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Transcript: The ReidOut, 6/28/22

Guests: Betsy Woodruff Swan, Jamie Raskin


A top aide to former Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows delivers shocking testimony to the January 6 Committee. Congressman Jamie Raskin discusses the January 6 Committee hearings. Today`s bombshell January 6 testimony is put into historical context.




CASSIDY HUTCHINSON, FORMER AIDE TO MARK MEADOWS: I was in the vicinity of a conversation where I overheard the president say something to the effect of: "I don`t effing care that they have weapons. They`re not here to hurt me. Take the effing mags away. Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here."


REID: Stunning testimony that Donald Trump not only knew that January 6 was likely to turn violent and did nothing to stop it; he fully intended to lead his armed MAGA mob into the Capitol.

To paraphrase our esteemed NBC presidential historian Michael Beschloss, never before have we heard testimony this shocking about a president of the United States.

And we begin tonight with Donald Trump`s determination to personally lead the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6 to hang onto power, no matter the cost.

This is what was revealed in bombshell testimony by Cassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. It was made clear that Trump knew the dangers that existed on the day of the insurrection.

Hutchinson testified that she heard the names of the extremist groups the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys brought up during planning meetings for the January 6 rally -- quote -- "when Mr. Giuliani would be around."

And she said the Justice Department`s National Security Division warned that some MAGA supporters were going to try to -- quote -- "occupy federal buildings and invade the Capitol Building."

Most alarming, Trump was made aware the very morning of January 6 that many of those at his rally were carrying an array of dangerous weapons.


HUTCHINSON: I remember Tony mentioning knives, guns, in the form of pistols and rifles, bear spray, body armor, spears and flagpoles.


REID: Now, despite having all that information, Trump took to the stage on the Ellipse and directed his armed, enraged and dangerous supporters to join him at the Capitol to fight for him.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We`re going to have to fight much harder. And after this, we`re going to walk down -- and I will be there with you. We`re going to walk down to the Capitol.


TRUMP: And we`re going to cheer on our brave senators and congress men and women. And we`re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them, because you will never take back our country with weakness.


REID: Now, it wasn`t completely clear until today that he meant it, not as hyperbole or as a rhetorical flourish, but as the plan.

He was actually planning to go with them to the Capitol that day, and possibly make some grand dramatic presentation either outside the Capitol or even inside the House chamber, Mussolini-style, even though he was told by practically everyone in the White House that it was a dangerous idea.

Hutchinson testified about the repeated warnings from White House counsel Pat Cipollone, including on the morning of January 6, not to join the MAGA mob.


HUTCHINSON: 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`re going to get charged with every crime imaginable if we make that movement happen."


REID: The potential legal jeopardy would not deter Trump in what he thought was going to be his moment of glory. After he finished his speech and was brought back to his motorcade, he was informed that he, in fact, was headed back to the White House and not to the Capitol.

That`s when Trump literally tried to take the matter into his own hands.


HUTCHINSON: The president said something to the effect of: "I`m the effing president. Take me up to the Capitol now," to which Bobby responded: "Sir, we have to go back to the West Wing."

The president reached up towards the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel. Mr. Engel grabbed his arm, said: "Sir, you need to take your hand off the steering wheel. We`re going back to the West Wing. We`re not going to the Capitol."

Mr. Trump then used his free hand to lunge towards Bobby Engel. And Mr...


REID: This is where I confess that I cannot recall ever having heard another example of a president from to physically hijack his own motorcade.

I mean, have you? Has anyone?

But you have to remember this day was long in the making. And Trump wanted to savor every moment. It was Trump himself who had invited everyone to Washington the previous December, saying it was going to be wild. We have already heard from Trump`s former White House adviser Steve Bannon making clear that what was to come on the day -- what was to come on the day before January 6.



STEVE BANNON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF STRATEGIST: All hell is going to break loose tomorrow. Just understand this. All hell is going to break loose tomorrow.

It`s going to be moving. It`s going to be quick.


REID: "All hell is going to break loose."

And, today, we learned that Trump`s intention to be at the Capitol was not some spur-of-the-moment decision. Hutchinson described a conversation she had with Rudy Giuliani on January 2.


HUTCHINSON: As Mr. Giuliani and I were walking to his vehicles that evening, he looked at me and said something to the effect of: "Cass, are you excited for the 6th? It`s going to be a great day. We`re going to the Capitol. It`s going to be great. The president is going to be there. He`s going to look powerful. He`s -- he`s going to be with the members. He`s going to be with the senators. Talk to the chief about it. Talk to the chief about it. He knows about it."


