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Biden stumps in Iowa. TRANSCRIPT: 4/30/19, The Beat w/ Ari Melber.

Guests: Richard Stengel, Barbara Boxer, Matt Miller, David Cay Johnston,Mike Quigley, Aisha Moodie-Mills, Jennifer Epps-Addison

STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST:  And that is all for tonight.  We will be back tomorrow with more MEET THE PRESS DAILY.  And "THE BEAT" starts right now.  Yasmin Vossoughian is in for Ari.  Good evening, Yasmin.


I`m Yasmin Vossoughian, everybody, in tonight for Ari Melber and we`re covering a lot of developing stories.  Democrats firing back after Donald Trump sued Deutsche Bank to try to stop Congress from getting his bank records.

Plus, a criminal referral for a top Trump ally accused of lying to Congress.  I`m going to talk to a member of the Intel Committee.  And Joe Biden playing up his ties to President Obama as he tries to break out in the 2020 race.

But we begin tonight with the escalating stand-off, of course, between Trump and Congress over Trump stonewalling of the congressional investigation.  The chairman of the Oversight Committee, now saying jail time could be on the table for witnesses who ignore subpoenas.


REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D-MD), CHAIRMAN, OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE:  There is no tool in our toolbox that we should not explore.  We will look at all those tools from a very practical standpoint.  It may be that we just want to deal with fines.  I don`t know.  But it`s either fines and/or prison.


VOSSOUGHIAN:  Fines or prison.  That is the threat as Democrats are in the middle of a huge power struggle with Trump Attorney General Bill Barr who`s threatening to bail on their hearing Thursday after Democrats, of course, said they want him to face additional questions from committee staffers.

Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler said they preparing a subpoena if Barr does not show.  Now Chairman Cummings raising the stakes and making it very clear, Democrats are in uncharted territory.  Watch this.


CUMMINGS:  This is new for us.  This is new.  This situation where we can`t get documents.  And by the way, cannot get one single White House witness.  Come on, now.


VOSSOUGHIAN:  With me, Mara Gay, an editorial board member for "The New York Times," and Richard Stengel who was Undersecretary of State in the Obama administration and the former managing editor of "Time Magazine".

Richard, I`ll start with you on this one.  Fines or jail.  Neither of those are very good prospects, to say the least for the attorney general possibly.

You`re talking about the attorney general of the United States here.  Possibly fines or jail if he does not show up for this Thursday testimony.  Is that the only way the Democrats can go about this?

RICHARD STENGEL, FORMER UNDERSECRETARY OF STATE:  There are other ways but I would say let`s bring it on.  This is a conflict between the Article One branch which is Congress, and the Article Two branch, the executive.

This is how our system is supposed to work.  There`s supposed to be conflict between them.  And I think the fact that Congress is threatening these kinds of remedies, these are remedies that are well within its power.  Again, the executive can resist and ultimately, the judicial system will decide.

But I think this is exactly how our system of checks and balances is supposed to work and we`re seeing it play out in front of us.

VOSSOUGHIAN:  I mean we`re seeing obviously Bill Barr threatening not to show up on Thursday.  We`re hearing the Trump administration obviously defying so many subpoenas when it comes to financial records.  We`re going to be talking about that later on in the show.

So he`s not just talking about Bill Barr here.  He`s talking about all of these stops along the way the Trump administration has made in order to keep Congress from pursuing the investigation that they are pursuing, Mara.

MARA GAY, EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBER, THE NEW YORK TIMES:  I mean that`s right.  First of all, if the House isn`t going to pursue impeachment proceedings, then this is exactly what they should be doing.  The only unfortunate part here is that there aren`t more Republicans joining in them.

Because this really isn`t a partisan matter.  This is about Congress doing its job which is to hold -- just checks and balances to hold this White House in particular accountable.  That`s not a partisan effort.  It is just a shame that Republicans have become a party that are unwilling to perform their central obligation in government as public servants.

VOSSOUGHIAN:  Richard Reich, former Clinton cabinet secretary, excuse me, calling for Congress to be ready to arrest Bill Barr.  He is going so far as saying get ready to arrest again the attorney general for not showing up possibly on Thursday morning.

He`s already wrote in "Newsweek" about the obstruction today.  He said, "No questioning of former White House security director about issuances of security clearances.  No questioning anybody about presidential tax returns.  Such a blanket edict fits a dictator of a Banana Republic, not the president of a Constitutional Republic founded on the separation of powers."

He is calling for the possible arrest of the attorney general.  That`s where we are right now.

STENGEL:  I think that`s a little extreme.  And again, it is separation of powers and there`s all different kinds of things that you can do.  I actually thought that Joe Biden moved the ball a little further than anybody today by saying that in fact, by resisting cooperating with a legitimate investigation by an oversight branch of Congress, that is a potentially impeachable offense in and of itself.  Apart from everything in the Barr investigation, which I think is a really interesting idea.

VOSSOUGHIAN:  Do you think Democrats, Mara, are going to follow through on all these threats they`ve made so far?

