MSNBC
MSNBC 26 Dec 2019

Rpt: FBI Probing Republican Matt Bevin After Shocking Pardons

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A murderer and a child rapist were among those whom the Kentucky governor pardoned during his final weeks in office, and now the FBI is reportedly looking into why. Chuck Rosenberg reacts. Aired on 12/26/19.


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President Trump is drawing scrutiny from Republicans and Democrats after firing two inspectors general in recent days. CBS News legal analyst Kim Wehle joins CBSN to discuss the role of independent watchdogs, and oversight of the coronavirus economic relief package.
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00:00 Intro
01:31 First Human Vaccine Trial Shows Promising Results
04:06 Trump Says He Is Taking Hydroxychloroquine
06:37 Large Crowd Concerns As 49 States Move To Reopen
08:34 Inside Ford As Big Three Automakers Restart Production
11:17 NBC News Virus Expert Recovering From Covid-19
13:29 Alarming Drop In 911 Calls, Surge In Non-Covid
15:44 FBI Finds Al Qaeda Link After Cracking Shooter's iphones
17:19 Trump Fires Fourth Government Watchdog Amid Pandemic
18:09 Tropical Storm Arthur Moves Up Southeast Coast
18:32 Italy Enters New Reopening Phase After Longest Lockdown

… show captions ↓
QUICKBOOKS. BACKING YOU.
>>> AFTER WEEKS OF OUTRAGE,
>>> AFTER WEEKS OF OUTRAGE, THERE IS A REPORT THE FBI IS NOW
THERE IS A REPORT THE FBI IS NOW LOOKING INTO CONTROVERSIAL
LOOKING INTO CONTROVERSIAL PARDONS ISSUED BY KENTUCKY’S NOW
PARDONS ISSUED BY KENTUCKY’S NOW FORMER REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR MATT
FORMER REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR MATT BEVIN.
BEVIN. JUST BEFORE LEAVING OFFICE ON
JUST BEFORE LEAVING OFFICE ON DECEMBER 10th, BEVIN HANDED OUT
DECEMBER 10th, BEVIN HANDED OUT MORE THAN 600 PARDONS AND
MORE THAN 600 PARDONS AND SENTENCE REDUCTIONS.
SENTENCE REDUCTIONS. THOSE INCLUDED PARDONS OF MEN
THOSE INCLUDED PARDONS OF MEN CONVICTED OF CHILD RAPE AND
CONVICTED OF CHILD RAPE AND MURDER, WHOSE FAMILIES HAD
MURDER, WHOSE FAMILIES HAD SUPPORTED BEVIN’S CAMPAIGN.
SUPPORTED BEVIN’S CAMPAIGN. THE KENTUCKY LEGISLATURE CALLED
THE KENTUCKY LEGISLATURE CALLED FOR A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR TO LOOK
FOR A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR TO LOOK INTO THE PARDONS.
INTO THE PARDONS. ONE OF THOSE DEMOCRATS, KENTUCKY
ONE OF THOSE DEMOCRATS, KENTUCKY STATE REPRESENTATIVE CHRIS
STATE REPRESENTATIVE CHRIS HARRIS, TOLD THE LOUISVILLE
HARRIS, TOLD THE LOUISVILLE COURIER JOURNAL HE HAS SINCE
COURIER JOURNAL HE HAS SINCE HEARD FROM A CRIMINAL
HEARD FROM A CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR, ASKING WHAT HARRIS
INVESTIGATOR, ASKING WHAT HARRIS KNEW ABOUT BEVIN’S LAST-MINUTE
KNEW ABOUT BEVIN’S LAST-MINUTE PARDONS.
PARDONS. TWO SOURCES WITH KNOWLEDGE OF
TWO SOURCES WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE INQUIRY TOLD THE COURIER
THE INQUIRY TOLD THE COURIER JOURNAL IT WAS AN FBI AGENT WHO
JOURNAL IT WAS AN FBI AGENT WHO SPOKE WITH HARRIS.
SPOKE WITH HARRIS. NBC NEWS HAS REACHED OUT TO
NBC NEWS HAS REACHED OUT TO BEVIN.
BEVIN. HE HAS NOT RESPONDED AND THE FBI
HE HAS NOT RESPONDED AND THE FBI IS NOT COMMENTING.
IS NOT COMMENTING. IN A STATEMENT TO NBC NEWS,
