All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 09/30/15
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN –
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R), CALIFORNIA: Everybody thought Hillary was
HAYES: Republicans give up the game on Benghazi.
MCCARTHY: We put together a Benghazi special committee, a select
HAYES: A top Republican confirms it, the Benghazi committee was
designed to stop Hillary Clinton.
MCCARTHY: What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping.
HAYES: Tonight, the top Democrat from the Benghazi committee joins me
Then, Donald Trump`s latest campaign ploy. Why the Republican front-
runner is now courting televangelists.
And the eruption over the secret meeting between Kim Davis and the
KIM DAVIS, KENTUCKY COUNTY CLERK: I just want to give God the glory.
His peoples have rallied and you are a strong people.
HAYES: ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
The worst kept secret in Washington is finally out. Ever since John
Boehner and the GOP-led House in a largely party line vote formed the
Select Committee on Benghazi, all the way back in May of 2014, Republicans
have insisted that Benghazi committee was a nonpartisan effort to get to
the truth behind the attacks that left four Americans dead. They have
taken umbrage at the notion that the committee had anything do with
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: This was all about
getting to the truth. There is not going to be a side show. There is not
going to be a circus. This is a serious investigation.
REP. TREY GOWDY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I have said from day one, I want
this to transcend politics and I want it to inspire trust in you and our
BOEHNER: What we need are facts. The American people deserve the
truth about what happened, and that`s all we`re interested in.
MCCARTHY: I think the American people have a right to know the truth,
and I think Secretary Clinton has responsibility to tell it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That last gentlemen there, that`s Kevin McCarthy, the House
majority lead, widely expected to succeed John Boehner as speaker next
week. Last night, that same McCarthy was on FOX News and perhaps
inadvertently he broke with the party line, finally seeming to concede what
Democrats have long suspected, that the Benghazi committee is all about
taking down Hillary Clinton.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCARTHY: Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right?
But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What
are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she`s
untrustable. But no one would have known any of that had happened had we
not fought –
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I agree –
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Now Democrats pounced on that comment with the senior Democrat
on the Benghazi committee, Elijah Cummings, saying McCarthy admitted the
committee was not about getting to the facts and it is shameful the
Republicans used this tragedy in the death of our fellow Americans for
Senator Barbara Boxer citing McCarthy`s comments, sent Boehner a
letter, calling him to disband the committee which she called an abuse of
And then there is Clinton herself who addressed McCarthy`s comments
today in an interview with our own Al Sharpton which will air in full on
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have to tell you, I
find them deeply distressing. I knew the ambassador that we lost in
Benghazi. Along with him, we lost three other brave Americans who were
representing us in a very dangerous part of the world. There have already
been eight investigations in the Congress, one independent investigation.
We have learned all we can learn about what we need to do to protect our
diplomats and our other civilians, and we need to be enforcing and
implementing those changes, which is what I started, and what Secretary
Kerry has continued.
So, when I hear a statement like that, which demonstrates
unequivocally that this was always meant to be a partisan, political
exercise, I feel like it does a grave disservice and dishonors not just the
memory of the four we lost, but of everybody who has served our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: In a statement today, a spokesman for McCarthy played down the
comments, stating that, “These inquiries have nothing to do with politics
and everything to do with the consequences of what the former secretary has
done and her confusing, conflicting and demonstrably false responses.”
McCarthy`s office did not respond to our request for the congressman
to join us for an interview tonight to elaborate.
As Clinton pointed out, even before this latest Benghazi committee
formed, eight standing congressional committees had already investigated
the attacks, as had the independent Accountability Review Board, none found
serious evidence of wrongdoing.
This latest committee chaired by Trey Gowdy has spent $4.5 million
taxpayer dollars has now been operating for 510 days.
And on Monday, it officially became the longest special congressional
investigation in history, surpassing the Watergate committee, one of many
investigations that had to deal with a far more sprawling and complicated
set of facts. Benghazi Committee has now gone longer in the investigation
into Hurricane Katrina, longer than the investigation of the bombing of
Pearl Harbor, longer than the Warren Commission on the assassination of
President Kennedy, longer than the Iran/Contra investigation and now as I
just said, longer than the Watergate investigation.
And who knows when it is going to end. Clinton is scheduled to
testify before the Benghazi Committee on October 22nd, final report from
the committee is expected next year at the height of the presidential
Joining me now, Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff, a member of the
House Select Committee on Benghazi.
Congressman, were you surprised to hear your colleague Kevin McCarthy
say what he said?
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA), HOUSE SELECT COMMITTEE ON BENGHAZI:
Surprised only in the sense that he was speaking out loud what we have long
suspected. So it was much more blatant acknowledgment of the real purpose
of this select committee.
