tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC August 23, 2022 12:00am-1:00am PDT
>> democracy remains in danger, the conspiracy to thwart the will of the people is not over. >> as anti-democratic forces win elections and take power in state houses, tonight new evidence that america is waking up to the reality. >> we are facing a moment where our democracy is really under attack and under threat. >> then, donald trump files a new lawsuit as he literally threatens the fbi in court documents and his supporters work up new excuses. >> every former president has access to other documents that's how they write their memoirs. >> plus new reporting on the most powerful man in american politics you've never heard of. he has planned to spend 1. 6 billion dollars from a single conservative donor, and 78 days into the midterms, what mitch mcconnell's concerns about
candidate quality are rearing their head in georgia. >> our good air decided to float over to china's bad air. so when china gets our good air, their bad air gotta move. >> all in starts right now. >> good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. two weeks after the fbi executed that search warrant on his florida property, donald trump has finally issued a legal response if you want to call it that. not surprisingly, the attempt here is to stall the investigation into the allegedly classified information the fbi seized from mar-a-lago by asking the court to appoint what's called a special master. that's one who goes through and looks at the documents and sees if any are covered by executive privilege. that in itself does make a ton of sense. nevertheless, lots of legal observers say this all may be too little, too late. the case will be heard by judge aileen cannon who was appointed
by trump, supported by far-right florida senator rick scott, before being confirmed in the lame duckperiod by the senate when donald trump lost the election, during which time he was plotting to undo american democracy. we don't know how it will shake out, but again we see this time and time again. trump is attempting to use the courts to use whatever he has at disposal to wriggle out of accountability. in this case particularly, the ex president being served, it may be why the acute threat to our democracy seems to be really sinking in for the american people. according to a brand new nbc poll, the number one issue for americans heading into the midterms is not inflation, or the economy, it is threats to democracy. that right now ranking ahead of things like cost of living, jobs and the economy, and i have to be totally honest with someone who has been on the democracy beat for years, covers it night in and night out on the show, i found that poll generally surprising.
pleasantly surprising but surprising. the best i can figure there are a number of reasons why i think we are seeing this issue pop-up. a lot of the credit has to go to the excellent work of the january six committee, which has painstakingly, very carefully and rigorously detailed trump's attempted coup, the danger he poses to a democracy going forward. those hearings have been watched by millions upon millions of americans, including at least 20 million in the very first hearing to give you a sense of what that means, that's in line with major televised events, like sunday night football, and the macy's thanksgiving day parade. there's also the department of justice attorney general merrick garland, who was very quiet for a lot of time, which made sense given his role. but he has recently started to do his part as well by explaining just how important and necessary the department of justice's ongoing investigation in the coup attempt is. >> this is the most wide reaching investigation and the
most important investigation the justice department has ever entered into, and we have done so because this effort to upend a general election, transferring power from one administration to the next, cuts at the fundamental root of american democracy. we have to get this right. >> now that's in addition to what appears to be another doj investigation into donald trump, the one we just referenced a moment ago, that of course led to the execution of that search warrant at his florida golf club two weeks ago. that search was linked to the recovery of allegedly classified documents, the investigation itself and trump 's public meltdown in response, just further reminds everyone what's at stake. it highlights how dangerous, just how wildly reckless, unacceptable it would be to let this man, this individual once again have access to the power of the american state and the
levers of american democracy. earlier today, senate republican leader mitch mcconnell was actually asked about this poll showing threats to democracy as the number one issue among voters. he said quote, there were those who were trying to prevent the orderly transfer of power for the first time in american history, and that was not good. all right? bold claim, we all can agree. it was thwarted and i guess that's had some impact on the poll he referred to, but look i think we have a very solid democracy. now that's a hell of a thing to say given the number of election deniers running in mitch mcconnell's party with his party's backing for positions that would oversee elections in competitive races in swing states. for instance, kristina karamo, a 2020 poll watcher who back during 2020 spread baseless allegations about fraud in the michigan election, including the untrue conspiracy theory that voting machines were changing the results of the election in favor of joe biden, flipping votes right?
