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tv   American Voices With Alicia Menendez  MSNBC  August 21, 2022 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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weekend at 5 pm eastern. american voices with alicia menendez. my friend. she starts right now. >> thank you so much reverend sharpton. always good to see you in these hallways. airline everyone. i'm ali salmon and as beginning this hour with a roadblock in the georgia investigation with donald trump's plot to overturn the 2020 election. it involves with his key allies in the u.s. senate south carolina senator lindsey graham. this morning a federal appeals court temporarily blocked and lower courts order requiring that gray must testify before a special grand jury in atlanta. graham argues he shouldn't have to because of legal protections from federal lawmakers. new reporting from political -- appeals court said in a two page order that graham's attorneys and prosecutors from fulton county district attorney fani willis needed to flesh out arguments about whether graham is entitled to have the federal courts placed legal guardrails
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on the questioning graeme could face. georgia investigators want to get to the bottom of grams -- of georgia secretary of state brad raffensperger. raffensperger claims graham asked him if he had the power to reject a certain absentee ballots. in raffensperger's view, that was -- to toss out votes in a free and fair election. quote -- we're going to ask joyce matt vance about all this in just a minute. here's the broader context when it comes to these various investigations into trump's attacks on democracy. a clear majority of americans want investigations like the one in georgia to move forward despite whatever resistance there may be from trump allies. a new nbc news poll out just today claims 57% of voters saying investigations into trump should continue. joining me now to discuss senior legal affairs reporter for politico, child cheney msnbc contributor, joy's --
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former u.s. attorney and professor at the university of alabama school of law. and vera -- investigative correspondent for time. joyce, you have the da telling the court that stalling graham's testimony would quote delay the revelation of an entire category of relevant witnesses and push by the timeline of the investigation. your thoughts. >> graham is a fact witness -- the da's not in a target of the investigation and she needs to get his testimony essentially because it sets a baseline for what sort of communications were being made to georgia officials. but with the 11th circuit has done today and alicia, let me be clear, it's not entirely certain how this will play out because they've remanded the case back to the district judge and they've told a district judge that she needs to make a determination about whether there should be -- another warns whether some parts of the testimony, the da
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seeks is protecting by the speech and debate clause, so that's her decision to make and they have ordered her to give the parties the opportunity to breathe those issues before she makes those decisions. but she could order a very expedited briefing schedule and perhaps have the issue ready for a resolution in under a week or ten days. that would be very unusual and typical briefing schedules are much length ear. only after she makes that ruling does this case go back to the 11th circuit for determination. we are likely talking about a delay of too months more than weeks. >> joyce, i just want to be clear. this is hard, because this gets very technical and very legal acidic. senator graham's, his lawyers are arguing that the speech and debate clause of the constitution shield him from testifying. your thoughts on whether or not that argument will hold up? >> it's a really fascinating issue because people who are in congress have what is called
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speech and debate protection. it's written into the constitution almost in terms of things that they say on the floor of the senator of the house. in other words, you cannot be sued or questioned about those things. but from there and gets a little bit dicey. there's some protection for conduct that is off of the floor, typically i think, the best thing we can do without getting already and down and legal weeds, it's to say that it protects, when you're acting in your court function as a senator or member of the house. the argument that fani willis has made here is that senator graham was for beyond the bound of his role as a senator when he called georgia officials to ask them whether the outcome of the election there could be changed. >> i mean, i want to say nerdy, always welcome here but vera, senator graham's actions follow along line of trump allies trying to avoid accountability. trump himself attacks any investigation as a witch hunt. you report, quote, trump has
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described the fbi search of mar-a-lago as a, quote, brecon. and implied repeatedly without evidence that the fbi may have planted incriminating material during the search. not as trump's reaction to the mar-a-lago search mirror how he has attacked the january 6th investigations? >> that's exactly what he is doing. he's using very similar and apocalyptic language to describe the search of mar-a-lago. what he's doing is basically calling it an attack on -- you know,, he says this raid was not a violation of my home, but a violation of every american patriots home. all these people who are listening to him or have been listening since january six and have been kind of waiting for a sign, waiting for some kind of called to arms, are listening to this and feeling really motivated to do something similar to what they did on january six. also, some of the people who we've seen commit milan acts recently, they have a connection to january six. they were either there or they supported it. it's not coming out of nowhere. there's been a not significant
