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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  February 11, 2021 7:00pm-8:00pm PST

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that is going to do it for us for tonight. i told you you were going to want to see who my first guest was tonight. fulton county district attorney fani willis. again, opening an investigation. potential criminal investigation that could result in felony charges against the president as a private citizen. former president, president trump. just astonishing interview. anyway, see you again tomorrow night. now it's time for "the last word
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with lawrence o'donnell." good evening, lawrence. >> good evening, rachel. rachel, i've been waiting to see, hear, and i hope someday talk to fani willis since the story broke in georgia last month. i remember the first night we covered it as a possible criminal prosecution of donald trump in georgia, remember saying then that fani willis is on the threshold of becoming the most famous district attorney in american history, period, done, because if she ends up being the first and only district attorney in history who prosecutes a former president of the united states, her place in history is assured. the mystery for me as we've been covering it, and reading all these articles about it, is who is she, what is she like, and you answered that tonight, rachel. this is someone who knows exactly why she's investigating this. she's very solid and sure about what she's doing. very, very impressive interview in this last hour.
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>> i was really, really, really psyched to book her. and credit to my staff, credit, i will -- i'm not supposed to do this, but credit in particular to a staff member of mine named valerie who did incredible work on this. i'm really happy that we got her. i was -- that's kind of as far as i went. i'm not sure that i was setting expectations in terms of what i expected from the d.a. i was just prepping for the interview. but, oh my god, like, she -- >> yeah. >> -- blew me away. and i think about this whole part of the future of donald trump as a former president differently now than i did before that interview. seeing how grounded she is in the material of this case and what she has to work with. it's just, like, it's -- it has blown my mind. that very rarely happens to me on live tv with something that i planned to do on my own show, but i am blown away. >> it was -- it was great. i really -- i feel like i now understand this case so much better than just reading what we've been reading about it. and, rachel, little historical note, that presidential phone
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call that she is investigating as a possible crime occurred the day after she was sworn in as district attorney. you're sworn in one day -- >> oh my god, that's right. >> -- the next day, the president of the united states makes a phone call into your jurisdiction and decides, this is a good day to commit some crime. >> that's a felony. >> yeah. yeah. >> that is -- >> yeah. >> that is -- >> an amazing -- >> -- astonishing. >> role of history for her. >> incredible. >> really is. thank you, rachel. >> lawrence, i'll say -- thank you very much. vy to go collect my thoughts. >> please, go ahead, rachel, well -- come on. you got to finish it. what were you going to say? >> okay. i'm very sorried i'm flustered. my brain is going a million miles an hour. i'll just say it now occurs to me that if you -- whatever happens with the impeachment article in the senate, with this senate trial, we'll see the president's defense tomorrow, all those things. there are really two specific crimes under the one article as laid out in the impeachment article. it is the incitement of
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violence. the incitement of the violent attack on the capitol and it is the pressure on georgia elections officials to overturn that call. the latter after those is being investigated as a potential state felony in georgia, potentially year in prison for the former president if he is convicted of that. charged and convicted of that. but the other part of it could also be charged locally in washington, d.c.. again, by the d.c. district attorney's office. in the same way that the fulton county district attorney's office is charging the other half of the impeachment article. and the evidence is just as fresh for criminal prosecution of these things as it is for the impeachment trial that we're seeing now. and this makes me newly very interested in the prospect that the incitement part of it, the incitement to violences incitement to riot, part of it, could also end up being a serious criminal charge. >> it seem like the senate trial is very unlikely to be the last trial of donald trump on these matters. >> yeah. exactly. i'm sorry to fall all over
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myself but that's what i think. >> thank you, rachel. thank you. well, lead house manager jamie raskin named his son, tommy, after thomas payne. congressman raskin told us at the beginning of the senate trial that he buried his 25-year-old son, tommy, the day before the trump mob attacked the capitol. and so in a powerfully poignant final moment on the senate floor today, you could feel congressman raskin's two favorite thomases standing with him as he quoted thomas payne in his last line. >> "the more difficult the struggle, the more glorious in the end will be our victory." good luck in your deliberations. >> "the more difficult the struggle." jamie raskin could not have a more difficult struggle than trying to convince republican
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senators to hold the constitution and their oaths of office above their public feilty to donald trump. "the more difficult the struggle." jamie raskin is facing another struggle with astonishing dignity and grace. one who lost his son, matthew, when he was 34, wrote this today. "when i lost my son i was in a fog for weeks nearly paralyzed with grief. to imagine secretary raskin has not just gotten up every day but has done this master class and constitutional law, philosophy, logic, patriotism, and more, with eloquence, force, passion, my god, what a hero." yes, there are heroes in the that room. there are more cowards in that room. they're speaking to the cowards in a noble hope of trying to change their minds.