But of that purpose has been apparent for quite some time, a month
ago, I wrote an op-ed in “The New York Times” calling for the committee to
be disbanded because here we are, as you point out, one of the longest
investigations in the history after having promised the families it would
be a nonpartisan neutral inquiry, we have nothing new to add to what was
already known about Benghazi, we have no new insights, no new revelations
or evidence, and I think we have really betrayed the trust of those
families that we met with at the beginning of the investigation.
So, it`s time to shut this down. What Representative McCarthy merely
did was to acknowledge the truth at the very highest levels of the
Republican leadership in the House, this has always been and remains all
about Hillary Clinton and has very little to do with the facts of Benghazi.
HAYES: Well, if that`s the case, let me ask you this – there was
considerable group of voices when this committee was first created, that
said Democrats, it was clear what the purpose of the committee was and the
Democrats should take no part in it, that they should refuse to appoint
anyone to that committee. Democratic Party under the leadership of Nancy
Pelosi decided to appoint members such as yourself.
Was that a mistake?
SCHIFF: Look, I was actually the first to say that I thought
Democrats should not participate in the select committee because I feared
this is exactly where we would go. Our leadership debated it and frankly
even though that was my position, it was a close call. Had we not
participated, the committee would have even less oversight by the other –
the minority party, we would have less voice when they were calling in
witnesses and abusing them.
So it was a tough call and I can`t say that it was the wrong call.
But certainly the fears that I expressed at the very beginning have only
materialized, and that is this has not been about what took place in that
tragic night when we lost four Americans, this has been as Representative
McCarthy said, this is the way they have decided to fight and win in the
elections by tearing down the likely Democratic nominee.
HAYES: Is there anything Congressman Gowdy, who now has presided over
the longest congressional investigation in history, apparently, is there
anything he with do to repair the trust or credibility of this committee`s
SCHIFF: No, I don`t think so. I think that water is well under the
bridge by now. And we have to bear in mind, this is only the latest and
most blatant acknowledgment of what the select committee is about.
But if you look at the way the committee has operated, notwithstanding
these promises that were made by the speaker and by our chairman and the
very beginning, they have not worked with Democrats at all, they have
called witnesses without telling us, they have subpoenaed people with armed
marshals who are willing to cooperate.
And they have interviewed witnesses without even notifying the
minority party. And when those witness interviews didn`t corroborate, the
conspiracy theories, they didn`t tell us. We had to learn about those
interviews ourselves. So –
HAYES: Wait, wait, wait. Let me make sure I understand that. The
committee has interviewed witnesses without notifying Democrats on the
committee that those interviews were going to happen?
SCHIFF: Absolutely. They have interviewed several witnesses. They
didn`t tell us they were going to interview them. They didn`t invite us to
participate and listen to the interviews. And when we later found out the
interviews took place and talked to the witnesses, we learned they didn`t
corroborate any of the conspiracy theories Republicans have been trying to
HAYES: How could that be? That`s not – maybe I`m wrong here –
that`s not the way the committees work. There is an agenda that is
circulated to the entire committee. There is a list of witnesses. There
is a procedure that the committee has all read in on.
SCHIFF: Well, they just ignored it. And, in fact, to give you
another example, when they subpoenaed a witness and this is a chairman who
said he won`t leak transcripts, won`t leak interviews, after almost all of
the interviews, there have been profound leaks from the committee, and when
Democrats said if you`re going to leak the statements of the witness, why
don`t you release the entire transcript. If you`re going to leak e-mails
from this witness, release the entire transcript of their private
interviews so the public can evaluate the context.
We have the right under their own rules to have a vote on this. And
they have denied us a even a vote on it.
HAYES: Well, Representative Adam Schiff, thank you very much.
Joining me now is former Texas Democratic state and gubernatorial
candidate Wendy Davis, who today in Austin, Texas, if I`m not mistaken,
endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.
Ms. Davis, your response to Kevin McCarthy`s comments about what he
sees as the salutary effects of the impaneling of the longest congressional
investigation in history.
WENDY DAVIS (D-TX, FORMER STATE SENATOR: Well, much like the
congressman said, just a moment ago, I don`t think any of us are truly
surprised that that was the purpose of these hearings, this investigation.
What we`re surprised about is that they were blatantly admitting that
that`s what their purpose was.
And, of course, the saddest part about it, the most disgusting part
about it is that taxpayer dollars have been spent in a way that is
completely disrespectful to the families of the four brave Americans who
lost their lives there, in a political witch-hunt. It is much like what we
saw in Congress yesterday with the hearings that Cecile Richards was a part
of, a witch-hunt.
And I think Americans are coming to a greater understanding that the
Republican Party is on the wrong path. It is not talking about the issues
that matter to families and the issues that we ought to be talking about as
part of the selection.
