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Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 9/27/22

Guests: Katie Benner


Members of the far-right gang the Oath Keepers, including its founder, Elmer Stewart Rhodes III, are on trial for seditious conspiracy for what prosecutors say was a coordinated and premeditated effort to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power on January 6. The House committee investigating the attack on January 6 has decided to postpone tomorrow`s scheduled hearing because Hurricane Ian is expected to make landfall in Florida tomorrow night. The race between Joe Kent and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez in Washington`s Third is an almost perfect microcosm of the broader political forces at work in the fall midterm elections. Hayes is joined by Michelle Goldberg to discuss one Congressional race that explains the Midterms.


JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: And remember, all of this is being done to feed into one man`s obsession with power. We can all sadly relate to that part here in this country. And that is tonight`s "REIDOUT". ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES starts now.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voiceover): Tonight on ALL IN, seditious conspiracy on trial in DC.

ELMER STEWART RHODES III, FOUNDER, OATH KEEPERS: It`s either President Trump has been encouraged and bolstered and strengthened to do what he must do or we wind up in a bloody fight. We all know that.

HAYES: Tonight, why the Oath Keepers defense argument could have massive implications for Donald Trump. Then --

REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): I`m going to do everything I can to make sure that Kari Lake is not elected. Why the threat to democracy by way of Arizona is way more dire than you may think.

KARI LAKE (R-AZ), GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: She`s a fascist, she`s a racist, she`s this, she`s that. And I thought, wow, this is somebody who I can relate to because they`re doing the same thing about me.

HAYES: And as Hurricane Ian approaches landfall, the nightmare scenario for flooding in the west coast of Florida.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get ready and do not underestimate the potential that this storm can bring.

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. You may have heard this. The final hearing of the January 6 Committee has been postponed due to the imminent landfall of Hurricane Ian in Florida`s Gulf Coast. We`ll be covering that in just a bit. But today, the biggest criminal trial related to the insurrection actually began in Washington.

Members of the far-right gang the Oath Keepers, including its founder, this man named Elmer Stewart Rhodes III, are on trial for seditious conspiracy for what prosecutors say was a coordinated and premeditated effort to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power of the sixth. All five Oath Keepers have pleaded not guilty. And Rhodes in particular has quite a colorful history.

You might notice, for instance, he wears an eyepatch. It`s not from his service in the military, but rather a 1993 incident where according to Atlantic, "He dropped a loaded handgun and shot him in the face, blinding him in his left eye." That incident, Rhode says, inspired him to go to college, eventually making his way to Yale Law, top at the top, where he further embraced a kind of fringe libertarian ideology. He went on to found the group the Oath Keepers after Barack Obama was elected.

Now, this Oath Keepers trial is not like some of the others we`ve seen in the past where, you know, random Trump supporters like a pipe fitter from Maine or a realtor from Texas faced charges for illegally entering the Capitol. This is even a step up from the trial of January 6 rioter Kyle Young who was just today was sentenced to seven years in prison for violently assaulting law enforcement, including D.C. police Michael Fanon in one of the bloodiest incidents from the insurrection.

In some respects, the Oath Keepers` trial is even more serious than that, even though Stewart Rhodes never actually entered the Capitol himself. Instead, Prosecutors allege "Rhodes and certain coconspirators plan to stop the lawful transfer of presidential power which included multiple ways to deploy force. They coordinate a travel across the country to enter D.C. equip themselves with a variety of weapons, donned combat and tactical gear, and we`re prepared to answer Rhodes` called to take up arms at Rhodes` direction."

And the language prosecutors use there, plan to stop the lawful transfer of power, is very important because the crime with which he is charged of seditious conspiracy makes it illegal to and I quote, "conspire to overthrow, put down or destroyed by a force the government of the United States." And to use force to "prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States." In other words, to do a violent insurrection.

Now, the Oath Keepers arguing they thought what they were doing was legal when they armed themselves and plan to take the Capitol by force because they believed that Donald Trump would invoke the Insurrection Act of 1807 which would allow the government to essentially deputized militia groups to block what the Oath Keepers believed or claimed to have believed to be a stolen election.

Now, it`s true that Rhodes did make it clear the Oath Keepers were trying to block the peaceful transfer of power at Trump`s direction.


RHODES: We have men already stationed outside D.C. as a nuclear option in case they attempt to remove the president illegally, we will step in and stop it. So, I`ve got good men on the ground already. We`ve been doing little recon there last week. And we`re sorting out where we`re going to be staging and we`ll be there. We`ll will be inside D.C., we`ll also be on the outside of D.C. armed, prepared to go in if the President called.


HAYES: And Rhodes was serious about his guys being armed. That wasn`t just idle boasting at least according to the indictment. "While certain Oath Keepers members and affiliates inside of D.C. breached the Capitol grounds and building, others remain station just outside of the city in a quick response force team. The QRF teens were prepared to rapidly transport firearms and other weapons into D.C. in support of operations aimed at using force to stop the lawful transfer of presidential power.

