Emails from Trump lawyer John Eastman reveals he plotted to provide some cover to Pennsylvania Republicans looking to toss out Joe Biden`s votes. Republican candidate for governor, Doug Mastriano, is leading the polls despite his involvement in trying to overturn Pennsylvania`s votes in the 2020 election. Palestinian mourners carry the body of slain journalist Shireen Abu Akleh out of the office of Al Jazeera after friends and colleagues paid their respects. House of Representatives crossed over to the Senate side to chant in protest at the senators who are about to cast a vote to decide whether or not abortion would remain legal in America after the Supreme Court is done with it. Sen. Lindsey Graham praises Joe Biden in an audio recording from January 6, 2021.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST 17 journalists have been killed or murdered since the start of this year. Our deepest condolences to Miss Abu Akleh`s loved ones. And that is tonight`s "REIDOUT." ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES starts now.
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AYMAN MOHYELDIN, MSNBC ANCHOR (voiceover): Tonight on ALL IN.
JOHN EASTMAN, TRUMP LAWYER: We have enough votes to barely get over the finish line.
MOHYELDIN: The so-called architect of Donald Trump`s coup in his own words. Tonight, the explosive new emails from John Eastman asking for ballots to be tossed to provide some cover for stealing the election.
Then, how the lawmakers working to overturn the vote in Pennsylvania may be on the verge of taking over the state`s elections.
Plus, the demands for answers as a Palestinian American journalist is killed in the West Bank.
And how did Lindsey Graham get caught on tape endorsing Joe Biden?
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): Totally, he`ll maybe the best person to have, right? I mean, how mad can you get at Joe Biden?
MOHYELDIN: And the remarkable scene inside the Capitol where House members protested senators on their way to vote down a federal right to abortion. ALL IN starts right now.
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MOHYELDIN (on camera): Good evening, everyone. I`m Ayman Mohyeldin in New York in for Chris Hayes. The ex-President knew the conclusion he wanted. He wanted to overthrow the results of a free and fair election. He wanted to install himself as the winner. He just needed to manufacture a way to get there. And that is where John Eastman comes into the picture.
Eastman, of course, is a lawyer. He`s a diehard Trump ally who was the architect behind much of the attempted coup. In fact, he even spoke at Trump`s January 6 rally at the ellipse, the one where Trump incited the insurrection.
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EASTMAN: All we are demanding of Vice President Pence is this afternoon at 1:00, he let the legislatures of the state look into this, so we get to the bottom of it and the American people know whether we have control of the direction of our government or not.
We no longer live in a self-governing republic if we can`t get the answer to this question. This is bigger than President Trump. It is the very essence of our republican form of government and it has to be done. And anybody that is not willing to stand up to do it does not deserve to be in the office.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MOHYELDIN: All right, so that`s what Eastman was saying publicly. But more notably is the work Eastman was doing behind the scenes. He authored the now-infamous coup memo where he actually urged then Vice President Mike Pence to literally throw out the results from seven states that Joe Biden had won before he "gavels President Trump as reelected."
Now, in order for that scheme to have work, Trump and Eastman needed to get the states on board. They actually needed Republican legislators in those seven states to object to the official count, saying that Biden won. And that is where this latest revelation comes into focus.
According to a trove of Eastman`s emails first reported by the Denver Post and published by Politico, Eastman was corresponding with a Republican Pennsylvania state legislator, a guy named Russ Diamond. So, Eastman was basically trying to have Diamond come up with a way to overturn Biden`s 80,000 vote victory in Pennsylvania. And he suggested that the state just basically throw out some of the votes for Biden.
Eastman proposed a convoluted scheme in which the state Republicans would use Trump`s bogus claims of fraud as a pretext. And to do so, complicated math would ultimately result in a large number of absentee ballots for Joe Biden being tossed out. Then Eastman writes, "having done that math, you`d be left with a significant Trump lead that would bolster the argument for the legislator adopting a slate of Trump electors. Perfectly within your authority to do anyway, but now bolstered by the untainted popular vote. That would help provide some cover."
So, Eastman is basically here saying that the states can just throw out Biden`s victory for any reason. But as he pointed out, they needed cover and official reason to do so. And that is the logic behind Trump`s big lie. The one that focused on election fraud -- by election fraud, excuse me, and that was basically to provide cover for the states to change those results and get him to be the winner.
