tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC May 26, 2021 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT
floyd conviction of that lead officer in the case give you any hope? >> i always have hope. i always have hope. even my worst times. you know, i have to hang on to that. >> thank you for your time. thank you both. that's tonight's reidout. all new chris hayes starts right now. tonight on "all in" is indicting a former head of state really all that rare. and a reminder that criminal presidents are indeed a thing. >> our long national nightmare is over. >> new reporting on the under mining of democracy in arizona and respond. and did a member of the proud boys participate in the censure
of a nevada election official. on the eve of the big senate vote, the two democrats holding up the investigation. and today's remarkable statement from the white house about the two theories of the covid-19 origin story. "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york, i'm chris hayes. one true test of the nation's legal system is whether it can dispense impartial justice to the most powerful people in the country. often the people are former leaders facing charges for things they have done before, during or after office. they do successfully need out justice to those people. in france the former president is face being a year for corruption, trying to bribe a judge. in korea, serving a 20-year
sentence for corruption and abuse of power. in 2019 the israel prime minister benjamin netanyahu was indicted. his trial is ongoing. his predecessor served 16 months in prison after conviction of bribery and obstruction of justice. the closest contemporary analogue to president donald trump convicted in tax fraud in 2012 and was given a prison sentence he didn't have to serve. in the united states we have never tried or convicted a former president, not once. we have not tested our justice system in that way. some might argue, well, america. what a great country. we have just never had a leader who is a criminal. i would point them to aaron burr shooting and killing alexander
hamilton when dueling was illegal in new york and new jersey. and you can say maybe the justice system wasn't up to the task. the closest that we came was back in 1974 when it was understood that president richard nixon would be indicted for his role in the watergate scandal among other crimes. and then, just one month after taking office his successor, president gerald ford, nixon's vice president, the man who assumed the white house having never been elected made what turned out to be an extremely unpopular decision. >> after years of bitter controversy and devisive debate i am compelled to conclude that many months and more years will have to pass before richard nixon could obtain a fair trial by jury in any jurisdiction of
the united states under governing decisions of the supreme court. therefore i, gerald r. ford, president of the united states, pursuant to the pardon power conferred upon me by article ii, section 2 of the constitution have granted and by these presence do grant a full free and absolute pardon to richard nixon. >> that was it. that was the moment. that is gerald ford saying that's my dude. that is my homie. it won't be fair. he won't get a fair trial if we try him now and he gets to get off. a lot of people argued that it was an inflection point for the ability of the american justice system to apply accountability to those in the highest offices.
30 years later we saw war crimes under the bush administration in the war on terror. torture, ordered and applied and nobody was ever prosecuted. that is where we find ourselves one day after the report from the "washington post" revealing the manhattan district attorney and an ordinary mundane dispenser of justice convened a grandeury that is now expected to decide whether to indict former president donald trump. other executives at the company or the business itself should prosecutors present the panel with criminal charges. today a trump advisor saying there is definitely a cloud of nerves in the air adding the manhattan d.a.'s case feels different because there is pressure on the chief financial
officer weisselberg to flip. the fact that they are dealing with a numbers guy with plain details makes people more nervous. weisselberg who is also under investigation is now at the center of it all. he is under pressure. and he knows if reporting is accurate and many peoples' statements to the effect are accurate, he knows everything about the trump organization's finances. so, will he turn on his former boss, the twice impeached ex-president. jane mayer, wrote a definitive piece on this this month. she joins us now. i remember the last conversation we had and i remember talking to you from this very set. i said 1-10, how serious is it. you said really quite serious.
