Jay Goldberg on The Beat. TRANSCRIPT: 10/17/19, The Beat w/ Ari Melber.

Guests: Paul Butler, Jennifer Taub, Francesca Chambers, Glenn Kirschner,Eric Swalwell, Jay Goldberg

CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST:  "THE BEAT" with Ari Melber starts right now. You`re going to need all six hours of primetime, everybody is to unpack everything. You get the first shot right now buddy.

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: It`s huge.

TODD: Good luck.

MELBER: We have some special breakdowns. But I haven`t seen anything quite like that presser in a while Chuck.

TODD: No.

MELBER: Chuck, thank you.

TODD: No, that`s sure.

MELBER: As I mentioned, we`re reporting on THE BEAT right now on this bombshell Ukraine admission from Donald Trump`s top White House aide tonight, plus new impeachment witnesses coming forward.

Much later in the hour I have an exclusive interview with a very well- placed insider raising new alarm bells about Rudy Giuliani. And Donald Trump self-dealing hits a level that experts say is an unconstitutional move that could backfire.

But we begin with the breaking news rocking the White House and taking the impeachment probe up to an 11. President Trump`s top aide just contradicted President Trump, admitting Trump pushed a quid pro quo plot, conditioning Ukraine funding on a political probe involving the DNC.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER: You were directly involved in a decision to withhold funding from Ukraine. Can you explain to us now definitively why?

MICK MULVANEY, ACTING CHIEF OF STAFF: Did he also mentioned to me and past that the corruption related to the DNC server? Absolutely, no question about that. But that`s it and that`s why we held up the money.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: That`s why we held up the money for Ukraine. That`s the President`s Chief of Staff who also runs the budget office admitting to the thing Trump has denied that they did condition the money for Ukraine on the political probe. This is astounding. This is important and this is rallying the White House tonight, and we`ll get to all of that.

But I want you to see exactly what just happened. This quid pro quo bribe has now been admitted in plain sight by the guy in charge of the money, so there are tapes, we have them. And as reporters took in an admission so frank and self-incriminating, it seemed more like a Perry Mason episode than real life. They then clarified to the Chief of Staff.

OK. So just to be clear, the demand for that investigation into the Democrats was why you withheld funding and Mulvaney said again yes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER: The demand for an investigation into the Democrats was part of the reason that he ordered to withhold funding to Ukraine?

MULVANEY: The look back to what happened in 2016 certainly was part of the thing that he was worried about in corruption with that nation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: There it is quid meet quo. I never knew hustlers confessed in stereo. That`s a famous line from Kendrick (ph) Joe Davis that really applies to the news here, given this confession. And in that song Mr. Davis goes on to talk about people who confess on video, turning out evidence, confession and fingerprints, so watch what comes out your mouth or you`ll give the DA a case from here to down South. And with all that Big Willie talk you`re playing yourself.

So do you think Mr. Mulvaney just played himself? Well, today a reporter gave him one more chance, noting he literally described in a legal quid pro quo and here was Mulvaney`s reply.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER: You just described is a quid pro quo. It is funding will not flow unless the investigation into the democratic server happened as well.

MULVANEY: We do that all the time with foreign policy--

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: We do it all the time. It`s easier to prove a quid pro quo bribe when a suspect admits it. I want to turn to the legal experts we have on this explosive story. Paul Butler and Jennifer Taub, good to see you; and a reporter who was in that briefing room you see her right here today - wow, what a room to be in McClatchy`s Francesca Chambers. Good evening everyone.

PAUL BUTLER, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Hey Ari.

MELBER: Paul.

JENNIFER TAUB, VERMONT LAW SCHOOL PROFESSOR: Hi, Ari.

MELBER: Hi. Paul what did we just see in that briefing room and what would you do with the suspect if you had him on a charge and they talked like that?

BUTLER: I would think this is my lucky day as a prosecutor. It`s not every day you get the co-conspirators all admitting to the conspiracy on national television. So here is to thing about ---

MELBER: Would you - if you were investigating a case that involved a quid pro quo bribe and you got that just what we saw there in that interview, you would you take them into custody?

BUTLER: I`d arrest, I`d prosecute and I get a big fat conviction. Because what we have is a confession. So here`s the thing. A quid pro quo could actually be legal in some context. Nobody has a right military aid from the United States. And so the United States can condition is aid on legitimate state objectives.

So if Trump really were concerned about corruption in Ukraine and he wanted to make sure they were doing something about their own internal politics and good government, he could say, yes, get that straight and then we`ll give you some military assistance.

But you can`t do that to advance your own political objectives, and that`s what Trump was doing and that`s pretty much what both the acting Chief of Staff and Sondland, one of the three amigos in Ukraine, they both admitted that today.

MELBER: Jennifer how do you view this admission in the context of the impeachment probe? Has Mr. Mulvaney just put the White House at the center of the alleged crime that he was - I guess he thought he was defending?

