IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 4/25/22

Guests: Jamie Raskin, Matt Miller


New details came out on why Vice President Mike Pence refused to leave the U.S. Capitol. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) joined Hayes to discuss the new text messages showing Trump allies` secret work to overturn the 2020 election. Betsy Woodruff Swan and Jill Wine-Banks join Hayes to discuss the dozens and dozens of texts from Trump allies to Meadows that had been released and published. Donald Trump was held in contempt of court by New York judge and will be fined $10,000 a day every day for failing to comply with a subpoena to turn over documents from the New York State Attorney General`s Office. For the first time since Russia invaded Ukraine, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin visited the country.


JOYCE VANCE, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: She will be I suspect vigorous in pursuing this.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: You know if he pays -- you know is going to pay it, right? He just going to sell a bunch of MAGA hats and get his marks to pay for it. He`s just going to make his followers give him money and he`s going to use their money. He`s not going to use his own money.

Christina Greer, Joyce Vance, thank you both very much. That is tonight`s "REIDOUT." ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES starts now.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voiceover): Tonight on ALL IN.

REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): Political scientists have been named for this kind of coup. Political scientist called this is self-coup.

HAYES: New text messages and new filings from the January 6 Committee. Tonight, Congressman Jamie Raskin on new revelations about the Secret Service, why Mike Pence refused to leave the Capitol with them, and what we`re learning from thousands of text messages from Trump`s chief of staff that should refresh some fading memories.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ms. Greene, did you advocate to President Trump to impose martial law as a way to remain in power?


HAYES: Then, big new fines for Donald Trump as he`s held in civil contempt in New York State. And what we know about the top tier Biden officials making a big show of support in war-torn Ukraine? When ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. We have a whole host of explosive new developments about the attempted coup on January 6. And a member of the House Investigative Committee, Congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland is going to join me to talk about all of it.

Because today, as you might have seen, we learned about a trove of text to and from Trump`s chief of staff Mark Meadows dating from Election Day 2020 to the last days of the Trump administration. And they are among the thousands of texts that Meadows voluntarily turned over the January 6 Committee before he abruptly stopped cooperating and then refuse to testify. Meadows has since been held in contempt of Congress and we are still awaiting any ruling or notice from the Department of Justice about whether they will bring criminal charges against him.

These texts published for the first time today reveal more about how several prominent Republicans attempted to aid in the coup. They also established definitively that some Republicans, including Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, former Energy Secretary Rick Perry, have covered up their own involvement. And we`ll have more on that later in the show as well.

But first, there`s a key story about January 6 that`s been to a certain degree hiding in plain sight all this time. And we`re learning more about it in ways that I think suggest something new, a newer dimension to what happened on that day. It`s the story of how tensions rose between Donald Trump, the President, and his Vice President, Mike Pence, as Trump attempted to get Pence to do his bidding and overturn the election for him effectively, unilaterally and lawlessly.

Now, we know the basic facts about the moment when Pence`s a refusal to comply and subvert the will of the voters came to a head, but the significance of that scene has taken a much darker tone as we`ve learned more details about it.

So, on the morning of January 6, right, Trump made one last appeal to Pence at the huge rally at the Ellipse, although it sounded frankly more like a threat.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Mike Pence, I hope you`re going to stand up for the good of our Constitution and for the good of our country. And if you`re not, I`m going to be very disappointed in you, I will tell you right now.


HAYES: We then watched as the mob, at Trump`s urging, marched to the Capitol where they broke in and ransacked the building, assaulting police officers, roaming the halls chanting hang Mike Pence, hang Mike Pence. Some of them even erected a gallows with the noose outside of the building. And as the danger became apparent, the Secret Service evacuated the Vice President from the Senate chamber where he was presiding over the election certification proceedings as stipulated in the Constitution and American law.

Now, we know thanks to reporting from Washington Post journalist Carol Leonnig and Phillip Rucker that Pence went to his ceremonial office at the Capitol where he was protected by Secret Service agents but vulnerable because the second-floor office had windows, and those windows can be breached in the intruding thugs that gain control of the building.

Pence refused two request from the agents in charge of his detail to evacuate the building saying, "I`m not leaving the Capitol." As Leonnig and Rucker write, the last thing the vice president wanted was the people attacking the Capitol to see his 20-car motorcade fleeing. That would only vindicate their insurrection.

