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Democrats prepare new phase of impeachment probe. TRANSCRIPT: 11/27/19, The Beat w/ Ari Melber.

Guests: Michelle Goldberg, Margaret Carlson, Michael Eric Dyson, MarkThompson, Seth Waxman, Bill Kristol, Tony Schwartz

KATY TUR, MSNBC HOST: We wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving. "THE BEAT" with Ari Melber starts right now.

Ari, did you get Namaste? Are you a yoga -- yogi?

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: I`m familiar with the Lexicon. You know Katy I don`t feel like we`ve had time--

TUR: You might try it. Ari, you might try it.

MELBER: To catch up lately.

TUR: I just feel like if you went there and you stretched out and maybe at the end of it, you had Shivasna and you could sit there and reflect on your life. I think it would bring you inner peace, Ari.

MELBER: I thought they were more into Downward Dog than Downward Turkey.

TUR: Well, you never know. You can get a turkey in there to do Downward Turkey next to you as you do Downward Dog. I mean there are possibilities, Ari.

MELBER: There are possibilities. I will tell you this before I let you go, Katy. Your hour is not the only one with Special Turkey programming, we have some turkey and stuffing later in our hour as well.

TUR: And there is a Turkey hosting tonight which is great.

MELBER: You said it. I agree. I wish you and your family and everyone a great Thanksgiving.

TUR: You too, my friend. Bye.

MELBER: Have a nice one. Bye. And thanks to all of you at home for joining us on this Thanksgiving eve. The holiday is coming, but I can actually tell you there is also a lot going on. New hints of Donald Trump`s approach to next week`s impeachment hearings in the Judiciary Committee.

Our special report later this hour on Speaker Pelosi`s evolution on impeachment and how it informs her next steps. And new reports about Rudy Giuliani that may shed light on Donald Trump distancing himself from his lawyer and obviously what has become his kind of Ukraine fixer.

So, we have all that plus later as I was just telling Katy Tur, we have something special planned on how to pursue a meaningful Thanksgiving, something for everyone to think about obviously on a night like tonight. But we begin with real news and real revelations about President Trump that he knew about the-then secret whistleblower complaint when he infamously made a change in his Ukraine plot and released that country`s military aid.

Now this matter because it adds the evidence that the reason the White House backed off extorting Ukraine was not some second thought or some attempt to avoid doing something wrong, but rather as so many have stated, they backed off because they got caught. They went into damage control mode.

The New York Times reporting on these new developments suggesting why Trump released the aid. It`s all part of the larger effort to avoid according to these reports, the Trump aides wanting any parts of the plot being exposed. It`s an echo of what now looks like a pretty odd denial from Donald Trump to Gordon Sondland that he didn`t want a quid pro quo. But that was back at a time when the complaint was secret and no one in public, not in the news, not in Washington was using the term quid pro quo bribery in the first place.

Now that`s not all. In the last 24 hours alone, we have learned about two different Trump administration staffers who quit over how this Ukraine aid was handled. And meanwhile when Congress does get back from this holiday, we`ll head right into the first judiciary hearing on impeachment, that`s a week from tomorrow. And they`re going to focus on what exactly makes for an impeachable offense.

Judiciary Chair Nadler has invited Donald Trump and his lawyer to participate of course. Politico is reporting though the Trump strategy may ultimately be a boycott, avoiding sending any lawyers at all and continuing to argue that the whole process is simply unfair. Now that approach carries risk, the prospect of a President known for his communication style to say nothing of his ratings obsession suddenly sitting out the chance to confront the evidence with his own communications and speak to the some 70 million people who have now watched part of the hearings to-date, who are likely to tune back in as Congress gets even closer to impeaching President Trump.

Well, if Trump`s team won`t even show up, they won`t be able to address the evidence that has already been compiled and the fact-finding part of this over the intelligence committee which will be analyzed for impeachable offenses by the Judiciary Committee


REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): This President believes he is above the law, beyond accountability. And in my view, there is nothing more dangerous than an unethical President who believes they are above the law.

REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): He richly deserves impeachment. He has done many impeachable offenses. He has violated the laws six ways from Sundays. But that`s not the question, the question is, can we develop enough evidence to put before the American people.


MELBER: I`m joined by New York Times columnist, Michelle Goldberg, Margaret Carlson, columnist for The Daily Beast and Michael Eric Dyson, a professor at Georgetown out with a new book called Jay-Z Made in America.

What do you think is important Michelle about a lot of these reports that feel familiar because people say, well right, we didn`t think Trump backed down from the plot? He was pursuing the plot aggressively. He was defending on the White House lawn. And yet for what Congress is doing, this does seem like important evidence.

