Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW Date: October 26, 2018 Guest: Daniel Goldman, Micah Kubic
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: All right. And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour.
On Sunday night this past weekend, police made an arrest, sort of a high profile arrest, after a flight landed from Central America at LAX, at Los Angeles International Airport.
It was a 28-year-old American man who is the leader of a violent white supremacist gang in California, according to California law enforcement. According to people familiar with this case who spoke to "The New York Times" on condition of anonymity, this man, this 28-year-old U.S. man had fled from the United States across the southern border into Mexico to try to evade U.S. law enforcement once he knew they were trying to arrest him. He then fled further south to one or more Central American countries, but then under circumstances that have not yet been explained, the way "The New York Times" put it is, quote, he was later brought back to the United States.
He was brought? Really? Who brought him? Hmm.
In any case, cops were waiting for him when he landed, and they arrested him at LAX on Sunday night. Now, the criminal complaint in his case in which he and his -- he and other members of his violent white supremacist group in California are charged with rioting and conspiracy to riot, we got a copy of the criminal complaint against him and his fellow group members once he was arraigned. The criminal complaint in his case names him first, and then it names three other people who were also a part of his violent group.
As I mentioned, the leader of the group was picked up Sunday night at Los Angeles airport. By Wednesday morning this week, they got two of the other three guys named in this criminal complaint as well. One of them was apparently picked up without incident. The other one they got apparently fled up a tree when he learned that he was the subject of this arrest warrant.
According to "The L.A. Times," that man spent the night in a friend`s tree house. It turns out being in a tree doesn`t make you invisible. Ask a squirrel who lives near a dog. When police found him in the tree house, he fled first on a bike, and then when that didn`t work, he fled on foot, and eventually cops tackled him and took him into custody. Of the four members of that violent gang who are named in the criminal complaint, the leader of the gang is now in custody. Two of the other three named in this criminal complaint are also now in custody.
One of them remains at large. His name is Aaron Eason, E-A-S-O-N. He`s 38 years old. Last known address, Riverside County, California, but the cops are hunting him now.
Now, the arrest, the indictment of those four members, of that criminal gang, that violent white supremacist gang in California this week, that follows another criminal indictment and a different federal jurisdiction for the other four members of the same group. Those other four were all arrested earlier this month, October 2nd, and they were arrested on similar charges.
Again, I was rioting charges, conspiracy to riot. All of the charges against these guys in both these criminal cases that have resulted now already in seven arrests, and one guy still being hunted by police, all of the arrest, the criminal complaint about these guy, it`s all about these guys participating in an organized conspiracy basically to beat people up at right wing events -- like the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which of course a counter protester was killed by a neo-Nazi. Also protests like these ones at the campus of the University of California at Berkeley. Also protests at San Bernardino, California.
But they`re also specifically cited for beating people up and for conspiring together to travel to events to beat people up at events that are pro-Donald Trump. You may have seen this footage of these guys stalking and beating people up. You may have seen this footage in a news context before.
Video footage of these kinds of confrontations involving these guys in this violent group, it`s circulated fairly widely because it`s potent and unnerving, you know, to see these people holding flags with the president`s name on them and placard with the president`s name on them, hunting down counter-protesters, and in this case journalists, and beating them up and chasing them down, right?
Some of the antidote to that I will say -- sort of the antidote, it is at least much less unnerving to see still shots from this exact same footage embedded in the criminal indictment that has now resulted in the arrest and will result in the trial of these people for what they`re doing here. Here is, for example, the leader of that violent right wing group in California, the one who was arrested at Los Angeles airport on Sunday night. This is actually a still shot from some of that footage that was shot at that Make America Great Again pro-Donald Trump event in Huntington Beach last year.
It`s a still shot from some of that footage. And it is also in this iteration a shot that is embedded in the criminal complaint in his case. You can see him, he is beating a guy up in the foreground, and there is another guy in his group behind him holding back anybody who might intervene while wearing his "Trump: Make America Great Again" t-shirt. The guy in the foreground, the guy making the fist, he`s one that was just arrested.
One of the things that turns up in the criminal complaint about these guys is how delighted they were to get what they considered to be good press for how violent they were at this specific event, at this pro-Trump "Make America Great Again" rally where they basically rioted in march of last year.
