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Mueller indicts Roger Stone. TRANSCRIPT: 1/25/2019, The Beat w. Ari Melber.

Guests: Morgan Pehme, Jason Johnson, Michael Caputo; Seth Waxman; Bill Kristol; Sam Nunberg; Jackie Speier

Show: THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER Date: January 25, 2019 Guest: Morgan Pehme, Jason Johnson, Michael Caputo; Seth Waxman; Bill Kristol; Sam Nunberg; Jackie Speier

CHUCK TODD, MSNBC: Next is Ari Melber. Ari, take it away.

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Thank you, Chuck.

This is a historic day in the Mueller probe and the entire Trump era. This day began with a dramatic early morning raid and arrest of Donald Trump`s longest-serving advisor, Roger Stone, Mueller indicting him for obstruction, tampering, and lying about the efforts to get Clinton`s stolen e-mails, serious charges.

This is the first indictment of a Trump associate directly involved in the Clinton e-mails that Russia stole. And unlike every other Trump associate indicted by Mueller, Stone wasn`t quiet today. He came out in front of a Florida courthouse to defiantly address the charges against him, proclaiming his innocence.

And as this scene captivated the nation, Donald Trump picked this day to cave on the shutdown, agreeing to temporarily reopen the government without a single dollar for the wall. Now, tonight, we`ll go through all of this with some of the best experts available.

Here`s the first thing to know. The Stone indictment is not like any, not like any we have seen thus far. Roger Stone isn`t like any of the other people charged in Bob Mueller knows it. So he has his reasons for pressing forward with what looks to be a very public rhetorical brawl.

Stone posted his quarter-million-dollar bond and then seized the moment right here, you see it channeling his old boss Richard Nixon waving his arms in a victory salute in front of the courthouse. That`s exactly the kind of spectacle that Mueller would expect from a defendant who`s literally tattooed Richard Nixon`s face on his back.

Today, Stone attacking the probe, declaring his loyalty to Trump, and then he fit in an apparent pardon pun for good measure.


REPORTER: If you`re convicted, do you think the president will pardon you?


REPORTER: If you are convicted, do you think the president will pardon you?

STONE: The only person I`ve advocated a pardon for is Marcus Garvey.

KERRY SANDERS, NBC: How strong is your allegiance to President Trump?

STRONG: I am one of his oldest friends. I`m a fervent supporter of the president.


MELBER: How fervent? Consider that the actual chair of Donald Trump`s campaign, Paul Manafort, of course, the former business partner of Roger Stone, has never spoken at all after his indictment, let alone to praise Trump on the courthouse steps.

Manafort was back in court today quietly. Now, these charges also tell a different story of anyone else that`s been charged by Mueller. Stone has seven counts on obstruction, on lying called false statements, and on witness tampering.

But the things he lied about and tried to obstruct and kept other witnesses from talking about potentially tell a very powerful story. And it`s one that Bob Mueller wants you to know tonight. Unlike any other Trump associate charged thus far, the lies relate directly to e-mails that Mueller says the Russians stole.

Let me show you why this matters. The other indicted and guilty Trump aides face crimes that were certainly serious, but not related to those leaked e-mails. Now, the Russians Mueller already indicted, they were accused of crimes explicitly related to stealing and distributing those leaked Clinton e-mails.

And here, now tonight, right in the middle, Mueller charging Stone for crimes. This is important. You see it up here, related directly to those leaked e-mails. Indictment spells it out. June and July, 2016, Stone telling senior Trump campaign officials he had information indicating WikiLeaks had these documents whose release would be damaging to the Clinton campaign.

And then we do know the rest. WikiLeaks started releasing the stolen DNC e-mails July 22, 2016. And for the first time, I can report this to you. According to Bob Mueller, a senior Trump campaign official then was directed, I repeat, was directed to contact Roger Stone about additional releases and what other damaging information WikiLeaks had on Clinton.

Tonight, we don`t know who that campaign official is. We don`t know who was powerful enough to direct them to contact Stone. Mueller may certainly know but doesn`t say.

I can report for you that Stone, thereafter, told the Trump campaign about, according to Mueller, potential future releases of damaging material by WikiLeaks. That looks bad. The narrative there, if you want to understand what we are hearing from Bob Mueller and what is famously called a speaking indictment is that Roger Stone lied about efforts to get stolen e-mails from the Russians and the Trump campaign was in the loop.

That`s the bad news for them. Now, what`s the other news that you need to know? Fairly, Mueller is not in this indictment, alleging a former election conspiracy. He`s not acknowledging in this indictment knowledge by Trump himself. That could ultimately benefit Donald Trump or the Trump campaign officials or the White House.

But for the first time, Bob Mueller is alleging, I can`t repeat it enough, if you remember one thing from our reporting tonight, Bob Mueller is alleging tonight, the Trump campaign was in the loop about Roger Stone`s efforts to get, illegally obtain dirt on Hillary Clinton on WikiLeaks that went all the way back to Russia. And someone was directing senior campaign officials about staying in that loop.

