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CNN TONIGHT

Rep. David Cicilline (D) Rhode Island Was Interviewed About The Democrats Pressuring A.G. Barr To Release The Mueller Report; Former Vice President Joe Biden Facing Controversy With Women; Democrats Quick To Apologize; Update On Demetrius Anderson; White House Official Expressing Some Concerns About Security Clearances. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired April 1, 2019 - 22:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

[22:00:00] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: If you don't want these many people coming in, do something. If you want people to be treated better, for kids not to be traumatized and worse, do something. If you respect our law enforcement, and the rule of law, do something.

There is so much need, so many gaps, you almost can't go wrong politically. There's nothing but opportunity for a politician looking to show they can identify the right thing and act on it.

The only mistake is the decision to do nothing and that is a mistake that too many in power are making tonight.

Thanks for being with us down here in Texas. Unfortunately, I think you're going to see a lot more people covering this situation because it's not getting any better.

"CNN TONIGHT" with Don Lemon starts right now.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: You're right on the money. Politics, politics, politics, Chris. These are people's lives and they're playing politics with it from the very top to the folks who are lawmakers who can be doing something about this. There's a lot of rhetoric going on, but not a lot of action and resolution.

CUOMO: I agree with everything you said 100 percent. I wish there were actually even more rhetoric. And, you know, look, I don't just throw cynicism out there. That's not how I am, you know that, but I have to wonder, when there's such easy picking of opportunity here, if you're someone from the Democratic Party who wants to be about these people that you believe are being demonized by the president, why the hell are you so quiet?

It just doesn't make any sense unless you think that the president is going to own this and by sitting there and watching it fester, somehow that's going to benefit you. I just don't buy that kind of cynicism in leadership. I'm accepting it in myself because it's the only thing that seems to make sense.

I get it on the right, Don. On the right they want to talk about fencing. Because they believe if they talk about anything else, they're somehow undermining the president. But they always say they back law enforcement. And the men and women of CBP are desperate.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: I've never seen people in charge of keeping us safe more concern, asking for more help than these people are.

LEMON: Well, I can understand if you're a politician that you, if you're on the left you don't want to fall into the left, that way on this. You don't to fall into how the president is polarizing people, as you call them, the brown menace and putting people into that category. But still you have to think about the overall human effect.

And also, on the right, you have people saying, well, it's crisis, crisis, crisis. No one ever said that there wasn't a humanitarian crisis at the border. Of course, people who are coming over, people who are in countries who have to claim political asylum, yes, that is a humanitarian crisis, but to build it into something that it's not and saying the wall is going to be the end all, be all of it it's just not accurate and it doesn't help anyone.

Listen, there's blame to be placed on the left, you're right. There could be more action from the left. But Republicans also, too, have to stand up against the president and tell him to stop polarizing people, and stop demonizing immigrants.

Most of them are doing what they're supposed to do, if you are -- if you feel that you are -- you want to claim political asylum and that you're being somehow treated unfairly, or there are circumstances in your country that you can't -- you can no longer stay there. They come into legal ports of entry, and they claim political asylum. So that's what you're supposed to do. That's not actually breaking the law.

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: I talked about 10, 12 lawmakers in the last week in prepping to come down here, all of them, Don, shared like five, six things that could be done. And it was so interesting to me. You know, I didn't reveal anything about talking to different people.

But left and right had the same ideas. None of them has proposed anything. The whole peek of calendars, the whole calendar week about hearings, not one is scheduled on this situation here.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: And I just, I can't believe that we've reached this kind of place. I just hope somebody breaks out of it and does something before it's too late.

LEMON: Well, closing down the border. That's not going to help that much. Why close down the border? Why not just make it better? Why not work with people? It's the same thing with healthcare. Most people don't care if you call it Obamacare or Trump care or McCain care, or whatever you call it, you can call it a turtle, I think just think people just want health care. The same thing with the border, I don't think people care who gets the

credit for it, they just want it fixed especially the people there and the people who are affected.

I've got to run. We got a lot of news, you did a great job. I'll see you either back here in New York or from the border, Chris. Have a good night, sir. Be safe.

This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon. Thank you so much for joining and more politics.

Here come the subpoenas, everybody, just hours away from the April 2nd deadline, House Democrats set for the attorney general to turn over the full Mueller report to Congress. Here come the subpoenas. And the chances that William Barr will meet that deadline, slim to none.

