tv Deadline White House MSNBC August 9, 2022 1:00pm-3:00pm PDT
aloha and namaste, everyone, it is 4:00 p.m. here in new york city, i'm john heilemann in for nicolle wallace. that's the bad news. the good news she'll be joining us in the next hour as we assess and analyze the monster news from last night, that the fbi yesterday searched mar-a-lago, the private club and palm beach residence of the disgraced, twice impeached, coup attempting former president of the united states, donald j. trump. it is no exaggeration to say three things about this move by the justice department. one, it's wholly without precedent in american history, two, that it's ignited a political firestorm, and three, it has sent the country hurdling into uncharted territory. the search yesterday which
reportedly involved federal agents spending most of the day at mar-a-lago was related to classified information that trump took with him when he departed the white house in january of 2021. an attorney for the former guy told nbc news that trump and his team had been, quote, cooperative with fbi and doj officials every step of the way, unquote, but then added that the bureau, quote, did conduct an unannounced raid and seized paper. "the new york times" reports that it wasn't the first time that agents visited trump's south florida estate. quote, the search came after an earlier visit this spring to mar-a-lago by federal agents including a justice department counterintelligence official to discuss materials that mr. trump had improperly taken with him when he left the white house. mr. trump was briefly present for that earlier visit as was at least one of his lawyers according to people familiar with the situation. both the fbi and the justice department have declined to comment. it was trump himself who first notified the world of this mar-a-lago search claiming that the raid was politically
motivated. trump's news flash came in the form of a typically lengthy, inaccurate, crazily punctuated and bs riddled statement, which we will not be reading with the sole exception of one delicious explanation, quote, they even broke into my safe. and one statement that in a rarity for donald trump was unequivocally true. quote, nothing like this has ever happened to a president of the united states before. but the very fact that a search warrant was issued and a raid was conducted can tell us a great deal about the state of the investigation, a probe that reportedly began earlier this year when the national archives asked the doj to investigate how classified information, some of it so sensitive that the information can't even be described ended up at trump's south florida club. as "the new york times" puts it, quote, the fbi would have needed to convince a judge that it had probable cause that a crime had been committed and that agents might find evidence at
mar-a-lago in order to get a search warrant, proceeding with a search on a former president's home would almost surely have required signoff from top officials at the bureau and the justice department and that is where we kick off today. joining us now, betsy wooruff swan, my friend jonathan lemire, host of msnbc's way too early and the author of "the new york times" best selling book "the big lie." plus msnbc legal analyst andrew weissman, he's a former doj prosecutor, member of robert mueller's special counsel information ask a sha ran ga that, special agent for counterintelligence, a senior senior lecturer and former dean at yale. betsy, i want to start with you to kind of give me a sense of everybody in the world watched what happened yesterday, and now we are not quite 24 hours later. give us a big overview of where we are at this moment with this story, as opposed to where we
were last night when we first learned the news? >> what we've had is basically more details get filled in to add context and color to the basic fact that emerged last night in rather shocking fashion. i can confirm that justice department officials visited mar-a-lago several months ago, that trump himself interacted with them at least in a small way when they made that visit, that at least one of his lawyers was there, and after that meeting happened, trump's legal team and people close to him have signaled that they thought they were giving doj what doj wanted. obviously that wasn't the takeaway that the justice department had after that conversation and to get a search warrant like this, the fbi has to persuade a judge that there's evidence at a particular location, at a particular moment in time that would be directly related to a crime being committed.
so that means their concerns about potential criminal activity of which there could be evidence at mar-a-lago persisted for months after that meeting despite the fact that people in trump's orbit have signaled that the tenor of that meeting was not particularly hostile or acrimonious. trump himself in his statement said that he thought this raid, quote, unquote raid was totally unnecessary and uncalled for. the trump people have been signaling that they think in their view or they argue in their view that they've been cooperating, but that is extremely far afield from the views at fbi and doj. >> andrew weissman, i ask you this question, you know, the definition of cooperation would presumably have allowed this whole thing to be worked out over the course of the months that betsy's talking about. in your experience when people go to get warrants of this kind from a judge, this is not the
kats in general that no judge wants to give a warrant if there's some other way for it to be worked out through a cooperative negotiation with the parties. this seems like the judge here, especially in the case of the former president would have needed to be convinced that the time for talk was over, no? >> yes and no. first, the judge would not get involved in that decision, the one about whether this could get worked out or not. the judge's sole role is for him or her to decide whether there's probable cause of a crime and probable cause that the evidence would be at that location. there's no question that what you're saying is true with respect to the department of justice because normally the way that you get information is either through a voluntary request or through a subpoena, and when you proceed by search warrant, what you're really saying is i don't trust the person who i could subpoena to actually comply with that subpoena, and i think the missing piece for all of this is
merrick garland had to have asked the question why do we need to proceed by search warrant and not by subpoena, and there had to have been a pretty compelling answer that they thought that the former president would not comply with a subpoena, and i think that's the piece that we're missing is that evidence that let them to think that there would be essentially a form of obstruction of justice unless they went in by search warrant. >> andrew, this is a very serious time for our country. i just need to know whether that was a dog or a goat that just walked behind you on camera. >> yeah, so that's my english cocker spaniel who has a habit of coming on air just as the cameras roll. >> i would just say that he or she is always welcome here. i just want to make sure it wasn't a goat, that was going to be a different question. jonathan lemire, i want to throw up the time line i mentioned a second ago. here's kind of what we know about trump's handling of the
classified information. in mid-january of 2022, the national archives retrieves 15 boxes of documents from mar-a-lago. in february the archives asked the doj to investigate. in early may the doj subpoenas the national archives for classified material. in the spring around that same time, agents visit mar-a-lago. we know that now from "the new york times." trump is present at that meeting, and now we have the fbi doing this search of mar-a-lago. from the perspective of someone who knows trump world really well and has reported on them throughout all of this, did you have any sense from any of your sources anywhere in the former president's orbit that this was a thing that people were bracing for. that's a very leaky place, people generally talk about a lot of stuff. stuff doesn't stay secret for very long. it's surprising that trump apparently saw this coming or thought he was still very much entangled in this investigation and we read nothing about it during the last couple of months.
