Barr record of deception for Bush calls credibility into question

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

The way matters show. We at nine eastern on MSNBC happy, Tuesday, the Republican party Pearl pulled off a rare electoral feet in one thousand nine hundred ninety eight when they were able to elect a president from their own party. After Ronald Reagan had just served his two terms as well. Usually voters are in the mood to turf out the party in power after a president from one party has has been in there for a couple of terms, but in one thousand nine hundred eighty eight the Republicans beat those odds Republican president Ronald Reagan had served for two terms. He was succeeded in office by his Republican vice president by George H W Bush was elected in one thousand nine hundred eight he was sworn in in January nineteen eighty nine. And although both those presidents both President Bush and President Reagan will certainly have their place in the history books. The transition wasn't as easy as you might expect the elevations from vice President Bush to President Bush was a little bit rocky in his first year especially early on in his first year. He suffered in comparison with President Reagan in particular when it came to his instincts around public communication and his handling of the presque to take for example, this moment just a few months after poppy Bush became president. This is may nine thousand nine hundred nine he'd been sworn in January of that year in may nineteen nine president, George H W Bush decided to make a very controversial very provocative, very bold public statement on foreign policy, but he did it in the most awkward inexplicable way possible. Which is exactly how the press reported it. His aides said the situation in Panama was relatively quiet today and required. No comment from the president. But Mr Bush had a nagging feeling that he had not made his views on Panama clear that the Panamanian people did not realize how much he hopes they will rise up against general Noriega, so on Air Force One Bush spoke out. Everything they can to have the will of the people respect the only he'd international calls. They ordered this new everything they can to get Mr. Noriega out there. A Bush worried that he might inflame the situation on second thought when he urged the Panamanian people to be cautious. How did no words of cautioned? The will of the people should be implemented. Look that I'm not about to get into proposing three point action plan for the people of Panama museum. I do. I do think it's important that it not meet the United States. The colossus of the north coming down there to try to dictate to the people of Panama. It's such a weird rollout of this position from the president. Right. His aides tell the press, you know, nothing's going on there's nothing in particular that is driving. This. The president was just doing this other thing was totally unrelated. And he had a nagging feeling. He had a feeling that. Maybe people weren't totally clear on how much he wants there to be a coup in Panama. So on air force what he hopes there's a coup. He doesn't want the United States to be dictating what should happen. But he does want there to be a coup. And so he wants to summit all the reporters on Air Force, One apropos nothing for him to remind them how much he thinks that country should oversee overthrow it's leadership. Not that he thinks the United States should be dictating. What happens there? What? Given that initially awkward rollout that day in may nineteen eighty nine the new president decided that he would give the whole thing another shot the following day. But again, it was sort of one shot forward to shots back. Administration says it hopes the Panamanian defense force will follow President Bush's plea to rise up against Noriega at a political fundraiser last night in Kentucky, Mr Bush said he would act as much as possible in concert with other countries, we do not want to return to the days of the imperialistic gringos of the north. We're not here to be the imperialistic gringos. We don't wanna be the colossus of the north. We don't wanna tell any country. What ought to happen in their country except in Panama, you guys need to have a coup. That was may nineteen eighty nine the early awkward days of the George H W Bush presidency by October of that same year, October nineteen Eighty-nine though, in fact, Panama had a coup at least they had an attempted coup. It did not go. Well. Animal's general Noriega in control then and still in control now evening, Panama general, Manuel Noriega is alive and well tonight still in power after rebel tubes. Tried to overthrow him in a day of heavy fighting the shrewd and durable. Military strongman appeared tonight on Panamanian television and condemn the uprising in the capital, Panama City, forces loyal to Noriego are in control NBC's, Brian Ross has been following all this Washington and tonight, Brian ultimately, it was Noriega's forces who won the day has talent. Eric and authorities say Noriega is much more powerful tonight after having so easily put down this morning's attack White House. Aides say they've known for a couple of days there could be an attempted coup. But that the president knew for certain only after gunfire erupted in Panama City, President Bush learned the fighting just before he welcomed Mexico's president. Silliness during the ceremonies. Bush seemed distracted not only was Bush worried about the coups chances of success. He also worried that Latin Americans would accuse the US of throwing its weight around in a tiny Lapin country. Bush later went out of his way to deny US involvement. Rumor Karan some American operation, I can tell you that is not true, although Bush denied involvement in the past he has urged Panamanians, especially