tv Deadline White House MSNBC December 9, 2021 1:00pm-3:00pm PST
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pouring through thousands of documents it now has its hands on and pursuing avenues tied to the money that flowed into and out of the group that organized the groups that would serve as opening acts for violence during the insurrection. liz cheney tweeting, quote, the committee already met with 300 witnesses. we hear from four more key figures in the investigation today. we are conducting multiple depositions and interviews every week. nbc news learn the four witnesses complainy referenced includes john eastman, author the memo designed to pressure mike pence to throw out the results of the election. as well as chris krebs chofs fired after declaring the election was the most secure in american history. liz cheney adds, quote, we have received exceptionally interesting and important documents from a number of witnesses, including mark meadows, he has turned over many
texts from his private cell phone from january 6th. complainy adds, quote, do not be misled, trump is trying to hide what happened on january 6th and the delay and obstruct. we will not let that happen. the truth will come out. over on the obstruction side, the committee announcing that a vote will take place tuesday to find mark meadows in contempt of congress and refer him for potential criminal charges for failing to comply with the subpoena for his testimony. but other key witnesses are cooperating en masse, also on capitol hill today stop the steal rally arguer, ali alexander. he says he expected his testimony would exonerate trump but the "new york times" points out the significance of his cooperation in shedding light on where the investigation may be heading. quote, the participation of alexander, who issed scheduled to be deposed by the panel on thursday could provide insight into the nature and extent of the planning by donald trump and his republican allies in congress for their bid the overturn the election on january 6th.
it could also help clarify whether and to what degree the prospect of violence was discussed or contemplated before or during the rampage. members of the panel said they wanted to dig into alexander's communications with republican members of correct me if i'm wrong and election officials. the look behind the curtain of the january 6th select committee's probe into the capitol insurrection is where we start today. betsy woodruff swan is here of politico and an msnbc contributor. also joining us, former chief spokesman for the justice department, currently an msnbc justice and security analyst, matt miller. and chris gold smith is back, and an analyst on intelligence, extremism, and disinformation. is kr, i want the dive into this reporting in the "new york times" and probably not the screaming banner breaking news headline of the hour, but ali alexander, and the reporting that he is there to testify on
two sort of red lines here. knowledge ahead of time about violence, and knowledge not just of trump, but of republican members of congress that it seems to me could potentially shape and determine whether subpoenas for members are in the future of this committee's work. what do you know? >> ali alexander is not the brightest bulb. that should be plain to anybody that watched him over the last year or so. he's somebody who was at the center of the stop the steal slogan, the stop the steal website. it was something invented years before 2020. robert stone has been shouting stop the steal to preemptively undermine democratic wins for numbers of years. this was just somebody who was at the top of the ticket, trump, who would shout that slogan from the rooftops.
ali alexander bought stop the.us. and he was selling bumper stickers and accepting donations for work i don't think he was actually actualing and to promote tweets by mainstream gop promoters like charlie kirk and turning point u.s.a. and alex jones and nicholas fuentes so what he could continue to promote the stop the steal lie using the trusted if that's even the right word figure heads and loud mouths who trump's base has grown to love and respect. >> and heed. i want to pick this up in a second. i want to deal with some of the breaking news as well. betsy woodruff swan, the four individuals that are testifying today based on liz cheney's tweet and reporting from nbc news are john eastman, who is expected to plead the fifth based on current reporting.
chris krebs, who has basically been in a war of words with donald trump since he declared he had actually done his job, made sure that the 2020 election was the most secure in our country's history. ali alexander who we have been discussing with chris gold smith and kash patel. what do you know about these four witnesses and the interesting documents pouring into the committee as well. >> ali zand didn't is the most tig can't one. the pack he is showing up and actually answering questions is huge deal for all the reasons that were just pointed out. john eastman might be least significant if he shows up, pleads the fifth and refuses to say anything. kash patel is a fascinating character. we are not aware yet of the extent to who he's engaged with the committee but he was very much a trump world insider. very close as well to congressman nunes. he worked for nunes on the house intelligence committee prior to moving into the trump
administration. pat cell also really interesting because he was a senior defense department official on the day of the january 6th attack. to my knowledge, he's the first person from d.o.d. who has engaged with the committee. it is totally possible in the 400 people that liz cheney said they have spoken to are d.o.d. personnel but patel is the first one that we know about it. the question is, why did it take the d.o.d. so long to get the national guard to the capitol. he will likely be asked that in this interview. chris krebs is a very important character here. he has been outspoken after since he was ousted from the trump administration for telling the truth about the election. i think some of the questions the committee would want to ask him about could still reveal information we still don't have. it is a big afternoon. >> a huge one. we have the benefit of the vase
chair of the committee telling us this this afternoon. we have received exceptionally interesting and important documents from a number of witnesses, including mark meadows. he's tornadoed over many texts from his private cell phone from six. then she goes to what we said at the top, do not be misled. this is what we understand a letter from chairman penny thompson to mr. meadows' attorney, a november 7, 2020 email discussing the appointment of alternate legislators. another email providing options for january 6th that was to be provided on the hill. and among others, a january 5th 2021 email about having the national guard on stand by. it sounds like from the document production from mark meadows they have at a minimum a ton of really important leads about
what was put to paper. this 38-page brief being fraud, foreign interference and options for january 6th? there were no options. there was one option, certify the election. as well as knowledge of potential knowledge, which chris is talking about ali alexander potentially testifying to. and the email about having the national guard on stand by. >> important leads and chilling information we are seeing from the documents that mark meadows turned over. i think mark meadows has had two strategies from the beginning of his engagement with the committee. one is to protect donald trump and do anything he can to avoid turning over documents that would incriminate donald trump or testify in a way to incriminate donald trump. but his second strategy has been to do that while trying to protect himself from indictment. that's why i think you have seen his attorney unlike steve bannon engage with the committee, turn some documents over. offer to provide testimony.
whether he was ever going to the that i am skeptical of. all so he can say look i engaged in a good faith basis. there were certain things that were privileged and now i have asked a court to decide that question, so you can't indictment me that. we don't know whether that will be successful but i think that's strategy. with regard to the information we are seeing coming out today and about what liz cheney told the world about the number of witnesses the committee has interviewed, it is a reminder that we don't see everything that's happening in the investigation. we only see the noisy parts, the peep who aren't cooperating, the people who are refusing to come in and talk. we don't see the people would are fulfilling their obligation to the constitution, fulfilling their obligation to the country and coming in and telling what they know, either for noble reasons, because they want to help shed light on the truth or because they are scared of ending up in the same boat as steve bannon. ultimately, it doesn't matter.
what matters is that the committee can get to the bottom of this information and find out the facts that they have been charged to uncover. >> this point is one i haven't made as precisely as matt miller. even in an interview -- we had congresswoman lot of again on this week. it is clear we don't know how much they know and we have been paying more attention to what they haven't been able to get their hands on. what what they haven't been a i believe to get their hands on does not fall squarely into what they don't know about. it is clear that the memos were not written to themselves. they wrote emails to short, to partnerships, fahd knows who else. i wonder, chris, if you could speak to sort the forensic process of almost caging hostile witnesses who may have been in constant and frequent communicate not just with the president not just with the white house but with our allies
that donald trump d.o.j. would help them overturn the election if they would simply declare it corrupt. >> let's talk about hostile witnesses who are allies right now. when you first opened the segment you showed a graphic with the "new york times" up. there was a photo that i believe was taken inside the georgia state capitol building. if not, it might have been michigan. ali alexander, nicholas fuentes and jones travelled together as a unit to promote the stop the steal lie and to get crowds the breach those capitals which was what we all saw was a practice run for what ended up being a violent day on january 6th when they assaulted the united states capitol. i don't know that ali alexander knows who he was hanging out with. nick fuentes is an avowed white supremacist. he hates ali alexander. he hates ali's parents. while ali alexander has
converted to christianity. he's very loud about that. that's part of his drifting brand but i think that ali alexander is probably still a little bit of a human being and cares about his parents. now, if i were on the january 6th committee and ali was coming in to talk to me i would say, hey, here's a whole bunch of evidence. we have got years of this kid who was at charlottesville chanting nazi slogans who, you know, is a clear neonazi and this is the guy you were hanging out with all of last year. how do you feel about him? i feel like ali alexander when he comes to realize who nick fuentes is, he might be willing to talk about him. when that happens, nick fuentes has more to lose than anyone else who is one of the high-profile folks who organized the insurrection. the kid is in his 20s. others have lived lives.
