tv Chris Jansing Reports MSNBC July 20, 2022 9:00am-10:00am PDT
♪♪ good day. this is "andrea mitchell reports" reports. i'm chrisjansing. andrea is on assignment. we begin with triple digit heat impacting the country. some of the most dangerous temperatures in texas where multiple cities could hit 110 degrees later this afternoon. president biden is prioritizing the climate crisis today, traveling to massachusetts to tout new executive actions as critical climate initiatives romaine in limbo on capitol hill. we will bring you an update from the first full day of witness testimony in steve bannon's trial down in washington. moments ago in washington,
ukraine's first lady in a speech to congress detailing the suffering caused by russia's invasion and causing for more aid to defeat the enemy. >> translator: you help us and your help is very strong while russia kills, america saves. i appeal to all of you on behalf of those who were killed, on behalf of those people who lost their arms and legs. i am asking for weapons. weapons that would not be used to wage a war on somebody else's land but to protect one's home and the right to wake up alive in that home. >> the comments follow new revelations from the white house that putin's army is planning to tighten its grip over eastern ukraine by annexing the donbas region and the territories surrounding the crimean peninsula, fortifying their position away from the port city
of odesa. >> at the start of the year, russia told the world it was not planning to invade ukraine. now we are expected to believe that they're not going to plan to annex ukrainian territory. annexation by force would be a violation of the u.n. charter. we will not allow it to go unpunished. we begin with the extreme heat. there's a good chance if you are watching, you are better off indoors. nearly half of the u.s. population waking up this morning in a city where temperatures are topping 90 degrees today. another 44 million facing triple digit heat. in dallas, highs the last three days were 106, 109 and 109, with 94% of the state experiencing drought conditions. nbc's sam brock is in dallas for us. i'm sorry that you are there. how are you? how are the people of texas surviving this heat? this is downright dangerous. >> reporter: look, chris, it is
dangerous. i can't emphasize that enough. i ditched the long-sleeved shirt. maybe that will help internal body temperature come down. for so many folks, they are trying to figure out ways to cope. you see over my shoulder fountains. kids and families have been in there all day. here is the issue. it used to be there was sticker shock with triple digit temperatures. now it's 110 or more, that's the state of affairs. i got off the phoneercot. they are anticipating a record usage. we are supposed to hit 107. that's never happened in the state of texas before. we know the same grid failed in 2021 during cold temperatures which caused rolling blackouts. it never happened from the heat. to give you contempt, the state of new york, their projections for this summer for peak usage, 31,000 megawatts. california right now is around that range. expecting to get to 40,000. texas is more than double new
york and california for its usage of energy. people just trying to get accustom to the new normal, if you will. we talked to folks out here at the park to react to what's going on and keep themselves cool. here is a sampling. >> this is the hottest summer i have seen in dallas since 1980. >> feels like a furnace. it feels really hot. i'm sweating. i'm completely sweating. >> it's just -- it feels like i want to die. it feels like i am on the -- i'm on the sun. it burns so bad. >> reporter: chris, you focus on young kids and the elderly when it comes to heat-related illness. police officers, officials are going around and helping the elderly with tips and install air conditioning units where they are not functioning properly. >> they may need them for a while. sam brock in dallas. stay cool as best you can. thank you.
steve bannon is back in court today facing contempt of congress charges for defying a subpoena. before heading in, he doubled down on what has been his defense, the trial is a political witch hunt designed to keep him quiet. >> global elites, financial times of london, everybody on the city of london, wall street, multinational corporations, they are trying to shut me up. they will never shut me up and never shut me down. >> nbc's justice correspondent pete williams is following the case. what's happening in court today? >> that may be his defense outside of court. inside, he hasn't gotten to his defense yet. it's been the government's witness. the first one who is the chief counsel. the committee understood bannon talked with the president in the weeks leading up to january 6. therefore, wanted to understand what bannon could say about the connection between any of those
events. she said the subpoena demanded that bannon provide any communication he may have had with the proud boys, oath keepers, as well as some of the lawyers advising president trump at the time, including rudy giuliani, john eastman, michael flynn. she explained her contacts with bannon's lawyer who agreed to accept the service of the subpoena, the formal handing over, if you will, on bannon's behalf. she talked about her exchange of letters with the lawyer who informed the committee that bannon would not comply because president trump asserted executive privilege. the view was that was not a valid reason. several other letters were sent warning bannon that failing to comply could lead to prosecution. right now, she's being cross examined by the lawyers for bannon. the government has at most two, maybe just one other witness to testify about the facts here. then the government will probably rest its case.
