Transcript for Michael Cohen sues the Trump Organization over unpaid legal fees
Yeah. Everybody welcome to the briefing here in mind Devin Dwyer happy Thursday to break Tim Johnson to cheer senior investigative reporter with us today a very big day. Top on the Russian investigation the special counsel probe into president trumps inner circle a number of cases we've talked John about how six. President trumps closest. And our colleagues associates have been indicted by the special counsel pleaded guilty one of those is his former campaign chairman Paul -- for Paul metaphor. If you have forgotten. Has been indicted in two different cases in one pled guilty. I thought he is going to be sentenced this afternoon he's back in federal court for the sentencing in one of the two cases. John this is the case involving the financial crimes were unrelated to the campaign currently the president trump in very serious matters. He could spend the rest of his life behind bar. Yeah I mean that many years thing that he'll get upwards of two decades in jail and that's only in this 1 cases is the eastern district of Virginia case is the first one actually. Deed go to trial for special counsel Robert Mueller so. We're gonna learn very shortly what happens to him he's obviously been spending time in jars and it behind bars since a judge accused in the witness tampering only last. It's already in jail in Europe what's your over under on how long he could I mean the guys that we've gotten somewhere and it could be around 25 years just in this just in this case I remember he had a second sentencing DeVon next week for the charges he faces in the District of Columbia case that's also a federal case. Com but likely says he's been in jail for quite some time our Catherine folders who has been in the courtroom for us for last several months has reported. It she's seen a physical change in palm and a fourth. He's in a wheelchair sometimes he comes and in jail he's each quite significantly remember this man's going to be seventy years old next month so not too easy being in jail. Quite a player in this town for decades someone who had advised presidents Republican presidents going back years Gerald Ford Gerald Ford and now behind bars for some pretty serious crimes and just as we've been saying one case out of two. And John he is appealing this we should say even though he. I did was was found guilty pleaded guilty out. He has operated for your time winner of the jurors title until they realize that the cooperation was new to go it and want to keep none of pardons came as well we know that he has maybe perhaps hoped for a pardon present from the spoken favorably. But it's not clear so much more common that Obama pardons with. We've Michael Collins well coming up shortly but also want to start today going to Capitol Hill where house Democrats are beginning. Either afternoon here taking a look at a resolution kind Danny and bigotry anti semitism and hate and all of its forms. The sort of unusual act that you would think your members of congress would have to take that this is fallout from some controversial comments made by Minnesota congresswoman. Eli and Omar. Specifically related to Jude isn't John and on this is something not the first time she's been in hot water she's a freshman congresswomen. I'm one of the first two women Muslim congressman. On Capitol Hill right. And this is set off quite a delicate dance for them Democratic Party yeah. And really hard also for speaker Nancy Pelosi because she this is a congressman represents this new emerging growing these are the new Democratic Party so. What do they do about this we're gonna see what happens in this floor vote here but you many there are saying how do they not come out and condemn. What she has done a young congressman has been quite definitive. I'm an at. And it is not backing down recently that there is aiming to apologize remember she came out in an attack eight packs a really gonna see where this develops over the next little bit. And what are the critics have Carson and Omar colleague fellow Democrat of her joins us now live from capitol help. Congressman Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida it's great to see and congresswoman thank you so much if it ever for being here I know you've been involved in drafting a resolution wanna put up some of the tax. Some pretty strong language condemning bigotry in all its forms white supremacy anti. Islamic phobia all of the like in there particularly anti semitism. Where do you fall weather the commerce woman's name should be included we don't see her in this resolution her name. Where I'm Colin is as a member of the Democratic Caucus a proud member of the Democratic Caucus. That is going to be proud to speak for and cast my vote in support of this resolution. That was crafted by high. Members of our party who do understand that we have to fight hatred and bigotry anti semitism racism in all its forms. And that using the platform on the floor of the House of Representatives to do that is absolutely essential. We we've not seen that same enthusiasm sizes Alley say. On the other side of the aisle particularly when it's come from the occupants of 16100 Pennsylvania Avenue in so. Insuring that we can use this as an education moments so that people can understand. What exactly. And anti semitism and Islam phobia mean. And that they're not just use tossed as words around that have no meaning words have power and then this resolution gives meaning to those were. Are you surprised this is something that you even have to do. As a democratic majority. I'm surprised that and it's when he first century in swinging nineteen. That we have to the spell out what is unacceptable in terms patron. Yes I am surprised but I have to tell you that there has been at the that this is but I'm surprised that crowd. That we are taking this moment as a democratic majority