REID: And when she relayed that conversation to her now, former boss, Mark Meadows seemed to know what lay ahead on January 6.


HUTCHINSON: He didn`t look up from his phone and said something to the effect of: "There`s a lot going on, Cass, but I don`t know. Things might get real, real bad on January 6."


REID: Joining me now, a member of the January 6 Select Committee, Congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland.

Congressman, thank you for being here.

I think this hearing was as promised. It was as dramatic as promised. But I want to walk through a couple of things. One of the things that this made me want to -- one of the people this hearing made me want to hear from -- and Liz Cheney has said it over and over -- is Pat Cipollone.

He is someone who seemed to be at the center of much of this, seemed to be in the room, along with Ms. Hutchinson, for much of this, and also on the right side of history here, and saying, do not do any of this.

What is the progress of the committee of getting Pat Cipollone to testify?

REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): Well, the committee is obviously very interested in hearing from Mr. Cipollone. And I can`t make any report about the details of any negotiations that may or may not be taking place.

But I will say that today was indeed a huge breakthrough in terms of our understanding of events, because Cassidy Hutchinson, who displayed a lot of courage, a lot of character coming before the committee today, demolished any pretense that the savage mob violence that came out of that crowd and that eventuated in the storming the Capitol somehow took Donald Trump by surprise.

I mean, he was perfectly aware that there were weapons out in that crowd and, according to her testimony, wanted to take down the mags, in other words, remove the metal detectors, so the armed people could mix in with everybody else in preparation for the march up to the Capitol.

REID: And let me play -- this is Cassidy Hutchinson talking about a conversation between her then boss Mark Meadows and Pat Cipollone about Trump literally not wanting to stop the violence.


HUTCHINSON: I remember Pat saying to him something to the effect of: "The rioters have gotten to the Capitol, Mark. We need to go down and see the president now."

And Mark looked up at him and said: "He doesn`t want to do anything, Pat."

And Pat said something to the effect of, and very clearly had said this to Mark, something to the effect of: "Mark, something needs to be done, or people are going to die and the blood`s going to be on your effing hands. This is getting out of control. I`m going down there."


REID: You know, when you combine this testimony that Trump did not want the violence to stop, what you just said, that Trump heard that people were going through the magnetometers and people were catching knives and guns and other weapons.

And that he insisted that the mags be taken away, that armed people be let in, and then his determination to, number one, allow those aren`t people to march to the Capitol, his seeming presupposition that they were going to go to the Capitol, and then his decision, his determination to also go to the Capitol, and maybe do some dramatic presentation, maybe inside of the House chamber.

Is the contention at this point -- I mean, I feel like you guys have gotten a lot further to connecting Donald Trump to the seditious conspiracy charges that we have seen against those armed people, at least the leaders have those two armed groups, the 3 -- groups, the 3 Percenters and the Oath Keepers -- I mean, the 3 Percenters and the Proud Boys.

Is that the contention here, that Donald Trump knew that 3 Percenters and Oath Keepers and Proud Boys specifically were going to try to occupy the House and that that was his plan?

RASKIN: Well, nothing was advanced like that in the evidence today about those specific -- about his knowledge of those specific groups.


But Hutchinson testified that, for Donald Trump, it made no difference that these individuals were armed. He said: They`re not going to harm me. They`re not there to hurt him.

So that was the key consideration. They were on his side. And he had no problem with them blending into the rally, and then being part of the march that he so desperately wanted to go on himself. And, of course, his speech was all about, like, we`re going to fight like hell. Otherwise, you`re not going to have a country anymore. And there are very different rules when there`s fraud involved, and so on.

So there`s a series of admonitions to the crowd to go and fight. And that was what was on his mind. And we, of course, have known that he didn`t do anything to try to stop the crowd. But here we see him actively trying to cheer it on and, according to Hutchinson, being disappointed that armed individuals are being kept out of the crowd, at least momentarily, by the metal detectors.

REID: And really quick question. What is the progress -- I mean, we know that Mark Meadows has also refused to testify. His testimony would seem to be very important here.

But there are other people who, in theory, could corroborate some of what we heard today. There is some NBC News reporting that sources maybe close to the Secret Service -- we don`t know if they`re in the Secret Service -- are disputing some of that really dramatic story about Donald Trump trying to lunge forward and take control of the Beast, the presidential vehicle.

