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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  February 4, 2022 8:00am-9:01am PST

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02/04/22 02/04/22 . democracy now! amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> the country is so try to absorb the emotional impact of the events that brought us right up to the edge of a real coup in america. amy: as donald trump openly admits he tried to overturn the 2020 election, we will speak to commerce member jamie raskin, who serves on the house select
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committee, on the genworth six attack. he is the subject of a new msnbc documentary called "love and the constitution." it gives an inside view of how the maryland democrat responded to 20 tragedies in the week after the 2020 election, the attempted coup and the suicide of his own son. >> we were not the only family and that god-awful year to lose a family member. if you had -- at of covid-19, opioid debts, gun violence, and all of the other normal causes, millions of people lost loved ones. pres. biden: amen. >> we are surrounded by an american carnage. amy: into chicago, where protest erupted over the early release of the x police officer jason van dyke, who murdered 17-year-old laquan mcdonald in 2014, shooting him 16 times. >> no justice1
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>> no peace! amy: we will speak with will calloway, who pushed the release of the video of laquan's murder and justin blake's uncle. like and calloway were both to tate last night calling for federal civil charges against the officers. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. president biden on thursday -- president might has confirmed the death of abu ibrahim al-hashimi al-qurayshi. biden blamed him for that death at least 13 people, including women and children, who died as
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-- the early morning rape. pres. biden: as our troops approach to capture the terrace, and cowardice, with no regards to the lives of anyone in the building, he chose to blow himself up the blowup that third-floor rather than face justice for the crimes he has committed, taking several members of his family with him, just as his predecessor did. amy: witnesses described a gruesome scene inside the partially-destroyed compound, with six children and four women among the dead. images showed remnants of u.-made explosive devices scattered near the site of the assault. thursday's raid came less than a week after defense secretary lloyd austin directed the military to do more to protect civilians from harm in u.s. one strikes and other combat operations. russian president vladimir putin has met chinese leader xi jinping for talks in beijing , coinciding with the start of
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the winter olympic games. it was president xi's first face-to-face meeting with another world leader in nearly two years due to the pandemic. in a joint statement, putin and xi called for an end to nato expansion in eastern europe and blasted the newly-formed aukus military alliance between the united states, united kingdom , and australia. xi and putin also discussed a deal on a new pipeline that would ship russian gas to china. the biden administration has accused ssia of fabricatina pretext to invade ukraine. state department spokesperson ned price said thursday he has evidence the russian government is planning to stage a false flag operation by producing a propaganda video falsely incriminating ukraine's military or intelligence forces for attacks. >> a video with graphic scenes at false explosions depicting corpses, images of destroyed locations of military equipment
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-- entirely fabricated by russian intelligence. amy: the claims drew skepticism from reporters. this is associated press diplomatic writer matt lee questioning ned price. >> crisis actors? this is like valid showed's territory you're getting into now. -- this is like alex jones territory you're getting into now. >> this is derived from information known the this government intelligent information we have declassified. >> where is it? where is this information? >> it is intelligence information we have declassified. >> where is the declassified information? >> i just delivered it. amy: russia's foreign minister dismissed the claims as total disinformation and once again denied russia is planning to invade ukraine. global coronavirus cases have begun to decline from record highs set in late january as new infections from the omicron variant continue to fall in the united states and much of
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europe. countries worldwide are still reporting more than 3 million infections and over 10,000 deaths per day. in south africa, workers at a technology transfer hub launched by the world health organization have produced the continent's first-ever domestically produced doses of mrna vaccines. the afrigen biologics vaccine candidate was produced using a publicly available, reverse-engineered sequence of moderna's covid vaccin it was produced without the assistance and approval of moderna or pfizer-biontech after the drug companies refused to transfer technology for the life-saving vaccines to countries inhe global south. in chicago, the former police officer who shot and killed black teenager laquan mcdonald in 2014 walked free from prison thursday. jason van dyke, who is white, served a little over three years -- less than half his nearly-seven-year prison
