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Fat Joe and Bill Kristol on The Beat. TRANSCRIPT: 12/5/19, The Beat w/ Ari Melber.

Guests: Eric Swalwell, Jason Johnson, Bill Kristol, Juanita Tolliver, FatJoe

CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST: That`s always fun. That`s all we have for tonight though. We`ll be back tomorrow with more of The Meet Press Daily. The Beat with Ari Melber starts right now. Good evening, Ari.

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chuck. And we begin right now with breaking impeachment news. Speaker Pelosi making it official, saying the House will do what many thought it was on its way to do impeach President Trump starting now. They`re not waiting as we`ve heard in some of the debates for courts to rule on anything else or deal with stonewalling witnesses. They are moving


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Sadly, but with confidence and humility with allegiance to our founders and our heart full of love for America. Today, I am asking our Chairman to proceed with articles of impeachment.


MELBER: Pelosi also dispensing with some of her other reticence in today dubbing Donald Trump a coward when it comes to this process and saying, there`s really "no choice" other than impeaching him given the mountain of evidence against him.


PELOSI: The facts of the Ukraine situation just changed everything. The Ukraine was the vehicle of the President`s action. This isn`t about Ukraine; this is about Russia who benefited by withholding that military assistance. Russia, all roads lead to Putin. Understand that. And so that was the aha moment


MELBER: The aha moment. Think about what we`re witnessing right there, because the Speaker has moved so methodically. She didn`t rush to impeachment; everyone knows that, and she is not letting only the report, or the evidence make the case. The report is the foundation and ultimately any article of impeachment needs elements, not unlike, although not the same as a criminal process.

But Speaker Pelosi going broader, saying it`s not just Ukraine, it`s Russia, it`s not just abuses of power or bribery, it`s national security. It is she says a matter of national import whether we maintain a democracy. She made this point saying that if the Congress does not impeach on this evidence, well maybe impeachment shouldn`t even be in the Constitution anymore. So, that`s where the speaker is. What else is happening?

Well we have other news for you, new today, the House Judiciary Committee has announced its second committee hearing. Judiciary Chairman Nadler working on drafting articles of impeachment and an evidence hearing on Monday. They will have a lot of witnesses that are of interest given that they`re coming from the Intelligence Committee. Those lawyers, so then we`ll see the scope, the size and what any articles that are now being literally written tonight, that`s something I couldn`t have told you last night for sure. They`re writing them.

What will they say? Will they deal with this as narrow or broad as an abuse of power or as bribery? And what will they do with a witness who also may be a co-conspirator of course I`m talking about Rudy Giuliani. Where is he? Well, he`s in Ukraine today of all places. He says he`s meeting with prosecutors which are of course also potential witnesses in all of this. And he`s continuing to talk up the conspiracy theories around the Biden`s. You`re looking at him with the Ukrainian lawmaker.

Those photos were posted today. We have them via Reuters, they`re undated, but they were newly posted, a reporter with him also putting out separate photos of him sitting down for an interview with the Former Prosecutor General of Ukraine, Lutsenko.

Giuliani also says that he`s filming a series on the pro-Trump one American news network. I want to tell you about this, we looked into it. We found one promotional video which also shows a former Ukrainian official and the D.C. issues and all of them at a table here with Giuliani. That`s basically what they do. You`re looking at that on a loop and that`s the OAN part of whatever this plot is.

So, you have all of that and then you have these looming questions tonight of what`s the response to all this and who is going to make it given that the Trump administration has been boycotting the impeachment proceedings and that brings me to the final thing I want to tell you before we go to our guests.

Take a deep breath, who`s going to show up and defend the President on this plot. Well, no one in Washington today, but his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani newly live tweeting a defense of the President from Ukraine.

I want to bring in Congressman Eric Swalwell, the Citizen and Judiciary Intelligence Committee. The Root Jason Johnson and conservative Bill Kristol, Director of the Group Defending Democracies Together. Good evening, all.

Congressman, there is the serious, there is the heavy, there is the broke and there is the bizarre and what I went through I think covers a bunch of it right now. Your view of what it means to your committees and to the Congress to have the President`s lawyer who`s at the center of this plot doing those meetings today and literally live tweeting a defense from Ukraine.

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): Rudy Giuliani being in Ukraine shows that this is a crime spree in progress and that gives us an urgency to act and to anyone who asks, are you moving too quickly, I say the President`s lawyer is moving quickly to continue to ask a foreign government to cheat our elections and doing nothing is completely off the table. We have to secure our elections. We have powerful un-contradicted evidence now - and now is the time to hold the President accountable and determine just which impeachment articles we should proceed with.

MELBER: Take a look at part of what Giuliani is posting. It`s a farce. Evidence will be released very soon; he says that supports his views. Interesting that he brings up evidence since you will know he`s been withholding participating and providing evidence with your committees. I`ve got to tell you Congressman; I spoke to a very seasoned attorney today who said that it looks like potential witness tampering to have him over there talking to these people that are subjects of your probe.

