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Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 7/26/22

Guests: Adam Schiff, David Jolly, Will Bunch


The Washington Post is reporting the DOJ is investigating the ex- President`s actions as part of its criminal probe on January 6. Attorney General Merrick Garland is speaking out for the first time since the January 6 Committee wrapped its final public hearing of the summer. New York Times reveals emails from Trump world that shed light on the Trump fake electors plan. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) joins Hayes to discuss the latest Trump emails.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His successful was as a social change agent.


JASON JOHNSON, MSNBC HOST: Today`s museum opening is another major milestone in that legacy. And it could not have been done without his widow Rachel Robinson who turned 100 years old earlier this month. She was out on hand to cut the ribbon.

And that`s tonight`s "REIDOUT". Joy is back tomorrow night. ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES starts right now.


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

LESTER HOLT, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: The indictment of former president or perhaps candidate for president would arguably tear the country apart. Is that your concern?

HAYES: An NBC News exclusive interview.

HOLT: There`s been a lot of criticism, a lot of pressure that the DOJ is kind of behind the power curve, you`re behind the committee.

HAYES: The Justice Department goes public as the January 6 Committee goes dark.

MERRICK GARLAND, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I think that the hearings did an extremely good job of reminding us how important that day was.

HAYES: Tonight, Congressman Adam Schiff and former Senator Claire McCaskill on the Merrick Garland interview, and the new reporting that the Department of Justice is investigating Donald Trump.

Plus, as Pence for President essentially kicks off, can you really agree to disagree after a violent coup attempt?

MIKE PENCE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don`t know that the President and I differ on issues, but we may differ on focus.

HAYES: And new reporting on the fake electric campaign to upend democracy and the Republican running for governor who`s in the middle of it all when ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. In the past hour, we just got a huge bit of breaking news. The Department of Justice is investigating Donald Trump. The Washington Post is reporting the DOJ is investigating the ex-President`s actions as part of its criminal probe on January 6.

Sources telling the post that federal prosecutors were questioning witnesses before Grand Jury have asked hours of detailed questions about meetings Trump led in December 2020 and January 2021, his pressure campaign on pens to overturn the election, and what instructions Trump gave his lawyers and advisors about fake electors and sending electors back to the States. Some of the questions focused directly on the extent of Trump`s involvement in the fake electoral law effort led by his outside lawyers, including John Eastman, and Rudy Giuliani.

Now, of course, at some level, I think we all thought something like this was happening. But there has not been a concrete reporting on this until now. This major news comes tonight, as Attorney General Merrick Garland is speaking out for the first time since the January 6 Committee wrapped its final public hearing of the summer, until the committee returns in September.

We`re going to play for you his exclusive interview with NBC "NIGHTLY NEWS" anchor Lester Holt. And it comes of course at a key moment for Garland. I mean, all eyes are on Attorney General Garland and the Department of Justice. Both of which are under pressure to take action in light of the damning set of facts that have been laid out so rigorously by the committee.

Over eight hearings, the committee showed how Donald Trump and his allies willfully, intentionally conspired to overturn a lawful election culminating in the attempted coup on January 6. And I got to say that nearly every legal expert who watched and listened to the evidence, it seems like there is, while not a slam dunk, definitely a criminal case to be investigated here.

And then came news that the day after that eighth and final hearing, Marc Short, he`s the Chief of Staff to Mike Pence, testified before a federal grand jury investigating the insurrection DC. And yesterday, we learned that Short wasn`t the only pence official testified. Pence`s chief counsel, Greg Jacob, also appear before the grand jury, making those two officials the most prominent witnesses that we know of that have testified as part of the Department of Justice`s criminal investigation before a criminal grand jury.

They were both present for key meetings where Donald Trump and his allies tried to pressure Pence into halting the search for certification of electoral votes on January 6. Today, we got this stunning report from New York Times, publishing previously undisclosed emails that shed new light on the ex-president`s fake electoral scheme. These are really something else.

"The dozens of emails among people connected to the Trump campaign, outside advisors and close associates of Mr. Trump show a particular focus on assembling lists of people who would claim with no basis to be Electoral College electors on his behalf in battleground states that he had lost. The author of several of those emails an Arizona lawyer who helped organize the pro-Trump electors in that state repeatedly called those very electors fake. That`s the word he used.


He fully understood what they were up to writing in an email to Trump campaign adviser Boris Epshteyn, "We would just be sending fake electoral votes to Pence so that someone in Congress can make an objection when they start counting votes and start arguing that the fake vote should be counted." In a follow up to that message, he wrote "alternative votes is probably a better term than fake votes," adding a smiley face emoji. Oh, nice save there, buddy. Good one.

