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Speaker Pelosi requests Articles of Impeachment. TRANSCRIPT: 12/5/19, All In w/ Chris Hayes.

Guests: Jim Manley, Joe Neguse, Denny Heck, Bernie Sanders, Frank Figluzzi,Betsy Woodruff Swan

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST:  Dick Nixon was at least smart enough to know who and therefore what he was up against.  And that`s HARDBALL for now.  Thanks for being with us.  "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.



REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA):  Today, I`m asking our chairman to proceed with the articles of impeachment.

HAYES:  Speaker Pelosi makes the announcement.

PELOSI:  The President leads us no choice but to act.

HAYES:  The House will bring articles of impeachment against Donald J. Trump.

REPORTER:  Are you worried, sir, about the stain impeachment might have on your legacy?


HAYES:  Tonight, what we know about new hearings and what happens next.  Plus --

REP. DENNY HECK (D-WA):  I`m sad that we`ve come to this point.

HAYES:  Democrat Denny Heck on why he says the President and Republicans are causing him to retire from Congress.  Then 60 days from the first votes, Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders joins me from Iowa.  New reporting tonight that both investigations into Donald Trump`s favorite conspiracy theory have come up empty.

TRUMP:  I do think the big report to wait for is going to be the dirt report.

HAYES:  When ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES:  Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes.  The House of Representatives will draft articles of impeachment against the President of the United States.  This morning, Speaker of House -- of the House Nancy Pelosi made it official directing the House Judiciary Committee to draft impeachment articles for what she called President Trump`s serious violations of the Constitution.


PELOSI:  Our democracy is what is at stake.  The President leads us no choice but to act because he is trying to corrupt once again the election for his own benefit.  The President has engaged in abuse of power, undermining our national security and jeopardizing the integrity of our elections.  His actions are in defiance of the vision of our founders and the oath of office that he takes to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Sadly, but with confidence and humility, with allegiance to our Founders, and our hearts full of love for America, today, I`m asking our chairman to proceed with articles of impeachment.


HAYES:  The speaker also had some words for Sinclair Reporter James Rosen after she was finished taking questions at a press conference, even walking back to the podium to get her point across.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Do you hate the president, Madame Speaker?

PELOSI:  I don`t -- I don`t hate anybody.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Representative Collins --

PELOSI:  I don`t hate anybody, not anybody in the world.  There`s no -- don`t you accuse me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I did not accuse you.

PELOSI:  You did.  You did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I asked a question.  Representative Collins yesterday suggested that the Democrats are doing this simply because they don`t like the guy.

PELOSI:  I have nothing to do with it.  Let me just say this.  I think the President is a coward when it comes to helping kids who are afraid of gun violence.  I think he is cool when he doesn`t deal with helping our DREAMers of which were very proud.  I think he`s in denial about the concept about the climate crisis.

However, that`s about the election.  This is about the election.  Take it up in the election.  This is about the Constitution of the United States and the fact that leads to the President`s violation of his oath of office.  I still pray for the President.  I pray for the president all the time.  So don`t mess with me when it comes to words like that.

HAYES:  Just as Speaker Pelosi began her press conference, the Judiciary Committee announced it will hold a hearing Monday to receive presentations from the House Intelligence Committee and Judiciary Committee councils related to the impeachment of President Donald J. Trump.

Republicans have been trying amidst this process this sort of weird Jedi mind trick, you know, suggesting that impeachment is backfiring and America hates you.  Your polling is collapsing.  Moderate Democrats are scared.  That tactic is not working because it`s just clearly not true.

And it`s actually unclear whether Republicans deluded themselves into thinking that Democrats were starting to get skittish.  Reporter David Drucker, who`s well-sourced with House Republicans tweeting, many R`s seem legit convinced these are having second thoughts about impeachment.  Are they?  Not my sense from several convos on Tuesday.  No, this is going to happen.

As we saw from Nancy Pelosi, Democrats are committed 100 percent to impeaching the President of the United States.  And it`s easy to remember, it took many of them a long time to get there.  There was a moment yesterday that was very interesting in the hearings when Harvard Law Professor Noah Feldman was read his own a quote four months before by one of the House Republicans in which he was opposing impeachment.

And Feldman agreed, yes, I was against impeachment.  I was an impeachment skeptic until the whistleblower complaint in Trump`s phone call with Ukraine`s president.  And that is generally true of the majority of the Democratic Caucus.  I know I saw it day after day, interviewing them right here on this show.

Speaker Pelosi and the Democratic leadership held the reins on this for months as a number of Democrats supporting impeachment ticked up one by one in the wake of the obstruction that was documented the Mueller report.  But what pushed them over the top was seeing in black and white clear evidence of the President of the United States attempting to rig the next election.

