January 6 hearing reveals President Trump`s disturbing behavior on day of the Capitol attack. Trump is at risk of prosecution following testimony from former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson. Interview with Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA).
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: And the very real warning sense of what was actually happening, CNN documented, by people at the time. Remember, those tactics, the armed violence and the coup, the attempt to overturn an elected government like in Wilmington, it worked overtime. It worked.
And the free Black people in the South, many of those jurisdictions, (AUDIO GAP) true Democratic rights again for another 80 years. Those are the states. That is what happens if the mob is allowed to rule without repercussions.
That is "ALL IN" on this Wednesday night.
MSNBC PRIME starts now with Ali Velshi.
Good evening, Ali.
ALI VELSHI, MSNBC HOST: Very thoughtful, Chris. Thank you for that. And enjoy the rest of you tonight, I will see you tomorrow.
Thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. I`m willing to bet you felt this way before. Throughout the entire Trump presidency, we all grew accustomed to moments like the one in which we are in right now, a bombshell revelation about the presidents behavior -- and then, the wondering, we`ll this be it? Will this be the thing that finally jolts some of Trump`s supporters, enough that they change their views of him?
Will this be the thing that convinces certain people that he is lawless and dangerous? And that he has an entire political party and its infrastructure behind him? Of course, the answer was generally no, there will never be a bridge too far for Donald Trump, an epiphany moment for the vast majority of his supporters. But for some, at least on an individual level, perhaps there is and perhaps this is it.
For Cassidy Hutchinson, the young, unflappable White House staffer, who testified before the January 6th investigation yesterday, the events she witnessed on and around January the 6th last year were a tipping point for her. She described feeling frustrated and disappointed and disgusted with the president`s apparent approval of the violence, as the Capitol winds being overrun.
But for the most part, we should probably start looking for big shifts in opinion about Donald Trump in reaction to new information. Politically, Americans seem pretty set in their opinions about him. But opinions aren`t everything. There`s actually this interesting, pesky little thing called the law.
And on that front, there is a noticeable shift happening today in one area. There is a real and significant shift underway in analysis about whether Donald Trump might now, as a result of all this new information, actually be prosecuted for his role in January 6th. People who thought that would never happen awoke today thinking, actually, it just might. Perhaps it`s even becoming more likely than not.
And that shift is happening where it matters, inside the Justice Department itself. We are going to have some brand-new reporting on that in just a couple of moments.
But what exactly is it about yesterday`s testimony that is making legal experts and political observers think that we might be substantially closer to a Trump criminal indictment than we were 48 hours ago? And the answer to that is simple. According to Cassidy Hutchinson`s testimony, on the morning of January 6th, the White House`s top lawyer, Pat Cipollone, was actively worried that on Trump was on his way to commit a crime or to commit several crimes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CASSIDY HUTCHINSON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE AIDE: I saw Mr. Cipollone right before I walked out onto West Exec that morning. And Mr. Cipollone said something to the effect of, please make sure we don`t go up to the Capitol, Cassidy, keep in touch with me. We are going to get charged with every crime imaginable if we make that movement happen.
REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): And do you remember which crimes Mr. Cipollone was concerned with?
HUTCHINSON: In the days leading up to the 6th, we had conversations about potentially obstructing justice, or defrauding the electoral count.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELSHI: White House lawyers, including this man, Pat Cipollone, were very concerned about what Trump was planning to do on January 6th, and for good reason. One thing that became clear from Cassidy Hutchinson`s testimony as today was that it was widely known and discussed inside the White House, for days before January 6th that Trump wanted to personally go to the Capitol with his supporters and disrupt the certification of Joe Biden`s win.
Here she was describing White House lawyers trying to change the planned language in Trump`s speech at his rally on January 6th.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HUTCHINSON: There were many discussions the morning of the 6th about the rhetoric of the speech that day. In my conversations with Mr. Herschmann, he had relayed that we would be foolish to include language that had been included at the president`s request, which had lines along -- to the effect of, fight for Trump, we are going to march to the Capitol, I will be there with you. Fight for me, fight for what we are doing, fight for the movement, things about vice president at the time too.