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sentence -- before being released for good behavior. van dyke shot 17-year-old laquan mcdonald 16 times, but the chicago police department attempted to cover up the events with the help of then-mayor rahm emanuel. activists are now calling for federal charges against van dyke. several protests took place in chicago yesterday, including in front of the federal plaza. this is bishop tavis grant of the rainbow push coalition. >> we know that night 12 officers were on the scene who did not render aid to laquan mcdonald and he died on the street. we know reports were falsified. we know witnesses were tampered with. we know the video was suppressed by city hall for over 400 days. 16 shots and a cover-up. amy: reverend jesse jackson was also present. he hand-delivered a letter to the u.s. attorney's office in chicago backing the call for federal charges. later in the broadcast, we'll
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speak with community organizer will calloway, who pushed for the release of the video showing laquan mcdonald's murder that -- and we will also be joined by justin blake, the uncle of jacob blake. here in new york city, president biden met with mayor eric adams thursday on a visit to discuss efforts to reduce violent crime. eric adams, a former police captain, ran on a law-and-order platform. biden spoke during a news conference at the nypd headquarters with adams, governor kathy hochul, and new york lawmakers. pres. biden: mayor adams, you and i agree, the answer is not to abandon our streets. that is not the answer. the answer is to come together. building trust and making us all safer. the answer is not to defund the police, it is to give you the tools, the training, the funding to be partners, to be protectors, and the community needs you. amy: at least one refugee drowned and 16 others are missing at sea after their boat
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capsized off the spanish island -- canary islands and stay night. about 40 other refugees were rescued. meanwhile, at least 12 refugees froze to death on the greece-turkey border wednesday. turkey's inrior minister accused greek border guards of expelling the refugees back into turkey after taking their shoes and stripping them off some of their clothing. greece denies the claims as false propaganda. in mission, texas, the national butterfly center is closing down indefinitely after facing years of harassment from right-wing groups. in 2019, the conservation center sued the trump administration and the group "we build the wall" to prevent construction of the u.s.-mexico border wall on the its property. right-wing groups proceeded to smear the national butterfly center and started a conspiracy theory that the nonprofit facilitates human and sex trafficking. the center says it hopes to reopen as soon as it becomes safe for its staff and visitors.
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in a historic victory for international labor rights, thousands of mexican workers at a general motors plant voted to form an independent union. thursday's union election was the first ever since the implementation of new labor reforms in mexico, written into the u.s.-mexico and canada agreemt. many powerful unions in mexico, with ties to elite politicians and businesspeople, had for years gone behind workers' backs to make deals with multinational corporations to keep workers' pay low and deny them other benefits. with an independent union, gm workers in silao have now broken ties with one of mexico's most influential labor organizations, which had held the plant's contract for 25 years. and in nicaragua, the criminal trials of dozens of opponents of president daniel ortega's government, including students, journalists, activists, and political leaders, resumed this
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week. several were jailed last year leading up to november's election, where ortega won a fourth term. this is the mother of yaser vado gonzález, a member of the opposition party unamos, who was convicted tuesday. >> it makes no sense for it to go on like this. there has to be a solution for this problem, for this conflict we are going through. there has to be a solution within the state of nicaragua come in the government, and the citizens. many mothers are suffering. wives and children, too. as a mother, i understand all of their feelings. amy: and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. when we come back, congressmember jamie raskin. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
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amy: "as the world caves in" by matt maltese. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. as more details emerge about the deadly january 6 insurrection and how donald trump and his allies plotted to overturn the 2020 election, we begin today's show with congressmember jamie raskin, a democrat from maryland. raskin serves on the house select committee investigating the january 6 attack and was the lead manager in the second
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impeachment trial of donald trump following the insurrection. congressmember raskin was inside the house on january 6, as was his daughter and son-in-law, when trump supporters attacked the capitol. the january 6 insurrection came at a tragic moment for the raskin family. just days earlier, jamie raskin's 25-year-old son tommy died by suicide. he was a student at harvard. raskin writes about these events in a new memoir titled "unthinkable: trauma, truth, and the trials of american democracy." there is also a new documentary about congressmember jamie raskin titled "love and the constitution." it airs on sunday night on msnbc. this is the film's trailer. >> some saying, trump is not what the. the question is whether the constitution is worth it.
