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tv   Washington Week  PBS  September 17, 2022 1:30am-2:01am PDT

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yamiche: trump investigations. election season in high gear. pres. trump: i can't imagine being indicted. i have done nothing wrong. yamiche: former president trump lashes out. a special master is appointed to review files the fbi seized from his home. the justice department issues dozens of subpoenas connected to 2020 election lies and the capital attack. >> there has been a large volume of information that we pressed hard for the agency to release. yamiche: as the january 6 committee says it has new evidence. plus -- sen. schumer: one party is focused on jobs, that's us. the other is focused on nationwide abortion bands.
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those are the extreme of republicans. yamiche: lindsay graham introduces a bill to federally ban abortions. >> the american people cannot afford another year of democrat one-party rule. yamiche: as the battle to retain control of congress heats up, next. >> this is "washington week." corporate funding is provided by -- >> consumer cellular's goal has been to provide wireless service that helps people communicate and connect. we offered no contract plans and our u.s.-based team can help find one that fits you. visit consumercellular.tv. >> addional funding is provided by the ewing foundation. committed to bridging cultural differences in our communities. rose herschel and andy shreve's.
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robert and susan rosenbaum. the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> once again, from washington, moderator yamiche alcindor. yamiche: good evening and welcome. it was another busy week of news about multiple federal investigations into former president trump and his allies. on thursday, a federal -- a federal judge appointed a special master to review documents taken by the fbi during the search of trump's home. the doj will continue to be blocked from accessing the roughly 100 classified files seized in the criminal investigation. that came after former president trump blasted the doj on the hugh hewitt show. pres. trump: i have the indicte. i have done nothing wrong. if it happens, ihink you will have problems in this country
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the likes of which we have never seen. i don't think the people of the united states will stand for it. yamiche: despite trump's claims helassified the documents, his lawyers have refrained from making that exact assertion in court, and a number of trump officials say they believe the claim is false. while, the doj issued 40 subpoenas to members of trump's inner circle, and at least two top trump advisors had their phones seized. reports say it shows a de-escalation into trump's efforts to subvert the 2020 election. joining me to discuss this, josh gerstein with politico, marianna sotomayor, congressional reporter for the washington post, and joining me around the table, zolan kanno-youngs, white house correspondent for "the new york times," and susan page with "usa today." josh, the judges giving the
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special master until november 30 to review the files. the doj is expected to ask an appeals court to step in. what more do we know about how this impacts the investigation and the impact on the special master? josh: the investigation remains basically on hold, at least as it regards any of the classified documents, and even more broadly all of the records trump had down at mar-a-lago. that is why the justice departments taking this issue to a federal appeals court, because they believe it is basically unprecedented for a federal judge to say you have to halt your investigation. she did say you can continue to do what is basically a damage assessment of what might have been the national security harm from these records being down at mar-a-lago, but the justice department's position has been there is no practical way to do that without involving criminal
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investigators who were at mar-a-lago, who might have seen these documents. you can't really separate that from an effort to figure out what the damage is resulting from the records down there. yamiche: there are also questions about the special master. we know he is a former new york judge. what more do we know? he is already saying he wants to have a conference next week in brooklyn. josh: he is based in brookland. -- brooklyn. he is a reagan appointee, very well respected across the political spectrum. he has been on the bench for a long time as a reagan appointee. he is at senior status, a semi retired physician. he sat on the foreign surveillance court, which handles national security matters. the question is not so much him but his broad role that the judge in florida is according to
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him, not just to look at attorney-client privilege , but executive privilege, and to decide issues they do not typically decide. the issues are typically what does this box fit in, not does the box exist. that is the question of the dispute between the president and the justice department. yamiche: talking about this dispute, i want to go back to the sound we played in the open. former president trump said, "you will have a lot of problems in this country, the likes of which you have never seen." you have told our producer this is showing, given what we know on january 6. -- about january 6. give your reaction to the president saying this. susan: it is hard to listen and not believe he is threatening violence by his supporters. if he gets indicted, this is extraordinary.
