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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  December 22, 2021 9:00pm-10:00pm PST

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being. it's really going to shape our textbooks going forward. >> webb is about the same scale project in terms of dollars and people as building the great pyramid in equipment and that gives you kind of a sense for now thanks for being with us, and thanks to our colleagues at the networks cbc news. goodnight! cbc news goodnight! it is a very exciting lead up to the course of holidays, at the end of this week. so much so that i feel like the news is all rushing into the off ramp!
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trying to get it south all of them, before the christmas holidays are upon us. one of the stories that we've been watching tonight, starts in the great state of georgia. amid the tidal wave of election laws and voting rights restrictions, enacted over the course of this year. in republican-controlled states. all these laws, coast to coast, making it harder to vote. make it easier for republicans to control black shuns, and outcomes. one of the cities of such laws were ones that were passed in georgia. there's a reason there's national controversy this year front voting rights, passed in georgia. in this big new package to voting laws, that they passed in that state. republicans include a new mechanism that it allows, republicans, to take over all the local election sports. that actually control how the elections are run in georgia. and how the election results are counted. this is something we are covering, as it is happened -- as it has rolled out across the state. and the effect that's far is stark! because, when republicans take
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for the power to remake all the county election boards in the state, what that looks like in practice, is democrats, in particularly black democrats, getting thrown out! getting purged from the election boards. and then getting replaced from republican. what does that look like in terms of the effects on elections? themselves. look no further than lincoln county, georgia. a north county northwestern georgia. -- that was disbanded under dissipate law. once they got rid of the existing, local elections board. the first order of business for the new board, for republicans, they decided they would eliminate six of the seven voting sites in lincoln county georgia. the proposal from the new republican appointed board, is that this rural county with zero public transportation, needs only one polling place
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for the entire county! the newport says having just the one site will somehow make voting easier! and more accessible! and it will eliminate the need to transmit staff and voting equipment of the remaining sites. yeah it's such a hassle to transport voting equipment and staff to the places people vote. we can just put the entire burden on the voters to transport themselves, that so much easier! one local activists in lincoln county said that single proposed voting place, is 23 miles away from some voters in that county. and there's no public transportation in that county. she said quote, this is not about convenience, this is about control. that's how it's going in georgia right now, this is for real. in the state of georgia, it really has tried to make itself ground zero for republican attacks on election. in more ways than one. georgia was the first state passed that sweeping elections bill, in the wake of the 2020
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elections. as a former president donald trump insisted the 2020 election -- and republicans needed to change the rules for republicans to make the -- easier for republicans to control the votes. republicans in georgia where the first heat that. call part of the reason that republicans were so primed and ready to do that, was the outside pressure trump put on that state in particular after the 2020 election. to try to get republicans in that state to falsify the results, to overturn joe biden's win there. it was georgia's top elections official, the secretary of state, the trump called in january, said spending an hour on the phone, threatening and controlling him that they need to find just enough votes to be able to declare that he won the state! the personally called georgia's lead investigator, and nonpartisan official, urging heard that they need to find fraud in the election results. mark meadows, personally flew to georgia, and turned up in
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person with a secret service detail, at the site were deemed the election results are being audited in georgia. -- telling them to replace this faints biden electors, with a new stay late of trump electors. the justice department, basically want you to do that! rudy giuliani took his fake election fraud road show multiple times to georgia, trying to convince state republican readers that it has been stolen and trump electors should be put in for the college -- so many attempts to mess with the results in georgia, that our state prosecutor, in full county, has opened what is now an ongoing criminal investigation into trump and his allies as to whether they illegally interfered with georgia elections, when they pressured and intimidated those election officials attempting to falsify the results. that prosecutor, you might
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remember, hire georgia's top expert on racketeering and conspiracy. georgia's top expert on state rico laws. to work on her team, to work on that potential case! well tonight, we've got some new reporting on one particular incident that took place in the midst of that, wide ranging, multiply faceted operation that was brought to bear in georgia. in the wake of 2020 election. if you filipino the puzzle that has really had is wondering, sort of scratching our heads trying to piece bits and pieces together. and this is something that we talked about before! before we knew how to explain how we were seeing. you might remember that it revolves the story of one election worker. not a high ranking person, literally a person who was hired of the. tampa temporary election worker who's gonna page $16 an hour, she was hired and fulton county georgia. she, along with her family, endured unbelievable campaign of harassment and intimidation. because trump president trump
