tv The Beat With Ari Melber MSNBC July 1, 2021 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
thank you very much for letting us in your home during this extraordinary times. we are grateful, "the beat" with ari melber starts right now. hi ari. >> i have a question for you, you asked me about the law. i want to ask you something you know a lot about which is government and accountability. we can do the narrow legal thing and that's what happens in the courtroom. what does it mean to you, what should it mean to america that this person gotten away so much is facing a type of broader accountability today? what does it mean?
>> i am disturbed by this idea that this is less than what people thought it would be or not a big deal or it is just company. if this were anybody else and if we were not numbed to his constant criminality, to the ex-president constant of being revealed as being corrupt. the folks that you have on your show have been the best nar narrators because he was there. that whole thing be charged as a criminal enterprise is a bomb shell and the fact for the first time being held accountable, looks like many years of crimes is a huge deal. it tells who today the republican party is. i am betting if they cover it on
the right, they won't care. we have to stare at that and understand what it is. it is a big story and you help us make sense of the legal side. if they don't care is almost a bigger story. all great points. as you said, grim or some of it serious, the reporting part i enjoy doing with you today, thank you for having me, i will see you again soon, nicole. >> it was fantastic, you are welcome any time. >> all right, and now welcome to "the beat," we begin with breaking news. the manhattan da indicting allen weisselberg who
surrendered to authorities at 6:00 a.m. this morning, walking to court with his booking and finally his indictment and the process through arraignment for a $1.7 million scheme at trump org., he's finding that swiftly changing his whole life today. here he was hours later taken by police in handcuffs to the booking appearance where he surrendered his passport and pled not guilty. it is worth taking a look at what the legal and psychological reality is today. today, the 73-years-old trump's executive executive, marched like this because his hands are cuffed. handcuffed in custody for arraignment.
weisselberg faces 15 counts from larceny to tax evasion and falsifying records. and nicole and i were discussing aspects of this. that alone would be a big deal today. a top trump's executive, cuffed, 15 counts. that's not the only breaking news. as the new york times put it simply, the trump organization charge inside a 15-year tax scheme. the former president and entire company with multiple crimes like tax fraud and false statements and filings and obstruction count for falsifying or destroying records. prosecuors say they have the receipts, citing this kind of evidence, spread sheets, tax
returns and documents, some which are directly implicating or including donald trump himself, a reference to his signature on the checks that prosecutors now say are criminal evidence for the conspiracy, that includes tuition and payment, that's the signature and the sharpie we all know. this was objectively the worse day trump organization had ever had. >> believe it or not, we have so much more breaking news, donald trump's money man has turned himself in. >> they have thrown a kitchen sink at trump organization, this is very bad news. >> in 244 years, we have not had a local prosecutor go after a former president of the united states for his employees.
>> a first step for prosecutor to compel weisselberg to cooperate. until today we have basic, limited information about the probe. now we have the case. we have a lot more details. the scene inside the courtroom, you have weisselberg there, seated and masked and separated by plexiglass. the da told the judge what the case was. a conspiracy, running from 2005, new york's state and city tax authorities and to stash hundreds of thousands of dollars of some greater than most people's salaries in disguised
payments that were as prosecutors put it so off the books. that is it. you can boil a da's case down to a classic gangster move. high income and off the books. they told us it is off the hook this year. making mad money, off the books this year. ain't nothing but crooks in here, getting mad money off the books this year. well, that's the gangster stuff that the da says that the trump organization does on a daily basis. with its cfo off the books for allegedly 15 years. and, the beats are right, if these individuals areconvicted, they would be crooks in here. >> we have a witness here,
michael cohen, he joins us on our first block. as he stands by, i will bring in dan alonso and joy vance, welcome to both of you. how broad and strong is this case? >> it sounds very strong. the evidence detailed in me charges themselves. they don't seem to rely too much on people whose credibility can be attacked. it does not seem michael cohen or others and they got a lot of a lot of documents, i think it is broader than what we were expecting the last few days from having heard from the defense lawyers and i will say one thing that is very significant that this state tax case charges the irs and the federal authorities
as victims in this scheme. that's proper, for example, social security and disability and things like that. this is a very interesting and appropriate use of the scheme of fraud and grand larceny laws to specifically charge in state court that the irs is ripped off. it is an interesting way to do it. it has the effect of upping significantly the am of tax laws. we are talking about new york state's taxes, we talked about last week. maybe $100,000 in the indictment. you add to that, $500,000 plus federal tax alleged to be evaded and he evaded another $200,000 new york's city taxes allegedly. that brings the total tax up to $900,000. that looks like a pretty significant fraud case.
