CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: And that`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us all these years. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.
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CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
RUDY GIULIANI, LAWYER OF DONALD TRUMP: It`s in the best interest of my client to unravel the corruption in the Ukraine.
HAYES: Rudy Giuliani`s "campaign of lies."
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Rudy is a great gentleman. He`s been a great crime fighter. He looks for corruption wherever he goes.
HAYES: Tonight, even more damning new details on the President`s push to extort Ukraine. And new reporting on just what Rudy Giuliani and William Barr are willing to do to help him.
TRUMP: Where is William Barr?
HAYES: Plus --
REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): The House and the American public must see all the evidence for themselves.
HAYES: Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler joins me live to lay out exactly how the public inquiry will proceed. And another billionaire enters the fold. What a Mike Bloomberg candidacy means to the Democratic field when ALL IN starts right now.
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HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. Ever since the President got elected, he has been on a quest to make the role of Attorney General, the people`s lawyer, his personal lawyer. It is what prompted him to ask, where`s my Roy Cohn? Roy Cohn, of course, was Senator Joseph McCarthy`s witch-hunting lawyer. He went on to be a conciliary for the New York mob. He was also a lawyer and mentor to one Donald Trump.
And for Donald Trump, Cohn represented the perfect lawyer. It appears that in the President`s infamous phone call with Ukraine`s president, he has not one but two Roy Cohns. On multiple occasions, Trump tells the Ukrainian president to expect a call from those two people.
One of them is the current Attorney General, the top law enforcement officer in the United States. That`s William Barr. And one of them is Trump`s private attorney Rudy Giuliani. And I quote from the call notes here. I will have Mr. Giuliani give you a call and I`m also going to have Attorney General Barr call and we will get to the bottom of it. And I will tell Rudy and Attorney General Barr to call.
Now, Rudy Giuliani is Trump`s private attorney, but in a kind of dubious metaphysical way. The President is not paying Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani is the President`s private attorney because Giuliani calls himself that. There is no formal relationship that we know of. Giuliani, important to note, doesn`t do any actual legal work for the President, as far as we can tell.
I mean, President Trump is currently engaged in like a million different lawsuits and Rudy Giuliani is not named on one of those briefs. There are people, professional lawyers who are barred in whatever state they`re practicing in who go into court week after week and they file briefs and they argue for judges on behalf of the President.
But that is not what Giuliani is doing. No, no, he is playing the role that Michael Cohen once played. He is Trump`s fixer and his bagman but for free. And that is why Giuliani is at the center of this whole thing. He was running point on the Trump scheme to extort Ukraine and get them to dig up and manufacture dirt on the President`s political rival.
If there are two themes that constantly come through in every single impeachment investigation transcript that we get, its number one, there was a sprawling energetically corrupt attempt at extorting Ukraine and two, Rudy Giuliani was running that corrupt extortion attempt.
Today, we got our latest example of that. In the release of the deposition transcript of the Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent from the Department of State, I`ll read from that. "Mr. Giuliani had been carrying on a campaign for several months full of lies and incorrect information about the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Ambassador Yovanovitch. It was clear the former mayor had influence in the president in terms of the way the president thought of Ukraine.
Now, Rudy Giuliani was and is up to his eyeballs in this Ukraine scheme. It has since been reported by multiple news outlets that Rudy Giuliani is also under federal investigation in the Southern District of New York for his activities in Ukraine.
Yesterday, Giuliani tweeted he`d hire a lawyer as anyone under investigation should. The interesting twist is that Rudy`s new lawyer, a guy named Robert Costello is also the guy who represents Trump`s old personal lawyer slash fixer Michael Cohen. Costello was the guy who reportedly told Cohen after speaking with Rudy Giuliani he was confident Cohen could sleep well tonight because he had friends in high places.
Of course, Michael Cohen is now in prison after pleading guilty to crimes he committed on behalf of Donald Trump, which is why Trump needed a new fixer in the first place. But that gives -- make me wonder. Remember, the President names to people in the call notes, right? So we know what Giuliani was up to because almost all the people he was interfacing with had been testifying about his corrupt behavior. But what about the other guy? What was Attorney General William Barr up to?
Did the President just throw Barr`s name out to the Ukrainian president without discussing it with him first? Is there anyone at the Department Justice who has taken the kinds of steps that those in the State Department were forced into taking, taking contemporary his notes and raising red flags about inappropriate behavior. Those are open questions.
We have had a succession of people in the foreign policy apparatus who have testified, but no one yet from the Justice Department. We do know that William Barr has generally viewed his role as Attorney General to be that of personally defending and protecting the president politically.
Remember, he spun the Mueller report for Trump. He went out and held a presser announcing there was no obstruction despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. His own DOJ shut down the criminal analysis of the Ukraine call notes and refused to look at any of the other surrounding contextual evidence.