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himself, accused her personally, by name, of having stolen the election from him in georgia. this story should be ringing a bell for you, we've covered a few times. now when president trump called repay public -- to overturn biden's win in georgia. rudy giuliani went to the republican legislature, to pressure them, in both instances they were fixated on an out of context video clip. that they insisted, showed the election being stolen. they said they had video of election workers about lana, black election workers naturally, stuffing suitcases full of illegitimate ballots into the counting machines. and the accuse those election workers, by name, of committing crime! on that call with georgia secretary of state, trump used the name of one particular election worker, 18 times. he called her out of professional vote scammer and a hustler. trump even played the supposedly incriminating villa
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video on a big jumbotron at one rally in georgia, saying that clip showed a crime, and the crowd all stood there staring at it as if they can see there is a crime being committed. but of course the video showed no crime, it should nothing of the sort. it showed this woman's 62-year-old retiree, and her daughter from the elections work -- are doing their jobs! robbie friedman's daughter asked her mom to sign up at a temper for election workers, they were shortstop due to covid, they were looking for people. she said mom you should come work election, the mauve side to do that as a temporary worker. all that video showed was those two women doing their jobs on election night! doing where they were supposed to be doing! not doing anything different than any other election workers that night. the trump folks decided they had these two black women on tape, and they decided they would narrate that tape as if it showed the great crime of the century. and they put those women named, on those accusations. once those women, ruby freeman
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in particular, was named, as election fraudster by president trump and rudy giuliani, and all the rest, ruby freeman and her daughter, even her teenage ransom, even her mother, they were inundated with threats. vulgar, and racist harassment. repeated death threats. robbie friedman called 9-1-1 because people actually showed up rather how some sort of bang on her door. ultimately, she fled her home on the advice of the fbi. she went into hiding for months. earlier this month, we talked about this once again, because we wanted to bring you the latest range twist in the story as reported by the team of journalists that have been all over this story. of election workers being harassed and threatened. everywhere in the country. that trump folks have been able to get their hands on! this is from january 4th, of this year. so it's two days after trump
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called georgia secretary of state and pressured him to find enough votes to declare the election was fraudulent in georgia. -- you see username 17 or 18 times. two days after that, call january 4th, a random woman -- a stranger showed up on will be freedom's doorstep. and according to police reports, -- she'd been sent by a highly profile individual, she'd been sent to help miss freedom. she'd been sent to help miss freeman because she was in danger. they told you that people were coming to her home, in 48 hours. this woman, truly am kuti, said she was sent to help, to somehow avert this thing that's going to happen in 48 hours. where people were gonna come to friedman's house, and she was going to be in danger. as you can see from the lawyers headline there, one of the things that made that story extra weird, is that this woman,
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traveling kuti, appears to have been at some point a publicist for the hip-hop star, and donald trump fan kanye west! okay? is that relevant? this is the story's been -- mr. west and deny that mr. curry was working from when he showed up at ruby freedom's house. honestly i think the whole kanye west thing seems the kind of a red herring! more importantly, we now know that the people involved in this incident have other connections that are far more relevant to what happened here. and what it means for all of us, watching this dark turn the republicans took and that trump will took after this election and decide. they're gonna try to keep trump in power. so, ruby freeman after this woman shot a better doorstep, saying that she was there to help and that this was gonna happen in 48 hours, ruby friedman agreed to meet with that woman. she agreed to meet with her at a local police station. she was so freaked out after a month of threats and harassment, that was the only place you felt self safe moore reading
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with this random stranger. because this meeting happened in the police station, part of this was happening on a police body cam. they obtained body camera footage and appears from the meeting was edited and subtitled by reuters. >> no problem. >> -- [inaudible] we would like to let you know first and foremost, we have put in place -- [inaudible] >> --
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[inaudible]. . >> we didn't want to frighten you but we had to find you within this timeframe, we have put in place a way to move you to secure your from what way me authorized over the next 48 hours, i cannot say specifically what will take place if i just know it will disrupt your freedom. and the freedom of one or more members of your family. this woman tells ruby freeman she will put her on the phone with someone named harris, and she describes as someone with a very high-level, very high level with authoritative power to get you the protection that you need. you need protection, we can give you the protection. at that point, she asked the police officer to move away so we don't have the rest on tape, but ruby freeman told reuters
