Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW Date: November 1, 2017 Guest: Adam Schiff, Jaimie Nawaday
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST, ALL IN. That`s "ALL IN" for this evening.
THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now.
Good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris. Thanks, my friend. I appreciate it.
HAYES: You bet.
MADDOW: And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour.
It`s been a busy news day, busy news night tonight. Investigative reporter Mark Hosenball has just reported at "Reuters" that he has discovered the price tag for the Trump Russia dossier, which was commissioned during the presidential campaign by the research firm Fusion GPS.
Now, the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress have been trying to turn the existence of that dossier into its own giant scandal. What we`ve learned about it in the last couple of weeks is that initially it was a conservative Website called "The Washington Free Beacon" that paid Fusion GPS to do oppo research on Donald Trump. Then after Trump got the Republican nomination, it was a law firm connected to Hillary Clinton, the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC, which paid Fusion to continue its work, including hiring ex-British intelligence officer Christopher Steele to produce a series of intelligence memos about links between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.
Now, forgive me for saying, but nothing in the Steele memos have thus far been conclusively disproven and every presidential campaign worth its salt does oppo research on all of its credible competitors. But one of the ways that congressional Republicans and the Trump White House have tried to turn the Christopher Steele dossier into its own scandal, they`ve tried to make it into the real collusion story, is in part by claiming that that dossier was some sort of massive financial undertaking. You might remember in the last few days, President Trump tweeted that the cost of the dossier was $12 million. The president has never said where he got that figure from. We`ve been searching the "Fox and Friends" transcripts to figure out where he might have misheard that number.
But tonight, investigative reporter Mark Hosenball at "Reuters" reports that the amount of money that the Democratic law firm linked to the DNC in the Clinton campaign, the amount of money that firm played to Fusion GPS for the work that was done by Christopher Steele was not $12 million. It was $168,000.
Now, I don`t know why that dollar amount should make it more or less scandalous to anybody who believes that oppo research is a scandal, but this is the first credible report tonight that we`ve had about how much that thing cost.
We`ve also learned tonight that the top Justice Department official who oversaw the initial stages of the Russia inquiry which was at the helm of the national security division at the Justice Department, tonight, we`ve learned that she has just testified behind closed doors to the House Intelligence Committee. This Justice Department official, her name is Mary McCord.
We had not had advanced word that Mary McCord is going to be testifying to Congress in the Russia investigation. But tonight, NBC news confirms that she gave testimony in the special secure room where the intelligence committee hears classified matters this morning on Capitol Hill. Mary McCord`s successor at the national security division in the Justice Department was a prosecutor named Dana Boente. Dana Boente was one of the few U.S. attorneys who was not fired by President Trump and in fact Boente was invited to keep concurrently serving both as the U.S. attorney for the eastern district of Virginia and also he took over for Mary McCord. He took over the national security division within main Justice.
Well, we reported late last week that Dana Boente was unexpectedly leaving both those jobs. We now know that Dana Boente was unexpectedly fired from both those jobs, late last week, the day before a grand jury signed and sealed the criminal indictments against Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates.
Now, we still do not know why Dana Boente was, all of a sudden, fired literally the day before those indictments were sworn, but NBC News does now confirm that his resignation was not voluntary. That he was pushed out by the Trump administration. I`ll tell you we are working right this second I`m trying to figure out why Dana Boente was suddenly and unexpectedly fired the day before those indictments. We still do not know. It`s possible it was just a coincidence, but we are trying to figure it out. As soon as we do figure it out, I will rush to a camera and tell you.
We`ve also learned tonight that the president`s longtime staffer and now White House communications director Hope Hicks, she`s scheduled to be interviewed by Robert Mueller`s teams of prosecutors later this month. We`ve also learned tonight that the president`s long term bodyguard who became the chief of Oval Office operations in the Trump White House man named Keith Schiller is scheduled to testify next week to the House Intelligence Committee for the Russia investigation.
Tomorrow, that same committee will hear from Ike Kaveladze, who`s one of the Russians linked to the Putin government who turned up at that mysterious Trump Tower meeting last June where the upper echelons of the Trump campaign were promised that they were getting dirt from the Russian government on Hillary Clinton.
We`re also told that the House Intelligence Committee will hear tomorrow as well from Carter Page -- God bless him. Carter Page is the Trump campaign foreign policy adviser who visited Moscow during the campaign. He also turned up in the indictment of a Russian spy ring that was being run out of a bank branch in New York City a few years ago. Carter Page is also the guy who frequently turns up on Chris Hayes` show, without the assistance of counsel, saying all sorts of stuff that you wouldn`t expect the guy to be freely talking about if he was at all on the radar of this investigation, and he appears to be on the radar of this investigation.
