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House passes resolution condemning Trump tweets. TRANSCRIPT: 7/16/19, The Rachel Maddow Show.

Guests: Linda Greenhouse, Cliff Sloan, Tom Malinowski

CHRIS KOFINIS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST:  I think there are some campaigns that clearly have done a really good job of it. 


KOFINIS:  I would say Warren has been at the top of that list.  I think Harris actually has done that.  The others are struggling, especially the second and third tier candidates.  If that doesn`t change, how do they stay in for long? 

HAYES:  All right.  Tiffany Cross and Chris Kofinis, thank you so much for joining us. 

That is ALL IN for this evening.

"THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now.

Good evening, Rachel.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST:  Good evening, Chris.  Much appreciated my friend. 

HAYES:  You bet. 

MADDOW:  Thanks.

We`re going to have breaking -- sorry -- as you can tell, I`m scrambled here on set just as I`m starting the show, in part because we`ve just thrown out the first half of the show because of the breaking news that has just broken in the past few minutes.  Sorry for my stumble at the part there, but NBC News has confirmed in the last few minutes that retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has died at the age of 99.  He died at Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida of complications following a stroke that he suffered yesterday. 

Justice Stevens died peacefully.  His daughters were at his side when he passed.  He`s survived by two of his children, nine grandchildren.  He served on the court for nearly 35 years, third longest-serving justice in Supreme Court history. 

He was a Chicago native.  He was born to one of the wealthiest families in Chicago.  He enlisted in the Navy.  He was a decorated code breaker during World War II in the Navy.  He won the Bronze Star. 

He was appointed to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals by Richard Nixon and then five years after that was appointed to the Supreme Court by Gerald Ford.  By the time he retired from the Supreme Court in 2010, he was considered to be the most liberal member of the court, the leader of the liberal minority. 

But he had been appointed by -- first to the appeals court by Nixon, then to the Supreme Court by Ford.  So, both of those appointees, obviously, Republican presidents. 

He always maintained that he considered himself to be a conservative.  He says that he did not become more liberal but, rather, the court and American electoral politics evolved away from what it once was. 

In terms of his tenure on the court, Justice Stevens famously dissented when the Supreme Court struck down laws banning flag burning.  That was one of the only very famous decisions in which he was involved, in which he did not side with the liberal wing of the court.  He did lead the unanimous court ruling in the Clinton era that determined that a sitting president can face civil lawsuits while in office. 

Piecing together his record, though, almost doesn`t give you the sum of its parts when it comes to John Paul Stevens.  I mean, in terms of his rulings, he was -- he wrote the majority opinion in Atkins v. Virginia, in which the court banned capital punishment for the mentally impaired.  He later stated after he retired from the court that his one vote that he regretted was the opinion that he wrote in 1976 to uphold the death penalty overall. 

He authored approximately 400 majority opinions.  He authored the majority opinion in one of the key Guantanamo cases that determined that Guantanamo detainees needed to be able to face court-martial rather than being detained indefinitely.  He also somewhat famously wrote the dissenting opinion in Bush V. Gore, on the losing side of Bush v. Gore. 

But in terms of his overall legacy, it`s not just that he was on the court for so long.  It`s not just that he was appointed as a moderate conservative and went on to lead the liberal wing of the court.  It`s that he was respected so widely by everybody who had anything to do with him. 

And his legacy was considered to be one of such integrity and thoughtfulness and skill on the bench that it`s hard to imagine there ever being another justice like him.  President Gerald Ford, who nominated Justice Stevens to the bench, famously wrote in 2005 that he would let history`s judgment of his entire presidency rest entirely on his decision to nominate John Paul Stevens to the Supreme Court.  When Justice Stevens retired at the age of 90 in 2010, President Obama presented him with the Medal of Freedom, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. 

Chief Justice John Roberts, the current chief justice of the Supreme Court, released a statement tonight on the occasion of Justice Stevens` death, saying, quote: On behalf of the court and retired justices, I am saddened to report that our colleague, Justice John Paul Stevens, has passed away. 

A son of a Midwest heartland, and a veteran of World War II, Justice Stevens devoted his long life to public service, including 35 years on the Supreme Court.  He brought to our bench an inimitable blend of kindness, humility, wisdom and independence.  His unrelenting commitment to justice has left us a better nation. 

We extend our deepest condolences to his children, Elizabeth and Susan, and to his extended family.

Again, the breaking news tonight, Justice John Paul Stevens has died at the age of 99. 

Joining us now is Linda Greenhouse.  She`s a lecturer at Yale Law School.  She`s covered the Supreme Court for "The New York Times" for all the best stuff from 1978 until 2008. 

Ms. Greenhouse, thanks very much for joining us tonight.  I really appreciate you being here on short notice. 

