Romney votes TRANSCRIPT: 2/5/20, The Rachel Maddow Show

Guests: Adam Schiff

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST, "ALL IN":  There`s a lot of different lanes, a lot of fluidity. It`s going to be interesting to see how much herding there is after the first three or four.

Zerlina Maxwell, Sam Seder, thank you.

That is "ALL IN" for this evening.

THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now.

Good evening, Rachel.

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

Thanks to you at home for joining us this hour as well.

History was made today and you were here for it. There was one impeachment trial of a U.S. president in the 19th century. That, of course, was the impeachment of Andrew Johnson. Although the political parties were pretty different then than they are now.

Johnson was a Democrat. When they voted to impeach him in the House, it was mostly a party line vote. 1868, right? Mostly a party line vote. Just a few crossovers for the impeachment vote against him in the House.

But then when Johnson`s impeachment went over to the U.S. Senate for them on decide whether they would actually throw him out of office, no members of the president`s party would cast a vote to actually convict him of the articles of impeachment and remove him from office. No senator from the president`s party would vote to convict him. That was the one presidential impeachment we had in the 1800s, in the 19th century.

Then, we had one presidential impeachment in the next century. In the 1900s, in the 20th century.  That was, of course, the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.

And again, like with Andrew Johnson, it was mostly a party line vote in the House, when the House voted to impeach him. When they passed the articles of impeachment against President Clinton. Mostly party line. Just a few crossovers.

But when those articles of impeachment went over to the U.S. Senate and they had to vote there on whether or not to convict him and remove him from office, just like it was with President Andrew Johnson in the previous century, the exact same pattern helped. No member of President Clinton`s own party would cast a vote to actually convict him on any of the articles of impeachment and there by remove him from office.

So, now, we are in our third century as country. Our national phase in such things is apparently that we get one presidential impeachment per century. And today, as the 21st century impeachment trial of President Donald Trump came to a close, it ended with a surprise ahistorical twist.

Of course, it takes two-thirds vote in the Senate. A large super majority vote in the Senate to convict a president on articles of impeachment and remove him office. Impeachments are rare enough in American history that they are all a little bit wild. They`re all a little bit unpredictable.

But getting a two-thirds vote in the Senate to remove a president is -- I mean, it is less like a steep hill to climb. It`s more like a Matterhorn, right? And it is designed that way.  That`s by design. It is really hard to remove a president in the Senate.

It is particularly hard when the Senate is controlled by the president`s own party, which means not only that the president`s own party has a majority of the seats in the Senate. They also control the rules of how the president`s Senate trial would be conducted. In this impeachment trial of President Trump, for example, I think the vote by Republicans in the Senate to break all previous precedent for all Senate impeachment trials of all kinds, and refuse to hear any testimony from witnesses, that was probably the most determinative thing in this entire process in terms of ultimate outcome.

But until this afternoon, until just before the ultimate vote on whether or not to convict Trump on the articles of impeachment, we didn`t know if any Republican might conceivably try to make history by becoming the first senator ever to vote to convict a president in his or her own party and to thereby remove that president from office.

Statistically speaking, I`m guessing that if you`re watching me live right now, that probably means you were busy doing something else this afternoon today when this little bit of American history happened in your lifetime. So I want to you see it. I have sort of finagled the books a little bit, made the necessary entreaties inside the building and I got permission to do this.

So, I mean, you have probably heard about what happened this afternoon in the Senate impeachment trial. You have seen the headlines. You have seen perhaps this evening that the president now appears to be on the absolute war path against Senator Mitt Romney for what he did today in the Senate impeachment trial before the vote was taken. You know it happen.

But this is your life. This is your country. This is your time in it and this is slice of American history that happened on your watch today.

And so, you should also just take it from me. Just take a minute and watch this. This was history. You were here for it. You should see it.

So I`m going to play these remarks in full. I`ll tell you afterwards something remarkable what was happening inside the Senate chamber when this happened. I`ll tell you in advance that one thing to watch for here happened sort of toward the start of the remarks. But it`s a long, long very poignant pause that the senator takes that he has to take to compose himself when he talks about his faith.