GAY:  Oh, I think there`s a lot of ground to cover between that point and where we are now.  And I think that the Democrats are trying to go about this, it seems methodically and logically.  And this is a really good place to start.

I mean these are committees that have been around for many years.  They didn`t exist because of the White House`s inappropriate behavior so they`re just doing business as usual which is the exact right way to proceed.

I mean it is an extraordinary situation but at this point, the House is using as you said, the exact means within its power.  And that`s, they`re doing their job.

VOSSOUGHIAN:  Well, I want to go back to the point that you made about Joe Biden.  Because we -- on the campaign trail, we have not necessarily heard such strong language coming from people that have declared they`re running for president of the United States so far except Joe Biden.

We`ve heard obviously from Elizabeth Warren that she was calling for impeachment after the Mueller report came out.  What do you make of it?

STENGEL:  I think it is a very smart point and I think it is another bite out of the apple for Congress.  I mean if you`re trying to obstruct a legitimate investigation by one branch of Congress, that is a potentially impeachable offense.

And by the way, as it`s been said a thousand times, high crimes and misdemeanors is whatever Congress says it is.  And Congress can decide that if President Trump is not cooperating with an investigation, that`s a high crime and misdemeanor.

VOSSOUGHIAN:  You have Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi obviously meeting with the president early this morning.  Chuck Schumer basically going on the record and saying that he thinks that they can negotiate with the president when it comes to that while they`re investigating the president as well.

I would go out on a layman and say I think they might be giving the president a little bit but too much credit on all of this.  But let`s take a listen to them and then I`ll have you guys react.


PETER ALEXANDER, REPORTER, NBC:  Madam Speaker, how hard is to it work with this president on infrastructure when he`s stonewalling you on investigations?

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), HOUSE SPEAKER:  Well, we can -- obviously we are here to do something for the American people.

REP. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY):  In previous meetings, the president has said if these investigations continue, I can`t work with you.  He didn`t bring it up.  I believe we can do both at once.



GAY:  Look, two things.  One is that these guys, Pelosi and Schumer, are quite experienced at this and I think they understand that you can catch more bees with honey than vinegar.

The other thing is that actually, this is -- infrastructure is an area where the president does have an interest on building things, on putting his name on things and that`s actually -- that makes sense that he would work with the Democrats on this.

The problem that everyone is going to have on infrastructure is actually the Republican Party, which is grounded in rural areas of the country that are not going to want to pay for the New York City subway.  So that is actually where the negotiating is going to happen.  It is not between the Democrats and the president but between the president and --

VOSSOUGHIAN:  No but you make a good point because infrastructure really is.  I mean how many times has the president had infrastructure throughout the last two years of his administration?

I mean if there`s one place there could be a bipartisan effort, it is on infrastructure.  The question is if it is actually going to happen, especially when you present a trillion-dollar-plus infrastructure plan in front of the president and you would not give the money that he needed for his border wall.

If you`re in the president`s position, I can imagine that he wouldn`t necessarily be on board with something like that.

STENGEL:  Well, it`s in -- I mean as you suggest, it`s in both of their interests to do it.  And I think it`s particularly in the president`s interest.  If there is impeachment proceedings and there`s an investigation, he says look, I`m still delivering on this great benefit to the American public even while I`m being harassed.  So it`s in both of their interests to do it.

VOSSOUGHIAN:  All right.  I want to bring in former Barbara -- California Senator Barbara Boxer.  I want you guys to stick around for this conversation as well.

Senator, thank you so much for joining us on this.  Very much appreciate it.  I`m sure that you just heard, we were talking about obviously the infrastructure meeting the president had with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, Speaker Pelosi earlier today.

And they made the point that you can still make deals with the president while investigating them as well.  Are you onboard with this?  Do you believe it could happen?

BARBARA BOXER, FORMER SENATOR:  Absolutely.  Absolutely.  There is no choice.  It`s our job.  I mean I served for 10 years in the House, 24 years in the Senate.  And I was the chairman of the Senate Public Works -- Environment and Public Works Committee which was responsible for the Highway Bill.

And I will agree that I think the tension is going to become more between Republicans and Democrats.  Because before I left, I was able to put together with Jim Inhofe, my Republican friend, a five-year Infrastructure Bill.  That`s about to run out in about another year or two.

But it was half the money that they`re talking about now.  So it`s going to be very difficult because you have got to look at the gas tax, you have to look at vehicle miles traveled.  You`ve got to do a wealth tax with this president.  I don`t know.  I would hope he`d be open to it.

But the Republicans, particularly Mitch McConnell has states he`s not that excited about it.  But you`ve got to do both.  That`s what the Constitution says, oversight and legislation.

VOSSOUGHIAN:  Let`s go back to the conversation that I was having earlier which is Bill Barr and how he is possibly refusing to show up on Thursday for his congressional testimony.  The attorney general making the argument that he doesn`t want to be interviewed by congressional staffers.

Do you think, Senator, we`re going to see Barr testifying on Thursday?

BOXER:  I hope so for the sake of this great nation.  We have equal branches of government.  And as it was stated by your guests, it is very important that the administration allow Congress to do its work so I hope so.

