tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC October 9, 2019 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
that will do it for us tonight. now it's time for "the last >> there is reason to believe she might want to show up. she didn't necessarily leave on the best of terms with the trump white house and i don't like to use the short-hand terms but considered a russia hawk in trump world, that means you disagree with donald trump on just about everything involving russia. >> and, you know, the relationship of her sort of per view under the trump administration and what's happened with this ukraine proceeding, an interesting ask to ask the russia advisor to come in and talk about this ukraine scandal. i would love to hear what she has to say about this. i don't know what sort of leverage that will have to block her but we'll see. >> legally, they don't have any but we'll see what they do. >> thanks, lawrence. >> thanks, rachel. donald trump has crossed a
line in polling that no president running for reelection has ever crossed. no president running for reelection has ever had a majority of the american people say in a poll that that president should be impeached and removed from office. donald trump achieved that today in a stunning new fox news poll which shows that 51% of registered voters now believe donald trump should not just be impeached but also be removed from office by the united states senate. another 4% support impeachment by the house but not removal by the senate and that brings the total supporting the impeachment of the president to 55% in a fox news poll. and now joe biden is officially and clearly one of the people in that 51% of registered voters who believe donald trump should be impeached and removed from office. here is joe biden today in new hampshire. >> president trump has indicted himself by obstructing justice,
refusing to compile with the congressional inquiry. he's already convicted himself. in full view of the world and the american people, donald trump is violated his oath of office, betrayed this nation and committed impeachable acts. you know -- [ applause ] >> to preserve our contusion, our democracy, our basic integrity, he should be impeached. >> should be impeached and is convictable. joe biden kept going. joe biden has clearly seen enough evidence to know how he would vote on removal from office if he still was a member of the united states senate sitting as a juror in the trump impeachment trial.
>> but we have to remember that impeachment isn't only about what the president has done. it's about the threat the president imposes to the nation if allowed to remain in office. we all laughed when he said he could stand in the middle of fifth avenue and shoot someone and get away with it. it's no joke. he's shooting holes in the constitution. and we cannot let him get away with it. [ applause ] >> he has another year in office. no, i'm serious. think about that. think about that. he'll stop at nothing to save himself. no individual, no institution. nothing. nothing that we've held sacred in the nation more than 200 ot to have a president who will abuse whatever power is available to get reelected.
>> 51% of registered voters agree with every word of what joe biden said right there. every word. and the worst news in that fox news poll for donald trump is that support for impeachment is inthe people who have been dona trump's most reliable supporters in the fox news poll support for impeachment is up 11 points among democrats and there is no surprise there but up the same amount among rural white voters. support for impeachment has gone up 10% among rural white voters and gone up 8% among white men without a college degree and gone up a full five percent among white evangelical christians. he can't afford to lose any white men without a college degree. he cannot afford to lose any white rural voters and now he's already lost them.
