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Rep Ilhan Omar on The Beat. TRANSCRIPT: 12/2/19, The Beat w/ Ari Melber.

Guests: Neal Katyal, Ilhan Omar

KATY TUR, MSNBC HOST: Little turkey time.

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Yes, I`ll see you soon around here.

TUR: Bye.

MELBER: Bye-bye. Thanks everyone for joining us. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving as well. And I have to tell you, we have quite a show planned tonight. A special report on some of the greatest bribery scandals ever in American history and obviously what they mean as convictions for Donald Trump`s impeachment case. We`re going to get into all of that. Also, later tonight, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar makes her debut on THE BEAT. That`s tonight.

But to start us off. I want to show you the proof. The holidays are over in Washington. Congressional Democrats meeting behind closed-door tonight to review Adam Schiff`s impeachment report.

Moments ago, Republicans on the Intel Committee publicly releasing their rebuttal report. They claim Trump did nothing wrong. And here`s what the next phase of the impeachment probe looks like.

If you think of the Democrats report as a cross between a work of recent history and a tweet storm, because it combines the typical process of a congressional committee report and all those witnesses you see on your screen, 34 hours of public testimony, which have been seen by 70 million Americans and dozens of closed-door interviews. It`s also moving now at a speed unlike any other precedent for an investigation of this magnitude. And maybe that`s fitting for keeping up with a Twitter presidency and an Internet driven pack of conspiracy theories and plots.

One benefit of that, speed is the nation has been starting to get some of the answers. The report on the President`s potentially impeachable conduct in the Ukraine plot will get a full committee vote tomorrow, with Democrats telegraphing a unified majority finalizing it, teeing up a new inflection point that will come Wednesday, which is something you may have heard about the first impeachment hearing by the Committee that actually drafts the Articles of Impeachment. Chairman Nadler`s Judiciary Committee will hear from experts. They`ll explore the case and then they will write any actual articles of impeachment.

Now, if you take that together that tonight they`re meeting behind closed doors to do the report and that the judiciary will then hold this public hearing. Where is President Trump on all this. He had claimed he might take up Democrats offer to testify and if you watch this show you know that head fake was the same PR tactic he used with Mueller. We`ve been reporting it as such, talk tough for a few news cycles then fold when it`s time for action, which Trump is now doing, refusing offers to participate or even send his lawyer a notable case, considering Trump long complained, he didn`t get a lawyer in earlier hearings.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: These crooked politicians not giving us due process, not giving us lawyers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why don`t you send one of your lawyers to represent your point of view before the House impeachment inquiry?

TRUMP: Because the whole thing is a hoax. Everybody knows it.


MELBER: The White House strategy has been pretty muddled. But as we are on the brink of impeachment, I can tell you it`s basically boiled down to this. First, stonewall where possible, denying hearing, featuring fact witnesses like Mick Mulvaney. Second, when that fails, when Gordon Sondland drops a dime on you, then lie about what he said. And third, as the evidence piles up for articles of impeachment attack, the process.

Now the first two are deceitful. They`re about hiding or attacking the truth. The third can overlap with valid points and there is some news tonight in this new White House Council letter arguing that the hearing process has basically rushed Donald Trump and they contrast it to the two and a half weeks` notice, Bill Clinton got before a key impeachment hearing.

They also note that Clinton`s team was engaged and that they were afforded the option to select a date, which matters for a busy White House and they even got to call 14 witnesses.

Now those are relevant comparisons, but they`re all built on a faulty premise. The Clinton team was participating in the process, so they got more of a say. If you stonewall and boycott, you have less of a say because that`s the move you played. Whereas the old Washington saying goes, congratulations, you played yourself. And that`s what top Democrats are now emphasizing digging into Donald Trump`s boycott as a kind of a tell arguing if he and his lawyers really could make the case and publicly rebut this evidence, wouldn`t they take advantage of that?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If he has not done anything wrong, we`re certainly anxious to hear his explanation of that.


MELBER: I am joined now by Washington Post Columnist Gene Robinson and Jeremy Bash who is Chief Counsel to this House Intelligence Committee, also served in senior roles at CIA and Pentagon. Good evening to both of you. Jeremy, you`re here given your knowledge of what is going on behind closed doors tonight, what this Intelligence Committee is doing. But first, I want your view on what we just went through that Donald Trump is bowing out of engaging this.