the military to rise up against Noriega for love to see him. Get him out. We'd like to see him out of there is age. Do not believe that. Today's failure is George Bush's bay of pigs the Cuban invasion fiasco that haunted. John kennedy. The bay of pigs wasn't American operation. Today's attempted coup was not according to Bush's aides say that although he urged a revolt he never promised to help anytime. They're saying now, they don't think this is his bay of pigs anytime you. You have to reference that. Those reports are from October third that was the day of that failed attempted coup in Panama within a few days. This just continued to escalate and escalate and escalate domestically here until it became a full-scale political disaster for the relatively young George Hw Bush White House. Good evening. President Bush and his advisers are under fire tonight charged with fumbling a chance to get rid of general Manuel Noriega during Tuesday's attempted coup. President Bush took the unusual step of going to the democratic leader of the senate's office to assure George Mitchell that George Bush did not wimp out in the middle of the coup attempt later NBC's Andrea Mitchell asked Bush, if you got bad intelligence from his advisors. No, I do not think so at all. And and I don't think anybody up here thing, though, President Bush knew he was in trouble. When he read his morning newspapers caught off guard. Aides admit bad handling. Tragedy. Inexperience helped doom coup that is how that unfolded over the first week in October nineteen Eighty-nine George H W Bush's first year in office. Here's this new US president who had been encouraging a coup in this foreign country in Panama for months awkwardly, encouraging it having nagging doubts about whether he's been courage encouraging it enough right insisting on it at times. But still saying I don't wanna be telling you what to do except that you should have a when the coup finally comes to pass the coup fails, the US president appears to have not really known what he was talking about when he was begging publicly for that coup to happen, pledging there'd be all this support that never arrived. And then a week later. It's interesting that whole story, which was very very bad news for this new presidency that whole story took a turn it happened on Friday the thirteenth October thirteenth nineteen Eighty-nine. Just exactly a week after that day of terrible headlines for president George H W Bush about him screwing up. It came to that in Panama, but Tober thirteenth one week later that was black Friday that was the day. The stock market had a huge crash in one thousand nine hundred nine one of the biggest crashes of the decade, but even alongside that huge crash. The new twist in the Panama crisis made news that night to in a huge big new way. Because of this scoop on the front page of the L A times. F B I gets okay. For overseas arrests. That's the one headline in the LA times. This is the sub head Justice Department's decision which allows US law officers to act without the consent of foreign states. Could bring could apply to efforts to bring Panama's manual Noriega to trial in Florida. So even with the huge devastating stock market crash that black Friday October thirteenth nineteen Eighty-nine. There's also that weird scoop in the LA times which puts the disastrous Panama story back on the nightly news that same night. And again, yet another sort of almost ridiculously inept comment from the new president to punctuate it because every time something comes up in this story. He just seems to stick his foot in it. The FBI tonight has broad new powers to arrest American fugitives overseas. The Justice department says permission is not needed from foreign countries. However secretary of state James Baker said this new procedure will not be used without a full discussion of the obvious foreign policy implications. Just me. By going into a rescue Jedid foreign country L. Now this reverse artistry policy. Let up. No. Do that since he's at the independent now, I'm Barish this. I don't know what it is. You're I'll have to get back to you with the answer to your question. Marlin take care. I don't know. What it I'm not seeing the LA times reports on just have to not come in until I do. Arlen martin. We do we get the LA times here. What is this? I mean here is this new president on shaky ground who's had a really big foreign policy national security crisis in his first six months in office. Right. He has been ineffectually noncommittally sabre-rattling for months about how he wants there to be a coup in Panama. He wants the the wants the leader there to be overthrown. The US will be there if the Panamanian people if the Panamanian military just rise up and topple the leader, the US will be there for them after months of saying that and then not following through including when they tried it. I mean, this was a shocking turn in that story. Right. Here's the president's Justice department saying, well, here's a plan b if the whole coup thing doesn't work out because we can't quite get that together. Well, then here's plan b here's something we believe we can do we're going to proclaim under the law. We can do it U S law enforcement personnel US FBI agents, we're going to declare that they legally can just go into any other country anywhere in the world and arrest the leader of that country of the US wants to therefore you really need a coup. Well does have. The FBI do your coup for ya. Anywhere. That was the LA times. The scoop that October Justice department acting with unusual secrecy has given the FBI legal authority to apprehend fugitives from US law in foreign countries and return them to the United States without first obtaining, the foreign states consent. The rule could apply to such cases as the US effort to