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i know one thing really well, which is about the constitution and the rule of law and american democracy. it is like everybod knows one thing and my turn came up. i did not know if i would be able to do anything again. anyone who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. democracy is fragile. at this hour, democracy has prevailed. >>, loved the world, loved democracy. i feel like i honor him. amy: the trailer to "love and the constitution," directed by violent carter come who began work on the documentary in 2018. carter was filming inside congressmember jamie raskin's home on election night 2020 and captured this moment when he spoke with his son tommy as results came in. >> you state of or did you go to
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sleep -- you state or did you go to sleep? [indiscernible] >> my kids are so freaked out. trump is going to be so -- we're going to win this narrowly and trump is going to be fighting every step of the way. we will be fighting about this until we get into the new congress, until january 6. amy: congressmember jamie raskin speaking on election night 2020 in a clip from "love and constitution." trump's efforts to overturn the election would soon begin.
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in the documentary, raskin goes on to talk about trump's efforts to overturn the election. >> the country is still trying to absorb the emotional impact events that brought us right up to the edge of a real coup in america. we kidnap -- we cannot have healing before we have an honest reckoning. this president must be held accountable for the role he has played. amy: we will be joined by the from's madeleine carter later in the program. but first, we go to congressmember jamie raskin of maryland who has the eighth congressional district since 2017. he is married to sarah bloom raskin, who has been nominated are president biden to become the top banking regulator at the federal reserve and underwent serious grilling yesterday.
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congressmember jamie raskin, welcome to democracy now! it is great to have you with us. >> thank you for having me. amy: the name of your book is "unthinkable: trauma, truth, and the trials of american democracy." you were the lead impeachment manager in president trump's second impeachment trial. you are a member of the house select committee investigating the january 6 capitol insurrection, which is where i want to start come even before january 6 because you are right there in the house when the attack took place. i what to take this sequentially, how this went. you were already reeling because your son tommy -- and i want to offer my condolences to your whole family because i have not had a chance to talk to you personally in this last year --
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took his own life on new year's eve. you were there with your family, some members come your daughter and now your son-in-law. you decided to go january 6 for the certification of the vote because it was that important to you. can you talk about that moment? can you talk about those days and what happened next? >> well, it was a constitutional responsibility for me to be there, for the whole congress to be there. it is in the 12th amendment the first dnesday in january, congress meets on a joint session to receive the electoral college votes. we knew that trump was doing everything in his power to try to overturn the election, as he said this last weekend. first, they were in a relatively legitimate sphere when they went to more than 16 different courts, federal and state, to
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alleged electoral fraud and corruption. and every court rejected their claim. that is what creates a comprehensive documentary record that their whole attack on election, the big lie is based on a tissue of propaganda and nonsense. but then they moved -- they escalated into increasingly legitimate things trying to get the step legislatures -- state legislators to substitute in trump electoral college slate and then go into election officials, several dozen of them, most prominently secretary of state brad raffensperger in georgia, to try to intimidate them and browbeat them into concocting a victory for trump, making a vote in that case, finding over 11,000 votes. from there, he moved to the plan of which they ended up not going
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forward with because they could not get into department to cooperate with, but they wanted to seize the election machinery. and from there, the attack was on michael flynn. this is something we have predicted they would try to get flynn to announce extraconstitutional powers, powers outside the constitution to unilaterally eject and repudiate electoral college votes coming in from the states. speaker pelosi task to me and a few other members with the job of getting ready to answer the objections to particular -- the receipt of particular electoral college votes. as i described in the book, amy, basically prepared for everything except for a violent insurrection overrunning the house and the senate. amy: congressmember raskin, it is not like you did not have
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warning. i want to go back to another clip from the new mess nbc documentary "love and the constitution," beginning with donald trump's former personal attorney michael cohen testifying before you, testifying in congress in 2019. >> given my experience working for mr. trump, i fear that if he loses the election in 2020, there will never be a peaceful transition of power. this is why i agreed to appear before you today. [applause] >> michael cohen, did issue a stark warning to the country that if donald trump lost, there would be no peaceful transition, no way he would accept it. that is are frightening and startling thing for the president's own lawyer to say about him, but it seemed far off at that people have said from the beginning there is no way he would do that, know anybody
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would do that. amy: that is congress member jamie raskin. at the end, you're shaking the hand of mr. cohen, but you did not believe what he wasaying, is that right? >> actually, when i looked at some of the footage that madeleine carter had filmed, i was saying i think there will be violence all the way up to january 6, i was amazed that i kept predicting that. but what i had not predicted was it would be so overwhelming that we would not be able to stop it. when tabatha and hank decided to come with me -- of course, we were absolutely devastated on january 6 because we had buried tommy on january 5 in a covid-19 funeral where we could only have 20 people there.
