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DOJ finds no bias TRANSCRIPT: All In with Chris Hayes, 12/9/2019

Guests: Richard Painter, David Kelley

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To ask - I wanted to confirm point of order is that rules of decorum. And I don`t believe that the gentleman from Florida meant to violate them. And I want to give him the benefit of doubt, but more than once you referred to a New York lawyer and if he could just explain what he meant then I`m prepared to withdraw my point of order.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s not a point of - that`s not a recognizable point of order. Mr. Chairman, the point of order regarding the schedule. Point of order regarding the schedule, there is no point of order regarding the schedule.

REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): Yes, well on this case, there is, because--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is no point of order regarding the schedule. There`s no--

NADLER: Will you answer my question. The gentleman will suspend. There is no recognizable point of order regarding the future schedule.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. The parliamentary inquiry will you recognize that.

NADLER: No. Ms. McBath is recognized.

REP. LUCY MCBATH (D-GA): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Goldman, I want to follow-up on just one part of President Trump`s conduct that - excuse me, I asked our constitutional scholars about last week. The investigative committee has found evidence that President Trump intimidated, threatened and tampered with perspective and actual witnesses in the impeachment inquiry, correct?


MCBATH: And Mr. Goldman, it is a federal crime to intimidate or to seek to intimidate any witness appearing before Congress, is that right?

GOLDMAN: Yes, there is a little bit more to it but that`s the gist of it. Yes.

MCBATH: Mr. Goldman, am I correct that President Trump publicly attacked witnesses before, after and even during their testimony?

GOLDMAN: That is correct.

MCBATH: I`d like to quickly go through some examples. On Twitter, the President tried to smear Ambassador Bill Taylor, a former military officer who graduated at the top of his class at West Point, served as an infantry commander in Vietnam and earned a Bronze Star and an Air Medal with a V Device for Valor. He was attacked for doing his duty to tell the truth to the American people, correct?

GOLDMAN: He did his duty by testifying. Yes.

MCBATH: President Trump also attacked other Trump administration officials who testified before the Intelligence Committee, including Lieutenant Colonel Alexander S. Vindman, who is the Director for Ukraine on the National Security Council. And Jennifer Williams, the Special Adviser on Europe and Russia with the Office of the Vice President. Am I right?

GOLDMAN: That is right. Yes.

MCBATH: Mr. Goldman, I think another troubling example of this is the President`s treatment of Ambassador Yovanovitch. When you questioned Ambassador Yovanovitch, you asked her about the President`s remark that she would and I quote, "go through some things." She told you that that remark sounded like a threat. Is that right?

GOLDMAN: Yes, in the July 25th call. That`s when President Trump said that.

MCBATH: Ambassador Yovanovitch is a career professional who served in Republican and Democratic administrations. She was once caught in live crossfire during a coup attempt. And here`s how she described that experience in her very own words.


MARIE YOVANOVITCH, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UKRAINE: I later served in Moscow. In 1993, during the attempted coup in Moscow in Russia. I was caught in crossfire between presidential and parliamentary forces. It took us three tries, me without a helmet or body armor to get into a vehicle to go to the embassy. We went because the ambassador asked us to come. And we went because it was our duty.


MCBATH: It was our duty even under such duress, this is a public servant who did her duty and as she testified before you and the Intelligence Committee, the President tweeted yet another attack against her. Is that correct?

GOLDMAN: During the testimony, yes.

MCBATH: At a rally, the President further attacked Ambassador Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary of the State George Kent, Foreign Affairs official with decades of bipartisan service. I just have to say, I am so deeply saddened that our President has attacked our brave public servants. These attacks are an abuse of his power and they betray our national interest.

My Republican colleagues until now have agreed with me that this behavior is not OK. That in America we protect witnesses and people who tell the truth. We want people to come forward. We protect witnesses in our community. I myself I am no stranger to these kinds of attacks. They are not OK.

I want to read a partial statement by Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, who is a military officer and a public servant. In his opening statement to the Intelligence Committee, Mr. Vindman said, and I quote, "I want to say that the character attacks on these distinguished and honorable public servants is reprehensible."

I ran for Congress because I care urgently about health care, gun violence prevention and our veterans. Those are the urgent policies for me and many of my colleagues. But these witnesses, these public servants stood up and courageously told the truth. And I must be courageous and stand up for them as well. And I yield back the balance of my time.

NADLER: The gentlelady yields back the balance of her time a few minutes ago. Mr. Biggs ask unanimous consent to admit an article from Politico into the record. Without objection, Mr. Stanton.

REP. GREG STANTON (D-AZ): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We`ve heard today from some suggesting that this process has somehow been unfair. Mr. Goldman let`s clear up that record. Minority members on the investigative committees had access to all witness depositions. Is that correct?

GOLDMAN: Yes. And all the documents.

STANTON: And were they allowed to ask questions of every witness?

GOLDMAN: The minority was given equal time to the majority for every single interview, deposition or hearing that we did.

STANTON: And the minority were allowed to call their own witnesses to the live hearings, is that correct?

GOLDMAN: They were also - yes, and they did, and they got three witnesses. They were also allowed to call their own witnesses for the depositions. They chose not to do that. The only witness they requested for the deposition was Chairman Schiff, who is not a fact witness to this investigation.

STANTON: Mr. Goldman, why did the investigative committee decide to conduct initial depositions behind closed doors?

GOLDMAN: Best investigative practice when you`re doing a fact-finding mission is to keep the information closed. And the reason is exactly what I described earlier with Ambassador Sondland, who first of all, the day before his deposition, he spoke with Secretary Perry about his testimony. That is the type of tailoring that can happen when people are engaged in misconduct and they try to line up their stories.

So, if you keep the information closed, they can`t line up their stories. And I think, frankly, part of the reason why Ambassador Volker and Ambassador Sondland`s public hearing testimony was so different from their deposition testimony is because the initial depositions were in closed session before we then released all the transcripts to the public.

STANTON: And this is an unprecedented because in both the Nixon and Clinton impeachment inquiries, there were either closed door depositions or grand jury proceedings at the beginning of the inquiries.

GOLDMAN: That`s correct. Nor is it unprecedented in Congress. This is actually a rule in the House rules that was passed by Republican Congresses. It was used in Benghazi; it was used by a number of committees for the past decade or so.

