tv Yasmin Vossoughian Reports MSNBC November 27, 2021 1:00pm-2:00pm PST
♪♪ hi, everybody, i'm yasmin vossoughian. if you are just joining us, welcome. if you are still with us, thank you for sticking around. we're going to have the very latest on that new strain of covid originating in south africa and now popping up in countries around the world. plus, there's new controversy from two members of what could be described as the gop's extremist caucus, congresswoman lauren boebert and marjorie taylor greene both making waves again as the republican leadership remains quiet. house minority leader kevin mccarthy out with a new statement just moments ago. i'm going to read it for you. in a moment, i'm going to talk to congressman andy levin
about the atmosphere on capitol hill as well as the build back better bill to be taken up by the senate on monday. a big smile there likely because of the michigan win moments ago as well. plus i'm going to talk to one writer who believes that what president biden needs more than a build back better victory, an enemy. and molly jong fast has ideas of who or what that enemy should be. we're looking to a monumental showdown in the supreme court just days from now, the future of roe v. wade hanging in the balance. that is coming up later on in the hour. we want to begin, though, with the latest examples of the republican party's continued shift towards extremism. republican congresswoman lauren boebert garnering massive backlash after video surfaced of her at a campaign event suggesting that fellow congresswoman ilhan omar was mistaken for a terrorist. we want to warn you. the comments are inflammatory. but i think it's important for you to hear it.
and hear her own hateful words. >> and he and i were leaving the capitol, we're going back to my office and we get in the elevator and i see a capitol police officer running hurriedly to the elevator. i see fret all over his face. and he's reaching, and i'm like, what? the door's shutting. like, i can't open it. what's happening? and i looked to my left, and there she is. >> oh no. >> ilhan omar. >> whoops. >> and i said, well, she doesn't have a backpack, we should be fine. >> so, congresswoman omar slammed the remarks as anti-muslim bigotry and said the events boebert described were actually made up. the colorado republican has since issued an apology to, quote, anyone in the muslim community she offended with her comments, but stopped short of saying the story was fabricated. this is all coming as another
far-right republican lawmaker, marjorie taylor greene, is working to award congress's highest honor to kyle rittenhouse. greene introduced a bill this week to award rittenhouse the congressional gold medal for, quote, protecting the community of kenosha, wisconsin, during black lives matter protests last year. rittenhouse was acquitted of homicide last week in the shooting of two men during those protests. greene, we should note, was one of 21 republicans who voted against awarding congressional gold medals to, by the way, law enforcement officers who protected the capitol on january 6th. joining me now, juanita toliver and susan del percio. okay, susan, let's read this just-in statement from house gop leader kevin mccarthy. "i talked to congresswoman lauren boebert today. she has apologized for what she
said and has reached out to congresswoman omar to meet next week. i spoke with leader hoyer today to help facilitate that meeting so that congress can get back to talking to each other and working on the challenges facing the american people." it feels as if he wrote this statement up, him and his team, and then he went back to what he was doing because nowhere in this team does he say what she said was wrong, what she said was abhorrent, what she said was racist or islamaphobic. what she said inspires hateful speech. none of it. none of it. should we expect more? >> we should expect more from leadership, but kevin mccarthy has shown no leadership so i don't expect more from him because he's incompetent and is just bound to whatever he thinks, and that's the key. whatever he thinks will make donald trump happy. so, that's his audience, and that's who he's playing to.
