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tv   Ayman  MSNBC  June 18, 2022 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

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litigation efforts by president trump and his allies, i would like to present additional actions taken by the trump campaign during this time. president trump continued to push this stolen election narrative even though he and his allies knew that their litigation efforts, making the same claim, had failed. that is worth pointing out that litigation generally does not continue past the safe harbor day of december 14th, but the fact that this litigation went on, that decision makes more sense when you consider the trump campaign fund raising tactics. because if the litigation had stopped on december 14th, there would have been no fight to defend the election, and no clear path to continue to raise millions of dollars. mister chairman, at this time, i would ask for unanimous consent to include in the record a video presentation
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describing how president trump used the lies he told to raise millions of dollars from the american people. these fundraising schemes were also part of the effort to disseminate the false claims of election fraud. >> without objection -- >> i am the senior investigative counsel at the house select committee to investigate the general six attack on the united states capitol. between election day and january six, the trump campaign sent millions up fundraising emails to trump supporters, sometimes as many as 25 a day. the emails claimed, quote, the left wing mob was undermining the election. it urged supporters to step up, to protect the integrity of the election, and encourage them to, quote, fight back. as the select committee has demonstrated, the trump campaign knew that these voter fraud claims were false. yet, they continue to borrow small dollar donors with emails, encouraging them to donate to something called, the official
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election defense fund. the selectivity discovered that no such fun existed. >> i don't believe that there is actually a phone call that. >> the election defense fund was another marketing tactic. tell us about these funds marketing tactic. >> it was where money could potentially -- >> the claims that the election was stolen were so successful that president trump and his allies raised $250 million, nearly 100 million dollars in the first week after the election. on november 9th 2020, president trump created a separate entity called the same american pack. most of the money raised one to this newly-created pack, not to election related litigation. the select committee discovered that the safe american pack made millions of dollars in contributions to pro trump organizations, including $1 million to trump chief of staff, mark meadows foundation, $1
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million to the american first policy institute, a conservative organization that employs several former trump administration officials, $204,857 to the trump patel collection and over $5 million to avenge outages, the company that ran president trump's january 6th rally on the ellipse. >> all of us here today do not want to see our election victory stolen by a mob of radical left democrats, which is what they are doing. >> the evidence developed by the select committee highlight how the trump campaign aggressively pushed false election claims to fund-raise, telling supporters that it would be used to fight voter fraud that did not exist. the emails continued the january six, even as president trump -- >> 30 minutes after the last email was sent, the capitol was breached. [noise] [inaudible] >> usa!
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usa! >> every american is entitled and encouraged to participate in our electoral process. political fundraising is a part of that. small dollar donors you scarce, disposable income to support candidates and causes of their choosing to make their voices heard. those donors deserve the truth about what those funds will be used for. throughout the committee's investigation, we found evidence that the trump campaign and its surrogates misled donors as to where their funds would go and what they would be used for. not only was there the big lie, there was the big rip off. donors deserved to know whether funds are going. they deserve better than what president trump and his team did. mister chairman, i yield back. >> without objection, the chair
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recognizes the woman from wyoming, miss cheney, for a closing statement. >> thank you very much, mister chairman. i would like to thank all of our witnesses today, and i would also like to, in particular, wish mr. stepien and his family all the best on the arrival of a new baby. today's hearing, mister chairman, was very narrowly focused. in the coming days, you will see the committee move on to president trump's broader planning for january six, including his plan to corrupt the department of justice and his detailed planning would lawyer john eastman to pressure the vice president state legislatures, state officials and others to overturn the election. let me leave you today with one clip to preview what you will see and one of our hearings to come. this is a testimony of white house lawyer eric herschmann. john eastman called mr.
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herschmann the day after january six, and here hayes out that conversation went. >> i said to him, are you out of your effing mind? for i said, i only want to hear two words come out of your mouth from now on, orderly transition. >> thank you, mister chairman, i yield back. >> at the conclusion of last week's hearing, we showed you a video prior explaining to why they have come to washington on january six. it was because donald trump told him to be here. today, we heard about some of the lies that donald trump embraced and amplified when it became clear that he did not have the number of votes to win the election.