So I know you`ve heard this happened today. But you should watch it happen. You should see it in real-time. You will be glad you did. Watch.


SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-UT):  Mr. President?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Senator from Utah.

ROMNEY:  Thank you, Mr. President.

The Constitution is at the foundation of our Republic`s success, and we each strive not to lose sight of our promise to defend it. The Constitution established the vehicle of impeachment that has occupied both houses of our Congress these many days. We have labored to faithfully execute our responsibilities to it. We have arrived at different judgments, but I hope we respect each other`s good faith.

The allegations made in the articles of impeachment are very serious. As a senator-juror, I swore an oath before God to exercise impartial justice. I am profoundly religious. My faith is at the heart of who I am.

I take an oath before God as enormously consequential. I knew from the outset that being tasked with judging the president, the leader of my own party, would be the most difficult decision I have ever faced. I was not wrong.

The House managers presented evidence supporting their case, and the White House counsel disputed that case. In addition, the president`s team presented three defenses, first that there could be no impeachment without a statutory crime, second that the Bidens` conduct justified the president`s actions, and third, that the judgment of the president`s actions should be left to the voters.

Let me first address those three defenses.

The historic meaning of the words "high crimes and misdemeanors," the writings of the Founders and my own reasoned judgment convince me that a president can indeed commit acts against the public trust that are so egregious that while they`re not statutory crimes, they would demand removal from office. To maintain that the lack of a codified and comprehensive list of all the outrageous acts that a president might conceivably commit renders Congress powerless to remove such a president defies reason.

The president`s counsel also notes that Vice President Biden appeared to have a conflict of interest when he undertook an effort to remove the Ukrainian prosecutor general. If he knew of the exorbitant compensation his son was receiving from a company actually under investigation, the vice president should have recused himself. While ignoring a conflict of interest is not a crime, it is surely very wrong.

With regards to Hunter Biden, taking excessive advantage of his father`s name is unsavory, but also not a crime. Given that in neither the case of the father nor the son was any evidence presented by the president`s counsel that a crime had been committed, the president`s insistence that they be investigated by the Ukrainians is hard to explain other than as a political pursuit. There`s no question in my mind that were their names not Biden, the president would never have done what he did.

The defense argues that the Senate should leave the impeachment decision to the voters. While that logic is appealing to our democratic instincts, it is inconsistent with the Constitution`s requirement that the Senate, not the voters, try the president.

Hamilton explained that the founders` decision to invest senators with this obligation rather than leave it to the voters was intended to minimize, to the extent possible, the partisan sentiments of the public at large. So the verdict is ours to render under our Constitution. The people will judge us for how well and faithfully we fulfill our duty. The grave question the Constitution tasked senators to answer is whether the president committed an act so extreme and egregious that it rises to the level of a high crime and misdemeanor.

Yes, he did. The president asked a foreign government to investigate his political rival. The president withheld vital military funds from that government to press it to do so. The president delayed funds for an American ally at war with Russian invaders. The president`s purpose was personal and political. Accordingly, the president is guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust.

What he did was not perfect. No, it was a flagrant assault on our electoral rights, our national security and our fundamental values. Corrupting an election to keep oneself in office is perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one`s oath of office that I can imagine.

In the last several weeks, I`ve received numerous calls and texts. Many demanded, in their words, that I "stand with the team." I can assure you that that thought has been very much on my mind: You see, I support a great deal of what the president has done. I voted with him 80 percent of the time.

But my promise before God to apply impartial justice required that I put my personal feelings and political biases aside. Were I to ignore the evidence that has been presented and disregard what I believe my oath and the Constitution demands of me for the sake of a partisan end, it would, I fear, expose my character to history`s rebuke and the censure of my own conscience.

I`m aware that there are people in my party and in my state who will strenuously disapprove of my decision, and in some quarters, I will be vehemently denounced. I`m sure to hear abuse from the president and his supporters. Does anyone seriously believe that I would consent to these consequences other than from an inescapable conviction that my oath before God demanded of me?