They put out a statement to defend the president. But there is one thing Attorney General William Barr would not do, and that is go out in public front of T.V. cameras and defend Trump. The Washington Post reporting last night in the middle of our show that Trump wanted Barr to hold news conference saying the President broke no laws in the call with the president of Ukraine, and Barr refused.
I don`t know why but one idea might be because part of that would mean bar it would have to take live questions from reporters about his role in the whole Ukraine extortion scheme. Because the thing about the Ukrainian call notes is Barr is mentioned by President Trump a few more key times, "I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people." And significantly, "there`s a lot of talk about Biden`s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution. So whatever you can do with the Attorney General, that would be great."
So did William Barr follow up on that? Did he ever speak to the Ukrainian president or his people about Joe Biden`s son? As far as I know, since we got the call notes, William Barr hasn`t answered in real-time a single question from a reporter about what he was doing around that call and mentioned in that call. So why is he mentioned there?
Joining me now for more on what is happening at the Department of Justice, Harry Litman, former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, and former Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Clinton Department of Justice and Mimi Rocah former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, now an MSNBC. Legal Analyst.
Harry, as someone who was at the DOJ who I`ve talked to a lot about William Barr and the role he has here, it just seems to me there are really basic questions that William Barr needs to answer one way or the other through his own mouth in front of reporters about what role he played or did not play in this whole thing.
HARRY LITMAN, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: He needs to but he doesn`t want to. And I think he won`t, unless he`s really dragged in. You`re right. I mean, this would be flagrantly improper for him to have gotten involved, even without it`s being a nefarious criminal conspiracy just for him to be kibitzing in this kind of, you know, foreign policy led by Rudy Giuliani.
But we know that he really, as you say, has been willing to be -- to push the envelope, shred the envelope in terms of what he did with the Mueller report. So is this just a bridge too far for him? It seemed to me interestingly, Chris, that Trump wasn`t -- didn`t have quite the same tone he had with Sessions where he was really bitter.
And Trump is the guy who`s somehow revealed that Barr wouldn`t do this. Something is a little bit odd and doesn`t quite add up to it. But I think you know, Barr knows that it would be personal suicide or perilous for him to be dragged into the impeachment now. There`s no end to that road.
HAYES: It`s very clear the Department of Justice wants to have nothing to do with it. They put out a bunch of statements. They`ve distanced themselves from certain things at one point when someone testified about there being a joint, you know, investigation that the Department of Justice and the Ukrainian government would do this and we didn`t know anything about that, if that existed.
I guess the question is, is it plausible or tenable for Barr to maintain silence and put out statements distancing himself without some sort of full accounting from DOJ?
MIMI ROCAH, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: It shouldn`t be. I mean, this is crazy, actually. What you just laid out, right, there was like five question. Did Bill Barr talk to the president? Did he follow -- you know, before that phone call, did he know he was -- Trump was using his name? Did he have a conversation with the President of Ukraine.
Those are questions that should be asked by people investigating what happened with Ukraine, whether it be people in Congress, the impeachment committee, or the Southern District of New York, assuming which I think we all rightly assume that Giuliani`s case or investigation their ties into this.
So Barr is a witness, and not a peripheral witness. He is someone that needs to be asked questions and give truthful answers, probing questions.
HAYES: I mean, I just want to be clear. It`s entirely possible as a story here the President did just throw this out and didn`t check with Barr.
ROCAH: Yes, exactly.
HAYES: That Barr had nothing to do with it. That he was just being in vote because that`s the president wanted to vote. I just like to know one way or the other as a factual matter.
HAYES: The other -- the other thing here is about the role -- I mean, Giuliani in the George Kent testimony, we`re going to get into that a little bit. But, you know, there`s one theme here in this testimony. There was a -- there was an extensive attempt to extort Ukraine. It almost worked and Giuliani was running point on it for the President.
Giuliani is saying this yesterday, I`ve been thinking about what this means all day. I want to get both your feedback. The investigation I conducted concerning 2016 Ukraine collusion and corruption was done solely as a defense attorney to defend my client against false charges that kept changing as one after another were disproven. What does that mean and what does Giuliani`s relationship to the president mean in a legal or even constitutional sense as we entered this impeachment?
LITMAN: So talk about changing explanations. It`s Giuliani is before he was rooting out corruption in favor of him. What he`s trying to do there is make a play for privilege.
HAYES: Yes. But I think it won`t work. And boy is he tailor-made to be the number two villain here. It`s not -- it`s not just that he`s unlikeable and sinister. The fact that he`s there makes it so clear that of course, he`s acting for Trump`s personal interest and not for any broader anti-corruption in Ukraine. So he`s front and center.
And they`ve got the pincer on him in a way they dealt with other witnesses because as Mimi says, SDNY is clearly making him a subject, and now Congress is as well. And he is really fit to -- I mean, there are very few, it seems to me good strategies for the White House at this point. But one of them might be throw Rudy from the train because there -- that final communication between him and Trump is not very clear. But we know that Rudy was doing, and it`s all it`s all nasty and corrupt without a doubt.