Are there any plans from the committee to call corroborating witnesses, for instance, the Secret Service, the leader of the Secret Service, Bobby Engel? Is he on the witness -- the witness list? Is there other testimony that we`re going to hear that might corroborate some of those very specific details that, at this point, are hearsay?

RASKIN: Well, I don`t have any further details on that right now.

I will just say that I found her testimony 100 percent credible. She would have no reason to make any of that up. And the committee remains determined to get all of the evidence we can from all of the material witnesses that are out there.

So we will continue to pursue all of the facts and all of the leads.

REID: One last question. We are out of time.

Liz Cheney, at the end of this hearing, pointed out what sure did sound like witness tampering, saying that people were being -- there was outreach to some witnesses, saying, hey, as long as I continue to be a team player, they know I`m on the right team. I`m doing the right thing. Trump reads transcripts. He knows you`re loyal.

It sounds like mob talk. In your view, is there witness tampering or obstruction, criminal obstruction, going on from team Trump or maybe from the former president?

RASKIN: Well, I don`t know enough about the facts of any individual case.

But I will tell you that the committee is well aware that witness tampering is a federal offense. It is an offense in the District of Columbia. It`s an offense in all of the states. And it`s a very serious matter, because it means someone is trying to interfere with the collection of the truth and the collection of facts.

And the committee will not stand by and allow that to happen. And we will be acting in a very strong way to oppose any kind of witness tampering or other forms of obstruction of justice that we encounter.

REID: Would that include referrals to the Justice Department?

RASKIN: Well, undoubtedly, if there is substantial factual predicate for obstruction of justice or witness tampering, we will take appropriate legal measures at that point.

REID: Congressman Jamie Raskin, thank you. Really appreciate your time.

And up next on THE REIDOUT: the very serious legal jeopardy now facing Trump and company after today`s testimony, which some are calling the smoking gun.

The REIDOUT continues after this.




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`re going to march to the Capitol. I will be there with you. Fight for me. Fight for what we`re doing. Fight for the movement.


REID: For more on today`s bombshell testimony and what it means for Trump`s potential legal peril, I`m joined by Charles Coleman Jr., a civil rights attorney and former prosecutor, Betsy Woodruff Swan, national correspondent for Politico, and Glenn Kirschner, former federal prosecutor

I`m going to go in reverse order, Glenn.

There was -- there were a lot of potential crimes spelled out to Cassidy Hutchinson, people telling her, if we do X, we`re looking at crimes. She was told that about the speech on the Ellipse, saying things like "Fight for me," knowing there was violence taking place, but also just Donald Trump`s actions in even trying to go to the Capitol and physically be there.

What crimes might those be?

GLENN KIRSCHNER, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: You know, Joy, I think this reinforces the earlier ruling that we all heard from the federal judge in California, David Carter, who decided by a preponderance of the evidence that Donald Trump, together with John Eastman, committed at least two federal felonies, one obstructing the official proceeding, the certification of Joe Biden`s win, and the other a conspiracy to defraud or commit offenses against the United States.

I happen to think that there`s now a third conspirator who would fit comfortably between Donald Trump and John Eastman in that finding, and that would be Mark Meadows, based on some of what we learned.

But I will tell you, Joy, there was really a marquee line, one of the most incriminating things we have heard yet that was disclosed in today`s hearing. I would make it the centerpiece of a prosecution of Donald Trump.


And that was, after Trump was advised that the crowd was armed with rifles and handguns and knives and brass knuckles, he said: I don`t care. Take down the effing metal detectors because they`re not here to hurt me.

In courtrooms around the country every day, Joy, jurors are told that they can infer what that means. It obviously means Donald Trump believed they weren`t there to hurt him. But what does -- what can we infer from that? That he believed they were there to hurt the people at the Capitol who were certifying the win of his opponent.

And he wanted to lead the armed insurrection. He went so far as to assault his own limo driver to try to force him down to the Capitol, so he could lead the armed insurrection. That is some marquee incriminating evidence.

REID: Right.

I mean, and, Charles, you have his chief of staff, who, look, if you want to know anything about a president, the person who knows the most is the chief of staff. He seems to be the marquee person that would know all the crimes that were committed, because he was the one who was detached, staring at his phone, not responding to Cassidy Hutchinson when she would try to wake him up and get him to see what was happening.

This is a cut four my producers.