The third time the Secret Service asked, it was more of an order than a request. They move Pence down a staircase to a secure subterranean area where his armored limousine awaited. ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl described the scene there in that subterranean chamber as he saw it in official White House photos that Pence has not allowed to be published.


JONATHAN KARL, CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, ABC NEWS: He was in a loading dock in an underground parking garage beneath the Capitol Complex. No place to sit, no desk, no chairs, nothing. He was in this concrete -- like, parking garage and, you know, with his family and -- I mean, this is the Vice President of the United States and he`s like holed up in a basement.

One of them is his chief of staff, Marc Short, showing him his phone and it`s the tweet of Trump saying Mike Pence didn`t have the courage. This is the guy who like fled the rioters, and Trump is saying he didn`t have the courage. And you can see -- it kind of looks like Pence is grimacing, but you can never really tell.


HAYES: OK, now, listen to Jamie Raskin, members of January 6 Committee, who`s been investigating this for nine months describe what happened next.


RASKIN: So, when his secret service agents, including one of them who had - - was carrying the nuclear football with him were chased out by these Neo fascists and they ran down to some still undisclosed, mysterious place in the Capitol, he uttered what I think are the six most-chilling words of this entire thing I`ve seen so far. He said, I`m not getting in that car.


HAYES: That`s the moment it all came down to after all the pressure from Trump and his allies to get Mike Pence do their bidding and keep Donald Trump in office. The insurrectionist mob had breached the building, the Secret Service hustles pens down into the underground parking garage, and they want to take him away from the Capitol but he refuses to go. Why does he refuse going?

Well, Pence`s own Chief of Staff Marc Short says the vice president did not want his evacuation to be the indelible image sent around the world.


MARC SHORT, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF TO MIKE PENCE: He said, I`m not leaving. And the reason you say he`s not leaving is because he said he did not want our adversaries across the globe to see a 15 car motorcade fleeing the Capitol. I think he exerted enormous leadership under enormous pressure. And I think he again, despite efforts to have him evacuated, he said, I don`t want that visual for the world to see. I`m going to stay here.


HAYES: OK, so that`s what Marc Short says, right? This is an image he doesn`t want to project to the world. And so, I`m going to stay here for symbolic purposes, essentially. But you know, Pence was not the only one who did not want to leave the Capitol Complex at that day despite the terror unfolding. For example, Democratic Congressman Ruben Gallego of Arizona described another immediate tactical reason for staying put.


REP. RUBEN GALLEGO (D-AZ): I saw a bunch of buses pull up, and there were buses to evacuate us. And let me tell you, in coups, when you leave the Capitol, you`ve lost. And so, I started texting every member I could in all of our text chains like, do not leave. Like, if they tell you to leave, like do not leave. Like, you`re safer staying here. Like, we get on those buses, there`s no guarantee we`re ever coming back.


HAYES: I`ve been thinking about that sense for a long time. If we get on those buses, there`s no guarantee we`re coming back. So, that`s Ruben Gallego`s thought, right? A coup is happening, if the legislators leave, all bets are off. So, occupying the physical space of the building, in Gallego`s estimation, was actually key to repelling the coup.

That`s very different than the P.R. ramifications of symbolic image of the motorcade. That`s the darker interpretation of what was going on when Mike Pence refused to leave, right? That he wasn`t just concerned about how the image of the Vice President fleeing would look to the world. No, he was actually also concerned about maintaining control of the government, about the American constitutional order, that his role on January 6 was to preside over the peaceful transfer of power.

And if the riotous mob propelled by Donald Trump succeeded in driving him physically away from the Capitol where he had that duty, he may not have been able to return to finish the job of overseeing the peaceful transfer of power, that that would have allowed the coup to actually take place. And that interpretation, the far darker one, the more dangerous one, the wow we came close one, that interpretation looks more and more likely as new facts come to light particularly about the Secret Service`s role on January 6.

So, on Friday, new testimony released by the Committee revealed that a senior Secret Service official warned Mark Meadows of potential violence ahead of January 6. And Hugo Lowell of the Guardian is reporting that the committee appears to have been examining that official named Anthony Ornato.

A source tells Lowell that Trump gave Ornato a big White House job, Deputy White House Chief of Staff for operations in part because of his loyalty. Now, Ornato previously helped coordinate Trump`s infamous marched through Lafayette Square for a photo op with the Bible and assisted in planning of many Trump campaign rallies.