It was when they found out he had said to the Ukrainian president "I would like you to do us a favor though."  That`s when things changed.  And once they decided to move forward completely, they have moved quickly.  And it`s only been 35 days since the investigation formally began.  The investigations of President Nixon and Clinton took 170 and 64 days respectively, before articles of impeachment were drafted.

Of course, every situation is different.  Articles have only been drafted three times before so it`s hard to get an apples to apples comparison.  But it`s notable the calendars of the Trump and Clinton impeachments are sort of uncannily sinking up.  The House voted to impeach President Clinton on December 19th, 1998.

The 21st anniversary of his impeachment is exactly two weeks from today.  And as for the pacing here, there`s a somewhat strange situation we find ourselves in, in which both Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump seem to believe that a fast impeachment is to their respective advantage.  Democrats are full speed ahead, forging ahead today.

Well, late last night, Trump was tweeting, "If you`re going to impeach me, do it now fast so we can have fair trial on the Senate and so that our country can get back to business."  Do it and do it fast because Trump thinks he can control the game in a Senate trial.  And it seems like Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats are going to call the President`s bluff.

Joining me now for more on what to expect as the impeachment moves forward, Barbara McQuade former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, now an MSNBC Legal Analyst and Jim Manley, former Chief Spokesman -- Spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.  He was also press secretary for Senator Ted Kennedy back when President Clinton was being impeached.

Barbara, let me start with you.  I thought it was interesting the wording that Nancy Pelosi used around what she viewed as the President`s violations, abuse of power and imperiling the national security, meddling in elections.  And I wondered how you see that language relating to what the categories of articles of impeachment might be.

BARBARA MCQUADE, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST:  Yes, I thought those were interesting choices of words.  And I think it suggests that a strategy that is probably advisable in terms of looking at impeachment, not as violations of technical statutory language like bribery, or extortion, or using terms like quid pro quo.  But talking more broadly, as we heard the professor testify about yesterday, the essence of impeachment is about abuse of power.

And the things that the Framers of the Constitution feared the most were foreign influence in elections, and undermining our national security, and putting a president`s self-interest above the national interest.  Those are the themes she seemed to hit.  And it suggests to me that perhaps when drafting the Articles of Impeachment, the drafters of those articles will keep those bigger things in mind.

HAYES:  Jim, you had many years working on the other side of Capitol Hill in the Senate.  And I wonder what you think as you watch this in the House about the strategy here which is in the words of the House leadership and also in the critic Jonathan Turley yesterday, narrow and focused, right?  Keep this on Ukraine, move fairly quickly, get it over the Senate.  As a sort of veteran parliamentarian watching all this develop, what do you think of that strategy?

JIM MANLEY, FORMER SPOKESPERSON FOR SEN. HARRY REID:  I think it`s absolutely the right way to go.

HAYES:  You did?

MANLEY:  Yes, I do, as a matter of fact.  I have seen an awful lot of poorly run hearings over the years.  So to the extent, these have gone well, so far, you know, I think it`s great.  But to go to your deeper point, you know, what the speaker is done has been fantastic.  She checked, you know, the different corners of the caucus.  She made sure everybody is on board.  And then like a good leader, she made the decision and pull the trigger decide to move forward.

You know, I think that she is concerned as I am as well that if this continues to stay out there, people are going to lose interest and or, you know -- you know, they`re going to find some other reason to go after Biden, for instance.  So --

HAYES:  But let me follow up on that -- let me follow up on that because I think one of the concerns now about the Senate where you really know how that body works is essentially a Senate Republican majority that can muster 51 votes for rulings on procedural motions and a trial, essentially turning this into the kind of circus and investigate the investigators enterprise that Donald Trump has dreamed of and Lindsey Graham has said he wants.

MANLEY:  Yes.  But -- look, a couple of different things.  First of all, you and I have talked about this before, you know.  But the fact the matter is based on everything I can tell so far, there`s not a snowball`s chance in hell that Joe Biden, his son, or anyone else like that is going to be testifying on the wall or the floor of the Senate floor.

In part why, because I think there`s a whole bunch of Republicans that don`t want to go down that path.  There were a couple of quotes today from John Cornyn and John Thune, and both of whom said basically, they wanted to avoid a circus-like atmosphere.  You`re throwing Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski and some others, Mitt Romney, for instance, and I don`t think the votes are there.

So again, remember, to a significant degree, everything is going to be done on a majority vote.  And if McConnell overplayed his hand or the hardliners, overplay their hand, they`re going to lose.  There seems to be quite a disconnect between what the White House wants and what I think is going to happen on the floor of the Senate.

HAYES:  That is -- that is the most -- you`ve put your finger on the most fascinating dynamic if and when we get to trial precisely that because we know what Donald Trump wants, and whether McConnell -- I mean, McConnell is happy to tell the president to go walk off appear when he doesn`t have the vote.  So it`ll be -- it`ll be interesting to see if that happens.