This is one of the scenes, as described by Cassidy Hutchinson, of the way Mark Meadows was behaving that day.


HUTCHINSON: Mark was sitting on his couch and on his phone, which was something typical.

I remember distinctly Mark not looking up from his phone.

"The rioters are getting really close. Have you talked to the president?"

And he said: "No. He wants to be alone right now," still looking at his phone.

Mark is still sitting on his phone. I remember, like, glancing, and he`s still sitting on his phone.


REID: Charles, are you in agreement that, if you put together Donald Trump demanding the mags be taken away, demanding armed people be allowed to not only march to the Capitol, knowing they were armed, but also wanting to go with them and make some sort of presentation, and the guy who would know the most about him being completely detached, and even maybe on the background telling him we`re going to make an OTR, we`re going to find a way to get you to the Capitol, it does seem to me that, if there was going to be criminal liability, Mark Meadows would be the chief witness, maybe a hostile witness.


Everything about what we learned today from this witness tells us that Mark Meadows was not surprised by any of the events on January 6, that they had talked about it, that they had planned it, and that this was the -- this was what they were anticipating.

And I think one of the reasons why Ms. Hutchinson`s testimony was so valuable, beyond how explosive it was, is that it finally gave the committee a way to sort of pierce this notion of executive privilege that they have been dancing around with respect to Mark Meadows.

Remember, a large part of why they did not go after Meadows more aggressively was because there was this murky line around executive privilege, and what the case law said about how expensive it was.

And so now you have a witness who doesn`t have that privilege attached to her who still is able to provide some context and information about what took place on that day. And what we learned today was simply astonishing. We have a very different view about how much President Trump knew about the fact that these people were armed and that they were armored in terms of the body armor that they were wearing.

And yet and still he made every effort possible, through his rage, through his tyrannical attitude, of just wanting to make sure that they had unfettered access to do exactly what it is that he knew that they would do on January 6.

REID: And there`s also some evidence -- And, Betsy, I`m going to go to you just on what the reaction is to this sort of in Trump world, if you know and if you ever reporting on that.

Donald Trump also seemed to have cognizance that what these people were doing was criminal.

This is Cassidy Hutchinson talking about what Trump wanted to add to his speech.

This is cut six for my producers, of what he wanted to add to the speech he was reluctantly going to finally give on January 7.


HUTCHINSON: There were several lines didn`t make it in there about prosecuting the rioters or calling them violent. He didn`t want that in there. He wanted to put in there that he wanted to potentially pardon them.

And this is just with the increased emphasis of his mind-set at the time, which was, he didn`t think that they did anything wrong.


REID: So he thought about wanting to pardon the people who were attacking the Capitol. Then he got people asking him for pardons.

And according to Cassidy Hutchinson, Mo Brooks, Matt Gaetz, Andy Biggs, Congressman Andy Biggs, Congressman Louie Gohmert, Congressman Scott Perry, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, Mark Meadows, and Rudy Giuliani were seeking pardons.

So there was broad knowledge that criminality had taken place. The Republican sort of Twitter -- official Twitterdom has tried to dismiss this testimony today as no biggie. But it seems like they all thought it was a biggie at the time.

BETSY WOODRUFF SWAN, POLITICO: Without question, there were a host of senior White House officials and powerful congressional Republicans who worried that they would or in fact did at least face the prospect of criminal prosecution because of what happened on January 6.


And, remember, Cassidy Hutchinson worked in the White House`s Office of Legislative Affairs before she became Mark Meadows` top deputy. She knew all these people. Part of her job was getting to know every single House Republican really closely. What do they want? What do they need? What makes them tick?

That`s what OLA staffers in any administration do. Its part of the gig. And because of that, she would have been very much aware, even in these final days, even after she was in the Office of Legislative Affairs role, of the way that these members were trying to exert pressure on the White House.

And these members all would have known her too. She`s somebody who, as I believe Cheney highlighted at the beginning of the hearing, was a familiar face on the Hill. Trump himself, of course, is distancing himself from her, saying that he doesn`t really know who she is.

Frankly, that`s not really germane, because she`s never claimed to have a particularly close or intimate relationship with the former president. But there`s no question that these Republican members of Congress are people who she got to know quite well.

Now, some of the biggest pushback that we`re seeing currently from Trump world is highlighting the reporting about potential pushback from members of the Secret Service, which you asked Congressman Raskin about. That`s important, because it`s very much gettable information from the committee.

