This is a rush transcript from "The Story," March 25, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARTHA MACCALLUM, ANCHOR: Good evening, everybody. So, where do we go from here? That is one of the most important questions that need to be answered. Who started all of this and why?
The Russian interference happened with no assist from the Trump campaign, so while it was still happening, our intelligence agencies were so busy going after the now president, that they failed to stop it. Those are facts that are unnerving.
Here is the President earlier today, talking about the impact of it all.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We can never let this happen to another president again, I can tell you that. I say it very strongly. Very few people I know could have handled it. We can never, ever let this happen to another president again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: All right. So, we do need to know how the whole collusion narrative began. Who was responsible, who was aware of the investigation in its earliest stages from the White House during the Obama administration, who got the ball rolling on the hunt for a Trump campaign conspiracy that they believed was happening.
And what was in terms of the -- used in terms of -- way to substantiate this investigation, which included surveillance on private American citizens, Carter Page. So here's the Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham today, watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM , R-S.C., CHAIRMAN, SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: I still, to this day, at a loss to explain why nobody went to President Trump to tell him there may be some people in your orbit that are connected to the Russians and working with the Russians.
A counterintelligence investigation is designed to protect the entity being targeted by foreign power.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: All right. So we also have today the fact that Democrats are pivoting around the collusion issue. They are (INAUDIBLE) though, to continue investigating and investigating. Watch.
REP. JERRY NADLE, D-N.Y., CHAIR OF THE HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: The Special Counsel was looking and can only look for crimes. We have to protect the rule of law. We have to look for abuses of power.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF, D-CALIF., CHAIRMAN OF THE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Was the President driven during the campaign and to this day, by financial interest and consummating a lucrative real estate deal and watch that Trump Tower.
SEN. MAZIE HIRONO, D-HAWAII, SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: What's next is that these kinds of investigations must continue untethered. And it's still in the context of a disaster that is this presidency.
REP. MAXINE WATERS, D-CALIF.: There's so much that needs to be, you know, taking a look at this point. And so, it's not the end of everything.
MACCALLUM: All right. So you know Congress doesn't have the power to indict anyone or to charge everyone, but they do have impeachment powers, so it sounds like that is where they are still considering heading. You've got 2,800 subpoenas, 500 search warrants, $25 million spent in almost two years of working intensely on this, with a team of 19 of the top crack lawyers they could find.
So, that -- we know now what they found, essentially, haven't seen the whole report yet. But will Maxine Waters and Adam Schiff find what they are looking for, if they are going to continue to look -- who are they going to interview, what will they find that the Mueller report was not able to find. Those questions are coming up.
We've got a packed house for you tonight on this very big story. But first, Congressman Doug Collins, the Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, one of the four lawmakers that the Attorney General, Bill Barr, sent his Mueller memo to, sir, good to have you with us tonight. Thank you very much for being here.
I'm curious how you look at this whole investigation now, at this point. You know, the President called it a witch hunt, but it has come back to be in his favor, at least, in terms of what we know so far.
REP. DOUG COLLINS, R-GA., RANKING MEMBER, HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Well, it is, but let's look at this whole thing. This has been a sad part of our history and especially one though that we can actually tell you for some moment here, to say it's a good day for America because the rule of law did prevail. This president was shown not to be colluding. He was shown not to be obstructing.
There are things that the Democrats said they had proof of, they didn't have proof of. And I think it's time for an apology from many of them, instead of calling for more investigation. They ought to be in front of the camera and say, you know, I apologize. I said there was collusion, but we didn't have any proof.
This goes back to a problematic problem at the DOJ which the Senator Graham talked about today that needs to go back to the understanding of how we got there. We got there because we had a corrupt cabal of Strzok, Page, McCabe, and there are others and Baker, who are enabling this investigation to go at a person instead of the problem, and I think that's something we need to look at.
MACCALLUM: All right. So, the letter that was sent to you by the Attorney General Bill Barr, Cory Booker has just said moments ago, he's running for president, has just said that he has some real doubts about the way that that letter was constructed, that he would like to dig into. What did you think? You received the letter before anybody. What did you think?
COLLINS: I think the letter was straightforward. It said exactly what it said. And in no uncertain terms, collusion was off the table. Collusion did not happen. When even to the fact of saying that the Trump campaign was approached but actually rebuffed those approaches.
I'm not sure what Cory Booker is looking for. Maybe he needs to understand, as the old song says, I still haven't found what I'm looking for. But his problem is he's running for president, and he's now has nothing to run on. They lost their first love. Their first love was Mueller.
