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President Donald Trump's Scramble To Block Congressional Investigations | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC

May 30, 2021
two years ago for joining us this hour it's great to have you here so I didn't see this coming The Washington Post published tonight an unexpected report from the former Secretary of State, former senator, former first lady and Democratic


ial candidate who received several million More votes for


than Donald Trump in 2016, but still lost to him in the electoral college. Hillary Clinton published an op-ed in the Washington Post tonight titled Muller Documented a Serious Crime Against All Americans. Here's how to answer and how the title implies. It is something prescriptive it is essentially a map to move forward from the Moller report and it does not mince words this is the main quote our election was corrupted our democracy was attacked our sovereignty and security violated this is the definitive conclusion of special prosecutor robert molars report documents it a serious crime against the American people the debate over how to respond to Russia's widespread and systemic attack, as Muller described it, and how to hold President Trump accountable for obstructing the investigation and possibly violating the law, has narrowed, Hillary Clinton tells a false choose immediate impeachment or nothing history suggests there is a better way to think about the options before us, quote says, what our country needs now is clear-headed patriotism, not reflexive partisanship, whether you like it or not.
president donald trump s scramble to block congressional investigations rachel maddow msnbc
Republicans in Congress share the constitutional responsibility to protect the The Country Molars report leaves many questions unanswered, but it is a roadmap. It is up to members of both parties to see where that roadmap leads to the eventual introduction of articles of impeachment or not. Congress should hold substantive hearings that build on the Moller report and fill in its gaps, not jump straight to a vote for or against impeachment in 1998, the Republican-led chamber was quick to judge that it was a mistake then and which would be a mistake now, she is referring there, of course, to the in-camera impeachment proceedings against her. husband in 99 viii then says citing Watergate offers a better precedent then, as there was now an investigation that found evidence of corruption and cover-up and was supplemented by public hearings held by a Senate Select Committee that insisted that executive privilege could not be used to protect criminal conduct and forced White House aides to testify The televised hearings added to the factual record and, crucially, helped the public understand the facts in a way that no dense legal report could get hearings similar with Muller, former White House counsel Don McGann, and other witnesses could do the same today Clinton then calls for the House Judiciary Committee to appoint a respected leader to lead an impeachment inquiry as outlined did the Watergate-era judiciary committee when they hired a respected former Justice Department official named John Doar Clinton then calls for an independent bipartisan commission similar to the 9/11 Commission to help protect our elections from future attacks like the one that We suffered in 2016.
president donald trump s scramble to block congressional investigations rachel maddow msnbc

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It cites today's New York Times report that White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney allegedly told the Secretary of Homeland Security that he should not mention the Russian threat to attack the 2020 election, I shouldn't mention that to President Trump because President Trump didn't want to hear anything about it. Clinton references that Times report today and says he cites the latest example. of an administration that refuses to take even the most minimal common sense measures to protect future attacks and counter current threats to our nation and, of course, at this point, you know, implicit is the argument that if the current president of the sitting president is He is not protecting the country if he is effectively preventing the rest of his administration and therefore the rest of the federal government from protecting the country from this type of foreign attack, then someone has to step up and do it well, implicit in this criticism of Clinton.
president donald trump s scramble to block congressional investigations rachel maddow msnbc
Is it so imperative that she feels that if no one else is going to lead this because the president won't or worse, then she will try even if all she has is the opinion page to do it from, but in this surprise? op-ed tonight she is asking congress to take charge of this and she is asking ordinary citizens to force them to do it, she says quote, we have to get this right, the Moller report is not just an analysis of our history recent, it is a warning about the future, unless controlled, the Russians will interfere again in 2020 and possibly other adversaries such as China or North Korea will also do so.
president donald trump s scramble to block congressional investigations rachel maddow msnbc
This is an urgent threat, no one but Americans should be able to decide the future of America and unless he is held accountable, President Donald Trump may show even more disregard for the laws of the country and the obligations of his office; will likely redouble its efforts to advance Putin's agenda, including repealing sanctions that weaken NATO and undermine the European Union. Most importantly, it may be that each of us has a vital role to play as citizens. She concludes that a crime was committed against all Americans and all Americans must demand action and accountability. Our founders imagined the danger we face today and designed a system to meet it now.
It is up to us to demonstrate the wisdom of our Constitution, the resilience of our democracy, and the strength of our nation. Hillary Clinton wrote tonight in the Washington Post in response to the Moller report and in response to the continuing fallout and political fights that have occurred since then. The report was finally released in redacted form last week. I think the headline here is that she is not calling for an immediate vote on impeachment in the same way that the Republican-led Congress immediately moved to voting on impeachment as soon as they received the Chemstar report. instead she's calling for the Watergate model, Democratic-led committees in the House and I guess I would say Republican-led committees in the Senate is what she's implying should open


