so I have a new opinion now, and it`s sometimes hard to do that.
HAYES: I want to play devil`s -- I want to give the best case scenario from him.
HAYES: Which I`ve seen if you will make Eli Lake wrote this column, and Barr himself said this, right.
ROSENBERG: And I could think of a few things that --
HAYES: I mean, he basically says what`s everywhere freaking out about. You got the report with minimal redactions, there it is. You can see the whole thing. Why are you guys all upset?
ROSENBERG: So there`s some credibility to that argument. We do have the report. It`s lightly redacted. We can read it for ourselves. Here`s the problem with it. The false narrative got out of the gate long before the truth did. And it`s almost impossible for the truth to catch up because how many people are going read 448 pages?
And I don`t mean that to assign blame. I just mean as a matter of fact people are going rely on the false narrative.
HAYES: But I think this gets to -- I mean, to hear what you just said, Walter and Chuck, and you`re two individuals who really do -- are steeped in this department and have relationships and work within it. To say what you are saying, I mean, part of it I think is the norms around the Justice Department are so distinct and so important because of this question of independence.
And Walter, I think when you say you know, this is the most disturbing day since John Mitchell, what it sounds like to me is that you fundamentally do not just trust this individual to dispatch the duties that he has to which is to you know, vouch safety independence of this institution in order to preserve the rule of law.
DILLINGER: That`s right. I mean, I think we must have totally lost confidence in the -- in the Attorney General of the -- of the United States and he`s taken positions that are really indefensible. You know, there was a failure I think on the part of the Democrats on the committee. They wanted to parse section 1512, he would say that`s not a crime to instruct the White House Council to lie.
Well, you know, it`s utterly -- as Chuck will say, it will agree. It`s utterly inconsistent with the role of the -- of the President to have him interfering with an ongoing criminal investigation unthinkable as well as suggesting or directing who they ought to be prosecuting.
That is a violation of a norm that has been respected by attorneys general and presidents of both political parties.
HAYES: He also -- he laid out the -- I want to play this bit of sound which is basically if the President believes he`s being falsely accused, he has the constitutional authority to quash any investigation into himself at any time, as just as a theoretical principle to which Mr. Barr adheres, take a listen.
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BARR: In this situation of the president who has constitutional authority to supervise proceedings, if in fact a proceeding was not well founded, if it was a groundless proceeding, if it was based on false allegations, the president does not have to sit there constitutionally and allow it to run its course. The president could terminate that proceeding and it would not be a corrupt intent because he was being falsely accused.
HAYES: It seems like constitutional authorities supervised proceedings and falsely accused are both doing a lot of work.
ROSENBERG: That`s the groundless proceeding exception to the obstruction of justice statute which you will find by the way nowhere in the obstruction of justice statute. So that seems to me -- and Walter is an expert. He`s forgotten more than I would ever know about article two, but a robust reading of article two that I think is just at odds with the law and with common sense.
HAYES: All right, Chuck Rosenberg and Walter Dellinger, thank you gentlemen -- both. I appreciate that.
DILLINGER: Good. Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: For more on the Attorney General`s stunning performance today I`m joined by Harry Litman former U.S. attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania and a former Deputy Assistant Attorney General, and MSNBC Legal Analyst Maya Wiley, former Assistant U.S. attorney, now Senior Vice President of Social Justice at the New School.
It`s interesting to hear Chuck Rosenberg and Walter Dellinger say that. Both individuals who really do have a kind of I think fidelity to the institution the Department of Justice and aren`t given to that kind of language.
MAYA WILEY, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Aren`t lying?
HAYES: Yes. But also -- I mean, the performance today was so contemptuous of Congress in general and anyone`s sort of second-guessing him (AUDIO GAP) that was -- I think that was the striking as anything else.
WILEY: I think he`s (AUDIO GAP) put forth that summary of the Mueller report. Because anytime you start with half a quote from the special counsel and that the part of the quote that you omit is the part that says --
WILEY: Russia interfered. I mean, why would we have an interest as a country and not confronting the fact that Robert Mueller found interference in the election by Russians? That seems to me not a partisan issue. There was a certain amount of bravado particularly once we found out later that Robert Mueller had in fact registered, concern with William Barr, things that we all wondered about when we saw that summary.