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a number of americans who have been kind of waiting for something like this and the more -- they're calling in the opening act to a civil war. trump and his allies, again, language that is somewhat apocalyptic but kind of not being explicit,, but definitely making a sign that they're listening to these people and egging them on. >> i think what is interesting there, vera, is that it is understanding that there are deep suspicions. there are deep resentments within the electorate. many of which trump spent all of his presidency foreman thing, that they're now actively exploring. he actually has an understanding that he has planted these seats,, and now he is watering them so that they can grow. >> yeah, and i've spoken to a lot of former officials and political violence experts, especially who say they he knows exactly what he's doing. it's not rocket science, he sending out fundraising emails. the first 48 hours he said i'm
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more than a dozen calling dark times for our nations. he is saying things like every reddit -- red blooded american patriots should stand up. he's not telling them what to do but he doesn't need to. a lot of his allies especially -- are being more explicit with that. we've seen some of the violent implications of that recently. >> i want to loop back with choices legal implications. in a new article for politico, kyle, you write about trump's quote throw everything about -- against the wall response to the fbi search of his florida home. how has this new doj investigation caught his legal team off-guard? >> it's surprising they were caught off guard given we know how much background there was here with what was going on between the trump team and the defense department for months over these records. deep suspicion in the doj that turned out to be well founded that they hadn't received everything they wanted for mar-a-lago. but when the court ordered the search we still haven't really
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seen a full fledged legal strategy coming from trump's team. while trump on friday teased the idea that they would file a major motion to sort of combat what's happening. they've not been filed yet, and it's almost two weeks after the search happened. and we've seen reactions to these things within hours or within a day. here it took them two weeks to even say they wanted to file something and we're still not even sure with the -- of that is gonna be. they seem to be flat-footed. they've been using their megaphones to say the judge is biased. but they're not doing anything to back that up in court. >> kyle, i gotta say the deep side, you began that answer with, says as much as the substance of the answer. i want to underline something you said, which is they had to know this was coming. this is the end of a long back-and-forth process. is this more a commentary and testimony to how difficult of a client donald trump's for his lawyers, or is the commentary on his legal team? >> it's both.
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i sigh because we've seen this before. we've seen a lot of fluster from trump about who are going to fight this tooth and nail in court. he doesn't back it up. this has happened in multiple january six lawsuits. it happened well prior to that during the mueller investigation. he does fight. he does make arguments, but for the most part he pulled punches in court despite the rhetoric. overtime, we've seen evidence of the quality of his legal team has slipped. people are willing to defend him maybe as president, but not willing to stick their hat in the ring in some of these more very clear cut overwhelming cases, particularly now that he is not the holder of the office anymore. it does show. >> i want to go back to something really important that virus that which is donald trump knows he has warped his base up and he needs to rile them and he needs to be the one who very specifically tells them how to take action. that is a pattern of behavior.
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that is a way of operating that we have watched over and over again in everything from his business proceedings to january 6th. >> so that is absolutely right. it's a very smart assessment. if you were one of the former president's lawyers you would be very clear with him on this point, whether he would listen to you is of course an entirely different question, but the line in the sand that trump has gotten away with far too many times it's saying, well, i didn't know that when i said, excellent recall to violence, implicit or not that he issued to his followers, i did not know when i said ex that people would act on it. so we saw this issue years ago when it was actually a bomber motivated by some of trump's rhetoric who sent devices which fortunately did not function to politicians politicians and people in the media. that is precisely the sort of impact that the former president has on his followers and after january 6th, it
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becomes increasingly difficult for him to maintain that when he speaks people do not act upon his wishes. as all of the legal walls close around trump, this issue of intent and knowledge becomes more challenging for him to overcome. >> vera, as someone who has done deep, deep reporting on extremism in this country, could you give us a sense in the weeks that follow what it is that you are watching for? >> so you know, not good. you speak to a lot of people who aren't prone to being alarmist, and they're saying ahead of the midterm elections and ahead of everything that is about to be happening, the most important thing to remember is these investigations into trump are not going anywhere. this is one raid, one kind of dramatic act, but these investigations are going to keep happening, and again, the more extreme fringes of his supporters and i followed him obviously reporting -- on extremist groups, on some of
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the supporters who have been congregating and kind of stew-ing in a lot of resentment since january 6th. using that is an extension of a political persecution of the -- many of them believe is the lawful president, and of themselves, because like i mentioned earlier, trump, the most effective thing he's saying is this is not an attack on me, it's an attack on all of you. >> kyle, vera, it's both of their first times with us. i hope you will come back soon and bring us more of your excellent reporting. joyce, as always, thank you. next, florida governor and likely 2024 presidential hopeful ron desantis on the trail, stumping for extreme candidates. you will not believe the pitch he is making to voters. plus, the republican rushed to strip people of reproductive rights. could it cost them in the midterms? we have a brand new polling to share with you. ukrainians are marking six months of war. hear from them in a report from the ground in kyiv. but first, to richard louis who is standing by with a look at other big stories we are watching this hour on msnbc.