HAYES: Do you think Hillary Clinton has as of yet received fair
treatment from the media more broadly. Obviously, the Republicans are
going after her. She`s been the presumptive nominee, front-runner for a
long time, although she`s got a very contested primary right now. But do
you think the media generally has treated her fairly so far?
DAVIS: You know, Hillary has laid out so many detailed platforms, so
much detail about her plans if she is elected as the president of this
country. And there hasn`t been a great deal of attention provided to that.
We have heard, of course, many of the issues that Republicans want us
to be talking about, not only in the Republican primary debate, but also
the messaging that they`re hoping to get out about Hillary Clinton, when
what she is talking about are the very things that Americans want to hear.
What are we going to do to address the incredible income inequality in this
country? What are we going to do to address equality of pay and making
sure that we have workplace policies that work for working families, what
are we going to do to make sure that our education system is strengthened
and that we do something about the crushing burden of student loan debt in
our colleges across this country today?
These are the issues that Americans care about. These are the ones
that they want to see leaders in this country addressing them. I hope that
the media will give more attention to the fact that she`s been talking
about these things for quite some time, and in great detail.
HAYES: Let me ask you this. You use the word witch-hunt several
times and compared it to what happened yesterday with Cecile Richards in
that very contentious committee hearing.
Do you think this is animated by gender animus? Are they going after
Hillary Clinton because she`s a woman?
DAVIS: I don`t think so. They`re going to go after the presumptive
nominee, whoever that is. She`s clearly leading. She`s been leading in
the polls all along. She`s actually shown she`s strengthened in the last
couple of weeks compared to many of the Republican folks who are in the
Republican primary platform.
And I think that this is going to happen as a result of the fact that
she or anyone is leading the pack. The Republicans are going to go after
her with everything that they have. Unfortunately they`re not able to
attack her or fortunately they`re not able to attack her on the issues that
really matter, the things that she is talking about.
And so, they`re trying to distract people from what her record truly
is, and what it is that she hopes to do, what her vision is to lead this
HAYES: Wendy Davis, thank you very much.
And be sure to catch Al Sharpton`s full interview with Hillary Clinton
on “POLITICS NATION” when it debuts at its new time slot Sunday 8:00 a.m.,
right here on MSNBC.
Still ahead, as Trump`s poll numbers start to stall, he turns to
televangelists to boost his momentum.
Plus, a last minute stay of execution, a dramatic turn in a case with
many questions still surrounding Richard Glossip.
And later, the pope stirred some liberal hearts after his comments on
immigration and climate change. How the news of his secret meeting with
Kim Davis kind of complicates that narrative.
Those stories and more ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And the good news is
that it looks like the Republicans will just barely avoid shutting down the
government for the second time in two years. That`s a somewhat low bar,
but we should celebrate where we can. The bad news is that it looks like
Republicans will just barely avoid shutting down the government again for
the second time in two years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Just hours before the government was slated to shut down
again, the House managed to pass a spending bill to keep the federal
government running until December 11th. The majority of congressional
Republicans voted against the measure. That means they voted for a
While over in the Senate, looks look a bipartisan effort to overhaul
part of a criminal justice system just produced a bill. According to “The
Associated Press”, the deal struck between some of the Senate`s most
conservative liberal member, judges would have discretion to give sentences
below the mandatory minimum for nonviolent drug offenders. Full details in
the bill are expected to be revealed tomorrow. We`ll be looking for that.
We`ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Now I hear we want to take
in 200,000 Syrians, right? And they could be - listen – they could be
ISIS. I don`t know.
Did you ever see a migration like that? And I`ll tell you right now,
and I`m putting everybody on notice, and hopefully this gets outside of
this room, and I guess it will with all these crazy cameras going back
there, I`m putting the people on notice that are coming here from Syria as
part of this mass migration, that if I win, if I win, they`re going back.
They`re going back. I`m telling you. They`re going back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Donald Trump finished a rally in New Hampshire less than an
hour ago, his usual affair with a few new riffs. That one about Syrian
refugees says that it – they`re calling for 200,000 to enter the country.
That`s not true. Not reflective of the actual policy proposed by this
president, which would increase the global cap on refugees to 100,000 in
the next two years, that`s for all refugees. The president is currently
calling for us to only take 10,000 by next year.
Trump also claimed there is bad blood between fellow presidential
candidates Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: And they ask Bush, what do you think of Rubio? What do you
think of Rubio? He`s my dear friend. He`s so wonderful. I love him so
So they ask Rubio, what do you think of Bush? Oh, he`s my dear
friend. Wonderful. They hate each other. They hate. Trust me, I know.