you appeared to have been correct. >> if you have been in touch with peoples close to the d.a.'s office in manhattan. it is momentous because in this country we have not had a president charged with a crime. we don't know we will have one here because there is a grandeury does not mean they will bring charges against former president trump. if i were here i would be very nervous about that. it has the feeling of quicksand. it is certainly the next serious step in this thing. it was interesting to me that the grand jury has been empaneled for the next six
months, the stretch of time that the current d.a. wants to serve out his term and i think he wants to be the one that will make the decision to bring charges and it will overlap perfectly with his tenure. >> let's talk about weisselberg. prosecutors have been looking at him and transactions around his family presumably in an effort to get him to cooperate. that is how the cases are made. i want to play a little bit of michael cohen talking about the centrality of weisselberg. >> in the office with me you was allen weisselberg, the chief financial officer of the trump organization. i was with weisselberg. the signature i believe is allen
weisselberg. >> always weisselberg on the check. >> are there other people that we should be meeting with? >> always allen weisselberg on the check. how important is he, and how make or break, i guess is his cooperation do you think? >> well, i mean i think that it is probably incredibly important. he knows the numbers. he knows if this is a fraud case one of the most difficult things about bringing a fraud case is that the prosecutors have to prove a guilt, that there was intentionality to commit a crime. the person that knows that would be the numbers man, the chief financial officer that dealt with trump. i told him. he knew what he was doing. he did it with his eyes wide open. otherwise trump would say i had no idea. my accountants did this.
i pay them a lot and it is their part. >> there is always a question of sequencing to me. you know, what we saw happening with michael cohen, cohen was indicted. he was searched. he was indicted. and after he was indicted, he was defiant. he was not going to betray mr. trump. and then he did. he cooperated. you know, we don't have any word about weisselberg's status. we don't know if the man committed any crimes. i have no idea if he has. in terms of the sequencing, do you think that is noteworthy or not? >> well, yeah. i think very much he is being put in a vise. he has two sons that also worked for the trump organization and one directly and the other in a
company that provided loans to the trump organization. his sons and his whole family is in the suit. and the people that know weisselberg come in and weisselberg's former daughter-in-law said he is not going to let his boys go to jail and he is not going to want to go to jail to protect donald trump. but this is a man who has been made by donald trump and has been incredibly loyal to donald trump. he is in an incredibly tough spot. huge amount of pressure put on him. >> jane mayer thanks so much. >> thank you. >> i want to bring in adam miller who served on the economic crimes bureau in the manhattan office that is investigating donald trump. i want to talk to you about your
experience. big white collar emanated out of u.s. attorney offices, something like enron for instance. talk to us a little bit about the process and the difficulty. my understanding, these can be hard cases to make. >> sure. the d.a. office has a history of bringing large complex financial cases. in other it may be the federal prosecutes dating back several years. manhattan district attorney's office has taken on cases of extraordinary proportion that were very, very complicated. but the d.a. has a unit which exclusively looks into economic crimes and there is one major economic crimes. it seems like the investigation would fall within that ballywick. >> what is the process, in your
experience in these cases before a grand jury, right. before you are recommending charges or not. when you are just bringing witnesses before a grand jury to get them on the record and under oath? >> well, what is interesting about the state system grand jury, witnesses that are called to give actual testimony get immunity. the district attorney's office is extremely careful about who they put in the grand jury because they are immunizing that person unless that person is a record keeper. they are very careful about how they immunize. the preference generally is to speak outside of the grand jury and find out what the witnesses have to give.
some will not speak outside of the grand jury and the d.a. is left with a difficult decision of do i put the person in the grand jury and thus infer immunity. >> walk me through the process or the meetings in that office about making a decision about whether to request charges from a grand jury. >> sure. prior to even going in the grand jury probably, the d.a.'s office has written out what they believe would be contained in the indictment. and the grand jury is going to flush out that evidence. rarely are they going in without an idea of the indictment or what charges they are going to bring. before the grand jury, they know if they are going to be charging falsification of business records or a theory of larceny.
they have thought of what charges apply and generally what evidence will be presented to support the charges before going in to a grand jury. >> i am asking you to speak from someone that works making these cases in this specific office, independent of what the facts may be here. in your experience the question of a, the complexity and what you can sort of communicate to a jury. and the second is the question of intent that people have spoken about. if there are complex financial instruments, money moving around in certain ways, money unpaid in taxes or something like that. the difference between some civil infraction like oopsie and fraud or theft, right. it is intent. how do you go about establishing that? >> sure. it is paramount the intent. what does the individual that is under investigation have to gain
generally speaking. are they falsifying the business record for a reason. you know, what is that reason. is it to mark down an asset or inflate an asset or to have shareholders believe that the company as more ins it coffers than it does. you are looking at it whether or not it is a mistake. whether it is a accounting principal that could be questionable but not criminal or whether there could be criminal intent. like am i trying to fool someone. >> adam miller who worked in the manhattan district attorney's oufs. thank you. tonight the wrought of the sham arizona audit is spreading. the latest efforts in wisconsin. and nevada punishes the secretary of state for saying the election wasn't stolen but now the state has a proud boy problem. now the state has a proud boy problem.