bring Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega to trial, quote department officials refused to discuss the broad new grant of power the legal grounds used to justify it or even to acknowledge its existence. The times noted that the refusal by Justice department officials to discuss the ruling was puzzling at a legal level because the ruling wasn't classified. It quote does not carry a security classification. So why wouldn't they discuss it? Why wouldn't they even admit that it existed? I mean the times knew it existed the LA times was able to figure out both the title of that memo and its author its author, then assistant attorney general William P bar. Yeah. That guy. Same William P bar was the newly appointed attorney general of the United States under President Trump when he was assistant attorney general under George H W Bush when he was running the office of legal counsel at the Justice department. He wrote, and then tried to keep secret a very controversial legal opinion on this very controversial issue. I mean, the brand new poppy Bush administration was contending with wave after wave of controversy and drama over this whole issue of Panama. This was one of the big waves and not controversy a legal opinion, which came to light a week after this failed coup. Right. A legal opinion. They were trying to keep secret which seemed to imply that the US nail believed the FBI could send in its agents to remove a foreign leader from power anywhere in the world on our own government's own say, so without consulting any foreign government about the fact that they were going to do this. I mean, it was one thing for the president to be calling for uprisings in other countries promising support for those uprising and then not delay. Dering was another thing for him to be saying that the uprising from here on out wouldn't be needed. Because we just do it ourselves with our law enforcement guys. Congress unsurprisingly was concerned. They convened a hearing that was titled FBI authority to seize suspects abroad, William P bar the author of that reported memo was summoned to testify who's asked to congress. He was asked by congress to hand over this legal memo that he'd authored which reportedly justified this kind of radical action that nobody had ever heard of before William P bar did show up for his congressional testimony. But he refused to hand over the opinion that he had written that led to him being summoned to testify in the first place is from the transcript of that hearing this debare, quote, although the content of the opinion like other advice rendered by the office of legal counsel. Must remain confidential. I'm happy to share with the committee are legal reasoning and our conclusions before turning to these legal issues. I think it's important that the committee understand and then he gets interrupted congressman John Edwards. The committee chairman interrupts Mr. bar may I interrupt. Why? Why does the opinion have to remain confidential? Is this a change in policy? We have a copy of other non-classified opinions. This is not a classified document mR Barr. Says excuse me, he says Mr. bar. Why are you withholding it from this committee? Bar then insisted it was the policy of the Justice department. That opinions like this must remain confidential. It does not appear at all to have been the broad-based policy of the Justice department that such documents would remain confidential. But nevertheless, he insisted that was the policy that he was fault following the committee, chairman knew that he was asserting a confidentiality policy that didn't really exist, and he pushed it on committee chairman pushed him he said, quote, I understand that Mr. bar, but this is public business the subject of much discussion in the United States. You are going to have to tell the public and the congress sometime why you change the rules on this arresting of fugitive overseas William response. That's what I'm here doing. We have no objection to explaining our conclusions, and our reasoning to the committee. I'm just not going to give you the document. Explain it to you describe what's in it. So here's congress saying this is a matter of intense public interest. This is the biggest scandal for this new president, right? There is reportedly document within the Justice department that is very relevant to our understanding of the conduct of this administration is directly on point for matter of huge public controversy and political importance in geopolitical importance that directly affects the behavior of the president of the United States, which has not been stellar on. This point you have to show us, this document that has been reported in the press that has been described your now admitting that this document exists show us the documents. Well, the embar says I don't want to show you the document. But trust me, I will describe it to you. He actually says at the hearing these are his words at that hearing in one thousand nine hundred nine he says that instead of handing over the actual opinion itself. He will quote summarize, the principal conclusions of the opinion summarize. Its principal conclusions. Where have I heard that before? Law. Professor Ryan Goodman is a former special counsel that fence department road up this historical account this week now that the same William Barr. This exact same guy is handling the report from special counsel, Robert Muller in exactly the same way, refusing to hand over the document hits self and instead he's providing what he described with exactly. The same words his summary of principal conclusions. Right that summary of principal conclusions is all we've got this far from bar. It's going to be followed Thursday morning this week by some sort of redacted censored version of Muller's report it's been twenty five days since