Both Mr. Herschmann and White House counsel`s office were urging the speech writers do not include that language, for legal concerns, and also for the optics of what it could portray the president wanting to do that day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELSHI: Now, I will assume you have probably seen the political speech or two in your time, right? Politicians use the word fight all the time. It`s generally understood to be metaphorical, you probably never watched a politician urge you to fight for some political goal interpreted to mean that you should go commit actual, physical violence.
But the lawyers in the White House clearly knew that that`s exactly what Donald Trump was intending to communicate on January 6th. And that`s exactly how it would be received by his supporters. Because, again, amongst the people closest to him in the White House, it was no secret that Trump wanted to go to the Capitol and he wanted to stop the electoral count.
But if you were still inclined to believe that President Trump was still speaking metaphorically when he use those terms, that he did not intend for there to be violence at the Capitol on January 6th, then it was this part of Cassidy Hutchinson`s testimony that was the most jaw-dropping.
Cassidy Hutchinson described the scene backstage at Trump`s rally, on the morning of January 6th, just before Trump was to take the stage -- look at the crowd here. Trump was apparently furious, because the space that was set aside for the rally was not full. And we all know how Trump hates unflattering crowd size.
Ms. Hutchinson told the investigators that Trump`s aides had been trying to tell him all morning. The issue wasn`t that people were not being let it, it was that a lot of people were refusing to enter the rally area because they were carrying weapons. And to enter the rally space, they would have to go through magnetometer`s or mags, and have their weapons confiscated.
Many people who had gone into the rally area had already had all kinds of weapons confiscated, including pepper spray, knives, brass knuckles, body armor, gas masks and buttons.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HUTCHINSON: In this particular instance, it wasn`t the capacity of our space, it was the mags and the people that didn`t want to come through. And that`s where Tony had been trying to relay to him that morning, it`s not the issues that we encountered on the campaign. We have enough space, sir. They don`t want to come in right now.
They have weapons that they don`t want confiscated by the Secret Service. And they are fine on the Mall. They can see on the Mall. They want to march straight to the Capitol from the Mall.
CHENEY: The president apparently wanted all attendees inside the official rally space and repeatedly said, quote, they are not here to hurt me.
And -- and just to -- to be clear. So he was told again in that conversation -- or was he told again in that conversation that people couldn`t come through the mags because they had weapons?
LIZ CHENEY: And that people -- and he -- his response was to say they can march to the Capitol from -- is it from the ellipse?
HUTCHINSON: Something to the effect of take the f`ing mags away. They`re not here to hurt me. Let them in. Let my people in.
They can march to the Capitol after the rallies are over. They can march from -- they can march from the ellipse. Take the f`ing mags away. Then they can march to the Capitol.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELSHI: So, Donald Trump had been talking for days about leading his supporters to the Capitol to stop the count. White House lawyers have been trying for days to try to get him not to do that, because it could result in charges, in the results words of Pat Cipollone, every crime imaginable.
White House lawyers were trying right up to the morning of his speech on January 6th to try to get him not to say certain things that could incite the crowd violence. And then, backstage that morning, Trump makes clear that he wants his armed supporters allowed into his rally, so they can march on the Capitol from there.
Legal experts who spoke to "The New York Times" today said that, quote, knowing that his crowd of supporters had the means to be violent when he exhorted them to march the and Capitol the clear that he wanted to go with him could nudge Mr. Trump closer to facing criminal charges.
One former Justice Department official tells "The Times", quote, what just happened changed my bottom line. I have gone from Trump`s lesson likely to be charged to he is more than likely to be charged.
Even Trump`s own attorney general, Bill Barr, seems to think charges are possible now, from the Justice Department that he used to run, telling "The Times", quote, the department is clearly looking into all of this and this hearing definitely gave investigators a lot to chew on.