IN A STATEMENT TO NBC NEWS, HARRIS SAID, QUOTE, I’M HAPPY TO
HARRIS SAID, QUOTE, I’M HAPPY TO CONFIRM THAT I WAS CONTACTED BY
CONFIRM THAT I WAS CONTACTED BY A PERSON IN THE LAW ENFORCEMENT
A PERSON IN THE LAW ENFORCEMENT COMMUNITY.
COMMUNITY. DURING THE CALL THE INVESTIGATOR
DURING THE CALL THE INVESTIGATOR ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE
ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PARDONS AND IT WAS MY CLEAR
PARDONS AND IT WAS MY CLEAR IMPRESSION THAT AN INVESTIGATION
IMPRESSION THAT AN INVESTIGATION WAS RAMPING UP.
WAS RAMPING UP. CHUCK ROSENBERG, FORMER U.S.
CHUCK ROSENBERG, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY AND FORMER SENIOR FBI
ATTORNEY AND FORMER SENIOR FBI OFFICIAL.
OFFICIAL. CHUCK, THANKS FOR JOINING US.
CHUCK, THANKS FOR JOINING US. LET ME START.
LET ME START. IT DOES SEEM -- THE PARTICULARS
IT DOES SEEM -- THE PARTICULARS HERE ARE NEW, BUT THE IDEA OF A
HERE ARE NEW, BUT THE IDEA OF A CONTROVERSY OVER A LAST-MINUTE
CONTROVERSY OVER A LAST-MINUTE PARDON BY A GOVERNOR OR, FOR
PARDON BY A GOVERNOR OR, FOR THAT MATTER, A U.S. PRESIDENT
THAT MATTER, A U.S. PRESIDENT NOT NEW.
NOT NEW. WHERE THESE THINGS USUALLY SEEM
WHERE THESE THINGS USUALLY SEEM TO LAND, IN MY EXPERIENCE, IS
TO LAND, IN MY EXPERIENCE, IS THE POLITICIAN WHO IS LEAVING
THE POLITICIAN WHO IS LEAVING OFFICE DOES SOMETHING THAT’S
OFFICE DOES SOMETHING THAT’S CONSIDERED EXTREMELY DISTASTEFUL
CONSIDERED EXTREMELY DISTASTEFUL WITH A PARDON, AND THERE’S A
WITH A PARDON, AND THERE’S A FRENZY TO FIND OUT, IS THERE
FRENZY TO FIND OUT, IS THERE ANYTHING THE PUBLIC CAN DO ABOUT
ANYTHING THE PUBLIC CAN DO ABOUT THIS?
THIS? AND THE ANSWER USUALLY SEEMS TO
AND THE ANSWER USUALLY SEEMS TO COME BACK NO BECAUSE THE PARDON
COME BACK NO BECAUSE THE PARDON POWER IS VERY BROAD AND VERY
POWER IS VERY BROAD AND VERY CLEAR.
CLEAR. IS THAT LIKELY TO BE THE CASE
IS THAT LIKELY TO BE THE CASE HERE, OR COULD THIS BE
HERE, OR COULD THIS BE DIFFERENT?
DIFFERENT? >> THE PARDON POWER IS VERY
>> THE PARDON POWER IS VERY BROAD AND VERY CLEAR.
BROAD AND VERY CLEAR. YOU’RE RIGHT, STEVE, UNDER
YOU’RE RIGHT, STEVE, UNDER ARTICLE II OF THE U.S.
ARTICLE II OF THE U.S. CONSTITUTION FOR THE PRESIDENT
CONSTITUTION FOR THE PRESIDENT AND BY THE WAY UNDER SECTION 77
AND BY THE WAY UNDER SECTION 77 OF THE KENTUCKY STATE
OF THE KENTUCKY STATE CONSTITUTION FOR THE GOVERNOR OF
CONSTITUTION FOR THE GOVERNOR OF KENTUCKY.
KENTUCKY. AND SO THE THING WE LOOK FOR IS
AND SO THE THING WE LOOK FOR IS NOT WHETHER SOMEBODY ACTED, YOU
NOT WHETHER SOMEBODY ACTED, YOU KNOW, RASHLY OR RECKLESSLY OR
KNOW, RASHLY OR RECKLESSLY OR FOOLISHLY OR PRUDENTLY BUT
FOOLISHLY OR PRUDENTLY BUT WHETHER THEY ACTED CORRUPTLY.
WHETHER THEY ACTED CORRUPTLY. IF THE PARDON WAS CORRUPT, THE
IF THE PARDON WAS CORRUPT, THE PARDON STILL STANDS BUT THERE
PARDON STILL STANDS BUT THERE COULD BE REPERCUSSIONS FOR THE
COULD BE REPERCUSSIONS FOR THE GOVERNOR.
GOVERNOR. >> HOW IS SOMETHING LIKE THAT
>> HOW IS SOMETHING LIKE THAT PROVEN, AGAIN, GIVEN HOW BROAD
PROVEN, AGAIN, GIVEN HOW BROAD AND CLEAR THIS POWER IS.
AND CLEAR THIS POWER IS. HOW WOULD CORRUPT INTENT BE
HOW WOULD CORRUPT INTENT BE PROVABLE FROM A CRIMINAL
PROVABLE FROM A CRIMINAL STANDPOINT?
STANDPOINT? >> SURE.
>> SURE. INTENT IS ALWAYS THE HARDEST