lost many of them to impeachment. the poll numbers in support of impeachment have been going up every day. the poll numbers in support of impeachment move in only one direction now and those poll numbers now apparently have donald trump worried enough that he's reportedly calling mitch mcconnell multiple times a day to check on the unity of the members of the senate jury for his impeachment trial. senator kamala harris will be a member of the coal mit ti commit senator harris is a member of the committee and has a few questions for rudy giuliani if he dares to show up. she's a member of the senate majority committee that released a report showing how russia attacked in 2016 and how so muc voters. also tonight, bloomberg is
reporting that as the manhattan district attorney closes in on donald trump's person and business tax returns, a key witness is donald trump's former lawyer, fixer, michael cohen who has been reporting with the manhattan district attorney. we'll be guided through that story later in this hour. and the biggest conflict donald trump has ever had with republican members of congress, republican members of the senate is not over his possibly impeachment conduct but over his very sudden shift on syria policy at the request of the president of turkey in one of those very peculiar trump phone calls with the president of a foreign country. we'll consider the sudden switch in syria and how it affects his grip on republican senators and republican voters when he needs their support the most to survive the impeachment process. they will bring foreign policy
expertise to that question at the end of this hour. president trump's desire to please turkey's president erdogan has been a consistent phenomenon throughout the trump presidency. donald trump does business in turkey at trump tower in istanbul and puts the united states interest ahead. bloomberg is reporting donald trump did that in 2017 when he asked then secretary of state rex tillerson to do something tillerson believed is a crime. what donald trump wanted was a favor to both the president of turkey and a favor to rudy giuliani at the same time. bloomberg reports president donald trump pressed then secretary of state rex tillerson to persuade the justice department to drop a criminal case against an iranian turkish gold trader that's a client to rudy giuliani according to three people in the oval office. tillerson refused arguing it
would constitution interference in an an going investigation of the trader. according to the people. they said other participants in the oval office were shocked by the request. tillerson immediately repeated objections to the chief of staff john kelly in a hallway conversation outside the oval office emphasizing the request would be illegal. rudy giuliani was part of the legal team defending a federal prosecution in new york city on charges of violating u.s. sanctions against iran's new clear program. now, these are the sanctions that donald trump has always said are necessary to crush iran. these are the sanctions that donald trump is always wanting to increase and here was donald trump trying to help someone who was accused of violating those sanctions because that person was close to the president of turkey who very much wanted him not to be prosecuted. when reporters interviewed rudy giuliani for this story they got
classic giuliani. giuliani said suppose i did talk to trump about it. so what? if he spoke directly to tillerson, he declined to say if he spoke to tillerson about the case saying you have no right to know that. there is also big news tonight about the whistle blower and it is news that you can completely ignore because the whistle blower no longer matters. what matters is that every relevant fact that the whistle blower wrote in his whistle blower report has proven true and everything the whistle blower wrote in a two-page memo to himself in which he quickly wrote down the very first things that he heard about the president's phone call with the president of ukraine, those things have also proven true and we know that because cbs news has obtained and published today the full two-page whistle blower memo.
the first thing the whistle blower wrote down, notes about what he first heard from a white house official about the president's phone call. everything in that two-page memo has proved to be true and none of it matters in the memo because we have the rough transcript of the president's phone call which is what the house of representatives is going to use in an article of impeachment. they are going to use not the whistle blower's words. they are going to use the president's own words as they appear in that white house record of that phone call. leading off our discussion rhode special assistance to the president and deputy legal advisor to the national security counsel and president obama and jonathan alters is joining us, a columnist for the daily beast and msnbc political analyst and ben, i want to begin with you on what we learned today about rex
tillerson's meeting in which rex tillerson basically refused to do what the president wanted him to do for the president of turkey and for rudy giuliani because rex tillerson apparently told the president in the oval office it's not legal. >> yeah, well, lawrence first of all, tess may remember this. president erdogan was raising this case with president obama towards the end of our administration and saying we don't get involved in these investigations. if you pick up a rock in this administration, you find corruption under it as we've seen corruption in the effort to pressure ukraine to leverage u.s. assistance to pressure ukraine to investigate trump's political opponents, we see clearly in the story the president of the united states interfering in an on going investigation into a violation of iran sanctions which he claims to have supported on behalf of this authoritarian leader and rudy giuliani, a