MICHELLE GOLDBERG, THE NEW YORK TIMES COLUMNIST: Right. I mean there`s already a mountain of circumstantial evidence that Trump only release the aid because Congress had begun its investigation, because as Adam Schiff has that multiple times, because he got caught.

But because they have boycotted the Intelligence Committee hearings, there are still some small details about how the plot went down, not the substance of the plot itself but some small details that have yet to be filled in. And so, this fills in one more of those details that two of the Republican defenses has been both what Trump said to Gordon Sondland, oh, no quid pro quo. And that the aide was eventually released. So, no harm, no foul. And this was just a kind of ordinary process that happens all the time.

And this reporting punctures both of those, right. If you already been accused, if you know you`ve been accused of a quid pro quo, then when you defensively say, no quid pro quo, it`s not exactly evidence of a clear conscience.

MELBER: All right. And Margaret, on this very program last night, we had a leading Washington conservative defending the President, saying, well, they got the money anyway. It would seem from this new reporting; the question is why did they get the money?

MARGARET CARLSON, THE DAILY BEAST COLUMNIST: Well, they wouldn`t have gotten the money if it had remained secret longer. They would not have gotten the money until someone found out and Trump got nervous about being exposed. It`s not as if his MO is to give up the goods, unless the sheriff is coming around.

I`m also struck here that as Michelle says, these little details are coming and to confirm what we think we already knew. And this impeachment is, say, the opposite of Watergate. It`s as if Nixon delivered the tapes before the Supreme Court hearing, which said he had to.

Trump admitted everything at the beginning by releasing the transcript. And so, we are just filling in these details because we know that he sought leverage over this desperate Ukrainian President, who needed the aid and needed the White House meeting to show Russia not to kick him around. And Trump withhold those things. It was an arm for political dirt deal.

And to keep from being exposed, he put it out there. But I mean, for no other reason did he release the aid.

MELBER: Yes, and this also goes to the strategy we`re seeing, Professor Dyson. I don`t know if you`ve ever had a student who says, well, they just had more time, they would have gotten their report in. Give them the time for whatever reason, report still doesn`t come in.

I want to play for folks as a fact-check. Donald Trump today, we reported saying, oh, maybe they won`t send the lawyers at all. This was one of his prime complaints about the whole process up until they opened the door. Take a look.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: These crooked politicians not giving us due process, not giving us lawyers. We weren`t allowed any rights.

Tampering is when a guy like Shifty Schiff doesn`t let us have lawyers.

The bottom-line is all of those witnesses, they`re all Shifty Schiff. Don`t forget, there was no due process. You can`t have lawyers.


MELBER: And yet you can`t have lawyers, Professor.

MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR: Yes, he`s stuck in 80s hip hop with the Shifty Schiff, Mellie Mill kind of nomenclature there. You know, my late great friend, Johnnie Cochran comes to mind. If you cannot extort, you must proceed to an abort. This is what happened. You couldn`t extract the concession from the President successfully because it was not done secretively. And as a result of that, the potential exposure forced his hand.

And then the generation of these excuses is par for the course. But it does show the level of mendacity and complicity that has been generated around this entire case. And we`re being told, up is down. This is an Orwellian loose. This is an Orwellian loosening of the anchors of language like stuff doesn`t mean what it`s supposed to mean.

And the purpose of these political forces that are holding him to account that are in Congress is to make sure that words mean something, that the historic legacy of the Constitution is held forth and that people have common sense explanations for why this President has done the kinds of things that he`s done.

And I think that once we really barrel down on this and then get to the heart of the matter to mix metaphors. The issue here is, are we capable of finally announcing through circumstantial evidence, through the asterisks that legal courts make when they say, look, it can`t all be somebody saw it directly.

But when you talk about the mountain of evidence, as Michelle Goldberg did, it`s pretty clear that what is happening here has happened. And now we`re getting the drip, drip, drip of the final details that make sure and make it plain that this is what occurred.

MELBER: And you could mix metaphors anytime you want, Professor, your mix metaphors are welcome here. Margaret, this also goes to a process that the House has been bearing down on quite seriously and the President is all over the place. And so, in the Clinton example, we`ve shown, you had the lawyers come in and it did add to the quantum of evidence for the public. If you take this seriously.

Here`s a Democratic member of Congress basically saying that you still can`t take the boycott threats seriously, because you never know what they`re going to do at this Trump White House till the day of. Take a look.


REP. DEBBIE DINGELL (D-MI): I`d never make the mistake of speaking for the President or his counsel, and I think it`s well-established that it`s unpredictable. They`ve initially sent out signals that they may not. I would encourage him to participate, to let the American people see his side. Let them ask questions.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It will be interesting to see we`re supposed to know by Sunday. Sunday evening is the deadline--

DINGELL: I don`t believe in deadlines until we`re actually sitting in that hearing.


MELBER: Margaret?

