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Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) Was Interviewed About The Meeting In The Rose Garden With President Trump; President Trump Irritated By House Speaker's Accusation; Subpoena For President Trump's Bank Records; President Trump Walks Out Of Meeting With Democrats. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired May 22, 2019 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:00:00] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Everybody says he's a man of integrity. What will he say, surrender the me to the we. This president holds the key. He must be right.
Thank you for watching. "CNN TONIGHT" with D. Lemon starts right now.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Listen, you always say that facts first, we always say on this network that the facts come first. And what the president said there behind that podium today, much of what he said about, well, you know, about the investigation and why he's not going to work with the Democrats it wasn't -- it not true.
So, we're going to give you some of the facts first right now. All right? So, I have, it just so happens, as you were talking here.
CUOMO: You've got your own billboard.
LEMON: Yes. I've got my own thing here. And listen, it's true. Here's the deal. He said it was 35 to $45 million. I don't know where he got those numbers. Maybe, you know, wind up being that $25 million spent so far. It's not clear where the president got those numbers from.
What he didn't say, Chris, seven people have pleaded guilty, right, including Michael Flynn and Michael Cohen, one person was convicted, Paul Manafort, that was that trial, his campaign chairman. Thirty- seven people and entities were charged, that's including the Russians.
So, again, him saying there was nothing that came out of it, that's not true. One hundred ninety-nine criminal counts. Now I'm saying this, because you remember you saw that piece of paper he had in his hand when he was doing his press conference.
And then they said in this report, because a lot of people haven't read this report that his campaign expected help from Russia. The report concludes that it did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government for the election interference activities but it does not say that the campaign expected -- it does say, I should say, the campaign expected --
LEMON: -- that it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts and the president was not exonerated on obstruction as he would like you to believe. So, it's not a complete exoneration on everything. Those are the facts.
CUOMO: I like that you have your own little poster board there.
LEMON: Yes, I do, I do.
CUOMO: Very nicely done, D. Lemon.
LEMON: And thank you -- thank you for saying that. So, listen, we like to give the facts here. And the reason I did that is because a lot of people won't -- a lot of people won't read the Mueller report. They'll just simply believe exactly what the attorney general said and exactly what the president says and that's -- those aren't the complete facts. I need to see myself on this monitor, please. I'm only seeing Chris.
CUOMO: God forbid.
LEMON: There you go. So, what do you have to say to that, anything?
CUOMO: I think, look, the president is in the business of selling. He believes that if you repeat things people will believe them even if they're wrong. He has little ticks where he says, and you probably know this better than anybody, he says that because it's a psychological suggestion that a lot of con men do.
Don, I'm going to tell you something, and you're going to believe it, I'll tell you that right now --
LEMON: A lot of people or many people are saying this.
CUOMO: A lot of people say it, you know this is true.
CUOMO: He's a great salesman. There is no question about that. But very often what he's selling isn't true. And just because he says it a lot, and where he's getting help, here's the problem.
He's getting help from people who are buying the same B.S. And they know it isn't true but they're selling it anyway. I don't understand how people of good conscience, I get that they're partisans, I get that you could look at this and say when is enough, enough. OK.
But he's blocking the investigations right now. It's not that they're just interminable. This isn't Benghazi where one after the other just keeps going, seven of them I think we had. The money was exponentially more than this.
LEMON: It was eight. Yes. Listen, I know why they're doing it. It's power, people like to be in power and it's the shortest line to the front. That's what it is, the shortest line to the front. CUOMO: And it works with this particular president. But here's the
problem, here's the problem he has. This binary choice he gave them today, it's a bad look.
CUOMO: Nixon, Clinton, they kept doing their job. Why can't he? Infrastructure, he's got a problem with, because of his tax cut. Everybody knows it, Mulvaney doesn't like the numbers on this, doesn't think he can do it the way he wants to.
LEMON: I got to tell you. I saw Rick Santorum who supports this president, he really supports this president. I saw him with Anderson saying I can't support this decision what he did today in the White House so, and -- with the Democrats.