SWALWELL: Well, we have seen from this President witness tampering, jury tampering, intimidation of witnesses. And so, it`s not surprising at all. But what we have to focus on Ari, is that Rudy Giuliani is Donald Trump and Donald Trump is Rudy Giuliani. The President can throw many other people under the bus and distance himself from them. He can`t do that with Rudy Giuliani.

We have evidence in the Intelligence Committee report that the President told anyone who was working on Ukraine, Rudy is my guy on Ukraine and that Rudy Giuliani has represented the people, that he is the President`s person on Ukraine. So, they`re inseparable. And so, if Rudy is to be held to account, that means the President has to be held to account.

MELBER: Jason?

JASON JOHNSON, THEROOT.COM POLITICS EDITOR: Well, yes, you can`t say that the left hand doesn`t know what the right hand is doing. And I think the critical thing here, if we look at the sort of stepping back, Nancy Pelosi said something really fascinating today when she said we`re going through with impeachment. She was adamant about this not being political. This not being partisan. This is not about 2020 from the standpoint of switching the polls or getting undecided voters.

It`s about 2020 from the standpoint of election integrity that if you have a President, who is establish that he will try to cheat and that he is soliciting assistance from other people, if we don`t hold him accountable for trying to disrupt the actual process, that we can`t move forward.

So, I`m pleased to see that we finally reach this point where look arrest the President, we`ve got the evidence. I`m glad that Nancy Pelosi has gone that far. What`s going to be fascinating is the writing now of these impeachment articles. How long that process will take, what it will look like. And we might see a preview of that, at least some of those conversations happening on Monday.

MELBER: Bill, joining me here on set, I`m tempted to try to do something that would help people see how today is not like yesterday, how Giuliani`s trip is so brazen and beyond that, we do struggle for words. Should we throw a mug off the set? Should we swear? Should we do something to say that the brazenness of what we just showed in the top is in itself its own new incredible development?

BILL KRISTOL, DEFENDING DEMOCRACY TOGETHER FOUNDING DIRECTOR: I think it is. I mean Jason`s point is interesting. Speaker Pelosi went out of her way today in answering a question to say, look, I disagree with Donald Trump. And I really strongly disagree with him and dislike what he has done in a lot of areas that she mentioned, DACA and immigration, climate change, those are for 2020. That`s to be resolved in an election.

But this is about the Constitution and the oath you take and it`s about the 2020 election, which Trump clearly had an interest in having a foreign government effect by announcing an investigation. There wasn`t a real one and a real cause for one of the Biden family.

So, that I think really does - I hope that she and others stay on the seat. They need to focus people on why the impeachment is both just, why he has done things to deserve impeachment and why it`s necessary and urges. And I do think Giuliani being over there, it`s so wacky that you almost want to laugh about it and make fun of him. He`s tweeting and he`s having drinks with various disreputable, genuinely disreputable characters.

But he is involved in the plot. Right. He is acting in a way as Putin`s agent. He`s meeting with pro-Putin people in Ukraine to disrupt, to undercut the current Ukrainian government and to create this fictitious narrative of something or other about the Obama administration.

MELBER: And Bill--

KRISTOL: And Joe Biden.

MELBER: And Bill--

KRISTOL: And he said he said in a tweet yesterday, I believe Biden said, I remember, he was talking about the phone calls to the White House and OMB. So, I call them all the time. I`m the President`s lawyer. He is the President`s lawyer. It`s not that he was the President`s lawyer and now he is over there doing some random things, so far as we know, unless--

MELBER: Correct.

KRISTOL: Unless President Trump has said he isn`t. He`s the President`s lawyer--

MELBER: And also, Bill.

KRISTOL: He is there representing the President of the United States in Ukraine. It`s pretty unbelievable.

MELBER: He`s also a former prosecutor who still knows how wiretaps work. He knows he`s under investigation. If he wants to talk to these witnesses for the purposes of the criminal investigation or the impeachment probe. He knows that calling them up is likely to be giving the goods back to SDNY. Does that speak to also what may be a little bit of a nervousness and having to go do in-person meetings in Ukraine?

KRISTOL: I haven`t thought of that, actually the wiretap issue. But yet it does suggest that they are worried. Right. He needs to get people over there to either manufacture some evidence or create excuses for what he has done, I suppose, and what the President has done. But I do think this is a case where the facts are clear. They need to keep it simple and clear actors and they feature articles. And I think the speaker and Chairman Schiff are determined to do that.

I think the obstruction of justice and the obstruction of Congress are very strong articles as well. You can bet almost as a matter of constitutional, not just law, but constitutional practice and upholding the Constitution, resisting the house, not providing material to the House, when it`s explicitly an impeachment inquiry is really unbelievable. There`s a long tradition that on this House has to get the material.

MELBER: And this is the house--

KRISTOL: How can they decide whether to impeach him or not.