Now, Eastman was essentially doing a slightly more sophisticated version of Trump`s call to Georgia Secretary of State. We all remember that one. The one where he basically told Brad Raffensperger, find the votes I need to win. As one member of the bipartisan committee investigating January 6, Democrat Jamie Ryan basket of Maryland told The Washington Post, "Eastman wasn`t doing anything that Trump himself wasn`t doing. They were both trying to get officials in the electoral process to substitute a counterfeit for the actual vote totals."
Right now, at this moment, the committee is fighting a legal battle to obtain more of Eastman`s emails from the days leading up to January 6. Every new piece of information the committee finds about these coup plotters is damning. This is just yet another example of how they tried to use the levers of power to keep Donald Trump in the White House.
And it was mostly by sheer luck and quite honestly, the willingness of a handful of people to actually stand up to Trump to say that plot did not work. But Trump or perhaps even some future Republican is quite free to try again. And Eastman already wrote the blueprint for whoever wants to use it. As Congressman Raskin put it, "This shows the country one more strategic booby trap that was improvised by Trump`s team that can sit there for use by bad-faith actors in future elections."
Harry Litman is a former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania and Deputy Assistant Attorney General under President Clinton. He is currently a legal affairs columnist for The Los Angeles Times and host of the Talking Feds podcast. He joins me now.
It`s great to see you again. Thank you so much for making time for us, Harry.
HARRY LITMAN, FORMER U.S. DEPUTY ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL: So, as Greg Sargent puts it in the Washington Post. He writes, Eastman advises the Pennsylvania legislature to use a complex formula based on treating mail-in ballots as illegitimate. To basically extrapolate that enough Biden votes are invalid to show Trump won the popular vote.
How would a scheme like that even potentially be challenged when you`re talking about tens of thousands of ballots that you are trying to invalidate?
LITMAN: It would be a huge mess and that`s probably what he was pointing for. Although ironically, even under his bogus formula, they wouldn`t have gotten to where they needed to be. But look, we`ve been thinking of Eastman largely in terms of Pence. He`s the architect of the theory, and then he harangues Pence`s people after to saying they`re responsible for the actual riot.
This is before. This is in December. The other -- a judge has already held that Eastman probably committed crimes and held that what he was doing with pants was a coup in search of a legal theory. This is a coup in search of a different legal theory. And you`re really right, Ayman, to analogize it to the Raffensperger just give me 11,780 votes.
He basically went to Diamond in Pennsylvania and said, oh, do a lot of whereas, hereto forth, etcetera, and say you don`t have confidence in some of the absentee votes and therefore, throw them all out just enough to get over the line. Of course, his math is wrong.
LITMAN: But that would -- that would have been the idea that state legislatures expressed some doubt. And now the apple carts upset and we start -- we start from scratch. That, again, was a whole different theory that he was applying before January 6. And those are the emails that we basically don`t have. We got these by chance through a Colorado sort of FOIA, but there`s a lot more that the committee hasn`t seen.
MOHYELDIN: OK, so, let me ask you about that. Because listen, I`m not the lawyer, you are. But Eastman referred to the Pennsylvania scheme as a "cover." And for me, that`s the kind of word. Again, I`m not a lawyer. But doesn`t that word basically give the whole game away when you are talking about a scheme and you`re saying it is a cover?
LITMAN: Yes, you don`t have to be a lawyer for that. And he`s done it in other places. So, cover exactly means -- that`s his equivalent of, I just need 11,107 -- 11,780. It`s reverse-engineered very plainly to get over a finish line either to then have the state do what it wanted or at least create the kind of chaos, you know, let all the chess pieces be upset that he was trying to do with Pence, and he still tried to do after.
This guy is shameless and there`s no theory he won`t endorse. But it`s important that this was a whole another one that he was trying to sell even before he focused on Pence.
MOHYELDIN: And let me ask you really quickly. We have under a minute left. This is a point that Congressman Raskin has talked about. It`s something I`ve also talked about as well. This is basically a blueprint because if Trump wasn`t smart enough to pull it off in 2020, either him in 2024 or whoever replaces him, somebody who`s even more evil, more maniacal could pull it off. And this is just waiting for the next presidential candidate.