STANTON: And for clarity, President Trump has received all procedural protections afforded to other presidents facing impeachment. Is that correct?

GOLDMAN: That is right. In the Judiciary Committee, he`s had all of the options. Our inquiry was not the Judiciary Committee`s investigation. That is where the President`s ability to present evidence. Of course, if the President wanted to present evidence in the Intelligence Committee, he could have provided documents. He could have provided the witnesses that we asked for him, but he obstructed rather than cooperate.

STANTON: And the President has been invited to participate in the House`s impeachment inquiry. Correct?


STANTON: But the President declined the invitation.

GOLDMAN: That`s my understanding. Yes.


GOLDMAN: Twice thus far. Yes.

STANTON: In fact, the President not only refused to participate, but he has also tried to stop Congress from obtaining evidence. Isn`t it true that the President has refused to produce any documents in response to the impeachment inquiry`s subpoena to the White House?


STANTON: Not a single one.

GOLDMAN: Not a single document.

STANTON: The President also directed all of his agencies to refuse to produce documents. Is that right?

GOLDMAN: That is also true.

STANTON: Based on the President`s order, federal agencies have ignored more than 70 specific requests or demands for records from the investigative committees. Is that correct?

GOLDMAN: Yes. And if I could just add, this would--

STANTON: Quickly, please.

GOLDMAN: This would ordinarily be a document case. If you were prosecuting this case, you`d be basing it on the documents. So, the fact that those documents are being withheld is quite significant and it`s quite remarkable that we built the record we have on the witnesses.

STANTON: The President`s order to obstruct Congress didn`t just extend the documents at the President`s direction, witnesses also refused to testify. Is that right?

GOLDMAN: That`s correct.

STANTON: And in total, more than a dozen members of the administration defied lawful subpoenas or requests for testimony or documents, as we see on the slide.

GOLDMAN: Right. Between testimony and documents. That`s correct.

STANTON: And is it also true that when witnesses chose to follow the laws and testify, the President denied those witnesses access to the documents they needed to properly prepare for their testimony?

GOLDMAN: For some of them, that`s correct.


GORDON SONDLAND, AMBASSADOR TO THE EU: But I also must acknowledge that this process has been challenging and, in many respects, less than fair. I have not had access to all of my phone records, State Department emails and many, many other State Department documents. And I was told I could not work with my EU staff to pull together the relevant files and information. These documents are not classified. And in fairness and in fairness, should have been made available.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The State Department has collected all materials in response to the Sept. 27th subpoena that may contain facts relevant to my testimony. I have no such documents or materials with me today.


STANTON: The President was not denied the right to participate. Quite the opposite. The President has chosen not to participate, and he has consistently tried to obstruct the impeachment investigation to ensure no one testifies against him, that no one produces a document that may incriminate him, and to engage in a cover up to prevent the American people from learning the truth. I yield back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Chairman, can I say something for five seconds, Mr. Chairman please.

NADLER: Gentleman yields back. Gentlemen - for what purpose the gentleman seek--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the witness. Can I just say something for five seconds?

NADLER: No. The gentlelady, Ms. Dean is recognized.

REP. MADELEINE DEAN (D-PA): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Goldman, some have argued that we should wait, that we`re moving too fast, that we should try to get more evidence. Let`s examine why these arguments are without merit.

President Nixon stated during the Senate Watergate investigation, "all members of the White House staff will appear voluntarily when requested by the Committee. They will testify under oath and they will answer fully all proper questions."

During the investigation of President Clinton, Ken Starr interviewed White House staff. President Clinton also provided written responses to 81 interrogatories from the House Judiciary Committee.

Unlike his predecessors, President Trump has categorically stonewalled Congress`s investigation at every turn. Indeed, as far back as April, the President expressed his intent to stonewall.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Well, we`re fighting all the subpoenas.


DEAN: More recently, on October the 8th, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone echoed this sentiment in a letter reflecting the President`s instruction that all executive branch officials not testify in this impeachment inquiry. Are you aware of that letter, Mr. Goldman?

GOLDMAN: Yes, I am.

DEAN: And Mr. Goldman, is it fair to say that President Trump is the only President in the history of our country to seek to completely obstruct an impeachment inquiry undertaken by this House?

GOLDMAN: That is correct. It is unprecedented.

DEAN: And in fact, pursuant to President Trump`s order, 12 executive branch officials refused to testify as part of the House impeachment inquiry. 10 of whom defied congressional subpoenas. Am I right?


DEAN: Given the President`s sweeping directive not to cooperate with Congress, did the investigative committees believe that there was any chance that other administration officials would come forward if subpoenaed?

GOLDMAN: No. It became clear that the President was trying to block everything and block everyone. And eventually they came up with an alternative reason to write an opinion to prevent people from coming, which is quite an aggressive view that that they took. But it was quite clear that they were trying to block every single witness.

DEAN: Some have said that the investigative committee should have gone to court. Did you decide not to go to court?

GOLDMAN: We thought about it a lot because obviously there are additional witnesses and we want this to be as thorough an investigation. But as you can see from the Deutsche Bank case or the McGahn case, it takes months and months to go through the Appeals Court. And that`s effectively what the President wants is just to delay this as long as possible into the next election.

DEAN: Let`s take a look at that exact case, the McGahn case, because we`re all intimately aware of it. On April 22nd, this Judiciary Committee served a subpoena for testimony to White House Counsel Don McGahn. And after McGann refused to testify on May 21st, the Committee filed a lawsuit on August the 7th to compel his testimony.

And even though we did request expedited ruling, it was another three and a half months before Judge Jackson found the Constitution does not allow a President to kneecap congressional investigations because as the judge wrote and I put up on this screen, "Presidents are not kings."

As you know, McGahn has appealed and a hearing is set for January the 3rd now of next year. As we sit here today, eight months since we issued that subpoena, would you agree? It`s likely we will not have an Appeals Court ruling for many months to come.

GOLDMAN: It`s quite possible that it could be several more months and then there may be the Supreme Court.

DEAN: Exactly. McGahn may appeal to the Supreme Court. And conceivably that could take another many month, year, more.