private u.s. citizen and these relationships are important because erdogan was able to call up trump one authoritarian leader to another and get him to abandon the kurds that fought with the united states to defeat isis and syria and know he's granted this kind of extraordinary role to giuliani and engages as if he's an official and he's not and all of the comments he seems to presents himself as above the law. that's what this is about. a president and people around him who think they are above the laws of the nation. >> rex tillerson said in a public interview last year about donald trump asking him to do illegal things and it sounds like it happened way more than just once. >> when the president would say here is what i want to do and here is how i want to do it and i'd have to say to him, well, mr. president, i understand what
you want to do but you can't do it that way. now it violates the law. it violates treaty. you know, he got really frustrated. i didn't know how to conduct my affairs with him any other way than in a very straightforward fashion. and i think he grew tired of me being the guy every day that told him you can't do that. and let's talked about what we can do. >> tess, when you look at the rough record of that phone call with the president of ukraine, it looks like there are no more rex tillerson's in the room telling him what he cannot do. >> yeah, now, that's exactly right and it's comforting to hear that tillerson did stand up to the president on this among other issues. i mean, if there is one thing that i think we need to keep in mind about this most recent episode, it's that we know that if we're going to remain a society that's governed by the rule of law, there is some fund mental principles we have to
adhere to and one of them is that the administration of justice has to be impartial and free of political interference and if you are a friend of the president's, if you are politically or financially entangled with the president, that should not put you above the law. it's that simple. i think the july 26th memo, what it tells us is that the national security context is something that we need to keep in mind as we're looking at the grave abuses of president's office and trying to advance his political interests through this call with ukraine, the striking thing in that july 26th memo to me is the white house staffer saying there was no national security content to that call. and that means that the president using it to advance his personal interests had an opportunity cost for our national interest that it wasn't advanced on that call. we didn't even get there and that's something i think is important to keep in focus, as well, as we look at this. >> jonathan, i want to take a
look at a couple more numbers in the fox news poll. it's a fox news poll. i'm sure the president will be attacking it now that it shows majority support for his removal from office but one question is did the president -- is the president getting what he deserves? 48% in the fox news poll say trump is getting what he deserves in an impeachment investigation. only 37% say people are out to get trump and another number in here, the basic question, is it appropriate for trump to ask foreign leaders to investigate rivals, 66% say no. >> see, this is like a mafia shakedown. it's easy for people to understand. they see movies about the mafia. it's not the mueller report with a lot of complexity they don't get into and in terms of these documents that they are not going to cough up now, i'm not really worried about that because the problem is not that there is not a smoking gun.
there is not just a smoking gun. there is a smoking artillery range. there is a tremendous amount of evidence that is already in the public record, and so this idea that something more has to be uncovered, he could be with justification impeached tomorrow and what's fascinating is that the american people understand it. so support for richard nixon's impeachment did not go above 50% until two weeks before he was forced from office and resigned. so that arguably is kind of where we are. it's not going to be that soon before the house impeaches trump but we are moving into at warp speed the end phase of this in terms of understanding he's committed impeachable offenses. that is now established fact. >> ben, i want to go back to what rachel and i were talking about just at the top of the hour here, which is this breaking news report from axios saying the house democrats now
are seeking testimony from former russia advisor fiona hill saying they want her at a deposition on october 14th. they want her to turnover documents dating back to january of 2017, dating back to virtually inaugurtion day and so she's a long-time policy expert. she's a critic of vladimir putin. she's someone who is known not to agree with president trump on russia. what do you think she might be able to add to the committee's understanding? >> she could add a tremendous amount, lawrence. everybody who works in the national security committee wonders why she was working there in the first place. she's not the person you would expect to go along where trump makes himself the junior partner to vladimir putin. she's been at the nexus of the contacts she had. she may not have been in the room but had access to call transcripts and keep in mind this ukraine story is intertwined with the russia
story in part because russia invaded ukraine but also remember, it's not just that trump was asking ukraine to investigate the biden family, he was also asking ukraine to investigate this kind of crazy right wing conspiracy theory that russia did not intervene in the 2016 election, that it was actually ukraine and so fiona hill would know a lot about what donald trump said to vladimir putin about whether he's advanced these conspiracy theories and whether he sought to absolve russia for responsibility and whether or not donald trump has done anything to protect the 2020 presidential election from on going russian interference. she in documents in her testimony, i think, could provide an initial road map to how donald trump is faced this curious relationship with vladimir putin where he seemed to do everything that vladimir putin would want to discredit the united states and make ukraine more vulnerable and frankly, to engage in conspiracy theories that lets putin off the hook for what he did in the 2016 election and likely to try to do again in the 2020 election.