totally wrong, wildly reckless, dangerous thing to say. she is now the de facto republican nominee for secretary of state in michigan. endorsed by donald trump of course. in arizona, two election deniers clinched republican nominations for high-profile positions that would oversee current elections. keri lake won the arizona gubernatorial nomination on the back of trump endorsement again, which she won by repeatedly spreading nonsense like this. >> you've called joe biden an illegitimate president. what does that mean? >> he lost the election and he shouldn't be in the white house. we had a corrupt election. we have inflation, sky-high inflation and can't afford our gasoline, can't afford our groceries. that's because we had a rigged, stolen election. the facts are there, the forensic audit proves it. >> that's all lies, completely lies. she would have to know that their lies. not only that the forensic audit, remember that we're republican thing where they were counting the ballots in that stadium, came out to show that joe biden was the
president. anyway, that sounds a lot like lake's fellow arizona republican, another nominee for secretary of state mark finchem is also saying. >> i did not know that a little over a year ago the act of standing up for you about a suspicious election that has since been proved to be irredeemably compromised would ignite a nationwide populist movement to regain control over our governments, and to trigger my pursuit to be your next secretary of state. ladies and gentlemen, we know it and they know it. donald trump won. [applause] >> we do not in fact know it because it's not true, because donald trump lost by millions of votes. then there's doug mastriano, the trump endorsed
gubernatorial nominee in pennsylvania. he was on the capitol on the steps during the insurrection. he was one of the plotters of the attempted coup. he was one of those involved in the fake elector scheme. >> when you have something, the mini voting system is intentionally and purposely designed with inherent errors to create systematic fraud and influence election results, and we have 28 states, and putting battleground states we have a problem. >> secretary of state blew off all the allegations and shenanigans. our attorney general declared a winner but before one vote was counted, so the whole process as has been corrupted. no one wanted to see shenanigans in disenfranchisement and we're gonna rise up and say, constitutionally we have the last say. >> barrage of lies and lies and more lies. none of that is true, the voting machines were not rigged. that guy spreading that
excrable nonsense, that dangerous nonsense, that nonsense that led people to storm the capital that led to people dying, to cops getting their heads bashed in on national television, that guy who's spewing that nonsense has a very real shot of being the next governor of pennsylvania. midterms traditionally favor the opposition party. all those candidates that we've just highlighted are running in post-swing states that donald trump won once, that had elected statewide republicans. they're all just a stone's throw away from overseeing elections, from being the person signing the paper saying, yes this election was conducted fairly, these are the final numbers. we have just given you the lowlifes here, they're not the only ones. according to the washington post quote, across the battleground states to decide the 2020 vote, candidates who deny the legitimacy of election claim nearly two thirds of republican operations for state and federal offices with authority over elections. again, that's just in the swing states which are of particular concern for obvious reasons.
if you just look at the swing states, you're missing the whole story, as it doesn't end here. wyoming. wyoming's nominee for secretary of state, the republican nominee who will appear in the ball in the fall is a man by the name of chuck gray. he said this during a recent debate. >> representative gray yes or no, you believe the 2020 presidential election was stolen? >> yes i think it was clear that there was way more fraud in the margin of the election. >> that guy, way more fraud in the margin of the election. obviously false, completely false. he has essentially already won. he's the republican nominee in the state. that guy saying that lie, that dangerous lie, that deadly lie, who spread those lies will be overseeing wyoming's elections. so with candidates like this, it's no wonder americans are wondering about the safety of our elections.
and that's before we even get into the threats from republicans, both implicit, sometimes explicit. but the only thing that matters is power. that there's no actual reality about who won the election or whether someone committed a crime or not. all that matters is who wields power, that they are willing to wield that power if elected against their enemies without mercy or remorse. now the people on the receiving end of that threat are rightfully waking up to just how serious it is. joining me now, marc elias an expert on litigation, founder of democracy docket, where he wrote up on both groups threatening our democracy. mark, on the polling, as someone who obviously cares about this, and you've devoted your career to this, arere you like i pleasantly surprised by this polling result? >> i am chris. i am surprised, but it's not enough. i'm glad as we are getting closer to election day, americans are waking up and realizing that the threat to
democracy is real, and if we don't fight it now, and we don't defeat it now, we could lose our democracy for a generation or more. so it's great to see the numbers have jumped dramatically, there's still more to do, and the job you do on the show is essential. >> one of the officers that we were talking about, the gubernatorial races, secretary of state races, and the other one that's important is attorney general. the emergency docket has been looking at those, and there we see basically the same thing, with secretaries of state and gubernatorial nominees in the republican parties are a number of republican nominees who are out and out coup supporters, big lie spreaders, who are poised to be attorney general. how important is that? >> it's critically important. in some ways we understated when we say here are the secretaries of state.