On January 6, he was overseeing Secret Service movements. Carol Leonnig and Phil Rucker Report that while Pence was in that secure underground area at the Capitol, Ornato, right, told Pence`s National Security Adviser Keith Kellogg that the Vice President security detail was planning to move him to Joint Base Andrews.

And Kellogg replied -- again, this is the reporting of Leonnig and Rucker, you can`t do that, Tony. Leave him where he`s at. He`s got a job to do. I know you guys too well. You`ll fly him to Alaska if you have a chance. Don`t do it.

Well, I don`t know. That sure sounds like it was a Trump loyalist in charge of Pence`s security movements attempting to help Donald Trump effectuate his coup by removing the Vice President from the building where he was to oversee the peaceful transfer of power. Congressman Jamie Raskin lays it out clearly.



RASKIN: The Secret Service agents who presumably are reporting to Trump`s Secret Service agents, were trying to spirit him off of the campus. And he said, I`m not getting in that car until we count the Electoral College votes. He knew exactly what this inside coup they had planned for, was going to do. This was not a coup directed at the president. It was a coup directed by the president against the Vice President and against the Congress.


HAYES: And so, that`s why Pence`s six words in that moment, I`m not getting in that car, were about so much more than just the image it would send to the world. It appears they were about the fundamental desire from the ex- president and his loyalists to again, essentially, in that moment, rupture the entire constitutional order in order to install Donald Trump by force against the will of the people.

As promised, I`m joined now by Congressman Jamie Raskin, a member of the January 6 Select Committee. Congressman Raskin, first let`s just start with those facts and my interpretation of them. So, that what you said at Georgetown the other day really caught my eye and a lot of people`s eyes. What did you mean? Why do you find those six words chilling? What is your understanding months into this investigation of the meaning of that moment?

RASKIN: Well, Trump had tried multiple different efforts to overthrow Biden`s majority in the Electoral College. They tried to intimidate and browbeat election officials, like Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in Georgia. That was caught on tape. Everybody heard Trump saying, you know, just find me 11,781 votes, that`s all I want.

That didn`t work. There was the plan to try to get the military to seize the election machinery and to rerun the election. They ran that through the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, which was what led to his aborted effort to install a new attorney general over the attorney general that he didn`t have.

So, there were all of these different efforts going on. And then it finally came down to everything focused on Mike Pence. That was the Hail Mary play or what they were calling the Green Bay Sweep where they were going to throw everything in there at Mike Pence, and they were going to try to pressure him and coerce him into rejecting Electoral College votes in a way that would set the stage for a failure of a majority in the electoral college, and then kicking the whole thing into the House of Representatives under the 12th Amendment for a so-called contingent election, OK. So, that was the whole thing.

And when we got to the floor at 1:00 on January 6, I was very attentive to what was Mike Pence going to do. And he ended up, you know, sending us this memo, which went out to everybody in Congress saying he couldn`t do essentially what Donald Trump was asking him to do.

But the thing that really blew my mind is when we started hearing, the crowds chanting hang Mike Pence, hang Mike Pence, and it`s just struck me is so bizarre that you would have a pro-Trump mob outside chanting against the Vice President. And how would they know that Mike Pence was now the proper target of their wrath? How would they know that they were supposed to be mobilizing this effort against the Vice President?

But you know, those orders were clearly coming from above. And it went through not just the political coup side of the operation, but the violent insurrection side of the operation. So, when I heard him -- I heard that he said, I`m not getting in that car, that was utterly chilling to me. Those are six of the most chilling words in American history to me because they were trying to remove him from the situation. And of course, there had been this effort to try to get Trump just to invoke martial law under the Insurrection Act.

HAYES: Yes. The motion for summary judgment talks about this meeting with this individual, Mr. Ornato with Meadows. I just remember Mr. Ornato -- this is Miss Hutchinson`s testimony. I just remember Mr. Ornato coming in and saying that we had intel report saying there could potentially be violence on the sixth, and Mr. Meadows said, all right, let`s talk about it.

And I guess the question is, to you, like, what is your committee`s understanding -- is your understanding of the significance of that warning of Mr. Ornato`s role?

RASKIN: Well, I can`t say because we really have not discussed that yet and we`re not there yet. But the committee is very focused on the outbreak of violence and what were the intimations of violence, what was the planning for violence that took place among some of the domestic violent extremist groups, including some of those that have been prosecuted and some of the people who have decided to cooperate in turn state`s evidence.

