As a historic Supreme Court term ends, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson is sworn in. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse discusses the conservative Supreme Court. Some Republican states look to criminalize crossing state lines for an abortion. Congresswoman Liz Cheney urges Republicans to ditch Donald Trump, calling him a domestic threat to the Constitution. A stunning development emerges in the 1955 abduction and murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till in Mississippi.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on THE REIDOUT:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHEN BREYER, FORMER U.S. SUPREME COURT ASSOCIATE JUSTICE: So help me God.
KETANJI BROWN JACKSON, U.S. SUPREME COURT ASSOCIATE JUSTICE: So help me God.
JOHN ROBERTS, CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE U.S. SUPREME COURT: And now, on behalf of all the members of the court, I am pleased to welcome Justice Jackson to the court and to our common calling.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: An historic transition coming at the end of the most activist and frankly destructive Supreme Court terms in more than a century.
Also tonight, more criminal exposure for Trump and his January 6 enablers, including a potential criminal referral for witness tampering.
But we begin tonight with a look back at what has been one of the most consequential and life-changing Supreme Court terms since the courts that overturned segregation and expanded women`s rights, only, this court has done it all in reverse.
Today was the last day that we heard from them this term, and actually, thank God, because, in the past month, the conservative majority has successfully weakened Miranda rights, kneecapped state gun safety laws, betrayed indigenous sovereignty, begun to dismantle the separation of church and state, and curtailed women`s rights to privacy and liberty.
And that was all before today, when, in one of the court`s final rulings this term, the 6-3 conservative majority effectively gutted the EPA`s power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants that contribute to global warming.
Yes, at a time when the climate catastrophe is giving us a collective beatdown, when the U.N. recently warning -- with the U.N. recently warning that we need to do something not now, but right now, the court struck down this regulation that the EPA drafted under authority granted by the Clean Air Act, claiming that it amounts to an extraordinary overreach by the EPA.
The decision will not only have major implications for the survivability of this planet, but it will also affect how the federal government more broadly can implement any regulations going forward.
Emboldened by the ruling, the chief plaintiff, the Republican attorney general in West Virginia, Joe Manchin country, warned that they were just getting started. Coal in everyone`s stocking this Christmas.
This year`s rulings really should not come as a surprise. They are the culmination of roughly a half-century`s worth of work by conservative politicians looking to remake the federal judiciary system after a period of what they viewed as radical progressivism.
Now, make no mistake. These justices who swore under oath that they had no political opinions have proven that they very much do have a political agenda. And it all began back in 1991 with the contentious confirmation hearing Justice Clarence Thomas.
After surviving credible claims of sexual harassment and a bruising confirmation hearing, Justice Thomas made clear that he had an agenda and was ready for retribution.
Back in 1993, "The New York Times" reported that Justice Thomas told two law clerks that he wanted to remain on the court until 2034. When they asked why, he reportedly said: "The liberals made my life miserable for 43 years, and I`m going to make their lives miserable for 43 years."
And if you had any doubt that he had an axe to grind, his wife, the active insurrectionist, told "People" magazine that he doesn`t own any of the groups who oppose him anything. In the year 2000, Thomas was part of the 5- 4 majority that took the extraordinary step of putting a stop to a Florida recount, effectively ending former Vice President Al Gore`s presidential aspirations and putting the Republican majority on the court`s preferred candidate in the White House.
Thomas is now the senior member of a group of conservative justices who now join his once extreme views and who always played -- and who also played a role in that Florida case. Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett and Chief Justice John Roberts were all part of a team that was working for the Republicans during the recount battles in Florida, which culminated in the historic Supreme Court decision that the court majority was so embarrassed about, they wrote down that it should never be used as a precedent.
Well, embarrassment is gone. This summer, the conservative majority delivered yet another set of victories for the Republican Party and its ruling evangelical wing. During his confirmation hearing, Chief John Roberts famously said that his job was to call balls and strikes and not to pitch or bat.
Well, it is clear that five of his colleagues do not ascribe to that policy, because they are very much knocking balls out of the park for one team. Gone is the concept of judicial restraint. And in its place is the made-up conservative philosophy of originalism.
According to "The Washington Post," taken together as a whole: "The decisions mark for now, the triumph of originalism, a radically conservative judicial philosophy that maintains that the only legitimate way to decide constitutional disputes is to ask how they would have been resolved when the Constitution was drafted," you know, at a time when no one, except land-owning white males, had any rights at all and when women weren`t even mentioned in the Constitution.