And now we make it to her evidence straight from the guy inside the White House who was so worried about the legal implications of Trump`s actions. This evening, the January 6 investigation has issued a subpoena to Trump White House counsel Pat Cipollone. He did set for an informal off camera interview with investigators in April, but the committee writes to him tonight, quote, in the weeks since the select committee has continued to obtain evidence about which you are uniquely positioned to testify. Unfortunately, however, you have declined to cooperate with us further. We are left with no choice but to issue you this subpoena.
Now, as for the Justice Department, we know it has its own wide-ranging January 6 investigation underway. The Justice Department has issued a flurry of subpoenas and carried out searches of key figures in the schemes that Trump and his allies engaged in to try to overturn the 2020 election.
We don`t know how close that investigation is to Donald Trump himself, but we are learning tonight but yesterday`s blockbuster testimony may have changed the calculus inside the Justice Department about how strong a case they may actually have against the former president.
Joining us now is David Rohde. He is the executive editor of TheNewYorker.com. He`s got some new reporting on deliberations inside the Justice Department regarding charging Donald Trump. He is also the author, most recently, of "In Deep: The FBI, The CIA, and The Truth about America`s Deep State".
David, good to see you. Thank you for making time to be with us tonight.
Since the attack on the U.S. Capitol, one of the things that`s been debated in legal circles, if not doubted outright, is whether or not there is enough evidence for the Justice Department to actually prosecute Donald Trump. Did Cassidy Hutchinson`s testimony yesterday change that?
DAVID ROHDE, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, THENEWYORKER.COM: I think it did. The key thing is his mindset. He knew what he was doing was wrong. It is this issue of, can you show corrupt intent?
There is a very big difference between, as you said, calling on your supporters to fight, versus encouraging an armed mob to assault the United States Capitol, and then trying to join them and lead them as the president of the United States. So I talked to multiple former Justice Department officials, and I do think that this changes things.
And separately, the feeling inside the Justice Department, is that they have been progressively investigating this case. Their weekly meetings where Attorney General Garland is updated by top officials for the latest information in the investigation as a whole, including evidence against Donald Trump. There is no decision yet on whether there is enough evidence, but Garland is pushing. He signed off on a letter for all of the transgression of the January 6 Committee, that was a few weeks ago, and as you mentioned, there has been a flurry of searches, of subpoenas being issued, phones were seized, John Eastman and Clark who was trying to become Trump`s pro, if you will, big lie attorney general.
So there is movement inside the Justice Department, and again, I am hearing from former officials this new evidence will change their calculus. But I just want to be frank, no one knows. There is no final decision yet. But this was a big moment yesterday.
VELSHI: Let`s talk about the John Eastman phone situation. Why is that important?
ROHDE: It is very unusual to see is a lawyer`s phone. You have attorney client privilege, it is a long held American right, and that should be respected. So that suggests that there is significant evidence. You have to show a judge that there is probable cause that a crime was committed, and that there is also probable cause that evidence of that crime would be on the phone.
So both easements phone and Clark`s Phone were seized by federal investigators. And that shows, again, judges are saying that there is significant evidence here and again, to credit the Justice Department, that they are carrying out these -- they are seizing these phones. And they have issued subpoenas and I think at least four states.
I know Georgia and Arizona, trying to get records and evidence from some of these fake electors. That is the focus of the investigation as well, the scheme to have Trump electors basically steal multiple states` electoral votes, you know, before January 6th.
So, again, much more aggressive moves by the Justice Department.
VELSHI: Let`s go back to the committee. When we talk to members of the committee, some of them say it is important to outline the guardrails that did not exist so that they could determine what legislation should exist in the future or how we clarify things.
But there are some members of the committee, including the vice chair, Liz Cheney, who have maintained from the outset that Trump and his allies, knowingly and intentionally broke the law, and that there are crimes to be had here. The Department of Justice needs to weigh that, because the committee, even if Liz Cheney is right, cannot do anything about that. Only the Justice Department can say that there seems to be enough evidence for us to actually charge either Donald Trump or Rudy Giuliani, or one of the people in that circle.
Where are we on that front?