>> first of all, john, no wildlife here, no goats at all, but people in trump orbit that i have spoken to, they knew of course there were some degrees of contact here. the agents had visited a few months prior. they were surprised that it came to this step. they thought that they'd be able to resolve this through normal course of negotiation. they did think they were being cooperative. they didn't anticipate the agents to suddenly show up in palm beach yesterday, you know, talking to secret service. secret service allowing them on the property. of course we should note the former president was not there. he was in new york city yesterday. but this is something that they have been concerned about, and of course there's a whole slew of legal issues swirling around the former president right now. it could be in new york, it could be in georgia, it could be in d.c., and now this. and of course the january 6th committee's work continues to pay, the department of justice working there as well. now, obviously this is donald trump, so politics come quickly at hand. he has been hinting for a while
he suggested he might be a martyr, a victim of the deep state. if there's one truism to the trump presidency is that every day was fueled by grievance and a sense of victim hood, and that's happening again. with the statement last night from what we're hearing, the echoes from his allies, republicans in washington and around the country yesterday and again today suggesting that he was being unfairly signaled out, that he was a victim of a conspiracy and that this was a politically motivated search. now, the white house has made clear, i broke the news last night that they got no heads-up whatsoever about this raid. the white house press secretary reiterated that as well saying the president himself found out about it from watching television. so they are saying -- they're keeping their distance from this, but certainly former president trump and his team are going to try to play the victim card as much as they can going forward to try and swirl up the hornets nesz. >> asha i want to ask you about
last night where he noted that trump made the decision that it was in his interest to publicize this investigation. the doj sort of played it by the book and were keeping it quiet. what do you think it is -- what would you say -- i know this is going to be speculative, but what do you think it would have led trump to determine it was in his interest to try to publicize that this had happened and do it the way he did. >> well, trump is an information warrior. i mean, he's very savvy with information warfare and he understands that getting his narrative out actually, you know, helps rally the people around him. ( and so i think we just need to distinguish between the court of public opinion and the court of law, and from a legal perspective, what i would say is to also approach the search from a national security angle. if he was in possession of classified documents, those are by definition potentially harmful to our national security if they result in any kind of disclosure or leak or somebody gets their hands on them. so it's an ongoing national security threat, and in terms of
the negotiation, it's -- you know, they've gone above and beyond in terms of trying to get these back. i mean, if i steal something, i'm really not in a position to negotiate keeping them. they shouldn't have been there, but i think at this point they have no choice but to go retrieve them if he continues to hang onto them because of the threat that they pose and just, you know, what kind of secrets could these be? this could be defense information. it could be about our weapons system or technology, the kinds of things that a president might have access to, names of agents who are abroad, underkor. these are very serious things and any normal employee wouldn't be able to even go into a skiff with a cell phone because that's how sensitive these are. apparently he had these in a room at mar-a-lago that wasn't even locked and they had to ask him to put a padlock on it. i think we have to emphasize how serious this is. >> there's a phrase about piece of information from some old
television show, might have been from "seinfeld," when it comes to donald trump, there's nothing in the vault. that's a reason we're concerned when you talk about classified information. "new york times" talks about the context of this, a mike schmidt piece. he said this piece, when a search warrant might be issued on a senior government official, it says it's unusual for senior government officials to be charged in connection with mishandling classified information. there have been high profile exceptions like general petraeus, and sandy berger. in most instances it conducts a spill investigation to determine where the materials are. it's part of that investigation the fbi agents determine whether any sensitive national security information has been revealed so the intelligence community can take countermeasures to protect sources and methods. betsy, is your sense on the basis of what you know and your reporting in this period that this is a spill investigation, or is this distinctly not a
spill investigation? >> i wouldn't be able to speculate about whether this fits into one or the other categories, but there's no question that it's not necessarily a binary, and even if the justice department, one would certainly assume and hope is trying to figure out the extent to which potentially mishandled classified information could have been inadvertently or deliberately shared with people who shouldn't have been able to see it, that wouldn't preclude doj from simultaneously looking at the possibility of law breaking in association with the way that that classified material was handling. it could be one. it could be the other. it could also be all of the above. we've also seen reported in multiple places today is that this particular investigation is not part of the january 6th probe, rather it's a separate undertaking. just in terms of the way that this particular project works, we simply have less visibility because it's smaller and it's more narrowly tailored, at least
based on what's publicly known, than the investigation that thomas wyndham is leading out of doj, which has been asking questions about the former president and bringing some of his former senior white house officials in front of a grand jury for testimony. >> so andrew, i just read that piece and the two citations in there, the petraeus example and the sandy berger example. i couldn't tell you now why it was they got charged when most people don't. can you give any kind of insight into that, what the distinction is in those cases, why they got charged and whether that has any bearing on how we should think about what might happen to trump? >> well, it's hard to know how -- instead of how it will play out in terms of trump. i was actually in the department at the fbi for the petraeus investigation, and that did involve search warrants. it did involve speaking to general petraeus and his denying
having given classified information to a person he was having a relationship with. he was also writing a book about him, which turned out to be false. and he ended up leading to a misdemeanor, i think there probably are people in the department and outside of the department including myself who thought that was a fairly light resolution given the nature of the classified information that had been intentionally given by him. i think it's too early to say whether that will be a precedent that merrick garland looks to because we don't know the nature of the classified information here and the volume of information and also the intentionality, but the one thing that i think we really have to keep our eye on is in order to do this kind of search, i do think that the government has information that they were essentially lied to. and that they were told that
their information had been provided and returned when it wasn't. >> right. >> so i do find that is going to be a potentially aggravating factor if and when the department gets to the decision of whether there should be charges here. >> right. so andrea actually tweeted last night in a clear, concise way, said what's next, presumably trump told the doj he returned everything classified and the search revealed he did not. he would be subject to false statement, criminal charge and theft of government property and other similar crimes. let's talk about the law here. lemire, here's the law in question, u.s. code chapter 101 records and reports, section 2071 concealment, removal or mutilation generally. sub point b, whoever having the custody of any such record, proceeding, map, book, document, paper or other thing, willfully and unfully, false fis or destroys the same shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than three years or
both, and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the united states. is this, you know, john la marry, we talked a lot over the course of the last 24 hours, of all the things trump is facing this is the criminal liability that when he most downgraded. we weren't really focused on this. if you're a republican or a trumpista, don't you get a little chill down your spine when you read that last part of the sentence there. if he gets hit with that charge, can't run again. >> that might be the most terrifying part of all. that's why he was so obsessed flashing back here with his second impeachment trial. he of course was already out of office at that point, but a conviction would have meant he couldn't run again. and that's why he was so nervous throughout that and so relieved that he was acquitted by the republicans in the senate. he faces that here now as well. there's some questions as to
whether that would apply. we did some litigation about this remember during the hillary clinton email matter back in 2015, 2016, and there was a sense that it potentially wouldn't apply. also some legal scholars who know more about this as i do have been quoted saying it's a gray area and that really this is the power about precluding a president, someone from running for president again that's in the constitution, not an act of congress. i think if this were to be applied, we'd have a lot of legal battles over it, but certainly you've hit on a key point here. that's what the trump people think is happening, their public messaging here, he's being targeted because the democrats in the deep state don't want him to run again. of course that's not what's happening. that would be perhaps a pleasant by-product for some on the left, but the department of justice has made clear and they've said it time and again, no one is above the law. this isn't politically motivated. whether you're a former president or a potential presidential candidate, if you break the law, you will pay for
it. that's where the last point here that speculation is really picking up. there are already rumors trump wasn't going to wait until 2023, the traditional mark of a new presidential campaign. he wants to do it this year. he wants to jump out ahead of the midterms, which very few republicans think is a good idea. he's being urged to declare as soon as possible in the next coming days to get ahead of this story. >> we both pine for the day when it was a consensus view of people and goodwill in both parties that someone who was actually convicted of mishandling classified information, that person probably shouldn't never run for president again, definitely should never be president again. we wouldn't have a fight about that. thank you for starting us off. when we come back, a deep, albeit speculative dive into the mind of attorney general merrick garland, a man who has been so cautious and methodical in doing his job, you can't help but wonder what he was thinking when he approved the search of mar-a-lago and what that
portends on other fronts of the department's investigations into donald trump. plus, trump's allies have spent all day today ignoring what the search was really all about, the mishandling of classified documents, but this is the same gang who six years ago wanted hillary clinton tossed in jail for exactly the same offense. the republican hypocrisy hitting new wuterring heights. and later in the show, nicolle wallace, the actual host of the show comes back on, joins us. she'll be here. you want to stick around to see that, hear that, "deadline white house" continues after this. don't go anywhere. replacing thought with worry. but one thing can calm uncertainty. an answer. uncovered through exploration, teamwork, and innovation. an answer that leads to even more answers. mayo clinic. you know where to go.