Wow. All of this is the kind of thing that a White House which we reported and document lies a lot. But even the folks who do a lot of lying had to shift today on how they describe this from no collusion to none that involved the president.


You have the campaign chair who will appear in court today. You have Michael Cohen who was a political adviser and someone who worked in the Trump Organization under indictment. You have Gates as well and you have Roger Stone.

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Under indictment on businesses that had nothing to do with the president. Let me make one thing clear, John. The president did nothing wrong. There was no collusion on his part.


MELBER: The end of that statement, there was no collusion on his part. Not there was no collusion, anymore. Apparently, they are done with that. There was no collusion on his part.

Tonight, I can tell you, that may be the most suspicious denial we have heard, yet, from the Trump White House.

We have a special panel to get into all of this. A former associate of Roger Stone and a former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg who`s been interviewed by the Mueller probe. And we`ve talked to you on THE BEAT about what they asked about Roger Stone.

Former Watergate Prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks is here with me in New York. Longtime Republican aide and founder of "The Weekly Standard" Bill Kristol, now the director of the group Defending Democracy Together, and former Federal Prosecutor Seth Waxman.

Jill, very significant indictment, what jumps out to you?

JILL WINE-BANKS, FORMER WATERGATE PROSECUTOR: There are so many things that jump out. The first is how detailed the e-mails are in terms of what was said and how foolish it was for Roger Stone to lie about them because he had to know he had created those e-mails and had received those e-mails, and yet he went and blatantly lied to Congress saying, "I have no e-mails that connect me to Russia. There are none." He denied all of those things that are right in front of our eyes now in this indictment.

So You can`t read it and not conclude he is guilty of those crimes when they say he lied about them. And, of course, the most horrible thing to me is a dog lover and his attempt to intimidate the witness by saying, "I`m taking your dog."

MELBER: That the person who we`ve interviewed here is Randy Credico and who was, according to Mueller, they look at that as serious tampering to intimidate him out of truthful testimony. With regard to criminal exposure by the Trump campaign, what passage to you was most significant in this indictment?

WINE-BANKS: Well, of course, the passage that says that a senior official pressured Roger to do something. And that was it. The direction of someone above that senior official that they did it.

So, who is that person that is referred to in paragraph 12? And that has to have been possibly the president. Possibly Jared Kushner. Possibly Don Jr. Those are the ones that could have been high enough up to be above a senior campaign official.

MELBER: Seth, as a prosecutor, not everything that alleged is formally charged as a crime. Do you view this as an indictment that is fundamentally about obstructive activities full stop or do you view it as obstruction with the implication of attempted collusion?

SETH WAXMAN, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, I think it`s the latter, for certain. This is obviously on its face an obstruction indictment. But, of course, Mueller`s mandate is the collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign to influence the election.

So if we presuppose that there was this quid pro quo, an offer of dirt on Hillary Clinton in exchange for a promise to reduce or eliminate sanctions, for example, the way prosecutors look at this is this would be additional overacts and furtherance of that conspiracy.

In other words, the two principles, the Russians on the one side and the Trump team on the other distanced themselves, didn`t want to have their fingerprints on the wrongdoings so they used intermediaries. And that`s the way prosecutors look at this sort of thing.

Also, it can be evidence of consciousness of guilt. The GRU clearly has the ability to send out a bunch of e-mails and Trump or one of his colleagues could have called the Russians and said, "Hey. Why don`t you guys get this stuff out into the public?"

They didn`t do that. They used intermediaries that can be evidence of consciousness of guilt, it can also be overacts and furtherance of a conspiracy.

MELBER: And Seth, again on the law -- as a prosecutor, I`m going to get to our very other qualified guest but on the law, I wonder what you think of the passage that Mueller includes and he emphasizes that Stone wasn`t just gossiping or making big, random requests.

But right here on page seven, what struck me as so damming was Mueller including that Stone was explicitly trying to find certain e-mails on Clinton, dating back to 2011, asked for that to be relayed as a question, like a document search to Assange.

And allegedly person two then passed that on and it was -- there was BCCing to make it real. Why do you think that is in there? That doesn`t strike me as something that he needs to prove tampering for example.

WAXMAN: Well, it certainly doesn`t. But it shows proactive coordination. It shows affirmative steps overacts that are taken to facilitate a potential underlying crime. And because it`s being done at the direction of people within the campaign, potentially the highest levels of that campaign --

MELBER: So you are talking conspiracy?

WAXMAN: Correct. This is all conspiracy law. That`s exactly right. And, of course, under conspiracy law, the actual complicit of that conspiracy doesn`t need to take place for it to be criminal.

It may have been carried out and successful. The election may have been tampered with but even the efforts to undertake wrongdoing like this is criminal in and of itself.

MELBER: Let me bring in Bill Kristol. And Bill, I hope you`ll forgive the analogy but sometimes here THE BEAT, you have been like a father to us on a long road trip. And so I ask on behalf of some of us in the audience, some of us who have relied on you in that role, are we there yet?