So, we`re trying to put that together. This was a marriage between an inside political coup at the highest levels of the administration, with street thugs and hooligans and neo-fascists.


HAYES: It`s striking reading some of the texts -- and we`re going to talk about some of those from the chief of staff -- that it`s very clear that Mark Meadows is essentially the, you know, the intermediary for much of this discussion. He is the person who`s next to the president, his own son, of course, desperately texting Mark Meadows to try to get to his dad, right? So, his testimony or lack thereof, his refusal to comply with congressional subpoena seems more and more significant in the context of what we`re learning. What is your understanding of its significance and the legal ramifications as of now as we`ve heard nothing from the Department of Justice?

RASKIN: Well, all these thousands of texts make the argument for why we need Mark Meadows to come in and testify to explain precisely what his role was. What was their attitude towards the violence on the streets, what was their plan, how far were they willing to take it in terms of trying to get pence to reject Electoral College votes from Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Georgia, perhaps Nevada and New Mexico, essentially vaporizing the votes of millions and millions of Americans? What was the plan there?

And on what legal basis did they proceed when so many lawyers involved, including, you know, Attorney General William Barr, told them that their arguments were BS, that there was nothing there. There was no election fraud, there was no electoral corruption, and the constitutional arguments being mobilized were completely absurd.

So, on what basis did they proceed? So, we`re waiting for former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to come in and testify about it. That`s why we filed our motion for summary judgment. And it`s clear that the courts have taken the position that these claims of executive privilege are just fraudulent and specious. And there`s nothing there.

And there`s an overwhelming need for the Congress, the United States, the representatives of the people, to get all of the information about what took place in the January 6 assault.

HAYES: All right, Congressman Raskin, I want to ask you if you can just stay with us because while we`re just now getting a chance to dig into the trove of text messages from Mark Meadows you and the committee have had them in hand for months, I want to talk to you about some of the more stunning revelations we`ve caught so far about the public ones, what details we might be missing. So, if you will stick around with us, we will be right back.



HAYES: We now have access to over 2300 text messages from Trump and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, ranging from Election Day up until the inauguration. This huge tranche of messages was initially released by the January 6 Committee and then obtained by CNN and there`s a ton here to dig into.

For example, Meadows texted Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger twice trying to get him on a call with the White House. The first text was back in November with the follow up coming in December with Raffensperger apparently hiding from this message. "Mr. Secretary, can you call the White House switchboard? Your voicemail is full."

Of course the White House eventually reached Raffensperger in January. And during that infamous phone call, we learned Trump pressured him to find 11,780 votes to flip the election, a phone call that was recorded and released.

Now, in January -- on November 7, former Secretary of Energy Rick Perry texted Meadows dubious claims of voter fraud. "We have the data-driven program that can clearly show where the fraud was committed. This is the silver bullet." Of course, Perry had denied reports that he texted Meadows about overturning the election except he signed this text, "Rick Perry."

On November 22, the wife of sitting Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas who of course would be ruling on many of the legal matters pertaining directly to the election, Ginni Thomas texted Meadows regarding the truly bonkers conspiracy theorists Trump`s lawyer Sidney Powell. She`s the woman that seemed to think the ghost of Hugo Chavez was rigging the voting machines and was such a public embarrassment the White House distanced itself from her.

Now, Trump, when he started distancing himself from Powell, Justice Thomas` wife wanted to know why. "Trying to understand the Sidney Powell distancing." Meadows, "She doesn`t have anything or at least she won`t share it if she does." Thomas, "wow." On December 31, Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, who by the way had been in office like for two weeks, implored Meadows --- oh, sorry, this not even in office yet, right, implored Meadows to let her helped with the coup attempt. "We have to get organized for the sixth. I would like to meet with Rudy Giuliani again. We didn`t get to speak with him long. Also anyone who can help. We are getting a lot of members on board. We need to lay out the best case for each state."

Each state there is presumably referring to the effort to get the states that Trump lost to send their own alternate electors, the driving force behind the attempted coup. On January 5, the day before the insurrection, Republican Congressman Jim Jordan and Ohio forwarded Meadows a previously reported text outlining that same strategy, how to steal the election. A bunch of people in Trump`s orbit are converging on this.