Now, we know that this scheme is part of the Department of Justice investigation. The Washington Post reports that grand jury issued subpoenas already to two Arizona state lawmakers last month seeking communications relating to any effort, plan or attempt to serve as an electric for Donald Trump or Mike Pence. And those subpoenas are just part of what the post describes as a significant escalation and expansion of the Justice Department`s criminal probe. Around the same time, federal agents fanned out in multiple states to serve subpoenas, execute search warrants, and interviewed potential witnesses as part of the investigation into the electors scheme.

And amid this massive swirl of activity, and speculation, and pressure and anticipation, there`s attorney general Mark Merrick Garland. A man who has been completely avoiding interviews, but decided to sit down with Lester Holt. Now, of course, he can`t divulge specific details about the investigation. It is still fascinating to hear his perspective at this key moment. Take a listen.


HOLT: Let`s start off and talk about January 6. We`ve just watched weeks of some pretty horrific testimony about what led up to January 6, and what happened that day. Just as an American, can you tell me what your impression was of what we heard?

GARLAND: You`re talking about the hearings?

HOLT: The hearings.

GARLAND: I think it is very important. It`s an important part of democracy that every American recognizes the truth of what happened January 6, and in the time surrounding it. I think that this is an important part that we not downgrade or suppress how important that day was. And I think that the hearings did an extremely good job of reminding us, and for people who didn`t know in the first place, telling us how important that day was and what a risk it meant for our democracy.

HOLT: Is the committee offering you anything in terms of an informal roadmap? Are you learning things you didn`t know?

GARLAND: Look, the Justice Department has been doing the most wide-ranging investigation and its history, and the committee is doing an enormously wide-ranging investigation as well. It is inevitable that there will be things that they find before we have found them and there will -- it`s inevitable that there will be things we find that they haven`t found. That`s what happens when you have too wide-ranging investigations going on at the same time.

But the Justice Department has from the beginning been moving urgently to learn everything we can about this period and to bring to justice, everybody who`s criminally responsible for interfering with the peaceful transfer of power from one administration to another, which is the fundamental element of our democracy.

HOLT: You said you`re moving quickly at this. There`s been a lot of criticism, a lot of pressure that the DOJ is kind of behind the power curve here, behind the committee, not moving quickly enough on what appears to be solid evidence in some cases.

GARLAND: As I said, we have been moving urgently since the very beginning. We have a huge number of prosecutors and agents working on these cases. It is inevitable in this kind of investigation that there will be speculation about what we are doing, who we are investigating, what our theories are.

The reason there is this speculation and uncertainty is that some fundamental tenet of what we do as prosecutors and investigators is to do it outside of the public eye. We do that for two important reasons. One is to protect the civil liberties, people and events that we`re investigating, and the second is to ensure the success and the integrity of our investigation.

HOLT: Would a criminal referral from the committee carry a lot of weight? Would it be welcomed by the Department of Justice?

GARLAND: So, I think it`s totally up to the committee. We will have the evidence that the committee has presented and whatever evidence it gives us. I don`t think that the nature of how they style, the manner in which information is provided is a particular significance from any legal point of view. That`s not to downgraded or to or disparage it, it`s just that that`s not what -- that`s not the issue here. We have our own investigation swing through the principles of prosecution.

HOLT: You said in no uncertain terms the other day that no one is above the law. That said, the indictment of a former president, perhaps candidate for president, would arguably tear the country apart. Is that your concern? As you make your decision down the road here? Do you have to think about things like that?


GARLAND: Look, we pursue justice without fear or favor. We intend to hold everyone, anyone who was criminally responsible for the events surrounding January 6 for any attempt to interfere with the lawful transfer of power from one administration to another accountable. That`s what we do. We don`t pay any attention to other issues with respect to that.

HOLT: So, if Donald Trump were to become a candidate for president again, that would not change your schedule, or how you move forward or don`t move forward?

GARLAND: I`ll say again, that we will hold accountable anyone who was criminally responsible for attempting to interfere with the transfer -- legitimate lawful transfer of power from one administration to the next.

HOLT: NBC News has spoken to some people who are close to the investigation who worry that the department is overwhelmed by just the sheer size of this investigation. We know several hundred of people just the capitol alone. Do you have a capacity, do the courts have a capacity to see these cases?