our level of what's acceptable and what is not at this point from the republican party is so low, but again, looking at that video you showed earlier, yasmin, of congresswoman boebert, she was playing to a crowd. watch her stance. she's telling a story. she's animated. she loves what she's about to do. she's enjoying this. she played for the laughs. that's disgusting. there is no room for that in our society. maybe she didn't think it would get out. her apology was nonsense. and kevin mccarthy is trying to maybe look like something, i can't say like a leader, because he's just not. and he's just become pathetic. >> so, i guess, juanita, this is a really simple question, which is, what can be done about it? i mean, i feel like every time i have the two of you ladies on, we're talking about something like this happening inside the republican party, whether or not
it's boebert or gosar or marjorie taylor greene. i mean, we could go on and on about the number of times this type of language has been used towards especially minorities inside the democratic party. to put a spotlight on them, to make them feel as if they're not accepted, as if they're different. what can be done? because it seems as if what we are calling the fringe part of the gop is now becoming a part of the mainstream. >> it is the mainstream. it is the main brand of the gop, and as susan named, it is playing to an audience that we know the republican party has bet everything on for the midterms, right? kevin mccarthy went to mar-a-lago days after january 6th to kiss trump's ring and ever since then, he's been clearing the runway for these extreme members of the gop who are fully aligned with trump and do trump's bidding day in and day out to run amok. they have been running in chaos
this entire congress and that's exactly what mccarthy wants because he thinks that will lead him to get the speakership if republicans take the house. and i assure you, what can be done right now is more accountability that we've seen exclusively coming from the democratic party. they held gosar accountable with censure that they virtually pushed through on their own with two republicans voting with them for it. they have held other folks accountable and they should do the same thing right now for what we're seeing from boebert. anything less will just be signed off on as you can continue doing this, but i appreciate representative omar saying repeatedly, as she has, because she says that anti-muslim rhetoric has no place in congress and she's absolutely right because this isn't the first time that boebert has said anything like this. she's joked about her and made comments about her that are bigoted, that are anti-muslim, and dangerous, frankly, and she has gone unchecked. we know mccarthy absolutely isn't going to do anything. as susan said, he's absolutely pathetic.
he's not a leader. these extremist members of the party are running over him and he doesn't see it as that. i think what comes next is going to be critical about how this continues to ramp up as we head towards the 2022 midterms, knowing the republican party exclusively wants to talk to this base of voters, this base of trump voters, who they think can deliver the house for them. >> so, what i'm hearing from you, juanita, is you think this is going to get worse as we ramp up towards the midterms because in a way, folks like boebert and marjorie taylor greene, they feel as if this only empowers, elevates their vote or drives them to the polls more if they kind of have this more inflammatory speech. it's just going to get worse. >> it's just going to get worse. they know -- not only does it get laughs but it gets votes. they know that it energizes them because let's be real, it's the worst oftentimes of the worst of humanity in this country. and it is the same thing we're seeing with marjorie taylor
greene, putting up rittenhouse for this congress gold medal. the same gold medal that was bestowed to folks like martin luther king jr., to folks like mother teresa, she's trying to lift someone like rittenhouse, a person who shot three people, killing two individuals who were protesting for black lives, that's their hero. that's who they want front and center. and that's exactly what we can expect as we see members of the republican party fighting over themselves to offer rittenhouse an internship and what i don't want to be lost in this conversation, yasmin, is the fact that what these type of statements, this type of rhetoric, these type of invitations to folks like rittenhouse, it creates a harmful, toxic, dangerous environment in congress that, let's be real, has been leveled at members of congress on democrats who are black and brown in particular. >> so, susan, what needs to be done about this? because from speaker pelosi's latest statement, it doesn't seem like she's heading in the direction of stripping boebert of her committee assignments as
omar has asked her to do. >> well, we shall see, at least in this case, kevin mccarthy has done some outreach and congresswoman boebert said she does want to reach out to congresswoman omar. here's my biggest concern, yasmin. as someone who said donald trump won't win the republican nomination in 2015, in 2016 i said he couldn't be president, in 2020 i worked as hard as i could to defeat donald trump and now i sit here and i keep thinking that based on history, based on numbers that we see, it is likely that the republicans will take control of the house. there's a very good chance. just historically. what happens when kevin mccarthy or anyone else becomes speaker? we're not talking about fringe people anymore. these are people who run agendas. this scares the heck out of me. they run those agendas.
they will be the ones saying hello, not nicely, will try and strip someone -- a democrat of their committee positions, and then we have no one involved in governance. and that's what i really hope this country wakes up to see is that right now, what's on the line is marjorie taylor greene and a whole cast of characters that are a danger that will be in a true leadership position. do not look at them as fringe. they are the mainstream right now as juanita said, and that is very scary. >> juanita tolliver, susan del percio, juanita, thanks for including that christmas tree in the background, especially that reality check from susan del percio. we need a little light these days. a little christmas cheer. geez.