And I could tell you if he doesn`t show up, it`s shocking because it really would be obstruction of Congress and that`s very serious.  And I think Joe Biden made a good point.  You`ve got one thing to look at obstruction of the investigation that Mueller did.  And now, you see in plain daylight a president who is saying, "My staff won`t come, the papers won`t come.  I don`t care what you do.  I`ll see you in court."  It is chaotic, frankly.

VOSSOUGHIAN:  Richard, what legs does the attorney general have to stand on when he says he doesn`t want to be interviewed by congressional staffers?  Since when do you provide testimony and you could dictate who it is that is asking actually asking you the questions?

STENGEL:  Well -- and by the way, there is a history of people being questioned by staff.  If you go back to Watergate, Iran-Contra, there were staff questions.  In fact, there is a history of cabinet officers being questioned by staff.

I mean the thing that nobody is talking about is the reason he doesn`t want to be interviewed by staff, is the way the system works is that each Congressperson has five minutes.  And what they do instead of asking questions, like passing a baton from one to another, they just ask questions so they can get 30 seconds on their evening news broadcast in their local district.

So that`s easy to answer questions because you can stall one after another.  So Congress should either decide, hey, we`re going to have a plan and have a narrative and have questions after each other, or yes, let`s have staff people question the attorney general.  He should be competent to answer those questions.

VOSSOUGHIAN:  Senator, the "Washington Post" is reporting Trump`s obstruction is making more Democrats consider impeachment here.  What do you make of that?

BOXER:  I have to say myself, watching all of this, it looks like he`s asking for it.  He`s asking for it.

I mean I remember politicians in the past that said, "Follow me around, you won`t find anything."  And yes, you found things.  I mean he really is doing this.

And I think that`s why Nancy Pelosi was very smart when initially she said let`s just start the investigations and follow it wherever it goes.  Nothing should be off the table, in my opinion.  Not impeachment, not censoring him, nothing should be off the table.


BOXER:  But having said all that -- yes.

VOSSOUGHIAN:  So Senator, are you going so far as saying you think the president actually wants impeachment?  He`s kind of threatening Congress to try and impeach him.

BOXER:  I wouldn`t know what he wants.  He doesn`t make any sense to me.  But what I`m suggesting to you is that his actions, this latest flap with Barr, as was stated, we have hearings.  We had in the Kavanaugh hearing where the Republicans had a staff attorney who was hired for the express purpose of questioning Blasey Ford.

This goes on all the time.  You have to say, what are you hiding?  And by hiding everything, and even now his personal attorneys are suing Deutsche Bank, you have to say, what is the Congress going to do?

They have to protect the country.  Not only from this president but from what this whole thing sets in terms of precedents for the future, how a president can delay and distract and move away from our Constitution.  It is dangerous.

VOSSOUGHIAN:  All right.  Senator Barbara Boxer, Mara Gay, and Richard Stengel thank you guys all for joining me.

I want to talk about Venezuela, everybody.  Massive upheaval in Venezuela today as many have been following.  Protesters taking to the streets in an attempt to oust President Nicolas Maduro in support of the opposition leader who was elected interim president was by the legislative body back in January.

Now, moments ago, NBC`s Lester Holt talking to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.  Watch this.


LESTER HOLT:  Have you or anyone in the administration, you`re aware of, spoken to Mr. Guaido in the last 24, 48 hours?

MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE:  We`re talking to lots of folks on the ground.  Lester, I don`t want to get into who all we`ve had a chance to speak with today but we`ve continually spoken with Juan Guaido all throughout this.

You see too.  You see that Juan Guaido is in the streets and we`ve not seen Mr. Maduro since this morning.  We did see his airplane that was parked at the airport.  We understand that he was actually getting ready, contemplating leaving the country.  Then the Russians told him to stay, not to depart for Havana.


VOSSOUGHIAN:  All right.  You can catch Lester`s full interview with the secretary at "NBC NIGHTLY NEWS" tonight at 6:30 p.m. Eastern.

Coming up, everybody, the most powerful Democrats in Washington hit back over Trump`s new lawsuit to keep his financial documents hidden from Congress.


REP. MAXINE WATERS (D-CA):  He`s prepared to fight us tooth and nail and we`re prepared to fight him back.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA); INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE:  So we want to ferret out.  We want to follow the money.


VOSSOUGHIAN:  And Joe Biden`s new video explicitly linking himself to Barack Obama without Obama`s endorsement.  The question is, is it going to work?

And a disabled activist gives dramatic testimony in the first-ever hearing on Medicare for all.  It is a moment that had many people in tears.

I`m Yasmin Vossoughian, in for Ari Melber.  And you`re watching THE BEAT on MSNBC.


VOSSOUGHIAN:  So maybe this is why Trump is worried.  The "New York Times" reporting Deutsche Bank executives have compiled reams of Trump`s financial material to hand over to House Democrats including Trump`s tax returns.

And now, Trump and his children, they are doing everything they can to prevent it.  Suing both Deutsche Bank and Capital One, trying to stop them from complying with the Democrat`s subpoena.  House Intel Chair Adam Schiff saying he wants details on Trump`s foreign business ties.