We all said this doesn`t sound right. As attorneys, we don`t think this sounds right. And we wonder what Robert Mueller thinks. And now we know he efficiently takes into account the context. And I just want to add because it`s really important.
When William Barr stood up -- and I mean, Chuck Rosenberg and I give Chuck a lot of credit because it`s really important to acknowledge we want to believe in the importance that our leaders really take into account the importance of their constitutional authority and what they`re supposed to accomplish like a William Barr which is to represent the nation`s interests, the nation`s -- stand up for the nation`s law but says Robert Mueller -- that the decision on obstruction was not influenced by the Office of Legal Counsel`s determination that you could not indict a sitting president except that is explicitly not true in Mueller`s report. That`s bravado to me.
So I think we should be stunned. I think we should be outraged. But I think by the point in which he appears today, we should not be surprised.
HAYES: Harry, the moment where they did talk about the Mueller letter where I thought was very revealing because Barr says that he called -- he called Mueller and he says what`s with the letter, Bob. And you can hear it was ticked. He called the letter snitty because he understood exactly what -- how seismic sending that letter in committing to writing was.
HARRY LITMAN, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: Exactly. And then I think -- I mean, that was a flash of real honesty on part. He says Bob, Bob why didn`t you pick up the phone and call me. What does that mean? That means they are now antagonists. Mueller has put a bomb in the file and it will go off, and it went off yesterday. That`s exactly right.
But what an ironic claim by Barr, because from the time of March 5th when he supposedly was going to take Mueller and did Mueller`s fraud conclusion and completely ignore it, give it zero deference, unlike the regulations, require, there was no conversation, no attempt to go back and forth. He portrays this as sort of just you know, Mueller is a normal U.S. Attorney.
I can tell you, Chuck can tell you, as a normal U.S. Attorney, if an attorney general is looking to completely ignore what you`ve said, we`ll have meetings, discussions, some measure of deference. This was simply thanks for the report, see you later, don`t call. I`m in charge now.
HAYES: And he gets to -- you know, we talked about this last night when the -- when the letter broke and it was part of what was a back-and-forth in the hearing today which was alternately sort of illuminating and frustrating, which is whatever happened the past is the past. The point is he`s supervising the Department of Justice right now as we sit here at this table and we have seen the kind of character he is and his theory of running the DOJ.
WILEY: Well, William Barr showed us once again today is that the ends for him justifies the means. And the ends for him is protecting Donald Trump in the White House for whatever reason. I`m not going to -- whether it`s ideology, whether it`s because he thinks it`s so important for Donald Trump to stack the courts, whether it`s -- for whatever reason.
Whether he thinks it`s important to protect the legacy of the party, I don`t know why. All I know is he has made explicit multiple times that he will put protecting Trump ahead of the rule of law, ahead of sufficient transparency, because the other thing that we have not talked about enough today is he sat there as if Congress` authority is based on a criminal standard proof. It is not.
And so he is standing in the way of Congress aquitting its constitutional authority because it is not ruled by the reasonable doubt standard.
HAYES: And he has also set up this train -- this crashed, this showdown, Harry, with the House Judiciary tomorrow where he just informed him in a letter I`m not showing up.
LITMAN: That`s right. He is although it depends on whether the House Judiciary Committee says he is. Arguably it seems to me Barr begins to recede and importance. We basically know what he`s done, what he`s going to say. The House Judiciary Committee now needs witnesses. It needs McGahn, it needs Lewandowski, and it needs to hear you know, eventually from Mueller.
But that`s right. He`s not showing up tomorrow and his claim is not very strong for not showing up, but he`s willing to play it out for a couple months which is what it will take just to go to the D.C. Circuit and for I think them to say, the House gets to gets to use lawyers if it wants to.
HAYES: That`s a great point. A play for time which is a sort of unifying theme here. Harry Litman, Maya Wiley, thank you both. There`s much more to get you from that Barr hearing today. In two minutes, Senator Mazie Hirono joins me to talk about her confrontation with the Attorney General on his decision to skip tomorrow`s hearing.