So, they`re going to hear from Ike Kaveladze and Carter Page.
As I said, there`s a lot going on.
Executives from Facebook, Twitter, Google all testified on Capitol Hill today for a second day. Broadly speaking, it was my impression that those tech company executives enraged the members of Congress before whom they appeared yesterday and today. But thanks to their appearance, we did get a whole huge trough of new material, new raw material, examples of the kinds of social media content that was created and circulated by the Russian government during our presidential campaign to try to affect the outcome of our election.
Needless to say, Russia`s apparent preferences in the election based on those social media content they were shoveling at us, this is some of the stuff that was unveiled today. Let`s just say Russia`s preferences were not subtle.
So ,we got some news on all that ahead. Congressman Adam Schiff is going to be joining us here live tonight.
We`ve also got a former federal prosecutor from the U.S. attorney`s office in the southern district of New York who`s going to be joining us tonight live in studio to try to help, I want to say help us, but honestly, it`s to help through.
One big part of the indictment of the Trump campaign chairman, part of that indictment that makes no sense to me and after a couple days of looking at it now and talking to a lot of different people about it, I think it`s an important part of that indictment that is being broadly if not misreported than at least mischaracterized. So, I`m really looking forward to those conversations, that expert advice. We`ve got a lot coming up tonight.
But before we get to those other stories, I have to tell you that there`s something nuts going on that you should know about in part just because it`s nuts and you won`t believe it, but also because it may end up pertaining to the terror attack that happened yesterday in Lower Manhattan. We now know the identities of all eight people who were killed in that attack on the Hudson River waterfront yesterday afternoon in Lower Manhattan. The victims include a man from New Jersey who worked downtown and rode his bike every day on the bike path where the attack took place.
Also, a local guy who lived just a couple of blocks from the scene of the attack in the West Village. Also, five friends from Argentina who were all killed together. They were all in New York together as part of a trip they were taking for a school reunion. Also, a young mother from Belgium who was visiting New York City with her own mom and her two sisters. We now know all of those identities, eight victims in yesterday`s attack, 11 people were also seriously injured.
Now, the New York Police Department today identified the officer who shot the suspect and appears to have stopped this attack. It was Officer Ryan Nash. He`s been with the NYPD for five years since he was just 24 years old. He and three other officers had been called out to an unrelated matter at Stuyvesant High School which is where the attacker crashed his truck and exited his vehicle.
Those officers got the call. They ran out to the scene. Officer Nash was first to arrive to confront the man after he`d gotten out of his vehicle. Officer Nash fired his service weapon nine times. He hit the suspect reportedly in the abdomen and that action by Officer Ryan Nash is apparently how the suspect was taken down and how the attack ended.
But now, I want to -- let me bring into this story somebody else who you should know about. His name is marine -- he`s a marine corps general. He`s a brigadier general in the United States Marine Corps named John Baker. Now, General Baker has served in the United States Marine Corps for 28 years. He`s also a distinguished lawyer. He served both as a defense attorney and as a prosecutor in many, many military court martials. Now, as a brigadier general he`s the second highest-ranking lawyer in the entire U.S. Marine Corps.
And I told you there was something nuts going on here that you needed to know about that may end up pertaining to that terror attack. What is nuts here tonight is that that Marine Corps brigadier general, the second highest-ranking lawyer in the United States Marine Corps tonight is locked up at Guantanamo. He`s not in the prison cell blocks with the orange jumpsuit guys at Guantanamo, but he`s locked up. He`s confined in quarters at Guantanamo and this is about as insane as it sounds.
It starts in October of the year 2000, a little less than a year before the 9/11 attacks, when the USS Cole pulled into port in Yemen to get refueled at the Port of Aden. On that morning, October 12, 2000, two suicide bombers who were later claimed by al-Qaeda, they zip it up alongside the Cole in a small motorboat and they detonated explosives that they had packed onboard. They blew themselves up. They blew up their boat and they blew a huge hole in the side of the USS Cole. Seventeen American sailors were killed.
Now, a number of people associated with that bombing have been named and captured and killed in the years since it happened. But the guy they now describe is the mastermind of that bombing is this guy, Abd al-Rahim al- Nashiri. Now, again, keep the timeframe in mind here.