They thought everything was going to happen to that. It didn't happen because nothing was there. The President was right. And now, they're trying to find anything else that they can to tie to a sustained (INAUDIBLE)
MACCALLUM: You said that you think Democrats should apologize for, you know, saying that there was collusion, saying that the President would be out of office, as soon, because of all of this. Do you think that the President, you know, maybe has something to say to Robert Mueller?
And do you think that Robert Mueller pushed forward this investigation in a way that had integrity in all of the things that have always been associated with him in the past?
COLLINS: We see nothing to doubt that. I think what the President was upset about, and let's be honest here. The President was upset about how this was started. When we started looking into the fact of how this started with the DOJ, coming through the e-mail investigation, to the original Russian investigation, through then, the eight days in May in which Mueller was appointed.
I think what we ought to understand here, the only person -- people that are getting, you know, that are -- the Russians got what they wanted, but they didn't get it out who they wanted it from. They didn't get it out of the Democrats who are continually bringing this up, dragging the American people through something, making them doubt something that happened in November of 2016.
And that was that Hillary Clinton got beat. President Trump is the President. They don't like it. And so they want to keep this going at all possible -- that's the real sadness of this. That the Democrats can't let it go.
MACCALLUM: Let me ask you this, you know, I know there's a lot of frustration on the Republican side that Democrats are clearly going to continue to investigate and investigate and investigate. We listened to Lindsey Graham say that he wants to investigate the origins of this investigation.
Do you think that that is a risky political proposition? Do you think that the American public is going to be tired of hearing about this on both sides, potentially?
COLLINS: Since when did the truth become a risky proposition? I'm not sure. I think what we found is in the last Congress and the things that I've released. In fact, the three transcripts that I've released, and there will be more, Martha, actually go to point out that there was a problem at DOJ, that there was something.
You know, we've got a Mueller report now, there are the headlines of that and we'll see the report later that actually shows there was no collusion, the biggest lie that's been told in a long time. We show that there was no obstruction.
But what we have shown is actually proven, is that you had bias, that you had special treatments, that you had two layers of justice at the department, one for Hillary Clinton, one for candidate Trump and then President Trump.
These are the kind of things that when people see truth, they understand it. What they don't understand is continuing running after the same old thing that has always been proven wrong.
MACCALLUM: Ranking Member Collins, thank you very much. Good to see you here tonight.
COLLINS: Good to see you.
MACCALLUM: So, here to respond, Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen, also on the House Judiciary Committee. Congressman Cohen, thank you very much. Good to have you here tonight.
REP. STEVE COHEN, D-TENN., CHAIRMAN, HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: You're welcome. Peter Emerson vouched for you.
MACCALLUM: Pardon me?
COHEN: Peter Emerson vouched for you. He said you are fair in battle.
MACCALLUM: Oh, he's absolutely right, I am. So, let me ask you this, you just heard both sides of this equation and the investigations that Democrats are committed to continuing and what Republicans want to look into.
Are you interested in the origins of all of these, are you concerned about what happened in the highest levels of our intelligence agencies in pursuing an investigation against President Trump in the early stages, and not giving him a heads up, that they had real concerns that there might be somebody who was infiltrating their campaign?
COHEN: I'm interested in getting the full Mueller report out to the public, as the House voted without a dissenting vote last week. And as I think President Trump has said he wanted it too. The American public paid for that report and they ought to see the report and we need to see that our elections are fair, that they're open, and they're not interfered with Russians, as they were in 2016.
There's no question that the Russians were involved in our elections. They tried to influence the elections. They tried to do it for the benefit of the -- of the winner, of the Electoral College. And so, we need to make sure that our elections are --
MACCALLUM: Right. So, that was -- what my question was to you, in terms of that conclusion, which is clear, that the Russians did try to influence our elections, do you think that -- it would've been a wise idea to give the candidate a heads up about that, and does it make you curious about the origins of this investigation that he wasn't given one?
COHEN: You know, I don't know if they gave either of the candidates a heads up, and I'm not sure what they did. I know that Barack Obama asked Mitch McConnell to join him in doing an investigation earlier in the announcement and Mitch McConnell refused to do it, so the President trying to be, as he often was bipartisan, in terms of going out on national scene decided not to say anything.
MACCALLUM: President Trump had no idea that the intelligence agencies were watching his campaign, that they were having FISA warrants to listen to people on their private conversations. He had no idea about any of that.
COHEN: I didn't say he did. President Obama wanted Mitch McConnell to join with him and that the American public know that the Russians were involved in our elections. And when Mitch McConnell wouldn't do it, the President didn't go forward.