We now have Meadows response. "I have pushed for this. Not sure it is going to happen." I have pushed for this, that is I have pushed for the coup. I have pushed for the lawless and illegal overturning of American democracy to install a man by force. Then there are the texts from during the insurrection, which made clear Republicans were clearly very concerned with the mounting violence.

Of course, we already know Trump`s own son Don Jr. texted Meadows, "he`s got to condemn this crap." But Meadows was basically fielding a slew of texts like this. Trump`s first chief of staff Reince Priebus wrote in all caps, "Tell them to go home." His third Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said, Trump "needs to stop this now." Marjorie Taylor Greene who the previous week was plotting for the coup said, Mark, I was just told there is an active shooter on the first floor of the Capitol. Please tell the president to calm people. This isn`t the way to solve anything.

But Congresswoman Greene clearly changed your perspective in the following weeks. Perhaps most damning, a text that came after the insurrection. On January 17, 11 days later, just days before Biden was be sworn in as president, Greene again texted Meadows, "In our private chat with only members, several are saying the only way to save our republic is for Trump to call for martial law. I don`t know on those things. I just wanted you to -- wanted you to tell him. They steal this election. We all know. They will destroy our country next. Please tell them to tell him to declassify as much as possible so we can go after Biden and anyone else."

HAYES: Notably, Greene misspelled martial law there. She also seems to have forgotten all about that text message, at least based on her testimony last week.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ms. Greene, did you advocate the President Trump to impose martial law as a way to remain in power?

GREENE: I don`t recall.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, you`re not denying you did it, you just don`t remember?

GREENE: I don`t remember.


HAYES: Back with me, Congressman Jamie Raskin, Democrat of Maryland, who sits on the January 6 Committee, which has been investigating these text messages for months. Congressman Raskin, you`re a constitutional law professor prior to being a member of Congress and, like me, a lover of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution and the Reconstruction Amendments. And of course, one of the stipulations in the 14th is essentially a bar for office holders who participate in insurrection.

That`s now being tried in courts in several cases. Paul Gosar I believe in Arizona, Madison Cawthorn in North Carolina, and Marjorie Taylor Greene in Georgia. That was the civil trial that she was at in respect to that. What do you think about what those texts say about whether or not she meets the constitutional standard of having participated in insurrection?

RASKIN: Well, it`s a two-step process. You got to first determine whether or not there was an insurrection or rebellion within the meaning of section three of the 14th amendment. And then you`ve got to determine whether a particular person participated in it.

I think there`s overwhelming evidence that there was a violent insurrection. In fact, we`ve got a bicameral, bipartisan, robust vote defining as a legislative fact that there was an insurrection against the union. So, I think that that won`t be tough to show. But then you`ve got to show in each particular case, whether a person was involved or not.

I think, you know, the courts are going different ways that are treating these cases brought by free speech for people. But I think the resistance comes from those courts that are just saying this can`t be decided at the state level, it`s really up to Congress to set up a process for dealing with this.

And so, that will be undoubtedly one of the things that Congress has got to deal with before this session is over.

HAYES: One of the -- there`s a few themes in this text. I mean, one, I just wanted to hammer home an obvious point, but just to talk to you is that, you know, we were all -- you know, we all watched that happen. You were there. Those of us who were not there were watching it live on TV. This was not some far off event, and everyone was freaked the heck out.

They It was scary. It was scary to watch. It was scarier, I`m sure, for people inside. And just that obvious fact that like this was exactly what it looked like, which was a violent mob threatening the constitutional order is very apparent in the texts from all the Republicans desperately trying to get Mark Meadows to get the president to call off the dogs.

RASKIN: Right. Well, look, you know, the first effort was to assert that this was really Antifa that did it. And you can see running through these texts -- and of course, we haven`t released those texts. And we don`t know the provenance of you know whatever this leak was. But in any event, it`s very clear a lot of people were trying to blame it on Antifa from the beginning. And that`s very much part of this story.

But then, you know, after that happened, the assertion was that this was just, you know, a wild demonstration as it had been called by Donald Trump that got out of control. But it was really a lot more than that because the insurrectionary violence can only be understood in conjunction with this attempt to pressure and coerce Mike Pence to reject Electoral College votes and kick the entire contest into the House of Representatives for a so- called contingent election where, I repeat, the GOP had a majority and they knew they had a majority of the state delegations. And that was the ultimate destination of the whole thing.