Bombing of the USS Cole took place in October 2000. U.S. forces captured Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri two years later. They captured him in 2002 in Dubai. Then, for the next four years, from 2002 to 2006, he was held in CIA custody, in secret CIA facilities. He`s one of the prisoners that the Bush administration admitted to waterboarding and subjecting to other forms of torture for years.
So, the CIA had him from 2000 to 2006. 2006, they sent him to Guantanamo. Then in 2008, they announced they would bring charges against him for the USS Cole bombing. Then in 2011, they finally arraigned him.
So, that`s -- it`s been a long haul already, right? But this case has been plodding along ever since through very not quite a court system that they`ve got set up down there in Guantanamo. And in that case, things have now gone slightly bananas and that is what has resulted in the imprisonment of the number-two lawyer in the United States Marine Corps, a brigadier general. He is locked up as of right now, as of today.
And here`s how it went crazy. So, Nashiri, the alleged USS Cole bombing mastermind, he`s charged with a capital crime which means they want the death penalty. When you`re charged with a capital crime, you need to have a lawyer who has experience in dealing with capital cases. The way they put that in legalese is that you need to have a lawyer who is of learned to counsel or sometimes they say it`s a lawyer whose death qualified, somebody who`s work to capital cases before.
Nashiri has one of those. He has a death qualified defense lawyer. This defense lawyer who has represented him for the last nine years. Nashiri has him and he has two other defense lawyers as well.
Well, three weeks ago today, on October 11th, those three defense lawyers all quit in Nashiri`s case and I can vaguely describe to you why they quit, but I can`t tell you specifically because I don`t know, because it`s classified.
Carol Rosenberg is a national treasure of a reporter. She has been covering this story and every other important story out of Guantanamo for "The Miami Herald" for years. And Carol Rosenberg describes the reason why the defense lawyers quit this case. She describes it as an ethical conflict. Essentially, she describes it as, quote, a lack of confidence in the confidentiality of their privileged conversations with their client. That`s how Carol Rosenberg puts it at "The Miami Herald".
Now, again, we don`t know exactly what that means. We don`t know why these defense lawyers thought their communications with their client had been compromised somehow. Whatever the details are of that, it`s not only classified so it doesn`t make it into the paper, it`s so classified these lawyers aren`t allowed to even talk about it with their own client. So, all their client knows is that his lawyers won`t talk to him anymore about anything and he`s not allowed to know why, and nobody will talk about what`s going on and why his lawyers have raised the objections. Nobody will talk about it not only to him but anywhere near him.
It`s a -- it`s a serious ethical concern though by these experienced attorneys who frankly have been through thick and thin in terms of dealing with these military commissions at Guantanamo. Whatever this is that has come up that they see is this ethical problem as far as they`re concerned, they see it as a no-go they can`t participate under these circumstances.
And here`s the important part: that decision by those defense lawyers that they can no longer participate in this trial, that decision by them to back out of the case has been signed off on. It`s been okayed by the Military Commissions Defense Organization which is run by the number-two lawyer in the United States Marine Corps, Brigadier General John Baker.
Now, General Baker has access to the classified information about whatever it is these lawyers are objecting to. He knows what their worry is about communicating with their client, and knowing that and supervising criminal defense at Guantanamo, he said, yes, this is a good call. I support your decision to walk out of here. I sign off on it. You have good cause to do this officially.
That was three weeks ago, that was October 11th. Five days later, October 16th, the judge in the case issued an order saying, nope, that`s wrong. So, the chief defense counsel, the guy who runs the Military Commissions Defense Organization, number two lawyer in the marine corps, he may have purported to find good cause here for these lawyers backing out and going home, but the judge said no to that. The judge said that he disagreed, that there wasn`t good cause and he ordered the defense lawyers to come back to the court.
So, who gets to decide? Who gets to decide whether or not these civilian defense lawyers are allowed to quit this case on a matter of principle? Who has the authority over whether or not they`re allowed to quit?
Turns out, nobody has any idea because this is a made-up court. So, the judge looks at his trial judiciary rules of court and says anything the defense lawyers want to do while the judge has to approve that. So, I get to decide whether or not they can quit here. But then the chief defense counsel says no, no, you don`t look at that guidance, you look at the man you look at the manual for military commissions, and the manual for military commission says whoever appointed these lawyers which was me, I get to decide what happens to those lawyers. I get to say if they want to quit, they should be allowed to go home.
So, it`s a dispute the judge says, this is my call, it`s not your call. The chief defense counsel says, this is my call, it`s not your call.
