(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you.
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: We will be back tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m.
"THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. It`s nice to have you with us tonight. Happy Monday.
All right. We start tonight with Ralph Wilson. Who? Ralph Wilson grew up in Detroit. If you know the name Ralph Wilson, you do not associate with him with the city of Detroit because Ralph Wilson is famous for having founded the Buffalo Bills.
Legendary players like Jim Kelly and O.J. Simpson and Jack Kemp played for the Buffalo Bills on Ralph Wilson`s watch. When Ralph Wilson died in 2014 at the age of 95, he had owned that team for 54 years. The iconic NFL team came up for sale for the first time ever only when Ralph Wilson died in 2014 after owning it for 54 years.
That iconic NFL team came up for sale for the first time ever only when Ralph Wilson in 2014 after owning it for 54 years. But that team was for sale in 2014, and a motley crew lined up to try and buy the team. Not Motley Crue the band, but rather a motley crew.
A food service mogul, a natural gas billionaire, a bond investor from Santa Monica, the person who owned Pabst Blue Ribbon, also Jon Bon Jovi who is Jon Bon Jovi, also Donald Trump, who you know from other contexts. All of these folks were lining up to try to buy the Bills.
It had never been on the market before. NFL teams never come on the market, anyway. But the Bills in particular owned by one guy for more than a half century.
When that team came up in 2014, the whole thing was always going to be like a rich guy`s street brawl. It got particularly nasty between Donald Trump and Jon Bon Jovi. Rumors started circulating around Buffalo if Jon Bon Jovi got the team, he was planning to move the bills to Canada. What?
That was not true. But the rumors didn`t derive from anything true that had been misconstrued. All those rumors were ginned up by a long time Republican political operative named Michael Caputo, who has ties to Roger Stone and Paul Manafort. That is the guy who Trump sent in to Buffalo to try to knee cap Jon Bon Jovi, so he can outmaneuver him and he could buy the Buffalo Bills.
In the end, none of those rumor stuff mattered, none of those dirty tricks mattered. Mr. Bon Jovi and Mr. Trump both lost out to the natural gas billionaire who was the one who ended up buying the bills and did keep the team in Buffalo. And that might have been the end of it.
You know, Trump lost. Dirt tricks didn`t work, didn`t get there anyway. Story over. Except now that story is back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. WILLIAM LACY CLAY (D-MO), OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE: Did this information provided to us inflate the president`s assets?
MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER TRUMP LAWYER: I believe these numbers are inflated.
CLAY: And, of course, inviting -- inflating assets the way the newspaper polls to boost your ego is not a crime, but to your knowledge, did the president ever provide inflated assets to a bank in order to help him obtain a loan?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The gentleman`s time has expired, but you may answer that question.
COHEN: These documents and others were provided to Deutsche Bank in one occasion where I was with him in our attempt to obtain money so that we could put a bid on the Buffalo Bills.
CLAY: Thank you for your answer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Michael Cohen testifying before Congress and hearing in that testimony that the future president, Donald Trump, may have lied in a financial statement about the size of his assets to try to get a bank loan to buy the Buffalo Bills. I mean, it`s obviously embarrassing, right, for the president, especially because he didn`t end up being able to buy the Buffalo Bills, but it also is potentially important legally, right? If he did provide financial statements to a bank for purposes of trying to defraud the bank, trying to persuade that bank to give him a loan with false representations about his abilities to pay it back, I mean, that is the kind of thing that prosecutors call bank fraud. That`s part of what Michael Cohen and Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort are going to prison for now.
Last week, New York Attorney General Letitia James issued subpoenas to two banks, including the president`s long time lender, Deutsche Bank, citing testimony from Michael Cohen about Trump`s inflated assets. Those subpoenas sought loan applications, mortgages, lines of credit and other financing transactions in connection with the Trump International Hotel in D.C., the Trump National Doral outside Miami and the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago, also that weird, failed effort to buy the Buffalo Bills with what the president`s lawyer says was an inflated asset sheet.
Well, tonight, "The New York Times" has new reporting in this big 4,000- word article they just posted tonight. "The New York Times" just posted new reporting that suggests a surprise twist in that already weird story, because if President Trump was inflating his assets in his financial statements to make himself appear richer than he was, so as to persuade this bank to make him a large loan, I mean, in theory at least, you expect the bank to be mad about that, right? And what Cohen is alleging, and what the New York attorney general appears to be investigating is Trump lying in order to convince the bank that they should make him a loan that they otherwise wouldn`t make him if he told them the truth about how much money and how many assets he actually had.