HAYES: Yes. That`s -- that is a very good point. I also wonder about the privilege play here. And this is kind of a technical legal question, but I`m interested in it. You know, I mean, there`s this sort of tradition of like the mob lawyer, right. And like, the mob lawyer is a lawyer, but also kind of an advisor. And the benefit you get from that is that legally that`s all privilege stuff and so you`ve got a privilege claim.
ROCAH: Or they think it`s legal.
HAYES: Right, exactly. They think -- right.
HAYES: And I`m not saying that Giuliani is a mob lawyer. What I`m saying here is that him calling himself the President`s lawyer while not doing anything that we would call legal work, per se. seems to me a play to sort of put this in the Penumbra of privilege, and I just wonder, like, can he - - can that hold up?
ROCAH: Look, not if it`s tested in a court, I think, right? It`s just like when -- remember when Michael Cohen`s office was raided and Trump came that day and said, you know, attorney-client privilege. This is an attack on it. And Republicans all day where this is crazy? How many of those documents ended up being privileged when a judge reviewed them? Like ten. You know, a very small amount.
HAYES: Right. A small -- you`re right. That`s right. They had a process to sort that.
ROCAH: Exactly. So I mean, if you get a judge, if you get a neutral observer looking -- or neutral, you know, decision-maker who knows the law and really understands what the very important principle of attorney-client privilege actually is about. This is a facade and regional and he`s been doing this for years.
I mean, he`s been going out on T.V. He`s been a spokesperson, not a lawyer. I mean, yes, he advised him on Mueller but you can have more than one role, right. He was giving the President advise but half the things he was doing on T.V. were about putting out talking points, you know, taking the sting out, things like that, and everything he`s done with Ukraine.
I mean, he can say it`s as a lawyer, but just labeling it, that doesn`t make it. He was a de facto Secretary of State. I don`t know.
HAYES: Yes, right. That`s my point. I mean, the other thing is like the President has a legal team. He`s in court all the time. There are some real highly paid very adept lawyers defending him in court. Rudy Giuliani is not doing that, notably. Mimi Rocah and Harry Litman, thank you both.
LITMAN: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: Joining me now is Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland who has been investigating the Trump administration`s freeze of military aid to Ukraine. Senator, I wanted to talk to you about that because I think it has gotten a little lost in the shuffle about whether the freeze itself was lawful or unlawful. What is your sense of why the freeze happened and whether it is lawful or unlawful?
SEN. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D-MD): Well, as to whether or not it was a lawful or whether it violated the budget process, I`ve asked GAO to take a look at it. I think it is important, Chris, to remember the big picture here, which is that the President`s withholding of taxpayer-funded military assistance to Ukraine in exchange for them interfering in the U.S. election is the cause for the abuse of power that House impeachment inquiry is very focused on.
The separate issue is whether the President in withholding the money violated what`s called the Empowerment Control Act, which is designed to prevent presidents from essentially withholding monies that have been duly appropriated by Congress and running out the clock at the end of the fiscal year.
The GAO in 2018 said it would be illegal for a president to do that. But the question is whether or not they needed to provide notice requirements. Of course, in the end under political pressure, they ended up releasing the funds. But I`ve asked GAO to look at this. This is a separate question from the larger issue of abuse of power.
HAYES: Right. But it connects in this case, the New York Times reporting that as that deadline crept closer of the end of the fiscal year and the money vanishing, that the Zelensky administration of Ukraine essentially came to conclude the only way to get the money released was, in fact, to go along with the President`s extortion, was to give them the announcement they wanted, which means that it almost did work. What do you -- what`s your response to that?
VAN HOLLEN: Well, that`s exactly right, Chris. And that is why the House of Representatives has tried to get information from the Office of Management and Budget from those who actually control the funding spigot to find out what their plans were, what their intentions are.
But as is the case with other White House officials, they`ve refused to provide that information, refused to provide that testimony, and their stonewalling the House of Representatives. But it is relevant to collect this information.
I will say that the budget committee yesterday adopted an amendment I proposed that at least going forward would prevent any president from threatening another country by withholding money the way the President did, because we take that running out the clock option off the table entirely.
HAYES: I should know that the testimony released by George Kent today says that he says the President personally ordered that money to be withheld. That jives with everything else we`ve heard. The first public hearings are happening in less than a week now. I`m wondering, as a U.S., Senator, what your approach to the hearings in the House is going to be.
Are you going to watch them? Do you think your colleagues will watch them? How do you see your role?
VAN HOLLEN: Oh, I expect to watch them very closely, Chris, pay a lot of attention to the evidence. You know, my view of this right now is the evidence today is overwhelming and that the President abused his powers. I`ve said, if the President and the White House has exculpatory evidence, they should be coming forward. This is the time to do it. Instead, they seem to be taking the opposite approach by, you know, preventing witnesses from testifying, which will lead us to the conclusion that if they never provide that exculpatory evidence that they don`t have it.