What is to stop them from doing so? Have we done anything in the last two years to prevent that scheme from be being executed by a future more savvy President?
LITMAN: Yes, not yet. And again, the strategy is to create confusion and take it from there what we need to do is really clarify. It`s already illegal, Ayman. But if they really clarified the famously confusing electoral Count Act of 1887, that would make it clear that they couldn`t even get started with this sort of bogus scheme.
MOHYELDIN: Harry Litman, thank you so much for your time. I greatly appreciate it.
LITMAN: Thank you.
MOHYELDIN: And I appreciate your insights.
Congresswoman Elaine Luria is a Democrat from Virginia. She sits on the bipartisan committee investigating the January 6 insurrection. She joins me now. Congresswoman, thank you so much for making some time for us. So, some damaging revelations in these emails published by Politico. Did you already have them? Have you already seen these emails in their contents?
REP. ELAINE LURIA (D-VA): Well, what I`ll say is, you know, we have over 100,000 documents that the committee has received. And you know, following our practice, I`m not going to comment on specific emails or documents that we have. But what I would say is, and I`ve said this before, these things are the tip of the iceberg.
You know, they paint a really clear picture as you just discussed of let`s just find the votes, let`s find some factor by which we can multiply the votes by and then do the math. I mean, that`s not how you do elections. You don`t just do the math, do some different equations to come out with results you want, then pick different electors.
So, you know, this whole scheme which he clearly personally admits is a cover, essentially, for stealing the election is, you know, it`s a key part of the story that we have to tell through the committee and that will, you know, touch on and go into much more depth when we have the opportunity to have hearings in June.
MOHYELDIN: And can you tell us a little bit about the thrust of what the committee is hoping to learn from the emails that Eastman has not yet turned over?
LURIA: Well, you know, if every email we get from him is a treasure trove of, you know, details about, you know, how he`s going to try to coerce different state legislators, how to change the vote and, you know, make excuses for how you can use that as a cover to change the outcome of the election. You can imagine if through this FOIA request, there`s several that have been made public. There`s tens of thousands that are part of this litigation that`s ongoing to receive from Eastman.
So, you know, I think that we will discover a lot more. And just in my personal opinion, probably some very similar correspondence and maybe even more nefarious tricks to try to affect the outcome of the vote and use that to influence what, you know, Mike Pence -- what he was trying to get Pence to do on January 6.
MOHYELDIN: Yes. And so it seems that there were, Congresswoman, a lot of co-conspirators in Trump`s attempt to wanted to push this coup through. But from how I read it, and I could be wrong, Eastman seems like he may have been one of, if not the most crucial person in this scheme. Is that your sense as well? Are you able to paint a clearer picture for us into the co- conspirators and where Eastman fit into that circle?
LURIA: What I can say is he was clearly a central figure in this plot, just the volume of emails that we know exist, and the types of people he was reaching out to, in this case, a legislator in Pennsylvania. You know, the volume, the content that we`re aware of from the previous discussion shows that, you know, he`s a key cog in this machine that was trying to, you know, piece together a different election result than what the voters had decided when they went to the polls that day.
MOHYELDIN: And finally, I got to ask you about those public hearings. They`re set to start in about a month. What more does the committee need before that? And will you start those hearings regardless of whether you finish your work and trying to get to the bottom of this?
LURIA: So, we are planning to start the hearings in early June, around June 9th. And, you know, as we approach the hearings, we are still conducting interviews. We`re still receiving documents. There`s still information that`s important to the work of the committee. This opportunity in June is for us to lay out the work, the product to paint a picture with the information that we`ve received over the course of the last year of our investigation.
But we will continue to pursue the truth and more information, continue to talk to witnesses and you know, all of the information we gather collectively will go into our report later in the year.
MOHYELDIN: All right, Congresswoman Elaine Luria, thank you so much for your time. I really appreciated your insights.
LURIA: Thank you.
MOHYELDIN: It is important to remember here that the attempts at election subversion have actually not stopped with the removal of President Trump. Many in the MAGA crew who tried to steal 2020 are now attempting to gain control over elections in states like Pennsylvania. In fact, the state representative who John Eastman was just emailing with about those strategies to overturn the election, believe it or not, he`s actually running for higher office in that state.