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we heard about how officials at different levels of government export claims of fraud and found no evidence, yet the former president continued to repeat those false claims over and over again. today, will and things where we did on thursday, back on january six. hearing words of individuals who wanted to stop the transfer of power. we know they were there because of donald trump. now, we hear some of the things that they believed, without objection, i enter into the record, a video presentation. >> i know exactly what is going on route right now. if they collects in, they think they will cheat us out of the vote, with joe faking biden office, it ain't happening today. >> you voted? >> yes, sir.
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>> how to go? >> we voted early, but you cannot really trust a software, the suffer all over. >> we voted, and right at the top ten corner of the dominion voting machine we used, there was a wi-fi symbol with five bars. that is most definitely connected to -- without a doubt. they stole that from us twice. we are not doing it anymore. we are not taking it anymore. we are standing up, we are here, and whatever happens, we are not letting down again. >> [inaudible] no -- >> justice system. >> 200,000 people that weren't even registered voted. 430,000 votes where here -- you cannot stand and tell me that it works. >> i don't want to say that what we are doing is right, but if the election being stolen, what is it going to take?
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>> the chair requests those in the hearing room remain seated until the capitol police have escorted members in the room. without objection, the committee stands adjoined. ands adjoined. this week, we had to block bluster hearings of the january six committee. the biggest headline, trump and his allies knew the scheme to overturn the 2020 election was illegal. they're in the second hearing as we saw, the committee laid out the case against trump and his big lie. >> i tried to, again, put this into perspective and into clear terms for the president. i said something to the effect of, sir, we have done dozens of investigations, hundreds of interviews, the major allegations did not support the evidence developed.
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>> a month and a half of so after the election day, at that meeting, various allegations of fraud were discussed, one and erik and pat they told a group, president included, that none of the allegations had been substantiated to the point where they will be the basis for any litigation challenge to the election. >> on the other hand, when i went into this and would tell him how crazy some of these allegations were, there was never an indication of interests in the actual facts were. >> on election night, trump had at least one man in his conspiracy corner. >> i think effectively,
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marriage leoni was saying, they're stealing from us, with all the votes come from, we need to say that we won. essentially, that anyone who didn't agree with that position was being weak. >> and it seems that rudy giuliani might not have been the best source of advice that night. >> the mayor was definitely intoxicated, but i did not know that his level of intoxication when he spoke with the president, for example. >> then, the third hearing zeroed in on another key player in trump's election scheme, conservative lawyer john eastman. eastman was the author of that now infamous coup memo, which outlined a six-step plan for mike pence to overturn the results of the election by using a fake slate of electors. it appears that even eastman himself actually knew that his legal theories were bogus.
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>> doctor eastman himself emitted in an email that the fake electors had no legal weight, referring to the fake electors as, quote, dead on arrival in congress, and quote. because they did not have a certification from their states. >> the john eastman ever admit, as far as you know, in front of the president, that his proposal violated the electoral count? >> i believe he did on the fourth. >> when i pressed him on the point, i said, john, if the vice president did what you asked him to do, we would lose nine to nothing in the supreme court, when we? he initially started, well, i think you would only lose 7 to 2. after some further discussion, acknowledged, well, you are right, we lose none. >> just in case you need more evidence that john eastman knew
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that his scheme was illegal, here is an email that he sent to rudy giuliani just days after the insurrection. >> doctor emplacements email stated, quote, i decided that it should be on the part in this, if that is still in the works. >> requesting a spot on a so-called part in this, that does not exactly scream of legal behavior. you may be asking yourself, if it is a fact that there was no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election, why is it so important that the committee proved trump and his allies knew that? a major hurdle in holding trump and his fellow coup plotters at accountable is proving intent. and this week, the committee helped prove the case against them in laying out who knew what and when. there is a second question we had to ask ourselves now, is the justice department listening to all of this? let's discuss this with renato
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mariotti, a former columnist for political and jill wine-banks, watergate prosecutor and msnbc legal analyst. it's good to have you with us. joe, i would like to start with you and get your reaction to both hearings this week. do you think that the committee successfully outlined the extent to which donald trump and his allies like john eastman knew and were aware that what they were doing was illegal? >> i think that they have done a brilliant job, that they left no doubt for any person who was watching, any person that cared about the facts, that they knew that they were lying, they knew they were violating the law, that they were part of a much broader conspiracy to overturn the election than just january six. this is part of the entire scheme, not just the big lie, not just the violence, but the calls the georgia, all the