And in fact, any testimony from these witnesses would be even more damning. But I will be watching very closely.
HAYES: One thing that hangs over this, and we talked about it at the top of the show is the role of the Attorney General in all this. Rudy Giuliani`s role is fairly clear based on the evidence we`ve gotten. Of course, Giuliani doesn`t work for the U.S. government. The Attorney General is the people`s lawyer. He is the Minister of Justice in the U.S. Do you have confidence in him? Do you feel that he can be trusted with that position not to abuse that authority?
VAN HOLLEN: Oh, unfortunately, Attorney General Barr has showed that he`s nothing more than the President`s lawyer. He`s not the people`s lawyer. He will bend over backwards to do the political bidding of this White House. We`ve seen that pattern repeatedly.
So it`s unfortunate to say, but in this case, I don`t think we can have any faith in the Attorney General, to be a fair arbiter or administrator of justice. And that`s just a sad statement of where we are with this Trump administration.
HAYES: All right, Senator Chris Van Hollen, thank you very much. Up next, brand new revelations from the impeachment hearings from someone who had a bird`s eye view of the entire Ukraine scheme, the pieces he was able to put together. We`re back in just two minutes.
HAYES: When George Kent who is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European affairs testified privately before the House Impeachment Inquiry last month, his testimony barely leaked, and it didn`t generate the kind of headlines we got from some other key witnesses. But today, when the transcript of that deposition was released, we discovered there are some real revelations.
George Kent is in the position of the State Department hierarchy to have a kind of bird`s eye view of this whole scheme and to put the plot together and see the point of it. Here`s how he spells out in his testimony.
"Ambassador Gordon Sondland had talked to President, POTUS, sort of shorthand, and POTUS wanted nothing less but President Zelensky to go to the microphones and say investigations, Biden, and Clinton. And the other key witnesses while providing crucial firsthand knowledge were in silos. It couldn`t necessarily see the big picture of what was taking place."
George Kent`s testimony is illuminating, because he sees what`s happening and lays it all out for the committee. He told him, "Ambassador Sondland was pushing a line that included having President Zelensky given interview potentially with CNN, in which he would send this public signal of announcing a willingness to pursue investigations.
Going on to explain, I think the anticipation or the hope was that sending that signal would clear the way for both the White House visit as well as the resumption or the clearing of the administrative hold on security assistance which have been placed OMB.
For more on what was in the most recent impeachment transcript that dropped today, I`m joined by the National Security Reporter for The Washington Post John Hudson who`s been pouring over this as well. I guess I`ll start open- ended. What jumped out to me about this testimony was that, the kind of bird`s eye view that Kent has. What was -- what did you find most striking in it?
JOHN HUDSON, NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER, WASHINGTON POST: Well, Chris, we`re talking about George Kent who is basically in diplomatic circles, considered the foremost Ukraine expert in the State Department. This guy has a very granular view of how the country works.
And in his testimony, it essentially him describing a slow-motion train wreck in his mind of really the degrading of longtime U.S. foreign policy, which is to convince these former Soviet satellite states that it is wrong to have politically motivated investigations. That`s not what you`re supposed to do.
And he saw the State Department becoming used in a way that was totally doing a 180 on that policy and saying actually, you should do a politically motivated investigation, one that actually happens to politically benefit the U.S. president.
HAYES: You know, that point is -- it`s well stated on your part because one of the ironies here is that what the scheme amounted to was pushing Ukraine to be more corrupt, that they wanted them to essentially be using the apparatus of justice, which should, you know, work on some factual predicates or some fact-finding to be the tool of a political power?
HUDSON: That`s absolutely right. And, you know, he`s been in these discussions working in these former Soviet satellite states for so many years. And he`s been the one pressing on these officials. And so for him to be part of this system where they`re saying, actually this military assistance, actually, this meeting with the President could happen pretty quickly if you just get in front of a camera, go on CNN and announced them that these investigations are starting. It made him extremely uncomfortable and it made him feel dirty going through the whole process. And he was an extremely detailed witness.
And that`s one of the reasons why Democrats are putting him on stage next week, where he`ll be in televised hearings, talking about his experience.
HAYES: There`s an interesting exchange on that point, right, about the sort of propriety of this whole thing with Volker. Volker is an interesting character. Remember, he was the special envoy to Ukraine. He`s kind of working both sides. He seems to think this is not great but like, if it`s what you got to do, if it`s the price for it, then we`ll do it.
And Kent talks about his current reaction or response to me was, well, if there`s nothing there, why should it matter? What if there is something there, it should be investigated? My response to him was asking another country to investigate a prosecution for political reasons undermines our advocacy of the rule of law.
This is shared by people other than Kent, but it`s interesting that he`s having that fight right there with Volker.