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HIRONO: You used every advantage of your office to create the impression that the President was cleared of misconduct. You selectively quoted fragments from the Special Counsel`s report taking some of the most important statements out of context and ignoring the rest.
You put the power and authority of the office of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice behind a public relations effort to help Donald Trump protect himself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HIRONO: But now, we know more about your deep involvement in trying to cover up for Donald Trump. Being Attorney General of the United States is a sacred trust. You have betrayed that trust. America deserves better. You should resign.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The most forceful lines of questioning or instruction really at today`s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing with Attorney General William Barr. It came from Senator Mazie Hirono who flat-out told Barr that he lied to Congress, and his comments prompted committee Chair Lindsey Graham to accuse her of slander.
"Hirono focused many of her questions not on whether what Trump did was illegal but rather whether it was acceptable behavior from the President of the United States."
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HIRONO: Do you think it`s OK for a president to offer pardons to people who don`t testify against him, to threaten the family of someone who does?
BARR: What -- when did he offer a pardon to someone --
HIRONO: I think you know what I`m talking about. Please, please, Mr. Attorney General, you know, give us some credit for knowing what the hell is going on around here with you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now is Senator Mazie Hirono, Democrat of Hawaii. Why did you choose to focus on that line of questioning with Barr about whether it`s OK or rather whether it`s -- as opposed to whether it`s legal?
HIRONO: Because he had already come to the conclusion that the president had not committed obstruction. Although other people such as acting -- former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates had said that looking at the ten items that were obstruction items, that she would have indicted the president but for the fact that he`s president.
So people can differ but he had already decided that there was no obstruction of justice from a criminal standpoint, but what about the standpoint whether it`s OK to have the heads -- how the President tell the White House Counsel to a fire Mueller or to have the White House Counsel lie about it.
So there are whole ranges of behavior. And when you enter the moral dead zone that is the White House, this is what you get.
HAYES: There`s also something else. It took two different bites of the apple I think to get Barr to say that it was improper to accept help or explicit offers of help from foreign intelligence services. What do you think of that?
HIRONO: Well, he hems and haws lot, and so he`ll ask things like what do you mean or I remember when Kamala Harris ask, has anyone in the White House suggested that you investigate someone. He says, what do you mean by suggest? Well, how about -- you know, how about I suggest you answer the question.
So he has -- he had a lot of those kinds of things. It took him a while to respond in any kind of a way. And I -- going in, I determined that we would not get straight answers from him and we did not.
HAYES: Do you think he lied to you. Do you think he has lied to you?
HIRONO: He hasn`t necessarily lie to me but he`s lied to the people of America when he responded to for example Chris Van Hollen who asked him, does Mueller agree with your conclusions, and he says I don`t know. This is after he already had the letter from Mueller questioning the four-pager that Barr had put out as not being reflective of the work that Mueller did.
HAYES: What happens next to you and a lot of your colleagues who have called on him to resign? He seems intent on waging a kind of battle with Congress and Congressional oversight and he has the backing the President of the United States.
HIRONO: And therefore these are not normal times because it gives me no pleasure to call on the Attorney General to resign as I called Kirstjen Nielsen to resign. You know, this is not normal that so many of us have to call members of the President and his cabinet, I also call him to resign -- for him to resign long time ago.
These are not normal times and this is why I`m looking to the House for the appropriate investigations that need to occur regarding the Trump Organization and what I would consider a lot of sketchy doings by his organization including campaign violations.
HAYES: Let me play for you something that Lindsey Graham said to reporters afterwards about whether Bob Mueller would appear before your committee. Take a listen.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why not call for Mueller to testify?
GRAHAM: Because I`m not going to do anymore. Enough already. It`s over. If there`s any dispute about a conversation, then he`ll come, but I`m not going to retry the case. I`m not calling McGahn. It is over.
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HAYES: It`s over, Senator. What do you think?
HIRONO: Obviously, it`s not over. Lindsey wants it to be over but it`s not. For example, during his testimony, Barr kept characterizing the discussion he had with Mueller. Well, those -- that`s called hearsay. I`d like to hear from Mueller himself as to what kind of conversations and what kind of concerns he had about the four-pager that Barr put out.