And he isn`t the only coup plotter campaigning for a position with more power over our elections. We`ll tell you about that next.
MOHYELDIN: So, as we`ve been reporting, a new set of emails show that the ex-President`s top coup-plotting lawyer John Eastman was trying all he could to keep Donald Trump in power. The emails again, as we first mentioned, reported first by the Denver Post include this man, Pennsylvania State Representative named Russ Diamond who asked for Eastman`s help in "searching for legislative solutions to our current national predicament."
That national predicament you might wonder was the peaceful transfer of power after a legitimate election where there was no voter fraud. Now, that man Russ Diamond is running for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania as we speak.
And he is not the only coup plotter that is asking for a promotion. You have state senator Doug Mastriano who wants to be the Republican candidate for governor despite his involvement in trying to overturn Pennsylvania`s votes in the 2020 election.
Now, Mastriano was also at the Capitol on January 6 during the riot after the police lines were breached. He then tried to use his position in the Senate to attempt an Arizona style audit of Pennsylvania`s election even after Joe Biden`s inauguration.
Now, Mastriano was the top Trump ally in state government working to find non-existent voter fraud. He was even subpoenaed by the January 6 Committee over his attempts to arrange for an alternate slate of electors in that state, though he missed that scheduled deposition.
So, even with Donald Trump staying neutral so far, Mastriano is MAGA-style politics have launched him as the current frontrunner in that race. And at a recent debate, he gave a preview of how Pennsylvania`s elections process would actually change if he got that position. Watch.
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DOUG MASTRIANO (R-PA), GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: There`s seven or eight pieces of legislation I have to tighten up. But the most important thing is I get to appoint the Secretary of State. And that Secretary State is going to clean up the election logs. We`re going to reset. In fact, the registration, you have to reregister. We`re going to start all over again. I saw better elections in Afghanistan that in Pennsylvania. For me, this is no game.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MOHYELDIN: Holly Otterbein is a national political reporter for Politico and previously worked at the Philadelphia Inquirer. She has been covering the various Pennsylvania races. She joins me now. Holly, it`s great to have you with us. I appreciate you making some time for us. So, you wrote about Pennsylvania Republicans and the scramble to prevent a MAGA candidate Mastriano from being the nominee for governor. How are they doing with that effort?
HOLLY OTTERBEIN, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, POLITICO: Yes, so remember the 2020 presidential election for the Democratic nominee. When Bernie Sanders was, you know, winning states, Democrats freaked out. And then you had a bunch of candidates drop out and unite behind Joe Biden to defeat Bernie Sanders.
That`s basically what the Republicans in Pennsylvania are trying for here with Mastriano. They`re very concerned about him becoming the nominee and ruining their chances in the fall. And so, top Republicans at the county level, local level, and gubernatorial campaigns have had conversations about hey, can we all unite around one person.
And right now, Mastriano is really benefiting from a splintered divided vote. There`s four top candidates for governor. There`s even more than that in the single digits. They`re all splitting up the vote. And Mastriano has this dedicated core base of like, 30 percent. That`s not going anywhere. And they want to try to basically, you know, do what the Democrats did in 2020 and unite behind one candidate.
But right now, it`s -- you know, I think that they might have limited success. Two of the candidates are scheduled to appear at a joint appearance tomorrow. We kind of know where that`s going. But I think it`s probably unlikely that you`re actually going to see all of them unite behind one non-Mastriano candidate at this point.
MOHYELDIN: Can you shed some light? And I know you`ve reported that the PA Republicans, as you were just saying, worry that the party could be doing its chances in November by picking a polarizing candidate with limited appeal. What is it about him? For those of us that are not versed in Pennsylvania politics, what is it about Mastriano that gives even Republicans this moment of pause, let alone the statewide race?
OTTERBEIN: Well, look, he is the face of the movement in Pennsylvania to overturn the 2020 election. And like you said, he was there at the Capitol on January 6. He`s been subpoenaed by the Congressional committee investigating the attack.
Even if Republicans and many of them do, you know, like what he was trying to do there, they don`t want to be talking about those things in the general election this fall. They want to be talking about gas prices going up, inflation hitting record highs, crime going up across the country, right? They don`t want this focus to be on January 6 on all of these things that make Doug Mastriano so controversial.
