tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC May 24, 2021 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
to face trial. mr. floyd's family is going to me in washington with nancy pelosi and several senators. then they will head to the white house, have a meeting with president biden himself. the police reform bill, named after george floyd, the george floyd policing, acted has passed the house. it's been stuck in the senate for months now. of course we will be watching tomorrow on this anniversary. the anniversary itself, but also these events tomorrow. including the meeting with the president more with mr. floyd's family. we will be watching to see if that ups pressure on political forces that have bn coming with that bill. that will do it for us tonight. now it's time for the last word with lawrence o'donnell. >> good evening rachel. we have a late night -- note of don mcgahn is sluggishly to testify next week on wednesday to the house
judiciary county. that is breaking news. a couple of years in the making. >> [laughs] don mcgahn is the leading investigator from the mueller report on president trump instructing justice on ten instances plus laid out in great detail in the mueller report. again, has never had to testify about. it this will be the first testimony we have heard. it happens just as the justice department is deciding, right now, whether or not they're going to release to the public the memo that bill barr justice department prepared about why trump shouldn't be prosecuted for any of those alleged incidents of obstruction of justice. it's kind of happening all at the same time. >> and because of the late hour at which this justice department memo is going to be released or not, we've actually kind of adjusted the scheduling
of this show so that neal katyal can appear later in the show. we don't have the memo yet. there is kind of a whole, as i think you know, in the script here where that memo is supposed to go. >> yes, that's exactly right. >> i think you know what i mean. i think there might of been something like that in the 9 pm script. >> [laughs] >> [laughs] so we are waiting. maybe this hour, maybe not. >> it's -- i mean, it's gonna be fascinating. if the justice department appeals the ruling to try to keep that trump prosecution memo secret, that itself is gonna be a huge story. if they don't appeal it and it gets released by the judges order, either tonight or maybe an order comes out before midnight but it takes a little while the come out, either way this will be a fascinating story. we never had to contend with the potential criminal
prosecution of a former president before. now, it's just here. it's all here it has arrived. we have to kind of cover it. >> so rachel, what do you say we just hang around and maybe at midnight we cohost live coverage of the memo, or maybe just wait till tomorrow. >> i can't hear you. i think -- i just can't hear you, breaking up. sorry. >> okay, thank you rachel. >> okay, i can't. >> thank you rachel. she is right about that. we can't do that. well, even scott brown, scott brown thinks donald trump is responsible for the attacks on the capital on january 6th. scott brown was as trumpian as republicans got before donald trump himself ran for president as a republican. foscott brown's pre-followed -- politics famous as the center fold in cosmopolitan in 1982. in 2001, he won a special
election to take up -- after senate -- senator kennedy died. he was defended in his reelection campaign by someone who had never run for office before. harvard professor lives a bit warner who senator brown believed he was cleverly insulting every time he called her, professor. in a campaign where it was inconceivable to scott brown, that massachusetts voters would want to send, a provably smart person, to the senate, to represent their interests. it's now taking place on the smartest senators in history, elizabeth warren. scott brown went on to say that he did no harm. now he is back and willing to state the obvious. >> your former senator and ambassador, do you agree that trump bears responsibility for
the election? >> yes, absolutely. he bears responsibility. i think his presidency was diminished as a result of this. i think he is paying a price. he has been impeached twice. he was impeached for those actions. >> stating the obvious, scott brown has not always been especially good at that, but now he passes as the highest level of wisdom and integrity in the republican party. because of this -- >> we have something new in american history that is a political party defined by the terror it feels for its own voters. that's the republican party. >> pulitzer prize winner columnist george will quoted the republican party in 2016 when donald trump secured the presidential nomination for president. >> i would like to see january 6th as burned into the american mind as firmly as 9/11, because it was that scale of shock to
the system. >> republicans in congress know that one way to burn january six into the american mind, is to have an independent bipartisan commission investigating what happened on that day. since that day, republicans in congress have gone from being afraid that the invaders of the capital would kill them, to being afraid of offending the invaders of the capital and their millions of american sympathizers who according to polls, contumely fail to answer competency questions. who is the president of the united states? 52% of republicans believe donald trump is the true president, not joe biden. >> senate majority leader chuck schumer said on the senate floor today, when he was announcing that he will bring the house bill passed last month -- to investigate january 6th, to
a vote in the senate, where will require 60 votes in order to close debate on the devil, and then vote on the devil, with final passage of the bill requiring only 51 votes. that means, democrats will lead ten republicans and need them to be in the procedural vote that will then allow them to vote on the bill establishing in january six commission. republican senator mike braun told politico, i don't think there will be ten votes on our side for. it i will be surprised if he even get a handful. senator joe manchin said -- r joe manchin said - and that is what the bar has been lowered to four patriotism on the republican side of the united states tonight.