And in fact, Mueller was so concerned that he asked for to put out the summaries that his team had put together, and Barr refused to do that.
HAYES: All right, Senator Mazie Hirono of the Senate Judiciary Committee, thank you for being with me.
HIRONO: Thank you.
HAYES: Still to come, will the House Judiciary Committee hold the Attorney General of the United States in contempt? Congressman Jamie Raskin on Barr`s decision to just skip tomorrow`s hearing and what Democrats plan to do about that. You want to see that. Don`t go anywhere.
HAYES: Bill Barr`s congressional testimony wasn`t supposed to end today. Barr was supposed to appear tomorrow in front of the Democratic-controlled House Judiciary Committee. But with just hours until the hearing was said to begin, he bailed.
Over the weekend, Barr threatened to skip his date on Capitol Hill if the Judiciary Committee went forward with plans to allow the committee lawyers to ask question. And until the committee voted along party lines to do just that.
Just a little while ago, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler announced that Barr would not attend tomorrow`s hearing and added the DOJ has also said it will not comply with a subpoena for the unredacted Mueller report.
Joining me now is one of the congressmen who had hoped to question Attorney General Barr tomorrow, Congressman Jamie Raskin, Democrat from Maryland.
I want to read you from the DOJ statement on the refusal by the attorney general to testify before the committee, "congress and the executive branch are co-equal branches of congress and each have a constitutional obligation to respect and accommodate one another`s legitimate interests. Chairman Nadler`s insistence on having staff question the attorney general, a senate- confirmed cabinet member, is inappropriate."
You are being unaccommodating, your committee is, in the words of the Department of Justice. What do you say?
REP. JAMIE RASKIN, (D) MARYLAND: Well, I think that`s very rich coming from an attorney general and a president who are now refusing to turn over any documents or make any witnesses available in a host of investigations we are doing across congress, and is actively trying to interfere with Capital One and Deutsche Bank, even private entities complying with congressional orders. So, they are basically trying to draw a curtain down over the whole executive branch.
And, you know, the attorney general tried to dictate the terms of his appearance and the format of our hearing, because he wanted to do to us what he did to the senators today, which is to bluster and filibuster all the way through those five-minute periods. And he wanted to do that to us. And we insisted that there be professional legal staff questioning after the public portion of the hearing. And we would have, you know, been happy to work out an accommodation with him in some way. But we needed to have real questioning without all the obstructionism.
HAYES: So, why do you think that was the breaking point for him? I don`t even actually understand the objection.
RASKIN: Yeah, they are claiming it`s unprecedented, which obviously it isn`t. I mean, lawyers have done this lots of times before.
The real reason he decided not to come, I think, is that President Trump gave the game away when he went on the Hannity show and said that he understood from Attorney General Barr that Barr looked at the report and decided on the spot there was no obstruction, no collusion, no obstruction. And I think that Barr conceded today -- I wasn`t able to watch the whole hearing, but I think he admitted that he had not reviewed any of the underlying evidence. All of the boxes of evidence, hundreds of thousands of documents, he obviously arrived at a predetermined conclusion. The cake was baked long ago.
And anybody who read his 19-page single-spaced memo would understand that. He does not think that the president can be guilty of obstructing justice simply because he sits on top of the executive branch of government. That`s what we are dealing with now, a run away executive branch of government, which does not want to deal with the reality of congressional power and our oversight power.
But we are going to insist upon it. And we are headed for a collision with them.
HAYES: So, what happens next? I mean, they`ve not only -- he`s not going to show up, they`re also just explicitly rejecting a subpoena for the full unredacted Mueller report, which they said too bad, you don`t get it.
RASKIN: Well, congress is not without its means to try to enforce our legitimate will and our lawful orders. We can go to court to seek criminal and civil contempt sanctions against people that disobey lawful orders of congress. We have inherent contempt power. In the 19th Century, congress held people itself. We have the power to fine people. We also have the power of the purse. And, of course, we have the power to censure, we have the power to impeach. We are the law making branch of government. We are in Article 1 for a reason. We represent the people of the United States.