TAUB: Well, Ari, I don`t have rap lyrics today, but I do have William Shakespeare. And I think there`s a method to Mulvaney`s madness here. Believe it or not, I think, he`s trying to be a bit clever. All he has admitted at this point that the quid pro quo was about was investigating the Democrats and looking into whether the Ukrainians have the server--

MELBER: Let me jump in - I`m going to have to jump in, because we`ve got some of the reporting here just to make sure we`re all current, brand new from the White House a statement from Mr. Mulvaney walking this back. He says quote "There was no quid pro quo between the military aid and any investigation."

And so we just got this, which is striking, these are this kind of breaking news nights. I don`t know that he`s being clever if he has to rush out the statement. It appears to some degree he goes in there and says we did a quid pro quo and now he has to claim the opposite.

TAUB: Well it`s smart - I mean there`s a method to his madness, but it wasn`t a very good method. And to go - to head where I was going with this, I think he initially thought that if he only said the quid pro quo was related to something that happened in 2016 and it was investigating whether Ukrainians had somehow meddled with the election, that he could get away with it.

He was intentionally trying to make us forget or distance himself from the other part of the quid pro quo, which was investigating his political rival--

MELBER: I`m not sure it`s that complicated. Let me play a little more of Mr. Mulvaney, because I - I`m not sure that what we`re watching is someone playing three-dimensional chess, so much of someone who went out today and said there was a quid pro quo bribe, which in this context looks impeachable and now is walking it back.

Francesca, I want to get you in as well, having been in the room. But take a listen to him talking about political influence and foreign policy and what people should think about that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MULVANEY: McKinney said yesterday that he was really upset with the political influence in foreign policy. That was one of the reasons he was so upset about this. And I have news for everybody, get over it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: Francesca what did you think of that and what was it like in that room?

FRANCESCA CHAMBERS, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, MCCLATCHY: So I was just reading this new statement from the White House that they rushed to us right before they knew that we`d all be going on television for primetime, to try and clean up his remarks. He goes on to say that there was never any condition on the flow of aid related to the matter of the DNC server.

But as we heard, you played those clips. That is not what he said when we were sitting in the room today.

MELBER: Yes, you are building such an important point. I just want you to slow down on it, Francesca. You`re saying the part of what he`s saying now is a lie. That he is now put out a statement. I`m not asking you to use that term, but I`m going to use that term, because I`ve got the statement.

He`s - he went out - we just played it and admitted to a funding quid pro quo bribe for the investigation of this DNC stuff. And now we have a new statement where he said - telling everyone that didn`t happen.

CHAMBERS: Well, the White House says it`s reporters who are misconstruing his words, which is why I go back to those clips that you played where you heard the question and you heard the direct answer to those questions.

And I was also going to add--

MELBER: Sure.

CHAMBERS: That was the first briefing that we`ve had in here. Of course, Secretary Mnuchin has briefed a couple times, but we haven`t seen the White House Press Secretary. This was the first time in a very long time we`d seen someone like Mick Mulvaney brief from that podium.

So they were clearly trying to answer the questions surrounding his involvement in what is a billowing scandal for the President of United States. And then had to even go back to that and play clean up with the statement we just got.

MELBER: It`s striking and they`re clearly back on their heels. I have a lot of breaking news, because of the way this hour is going to go, including some special guests. So I`m bringing in more experts. I want to thank Jennifer very much. Jennifer Taub, other panelists are going to rejoin me.

But let me bring you up to speed, because we have more reporting as we were just coming out on the air. And as I`ve mentioned, we`ve got reaction pouring in to this unfolding crisis. Now before we bring in the next experts, take a look at how Trump`s lawyers right now are handling this.

A source telling CNN they`re basically stunned at Mulvaney admitting this bribery plot. And here`s what`s key, Donald Trump has been improvising this impeachment defense. He talks, Mulvaney talks, Trump`s lawyers talk. But the lawyers cannot properly defend these suspects in this plot, from Giuliani pushing a quid pro quo to Mulvaney admitting and executing it if the suspects go rogue and admit to the plot in public.

To put it simply tonight, the lawyers are trying to defend. Admitting is the opposite of defending. And so Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow, who we`ve interviewed right here on this show, he`s got a new statement out now that offers a legal dropkick to everything that Mulvaney just admitted.

And that makes clear, what we heard, what you just saw from Mulvaney, that`s not the President`s counsel`s view, that`s not his strategy. Sekulow saying bluntly quote, "The President`s legal counsel was not involved in Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney`s press briefing."

That is a stark rejection. Now Mulvaney is the top day-to-day aide to Donald Trump. So a lawyer for Trump doesn`t want to rush into antagonizing him or risk their access. But it`s clearly in admission this damage had to be addressed immediately.