>> tess, what i find striking about the rex tillerson story is it's a new story and a lot of pressure to get these kinds of stories. michael wolff had these stories in his first book exposing the inside of the trump white house. bob wood ward had stories like this in here and yet, here is a new one in an area where rex tillerson has already publicly expressed himself saying that the president asked him to do things that weren't legal and it -- and these three sources for this story and it just is another indication of how many people are out there with information that they can release whenever they so choose, either to the committees or to the press. >> that's absolutely right and from the clip that you just showed, lawrence, it's clear there are additional instances
that former secretary tillerson was referring to when he was talking about for example conduct that would violate treaties there is no treaty violation at issue in this most recent episode that's been revealed just now so that's different. other violations of laws, as well. it's not clear that what happened just now or what is being revealed just now is a violation of law so clearly there is more in secretary tillerson's experience but does under score that almost any of the officials who dealt personally with president trump may have further information aboutimproper conduct as ben was saying and goes to show this pattern of the president putting his personal interest over the national interest really at every turn and anyone who was within the president's inner circle within his orbit may have been subjected and had to make a choice whether or not they would
stand up to it or abide by it or be come -- here is the come poli police it. >> it doesn't matter. you care about a document like that when you don't have the phone call. >> think about when a guy robs a bank and there is videotape of him putting a gun to the teller and there is a witness in the bank who is sworn out a statement that supplements, it's nice that you have the witness's testimony but he's been caught red-handed. you don't need it. thisis supplemental.
having said that, if rex tillerson testified that the president wanted him to break the law, that could be a game changer in that you then could maybe see support for the president collapsing in the senate. we're not at that point yet but others hope. you know, if you talk to bob sheafer, maybe he would be willing to talk to a congressional committee. >> we will see. thank you-all for starting us off tonight. appreciate it. when we come back, our guest is senator kamala harris. she'll be a juror in the impeachment of donald j. trump as a juror if he's impeached. she took action to preserve evidence in the impeachment investigation. senator kamala harris joins us next. ♪ limu emu & doug hour 36 in the stakeout. as soon as the homeowners arrive, we'll inform them that liberty mutual customizes home insurance, so they'll only pay for what they need. your turn to keep watch, limu. wake me up if you see anything.
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addressed to every member of the trump cabinet. those two senators are former attorneys general in their states. senator kamala harris and blumenthal and they are demanding every member of the trump cabinet quote take immediate action to identify and preserve all relevant evidence and cooperate with on going future investigations. both senators are members of the senate judiciary committee and yesterday the chairman indicated there is an investigation he would like the committee to pursue. chairman graham said he would invite rudy giuliani to testify before the senate judiciary committee about quote corruption in ukraine. senator harris responded to that on twitter saying good. i have questions. joining us now is senator kamala harris, democrat from california a member of the judiciary committee and intelligence committee and now a democratic candidate for president of the
united states. senator, thank you very much for joining us tonight. i want to begin with what reads like a prosecutor's notice letter saying preserve all your documents, this comes from you and senator blumenthal to former state attorneys general, you actually referenced that in your letter. i think the recipients of this letter today know that very well about both of you. what are you hoping to accomplish? >> to put everyone on notice, lawrence, this is a process that is about pursuit of justice and truth and that we are not going to tolerate in our role of oversight any conduct that interferes with that process and so we are putting members of the cabinet on notice that they have a duty and a responsibility to preserve evidence to protect whistle blowers and the inspector's general of the various agenies and cooperate with the process and frankly, to
your point, the letter perhaps is unique because i don't think in recent history we've seen the need for those kinds of obvious points to be made but with this administration, we can't take anything for granted, especially when we've seen the highest elected official in our government donald trump actively engaged in the suppress of evidence and the intimidation of witnesses. so i applaud my colleague and friend senator blumenthal for all the work he has done for so many years in the united states senate and he and i together have many shared experiences that tell us that as former prosecutors, this kind of letter and instruction is necessary with this administration. >> i saw one comment on twitter today actually by rick, a frequent quest on this program saying that the white house counsel's letter yesterday to the house, to the committee's about the impeachment process basically said that the constitution is unconstitutional, which i think