They hate so much. They hate more than anybody in this room hates
their neighbor. Any. But it`s political (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Do you
understand? It is true.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Since the second Republican debate, Trump has come back down
to earth a bit, though he is still repeatedly in every poll we see the
front-runner. The latest national poll of likely Republican primary voters
places him first with Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina tied for second place,
double digits behind him.
Trump`s national polling peaked in the second week of September, low
30s, which means Trump needs to add to the roughly 25 percent of the GOP
electorate, who (INAUDIBLE).
He went to value voter summit last week for their attempt to appeal to
religious conservatives, but he was booed when he criticized Senator Marco
And now, Trump is courting televangelists, meeting with a group of
them yesterday. According to “Politico”, quote, “Roughly three dozen
leaders attended the 2 1/2 hour meeting at Trump Tower. As it came to an
end, televangelist Paul Wright said Trump wanted him to pray for him.
Trump nodded. And faith leaders laid hands on him and prayed.”
After all, televangelists like Donald Trump do appear to be
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That one calling with lupus, lupus, you foul
devil, you bow to the name of Jesus. Lupus, you bow to the name of Jesus.
You go in Jesus` name.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lupus, you complicated and not especially easy to
describe malady, you go, Lupus. You vex us with your foul, Lupus. You go.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Joining me now, Betsy Woodruff, political reporter for “The
Betsy, your reporting on this as well – this meeting that took place.
It does seems a perfectly natural synergy. Televangelists are to ministers
what Donald Trump is to politicians. This is Russell Moore, president of
the ethics and religious commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.
“Trump seems to be positioning himself as the secular version of the health
and wealth televangelists. What Donald Trump is doing in terms of promises
for the future is very similar to what`s going on among these prosperity
What do you think of that?
BETSY WOODRUFF, THE DAILY BEAST: I think the parallels couldn`t be
more direct. I mean, you look at Donald Trump and televangelists, they
have lots of crazy hairstyles, tons and tons of marriages per capita, as
well as promises that if you just do the right thing, you`ll have tons of
money. I mean, in some cases, the parallels are almost just one line.
They`re not even parallel lines.
For instanced, Paula White, who hosted this meeting, that you talked
about, she`s actually has a sermon available for purchase, of course, on
her Web site called “Why God wants you to be rich.”
Now, she and Donald Trump have been friends for a long time. Several
years ago, he appear on one of her talk shows and she gave a promo to
viewers, she said, if you give $25 to my ministry, if you donate that out
of the goodness of your heart as seed money, I`ll send you a copy of Donald
Trump`s book, “Why we want you to be rich.” God wants you to be rich.
Trump wants you to be rich. Paula White wants you to be rich. Just get
rich. Come on.
HAYES: Well, you know, you mentioned Paula White. And one of the
things that struck me as we watch the Trump phenomenon, and I think that
we`ve seen that there is a solid – he`s not going anywhere, right? He may
not be rocketing the moon like he was two weeks ago, but he is the front-
runner. There`s a solid 25 percent that seems pretty solidly in his camp.
A big part of what is driving Trump is the fact he`s a celebrity.
He`s famous. He was on the apprentice for 12 years. There is this great
polling that came out, looking at “Apprentice” viewers and their
So, viewers think 62 percent favorable to 27 percent unfavorable.
Non-viewers, 37 percent favorable, 34 percent unfavorable. It is easy to
lose sight of the fact that is a core part of the Trump appeal.
WOODRUFF: Oh, yes. Being a celebrity goes – is extremely helpful.
This is America. We love reality TV. We love the Kardashians. We love
rappers. We love anybody who is famous.
Politicians forget that the expectations of, I don`t know, being well-
spoken and being thoughtful and thorough don`t necessarily translate into
I mean, compare the reception that Trump has gotten for saying things
like he`s going to, I don`t know, deport 100,000 immigrants or coming to
the United States, 100,000 refugees to Hillary Clinton laying out a very,
very granular and detailed plan about the heroin epidemic, right? What are
we talking about more? What excites people more? You know, it`s pretty
HAYES: You know, he seemed to get a pretty chilly reception of value
voters. He seems to be aware that if you`re going to win a Republican
primary, you really do need religious voters and devout evangelicals on
your side. He`s been very explicitly courting them. Here he is talking at
the Family Research Council in July about his relationship to faith. Take
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: When we go in church and when I drink my little wine, which is
about the only wine I drink and have my little crack, I guess that`s a form
of asking for forgiveness, and I do that as often as possible because I
feel cleansed, OK?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Have my little cracker. I mean, every time – I`m not someone
particularly religious, but I was raised in a religious household and went
to church. And this sounds like someone who is speaking about faith as if
through a Google translate.
WOODRUFF: Not the most theologically astute comment. But that said,
evangelicals really like him. And his relationship with the evangelical
community is not new.