CARLSON: You know, Ari, in this case, he is. I agree with Debbie. He is unpredictable. In this case, he may prefer that Jim Jordan be defending him and not have how far - there is no lawyer I know other than Rudy Giuliani, who is going to go as far as Jim Jordan will go in defending Trump.

So, a lawyer might hold Trump`s defense back. So, this may be one which he follows through. And, you know, he wants to mock the system. He doesn`t want to dignify it. And so, in that regard, he might not send a lawyer. I mean, he wants to be at a rally leading a chant. The children can`t watch. That I`m not going to quote since it`s Thanksgiving. But he has no respect for Congress, a co-equal branch of government. And he wants to show it every way he can. And, his impulse control is so slight, he may deprive himself of a lawyer in order to do that.

MELBER: Michelle?

GOLDBERG: I mean, I think - I actually think that it`s probably from his own narrow, self-interested point of view, which is Trump can only kind of succeed to the extent that institutions that constrain him are discredited. It probably makes sense for him to do exactly what Margaret just said he`s going to do. Right.

To let Jim Jordan be the slobbering attack dog, kind of let Jim Jordan go all in on bad faith and misinformation and hold himself aloof, because and pretend to the kind of people who go to his rallies or people who watch Fox News that this is such an illegitimate process that he can`t possibly participate in it, because the only way that Donald Trump has been able to last as long as he has lasted is to sow doubt about all of the institutions of American democracy and the rule of law.

MELBER: It`s a great point when you lay it out like that. And it`s where, yes, they backed off the money to try to not get caught in the short-term, but in the long-term, it`s the same macro anti-democratic strategy. It`s abusing the foreign investigation to try to undercut the domestic election. It`s abusing the FBI to undercut any oversight. It`s abusing the Navy to undercut their military judicial processes, which are distinct. Have actually a higher bar and even there of course, he was in hot water this week for that.

And then ultimately, as you say, trying to undercut a Congress that has rules that it was seen this before. And that provides a mechanism. I want to put up before I let you go, the numbers we have, because there are signs the public doesn`t buy it. 50 percent of the American public now saying Trump should be impeached and removed from office. And that`s before you even get to looking at what the articles of impeachment out of the Judiciary Committee.

With the 30 seconds I have left, Professor, anything you want to say about your brand-new book and why it`s relevant today in this world we live in? To viewers, who might not be as a hardcore of a Sean Carter fan, as you or I?

DYSON: Well, Jay-Z said, I would write it, if you could get it. But being intricate will get you would critics on the Internet. They`re like, you should spit it. I`m saying you should buy it. That`s good business. It`s good business for his lyrics, it`s good business for my books. And it`s good business for Donald Trump. If he could take a look at that book and see what happens when a hustler becomes empowered to speak his mind and amplify the worst instincts of American culture before getting redeemed.

MELBER: Wow. He did fit it all there. Consider the metaphors mixed and remixed. Professor, Margaret Carlson, Michelle Goldberg, a Happy Thanksgiving to each of you. And Michael, again, the book.

GOLDBERG: Happy to have yielded my time.

MELBER: Right. It`s sometimes it`s worth it. The book is Jay-Z Made in America. It`s worth it. Get it if you want it. Coming up, explosive new reporting on Giuliani`s conflicts of interest, trying to get paid by Ukrainians who are going to do the work to go after Biden, also an attempt to patch things up after all that talk of insurance policies. We`ll get into that later.

We have a special look tonight, something we have not done yet. Digging into the archives of House Speaker Pelosi got to yes on impeachment and what it suggests about how she will act next week at those key hearings. All that. Plus, tonight, Art of the Deal co-author, Tony Schwartz is here for a very special segment. I`m Ari Melber and you`re watching THE BEAT on MSNBC.



REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): I`m announcing the House of Representatives moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry. The President must be held accountable. No one is above the law.


MELBER: That was the moment when the most powerful Democrat in Washington flipped the switch on impeachment, sparking a process that led to two weeks of these often-stunning public hearings, each revelation more damaging to Trump, it seemed, than the last.

And now next week, a report from Chairman Schiff. And then the Judiciary Committee begins its process, which can lead to the actual articles of impeachment against Trump. All of that a reminder of how powerful the speaker is. Nancy Pelosi can hold things back or let them loose. Her initial resistance to a full-blown impeachment was not though, out of character.

Do you remember when she made history in 2006? She was the first woman speaker in American history. She faced a very controversial Republican president. He was under fire for a policy like the Iraq war, but also very serious allegations of abuse of power, like warrantless spying and torture.

But she left no doubt that she was not going to turn her speakership into an impeachment march against President Bush.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In some quarters, folks will think that you are a San Francisco liberal who has nothing said on your mind other than unleashing lieutenants to impeach the President.

PELOSI: I have said, and I say again that impeachment is off the table.


