PAUL MANAFORT’S LIGHT SENTENCE & TRUMP ASSOCIATES UNDER INVESTIGATION

President Trump’s former campaign chairman has been sentenced to almost four years behind bars for financial fraud, a much shorter sentence than the 19 to 24 years outlined in sentencing guidelines. Former Trump campaign adviser Sam Nunberg divulges what he was asked to submit to the House Judiciary Committee, analyzes Michael Cohen’s congressional testimony, and addresses the looming specter of a possible Presidential impeachment.

Aired on March 8, 2019. 

TRANSCRIPT

> WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS,' I'M RAFAEL ROMAN.

THE PRESIDENT UNDER INVESTIGATION.

A SWEEPING NEW PROBE LAUNCHED THIS WEEK BY HOUSE DEMOCRATS IS RATCHETING UP PRESSURE ON PRESIDENT TRUMP AND THOSE CLOSE TO HIM, EVEN AS TESTIMONY BY MICHAEL COHEN RAISES NEW QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PRESIDENT'S LEGAL EXPOSURE.

ON MONDAY THE HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE LED BY NEW YORK DID THEIC CONGRESSMAN JERRY NADLER SENT LETTERS TO 81 CURRENT AND FORMER TRUMP ASSOCIATES AND AGENCIES SEEKING DOULTS AND INFORMATION AS IT BEGINS A NEW INVESTIGATION INTO POSSIBLE OBSTRUCTION, CORRUPTION AND ABUSE OF POWER BY PRESIDENT TRUMP AND HIS ADMINISTRATION.

ACCORDING TO THE A.P. AND 'NEW YORK TIMES,' THE NEW PROBE COULD BE SETTING THE STAGE FOR A POSSIBLE IMPEACHMENT EFFORTS, SOMETHING THAT DEMOCRATS HAVE BEEN WARY OF APPROACHING SO FAR.

IT COMES AS FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN CHAIRMAN PAUL MANAFORT WAS SENTENCED TO FOUR YEARS IN PRISON FOR TAX AND BANK FRAUD RELATED TO HIS WORK ADVISING UKRAINIAN POLITICIANS, CRIMES HE COMMITTED BEFORE HE JOINED THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN.

THE SENTENCE IS TOWER LIGHT THAERN THE 19 TO 24-YEAR PRISON TERM RECOMMENDED.

LEADING MANY EXPERTS TO SAY THAT THE JUDGE, A REAGAN APPOINTEE, WAS TOO LENIENT.

JOINING US TO TALK ABOUT THE VARIOUS INVESTIGATIONS AND THE POSSIBLE JEOPARDY FOR THE PRESIDENT IS SAM NUNBERG, FORMER CAMPAIGN ADVISER TO DONALD TRUMP AND ONE OF THE INDIVIDUALS WHO RECEIVED A LETTER FROM THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE THIS WEEK.

WELL FIRST OF ALL THE COMMITTEE IS ASKING ME TO PROVIDE INFORMATION REGARDING ANY CONTACTS I COULD HAVE HAD OR WOULD HAVE HAD WITH THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION ABOUT SANCTIONS WITH WIKILEAKS AND THE TRUMP TOWER MOSCOW MEETING, I THINK IT'S LIKE EIGHT PARTS.

I DON'T HAVE A LOT TO GIVE THEM AND IN THE END WAYS GOING TO COMPLY NO MATTER WHAT.

BECAUSE ONE, ELECTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES AND THE MINUTE THE DEMOCRATS WON THE HOUSE WE KNEW THEY WERE GOING TO HAVE THESE INVESTIGATIONS, JERRY NADLER SAID IT WHEN HE WAS THE RANKING MEMBER OF THE HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE.

NUMBER TWO ONE OF THE THINGS I HEAR FROM A LOT OF THE TRUMP ALLIES ARE SAYING THEY DON'T WANT TO COMPLY WITH THIS OR PEOPLE WHO DIDN'T EVEN RECEIVE THE LETTERS, ARE SAYING YOU SHOULDN'T COMPLY.

THEY'RE NOT THE ONES WHO RECEIVED THESE.

AND I DON'T WANT TO BE UNDER SUSPICION, BECAUSE I DID NOT COLLUDE WITH THE RUSSIANS, I DID NOT GET ANYTHING FROM WIKILEAKS AND I HAVE NO REASON NOT TO COMPLY.

THEY'RE GOING TO ASK YOU ABOUT ROGER STONE.

RIGHT.

YOU SAID THAT ROGER STONE TOLD YOU THAT HE HAD DINNER WITH JULIAN ASSANGE, BUT YOU DON'T BELIEVE THAT THAT EVER HAPPENED.

I BELIEVED IT AT THE TIME.

WHAT HE HAD TOLD ME.

BUT YOU DON'T BELIEVE IT ANY MORE?

SUBSEQUENTLY, NO.