I sought to hear -- to hear testimony from John Bolton, not only because I believed he could add context to the charges, but also because I hoped that what he might say could raise reasonable doubt and thus remove from me the awful obligation to vote for impeachment.

Like each member of this deliberative body, I love our country. I believe that our Constitution was inspired by Providence. I`m convinced that freedom itself is dependent on the strength and vitality of our national character. As it is with each senator, my vote is an act of conviction. We`ve come to different conclusions fellow senators, but I trust we have all followed the dictates of our conscience.

I acknowledge that my verdict will not remove the president from office. The results of this Senate court will, in fact, be appealed to a higher court, the judgment of the American people. Voters will make the final decision, just as the president`s lawyers have implored. My vote will likely be in the minority in the Senate, but irrespective of these things, with my vote, I will tell my children and their children that I did my duty to the best of my ability believing that my country expected it of me.

I will only be one name among many, no more, no less, to future generations of Americans who look at the record of this trial. They will note merely that I was among the senators who determined that what the president did was wrong, grievously wrong. We are all footnotes at best in the annals of history, but in the most powerful nation on Earth, the nation conceived in liberty and justice, that distinction is enough for any citizen.

Thank you, Mr. President. I yield the floor.


MADDOW:  Republican Senator Mitt Romney, the Republican Party`s nominee for president of the United States in 2012, today, making history of a very different kind. Becoming the first senator in American history to ever cast a vote against a president of his own party to convict that president of an article of impeachment and there by remove that president from office.

And, of course, Senator Romney was the only one. On the first article of impeachment, which was abuse of power, Senator Romney`s vote made the tally 52 votes to 48. Senator Romney did not vote to convict the president on the second article which was obstruction. So that vote was 53-47. A perfect party line vote.

President Trump is impeached. He was impeached by the House of Representatives when they passed two articles of impeachment against him. But that`s not the end of the process. In the Senate, he was acquitted. Like his two predecessors, one each from the 19th and the 20th century. The U.S. could not bring itself to convict, and so, the president is left in office although he is left in office with a member of his own party having voted to remove him, which is the first time that`s ever happened in our country.

But here`s something interesting to know about that history making speech from Senator Romney today. This speech from him did not happen during what we`ve come to recognize as a normal session of the Senate impeachment trial, as we`ve been watching it these past few weeks. All the speech that`s the various senators made explaining how they would vote in the impeachment trial, they weren`t made in front of Chief Justice John Roberts and all the Republican senators sitting there fidgeting at their desks, being required to be there. All the speeches from individual senators, including the one from Romney today, was made in an assigned time in the Senate. And so, there was no guaranteed audience. Any senator could be there or not depending on whether or not they felt like listening to one of their colleagues.

Well, when Senator Romney gave these historic remarks today, there were a grand total of four senators in the room there listening to him. Four. Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi, who`s Republican, and then three Democrats, Pat Leahy of Vermont, Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Chris Murphy of Connecticut.

And of those four senators who were in the room when Mitt Romney gave these remarks today, at least two of the four senators in the room with him left the floor in tears when it was over, including Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut who spoke with reporters just after he walked off the floor. Just after Senator Romney finished.

Listen to this.


SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT):  I was in the chamber to hear that. You know, I`ve gotten to know him pretty well over the course of the last year. I think history will judge that to be one of the more important speeches of my time in the Senate.

REPORTER:  You sound choked up. Were you emotional?

MURPHY: Yes, yes. It`s the hardest they know to do in the world. You stand up to your party and to your friends and to your donors, and to just decide to do what`s right. I think we all wonder whether we would make the same decision if we were in the same position. I was choked up listening to him speak. He was choked up giving that speech.

That`s all for good, really good reason.--

REPORTER:  Did he give a heads-up to any of you that this was the direction he was moving?

MURPHY:  I`m not going to say anything about my conversations with Mitt.  So, you know, there`s still, there`s a lot of honor left in this place. I was pretty down last night being inside that pep rally, and wondering whether decency still mattered here and  I have a little more confidence that it does now.


MADDOW:  Last night being inside that pep rally, meaning the State of the Union Address, wondering whether decency still mattered here. I have a little more confidence that it does now.