HUDSON: Absolutely. And he is another witness who has described this exact situation where he`s saying actually it`s -- a quid pro quo is a really bad thing. It`s not something we should do it. And he`s confronted with a sort of metaphor that supposed to be more palatable, which is saying, oh you know like a businessman, you know, before he signs a check, he wants something in return. Surely you wouldn`t be opposed to business- like practices.
And Kent, just like Ambassador Taylor who has -- whose deposition was released yesterday, really is not convinced that metaphor makes anything really better.
HAYES: So final point here. It`s fascinating to me how Giuliani and the people around him got sucked into the intermeshing grudge matches of Ukrainian politics, right. And Kent who`s an expert in the region, he talks about Yuriy Lutsenko, who was the former Attorney General, Prosecutor General widely seen as corrupt and not hard enough on corruption.
And Kent says, based on what I know, it was Lutsenko as Prosecutor General who vowed revenge and provided informatio1n to Rudy Giuliani in hopes that he would spread it and lead to getting the U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch removal. It`s a remarkable wagging the dog situation that`s playing out here.
HUDSON: Yes, absolutely. It is remarkable, and especially because this is exactly the thing that he`s pushed back against. And so there`s no way that this was ever going to be something that Kent viewed as palatable. And so that`s essentially how it played out.
HAYES: All right, john Hudson, thank you very much. Still to come, our first look at a potential impeachment schedule that could 1see a House vote in time for Christmas. Judiciary chair Jerry Nadler is here to talk about happens next after this.
HAYES: Today we got our first glimpse of what appears to be a plan timeline for the impeachment of President Donald J. Trump. Then chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, announced yesterday that public hearings will start next week, next Wednesday, with three key witnesses scheduled to testify. And that process is expected to go along quite quickly.
CNN`s Manu Raju reports that Democrats are on a fast track in their impeachment proceedings, hoping to wrap things up by Christmas, quote, "if that time line is followed that could setup a full house vote to impeach Trump on the week of December 16th, a historic vote, that may come 31 years after President Bill Clinton was impeached by the House December 19, 1998.
Right now the impeachment process is in the intelligence committee, but eventually actual articles of impeachment will be likely drafted by the Judiciary Committee. The Judiciary Committee has been the body out of which all previous articles of impeachment have passed, and that is likely to be the case here.
And joining me now, the chair of that committee, Congressman Jerry Nadler, Democrat from New York. Good to have you here.
REP. JERROLD NADLER, (D) NEW YORK: Hi. Good to be here.
HAYES: It`s sort of an interesting structure that`s been setup with these sort of oversight committees, right, and the depositions. There`s going to be public hearings in the intelligence committee starting next week. What do you see as the Judiciary Committee`s role here?
NADLER: Well, the whole thing is really in two phase. One is the phase of fact-finding, which is the intelligence committee is doing now, and with respect to Ukraine and the national security component, the oversight committee due to the emoluments, judiciary committee with respect to obstruction of justice.
The next stage is to get the conversation of the evidence. The intel committee, and maybe some of the others, will write reports to the judiciary committee as to their findings and what the evidence is. The Judiciary Committee`s role will be to consider the evidence, to draft possible articles of impeachment, to consider those, to afford due process to the president in consideration of those articles of impeachment and to vote on them.
HAYES: You just mentioned emoluments, and you mentioned obstruction of justice, which I think you`re referring to some of the incidents that are laid out in the Mueller report. Now, that`s interesting to me. Do you see those as possible -- scope of this...
NADLER: I`m not going to speculate on what they may be. I`m simply saying that those are the things the various committees looked into. Certainly the intel committee, and maybe some of the other committees will write reports to our committee, and we will then have the consider all the evidence in front of us and decide which, if any, are deserving of articles of impeachment, draft the articles of impeachment, hold hearings and provide the president with due process, consider the evidence, give the president and the minority the opportunity to ask questions, participate fully in the process, educate the American people, also, and then decide what to vote on.
HAYES: So, this is interesting. I just -- so I think I learned something there. So, when you say it`s not just that you`re going to draft these articles if -- should that be the case and then pass them, there will be impeachment hearings in the judiciary.
NADLER: There may be.
HAYES: There may be.
NADLER: There may be. It depends on does the president or the minority want to call witnesses that haven`t been testified already? I don`t know that. It depends. We`ll have to see.
HAYES: Well, what -- when you say due process, this has been a contentious term here. It`s interesting to me to see the president who once praised police officers for banging the heads of suspects against cop cars get religion on due process.
But what do you understand as due process in this context?
HAYES: Due process means the opportunity to lay out the evidence for the court, in this case for the committee and for the American people and for the congress if we vote -- if we end up voting articles of impeachment, the opportunity for the president and people on his behalf, the Republicans to present exculpatory evidence to tend to exonerate me, to examine all of this, perhaps to call witnesses, and to give the opportunity for a fair hearing, fair for all sides.
And a hearing that is fair and that is seen to be fair.