GOLDMAN: It depends on whether it`s this term or gets pushed over to the next term. Yes.

DEAN: And given this delay illustrated by the McGahn examples specifically, would you agree that if we go to court to enforce the investigative committee subpoenas, we could face another months or years long delay to hear testimony?

GOLDMAN: Absolutely. And there is an ongoing threat because the President is trying to cheat to win the next election. It`s not something that happened in the past. It`s continuing in the future. So, we cannot delay and just wait for the courts to resolve this. When the reason why we would have to go to the courts is because the President is obstructing an investigation into himself.

DEAN: And the urgency is not just about our elections, but also our national security. Am I right?

GOLDMAN: That is a critical component to it.

DEAN: Let me end with this. What is plain is that we cannot wait. What is plain is that wait means never. We must not let this President disregard, defy and delay justice. This President has shown that he repeatedly abuses the power entrusted to him by the people. Every moment we wait is another opportunity to chip away at the foundation of our Constitution so carefully crafted by our founders. I thank you, Mr. Chairman, and yield back.

NADLER: Gentlelady yields back. I yield to Ms. Jackson Lee for the unanimous consent request.

REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D-TX): Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, Mr. Goldman, Mr. Castor. I`d like to submit or ask unanimous consent to insert in the record referred in my questioning statement of administration policy, Department of Defense appropriation.

NADLER: Without objection.

LEE: August 5th.

NADLER: Without objection. Ms. Mucarsel--

LEE: And the call dated July 25th.

NADLER: Without objection. Mr. Armstrong.

REP. KELLY ARMSTRONG (R-ND): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Castor, it`s been a long day. Been a long couple of months. You`ve been in the middle of this. And I know previously you wanted to say something so.

STEPHEN CASTOR, ATTORNEY: Thank you. I`ve resisted my willingness to be athletic here in the afternoon. But I want to say a few things. First of all, the Republicans on the Intelligence Committee submitted a number of subpoenas and we never got a vote. There was a motion to table, it disposed of them.

Ranking Member Nunes sent a letter on November 8th asking for witnesses. Ranking Member Collins sent a letter on December 6th asking for witnesses. Some of these witnesses would have touched at the heart of the issue that our members are concerned about, and that is, you know, were Ukrainians trying to interfere with our elections?

I mean, this is a fact that is meritorious of investigation. The Ukrainians ought to investigate it. And to the extent it happened here in the U.S., we ought to be investigating it. And so, to the extent, that hasn`t happened. Republicans have attempted to do that during this process. So, I`d like to say that. And I have a couple other things, Mr. Armstrong, if I--

ARMSTRONG: Go ahead.

CASTOR: Ambassador Sondland is relied on and he went from a witness that was not very favorable to a very favorable at his hearing. And one of the remarkable statements at his hearing was that everyone was in the loop and he types up this email to Pompeo, to the Secretary and the emails that he used to demonstrate that everyone was in the loop are not conclusive at all.

You know, talks about this statement that was going back and forth during the early part of August. First of all, Volker said all along that he didn`t think the statement was a good idea. Volker and Yermack toyed around with the statement, and ultimately both sides decided that it wasn`t a good plan. So, they didn`t do it.

And so, the fact that Sondland is emailing the Secretary, talking about this statement and so forth, it`s just - this doesn`t show that everyone is in the loop. Ambassador Hale testified, the people at the State Department, they don`t just email the Secretary. I mean, the Secretary gets email, of course, but it`s not like this. You know, there is a whole secretariat that filters his email. And so, it`s not emailing that the Secretary of State is not quite as simple as I think Ambassador Sondland made it seem here. And so, I just wanted to address that.

We talked a couple of times about the reliability of George Kent`s notes. One of Ambassador Volker`s assistants, Katherine Croft testified - it was rather startling piece of testimony when she was asked whether Kent`s notes would be reliable. Sort of a typical question. Everyone expecting an answer to be yes, except she said, no, I don`t think Kent`s notes would be reliable.

So, I think that`s important to put on the record that, you know, that there is evidence that perhaps Mr. Kent felt some emotions about some of these issues. And his notes, at least according to one State Department official, might not, in fact, be reliable.

The CNN interview that there has been discussion about. OK. There is discussion about possibly doing a statement which was canned. There was - maybe there was discussion of a CNN interview, but we did not really get to the bottom of that. That was sort of this amorphous fact that was out there. Ambassador Taylor testified that he was worried it would happen, but we didn`t really talk to anyone that could tell us precisely what was going to occur in the CNN interview and whether President Zelensky was actually going to do it.

If you look back at the statement that Yermack and Volcker were talking about. Yermack wasn`t comfortable doing it. And so, when it comes to the CNN interview, it`s possible that Yermack would have advised President Zelensky not to say what people thought he was going to say. So anyway, I`m sorry, Mr. Armstrong.

ARMSTRONG: No. You`ve worked hard and you deserve it. I just want to end it and summarize with this that you can and because you cannot prove a prime and Chairman went on TV yesterday and said they get a conviction in three minutes. But my question is for what crime? The Mueller conspiracy fell flat. The obstruction charge was abandoned when the public hearing was over. Campaign finance is a nonstarter. Victim of conspiracy, or the victim of bribery and extortion says he`s not a victim, because you can`t prove any of it, does not mean you can use all of it. And that`s no way to prosecute a case. And it is no way to proceed with impeachment. Thank you.

NADLER: Gentleman yields back. Ms. Mucarsel-Powell.


NADLER: Ms. Mucarsel-Powell is recognized.


NADLER: Ms. Mucarsel-Powell is recognized.

REP. DEBBIE MUCARSEL-POWELL (D-FL): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And Mr. Goldman, I want to come back and highlight what I think is the biggest national security threat, and that`s foreign interference into our elections. And I can tell you that in Florida, we`re extremely concerned about the security of our elections and the potential for election interference by foreign governments, especially Russia, because Florida, my home state, was a victim of Russian hacking in 2016.

And there is every indication that they`re trying to do the same thing right now. Our country was founded on the premise that our elected officials are elected by the people. But President Trump doesn`t share these ideas. He has and continues to demand foreign interference into our elections.

He doesn`t want the American people to decide. He`s inviting foreign interference, allowing foreign governments to decide that for us. Mr. Goldman, it`s been confirmed that President Trump`s campaign actively sought Russia`s interference in our 2016 elections. Correct?