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that in fact she got on the phone asked jested with this harris in person, and she said one she got on the phone with him, he and the woman in the room with her try to get her to admit to committing election fraud. she says that she told her quote, if you don't tell everything, you will go to jail. and what we now know, what we can report tonight is that when she showed up and told of this election worker that you had 48 hours to come clean or else, the person she called up and put ruby fruman on the phone with, that guy on the other end of the phone was a trump campaign operative, his name is harrison floyd, we spoke with him directly, he confirms that he was the harrison on that phone call with ruby freeman. and until shortly before the phone call took place, he was the executive director of a thing called black voices for trump, and that is not like a volunteer organization of trump fans, this is something associated with the trump campaign, harris and floyd was
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an employee of the trump campaign. we got these fcc records that show that he was paid by the trump campaign, he had a paycheck every two weeks, he tells us that he was the one who sent that woman to go to bobby freeman's house in georgia in january. now, mr. floyd claims he was acting as a private citizen when he did that, he says he was no longer on the trump payroll, he says he also never threatened ruby freeman. mr. floyd it tells reuters he received calls from people offering ruby freeman immunity if she confessed to election fraud, but he would not say who those people were or on what's off already they might be able to offer her immunity from prosecution. why would she be prosecuted, she didn't do election fraud? mr. floyd says he reached out to this woman's trivia on kuti who showed up at her doorstep, he reached out to her because he knew her from black voices from trump events, she has not responded to her calls.
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but if you look at that foot as you might have noticed there was another kind of footage from the police stay stadium, there is ruby and her standing on the left side of the screen but he see that guy? she introduced him to ruby freeman as someone who worked for him, reuters has identified that guy as another leader of black voices for trump during the campaign who works for the republican party in georgia. for the record, that guy tells reuters he was just the driver that day he had nothing to do with the meeting, but you step back here for a moment, just appreciate what we now know happened here, so this is in the midst of at this point is a weeks-long pressure campaign, right? by president trump and his allies in georgia, everybody from president trump and his lawyers rudy giuliani is hyping this whack a dual conspiracy theory about a random atlanta election worker and her being the mastermind of the crime.
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they are doing that in order to justify getting republican officials in georgia to overturn the election results and say that trump won, that election worker is getting threatened like you cannot believe. she is in fear for her life under an onslaught of harassment vets, and in the midst of that three people involved with the trump campaign, one of whom until recently had been a high-profile trump campaign employee, another who works for the republican party, their range to show up at this woman's house and try to get her to admit to election fraud. because then they could protect her. and the deadline they gave her was very specific, 48 hours. what was in 48 hours? what was so important that they got to her before that 48 hours was up? well, at the end of the 48 hours remember that conversation happened on january 4th, 48 hours after that, was the certification of joe biden's win in congress. the thing trump and his allies were trying to stop at all
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costs. and by the way, that thing they told ruby freeman about having exactly 48 hours to come clean according to a lawsuit misses freemen -- on a january six, rioters were storming the u.s. capital, a crowd also surrounded ruby freeman's house outside atlanta and shouted out her through a bullhorn. fortunately, she had already fled her home by then. we now know more. right? it's one thing to think about rondos, people just in the general public, random trump supporters being somehow dragged along by the rhetoric and by the doxxing of these election workers, people being led as random people issue these threats. against election workers, right? knowing it's coming from the public, it's worrying enough,
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knowing it was being brought to bear on this particular woman in that super insidious way, that effort to extort her was brought by people who were associated directly with the trump campaign. that's the kind of insane pressure that was brought to bear on a regular person by this campaign that they mounted in the states and in washington to try to falsify the election results and keep trump in power. but of course, it's not just georgia, it's all over. last night you might remember we took a look at how things have evolved fast and badly in the state of wisconsin. where a partisan review of the 2020 election results has been set up by republicans in the state legislature, 100 percent trump people and trump appointees and stop the steal election conspiracy theories who are running that review, 100 percent. even though it's being paid for by taxpayer funds in wisconsin. wisconsin reviews have turned the corner for making over the top, unsupported claims that
