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tv   The Beat With Ari Melber  MSNBC  February 12, 2021 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

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proceeding. so again you need to be focused on what's the law. and then how do we apply it to this set of facts. and so it's important to have that understanding that elected officials and fire chiefs are treated differently under first amendment law. and this is the benefit of you all, which is the benefit of us all because we do want you to be able to speak freely without fear that the majority party is going to come in and impeach you or come in and prosecute you. to try to take away your seat where you sit now. that's not what the constitution says should be done.
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but yes, they do. they do contradict themselves, of course. thank you. >> mr. president? >> the senator from maryland. >> i send a question to the desk for the house managers. >> the senator from maryland, senator van hollen has a question for the managers. the clerk will report the question. >> would you please respond to the answer that was just given by the former president's counsel.
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>> mr. president, thank you. i'm not quite sure which question the senator was referring to, but let me quickly just dispensive of the counsel's indication again of bond versus floyd. this is a case i know well. and i thank him for raising it. julian bond was a friend of mine. he was a colleague of mine at merrick university. he was a great civil rights hero. and in his case, he got elected to the georgia state legislature, and as a member of snic, the student nonviolent coordinating committee, headed up by the great bob moses for a long time, he got elected to the georgia legislate checks, and they didn't want to allow him to
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be sworn in. they wouldn't allow him to take his oath of office because snicc had taken a position against the vietnam war. and so the supreme court said that was a violation of his first amendment rights not to allow him to be sworn in. that's the complete opposite of donald trump. not only was he sworn in on january 20th, 2017, he was president for almost four years before he incited this violent insurrection against us and he violated his oath of office. that's what this impeachment trial is about, his violation of oath of office and his refusal to uphold the law and take care that the laws are faithfully executed. please don't desecrate the name of julian bond, a great american by linking him with this terrible plot against america that just took place in the storming of the u.s. capitol. i'm going turn it over to my colleague, ms. plaskett. >> thank you. let's just be clear.
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president trump summoned the mob, assembled the mob, lit the flame. everything that followed was his doing, and although he could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence, he didn't. in other words, this attack would not have happened without him. this attack is not about one speech. most of you men would not have your wives with one attempt at talking to her. it took numerous tries. you had to build it up. that's what the president did as well. he put together the group that would do what he wanted and that was to stop the certification of the election so that he could retain power to be president of the united states. in contravention of an american election.
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>> mr. president? >> the senator from florida. >> i send a question to the desk. >> the question from the senator from florida, and it is to both sides. the clerk will read the question and the house managers will go first for the first two and a half minutes.
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>> voting to convict the former president would create a new precedent that a former official can be convicted and disqualified by the senate. therefore, is it not true that under this new precedent, a future house facing partisan pressure to "lock her up" could impeach a former secretary of state and a future senate be forced to put her on trial and potentially disqualify from any future office? >> the house managers go first. >> mr. president, senators,
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three quick points here. first of all, i don't know how many times i can tell you, the jurisdictional issue is over. it's gone. the senate settled it. the senate entertained jurisdiction exactly the way it has done since the very beginning of the republic. in the blunt case, in the belknap case. and you'll remember both of them former officials and in this case a president who committed his crimes against the republic while he was in office. he was impeached by the house of representatives while he was in office. so, you know, the hypothetical suggested by the gentleman from florida has no bearing on this case because i don't think you're talking about an official who was impeached while they were in office for conduct that they committed while they were in office. >> the counsel for the former
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president has two and a half minutes. >> thank you. could i have the question read again to make sure i have it right? i can answer it directly. >> voting to convict the former president would create a new precedent that a former official can be convicted and disqualified by the senate. therefore, is it not true that under this new precedent, a future house facing partisan pressure to "lock her up" could impeach a former secretary of state and a future senate before forced to put her on trial and potentially disqualify from any future office? >> if you see it their way, yes. if you do this the way they want it done, that could happen to the example there a former secretary of state. but it could happen to a lot of people.