GOLDMAN: What Special Counsel Mueller said is that President Trump did invite them and solicit them to hack Hillary Clinton`s emails. Ultimately, the Trump campaign, I think it was welcome, knew about the interference, welcomed it and utilized it.

MUCARSEL-POWELL: Right. And in 2016, Trump said, Russia, if you`re listening. And within five hours, Russian intelligence targeted the emails of Trump`s opponent. On October 3rd, 2019, when asked what he hoped President Zelensky would do about the Biden`s, this is what President Trump said.


TRUMP: Well, I would think that if they were honest about it, that sort of made your investigation into the Biden, it`s a very simple answer. They should investigate the Biden`s, because how does a company that`s newly formed and all these companies, if you look at and by the way, likewise, China just started investigation into the Biden.


MUCARSEL-POWELL: And let me just point out, the President doesn`t mention corruption, does he, Mr. Goldman?

GOLDMAN: No, he doesn`t. As I said, it was - it became quite clear in all of his comments and all of the other witnesses that any mention of corruption or anti-corruption was really meant. And the evidence showed this was really a euphemism for the investigations.

MUCARSEL-POWELL: Correct. And Trump is not only asking President Trump excuse me, is not only asking Ukraine, but he also says China should start investigating his political opponents.

The President`s pattern of behavior is incredibly disturbing. Russia, Ukraine, China. He`s inviting three countries to help him in his re- election campaign. And Mr. Goldman, I don`t see any reason to believe he wouldn`t ask any other governments, for example, Venezuela. Correct?

GOLDMAN: He could. I mean, at this point, he has shown not only a willingness to do it multiple times, but I think more importantly for all of the members consideration, he`s also shown a lack of contrition, a lack of acknowledgement that what he is doing is wrong and that it is wrong. And if you don`t recognize that it is wrong, then there is no reason why you won`t do it again. If you`ve already done it.

MUCARSEL-POWELL: Exactly. I mean we saw Giuliani in Ukraine just three days ago. And last night, I want to point out that The Washington Post actually released an article saying that Rudy Giuliani has been now advising on how to open a back channel between President Trump and Maduro. So, I`m very worried about that.

Now, I don`t think we have any time to wait to see if any countries are now going to take him up on the offer to help him in his re-election campaign. Mr. Goldman, did the investigative committees reach any conclusions about the ongoing threats, the continuing risk that the President poses?

GOLDMAN: Yes, for the same reasons that we just discussed. I mean, and I think the June television interview with George Stephanopoulos this year where the President indicated that he would once again welcome foreign interference is another data point to understand where it is.

And I would just say to Mr. Russ (ph), who was questioning, who was saying that he`s got such a great record and that the Democrats just don`t want him to win. The question is, if that is the case and that very well may be the case, then why does he need to cheat to win the election? Why can`t he just go on his own platform?

MUCARSEL-POWELL: Exactly. I think the Constitution demands that the President follow the rule of law and fight to keep our elections fair, free of corruption and free of Russian interference. Excuse me, foreign interference.

Now, I know that I was elected by the people of Florida and I work only for the people of this country. I`m not going to let while I`m in office anyone interfere in our elections or threaten our democracy. The continuing pattern of behavior we`ve seen from this President should be a warning to the American people that it is a beginning of a dictatorship, which I have seen in Latin America. I`ve witnessed men in office abused the power, inviting foreign interference and also obstructing any checks on their power.

The constitution has no partisan allegiance. We cannot allow this behavior from this President or any future president. Our democracy depends on it.

NADLER: Gentlelady yields back. I recognize Mr. Jordan for unanimous consent request.


NADLER: I recognize Mr. Jordan for the purpose of unanimous consent request.

REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The majority`s witness was wrongly said that we were able to subpoena people and get our--

NADLER: Unanimous consent request.

JORDAN: We were not. So, I ask unanimous consent to enter into the record the two letters sent to Chairman Nadler and the other one to Chairman Schiff.

NADLER: Without objection. The material will be entered into the record. Ms. Escobar is recognized.

REP. VERONICA ESCOBAR (D-TX): Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and many thanks to our witnesses who`ve spent the entire day with us. We`re very grateful. Despite what our Republican colleagues have stated over and over again, their own witness, Mr. Castor has agreed that these investigations have indeed produced direct evidence, direct evidence which any objective observer, in my opinion, would regard as overwhelming.

That evidence proves that the President solicited foreign interference in the 2020 election, pressured Ukrainian President Zelensky to publicly announce unfounded investigations, conditioned a White House meeting, the President conditioned a White House meeting, and $391 million on the announcement of the investigations. And then the President covered up his conduct and obstructed the investigation.

Those findings reflect a serious abuse of power by the President. Yet we are being asked to ignore what we`ve seen with our own eyes and what we`ve heard with our own ears. So, Mr. Goldman, I`d like your help in responding to some of the claims that my Republican colleagues have made today.

GOLDMAN: Happily.

ESCOBAR: The President and his allies say that there was no quid pro quo. In other words, they claim that the President wasn`t withholding the aid in exchange for the manufactured political investigation. Isn`t it true that the aid was withheld and that there has been no logical explanation for the withholding of that aid?

GOLDMAN: There`s common sense that leads one to conclude that the aid was withheld for the investigations. And then there is also direct evidence in that the President`s own words to Ambassador Sondland on September 7th said the same thing.

ESCOBAR: Thank you. President Trump knew he had leverage over President Zelensky. And in fact, David Holmes testified that Ambassador Sondland told President Trump that President Zelensky will "do anything you ask him." Is that correct?

GOLDMAN: That is what Ambassador Sondland said. Actually, that`s what President Trump, Ambassador Sondland said to President Trump. Apologies.

ESCOBAR: You testified earlier that evidence shows that the Ukrainians in fact did know that the aid was being withheld. My colleagues continue to say, and their witness continue to say that there couldn`t be leverage because they had no idea that the aid was being withheld. Yet there has been evidence that shows that they knew. Is that correct?

GOLDMAN: Well, I think it`s important just for a second here to take a step back. It doesn`t matter when they knew as long as they knew at some point then they realized at that point that the investigations were dependent on the aid, but there - in addition, there is a lot of evidence that they knew before it became public on August 28.