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no person is above the law in this country. i can't say it any more clearly than that. there is nothing in the principles of prosecution in any other factors, which prevent us from investigating anyone, anyone who is criminally responsible for an attempt to undo a democratic election. >> that was the typically tight-lipped, stoic, circumspect bone dry attorney general merrick garland back in july of 2020 when asked by reporters about the doj investigating the former guy. we're back with our panel. asha, i want to start with you and just ask -- i'm going to ask you and andrew basically the same question. give me your sense of merrick garland. it's kind of a baseline question, right? the larger frame for all of this is not just what this investigation portends, what this investigation is about itself, but what it might
portend on other fronts, and everyone in the legal world and everyone in politics speculates about what merrick garland is thinking, how he views donald trump, how he views this job. let's start with you. what do you think? >> yeah, i think that there are two sides to this. so on the one hand, we have an answer to the question of whether he is willing to investigate donald trump. he clearly is because he's taken the step. i think the other side is he is willing to investigate donald trump, i think, quite reluctantly. if we look at the january 6th investigation by all indications he has sort of dragged his feet to get to a point where he is really starting to look at his role and complicity in the events that transpired that day, which kind of brings me to the bigger picture here is that i really don't think anyone in their right mind would want to go after this unless it was absolutely necessary. i mean, we have seen this movie before. they are going to comb through this entire case from beginning to end, you know, look to see for any kind of missteps, and
everyone knows from the agent on the ground up to merrick garland that they are going to be in the cross hairs. so i think it gets to the importance and the urgency of this particular investigation, what is at stake that they felt that this was absolutely necessary to go into a former president's home to take these documents before they caused any more harm. >> andrew, you worked very closely in this world, and it's obvious that, do you have any doubt this warrant question went all the way up to him? and number two, what's your general take on garland and his appetite for bringing charges on any front against donald trump? >> i think it is highly likely that the attorney general
approved this and got a recommendation from the deputy attorney general lisa monaco and agreed with it. i am in violent agreement with asha, i think that there certainly is criticism that could be brought to bear with respect to the department investigating beyond the january 6th rioters and the history and whether they really did this with alack raty. he has the backbone necessary to do this investigation, and it's going to require not just competence, which he will have to display, but real backbone to be a leader for his team and to whether the kinds of criticisms that will make the criticisms of robert mueller pale in comparison. but i do think he is up for the job. >> betsy, you know, one thing that's been true of merrick
garland from the beginning, he's been focused on trying to repair the damage that the justice department suffered in the trump era, the view that it was no longer independent in the way the justice department normally is, even though it is a political appointee who runs it. he's been trying to fix that, trying to make sure his reputation for independence get restored. knowing what kind of a political firestorm this was going to set off, it must have taken a fair amount to get him to take this step. is that not kind of the obvious conclusion here, it must be serious if merrick garland is going to court this kind of controversy? >> that certainly seems to be the safest bet. with the only addition that sometimes the fbi makes mistakes, sometimes the justice department makes mistakes, sometimes these powerful institutions take steps that don't result in the outcome that
many observers are hoping to see. the fact that this has happened does not guarantee trump could be charged. it doesn't bake in anything. but given what we know about garland it would be pretty stunning if he took the step of green lighting such a politically electric move without having total confidence that the fbi had the goods, without having total confidence that whatever they were looking for yesterday at mar-a-lago was, in fact, going to be there. and remember, garland is sometimes a little prickly even about the independence of the justice department. and only in the last few months or so there was a doj statement that went out essentially pushing back against a comment that president biden made offhandedly where he suggested that the doj needed to be doing more to look at trump. it was a rare, understated but significant reprimand of the
commander in chief from doj, essentially say, this is up to us, we're going to do what we want to do. please no comments from the peanut gallery, even if members of the peanut gallery are leading the free world right now. >> i believe it to be true there has been a lot of frustration in the biden white house over what is seen as the pace of the investigation, what he's been able to glean about what merrick garland is doing. they are like everybody else in washington and elsewhere looking at what garland's kind of -- the no mick kind of careful statements about how he'll prosecute anybody who's violated the law in the january 6th investigation. they look at them and they read the rorschach just like everyone else does. asha, that is the rorschach right? this guy is trying to tell us in the best way he can that he will do whatever is necessary politics be damned. other people say that sounds like a guy who's making excuses
for himself, laying down a predicate for not prosecuting. it feels to me like if he was willing to court this controversy over again, the least of the charges, not to diminish the importance of mishandling classified material, but the least explosive of the charges he's willing to court this kind of explosiveness. he is sending an unmistakable signal whether he means to or not, i really mean it. i don't care what the political consequences are. i have the backbone as andrew put it, to do whatever the law requires and go wherever the facts lead. i just can't help but think a lot of people are going to read it that way. >> yeah, yeah, i really think that it's important to keep this separate from january 6th. like i said, i think that there's a certain straightforwardness to this in terms of being able to justify these measures because of the national security risk. i think it would be hard, you know, if we ever get any indication of what's contained in these documents. apparently they're so sensitive they can't be described.
i think that, you know, it's easier to justify having to take extraordinary measures when the stakes are that high. and you know, there are statutes that are quite straightforward in terms of, you know, unauthorized possession, a willful failure to return them that you may be able to apply. january 6th gets into very, very complicated, you know, conspiracies, what did he know? what did he really believe? and you know, it may raise, actually, other types of defenses that may not be applicable here that garland may not want to litigate and may not want to, you know, take all the way up to the supreme court. so i don't know that one necessarily means something for the other. i do think that as andrew mentioned before and i echo this as well, that he clearly is willing to do it when he believes that he has a case to be made, and i think that's the most important thing at this point. >> andrew, i want to close with one question to you. i've seen you on tv a few times in the last 18 hours, and this may be a question that you kind
of already answered. i want to draw it out because i think it's super important. the trump people basically say this is a politically motivated hit job. there's no legal basis for this. this is harassment. we're taking the power of the state and applying it. trying to keep him from running for president in 2024, et cetera, et cetera. i believe that either you and neal katyal or some combination of the two of you may have made a point about hey, trump people, if you really believe this warrant is defective, there are a few things you could do. and one of them would be go challenge it in court, and the other would be make it public. talk a little bit about why that is, i think a necessary thing to kind of call bs on what they are saying publicly about this warrant. there's a lot of ways for them to resolve it. i don't see them doing any of them yet. >> yeah, so, i mean, the fact that the president decided to go public with it is because he must have decided that there was political hay that he could make out of this because he likes being the victim and, you know, you're seeing that play out, and so, you know, this is one
where -- it's so ironic that he's saying it's the department that was political when he is the one who was actually publicizing this and then making a political point out of it. there are certain things that the president could do to challenge the warrant, but they're quite limited. first, it's really important to remember that all that the president and his lawyers would see is the actual warrant and something called the warrant return. the warrant is just the document that says what the agent's in search for, and it should give a sense of what the crimes are that the government is investigating. and the warrant return is simply a list of everything that was obtained. this is probably -- asha probably knows this better than i do, because this is the kind of thing she fills out all the time. what donald trump does not have and is unlikely to get soon is the actual underlying affidavit from the fbi agent setting out
the probable cause. that is something that typically would not be given over to someone unless and until they are charged, and then they have a right to it because they can move to suppress. but having said that, we've seen john eastman even without that kind of underlying affidavit make motions to try and suppress the warrant that was obtained for his phone. those motions have not been successful, but there is a way to go to court to make those kinds of applications if they thought that this was defective legally, and the fact that they haven't, to me, is very similar to his many, many lawsuits that he brought to claim that the election was fraudulent, all of which he lost. so, you know, i think the fact that he's not gone to court is because he might be afraid to get the answer from a court, which is that everything here
was done by the book. >> yeah, i think he might -- he probably at this point is paying his own legal bills too. god knows the man does not want to go to court and waste money on a losing cause. betsy woodruff swan, andrew weissman and asha rangoppa, thank you for spending some time with us. the party of law and order basically saying the next president, he's above the law. the republicans coming to the defense of donald trump and vowing to investigate the fbi and worse. more on all of this after a quick break. store your things until you're ready. then we deliver to your new home - across town or across the country. pods, your personal moving and storage team. ♪ so i climbed into the cab, and then i settled down inside ♪ ♪ i've been everywhere, man ♪ ♪ i've been everywhere, man ♪ ♪ of travel i've had my share, man ♪ ♪ i've been everywhere ♪ ♪♪
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. i think she should be in jail for what she did with her emails, okay? she should be in jail. >> hillary clinton is disqualified from being the commander in chief. >> for others the consequences of misusing classified information have been swift and serious. but not for hillary clinton. >> what i can tell you is this, had you done it or had i done it, i'd be off the intelligence committee. my classification would have been removed. >> instead of being held accountable, hillary is running for president. >> but the hypocrisy. oh, my god, in the hours after the ex-president announced that the fbi's search of his mar-a-lago home, the but her emails return, an unprecedented move taken against an
unprecedentedly corrupt former president. it must be political. house minority leader kevin mccarthy saying i've seen now have and vowing to conduct immediate oversight of the justice department if the republicans win back control of the house. warning, attorney general merrick garland to get your documents and clear your calendar. saying it's the democrats who have flouted the law and abused power. senator ted cruz, my favorite senator calling it, quote, unprecedented, corrupt, and an abuse of power. but hey, back in 2016, that was ted cruz tweeting elected officials no matter how high their position should be held accountable for criminal conduct. the rule of law matters. ted, sing it. joining us now two friends, both from the bulwark, charlie sykes, the editor at large there and tim miller, writer at large for the site. tim, also the author of a new book, and i don't want to say it's just a new book, a great,
fantastic new book that's also a "new york times" best seller. both msnbc contributors. charlie, i got to start with you. you have seniority over tim, at least as far as i know. it's just, you know, it's like i mean, there's a lot of things that illustrate republican hypocrisy, but i don't know that there's been a better kind of like scientific experiment of how hypocritical the republican party is and how totally free of commitment, and principle, if you look back at what they said in 2016 and what they're saying right now. >> well, that was then and this is now, and we've seen this reversal on a lot of things, but you're right. it is so dramatically stark, and we could add to that the complaint about weaponizing law enforcement from a guy who used to lead chants of lock her up, conservatives spent much of the last year, people on the right talking about jailing dr. fauci.