LINDA GREENHOUSE, YALE LAW SCHOOL (via telephone):  Oh, thanks for having me, Rachel. 

MADDOW:  Obviously, Justice Stevens was old.  He was 99 years old.  He was known to have suffered a stroke and had some other health problems, so it`s not biologically a shock that we are hearing this news.  But it does feel shocking to know that he`s gone just because of how large he looms in legal American culture. 

What`s your top-line thought tonight about his passing? 

GREENHOUSE:  Well, you know, his career on the court is a reminder of the way things used to be.  That somebody like him could be appointed by a Republican president without any particular ideological overhang.  President Ford assigned his attorney general, Edward Levi, to just find me the best person, and, you know, I`ll just mention one other thing that reminds us how things have changed. 

So, John Paul Stevens was the first justice to go on the court after the court decided the abortion case, Roe against Wade.  So, Roe against Wade was decided in January of 1973.  John Paul Stevens was nominated by President Ford in 1975, almost three years later.  He did not get a single question at his confirmation hearing about abortion. 

MADDOW:  Wow. 

GREENHOUSE:  That just tells us something.  And what I think it tells us is that it was only later that abortion became the political lightning rod that we have all grown up thinking of it as, and it was just -- just another issue among many back in 1975. 

MADDOW:  It`s interesting to me the sort of heterogeneous nature of that issue of publicity in the courts and politics in the courts when it comes to Stevens` career.  I mean, that anecdote you just mentioned about abortion is incredible.  Also, I believe he was the last justice to be confirmed to the court without having his nomination or his confirmation hearings televised. 

That`s another matter that has changed, I think the politics and the way the Americans view the court.  At the same time, though, after he stepped down at the age of 90, he was quite a public figure, quite a public intellectual and made lots of statements on lots of issues before the court and about the Constitution and about the country president, for example, as recently as a few weeks ago this year.  He did -- he didn`t shy away from the idea of the court as a public institution and one that had something to say about political matters. 

GREENHOUSE:  Well, that`s right.  I mean, he wrote three books and the most recent was a memoir that came out this spring.  It`s called "The Making of a Justice: My First 94 Years."  Actually, I`m just reading it right now as it turns out, an account of an amazing long life. 

And he wrote a book about the parts of the Constitution that he thought should be amended.  He wrote a short member our about the chief justices that he served with.  He wrote for the New York review of books. 

I always had the feeling -- I never talked to him about it -- that he was a tiny bit sorry that he retired.  He retired quite abruptly in 2010 after -- he decided to retire after reading from the bench his dissenting opinion in the Citizens United case, about which he felt very strongly, and he found himself stumbling over words and that was unlike him. 

It turned out he had had a small stroke and he decided it was time to retire, but he obviously lived another nearly decade in quite robust health intellectually, if not physically. 

So I think some of what he did in those years was to kind of fill the time and feel that he was -- he felt he still had something to contribute and something to tell us, and he certainly did. 

MADDOW:  Linda, I also wanted to ask you about this idea that the court sort of shifted around him, which is the way that he described it.  He never described himself as having changed in his position on the ideological number line or having become more liberal, even though he was nominated by a Republican -- by a Republican president and ultimately was seen as a leader of the liberal wing. 

What was he like in terms of comity among the justices, in terms of, you know, as -- as the makeup of the court changed during his decades on the bench.  What was he like in terms of putting together majorities, putting together consensus, what was he like in those conferences with the other judges? 

GREENHOUSE:  Well, I think in the early years, the sort of knock on him was that he was a go it alone kind of justice.  He just said what he thought was the right thing to say.  He had a number of famously solitary opinions and that sort of thing, but once he became the senior associate justice, and since he happened to be on the liberal side of the bench by then, he was really in charge of kind of marshalling the liberals.  He became quite strategic, I think. 

As you mentioned in your kind of open that you gave at the top of the hour, that he wrote one and actually he wrote a couple of the major Guantanamo decisions in which he was able to write in a way that got Justice Kennedy`s vote, for instance, and form a majority for the right of the Guantanamo detainees to get before a federal judge. 

And he -- you know, he became more strategic.  I`ll just say one more thing about that.  I mean, it`s true that the court changed around him, but he wouldn`t have denied -- he didn`t deny that his own views had changed, for instance.  Late in his career, he came out against the death penalty, for instance. 

And he gave a took, oh, maybe about ten years before he retired in which he said, you know, part of the job of being on the court is learning on the job and to keep learning, and I always read that as a kind of a, you know, coded way of saying, yes, sure, I`ve changed my mind about things.  And he was -- he was open to change and, you know, I think he would listen through to every argument, but he didn`t see things toward the end in the same way he necessarily had seen them in the beginning. 