I have reported previously, the Secret Service has said they`re making all their personnel available to the committee without subpoenas. They`re laying all the cards on the table. Everybody who the committee wants to talk to, according to the Secret Service as an agency, they can talk to.

So it should be pretty quick and easy for the panel to get Engel, Ornato, the unnamed driver of the Beast that day all under oath discussing the actions, as Hutchinson described them and discussing what happened.

We also know the committee has already spoken to Engel and Ornato, but it`s not clear if, when they spoke to those two men, they were aware of what Hutchinson said about the conversation that she had with the two of them afterwards.

REID: Yes.

WOODRUFF SWAN: So, the short answer on that is, Republicans are pushing back, and there`s a lot more to come.

REID: And I would love to hear what Ornato had to say, if they have already spoken with him. And if that`s one of those depositions that`s on video, hopefully, that`s going to be played soon.

But, Glenn, Ms. Hutchinson spoke to the committee after switching attorneys. She had a very Trumpy, Trump-friendly attorney. Then she switched to a very Jeff Sessions world attorney.

And so that seemed to -- I don`t know if that made a difference. But she definitely is not being -- her lawyers don`t come from Trump`s inner circle and their world. The people who are still deeply involved in MAGA are doing things like Mike Flynn.

Let me play this for you, because this also, to me, was stunning. This is Mike Flynn, who used to head a key intelligence agency inside of the Department of Defense pleading the Fifth on some very basic questions about civics.


REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): Do you believe the violence on January 6 was justified morally?


CHENEY: Do you believe the violence on January 6 was justified legally?

FLYNN: Fifth.

CHENEY: General Flynn, do you believe in the peaceful transition of power in the United States of America?

FLYNN: The Fifth.


REID: Can you imagine a member of the United States military not being able to answer whether or not they agree -- they -- having to take the Fifth on whether or not they believe in the peaceful transfer of power?

KIRSCHNER: I can`t, Joy. And I took the same oath as General Flynn when I was an Army JAG back in the `80s prosecuting court-martial cases.

And let me say one thing about General Flynn. He should be restored to active duty, and he should be court-martialed for his crimes. There`s a lawful mechanism by which you can restore a retired officer to active duty so he can be held accountable, because this is beyond the pale. Something has to be done about General Flynn.

REID: Yes, indeed.

Our panel is sticking around. There is a lot to unpack from today`s explosive testimony.

We will be right back.



REID: Today`s hearing brought up two familiar names, longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone and Trump lawyer John Eastman, as Cassidy Hutchinson testified her former boss Mark Meadows planned to attend that infamous January 5 war room meeting at the Willard Hotel with Eastman, Rudy Giuliani, and others.

Hutchinson said she told Meadows that going was not a smart idea, so he opted to dial in instead.

Now, if these blockbuster hearings seemed like a wild serial tale, using fake electors and even violence to hand a presidential election to the loser, maybe that`s because you don`t fully remember the 2000 election.

During last week`s hearing, the committee played this clip of Eastman addressing Georgia Republicans a month after the 2020 election.


JOHN EASTMAN, TRUMP 2020 CAMPAIGN ATTORNEY: You could also do what the Florida legislature was prepared to do, which is to adopt a slate of electors yourself.

I don`t think it`s just your authority to do that. But, quite frankly, I think you have a duty to do that.


REID: What the Florida legislature was prepared to do.

Now, inserting Florida into the mix in this most recent presidential election just seemed odd to me and kind of like a throwaway. I mean, Trump won that state, right?

But it is a reminder of how some of the same characters from the 2000 election aftermath are back big-time, namely, Eastman and Stone, who effectively laid the groundwork for an almost identical scheme in Florida back into 2000, including the false claims of voter fraud.


Stone used those claims to mass hundreds of operatives, who descended on Miami-Dade County, staging the so-called Brooks Brothers riot, demanding an end to the statewide recount on George W. Bush`s behalf.

Stone orchestrated that threatening scene as a distraction to the legitimate statewide recount. A few days after that disturbance, Florida lawmakers held a hearing to discuss maybe appointing their own Bush electors, no matter how the count went, with testimony from none other than John Eastman.


EASTMAN: Here, the power delegated to you by Article 2, Section 1 is a plenary power. It knows no other appeal.

I think it`s important to keep that in mind as we go through these very technical statutory provisions. And we cannot view those congressional statutes as altering your plenary power that you have directly by the Constitution of the United States.