BECAUSE HE TOLD ME THAT JULIAN ASSANGE WAS GOING TO RELEASE INFORMATION ON THE CLINTON FOUNDATION.

THEY NEVER REALLY RELEASED ANY INFORMATION ON THE CLINTON FOUNDATION.

SO EVERYTHING HE TOLD ME DID NOT TURN OUT TO BE ACCURATE.

NOW DON'T GET ME WRONG.

ROGER WOULD HAVE LOVED TO HAVE HAD DINNER WITH JULIAN ASSANGE.

HE WOULD HAVE LOVED TO HAVE MET HIM IN THE ECUADORIAN EMBASSY, BUT HE DIDN'T.

SOME PEOPLE SAY HE MAY BE THE FIRST PERSON EVER TO BE CONVICTED OF BRAGGING.

DO YOU THINK THAT MAY BE THE CASE?

ACTUALLY WAS IN CHARGE IN THE INDICTMENT HE WAS CHARGED WITH OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE, ALLEGEDLY LYING TO CONGRESS.

I THINK THAT IT GOES TO WHETHER OR NOT ANY OF THESE, ANY AMERICANS ARE GOING TO BE PART OF THIS CONSPIRACY TO DEFRAUD AMERICA WHICH WAS IN THE FIRST INDICTMENT THAT MUELLER GOT FROM THE GRAND JURY.

I DON'T HAPPEN TO KNOW, BUT-DAY THINK THAT THE MUELLER REPORT WILL BE DAMNING FROM THE POINT OF VIEW THAT IT'S GOING TO SAY THAT THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN AND PERHAPS DONALD TRUMP WERE WILLING OR THOUGHT THEY WERE GETTING THESE WIKILEAKS --

IS THAT WHY YOU SAID MOST PEOPLE THINK THAT THE REPORT IS NOT GOING TO HAVE, IS NOT GOING TO PRESENT A FINDING OF A LINK OF COLLUSION BETWEEN THE ADMINISTRATION AND RUSSIA.

UH-HUH.

BUT YOU SAID YOU THINK IT'S GOING TO BE A ROAD MAP FOR ITCH PEACHMENT?

IT IS GOING TO BE A ROAD MAP FOR IMPEACHMENT.

I THINK THEY WILL IMPEACH HIM.

I THINK WHAT THE DEMOCRATS ARE DOING ARE TRYING TO TAKE THEIR TIME.

TRYING TO PRESENT THEIR EVIDENCE TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

I THINK THEY HAVE JUDGED AND CONGRESSMAN NADLER EVEN SAID HE BELIEVES THE PRESIDENT HAS ALREADY OBSTRUCTED JUSTICE.

THE ISSUE I THINK UNDERLINES FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE ONE, DO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WANT TO RELITIGATE THE 2016 ELECTION?

TWO, IF THE UNDERLYING CRIME THAT THEY DON'T HAVE ANY DIRECT EVIDENCE OF THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN OR DONALD TRUMP DEALING DIRECTLY WITH THE GRU OR THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT, THEN, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO IMPEACH HIM ON HERE IF THERE'S NO UNDERLYING CRIME.

AS OPPOSED TO NIXON AND CLINTON.

AND YOUR USUAL UNDERSTATED WAY, DONALD TRUMP TWEETED THAT THE HOUSE PROBE WAS THE GREATEST OVERREACH IN THE HISTORY OF OUR COUNTRY AND ADDED THE DEMS ARE OBSTRUCTING JUSTICE AND WON'T GET ANYTHING DONE, A BIG FAT FISHING EXPEDITION IN SEARCH OF A CRIME AND HE CALLED THE PROBE PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT.

DO YOU SEE THIS PROBE, PARTICULARLY FROM THE -- AS A WITCH HUNT.

DAVID AXELROD, THE DEMOCRATS SAID IT LOOKS LIKE IT IS.

DAVID AXELROD SAID THAT IN.

YES.

HE SAID BE CAREFUL, DEMOCRATS IT COULD LOOK LIKE A WITCH HUNT.

I THINK THAT THE PROBLEM THAT THE REPUBLICANS HAD IN 1998 WITH BILL CLINTON.

THESE ARE LEGAL ISSUES.

BUT WHAT I DO THINK IS THE PROBLEM FOR THE DEMOCRATS IS THAT IT LOOKS AS IF THE, IT LOOKS AS IF IT IS COOKED FROM THE POINT OF VIEW THEY ALREADY BELIEVE DONALD TRUMP COMMITTED CRIMES.

IF THEY DON'T HAVE AN UNDERLYING CRIME OF DONALD TRUMP DEALING WITH THE RUSSIANS DIRECTLY, OR THE GRU FOR WIKILEAKS, NOT EVEN WHETHER OR NOT -- IF HE DIDN'T DO IT THEN YOU KNOW WHERE'S THE BEEF?

THIS NOT, I DID NOT FEEL THAT THE LETTER I GOT WAS UNFAIR.

I THINK THERE'S EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE ISSUES WITH THE OTHER LETTERS.