MADDOW:  Linda Greenhouse, lecturer now at Yale Law School, former Supreme Court reporter for "The New York Times." Linda, you were the first person I wanted to talk to tonight when I heard this news.  Thanks for making time for us.  I really appreciate it.

  GREENHOUSE:  Oh, of course.  Good night. 

MADDOW:  Good night.  Thank you.

Joining us now is Cliff Sloan.  He was a clerk for Justice Stevens at the Supreme Court.  He`s now a visiting scholar at Georgetown Law School, just a next step of what has been a long career of public service, including in high-level positions at the State Department. 

Mr. Sloan, thanks very much for joining us tonight.  I appreciate you making time on short notice. 

CLIFF SLOAN, FORMER CLERK FOR JUSTICE STEVENS:  Well, thank you.  I appreciate being here. 

MADDOW:  So I know that this is just breaking news.  We`re all learning this over the last few minutes, but given your experience working closely with Justice Stevens, your experience clerking for him, I just wanted to ask what you can add to our understanding of him as a jurist and as -- and as a man, as your employer for the time that you spent in his chambers. 

SLOAN:  Well, let me start as a jurist.  And he is truly one of the greats, unquestionably one of the greatest Supreme Court justices we ever had.  He was the rule of law justice. 

When he was first put on the federal bench, somebody described him as a judge`s judge and that was the perfect description because he was the rule of law justice, whether it was Guantanamo, as Linda Greenhouse was just saying, and upholding the legal rights there, whether it was in his memorable and historic dissent in Bush v. Gore or in his decision in the Paula Jones versus Bill Clinton case, where he said, and it was controversial at the time for the court, that the litigation could proceed because the president is not above the law. 

He always stood for the -- for the rule of law and he was not a predictable player.  With him, one saw the Supreme Court at its best, which is the Supreme Court rising above predictable political partisanship, predictable political sides and standing for the majesty of the law.  And one could go on and on in different fields of law, but his influence on the law tremendously consequential -- gay rights, abortion, free speech on the Internet, just on and on and on.  He had a -- such a profound impact in his 35 years. 

MADDOW:  I know that -- sorry, go ahead, sir. 

SLOAN:  I`m sorry.  No, I was just going to say, as great as he was as a justice, he was truly a very special man.  He was kind and gentle. 

And let me just give you one example.  And, you know, for his powerful legal insight and his intellect, he was the most unassuming guy and he would love to tell the story of when he first moved to Washington when he came on the Supreme Court.  He was doing the things that you do when you move to a new city.  He was opening a bank account and that kind of thing. 

He`s filling out the bank application and there is a space for occupation, and he puts down justice and the bank official kind of shrugs and says, OK, last week I had a guy who said peace.  And he just -- he loved that story.  And that tells you a lot about him as a person. 

MADDOW:  Let me just ask you, Cliff -- I know that Justice Stevens, like a lot of Supreme Court justices, after they retired from the bench or even while they`re still on the bench for older justices, sort of preside over a community of clerks.  Clerks who had served with them over the years, they stay in touch.  I know that Justice Stevens went out of his way to host his clerks and see people frequently, right up through this year. 

I wonder if in that community if he ever engaged with his former clerks and with his colleagues about his decision to maintain this public life that he did after his retirement.  As Linda was saying, writing multiple books, writing a book about suggested amendments to the Constitution, write an op- ed in "The New York Times" just last year in which he said people looking for gun reform in this country should seek a repeal of the Second Amendment.  He made very pointed comments about President Trump and his necessity in following the law in terms of complying with subpoenas. 

He really stayed at the forefront of a lot of very controversial public issues even after his retirement.  I wonder if you ever talked to him about those matters or if you know anything about whether he wrestled with that at all. 

SLOAN:  Well, he felt very, very strongly about these legal issues and these public issues, and any time you talked to him, he was just brimming with ideas and insights. 

And he actually had a get-together of all of his former clerks just this past May to celebrate his 99th birthday, which was in April, and the publication of his wonderful memoir about his entire life, including in detail his time on the court. 

And, you know, Rachel, to your point, it was very interesting because at that gathering, there was a question and answer session, and one of the clerk said, you know, Justice, you care so much about the rule of law and the rule of law is under such attack and faces so many challenges these days and what can we do?  He looked out at all of us and he said, all you can do is do your best every day and fight as hard as you can. 

And I want to say that while we are all touched by sadness that we have lost this great and wonderful man, we also want to celebrate his life, and the best way of honoring him is to do exactly what he said, which is to fight every day as hard as we can for the rule of law.  And he understood deep to his bones that that has never been more important than it is today. 