Now, if this was a real court operated under normal constitutional guidelines, there`d be all sorts of case law and precedent in ways that we figured these sort of things out. This would have been settled by somebody else in the past and we`d refer to precedent, but this is this Guantanamo mishmash of a made-up court system and so, it`s the judge saying, I`m going to order these lawyers back here, and it`s the chief of the defense counsel saying oh no you don`t, you can`t do that.
So, the judge in the case is an Air Force colonel, the chief defense counsel is a brigadier general in the Marine Corps, and the two of them have been oh no you don`t doing at each other over this for the last three weeks. So, what`s going to happen?
Well, yesterday, the judge ordered this marine brigadier general, ordered him to swear an oath in court at Guantanamo and to answer the judges questions about what`s going on in this case. The general said, no. He refused to do that. Then, the judge ordered the general to rescind his earlier decision which allowed the defense lawyers to leave and the general stood up in court and said to the judge, quote: I`m definitely not doing that.
But, wait, there`s more. Because it turns out Nashiri still has another lawyer left here. So, he`s got these three civilian defense counsels, including the death qualified guy who have all left and gone back to the United States. But in addition to them, he`s got a lawyer in uniform. He`s got a lawyer in uniform who`s a navy lieutenant, an ex-Navy SEAL who has a law degree, but that Navy lieutenant has never been involved in a murder case, let alone a death penalty case before. He is part of this defense team along with the civilian lawyers who have left Guantanamo and have gone back to the United States now, but he`s not a death qualified lawyer.
So, the judge yesterday orders the Marine Corps general to take an oath and rescind his orders yesterday. The general tells him, Judge, I`m definitely not doing that. After that, the judge then turns to the uniformed lawyer, turns to the Navy SEAL, turns to this navy lawyer, and the judge then orders this Navy lieutenant to file legal proceedings, to proceed with defending Nashiri, even though it`s a death penalty case, and the Navy lawyer is not death qualified. He`s never worked in a capital case before.
Nevertheless, the judge in the courtroom orders him to file legal proceedings, and that Navy SEAL stands up in court yesterday and says no. Navy SEAL says to the judge, what I`m not going to do is make any more pleadings, end quote.
So, now, what?
Well, today, the judge put the general in jail. The judge ordered the marine general, brigadier general, second ranking lawyer in the entire United States Marine Corps, ordered him to serve 21 days in custody for contempt of court. He is serving it right now at Guantanamo.
And that raises one particularly difficult question, which the general pointed out as the judge was sentencing him to confinement. The question - - I mean, the general isn`t U.S. citizen and a general in the marine corps and this not quite a court system at Guantanamo doesn`t actually have jurisdiction to tell any American what to do, let alone to lock one up.
I mean, this is a military tribunal system set up for foreign terrorists. This system doesn`t have jurisdiction over U.S. citizens, to lock up any of them, let alone a Marine Corps general, but they`re trying to do so anyway and the general is confined tonight as we speak.
In addition to locking up the Marine Corps general, the judge has also declared the generals order about those defense lawyers allowing them to go home he`s declared that order null and void even though the general wouldn`t rescind it. Now, the judge declaring that order null and void I think literally means the judge is now going to send U.S. Marshals, armed U.S. marshals to the U.S. mainland to hunt down these civilian defense lawyers and force them against their will to participate in the defense proceedings in Nashiri`s case.
According to Carol Rosenberg`s late report tonight in the "Miami Herald", the judge is apparently going to try to force these lawyers to do it, to physically confine them I think by jailing them or threatening to jail them and then he`s planning I think to force them into a video link environment at a military base somewhere in the United States to participate in this case against their will. I mean, theoretically, I suppose he could have tried to kidnap them to fly them out of the country and force them to go to Guantanamo to his courtroom, but again you can`t really do that with Americans, right? No jurisdiction over Americans.
It has been 17 years since the bombing of the USS Cole. It has been 15 years since the suspect in that bombing was arrested. It has been six years since he was first arraigned. We`re now starting the seventh year of pretrial proceedings in this guy`s case.
And so far, the pre-trial proceedings as of tonight appear to include hunting down and forcing civilian lawyers to defend him who have quit the case to the point where some of these lawyers may be jailed tonight, and the number two ranking lawyer in the United States Marine Corps is jailed tonight. And the defendant has no idea that any of this is going on or what any of it means or what any of it`s about, and his lawyers will not speak to him because they believe they cannot speak to him without violating their professional responsibilities and ethics.
So, basically, aside from that this case is going great.
Today, in a camera spray with reporters at the White House, the president called the U.S. federal judicial system quote a joke. He said it was a laughingstock. He said, instead, he`d like to send the suspect from the attack in New York yesterday to Guantanamo.
