Nadler sues to force McGahn to testify. TRANSCRIPT: 8/8/19, The Beat w/ Ari Melber.

Guests: Danielle Moodie-Mills, Maria Teresa Kumar, Eleanor Clift, JohnFlannery

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The association right now. They`re stretched for cash. My son estimates they`ve spent $100,000 a day on lawyers and the NRA capitalizes on these shootings by saying the government is coming for your guns. Give us $5.

CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST: They need this which means they`re going to fight everything. Anyway good point. Betsy, Bill, thank you all. That`s all we have for tonight. Don`t miss MEET THE PRESS DAILY tomorrow.

I`m going to be live in Sioux City, Iowa. You know what that`ll mean for Sunday by the way. THE BEAT with Ari Melber starts right now. Good evening Ari.

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Good evening Chuck, thank you and thanks to you at home for joining us. We have so much tonight. The Trump administration conducting this new massive immigration raid, leaving reports of children crying for their parents amidst that government activity.

This is the same Donald Trump was supposed to be offering continued solace to the victims of what is now widely documented as this anti-Latino attack. Also tonight, something we`ve been working hard on. A special report debunking myths about the politics of gun control. I`m going lay it all out for you later on in our show.

Also amidst all these other stories, Democrats going to court forcing a former top Trump aide to potentially testify as this impeachment caucus grows, that`s another story that has been sometimes pushed to the side but it`s heating up so we have all of that for you in our broadcast.

But we begin with what is now the aftermath of the largest single state ICE raid in American history. Nearly 700 undocumented people, mostly from the reports we`re getting is this is developing story, mostly Latino detained after these raids at seven different food processing plants in Mississippi.

Hundreds today have not all been released from custody but there are these now devastating reports of how it works and how this goes down when the government does this. Children effectively abandoned because their parents were swept up. The Jackson Free Press reporting as thus, "Children finish their first day of school with no parents to go home to tonight. Babies and toddlers remained at day care with no guardian to pick them up. A child vainly searching a workplace parking lot for missing parents."

Here`s another report.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fighting back tears, 11 year old Magdalena Gomez Grigorio expressed to us her devastation being alone without her dad.

MAGDALENA GOMES GRIGORIO, 11 YEAR OLD IN FORREST: Government, please put your heart. Let my parents be with me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Children left behind and families impacted by each raid stressed their parents and friends are good people.

GRIGORIO: I need my dad for me. My daddy do nothing. He`s not a criminal.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He said that his mom is gone, that he`s upset with Trump. He`s a - he just wants his mom back and they`re both crying. They`ve been crying all day since they got home from school.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: If that`s hard to watch, hard to take in, especially on a week like this but on any day, that is just a couple of the stories that we`ve been sifting through. That`s just a few of the people who in the parlance of journalism happened to go on camera.

The wider impact and devastation that we`re dealing with when you think about what we`re reporting, the largest single state ICE raid, we`re still just getting the stories in the local reporters and a local print journalists. So that`s part of what the Trump administration is doing right now while Donald Trump also visits the grieving communities of Dayton and El Paso with officials saying that the timing here is according to the administrations sources, a coincidence.

Now the purpose of these visits were also according to the administration to try to offer comfort. Hundreds protesting that El Paso visit. Washington Post reported that none of the eight victims being treated in Texas hospital that Trump visited would actually agree to see him, their call.

And on a day intended again where the White House said this was about unity with a community reeling from a gunman who was purposely targeting Latinos, President went on to complain about immigrants "pouring into the nation," attacked political rivals and then this.

A local El Paso TV station obtaining video showing in the middle of Donald Trump`s hospital visit, he ended up taking time and mind you he has his dad, we know he tweeted on the plane, he has the whole time. What you`re about to see him in that exact time period, he took a moment to brag about the size of the crowd he had the last time he was in town.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD J. TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I was here three months ago. We made a speech and we had a - what was the name of the arena? That place was packed, right. That was some crowd. And we had twice the number outside. And then you had this crazy Beto. Beto had like 400 people in parking lot, They said his crowd was wonderful.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: You could decide for yourself what you think of that and what you think of seeing the President checking a box for going into the hospital room for the visit of what that connotes of what that`s supposed to mean regardless of party and what he actually just did there basically by himself, which was try to make a comparison politically to a former member of Congress.