And so, I would like to suggest that the occasion of his death is an occasion for celebrating this man`s wonderful life and his values and it is an occasion for all of us to redouble and retriple our efforts to fight for the rule of law because he felt so strongly that there is nothing more important to our American system.  And, Rachel, in answer to your question, every day in every conversation he thought about that very, very much and cared about it very deeply. 

MADDOW:  Cliff Sloan, who was a clerk to Justice Stevens at the Supreme Court, now a visiting scholar at Georgetown Law School -- Cliff, thanks for making time to join us tonight, getting to the studio as we got word about Justice Stevens` passing tonight.  I really appreciate you being here. 

SLOAN:  Thank you, Rachel. 

MADDOW:  All right.  Before we got word of the passing of former Justice John Paul Stevens, again, that breaking news, he has passed away at the age of 99.  He leaves behind him a community of former clerks and colleagues sort of unparalleled in the judiciary in terms of the respect that people had for him, I think across the ideological spectrum, and the integrity with which he was seen to have lived his life.  Just a very sad day to lose Justice Stevens, but also, as Cliff Sloan was saying there, an opportunity to celebrate his 99 years on the earth. 

As we were learning the news of Justice Stevens` passing today, of course, it had already been a very hectic day of news.  Just tonight, a Democratic congressman named Al Green brought articles of impeachment to the floor of the House against President Donald Trump.  Congressman Green did this tonight against the wishes of the Democratic leadership in the House, but he did it in concert with the wishes of dozens of Democratic members of Congress who do want impeachment proceedings to start against President Trump.  That`s also true of lots of the voters who make up the base of the Democratic Party. 

So there is ongoing drama about this decision by Congressman Green tonight, not only because impeachment articles are inherently dramatic, but also because of the conflict between these back bench members like Congressman Green who are pushing for this and the leadership of the House that really does not want it, at least not in this way and at this time.  Tonight, there was further drama in the House as well as all Democrats and a handful of Republicans voted to condemn the president`s recent racist attacks on a handful of female minority members of Congress who he said should go back to where they came from, as if they`re not Americans, as if they`re not serving members of the U.S. Congress. 

For several hours today during the debate over that measure, Congress was brought to a halt by what amounted to a food fight over whether or not House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was allowed to call the president`s racist tweets racist tweets.  Honestly, there was like an entire Tony Awards worth of drama just in the House of Representatives, just this afternoon and tonight and some of it is ongoing.  We`re going to have more ahead on that for you tonight. 

There was also drama today in court.  The ACLU today filed an emergency legal action to try to block the Trump administration from essentially ending asylum law as we know it in this country.  There is a longstanding right in this country for you to apply for asylum here if for some reason you are not safe or you fear persecution in your home country. 

The Trump administration is trying to undo that.  They only announced yesterday that they were going to try to essentially upend asylum laws.  They tried to put it into effect today after announcing it yesterday.  The ACLU acted today in court to try to block them from making that change.  We`re keeping an eye on that. 

Also today in federal court in New York, the judge who has initially blocked the Trump administration from messing with the census, to try to use the census to engineer an undercount of Latinos in immigrant communities, that New York federal judge today permanently enjoined the Trump administration from even trying to use the census in that way.  After many lower court rulings and a Supreme Court ruling, the Trump administration and ultimately the president himself had to admit defeat in the courts on this issue, but just in case there was any doubt, federal court district judge in New York who ruled against the administration on this today issued a permanent injunction barring them from even trying it, and a Maryland judge who issued a similar ruling is being asked by the plaintiffs in that case to do the same.  So, it`s a sort of belt and suspenders thing right now in terms of whether or not the Trump administration is going to try to change the census. 

Tomorrow, the head of the agency that runs the census, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Attorney General William Barr are going to face a vote in Congress holding them in contempt on the census issue, holding them in contempt for refusing to hand over documents to Congress about the whole census fiasco.  Attorney General Barr in the past has freaked out a little bit when he has faced the prospect of being held in contempt, even as he has frequently ignored binding requests from Congress. 

When the House votes inevitability tomorrow to hold him and Wilbur Ross in contempt, I think you should expect some fireworks from William Barr and the Justice Department as that census disaster continues to pin ball its way through the administration. 

I should also tell you that in terms of court drama tonight, there was also a remarkable hearing and a remarkable court ruling today in federal court in Washington, in which one of the president`s longtime advisers, a man named Roger Stone was on trial for lying to investigators about his contact with WikiLeaks and Russian intelligence cutouts during the campaign. 

Roger Stone today was ordered by a federal judge to not just stop talking publicly about this case, the judge already ordered him to do that.  Now, she`s gone further and banned him from social media, as of today.  She banned him from using Twitter or Instagram or Facebook for any purpose. 

He has continually pushed the envelope of the gag order that the judge had already instituted in that case.  He has been pushing that.  She further restricted him today and said he couldn`t use social media at all if he wasn`t going to be able to use it properly and avoiding the gag order in this case. 