it's a party wide problem among republicans from the most local level to the highest level, they don't support free and fair elections, they don't support the person who got the most votes and certified the winner. it's a more enormous problem. with attorneys general, if you remember before the insurrection on january six, 17 republican attorneys general signed on to a brief that was originally filed by texas to throw out the election results in four states. that was the moment that i knew the problem we had was not just about donald trump and some of his supplements in washington, d. c.. the 17 attorneys general knew better, and yet they went to the supreme court to disenfranchise four entire states. >> and in that case right, there is a case where they are filing something. they had to file and go through
the court and went up to the supreme court which was rejected ultimately. but imagine them now having the administrative function of certifying an election. one of the things we learned in 2020 is that there is an assumption of good faith, amongst these officials, the numbers come in, and the person overseeing it, the secretary of state says yes this is the tally. it's going to be hard to have faith or trust in that person dispatching that duty in good faith if they have gone around saying the 2020 election was rigged? >> yes, that's a really, really important part of the story here. after 2020, my team and i beat donald trump and his allies in court more than 60 times. the reaction from republicans looking forward to 2022 is to do exactly as you said. not necessarily to engage in the courtroom, but in the places where ballots are counted. the places where votes are certified. you have to look no further than the situation in
pennsylvania, where we have a near constitutional crisis because several counties controlled by republicans have simply refused to certify accurate primary election results. they didn't simply not certify any results. instead, they certified incomplete results. and as you say, the system assumes good faith on the part of local election officials. and when they are instead of acting in good faith, they're acting to subvert the election results, it becomes very difficult to detect and to undo. >> wait, say more about the pennsylvania story. >> yeah, so what happened in pennsylvania is people had cast ballots by mail and signed their ballot, these were eligible voters, they've done everything right except they had failed to put a hand written date next to their signature. now everyone in the state of pennsylvania acknowledges that the date doesn't matter. you can get a date from the past, a date from the future,
and you could put your birthday, you could pick your anniversary date. but as a federal court said therefore an undated ballot needed to count. it would violate the federal law not to count. they are postmarked, we know the date it was sent. >> we know the date they were seen, because they are postmarked and they are law in the county. they literally play my function, the day, in this process. despite the fact that a federal court and a state court said these ballots have to be counted, several republican counties simply didn't count them in the results they certified to the state. now these are not red counties. these are counties with more than 1 million people. they just happen to be run by majority republican elections. >> wow. and this is a great point, it's really important, too, because there is no partisan advantage. right? this is a primary in the republican party. it is really about, like, the principle of the thing. right?
should you count the ballots of legitimate votes or not. there is, no, like democrats are gonna get to power. this is purely on the grounds of, like, do you believe in democracy, counting votes, counting votes under the order of a court or not? that is a real warning system coming out of all pennsylvania. mark elias who is on this full-time. i appreciate you coming on tonight. >> thank you. >> coming up, two weeks after the fbi searched his retirement home, donald trump finally files a motion in court threatening the people investigating him. democratic congressman eric swalwell of california joins me next.
i know there's conflicting information about dupuytren's contracture. i thought i couldn't get treatment yet? well, people may think that their contracture has to be severe to be treated, but it doesn't. if you can't lay your hand flat on the table, talk to a hand specialist. but what if i don't want surgery? well, then you should find a hand specialist certified to offer nonsurgical treatments. what's the next step? today, exactly two weeks after visit findahandspecialist.com today to get started.