JEREMY BASH, FORMER CHIEF COUNSEL HOUSE INTEL COMMITTEE: Well, clearly he does not want to legitimate this process in any way because he fears that if he shows up or his lawyers appear that it will give an argument that somehow he`s blessing this process and he wants to stand on the sidelines and condemn it. But of course, he is invited to provide any information, any evidence, any witness testimony he wants to, and I don`t think this is going to slow the Democrats up.

I think they`re wary because they`ve seen the way he fought Mueller and basically got out of having to testify live and in person and the Democrats don`t want to wait for that kind of Stonewall. They want to move with all deliberate speed, and I suspect Ari that they`re going to have a condensed process here in the Judiciary Committee. They`re going to write articles of impeachment and this thing is going to be on the floor within the next few weeks.

MELBER: Gene, here`s what one Trump ally was saying to another Trump ally, Steve Bannon, talking to Matt Gates about the decision to not engage, to not fight. Take a listen.


STEVE BANNON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF STRATEGIST: I would always bring every tool to the fight, so I don`t quite understand that decision by the White House, not to send baloney. He`s a very gifted lawyer and I think we`d do a good job. We are in a brass knuckles political fight. And I think that the more voices we can bring to bear, the better.



EUGENE ROBINSON, WASHINGTON POST COLUMNIST: Yes. Well, if you have an argument to make, certainly you should make it. And I think it indicates, they don`t have an argument to make. They don`t want to argue on the facts of this case because the facts are clear and a lot of the relevant facts perhaps the most relevant fact, the transcript of that phone call would be with President Zelensky was released by the White House itself. So, they can`t dispute it.

They don`t want to argue the law, I think because as we`ve discussed, the President`s actions almost fit the federal bribery statute to a T. Bribery being mentioned specifically as an impeachable offense in the Constitution. So, rather than just send baloney to pound the table, they`re trying to stonewall and delay and then draw this out as much as possible. And I think as Jeremy said, I think the Democrats have decided not to play that game. They`re just not going to play along with that. And they`re going to proceed.

MELBER: Yes. And then the other part of this, Jeremy, as you know, is if there is an impeachment vote and it goes to the Senate trial, sooner or later in that process, someone is going to come down there and present the President`s case. We were looking at history as a guide. We often do. And I`ll show you one of the Time magazines covers of the Nixon lawyer at the time, defending Nixon. James St. Clair and The New York Times today has an interesting piece about a lawyer we`ve seen less of, that I`ll show you by contrast.

New York Times reporting on Jay Sekulow, who has been on this program and others and says he coordinates the efforts of eight outside lawyers to help Mr. Trump. He doesn`t have an office in the White House. It also has an interesting tidbit, Jeremy, know if you`ve heard the scuttlebutt in Washington. They say he actually voted for Clinton in 2016. But sooner or later, whether you get a time cover or not, someone`s got to show up in the Senate if there`s a trial, right?

BASH: I think that`s right, Ari. And of course, that will be much more friendly terrain because Mitch McConnell will fundamentally be controlling the process. And I think something to watch for over the next couple of weeks as this moves inexorably towards a Senate trial is to what extent will the Senate Republicans try to dictate which witnesses can be called and how much time each side has and to what extent Chief Justice Roberts, who will be presiding over that trial, will be promulgating those rules.

And I don`t think we know that yet. But I think in this phase, Ari, I mean in some ways, I think most observers I think all of us know fundamentally what the outcome is going to be. You`re going to have a couple of articles of impeachment on the floor and Donald Trump and all likely his going to be the third president in U.S. history to be impeached. And we just don`t know whether it`s going to happen before we put on the 2020 glasses or after.


ROBINSON: Yes, I agree. And Jeremy mentioned something that I`m kind of focused on, but of course, we can`t answer. What role is Chief Justice Roberts is going to play in this impeachment trial? Will he take an active role more like a judge in a courtroom? It`s the Senate`s proceeding. So, in that sense, it`ll be organized by Mitch McConnell.

But the Constitution does say that Roberts, the Chief Justice presides. And he could take a more active role in deciding who testifies and deciding what areas they get into in keeping perhaps the President`s allies from filibustering in the way that they might want to, and deviating off into crowd strike in Ukraine and all sorts of matters that don`t bear on the facts of this case.