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when they decided to come with me, they said, will we be ok because donald trump is telling us people to come to washington. i said, of course, we will be inside the capitol. the image i had in my mind, amy, june 2 when black had a protest at the capitol and there was a huge failings of national guardsmen and women holding bayonets and weapons on the steps of the capitol, and that was the image that came to mind. that was the day after trump and william barr had unleashed that paramilitary police riot against protesters in lafayette square. essentially, you know, what i had not seen was that we would be militarily prepared sufficiently to defend the capitol building, the house and senate, and there would be this band of violent extremists, white nationalists with oath keepers, militiamen, you know,
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there were area nations that came to lead the mob and smashed out our windows and began the assault on the police officers. that was the part that was not foreseen. like most members of congress, i was walking around with assurance in my mind that if one person tried evade the metal detectors and run into the capitol, they would be shot on site. we were overrun by more than 900 rioters. like lindsey graham said that day, we all could have died. anyone of them could have had a bomb. we are lucky that the secret service at trump's rally were taking people for weapons because that is why most of the extremists left their arms and a car or back in the hotel or motel because they were going to the rally. but had they not, it could have
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been a very different situation. there would've been a lot more deaths than there were. it was a deadly riot as it was, but that riot surrounding the insurrection and the insurrection surrounded the coup, whose details are surfacing now through our investigation. amy: i want to talk about those details, but you're separated from your daughter tabatha and from hank, now your son-in-law, because you are on the floor of the house. talk about where you went and your fear for them, where they went. >> well, take was my son-in-law then. he had eloped in a covid-19 wedding with our daughter hannah, gary to our older daughter, had like an elvis presley wedding in nevada. they had come in -- they wanted to see me speak, which was nice, and they saw the speeches i was giving defending the electoral count and explain what our constitutional role was. we were not there to take a
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president, but to receive the electoral college votes from the states as they had been cast by the people of the s states. but after that was over, they wanted to go back to steny hoyer's office. they went back there. so when we were overrun, the siege began, i was separated from them and they were with my chief of staff julie. they dedicated themselves in -- they barricaded themselves in steny hoyer's office and pushed all of the furniture up against the door and tabatha and hank were hiding under a desk for a few hours while people were pounding on the door and they could hear the right place outside. amy: and yet you have somebody denying what took place, even though they themselves were threatened like you are. i want to talk about the latest of elements and what you think is the most significant revelation to come out of your committee right now.
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those who have testified, those who haven't. vice president pence has not yet testified but marc short come his chief of staff, has testified we have learned. not to mention others, for example, well, talk about what happened this week. yet testimony from a prison. >> yeah, we did. amy: can you talk about that? >> as i was saying, i view it as taking place in three rings of activity, each is fascinating and important to understand in its own respect. there was a mass demonstration for a wild protest called by donald trump that turned into a riot. that is very important press to understand, how i demonstration became a riot and how a crowd became a mob and the role that social media played in that. the realm of the insurrection with the domestic violent extremist groups, how they were
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coordinated and what kinds of contact they had with the immediate political entourage surrounding donald trump. but at the red-hot core of it was the realm of the coup. it is a strange word to use because we don't have a lot of experience with coupin our own country, and we think of a coup a something taking place against her president but this was a coup orchestrated by the president against vice president and against the congress in order to overthrow the normal constitutional order and the workings of our electoral process. to seize the presidency for another four years. from everything i have seen so far, i am convinced donald trump was absolutely hell-bent on staying in office. this was not some kind of accidental improvisational thing that got out of control at a big demonstration. no, this was methodical and organized and they really were depending on mike pence just to
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negate the electoral college votes -- which he had no power to do. but that would have activated under the 12 them, -- amendment, where we would move the house of representatives to vote immediately a new president in post a few you ask, why would they want the house to be voting with speaker pelosi in charge? under the 12th amendment, we're not voting whenever, one vote, we're voting one state, when both. after the 2020 election, they knew well they had 27 state delegations in the house, we had 22. his of any was tied right in the middle. -- pennsylvania was tied right in the middle. even if they had lost a representative from -- liz cheney's vote, they still would've had the votes. they cap talking about we are turning the votes to the state.