the fbi searched donald trump's mar-a-lago residence, the ex president is suing to temporarily block the fbi from reviewing documents seized from his home. the motion filed today asked a federal judge to appoint an independent special master to review material seized by the government. the motion is 27 pages long. it asks the doj provide inventory of property seized by mar-a-lago, and any material that were not part of the scope of the search returned. it also contains the same openly threatening message that trump had his lawyer apparently relay to a justice department lawyer on august 11th. it reads, quote, president trump wants the attorney general to know that he has been hearing from people all over the country about the raid. if there was one word to describe their mood, it is angry.
the heat is building up. the pressure is building up. whatever i can do to take the heat down, to bring the pressure down, just let us know. congressman eric swalwell is a democrat of california, a member of the house intelligence committee. he joins me now. congressman, this sort of threat was reported, i believe, in the new york times earlier. the president committing it to print now in a court filing. what is your reaction to that? >> merrick garland, chris, it's not going to be threatened. that is clearly the case here. this is a position, it's also clear he does not want to be in. but the days of donald trump, you know, throwing his weight around or threatening the department of justice, they're clearly over. he doesn't have bill barr or whitaker, jeff sessions, you know, to do his bidding anymore. but we do need a full account of, one, most importantly, what documents did donald trump have that were top secret and compartmentalized. two, you know, where these documents came into other individuals? who else had access? were they digitized. i am afraid they could've also
been uploaded into an online format. three, we know donald trump interacts often with foreign nationals, you know, were they given or passed around, ordered for nationals have access to them. and then why, why crusted he have these documents? they say that my colleagues on the intel committee on the republican side say it is for his memoir. donald trump just published a picture book. he is not writing a memoir. so the why is also very important here. >> yeah, i will play mike turner who has been going around sort of defending the president, making that point, take a listen. >> what use would a former president have for classified or top secret information once he has left office? why bring it home with him? >> well, i don't know. you have to ask him. but certainly we all know that every former president has access to their documents, it is how they write their memoirs. they don't have, you know, great recall of everything that has occurred in their administration. >> i should note, again, that
is mike turner on the -- committee, you are calling on that committee. new york times, apparently just reporting just now, to your point about the number, the scope of this. there were 300 classified documents, apparently at mar-a-lago. which, again -- >> jeez. >> yeah, what do you make of that number? >> yeah, that is a lot. just for your viewers sake, the reason why they are marked top secret means that it often relates to forced protection for our troops. you know, information about where our troops are that we would not want anyone to know because it would put them in harm's way. it can relate to our nuclear posture or the nuclear posture of our adversaries. it can relate to the technical means that we used to collect information, to protect our troops and protect americans. or the work that we are doing to combat terrorism. so 300 pages, you know, just a basement stairway away in an open, you know, beach house. it is not where you would want
that information. especially in the hands of someone who president biden deemed should not even be able to receive classified information. >> there were some reports earlier today that the gang of aid, which is a group of people that have special intelligence oversight duties under statute wanted to be briefed, essentially, on the mar-a-lago documents. your colleague, congressman adam schiff who is the chair of that intel committee seem to knock that down today. i want to play what he said and get your reaction. >> there was a report that the gang of eight requested a briefing on the affidavit or the other materials. there is no request that i am aware of that has come from us, individual members of the gang of 8 expressed interest in learning more. >> are you confident that folks can be trusted, your colleagues can be trusted with a briefing such of this, given some evidence that, for instance in
the past, i believe richard burr, is said to have filled the white house in after a confidential fbi briefing. >> no, i am very concerned that my republican colleagues have showed themselves that if they are given classified information, they will use it to protect, they will manipulate what it is, or they will pervert the information to protect donald trump. so i think what mr. schiff was probably alluding to, you know, if this is an active ongoing investigation, of course as custodians of classified information and individual branch of government. we want to know with the battlefield assessment is of where and when, we also don't want to jeopardize an independent investigation. by the way, chris, all of the moves that have taken place as it relates to this investigation have been at the request of donald trump. the fbi didn't publicize the search. they're all trump acknowledge the search himself. the fbi was not the one that said let's make all this public, donald trump said that the
should all be public. so merrick garland in the doj said fine. now it is donald trump who wants the affidavit to be out there. so every damaging piece of information that hurts donald trump is at his own request. >> congressman eric swalwell, serves on the house intelligence committee, thank you very much. >> my pleasure, thanks, chris. still ahead, there is a reason south dakota governor kristi noem did the most of the talking in the endorsement of herschel walker. >>. >>, biggest instigators, herschel is the guy, he knows how to win. >> -- >> herschel is for you, but for herschel. >> how this uniquely unqualified candidate could injure republicans ability to take the senate, next.