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we know from january 6 how followers of president trump listened to his words. we know these wordsueled these demonstrators to come to washington, march the capitol. they felt they were basically marching orders to break-in. it is of great concern that he would use language like that, because we know january 6 is not over. january 6 was not an event back on january 6 and we are down just dealing with the particulars of it. dysreflexia movement and a mood and an assault on democracy -- this reflects a movement and a mood and an assault on democracy we are continuing to deal with. josh: this also fuels democrats and the white house's we cap can leave a message over the past couple of weeks, which is to frame donald trump is one of the extremists and espousing extremist views and encouraging political violence. it almost kind of backs the
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speech that president biden gave in philadelphia, many would say. as republicans try to pinpoint the flaws in the economy and the biden administration, when you have a former president giving an interview like that, it backs some of the messaging you are seeing coming from the white house to try to make this upcoming election a real choice between democracy or one that could encourage such violence. yamiche: josh, what is a loan -- what zolan is talking about, all of this is up in the air when it comes to classified documents that may be out. there could be more information out there. former president trump is claiming he has declassifie anything and everything that he walked out of the white house with. what is your take on this, given your reporting? josh: one issue people are concerned about is that there were all these empty folders that were found that we saw in that image from trump's office, or trump's closet, with markings
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on them like top-secret, secure, compartmented information, and maybe even higher levels of classification. at this point, the justice department cannot be sure that those records have been accounted for, whether they were shown to anyone else, whether they might be in any other places that trump used during his presidency. it remains an issue of significant concern. that said, i do think there is something to his argument that presidents do have broad authority over classified information. i do have some doubts that at the end of the day, if there is a criminal charge against former president trump, that the central part of it is going to be mishandling classified information, i think it is more likely to be found in obstruction of justice or something along those lines that sidesteps some of those constitutional questions. yamiche: that is interesting, thinking about what could end up if there was an indictment of trump, what sort of thing could happen.
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marianna, the january 6 committee is talking about having a new hearing. we heard from bennie thompson this week saying they are getting troves of information from secret service. what do we know about the information coming in, and how do lawmakers want to use it? marianna: these lawmakers have a timeline. we don't know the results of the midterm election yet, but a lot of people are already saying it is likely going to switch to a republican majority. we know if that happens, minority leader mccarthy has said we are going to disband this committee. right now, what the lmakers on the panel are trying to do is get as much information as possible. you mentioned the trove of secret service. that is just one part of it, and i know that is something that, if they have a hearing, there have been certain dates that have been discussed for likely later this month, that could be a part of it. they also want to try to talk to
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a number of former trump officials, still get more information from mark meadows as well as tony or nonno, the deputy chief of staff. there is some actual back-and-forth among lawmakers about how much information they have and how much time they even have to plan a hearing. it is likely they could even hold hearings in october, maybe november after the midterms. one thing the democrats do not really want to talk about right now is things like this, january 6. they want to keep their messaging on abortion, on other things that may likely help them, maybe keep the majority. that is another consideration lawmakers are weighing, how much attention to bring to the january 6 committee right now when republicans could attack them for being too partisan. yamiche: josh, back to you, i have to ask you another legal question. what do these subpoenas mean?