MELBER: And Jeremy briefly, will the report from the Intel based on your past experience, be what we`ve already seen in essence as a summary of those high points in the hearings, or will there be new and different information in it?

BASH: I think it`s what we`ve seen. I think it`s the evidentiary testimony, the text messages, some of the e-mail traffic and presented in a very straightforward manner. And that`s what the staff has been working on throughout the holiday weekend. That`s where I think we`ll see pretty shortly.

MELBER: Jeremy Bash and Gene Robinson, thank you very much. Thanks for coming in our coverage on this new week.

I want to bring Former Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal, who has argued dozens of cases before the Supreme Court for our opening argument series, I should mention. His new book is Impeach, The Case Against Donald Trump. Good evening, sir.


MELBER: I`ll let you first weigh in on that conversation we`ve had. I`m curious, your view of the White House really folding here and not engaging on the House side at all?

KATYAL: Yes, I mean, I find it really destructive. You know, what the White House has done is basically say unilaterally, we decide this process is unfair. So, we`re just not going to participate in the impeachment process at all, which is of course, part of our Constitution. And I didn`t know this was a thing that you could just kind of blow off impeachment to not participate and not send your lawyers and the like. And it demonstrates, I think this President`s contempt for institutions, number one.

And also, as Gene Robinson was saying, the fact is that they don`t have a substantive defense. There`s very little tried to attempt to even bother defending Donald Trump`s actions. So, they`re just attacking the process. And that`s what they have left. And the problem with that is the process is a lot fairer than they`re saying. Indeed, it`s the same basic process as in past presidential impeachments.

MELBER: If they`re bowing out, do you think that gives Democrats even more reason to do a broader impeachment or have more articles?

KATYAL: I don`t know that that necessarily bears on that. You know, up until about a half hour ago, Ari, I`ve thought that basically there should be three articles are laid out in my book. And in Article 1 is Abuse of power for Ukraine. Article 2 is bribery, and which is part of our Constitution, as you`ve written about in terms of an impeachable offense. And Article 3 is obstruction of justice.

Now, a half hour ago, Judge Jackson in D.C., a very respected judge, just issued a ruling saying that Don McGahn has to testify with respect to Mueller grand jury materials. And that she`s not even going to stay the decision. So right now, the force and the velocity is McGahn`s got to come in and testify. And it`s very, very harsh language where the Justice Department, she calls it disingenuous and the like.

I think that could scramble things a bit because it`s now not just about whether McGahn will testify about Mueller. It`s about whether or not Pompeo and Bolton and others will have to testify because of this impeachment inquiry. That is standard black letter law. But have the judge say it in such profound language just a half hour ago, I think makes the Democrats calculation here a bit more difficult.

Up until now, it seemed like they were just all full steam ahead. Not going to detour with any subpoenas by Bolton or this or that. They`re just going to go straight to it. Now, there is a pretty good argument. Maybe they want to actually take a little more time, try and force these subpoenas to come out in court. It does seem like the administration has been acting like they have something really to hide.

MELBER: What do you think is key substantively that should come out of Wednesday`s judiciary hearing?

KATYAL: Well, I think Wednesday`s judiciary hearing is going to be four constitutional law experts, three of whom are Democratic selections who are going to presumably say, this is impeachable conduct and one Republican who won`t. I`m not sure that itself will tell us too much. I do think, though, this will be the first House Judiciary Committee hearing.

So, we`ll get to hear a little bit from the members themselves. I mean, will they follow the path of the Intel Committee, which is basically not to really substantively defend Trump and just throw up a lot of smoke and mirrors about crowd gate, you know, whatever, just what happened in crowd- sourcing 2016 or whatever? I don`t know. But so far, we haven`t seen actually a decent, substantive defense of what Donald Trump has done from anyone who`s a Republican.

MELBER: Because I have you, I also want to ask you what the big case before the Supreme Court today. One of the foremost experts in the country on this. They rarely hear major gun control cases that would have the ability to change precedents, spent about a decade. Several folks have said maybe this isn`t going to ultimately change much, but they are hearing it.

The New York Times reporting, it`s the first Second Amendment case in nearly a decade, it may not change anything, judging the question and arguments on Monday focusing on whether this New York City law has made it moot. Your view of how likely they are to punt and if they don`t, what it would mean?