but nick fuentes is in his 20s. if he gets locked up or gets bankrupted, that is going to weigh heavily on him. frankly, i think he's the most likely to crack if the pressure is on. >> betsy, it's such a mind-bending exercise to listen to chris describe who ali alexander and nick fuentes are and to think that they have been subpoenaed alongside bill stepien and mark meadows, the campaign manager for an incumbent president and the white house chief of staff whose salary is paid for by the taxpayers. they are all persons of interest in congressional probe into a deadly insurrection. and i pulled up kash patel's letter just to remind myself of what they were interested in talking to kash patel about. it is the most dire and serious threats to a functioning democracy which, clearly, we weren't living in on january 6th. this is what the committee wrote to kash patel. at the time of the attack he severed as chief of staff to
chris miller, a position he was appointed to november 10th. prior to appointment you served as senior director for counter tichl at the national security council. there is substantial to believe that you have additional documents and information relevant to understanding the role played by the department of defense and the white house in preparing for and responding to the attack on the u.s. capitol as well as documents and information related to your personal involvement in planning for events on january 6th, and the peaceful transfer of power. i know you have some new reporting today, betsy, but it's clear there is a lot of churn in that building specifically at the army about the time line about investigations and ig reports that are under way. talk about the importance this part of the investigation to the 1/6 committee. >> there is so much more to
learn about what happened within the pentagon and the d.c. national guard on the day of january 6th. i obtained a memo that my colleague and i reported on early this week written by a senior d.c. national guard official at the time who said that the official story coming out of d.o.d. currently in the sense of congressional testimony and another secret memo we also just obtained is a lie. this was a person who was on a phone call with top law enforce innent and military officials as the attack unfolded ar at 2:30. the memo said the only reason that d.c. national guardsmen didn't get to the hill much more quickly was because of what he described as inaction and inertia at the pentagon. why didn't the pentagon move more quickly why is that inertia as alleged in place. senior top military officials are making claims that are
impossible the reconcile. somebody is lying about why the d.o.d. didn't get the national guard to capitol hill sooner. that's just based on all the paperwork -- all the document that i have looked at, all the people who i have spoken to. it's going to be a challenge for the select committee to sort through just this controversy within the d.o.d. about why that building wasn't secured on an earlier time line. it is going to be a challenge. but the fact that kash patel is cooperating is significant because of course he was a very senior d.o.d. official that day and there is no question that he would know a lot at least according to this letter from the select committee about why things played out the way that they did. >> matt miller, just looking a of the the dates when some of these people landed at they very important agencies, kash patel goes over there on november 10th. i wonder how much premeditation is part of what's under investigation by the 1/6 committee. >> it must be. it was always unclear why he
sent kash patel and chris miller who he made acting defense secretary, why he sent them to the pentagon in the immediate aftermath of the election. one explanation was that he had this last-minute plan, the president, then president did, to try to pull troops out of afghanistan immediately and there were there to execute it. there was some evidences they tried to do that. the other piece goes to something in the documents mark meadows turned over. one of the bullet points in his power point slide was to declare a national emergency. it would involve the sylvianne leadership at the pentagon try to mobilize the military to try to install or keep donald trump installed in power in the white house. fortunately, i think mark milley, who was the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff at the time made very clear that was not going to happen, the military leadership was not there, we are never going to be there. there is no reason if you went down the drank of the military
they would support any kind of -- let's call it what it would be -- a coup. those questions, why cash of the pael, why chris miller mr. sent to the pentagon as well as the questions about how they acted on january 6th and why there was such a delay in getting the national guard deployed ott capitol. are obviously key questions i expect he's going asked today and hopefully he is answering. hopely he's not up there trying to exert an executive privilege to try to avoid answering some of these questions. >> i wonder if you could take a step back as far as being -- chris we know more recently, betsy, you too. we have had these conversations around the mueller probe, the first impeachment, the second impeachment, around the new york investigations about how much they know and around who is talking. what seems to distinguish with 1/6 probe from everything that
came before it is everyone is team trump. whether they worked for the state or the pentagon -- they are all being questions i guess in terms of where their loyalties laid on that day. i am not saying they are all guilty of plotting the coup but the committee wants to hear from all of them. the key witness is at least someone with some eyes on someone doing something nefarious. and you stack up the witness license. people that chris described as notorious white supremacists. the committee is trying to finds fault lines between the nick fuentess and the ali alexander's of the world. they may not have the ride or die view as the pardoned folks, roger stone or a number of pardoned people involved in the insurrection. and then the people who work in the government, which seem like theiciest of all.
when you compare it to investigations where trump could smear everyone as a deep state actor, these are all trump people. they talked to 300 of them. what does that say to you? >> i think the question i have is, how much trump has been willing to -- or how much he has been able to enforce this kind of culture of omerta from outside the white house. look, he was very successful -- not completely successful, but very successful at keeping most of the people close to him from testifying in the previous investigations. mueller got to a number of them. and obviously we have seen in this investigation some -- mark meadows and some of the others who are refusing to cooperated. but i think when we get out of the fact-finding phase of this information into the fact-sharing phase which obviously the committee will get to next year, ultimately in a report, maybe before that with public hearings with some of the witnesses they deposed, i think we will find out just how much
trump has been able to keep people, through fear, or through loyalty or through hope they can serve in a future trump administration -- how much he has been successful in keeping some of these witnesses from coming in and testifying. we don't know the answer to that yet. i fear that those closest to him will not have cooperated. but, remember, if you have a bunch of people in a room who have witnessed trump's behavior you don't have to talk to every one of those people to find out what happened. you have to talk to one, two, or a small handful. hopefully that's what the committee has been able to do. >> let me ask you a follow-up, mark miller. mark meadows turned over according to liz cheney today thousands of documents including what amounts to one of the coup plots. mark short, there wasn't anybody above him on pence's staff. you do have -- i guess dan mcgahn served in this funk in the mueller investigation. but i don't know there has been an examination of trump's inner circle that included mark
meadows' thousands of documents and mark short's full cooperation. does that give you optimism they might get at the truth? >> it gives me optimism. let me tell you why that's happening. because of the justice department. he turned over those documents to keep himself from being indicted. i suspect that's also why some of the others are not blowing off the committee subpoenas the way they were willing to do it during the trump administration he they bill barr was in no way going to indict a witness for refusing to cooperate with congress. with the justice department having their back and sending that strong signal in the bannon investigation i am hopeful they will get to more of the truth. >> we will stay on it. thank you all so much for starting us off on this breaking news. when we come back, american democracy in the spotlight
today. not all in good ways. the white house having to defend our standing in the world as the insurrection and the insurrectionist party loom large and the united states continues to struggle to contain some of these forces in our own country. plus we are getting a look at how states are preparing for a post-roe world should the supreme court overturn the landmark abortion ruling. some are lining up to pass laws even more severe than the one in texas, imagine that. while others are stepping up to become safe havens for women. later in the program the first major lawsuit filed in connection to the deadly school shooting last week in michigan. we will look at that case. all those stories and more when "deadline: white house" continues after a quick break. don't go anywhere. e. ovide compl, balanced nutrition for strength and energy. whoo hoo! ensure, with 27 vitamins and minerals, now introducing ensure complete! with 30 grams of protein. the airport can be a real challenge for new homeowners
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in the face of sustained and alarming challenges to democracy, universal human rights, and all around the world, democracy needs champions. and i wanted to host this summit because here is the -- here in the united states we know as well as anyone that renewing our democracy and strengthening our democratic institutions requires constant effort. american democracy is an ongoing struggle. to live up to our highest ideals and heal our divisions and recommit ourselves to the founding ideas of our nation captured in our declaration of independence, not unlike many of your documents? that was president biden today at launch of the first-ever summit for democracy bringing together nearly 100 countries to discuss how to strengthen human
rights and democratic accuracy. as president biden acknowledges it comes when our democracy here at home in the united states looks shaky at best. just a year out from a deadly insurrection that shocked the whole world one of the country's two major political parties effectively turned its back on our democracy. they have doubled down on the lie that the election was stolen. politico sums up the situation at home this way, quote, the summit's host is in the midst of a democratic crisis, the international insz institute for international democracy ranked the u.s. as a back sliding democracy for the first time in its annual report. they add president biden and vice president harris will host a democracy summit without having passed any of the democracy reforms they championed for a year. joining our conversation, ambassador to russia michael mcfaul and host of msnbc's way too early, jonathan lemere.