Now, unfortunately, you should probably brace yourselves for more, because they are not done. This morning, the court agreed to hear a case on whether state legislatures should be immune from judicial oversight in state court when it comes to setting election rules.
Republicans in North Carolina want the court to grant state legislators immutable authority to gerrymander electoral maps and to pass voter suppression laws or to make voting rules without their state Supreme Courts being able to intervene or weigh, in other words, the right to do exactly what Donald Trump wanted swing states to do as part of his January 6 coup attempt, just in time for 2024.
And, no, do not expect Clarence, husband of insurrectionist Ginni, to recuse.
Joining me now is Irin Carmon, senior correspondent for "New York Magazine."
And, Irin, it is good to see you, my friend. It has been too long. I know you wrote the very excellent hit book "The Notorious RBG." So you have been paying attention to the court for a long time.
This court`s radicalism, I think, is striking some people as a shock. I`m not sure why. But did it shock you?
IRIN CARMON, "NEW YORK MAGAZINE": Well, I mean, I think it`s important to remember that Justice Ginsburg became the Notorious RBG, she earned that nickname by dissenting from conservative opinions, including the gutting of the Voting Rights Act.
And so this is a direction that the court has been moving in, as you very well laid out. There was an aberration in the court`s history of protecting powerful people, of upholding slavery, of blocking women`s rights in the second half of the 20th century.
And that has what -- is what has empowered this conservative legal movement. I think the difference that we`re feeling now is the speed and the brazenness.
So, John Roberts, Chief Justice John Roberts, I think, has a kind of savvy P.R. approach to how he chooses to do this. He usually likes to do at least two cases before he guts a major precedent, so that he can then say, look, we did this before. He will take a half-step. He did this with the Voting Rights Act. He`s done it with many other cases.
He will occasionally show his independence from the Republican Party, particularly when the Trump administration got really sloppy on certain issues. And that allowed people to still think that, in decisions like Obergefell, with Anthony Kennedy joining the liberals, some abortion rights opinions that weren`t as bad as they could have been, for a while, there was sort of a treading water.
But I think you`re right to place it at Bush v. Gore. Clarence Thomas, when he joined the Supreme Court, he was the minority ideologically. And I think that Bush v. Gore put the Supreme Court on a path for Clarence Thomas to be the intellectual vanguard leading the way, such that Brett Kavanaugh is now the median justice, again, one of this team in Bush v. Gore.
And I think one way to measure how much things have changed is that, when Justice Ginsburg dissented in Bush v. Gore, a lot was made of the fact that she didn`t say, "I respectfully dissent." She just said, "I dissent."
And that was considered, wow, really calling out her colleagues. Listen to the dissenting justices now. And I should say, congratulations, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, and, also, I am very, very sorry, because she is about to join these ranks of the losers whose job it is to lay out very clearly in pages that the Supreme Court justices themselves can`t ignore what`s happened.
And so here`s Justice Kagan today in the EPA decision. She says: "The current court is textualist only when being so suits it. When that method would frustrate broader goals, special canons like the major questions doctrine" -- this is something that they totally made up that`s also going to -- that came to light in the EPA case and also in this case that`s coming up with the legislators -- "magically appear as get-out-of-text free cards."
Now, that`s pretty out there. And they were also pretty out there in the Roe decision. These institutionalist liberals that sit on the Supreme Court are actually warning us that, as bad as things have been, they are getting worse really, really fast.
And, as you mentioned, they`re about to get worse for maybe as long as our lifetime, considering the age of these justices on the court now.
REID: And the thing is that, I mean, you go to Kavanaugh, I mean, this is somebody whose memorable quote is "What goes around comes around," other than "I like beer," in that he essentially was threatening that -- that he`s saying: I am going to politicize this court.
Alito was pretty brazen in saying, no, we`re a court that has desired outcomes. We`re going to rule almost always in favor of conservative Christians, whatever they want. They`re ruling -- at this point, they`re 83 percent, whatever conservative Christians want, not religion, just conservative Christians.
I haven`t seen them do that for Muslims. I haven`t seen them do that for any other religion, for Jewish people, just conservative Christians. Just they`re down the line for corporations, for wealthy people. They`re pretty doctrinaire.
The brazenness, I think, is what`s new. They`re not hiding the fact that they are an evangelical-minded, pro-conservative Christian and pro- Republican group. I think Bush v. Gore unleashed that too. Do you?
CARMON: I do, absolutely.