Muller handed his report into William bar, a matter of intense public interest intense investigatory interest when it comes to this president and his administration in this campaign. We still only have William bar so-called summary of that documents principal conclusions. We still don't know what we're gonna get in terms of redacted version of Muller's report from bar on Thursday morning. But you know, thanks to history. We do know what happened. The last time William bar asked the country and ask congress to trust him to trust his summary of principal conclusions while he simultaneously refused to release the underlying document itself. That is what he is doing with the mullahs report right now that is exactly the same thing. He did using exactly the same language in one thousand nine hundred nine with his super controversial legal opinion. That said the FBI could go into any country in the world and arrest any foreign leader and bring them back to the United States took a while for it finally to come out, but within a couple of years of that stonewalling testimony from William bar at the height of the Panama controversy in one thousand nine hundred nine within a couple of years, the underlying document that gave rise to all that scandal that he said couldn't be released within a couple of years that document did finally get released in full congress subpoenaed it the Washington Post reporter, Michael Isikoff got his hands on it. Ultimately in the. Early years of the Clinton administration that legal opinion that Barr had refused to release said he would only describe it. It was just finally publicly printed and unredacted for him. Because of that because we can now see that we now know for the sake of informing our good judgment today and this week when it comes to William bar, we now know that the last time he tried to get away with something like this in one thousand nine hundred nine William bars summary of that documents principal conclusions bore no relation at all to what was actually in the underlying document. As Ryan Goodman, puts it this week, quote, when the opinion the real opinion was finally made public. It was clear that bars summary had failed to disclose the opinions principal conclusions bar so-called summary, quote, omitted, some of the most consequential and incendiary conclusions from the actual opinion. And there was evidently no justifiable reason for having withheld those parts from congress or the public Justice. An example, just as an example of the distance between what bar said in his summary, and what was actually in this document that he was purportedly summarizing. What he assured congress in his summary was that the actual opinion this controversial document that the LA times had scooped Amman right that they've learned existed. He said that the opinion was quote strictly a legal analysis of the FBI's authority as a matter of domestic law to conduct extraterritorial arrests is strictly about domestic law. Trust me, not gonna show you the opinion. I've decided I cannot show you this opinion. But this is my summary of what's in it. And I'm telling you, it's strictly an analysis as a matter of domestic law strictly. Then alternately we get the underlying document that he was refusing to release and just I mean, you don't wanna go through all of it. Just look at the subheadings in it. The effect of customary international law on the FBI's. Extraterritorial powers. Also, the president's constitutional power to authorize actions inconsistent with customary international law. Also the status of the UN charter than other unexecuted treaties and treaty provisions, my favorite subsection, f international and foreign law in the fourth amendment. I mean, whether or not it's a good thing or about thing that the Justice department at one point held that the FBI could go arrest foreign leaders anywhere in the world. When it came to time for William P bar to explain that to congress to explain to congress, and the public what was in that document. He said strictly on domestic this was strictly on domestic law. This is strictly only about US law. The whole thing actually turned out to be about international law at least all of the controversial and incendiary and inflammatory parts of it were, but he left all of those out in his summary. That's the last time. William Pibor tried to issue a summary of principal conclusions to congress and the public instead of handing over an actual document. And that previous experience in US history with William P bar is part of the reason there are so many red flags flying everywhere about him refusing to release the Mola report in full to congress about him writing his own summaries of what he says is in the Miller report instead of releasing the summaries that Muller's team wrote themselves about their own report. It's also the reason I think why they are just generally low expectations for whatever it is is going to be released from bars office Thursday morning this week as he has been involved in supervising this vague and ever-shifting redaction process that it appears to have invented on the spot. Once he received the Mola report and got a look at what was in it. So we're going to speak with Ryan Goodman in just a moment about the implications of William people are past behavior here, and what that tells us about what we're about to experience. But the fact that there are such low expectations for what's going to be released on Thursday morning. I think also puts the spotlight onto other prospects here, which may yet be influencing how attorney general William bar is heading into what he's going to do in two days. Number one. There's the question of Muller. There's the question of whether or not Robert Muller himself will be allowed to testify to congress about what his findings were separate