Quigley Discusses Mr. Stone on MSNBC: I Don't Think Anyone in Their Right Mind Would Believe Him
MELBER: I’m joined now by Congressman Mike Quigley who serves on the Intelligence Committee. Congressman, what is the significance of this news? Viewers who have been following this know there was talk about Cohen publicly testifying. There was his allegations that he was threatened by Donald Trump. Now, it's private testimony. At a baseline level, is
Donald Trump getting part of what he wants out of this?
QUIGLEY: No, I don't think so, ultimately. I think in the end it would serve the American public well to hear Mr. Cohen testify. I mean, after all, he was the person who brought everything together: the political, the financial side, the personal side of the man they know to be President; and here he has said he had chose darkness over light. This is his opportunity to shed some light on what actually took place. So, and I do –
MELBER: Sir, let me push you on that, and I think a lot of people understand what you’re saying and why this is so important, but you talk about light. The Democrats made a big deal out of having public testimony. The Democrats sent a letter saying the President may be committing a crime by tampering with Michael Cohen; and now, tonight, we're not hearing about light for the American public. We’re hearing about a dark hearing.
QUIGLEY: Yeah, there’s really–both are possible. I think what's going to happen…Mr. Cohen will be back before Congress many times. The fact is, under the concerns he has, he is going to begin in closed testimony; and remember, much of what he can share is classified information that he couldn't talk about at a public hearing. I am all for a public meeting in which Mr. Cohen can testify. I think he's probably getting past and dealing with the concerns, the safety concerns, I think he legitimately feels. So, I don't think we have to preclude one or the other. I have no problems starting with the fact that we're dealing with classified material.
MELBER: Yes, sir, and I think that makes a lot of sense. Let me make sure I’m hearing you right. Are you saying that this could be a prelude to Michael Cohen testifying in public before he reports to his prison term?
QUIGLEY: I don't know the “whens.” I certainly encourage them to do that. They're pushing against a lot of forces here, and I think the most extraordinary one is the fear that Mr. Cohen's family feels, which is beyond comprehension that it's coming from the White House. So, I wouldn't -- I wouldn't tell the American public you're not going to see Mr. Cohen. I am confident he will testify in an open hearing. I think he'll begin with this closed hearing that is critical information about how finances worked and how money was funneled through the Trump organization and the Trump campaign. The possibilities of money laundering, the role of Deutsche Bank. It's critical stuff. I don't think we'll get him in an open hearing. We need both.
MELBER: I take your point on all of that and that some of it might even be better that way. I think we understand that. I wanted to press on that. Let me put up on the screen for you and our viewers the number of people who have been before the Committee because one of your colleagues told us last week that there may be at least two other people who criminally lied to the Committee; and there are a lot of folks on this list. Some of them aren't seen necessarily as in that light, based on what we know, such as Lewandowski, Caputo, Parscale; and then there are others who have been publicly questioned for whether they were fully truthful with you…Don Jr., up on the screen, for example. What do you think is important as we move forward, and do you agree with your colleague's assessment that two or more people may have misled the committee?
QUIGLEY: Well, first, they're absolutely right. The fact of the matter is, as you know, we had no one under subpoena. So, Erik Prince, for example, just refused to answer certain questions -- my question in particular; and Prince's testimony was made public. Reading it on its face raises serious questions; and you’ll also add, the facts that we’ve learned after the fact and in other discussions…somebody else is lying.
MELBER: So, are you saying Mr. Prince is one of those at least two individuals?
QUIGLEY: In my mind, I have reasonable belief that Mr. Prince was not completely candid with the Committee. I also believe, as we learned about the Trump Tower Moscow discussions, that the President's spokesmen acknowledged that they went well into the campaign season-- something that Don Jr. said in published Senate testimony was not the case.
MELBER: Do you think he knew then that it was false at the time?
QUIGLEY: Look, what I’m suggesting is that not everybody can be telling the truth here, and there is reasonable suspicion that at least the two I mentioned should be brought back for further questioning.
MELBER: Well, that's fascinating, especially since your Committee has, obviously, the legal subpoena power to do that. Congressman, a lot of developments tonight. I really appreciate you taking the questions, sir.
QUIGLEY: Anytime. Thank you.
MELBER: Congressman Mike Quigley from the Intelligence Committee.