KATYAL: Well, I think that, you know, it`s hard to read tea leaves from an argument. But I suspect that they will punt to not answer the question. So, the case concerns New York`s law, which requires licensed firearms basically, stay in New York. You can`t transport them out of New York City and things like that. And New York changed its law once the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case and has basically eliminated the substance of the plaintiff`s complaint.

Now, the lawyer for the challenger say, you know, strive to fabulous lawyers, strive mightily to try and explain why there is some live case or controversy here. But really, I think was swimming up tide. Yes, I think there were a couple of justices, Justices Alito and Gorsuch in particular, who I think were upset that New York changed its law. But it is, of course, a democratic prerogative of the state to do so.

And there and I think the majority of the court, it sounded like basically felt like there is nothing at stake anymore now, the New York changed its law. I do suspect gun cases are going to come to the Supreme Court in the next couple of years. But I think this is probably not the one.

MELBER: Yes. And it`s interesting because it has been 10 years. The court compositions changed. And while the mass shootings continue and we sadly cover them so frequently, a lot of the underlying state laws have started to change as well. So, if the court gets involved in that or not, would matter to a lot of people.

Neal Katyal, thank you as always for joining us. I want to mention everyone, you can always go to to see this segment tonight and others. And again, the new book is Impeach, The Case Against Donald Trump. Newly out. I want to tell you what we have coming up tonight.

The Feds today revealing voluminous evidence against Giuliani`s indicted associates, including the prospect of additional charges. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar making her debut on THE BEAT tonight, talking impeachment and a whole lot more. So, we have all that and something very special up next, I have a new original report on what happens when politicians are caught seeking bribes, including past cases with warning signs for Donald Trump. Clues for the potential impeachment case against him. And some footage that we`ve actually never shown on THE BEAT before. That`s in our new special report on bribery precedents and it`s right after this break.


MELBER: Now to our special report tonight on bribery and politics. Tomorrow, Congress will release its report on Trump`s Ukraine plot, followed by impeachment hearings, exploring whether the evidence shows Donald Trump abused his power and demanded a bribe to help his re-election.

Now in law, judges and lawyers always look to precedents first to see what we`ve learned before and where the lines are, how past scandals can determine if something was just hardball foreign policy or just typical political horse trading or was it a crime and directly asking for a bribe is a crime.

So, now let`s go through some of these key precedents which could haunt Trump, starting with the notorious Abscam scandal which implicated seven congressmen from both parties. The kind of blockbuster bribery that made for a blockbuster movie, American Hustle. Well, you may remember that FBI agent Richie DiMaso was played by Bradley Cooper going up against bribery in Washington in the wake of Watergate.


BRADLEY COOPER, ACTOR: You`re going do this because you got no choice. You work for me. And you keep changing the rules. Now you`re getting a little power drunk. But you know, you want to tell me you want to wake him up.

AMY ADAMS, ACTRESS: I know. I said we shouldn`t do any of that. And you know, I said that. So, now I support Richie. He`s got vision to - you don`t do it.

CHRISTIAN BALE, ACTOR: He`s the one in American, not me. How am I ruining America? Because people just got over Watergate and Vietnam. All right. You can blame the politicians again because you want to be a big shot promotion.


MELBER: The dialogue is realistic because the plot was very real, right down to the tense moments when a politician`s handlers get in that place that moment before a bribe where everyone knows something pretty illegally dangerous is going down.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Excuse me. I`ll handle that for the mayor.

COOPER: It`s for the Mayor. It`d be sign of disrespect to the chic if the Mayor didn`t take this for you.


MELBER: In real life, those kind of sting operations led to a series of real indictments.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Five members of the House have been implicated in the FBI Abscam bribery investigation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today, another Abscam trial got underway involving another Congress. The FBI`s Abscam investigation today resulted in the indictment of a member of the United States Congress.


MELBER: Unlike the President, Justice Department rules allow for indicting those members of Congress while they`re in office. There is no first step of impeachment for abuse of power. Bribery gets you indicted quick if there is evidence and there was FBI tape showing congressmen accepting bribes, which is what that very scene we just showed you in American Hustle was based off of. Here`s Mike Myers, a Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania, taking a $50,000 bribe from an FBI informant.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of money. (Inaudible) you`re going about it the right way. And we`ll tell you something real simple, money towards this business (inaudible) same down in Washington. (Inaudible). Spend it well.