The days before January 6, according to messages acquired by the Department of Justice, Rhodes even discussed storing weapons in his own hotel room. "If you want to stow weapons with another Oath Keeper, you can. He`ll have a secure car trunk or his hotel room or mine." The D.C. court even released these surveillance images depicting what appears to be at least one rifle case along with gun-shaped objects being snuck into a D.C. hotel by the alleged quick response team members. In a group chat another Oath Keeper shared a map with potential vulnerable points that they can use to smuggle weapons into D.C.

Now, thankfully, the scheme failed. The riders did not hold the Capitol. The Oath Keepers did not actually send those arm reinforcements in the Capitol. But instead of being glad that things didn`t escalate that far, Rhodes seem disappointed telling Alex Jones on inauguration day he wished Trump did more to support the violent insurrection and warning Jones` audience that they need to be prepared to take up arms against the government.


RHODES: It`s just amazing that Trump left the election to be stolen out from under him and then let our country be stolen like this, our government. So, we have to now prepare to walk the path of the Founding Fathers, declare your independence from that illegitimate regime. We still defend the Constitution but they`re the ones that are the usurpers and the violators, and declare that, and then get strong and your communities. You need to be raising local militias in your towns and counties. And like the founders did, you need to the nullify, refused to comply. And when it comes to you, you defend yourselves.


HAYES: OK. Now, Rhodes and his militia buddies going to trial represents a significant escalation in the criminal case the Department of Justice has built against people responsible for January 6. These militia groups actually plotted the violent insurrection are one rung up the ladder, so to speak, from your average criminal who stormed the Capitol. They are though are certainly not the top. I mean, Rhodes himself says they were waiting for directions from the President.

One of the most fascinating aspects of this trial is the potential to learn who else if anyone they were collaborating with. We know for example, Trump`s coup-plotting lawyer Rudy Giuliani mentioned militia groups like the Oath Keepers in White House discussions. That`s according to testimony from Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson to the January 6 Committee.


CASSIDY HUTCHINSON, FORMER AIDE TO MARK MEADOWS: I recall hearing the word Oath Keeper and hearing the word Proud Boys closer to the planning of the January 6 rally when Mr. Giuliani would be around.


HAYES: We also know that Trump advisor Roger Stone who the ex-president saved from prison via pardon in the days before the insurrection, use members of Oath Keepers as his personal security on January 5th and 6th. Jason Van Tatenhove, the former spokesperson for the militia group told my colleague Joy Reid he believes Stone was potentially a back channel between the Oath Keepers and the White House.


JASON VAN TATENHOVE, FORMER SPOKESPERSON, OATH KEEPERS: We know that there was some sort of communication going on because keepers were providing security the day before. And it is my understanding that, you know, way back during the campaign, Roger Stone from my thought process is probably the one who was reaching out to these militia leaders and trying to open lines of communication. So, he probably was one of the major players when it comes to some of these extremist groups and communicate -- you know, backwater communication to the -- to the White House.


HAYES: So, just one of the big questions as this trial begins is Who else were the Oath Keepers talking to? I`m joined now by NBC News Justice Reporter Ryan Reilly who has been closely following the fallout from January 6. And Barbara McQuade, former east -- U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan where she prosecuted the last seditious conspiracy case brought by the Department of Justice, it was ultimately unsuccessful. Good to have you both this evening.

Ryan, let me start with you in just a little sort of scene-setting of where things stand with his Oath Keepers` trial. Where is it being prosecuted? Are all five defendants going to be tried together as co-defendants? Give us a little bit of the sort of basics here.

RYAN REILLY, NBC NEWS JUSTICE REPORTER: That`s right. So, you know, the court -- the courthouse is within eyesight of the capitol that literally is blocks from the U.S. Capitol. I mean, we have all five defendants in a courtroom. So, what went through today is essentially all of these potential jurors going through and telling you a little bit of their background and giving lawyers an opportunity to sort of ask for people to be disqualified for stated reasons before they actually get to the strikes, which would be the next step. You`ve got to qualify a significant number of jurors here because of those strikes in this trial of so many different defendants to ultimately see a full jury that`s going to be hearing this case out for potentially six weeks.


You know, Chris one thing I`d add to your excellent sort of entry there is that there`s another reporter gone along with my colleague, Ben Collins, which is that, you know, Kellye SoRelle who is the General Counsel for the Oath Keeper was in touch with Andrew Giuliani during 20 -- during November 2020. So, that`s a definite link that you have in this -- in this chain. It`s another piece of the puzzle when you have Rudy Giuliani, his father mentioning this idea of the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys. I think it`s important we got to put -- make that part of the puzzle as well.