Well, now, the surprise twist tonight reported in "The New York Times" is that apparently Deutsche Bank didn`t mind. At least they didn`t mind that much. According to this reporting to "The Times" tonight, Deutsche Bank knew what he was doing in that Buffalo Bills scam and they were sort of cool with it.
Quote, in the early -- excuse me, in early 2014, Mr. Trump and his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen approached Deutsche Bank executive Rosemary Vrablic about more potential loans. The owner of the Buffalo Bills had died and the NFL franchise was up for sale. Mr. Trump was interested and need to show the NFL that he had the financial wherewithal to pull off a transaction that could top a billion dollars. Mr. Trump asked Ms. Vrablic at Deutsche Bank if the bank would be willing to make a loan and he handed over bare bones financial statements that estimated his net worth at $8.7 billion.
Michael Cohen testified to Congress last month that the documents exaggerated Trump`s wealth. Deutsche Bank executives had reached a similar conclusion. Meaning, they also concluded that Trump was exaggerating his wealth in this loan application. Nevertheless, they agreed to vouch for Mr. Trump`s bid for the Buffalo Bills, according to an executive involved.
So, they said, yes, he`s good for the money? I mean, what`s being reported tonight in "The Times" is that Deutsche Bank knew Trump was lying about whether he could afford a billion dollar loan to buy the Buffalo Bills or at least they came to the conclusion that he was lying in the financial statements he submitted in support of that loan. He materially misrepresented his wealth and his assets and his ability to repay the loan, but, eh, they decided to do it anyway.
What? Who else gets to live in that world? Where do I sign up for that?
I mean, is -- I mean, first of all, what explains that? Is that just the way that banks operate? It would seem like it wouldn`t be or they wouldn`t be able to stay banks for too long.
There`s also the question of the potential criminal investigations here, right? I mean, this Buffalo Bills transaction is reportedly the subject of a subpoena from the New York attorney general to this bank. The bank says it`s cooperating with all relevant investigations. Is bank fraud still bank fraud if the bank is in on it, if they know that the person to whom they`re going to get this loan is lying to them about their ability to pay that loan back?
If the bank is in on this, why would they do it? It`s very strange. I mean, we really don`t know what was going on between Deutsche Bank and Donald Trump in that transaction, but also over the course of their long relationship when every other bank on Wall Street had sworn him off, but Deutsche Bank kept shoveling him money. With Deutsche Bank and Trump, something was weird, something didn`t make sense in pure financial terms. I mean, going along with the loan, they know he was lying about is weird.
"The Times" reports tonight that in another loan they considered for Trump early on, they discovered that somebody had forged the signature of a credit officer who supposedly approved a deal that was going to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Trump. That`s a little bit of a red flag.
Trump defaulted on his deals with Deutsche Bank. He lied to Deutsche Bank and they knew it. He sued Deutsche Bank to avoid paying back loans that he had taken from them. He took money for one part of the bank and used it to pay off another part of the bank.
At least one banker who did multiple deals with Trump was fired for the bank apparently for misconduct. But somehow, they kept managing to shove more money his way, well over $2 billion in total. And now that the relationship is under investigation by the Intelligence Committee and the Financial Services Committee and by the New York attorney general, that executive who Trump worked with most closely at that bank for years, Rosemary Vrablic, she now according to "The Times" tonight said she expects to be called to testify publicly on Capitol Hill about her dealings with Trump, presumably and her bank`s dealings with Trump. That`s according to people familiar with her thinking.
So, we will have more on this story late or this hour. This one does seem to be sort of cracking open. The Deutsche Bank-Trump relationship has been sort of a flashing red light from the very, very beginning. All of these investigations around Trump and this administration all eventually turn into "follow the money" investigations. Almost all of the follow the money investigations seem to find their way back to Deutsche Bank one way or the other.
Tonight, "The New York Times" posted a 4,000 plus-word opus on Trump`s relationship with the bank that has a ton of new stuff on it. So, again, as I say, we will have more on that coming up. But in general, this is not the only thing that has been churning over the course of the day. In general, today is turning out to be a busy day on the lie down with dogs, get up with fleas beat when it comes to this administration.
And some of stuff is still spinning out from the Paul Manafort case, even as the president`s campaign chairman Paul Manafort is slated to be starting his seven-plus years in federal prison. Not only is Manafort now facing New York state charges in addition to his federal time, but when it comes to other things that are deriving from the Manafort investigation, the bell is starting to toll for other people and other entities who may have been involved in some of the stuff that Manafort is going to jail for. There was a moment in Manafort`s federal sentencing last week when now looking back at it, you can sort of see that the judge who sentenced him was teeing this up pretty clearly.