And I think it also -- they have had a series of strategic plans that have gotten them to this point, but they have also gotten lucky in terms of both deaths and retirements on the Supreme Court, the fact that so many conservatives galvanized and there was no punishment for Mitch McConnell or Donald Trump.
In fact, it helped Donald Trump that Scalia`s seat was left open, despite the norms. It turns out that so many of the things that govern the Supreme Court were actually sort of soft norms and politeness...
CARMON: ... and that there were enough Republican appointees that were willing to follow the rules and believe in the institution of the court.
REID: Yes. Yes.
CARMON: But there was nothing really holding them, except for some measure political accountability.
CARMON: The moment Trump wins in 2016...
REID: That`s gone.
CARMON: ... that gives us Gorsuch. That gives us Kavanaugh.
And, wow, listening to Clarence Thomas talk about his feelings of vengeance, and then have them be paralleled by Brett Kavanaugh, when both of them have been accused credibly of sexual harassment and attempted rape, I think it shows you that we are reaping the whirlwind right now.
REID: Yes. Yes.
CARMON: And we`re going to continue to.
REID: Yes, absolutely.
Irin Carmon, thank you. Really wanted to talk to you today. So I`m really glad that you were around and able to do this. Really appreciate you.
And with me now is Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island. He serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Environment and Public Works Committee.
And, Senator, we have talked about this before, but, I mean, I think a lot of people were taken aback by the breathtaking politicization of this court, but it`s long in the making. I mean, the thing is, to me, I`m surprised people are surprised.
Leonard Leo has been very clear about who he is and what he wants. And this court has been very clear that they no longer worry about how it looks. And Roberts is not in control. It`s the blatantly, brazenly partisan and political wing, the Trump wing, that is produced by presidents who haven`t even won the popular vote that`s in control.
Are any of your colleagues within the Democratic Caucus pretending to be surprised?
SEN. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE (D-RI): No, I think we have seen this coming for a while.
We were slow to figure it out. But I think we have figured it out now. There`s a lot of pent-up anger and scorn in these new opinions, highly critical of previous Supreme Court justices, highly critical of regulatory officials, really almost cruel, cutting commentary about people that they don`t like.
WHITEHOUSE: And then you have got this fabricated major questions doctrine that was grown in the Koch brothers` ideological hothouse, now jumping from that into the law of the land...
WHITEHOUSE: ... in the major and concurring opinions.
REID: Let`s -- go ahead.
WHITEHOUSE: So, there`s a lot going on, and they`re not -- they`re not being coy about it any longer. They`re grabbing for all they can.
REID: It`s sort of like Donald Trump. They have the same sort of ethos. We`re just going to do this and we don`t care how that looks.
Today happens to be the anniversary of the Meat Inspection Act of 1906, just for a little nerdery here. And it prohibited the sale of adulterated or misbranded livestock and derived products such as food and ensured that livestock were slaughtered and processed under sanitary conditions. Basically, it keeps us from dying from eating meat.
I bring that up because the EPA decision today guts the regulatory state in a way that in -- the way that I`m looking at it could carry over to anything from not just say -- them saying that the EPA cannot regulate essentially power plants, they can`t do anything to protect our air.
Then can the agencies, the FDA, regulate our meat, make sure that doesn`t kill us?
WHITEHOUSE: The actual holding of the decision was narrower.
What`s scary is the intellectual architecture, the ideological architecture that they built in this case, which will provide armament to attack, as you said, regulations in a whole bunch of areas in a whole bunch of ways.
And I think this was really the goal of the people who spent all that money to pack the court, over $500 million spent over the years on packing the court, and telling it what to do through all these front groups and cooking up these doctrines like the major questions doctrine in these sort of ideological doctrine factories.
And the court is just completely obedient to the forces that put these members on to the court.
REID: The thing is that the -- in the EPA ruling, they essentially said that the EPA does not have any authority to do these regulations unless Congress specifically passes.
They have to for each and every way that they want to regulate clean air have to pass a law for it. Well, they do that knowing that nothing can pass, that the House can pass 1,000 bills. The Senate can`t pass any. So they know it`ll never happen.
So is it not the same as essentially saying, we -- this ruling mandates deregulation?, because they know that the Senate, where you work, sir, is completely broken?
WHITEHOUSE: The court created a massive political traffic jam in Congress with, A, the Citizens United decision allowing unlimited money into politics, and, B, not enforcing the transparency requirement of Citizens United.