ten. ten out of 50. there is no more generous judge of republican patriotism, on the democratic side of the senate, then west virginia's democratic senator joe manchin. he will be the very last democratic senator to give up finding ten solid patriots on the republican side of the senate. and now, chuck schumer is promising a vote that will show senator manchin, and the country, how many good solid patriots there are on the republican side of the senate. and what happens if joe manchin watches republicans, uses the 50 vote percentage of their vote to block an actual vote on a bipartisan commission to investigate what happened in the attack on the capital, and report that truth to the american people? how disheartening might that be
for senator manchin? then, how concerned for the country will senator manchin be? will senator manchin be disheartened in concerned enough, to be willing to join all of the other democrats in the senate and changing the senate rules to eliminated the 60 vote threshold in all, or some, senate votes? >> if the 60 vote threshold remains in the senate the entire biden harris legislative agenda, beginning with infrastructure and voting rights, will face the impossible hurdle of trying to find ten good solid patriots on the republican side of the senate. patriots oleading off our discun tonight are jim manly, a 29 year veteran who served as -- perry reed and senator kennedy. also wishes jonathan kaye party. host of -- an msnbc.
you know how seniority works in the senate, jim. seniority goes to the anchorman. we will begin with you, the anchor men and women. jonathan kaye part. here we are. the test vote of what is possible in the united states senate will turn out to be the vote on a bipartisan commission, a completely bipartisan idea, a bipartisan commission to investigate january 6th. we will find out in that vote, exactly what is possible in the rest of the senate votes this year. >> you know, i thank you for giving me the seniority. it really should go to jim manly. he knows, basically all those capitals here on capitol hill. this is gonna be the big bipartisan vote. we are biting our nails over whether this will be a
bipartisan vote. this is not -- what happened on january 6th, a democrat or republican issue. it is a patriot issue. -- patriotism issue. it should be unanimous to clear the filibuster, and it should be unanimous to pass the bill to get it to president biden's desk for a signature. american democracy was brought to the brink. the fact that senator manchin is still holding out hope that there are ten patriots, what's the word he used? it's disheartening -- that he can't think of ten patriots who have come together, it's a shame. it's a shame on the republican party, it is a shame on the senate, it is a shame on the united states congress, it is a shame on this country that the people who were elected to serve and lead this nation, can't find it within themselves to unanimously vote to approve this commission. vote tojim, you and i are old h
to remember when it was inconceivable that any member of the senate, least of all a moderate democratic member of the senate, would question how many patriots there are on the republican side of the aisle. >> absolutely. you know, if only because the rank and file of democrats, conservatives, though they may be, he believed in god and country. i for one don't quite understand what senator manchin is up to here. i will wait to see how it all plays out. the senate is in a bad place right now. maybe we'll talk a little later on, it will only get worse in the months to come as the agenda starts to move down the plate. >> let's listen to what adam kinzinger said about his republican leader in the house representatives, kevin mccarthy. >> i do think kevin has failed
to tell the truth to the republicans of the american people. it pains me to say it. it's not like i enjoy standing up and saying this. but 74% of voters have believed that the election was stolen. no one has told them otherwise. they have been silent or not told the truth. that's where kevin has failed. he told the truth on january 13th -- 13th, something around, then then he went to mar-a-lago and said, donald trump is the leader of the party. he's right. he is the leader of the party. but we need to tell people the truth. >> so jonathan, one of the oddities under these circumstances of this proposed commission, is that kevin mccarthy would get to choose some of the members of that commission, as would mitch mcconnell. it is inconceivable that kevin mccarthy would choose anyone, without donald trump's approval of being on that commission.