MACCALLUM: All right, so --
COHEN: President Obama as he should about thinking --
MACCALLUM: Understood. So, I would imagine that you want to know more about the origins of this investigation, what President Obama knew, what Loretta Lynch knew, what James Comey knew, what John Brennan knew about the Russians' involvement or attempt to be involved in this -- in this whole process. Would you like to see an investigation to that?
COHEN: We want to know what the Russians did and who they did it with. We want to know -- I think Papadopoulos was the beginning of it and that's how it started.
MACCALLUM: Well, now, it appears he never spoke to any Russians at all, so that's where -- that's where his situation is.
COHEN: Well, I don't know about that and I don't know if they informed either presidential candidates. Did they inform Hillary Clinton? I don't think they did.
MACCALLUM: Well, I mean, but it's clear that they -- they weren't doing what they were doing to President Trump's campaign to Hillary Clinton's campaign. That's the question.
COHEN: They didn't have any probable cause or any intelligence to make them think they should be looking at it.
MACCALLUM: All right. And the probable cause apparently came from a dossier in an article that was written on Yahoo! news. So, we continue.
COHEN: The dossier was started by a Republican opponent of President Trump, was it not? That originally engaged him?
MACCALLUM: Yes, but not the part of the dossier that is so crucial to the understanding of this. All of that was paid for by the DNC and Perkins Coie. So, I mean, that's been clear for some time. Congressman, thank you. I appreciate you being here.
COHEN: You're welcome, Martha.
MACCALLUM: And we'll continue to follow the investigations on both sides here. I am joined now by Congressman Matt Gaetz and Andy Biggs, oh, there's a tease. We're going to be right back with these two gentlemen after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRAHAM: The FISA warrant application on four different occasions, what role did the dossier play? Was it the primary source of the information given to the court? Was it supplemental? Was its outcome determinative? I want to find out what were the rules about the counterintelligence investigation?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Listen closely there. The senator demanding answers tonight from Obama-era administration officials over how the Russia investigation originally transpired. What were the seeds of it? Who said let's look into this? Let's get this FISA warrant? He's investigating how the FBI used the information to obtain those warrants which are very important to get a secret court order to surveil private citizens of the United States, who were working for the Trump campaign in 2016. Here now, Judge Andrew Napolitano, Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst and host of "LIBERTY FILE" on Fox Nations, which is great news. Good to see you tonight, judge.
ANDREW NAPOLITANO, FOX NEWS SENIOR JUDICIAL ANALYST: Thank you, Martha.
MACCALLUM: Your thoughts?
NAPOLITANO: I think Senator Graham hit the nail right on the head. The origin of this was corrupt FBI agents knowing the standard for getting a search warrant on anybody in the America, in the FISA court, is far lower than the standard of getting a search warrant in a criminal investigation.
MACCALLUM: Which was amazing in and of itself right there.
NAPOLITANO: Correct. I don't know the American people knew this until the scandal exploded. Second thing they know is whatever they told the FISA court, would never be revealed because of its secrecy; even if somebody was ultimately indicted, defense counsel wouldn't get the application. So, they knew, this court which grants 99.9 percent -- I've never heard of this in my career except for this court -- of all search warrant applications would grant their warrant would never reveal what they told the court, would grant the warrant on the flimsiest of evidence, and their behavior would never be made public.
They never imagined that all of this would come under scrutiny. So, this is not only their corruption, it's a system that has corrupted them by allowing these FISA applications to be made under the pretense of a national security investigation and then magically transferred into a criminal investigation, so slowly that nobody can tell you when and where the transfer occurred, and it's all kept secret.
MACCALLUM: So, basically, I got to go, but basically, you know, if the FBI requests a FISA warrants, they're going to get it.
NAPOLITANO: Absolutely. And Senator Graham, in my view, would be wise to look at the abuse of FISA and some structural changes in it. In fact, I'd be happy to testify as an expert witness.
MACCALLUM: As you should. You're our expert witness every day. Judge, thank you very much. Thank you.
NAPOLITANO: Welcome back to our new show.
MACCALLUM: Great to be back. So, here now with more on this: Congressman Andy Biggs and Matt Gaetz of the House Judiciary Committee. Gentlemen, thank you very much for being here. You have put together a letter and you are asking to prosecute James Comey for instigating the Mueller probe. You've been listening to what the judge had to say. Congressman Gaetz, let me start with you. What do you want to get? What's your information you're looking for?