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i think they understood there would've have been an immediate vote and they would have declared victory for trump. he likely would have invoked the insurrection act declared martial law as michael flynn was urging him to do. and he would have called in the naonal guard that have been held at bay for several hours over the course of the rioting to put down the insurrectionary chaos he had at least against us and pronounced himself a hero for doing that. and i think we were very close to that having happened. and any a number this could have gone in a number of different directions that would have led to that outcome. anything could have happened within insurrection and a coup. there could've been civil war. amy: what did you learn this week about the founder and leader of the far right oath keepers, the militia group, who appeared from prison -- he is facing sedition charges -- stewart rhodes? what did he testify and what connections do you believe he has to either trump or trump's
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inner circle? >> i'm afraid i cannot answer that. forgive me, we have not release that transcript yet. we cannot talk about the details or the specific interviews and depositions into the committee has made them public. amy: i want to bring madeleine carter into this conversation, the director of the documentary that will be airing on msnbc at 10:00 eastern on sunday night, following the life and political journey of you come of congressmember jamie raskin. madeline, can you talk about when you decided to do this for no? -- can you tell us about when you decided to do this film? >> i think i started trying to convince him in january 2018. i did not start filming until july 4 2018.
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amy: commerce member raskin is your cox memory? clubs that is true. what happened is on the same day -- skews me, say month, january 2017, donald trump became my president and jamie raskin became a congressman. literally from the early weeks, jamie became a trump -- i watched jamie as he was valiantly trying to bring the public light to trump's and lewis e --ndless atrocities and lawbreaking. so about a year into both of their terms, i thought, i would really like to make a film about jamie holding up democracy
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against trump. amy: iant too back to another clip of your film "love and the constitution." >> what is america such a next-door and eric country? -- extraordinary country? we are not unified by virtue of one ideology or one religion. we are unified by one constitution and one rule of law and the values under our constitution. it is an aspiration to challenge to us the constitution should not be some kind of fetish document. it should be the living commitment that we all have to make democracy work in service of the common good. amy: there you have a clip of film "love and the constitution ." how did your film change over
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these few years you have been working on this now for four years, from when you started to what it has become? >> it changed radically. when i started, mueller and his team had been investigating for about a year. i and many others expected the mueller report wld come out in the summer or fall of 2018i expected that would lead to the house judiciary committee's investigating and impeaching trump. jamie was on that house judiciary committee. when i started out, i thought i was gog to make a one ye now following the impeachment of trump sorted through t eyes of jamie, who was on the house judiciary committee. but of course, things kept --
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things did not happen that way and other things kept happening. so i just kept filming because i kept not having an ending. amy: but you ultimately did. i mean, at this point, what happened january 6, to say the least, has not been resolved. >> that is true. and to this day -- to tell you the truth, i wish i were still making the film and still following jamie as he is working on the january 6 select committee because -- but there may never be an ending to our trump woes. maybe i will have to do a part 2. amy: i want to go to the final clip we have from the film "love and the constitution." this is congressmember raskin reflecting on the death of tommy , his son, and the pandemic. >> we were not the only family
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in the god-awful year to lose a family member. if you add up covid-19, opioid deaths, gun violence, and all of the other normal causes, lien's of people lost loved ones. pres. biden: amen. >> we are indeed surrounded by american carnage. amy: "american carnage" echoing president trump's inaugural address. jamie raskin, can you talk about what happened and how that has shaped all that you have done? it was incredibly brave of you after losing your son, to move forward and be at the center of both the impeachment -- the chief impeachment manager and then, of course, chief congressmember on the january 6 select committee. >> i felt i had no choice. i thought tommy was with me.