GARLAND: I`m confident that we do. Of course, we`d like more resources. And if Congress wants to give it to us, that would be very nice. But we have people from all -- prosecutors and agents from all over the country working on this matter. And I have every confidence in their ability, their professionalism and their dedication to this task.

HOLT: How is your department dealing with the pressure? Every day you wake up, there`s a column in a newspaper talking about what you will do and when you will do it.

GARLAND: So, this I`ve said before, and I mean it from the bottom of my heart. The only pressure that I or the prosecutors or the agents feel is the pressure to do the right thing. That`s the only way we can pursue the rule of law. That`s the only way we can keep the confidence of the American people in the rule of law, which is an essential part of our democratic system.


HAYES: Attorney General Merrick Garland speaking out tonight as we are learning that his Department of Justice is reportedly investigating Donald Trump`s actions to overturn the election as part of a criminal probe.

Joining me now is Claire McCaskill. She`s a former Democratic senator and a former prosecutor from Missouri. Claire, it`s great to have you on. First, just your reaction to the Washington Post reporting that indicates that what we suspected, what`s been hinted at, what`s been speculated about is in fact the case right now. There is a Department of Justice investigation that involves Donald Trump.

CLAIRE MCCASKILL, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Look, Pence`s top aides being in front of a criminal grand jury is big. Emails disclosing that Trump`s -- that Trump`s lawyers and operatives were using the term fake electors around their illegal scheme to stop the transfer of power, that`s big. But perhaps the biggest is this. That they were getting the chief traffic cop and Trump crazy town Mark Meadows` phone records in April, that DOJ back in April was pulling Meadows phone records.

We know that Meadows had his hand in all of this, and we know he was taking orders directly from Trump. So, that is a very, very big deal. And I`ve got to say, I am pleasantly surprised that this has been going on. I frankly am astounded that it hadn`t leaked sooner than this. But it is -- this is good news, I think for America.

HAYES: Yes, that point, I just want to highlight the point you made because we didn`t highlight it in the -- in the opening that they have subpoenaed Meadows` phone records or they have access, they have Meadow`s phone records. And obviously, to your point, what we know from just the text messages that the committee got before he stopped his cooperation and from all the testimony, we call him the traffic cop, I mean, this was clearly next to Trump, probably the individual most central at the -- you know, in the entire plot in terms of different voices going through him.

MCCASKILL: Yes, he was the intersection of everything. He was listening to Trump day in and day out, refusing to accept the reality that he was being told by everyone surrounding him. He was getting all the input from the pretend lawyers from team normal and team nuts. He was getting all of that. And he was trying to do Trump`s bidding.

And I think if they have the goods on him -- you know, this is where people forget how different DOJ is in the House Committee. You have all kinds of leverage tools. You have immunity where you can say to Mark Meadows, we will not prosecute you, we`ve got you, but you`ve got to give us more information. Things like that will be brought to bear with the grand jury that could really make a difference in this deal.

HAYES: You also -- you mentioned, Greg Jacob and Marc Short. I mean, you know, from -- again, this is partly -- you know, as much as Merrick Garland says, this is not about politics, this is not about anything. This is just the rule of law and I think it`s important that he says that, right? All the people at the Department of Justice understand what they`re doing. They understand the stakes. And they also understand what will and won`t be public. It just strikes me that you`ve got these two Pence aides coming in before it actual grand jury, right? That`s a step that you take fairly far down the road and also when you know that that`s going to be public.

The testimony of the two Pence aides marked the first time it has become publicly known, figures with firsthand knowledge of what took place inside the White House and the tumultuous days before the attack, have cooperated with federal prosecutors. What do you think about just what that means about the where they are in this that those two individuals have appeared before a federal grand jury?


MCCASKILL: Further along than I thought they were. Because typically, you don`t get sworn testimony in front of a grand jury until you know what they`re going to say and you know how you can hold them to the facts in front of a grand jury. So, that`s very important.

And remember, there`s a really important piece of evidence in this, and that is that Donald Trump called the chairman of the Republican National Committee, and then handed the phone to Eastman for him to explain to her their phony fraudulent plan to deny the American people, the person who they actually voted for president. And that is a really important fact. And they`ve got Eastman stuff in there, they`ve got that too.

That means that Trump knew everything that was going on. And now I just hope we have reporting not too long from now that there`s a target letter with his name on it.

HAYES: Well, and here`s the other point. And you just noticed this that, again, one of the things that`s been uncovered by the committee is this evidence of consciousness of guilt, right, electors being told not to tell people about their scheme, not to sort of keep it off email. Then we`ve got this remarkable document. This is reported by the New York Times in which they`re just admitting what they`re doing is unlawful.