REP. MATT GAETZ, R-FLA., HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Well, the Russian investigation was a national tragedy and Congressman Biggs and I want to see something good come of it. The reason that this was something that distracted our country, tore people apart was because it was based on a lie. And this lie was fueled by a secret court process where we still don't have full clarity as to what justified the surveillance that kept this going for 22 months in the absence of evidence. So, Congressman Biggs and I want to see full transparency of what was presented to the court, with hopes that will allow us to legislate some solutions so that this never happens to another president in the United States again.
MACCALLUM: Well, Congressman Biggs, that's exactly what the president said today. He said, he doesn't ever want to see this happen to another president of United States again. So, in terms -- do you think the president will authorize the release of all of the documents that were looked at by the FISA courts judges that they approved?
REP. ANDY BIGGS, R-ARIZ., HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Well, at one point, when we requested this before, he indicated that he wanted to release this information but was held back. I think, now is the time to do it. I think his instincts are to do it and I hope that his staff around him let it come out. Because think about this: you've got Carter Page, who's a civilian. There's a FISA warrant issued against him simply based on some information that comes -- that's cooked up for political purposes.
That can't happen in America. That can't happen in this country. So, we need to get to the bottom of it, find out where the corruption was, how we got FISA warrants issued. How Bruce Ohr met with Glenn Simpson, who produced this document more than 60 times after the election. This stuff has got to come out. And so, Congressman Gaetz and I, and some of our other colleagues were really pushing on this. I believe the president wants to do this. I'm hoping he will.
MACCALLUM: I mean, we heard, Congressman Gaetz, we heard that Andrew McCabe say before Congress that the dossier was essential to get in the FISA warrant, but that it wasn't all they had. We also know that one of the other sources that they used was a piece that was written by Michael Isikoff and was published in Yahoo! News, but that the majority of the information that was in the Isikoff piece came from the dossier. So, that boils us down to basically having only the dossier. Is there any information that you have that there was anything else in that FISA application that would be substantive in terms of opening investigations to these private citizens?
GAETZ: Only the conversations of George Papadopoulos that occurred in a London bar, but even Andrew McCabe indicated that in the absence of the dossier, the Papadopoulos meeting would not have been enough to continue the investigation. So, this investigation was fueled fundamentally by a lie, and where Republicans or Democrats are in charge in the future, it should never be possible to use political opposition research as the basis for counterintelligence and criminal investigations. And so, we think the only way to get to a solution is to turn all the cards face up on the table and to truly understand how the senior levels of the Department of Justice where politicized.
MACCALLUM: So, you know, just going back. It's interesting to kind of go back to all of this. You think about who was in charge at that point. So, you have the FBI who's raising these questions under the direction of James Comey, under the direction of Loretta Lynch, who was the attorney general then. You have Sally Yates also sort of in the mix here, and President Obama at the top, obviously, as president of the United States of all of those organizations. So, Congressman Biggs, who would have been involved in these discussions to say: you know what, we're in the middle of these presidential election, we have some very big concerns and we need to start an investigation into then citizen candidate Donald Trump?
BIGGS: Well, ostensibly, James Comey was the linchpin for all of this and Loretta Lynch's basically walked away from it. Sally Yates, who had an interest in it, everybody you just named. President Obama had to have been briefed on this, I've got to believe that. We need to get to the bottom of that. But then, we've got some other people involved ultimately were Bruce Ohr is running go-between with the FBI.
You've got Peter Strzok and Lisa Page who were sitting there who have an intense bias and hatred towards the president. They're involved in this. And given these documents on the table, are going to allow us to follow some additional lines of investigation to find out who was causing these problems and who caused this investigation.
GAETZ: And Remember, Page and Strzok were saying the White House wants to be kept up to date on all of this. So, there was clear involvement from senior White House officials in the Obama administration
MACCALLUM: All right, you're going to call James Comey back, Congressman Gaetz?
GAETZ: I think we've heard a lot from James Comey. I think that we need to look at the documents and evidence that was before the court. I think that will show us where this progress was broken.
MACCALLUM: All right. We will watch. Gentlemen, thank you very much. Good to see you tonight.
GAETZ: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: So, coming up next?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EUGENE ROBINSON, ASSOCIATE EDITOR, THE WASHINGTON POST: So, let's be clear, what we are seeing and what we have been seeing is collusion in real-time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So, the media overhyped the claims of Russian collusion. That is pretty clear when you look back at not just that clip but thousands of clips. And they wind up with a bit of a black eye because of it. Howard Kurtz who watches the media and has for decades with his big picture on what happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAKE TAPPER, CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, CNN: This is evidence of willingness to commit collusion. That's what this is. On its face.