INTENT IS ALWAYS THE HARDEST THING TO PROVE.
THING TO PROVE. YOU HAVE TO GET INTO SOMEONE’S
YOU HAVE TO GET INTO SOMEONE’S BRAIN TO FIGURE OUT WHAT IT WAS
BRAIN TO FIGURE OUT WHAT IT WAS THEY WERE PLANNING TO DO OR
THEY WERE PLANNING TO DO OR INTENDING TO DO, TRYING TO DO.
INTENDING TO DO, TRYING TO DO. BUT INVESTIGATORS DO THIS ALL
BUT INVESTIGATORS DO THIS ALL THE TIME.
THE TIME. I MEAN, THE FBI IS VERY, VERY
I MEAN, THE FBI IS VERY, VERY GOOD AT PUBLIC CORRUPTION CASES.
GOOD AT PUBLIC CORRUPTION CASES. AND THEY BUILT IT THROUGH
AND THEY BUILT IT THROUGH DOCUMENTS AND THROUGH
DOCUMENTS AND THROUGH COOPERATING WITNESSES AND
COOPERATING WITNESSES AND CIRCUMSTANCES.
CIRCUMSTANCES. AND SO IF THERE IS AN
AND SO IF THERE IS AN INVESTIGATION, I CAN ASSURE YOU
INVESTIGATION, I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT INVESTIGATORS ARE LOOKING
THAT INVESTIGATORS ARE LOOKING AT THE RECORDS OF THE PEOPLE WHO
AT THE RECORDS OF THE PEOPLE WHO WERE PARDONED AND WHETHER THEY
WERE PARDONED AND WHETHER THEY OR THEIR FAMILIES HAVE ANY
OR THEIR FAMILIES HAVE ANY FINANCIAL CONNECTIONS TO THE
FINANCIAL CONNECTIONS TO THE GOVERNOR, WHETHER MONEY WAS
GOVERNOR, WHETHER MONEY WAS RAISED BY THESE FAMILIES IN
RAISED BY THESE FAMILIES IN ORDER TO TRY TO BUY A PARDON.
ORDER TO TRY TO BUY A PARDON. IF THEY TURN UP EVIDENCE OF
IF THEY TURN UP EVIDENCE OF THAT, STEVE, IT COULD BE A
THAT, STEVE, IT COULD BE A PROBLEM FOR THE GOVERNOR.
PROBLEM FOR THE GOVERNOR. >> I MEAN, DOES THAT -- THE KIND
>> I MEAN, DOES THAT -- THE KIND OF EVIDENCE YOU’RE TALKING
OF EVIDENCE YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT, DOES IT HAVE TO END UP
ABOUT, DOES IT HAVE TO END UP BEING ALMOST -- THE TERM SMOKING
BEING ALMOST -- THE TERM SMOKING GUN, SOMEBODY SAYING I’VE GOT
GUN, SOMEBODY SAYING I’VE GOT THE MONEY.
THE MONEY. NOW I’M GOING TO GIVE THE
NOW I’M GOING TO GIVE THE PARDON?
PARDON? THAT SORT OF THING.
THAT SORT OF THING. MY MIND GOES BACK TO BILL
MY MIND GOES BACK TO BILL CLINTON WITH MARK RICH, THE
CLINTON WITH MARK RICH, THE FINAL DAYS OF BILL CLINTON’S
FINAL DAYS OF BILL CLINTON’S PRESIDENCY, INTERNATIONAL
PRESIDENCY, INTERNATIONAL FUGITIVE WHOSE EX-WIFE HE WAS
FUGITIVE WHOSE EX-WIFE HE WAS VERY CLOSE TO, HAD GIVEN A TON
VERY CLOSE TO, HAD GIVEN A TON OF MONEY TO THE CLINTON LIBRARY,
OF MONEY TO THE CLINTON LIBRARY, HILLARY CLINTON’S SENATE
HILLARY CLINTON’S SENATE CAMPAIGN, AND THE FBI SAID YOU
CAMPAIGN, AND THE FBI SAID YOU CAN’T PROVE ANYTHING HERE.
CAN’T PROVE ANYTHING HERE. >> SMOKING GUNS ARE FEW AND FAR
>> SMOKING GUNS ARE FEW AND FAR BETWEEN IN REAL LIFE.
BETWEEN IN REAL LIFE. WE TALK ABOUT IT A LOT.
WE TALK ABOUT IT A LOT. YOU OCCASIONALLY SEE IT IN THE
YOU OCCASIONALLY SEE IT IN THE MOVIES BUT IN REAL LIFE YOU
MOVIES BUT IN REAL LIFE YOU PROVE CASES THROUGH PRIMARILY
PROVE CASES THROUGH PRIMARILY CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE.
CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE. IN OTHER WORDS, WE INFER THINGS
IN OTHER WORDS, WE INFER THINGS FROM CIRCUMSTANCES.
FROM CIRCUMSTANCES. THE LAW IS VERY CLEAR,
THE LAW IS VERY CLEAR, CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE IS EVERY
CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE IS EVERY BIT AS COMPELLING, EVERY BIT AS

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