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they're not trying to turn cowards into heroes. they're trying to turn cowards into minimally decent human beings for the first time since those cowards surrendered themselves completely to donald trump. congressman raskin told the cowards what they should be listening for tomorrow when donald trump's lawyers speak in his defense. >> we would pose these preliminary questions to his lawyers. which i think are on everyone's minds right now, in which would have asked mr. trump, himself, if he had chosen to come and testify about his actions and inactions when we invited him last week. one, why did president trump not tell his supporters to stop the attack on the capitol as soon as he learned of it? why did president trump do nothing to stop the attack for at least two hours after the
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attack began? as our constitutional commander in chief, why did he do nothing to send help to our overwhelmed and besieged law enforcement officers for at least two hours on january 16th after the attack began. on january 6th, why did president trump not at any point that day condemn the violent insurrection and the insurrectionists? >> donald trump didn't just refuse to condemn them. he told them that he loves them. >> when they -- the police -- still barricaded and being attacked with poles, he said in his video to the people attacking them, "we love you. you're very special." what more could we possibly need
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to know about president trump's state of mind? >> when donald trump put out that video saying "we love you" to the trump mob attacking the capitol, he had already seen them on television attacking police officers. and he still said, "we love you." and he never said, "we love you" to the police officers. he never said "you are very special" to the capitol police. he has never said one word of regret about the murder of officer brian sicknick by the trump mob. not one word of sympathy from donald trump about officer brian sicknick. killed by the trump mob. and what did donald trump mean when he said, "we love you." who is the "we"? does the "we" include the republican cowards in the senate? we will find out when they vote on the verdict in this trial. that vote will tell us if they
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love the constitution or if they love donald trump or whatever donald trump loves more than the constitution. including the mob who invaded the senate chamber where they all sat today. we've always known that donald trump was lying every single time he told you how much he loves the police, but now we know that the republican cowards in the senate and the house have always been lying about their support for police. >> look into how the trump mob talked to these officers. you heard that with your own ears. >> [ bleep ] you. [ bleep ]. [ bleep ]. [ bleep ]. [ bleep ]. [ bleep ].
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>> you're a traitor. [ bleep ]. you're a [ bleep ] traitor. >> rinos. >> [ bleep ]. [ bleep ]. >> "fing traitor." so much for backing the blue. just a couple more examples. >> american. you broke your [ bleep ] oath today. 17176. [ bleep ]. >> you're a traitor. [ crowd chanting "fight for trump" ] [ crowd chanting "traitor" ]
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>> they called law enforcement officers traitors. you have to wonder who are these rioters sworn to, to whom do they believe the police owe their loyalty? >> of course, all that profanity was not bleeped live on the senate floor today when that was played. and all those profane words will appear in print in the congressional record where they will live forever. the trump mob and the trump cowards in the house of representatives and the senate do not care about police because they don't care what happened to those police officers on january 6th. the trump cowards in the house of representatives and the senate do not care that donald trump got capitol police officers killed by that mob. how many capitol police officers does it take to separate the trump cowards in the house and the senate from donald trump?
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we don't know. while donald trump was watching the capitol being invaded on live television, he tweeted this. "mike pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country and our constitution, giving states a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. usa demands the truth!" and that, that tweet, was one of the many smoking guns that the house managers exhibited today. >> the fact that he didn't stop it, the fact that he incited a lawless attack and abdicated his duty to defend us from it, the fact that he actually further inflamed the mob, further inflamed that mob, attacking his vice president, while assassins were pursuing him in this capitol.
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more than requires conviction and disqualification. >> our first guest tonight tried to preside over the house of representatives and keep the house in session after speaker pelosi was rushed out of the chamber. that left house rules committee chairman jim mcgovern as one of the very last members on the house floor. >> chairman mcgovern was one of the last members to leave the floor. as he left through the house lobby just after 2:40 p.m., he was spotted by the mob. [ shouting ] [ bleep ]. [ bleep ].