REID: That plenary power stuff, that should sound familiar, given what former Vice President Mike Pence`s counsel, Greg Jacob, and Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers testified that Eastman said to them about two key aspects of his scheme.


GREG JACOB, FORMER COUNSEL TO VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: You and I will mutually understand that the underlying legal theory of plenary vice presidential authority is what you have to have to get there.

STATE REP. RUSTY BOWERS (R-AZ): We would decertified the electors, and that that -- because we had plenary authority to do so.


REID: Back with me are Charles Coleman Jr., Betsy Woodruff Swan, and Glenn Kirschner.

And, Charles, I will start with you on this.

I mean, when I heard that little snippet where he said what the Florida electors were prepared to do, it kind of stuck in my head, because I still have trauma over 2000 election and remember this whole argument that there was a case being made to the Florida legislature, which is Republican- controlled, that they should just put in their own electors.

And I did not remember until -- until someone, I think, put it out on social media that it was John Eastman who was making that exact same argument.

What do you make of just the idea, the theoretical idea that Eastman updated his plan for Trump?

COLEMAN: Well, Joy, we have seen this movie before. And we know how it ends.

This is out of -- straight out of the Eastman playbook. He did it in Florida, and he was prepared to do it again. The only thing that stopped this from taking place in Florida in 2000 was the fact that the Supreme Court got involved and they made a decision which stopped the process.

Otherwise, we would have been looking at the Florida legislature doing exactly what we saw the delegates attempt to do in this particular situation around January 6, which would have been a nightmare.

But there`s a bigger takeaway that I need viewers to understand, Joy. And bigger takeaway is, when we dismiss these sort of fringe theories of people being kooks and being wackos and having very, very ridiculous and absurd takes on what it is that our government should be and is designed to do, it`s not like they go away.

They stay there, and they grow, and they fester. And we have not eliminated them by delegitimizing them. We don`t just have to delegitimize them. We have to actually call them out. Ignoring them does not make them disappear.

And I think that Eastman and what we`re seeing here is a classic example of that. He did not go away. He just went back into his hole until it was a time that was profitable for him to come out, a time such as this. And now we have to deal with that on a bigger scale.

So, when we get into these conversations about these fringe theories, what seems to be absurd, they will never work, they will never be a big deal, we have to be very mindful that fringe theories ultimately become false equivalencies that then become theories that people latch onto, that then become problems that January 6 exemplify.

So we have to be mindful of how that happens.

REID: Absolutely.

And, Betsy, I mean, I think about the people who were at this Willard, this infamous Willard Hotel meeting. I mean, it`s Steve Bannon, the guy who said all hell is going to break loose on January 6. It is John Eastman. It`s Rudy Giuliani and his buddy Bernard Kerik, who got pardoned for crimes, Boris Epshteyn, Trump`s sort of acolyte, and other people, even Christina Bobb from OAN.

I mean, it`s this group. But Roger Stone and Michael Flynn were also involved in these efforts, these same characters kind of coming back to what does feel like trying to rerun that old playbook.


And the cast of characters that materialized at the Willard is a really interesting mix, both of people who certainly had notable roles and historic episodes of the past as this video of Eastman I had not seen before highlights, but also people who very much are still part of Trump`s inner circle.

Boris Epshteyn, one of the folks who was at the Willard Hotel, works closely with former President Trump. He`s not somebody who`s been marginalized or diminished whatsoever in the wake of January 6. Rather, he plays an important role in President Trump`s current circle -- former President Trump`s current circle of advisers.

We would expect that, if Trump does run again in 2024, Boris Epshteyn would very much be in the trenches with him, at least based on everything that I know right now.

Bernie Kerik, of course, is also somebody whose testimony I think has flown under the radar, but who`s brought really interesting information to the committee, particularly, as I reported a while back, testifying to the committee about the origins of that draft executive order that made its way into the White House that would have had Trump send the military to seize voting machines.


That would have been just -- there aren`t enough adjectives to describe what that would have been. It would have been absolutely astonishing. It`s something that Bernie Kerik was able to really share detailed information about with the select committee.

This is what the folks at the Willard Hotel were involved in. This is what they knew about. The fact that the White House chief of staff, according to his top deputy at the time, wanted to go there and then ultimately settled just for calling in tells you that there was more of a White House connection to this particular coterie of folks than we previously had known.

REID: Yes.