MELBER: 100 percent. The House`s greatest power. They`re at their highest point. Congressman take a listen to the Republican perspective here. New from Congressman Scalise going after Pelosi.


REP. STEVE SCALISE (R-LA): And there are still no facts to impeach, but they`re going to do it anyway. And I think the biggest disappointment in all of this is what`s not getting done. And I think that`s really why you`re starting to see, you know, today, Pelosi just unraveling yelling at reporters.


MELBER: Congressman.

SWALWELL: That`s how they talk about women. You know, if it was a man talking to a reporter that way and the President does that often, they would never characterize it that way. She was asked an unfair question and she gave a serious response.

But I also--

MELBER: I`ll let you continue since you make that point. Let`s show it so folks can see the tape, it was a pretty strong exchange with a good conservative reporter, a veteran of Fox News, right after the announcement of that impeachment plan.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you hate the President, Madam Speaker?

PELOSI: I don`t hate anybody. (Inaudible) we don`t hate anybody, not anybody in the world. So, don`t (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I did not accuse you.

PELOSI: You did. This is about the Constitution of the United States and the facts that lead to the President`s violation of his oath of office and as a Catholic, I resent your using the word hate in a sentence that addresses me. I don`t hate anyone. I was raised in a way that is heart full of love, and always pray for the President. And I still pray for the President. I pray for the President all the time. So, don`t mess with me when it comes to words like that.


MELBER: Congressman.

SWALWELL: These are serious times and we need people to approach this with the seriousness that it deserves. And so, to Steve Scalise earlier, the facts are there. And what I think the American people are going to have to consider is this what we want the President of the United States to be able to do, to use your taxpayer money, to ask a foreign government to cheat an election.

And if Lieutenant Colonel Vindman and Marie Yovanovitch and Fiona Hill can show the courage to come forward and risk their reputations and their jobs to do the right thing, then these Republicans can do their damn jobs and do the right thing and uphold the Constitution.

MELBER: Congressman, speak in defense of your speaker, in a defense of what I know are many of the issues that have been raised in this serious proceeding. I appreciate you joining with us tonight. And we`ll catch up with you soon. I appreciate it. Jason and Bill, stay and Bill. I want to turn to one more piece of this. We`ve got a lot to get to here.

So, the third piece of this is what we`re learning about the actual case and the actual articles. And it was very interesting today and in another exchange with a reporter, NBC`s Garrett Haake, Pelosi not wanting to speak to the big question about other alleged obstruction. Take a look.


GARRETT HAAKE, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Do you want to see elements of the Mueller Report or these other investigations?

PELOSI: I`m not going to tell you that.

HAAKE: Or these other investigations.

PELOSI: I`m not going to - my Chairman will be making recommendations.

HAAKE: Do you have a personal view on that?

PELOSI: Our counsel, our are lawyers, our chair, the staffs of the committees have been sensational, and we look to them for their judgment.


MELBER: How do you read that? And for people who care about these issues, you run a group about the rule of law. Politically, there may be reasons not to go too big. Substantively, if you think the President obstructed the Mueller probe, you have an obligation in Congress to deal with it.

KRISTOL: But I mean, you`re a lawyer. I`m not. Potentially, if the prosecutor wants to have your strongest count there and not have the slightly more complicated ones, maybe if it`s not necessary. You know, giving slightly easier targets, perhaps.

MELBER: So, you don`t like you don`t like it as a strategy. You don`t like getting back into it.

KRISTOL: I like mentioning it as part of a pattern. And I think the easiest way to do it is to have it in there in a sentence or two as part of a pattern of obstruction. A pattern of welcoming foreign interference in our elections. You can have in each of the presumably, the three articles if there are three. The abuse of power and bribery article, the obstruction of justice article and the obstruction of Congress article, that`s all relevant to the Mueller Report.

But I would have that more as an instance of a pattern of which Ukraine is the key decisive moment when I think this is true about the speaker and about a majority of the House. They wouldn`t. I mean, I maybe thought they should have, but they wouldn`t have actually impeached just on the Mueller report. So, you can`t sort of retroactively make that up, I think, and I think they can use it as an example, but they need to keep the focus on Ukraine, I think.

MELBER: Interesting. And to get your take as a noted Trump critic, in other words, there are people who think of you. In fact, people have said this about you, that you will take anything and everything against him. And you`re disagreeing with that tonight and saying that should be supporting evidence. Jason, your view?

JOHNSON: Yes, well, look, Nancy Pelosi knows that not only in Congress, but the country. You know, there`s an appetite for impeachment, but you can`t just sort of fill the plate. Right. You`re going to have to get something that people can eat in small pieces that they can understand that they can take back to their constituents and explain when 2020 comes around. So, it makes sense that she`s somewhat narrowcasting it right now.

But here`s the other issue, the only reason that Ukraine matters is because of Mueller. It`s because of previous things that the President said. This is in basketball; we would almost be calling as a makeup call. You`re not getting this technical foul for what you just did. It`s for the five other guys that you kicked.