SCHIFF:  The reason that we`re very concerned about the financial issues is this investigation began as a counterintelligence investigation, not as a criminal probe.  Was a foreign power exercising influence?  We want to ferret out, we want to follow the money and determine is there some other form of compromise.


VOSSOUGHIAN:  And Deutsche Bank is tightly linked to the president loaning him more than $360 million in recent years, even though as the "New York Times" reported the bank once concluded Trump had exaggerated his net worth by over $2 billion.  Today, Eric Trump attacking Democrats.


ERIC TRUMP, SON OF PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP:  We`re just saying, this is presidential harassment.  This is all these people do.  It is not just my father.  It`s Eric, I want to see all your bank records.  I want to know how much Laura spent on baby formula for Luke, I want to how many beers tiffany had on a Friday afternoon in Georgetown.


VOSSOUGHIAN:  And today also, the House Finance Chair Maxine Waters who issued the subpoena with Adam Schiff is saying this.


WATERS:  The relationship with Deutsche Bank is unusual.  Why would they lend him billions of dollars?  He`s prepared to fight us tooth and nail and we`re prepared to fight him back.


VOSSOUGHIAN:  All right.  Joining me now is Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist David Cay Johnston.  He`s been digging into Trump`s finances for years now.  His book about the Trump White House is called, It Is Even Worse Than It Looks.  What a title, I got to say.

Also with me, Matt Miller who`s the former spokesperson for the Justice Department under President Obama.  Matt, I`m going to start with you.  We just heard from Eric Trump obviously who was on "Fox News".

I just played some of that sound which I`m sure you herd.  He said the subpoenas are presidential harassment because he says Congress wants to go so far as to find out what his wife is spending on baby formula.  I`m not necessarily sure that`s what they`re looking for.  Just saying, Matt.  But what do you make of the terminology presidential harassment on all of this?

MATT MILLER, FORMER CHIEF SPOKESMAN, JUSTICE DEPARTMENT:  I think that`s pretty silly from the president`s son.  Look, if the president had met the usual standards of transparency and disclosure that other presidents had met about releasing his tax returns, we probably would not be here because members of Congress wouldn`t be so concerned that there was something secret that he`s gone to such lengths to try to hide.

Look, the president`s response is consistent with the way the executive -- the way his administration has held requests for documents where they tried to resist and delay.  But this is really different.

He`s at a significant legal advantage here because unlike where the court - - unlike the dispute between Congress and the executive branch where the courts are really reluctant to step in, this is between -- it is between Congress and a private party.  And it`s not even Trump as the private party.  It is a third party.

And so it`s one thing to try to resist and not turn over documents that you have in your possession.  It`s an entirely other thing to go to court and try to actively block someone else from turning over documents, especially when that other party is willing to do and it seems you have asked the Congress for a subpoena so they could turn this over.

I think he faces a very high bar.  Unlike with some of the requests of the administration where he may run up the clock, I seriously doubt he`s going to be able to do that here.

VOSSOUGHIAN:  You`re shaking your head over here, David.

DAVID CAY JOHNSTON, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST:  Well, Deutsche Bank is a licensed institution that has disclosure obligations and it doesn`t have self-incrimination rights as an individual does.  So Matt`s exactly right here that there is a strong case.

The president is arguing in this case that he`s suing as a private citizen.  I`m sorry, are you fish or fowl?  He`s got to make a choice here.  And yes, I don`t think it amounts to anything legally.

VOSSOUGHIAN:  But he has been blocking, David every probe that is being made by Congress --

JOHNSTON:  Yes, which works against him.

VOSSOUGHIAN:  -- investigation.  In your opinion, it works against him.  But what I will say is it seems he is particularly keen on blocking this, on blocking any release of any financial statements, whether it be blanket financial statements, whether it be loan approvals, up to his tax returns.

JOHNSTON:  So there isn`t now and there never has been a scintilla of evidence that Donald is a billionaire, much less a $10 billionaire.  He knows his banking records will show what a fraud his statements are.

And remember, as a candidate, he said he was worth more than $10 billion.  As president, his statement shows $1.4 billion that he had to file under oath and even that is inflated.

Secondly, one of the things we`ll learn from these transactions is whether there were covenants or side deals that somebody else was guaranteeing or doing business with or providing some favor to Deutsche Bank that we`re not aware of.

Now, there may or may not be such a thing but the investigator is going to learn that.  And remember the Deutsche Bank has already been fined over $600 million for laundering money for Russians.


JOHNSTON:  That Deutsche Bank has been fined in total over $22 billion and this is not a huge bank.


JOHNSTON:  And I think you can reasonably argue given the sham tax shelters they were selling and other things, that Deutsche Bank from an American perspective is a criminal organization.

VOSSOUGHIAN:  Let`s make it clear.  Congress has made basically the case that they are looking into Deutsche Bank in particular with Donald Trump`s dealings because they want to see if there is any money laundering going on with regards to Russia and Eastern Europe in his history.