And it`s not just Mulvaney, Ukraine plot was further corroborated today in Congress. Explosive testimony Ambassador Sondland confirming that Donald Trump was backing the Ukraine policy that Giuliani was driving.

Another impeachment witness suggestion Giuliani was aiming to be as something of a mastermind of Ukraine policy and Donald Trump`s politics. And then Mulvaney today, you got to see this, double down on Giuliani in that disastrous appearance.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER: do you believe that Rudy Giuliani`s role as an outside adviser to the President is problematic?

MULVANEY: That`s the President`s call. The President gets to set foreign policy. And he gets to choose who to do so.

REPORTER: Did the President direct you or anyone else to work with Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine?

MULVANEY: The President asked Rick Perry to work with Mr. Giuliani.

REPORTER: Is it appropriate for a personal attorney to be working in Ukraine on issues that are supposed to be national issues.

MULVANEY: I don`t know of anything inappropriate about.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: As promised, I`m adding to our lineup former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner, Francesca Chambers who was reporting from that same room is still with us. Glenn, your reaction to the significance of these admissions?

GLENN KIRSCHNER, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: You know, Ari, when Mulvaney started to talk and started to confess that there was a quid pro quo, I wasn`t that shocked, because to me it looks like one of our sort of tested, tried and true trial tactics. We call it drawing the sting.

What you do is - and he`s talking to the American people, because at least as long as Bill Barr is Attorney General, ain`t nobody getting charged with a crime who is a crony of the President.

MELBER: Do you think it adds to the impeachment evidence against Donald Trump to have the guy in charge of the budget say that they withheld funding from Ukraine to get a political investigation?

KIRSCHNER: It adds to the impeachment evidence. I`m not so sure it adds to the removal evidence, and here`s why once. We go from impeachment in the House to a removal trial in the Senate, it - he`s actually blunting the force of what the American people are going to hear in that Senate trial--

MELBER: Do you think he`s trying to get something negative out?

KIRSCHNER: He is trying to draw the sting--

MELBER: If that`s--

KIRSCHNER: --from that information.

MELBER: --I guess, if that`s right, then why is he backing off it?

KIRSCHNER: Well, that`s what I don`t understand. Because once he has drawn the sting - he`s taking the stinger and he`s reinserting it in his own arm. So I just - none of this makes any sense to me now.

MELBER: I got lawyers thinking three moves ahead and it looks like Mick Mulvaney is about two moves behind.

KIRSCHNER: Yes. And these are keystone crooks at this point.

MELBER: Both of you hang with me. I want to bring in Congressman Swalwell, who sits on the Judiciary and Intelligence committees. What do you think we saw today?

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): Well, good evening, Ari. First, I would be remiss if I didn`t just quickly pay tribute to my colleague Elijah Cummings who was a thunderous presence for equality, accountability, and moral clarity.

MELBER: I appreciate you--

SWALWELL: So I just want to make sure--

MELBER: I appreciate you bring it up. We`re hitting that a little later in the show.

SWALWELL: Yes.

MELBER: But look up let`s begin with that, because you raised such an important moment for, obviously you your colleagues, so we`ll get to it later, but let`s get to it now as well if you want to tell us a moment or two of your reflection on it.

SWALWELL: Well, sure. I mean, I`ll just say there was - he`s been a part of this investigation and there was some thought as to whether we should delay today`s hearing. But all of us know that he has been such a force for protecting our democracy that he would hate if we delayed just one day of getting to the truth.

So we are marching on, doing what he would want us to do. And so, yes, today on a break from hearing from Ambassador Sondland, I`m standing right outside the skiff - the secure room where we`re meeting with him. And on the big screen you see Mick Mulvaney holding this press conference and there was just jaws on the floor, including my Republican colleagues--

MELBER: Really?

SWALWELL: --as Mick Mulvaney said that. Yes.

MELBER: So you still on that - I haven`t heard that.

SWALWELL: Yes.

MELBER: You saw Republicans in real time - it`s not like they had extra time to react to frame it. You`re saying their first reaction was what?

SWALWELL: They`re shaking their heads and I patted one of them on the shoulder and, I said, "Have fun cleaning that one up." But, Ari, the way I see it is Mick Mulvaney today co-signed on Donald Trump`s confession to extortion.

MELBER: You view it as a as a type of confession.

SWALWELL: Yes. We`ve always - Donald Trump said it was a quid pro quo essentially, then they tried to back off once they recognized what that meant for impeachment removal and potential criminal liability.

But going back to Glenn Kirschner`s point, oftentimes it said in court how could the defendant be so stupid. And as my brothers who are police officers tell me, we don`t catch the smart ones. So I don`t think that there`s any brilliant legalese going on here or Jedi tricks. Sometimes they just say the quiet parts out loud.