And he`s also, you know, sort of a divisive candidate within the Republican Party itself. He actually voted for the legislation to legalize no excuse mail voting, you know, before that became something that you couldn`t do in the Republican Party. And so, a lot of Republicans are, you know, upset with him for doing that.
And they also think that he doesn`t have a real campaign operation. He`s spent less than $300,000 on TV ads. He doesn`t interact with the press at all. And so, they`re worried you know about him going up against Josh Shapiro, the current attorney general in Pennsylvania and the presumptive Democratic gubernatorial nominee who has just -- has a giant war chest and he has, you know, no real competition and has a very professionalized operation.
MOHYELDIN: Really quickly and we`re almost out of time. Do we know why Trump has not yet endorsed a candidate in this race? I mean, he does loom large over Pennsylvania politics. He`s endorsed Mehmet Oz for the Senate race. We know it as a swing state, but he still has not endorsed a candidate. What gives you think?
OTTERBEIN: I mean, it`s always hard to get in the mind of Donald Trump. The sort of humors in Pennsylvania are that his, you know, loyalties are a little bit split perhaps or he might not be that impressed with any of the candidates.
You know, one of the top candidates he actually endorsed in 2018 for another race but went on to lose. You know, you`ve got Mastriano who`s controversial in the party. You know, you`ve got some other folks. Maybe he hasn`t had, you know, perhaps the best interactions with.
So, again, I am reluctant to get into his head, but that`s kind of the, you know, what Republicans in the state are talking about.
MOHYELDIN: All right, Holly Otterbein, thank you so much for joining us, Holly. I greatly appreciate your reporting and insights as always.
Still ahead, as the Senate fails to protect the abortion rights in this country, what is left for Congress to do? The next fight and the House members protesting in the halls of Capitol Hill after this.
MOHYELDIN: This morning, I woke up to the news of the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh. Shireen was a veteran journalist for Al Jazeera. She was a mentor, a colleague, and above all, she was my friend. Shireen was killed while she was doing her job reporting on an Israeli military raid taking place in the occupied West Bank.
Her killing sparked outrage and condemnation around the world. Al Jazeera said that the Israeli military targeted Shireen and killed her deliberately. The Israeli government acknowledged that it was conducting an operation in the area, but said that the Palestinian American reporter might have been killed by Palestinian militants during the gunfight.
Now, even though all the eyewitnesses around Shireen at the time, including nearby journalists reporting on that raid refuted the Israeli claim. The Israeli military actually later backtracked on that saying it is not possible to determine how Shireen was killed at this point.
Now, I`m not going to comment on who killed Shireen, but I am going to tell you who in my opinion should not investigate her death, and that is the Israeli military and the government. Time and time again, we have seen the Israeli military operate with impunity in the occupied Palestinian territories, and it goes unchecked.
No officers are held accountable. No justice is served. We hear as we did yet again today American officials condemn and call for investigations into Israeli abuses. But as history has shown, there is rarely, if ever, any justice for the killing of Palestinians, whether they are American or not, quite frankly.
And today, the spokesman for the Israeli military, Ran Kochav, seemingly tried to explain the tragedy by saying that Shireen "was filming and working for a media outlet amidst armed Palestinians. They`re armed with cameras if you permit me to say so."
Those were his words. They are not my words. Armed with cameras is exactly how journalists go to war. The only danger they pose is to anyone who would benefit from the horrors and injustices of war remaining hidden from the outside world. It is only because then those journalists on the ground there today who were armed with those cameras that we hear in New York and around the world know some of the circumstances of Shireen death.
And recently in Ukraine, an American journalist was killed covering the Russian invasion of that country. Did any one question or tried to imply that the journalist was in the wrong for what they were doing and why they were doing it?
Now, no one would expect the Russians to fairly carry out an investigation of the American journalist that was killed there. And if history is any indicator, no one should expect Israel to carry out this investigation impartially. Nobody would take that seriously.
Now, the killing of journalists, whether it`s in Mexico or Ukraine or in the occupied Palestinian territories, that must be condemned and investigated, but not by the countries accused of allegedly killing them, but by independent bodies who claim to uphold free speech and the right to a free press as fundamental human rights.