So, it's interesting, and I think it could backfire on him. We shall see. He's been Teflon all along. Maybe this is a chink in the armor, we'll see.
CUOMO: Putting himself before the American people. Look, Sean Duffy from Wisconsin was arguing that he's OK what the president did today. His state needs that infrastructure money. They have a lot of woes in that state that this could address.
LEMON: We all. Every state needs it. I've got Senator Schumer standing by and he's got --
CUOMO: Let me go.
LEMON: -- in the room where it happened.
CUOMO: I don't want to take up his time.
LEMON: Yes. He's going to tell me what happened and his assessment on the entire day and the president's actions. Thank you, Chris. I'll see you tomorrow.
CUOMO: All right.
LEMON: This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon. Thank you so much for joining us.
So even for this president, even for this president, this was an embarrassing display. If he were capable of being embarrassed by his own behavior at all, this president, who regularly resorts to bullying, name calling, just took his ball and he went home.
[22:05:03] Walked out of his scheduled White House meeting with two top Democrats in Congress after he found out that Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused him of a cover-up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NANCY PELOSI, UNITED STATES SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We believe that the president of the United States is engaged in a cover-up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Here's what a source is telling CNN, that the president was incensed when he heard that. And that source saying despite the president's dog and pony show in the Rose Garden this really wasn't about investigations. It was all about the president being angry at Pelosi. It was all about this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't do cover-ups.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Which may turn out to be the -- I am not a crook moment for this president. Remember when Richard Nixon said that? Remember how that worked out for him?
The fact is that this administration is trying to hide documents. Trying to prevent witnesses from testifying. Defying all subpoenas. Otherwise known as a cover-up. Listen to the house speaker.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PELOSI: In plain sight, in the public domain, this president is obstructing justice, and he's engaged in a cover-up and that could be an impeachable offense and we want to have -- to give the truth to the American people.
But in striving to get that the intervention that the -- that the obstruction that the administration is engaged in, in some, as they say, the cover-up is frequently worse than the crime.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, here's what's going on. The speaker's really getting under the president's skin. Yet the White House expects you to believe that this graceful show in the Rose Garden that it wasn't a stunt, that it wasn't planned and designed to, as usual, distract from the president's failure. This time to put together a deal on infrastructure. This is the Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), SENATE MINORITY LEADER: It's clear that this was not a spontaneous move on the president's part. It was planned. When we got in the room the curtains were closed.
The president, there was a place for him at the front so he could stand and attempt to tell us why he wouldn't do infrastructure. And of course, then he went to the Rose Garden with prepared signs that had been printed up long before our meeting.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Chuck Schumer, just a moment, right here on this program.
But here is the thing. Even the president's own party wasn't on board with his infrastructure plans, they weren't, his own acting chief of staff questioned whether the president could make a deal.
So now the president says he is refusing to work with Democrats on anything, until the investigations stop. Those investigations, I should point out, are oversight which is Congress's job.
But the man who's supposed to be the leader of the free world threw a temper tantrum and refused to work with Democratic leaders, which is his job. Walk and chew gum at the same time.
Other administrations have done it. Bill Clinton certainly did it. He made deals with Republicans while he was being investigated and impeached. George Bush made deals with Nancy Pelosi and Democrats while his administration was being investigated.
Barack Obama made deals with Republicans in the midst of investigation after investigation. You guys forget those years, right? Did you forget all the Benghazi investigations, all the Fast and Furious investigations? Yes, I'm going to make him a one-term president on day one? Do you guys forget? Short memories.
I remember it. But this president threw a temper tantrum. And there is more shade coming from Nancy Pelosi, in a letter to her colleagues she says, quote, "We wanted to give the president the opportunity to launch an historic infrastructure initiative that could stand in the -- in the Pantheon of American history alongside the bold initiatives of Presidents Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Dwight Eisenhower."
That's got a smart for the self-proclaimed student of history. This is a president who really, really does not like to lose.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You know what, you want to know something, do you want to know something? We always win. We always win.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Well, the dirty little not so secret is, he's not winning. He's not winning. Though he may have escaped the worst from the Mueller investigation with help from his trusty Attorney General William Barr. The fact is, right now the president is on a losing streak.