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>> as we covered on the show the place to watch the right is state republican parties and state republican legislatures. today the republican speaker of the house in wisconsin announce he hired retired police officers to investigate the 2020 election. those investigators will have a broad mandate to spend three months reviewing all tip and will have subpoena power is the
latest trend of local republicans starting investigations in order to cast doubt in the 2020 election results to back fill the facts to fit the big lie about it being stolen when it wasn't. the audit is underway after a pause to allow high school graduations in the audit space and the house appropriations committee they stripped the democratic secretary of state in any elections related litigation and passed the powers on to the republican state attorney general for the remainder of her turn. in nevada the local republican party censured their own state of secretary. it happened at a republican party meeting last month and an a vowed member of the street brawling group the proud boys was invited to the meeting and helped to cast the deciding vote
to censure the secretary of state. i want to bring in the editor of the nevada independentant. thank you for being here, john. walk me through the chain of events. a republican state elected leader who in less vocal terms vouched for the integrity of an election that was free and fair and got flak for it, is that right? >> that is an understatement, chris. she was sued several times, vilified by republicans. right after the election trump sent the former attorney general to spread all kinds of lies about voter fraud and barbara segaski, the only state-wide elected republican in nevada stood up to them and was under
immense pressure of course as the overseer of elections to do something about elections. the person standing up to the folks was the chairman of the state republican party. i am trying to bring it to what is going on now. michael mcdonald, the person accused by the local clark county party of allowing the proud boys into the republican meeting and they are now boasting, although it is not clear to me if their boasts are true but they were the decisive votes. the vote was very close. i believe it was 126 to 112. it almost didn't pass. that is another reason i think the proud boys are boasting they were the decisive votes. >> the republican state party under the leadership of michael mcdonald considers a censure
resolution. republican officials who did not overturn democracy and overturn the will of the voters. in nevada you have this one where michael mcdonald convenes this. it is a close vote. the information that we have now is that this individual matt anthony, and i want to read a quote of his. most of the average people out here are starving for old school tactics that used to go down in the city. because that is what we need, toughness, not keyboard warriors. proud boys are involved in physical assaults in a number of places. that guy and his associates were at that meeting and the question is who invited them there. >> that is the question. mcdonald denies having anything to do with it but these guys are creeps and thugs and want to act like they are the big men on campus.
they may be boasting of this. the reason that the vote was so close is emblematic of what is going on inside the republican party where you have trump fighting with the people saying let's move beyond this. this is not a good brand for the republican party. the state republican party led by michael mcdonald even after biden was inaugurated was still filing complaints with the secretary of state. they brought boxes of evidence of 20,000 or so spoiled ballots and all of this other nonsense. segaski took weeks to investigate. the state republican party is still pushing this. there are people in the republican party in the clark
county party, las vegas, they want mcdonald down because they think he will prevent them and what he is doing is going to prevent them from winning elections and there are two important elections in nevada next year, chris, one for governor and one for u.s. senate. and the republicans, the smart republicans are very worried about all of this going on now and a continuation of the michael mcdonald/trump/proud boy influence on the party. >> the dynamic with the state party leader targeting for pressure, condemnation, censure, elected republicans in office. you can get away with it in texas where you are not in this perilous position of fighting over the 3% or 4% margins where republicans have been close. but there is a bigger cost to pay in your state.
>> there is a much bigger cost. and what i say to people, and what a lot of people realize is that if adam laksol, the leader of the big lie campaign in the state, the former attorney general ran for governor. if he were governor, a lot of different things might have happened if the republicans had actually had any influence in carson city in the legislature. this might be a different story. that is really frightening, chris. >> the former attorney general which syncs up perfectly with what we are going to talk about next. jon ralston, thank you. to that point i am going to tell you about the story of the attorney general of indiana and why his new job is the embodiment of the threat to american democracy right now. stay with me. it is a good one. now stay with me it is a good one the other guys. ♪♪ clearly, velveeta melts creamier.