BILL KRISTOL, DIRECTOR, DEFENDING DEMOCRACY TOGETHER: No. Because I think we need to still see the full scope of the conspiracy but we`ve come a long way. And the fact that, as you put it well at the beginning, the Trump campaign was in the loop with the Russians through Stone.

That seems to be alleged and pretty well established presumably by these documents. Is it plausible that Donald Trump either didn`t direct this or wasn`t knowledgeable about the direction of the effort to get Stone to find out more about this illegally obtained documents? That seems extremely implausible to me.

So I`m going to assert, as a matter of probability, that Donald Trump was in the loop on the effort to get the Russians to help his election prospects by releasing the e-mails. Whether there was an explicit quid pro quo, whether Trump was enough in the loop to be legally liable, I defer. We don`t know. And I defer the lawyers about exactly what the criminal liability would be.

But on the fundamental, political question, I don`t mean political in a partisan sense but in a broader sense of politics, I think we know that Donald Trump was happy to have Russian help in the campaign and knew that people beneath him -- very likely knew that people beneath him were in touch directly or indirectly with agents of Russia to help release -- whether they -- to release this illegally obtained e-mails.


SAM NUNBERG, FORMER TRUMP ADVISOR: Look, it`s a difficult day for a lot of us that have been around Trump Org, that worked around Trump. They are going closer and closer. Now you look, they have Roger, Michael Cohen, Manafort, Allen Weisselberg in Southern District who is not being represented by the Trump legal counsel.

It`s something where you can see that along with the political -- I tell you this as a Republican, that this deal that the president accepted today, that -- in a pretty powerless situation. It`s a situation that many of us wanted him to avoid. And that`s why we were trying to get him to run on impeachment at the midterm.

KRISTOL: Ari, can I just add one thing?

MELBER: Yes, I`m going to bring you back in. But one thing while I`m with Sam. Does it look to you like the noose is tightening around the key political leadership of the Trump campaign?

NUNBERG: Look, I`ve had to follow this closely and I`ve discussed this with you often. You can see the narrative that they`re building. And every indictment gets closer and closer.

I assume through that -- I don`t want to discuss my grand jury testimony but I`ve discussed questioning that it`s pretty -- they have a narrative and they have a way. I mean we are here with the Watergate prosecutor. It looks like this is -- you know it looks like you are getting to Watergate here.

MELBER: Did you know that Roger Stone was making such explicit searches and seeking Assange to sort of try to nail Clinton in that way?

NUNBERG: No. No, I did not.

MELBER: Now that you know that, does it make it look to you like your former mentor was trying to collude?

NUNBERG: Was he trying to collude? I think he was. I don`t think he did. As I said, I think he conspired against himself.

Would he have? Would he have gone? Look, I can`t speak for him but maybe he would have. But I don`t -- but once again, I don`t believe that he did. However, that does not --

MELBER: But you believe tonight that this adds to the evidence of attempted collusion?

NUNBERG: I believe once you look at the indictments, yes. We have gone from Russians, Russian Military to campaign people. Now we have direct contact.


NUNBERG: Very close there.

KRISTOL: Yes. I mean just one point Jill made that it seems kind of crazy for Stone to have lied to Congress in something that is so obviously discoverable, it ends up being proven presumably that he lied. Yes, but, what if the strategy was -- and what if his -- well, what if his strategy was better to delay than to admit everything early on.

And if you can drag things out for a year and force the prosecutor to fight all this evidence, then go to court, and then delay in court and stuff, you end up perhaps dragging it through the first term and perhaps you get pardoned.

I really do think that -- Stone`s not a fool. Manafort`s not a fool. They may be getting bad legal advice at times. I think they are acting so as to drag this out as much as they can so the president -- so hope -- they are hoping there isn`t an impeachable moment here for President Trump and that Trump makes it through his first term, he gets elected or he doesn`t get re-elected. And then they get --

MELBER: Well that --

KRISTOL: And as they get pardoned. I think pardon is central to the Manafort and Stone --

MELBER: Right. And that goes -- your analysis there, and you followed it closely, Bill, goes to the way that Manafort is accused of continuing to try to help Donald Trump even after he claimed under oath that he was going to cooperate and flip.

MELBER: And Sam, you look at the way the special counsel did that dramatic morning raid, I`m going to read from their explanation why they say it was lawfully necessary.

They believe that the disclosure of the indictment that was going to be public and related materials in the public record prior to arrest would have increased the risk that the defendant, Roger Stone, would flee and destroy or tamper with evidence. Do you think that was a credible concern of theirs?

NUNBERG: I don`t believe so but I also --

MELBER: You don`t think Roger would run?

NUNBERG: I don`t think Roger -- I don`t believe Roger would run. I don`t know -- and I`m not going to say he would obstruct justice once the FBI was coming or he was arrested. What I would say is that Aaron Zelinsky was the one in the courtroom today in Florida.