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and that's not the way this is supposed to work. and not could it happen to a lot of people, it become much more regular too. but i want to address that and i want you be clear on this. mr. raskin can't tell you on what grounds you acquit. if you believe even though there was a vote that there is jurisdiction, if you believe jurisdiction is unconstitutional, you can still believe that. if you believe that the house did not give appropriate due process in this, that can be your reason to acquit. if you don't think they met their burden in proving incitement, that these words incited the violence, you can acquit. mr. raskin doesn't get to give you under what grounds you can acquit. and so you have to look at what
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they've put on in its totality and come to your own understanding as to whether you think they've met their burden to impeach. but the original question is an absolutely slippery slope that i don't really think anybody here wants to send this country down. thank you. >> mr. president, i send a question to the desk. >> the senator from colorado sending a question to the desk. i would note just for the -- as
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the hour tends to get late, i would note for all counsel as chief justice roberts noted on january 21st, 2020, the trial of charles swain in 1905, all parties to this chamber must refrain from using language that is not conducive to civil discourse. the senator from colorado, senator bennet, has a question for the house managers and the clerk will read the question. >> since the november election, the georgia secretary of state, the vice president, and other public officials withstood enormous pressure to uphold the lawful election of president biden and the rule of law. what would have happened if
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these officials had bowed to the force president trump exerted or the mob that attacked the capitol?
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>> the house managers have fife minutes. >> i want to take a minute and remind everybody about the incredible pressure that donald trump was putting on election officials in different states in this country, and the intimidation that he was issuing. i want to remind everyone of the background of donald trump's call to one secretary of state, the secretary of state from georgia, mr. raffensperger. donald trump tried to overturn the election by any means necessary. he tried again and again to pressure and threaten election officials to overturn the election results. he pressured michigan officials,
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calling them late at night and hosting them at the white house. he did the same thing with officials in pennsylvania. he called into a local meeting of the pennsylvania legislature, and he also hosted them at the white house where he pressured them. and in georgia, it was even worse. he sent tweet after tweet attacking the secretary of state until mr. raffensperger got death threats to him and his family. his wife got a text that said, quote, your husband deserves facing a firing squad. a firing squad. for doing his job. mr. raffensperger stood up to him. he told the world that elections are the bedrock of this society and the votes were accurately counted for donald trump's opponent. officials like mr. sterling warned trump that if this continued, someone's going get
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killed. but donald trump didn't stop. he escalated it even further. he made a personal call. you heard that call because it was recorded. the president of the united states told a secretary of state that if he does not find votes, he will face criminal penalties. please, senator, consider that for a second. the president putting all of this public and private pressure on election officials, telling them that they could face criminal penalties if they don't do what he wants. and not just any number of votes that he was looking for. donald trump was asking the secretary of state to somehow find the exact number of votes donald trump lost the state by. remember, president biden won georgia by 11,779 votes. in his own words, president trump said, quote, all i want to do is this. i just want to find 11,780
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votes. he wanted the secretary of state to somehow find the precise number plus one of votes that he needed to win. as a congress and as a nation, we cannot be numb to this conduct. if we are, and if we don't set a precedent against it, more presidents will do this in the future. this will be a green light for them to engage in that kind of pressure and that kind of conduct. and this could have gone a very different way if those election officials had bowed to the intimidation and the pressure of the president of the united states. it would have meant that instead of the american people deciding this election, president trump alone would have decided this american election.
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that's exactly what was at stake, and that's exact ply what he was trying to do. he intended, wanted to, and tried to overturn the election by any means necessary. he tried everything else that he could do to win. he started inciting the crowd, issuing tweet after tweet, issuing commands to stop the count, stop the steal, worked up the crowd, sent a save the date. so it wasn't just one speech or one thing. he was trying everything. he was pressuring elected officials. he was riling up his base, telling them the election had been stolen from them, that it had been stolen from him. it was a combination of things that only donald trump could have done. and for us to believe otherwise is to think that somehow a rabbit came out of a hat and
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this mob just showed up here on their own, all by themselves. this is dangerous, senators. and the future of our democracy truly rests in your hands. >> mr. president, the senator from texas. >> mr. president, i send a question to the desk. >> the senator from texas mr. cornyn has a question for both counsel for the former president and the house manager.