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other efforts made to other states to get them to issue fixed eighths of electors, all of that and then the most searing information, i thought, was about vice president pence and the pressure they put on him and the danger they subjected him to. why would have to say is that his bravery in saying that i would not get in the car, i will not leave the building, i have a constitutional responsibility to fulfill, and i am going to do it. he stayed and made it happen. so, i think that is what we need to be looking at. >> burn auto, there is a difference between showcasing the evidence to the american people, as we saw this week in the hearings, and actually proving it in a court of law, the thresholds are obviously very different, tell us about the hurdles that prosecutors could face in trying to prove or establish the criminal intent of somebody like a donald trump and his potential
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accomplices. >> sure, proving the intent of someone like john eastman is a little bit easier than proving intent of donald trump because eastman's lawyer. he knows exactly what he was doing. that is why he wanted to be on the part in this. he is admitting privately -- with donald trump, it is trickier. obviously, we all know that he speaks in a word salad. he, obviously, has a problem state of mind. he certainly acted as if he believed that he really won. more importantly, he was getting advice from crooked lawyers, like rudy giuliani, like eastman. i think part of the challenge is going to be there being able to show that trump knew that legal schemes, this pence came that we are just talking about, was something that he himself knew was illegal, even though a lawyer was telling him to go forward with it. obviously, the testimony
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regarding the electoral count act is important, i don't know if that is enough here, but that would be where the center point would be. i think the best path for the justice department would actually to be target eastman, go after him and tried to get him to plead. he had a lot of one-on-one conversations and would be able to provide that testimony for crime fraud, et cetera. >> jill, let's talk about that for a moment, the point that renato just brought up. after the insurrection, eastman sent this email to rudy giuliani asking to be put on a part in this. what is the fact that there is a so-called pardon list circulating around after january six, tell us about the mindset of all of these people that were involved. i know that people are towards the end of any presidency are accustomed to asking for pardons, but the way that this email sounded was very specific in saying a part in this is
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still in the works, in particular, through the events of january the six. >> let me answer that question, and then i want to disagree a little with renato. in terms of the list, you also have the testimony of jarred kushner saying, i was so busy with trying to get pardons for people, that i thought they were winding, that people would not quit, it was just wanting. i think there is some evidence of a specific project to get pardons for people who were violating the law for the president. i think that is proof beyond out. i think that email speaks for itself. i want to be on the part in this if it is still an ongoing project. do you think that i don't agree with is that i think that donald trump's state of mind and his intent, his guilty conscience, is quite clear from all of the evidence that we have seen taken together.
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put it all together, i think you can say that you cannot pass the test of going into court and saying, he did not know, because the overwhelming number of people who testified this week, who were all republicans, who are all aides to him, was we told him that the facts were facts. we told him there was no fraud. we told him there was no suitcase. we told him this. we told him that. when you put that all together, you cannot willfully ignore the, i would say convenient and i don't like it. no, that's not how it works. the jury would be instructed that that does not count to obviate the obvious nature of the truth. you can't ignore the truth. you can't say, oh, i have one crazy lawyer that is paying me to say this. when everyone who works for me stymied that it is not true, that they investigated. law enforcement, this was the department of justice, this was the u.s. attorney.
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i think that is a losing argument for donald trump. >> renato mariotti, let's talk about the evidence collected here. the committee faced a months long legal battle to secure john eastman's emails. i would know from your experience, the sheer amount of legal footwork being done by the committee and the staff behind the scenes, is this kind of evidence worth the wait and what we have seen come out of it so far? >> i think so. i think with eastman, the committee has to be commended that they want the extra mile. we heard all through the hearings about that ruling from judge carter out in california, the federal judge who made findings. he issued a remarkable ruling, finding that it was more likely than not, obviously a lower standard than a criminal case, a significant finding that there was criminal activity between trump and eastman, and released emails, including some under the crime fraud
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exception. to me, in many ways, the committee is doing the work that you would ordinarily expect from the justice department. it really suggests to me that the justice department had reservations and concerns that they were stepping back, and the committee has been the aggressor on here. i think they should be commended because these are pieces of evidence that are so important for democracy, for everyone to pay attention to. i am just glad that they actually found this and made public. >> all right, renato mariotti, jill wine-banks, then through the both of you for starting us off this evening, appreciate your insights. still ahead, we will break down the third january 6th hearing and take a deeper look at the trump pressure campaign on his vice president mike pence. dent mike pence. we hit the bike trails every weekend shinges doesn't care. i grow all my own vegetables shingles doesn't care. we've still got the best moves you've ever seen good for you, but shingles doesn't care. because 1 in 3 people will get shingles, you need protection.