thank you ladies. all right, i want to bring in democratic congressman andy levin of michigan, also a deputy whip of the progressive caucus. congressman, thanks for joining us on this. by the way, congratulations, not sure if you're a football fan, but wow, what a blowout, 42-27, michigan, ohio state, i can't believe you're joining me this hour if you are a football fan. >> good point, yasmin. good first point. >> so, you just heard kind of susan del percio's reality check, and i just want to get your reaction to what she just said. this idea that the democrats could actually lose control of the house and these fringe elements of the republican party, the marjorie taylor greenes, right, the lauren boeberts, could feasibly be in power in a year's time. that's a real -- that's a reality. >> that's reality, yasmin.
i would say that we have to win the 2022 election. our democracy literally is on the line. so, it's existential, not about democrats versus republicans but about american democracy, because the republican party has gone outside of the realm of democracy here. and the good news, though, is that we're working very hard to pass transformative legislation that i think gives us a real chance to buck history. i know it doesn't look good at this moment with covid and inflation and, you know, so on and so forth, but we're really laying the groundwork here. the american rescue plan and then the infrastructure and jobs act and now build back better passing the house, moving to the senate, i think we're going to get that done in the senate. this is way more accomplished in one year than donald trump accomplished in four years and
basically legislatively what he did in four years was a tax plan that gave 83% of the benefits to the top 1% of people and harmed the working class and the middle class of this country. so, we've got to finish this job, and then we've got to go tell the american people about it, shout it from the rooftops, about child care, universal pre-k, housing, and so on and so forth. >> so, what i'm hearing from you is, the ways to combat this rhetoric is to pass good, important legislation and make sure americans know it. and feel it. feel it in their pocketbooks especially when it comes to jobs, obviously, and some social issues as well. with that, i want to talk about build back better. obviously, having to get through the senate and then we'll be circled back through the house. we're talking paid leave, the s.a.l.t. tax, medicare expansion, these are all things that have been floated that could feasibly be added and/or changed inside the senate.
what concerns do you have the most, things that could feasibly be dropped from the house version of the build back better act? >> well, you know, i'm focused on keeping the programs that are transformative for the poor and working class and middle class of this country, and i think, you know, i've got to start with the bright side, yasmin. really 95% of this package has essentially been preconferenced, and so rk, you know, the child care, the elder care, the universal pre-k, universal schooling for 3 and 4-year-olds is the biggest expansion of public education since we started k-12 in this country over a century ago, so most of the package is going to stay there. the vast majority of it. and then, you know, if we -- if paid family and medical leave gets chipped away at, of course i won't like it. if protections for immigrants are taken away, of course i won't like it. but we're going to stand and fight for all of these justice
issues and hang on to as much of it as we can and i think the end result will be very strong. >> let me ask you, a lot of americans concerns about inflation right now, as you well know. i mean, this last week, we all went to the grocery stores for thanksgiving, things cost a heck of a lot more. a grocery list that normally costs $100 probably cost $150. what are you saying to folks out there who say, what about inflation? >> tell me about it. buying eggs, buying milk, i mean, you know, the -- i really understand where people are coming from. you know, my wife and i got to the vicinity, we're celebrating with most of her family. my mother-in-law is 90 so we gathered around her, and she and i got to the grocery store like 9:00 on tuesday night, and i won't tell you how much the whole bill cost. it was kind of shocking. so, you know, it's upsetting.