do you have a life insurance policy you no longer need? now you can sell your policy - even a term policy - for an immediate cash payment. we thought we had planned carefully for our retirement. but we quickly realized we needed a way to supplement our income. if you have $100,000 or more of life insurance, you may qualify to sell your policy. don't cancel or let your policy lapse without finding out what it's worth.
visit coventrydirect.com to find out if your policy qualifies. or call the number on your screen. coventry direct, redefining insurance. your projects done right . with angi, you can connect with and see ratings and reviews. and when you book and pay throug you're covered by our happiness check out angi.com today. angi... and done. it's time for the biggest sale of the year, on the sleep number 360 smart bed. it senses your movements and automatically adjusts to keep you both comfortable. and when you book and pay throug you're covered by our happiness our smart sleepers get 28 minutes more restful sleep per night. all smart beds are on sale. save 50% on the sleep number 360 limited edition smart bed. ends monday
i was injured in a car crash. limited edition smart bed. ends monday i had no idea how much my case was worth. i called the barnes firm. leonard leo, is possibly the when a truck hit my son, i had so many questions about his case. i called the barnes firm. it was the best call i could've made. your case is often worth more than insuran call the barnes firm to find out i could've made. what your case could be worth. we will help get you the best result possible.
♪ the barnes firm, injury attorneys ♪ call one eight hundred,est resul eight million ♪ most powerful person in america who almost no one knows about. if i were to draw a venn diagram of who is the most powerful person with the least name recognition, the person in the middle of the circle is leonard leo. they're happy for event. he's a vice president of the federal society whose mission he once described as creating a kind of conservative pipeline to take over the courts. leo has referred to himself as quote, a leader of the conservative legal movement and he's not wrong. he has played a key role in putting all six of the current conservative justices on the supreme court.
clarence thomas, john roberts, samuel alito, brett kavanaugh and amy coney barrett and neil gorsuch. in 1990 leo began his career as a clerk for a judge in u.s. court of appeals in washington, d. c. where he met and became close friends with clarence thomas. the following year leo was hired as one of the first paid employees of the federal society, although he delayed his start there to help thomas through his supreme court nomination. the washington post puts it in a 2018 piece. quote at the federalist society, leo took a leading role in the conservative legal movement, part of bridging effort to counter the influence of the 1960s and liberals and education, law and politics. that effort ramped up when george w. bush was elected. leo became an outside adviser to the bush white house on judicial nominations. he organized the campaigns around john roberts and samuel alito's nominations to the court both of which of course were successful. during the bush years leonard leo also developed a reputation, a well earned one as a conservative money man as the
post reports. he expanded that role even after president obama took office, especially in the wake of the 2010 citizens united ruling which opened the door for unlimited corporate spending. of course, the irony being that leonard leo helped bring about that awful ruling by putting several conservatives who voted for it on the court itself. he was then in a position to reap the rewards by doing a lot of fund raising through these new channels that the court had just signed on to. he's ultimately a big part of why we are now seeing enormous unprecedented sums of nearly untraceable money sloshing through our politics. but that's not all. he wants the court to rollback all sorts of key rights. he is largely responsible for the destruction of the voting rights act, the 2013 shelby county versus colby ruling. and if there's one single man, i really mean this, aside from i would say donald trump, one single man most responsible for
roe v. wade being overturned, it is him, leonard leo. it was his six justices whose vetting and nominations and confirmations he all shepherded who all voted to gut reproductive rights. when you see the news about a ten year old forced to flee her state to terminate a pregnancy from a rapist, think about leonard leo as the man who brought the state of affairs about. he is the guy pulling the strings in the background, and yet, no one really knows his name. months before donald trump was elected, leo was already shaping trump support court nominations. listen to how he describes this meeting with trump in march of 2016. >> he had an idea he wanted to float, which was, what do you think of having me put out a list of people who i would pick from for the u.s. supreme court? now, this was a little bit of a radical idea. no candidate ever tried it before.