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yes!! and once in a lifetime moments. two tickets to nascar! yes! find rewards like these and so many more in the xfinity app. mike pence faced a brutal pressure campaign from donald trump. in fact, members of the trump white house and even
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insurrectionists, to overturn the election. it was a point made crystal clear during the third committee hearing. the culmination of that pressure on january the 6th put mike pence in a very real danger. >> make no mistake about the fact that the vice president's life was in danger. a recent court filing by the department of justice explains, the confidential informant from the proud boys told the fbi, the proud boys would have killed mike pence if given a chance. >> hang mike pence! hang mike pence! hang mike pence! hang mike pence! >> approximately 40 feet -- that's all there was. 40 feet between the vice president and the mob. mr. jacob, did donald trump ever called out president -- to check on the safety? >> he did not. >> this pressure campaign unfolded against the backdrop
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of an illegal scheme that trump and his allies concocted to overturn the election, with or without pence's help. >> donald trump wanted mike pence to do something no other vice president has ever done. the former president wanted pence to reject the votes and even declare trump the winner or even send the votes back to the states to be counted again. >> the president wanted the vice president to do was not just wrong. it was illegal and unconstitutional. >> that declaration of donald trump as the next president would have plunged america into what i believe would have been tantamount to a revolution within a constitutional crisis.
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>> to be clear, repeatedly, mr. meadows, about you in the vice president, having a different view about -- his on january 6th. >> i don't believe that happened. >> did mr. meadows explicitly ever [inaudible] or agree with you or say, yeah, it's okay. >> i believe that mark did agree. >> despite the fact that he may have said other things, did the president and others, to, you say, the vice president has no role? >> yes, correct. >> did he say that you several times? >> a couple times. >> before january 6th? >> yes. >> [inaudible] >> do you know if they ever expressed an opinion on whether they thought the vice president had the power john eastman said he did? >> i know for a fact that i heard both say his theory was crazy, that there was no validity to it in any way,
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shape or form. >> and did [inaudible] express that before january 6th? >> yes. >> to whom? >> i think to anyone who would listen. >> what were your prior actions with eastman? >> he described what he thought the ambiguity was. and he was walking through it at that time. and i said, hold on a second, i want to understand what you are saying. you are saying that you believe the vice president acting as president of the senate can be the sole decision-maker as to, your theory, who becomes next president of the united states? and he said yes. >> i said, are you out of your effing mind? that was pretty blunt. i said, you are completely crazy. >> donald trump and his allies and supporters or a clear and
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present danger to american democracy. >> after the break, barbara mcquade and richard painter will join me to break down what we learned in the third january 6th committee hearing. ittee hearing. ♪ and party every day. ♪ ♪ i want to rock and roll all night ♪ applebee's late night. because half off is just more fun. now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood. (man) [whispering] what's going on? now that's eatin' good (burke) it's a farmers policy perk. get farmers and you could save money by doing nothing. just be claim-free on your home insurance for three years. (man) that's really something. (burke) get a whole lot of something with farmers policy perks. (dad) bravo! (mom) that's our son! (burke) we should. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪
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judge, jay michael looted had one final thought after his appearance for the january six committee this week. he told politico, quote, january 6th was a war for america's democracy. it was an immoral war instigated and prosecuted by donald trump and his political party allies and supporters. joining me now is richard painter, former ethics lawyer under george w. bush and barr mcquade, former u.s. attorney of michigan. also an msnbc legal analyst. it's great to have you with us. richard, i'll start with you, they had made the case that donald trump and his allies
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were aware that what they were doing was illegal and they still did it anyway. talk to us about what that means from an ethics standpoint. >> from an ethics standpoint, it's obvious -- we'll, beyond that, which people said were ethically -- the united states government officials. the question is, whether it is criminal. and when you know what you are doing is illegal, and you proceed to do it anyway, that makes it that much easier for prosecutors to pursue criminal charges, serious criminal charges that could be brought here with respect to donald trump himself. 18 united states code 15 l five -- obstruction of a proceeding, which includes a proceeding before congress and this was a corrupt attempt to interfere, to obstruct the accounting of the electoral votes. 18 united states code 6:10, coercion of political activity, it is a felony to order or