ESCOBAR: And you`re right, it doesn`t matter. If you`re about to be held up at gunpoint by a burglar. It doesn`t matter whether you know or not the intent is still there by the criminal about to commit the act.

My Republican colleagues also make much about the fact that the aid was finally released. But isn`t it true that it wasn`t released until the President got caught?

GOLDMAN: It wasn`t released until the President got caught and all of the money didn`t actually get to Ukraine in that fiscal year and you all in Congress had to pass another law to allow for the money to get to Ukraine.

ESCOBAR: Thank you. Earlier today, Mr. Castor attempted to explain away the President`s request for foreign interference in our election by claiming that the President had three concerns.

That number one, the President was concerned about Ukraine corruption.

That number two, he was concerned about burden sharing with Europe.

And number three, he brought up the debunked conspiracy theory about Ukraine election interference, which by the way that last point we know is a Russian talking point.

Mr. Goldman, did the investigative committees consider those three explanations? And if so, what did the evidence show about whether President Trump`s request was actually motivated by those concerns.

GOLDMAN: It`s a very good question. There are two things that were discussed here today. One is evidence and one is assertions and opinions. Based on the evidence, there is no evidence to support any of those three things that you just mentioned. There`s no evidence to think that the President acted towards Ukraine because of his concerns about corruption even if he held those concerns. That was not the motivating factor.

There is no evidence that his concern about other European countries giving enough money motivated him and there is certainly not a reasonable belief given all of the evidence that he believed that Ukraine interfered in our 2016 elections.

ESCOBAR: Thank you. I`d like to close with what our scholars explained to us last week about why all of this is so important.


PAMELA KARLAN, PROFESSOR: Drawing a foreign government into our elections is an especially a serious abuse of power because it undermines democracy itself.

DAVID FELDMAN, HARVARD LAW PROFESSOR: Because if we cannot impeach a President who abuses his office for personal advantage, we no longer live in a democracy. We live in a monarchy or we live under a dictatorship.

MICHAEL GERHARDT, SAMUEL ASHE DISTINGUISHED PROFESSOR OF CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: If this what - if what we`re talking about is not impeachable then nothing is impeachable.


ESCOBAR: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I yield back.

NADLER: Gentlelady yields back.

CASTOR: Can I respond to that?

NADLER: This concludes the five-minute round of questioning and I recognize Mr. Raskin for the purpose of unanimous consent request.

REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): Mr. Chairman, I`m seeking unanimous consent to intrusive statement by the late Chairman Elijah Cummings of the Oversight Committee in his first hearing in the new Congress which was on examining prescription drug prices, his first hearing was not about Michael Cohen as was asserted earlier.

CASTOR: Without objection. I now recognize the Ranking Member for any concluding remarks he may have.

REP. DOUG COLLINS (R-GA): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. One quick thing before - it does matter when they knew and didn`t know because after they supposedly found out, it does matter because after two meetings with officials from the United States, it was never talked about and no linkage was made. So, it does matter.

And the reason it matters is because if there is no understanding this is being withheld, there is no threat, there is no quid pro quo. And it also goes to the state of mind of Mr. Zelensky who says, I`m not being pressured, I`m not being - there is nothing here. And again, it goes back to the amazing thought of this majority who keeps calling the Ukrainian leader a liar.

It`s just amazing that we continue to propagate that myth here tonight. But what did we learn today? Here`s some things we did learn today. It`s unprecedented hearing that Mr. Sensenbrenner or others talked about in which staff basically not members gave testimony in question each other and then got into very heated debates with each other.

This is not what the Judiciary Committee should be doing, it`s not the way this should be held. Again, the reason it is Mr. Goldman handled himself very well, but he`s not Adam Schiff, he doesn`t wear a member pin. This is ridiculous. We shouldn`t be doing this.

The Intel Committee also, what we did find out today took phone records and went on a political endeavor against the Ranking member and others. But no one will take responsibility for telling the staff to use Mr. Nunes` numbers or who decided to put this smear job in the report. We`ll just assume that`s Mr. Schiff since I do hold the member accountable.

Also, we found out today which is really interesting. The staff can determine what`s relevant or not, not members of Congress. It`s interesting to me that staff told members of Congress that that wasn`t relative or that wasn`t relevant. Again, it goes back to the problem. You don`t have members here to actually talk about this.

Also, it just is another thing we`ve learned today that the Chairman continues to just disregard house rules, just completely blatantly disregarding house rules or not addressing them in order to hearing day. And if I hear basically one more time, I`ll address that when we`re marking up impeachment articles. What is the use of a minority hearing day, if you`re going to have evidence about the markup, if you get the confirmation at the markup itself, even your most heated debate on getting rid of this President does not show any way that can be fair and in the end both parties are in the minority.

If you destroy the institutional integrity which again the staff have talked about today, if we destroy the institutional integrity, there is nothing else for us to do. But while we were here there was something that did happen and as we were sitting here discussing whether to impeach the President over a call he had with the Ukrainian President and President Zelensky which took place on how it looked, there was a look at how it happened in 2016.

Democrats are seeking to impeach the President over that and we`re seeing the problems with the Russian investigation play out again in front of our eyes. The fuss over the Ukraine is the same thing using the same playbook, a select group of individuals colluding against the President drop to ensure they get him, and they are blowing out - blowing through every procedure and principle fairness and honesty to ensure they get him in time.

So, what happened today while we were stuck here, the Inspector General report. The review of four FISA applications and other aspects of the FBI crossfire invest - hurricane investigation. Here`s some of the top findings.

The FBI included inaccurate information in the Carter Page FISA application. The FBI failed to include exculpatory information in the FISA. The FBI did not cooperate. A huge amount of the information in the Page FISA. The FBI chose to defensively brief candidate Clinton, not candidate Trump. The FBI failed to disclose Bruce Hauser information that still reporting was going directly to the Clinton campaign and FBI Attorney altered another agency`s email to mislead about whether Carter Page had actually been an intelligence source.