So, I think that this will definitely sort of shape up. And one of the key moments I`ll be looking forward in this testimony I think will be about this moment on January 6 where another Oath Keeper who is expected to testify has already told the court in sworn -- in his plea agreement that on January 6, Stewart Rhodes was in a hotel room trying to get in touch with Donald Trump, trying -- asking and Trump intermediary to be --to put him in contact directly with Donald Trump and encouraging that intermediary to tell Donald Trump to call upon them that night and call them up and make them sort of stop the peaceful transfer of power. So that`s a moment definitely to watch for in this trial, Chris.

HAYES: Barbara, seditious conspiracy is a serious charge, and also not just -- not a slam dunk in terms of proving it beyond a reasonable doubt. Your office brought this charge against group called the Hutaree militia in Michigan. They had been penetrated by undercover FBI agents. They were ultimately acquitted. So, I think you`re well familiar with the with the sort of legal landscape here. How do you view this case given your own experience?

BARBARA MCQUADE, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: I am. And Chris, sometimes it can be difficult to prove a case like this. Reasonable minds can disagree about whether the evidence is there. But this case is very different. In my case, like most cases involving the FBI, their goal is to disrupt and attack before it occurs. The phrase in FBI parlance is left of boom. Boom, being the moment of attack, left of boom, being the moment on a timeline sometime before the attack.

And so, that`s the goal and that`s what happened in my case. And so, the defense could be this was never really a conspiracy. This was just tough talk. This is a bunch of guys saying tough things. When the attack actually comes to fruition, though, as it did in this Oath Keeper case, you can`t really say this was just tough talk, because the plan actually manifested itself. And so, I think for that reason, it will be very difficult for them to say there was no agreement to attack when they actually did attack.

The other thing about it, Chris, is sedition. In my case, it was about attacking police officers. In this case, it`s about attacking the U.S. Capitol to prevent the certification of a presidential election. And so, to the extent you have to show that you are opposing the authority of the United States government, you couldn`t really ask for a better setting than at the U.S. Capitol. So, I think that although sometimes these cases are difficult to prove, in this case, it is really will fit like a glove.

HAYES: Yes, I mean, it`s a good point, right? Part of the reason it`s hard to prove slash rare is that, you know, there`s not a lot of sedition just happening in the U.S. often, right? I mean, this is sort of textbook examples, when you try to start in the Capitol to stop the peaceful transfer of power. There is this question of the defense which would you hear it in Stewart Rhodes talking, right? I mean, Rhodes has sort of created for himself this legal theory -- and again, he went to Yale Law -- that like this is all going to be fine as long as we get the go from the President.

Of course, they plan this, you know, in violation of the law, they had people to storm the Capitol. This is -- basically, Rhodes` defense, Ryan, they weren`t out there destroying the Capitol to stop the certification and take over the government. They`ve argued in court papers, they were waiting for President Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act. It does seem like the relationship to Trump and his authority is going to be part of the defense in this trial.

REILLY: Definitely something that the defense attorneys have said, you know, they`re going to basically have to convince the jury of as to say that they have this sort of crazy legal theory that only if Donald Trump took action. And I think that they`re going to argue that a lot of the actions that they took that day in terms of leaving guns outside of D.C. so as to not violate D.C. gun laws are in line with that, that they were waiting upon, and they are sort of lying in wait and ready for action if Donald Trump called upon them.

The problem for them, of course, is that a bunch of Oath Keepers, including those who are inside the U.S. Capitol that day, so that creates, you know, a problem. Stewart Rhodes is going to probably maintain that he didn`t individually order that. He didn`t tell them to go into Capitol. And from what Kellye SoRelle told me apparently, he put -- his claim is that he was pissed off about it afterwards, that he did not, you know, authorize them to go in into the Capitol.

But when you consider all this planning, and you know, it`s sort of -- it`s -- it might be tough. It`s going to -- and, you know, there`s going to be a lot of communications. There`s going to be a testimony coming from people who`ve already flipped. They`re going to be able to testify exactly to what was going on there. And, you know, in fact, it got them to plea to seditious conspiracy already to agree that there was a seditious conspiracy is significant, right? That`s not nothing, right? They`ve agreed there was this seditious conspiracy --


HAYES: Right.

REILLY: -- as part of their plea agreement.

HAYES: Yes, Barbara, what do you -- what`s your thoughts on that? You do have individuals who have already pleaded who were part of the alleged conspiracy here, who pleaded that they were part of said conspiracy. What does that do in terms of the government`s case?

MCQUADE: Oh, it makes it so much stronger, because they`re going to get up and they`re going to testify. And they`re going to say, I did this thing. And I did it with these guys. And the jury is going to know they`re facing serious prison time for admitting their involvement in a crime. And so, even if they, you know, don`t like the fact that they`re probably getting a break in exchange for their testimony, it`s difficult to disbelieve someone who is bringing upon themselves potential prison term by testifying.

I think the other thing that that this trial portends is if this defense is going to be, we expected President Trump to invoke the insurrection act, they`re going to have to put in testimony about that. They can`t just argue it. They need firsthand testimony from a witness who`s going to say how it is they believe that to be true.

HAYES: Right.