>> yeah. >> joyce, donald trump may not use e-mails, investigators say there are plenty of records in the organization. we heard they are following spread sheets that the organization maintained the internal spread sheets to track the amount that would pay for weisselberg and rent and garage and they would reduce the amount in the form of checks or deposits to the account of in direct compensation. how does that help the case? >> well, it is interesting, right? the case against weisselberg is a good case. if this looks like a case that could go to trial and could be a winner. the real issue, the real question we have here is does it go further? does it reach trump? the fact that he was not charged today and just prosecutors believe without weisselberg's cooperation, they can't go straight to him. weisselberg so far knowing all of this refused to cooperate and
willing to take whatever pain this case imposes but ari, i remember and you do too that michael cohen was in this posture early on. perhaps like cohen, weisselberg will see mounting legal fees, politely have to repay back taxes. maybe that'll pressure him to cooperate the way prosecutors have not been able to do before the case happens. if this goes to trial, the trial itself will cross trump's red line. prosecutors will be able to put on evidence involving the corporation. his name says corporation and shows that for 15 years it engaged in fraud. this was not the broad fraud that we were led to expect. it is much narrower, it is a larger case of what trump's lawyer were talking about last week. $1.7 million, those taxes are not paid on. that's not insignificant and
that's the president's own company. >> you mentioned michael cohen who's standing by. we'll get his insights. >> i told viewers how you wrote the guidelines that were used over whether or not to charge the trump organization. we reported on june 2nd, it is striking that the fact that something feels expected or old just as bill barr trying to get people to feel a certain way about mueller report that they have not read yet. that's understandable. it is not the right feeling. it is not accurate to the scope of what's happening. i want to play a little bit of the reporting. because we. >> reporter: tracking the idea that the whole company could get in there which is what happened today. >> prosecuors are scrutinizing and probing the trump organization the same way they have. >> the da could indict all of trump organizations.
>> you can go further to indict the trump's org. there is no reason not to charge the trump organization. >> even donald trump himself is never indicted, there is a way prosecutors could indict the entire trump.org and here we are, today it happens. what does it mean or is it important that they went after the whole company? >> i think it is important. companies are legal persons and when they commit crimes, it is worth very mump considering whether or not to charge them. as you said it is complicated and there is a whole long policy with a whole lot of factors and you have to consider them. prosecutors should consider charging companies in broader schemes that lasts for years and years. when it was done in part for the
benefit of the company. i think the prosecutors went through those factors as you mentioned. they founded it was wanting. >> they had not cooperated or i would imagine they address the collateral consequences that may flow out of it. we just don't know. they certainly address them to see if it was a just outcome to prosecute or see conviction of these two companies. it seems like they concluded it would be. >> joyce and dan, thank you. now as promised and advertisement on the straight line. we turn to someone who's been dealing with weisselberg for a long time >> the office with me was allen weisselberg. >> the he made the decision. allen weisselberg on the check
or mr. weisselberg for short. >> michael cohen there testified about weisselberg in 2019. he's been a reasons there several times. the investigation remains ongoing and michael cohen joins me now. michael. you started this and your reaction to today's indictment. the organization that you used to work for and the cfo you used to work so closely with. >> i am not surprised of the ziemt, thest a little benefit what of us looking for or hoping for in a sweeping set of indictment meaning allen weisselberg. he's not the keystone to this entire indictment. there will be more as far as i am concerned. i know that i had gone in and i have spoken on more than a dozen
occasions to the district attorney and there are a multitude of issues that are far more ranging from allen weisselberg is not paying for a car. he's not the only one. it had the same wacky compensation package. >> wacky compensation, the company intentionally use to avoid taxes, is that your view? >> well, my view is that if you are living in an apartment that you are not paying for it. it is probably not standard and nobody really discusses it, again, people have to understand that the trump organization, despite what they said, it is not 3500 people. right? >> the 3500 people affiliated
but some of the hotels they managed, they don't pay these people. it is part of the licensing eel. that's not the entire company basically can i not kg about a dozen of executiveexecutives. maybe it is 10 or 12 people. well, allen got free important and if he gets a free car or this executive. they all keep it to themselves. that's why i refer to it as a wacky sort of compensation package. >> did you instead of pay the additional funds which they thould have done. >> they decided to do it this way. this is only the tip of the eye berg when it comes to the mult attitude of legalities that the district of attorney is looking