[22:05:00] The subpoenas are coming. It's not going to happen. That deadline, they're not going to meet it. So, what will Democrats do? The House Judiciary Chairman, Jerry Nadler says he'll authorize a subpoena for Mueller's report and its underlying evidence on Wednesday. The day after the deadline.

He also wants to subpoena documents from five former White House staffers. Don McGahn, up on your screen. Steve Bannon. Hope Hicks. Reince Priebus and Ann Donaldson. That's all happening as the president's nemesis, well, one of them anyway, the House Chairman Adam Schiff tells CNN this tonight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: We should get the entire report. And if the attorney general has any concern about grand jury material, he should seek the court's permission to disclose that. That's what's been done in the past. We're going to make sure that this doesn't get buried so that the American people can form their own conclusions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Also, tonight, the House Oversight Chairman, Elijah Cummings says security clearance issues in the Trump administration, listen to this, he says they are a million times worse than Hillary Clinton's e- mail server issues.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D), MARYLAND: I think this is a million times worse. Because what you have here are people who literally have the top secrets of the world with access to them. And they have not been properly cleared.

But even more dangerous than that, they have been -- recommendations have gone out to say they shouldn't have them. And so, that should alarm each and every American.

(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: The oversight committee is looking into a whistle blower's allegation that the White House has given security clearances, quote, "without proper analysis, documentation, or a full understanding and acceptance of all the risks." We're going to dig into that tonight.

OK, everybody, sit down and listen to this. Because we've got to talk about what is starting to look like, maybe not starting, maybe it's been looking like that for a while but it's definitely reached -- reaching a peak now.

What's the official Democrats apology tour, the former Vice President Joe Biden is the latest to find himself in an unwelcome spotlight here after two women came forward to allege that he made them feel uncomfortable, uncomfortable one says he kiss the back of her head before a campaign event, that was in 2014.

The other says Biden rubbed noses with her at a fundraiser in 2009. Neither woman described the behavior as any way sexual, as in any way sexual. That's what they said.

Biden says in all his years in public life, quote, "not once, never did I believe I acted inappropriately. If it is suggested I did so I will listen respectfully but it was never my intention."

So, don't get me wrong. Nobody should be touching anybody inappropriately, OK, men, women, nobody, period. But we spent a lot of time in this country getting to the point where women feel like they can come forward and tell their stories, they have to be comfortable to come forward and tell their stories. And that is progress. That is very important for this country.

And if you've done something wrong then you should apologize. That's true for all of us. Still an awful lot of Democrats have been apologizing an awful lot lately.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), VERMONT: I certainly apologize to any woman who felt that she was not treated appropriately.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: My apology is an apology for not having been more sensitive about tribal citizenship and tribal sovereignty.

REP. TULSI GABBARD (D), HAWAII: In my past I said and believed things that were wrong. And worse they were very hurtful to people in the LGBTQ community and to their loved ones. I'm deeply sorry for having said them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: There's also Kirsten Gillibrand apologizing for her previous stand on immigration.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D), NEW YORK: I was callous to the suffering

of families who want to be with their loved ones, people who want to be reunited with their families.

And I recognize, as we all do, that immigration and diversity is a strength of our country. It's always has driven our economy. It's the American story. And so, looking back, I just -- I really regretted that I didn't look beyond my district.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[22:10:00] LEMON: Beto O'Rourke, apologizing for his jokes. That his wife has been raising their three children, quote, "sometimes with my help."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FORMER REP. BETO O'ROURKE (D), TEXAS: Not only will I not say that again, but I'll be much more thoughtful going forward in the way that I talk about our marriage and also the way in which I acknowledge the truth of the criticism that I have enjoyed white privilege.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: We should -- I'm going to explain, but we should -- can we have a sense of humor about some things? And sometimes people just say things. Anyway.

Let's give all of them credit, though, for owning what they said, or what they've done. Some things are worth apologizing for and admitting when they're wrong. And let's face it, voters don't expect people to elect a perfect person.

Like I said, if you've done something wrong, then you should apologize. The irony here is that when the Democrats do ultimately choose a standard bearer, she or he will face the one man that we all know never really apologizes, even when he's caught on tape.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm going to use some tic-tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know, I'm automatically attracted to beautiful women, I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet, I just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do anything. You can do anything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whatever you want.

TRUMP: Grab them by the pussy, you can do anything.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: The night that tape surfaced, then candidate Trump said this. In a moment a lot of people compared to a hostage video.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: But just two days later he dismissed it, the whole thing, as locker room talk.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I don't think you understood what was said, this was locker room talk.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: And later he reportedly claimed he didn't think it was his voice in the first place. This is a president who doesn't apologize.