The bottom-line, the report shows the Page FISA should have never been obtained. If you don`t have the Page FISA, you don`t have a Russia investigation. If you don`t have Russian investigation, you can`t knock out the President as a candidate at the time at 2016 election and you can`t hamstring the President`s first two years where they special counsel investigation. I could go on, but Mr. Durham, who`s already weighed in has the next batch of this and we will see where it goes.

But I do want to take one last thing from our side, because this undoubtedly will be the last hearing because we have no desire to hear anything from our side, minority hearing or otherwise.

I want to take time to thank Mr. Castor, Ms. Callen (ph). They`re the top investigators in the Intelligence and Judiciary Committee and they combine to have 15 to 20 years` experience in the House conducting investigations to protect American interests and taxpayer dollars. What these public services don`t usually do as a part of their work is field questions from others who come before them from Democrats, donors and pundits. Mr. Castor and Ms. Callen (ph) usually worked for and alongside members of Congress and fellow public servants.

I`m sorry today that the majority chose to highlight their investigators and also the ones that have been brought in over these public servants. I`m sorry to choose. This is where we`re at, but I would like to thank them for their work today. I`d like to thank them for their work on our behalf, but also, I think really for all the ones listening here. If you look around the room this is what`s happening the American people. By the end of the day most in the back left, most of them, members of the media are begging to go somewhere else because at the end of the day, your case didn`t make.

And one thing that just keeps amazingly sad from Mr. Goldman and the Chairman and to others, these facts are undisputed. The very nature of the fact that I say I disagree, and you say you don`t is a disputed fact. These are disputed facts. It`ll be the first impeachment that is partisan on facts that are not agreed to. That is the sight in which the judiciary has become, we have become a rubber stamp just as the Chairman predicted almost 20 years ago when we willingly accept from someone else a project or a report that we don`t investigate ourselves.

And with that, that is the problem we have and that is the farce called the Judiciary Committee impeachment scam. Today, I yield back.

NADLER: I now recognize myself for concluding remarks. After hearing the reports and the evidence today, we now know several things with certainty. We know that the President was at the center of a scheme to pressure Ukraine to announce an investigation of the President`s political rivals. He applied that pressure by withholding both the White House meeting and vital military aid. He made that demand directly to President Zelensky and confirmed his personal involvement on the White House lawn.

We know that there are no excuses for this conduct. It is no excuse that President Trump eventually released the aid after his scheme was revealed to the public. And there is no excuse that he insisted that there was no quid pro quo, only after his scheme was revealed to the public.

We know that his actions endanger the national security, putting our alliances, our reputation and our safety at risk. We know that the President also compromise the integrity of our elections for a corrupt private political purpose.

We know that President Trump in an unprecedented act of obstruction ordered everybody in the executive branch to defy all congressional subpoenas for documents and subpoenas related to the impeachment inquiry. And we know that his attempts to solicit a political favor from the government of Ukraine fit a pattern of conduct that the president established in 2016 when he solicited political assistance from the government of Russia. That pattern of misconduct undermines our national security and undermines free and fair elections.

In abusing his office in this manner and in obstructing the investigation that followed, we know that President Trump has put himself before his country.

I am struck by the fact that my Republican colleagues have offered no serious scrutiny of the evidence at hand. They have talked about everything else, but they have offered not one substantive word in the President`s defense. I suspect that is because there is at base no real defense for the President`s actions. President Trump put himself before his country.

There is a constitutional remedy for a President who undermines our national security and our elections. Who puts his own interests before those of the country? That remedy is impeachment. The facts are clear. The danger to our democracy is clear. And our duty is clear.

President Trump violated his oath to the American people. He placed his own private interests ahead of our national security and the integrity of our elections and constitutes a continuing threat to the integrity of our elections and to our democratic system of government. Such conduct is clearly impeachable. This Committee will proceed accordingly.

This concludes today`s hearing. We thank all of our presenters for participating. Without objection, all members will have five legislative days to submit additional written questions for the presenters or additional materials for the record. Without objection, the hearing is adjourned.

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: You have been listening to a blockbuster impeachment hearing on Capitol Hill 6:42 p.m. Eastern in Washington. A nine-plus hour marathon that ends with Chairman Nadler stating what many have been expecting. The Chairman saying what you just heard, this is clearly impeachable conduct and we will proceed accordingly.

A lot has been happening both in that room and throughout Washington. I want to begin tonight`s coverage right now with Maya Wiley joining me on set for legal analysis, Former Counsel to the Mayor of New York City, still a prosecutor in the Southern District of New York and my favorite phone a friend lawyer. Nice to see you, Maya.


MELBER: A lot just happened; a lot of our viewers have seen some of it. I think most people have not seen all of it and this comes amidst the other nice bit of reading we have, the new IG report, which I`ll get to soon with a very special guest. But before I turn to all of that and we have that covered for everyone, what do you see as the key takeaways, the advancement of a hearing that to those who`ve been following it closely was picking back over a lot of meat that we have seen from the intelligence report.

WILEY: I think the key takeaways were really one that the Democrats particularly through Dan Goldman laid out exactly why there is so much evidence that Donald Trump was the center of this scheme to call in a foreign government and push them to open politically advantageous investigations to him. And in addition, of course, the obstruction of Congress.

And one of the things that I think was so important and impactful about what Dan did is he really laid out all of the effort to get the Ukrainians, to get President Zelensky to that July 25th call ready to be compliant. And the reason that`s so important is because the Republicans, one of the colonels at least of their defense seems to be, there is nothing wrong with that call and the Ukrainians aren`t complaining about it.

MELBER: And this is to put it in less legal terms, the argument that it was more than a phone call, more than a phone call to me.

WILEY: Exactly. And the reason that`s so important is, I mean on its face, I think it`s a pretty damning phone call. But if you`re going to make the argument that this is really - the Ukrainians were not complaining. The people who are being extorted, who were deeply dependent on the United States, who were in a hot war with Russia that laying out all the contact of the people that Sondland himself, Gordon Sondland himself said were central and involved and looped and part of this from the beginning means that all that work they did to lay out and prepare for that call was that in fact successful.

MELBER: Right. And that goes to the plotting. And I was just reading today two reports, the Nadler report on the legal case as well as the IG report and the Nadler report, they talk about how the founders long before there were statutes barring all this stuff, the founders said unsuccessful abuse, attempted abuse, attempted bribery that is still something you could oust a public official for and you`re talking about the evidence for that.