>> could we get to the defense today, pete? >> theoretically possible, yes. if not today, then tomorrow. it's possible this trial could be over by friday. he would will see how it goes. >> pete williams, thank you. the court's decide whether bannon is in contcontempt. the january 6th committee is gearing up for a hearing tomorrow night. critical pieces of evidence will be missing. secret service texts. at this point, only a single text has been found and turned over. the national archives demanding an investigation and a report within 30 days. i want to bring in phil rukker, susan page, and eugene daniels. good to see all of you.
susan, it's difficult to get a straight story. what do we know about these texts? >> we know they seem to be missing. perhaps not recoverable. it's a very mysterious coincidence that this happened with these texts that played -- could have played a key role in the investigation into january 6th. we know that there's -- secret service says there was a migration to a new phone system and that's the reason these texts weren't backed up, that the individuals had responsibility for doing that. really, it's one of those things if you were writing a movie, it would be hard to believe this explanation. >> phil, your co-author has done obviously great reporting on the secret service for many years. here is what she told us about what she thinks was behind this. >> we don't know whether or not this was just a stupid screwup or something a little more intentional.
we don't know yet. i won't speculate. but it is clear to me that senior leadership and several -- i'm not talking half. i'm talking about the majority of president trump's detail were in the tank for him. i have seen numerous texts, social media postings by members of the president's protective detail in which they were essentially cheering on the insurrectionists on january 6. >> bottom line, is there any doubt about the politicalization of some members of the secret service or the fact that arguably no one is more consistently close to the president hour by hour than these agents? this doesn't look good for the secret service. there could have been a lot of information in those texts. >> you are right. both of the things you said are true. the senior leadership of the secret service and the individuals on the president's detail were close to him.
they liked him. they had friendly banter with him. they were politically motivated to help support him. that has been documented by carol's reporting. it has come clear in some of the testimony in the january 6 hearings. it's also true that they spent the most time in and around the president. they would have witnessed the things the president was saying and doing, the conversations he was having on january 6 in private that the committee investigators have been endeavoring to uncover and find out. clearly, the text message communications among secret service agents would shed light on that. they have gone missing for reasons that the secret service has sought to explain. but nonetheless, it casts a cloud over this agency after, frankly, several years of scandal and troubles within the secret service. >> when you want to talk about troubles, it's obviously not
over in the big lie. the wisconsin assembly speaker is saying trump is urging him to decertify biden's win in wisconsin. actually, just called him last week. if trump supporters are hoping that he stops focusing on 2020 and starting focusing on 2024, this is not a good sign. >> that's right, chris. this just shows former president trump's continued fixation on replaying the 2020 election, which is something that most republican leaders are hoping to put in their rearview mirror. they want to talk about the midterm elections in november. they want to be talking about what republicans could do if they take over the majority of the house and senate and look forward to the 2024 presidential election and here is trump the de facto leader, one of the most popular republicans in the country, somebody who has intense loyalty from republican-base voters, continuing to make his points,
his baseless points about election fraud in 2020 that are just not true. the wisconsin results have been certified. joe biden won. that's why he is president biden. for trump to continue to try to relitigate what happened in wisconsin is according to many republican strategists not helpful to the party's cause. >> it's widespread the nervousness about this continuing focus on the big lie. there's this fascinating article today about how the drip, drip, drip of revelations about trump p has hurt his standing among republican voters who are worried. there's this new poll showing trump is the choice for nominee. he is beating ron desantis. it's very early. but what is all of this telling us about where republican voters