And, Glenn, and Eastman himself is this interesting character that is at the center of this -- the sort of intellectualization of this coup, right, creating sort of the memo for it. He`s taken -- he`s gotten the interest of the FBI.

There`s video here that was played on Tucker Carlson`s show last night, as he was -- had his phone seized, and he was very upset and was asking for the warrant, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

But I want to play you -- there he is saying, give me the warrant, show me the warrant. He gets his phone taken.

This is what he then said on FOX News about that seizure.


EASTMAN: There`s no indication of any crime that this is connected to. That`s apparently in an attach -- in an affidavit. But the affidavit wasn`t attached to the warrant.

The Fourth Amendment`s very clear here. When they search and seize your property, they have to give a particular description of the things to be seized. I`m an attorney. It`s access to all my privileged communications with nearly 100 different clients.

The very reason we have the Fourth Amendment is to prevent that kind of abuse. And yet that`s what they`re doing here.


REID: Well, if they arrested him and didn`t read him his Miranda rights, according to the Supreme Court, he couldn`t sue them. So that`s thanks to his Supreme Court.

But, I mean, is he right about that? I mean, doesn`t there have to be a warrant to -- they don`t just seize your phone just because they feel like it. I mean, can he -- can it possibly be that there`s no crime attached, Glenn?

KIRSCHNER: No, John Eastman can huff and puff all he wants, but a federal judge reviewed an affidavit in support of an application for a search warrant for John Eastman`s phone.

And that judge concluded that there was probable cause that there was crime right now to be found in John Eastman`s phone. And I agree with Charles. We can`t ignore the kooks and the wackos who are lawyers often in positions of power, one, because they may have a more receptive audience at the Supreme Court now, in the event they can bubble a challenge all the way up to the Supreme Court.

And, two, John Eastman seems like he has been angling for a lifetime achievement award as a criminal defendant, because he has been determined to ignore the will of the American voters and just install a president of his choice. And I hope that the chickens are about to come home to roost and John Eastman gets the criminal charges that he so richly deserves.

REID: Yes, we will see. We are watching the Justice Department with great interest. Let`s just put it that way.

Charles Coleman, Betsy Woodruff Swan, Glenn Kirschner, thank you all very much.

When we come back, NBC News presidential historian Michael Beschloss is here. And he`s going to help us put all of today`s bombshells into context.

We will be right back.




HUTCHINSON: I first noticed there was ketchup dripping down the wall, and there was a shattered porcelain plate on the floor.

The valet had articulated that the president was extremely angry at the attorney general`s AP interview and had thrown his lunch against the wall, which was causing them to have to clean up. So, I grabbed a towel and started wiping the ketchup off of the wall to help the valet out.

CHENEY: And, Ms. Hutchinson, was this the only instance that you are aware of where the president threw dishes?



REID: That was one of just -- of many shocking episodes recounted by former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, who also shared how Trump lunged at a Secret Service agent who refused to take him to the Capitol.

It was all part of stunning, historic testimony summed up by NBC News presidential historian Michael Beschloss in a now viral tweet, saying -- quote -- "Never in history have we ever heard credible testimony before Congress this shocking against a president of the United States."

And Michael Beschloss joins me now.

Michael, it was shocking from beginning to end. And, weirdly enough, Trump throwing food was like the least shocking thing, right? I mean, I can see Nixon throwing food, right?


REID: But expound upon your tweet. What did you find the most jaw-dropping today?

MICHAEL BESCHLOSS, NBC NEWS PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, that this is -- this president, who was such a hypocrite for five years-plus, even before he was president, he said on the 1st of June, for instance, 2020, at the time of the protests in the wake of the deplorable death of George Floyd, he went into the Rose Garden, he said: I am your law and order president.

But that`s only under certain circumstances. Like, dictators in history loves to unleash violence when it is in his interest. You and I remember those were rallies of his in the -- 2016, when he encouraged people in the crowd to rough it up and said to the police, don`t be too easy on them. This is what dictators, this is what authoritarians do.


So Trump`s claim after 6th of January was, I may have given a fiery speech at the Ellipse, but that was it, and I watched this on television, and these people went up to the Capitol on their own, and they were expressing their indignation, and that was about it.

We now see, thanks to the January 6 House committee -- and we wouldn`t have seen it as clearly if it were not for that committee, so they`re noble and they deserve honor. We now see that he was at the center of this plot.

REID: Yes.

BESCHLOSS: He was the chief conspirator.

