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Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Tampering. And I thought that was a righteous prosecution And I was happy that he was convicted nonetheless. There are now at least nine Senate Democrats calling on bar to resign. They're accusing him of lying to Congress when during his confirmation hearing he pledged to keep the law enforcement process free from political influence one former federal prosecutor and US attorney who we have come to know says based on the past twenty four hours. It is time for the G. TO STEP DOWN FROM OFFICE IF YOU'RE BILL BAR and if you've gone on record telling the president to stop tweeting and if you really believe in the independence of the Justice Department which bar has at least gone on record as saying. He believes in than when the president's responses to tweet and say he'll metal in criminal cases whenever he damn well pleases. You're only move is to resign here for our leadoff discussion on this busy Friday night. Susan page Washington Bureau Chief for USA Today Best Selling author. Who's now at work on a biography of House Speaker? Nancy Pelosi traveling with the president in the Great State of Florida. Philip Rucker Pulitzer Prize winning White House. Bureau chief for The Washington Post Co author along with this post colleague. Carol Lennick of the New York Times bestselling book a very stable genius and Josh Gerstein senior legal affairs contributor for politico. Good evening and welcome to you all Susan. What do you think the attorney general is up to? And do you remember a time that we were too young when the president appointed his own brother? Who would never tried a case in court when the assumption about DOJ was they were GonNa Straight up endeavour to do the right thing in all cases. Yeah I mean. There's there've been times in the past during the Nixon administration's you say in the Kennedy Administration's but but not in my time in Washington every seen a situation like this where the president is asserting his right to meddle in any criminal cases that he wishes To do so. And we have an attorney general that seems to be publicly if you take him at his word publicly pleading with the president to stop weighing in on twitter on the Justice Department issues. There there are all these mixed messages coming out of the justice these days and I guess it depends on whether you bill bars sincere. When he says he's trying to keep things from being to politicize or if you're taking more cynical view that he's just trying to calm a storm that he has in his own building there with career. Prosecutors well Josh brings us to your beat. It was just Tuesday. The four feds walked off the case choosing to walk off the case because again they can't put out statements. Call press conferences. This is their form of protest and morning than yesterday. The interview that Susan was referencing people wanting to take an attorney general at his word becoming the first sitting cabinet member to criticize the boss. What is going on inside the Department of Justice based on your reporting well Bryan? The atmosphere and the uproar is something that I've really only seen on a couple prior occasions during president. Trump's term in office one would be the atmosphere that feeling surrounding the firing of FBI Director. James Komi and the other would be on a couple of days when it looked like a Rod. Rosenstein the deputy attorney general. Who appointed special counsel? Robert Mueller was about to be fired by the president in fact one day when he was in a car and we were told he was expecting to be asked for his resignation when he arrived at the White House. But I think this is even more severe more pervasive and a bigger problem because it really has infected the line prosecutors the frontline people the investigators who do the day to day work of the Justice Department as disturbing some of those other events. Were you're really talking about reshuffling? The leadership of the Justice Department. And here after you those four prosecutors withdraw from the Roger Stone case and one of them quit the government altogether. It became clear that this has infected things all the way down to the ground level to the nitty gritty. A place where the rubber meets the road. And I think that's why you saw the attorney. General come out yesterday and make the statements that he did because it became a crisis of confidence in him and the department. As a whole of Phil ruckers no dummy. We note the traveling with the president. Means in this case. You at least get a weekend in Florida so phil. What's the viewpoint of those around? This president traveling with the president. Just like yourself well Bryan air is so much swirling over the last few days involving the President and the Department of Justice but one thing that is sure. it to get the president's attention and provoked a and perhaps stoke his wrath is the The ending of essentially of this investigation for Andy McCabe the decision by the Justice Department announced today not to file any charges For the former deputy. Fbi Director McCabe has been enemy number one or two for the for trump now for more than a year. The president has firmly believed and has said so publicly that he thinks McCabe should have been charged. He surely is not pleased with this decision. My my colleagues at the Washington Post reported that earlier today when that news was announced the White House did not have a heads up in that there was an effort in underway inside the Oval Office at the White House to calm the president to control him to urge him not to speak out about McKay PAT SIP. Baloney the White House counsel Rushed in to try to talk to the president. Right away about this. Mckay decision will see what the morning brings in terms of tweets from the president. But I am sure he is. None too pleased with the outcome here. Hey Josh for the charges. The feds nicked Roger Stone on. I think correct me if I'm wrong. The Max is like twenty years if they wanted to throw the book at him