HAYES: So -- OK, well those can be two different things, obviously.
NADLER: Well, but you want to do both.
HAYES: Well, one of them you can`t control. I mean, you can control whether you present a process that you believe is fair or that, but you can`t control whether it`s perceived as fair. My suspicion is that the president and his allies and the network devoted to his propaganda will all devoted themselves to saying it`s not fair.
NADLER: But we can do hearings that -- or procedures that are in fact fair, and that fair minded people will regard as fair.
HAYES: Well, so here`s my question, the president tweeted just now a complaint. He complains a lot about this stuff, but that -- his lawyers won`t be present in the public hearings the House Intelligence Committee are having. And I guess my question is from the point of view of process, right, how much are the president`s lawyers important versus the minority, the Republican members of these committees?
NALDER: I don`t know. That`s impossible to say at this point. But in the -- when we have whatever procedures we have in the judiciary...
HAYES: I`m talking about you, yeah, I`m not talking about intelligence.
NADLER: In the Judiciary Committee, the president`s lawyers will be permitted to be there as well as the minority lawyers.
HAYES: Oh, so that`s interesting. So, you think that`s an important part of this process, that it`s not just the Republicans but actually the presidents lawyers?
NADLER: Essentially. I think It`ll probably come to the same thing as a practical matter.
HAYES: Well, I guess that`s my question, right. Because, I mean, one of the complaints of process so far is I think the president has conjured this idea that none of his defenders are in the room, that essentially this is just...
NADLER: Well, that`s certainly not true. The minority, the Republicans are doing nothing but acting as his defense team.
HAYES: Right. What is your view of what you want to achieve should there be for the fourth time in the history of the American nation an impeachment hearing in your judiciary committee?
NADLER: Well, what we want to achieve is what I said before, proper consideration of all the evidence that`s been reported to us by other committees or that we develop ourselves, and the drafting of impeachment articles if indicated, and proper consideration that are fair and proper action to report to the house.
HAYES: What are you reading? What are you looking at? What are the sources that you go to? I mean, when I read a great book about the first impeachment, Andrew Johnson, it`s -- they don`t know what to do. It`s never happened before and they`re going back and there`s a few...
NADLER: Well, we have precedents. I`m not talking about the precedence from Andrew Johnson, but we certainly have precedents from the Nixon impeachment and the Clinton impeachment. And one notable thing is that the rules and procedures that the House opted on our behalf to govern the procedures in front of the various committees, in front -- well, specifically in front of the Intelligence Committee and in front of the Judiciary Committee are modeled, in fact given the president and minority all the same rights and opportunity given in the minority which at that point was Democratic in the Clinton administration -- in the Clinton impeachment, and also in the Nixon impeachment.
HAYES: Is your mind undecided about whether the president committed impeachable offenses?
NADLER: I certainly have opinions, and I think you can guess those opinions, but as chairman of the committee I really have to reverse judgment, or at least expressing that judgment.
HAYES: I don`t know if that`s a bell you can unring.
NADLER: Well, I -- let`s put it this way, there`s a heck of a lot of evidence that the president has committed impeachable offenses, but we have to give a fair hearing, we have to try to be open-minded and see.
HAYES: When you talk about this fairness and the open-mindedness, I get from you a genuine principled commitment and value, and also a kind of political consideration. Like I guess a broader question here is we`ve never removed a president from office, right? There have been four impeachments. In one case the president -- well, there would have been four when this happens most likely. In one case, Nixon he was -- he resigned, he was probably going to lose that vote, the other two did not result in conviction.
Do you see the process as possibly ending in the removal of the president of the United States? Is that a live possibility in your mind?
NADLER: I think it is a possibility. I don`t know how to estimate the possibility, but I would certainly say it`s not a zero possibility. One of the things that`s going to happen, both in the intelligence committee open hearings and whatever proceedings that we pursue, whether they`re hearings or whatever, is the American people will watch it. I think it`s going to be riveting. The American people will watch it. They`ll develop their own opinions. They`ll express those opinions to their senators and members of the House. And I think it`s possible, depending how strong the evidence is, and depending on other political considerations, that maybe the senate will act to remove the president.
But I`m not going to give an estimate, and I can`t estimate that. But I will say I don`t think it`s a zero possibility. That`s a very cynical view that it`s a zero possibility. And I also, to be political about it, I think some Republican senators may take a look at the election results the other day and start thinking maybe I should be a little more fair and not dismissive.
HAYES: All right. Congressman Jerry Nadler, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, it was great to have you here. Come by any time.
NADLER: Thank you. Good to be here.
HAYES: Still to come, amidst the debate over the wealth taxes proposed by Democratic candidates Warren and Sanders, a new billionaire prepares to enter the race. How the newest candidate could change the field ahead.