This is from the FBI special agent whose affidavit is the basis for this criminal complaint. He is talking here about information that was obtained using a search warrant off of the cell phone of another member of this violent group who`s now in custody. Quote: Based on my review of the contents of Daley`s cell phone, I know that later, on March 25th, 2017, so later on the day of the "Make America Great Again" pro-Trump rally, Daley sent a text message to another member of the group stating, quote: Front page of the Stormer, we did it, fam.
Quote, based on my training and experience, I know the "Daily Stormer" is a news website and online community forum that is well-known among neo-Nazis and white supremacist extremists which published an article after the Huntington Beach event titled, quote, Trumpenkriegers physically remove Antifa homos in Huntington Beach. And then footnote three, go down to footnote three, it says, again, this is the FBI agent`s affidavit, quote, based on my training and experience, I know that Trumpenkriegers is intended to mean fighters for Trump.
Based on my review of the account of Boman`s Facebook account, another alleged member of the group, I know that Boman hosted the "Daily Stormer" article on his Facebook page, along with the comment, quote, "we did it fam."
So this is a California-based group. At least seven of whose members and its leader have now been arrested just this month. It does appear that law enforcement is basically sort of wrapping up this violent group. Lots of the guys in this particular California-based pro-Trump right wing violent group, they already had criminal records, including the leader. If they didn`t have criminal records before, it seems like they`re all about to now because they`re all getting arrested and charged now in federal court.
Again, seven of those guys arrested thus far, including their leader just this week. That`s West Coast. On the East Coast in the past week or so, we`ve also seen the arrests of a similar number of a similar group that also prides itself on its support for President Trump and equally in taking great pleasure and beating people up, whenever and wherever they can.
And, again, you`ve probably seen in a news context some of this dramatic footage of this East Coast right wing violent group swarming people and stomping them and kicking them and beating people up on a New York City sidewalk. Since this happened, a couple of weeks ago, this dramatic and somewhat intimidating footage has given way to the much less dramatic and much more satisfying footage of all of these guys tidying up and pretending to be remorseful and standing there before a judge in court after being arrested.
So far, New York police have issued nine arrest warrants for the members of this violent pro-Trump group on the East Coast. Six of the nine of them have been arrested already. It sort of feels like a new one is coming in every day. I pity the poor barber who had to clean this guy up. Woo!
But, you know, it`s interesting. This whole incident, all of these East Coast arrests related to that gang violence footage from the streets, what that was all about in New York, what the whole occasion for that spectacle in New York City was a repeat invitation to that violent group`s leader to speak at the Metropolitan Republican Club in Upper Manhattan.
So the occasion of that brawl, what ended in that very brave footage of lots of right wing guys all jumping on a single counterprotester who is like curled up in a ball on the street or trying to get away, that was what followed a speaking engagement by the leader of their group because he was invited to address the Metropolitan Republican Club and not for the first time. And that`s how it ended.
Last week, last Monday, law enforcement officials in Oregon held a press conference to announce that at one event late this past summer where pro- Trump right wing groups came out in the streets of Portland, Oregon, to brawl with people who were there to protest against them, law enforcement officials announced last week that they found a cache of weapons, a large number of long guns that were stashed by that right wing group in a parking garage overlooking the scene of that protest ahead of that fight, which took place on August 2nd.
Law enforcement officials made that announcement this past Monday, the 15th of October, about this stockpile of guns that they had found associated with this group that they were now willing to basically give a public warning about in terms of people having altercations with that group. Hey, you may think they`re out there to break people`s noses and club people in the streets. They`ve also been stockpiling weapons at overview points, over places where they know they`re going to fight.
So, that public warning issued by law enforcement in Oregon on Monday, last Monday the 15th. The very next day after that press conference in Oregon, the head of that right wing group, the one that law enforcement was warning about with having the guns overlooking their fighting positions, the head of that group was invited on to the Fox News Channel in prime time to promote his group and to promote their approach towards supporting President Trump in the streets.
There have always been violent extremist groups on the ragged edge of American politics, right? Anti-abortion extremists who turn to bombs and snipers, to kill people to try to get their way, to kill doctors, right? Left wing groups in the `70s who carried out bombings of their own, and hijackings, even prison breaks. Puerto Rican separatist groups shot up the Capitol in 1950s. More or less modern iterations of the Klan persist to this day, and violent cults and sovereign citizens.
Violent extremism, people who celebrate violence for its political effect, they have always been with news this country. Or they`ve always been off to the side, right? They`re here, but they`re usually way off the number line in terms of what counts as American politics. Right now, though, we are experiencing something a little bit different, which is that we are now seeing the formation of new groups, aggressive groups that recruit aggressively, and that openly celebrate violence as their M.O.