Perhaps inevitably and also amazingly, within two hours of the judge`s order saying he could no longer use Twitter or Instagram or Facebook, within two hours of that order, Roger Stone`s wife was on Instagram posting stuff about herself and Roger and today`s hearing. 

So it`s clear at least that the spirit of what the judge was trying to do here is not being followed by Roger Stone and his family and presumably his lawyers.  It actually turns out legally to be sort of a fascinating turn in this case so we`re going to have more on that coming up this hour as well. 

Like I said, it has -- it has been a whirlwind news day, particularly in terms of legal news.  But just capped with the very sad breaking news that we`re just learning this hour that former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who became the leader of the liberal wing of the court in his later years, having initially been appointed to the bench by Gerald Ford, considering himself a Republican -- excuse me, considering himself a conservative.  John Paul Stevens, a remarkable career on the bench, a dissent in Citizens United, the dissent in Bush v. Gore, the ruling that blocked the execution of the mentally ill, key rulings in terms of prisoners at Guantanamo being allowed due process. 

John Paul Stevens has died tonight at the age of 99. 

We`ve got much more to get to this hour.  Stay with us. 


MADDOW:  This is the title "Resolution condemning President Trump`s racist comments directed at members of Congress." 

Whereas the Founders conceived America as a haven of refuge for people fleeing from religious and political persecution and Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison all emphasized that the nation gained as it attracted new people in search of freedom and livelihood for their families, whereas the declaration of independence defined America as a covenant based on equality, the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and government by the consent of the people. 

Whereas Benjamin Franklin said at the constitutional conventional, when foreigners after looking about for some other country in which they can obtain more happiness gave a preference to ours.  It is a proof of attachment which ought to excite our confidence and affection. 

Whereas President Franklin D. Roosevelt said remember, remember always that you and I are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.  Whereas immigration of people from all over the earth has defined every stage of American history and propelled our social, economic, political, scientific and technological interest as a people and all Americans, except for the descendants of native people and enslaved African-Americans are immigrants or descendants of immigrants. 

Whereas the commitment to immigration and asylum has been not a partisan cause but a powerful national value that has infused the work of many presidents.  Whereas American patriotism is defined not by race or ethnicity but by devotion to the constitutional deals of equality, liberty, inclusion and democracy and by service to our communities and struggle for the common good. 

Whereas President John F. Kennedy whose family came to the U.S. from Ireland stated in his 1958 book "A Nation of Immigrants" that the contribution of immigrants can be seen in every aspect of our national life, we see in religion, in politics, in business, in the arts, and education, even athletics and our entertainment.  There is no part of our nation that has not been touched by our immigrant background.  Everywhere, immigrants have enriched and strengthened the fabric -- everywhere, immigrants have enriched and strengthened the fabric of American life. 

Whereas President Ronald Reagan and his last speech as president conveyed an observation about a country which I love, whereas President Reagan observed the torch of Lady Liberty symbolizes our freedom and represents our heritage, the compact with our parents, our grandparents and our ancestors.  And it is a Statue of Liberty and its values that give us our great and special place in the world.

Whereas other countries may seek to compete with us, but in one vital area as a beacon of freedom and opportunity that draws the people of the world, no country on earth comes close.  Whereas the great life force of each generation of new Americans that guarantees that America`s triumph shall continue unsurpassed through the 21st century and beyond and is part of the magical intoxicating power of America. 

Whereas this is one of the most important sources of America`s greatness.  We lead the world because unique among nations we draw our people, our strength from every country and every corner of the world, and by doing so, we continuously renew and enrich our nation. 

Whereas thanks to each wave of new arrivals to this land of opportunity, we`re a nation forever young, forever bursting with energy in new ideas and always on the cutting edge, leading the world to the next frontier.  Whereas this openness is vital to our future as a nation, and if we ever close the door to future Americans, our leadership in the world would soon be lost. 

And whereas President Donald Trump`s racist comments have legitimatized fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color, now, therefore, be it resolved that the House of Representatives believes immigrants and their descendants have made America stronger and that those who take the oath of citizenship are every bit as American as those whose families have lived in the U.S. for many generations. 

The House of Representatives is committed to keeping America open those lawfully seeking refuge and asylum from violence and oppression and those who are willing to work hard to live the American dream, no matter their race, ethnicity, faith or country of origin.  And the House of Representatives strongly condemns President Donald Trump`s racist comments that have legitimatized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color by saying that our fellow Americans who are immigrants and those who may look to the president like immigrants should go back to other countries, by referring to immigrants and asylum seekers as invaders and by saying that members of Congress who are immigrants or those of our colleagues who are wrongly assumed to be immigrants do not belong in Congress or in the United States of America. 