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leadership board of the raga, which may seem like a fairly minor bit of news. but it tells you everything you need to know about where the republican party is now and the threats to american democracy we continue day by day to fix. state attorney general are the top legal officers in their states and can propose legislation and enforce law. a lot of power. after the 2020 election, a majority of the country's republican attorney general played an insidious role in attempting to overthrow the election results. 17 of the 25, 2/3 state attorney generals signed on to a meritless election lawsuit that was filed after the election that attempted to throw out all 20 million ballots in wisconsin, michigan, pennsylvania and
georgia to overturn an election joe biden won to install the loser, donald trump over the winner. can you imagine as an attorney general suing to disenfranchise the citizens of another state because you don't like who they voted for president. this is just the same strategy as donald trump when he called and asked the georgia secretary of state to find the votes he needed to win. the same goal the trump mob wanted to achieve. the republican attorney general association is a who's who of up and coming republican stars. texas's ken paxton who started the lawsuit to disenfranchise 20 million americans and indicted on security charges but hasn't gone to try. kentucky's daniel cameron who
mitch mcconnell is trying to install as the successor. in the 2020 election the republican attorney general were the point of trump's sphere. pushing, pushing, pushing to overturn the election. to parrot the big lie, right. the executive board of the republican attorney generals association, raga's board has a new member, todd rokita from indiana. todd rokita has made a journey not different from a lot of republicans. he was basically just like a classical republican loyal soldier in charge of indiana's elections for years and in fact in 2005, you want continuity between the old and the new republican party, rokita helped to pass a law requiring voters to show identification.
it ended up going to the supreme court. in 2016 rokita supported marco rubio. he called donald trump someone who is vulgar if not profane. sort of humorous, yes that is true but really the least of it. then he made the turn almost every elected republican has made and went full maga. even though he is not a part of the lawsuit since he was just elected, he praised the lawsuit. two days after the january 6th attack on the capitol, after the attack. after we watched trump invite the mob down to the capitol and watched donald trump tweet about mike pence, while the mob was ransacking and chanting hang mike pence. he tweeted i will always be for our president donald trump. you sole my heart like a 2020 election featuring the big
picture of dear leader and then testiied against the senate voter access bill saying it undermined peoples' faith in the system. >> all of this resulted in shaken confidence in our electoral system and if not outright distrust about the results. americans saw mountains of mail-in ballots being processed, tens of millions overloading the processing capacity of the system in many states. turning the tabulation of votes into a weeks long process. >> mountains of ballots were being tabulated. clearly something is up, right. this is the cowardly bad faith these people do it. as a reward for all of this, todd rokita has won a leadership position. the vanguard of an increasingly
anti-democratic party where he will fit in perfectly. the secretary of states that supervise the elections held the line and defending democracy across party lines in ways attorney generals did not. now republican state legislatures are looking to move power away from the office. in georgia the voting restriction bill that was passed in march took power away from the secretary of state after he famously stood up to trump and as we mentioned earlier in arizona, republican state legislatures stripped katie hobbs, a democrat. it gave the power exclusively to the attorney general, a republican. we are watching, essentially a slow motion insurrection being carried out by republicans in suits and ties and states around the country putting the pieces in place to do in the next elections what the mob failed to do on january 6th. mob failed to do on january 6th. ♪ na na na na... ♪ hey hey hey.
