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Trump's Ex-Adviser Pleads Guilty to Lying About Russian Efforts; Manafort, Gates Under House Arrest. Aired 3:30-4p ET
Aired October 30, 2017 - 15:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[15:30:00] REP. JACKIE SPEIER (D), CALIFORNIA: I would say that in terms of Devin Nunes, he has no interest in pursuing the investigation about Russian intervention. Some of the Republican members, I think, have shown good will in being at the various interviews and asking questions, but they do believe, I think, that this investigation is an opportunity to really pursue other issues unrelated to the Russian intervention.
BALDWIN: Quickly, Congresswoman Spear, has your committee interviewed Papadopoulos as part of this investigation into Russian interference and if not, if you had him in front of you, what is your question number one for him?
SPEIER: Well, question number one would be did you ever speak to then-candidate Trump? Did you ever speak to Paul Manafort? Who gave you instructions? Who is advising you to pursue your involvement with Russians on the compromise --
Let's remember, the meeting that took place in Donald Trump Jr.'s office, Paul Manafort was there and the intention was to bring "kompromat" as they refer to it, dirt on Hillary Clinton. They were all interested in working with the Russians in terms of gaining information on Hillary Clinton. Working with one of the greatest adversaries to the United States in an effort to just win.
BALDWIN: Just so I'm clear. Just so we're on the record. So, your committee has or has not spoken to Papadopoulos?
SPEIER: The committee members, to my knowledge, have not. I can't speak to whether the staff has as of yet.
BALDWIN: OK. Congresswoman Jackie Spear, thank you very much for your time.
SPEIER: Thank you.
BALDWIN: Thank you.
Coming up next here, we'll discuss who else might be in legal jeopardy as special counsel Bob Mueller's investigation continues and a former counselor to George W. Bush joins me live.
[15:36:12] BALDWIN: All right. Let's go out to federal court to my colleague Jessica Schneider who has been watching the comings and goings here in the news with regard to Paul Manafort and Rick Gates here and these indictments and how they pled and the bond and how figures that were set, Jessica. What did the judge grant them?
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Brooke. We are learning all about the conditions of release for both Paul Manafort and Rick Gates. Of course, both of them pleaded not guilty, but still they will be confined to home arrest. That means that they cannot leave their home unless for certain specified reasons like seeing the doctor or meeting with their attorneys or of course, appearing here at court. Now we know that the government requested these very tight conditions of bond.
In fact, Paul Manafort released not only on home arrest, but also on a $10 million unsecured bond. Rick Gates on a $5 million unsecured bond. And the government had argued that both of these men considering the seriousness of their charges and also their net worth in addition to the fact that there might be a flight risk as reasons for asking the government for that home arrest and that high bond and, of course, the judge did acquiesce to the government's request, setting that high bond.
Both Paul Manafort, and Rick Gates they will have to stay at their home. Again, not leaving, only for those specified reasons. And they will have undergo daily monitoring. They will have to check in with their monitors daily. Rick Gates at the eastern district of Virginia. Paul Manafort will have to check in with authorities in D.C. He'll also be monitored by the authorities in D.C.
What was also interesting about this is that the net worth of both of these men coming out in this proceeding. Paul Manafort said to be worth $20 million to $100 million. Rick Gates the government said he was worth between $2 million and $30 million. Of course, their extreme high net worth, a factor in this, the fact that they will have to be in their homes being monitored, checking in on a daily basis and not being allowed to leave except for those very specified reasons including being here at court. And Brooke, we know that they will be back in court on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. So, this will likely be months of court hearing, because this is an extremely lengthy indictment, 31 pages. Each of these men facing 12 counts and now while they wait this out they will be forced in that home arrest -- Brooke.
BALDWIN: Yes, Jeffrey Toobin saying this one's going to take a long time looking at the details in the indictment. Jessica, thank you so much. We did have cameras pointed outside that courthouse, as well as Paul Manafort's attorney Kevin Downing spoke. It was quick, but here he was.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEVIN DOWNING, ATTORNEY FOR PAUL MANAFORT: I think you all saw it today that President Donald Trump was correct. There is no evidence that Mr. Manafort or the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government. Mr. Manafort represented pro-European Union campaigns for the Ukrainians and in that he was seeking to further democracy and to help the Ukraine come closer to the United States and the EU. Those activities ended in 2014. Over two years before Mr. Manafort served in the Trump campaign. Today you see an indictment brought by the office of special counsel that is using a very novel theory to prosecute Mr. Manafort regarding a thera filing.