Senator Chris Murphy speaking with reporters today right after he walked off the floor. He was one of only four senators in the room today when Mitt Romney shocked Washington, including shocking the White House by voting as a Republican senator to convict the president on the first article of impeachment, abuse of power. The White House freak-out over Senator Romney`s decision was reportedly in part because they had no idea he was going to do this. The freak-out was swift and sort of telling. Boy howdy, do they yelp when anyone stands up to them on their own side.

Republicans have no idea the power they have over this president.  If they only ever chose to use it, any time a Republican stands up to him, he backs right down. And the White House trembles. But it`s like Republicans haven`t learned that at all. They`re all so scared.

At the time that Mitt Romney was giving those remarks in the Senate today, reporters were gathered on the South Lawn of the White House. They were there because they were ready to go in, getting ready to go into the White House to cover a planned press event in the Oval Office. As soon as Mitt Romney gave those remarks, the White House abruptly called that off and sent all the reporters away. This was from the CNBC reporter, Eamon Javers.

Quote: Just as Senator Romney finished speaking, the White House announce that reporters will now no longer be invited to the Oval Office for the pool spray that was scheduled at 2:15. Reporters were already on the south lawn and ready to go in when the White House canceled it.

Oh, did you guys get rattled?

Within minutes, the president`s eldest son and namesake was calling on Mitt Romney -- calling for Mitt Romney to be expelled from the Republican Party. And then later in the afternoon, the president started tweeting out an anti-Mitt Romney video that calls Romney a secret spy, a secret asset for the Democratic Party.

Of course, Senator Romney said in his speech, just heard him. He said I will be vehemently denounced. I am sure to hear abuse from the president and his supporters. Does anyone seriously believe I would consent to these consequences other than from an inescapable conviction that my oath before God demanded of me.

He knew what was coming. He said he knew what was coming as he delivered those remarks.

During the impeachment trial, as the trial unfolded, we frequently saw protests breakout against the president and in favor of his removal from office in the nation`s Capitol.




MADDOW:  Protests from last week while the trial was going on. Today, the final vote on the president`s fate had not yet taken place when the first protests kicked off inside the Capitol rotunda. This afternoon, these women locked arms in the center of the rotunda chanted, Trump is guilty. They got arrested by Capitol police.

This evening, anti-Trump protesters, pro removal protesters, started showing up to hundreds of reject the cover-up rallies across the country to protest the president`s acquittal in the Senate. In New York City, there was a big group that gather in the Columbus Circle in midtown Manhattan before they marched south down Fifth Avenue to Trump Tower which bears the president`s name. And where the president used to live, although I`m not sure he does anymore. You can hear the loud booing there combined with a few "lock him up" chants mixed in.

People also turned out tonight in Boston. This is a shot of the Boston Common tonight.

In St. Petersburg, Florida, demonstrators had a message for Republican senators writ large, saying, vote you out. We will vote you out.

In Portland, Maine`s Monument Square, protesters were more targeted about which senator particularly they were talking about. They`re saying Susan Collins has to go.

Protesters also deployed to individual senators` offices around the country. This is Allentown, Pennsylvania. People lined up outside the offices of Republican Senator Pat Toomey holding signs like, dump Trump and lies matter and call businesses, hunk to convict traitor Trump.

In Dallas, protesters outside John Cornyn`s district office as well. His rallies and protests were timed for 5:30 local time across the country. That means rallies were just starting to get underway in California when we got on the air tonight. Here are people starting to arrive on the scene in Davis, California.

Here`s a demonstration getting underway in San Francisco right now as we speak as well. As to what comes next, we`re going to have Congressman Adam Schiff here live in just a moment. Congressman Schiff led the impeachment effort.  He was the lead House impeachment manager, effectively, the lead prosecutor in the trial. So, we`ll talk to him now that the final vote on the president`s fate has happen in the Senate.

Jerry Nadler which chaired the Judiciary Committee, today told reporters that the House is likely to send a subpoena to John Bolton. You`ll recall the Republican senators decided they didn`t want to hear from John Bolton in the impeachment trial despite that he said he had important and unique information directly relevant to their inquiry.