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senate majority leader chuck schumer started the process of forcing the vote of the establishment of a commission to investigate the january 6th attack on the capitol. the vote could come as early as tomorrow. you watch the show, you know this. it is not going to go for reconciliation, it needs ten republican senators to sign on or it is dead in the water. as it stands now there are fewer republican senators on board with the commission than voted to convict donald trump in his second impeachment. the thing is, if democrats eliminated the filibuster they would not need any republican votes to investigate an attack on our democracy. but joe manchin of west virginia has said they are against removing the filibuster. republican leader mitch mcconnell refused to let anything move forward until
manchin and sinema promised they would not vote to kill the filibuster. now they are begging republicans to provide enough votes to get them over the filibuster on the commission bill which perfectly exposes the problem of the filibuster and bipartisan compromise. the compromise is to please throw us a bone. how do you explain we need to keep the filibuster if you filibuster the january 6th commission. now the former deputy cheer of staff to harry reid, the author of "the kill switch." he joins me out. adam, i thought of you when i saw the headline. right. i don't want -- whatever reason they are wanting to keep the filibuster and then begging to
be like you have to give us the votes to get this thing over is such a perfect irony. >> that is right. and i think, you know, the big question that none of us know the answer to but we are all waiting to find out. are they hughing to this position where they are going to defend the filibuster hell or high water or are they building a record to provide a rational for shifting their position down the road. or is it in between and they don't know which it is yet. that is the most likely answer. manchin and sinema would love nothing more than ten republicans coming forward. that might be the end of filibuster reform. they can show there was bipartisanship. if there is not any bipartisanship on the critical issues they face a difficult choice, whether to give up on the issues they care about or find a way to move towards a version of reform.
>> i think this is interesting. you had the counter intuitive take on this. the filibuster hurts bipartisan compromise rather than helps it. if something is going to pass there is more incentive to get in there and affect the final product. we have seen these spending bills that nobody pays that much attention to. they do have some of that, you know, sausage making horse trading flavor. there are deals that are struck. collins now saying she wants to propose the changes to the commission basically on staffing and to wind it down 30 days earlier. these are fine. but it is all a question of are there ten votes or not. >> right. right. we are seeing how the filibuster stifles bipartisanship before our eyes. if this was a majority vote it would come to the floor and pass on a bipartisan basis. >> that is right.
>> the filibuster is stifling bipartisanship because of this arbitrary threshold. this is how the senate used to work that it takes 60 votes. that is something only developed in recent decades. for more than 200 years the senate was a majority ruled body. things like medicare and social security did not have to clear a super majority requirement and were fought tooth and nail until they were able to secure a majority. there is a memo famous to people like me, lbj's top aide congratulating him saying he was sure medicare would pass because he counted more than a majority in the senate and medicare passed with 70 votes. once it was clear it could secure a majority a bunch of people jumped on board because they wanted to affect the
outcome or take credit for something that was going to be popular. >> right now you would have a bipartisan majority. democrats and republicans coming together to have a commission. instead you have a party line minority that will block it, right. it is being killed here. what do you think about the status of the negotiations happening on the reconciliation track on the big jobs plan which is the next really big agenda item for the agenda and it does not need to go through the filibuster because it is in the reconciliation channel with the majority vote. >> well, it seems like the infrastructure bill probably will be able to pass mostly through reconciliation, so it will be able to bypass the filibuster and pass on a majority vote because of the reconciliation rules. if i had to predict it now i think it is unlikely it will get
60 votes and reconciliation will have to be the way it goes if it will pass at all. but you never know. i keep coming back to the fact that there are larger forces at work here causing republicans not to want to deal with democrats. it is not that they wouldn't want to cut a deal with democrats on infrastructure spending, but they want to deny democrats victories. they want joe biden to fail. that makes it easier to take back the majority in 2022. >> the thing that i would say here, nobody cares about process. nobody cares about process in either direction. people whether about the lies are better, do whatever will get you the best policy you can get, whichever way you have to. adam, thank you very much. all right. next, a really remarkable statement about the two theories behind the origin of covid-19 and why investigating every single aspect of the pandemic is so important after this. t of ths so important after this.