i said about to suggest to him names of people who would be appropriate for that kind of a list. >> think about how all this works right? scalise is dead, vacancies not being filled by mitch mcconnell, who says under no circumstances will they fill it. so there is this opening, and i know that if donald trump becomes the president, conservatives will get a nominee in the court. so he says to leo, do the list. and leo says, i'll give you a list. he then became president trump 's judicial advisor. got lifetime supreme court nominations for the people, neil gorsuch, brett kavanaugh and amy coney barrett. they've already eliminated the constitutional right to an abortion. they have tried to kneecap the eps climate regulation, regulated gun access, and on
and on and on. we can only imagine that this last term was the most consequential right-wing term many say in 70 or 80 years, perhaps ever. again, i know it sounds a little weird to ascribe this one basically anonymous dude all this power, but it really is true. don't take it from me. two of leonard leo's longtime close friends, justice clarence thomas and his wife ginni thomas have spoken publicly about his vast influence. >> leonard leo has single-handedly changed the face of the judiciary under the auspices of ed meas and many of the people who started the federalist society. he wears many hats, he doesn't really tell all that he does but i know enough to know the man is a force of nature. >> it's great to have you here today. >> well thank you. you know leonard, since you're the number three most powerful person in the world [laughs] >> right, god help us. god help us. >> now in context, that's a
tongue-in-cheek joke but only a half joke. now get this, the same guy leonard leo who is one of the most powerful people in the world, who operates largely out of the spotlight, he has now been handed 1. 6 billion dollars in one of the largest single political donations in recorded history to further his right-wing agenda. the details of the story are shocking. we'll talk to one of the reporters who dug it up. that is next. is next
policy you no longer need? now you can sell your policy - even a term policy - for an immediate cash payment. we thought we had planned carefully for our retirement. but we quickly realized we needed a way to supplement our income. if you have $100,000 or more of life insurance, you may qualify to sell your policy. don't cancel or let your policy lapse without finding out what it's worth. visit coventrydirect.com to find out if your policy qualifies. or call the number on your screen. coventry direct, redefining insurance. it's time for the biggest sale of the year, on the sleep number 360 smart bed. why choose proven quality sleep from sleep number? because proven quality sleep is vital to our health and wellness, only the sleep number 360 smart bed keeps you cool, then senses and effortlessly adjusts for your best sleep. and tells you exactly how well you slept. your sleepiq score. our smart sleepers get 28 minutes more restful sleep per night. so, you can be your best for yourself and those you care about most. don't miss our weekend special. all smart beds are on sale. it has sometimes been hard to save 50% on the sleep number 360 limited edition smart bed. ends monday.
tell if the amount of danger our democracy has gone through in the public at large we are seeing new evidence americans understand that they are rightly concerned. as we mentioned, the new nbc news poll released over the weekend found that voters right threats to democracy as the number one threat to democracy.- of all of this attention now focused on safeguarding american democracy, it is perhaps more important to ever to know who is working to, well, undermine it. leonard leo is one of those people, i think it is fair to say. he is the most powerful person in the country that you have likely never heard of. >> the idea was really to create a pipeline. create a pipeline that started in law school, and then glide into the legal profession by building a network of infrastructure of people around the country who can influence the major power centers of our legal -- >> he has been very successful. the world we have today is partly borne of their success. largely borne of his success, as the new york times reports
that guy who is creating that pipeline now has 1. 6 billion dollars at his disposal to use however he likes. a reporter from new york times, one of the reporters who broke that story. he joins me lowe. can i read this story 2 to 3 times when it was published this morning. because i just never encountered anything like it. so just describe to us who donated this money. and how? -- >> yeah, it was a very unusual transaction, chris. the likes of which i had never seen in my years of covering money in politics. where in this donor, his name is barry side. he was the owner, complete owner, of a electrical device manufacturing company. he donated 100% of the shares of that company to a new nonprofit a dark money nonprofit that he set up -- to custody of the company,
essentially sold the company to another company. the proceeds of which were about 1. 6 billion dollars. so the nonprofit was able to get, you know, essentially reap the proceeds of that without paying capital gains taxes. which he would have had to pay if he had sold the company directly. then try to donate the money to this new nonprofit. so i gave them this really huge unprecedented kitty to -- part of a network, a larger network of groups that leonard leo has formed and cultivated in the past few years to try to influence, not just the judiciary, but politics in a broader way. pushing for conservative issues on things. pushing for the conservative stance on things like voting roles abortion rights, you know, fighting efforts to combat climate change. so really puts him at the center, a kingmaker as we termed it in our story. >> just to be clear, so, have you ever encountered a transaction of this nature before?