There`s also -- I mean, as we`re speaking here, Barbara, and as -- you know, the Speaker today talked about the election.  I mean, right now, in Rudy Giuliani, the President`s lawyer, is in Ukraine doing the thing that the President is being impeached over.

He is tweeting today about how Ukraine won`t get full U.S. cooperation until the deal with the Biden situation.  He`s meeting with shady ex- officials, people notoriously with axes to grind and agendas in Kiev to the surprise of both the Zelensky government and the U.S. Embassy.  It is remarkable to watch them continue to do this.

MCQUADE:  Yes, I thought one of the things that Chairman Jerrold Nadler said yesterday during the hearing was particularly compelling speaking about the need for urgency.  Yes, there`s been some complaint and Professor Turley yesterday during the testimony said he thinks things are moving too quickly.  But the counterpoint to that as Chairman Nadler said is this President continues to seek interference in the election.  He must be stopped.

We can`t just wait until the next election because if he`s rigging the election, then we can`t count on that as an effective way to remove him from office.  And so, the fact that Rudy Giuliani is still out there, seeking election interference, and the fact that President Trump began this effort with President Zelensky the day after Robert Mueller testified about his last effort to interfere with the election suggests that he is a recidivist, he`s incorrigible.  We need to -- we need impeachment, and we need it quickly.

HAYES:  Barbara McQuade and Jim Manley, thank you both for sharing your expertise tonight.  Joining me now, one of the members of Congress who is on that House Judiciary Committee responsible for drafting and voting on articles of impeachment against the president, Democratic Congressman, Joe Neguse of Colorado.

This is maybe a sort of wonky or processing question, but I`m curious, like, how does this work?  Are you guys all in a room together?  Is it like -- literally, how are you going to draft these articles?

REP. JOE NEGUSE (D-CO):  Well, it`s good to see you, Chris.  So in terms of the processes, you know, notice he`s been sent out for the hearing on Monday, or the Judiciary Committee will have an opportunity to receive the evidence and the presentation of evidence from the Intelligence Committee, and the Judiciary Committee councils.

And so obviously, that`ll be a very important hearing as we kind of compile and react to that evidence and compare that evidence and apply it against the legal standards that were expounded upon yesterday.  After that, I imagine they`re going to be a lot of internal conversations and discussions and robust conversations about what articles should be sent to the full House for consideration, and those to the extent we were to proceed along that path they would be marked up the same way that you would have a markup for a resolution or a legislative bill.

So there`s a lot of steps left in this process but we`re going to treat this process with the respect it deserves and take the serious and methodical approach that Speaker Pelosi so eloquently described earlier today during her press conference.

HAYES:  Part of your questioning yesterday in the hearing, you talked about the President`s tweeting about witnesses, intimidating them, conceivably tampering I think in your mind and in the minds of many.  Do you worry that the President is not getting the message about restraining his behavior in this domain, particularly with the President`s personal attorney making in public tonight the same claims that are getting the President impeached?

NEGUSE:  I think it`s very clear that this President is not getting the message.  And as you said, what the President`s personal and campaign attorney is apparently doing right now in Ukraine, based on the public reports that we`ve seen thus far is a testament to that very fact.  And it underscores the exigent circumstances that we find ourselves in.

And so as we talk about the need for the House to move forward, and to treat this with a sense of urgency, to move expeditiously through the process, it is precisely because the President`s conduct poses a real threat to the national security of our country in terms of the corruption and undermining of our elections.  And that is happening in real-time and it is ongoing.

So that is precisely why the House is taking this so seriously, and why I think you`ve seen us move in such an expeditious fashion.

HAYES:  Are you watching the polls?

NEGUSE:  I`m not.  I mean --

HAYES:  Well, you`re in a -- I mean, you`re in a fairly safe seat.  I when I say you, I mean collectively the caucus.

NEGUSE:  I would -- I would just tell you this, Chris.  I think every member is certainly spending time back home with their constituents at town hall meetings.  I`ve said this before on your program, as you know, this freshman class of Democrats held more town halls combined than any of their predecessors.  And we know our constituents well, and I will tell you that we`re certainly taking their views into consideration as we move forward in terms of honoring our constitutional oath.

But at the end of the day, as the Speaker said, again, so eloquently this morning, it is not about the polls, it truly is not.  It is about our constitution and defending our constitutional republic.  That fundamentally is the work before us as a committee, as a Congress, frankly, as an American people.  And so, in my view, that`s the way that we`re taking this sort of the approach that we`re taking and the lens by which we`re viewing the work that`s before the Congress, not through the polls.

HAYES:  All right, Congressman Joe Neguse, thank you very much.

NEGUSE:  Thank you, Chris.

HAYES:  Still to come, the House Intel member who says he`s just basically so fed up with the behavior of his Republican colleagues he`s leaving his job.  Congressman Denny Heck joins me in his first interview since announcing his retirement in two minutes.