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i felt him in my heart, in my chest. those were scary days because we did not know which way things were going. the extreme right websites were continuing to agitate war, finishing the job. there were death threats flying all over the place. i felt then, as i do now, that democracy is on the line and in danger. you know, for most of the history of our species, people have lived under kings and queens and bullies like donald trump. democracy, as lincoln said, a very fragile experiment and every generation has to ask whether government of the people, by the people, for the people will perish from the earth because it could easildo that in the enemies of democracy all over the world, including in america, including people like
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steve bannon, are agitating the destruction of democracy or what they call the deep state. the deep state based on government by the people as opposed to dictators and would be dictators like donald trump. amy: are we going to see donald trump come before the committee? and are we going to see public hearings? can you talk about how the watergate hearings affected you and how significant they were for the country and what it would mean to have the same thing today around january 6? >> watergate hearings had a cleansing effect on at least the psyche of the country. i don't know that it fully dislodged all of the structures of power that have immobilized against democra, but we have to have hearings that get people the truth. my dad used to say that democracy needs the grounto stand on and that ground is the
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truth. people he to be aware of exactly what took place so we can fortify our institutions in our processes against the next coup, against the next violent insurrection. people understand the way that donald trump exploited these domestic violent extremist groups come these white nationalist groups, but they exploited him, too. they used him. when they had to unite the right rally in charlottesville in august 2017, they could only muster togher 5 people. they were much more isolated. after several years of trump and trump's on organizing for january 6, there were several thousand at the front of the march of 40,000 or 50,000 people. the almost knocked over the governor of the united states. whenou look at what they say, their only regret is they did not bring all of their guns with them and they left them back in their hotel and motel rooms.
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amy: up with a new york times coastal recently reported that nearly two dozen republicans who publicly questioned disputed the 2020 election results are running for secretaries of state across the country. >> trump at his forces wa to seize the electoral apparatus, so they will be the ones making all of the decisions about which vos count and which do not count. it is not only an obvus plan, it is an explicit plan on their part and one of my colleagues running for secretary of state in georgia, to oust raffensperger who they accuse of disloyalty to the trump regime. so that is where we are right now. we cannot fight the left -- last battle alone. you have to fortify congress the best weekend that we have to be fighting in every
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state to defend neutral administration of the election laws, the traditions of nonpartisan or at least bipartisan election administration, which they want to replace with partisan election administration. in som places, they just want the state legislature in republican hands to be controlling the elections. we have to deal with that threat, which is overwhelming. as well as do what we can to defend the right to vote, even though they have used the filibuster as one of their anti-democrat to pass -- prevent from passing putting rights legislation. we have the will of the majority. hillary beat him. our numbers are growing. it is against the voter suppression, the gerrymandering, manipulation of the electoral college, booby-traps throughout and then to stealing elections which is what this whole attack on election is all about.
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amy: could you comment on the hearing yesterday around your wife being confirmed to the federal reserve? "the washington post" scratcher as chapek by democrats easy to install bank regulator with a focus on climate change. criticized by republicans who don't believe climate change belongs in conversations about the financial system or economic stability. it was a serious grilling, the senateanking committee. >> well, let's just say -i was not there. i only caught parts of it. sarah has been unanimously or nearing unanimously confirmed by the u.s. senate in bipartisan fashion twice. so none of this is about her qualifications to serve. obviously, because the senate itself has approved and confirmed her two times before.