But in their case, whatever else is extreme about their message and their mission and how they see themselves, with these groups, what is new is that they also completely align themselves with the center of power in mainstream American politics. They celebrate violence, right? In any other era, they would be seen as fringe extremists. But in this era, they see themselves as protectors and promoters of the sitting president of the United States.
And they believe that beating people up in the streets is a great way to support him. And that capacity for and desire for violence in the streets is the thing they most aggressively promote about themselves, right? We`re the Trumpenkriegers. I`m sure that doesn`t even translate. I`m sure it translates as Trump donut or Trump bassinet, right?
But what they want it to mean, you know, and the way they build up each other is, you know, "Make America Great Again", get your Trump flag on a Trump flag pole. Use to it beat the hell out of somebody, and then post the video on YouTube and use to it recruit people to your group, showing them how awesome you`re being, kicking the crap out of people for the president.
Before the beatings on the streets outside the Metropolitan Republican Club in New York a couple of weeks ago, this was the case that that group`s founder made during his invited speech inside addressing Manhattan Republicans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At the very least, people of the right, let us come in. You need us foot soldiers. We have a lot in common. And what we have in common is we both want America to prosper. We both want Trump to do well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: The more you know about the long, depressing history of violent extremism in this country, the more clear it is how weird it is right now that right now, we`ve got new violent extremist groups marketing themselves as foot soldiers for the sitting president of the United States.
I mean, that`s -- we`ve always had violent extremism. We`ve always had presidential politics of, you know, varying levels of intelligence and combativeness. But we`ve never had violent extremist groups saying that what they`re doing is on behalf of the president. With this president, that is what we`ve got.
Now, a couple of things. Both of these East Coast groups and West Coast violent groups, the California-based group and these guys you saw on the streets of New York, right after coming out of the Republican group where they said you need us. We`re all in support of Trump together, aren`t we? And then they walk outside and have their brawl in streets.
The West Coast group in California, the East Coast group you saw in New York, both of them have clearly been infiltrated by law enforcement and are starting to get broken up. At least six arrests in one group with more certainly to come -- at least seven arrests in the other group, including their leader.
You know, it turns out when you commit crimes and video yourself doing it and then set it to music and put it online to a federal prosecutor, that`s pretty much the equivalent of you tying a bow on yourself, wrapping yourself up in pretty paper and tucking yourself under the tree. These guys are not necessarily geniuses, right? So maybe it is not a surprise that we have seen them start to get wrapped up by federal prosecutors. With these multiple arrest warrants, these multiple indictments.
And along these same lines, frankly, as we expected, today`s headlines all day were dominated by the quick and decisive end to this story line we`ve been living through all week, wherein an apparently mad bomber has been targeting President Trump`s favorite targets for his invective with pipe bombs sent through the mail. After the arrest of a suspect in the case this morning, prosecutors in their criminal complaint described 13 separate pipe bombs that he created and sent to prominent Democrats and other people who have been criticized by President Trump and by conservative media.
By tonight, the number of devices associated with the string of bombings appears to have risen even from today`s criminal complaint, risen from 13 to 14. Law enforcement officials confirming that billionaire anti-climate change activist and Trump critic Tom Steyer has also been targeted with one of these devices. I mean, once we started to see the amount of physical evidence that this bomber was leaving behind like breadcrumbs in a trail, it seemed likely they were going to get him, and quickly.
Thanks to the FBI and the postal inspectors and the ATF and the NYPD and the Secret Service and all the other law enforcement agencies involved here, the arrest did come fairly quickly. He is apparently not talking to prosecutors, but in the criminal complaint, the FBI describes the means by which they identified him, which includes both DNA evidence and latent fingerprints that he left behind on more than one of these devices that he allegedly sent out. So, we will see where his case goes, right. His case is a matter for the criminal justice system now. And we, of course, are waiting to find out if there are more devices that are out there.
Remember, another one arrived after the criminal complaint against this guy was filed. Are there more devices out there that haven`t been discovered yet? Right? There is intriguing questions that we still don`t know the answer to like did he act alone? Very practical questions to ask like where did he build these bomb, since he seems to have lived in his van, which I`m sure is a very nice place to live, but it`s probably not an ideal place to both live and make more than a dozen live pipe bombs.
So where did he make the bombs? In there? Really? Crowded.