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the clerk will read the question and the recognize first the counsel for the former president. >> the house managers have argued that if the senate cannot convict former officers, then the constitution creates a january exception. pursuant to which a president is free to act with impunity because he is not subject to impeachment, conviction, and removal and/or disqualification. but isn't a president subject to criminal prosecution after he leaves office for acts committed in office even if those acts are committed in january? >> the senator from texas's
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question raises a very, very important point. there is no such thing as a january exception to impeachment. there is only the text of the constitution which makes very clear that a former president is subject to criminal sanction after his presidency for any illegal acts he commits. there is no january exception to impeachment. there is simply a way we treat high crimes and misdemeanors. allegedly committed by a president when he is in office, impeachment, and how we treat criminal behavior by a private citizen when they are not in office. >> the house managers? >> thank you for this excellent question. wouldn't a president who decides
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to commit his crimes in the last few weeks in office like president trump by inciting an insurrection against the counting of electoral counts be subject to criminal prosecution by the u.s. attorney for the district of columbia, for example, the department of justice? well, of course he would be. but that's true of the president regardless of when he commits his offenses in office. in other words, that's an argument for prosecuting him if he tried to stage an insurrection against the union in his third year in office or his second year in office. you could say well, he could be prosecuted afterwards. the reason that the framers gave congress the house the power to impeach, the senate the power to try, convict, remove and disqualify was to protect the republic. it's not a vindictive power. i know a lot of people were very angry with donald trump about these terrible events that took place. we don't come here in anger, contrary to what you've heard
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today. we come here in the spirit of protecting our republic. and that's what it's all about. but their january exception would essentially invite presidents and other civil officers to run rampant in the last few weeks in office on the theory that the house and the senate wouldn't be able to get it together in time, certainly according to their demands for months and months of investigation, wouldn't be able to get it together in time in order to vindicate the constitution. that can't be right. that can't be right. with know that the peaceful transfer of power is always the most dangerous moment for democracies around the world. talk to the diplomats. talk to the historians. they will tell you that is a moment of danger. that's when you get the coups. that's when you get the insurrections. that's when you get the seditious plots. and you know what? you don't even have to read history for that. you don't even have to consult the framers. look around the world. it just happened to us.
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the moment when we were just going to collect the already certified electoral college votes from the states by the popular majorities within each state, except for maine and nebraska, which do it by congressional district as well as statewide. but otherwise, it's the popular majorities in the states, and we're about to certify it, and we got hit by a violent insurrectionary mob. don't take our word for it. listen to the tapes, unless they're going to claim those are fabricated too. and the people yelling this is our house now. show us the votes, et cetera. thank you. >> the majority leader? >> mr. president, it's my understanding there are no further questions on either side. >> the republican leader? >> that's correct. i know of no further questions on our side. >> i ask unanimous consent that the time for questions and answers be considered expired.
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>> without objection, so ordered. >> now mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that it be in order for myself and senator mcconnell to speak for up to one minute each, and then it be an order for me to make a unanimous consent to request an end of legislative session. >> the objection so ordered. >> thank you, mr. president. mr. president, in a momentarily ask the senate to pass legislation that will award capitol police officer eugene goodman the congressional gold medal. in the wees after the attack on january 6, the world learned about the incredible, incredible bravery of officer goodman on that fateful day. here in this trial, we saw new video, powerful video showing calmness under pressure. his courage in the line of duty. his foresight in the midst of chaos and his willingness to make himself a target of the
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mob's rage so that others might reach safety. officer goodman ichber tonight. officer goodman, thank you. [ applause ] [ applause ] >> the republican leader mcconnell? >> oh, i'm sorry. >> i just want to say i think we can all agree that eugene
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goodman deserves the highest honor congress can bestow. but i just before we move to pass this legislation, i want to be clear that he was not alone that day. the nation saw and has now seen numerous examples of the heroic conduct of the capitol police, the metropolitan police, the swat teams that were with us on january 6th here in the capitol protecting us. our heartfelt gratitude extends to each and every one of them, particularly now as members of the force continue to bear scars seen and unforeseen from the events of that disgraceful day. let us give them all the honor and recognition they so justly deserve. [ applause ]
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>> mr. president? >> the republican leader. >> i'm pleased to join the majority leader's request. january 6 was a day of fear for those who work here in the capitol and of sadness for many more watching from afar. but that awful day also introduced our nation to a group of heroes whom we in congress were already proud to call our colleagues and to whom we owe a great debt. in the face of lawlessness, the officers of the u.s. capitol lived out the fullest sense of their oaths. if not for the quick thinking and bravery of officer eugene goodman in particular, people in this chamber may not have escaped that day unharmed.