The president today said, quote, send him to Guantanamo. I would certainly consider that, yes.
The suspect in yesterday`s attack was charged by federal prosecutors today. In terms of the time frame here, the attack was yesterday afternoon. He was charged today, because that`s the kind of speed that the normal U.S. federal judicial system can operate at when it comes to terrorism cases. It`s also why they bat basically a thousand when it comes to charging, trying, convicting, confining and occasionally executing terrorism suspects.
The president though today said that`s all stupid. That`s a stupid laughingstock of a system and he`d rather do it at Guantanamo. He`d rather do it the Guantanamo way instead, because that sounds tougher to him.
Who`s going to break it to him how things are going down there right now? Maybe somebody could arrange prison visiting hours for the president with General John Baker tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA), RANKING MEMBER, INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: But first, it`s worth taking stock of where we are in the investigation. During our March hearing, I posed the question of whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia in any aspect of its influence operations. In essence, did the Russians offer to help the campaign and did the campaign accept?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Did the Russians offer to help the campaign and did the campaign accept?
Congress spent a good chunk of its Kinko`s budget for the year today. You can see here House Intelligence Committee staffers carrying in dozens of giant poster boards with Russian ads and social media content printed out on them large. Congress today made public a whole bunch of the anti- Hillary Clinton and otherwise divisive ads that Russia paid for in rubles - - very subtle -- as part of the Russian attack on our election last year.
House Intel said what they released was a representative sampling of those Russian ads, enough to get a granular sense of some of what Russia did to target U.S. voters in the election online.
Lawyers for Google, Facebook and Twitter spent yesterday on Capitol Hill talking to the Senate judiciary committee. Today, they were back for round two answering questions about the Russian attack, how many clicks certain ads got, how many tens of thousands of Russian-operated Twitter accounts there were targeting our election, how many thousands of those Russian Twitter accounts were operated not just as bots, but by real-life Russian operatives.
And that quantitative stuff is all good useful information for helping us figure out what Russia did and how they did it, and how U.S. tech companies didn`t care one whit while it was happening and in some ways they still don`t seem to. But it`s one thing to nail down what Russia did and to figure out if some of what they did could have been stopped while they were doing it.
With the top Democrat on intelligence today, Adam chef took the occasion of this open hearing with these social media companies today, he took this occasion to nail down the other most important part of this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHIFF: Whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia in any aspect of its influence operations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: That is still often described as an open question, right? But it`s really not anymore and Congressman Adam Schiff took the occasion of having that open hearing today basically to nail that point to the wall. He just off and went there. He laid it all out in his opening statement for the record in an open session, boom, boom, boom.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHIFF: We now know as a result of the guilty plea by Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos that the Russians approached the Trump campaign as early as April of 2016, to inform them that they were in possession of dirt on Hillary Clinton in the form of thousands of stolen emails. The Trump campaign was informed of Russia`s involvement with the stolen emails even before our country was aware of it.
The uppermost levels of the Trump campaign were also informed that the Russians had dirt on Clinton. It was offered to the campaign and what was described as part of the Putin government`s effort to help Mr. Trump. The president`s son said that he would love the assistance and suggested that the best timing would be in the late summer.
What is clear is this: the Kremlin repeatedly told the campaign it had dirt on Clinton and offered to help it and at least one top Trump official, the president`s own son, accepted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: The Kremlin offered dirt to the Trump campaign. The president`s campaign said yes to that offer. That`s no longer an open question, all that stuff has now been proven and admitted to.
Adam Schiff, the top Democrat in the House Intelligence Committee today, using his time today, using his opening statement today to walk through ding-ding-ding, point by point, what we`ve already learned in black and white, in written correspondence, and public statements and in freaking court filings about all the times the Trump campaign was offered help by Russia to influence our election and all the times, the Trump campaign said yes please.
Congressman Schiff using this hearing today to make a very public case that this is no longer an open question. Congressman Schiff joins us next.
MADDOW: Today, Congress released some of the online ads that Russia paid for in rubles to try to help elect Donald Trump last year. That follows the arrests this week of the Trump campaign chairman and the special counsel investigation the assignment of an electronic monitoring device to him because the court believes he might be a flight risk in part because of the millions of dollars he`s been paid by Russian oligarchs, according to court filings.
That follows the now unsealed guilty plea of a Trump foreign policy adviser who lied to the FBI about his contacts with Russians during the campaign, including those promising that they had Clinton emails and other dirt on Hillary Clinton well before the U.S. public knew of any Russian involvement in those things. So, it`s been a big week.