and apart. From whatever written document is released to congress and the public will Muller be allowed to testify to explain what his findings were. It's very interesting over these last couple of weeks. Unexpected development House Republicans surprisingly have been on the same side as House Democrats on the issue of molar testifying both the top Republican on the intelligence committee, Devon Nunez, and the top Republican on the judiciary committee. Doug collins. They have both said since Muller submitted his report twenty five days ago that Miller himself should be called to testify in congress about the results of his investigation and his findings. So that will mean both the democratic chairman and the Republican ranking members of both of those key committees have said they want Muller testifying in congress. Could that help? If this goes badly on Thursday morning, which I think everybody is expecting it to in terms of what is cut out of Muller's findings could testimony from Muller meaningfully fix that. Could it meaningfully assuage concerns in the country about what bar has cut out of Muller's written findings if Moller's allowed to testify on his own terms as to what he found? That's one. Then there's also the judicial process, and this has not had nearly as much attention. But we know that the judiciary committee is going to subpoena the full document after they see what's been redacted out of it. But there's another way that judicial proceedings matter here, not just in terms of what congress might be able to get through the courts using the subpoena process. There's another way in which the judiciary here might matter today. There was a hearing on a foia lawsuit of freedom of information act lawsuit by BuzzFeed, news, number of media entities. And I are seeking to release the full unredacted report today and a hearing on one of these foyer emotions a federal judge, George W Bush appointee named judge Reggie Walton. He suggested in open court today that whatever William Barbara Dax Muller's report that may be subject to his review as a judge who's considering these foia requests that judge today suggested in court that he personally made need to look at the entire unredacted Miller report himself. Off to decide if bars reductions from that report are proper under the freedom of information act, or if those things that bars redacting from that report ought to be released to the public too. That's important. Right. That's important. Not only for what might happen down the line in terms of those foia lawsuits. It's important in terms of what William bar might do next because the bottom line here is that William bar got caught once before not telling the truth about an underlying document that he said couldn't be released he purported to summarize it he put out a purported summary that did not at all match that document that he tried to keep secret. Well, the Muller report may never be kept secret in the long run either. There are multiple paths by which the full unredacted Muller report may ultimately see the light of day some of them controlled by congress some of them controlled by the judiciary, some controlled by unforeseen factors that we don't know how US history is going to wrap around in the future. But if bar is going to try this week to get away with selling some version of Muller's findings. That is not a truthful Representative renovate truthful representation of what Muller actually found. He will likely be caught for that. Just like he was before that is what history tells us, and that has to loom that hasta loom over what he is planning on shoveling us on Thursday morning. We'll be right back. This episode is brought to you by g k. For years, we have relied on anti-biotics. But what happens if they stop working and a once treatable infection could be fatal at GS K. We're one of the few companies continuing to invest in a new generation of antibiotics through our own dedicated team and by working with other scientists because antibody resistance isn't a problem of the future. It's already here. After being handed. The report on the investigation by special counsel, Robert Muller, twenty five days ago. Newly appointed attorney general Bill Barr told the country that while he really really really wanted to be asked transparent as possible he could not possibly release Muller's report to the public or to congress, nor could he release even the summaries of Muller's findings that Muller's team reportedly wrote themselves specifically, so they could be released to the public. No, he couldn't release those at all William bark, not let any of that see the light of day. Instead, he would be more than happy to release his own summary of the principal conclusions of Muller's investigation this principle conclusions we now know amounted to everything's fine. The president is very cool everybody, go home. We're now learning that this is not the first time William bar has resorted to that trick in one thousand nine hundred nine he drafted a really really really controversial memo when he was the head of the office of legal counsel at the Justice department when word leaked about that document and congress demanded to see it bar said, no insisted that even though the document wasn't classified. It was just very important that they not see that document. Instead he offered to you guessed. It summarize the principal conclusions of the document trust him. You don't need to see the real thing. He'll just tell you. What's in it? As law professor and former defense department special counsel, Ryan Goodman writes this week at just security, quote, when the oil c- opinion was finally made public long after bar left office. It was clear that bar summary had failed to fully disclose the opinions principal conclusions. It omitted some of the most