This is an Arizona attorney to a Trump campaign official. I just talked to the gentleman who did that memo, Ken Chesboro. His idea is basically that all of us GA, Wisconsin, Arizona, Pennsylvania, have our electoral send in their votes even though the votes aren`t legal under federal law, because they`re not signed by the governor. Kind of wild, creative. I`m happy to discuss.

I mean, that`s pretty close to smoking gun evidence of consciousness of guilt or that you know, what you`re doing is unlawful when you say they`re not legal.

MCCASKILL: Well, we had -- we had testimony before the committee that even Eastman admitted that the Supreme Court would find what they were trying to do illegal. I think we have a lot of consciousness of guilt. I think the ultimate decision that Garland has been wrestling with, and I hope he`s come to terms with it, there is a risk to indicting a former president in terms of what it does to this country. But I believe in these circumstances, the risk is so much greater if they let this guy go with not any consequences. And that`s really where he is at this moment in history. And let`s hope he comes down on the right side of it.

HAYES: I have come to view it in exactly those terms as well. Claire McCaskill, thank you very much for joining us tonight.


HAYES: Coming up, as it just mentioned, they really broke the Stringer Bell rule. Trump`s associates detailed their unlawful fake electoral plans in writing. I`ll talk to January 6 Committee Member Congressman Adam Schiff about the significance of this revelation and Merrick Garland is next steps after this.




HOLT: Let`s start off and talk about January 6, we`ve just watched weeks of some pretty horrific testimony about what led up to January 6 and what happened that day. Just as an American, can you tell me what your impression was of what we heard?

GARLAND: You`re talking about the hearings?

HOLT: The hearings.

GARLAND: I think it is very important. It`s an important part of democracy that every American recognizes the truth of what happened January 6, and in the time surrounding it. I think that this is an important part that we not downgrade or suppress how important that day was. And I think that the hearings did an extremely good job of reminding us, and for people who didn`t know in the first place, telling us how important that day was and what a risk it meant for our democracy.


HAYES: That was Attorney General Merrick Garland`s interview today with NBC News` Lester Holt confirming he is following the January 6 Committee hearings and they are doing an extremely good job. I`m joined now by a member of the January 6 Committee, Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff of California. He was the lead impeachment manager and Donald Trump`s first impeachment trial.

And, Congressman, I think you`ve been as outspoken as anyone about your view that there is something here for the Department of Justice to investigate, that there is abundant factual predicate for criminal investigation. Today, we have reporting by the Washington Post that apparently they are doing just that, that Donald Trump is being investigated as part of his criminal investigation. What`s your response to that?

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Well, you know, it`s hard to read too much into what the Washington Post disclosed. It said that, you know, witnesses are being asked questions about the President`s role. That doesn`t necessarily mean the President is under investigation. You would expect that witnesses would be asked about their interactions with anyone involved in the plot to overturn the election.

But look, I think the Attorney General today was saying all the right things and I noticed a difference -- at least I perceived the difference between what he`d been saying earlier about focusing on all those involved in the attack on January 6, and now talking more broadly about the overall plot to overturn the election.

So, I would hope that if the department is truly following the evidence wherever it leads, it will recognize it as misleading to Donald J. Trump.


HAYES: That -- I want to just have you expound on that a little bit because I caught that too when he said, basically, people -- I think the terminology of criminally responsible or criminally responsible for the attempt to stop the peaceful transfer of power between one administration to the next, which is a more expansive view of what the crime was, I think, than what we had seen before. But it sounds like you think that that caught your ear as well.

SCHIFF: Absolutely, it did. And frankly, this was the main criticism I`ve had previously about the department. That is, yes, it was doing an expansive investigation and 50 states of all those who participated in the attack, those who conspired in a seditious way about the attack, but it was very focused on the violence of January 6, which is obviously a keen importance. But there were multiple lines of effort to overturn the election.

And some of those other lines of effort, the president on the phone with the Secretary of State in Georgia, pushing him to find 11,780 votes that don`t exist. The President telling people just say the election is corrupt and let me and the Republican members of Congress do the rest. You know, that says that there are other actions beyond the violence of that day that need to be investigated. And today, it sounded like that`s what the department is doing.

HAYES: You know, one of the lines of investigation, the department is pursuing we know from legal documents, subpoenas have been served and public reporting is about the fake electors. And the fake elector is the subject of a lot of work by the committee as well. We`ve learned a lot from your committee about the fake electors. I want to just read you this email the New York Times obtained from a Trump lawyer that kind of lays out what this is all about and get your reaction to it.