They were hoping to sanitize the insurrection and the coup by having a contingent election where they could legitimately say, we`ve got 27 states although you subtract Wyoming because I doubt Liz Cheney would have voted. But we have 26 states that are voting for Donald Trump. So, he has legitimately seized the presidency. And that could have led to anything from martial law to Civil War to riots. Who knows where it would have led?


HAYES: Well, I should not, Jason Miller, there`s a bunch of texts about Antifa, but Jason Miller to Mark Meadows and Dan Scavino, this is as this is happening, saying call me crazy but ideas for two tweets from POTUS, bad apples, likely Antifa or other crazy leftists infiltrated to these peaceful protests over the fraudulent vote count.

So, you just like, you know, throwing that out there. You`ve got Marjorie Taylor Greene and Louie Gohmert, again, echoing this as this is happening when it`s obviously not the case. On the martial law front, like I can`t tell how much that`s -- what do you make of that? Like, how serious were the conversations? What do you know about where they were? Marjorie Taylor Greene is not just picking that phrase incorrectly spelled as it is out of a hat.

RASKIN: There was a lot of rumbling about martial law within the GOP caucus before January 6. There were people writing things about how martial law has, in fact, been invoked multiple times through our history. And, you know, if you look at what happened on June 1, of 2020 when Donald Trump and William Barr unleashed a paramilitary police riot against Black Lives Matter protesters in Lafayette Square, it was clearly very much within the air that Donald Trump and his advisers were breathing.

They were -- you know, they were willing to use violent force against protesters. They were also willing to use protesters with violent force against the government, all in the service of making sure that Donald Trump survived in power. That was the whole goal.

HAYES: Final question and quickly, will there be public hearings on all this? Are we going to have a sort of telling of this to the public on television?

RASKIN: So, in June, we are planning to have complete exhaustive hearings where we take, you know, nearly a million records that we`ve been able to acquire and testimony from more than 800 people without the testimony of Trump and his inner circle. But we`re going to be able to take all of this and try to put it together into a coherent story explaining best we can what happened.

Because in a democracy, the people have the right to know about what`s taking place with our government. And we have to preserve our democratic institutions going forward against coos and insurrections, and suppression of the vote and subversion of electoral process.

HAYES: Congressman Jamie Raskin, thank you so much for making time with us. I really, really appreciate it.

RASKIN: Thanks so much for having me, Chris.

HAYES: When we come back, more ton the Republican members of Congress exposed in the Meadows text. Betsy Woodruff Swan and Jill Wine Banks join me to talk about the fall out next.



HAYES: So, over the weekend today, we had a ton of new developments on the January 6 investigation including dozens and dozens and dozens of texts that had been released and published. Here`s sort through it all, Betsy Woodruff Swan who`s a national correspondent for Politico where she has been scrupulously covering the January 6 Committee. And Jill Wine-Banks, a former assistant Watergate Special Prosecutor and former general counsel for the U.S. Army. And they both join me now.

Betsy, let me start with you just on the -- on the text that we`re seeing today. Again, we know there are old -- you know, 2600 I think roughly, dozens and dozens now made public. I imagine this is going to continue. What`s your sort of takeaway from what we`re learning from them?

BETSY WOODRUFF SWAN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: My big question is the extent to which really important conversations aren`t in these text messages. Of course, we don`t know that we have a perfect complete, thorough look at everything the Select Committee has, but we do know that there`s now a really interesting greatest hits batch that`s out there.

And in that batch, to my knowledge, unless I overlooked it, we`re not seeing texts between Meadows and Mike Pence`s staff during the attack on January 6. We`re not seeing texts between Meadows and Trump`s outside legal team, folks like Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani. We`re not seeing texts between Pence and any personnel over at DOJ.

It`s possible that`s because those texts don`t exist. But we can`t know for sure. And the committee certainly can`t know until Meadows turns over everything that`s responsive. And so, in my view, this helps make more sense of why the committee is pushing so hard to force Meadows to comply with their subpoena. If this if this batch indicates what we don`t have, it tells us a lot about the frustration.


HAYES: Yes, it`s a great point. And Hugo Lowell at The Guardian noting that there`s a break, I think, December 19 through 30th of the Meadows ` text. Again, we don`t know what has been turned over and what not, Jill, but what do you think about the sort of nature of that evidentiary record, at least as we know it up to this point, in terms of what the committee has, or has yet to obtain, in coming to some sort of complete report?