PELOSI: Off the table, Pelosi laying down that marker explicitly because so many on the Left were demanding it. Reporters repeating those questions, as you heard. 38 members of Congress introduced a specific resolution pushing for at least an impeachment inquiry against Bush. And back in the day, Stephen Colbert who was doing his satirical Colbert character, laid out the reasons why he was urging the Democrats his character opposed to impeach Bush.


STEPHEN COLBERT, THE COLBERT REPORT HOST: I mean, the Republicans impeach Bill Clinton. I mean, don`t you want to get back at them for that? I mean, wouldn`t that feel good? After all, the President has been baiting you guys for six years. WMDs, Iraq, Katrina, Valerie Plame, signing statements, torture, wiretaps, secret prisons, U.S. attorneys.


MELBER: Now, Speaker Pelosi was making what she thought was a bigger picture decision to avoid impeachment. And years later, she actually laid out why.


PELOSI: The argument against President Bush was about a president and an administration that sent us into a war based on a false representation of the threat of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. I do think people could have made a case about President Bush, but I did not want to go down that path because of what it would mean for the American people.


MELBER: Didn`t want to go down that path because of what it would mean. This is really interesting as everyone gets ready to try to understand what the House does next week because it cuts against these depictions, you`ve probably heard that Pelosi is always occupying the Far Left or most aggressive wing of the party.

In the Trump presidency, Pelosi and her point person on all this, Adam Schiff were very cautious when the Mueller report first dropped, even though it had substantial evidence of obstruction in the report.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If a majority of a caucus wants to go forward with an impeachment inquiry, would you go for it?

PELOSI: It`s not even close in our caucus.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But eventually--

PELOSI: Why we are speculating on hypotheticals?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Has it brought you closer to an impeachment inquiry?

SCHIFF: I don`t know. The Constitution provides impeachment as a remedy. It doesn`t compel Congress to act and impeach whenever there are grounds for impeachment.

PELOSI: What we want to do is have a methodical approach. Not any one issue is going to trigger. Oh, now we`ll go do this.


MELBER: Pelosi and Schiff were holding back. Judiciary Committee Chairman Nadler though, was often seen as a lawmaker driving impeachment about obstruction. In a Washington Post poll released right after that report came out showed about 37 percent backed impeachment. After Pelosi announced the start of this probe in September, it`s already jumped 21 points to 58 percent.

There are obviously at least two factors driving that. The facts of the particular Ukraine scandal. And then what happens when the Democrats go fully on offense with Pelosi behind them?

In a cynical world that treats so many choices as a matter of just optics. Note that this shift involves a factual and logical point. Some Democrats, including Speaker Pelosi were arguing that you should skip impeachment and just stop Donald Trump in the next election. I bet you`ve heard people say that, right.

But the Ukraine scandal did something very different to Speaker Pelosi. It undercut that very logic with the evidence that Trump is abusing power to cheat in the next election, corrupting that very check and balance. And that is why so many top Democrats said Trump`s actions basically left them no choice.


PELOSI: We had no choice but to go forward.

SCHIFF: We`re not fooling around here.

PELOSI: We see the actions of this President being an assault on the Constitution.


MELBER: Where is Speaker Pelosi headed next? I`m about to get into with a very special guest when we`re back in 30.


MELBER: And we`re back with Mark Thompson. Your thoughts on the Speaker Schiff here on impeachment?

MARK THOMPSON, HOST "MAKE IT PLAIN" PODCAST: Well, thank you for having me, Ari. I think you put it well for the argument to have been to wait and let the election handle it. When in fact what he was doing was going to impact the election. I think left no choice. I think she has been very methodical about it. And that`s how she operates.

Her daughter, Christine Pelosi has written a new book, The Nancy Pelosi Way, and she describes her mother as one sitting at a loom, not whipping members of Congress, but weaving the tapestry within Congress, all the diversity of the Democratic caucus. We, the Democratic caucus has the biggest tent after all.

And weaving all of those intricate threads together in a tapestry. And that`s what she did when she found out about Ukraine. She called Trump and said, tell your people to obey the law.

The other thing, too, that I think obviously changed her and may continue to change as all, Maxine Waters even said early on, Nancy Pelosi ultimately agreed. Trump is self-impeaching, so that while the Mueller report was spun by Barr in such a way that it lacked the teeth to go forward on that as an impeachment referral. What does he do the very next day? What is Trump to the very next day but call the Ukraine self-impeaching.

So, I mean, I think the real problem she has, and the Democrats have is what else is he going to do? What else has he done? And we don`t even know about. It`s almost like leaving a tab open because he might do something else. If you move on this then we might look up in January and February. He`s done something else. So, this is a problem if things going to persist.