the membership of the commission, on the republican side, would actually be made up of donald trump approve investigators? >> well, think about this, lawrence, remember when speaker pelosi proposed the commission before, there wasn't going to be an even split between democrats and republicans, right? now, you have congressman katko who is the minority leader mccarthy to negotiate with chairman bennie thompson, to come up with the commission. they gave everything that mccarthy wanted. it gave them everything. the commission would be split, democrats and republicans, more importantly, and the democratic chairman in the republican vice chairman would have to agree on subpoenas, if subpoenas were going to be issued. those are two huge things. and yet, katko cuts it with
this deal, and then mccarthy rips the rug out from under him. in the end, well -- they are afraid of donald trump. he is afraid of donald trump. donald trump doesn't want this commission to happen. he thinks it's all a witch hunt and a fraud, and whatever else excuse is going to come up to throw sand in the gears of the investigation that's going to show his culpability and inciting those people to ransacked the capital, in order to overthrow the will of the american people. with the electoral college vote been certified. mccarthy, i don't understand -- actually, i do understand what was going on with him and why he had the sudden reversal from january 13th saying, you know, january 6th, donald trump was responsible to go to mar-a-lago -- kevin mccarthy has always, and
will forever remain, be someone who cares about power. right now for him, doing whatever donald trump wants, he believes it is going to lead to a situation where republicans will retake the house and he will get the speakers to count. that's what it's all about. >> jim, i need you to check my political homework on the senate on what i think is going on there. this looks like a possible win, win, win for chuck schumer in the following ways. he brings the bill to the floor. either you get enough republican votes, or republicans by the way, they do not have to get a 60 vote challenge to, it they can go without challenging it procedurally. in any event, it passes the senate. and you get your commission investigating january 6th, and that keeps some focus on january 6th, which is not politically helpful group for republicans, only for democrats. on the other hand, if chuck
schumer loses this on the senate floor, he gets to turn to joe manchin and say joe, look at this. this is a bipartisan piece of legislation created in a bipartisan traditional way in the house of representatives. and look at what they did, joe manchin, joe, you have to help us change the senate rule on the 60 vote threshold. >> yeah, absolutely. i think that pretty much nails it. if i was advising the democratic -- i would give my two cents worth arguing very strongly, take the bill to the senate floor, recognize it will be filibustered again. quite frankly, recognize it will lose. if only because senator manchin, and some of the others who are still wondering about where the republicans are on the up and up. it will help them to focus
their attention, what exactly is going on. as some have argued, i think there will be a process of, you know, we will need to see some more bills get filibustered before they lose their attention. this is a big one, absolutely. i will just wait to see how senator manchin handles it. ho as i mentioned earlier, i don't see what his gain is here. if he thinks he is cutting deals with mitch mcconnell, he will be sorely disappointed. >> and if there is no commission, the house and senate committees -- can run their own investigations of january six. jim manley, jonathan kaye part, thank you for starting us off tonight. really appreciate it. >> thanks a lot. >> thank you. coming up, the presidency cannot be planned. no one in the white house could have known that this weekend, that irish eyeliner was going
to be descended on the way to look gordie a and go in battle belarus -- they're condemning the action. ben rhodes joins us next. n rhodes joins us next live online coding class. at byju's! build your own world at byju's futureschool... with live one-on-one coding classes taught by expert teachers. go to byju's futureschool dot com. book a free trial class today! if you have risk factors like heart disease, diabetes and raised triglycerides,... ...vascepa can give you something to celebrate. ♪ vascepa, when added to your statin,... ...is clinically proven to provide 25% lower risk from heart attack and stroke. vascepa is clearly different. first and only fda approved.