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officer goodman's actions reflect a deep personal commitment to duty and brought even greater distinction upon all his brave brothers and sisters in uniform. so i'm proud the senate is taking this step forward recognizing his heroism with the highest honor we can bestow. [ applause ] >> mr. president, as if in legislative session, i ask unanimous consent that the committee on banking and urban affairs be discharged from further consideration of s-35 and that the senate proceed to its immediate consideration. >> without objection. and the clerk will report. >> s-35, a bill to award a congressional gold medal to officer eugene goodman.
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>> without objection, the committee is discharged and the senate now proceeds to the measure. >> mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the van hollen substitute amendment which is at the desk be considered and agreed to. the bill is amended, be considered read a third time and passed, and the motion to reconsider be made and laid upon the table. >> without objection. >> now mr. president, i ask unanimous consent the trial adjourn until 10:00 a.m. tomorrow, saturday, february 13th, and this also cute the adjournment of the senate. >> without objection, and we are adjourned until 10:00 tomorrow. >> well, think about the contrast there, a day so dangerous, so scary, so violent that we saw one of the best things the u.s. senate has done
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in some time, a bipartisan standing ovation for the agreed upon hero of that day along with his colleagues on the capitol police force. of course, the problem is the split in the senate is over what brought that day about, what led to the violence of that day. and we've indeed just wrapped up the question-and-answer session before the u.s. senate. nicolle, there will be a lot said and a lot of ink spilled about the lawyering for the former president. >> yes, we'll get to that. i just want to say what we just saw because everyone saw with their own eyes and heard with their own ears and experienced the same thing on january 6. that's why everyone voted the same way about who the heroes were. and it makes me sad and it makes me mad that senators who saw the same things and heard the same things and sounds and
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experienced the same thing can't agree on a set of facts. today was a farce. there was not real lawyering going on. there were auditions to compete with alan dershowitz for a newsmax show. they were not defending donald trump's conduct. they were trying to obscure the law and give republicans something to hang on when they vote to acquit donald trump for what they all know he did, incite a murderous mob, incite an insurrection. i've been teching experts. so i'm to bring them in without further ado. daniel goldman, the lead for house democrats during president trump's first impeachment. neal katyal, former acting u.s. solicitor general whose argued 43 cases in front of the united states supreme court. tell me i'm wrong. tell me there was something happening there, neal, that had anything to do with the law. >> no, it was basically alternative facts. that's what it was. and trump's lawyers, i thought the question-and-answer session was so telling, because trump's
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lawyers couldn't answer the simple stuff. like the early question from collins and murkowski, when did trump learn about the breach on the capitol? when did he do something about it? there was no answer. they just blamed the house. and then when the trump lawyers were asked -- when they did answer a question, their answers looked suspect like mitt romney asked when did trump know that vice president pence was under attack? the lawyer said trump never knew. that just seems totally wrong to me. if that's right, that means the secret service totally fell down on their job. and i really think the secret service should be clarifying that tonight. they don't work for trump anymore. >> weissmann, a lot what the definition of incitement is and is not. but it doesn't seem like they got any points on the board in terms of obscuring the legal culpability that donald trump faces for his conduct. is that right?