So, Matt, we also know when it comes to Capital One, there was a $35,000 check that was cut to Michael Cohen in order to pay off someone that we well know and that we`ve been talking about for quite some time.  We also heard from Michael Cohen about all of this.  Let`s take a listen to that.


MICHAEL COHEN, DONALD TRUMP FORMER LAWYER:  I am giving to the committee today three years of Mr. Trump`s personal financial statements from 2011, 2012, and 2013, which he gave to Deutsche Bank to inquire about a loan to buy the Buffalo Bills and to Forbes.  It was my experience that Mr. Trump inflated his total assets when it served his purposes.


VOSSOUGHIAN:  So we have, Matt, these hush money payments that were made from Capital One.  We have this statement from Michael Cohen, made in his testimony, talking about Deutsche Bank where he says he possibly inflated his assets.

We have Republicans saying that this is a fishing expedition.  This is presidential harassment.  We know also there needs to be probable cause in order for them to gain access to these financial statements.

Isn`t this probable cause?  Is not this enough evidence to show they should have access to these financial records?

MILLER:  Congress has a very low showing that they have to make.  Courts typically won`t even question Congress` motive when it does make it to court.  Congress sends a subpoena.  They have a lawful right to have their subpoenas answered and I think they`re going to be successful here.

And in terms of the president`s response, I think when you look at that Michael Cohen hearing, you see why he`s always been so worried about people getting a look at his financial records.  Cohen essentially accused him.

If you boil down that statement that you just showed of Canadian bank fraud, a separate point in the committee -- in the hearing.  The committee insurance fraud.  We know from reporting in the "New York Times" that there were years where he paid no tax and other years that he and his family seems to actively avoid paying tax that they should have.

So when you take a look at all the potential financial crimes and the financial improprieties that these documents would show, his bank records, his tax returns, I think you get some sense of why he is going to such lengths.  Because remember, it`s not just Deutsche Bank and Capital One that he`s suing.  He previously sued his own accountant to try and block them from turning over his tax returns to Congress.

I think you see why is it he`s so worried about these documents making it to members of Congress who might look at them and might share some of the details in some form with the American people.

VOSSOUGHIAN:  Will we or won`t we see them?  That is the big question.

JOHNSTON:  We will see Donald Trump`s tax returns at some point.  We`ve seen some, the one I got from 2005, at least the summary sheet of it.  But we will eventually see this.

The State of New York after all separately can go after him.  And under New York State law, your tax returns virtually identical to your federal returns.

VOSSOUGHIAN:  So that`s the follow-up.  When?  David Cay Johnston and Matt Miller, thank you guys both.  Good seeing you guys.

Ahead, everybody, Joe Biden says he didn`t ask for Obama`s endorsement.  But today, his strategy seems to be all about Obama.  Is it going to work?

But first, more on Chairman Cummings` prison threat when a top Democrat joins me in 30 seconds.  We`ll be right back.


VOSSOUGHIAN:  Once again, fine or prison?  Take your pick.  That is the stark message today from one of the most powerful Democrats in Congress, the Trump staffers thinking about defying subpoenas.


CUMMINGS:  There is no tool in our toolbox that we should not explore.  We will look at all those tools from a very practical standpoint.  It may be that we want to just deal with fines.  I don`t know.  But it is either fines and or prison.


VOSSOUGHIAN:  And this as Trump tries to stop his former White House counsel from testifying to Congress, encouraging former aides to ignore Congress and as his attorney general threatens to cancel testimony before the House.

And as we just reported, he is suing Deutsche Bank to block House subpoenas, refusing to give Democrats access to his tax returns and suing Congress for requesting his accounting record.  Lots of suing going on.

With me now is Democratic Congressman Mike Quigley of Illinois, member of the House Intel Committee.  Congressman, thanks so much for joining us on this.  Let`s first get your reaction to Oversight Chair Elijah Cummings issuing that very strong statement.

REP. MIKE QUIGLEY (D), ILLINOIS:  Look, it is interesting.  Before the special counsel`s Report was issued, the president obstructed this investigation.  The long list you just detailed on what the president is doing is his continuation of obstructing that investigation.

So obviously, it is incumbent upon Congress with its oversight authorities to use whatever means it has necessary to move forward to prevent this obstruction.  I`m not sure a jail time is going to happen any time soon. I understand that there was something akin to a congressional jail where the Supreme Court currently stands.  I`m sure there are other measures that are more likely to take place.

VOSSOUGHIAN:  But we do know the president is not going to stand down on any of this.  He`s going to fight tooth and nail on every single subpoena, Congressman.  Let`s take a listen to that.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  We`re fighting all the subpoenas.  Look, these aren`t like impartial people.  The Democrats are trying to win 2020.  The only way they can luck out is by constantly going after me on nonsense.

VOSSOUGHIAN:  So Congress, what is the plan here?  He has put it out there.  He is fighting every subpoena.  You say it`s not going to be as extreme as seeing prison for the President, but what do you want to do?  What is the plan here to move forward with this investigation if the president is going to be fighting every subpoena?