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>> minutes later, at 2:44 p.m., ashli babbitt attempted to climb through a shattered window into the house lobby. to protect the members in the lobby, an officer discharged his weapon. >> leading off our discussion tonight, democratic congressman jim mcgovern of massachusetts, he's the chair of the house rules committee. mr. chairman, thank you very much for joining tonight. and i have to ask, that video that we saw of you being that close to the invaders, had you seen that video before it was presented in the trial? >> i did see it before. a "washington post" journalist had shared it with me, but it's a moment i'll never forget as long as i live. >> what were you feeling as you were looking -- seeing the mob that close to you? >> well, first, i was in disbelief because i couldn't believe that a mob that size could reach the united states
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capitol. and then my other emotion was one of sadness and one of anger. you know, that these -- that this mob of white supremacists, of neo nazis, of homegrown fascists, stormed the capitol, were breaking a glass window that leads into the speaker's lobby, and i looked right into their eyes and i saw hate. and i knew that these weren't protesters. that these people weren't here to make a political point. that they weren't here to hand me a leaflet. they were here to kill us and they were here to destroy and desecrate the united states capitol. and, you know, my feeling then was how dare you, how dare you do this to the united states capitol, how dare you threaten my colleagues, the staff, the people who support the capitol, the cafeteria workers, everybody who was there. and i'm still angry, to be honest with you, and i'm angry at them. i'm angry at donald trump for
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inciting this mob to attack the capitol. and i'm angry at some of my colleagues who gave oxygen to donald trump's big lie, created a culture that resulted in this terrible insurrection, you know, that took place on january 6th. >> when i hear your anger, which is so perfectly understandable, i'm sure that that is a very common feeling in the house, and yet when i see the house managers on the senate floor, they are handling this so professionally under these circumstances. they must have found a place to put their anger before going out there. >> they're incredible. i'm proud of all of them. i mean, and they have presented the case in the way it should be presented. they've stuck to the facts. they've told the truth. and quite frankly, the facts are irrefutable. donald trump incited this mob to attack the capitol. to threaten the lives of all
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those who were there including his vice president and the other fact he is did nothing when the attack began. i mean, he basically sat and watched as they ushered his vice president out to safety. i mean, he basically turned his back at a moment when his vice president could have been murdered. and what a disgusting individual to even -- to allow that to happen. and, again, i hope that the senate will vote to convict. i mean, to me, this is an open-and-shut case. i don't know where the gray area is here. the evidence is overwhelming. >> mr. chairman, when i saw the vote in the house on impeachment i realized a certain -- at a certain moment in the vote clock as it was ticking down, look at the numbers and how many republicans, that really it wasn't a vote on the evidence. it wasn't a vote on what they -- for the republican side. it wasn't a vote on what they actually experienced on january 6th. it was a vote about who the republican party is in the house
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of representatives. that's the way it felt to me. is that the way it feels to you now when you look at the senate, that what's on trial is not the evidence, but what's on trial is the republican side of the united states senate? >> i think that's an accurate description. look, the evidence is overwhelming. we know what happened. we know who's responsible. the issue is whether enough republicans have the guts and the courage and the love of country to do the right thing. i mean, there too many republicans who feel they need to genuflect to the altar of donald trump. they're still afraid of him. it really is disheartening. there are people who i've worked who have i have respect for who caved, who voted to not certify the election results. who voted to basically acquit him when we had the impeachment vote in the house. they did so not because they think he's innocent, not because they think he's a great man or a good president. they did so out of fear.