ROBINSON: So, let's be clear. What we are seeing and what we had been seeing is collusion in real time. The word collusion is what springs to mind.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we have all the proof we need of a scandal that's arguably worse than Watergate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So, that's just very sample of what we have heard over the past couple of years and now that the media hype about Trump-Russian collusion has been disproved, my next guest says that it amounts to one hell of a black eye for the press. Here now: Howie Kurtz, Host of "MediaBuzz" and Author of "Media Madness: Donald Trump, the Press, and the War Over the Truth." Howie, good evening, great to have you with us this evening. So, I guess the question is how big is the blackeye and is it overcome-able? Will we see any change now in terms of fairness?
HOWARD KURTZ, FOX NEWS HOST: I've been thinking about this. I'm going to update to two black eyes because the media had been so heavily invested in the Mueller investigation and the notion were, for many of the fervent (INAUDIBLE), that it could end the Trump presidency, that their news judgment was badly distorted. Now, Martha, I'm not saying that a criminal probe with 37 indictments shouldn't have been covered or some of the investigative stories weren't inaccurate, even if it didn't rise to the level of indictable offenses. But the coverage was so massive and non- stop, and overwhelmingly negative. And some of the wild commentary: he's convicted, he's a traitor, he's Putin pawn; some of his family members are going to jail. Just have really, seriously damaged the profession's credibility.
MACCALLUM: Yes. I mean, you have a very scathing piece by Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone, who is, you know, no cheerleader for the president -- you know, that's very clear. You know, you just have to sort of wonder if it changes the tone at all in terms of how the president is looked at. And where that responsibility lies. Do you think that people will trust reporters anymore?
KURTZ: I think half the country already heavily distressed reporters and even others who are not necessarily fans of this president have to see how badly the story was overdone, overhyped, overwrought.
Now, do I think these calls for some serious self-examination and soul searching by the profession? Absolutely. But you know, some of us who went up against the media tied, and I've been saying it running for two years that this story was a little bit out of control and the coverage, you know, you get kind dismissed as being a cheerleader for Trump.
It was never about that. It was about being a cheerleader for a fair journalism. But I'm not expecting a lot of self-examination. It's a very insulating (Ph) kind of defensive profession.
KURTZ: But you know, even if you are a liberal, even if you're a journalist who loves the business as I do, you've got to acknowledge that we need to do better.
MACCALLUM: I think that's absolutely true. Brit Hume said it was one of the worst stains on the media that he is in his entire career, that's not his verbiage but that was the sentiment.
But today, he said, "At least The New York Times and the Washington Post, both of which have much to answer for in promoting the bogus collusion tale, did not downplay the Mueller findings this morning and it shows the banner headlines that say that Mueller finds no Trump-Russia conspiracy or collusion."
So, you know, perhaps there is some road to redemption and we all -- you know, nobody stands apart. We all have to be held to the same standards and we take those standards very seriously.
It's interesting that Michael Avenatti sort of came back into the story today as well. Howie, your thoughts on the fact that he was just released on $300,000 bail we just heard moments ago. Your thoughts on his whole story?
KURTZ: Well, you know, here is a guy who in the space of two months because he represented Stormy Daniels and therefore was a useful foil against President Trump, he was on CNN and MSNBC more than 100 times.
KURTZ: I mean, they took this clown seriously, as well as his -- and they indulged his delusion that he was going to run for president which now seems absolutely ludicrous.
Even Stormy Daniels is saying he was extremely dishonest with me, so I think he was kind of a creature of the anti-Trump fervor and he became almost -- the media kind of built him into a folk hero looking very differently. Now presumption of innocence to be sure. But these are serious charges.
MACCALLUM: Yes. I mean, there wasn't a day when you wouldn't see him on our competitors several times and was given an enormous floor --
KURTZ: Every couple of hours. I know.
MACCALLUM: It was unbelievable. Howie, thank you very much. Great to see you tonight.
Coming up next, while some 2020 Democrats are clinging to the Mueller probe even at this point.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think it's time for the Democratic challengers to put this behind them? That's a lot of Republicans out been suggesting.
FMR. REP. BETO O'ROURKE, D- TEXAS: To put what?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Mueller investigation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So, the collusion narrative may be dead, but some 2020 Democrats, like Beto O'Rourke, seem to have evidence that the rest of us don't. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O'ROURKE: You have a president, from my opinion, beyond a shadow of a doubt sought to power handedly collude with the Russian government, a foreign power, to undermine and influence our elections.
The sanctity of the ballot box, the ability for each and every single one of us to make informed decisions about those who seek to represent us and hold positions of public trust.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Well, it's not in there but he said he still wants to find out if somebody was working with the Russians who is involved in the administration.