Several years ago, he spoke at Liberty University convocation, which
is the same event Bernie Sanders recently spoke at, where Ted Cruz
announced his presidency there, and it is worth watching Jerry Falwell Jr.
introduce him, of course, Jerry Falwell`s son, and watch the response he
got from students there.
When Jerry Falwell Jr. introduced him, he praised him only for his
business acumen and first conservative politics and for getting Obama to
release his long form birth certificate and the students went wild.
Evangelicals often like this stuff for the same reason other Tea Party
types like it. It`s popular.
HAYES: Betsy Woodruff, thank you very much.
Up next, Russia launches airstrikes in Syria today, allegedly
targeting ISIS, but it looks like that isn`t the entire truth, ahead.
HAYES: Today, Russia joined the United States, Australia, Canada,
Bahrain, Jordan, UAE, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and France as the latest country
to launch airstrikes in Syria. Those devastating civil war is now well
into its fifth year.
Russia`s intervention represents the most direct expression of what we
have known all along. The Kremlin, along with Iran, has been propping up
the regime of Bashar al Assad, supplying it with advanced weapons and
to maintain its grip on key territory and to kill hundreds of thousands of
Syrians in the process.
In his speech at the U.N. this week, Vladimir Putin proposed a kind of
enemy of my enemy is my friend arrangement with the U.S. to take on ISIS.
Essentially, since the Americans are mainly concerned with fighting ISIS,
and the Russians and the Assad regime are fighting ISIS too, we should all
just team up to fight ISIS together.
Now, for the first time, Russia is carrying out its own attacks on
Syrian territory, it turns out ISIS may not have actually been the target.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ASHTON CARTER, U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: It does appear that they
were in areas where there probably were not ISIS forces this and that is
precisely one of the problems with this whole approach.
By supporting Assad and thereby seemingly taking on everybody who is
fighting Assad, you`re taking on the whole rest of the country of Syria.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Taking out other rebel groups including the U.S. backed free
Syrian army could work in favor of the Russian strategy in Syria, setting
up Assad as the
only alternative to a full ISIS takeover.
Emerging from a meeting this afternoon with his Russian counterpart,
Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged a broader political solution of
the conflict remains a long way off.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: Even as we don`t have yet a
resolution with respect to some critical choices in that political
solution, we think we have some very specific steps that may be able to
help lead in the right direction.
That needs to be properly explored, and so we finally agreed we have a
lot of work to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Vladimir Putin justified today`s military action saying,
quote, the only right way to fight international terrorism – and these are
terrorists rioting in Syria and neighboring countries – is to act
preventively, to fight and eliminate militants and terrorists on
territories that are already occupied by them, not wait until they come to
Sounds oddly familiar, no wonder conservatives in America can barely
their jealous admiration for Putin`s strong man routine.
HAYES: A shocking turn of events out of the state of Oklahoma today
as Republican governor, Mary Fallin, issued a surprise order staying a
man`s execution by lethal injection after prison officials discovered they
had the wrong drug.
Richard Glossip scheduled to die 3:00 p.m. central time in McAlester,
Oklahoma. Fallon suddenly ordered his execution postponed for 37 days,
saying in a statement, last minute questions were raised today about
protocol and the chemicals used for lethal injection.
The drug officials obtained is known as potassium acetate. The drug
they are meant to have for the execution protocol is potassium chloride.
Now the Oklahoma Department of Correction tells a local news station, it is
unclear how the potassium acetate was obtained in the first place.
Oklahoma`s lethal injection protocols have already been called into
question following the gruesomely botched execution of Clayton Lockett on
April 2014, who
could be seen writhing on the gurney.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shortly after the state began pumping a lethal
combination of drugs into the arm of Clayton Lockett, convicted of shooting
a woman and burying her alive, something went wrong.
Reporter Graham Lee Brewer of The Oklahoman was one of the official
GRAHAM LEE BREWER, REPORTER, THE OKLAHOMAN: He began kicking his
lifting his head and his chest off the gurney, grimacing, clenching his
teeth, and a couple of moments he actually mumbled.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That botched execution prompted Richard Glossip and two other
death row inmates to challenge the constitutionality of Oklahoma`s
execution protocol, the drugs used at the United States Supreme Court,
claiming the three drug cocktail used risked causing unconstitutional pain
But in June, Supreme Court ruled against Glossip and upheld Oklahoma`s
Richard Glossip`s case has drawn supporters from across the globe and
the political spectrum, from actress Susan Sarandon to former senator, Tom
Richard Glossip has been twice convicted in the 1997 death of Barry
Treese, although he did not actually kill Van Treese and wasn`t even in the
room when Van Treese was murdered.
A man named Justin Sneed beat Van Treese to death with a baseball bat,
but prosecutors spared him the death penalty after Sneed agreed to testify
Glossip. Sneed told prosecutors that it was Glossip who had ordered Van
Treese` death and he is now serving a life term.