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all of this is about things that she has said or written about climate change. she says she will follow the law and act completely within the dual mandate, but what they're attacking is there can be citizens who are fully aware of climate change, who take it seriously, who can serve honorably and lawfully in other capacities. it is outrageous attack on her qualifications, of course, but she is tough. but ju on the idea you can even be cognizant of climate change and serve in different governmental functions is an amazing thing. amy: demo credit represented jamie raskin of maryland, husband of sarah bloom raskin, member of the house select committee investigating the january 6 capitol insurrection. jamie raskin's new book is "unthinkable: trauma, truth, and
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the trials of american democracy." i want to and i asking madeleine carter, the director of the new msnbc documentary "love and the constitution," which is premiering sunday night, what you want people to take away from and why you named the film "love and the constitution." >> what i want people to take away is one person can make a difference. jamie is making a huge difference in democracy and in saving constitutional democracy, but one person can make a difference just by driving a neighbor to the polls. there is plenty of work to be done by all of us. that is my main message. in terms of naming it "love and the constitution," i thought of that title at about 2:00 a.m. one morning in october because that really describes what the film is about. the film is about jamie's love
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for his son, obviously, but jamie's love for the constitution and for american democracy is really what is helping him get through this terrible life-changing loss of tommy. amy: i want to thank you so much for being with us, madeleine carter. congratulations on this film. it will appear on msnbc 10:00 p.m. eastern time on sunday night and then move onto peacock. next up, we go to chicago where protests erupted thursday over the early release of the x police officer jason van dyke who murdered 17-year-old laquan mcdonald in 2014. shooting him to death 16 times. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
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amy: the song inspired by the new york police shooting death of limited yellow. on this day in 1999, february 4, he was killed in a hail of police bullets after cops mistook his wallet for a gun. four officers fired 41 times, failing it the 23-year-old immigrant 19 times. this is democracy now! i'm amy goodman. in chicago, the former police officer who murdered black teenager quan mcdonald in 2014 walked free from prison thursday. jason van dyke, who is white, served a little over three years, less than half his nearly seven-year prison sentence, before being released for good behavior. van dyke shot 17-year-old laquan mcdonald 16 times, but the chicago police department attended a cover-up of the of its with the help of then mayor rahm emanuel. activists are calling for federal charges against van
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dyke. several protests took place in chicago yesterday, quitting affront of federal plaza a reverend jesse jackson hand-delivered a letter to the u.s. attorney's office in chicago backing the call for federal charges. for more, we go to chicago to speak with two activists who were arrested and released last last night after their non-violent direct action in the lobby of the federal building courthouse with others, including mcdonald's grandmother. will calloway is a chicago community organizer and violence interrupter who pushed for the release of the video that showed van dyke killing mcdonald. also with us is justin blake, the uncle of jacob blake. jacob blake was left paralyzed every was shot by police officers in kenosha, wisconsin, as he was reaching in his car and three of his children looked on in the backseat. we welcome you both to democracy now! will calloway, talk about what happened. jason van dyke was convicted of
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second-degree murder and 16 charges of aggravated battery for shooting laquan mcdonald 16 times. how did you get the seven-your sentence and how did he get out with a little over three years yesterday? >> what it boils down to, -- first of all, thank you for having us on this morning. what abounds to, this is just a system that was created to allow officers to kill african-americans with impunity and provide them this level of insured protection. this is the manifestation of that. what the judge did on january 19, 2019 was he decided to only sentence jason van dyke for the second-degree murder account and completely ignore the 16 counts of aggravated battery, which in the state of illinois, carries six to 30 years for every count.
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he was convicted of second-degree murder and convicted of 16 counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, the firearm. i the state of illinois, that carries six to 30 if there was rain consecutively. and porcelain, the judge decided not to's instance him appropriately -- unfortunately, the judge decided not to sentient him appropriately. bare minimum of three years in prison and now he's able to come home. individuals in cook county joe, several miles from where we're at right now, there are people in pretrial detention for nonviolent drug offenses that are in detention right now that have spent more time in the cook county jail than jason van dyke has spent in the state penitentiary for murder. and that is a miscarriage of justice.