So, Chris Hahn, is that wise, do you think politically at this point?
CHRIS HAHN, FORMER AIDE TO CHUCK SCHUMER: Look, I think that Democrats are not going to win on this issue. I think they've got to find a million other things to attack the president on and plans for their own going forward.
I also think it's very important that the entire nation see the entire report, and I think for the president sake, he would wanted to come out sooner rather than later just in case there are things in there that might be embarrassing to him, it's better for it to come out now with 18 months before the election than for it to come out say 10 days before the election.
HAHN: So, I think Democrats need to run on things other --
MACCALLUM: Well, he has said he wants it to come out so -- yes.
HAHN: They need -- well, Mitch McConnell blocked the votes today on it, so let's see what actually happens. So, you know, I think it's in everybody's interest to see the entire report. I think it's in the Democrats' interest --
HAHN: -- to run for president on things other than Russian collusion.
MACCALLUM: Well, let me just ask you, Chris.
HAHN: Because clearly, we trusted Mueller and we should trust the report.
MACCALLUM: OK. Do you think that Bill Barr would've released the letter that he released, which is brief, and I think everybody wants to see the full report to the extent that it can be put out, you know, with regard to classified information or grand jury testimony?
But do you think he would release the letter if he released if it didn't accurately represent what was in the Mueller report, do you think he would've done that?
MARC THIESSEN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: No, I don't think he would.
HAHN: You're not --
MACCALLUM: That was for Chris, and then we'll go to Marc.
THIESSEN: Of course.
HAHN: Look, I think that his letter was not fully -- look, it was a two year-long study and it was a two-day review. So, I think we need to see more of it.
HAHN: And I don't think it was completely inaccurate but there are things that might be missing from it. That's what I'm saying.
MACCALLUM: All right. Marc?
THIESSEN: So, here's the thing that's pathetic, is that these Democratic presidential candidates were actually wishing that the Mueller report found evidence of collusion. I wish they would take Chris' advice and pivot and move on. Because the reality is it's very sad, they were almost salivating waiting for this evidence and now that it hasn't come, they are in denial.
How horrible would it have been for our country if Mueller had found that president of the United States had conspired with a foreign power to undermine our democracy?
Every American, whether Republican or Democrat, should be celebrating this outcome. If you -- even if you don't like Donald Trump, you should be happy that the president of the United States didn't conspire with Russia and there seem to be people -- the Democrats can't seem to make that pivot and show that celebration.
You show those headlines from the Washington Post that Brit had tweeted out. The Washington Post and the New York Times put on their banner headline, "There's no collusion." Where are the Democrats saying that? There is nobody out there saying that. And so, they can't let go of this false collusion narrative --
MACCALLUM: Yes, you know --
THIESSEN: -- and it's time to move on.
MACCALLUM: It raises a very good point, Chris. Do you think that a Democrat in a very large field that exist right now of the potential and the existing Democratic candidates, do you think that one of them would set themselves apart if they came out and said, look, this is a good day for America? Let's all agree on that.
MACCALLUM: We don't want the White House to ever be compromise by a foreign government, of course. And I am going to, you know, said Democrat candidate, move on, I want to stop talking about this. It has pitted us against each other successfully. That's what the Russians did really well. They pitted us against each other.
MACCALLUM: We have been tearing each other down for two years. So, do you think a Democratic candidate could actually survive and maybe succeed if they said that and asked the rest of them to put this behind us, and the investigations, and move on.
HAHN: Look, I don't think you've got to end the investigations to other things. But clearly on the Russia side, the report said there was no conspiracy by the president or his campaign. We've been saying for two years that we were waiting for the report. Well we got the report.
Now what the caveat is I want to see the entire report because --
HAHN: -- even Barr's letter says it doesn't fully exonerate the president on a few things.
MACCALLUM: That's right.
HAHN: So, I think we all need to read it, take it in, and accept it, and then do what we can with what we are accepting it. And I think that the way you are going to win in this country is not by just collusion.
I think by the way, even if the report said there was collusion but there was not prosecuted collusion, Democratic candidates running for president were going to have to run on more than that because really you are running for 5 percent of Americans that can be convinced. Most Americans are dug in on this issue one way or the other. So, it doesn't really matter.
HAHN: But look, it's a low bar to say that this is something we should be happy about, but it is something we should be happy about.
HAHN: I did not want to see the president of the United States --
HAHN: -- fully compromise by the Russians and I don't think most Americans do either. And I think most Democrats and Republicans and independents feel the same way about it. I think there is going to be a point in time where candidates have to accept it and run on something other than that.