That resolution this evening condemning the president`s racist tweets was passed in the House of Representatives.  It targeted -- the vote was 240- 187.  The resolution received the votes of just four Republican members of Congress, as well as recently exiled Republican-turned-independent Justin Amash. 

The vote was gaveled in just before 7:00 this evening following some impassioned speeches from Democrats on the House floor. 


REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA):  Telling four members of this body to go home because of where you believe they are from is racist.  There is racism coming out of the White House. 

REP. JOHN LEWIS (D-GA):  I know racism when I see it.  I know racism when I feel it.  And at the highest level of government, there is no room for racism. 

REP. KAREN BASS (D-CA):  They are just as American as any one of us, and it`s shameful that the leader of our country would seek to disparage them for political gain. 

REP. PRAMILA JAPAYAL (D-WA):  It`s not the first time I`ve heard "go back to your own country," but it is the first time I have heard it coming from the White House. 

REP. TOM MALINOWSKI (D-NJ):  After the president`s tweets, the neo Nazi "Daily Stormer" Website gloated that this is the kind of white nationalism we voted for.  Now, we have to decide, is this the kind of politics that we want in our country? 


MADDOW:  The lead author of tonight`s resolution condemning the president for his racist remarks is a Democrat who was not born in this country, although he is not one of the Democrats who was targeted by the White House for it.  He`s the man who you saw there speaking at the end there, New Jersey Congressman Tom Malinowski.  He joins us next. 


MADDOW:  House of Representatives tonight voted to pass a resolution condemning President Trump, specifically condemning President Trump`s racist comments directed at members of Congress. 

Joining us now is the author of this resolution that has passed the House tonight, New Jersey Congressman Tom Malinowski. 

Sir, thanks for being here tonight.  I appreciate you making time. 

MALINOWSKI:  Thank you, Rachel, and thank you for reading the resolution.  That`s the first dramatic reading I`ve heard. 

MADDOW:  Well, unfortunately, I`m a bad actor, and so it wasn`t as dramatic as it should have been. 

MALINOWSKI:  It was good. 

MADDOW:  Well, it`s an eloquent piece of work.  And I know you`re the lead author of this resolution. 

I have to ask about your thought process that went into asking the house to weigh in on something like this formally and why you structured this the way you did. 

MALINOWSKI:  I saw the tweets with everybody else this weekend, and as you mentioned, unlike three of the four congresswomen that Trump attacked, I was actually born in a foreign country.  I`m an immigrant.  I -- I took that oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States for the first time when I was 10 years old, getting sworn in to be a citizen of the United States five years after my mom brought me here from Poland. 

And so I thought, you know, I don`t -- I don`t necessarily share the same politics as AOC or Congresswoman Tlaib or Omar, but if you`re going to go after my fellow members of Congress because of where they are from or appear to be from or how they look, you`re going to have to go through me. 

And so, I offered this resolution and I`m glad the House passed it today.  We said that we are better than this.  The president doesn`t speak for the country.  We do. 

MADDOW:  I know there was a lot of consternation in the House during the debate over this resolution about the use of the word racist.  It`s in the title of the resolution condemning President Trump`s racist comments directly at members of Congress. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had to deal with a real tempest today when she used that word to describe the president`s statement as well.  There was a big controversy over whether or not she was allowed to describe the president`s remarks that way. 

Did you struggle at all with whether or not to include that specific word, expecting it would be as much of a lightning rod as it was? 

MALINOWSKI:  Well, it`s hard to avoid.  Obviously they were racist.  These words that -- that people who are immigrants or who look like immigrants should go back to other countries, that`s -- that`s classic racism that`s been thrown at generation after generation of new arrivals to America, whether they`re Irish or Polish or Italian or Indian or Muslim or Jewish. 

So I didn`t struggle with it intellectually.  It turns out there is an arcane House rule that says you can`t accuse the president of being racist in a speech on the floor.  A little hard to defend a resolution condemning his racist remarks if you can`t refer to them. 


MALINOWSKI:  So we had a -- this was a distraction because some of the Republicans I think wanted us to be talking about this and not the main issue, which is that the most powerful person in this country is saying things that we teach our children to be wrong. 

MADDOW:  You did get a handful of Republican votes.  You got four Republican members joining all the Democrats in this vote today, plus Justin Amash who recently left the Republican Party.  Did you expect more than that? 

Obviously, it was interesting to see the president sort of whipping Republicans to not side with Democrats on this, to not vote in favor of this resolution.  That signaled to me at least that the president cared about this outcome.  I wonder what your expectations were. 

MALINOWSKI:  Of course he cares.  He wants us to think he doesn`t, but of course he does. 