MELBER: Pleasure. Bag of cash and a handshake. It`s pretty damning. Myers was the first congressman convicted in Abscam. There was little doubt about what he did and what the facts showed. Now, he then implored his House colleagues to still stand by him. He invoked even a, "lynch mob attack."


MICHAEL MYERS, FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: I hope that the members will not let the political pressures of the vote force them in joining a lynching mob, because that`s exactly what I think it is. I know what it feels like now to sit on death row. You vote to expel. It will have the same effect as hitting the button if I was strapped in an electric chair in this well.


MELBER: Here is what`s so relevant about that right now. When the facts came out, Myers` congressional colleagues didn`t deny them or minimize them. They voted to expel him. They made him the first congressman expelled since the Civil War.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Guilty. That`s the verdict in the first Abscam trial. The jury of nine women and three men found Pennsylvania Congressman Michael Myers and three co-defendants guilty of bribery and conspiracy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The House voted overwhelmingly to approve, and Myers, convicted of taking a bribe in the Abscam investigation, was expelled. A moment in history.


MELBER: A moment in history, the House stand together in that bipartisan rebuke of bribery. And most of Myers` fellow Democrats voted to expel him, along with most Republicans who had their own problem in the same scandal with Richard Kelly of Florida Republican.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My way of thinking was, there is only two people involved, you and I.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If that`s all right with you, that`s the way we will do it. It`s up to you.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`ll tell you what, it does put that in there. I guess you stick those in your other parts, in your backpack or something like that. Just leave your jacket open and you`ll be in good shape.

KELLY: I`ve got this.


MELBER: That`s what it looks like when you literally pocket the bribe. Kelly there got prison time as well, along with five other representatives and one senator went to prison for bribery. Most of them Democrats. This was a huge deal and there was no doubt in court or in the congressional vote or in public conversation that trading your office for personal benefit cash or political help was wrong and not like a little wrong. But like, get kicked out of office and go to prison wrong.

While envelopes of cash can look kind of old school. These precedents are not ancient history, which may be chilling for Donald Trump. Consider the more recent case of William Jefferson, a Democratic congressman indicted by the Obama Justice Department for bribery, again caught on tape in a sting. Here he was accepting $100,000 from a woman who turned out to be an FBI informant.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My hands are full of my cabinet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As you can see, Jefferson stuffs the briefcase into a bag. But he declined her offer to take a quick look at the money.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would you like to take a peek at or whatever.



MELBER: Now, you may remember Jefferson`s cover up because he took that cold cash and made it colder, stuffing $10,000 bundles of it into his freezer, which the FBI found when they raided his home.

Now, Jefferson was hoping fellow Democrats might make apologies for him. He was wrong. It was under the Obama DOJ that those agents found the dollars you see right there in his freezer. Well, over in Congress, Nancy Pelosi kicked him off the key committee handling money in appropriations, and he claimed that was some sort of rigged deal against him. This may be one of the rare times that William Jefferson and Donald Trump sounded similar.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In this case was before the political scene. She believes that it gives her a political advantage. In the set of elections, she hopes that out of this she`ll be Speaker of the House one day and the Democrats can take charge.

TRUMP: Nancy Pelosi, she`s blocking the vote. She doesn`t want the vote to take place because they would rather hurt their political opponents than help their black constituents. It`s what it is.


MELBER: But attacking Pelosi didn`t change the evidence. And to be clear again, in a comparison and a contrast to today, at that time, other leaders in both parties did say the bribery evidence required removing Jefferson, which is the House`s version effectively of impeachment and conviction.


REP. JEFFERSON (D-LA): But I intend to hold our colleagues to a higher standard. And when we talk about the standard here, we all know that bringing dishonor on this house is a standard that all of us attempt to meet and make sure that there is no dishonor brought.

REP. STENY HOYER (D-MD): The allegations that have been made are extraordinarily serious and they, if proven true, should lead to the expulsion of the member in question.


MELBER: Serious talk, now Congressman Jefferson`s wads of cash are not the exact same as President Trump`s Ukraine plot. The evidence against Trump is far, far worse.

Jefferson went to prison for trading a smaller office for those tens of thousands of dollars in the freezer. Trump is facing evidence of trading a far larger office for hundreds of millions of dollars on the line or to put it another way, you couldn`t fit all the money that he seized in the Ukraine plot into the largest freezer in the world.