are right now? do we know? >> we continue to see -- if he were to announce today, if the election was held today, he would probably be the nominee of the republican party. a lot of things can change. what we have seen over the time period, i have been getting text messages from republicans who have been getting more embarrassed by some of the things they have been hearing. when cassidy hutchinson talking about donald trump wanting to force his way to go to the capitol, that was a turning point for a lot of the folks in the party who make big decisions. some of the strategists and lawmakers who say, this is just embarrassing. it's not just that he was lying about the 2020 election, it's not that he keeps harping on it, it's not that because of that he lost them two seats in georgia
and they are worried about that happening across the country -- >> if i could bring that back to what we were talking about in the beginning. those are exactly the kinds of points that might have been enlightened, let's say, by those text messages that no longer exist. >> that's exactly right. one of the things that we know is that secret service agents don't text a lot. that's something that they don't do that often. it's not seen as something that's very secure. what they were texting about is very important. i will say, you talk to anybody in government that was around january 5 or 6, they knew there were going to be investigations by congress in many ways. they wanted to keep these things together. they are -- a lot of people are shocked this happened. will we see information? it doesn't seem so. the rest of the drip, drip, drip, as you put it, is causing
some republicans to have a little bit of pause. they are hearing and seeing the effect of hearings are having on people. we are seeing how people are thinking and looking and watching more. than when we originally thought they would. that is something republicans are getting a little worried about. >> eugene, susan, phil, thanks to you. an emotional plea, striking images, a call for help from the first lady of ukraine to congress. senator richard blumenthal fresh from his trip to the region joins me next on "andrea mitchell reports." s me next on fryin', flyin', savorin', favorin'. over rotini. inside a panini. egging, maining, siding, plain-ing. debunk the inglorious. one shape's victorious. kraft singles. mitchell reports."
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ukraine's first lady asked congress to continue to stand with her country and fight putin's oppression. >> translator: we remain completely broken when our world is destroyed by a war. tens of thousands of worlds have been destroyed in ukraine. the answer is right here in washington, d.c. america unfortunately knows from its own experience what terrorist attacks are and has always sought to defeat terror. help us to stop this terror against ukrainians. and this will be our joined great victory. >> joining me now, ellison barber in kyiv and former u.s. ambassador taylor. now ukraine's first lady seems
to have done the same in the speech to congress as her husband. >> they need more help. that's right. she's right. the help is coming. to be fair, the administration, they have been providing heavy weapons that have enabled the ukrainian military to begin to stop the russian advance and maybe even to start a counter offensive in the south. you mentioned threats the russians have to try to annex parts of ukraine. the ukrainian military can push back. mrs. zelenskyy is exactly right. we need to provide that help. it's coming. it needs to come faster. >> ellison, let's turn to what we heard from john kirby yesterday. you were just miles away from kherson. what action are russian forces taken? >>. >> reporter: we were six miles
away. it's one of the first stops that a lot of people fleeing russian occupied areas in the kherson region make. you hear all of the artillery shelling just going on across the river. right now, in this area, ukrainian forces have reportedly partially destroyed a very key bridge there. there are two bridges that cross the river there. it's an important supply route road, if you will, for russian forces. they have two ways with those two crossings on the river to get supplies to forces who are in areas they occupy west of the river and in the event of a ukrainian counteroffensive, they would withdraw troops. now at least one is severely or partially damaged, perhaps usable, according to some military analysis we have seen. but it's a significant moment for ukrainian forces, because if they were to launch some sort of
counteroffensive, those two crossings that russian forces are able to use right now, those are very vital for them. the uk's ministry defense said it's possible that control of those crossings on the river could become a vital, a key factor in determining who controls that area and how the fighting in that area progresses. in the east, fighting there is still ongoing. the regional governor of luhansk says most of the shelling they are seeing from russian forces is centered along the settlements that are on the border. despite all of that shelling, we have seen this back and forth between ukrainian forces and russian forces. russian forces have not made really many if any significant gains in that area. moving forward, particularly as you listen to what russia's foreign minister said today about how their goals have expanded beyond just the donbas, they are looking at trying to take more territories.