[22:10:04] And it's not just walking away from any hope of an infrastructure deal. The president suffering his second big legal setback this week. Maybe that's what this is all about. Maybe he wants to just change the subject so we're not just focusing on the two big legal setbacks, I don't know.
Second big legal setback this week, a federal judge in New York refused today to block subpoenas from the House intel on financial services panels from Trump's financial records, from Deutsche Bank and Capital One, the judge ruling the subpoenas are, quote, "clearly pertinent to Congress's work."
That's after another judge ruled Monday that the president's accounting firm has to comply with a subpoena and turn over seven years' worth of financial records.
Now it looks like both sides, as he likes to say, both sides, both sides have agreed to expedite that case, which could work in Democrats' favor if it means that they can settle this issue while they still hold power in the House.
I could go on. There's the president's trade war with China that's costing Americans more and more each day. The saber rattling with Iran that could send thousands of U.S. troops to the Middle East.
But speaking of infrastructure, infrastructure week always seems to be some kind of disaster, doesn't it? Remember the president's last big infrastructure project, that was his border wall, the one he shut down the government for 35 days? To get that? His border wall? Well, it turns out just 1.7 miles of wall, 1.7 miles have gone up so far. With the $1.57 billion Congress appropriated last year.
Some builder this president is, huh? Some dealmaker. The big question tonight, was the president's tantrum today, his refusal to work with Democrats on anything, was that a declaration of war? And if so, what happens now?
The Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer says, quote, "to watch what happened in the White House would make your jaw drop." I'll ask him about it right away, right after this.
[22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: President Trump storming out of a planned White House meeting on infrastructure with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer today. That after Speaker Pelosi a short time earlier publicly accused the president of engaging in a cover-up.
Well, Trump is clearly rattled by the investigations by House Democrats. But is there more to all of this?
Joining me now is Senator Chuck Schumer. Senator Schumer, Minority Leader, thank you so much. I really appreciate you joining us. So, let's get started with this.
Our reporting is that President Trump erupted over speaker Pelosi accusing him of a cover up. I want you to describe what happened at the White House today because you said it would make your jaw drop.
SCHUMER: I did, indeed. You know, Don, we went to the White House in total good faith. We believe, we Democrats believe strongly that we need a strong, broad, climate-oriented infrastructure bill.
And so, I brought a 35-page proposal to the president that talked about traditional infrastructure, roads, bridges, water sewer, green and clean infrastructure, building power grids so we could get wind and solar energy to every part of the country. Building stations for electric cars, making our schools and our hospitals more energy efficient. And rural broadband so that every rural home and every inner-city home, frankly, can be connected to broadband.
We talked about how to pay for it. I would pay for it. Or Democrats we'd pay for it by undoing some of the tax cuts on the wealthy and powerful that the president passed.
So, we went in there with a good faith and we thought we have a serious discussion because three weeks ago we met with the president. The investigations were going on three weeks ago, too. And he said 2, $3 trillion and he'll come up for how he would pay for it.
We're going with anticipation. He did not even sit down. He stump into the room and began this diatribe mainly aimed at leader at Speaker Pelosi saying she said cover-up. Now that's been said many times before saying there are investigations. We've had these investigations ongoing even three weeks ago when we met.
And he spoke very pointedly, very unkindly. And he stalked out.
The bottom line is very simple. This was a set up. Not a set up on us. He made a fool of himself, I think. But this was planned in advance. Because right as we were -- he was speaking, the Rose Garden had been set up with little signs about cover up.
The minute I walk out I turn my eye to Fox News which was one on the desks over there and they were talking about Pelosi accusing Trump of cover up.
So, the bottom line is, they had no idea how to do infrastructure, even though any president should. But they found a very inelegant way to try to wiggle out of it and it just didn't work.
LEMON: So, Senator, let me jump in here. Let me jump in here.
LEMON: Because you're being honest with me that it was a good faith effort because you know what his supporters were saying, his people that you set him up. You had no intention of working with the president on infrastructure. This was a setup from Nancy Pelosi and from you all along. How do you respond to that?