And I want to tell you something tonight. As Congress goes down this very serious road this week, there was a time when people in both parties stated the obvious fact that selling your office is wrong. Some of those people are still, of course, in Congress today. Consider Republican Roy Blunt`s approach to evidence of Jefferson`s bribery as it came out. He staked out the position that even if it didn`t violate the law, it did, it would potentially bring such disrepute on the House that Jefferson should be investigated and potentially expelled.

Compare that to his approach to Donald Trump so far as the evidence mounts, he is deferring to the President and still waiting for more facts.


SEN. ROY BLUNT (R-MO): You don`t have to necessarily have violated a law to violate those standards. You certainly don`t have to violate a law to have brought disrepute on the House. It`s high time Mr. Speaker that we did start this investigation.

One way or another you are going to decide is what the President says he said. An impeachable problem or not. The President says he thinks he was on solid ground and we`ll see what other facts might come to the fore that have an impact on that.


MELBER: Yes. Let`s see what facts come to the fore, because if bribery was bad enough to expel a lower level politician, logically it is more concerning for a higher-level politician like our president who wields enormous unchecked powers that often operate in secret. We only know about Trump`s seizing the money and trying to trade the White House meeting with Ukraine`s president because of the whistleblower.

Now, Trump allies have offered a different defense that Trump was seeking the investigations and not actually money, but the presidents don`t help him they`re either. Landmark cases show politicians convicted of quid pro quo bribery happen all the time without formally taking cash or explicitly stating the deal.

Take another case that may haunt Donald Trump. Dean Skelos who went from being a state Senate Majority Leader that`s like being the Schumer or McConnell of all of New York State to a current inmate serving four years in prison right now for bribery, because he was found to have traded his office and his vote to get bribes and get his son a job. His lawyers failed in their argument that there was no formal quid pro quo and that should save him. Skelos was investigated by the famed SDNY prosecutors during the Obama administration and they gathered crucial wiretaps of these father-son phone calls.


DEAN SKELOS, FORMER NEW YORK SENATOR: I`m going to be President of the Senate. I`m going to be majority leader. I`m going to control everything, everybody`s going to know who calls the shots, Adam. Believe me.


MELBER: Courts ruled that evidence supported bribery because a jury could infer a quid pro quo even though it wasn`t ever formally stated which is what Skelos` star witness was testifying in their defense that they never explicitly said there was a trade for a vote to get a job for his son which may ring familiar.

Now when Skelos was finally sentenced, we should note it was in 2018 under the Trump Justice Department. As a state official, he went directly to prison because these cases show bribery is a serious offense that people go to prison for. It is also one of the few impeachable offenses listed by name in the Constitution and the last time the Senate held an impeachment trial of any official, did you know it actually involved abuse of power for kickbacks in the case against then Judge Thomas Porteous.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This morning a special Senate committee opened its first impeachment trial since the 1999 case against former President Bill Clinton. This time it`s the trial of U.S. District Judge Thomas Porteous Junior, the New Orleans judge is facing four charges involving payoffs, kickbacks and lying under oath.


MELBER: Those kickbacks may sound like bribery. The Senate held an impeachment trial of that judge and they voted for three out of the four articles of impeachment including unanimously voting to impeach on the charge of engaging in a pattern of conduct incompatible with the trust and confidence placed in him as a federal judge. And he was kicked off the bench.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Senate having tried G. Thomas Porteous Junior, U.S. District Judge for the East District of Louisiana having found him guilty of charges contained in Articles 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the Articles of Impeachment is hereby removed from office. And that he be and is hereby forever disqualified to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States.


MELBER: That`s what post impeachment conviction looks like in the Senate. That trial impeaching a federal judge is actually one of only nine impeachment trials in the last century. It was led however did you know this by a pretty familiar figure from the current impeachment saga. Congressman Adam Schiff, who is of course now the Intelligence Chairman. He acted as the manager or prosecutor presenting that impeachment case to the Senate.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): The House recognizes what an extraordinary proceeding this is and how seldom an impeachment is undertaken. The judge has committed a serious violation of the public trust that in the phraseology of Governor Morris, one of the framers that the judge has so missed demeaned himself by violating the public trust that it necessitates his removal from the bench.