you have candidates running for governor talking about jailing people who were involved in the election and they are deeply, deeply offended now that there might be some accountability for donald trump. and not to mention the fact, remember what they said about defunding the police? that was then. now they are all into defunding the fbi and that was like an overnight switch. but what's really extraordinary is this sort of projection that here you have a president who has, you know, who has shown a willingness to try to abuse the department of justice, to attack his political opponents, and now they're saying, look, they're coming after us and this will give us the excuse to come after our political opponent. but what really struck me, and i have to admit i was -- i shouldn't have been taken by surprise since i've read tim's book about all of this, but the way the elected republicans just completely lined up last night, basically accepting the notion
that donald trump should be above the law and so think about this, the republican party is not just into backing trump. they are into covering up trump's crimes, obstructing any informations into donald trump. intimidating prosecutors who might go after donald trump, and now pledging retaliation against anyone that investigates donald trump. so yeah, this is a hell of a transformation of the party of law and order. >> tim just said that was then and this is now. yes, that's absolutely right. the difference between then and now, you know, deserves some scrutiny, and you're famous for doing it. i got to do this a little bit. i could do it all day. sarah huckabee sanders, let's put up that november 23rd tweet. here it is, when you're attacking fbi agents because you're under criminal investigation, you're losing. sarah huckabee sanders last night, if you're not yet appalled by the total abuse of power from democrats in
washington, you're not paying attention. and here's mccarthy from 2016. today's decision once again demonstrates secretary clinton's fundamental lack of judgment. now he's going after garland. i could do this all day. i'm going to let you do it some of this day. it's just like -- charlie says he was taken aback. you're not surprised by any of this, are you? >> no, i'm not surprised but i was on your podcast last weekend. it was you that was saying that you were concerned that an increasing prosecution might lead to a dangerous response, right, and kind of an overwhelming surge to donald trump's defense. and so i'm not surprised that that had happened, but i think that worse than the hypocrisy really is the incitement that we're getting from republican elected officials. you didn't show my old friend marco rubio up there talking about how this is a third world government now, marxism, people
calling for war. there was a state rep in florida, sabitini saying fbi agents should be arrested, calling for nullification. the rhetoric has been notched up to 11 on this by even the more mainstream republicans without even knowing what was in the court-issued warrant. we don't even have the details yet, and these guys are all stoking civil war-esque rhetoric. it's not surprising that these cowardly republicans who have submitted themselves to trump at every step along the way did it again. i have to say it's a little noteworthy just how radical the rhetoric is, you know, even from the mccarthys and rubios of the world and i think at a time where, you know, they're making really the same mistakes that they were making in the lead up to january 6th. you know, there was no political harm or no harm to the body
politic to just run cover for donald trump and his lies and criminality, and that's what they did between the election on january 6th thinking they were going to be rid of him, ask they're all doing the same thing again. i'm concerned it's going to lead to a similarly dangerous outcome. >> i want to talk more about this, and i will say just to clarify one thing, tim, when we talked about this on the podcast, my point was not that i thought that this should stop there from being prosecutions. >> right. >> i was not arguing against them. what i was just saying was that i was concerned and am concerned that if there are prosecutions of donald trump, that there will be a rallying around donald trump and it could be very dangerous and i think we're seeing evidence of that right now. charlie and tim, stay with us, more on today's gop proving they are not the party of pro-police or pro-freedom or pro-life or pro anything other than putting donald trump above the law.
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the brazen hypocrisy of republicans crying foul over the fbi search of the ex-president's florida home isn't just isolated to that 2016 "lock her up" crowd. here's congresswoman lauren boebert, accused of helping incite violence on january 6th, now pushing for a select committee to investigate the fbi, saying it "cannot wait." oh, and here's a really special one. another 2020 election denier, marjorie taylor greene, this is crazy as one of those rats who lives in those houses we can't talk about. she's calling for action to
defund the fbi because "we must protect election integrity." we're back with charlie and tim, and charlie, i know you think, because you wrote this in your bulwark piece. i'll read this about the establishment versus the nut -- we did the nut jobs, but you're focused on the establishment. here's the bulwark piece. while it was predictable that the maga-verse would erupt in incandescent spittle-flecked fury, the reaction of the anti-anti-trumpers is more telling and perhaps decisive for our deplorable political future. trump has spent years sowing distrust of federal law enforcement and the deep state and last night we saw how deeply his campaign of subversion has penetrated into the gop ranks. so, this raises a question, right? you can be worried about the fact that this has inflamed the clenched fist and camouflage crowd, or you can be worried about the fact that it's normalized a bunch of really terrible things among what used to be thought of as the
reasonable gop establishment. look, i think it's a choose your poison thing. they're both terrible. but i would love to hear your view about which worries you more. >> well, i think back to tim's point, you have a conjunction of the stars right now where they work together. they are not separate phenomena. the potential for real violence has -- is rising, and it has been rising since january 6th. it's not simply theoretical that we might have acts of political violence. that's already occurred. and tim made the point, you have republicans who continue to stoke the same lies, the same politics of paranoia that led to that violence, that create a permission structure for the real nutjobs out there, and then in turn, are afraid to push the back against their on base because there's so much anger. so, it becomes this doom loop where, as the anger grows in the base, it's -- it is appeased by
elected officials like the ones you have cited who, in turn, then, give a green light to it, so i think that this is a very ominous development. it's ominous on a political level. the willingness of the republican party to continue to abase themselves to donald trump, even if he is, you know, found to have committed criminal acts. so much for the rule of law. but also, the way that this filters back down to, say, to say to some of these groups that their anger is legitimate, because look, every single republican in america is echoing some of these talking points, and so i think it is a uniquely dangerous moment. >> tim, charlie just used the phrase, doom loop, which is a very tim miller-esque phrase. in your next book, you should borrow from charlie the phrase, incandescent spittle-flecked fury. sounds like hunter thompson
there. here's my question for you, pal. the house judiciary put out a tweet last night. this is what it says. "this is what happens in third world countries, not the united states. doesn't the fbi have better things to do than harass the former president?" okay. so, that's basically the shape of things to come if republicans take control of the house of representatives. we heard kevin mccarthy. they're telegraphing what they're going to do. we already knew they were going to go after hunter biden, et cetera. is there any way that democrats can take these positions that republicans are taking in the wake of this and use them politically to illustrate the costs of a republican house and the extremism that they would practice? >> i think maybe. just for starters, who knows whether this is a good message politically, but just on the facts, keeping whoever is behind the house judiciary twitter feed from having subpoena power seems as good a reason as any to vote for democrats in the midterms. but the democrats saying, we're
trying to help solve problems that matter in your lives, and all these guys want to do is relitigate the 2020 election, is a message that can work, and i think that on the merits here, it's one thing, also, worth mentioning on the merits, we're mocking all these republicans, but just on the facts, like, this -- the idea that this is a politicized doj or some politicized action is just absurd. this is the same, you know, we had the -- we remember what happened with the fbi ahead of the 2016 election, and if that deep state was trying to help hillary clinton, it was the most incompetent deep state in history based on the james comey letter that happened 11 days before the election. this same doj, merrick garland's doj, is investigating hunter biden, not hunter thompson. so, we don't have to wait for the house judiciary. the legal functions are already working on that. so, this notion that it's some politicized doj, it's fabricated in the minds of these same republicans that passed on conspiracies of the 2020 election and covid and on and on. and so i think that's where you