But the circumstances of his arrest and the decoration of that van and what is known about him so far by open source reporting today and by the social media postings described by the FBI and their criminal complaint against them, what we can now tell, what we now have to figure out what to do with as a country and as a democracy is the fact that he clearly seems to be a Trump super fan, right? And criminals and terrorists and unhinged mad bombers who live in vans are allowed to have any political views that they want. They`re allowed to be fans or critics of anyone in public life. That does not necessarily impugn or even reflect on those public figures about whom said nutball might have had strong feelings.
But we are also in a historically unique time in which this particular president and his brand of Trumpism, for lack of a better term in the Republican Party, it has inspired violent offshoot movements in a way that we haven`t seen other presidents do, ever. Yes, there is always violent extremism in America. We don`t see violent extremist movements springing up to support the sitting president. Right?
So, how do we defend ourselves as a country from what would be a new type of threat, right? Neither violent extremism, nor contentious presidential politics are new things in our country. But when those things dovetail together, that potentially pose as a danger to our country that may be bigger than just the additive force of those two things combined. They may not just add that.
They may multiply. And this is a new kind of threat for us.
And so anyone, for whatever warped lens who is looking to do Trump`s bidding, by not just verbally attacking, but literally attacking, literally threatening the lives of Trump`s declared enemies, I mean, it matters in this environment that such a person in such a mindset wouldn`t find it difficult to put together a target list for who that person would want to send his bombs to, right? It`s not exactly been a subtle thing in Trump world.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: ISIS is honoring President Obama. He is the founder of ISIS. He`s the founder of ISIS, OK? He is the founder.
He founded ISIS, and I would say the co-founder would be crooked Hillary Clinton.
We call them 1 percent Joe, because he ran at least twice, and then Obama came along and took him off of the trash heap and made him vice president.
I have no confidence in a guy like Brennan. I think he is a total low life. I have no confidence in Clapper.
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: Tonight, we start with James Clapper. Without a doubt, he should be stripped of his security clearance as soon as humanely possible. He, like Brennan, also misuses his clearance to validate and also monetize his hatred of President Trump.
JOHN SUNUNU, FORER GOVERNOR OF NEW HAMPSHIRE: The Democratic Party that`s been bought and paid for by the George Soros` of the world who really don`t care about the American system, who don`t like the way we live and our values and our principles.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: George Soros hates the United States.
TRUMP: Maxine Waters is a very low I.Q. individual. Do you ever see her? Have you ever seen her?
You can have the biggest story about Hillary Clinton. I mean, look at what she is getting away with, but let`s see if she gets away with it. Let`s see.
CROWD: Lock her up! Lock her up! Lock her up! Lock her up!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: You know, there may eventually be more targets that we learn about. You know, God bless you, U.S. Postal Service and everybody who works there, right, if more of these things are still in the mail, still in process on their way to more targets.
But as of right now, we know the people this bomber allegedly targeted are former President Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Attorney General Eric Holder, former CIA Director John Brennan, care of CNN, former director of national intelligence, James Clapper, also care of CNN. Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters. Also Democratic Senators Cory Booker and Kamala Harris. Two rich liberal donors, George Soros and Tom Steyer. Almost all of them frequent targets of the president`s invective.
At an event today at the White House, President Trump railed against globalists. Multiple people shouted back at him George Soros, and the president then shouted along with the crowd when they then segued into "lock him up, lock him up." This is within hours of the bomber being arrested. So, there is a couple of tests here, right.
There is the obvious one now that a man who appears to be a Trump super fan and a frequent Trump rally-goer appears to have mounted this alleged bombing campaign against more than a dozen of the president`s favorite targets for criticism. Does this make the president stop calling his perceived opponents enemies of the people and suggesting they should all be in jail and they shouldn`t be allowed to be roaming free because they`re so dangerous and terrible?
I mean, that`s a test we know the president will fail, right? At least we have every reason to believe the president will fail that test. He already failed it today by saying "lock him up" about George Soros at the White House, basically within moments of the announcement that the bomber had been caught.
Don`t have high expectations for, like, the president coming to Jesus on this, right? OK. That`s a test we`ve got as a country. You can mark that down as a failure. We know the answer to that one.
But here is a question, which is another test. President Trump does have plenty of strains of plain old Republican politics in it. But there is a lot of stuff about Trumpism that is new even within the Republican Party.
The president, for example, is now calling himself a nationalist now. The president is also openly calling for the lines to be eradicated between partisan politics and law enforcement. He is publicly and unabashedly calling for law enforcement to not be independent and to instead be loyal to him and to serve his interests.