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we have the doj handing out 40 subpoenas along with the fact that there are negotiations with the january 6 committee for information. josh: there is a definite broadening of the public part of this doj investigation. what they have been doing behind the scenes, we don't really know, but with these subpoenas, you know they are looking into fundraising by president trump's save america group, especially around the election recount. did money really go to that purpose? was there some law violation in connection with that rally that was organized at least reportedly organized by women for trump? these are the areas the investigation is spreading into, as well as the slates from republican officials in the states biden actually won, where they put forward slatethat some would say are fraudulent. one aspect of the cooperation between the committee or lack of
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it and the justice department is the justice department is about to start a very big trial. in 10 days, they are supposed to open the first seditious conspiracy trial involving of keepers, the first of what could be two or three seditious trials. one of the problems is if the house starts dribbling out documents, it is going to just cause hellish disruption in that trial because there are going to be demands for the rest of the committee's documents, that there was a partial disclosure, and that it is all coming so late they cannot process it. those interactions may be why the committee has decided not to put out more evidence. susan: we are seeing these timelines. the house committee is seeing this deadline looming because it is entirely likely that republicans will be in control
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of the house, that committee will be disbanded. whatever they need to do, they need to do it as quickly as possible. this is the first time we have been in this situation. we go to a midterm election where we are still debating fiercely the outcome of the previous election, and that is likely to be a situation we will find even in the next presidential election. yamiche: susan, you were at segue to the next part of the show, which is the midterms. josh, thank you for sharing your reporting. the other thing susan just talked about on tuesday, the last midterm, primary elections, the 2022 cycle were held in delaware and new hampshire. a number of trump backed congressional candidates won big. that came as republicans and democrats alike were surprised. -- were surprised when lindsey graham revealed his plans for a 15 week federal abortion ban. sen. graham: we should have a lot the federal level that would
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say after 15 weeks -- a law at say after 15 weeks, no abortion on demand except in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother. yamiche: democrats fired back. >> to anyone who thought they were safe, i am in a blue state, i will be fine, here is the reality. republicans are coming after your rights. yamiche: meanwhile, on tuesday at the white house, president biden held a celebration for the passage of the inflation reduction act, a worse than expected inflation report was released hours before the event that led many republicans to criticize the president. also dominating the headlines this week, republican governors flaying migrants to democrat-led cities. ron desantis of florida flew migrants to martha's vineyard, and greg abend of texas left asylum-seekers outside the vice president,, harris's washington dc home -- outside of kemal
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harris -- kamala harris' washington, d.c., home. the story was seen all over the country, worse public and -- republican establish my candidates being beaten. what do you make of that? josh: it happened in -- susan: it happened in arizona, happened in vermont. donald trump continues to have enormous sway over the republican and the argument that he is backing less elective look and events does not convince republican primary voters -- less electable candidates does not convince republican primary voters to walk away from his legacy. yamiche: zolan, jump in. zolan: justecause trump is not on the ballot doesn't mean he is not on the ballot. because we are in these election, these primaries
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basically litigating who the rightful president is and at the point still having candidates who are out right denying some of the results of the previous election says a lot about where we are right now with our democratic system and political discourse. yamiche: marianna, you are at the center of congress. you have nancy pelosi saying not only are democrats going to hold on to control of the house, they are going to expand their majority, but our friends at the newsletter say behind closed doors, chuck schumer is saying nancy pelosi and t house democrats are in trouble. what are you hearing? marianna: exactly that. many people were wondering why pelosi was so optimistic. you definitely felt on the house side this was the first [indiscernible] you definitely felt the upbeat move that democrats -- upbeat mood that democrats were feeling. it came after senator graham, and there is a companion bill in the house that introduced that federal ban that they think,
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when we are talking about being on the campaign trail, talking about making a difference between democrats and republicans, well, this is the extreme maga republicans that will take away more of your freedom. they were feeling that energy, but many people were thinking maybe pelosi was feeling too much of that. one thing to note, during that press conference, she got reasked if she wants to still sy in leadership regardless of what happens in november. a lot of aids and a couple members i talked to yesterday are saying that you cannot say and project negativity that you might lose the majority and you may not keep these seats, that it might be a blowout. that is likely where that is coming from. yamiche: marianna, you touched on it, but lindsay graham introduced this federal ban on abortions after 15 weeks. what motivated him to do this, and how are republicans and