MELBER: I`ll tell you, never leave a tab open. You never leave the tab open. You don`t know what`s going to be put on there. You know, you talk about the big tent. You know, you sound like Mark.


MELBER: You sound like Mark Thompson, because we dug up where you`ve been. And looking at this because I`ve had the benefit of your analysis over these many months, we`ve point out to our viewers, you interview a lot of these folks, including the speaker in the House. Here`s what you said in September.



THOMPSON: The speaker doing what she needs to do. Frankly, the Democrats did win the midterms on policy issues. The Democratic Party`s tent and reach and arms are long enough and big enough that you can have members articulate impeachment while other members articulate policy issues.


MELBER: And so, with the 30 seconds we have left, you look at that shift you diagnose. How is she going to run these hearings next week?

THOMPSON: Well, I think we`re going to hear from certain experts about why impeachment is appropriate and constitutional and legal. And I think really just take it one step at a time. And as I said, he is self-impeaching. He makes it impossible for her or the Democrats to sit on their hands. So, I think Donald Trump will be impeached.

MELBER: Yes. Well, look, Mark, I`ve appreciated your insights along the way, I hope if there is an open tab, I hope you have some good stuffing and turkey on that tab, sir. Have a happy Thanksgiving.

THOMPSON: Same to you, sir. Thank you for having me.

MELBER: Thank you. Up ahead, we get into this Giuliani conflict of interest blown open. What he was doing, trying to get money and make money off the Biden plot. Also, Giuliani calling Trump to explain what that insurance talk was all about. And tonight, Art of the Deal. co-author Tony Schwartz will be here for something very special. That`s up ahead.


MELBER: The legal heat on Rudy Giuliani is now scorching. Trump`s lawyer reportedly in talks to be paid by Ukraine`s top prosecutor as they worked to go after the Biden`s. The Washington Post reporting earlier this year, Giuliani negotiating a $200,000 deal. All this comes as Trump distanced himself from Giuliani on Ukraine denying that he sent him over there.


BILL O`REILLY, JOURNALIST: What was Rudy Giuliani doing in Ukraine on your behalf?

TRUMP: Well, you have to ask that to Rudy, but Rudy - I don`t even know - I know he was going to go to Ukraine, and I think he canceled a trip. But Rudy has other clients other than me. I`m one person--

O`REILLY: So, you didn`t direct him to go there on your behalf?

TRUMP: No. But you have to understand, Rudy is a great corruption fighter. He felt personally insulted by what happened during my campaign, because there were a lot of bad things happening.

O`REILLY: Giuliani is your personal lawyer, so you didn`t direct him to go to Ukraine or do anything or put the heat on them.

TRUMP: No, I didn`t direct him, but he is a warrior. Rudy is a warrior. Rudy went, he possibly - I think he has done work in Ukraine for years.


MELBER: So, you didn`t direct him, right, but in Trump`s own conversation with Ukrainian President, he brought up Giuliani multiple times and as everyone remembers directed Giuliani to do the follow-up. Gordon Sondland also testified Giuliani was who he worked with at the express direction of Trump. So, Trump is now saying, hey, it wasn`t me. I don`t know what was happening. Look at the other clients when he already has the direct quote.

Think about how this all lines up from asking Giuliani to do this stuff to now well you have to ask Rudy. Sound familiar.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, did you know about the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Then why did Michael--

TRUMP: What else?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why did Michael Cohen make it if there was no truth to her allegations?

TRUMP: You`ll have to ask Michael Cohen. Michael is my attorney and you`ll have to ask Michael.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know where he got the money to make that payment?

TRUMP: No, I don`t know.

O`REILLY: What was Rudy Giuliani doing in Ukraine on your behalf?

TRUMP: Well, you have to ask that to Rudy. But Rudy, I don`t even know. I know he was going to go to Ukraine. And I think he canceled the trip. But you know Rudy has other clients other than me, I`m one.

O`REILLY: So, you didn`t--


MELBER: Let`s get into it. Former Prosecutor Seth Waxman and Bill Kristol from Defending Democracy Together. Bill, do you see any parallels here?

BILL KRISTOL, DEFENDING DEMOCRACY TOGETHER FOUNDING DIRECTOR: Yes, obviously. I have both with criminal conspiracies. Trump was at the center of both of them and people were acting on his behalf with his knowledge and to some degree at his direction. And that`s it.

MELBER: As the saying goes Seth, (inaudible), Bill Kristol identifying two conspiracies with the president as the beneficiary of both of them. As a lawyer, walk us through that the first one was charge in court, the second one is under investigation including by the same SDNY office.

SETH WAXMAN, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Yes, I mean this one, his claim is just not credible. It`s bordering on laughable. I mean when I was a federal prosecutor, I investigated all kinds of conspiracies where the kingpin said, look, my consigliere is my confidante, my co-conspirators, they`re out there doing things. I didn`t direct that. I didn`t have anything to do with it.