MELBER: Yes. Wow. Well, you put it very starkly. And I think the evidence of that - and we were sort of having that debate out here on the show, because we have people with different ideas and talk it out.

But when you look at how quickly they`re backtracking, the lawyers saying this wasn`t our advice and then Mulvaney with this statement saying, multiple times during this briefing I took 25 questions. I referred to Trump`s interest in rooting out corruption. There was quote "absolutely no quid pro quo."

So now you have Mulvaney admitting quid pro quo, we just showed that. Then later claiming he didn`t, which is a lie, and we know it`s a lie because of the basis of which he admitted. And then the question becomes what is your - what are your committees doing about this?

Do you feel any need to hear further from Mulvaney under oath before you move to votes and what happens if he doesn`t show, because the stonewall strategy we`ve seen cracking a little bit?

SWALWELL: Well, suspects who confessed to a crime are still entitled to a fair hearing. So we`re going to give the President a fair hearing. You can move a lot faster when you have confessions from the suspects and other witnesses around it. But, yes, we`re going to bring in the relevant witnesses and conduct this fairly, but expeditiously.

I also just want to say this, Ari, about what we heard from Mick Mulvaney, which is of course, this is what they were doing. And in the process attacks that I hear from Republicans reflect that they don`t want to defend what was actually going on the extortion scheme with our taxpayer dollars.

And as you know, Ari, as a lawyer, law professors tell you when the facts are against you argue the law. When the law is against you, argue the facts. And when both are against you just pound your fists on the table and shout really loud, and that`s what I think we`re seeing right now.

MELBER: I want to ask me something else, because you`re involved in this, you`re an investigator and you`re around all these individuals. We were watching this in the newsroom today and we were just astounded.

I mean, I could not understand how the President`s top aide, who`s been listening to Donald Trump run around and say no quid pro quo, no quid pro quo, would come out and admit it. And we just played that sound. And then pressed by the reporters, "Wait, are you really admitting this, he did?"

Do you have - does it matter to your investigation to have a theory of why this is happening? In other words, is there a bubble, is the lack of regular press briefings made a lot of people soft? Is there really a lack of experience at this point with Mr. Mulvaney taking straightforward inquisitive questions and thus fumbling them.

Because it seems that in a very appreciable way some of the best public evidence that there was a bribery plot with Ukraine just burst out today and it came from the President`s top aide.

SWALWELL: It`s a great question. I think you can sum it up with the fact that this July 25 shakedown call was made the day after Bob Mueller testified to Congress. They think they can get away with it. That`s really what`s at stake here. There`s not really a dispute about what happened.

And so what I submit to my Republican colleagues is, our children are watching what we do next with our democracy. Donald Trump said he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it and we as Americans have to answer whether he is right about who we are. I am betting that he`s really, really wrong.

MELBER: You lay out the stakes. It`s really striking. And it was interesting also what you`re saying you saw from your colleagues, and I also appreciate you speaking about a colleague that you lost. Really appreciate your time today Congressman Swalwell.

SWALWELL: Thanks so much Ari.

MELBER: I also want to thank Glenn Kirschner and Paul Butler who`ve been in the mix as well. I`m going to fit in a quick break. We have a lot on this show.

Directly ahead we break down the repercussions of this disastrous bombshell that came right inside the White House press briefing room today, contradicting Donald Trump on the core impeachment issue by admitting a quid pro quo.

Later in the show, Speaker Pelosi revealing new details about what she saw and what she calls the President`s quote "Meltdown."

And tonight a "BEAT" exclusive, a well-placed Trump insider who has a serious warning about Rudy Giuliani.

I`m Ari Melber. You are watching THE BEAT on MSNBC.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Super simple, you can`t go to another country for help against your opponents in the next election. Done. It`s over. That`s a crime. It`s obviously impeachable and the President has confessed to it and he will be impeached for it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: Rachel Maddow on THE BEAT laying out this straightforward case here against Trump. The premise is that Donald Trump colluded with Ukraine against his opponents with a quid pro quo. And after this new briefing with Mick Mulvaney, the evidence is stronger.

He just came out and said what Donald Trump has been denying for weeks, since the reports first surfaced and the call notes first came out that it looked like a quid pro quo. Take a look at Mick Mulvaney advancing the case against his boss Donald Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MULVANEY: Did he also mentioned to me and past that the corruption related to the DNC server? Absolutely, no question about that. Now the DNC server--

REPORTER: --that is OK for the U.S. government to hold up aid and require a foreign government to investigate political opponents of the President?

MULVANEY: No, you`re talking about looking forward to the next election. We`re talking--

REPORTER: Even in the DNC, the DNC is still involved in this next election, is that not correct?

MULVANEY: So wait a second, so there`s--

REPORTER: So are you saying--

MULVANEY: Hold on a second, let me ask you--

REPORTER: --investigate the DNC.