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the election must of been stolen, the election audit have already moved on from that in wisconsin to now threatening that they will arrest election officials. and they will arrest the mayors of large democratic leaning cities in wisconsin. because sure, why wouldn't they try that, there has been no negative consequences with everything they have tried thus far. and now there is more news along those lines, from the great state of texas, this is a story that was broken this week by the metro columnist at the austin american statesman, her name is bridget. here is how she opened her story this week she said quote, i am worried for our democracy, so is travis county clerk, the county's toughest nails election chief for the last 35 years, which is why they are speaking publicly about a serious threat she faced this year, an effort by texas republican attorney ken paxton to charge her with a crime for her handling of the 2020
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election. she says quote, i don't take kindly to being threatened and feeling like i can't speak back. to be clear, attorney general paxton did not succeed in his efforts, but earlier this year he tried to indict double far on the charge of unlawfully obstructing a poll watcher, a class a misdemeanor that could bring up to a year in jail. it was a petty and trumped up charge and it did not fly, not even in the venue of williamson county, known for its conservative leaning. a grand jury their return to no bill in april, they refused to hand down the indictment that the attorney general asked for. it all sounds so tidy in the past tense but she lived through months of uncertainty. attorney general paxton pursued her starting in november 2020 and it wasn't until july that she learned that the grand jury had declined to charge her, she says quote there was nothing i could do to defend myself except to go higher, me
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personally, go hire private attorneys, that was $70,000 to me, she said. travis county commissioners did vote in august to reimburse her for those legal fees but early on she worried that she might have to eat those bills herself, had the case gone to trial her legal costs would've reached hundreds of thousands of dollars. she said quote, of course part of the attorney general's purpose in doing that was to intimidate me, and financially bankrupt me. she says quote, it was a deliberate thing. it was a deliberate thing, but of course, it wasn't a delivery thing of course and it is part of a trend, we are seeing classic voter suppression tactics, you know, closing down all but one of the polling places and in lincoln county georgia for example. all the changes they've made for it to be harder to register to vote. we're also seeing a massive and continuing escalation of threats and harassment against election workers at all levels, all the way down to temporary
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day workers on election campaigns. among other things, that is causing lots of election workers in positions low and high to quit, and never want to do the kind of work again. and in wisconsin, and in texas, anywhere republicans have control we are seeing republicans try to jail elections officials and county clerks, or at least to threaten them with that. de beauvoir told the texas tribune this week quote, it was intended to be intimidating, try as i might, some of it was successful. miss de beauvoir has been 25 years running elections in travis county texas, she is retiring next month on her birthday the day she turns 68. she says she's retiring for personal reasons, it's not because they have tried months this year trying to put her in jail and all the stress and financial strain that entailed. but honestly, it seems like that is what the what was intended and it couldn't help.
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here is dana de beauvoir, travis county travis county chief. thank you so much for your service to travis county and thank you for making time for being here tonight, we appreciate your time. >> good evening, my pleasure. >> so, let me ask you, you've said that ken paxton's attempt to get you in tight it was meant to be intimidating and some of that was successful. i wonder if you could just take us back to the moment where you realize that this was happening, when you realized what he was trying to do. >> it all began with a complaint in the county station where a few poll watchers were claiming that they couldn't see or hear clearly enough what was going on and their complaint was odd because they were standing right next to me in the middle of the station. what these people really wanted to do was hover on top of innocent election workers who were trying to do the work of
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processing ballots and the poll watchers refused to wear masks. this was in the middle of a pandemic, austin was in stage five and there was no vaccine, so i fought back and said no, i will not allow these election workers to be intimidated and potentially infected like that, so no, you can't get that close to them without wearing a mask and without observing some basic scientific protections, that caused a dispute with the republican party, so we entered into negotiations and the outcome of the negotiations that that okay, our poll watchers can get as close as they want as long as they're careful, as long as they were masks and we do practice so shull distancing. so before too long, we had worked out a compromise, there was no reason for the attorney general ken paxton, to step in and tried to intimidate, but he
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didn't find it very helpful that we had found a way to accommodate people and that we had insisted on masks and he was angry. what better way to try to boost his stroke with his party voters than to take on the county clerk who had fought back and probably the most -- in texas. >> of course grandeur proceedings are secret we didn't learn about your situation till you decided to speak to the statesman about it, how did you learn about, it did you ever get to speak to the grand jury, how did you learn about the dispensations of this, case including the remarkable fact that ken paxton appears to have brought this case to a grand jury and a grand jury said no we know you want to indict her but we won't allow you to. >> that is correct, it was months of not knowing what was going on in this case was first turned down by the texas supreme court. and since then, this practice of his seeking out county