both msnbc analysts as well. ambassador, you were the first to say to me on this program the fight is now within our allies and our adversaries, it is not a project accuracy project far away where people can take a year off like they used to. what a joke, right? what w.h.o. are we? now it is very much within our own country, and this struggle that you were forced to shine the light on here. what can a sum like this achieve? >> well, that's exactly right. the struggle for democracy is not like the old struggle during the cold war between the soviets and the americans and our allies. it is partly that between russian and china, but it's also within our democracy. it is not just the united states. it is hungary, it is italy. there are pop you list i will liberal forces throughout all of
europe. and we have the focus on it within as well. remember, the anti-democratic forces are alive. there is a meeting in warsaw right now. steve bannon goes around trying to get them all together. the liberal democrats forces need to be more unified. applaud the idea. i applaud president biden launched the presidential initiative for democratic renewal. i went through it. i think everything in it is great. it is all focused on the external side. i would like to see a presidential initiative for democratic renewal within the united states as well. they talked about it, let's give them credit, they talked about it. but the best way to help small d democrats abroad is to strengthen democracy at home. it has to be part of the homework after this summit is over. >> without ambassador mcfaul making this about what democrats aren't doing because there is a document, a piece of legislation, federal voting
rights election and democrats have a hard time uniting as a party around them. what do you do to make democracy the more politically popular thing in other countries? how can we learn from other places that chose democracy what he it was a tough choice is this some of the tactics by world renowned exposing corruption. crump has been exposed as corruption, extra judicial, as liar, as a loser. we have exposed him the way we train democracy to expose their corrupt leaders and one of the cup's two parties doesn't care. what is the molitor changing that? >> that is a great point. we can learn from other democracies, we can learn from other small d democrats. i want to keep reminding people when i say democrats i mean small d democrats, not big d democrats. and anti-corruption is a common fight. i applaud what the biden administration is doing on that
front as well. but here at home we have got to start talking about small d democracy that we can unite around and not republicans versus democrats. i am preaching to the choir with you. i hear you do it every single day. thank you. you are part of it. let's be clear about that you are actually part of it. and it's not about, you know, your position on tax policy or a social issue. it's whether or not you are willing to adhere to the democratic rules of the game. tragically, somebody who studies democracy around the world, we are now in our tenth year of a democratic recession according to freedom house. and if we do not adhere to some basic democratic rules of the game, we are in trouble. and so just you know reinvigorating that conversation here at home i think is vittlely important for us to have credibility abroad. >> picking up the idea of exposing corrupt leaders, we have some breaking news that actually is very much tied to that. a d.c. court of appeals has just
rejected the ex president's effort to stop january 6th from accessing his white house records. pete williams joins us now. what's the latest? >> this is a unanimous opinion just out from the d.c. court of appeals, the three-judge panel that recently heard oral arguments in this case. this is the fight between the president and the archives over the documents requested by the six committee which the president says should be shielded by executive privilege. what this unanimous opinion says is that the court cannot override president biden's decision not to invoke executive privilege. it says that president trump has provided no basis for overriding that judgment, and the agreement and accommodations worked out between the archives and the congress to get them. and more specifically, it says, the president -- former trump has failed to show that president biden did not carefully and give a reasoned
explanation for why he waved executive privilege and decided it was not in the interest of the united states. the court says, congress has a uniquely vital interest in studying the attack, to formulate remedial legislation, and to safeguard its own operations. it says there is a demonstrated relevance of the documents at issue to the congressional inquiry. it says there is no other place to get this information. and it says mr. trump has failed to allege, let alone demonstrate any harm to him that would arise from the disclosure. so, for all those reasons -- and this is a long opinion. let's see. we are talking a 68-point opinion here. and i haven't read the whole thing, but that's the summary of it. what the court has done is put a hold on its own ruling here for 14 days to give the president time to take an appeal to the supreme court. now, as you know, the president -- the former
president could also go to the full d.c. court of appeals. but when this case was argued it was pretty clear from what his lawyers said at the end, they intended their next stop to be the supreme court. so there is an order that came out along with this opinion today that says we are going to hold our own opinion off, the effect of it off. nothing gets handed over for at least 14 days to give trump's lawyers time to go to the supreme court. >> pete williams, i have to give our often colleague robert costa credit for saying many weeks ago that he thought the issue, the trump white house documents at the national archives would winds up at the supreme court. i am sure you saw it around that corner as sfwheel yeah, because of the unique question here of how much executive privilege does a former president have. >> and who has the privilege. it is clear now that now this -- the three judges have said the executive privilege, the privilege is of the current president. i guess my question is, a lot of
people think the strategy on trump's side isn't even that he has the winning argument but that it has been so successful for him to run out the clock. does the court have any pressure to respond in a timely manner or could they take their own sweet time? >> well, it's the supreme court. yes, they could take their sweet time. this will be not an emergency appeal. i don't know if they will file it as an imagine appeal. the lowers courts expedited we view here. they moved it along quickly. so either party cank the supreme court to move it along quickly and not just put it on the regular calendar because if the supreme court doesn't agree to hear this case by mid january then the calendar for the year is filled up. that's the way these things normally work. but i have a humplg this will move quickly and the supreme court will take notice of the fact in a the lower courts have moved very quickly on this question. i would say, by the way, that
this decision doesn't say that the prormer president has no executive privilege or that mr. biden himself has the total on/off switch on of the. what it says is that any privilege can be overborn by other interests. so what they say is, you know, if you are weighing on the one hand the former president's residual executive privilege and on the other the congressional need for the documents, what this court says is the need outweighs whatever residual privilege the former president has. >> pete williams, let me ask you to stay on the air with us. i i will give you a chance the read that. i want to bring into our conversation jonathan lemere who has covered every sort of move if you can call them on trump side of this. the trump side has been delivered legal defeat after legal defeat. this is a big one. your reaction? >> yeah. the trump legal team has been on a significant losing streak with
first of all the frivolous election lawsuits and now -- >> we have lost jonathan lemere mid-thought. let me see if we have msnbc legal analyst joyce vance ready for us. joyce has been reading this opinion. your reaction? >> nicolle, it means a lot in this case. you will recall that the national archives was set to turn over documents, and trump filed this action to prevent that automatic release of documents. it will impact this case and those documents. but because the court is write being executive privilege, much more generally, this could also apply to cases like mark meadows, who you were talking about earlier today. he's attempting to use executive privilege to avoid testimony. this same analysis would apply to him, perhaps even more strongly, than to the former president. >> joyce, when you look at what the committee already has its
hands on, there has been so much document production, we really spend a disproportionate amount of time on the two folks so far who have -- well, one who has been criminally charged, steve bannon, the other, mark meadows, who before refusing to show up for his depo turned over thousands of documents which liz cheney a up can have hours ago described as exceptionally interesting. what does this mean? the national archives document release would be what, a flood of more information, more sensitive? is it the draft speeches? talk about what could be in this national archives document release should that appeals court ruling rule the day. >> it is hard to predict exactly what's in there. but one thing that we do know is that the former president has taken a great deal of effort to avoid the release. that in and of itself suggests that there is some very interesting materials in there. something you and i have talked
about before, nicolle, is that it may ultimately be some mundane documents, lists of who was making calls into the white house, who was the president talking to in who was the vice president talking to? some of these everyday matters may ultimately help as the committee tries to put together a road map to the insurrection. today we learned that one of the documents that mark meadows turned over was a multipage -- a 30-plus page power point that is essentially a road map to a seditious conspiracy. it is hard to view it as anything else. it is literally a step-by-step how we are going to take the election away from joe biden. there is no telling what's in that treasure trove of documents that trump has tried so strenuously to avoid turning over that could provide additional evidence. and increaingly it looks like the problem that the january 6th committee is going to face is not going to be getting to the
truth and explaining what happened on january 6th and coming up, frankly, with a relatively credible criminal case. the problem is going to be, how do we get the whatever it is these days, 30% of americans who are still bought into the big lie and the former president's world view -- how are we going to break through and help them look at this material, accept facts, and come to an understanding of where we are and what we have to do to prevent it from happening again? >> some of that is the credibility of the witnesses. the witnesses are all individuals with maximum credibility in trump world. they have only deposited people closest to trump in government, closest to trump on the campaign, and closest to donald trump in terms of the very people who organized the event at which he appeared that day. so that might enhance their credibility. i want to press on something you said about mundane things being in the documents. i was a white house staffer. and every email i send was bcc today this address, who.eop.gov,
whether it was to a colleague or staffer who you wanted to meet downstairs for lunch or whether it was edits to my speech i was working on. there will be voluminous pages and pages, but everyone with a white house email has a copy of everything they accepted and receive sent to the national archives. i wonder -- every email drafted, every sell the, every call log, every visitor log. as an investigator, what are you looking for if you are to obtain toes documents. >> the gold star is always going to be the smoking gun, the person who was fed up and made a comment in an email. you know, the guidance that i used to always give my prosecutors was don't say anything in an email that you are not comfortable reading on the front page of the "new york times" tomorrow morning. and you would say it sort of jokingly. but i think in this setting it's very real. right? we will see some of these emails
on the front page "new york times." as things got stressful after the election, leading up to january 6th, and certainly on that day, it is very likely that there are communications that could well provide a smoking gun, because the ultimate unanswered question here has always been, really, that watergate formulation, what did the president know, and when did he know it. but even more so here, what did he hope to accomplish? and how far was he willing to go to get there? these emails from people around him may hold the include. they may be contemporaneous recollections of events that witnesses can then be questioned about. that's what the january 6th committee needs, particularly for some of these reasons who are trying to be difficult. there may well be email recollections or other communications, documents, that reflect either what they said or who they were meeting with. as you have pointed out, we focused on the people that are giving the committee trouble. there are plenty of other people who have been willing to talk to
them. so these documents form the base bone of questioning for these people that help the committee get closer to the truth. >> if you look at where they are farthest toward a smokingen gun -- i don't know if it is smoking but they certainly have the coup plot. they have got that, the eastman memo. it was on paper. we also know they have already got who was in the room when it was pitched to pence. we also know donald trump on tv told pence he's not going to like him very much. i guess i want to understand, what they still on the know is perhaps the possibility for violence, whether that was something donald trump was aware of. are those the sort of things where you think they have more distance to travel to get to a smoking gun? >> i think what we are getting int nation that they are looking at is what conversations were happening within members of congress and people in the white house, members of congress and people surrounding the events on
january 6th. i have been on twitter this afternoon crowd sourcing of tweets from some of the congress "people" you would have expected were supportive of the big lie. i suspect there is a lot of work going on too find out whether that's incidental, or an enter size of first amendment rights or whether it crossed the line. and was there an element of violence explicit lee contemplated or what is that just something that happened? i am mindful of the fact we have seen information from some of the groups and conspiracy groups like the oath keepers where folks at the capitol that day are suggesting there are firearm across the river or in alexandria, someplace like that. was that actually an organized effort? if so, who knew about it?