and doing doing so immediately. Not hemming and trying not to be under the rug not not doing a lot of hand wringing over it. But those being deliberative and making sore that we spell out. What it means and the kind of pain it causes which has not been done by the Republicans when it comes to the president of the United States. And all the Islamic phobia and anti semitism and bigotry that he is engaged in since he's taken office and you know since he began running. The comment from congresswoman Omar that sort of prompted. This move for resolution of one where she was comparing supporters of Israel. Two showing allegiance to a foreign power perhaps at the expense of allegiance to United States it's one that she has pushed back on I want to show folks the tweet she says. That she is has her views is entitled to her views certainly is something she says she shouldn't be expected to have allegiance pledged support. To a foreign country. Today in speaker Pelosi said she didn't believe that very cumbersome and Omar intended to be anti semantic and that way Kirk congresswoman. Do you think there is a place in congress for critics of Israel. What I think there's a place in congress for is making sure that we use the representative body that that is the US House of Representatives. To Foster understanding and tolerance and that's why this resolution is designed to do. It's important that we makes a word that throughout our history as we have seen all the way back to Japanese Americans who went during world north soon. I don't fear. Of the of the Japanese. They were rounded up. And and imprisoned against their will. Because their loyalty was questions in this country that does the same happened when John F. Kennedy ran for president and he's an Irish Catholic and whether he could be loyal sued the United States. And and was was a was not loyal to the Vatican or even Ireland's was questioned and so. Jews have experienced that throughout our thousands of years of history as if we are somehow a state was people that have more loyalty to Israel or to one another. And we do to our countries of origin and so making sure that we continue and constantly use these moments to educate people. About the pain of anti semitism and bigotry is absolutely critical and that's what this is designed to dance. And they brought up coming this afternoon on that resolution I congresswoman every wasserman Schultz of Florida it's great to hear your perspective great to have you here thanks so much for your time. I don't appreciate having much Maria John interim head this off Capitol Hill a lot of attention on nab president trumps former inner circle now beginning to speak out overnight. Get them paying attention we heard for the first time first time Toronto former chief of staff John Kelly the general always sort of stabilize the ship in the west wing if you will when he came in after Wright's previous. Then he left after so much controversy the president soured on him. He was at Duke University overnight up. What struck you from behind this in this first speaking out. Well I I think telling the building it around for among everything else the manic succeeded him. In his position I mean look that there's so much that we want to know about John Kelly right he is the longest surviving cheapest stamp in his young drug administration to sing alike considering how long some people have blasted. Well look the fact that he said Hillary Clinton was president would have got to conserve he really believes and duty to country but. June just think the fact that he would not go anywhere near questions and that Jared Kushner security clearance after that New York Times memo sane when he wrote. Leslie central announcing getting clearance from the president's two. Our closest advisors his son in law his daughter Monica trump that was largely at the behest of our John Kelly. Interest seem WASL to see when he until he writes his tell all book perhaps we. But eliminated until the fact that you know most former administration officials to your point emerge with a book emerged with a big sit down interview or something like that. It's really starting to think right now where we are they John Kelly instead is out just giving lectures didn't talk. No video allowed from this only audio journal entries is really different tactic rising very significant unless our White House reporter Jordan Phelps has been over there. Try to gauge reaction in the west wing today to what John Kelly said overnight to Jordan. What have you been hearing over there from folks ability to which. Yatom deveny it was fascinating to hear from Cali and as John said this isn't different tact for not seeing him. You know going out and writing a book but we are very much seen him really trying to shape the narrative right. His time at the White House really striking a diplomatic town but also. I exposing ascent daylight between him and the president. Saying that at basically he disagreed on some of the most controversial policies that we've seen come through this white house on his watch. I specifically seven. On that very controversial zero tolerance policy that resulted in the separation. Of migrant families. Kelly placed full blame on the shoulders of former attorney general Jeff Sessions take a lesson. Didn't separate town. It was a decision. By the attorney general's decision. And his surprise us is certainly we just flat footed. They had indications okay first what. So that's just the families. Dated July. And track. This is where you. First it was a way to get around our laws. So DeVon knew you hear Kelly they're saying he was caught flat. What it but this is being roundly criticized by a lot of people as an attempt at revisionist history on Kelly's part. As you'll remember dad and he was one of the administration's vocal defenders of that policy at the time and said it was a tough deterrent to illegal