Today, Congressman Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, laid out what he says are the proven elements of Russia contacting the Trump side to help them out during the campaign and the Trump side accepting those overtures. The idea that the Trump campaign and Russia might have been in contact about what Russia was doing to influence the campaign has been mostly described until now as an open question. Today, Congressman Schiff made the case that some of that question has been answered.
Joining us now is Congressman Adam Schiff, ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee.
Congressman, really appreciate your time tonight. Thank you for being here.
SCHIFF: Thank you. Good to be with you, Rachel.
MADDOW: I did not know to expect today at this hearing with these executives from Google and Facebook and Twitter that you would lay out the sort of -- the known case about collusion. Can I ask about your decision to do that today in that setting and in the way that you did?
SCHIFF: Well, I thought it was important, Rachel, that during this follow- up open hearing to that first one we had in March, that we take stock of where we are and what we had found, because as developments have become more and more public, I think there`s a tendency to look at it in incremental way and sometimes you ignore the big picture, you missed the big picture. It`s like not seeing your child grow up because you see them every day.
If I had told you nine months ago that I believed we would find evidence that the Russian government through intermediaries would offer assistance in the form of derogatory information about Hillary Clinton to the very top levels of the Trump campaign, including his son, son-in-law and campaign manager, as what they described as part of the Russian government effort to help Donald Trump and that the reaction from the campaign is, we would love that help, you would say you`re crazy. No one is going to be stupid enough to put that in writing, and yet that`s exactly what we found.
So, sometimes, it`s worthwhile to step back and say, OK, what do we now know? And what we now know is pretty damning.
MADDOW: That sort of boiling frog process that you`re describing there, that as you learn these things incrementally, you cease to be shocked by each marginal new development, I wonder stepping back from it the way you are right now, if you feel like what we have learned meets the literal definition of collusion. I know collusion isn`t a legal term, but does that -- does that ring the bell in terms of whether or not the Trump campaign helped Russia in its attack?
SCHIFF: Well, collusion the criminal offense would be that of conspiracy and so, the question would be conspiring to do what. Here, the issue would be did the campaign conspire with the Russians to violate U.S. election laws. And to make out a case of conspiracy, you have to have an agreement as I frame today, an offer, an acceptance, and then you usually need an act in furtherance of that conspiracy.
Now, what is the act in furtherance of this? You know, it certainly looks to me like the act is the dumping of these emails or the act might be the social media campaign. But it certainly looks like the dumping of the emails is the gravamen of the offense here.
And I think what Bob Mueller is going to look at, we`re looking at it too, but this matters more in terms of Bob Mueller`s investigation as it goes to a potential prosecution, was there an understanding that the way the Russian government would provide these materials is not by giving them necessarily directly to the campaign, but rather publishing them through these other sources like WikiLeaks and Guccifer 2 that would give the campaign some deniability and some distance.
Certainly, if that was a part of the agreement, then you`ve got I think very close to a prosecutable case. But there are still pieces that we need to find, pieces that Bob Mueller needs to find. But I think we`ve seen enough , Rachel, to know that what the campaign agreed to do that is accept the help of the Russian government to -- in Papadopoulos case, seek further contacts in a relationship with Russian government, even knowing they were in possession of stolen emails of Hillary Clinton, that`s ought to be enough for us to say that this conduct was unethical, repugnant and something that we all ought to condemn.
MADDOW: On the matter of criminal liability here, now that we`ve got this these court filings in the Papadopoulos case, is there also potentially a criminal, chargeable matter here? Some sort of liability around the Trump campaign being notified that Russia had stolen documents, that Russia had hacked documents stolen them from the Democratic side, and then the Trump campaign didn`t go to the FBI. They didn`t notify authorities.
We`re not sure exactly what they did with that information, whether they sought to obtain it themselves or arrange for it to be distributed by the Russians in a way that would be advantageous to their campaign with some deniability as you just suggested. But just the fact that they knew that that which would be a crime was committed and they didn`t report it to anybody, is that itself some sort of liability?
SCHIFF: Well, it`s generally only a liability if you have a duty to disclose, if you have reportable obligation. I`m not sure that there`s a reportable obligation here by the Trump campaign, if all they know is that the Russians have these emails or the Russians stole these emails. Certainly, very unpatriotic at a minimum not to report it to the FBI not to report an approach by a foreign government but I`m not sure that knowledge alone would be enough.
MADDOW: Congressman Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, thank you, sir. Appreciate your time tonight.