that are based on the Moller report to fill in the gaps and yes We let them do it, but they should fill out this record on their own.
Now we've asked Secretary Clinton if she wants to come on the show and talk about this and talk about her response to the Moller report more generally. I don't have anything. I want to update you right now in terms of the response to that request, but you will be the first to know if and when we can schedule that interview. I will keep you informed, but on the topic of the consequences of the molars report and the response. I was even more surprised to see a super strange development after tonight's Moller report that was published by Bloomberg News, right around the time this Hillary Clinton op-ed was published, we have this gem published on Bloomberg News, it's a screenshot of screen of a series of text messages and the date on this Will text message chain is supposedly October 30, 2016, just before the 2016 presidential election and you can read what it says there: Michael's outgoing message and Cohen, the president's longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, says the quote stopped the flow of some Russia tapes, but I'm not sure if there's anything else, just so you know.
Cohen then responds to tapes of what the sender responds to, unsure of the content. but a person in Moscow was bragging that he had tapes of the trip to Russia the next message will try to call you tomorrow but I wanted to be aware of the next message I'm sure it's not a big deal but there are a lot of stupid people Bloomberg then reports that the next two messages from text in the chain is Michael Cohen saying you have no idea and then the initial sender responds. I trust me, so you know what it's about.
I didn't see this coming specifically in the most immediate sense. What is it about. It's very A provocative little fragment of Muller's redacted report, a small fragment of Muller's report that surprises everyone who looks at it, but no one really knows what to make of it. It's from the part of the mullet report where Muller describes Trump's interactions with the former FBI director. James Comey and James Comey' he is, you know, contemporary notes and memos and all of his interactions. This part of the report explains how during the January 2017 presidential transition, before the inauguration, Comey and other law enforcement and intelligence officials went to Trump Tower to brief Trump and some other transition officials about the Russia's attack on the election and then Comey also privately briefed Trump on the contents of this steel dossier, this document that was circulating in journalism and law enforcement circles in DC and Comey briefed the president about it privately, one by one.
Basically because these law enforcement officials and intelligence officials believe that the president-elect should know that this document was there and what it said now, of course, one of the things that Steel Dossier said was that part of the influence of the Russian government about Trump is that there was supposedly a tape, a video showing Trump's behavior in Moscow during a previous business trip, which was supposedly of a lewd and embarrassing nature, something involving a hotel and some ladies, and never mind , no one has ever proven that this tape or these tapes exist, the whole point was that in this file that was circulating in DC it was alleged that this tape or those tapes existed and the point of that being mentioned in the file was this accusation that President-elect Trump was somehow in a bind with Russia, they could blackmail him. influence over him, they had something about him that they wouldn't want anyone to know and since that allegation about the president-elect was circulating, intelligence and law enforcement officials at the highest level believed that the president should know, they are not I'm going to hide it from you, you should know that that's out there, that's the context of this part of the Moller report that describes that report.
Scroll down to the footnotes to see the actual news here, although footnote 112 mm-hmm, the Kobe report included the steel reports. unverified allegation that the Russians had compromising tapes of the president involving conduct when he was a private citizen during a trip to Moscow in 2013 for the Miss Universe pageant during the 2016 presidential campaign a similar claim may have reached candidate Trump oh, actually on October 30, 2016 Michael Cohen received a text message from Russian businessman Georgie Ritz collab ski Ritz collab Z Ritz collabs II said he told Cohen that he cited the flow of tapes from Russia, but I'm not sure if there is anything more, so that you know again.
This is a footnote in the Muller report. The molar report then cites an October 30, 2016 text message from Ritz Collage Z to Cohen Ritz Kaladze that said tapes referring to compromising Trump tapes were rumored to be in the hands of people associated with the Russian real estate conglomerate Crocus Group which had helped organize the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Russia again continuing this part of the report Moller in the footnote Cohen said he spoke to Trump about the issue after receiving the Ritz Z Cohen collage text messages He said that in an FBI interview based on his collage molars report he said he was told the tapes were fake, but he did not tell Cohen.
He said it in an FBI interview, so first of all, let me be clear, I have no idea if that's how you say this guy's name. Okay, he's a Georgian businessman, no. Atlanta Georgia, former Soviet Georgia, was involved in Trump business there. He now he is Georgian American. He became a naturalized US citizen a couple of years ago, but his first name, his last name, literally starts with five consonants in a row before getting to a very useless vowel, so I apologize for not knowing how to pronounce things that start with the letters RT s KH in that order.
I really do not know. I'm sorry. I'm going to go with a collage from the Ritz. Sookie Ritz collage. Z Ritz come on, I'm going to use the Ritz collage Z until I'm corrected, so I'm sorry, but the news here is developing in a strange way, I mean the Republicans in particular, the White House specifically and a lot of the press have made fun of . Christopher Steele's dossier on the right and they have particularly mocked this claim that there was an alleged tape of Trump's behavior during a trip to Moscow, a tape being held in Russia as leverage against him, well, that has been ridiculed by the left, the right and the center who claim that the steel industry file is correct, but according to the molar report it turns out that before the elections and long before the steel file or something like that saw the light, a guy that Trump actually knew from business connections in the former Soviet Unionactually contacted Michael Cohen to tell him to tell Trump that he was stopping the flow of some Russia tapes.
One person in Moscow boasted that he had tapes of the trip to Russia. Oh well, he stopped the tapes from leaving Russia and, according to Muller Cohen, later told Trump about it. Before the election, that means that Trump knew that somewhere in the former Soviet Union a business friend of his had taken steps to ensure that the tapes supposedly of Trump's trip to Russia did not come to light, don't worry, all done. hand I took, I took care of that for you, and that's what's in footnote 112 vol 2 of the Moller report, kind of hanging out there like a thread that screams tiny, are you crazy?
Cut me, this can't be left. Now Bloomberg News' Stephanie Baker and Helene Abedwell of Bloomberg News have contacted the unspeakable Trump business contact from Georgia who supposedly handled this tapes issue. He's the one who provided Bloomberg today with this screenshot that's longer than he says it was. his text message exchange with Michael Cohen just before the election so we can see the full contexts the full context of his comments on these alleged tapes remember in the Moller report they only cited this text they stopped the flow of some tapes some tapes from Russia I'm not I'm sure there's something else just so you know.
Now, this Georgian businessman provides the rest of the conversation as context because this lawyer tells Bloomberg News that the way the message appears in the Miller report is not fair. Ritsuko watches lawyers tell Bloomberg that the footnote to Moeller's report includes only part of the exchanged text. Since Cohen was unable to provide full context, quotes from the FBI and Moeller's team were added to the dialogue to produce the nasty insinuations and accusations in note 112 to attract publicity and, therefore, because it has been taken out of context and is so unfair for this Georgian businessman. wants these other texts in that same conversation made public to include the immediate following text explaining that these tapes were supposedly from the trip to Russia, which is exactly what one would expect to see here if it actually turns out to be the real life Trump knew very well. , he was explicitly warned before the election, while Russia was interfering in the election to help him, that there were some kind of tapes about him, supposedly from his trip to Russia back in the day, and those tapes are kept inside.
Russia for a business partner who was doing him a favor and just so you know, Michael Cohen, I'm involved here when it comes to those tapes. I'm stopping the flow of those tapes out of Russia because otherwise they would be out. there, without my intervention, I mean, honestly, personally, the only thing I refused to allow myself to think about was the aspect of the lewd incriminating tapes or Trump being warned that there were lewd incriminating tapes of him in Russia, tapes that Russia could let the world out, but we were preventing that from happening, I mean, that's the only part of this whole ridiculous degrading movie that we've been living through that I refuse to leave in my brain when I think about this president and this scandal and Russia playing with our elections to benefit him and him. potentially compromised by Russia at the same time.
I mean, I just didn't want to think about the whole tape thing, but now here's the whole tape thing and the revelation in the Moller report that Trump wasn't hearing about those alleged tapes of him in Russia for the first time, when you heard about this from James Comey during the transition, you had already heard about it from this connected businessman in the former Soviet Union before the election, so that happened today, enjoy your dinners and Rolaids right there at the side of the television. take as many as you need, the fallout from the Moller report apparently continues to open up new sources of information, but it is beginning to become clear that there are two problem areas that appear to be most troubling to the president at this point in the process to areas where the president in The White House is fighting more than anything else to try to stop the ongoing