If Donald Trump hadn`t engaged in such consistent and brazen behavior. If he weren`t still doing things like having Rudy Giuliani literally over there, we just accuse you of being in a cookie jar and the guys over there with Chips Ahoy in the Ukraine right now. If the President wasn`t continuing to engage in this behavior, we wouldn`t even have Ukraine.

So, the idea of focusing specifically on this particular behavior, keeping the money from Zelensky in order to affect 2020, but saying that this is the end result of the Mueller Report and several other things that they`ve done that actually makes a lot of sense for Congress, it`s something that people can understand.

MELBER: It`s striking and very interesting here, both you and Jason Johnson, our gratitude is always. Bill, stick around. I think you know why. And it`s a reason for a lot of people to stick around.

Coming up, we`re also going to get into a fact check of Donald Trump`s new defense against impeachment. Ukraine actually hasn`t gotten all the money. I`ll explain. New evidence later. A breakdown on the Ukraine scheme and why so much of it has blown up. And Rudy Giuliani`s face because of Fox News. And we`ll show you brand new. You`re looking at Joe Biden trying to defuse some of these issues with a voter today and then, yes, reunited. And it feels so good. I am not joking.

Bill Kristol, Fat Joe tonight on The Beat. Wait for it. And it will happen this hour when we come back.


MELBER: Now, we turn to a new story that we have not had time to cover it all this week because so much has been happening. And I bet if you`ve been following impeachment, it will interest you, because its new evidence blowing a hole through a core Trump impeachment defense.

You`ve probably heard a lot about from the White House side. This is now new from this House impeachment report. It`s gotten almost no attention yet, understandably, given that it`s a long report and a lot`s been happening. The issue is at the heart of Trump`s alleged bribery scheme, that military aid that was withheld from Ukraine for extortion. In fact, we mentioned Speaker Pelosi`s new remarks. She cited that money in her new statement.


PELOSI: The President abused his power for his own personal and political benefit at the expense of our national security by withholding military aid.


MELBER: Withholding military aid. Now, as everyone who`s followed this knows, the money did ultimately get unfrozen when they got caught. Donald Trump learned that a whistleblower was actually going after this whole plot and he relented. Now, many Trump supporters have argued this is very important. You`ve probably seen this line of argument that Ukraine ultimately got the money and that cancels out any impeachable offense.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the real bottom line is he got the money. Ukraine got the money.

REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): The Ukrainians did nothing to as far as investigations goes to get the aid released. So, there was never this quid pro quo.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I look at it this way, the aid is there, and the investigations didn`t happen. So, if there was a quid pro quo, it`s certainly wasn`t a very effective one.


MELBER: They got the money. Let`s take this apart. Two points. One, it`s not a valid legal defense to bribery. In fact, other politicians are in prison today for unsuccessful bribery plots. So, Trump`s alleged extortion of Ukraine was going on while the money was frozen. That`s what made it allegedly extortion. That`s number one.

But number two, what`s new tonight? This report also cuts into Trump`s defense on the facts, because for all of the talk, like what I just showed you about the White House releasing all the Ukraine money. Trump`s actions have denied Ukraine not a dollar or hundred thousand dollars or a million dollars, but $35 million of that aid. The report noting Pentagon officials confirming Ukraine still has not received $35 million in security assistance yet to be dispersed, meaning those funds which were approved under U.S. law have not gone out.

This isn`t a rounding error. What you see very simply on your screen is 14 percent of the entire money has still been denied to Ukraine. So, Trump did not actually get all the money back to Ukraine, even as he tried to lift the hold to cover up the plot, which adds context to something else that you`re about to see.

The Senate floor there, September 26th. On that day, lawmakers took a little noticed action. They passed a new special law as a way to get the money that Trump had blocked Ukraine at some point in the future, extending the window for transferring it because it`s been blocked. You see right here. Anyone paying very close attention would have noticed this is a somewhat industry publication. Military affairs covered by defense.

One, noting Senate passes Ukraine aid extension. So, why am I talking about this right now? This is not just history. This is now. Tonight, new evidence against Donald Trump for his potential impeachment. That vote was revealing, and it did have some Republicans on board which showed they still wanted the money to get back to Ukraine. Very unusual problem that lawmakers who, by the way, don`t get everything passed into law. I think we all know about that. They took this seriously.

And the next day, after trying to fix the delay in aid, which this report says is still denying Ukraine millions. Well, it was still a big deal. Raveling lawmakers on the floor.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let`s see. Russia has invaded the Ukraine. Ukraine is dependent upon the United States for military assistance to defend itself. Trump is withholding the aid, at the same time asking them for dirt on his political opponent. He`s jeopardizing the national security interests of the United States.


MELBER: Maybe, he never seen that moment before. That was on the week that Congress took this extraordinary bipartisan vote to try to free up money, money that we`re learning in the new report. Donald Trump actions have prevented from going to Ukraine. So, any time you hear this defense that actually all the money went to Ukraine, the kind of no harm, no foul defense. The news is, apart from the legal stuff I mentioned, that is factually false. Not all the money went to the Ukraine.