(15:40:00) The United States government has only used that offense six times since 1966 and only resulted in one conviction. The second thing about this indictment that I myself find most ridiculous, is a claim that maintaining offshore account, to bring all your fund into the United State as a scheme to conceal from the United States government is ridiculous. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: There you have it. Jamil Jaffer is with us. He's a former associate White House counsel to President George W. Bush. He's an adjunct law professor at George Mason University. Professor welcome back. You just listened to the brief statement from Mr. Downing ending with this is ridiculous. What do you make of what he just said?
JAMIL JAFFER, FORMER ASSOCIATE WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Well look, I mean obviously, he's representing his client and he's defending his client's position. And he obviously makes a good point about the use of foreign registration violations. But you know, it's clear that Mr. Manafort thought he had to register or he had to register more recently and the fact that they're bringing charges about his prior failure to register and then all the transactions that went around it. The question of whether they were trying to evade taxes or bringing money to the U.S. improperly are valid claims by the special prosecutor and we'll see how it plays out in court. But not surprising his attorney will take that position. He's defending his client.
BALDWIN: Sure. If you were White House counsel right at this very moment what would your biggest concerns, be seeing the former campaign chairman adviser is in a bit of trouble?
JAFFER: Yes, I mean, look, I think the obvious concern is that these charges are not really brought to bring Paul Manafort to justice for those issues, but to put pressure on him to cooperate either fairly or unfairly in the ongoing investigation the special counsel has. And so, if I were White House counsel that's what I would be concerned about.
BALDWIN: The other players in the Trump orbit, both current and past, Jared Kushner, Michael Flynn and you have the timing of today's indictments coming earlier than expected. Papadopoulos cooperating with investigators. You know, it seems like on that same vein, the White House should be concerned.
JAFFER: Well, look, it's hard to know. When nobody saw the Papadopoulos plea coming, and I think in part because the plea and the online charges are about lying in the course of the investigation. This oftentimes happens in the special counsel investigations. In fact, more often than not -- the charges you've seen in prior special counsel investigation whether it Whitewater and the Clinton era or during the Bush administration. They're about some ancillary figure, about the smaller issue that don't go right to heart of the investigation. So, I wouldn't read this as a sign that they're on to something in the larger investigation, but just that they're able to make charges and try to put pressure on folks within the orbit in order to try and see if they can't get something more.
BALDWIN: Jamil, what do you read into just the scope? What we've learned reading through this Manafort indictment? Going back to financial dealings way before the campaign into his life circa 2006. What does this tell you about what Mueller and his team is doing?
JAFFER: I think it's clear that Mueller doesn't see his ambit restriction just to the election-era things and that's actually been a problem and issue for a lot of other special prosecutors. They've been coitized roundly for going well beyond the scope of their original focus. But as I mentioned before, you know, this is what happens a lot in special counsel investigations. And more often than not when we've seen special counsel doing before, they've indicted folks. Something's not directly related. Look at the Monica Lewinsky matter. You know, not directly related to the underlying investigation. That's been a source of criticism. So, we'll see what happens here. Now Bob Mueller is a sharp guy. He's a serious prosecutor and he'll do the right thing here. And so, I think we'll see how this investigation plays out. But clearly, they'll try to pressurize the folks involved to see if they can't get more to move up the chain.
BALDWIN: Jamil Jaffer, thank you.
As Paul Manafort's attorney called the charges against his client ridiculous. We're going to dig into the back story on the former Trump campaign chairman and his right-hand man Richard Gates. Stay with me.
[15:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BALDWIN: We are back with the breaking news here. The significant new developments today in special counsel Bob Mueller's Russia investigation. Just a short time ago former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and ex-campaign deputy Rick Gates pleaded not guilty to multiple charges stemming from Mueller's investigation. Both as you just heard are under house arrest now with Manafort's bond set at $10 million, Gates at 5.
Let's just remind of what some of the charges against them entail. Conspiracy against the U.S., money laundering, filing false foreign lobbying reports and much more. So, let's go to our senior Washington correspondent. Brianna Keilar. There is a lot of news coming in today. Let's go back and just remind our viewers of the role specifically that Manafort and Gates played in the campaign.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: OK. So, there really is no Rick Gates without Paul Manafort. He's seen as a Manafort protege. what many people who are familiar with his role would describe him as a bit of a henchman for Manafort and he was the deputy for Paul Manafort on the campaign. But that stemmed from the fact that he worked for Manafort in his lobbying firm for some time, for years and years, and then after the campaign, as you know, Brooke, Manafort was kicked out amid speculation about his ties to Russia and stories that had come out.