HECK:  I`m very angry about how it is the most powerful person on the face of the earth would remove you from office after your stellar service and somehow feel compelled to characterize you as bad news, and then to ominously threatened that you`re going to go through some things.  So I am angry but I`m not surprised.


HAYES:  That was Congressman Denny Heck, member the House Intelligence Committee last month during the testimony of ousted U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.  He seemed to be clearly at his wits end during the impeachment hearings and frustrated with the behavior of the President and his Republican colleagues.

That seems somewhat surprising since Congressman Heck does not have a reputation on Capitol Hill is a fire-breather or bomb-thrower.  Then yesterday completely unexpectedly out of the blue, he announced he`s retiring.  He will not be running for reelection next year, basically because well, he kind of can`t take it anymore.

In a statement, Congressman Heck said that the impeachment inquiry had, "Rendered my soul weary.  I will never understand how so my colleagues in many ways good people could ignore or deny the President`s unrelenting attack on a free press, his vicious character assassination of anyone who disagreed with him and his demonstrably very distant relationship with the truth.

Joining me to talk about this is Congressman Denny Heck, Democrat from Washington.  Congressman, it`s good to have you.  Take me through when you made this decision and why.

HECK:  Probably over Thanksgiving holidays --

HAYES:  Oh, that recently.

HECK:  Yes.  I think it probably have been coming for a while, but you asked when the decision was made.  And I got a chance to get some rest and do some heavy-duty reflection, and came to that conclusion.  But again, it`s probably been coming for a while.  I mean, after all, week after week, month after month, we`ve been sitting there subjected to some of the behaviors that you described from or quoted from my letter, Chris.  It`s an awful lot of abrasion to the spirit and to the soul to sit there and have to observe it daily.  It`s very saddening.

HAYES:  Expound on that.  I mean, are these people -- how do you -- I always wonder about the human aspect of being in that room.  Because we all have -- we all have workplaces, we all have co-workers, we have relationships, sometimes those relationships are fraught, sometimes there`s conflict, sometimes our jobs require conflict.  And you know, you`re growing up.  You`ve been serving in Congress for a long time.  A certain amount of that is expected.  But what I read in that letter was it there was something else happening.

HECK:  So you have to compartmentalize if you hope you get anything done at any other time.  You simply do not have a choice.  After all, we live in a highly pluralistic society.  To some degree, members of Congress are the mediators amongst all those competing interests, and points of view, and we have to figure out a way to work together on occasion.

But the truth of the matter is when I observe some of my colleagues across the aisle, many of whom I still consider good friends, Chris.  I`ve come to the inevitable with sad conclusion that they are either incredibly self- deluded or in denial, or in abject fear of what the President will do to them, because he has a demonstrated record of viciously attacking those that do not support him fully or they`re just completely cynical.

And if it`s anyone or combination of those, it`s very difficult.  But, Chris, when you look at the numbers for the last two years, both this cycle and last cycle, the number of Republicans who have voluntarily retired, not running for higher office, it`s a multiple of Democrats.

HAYES:  Yes.

HECK:  And the other conclusion I have come to is, while not saying it out loud or in public, I don`t think many of them can take it anymore, either.

HAYES:  You know, I`ve thought about that, too, because you`ve got -- you`ve got some retirements that look like folks who are just looking at their polling and are going to have a really tough race and who wants to raise money and who wants to go through it.  But some, you have Representative Graves today in Georgia is a sort of up and coming star in the party, has no real reason, it`s a safe seat, there`s been a bunch like that as well.

I mean, do you think that like what you call soul-weary is actually something -- there`s ironically some bipartisan soul weariness to be serving in this office at this time with this president?

HECK:  Oh, inarguably, Chris.  There`s no doubt about it.  I think frankly, there have been more than a handful of very good people on the other side of the aisle who have left voluntarily in the last two cycles counting this one, because while they were not able to or willing to speak up about it, it is what they felt in their heart.

Take, for example, a continuing contributor on MSNBC Carlos Corbello from Florida who was defeated.  And he`s pretty explicit in his criticism now that he has been liberated from the prospects of electoral punishment by a vindictive president.  And I think he says what a lot of Republicans who have departed voluntarily are thinking and feeling.

HAYES:  How many terms have you served in the United States House of Representatives.

HECK:  This is my fourth.  But let`s put it in context, Chris.  I was first elected to the State House of Representatives in 1976, 43 years ago.  And I`ve been out of public service more than in it, but I have been in and out of it my entire adult life.  So this is actually the end of a very long journey of the privilege to engage in public service.

HAYES:  Congressman, it`s really refreshing to hear someone speak this honestly about this honestly because people -- and I understand why they have these sort of euphemistic traditions about retirement, it`s been the honor my life, yada, yada.  But it sometimes seems like we`re watching something very hard to watch go on with the country and the country`s politics and its political culture and it`s strangely gratifying to hear that the people who are closest to it maybe feel that way as well.