SCHUMER: Well, it's ridiculous. We've wanted -- you know, the week after the president won the election, he called me and said what can we work together on? I said, infrastructure. I said you're going to have to tell your hard-right people they're going to have to actually shell out some dollars and pay for it, but let's do infrastructure.
We've been trying to do infrastructure for two years. And the president finally said let's meet and talk. We had a, you know, a meeting where he said he would do 2, 43 trillion and pay for it and then he stalked out. And the bottom line is, last night, he sent us a letter saying while he wants to do trade first and he change the rules. But we didn't care. We just went forward because we really want to get a big infrastructure bill done.
[22:20:01] And he just ran away from it. Because this White House doesn't even know how to put together an infrastructure plan.
LEMON: Yes. Let me ask this, because this is the first time. You talked about, you know, this about -- you know, again, a set up and not -- him not wanting to work with you and that you said this was somehow that they were doing this just because they didn't know how to do it. They don't know how to deal with it. But it's not the first time, Senator that you have gone to the White House -
LEMON: -- you thought you had a deal with, you know, supposed deal with the president, you know, this deal making president, and then he throws a tantrum. So, why does this keep happening.
SCHUMER: It keeps happening because he doesn't know how to govern. He doesn't know how to cut a deal. He's unwilling to be what a president should be, which is propose things that benefit average Americans, working Americans. And it's all, you know, he thinks it's a game at circuses.
But these things always backfire on him. When he shut down the government, the Republicans and he had to back out. He looked foolish to the vast majority of Americans today, saying that there couldn't be investigations and work on infrastructure bill.
Of course, the Constitution envision the Congress to both do oversight and to legislate at the same time.
SCHUMER: So, you know, he is just showing himself to be incapable of being a president who can lead who can be competent who can get anything done.
LEMON: I wonder if there's any fear there, because, you know, despite claiming inaccurately today after, you know, he met with you guys, that the Mueller investigation exonerates him. Did you sense that there was some fear today, perhaps, you know, that because of these other investigations that are underway, and maybe he's reacting this way?
SCHUMER: Yes, I think he's afraid, you know, he said in the room, he's the most transparent president ever. So, my response to him is good, Mr. President, you're the most transparent president ever, release your tax returns, let Mueller testify, let McGahn testify.
Of course, he's afraid what's going on. He's not acting like he's innocent.
SCHUMER: And I think -- I think Speaker Pelosi is doing this just the right way. Which is let's find out all the facts, let's unearth them. There were two very good court decisions this week that showed the courts are going to be a check on the president to release both some of his bank records and his accounting records, which is going to show a lot, I believe. And we'll just keep pursuing this and getting all the facts out and then making a decision where to go after that.
LEMON: Do you agree that he's obstructing justice now and not just in the Mueller report?
SCHUMER: Look, he's certainly not allowing anything to get out and come forward. The legal definition of obstruction of justice is a little bit arcane but he's certainly trying to -- what leader -- what Speaker Pelosi said, he's certainly trying to prevent facts from coming out in every way, is clear as a bell.
LEMON: Impeachment, Senator, is a non-starter in the Senate, but is this a good enough reason for Democrats to take a pass on impeachment proceedings?
SCHUMER: I think, again, Speaker Pelosi is doing it the right way. Let's try to unearth as much information as we can to convince as many of the American people as we can how poorly this president is performing in protecting America, in respecting the rule of law and obeying the basic rules that have governed this country for hundreds of years.
And once all those facts come out both the American people and the House and then who knows, maybe even the Senate will make decisions.
LEMON: Is there -- so where do we go from here? Is there -- because listen, Susan Collins said she thought that this threat was just for infrastructure. I don't know if you agree with that. but is there any chance to work with this president at all?
SCHUMER: Look, we'll keep trying because we have an obligation in terms of our jobs and in terms of the American people who need desperately, to have better infrastructure, the 10 million jobs that would be created by our plan, good paying jobs would really elevate the lives of people. So, we'll try to keep at it with the president or without him.