MULVANEY: So let me--

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: That`s how you question a government official. And notice, yes, obviously investigating the DNC affects the next election. They would be working with the Democratic nominee whoever it is.

Then you get this jaw-dropping statement we`ve yet to play on Donald Trump`s personal lawyer`s role as an advisor.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MULVANEY: Gordon Sondland didn`t like the fact that Giuliani was involved and said that in his testimony. OK, that`s great. You may not like the fact that Giuliani was involved. That`s great. That`s fine. It`s not illegal. It`s not impeachable. The President gets to use who he wants to use.

The president gets to set foreign policy and he gets to choose who to do so. As long as it doesn`t violate any law, OK, he doesn`t violate any laws regarding confidential information or classified material, anything like that, the President gets to use who he wants do it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: OK. Let`s break this down. I`m going to show you exactly what Mulvaney basically owns himself, which is why since we`ve come on the air, these - they`ve put out the new statement walking this back.

But what he said might be a much more accurately reflection of what happened then this new lawyered statement. Listen closely to that key point from Mulvaney, take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MULVANEY: President gets to set foreign policy and he gets to choose who to do so. As long as he doesn`t violate any law--

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: As long as he doesn`t violate any law. That`s a big caveat. It`s the center of the impeachment probe`s inquiry, whether Trump did something illegal or unconstitutional withholding aid to a foreign country that was, of course, appropriated by Congress for his own political gain.

Now the Democrats largely are leading the impeachment probe, they`re investigating this. The law that Mulvaney is talking about there, they say, he violated the congressional law, which appropriates funds, Not for the President to override. And, of course, the other laws against abusing or taking a thing of value in a coming campaign.

Now the whole reason for Mr. Mulvaney`s were unusual appearance in the briefing room is something we haven`t even mentioned coming up on 30 minutes into the broadcast, that Trump has done a few other things. He`s canceled all regular press briefings. The last one was on March 11th, that`s 220 days ago.

And this was an unusual press briefing to do damage control on the news that a Trump Hotel will host this international G7 Summit. Mulvaney, today, basically saying that Donald Trump insists that despite the huge international marketing benefits, this won`t personally profit for him. All this coming as the Senate is planning for the potential trial of Donald Trump.

The plans are starting to trickle out that they would meet six days a week during said trial with Republican Senators hearing the case. It is a case now backed by, look at this, a majority of Americans - 52%, what reflects a shift for Donald Trump over time.

And far more support for impeachment than other Presidents faced at this similar point in their probes. In fact, only about a third of the nation ever backed impeaching Clinton, you see their, larger numbers disapproved of his actions.

Nixon, well you see, he got up to 58%, but that was when his own party said conviction appeared imminent and it was also the week he resigned.

We all know political opinion can be quite polarized, but facts do change things, the Nixon example suggests that and this is what may be driving the increase on your screen. A majority now thinking it`s time for Donald Trump to be impeached and that was before the new testimony came out corroborating the whistleblowers and before Mr. Mulvaney just came out to the White House lectern and admitted of bribe.

Donald Trump`s top aide undercutting what was, of course, something you`ve heard his last key defense to impeachment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There was no quid pro quo. There was nothing.

MULVANEY: Did he also mentioned to me and past that the corruption related to the DNC server? Absolutely, no question about that.

TRUMP: There was no quid pro quo at all.

REPORTER: To be clear you just described is a quid pro quo.

MULVANEY: We do that all the time with foreign policy--

TRUMP: There was no quid pro quo unlike Biden.

MULVANEY: That`s it. That`s why we held up the money--

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: That`s why we held up the money. Glenn Kirschner, the former federal prosecutors with me when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MELBER: What a night. Former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner back with me given what we`re tracking. Thank you, sir.

KIRSCHNER: Thank you, Ari.

MELBER: Absolutely striking. When you look at this and you heard Congressman Swalwell describe the sort of the crestfallen faces, as he put it, of his Republican colleagues, on the House impeachment, which is where the action is. How do they potentially use this? And if Mr. Mulvaney resists testifying, do you use what he just said in public?

KIRSCHNER: Absolutely. Let`s face it. And this is something maybe I didn`t think I`d ever find myself saying. Mick Mulvaney was just extremely credible when he said there was a quid pro quo.

That`s a confession, whether you call that extortion, bribery, campaign finance violations or what Alexander Hamilton called it, an impeachable offense as an abuse of your public office and a violation of your public trust. Frankly, it qualifies as all of those things and Mick Mulvaney just said it out loud.

Now, the fact that they tried to walk it back too little too late, is an indication of just how damaging that accurate confession really is. So that is impeachment game over. It should be conviction in the Senate and removal game over and hello President Pence.

MELBER: Wow. Well, and Glenn, I just want to be clear as we show people this, because there`s so much happening and there`s also all the private testimony. Mr. Mulvaney is not a spokesman. He`s not an attorney. He is not some outer orbit person.