HAYES: So this fall we took our podcast, Why is This Happening, on the road for the first time. We went to Austin, Los Angeles, we`re going to be in Chicago next week. That`s going to be a great one. Now we have the details for our final stop. On Sunday, December 8, we will be bringing it back home to our city at the historic town hall in Midtown Manhattan. My special guest is someone I most admire, one of my all-time favorite people to talk to, the one and only Tony Kushner.
Tony famously wrote Angels in America, which rightly won the Pulitzer Prize, became a hit movie on HBO, is now in the American Theater Canon for all of eternity. His play a Bright Room Called Day is back on stage here in New York with a modern update.
In addition to the Pulitzer, he`s won a Tony, an Emmy, nominated for a couple of Oscars. In 2013, President Obama awarded him the National Medal of the Arts.
But the newest accolade he will add to his resume is guest of what many people are saying is the podcast of our generation. It`ll be an incredibly fun night. You can get pre-sale tickets right now, just go to MSNBC.com/WITHpodtour. You`ll find the link, make sure you have the very secret pre-sale code that no one knows, which is WITH Pod. But do it quick, the pre-sale ends tonight at 10:00 p.m. Eastern. I don`t want you to miss out. I hope to see you there.
HAYES: I think it is fair to say the most unlikely member of the United States Senate is one Alabama Democratic Senator Doug Jones. Alabama is about as red as it comes. Donald Trump won the state by nearly 28 points.
In 2017, Republican Roy Moore eked out a primary victory, despite the fact he is an out and out theocrat who has no business being in the U.S. Senate. And then during the general election, The Washington Post published extremely damning and credible allegations of repeated sexual assault and stalking of teenagers.
And even with all that, Doug Jones only won over Roy Moore in that 2017 special election by less than 2 percentage points.
Since that day, everyone has said to themselves, well, Doug Jones` time in the United States Senate is probably not long for this world, will probably end with the general election 2020, which he has to run in.
But there is a way that Jones could be re-elected, and that is basically if the Republicans implode in a war of infighting in the primary. And that looks like it could happen.
Roy Moore is already back in the race, part of the crowded primary field that also includes famous former college football coach Tommy Tuberville. And just a few minutes ago, a new candidate announced he was jumping in, former senator and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Now, to be clear, Sessions would probably be a lock to defeat Doug Jones in a general election. He has strong roots in the deep red state, is well liked there, served as an Alabama senator for 20 years. Sessions has one big problem, the president hates his guts, just hates him. And he hates him because just about the only thing that Jeff Sessions did right as the attorney general was to recuse himself from the Russia investigation over his contacts with the Russian ambassador. And ever since then Trump has blamed Sessions for his plight.
In announcing his candidacy just minutes ago, Sessions released an ad seemingly targeted to a man who is not an Alabama voter, but could have a huge impact on his campaign.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF SESSIONS, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Did I write a tell-all book? No. Did I go on CNN and attack the president? Nope. Have I said a cross word about our president, not one time. The president`s doing a great job for America and Alabama. And he has my solid support.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That`s the ad.
Now, that is probably, I`m just guessing, not going to appease the president. NBC News reports it has been made clear to Sessions that Trump intends to campaign against him.
According to The Washington Post, Trump has even joked to senators and White House aides that he would move to Alabama and compete against Sessions himself in the primary, which would be weird and I guess interesting.
So now the question is will the president go to war against perhaps the person most likely to carry the state for Republicans? And we could find out on Saturday when Trump will attend the Alabama-LSU football game in Tuscaloosa, which is part of the White House staff`s pathetic and obsessive quest to find a single sports venue where Trump won`t be booed.
After he first (inaudible) loud boos at the World Series, and them somewhat amazingly at a UFC fight, and that may be where Trump goes after Sessions for what Trump views as his disloyalty, and in the process potentially help Doug Jones extend his unlikely tenure in the Senate at least six years longer.
HAYES: Billionaires have been increasingly vocal about their displeasure over calls to redistribute wealth coming from progressive Democratic presidential candidates, particularly the wealth tax plans proposed by Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.
And now it looks like one of them plans to do something about it, a long time advisor to Michael Bloomberg confirming to NBC News that the former New York mayor is positioning himself to enter the Democratic Party primary as first reported by The New York Times.
Bloomberg is expected to file paperwork this week for the primary in Alabama, which is has an early filing deadline.
I`m joined now by Alexis Goldstein, senior policy analyst at Americans for Financial Reform, a contributor to Truthout; also with me John Harwood, editor at-large for CNBC, a host of the CNBC digital video series Speakeasy with John Harwood.
It`s funny, John, when we conceived of the segment this morning we were going to talk about sort of the billionaire versus Warren and Sanders, and there`s been a bunch of them, and Bill Gates has some quotes, and someone cried on CNBC about how unfairly he felt he was being treated. But now we have just one, you know, coming forward to basically run on the agenda which is you guys are nuts, we want to keep our money and some other stuff. What do you think about Bloomberg`s entrance?