SCHIFF: Thanks, Rachel.
MADDOW: All right. We got much more ahead tonight. Stay with us.
MADDOW: So, I have two questions about the Paul Manafort indictment that I have not seen answered anywhere. They seem like simple questions to me, but it`s been a couple of days now and I really cannot figure them out. Number one, why are all the headlines about the indictment describing Paul Manafort as being indicted for tax fraud?
When I look at the list of charges, it does not look to me like he`s being charged with tax evasion or some other kind of tax fraud, methods that they allege he participated into -- methods they allege he used to evade taxes, they`re described, they`re mentioned in the indictment, but he`s not charged with tax crimes. Why is that? Why would you go through all the rigmarole of proving it and making it the narrative but then not charge him with it? One question.
My other question is: how is Paul Manafort being charged with money laundering? As I understand it, I`m not a lawyer, but in order to arrive at a money laundering charge, there has to be an underlying crime, you had to do something criminal by which you illegally obtained the initial money that you then laundered. You can`t money launder normal money. It has to be money that came from an illegal source.
In the indictment, I don`t think the special counsel describes an underlying crime that explains where all the millions of dollars came from that Paul Manafort supposedly laundered. They say that he engaged in some advocacy on behalf of a foreign government in the United States without declaring himself as a foreign agent, but they don`t say that`s how we got all of his money. It can`t be the FARA registration thing that`s the explanation for why all of that money is now being attached to a money laundering account. I don`t get that. I don`t get why tax evasion doesn`t show up in the charges and I don`t get what the underlying crime is that he committed allegedly for money laundering.
I would like to understand this.
Joining us now is Jaimie Nawaday. She`s a former assistant U.S. attorney in the southern district of New York. She`s got expertise in fraud and money laundering cases.
Thank you very much for being here.
JAIMIE NAWADAY, FORMER ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY, SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK: Thank you, Rachel.
MADDOW: I have a layman`s understanding of these things at best, an impatient layman`s understanding. Can you talk to me first about the tax evasion issue? A lot of people read this journalistic accounts of this indictment described it as him being indicted for tax fraud, certainly methods that he might have used to evade paying taxes on money that came to him as income are described in the indictment. But he`s not charged with tax evasion. Why is that?
NAWADAY: Well, Rachel, first of all, in a case like this, the first indictment is rarely the last indictment. So, it`s entirely possible and in fact probably very likely that the government will bring additional charges in the future.
The other reason I think -- so, so, first off, we may see tax evasion in the future. One reason we may not be seeing it now is a very simple sort of time pressure and bureaucratic reason. I think Mueller was under a certain amount of pressure to bring something quickly here, to bring simple, relatively easy to prove charges. Tax evasion, in order to charge it, requires special approvals within the government and that can be quite a lengthy process. And so, if the goal is to get an indictment out quickly, charging tax evasion is certainly going to slow that process down.
MADDOW: What kind of special approvals?
NAWADAY: Special memos and approvals from the IRS and it -- that can add possibly months to the timing of an indictment.
MADDOW: On the statement that was unsealed last night that explains why -- explains the government`s case for why Manafort and Gates were seen as flight risks and why they should have the terms of release that they had, the government seems to have gone out of their way to explain, sort of notify that they`re going to be using tax filings as part of their case against Manafort and Gates? Was that an important notification? Is that the sort of thing that you have to kind of cross T`s and Dot I`s on in order to get the kinds of permissions that you`re describing there?
NAWADAY: Well, I don`t think they had to notify them specifically there about the tax filings. I think that the defendants would expect that the government would use tax filings in a case, especially where there`s an issue about a failure to disclose foreign bank accounts, because the common evidence of that is going to be in tax filings.
However in -- when the government argues concerning conditions of release for a defendant, the government will typically lay out the strength of its case, because the strength of its case is one of the factors that the court considers --
NAWADAY: -- in setting conditions.
MADDOW: Right, and they laid that out. They said one of the -- it`s, you know -- again reading it as a non-lawyer, it`s kind of striking they said one of the risks of flight here is the likelihood of guilt, which was which was seems sort of brutal but I guess that`s a technical term in this case.
On the -- on the issue that this might be -- sticking with the taxes issue, the prospect that there might be a superseding indictment, if they`re not charging tax evasion now, is it -- is it a sort of typical way to approach it where you`ve got a first indictment, you`re expecting there`ll be a second indictment, that you might lay out a narrative of what kind of -- what those charges might be? You might describe something that sounds like tax evasion without charging it, basically to let the defense know -- to let the defendant know that they`re going to be on the hook for that, sort of as an intimidation factor?