MCQUADE: So, is there a link? Roger Stone, someone who communicated that to them. I`ll be really curious to hear if that comes out.

HAYES: Yes, that`s really interesting that the incentive there from their end in landing their defense would be as get as close to the White House as possible or any White House communication they might have. That`s definitely something to look for. Ryan Reilly and Barbara McQuade, thank you both.

Coming up, the January 6 Committee postpones its next hearing as Hurricane Ian approaches Florida. What it means for the Committee`s investigation going forward. Plus, everything you need to know about the threat from that hurricane, still ahead.



HAYES: The House committee investigating the attack on January 6 has decided to postpone tomorrow`s scheduled hearing because Hurricane Ian is expected to make landfall in Florida tomorrow night. While the congressional hearing is delayed, the prosecutions against the people who attack the Capitol continue. Today, as I mentioned earlier, one of the people who assaulted D.C. police officer Michael Fanone was sentenced to over seven years in prison. The attack was captured on a police body cam in what federal prosecutors called some of the most barbaric violence of the insurrection.



HAYES: So, that guy there, the guy with the beard who reaches out to grab Fanone is Kyle Young. He`s part of the mob surrounding Officer Fanone. He admitted to grabbing him. Prosecutors say he handed a taser to another man who used it on the Fanone. Young, who brought his 16-year-old son to the riot, also hit another police officer. He pled guilty to felony charges of assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers.

And at his sentencing today, Judge Amy Berman Jackson told him "You`re not being caught prosecuted for being a Trump supporter. You`re trying to stop the singular thing that makes America, America, the peaceful transfer of power." The judge saved her harshest criticism for the people who are still promoting violence. "Some prominent figures in the Republican Party are cagily predicting or even outright calling for violence in the streets if one of the multiple investigations doesn`t go Trump`s way."

Joining us now is the reporter covering some of those multiple investigations of Trump. Katie Benner is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the New York Times covering the Department of Justice. Katie, there`s some breaking news from some of your colleagues here in New York Times I want to get to in a second. First, there is huge movement between the last time the committee got together and we`re now thinking it`ll probably be next week and now in terms of what`s happened on the Department of Justice`s side.

Back in this summer, the Department of Justice -- the committee was the only game in town. The Department of Justice was pretty silent. There was criticism. Merrick Garland had to kind of testily knock that back a little bit that we, you know, we`re doing our thing and leave us alone. Since then, we`ve got multiple high-level officials going for the grand jury, multiple subpoenas to 40 people in Trump`s orbit. It`s just a different world right now in terms of the maturity of the Department of Justice investigation How do you -- is your reporting -- what is your reporting say about where it is?

KATIE BENNER, JUSTICE REPORTER, NEW YORK TIMES: So, in terms of the Department of Justice, we`ve reported that there are two parallel investigations. One is into the documents issue that Trump got himself into down in Mar-a-Lago. That seems to be pretty well-advanced. I mean, now we`ve seen the courts rule that the Justice Department can indeed use the information, the classified information that was taken from Mar-a-Lago to do two things to do its own assessment of whether or not national security was gravely harmed by having those documents, those classified pieces of material in Florida, and also so that the Justice Department can use those documents to do things like use them and witness interviews, use them to try to find more information, do some investigative steps that they wouldn`t be able to do if they could not have access and could not use those materials.

So, that investigation is moving ahead. We know what the theory of the case would be that would be, you know, violations of the Espionage Act, you know, unlawful handling of sensitive materials, and then of course, obstruction of justice. That seems like something that`s going to hit Merrick Garland desk someday as a will he or won`t he prosecute Trump.

January 6, that investigation is much more sprawling and there is not yet a firm theory of the case like the one I articulate in the document side. That has not emerged.

HAYES: There`s some news from your colleagues, I believe Maggie Haberman and Luke Broadwater, about Roger Stone texts. I don`t have it here because I think it just published. But the news essentially is text of Roger Stone asking -- now, Roger Stone had been convicted by a jury of obstruction of justice, I believe, and witness tampering. He had been sentenced, and then his sentence was commuted before the election, then he was fully pardoned after the election by Donald Trump. What do your colleagues report tonight about what he was asking for after January 6?


BENNER: So, no surprise, he`s asking for another pardon in some of the text messages. You know, he notes that he had been pardoned before. So, he is arguing that this should not be a big deal for Donald Trump because it`s already happened. So, it should just sort of like fly right by the American people, and they should be fine with it. And the person he`s texting notes that that`s true. And he says, you know, maybe you know, Donald Trump was the first president to be -- he`ll be the first president to be impeached two times, so you could be the first person pardoned by such a figure twice.

I mean, it`s sort of absurd on its face, but at the same time, it does speak to this idea that Roger Stone is cognizant of the fact that he might have done something that people might think could have been a crime and he would like to nip that in the bud.