, the first clearly being the financial problems, the money trail, there is no indication in the molars report that Muller investigated anything he had to do with the president's business dealings or his financial entanglements, there is simply no information on that topic in the molars report nor any reference to it that we can see, at least in the unredacted parts, that actually agrees with the warnings that we've had for months from Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff Adam Schiff has repeatedly said that Muller wasn't looking at what he said today the president spoke to reporters at the White House and said oh yeah, Muller did that and he should have president told reporters today at the White House.
I now quote Muller. I guess I looked at my taxes I looked at my finances which is great all you have to do is look at the records they're all over the place but they looked at my finances and they looked at my taxes. Did you know that it really turns out not? The White House doesn't know that an anonymous source quickly told CNN's Jim Acosta tonight that, in reality, despite the president's comments to that effect, they have no idea whether Muller looked at Trump's taxes. or finances, but there's a reason why President Trump is saying that anyway there's a reason he's saying oh, sure Muller looked at my taxes.
Muller reviewed all my finances. That's already done. There is no need to look there. It's already resolved. I mean, the president made them early. He walked back comments about the molar investigation today amid him arguing to reporters that his finances and taxes are off-limits to any further investigation and you know, sometimes he says that's because his taxes They are under audit and therefore no one is allowed to look. He sometimes says that his finances are just a red line. Crossing that red line would give you reason to fire anyone who tries to take a look at them.
Sometimes, starting today, he says that Oh Muller already looked at all those things and turned back. It's all good, I mean, none of those things are true, but he comes up with new excuses and offers no new explanations for why people can't see his ticket and his taxes all the time. He really doesn't want any investigators looking into his finances. or his taxes, his actions tell you that, even more emphatically than his words, we are now two days away from the IRS simply flat out refusing to turn over the president's taxes to the chairman of the Media Committee and Arbitrations.
They are required by a very simple direct law to do so. a law that, as far as we know, no one has violated before, so we're not sure how this is going to be resolved now that they just say that no one former Treasury Secretary is now saying that if Treasury Secretary Stephen Minuchin continues to