The president`s sole job is to take care that the laws are faithfully executed, that and being commander-in-chief, but his main job is to execute the laws that we pass, not defy them, not circumvent them, and certainly not to violate them.
HAYES: All right, Congressman Jamie Raskin on the House Judiciary Committee, thank you so much.
Still to come, I`ll ask presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand about her call for Attorney Bill Barr`s resignation following today`s explosive hearing.
Plus, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starts next.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, President Trump knows how beneficial it can be to have important government positions filled with lackeys and sycophants. He`s had great success with this personnel strategy so far, which is why he is trying it again with the Federal Reserve, choosing unqualified cronies for seats on the board of a body that is supposed to be completely independent, like Herman Kaine, the economic mastermind of the 999 plan, who in the face of enormous push-back withdrew from consideration last week.
But there`s another Trump pick who is still in the running somehow for a seat on the Fed. This guy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHEN MILLER, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: The biggest problem I see in the economy over the last 25 years is what happened to male earnings, for black males and white males as well. They have been declining. And that is I think a big problem.
Look, I want everybody`s wages to rise, of course, but people, you know, people are talking about women`s earnings. They have risen. The problem actually has been the steady decline in male earnings.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Stephen Moore is Thing Two in 60 seconds.
HAYES: Stephen Moore is not actually an economist. He is more of an economy talking guy who goes on TV a lot, slipping in a lot of raver reviews of Trump policies, and so of course he`s not up for a seat on the Federal Reserve board.
But Moore has had a very rocky road in the weeks since Trump made that announcement as a lot of, let`s say problematic things he said about race and gender over the years have come to light.
But he says he is not backing down. I guess that makes sense that if going TV got him a nomination in the first place, he might think that going back on TV some more can save him. But you can decide for yourself how well that worked out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOORE: If it comes down to things I wrote 18 years ago that were impolitic, that I have apologized for, that were you know insulting, then I`m in trouble.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is not just stuff that was written 18, 20 years ago.
MOORE: I talked to a reporter the other day who has covered the Fed for 30 years. He said he has never seen anything like this before. I mean, it`s not like I`m going to will be chairman of the Fed.
I mean, Trump was trying to think what can I do to help serve, you know, his economic agenda? And I think that`s why he...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not necessarily what the Fed`s mandate is. It`s not about the president`s economic initiatives to spur growth and get him reelected, that`s not why the Fed exists.
MOORE: No, but...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kellyanne, how did Steven Moore do?
KELLYANNE CONWAY, WHITE HOUSE ADVISER: Stephen Moore I guess is doing great.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, what he said.
UNIDENITIFIED MALE: ...nominate him?
CONWAY: Well, the president stands behind him. And Stephen said yesterday in an interview, or recently, if he feels like he`s a liability, he will pull his name out of contention.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Tonight, around the country, there as many as 55 migrant children still in shelters separated from their families last year and still separated today. One reason for that is that the Department of Homeland Security did not have a way to track and link migrant children and the parents they were taken from.
Despite assurances from the Department of Health and Human Services, there was, quote, a central database that both departments could access and update with that information. But MSNBC`s Jacob Soboroff got exclusive access to some shocking emails showing those assurance were a lie.
Here with me now with that report himself, MSNBC correspondent Jacob Soboroff who has done great work doggedly following the story.
Jacob, what did you find?
JACOB SOBOROFF, MSNBC C ORRESPONDENT: Well, Chris, what I would like to say about this is in case there was any remaining doubt that the Trump administration never had a plan to reunite the thousands of children it systematically ripped away from its parents along the southern border, that can now be put to rest.
We obtained emails between Matthew Albence, who is currently the acting head of Immigration and Custom Enforcement, at the time he was the head of the enforcement of removal operations, and a guy by the name of Tom Fitzgerald, who was a data analyst for HHS. And this is just days after the president has signed the executive order ending family separations. The government has sent out this email, this blast fact sheet saying we got the central database. You can rest assured that we`re on our way to reuniting kids.