JILL WINE BANKS, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: I think the complete report is going to be fascinating. And I can`t wait for the public hearings, which I consider really important. But I think that some of what we`ve seen in the last few days may explain why the Department of Justice has not yet indicted Mark Meadows for contempt. And it may be because these documents show him to be an active participant in a coup, and that maybe they`re looking at him more seriously, for a substance of crime than for obstructing Congress.

I think he could be guilty of both, and that it`s very important to work between the Congress and the prosecutors to make sure that, for example, you don`t give immunity to someone who the Department of Justice wants to indict, which could happen where Congress says, well, we really need his testimony.

Their role is very different. They have to pass laws that will protect us from anything like this happening again. They must do that. Because this, as you have said, is as close to losing democracy as I hope we ever come. So, I want them to pass laws. But they can do it without his testimony if he`s about to be indicted for a crime.

HAYES: I also wonder. It was interesting to see Marjorie Taylor Greene on the stand in that civil trial of Betsy, partly because again, there`s been such a weird memory holding of what that day was like about the -- about how significant it was, about how scared people were, and about what was actually being plotted, right?

What was being plotted was the overthrow of the constitutional system and she overthrow of American democracy. And at least in her denials being so cagey and amorphous, it seemed there was at least some awareness lingering over her, perhaps at the advice of counsel, about exactly what the stakes are in this.

SWAN: Yes. Chris, I can tell you with total confidence that I have never called for the imposition of martial law. You would think that that`s the kind of thing people would remember not ever having said, but we`ve got the congresswoman on video saying, acting like oh, I don`t know, I don`t think so.

And so it`s telling, of course, to see her handle these questions in that particular mode. In terms of just the way that they played out, one comment Congressman Raskin made earlier that I think is worth amplify is the fact that this crowd that swarmed into the Capitol Building knew as they were going in that they had a collective mission of trying to kill the Vice President, really tells you the degree not just anger but of specificity under which they were operating.

The fact that you had a mob that was simultaneously a completely insane mob, but also kind of mission-focused, that itself is it is a fascinating thing that I hadn`t heard a member make before. And I would expect to learn more on that from that committee too.

HAYES: Jill, just to reiterate and elaborate on what you said before about the importance of these public hearings. Again, I don`t want to raise expectations too high from them, because I think the political context they`re coming into is very different than the Watergate hearings for a bunch of reasons having to do with polarization and, you know, fractured media, etcetera.

But you want -- there should be political consequences for attempting to foment a coup. As of now, there haven`t been a ton of them. And I wonder if you think that can be reversed with public hearings?

BANKS: I think it can. I`m very worried when Congressman Raskin says the hearings will begin in June. We will already have had a number of primaries that have taken place that might have been affected if the hearings had happened soon enough. So, I would like to see them start sooner and have this story out there already.

I remain a maybe Pollyanna, but I really do think that there is so much evidence that we have seen publicly. And I`m sure that the Department of Justice and the committee both have much more evidence than we have been able to read in the press, that there`s a crime that`s happened, and that for anyone to get away with it would really be the end of the rule of law.

And so, I remain very optimistic that there will be action taken to hold people accountable. And that means indicting people up the chain.

HAYES: Betsy Woodruff Swan, Jill Wine banks, thank you both very much. When we come back, former President Donald Trump is held in contempt of court where he could be paying up to $10,000 a day just ahead.



HAYES: Today, Donald Trump was held in contempt of court by New York judge and will be fined $10,000 a day every day for failing to comply with a subpoena to turn over documents from the New York State Attorney General`s Office.

New York State A.G. Letitia James has been investigating the ex-president and the Trump organization`s business practices specific ugly whether the company deliberately inflated the valuations of its real estate holdings to secure loans while under seeing them for tax purposes.


Investigators subpoena documents back in December and order the deposition of Trump and two of his adult children Don Jr. and Ivanka. Now, Trump ordered Trump personally -- a judge ordered Trump personally to turn over the documents at the AG`s office by March 3. The deadline was then extended to March 31. But still, no documents were turned over.

This afternoon, a judge weighed in saying, "Mr. Trump, I know you take your business seriously, and I take mine seriously" before holding Trump in contempt and levying the fine. In response, A.G. James wrote, "Our investigation into Donald Trump and the Trump Organization`s financial dealings will continue undeterred because no one is above the law."