And in that context, we`re at a point in the development of Trumpism where there isn`t a paramilitary wing of the president`s political movement, right? Nothing like that even seems to be on the horizon, but there are now multiple new criminal proudly violent groups that are aggressively recruiting and advertising their desire for violence who have attached themselves to President Trump as their cause.
Today, we saw the arrest of what appears to be a lone actor, who appears to have taken on that same kind of mantle himself, to send bombs to the president`s enemies, to make manifest in real life the kind of threats that the president and his most hard-core fans revel in, at the rallies and in conservative media and online. Well, what we have seen both in the case of these criminal pro-Trump gangs and in the case of this arrest today is that law enforcement is Johnny on the spot, right?
Law enforcement is doing its work. This Florida guy was in custody this morning. He is going to be in court on Monday.
On the East Coast and on the West Coast, just in the last three weeks, we have seen these two violent right wing groups, these two violent pro-Trump right wing groups wrapped up, dismantled, multiple arrests, leadership apparently going to jail. How did they get that guy back from Central America so they can arrest him at LAX? I don`t know, but they did. And they`re wrapping that group up.
But there is a short-term thing and a long-term thing that I want to know here, given what we have just been through with this bombing campaign targeting all these prominent Democrats immediately before the midterm elections. The short-term thing I want to know is, how good is the case against that guy who they just arrested? Why are they prosecuting him in the Southern District of New York when they arrested him in Florida and he is from Florida?
How are they going to find out where he made the bombs? How are they going to find out he was acting alone? Are we sure the campaign is over? How dangerous were the bombs? Is there anything else throughout?
I mean, I want to know all the details of how they`re going to nail this guy, if they are. And I want to know whether they -- whether there still are things we need to know about this, right? We`re less than two weeks out from the midterm elections. It`s critical for us to know that this story is over and have confidence that it really is.
Short-term, I feel like I need to know a lot of details about this case, because a bombing campaign and terroristic campaign targeted at the president`s critics and prominent Democrats is going to continue through the election season, I feel like I need to prepare. Short-term concern.
Longer term, I want to know this. This is the last thing I will say, and I admit right now this is a little bit dark, but just stick with me here because I think it needs to be said. We have just had this incredible show of strength and competence from U.S. law enforcement, right. I`m seeing it when I look at these violent pro-Trump groups and these somewhat lower profile cases, right? But also in wrapping up this very high profile bomber case too.
We know what the power of U.S. law enforcement can do when it is channeled in a concerted way to solve stuff, to unwrap it, to dismantle extremist threats against this country. Good. But that faith that we`ve got in law enforcement to fix this kind of stuff, to fix these kinds of violent threats, to keep us safe from this kind of extremism, politically motivated violent extremism, the faith that we have in law enforcement to protect us from this, that exists in a new environment that has never existed before in our country before this time, and it is specific to this president.
I mean, on the one hand, he inspires violent extremist groups in a way that we have never before seen associated with the politics of a sitting president. On the other hand, this president thinks that law enforcement should not be independent and should answer to him and should serve his purposes. Do you see how those two things could be on a collision course on a dark day? How will we know if they are?
Law enforcement is doing great keeping us safe from this kind of politically motivated violent extremism. Law enforcement is also under absolutely unprecedented incredible pressure from this president who apparently inspires this kind of stuff. What kind of pressure does that put on them? What does that do to our faith that law enforcement is the thing that we can depend on to keep us safe from politically motivated violent extremism that is done in the service of this president?
What`s the way out of that risk? Because that is something that we cannot allow to be broken.
MADDOW: The man accused of mailing at least 14 bombs to prominent Democratic officials and high profile critics of the president will make his initial court appearance on Monday in federal court in Miami. Even though he is going to appear first in Florida -- this is interesting -- it`s not Florida prosecutors who are going to be handling this case. The dude is a Florida resident. He was arrested in Florida.
He is alleged to have mailed all at least 14 bombs from Florida. But the 11-page criminal complaint charging him with these five felony accounts today was filed by prosecutors in the Southern District of New York. So he is going to do his initial appearance in federal court in Miami, but then, zip, New York is taking him.
Why is that? I mean, I know that New York is where some of the bombs he allegedly sent ended up. But not all of them. Why is it that New York is going to prosecute him?