There`s no doubt he will.  I think there`s a couple of things at play here.  First of all, courts are loath to get involved and decide fights between different branches of government.  One of the things they do ask for is a good faith effort.  The fact that the president has said he`s not going to respond favorable to any of them shows an extraordinary lack of good faith.

So I think there are remedies here.  I think the fines are one obvious measure.  I do ultimately have faith that the courts are respond.  The fact is that the law is very clear --

VOSSOUGHIAN:  But how long -- how long would a court -- Congressman, how long would a court process take?  I mean, we`re not -- we`re not -- I mean when you talk about courts, this is a multiple year process.

QUIGLEY:  It can be.  There are expedited options on matters involving this higher level of discussion in fight, so we would obviously push toward that in.  My colleagues are correct.  We will use whatever means necessary to move forward.  And what I would encourage the American public to understand here is this is a decision, a series of decisions that will decide whether Congress has a toothless ability to oversee the executive branch.

Obviously, the stakes are high and we will take whatever means necessary.  I`m just suggesting it`s unlikely the courts are going to decide to put anyone in prison waiting for these subpoenas.  But I do think fines are possible.  I think another option is it is possible to use the appropriation process as a -- as fencing off option to push the Justice Department to release their aspect of this information.

So I do believe there are a number of means out there for Congress to continue to use its oversight function.  It`s not going to be easy.  Obviously, the rule of law is at play here, but it`s a fight that we absolutely must undertake.

VOSSOUGHIAN:  All right, Congressman Quigley, thank you so much.  Good talking to you tonight.  By the way, coming up everybody, a lot more ahead.  Trump`s controversial economic picks Stephen Moore potentially facing a GOP defection and heart-wrenching testimony at the first Medicare-for-all hearing.

Plus, Joe Biden tying his 2020 run to Obama`s legacy.  Will the Obama coalition buy it?  That`s coming up.


VOSSOUGHIAN:  Joe Biden campaigning in Iowa today and someone else made a guest appearance in his speech.  Watch this.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Barack Obama`s an extraordinary man.  His integrity, his dignity, his decency, you know, he was the president our kids can look up to.  There wasn`t a single solitary day that I served with him that I thought I didn`t -- that I wasn`t proud to be with him.


VOSSOUGHIAN:  So Biden very clearly tying himself to former President Obama on the stump this afternoon.  And this morning releasing a new video featuring Obama praising Biden on his Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony.


BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  This is an extraordinary man with an extraordinary career in public service, somebody who has devoted his entire professional life to service to this country.  He could not have been a more effective partner in the progress that we`ve made.  The best part is he`s nowhere close to finish.


VOSSOUGHIAN:  So we can see the strategy Biden is deploying linking himself to former President Obama.  Obama has been quiet on the 2020 field.  In a new poll, Biden has a lead, but we know polls this early don`t mean much, and Biden strategy today clashes a bit with what he said just last week.


BIDEN:  I asked President Obama not to endorse and he doesn`t want -- we should -- whoever wins these nominations should win it on their own merits.


VOSSOUGHIAN:  All right, Aisha Moodie-Mills is a Democratic Strategist and a Fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard`s Kennedy School, and Susan Del Percio is a Republican Strategist and MSNBC Political Analyst.  I want to get you guys both to win on this new strategy former Vice President Biden really attaching himself to President Obama.  Susan?

SUSAN DEL PERCIO, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  Of course he is.  Why wouldn`t you if you`re Vice President Joe Biden.  It makes sense.  He is going to look for that Obama coalition.  They got him -- you know, they got the president elected in 2008 and helped him in 2016.  It makes all the sense in the world.

I mean, you can also argue that some part why he released the announcement a video that he did focusing on Charlottesville and racism and anti- Semitism and all the things that President Trump represents and all the horrible things, and says remember, we can look -- we can look toward our better angels and I`m the one to deliver that one.

VOSSOUGHIAN:  It seems like he`s trying to choose the narrative here, right.  Because last week he said I didn`t want President Obama to endorse me, right.  I want to win this on my own merits if and when I become the nominee.  Then over the weekend, there was this New York Times article saying that Obama didn`t want him to run in 2016.

And then there was this tweet from President Trump earlier in the week where he said you know, the reason why I`m even here is because of Obama- Biden.  It seems as if the Biden team got out and they said this is the strategy we are going to create the narrative and we`re going to attach ourselves to President Obama.

AISHA MOODIE-MILLS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST:  Well, I`ll admit, it`s really good campaign strategy so kudos to the Biden team.  I mean, they`re playing this out really well.  He doesn`t have to get President Obama to go on T.V. today with a new fresh narrative to say I like you.  He can actually just play all the b-roll and that`s what he`s doing.

I want to get to something know about that poll that you actually read that`s suggesting that Biden is so high in the polls.  CNN actually put out a poll where they -- it`s an SSRS poll.  And I have a question about that that I think that all the viewers should be paying attention to.  According to that poll that shows that black people and black women, in particular, are for Biden, nobody under 50 seemed to be polled.  It actually has categories of everybody under 50 that says not applicable.

So I`m really curious about who are all these people.  It`s so early in the game.  I think that from a demographic perspective we should also be really thoughtful about how the support is resonating relative to the kind of African-American attachment that he`s trying to.