I want to make sure we all remember. He`s in charge of the budget. And the whole debate is over whether the money was misused in a plot, there might be a conspiracy. And so he is a very key witness in contrast to other people that may come and go from the podium.

Again - and for your reaction, I want to play that key exchange about the money. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER: You just described is a quid pro quo. It is funding will not flow unless the investigation into the Democratic server happened as well.

MULVANEY: We do that all the time with foreign policy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: Glenn?

KIRSCHNER: Yes. They do it all the time. And here is the thing. He thought he was maybe being a little cute by saying, OK, maybe there was a quid pro quo, but it was really only with respect to past election interference.

But, Ari, that ignores page four of the call summary between Trump and President Zelensky where trump moves on to really what`s most important to him and says, "Oh, the other thing I want is this Biden son thing and Biden is bragging about getting the prosecutor fired. Look into that."

MELBER: Right, go after my opponents and go after the DNC. I mean, I think we played one of the reporters in the room, could be up for your job in that there was very specific questioning of a suspect in saying, well, hold on, even if you`re right. You may not be. But even if you`re right, asking a foreign government to go after the Democratic Party is itself both forward and backward looking and there`s more.

And then we have the new denial, which again, we`re not giving too much coverage to that, because I think what`s big here is not the damage control. But we have a little bit of a comparison. Let me play that for your analysis.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: There was no quid pro quo. There was nothing.

MULVANEY: Did he also mentioned to me and past that the corruption related to the DNC server? Absolutely, no question about that.

TRUMP: There was no quid pro quo at all.

REPORTER: To be clear you just described is a quid pro quo.

MULVANEY: We do that all the time with foreign policy--

TRUMP: There was no quid pro quo unlike Biden.

MULVANEY: That`s it. That`s why we held up the money--

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: And then Glenn you have this statement I mentioned, quote "Let me be clear there was no quid pro quo between Ukrainian military aid and any investigation into the 2016 election."

KIRSCHNER: Mulvaney just made himself a really damning witness against the President, because he wasn`t just asserting that these things happened or didn`t happen. You hear what he said in that clip. Well, the President mentioned to me in passing. What does that do? That makes him an inconsistent statement witness against the President.

So Mulvaney will be getting his subpoena. Now, we`ll see how he deals with it. Will probably get absolute immunity and executive privilege, and who knows maybe doctor/patient privilege when it`s all said and done. He will do everything he can to avoid testifying, I predict, because he just said publicly something that is very damning of the President.

MELBER: Well I don`t know but about doctor/patient, but he might need a doctor after punching himself in the face in that hearing - I mean in that presser--

KIRSCHNER: He did himself some real harm he did himself. I`ve never seen anything like it. I should mention as we cover this, because we`re turning something else next. Jay Sekulow had to publicly disagree with this before the Mulvaney statement came out. That may sound like an arcane detail.

But, I think, you and I both know if a lawyer cannot move the client in private and thinks they have to, they sometimes speak publicly. So first we heard from the lawyers saying no, and then we get the backtracking. But the video, the tapes, the tapes exist.

Glenn, you are a careful and cautious and thoughtful expert, I appreciate you being on the show tonight.

KIRSCHNER: Thank you, Ari.

MELBER: Yes sir. Coming up, we turn to something very different and it isn`t exclusive. I have a very well sourced Trump insider. We`re going to get into problems that he says are really hurting the President from the man on your screen Rudy Giuliani. And warning, more legal perils ahead that could hit Donald Trump.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MELBER: What does it mean when your lawyer needs a lawyer? It`s usually a bad sign. That was true for Michael Cohen whose legal work for President trouble was interrupted by his own indictment and he`s now serving time on a range of offenses, including payments he says he arranged for his client Donald Trump.

Cohen vacating his work as a personal lawyer and self-declared fixer for Trump left a hole filled by several lawyers and filled most loudly by Rudy Giuliani who is now under criminal investigation by the same office that, one, indicted Cohen and two, was once run by Rudy Giuliani.

So we`ve got people here who are in the thick of it. When Cohen was under pressure, the lawyer who preceded him as Trump`s lawyer, Jay Goldberg, correctly predicted that Cohen would flip on Trump. Telling "The Wall Street Journal" he warned President Trump "Michael will never stand up for you."

Goldberg represented Trump for 15 years, a former prosecutor himself. He knew the system and Cohen and right here on THE BEAT he explained his view of that lawyer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY GOLDBERG, FORMER TRUMP LAWYER: If you spend five minutes with Michael Cohen you know that he`s not strong. He`s weak. That he would cave in with respect to any wrongdoing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: Cave in - well, Cohen did cooperate with the feds. tonight Giuliani has been insisting he hasn`t heard from prosecutors. And this week he`s been defying a subpoena from Congress. Several of Trump`s lawyers find themselves not only defending their client, but sometimes defending themselves.