But in those cases, I didn`t have a transcript on the day those crimes were committed. We`re just eight hours later the crime was committed or talked about by the lead co-conspirator. Here we have Trump on tape, on transcript saying you know I need that favor and then he says on that very transcript directing Rudy and he tells the President of Ukraine. He says Rudy very much knows what`s happening and he`s a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great. And those were the President`s own words.

The idea that he didn`t direct Giuliani that just doesn`t carry any water.

MELBER: Bill, what do you see as significant in the fact that the White House is moving away from perfect call and into more blatantly lying and trying to say, we didn`t ask Rudy to do this, we weren`t involved. Well, the money wasn`t held up anyway. There seems to be some awareness even at the Trump presidential level that the old defenses were very weak.

KRISTOL: I think so. And I think they`re counting on Republicans at the end of the day saying, well, he did a lot of things he probably shouldn`t have done, or Rudy was kind of a half a loose cannon. But you know at the end of the day, they got the aid and no harm, no foul kind of thing. I don`t think there was no harm. But let me make clear.

But I think that`s what they`re counting on. They`ve gotten away from defending the substance of either the actual conspiracy, the extortion conspiracy that Trump was at the center of or the cover up, which I think has been a little bit under reported. I mean we wouldn`t know about any of this reward for the whistleblower and we came pretty close to not knowing about the whistleblowers` report. Why? Because it wasn`t transmitted to the Hill, the way it was supposed to be.

And that seems to have been - it`s clear that Trump was told about the whistleblower report. He may well have urged that it does not go forward when it finally went forward. We now know and it was already clear, I guess that he let the aide go, but he also had this phony conversation with Sondland where he pretends no quid pro quo. Right.

So, the whole thing is a conspiracy and a cover up and I think it`s pretty clear that it`s both and I think the case has really been developed. I`ve got to say the Democrats, thanks above all to the whistleblower and then the testimony of a lot of people. We know quite a lot about what`s happened.

And one final point, who haven`t we heard from. We haven`t heard from Mulvaney. We haven`t heard from the lawyers in the White House. We haven`t heard from Giuliani. Trump says the facts are on my side. He won`t allow any of the people who are on his side so to speak to testify.

All the civil servants, the military officers, they`ve all testified under oath. Where is Mulvaney, where is Giuliani, where is Pompeo, where are the White House lawyers. I think that`s a pretty - I don`t know I defer to Seth on this but that would seem to be pretty damning if it were a normal trial that all the witnesses on one side are not showing up.

MELBER: Yes, it`s very damning especially to Bill`s point, Seth, when part of what you want to say is not simply oh, what did the President do? Does he have to defend himself? But just laying out basic facts like why was the money frozen. And if it wasn`t for what Donald Trump said on the White House lawn, which is he wanted an unconstitutional targeting of his rival potentially in the next election, if it wasn`t for that reason, what was the better real reason?

WAXMAN: And then we have an absence of that just to Bill`s point. I mean in the courtroom; you could have something called a missing witness instruction. So, the law sometimes allows for the government for example to say, well, look you have a witness who`s in your particular control, in this case, Trump with Secretary Pompeo and the others. And if the defense doesn`t produce that person, there can be a missing witness instruction where the jury is told, you can infer the negative from their absence.

This is different, it`s impeachment, but the law is aware of this kind of tactic and prosecutors can go after it and their absence is a glaring hole in defense - in Trump`s commentary.

MELBER: And Bill, I want to also just flag this bizarre back and forth with the President, his lawyer about whether or not there`s an insurance policy, whether they`re publicly blackmailing each other or not.

It`s 2019, so I guess I should get to that. This is reading from some of the reporting his lawyer saying, Rudy Giuliani`s call to Trump in a new call, he emphasized he was not serious when he publicly said he had an insurance policy if thrown under the bus by the President adding "he shouldn`t joke, he`s not a funny guy." 10,000 comedians are out of work and you make a joke, it doesn`t work that way.

Bill, do you want to say anything about that.

KRISTOL: Didn`t Rudy - so didn`t Rudy`s lawyers say that Rudy talked to the President, was it today or yesterday or something? Trying to--

MELBER: Call--

KRISTOL: The conspiracy is continuing. I mean that`s what`s sort of amazing, it`s all in public and the conspiracy doesn`t stop. Most conspiracies once they discovered, they kind of go underground or something, but it`s all continuing to this day Mulvaney, Trump, Giuliani, they`re all talking to each other.

MELBER: Yes. Well, it`s a lot. Bill Kristol, Seth Waxman, I wish you both a very Happy Thanksgiving and Bill I hope your Thanksgiving is full of the rule of law that I know you`re so passionate about.

KRISTOL: Well, thank you. Happy Thanksgiving to you.