And as of tonight, the Trump administration still doesn`t have a good reason as to why. I wanted to get you that news. And now we`re going to go on to something really interesting. The report from the House Intelligence Committee shows anything people say on Fox News can and will be used against them, when we`re back in 30 seconds.


MELBER: The impeachment probe moving forward against President Trump, even as he and aides refuse to testify or explain their conduct. Now, I`ve told you, we`re going through new facts, the intelligence report, not just talking, although we do plenty of talking.

And I want to show you something else right now, how this report stitches together evidence from Trump and his aides. So, while they won`t testify, the report emphasizes that Democrats think they can prove key damning parts of this plot based partly on these scheming and incriminating statements in public, specifically broadcast live on Fox, which looks especially bad, because it was occurring before this whistleblower came forward, like back in April when no one was talking about Ukraine. Giuliani suddenly took an interest in a then obscure company, Burisma.


RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT`S LAWYER: So, I began getting some people that were coming forward and telling me about that. And then all of a sudden, they revealed a story about Burisma and Biden`s son.


MELBER: All of a sudden, Biden`s son. Impeachment probe is finding evidence that Trump`s Ukraine, plot was fundamentally about propaganda. The goal was pushing Ukraine to damage the Biden`s in public, not about actually investigating foreign corruption. It was about getting talk of Biden and corruption on American television in a loop from Fox News, back to Ukraine, back to CNN, an entire political conversation that was designed to tarnish the Biden brand. As a key witness cited in the report explained it was all about hitting Biden on air, not whether anyone actually did the investigations.


GORDON SONDLAND, AMBASSADOR TO THE EU: He had to announce the investigations, he didn`t actually have to do them as I understood it.

DAVID HOLMES, DIPLOMAT: This was a demand that President Zelensky personally commit on a cable news channel to a specific investigation of President Trump`s political rival.


MELBER: And this new report we have documents it with Giuliani secretly plotting in March to get the probe launched while publicly touting his clues on television. Now, that plot was, of course, exposed. So, it partly failed. But the report shows more exhaustively than we`ve ever seen until this week. How it was supposed to work?

A kind of a drumbeat building to what they planned, an international televised announcement of a probe which had that happened, it would have made Giuliani and Co. look maybe prescient when, in fact, they were predicting, "the outcome", they were secretly engineering backed by the frozen money and all the other White House plotting. So, take a look in April, as the report notes, on the same day, a conservative writer, John Solomon pushed Biden allegations, Giuliani went on Fox News to push them further.


GIULIANI: I got information about three or four months ago that a lot of the explanation for how this whole phony investigation started, we`ll be in the Ukraine, that there were a group of people in the Ukraine that were working to help Hillary Clinton. And were colluding really with the Clinton campaign and it stems around the ambassador and the embassy being used for political purposes.


MELBER: A month later, Giuliani was darkly predicting Biden would be investigated by Election Day, but falsely claiming the investigation was coming not because Giuliani wanted it, but because it was warranted.


GIULIANI: It`s a big story. It`s a dramatic story. And I guarantee you, Joe Biden will not get to election day without this being investigated. Not because I want to see him investigated. This is collateral to what I was doing.


MELBER: The evidence shows that`s false. Trump and Giuliani did want him to be investigated. That`s why they were predicting it. The report shows Trump was in on all the plotting, pushing another Ukraine conspiracy. Guess where? Also, on Fox News.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Take a look at Ukraine. How come the FBI didn`t take this server? Podesta told them to get out. He said, get out. So how come the FBI didn`t take the server from the DNC?


MELBER: Trump and Giuliani pushed those false conspiracy theories to try to hurt Biden, and they round up hurting themselves. But here`s a question. Did they believe those things were true? Maybe, which could explain why this plot backfired so badly. It`s one thing to cook up a propaganda drug deal to trick others. It`s another thing to trick yourself.

And since John Bolton so memorably brought up the idea of cooking drugs, this is where the Ukraine plotters violated a crucial crack commandment.

Number four. I know you heard this before. Never get high on your own supply. Well, maybe they were so high on Crowd Strike and Burisma, they started believing it. And it may be clouded their judgment. That is not a legal defense. In fact, as this report documents, the goal of propaganda is to hurt your opponent`s regardless of the truth. For all the talk of the 2016 servers, the evidence shows Trump wanted to run basically the same play that worked in 2016.

Hillary Clinton was never actually indicted let alone convicted over emails. Everyone knows that. And the new emails that did get rumored and come out, they didn`t change the outcome of those investigations. But boy, do you remember this, if you take one thing from this special report let it be this. Do you remember how just the talk of potential investigations, reopening investigations especially if you talk about it on Fox News followed by bad news well that can really affect an election, right.