is the short hand for it. i want to get a legal, professional reaction to that letter. >> you know, lawrence, i -- there is -- everything that is, you know, should be up is down and down is up with this administration including that statement. it is ridiculous on its face and this is a moment that highlights the magnificent brilliance of the framers of our constitution and the founders of our nation who imagined such a moment where there would be an out right and obvious, at this point, abuse of power by one branch of government in this case the executive branch and the need therefore for these kinds of checks and balances. so the letter today from senator blumenthal and myself and so many others who have stood up to stand for accountability and for our democracy is about living what our founders imagine might be necessary, which is to have these checks and balances. but that statement is ridiculous
and is clearly just another example of members of this administration who frankly are violating their oath lawrence. i say that purposely. it's not like they are ignoring it or overlooking it. they are violating it. they took an oath to defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies foreign and domestic and i think it is clear that there are enemies who are american citizens, enemies to our democracy and this is a moment where everyone should have the courage to stand up and speak to the values of our constitution and our democracy and our system of justice. >> senator, i for one, believe that friends do not allow rudy giuliani to testify under oath, so you may never get your day in the senate judiciary committee to ask him questions. i have a feeling that lindsey graham invitation won't ever be delivered but if it is and if he delivers to cable news the gift
of rudy giuliani testifying, what questions would you have for rudy giuliani? >> i would ask and the public has a right to know whether and what the president directed him to do and what exactly under what conditions those directions took place. there are questions about who gave rudy giuliani the authority to work on behalf of the united states government when in fact he was the private attorney of the president doing his personal bidding for the president's political benefit. i also have questions, lawrence, about whether there was any bribery at place here. because it -- that is a question in my mind. were any officials, foreign or domestic bribed in any way to carry out what clearly was an act against the best interest of our national security? so i have a lot of questions and i look forward to rudy giuliani
testifying before the senate under oath. i think it will be very revealing of the president, his administration and the folks that he chooses to service his advisors. >> senator, please stay with us across the break and what we come back, i'll ask about the senate intelligence committee bipartisan report. i don't think people realize how bipartisan senate committee is that you released yesterday specifics about the russian interference and the election, new specifics including the way the russians specifically targeted black voters and their disinformation. we'll do that across this commercial break. please stay with us, senator. >> will do. thank you. seeing what people ld in the attic. well, saving on homeowners insurance with geico's help was pretty fun too. ahhhh, it's a tiny dancer. they left a ton of stuff up here.
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>> the kurds are fighting for their land and as someone wrote in a powerful article, they didn't help us in world war and normandy. they were there but they are there to help us with their land and that's a different thing. >> presidential candidate senator kamala harris is back with us. senator harris, the new rule if you're not great britain or canada, which are the only two countries that helped us on normandy beach, we have no responsibilities. >> lawrence, the issue presented here is obviously a very serious matter. the kurds stood with us. when we were in a time of need, meaning we needed allies and friends to stand with us and one of the most important battles that in modern history we have fought in the name of our national security, and yet
again, donald trump makes unilateral decisions, based on his fragile ego or other alliances that are about his personal benefit and not in the best interest of our national security and in this case, potentially leaving friends to be slaughtered and all the while also while they are moving towards the border to defend themselves, they are also abandoning their post and guarding prisons where there are isis fighters and families. so across the board including the tweet which suggestions that he also doesn't have a sense of loyalty to friends, this is a very serious matter and people will die because of what he has done. >> senator, the bipartisan report issued by your committee, the senate intelligence committee yesterday, we reported on it last night but didn't get to this detail, which is that