Why is he going to get prosecuted in New York? Two, how strong is the case? Three, how much does it matter to prosecutors that he is reportedly not cooperating at all since his arrest, not talking to them at all, especially if they`re worried there might be more bombs out there? Four, how fast are we likely to know based on what they have got on him already if he was acting alone and where he was making the bombs, how many more there are, whether if there might be -- OK.
Once you get to five and you have to start taking off your shoes to do more counting, it means you should bring in somebody who can answer these questions. I will do that next. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIKP)
GEOFFREY BERMAN, U.S. ATTORNEY, SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK: Five days ago on October 22nd, law enforcement recovered the first device from a residence of George Soros. Today, my office has filed a complaint against Cesar Sayoc, charging him with multiple federal crimes for his insidious conduct.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Monday, first bomb. Friday, arrest, criminal complaint.
From 2007 to 2017, Daniel Goldman served as assistant attorney at the Southern District of New York. He is now a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice and he`s here tonight to help us sort out some of how this prosecution is likely to go.
Dan, thanks for being here.
DANIEL GOLDMAN, FORMER ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY FOR SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK: Thanks for having me.
MADDOW: So why is he going to get prosecuted in New York? Dude lives in Florida, was arrested in Florida, seems to have mailed all the bombs from Florida, and only some of the bombs went to New York. So why does New York prosecute?
GOLDMAN: Because we only learned that a couple days ago, and this investigation began on Monday. And when it began on Monday, what we knew is that George Soros in New York was a target of and unknown person in an unknown location.
MADDOW: So that first bomb opens the case as a New York federal case?
GOLDMAN: And it`s not just you and me running around investigating this. This is a massive operation that they center it at the Joint Terrorism Task Force up in Chelsea here in Manhattan, and there are dozens and dozens of people. And so once you get an investigation going of that magnitude and you`re working around the clock, and you have prosecutors writing search warrants and doing all sorts of things, and you have other people testing things and trying to get fingerprints, get DNA and send it down to the FBI, it`s very hard to pivot and change course and say OK, stop.
Let`s send it down to Florida.
GOLDMAN: So they were already so far along in the investigation that by that point, it continues.
There is some question that you could ask, well, now that we know, maybe it should all move to Florida. I still think Florida may end up charging him with some of the packages that did not go to New York. That still could happen down the road, but once there is so much of the investigation that is up and running in New York, that`s why it`s charged in New York.
MADDOW: I was watching the press conference today, and it`s the attorney general and it`s the FBI, but you look at the resources that are not only that they`re thinking and calling upon, but who are physically represented there, and it`s the Justice Department, the FBI, the ATF, the postal inspectors, the New York police department, the Secret Service, the U.S. attorney was there from the Southern district of New York. The U.S. attorney was there in the jurisdiction in which he was taken in south Florida.
I mean, obviously, this is a massive effort, as you`re describing. Given there has been so much manpower put on it, and it`s been such a big effort with so many levels of government working on it, as a prosecutor, when you look at what they`ve got and what they presented in the criminal complaint, do you feel like they sewed it up? Like they put together a ton of evidence?
GOLDMAN: I think they had enough to arrest him and identify the person and arrest him and get him off the street, and that is the most important element of the original phase of this prosecution. Now what they need to do is ensure that there are no other packages and there are no co- conspirators. That becomes the next step that they take, then down the road they sort it all out.
And there is a lot more investigation to come, there will be a lot more evidence to gather through all sorts of some more time consuming search warrants and cell phone records and, you know, searching his cell phone, searching his computer, his e-mail, social media, trying to trace exactly where he was, and then get surveillance footage from where it was that he may have bought the components of the devices, from the post office. There is a lot that will still come, but what they were really trying to do is identify the person and get enough to get him off the street.
MADDOW: Can I just ask your impression of one piece of this that you were talking about? I realize you`re not inside this case and you haven`t seen everything that prosecutors and active agents have seen on this now.
But just as a layman watching this, and, you know, as an American reacting to the kinds of emotions this caused in all of us this week, now that they`ve got him, the first thing I thought when I found out they got him, we got the first details about him, I was like, OK, single dude, doesn`t seem all that super capable, doesn`t seem like the world`s most high performing individual, appears to be living in a van. Fourteen bombs? That he made where? That he made on his own?
That he was able to get -- that he was able to be at large, having sent them out, having not hurt himself, after five days? I mean, it felt to me like this is a lot for one person to have done given what we understand about the way this guy lives.