NAWADAY: I wouldn`t say it`s common to do it this way.
NAWADAY: I mean, it`s not unheard of it, but it does raise some questions I think with respect to the tax evasion. Like I said, there is a reason to do that because in terms of timing, I think it`s more of a head-scratcher quite frankly with respect to the bank fraud, that we`re not seeing the bank fraud actually charged here.
MADDOW: I have another question for you about the question of the underlying charge and the money-laundering, the money laundering charges. Can you stick with me for just one second?
MADDOW: Great. Jaimie Nawaday is a former assistant U.S. attorney in the southern district of New York. We`ll be right back.
MADDOW: Joining us once again is Jaimie Nawaday. She`s a former assistant U.S. attorney specialized in fraud and money laundering cases in the southern district of New York.
Thank you for sticking with us.
MADDOW: Money laundering is one of the things that Paul Manafort and Rick Gates have been charged with. My understanding is that there has to be an underlying crime that explains the initial origin of the money that`s eventually laundered. And in this case, I don`t -- in the Manafort and Gates indictment, I don`t understand what they underlying crime is for the money laundering charge.
NAWADAY: Right. So, Rachel, they`re actually -- that`s the typical way that money laundering is thought of in terms of you have crime proceeds and then you engage in a series of financial transactions, typically to conceal the source or nature of those proceeds.
NAWADAY: Here, what`s charged is a bit different, or they`re charging a separate theory in addition to concealment money laundering, which is called promotional money laundering. And for that, you don`t have to show an underlying crime at the outset.
NAWADAY: And you don`t have to show crime proceeds. The theory is that, if you move money into the U.S. or out of the U.S. in order to promote certain types of crimes and here, the lobbying as an unregistered agent would be one of those crimes, that counts as money laundering.
MADDOW: Promoting that crime. What is --
NAWADAY: Promoting that crime. So, for instance, promoting the lobbying activities that the defendants engaged in.
NAWADAY: That would be -- the funds that are used to promote that activity, that is laundering the money under a theory of promotional money laundering.
MADDOW: Aha! So that -- OK. And do they have to spell out that that`s the theory that they`re using in order to do this or do we just -- do we intuit that from the way that they`re describing the charge?
NAWADAY: They do spell that out in the indictment, in the language of the indictment, because they lay out the specific intent for the financial transactions on there. It`s to promote a certain type of crime.
MADDOW: You are the first person who has made sense of that part of it for me. I have been -- I`ve been driving my staff batty with this all week. We`ve been talking to lots of other people.
Jaimie Nawaday, former assistant U.S. attorney in the southern district of New York -- thank you very much.
NAWADAY: Thank you, Rachel.
MADDOW: Really appreciate it.
All right. We`ll be right back.
MADDOW: Behold, the USNS Comfort, the well-equipped, state-of-the-art Navy hospital ship that federal officials deployed to Puerto Rico to help with the recovery effort there after Hurricane Maria. Eventually, the Comfort is an impressive resource and its care is top-notch. But even still, it`s become a symbol of the botched federal recovery effort in Puerto Rico.
The USNS Comfort didn`t even set sail for the island until nine days after the storm hit, and even as people were unable to get dialysis and surgeons were doing surgery by cellphone flashlights and as intensive care units were losing power and then losing patients because of it, the USNS Comfort sat down there offshore in Puerto Rico almost entirely unused for weeks.
From the day it got there in the second week after the storm hit through last week, the USNS Comfort with its hundreds of hospital beds, it`s hundreds of medical staff, it`s almost infinite capacity for treating every manner of medical need and emergency, I kid you not, from when it got there until Friday, the USNS Comfort was seeing an average of nine people per day, nine patients per day, while hundreds of its beds sat empty.
Well, this weekend, seven weeks after hurricane hit, it finally occurred to the federal response effort that maybe they should move the USNS Comfort from its offshore position, instead into port in San Juan, where people might be able to physically get to it.
And, hey, wouldn`t you know, when it finally arrived in port this weekend, it was greeted by long lines of people who had waited for hours. Now, the beds are more than 60 percent occupied, medical staff attended to 700 people over the weekend, 371 patients on the first day alone. After seeing nine people per day for weeks, when they finally brought it to port so people could get on it, they saw 700 people in one weekend, this weekend.
No rush, no rush. It`s just incredible.
That does it for us tonight. We will see you again tomorrow.
Now, it`s time for "THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL".
Good evening, Lawrence.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END
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