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amy: talk about the call for federal charges. for people to understand, the mcmichaels in georgia went through a state trial and they're supposed to be a federal trial. they are trying to make a plea agreement. yet the police officers involved with the killing of george floyd. you have the state trial and you have the federal trial. why weren't there federal charges brought against jason van dyke, will? >> thank you for mentioning the situation in georgia with ahmaud arbery and the situation that happened with george floyd as well. those cases are the precedent that set -- even in carolina in 2015 with ex-police shooting michael scott, federal charges. it when it comes to laquan mcdonald and jason van dyke, listen, when jason van dyke murdered laquan mcdonald,
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several months after it happened, the u.s. attorney's office under the obama administration -- the united district -- united states district attorney for our district, when he was in office, he specifically said he wanted to wait for the state trial to play out first because if he were to take over and the case went south, he would not been able to hold jason van dyke accountable because of double jeopardy. so he wanted the state trial to play out first. but by the time the state trial played out, which was 2018, october 5, we had a new presidential administration that made it abundantly clear that there was not going to hold police officers accountable. basically, we have four years of a department of justice that did not actively have any civil-rights probe investigations actively going for anything regarding police.
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so here we are in 2021, 2022 with a new presidential administration that has to be reignited and re- reminded -- be reminded about this case of laquan mcdonald. we are trying to get the new administration -- amy: is it too late for federal charges to be brought? you have laquan mcdonald's grandmother who was detained like you were last night, has called for president biden to intervene. she said, come forward, we need your help, i need your help. could federal charges be brought now? >> yes, absolutely. for a slight correction, she was detained and let go. we were arrested by u.s. marshals. we were arrested and federally charged by this marshals yesterday. we had to appear before a federal judge last evening in order to be released out of
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federal custody. to answer your question, there's no statute of limitations for this crime because when jason van dyke, as a result of what jason van dyke did resulted in the death of laquan mcdonald, therefore there is no statute of limitations. amy: justin, i want to bring you back into the conversation. it was great having you recently with your brother jacob blake talking about your nephew jacob blake. talk about why you're there. again, you both have been arrested, charged federally. jesse jackson was there as well. why is this critical to you? >> thank you for having us again. my big brother sends his love to you. the black family was to be all around this country and the world participating and fighting for justice for african-americans all over this globe. what happened here is unconscionable to think the young man was struck down 16
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bullets and would have been shot with more if one of the officers did not stop van dyke from reloading his gun. this is absurd. this is 2022. if anybody deserves civil rights and liberties, african-americans should. we built this country. we made this country, the richest country in the world with 40 years of free slavery. the date as to where we are able to walk the streets where we are taxpayers and pay the people that are harming us end. we had to come back to our hometown to support my brother will and the great work he has done with his family and to continue to keep the charge going and the torch lit that we need justice for this particular case. where president biden w has t done anying. floyfamilyembers, breonn taor's familybigake, w all feikee halet usown d sold as t. how dare we talk about china and they tat theireople, human righ, whene an america have
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african-americanbeg struck down in the street almost daily. amy: let me ask will calloway. you have rahm emanuel, former mayor of chicago involved with the cover-up of the murder of laquan mcdonald, now confirmed as the besser chip -- to japan. yesterday president biden called for an end to gun violence. you are called a violence interrupter. explain what that is and your response to what it would mean to end gun violence in this country. close being a violence interrupter, what that includes is in our community in south shore, the southeast side of the city, what we do is we engage or we try to remediate different gang conflict or tension between different factions inside our neighborhoods or in the surrounding neighborhoods and the city. we try to mediate that conflict
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by face-to-face interaction, relationship-building, big brother programs, finding a way to channel and funnel a lot of these young men and women out of a life of crime, out of the streets and get them on a righteous trajectory. we have had a lot of support. we have been highlighted by the obama foundation. we need resources in our community. we do not need more policing. scientifically, i think the university of chicago recently did a study that showed more police do not solve -- not only does that not solve crime, but it is not preventative. it is reactionary. in order for us to be proactive, we need people in the community that has relationship with people in the community that will be at risk gun offenders or possibly targets of gun offenders. we need those people to be proactive and provide them with
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the resources so they can go out and methodically eradicate his gun violence. laquan mcdonald was a victim of gun violence. amy: we have to leave it there. we thank you so o much for being with us. will calloway and justin blake. ñ1ñ1ñañañçñçñçñsñsñsñsñçñçñç
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