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and that is really disappointing to me. donald trump is a criminal. and what he did in terms of inciting that crowd to attack the united states capitol, to threaten the lives of so many people -- people died. people died. blood is on this president's hands. and to do nothing, how dare he. and for the united states senate to acquit him, republicans not to do the right thing, is really disgraceful. now, look, there was some republicans who we know will never it the right thing. lindsey graham and ted cruz and josh hawley. quite frankly, you know, they look at this differently because if they met face-to-face with the mob on january 6th, they had no fear for their lives. they would have been embraced. they would have been cheered. the rest of us would have been killed. but, you know, they approached this from the point of view that donald trump approached it. you know, maintain power at all costs. no matter what it means, no
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matter how many lives. and so i hope and pray that the senate will do the right thing, but our house managers presented a case that i thought was impeccably argued and i'm incredibly proud of them. and i'm especially proud of my friend, jamie raskin, who i serve on the rules committee with. he's an incredible human being. >> certainly is. mr. mcgovern of massachusetts, thank you very much for leading us off tonight. we really appreciate it, mr. chairman. thank you. >> be safe. >> thank you. coming up, former federal prosecutor joyce vance will join us with her take on today's senate impeachment trial. for people living with h-i-v, keep being you. and ask your doctor about biktarvy. biktarvy is a complete, one-pill, once-a-day treatment used for h-i-v in certain adults. it's not a cure, but with one small pill, biktarvy fights h-i-v to help you get to and stay undetectable. that's when the amount of virus is so low
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and get a new samsung galaxy starting at $17 a month. learn more at or visit your local xfinity store today. on january 6th, we know who lit the fuse. donald trump told these insurrectionists to come to the capitol and stop the steal. and they did come to the
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capitol. and they tried to stop the certification. they came because he told them to. >> there's no merit whatsoever to any of the free speech rhetoric, the empty free speech rhetoric you may hear from president trump's lawyers. he attacked the first amendment. he attacked the constitution. he betrayed his oath of office. presidents don't have any right to do that. it's forbidden. >> he reacted exactly the way someone would react if they were delighted and exactly unlike how a person would react if they were angry at how their followers were acting. >> joining our discussion now, joyce vance, former u.s. attorney. she's a professor at the university of alabama school of law and msnbc legal contributor. and she is the co-host of the podcast, "sistersinlaw." joyce, thank you very much for joining us tonight. with your local experience, i don't want to presume to guide
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you, i just want to open it up for, give us your highlights of what you saw in the senate trial today. >> i think the first thing we have to say, lawrence, is that this was a real prosecutorial dream team. seasoned professionals through and through. just about the facts and the law with an elegant presentation that will create the record for history that we need of these events but the ultimate takeaway here, i think this is your comment, the senate is actually on trial here and the prosecutors very deliberately gave senators the option that they could be in the trump camp, that they could be part of the insurrection or there was a possibility for republicans and democrats alike to stand up for what was good in our country and to say, you cannot do this, you cannot tell the big lie. you cannot threaten the georgia secretary of state. you cannot bring the crowd to d.c. on january 6th. you cannot set them on the
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capitol. you cannot stand by and do nothing as they overrun the capitol. and making the point which i think is the ultimate argument and so compelling, if the senate votes to acquit former president trump, all of that conduct, that entire series of circumstances, is something that a future president can do or that president trump could do if he runs again. it's a compelling argument for conviction. >> joyce, were you able to find in this preszation ou able to fi in this presza the single thing that you would end your closing argument on and in that last moment in this trial which is coming for jamie raskin? >> i wouldn't presume to be half of the prosecutor that jamie raskin because it -- what he did today was word perfect. you know, his invocation of thomas payne and summer soldiers and making the point that it's easy to stick up for democracy when the going is easy, but now the going is tough.
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that's a brilliant point. but i think where they're likely headed with this is the most compelling piece of evidence, the evidence that trump intended precisely the outcome that he got here was his long-term insistence of winning at any cost, but the fact that he sat silent and did nothing for so many hours as congress was being overrun, that he let the capitol police go to great risk. you know, he was watching it on tv like everybody else. we know he had a call with tommy tuberville and he knows that mike pence was ushered very quickly out of the senate and the rest of the senators had to leave. he knew precisely what was going on and he did nothing. there is no possible scenario under which that's not a violation of a president's oath of office, and i suspect we'll hear a lot more about that when the democrats close. >> joyce vance, thank you very much for joining us tonight. >> thank you.
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>> thanks. and after this break, john heilemann and professor eddie glaud will join us to consider who and what is really on trial in the united states senate this week. ve moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. now, there's skyrizi. ♪ things are getting clearer ♪ ♪ yeah i feel free ♪ ♪ to bare my skin, ♪ ♪ yeah, that's all me ♪ ♪ nothing and me ♪ ♪ go hand in hand ♪ ♪ nothing on my skin, that's my new plan ♪ ♪ nothing is everything ♪ woman: keep your skin clearer with skyrizi. with skyrizi, 3 out of 4 people achieved 90% clearer skin at 4 months. of those, nearly 9 out of 10 sustained it through 1 year. and skyrizi is 4 doses a year, after 2 starter doses. ♪ i see nothing in a different way ♪ ♪ and it's my moment so i just gotta say ♪ ♪ nothing is everything ♪ skyrizi may increase your risk of infections and lower your ability to fight them. before treatment, your doctor should check you for infections and tuberculosis. tell your doctor if you have an infection or symptoms such as fevers, sweats, chills, muscle aches, or coughs
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president trump's lack of remorse shows that he will undoubtedly cause future harm if allowed. because he still refuses to account for his previous high-grade crime against our government. you know, i'm not afraid of donald trump running again in four years. i'm afraid he's going to run again and lose because he can do this again. >> joining our discussion now, john heilemann, the host and executive producer of show time's "the circus" and host of the "hell and high water" podcast from the recount. also with us, professor eddie glaude jr., chair of the department of african-american studies at princeton university. both are msnbc analysts.