He was the one who was going to use the force of the federal government, if necessary, to unleash this violence against Congress and the Capitol and our democracy to try to suspend peaceful transfer of power.

REID: Yes.

BESCHLOSS: If I could think of all the bad things a president can do, that`s about the worst.

REID: Yes, absolutely.

Let me play a piece of this. And this was what Glenn Kirschner, former prosecutor Glenn Kirschner, said he found the most shocking. Take a look.

This is one for my...


HUTCHINSON: I was in the vicinity of a conversation.

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 effing 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."


REID: This is actually not the one that Glenn Kirschner found the most shocking.

This was the one where essentially he justified the people chanting "Hang Mike Pence."

Nixon, no president we have had, threatened to kill their own vice president. That`s pretty shocking.

BESCHLOSS: No. Nixon did not like Agnew, but he never went anywhere near that far, nor did any other president with his vice president.

But what Ms. Hutchinson is doing -- and she`s a very brave woman. Honor what she did today. What she is, she`s a firsthand witness who was there in the inner Trump circle. She witnessed and heard many of these things. She saw that Donald Trump said, for instance, one of her quotes, that it was OK to get rid of the magnetometers, so that people could bring presumably assault weapons in.

He didn`t care because he said, they`re not after me.

REID: That was the quote, yes.

BESCHLOSS: They might be using it for other reasons.

REID: That is the quote that Glenn thought -- yes.

BESCHLOSS: And that is not what any president I know of has ever done.

REID: Absolutely.

And that`s the quote that Glenn Kirschner said was also the most damning in terms of Trump`s legal prospects, because he said...


REID: ... take down the magnetometer, take down the mags. They`re not there to hurt me, which implies that...


REID: ... they were there to hurt the right people, not him.


And his whole point is that he was just sort of this innocent, saintly, passive bystander while this righteous uprising went on at the Ellipse and these people marched to the Capitol. It`s exactly the opposite. This was an elaborate blueprint.

I think we`re going to see it involved domestic terrorists, like the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, it involved all sorts of things that probably were criminal. We will see next couple of months.

REID: Yes.

BESCHLOSS: This was an elaborate plot initiated by a president of the United States.

REID: And walk us through what -- I mean, what would it look like? Because we have never seen a president of the United States -- and this is very theoretical.

We don`t know if Donald Trump is going to ever have to pay in court or be charged with crimes. But, if he were, there are a lot of people who are concerned about what that looks like, how that plays out in a democracy, putting a president on trial.

We know Spiro Agnew did get tried and convicted of crimes, but we have never seen it with a president.


I disagree with that point of view. In the mid-1990s, I talked to Gerald Ford, and I said, I know you pardoned Nixon to heal the country, but why couldn`t you at least delay the pardon until maybe he was fingerprinted and he was required to give a statement saying, I am guilty of the following offenses, which Nixon never did.

Nixon spent the rest of his life saying: I was railroaded. I didn`t deserve to be driven out of office.

In later years, he spent a lot of time, interestingly enough, with Donald Trump in New York City and on Trump`s plane. Trump once wrote him: I think you`re one of the great presidents in history.

That was the example that was set by the fact that Nixon was able to get off really scot-free.

REID: Yes.

And, I mean, it`s interesting that people like Roger Stone, who came from Nixon`s orbit, and who said in this classic documentary "Get Me Roger Stone" that all he wanted in the world was to find a better Nixon, and Trump was the better Nixon.

It feels like a lot of the bad things that have happened in past presidencies played out again with Donald Trump.


And the lesson that Gerald Ford, a fine man, said was that, you can be president, and you can break the law, and you can jeopardize the Constitution, and you can come up with plans that could make you an authoritarian in this country, which Nixon at least considered that, but your penalty is that you`re going to have to go back to a luxurious villa in California.


REID: Yes.

And the idea that someone like that could, in theory, run again, because he would have to be convicted and have the 14th Amendment used against him to not be able to run again...

BESCHLOSS: Absolutely. Absolutely.

REID: ... it`s unthinkable, I think, for most of us.


REID: Unthinkable.


REID: Michael Beschloss, it`s always a pleasure.

BESCHLOSS: Right. What a day.

REID: What a day.

Thank you very much. Really appreciate you.

And that is tonight`s REIDOUT.

Do not go anywhere, though. I will be back in a moment with my fine colleagues Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes, Ari Melber, all of our fine feathered friends. And we are going to recap today`s dramatic January 6 hearing all together.

Stay with us.