GIULIANI: And then I think he`s got to surprise you that you`re going to hear about the next few days. I mean I`m talking about some pretty big surprise.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I heard you say that this morning, what do you mean?

GIULIANI: You`ll see.


MELBER: You`ll see he said that was 2016. Here they were at it again with the same person on the same channel in the same type of propaganda with some details different, this time though it blew up. It looks like it may get Donald Trump impeached, which is where Biggie Smalls gives way to Sean Carter.

When it comes to framing your opponent, the same sword that knight you can good night you. Let`s get into it now with Juanita Tolliver at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

Good evening.

JUANITA TOLLIVER: Hey, Ari. how are you doing?

MELBER: I`m all right. There`s a lot in this report. We`re still--

TOLLIVER: So much.

MELBER: Bringing out the evidence, what do you think of this propaganda portion?

TOLLIVER: It all goes back to what Dr. Fiona Hill said. This is language that sanctioned from Russia that is going to be divisive to our country and destructive to our democracy. And what they did as you highlighted, there is no such thing as coincidence. All the breadcrumbs are laid out in public. They let the public know exactly what they were doing and using the same playbook from 2016, because the only difference here now is that we had a whistleblower.

We had a whistleblower who came forward with a report and a complaint. And now Congress has taken steps to get to the truth. And what they`ve done with all of the expert testimony, all of the witnesses coming forward is now Schiff`s team has laid out a very clear case against Trump and what he and all of his allies have been doing this entire time. And there`s no way to rebut it. There`s no way to really counteract all the facts that they willingly went out in public and said repeatedly.

MELBER: Yes, they said it in public which takes Miranda rights and turns them into a Hannity version. What you say on Fox News can and will be used against you and so much of it is admitted then it`s also very striking to see times where then they go back to hiding, what the Democrats are arguing is potentially obstruction.

Rudy Giuliani blatantly, brazenly out in Ukraine then saying he can`t tell you, I`m about to show you him in an interview being dodgy when it is it is reported he was speaking at the time from Ukraine. Take a listen.


GIULIANI: I can`t really describe it. I can`t even confirm it. All I can tell you is that I am doing today all-day and all night maybe what I`ve been doing for a year and a half, I`m representing my client. I am not involved in the 2020 election that is democratic garbage, what I`m involved in is defending my client who`s innocent against false charges.


MELBER: And Juanita, part of that itself has proven to be false.

TOLLIVER: And if he wanted to defend his client, he would have done it in front of Congress. He is in Ukraine right now on behalf of President Trump and I need the American public to really let that sink in that even with all of this facts out, all of the evidence out, he is still in Ukraine doing Trump`s bidding like nothing happened, like none of this matters.

And ultimately, this really aligns with what Pelosi, what Schiff have really been saying. This is an active threat to our democracy and the upcoming election cycle and that`s why they are forced to take action.

MELBER: You lay it out clearly and the report has a lot of material, we`re going to continue to make sense of because there`s it`s - it`s just a lot of new information that sheds some light of whatever one thinks of it, whatever one`s views of it are. Juanita Tolliver, thanks as always.

TOLLIVER: Thanks, Ari.

MELBER: I want to turn next to a fiery clash out on the campaign trail that also involves impeachment and some of these other stories quite revealing, when we come back.


MELBER: There`s been a lot of reporting on the evidence facts and substance of impeachment, but because this is ultimately as we`ve been reporting a propaganda campaign about 2020, there is related politics everyone knows that including how the target of this smear campaign is responding. Biden was out today calling well what he calls lies. You`re going to see this in a moment. But let me show you some context because he`s tried to address this several times.

In fact, remember what Joe Biden said in the first days after the whistleblower story broke.


JOE BIDEN (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Wait, wait a second. Wait a second. Not one single credible outfit given any credibility to his assertion. Not one single one. And so, I have no comment except the President start to be President.


MELBER: No comment except that one and more to come in fact since then Joe Biden of course has been presented with this and has to deal with it in all kinds of forms including at those highly watched debates.


BIDEN: My son did nothing wrong. I did nothing wrong. I carried out the policy of the United States government in rooting out corruption in in Ukraine. And that`s what we should be focusing on.


MELBER: Beyond the campaign trail the Biden folks also launched this website., I don`t know if you`ve seen it, but it tries to deal with Trump`s accusation, it says its fact checking just the facts folks. Critics have argued that sometimes that these types of efforts which are somewhat old school give oxygen and repetition to the very attacks that Joe Biden says are worthless. And that brings us to something new that`s making all kinds of waves today.

Joe Biden out campaigning all these campaigns are continuing. He`s campaigning at the center of this impeachment crisis which involves attacks on him. Now with your own eyes you can see exactly what happened.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re selling access to the president just like he was.

BIDEN: So damn liar. That`s not true. And no one has ever said that. No one has heard that. No one has said my son has done anything wrong. And I did not on any occasion. And no one has ever said, not once.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn`t say you were doing anything wrong.

BIDEN: You said, I sent up my son to work on an oil company. Isn`t that what you said? Get your words right, Jack.