get back to the democrats and just say, these guys are so far outside of the mainstream, and this connects to abortion and all the other issues where they're trying to advance far-right conspiracy-minded program. >> all right. and i will say, look, if the doj was trying to help joe biden, stepping on his great victory lap yesterday was not the way to do it. charlie sykes and tim miller, thank you very much. it is not hyperbole to say that this fbi search of donald trump's florida residence is what joe biden would call a big f'ing deal, such a big f'ing deal that we have brought nicole wallace out of retirement, she's not retired, out of her vacation mode. she's going to join us after this break. mode she's going to join us after this break we've been coming here, since 1868. there's a lot of cushy desk jobs out there, but this is my happy place. there are millions of ways to make the most of your land. learn more at deere.com
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criminally responsible for attempting to interfere with the transfer of -- legitimate, lawful transfer of power from one administration to the next. >> aloha and namaste, everyone, it's now 5:00 p.m. here in gotham city. i'm john heilemann, in for nicole wallace, although she'll be with us very soon. think of this whole thing as a collision between an unstoppable force and an immovable object. on the one hand, attorney general merrick garland and the department of justice, as you just heard, doggedly committed to upholding the rule of law, no matter what, to holding accountable those who would undermine our democracy from the events on january 6th to a number of other apparent crimes, including, apparently, maybe, likely, the mishandling of classified documents. on the other, a twice-impeached, disgraced, coup-attempting, loud-talking former president of the united states with a proven track record of being, and we're really generous, we call it legally questionable activity. something like what happened at
mar-a-lago last night always seemed like a possibility, but don't let that detract from the truly historic nature of what we're now seeing play out right in front of us, something we might very well end up telling our descendents about. never before in american history has the fbi searched the home of a former commander in chief. for that reason, the department of justice has a very high bar to clear. the burden will be on the government, not only to explain what it was looking for with this search but why search was required, why they couldn't get it some other way, either through cooperation or a subpoena. already, republicans are circling the wagons around trump, calling the search politically motivated and, worse, house minority leader kevin mccarthy has vowed, already, to investigate the fbi should the gop retake control of the lower chamber in november. that general outcry from republicans was more or less predictable, although the volume of it has been kind of intense, insane. any action taken against donald trump was always going to ignite a political fire storm. we know that. but that is the point. doj leaders must also have known
that, and they decided to go through with it anyway. there is still so much to learn, but whatever happens next, these really are, actually, uncharted waters. and in order to help navigate them, joining us now, on the phone, the actual host of this actual program, "deadline white house," my friend, nicole wallace. nicole, hi. >> hi. you are so good. you are so good to be there. thank you so much. you're the best person to be there. >> well, it's always a pleasure to do it for you. i always feel very, like i barely kind of holding it together, given the example of competence and focus that you set. i saw you last night when you dialed in to rachel's show, and i immediately just said, you know what? there's no doubt that we got to get her on the show today to talk about this. so, i heard what you had to say last night. it's a little less than 24 hours later, but i know you have had a chance to reflect on the big, macro-picture here. where do we start, in your mind, in terms of, like, how we look
at this and what the significance of it is today and what the significance might be tomorrow? >> well, so, i think there's two buckets, and you have covered it expertly, as did rachel last night, but there's the -- should we start with the classified stuff? i mean, trump was breaking the law, and because he had such a wide, you know, swath of authority to declassify things, let's just say, threatening national security when it came to classified material, that the earliest point we knew he was doing that was when he had sergey lavrov in the oval, and i think hr mcmaster ran, didn't walk, to the driveway to brief the press about how, when he shared classified stuff, he hadn't endangered national security or sources and methods within minutes of that meeting. it was the first time we really knew how much his own national security advisors worried when trump was in possession of classified information. so, the history of his
mishandling classified material dates back to the earliest days of his presidency, and most of the way we know that he did that was from nonreadouts of meetings with people like vladimir putin, when he went into meetings. so, the mishandling of classified information has gone on for so long, i have so many questions about what it -- and you know, chuck rosenberg explained to me last night that it can't be something he did 18 months ago. the search warrant went before a judge with current concerns, recent criminal activity for which there is probable cause to justify yesterday's search. so, you know, i have a million questions about what it is, and what he was doing with it that represented a threat to national security. was he using it to figure out where to build a new tower? was he selling it? was jared using it to raise a billion dollars from foreign leaders? i mean, what is it, and what was he doing with it? that's sort of one bucket of burning questions i have today. >> yeah, i mean, just hold on to that for a second, because you know, before we even get to the larger question, some of the
things we were talking about the last hour about merrick garland and what this might portend about the future, you're right to pause on this. it's obviously a very serious crime, potentially, if there's a crime involved, and even though it was not the main crime that a lot of us have been thinking about for the last set of weeks, but you know, you do kind of ask, like, you know, one of the things we've been talking about is, you know, the judge -- there's a judge who had to approve this warrant. we now all think this went up very high at the doj and merrick garland had to sign off on it, and everybody says, the judge, he's got to look at whether there's probable cause, a crime has been committed, et cetera, but you can't -- nicole, you and i live in the real world. there's no way in which everybody involved in this decision was not bringing to it just the standards, the scrupulous standards of the law, all of them understood, at every stage of this, that this thing was going to be a big, giant explosion in our politician, and i can't help but think that that didn't change -- that changed
their calculus, but it makes it more significant to know that everyone who made the decision, from the judge to merrick garland, if he ultimately personally ruled on this, anybody in the doj who suggested this, everybody at the fbi, all had that in their mind, and that just, to me, speaks to both the seriousness of the crime and to the larger potential implications of what this whole thing could mean. >> yeah. i think that's right. the other thing that i think is -- you talk to doj and fbi informers, and they say, this is decided narrowly on whatever the facts of this issue with classified documents is. okay. and we live in a world where federal judge also said donald trump and john eastman likely committed felonies. you can't unknow all the questions about criminal conduct in the other crown jewel of our democracy, which is the transition of power, that it be peaceful, that the electoral count is not something all of us google and know what it is. both things can be true. he can be under criminal scrutiny and the search yesterday could pertain to a
very narrow question of what classified materials are in his possession and what the hell he's doing with them, and why they had to take his safe as well, okay? but it is also true that we have spent 18 months learning about, as a country, his role in a criminal conspiracy to overturn the government he ostensibly led on january 6th, 2021. so, i think both things are true, and we're not in the room, but i've been in those rooms. frankly, when you're in a white house, you have nothing to do with criminal investigations at the highest levels, but no one that you have had on, you know, has suggested that merrick garland, lisa monaco, wouldn't have been involved in green lighting this decision to go in and search mar-a-lago. >> so, that -- i mean, that leads to the big question, it seems to me, and i know you and i had a mind meld about this, because as i thought about this, when it broke last night, my first question was, like, look, again, no one wants to minimize the importance of the potential crime here of mishandling classified information. could be a very serious thing, and we've read the law, what the
law stipulates. if donald trump were convicted of it, he would not be able to run for president again. that's a big deal, in addition to the other potential consequences. but really, what everyone right now in our political culture and around the country is wondering is, what happens now about january 6th? and that makes everybody very much and rightly focused on merrick garland, who has been delphic, saying the things you expect him to say, but everyone's looking for a tell. does this guy have, i'll say the way someone would say it, does this guy have the stones? does this guy have the guts, the appetite for taking on a big fight that's going to be incredibly political, incredibly polarizing, and many democrats are afraid he doesn't. up until yesterday, many democrats, they said, oh no, he's -- this is a guy, if you listen to his words, he's telling you, and the only way he can, he's ready for this fight. i mean, he just only cares about the law, and if there's been a law broken, he'll go after donald trump, doesn't matter what.