JOHN HARWOOD, HOST, SPEAKEASY WITH JOHN HARWOOD: Well, I`m not convinced that Mike Bloomberg is going to run. He has considered it in the past and always decided he couldn`t win the election, but it is hard to separate the emergence of this news from the recent angst among people -- Leon Cooperman and Jamie Dimon and Bill Gates thinking that the hoards are coming for their money.
The interesting thing to me is that there are serious tax hikes on the table right now from Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. But these billionaires felt -- many of them felt the same way when Barack Obama was proposing trivial tax hikes during his presidency.
We all remember Steve Schwarzman saying it was like the Nazi invasion, and you had all these complaints that we were being vilified for being successful. Some of this is a psychological thing that I don`t really know how to account for, because the policy itself doesn`t seem to necessarily be related to it.
But there is policy on the table now. There`s concern that Joe Biden is not as strong as some people like Mike Bloomberg had thought. As for Warren and Sanders, his complaint is that they`re not electable, but one of the reasons that they`re not seen as electable is that people with money think they`re going to shake up the system.
HAYES: Slash go to war against them, that`s the other thing that always hangs in the balance in the Citizens United era. I thought that this Matt Yglesias tweet was pretty funny, Alexis, "the fact each random billionaire`s thoughts on Elizabeth warren is a news story is itself a powerful demonstration of the disproportionate political influence of the very rich." And I think that should Bloomberg get into the race, it is an interesting test, right, like what can money buy? Tom Steyer spent $43 million so far, and it`s gotten him a few points in the polls, and he`s qualified for the debate stage, but he`s certainly not a front-runner. So, it`s an interesting...
HARWOOD: Ask Howard Schultz.
HAYES: Exactly, Alexis, of exactly what can you buy?
ALEXIS GOLDSTEIN, AMERICANS FOR FINANCIAL REFORM: Well, it`s interesting, Tom Steyer is the only billionaire to his credit that has his own wealth tax credit proposal, a wealth tax of 1 percent. Warren, obviously, has a higher one, it`s 2 percent from $50 million to $1 billion and 3 percent over that. And Sanders has the highest one which is 8 percent over $10 billion.
But what I think is most interesting is all these billionaires seem to think that they have the solution and that they can solve the world`s problems better than the federal government can with its millions of workers, many of whom are experts. And I seem to remember that we had another billionaire businessman who thought that he knew better than the entire federal government and all of the workers that worked for him named Donald Trump.
And I think the difference here, at least in this sense, is not very much, right. Like, in this one sense, Bill Gates is basically Donald Trump with better table manners.
HAYES: Well, here`s what I think is also different this time around, speaking to both to Trump and to what John said about previous fits of rage from Wall Street about being taxed, the wealth tax is a real thing. It`s a new thing. It would genuinely change the balance sheets of billionaires in a way that other forms of taxation wouldn`t, right, because most of their wealth -- most of their money is in wealth, it`s not in income. It would be a new addition.
This is what Bloomberg said to my colleague Stephanie Ruhle about some of the positions taken in the primary. And I want to get your response, John and Alexis. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, FORMER MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY: I think a lot of pandering on some of the more liberal things that have really -- it`s really not practical. The economics wouldn`t work. T he public wouldn`t want it. But in order to get through a primary, a Democratic primary or a Republican primary, candidates take positions that are more extreme than what the public wants.
The public does not want revolutionary change, it wants evolutionary change.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Now, that`s a defensible argument on the merits, John, but one thing I find so interesting is how well the wealth tax specifically polls. There`s lots of things in the Democrat agenda that poll poorly, but that one really does poll well.
HARWOOD: It does poll well. And in general raising taxes on wealthy people, on people with incomes over $250,000 or $400,000, polls very well.
Now, the fact it polls well doesn`t peen the wealth tax itself as proposed as Warren and Sanders is a good idea. You`ve got people like Larry Summers, former Treasury Secretary, he`s no conservative, who is making the argument that it wouldn`t raise the money that she`s talking about, it would distort behavior. It might not be successful.
So there are meritorious arguments about the wealth tax itself, but it is odd to hear them coming from the affected class.
GOLDSTEIN: I don`t know I`d buy those arguments, right? Like, I used to work on Wall Street and the wealthiest traders lived in Manhattan and they voluntarily paid higher taxes because they wanted the glamorousness of living in Manhattan. And I think at the end of the day this polls really well.
And, look, billionaires pays 2 percent fees to participate in hedge funds so that they can make more money just to get in the door, right. So why shouldn`t billionaires pay a 2 percent wealth tax just to get into society. And I think that`s the argument some of these candidates are making.
HAYES: Yeah, the two and 20 hedge fund fee, which is sort of going out the door these days, but it is its own wealth tax. It`s just for the hedge fund...
GOLDSTEIN: It`s just for the very, very rich people.
HAYES: Alexis Goldstein and John Harwood, thank you both for being with me.
That is ALL IN for this evening. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now, good evening Rachel.
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