MELBER: Get your words right. Anyone at a human level could understand Joe Biden`s feelings about this. What he says and what have been demonstrated to be lies including involving his son. This is also a top Democratic candidate and how he deals with the pressure after as we showed you, he said no comment, fact check and now a flash of understandable emotion.

One thing to keep in mind is voters are going to continue have to assess how Joe Biden who rarely does live TV interviews on any of these topics how he`s handling it and whether his campaign is ready for what would come if he stays in this race or becomes the nominee.

Now when we come back, I have something very special that I think some of you may enjoy because we`ve gotten a lot of feedback about it when it happens before on The Beat tonight two very special guests when we come back.


MELBER: House Democrats making it official, they are drafting articles of impeachment teeing up a floor vote that Democrats vowed to win and then a trial of President Trump that could captivate Americans presenting damning evidence to millions of people who think about it aren`t maybe political obsessives or news junkies that follow this every day, which leads us tonight to a big question.

What story will the rest of America hear, and will this be an inflection point in the Trump saga that actually changes minds. The Trump era has already changed politics and it`s brought many strange alliances together including a political friendship that began on this very set, Bush neoconservative Bill Kristol and Grammy nominated rapper Fat Joe finding common cause in their concern about Trump`s threat to democracy. They`re back here tonight with Joe`s 12 studio album coming out.

And Bill Kristol advocating for the rule of law with his organization Defending Democracy together. So, from Terror Squad to the squad we have two icons back together. Great to see you guys.

KRISTOL: Great to be back.

FAT JOE, RAPPER: The odd couple man.

MELBER: How does look?

JOE: We`re legends on the street. I`ll walk--

KRISTOL: We are.

JOE: It was Bill. I go to some places--

MELBER: Where was the last time someone asked you?

JOE: Go stone crab in Miami somebody approached me and said you`re with Bill Kristol and they think he`s part of the entourage or something.

KRISTOL: That was my cousin.

MELBER: Are you - yes, are you ready to get into Terror Squad. You know.

KRISTOL: I am speechless at the thought. People ask me about Fat Joe all the time actually.

MELBER: So that happens to you too.

KRISTOL: I give him the lyrics. I help him out with--

JOE: To do a show with Bill--

MELBER: The Beats` off show.

JOE: Are you serious. Do you want to do a show with Bill? And I`m like of course.

MELBER: Well I`ve got news for Americans--

KRISTOL: He told me about this in the green room and we had a little discussion.


KRISTOL: Should we include you. I mean it`s a tough decision. I mean let`s face it. I mean we really need you.


KRISTOL: Nice to let him be part.

MELBER: I`ve got news for Americans; the show is happening right now. Fat Joe. A lot of stories come and go, you`re interested in politics, not everybody is. How do you think this impeachment story goes out to regular people?

JOE: I think it`s the people who are the political junkies are tuned in. But I think the average person is just going over their hey, because it`s been vice versa. It`s been Trump bashing and Trump going back and it`s just - I just feel like it`s been so much going on where it my fly over your average person`s head.

KRISTOL: I`m amazed how many people I know, intelligent people, people who do follow the news. Oh, come on. That`s serious. It`s people really are able to slide it off.

JOE: It is based on - it`s a tale of two Americas right now. If you`re Democratic, you follow certain stations. If you`re Republican, you follow certain stations. You know sometimes I would tune into Fox just to see what they`re saying, I cringe in 10 minutes, I`ll change it back to where - to look at Ari, you know what I mean and that`s what`s going on in America. They`re telling this story and we`re telling this story, and everybody is choosing their side.

And you know and that`s what`s going on with the news, that`s what`s going on with the people, that it seems like the die hards are the die hards and never Trump, so they`re never Trumps and that`s what`s going on the media. That`s what`s going on in the workplace. That`s what`s going on in America.

MELBER: And yet you know talk about changing the minds about Trump. Hip hop has changed its mind about Trump, because he used to get shout outs and the facts evolved and people said, OK, no more shout outs because this isn`t a game anymore.

JOE: I mean that`s what - I was so interested in Trump when he was running, whether he was Republican or not, it was until he gave his first speech coming down that escalator and call the Mexicans drug dealers and all - George Rabb, I used to see Donald Trump walking down the street while Nick games. I could not believe - I was there for Trump. Man, I had the popcorn like the meme, I was like let`s see what he is going to say.

MELBER: Right. So, if Fat Joe can change his mind because you got past the dazzle and the reality show. Is that a model for other people, Bill?

KRISTOL: But I think a lot of people have sloughed that off and nice as those things. It`s unfortunate, but come on, the country is OK. You know and there is - country is - ironically Trump has helped a lot because the country is a strong country and a lot of the institutions are strong institutions. And he hasn`t done as much damage as he might have done in terms of our day-to-day life.

And so, people are able to sort of enjoy Trump.