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coerce any federal employee to engage in political activity before or after an election. that includes trying to overturn that election. and the pressure brought on the department of justice by donald trump. we have solicitation of election fraud, georgia and multiple states. and then the more difficult charges to prove -- but i believe they're substantial evidence to support charges of insurrection and sedition. donald trump, meeting in the oval office, advisors talking about sending the military to overturn the election in various states. in early december of 2020, this was a concerted plan of over two months to overturn a democratic election. january 6th was just the culmination of that plan. and there's abundant evidence of criminal activity on behalf of the former president and his closest advisers. >> barbara, speaking of legal
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opinion here is there any legal play in terms of how much danger mike pence was put in on january the 6th? is there any potential consequence for those who threaten his life and, more importantly, the president reportedly saying what he said about mike pence and him being hung and being threatened? >> it's certainly at this point, something that is reprehensible, immoral, and incredibly disloyal to the person that's been loyal to you for three years. but in terms of a crime, i think i want to see more evidence about what kind of relationship donald trump had with some of the people at the capitol who where the insurrectionists. we have not yet made that link. we know he was saying things that were incredibly inciting, that even after they had breached the capitol he had sent that tweet, again,
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directed that mike pence, the insurrectionists quoted and in that inspired them to continue chanting hang mike pence. so, some really reprehensible behavior there. but it really suggests at this moment a recklessness state of mind. and as richard was just recounting, in all the statutes we have been talking about so far, it really quote quiet unintentional state of mind. they had an agreement with a group to do certain things. and that we endeavor to do them. if he was simply calling out the crowd, sometimes referred to as step cast ick terrorism, we've seen members of isis and al-qaeda do it all the time. somebody ought to shoot up this group or this target -- [inaudible] conspiracy charge here. i want to see a closer link between don trump and the insurrectionists. we may get there. but i don't think we are there yet. >> richard, i want to play some more sound from mike pence's former counsel, greg jacob. watch this. >> the vice president did not want to take any chance that
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the world would see the vice president of the united states fleeing the united states capitol. he was determined that we would complete the work, that we had set out to do that today. >> so these hearings made it clear that mike pence did his constitutional duty, despite the pressure against the meeting. he did his legal obligation, which was crucial, and should be applauded. but ethically speaking, don't we have to question why he didn't say anything sooner between election day and january 6th? could he or his staff have helped prevent the insurrection by pouring cold water on what donald trump was trying to do behind the scenes? not just him but also people like bill barr, who really did not come out as forcefully as he should have in between election day and insurrection day? >> i was very [inaudible] of vice prince and particularly attorney general bill barr, throughout 2020, when the
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justice department was orchestrating the reelection of donald trump, and that's what the justice department was all about in 2019 and 2020. at the end of the day, both vice president pence and attorney general barr realized that this was not only wrong and illegal, criminal, but a grave threat to our democracy. and they both put the country before their allegiance to donald trump in the end. and ought to be commended for that and we should thank them that mike pence did what he did that day. because had gone the other way, if he had done with donald trump told him to do, we could very well have had a military coup, as donald trump ordered the military to [inaudible] place to support his bid to stay in office. that's how dictatorships four and are perpetuated in power. i would remind everyone of the
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19 2020 they are hall pushed of the attempt to take over the german government and they put those insurrectionists in prison, including -- put in prison for only four years. they should have put him in prison and thrown away the key. we need to learn from this how dangerous insurrection could be when people are not willing to respect a democratically elected government. and a democracy can turn into a dictatorship very, very quickly, as happened in germany when those people came back ten years later, 1933. so, let's make sure this never happens again and these people i never serving in a united states government in any capacity whatsoever. >> and to richard points, barbara, you had michael luttig the former federal judge, testify. the same thing we are hearing from richard painter about the threat it still poses. he is warning that there is still a real and present threat
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to our democracy from trump and his allies. do you share that sentiment, that even if -- personally isn't there, that the threat he has enabled still very much exists and could impact our democracy for years to come, if not outright toppling? >> i think so. and in fact, i worry that somebody who is a little more sophisticated than donald trump would actually do it better. he had a lot of clumsy efforts and a lot of different threads that he was trying to -- on january 6th. and wasn't able to pull it off. but we have seen the power of mob violence unfold before our eyes on january 6th. and so it doesn't take a whole lot of imagination to think about someone else being able to light that flame. whether that is trump or a successor -- so, i think that political violence is a very serious danger in our country. there is no easy answer to how to reduce that and how to solve it. but i think it begins by having responsible leaders who know