MELBER: Happy Thanksgiving. I want to share something else with viewers, it`s pretty interesting. We`ve been talking with the impeachment investigation, consider though as just discussed, it`s been running on this parallel track with the probe into Rudy Giuliani by irony of ironies, the prosecution office he once ran. The famed Southern District of New York, which has had many major figures run the office from Bharara to Comey to Mr. Berman today.


DICK CAVETT, HOST "DICK CAVETT SHOW": We are aggressive, we`re appropriately aggressive. That`s the history of the office. And I think the public is better for it.

RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP`S ATTORNEY: I found being a prosecutor harder than being a candidate because the judgments you have to make as a candidate are pretty clear. You go out and argue your case and you do the best you can. As a prosecutor you really have people`s lives in your hands and you really want to try to be fair.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today, we announce criminal extortion charges against Michael Avenatti.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Politics does not enter into our decision-making on charging a case. We bring a case when the case is ready to be brought.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t care who you are. Nobody is too big or too small to break the law.


MELBER: James Comey of course went on from SDNY to the FBI. Giuliani went from SDNY to Trump lawyer to now a subject of a probe. Now, if you are in New York, I want to invite you to join us next week at a special that about this office. You can go to right now for tickets. I will be moderating this discussion with Barry Berger and six former U.S. attorneys from the Southern District of Columbia Law December 5th.

So, right now, please go to You can join me. Get your tickets there or get them for anyone in New York. We`ll be talking law, justice and how the office fights organized crime, Wall Street abuse, corruption, plenty of these topics obviously in the news as well. Tickets at Go right now or they might sell out tonight. You see the URL right there.

And here`s what our Beat events look like. I want to share this with you as well. I want to thank everyone who sold out our impeachment debate at Cooper Union. We had Congressman Jeffries, Maya Wiley and our other experts, so you can come be a part of this one too at

Now if you`re not in New York, I want you all to know these are public events and you can listen to them on our Beat podcast right along with us. You can download on wherever you get your podcast like Apple, the impeachment ones up now. Plus, extra videos on our social media pages of THE BEAT with Ari and @AriMelber.

So, you`re welcome to join us in any of those ways above including at the event at Now, we have a lot more in tonight`s show including something I told you we`re excited about Art of the deal co- author, Tony Schwartz in the house and we`re going up to the roof for a wider perspective.


MELBER: Sometimes here on THE BEAT for these special chats, we go up to the roof at 30 Rock. There I was with Anderson pack. We`ve been up there with Forest Whitaker and many more for this Thanksgiving tonight. We caught up with our friend of THE BEAT, Tony Schwartz and went up to the roof.


MELBER: First time on the roof.

TONY SCHWARTZ, CO-AUTHOR "ART OF THE DEAL": Loving it, grass at the 11th floor. Pretty cool.

MELBER: Pretty beautiful. Reflecting on what we`re thankful for in this time of year. And thinking about the conversations we`ve been having on everything from politics to the self to the spirit. What do you see as important to focus on to make for a meaningful Thanksgiving?

SCHWARTZ: Yes, what I want to talk to you about today which I`ll start with instead of ending with which is the notion that we are under such pressure as a country - the world at large that this instinct to be focused on your own well-being and your own survival and your own self-aggrandizement is so costly. And you know I think back to when Tom Wolfe wrote about the Me decade in the 70`s. Well, we`re in the Me decade times a thousand right now.

MELBER: You know the shortest poem in the English language is by Muhammad Ali.

SCHWARTZ: I didn`t know that.

MELBER: Do you know it?

SCHWARTZ: I don`t.



MELBER: Which fits with what you`re talking about. Do many people focus too much on measuring money and then feeling inadequate because of that?

SCHWARTZ: Well, clearly and unequivocally and for centuries at this point. We confuse external value money, but not just money, fame, power, influence celebrity. With internal value. And when your internal value feels threatened, you`re more inclined to look for external ways to fill that inner feeling of emptiness.

MELBER: You know Tony if you were in fashion terms one of the presidential candidates, I think you would be Biden just because of the way the suits are. But in spiritual terms, I think you would be Marianne, because of the way you`re focused on energy.

SCHWARTZ: Well, I`m not sure I`m cool with either of those particular extremes in this particular race.

MELBER: Well, those are your only two choices.

SCHWARTZ: I see that. I will say this, I`m never going to dress the same again.

MELBER: A lot of people say, well, OK, don`t glorify money. But if I had a lot more money, everything would be better. And the poorer you are, the more true that`s going to be because you`re going to get above subsistence. But past a line and the data tells us the line is lower than many people think. It doesn`t statistically make people happier.