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the biden administration has joined the growing number of credible voices, calling for a full investigation in to whether the coronavirus was in fact due to human error, it has not reached a definitive conclusion on whether it's merged from human contact with infected animal or from a laboratory accident. bind added that he wants another reported 90 days on the question. and where the coronavirus came from is one of many things that should be investigated about the pandemic, the response toyota, like, why was the testing botched by the cdc so early? why was the mask guidance so bad in the beginning and that was contacted from surfaces instead of airborn spread.
why didn't they change the position on that until this month? the questions hopefully be answered by the investigation currently under way. but there were a lot of mistakes that were made up and down, our government, across the board. most of them, the most serious ones the most cruel and sadistic and wreckless ones were by donald trump and his administration, but not limited to that. but i for one want a full audit. we have the dean of public health and they are both joining in now. doctor, let me start with you, on this sort of question of, getting our arms around what's happened? i do worry, i can feel the pull of memory pulling the whole thing. i can feel it myself. like, i get why no one talked about the flu after 1918. let's just pretend that did not happen. that would be dangerous and donald trump was so singularly
horrible and acting in such a malevolent fashion, that he blocked out what needed to be got to the bottom of. >> two key issues, one, when you have gone through a horrible trauma like our country has, the last thing you want to do is think about it more, you want to put it behind you. that's fine, but we have to learn as a nation. and let's be honest and clear that the trump administration really really, really botched this. but our federaling agencies failed, the federal state structure failed, a lot of it went through and we have to fix those things we are still seeing the remnants of it underer the biden administration. we need 9/11 type commission. >> that thing you said that
connects the fight we are having over the january 6th commission. i don't know if the commission is the right vehicle but there needs to be be a full audit of this as well. >> yeah. >> right, because -- >> go ahead. >> oh, sorry. >> you go ahead. >> this is a once in a generation pandemic. you have donald trump corrupting the information flow of scientific information from the beginning now you are in a place where opening the door to saying that maybe the wuhan theory needs to be seriously looked at. and you don't want to seem that you aligning yourself doing to donald trump. people don't want to see in line
with the man on tv who told everyone to inject bleach. >> when you say, the information was so polluted from the beginning it was difficult to make judgment. hydroxychloroquine was a good judgment. maybe the malaria drug works, i hope it does. but everything through the fog of information is going corrupt. our ability to form judgments on out. >> that's the hardest part of the job thncht of us. is to look through the fog and look at what is right and not. there's things that the trump administration got right. they got a lot of operation warp speed in building the vaccines right. the problem is, if we look at this in a political way, we are going to be stuck and what we want to do is really mrd what went right, what went wrong and move forward building a federal system that can respond to future pandemics like this. >> the other aspect of this,
among many is the disparities and who got hurt by it, particularly racial did disparities. we are seeing it play out now even in vaccinations. black respects account for more than 80% of cases in the district in d.c. you can see that born of divergent vaccination. which reinscribes the divergents that we saw in earlier parts of the pandemic. >> yes, one of the things that is important to understand is that those c on o-morbidities like the doctors laid out as the virus of was coming out and coming to the united states, and everyone was trying to wrap their heads around what meant for them. the existence of the co-morbidities are the extent of everything that we talk about. lack of education, and access to health care and healthy food. if you live in a food desert,
your heart will not be as healthy as someone who has access to organic fruits and vegetables every day. we have to look at that, and even with the vaccine, which is a miracle of science by the way, you cannot get the shots in the arms unless you have all of the pieces together and you want to make sure that everyone has that correct scientific information from the beginning. so that by the time you get to the vaccine, it's not too hard to convince them to take it. >> and finally, and quickly here, you know, there's things we did right and wrong. on the vaccine front, it's a miracle to her point, i love this headline out of ohio and mike dewine the ohio lottery and i was like, ha, look at that and the numbers say boosted 45%, like, there's good lessons to draw here too. >> absolutely. and at this point, we just need to get people vaccinated. we have to get information to them. we have to make it easier and fits lotteries and beer, and
doughnuts, i'm all in. like, whatever is going to get americans vaccinated, that's what we need to be doing. i saw the stats that the new mta subway has 11,000 shots in arms. go to where people are. thank you for making time tonight. >> sure. >> and that is all in for this evening, the rachel maddow show starts right now. good evening, rachel. >> good evening, chris, thank you, my friend. much, much, much appreciated. we are continuing to follow this upsetting tragic news out of california. a gunman has opened fire and killed eight people, shooting started at 6:30 a.m. the train storage and maintenance facility for the public transit system, he struck at a particularly busy time. it was the shift change when people who worked the over cannight shift were handing off