And then you saw Gates go and with the number of other aides form "America First," which was a pro-Trump PAC. So, there was that. But that was also short lived and then even after just being a part of that PAC for a couple of months he would still find his way into the White House. Because he was working for Tom Barrack who is a confidant of president Trump. Ran his inaugural committee. He would go to the White House for meeting and that was something that Gates would go along with for the meetings. But this is really all -- he's sort of this satellite of Paul Manafort who was the chairman of the campaign.
Even just for a short period of time and just for a few months, it was at some very key points in time where Trump got the delegates that he needed. Because remember, Manafort had a specialty in delegates. And Trump got the delegates he needed. Became the nominee, went through the convention.
[15:50:00] That was all under Paul Manafort. But Paul Manafort, even though he had the political connections and this gravitas politically, he also had been lobbying for a number of clients, including international clients. Some of them dictators, some of them pro- Russian, and specifically one of the ones of interest had to do with the former President of Ukraine, a pro-Russian candidate, Viktor Yanukovych. And it was in his dealings with Yanukovych when he first ended up under FBI surveillance. Yanukovych had been accused after he was ousted in a coup in 2014 of laundering a lot of money. And there was questions about whether his associates had helped him do that. So, you saw Paul Manafort under surveillance by the FBI both in 2014 and then again in 2016 as we saw the allegations of Russian meddling in the election come to light.
BALDWIN: And as we heard from the Manafort attorney, you know, pleading not guilty to all that is facing them and saying all of this is just entirely ridiculous. Brianna Keilar with the rundown on these two. Thank you so much.
President Trump is trying to shift this conversation to Hillary Clinton. He's saying there's no collusion on his end, trying to shift it to the Democrats as three people tied to his campaign face serious legal trouble. We're going to talk about the president's reaction to this next.
BALDWIN: It has nothing to do with us. The that is the reaction coming in this afternoon from the White House amid a barrage of questions over Trump campaign associates charged as part of Bob Mueller's investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election. So, with me now, Christine Quinn, former Democratic speaker of the New York City council and president of Women in Need. And Ed Martin, CNN political commentator and author of "The Conservative Case for Trump." So, welcome to both of you. Kristine Quinn: Thank you.
BALDWIN: And Ed, let me just start with you. Have you read the Papadopoulos criminal complaint?
ED MARTIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You now, I was just reading it now, Brooke. Funny you say that, before I went on with you. One of the things I was so interested in is the timing. It looks like he signed the paperwork almost a month ago, sort of his plea -- not a plea actually, formally it's an agreement of guilt. And, you know, it's been an interesting week. As a history buff I really was fascinated by the -- a lot of the JFK documents and what they really showed. Among other things was that J. Edgar Hoover who at the time was perceived as a very serious leader. Turns out he was pretty morally corrupt, if not otherwise. And I just think that we're going to find out that this special counsel Robert Mueller, the idea that at the end of a week when President Trump had GDP growth and 3 percent, Wall Street markets are way up.
BALDWIN: Wait, Ed, I've got to stop you.
[15:35:00] MARTIN: ISIS is on the rise. Hold on. Let me finish. Hold on. Brooke, let me --
BALDWIN: I'm asking about Papadopoulos and you're talking about JFK documents and are you suggesting that Mueller is corrupt?
MARTIN: Yes, I do. You're exactly right. I think that what we saw --
BALDWIN: You're suggesting that Bob Mueller is corrupt?
MARTIN: I'm suggesting that Bob Mueller did something by taking the four-week-old document and also the Manafort/Gates document and leaking it on Friday afternoon. The leaks that happened Friday afternoon should be -- they should be indicted, and people should go to prison. And that is called corrupt. That is a problem that is happening to this country because no matter what you think of the president, Papadopoulos --
BALDWIN: Can we talk about the content within it --
MARTIN: Yes, they lied to the FBI.
CHRISTINE QUINN, FORMER SPEAKER, NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL: If I could jump in for a moment, please.
BALDWIN: Go ahead.