SCHWARTZ: You know there`s a woman named Sue Bloland, who is the daughter famously of Erik Erikson, the famous psychologist. And she has written about the notion that - and this is a kind of a radical notion, but it feels true to me. That any person who is seeking an outsize amount of fame or power or attention is feeling some level of inner deficit. Now listen, I have spent a lot of years of my life seeking one or another of those and I know that that feeling is true.

MELBER: Yes, and if you need to be on TV every night like with your own show, it`s some kind of spiritual black hole.

SCHWARTZ: Well, we`re complex beings. No, I feel that you know we are in a spiritual crisis, so if you want to throw me into Marianne Williamson`s camp in that respect--

MELBER: Well, as Mr. T would say, you did that to yourself.

SCHWARTZ: Yes indeed.

MELBER: You talk about energy as much as her.

SCHWARTZ: I do. I talk about energy in very concrete terms though. Really the whole idea, the whole challenge of a human being around how effective and satisfied they can be in the world is a function of how they feel.

MELBER: You`re suggesting that in people`s health emotional, mental energy they`re walking around broken.

SCHWARTZ: Absolutely. It`s a very good description of it that you just gave. The ideas. There is four kinds of energy. There`s physical energy, everybody knows what that is. You get that from sleep and working out and resting and eating the right foods. There is emotional energy, which is how you feel, because you only feel one way when you`re at your best. It`s the way you feel it your best, meaning the things that come to your mind excited, engaged, energized, positive and then mental energy is really just the ability to hold your attention in one place to control your attention because that`s under such siege. And when you can focus on an absorbed way, you`re immensely more productive.

And then finally spiritual, which is the energy you derive from the sense that what you do really matters that it serves something to go back to where we started larger than yourself.

MELBER: The last question is about how we measure. The famous management theorist Peter Drucker said, what`s measured improves.

SCHWARTZ: Ever since the Enlightenment, we have over valued science at the expense of humanity. If you can see it, if you can measure it, then it`s real. If you can`t measure it in these quantitative terms, then let`s not pay any attention to it, but all the stuff that really matters is the unmeasurable quantitatively.

MELBER: Tony Schwartz always broadening our mind. And for the first time on the roof, thank you for doing this.

SCHWARTZ: Thank you for having this.


MELBER: Happy to do it. When we come back, we`ll tell you exactly what to expect from the impeachment probe next week.


MELBER: Get your holiday rest because if you`re into the news, next week is shaping up to be historic. We`re going to enter the new phase of the Trump impeachment inquiry and here`s exactly what`s going to happen. As early as Monday, we could see a public written report from Chairman Adam Schiff on the evidence gathered from these investigations and public hearings.


SCHIFF: There`s more work to be done, but at the same time, we`ve already accumulated quite overwhelming evidence. There was no plausible explanation, but one, and that was the President wanted this leverage to get Ukraine to do his political dirty work.


MELBER: Now that report will then be handed formally over to Chairman Jerry Nadler`s Judiciary Committee, the panel that will consider whether to impeach and if there is an impeachment, they actually write the article or articles of impeachment and they`re getting right to it with a hearing on Wednesday, as we`ve mentioned which will focus on the legal and historical precedents.

We`re going to cover that across MSNBC and of course, right here on THE BEAT. But I want to turn to one more thing before we go. We like to look at as many stories as possible and here`s an important one fueled by climate change.

Did you know that about a quarter of the world`s population now lives in places literally running out of water? A problem of extreme water stress that has been getting more acute which is something that Olympic medalist and swimmer Michael Phelps is actually working on a Colgate project to encourage people to really conserve water daily. We just discussed this in a brand-new interview, it`s the kind of activism that Phelps says anyone can get in on in addition to any political or broader global reforms.


MICHAEL PHELPS, ATHLETE: Think about how much we need water, how much we use water, brushing your teeth, taking a shower, making a cup of coffee, washing your clothes, washing dishes. All of these things if we continue to waste all of this water, we`re not going to have any of it. So, I think the biggest thing for me is just continuing to tell people that we can make a big difference. But we have to do it together.


MELBER: You know we try to put aside time for some of these conversations, show you some of it on air, but also provide the rest of it, because we`ve got into a lot of other topics, important stuff. His life after swimming. Why he`s shining a light on mental health issues, as well as his work with SNL, becoming the famous kind of leader that he is to so many people. So that entire interview, me and Michael Phelps Brand New is now up, it`s on and I hope you`ll check it out, because I do think we`ve got into a lot of interesting issues.

In particular, he said one thing that rings in my ears that people come up to him and say, you`ve achieved so much. How can you be depressed or how can you have down mental health days, which he`s talked about and he explained why it`s so important that we have that conversation as a society, so something a little bit out of the realm of politics. But we think very worthwhile. You could check out that interview.

Also, to you and yours and all the families out there, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow. I hope you`re having good times with your family. Thanks for watching THE BEAT. "HARDBALL" starts now.