MACCALLUM: Gentlemen, thank you. Great to see you both tonight, Chris Hahn and Marc Thiessen. Thank you, guys.
So did Robert Mueller drop the ball by failing to take a stand on whether or not to prosecute on obstruction. We're going to go back to this process the response from law professor Alan Dershowitz on THE STORY coming up next.
MACCALLUM: The Attorney General Bill Barr wrote in his summary "the evidence is not sufficient to establish that the president committed an obstruction of justice offense."
But some are not satisfied with that, including my next guest, law professor of 50 years. He writes in a new op-ed that Mueller did not finish the job. Alan Dershowitz is a Harvard Law professor emeritus writing the introduction to the upcoming publication of "The Mueller Report," which is his next book.
Alan, good to have you here tonight. So, explain why you think it was not OK that after two years Robert Mueller declined to be definitive on the issue of obstruction.
ALAN DERSHOWITZ, PROFESSOR, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL: His job was to determine whether or not to charge the president, whether or not the president was guilty of obstruction. He heard arguments on both sides. He's supposed to be the decider. He is not a law professor writing law review articles on the one hand, on the other hand, he is not a hedge fund operator who wants to hedge his bets by selling short and selling long.
He is supposed to make the decision. He was paid to do that. He should have to give have of the salary back, and especially the problem was he turned it over to two people. He turned it over to Attorney General Barr who is an honorable, decent, terrific guy and gave him 24 hours to make a decision that Mueller could have made over a two-year period.
And then he turned it over to Rod Rosenstein who was completely conflicted. If President Trump obstructed justice by firing Comey, then Rod Rosenstein was a conspirator because he urged him to fire him.
MACCALLUM: All right. Let me ask you this. Because one of the things that he would've needed to establish is intent, and a lot of people are talking about the fact that he didn't actually interview the president. The president submitted response to questions. So, it's a good point, you know, how Bill Barr and Rod Rosenstein would've been able to determine intent when Robert Mueller felt that he could not.
DERSHOWITZ: Well, I disagree. I don't think intent is relevant. When the president act according to his constitutional mandate, you can't go behind his act. Presidents are motivated by a lot of things. They want to write a good book with a big retainer after they got of the presidency, they want to remembered by history, they want to win reelection.
You don't probe a president's motive and intentions if he acts within his constitutional authority. When George H.W. Bush pardon Caspar Weinberger -- we know why he parted him. He pardoned him because he was afraid Weinberger would come around and points his finger at him and by pardoning him, he ended the investigation.
But special prosecutor Lawrence Walsh didn't suggest prosecuting it because the president had the right to pardon. And if the president pardons, if the president fires, that's the end of the inquiry.
Nobody is entitled to look at the intent of the president or the motive of the president. You look at his actions, if his actions are lawful, that's the end of the matter. You only look at intent after you have concluded that the acts are unlawful and the acts were lawful. So, there was no reason to look at his intent.
MACCALLUM: So if Robert Mueller had said that he saw that there wasn't obstruction of justice in the act of firing, then at that point an investigation would determine, perhaps what the intent was and if there was a corrupt intent in that obstruction, but as you obviously rightly point out, constitutionally the president had every right to make the moves that he made, correct?
DERSHOWITZ: Sure. Compared to Nixon. Nixon destroyed evidence personally, told his people to lie, paid hush money to potential federal witnesses. None of those are within his constitutional authority. Those are act which are criminal. So, then you look at the intention.
DERSHOWITZ: But if the president's acts are lawful and you know, I made this argument from day one and Attorney General Barr picked up my argument when he wrote his letter before he was appointed attorney general.
Look, I have been right from day one and almost all the other pundits and professors have just been dead wrong. It's time for them to fess up, it's time for CNN to issue an apology. CNN banned me from their air because I was being too fair. I was trying to assess --
DERSHOWITZ: -- what the essential issue was, and I wasn't being partisan. They didn't want that. They didn't want that. Fox is prepared to present all sides of the issues. I'm a liberal Democrat who voted for Hillary Clinton but you have me on the air.
CNN wouldn't have me on the air because they only want the one-sided presentation. And everybody who watched CNN was shocked by the conclusions of the attorney general. Nobody who watched me was shocked because I've been predicting this from day one.
MACCALLUM: Well, we can attest to that, you have. Alan Dershowitz, thank you very much. Great to have you with us here tonight.