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members of the state for the apparent purpose of arresting a journalist. it constitutes a brazen up front and a natural piece by the regime. we demand an immediate transparent and credible investigation of this incident. >> michael o'leary, the ceo of ryan air the budget airline based in ireland called it quote, state sponsored piracy. yesterday, ryan air flight from greece to let the way know was interrupted by a mid 21 fighter jet forcing it to land in belarus, where authorities detain journalist room pratasevich, who was a
parliament predict of the belarusian president love a shank oh who is closely in line with the russian president vladimir putin. -- the european union has called on all eu baselines to avoid flying over belarus, and has asked the european union to begin the process of banning belarusian airlines from flying over, and landing, at airports in the eu. tonight, the white house really -- put out a statement calling the ryan airline a direct affront a direct affron
joining us now is ben rhodes, former deputy national -- of with bin -- with obama. the white house statement came out tonight, it seems to be more than several hours in the making but the language is about as strong as those statements get. >> yeah, because what we're dealing with is something we have never quite seen before. we have a situation where flight is taking off, in one european country, and on and completely absurd premise is basically hijacked by a government in belarus for the purpose of detaining a critic of the government. this is so dangerous, lawrence, because what it says about situations for people in belarus. also it suggests that international air travel, something we all take for granted, is no longer safe. if you fly over the airspace of some authoritarian country, this is able to stand.
if there are not consequences for this action, then we could way lutsenko is in power today without the sponsorship of vladimir putin. this is once again an effort to really upend international norms and put democracies on the defenses. >> in a situation like this, what's the likely answer to what did vladimir putin know, and when did he know it? would he know of a plan like this before it was executed? >> well, obviously, the administration called for an investigation that's necessary. i think at first blush, lawrence, this appeared to be a quite complex operation in order to fabricate this cover story about needing to ground the airline because of a bomb threat. there were reports that there were sketchy people on board who seemed to be involved in the operation. and russia is just far more sophisticated than belarus. it is a much smaller neighbor.
i think it's hard for those who are national security analyst to think that russia did not have some role in planning this, or had some knowledge of. it lukashenko has really looked to putin to put his self up ever since he tried to steal the election that most international observers seem to say he lost. given that reliance on putin's again, it's hard to see something of this complex nature going forward with that with at least some russian had behind it. >> what's does putin think of something like this? is this something that putin thinks this is good, the shows the kind of power we have? or, might he think that was an idiotic thing, we should've done that just over a reporter who was causing you problems? >> well, look. i think sometimes putin likes to demonstrate that he is willing to clout international norms without regard to the consequences -- consequences, called the bluff of the international world.
i'm reminded of a situation that was probably some form of accident when a civilian airliner was shot down over eastern ukraine in an area where russian-backed separatists were very active. and putin confidence gated, he blamed ukraine, the united states -- but again, part of the point of that whole episode was that putin feels like he can annex countries. he can poison countries as he did to alexei navalny and throw them in person. he can assassinate people as we've seen take place in places like the uk, in part to make a point, to any appoint -- people of his regime and lukashenko is making and check that if you're an opponent you are not safe anywhere. i don't think that if you love democracies, you are safe there. that's not a safe response, lawrence. >> one of the options presented to president biden in a situation like this? in the obama white house, you
would be in the house making those options together? >> i think this was a situation of aviation. it offers the -- air travel that belarus is kicked out of that system. air carriers cannot fly into belarus, it can't fly through all of -- belarus is air force. essentially cutting off dollars from europe. the biden administration is gonna have to look at what's tennis sanction can be put on lukashenko and his order. the reply on oligarchic stream is to finance their autocracy. i think this is a case where we in the republic are looking at coordinating -- that look at the sanctions in place and throw the book at a lukashenko and his cronies in sanctioning them, trying to cut off their assets and money trials that they depend on. and exposing the depths of their corruption. this guy who they detained was
a heroic journalist. someone blew the whistle on some of the things lukashenko is doing. that's part of what's gave so much motivation to the opposition there. this frustration with autonomous see in -- the united states needs to look at how we could be more vocal and transparent and shining a light on this and providing support to the democratic opposition inside of belarus who were talking about their cause. >> ben rhodes, thank you for joining our discussion tonight. >> thanks, warrants. >> thank you. coming up, today, newly unredacted documents show paul manafort told even more lies to federal investigators and we know. and, a former trump completely unqualified ambassador, is suing mike pompeo for not paying his legal bills during the first impeachment investigation on donald trump. house intelligence committee -- schiff will join us next. s next like an “unjection.”