Glossip`s attorneys say new evidence shows he was framed for the
crime, a crime that put him on death row for 15 years.
Today`s decision marked his fourth stay of execution.
Joining me now, Ziva Branstetter who has been covering this case for
quite some time, and today`s event.
Ziva, what is going on? How can it be the case that after all the
scrutiny for this state that the very last minute they discover the wrong
ZIVA BRANSTETTER, EDITOR IN CHIEF, THE FRONTIER: It is hard to
believe. I was at the Clayton Lockett execution and, you know, each time
another execution comes up, we think surely this is going to go smoothly
and it doesn`t.
I was there two weeks ago when they stayed Richard`s execution and
there today, and it was just hard to believe that they had the wrong drug.
Apparently, I`m hearing that they didn`t get the drug until
HAYES: The stay is ordered – I`m reading from the order, the stay is
ordered due to the Department of Corrections having received potassium
as drug number three for the three-drug protocol. Am I right, is that a
food additive they accidentally acquired?
BRANSTETTER: Well, there were people calling it a food preservative,
but our staff writer Carey Athomal (ph) talked to a pharmacology expert who
said that it`s very similar in nature to potassium chloride which stops the
heart. That both, depending on volume, when given in equal volume toxic.
So you have to ask the question, could they just not get potassium
chloride and did they get this instead and think no one would notice?
I hate to think that happened, but, you know, there is a lot of
questions that we all have and very few of them are being answered.
HAYES: My understanding is that the governor`s taking the position
that the public does not have a right to know about the specifics of the
chain of acquisition for these drugs which have become difficult to
acquire, and much of it is sort of protected, shielded from public view. Is
BRANSTETTER: That is correct. And, as for now, the prison system is
investigating itself. Last time she appointed another agency to do that
investigation. So, there is no transparency over this process, we don`t
know where the drugs came from, we don`t know if the mess up was on the
part of the pharmacy, or the state.
I do know that the warden is now – the Department of Corrections
director is in charge of all of this after the change and their protocols,
and so it`s kind of
on him to make sure that the drugs are, you know, the proper drugs.
HAYES: Alright, Zeva Branstetter, thank you so much for joining us.
Joining me now, Barry Scheck founder of the Innocence Project and
Barry, this has been – this case has gotten a lot of attention because you
have a man who`s on death row for a crime in which he is not linked by any
forensic evidence to the murder
that was committed, and we know who committed the murder, he admitted to
it. And the person we know committed the murder is going to serve a life
BARRY SCHECK, FOUNDER OF THE INNOCENCE PROJECT: There is – when you
go back and look at the trial and you look at all of the evidence in this
case, you see that this individual, Sneed, who was addicted to
methamphetamines, and now we have a lot of new evidence that he was
breaking into cars, and stealing money to feed his habit, he gave, like,
eight different stories about exactly what happened.
There is real concern that as the police interrogated him, they
injected the idea that Glossip might be involved in this, and gave him a
way to give up Glossip, who has no criminal record, in order to save
And what`s happened is that this case got litigated on the whole issue
of lethal injection. That`s what went to the United States Supreme Court.
HAYES: Right. The Supreme Court case was – the appeals were about
constitutionality of this protocol and whether it would cause
unconstitutional pain and suffering and violation of the eighth amendment.
SCHECK: Now some very good lawyers got involved in the case, and as
it has received public attention, witnesses are coming forward.
Individuals who are in jail with Sneed, to whom he confessed that
Glossip – he did it himself, Glossip wasn`t involved, that he lied on
Glossip in order to save his own life, two of these individuals we now have
expert review of these interrogations that raise serious questions, and it
got to the point where I wrote a letter with others that was signed by
Barry Switzer, which is as good as you can get in Oklahoma, the great
football coach, by Senator Coburn, and quite a number of other very notable
people, the U.S. attorney named John Raley, Jr. in Oklahoma, who served for
both Democrats and Republicans.
So, a lot of people came forward and said there is real questions on
innocence, and then, when the Oklahoma Court of Appeals got this past week,
two of the judges dissented and said, there ought to be a stay, and the
board of parole ought to actually hold an open hearing about this. And a
letter was sent, I know,
to Governor Fallin today asking her again, with even more new evidence, to
stay it and to allow the parole board to hold an open hearing, and then
suddenly we have this drug thing.
So, the silver lining is hopefully she will take this opportunity to
finally let this evidence get an open hearing.
HAYES: You`re obviously someone who has spent decades working on
which people are innocently convicted, how often does that turn on
testimony by an
accomplice essentially who testifies in exchange for a lighter sentence for
SCHECK: Well, very frequently and it happens a lot in capital cases,
we have pretty good data that Sam Gross compiled and put in the proceedings
to The National
Academy of Sciences that there is at least a 4.1% chance of error based on
new evidence of innocence in capital cases.