MELBER: Mueller prosecutor interviewed you.

NUNBERG: Mueller prosecutor, interviewed me, interviewed all the other Roger Stone associates. And I find that what they did not include, yet, in this indictment is ominous, is somebody who is still skeptical of a circumstantial case if it is of removing Donald Trump from office.

MELBER: What did they not include that you`re saying they could include later?

NUNBERG: I`m saying they have not included who Stone spoke to in the campaign. They have not named the names. They have not -- and, of course, they have not said whether or not he directly had contact, nor do I know if he did but --

MELBER: Right. You are not saying you know but you do know how it worked. Roger Stone was your mentor and you were --

NUNBERG: I`m saying --

MELBER: Hold on, I`ll let you finish. And you are speaking to the fact that your reading of this is that they may identify and make actions against that small number of potential people in the future?

NUNBERG: I think that they are making a case that this -- we haven`t got to the transition yet. We haven`t got to Trump Tower Moscow. We haven`t got to what was going on, meeting with Russian bankers, with Kushner. I think that this is coming to a fold.

MELBER: Well, Jill, you listened to an individual, as I say, linked to both Stone and Trump, saying that who`s been in the grand jury room, what does it say to you?

WINE-BANKS: Well, I think listening to Sam, number one, why wasn`t conspiracy included because there could have been a general conspiracy included. But in terms of the destruction of evidence, I think that you needed the FBI to go in unannounced because destruction of evidence, he might not flee. He may even enjoy the attention he is getting but -- he`s charming but he would not be above destroying the evidence.

MELBER: Right.

WINE-BANKS: And he knew there was evidence. So you had to go in there without saying I`m coming in tomorrow.

MELBER: Right. We are going to bring in a member of the House Intelligence Committee on all this.

So Sam Nunberg, thank you for coming on THE BEAT on this breaking news day.

Let me explain where we go from here. Many of these charges that Stone is facing related to his testimony before this House Intelligence Committee in September 2017.


STONE: I am falsely accused of making false statements during my testimony to the House Intelligence Committee. That is incorrect. Any error I made in my testimony would be both immaterial and without intent.

CROWD: Lock him up. Lock him up. Lock him up.

STONE: I will plead not guilty to these charges. I will defeat them in court. I believe this is a politically motivated investigation.


MELBER: Mueller, though, alleges Stone did not make a single false statement to Congress but rather made many false statements. This includes about the documents that he said he didn`t have, the possession thereof about the source for those big, big claims he made about WikiLeaks, as well as requests he made for information from Julian Assange, and the way he talked to his self-proclaimed identified intermediary. Also his communications with the Trump campaign about WikiLeaks, Stone maintains everything had gone well that day.


STONE: We had a very frank exchange. I answered all of the questions. I made the case that the accusation that I knew about John Podesta`s e-mail hack in advance was false. I think this was productive.


MELBER: I`m joined now as promised by Congresswoman Jackie Speier from the House Intelligence Committee. What does today`s indictment say about the consequences for allegedly misleading your committee?

REP. JACKIE SPEIER (D-CA), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: I think that many of those who testified before our committee while the Republicans were in power were under the impression that they could say virtually anything and get away with it. And we are going to see in short order that Roger Stone is not the only one that lied to Congress and that there are consequences. It`s a felony to lie to Congress. And we are seeing the results of that in this indictment.

MELBER: Your view, based on what we now know to be the trigger Mueller is willing to use on false statements to Congress is that you have knowledge of other individuals that you think, by this standard would also be charged?

SPEIER: Yes, I do.

MELBER: Can you name any of them?

SPEIER: I`m not going to.

MELBER: Are there more than two?

SPEIER: There may be two.

MELBER: About two? Are any of them in the president`s family?

SPEIER: I`m not going to say.

MELBER: I understand although it`s my job to ask.

SPEIER: Of course.

MELBER: When you look at what is laid out here, there are things that Americans may not want the campaigns or government doing that may not be criminal. And it seems that Bob Mueller is starting to also connect the dots of some of those things.

What is Congress` obligation now that we are learning about some of this? I mean let`s say there was attempted collusion. As I put it earlier in the broadcast, that`s not technically chargeable but that involves Americans going out and trying to get foreign help on a campaign or foreign help through an intermediary. What does Congress do about that?

SPEIER: One of the things we have to do about it is look at 501(c)4s because those are nonprofits that can spend up to 50 percent of their time and money educating on politics. They can receive untold amounts of money from foreign individuals. And it`s not reportable.

So I have grave concerns that the Russians contributed to the NRA. And that`s something that we have to explore. But certainly, disclosure has got to be a much more intense focus by Congress so that we know precisely where money is coming to all of these entities.

MELBER: I want to ask you another question that is obvious, but blaring in 2019 as we think about the Congress. A majority of both Houses of Congress said let`s keep the sanctions on the oligarch linked to Paul Manafort.