ROHDE: I think the committee is in a tremendous job at educating the public. One member of the committee told me that their goal was to win this politically. To weaken Donald Trump politically. And I do think that there are Republicans who are convinced, Bill Barr, you know, dismissing this idea that the election was stolen. Another aide, Bill Stepien, saying the same thing.
I think that there are Republicans who think of Trump running again, and I think they hear these accounts, including Cassidy Hutchison, and there is a fatigue that this person is going to come back, who is so erratic. I think the committee succeeded there.
But in the end, it will be the Justice Department. And again, I heard today from a former official who is very much a centrist, actually a defender of Bill Barr. He felt that the Cassidy Hutchison evidence brought a criminal charge for obstruction of an official proceeding. That would be stopping the electoral count.
The legal standard is, was there an official proceeding? The answer is yes, obviously, counting electoral votes. And then again there is this corrupt intent that was shown by Trump`s actions and what he knew. He knew there was an armed crowd, he urged them to storm the Capitol and he tried to join them. So, it is a big moment.
VELSHI: An obstruction of an official proceeding is the thing that Liz Cheney had been hanging her hat on. That`s the thing she says is the most important charge here. It is important to note that under the law, in that particular case, the intent to secondary to the actual obstruction of the hearing if that actually took place.
David, thank you very much. Good to see you as always.
David Rohde is the executive editor of TheNewYorker.com. We appreciate you and thank you for your reporting.
ROHDE: Thank you.
VELSHI: Well, today, the former Trump chief of staff, Mark Meadows, denied the allegation that he sought a pardon for his role in January 6th. Whether he asked for a pardon or not, my question is, how much legal exposure does the former chief of staff have now? We`ll discuss that on the other side.
VELSHI: Since the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, we`ve been hearing a lot about Donald Trump`s failure to stop the violence that day. And although that 187 minutes of inaction will forever be marked in the history of this country, there is also the matter of other White House officials who, having the power to do something as an attempted coup is underway, decided to do nothing.
And I`m thinking about this guy, Trump`s White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows. According to Cassidy Hutchinson`s testimony, Meadows remained glued to his phone during the attack on the Capitol, despite being told by security officials of Trump supporters being armed and on their way to Congress.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HUTCHINSON: When Tony and I went in to talk to Mark that morning, Mark was sitting on his couch and on his phone which was something typical. And I remember Tony just got right into it. He was like, sorry, I just want to let you know and informed him, like, this is how many people we have outside the mags right now.
These are the weapons that we`re going to have. It`s possible he listed more weapons off that I just don`t recall. And gave him a brief but -- and concise explanation, but also fairly -- fairly thorough. And I remember distinctly Mark not looking up from his phone, right? I remember Tony finishing his explanation and it taking a few seconds for Mark to say his name.
Because I almost said, Mark, did you hear him? And then Mark chimed in. It was like, Alright, anything else? Still looking down at his phone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELSHI: Anything else?
Hutchinson also told the committee that has the attack on the United States Capitol progressed, Mark Meadows was informed about rioters entering the Capitol, calling for Vice President Mike Pence to be hanged. And while we knew from previous reporting that Trump thought Pence deserved to be chased down by the mob, yesterday we learned that Mark Meadows was apparently okay with the president`s assessment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HUTCHINSON: I remember Pat saying something to the effect of, Mark, we need to do something more.
They`re literally calling for the vice president to be f`ing hung. And Mark had responded something to the effect of, you heard him, Pat. He thinks Mike deserves it. He doesn`t think they`re doing anything wrong
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELSHI: He doesn`t think they are doing anything wrong.
Hutchinson also told the committee that on the night before the attack, Meadows wanted to attend a meeting being held at the Willard Hotel in D.C. that was set up by Rudy Giuliani and others who had spearheaded efforts to try to overturn the election. All of these are in fact new, big revelations that came out of yesterday`s meeting.
They may not seem big because of everything we know that was going on. And that`s the nature of this story. These are huge things. So, the big question is, how much legal exposure does Trump chief of staff have? This man was the chief of staff to the president of the United States, enough legal exposure for him to ask for a presidential pardon?