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that we are a country that elects its leaders through democracy and not through fiat. and not through brute force, as we saw donald trump try to do. i think that that's the reason that i think it is so critically important that we do hold donald trump and associates criminally accountable for what they did. i know that the decision to charge is going to be a difficult one for many reasons. but i think that if they get to the point of exercising discretion and making a decision about all of the negative consequences and all of the positive consequences, violent criminal charges at the end of the day, if donald trump -- is not held accountable for this just incredibly dangerous conduct, i worry that it will only embolden others to try again. >> yeah, it is the difficult decision. but i still think it is the right one for merrick garland to make. let's hope he is. watching richard painter, barbara mcquade, thanks very much to the both of you. still ahead, trump officials finally came clean to the january six committee. but my question is, what took them so long? so long
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january 6th committee that they tried to dissuade donald trump from his bid to overturn the election. but in public, at the time, their words were very different. in fact, for more attorney general bill barr, who of course was donald trump's campaign manager as well as trump's campaign manager, bill stepien -- and trump campaign advisor jason miller, at the time, all spread the same conspiracy. before changing their turn to new when trump actually went too far. >> elections that have been held with male have found substantial fraud and coercion. >> i told him that this stuff is people were shelling out to the public was bull bleep. that the claims of fraud were bull bleep. and he was indignant about that. >> it's a threat to national security. it's a threat to the
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continuance of governance for our country not to know where president is four days, but weeks, potentially months. it's a real concern. i know our campaign is very aggressive on the legal front. >> my recommendation was to say that, votes are still being counted. it's too early to tell, too early to call the race. >> if you speak with many smart democrats, they believe that president trump will be ahead on election night, probably getting 280 electoral, someone that range. then they'll try to steal it back after the election. >> to the best of my memory i would say that we should not go and declare victory until we get a better sense of the numbers. >> now we don't want to let ivanka trump off the hook here either. she testified that she believes bill barr was right when he told trump there was no evidence of election fraud. and yet she still attended trump's rally on january the 6th that preceded the capital insurrection. that's her right there.
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she didn't speak at the rally. but it's hard to imagine that she didn't support the words of the speakers if she shared the stage with them. i mean, she could've found something else to do. so, it's a good reminder for all of us about the testimony we are hearing from trump officials. yes, it's great that they have finally seen the light. but we should all be asking every chance we get what took them so long. coming, up the former city commissioner philadelphia, al schmidt in, testified before the committee this week. he joins me live, next on the program. program. you know liberty mutual customizes your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need? like how i customized this scarf? check out this backpack i made for marco. only pay for what you need. ♪liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty.♪ you never know what opportunities only pay for what you need. life will send your way. but if you have moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis, enbrel can help you say i'm in for what's next. ready to create a bigger world? -i'm in. ready to earn that “world's greatest dad” mug? -i'm in.
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of the january six committee, we heard from a long line of trump officials and even some members of trump's family who said that trump was told time and time again that he had lost the 2020 election. but trump ignored them and instead embraced the liars. -- >> president trump rejected the advice of his campaign experts on election night. and instead, followed the course recommended by and apparently any breach did rudy giuliani, who just claimed he won. and insist that the -- stopped, to falsely claim everything was fraudulent. >> but trump's incentive to push the big lie went beyond his desire to stay in office. there was money at stake. and there was a lot of it. >> the trump campaign knew
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these claims of voter fraud or false. yeah, he continued to barrage small dollar donors with emails, encouraging them to donate to something called the official election defense fund. president trump and his allies raised $250 million. >> we found evidence that the trump campaign and its surrogates misled donors as to where their funds would go and what they would be used for. so, not only was there the big lie, there was the big rip off. >> our next guest testified before the committee during the second hearing, as a former republican member of the philadelphia election commission, i'll schmidt was asked about trump's false claims that -- 8000 dead voters cast ballots in that city. >> not only was there not evidence of 8000 dead voters voting in pennsylvania, there wasn't evidence of eight. >> alice schmidt is a republican who served as the city commissioner of philadelphia. and he joins me now.