When you look at more what we`re learning today and Stone being Manafort`s business partner, do you think it`s time to go back and press and maybe not have that filibuster or somehow keep the pressure on or do you think that`s a dead issue now?

SPEIER: I don`t think it`s a dead issue. And certainly, the House, in a very bipartisan fashion passed a resolution saying sanctions should remain and we need to now expect the Senate to take action.

Deripaska and his relationship with Sual and Rusal is overwhelming. And there is a relationship between Mr. Mnuchin and Blavatnik that I think we need to explore as well.

MELBER: Congresswoman, on a very busy day especially for your committee, thank you for coming on THE BEAT. I really appreciate it.

SPEIER: Thank you, Ari.

MELBER: What we are going to do also is thank everyone who was here, Bill Kristol, Seth Waxman. Jill Wine-Banks comes back with me in the hour.

Coming up, I`m going to get exactly in what the indictment reveals about what Mueller says are Stone`s crimes versus what he said in public, including what he said to me.


MELBER: You`re saying you haven`t had that --

STONE: There are none.

MELBER: So that`s your denial?

STONE: That is flat denial.


MELBER: And we are going to track key figures from this indictment because most of it is based on witnesses person one and person two. They have said a lot about Roger Stone on THE BEAT.


MELBER: And is he trying to tamper with you as a witness?

JEROME CORSI, ROGER STONE ASSOCIATE: I`m not going to get involved in the dispute or debate with Roger Stone.

RANDY CREDICO, COMEDIAN: He`s afraid I`m going to unload on him.


MELBER: Unload on him. And Stone says he will never unload against President Trump. We are going to get into all of it with a filmmaker who was embedded with Roger Stone for years.

I`m Ari Melber. And you are watching a special edition of THE BEAT on MSNBC.


MELBER: Tonight`s bombshell news on the indictment of Roger Stone starts with his back-channel dealings in 2016. You can`t really understand how Mueller nailed him for alleged crimes after Trump`s election without seeing what Stone did and said during the election.

Now, we have been reporting on this wild tale from the start, from Stone claiming his allies were intermediaries to WikiLeaks to Stone telling me he never knowingly contacted Russians to help Trump. We got his denial on the record.


MELBER: You are saying you haven`t had that?

STONE: There are none. I have never been to Russia. I have no contacts in Russia. I had no contact with any representatives of the Russian State or Russian intelligence. I had no knowledge -- pardon me, I had no contacts with people who might have been a go-between without my knowledge.

MELBER: So that`s your denial on record?

STONE: That is flat denial.


MELBER: Flat denial. Stone`s own associates though tell a pretty different story that he was bragging about his access to Julian Assange. And while public reports linked him to this Russian backed hacker, we were also reporting that even a good defense for Stone was looking like it would require admitting at least he lied in the past.


MELBER: Maybe the only question left for Roger Stone, if he does ever face Mueller`s investigators, at this point, is your best defense to tell them I lied about everything?


MELBER: There`s no record in Mueller`s team ever brought Stone in for questioning. Instead waiting and now today indicting him for, yes, lies, alleging he corresponded with associates about contacting WikiLeaks to get e-mails damaging to Clinton.

And this is key. Anyone could criticize Stone but Mueller needs evidence. Mueller`s indictment is built on evidence from two Stone associates, person one and person two, who we can identify as the Mueller witnesses, Jerome Corsi and Randy Credico.

Mueller cites Corsi telling Stone, "Word is Assange plans, two more dumps, the friend in the embassy." Now, was that collusion? Corsi told his side right here on THE BEAT.


MELBER: You wrote to Stone, "Word is, friend in embassy plans two more dumps." "Word is" sounds like a reference to the word on the street, the things you`re hearing.

CORSI: I dread that.

MELBER: Do you typically say "word is" before you share a thought that is your own deduction?

CORSI: Well, over my entire life, when I was a child, my father said, "Jerome, when you come up with these deductions, which are often right, you`re going to have trouble getting people to believe them.


MELBER: So right there, you have Corsi helping Stone`s defense arguing it was not collusion, maybe just attempted collusion. But then, Corsi hurt Stone by backing up what Mueller charged today allegedly that Roger Stone did intend to obstruct and mislead Congress.


MELBER: And why did Roger Stone want you to lie about the Podesta information?

CORSI: You have to ask Roger. I was given immunity by the Mueller prosecutors in order to make this testimony because my lawyer did not want me to be held then for suborning perjury because Roger used that memo in his testimony, the House Intelligence Committee sworn testimony.


MELBER: That`s Corsi saying his friend was doing perjury he didn`t want to suborn. Then you have person two whose Stone touted as an intermediary, a go-between a mutual friend for them and Assange but in one of his only T.V. interviews about this whole saga, Randy Credico, Person Two flatly denies Stone`s depiction of him as sharing information from Assange to Stone.


MELBER: The allegation from Mr. Stone is that you are the intermediary between Assange and him.