I didn`t feel until today like I knew what exactly the judge was getting at this sort of point where the judge launched into this tirade during his sentencing hearing, but today`s news makes it pretty clear. So, this was - - this one bit from the transcript. This is when Manafort was in court last week before Judge Amy Berman Jackson, this was Manafort`s second federal sentencing last week and at one point, right before she hands him down his sentence, just talking to him about his crimes and the seriousness of his crimes, she says this.
Judge Amy Berman Jackson, quote: Lobbying is not illegal. Being paid to do it even on behalf of client who is others might view as unseemly or odious or even tyrannical is not illegal. If you follow the laws that govern foreign financial transactions and pay your taxes, it`s not illegal. It`s OK to say members of Congress, the government of the Ukraine, President Viktor Yanukovych, would like you to consider the following when you consider how to respond to his actions and when you determine what the foreign policy of the United States should be.
But what you were doing, Mr. Manafort, was lying to members of Congress and the American public saying, look at this nice American PR firm, look at this nice U.S.-based law firm, look at this nice group of prominent former European officials, isn`t it great how they`ve all voluntarily stepped forward to stand up for Yanukovych and the new Ukraine administration, when all along, you were hiding that you and the Ukrainians actually had them on the payroll.
This deliberate effort to obscure the facts, this disregard for truth undermines our political discourse and infects our policymaking. If the people do not have the facts, democracy can`t work. That was the judge in Manafort`s case just a few days ago reaming him out about the seriousness of his crimes and how what he did with this illegal lobbying stuff was not, quote, just a failure to comport with some pesky regulations, but it was actually serious and a damaging thing for our democracy.
But now, it`s sort of becomes even more clear in hindsight, because the way she is reaming Manafort out there, you know, what she moments later sends him to prison for is a type of crime that Manafort didn`t commit alone. That does appear to have involved other people and other entities, and the question remains as to whether they`re going to get in trouble too just like Paul Manafort is. I mean, the judge says and that tirade before the sentence, she says that Manafort`s criminal scheme involved a, quote, nice American PR firm, a nice U.S.-based law firm who are supposedly voluntarily stepping forward to make a case for Manafort pro-Russian-Ukrainian clients.
I mean, in this illegal lobbying scheme run by Manafort that he`s going to prison for it, it was actually two nice American PR firms and one U.S.- based law firm who participated in Manafort`s crimes as they are described by prosecutors. The special counsel`s office has reportedly looked into both of the PR firms and into the law firm and as reportedly made some sort of referral to federal prosecutors in New York, for potential prosecution for those firms for their role in what Manafort did. Well, according to another story in "The New York Times" today from Ken Vogel and Katie Benner, federal prosecutors were asking witnesses questions about the two PR firms who worked with Manafort as recently as a few weeks ago, as recently as January of this year. We don`t yet know if they are going to be charged, but prosecutors have been actively interested in them as recently as a few weeks ago. That`s the PR firms.
The law firm that was involved with Manafort is a very rich, very influential law firm called Skadden Arps. Skadden Arps, you might remember, they entered into an official non-prosecution agreement with the Justice Department in January in which they admitted wrong-doing and they agreed to pay back millions of dollars in ill-gotten gains from this criminal scheme they were involved in with Manafort.
But again, it`s a non-prosecution agreement in exchange for them paying all that money and agreeing to train their staff and admit their wrongdoing and all this stuff. SDNY said -- excuse me, the Justice Department said they would not prosecute them. But the lead partner who worked on this Manafort case, the guy who worked on this scheme for which Manafort is now going to prison, of which the law firm he used to work out had entered into a non- prosecution agreement with prosecutors, that lead partner himself isn`t covered by the non-prosecution agreement because he left the firm last year.
And he is now out there on his own and he would be a very unusual fish to be caught in this net of scandal surrounding this president and this administration and this president`s campaign, because that lawyer who is out on his own on this, his name is Gregory Craig. And he is a Democrat and he was the first White House counsel under President Obama during President Obama`s first year in office in 2009.
After Mueller referred these cases against the PR firms and the law firm for potential prosecution to SDNY, it`s interesting, "The New York Times" report that is the case involving the lawyer, Gregory Craig, it got transferred in January from federal prosecutors in New York to prosecutors in Washington.
So, it all starts with Mueller. Mueller refers it for potential prosecution to SDNY. SDNY keeps a hold for the potential referral to prosecution for the PR firms. They enter into a non-profit, the Justice Department enters into a non-prosecution agreement with the law firm, but when it comes to Gregory Craig, when it comes to him, Obama`s former White House counsel, that has apparently been handed to other prosecutors in Washington. And I don`t know if that`s the U.S. attorney`s office in D.C. or potentially prosecutors working out of Maine Justice at the National Security Division or somewhere else.