MELBER: Well, you just put your finger on it because who`s day-to-day lives are, we are talking about. I want to show you Attorney General Bill Barr, who is the kind of power that can affect people`s lives. Who gets arrested? Who gets first? Who goes to jail? And he just said something that we want to basically put out, so people understand what`s going on. Take a look.


WILLIAM BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL: But I think today American people have to focus on something else which is the sacrifice and the service that is given by our law enforcement officers. If communities don`t give that support and respect, they may find themselves without the police protection, they need.


MELBER: Fat Joe you have the Attorney General making what I heard to be a potential threat, if you don`t do what we want, you won`t be protected by the police.

JOE: That sounds crazy, like really crazy. I think we should all respect law enforcement and they put their lives on the line every single day.


JOE: But at the same time, you`ve got freedom of speech. You know what, what are you saying. If you protest, you`re not protected. If anything, this is crazy.

MELBER: Bill, I haven`t seen a modern Attorney General say anything like that.

KRISTOL: Yes. It`s certainly not. I think he`s reading a speech there, right; he`s not just answering a question and saying something it is sort of in felicitous way. That`s pretty shocking. I mean there are bad apples in police departments. I believe everyone knows that. There has been a huge number of investigations that have found that. And the idea that we should turn our eyes, but your concern is usually pretty suspicious of government workers.


KRISTOL: You know of unions and they`re unionized and the protections those people have. And maybe people should be held a little more accountable for what they`re doing. And then suddenly with cops, don`t hold them accountable at all. We should just all assume they`re all terrific. And we`ve seen an awful lot of evidence and I myself a pretty strong law and order guy.

I`ve been a little shaken in the last few years to see what I think other people who live in different kinds of communities have seen much more up close, which is the behavior of some police and they`re under a lot of strain and they most of them do a good job. But you know that needs to be - anyway the Barr attitude is really damaging.

MELBER: I think it`s chilling. You`ve got your album drop in tomorrow and we`ve got this great, great buddy comedy here between the two of you. So, I`ve got to do both. One is because I don`t know if you have even seen this. This is family ties and we`re going to get into that. But I also want to show you some moments where other people on television have - I didn`t even bring it up. They brought it up and want to talk about the two of you in this partnership. Take a look.

JOE: We the biggest in the game.


EUGENE ROBINSON, EDITOR, THE WASHINGTON POST: The only man who can forge a friendship between Bill Kristol and Fat Joe and he did it, there it is right there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t know how much time you spent in a nightclub Willy but we`re calling him Bill Kristol.

ROBINSON: If I sound a bit corrected, I`m still just picturing Bill Kristol and Fat Joe in a stretch navigator sort of cruise in you know the streets of Lower Manhattan. I just think that--

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think we need to--


MELBER: That`s what`s up and Gene Robinson didn`t know he was speaking to exist in something that actually happened, Fat Joe and Bill Kristol riding around the streets of New York City. Here they are, leaving NBC and getting in that car. You guys are inspiring people.

JOE: We`re beat. This is where it all happened, it all went down.

KRISTOL: And I was happy to help out with family ties. I don`t want to take too much credit. I don`t want to pretend; Fat Joe couldn`t have done it without me. But you know you`ll see some touches in there.

MELBER: But that leads me to the other question, Joe. What is Bill Kristol like in the studio?

JOE: I mean he`s incredible. I can`t really tell you what he`s really like in the studio. I`ve got to let my man make some money. He gets little late in the studio.

MELBER: And final question, family ties. You`ve got an incredible roster of people that everyone is going to recognize, Eminem, Lil Wayne, Mary J Blige.

JOE: Mary J. Blige.

MELBER: Cardi B. Tell us about this?

JOE: Just a whole bunch of guys together. And I said I`m 87 percent towards retirement. This might be my last album and my daughter is 13. She wants dad to be home when she gets there from school. So, this is going on, the only good thing I`ve figured out is that I heard when they`re 15, they don`t really want to be around with their dad no more. So, she might bring me back out of retirement, go on a road Dad, get out of here.

But we put our heart now, so we think this is a hip-hop classic. You`re going to definitely enjoy it. And I`d like to thank everybody who was a part of this album.

MELBER: Love that. Fat Joe, great to have you on back with Bill Kristol.

JOE: That`s right.

MELBER: That`s right. We love it. We`ll be back with one more piece of news on Donald Trump still secret tax returns.


MELBER: In other news, the President has made his second attempt to get the Supreme Court to try to keep his financial records secret. Today, brand new, Donald Trump asking the court to hear a case about this request from Congress to try to formally subpoena these financial documents. He has already asked for the court to weigh in on another subpoena related on the topic from prosecutors in Manhattan, which you also know the Supreme Court famously in NFC ruled against President Nixon in a case that was about whether or not he has to comply with well, similar types of requests. The court also once unanimously ruled against Bill Clinton in a similar vein.

We will keep an eye on it and keep you appraised on all the news. That does it for me. I`ll see you back tomorrow, 6 PM Eastern. Hardball is up next.