i felt like last night -- i don't mean that garland is trying to send a signal, and i also don't mean that i think garland is telling us he's going to prosecute, indict trump on the january 6th charges, but i think he is telling us that he doesn't care about the firestorm. he doesn't care about what kind of political controversy he's going to unleash. if he's going to do it on this case, given what we've seen, it sort of to me indicates this is a guy who is implicitly saying, i'm -- i really am going to decide this on the law. if there's a case to be made against donald trump, i'm doing it. >> yeah. and i mean, look, i think merrick garland would rather give birth to a unicorn than investigate and prosecute donald j. trump, but i think that what we learned about merrick garland is that all of the -- merrick garland doesn't send signs. merrick garland isn't trying to tell us that he does or does not have the backbone to do anything. i think he really -- i think he cares about the sanctity of the department and to the degree that there are questions about how the department comes down on the rule of law, that may be
something that bothers him and weighs on him, and that may have inspired some of his more impassioned declarations about pursuing crimes around january 6th. but what we do know is that crimes were investigated around classified material, mishandled by donald trump. i mean, we know what they are, right? the 15 boxes of stuff he took. there's -- we know from the archives, the kinds of things that are missing. and we know that whoever was working that case, maybe that came out of the national security division and not the criminal division, which appears to be running the january 6th division, when those people running that case made their request or said, we're going to go before a judge to get a search warrant to search mar-a-lago, to get this classified material back because it is this important. we don't know what that sentence sounds like. it is this important because x. merrick garland said, yes. so, we know that the case was ripe enough to make its way to lisa monica and merrick garland
and involve classified information and by extension, involved american national security, merrick garland said, i don't care where they are, go get them. i think that what we learned -- and again, i really don't think merrick garland is trying to send anyone a signal, not donald trump, not you and not me, but what we do know is where there are crimes, merrick garland didn't draw a line around mar-a-lago and say, this is too precious, this is too sacred. he said go, get it. >> or that this will cause too much of a kerfuffle. i think there are times, often the most powerful signals, the most powerful tells are ones that you're not trying to send. they're the things that the careful eye sees the tell, and says, now i know something about that guy. he didn't mean to tell me that but i know something about him. here's tim o'brien. i'll ask you a couple questions and let you get back to your investigation. tim says, trump's search should be garland's opening act. i'm going to read this to you. "garland appears to be convinced that trump and a collection of
his advisors committed crimes so that's no longer a debating point. what matters now is whether garland has the resolve to place all that damning evidence before a jury and whether that jury could be convinced that trump broke the law. those are strategic issues garland must consider, just as he must weigh the political consequences of taking trump to court. in the end, though, garland's primary responsibilities aren't gauging what kind of jury pool he'll encounter or how it will ripple across magaland. garland's core duty is to charge trump for the crimes he committed and let the judicial process run its course." i agree with that. i know you agree with that. sitting here today, are you more confident that garland -- that this is right and that garland sees the world this way? are you more confident than you were yesterday, the same level of confidence? or i don't think it will be less confident, so it's one of the two. >> i mean, look, i think that the band-aid's been ripped off, and we can see the wound now, and i think what's more interesting there is that garland has a better visibility
into trump's criminal exposure than we do, and we don't know if the people working the cases surrounding january 6th have gone as far as the people working the cases surrounding classified material. i mean guessing they probably have not. but what it says to me is that for garland and monaco -- and monaco's probably more involved in the day-to-day sort of visibility into these cases than garland is -- but he certainly is, to use a bush word, a decider. and i think that what it tells us is that what he's going to have to defend in terms of the history of the department of justice in this country is that if classified information was serious enough to search mar-a-lago, and to take from mar-a-lago donald j. trump's safe, isn't democracy and crimes committed against democracy just as sacred? i mean, i totally agree, having worked in the white house, about classified information. but i also think that crimes -- and again, this is not me saying this, not you saying this, this is a federal judge saying felonies were likely committed
by donald trump and john eastman. so i think what it says is when crimes have been committed, we now have a bar that we know national security crimes, crimes involving classified information, will be pursued, even if they include searching mar-a-lago for donald trump stuff. now, i haven't -- i had an unexpected family emergency last week. i'm away this week, so i'm getting peeks into the republican lunacy and their asinine response. i'm horrified. i thought that someone like steven ayere, testifying about how he was duped by sean hannity and laura ingraham and tucker carlson and all these morons parroting things they knew were lies, and we saw what they were texting the chief of staff. if they parrot lies about doj, which is pursuing an incredibly aggressive investigation into hunter biden, more aggressive than anything bill barr did, they will be peddling more lies, the kinds of lies that ruined
steven ayers' life, but i think it's instructive and to watch the base call for protest or chaos or disrespect for the fbi is a new horror, and a new low for the right, which is so far down on the low road, they can't see the sky anymore. and i think their reaction the last 24 hours has been disgusting. >> well, i agree with you, and i guess i will just, very quick question here for you. one of the things that we saw -- we've seen over the last months has been that there's not been a civil war in the republican party, but there's been some fractures between the trump dead-enders in the party and some who have kind of been like, we still like donald trump, but you know, he's got a lot of baggage. i'm talking about voters now. he's got baggage, give him a gold watch and go on and get somebody new in there. and the -- you know, thank you
very much. thank you for your service, sir. but i guess i wonder whether you think what we've seen in the last -- in these hours since the -- since trump announced that this raid took place or not the raid. i won't say that. the search took place at mar-a-lago, the way they've rallied to him. do you think this is a -- in a perverse way, the kind of thing, that those hairline fractures that might have split in your former party, maybe what this will do, perversely, is hurt trump legally but help him politically in some ways? within the party. >> well, i mean, i hate -- look, i hate political chess, because voters play, you know, what -- voters don't play 3d chess. what they feel and what they're experiencing in their lives is how they vote, and so when republicans or democrats play 3d chess, i don't like messing in the democratic -- you know, i don't like any of the manufacturing of our politics. but i will say this. if it does cause them to rally
around trump because his criminality is so concerning around national security that they had to go search his house for the documents in question, bring it on. i mean, if that's their guy, if their guy is such a threat to u.s. national security that the fbi had to apply for a warrant and go search it, and they want him to be their standard bearer, right at the point where they're about to flush the toilet of him as we learn more and more about how he flushed documents down his toilet, go ahead. democrats should say, you want to investigate why doj had to go investigate mar-a-lago? make that bipartisan. we want to know too. i think it's time for democrats to say, if you want this guy, you can have him. you want oversight over the government, that's a good idea. we have too many americans who don't trust politicians and the government. we'll help you in that. but don't turn it into a circus. and i think if anyone is aware of the kind of b.s. games that republicans are playing, it is the very sort of slow-moving and methodical leaders of this justice department. lisa monica, i think, may have
had the most bipartisan confirmation out of any cabinet appointee that president biden put up, so the idea that republicans are going to play gotcha with whatever went on behind closed doors that led to a judge being asked to approve a search warrant for mar-a-lago, i'm certain, as you said at the end of the last hour, will be a headline that benefits the rule of law, not donald trump and the republicans. >> nicole wallace, they told me, when they said i was coming to fill in, they said you would be unreachable, so far away, like the arctic circle or something, no way we could ever -- you can never find her. she's in the seventh circle of whatever. and it turns out, very clear phone line. if you are in the arctic circle, very clear phone line. we're so grateful, and i know your audience is too. >> i want to thank you. i love all the love for you. i'm so thankful to you for doing both hours and so thankful to
alicia and michael steele. the show is my other baby, but this week and next are about my real baby and my family. so, thank you for letting me have that time. >> i promise not to give any bourbon to your baby. go back to your vacation. thank you endlessly for spending so much time with us. when we come back, we'll waste no time, just like they're not wasting time. republicans are already using the mar-a-lago fbi search to raise money. more on that with our panel in a moment. plus, immediately after the news broke last night, pro-trump online forums were flooded with rage and calls for taking up arms, some even agitating for a new civil war. a closer look at the chilling online reaction, what took place yesterday, and how the fbi search is playing into today's primaries. we're on the ground in wisconsin as voters in that crucial battleground state are heading to the polls. "deadline white house" continues after a quick break. don't go anywhere. k break. don't go anywhere.
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man, it was great to see nicole wallace there or hear nicole wallace there, gave us a lot to think about. if she hadn't been on vacation, i would let her take over the show remote, but there's a lot to talk about, a lot of things she said that are worth drilling down into and so many questions to get to, so we're going to bring in our first panel of the 5:00 hour, katie bauer, frankie figs, frank figliuzzi, former fbi assistant director for u.s. intelligence and maya wiley, now
the president for leadership council on civil and human rights. katie, i want to start with you. we don't know what we don't know, and the public is eager to know more. do you have any sense of when the public might know more? >> so, i think that the public will know soonest when the trump team decides that they want to disclose the information that was given to them in the warrant, which they do have a copy of, and in the list of items that the justice department took from mar-a-lago, which they also have a copy of, so we hear republicans come out and say, we need to know from the justice department what is going on, it is actually donald trump who can help them. he does have all the information. for the justice department's part, i think that it will remain silent. it's going to hew to the playbook that is basically the, you know, standard by which the justice department has traditionally conducted itself, which it does not speak about ongoing investigations. >> so, frank, i want to go back to the doj with you, because again, you're another one of these people who i've seen on tv
saying really smart things all the time, which is why i wanted to have you on the show. nicole and i were talking about the garland perplex, what to make of him and there's been a lot of confusion, tea leaf reading and a lot of speculation about his mindset up until yesterday, and i'm curious about the two-part question, one, do you agree with the consensus that he would have signed off on the decision to do this search? number one. and number two, given all of your background at the fbi, and as a student of merrick garland at this point, what do you take away from this action about what it says about the way that garland is thinking about the issue broadly if he's thinking about it broadly, of the prospect of indicting donald trump for pretty much anything? >> you know, john, so, first, the quick answer to your first question, almost certainly, merrick garland would have signed off on this, not because he needs to sign off on search warrants, but because of the
magnitude and gravity of this, and at the very least, he would have said, verbally, yes, let's go or initialled something upon recommendation from his staff. so, that's for sure. similarly, at fbi headquarters, again, does the director need to sign off on a search warrant in florida? no. would he have absolutely had briefings with his staff, with his lawyers, with his counsel? i've got to tell you, i feel for the case agents on this who are, you know, the career agents working this, because they can probably do their case briefing in their sleep right now. they have briefed this probably a dozen times at various levels to various people in order to get the authorizations on this. so, yeah. absolutely. now, merrick garland's been telling us for a long time who he is. we just haven't been listening or we have been trying to overthink this. he said, i'm driven by facts and law. right? nobody's above the law. we're going to go where the facts and the law take us.