But according to people familiar with the case, "The Times" reports tonight that prosecutors are, quote, moving quickly towards a decision about an indictment of Gregory Craig. Quote: A decision about whether to prosecute Mr. Craig is expected in coming weeks.
And on top of all of that, "ProPublica" today broke this scoop. They obtained a sealed search warrant that was reportedly executed last summer against a man named Elliott Broidy. Elliott Brody was a major Trump fund- raiser until last year he was the deputy finance chair of the RNC, just like Michael Cohen. According to "ProPublica" today, the search warrant they obtained shows that federal authorities executed a raid on Elliott Broidy`s Los Angeles office in July of last year.
There was all that Kerfuffle over Michael Cohen having his office raided in April of last year. It turns out Elliott Broidy had his office raided by the FBI just a few weeks later. According to the reported search warrant, quote, agents were authorized to use Broidy`s hands and face to unlock any phones that required fingerprint or facial scans.
How does that even work? Sir, will you use your face to unlock this phone? No, I will not use my face to unlock this phone.
Sir, we have a court order to allow us to use your face. You can`t use my face. Sir, we are using your face.
How does that -- search warrant authorized them to use his hands and face.
The search warrant also reportedly cited three potential crimes that authorities were investigating by executing that raid, quote, conspiracy, money laundering and violations of the law barring covert lobbying on behalf of foreign officials like Paul Manafort. According to "ProPublica" today, the search warrant authorized federal agents to seize documents from Broidy related to a whole bunch of different foreign countries including Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Agents were also authorized to seize documents from his office that related to a man named George Nader.
George Nader is believed to be a cooperating witness in the Mueller investigation. He was the first person who was reported to have been granted in immunity in exchange for his help to Mueller. Agents were also authorized to seize material related to the man who is increasingly becoming the star of the show, Rick Gates.
President Trump`s deputy campaign chairman, he, of course, is also cooperating with the special counsel`s office. His cooperation deal was just extended on Friday for another two months, because prosecutors say they are still working with Gates. They are still extracting more cooperation from him that is helping them with multiple ongoing investigations. Now -- even though now it is more than a year since he started cooperating.
So, we are used to thinking about people who are caught up in the mess surrounding this president and this administration as being -- I don`t -- I do not mean this to be rude. I don`t mean this in a personally minimizing way, but we are used to thinking the people who are caught up with all of this mishegoss around the president as sort of Trump world characters? Is that a fairway to say it? Just like people who could only exist in his orbit, right? People who would otherwise certainly never be national news for any other reason were it not for Donald Trump and his unlikely rise to the presidency.
I mean, people like Allen Weisselberg, right? This Trump Organization CFO and accountant, who has ended up being a central character in some of these investigation, or Michael Cohen himself. He was a taxi medallion guy who was misreporting his taxable income on second hand handbag sales.
And Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner -- all these other people sort of arrived in Trump`s clown car with him, but now, this is no longer a contained epidemic. Now, this exposure is wider spread. So, now, here`s Deutsche Bank, this mammoth German headquartered bank with a reputation for Russian money laundering and financial misconduct and inexplicable miscalculations of risk, now, Deutsche Bank`s most Trump-adjacent executive is expecting to be publicly testifying in Congress. The Bank is cooperating with congressional investigations and they are fielding subpoenas from multiple law enforcement entities.
And the insurance giant Aon, which brokered multiple insurance policies for Trump, even as his long time personal lawyer says he was committing insurance fraud in his applications for those policies. They too were facing subpoenas.
A major law firm has entered into a formal non-prosecution agreement with the Justice Department for its illegal dealings with Trump`s campaign chairman. One of its senior partners, a former senior Obama White House official, will know within a couple of weeks whether he himself was being criminally charged for his alleged involvement in that scheme with Manafort.
Two major, rich and influential PR firms in D.C. are facing that same prospect, having reportedly being referred for prosecution by the special counsel`s office to prosecutors and SDNY. One of those firms has already dissolved under the pressure that all this scrutiny has brought.
Even the national Republican Party, right? I mean, the National Republican Party as an institution, they chose a new finance chair and two deputy finance chair to serve them in the Trump era. All three of them have now had to step down from their posts. One of them is on his way to prison, one of them we now know is subpoenaed for information about the other who we just learned today was also raided last summer by the FBI.