MELBER: Congressman Schiff has the unique experience of leading this rare process now twice. He`s laying a similar groundwork in the case against President Trump. He is of course the man who also summarized Ambassador Sondland`s account of quid pro quo bribery in a way that when you think about what`s going to potentially happen and his experience leading impeachment cases he was in a way teeing up a blueprint for a potential case to present to the Senate as he`s done before.


SCHIFF: Today`s testimony is among the most significant evidence today. It goes right to the heart of the issue of bribery as well as other potential high crimes or misdemeanors. A very important moment in the history of this inquiry.


MELBER: A very important moment potentially leading to how he would make his case in the Senate. So, what do you see when you take all of these precedents together? Well, bribery is a serious crime. For many politicians in both parties in Congress and state houses basically everywhere but the White House, bribery can get you a ticket straight to prison and a bribery plot is still a felony even if there is no official money involved or even necessarily an explicit quid pro quo spelled out. That is what the President say which should weigh on the mind of any politician in any party caught up in a bribery plot, whether it`s successful or not.

Now what Congress does with tomorrow`s report on so many of these facts and with Wednesday`s hearing. Well as always that will be up to the Congress. But we`re going to get into all of this and a lot more with a perfect guest, I can tell you Congresswoman Omar is one of the first to call for impeachment and she joins me when we`re back in 30 seconds.


MELBER: And welcome back to an exclusive interview on THE BEAT. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar sits on the Foreign Affairs Committee. Thanks for joining me tonight.

REP. ILHAN OMAR (D-MN): Thank you for having me.

MELBER: Let`s get right into what the Intelligence Committee is doing and the Judiciary. What do you see as the case for impeachment? What happens next?

OMAR: I mean so the Intelligence Committee is about to issue their report tomorrow and we will have an opportunity to vote on it and send it to Judiciary. We will hear from constitutional scholars and have an opportunity to really lay out for the public, what kind of articles of impeachment could be drawn up in this process. And you know you have to remember right. This began in a way for us to give the public the opportunity to understand and move along in this process with us. And as we go into this second phase, they will get to do that more.

MELBER: You have previously advocated for impeaching this President on other grounds before the Ukraine bribery plot was exposed. What is your current thinking on how narrow or broad to advance impeachment, I`ll mention as you know your colleagues have had some of this debate? We`ve seen discussion of Ukraine, obstruction of justice. Do you include Mueller or not? The issues around corruption and emoluments as well as the question of whether the president`s expose bigotry and racism including, we should mention against you among others should be included.

Do you have a view on how broad the articles should be?

OMAR: I`ve said for a really long time that it wasn`t going to be - if the President was getting impeached, it was going to be when. I believed that there were multiple reasons for us to move impeachment on this President. And right now, I think it is really important for us to have it be narrowed because this is a very concise case regardless of the shenanigans that the Republicans are engaged in at the moment.

The public can clearly understand where the violations are and can follow this case as you have now done in the previous segment, case after case have shown similar cases that are - that give us precedent.

The public gets to do that and gets to understand why this particular case with Ukraine is a clear example of how this lawless president has taken advantage of the public trust, has violated his oath of office and why it`s important for us to impeach him so that we can restore the integrity and the honesty the trust of the presidency.

MELBER: So, to make sure, I`m hearing you right on that, you would say on say the bigotry that you`ve discussed before, the Mueller stuff, you`d say leave that out.

OMAR: Think there are other opportunities. But right now, we have a clear case and I believe that we should follow this one. You know I`ve used examples where you`ve had mob bosses who have committed atrocity after atrocity, have violated our criminal codes of conduct and we got them on one narrow case. But they get to serve time and what`s important right now is that for this particular president that we know has many cases where we can impeach him on, that we focus on the one that the public is paying attention to and impeach him on that.

MELBER: Yes. Congresswoman, it sounds like you are artfully making a comparison on the legal precedent to this president and Al Capone without technically saying Al Capone.

OMAR: Yes.

MELBER: We`re talking about this stuff, but I also obviously want to want to hear a little bit about your agenda, it`s your first time on THE BEAT. We often talk policy with folks. You`ve been working on something relating to both public housing and environmentalism. I`m going to just read a little bit from a rough summary.

Trillion dollars which is what the 2009 stimulus bill had to keep the U.S. economy from sliding into depression. When you think about that adjusted for inflation and this would be for Green public housing. Explain this idea.