consequential and incendiary conclusions from the actual opinion. There was evidently no justifiable reason for having withheld those parts from congress or the public. Joining us now is NYU law. Professor ryan. Good man, he did service special counsel to the defense department during the Obama administration. He's now co editor in chief at just security, professor Goodman. Thanks for being here. Thank you. So I'm working off your work here. I didn't know this story about this. Oh, all see memo until you wrote about it. But I was fascinated to get back into that history. Let me just I ask you if I screwed any that up and telling that story, you think you lead political context extremely wheels to so one of the things that we learn from you resurfacing this story from reason history is that William bars been doing this for a long time. And that he is. I mean, we knew he was an experience Washington official. This tells us something specifically about his experience. But it also raises the question as to whether or not he might ultimately feel constrained in putting out a summarized or redacted version of a document if he knows that the ultimate document, the original document is ultimately going to come out. How did you come away feeling about that looking at this issue? So I think that's one of the most important insights from the. History is that when he is withholding from congress. I e tries to withhold the opinion. Then he says, I'll give you my summary of it. He must know that eventually it will come out. So what's most worrisome is that he must know that it will tarnish his reputation when the opinion finally does see the light of day. But I think he has a mission and the mission is to protect the White House and protect the president. So he knows by the time that this opinion might come out and he guessed right or he strategized correctly. It's three years later. The whole political issue has changed and it's a new administration. So he's moved on out of that job. He's moved on to other jobs, and it's small enough issue in its history that it doesn't end up tarring for life. If anything might even think that it proves himself, it proves himself to another administration the Trump administration. This could be your guy like he can do this kind of work for you. Because he's willing to put himself on the line. And he's this is pretty artful. What he did it's strategic deception, and I would think that if they knew about this history where there's every reason to think that they might have in digging up his history and under. Standing him. This would be the person for them. Does it? How does it factor into that sort of calculus that sort of strategic deception the prospect that Robert Muller might testify? This doesn't have a lot of attention. But I have been surprised over the last couple of weeks to see the top Republicans on key committees, including intelligence and judiciary come out and say that they to want Robert Muller to testify about his findings not just bar testifying about molars findings, but Moeller himself. I wonder just big picture if you think that Muller's testimony might be a way of correcting for any distorting reductions or over ambitious reductions that bar tries to get away with I do think. So I think that there couple of checks this time around that won't repeat history. So there is Muller in the background. And maybe he testifies there's also the Muller team. So we already know from the New York Times reporting in the Washington Post reporting that the mother team was very dissatisfied with they went over thrusts for the first time. Yeah. For the first time in all of this period of there'd been incredibly, quiet. So that's another. Other kind of check that they might go to the press is whistle blowers. Essentially, if our misrepresents their work, which he seems to have already done, and he does it even worse on Thursday. Then I think that's a second check. And then the third check is that the House Judiciary committee has already authorized the chair to subpoena the full report and back in one thousand nine hundred nine believe it or not a takes congress Twenty-one months before they subpoena the full report. So this time around I think Barbie's things about the calculation. He might actually think this report could become public within a matter of months. Exactly. And even though it took a long time in eighty nine for congress to issue that subpoena once they did they got it quickly in this case, he knows that congress has gone issue that subpoena right away maybe on Thursday. And so it may happen fast. Exactly one week in nineteen eighty nine after they've finally issued this thank you for digging up this piece of history. I mean, I know that it was a little bit hiding in plain sight when she went to go look for it. But I never would have known about this point in bars history. And it does feel like an incredibly uncannily spot on. Precedent for what we're going through. Thanks. Thank you have you here. Ryan Goodman is the co editor in chief adjusts security dot org, which is where you can read this piece that he's written about the bizarre Noriega memo. I was also a former special counsels defense department during the Obama administration. We'll be right back. There was the time. He got mad about the size of his rally not the reported size of his rally, but the size of his rally. There was the time. He told the attorney general that he was an idiot. There was the time. He cursed out the Senate majority leader over the phone, the berating with a profane shouting match reporting. There was the time he your -rupt. It Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer that one happened on live TV and gave rise to some amazing photos. It is a feature a regular feature of this presidency that the president gets. It is such