And so, and now, tonight, it`s time to have a conversation with Congressman Jerry Nadler of New York, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, because on top of all those proceedings in this president`s orbit, in the legal arena, Chairman Nadler says today that in addition all that stuff going in courtrooms and in prosecutors` offices around the country, Chairman Nadler says today that in response to multiple document requests that were sent out by him and his committee two weeks ago, he says tonight that he has already obtained tens of thousands of pages of documents for his committee`s multiple investigations of the president and his campaign and his administration, including thousands of pages from a surprising source. And that`s next.
MADDOW: Two weeks ago, he and his committee sent out document requests to 81 people and entities from -- starts with "A", Alan Garten, the Trump Organization lawyer, to starts with "W", WikiLeaks, and lots and lots and lots of people in between.
The deadline to responding to those document requests is today. The Office of House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler tonight says that they have received already, in response to these document requests, tens of thousands of documents.
Joining us now is Chairman Nadler, who`s here in the studio with us tonight.
Sir, thank you for being here. It`s nice to see you.
REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: It`s a pleasure.
MADDOW: So tens of thousands of documents, sounds like a lot. I want to ask how that comports with your expectations as what you thought you`d get by now.
NADLER: Well, we didn`t really know what we thought we`d get by now. We said today is the deadline to communicate with us. So, we`re getting -- we`re encouraged -- I`m encouraged by how much information we`re getting, how many people are responding. A lot of people responded, a lot of entities have responded.
Some have said that they`re going to, that they want to work with us. Some have said they will respond if we give them a subpoena, and we`ve gotten responses from surprising people like, for instance Steve Bannon, who sent us a few thousand documents. So, we`re encouraged, but we`re going to have to analyze all of this obviously and we go from here.
MADDOW: Steve Bannon sent you several thousand documents?
NADLER: That`s what my staff tells me.
In terms of people saying so far they`re not going to respond or that they`re giving a hard time about what you have asked for, there was a report tonight that the president`s lawyers -- the president`s personal lawyers plan on sending you nothing. "The Daily Beast" reported today that the president`s personal legal team informed the committee that they won`t be sending anything over.
Is that a -- is that likely to turn into some sort of standoff? Can you update us on that?
NADLER: It`s certainly possible. I don`t know yet. We will be talking to people to see if we can reach accommodations with them.
But ultimately, people have to respond to us, unless the president personally invokes an executive privilege, which is a rare thing. They have to immunity. They have to respond to us.
Of course, the White House and executive department generally has been stone-walling the Judiciary Committee, not just on these respect -- on these documents, but they`ve been stonewalling generally. They`ve been doing everything they can to have witnesses say, I won`t talk to you about the conversation with the president, I won`t talk about that, without asserting executive privilege. And they have no right to do that.
MADDOW: You have said in the past that upon ascending to the chairmanship of your committee, that you did not intend to issue any subpoenas without consulting with minority, without trying to work that out so that there was agreement between the Democrats and Republicans on who ought to be subpoenaed.
In terms of these document requests, some people haven`t responded, people you think might not respond, do you anticipate that Republicans will be willing to sign off on subpoenas with you?
NADLER: I don`t know, but they don`t have to sign off. What I pledged was that if they objected, we would hold a vote on the committee. And we did that once for the Whitaker subpoena. But hopefully they will cooperate in what is a very legitimate inquest by the committee on work we have to do.
We have to get to the bottom, on behalf of the American people, of all the allegations and suspicions of public corruption, of abuses of power, of obstruction of justice, because we must defend the rule of law. That is our job. And this president has posed a lot of challenges to the rule of law, and we cannot permit that to go on.
MADDOW: You`re at a point where you are raking in a ton of material. As you say, tens of thousands of documents already, thousands of documents of Steve Bannon alone. I asked you before whether you feel like you are adequately staffed to be able to handle this material. I mean, this is multiple lines of inquiry. This is not a president in your words who is, you know, suspected of doing one thing that needs to be looked into. There`s a number of things that you want to look at.
How are you -- how are you approaching that in terms of just getting the work done?
NADLER: Well, we`ll see how that goes when we review all these documents.
NADLER: I think with modern computer technology and our staff, we can do a lot of work. If we need more staff, we`ll ask for it.
But I`m not terribly concerned about that right now. I am terribly concerned about doing the job we must do for the America people and I`m concerned about, obviously, what`s going to happen with the Mueller report. Now, we can`t wait for the Mueller report. We don`t know when it`s going to come out. We don`t know how broad it`s going to be. We don`t know if the attorney general is going to permit the American people to see the Mueller report. We will do everything in our power, including if necessary, subpoenaing it to see that they do, but that the American people see it.
But our work is broader than Mueller, anyway. Mueller is looking at crimes only. He`s a prosecutor. He`s looking at crimes and he`s looking at the issue of Russian interference in the last election, and of any obstruction of justice in connection with that.