Mike Bloomberg, billionaire Mike Bloomberg, former mayor of the city of New York, warned Democrats about this late last month saying candidates on the trail were apologizing even for being born.

This election will not be about who has the better apology for the past. At least I hope not. I'm sure you hope not. That's not for the past. The past is over. It will be about who has the better ideas for the future. Some things are worth apologizing for. But some things are not. Let's just be honest.

Should you continue to look at things through a 2019 lens, from 10, 20, 30, 40 years ago? Otherwise who would want to run for president. No one is perfect. If Democrats keep like this, good luck. Hash tag Trump 2020.

Like I said it surely looks like the attorney general will miss that deadline in the House Judiciary Chairman, Jerry Nadler set for him and turn over the full Mueller report to Congress. I'm going to ask a member of that committee, Congressman David Cicilline what happens next.

[22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Well just hours away from the deadline for the House Judiciary Committee that they set for the Attorney General William Barr to provide the full Mueller report and its underlying evidence to Congress. But there's no sign that Barr is going to comply, that he's going to meet that deadline.

Joining me now is Democratic Congressman David Cicilline of Rhode Island who sits on the judiciary committee.

Congressman, I appreciate your time. I know that you are very serious stuff.

REP. DAVID CICILLINE (D), RHODE ISLAND: My pleasure.

LEMON: Tomorrow is a deadline your committee set for the attorney general to release the full report. It looks like that he's not going to meet it. What are you going to do about it?

CICILLINE: Well, we're going to markup authorization on Wednesday, a resolution that will authorize the chairman, Mr. Nadler to issue a subpoena for the production of the full Mueller report as well as the supporting evidence as well as document requests from five individuals who have not been responsive to the prior requests.

So, we're going to authorize the chairman to take the next step and to use the power of the subpoena to compel the production of the report.

LEMON: OK. So, nut listen, the attorney general does say that he plans to release this Mueller report, but with certain redactions, that he's going to do it by mid-April, if not sooner. Will you wait to see what he offers before issuing a subpoena?

CICILLINE: No, look, the deadline was set April 2nd. The chairman has said repeatedly, and I think the members of the committee agree that this full report should be made available to the judiciary committee immediately without any redactions, if redactions need to be made before it can become public.

We understand that and there's a process to do that. But we have the responsibility of doing oversight. The full contents of this report should be released. There's a history of this, of course, with the Ken Starr investigation, 455-page report and 18 boxes of documents were provided to the House Judiciary Committee.

In the Watergate matter, Judge Sirica ordered that grand jury proceedings that really set a road map were also released to the judiciary committee.

So, there's precedence for this. The judiciary committee ought to have this full report and the supporting documents. And we shouldn't be waiting. I mean, this is something we've asked for. It should be furnished to the committee. There's no good reason to redact it. We read classified information. We go to classified briefings. We are required to keep those kings confidential.

So, we should see the report in its entirety so we can do our work and continue with our oversight responsibilities and then of course work with the attorney general to be sure that we're getting authorization for the court to release grand jury proceedings so that the American people can see as much of the report as possible.

But this deadline was set for a reason because we believe that it is essential that this report be released in its entirety to the committee and we intend to pursue it vigorously.

LEMON: So, to be clear, because I know you said to the court about the grand jury testimony, if the Justice Department doesn't comply with the request, you're going to take this issue to court? Correct?

[22:19:57] CICILLINE: Yes, we're going to authorize the chairman on Wednesday to issue the subpoena, which is the next step. And then the subpoena would be served on the attorney general. If he didn't comply then there would obviously be litigation around that. I think the hope still is that the -- in negotiations and

conversations between the chairman and the attorney general will result in the production of the Mueller report in its entirety, which is why all the committee's doing is authorizing the issuance of the subpoena. In the hopes that the attorney general will produce it.

But if he doesn't do it voluntarily, we intend to fight and litigate it if necessary, to be sure the American people know what happened and know the full truth.

LEMON: I'm going to check in with one of my legal experts next. But most of what I've heard is that people on the committee, lawmakers have the right to see information that is unredacted in its full.

Listen, the ranking Republican on your committee Doug Collins had this to say, this is about your subpoena plan. It said, "Judiciary Democrats have escalated from setting arbitrary deadline to demanding unredacted material that Congress does not, in truth, require -- does not in truth require and that the laws do not allow to be shared outside the Justice Department."

Do you believe the law is on your side or his side, what do you say?