That`s the backdrop for the intensity of the back and forth here as this very honestly, this very sad week for America continues. Democrats calling out the President, punching back, sharpening their attacks on what they say was Donald Trump`s mishandling of this week`s crisis.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER: You`ve been very clear that you believe the President is a racist. Is the President a white supremacist?

BETO O`ROURKE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He is. He`s also made that very clear. He`s dehumanized or sought to dehumanize those who do not look like, or pray like the majority here in this country.

REPORTER: Why was it important for you to come out yesterday and say unequivocally that you think the President is a white supremacist.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So I was asked a question and I gave an honest answer. You can`t keep trying to stir this up, give aide and comfort, be embraced by the white supremacists. And then say, oh, but not me, no. He`s responsible. He`s the President of the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: I`m joined by Daniel Moodie Mills, host of SiriusXM radio`s WokeAF, Maria Teresa Kumar, President and CEO of the group, Voto Latino and Eleanor Clift, Washington correspondent for The Daily Beast. Thanks to each of you for joining me.

I want to start with something slightly different which is not to ask a question which frames this but starting with Elanor, given what we just saw, which was a lot, what are we supposed to do from here? What`s on your mind? What do you think people should be doing with all of this?

ELEANOR CLIFT, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, THE DAILY BEAST: What`s on my mind is the treatment of those migrants or undocumented workers in Mississippi was just gratuitously cruel. The way they were rounded up and apparently there was some complicity with the plant owners.

They basically turned over these people who they probably knowingly knew did not have the proper documentation. These are people who were doing the hardest and lowliest of work. They`re picking apart chicken parts in a processing plant. The job very few people are willing to do or want to do.

They`re hardworking, they`re law abiding and to pull them away and as you said in your - in your introductory remarks, you know leaving children waiting in day care centers and so forth.

Almost half of them have been released so have future court dates but this is you know, this is not about the rule of law as the Republican governor in that state said. This is a political strategy to keep ramping up the grievances that a segment of the American population feels and is - and directing those grievances at a scapegoat which is undocumented immigrants, primarily Hispanics.

And if we`re in for this for 15 months, I want to believe it won`t work but it really, it terrifies me. It puts one America against the another America and the America that Donald Trump is perpetrating because of a quirk in the electoral college, the states that he is really most active in Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania really, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin.

He seems to think that he can squeeze out every white aggrieved vote and pull off the same insight strait that he did in 2016. I think that`s what this is about, it`s political. I don`t even think the President has deeply held ideological beliefs. I think he`s just doing what he thinks will work to get him re-elected.

MELBER: Danielle, you`re nodding.

DANIELLE MOODIE-MILLS, HOST, SIRIUSXM WOKEAF: I just you know, I - in this moment, I woke up this morning and I saw that video of the little - of the little girl crying and as a former early childhood educator, all I could think about was how - how were the schools preparing these young kids, mental health services that this administration has cut.

The idea that we are literally setting these children off for generation of mental health issues, right? Deep trauma that we are purposefully putting and placing on these children for no reason. If we really cared about an immigration system and trying to find a way for people to come to this country legally, why aren`t we rounding up the owners of the factories that are knowingly hiring cheap labor?

Why aren`t they the ones that are being prosecuted? Why aren`t they the ones that are being held accountable? Because if there weren`t jobs that they were opening up, much like Trump did at Mar-a-Lago and his other facilities around the country and around the world, then there - you would you would stave off part of the desire for people to want to come here.

MELBER: Well, you raised--

MOODIE-MILLS: We never hold them accountable. We never hold the owners accountable.

MELBER: Because Maria is such an expert on both this immigration rules and also how they`re being enforced now, I`ll take you know, Danielle`s question to you and bring it back to us. What`s the answer to that?

MARIA TERESA KUMAR, PRESIDENT AND CEO, VOTO LATINO: Absolutely. I think the biggest challenge and this is where I would say the Democrats have actually missed the boat is that the people that are complicit in making sure that these individuals have jobs are the companies.

And the companies often times will actually call in the ICE raiders right before they have to do a paycheck. It`s to ensure that they don`t have to do benefits, if there is any sense of these individuals are going to collective bargaining or trying to unionize, they are complicit and until we recognize that we are going after the least, the most vulnerable, the ones that don`t have a voice but that help put food our table, then we can`t have an honest conversation.