but i don't think inflation is going to be 6% year over year in october 2022 the way it was in 2021. this is highly related to the pandemic. there's a lot of supply chain issues. and the inflation is caused by corporations not by the government, charging a lot of money for things, and so you know, we have to work on the core things, and the -- what's in the build back better plan will lower costs for people. and i think that's the key response. child care is a huge expense for families. nobody will pay more than 7% for child care. how much do people pay for private programs for 3 and 4-year-olds to be in some kind of day care or preschool? well, that will be universal and free. we're going to give drug prices down. we're going to expand medicaid or obamacare to millions of people. so really, we're fighting to
lower costs for the american people here in policy and i think they'll see it before next november and they'll vote that way. >> democratic congressman andy levin of michigan, happy holidays. thank you for joining us on this holiday weekend. >> thanks. go blue. still ahead, everybody, sounding the alarm. confirmed cases of a new covid variant abroad fuels fear and new travel restrictions. also coming up, will this supreme court be the one though strike down roe v. wade? they're going to soon have the chance, a preview of the upcoming abortion battle. the chance, a preview of the upcoming abortion battle ♪ limu emu... & doug ♪ ♪ superpowers from a spider bite? i could use some help showing the world how liberty mutual customizes their car insurance so they only pay for what they need. (gasps) ♪ did it work? only pay for what you need
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a new covid variant is causing concern and prompting travel restrictions in a number of countries. the uk, germany, and italy have now all confirmed cases of the new omicron variant, which is highly transmissible with the already confirmed case in belgium. this means four european nations now have cases as well as several asian and african nations. nbc's raf sanchez is in tel aviv with more on this. good to see you again. this variant is causing travel restrictions. also these enhanced policies all over the world. expand on this for us. >> reporter: yeah, yasmin, governments all around the globe are scrambling right now to respond to the omicron variant. in the last couple of hours, the uk announcing a new set of tighter border controls.
from now on, when you land in britain, you're going to have to go into self-isolation for two days until you can produce a negative pcr test. the uk is also tightening the rules around masks. masks are now mandatory nationwide on public transport and in stores. the british health secretary was speaking a little bit earlier, and he acknowledged there is still a lot we don't know about this variant, but the one thing people can do right now is get vaccinated and get their booster shots. i want you to take a listen to what he had to say. >> this is a real reminder to us all that this pandemic is far from over, and if there's one thing that everybody can be doing right now is if they're eligible, please take your vaccine, whether it's your first shot, second shot or booster job. >> reporter: there are no confirmed cases of omicron inside the united states right now, but dr. anthony fauci, other public health officials
have acknowledged it is possible that the variant is already inside america's borders, and it just hasn't been detected yet. all of this is a reminder of something, yasmin, that we knew already. this pandemic is not going to come to an end just because wealthy countries are fully vaccinated and have boosters. until vaccines are available to everybody all around the world, it's very likely we're going to continue to see new variants like this one threatening the recovery worldwide. >> yeah, it's a global effort to stop, to squash this pandemic. raf sanchez, thank you. still ahead, everybody, inside the mississippi law that could kill roe v. wade. what we can expect as the supreme court hears this monumental case and what it could mean for the future of reproductive rights in this country. plus, some familiar faces in a new wave of subpoenas
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welcome back. so, this week, the supreme court will hear arguments in what could be the most consequential abortion rights case in decades. it is known as dobbs vs. jackson women's health organization and challenges a mississippi law that bans abortions at 15 weeks of pregnancy. the plaintiff, jackson women's health organization, is the last remaining abortion clinic open in the state of mississippi. why is this so important? so, unlike the legislation introduced in texas three months ago, this law does not rely on private citizens to enforce it. this mississippi law would be enforced by the state of mississippi and is the first time the supreme court will rule
on the constitutionality of a pre-viability ban since roe v. wade. so, let's talk more about this. joining me to break all this down and what we can expect from those proceedings and the potential fallout is barbara mcquade, msnbc legal analyst and former u.s. attorney in michigan, and joyce vance, msnbc legal analyst and former u.s. attorney as well. the two are co-hosted of the podcast "sisters-in-law." we can think back a couple of months ago to sb-8, it's been about three months or so since sb-8 took effect and when we were having the conversation then, we kept talking about mississippi and saying, is this just a forecast of what is to come? so, i ask you that question again now when we're just three days away from this being heard in the supreme court. was that a forecast to what is to come on wednesday? >> i think it was a forecast of what may come, and we may see something far worse than what