in this case. They did what they always do. They looked at federal sentencing guidelines. They came back with an answer of recommended sentence. Seventy nine years President tweets calls it a miscarriage of justice. Bill Bar again with a straight face says yeah. I got involved. I took a look at it. Here is Andrew Weissmann on how rare it would be for a sitting attorney general to do just what he did. The Attorney General Does Not Review Sentencing. Submissions that never happens. Everybody in the Department knows that to make it sound like he did. Which is this is kind of a normal thing that I review them No. He reviewed them in connection with Chew Rich. White Man who are connected to the president. If that is the only two I would love to hear from the Attorney General. Who else has he done this for? So Josh it first of all that sang a lot. Second Cabinet Agency you cover is the most process driven. And ideally the most rigor driven branch of the government right Brian. I think it could be up to fifty years that Roger Stone in theory could could be sentenced to but the thing that's really troubling and what I would pick up from what Andy Weissman said is when he talked about rich white males. You Have Justice Department who under this Attorney General Bill Bar and the previous one. Jeff sessions has gone out of its way to say they thought that the prior administration the Obama Administration had been too lenient with criminals particularly folks involved with drugs and folks should have been receiving guidelines senses. Meaning whatever the sentencing guidelines require. You shouldn't deviate you shouldn't depart downward because they had a difficult upbringing. You should insist on those in almost every case and so to come in a case involving the president's longtime confidant and say well in this case we think maybe the sentencing guidelines are a little too much. It's just an extraordinary departure from the public rhetoric this administration. I think bill bar on Tuesday was out giving a speech to sheriff's where he said we need to be super tough on criminals and y you know the people of interest to the president are getting a special break is something. That's GONNA be very tough to explain Phil Rucker. A normal west wing in a normal political shopped domestic policy adviser may come up with a policy initiatives to pivot off of post impeachment for president. Is there any such mechanism any such plan in the West Wing you cover? I mean Brian. If there is I've never I've not heard of it What we see in this west wing and it's what we've seen for three years. Now is a constant churn from crisis to crisis and president scrambling everyday for survival He is fixated on the new cycle fixated this week on. What's happening at the Department of Justice? If there's a broad domestic legislative agenda underway You know the American people don't really know about it and the president is doing very little to promote that he is. We should point out going to be In Daytona Beach Over the weekend at the Daytona five hundred. There are some reports that he may even take the motorcade on a lap of the race. Track So He's fixated on on campaign events like that and and trying to promote his image more so I would say in legislating. At this point. It was Ronald Reagan who I learned to make the most politically of the Daytona five hundred. Susan page you're one of full disclosure. You're one of two Susan's. We read with regularity around here other is glasser who writes for The New Yorker and I quote from her to get your reaction although the president himself is unchanged the context around him is very much altered in the history of the trump presidency. There will be a before impeachment an after your view of that. Oh yes I think so. I mean there had been some speculation. About what would be the effect of the impeachment process? We were sure that president trump was going to be acquitted by the Senate won't be effect on him and there were some including Susan Collins. Who suggested he might be chastened? That might have learned a lesson that is clearly not been the case. President trump is clearly been emboldened in the past week since he was acquitted by the Senate. We see that every day. We see that in the streets. We see in what he's doing now in these criminal cases. I think will continue to see that. Do you think Roger Stone is GonNa spend a day in jail between the Justice Department's actions in the presidential. Pardon me If I had a farm I would not bet on the idea that Roger Stone will actually spend the night in jail. Well Josh let me give you thirty seconds on this because of this judge is now in a tough spot and the chief judge yesterday put out a statement kind of covering her employees saying this office is not affected by outside pressures right and remember this sentencing unless it's deferred for some reason is now basically less than a week away. It's next Thursday. It's supposed to take place so the notion that this story will drop out of the headlines because the president's going to campaign rallies or something is just not going to happen and there are so many little wheels spinning here in terms of the reviews that bar has started in the Flynn case and other cases that it's just hard to see this going away. I think that Amy Berman Jackson. The judge will probably give a fairly stiff sentence Roger Stone. She didn't seem to care for his behavior very much at all so I I think he's looking at a tough time. But like Susan says he may get a pardon very quickly after that. Now the prospect of pardons just put everything into question to Susan page to Philip Rucker to Josh Gerstein. Our thanks for joining us after the week. We've all had late on a Friday night and coming up a closer look at the decision to clear. Andrew McCabe a case one federal judge says was run like an inquiry and a banana republic. And later what happens in Vegas and Nevada as a whole may reshape the democratic race. In its own way yet again. We have a preview for you tonight when we continue as the eleventh hour.