CICILLINE: I don't think there's any question the law is on our side. There's clearly a compelling public interest. We have oversight responsibility. There's precedence for this. And we should remember this investigation began because our democracy was attacked by a foreign adversary.

And this investigation belongs to the American people. They have a right to know the results of this investigation. They have a right to know the truth and the judiciary committee has tremendous responsibilities in this area, both to do oversight, to focus on obstruction of justice, corruption, self-dealing.

We have tremendous oversight responsibilities. And we must see the contents of this report as a 22-month investigation we fought hard to protect Mr. Mueller so he could complete his work.

We didn't do that so Mr. Barr could keep it a secret from the judiciary committee or cherry pick what he thinks we ought to see. We have a right to see it in its entirety. We intend to make sure that happens.

LEMON: Thank you, Congressman. I appreciate your time. Congressman David Cicilline.

CICILLINE: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: Let's bring in Elie Honig. Elie, thank you so much for joining us. So, whose -- the laws on whose side?

ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: So, I think the representative got it pretty much right. Typically, so grand jury information just so people understand. That is the information that Robert Mueller obtained through a subpoena.

And William Barr told us last week that Robert Mueller served 2,800 subpoenas over that in this case. That is an enormous number. I never served one tenth that many subpoenas in any case I did.

If that information is out of this report we're going to have to holes everywhere. So, normally, grand jury information must remain secret. Prosecutor cannot disclose it. It does leave the Department of Justice unless you get to a trial.

But, and I think the representative was alluding to this. There is a work around available. What Ken Starr did in 1998 was he went to the court, he said this is an unusual circumstance and we need to make the grand jury materials available to Congress and the public and the court said yes, go ahead.

And now what Representative Nadler has done is he's offered to do that to William Barr and William Barr seems to be saying I'm not interested in going that route. And that's where we could see a real collision here.

LEMON: OK. Because that one well, well, well, so does Barr have the right to keep the full report from being released legal? Does he have the legal right to do that?

HONIG: I think that will have to come down to a court.

LEMON: OK.

HONIG: It sounds like we're going a major collision here, right? If Barr says, no, it's grand jury, I'm not disclosing it. It sounds like the Democrats on the committee, Representative Cicilline are ready to challenge that. Because that grand jury information, that's big stakes, that's a big chunk of that report.

LEMON: So what kind of legal fight are we talking about, Supreme Court, that far?

HONIG: Yes, look, there is a way to go directly to the Supreme Court, and I think this would qualify, if it's an important enough legal issue to the national interests and if there's a pressing time need. And I think both of those would be satisfied her.

So, I think we could end up going directly to the Supreme Court. And look, this would be a colossal collision. It would be straight up separation of powers, executive branch against legislative branch, who gets to tell who what to do.

LEMON: Judiciary Chairman, Jerry Nadler addresses Barr's call on obstruction. This is his op-ed in "The New York Times."

HONIG: Right.

LEMON: And he writes "The special counsel declined to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment on the question of obstruction but it is not the attorney general's job to step in and substitute his judgment for the special counsel's. The responsibility false to Congress, and specifically to the House Judiciary Committee as it has in every similar investigation in modern history."

Barr says it was -- you know, it was his decision. Who's right, Nadler or Barr?

HONIG: I disagree with William Barr here, the attorney general. Look, I think if you look at the regulations that Robert Mueller is operating under, it is Robert Mueller's job to make a prosecution or declination decision. And in this case, he declined to do that. But there is no role for the attorney general in the regulations to step in.

And I think the best reading on what Robert Mueller was doing when he decided obstruction is too close a call, to send it to the only body that can do anything about it, which is Congress.

[22:24:58] Because remember, DOJ has this policy that you cannot indict the president. So, there is no role for William Barr under the regs to step in and basically pick it off and say I'm voting thumbs down on obstruction.

Janet Reno sure did not do that when the Ken Starr report came out. The Ken Starr report went over to Congress and they decided what to do with it. And I think, and this will be interesting if Robert Mueller ever testifies, I would want to know, was your intention to send this to the only body that could really do anything with it, which is Congress?

LEMON: Elie, thank you. You gave me the legal aspect in the court of public opinion, the political opinion, the American people want the -- polls show that they want the report to be released.

HONIG: That's very clear.

LEMON: There it is, 75 percent of Americans. Thank you, sir. I appreciate it.