we're seeing there. you know, in the oral argument in the sb-8 case, i think we heard some skepticism from justices brett kavanaugh and amy coney barrett over the process in that case. unlike that in this case, the substance of the case is ripe and i think it could very well be the opportunity that republicans have been waiting for, for a generation, which is a chance to squarely overturn roe vs. wade and so i think here, we might see a very different take from amy coney barrett and brett kavanaugh who are certainly demonstrated hostility to the idea of reproductive rights throughout the years and i think this could be the moment we see that overturn of roe vs. wade. >> that's astounding to think about, joyce, and we talk about what this case is really about, which is the standard of fetal viability. right now, at 24 weeks, under roe v. wade, that could be reduced, obviously, under this case in mississippi down to 15
weeks as the threshold we know at least 95% of abortions are performed before that 24-week mark. if this ban at abortion at 15 weeks happens, how likely is it that we could see the argument to draw the line even sooner? >> i think that's precisely the question that dobbs poses here because ever since justice blackman wrote the decision in roe vs. wade, which establishes the viability standard, the complaint has been, viability is a moving target. is it 24 weeks? is it 22 weeks? could medical science advance further? in dobbs, though, the argument is a little bit different, and the state of mississippi, which originally didn't ask for an outright reversal of roe subsequently made a filing where they said we think roe is ripe
to be reversed. the question is whether this will continue to be the standard, if we have this process where the weeks move up from 24 to 15 to 6 like in texas or whether the court takes an entirely different approach. we know that amy coney barrett earlier in her career and no proponent of abortion rights, but she did weigh in and say she thought it was unlikely that roe vs. wade would be reversed. the question is whether she still thinks that now that she's on the supreme court. >> let's talk about if, in fact, roe v. wade, barbara, is overturned. you got 12 states in the nation right now with kind of these overnight trigger laws if, in fact, this happens. talk about the power that these conservative legislatures have across the country if, in fact, roe v. wade is overturned in this mississippi case. >> well, as you said, there are a number of states where nothing needs to be done. it will automatically revert to making abortion illegal in a
number of states. in those states where it's not, there are republican majorities where they could make it illegal in a number of additional states, and i think what we'll see is the opportunity for women of means, women who have wealth to be able to travel to states where abortion is legal and for other women who cannot afford to make that step to have to resort to back alley abortions and all of the dangers that come with that, and so i think we're going to see a world much like the one that existed before roe vs. wade in 1973, one where women's health is at risk and there is a great disparity between the haves and the have notes. >> i want you, joyce, to expand on this a little bit, if in fact this happens. i believe you and i have spoken on air about this before, what life was like before roe v. wade and the disproportionate impact something like this could have. it's not going to impact the wealthy, as barbara brings up. it's going to impact black and brown women, it's going to impact women that don't
necessarily have the money to fly to a state to seek out abortion services. it's going to impact women that have to drive across state lines that don't have child care in the first place or even money to get an abortion. >> so, that's exactly what it looks like in a pre-roe vs. wade world, and it's stunning to think that almost 50 years down the road, women could return to second class citizenship. as you say, yasmin, the women who, you know, for whom in many cases it's critically important to be able to exercise this right are the women who are denied access to it in some really stunning ways. women who would have to resort to inadequate and dangerous care. i mean, it's a horrible graphic image, this notion of coat hanger abortions, but that could ultimately be all that's accessible to women who have less economic power and disproportionately to women of color. but it also impacts women who may be carrying a fetus that has
severe abnormalities and who appreciate that their family is not in a position to deal with that situation. or women who already have children. women who are in abusive relationships. there are a lot of different reasons women seek to exercise their rights. the problem that we face after roe is that women won't be able to and that many women, particularly women of color, will have greater difficulties than anyone else in our society claiming the full rights of citizenship. >> barbara mcquade, joyce vance, i want you guys to stick with me. i do want your thoughts on another story we're following in just a couple minutes so i'll talk to you then. also, tomorrow, by the way, 4:00 p.m., you won't want to miss alex mcgill johnson, president and ceo of planned parenthood and npr's nina totenberg are going to join me. we have heard a lot about what president biden needs to turn things -- needs to do to turn