HAYES: Yes. I believe that the term he uses, there will be mass prosecutions. I believe, again, I`m recalling this from memory. He asked for one -- there be -- there we go. There will be math prosecutions, Mr. Stone wrote to David Schoen, the lawyer. Mark my words. Could Mr. Schoen plug his pardon requests the next time he spoke to the president? Apparently, you know, he wasn`t being totally selfish. He wanted one for Bernie Kerik too, also someone who had already been pardoned one, so he`s going for a kind of doubleheader for the both of them.

But it does -- it does suggest a little bit of consciousness of guilt given the fact that, you know, asking for a pardon says that you recognize there some criminal exposure that you may have -- you may be facing.

BENNER: Or even massive amounts of criminal exposure, as he put it. And so, you know, he is trying to preempt any negative action. And keep in mind, he was not the only one. There were members of Congress, and others who after the January 6 attack, were trying to figure out whether or not they needed to be pardoned by the president for anything that they might have done or said. So, he certainly wasn`t alone but this is very stark.

HAYES: Yes, we know Mo Brooks wrote that letter asking for essentially a blanket pardon. The DOJ-Committee back and forth, where is that now? They got kind of testy. I can never quite actually penetrate what was going on. But there was frustration by the fact that the Department of Justice wasn`t getting access to transcripts. Bennie Thompson and others said they would make accommodations eventually. Has that been resolved to your knowledge?

BENNER: You know, it hasn`t been resolved. The Committee still has a tremendous amount of information they haven`t shared with the Justice Department. It`s really odd when you think about it, because when we go back in time to the Mueller investigation, you had the National Security Division, you had the Mueller team. They were working with Congress to pass documents back and forth, and they`re working with a Congress controlled by Republicans, and the process was a lot more amicable. So, this is really strange.

But I think that it also speaks to sort of how the committee has conducted its work. There is a need-to-know aspect to some of these things. We know from past reporting that for example, Cassidy Hutchinson`s testimony was very closely held by Vice Chair Liz Cheney. You know, she did not want people to have that. She did not even want people on the committee to have that. So, it`s no surprise that the committee has not been forthcoming with information beyond its walls when it`s even siloing information within its walls.

HAYES: Yes, that`s a great point. Katie Benner, thank you very much. I appreciate it.

Still to come, the Republican congressional candidate who paid the Proud Boys for consulting services. Michelle Goldberg joins me here in studio to talk about the latest far right threat ahead.



HAYES: Right now, Hurricane Ian is heading towards Florida as category three storm bringing with it very heavy rain and strong winds. In the next five days, some areas of coastal and Central Florida could see between 15 and 20 inches of rain. As Ian approaches landfall in the state, one of the biggest worries is storm surge. The National Weather Service has warn that areas along the Florida coastline could see life threatening storm surge. In places along the Gulf Coast of Florida storm, surge of up to 12 feet is possible.

Earlier this year, the Tampa Bay Times released an award-winning reporting series called a rising threat. They investigated hurricane risk in the region surrounding Tampa Bay. Report shows how the combination of shallow water flatland around the bay make it so that even a small amount of surge moves quickly inland. The threat exacerbated of course by climate change. It has left cities like Tampa particularly vulnerable to flooding.

They write, "In Tampa, one in nine build properties could see flooding from category one storms. So, one of the big questions tonight is we track the storm, where do forecasts predict that storm surge is headed? For answers let`s go to Bill Karins, veteran meteorologist with NBC News Climate and Weather Unit. Bill, welcome. What do we know?

BILL KARINS, NBC NEWS METEOROLOGIST: We know that 24 hours from right now we`ll be in the middle of our latest multibillion dollar weather disaster in this country. That`s almost etched in stone. I don`t see how it`s going to be possible to avoid this. So, that`s the sad headline news. Let me give you the latest and we`ll talk about that storm surge threat because that is what does a ton of damage and can take the most lives if people did not evacuate and get out of the way which they`re quickly running out of time to do if you`re still in the way.

So, it`s a category three. It could go up to a category for later tonight. A strong category three and low-end category four is kind of similar anyways. There`s not going to be that much of a difference if it`s a four or three landfall. But that landfall location has shifted. We`re no longer that 100 --- you know, Tampa has gone to 100 years without a major hurricane. And the poor people are located in Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda, this will be the second major hurricane of 18 years for the same exact location and what could shift even further south towards Fort Myers. We`ll see how that plays out tomorrow.

So, how does this affect storm surge? If you`re on the north side of the storm, you`re not going to get the storm surge like you would the south. All of the onshore wind is where we`re going to see it. So, we`re looking at that eight to 12 max. Sarasota, Venice, Englewood, Fort Myers, beautiful Captiva, Sanibel Island, Cape Coral, the Fort Myers, Bonita Beach, that`s the area that we`re most concerned with for the storm surge. And that peak will be right towards landfall.