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to how much they were willing to pay to be the trump ambassador to the european union in 2016. they went from being a trump critic to being a trump contributor donating $1 million to the trump inaugural committee. tech got him a position he was completely unqualified for. u.s. ambassador to the european union which then made him a key witness in the first impeachment trial of donald trump, and which the president was accused of urging the president of ukraine to interfere in the presidential election in a way that would harm joe biden. >> i know that members of this committee frequently frame these complicated issues in the form of a simple question. was there a quid pro quo? the answer is yes. >> ambassador solomon was fired two days after the impeachment trial in the united states senate. today, gordon filed a lawsuit seeking reimbursement for the
attorneys fees he incurred during the impeachment investigation which pompeo promised to reimburse. the lawsuit says that pompeo made that promise to reimburse the attorney fees quote, entirely for self serving personal or political reasons in the upset ambassador sondland would not implicate him or others through his testimony. also a federal judge revealed lies told to investigations during the mueller investigation. many phone conversations with kilimnik, a russian intelligence off rooted. joining us is the chairman of the house of the intelligence committee and served as the lead impeachment manager in the first impeachment trial of donald trump. i'd like to begin with ambassador sondland's lawsuit, not so much on its merits. he can afford the attorneys fees and there was no grave injustice done there even though he was lied to about reimbursement. but the discovery process in a
civil case like that could go in some interesting and revealing directions. what might you expect from a lawsuit like that? >> first of all, these guys deserve each other lawrence. gordon sondland testified the deposition to one thing and then he claimed to have an improvement of recollection. he gave the testimony you just accepted they're hoping there was a pretty pro quo. apparently it sounds misleading that secretary pompeo was willing to reimburse his legal fees when he stuck to the lighting aim in the deposition. but when he testified during the open hearings again, basically said everyone was in the loop and showed emails and other messages to pompeo showing that pompeo woods apparently his unwillingness to and the trial he said he wasn't going to reimburse us fees anymore. the litigation i guess will
depend on what's basis for the failure to reimburse and. i think if they claim he was acting on his own, but he was some free radical than he might be able to discover. he was actually working with mike pompeo and they were all in the loop. so it's possible that you get discovery with what pompeo was involved in what he knew and giuliani. my guess is he just wants to get paid and he's looking for a settlement or he can get some money out of it. >> the pompeo angle here exposes him to a big subpoenaed to testify in a deposition under oath which would mean mike pompeo under oath for the first time, being forced to answer questions about any of this. >> well that's right and of course that could be very interesting because those documents that he did share demonstrate that pompeo was very much in on this and of
course icon payout was listening on that call between donald trump and president so in ski which he was trying to tell strong-arm that leader of ukraine to investigate the -- but there's a lot we still don't know about the story. we don't know about, for example, the role of mike pence who is also in the loop and pompeo wouldn't doubted lee know about what the former vice president was. so, yes many things could come out and discovery which is pompeo at least a good incentive to try to settle this and pay sondland to go away. >> what was your reaction to what we learned in the newly unredacted, week the public learned, in these newly redacted documents dealing with the mueller investigation and the ways he kept lying to them about constant kilimnik. >> it's pretty interesting into respects because you're right, it shows it was a bigger liar
than we knew and it was a pretty big lie to begin with. but it shows the degree of collusion between the campaign and chairman for donald trump and russian intelligence. i hear that gates deputy chairman are repeatedly giving agent of russian intelligence giving internal data. it's a strategic document about their efforts in battleground states and democrats within those battleground states. and so this is going on while russians are doing a secret social media operation to help the trump campaign. and so it's hard to find something more graphic than that in terms of illusion between trump campaign and the russians at the same russian intelligence working on the social media campaign. but what's interesting about it is, this is now a second federal judge who has