This is a lawyer named Jack Wilenchik to Boris Epshteyn says we would just be sending in fake electoral votes to Pence so that someone in Congress can make an objection when they start counting votes and start arguing that the fake votes should be counted, then later says alternative votes is probably a better term than fake votes, smiley face emoji. What do you think of that?

SCHIFF: Well, I mean, all of this is really key evidence of intent. That is an intent to defraud, you know, the voters, to defraud the United States of the results of the election. It`s in writing. People acknowledging, OK, these are just fake. We`re going to present these fake electors as a pretext to allow people in Congress to try to stop the transfer of power.

All of these things where there`s an admission that OK, there isn`t evidence of fraud. You know, Giuliani`s comments, well, we`ve got lots of theories, we just don`t have the facts. You know, these are really what, you know, as a former prosecutor, you look for in terms of evidence of criminal wrongdoing. And you know, as a member of Congress, we look at in terms of the, you know, the blatant effort to corruptly overturn this election and stop the peaceful transfer of power.

Those emails pretty damning in the language they use, and also others talking about trying to keep it hidden what they`re doing.

HAYES: Final question for you and I know you have to vote quickly. We`ve seen a bunch of witness testimony. Some of that I think has been quite forthcoming, expansive, even. Some of it has been very terse, very guarded, even folks that are extensively cooperating, right, with a subpoena. How would you characterize the testimony of two men and in particular Marc Short who we`ve seen recorded depositions of and Greg Jacob who was Vice President Pence`s general counsel who peered live before the committee.

Those two men, of course, we know he`s got gone through a federal grand jury. What`s your characterization of their level of forthcomingness in their testimony?

SCHIFF: You know, I`ve really tried not to characterize the testimony in that way. You know, I will say that, I think a lot of witnesses were candid with us. And a lot of witnesses wouldn`t answer certain questions and asserted privileges. And we had to accept, at least for the moment, reserving the right to litigate the question later. We had to accept those limitations. And some of those limitations really prevented us from getting some of the key questions answered.

So, you know, I don`t want to make it specific to these two gentlemen but we would have people who I believe were telling us the truth, but at the same time would not answer certain questions, and I think they had the discretion to answer them. I think many of the claims of privilege are not well founded. And that is, of course, deeply frustrating to the fact finding process.


HAYES: Yes, the theory surrounding Cipollone invocations are just, I think, completely nonsense and baseless. That`s my own editorializing. Congressman Adam Schiff, I`ll let you go vote. Thank you very much.

SCHIFF: Thank you.

HAYES: Still to come, his former boss and an armed mob after him. Now, Mike Pence is trying to position himself as Donald Trump`s successor. The bizarre world of a Pence 2024 presidential campaign next.



HAYES: Mike Pence wants to run for president in 2024. He wants to be president evidently, and he would be running most likely against Donald Trump, the guy who tried to get him killed essentially. Pence knows the Never Trump track is likely a non-starter of the Republican primary. Like, it`s bad you tried to get me killed, and that`s probably disqualifying for office.

So, he`s basically out here walking this tightrope. It`s like, I`m Mike Pence, Donald Trump tried to get me killed in a coup, but I wouldn`t go along with it. He hates my guts. He wants you to hate my guts. But I`m running for president. I want your vote so help me God. And I`ll talk about almost none of that in my new book, so help me God. Really, truly, profoundly bizarre situation. One of the strangest, I think in recent political memory.

It makes you wonder, in light of Attorney General Merrick Garland`s comments today, the Pence 2024 campaign in waiting is simply waiting for Donald Trump to get indicted. How on earth does this dynamic play out in the Republican field?

David Jolly turned in his party membership while back, but before that, he was Republican Congressman from Florida, now chairs the Serve American Movement, a new political party initiative composed of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents.

David, it is truly one of the most bizarre pitches I have seen. What is your understanding of how the Pence people are trying to thread this needle?

DAVID JOLLY, CHAIRMAN, SERVE AMERICAN MOVEMENT: Look, I think you nailed it. And there are two fundamental premises to his candidacy. And frankly, a lot of other Republicans. The first being there is no successful path for distancing yourself from Donald Trump, right? The graveyard of people who have distanced themselves is small, but it`s full. There is no path.