>> we have seen instances where major donors have given shares of companies. >> right. >> not usually companies their own companies where a lot of money worth of shares in the not profit can do with it whatever they want. -- no. this happened in march of 2021, right? like how did you, would this have been public if you and other reporters didn't sniff this out? like how did you find out about this? how do you know about this? >> no, it would not even public. they are dark money groups. they are called out for a reason. they don't have to report a lot of information about their donors, they have to report any information about their donors. they don't have to report much information about their finances, including on they spend the money. so what this group did report on, it is mandatory tax filings, all nonprofits have to release public tax filings, it reported
that it received 100 percent of the shares of a company, it didn't identify with the company was. that it reaped 1. 6 billion dollars from selling the shares of the company. so through our reporting, we were able to determine with that company was and who the owner was, when a little bit more about leonard leo's relationship with this donor, the owner of the company. >> and just to be clear, again, now this money is sitting there, presumably, and can be used again thanks to basically the jurisprudence that came from out of citizen united and subsequent holdings by this court, to do whatever you want in any kind of political campaign or, essentially entirely unregulated fashion? >> yeah, i mean, there are some rules that say that these nonprofit groups have to be engaged primarily in social welfare activities. but what that means, what's social welfare activities means and what primarily means are very much open to
interpretation and inspire political lawyers, including those are paid by this group, leonard leo works closely with them, they have found ways to spend a lot of money on, you know things that look, you know from the lab perspective, like they are just political advertising or political advocacy. >> and it is all we should say tax subsidized, right? there is an enormous tax saving here. but these are essentially subsidized by the federal government which does not tax them. they are tax-exempt organizations. >> yeah, that is right, there certainly criticisms of, which we include in our stories, of transactions like this as allowing wealthy folks to save money on taxes and spend more money, influencing the political process. i should also say, you know that is one of the threats of leonard leo. it is not just he has been so sophisticated in shaping the federal judiciary and other aspects of the conservative movement. it's that he, over the years, because of a fact in the sense, cultivated this network of donors, like this guy who are willing to give him huge sums
of money as we see on this transaction that further enhance his power. >> well i would just say, from a democratic perspective, 1. 6 billion dollars should by a tremendous amount of scrutiny, thank you very much. >> a pleasure. >> still to come, in the year with plenty of questionable candidates, how one man can undermine republican party's ability to retake the senate. that is next.
i wish that shaq was my real life big brother. what's up, little bro? turns out, some wishes do come true. and it turns out the general is a quality insurance company that's been saving people money for nearly 60 years. for a great low rate, and nearly 60 years of quality coverage- go with the general. with xfinity internet, you get advanced security and nearly 60 years of quality coverage- that helps protect you at home and on the go. you feel so safe, it's as if... i don't know... evander holyfield has your back. i wouldn't click on that. hey, thanks! we got a muffin for ed! all right! you don't need those calories. can we at least split it? nope. advanced security that helps protect your devices in and out of the home. i mean, can i have a bite? only from xfinity. nah. unbeatable internet. made to do anything so you can do anything. thinkorswim® by td ameritrade is more than a trading platform.