When and if there was a way that we can actually find a lot of these corporations, we can then demand fair wages. The reason that they`re able to hire undocumented immigrants is because they want to pay far below the market value without any consequences and all they care about is the bottom line.

So we have to make sure that we are pushing back and this is an opportunity for both Republicans to come to the table and the Democrats to come to the table but let`s be clear Ari, what the President is doing is that he`s trying to say that he had nothing to do with this rhetoric but it`s his policies that are going strictly after the Latino community regardless if they are citizens or not.

He tries to do the dog whistles like I`m going after undocumented immigrants but yet we find individuals who are U.S. citizens caught up in the system and ICE detention for weeks until they are be able to get publicity.

When you talk about why is there a citizenship question is to disenfranchise American Latinos. When you talk about wanting to create a denaturalization task force, every single person right now who is of Latino descent or even has a shade of brown is at risk.

And we need the American public to be as outraged as we are. The fact that there`s an 11 year old girl crying asking the government to please show some heart, that is taking to the - that should take to the sphere of what we`re talking about in this moment that we have to make sure not only are we protecting these children but what does it speak of us individually that we are not marching on the streets?

MOODIE-MILLS: Look, I just - I have to say that you know, what is so incredibly heart-breaking is why are these brown children less important than America`s white children? Why is it OK for us to watch this little girl cry on national television and beg the government to have heart and we do nothing about it?

I mean these are children who are have been abandoned not because their parents don`t want them or because they can`t provide for them but because the government is purposefully ripping them away and then you have children that we are forcing into unsanitary and unsafe conditions.

Why aren`t we marching? Why aren`t we outrage? The idea that this administration wants to say flippantly but they had no idea or it`s just a coincidence that after two mass shootings within 13 hours every of each other that then the President today, this administration decides to have one of the biggest sweeps in history and we`re supposed to believe that it wasn`t a 1-2 punch, that he wasn`t trying to send a message to the Latino community, give me a break.

How stupid does he think that we are not to be able to connect the dots of what this administration is trying to do?

MELBER: And we picked our words carefully on that Eleanor in what I reported and folks can draw reasonable inferences. We`re not as a news organization yet able to report the inner workings of the a few hours ago of the White House yet so we`re not reporting officially that it`s a 1-2 punch but viewers of THE BEAT will know because we reported a lot of how many other times even when the President pledged and threatened mass raids, they didn`t happen in the hundreds or thousands as he threatened.

We`ve had folks on. I had the Acting Border Commissioner Mr. Morgan on and pressed him on how that didn`t happen so what I think is the evidence supporting Danielle`s point and I I`m stressing it because I want viewers to understand it is, there`s a lot of evidence that it takes a lot to get a mass raid going, that they - at the other times have not even pulled him off and here we are tonight as Danielle was saying and all of a sudden here there is one.

As for the government`s responsibility Eleanor, I`d like you to speak to this, especially when we think about what used to be bipartisan things. You know Reagan, Bush, Obama and Clinton, all talked about the notion that children seeking asylum, children crossing the border were a special subset category.

Now that actually was bipartisan even amidst other debates. That is changed now and then look at this, I`m going to read again. This is just text that the implications are quite dark, the government has an obligation legally and obviously ethically with children. That`s why there`s Child Protective services.

Usually Child Protective services come in when an external event or mistake or crime by an adult separates them from the child. Here we`re dealing with actions by the government itself, reading here from is it Mississippi Clarion ledger. Now the headline, "We`ve been up all night. Child protection services can`t locate children. "As of Thursday morning, the state agency didn`t know how many children were impacted by these raids. We`ve been up all night trying to figure this out," says their official government spokesperson.

Eleanor, how backwards is that?

CLIFT: Yes. They didn`t get a heads up which they`re supposed to get and the President would probably find most of the state officials in Mississippi would be more or less on his side although I saw the school superintendent talking and he certainly seemed, this was not the job he signed up for, to worry about children who`d been abandoned because of an ICE raid.

And it`s been reported that the President was irritated that the last two times that he telegraphed there would be widespread raids, that they didn`t happen or that they only made of a small number of arrests. So there`s an element here of you know pleasing the big guy in the Oval Office.

But you know, now that Mitch McConnell is talking about coming back to Washington in September and maybe passing some legislation, there`s an easy fix for what we saw in Mississippi. These are people who need jobs, who do good work. We have a guest worker program. Why can`t they come here legally?