Stay with me. Before I bring in my next guest, this is what I want to do right now. If you watch THE BEAT, you may know how we try to do this. Fast, clear highlights. Let me show you some of the key things that happen in this Committee hearing. Nine plus hours on the case for impeaching Donald Trump. The witnesses were something a little different, lawyers for the Intelligence Committee faces Americans have come to know here presenting their findings from other hearings and closed-door depositions and evidentiary reviews and emails and those controversial call records.

They scooped it all up and tried to present both sides of this case to the Committee and to the country. Republican lawyer claiming the whole case built around only the calls I was just discussing with Maya Wiley, while the Democrats went back to this key point that they think will inform the Articles of Impeachment. This was part of a month`s long scheme.


CASTOR: This case in many respects comes down to eight lines in a call transcript to impeach a President, who 63 million people voted for over eight lines in a call transcript is baloney.

GOLDMAN: President Trump`s persistent and continuing effort to coerce a foreign country to help him cheat to win an election is a clear and present danger to our free and fair elections and to our national security.


MELBER: And then in a scene that only Washington and certain law schools could love. We departed from politician versus politician or politician versus witness or lawyer versus witness and we got today in the impeachment process to lawyer versus lawyer. Let me show you the highlights. Judiciary Committee staff questioning those Intelligence Committee lawyers which led to even some strange moments, here was Republican Counsel Castor who would not concede even basic facts of the case.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, President Trump was asking Ukrainian President Zelensky to have the Ukrainian officials look into Vice President Joe Biden, correct? Is that correct? Yes or no.

CASTOR: I don`t think the record supports that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It doesn`t say, can you look into it. President Trump is not asking him--

CASTOR: I don`t think it supports that. I think it`s ambiguous.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Goldman, you`re an experienced federal prosecutor. I know that firsthand. Is this President Trump asking President Zelensky to investigate his political rival Joe Biden?

GOLDMAN: I don`t think there`s any other way to read the words on the page than to conclude that.


MELBER: The lawyering there for the rest of the country is to show one type of answer or non-answer and compare it to another. The public will decide what they make of that.

Another contentious part of this hearing came when Republicans hit on something that is more potential potentially legitimate than all the Ukraine conspiracy theories, and this is Doug Collins pushing the Democratic Counsel Daniel Goldman about a revelation that seemed both important, but also potentially controversial that someone on the very Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes had these phone calls with Rudy Giuliani and whether any of this was potentially inappropriate. Obviously, you don`t want the wrong people coming up in surveillance. Let`s look at that exchange.


COLLINS: You came out with a report that actually showed these people such as Mr. Chairman Nunes and others were actually on these calls.


COLLINS: Now someone and you and I, we`re not going to play cute here. Somebody took the four records that you asked for at least four, took those numbers and then said, hey, let`s play match game. Who ordered the match game for members of the Congress and the press? Was it you?

GOLDMAN: I don`t think anyone did, sir.

COLLINS: Who did it? Was it Chairman Schiff or was it you? Be careful, you`re under oath.

GOLDMAN: I know I`m under oath, sir. I am going to go on record and tell you that I`m not going to reveal how we conducted this investigation.

COLLINS: And that`s the problem we have with this entire thing. Mr. Schiff said behind closed.

GOLDMAN: I can tell you importance is.

COLLINS: I am done with you for right now. We`re done.


MELBER: They may be done, but we`re not. Richard Painter joins the conversation, Former Chief White House Ethics Lawyer in the George W. Bush administration. Richard, your view of that exchange and also your takeaway on what we learned today.

RICHARD PAINTER, FORMER CHIEF WHITE HOUSE ETHICS LAWYER UNIDER GEORGE W. BUSH: It`s ridiculous. I`ve gotten into a sideshow here. The evidence is overwhelming that Donald Trump seek to use United States military aid to Ukraine to extort Ukraine. To say, you`ve got to provide the dirt on Joe Biden and also investigate what happened 2016 and blame yourselves and in fact blame Ukrainians for what Russia did in 2006 or we won`t give you hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid. It`s extortion.

It`s right there in the phone call. We didn`t need much more by way of an investigation, we didn`t need nine hours of hearing on it, we just need Articles of Impeachment. And this argument that Ukraine doesn`t object; I mean that`s crazy. Of course, Ukraine is not going to object to anything Donald Trump does, or Trump will feed them to the Russian bear. That`s exactly what this is all about.

Russia wants to regain control of Ukraine. Ukraine wants its independence. United States policy has been to support Ukraine and their independence from Russia. And of course, Ukraine is not going to alienate Donald Trump.

MELBER: And Richard when you looked at today`s hearing, what articles of impeachment did you see advanced, if any?

PAINTER: First, extortion and bribery and the Ukraine scandal. But they also do need to impeach this President for obstruction of justice and the Russia investigation is outlined in the second part of the Mueller Report. That Mueller Report is a roadmap for impeachment of obstruction of justice, even if they didn`t find that President Trump and his campaign engaged in criminal conspiracy with the Russians, he obstructed justice.

Third, obstruction of Congress, refusal to answer subpoenas, refusal to testify, telling other people not to testify. Obstruction of Congress is impeachable. He also should be impeached under the emolument`s clause of the Constitution, this President has been receiving profits and benefits from foreign governments and that`s unconstitutional, members of his family have been receiving profits and benefits from foreign governments. And I`ll tell you the Republicans in the Senate want to hold Joe Biden in there and his son, Hunter, I look forward to the Democrats hauling in Ivanka Trump and Jared, Eric Trump, Don Junior and talk about the unconstitutional emoluments foreign benefits, foreign government payments that the Trump family has been receiving in violation of the Constitution.

We sued him and crew, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington on day one of his administration over these unconstitutional emoluments. And it`s about time that Congress enforced the Constitution there and call the necessary witnesses.

MELBER: Richard Painter, blazing as always, we appreciate your legal analysis and also your patients as we watch the end of that hearing, sir. Thank you, Maya. I put the same question to you here with me in New York. When you look at the bottom-line, Richard is laying out the kitchen sink argument. Throw it all at him.