That was another detail that came out of yesterday`s hearing and the only one thus far that Meadows has explicitly denied.
Joining us now to discuss it is the former United States attorney and co- host of "The Sisters in Law" podcast, Joyce Vance.
Good evening to you, Joyce. It is good to see you. Thank you for being with us.
One of the most jaw-dropping moments of Cassidy Hutchinson`s testimony yesterday -- and that`s saying something, because it was all jaw-dropping - - it`s a revelation that on January 5th, the day before the insurrection, Mark Meadows wanted to attend a meeting in the so-called war room at the Willard Hotel, that Giuliani and others who were scheming -- where they were scheming to overturn the election results.
Nothing seems unusual these days, because this thing is so weird. But that is something. That`s the chief of staff to the president of the United States, going to the Willard Hotel to talk to these clown car of insurrectionists about overturning the election. How serious a matter is that?
JOYCE VANCE, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: I`m fascinated by this detail. I think it`s very serious. And here`s why. We don`t know a whole lot about the thinking that`s going on inside of the Justice Department. They are now tipping their hand.
But we do know that DOJ believed that there was a seditious conspiracy being planned by members of the oath keepers and another by members of the Proud Boys. We know that because DOJ has indicted those conspirators. They have confirmed that they believe it was an effort to use violence to overturn overthrow the government.
Well, we know that there were plenty of Oath Keepers and Proud Boys and communication with these folks at the Willard War Room. And we know now, from Cassidy Hutchinson`s testimony, that Mark Meadows wasn`t really surprised, as the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers and the crowd and the mob proceeded towards the Capitol on January 6th and overran it.
It`s still circumstantial. But if Meadows gets tagged up with this group at the Willard war room, which he now has been, he will have to explain why he was trying to get involved there, if it was not as a participant.
And this really could come together in a very interesting and not at all good way for Mark Meadows. It highlights, I think, this difference and what we are seeing. We are seeing the committee focus on Donald Trump. And what was going on in his orbit.
And that`s why we are seeing these pieces of information. We know that DOJ is meticulous about going up the ladder, from the bottom up, as it builds criminal cases. They`ve gone into the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers level.
They haven`t really made it into the Willard war room explicitly yet. And now we have an additional target that could be in DOJ sites.
VELSHI: And for the moment, these are two separate things, right? The war room, the lawyers, the political cronies of Donald Trump or waging sort of a political/legal war on the results of the election, and then there was this violent insurrectionists side where we`ve seen these charges of -- what do you call it? The seditious conspiracy, that`s what it is.
VANCE: Seditious conspiracy.
VELSHI: I was going to say conspiscous seditary (ph).
So, we`ve got that. But this is where they sort of tied together. Because what we heard from Cassidy Hutchinson is that days before January 6, Mark Meadows understood that there may be some violence involved here. Meadows apparently share that information with Donald Trump. And yet they both seemed relatively unperturbed by the potential violence at the Capitol.
Is that willful blindness? Is a connection between the idea between something violent happening and meanwhile there are these attempts to overthrow the overturn the election -- what do you make of that as a prosecutor?
VANCE: Well, it could be a lot of things. I don`t want to overstate it. I think it`s important to appreciate that when we look at pieces of evidence, there can be more with them one explanation. Something prosecutors have to do is consider exculpatory views on this evidence. That means a view of this evidence that would tend to not incriminate someone.
But if you were thinking through this and looking to see how the evidence could fit together, you might view this lack of an effort to shut down a violent insurrection as circumstantial evidence, that the people who did that, Donald Trump and Mark Meadows, that they weren`t upset about the insurrection because they intended for it to happen.
That`s quite a leap and I don`t mean to suggest that there is proof of that beyond a reasonable doubt. But that`s clearly a path and an investigatory path that has to be pursued, because until you bring that one out and find some evidence that suggest that that`s not the case, I think you are exactly right to say that we are at this point where we are seeing these two threads -- the obstruction of Congress thread that led to interference with the certification of the vote -- and perhaps the violence, perhaps they do come together.
