Breaking News
April 22, 2018

The mainstream media has two common themes when discussing politics: When Republicans do something awful, it's "great news for John McCain"; and when Democrats punch back, inevitably the framing is "Democrats in disarray!" "Wasting money!" and "They can't win this.""

So now that the Democratic Party is suing the Trump campaign, Wikileaks and Russia, based on the THEFT of the Clinton campaign emails and the COLLUSION to get those emails into the hands of the Trump campaign, it's time for Chuck Todd to worry aloud that this is a fool's errand.

TRANSCRIPT via NBC h/t Heather:

CHUCK TODD: Welcome back, the 2016 presidential campaign never ends, does it? It won't. Well, in 2050 we'll be arguing about it. But on Friday, the Democratic National Committees filed a lawsuit against the Trump campaign, the Russian government and WikiLeaks alleging that they engaged in a conspiracy to sabotage Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump become president. Joining me now to discuss this development is the Chair of the DNC, Tom Perez. Mr. Chairman, welcome back to the show.

DNC CHAIR TOM PEREZ: Always a pleasure to be back with you, Chuck.

CHUCK TODD: All right, let me start with uh-- this. Why this lawsuit right now? And I ask this because the president toys with interfering with the Mueller probe and Democrats are quick to say, "Let it run its course." This to me is a lawsuit. You're making a claim that Mueller hasn't made yet. Why not wait for the Mueller probe to end before you file your lawsuit?

DNC CHAIR TOM PEREZ: Sure. Well, there are three basic reasons. Number one, you have to file claims in a timely manner under statute of limitations. I don't know when Director Mueller's investigation is going to end, nor would I ever ask him because I want him to do a good, thorough job. And so we need to protect our rights under the appropriate statute of limitations.

CHUCK TODD: When was this going to expire? How close to this deadline are we?

PEREZ: Well if we-- well, again, I don't know when Director Mueller is going to file his complaint. Or whatever action he takes.

CHUCK TODD: But you believe you couldn't have filed a lawsuit if--

PEREZ: Well, again--

CHUCK TODD: --you waited a couple weeks?

PEREZ: --well, again, but we don't know when Director Mueller is going to act. And so, this notion-- And, again, I don't want to ask him when he's going to act. And so we have to protect our rights. But secondly, we've done our homework, Chuck. A year ago people were saying, "File a lawsuit then." And I didn't do that because I believe in doing your homework. And over the course of the last year we have seen, I think, a mountain of evidence of collusion between the campaign and the Russians to basically effect our democracy. And so we did our homework and we brought our civil case. And then finally I'm worried about these mid-term elections because they did this with impunity. You know, General McMaster said that we- we haven’t-- we failed to impose sufficient costs on Russia. Well, we know why I think they failed to impose sufficient costs on Russia for this dramatic and reckless and- and unprecedented attack, because this administration is compromised. I want to make sure we send a very clear signal.

CHUCK TODD: I want to-- I'm curious of- of who you chose to include in the lawsuit and who you didn't. You have Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, Roger Stone. You don't have Michael Flynn. He's somebody that- that's been charged. I'm curious why has Michael Flynn not included? No Steve Bannon, no Corey Lewandowski, no Kellyanne Conway, three other people who served as sort of campaign chairs or managers. But you do have Manafort. What was the decision making to go with who got in and who didn't?

PEREZ: Well, we brought a case against the people that we feel there's sufficient evidence to move forward in a civil case. That doesn't preclude us from moving to amend the case as we discover more evidence.

CHUCK TODD: But you don't think there's enough evidence on Michael Flynn, huh?

TOM PEREZ: Well, again, we want to make sure-- I'm a big believer in making sure that I have confidence in every aspect of my case. And in the Watergate case that was brought by Larry O'Brien, former chair of the DNC, that complaint was amended over time. I am confident that we will file an amended complaint over time.

Don't gloss over this important factoid like Chuck Todd did. There *IS* historical precedent for the DNC's lawsuit. Maybe Todd's too young to remember this personally, but there really is no excuse for an alleged political junkie like Todd to not have studied this. What we fold into the collective term "Watergate" that resulted in the resignation of Richard Nixon as president before he was impeached would not have been initiated without the lawsuit on behalf of the DNC by Larry O'Brien. The parallels could not be more clear, except perhaps to a news show host deeply invested in both-siderism. Instead, Todd looks for a way to ... wait for it... blame Hillary.

CHUCK TODD: Did Hillary Clinton push you to do this? Was this— was this something, is she supportive?