HECK:  Yes, I don`t want to be melodramatic, Chris.


HECK:  But one of the expressions I`ve heard an awful lot, in fact, I`ve heard it too much over the last couple of three years when some of these behaviors have been manifest is, we`re better than this.

HAYES:  Yes.

HECK:  Well, you know what, Chris, I`m going to be a little ominous.  Whether or not we`re better than this remains to be seen.  It`s up to us to decide whether we`re better than this.  Change does not, as Dr. Martin Luther King suggested, roll in on the wheels of inevitability.  If we want to be better than this, it is time to step up.

HAYES:  All right, Congressman, Danny Heck, thank you so much for taking the night.  I really appreciate it.

HECK:  You`re welcome, sir.

HAYES:  Coming up, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on the state of the race and how he thinks he would cast his impeachment vote based on where things down now.  That interview next.


HAYES:  We are now in the 60-day run-up to the Iowa caucuses, the first votes being cast.  The Democratic field is already winnowed substantially.  And what seems pretty clear right now is there are in the early states and in national polling four people at the top of the Democratic list.  One of those candidates is Senator Bernie Sanders who some people had maybe written off a month ago but was still near that in those first two states, Iowa and New Hampshire who has jumped ahead of Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden in a new poll of California primary voters which for Super Tuesday would mean quite a bit.

And joining me now is 2020 Presidential Candidate Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.  Senator, I want to -- I want to start on an interesting debate that`s happening right now in the Democratic primary that`s about specifically about college tuition, but more broadly, I think about universal programs first means-tested ones.  And there`s a difference, I think, in the way that you and Senator Warren have approached this issue and the way that Buttigieg and Biden have.

And I want to play you the explanation that Mayor Buttigieg gives for his plan which would subsidize tuition, but with means-testing so that people at the top of the income scale do not receive that subsidy.  I`m going to play it for you and get your response.  Take a listen.


PETER BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I just think rich people ought to be able to pay their own tuition.  I have nothing against them.  I just think that if you`re in a position to pay full freight, then you should.  And I`m also concerned about a narrative emerging that ignores the fact that not everybody goes to college.

Now, I want everybody who wants to go to college to have the chance.  I want to make sure cost is never a barrier.  But where I come from, three out of four people don`t have a college degree.  And if the message we`re sending to them is that you need a college degree in order to get by in life, in order to prosper, in order to succeed, we`re leaving most Americans out.


HAYES:  What do you say to that argument that there`s no reason to pay for people who can pay full freight?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Well, I say Buttigieg is wrong on both counts.  Number one, of course, when we talk about making higher education, public colleges, and universities tuition-free, we mean not only college, but we mean trade schools as well.

There are millions of good jobs out there in construction and all kinds of areas where people are good at working with their hands.  They don`t want to go to college.  And of course, we are going to make tuition free for those people.  So what he`s saying is not accurate.

Second of all, there is the issue of universality.  I`m very glad that Mr. Buttigieg is worried that I have been too easy on upper income people and millionaires and billionaires, that I`m going to allow their kids go to public college and universities -- just, by the way, if they do go to public schools right now, Trump`s kids can go to any public school, elementary school, high school, in the country tuition free.

But the point is, I happen to believe that when you talk about programs like Social Security, like health care, like higher education, they should be universal.  The way you pay for them, and the way I view it, not the way Buttigieg does it, is I do demand that at a time of massive income and wealth inequality, that the very rich will start paying their fair share of taxes, as will corporate America.  You pay for it by raising revenue for the very rich, but then you say in a simple way that any person who wants a higher education, college, trade school, should be able to do it.

You know, right now that`s what we do with Social Security.  It is a popular program.  It is a universal program.

HAYES:  There`s a meeting right now, global meeting, around climate.  It`s part of the series of UN global meetings a round climate and a report issued by a working group in anticipation of that shows really, really disturbing numbers.  Basically, that we`re missing all the targets, even if we`re going to stay at a pretty dangerous 1.5 degrees Celsius.  And crucially that countries are not living up to their own promises.

I guess my question to you is, there`s a world in which this essentially helps bolster arguments for inaction you see from some Republicans, which is basically, look, everyone is going to cheat -- China is going to cheat, India is going to cheat, everyone is going to do this, why should we be the sucker and take the lead on cutting emissions?

SANDERS:  That`s a great idea.  I guess the entire planet should go down in flames.

Look, it is a real tragedy that we have a president whose ignorance on this issue is not only impacting our country but the entire world.  The United States should be leading the world, telling China, telling India, telling Brazil, Pakistan, that in fact what the scientists have told us is they under estimated the severity of the crisis.

Chris, we are fighting for the future of this planet.  We are looking now at unprecedented levels of rising sea levels, we`re looking at a drought, we`re looking at extreme weather disturbances, food production is going to be threatened within the next several decades.  We`re talking about major cities in the United States and around the world going under water.