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welcome back. the president has faced some big challenges his first year in office and many americans are unhappy with his performance so far in key areas like the economy and the pandemic. in the latest article of the "atlantic," writer molly jong fast suggests biden might need to proclaim an enemy to raise america's confidence in them. could creating an us and them mentality help raise biden's ratings and make things swing the democrats' way in the midterms and beyond in molly jong-fast is a contributor writer for the "atlantic" and the author of their newsletter, "wait, what." thanks for joining us on this holiday weekend. i really enjoyed reading your piece and i have a lot of questions about it. i want to read a part of it first for folks and want you to
expand a little bit on it. you write this. to improve biden's popularity, earnest consultants might tell him to work on the fundamentals but the fundamentals are actually good. the economy is getting better. the disconnect between the facts and the polls suggests biden's true problem is a narrative one, specifically he doesn't have an enemy, a punching bag to absorb americans' anger. why does it seem historically this has been important for successful presidents? >> you know, it's interesting, but you look back on it, and every single president from reagan had this enemy that was the government. which was brilliant in a way because he could blame everything on the government, so when his own government would mess up, he could say, see, government is the problem. and you had fdr who was able to blame poverty and a bunch of oh things, but you know, you really did have -- and even, like, clinton was accused of sort of
wagging the dog when he went and did some bombings three days after his monica lewinsky apology. no one is saying that biden should go to war, more picking an enemy. i think the idea of biden picking child poverty as the enemy, because he has this child tax credit that's very successful. there are a number of enemies he could pick. >> so, it's interesting, because there's a quote that i want to read from your piece that talks kind of about these enemies and what some of the folks that you interviewed for your piece suggest, so if biden needs to unite voters, whom should he unite them against? he could wage war on poverty, as you mentioned, as lyndon b. johnson did. he could battle division and the forces trying to divide americans or the boston college professor biden could declare war on the authoritarians threatening our democracy, much the same as abraham lincoln did when he pulled northerners together. he could spend more time trying
to direct americans' attention to the trump directed republican party which is consolidating power at the state level and turning against democracy in large numbers. so my question to you, molly, about that very last part is the fact that in a way, the president would have to wage war on his own constituency to a certain extent. how would one go about doing that without alienating forever, really, those voters? >> yeah, it's really problematic, and remember the biden administration has focused a lot on taking the temperature down and thank god for that. so, that would not be my first choice for anyone. and i don't think that's biden's first choice either. look, we're a country that's in very divided times, and i think that biden really needs to be able to provide this narrative and to get people on board because the republican party has really chosen to be anti-democratic in a lot of ways.
and they've chosen to consolidate power and to sort of, you know, they've -- they've been preaching this narrative that the election was stolen, which we know it wasn't. and the thing is, when you don't have a good narrative, then that -- the democratic narrative doesn't get through, right? so you just have this republican narrative that's kind of taking over, and i think biden really needs to think, legislating is not enough. being good at policy is not enough. people need catch -- i mean, it's too bad that they do, but they need catchy phrases. they need, you know -- they need to be able to hold on to something. >> it's so fascinating that you say that because i was just speaking with congressman andy levin out of michigan, talking about, how are you going to fight back this hateful rhetoric in the republican party? how are you going to make sure you maintain control of the house in the midterm elections? and he talked a lot about legislation, passing build back better, selling it to the american people, making sure
they see the results of build back better, but from what i'm hearing from you, that's still not necessarily going to work. it's not going to go far enough. because it seems like the power of the republican party is just so incredibly strong right now. because they have an enemy. >> yeah. yeah. exactly. and i also think you're messaging against a republican party but you're also messaging against this very, very efficient conservative news machine, right? you know, the fox news, the free beacon, there's a whole kind of coordinated universe there that democrats don't have. and i hear this again and again from democratic electeds too, you know, if we do good stuff, people will know. and the truth is, we know that's not true. we see in these districts, republican congress people taking credit for democratic legislation because democrats aren't able to message that this is their work.