So, we`re thinking landfall Wednesday afternoon or early evening. So, as that high tide which unfortunately is coinciding with the landfall, Sanibel has a high tide at 3:00, Port Charlotte has a high tide at 6:00. So, that`s when this thing is making landfall. So, we`re going to add two feet, three feet on top of the storm surge, making it even worse when that landfall happens tomorrow. And you can see all that water piles on shore.

HAYES: So, we`ve got mandatory evacuations throughout the Gulf Coast there. In terms of the amount of rain, I`m seeing predictions of enormous amounts of rain, record-breaking, in fact it`s already been a very, very wet month in Florida. What do we think that the risk is there in terms of flooding?

KARINS: Rain in Florida is interesting. I lived there. I covered hurricanes there for about four or five years. Florida has very sandy soil. That certainly helps. This is not like if we had it in Texas or Louisiana even or on the East Coast in the Carolinas. It can absorb a lot more than other areas. But we`re talking to potential for two feet of rain. You know, even sandy soil is going to get saturated eventually.

And this is the first time in five years that Tampa and Orlando are in what we call a high risk of flash flooding. This is a forecast given to us by our government kind of giving us a heads up, hey, we could have some life- threatening flooding in these areas. And that`s anywhere from Daytona Beach, I-4 corridor, all the way down towards where the landfall will be. And our computers have been hinting at this all week long. Someone in here has a chance of getting two feet of rain. It wouldn`t surprise me at all if somebody even gets over that. Even today, we had a location down outside of Miami that had 10 inches of rain.

HAYES: There`s also of course, the big issue in the wake of the storm is the grid. I was down there for Irma, which has also hit the Gulf Coast right around where it hit the Gulf Coast right around Sarasota. And you know, most people were fine. And that first initial flooding. It`s when the grid goes out, and if it`s not back in a day, two days, three days, four days, what`s the sort of outlook look like for the grid?

KARINS: Yes, that`s my problem. A lot of people are like, oh, I`m at a high enough elevation, the storm surge won`t get me. And then the people are like, well, the rain, the water will eventually wash out. So, I can just stay in my house two or three days, which most people sometimes they can safely. But you`re also may be without power for two to three weeks. The hardest hit areas are looking at that scenario.

So, here`s a wind forecast. And this is assuming that we do -- you know the path doesn`t change. 130 mile per hour gusts possible, Venice Beach, Port Charlotte around 90. Anywhere around the Fort Myers area 80 to 100 mile per hour winds. Even inland could get up to 100 mile per hour winds. And even as far as Orlando could get 70-mile-per-hour winds. So, you kind of get an idea where we track that center. This is where that widespread power outage forecast is, especially the areas in red here. So, that`s a lot of big population centers. And this is where it could take, you know, unfortunately, you know, a couple of weeks.

And the other final thing I`ll leave you with, we have had confirmation of a big tornado that was just outside of Hollywood, Florida earlier this evening. The tornado threat when this one looks significant. Also, some tropical systems produce a lot of tornadoes and some don`t produce many. The science of that is not the best but this one already has produced at least four or five tornadoes and that threat will be with us right during the day tomorrow and as we go through the end of the week.

HAYES: All right, all that is something to look out for. Bill Karins, as always, thank you. We will be checking with you a lot of things in the next few days.

All right, still to come, she says all abortion should be illegal. He says women who have abortions should be charged with murder. Why Kari Lake and Doug Mastriano are so dangerous, next.



HAYES: As of tonight, we are six weeks away from the November 8th Midterm elections. Two of the most dangerous people on the ballot are the Republican candidates for Governor of Pennsylvania and Arizona. Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania, Kari Lake in Arizona. Both of them deny the results in 2020 election steadfastly. And if they win their gubernatorial races, they would be in a position to just not certify the results in their states in 2024 if they don`t like the winner.

Mastriano and Lake are also complete extremists who hold extreme views on abortion. In 2019, Doug Mastriano even said in an interview he believed women who had an abortion should face murder charges under a bill that he proposed in the Pennsylvania State Senate.


SCOTT LAMAR, RADIO HOST: You can give me a yes or no on this. Would that woman who decided to have an abortion which would be considered an illegal abortion be charged with murder?

DOUG MASTRIANO (R-PA), GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: OK, let`s go back to the basic question there. Is that a human being? Is that a little boy or girl? If it is, it deserves equal protection on the law.

LAMAR: So, you`re saying yes.

MASTRIANO: Yes, I am. If it`s a human being, if there`s an American citizen there, a little baby, I don`t care what nationality it is, it deserves equal rights before the law.


HAYES: Equal rights before the law. That`s basically saying that the fertilized egg is a person under the 14th Amendment, so murder. Well, Mastriano had a strong start beating on eight other candidates to win the Republican primary in May. His campaign for governor of Pennsylvania appears to have faltered a bit. This was a crowd, if you can call that, in Mastriano`s rally last Saturday on the steps to the state capitol building in Harrisburg. New York Times reports just a few dozen people showed up, about half of whom were campaign volunteers.