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>> i think that's right. i mean, i think your main point, that this is a farce is right. i mean, this is why in a real court of law, this doesn't happen, you know, as amy berman jackson, one of the great judges in the special counsel session said. the courts of law are a place where facts still matter. it's the reason that all of these stance of donald trump's lawsuits challenging the election were thrown out. whether it was by a, quote, republican or, quote, democrat judge, because facts still matter. and unfortunately here i don't think they do. when i was listening to the democrats say you're going set a really bad precedent for the next demagogue who tries to get in office, i was thinking to myself, you know, some of the people in that room are thinking that's great. they're not thinking that's bad. they're thinking that's wonderful, because i'm planning on being the next, you know,
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donald trump. and so they're not really thinking about their oath of office in the way that jurors think about their oaths. >> yeah. >> you know, when they decide a case in a normal federal courthouse. >> i was thinking about the case you brought, daniel goldman, and i was thinking about colonel vindman, i told my dad it would be okay because here right still matters. i couldn't help feel that is not the case in the united states senate. >> yeah, it's -- we'll see what happens with the vote, but it certainly look likes it's heading down towards an acquittal, notwithstanding some real bad admissions by trump's lawyer today. i mean, he conceded that the violence was foreseeable. that is a huge part of the case. and he conceded -- he also relied very heavily on the fact that it was preplanned and
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therefore trump couldn't incite this. that is not what the law says. the law just says if he is a cause of it by inciting them. and then at the end when he was responding about the january exception, he said impeachment is for the conduct while you're in office. criminal prosecution is for the conduct while you're out of office, which just confirms the argument about the january exception. all of this to say, though, it is a shame as to your point and what andrew was saying, it is a shame that this is just irrelevant. and these questions were completely loaded, very -- many of them very unhelpful, just trying to tee them up. and i was left wanting. i really wish that the democratic senators in particular had put some of those questions that jamie raskin left open at the end of his opening presentation to them, i wish they had asked more questions about why -- whether he actually
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called the national guard. and you're going get no answers, but that's telling. and that would really i think indicate a lot. the last thing i'll say, it's very clear from senator cassidy's question that this new information that has come to light about senator tuberville saying that he told donald trump that vice president pence was being evacuated around 2:15, and then at 2:24, trump releases a real shot at mike pence has affected some of these senators. and that is a real issue for many on the republican side knowing that mike pence stood by donald trump through thick and thin, and when he was actually in physical danger, donald trump didn't call in reinforcements to protect him, but rather tried to inflame the mob against mike pence even more. that is clearly resonating with many of them. >> let's bring in one of the
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jurors, senator mark warner, democrat of virginia, chairman of the intel committee on the senate side. senator, let me start with this, where dan goldman left off. have you any doubt based on the evidence that's been presented to you that donald trump knew his vice president to be in jeopardy that day? >> i have no evidence that he didn't know. i think we know that trump is an avid tv watcher. the whole world was watching these thugs maraud through the capitol. we have this information about the call to senator tuberville, but also i would presume that the secret service that is with the vice president is conveying that as well back to their superiors at the white house. so i don't see how donald trump could not have known. and clearly if we take all of this in totality, i know the
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president's lawyers were trying to parse some of the legal theory here, but i think the house managers make the case this is not just the speech on the 6th. this was a series of actions leading up to the date. he set the date, he arranged the time. he launched the mob, and then when the mob was launched, he didn't even have respect for his own vice president let alone the balance of the members of both the senate and the house. and i think that is pretty clear, and i think the failure to show remorse afterwards, do we really want the say that standard is now acceptable behavior not only for donald trump, but for future presidents? i hope not. >> the perils of digital photography struck again since you and your members have been in the afternoon session. senator cassidy was caught looking over a statement which appeared to read like it would be a justification for a vote to acquit. his spokesperson later said oh, no, no, we have statements on either outcome that he was
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reviewing and editing. be that as it may, cassidy was one of the people who gave democrats hope, crossing over during the kind of constitutionality test vote. have you any reason to believe there has been a single iota, a single republican vote that has migrated over to the democrats' side during these arguments? >> brian, i hope we don't frame this as the democrats side versus the republican side. i think we're talking about what is the dart we want to hold the president of the united states to who incites a mob to attack the capitol, put his own vice president in harm's way. thank god tonight we as a senate at least recognize and acknowledge the heroic actions of officer goodman, because if he had not drawn the mob away from the floor of the senate, not only would the vice president potentially have been in jeopardy, but frankly, everybody in that chamber tonight voting for officer