lester holt asked him, what if trump runs again? yeah, like i said, facts and law in our own timing, right? and that's what he's doing. that's what he's doing. and i think he's letting the career people say, you know, we can't make this happen. we're done talking. it's been a year and a half, a year and a half of trying to get documents, and they don't have them, apparently. this is not -- i want to emphasize, and i'm probably the 20th analyst who's said this, but i'm going to say it again. this isn't about the 15 boxes they got and going, you know, maybe that was a crime, maybe we should figure this out. no, no, no, no. as many have said, you've got to show that your information is fresh. when you go to that magistrate and you say, i want to search that place because not only has a crime occurred but there's stuff in there showing us the crime occurred, and it's still there, at least we think it is, and yeah, that's what the magistrate's going to say. i need to know it's still there. you got sources, methods, somebody telling you it's there?
yes. so, that's what this is about, and all the far-right can scream and holler, but you know what they're not doing? they're not telling their viewers, their listeners how the law works and how a magistrate's involved and how many layers of approval need to happen here. and what the law is. and you know what else we're not hearing from trump and his camp is, hey, i had no classified documents at mar-a-lago. i had nothing here. we're not hearing that. that's important. >> maya, i actually pick up on that just because one of the things that kind of came through in one of the earlier discussions with andrew weissmann was this notion that you would normally do one of two things. you'd either get these documents through a negotiation or you'd subpoena the documents, so in order to go and ask for the -- for a search warrant, you have to be convinced that the subpoena, if issued, would not be complied with, and it raises all kinds of questions, given that trump and the trump people have behaved the way they have behaved. one of them is, does one think
that there's a kind of common sense fear on the part at this point, this late stage, as frank just said, it's been going on for a long time, that the fbi and doj are like, if we don't go down there and do this search and get these documents we want, they're going to end up down a toilet or on fire in a fireplace? >> or in donald trump's mouth. i mean, just to say that we've already got a series of reporting from people who said, this is his behavior when he was in the white house. why would we not believe that it's also his behavior after the white house? to frank's point, look, 15 boxes, absolutely right, it's not about the 15 boxes. but if the national archives got 15 boxes out of mar-a-lago and didn't get it all, i mean, that's, in and of itself, pretty astounding. the supreme court has actually said that donald trump does not have any executive privilege. we heard -- i can't remember if
it was kash patel or someone else who said, oh, he just forgot that he should declassify all these things he wanted. so, we have this long pattern of behavior, which, at best, shows that he has been willing to do something no other president has done that we know of and that is, as you and nicole were discussing, wasn't sure what we were going to talk about since you all went so deep and so well, but it does go to the very central nature of national security, and as frank said, it does have to be fresh. but we also have to say, look, you know, it's not like he hasn't been forced to give over documents already, so the fact is, they should not trust or believe he will give over more because there are more, and there shouldn't be, if he's doing what he's supposed to do. >> katie, i asked the question to somebody before about, you know, we're trying to parse through all this, like, what does this say about garland?
here's a factual question that isn't speculative. the white house has, in fact, been frustrated with merrick garland, about the pace of the investigation on the 1/6 matters. they have been, all the way up to, according to some reports, all the way up to joe biden. frustration has been ample. suppressed, largely, but ample. what is the biden white house taking away from what they saw yesterday? >> you know, i think there are two competing takeaways. one is, it's hard to be upset with merrick garland right now for not doing enough about trying to hold the former president accountable for some of his actions. but at the same time, this comes at a time it blindsided the white house. it is, you know, standard practice for the justice department not to give the white house heads-up on something like this. they would want to act within the letter of the law, within their own policies to show this was not a political act. but at the same time, it really came at a time when the white house felt that it was firing on all cylinders, it had public opinion starting to swing
upward, it had attention being paid to president biden's own policies and the moves he was making, the deals that were being cut in congress, and now all that has been swept away. people are only paying attention right now to the words coming out of the mouths of donald trump and his allies about whether or not the justice department has acted improperly. we saw this again with the mueller investigation earlier, where you have prosecutors who are silent because that is what they should be doing. they should be keeping silent. and trump and his allies filling that silence with their own rhetoric, their own narrative, which then forces everybody else to respond. so, all of that momentum that biden was gaining has, for now, been put on pause in order to address the fact that the big story is not the current president but the former president. >> maya, i know you got to go, so i want to get one question to you and bring back frank. the political element of this with donald trump. there's a "new york times" thing that makes the point, this
headline, the former president said the mar-a-lago search was unannounced. that's what this piece in the "times" says. mr. trump made clear in a statement that he sees potential political value in the search, something some of his advisors echoed, depending on what any investigation produces. his political team began sending fund-raising solicitations about the search late on monday evening. political value in an fbi raid, you know, and he said the search is unannounced. we now know that's shock, horror, donald trump lying about something. but tell me what we should take away from his behavior just in having decided to announce this on his own and in trying to milk this thing in the way he clearly is. >> oh, well, he is using what he can to call out his ground troops, and that's what we're seeing, and it's dangerous for democracy. but it's good for donald trump. so, he's seeing his opportunity to control the narrative, to say, i'm the victim, to reinforce these deep-state type
of conspiracies but also suggest, frankly and indirectly, that he's above the law, and you know, i think the opportunity here, if i was sitting on the other side of this fence, would be to say -- to utilize this to say, we didn't know, but guess what? we're delivering for the american people. what are you hearing from republicans about what they're going to deliver to the american people? the only thing you're hearing is the fact that there's going to be retribution for doing the people's business in accordance with the law. it is absolutely an opportunity to put another foot forward, but what it says about donald trump is what we've always known about him, which is all about him and doesn't have anything to do with anybody else or with the rule of law or the protection of democracy or our national security. and that's what we should take from his messaging. >> maya wiley, you got "maus" behind you. that's a good book to have on your bookshelf behind you. katie benner, thank you for spending a little time with us. frank, you're sticking around. after the break, talks of
violence and civil war erupting on far-right online channels to levels that our colleague, ben collins, says he hasn't seen since the lead-up to january 6th and maybe really ever. he joins us next. d maybe really. he joins us next the unknown is not empty. it's a storm that crashes, and consumes, replacing thought with worry. but one thing can calm uncertainty. an answer. uncovered through exploration, teamwork, and innovation. an answer that leads to even more answers. mayo clinic. you know where to go. only at vanguard you're more than just an investor you're an owner. that means that your priorities are ours too. our interactive tools and advice can help you build a future for the ones you love. that's the value of ownership.
no real jobs are created here. but the promise between our state and our sovereign tribes would be broken forever. these out-of-state corporations don't care about california. but we do. stand with us. non-gaming tribes have been left in the dust. wealthy tribes with big casinos make billions, while small tribes struggle in poverty. prop 27 is a game changer. 27 taxes and regulates online sports betting to fund permanent solution to homelessness. while helping every tribe in california. so who's attacking prop 27? wealthy casino tribes who want all the money for themselves support small tribes, address homelessness. vote yes on 27. as news broke yesterday about the fbi's search of mar-a-lago, donald trump's supporters took to forums online and said a bunch of very
alarming things, evoking similar memories of how those forums looked in the lead-up to january 6th. according to new reporting from nbc news's ben collins, some were calling for violence and even civil war. from ben's reporting, "users on pro-trump forums like the donald, a reddit-like website, urged immediate violence, asking questions like, when does the shooting start? and calling upon trump to someone militias." the most popular comment responding to the news, upvoted over 1,200 times, was simply the words, "lock and load." let's bring in nbc news senior reporter covering this information, ben collins and franky figs is back with us. ben, i started seeing you talk about this last night, and i have to say, your reporting is always awesome in this area, but you had this look, and you've had it for the entire time, a look of alarm, a look to be unnerved by what you're seeing that i haven't seen on your face
for a good many months. talk about what your reporting is showing. >> yeah, so, i think the reason the alarm is there is because it's the same guys as last time. and i'm not saying that abstractly. i'm saying that literally. the post under the post that said, "lock and load," the most popular post under that, was a guy talking about the civil war and that guy's name was tyler, a 40-year-old man who stormed the capitol and is awaiting sentencing for storming the capitol. only we knew his user name, but it matches up. he also admitted it afterwards. and the reason he talked about the civil war, he said, i'm awaiting sentencing for trespassing into the capitol. i'm only being careful with my words. he wanted to talk more specifically about violence but he couldn't do it because he thought saying the words, civil war, would allow him to skate on his plea deal. so, the reason i'm worried is because these people are very ready to go. they're ready to roll. they want a fight, and they have been talking for years about,
you know, when do we get to start using these weapons we bought? that's the worry. they've been waiting for an inciting event, and having their guy taken down by the feds, if that happens in the future, to them, that suffices. >> you know, the other thing you write about, and i'll read a little bit of this, is about the notion of the rhetoric on the -- in these crazy far-right forums moving into the mainstream, and you say, more mainstream pro-trump influencers, including podcasters with millions of followers on tiktok and reddit. "tomorrow is war," steven crowder, who has 1 million followers on twitter, said in a tweet, "sleep well." i don't think i may ever sleep again. how about -- that's another whole problem, right, the mainstreaming of this, and there's the fact that so much of it seems, whether it's donald trump himself or people who are allied with donald trump, they seem to be doing this intentionally. they're stirring these people up. talk about all that. >> yeah, i mean, the steven
crowders of the world are not going to be in the front line of the civil war. those people, they're just not going to be there. but they would love to rile people up enough to sell the prepper goods and, you know, the civil war merchandise that they desperately want to sell and have been selling for years. alex jones has been selling prepper kits and stuff about the end of the world for literally a decade now. maybe a couple decades now. so, a lot of these people, it's a profit opportunity but it's also a political opportunity. you saw that cpac last weekend, they view january 6th prisoners, as they call them, as martyrs, and you know, they view them to be unjustly held, despite the fact that they don't believe it was them, they believe it was antifa or something. it's very mixed messaging. the point is to confuse you. as steve bannon once said -- i don't want to actually say it on tv now that i think about it. >> let's not say that on tv. >> let's not say it on tv.