Nobody knows how Bolton will react to a subpoena from the House now. During the House`s impeachment investigation, he told the House that he would sue them if they subpoenaed him. He later changed his mind and said that he would testify. He would respond to a subpoena if one arrived from the Senate. But, of course, in the Republican controlled Senate, that never happened.

President Trump for his part is reported to have told several reporters in a briefing before the State of the Union Address that he wants to try to block the publication of John Bolton`s forthcoming book. Reporter Gabe Sherman at "Vanity Fair" says the president talked about trying to gin up some kind of criminal prosecution against John Bolton as well.

Along those lines, you should know that today, today of all days, today the day the president was left in office by the Senate after the House impeached him for trying to get a foreign country to interfere in the next election, today of all days, Attorney General Bill Barr sent out this letter to all U.S. attorneys telling them that as of today, they may not open any investigation into a presidential candidate, a presidential campaign or a presidential campaign staff member or adviser without express written permission from him, from Bill Barr personally.

Now, there is a longstanding policy of their being heightened scrutiny at the Department of Justice for investigations that could have an effect on forthcoming elections. I could give you chapter and verse on it after what we all went through in 2016. But this advice distributed by Attorney General William Barr today, as far as we know, this is a little different. As far as we can at the, and we have taken some advice on this this evening, this appears to know the first time ever that an attorney general has established this new rule that he and only he, the attorney general personally, must approve or disapprove any investigation into any presidential candidate or campaign from this day henceforth in the election takes place.

President Trump`s defense to his impeachment evolved radically over the course of this impeachment saga. It started as, he didn`t do anything. Then it was, well, he did something with Ukraine but wasn`t bad. He certainly wasn`t demanding a quid pro quo in terms of official U.S. government policy for which he wanted something for himself in return. It wasn`t that.

Then it had to evolve to, with, yes, he was demanding a quid pro quo from Ukraine but that`s OK. It was an OK kind of quid pro quo. By the end, the president`s defense in this impeachment trial was that him demanding a quid pro quo from a foreign government specifically to help his own re-election campaign is something that is explicitly fine and he is OK, not only was he OK to do it in the past. He`s OK to do it moving forward.

I mean, the president`s final defense was that he could use the powers of his office however he wants to if it helps him get reelected. He can do whatever he wants to with the powers that he has as president and with the powers and the wealth of the U.S. government to assist his re-election effort, even if it comes to eliciting foreign interference from other countries.

It is not only something that it was OK he did. It`s OK if he does more of it. Fresh off that defense, he is now, of course, starting to devote himself full time to trying to get reelected. How is he going to do that?

I mean, in this scandal, it is a remarkable thing that Republicans decided to not admit any new evidence and to not hear from any witnesses. That will not stop more documents from coming out about this scandal, from Freedom of Information Act requests, and from public reporting and from other investigative tools. Witnesses, important witnesses who never had their story told as part of the inquiry, they`re going to be publishing their books, and or testifying under oath. You may be able to stop one of them. You won`t be able to stop both.

Part of this thing ended today. But we are also still in the middle of it. I mean, this was an impeachment about the president`s efforts to get a foreign government to interfere in the 2024 election. The Senate chose not to remove from him, for the articles for which he was impeached in the House, which described how he did it. And despite the case laid out by the House managers in the Senate, that in fact he did it.

The Senate decided to leave him in office despite that. And so, yes, the impeachment trial is over. But we are still in the middle of what gave rise to it. This is our slice of American history. This is our time. This is our responsibility, as citizens.

Stay with me. We`ll be right back.



REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA):  What are the odds if left in office that he will continue trying to cheat? I will tell you, 100 percent. Not 5, not 10 or even 50, but 100 percent.

If you have found him guilty and you do not remove him from office, he will continue trying to cheat in the election until he succeeds. History will not be kind to Donald Trump. I think we all know that. Not because it will be written by Never Trumpers, but because whenever we have departed from the values of our nation, we have come to regret it and that regret is written all over the pages of our history.