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goodman's recognition would be -- would be potentially be in harm's way. let's not talk about this demonstrates and republicans. we've all got i think a moral decision to make tomorrow. i think we are going to be judged not only by our actions over the next few weeks or the next election cycle, but i think we'll be judged by history. and i hope -- i know many of my republican colleagues are thinking through that and considering that, and i think again we'll hear closing arguments tomorrow morning, but i don't think that the president's lawyers, i gave them the benefit of the doubt today, but they did not make a strong case other than trying to argue on what appeared to be very narrow legal grounds. >> senator, nicolle wallace. you're right. there are almost all of the evidence the house managers have presented either comes from republicans or has been corroborated by republicans. an even this question about
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constitutionality has been debunked by two of the most prominent far right conservative legal scholars, chuck cooper and ted olson, who was george w. bush's solicitor general. so it is a bipartisan agreement on the facts. it is a bipartisan agreement on the constitutionality of a vote to convict and bar from future office. and i wonder, what is wrong in that chamber? >> well, remember also it was a bipartisan impeachment vote in the house. the first time i believe ever 11 republican member, including the third most high-ranking republican member liz cheney voted. now we've also seen the ramifications of that as republicans who voted their conscience are called out by their party. and i, again, as i said to you the other night, nicolle, and the first night when i was pretty emotional about what we'd heard and seen. >> yeah. >> i want there to be a strong
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republican party, but unfortunately, if the republican party becomes the party of trumpistas, if the republican party is not willing to call out this kind of behavior and not be willing to sanction someone who brought the mob, lit the flame, put his own vice president in jeopardy but for the actions of officer goodman, maybe could have had many, many members of the senate inflicted harm upon, and then show no remorse afterwards and instead say to his followers, remember forever this day as a glorious day. that does not bode well for a healthy republican party that we need to have to continue a two-party functioning democracy. >> i wonder if you can speak to something we reported earlier today. the ill faith, the bad faith lawyering. one of the attorneys got up and claimed early in the day that he didn't have access to any of the evidence. we learn that they did. he then came back to the bar
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later and said oh, yeah, we did. we got it on the 9th. why squeeze so hard if you've got such a lock on the gop? >> well, again, i went to law school. i never practice addai of law. i'm not going to get into a commentary about the lawyering. >> what about the lying? >> well, i think there was one team that was trying to argue what seemed to be a very narrow point. their interpretation of a supreme court case. and it felt like the house managers were laying out the whole listic approach and continuing to make the point that this is not a criminal trial. donald trump is not going to serve a moment in prison if we move forward to impeach and move forward to preclude him from running for office again. but we are setting a standard. this is a case in many ways of first impression. we've never had a president try to interfere with a peaceful transfer of power in a way that brought a mob to ransack the capitol. so the idea that we're not going
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to view that holistically, i guess the lawyers didn't have much of a case, and we're trying whatever. and the irony that these questions about what the president knew and when, we could have had all those answer. if there was anything favorable or exculpatory to donald trump's behavior before, during or afterwards. >> right. >> wouldn't he have conveyed that to his lawyers or at least put forward an affidavit or something? >> of course. it's amazing. brian? >> senator mark horner, thank you very much for joining us after the long session you've had and we witnessed. we appreciate it. former senator claire mccaskill continues to be with us for our coverage. former chair of the rnc michael steele. claire, a little bit of news. tommy tuberville has just been approached by reporters after the session, asked to repeat his account of his phone call with
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the president. here is a quote. i said mr. president, they've taken the vice president out. they want me to get off the phone. i got to go. he guess on to say, "probably the only guy in the world who hung up on the president of the united states." so you take that along with the president's -- former president's habits and known behavior. the live television coverage we were all witness to, any knowledge we all have of the workings of the white house and secret service, there is no theoretical way the president didn't know his vice president was in danger. and while senator warner warned me against looking at this in terms of republicans versus democrats, i am alive and able to fog up a mirror in 2021. we just witnessed an afternoon of cruz and graham going into and out of the counsels' room for the president's former lawyers.