I mean, I just - I don`t get why we have to make it complicated, those employers need those workers. They`re not going to find them anywhere else so why doesn`t someone put together just that small portion and increase the guest worker program. It already exists so you know, it`s the cruelty behind all of these measures, I think that is really disturbing.

And it`s not about the rule of law at all. It`s about targeting people and making them uncomfortable in a country that has always made immigrants feel welcome.

MELBER: Eleanor Clift, Maria Teresa Kumar and Danielle Moodie-Mills, thanks to each of you on an important discussion.

CLIFT: Thank you.

MELBER: Now coming up we have as mentioned my special report tonight. I`m going to show you miss about gun control politics and why some of the old conventional wisdom that nothing can happen is actually wrong.

Later, new reports banks handing over thousands of documents about Donald Trump and Russians to the U.S. Congress. Meanwhile remember him? I could be talking about Bill Barr or Dirty Harry. Well, Bill Barr has a Dirty Harry moment in a controversial new interview that activists say is important to expose.

And later, Fox News` Tucker Carlson taking a vacation after the backlash to his claim, counter the evidence that white supremacy is a `hoax.` I`m Ari Melber and you`re watching THE BEAT on MSNBC.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MELBER: Two mass shootings. 31 people murdered and renewed calls for Congress to act on gun safety legislation. And you know, probably the conventional wisdom is that gun control is always a third rail in American politics for both parties.

Right now in a special report I`m going to show you the facts and why that third rail maybe fading. Let`s begin with the sad facts. 8932 people have died by gunfire this year alone and today Bill Clinton is telling Congress to go ahead and reinstate the 1994 assault weapons ban that he passed and wrote and signed with members of Congress.

He`s saying the results were clear, mass shooting fatalities declined while they were in effect, have risen sharply since they were allowed to lapse. Now, there`s a legitimate debate in the policy of how to do some of this but as a matter of reporting, it`s true.

Key types of shootings dropped after the ban and so let`s dig in right now to that 1994 House debate over the ban. Keep in mind, the urgency we`re about to play for you came at a time when there were actually fewer mass shootings than today. Just one versus 12 last year.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ANNA ESHOO (D-CA): Every 2 minutes someone in America is shot and every quarter of an hour someone dies from a gun wound.

REP. MAJOR OWENS (D-NY): Crime is more deadly because there are more guns. More non criminals, innocent people die because of guns.

REP. CRAIG THOMAS (R-WY): I don`t think the answer is to federalize the criminal system. I don`t think the answer is to expand the federal system.

REP. CHARLES SCHUMER (D-NY): The NRA wants to bully you, the member of - the members of Congress with lies. Our crime bill cuts violent crime off at its roots to protect America`s children from drugs and guns and violent crime. It gives them hope.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: Now parts of that Bill remain controversial even contested. But as for violent gun crimes, shootings went down over the next decade and the nation that struggles to ever get gun violence under control, you had this decrease and you know, what else went down?

The number of Democrats in Congress after that vote. Democrats lost 54 House seats, 8 Senate seats in the election held just 2 months after they passed this All Weapons Ban. Bill Clinton was for the ban as I mentioned, signed into law but even he would go on to say the law costs 20 members their seats in Congress.

The NRA is the reason the Republicans control the House. Stop and just think about that. The President who did that very rarest of things in our politics, got gun control legislation passed, even he publicly said it was a political loser. I mean that`ll be like Obama saying Obamacare was bad politics.

He never said that or Donald Trump saying you know, maybe the wall was a bad idea. He never said that. But here`s the thing. It may not be as bad as some Democrats thought and things are certainly shifting right now.

Now one of Clinton`s own aides would go on to say that a kind of a myth took hold and Clinton was blaming gun control for that loss when other factors were clearly in play including Bill Clinton dragging down the party and an ailing economy in that midterm and the Clinton tax increase and the epic failure of the Clinton healthcare plan.

Now Bill Clinton touched on something broader than the politics that guns really do take lives when he did sign the 1994 assault weapons ban which sounds pretty relevant when you hear it today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL CLINTON, 42ND U.S. PRESIDENT: I received a letter, carefully typed from a very young man. He said you know I live in a good neighborhood. I go to a nice school. You wouldn`t think people like me would care about this crime bill that I have been keeping up with it every day because every time I go out with my friends at night to a movie or to a game, I think someone might shoot me before I get home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: At a movie or a game, fears of getting shot regardless of how safe you think your neighborhood is supposed to be or precautions that you take, you know as we`ve been reporting this week, this is the reality. This is our reality.