at it. >> that is. this is a big surprise, hey everybody, we are going to get allen weisselberg, it is not him we are looking for. >> right. >> you reminded everyone that there is a process to this that may or may not end. >> we have a special report on that later, looking at the timeline >> trump's lawyers who hold the job that you once did. let's hear what they were saying after this unprecedented court appearance, take a look. >> i don't think these charges would have been shot. >> it is a political prosecution, political prosecution where people are
targeted from italy because -- >> fair point. >> and the os it is based on the fact that it is democrats versing former donald trump. it is based on 15 plus years worth of documents stiting in the hands of a capable and rico attorney along with cyrus vanc fl e jr. no, what they are taing is not right. you have 74 million people that are believing what trump is saying. these are the same people don't believe january 6th was an attack. these are the same people that don't believe any of these things and the big lie by donald
trump. they all believe in him and they they are other people, there are enough people that'll be treasured, that all you need is one. they have people already given it myself. >> like myself of the testimony. was i in in the room for each of thesis texas? >>, probably not. >> can i talk about the fact that iover heard conversations regards x, y and z. there were only 14 executives of
the whole company. >> it is not a good day. it is not a good day for allen. >> slerptly not. was there anything that was in the ziemt that was unknow or new to you? >> no, it was what i expected. >> i expect larger sweeping. they're coming. we are all used to everything being so instance. >> when it comes to this group, they're going to be methodical and they'll keep professional. >> they'll keep their own lime line. >> do it in the way that politic or press tonight continue find as convenient, it is not only sound but it is their job not to consider that. >> i believe weisselberg is going to provide testimony. he did not do it yesterdays but
it is a very big dirchts difference. >> sitting here having the frot photo graph taken. >> it is a whole another story now once you are being indicted. the next step is potentially and not going to be 105 years. it is seven years for each of the 15 counts. now, i don't believe he'll get 18s 05 years but even one year for a guy that's 74 is tough. they gave me campaign finance violation. >> the problem is that's not who you need to appeal to. >> you need to appeal to
cy vance. >> they are ill advice in following donald's legal game a this point point. >> mr. weisselberg if he does not find a deal, we would have to find a party of 12. mike michael cohen, thank you for coming back on "the beat." the author of "this loyal." for more reaction and analysis, we turn to new york's emily. one a long time loyal to trump like mr. weisselberg, his
history is cuffed and in vis rated and a party in new york remains mr. weisselberg. he nearly indicted today. >> i think the crucial question is whether michael cohen and your preefr yous guest that thinks the beginning. is this the type of the iceberg. they they succeed putting enough pressure on weisselberg that he'll fliep. >> that's what they are hoping. i think michael cohen was talking about what it feels like to be incarcerated and the effect it had and even you never imagined turning on your boss. weisselberg is going to make similar decisions. >> let me ask you the other big question that hangs over this and we have some reporting coming up. i am curious of what you are
thinking and since we rely on so many stories. >> what if anything they could be infer from the tax all the way to the supreme court, they won and got them, they are not referenced in this indictment today. >> this looks like a button-up document which prosecutors are making sure that they can prove every single fact really clearly based on the paper work they have and they're not going to beyond that. run thing that struck me reading the diet is why won't they gave weisselberg -- this is someone who made $941,000 a year. we are talking about over 12 years. hundreds of thousands of dollars. to me that's a lot of money.
to a lot of viewers that's a lot of money. >> over 12 years for highly paid ceo, in some ways, i don't gens it. >> if you are going to have these deferred payments off the books then keep a separate spread sheet because if the gun shot is going to go around looking, they're going to find it. >> do you think it is unwise that they wrote down his real conversation and kept on deconducting it. retropectivly. the second possibility is as real one in a lot of situations. that does not mean there is anything wrong. the government does not do
enough tax enforcement. thab that's the bet that didn't pay off. >> yes, it also speaks to what may be either incredibly cheap grandiose approach of business or the thin profit margins that the company is famous for. the current trump lour lays they have x thousand of people. michael says no, that's bs. they do a lot of moving and faking and then have a small number of employees. >> i am finding little nip and tuck to save a little money from taxes the because the whole company pays for those taxes. these are real big questions. what's up with the tax returns and the best argument a trump's person may made, if this is all end with nothing is hitting them, maybe it is not so bad.