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clerks has always been dismissed by the court of appeals. so this is not the way to conduct business, nevertheless he took it before, took it before a grand jury sometime in the early part of this year and i was not allowed to speak to the grand jury, i had to rely entirely on my attorneys, they were very concerned about my safety, and if >> they built him in april of this year and i was not even given the courtesy or notice of that until i was given the courage to the north for that we --
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-- for a couple of months, i had been cleared and was not even notified. it wasn't until a couple of months after that that i found out that the management insurance company at the county could also reimburse me for the $75,000 that i had already been out to defend myself up until indictment. fortunately the no bill meant that i was innocent and that i could return to my normal life which had been in fact been disrupted. the thing about what the general did is that some of this disruption by the poll watchers and by the attorney general was successful, it slow down or tallying and it has influenced texas legislature to write election laws that now seek to harm our election judges, and our election workers. and that is what i fear for the future, it will be a problem. right to the extent that they had a feedback loop of the
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rawness. they have suffered no consequences for many of the things that they did! they achieve similar goals, and they got away with it to give themselves a powers do it again in the future. >> that is correct, now, poll watchers are no longer the eyes and ears of peaceful. these are partisan disrupters, who are now been given quote, free movement inside the public guys to do whatever they feel they need to do to observe the election. the problem with that is it's all very one-sided. because now, election workers, and election judges who are on the defenders of our democracy, they protect us. now they cannot do anything to protect us. they are not even entitled to in a safe workplace. that makes it very difficult to get good, specific minded people, to help us with the elections. so this assault on the conduct of the election, hurts our billet-y to be able to bring the democracy to the people. i am very worried about how
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they are going to protect those folks in the future. before i leave you with anything to negative, there are things we can do to protect the future, and i am looking forward to continue to working in that area. >> david mo don't wore, travis county elections chief in texas county, thank you for your service all these decades. thank you for fighting this, i am sorry for the backlash you faced in that incredible fear in harassment and disruption to your life to deal with it. thank you for enduring it, thank you for your service, thank you for being here tonight. >> thank you, i love elections, and we have to keep fighting the bad ideas that are coming along with it! >> right on, thank you ma'am, we appreciate it. we have much more to get to tonight, stay with us. we have much more to get t to feel the difference with downy.
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oh. -what the. oh my goodness! i don't suppose you can sing, can you? ♪ the snow's comin' down ♪ -mommy? ♪ i'm watching it fall ♪ on january 6th did you speak watch the full story at with him before, drawing, or after the attacks? >> i'd have to go -- i spoke with him that day, i think after. i don't know if i spoke with him in the morning or not. i just don't know, i would have to go back -- i don't know, when that conversation happened. would i know that i spoke with him all the time. >> how men have, ever since the january 6th attack on the capitol. -- what kind of communication he might have had with president trump that day.
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he's humid and hot his way for months. now today the investigation say they're seeking interview with congressman jordan. they said quote we are sending out at least one and possibly multiple communications of president trump on january 6th. we would like the sketch sets communication with you in detail. congressman jordan is the second -- investigator seeking information. yesterday republican congressman scott perry said he won't cooperate with the investigation. he will voluntarily testify or given documents. investigators responded in a statement that says quote, if members of directly involved in information declined cooperate, and said endeavor to cooperate up -- they will seek the information using other tools. when they say other tools, does that say we are about to see subpoenas? compulsory instruments? against the members of congress? that's never really happened for investigation like this. how did that even work? joining us now is california congressman, member of the
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january 6th investigation, adam schiff. congressman it's nice to see you, thanks for being here. >> good to see. >> so congressman, jordan tonight said on the fox news channel, that he would review the request for testimony and documents that he received from your committee. he doesn't seem inclined to cooperate. if he doesn't cooperate, are you allowed to subpoena members of congress? can you subpoena of the people? is there a rule about that sort of thing, can you do that? >> we can do that, there is no prohibition against any member of congress. in the past, in the recent past, for example russian vessel geisha -- we requested two members of congress and one democrat one republican, to testify in the. did we certainly hoped it wouldn't be necessary to compel numbers here, mr. jordan indicated earlier here that he would have nothing to hide. and therefore, would come forward and find out soon enough.