what's happening in the south is an incredibly important thing to watch. that statement from the foreign minister is arguably one of the most direct comments signifying russia plans to try to annex more parts. >> what do you make of these reports? what will you watch for? >> they do this. this is what the russians do. they invaded crimea in 2014. they then annexed it. they say they had a referendum. it was fake, of course. they won 97%, which tells you what kind of free and fair referendum it was. they will do the same thing here. like in crimea, no one -- not one nation around the world, exception possibly of belarus and maybe syria and maybe north korea, will recognize the russian claim. no one will recognize this russian claim. it will signify nothing to what
the foreign minister said. >> ambassador, ellison, thanks to both of you. connecticut democratic senator richard blumenthal serves on the armed services committee and is just back from a trip to ukraine as well as meeting with president zelenskyy. let me pick up with where the ambassador left off. in the discussions with president zelenskyy, did he convey fears about the potential for annexations? do you believe that ukraine giving up territory may be at this point the only way to end this war? >> at this point, chris -- thanks for having me -- the people of ukraine are in no mood to give up territory. they are as fiercely dedicated to the defense of their country as they have been from the start. the eloquent really emotional appeal to our hearts made by the first lady of ukraine is exactly the message that i heard from president zelenskyy. the need for air defense, to stop that terror from the skies,
the missiles dismembering and destroying lives. he needs air defense so children can go back to school, people can go back to work and folks who live in ukraine can go back to some kind of normalcy in their lives. here is the point about eastern ukraine. these people are going to fight to the last person. they will mount an insurgency, a special ops warfare against the russian occupiers. giving up territory is not an option that seemingly is on the table for ukraine. ultimately, they are the deciders about what happens in the future of their country. we should support them with not only more artillery, long-range and other artillery but air defense they need adapted to their purposes to make sure that this terror from the skies is thwarted and stopped. >> right now, do you believe the u.s. and our allies have not
done enough so that they could mount a legitimate and potentially successful counteroffensive? >> we need to do more. that's the key question, chris. what more can we and should we do? i met with pentagon officials, intelligence community folks as well as white house staff. what we need to do is increase the pace as well as the amount of our deliverables. it's fine for congress to pass a supplemental. it's great for the pentagon to say the help is on the way. i have traveled that rail line from the polish border to kyiv. it goes further to the eastern front. we need to put that artillery on those trains as well as the other munitions and arms that are needed, whether it's tanks or missiles, air defense, all of it needs to go to ukraine more quickly. i think they can mount a counteroffensive if they have that help, including, by the
way, medical supplies. humanitarian assistance. >> one side of this is what the u.s. can do for ukraine. the other half of it is is what can the united states do against russia? we know that sanctions have had an economic impact in that country. it does look like vladimir putin is still playing the long game here, no matter how many lives are lost. in the category of what we can do against putin, against russia, are there still things out there that you think the united states and its allies need to look at? >> exactly right. what we need to do is to pass a resolution that designates russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. all but one senator is ready to vote for it right now. senator graham and i have offered that resolution. he would went to ukraine to kyiv together. we presented the resolution to president zelenskyy. his reaction was so emotional,
heartwarming to know that this next step that would designate russia as a state sponsor of terrorism and impose stronger economic sanctions stopped the doctrine of sovereignty if russia is sued in this country, we need stronger action against the russian oligarchs, also a matter before the united states senate, which i'm supporting. there is more that we can do on economic sanctions against russia that will further cripple its ability to wage this war. i commend and thank the biden administration for supporting these efforts. it has been increasingly aggressive in its support for ukraine and deserves the thanks that the first lady offered today. >> senator blumenthal, thank you for being on the program. we appreciate it. >> thank you. fake electors, real subpoenas. is the georgia d.a. preparing subpoenas? rudy giuliani ordered to appear.
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wanted. maybe a new clue to answering the key question whether it was incompetence or something more. julia ainsley has new reporting. this is key to the time line. we want to know what happened when to help us answer that question, what's the new information? >> we want to know whether or not the secret service agents involved on january 6 knew to keep their records. as we learned, they were, in fact, reminded to hold on to all records. they got an email in december of 2020, another one in january of 2021 reminding them that as part of this new process where they were going to be restoring the factory settings on their phone, as government employees they needed to hold on to all of the records, including text messages. but this is critical. none of the email reminders were specific to january 5 and 6. secret service has maintained they didn't get that request from the inspector general until late february.