We`ve seen though some indications today that while there is a legal case of obstruction and bribery, we reported on it extensively, it was some of the committee today that seemed to be very narrow and not using some of those buzzwords.

WILEY: Yes, I think we heard very clearly in this Committee that that Ukraine having the President abuse his office, undermined his oath of office, use the powers of the presidency for his own personal gain are clearly going to be articles of impeachment and there are any number of ways you can slice how they`re stated including abusing your power in order to compete for bribery, for extortion and to interfere in our election.

I think obstruction is critically important. And I agree that it is important to pull forward the roadmap that Robert Mueller shared on obstruction of justice. And you know, Barry Burke kind of left the door open to that by making some of those points in his opening about the continuing pattern of his obstruction.

MELBER: Right.

WILEY: I think that on emoluments, I certainly did not hear that obviously today and--

MELBER: Not at all.

WILEY: And I think there is a real question about how much the American public yet understands about what some of the facts are there and what some of the constitutional issues are.

MELBER: And also, why are we still using the word emolument, if I may. I`ve got to get to this, and I only have five minutes to do it. I know you were looking at it too. Maya, always good to see you.

WILEY: Great to see you.

MELBER: Let me tell viewers exactly what comes now. The other huge legal story, which is also in here, bad news for Donald Trump. I`m going to tell you everything you need to know right now about President Trump`s own Department of Justice validating the origins legally and constitutionally of the Russia investigation.

Now remember, this is all about Donald Trump`s famed plan and many, many tweets about investigating the investigators to find something wrong. Well, the DOJ watchdog unloading this 400-page report finding no evidence quote that political bias or improper motivation influenced the investigation. These investigations of course began with something very simple.

The FBI was looking at for Trump campaign advisers. Do you remember what happened to them? Well, three of them have now been convicted of crimes. One remaining Carter Page was surveilled, and the question was, was any of that illegal or improper. Well, the findings here are no. These four were legally investigated according to Donald Trump`s own Justice Department.

And Donald Trump`s handpicked Attorney General Mr. Barr meanwhile weighing in a way that is unusual to say the least. He claims today the evidence presented didn`t justify the Russia investigation, which presents these dueling statements. Here`s the actual facts according to the Justice Department. "No evidence of political bias." What I just read you and here is Mr. Barr effectively going out in public to oppose his own Justice Department`s watchdog report saying his view, this is just a view he came up with.

My view is actually it was insufficient to justify the probe. The material they had. The headline though is, no bias found by the DOJ. A lot of people saying this is clearing not only the FBI but senior leadership like then FBI Director James Comey, who actually came out blazing today as well speaking on MSNBC late this afternoon to explain why he sees this as such good news and we`re joined also by someone connected to this. James Comey`s own lawyer, David Kelley, who is a former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. And as I always mentioned, once upon a time my old boss. Thanks for coming in on a busy night.


MELBER: This is a very lengthy document.

KELLEY: It is.

MELBER: I`ve gotten through a bunch of it. I haven`t finished it. What does it say to you? What`s the most important thing for people to understand?

KELLEY: I think you summed it up really well. I am not going to repeat that, but I`ll go back and comment just at the conclusion of the hearing. The Ranking Member`s comments was something along the lines of without the page, part of the investigation, there`s no Russia investigation that couldn`t be the biggest piece of baloney you`ve ever heard. You mentioned there were four different - at least four different tentacles of a massive investigation that frankly the Bureau didn`t want to have to do, they had to do it.

And if we didn`t do it, they didn`t do it, we`d be sitting here and having hearings why they didn`t, given what they were confronted with. Now the Page aspect of it was ultimately, it went nowhere. And so that often happens with--

MELBER: And Mr. Page has sat at this table where you sit, and I said to him it looks like this process resulted in them not finding anything wrong with you legally. That`s how it`s supposed to work. What does it mean here when the DOJ says some things could have been done better policy?

KELLEY: Right.

MELBER: But nobody had bias or broke the law in how they conducted the probe.

KELLEY: Well, it`s very clear. They went through everybody`s emails and texts and so forth and despite what the President has said about it, there was no bias. There was no treason. And I`m a little surprised at the Attorney General`s comments about being insufficient evidence or no predication for the investigation. I`d like to see what his Barr, no pun intended. What was his threshold is for conducting investigation?

It`s always been fairly low and is going to be interesting to see if he`s created a new threshold for when an investigation should begin. Well whether or not his and John Durham`s investigation meets that threshold.

MELBER: You mentioned Durham. I mean this is a lot right here. Mr. Barr appears to have brought a tweet to a book fight with his own staff, with his own team. You worked at DOJ obviously at a senior level. I`ve got to think there are people who worked on this for months professionally, carefully seriously who see Mr. Barr come out and then Mr. Durham who until the day has been widely thought to have a good reputation.

But let`s read, Mr. Durham says, out of the blue without offering any support or evidence or receipts as they say. We don`t agree with some of the report`s conclusions to the predication of how the FBI case was opened. Of course, help me out here David. I thought it`s the IG that audits the U.S. attorneys. Why does Mr. Durham think that doesn`t apply to him today?

KELLEY: Unclear. I`ve known John a long time and I don`t know what the basis is for that statement.

MELBER: Do you think Durham is out of line.

KELLEY: I`m going to say that but what he doesn`t say is that there isn`t predication for the Russia investigation, just he disagrees with what the analysis of the predication is, which is a lot different and I think that he`s going to be hard pressed to say given the standards for opening an investigation that there wasn`t predication for the Russia investigation particularly as you note, everything--

MELBER: I`ve got 30 seconds.

KELLEY: Go ahead.

MELBER: After everything DOJ learned in 2016, is it wise for Mr. Durham to come out in the middle of his investigation and make statements like this?

KELLEY: I don`t think it`s ever wise to come out in the middle of investigation and make statements like that.

MELBER: David, we wanted to fit you in as a newsworthy guest and this is really something, we`ll be digging in more on THE BEAT tomorrow night. Thanks for being here. My thanks to David, to Richard Painter, and Maya Wiley, to everyone who were long and partial episode and a partial hearing. We have a lot more keeping you covered on everything has been happening on MSNBC tonight, starting with of course up next, "HARDBALL" with Chris Matthews.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: Battle to the finish, let`s play HARDBALL.