If you find that the House has proved its case, and still vote to acquit, your name will be tied to his with a cord of steel and for all of history. But if you find the courage to stand up to him, to speak he the awful truth to his rank falsehood, your place will be among the Davids who took on Goliath. If only you will say enough.

Every single vote, even a single vote by a single member can change the course of history. It is said that a single man or a woman of courage makes a majority. Is there one among you who will say enough? 


MADDOW:  Impeachment manager, Congressman Adam Schiff, in his closing argument in the president`s impeachment trial which wrapped today. Is there one among you who will say enough?

Today, we learned that those words, that argument did not fall on deaf ears. It turns out there was one, exactly one.

Joining us now is Congressman Adam Schiff who led the House managers of the impeachment trial. He`s chair of the Intelligence Committee.

Sir, thank you so much for taking time tonight. I imagine what you mostly want to do is take a nap and do something to restore you.

SCHIFF:  Very much.

MADDOW:  It has been a marathon for you and your fellow House managers, I think particularly for you as you`ve shouldered so much of the live on your feet argument in the trial. I imagine that you`re not too close to it to have some top line thoughts, some big picture thoughts on what you`ve just been through and how well you did.

SCHIFF:  Well, Rachel, I think all of us as part of the House managers and the phenomenal staff who worked on this, feel we made the most powerful case, the best case we could possibly make. We felt we had certainly all the facts on our side and it was gratifying to see so many senators, indeed, Republican senators, acknowledge that we proved the case.

And we hope, although at times it looked like there was little reason to hope that our arguments may resonate even with a single member. And indeed, they did. And I have to say, I leave this process now optimistic because I think that what Mitt Romney did, what a number of very courageous Democratic senators did, really justified the faith the founders put in their system of self-governance that people would have sufficient virtue to stand up for what was right and I just could not be more moved by what I heard Mitt Romney say.

But I leave this process notwithstanding the lack of a fair trial, notwithstanding the fact that he was acquitted when the senators knew he was guilty, still with the optimism that we will get through this and the Constitution was brilliantly written and it will see us through.

MADDOW:  You and your fellow House managers had an op-ed in the "Washington Post" today that has a darker tone. And I want to ask but some of it, because I feel like you are trying to direct us toward, if not an action item for the country, at least something that is the next order of business. I`m just going to quote you from your own op-ed today.

The president`s defenders resorted to a radical theory that would validate his worst and most authoritarian instincts. They argued that a president cannot abuse his power no matter how corrupt his conduct if he believes it will benefit his re-election. If left in office, the president will not stop trying to cheat in the next election until he succeeds. We must make sure he does not.

Because of the impeachment process, voters can now stand forewarned of the lengths to which the president will go to try to secure his re-election, violating the law and undermining our national security and that of our allies.

That is a clarion warning about what is going to happen over the next ten months as we head toward the November election. What are you looking for from the American people by issuing that kind of warning?

SCHIFF:  Well, you know, I have to say, it was stirring once again to hear it not in my words but in Mitt Romney`s words when he talked about how this was such an egregious abuse of the public trust. To withhold hundreds of millions of dollars from an ally that has Russian soldiers on its soil. If he`ll go to those lengths to secure illicit help to secure the next election, you can`t put it past him to do anything to cheat in the next election or to commit any other kind of egregious misconduct which undermines our national security.

So, we in Congress will have to remain vigilant and I think the American people will have to remain vigilant and not become inured to all the falsehoods, and all the deceptions, all the gaslighting that this administration seems to try to do on a daily basis. It`s going to require us all, I think, to be inspired by Romney`s courage and speak truth to power.

MADDOW:  Mr. Chairman, if you wouldn`t mind sticking with us for just a second. One of your fellow House members, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, today told reporters that he may be subpoenaing John Bolton soon. I need to ask but that and one other matter if you can stick with us.

SCHIFF:  Sure.

MADDOW:  Chairman Adam Schiff, who led a team of House managers during impeachment inquiry, is our guest.

We`ll be right back.


MADDOW:  Joining us once again is Congressman Adam Schiff, who led the House managers in the impeachment trial. He`s chair of the House Intelligence Committee.