And as Clinton recounted that citizen`s fear of being shot, let`s look at these facts tonight because since that 94 bill, Americans have been shot at the movies and at peaceful concerts, in schools for as young as people who go to elementary school and older people, in high school, in churches and places of worship.

It`s all added up from that warning. You know, after the Sandy Hook massacre, Senator Feinstein was a champion of that 94 bill, tried to bring back a similar assault weapons ban to the floor and she did it with the support and testimony of that most tragic of activists in modern America.

We`ve come to know so many of them. People advocating policy change because their lives were altered tragically by this epidemic. So let`s listen to that testimony from the father of a child at Sandy Hook who was murdered.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEIL HESLIN, FATHER OF SANDY HOOK VICTIM: Yes, she was brutally murdered. Sandy Hook School. December 14th, 20 minutes after I dropped them off. I fully supports the second amendment. I always support (inaudible). Both weapons were used on the battlefield in Vietnam.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: Who can deny that testimony was moving? It didn`t move enough Senators though. Democrats were going to explain, they didn`t have the votes to pass that bill. They removed the assault weapons portion from the package of other reforms. And even those watered down packages didn`t succeed.

So consider this scenario as the gun violence problem gets worse and as there are signs of politics actually shifting to more receptivity to gun control but Washington was sliding back to a position that was softer on gun safety than in 94 and that problem through an emotional rebuke from President Obama.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, 44TH U.S. PRESIDENT: Do we really think that thousands of families whose lives have been shattered by gun violence don`t have a right to weigh in on this issue? Do we think their emotions, their loss is not relevant to this debate? So all in all, this was a pretty shameful day for Washington.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: People have kept up the pressure on Washington after the 17 people were murdered in Parkland, over a million marched on Washington and places around the nation. Many are younger people, students growing up with this threat, they`re reaching voting age and as the nation watched some of these very students deployed their knowledge about the raw politics of gun control and how it really works.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the name of 17 people, you cannot ask the NRA to keep their money out of your campaign.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think in the name of 17 people, I can pledge to you that I will support any law that will prevent a killer like this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, but I`m talking about the NRA money. No, no.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: You see him pressing him, I`m talking about NRA money. Those activists think it`s working. The NRA has ran a deficit for 3 years. And even though this may be a bit of a scare tactic, their Chief recently sent a fundraising letter saying they could shutter very soon if they don`t get more money.

Well, a Democratic Senator who represents Sandy Hook families is teeing up part of the activists answer. Basically they say if the gun safety measures here are now popular, why don`t politicians want to do something popular.

Most Americans support these background checks which failed in that very Senate vote which includes most Republicans and gun owners. Senators says it`s all about the NRA stranglehold which is weakening.

DEMOCRATIC SENATOR: The NRA is weaker today, not because they`re having this infighting at the board level but because they`re hemorrhaging members. You know, just they don`t have as many dues paying members as they used to. Corporations won`t sponsor them anymore so they don`t have as much money and the board is in trouble because they don`t have cash to sort of grease the executive wheels like they used to.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: Now the NRA may want you to think this is all hopeless and that talking gun control after shooting is politicizing it. Those advocates want you to think there is hope for change. And it comes by confronting the NRA and its money and pushing gun control at times like this. At weeks like this even a part of the American public understandably says, I don`t want to hear about it anymore.

And let`s remember as part of this report tonight, remember, even Democrats used to echo a very NRA talking point that the initial response was shooting shouldn`t be discussing policy and politics.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the opinion of people here in South Carolina, and having them work through this difficulty is much more important than politicizing --

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  The guy sits in prayer with people that takes out a gun and shoots nine people.  I hope we don`t have to politicize that issue.

WAYNE LAPIERRE, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION:  So the people that are trying to politicize this tragedy, I would say this.  There are monsters like this monster out there every day.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL:  There should be a time for morning, prayer.  This is not the time for political grandstanding.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER:  Not the time.  Gun control advocates have been pressing their effort to prove that talking point is a demoralizing trick.  After a terror attack, we do talk about how to prevent the next one.  After a plane crash, we talk about safety.  But after these recurring shootings for decades, many were told we shouldn`t talk about solutions at least not immediately.