emily, as always, thank you for joining us, a big news night. >> thank you for having me. >> thank you. we have a lot more in the program. a special report we have been working about it all day. what we can lern from this ziemt. one of the top experts in this country and these kinds of cases and barbara ratz. stay with us. cases and barbara ratz stay with us we made usaa insurance for members like martin. an air force veteran made of doing what's right,
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trump org and cfo indicted. the cfo pleading not guilty to a $1.7 million scheme. this is an ongoing investigation. that could strike fear into other executives. another prosecutor, crimes committed by the most senior executives. now we get into more details. the indictment referenced unindicted coconspirator number one. we also do not know who it is.
now we do know, prosecutors alleged that person is in on this expensive off the books scheme, implementing a scheme for weisselberg. trump is also in the indictment in some other ways. his name is there on the checks he used. the da with 15 counts including weisselberg's tax evasion. no one could say whether the whole trump organization would be kneecaped by this. there is trump, of what is a family business and the family certainly gone along for the ride. >> i am the largest real estate developer in new york, my company is bigger than ever was and stronger than ever was. >> it is a family brand.
>> that's the most incredible thing of the trump organization. we work well together. >> making sure not to kill the golden goose which is the brand that he created overtime. >> that golden goose is under pressure right now. these charges add to the legal and financial pressure that's so familiar to a company with these kinds of problems you see here. too many headlines from civil to pros and all the bankruptcies. at a certain point people may feel exhausted and wondering when does total accountability will come. nicole and i were discussing it earlier tonight. according to the da, the answer is today. this is the first time the whole company is charge with a crime. it is hard for any indicted company to continue business as usual. how do you meet with partners for potential projects or creditors when their first
question will be will you be convicted? will you be around next year? it is also striking what the indictment does not say. we want to be as clear and objective as possible. this is what i raise with emily. this is tough indictment that takes an aggressive view of how funds were misappropriated. does not reference in any way donald trump's tax returns. this is the da who won the big supreme court case to get them. it does not say what donald trump really knew, allegedly a 15-year scheme. prosecutors are calling weisselberg bluff and they're doing what prosecutors do. they are squeezing people with criminal evidence to get to all the facts or at the top of a scheme. let me be as objective as possible. does that mean trump is definitely at the top of this scheme? well, prosecutors have to figure
it out. anyone have a hunch or opinion. prosecutors need evidence and facts. they clearly weisselberg has some of those evidence and facts which he's not sharsharing, the want his cooperation. let me be clear with you. it is possible weisselberg could go under oath or go under lie detector, you have all the facts and they may still lead you to a situation where trump did not know about the scheme or whether there is enough evidence under the rule to bring charges against him. i will tell you if that's the case. that's a good thing. it is good if prosecutors get all the facts and follow the rule of law. i can tell you that the idea that all of this is going is donald trump's cfo or 15 years and donald trump had no idea where the extra money was going -- that looks to many sources of an unlikely theory.
it is different from what we heard from the former colleague that joined us tonight. >> everything had to go through mr. trump. he knew everything and had to be approved by mr. trump. >> he knew about everything, does not mean he wrote anything down. he avoids e-mails and electronics. that's why weisselberg is so critical to provide -- many people would be checking e-mails or tax about approvals or records that say yes, do that. yes, move the money over. yes, lie about whether it is income. yes, that'll make us more profitable because we won't pay taxes. prosecutors may miss all those yeses, they may need weisselberg to unearth new details they don't yet know. >> donald trump himself famously does not use e-mails or text, does allen weisselberg use
e-mails or texts? >> i have given the da an e-mail they did not know about. >> so what's the answer? does he use e-mail and texts? >> donald? >> allen. >> he tries not to and typically no. indictment alleges 15 years worth of financial crimes. it could be where this case ends up or weisselberg could provide information about other individuals or the person who runs the company. it is unusual for the entire company to be indicted over these kinds of crimes. today the trump organization after years of trying to outrun all kinds of probes including a prior probe by this manhattan da. today the trump's organization
stands indicted. donald trump stands accused of being the helm of the crime. that's not nothing. where does these kinds of investigations go? the former chief, david kelly, will break this all down. we'll be back in 60 seconds. down we'll be back in 60 seconds. ♪ yum ♪ ♪ yum yum (clap, clap) yum yum (clap) yum yum ♪ tide pods ultra oxi one ups the cleaning power of liquid. ♪ yum ♪ can it one up whatever they're doing? for sure. seriously? one up the power of liquid, one up the toughest stains. any further questions? uh uh! one up the power of liquid with tide pods ultra oxi. limu emu... and doug. so then i said to him, you oughta customize your car insurance with liberty mutual,
so you only pay for what you need. oh um, doug can we talk about something other than work, it's the weekend. yeah, yeah. [ squawk ] hot dog or... chicken? [ squawk ] only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ we have david kelly, the chief u.s. attorney of new york. he's also my former boss. thank you for joining us on a big news night. >> happy to be here with you. >> give it to me straight, this is debated throughout the day on this program. i remind viewers you have dealt
with this kind of stuff. this type of indictment looks to you small or big because it does go after the whole company? >> for the company, for weisselberg is big. and not to throw water on the fire for a lot of folks look for the head of the company to be indicted, what i look at it is they're throwing a lot of weight to try to get somebody to flip which suggests that they may not have a good case yet against the person they really think ought to be indicted, who's the head of that company. so, you know, it is a big case for the company. it is a big case for weisselberg. these are serious charges. it is not slim picking.