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mr., schmidt, thank you so much for joining us this evening. you testified out about the many threats you in your family received after trump called you out on twitter. just ask, how are you and your family doing? after all this time? and are you still receiving threats, especially now, in the wake of this testimony? >> thank you for having me on, eamonn. it's also very kind of view to ask that question. it's really one that i get. so, i appreciate it. threats began, certainly, it before the election. and it's important for me to say, i'm not the only election official in america who received threats. there were many who did. i'm sure there are many who had it even worse than i did. but after the president tweeted at me by name on the 11th, it really changed in tone. it was no longer something in general -- like, with the second amendment is for. it's naming my daughters, naming my son, their ages,
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their address, pictures of our home. all of that stuff. so, it certainly became pretty harrowing for some time. after the new president was inaugurated, they subsided. and then whatever whenever there is chatter about some sort of arizona-style audit in pennsylvania, they sometimes [inaudible] . >> i got to ask you, you had these threats and despite them, you agreed to testify before the committee. walk me through how you calculated the importance of what you had to offer the committee and the potential risk of getting back into the spotlight, given everything you are just telling us about what your family went through. >> when i first received those threats, i wrestled with weather to share them with anyone, including law enforcement. i wrestled with whether to even acknowledge their existence. i didn't want to scratch the h of any of these terrible people who would be saying these terrible things directed at my
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family, and my children and all the rest. >> -- >> so, ultimately, i ended up making the decision to do it into a publicly. because i felt it was important that people know how deranged trump supporters had certainly become, to the point where they would be threatened to do the sort of things, to my little kids. so that, at the end of the day, when balancing those things out, i decided to make it public. >> i want to get your reaction to this revelation from the second hearing, the committee revealing what it dubbed as the big lie. they referred to it as the big rip-off. the incentive of the big lie, rather. trump raised $250 million for an election defense fund that, honestly, did not exist. and those funds were diverted to all kinds of trump friendly events and organizations,
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including his hotel. what do you make of that? >> it certainly wasn't spent on good legal counsel. as you, know there were more than 60 cases throughout the country, many of them in pennsylvania, many of those before federal courts, with republican judges, including republican judges appointed by former president trump. and they had their day in court. and being in court, it's a put up or shut up moment. and they had nothing to show for all their accusations. so, if there were spending that money on legal, fees they could have done a lot better, they had a lot of facts to begin with. >> i got to ask you about the republican party more broadly speaking. does it bother you that the republican party, your, party is not pushing back more gantt against trump's election lies? and that some are even campaigning on them to run for office themselves? >> very much. it's clear, i think we had a
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moment -- and many people say this, right. my opinion is no different. that's right after january 6th, i couldn't see how it wasn't obvious to everybody the danger of all these lies, about the 2020 election, posed, and that things were becoming very, very dangerous, not just in terms of threats to election officials but manifesting themselves at the u.s. capitol, the symbol of our democracy, certainly, arguably. it's very upsetting to see how much of a self indulgence in this paranoid fantasy of a stolen election and to see it continue and to see people benefit from it, it was really pretty awful. >> i am sure you are aware, we -- the 50th anniversary of the watergate break in this week. there was a piece in the new york times that compare that moment in history is what we are seeing today, in part --
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and then he republican leaders reacted to increasingly damning revelations about their [inaudible] by siding with the democrats and forcing mr. nixon from power. this morning, republicans are either silent or contemptuous of -- misdeeds by mr. trump. how do you respond? how do you see it? >> i am afraid that's been largely the case. we are pretty early on in these hearings. we have a while to go. i think it's important that everybody approach them with an open mind, to not rush to say there shouldn't be -- coming from it perhaps there should be. we have a while to go here. but it's -- to see republicans just want to cover their ears and to say everything is old news is disturbing. because, if you care about history, if you care about


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