Mr. Chairman, thank you for staying with us. I really appreciate it.

SCHIFF:  You bet.

MADDOW:  One of your fellow impeachment managers, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Jerry Nadler, told reporters it is likely he is going to issue a subpoena for John Bolton, former national security adviser John Bolton who rocked the impeachment proceedings sort of externally by his statements that he had information directly relevant to the president`s conduct in this inquiry and later reporting that in his, in the manuscript of his forthcoming book, he described -- the president talking to him directly about wanting to link aid to Ukraine to these investigations.

Do you -- is it your understanding that Mr. Bolton will be subpoenaed by the Judiciary Committee or by your committee in the House? Can you tell us about that?

SCHIFF:  Rachel, I can tell that you there is been absolutely no decision made about whether to subpoena John Bolton or not. What we have decided in discussing this with the speaker is, we were going to try the case. We would conclude the trial and we would consider what next steps we should take afterwards.

So, at this point, no decisions have been made about that. I can tell you that after the Senate voted not to hear witnesses, after they voted to be the first impeachment trial in history without witnesses, we did approach John Bolton`s counsel, asked if Mr. Bolton would be willing to submit an affidavit under oath, describing what he observed in terms of the president`s Ukraine misconduct, and he refused.

So for whatever reason, he apparently was willing to testify before the Senate but apart from that, seems intent on saving it for his book. He`ll have to answer for that. But at this point, we have not made a decision about whether or not to move forward with the subpoena. But certainly it is something that we will be discussing.

MADDOW:  You also raised flags in a couple public interviews and during the trial. What struck me as very dramatic, struck me as dramatic terms, that there are elements of the intelligence community, the national security -- the NSA specifically, that have been withholding information about Ukraine. You implied or suggested that it was on orders from the White House and that it was an improper with holding of information from the intelligence committees. You should be entitled to that information. But the intelligence community was withholding it from you improperly.

Is that still the case? And are the Intelligence Committees, both your committee in the House and the one in Senate, likely to pry that information loose?

SCHIFF:  It is still regrettably the case and it is a deep concern to me that really a couple categories of intelligence that are at issue. One is a category that was shared with some of us. But it was not shared in a form that we could make it available to all the senators and it was information that was pertinent to the case that they should have had to make their determination. That was one problem.

The other problem is that there were other bodies of intelligence that we have requested that have been collected, that were certainly pertinent to our requests but we couldn`t tell how pertinent they may be to the trial. And at some point, there were instructions or dictates or requests from up above. And as a result, what was supposed to be turned over to us was withheld from us. That is particularly an issue with the NSA but maybe an issue with the CIA as well.

And here you have the flaw that exists in the character of the president which has already infected the Justice Department so grievously and other agencies as well, now seeming to infect part of intelligence community. For those of us that rely on that intelligence community to speak truth to power, to speak plainly to us, not to withhold from us, it is of grave concern.

MADDOW:  Briefly, Mr. Chairman, do you have support from the Senate intelligence Committee, from its Republican leadership, on pursuing this?

SCHIFF:  I don`t know the answer. I haven`t talked to Chairman Burr about it. I know that Mark Warner shares the concerns that I have at least as it pertains to the information that both, I think, he and I thought should properly be shared with the rest of the Senate. But I can`t speak for Senator Burr.

MADDOW:  Chairman Adam Schiff who led the house managers in the impeachment inquiry and has deserved a little R&R at this point, sir. Thank you for everything that you have done in addition to your day job over these last weeks and months. Thank you for helping us understand it along the way. We really appreciate it.

SCHIFF:  Thank you.

MADDOW:  All right. We`ve just got a lot more to get to actually tonight. We just got in some new numbers from Iowa, of all things, and Steve Kornacki is going to walk us through those.

So, stay with us.


MADDOW:  Two days after the Iowa caucuses, we are continuing to get in results from the Iowa Democratic Party. Luckily, NBC News national political correspondent Steve Kornacki is completely undaunted by the perpetual motion machine that is these rolling set of results.

Steven, thank you.  How much do we have in there?