they could not have been specific in requesting those records to be preserved from the key date. we can report that at least these agents were told to preserve this, take screen shots and include them in this system before everything is wiped from your phone. it seems that did not happen. that is why now we are faced with very little information and only one text message that is about that day at all. >> even if it wasn't specific to the 5th and 6th, it would have covered the 5th and 6th, so they should have been preserved. they had warnings to do it. thank you for that breaking news. the investigation into donald trump's efforts to overturn his loss in georgia is escalating in a major way. in the last hour, rudy giuliani has been ordered to testify in august before a special grand jury convened by the fulton county d.a. it comes after nearly a dozen of the so-called fake electors who tried to cast sham electoral
college ballots were subpoenaed. republican senator lindsey graham agreed to accept a subpoena without waiving his right to challenge it. georgia was one of seven states where fake election certificates were sent to washington by trump's republican allies. joining me now, blayne alexander, and former senior fbi official and u.s. attorney chuck rosenberg. what do we know about this order for rudy giuliani to testify? >> reporter: we know this is a notable update. we know two things. a judge ordered him to testify here in fulton county before the special grand jury. also, we have a date, august 9 is the day he has been ordered to testify. according to a court filing entered this morning by the fulton county d.a., giuliani was supposed to appear at a new york hearing, before a new york judge to fight the subpoena, to make the case why he shouldn't be forced to comply with that subpoena. the judge says giuliani didn't show up to that hearing.
that's what prompted him to now issue this order for him to come down and testify here in georgia. we should mention we reached out to giuliani's team for comment. a major development in that he is now ordered to come and testify before the special grand jury. >> chuck, what does that mean? can he just not show up again? what's the legal implication here? >> well, we saw from steve bannon what happens when you ignore a subpoena. if he didn't show up, if he didn't respond in any way, he could be held in contempt. he might have a fifth amendment assertion. if a truthful answer to a question would incriminate him, he could assert a fifth amendment privilege not to answer. the better course is to respond. if he has a valid reason not to answer a particular question, then to assert that reason on the record. giuliani has shown over the past several years he is not a particularly adept attorney. your guess is as good as mine as to how he is going to respond.
how he should respond, that's a simple answer. >> get us up to speed on this escalation by targeting the fake electors in georgia. >> reporter: 16 fake electors. as of the court filing filed yesterday, the d.a. has informed all 16 that they are now targets of the investigation. this is a big deal for a couple of reasons. one, because they were previous loy, according to their attorneys, told they were only witnesses. seeing them escalated to targets shows this is entering a new phase. also it shows the scope of the investigation is widening. it's giving us a look into just how she's approaching this investigation. when i sat down with the d.a., she made it clear she wants to have a robust investigation, that she wants to really have the grand jury hear from anybody who had knowledge, firsthand knowledge or knew about either the words, thoughts, actions of either former president trump or any of his associates when it comes to this alleged election
interference in georgia. she's making it clear that it's going beyond that initial phone call from the former president to the secretary of state that set this whole thing in motion. >> she does seem to be tenacious. the fake electors were told not to talk about what they were doing in an email. a trump campaign staffer told them, i must ask for your discretion in this process. he added, your duties are imperative to ensure the end result, a win in georgia for president trump. but we will be la hampered unle we have complete secrecy. don't tell anybody. what does that tell you? >> it's not a good thing. it may also not be a criminal thing. if they thought they were within their right to submit fake electors, which sounds ludicrous to me, then i could see why they want to keep their plan secret. when you start talking about secrecy, it seems nefarious. in this case, once the state has certified the election and the
electors and submitted a real slate of electors to the congress and to the national archives, anything else, a fake slate of electors looks and smells like a crime. it's a fraud. if the request for secrecy was to further a crime, that's a huge problem. if the request for secrecy was some political strategy, less so. that's why you do investigations. that's why you ask these types of questions. that's why we're lucky to have blayne alexander reporting on them. >> we are. thank you. always good to see you. climate action, the president sidestepping congress and the supreme court to curb emissions. how much can an executive order accomplish? you are watching "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. g such as heart disease, diabetes,
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overturn roe v. wade. the austin city council is meeting tomorrow, guarding the right to abortion care effectively, decriminalizing abortion in the city. joining me now, austin, texas, city council member. what are your legal options? talk about the grace act and how it might protect legal protections. >> our legal actions are limited because of the state making abortion illegal. we are a creature of the state. we cannot just legalize abortion. we are an independent city. we control our own budget. we have discretion to set policies. the grace act sets any abortion crime, any alleged abortion crime as a lowest level priority for prosecution by the city.