Of course, I hoped for Republican votes.  And you noticed I`m sure when you read the resolution, half of it was from Ronald Reagan.  And what I really wanted, what we wanted was for every member of Congress, especially my Republican colleagues, to choose between Reagan`s open, hopeful, confident vision of America and President Trump`s fearful vision. 

And, you know, I`ll take -- I`ll take the four plus Justin Amash who chose Reagan.  We will build on that and the rest will have to answer to their conscience. 

MADDOW:  New Jersey Congressman Tom Malinowski, in Congress now as the latest iteration of his long career in public service -- sir, thanks for being here tonight.  I appreciate you making time. 

MALINOWSKI:  Thank you so much. 

MADDOW:  All right.  Much more ahead tonight.  Stay with us. 


MADDOW:  In February of this year, the president`s longtime friend and adviser Roger Stone had what he thought was a bright idea.  Mr. Stone is awaiting trial on charges that include lying to Congress about his interactions with WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign, when they were releasing information stolen by the Russian government.  And while he`s awaiting trial, while he`s being allowed by the court to await his trial at home and free instead of in jail, which was the other option and which is within the court`s power to order, Roger Stone decided that it would be a brilliant idea to post online a picture of the federal judge hearing his case with a crosshairs next to her head. 

That earned him a strict gag order from the judge, Judge Amy Berman Jackson, banning Mr. Stone from making any public statements about his case or about the broader Russia investigation from which his case has sprung. 

Then last month, Roger Stone had another bright idea.  This time he would go on Instagram and call for former CIA Director John Brennan to be, quote, hung for treason, which, again, would seem to fly in the face of that gag order, and that was one of many recent Roger Stone posts and reposts related to his case on the Russia investigation more broadly. 

Well, eventually when there`s a federal judge overseeing your case and you`ve been ordered not to do stuff like that, you do some day have to answer for it.  Today at a federal court hearing in Washington, it was abundantly clear that Judge Amy Berman Jackson was done with Roger Stone`s shenanigans.  Judge Jackson started by reading back to him Stone`s order words, begging in her courtroom for a second chance. 

Judge Jackson said today, quote: My first question for you was never anything unclear about my order, her gag order.  Stone`s lawyer responds no.  Do you agree that Roger Stone is 100 percent responsible for his Instagram post?  Yes.

Judge Jackson: All right, I want to go through a number of communications one by one.  Did he after I issued my order send a text message to "BuzzFeed News" saying Michael Cohen`s statement regarding the Russia investigation is not true?  Stone`s attorney: He did. 

Judge Jackson: So what about the Instagram post from March 29th about Adam Schiff?  Stone`s attorney: Yes.  Judge Jackson, how about this one from June 2nd?  Stone`s lawyer answers before she even asked the question: Yes, this was Mr. Stone`s. 

Stone`s attorney, quote: I understand the government thinks that he crossed the line and apparently you think that he may have crossed the line.  Judge Jackson: don`t tell me what I think. 

By the end, judge Jackson was, as they say in law school, on fuego.  The judge, quote: The clarity of my order is undisputed.  The fact that the defense said it was fine and the order was not challenged on First Amendment grounds or any other ground is a matter of record.  It didn`t take a week before the defendant was emailing "BuzzFeed" calling a witness in this investigation a liar.  To suggest that Roger Stone`s posts are not statements by Roger Stone about this case ignores the essence and exponential power of social media and what makes it different from writing a letter or talking on the phone.  Maybe his lawyers don`t understand it, but he does. 

It is obvious to me, the judge continues, that you either can`t differentiate between the very broad range of speech that you`re entitled to engage in and the limited restriction I imposed on you.  Either you can`t understand it or you won`t. 

Quote: I have twice given you the benefit of the doubt.  Your lawyer, Mr. Stone, had to twist the facts, twist the plain meaning of the order and twist himself into a pretzel to argue that these posts didn`t cross the line, and in the end, it was unpersuasive.  Judge Jackson, quote, so what am I supposed to do with you?  It seems as if once again I`m wrestling with behavior that has more to do with middle school than a court of law.  Whether the problem is that you can`t follow simple orders or you won`t, I need to help you out and the remedy appears to be to modify the conditions of release and make the restriction even more clear so that it calls for no interpretation on your part whatsoever. 

And then she slaps a social media muzzle on him, ruling that he is banned from posting anything from here on out on Instagram or on Twitter or on Facebook.  He`s banned from posting anything, from liking anything, from reposting anything, retweeting anything, no forwarding of anything, nothing. 

So I have some questions.  I mean, one of the other things the judge could have done here was say you violated my order.  This order is part of why you`re free and not in jail awaiting your trial.  Maybe now you should spend the rest of the time you`re awaiting trial in jail. 