Will Giuliani follow the Cohen path or will he ultimately beat any potential case and emerge triumphant? Well, joining me now exclusively is former federal prosecutor an attorney for Trump for over a decade, Jay Goldberg. He`s the author of the book, "The Courtroom Is My Theater" and he knows these issues well. I`m also joined by attorney and MSNBC Legal Analyst, Danny Cevallos. Thanks to both of you for being here.

DANNY CEVALLOS, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Thanks for having us.

GOLDBERG: Good to see you.

MELBER: Jay you - it`s good to see you again. You`ve worked for President Trump in private practice. You know Cohen, you know Giuliani. When you see Rudy Giuliani here today, what do you think of the job he`s doing?

GOLDBERG: Well, I think, he`s gone off the rails. John Bolton today said that Giuliani is like a hand grenade. He`s - and it`s a shame, because his background is extraordinary. But somehow, he got seduced into the likelihood of high publicity and he lost his sense of balance.

MELBER: Based on what is publicly known, do you think Giuliani has legal liability?

GOLDBERG: I think he will have legal liability. Now let me share this to you. It was in March when Trump called me and asked me whether it was good for him to hire and retain Giuliani as his lawyer. And I said, despite his background, which was extraordinarily good, Giuliani would not make a good defense type lawyer.

MELBER: While Donald Trump was President you told him not to hire Giuliani for this role.

GOLDBERG: Not to hire Giuliani.

MELBER: And what was your reason?

GOLDBERG: He had spent too much time as a prosecutor. Prosecutors can generally go outside the line and there`s nobody to correct them. He wouldn`t be careful defensively to see that Don was protected.

MELBER: Do you think because some prosecutors are so used to being in charge they lose the skills that you need to have when you`re not in charge.

GOLDBERG: Absolutely. You need the skills that the man to my left Danny has as a defense lawyer. And a defense lawyer plays things with the possibility that might come out later on.

MELBER: Now, I want to be clear about your expertise, Jay, both as a federal prosecutor and someone who as we mentioned, worked for Donald Trump. You know Michael Cohen.

GOLDBERG: That`s very interesting. In the 15 years that I worked for Trump in my own office I never met Michael Cohen. Whatever dealings he had with Michael Cohen would be when he sank into the well of the desk and had conversations with people or a person that I didn`t know.

But he insulated me apparently from any exposure, because he knew that I wouldn`t do anything inappropriate--

MELBER: And what about that arrangement regarding Giuliani? Have you stayed away from what he`s doing?

GOLDBERG: No, I think Giuliani has been seduced by Mar-a-Lago, the lifestyle, it`s very heady to be on the plane gold-plated. It`s once-in-a- lifetime to somebody who`s dealt in the trenches who was rooting out the mob.

MELBER: Yes. And you know more about this than most people. Does Rudy Giuliani have any evidence or records that could resolve what he was doing with Ukraine?

GOLDBERG: Yes. There`s a book that he kept of all the contacts that he made while in the Ukraine it hasn`t been subpoenaed, thus far it hasn`t come to light. And I tell you, that if the subpoena is issued for that book that he prepared, it will redound to the detriment of Donald under an agency kind of concept. That Donald will be responsible for all the things that he did and Giuliani did a lot of the things that he`s used to doing while he was a prosecutor. He was a very hard driving.

MELBER: Rudy Giuliani prepared this book you say?

GOLDBERG: Yes.

MELBER: Have you seen it?

GOLDBERG: I`ve seen the book.

MELBER: If you say there`s this book and you`ve seen it, and now you`re mentioning it on air--

GOLDBERG: Yes.

MELBER: The logical result is that it may be subpoenaed.

GOLDBERG: I let the chips fall where they may. I don`t think there`s enough to impeach Trump and certainly not to convict him.

MELBER: But you do think there are things here that might make it look like Rudy Giuliani broke the law.

GOLDBERG: Giuliani likes to keep a log of the things that he`s doing, because he wants to show it to the client.

MELBER: Let me break Danny and then I will back to you.

GOLDBERG: Yes.

MELBER: Danny, this longtime lawyer for Donald Trump is talking about another lawyer for Donald Trump who`s under investigation and who`s fighting congressional subpoenas. Your reaction to Mr. Goldberg is saying that there is this record book that - it exists, that he`s seen it, and that it might have more evidence.

CEVALLOS: It would be very difficult to keep this book from disclosure pursuant to subpoena. Because it - the first question is, what is the purpose of this book? If it`s not for the purpose of providing legal advice and services and if it`s not attorney work product then privilege is largely dissipated.

What exactly is Rudy Giuliani`s status who is he working on behalf of, is he a lawyer--

MELBER: Is he a lawyer--

CEVALLOS: --is he diplomat?