So, should House intel committee chairman Adam Schiff stepped down after he repeatedly claimed that he had evidence that the president had colluded with Russia? Congressman John Ratcliffe sits on the committee. He is next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM SCHIFF, (D) CALIFORNIA: I think there's plenty of evidence of collusion or conspiracy in plain sight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHIFF: There is more than circumstantial evidence. Now there is evidence that is not circumstantial and it's very much worthy of investigation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Wow. I mean, that raised eyebrows. And it would, right? The House intelligence committee chairman, Adam Schiff said there was absolute non-circumstantial evidence that the president and his campaign had colluded with the government in Russia.
So now you have this report that says that that is how it happened. He's facing calls to step down because of how strong the claims he made were and the fact that they appear to be not true. Here's the counselor to the president, Kellyanne Conway.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLYANNE CONWAY, WHITE HOUSE SENIOR ADVISER: He ought to resign today. He's been on every TV show 50 times a day for practically the last two years promising Americans that this president would either be impeached or indicted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Here now Republican Congressman, John Ratcliffe, a member, also, of the House intelligence committee. He joins me now. Congressman Ratcliffe, good to have you with us today.
REP. JOHN RATCLIFFE, R-TEXAS: Hi, Martha.
MACCALLUM: Do you believe that he needs to step down?
RATCLIFFE: Well, let's look at the facts. Let's look at the conduct of Chairman Schiff. As the chairman of the intelligence committee, he accused President Trump of crimes. He did that repeatedly over a two-year period. He said he had evidence of those crimes.
And as you pointed out, Martha, Bob Mueller came back and said that's simply wasn't true. Bob Mueller said there wasn't -- it wasn't that there wasn't sufficient evidence to charge collusion, he said there was no collusion. So --
MACCALLUM: What was Adam Schiff talking about? I mean, you know, I know he was asked this in the hallway today. Let's play what he said in response to the calls for his resignation. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Republicans say you should step down. The say you should step down.
SCHIFF: You know, I'm more than used to attacks by my GOP colleagues and I would expect nothing less. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So, he didn't say much about what his evidence was but he said that he wasn't surprised that you guys were coming after him.
RATCLIFFE: Well, it's not just us, Martha. It's not just Republicans, it's Americans who are concerned about the integrity. Again, this is not just an issue of judgment. This is an issue of integrity, of not telling the truth over a two-year period of essentially yelling fire in a crowded theater to the American people about a false collusion narrative that simply was not true where there was no evidence even though he said he had it.
And I think one of the things that is most troubling, Martha, is as you can see from that, Adam doesn't feel bad about what he did. And in fact, now he wants to double down on it. He wants to continue the investigation into Donald Trump for Russia related crimes, even though the special counsel with the benefit of 20 prosecutors, 40 federal agents, unlimited time, unlimited money, and unlimited resources has said there are no -- there is no evidence.
So why they want to --
MACCALLUM: But I guess --
RATCLIFFE: -- why they want to double down, Martha, on a narrative that is only helping Vladimir Putin is one of the great ironies of the Mueller report summary that we just received.
MACCALLUM: Well, I guess that raises a really important question, which is what, you know, what measures can the House judiciary committee take to demand that he substantiate what he charged.
And then if you believe that this is continuing to exacerbate the success that the Russian government did have, which was to pit everyone in this country against each other for two whole years which was extremely successful, how, you know, how can he be held accountable for that if what you say is true?
RATCLIFFE: Well, Martha, Republicans have held, as people know, our own members accountable when they've been out of line. We've removed them from committees, we've asked them to step aside. The Democrats dug this hole. We're not going to take the shovel out of their hands.
Do they think that the chairman of this the committee that handles all of our intelligence community assets, our most sensitive national security measures saying untruthful things about the president, about evidence against the president for two-year period is something that he should be held accountable for?
MACCALLUM: So, you're saying they have to do it? There's nothing that -- you're part of the equation on the Republican side, on your committee can do?
RATCLIFFE: We're doing it. We're having this discussion before the public about whether or not the American people think that Adam Schiff should continue to be the chairman of the intelligence committee.
MACCALLUM: Yes. Well, the House Minority Leader, Kevin McCarthy has said that he must resign. Dan Crenshaw, Congressman Dan Crenshaw also has said you have been exposed to up the charade. No collusion, move on. So, we will see where all of it goes. Congressman Ratcliffe, thank you so much.
RATCLIFFE: Thanks, Martha.
MACCALLUM: Good to see you tonight, sir.
RATCLIFFE: You, too.
MACCALLUM: Busy night on this Monday evening. Later in the week, I'm going to show you more of my trip to Iwo Jima, which was absolutely incredible and the amazing veterans that I met on this trip who served there and they make you think that some of this stuff is pretty small potatoes. We'll be back tomorrow. Have a good night.
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