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>> alicia, good day to you. in new mexico, about 150 people were stranded by flooding near the caverns national park. park rangers attempted a rescue but washed out roads caused force them to call them off. -- safely leave the site. russian authorities opened a murder investigation into the death of a daughter of a close putin ally. she was killed in a parked car bomb attack -- russian investigators say a bomb was planted on the suv. she was driving. nbc has not been able to independently verify that account. and former nba star, dennis rodman saying he's going to russia to secure the release of fellow basketball star, brittney griner. he told nbc news he got permission to go to russia to help griner, but did not offer specifics. the 2014 visit to moscow, rodman called russian -- vladimir putin quote, cool. more american voices right after this break. merican voices right after this break after this break
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verse to make a political point replacing the devil with the left. and that's not all he said. take a listen. >> we owe so much to defend this country all the way up until the president. i think that is something worth fighting for. so buckle up. put on the full armor of gone and take a stand against the left schemes. stand. farmstead your ground. don't back down. i'm on a mission to keep florida free. let's make sure ohio remains free and let's take our country back. thank you all. god bless. back thank you all. god bless.
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>> coming back to the number of times you talked about being free and keeping florida free. keeping ohio free. and this idea of freedom. i think there's an open question of whether or not
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democrats can wrestle that framework away from republicans, right? if they can use some of the policies that republicans, like ron desantis have been pushing in their own states to say, if you want to talk about freedom, then maybe they're not the party for you. >> you and i have had this conversation. i think it's absolutely crucial that the democratic party grasp this patriotism and grasp the idea of what it is to be an american and grasp the idea of freedom away from the republican party. they don't stand for any of those things. they don't stand with the constitution. they fundamentally don't stand for freedoms. an example after example after example, -- not the least of which is the freedom for kids to go to school where they will be safe. or freedom from a woman to make reproductive choices. or the freedom of a person of color to be treated equally. all of those things are part of
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freedom. the democrats for some reason have always been shy about that. they want to talk about policy differences and not the broad argument about what it is to be an american. the democrats need to run the next 70 something days on the idea. we're going to define went needs to be in american and part of that is freedom. >> i think it's something that matt said, but it might have been something you said, right now there's a focus on winning these primaries. these are folks who in the primaries. we're going to see pretty soon how they actually fare in general elections. i wonder in the case of an abbott. in the case of a desantis, where they're doing their thing in texas, florida respectively. if all of a sudden as they become national players, as people begin to understand them fully as people who have national emissions, how those state policies look and the light of day when people across this country are saying, do i want what is now the reality in texas? do i want what is now the reality in florida to beat the
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reality across this country? >> i definitely think it was looking a lot better to three years ago for ron desantis on this front than it is today. i think in a lot of areas he -- i think there was a mixed bag of debates about how he handled covid versus other states. but he is not getting into territory that is much more unpopular. the state was divided on his leadership of covid. his views on some of the social issues that have we've been discussing or outside the mainstream. campaigning for doug ministry known, running for governor of pennsylvania who wants to ban abortion at when we. forget 15 weeks. when week. he wants to ban gay adoption. was encouraging rollback of marriage rights. he doesn't believe climate change is real. that's not going to land very well in south florida where the effects of climate change are very apparent. i think that desantis now that he's trying to become a
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national figure, is getting out of risky's, and political standing with the broader electorate and as much shakier than it might have been a year ago. >> andrea, i don't have much time left, but i want to ask, you in addition -- the way that florida votes. as someone who is deep in this work, which is that you'll be watching for? >> i think the school board bases are going to be critical, because that's where you see candidates who are fighting for inclusion and our freedom to thrive, going up against right wing candidates that are trying to promote white christian nationalism against lgbtq inclusion and all the things that we've been talking about today. i think the school board races and the turnout. what does turnout look like of democrats and republicans across the state? including our independent population? >> we will be watching. andrea, matt, tim, stay with
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i'm alicia menendez. ahead on american voices. an appeals court in georgia tells south carolina senator lindsey graham he does not have to testify before the grand jury about trump's attempts to overturn the 2020 election yet. infuriated trump supporters with threats of violence
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following the fbi search at mar-a-lago. the atlantic's -- explains why the american era of political violence is likely not over but just beginning. plus, as democrats wrap up legislative victories, how the president's party is taking his agenda and running with it. plus, hollywood, making diversity a must. how one california legislature is incentive item -- incentivizing progress. this is american voices. we begin this hour with the legal fight over lindsey graham's testimony. today, a federal appeals court temporarily blocking a lower court ruling requiring senator graham to testify before a special grand jury in atlanta this week. fani willis wants graham to answer questions about his phone call. brad raffensperger claims graham asked him if he had the power to reject certain absentee ba


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