We have a global crisis.  And we need leadership in the White House, which I would provide, which tells the entire world, and maybe instead of spending $1.8 trillion a year on weapons of destruction, which is what we`re doing, maybe we pool those resources and fight our common enemy, which is climate change.

But what the scientists are telling us, and this is really scary, they have underestimated the degree and severity that climate change is ravaging this planet. 

We have a global crisis.  We have got to act boldly.  And I`m very pride, by the way, that the Sunrise movement has understand that our plan is the strongest plan out there.

HAYES:  So here`s -- is it fair to interpret -- if I talking to someone else about Bernie Sanders or folks evaluating primary challenges, that climate as an issue is your number one priority?  You see that as your number one priority as president of the United States?

SANDERS:  No, I don`t -- Chris, that`s old-fashioned politics.  My number one priority is standing up for the working families of this country.

No, we can do more than walk and chew bubblegum.  Climate change is a huge threat to the entire planet.  How could it not be a major priority?  So is health care.  So is raising wages and creating decent paying jobs.  My job as president of the United States, if I am elected, will be to take on the fossil fuel industry, take on the insurance companies, take on the drug companies and create a government and an economy that works for everybody, not just the 1 percent.

HAYES:  Final question for you.  There`s an exchange Vice President Joe Biden had with a voter today at a campaign stop about his son Hunter Biden, his position on the board in Ukraine.  And I guess my question to you is do you think the attacks that come from the president and from other Republicans on the vice president`s son are fair, or are those off limits?

SANDERS:  I think what they are doing is very clearly trying to deflect attention from the fact that the Trump administration is the most corrupt administration in the modern history of this country, and that Trump will be impeached for those reasons, among others.

So I think it`s a deflection of attention away from what the Trump administration has been about.

HAYES:  Have you made up your mind on how you`re going to vote if and when a trial comes to you?

SANDERS:  Look, all I can say is as a senator I will be there listening to the evidence.  And just because Trump has been a disaster, that is not necessarily impeachable.  So I`m going to listen to all the evidence.

But this is what I will tell you, based on what I have seen right now, if I were a member of the house, I would certainly vote for impeachment.  And unless I can get some very good explanations I intend to be voting for his impeachment in the senate.  But I do want to hear all of the evidence, but that`s where I am at this moment.

HAYES:  All right, Senator Bernie Sanders on the campaign trail in Iowa tonight.  Thank you for making some time.

SANDERS:  Thank you, Chris.

HAYES:  Ahead, multiple investigations into the president`s favorite conspiracy theory reportedly come, come up empty.  We`re going to talk about that.

Plus, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starts next.


HAYES:  Thing One tonight, we`ve heard a lot about Donald Trump`s antics on the golf course.  And really what more do you need to know once you`ve seen him drive a golf cart on the green?  But there`s an entire book by Rick Riley filled of stories of Trump`s cheating.  And now we have a new story from an incredible piece of reporting by The Washington Post about Trump and one of his father`s-in-laws in law, Melania`s dad, Victor Knavs. 

The anecdote comes from two former housekeepers at the president`s Bedminster Club.  They`re undocumented immigrants who have come forward to tell their story about what their life was like working for Trump.

They say that Trump would regularly give his used cast off clothings to Victor Knavs, because they`re the same size.  That`s Trump and Melania`s father.  And, yeah, you can definitely wear the same clothes.

But as the former employees told The Post one day in 2013, Victor Knavs went out to play golf wearing one of Trump`s discarded red baseball caps, which is apparently a big no-no, because when Trump spotted him on the fairway he blew up and he ordered his father-in-law, in front of other golfers, to remove the hat and get off the course.  Melania`s father.  When Knavs returned to the clubhouse, he threw the hat on the ground and cursed Trump.

Well, those sound like totally normal family dynamics.  But if you think the rule about the red hat is weird, wait until you hear the one about the orange make-up.  That`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.


HAYES:  Two undocumented immigrants who worked as housekeepers at Donald Trump`s Bedminster, New Jersey golf club shared some interesting details about the president`s particularities with The Washington Post this week.  And among the strange details about he likes his boxers ironed and how he would throw things on the floor when he wanted them to be discarded, is his strange two-and-a-half rule.  For instance, according to former housekeepers Trump wanted his bedroom bureau at all times two full containers of white Tic Tacs and one container that was half full. 

The former employees go on to describe how the rule also applied to the face make-up that Trump apparently slathered on daily -- two full containers, one half container, quote, "even if it meant the housekeepers had to regularly bring new shirts from the pro shop, because of the rust colored stains on the colors.

Since this broke, the company that produces the make-up, called Bronx Colors, but strangely based out of Switzerland, has taken full advantage of the free PR, posting this graphic on their homepage, offering a social promotion on Trump`s exact product, their boosting hydrating concealer, one tube free of every purchase.  The shade is, of course, orange BHC-06.