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if this isn't partisan, i don't know what is. >> yeah. so i really think that the house managers have done such a good job. raskin was really good today. i think they need to read the room. the republicans that are in play are most concerned about how mike pence was treated by donald trump. they know what mike pence was to donald trump for four years, and they watched what donald trump did to him on january the 6th. now they actually intimated, the president's lawyers that senator tuberville is a liar. but we now know that both mike lee and tuberville can say that tuberville took that call and got off that call ten minutes before trump sent the tweet going after pence again. they really need to stress that in closing argument because i
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think that is the underbelly. i think that is the tender underbelly of the trump defense. and it is really all about that trump was willing to put pence at that kind of risk and everybody in that room i think would respond to that. so i think that should be a really important part of their closing argument. most of the trump lawyers today, that one guy got really trumpy, van der, whatever his name, he got very trumpy in closing arguments. he reminded me of trump. i don't think it was very effective. raskin was. but i think that is the winning argument, not that you'll maybe get very many, but you might get a few more on what trump did to mike pence on january 6th. >> michael, before i get to you, can i invoke nicolle wallace's white house experience? mine is based on being an observer. nicolle, speak to the awareness of where the protectees are
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among members of the secret service. there are video screens throughout the west wing. used to be on the front of most of the phones. you know exactly where the protectees are. the heads of the details are in touch with each other, and the vice president travels with some of the machinery of government should that be transferred to him or her while they're outside the white house. correct? >> such an interesting point. look, when you leave the white house, you leave with the soundtrack in your head and whatever your president's code name was. ours -- bush's for a while was roadrunner. i used to hear in my sleep, "all cars, all station, roadrunner depart." when you're in the white house, you hear all calls, all stations. even if it's not on the road, it's all stations. you always know where the president and vice president are. and it's on a need to know this. is a very small group of senior staff. the white house chief of staff
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has that box. i don't know if technology has evolved. the white house tends to evolve slower than other places. but your point is right. you always know where the protectee is. and there is no way, there is no way mark meadows didn't know exactly where mike pence was. there is no way they didn't tell donald trump hey, pump the brakes, dude. pence is in trouble. and there has been some extraordinary reporting in "the washington post" from ashley parker and phil rucker and josh dawsey. trump world and pence world do not see the question of whether pence's life was in danger the same way. and i think we have not heard from pence in the course of the impeachment trial, which is a shame as mike pence. but i think what claire is talking about, what daniel goldman described as sort of the soft underbelly of the legal case and claire is describing as the soft underbelly of the political case, i think that's absolutely right. i think the house managers would be wise and they've done this already, but to describe the wanton disregard for mike pence's life. and in is where it doesn't
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matter what they do, because no matter how they vote, they will be indifferent to whether mike pence lived or died. >> and michael steele, back to you. number one, there was an expression of my parents' generation, and i'll be darned if i be darned if i know the derivation of it or why it was a big thing. they used to call someone a philadelphia lawyer. moving on quickly, i assume you agree with claire on the need to now target the argument, because this is genuinely the soft underbelly mike pence sells among that crowd of republicans in the senate. >> he does. first off, yeah, we don't need that philly lawyer stuff down here. keep that in philly because that doesn't play well up on the hill. let's be clear with what we're talking about with respect to donald trump and mike pence. i was just kind of laughing a little bit as to how trump's lawyers were trying to paint
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this as a chummy, lovey thing. it was love and admiration from pence to trump, and it was not reciprocated. trump was pissed at mike pence because pence didn't do what he told him to do. don't try to put the washington spin on it, that's the bottom line. that's why he tweeted what he tweeted, and when tuberville told him they evacuated the president, the only thing trump was mad about is the fact that he didn't do what he was supposed to do before he was evacuated. that's why he was pissed. that's the bottom line here. for the republicans in the chamber, some of them are thinking, hmm, that's a pence problem. because they don't want that to be their problem as they put in motion their aspirations to become the next trump, to pull as much of that base as trump will allow them to have or give them to set them on the course,
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provided don jr. doesn't decide to make a bid for the presidency, to set them on the course towards pennsylvania avenue. so that's the sort of trumpian, macchiavelian backdrop to what happened on january 6. >> i want to ask you about this body around mike pence. donald didn't even understand that mike pence had only a ceremonial role until they shined a spotlight on how limited pence's role was, and "axios" said he was furious. talk about how he started
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bullying him in the runoffs runoffs. >> now that we saw that, it's, one, did he do this, and number one, he was trying to steal the election, as far as what was overriding the results in that procedure that pence was in that ceremonial role. two, that it was about exploiting that to put the pressure on, and three, the tuberville evidence is so graphic, because as you put just put it, if someone else had to get hurt or die, so be it. as part the evidence, that is what donald trump was pushing. and three, if you're a party to