but the point is to confuse people in these moments and to rile them up, and that's stochastic terror. that's how you get people upset enough to do the dirty work for you. >> right. flood the system with stuff. and frank, i'm going to ask you two quick questions. one is quick. because i really want to get to the second one, which i didn't get to in the last block. are you as worried as he is? like, with what you're seeing right now, this is one of your things you focus on is militias and the far right and extremists, are you going, man, this is bad? >> yeah, because while ben's got me on the depth and breadth of what he sees and where he looks, and it's more places than i likely look, i know what the capabilities of the fbi and federal law enforcement are, and so i am worried, because they cannot be everywhere at all times.
they cannot see everything at all times. so, yes, indeed, i am very concerned about the security environment moving forward for the next several months. >> so, here's the question i didn't get to last time that i want to know about from you, which is a really nuts and bolts question about the investigation the fbi did when they got down to mar-a-lago. they're hunting around in there. they have this search warrant. they're only allowed to go certain places that would meet the kinds of places what they're looking for might be. joyce vance gave the example, you can't look at a safe if you're looking for an elephant. let's say they look in donald trump's safe. what if they come across evidence of another crime? something that's january 6th related -- something related to the january 6th crime? say they came across a handwritten note from vladimir putin that was -- that clearly indicated bribery or something else untoward? what happens there? >> so, it's a plain view doctrine and they're certainly allowed to take what is in plain view. they're lawfully there. they're executing a lawful
search warrant. this happens, by the way, all the time with regard to drugs. you go in for x, you look around, you go, oh, that's heroin over there. we've got to do something about that. similarly here, but i want to attach a caveat to that, which is, we're getting unfortunately, the only description we're getting is from the trump camp and trump lawyers who said, they seemed to be grabbing up everything or didn't use discretion. if that's even half accurate, they might have just been grabbing anything that looked like it was classified or fit whatever they were led to believe, maybe from a source, maybe not, was in a certain place, you know, at a certain time, and grabbed that, grab this, and we'll look at it later. we'll look at it later. so, i don't know. i'm not getting the impression, while they say they were there for a few hours, i'm not sure they spent a huge amount of time looking through things and saying, this looks like a bribe from vladimir putin, but, yes, to answer your question, they absolutely, based on the plain view doctrine, well settled in
the law, they could have grabbed evidence of other crimes. >> they're looking for something -- the documents they're looking for are said to be in manila folders, and if there's evidence of other crimes in thosethose folders, that's a admissible? >> yes, absolutely. >> let us pray. ben collins, frank figliuzzi, thank you. up next, less than 24 hours after the fbi search of the former president's south florida home, voters are taking to the polls in a key battleground state. how the candidates are responding and will this impact voters' decisions? a live -- from wisconsin, the badger state, coming up next. stick around. in, the badger state, coming up next stick around
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gives us the dual action effect that really takes care of both our teeth sensitivity as well as our gum issues. there's no question it's something that i would recommend. it's scary to wake up this morning and see that the government has raided the house of the former president. if they can do it to the former president, they can do it to anybody, and that is very concerning. what can you do about it today? today you can go vote and let your voice be heard. that's what elections are all about. >> i found it shocking, unprecedented. i remain shocked by what i saw and what i'm hearing. i sure hope that the president and his family are okay. >> two candidates, both vying for the republican nomination for governor of the state of wisconsin as they cast their ballots in today's primary election. it's a state that was key to joe biden's victory in 2020 and looms large in 2024.
the candidates up there falling all over themselves to defend the former president just hour after the fbi search at mar-a-lago. two have divided the republican party in the damager state work tim michaels receiving donald trump's endorsement and rebecca mike pence and former governor scott walker. joining us now, scott brewster from waukesha. shaq, it's like one of the bellwether counties in all of america politics. what's the view from waukesha on the republican fight for governor in this primary today? >> yeah, i think when i have been talking to voter as they have been coming out of the polling booth behind me you get a sense of how close both candidates and campaigns expect this race to be. it's like, they're alternating. some say they're going with tim
michaels, the trump back candidate who initially wasn't registering in the polls, wasn't included in the marquette university poll, but after that endorsement and funding this campaign and spending million of dollars to get his name out on the air waves, shot up to the top of the polls. and then you have other people coming out say they're backing the former lieutenant governor, saying she's familiar to them and that they trust the endorsement of vice president pence and that key endorsement from her former boss in scott walker. you really get a sense this is going to be down to the wire. the endorsements you saw in this race, voters telling me that was something they were paying close attention to. you were mentioning the fbi search of mar-a-lago. i tell you, i've asked each and every voter aye talked to come out of the polls i've asked that. yes, many of them are aware of it. they have their own personal opinions on it, but all of them told me it didn't matter. it didn't control or impact the vote they made in that decision, that decision they made inside
the voting booth. one thing we're watching is what turnout will be. you heard michaels try to drive upturn out in this gop primary. we'll wait to see the final numbers, but the big thing you're expecting is this will be a tight race. >> shaq, real quick, when you talk to voters, how many of them walking out of the polling place, hold up of them just of their own volition invoke donald trump or invoke mike pence? >> you have a view of them doing it. when i say what is it -- they might not say it's because of donald trump. but it's i trust them on election integrity, and that's something when former president trump was here in waukesha last week, you heard him really tout, and that was part of the reason why he's backing tim michaels. you might hear when they mention her, i trust her and remember her from the act 10 days. it might not be a direct reference to trump or scott walker, but there's a direct
reference you hear. >> sam, you don't have a lot of time. we've got primaries in wisconsin,ment mp, vermont. you know everything about politics in america at all times. what are you watching tonight other than the wisconsin gubernatorial primary? >> again, it's the fissures along the lines in the republican party that's key here. we've seen a few cases where the trump endorsement really didn't matter materially to pulling over a candidate, and wisconsin's going to be another -- i'm looking at robin roth in wisconsin, because he, the powerful wisconsin assembly speaker, he's been targeted by trump despite going to great lengths to help him out. what happens in that race, what kind of vote total he gets, that's going to be top of mind. it's the fissure in republican candidates that really is the story of the cycle so far. >> shaq brewster, sam stein, would love to spend more time with you, but there's this other news we have to deal with.
thanks for being with us on this tuesday, this historic momentous tuesday. "the beat" with ari melber starting right after this quick break. see you tomorrow. see you tomorrow it's a storm that crashes, and consumes, replacing thought with worry. but one thing can calm uncertainty. an answer. uncovered through exploration, teamwork, and innovation. an answer that leads to even more answers. mayo clinic. you know where to go.
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welcome to "the beat." i'm ari melber. on august 8th, 2022, the nation learned for the first time in history a former president's home was searched by federal agents acting lawfully. it's the kind of news that just hit like a thunder cloud across the nation and really the world. unprecedented details still sinking in. >> nothing like this has ever happened before, d