Two women who, they are now alleging that the former Vice President Joe Biden made them uncomfortable, though neither one described the behavior as sexual. Biden says he never believed he acted inappropriately. And a source close to Biden says that it won't stop him from running in 2020. We're going to discuss it next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Two women have come forward alleging that the former Vice President Joe Biden made them uncomfortable, though neither described the behavior as in any way sexual. One woman says he kissed the back of her head before a campaign event in 2014. The other says Biden rubbed noses with her at a fundraiser in 2009.

So, let's discuss now. Sam Vinograd is here. Frank Bruni, and Rick Wilson. Rick is the author of "Everything Trump Touches Dies," Alice Stewart is here as well. Good evening to everyone.

SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Sam Vinograd Hi, Don.

LEMON: Sam, start with you, you're a senior adviser at the Biden Institute, correct? Both women are speaking out against Biden. They say the behavior wasn't sexual, made them uncomfortable. Should he be apologizing?

[22:30:04] SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, I think -- I don't really that we're there yet. If the Vice President statements said he wants to listen and to hear more about what happened. And he has traditionally supported the rights of women to speak up when there's an allegation that something happened. But I want to be really clear here, Don. I don't take my national security hat off very often.

As you know, it's kind of permanently ingrained on my head. I am here tonight because I have known Joe Biden for a decade. I started working with him at the White House in 2009, and I work with him at the Biden Institute. And for over a decade, I have watched him direct so many resources, so many efforts, so much of his staff's time to actually empowering women and preventing violence against women.

And based upon that, I think that he is really practicing what he preaches here. He is respecting the right of a woman to come forward to express something that happened to her, while also taking the time to listen to what she's saying, and trying to encourage a more candid discussion about what's happening with violence against women, violence against men.

And from that, he'll have to decide after he listens to her, whether an apology is warranted.

LEMON: So what is going on here, Frank, because he's not even in the race yet and now he's on the defensive. What is this all about?

FRANK BRUNI, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I mean I think Democrats, as a party, are holding their candidates to very high standards. I think the party is very concerned about, you know, sexism, the about the whole #MeToo, which is a very important movement, and all of that. But I think there's a real challenge here.

And I am glad you said everything you did. I have known women who worked with Joe Biden. None of these accusations, or whatever you want to call them, are coming from women who have been on Joe Biden's staff. And I think Democrats have been careful here about tearing apart their candidates without a whole lot of reason to really before their candidates even have a chance to make their case.

You know, we're asking, we're spending days talking about the way Beto O'Rourke talked about his wife in childrearing. And I was, you know, bothered a little bit by it, but is it nullifying.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: It was an off the cuff remark, which was OK, fine, if you want to read something into it.

(CROSSTALK)

BRUNI: But, you know, I mean there's actually been a conversation on the left over the last couple of days about whether Pete Buttigieg is gay enough. Well, whether his being white and having (Inaudible) Harvard and be a Rhode Scholar nullifies his gayness and makes him not really someone who's known hardship. If this is the conversation that Democrats are going to have, we might as well give the election to Donald Trump right now.

LEMON: You -- maybe you didn't see my open.

BRUNI: I was in the car.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: It's amazing to me to watch, Alice. And you know what's interesting? I find most sensible conservatives or Republicans are siding with Joe Biden more than many Democrats, because you say that this is a case of inappropriate touching. It's not sexual harassment. And at some point, we have to realize that there's a difference between five miles over the speed limit and 45 miles. Which is this, do you think?

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, Don, you just said everything I was going to say.

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: The reality is -- look, inappropriate touching is wrong. Inappropriate talk is wrong. Sexual harassment is wrong. Sexual assault is wrong. The MeToo movement is right to be able to give women a voice and to make their case be heard and to speak out, and have the courage to do so. But we really need to be cautious about getting to a point to where we are looking at all of these through the same lens.

And yes, it is inappropriate to engage in this behavior. But when you -- as the metaphor, if you're breaking the speed limit, you're getting a speed ticket. There's a big difference if you're going five miles over the limit or 55 miles over the limit. And we need to really take a serious look at this and make sure we're not taking this too far.

But to Frank's point, the Democratic Party, if they're going to be the party of zero tolerance when it comes to this kind of thing, they need -- there needs to be consistent across the board if they're going to hold some candidates accountable. They need to do it with all others. So that's where the Democrats are getting into a slippery slope, where if they're going to lay down the law, it needs to apply across the board.

LEMON: Rick, you've been around politics for quite some time. What does this look like to you?