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an insurrection as it's going on in order to further attack pence to get what you want and have giuliani calling in and further delay the certification, then yes to number three, you're defying your office of the oath of the united states. we're ending a long week. i think everyone who has watched some of this have seen these different moments. i would say how extraordinary the one positive today of seeing the capitol officer commended. but the final thing here at the end of the week is it was written by some online, and i think it's very well simply put. a failed coup without consequences becomes a training exercise. >> wow. >> and that's a big part of this. and you and others in your excellent coverage here noted that unfortunately it appears there are members of the united states senate who are would-be jurors but also would-be presidents and perhaps autocrats
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who not only do they co-sign it, but this appears to be the co morbidity they approve of. the question is do you want this to be a training exercise for the next would-be autocrats? donald trump was a lot of things, but having covered this as you have, he was not always well organized in advance. had he tried this early on before the election in november on some of those states levers of power, this could have been even worse. >> so scary. >> it could have been markedly different, that's for sure. he's been trying to buttonhole senators before this session broke up. that session that was kind of co-sponsored between collins and murkowski, two of the very few
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republican votes that have been on the move. >> reporter: look, i think the one question that could sway votes either way was the question senators collins and murkowski asked early on. it got asked two different times. what did the president know about when mike pence was in danger, and what, if anything, did he do to stop it? be specific. not only were trump's attorneys not specific, they avoided the answer. they said, that's not our job. and the republicans that were not in on the conviction question, they didn't have a good answer to that question and they didn't engage. senator murkowski told reporters afterwards she thought the answer was incomplete, didn't get what she was after. and senator murkowski said he's going to write out his questions
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tonight because he doesn't know where he stands. i can tell you, senator murkowski, even democrats say, you can't whip her, you can't pressure her to vote, you just give her all the information and let her decide. and even if the president's counsel refuse to answer a direct question with specifics isn't going to sit well with a powerful attorney who is used to getting answers to her questions. i see her, murkowski and romney whose decision is yet in play for at least a bipartisan conviction if not one that gets the two-thirds necessary. >> chris wallace, brutal, brutal critique of that fight video at the beginning. it did not land well, at least among some corners at fox news. chris wallace is a straight shooter, so that might not be surprising. any concerns about the approach and the tone? if they've got -- ted cruz was sitting at the table where they
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were prepping. i mean, they were so closely synced up with republican senators. was there any concern about those senators on the fence that they were too hot? >> i don't think so. the reality is these senators have more experience in impeachment trials than any other group of senators who sat in this body ever. they, like us, are getting used to the idea that it's not a real courtroom. it's this weird combination of a judge judy meets the senate. it's a political body where they're going to make decisions. i think we were all surprised to see ted cruz, mike lee strategize so openly with the defense, but the reality is they're making political decision ultimately, and to see folks who have made their political beds long ago with donald trump stick with it shouldn't be that surprising. i don't think the tone of the video and the kind of glibness
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of the whole thing, sort of just the sheer ridiculousness of using the word "fight" in literally any context to try to prove your point does anything other than show the defense team lawyers really weren't necessarily -- they didn't necessarily think they had to engage all that seriously with the substance of some of these arguments, because they think they're going to win on the constitutionality question and on the sheer politics. >> garrett haake on the hill as he has been all day, and to our viewers, this current shift you are watching has been at this since 11:45 a.m. indeed, members of the team you're seeing date back to well before that. they're young enough to remember yesterday. and nicolle wallace, before we toss it over to joy reid who gets to take the next hour of coverage, did you see any independent evidence of any migrations of votes at long last after all of the presentations,
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the q&a back and forth? >> you know i wasn't experiencing this week any suspense. i'm done hoping for republicans to find their souls and conscience and act on them. what i was watching was the action in the echo chamber. i told haake i had an eye on fox news and chris wallace, and fox news and right wing media is now under billions of dollars of legal threats because of disinformation. so the threat i pulled through the whole day were conversations about republicans and democrats about the big lie. i think what will haunt this administration for a long time, trump's lawyers wouldn't even say if trump lost or won. trump's lawyers refused, wanted to find out what answered that question and attack them for it. we are still a country very much under attack that left to death and destruction on january 6. that's why we're all here. my friend and colleague joy reid is going to pick this up

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