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professor glaude, let me start with you and what we just heard from congressman lieu, that notion of the real thing to fear in donald trump running again would be what would happen if he lost. >> absolutely. the continued challenge or to the legitimacy of our democratic process. we saw when he ran against hillary clinton that he did this, we saw this in this moment that there is this congoing ongoingis congoin effort on his delegitimize the basic elements, foundations of our democratic process, so i thought that was a very powerful point. a very powerful point. i want to pick up something really quickly, lawrence, that you mentioned with chairman mcgovern and with joyce. and that is who's -- what's on trial, who's on trial in this moment, right? and i'm reminded of september of 1955 and i want you to bear with me for a second. remember the trial of the murderers of emmett till? it wasn't about the facts. according to the jurors, and
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according to blunt and nelam, it was about what was at stake was a way of life. so we -- i mean, everything that the managers presented today just seems spot-on to me. but the facts don't matter. it seems to me that the senators, republican side, that they are in some ways defending a way of life. that's what we need to see. there are two americas on full view in this moment and we see one side defending one version of america and another side defending another. if that makes sense. >> yeah. exactly. and, john, to that point, the sides are also the pro-capitol police side and the we-don't-care about the capitol police side. we don't care how many get killed when donald trump sends his mob up to the capitol. >> right. lawrence, this is like -- for the republicans who -- who are,
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we think -- again, i keep saing we have to be open to the possibility that some minds will be changed and we'll end up with more republican votes. let's hope and pray, given the strength of the case that the prosecution's put forward and what we know now, what the defense is going to look like tomorrow from the president's team. it's going to be, you know, the clear right outcome here is pretty obvious, but if we end up where we think we're going to end up, we will have a republican party in the senate saying they don't care about capitol police. saying they don't care about the whole history of republican legal thought, they'll be rejecting originalism, constitutionalism, framers', founders' intent, things republicans said they believe because they're all going to claim this is an unconstitutional process. they'll be not caring about that, not caring about their integrity, ideology. the facts, the truth.
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they're saying they don't care about all that. all they'll be saying they care about is their own careers. they have convinced themselves that to go against donald trump would be to imperil their careers so they'll look away from everything else and pledge oath to donald trump and really by doing so pledge oath to donald trump's voters. they think that's the only way they can keep their jobs. i think they're wrong in that assumption. it's an incredible display of vacuisnous. so vividly laid out by the prosecutors yesterday and today makes clear. >> let's listen to what senator bill cassidy had to say, he's one of the trial session. >> i still have people back home that swear that the dominion
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machines were rigged, even though -- even though different newt outlets have printed retractions, apologies, and otherwise disassociated themselves from that story. but obviously, the president repeated it over and over. that clearly had an impact. so when the point was made, people felt as if they had to recourse because their vote was being stolen. well, the president built that story. >> professor glaude, he seems to be able to evaluate the evidence clearly. he doesn't have the impediments that apparently the cowardly side of the republican party has. >> right. so there is this openness to the facts. he's willing to be convinced. he's in some ways fulfilling his oath. but then you contrast that with what we heard -- what we read in lindsey graham's tweet about the profane -- how profane and absurd this was. right? so i think it's really important for us to understand. i think john -- you know, the
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self-interested politician may very well be the generous read. it may very well be the case that these folks are self-interested and they are committed to the world view that is being put forward by those who sacked the capitol. and i think that's what we have to get at. what is motivating this? i don't think it's just simply fidelity to trump. i don't think it's just -- i think it's, obviously, self-interest, but i think what we are confronting here is a clashing of two americas. dying america that is clinging to life and a new america that's trying to be born. and i think we need to, you know, dive deep into the substance of that difference in this moment. >> john, the republican party is now a party that knows it cannot win the big elections if everyone has a fair chance to vote. they know they are outnumbered. they've become the anti-democratic party. anti-democracy party. and they might just be at the point where they'll take the fight wherever the fight goes.