it is possible that's just limited to those groups and thou one certainly in the white house or around the president had any knowledge about it. but that's the committee's job, to figure out what was going on, how far up it went? let me add to our breaking news coverage of an appeals court decision that just came occupy. pete williams reported on this program it is long. we are wading through it ourselves. joyce is doing the same thing. we will give her a seconds to read more pages. we lost jonathan lemere a couple of minutes ago to a technical glitch. i want to bring him back in. a legal defeat for the expresident but it may be a victory for the american people in terms of furthering our understanding of how much of this was a conspiracy, how committed other republicans were to the events of january 6th, to way it turned, whether the president was aware of the possibility for violence, whether anything that betsy woodruff reported at the top of
this hour, looming questions, lingering questions and a lot of ugly in-fighting at the pentagon about the national guard response. whether any of that is in any white house records. whether the white house counsel worried about the president's criminal exposure. we know from some of the books that have been written that white house counsel pat sip lenny was essentially waiting for trump to be arrested that day. as a white house staffer, every email you sends or receive is sent to the archives. if this appeals court ruling holds every email gets into their hands. >> aapproximately jazz for technical difficulties. bimy internet went out. i am holding this via phone. this is a trs your trove of potential information here heading to the january 6th committee. we don't know the fate of the
supreme court. three justices appointed by donald trump himself. what's possible in there is significant to say the least. you just outlined very thoroughly and effectively, everything gets saved. you look at the white house -- reporters who cover the white house we are mindful of it as well. you need to be aware of that as well as you conduct your own business. this is -- whether it is from the counsel's office, the chief of staff, meadows revealed in recent says he was texting with people around january 6th saying some fairly incriminating things. the president himself, the former president doesn't use email. takes pride in that. there probably won't be records from him. but other information, there will be. people taking contemporaneous notes of what was happening that day. certainly the considerations happening within the building. and including, most likely, a description of the president's behavior that day, before and after the insurrection. and perhaps most damning of all,
during, when we know he retreated to the private dining room this is a significant potential breakthrough for this investigation, both to find out what happened that day but as democrats involved with it tell me, on a near daily basis, to prevent something like this from happening again. >> jonathan lemire, the other kinds of documents that i am wondering about is the white house switchboard. i mean, will those call logs be released? other documents include draft speeches, if there was a teleprompter in front of donald trump when he finally read that message saying, we love you, were there other draft speeches and other notes on it? is there a note from the white house counsel on it? the other things that a committee might come into possession of, draft tweets.
i mean, there were calls that we know about from kevin mccarthy, chris christie was on abc news, there were pleas from inside not just the republican party but trump's own base to beg the president to tell his supporters to go home. we may learn what all those communications sounded like, how they were met, who walked them into the oval office, whether ivanka or hope hicks or others articulated or expressed concern. i mean, we may really piece together the inside of the oval office, again, not because trump emailed anything, but because others may have walked out and sent an email to another colleague and said, i don't have anything yet. >> yeah, no, that's right. and we know that kevin mccarthy called from the capitol, begging the president to do more, to try to help, to call off what was happening. we know that the vice president was on the phone, calling back to the white house, trying to get a handle on the situation. we know that though trump
himself wasn't on email, people around him that day certainly were. the switchboard's an interesting question because we know throughout the four years of the trump presidency, he would often try to get around that and give out his personal cell phone to people, one so he could get those calls because there was a stretch when john kelly was chief of staff that he prevented that from happening. he had those calls screened so the personal cell phone went out or the first lady's cell phone number went out and that was so president trump could speak to people. that will be interesting to see if those records become available as well. but there's, you know, nicole, as you know better than anyone, the paper trail that exists when you work in a white house is massive, and sometimes that causes sort of the eye roll of folks like, here go the bureaucrats again, keeping track of everything when they don't need to, all this unnecessary time and energy and even money, but this is a moment where it shows that's worthwhile. these are historical documents. the president of the united states or you work for the president of the united states, everything you do in some ways is a matter of public record and this will be something that the
committee does indeed get their hands on we'll have a much fuller picture as to what happened that day. >> i'm just getting my first eyeballs on this opinion, and i'm reminded that this legal battle, jonathan lemire, is just about the first of three tranches over which president biden has already reviewed and determined that executive privilege is not justified. this is one-third of what the committee seeks. and whatever decision holds here, it's a reasonable assumption from, i guess, i'm a nonlawyer, i won't call it reasonable, it's an assumption that whatever sort of the law determines about this tranche of records could very well apply to the second and third tranche. and i wonder, jonathan lemire, if you have any sense from this white house about just how judicious and restrained they were in this review to ensure that congress would have the opportunity to obtain these documents. i'm guessing that the factors
that pete williams talked about, that this is about another branch's oversight, this is about an extraordinary event, the opinion details everything donald trump did that day. it goes on and talks about, shortly before noon on january 6th, trump took the stage at a rally of his supporters on the ellipse just south of the white house. during his more than hour-long speech, trump reiterated his claims that the election was rigged and stolen and urged then vice president mike pence, who would preside over the certification, to, quote, do the right thing by rejecting various states' electoral votes and refusing to certify the election in favor of mr. biden. toward the end of the speech, trump announced to his supporters that, quote, we're going to walk down pennsylvania avenue to the capitol, and we're going to try and give our republicans the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country. urging the crowd to demand that congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated.
you'll never take back our country with weakness. you fight like hell and if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore. donald trump's words replayed in an opinion like this is part of the extraordinary circumstances that have led this appeals court to decide that there is no privilege, no credible claim of privilege on the ex-president's part, could be the beginning of the end of this element of trump's obstruction effort with the 1/6 committee, jonathan. >> yeah. you're certainly right, nicole. a template here would be established. if this was turned over, we could have reasonable expectation that the others would as well. we'll have to see that play out in the courts in the weeks ahead. but we just read there, it's so damning and we know president trump didn't actually walk down pennsylvania avenue with his supporters. that ended up being an idle claim. but this is the connection that the committee has tried to make, that he is responsible for what happened there that day. this was the impeachment case as well in the run-up, in the weeks
after the election, up until january 6th and in, of course, the hours itself before the insurrection with those words you just said from the ellipse with the white house behind him, those pictures all seared into our minds from that day. and certainly, this is a significant thing, because we know that, coloring the backdrop to all of this, is the politics of the moment. republicans have been obstructionist to this probe. the senate, you know, under mitch mcconnell's leadership, did not cooperate. the gop in the senate did not cooperate in a 9/11 style bipartisan commission that would have gone a long way to get the american people answers here. we know that the house speaker, mccarthy, is doing everything he can -- house leader mccarthy is trying to become house speaker mccarthy this november with republicans hoping to reclaim the majority and of course president trump himself eyeing a possible candidacy for president once more so that is why this is so important, democrats say, to get the truth out there to try to prevent that from happening again. >> democrats and a few former
republicans and independents, i'm sure, feel that way as well. joyce vance, jonathan lemire, thank you for being part of our breaking news coverage. let me tell all of you what we're going to do. we're going too dive into this breaking opinion and appeals court ruling that donald trump's claims of executive privilege do not hold water, at least with them. the next hour of "deadline white house" starts after a quick break. hite house" starts after a quick break. real cowboys get customized car insurance with liberty mutual, so we only pay for what we need. -hey tex, -wooo. can someone else get a turn? yeah, hang on, i'm about to break my own record. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ ♪ ♪ 'tis the season to break tradition in a cadillac. don't just put on a light show—be the light show. make your nights anything but silent. and ride in a sleigh that really slays. because in a cadillac, tradition is yours to define. so visit a cadillac showroom, and start celebrating today.