TOM PEREZ: You'll have to ask Secretary Clinton--

CHUCK TODD: You don't know if she's supportive of this move or not?

TOM PEREZ: I have- I have not consulted Hillary Clinton to ask her permission to file a complaint. The buck stops with Tom Perez. And we filed this complaint because-- our democracy is at risk. This was an assault on our democracy and we have to protect that.

Exhibit, part the zillionth, that the mainstream media really doesn't care about the country. Tom Perez is speaking about an assault on a fundamental pillar of our democracy, and Chuck Todd wants to know how Hillary Clinton feels about it.

CHUCK TODD: I spoke with a legal expert on my show on Friday who said he believes under federal law that your claims, if it does come to trial, will have to be decided by a judge, not a jury. That you won't get a jury trial because of the statute that you're using. Are you concerned if you don't get a jury trial?

TOM PEREZ: I'm confident we'll get a jury trial. And we've had plenty of legal experts looking at—

CHUCK TODD: So you don't believe that this is--

TOM PEREZ: I don't, I don’t agree with that at all.

CHUCK TODD: You don't agree with that. All right. Let me ask you a few different reactions to this. First, let me put up what Donald Trump's campaign manager for 2020, Brad Parscale said, "This is a sham lawsuit about a bogus Russian collusion claim filed by a desperate, dysfunctional and nearly insolvent Democratic Party. They've sunk to a new low to raise money," referring to this criticism that you guys are just doing this to raise money. Let me ask you this, are you using the lawsuit to raise money?

TOM PEREZ: No. And I'm laughing, Chuck, because those are almost the precise quotes we heard from the Nixon campaign in 1972 when this was filed. We're bringing this lawsuit to seek justice, to expose the truth and to deter future behavior. We have elections coming up. They tried to interfere. They interfered in 2016. They did it with impunity. And they're trying to do it again. And we've got to deter it. This is an attack on our democracy. And we need to – we can fight for good health care, we can fight for good jobs and we can fight to preserve our democracy. In fact, we must do that.

CHUCK TODD: All right, I'm going to ask you a question that apparently came up on a conference call that you had with some state party leaders. And this was from Slate. It said, "I just mentioned this to a county," this is referring to somebody, we don't know who it was on the call, but a state party official. "I just mentioned this to a county chair and her response was, 'How can we spend all that money?' So can you address that, the financial burden that's going to be on us?" I will ask you, how much money is this going to cost the DNC? How much money are you taking away from 2018 to focus on 2016 and Russia?

Again, JUST THE FUTURE OF DEMOCRACY IN THIS COUNTRY, Chuck. Not a small deal. Where were your concerns about being able to afford tax cuts to milliionaires?

TOM PEREZ: Chuck, we can't afford not to do this because when you look ahead and you see what, what was done before and what they're trying to do again, our democracy is at stake. It's hard to win elections when you have interference in elections. We've been winning elections. We know how to walk and chew gum. We've got boots on the ground right now in Arizona. We have a – we have a great candidate. She's an undeniable underdog but we're fighting there. We just won in, in Wisconsin.

CHUCK TODD: You didn't answer, how much money is this lawsuit gonna take this year? Millions?

TOM PEREZ: I don't know. I don't know the amount of money that it will take. But I’ll tell you, it's hard to put a price tag on preserving democracy. And you know what, that's why I concluded that it would be irresponsible of me not to do this.

CHUCK TODD: Jackie Speier, Democrat from California, Claire McCaskill office. Claire McCaskill's office called it a silly distraction, the lawsuit. Jackie Speier, a Democrat who's on House Intel Committee has seen all of this stuff says it's ill-conceived and not in the interest of the American people. What would you tell them?

TOM PEREZ: I love those two Democrats. They're good -- great people. We're working to help re-elect them and I disagree with them for the simple reason that preserving our democracy is priceless. And when you have elections that have been attempted, you've seen attempted interference in the past. They're going to do it again. And by the way, I would love to introduce them to some of my colleagues on the DNC. At the end of this, they were trying to bring about chaos, Chuck. And they did. We had people on my team at the DNC who got death threats. And do you know what, when you try to do that to our team, yeah, I'm going to punch back. I'm punching back not only for my colleagues. I'm punching back for democracy. That's what we believe in as Democrats. Elections should be fair. I understand people may agree and disagree. But you know what, we're fighting for them.

This lawsuit has won already, because it has changed the narrative of Donald Trump from "who knows what happened?" to NIXONIAN in one news cycle.

Can you help us out?

For 18 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.