essentially said that they were misleading the country. they were misleading the country by saying there was no evidence of collusion, by saying that he was compelled to include that you could not invite the president on obstruction. the judges also saying that essentially barr has been dishonest with the court about what that memo is about. it's not about just deliberations, apparently it's about spin. and it's for that reason with how they spin, this free decision pre-determination that they weren't going to indict the president no matter what. how did they spin that? that's not something that can be concealed by the public so it's interesting in many levels. >> we have breaking news about that memo as you have been speaking, we have reports indicating that the biden justice department now it's
going to ask for an extension of time. they have until midnight tonight to hand over that memo to bill barr that attorney general barr said he used in deciding that he could not prosecute or charge donald trump with obstruction of justice. jackson said no, this could not have been used for that because the mind was already made up. it seems that the biden justice department is now trying to at least extend the time they have to turn over that memo and possibly appeal that decision under that extension of time. >> you know, i would hope that they would not resist turning that over the public. they should see what's in that memo. you frequently have a situation, lawrence, where the new justice department comes and they say well, to protect the prerogatives of the justice department we're going to maintain the same position as the old justice department. that really ought to give weight to the public interest
after all. this involved an investigation into the president of the united states and the attorney general who is willing to essentially lied to the country to conceal and i think the public interest in full disclosure ought to outweigh whatever concern the justice department may have, particularly when the court has read the stock that it isn't an internal deliberation over a legal issue. it's essentially spin. i don't think the biden administration should get in the way. >> mister chairman, our reporting now indicates that they will be appealing the decision. it will be the official position of the maryland justice department that they do want to protect this memo. >> well that's disappointing and if they do persist then i hope that they are not
sustained by the court of appeals. i hope that the court of appeals will reject this treaty by the justice department. but again, this is not a typical. when the next executive wants to protect the prerogatives of the executive, but i think it's in the state of the justice department to do that. i hope they will reconsider if they're considering revealing. but if they go through with that i hope the court of appeals rules against them. >> adam schiff, thank you very much for joining us. i really appreciate it. >> thank you. >> thank you. and coming up, we have time neil cocktails appearance perfectly. he'll join us next on this breaking news at this hour. above that, trump administration memo to william barr that william barr claims that he was using as his reasoning for not charging donald trump with his obstruction of justice. that memo is now being protected by the biden justice
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the justice department filed a notice of appeal saying the united states department of justice hereby appeals to the united states court of appeals for the district of columbia. the ruling of justice judge amy berman jackson who had ruled that a memo written in the trump justice department for attorney general william barr must be released. the biden justice department is now protecting that memo through the appeals process, trying to keep it as an internal memo. joining us now is neal katyal, former acting u.s. solicitor general and msnbc legal contributor. what do you make of this literally, not last minute but
last hour they had about 60 minutes left to file. this last hour decision to appeal this ruling that would have otherwise made that memo to william barr public tonight. >> yes, so lawrence i read the filing, it's not an extension they are seeking to appeal and they are saying the judge jackson was wrong to ordered the disclosure of the barr justice department memo and this is disappointing to me. i think this is the peoples memo. i think this is the wrong decision. in fairness, they are not going to appeal at all. they're going to leave an unredacted about 1.5 pages of the memo i am told. but the rest they are fighting. now in an ordinary world, lawrence, this would be an unusual decision. the decision we made by the solicitor general and consultation with the attorney general solicitor general was my old trump, i can tell you that in an ordinary world i would have appealed this
decision because the government does not want federal judges ordering disclosure of sensitive and perhaps ongoing law enforcement investigations. we want secrecy around that and encouragement upon advice. the problem here is that this investigation is anything but ordinary. judge jackson is one of the most respect the judges in the country, writing a scathing opinion basically saying that the justice department lied, barr was disingenuous to use her word and we've always know there's been a degree of corruption against bill barr. he acted like one of donald trump's attorneys. indeed, while we've been waiting for the justice department to make this decision, there's all these people on social media saying the justice department saying they made this decision. see this barr memo. and that was barr's addition memo to meet the attorney general that he wrote before he got the job in which he for 20 pages said there's no obstruction of justice prosecution. and that's what this document