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and one day, the fight happened to go into the capitol. but it's a fight against democracy that they will continue to fight in other ways. >> yeah. think that's right. to eddie's point, i don't dispute eddie's deeper analysis. i think we're saying -- these are and/both situation as opposed to either/or situation. i think, you know, this is the demography -- eddie has a moral layer on top of the demography, which, again, i agree with but in the purely political terms, the older america, the dying america, is the america that is the white america, the white grievance america, more particularly, and republicans had a chance coming out of 2012, they told themselves that they needed to modernize the party and try to open themselves up to non-white voters. they made a choice with donald trump to go in the opposite direction and now as you say, lawrence, they are -- they are fighting democracy, itself, and the tide of that that's attached
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to the changing america, so, yes, i think that's right. i think they have an increasingly -- it's a path to political suicide, is what it is, and that gets back to why i also think they're such idiots to be going down this path because i think it's ultimately self-defeating. it's going to consign them to permanent minority status if they go this way. >> john heilemann and professor eddie glaude, thank you both for joining our discussion tonight. >> thanks, lawrence. >> thank you. and when we come back, the republican cowards in the senate cast their votes -- when they cast their votes at the end of this trial, they won't just be voting for donald trump. they'll be voting in support of the racism and anti-semitism that filled the capitol on january 6th. that's next. yup, on it there, too. you may think you're doing all you can to manage type 2 diabetes and heart disease... but could your medication do more to lower your heart risk? jardiance can reduce the risk of cardiovascular death for adults
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prejudiced elements could be seen visibly in the crowd that attacked the capitol. pictured here is robert packer. robert packer is an avowed white
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supremacist and holocaust denier who proudly wore that sweatshirt which states, "camp auschwitz." >> this is what the trump republican party has become, the home of holocaust deniers, the home of poisonous anti-semites to believe hitler did not execute enough jewish people, that 6 million were not enough. the trump republican party is the home of the mob who rampaged through the capitol screaming the "n" word repeatedly, endlessly, on black capitol police officers. in the 1950s a trump-like republican senator, joseph mccarthy, was famously challenged with the question, have you no decency? that same question can now be asked of the entire republican party. our next guest hosted a conference call of over 120 republican former government officials who have been considering whether the republican party should be saved
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or should be abandoned in favor of a new party. joining us now is evan mcmullin, executive director of stand up republic. evan, thank you very much for joining us tonight. you've worked for republicans in government and house of representatives, elsewhere. what was this call like to be taking place now with this republican former president on trial in the senate, where every single bit of the evidence is so fully condemning and yet, and yet, you're looking at a republican senate that seems to be leaning toward forgiving donald trump for all of this. >> well, lawrence, thank you for having me on, and really, you just painted a picture that describes the impetus for the meeting, for the gathering. i think, you know, together all of us are looking at these circumstances. looking at donald trump's presidency. the history of the four years of that presidency.
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how it really all led to january 6th. and then to see that violent -- that deadly insurrection happen that threatened our democracy and watch a majority of house republicans still vote to overturn the results of the election, and then to watch all of this additional evidence come to light and to still learn that senate republicans will overwhelmingly vote to protect the president, even though he committed -- or even though he led a violent insurrection to overturn an election so that he could stay in power. all of that just describes, of course, a party that is sick. that is rotten to the core. are there good republicans out there? look, i know some, but there are -- they're all deeply disturbed by what's happening and uncomfortable with the direction of the party and demanding something new. for the last four to five years, many of us have fought for a new
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direction. we were 10% to 15% of the party. now we're at 25% or 30% of the party that think it's time for something new. and so we gathered people from the bush, reagan, even from the trump administrations, people in elected office and now republicans in elected office, recently -- people who've recently retired as well, 120 top political and intellectual republicans, intellectual leaders in the republican space, to talk about a new direction. and we debated about whether it should be a faction within the party or independent of the party. a pro-democracy faction to try to pull the party back, or pull the party to a position of, you know, committed to our founding values, committed to our democracy. or whether we need to start something entirely new. a new party. >> it looks like your section of the party is represented by five or six republicans in the united
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states senate so even though you may represent a larger amount of the actual republican voting population, you're certainly not represented in the congress. >> well, that's absolutely right. and, lawrence, as you and many f your viewers understand the reason why that is a reality is that our primary systems are such that the base primary voter of the republican party is -- they are supporting trump-like candidates. and so those of us who occupy a smaller part of the party can't get our candidates through the primary process in most cases, so we are not represented. and that's also what is an impetus for our meeting, for our gathering on friday and for the additional steps that we're going to take. you know, the party simply does not represent us, does not represent people, republicans,