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rejected donald trump's push to block key documents from the january 6th committee. it is a significant blow to the ex-president's campaign of obstruction, though one that will most likely end up before the supreme court if they agree to take it before a final determination is made about those documents. and it comes as we learn that four key witnesses appeared today on capitol hill to testify before the january 6th committee. john eastman, he is the author of the eastman memo, which adam kinzinger described as a blueprint for the coup. it was to persuade mike pence to throw out the 2020 election results, something he did not have the authority to do. chris krebs, friend of this program, a former cybersecurity chief, who publicly disputed donald trump's claims that the election had been stolen from him. the stop the steal rally organizer, a man named ali alexander. and former pentagon official, top official, kash patel. all of that as we learn that the committee is still working on a
parallel track to hold the obstructionists accountable, holding a vote in the full house to find donald trump's former chief of staff, mark meadows, in contempt for refusing to comply with the subpoena for his testimony. let's bring into our coverage nbc news capitol hill correspondent garrett haake, maya wylie, and donny deutsch. garrett haake, tell me what you're hearing about both the day's developments but first this ruling from the appeals court. >> reporter: well, nicole, the bottom line here is this is the best the january 6th committee has had maybe since they held their first and only public hearing. i mean, for day after day, week after week, we've been talking about the struggles that they have had to secure the testimony of some of the big players in the trump administration, whether it be mark meadows or steve bannon who, of course, wasn't in the administration, but was one of their top targets. they've seen big fish wriggle off the hook. today, they got much closer to
landing some of that. you saw these four key interviews all being held today, including with kash patel, someone who's not a household name but someone who the committee has wanted to talk to since october, they've been trying to bring him in and to finally get that interview in the books is good news for them. and this appeals court ruling here tonight happened after the house was done with votes for the day. they are out, probably, for the weekend, and we won't hear from many of them for that time, but i can tell you this is big for them too. they have always taken the approach that members of this committee have -- that the documents they get are as if not more important than the testimony. the documents cannot lie. they paint a picture. they allow them to really work their way methodically through an investigation when you're dealing with a lot of people who might otherwise be trying to cover for themselves or for others, and so yes, i think this will probably end up in the supreme court. that seems to be the feeling of the few members i have been able to reach out to about where this all goes, but still, a
breakthrough day, perhaps, for this committee that has, again, struggled to start lining up all of the pieces of this puzzle. they, they got a lot closer. >> committee members would argue, i think, vigorously, with your description of their struggle. they made clear, and liz cheney put out a tweet a couple hours ago making clear that even mark meadows has turned over, quote, exceptionally interesting documents to them and i don't know if you describe steve bannon as a wriggler but he certainly flopped off their line into criminal charges. who else has gotten away? >> reporter: well, look, i mean, they're still fighting eastman, for example, supposedly was going to come in today and plead the fifth. they got him in the room but we don't know that they were able to get anything out of him. they're still trying to get jeffrey clark to actually ask any questions. i'm glad you brought up meadows' documents because i think that is also important. the fact that we know that they did get some of these documents, i put that in the good news for
this committee category. meadows is a prolific texter, nicole. when he was up here on capitol hill, he was someone i used to text as often as i could because he generally knew what was going on, and he always wanted to talk about it, whether he knew or he didn't know. if they are looking at mark meadows's text messages, they are looking at realtime conversations from that day. so, i do put that in the good news category. but again, i don't think it's unreasonable to say that while they have gotten, according to congresswoman cheney, 300 interviews in the can, some of these big fish have continued to evade them, and i know there's real frustration about bannon, for example, that that trial won't even start until july. now, they were probably never going to get testimony from steve bannon, but the ability to threaten real consequences, committee members know is central to convincing other people who might want to protect legal careers or political careers that they are better off testifying than trying to wait out the clock. >> no, and i wasn't suggesting your reporting was unfair. i just -- i have had enough of
them on to know that they're sort of public stance is that they have lots. they have 300 witnesses and they have exceptionally interesting documents, even from the folks who haven't shown up. my question for you is, i know from being a white house staffer that should the archive release come, it's a massive logistical challenge. every email sent and received by anyone that works there is cc'ed to, you know, your name.who.eob.gov and that's just the email requests. what is the preparation for going through a document release such as what they could get from the national archives? >> well, on this account, i think the committee would say they are well prepared. for many of the months in which they appeared publicly dark, this committee was staffing up. they were hiring investigators. they were hiring attorneys. they were putting together a team to do exactly this, to do the legwork of an investigation, not the public hearings, not the interviews, but the simply going through documents, coordinating, putting together timelines.
i think they feel like they're in a good position for this. the volume we're talking about is extraordinary and will be challenging for anybody, but this was the behind-the-scenes work that was frankly part of the committee's answer or defense to people like me when we would ask why there weren't more public hearings, why we weren't seeing more in public. they would tell us, we are staffing up, we are hiring and preparing for what could be a lengthy and very thorough investigation. now will be the chance to do that work if they can get their hands on these documents. >> garrett, one more question for you. what is the plan in terms of the legal analysis of folks who take the fifth? it seems like part of the strategy on the folks who are taking the fifth is to maybe squish up a little bit or muddy the waters about contempt. have you heard any reporting from committee members or legal analysis about whether that makes their contempt referrals more difficult? is that a higher hill to climb ? >> you know, nicole, i'm not a
lawyer and i'm hesitant to play one on tv. >> me too. >> the committee members have actually been fairly respectful of the idea when they talk about folks who might plead the fifth. they say this is everyone's right. they have the right to do so. and i think they feel like they can use the negative space around that. for example, if you're jeffrey clark, a very experienced attorney, someone who worked at the top echelon of the doj and you're pleading the fifth, suggesting that you know you might be party to a federal crime, that sets you up for questions they can ask other people who can fill in the blanks around those individual witnesses, and i think that's the way they're looking at it. i've not heard from any committee members, and that's not to say it doesn't exist, that they intend to go aggressively at people for what they are choosing to plead the fifth on and i think, by the way, that's why it's important that john's eastman was here today. you can't say, i'm going to plead the fifth and go home and sit on your couch. you have to come in and do so on
specific questions. >> i want to bring in some of our legal experts. harry, can you jump in on, first, the breaking news that this appeals court has, at least in their ruling, potentially cleared the way for what jonathan lemire described as a treasure-trove and having been a white house staffer, everything -- everything that happens is usually chronicled in some way, even if the president hasn't himself written it down. >> it's really big, and it's not just the words, nicole. it's also the music. two broad themes. they absolutely shut down trump's claim, but there are two broad claims in the opinion. one is about the political branches have made their decisions, biden has decided for the presidency, trump has no standing to override. but even bigger than that, the way they set out the facts and their statements is, this is a big constitutional moment. this is a big deal. they describe the actual events of january 6th with proper kind
of violence and outrage for what has happened. so, all of that augers very poorly, not just for trump but his circle. yes, and as you say, it means that once the -- a petition for rehearing is denied and i think it will be, it is settled in the d.c. circuit. so, meadows, who wants to say there's executive privilege, bannon who wants to say it, anyone who wants to say it, it's now the law of that court that it is not, in fact, valid executive privilege, so that cuts out their main defense. finally. i wouldn't be as certain as many others seem to be that the supreme court will take the case. the court of appeals has given two weeks for them to appeal to the court, and i think you can see maybe three votes pretty quickly, but i'm not sure there are more that want to wade in, and they know the impact would be to put this on ice past the
relevant time for the january 6th committee to do its work. so, i think it's a toss-up whether the court takes it and if it doesn't, this is the end of the road for that proposition. and there is no executive privilege claim to be made on behalf of trump. >> i want to understand what you're saying about the supreme court. i mean, they have -- they don't have to -- just because trump appeals it to the supreme court, the supreme court does not have to wade into this, and i ask you that because there has been so much angst showing from the sitting supreme court judges about the institution as a political body, and i'm not saying those concerns color this decision, but in terms of the legal questions, does this appeals court opinion in its many, many, many pages leave ambiguity around the law? or would the court take it up for different reasons? tell me what is in that calculation for this supreme court. >> so, first, i think it does
color it. i think they know that they would be responsible, just by taking the case, for putting it off the whole platform of january 6th committee, which we really need. here's the deal. there was former supreme court precedent, still is, that indicates there's, a, ability to weigh in by a former president, but when push comes to shove, judge chutkin and now all three judges in the d.c. circuit have to be right. when biden says, clearly, it's this and the former president tries to countermand it, there's only one president at a time so the court could take it to settle the issue but i think it's fairly settled or it could think that, and they know the grave, practical political consequences, so as i say, i think there are three votes for it almost on trump partisan terms but i'm not sure you'd get
beyond that. we'll know soon enough, and i'm not predicting blithely they don't take it but i think people, including members of the committee, are assuming too quickly that they will take it. >> wow. so, maya, having worked in a white house, and i don't know anything about the paper process in the trump white house, i'm guessing some people were probably reluctant to put everything in writing, but we know from the mueller report that the lawyers were very attached to their notes. don mcgahn's notes and his chief of staff's notes became the central vehicle for the narration of robert mueller's second volume on obstruction, so at least in the past, the trump white house has had note takers, has had record keepers, has had people that commit things to writing. we know that this white house on this day at the highest levels of the legal office, the white house counsel, has been reported in books that have been written since the insurrection to have worried that trump might be charged that day to really have
been worried about the ex-president's legal exposure. and i wonder what this document mosaic, what story it could tell, what questions you would have as an investigator who could be on the brink of receiving them. >> you know, nicole, what's so fascinating to me about the lawyers is, number one, you're absolutely right. lawyers, you can't tell lawyers not to take notes. it's actually part of our job. and often, the notes of lawyers are protected by attorney work product privilege, a different privilege. in this case, where i find so interesting, you can't constitutionally draw an inference that simply taking the fifth means that they have -- believe that they could be found to have done something wrong. it's even if they think that there's no way we can explain this in a way that will make it look okay and not incriminating.