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but that is one of the tools that we have to consider. >> we know from the letter to mr. jordan today, which was released publicly. that one of the things that you all want to ask mr. jordan about is about pardons? potential presidential pardons. we had also like to ask about any discussions about presidential pardons, for individuals revolved in any aspect of january. sixth or the planning for january 6th. is there any, -- i know some things you are working on you can't talk about public. but since that much has been a public, can you explain at all with the committee means by that a woman that might be reference? to >> there has been reporting about the potential pardons for people who have participated in some way, for efforts to overturn the election. obviously that's a deep interest to the committee. it suggests, that some were involved in the planning of january 6th understood that they were engaged in criminal activity. that would subject them to prosecution. so, that is a very important
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line of inquiry that if he has any information to offer. we hope that will be able to get from him voluntarily. >> the idea was potentially prospective pardons? don't worry about committing crimes over this venture. we are going to be a big part of together. if you commit any crimes you're going to get a pardon. it's not necessarily pardon offers for previous crimes that are already known, or already charged? >> the short answer is rachel, i don't know. they could've been a combination of things. it could've been that they've's if 60 in overturning the election -- we simply don't know. but clearly, if people that are organizing january 6th understood that those involved conducted -- would be about to conduct criminal activity and effort to overturn the presidential election. that's something the public wants to know about, the something congress wants to know. about some of the legislators
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know about in the future. >> approximate admissive, investigator of the january 6th investigation. thank you for your time tonight, we really appreciate. >> thank you. we've got more news ahead stick, with us. s. before each load. to give your laundry a light scent that lasts longer than detergent alone, with no heavy perfumes or dyes. finally, a light scent that lasts all day! new downy light, available in four naturally-inspired scents. when it comes to autism, finding the right words can be tough. finding understanding doesn't have to be.
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involved in creating the active ingredient in the pill means the production takes as i mentioned about 6 to 8 months. now the pillars authorized, we will have discussions to explore how we can help them improve their manufacturing capacity, even further by providing any resources that they need. as quickly as pfizer gets the pills manufactured and delivered, we will be immediately providing them to states and jurisdictions for distributions. the bottom line is today is an exciting development, and we applaud the american company for their innovation. we do have 10 million doses
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ordered, which is the largest amount of any country in the world. >> jeff zients at the white house today announcing what is in fact and then deciding development. a new treatment, not a preventive like a vaccine but a treatment you can take if you get infected right after covid symptoms start. this is a big deal, and this is a really good thing. it is three pills that you take twice a day and you do that for just five days. this is a treatment by pfizer, it was given emergency use authorization today by the fda. the reason they approved it really quickly is because the results from the clinical trial are fantastic. the clinical trials show that if you can get this treatment within three days of your symptoms starting, it reduces your chance of being hospitalized or dying by 89%. that is an astonishing number, and again, it's just pills, it's not an infusion you need, at an infusion center. it's not a series of injections you need to get over multiple days.
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it's just a five-day course of pills that you take it home and then you are done. this is huge news today, but of course the devil is in the details. as jeff zients said at the white house today, this is a hard pill to make, the chemistry is complex, and so even though the united states has bought 10 million doses already and even though it is approved for use in the united states as of today, we are only getting enough of the drug to treat 65,000 americans. between now and the end of the year. 65 thousands sounds like a lot of, but we are seeing 200,000 new infections every day now, so having only enough drugs to treat 6000 people is really not much. it's not gonna ramp up all that fast either, for the whole month of january, for example, pfizer's only expected to be able to deliver enough pills to treat 200,000 people. and again, that sounds like a lot but we are getting more than that many people infected every day now. so it's really not nearly as enough.