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conservatives who are committed to democracy, committed to our founding values, committed to truth, reason and decency. and so we've got to continue our fight. some of us have been fighting for four and five years but now we have more joining us and that's a positive thing. >> evan mcmullin, thank you very much for joining us tonight. >> taung. >> thanks. well, you saw fani willis in the last hour with rachel in her first television interview about the investigation of donald trump that she is conducting as the district attorney of fulton county, georgia. we have been covering this story all of last month. michael j. moore will join us next. he is a former u.s. attorney in georgia. he has been analyzing this case for us, and now we have the new information that we heard from fani willis tonight with rachel. we'll be back with that discussion right after this break. k with that discussion right after this break. got the brains,♪ ♪ you've got the looks ♪ ♪ let's make lots of money ♪
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here is georgia's fultzen county district attorney fani willis, making news with rachel maddow just an hour ago. >> the way your investigation has been reported in the press as i understand it is that it is centered on but not limited to this phone call former president trump made to georgia secretary of state brad raffensperger. is that a fair way to understand it? >> absolutely. i've been in this business now for 25 years, 19 of those years have been spent as a prosecutor. what i know about investigations is they're kind of like peeling back an onion, and as you go through each layer you learn different things. to be a responsible prosecutor you must look at all of those things in investigation to be fair to everyone involved. this is a very important matter as you've already highlighted, and so, yes, the investigation seems that it will go past just this one phone call that we've discussed and that you played for your viewers.
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>> joining us now is michael j. moore, former u.s. attorney for the middle district of georgia. michael, you were here just the other night when the secretary of state announced an investigation. you said on this program you didn't like that very much. you thought it would be better handled by the district attorney. the day after you said that district attorney fani willis announces that she's doing the investigation that the way you thought she should. it seems she was clearly already under way with this, but what was your reaction to tonight's interview? >> well, i thought she gave a good interview, and i'm glad she watches the show. and maybe she took some advice. i do think she needs to move forward with the investigation. i think that she's right, that she's probably the most non-compromised elected official and investigative agency to do that. i think there are real problems as i mentioned to you the other night about having the state
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attorney general involved. this is a georgia crime. the law allows this case to be investigated in fulton county, and i think it's the right move. i think she's wise to take a slow approach to the investigation. that is she referenced peeling back the onion. and i do think that an investigation whether you talk about it being like an onion or pulling on a piece of cloth -- pulling on a thread on a piece of cloth and the whole thing starting to unravel. i think that's what you see with a methodical investigation and hopefully she'll do that. >> the language of the statutes is so clear it's very obvious donald trump violated them. and so this investigation although it may go slow, it doesn't seem to have very significant roadblocks in front of it. >> you know, the unique thing about this case is that you essentially start with a confession. >> yes, you do. >> you've got this hour-long
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phone call that really lays out the case. and you hear him, essentially the former president threatening the secretary of state with criminal prosecution or that bad things were going to happen to him. and this is just the language of a mob boss, and there's -- you can listen to about any tape of an organized crime case or a drug distribution ring and you hear this kind of language. so she starts with that. and that gets pretty close to solving our closing out the day on the investigation for interference with the official performance of a secretary's duties in this case. and so i really think that that part puts her head and shoulders above where she would be if she were to start from scratch. he just made a bad decision to call into a state where one party can record a call without consent and to get in front of a prosecutor who's at least willing to take a look at his efforts to commit election fraud. >> luckily for the truth donald trump has consistently had very
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bad advice around him. michael j. moore, thank you very much for joining us tonight. i'm sure we're going to be hearing from you again on this case. we really appreciate it. >> i'm always glad to be with you, thank you. >> thank you. that is tonight's "last word." "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts now. well, good evening once again. day 23 of the biden administration. house impeachment managers wrapped up their case against donald trump ahead of schedule today. and in just over 12 hours the trump defense lawyers will begin their defense. today the democratic managers drew a straight line from trump's incendiary rhetoric to the rioters' actions. and they warned the senators who make up the jury that failure to punish the former president would leave the door wide open for future political violence. >> the iur


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