the the IRS deliver the returns if Minuchin cites does not deliver the requested returns, he is probably involved in the most serious challenge to the executive branch law since the Nixon administration, which is becoming an issue in addition to the spark of them simply defying the law and the On the subject of tax returns there is also this fun little lawsuit that the president has filed in his personal capacity to try to prevent his accounting firm from turning over financial documents about him to the Oversight Committee.
We'll talk more about that later in the hour, but the law really isn't on the president's side to stop this type of oversight. being under audit doesn't help you calling it a red line doesn't help you lie about Muller's appearance that doesn't help you financial things are going to Come out, I mean, it's already coming out today. CNN reports that Deutsche Bank is now in the process of turning over its Trump-related financial records in response to a subpoena from the New York State Attorney General. Documents about Trump himself, the Trump DC hotel, the Trump hotel in Chicago, the flagship Doral property in Florida, Trump's failed effort to buy the Buffalo Bills, which is an effort that Michael Cohen claims the president inflated radically radicalize its assets in an effort to obtain bank financing to do so.
All those documents are now in the process. If he is handed over, the president is fighting to try to stop the money trail but he will not be able to prevent those records from coming to light Mena, even if you only look at Deutsche Bank, they are cooperating with financial services, committee two and the Intelligence Committee in the camera we know today with CNN reporting that they are serving a subpoena in New York to New York authorities. I mean, it's on the president, he's fighting here, even making things up now about molar research. saying that Miller covered all of this, no one else needs to do it, nice try, but it's happening and simultaneously the second area, the other area of ​​more serious problems for the president, the other area that he is fighting faster for right now, also of his finances, is his new and very serious emerging problem with John Dean John Dean in 1973 had just left the Nixon White House in controversial circumstances when Dean was called to testify before Congress before the Senate Watergate committee that Dean's testimony ended up being a