LEMON: What do you tell the folks who are sitting at home wondering, quite honestly, what the hell is going on? And they're worried.
SCHUMER: We have never -- they should be worried. I'm worried too. We have never had a president like this. Obviously, the 2020 elections will determine a whole lot. But until then we cannot be apathetic, we cannot throw up our hands in either disgust or just giving up.
We have to keep doing our job, which we're trying to do, and holding the president accountable. And I think we're doing a good job of each and I think that's why he threw his temper tantrum because he's so frustrated by what happened. LEMON: You're saying you're doing a good job of each but every time
there's a subpoena they defy it. He said he's not -- the folks don't show up. Nothing seems to be sticking in the sense that they're not following the rule of law. So how does any of that give Americans -- why should Americans have any confidence, Senator.
[22:24:58] SCHUMER: Well, this week two courts said that certain information that the president wanted to cover up should be made public. And there are going to be many more court cases, the process of democracy, the rule of law, balance of powers takes a little while.
But I have faith if we keep at it and don't give up and keep pursuing it in a strong, unafraid way, the facts will come out and the American people will make their judgments one way or the other.
LEMON: Senator Schumer, we certainly appreciate your time. Thank you so much.
SCHUMER: Good to be here, Don. We hope to see you again soon.
So, did the president have his own I am not a crook moment today?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I don't do cover-ups.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: John Dean weighs in, next.
LEMON: The president lashing out today after Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused him of engaging in a cover-up. He stormed out of his meeting with Democratic leaders then he went on a rant in the Rose Garden. Here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Instead of walking in happily into a meeting, I walk into, look at people that just said that I was doing a cover-up. I don't do cover-ups.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[22:30:01] LEMON: Let's bring in John Dean and Max Boot. Max is the author of "The Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I Left the Right."
Gentlemen, good evening, so John, you just heard the president today. I know you heard this back -- was November 1973.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD NIXON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And in all of my years of public life, I have never obstructed justice. And I think, too, that I can say that in my years of public life that I welcome this kind of examination, because people have got to know whether or not their president is a crook. Well, I am not a crook.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: What we saw today was that -- why are you laughing, Max? I was going to go to John, but why are you laughing?
MAX BOOT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, I mean, it's such an iconic moment.
LEMON: All right. So John, listen, let me ask you then, because you heard that back, as I said, November 1973.
JOHN DEAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes.
LEMON: What did you think of that? Was that I am not a crook moment or to be determined, TBD?
DEAN: It was for me, Don. I tweeted it within about 40, 50 minutes after it. I saw a clip of it again, and I said that's kind of a Nixonian moment. But it's not a Nixonian style, because Nixon would never do what Trump is doing, saying I won't work with the Congress. He actually tried to work with Congress. He continued to legislate, a lot of foreign travel.
But he continued to be president when he was under investigation. But I thought I couldn't but help but tweet that this was -- they were equal remarks.
LEMON: Listen. Despite what, you know, the attorney general has said and the summary of the Mueller report, when you actually read the report, it says something different. And if we go back to Nixon, he resigned less than a year after he said I am not a crook. I am just wondering if the Trump presidency, John, is on similar shaky ground.
DEAN: Well, it's hard to tell, you know. At this moment, the Congress is really in the early stages of investigation. There's a lot of pressure on the Congress to start impeachment proceedings. I think Speaker Pelosi is very smart and savvy the way she's playing it. They're getting court rulings that are falling their way. Those are going to be appealed. The process is going to take a while.
The public is not educated yet like they were during Watergate. So I think the pace is just right. And I think you'll give him time, as Nixon had time, and he'll hang himself with his own rope.
LEMON: Yeah. Max, let's bring you in now for a longer answer. What did you think when you heard the president say I don't do cover-ups? Are those the words of an embattled president?
BOOT: Well, for sure. I mean I think John is right to draw the analogy. And you're right to draw the analogy to the, I am not a crook moment. I mean my immediate thought was, man, this guy is coming unglued. Except my next thought, of course, was he was never really glued in the first place. But, you know, even by Trump standards, he seemed to be pretty unhinged today, and you have to wonder why.