immigration. Yeah it was sort of it was a shocker John here the separation of families which of course is an and the spotlight yesterday was secretary Nielsen on his sidekick on Capitol Hill are taking all the heat for it not even psyche that protege and photogenic as is the woman who and he hand picked to succeed him as secretary of Homeland Security was for a brief period time his number two at the department. And then number two at the White House until shortly went into his chest as Jordan Hussein that he didn't have anything to do with this ending was a good idea flies in the face of fact how shall send publicly until time and we know that he was wanted to be. Plus hawkish on immigration in that west wing gambling what pushed this I want. One has of people along with Stephen Miller another close advisors to the president that we're right they're defending him on the front lines. A one of the few times we actually saw Kelly out there talking about this was one of those two press conference as he did behind the White House Cody and Jordan Jordan does seem that there's a little bit of revision. And isn't going on there he is he said earlier where John Kelly. As many former members of the administration had done they leave a sort of separate themselves in some of the controversial policies but then try to. Re craft. There image it does seem here given his comments about perhaps working very well having worked for President Clinton. If she had won the election sort of she's trying to suggest it does seem that that he's sort of a nonpartisan fate. Yet DeVon it's very clear here that Kelly wants to be remembered as a public servant he doesn't want to be remembered. As some sort of political hack up political appointee and that was really the point he was making I DeVon when he said that he would have been happy to serve. For President Clinton had she been white he would wind instead of president Tron so he didn't criticize front directly but really separating himself from trump in the. Process path I hanjour and thanks for that stem buyout and speaking of former members of Trump's inner circle he has some new headlines today. Are there are lots it has a lot going on now involving president trumps former personal attorney Michael Cohen obviously been in the news a lot was on Capitol Hill for three full days testifying about president trump. Is going to jail for lying to congress. Among other three among other crimes in now there's this finger pointing John over potential. Of a pardon for Michael Cohen. His lawyer Lanny Davis says that a one point he had reached out about the possibility of Gideon pardon the White House a legal team says and wait a second. We didn't you know really challenging him we didn't engage on this and there's did have a back and forth here but. On new potential liability for Michael corn could be. His testimony to congress which I think we haven't where he's T denied having any awareness. I'm a part Nicholas. And I have never asked for nor would I except. A pardon from president trump. There's two streams are reporting from ABC news so first planning devious as you mention is on the record. Saying now then. Both early on in the process while Cohen was still part of the joint defense agreement with all the other team members that have been involved in a special council's lawsuit. Then there was a reach out at his request to the trunk legal team to discuss a partner. Now the trump legal team as you say completely reject censor they did not engage any conversations now apartments said and done move over second piece of reporting from our team here that we actually broke first yesterday. Is that after Cohen left the joint defense agreement we at the trump legal team. Apparently according to our sources there was a contact by attorneys close to Rudy Giuliani to keep calling in the tent so we're told keep him talking people like communication. Could that mean he led to a pardon me being don't know we're not clear to. Very very high and audience you know three different sets of players right just this idea. That there aren't offered to lead us Parsons wasn't discussed in some way. Who initiated perhaps is still going to be in dispute out as a literary interest in immediate while the button all of this up Gilliam third went. My gosh Michael Cohen now on the way to prison she is an elevator a very soon is suing you have to Trump Organization yeah. This is a doozy of a lawsuit so Michael Cohen is saying that he had. Donald Trump paying Michael Cohen for services rendered rather Michael Cohen going out having a hire attorneys to deal with the special counsel the southern district of New York there was green rational that's what he claims that we spoke to sources close the Trump Organization. Facing no such deal existed whatsoever we asked folks up there what they thought this one source told me they thought this was quote laughable and they don't Michael fault Michael Collins go fund the fund. Might not work. Out too well Powell and Jordan felt C again here you're talking to folks over there are your sources in the west wing and from my great admit they don't seem particularly bothered. By Michael Cohen especially now because this pardons controversy it's almost like a gift. To a blow to his credibility gets to the White House they they don't seem bothered by what he's been saying the past few weeks is that true. Yet DeVon the White House is all too happy to appoint outside. In the walls of 16100 Pennsylvania Avenue when it comes to Michael Cowan appoint tax outside council vice president trump is clearly irritated. 