Here in this country, we owe that to our own citizens whose taxes are used to bankroll the Israeli military and the Palestinian authority to demand answers when Americans are killed even when it is at the hands of our allies.
Now, today, mourners actually escorted Shireen flag-draped body. It was covered with the flak jacket that she was wearing that was clearly marked press. Shireen believed in and die to protect that fundamental freedom. She was a fearless reporter who I got to know when I was based in Jerusalem.
In fact she actually took me under her wing and taught me so much about the region and the conflict as newsroom colleagues. We became friends. She was kind. She was gracious. She was hilarious. She was compassionate. Her humanity was unmatched and reflected in the people she covered and the stories that she told for nearly 25 years reporting on the frontlines of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
And while she became a household name across the Arab-speaking world, she also became a role model for millions of young children who aspired to be journalists in one of the most fraught regions of the world to be a journalist. Here she is featured in this AlJazeera 25th anniversary video in her own words.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHIREEN ABU AKLEH, JOURNALIST (text): I managed to overcome my fears in difficult times because I have chosen journalism in order to be close to the people. It might not be easy to change the reality but at least I was able to convey the people`s message and voice. I am Shireen Abu Akleh.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MOHYELDIN: That is who Shireen was. And that is how she will be remembered. And here is Shireen on a recent trip to New York during the holidays posing gleefully outside the Christmas tree right outside our studios at Rockefeller Center. And this is how I will remember my friend.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVE MEMBERS: My body, my decision.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My body, my possession.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVE MEMBERS: My body, my decision.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MOHYELDIN: All right, so this is a scene that does not happen in the United States Capitol. You have members of the House of Representatives basically crossing over to the Senate side to shout in protest at the senators who are about to cast a vote to decide whether or not abortion would remain legal in America after the Supreme Court is done with it.
The Senate though as expected voted against the Women`s Health Protection Act. And even though the vast majority of Americans, a whopping 61 percent actually support it, with Vice President Kamala Harris presiding, the vote came down 49 to 51. Every Republican including the West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin voted against protecting the health of American women in this country.
I`m joined now by one of the House members who marched to the Senate side chanting, my body, my decision, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas. Congresswoman, thank you so much for making time for us tonight.
Now that the Republicans have effectively killed this bill with Manchin on their side, what, if anything can Democrats do to protect women`s rights in this country?
REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D-TX): Well, first of all, thanks for having me. I think the announcement from that vote should be that the freedom of women in this nation has just been denied, that women do not have freedom, freedom over their own bodies, freedom over their own thoughts, over their own rights. And I think that that is going to ring loudly and clearly as we marched toward November 2022.
You know, it should be made very clear. Every single Republican voted against the Women`s Health Protection Act, a simple bill that would again, allow women to be treated as human beings with humanity, dignity and human rights and women`s rights being respected. So, Democrats are not going to allow this to be the case.
I happen to be one who supports the eliminating of the filibuster. And of course, Republicans have throated that. And so, the point should be made that we will -- incrementally, we will expand the knowledge of who has stopped you from getting an abortion, what has stopped you from getting an abortion. It is Republicans in the Senate, and it is potentially the United States Supreme Court where Alito in his opinion has said that constitutional rights are not necessarily fundamental. Can you believe it?
That means that we are going down a slippery slope, that the Constitution may be shredded in our very faces. That is not going to be allowed. You can see people are angry and anguish. We want to channel that into ensuring that Republicans don`t win and Democrats do win. We did not bring this on America. Republicans did. We did not bring this on Republicans. They did.
And so, we will put forward other legislative initiatives. We will hear the stories of women who are a victim, and we will educate Americans to ensure that the victor goes to women and women`s reproductive rights.
MOHYELDIN: So, let me ask you about two of those things that you talked about both the filibuster and your legislative agenda because quite honestly, the house has sent several measures that were priorities in the President`s domestic agenda, including build back better, the Voting Rights bill. They sent those to the Senate to get something done on them only to see them stall out.
How can Congress function if Republicans -- if Republicans can just simply say they won`t vote for something and kill a bill legislatively while you also have senators like Manchin and Sinema who refuse to do away with the - - with the filibuster? Is the system now effectively dysfunctional?