And the email from Fitzgerald essentially asked Albence, hey, can you fill in information for 2,000 different children, where their parents are, who their parents are, have their parents been deported? And Albence writes back, it basically says, wait a minute, you are saying you don`t have this information? To which Fitzgerald replies, no, I don`t have that information. We`ve got information for a bout 60 of the 2,000 children that are currently in our custody.
And that was the beginning of an extraordinary mess that was only solved -- and still not solved, frankly, but was only put on the road to being solved by a federal judge here in Southern California, who ordered a system to be developed in order to get those kids back and reunite them ultimately with their parents, Chris.
HAYES: So, you got -- you know, we know they toy with this idea. They start implementing a pilot idea of family separation that then implemented en masse. They brag about it. They then lie and say they don`t have any such policy while they do. They then climb down from it saying, OK, we will stop doing this and reunite everyone. And what you`re saying is, these emails, and this one is particular, the government says, OK, let`s get them back together. They start emailing each other about how are we going to do this? And this is from Tom Fitzgerald, who is the data analyst: "in short, no, we do not have any linkages from parents to unaccompanied children, save for a handful. We have a list of parent alien numbers, but no way to link them to children."
No one was keeping any track of the parent and the kid as a unified entity in the data system of the entire federal government?
SOBOROFF: And you know when we put this out tonight, a couple of people said to me, didn`t we already know this? And, yes, we did know that there was never a system. The HHS and the DHS inspector-general made that very clear, as have subsequent testimonies, but we have never seen the behind the scenes, basically scrambling to figure out how to literally fill a spreadsheet.
And why this is particularly troubling today, Kevin McAleenan, the new acting secretary of Homeland Security, has said in multiple interviews with our own Lester Holt on 60 Minutes just over the course of last weekend, that the intent was always to reunify all of these thousands of kids that were taken away from their parents.
Well, if the intent was always to reunify, why do you have people that are supposed to be responsible for tracking and putting these children back together having absolutely no idea what`s going on behind the scenes?
These are just two emails, Chris. We have -- I mean, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
HAYES: Yeah, you can check out Jacob`s excellent story and some of these the emails at NBCNews.com. Jacob Soboroff, thank you for that great reporting.
SOBOROFF: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: Next, Presidential Candidate Kirsten Gillibrand on her call for the resignation of Attorney General Bill Barr. The senator joining me next.
HAYES: There is a growing call from Democrats on Capitol Hill for Attorney General William Barr to resign. New York Senator and 2020 presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand is one of them, tweeting earlier, quote, "Attorney General Barr needs to resign today. He has proven once again he is more interested in protecting the president than working for the American people. We can`t trust him to tell truth, and these embarrassing displays of propaganda have to stop.
And joining me now is Senator Gillibrand.
Was your mind made up today from the testimony about the need for him to resign?
SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND, (D-NY) 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It`s a concern that I`ve had for awhile. I think what Attorney General Barr has showed the American people is that he`s trying to represent the president not the American people.
He`s also really created a disturbing trend on how he`s addressed the Mueller report. First of all, he should have never summarized the report and tried to put himself between the special counsel and the American people. The whole purpose of the special counsel statute is to make sure that the American people can receive unbiased professional information when there are serious concerns.
First of all, Attorney General Barr summarized it, second he called a press conference before the report was released and put his own frame on it. And then he redacted it significantly before turning it over.
So now you add to that testimony today where he confirmed that he actually didn`t look at the facts and evidence before he wrote his letter and opined, not the underlying information. It`s deeply concerning.
And I think he has proven that he is no longer representing the American people.
HAYES: As a member of the United States Senate and part of the Article 1 branch of government, there is a kind of constitutional showdown we now have, William Barr and the Department of Justice announcing he will not appear before the committee tomorrow, because they wanted some of the staff attorneys ask some of the questions. What do you think about that?
GILLIBRAND: I think Congressman Nadler has been very clear that he will use whatever power is necessary to make sure that he testifies. And I believe he will, including subpoenaing him.
HAYES: You`re running for president, as I mentioned up here, and you have a new policy proposal today that has to do with the way in which campaigns are funded in America. It`s interesting. There is a pilot program I believe in Seattle that`s been operating. I`ve read some thinkers who have proposed this in the past.