QUINN: So, this is classic deflect and blame -- what you said, sir, is very classic of the Trump playbook. What happened here is that three individuals associated with President Trump and Russia, two have been indicted and one we found out in July pled guilty. There was no leaks of that intimated.
MARTIN: That's not true. That's not true. QUINN: He came --
MARTIN: It's not true. It's not factually true.
QUINN: Correct the fact but hold on.
MARTIN: OK, but it's not true.
QUINN: Stop. Because when you talk over people it's because you've got nothing to say the same thing over and over again.
The fact here is Bob Mueller is a highly respected prosecutor on both sides, and, in fact, Republicans and conservatives, Democrats, progressives hailed his appointment. We have Gates hand Manafort indicted in massive charges of wrongdoing. Papadopoulos is in an agreement with the government, and the campaign is now calling him some lowly volunteer. He was in conversations with the Russians. Lied to the FBI. Manafort has claimed he obstructed the FBI's work and his boss in the campaign said, that a boy, in an email when he was in these meetings and after. So, you can try to deflect to Martians and UFOs and JFKs, but the facts here -- it's not funny, sir.
MARTIN: It is funny.
QUINN: Because what today happened -- it is not.
MARTIN: It's funny.
QUINN: Today is a sad day for America.
MARTIN: It is, you're right, it is sad.
QUINN: And it's a sad day because President Trump's associates have been indicted.
MARTIN: Brooke, may I respond?
BALDWIN: Of course.
MARTIN: May I respond.
QUINN: Stay, sir, in this century.
MARTIN: OK, Christine, when you're yelling at people --
BALDWIN: OK, let's go back to Ed.
QUINN: Honey, you started to yell -- honey, don't tell me about yelling.
MARTIN: Listen --
BALDWIN: Please be nice to one another and polite on this show.
MARTIN: Do yourself a favor, Christine, don't call people honey. That's not -- QUINN: I will call --
MARTIN: Listen, let me respond.
QUINN: Cut the "b."
MARTIN: First of all, you misspoke, and you misspoke, and you corrected yourself. The fact are there's --
QUINN: I didn't.
MARTIN: -- there's no plea agreement. OK. So, there's no plea agreement. OK. So, you corrected yourself --
QUINN: I unlike the president can say I made a mistake.
MARTIN: I thought you said you were going to let people not talk over each other.
QUINN: I'm just accepting I made a mistake, sir, on national television and I corrected it.
MARTIN: OK. I accept your apology.
BALDWIN: With all due respect, Ed, go ahead.
MARTIN: I accept you apology.
QUINN: Thank you.
MARTIN: Here's the facts. Everybody that runs a big campaign like Christine ran for her losing race for mayor, knows lots of people volunteer and claim they are affiliated with in campaign and then this guy lied. He deserves to go to jail if that's the penalty for lying to the FBI. But after that you don't get blamed for every nitwit or guy who comes in and the lies to the FBI. That's not how it works. And my point is simply this, Brooke. We have to be careful, and you should want to be careful, too, Christine, because you lived in a world where Elliott Spitzer abused his office and Kathleen Kane in Pennsylvania abused her office.
BALDWIN: Ed, can keep the point --
MARTIN: Well, you know what, I think the timing of this is very suspect, and at the end of the day we don't want a prosecutor who is a zombie prosecutor attacking people across this country.
BALDWIN: Hang on, hang on. Let me jump in. I have 60 seconds. Hang on. Hang on.
QUINN: Brooke, can I make one point.
BALDWIN: My show guys. With all due respect, my show. I get the last little word and, Ed, I want you to respond to this. You were off the top when you're saying that Bob Mueller was corrupt. You said something to the effect that you think that he timed the news today to overshadow the economy, the economic headlines.
MARTIN: What I said was even on our station on CNN with Anderson last week, we talked about how the president was having a week where the economy was up, Wall Street's up, the GDP is up. We have ISIS on the run. And Hillary Clinton's campaign is admitting, they don't know who paid for the dossier with the Russians. And my point is that's wired. Everybody in politics, Christine especially knows, you drop something when your opponent is doing better on a Friday and let the weekend have a story after story about speculation about indictments. That is the worst kind of stuff that goes on by bureaucrats and out-of-control counsels and that's what's Mueller is stuck with. He's got a problem --
BALDWIN: I've got to give it to "THE LEAD." We're finished. I'm sorry, we're finished. Ed martin, we're finished. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thanks for being with me. "THE LEAD" starts now.