We`ve always thought, perhaps that was the case. There is a big difference between perhaps and proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
VELSHI: Right. With the matter this important, we actually have to make sure no stone is left unturned.
Joyce, thanks as always. It`s great to see you again, former U.S. attorney, Joyce Vance.
In just a minute, we`re going to be joined by a member of the January 6 committee who appears to be making news tonight about potential witness tampering.
Congressman Zoe Lofgren joins us after the break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HUTCHINSON: As an American, I was disgusted. It was unpatriotic. It was an American. We are watching the Capitol building get defaced over a lie.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELSHI: Before Cassidy Hutchison showed up to testify publicly, and long before we started seeing her face in video exhibitions presented by the investigation, Hutchinson was a trusted 20-something a White House aide. Both physically and figuratively, close to the center of the White House, who is basically indispensable to chief of staff, Mark Meadows.
Hutchison had previously interned for the House Minority Whip Steve Scalise and the Texas Senator Ted Cruz before she landed in the Trump White House.
According to "The Washington Post", many former Trump advisers were stunned to see Hutchison testify. As a fiercely loyal aide to Meadows, some believed she would defend him no matter what. For others, she was quite literally the last person that former Trump advisers expected to see testifying against their former boss in this investigation.
One former White House official told "The Post", quote, she was totally enthusiastic about Trump, and working in that White House, end quote.
So, the fact that Cassidy Hutchison decided to testify publicly before the committee isn`t itself notable. And the fact that she did so despite being warned not to do so by Trump allies is also interesting.
According to "Punchbowl News", at least one of the two potential witnesses tampering messages presented by investigators yesterday was sent to Hutchison. And because those close to Trump could not dissuade her from providing her damning account of what she saw in the White House, people in Trump world are now attempting to cast doubt over her testimony. Specifically, her recollection of one another White House aide told her about the former president lunging at a Secret Service agent in an attempt to take the steering wheel, and head to the Capitol on January the 6th.
Today, Hutchinson`s lawyer told MSNBC that she stands by her account. But whether or not Trump did throw a fit over not being driven to the Capitol is actually largely beside the point compared to her testimony that Donald Trump desperately wanted to march and lead a mob that he knew was armed to the Capitol.
Joining us now is the California congresswoman and member of the January 6 investigation, Zoe Lofgren.
Congresswoman, thank you for being with us this evening.
Cassidy Hutchison tonight is standing by her testimony as sources were close to Tony Ornato and the Secret Service claim that Ornato and Bobby Engel, the Secret Service agent who Trump allegedly lunged at, who testified under oath that what Hutchison testified about did not happen.
What do you make of those claims, and the effort to cast doubt on Cassidy Hutchinson`s testimony?
REP. ZOE LOFGREN (D-CA): Well, her testimony under oath wasn`t about what happened, because she wasn`t there. It was that Mr. Ornato told her that. And that Mr. Engel was present and didn`t deny it.
So, we`ll see if they want to come under oath and deny that, fine. The real point is, no one is denying that the former president wanted to go to the Capitol and lead this armed mob, and be there while they attacked the Capitol. That`s the point. And it`s -- no one can deny it.
I mean, that she actually heard the president himself talk about removing the f`ing mags, and that the armed supporters were not going to hurt him, that they can march from the ellipse to the Capitol is stunning, and the most important revelation of all of the things she testified to.
VELSHI: One of the -- "Punchbowl News" reported today said that Hutchinson was one of the witnesses who was sent a message to describe by vice chair of the committee, Liz Cheney, as potential witness tampering.
Now, on that issue, you said something tonight in another TV interview that I wanted to ask you about. You said, quote, in a prior hearing, we talked about the hundreds of millions of dollars that the former president raised, some of that money is being used to pay for lawyers, for witnesses, and it is not clear that that arrangement it is one that is without coercion, potential for some of those witnesses.
I want to ask you to elaborate on that. What did you mean by that?