And according to the Times, that may be the least of his problems. "Mastriano is being heavily outspent by his Democratic rival, has had no television ads on air since May, has chosen not to interact with the state`s news media in ways that would push his agenda and trails by double digits in reputable public polling and most private surveys."

Now, in Arizona, things are going quite a bit more smoothly for Kari Lake in her race for governor. She is playing the part of an electable politician more convincingly than Doug Mastriano in part because she`s a trained TV professional as a former local news anchor. Just listen to how Lake recently matched her extreme stance on abortion which she has referred to as "the ultimate sin."


LAKE: The Supreme Court simply sent the abortion issue back to the States. We have laws on the books right now and we`re going to follow the laws that are on the books. If people don`t like the laws on the books, then they need to elect representatives who will change the laws. I`m running for governor, not for God. So, I don`t get to write the laws, Howie, and I think you know that, but I will uphold the laws that are on the books.


HAYES: That`s an incredible dodge from someone who`s running for governor. Like, you have a role in the laws. And remember the laws on Arizona his books that she`s defending here include the one from 1901. That`s the controlling law in Arizona right now, just so everyone`s clear, that a Pima county judge just reinstated a few days ago that bans nearly all abortions in the state. The 1901 Arizona territorial legislature got together and made that law. That is the Arizona Republican Party`s preferred position. That`s Kari Lake`s position. The law from before when women could vote.

So, with six weeks to go, one of the sort of defining issues of these Midterms, right, is how much voters can discern the depths of extremism on the ballot, the choices before them. New York Times Columnist Michelle Goldberg just went to Washington State to report on one of those key races where that is exactly what`s happening. She`s going to join me to talk about it right here at the table next. Don`t go anywhere.



HAYES: So, a month after the January 6 attack on the Capitol, Donald Trump faced his second impeachment trial in the Senate for inciting insurrection. And do you remember this? On the eve of the Senate vote, there`s a congresswoman, one of the 10 House Republicans who voted for impeachment who spoke out to reveal a piece of evidence. Jaime Herrera Beutler of the state of Washington issued this statement recounting a phone call between House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Donald Trump on January 6 while the Capitol is under siege. She`d been told about this phone call.

McCarthy told that -- told her that he asked Trump to call off the riot. Trump responded by claiming it was Antifa attacking the Capitol. When McCarthy refuted that telling the President it was his supporters, Trump said, "Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are. It`s an astoundingly damning revelation even just reading it back again now. It did not seem to change any minds in the Senate which voted to acquit Trump the next day. But back in Washington`s conservative Third District, Jaime Herrera Beutler`s actions didn`t make real waves.

And guess what? Last month, she was ousted, losing in the primary to Joe Kent, a far-right candidate with ties to white supremacists. New York Times opinion columnist Michelle Goldberg recently went to the district to report on that race that she says "will show us whether Republicans overreached in nominating candidates who speak almost exclusively to their base or whether politicians like Kent really are the party`s future."

And Michelle Goldberg joins me now. I love this column because I had sort of heard about the race but hadn`t really zeroed into it. And it`s kind of a microcosm of exactly what we`re talking about with Kari Lake and Mastriano, right? You nominate someone who`s really out there. Can voters tell? Like does it reach them? Give us the lay of the land.

MICHELLE GOLDBERG, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. I mean, part of the reason I went there is because it`s such a perfect microcosm of the race where you have this super far-right Republican candidate, somebody who aspires to join the squad of Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz, Paul Gosar. Those were the candidates -- there are those with the Congressman he named when I asked who he most admires and wants to work with in Congress.

And then you have this kind of working-class younger woman who is running on abortion rights and being a small business owner. So, in a way, I think both of these candidates are plausible futures for their party. But yes, I think one of the things that Marie Gluesenkamp Perez has to do, the Democratic candidate, who is the underdog, and it is a Republican district, although not a super right-wing one in the past, is I think, convey to people who Joe Kent is, which is a little bit difficult because like Kari Lake -- I mean, he doesn`t have the media experience with a Kari Lake, but he`s affable. He doesn`t have the sort of wild-eyed energy of Doug Mastriano or Marjorie Taylor Greene.

He says these kinds of outrageous things but says them in a kind of laid- back comments as if they were the most -- as if they were kind of homespun common sense.

HAYES: Right. And he is -- he has been really out there. I mean, he has -- your column opens with him trying to pull off this thing of like distancing himself from these really nasty white supremacist, you know, figures he`s associated with, but not totally distancing himself. He went to Nick Fuentes` show. Is that right?


GOLDBERG: No, he didn`t go into Nick Fuentes` show. So, he -- so, a Nick Fuentes is like a very high profile white supremacist. He had a conference call with Nick Fuentes early in his campaign where they apparently discuss social media strategy. There was a few other areas of overlap and his association with Nick Fuentes became a problem in the primary. So, he disavowed Nick Fuentes. But then the far-right got really mad at him for betraying them. So, he went on this other white nationalist show, maybe I would say, a tick less overtly white supremacist, but still pretty out there. He went on the show to kind of explain and defend himself.