And you suspect it has something to do with the fact that he has lost two federal court rulings in the last three days, trying to keep his financial records secret. Oh, and by the way, the state of New York just passed a law that allows the New York state tax authorities to hand over Trump's tax returns to Congress.
And so, you know, one consistent pattern here, as Catherine Rampell and others have pointed out, is Trump really becomes unhinged when he thinks that his enemies are going to get their hands on his financial information. And that certainly is something that looks more likely today than it did last week. And so I think that probably has a lot to do with his crazy outburst in the Rose Garden.
LEMON: Yeah. We're going to talk a little bit more, a little bit later on about those two legal judgments today. But listen, John. The president and his administration are ignoring subpoenas. They're suing to hide the president's financial records, as Max said, refusing to let officials testify. What else do you call that other than a cover-up?
DEAN: It is clearly an obstruction of Congress. He's sort of laying down the gauntlet, saying if you don't stop investigating me, I am not going to do anything with the Congress. Well, that's -- couldn't be more blatant for obstruction, and obstruction, of course, is a cover- up.
LEMON: All right.
BOOT: What he's kind of saying is if you don't do what I want I am going to shoot myself in the foot, because not doing the Infrastructure Bill that's going to hurt Trump politically. So it's not much of a threat.
LEMON: Yeah, more about the president losing two legal battles this week, right after this break.
[22:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: And we're back. A federal judge has refused to block a congressional subpoena for the president's bank records. The president had sued to stop Deutsche Bank, the largest lender to the Trump Organization and Capital One from handing over financial information relating to him and his family. This comes just two days after another judge said Trump's accounting firm had to comply with the subpoena.
So I am back now with John Dean, Max Boot, and Laura Coates joins us as well.
Laura, welcome to the program. So let's talk about this. Two wins, Laura, in court for the Democrats in just three days. Is this a big blow for the president? LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it is. I mean it's a trend
here that says essentially up till now there's been this Democratic versus presidential battle about who had oversight, who could flex the most, and who had to prove a legislative purpose. Up till now, it's the president thumbing his nose and stonewalling, and saying what are you going to do about it?
Well, in walks the third co-equal branch of the government, the Judiciary to so say let's resolve this chicken game here where both of you are going at each other and saying you don't have to prove a legislative purpose to me initial initially as the president of the United States. You can actually assert it, because you have the authority to do so.
[22:39:59] And number two, it can't possibly be that Congress was not supposed to be able to have oversight authority over you, and they cannot actually investigate you. And they can -- they can be a check and balance. You have the president of the United States 0-2 in this case. It's a huge deal.
LEMON: What do these rulings tell us about the legal merits of Trump tragedy? I mean he has been saying Congress has no right to his private financial information and have no legislative purpose?
COATES: Well, it's not true. Keep in mind. Think about the founding fathers gave Congress the ability to have oversight function, to be a check and balance, to have the impeachment authority, to remove a president if they're involved in criminal misconduct. Now, how that's defined is a high crime and misdemeanor. It's not been totally settled law.
However, the notion that the founding fathers would give the authority to Congress to have that checks and balance, and then say but you can't investigate into that matter. You can't do so at all. And you have to prove to the president of the United States and any other branch of government every single time you want to assert your authority.
That would just be unfathomable, as Judge Mehta actually wrote a couple of days ago. This trend is now continuing to show that the president may be able to assert and say that he is totally autonomous and perhaps can't be checked. The judiciary says not so fast.
LEMON: You know, Max, Speaker Pelosi said that she is very excited by the ruling today. Did the courts validate her approach? Keep investigating. Hold off on the impeachment.
BOOT: I think so. I think it takes a little pressure off to immediately launch into impeachment proceedings. Because this is showing that what Speaker Pelosi is trying to do has a chance to work, which is to hold these hearings to subpoena documents, to subpoena witnesses, to put the case before the American public, so people can really see the full extent of the criminality in the Trump administration without necessarily proceeding to an impeachment vote.
Now obviously, this is not the end of the story, because these are only district courts that have ruled. The Trump administration and Trump's lawyers are going to appeal this to higher level courts. And we will see now whether the Republican strategy over many years of stacking the appeals court and the Supreme Court with very ideological conservatives.