STEVE KORNACKI, NBC NEWS NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT:  We just got a bunch more. We`re up to 92 percent and there was a surprise in this last thing that I think add someday last-second uncertainty into this.  Let me show what I mean. 

These are the state delegate equivalents. This is the category that`s used to do national convention delegates, traditionally the category the winner of Iowa is declared by.

The numbers you see here, 531 for Buttigieg, 513 for Sanders is the number of state delegate equivalents. That`s the unit of measurement here, state delegate equivalents that they`ve won. It`s an 18-state delegate equivalent gap right now.

Why I say there`s last second uncertainty, it has nothing to do with anything you see on this map we`ve been showing you for two, three, four days now. It has everything 22nd the satellite caucuses. We are getting the results now, and there are some surprises in here.

Let me show two -- so, what they did, those satellite caucuses that were held throughout the states, through the world in some places, so they merged them into, there are four different congressional districts in Iowa. If you were at a satellite caucus for this district, all the satellite caucus that`s took place become one collective second congressional district satellite caucus.

I hope this makes essential because look at the results. This is what you got in the second district. Bernie Sanders ran away with it, 53 percent. Warren, 21 percent. Notice whose name you don`t see at all. Pete Buttigieg, not viable.

So, what that means in this district, in the second district, it is worth 11-state delegate equivalents. That gap statewide right now is 18. One of the reasons it has come down, Sanders got the lion`s share out there. Warren is the only one over 15. She got a couple. Nobody else got anything.

The same thing in the fourth congressional district. This is smallest in terms of state delegate equivalents. But, look, Sanders got them.  He is the only one over 15 percent here.

So, here`s the situation. There are two congressional districts left where we have no returns yet from the satellite caucuses. I don`t know why that order is there. Nobody has anything.

This is first district. This is the third district. The third district is the biggest one. That`s where Des Moines is.

If you see a pattern with what Sanders was able to do in the second and fourth district, if it repeats itself in these two, what would that mean? We don`t know the exact number. They won`t tell us the number delegates until we see it.

But the range here about, 12 to 24 are at stake in these two. If what you just saw repeats itself, Buttigieg gets zero. Sanders gets 50 to 75 percent.

You`re looking at Sanders potentially netting 18 or so over Buttigieg. So, what would that mean? It would put you back out here. It would put back out here with him down by 18, Rachel.

MADDOW:  Wow, down by 18, if that pattern holds, potentially the ability to move ahead.

KORNACKI:  With -- I just quickly put it up here so you can see it. These are the missing precincts that we`ve normally been talking about that would then decide it.

MADDOW:  Steve Kornacki, thank you very much.

It is still a cliffhanger this long into the process.

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


MADDOW:  Programming note for the rest night. We think we may be getting more voting results out of Iowa tonight. As Steve said, it is getting tighter than a tick between Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg. So, if we are getting more numbers in from Iowa, you`ll want to stay right here for that.

But also, check out what Lawrence has going on in the last word tonight which starts in just a minute. First of all, he`s got Senator Doug Jones of Alabama. Senator Jones is a Democrat who is running for re-election in a deep red state, Alabama, where Trump`s approval ratings sits at around 60 percent right now.

So, Senator Jones` vote today to convict President Trump, that was a total cliffhanger. It was the opposite of taken for granted. Senator Jones is going to be live in just a minute.

And in addition to that, Lawrence is going to be joined by not one but two Democratic presidential candidates who also cast votes in the president`s impeachment trial today.

In addition to Doug Jones, he`s also got Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Amy Klobuchar. That`s one heck of a line-up. I don`t know how you prep for a show like that. But that is what is coming up in just a minute, you`re going to want to stick around.

Stay with us.


MADDOW:  It`s nice to be back in our usual bat time at our usual bat desk, right?  It`s been a while.  But that does it for me tonight.

  Thanks for being with us. I`ll see you again tomorrow.

Right now, though, you are required to stay exactly where you are because "THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL" starting right now, it`s like ten shows in one tonight.

Good evening, Lawrence.  I`m intimidated by your line-up tonight.

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