a thing that the president literally has had to say, quote, I don't have temper tantrums. He said that in the middle of a big public rent about his border wall, which kind of seems like a tantrum even in that moment. Here's another one though in December twenty seventeen there were multiple reports that the president's biggest lender Deutsche Bank had received a subpoena from Robert Muller in the Russia investigation. Deutsche Bank, of course, has loan President Trump billions of dollars over the years when other financial institutions wouldn't loan him so much as their pocket lint. Why have they done that? I mean, the Bank was also involved in the multibillion dollar Russian money laundering scheme. Are those things connected. It was not a total surprise that. Robert Muller might wanna peek inside the Trump files at Deutsche Bank, nevertheless, months later, we learned that those published reports that Deutsche Bank had received subpoenas from Muller's investigation. We learned that those reports sent. Trump into one of his more over the top destructive impressive freak outs. The president was reportedly. So hopping mad over the nerve of Robert Muller to subpoena Deutsche Bank that he reacted to that news by trying to fire special counsel, Robert Muller that was the reporting quote, angry president sought to fire Muller over deutchebanks subpoenas. Now weirdly at the time, it was not totally clear that Muller actually had subpoena Deutsche Bank, the president's personal lawyer said he checked it out with the Bank and found that no such subpoenas existed. Okay. We don't know sort of an open question, given the reporting. Maybe that was right. I mean, maybe it was a false alarm for the president the house intelligence chairman, Adam Schiff has repeatedly publicly questioned whether the special counsel's investigation ever peaked into the president's finances at all suggesting in fact that they haven't I don't know why Adam Schiff is saying that, but he's been saying that for months, he's probably in a position to know as the chairman of the intelligence committee. I mean, we also don't know for sure what what happened to the subpoenas that Deutsche Bank reportedly got that that made the president so mad did they definitely get them. What happened to the once? They were issued. Why did the president reacted the way? He I mean, maybe we'll find out on Thursday when the attorney general releases some redacted version of Robert Muller's report, but two days before that report comes out, we do know as of today that Deutsche Bank definitely has been subpoenaed now for sure late yesterday Democrats in the house issued friendly, but formal subpoenas to Deutsche Bank demanding the president's financial records. Exactly the same territory of those reported subpoenas that drove the president to rage out and try to fire Robert Muller along time ago. The New York Times is reporting that Democrats have not just subpoenaed deutchebanks. They've also asked for documents from J P Morgan Chase Bank of America. And also sitting group documents regarding quote, possible money laundry. By people in Russia and eastern Europe. These new subpoenas from Democrats in congress follow one for financial records that were sent to the president's accounting firm, and the House Ways and means committee, directing the IRS to hand over the president's tax returns in accordance with the law, which says the IRS has to hand them over the president has now hired a brand new failings of lawyers whose only job seems to be to keep the president's tax returns and financial records away from scrutiny to keep them secret from everybody who has a right to see them the president's business. Trump organization is also reportedly considering ways to try to block Deutsche Bank from complying with the subpoenas and forking over Trump's files. So the president's Bank, the president accounting firm, the president's taxes, it's all happening at once. I know the Muller report Thursday morning, but all of this stuff separate and apart from Muller's investigation. It's all now happening. Congress wants all of those records now and his acting to get them. The last time we got anywhere close to this. The president got so mad. He tried to fire Robert Mueller with no rubber Muller left to fire anymore. What is the president going to do to stop this? Now that thought. Joining us now is Greg Farrell investigative reporter for Bloomberg news, Mr. Phelps great to have you with us here tonight. Thanks for coming. So the last time we spoke the president was reportedly freaking out over the special counsel reportedly having issued a subpoena to join your Bank about their relationship with President Trump. We then learned months later that the president considered that to be a red line. He blew his top. It led him to try to fire the special counsel now after all of that experience. Now, we're in a situation where undisputedly there are definitely subpoenas to Georgia Bank and a bunch of banks their congressional subpoenas. So a couple of questions for you just as an experience reporter on these matters first of all a subpoena from congress does it have any less force or any more force for these banks than a grand jury subpoena. Would know it has the full force in banks want this where you mentioned friendly subpoenas before friendly, and so far is this now makes it easy for Deutsche Bank to respond. It was very difficult when congresswoman Maxine Waters asked for it two years ago, she didn't have subpoena power. So you know, they might have been some public interest in it. But to the Bank secrecy act prevented Georgia Bank from doing anything along those lines so subpoena power, you know, give congresswoman waters Schiff, you know, the chance to, you know, the power to command this into what your Bank has full defense