Now that frame isn`t only ending, it`s actually ending in places like the state of Ohio that Trump won where the Republican governor was just met with this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AMERICAN CROWD:  Do something!  Do something!  Do something!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER:  Now, maybe you think OK, but a crowd can say anything.  Within days here in a time that something used to be considered off-limits for talking policy in the days right after, Ohio`s Republican governor explicitly not only echoed but paid tribute to those activists` chant.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. MIKE DEWINE (R), OHIO:  Some chanted "do something" and they were absolutely right.  Individuals could be subject to a safety protection order if they present an imminent risk of injury to themselves, suicide for example, or they present that risk to another person.  I`m asking the General Assembly to pass a law that requires background checks for all firearm sales in the state of Ohio.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER:  That was Tuesday, two days after the horrors.  The governor backing some gun safety proposals.  They`re not an assault weapons ban.  Well, an NRA backed president claims that he would maybe support background checks, others going farther.  An NRA backed Congressman Mike Turner now saying he backs a full-blown assault weapons ban.

So take it together.  What are the lessons?  First, in a working democracy popular solutions to major deadly problems tend to get enacted.  In a distorted democracy, even popular solutions can clearly be thwarted.

But second, the people trying to convince you this week that nothing will ever change may have a reason.  They don`t want things to change.  Because the history you just saw shows Congress has toughened gun safety rules before and banned assault weapons at a time when there were fewer shootings.

And then finally well we often know as part of our reporting to you that there are certainly legitimate debates here about how to do this and what to do.  This long-standing anti-democratic attempt to tell people to tell you, you can`t discuss policy after your town or school or your friend`s town is shot up.

That`s clearly ending as people in states red and blue say no, they`re going to talk about this right now.  They`re going to fight for this right now because they`re hurting right now.  And for many, because they want to do something right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AMERICAN CROWD:  Do something!  Do something!  Do something!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MELBER:  Another huge story that goes to the heart of the potential obstruction case against Donald Trump which is all about whether he committed a potential crime in office.  Well, here`s something brand-new.  James Comey`s former deputy and former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe now suing the Trump administration and accusing Donald Trump of a "unlawful termination," an illegal firing and saying it was all part of Donald Trump`s unconstitutional scheme.

The news comes as Democrats step up the pressure in that mentioned -- what I mentioned, the obstruction probe with that new legal action that we were reporting on this week, Mueller star witness former counsel Don McGahn.

Judiciary Committee has filed a new lawsuit of their own to press him for testimony identifying McGahn as the most important fact witness in its consideration of whether to recommend yes, articles of impeachment.

Now, the court`s decision on that could open the floodgates to many others who might be stonewalling the Congress and their impeachment probe or quasi impeachment probe depending on who you ask what it`s called.

Now, this lawsuit cites impeachment as an argument.  Keep in mind, a majority now the house Democratic caucus backs an impeachment inquiry.  Here`s Chairman Nadler on the timeline.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY):  The articles of impeachment, we could get to that in the late fall -- latter part of the year.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER:  I`m joined now by former Federal Prosecutor John Flannery, counsel to three congressional investigations.  Good to see you, sir.

JOHN FLANNERY, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR:  Good to see you.

MELBER:  As I`ve mentioned viewers, there`s obviously a lot going on.  In a different week, this would be the biggest story in the world.  A year ago, the person who literally was standing next to James Comey as the deputy in a firing that many folks saw as potential high crimes now basically punching back and suing this administration that`s huge.

Of course, there`s a lot of other stuff going on.  So with that context, that`s sort of how I`m viewing it, what do you think is important in what Mr. McCabe is doing here and is he taking a risk of his own because you know, this drudges back up what the administration says was their critiques of him?

FLANNERY:  Well, I have a feeling that McCabe`s on the right set of the fact pattern here.  And the thing that excites me about it is how soon can we subpoena Mr. Trump as the person who`s responsible for his firing as part of Trump`s defense.

So in a civil suit, we have a lot of precedents that say the Trump is going to have to appear and testify.  We have several civil cases.  So I think that it`s pretty exciting thought that you might get even more information, something that might finally get Trump in the hot seat on this matter.

MELBER:  Yes.  And viewers I think who follow the story will remember it was not that Donald Trump had an issue with one person at the FBI or DOJ.

This was a campaign by him to go after a bunch of different people for his reasons.  And then you have a legal debate over whether those were lawful reasons or not.