LOFGREN: Well, I mean, we know that larger amounts of money have been spent out of the fund that was amassed by the former president and is being used to pay for lawyers to various witnesses. The potential for coercion in that case is pretty obvious. I am not going to comment on which witness those threatening messages were sent to but if you read them, there is an intent to dissuade a witness from testifying honestly.
So this is a concern. And I just want people who were trying to interfere with the witness, who would coerce them, or threatened them, to know that that`s not legal. And we do not intend to just sit by and watch that happen.
VELSHI: Let`s explore that a little bit. Are you worried that the backlash that Cassidy Hutchison is now facing by her former colleagues and the supporters of the former president, that that may influence other witnesses and make them hesitant to come forward? When you say you are not going to allow that to happen, what can you actually offer?
LOFGREN: All I am saying is, certainly, Ms. Hutchison, although she is young, it`s pretty wise. She knew, and we knew, that when she testified, Trump loyalists would try to undercut her testimony, attack her, belittle her, and try to discount her testimony under oath. In fact, that is what is happening right now.
But as to witness intimidation, that`s a crime. And individuals who are trying to protect the president are committing a crime. We intend to take the evidence that we get of that, and not just sit on it. People ought to be aware that committing the crime, witness tampering, is a serious matter and it`s not going to be ignored.
VELSHI: As a lawyer, you know a lot about crimes. And I guess there are people involved in January 6th who may have been lawyers who may not have known about things.
Pat Cipollone was a lawyer -- is a lawyer, and a lot of information about him came out in yesterday`s hearing. You have spoken to him on the committee at some point. But at this point, you are asking, in fact this evening, you have issued a subpoena. You want more information from him under oath. Tell me about that.
LOFGREN: Well, pretty clearly, if you watch the hearing yesterday with Ms. Hutchinson, he was relaying information to people other than the president, and we need to talk to him about it. There have been some informal discussions, but not the fulsome discussion that we need.
We respect that there were some elements of the advice he gave directly to the president that may be subject to privilege. So, you know, respecting that, we`ll work through those issues. But clearly, some of what he said and it did not go into that category. And we need to talk to him, and we hope he comes in promptly.
VELSHI: Congresswoman, thank you for your time tonight. We appreciate it.
California congresswoman and member of the January 6th investigation, Zoe Lofgren.
Stay with us. We have much more ahead.
VELSHI: When people talked about ripple effects of the Supreme Court decision on abortion, this is what they were talking about. Last night, one of the largest hospital systems in Kansas City, Missouri, announced that it would no longer be providing emergency contraception in light of the supreme knocking down roe v. Wade.
Missouri is one of the states where abortion is now against the law. So this one hospital system said that given the vague language in the law, it would be stopping the administration of the morning after pill in every one of their hospitals in the state, just in case.
The thing about this though is that emergency contraception is not abortion. It is contraception. It is in the name. You can`t terminate a pregnancy that does not yet exist.
And you would think, or hope that a major medical institution would know this. This hospital system, by the way, has since reversed its decision. It will once again begin administering emergency contraception.
It received swift condemnation for lumping Plan B into the same category as abortion services. Other providers called the move dangerous, and it is, because this is exactly the nightmare scenario that Republican-controlled lawmakers will use the end of Roe as an excuse to try to ban access to contraception as well.
This one hospitals decision to briefly cave to those expectations signals that we could be approaching that very nightmare sooner than we anticipated. But in the early days of this crisis, and that is where we are, all focus remains trained right now on expanding the number of people who can access legal abortions, now that it is no longer a guaranteed constitutional right in America.
Let`s take for example, North Dakota. North Dakota has had just one abortion clinic for more than 20 years now. It is in Fargo, North Dakota, it is called the Red River Women`s Clinic.
North Dakota is one of those states that had a trigger law already in place to ban abortion once Roe versus Wade was struck down. That trigger law will go into effect on July the 28th. And so, for now, that lone abortion clinic in North Dakota will keep their lights on until it is forced by law, on July 28th, to shut everything down, because at this point, at least for the foreseeable future, trying to expand abortion access in a state that is hostile to abortion is basically a non-starter. You would quite literally have to somehow move heaven and earth to somehow make the impossible possible.