that you know. They're allowed to turn this over. So I don't think the president's lawyers are going to have much of a chance if they're going to try to fight this so Alan garden, who's a lawyer at the Trump organization. The president's business has said that he is exploring options to try to block Deutsche Bank from responding to the subpoena. Are there any options? I mean, it's sort of seems like this is this is a cul de sac. They're very creative. And I'm sure he's going to try to find something that might pose an impediment. But I don't see how they can. They can avoid this at this point, given the earlier reporting that the president really did lose his mind about this. And that it led him to try to fire the special counsel. Even though he knew what the locations of that would likely be what are you? How are you viewing this in terms of the seriousness of these subpoenas in terms of potential response from the White House in terms of the limited legal options? They have for blocking this. I mean, as I said, there's no there's no Robert Mueller to fire here. And he he can't fire Maxine Waters around him. Chef how do you think about this in terms of what kind of a clash this isn't how serious this might be? Well, first of all. For most people, you know, the going into defensive mode and trying to prevent information. Like this getting out would be assigned that there's something that is being hidden something that the president's hiding. However, I think we've seen after a couple of years, this is almost a reflexive mode. Anything having to do with Russia. One of the reasons the Russia inquiry became so like powerful it had such momentum is because they were denials and lies and and attempts at covering up and most people only cover up on this something to be covered up. But you know, to some extent, it's just a default mode. It seems like in the White House to just prevent information from getting out even if everything was on the up and up. So I don't think that helps in this case. You know, we we will find out, but that kind of reaction suggests that there's something wrong. So I'm not sure that's the case. But you know, the presence different that way. Do you think this will unfold in fairly short order is this something that's going to stretch on for years until like this'll be fairly short order. I think I'm not sure it's a coincidence that the speed is come now after Bob molars, finally wound down. So his inquiry is over and now it's a chance for congress to go forward. They've had five months to put a game plan together. So I'm sure on November tenth they were planning on what they were going to do. But this is the first move. So now's your chance to get something. I don't think it will take long Greg Farrell investigative reporter for Bloomberg news. Thanks for helping us understand the great. Thank you. All right. We'll be right back. Stay with us. Tonight was the second one ever the first one happened last month congress had voted to basically undo the president trying to declare an emergency. So he could build his wall between us and Mexico. Even though congress said no to that he declared the emergency congress said, oh, no, you don't Trump then issued his first ever veto. He vetoed the Ono you don't from congress. So that he could still built his wall. That was the first time he ever issued a veto now tonight he has just issued his second ever veto congress. This year took the very rare step of challenging a president on war. They voted to end US involvement in the war in Yemen tonight. President Trump called that measure that congress sent him quote and unnecessary dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities. And then he put his veto sharpy to it. We have a president who is now governing in a way he didn't use to govern. Because congress has. Not openly challenged him much. She has not governed by veto much. But now to vetoes in two months, presumably more to come watch the space. I have an unusual sound for you, can you name this. If you've ever spent time in New England, you'll have a leg up on everybody else here. But are you ready? All right hit. I know that sounds like bad news. But it's not that is not the sound of a dying animal or an animal in distress. That is the sound of a happy. Fisher cat of Fisher cat is not actually a cat. It's in the weasel family. It's a large carnivorous are boreal tree dwelling weasel. They're one of the only things rascal enough to know how to eat a porcupine part of the answer is carefully despite its screaming cuteness fishers are known to be pretty ferocious. He want to talk more about the Fisher cat. You should ask. Former two time Republican governor of Massachusetts Bill weld yesterday Bill weld announced he will challenge Donald Trump in the Republican presidential primary in twenty twenty. He also went out of his way to announce that the Fisher cat will be his his mascot, his guiding spirit in this endeavor. He told the Boston Globe, quote, people are usually like what's a Fisher cat. But they don't realize how ferocious they can be sort of like me and this campaign. Pain. The last time they sitting president faced a primary challenge was one thousand nine hundred ninety two the last time Bill weld ran for office twenty sixteen as Gary Johnson's vice presidential candidate on the libertarian ticket. This should be interesting. I also want you to know that Bill weld is standing by to talk to my friend Lawrence O'Donnell this hour. So don't go anywhere. We'll see you again tomorrow. Meadow show, weeknights at nine eastern on MSNBC. Hi, it's Lawrence O'Donnell. If you love MSNBC where your heart on your sleeve, you can gear up with t shirts. Hoodies hats and more from the last word and all of your favorite MSNBC shows you can shop now at MSNBC store dot com.

Coming up next