RICK WILSON, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I'll tell you what this looks like to me, Don. This looks like Bernie Sanders is running an (Inaudible) hit on Joe Biden. They plan to knee-cap before he gets in the race. The fact that we're not talking about the fact that Lucy Flores is an adviser to Bernie Sanders' pack, the one revolution or our revolution, whatever it's called.

The fact that we're not talking about that she was endorsed by Sanders and was a fan of Sanders and all this, I -- look. I'm -- call me cynical. Call me jaded. I have been around the block a couple of times here. This thing reeks like an op-o hit, not like some organic moment where Lucy Flores look up and said I'm shocked now, five years later, that, you know, Joe Biden had the temerity to be like a bro.

I mean I'm just -- I find it amazing that we're not looking at the fact that this is a political season and a political play. And it is obviously not organic. This woman came on TV, repeatedly today, prepped to the gills to take Joe Biden down.

(CROSSTALK)

[22:35:04] WILSON: So I have a lot of skepticism as a guy who's been around the block a couple times on this stuff.

STEWART: And also, along the political note too. The first woman that came forward also is a supporter of Beto O'Rourke and his events. And look, this is a classic case, as Rick said, shooting the person with the biggest target on their back and that's the person in the front. He is up by almost double digits ahead of his nearest challenger, and he's not even in the race yet.

And look, there's the progressive ring of the Democratic Party that is going all out to go against the older, more ideologically, unassociated with the progressive wing of the party, and that is exactly what they're doing. They're going after Joe Biden, because they want someone younger and fresher and more in line with the AOC.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: I have got to take a break.

BRUNI: I just want to show Lucy Flores a little bit more respect than Rick just did. She can be telling the truth. She can be sharing a memory accurately. And this can still be a conversation about whether that should be remotely nullifying for Joe Biden or his candidacy. I mean she can be a Bernie supporter.

She can like Beto. She can still be telling the truth. The real discussion here is what she's describing, if it's accurate or close to accurate. Is it nullifying? And I don't think it is.

LEMON: And listen. And, you know, he's saying that he believes it came from the Bernie Sanders camp. But there are all kinds of rumors, that it came from the Harris camp or that it could have from Beto O'Rourke's camp. Like no one knows, but I think the idea that this can be political in a political season. It's not far fetched to think that. Listen, we want women to be able to tell their stories.

That's the environment that we're living in. But you have to realize. Being able to tell a story about someone making you uncomfortable or being able to tell you your story about someone that is a possible sexual assault, those are two different things.

BRUNI: Of course they are, yes.

LEMON: They're not on the same level. More about Democrats and how they're apologizing all over the place right after this break.

[22:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: So we're hearing an awful lot of mea culpas from Democrats. But are they too quick to apologize? Sam Vinograd, Frank Bruni, Rick Wilson, Alice Stewart are back with me.

So Frank, let's talk about this. You have Joe Biden. He says he's listening respectfully to women speak up, Beto O'Rourke apologizing for joking about his wife raising the kids sometimes with his help raising, Elizabeth Warren apologizing for the DNA tests and then on.

BRUNI: It's an (Inaudible) loser, right?

LEMON: What?

BRUNI: Well, I mean, Democrats are holding themselves to a high standard, and people in the party are holding them to a high standard. I think that should be applauded, to a degree. But the problem is this is going off the rails. And part of what we're doing here is we are failing to acknowledge how complicated people are, and their histories are imperfect.

And I don't know why we're asking people to meet standards of purity and perfection, and to apologize whenever they deviate from them ever so slightly, because Republicans certainly aren't doing it with Donald Trump. And well, I think Republicans should be mortified by the way in which they've sold out their morals to Donald Trump.

Democrats can learn a little bit about tribal wisdom and not eating their elders before they even get a chance to lead you.

(CROSSTALK)

WILSON: I think Frank's right on point there. There is zero sense of shame right now in the Trump side of the equation. They do not care. He can engage in any amoral behavior. He can engage in any outrageous behavior. It will not matter. But we have got this weaponized outrage machine, left and right in this country. And the Democrats right now are responding to those cues with hyperbolic responses to everything that happens.

You know, there's a point where sometimes in politics you say Fido (ph), if it drives on, Fido (ph). You've got to move past these things. You've got to just shake them off, and people don't understand sometimes the constant hand-wringing, the endless, oh woe is me, oh I am looking inside myself. They don't really want all that introspection.

They want leadership, presence. They want some -- command performance. They're not always looking for people to, you know, put on a hair shirt and cover themselves in ashes and mope around on every single...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Or like the young lady told Chelsea Clinton. I want you to feel this. I want you to feel this. And I am, like, what do you want her to feel?