OMAR: So, we have a housing crisis. There is so many Americans who are either homeless or faced with home housing insecurity, especially right now as we look at the cold weather. I represent one of the coldest states and last night on a given night 10000 Minnesotans were homeless, and of that 6000 were young people. We have children who are showing up every single day to our schools faced with homelessness or housing insecurity.

So, this is an issue that faces every single American regardless of what corner of our country they are in. And it`s about time for us to engage and make sure that we are solving this crisis.

We know that the private market isn`t enough to deal with the problem. And so, what we are proposing is to inject and guarantee and fulfill the homes for all guarantee that is going to make sure that every American has an opportunity to be housed. So, we`re going to create public housing. We`re going to create affordable housing and we are going to make sure that it is built to the highest environmental standards that there are no American that is going to be discriminated on the basis of sex, of gender, of immigration status, or their criminal record.

We`re going to make sure that it is - it`s got wrap around services for people who have faced chronic homelessness or things like health problems and other things. We`re also going to make sure that there is money put in a fund to deal with the problem of gentrification and displacement that many Americans are faced with today.

MELBER: Well, you just mentioned environmentalism, housing insecurity, discrimination against people who`ve been incarcerated and out and out homelessness which are all such important issues in the country. So, it`s interesting to hear some of the other work that`s going on in Congress.

OMAR: This is our opportunity really to create a vision of what our 21st century housing should look like. And there is so much buzz, so much excitement in my home state and across the country for this bill. And it`s one of the most substantial policy pieces of the Green New Deal and so, we`re really excited to have had the opportunity for nine months to work with grass roots champions on housing to get this bill out there.

MELBER: Yes, it was very interesting important issue and I`m glad to get you on THE BEAT. I hope you come back. We could talk about this and other policies, Congresswoman Omar. Thank you so much for making time.

OMAR: Thank you so much for having me.

MELBER: Appreciate it. Up ahead, we turn to a story we have not hit yet. This hour Giuliani`s associates were back in court today and they say, they have documents that could inform the impeachment probe. Also, a host on Donald Trump`s favorite network delivering a warning to Donald Trump. When we come back.


MELBER: Here`s some tantalizing news. Federal prosecutors now say they are likely to file additional charges against those Giuliani Associates, a case that involves Ukraine work. Prosecutors have made that revelation in a new court hearing that occurred today. They also told the judge they have voluminous evidence in the form of bank and phone records and data from Google and Facebook.

Lev Parnas` lawyer is saying that he wants to cooperate with the impeachment probe and share some of this information. Tonight, Giuliani may also have other causes for concern at Fox News of all places, a host there saying, Donald Trump should go ahead and "dump his personal attorney."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rudy Giuliani was a great mayor and a great leader. But he`s turned into an unmitigated and now it seems unethical disaster. There are a bunch of chances grifters and spivs taking advantage of the President to do dodgy deals in the world`s shadiest places. It`s time to dump these toxic chumps.


MELBER: Tough talk and it could just be one person`s view on Fox, but you should also note that this could be a reverse echo of Donald Trump himself because he told a very prominent former Fox host that he did not send Giuliani to Ukraine.


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

TRUMP: Well you have to ask that to Rudy.

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




MELBER: We`re getting new revelations about Michael Cohen`s lies to Congress about the infamous Trump Tower Moscow. Cohen now saying, it wasn`t his idea and the lies came from the White House. He makes that claim in an interview that we`re just seeing excerpts of with Bob Mueller`s own prosecutors. These are from notes that were obtained by BuzzFeed through a public records request.

Cohen not specifying though who critically told him from the White House to lie in February, when he was famously testifying before Congress. During the Mueller probe, he said President Trump indirectly told him to lie about all this. Mueller decided "while there is evidence the President knew Cohen provided false testimony to Congress, the evidence did not establish that the President directly aided Cohen`s false testimony." An interesting update to a story many people has been following. Now we`ll be back with one more thing.


MELBER: Here are some new pictures from our podcast special event debating impeachment in New York with Congresswoman Jeffries and our experts. I`m telling you this because you can go to if you`re in New York for our next event when I`ll be joined by six former U.S. attorneys for the Southern District of Columbia Law. It`s this week, this Thursday December 5th, go to We have a few tickets remaining. for you if you`re in New York or anyone you know in New York. If you can`t make it, we`ll put it up on the podcast as we do with these extra events. That does it for me. "HARDBALL" starts now.