So when you – the issue really before the board of parole and
hopefully the governor is that this is the last case you want to execute
somebody because there is so much good reason to believe that it may be a
A woman executed yesterday in Georgia, different set of circumstances,
but she too was not the person who pulled the trigger, and, in fact it was
her boyfriend who killed her husband, her children pleaded for her.
I think people have a hard time – people have a hard time with the
idea that two people engage in an act, the first person that sort of
testifies against the other against life and the other person gets the
death penalty. There`s something that sort of offends the moral intuitions
SCHECK: Well, it`s the question about moral intuition, but the
Glossip case is more fundamental about that. There`s every reason in the
world to have some serious doubts about it.
HAYES: Alright, Barry Scheck, always a pleasure to have you here.
Still ahead, the pope`s visit garnered massive amounts of coverage
last week and yet, he somehow met with Kim Davis without anybody knowing
HAYES: Hurricane Joaquin is headed for the Bahamas and, come this
weekend, it could become really bad news for people here on the east coast.
Earlier today, the storm became a category 1 hurricane, which means it
has sustained winds between 74 and 95 miles per hour. The storm is expected
to increase in strength over the next few days and could become the first
hurricane to make U.S. landfall in 15 months.
Now some hurricane models show the center of the storm staying out
over the water, many predict it will make landfall anywhere from North
Carolina to New York this weekend.
Despite the varying predictions, experts do agree that folks on the
east coast should be aware of the potential for hurricane conditions.
Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe has asked residents across the state
to be prepared to evacuate in the case of extreme weather during the
While New York governor Andrew Cuomo reminded residents of the kind of
harm a storm like this can cause. “The state has seen the damage of extreme
weather can cause time and time again, I`m urging New Yorkers to take
precautions from more heavy storms in the coming days.”
The 2015 Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th
and so far Joaquin is hurricane number three.
HAYES: Last night, news started to break about a very secret meeting
between Pope Francis and Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who defied court
order to issue
marriage licenses to same sex couples.
Davis, who is still refusing to issue licenses citing her faith, told
a Conservative magazine inside the Vatican her and her husband met secretly
the pope for about 15 minutes last week in Washington, D.C. She also spoke
to ABC News about the meeting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIM DAVIS, KENTUCKY CLERK: I put my hand out and he rushed and he
grabbed it, and I hugged him and he hugged me, and he said, thank you for
He told me before he left, he said, stay strong, and that was a great
Just knowing that the pope is on track, you know, with what we`re
doing, and agreeing, you know, kind of validates everything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Davis` lawyer told the New York Times she and her husband were
snuck into the Vatican embassy by (inaudible), there for a meeting that had
been arranged almost two weeks earlier. Her counsel even released a photo
of the rosaries she said the pope had given her and her husband.
Now, before last night no one had heard anything about such a meeting.
There wasn`t even so much a whisper of it during the very intense sustained
coverage of the pope`s trip. So, I think it is fair to say there was a fair
bit of skepticism about the claim. After all, it came just one day after
her legal team admitted that a photo had publicized and circulated as a
Peruvian prayer rally in solidarity with Davis was actually a hoax, and had
nothing to do with the Kentucky clerk.
Then today, after hours and hours of speculation, the Vatican itself
confirmed that Pope Francis did in fact meet with Kim Davis but refused to
give any other details about said meeting.
The reaction from across the political spectrum was swift. Mike
Huckabee, one of Davis`s most vocal supporters, tweeted out, quote, the
pope recognized something that D.C. and Wallstreet chattering classes will
never understand. Kim Davis followed her conscious and convictions.
Many on the left expressed a different type of emotion profound
The pope`s visit, which focused on immigration reform, poverty and
climate change, had left liberals, particularly liberal Catholics or
liberal ex-Catholics with a sea of goodwill towards this pontiff.
So, does a private meeting with Kim Davis, who has repeatedly said
she`s willing to go to jail to deny same sex couples equal rights
guaranteed by the constitution, does this change that?
We`ll debate it next.
HAYES: Joining me now, Dan Savage, author of the sex advice column,
Savage Love, and host of the weekly Savage Love Cast, and Shawn King,
columnist for Daily Kos.
Shawn, you`re someone who has been excited about the pope`s message. I
saw you sort of tweeting about this revelation. How do you, as someone very
committed to civil rights, how do you square this?
SHAWN KING, COLUMNIST, DAILY KOS: Well, I`m deeply disappointed about
the meeting, and at the same time, I`m measured because I think some of us
read too much into what the pope thinks about gay marriage and the LGBT
I think we imposed kind of out of hope a lot of our views on to him
and so when we found out that he met with Kim Davis, it was shocking.