>> donald trump having some of the ingredients, but needing weisselberg, you view this as them planning if they got enough from him to potentially making that move against trump. >> well, look, when you hear about all the press report over the last couple of years about statements made to lenders and false statements made perhaps with tax authorities, you may expect, this is a very narrow indictment. this is just really focused on weisselberg's use of company funds for his own benefits. it has to be authorized by somebody else. the indictment suggests as much. what people are expecting is go way beyond it. they're going to go after the trump organization while this is
significant against the organization as any felony cases against any company. what people are expecting is how big will this go? this is really narrow. this is -- it is a narrow case. one way of looking at it is to say i am glad they finally got the company. but, one way of reading it is they got to be really eager to get somebody to help them make the big case that they have not gotten there yet. >> right. >> they're trying really hard to get there. look, on one hand and this is all -- we don't know what they have. one way to read this is to say they're not there yet against the company and the commit murdn fifth avenue and walk away from it. >> right. >> david, now i am running over on time but a question i have not asked anyone yet at this
hour. what are the odds allen weisselberg could beat this case with a new york attorney? >> interesting. gee, what's his defense? it is hard to beat the case and hard to have hard proof that he's getting income and not reporting it. when the trump organization, oh, everybody does that. everybody does not do that. a car here and great on rent there, this guy was living for free. the income he was getting and claiming was over and above what everybody else had to use their income for to live. >> yeah, all right, straight up. david, thank you for coming on. good to see you. when we come back, a trump insider, barbara res, on "the
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the last time i started working with the trump was i was checking expenses of one of the top employees and they were ridiculous, where did they come from? and oh, they're real, they're real. trump told me to come up whatever it is and they'll be paid. >> you said it came directly from him. why as i was saying with another guest, the automatic frugality or the money was really that tight? >> well, i think it was not so much money was tight.
we had finance equitable. if you can beat the tax or the government, by all means, legal or illegal. also, it was a way of theknow, g you tax free money, that kind of thing. he used that kind of thing to engender loyalty and affection or whatever it was that would benefit him one way or the other. it was always to trump's benefit. it was never, let me be nice to this guy. let me say this. >> yes. >> michael and i don't always agree on everything in the world, but one thing is for sure. nothing gets done without trump's knowledge and approval. >> there you go. that's what needs to be proven or not in the case. you knew allen. how did he look and what was running through his mind in your
estimation today? >> i knew he was a polite, quiet guy. very much ennamm mored of mr. trump. called him donald. he seemed like a nice man. i didn't know him that well. we'd go to lunch, bar mitzvah, but now he's probably a very different person. he's been living high on the hog. he has money, he has power. having said all of that, i don't think he is in a position to go to jail for donald trump. i just don't think he will. >> barbara, thank you as always. we'll be right back. i honestly feel that that's my calling-- to give back to younger people. i think most adults will start realizing that they don't recall things as quickly as they used to or they don't remember things as vividly as they once did. i've been taking prevagen for about three years now. people say to me periodically, "man, you've got a memory like an elephant." it's really, really helped me tremendously.
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good evening, everyone. we begin "the reid out" tonight. extraordinary unprecedented development. israel, south korea, egypt, peru. just a few of the nations where a former head of state was indicted or prosecuted. something pretty unimaginable here in the united states. well, the first step towards the possibility of that happened today as the former president's company, the trump organization and its long-time money man, allen weisselberg, were formerly indicted. he appeared in court in lower