We have a much broader mandate, an obstruction of justice generally, abuses of power. When the president attacks the free press, when he attacks the judiciary, when he attacks our law enforcement agencies, when he attacks the structures on which our Democratic government depends, that is a real problem. So, we can`t wait for Mueller and we can`t depend on that.
And in a particular, in particular, the Justice Department has said, and Attorney General Barr has said that whatever Mueller reports, they will make what they can public, but they will not make -- he said it`s their policy, the policy of the Justice Department not to make public evidence about someone they have chosen not to indict. That`s fine when you have chosen not to indict somebody because you don`t have enough evidence.
But when you can`t indict somebody or believe you can`t, because the Justice Department takes the position that the law prohibits the indictment of a sitting president, that means that they have taken themselves out of the business of holding the president accountable, and then to deny Congress and the American people information or evidence about the president, then it might hamstring Congress from doing its job of holding the president accountable.
And if the Justice Department won`t do it, and the Congress can`t or won`t do it, then the president is above the law, and that is absolutely undemocratic and it`s subversive of our form of government. So, we cannot perform that. We cannot permit and that`s why we will do whatever we have to do to make sure that the Mueller report and the evidence underlying the Mueller report is made public.
MADDOW: And you believe you have the tools to do that even if the Justice Department under William Barr decides that they`d rather keep it --
NADLER: I believe we have the tools to do that. I believe that the fact of the matter is that this Justice Department gave the Judiciary Committee under Republican control last year, 880,000 pages of documents, which normally about people working in the FBI, et cetera, on the Hillary Clinton investigation, on the beginning of the Mueller probe, they made -- they gave it to the Congress. And they`re going to have to live by that precedent.
MADDOW: Congressman Jerry Nadler of the Judiciary Committee -- again, document request out to 81 different people and entities, those are due today. The chairman telling us tonight that the tens of thousands of pages they have received include thousands from Steve Bannon alone.
Mr. Chairman, thank you. Appreciate it.
NADLER: Thank you.
MADDOW: All right. Much more ahead tonight. Stay with us.
MADDOW: Tonight, "The New York Times" is out with a brand new, 4,000-plus word piece on President Trump and his relationship with Deutsche Bank, which is one of the most interesting mysteries of the Trump scandal era.
This new piece from David Enrich is based on interviews with more than 20 current and former Deutsche Bank executives and board members. His new reporting shows, among other things, that Deutsche Bank appears to have played along as the president engaged in something that Michael Cohen alleged was bank fraud, inflating his assets in a financial statement, so that he could get money from Deutsche Bank, to make a bid for the Buffalo Bills NFL team.
Why would they go along with that knowing he was lying to them about his assets? But that`s kind of just the foam on top of the beer here. There is a lot more.
Quote: Over nearly two decades, Deutsche Bank`s leaders repeatedly saw red flags surrounding Mr. Trump. There was a disastrous bond sale, a promised loan that relied on a banker`s forged signature, wild exaggerations of Mr. Trump`s wealth and even a claim of an act of God.
However, quote: Time after time, with the support of two different chief executives, the bank handed money, a total of well over $2 billion to a man whom nearly all other banks had deemed untouchable. We know how much this relationship benefitted President Trump, right? After all he was on the receiving end of $2 billion worth of loans. But what was in it for Deutsche Bank? Why do they keep doing this?
Joining us now is David Enrich, the reporter behind this piece. He is the finance editor for "The New York Times". He`s also the author of the forthcoming book about Deutsche Bank. Mr. Enrich, congratulations this piece, thanks for coming in.
DAVID ENRICH, FINANCE EDITOR, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Thank you. My pleasure.
MADDOW: It`s a lot to summarize because there`s a lot of detail here. You can tell me what people should take as the sort of big picture?
MADDOW: Is it something other than that? Why are they doing this question that I just --
ENRICH: I think the why are they doing it question is exactly the right one. And I think the fact that all these other banks refused to touch him, but that Deutsche Bank was eager to embrace him, in fact, that`s exactly the right question. It speaks to a lot of other problems that Deutsch Bank is having and it speaks to a lot of the reasons that Donald Trump is now in the crosshairs of investigators in Washington and up in New York.
MADDOW: I know you have done a lot of work on Deutsche Bank in general. I guess -- I know very little about banking. I don`t think I could have pronounced Deutsche Bank and I`m probably mispronouncing it now.
ENRICH: You are doing all right.
MADDOW: Were it not for the Russia scandal and the follow the money type investigations that are happening here, but from your understanding, is Deutsche Bank just this kind of a bad bank and make these seemingly inexplicable bad or disastrous deals with all sorts of people who fit the profile or do they treat him specially?