And then the second is you do have to prepare your candidacy for a possible scenario where Donald Trump is not a candidate. Perhaps he`s indicted or he just does not run. And so, what you`re seeing in Mike Pence, Chris, I don`t think is much different in messaging from Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, and others which is to hug Donald Trump tightly, to hug MAGA tightly, to hug the agenda tightly, but to say, let`s look forward. Let`s look past the 2016 and 2020 election. Donald Trump`s going that way, we want to take you to the next chapter.

Look, it`s a -- it`s a tightrope he`s walking -- he`s walking. With Mike Pence, though, it is filled with irony. To your point, Donald Trump knew that Mike Pence his life was in danger. And Donald Trump said let`s reduce security not increase it. I mean, that`s fairly emasculating for the platform for a potential presidential bid by Mike Pence.

HAYES: Yes. I mean, he sent an armed mob up to the building that he wanted with, you know, to go try to pressure the guy, possibly to injure him. He painted a target on its back. I mean, it`s what he did was vile. And I guess -- I guess the willful cognitive dissonance has just become so embedded in the functioning of all these people, that they`re just going to go do it.

But it also seems like it`s a little like, what are you going to do when he tells you to your face on a debate stage he wishes you ended up in the gallows? It`s like, you know, well, we disagree about that. Like, that`s not going to work, dude. I mean, obviously, whatever. They`re going to be thinking that far ahead but like, this whole like, you know, not crossed him, but be a little different. I don`t know. It just seems so insane to me.

JOLLY: No, you`re exactly right. And let`s be honest. Mike Pence is going to finish in the low single digits. That`s just what how it`s going to be. I mean, he might fit finish a couple of points ahead of Liz Cheney if she decides to run. Cognitive dissidence, you`re exactly right. It`s as though nothing that is actually real ever happened.

But I also have to tell you, it is odd, Chris, and I know you know this. Watching Mike Pence, somebody who tries to express such humility, such a faith-based compass, to see his denial of the truth, to see him living in this alternative reality that somehow he is guided -- I understand his faith, I respect his faith, but to think that he is kind of ordained or destined for the presidency, you`re watching this play out against, as you said, almost the public cognitive dissidence of what we actually saw happen.

He searched for a man, he elevated a man who was antithetical to all of Pence`s faith-based principles. And then when it came to the basic premise of protecting democracy, he elevated and served a man who sought to destroy that democracy. It is an odd way for him to embark upon a presidential run. But for even the most humble man, political ambition usually comes first and that`s true of Mike Pence.

HAYES: Yes. I mean, I might put humble in quotes there just to be a little more specific. David Jolly, thank you very much.

JOLLY: Self-righteous perhaps. Self-righteous can lead into humility. Yes.

HAYES: Thank you very much. Good to have you on, man. Still ahead, they plotted to steal the election, they marched on the Capitol on January 6, now they`re running for governor. More on the Republican Party`s insurrectionist candidates next.



HAYES: Last week during a campaign event, New York Republican Congressman and now gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin was attacked by members of the crowd.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was around 8:00 last night outside the VFW Post in a little town about 15 minutes southwest of Rochester in Monroe County. The attacker can be heard saying "you`re done as he went on stage, was grabbing at Zeldin. The Monroe County Sheriff`s Office arrested 43-year-old David Jakubonis and charged him with attempted assault in the second degree. Zeldin was not injured and he was back on the campaign trail today.



HAYES: It`s a scary incident as you can see there. We`re living through a very fraught moment where politically motivated violence looms over our public life. So, that made it particularly scary. And the attack was rightfully swiftly condemned by Zeldin`s opponent, Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul and President Joe Biden and many others.

Now, thankfully, Congressman Zeldin was not hurt. His would-be assailant had been drinking. He was wielding a kitten-shaped keychain with sharpened edges. That`s it right there. He says he didn`t even know whose Zeldin was so his motivations remain unclear. But in the aftermath of this genuinely scary incident, Zeldin`s campaign saw an opportunity to take lemons and make political lemonade.

You see Lee Zeldin has been running in a kind of old school tough on crime, lock them up campaign with the primary focus of his ire being New York State`s bail reform laws which make it so that some misdemeanor and nonviolent offenders don`t have to sit in a cell awaiting -- cell awaiting trial simply because they don`t have the money to afford bail. Remember, bail is fully adjudicated based on your ability to pay, right?

So, the night of the attack Zeldin makes this bold prediction. He gets on Twitter and he says, "The attacker will likely be instantly released under New York`s laws. And my gosh, wouldn`t you know it, Zeldin nailed it. He totally got it right. In fact, the very next day, his attacker was charged with attempted second degree assault and released from jail without bail.