the russian disinformation was aimed so heavily at black voters in america. >> yeah, so you're exactly right. so i've been talking about this for well over a year. i brought it up at one of our first public hearing in august of last year. essentially what happened we all know the trust the american intelligence community unlike donald trump trusts them. they work hard at great sacrifice and they have shared with us what we know, which is that russia interfered in the election in 2016. how did they do it? russia a long-standing adversary don't have the economic ability to build armies to defeat us so they decided another way. and they decided to interfere with what is one of the most significant and strongest pillars of our democracy being a strength of ours when we walk into any room around the globe, we as americans carry a certain level of strength because people respect that we have a democracy imperfect it may be and one of
the most important pillars is free and open elections and fair elections so they decided to attack that, and then to do it, they decided let's get american pointing fingers and go at it in a way to distrust each other and fight against each other. they tested out various topics to see what would get us going at each other and in so doing, they exposed america's achilles heel race and it was race then that they used to create misinformation but also as a way to target folks to create distrust and to turn people off on the election. and so what you see is what i call now the 21st century version of voter suppression, right? we still have classic voter suppress where you have almost two or two dozen states who have put laws in place since shelby v. holder and the voting rights act being gutted that have been about suppressing the black vote
and on top of that, you have russian interference. the "wall street journal" recently wrote an article that outlined my campaign is one of the y russian bots and it is real and targeted by a foreign government hostile to our best interest and as it turns out, they figured out what is one of the greatest weaknesses of our country, which is the issue of race and they manipulate that weakness in a way that one can argue had effect. >> presidential candidate senator kamala harris, thank you for joining us. >> thank you, lawrence, take care. >> you, too. we have an update to the breaking news rachel and i were discussing at the top of the show. we have more about that russia expert in the trump administration. confirmation that she will be testifying to congress. pain happens.
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like somehow you wind up getting less. but now that i b these great perks. i got to select my room from the floor plan... very nice... i know, i'm good at picking stuff. free wi-fi... laptop by the pool is a bold choice... and the price match guarantee. how do you know all of this? are you like some magical hilton fairy? it's just here on the hilton app. just available to the public, so... book at hilton.com and get the hilton price match guarantee. if you find a lower rate, we match it and give you 25% off that stay. we have more breaking news in the impeachment. nbc news confirmed fiona hill is expected to attend a closed-door deposition on monday of next week. joining us now to discuss this is a former deputy assistant secretary of defense. she's an msnbc national security analyst and ben rhodes is back with us. we have a cooperating witness.
she no longer works in the administration. administration has no control over her and fiona hill will show up. >> right. i think that's actually good news. she's seen a lot in her time as the senior director for russia and the whole chunk of europe working for president trump. we do know, though, that she wasn't there when the phone call was made to the ukrainian president but it doesn't matter, she was there when every other phone call was made between president trump and president putin. those are important calls. we also have reason to believe that some of those calls perhaps with other officials like turkey, which she may, may or may not have been privy to, she may have been privy to not because she had direct responsibility for turkey, although i think she did but touched upon russia, russia, syria. so it will be interesting, i think, for folks on the hill to hear what she has to say about whether she was concerned about
some of president trump's comments, practices, et cetera. >> and ben, one of the things she could testify to as a general matter is the trump white house's treatment of records of presidential phone calls, the accuracy of those records as she has noticed them during her time there. >> yeah, lawrence, i mean, i think there are two things that are important. we know from reporting that apparently some of the phone calls with vladimir putin were moved into this secret server extra layer of security limited distribution. fiona hill would know about that. she could help give the road map to what documents are out there in addition to again talking about this bizarre relationship between president trump and president putin. here is another important thing. by all accounts hill was not the most natural fit at the white house. it's obvious president trump has not treated people particularly well around him famously firing rex tillerson on the phone and