WILSON: Right.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Alice, I want you to respond. This is what Alice has always maintained. She doesn't like the president's behavior. He's not always a fan of the president's behavior. But it is the policies, right? And we don't want to give -- have this false equivalency here. But President Trump, you know, has been accused of a lot of things.

You remember the Access Hollywood tape, where he apologized, and then said it was locker room talk, and then said he didn't believe it was not him. So then do Democrats not get the Fido (ph) part of what Rick Wilson is talking about, Alice?

STEWART: Well, that's a big part of it. I mean a lot of those on the left, their base, their electorate, likes to engage in victimhood. And they want to point the finger at their elected officials as to they're the reason why. And we've turned into the Democratic Party has become the pity party. Look, we've had the apology tour of I am sorry, I'm chalice. I'm white.

I'm privileged. I'm not an Indian. I apologize. When look, at the end of the day, the voters, if they keep this up and keep pointing the finger at those running for office, they're going to emasculate everyone out of the race. They need to realize that their voters want to hear about policies and the issues, and engage with the voters, and encourage them to support their policies and engage with them.

That's what's going to win the race. Not apologizing for everything you've done in your past.

LEMON: Is it maybe they're getting them out of the way early? I don't know, it's like...

VINOGRAD: I never thought anyone would be sorry for being too sorry, Don. But let's also point out, and I am sorry for that.

LEMON: That's a good one. I apologize that I had to ask you that question.

[22:44:56] VINOGRAD: I apologize for saying that. But look, not all sorries are created equal, right? And you talked about this in the opening of your show. If there's an allegation of sexual harassment, if there is an incident of sexual harassment, I think that Democrats should apologize. And what Joe Biden would not want someone to do would be to look at an allegation through a political lens and to not use their voice, because it could or could not impact an election. So whether he apologizes for this incident is really going to remain

to be seen based upon what he learns about it, and I don't think that he is going to be viewing this through a political lens again. I work on policy. I don't work on politics. But he is not going to be changing his values or his principles because it's a campaign season.

LEMON: Listen, I am old enough to remember the 70s, 80s, 90s, and now. Things are different in the 70s than they were in the 80s. There was a different political climate. There was a different social climate in the country at those times. Perhaps people can explain to you why they made the decisions, especially policy decisions in the moment at that time.

But it doesn't mean that they need to apologize for something. They don't have a crystal ball. They don't know where the country was going to go in the future.

VINOGRAD: And over decades of service to evolve.

LEMON: And they were acting on the knowledge that they had in the moment. So move on, people, many people who complain about this, quite frankly, progressives, weren't even alive then. And they had no idea what the world was like.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: But they tweet about it and they get upset and they shout down their allies. And they do more harm to their allies than the actual opponent. And it is the dumbest thing I have ever seen, as I said in the open. If Democrats continue to do this, hashtag Trump 2020, you helped to elect him. I have got to go. I have got to go. Go ahead, Alice. I'll give you the last word.

STEWART: Just real quick. I mean this is a wise play on the Republicans' part just to stand back and let the Democrats eat their own and let them drive the train right off the cliff.

LEMON: Thank you, Alice. We'll be right back.

STEWART: Thanks, Don.

[22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Tonight, we have an update on the story of Demetrius Anderson. He is a Connecticut man we first talked to last week. Demetrius served time in prison for possessing and passing counterfeit currency. He was released and he turned his life around. But a few weeks ago, federal marshals pounded on his door, saying he still needed to serve 16 months in federal prison for similar charges.

All this time, he thought he had served his sentences concurrently. On Friday, Demetrius' lawyer told us that he got word that Demetrius would not have to go back to prison. But Demetrius is still worried. Here's what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: You seem cautious, though.

DEMETRIUS ANDERSON, THREATENED WITH POISON DUE TO LEGAL MIXUP: I am, because I am cautious on the fact I need to see it in writing, because I have seen my release papers in writing in 2006 and came home. So I would need to see that in writing, so I could feel 100 percent that what I experienced last week won't happen again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: All right. So joining me now to explain what is going on is William McSwain. He is a U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Thank you so much for joining us. Demetrius and our viewers want to know what's going on. Is he going to have to go back to prison? I understand you have some news about this.

WILLIAM MCSWAIN, EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA U.S. ATTORNEY: Well, first of all, thanks for having me, Don. If I could start by explaining that at the Department of Justice, we always strive for individualized justice in all of our cases. And by that, I mean we look at the facts carefully. We try to be fair. We try to be reasonable. And then we always have to operate within the bounds of the law.