Zeldin immediately went on the offensive. He held press conferences about bail reform. He did an interview with Fox News anchor Sean Hannity where he again blamed New York`s criminal justice laws.


REP. LEE ZELDIN (R-NY): He is charged with a violent felony and he is instantly released back on the street because of New York`s cashless bail laws. I saw it coming. I wish it wasn`t this way. And we keep hearing too many of these stories.


HAYES: I saw it coming. You hear that? Now, first of all, he`s wrong there. The attacker was not charged with a violent felony which is kind of the point actually. But the narrative was already set. Even Donald Trump mentioned it during his speech today, just another example of the soft on crime approach from the libs, too worried about making nice to the BLM folks to keep our streets safe.

As you might have guessed, the story is a little more complicated than Lee Zeldin additionally led on, because people naturally started asking well, wait a second, who`s the prosecutor who only charged this guy with attempted second degree assault? Well, the district attorney from Monroe County, New York where the attack happened is a woman named Sandra Doorley. And as it turns out, Sandra Doorley is a personal friend of Lee Zeldin.

Just three months ago, she was listed as official co-chair of his gubernatorial campaign, a position she`s now trying to distance herself from. And it gets better. Sandra Doorley was at the rally will result in was attacked. She`s a supporter. She`s a friend. Zeldin apparently spoke with Sandra Doorley, the DA in Monroe County, just minutes after the incident. And it was Doorley`s office which made the affirmative decision to charge the attacker with a crime that would be eligible for release without bail. Although Doorley says she did not make the decision personally, that her office was just deferring to what the sheriff`s department recommended. But it`s a little odd.

You see Monroe County prosecutors are known for pressing more serious charges for requesting bail more often than other New York counties. Sandra Doorley`s longer politics are in line with Lee Zeldin. So, you might see how it might look like Doorley`s office work to gin up a politically convenient narrative for Zeldin`s campaign which she`s listed as co- chairing.

Now, Doorley announced she would be recusing herself from the Zeldin case yesterday, and the whole controversy is somewhat moot anyway because his attacker is not roaming the streets of New York. He is currently being detained on federal assault charges. It goes without saying that attacking a sitting congressman is a crime the federal government takes very seriously.

But again, the damage has been done. Just an absolute perfect example the way that we discuss law and order, crime and justice in this country because yes, it was -- it was a serious crime. And it`s also true that in the larger sense that we`ve seen an increase in violence, right? We need answers to that problem. We need to talk about it in clear-eyed, rigorous fashion. But then on top of those real issues, right, like Zeldin really was attacked, we also have Republican politicians, conservative propagandists opportunistically attempting sometimes false, other times disingenuous arguments against the small amount of criminal justice reform we do have in this country, which by the way, folks, still the most heavily incarcerated country on Earth.

Our job as journalists, regardless of ideology or politics is just to separate the real story from the cynical hysteria and to call out the flagrant propaganda when we see it.



HAYES: Today, we learned about the existence of dozens of previously undisclosed emails between people working with Donald Trump`s campaign to overturn the 2020 election. New York Times reviewed and authenticated emails, many of which centered around the fake electoral scheme. Truly deranged effort in which Republicans for seven states won by Joe Biden just kind of like, decided to cosplay as electors, met in secret to sign fake electric documents to be sent to the camp on January 6, like oh, we will actually are the electors.

In each of these states, the campaign needed, and I quote from an email here, a point person to help organize those electors who are willing to sign their names to false documents. In Pennsylvania, that point person was Douglas Mastriano who is now the Republican nominee for governor. For his part, Mastriano is a hardcore election denier supported overturning the election and the will of the American people. He will tell anyone that will listen, he`s a Trump guy that believes the election was stolen.


DOUG MASTRIANO (R-PA), GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: Governor Wolf didn`t look into any allegations and blew him off. Secretary of State Boockvar far blew off all the allegations and shenanigans. Our Attorney General declared a winner before one vote was counted. And so, the whole process has been corrupted. Nobody cares to see if there was shenanigans, cheating, fraud, and disenfranchisement. And so, we`re going to rise up and say, look, constitutionally, we have the final say on who the electors are.



HAYES: In May, that guy, the point person for the fake electoral scheme in the swing state of Pennsylvania, according to this new reporting, won the Republican primary for governor. And as far-right and threatening as he is for American democracy, what it will mean if he wins the election in November. Pennsylvania Republicans now appear to be falling in line supporting him. One saying, "When you play team sports, you learn what being part of a team means."