RANDY CREDICO, ASSOCIATE OF ROGER STONE: I have no idea some of the things I may have said to him, but certainly did not pass any information from Julian Assange to Roger Stone.


MELBER: Today, Mueller reveals e-mails that show stone and Credico discussing what WikiLeaks might release and Credico allegedly passing, taking Stone`s requests and passing it on for specific e-mails.

Now, it doesn`t state if the request was acted on, but Mueller does show that these people, these two men`s relationship began to fray charging that Stone then threatened Credico to prevent him from cooperation and even threatened his pet. Stone writing he would "Take that dog away from you." Stone is denying these charges today but the evidence is emerging in real time. We asked Credico about Stone`s motivation for the threats.


MELBER: Roger Stone allegedly said to you, "I`m going to take that dog away from you. Nothing you can do about it -- I`m paraphrasing -- I will prove to the world you`re a liar." Is Stone in your view trying to threaten you so you will change your account of his activities in 2016?

CREDICO: He`s afraid I`m going to unload on him.


MELBER: Wow. We`ve been watching all of this. It may sound like a movie. That`s deliberate. Roger Stone is a dramatic self-proclaimed dirty trickster. Mueller quotes Stone citing the iconic witness intimidation scene in Godfather II. And because this is 2019, this is the second time that reference has come up this very week. Michael Cohen`s lawyer invoked it to explain Trump`s alleged witness tampering last night.

Now, when pundits talk about the Godfather, it`s an analogy. When Bob Mueller puts The Godfather in an indictment, he`s alleging it`s a crime. As Shawn Carter put it in a famous double entendre, shoot at you actors like movie directors. But this isn`t a movie, dog. No, it`s not. Anyone still acting should know all of that by now. From Stone, to the witness he threatened, to yes that witness` dog, which brings us finally to the Roger Stone associates we just heard from this week, Russia witnesses. That includes person one and many angry with Stone for the very conduct charged in Mueller`s new indictment.


MICHAEL CAPUTO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: And I think you`re putting your old friend in danger.

SAM NUNBERG, FORMER CAMPAIGN AIDE, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: He put us all in danger by the way, Mike.

The fact that matter is the reason us three are essentially in there is because of Stone.

CAPUTO: I get that. I get that. But --

NUNBERG: Number two --

CAPUTO: I don`t --

MELBER: Let Sam finish.

NUNBERG: Number two, Roger is on Donald Trump, OK. He`s not going to get away with witness tampering. He should shut up.


MELBER: He`s not going to get away with witness tampering. That was Sam Nunberg, former Stone associate this week. Today, Mueller charges Stone with witness tampering. As for Person One, I just spoke to him as well today. I`ll explain when we`re back in just 30 seconds.


MELBER: Today I talked again to Jerome Corsi. He confirmed to me he is indeed Person One in the Roger Stone indictment. I asked him though about this evidence that Mueller has against Stone in the new indictment and Corsi who of course is one-time ally of Stone told me if I were going into a casino and Mueller said he had the evidence, I`d bet on Mueller.

I`m joined now by Morgan Pehme who was embedded with Stone for five years, Director of the documentary Get Me Roger Stone and Jason Johnson from the and back with us Jill Wine-Banks. Jill, what do you think when you look at all of those different Nunberg -- excuse me -- Stone Associates like Sam Nunberg and Person One and Person Two and how much we learned in real time that now Mueller is charging?

JILL WINE-BANKS, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: I believe Mueller completely the indictment is detailed and specific. It quotes from e-mails that make a very clear and compelling case that there was coordination, that there was a conspiracy to get these documents. Now, we don`t know that they originally stole the documents. There`s no evidence of that. There`s no allegation of that. But that they use them and there`s such a thing in the law as an accessory after the fact. That makes you part and guilty for having stolen them.

MELBER: And so -- and so, Jason, when you look at how much of this was spilling out into public view, at the very same time that Stone was taking what Mueller alleges are illegal extreme measures to prevent that with people that he again had some history with. I mean, they started out together. I want to play for you something that was cited basically in today`s indictment which is Stone urging Credico -- well, if nothing else just plead the Fifth and then you won`t have to say anything bad about me. And that actually also spilled out. We ask critical about it at the time. Take a look.


RANDY CREDICO, ASSOCIATE OF ROGER STONE: You know I took the Fifth. You know I took --

MELBER: Hold on. Hold on. Why take the Fifth when you are a self- identified member of the media. Why not say that you don`t want to disclose a journalistic sources?

CREDICO: Because of my lawyers. I have four or five lawyers, they said take the Fifth.

MELBER: You did this on the advice of counsel.



MELBER: He says his lawyers told him to it which could be true in addition. But, Jason, Mueller says today, Stone threatened him into doing it.

JASON JOHNSON, POLITICS EDITOR, THEROOT.COM: Yes, Stone threatened him into doing it. Stone made the sort of Godfather reference going you said you lied. The more modern reference Stone is like -- he`s like Proctor from power. Like he`s been coordinating all of these different illegal activities telling this person to lie, finding this bit of information, bring this contact here and there, and always talking to the people at the top.