BUT I DIDN'T GET ONE OF THOSE BECAUSE I DIDN'T REALLY DEAL WITH THE PRESIDENT, I TALKED TO HIM A COUPLE OF TIMES WHILE HE WAS PRESIDENT, BUT I HAVEN'T TALKED TO HIM IN A LONG TIME.

LET'S TALK ABOUT MICHAEL COHEN'S TESTIMONY.

A TALE OF TWO TESTIMONIES.

YOU LISTEN TO THE DEMOCRATS AND THEY SAY SMOKING GUNS ALL OVER THE PLACE, THIS HAS DAMNED THE PRESIDENT.

YOU TALK TO THE REPUBLICANS AND THEY SAY FINAL PROOF THAT THE RUSSIAN COLLUSION WAS NOTHING BUT A BIG HOME.

WHERE DO YOU SEE IT IN.

I DON'T KNOW THAT WE'RE GOING TO HAVE FINAL PROOF UNTIL WE ACTUALLY SEE THE MUELLER REPORT.

WHAT I DO SEE, THOUGH IS ONE, LET'S TALK ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED WITH MICHAEL COHEN.

I LIKE MICHAEL, I SYMPATHIZE WITH MICHAEL.

I DON'T THINK HE WAS TREATED VERY WELL BY DONALD TRUMP.

WHAT WE DID FIND OUT, RAFAEL IS I CAN TELL YOU HE WANTED A WHITE HOUSE JOB.

HE SAID HE DIDN'T.

I DON'T KNOW IF THAT'S MATERIAL TO HIS TESTIMONY.

NOW WE FIND OUT THAT HIS LAWYERS HAD APPROACH THEED TRUMP LAWYERS ABOUT A PARDON.

HOWEVER, WE ALSO FIND OUT THAT DONALD TRUMP, THIS IS WHERE I THINK HE COULD HAVE ULTIMATELY A PROBLEM, WAS YOU KNOW, NOT TELLING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THE TRUTH WHEN IT CAME TO THE STORMY DANIELS PAYMENT AND HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH THEM.

I THINK THAT THE OVERLYING ISSUE IS THAT DONALD TRUMP IS, HAS AN ISSUE, YOU KNOW MAYBE CONSTITUTIONALLY INCAPABLE OF JUST SAYING, LAYING HIS MARKERS DOWN AND SAYING THE SAME WAY BILL CLINTON DID.

SAYING LOOK, I DID CERTAIN THINGS I'M NOT PROUD OF OR I DID CERTAIN THINGS HERE.

MAYBE I SHOULD HAVE BEEN MORE CLEAR ABOUT THEM.

HOWEVER, THERE'S NO UNDERLYING CRIME HERE.

HE'S INCAPABLE OF DOING THAT.

YOU LOOK BACK TO BILL CLINTON'S ME MEA CULPA, ADVISERS DIDN'T THINK HIS WENT FAR ENOUGH.

THE PRESIDENT HAS A LEGITIMATE ARGUMENT HERE.

THINK ULTIMATELY HERE'S HIS ISSUE, THESE HEARINGS TO CONTINUE TO DO THIS I DON'T THINK THEY WILL BE THE KNOCKOUT PUNCH TO THAT 35% OF HIS BASE, BUT THAT'S ONLY 35%. AND THESE ARE CONSISTENT AND THE PRESIDENT OF BOXING METAPHORS, THESE ARE JABS AND RIB HITS.

YOU THINK IT'S GOING TO WOUND HIM.

EVEN IF THERE'S AN IMPEACHMENT AND HE DOESN'T GET THROWN OUT OF OFFICE, IT'S STILL ALL THIS STUFF SWIRLING IS GOING TO HURT HIM FOR 2020?

IT COULD IF HE DOESN'T HAVE THE DELIVERABLES THAT HE HAD DURING HIS FIRST TERM TO KEEP REPUBLICANS IN CHECK WITH HIM.

HE DOESN'T HAVE ANOTHER SUPREME COURT VACANCY.

THEY'RE SAYING THAT THERE'S GOING TO BE AN ECONOMIC SLOWDOWN.

NORTH KOREA ISN'T GOING AWAY.

I WOULD SAY, THOUGH, I WORKED FOR DONALD TRUMP, I HAVE BEEN AN ADVERSARY OF HIM.

I WAS SUED BY HIM.

DON'T UNDERESTIMATE DONALD TRUMP.

AND ANYBODY UNDERESTIMATES HIM.

I THINK HE WILL MAKE IT TO 2020.

ULTIMATELY, I DON'T THINK HE GETS INDICTED.

WE DON'T KNOW WHO HE IS GOING TO BE RUNNING AGAINST, AND I THINK A LOT OF THE CANDIDATES HE HAS A VERY GOOD CHANCE TO BEAT.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.

THANK YOU.

©2022 WNET. All Rights Reserved. 825 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY 10019

WNET is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Tax ID: 26-2810489