It kind of sounds odd to say this given the magnitude of what we oversaw and orchestrated, but I`m pretty sure that the $10,000 a day fine is the most severe legal consequence Donald Trump has faced for his actions since he became president. I suppose it`s the start.



HAYES: For the first time since Russia invaded Ukraine, U.S. cabinet officials visited the country. And given that Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin were travelling into a war zone, the U.S. tried to keep the trip under wraps, sending them on separate planes to Poland before they boarded a train from Southwestern Poland to Kyiv.

But the whole thing was nearly over before it began after his Zelenskyy announced the day before that they becoming prompting a last-minute scramble to determine whether it was still safe for them to go. It was determined so and the pair ended up traveling in on Sunday as planned.

Matt Miller is a White House Special Advisor for Communications for the National Security Council and he joins me now. Good to have you, Matt. What was -- why was the significance? Why was it significant to actually send us cabinet officials into Kyiv?

MATT MILLER, WHITE HOUSE SPECIAL ADVISOR FOR COMMUNICATIONS FOR THE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL: Well, two things, Chris. Number one, it was important to have a conversation about the latest events on the ground for Secretary Austin and Secretary Blinken to hear directly from President Zelenskyy and the rest of the Ukrainian national security team and to give them an update on developments on our end, the return of diplomats to Ukraine, the nomination and Ambassador, and of course the latest tranche of security assistance.

But also, it`s symbolically important. It`s not lost on us. I don`t think it`s lost on anyone for us to send the message that we`re there in person, that we support Ukraine, and to mark the really historic victory that the Ukrainians achieved in defending Kyiv. And the fact that keeps still stands much too -- much against the wishes and the aims of the Russian military.

HAYES: The current U.S. ambassador, I believe, to Slovakia has been nominated to the post in Ukraine if I`m not mistaken. Am I crazy or is it weird that it`s taken this long to nominate an ambassador?

MILLER: Look, it does -- it certainly does take time. Sometimes it`s not longer than we would expect to go through the nomination process to get an ambassador, but we`ve had a career official in place serving as the ambassador who`s had direct conversation, direct -- has been able to carry on significant high level representation to the Ukrainian government.

And don`t forget, President Biden talks directly to President Zelenskyy all the time. Secretary Blinken talks to his counterpart, so there have been no shortage of conversations between the Ukrainian and U.S. governments at very senior levels.

HAYES: One of the announcements over the past week, of course, is $700 million more in direct military aid. We know tanks are now coming in from Poland. There has been a wide host of military equipment and weapons being sent from the U.S. government.

Can you characterize the position of the Biden administration on what they think a feasible outcome of the war is, which is to say there are some who say this is an attempt to bleed Russia dry, right, make this as painful as possible, while the there are others who say, no, this is an attempt for Ukraine to actually effectuate a military victory, essentially, to eject Russia from its territory. What is the goal here of the Biden administration with these arms?

MILLER: So, our goal is number one, we want Ukraine to win. We want them to be successful on the battlefield as they were in Kyiv. We want them to be successful everywhere, and repel the Russians from their country. And number two, we want this war to be a strategic failure for Russia. And so, that has been the goal of our policy.

And so, that`s why we flown weapons -- or we surge weapons into Ukraine to help them defend themselves. And the nature of those weapons have changed over time as the nature of the battle has changed. And number two, we`ve imposed severe sanctions and other economic measures, export controls and others on Russia to limit its ability, number one, to finance this war, and to limit its ability to project power long term.

So we`ve targeted our measures at sectors of the Russian economy that we know are important to President Putin`s ability to project power, the defense sector, the aviation sector, shipbuilding, because we know those are ways that we can limit his ability not just to win this war, but to use power to threaten and coerce other neighbors in the region.

HAYES: Quickly, is there tangible evidence that those sanctions are having the desired effect?

MILLER: Yes, there absolutely is. If you look at the fact that the Russian economy is expected to decline somewhere around 15 percent this year, and the head of the Russian Central Bank came out just last week and said we are now at the point where the sanctions are really about to have an impact because they are -- Russia is going to be denied the ability to, you know, source things like chips, semiconductor chips and other materials that it needs for its manufacturing sector.

These sanctions were always intended to have an effect over the long term and we expect that they will.

HAYES: All right, Matt Miller from the National Security Council, White House Special adviser, thank you very much.

That is ALL IN for this evening. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.