the second is to restrict the use of city funds for any kind of information collecting, databases. we don't want to see any kind of abortion databases. we don't want to see any abortion crimes task forces. we're doing everything we can. we're trying to walk a fine line. we're doing everything that we can within our powers to blunt the criminalization of abortion in texas. >> in reality, in practice, is what you are saying that you are asking police and prosecutors to look the other way? >> right now in austin, we are about 200 patrol officers short. we have to set priorities in terms of investigation, in terms of what are the most serious crimes that we need to prioritize, and the reality is this community doesn't think abortion crimes should be
investigated. they don't think people should be arrested. we think abortion should be legal in austin. within that we are using our discretion, prioritizing our local resources in such a way as to minimize any kind of arrest or investigation of abortion crimes. >> you are doing what i think a number of cities are trying to do, figure out a way to serve their constituents and what they believe or know that their constituents want. i saw an article today that quotes a law professor as saying, the grace act is not likely to work as intended. this is the quote. the difficulty is that clinics won't provide abortion services even if abortion-related crimes are not investigated or prosecuted locally. the doctors and facilities are likely to face state licensure and other administrative consequences even without a criminal prosecution. does he have a point? >> he does. i don't want to oversell what
we're doing. we cannot create a sang air san where abortion would be legal where people can seek to terminate their pregnancy. what we can do is we can limit the criminalization and the prosecution. it's sad that we are at this point where that is our only and best option. ultimately, we are subject to state law. we are subject to the laws that the texas legislature makes. until we win on a state level, until we can change the laws that currently criminalize abortion, all we can do is play defense and try to limit the negative consequences as opposed to really re-establish abortion rights on a broader scale. >> thank you. we will keep an eye on that city council meeting tomorrow. we appreciate your time.
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speechless. panera's new chef's chicken sandwiches. $1 delivery fee on our app. the mouse says if congress won't act on fighting climate change, president biden will. in the next few hours, the president will announce a slate of new executive actions to fight global warming. it comes after senator manchin nixed plans to add to a reconciliation package. the president will not be declaring a climate emergency, though a lot of activists had been pushing for that. so what is on on the table? >> reporter: what the president is wanting to do today, is he wants to put a spotlight on what he's already done. the white house points out what
activists are pushing him to do he's already done twice. secondly he'll be announcing the first of what officials say will be many executive orders, funding for two programs, one having to do with getting states and cities more funding to invest in climate-resilient infrastructure, to guard against the expected effects of extreme heat and changes over the years ahead, but also to help low-income americans afford energy the president's also going to be trying to make a point about the economy while he's there today. he'll be visiting what was once a coal-fired manufacturing plant that is now being used to produce the components of wind turbines for what is an expanding offshore wind industry. as the president liked to put it during the campaign, his
predecessor donald trump believed climate change was a hoax, but he believed it was a different four-letter word -- jobs. >> so does the white house expect manchin to budge at all before november? >> reporter: this has been the question as their agenda has been continually stymied. when the white house first issued a statement on the issue of climate, they said if congress won't act, the president will. there was a new statement issued last night, because congress won't act, the president will. there has been a discussion of climate emergency, whether the president will declare one. one issue involved here is the white house studying what authority it has, but there might be a small hint of a hope that maybe manchin won't like executive authority, so they may bring him around, but i think
the word change indicates just how much the white house has expectations of that being a reality. >> mike memoli, thank you. that would do it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." i'll be back in a moment, with efforts to protect marriage equality after the supreme court reversed roe. that's coming up on msnbc. the t reversed (cool guy) $30...that's awesome. (dad) yeah, and it's from the most reliable 5g network in america. (woman) for $30 a line, i'm switching now! that's coming up on msnbc. (vo) the network you want. the price you love. only from verizon. [whistling] when you have technology that's easier to control...
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i'm chris jansing. we start this hour with potential trouble in trump world times four. today, former aide steve bannon is back in court, staring at the possibility of a criminal conviction for defying a congressional subpoena. the prosecutor charging that he thought he was above the law. electors have been told by fulton county d.a. they could face criminal charges. after yesterday's breaking news that critical secret service messages from january 5th and 6th are almost certainly got forever. now nbc news has learned within the past hour, secret service employees were sent at least two e-mails reminding them to preserve the texts you b. they disappeared anything. that is all being investigated. from wisconsin, the mind-boggling revelation in the midst of these investigations, former president trump is still calling election officials on