MELBER: Is he lawyer or is he an agent, he might be a consultant, he might be a contractor--

CEVALLOS: That`s right.

MELBER: --apparently pro bono for both of you. Donald Trump has talked a lot about the idea that if someone else does something for him, he`s not responsible. And if they give him a view, right or wrong, he relies on it. And there is a concept called reliance, although it has a breaking point. Here`s the President making that argument.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Remember this, he`s an attorney. Whatever decision he makes, you`re supposed to rely on an attorney to make a decision. When you have an attorney you`re supposed to be able to rely on your attorney--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Attorney client privilege?

TRUMP: Well, its, but it`s also called reliance.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: Jay is there a reliance defense if Rudy Giuliani broke the law in his foreign dealings for the President? Can Donald Trump ultimately insulate himself or do you think the Giuliani has acted in a way that could put too much on Trump?

GOLDBERG: I don`t think Donald would suffer any adverse consequence at this time. He could be named as an unindicted co-conspirator in any criminal activity of Giuliani. But keep in mind, that when you deal with attorney- client privilege, its Donald`s privilege--

MELBER: Sure.

GOLDBERG: It`s not Rudy`s privilege.

MELBER: And we`re short on time with all the news. The last question for you, Jay, given your interest, do you think that Donald Trump should end this work relationship with Giuliani?

GOLDBERG: I do think so. I think it`s time. And I that in March 2018--

MELBER: And you think that even more so today.

GOLDBERG: That`s right.

MELBER: Danny?

CEVALLOS: It seems like Giuliani`s increasingly becoming a liability for President Trump, so it may be time to end the attorney-client relationship and seek assistance elsewhere.

MELBER: Very interesting. And I think you made some news here tonight Jay, and you`re certainly close to a lot of the players, so it`s very interesting. Jay Goldberg, Danny Cevallos, thanks to both of you.

GOLDBERG: Good to see you.

MELBER: Now what does this all mean? All up ahead, we have a special look at the history and what it says.

Also tonight, I have a special announcement about gun safety and Michael Moore. I`m going to bring that to you on THE BEAT tonight.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MELBER: Today`s admission of a bribery plot by Donald Trump`s Chief of Staff is not the only impeachment development tonight.

(VIDEO PLAYING)

MELBER: Congress also heard first person accounts from this diplomat you see there about the same plot. Meanwhile, those two indicted Giuliani associates, they were back in court today. Does it ever seem like there`s more news around and more developments than there are days in the week to cover all of it?

We think so, which is why we`ve been gathering experts for these extra original installments of our Sunday night specials on the impeachment probe.

And we use the time to hear for some guests, we don`t always, frankly, have the time for amidst breaking stories, including historians and legal scholars, we had a top retired federal judge on and a person who actually cast a vote on that very rare thing in America, the Senate trial of a sitting President.

I want to share with you the best quick highlights.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are in a sea of craziness and it`s all bad.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The whole country is watching, the whole country is watching.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If one brave person will speak the truth it will embolden others.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A President is asking a foreign government to intervene and to involve themselves in an election here in this country. That by the way is criminal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That argument does not work and it will not work. No.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The famers deeply oblivion about impeachment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s a political process by nature.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You want to start with anonymity?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I will start with anonymity, no.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is the President, the Vice President, the Secretary of State, and the Attorney General, because all were involved.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The House had to move forward politics be damned.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELBER: Politics be damned. If the constitution is about anything, it is about something bigger than politics. These aren`t normal times. We certainly need time and experts to try to make sense of them.

And that`s why tonight, if you`re watching "THE BEAT," I`m happy to be the one to tell you we`re announcing another installment. This will be a brand new special on the impeachment crisis, this Sunday at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

You can also send us your ideas and questions for this special and others at the "The Beat with Ari" on Facebook and Twitter or at Ari Melber and I hope you join us this Sunday night brand new 9:00 p.m. Eastern. That`s the programing note.

There is also something that came up earlier in this show that I wanted to mention, which is our report on the passing of Congressman Elijah Cummings. He died early this morning, an advocate for civil rights and social justice.

He rose all the way to run the powerful Oversight Committee of the House. In fact, it was from that perch that he gave this recent and memorable appeal. This was at the hearing with Donald Trump`s former lawyer, Michael Cohen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D-MD): When we`re dancing with the angels, the question will be asked, in 2019, what did we do to make sure we kept our democracy intact? Did we stand on the sidelines and say nothing?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MELBER: What a news day. Thanks for staying with us the whole time. I want to tell you one more thing. Michael Moore back on THE BEAT tomorrow, we`re thrilled to have and we`re going to tackle something important that he is doing specifically with MSNBC on gun safety policy. Tomorrow 6:00 p.m. Eastern, because there is a lot of different stories and that`s one we`re going to get to tomorrow. Thanks for watching.

As always "HARDBALL" is up next.

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