So reading from the new filing -- again this is brand new, we have the McCabe view later to be tested in court that Trump had an unconstitutional plan to discredit and remove DOJ and FBI employees who were deemed to be his partisan opponents because they were not quote politically loyal to him.

If that is provable -- I mean, you could write anything in a brief.  If that`s provable with evidence, is that acceptable for a sitting president?

FLANNERY:  Well, it`s not acceptable behavior at all.  I mean, it`s really criminal and luckily we`re going to have this civil discussion and I think it`s going to survive motions to dismiss which are usually the threshold of a case, any case including the McCabe`s case.

So I think they`ll be off to discover.  I wonder if they didn`t serve discovery with the complaint.  But I think that`s going to be pretty exciting we`ll be following that.  And it comes at a time when Congress is planning a full ramming speed campaign to fire Trump.  And I think that they finally laid out a plan of action and I`m sure it coincides with the success of the understated Mueller appearance.

And people don`t consider the fact that I think back in March, 420 members of Congress actually improved approved this investigation in a House resolution.

MELBER:  Yes, and as you say, when all of this is related because it goes back to whether in the -- in the light warmest to the president, he just was a rookie who didn`t know what he`s doing and just didn`t like James Comey.  And people may disagree with that management style but that`s not a high crime.

First is what you just laid out that the Congress is looking at and that this filing says which is an allegation that the president systematically tried to clean house for political reasons over law and order which is literally an impeachable offense if you can prove it.  Mr. Flannery, thank you for stopping by.

FLANNERY:  Thank you for having me.

MELBER:  Yes, sir.  I appreciate it.  When we come back, we`ve got a fact check on a detailed report we did this week about white supremacy.  Also, Attorney General Bill Barr turning heads with new comments about supposed vigilante justice and what he says is appealing about the lessons of controversial scenes and illegal acts in movies like Dirty Harry and Death Wish, shoot first and ask questions later.  We`re going to get into all of it later tonight.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MELBER:  Ripped straight from a movie literally.  Donald Trump`s Attorney General Bill Barr making some comments that have him under fire.  Now they`re about criminal justice and what he basically suggested can be appealing at least on film about these shoot first ask questions later approach to policing.

Barr makes these comments in what was a much broader, and I want you to have the context.  This was a wide-ranging podcast interview.  But he is catching flack for talking about a scene from the movie Dirty Harry starring Clint Eastwood as this sort of vigilante cop willing to break the rules and do whatever it takes to get the bad guy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL, UNITED STATES:  There`s that scene at Dirty Harry where I think the guy who`s kidnapped somebody, who`s running out of oxygen, has a few minutes to live.  Dirty Harry asks you know, where is she, and the other guy smirks at him and he shoots in the leg or something, and the guy tells him where it is. 

And I say, now was that -- was that an unjust or you know, morally repellent act?  Is the reason that the audience applauds when that happens because the audience is morally bankrupt or is there -- there`s something else going on there?  And so I think these are interesting -- these are interesting issues.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER:  That`s Donald Trump`s top law enforcement official suggesting -- and we played it so you can hear his nuance, but suggesting that maybe people are applauding at something that`s not a problem.

Now, the scene that Mr. Barr referenced is pretty clear.  Eastwood`s character knows what he`s doing is illegal.  That is to say to person charged with upholding the law has now begun violating the law, violating human rights, and makes it clear again in the art, in the film, he makes it clear Mr. Eastwood`s character that he doesn`t care.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Now, where`s the girl?  I said where`s the girl?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I have the right for a lawyer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Where the girl?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I have the right for a lawyer.  I have rights.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  What I`m saying is that man had rights.  Well, I`m all broken up about that man`s rights.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER:  You could argue it`s even a heavy-handed treatment of the issue.  Now, what does this mean for Mr. Barr`s approach to the issues in real life?  I want a bring in former Federal Prosecutor Paul Butler.  Good to see you, sir.

PAUL BUTLER, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST:  Great to be here, Ari.

MELBER:  As a matter of film criticism, Mr. Barr may be correct that people in the audience cheer for the bad cop and that`s everyone`s right in art and free speech.  I suppose the question for you tonight having worked in the Justice Department that he now runs is whether there should be a difference between the bloodthirsty cheers of an audience watching fiction and the values that the top law enforcement official, the Attorney General not only holds but also speaks about his leadership in the nation.