Why didn`t that happen today?  Why didn`t the government, why didn`t prosecutors ask for that today?  And isn`t Roger Stone just going to keep posting on other social media venues that aren`t Instagram, Twitter and Facebook? 

I have -- I have questions.  I have the perfect person to ask, who is here next. 

Stay with us. 


MADDOW:  A federal judge in D.C. today ruled that while the president`s longtime adviser Roger Stone is awaiting the start of his criminal trial, he`s no longer allowed to post things on social media.  He`s repeatedly blown through the ban that judge had put on Stone making any public statements about his case and about the Russia investigation more broadly. 

Now, as of today`s order, Stone is banned from posting anything, anything at all on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram. 

And then two hours later we got this.  Roger Stone`s wife posting stuff about him and today`s hearing on Instagram. 

If you`re having a glass of wine with your dinner tonight, have an extra one for the judge in this case.  I`ve had frustrating days at work, but this.  Whoo.

Joining us now is Chuck Rosenberg, former U.S. attorney, former senior Justice Department and FBI official. 

Chuck, thanks for being here tonight.  Much appreciate it. 


MADDOW:  Because of the previous interactions between the judge and Roger Stone and his legal team on this issue, I expected that if this judge found that Roger Stone had blown through that gag order yet again that she would change the terms of his release, that he might say, all right, you`re going to wait for your trial in jail since you can`t follow the rules of this court. 

Was that a reasonable expectation or was this a more likely outcome, what we saw today? 

ROSENBERG:  No, I think that`s a reasonable expectation.  She has been infinitely patient. 

And, Rachel, for more context, if you recall, and I know you do, one of the things that Stone is charged with is witness tampering.  In count seven of his underlying indictment, he told a witness to prepare to die.  That alone could be enough, should be enough, often would be enough to get someone, you know, detained pending trial. 

MADDOW:  Why do you think the judge is erring in the side of sort of leniency?  It was striking that the prosecutors in this case today didn`t explicitly asked the judge to confine -- to confine Stone.  They didn`t ask for any punishment whatsoever.  They simply seemed to be directing the judge to further restrict his speech. 

ROSENBERG:  It may have been that the government expected that she would after three strikes revoke his bond and put him in jail. 

What I think the judge is doing, however, is a little bit different.  She`s playing a long game.  She has been incredibly patient but she`s also wise.  She`s keeping a very clean record, number one, and number two, her primary concern, frustrated as she may be with Mr. Stone, is that both parties, not just the defendant but both parties get a fair trial. 

So as long as she`s convinced that she can draw a fair jury and he`s not influencing witnesses, it appears that she`s willing to give him a little more leash.  I`d be very surprised if he violated yet again another gag order that she would continue to let him remain out on bond pending trial. 

MADDOW:  To that point, we did see two hours after her order Mr. Stone`s wife start posting about him, photos about him and discussion about today`s hearing on Instagram.  That`s obviously from her, not him. 

Would a judge or would a court usually expect that a defendant`s immediate family members would respect the same sort of restriction that was imposed on the defendant? 

ROSENBERG:  There is the spirit of the order, which they`re clearly violating, and then there is the letter of the order, which she apparently did not violate.  But this is not a judge to be trifled with.  Remember, she didn`t hesitate to revoke Mr. Manafort`s bond when he was tampering with witnesses. 

MADDOW:  Right. 

ROSENBERG:  So, I`m not sure, Rachel, this is the straw that breaks this particular camel`s back, but they`re getting awfully close and it`s not wise.  And, by the way, in the end, because he will be a convicted felon, this will be the judge that will sentence him.  Don`t forget that. 

MADDOW:  I`m sure she won`t forget it.  Chuck Rosenberg, former U.S. attorney, former senior Justice Department -- Chuck, as always, thank you. 

ROSENBERG:  My pleasure.

MADDOW:  All right.  We`ll be right back.  Stay with us.


MADDOW:  Best new thing in the world today.  We have not done this in a long time, but come on.  You know we can show it.

All right.  This is so great. 

The great folks at C-Span do a public service each and every day.  They broadcast the day to day happenings of the floor of Congress, no matter how long and drawn out and boring.  You can imagine C-Span employees get to see a lot that`s exciting, but sometimes they get bored.  Maybe they need a little innocent blowing off of steam, who can blame them?  So great. 

This is the C-Span feed of the roll call from the House`s resolution to condemn President Trump tonight.  Just listen through to the very end. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Do do do do, la, la, la, la, la --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Yeas is 240, the nays are 187.  The resolution is adopted. 


MADDOW:  Do do do do la la la. 

God bless you, C-SPAN.  God bless every single person who works for you.  Best new thing in the world today.

That does it for us tonight.  We`ll see you again tomorrow.


Good evening, Lawrence.

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