And somebody on the show asks him at one point. They say, you know, do you believe that Chinese anchor baby citizens should have the same rights as -- I can`t remember the exact language -- but like natural American stock who fought in the revolution? And he just says, you know, no. And then he talks about how he wants to see an immigration moratorium. And he talks about how we need to preserve the demographics of the United States.

HAYES: He also -- he says of January 6 that it reeks of an intelligence operation once all the political prisoners arrested for invading the Capitol released. They also reported -- the AP reported paid a member of the Proud Boys one of the groups that led the January 6 attack almost $11,000 for consulting services, describe the Proud Boys as a drinking group.

Like, he`s pretty -- he`s like real adjacent to like the furthest right sort of most dangerous pro coup elements of American politics.

GOLDBERG: Right. And so, if someone like that can win in a district like this, it sends a message that there is no limit, right? There is no kind of limiting principle on how far Republicans can go. If somebody like that loses in a district like this, it says to the Republican Party that, you know, kind of this extreme Trumpism is a -- is an electoral dead end in a lot of the country.

HAYES: Yes, and this is what`s key to set the scene here. Marjorie Taylor Greene is in a plus-25 Republican district. I mean, it`s like, you know, anyone who`s got the R next to their surname is going to win that. Paul Gosar, same thing. I mean, Matt Gaetz. Like these are just like gerrymandered districts that aren`t competitive. This is a plus -- Trump won this district by four points against Joe Biden in 2020. This is --

GOLDBERG: This is a district right next to Portland, Oregon.

HAYES: Right. This is a Republican district but it`s not one -- it`s not a Marjorie Taylor Green district.

GOLDBERG: Well, we`ll find out, I guess. I mean, it`s not -- it`s not that lopsided, but we`ll find out if Marjorie Taylor Greene candidate can win in a district like that. And if it does, it pretends something I think pretty alarming for what the next Congress is going to look like.

HAYES: What are you -- what was your sense of the state of the race being there?

GOLDBERG" You know, it`s obviously hard to say. I would say there`s a huge amount of enthusiasm for Marie Gluesenkamp Perez. Like you know, I went to one of her campaign events at a brewery where not only was the brewery packed, but there was, you know, people -- there was an overflow crowd outside listening through the windows. Jaime Herrera Beutler`s biggest bundler is now supporting Marie Gluesenkamp Perez. So, there`s -- you know, I think -- I think everybody feels like she`s an underdog, but people do feel like with the right support, she has a shot.

HAYES: You know, one of the big questions here, right, is about -- you know, we always talk about how it`s a MAGA party, this Trump`s party. That`s true, right? But again, you see it time and time, 20, 25, 30 percent of Republicans, somewhere in there, like don`t -- didn`t support the coup, would wish Donald Trump would go away. Herrera Beutler was the kind of person representing a district that there must be some of those voters in those -- in that district, right? And the question of which they go.


GOLDBERG: Right. (INAUDIBLE) in the primary.

HAYES: Right.

GOLDBERG: I mean, it was a pretty narrow loss in the primary. So, there is a chunk of voters in that district that voted for Jamie Herrera Beutler. And the question is, do they now just kind of out of partisan loyalty vote for Joe Kent or out of kind of democratic loyalty do they vote against Joe Kent?

HAYES: And this is sort of the question for the country, right, as like you try to like construct this popular front to like, vouch safe American democracy against its foes. You know, the kind of like Liz Cheney to Noam Chomsky popular front of people that like believe in the project of American representative government can unite people around that issue at a time when again, I don`t want to, you know, throw this at voters. Like, there`s a lot going on. People are not that tuned in and also upset about other stuff that may be, you know, crossing their plate.

GOLDBERG: And I think that, again, is what Marie Gluesenkamp Perez is trying to do. I mean, she`s -- you know, like I said, she`s a small business owner. She owns an auto shop. She talks a lot about inflation and the struggles people are facing. But at the same time, her campaign has, according to their internal polling, the issue that voters say they care about most in this race is the preservation of democracy. And so, that is something she talks about a lot on the stump.

HAYES: You know, it`s really interesting because Pat Ryan who won that surprising win in that special election in upstate New York somewhat similar district to this in terms of where it sits, said that there was a lot of enthusiasm -- abortion and democracy were both issues that really, really resonated among voters there. And again, this was a swing district, similar dynamic it seems like here in terms of the issue topics.

GOLDBERG: Yes, absolutely. And so -- I mean, I guess, you know, the dynamics of the special election are not necessarily the dynamics of November, but this is -- this is the big question that November is going to turn on, right, whether those two things are enough to offset Republican advantages and other areas.

HAYES: All right, Michelle Goldberg, it`s a great column. Thanks for coming in to talk --

GOLDBERG: Thank you.

HAYES: -- tell us about it. That is ALL IN on this Tuesday night. "ALEX WAGNER TONIGHT" starts right now. Good evening, Alex.