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democrats responding? marianna: he was asked that question during the press conference he played and he simply said it is the women standing behind me. those are a number of women who are heads of pro-life groups, antiabortion groups. they, for a while, have been pushing him and also chris smith, a republican on the house side, to update this legislation . chris smith has actually been reintroducing it congress after congress after congress. it would put a federal ban in place. it went from 20 weeks to 15 weeks. even lindsay graham said, i have not talked to mcconnell about this, i have really not talked to my colleagues either, and you hear the repercussions. republicans are saying, why are we talking about this right now? it is not necessarily an issue we want to be talking about because we do not have the upper hand at the moment. instead, focus on the fact that biden is holding an event on the
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inflation reduction act at a time we are still seeing and laois on the rise -- inflation on t rise. none of that help to republicans as they were trying to regain the narrative. yamiche: susan, you have been covering the issues of women's rights and politics for so long. what do you make of what lindsey graham just did, and what are you hearing? the word on the street as republicans were looking at lindsay graham like, excuse me, why are you doing this? susan: if republicans fail to gain control of the senate, which looks entirely possible, it will be the self inflicted wounds, including lindsay graham raising the issue of a national abortion ban after many republicans argued the real reason for supporting the subreport decision is it is an issue we should lead to the states. -- the supreme court decision is it is an issue we should lead to the states. nominating these candidates to the farthest right, where it is not the strongest republican
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candidate that could be nominated, letting the conversation not be focused squarely on inflation, which is -- and no crime, their best issues. if her publicans do not do as well as we ask -- if republicans do not well as we -- do noto as well as expected, we should be in trouble. yamiche: the white house press secretary says, "they use them like political pawns, treated them like cattle in a pre-mediated stunt . think about migrants who are coming to this country to flee violence and dropping themselves off in random cities. zolan: it is important to describe who these people are. many venezuelans and southeast americans -- and south americans who are fleeing violence, but
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also poverty. many of them will turn -- were told by their lawyers to seek asylum. this tactic, while it has been used to retaliate against democrats, just to give you an idea of how once taboo it is, go back to november 18 at the trump administration. you have a stephen miller-led effort to pressurize officials at the time to basically do this on the federal level, take migrants to the border, bring them to san francisco to retaliate against nancy pelosi, other cities to retaliate against democrats. to give you an idea of how polarizing this is, the deputy director of vice, i would find it hard to find anyone say he is soft on immigration, said no, we can't do this. he basically rejected the concerns out of the liability for the safety of the migrants as well as saying that ice did not have the authority to essentially do that.
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now you have states doing it themselves. it does show you about the tactic we have seen before congressional elections, republicans leading into anti-immigrant sentiment to try and galvanize the base, but also it does not solve the overall issue at hand, which is a broken immigration system. democrats and republicans would say that. but this does not solve the issue, aacklogged court system and a lack of consistency when it comes to the border. yamiche: it is striking that you are saying this tactic was seen as too out there for the trump administration and is now being normalized. susan: look at 1962. it was a tactic used by white citizens councils in the south to convince blacks to get on buses and go to northern places, including hyannis port, where the president had a summer house. this is not the type of comparison governor desantis should be wanting. yamiche: in the last minute, marianna, it is hispanic heritage month.
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you have been talking to latino voters of how both parties are trying to win their votes. we only have a minute left, but talk to me about your reporting and how it connects to all of this, especially as we talk about inflation but also immigration. marianna: this is the first election since 2020 since we saw democrats lose drastically a solid base in south florida, also along the rio grande valley in texas. democrats have been making many more historic investments, incorporating a number of latino operatives to advise a number of campaigns, starting earlier than usual. but republicans have already been there for some time. a lot of democrats i have been talking to are saying it is good we are laying the ground now, finally they are listening to us. however, it might take time to actually see those voters, back. latinos still tend to vote democratic, but republics are
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making gains. you are seeing more republican hispanic women and men run for office, which is also an appeal, allowing a lot of these voters to say look, there are republicans in the party who look like me, maybe i can be open to them. there are the issues of economy and how that affects both men and women, different generations , that is really going to make an interesting post midterm election about our communities. yamiche: thank you for joining us and sharing your reporting. don't forget to watch pbs news weekend on saturday. jeff bennett will interview a retired general on jackson, mississippi's water crisis and how to prevent future infrastructure failures. iq for joining us. i'm yamiche alcindor. good night from washington. >> corporate funding from washingtonweek is provided by consumer cellular. additional funding is provided by the ewing foundation.
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committed to bridging cultural differences in our communities. sandra and carl magnuson. rose herschel and andy shreves . the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy.]
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(energetic music) ♪ (narrator) parisians had never seen anything like it. it wasn't ballet or burlesque. it wasn't a tribal dance. it was the spirit of an era. it was about laughter, desire, freedom. in front of white audiences, josephine played out her life.

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