LEE: I don`t want the American people to think that at all. And I frankly am not going to give up on Senators Sinema and Manchin. And Senator Schumer, Majority Leader Schumer is not going as well. And I think the American people`s voices collectively need to be raised.
And every senator will have to be held responsible for recognizing whether it is constitutional rights, the right to privacy is superior above any individual personal thoughts that might cause you one neck to want to get rid of the filibuster. The filibuster should have been gone for voting rights. The filibuster certainly should be gone for denying the Ninth Amendment and the right to privacy, and also the rights to fundamental constitutional rights.
Now, we`re going to introduce bills -- and by the way, we -- I have introduced a bill that the Senate has as well, and that is the anti- vigilante stalking bill. Because in addition to the whole HB-8, that is a Texas horrible bill that has now caused women to flee Texas to seek reproductive rights, they now have in essence metastasize the stocking part of it. That is the part that will allow someone to receive a bounty, a reward, money, if they stalk people who are seeking reproductive rights.
And Oklahoma has just passed that bill. We want to criminalize it, I hate to say that, and provide enhanced penalties for anyone that does that. Add it to the federal anti-stalking bill. We want you to know that it is criminally illegal to stop a woman from seeking personal health needs and reproductive rights.
But we`re going to keep putting forward bills, putting on the floor as necessary, when necessary that they can pass. I hope Republicans would want to vote against that. But as well, we want to make sure that the stories of victims or persons who have had the need, the personal need to address the reproductive rights, those stories need to be told.
And the question will be asked what side of history do you want to be on, the side of the Constitution, the side of biding freedom to women or not.
MOHYELDIN: Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, thank you so much for your time. I greatly appreciate you joining us this evening.
LEE: Thanks for having me.
MOHYELDIN: Next, the new tapes from after the January 6 Attack of Donald Trump`s biggest lackey in the Senate throwing his support behind Joe Biden. What he said after this.
MOHYELDIN: All right, so first, we got the tapes revealing exactly what Donald Trump`s allies in the House were saying behind closed doors after the January 6 insurrection. And actually, now, we`re getting a look inside the Senate and what they were saying. New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns, authors of the new book This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, And The Battle For America`s Future have just released an audio recording of Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina on January 6th just after the riot saying that President Joe Biden is exactly what the country needed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRAHAM: We`ll actually come out of this thing stronger. Moments like this reset. People will calm down. People will say, I don`t want to be associated with that. This is a group within a group. What this does, there will be a rallying effect for the country says we`re better than this.
JONATHAN MARTIN, JOURNALIST: Biden will help that, right?
GRAHAM: Totally, he`ll maybe the best person to have, right? I mean, how mad can you get at Joe Biden?
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MOHYELDIN: All right, so 60 months after the attack on the Capitol, when those words were uttered by Senator Lindsey Graham, that position is clearly not the politics of most of the Republican Party, probably not even that of Senator Lindsey Graham himself.
Michelle Goldberg and Charles Blow are both opinion columnist for the New York Times. Michelle writes about politics, gender, and social issues and Charles writes about politics and social justice. They both join me now. It`s great to have both of you with us.
Michelle, I`ll start with you. What do you make of these comments from Lindsey Graham praising Joe Biden behind the scenes because it`s a very different tune than what he has been singing in public about Trump and him being the future of our party, either we get with him or we`re out?
MICHELLE GOLDBERG, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, look, it`s impossible -- I`ve completely lost my capacity to be, you know, either shocked or surprised. Republican hypocrisy I think it`s to be expected at this point. I mean, I do think it`s worth pointing out that, you know, when Lindsey Graham says this is a moment to reset, that was a choice. This -- that could have been a moment to reset if the Republican Party had decided to cease it, had decided that that`s what they wanted to do.
They made a choice that it was more important to feed Donald Trump`s egos and fantasies than -- and, you know, to kind of drive the country even further into madness than to use that opportunity to kind of draw a line under the chaos of the previous four years.
MOHYELDIN: So, Charles, we learned today through these John Eastman emails that he pressured Pennsylvania state lawmakers to throw out absentee ballots and give Trump a win. Does that surprise you when you see the degree to which this scheming was taking place behind the scenes?
CHARLES BLOW, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: I don`t think it`s surprising as much as it is shocking and should be a warning for everyone heading into 2024. What he was asking the representatives, the officials in Pennsylvania to do is precisely what could be done if you had people who were open to the idea.