But it seems like the red river women`s clinic is going to try, at least as far as the earth part of the equation is concerned. That lone North Dakota clinic is an incredibly close to the border with neighboring Minnesota. It is literally just a 10-minute walk across the river, the Red River, after which the clinic is named.
And so, the Red River Women`s Clinic says it is going to quite literally pick up the entire operation and move it across the river and plop the whole thing down in Minnesota. It`s the kind of idea that sounds so harebrained on paper, but it has the potential to actually work.
And joining us now is Tammi Kromenaker. She`s the owner and operator of the Red River Women`s Clinic.
Tammi, this -- I was about to say it is good to see you again, it is not good to see you again actually. Every time you and I talk it is because there is bad news.
But around that bad news, you and your colleagues who have devoted your time, and lives, and careers two women`s reproductive health, and women`s health care have decided that there is something you can do.
Tell me when you started planning for this, how logistically this move across the red river into Minnesota is actually going to work.
TAMMI KROMENAKER, OWNER AND OPERATOR OF ND RED RIVER WOMEN`S CLINIC: Yeah. Thank you, Ali.
So last fall, when SB8 came out in Texas, there was a special session planned in North Dakota. It was meant to help spend down federal COVID dollars. But some legislators in North Dakota said that they would like to copycat SB8. And we were fearful that they would use that special session to do that.
So we started looking at space, or looking for a space in Moorhead, and we just were not finding when we needed. It is just, there were not many ideal spaces for us. We kept looking, kept looking, and then the lee came out in May, and it just really accelerated our process. So we have been able to secure a location, and we plan to, you know, like you said, provide abortion in North Dakota as long as we legally can, and then we will provide in Moorhead, Minnesota.
VELSHI: Is there -- one of the things that we have been hearing about in addition to what I was just talking about in Kansas City, the ripple effects of a ban on abortion is these fears that there are going to be a handmaids tail type of hunting down of abortion providers. Are you worried about the people who are employed by, you or who work with your organization in North Dakota who will be chase down by the law because providing abortion is going to be illegal in North Dakota? So even though it is happening in Minnesota, is there any liability for you in your stuff?
KROMENAKER: There is never zero risk. There certainly is a low risk, and we have discussed that with our attorneys. It would take a prosecutor who feels like they want to come back after us, and we actually got a patient today who on her paperwork wrote, I am fearful for prosecution of myself. So not only our staff confused, and scared maybe, but patients are expressing those fears as well.
VELSHI: In our lifetime, we are once again hearing women who are fearful of their own prosecution for seeking an abortion.
Tammi, thanks very much. And I don`t mean it is not good to see you, I am so grateful that people like you are out here doing this. I just wish we could talk about something else sometime, maybe one day we will be able to.
KROMENAKER: I hope so. Thanks, Ali.
VELSHI: Tammi Kromenaker is the owner and operator of the Red River Women`s Clinic, which is relocating to Minnesota.
One very important thing to keep your eye on tomorrow is coming up next.
VELSHI: Today, Justice Stephen Breyer announced that tomorrow will be his last day on the Supreme Court.
Breyer, a Clinton appointee, announced his departure in a letter to President Biden today concluding nearly 28 years of service on the nation`s highest court. At Noon Eastern tomorrow, Brian will depart and be replaced by his successor, Ketanji Brown Jackson.
Jackson will recite two oaths administered by Breyer and Chief Justice John Roberts before becoming the first African-American woman to sit on the court. Her elevation to the highest court will also mark the first time that four women have set on the court at the same time. Tomorrow`s ceremony at Noon Eastern will be livestreamed on the Supreme Court website.
That does it for us tonight. We will see you again tomorrow.
It`s time now for "THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL".
Good evening, Lawrence. There`s all sorts of crazy stuff happening in the world and I just don`t want to miss that one, for all of the stuff that people think about the Supreme Court, and some of it is valid, Ketanji Brown Jackson is going to become an associate justice of that court tomorrow, and I think that`s a big deal.