even if we think it's not unlawful. that's really striking. because what it means is in those documents and part of what i think the committee is trying to get at is just how much orchestrating of an attempt to prevent what is clearly a vote count of the electoral college votes that was constitutional lawful and that even the department of justice itself, in the person of bill barr, a person that we know because of the mueller probe was perfectly willing to use his office to try and protect the president, that even in that case, bill barr said, look, we've got no substantial evidence of any voter fraud, and yet you had these attorneys actively working to prevent or undermine this vote count and actually convince attorneys general and elected officials in other states to
publicly undermine the credibility of the election, so they're really trying to get directly to what do these lawyers know around that? how much in their notes to the point that donald trump himself does not and prides himself on staying away from email, what in their notes does it depict about what he said or what he knew and what meetings was he in? because that becomes very difficult to say, donald trump had no idea. >> right. and i mean, as you're talking, and of course, of course it falls to maya wylie to elevate this and put our focus where it should be, but the first people that went and told the story of the strain donald trump put on the law were jeffrey rosen and mr. donahue, who were the stewards of the justice department on january 6th. bill barr left. he said, i'm out. i don't know where this is heading but i'm out of here. they left it with these two. they testified before the senate judiciary committee even before
testifying before the 1/6 committee. they've done both. but maya, to your point, this opinion came out about 35 minutes ago. i've been on the air the whole time but it's just been flagged for me how this ends and i want to read this to our viewers who frankly have gotten farther than i have. the opinion ends like this. for all the foregoing reasons, and as harry and others already described, they go through the extraordinary nature of the events, the branches, the role of this committee and the current president's privilege being what trumps any ex-president's claims to it and they write this. for all the foregoing reasons, former president trump has not shown that he is entitled to a preliminary injunction. we do not come to that conclusion lightly. the confidentiality of presidential communications is critical to the effective functioning of the presidency for the reasons that former president presses and his efforts to vindicate that interest is itself a right of constitutional import, but our constitution divides checks and
balances power to preserve democracy and to ensure liberty. for that reason, the executive privilege for presidential communications is a qualified one that mr. trump agrees must give way when necessary to protect overriding interests. the president and the legislative branch have shown a national interest in and pressing need for the prompt disclosure of these documents. what trump seeks is to have an article iii court intervene and nullify those and derail the negotiations and accommodations that the political branches have made. but essential to the rule of law is the principle that a former president must meet the same legal standards for obtaining preliminary injunctive relief as everybody else. former president trump has failed that task. benjamin franklin said at the founding that we have a republic if we can keep it. the events of january 6th expose the fragility of those democratic institutions and traditions that we had perhaps come to take for granted.
in response, the president of the united states and congress have each made the judgment that access to this subset of presidential communications and records is necessary to address a matter of great constitutional moment for the republic. former president trump has given this court no legal reason to cast aside president biden's assessment of the executive branch interest at stake or to create a separation of powers conflict that the political branches have avoided. the judgment of the district court denying a preliminary injunction is affirmed. so, there it is, harry litman. there it is. the whole issues of law that were weighed, the extraordinary moment, the failure of donald trump to prove that a standard had been met to keep these documents secret. >> yeah. and it encapsulates everything, and one more thing. it leads off. this is a little subtle, but her previous colleague, brett
kavanaugh, he is the one who is fond of talking about separation of powers as guarantor of individual liberty. i think it's no accident that that is the first theme she sounds in that paragraph. it's written for kavanaugh, i think, as a way of saying, this is right the way you see separation of powers, and you don't need to intervene or say anything more here. it has been said. >> donny, you can almost queue -- i guess you can't tweet anymore but you can almost queue the whatever he does, carrier pigeon delivered messages talking about justices. >> i'd love to ask maya a quick question. theoretically, just hypothetical, and give me three examples of something that would be found in there that would be the smoking gun, the silver bullet that puts the president, you know, right at this. what are the kinds of things? we know that he doesn't email or text himself, so give me an example of, oh, if this is in there, that's it.
game over. give me one, two, or three of those. >> well, look, if -- one thing we know about what donald trump has done is even as people, and nicole, you said it earlier in the show, even as people were calling in and begging for donald trump to come out and denounce the violence that was happening on the -- at the capitol, what if there were notes that talked about that where he said, but this is great. this is exactly what i had hoped for. i mean, i'm not saying he said that, but those are the kinds of smoking guns where already there's evidence, circumstantial, but the fact that he was refusing to intervene, the fact that he was calling on people to march on the capitol, doesn't prove that he intended violence, but it certainly goes to incitement and to some excitement if there's anything where he is praising or celebrating or in any way sort
of calculating the how this violence helps him, that certainly goes to his state of mind and starts to establish what we would call in law mens rea, but some attempt that he was actually trying to incite something that would interrupt that count and being reckless in that counting, just how difficult it was. and i do want to go back to one thing that harry said, and harry may be absolutely right. certainly i'll be horrified if harry is wrong, but this particular supreme court may well, because i agree with harry all on the substance, but we have seen this court. it might decide to say, you know what? we're going to weigh in because there is such little case law on executive privilege, and this is on the conservative side a bench that has wanted strong executive when it's an executive that apparently they agree with. so, that is a scenario under which no matter how well crafted
this opinion is, they might carve out and say, we're going to send it back for more review because now we've created some more specifics and standards around this decision so that it's not so clear cut. >> harry, you want to respond? >> yeah. look, they might, but on the other hand, if you're pro-executive, at the end of the day, you have to think there's one president at a time. that's a kind of watch word of the conservative right. and so, i can't see them saying, at the end of the day, that a former president can trump. now, as maya says, they could come in to clarify, amplify, just to make mischief, but the basic proposition, i think, is not only sound but sound for a conservative who likes executive power. >> it's a great debate you two are having, and i almost don't dare to cut this off. garrett, you have more news. >> nicole, just in the last few
minutes, the january 6th committee has announced that on monday night, when members are back, they will meet to begin the process of holding mark meadows in contempt. we've seen this process play out a couple of times. the committee will vote monday night. i suspect they will be unanimous and we could see a vote by the full house as early as tuesday to refer that contempt referral to the department of justice. they're part of this process can take as long as they deem necessary. but that hearing monday night will be interest, not just for the vote, which i expect will be unanimous, but also because the committee has to release a report, and they will put out a report that explains their reasoning for why they believe meadows needs to be held in contempt, and as we saw with steve bannon and with jeffrey clark, these reports are going to provide a little bit more detail about what they expect to be able to get from mark meadows and what he has told them so far, so as much as what's gone into this committee has in many cases been a black box, the report on monday night at the start of that contempt process will tell us at least a little bit more about what they know and what they think mark meadows
is still able to tell them. >> garrett, can we just not, though, zoom over the fact that mark meadows could be held in criminal contempt by the body in which he once served? as someone who, you didn't say it this way, but i'll put it, leaked like a sieve in congress and the white house. >> congressman raskin, do you want to come on with us for a second, we're on live with nicole wallace, talking about this court decision, the appeals court ruling in favor of your committee. >> yes. >> reporter: nicole, we're going to do live television with jamie raskin. >> i printed out the decision but i haven't read it yet but i obviously agree with the conclusion. >> reporter: the long and short of it is that they believe that you will have this right to get these documents, at least the tranches that have been approved by the biden administration. how pivotal can that be, would that be for your investigation? >> well, it will be huge for our investigation. i mean, we want all of the documents that are out there. the court obviously did the right thing. executive privilege is a privilege that belongs to the
president, and the president has spoken. there's no reason to prevent us from getting any materials relating to january 6th so we're very excited to get it, but i got to tell you, the overwhelming majority of witnesses have been cooperating with us. it's a handful of people that, you know, the media has seized upon, rightfully so, like steve bannon and mark meadows, who are proving to be recalcitrant witnesses, but we have had overwhelming participation, and we're finding out exactly what happened in terms of the organizing of the violent insurrection, the effort to coerce mike pence to reject electoral college votes, the coordination of the political strategy with the violent insurrection, the funding of the whole thing. so, we're getting a really fine grain portrait and we're going to have hearings at the beginning of the year so that america understands what took place. >> you guys had a busy day today, four witnesses come in. i know you can't talk about the specifics, really. my understanding was that john eastman was going to come in and plead the fifth.