And what we see now is multiple people across the country who are people who believe that the election should have been overturned, who believe it Donald Trump won, or at least say that they believe that, are running for offices where we -- where we put them in position to do exactly what Eastman was asking to be done.
So, it`s less about me being shocked that they were trying to steal the election in 2020. I am very convinced of that. And every time that something comes out, it confirms that. What to me is -- everyone should be standing up saying hold on, wait a minute, is the idea that it could actually happen in 2024.
MOHYELDIN: Michelle, let`s turn to the latest on the abortion rights debate in this country. Today, Joe Manchin did what Joe Manchin does which is basically vote with Republicans to reject a bill legalizing abortion nationwide. I want to play for you what he said before the vote. Take a listen.
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SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): The bill we have today to vote on, Women`s Health Protection Act, and I respect people who support it, but make no mistake, it is not Roe v Wade codification. It`s an expansion. It wipes 500 state laws off the books. It expands abortion. It`s just disappointing that we`re going to be voting on a piece of legislation which I will not vote for today. But I would vote for a Roe v Wade codification if it was today. I was hopeful for that.
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MOHYELDIN: So, that`s -- that is what Joe mentioned does. You know, he just kind of like obfuscates a little bit some of the details of what this is really about. And so, it begs the question, how can Democrats say they are the stewards of abortion rights if their own party member defects and votes against it?
GOLDBERG: Well, look, I mean, I think that there`s a difference between being ineffectual and hypocritical. The Democratic Party, by and large, really are the stewards of reproductive rights in that, you know, the vast majority of Democrats support reproductive rights. They are, you know, appointing and confirming judges that will defend what is left of reproductive rights after Roe vs. Wade is overturned. They`re trying to codify reproductive rights at the state level wherever they can. So, I don`t think anybody should be comparing the two parties.
I don`t really understand the point of putting this up for a vote if you can`t get all the Democrats on board. I think, you know, there`s this idea that people are going to punish Republicans for this. But you know, the structure of the Senate means that Republicans don`t need to appeal to a majority of the country. That`s the reason that we`re in the situation that we`re in.
At the same time, this is all sort of theater because even if we did have a majority to pass this bill, we don`t have a majority to break the filibuster -- we don`t have enough votes to break the filibuster in order to actually enact it. And so, you know, as long as there were -- as long as there are members of the Democratic Party, Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema who put these, you know, sort of recondite procedural techniques ahead of being actually able to pass legislation, there`s frankly very little that, you know, Congressional Democrats can do.
MOHYELDIN: Charles, in your recent piece about the Supreme Court, you write, "the court is a product of the framers of the Constitution. And for all their flashes of brilliance, they made some terribly flawed decisions about our government. That`s why originalist, those who believe that judgments by the court must conform to how the Founders understood the Constitution when it was written are so dangerous. The originalists know that they can turn that clock back. They know the horrendous history of the court, and they want it to rise again.
Some very powerful words there. But what are you most concerned about as we sit on the precipice of losing abortion rights in America and what that may mean for the originalist on the court?
BLOW: Well, there`s nothing to stop it, right. You know, the Supreme Court is, you know, a council onto itself. There are very few checks on it other than to replace members when they die or they resign. And so, there`s nothing really to stop them. They don`t bow to public pressure. They`re not elected.
And you now have people on the court, five of the nine are there because of people who didn`t even win the popular vote. They are pushing forward an agenda that doesn`t respect precedent in a way that even said before congress that they would respect. So, there`s nothing to stop.
And this is an invasion of privacy issue, at least for the courts on abortion. But there are a lot of other decision that are based on this issue of invasion of privacy.
BLOW: And what stops the court from going back?
MOHYELDIN: Yes, that`s exactly the question I think everyone -- on everyone`s mind as this story continues to develop. Charles Blow, Michelle Goldberg, thank you so much for joining us. I greatly appreciate your insights.
That is ALL IN on this Wednesday night. I`m Ayman Mohyeldin here in New York. Don`t forget to catch me on the weekends on Saturdays 8:00 p.m. Eastern, Sundays at 9:00. "MSNBC PRIMETIME" starts with my good friend Ali Velshi. Good evening, Ali.