it's an entire trading experience. with innovation that lets you customize interfaces, charts and orders to your style of trading. herschel walker is the personalized education to expand your perspective. and a dedicated trade desk of expert-level support. that will push you to be even better. and just might change how you trade—forever. because once you experience thinkorswim® by td ameritrade ♪♪♪ there's no going back. republican trump anointed candidate running for senate in georgia against incumbent democratic senator raphael warnock. walker is running one of the most bizarre campaigns in recent memory. i've got to say, he is staying away from most of the press. instead, appearing on far-right outlets, exclusively at pride events, often closed to the press. and when you see some of what he has to say, it becomes very clear why. >> so you have these companies that many go to hire somebody, they hire the right person.
not what our president, our vice president that is gonna be a white woman. why don't you get the best person for the job? >> why don't you get the best person? >> you get someone that is not ready, it's gonna make the whole, everybody look bad. but now she may say that she is not all right, she maybe someone else today, that's the problem we have. we don't know what people are doing today. her job -- >> they have nothing to run on right now. they can stand by in the policies that they voted for. my message, i want to bring the economy back. the gas prices down. grocery prices down. try to solve some of the crime on the street. >> i promise you this, russia and china aren't worried about how you identify. and i can promise you this russia and china's not thinking about choice in a tank out in the desert. >> that guy is running against one of the most unique and thoughtful individuals with a fascinating and complex background ever to occupy a desk in the u.s. senate,
senator raphael warnock. yet the race is basically a dead heat. warnock ahead in the after polls by less than two points, which is well within the typical margin. so how is this playing with georgia voters? -- columnist in the new york times where he has written about marshall walker being the worst trump approved candidate. it is also resident of atlanta, georgia. so all this hits home. charles, it is great to have you. i have seen you written about this race. i am curious, through the lens of folks in georgia. what does this race look like as we head towards the crunch time in the fall? >> well, you are exactly right. it is neck and neck. but the parameters, the reasons why it is neck and neck, it is very clear to the people who i know in georgia. right? so a coalition led by black people, elected not only a black senator but also a jewish one. that coalition delivered to georgia to democrats at the presidential level for the first time in 30 years. it was a seismic event in
georgia. georgia was one of the first states to rush into their state house to try to suppress the vote and change that as best they can. all you need to shave off is a few percentage points. then donald trump, being who he is basically said that if elected a black man, i have a black man, and he blackmon will do. he chose herschel walker, he endorsed him. the republican party and the cultists around donald trump refused to buck him. so they knew that herschel opera was a bit of a problem. but they wouldn't run ads against him, they wouldn't say anything. so he basically cruises to the nomination, to become the republican candidate who would go up against raphael warnock. now, the other thing that is important to remember is that it gives people a shield. herschel walker is a blank sleek and every way that those words can apply to anyone. he will say and do whatever they want him to do. but what it allows voters in georgia to do, who have
advanced these very racist policies of voter disenfranchisement -- making them compete against other people. really awesome to say, yeah, but i would vote for the other black guy so i cannot be supporting a racist policy. i cannot be a racist myself. we saw this before, you know, we don't forget that herman cain led for a while in the race to replace barack obama. and we had a second black candidate who lead in 2022, the 2020, i'm sorry, 2016 election. so people do this. they respond, they reflectively go to the candidate who looks like the people that they are trying to oppress. because it gives them a shield against the accusations that they are trying to oppress. so that is what is playing out. everybody knows it, herschel walker is not a smart guy. everybody knows herschel walker
cannot do this job. but what you see is ultimate tribalism, ultimate shield making out of herschel walker, by people who want to replace, by all means, raphael warnock. >> yeah. yeah, we should note that to your point, to the extent that we have data on this black voters among fairly recent a july survey, they are favoring raphael warnock, 85 to 5. which i would imagine is a round where we would end up on election day when all is said and done. but it is really a strange spectacle. i have to say. charles blow, thank you as always for joining us. appreciate it. >> absolutely. >> that is all in on this monday night, the rachel maddow show starts right now, good evening, rachel.
national leaders, in the early 1970s, the u.s. just department department bumbled its way stating for itself, putting into writing a new rule, this wasn't a rule in the constitution in any way, an issue that had never really been seriously considered and decided one way or the other, before the justice department was confronted with it urgently during the nixon administration, but thanks to this again sort of odd series of things happening all at once in the early '70s, the vice president may be going to prison, the president, richard nixon may be removed from office against his will by impeachment, thanks to those things comin