TRUMP:  I hope they now go and take a look at the oranges of the investigation, the beginnings of that investigation. 

Somebody picked an orange out of a refrigerator, and you don`t like it so let`s go and impeach him.

The bulb that we`re being forced to use number one to me most importantly, the lights no good.  I always look orange.


HAYES:  Right now there`s a sitting member of congress, Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter of California, who pled guilty to a very serious federal crime this week, and yet, right now as I speak to you, he is still a sitting member of congress and has made no move to resign from office.

So here`s where things stand, on Tuesday, Congressman Hunter withdrew a not guilty plea and admitted to one count of conspiracy to misuse campaign funds.  Prosecutors had charged him and his wife with stealing more than a quarter of a million dollars of campaign funds for their own personal use.  And he had previously claimed that the 60 charges filed against him were politically motivated.  He even tried to throw his wife under the bus for the wrongdoing, but then she pled guilty herself and was expected to testify against him.

I guess things changed.

Now, the evidence against Congressman Hunter is really quite overwhelming.  And the details in the charges are just remarkable.  I mean he allegedly used campaign funds to pay for trips to Italy, and Hawaii, as well as oral surgery, jewelry, tequila, $1,500 worth of video games and more than $500 in campaign funds to fly the family`s pet rabbit, Eggburt, across the country.  He also allegedly used campaign money to finance extra marital affairs with both lobbyists and congressional aides. 

Congressman Hunter could go to prison sentenced in March but he could also just get away with only having to do some community service, because not only did he plea, he got a deal that was extremely lenient.  And that is because the government agreed to a huge downward adjustment to his sentencing guidelines, prompting one legal expert to proclaim, that is a huge departure.  I`ve never seen one like it.

In a letter tonight, the House Ethics Committee warned Hunter that given his guilty plea in a district court, he should refrain from voting on the House floor, which seems like a good rule.  We`ll see if he listens.  Either way, right now Duncan Hunter is still a member of congress. 

But you know who`s not, another California resident, California Democrat Katie Hill.  She chose to resign in October after a story about an inappropriate relationship with a campaign staffer surfaced, and, crucially revenge porn images were published that were clearly designed to shame her and chase her out of the public spotlight.

Katie Hill is out while Duncan Hunter is still there.

But Katie Hill will be my guest here on my live audience show tomorrow night.  And she has a lot to say about that double standard.  Don`t miss it.


HAYES:  In the Mueller report, you can read all about what exactly led the FBI to open an investigation into the Trump campaign`s possible contacts with Russia and Russian intelligence.  And it started with this guy, that`s former Trump campaign advisor and convicted felon George Papadopoulos, who was sentenced to prison for lying to the FBI about contacts with Russian intermediaries during the  campaign.

And the story goes like this: a mysterious professor, kind of interesting man of mystery, went to Papadopoulos.  And they had a conversation.  And he told him, he told Papadopoulos that the Russians had DNC emails.  And then Papadopoulos turns around and shares that information with an Australian diplomat.  And then the diplomat was pretty freaked out, as you might imagine, particularly when after having this conversation with Papadopoulos, the DNC hack becomes public in the summer of 2015.  And so the Australian diplomat basically passes the information to the FBI.

That`s the version of events in the Mueller report.  That`s why the investigation started.

There`s a counter narrative pushed by Papadopoulos himself and the right wing media and the president.  And it claims that the whole thing was a trap, it was a false flag, that the guy who told Papadopoulos about the emails was actually an American deep state intelligence asset whose job was to try to entrap the Trump campaign, and so despite all the evidence the Trump-Russia investigation was actually just one big hoax orchestrated by an evil deep state out to get the president.

Now, under William Barr`s Justice Department there are, believe it or not, currently two separate investigations attempting to prove this theory out to run it down, because Trump and William Barr really want it to be true.

But yesterday The Washington Post reported that the man that Barr handpicked to lead one of those investigations, U.S. Attorney John Durham, has indicated that he could not offer evidence to support the suspicions by some conservatives the case was a setup by American intelligence.

And the man leading the other investigation that would be Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, has reportedly indicated he can`t prove it either.

Now, neither report has been published yet, but it sure appears from the reporting we have that despite all of the pressure from the attorney general and the president himself, it looks like no one can come up with evidence to prove the central conspiracy theory being pushed by Trump and the ring wing media.

I`m joined now by Daily Beast politics reporter Betsy Woodruff Swan and MSNBC contributor, and former assistant director for counterintelligence for the FBI Frank Figluzzi who is an NBC News national security contributor.

Frank, I`ve heard you talk a little bit about this.  I want to sort of step back from the details of the conspiracy theory here and just about the basic question of the integrity of the Department of Justice.  I mean, you`ve got these two investigations now where there clearly is pressure from the very top to justify this story that has been in the right wing media.  What do you expect to see happen?  How important is the result of this?