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eventually, getting into later into the year, pfizer will be able to deliver more. millions of doses ultimately, not tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands like they are starting with. when there is bill to ship millions of these pills, that really will mean that potentially thousands of american lives will be saved. this is huge. for right now though, day one of this new era in infective covid at home treatment, this is day one of that. there is all this hope associated with this new treatment. but also all these challenges. we have to deal with really limited supplies in the short run, how we do that? also, people need to get the drug really soon after they get their first symptoms, it's a drug that you need to get by prescription, hobble we make it so people can get the drug in time? also, this is a drug that has a wall up, it's not like popping and asterisks, people who have serious kidney problems or liver problems will not be able to take it out all. it also doesn't mix well with another prescription drugs that
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people may be on for other issues. but doctors will have to be careful not to give this new drug to people for whom it might be dangerous because of the other prescriptions that they take. it's a lot of moving parts to deal with here, but honestly don't lose sight, this is an exciting day. this is the kind of covid treatment breakthrough we have been waiting for in the fda finally approved it. it is going to be a bear to deal with the enamel supplies, it is going to be a barrier to deal with the need to be both careful and quick in prescribing it, we will remember this day. we will look back on this day as a blessing, but it is also going to be a test of us to. to be a test of us to. except now you have uncontrollable body movements called tardive dyskinesia td. and it can seem like that's all people see. ♪ some meds for mental health can cause abnormal dopamine signaling in the brain. while how it works is not fully understood,
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look at the far right side of the graph. the very far right side. you see that? look at how steep that line is climbing, at the right side of the graph. that is how fast are covid
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infection numbers are rising right now is a. country that is a terribly steep line, and that is terrible. but, today was also really good day. the fda approved the first covid treatment pill. it's a five-day course appeals from pfizer, you take it right after the start of covid symptoms. and you can drop your chances of being hospitalized by nearly 90%. huge news, huge day. this is a real advance. lots of devils in the details though, joining us now is doctor nahid -- she's a specialist in the emergence of such -- dr. healy start thank you so much for joining us tonight. >> thank you for having me rachel. >> so at first the promising new antiviral is gonna be really limited. how do we ensure that the very limited quantities of this drug at the people who most need it, and for whom it will do the most? good >> yes rachel, as you said
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this comes amid incredibly port and time. the omicron surge is all -- all of return from normalcy is depending on keeping unvaccinated placements out of hospital. it is at a time where seen the tools that are out of the toolbox, -- are known to be as effective. as you mentioned, with this limited supply of this really wonderful new tool. what we are facing, and what we are going to face from omicron's -- which is the idea of distributed justice. how do we get this to the people that will do the most. good when we found so far, in the distribution. is that states are allocating a certain amount. they work with hospitals and clinics and others to try to get certain doses out to places where patients can access. and in this case, because times are so short. and because it's linked to testing as other things, were so quickly out of testing in the onset -- we need to make sure that as we
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increase testing. we link that testing access to the new patients. -- and those who have already established medical care, because they can call the doctor make getting prescription. we need to make sure that those who don't have the access to those tools can still do that. that's where we do by reaching out to communities that are telling more about this drug, but also linking to the site where they can get treatment. >> so ideally when somebody comes into a testing site, or access is testing somehow gets a positive result. that person is also at the start of having symptoms. if they have got the kind of respect there's that their high-risk could be hospitalized, or potentially die from covid. the fact that they test positive is -- should be an activating capitalists. to get a prescription for the drug. it won't be a widespread thing at the outset, because we don't have enough of.
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it but ideally that's which we should have been working for in the next couple of months. >> for sure, there are places that are high yield, where in each places takes -- like in nursing homes you can see this would be so helpful to those who are older. but that's an easy place to discuss the. it's also easy for patients who are being care, who are immunocompromised because their doctors have quick access. typically those who are in the community that are high-risk, who may not be able to access, that's where i think that testing is going to be important. to try to get people into their. that is one of the goal that we should be looking at. the other is telling more people about this truck. make them aware of it, the fact that it is available. the worry that i have is that people are going to be using the rapid test and finding out the result. if they don't know that this pill is available, even if the qualifier at high risk, they will not be able to access it. we need to do a lot of education in the public sector to make sure people are aware
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of this. >> that's right, because with so many things in health care, oftentimes you don't get it unless you asked for. you don't ask for, unless you know that it exists. and that you can benefit from it. that is a public campaign. waiting to happen. doctor high when delia, dr. -- infections disease policy in boston university. doctor affiliate thank you for your time, i appreciate you being here this time. >> thank you. >> we will be right back, stay with us. be right back, stay with us. with us. knowing where you came from,
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it for us for tonight, i will see you again tomorrow, now it's time for the last word with lawrence o'donnell. good evening, lawrence. >> good evening, rachel. per mila jayapal is here tonight, so fair warning, we might talk about you. it's possible. your name might come up. >> i was just going to say, it's only fair that you are having her given how much you and i have been talking about her with her not being here for