buster about the Watergate cover-up and the president's role in it and offering clemency pardons to people to shut them up and intimidate witnesses, an obstruction of justice and Nixon's and even John's list of enemies Dean got the first indications that there might be a recording system in the President's White House.
Almost from the beginning he began asking me a series of leading questions that were somewhat different from the normal conversational relationships I had with him, which made me think that the conversation was being recorded and a record was being made to protect themselves. I actually don't know if. That tape exists, but if it exists and it hasn't been tampered with and it's a complete transcript of the entire conversation that took place in the president's office, I think this committee should have that tape because if I think that's the case, I would cooperate. Many of the things this committee asked me to testify about at the time the Watergate investigators didn't know there was a recording system in the White House.
John Dean tells them that things about the president's behavior in the Oval Office suggested to him that there might be a recording system somewhere and they should follow up on it. They did it. We know how it ended. John Dean had been the chairman of Nixon's White House Council. Nixon attempted to prevent John Dean from testifying after he was called to testify before the Watergate committee. Nixon held a press conference. conference in which he said, of course, you would object to Dean testifying, he said, quote, no president could agree to allow the council, the president to go down and testify before a committee, of course, that's how he felt, it was a good try on Nixon's part, but it didn't work, it didn't work thanks in part to the response he got from Sam Ervin, who was the head of the Watergate committee in the Senate at the time he unleashed an attack on the president that people will be talking about for some time.
Ervin once said that under no circumstances will he accept unsworn testimony and said that if subpoenas are issued to White House aides and those aides do not appear, he will ask the Senate to issue arrest warrants for them. Oh, you want to prevent White House staff from giving sworn testimony, Mr. President, we will arrest them, we will arrest their White House aides and their former White House counsel and anyone else who they are trying to prevent from testifying before us, we will arrest them and force them to testify. Are you sure you mean he can't? being here that was the response of the Watergate committee in 1973 and yes, John Dean testified and we know how that worked in 1973 it took a long time after his testimony, but a little further, more than a year later, was when President Nixon had resigning was then when they moved towards approving the articles of impeachment against him.
Well, now this president is trying to prevent, starting today, all White House staff, including specifically his White House advisor, Don McGann, from testifying under a


subpoena. You can see why the president would want to block all White House aides from testifying and specifically Dunn McGann, but it turns out that the way President Trump is trying to stop that testimony before Congress not only looks like I'm not going to work, but I might also be getting this president into more trouble and what's interesting to me about that perspective is that this president right now, President Trump, is being warned about that by a former lawyer. of a president named Richard Nixon and when Richards, Nick, Richard Nixon's lawyer is warning the current president that he is doing things that could get him. inproblems, it lands a little differently than when someone else says lawyer join us, stay with us.
Hi, I'm Chris Hayes from MSNBC, thanks for watching MSNBC on YouTube if you want to stay up to date with the videos we're posting. You can click subscribe right below me or click this list to see lots of other great videos.

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