1007 he got a question about Michael calling in the Oval Office today and Kelly responded with a very loud think he'll which is presidents come signal for I'm not answering that question. We've also seen that pricing anger early each week. About that Michael calling hearing happening as he was having this summit with him John and suggesting that that might have been. Part of the reason for the lock of that which is of course interesting in and I'm itself considering that the president has tried to cast that summit as a six us. And what will be inching here to see is if congress does anything for what Cohen said to them. I mean could they take action and that tongue lashing out Elijah Cummings last week saying I warned him do not lie to me could this now be summing I don't have said. He never asked for Hannity discussion about a pardon Bernie and now we have this admission from his team yeah from others that there was a discussions only is easier this goes Johnson TJ great to have you much more reporting and abcnews.com Jordan talks appreciate you as well over at the White House much more from you I'm sure has this day. Continues to unfold meanwhile back to Capitol Hill where if you were paying much attention last month. Something big happen something extraordinary that doesn't happen all that often these days congress passed a sweeping environmental conservation law. With a bipartisan majority take a look at what it does it even has the support of president trump designates over a million acres of wilderness. Protect several thousand acres from mining expands the number of national parks in this country even creates. For new national monuments and get this the Congressional Budget Office even says. This bill would just save taxpayers nine million dollars over a decade pretty big deal a little while ago we were George hear the briefing room by two of the champions. Of this legislation a political odd couple Republican senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. And democratic congressman roe overhauled and Arizona. They told us what this new bill means Nicholas. This is something that's far from the green new deal many in your party event talking about what you called this. Something of an old. Schools. Green deal until. That is up as soon as you pointed out to. The eight bridges a new set aside areas. The permanent reauthorization of the land the water conservation funds. Twilight I called the middle school field this the fact that this is legislating and this is what we come here to do. Many of these these pieces of legislation that are part of the whole package and been around for ten years and through. The leadership ability of the good senator at. And the participation of low we found common ground we compromise do we have a bipartisan package that passed overwhelmingly in the house. And in the center and we can't underscore enough how sweeping in this bill is and it did pass the senate as you said ninety's to two which is no small thing these days. Senator Murkowski I want to ask you what the secret was to achieving so much land conservation here at a time when this administration in particular. Has been focused on rolling back protection up. Publicly this film was bipartisan bicameral it was good old fashioned legislating. Net bride and not only those who are focused on the conservation side and those who are focused on I'm just efficiencies with the land management economic benefits to communities. Help for our sports men and women around the country. Well we deal with wind water and land issue. You've been very outspoken about the need to protect the environment talked with the impacts of climate change talked about the need to do something. Also those supporting the fossil fuel industries a big deal in your state of course. How do you how do you bridge the gap senator Murkowski between. Preserve rain advocating. Addressing climate change and also supporting that industry you were words there. Common ground how can you find compromises Democrats. Well whenever things that you pointed out there are areas that would you're all living in this measures around in his creation. They keep in mind. We did this the right way we did this through the legislative process that gained the support. The lawmakers from their respective states. Where king would whether they were then Governors State legislator is senators or congressman here. That Dak is how you bring about these designations is through that consensus. Process where it comes literally from the ground up. You have proven with this legislation you can work together to get don't want to ask you about. Next that's what you could do going forward and specifically want to ask you both about the topic that's in the news so much for another green new deal. Congress to overhaul the that's something you support calls for eliminating fossil fuels among other things were remind people. Here on the screen what some of the provisions art is it realistic do you think that this is a package of resolution an idea. Pitch you can begin as a launch point for with Republicans. The little image and I see that resolute. And not many necessarily the manifesto that was attached to it because that's not what we voted on who voted on it resolution. For the green new deal and that new deal basically use. It's the expiration of its legal and I think that each comedian house is now going to be responsible for. Two win and the vice. Aren't our thanks to congressman Burr hall above Arizona and senator Murkowski. Of Alaska waning and they are on the green new deal something they say. Seemed to suggest could not perhaps potentially be a launch point for bipartisan compromise but celebrating a big one nonetheless at that Lang conservation bill. Can check out more on that an ABC news dot com we'll keep an eye on the man a fort sentenced scene over in the district of Virginia of the president's former campaign chairman. Headed to prison for quite a long time we expect later today stay here with us at ABC news live for updates on that front help you be back here tomorrow at 3:30 eastern time in the briefing room. I'm getting warm Washington we'll see event.
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