obviously famously trashing former national security advisor john bolton on the way out who knows his relationship with fiona hill. there are a lot of people on the outside of the white house who know things. if i'm the democrat, the people i'm looking to talk to are the people that have left and who might feel compelled to come forward and have for pre free -- more freedom to share information and careered foreign service people that know they want to be there after the trump administration. don't want to go the ship. we've seen in this extraordinary letter yesterday them trying to stonewall the whole inquiry. there are pockets of people that democrats can get to, like fiona hill. >> what might fiona hill know about what donald trump has said to vladimir putin about syria and how that might be relevant to where we are tonight. >> she might know -- of course, even fiona doesn't know a lot. she wasn't in helsinki in the room when the president had the conversation with with president
putin. although she may have spoken to the interpreter i believe she speaks russian fluently so she could have been privy to a little more information on that. but certainly on syria. again, i wonder what did vladimir putin ask president trump to do with regard to syria? because you might not have notice this had, lawrence, but on the day our president announced that we were going to withdraw from syria, it was actually vladimir putin's birthday. it was, in a weird way kind of a gift to vladimir putin and i think it was making good on some kind of conversation they had about syria because trump always said right from the beginning, trump said we're getting out of syria. clearly, russia stands to benefit from that as does assad, syria and iran. >> make a note of that, future historians. it was vladimir putin's birthday. evelyn farkas, ben rhodes, thank you for joining us, enlightening us. appreciate t when we come back,
michael cohen -- yes, that michael cohen, the fixer, is reportedly cooperating now with the manhattan district attorney and he is a central figure in an investigation that is closing in on donald trump's personal tax returns, his corporate tax returns and possibly other business practices. former federal prosecutor will join us next.
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daniels, according to two people familiar with the matter. extent of the inquiry is unclear. the district attorney's team already asked indicate an interest in the trump organization's inner workings. different interests in this same information used by federal prosecutors to prosecute michael cohen. >> lawrence, a couple of things. first of all, the southern district of new york is very strict in sort of the requirements for signing up cooperating witnesses and we know that that's basically why michael cohen didn't get a cooperation agreement with them, not because necessarily he was lying to them about what he told them but he couldn't go into certain areas and they won't allow that. they're going to have much more
flexibility being able to use what undoubtedly is valuable information about how the trump organization worked, more details about the hush money payments and in ways that the southern district may have learned, but couldn't use. putting aside the whole issue of whether a president can be indicted or not federally. there's also not that limitation with the d.a.'s office. there's a lot more flexibility for them to work with what the information that michael cohen is giving to them. >> the law that strikes me right away, the payoffs to stormy daniels were, in any way deducted anywhere along the way in a tax return for the company or tax return for donald trump, you would have a tax evasion crime there. >> exactly. and, remember, michael cohen paid stormy daniels $130,000
money. donald trump paid michael cohen back and called it a legal expense. it was in the a legal expense. how he declared that on his taxes clearly will be one of the things that the da's office wanted to see. it's the story of putting a magnifying glass with trained investigators on to something like the trump organization, like donald trump's tax returns. there's a reason he doesn't want them to get their hands on this. i think once they start, are able to look at it with a few already seemingly clear predicate crimes they're going to find a lot more. this is a real threat to trump. >> and the manhattan district attorney's crimes bureau has dealt with some pretty big economic crimes.
there's all of the information we've already learned about from the new york attorney general about his misuse of the trump foundation charitable funds and how is that reported on taxes? how are those funds used? these are all things. they have so many tools at their disposal when you're talking about economic crimes. there's so many different state statutes that they can use, tax fraud being one of them. but also insurance fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud. it's having the magnified glass trained on these entities in the way that the southern district couldn't or wouldn't go to. >> tonight's last word. thank you for joining us, mimi. appreciate it. that is "tonight's last word." "the 11th hour with brian williams" starts right now. new subpoena notice impeachment fight could land any moment as democrats in the house
say the constitution is on their side. and about trump's decision that led to the kurds being killed by the turks at this very moment, the president points out the kurds didn't help us with the normandy invasion. in an nbc news exclusive, bernie sanders walks back what he just said yesterday about a more relaxed campaign schedule which would be understandable after a heart attack. and joe biden came out in favor of impeachment today. we'll discuss all of it as "the 11th hour" gets under way on a wednesday night. >> day 993 of the trump administration.