Whether that's going to pay off for them here or whether these Republican appointees to these higher courts will show independence from Trump and will rule based on the merits of the case, or whether they'll be enthralled to this unitary executive theory that Bill Barr is such a proponent of. I think that test remains to be seen, but certainly -- and this is not by any means complete.
But I think certainly -- but we've seen -- and the fact that you've had these ruling and you've had them very quickly, I think shows that it will be possible, or more likely that the Congress can actually force documents and witnesses out of his administration.
LEMON: So John Dean, a lawyer for the Trump organization responded to the Deutsche Bank ruling today, saying they will "fight on." But it appears that these cases are moving fairly quickly. How quickly does this end up at the Supreme Court, do you think?
DEAN: Well, it could move very fast. Judge Mehta, the D.C. judge in the first ruling wrote a very well crafted decision. He relies almost exclusively on Supreme Court rulings. So he's anticipating it would go that far. And I could say it would probably get there in as quickly as three months, maybe even faster. But I think the Court of Appeals that it will go to is all geared for it.
It's -- when presidents are involved, they tend to move fast. That's not what the president wants to have happen, but it's the nature of the process.
LEMON: Yeah. After the courts, you know, after the courts ruled in favor of Democrats and said that Trump's accounting firm had to turn over financial records, today Congress and Trump's lawyers reached a deal to stay the subpoena, to a deal to stay the subpoena, I should say. So why would Congress agree to that? What's this about, Laura?
COATES: Well, you know, it could be that there is -- they're getting something for that. You know, it's the benefit of the bargain. Often times, is, you know, when you're a prosecutor, you make a deal, a plea bargain with people, and it has to hurt you a little bit. And it has to hurt the other person a little bit in order to actually move forward. Perhaps (Inaudible) they're getting in return for staying the subpoena, maybe additional cooperation.
They have that old saying of you attract more bees with honey than vinegar or flies perhaps the phrase is. You think about maybe that's what's going on here right now. But I suspect it's more about the idea of there is an underlying legal issue here where they do not want this to drag out. One of the things we've learned from past presidential subpoenas and issues, including operation Fast and Furious and the case involving Harriet Meyer and President George Bush. These can tend, although they may reach courts quickly, it can tend to
languish and drag on (Inaudible) administration. So maybe it's saying, listen, if we want to have a court battle, it may be lengthier than we actually want. If we want to be cooperating and voluntary, we may both win and streamline the process, and even go to a judge with the ruling that we both want as opposed to having them split a baby we never wanted.
[22:45:00] LEMON: Yeah. John, you said it could get to the Supreme Court within five months, maybe sooner. There are two Trump appointees on the Supreme Court, a 5-4 conservative majority. If this case goes all the way to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court reverses these decisions that have gone against the president, how would that impact the court's reputation?
DEAN: Don, it would be so unprecedented for them to rule to somehow block these committees from issuing subpoenas. It would change the whole dynamics of government. I can't believe, even with the two new members that John Roberts who wants to be remembered in history as a good justice and a good Chief Justice, would ever buy into that. The precedents are all -- they're overwhelming, Don. That Congress has this power, and this is just a stalling tactic.
The district court sought for that. I think the courts of appeal will see it for that. Maybe the Supreme Court will give them time. But that's what he's bargaining for, but they can't overturn it.
LEMON: John, Max, Laura, thank you for your time. Is the president starting to fear impeachment? What his behavior today might tell us about that, that's next.
[22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: After saying you really want to do a deal with Democrats on infrastructure spending, President Trump abruptly left the meeting with Senator Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The reason, well, he said he couldn't work while he and his administration faced multiple investigations.
So joining me now to discuss is Michael D'Antonio. He's the author of the Truth about Trump, good evening.
MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Hi, Don.
LEMON: Some of them have been investigation.
D'ANTONIO: Some of them have people say nasty things about them. Gee, welcome to politics. Politics ain't bean bag.
LEMON: I immediately thought of you today when I heard about this. Help us make sense of the president's behavior today.