is that accurate? >> i would -- that was certainly our understanding that he was going to do that. and nothing has changed my sense of that originally. but i mean, people should understand how heavy a thing that is, to have people who are, you know, government officials, lawyers, feel involved in that, they're coming in and saying they're not going to answer questions to a research investigative committee, we're not a prosecuting committee, because their answers might tend to incriminate themselves. >> and kash patel is somebody you guys have wanted to talk to for a while. he finally came in today. he's an important player in any number of trump-era scandals that we all sort of participated in watching as that went down. how important was getting him finally to come in and sit for a deposition today? >> you know, each one of these people has something important to say in terms of their own experience, and no particular witness is the lynchpin to the whole thing, but all of them help us to, you know, complete the portrait of what took place, which was an assault on the election, an attempt to
overthrow joe biden's majority in the electoral college and to surround that with violence and possibly the -- an invocation of martial law under the insurrection act so all these are coming together. >> as you walked up, we were talking about mark meadows and the committee's going to meet on monday night, the committee just put that out, i don't know if you had seen the press release yet. he has been sort of cooperative. you have some of his documents. can you categorize or characterize at all what he has given you versus what you still want? i mean, i was telling the audience here a little bit ago, he was a prolific texter. the fact that you have any text messages from him probably means you have a pretty good idea of his running thought process. >> well, look, everybody owes congress when congress comes calling for your testimony, complete, truthful, and comprehensive details about what we're asking for. i mean -- >> he knows that better than most people. >> he was emphatic and adamant
about that as a colleague when he was here. he was someone who did not cool rate people disobeying congressional subpoenas so he knows that we deserve everything and we want everything, and we need everyone's complete and exhaustive testimony. so, we're looking for it all. obviously, we're looking for all of his phone texts and all of the messages relating to what was taking place on january 6th and we hope to get that, and i, you know, there are different reports that he's responding in this way at this point, suddenly, because president trump is angry with him about his book or angry with him about cooperating. who knows why? but i think he understands that this is a u-turn for him that's fundamentally interrogation of his responsibilities. >> reporter: i think he does understand that. hang on one second, congressman. nicole, is there anything i'm missing here? >> you have missed nothing. i was going to ask what that u-turn -- what precipitated it, and liz cheney's description today of exceptionally
interesting documents suggests that his cooperation was fulsome. does he have the sense that there was a road bump hit inside the committee or is it his sense -- it sounds like it is -- that it was all external. >> reporter: nicole's question was, what you think might have caused this u-turn with mark meadows, whether it was something in the negotiations between the committee and he or whether it was external, the former president, perhaps, leaning on him to not participate or to walk back his participation. i understand that you're not in mark meadows's head. >> i can't say other than to assure and assure all the people watching who are engaged with this process, and there are millions of people into it, the committee's been extremely flexible and accommodating of the different interests. >> reporter: as we've seen with other witnesses. >> and if you can't make it on this day, you can come another day. if you have a serious concern about the fifth amendment or something else related to a specific question, we can manage that. but obviously, we can't accept
people pulling the plug on the whole investigation and saying they don't want us to get to the bottom of it. >> reporter: i characterized this earlier as probably the best day for this committee in a while. just in terms of the witnesses you had coming in, this decision from the court. is that fair? do you feel like today is a -- potentially, at least, a breakthrough day for you? >> there are up days and down days but everything is moving in our direction at this point. we're getting a really fine-grained image of what was taking place, and the money that was being raised, the money that was being spent, the coordination among the different elements, the interaction of the violent insurrection with the attempt to coerce mike pence to reject electoral college votes. all of it is becoming clearer to us, and this is a conversation the whole public is going to have to have together because it's about the future of our democracy and making sure that such an assault never takes place again and that we're ready for it if it does take place. >> all right, jamie raskin, thank you very much for
stopping. i appreciate it. >> my pleasure. good to see you. >> reporter: nicole, live television for you, but i think that was very useful, honestly. hearing from congressman raskin, who's been part of this investigation since the last impeachment and has, i think, probably as good of a wide angle view as anybody in this building. >> so, do i get to sort of preen now about you? that isn't as easy as you just made it look, just see jamie raskin walk by. my god, god bless you, garrett. and let me underscore it and ask your opinion. i think the headline was what he just gave us. everything is moving in our direction. that seems to encompass what we see and what we don't see and we have a fine-grained picture. it's a pretty ominous headline for the ex-president. >> reporter: from the minute this committee got started, we know the big picture. the big picture of what happened on january 6th was never going to be a surprise but it is those details and i was struck by the comments he said at the end and when we first started talking about the money and about who
paid for this and i think that's, like, investigative 101. follow the money here. and i think the committee's ability to do this over a longer period of time, which was not something that they could -- that could be done during the impeachment, is going to be one of those things that will tell us a lot more than we probably realize right now. >> i was wondering, garrett, in this question about whether it was an external event, if there was anyone keeping an eye on obstruction. i mean, i know it's not anything donald trump's ever been ensnared by, but if the committee gets sort of a witness in their, you know, hands and then they suddenly flip out, how did that happen? i mean, i wonder if they have questions about what precipitated, what sounded like incredibly fulsome cooperation, the documents that chairman thompson wrote about in a letter to meadows' lawyer, george sounded incredibly damaging to the ex-president and then suddenly, after this sort of, you know, whatever, high school spat with the ex-president,
about how sick he was when he had covid, seems to have coincided with his reversal as a cooperating witness. >> reporter: yeah, i've wondered about that too, and frankly, nicole, i think that's one of those things that may take a while to get to the bottom of with meadows and some of these other witnesses. the former president, i think, if you go all the way back to the mueller report, right, has seen relatively consequence-free situation where he meddles in active investigations and i don't think we should assume that he would be unwilling to tell mark meadows either in public or in private, as he often did, kind of conducting this kind of business right out in the open as almost a defense against, you know, charges he was doing something behind the scenes, to just simply do it out in the open but the fact that meadows provided as many documents as he apparently has, i think, is just so telling. i mean, that doesn't sound to me like someone who is thinking about cooperating on a whim. you don't hand over your text messages because you're thinking
about cooperating. whatever the case may be, a turning point happened here, and hopefully we'll get to the bottom of why. >> garrett haake, thank you so much for being with us. i'm going to let you go wander those halls and just wave your arms if you run into anybody else. thank you so much for being part of our breaking news coverage. >> you bet. i want to bring into our conversation democratic congressman from virginia, representative gerry connolly. congressman, i don't know if you have had a chance to read this opinion. it is being -- we've been talking about it as a blow to the ex-president, but it is a potential boon to democracy. >> yeah. yeah. i think it's in the finest judicial tradition upholding the rule of law and asserting that nobody's above the law. it harkens back to, you know, the pentagon papers decision, and the handing over of the white house tapes during the nixon years in watergate. i mean, these are critical kinds of judicial rulings that
buttress democracy and democratic institutions and the rule of law. so, i was very pleased at today's unanimous ruling. >> congressman, my colleague, garrett haake, just had a serendipitous interview with congressman jamie raskin, and he said this. everything is moving in our direction. we have a fine-grained picture of what happened that day. have you sort of -- do you have that fine-grained picture coming into shape for you? what is your sense of how much more we know now than even when donald trump was impeached and tried in the senate? >> i think -- i don't think there are huge surprises. i think there are going to be details that be surprising, but the general narrative about what happened on january 6th, i think, has been available to us for a little while. i think the -- going into a more granular level of who financed
it, as garrett just talked about, and how much of this was organized and preplanned, how much of it was coordinated with the white house, how much did the white house know in advance, and how much violence was spontaneous and how much actually coordinated in military style. those are details we want no know a lot more about, but i don't think there are huge surprises. on its face, the president clearly incited violence that day. he, for weeks if not months before that day, encouraged people to come to washington and express themselves forcefully to try to prevent the counting of ballots in what is normally a ceremonial and administrative function here in congress, that precedes the peaceful transfer of power. so, i don't think that we're prepared for lots of surprises, but i think filling in blanks and telling the full blown
narrative is really the charge of the january 6th commission and it sounds like, frankly, they're making a lot of progress. >> and you're right, so much of this took place in full view, so it didn't leave a lot of mystery, and i think the period that a lot of legal experts have pointed to when this decision came down is actually during the riot itself. we know everything donald trump said before. we know he actually lied to his supporters and said, i'll come with you. we know he harassed mike pence in public on a rally stage in georgia. and that morning, on the ellipse, we know that he and his campaign and his allies paid money for those events. they got permits for those events, and they all shuttled there with secret service protection and went back to the white house to watch the hell that he had unleashed. what we don't know, though, is what was said by him to aides as the violence went down, as mike pence was rushed out, as he
stood in the basement and refused to get in the car. a lot of that has started to be filled in by investigative journalists, but i wonder what sort of your questions are for what was going on inside the west wing and at the cabinet agencies, the pentagon and other places, during the insurrection. >> you know, there's a picture that's emerged of trump, and i would love to know, is this, in fact, accurate? that he was watching the insurrection and the violence as it unfolded on cable news and was enjoying what he was watching. if that's true, we've got a real psychopath in the oval office, and did he, in fact, in any way, aid and abet and encourage that to continue? what was his response when aides were pleading with him? as well as republican members of congress calling him to also add their voices to plead with him
to call them off. to tell them to cease and desist, to call them to peaceful protest and end the violence. again, to make sure that, you know, military forces, security forces were available to quell the violence that was under way. he resisted any kind of message, and reportedly, even when his own daughter came to him saying, you got to do something, you've got to tell them to stop, reportedly -- some reports say he resisted even that. if all of that's true, then we have a picture of a president who was reveling in violence in his name, and that means he owns it in a much more intimate way than the previous picture might have suggested. and by the way, i think only further justifies the impeachment that we undertook subsequent to the january 6th insurrection. >> and what does it say that, as
you point out, so much of this did happen in full view? so much of it was known. this piece you're talking about is what folks are pointing to as potentially being quite fruitful for the committee if this appeals court opinion holds, but even without that, it's a heinous picture of an american president. it came up in this president, president biden's democracy summit today, that we're a country with a deadly insurrection in our very recent past, but perhaps more troubling, 62% of the country would like to see that president represent the republican party again in 2024. what do you do about that? >> yeah. i think it's all part of the normalization of violence as a tool in the tool kit of our political endeavors, right? and that is terrifying. i mean, the idea that we would make violence just part of, you know, the environment, the
political environment, if i have to, i resort to that, to either quiet the voices of dissent or political opponents or to further my interests politically. for that to become normal or routine is, you know, law of the jungle, and goes a long way to completely undermining rule of law and the idea that we fight in the political arena but we respect the results. and that ends democracy as we know it. that ends constitutional democracy, certainly, as we know it. and that's why this is so grave. that's why, to your point, nicole, understanding fully what happened, how did it happen and what is his responsibility and that of others is not just the nice thing to know or, you know, kind of prurient interest. it is essential to know if we're going to prevent the further
deterioration of democracy and to reverse the idea that violence has any place to play at all in our polity. >> and i mean, i agree with you, and it seems that nothing else can happen until we have that answer. we are as a political body sort of paralyzed until we have all that information. congressman gerry connolly, thank you so much for spending some time with us on today's breaking news. we will continue our breaking news coverage as the former president gets handed a big defeat by the d.c. court of appeals over his white house documents. our political panel will weigh in this just a moment. "deadline white house" continues after a quick break. dline whites after a quick eabrk.