ENRICH: Well, they do threat Donald Trump specially. I mean, he became a big priority for the bank over the past 20 years. He was making a tremendous amount of money for the bank, in fact, and he was helping the bank burnish its reputation. They would host golf tournaments and Donald Trump would be one of the celebrity participants. They filmed a promotional interviews, Donald Trump and sometimes Ivanka would be stars of those interviews boasting about what a great relationship they had with the bank.
But Deutsche Bank also has a long, very pronounced history of lending to clients that turn out not to be very smart and sometimes engaged in criminal experiences. They have been involved with Russian money laundering. They`ve been involved in all sorts of market manipulation. These are crimes.
The banks admitted to crimes. Its employees admitted to crimes. And so, in that context, it`s not -- every big scandal they seem to be right in the middle of it financially. And so, it`s not a huge surprise that when it comes to financing someone who is completely off-limits for most of the mainstream banking industry and almost all of Wall Street that here right in the middle of it is Deutsche Bank.
MADDOW: One of the things that I have never really understood about that dynamic that you just articulated there, though, is that while I can see the bank thinking of Trump as an excellent promotional opportunity, and as a celebrity that I`d like to be associated with and somebody who is worth extra risk because they can make some money some other way, does doesn`t that dissolve when his bond project he defaults on a year after they issue all those bonds, I mean, he wasn`t always making money?
ENRICH: No, it`s really incredible and this remains a bit of a mystery to me as why Deutsche Bank, why any rational actor would throw money after bad and --
MADDOW: Over and over again.
ENRICH: Yes. And one of the revelations here that I hadn`t realized until relatively recently in reporting this is that there was a big loan that Deutsche Bank made to finance this skyscraper in Chicago. Trump defaults on that loan, and then sues the bank, blaming it for predatory lending against him. And at that point, the bank completely stops doing business for a couple of years anyway.
But even prior to that, it turns out there another instance that is pretty similar, where Deutsche Bank gets hired to sell hundreds of millions of junk bonds to finance a project. The bank is the only one who will do it, and it successfully does it after trying really, really hard and Trump rewards the bankers with a trip to Mar-a-Lago. And then a year later, less than a year later, he defaults and that part of the bank said that`s it. We can`t do business with this guy -- and no one bothers to tell the rest of the bank.
And so, part of the story is one just management dysfunction and a corporate culture that rewards risk-taking but doesn`t punish losses. And that`s not a good -- those are not good traits to have if you are a big, international company. And it sets Deutsche Bank up for this perfect storm with criminal scandals involving money laundering, or market manipulation and things like that, and that intersects around the same time with its loan to Donald Trump.
David Enrich, the reporter behind this big new piece in "The Times" tonight, "A Mar-a-Lago weekend and act of God: Trump`s history with Deutsche Bank", filling in a lot of the blanks for me on this. Thanks for being here.
ENRICH: It`s my pleasure. Thank you.
MADDOW: All right. We`ll be right back. Stay with us.
MADDOW: When Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders got into the Democratic presidential primary last month, he raised an unbelievable amount of money right off the bat. The Sanders campaign announced he raised $5.9 million in the first 24 hours. Just an unbelievable sum piled up by 223,000 different donors, just a wild showing, absolutely untouchable.
Well, now, we have a new one. Last week, former Texas Congressman Beto O`Rourke announced that he is getting into the race. That news did not come as much of a surprise, but this did. Former Congressman O`Rourke`s campaign said he raised $6.1 million and change in his first 24 hours, which is 200 grand more than the previously untouchable first day fund- raising of Senator Bernie Sanders.
So, it appears that nobody else in the field has even gotten close to those kind of numbers. Senator Kamala Harris got a million and a half in his first 24 hours, and that floored people. Amy Klobuchar cleared a million over his first two days. The impressive mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, says he has received donations from 65,000 people, which means that`s enough to qualify for the debate, but I don`t know what he`s gotten in terms of the bottom line.
And, you know, a couple of things. Number one, it`s a race, obviously, to be first. But it`s also obviously that a lot of these people are when you`re combining them, a lot of these people are putting together numbers that make you realize what kind of money there`s going to be in the Democratic primary in total, right?
If you combine all of these numbers and you think about how much Democratic enthusiasm there is and how that might ultimately redound to the ultimate nominee, big numbers are good for Democrats in general regardless of what it means about the competition among them. But also, you know, who knows how all of this comes out and whether gigantic first day fundraising hauls matter in the long run, or whether early polling matters in the long run, what`s going to matter in the long run.