FRANK FIGLUZZI, FORMER ASSISTANT DIRECTOR COUNTERINTELLIGENCE FBI:  Well, it should have been a clue to all of us that the attorney general, when he decided that his own inspector general wasn`t equipped enough, or good enough, to handle this inquiry, that he had to create his own special personal inquiry and handpick a U.S. attorney out of Connecticut and run that, micromanage, that investigation.  That`s a clue that he probably knew this wasn`t going to come out well for him.  And he needed his own answers and his own investigator.

And now we see almost what looks like a strategic leak to get out in front of this where someone at DOJ, someone perhaps even at the IG`s office, is telling reporters, hey, we`re not finding anything.  And not only that, we asked the U.S. attorney of Connecticut if he found anything and he said no.  He had nothing.  And then the attorney general, we have a leak where he says, well, I`m  going to disagree with that.

What`s wrong with the attorney general disagreeing with his own department?  What`s wrong with it is he`s consistently choosing, deliberately choosing, to ignore the facts and the truth.  And when your attorney general is doing that, that`s a disgrace.

HAYES:  You know, Betsy, there`s a similarity between what`s happening here at the Department of Justice and obviously the subject of the president`s impeachment, which is the president putting pressure on different investigative entities to bear out these conspiracy theories that he appears to believe, or being filled in his head, and using his power as president to do it.

BETSY WOODRUFF SWAN, REPORTER, "THE DAILY BEAST":  It`s a really interesting parallel.

And within DOJ, Bill Barr`s communications and just these reports, which many attorneys at DOJ don`t know if they`re correct or not, but just the reports that have come out have caused a lot of concern. 

I was in touch with a current DOJ prosecutor earlier today about this topic.  And what the person said to me is that the notion that Bill Barr would believe there may not have been proper predication, which is legally used for a good enough reason to start the Russia investigation is something that`s really disturbing to Justice Departments prosecutors, because they make decisions everyday about what they need to know in order to get a criminal investigation started.  And it`s obvious to basically all of them that the FBI`s intercepts of Russian spies reaching out to Carter Page, who had advised the Trump campaign, was the proper predication you could possibly get.

Another thing that this prosecutor said to me is that within DOJ, you`d be really surprised to hear the extent to which there`s a yearning for the era of Jeff Sessions.  He said it`s remarkable how much people feel the level of political interference has been ratcheted up under Barr even than it was under the prior Trump attorney general.

HAYES:  And this gets to me to the key question, Frank, which is so dangerous, which is about this sort of question of independence and integrity, because it seems to be very important that there -- there are mistakes that could be made.  It is important that we investigate.  If you had the FBI wrongly spying on American citizens, if you had them wrongly abusing their power in pursuit of something, that would be a big deal.  It`s important that we be able to investigate and that there be some repository of trust that that can be ferreted out if it exists and not people being sent on essentially domestic political errands.

FIGLUZZI:  Well, you`ve raised a great point, which is we want a healthy questioning of authority.  We want departments and agencies like the FBI to understand that there`s oversight.  Somebody is watching them.  And the job there is the inspector general`s job.  And if the attorney general now has all of us scratching our heads questioning whether the inspector general is a neutral finder of fact, then we don`t even know if there`s proper oversight of our agencies.

He`s very divisive, very destructive.  And the only person happy about the attorney general`s divisiveness at DOJ then Trump himself, would be somebody like Vladimir Putin laughing and smiling and saying I`ve got DOJ at odds with itself.  I`m splitting people up at the Department of Justice.

HAYES:  There`s -- Betsy, there`s a real palpable sort of like nerves around DOJ, around this report that`s being released on Monday, what it will mean, particularly because Republicans have been kind of beating the drums that this is going to be bad for the president`s enemies.

SWAN:  That`s right.  And people -- you know, most folks at DOJ don`t know what`s in the report and don`t necessarily have 100 percent visibility into the way the decisions about crossfire hurricane, this investigation, came about.

So the possibility that the inspector general, who`s had a huge amount of time and a huge amount of access to review those decisions, would find things that many Americans would potentially see as troubling or inappropriate, that`s not a 0 percent possibility.

But one thing people have to remember when it comes to IG reports is that the inspector general, Michael Horowitz, had an amazing luxury that the people he is studying or investigating don`t have, and that is the luxury of time.

All the FBI and DOJ officials who were making these decisions about the inception of this case or acting under an intense time pressure and incredible levels of concern about what exactly the Kremlin was doing.  And Horowitz is spared that pressure.  It`s likely to be something he`ll consider, but it`s also something people reading the report should keep in mind.

HAYES:  Betsy  Woodruff Swan and Frank Figluzzi, thank you both for your time tonight.  That is All In for this evening.  The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now.  Good evening, Rachel.