BUTLER:  Of course there should be -- Dirty Harry was a vigilante.  He took the law in his own hands.  He had his own moral compass and it didn`t matter what the law said.  Regardless of whether something was constitutional, Dirty Harry would shoot.  And Attorney General Barr seems to admire that law enforcement official.

And based on his own actions as attorney general, he also seems to admire that kind of lawlessness in a president.

MELBER:  Yes.  And that -- you just put your finger on it.  They`d also talk Deathwish.  Take a listen now, same interview, Mr. Barr on Death Wish.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARR:  What was that movie with Bronson?  The death --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Death Wish.

BARR:  Death Wish, yes, that kind of thing.  And it gives people you know - - you know, a sense of satisfaction when they see it.  And you know, they`re a lot of -- there are a lot of issues that come up even today in fighting terrorism and other things where these issues are pitted against each other.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER:  So that`s back to the film as inspiration here.  Then he says something where I know he disagrees with you and other advocates of criminal justice reform which is it really is only about the outcome.  Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARR:  To me, justice is the right outcome.  That`s what really justice is.  Americans have tended recently to view it more as a process as if the criminal justice process is justice and it isn`t.  It`s a process that`s supposed to achieve justice but very frequently doesn`t.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER:  Is that right?

BUTLER:  No.  It`s immoral and it`s illegal.  What the Attorney General is saying is that the means justifies the end.  And that`s not how our criminal legal process works.  But again, remember, this is the person who before the president was received the Mueller report said that he didn`t think that the president could be guilty of obstruction of justice.  Why not?  Because the president is the law.

After the Mueller report came out, Attorney General Barr took it upon himself to summarily say that the president wasn`t guilty of obstruction even though the Special Counsel would found ten different times when the president likely committed obstruction.

So again, he thinks that the president is above the law.  He thinks that apparently, he`s above the law.  He can do whatever he thinks is the right thing based on his own moral compass.

MELBER:  Yes, it`s a striking invocation of as we showed the clip, a character who was really positioned even in the movie to be on the wrong side.  I wonder what the reception would be of Eric Holder or someone said the same thing.  We got to fit in a break.  Mr. Butler, thank you for your expertise on this story.

Up ahead, news on a very important issue, this so-called claim of a white supremacy hoax and our fact check next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MELBER:  An update where politics meets media.  One of Donald Trump`s favorite anchors is not working tonight.  Here is Tucker Carlson last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL:  White supremacy, that`s the problem.  This is a hoax just like the Russia hoax.  It`s a conspiracy theory used to divide the country and keep a hold on power.  That`s exactly what`s going on.

MELBER:  That was Tucker Carlson earlier this week.  And he faced backlash for those comments.  They were days after the shootings.  We fact-checked those claims right here on THE BEAT, showing you terrorism is many Americans` number one concern, and that the FBI has actually found the majority of domestic terror suspects right now involve white nationalism.  Not only not a hoax, but very important.  And at the end of the show last night, Tucker made this announcement.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON:  By the way, I am taking several days off, headed to the wilderness to fish with my son, catch some brook trout.  Politics is important, fishing with your son is more important, so I`m doing it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER:  Fox News says that time off was previously scheduled.  Now, I want to tell you Seth Meyers once joked that Donald Trump had to make really hard decisions on The Apprentice, and that`s a reality now with his old friend Blago.  We`ll explain.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MELBER:  Here is a big deal that`s really weird.  The President is considering commuting the sentence of former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, and this raise as pattern.  Mr. Blagojevich currently serving a 14-year sentence for soliciting bribes to fill -- do you remember -- Barack Obama`s senate seat because he became president.

Now, his replacement, Donald Trump says there is potentially the idea of commuting this.  And this brings back all the memories from Celebrity Apprentice.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Let me ask you this one question.  Your Harry Potter facts were not accurate.  Who did the research?

ROD BLAGOJEVICH (D), FORMER GOVERNOR, ILLINOIS:  There was not a specific direction to do the research on Harry Potter whether it`s Slytherin, and Hufflepuff and it`s Ravenclaw.

TRUMP:  And Governor, I have great respect for you, but Rod, you`re fired.

BLAGOJEVICH:  Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: Harry Potter research, something to keep in mind.  And now the man he fired might get out of jail.  Because of him, we`ll stay on this story.

Thanks for watching THE BEAT tonight.  "HARDBALL" is up next.

  THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END