I mean, I will say up until now, I sort of felt like I have been watching a hockey game without my glasses on. I can`t see the puck and I can`t tell what`s going on. And so, therefore, I`m not interested. Now, we`re getting enough into it, and enough interesting stuff is happening and the competition is getting interesting and now, it`s getting fun to watch. I`m into it. I`ll admit it.
MADDOW: The first girl who came forward was only 14 years old. And she told her parents and the police that a man named Jeffrey Epstein had molested her when she went to his Florida mansion. What police found after she came forward, that 14-year-old girl, were dozens of young girls who had basically the same story about Epstein.
Some of the victims were as young as 13. Based on those accounts from those brave girls and young women, the FBI prepared more than 50 pages worth of criminal charges against Epstein for being a serial child sex offender. If convicted of those charges, he could have easily spent the rest of his life in federal prison.
Instead, the federal prosecutor, the U.S. attorney working on that case, he gave Jeffrey Epstein something called a non-prosecution agreement which granted Epstein immunity from all federal charges. Rather than take him to court on the 53 pages of child sex crime charges, then U.S. attorney, now Trump labor secretary, Alex Acosta, let Jeffrey Epstein instead plead guilty to just two state prostitution charges. And of those two crimes he was allowed to plead guilty to in state court, only one of them involved an under age girl.
Last month, as we reported here on the show, a federal judge ruled that Alex Acosta broke the law when he made that non-prosecution deal with Jeffrey Epstein, specifically because Acosta kept the deal hidden from dozens of victims who came forward who had a right to know about the proceedings in that case. That not only, you know, looks bad for a sitting cabinet official, a federal judge official ruled that it is bad, right? This is a federal judge ruling that a sitting cabinet secretary broke the law at his last federal job.
Oh, and by the way, it had to do with a child sex offender. Now, it`s gotten worse though. Remember, Alex Acosta agreed to let Jeffrey Epstein plead guilty to only one sex crime that involved an underage girl. The age of that girl in that crime that he was allowed to plead to, that`s never been revealed in the court record, but in this new reporting from "The Washington Post", we learned, quote: The only minor Epstein was convicted of soliciting was 16 years old at the time the offenses began.
They had him pled to a crime involving a 16-year-old. Remember, the very first victim to tip off police to what Jeffrey Epstein was doing was 14. And some of the victims were as young as 13.
But when Alex Acosta put together that sweetheart plea deal, the non- prosecution deal with Epstein for all federal crimes, the deal -- he had a 53-page indictment worth of stories from 13 year olds and 14 year olds and 15 year olds who all said Epstein molested them when they were kids. But Acosta instead made this deal where Epstein only had to plead guilty to a crime involving just one underage victim, not one of the 14-year-olds, not one of the 13-year-olds, not one of the 15-year-old, he pled guilty to a crime involving someone who was 16 which under the law in some places is not quite as bad, it turns out, has real some tangible, positive effects on Jeffrey Epstein`s life thereafter.
This is from "The Post" again today. Quote: The age of consent is 16 years old in more than half the states in the U.S. the decision, meaning, quote, the decision to charge Epstein with a crime involving an older teen has eased Epstein`s obligations to register as a sex offender.
For instance, in New Mexico where Epstein has a 7,600-acre property, he is not required to register as a sex offender at all because his victim was not under 16. His victim was not under 16. She was, but they didn`t.
That plea deal brokered by Alex Acosta, Trump`s cabinet secretary, means that serial child sex offender is unburdened, less burdened by the laws dealing with sex offenders in much of the country. He got a better deal in jail, he got a better deal after jail, after striking that agreement with Alex Acosta, which was illegal. And yet tomorrow morning, Alex Acosta will report to another day of work as Donald Trump`s secretary of labor.
How is this not a bigger problem for Alex Acosta, let alone this White House?
Watch this space.
MADDOW: Because the news gods don`t give up and because following politics in this era means following the search warrants every day, tomorrow, you should you know that one of the things we are going to get unsealed by a federal court is the search warrant for Michael Cohen when he was raided last year by federal agents. We`re going to get the search warrant unsealed and we`re going to get affidavits that went along with it, which is usually FBI agents` narratives explaining what they were looking for and why. There will be some obvious things redacted in these documents, things like Michael Cohen`s e-mail address and his apartment number, but other than that, we expect the stuff to be pretty fully public.
If there is something worth seeing at these documents, it may tell us more about the overall investigation into Cohen and why the judge believed the FBI had good cause to make the search. Keep your eyes out.
That does it for us tonight. See you again tomorrow.
Now it`s time for "THE LAST WORD" with Ali Velshi.
Good evening, Ali.
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