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they see your ugly sweaters, and raise you some mittens. we are back with the news that broke about one hour ago. a d.c. court of appeals has ruled against the ex-president and his fight to block the release of his white house documents. joining our breaking news coverage, matthew dowd, political strategist, former chief strategist to george w. bush's re-election campaign, and former democratic candidate for texas lieutenant governor. also joining us, eddie glaude, chair of the department of african american studies at princeton university and an msnbc political analyst. you know, matt dowd, congressman raskin and congressman connolly both elevated this and i think after an hour of sort of poring through this court opinion, it needed that. this is not just a blow for donald trump, but a potential boon for democracy. this is a court that looked at all of these complicated issues
around executive privilege and said, one, that privilege is not absolute, especially not for an ex-president, and two, this event is so extraordinary that this congressional committee's right to investigate in this current executive, this president biden's sort of judgment about what could be released rules the day. >> yeah, i was listening to it, and it's, again, puts an emphasis on the idea that truth is the great disinfectant for the problem, right? and i don't know what the end result will be. none of us knows what the end result will be, and we also have showing that no gop leader is in the midst of this trying to help the situation. but the news media and what the congress folks are doing in the midst of this just to get at the truth, and i'm a firm believer in an optimistic and hopeful way, if you can get to the truth, if you can finally get to the truth, then that in itself is a laudable goal in the midst of this and that in itself will reveal things and that in itself will give us a better path to
it, and so i'm heartened by the fact that it seems today, as opposed to yesterday or two days ago or last week, we seem to be one or two steps closer to the truth, and i think that's a very good thing. lots to do, but i think if we want to get to accountability, which is the only way, in my view, this democracy is fixed in this country today, the only path to that is the truth. >> eddie glaude, in the page 68 of the opinion, they write, it exposed traditions that we had come to take for granted. in response, a president of the united states and congress have each made the judgment that access to this subject of presidential communication records is necessary to address a matter of great constitutional moment for the republic. your thoughts? >> it's absolutely right. and insightful on the part of the court. but you know, nicole, i was sitting here thinking, as i was listening to the riveting
coverage, a little optimism of the will, to sound like my brother there, but pessimism of the intellect. i heard something you said about what might be described as a kind of legal rope-a-dope, trying to get us to june, the midterms. so i want us to kind of understand the significance of this moment. i'm heartened by it. but i don't think these folks thought they were going to win. i think they were trying to stretch this out so they can throw that knockout punch of the midterms but maybe you can help me. i'm not a lawyer, but this is what i feel about the whole moment. so help me out. >> no, look, hope is the pathway or the gateway to despair. so i'm afraid to hope. but i find chairman raskin -- he's not the chairman of this committee but he was an impeachment manager, and his presence on the committee and liz cheney and matthew dowd knows this, liz cheney is a bull in a china shop isn't the right word if the china is the enemy,
and she views donald trump as the enemy. i don't know the right metaphor to someone she thinks an enemy to democracy but it's not going to end well for the enemy. so i'm trying to stay open to the possibility that there's hope that the truth will emerge. and i'm also heartened and i want to bring donny in too to what congressman raskin said that everything is moving in our direction. there is with any investigation, frankly with any institution or organization, the power of momentum. it's not always tangible but it's clearly on the side of the committee. >> i want to keep -- i want to look forward and i'm going to go on the premise after watching kimberly guilfoyle dance while this was happening. there's no question that the president had his hands on this and i think there will be enough in there we'll see that. my question is twofold but the legal and political one, is he then charged for treason? where does this go? and if it doesn't go to a criminal place, how much damage
does it do to him? we talked off camera and you said maybe his frothy base goes from 35 to 30. so to me i'm looking at the end of this story or wondering the end of this story that -- because to me it's almost a fait accompli that his hands are on this. what does that mean legally and politically going forward. >> matthew. >> well, you know, i was thinking about this right in this moment when we're having the president at a democracy summit, right, which i think we're having this moment here in the midst of trying to hold people accountable and get to the truth and i'm not far off where eddie is. i have a lot of hope and optimism. i'm irish so i'm like yates where i have an abiding sense of pessimism that gets me through temporary periods of joy. i get that. but i think it's fascinating that this is happening while the democracy summit is going on. i think it's an important thing to note. we are not even ranked anymore
in the top 30 countries in the world in democracy. we are not even called a working democracy anymore. we're called a deficient democracy today. you know what three countries among the 30 some odd ranked better than us are? italy, germany and japan. think about that. where we lost over 400,000 men and women to fight their autocracy on behalf of our democracy and they are ranked above us today in our democracy today. and so if this is going to succeed, and i believe this is one of the few paths available other than the elections and people turning out, but i think this is related to that, so i think the more people can say, yeah, maybe my cheeseburger costs 20 cents more but does that matter as much as the fate of our democracy? i hope as the truth unveils that they see that the seven cents a gallon of gasoline is bad and, you know, we ought to have lower prices on things, but how does that compare to the fate of our democracy and the millions of
people in this country who depend on the democracy to get their voices heard in this. but it's fascinating to me that the three autocratic countries that we went to battle with are now viewed as a better democracy than the united states of america. >> my mind has been blown, eddie. you're going to have to say something. >> well, i'm just trying to figure it out myself, nicolle. we are on the precipice as a nation. and sometimes it seems to be, at least it seems to be the case in this moment that there are ill liberal forces trying to use democratic processes and institutions to undermine democratic processes and institutions. and we have to be mindful of that in the urgency of the moment. so this is a victory, but we can't just simply double down on our faith and process, because they want us to think that the process will eventually -- they're trying to draw it out. that's my thinking. but i understand the moment. as you can tell, i'm so confused
but i'm hopeful but i'm pessimistic. who knows. >> you are all of us. donny. >> do me this is, i don't want to say a sideshow, but the thing that is happening as republicans putting various people in places, friends of trump, we are on the precipice, forget january 6th because that was a -- that was a pictorial moment. we are on the precipice, our democracy -- this is happening. this is happening in front of us right now, you're seeing it. you listen to kemp yesterday. it's happening. so whatever happens on january 6th, the nefariousness is happening as we speak and the fact that this country is not -- the alarm bells are not sounding in the most stunning of fashion, our democracy is crumbling as we speak. it's happening. it's actually happening. it's not is it happening? it's happening. >> yeah, they left january 6th, went and put it into action. >> it's happening now. >> matthew dowd, eddie glaude,
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so today offers a perfect encapsulation of the kinds of days and the kinds of stories that i have covered with my dear friend and colleague, brian williams, over the last five years. today's news, an extraordinary legal and political event, yes. but also an extraordinary moment for our country. brian, nobody covers moments like this one with your clarity, with your perfect amount, touch of humor and your ability to understand the stakes for our
country. i cannot imagine continuing to cover this story and these moments without you. we will miss you, not just today, but every day, and i will see you tonight as i stay up late one last time just for you. thank you for joining us for these two hours of breaking news coverage. "the beat with ari melber" starts right now. hi, ari. >> hi, i appreciate what you said. i bet a lot of people do. we have something about him and so much that he's contributed to journalism here at the end of our hour, but it means more coming from you because we've seen a lot of nights, late nights with the two of you just going four, six, nine hours. >> he used to call it tonnage, like the amount of live on-air coverage. the first time he said it, i was like what? it's so ineloquent. you and i did the first impeachment together and we did a tonnage of air time. i'm going to say this, but watching him cover some of the greatest tragedies that we've