Will Bunch is a National Opinion Columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer where he`s been covering Doug Mastriano. And he joins me now. Will, first, I want to just get your reaction to this new reporting that indicates that Mastriano was the point person for the fake electoral scheme in Pennsylvania, a scheme that is now subject to criminal inquiry for the Department of Justice.

WILL BUNCH, NATIONAL OPINION COLUMNIST, THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Yes, and a few things about that. One, it`s not particularly surprising because we`ve known really since December of 2020 that Mastriano, as a state senator, was up to this in his eyeballs. I mean, he was also the point person on the scheme where Pennsylvania legislators would have voted, you know, to send this slate of false -- fake electors to Washington in place at the Biden electors and he was behind that. That`s why there`s so much concern about him getting elected that he would support a similar scheme as Governor 2024.

You know, he -- I mean, he met frequently with the Trump White House. He even had a famous incident where he went to the Trump White House and got turned away because he tested positive for COVID. But -- so, it`s really not shocking to know that he was involved in the fake elector scheme.

What is -- what is alarming is it`s been 18 months since January 6 and, you know, just as it`s taken so long to get to the bottom of Donald Trump`s role in the insurrection, it`s taken a long time to get to the bottom of Doug Mastriano`s role in the insurrection. And in this case, like he said, I mean, he`s an active candidate for governor of Pennsylvania, and we still don`t know the extent of his activities on or around January 6.

HAYES: Yes. And we should also note, you know, he was there at the capitol that day. He bussed people going to the Capitol. He went up to the Capitol. You know, he says that he stopped right before the police barricade, though there`s been some reporting that, you know, he`s on the Capitol lawn with his -- with his wife, and they`re sort of very close to the Capitol barricade.

What do you think about -- I mean, it was pretty clear that to the extent there`s an institutional Republican establishment in Pennsylvania, Mastriano was not their first choice and I think purely for tactical reasons about his electoral viability. But what do you make of the reporting that people are just going to coalesce and get in line no matter what the guy`s done or what he might do in the future?

BUNCH: Yes, Chris, this is -- this is Donald Trump deja vu all over again. You know, in the same way that in 2016 people didn`t think that the Republican establishment was going to fall in behind Trump and one by one they all did. And we`re seeing the exact same thing in Pennsylvania.

You know, I monitor -- I monitor the local conservative talk radio all the time. And, you know, they stopped criticizing Mastriano. Let`s just, you know -- what a tragedy of this woke liberal Josh Shapiro got in as governor. And that`s going to be the line that the richest man in Pennsylvania, this billionaire named Jeff Yass who spent millions trying to get somebody else besides Mastriano to win the primary. He`s now spending millions on billboards attacking Josh Shapiro, and thus helping Mastriano become governor.

So, there`s very little -- you know, I mean, there`s some moderate Republicans, you know, Charlie Dent types, who are anti-Mastriano, but they`re really a small minority.

HAYES: There is one issue that`s quite relevant in your state. I mean, there are many, obviously, the fate of democracy, but, you know, Josh Shapiro said that to me, and I think it`s true that if Josh Shapiro wins, abortion will remain legal and accessible in Pennsylvania. And if Mastriano wins, it will not. I mean, I wonder how core you think that issue which is as stark as it isn`t any matchup in the country will be in Pennsylvania?

BUNCH: I think it is core because I think it really energizes young voters. There was a good story out of Pittsburgh the other day about young voters and some of the college campuses in Pittsburgh who were saying, you know, that they`re not Biden fans necessarily but, you know, this Supreme Court decision has really energize them.

And if young voters could turn out at the same rate that they did in 2018, which was a good year for the Democrats here in Pennsylvania or, you know, 2020 to be incredible and that may not be -- that may be hard to pull off. But you know, if young -- of young voters show up in Pennsylvania, I think it could be very good for Shapiro and it could be very good for John Fetterman in the Senate race.

HAYES: Will Bunch, great to have you on. Will Bunch is also the author of a new book coming out next week, which I`ve heard a lot of really excellent things about, and it`s about kind of one of the big issues of our time. I`m very anxious to read it. It`s called After The Ivory Tower Falls: How College Broke the American Dream And Blew Up Our Politics And How To Fix It. It`s released next Tuesday. Will, Congratulations on the book. Thanks for joining us tonight.

BUNCH: Yes, thanks for the kind words. I appreciate it, Chris.

HAYES: All right, that is ALL IN on this Tuesday night. I know my own show`s name. "MSNBC PRIME" starts right now with Mehdi Hassan. Good evening, Mehdi.