VOSSOUGHIAN:  And it is so early on --

MOODIE-MILLS:  So early.

VOSSOUGHIAN:  -- for so many of these conversations to be happening.  But we do know that the African-American female vote is going to be integral.  It is going to be so incredibly important.  It is everything as it was in Alabama, as it went to Doug Jones in Alabama for that race over Roy Moore.  It is everything.  And is all going to come down to voter turnout as well.

DEL PERCIO:  But there is also one other thing when you look at this primary in the polling.  Yes, everything that I you should just said is correct, and I have no question that you know, you rather be ahead in the polls on behind.  But one thing we`ve seen consistently with the polling especially in the Washington Post poll that came out earlier this week is the numbers are changing when it comes to do you want to can a align with my values on the issues or someone who could beat Trump.

The numbers stay pretty steady at 44 percent for I want someone to -- I mean 47 percent, someone who can who is aligned with my issues.  It has ticked down.  It`s gone from 49 percent to 43 percent as far as someone who they could get elected which tells me that people are starting to get are someone who could be Donald Trump, which tells me this is all about people starting to find their candidates, find their way, and they all will believe that their candidates want to win.

VOSSOUGHIAN:  I also don`t understand why these two things have to be mutually exclusive.  I don`t understand why you can`t vote for someone that you believe in who you also --


DEL PERCIO:  But the number is -- that`s Biden`s strategy is to be -- have that lane.  And if it keeps falling as far as important, it does me.

VOSSOUGHIAN:  I need you guys to stick with me because I know you`re going to want to comment on this next story.  There is breaking news on Donald Trump`s controversial pick for the Federal Reserve Stephen Moore.  Moments ago GOP Senator Joni Ernst announcing she is a no vote on the nomination and that other Republicans are also opposed.

Ernst is saying Moore does "not have the votes."  All of this coming as Moore takes new heat of course for comments that he made two decades ago arguing husbands should make more money than their wives.  Watch this.


STEPHEN MOORE, NOMINEE, FEDERAL RESERVE:  The male needs to be the breadwinner of the family.  And one of the reasons I think you`ve seen the decline of the family not just in the black community but also it`s happening now in the white community as well is because women are more economically self-sufficient.


VOSSOUGHIAN:  I`m sorry.  Moore says some of his old comments were meant to be humorous.  Oh yes, sure.  But then this morning saying the biggest problem in the U.S. economy is a decline in male earnings.

MOODIE-MILLS:  I mean --

VOSSOUGHIAN:  Let me go to my all-female panel on this.

MOODIE-MILLS:  Yes.  I mean, here`s -- first of all, are we surprised --

VOSSOUGHIAN:  That he didn`t have the votes?

MOODIE-MILLS:  Are we surprised that Donald Trump would want to put someone in place who is a misogynist just like him.  We shouldn`t even be shocked about this.  But the fact that there are receipts, right, and that there`s video, there`s no way to kind of back that --

DEL PERCIO:  Which goes to show you that there is literally no vetting being done by the White House.  In a Republican and a Democrat White House, you vet your candidates before announcing your intent to put them forward.  They just kind of say hey, here`s your name.  Good luck with that and see what happens.

They don`t do their homework which is really a reflection of the administration overall.  They don`t check everything that they need to whether it`s a candidate for the board or for some -- or for a cabinet position.  They just kind of let`s see what the public thinks.

MOODIE-MILLS:  So when are the GOP Senators going to get tired of this though on getting played because right now Donald Trump --

VOSSOUGHIAN:  Well, apparently they are. 

DEL PERCIO:  Do you think they ever will though is the question.

MOODIE-MILLS:  But Donald Trump is --

VOSSOUGHIAN:  And honestly do they even disagree with the things that are being said by these nominees.  And I mean that is the real question right, the messaging that`s coming out of the GOP.  Is this in line with the way that they think?  I mean, I don`t think it`s in line with the way that many people think when you hear things like this.

MOODIE-MILLS:  They still have been doing this vetting.  I think the fact that there are tapes, that there are receipts that you can`t just irrefutable -- you can`t pull back those videos of him are the reason why people are saying oh, I guess we can`t support this because we have to get reelected again in 2020.

DEL PERCIO:  Why they never get to the point of actually voting on any of these candidates, they get pulled before that because they`re just such -- so inappropriate and unprepared.

VOSSOUGHIAN:  All right, Aisha Moodie-Mills, Susan Del Percio, thank you guys both.  Good seeing you guys.  I had everybody a milestone for House Democrats today.  The first-ever hearing on Medicare for all and the incredibly emotional testimony we`re going to hear next.  We`ll be right back.



ADY BARKAN, POLITICAL ANALYST, CENTER FOR POPULAR DEMOCRACY:  The time to pass this law is now.  Winning this reform will not be easy.  I sit before you today a hopeful man.


VOSSOUGHIAN:  Incredibly powerful testimony today from activist Ady Barkan, the 35-year-old testifying at the first-ever hearing on Medicare for all as he suffers from Lou Gehrig`s disease.  Barkan has continued his activism through his illness protesting the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, even getting arrested by Capitol Hill police, pulled into a police van in his wheelchair.