is that we are all wanting to see. and the justice department now is saying no, the people don't get to see it that's going to stay in the vault. and that to me is not the right call. >> neil, let me go back to what you and i would consider tradition in these circumstances. the norm in these circumstances. if this was, say, the clinton presidency after the george h. w. bush presidency nobody would blink an eye at something like this. they would consider this one responsibly run justice department being handed off to another responsibly run justice department, basically using the same values. the same approaches to the law and procedure to all of these things and they will cease things similarly. this comes after the most legally radical administration in history. the longest ongoing legally radical attorney general in
operation. richard nixon's attorney general went to prison. he was taken out of the job. bill barr was not taken out of the job except by an election. and so that's what's so striking about this, is that the biden justice department is giving a normal frame to a stunningly abnormal period and abnormal memo. >> that's beautiful. you'll find no person that's a more zealous defender of the institution of the justice department and the way in which you shouldn't change from one administration to another. that's my cardinal belief. but this is a different thing. remember, judge jackson ran the actual underlying documents and she doesn't just attack him for trying to keep this report confidential in away from the public. she also goes after bill barr for falsely misleading that mueller report. and it's not just judge jackson it's also federal judges. judge reggie walton called bars
and handling it distorted and misleading. judge sullivan did the same thing about the dropping of the case against michael flynn. so i don't know that you can apply the same rulebook for a normal presumption of regularity justice department that you can to this. that's what the garland justice department appears to have done tonight. we'll have to study the decision. but for right now, at least, my sense is that this is not the right call. the people need to see and understand what happened and this justice department happened over the last four years. we've waited and waited and to bury this is detrimental to what american democracy is all about. >> neil, please stay with us we have to squeeze in a final commercial break. when you come, back i have a couple more questions including what will happen on this appeal. what is the likely outcome if we can say tonight when this goes to appeal court.
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department has decided to file an appeal tonight to a peel a judge is ruling that ordered the justice department to hand over a memo that was prepared for attorney general william barr which attorney general william barr said was his reason for not charging donald trump with obstruction of justice during william barr's tenure. no cocktail is back with us. we have about two minutes left for the two following questions. what would attorney general garland's role be in this decision and what is the likely outcome in the appeals court? >> so generally, these decisions are left to the solicitor general are the acting solicitor general. sometimes there's consultation with the attorney general that depends from one administration to the next. we can't say here whether or
not there was that consultation or whether the acting solicitor general determination. now, here's what's going to happen lawrence. it's going to take about a year for an appeal. two months of briefing for both sides, then there's an oral argument. then there is a decision. so there's a decision by june of 2022. in the interim, these memos will be confidential. again, it's a partial appeal. they've decided that that biden doj has decided to release about a page and a half that the trump doj wanted blocked but the rest they're saying it should be kept secret and ordinarily there's a lot of deference to the justice department in court which is why i think the onus was on the biden doj to get this call right in the first place and we're going to need to study this but i'll tell you right now, lawrence, i'm disappointed. i hope the judges in d.c. come to a different conclusion because bill barr, what he did was really weaken the justice department and look i believe there should be a zone of
secrecy for government decision making and government privacy but it's a two way street. it requires people there to act like they deserve it and bill barr never acted that way. >> neal katyal, thank you very much for joining us on this breaking news tonight. neil katyal gets tonight's last word. the 11th hour with brian williams starts now. >> well good evening once again, as we start our new weekday 125 of the biden administration. tomorrow will mark one year since that murder of george floyd. killed on a city street in broad daylight on the knee of a police officer as the whole world eventually got to watch in horror on video. that video of his death unleashed a wave of protests around the globe calling attention to the use of force and the role of race during encounters with police. demonstration on policing leading to a measure