But just like Proctor, at some point, you`re going to get busted. There`s no way that you can have this many deals going on and not end up having some sort of written record of it. And that`s eventually what`s going to catch Stone. He can front right now and beat his chest and claim hey, I`m not giving up anybody. I`m no snitch etcetera, etcetera. Well, when he starts looking at some Manafort time or worse, I am pretty sure he`s going to flip on the President or at least people close to him.

MELBER: I want you all to stay with me. Morgan is here because of the new territory we`re in in the Mueller investigation. It is undeniable that the Roger Stone circus has now begun, not like any of Mueller`s prior defendants. Mueller and stone have known about each other for a very long time and the self-described Dirty Trickster, well he says he`s not going down without a fight today.

And look at the scene here. After being arrested, charged, and then let go on bond, Stone didn`t go into hiding. He swaggered the cameras and denied at all.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Roger, did anyone tell you to contact, in the Trump campaign, to contact WikiLeaks?

ROGER STONE, ASSOCIATE OF DONALD TRUMP: No. I`ve addressed that before. That is incorrect.

KERRY SANDERS, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: My question is did you in any way work with the Russians to help President Trump?

STONE: Categorically not -- no, absolutely no.


MELBER: Stone also addressed questions about his relationship with Trump.


STONE: I am one of his oldest friends. I think he is doing a great job of making America great again. There is no circumstance whatsoever under which I will bear false witness against the President.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you are convicted, do you think the President would pardon you?

STONE: The only person I`ve advocated a pardon for is Marcus Garvey.


MELBER: Now, to get a sense of where we may be headed, watch out this whole thing kicked off with Roger Stones signature catchphrase.


STONE: The only thing I can think of worse than being talked about is not being talked about.

As I have always said, the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.


MELBER: Right out of Get Me Roger Stone. Now, it doesn`t look like he is planning to flip on Trump. Take a look at the newest posts on Stone`s Instagram last night. A big nice photo of him with Donald Trump. Proud of my President #MAGA. And this morning during the very period while he was arrested, someone authorized on his Instagram post a photo of Stone and who framed Roger Stone, not rabbit, followed by another post selling "Roger Stone did nothing wrong shirts." They say they will be used to fund his legal defense.

I`m back with my guests. And Morgan, we just showed Roger in your documentary. Given how much time you spent with him, did you see this day coming and who is the Roger Stone we saw out there in the courthouse steps today and will he fold?

MORGAN PEHME, CO-DIRECTOR, GET ME ROGER STONE: Well, I think that you know, Roger has such a reputation as a scoundrel which he embraces that you would think that he would drop a dime on the President in a second if it were to be in a position to save his own skin. But I think that Roger has a genuine affection for Trump. I`ve seen it many times. I think almost bordering on true love for Trump.

I asked him one time whether he considered Trump to be one of his closest friends and he essentially said that he wasn`t worthy of being one of Trumps closest friends, that he saw himself as subordinate to a person as great as Trump.

MELBER: You think that his loyalty to Trump is built on a type of insecurity?

PEHME: I think it`s built on decades of friendship and the fact that Trump has been the embodiment of this dream that he had of making him into a president, and in -- over these many years they have fashioned a true and sincere friendship.

MELBER: On a scale of one to ten, how effective is Roger at getting his message out.

PEHME: We saw today that Roger is very astute at his messaging --

MELBER: Is that an eight?

PEHME: You know, compared to whom? You know, I think that --

MELBER: Compared to Trump, compared to the people in his probe. Compared to Paul Manafort who was richer than Stone. I asked you because I`m going to play a little more of Roger Stone here. You know him so well. Bob Mueller has chosen to pick a fight with someone who knows like Trump how to fight big and loud and clearly rough. That`s part of the allegation.

And so the question is, is this the end of the probe or the middle because this is quite a risk even for as talented a prosecution team as Mueller has assemble. Take a look at stone doing what he does turning it all around on them today.


STONE: At the crack of dawn, 29 FBI agents arrived at my home with 17 vehicles with their lights flashing when they could simply have contacted my attorneys and I would have been more than willing to surrender voluntarily. They terrorize my wife, my dogs.


MELBER: That`s the message. Like I said, he`s the only one to come out and speak on the steps. Look at it already echoing in this brawl as we see. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The most embarrassingly excessive raid on the person`s house I`ve seen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Roger Stone is asleep. Armed agents stormed into his home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Heavily armed, long guns, for someone like Roger Stone --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Much like the pre-dawn raid that captured Elian Gonzalez.


PEHME: Certainly, Roger knows how to manage the narrative. He is very astute at doing so. And he set himself up always to be the winner however the situation plays out. And so you know, he`s paving the groundwork for whatever is the outcome to be favorable to Roger.

MELBER: Lightning round for the whole panel. The percent odds that Roger Stone ultimately flips on Donald Trump.