so, i'm quite worried, and when you have this one party that's against democracy, the stakes are higher. >> molly jong-fast, thank you as always. always great to see you on my show. we appreciate you joining us. still ahead, everybody, the insurrection investigation. our legal experts weigh in on an unusual strategy from steve bannon. plus, when harry met santa in my high five of the week. whea in my high five of the week. as someone who resembles someone else, i appreciate that liberty mutual knows everyone's unique. that's why they customize your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. [ ferry horn honks ] i mean just cause you look like someone else doesn't mean you eat off the floor, [ chuckles ] or yell at the vacuum, or need flea medication. oh, yeah. that's the spot. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty ♪ (vo) for fourteen years, subaru and our retailers have been sharing
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welcome back. so, my head scratcher of the week, we finally got a look at the lawsuit that's supposed to force the supreme court to reinstate donald trump as president and my advice for the former president, don't pack your bags for that return trip to the white house just yet. yo for that return trip just yet. my pillow ceo mike lindell had been promising the complaint for some time, and finally revealed a copy on his website this week. and there were a lot of things to note immediately. it was not filed with the supreme court. it contained a list of false and debunked election claims, and, perhaps most crucially, the plaintiff was simply listed as "insert your state." unfortunately they are now too busy fighting covid mandate to actually take part. sorry. my high five of the week a
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welcome back. so the january 6th select committee issued a new wave of subpoenas this week to several trump allies, including roger stone and alex jones. the committee also targeting right-wing extremist groups and leaders involved in the attack, mainly the oathkeepers and proud boys. the panel has now handed down 40 subpoenas in its probe and
claims to have spoken to more than 200 witnesses. that includes key players from former president trump's inner circle who are continuing to stonewall the investigation, refusing to testify or produce vital documents on the grounds of privilege. back with me now is my panel, barbara mcquade, msnbc legal analyst and former u.s. attorney of michigan, and joyce vance. welcome, ladies. barbara, let me start with you on this one. give me your reaction to this new strategy taken by the bannon team, filing a motion to request all documents in court be made public. why? what's the strategy here? >> this is an old trick that often gets used in national security cases. it's referred to as gray mail. the idea is to make the case as uncomfortable as possible for the government, demanding more and more documents, including those that may be classified, things the government doesn't want to give up. sometimes if you can't produce documents that the defense has
persuaded the judge he's entitlesed to see, you can sometimes get the case dismissed because the government does not want to give up certain classified materials. and i think we're a long ways from that point. the prosecutor in this case said there's only 20 documents that need to be turned other. steve bannon says, oh, no, there are many more. we're going to seek many, many documents from the administration and from congress and from others, so we'll hope that the judge keeps a tight leash on this case but it's going to be that's the strategy they're deploying right now. >> got it. joyce, let's play some sound from mark meadows and his reaction to the subpoenas being issued. >> i read about them subpoenaing roger stone and alex jones and, you know, i can tell you that i'm not aware of anybody in the white house that had conversations with either one of those individuals. but it just seems like they are just determined to pull out the phone book and subpoena as many people as they possibly can in
hopes that they find a narrative that will stick politically. >> what else needs to be done at this point, joyce? we know, for instance, with mark meadows, he's been threatened with criminal contempt charges. but that's about it. what needs to be done to secure the information they need from individuals like meadows, like steve bannon? >> i expect we'll hear that auto tape played back against meadows if the government is forced to compel or prosecute him. he sure makes a good case for himself as a witness saying people didn't have conversations and of course implying that other people did. but the real story with the january 6th committee's work is the volume of witnesses who are speaking to them without subpoenas and the documents that we're getting. and we see that reflected in
some of these newer subpoenas, which contain information that's clearly coming from witnesses and they're being very, very definitive. for instance, with some of the folks in the oath keepers and the proud boys, when they explain why they're seeking their testimony, also with some of the folks who were organizers of the january 6th event. they are demonstrating they have the ability to walk and chew gum at the same time. they're looking at organizers and organizations and they clearly have a trajectory where they're trying to obtain the information they need. whether they'll be able to go back and get people like bannon to testify is still an open question, even if bannon is convicted, that's no guarantee he will ever testify. but the committee will then have opportunities to engage in civil contempt proceedings that could find him back in prison and holding his own keys to his jail
cell based on when he chooses to testify or not. >> i also will be curious to see as to whether or not they able to get members of the proud boys and the on earth keeps on to testify. i imagine that's going to be quite an uphill battle too. barbara mcquade, joyce vance, thank you both. i'm yasmin vossoughian. i'll be back here tomorrow 3:00 p.m. eastern. reverend al sharpton and "politicsnation" starts right now. good evening and welcome to "politicsnation." tonight's lead, thankful for what we have. right now i'm still fairly full, but not with the remaining warmth of my thanksgiving meal, no. but with a pre-holiday hope for our national priorities. because the season has now opened