GOLDMAN: And that`s exactly what the prosecutors and the agents are doing right now. They are trying to figure out by going through his phone, by going through his e-mail, his social media, by tracing where he has been, by getting all that footage I talked about, they`re literally trying to retrace his steps and world in the past few weeks and months to determine whether there is anyone else involved with this. And that`s a very, very important public safety question, and they will be questioning him on that as well, separate and apart from, you know, any Miranda.
You don`t have a Miranda right if -- for a public safety questioning. So they will ask him, is there anyone else? Are there any other bombs? That can be used against him down the road as well.
MADDOW: Sure. And already today, there was another bomb that turned up at the criminal complaint was filed.
MADDOW: Daniel Goldman was assistant U.S. attorney at the Southern District of New York, which will be handling, as far as we can tell, this prosecution of the suspect in the bombing campaign today -- Dan, thanks. Much appreciated.
GOLDMAN: Thanks very having me.
MADDOW: All right. Much more ahead. Stay with us.
MADDOW: In 2014, the last time there was a midterm election, a congressional election, this was the first day of voting, first day of early voting in the great state of Maryland. So that first day four years ago -- do we have that graph there? There were go.
Yes, last midterm election, 2014, a little under 43,000 people voted on the first day of early voting. The first day of early voting this year in Maryland was yesterday. Look at the numbers. Boing!
More than 87,000 people voted on the first day of early voting in Maryland yesterday, 87,000. This is an apples to apples comparison for the first day of early voting from the last election and this one. Maryland more than doubled turnout on the first day of voting this year. How come?
This phenomenon, of course, is not just happening in states like Maryland. We`ve been tracking huge unprecedented surges in the early vote in states like Texas and Georgia. This, of course, is causing varying degrees of freak-out in varying parts of the state and in specific political parties.
We have one of the most amazing freak-out stories of all still developing at the great state of Kansas, and that story is next. Stay with us.
MADDOW: Over the last few days we`ve been following this story out of Dodge City, Kansas. Sixty percent of the residents of Dodge City are Hispanic. It`s one of the few majority minority towns in the whole state of Kansas. About 13,000 registered voters in Dodge City.
On Election Day, those 13,000 people have only one place they can go to cast their ballot. On average in Kansas, there`s about 1,200 voters per polling place. Dodge City they decided to cram all 13,000 voters into one polling place. Why not? Did we mention it`s a majority minority town now?
Well, now, this year, it`s gotten even harder because a local county clerk, a Republican, has decided to move the single polling place for all of Dodge City way outside city limits, over a mile from the nearest public bus stop and across a state highway. On top of that, the local county clerk has also started sending notices to all the new voters in Dodge City, telling them where they have to go if they want to vote on Election Day. Except those notices tell voters they should go to the old polling location that they`re not actually using this year instead of the new one way out of town.
I mean, think about this for a second, they literally only have the one polling location? The job here is to tell people where it is. It`s only one place. But they screwed that up and sent everybody somewhere else.
You had one job, right? Like, literally your job is to give people the address. You`re like whoop, no. One job, one place. Come on.
The county says it will be sending correct notices now as a follow-up. I`m sure they won`t be confusing to people at all. For the past few weeks, the ACLU of Kansas has been trying to get this local county clerk to agree to open another polling location for this town to accommodate the 13,000 voters who live there, particularly those who use public transportation.
Today, we learned just how seriously the local county clerk is taking those efforts. "Wichita Eagle" reporting today this week when the ACLU reached out to the county clerk asking here to please publicize a voting help line for anybody who was confused about the new requirements for voting in Dodge City, the Ford County clerk did not even respond to the ACLU on that. She instead forwarded that e-mail to the secretary of state`s office along with the letters, LOL.
We should mention that the secretary of state is also a Republicans. And although his office is administering this election, the secretary of state himself is at the top of the ticket in Kansas because he`s on the Republican ticket for governor.
The ACLU of Kansas has been trying to work with Ford County clear on this issue for weeks now. Today was apparently the final straw. Today, the ACLU of Kansas decided to sue the Ford County clerk to try to force that clerk to open another location on November 6th.
They`re suing on behalf of a young man who will be a first time voter in Dodge City, a high school student who hopes to cast his first ever ballot in his first ever election. He`s understandably daunted by all the impediments that have been setup to make that as hard as impossible. This first time voter named in this lawsuit tells the "Wichita Eagle" today, quote, I don`t hate the Ford County clerk. I don`t want anything against her. I just want her to do her job properly.