For me, the pope meeting with Kim Davis would be like the pope meeting
with George Zimmerman. I mean, it is pretty shocking. And for me and for so
many of my
friends, it was a deep disappointment. But I`m choosing to not completely
throw him away, because he stands so strong for so many other things that
matter to me and to millions of people that I love and care about.
So I`m still thinking through it to be honest with you.
HAYES: That`s a very honest answer.
Dan, what I hear that strikes me about this, it is bizarre in certain
He made very – he was very public about what he was choosing to kind of
in, in the American political landscape, the blessing of the immigrant
child and talking about immigration and climate, and the little sisters of
the poor were fighting Obama Care, and he met with them very publicly.
What do you make of the secret meeting? What is that about?
DAN SAVAGE, SAVAGE LOVE: I think it is very revealing. The pope has
said the church needs to de-emphasize social issues, needs to not just talk
about gay marriage and abortion. But this secret meeting where he
encouraged this woman to
continue to discriminating against LGBT couples and then he framed her as a
conscientious objector. A conscientious objector refuses to serve and then
Kim Davis refuses to serve certain people as she does her job. If she
can`t do her job, she can conscientiously object and refuse to do the job
and resign her position.
I think it really reveals what is going on with the catholic church
under the pope, which is that this de-emphasizing of these social issues is
– I don`t wall
it a racket or a scam, but it`s kind of a smoke screen that the pope still
believes these things, the church – the church said it is not going to
change its position
on same sex marriage, but then for the pope to turn around and meet with
someone like Kim Davis, and tell her – and encourage her to keep it up,
keep discriminating against LGBT couples, it just shows that the church
wishes it could engage in this activity still.
You know, the church was the main driver of homophobia and transphobia
for millennia, and it is less marketable in the west now and the church is
smart enough under Francis to realize that, so they`re de-emphasizing it.
But to sneak around and encourage the people who are still emphasizing
this kind of homophobia, it just shows what the church would still be doing
if the church could still do it, if it didn`t hurt the church to be seen in
the west publicly pushing this kind of homophobia.
So, the church is going to get into bed with people like Kim Davis and
people like Mike Huckabee from religious traditions that used to describe
the pope as the
horror of Babylon, and the antichrist.
And it just shows you that homophobia is really what unites people
across different Christian faiths now, and it`s disgusting.
HAYES: I went online last night – Shawn, please.
KING: Yeah, I was going to say there is one – in part, we`re kind of
conspiracy theorists because when we learn that this was in the work two
ago and we know so little about it, I`m starting to wonder what was the
motive, who was behind the planning of the meeting. And it seemed like
almost an atomic
bomb on the whole trip in a sense.
And, for so many people who saw the trip in a special way, it now has
all of us deeply conflicted and I just – I feel like Kim Davis and I`m by
no means a Kim
Davis apologist, but she is a political football and a tool being used by
I feel like she was used in a sense.
And it just makes me wonder even what was the pope told about what she
said, what she did, who she was, and what do we really know about that.
HAYES: There is this question right, about the degree of
the granularity of who is plotting the pope`s schedule, what the pope is
saying, like, I got to meet with that – the woman that came out to the
Rocky song, like, I want to make sure that we go to her. Or, is it some –
some other group with an
I`ve seen a lot of people speculating that way. What do you say to
SAVAGE: I don`t know. I`m much less sympathetic to Kim Davis than
I think she`s a hypocritical grifter, and I`m just flabbergasted –
KING: I`m not sympathetic, Dan. I just want to be clear, I`m not
sympathetic. I am saying that I think that she`s being used by Mike
Huckabee and others in ways that are beyond her.
SAVAGE: By the Liberty Council and Mike Huckabee, certainly she`s
being used, but I think she has dollar signs in her eyes and this is the
path to speaker fees and book deal that she already has, she already has a
book coming out that`s being ghost written for her somewhere.
And, she`s going to monetize her oppression by, you know, the LGBT
community that just wants its equal rights and equal treatment under the
I, too, am wondering who was behind this. Which archbishop? Who is the
archbishop of Kentucky? Who pushed this on the pope.
The pope is not an idiot. That`s clear.
HAYES: No, that`s right. That`s the point. This is someone who –
SAVAGE: He`s not a figurehead. He`s very involved in what the church
is doing and seems to be very granularity involved in his own public image.
He`s obliterated this entire trip. They say they didn`t announce this
in advance because they didn`t want it to distract people from his other
Well, his other messages have been completely wiped out and erased by
this baffling meetup.
HAYES: Yeah. Dan Savage and Shawn Kind, that was good discussion.
Thank you for doing it.
That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right
Good evening, Rachel.
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