He made headlines for confronting Senator Jeff Flake on a plane and for making this emotional goodbye video for his son who was born just four months before he was diagnosed with ALS.


BARKAN:  The coming years are going to be really hard for me, for you, for mom.  All the matters to me is to make you proud of your old dad because I`m already so proud of you. 


VOSSOUGHIAN:  So all of that is the backdrop for today`s emotional hearing.  Barkan using his own illness to make the case for health care reform in this country.  Watch this.


BARKAN:  Never before have I had to rely on a synthetic voice to lay out my arguments.  ALS now means paying out of pocket for almost 24-hour home care.  This costs us $9,000 every month.  We are cobbling together the money from friends and family and supporters all over the country.  GoFundMe is a terrible substitute for smart congressional action.


VOSSOUGHIAN:  All right, joining me now is Jennifer Epps-Addison, President of Barkan`s group the Center for Popular Democracy.  Jennifer, thanks so much for joining on this just some incredible testimony to say, really putting things in perspective to say the least.  You were next to him the entire time.  How was this testimony for him today?

JENNIFER EPPS-ADDISON, NETWORK PRESIDENT, CENTER FOR POPULAR DEMOCRACY:  Thank you so much for having me, first of all, and for actually participating in this historic moment for our country.  I have to say that I was not only next to Ady today, but I was next to him this summer as we went across 20 states from California to Maine talking to people and asking them to be heroes, to help transform our healthcare system.

I`m proud to say that today he answered that call on behalf of tens of millions of Americans who know that this system, the system of cobbled together care this GoFundMe health care system that we have currently in our country is not the system our families deserve.  It`s not the system that will provide us with the care.

And so we were honored to stand with him as he called for our elected officials to be heroes by passing Medicare for all.

VOSSOUGHIAN:  Do you think that his testimony really resonated?  Do you think people heard him?  Do you think it`s going to make a difference?

EPPS-ADDISON:  I absolutely think people have heard him.  And let`s be really clear that his voice is one of tens of millions.  Whether it was the folks on the tour, the Fox News Town Hall with Bernie Sanders where that Fox News audience cheered wildly at the idea of moving to a Medicare for all system, or the most recent polls that have come out that say 70 percent of voters believe that we should pass Medicare for all.

People in this country are -- they know their health insurance doesn`t work.  And one thing I want people to understand is that Ady and I, we have some of the best health insurance available currently in this private market.  But what we know is that the system doesn`t work for no income people, it doesn`t work for low-income people, it certainly doesn`t work for the middle class.

And even for you know folks who are doing pretty well in this economy like myself, this health care system doesn`t work for our families either.  You heard Ady talk about $9,000 a month he`s paying out of pocket.  For my family, with our health insurance coverage, we`re paying more than $900 a month in our -- in our co-pays and deductibles.

This is an insane system that -- like that prioritizes the profits of health care companies and insurance companies over the care that our families deserve.  So we are more than ready to transition into a system where every single person in this country has the care they need to thrive.

VOSSOUGHIAN:  And I know that you -- there`s a reason why you are so involved in this.  It`s not just because of Ady`s story but it`s because you have a very personal story as well.  Talk to us about that.

EPPS-ADDISON:  My husband was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis almost four years ago now.  And you know, just like Ady, before that we were pretty well taken care of family.  You know, we did not think about our health care.  We were luckily enough to have private insurance unlike many people in this country.

But what we realized is that private insurance is a trap because the purpose of the insurance is to make profit for the health insurance companies.  And so when you get sick, when you need the care the most, that`s when it all the sudden evaporates on you.

You spend most of your time arguing with insurance companies to cover medicine that should be a part of your care, you have issues in terms of trying to see the doctors that you need, and the insurance companies are not listening to the doctors when they prescribe the medicine your family needs.

And so we know that this system is not working.  And in fact we heard today in the hearing that if we were designing a health system from scratch, this is absolutely not the system anyone Democrat or Republican would actually design.

And so we have an opportunity in this moment as the country is ready for transformation that we are in a moment where we have to decide, are we going to be a nation that cares for everyone in our borders?  Are we going to be a nation that invests in the health and the security of our country or are we going to continue down this every person for themselves path that leaves far too many families behind.

VOSSOUGHIAN:  Well, we appreciate your testimony.  Please give our best to Ady, and we appreciate your voice on all this.  Thank you so much for joining us, Jennifer Epps-Addison.  We`ll be right back, everybody.

EPPS-ADDISON:  Thank you.


VOSSOUGHIAN:  Welcome back, everybody.  Get your popcorn ready.  Tomorrow Attorney General Bill Barr will face questions on the Mueller report at a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Barr is going to be pressed on his four-page letter clearing Trump on obstruction, his unusual press conference before releasing the report, and much, much more.  We`re going to have it all covered here tomorrow night.

That does it for me.  I`m going to see you back here tomorrow morning on "FIRST LOOK" at 5:00 a.m. Eastern.  "HARDBALL" with Chris Matthews starts right now.