Here, the situation, that fortunately, is rare because you don't have situations like Mr. Anderson's that come up very often. But in other ways, it's a typical case and that we're looking closely at the facts, trying to make a fair, reasonable, nonpartisan judgment about it. And my office looked at it. The Bureau of Prisons looked at it.

We consulted, and we came to the conclusion that it would serve no purpose for Mr. Anderson to go back to prison. So he is going remain a free man.

LEMON: So he's not going to go back. Then walk us through -- thank you for giving us that. Walk us through the next steps for Demetrius.

MCSWAIN: The next steps are that we are going to file a joint motion tomorrow. We've been working it out with his lawyer. That will essentially try to cleanup the remaining sentencing issues. And I can enumerate those for you. First of all, the Bureau of Prisons has determined, and we concur, that he receives credit for his time at liberty.

It is what it's called when a mistake is made and someone is released through no fault of their own. It's not like they're escaping from prison or anything like that. But they're just released and they're living their life. Under certain circumstances, you can get what's called Credit at Liberty.

LEMON: OK.

MCSWAIN: So that will be confirmed in the motion. Also, we don't think it will serve any purpose for him to serve what's called supervised release. In the federal systems, it's called supervised release, (Inaudible) sometimes known as probation. He originally had a period of three years of supervised release in his sentence, the sentence in Philadelphia, in my district.

But the fact that he's been out for so long, I think the same logic applies that he shouldn't have to serve his supervised release. The same logic applies that he doesn't have to go back to prison. Also, doesn't have to serve the supervised release. What he does need to do, though, and we've worked this out with his lawyer...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Is this the third one you're talking about? You said there were three things or a couple of things.

(CROSSTALK)

MCSWAIN: Credit for time.

LEMON: No suspended release, which is probation.

(CROSSTALK)

MCSWAIN: The third is he does need to make restitution to his victims, and that's approximately $4,000 thousand. And we have an agreement with him that he's going to pay that on monthly installments of about $250 a month.

LEMON: OK.

[22:54:54] MCSWAIN: And then also there's a hearing scheduled for April 4th. We're going to ask the judge, Judge Paul Diamond, the federal judge in Philadelphia, to cancel that hearing because it's no longer necessary in our view, because we've come to this agreement. And then also this bond can be canceled, the bond that he put up (Inaudible) unsecured bond in Connecticut when he was arrested a few weeks ago. We think that can go away, because he's not going to be going...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Do you know how much that was? I'm not sure.

MCSWAIN: I think it was a $50,000 thousand unsecured bond, if I recall.

LEMON: OK. So let me -- when did you realize that something needed to be done, that this needed to be fixed? You said these types of mistakes are rare. But when did you realize in this case?

MCSWAIN: Fortunately, they are very rare. But when they happen, I think it's important that, you know, we own up to any mistakes that were made. And here, a mistake was made, actually two mistakes were made. First of all, Mr. Anderson was serving a state sentence in Connecticut. And we had a federal detainer placed on him, so that when he finished with his state sentence he was then supposed to be turned over to us, to the feds.

We had the detainer in place. We verified that it was in place back in 2005, originally. And unfortunately, the Connecticut authorities did not let us know when he was released from prison. So that was a mistake on their part. And then 13 years passed before we realized. And honestly that was a mistake on our part. And we need to own that mistake and try to fix it.

Because we should have been checking up periodically, it's not good enough to just say well, nobody told us about the detainers in 13 years can pass.

LEMON: Why did so much time elapse with that? I mean which is basically, as you say a clerical error?

MCSWAIN: Essentially a clerical error, two clerical errors, like I said, a clerical at the state level. And then I would say it's a lesser error at the federal level in the sense that we just weren't checking up periodically like we arguably should have been. You know we looked at this as soon as we were aware of the warrant, which again was on February 28th.

So we moved quickly to come to this determination. But I do think that when these situations arise, again, they are rare. But if a mistake is made, you look it in the face and you need to own it, and you need to fix it.

LEMON: William McSwain, thank you. I really appreciate you coming in. Appreciate your time.

MCSWAIN: Thank you.

LEMON: And I want to let everyone know that our producers have been in touch with Demetrius today. It wasn't proper for him to appear with the prosecutor before the motion is filed in court. But he remains excited and optimistic. A White House official raising concerns about security clearances in the Trump administration, why one top Democrat says it's a million times worse over the controversy over Hillary Clinton's e-mail server, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)