Joining us now is Micah Kubic, executive director of the ACLU of Kansas.
Mr. Kubic, thank you very much for being here. Much appreciated.
MICAH KUBIC, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ACLU OF KANSAS: Thanks for having me.
MADDOW: So, did I sum what`s happening in Dodge City there accurately? Is that what`s going on?
KUBIC: You absolutely did, although, you know, it`s been a few hours since I saw things. So, something else might have happened in terms of what the county clerk is doing here. It seems every day, there`s a story that makes this a little bit worse.
MADDOW: In terms of this lawsuit today, what exactly are you asking the county clerk to do in terms of Dodge City voting? This is now an issue of national concern. Since the "Associated Press" started covering this, it dropped jaws all over the country. A lot of eyes are watching this.
What is your lawsuit looking for specifically in terms of a remedy here?
KUBIC: So, I think the situation in Dodge City is outrageous on its face. As you said before, it`s crazy to think that 13,000 voters should have to go to the same location. It`s been that way for a while, but the Ford County clerk thought of one way to make that situation worse when she moved the one location out of town and again made it worse when she sent incorrect notices to folks.
What we`re asking through the lawsuit is that she`d open up a second location, let it be in the old location in the center of town, the one that`s easily assessable by public transportation, the one that people are used to visiting and one that actually people can get to without as much difficulty.
So, we`re asking for a second location, one that`s easier to reach, one that we think will actually increase voter turnout in Ford County rather than all these steps that will only discourage it.
MADDOW: Looking from the outside in, obviously, it`s easy to sort of jump to the conclusion or at least to worry that some of what`s happening here is that the Republican Party`s candidate for governor is also the Republican secretary of state in Kansas who`s office is responsible for administering the election in which Kris Kobach is competing at a top of the ticket candidate.
When we`ve contacted Ford County officials to talk to them about this, they have refused to talk to us about anything related to their electoral processes and decisions here, and they`ve been referring us to the secretary of state`s office as if it`s the secretary of state`s office directly making these decisions. The secretary of state office tells us, no, no, this is all happening at the county level. This has nothing to do with us.
Is that just us getting the round around? Do you have clarity in terms of who`s making the decisions here?
KUBIC: So, it should absolutely be the Ford County clerk who`s making these decisions. Under a state law in Kansas, the county clerk has a whole lot of latitude, a whole lot of leeway to decide what happens. So, it would not be true the secretary of state should be directing this. We have no reason to believe he is.
At the same time, though, it`s very clear that during his tenure as secretary of state here in Kansas Kris Kobach has created a culture statewide, that it is acceptable to find ways to discourage citizens from participating in their democracy. And I think this is just the latest salvo in that culture that he has created over the last eight years, making Kansas one of the hardest states in the country for citizens to cast a ballot.
MADDOW: Can I just ask one last question, Mr. Kubic, because you`re in this unusual situation where you`re fighting this legal fight over the voting rights of the population in this one town in your state, you`re the director of the ACLU of Kansas, you are in an unusual situation where there are a lot of national eyes over what you`re doing, and there`s been a lot of national concerned expressed about the voting rights of people in Dodge City. Has any of that national interest been constructive?
Have there been national resources directed or are there national resources that you`d like to be able to tap in order to help people vote?
KUBIC: Absolutely it`s been helpful. Thank you for covering the story. We`re grateful to everyone who`s covering this story, bringing attention to it. As a result of these sorts of efforts, there are a lot of folks on the ground who are helping with transportation, who are helping to make it easier for folks to overcome these barriers that have been created.
But at the same time, I also think it is important for everyone to know this story and to know that voter suppression is not just something that happens somewhere else. It`s not just something that is an artifact of history. It`s happening right now in every community of this country.
MADDOW: Micah Kubic, executive director of the ACLU of Kansas, really appreciate your time tonight. Good luck. Keep us surprised.
MADDOW: All right. We`ll be right back. Stay with us.
MADDOW: I am going to spend the weekend stressing out about the fact that this new podcast I`ve been working on, it`s called "Bag Man", comes out for the first time on Tuesday. It`s making me crazy.
If you`d like to add to my stress, you can subscribe so it will just pop up on your phone or computer as soon as it comes out on Tuesday. If you want to subscribe, it`s MSNBC.com/bagman.
That does it for us tonight. We`ll see you again on Monday. I`ll be a wreck.
Now, it`s time for "THE LAST WORD" with Ali Velshi, in for Lawrence tonight. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END
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