D'ANTONIO: Well, he likes to show emotion, but he really only likes to show negative emotions. So he wants to hate on people. He wants to display his anger. But he's also looking for an excuse. This infrastructure idea was dead on arrival. Mitch McConnell and others in Congress, other Republicans have said we're not doing this.
It's $2 trillion. So this is amusing. The Democrats go and see Trump a month ago, and they say 1 trillion. He says no, let's do 2 trillion. He knew nothing's going to happen. This is all a complete charade. It's been a charade for 90 days.
LEMON: OK. So to that point, because his people are saying -- I've heard them today saying this was a stunt by the Democrats. And how was this stunt by the Democrats, right, because Nancy Pelosi has said as much before, and many other Democrats have said as much before. But when you said this was all -- you said...
LEMON: Because here's why. OK, at the podium in the Rose Garden, he had a sign, already, saying no collusion, no obstruction. And then we know the president loves props, but why would he act like this was impromptu if he already had the signs and everything made -- it's already there if it wasn't a stunt.
D'ANTONIO: Because it didn't look like, be best sign. That sign looked like it had been drawn a few minutes before the First Lady went out to talk about, be best. In this case, it was very a well manufactured sign. Obviously, they've had this on hand, if not for days, for weeks. So they've just been waiting for the chance. How can I have a temper tantrum? How can I be an 8-year-old mad at the other kids on the playground?
LEMON: If we can put up that sign that he had before, because we had our own sign to fact check. This is another -- there it is. This is another indication that they're living in their own world, because this is $35 million plus. Maybe it's going to go up to $35 million. So far, the research we show says $25 million. It said nothing about the seven people who have pleaded guilty, nothing about the person who convicted at trial.
Meaning Paul Manafort, nothing about the 37 people entities who were charged, 199 criminal counts that (Inaudible) to get help from Russia, and that he was not exonerated on obstruction. So if you're going to have a prop that shows what really happened, why not show all of it?
D'ANTONIO: Well, because that wouldn't be a very good prop, would it? He wants to make sales pitch. So this is a guy telling with the (Inaudible) obviously is the best car in the lot, because he's going to tell you it's the best car on the lot. You missed one part of this. Mueller has taken in more than 25 million from Paul Manafort. So this prosecution or investigation has cost zero.
So this is how bad it is with this president. And he goes -- he thinks we're going to believe anything. You know, you're talking about...
LEMON: Got it get ready for the...
LEMON: He might tweet about you tonight.
D'ANTONIO: I am ready for him. But, you know, I am challenged because I try to use facts. And he's not challenged because he's fact-free.
D'ANTONIO: This is all marketing. This is all the drama of the Trump presidency.
LEMON: Yeah. So Nancy Pelosi went from -- Nancy and Chuck Schumer went from Chuck today to, you know, senator and speaker. And then Pelosi had a new statement that said the president had a temper tantrum for us all to see. Why does he get so earthed by Nancy Pelosi?
D'ANTONIO: She's mommy. And she's not treating him well. I mean I really think that this is the problem, is she's a powerful woman. She's a bit older than him. She's got authority. I don't think he likes it when women aren't taking care of him.
LEMON: Does she live in his head rent-free?
[22:54:55] D'ANTONIO: Oh, absolutely. She lives in his head. And what's weird is she doesn't have to do much, does she? She just has to say this is a cover-up. And, you know, what's amazing is -- look. His whole life has been a cover-up. There's not been a thing that he's claimed that hasn't been distorted and then he's to cover-up the lies that he's told.
He walked out into the Rose Garden and covered up the real reason why this meeting blew up. So he was covering up, as he's saying, Donald Trump doesn't do cover-ups.
LEMON: Listen, Michael. You're never going to find another view like this in all of Manhattan.
LEMON: The view with the biggest window and you've got the biggest, most beautiful river behind you, and it's up on the biggest and the highest floor in the best building in Manhattan.
D'ANTONIO: Well, you know, and there are lots of rent-controlled apartments available in this building. It's crazy.
LEMON: We'll be right back.