What is it?
GILLIBRAND: So the biggest problem we have in Washington is the greed and corruption that determine everything. It determines what bills get voted on, what the outcome of the legislation is, and I`ve heard from Americans across this country that they believe there is enormous political corruption. And so we need clean elections. We have to restore the power to the hands of the people. And so I have proposed a publicly funded elections bill to offer clean elections, to take on political corruption directly by getting money out of politics and making sure that American voters` voices are as loud and powerful as the Koch brothers.
And we do it through democracy dollars, telling every American if they want to participate in federal elections, they will be given these dollars to spend on the campaigns that they see fit in their state, in their district, and for president.
HAYES: It`s $600, I believe, that you would get from the federal government.
HAYES: Why that number? That seems like a lot of money to me.
GILLIBRAND: It does. It does. But it`s $200 for each federal election.
GILLIBRAND: So you get $200, $100 for primary and 100 for the general for the presidential election, for your congressional election, and for your senate election. And that is a very small, modest amount of money to cap to say you can really spend up to $200 in each election. You would also allow voters to give that amount as well. But it would be something that every candidate would choose whether or not to participate in, and it would be something that every voter would choose whether or not to participate in.
And what it does, Chris, is it allows more people to participate in our democracy. It democratizes democracy, because right now it`s been corrupted. And most people have no faith in our elected leaders because of the money and influence in politics.
The fact that the Koch brothers can spend $300 million in an election cycle so they can get lower tax rates. We saw it in the Trump tax cut where literally members of congress were saying yeah, we need to get this passed because we got to thank our donors. I me an, you can see the pay for play in politics every day. And people have lost faith that their government (inaudible) for them, and lost faith that our democracy actually works.
So if you`re not willing to take on the greed and corruption that really destroy our democracy daily, you will never be able to get the things done that you want. You won`t be able to pass health care as a right and not a privilege. You won`t be able to pass the Green New Deal. You won`t be able to pass national paid leave you. You won`t be able to end gun violence, because all of those issue there`s is some entity, some special interest that doesn`t want it to happen.
And because they have so much power and so much money, they have an outsized voice in our democracy. And what this bill will do is take it on.
HAYES: All rig ht, you just mentioned things you would not be able to pass, right, without this -- further obstacles of special interests. This is an adjacent question, but it occurs to me since you mention it and you serve in the United States Senate, there have been a number of people recently that were considered I think top recruits to run for senate in their states -- Stacey Abrams in Georgia, Beto O`Rourke and Joaquin Castro in Texas. Steve Bullock who is governor (inaudible) not going to run for senate.
Are you -- are you there in the Senate talking to each other about what this chessboard looks like? And are you concerned about Democratic recruitment given how important, centrally important that the senate is?
GILLIBRAND: I think we can take back the Senate with the momentum of 2018. The fact that millions of people turned out to vote, women voted more often. Young people voted more often than before, and we had such extraordinary candidates running, Chris. The breakthrough candidates of 2018 were women, women running in red and purple places where white men had run before and lost.
You saw Kyrsten Sinema break through in Arizona running on what it`s like to grow up as a homeless girl, living in an abandoned gas station. People like Lucy McBath, running in the suburbs of Atlanta on ending gun violence. Gretchen Whitmer running on health care as a right, not as a privilege to win the governorship of Michigan.
And so I think with the right candidates, which we will be recruiting and making sure we find them, we can flip the senate. We will. And I think this whole moment in history that we`re in is about all of us answering a call to what will you do to defeat what President Trump has created? This hatred, this division, this anxiety that is breeding across America.
I`m running because I will take it on. I will take on the corruption and special interests in Washington that make everything so difficult. I will get money out of politics and restore that power to the hands of the people, and I will fight for health care as a right and a Green New Deal and national paid leave, common sense things.
People need that vision and that they need to know that you can get it done.
HAYES: And they need a Democratic Senate if that`s going to happen. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Democratic presidential candidate thanks for making time.
GILLIBRAND: Thank you.
HAYES: All right, 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