PEHME: I think it`s unlikely.

MELBER: Unlikely, under 30 percent?

PEHME: Under 30 percent.

BANKS: 50 percent.

MELBER: 50-50.

BANKS: I can`t see him in an orange jumpsuit.

MELBER: Jason?

JOHNSON: I think there`s an 80 percent chance he flips on Jared or he flips on Don Jr., but I don`t think he`s going to flip on Trump.

MELBER: Very interesting coming from people who have followed this and who are doing the analysis, notwithstanding what one might think of Mr. Stone`s record. Jill Wine-Banks, Morgan Pehme and Jason Johnson, thank you for being part of our special coverage.

Coming up, what will Roger Stone do next. I have a longtime friend of his who`s faced the Mueller grand jury, a witness in the Russia probe. He`s been interviewed by Mueller`s team. He`s back on THE BEAT next.


MELBER: We are back with our special coverage of the Bob Mueller indictment of former Trump advisor Roger Stone and I`m joined by another former Trump advisor and a key witness in the Mueller probe, Michael Caputo. Sir, thank you for being on THE BEAT tonight.

MICHAEL CAPUTO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: My pleasure, Ari. Thanks for inviting me.

MELBER: You have worked as you`ve said publicly for Russian interests. You`ve spoken with the Mueller team, and you have been a longtime friend and ally of Roger Stone. So first of all, what do you think of these charges against Mr. Stone tonight?

CAPUTO: Well, I know that when I sat from the Mueller team on May 2nd, 2018, they were very, very clearly focused on collusion and conspiracy when it came to the questions regarding Roger Stone. And when I sat with them, it was very clear they wanted to make a case for conspiracy and collusion eventually against the President.

But what I see in this indictment today is there`s no collusion, no conspiracy really to my mind --

MELBER: Do you see an attempted collusion.

CAPUTO: He`s got two guys that will tell lies about Roger Stone.

MELBER: Do you see attempted collusion? Do you see attempted collusion, sir ?

CAPUTO: Well, I don`t know. I got to tell you, nowhere -- anyone has said or believed that Jerry Corsi had any contact at all with WikiLeaks. And you know, if Roger was attempting to get e-mails that every reporter in the entire country was trying to get their hands on, I understand that. I mean, it makes sense that Roger who was working for Infowars was trying to track the story down.

MELBER: But then, of course, you mentioned Person One Jerry Corsi who you appeared with on THE BEAT this week, but then there`s Person Two Randy Credico and it says in here, Roger was looking for specific e-mails to hurt Clinton from specific time and that then that request was submitted to a lawyer blind copying him trying to get it to Assange. Does that look to you like attempted collusion?

CAPUTO: Certainly looks like attempted contact in foil contact. We also don`t know if the requests that he made for specific e-mails had anything to do with the Trump campaign or whether it had something to do with a story that Infowars was developing. I think we`re going to find all this stuff out but I understand what you`re talking about.

MELBER: And when you look at Roger Stone today on the courthouse steps, very defiant. Do you believe that the pressure would get to him that he would ever flip, cooperate, or plea?

CAPUTO: No. I`ve always wondered about Roger`s limitations when it comes to what he can take and the pressure that he can -- he can bear up under. And I`ve seen no end to his boundaries. I mean, I`ve seen no boundaries. It seems to me like he can take a lot of this pressure. Listen, Ari, you know. You`ve been talking to Roger and the rest of us. They thought it was Roger Stone day every Friday since late July. So every Thursday night, people were calling Roger and saying is he OK.

CNN is trying to get you know, cameras in his bushes. They were there more than once, by the way, and every Friday morning I guess Roger probably woke up and pinched himself. But here we are at Roger Stone day they came. But he`s had six months to prepare for this and I think he`s in a pretty good position.

MELBER: Very interesting. Mr. Caputo on what you`ve dubbed Roger Stone day, thanks for coming on.

CAPUTO: My pleasure, Ari.

MELBER: Talk to you soon. Coming up, I have an announcement about Person One from the Stone indictment next.


MELBER: Bob Mueller revealed a lot about where he`s headed today and I have a special programming note. Monday night we may learn even more because Person One in this Roger Stone indictment for Mueller today will be on THE BEAT live. Jerome Corsi, a key witness, a former Roger Stone associate. Stone also called him "Judas Two" right after Corsi spoke to me on THE BEAT just earlier this week.

We`re going to get into everything, all the questions, nothing off limits. Jerome Corsi, Monday, right here. And we`ll be right back with one more thing.


MELBER: One more thing before we go on this busy news night. We`re going to have one of those special podcast extra for you. It goes up this weekend. We`re going to show the entire discussion when Corsi was joined by those other Mueller probe witnesses speaking on THE BEAT making news on all sorts of things including Roger Stone and what Mueller prosecutors want to know. Find it Sunday, wherever you get your podcasts.

THE BEAT is done, but don`t go anywhere. What a night to be watching MSNBC.

HARDBALL starts now.