So there`s billions and billions of dollars in dark money floating around. And that controls Congress. So they have said to the administrative regulatory folks, you can`t do this any longer. It has to be done by Congress. And their earlier decision made it virtually impossible for Congress to do it.
And the idea that they don`t know what they`re doing when they`re doing this is, I think, preposterous.
WHITEHOUSE: They`re serving a special interest overlord that we have done a very weak job as Democrats of calling out over the years.
REID: I agree with that, sadly.
Last question. We are out of time.
President Biden has indicated that now he does favor relaxing the filibuster or adjusting it to ensure women`s rights. But you don`t have 50 votes for that, right? Manchin and Sinema ain`t going to allow that, are they?
WHITEHOUSE: We do not have 50 votes for that.
REID: Yes. There we go. You need -- you need -- as you have said before, you need two to four more senators. You all are going to need 54 senators to do what needs to be done.
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, always appreciate you. Thank you.
And coming next on THE REIDOUT: It seems that banning abortion in their own states is not enough and not cruel enough for some Republicans. Now they want to punish you if you help someone cross state lines to get care.
Welcome to Gilead. Under his eye.
The REIDOUT continues after this.
REID: Today, President Biden said he would support a filibuster exception to pass abortion rights into law, tweeting: "We have to codify Roe v. Wade into law. If the filibuster gets in the way, then we need to make an exception to get it done."
Also today, judges in Florida and Kentucky approved temporary restraining orders blocking laws that placed limits on abortions. The move comes after judges also issued temporary halts on abortion bans in Texas, Utah and Louisiana.
It`s promising news, but the fight is just beginning. "The Washington Post" reports several national anti-abortion groups and their allies in Republican-led state legislatures are now advancing plans to stop people from seeking abortions across state lines.
The Biden Justice Department has already warned states that it would fight such laws, saying they violate the right to interstate commerce. The Planned Parenthood facility Fairview Heights, Illinois, about 15 miles from St. Louis, Missouri, where abortion is now illegal, anticipates an additional 14,000 patients every year will seek services in the region now that Roe has been overturned.
And joining me now is Dr. Colleen McNicholas, chief medical officer of Planned Parenthood in the St. Louis region and Southwest Missouri, and Joan Walsh, national affairs correspondent for "The Nation."
Thank you both for being here.
Dr. McNicholas, I am going to start with you. We`re going to put up a map here, because it shows where you are, where you`re practicing, Fairview Heights, Illinois, and just how close it is, for those who -- I love a good map. Just shows how close you are to the Missouri border. But, also, you`re right there kind of surrounded by states that are -- either already banned abortion or are likely to do so.
So the influx is going to be real. What is that going to mean pragmatically for you, for your doctors and your patients?
DR. COLLEEN MCNICHOLAS, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, PLANNED PARENTHOOD ST. LOUIS: You`re right, Joy.
Illinois is going to be a critical access state for probably close to half the country. Even in the last 48 hours, our waiting time has gone from just three to four days to two-and-a-half weeks already. As folks are going to be looking for where to get this care, we`re going to be relying on the state of Illinois to be able to absorb those patients.
But it`s not going to be easy. We`re talking about operational changes, increasing hours, going from eight to 10 hours a day to maybe 12 hours and adding Sundays. It`s no small feat to be able to add 30,000 patients to the state of Illinois for care.
And the truth is, the physical spaces that are already available in Illinois are not what are going to be the challenge. It`s going to be getting people from their homes to those clinics and then back just to access that care. That`s going to be really problematic.
REID: And that has to be done, Joan, while some of these states are also passing laws that will criminalize that process.
Just taking someone in a car from one place to another, whether it`s an Uber driver or someone who just assists somebody by giving them a ride, could be then prosecuted in a state like Missouri.
The doctors who maybe consult online, do like -- you do like telehealth, who consult with a woman...
JOAN WALSH, MSNBC ANALYST: Right.
REID: ... saying how, here`s how you can be helped, they`re trying to criminalize that, basically expanding their abortion bans outside their borders.
Are people prepared for that? Are people in the activist world prepared for that?
WALSH: No, I really don`t think they are. But I don`t mean that as a criticism, because the people in the activist world have been telling us about this, Joy, for years, as you and I both know.
WALSH: They have been telling us this is going to happen, they`re getting rid of Roe, here are some things we can do.
And, I mean, you and I listened, but a lot of people didn`t listen. And so now I we have got -- we have got states or counties getting rid of Plan B, the next day, sorry, I made a mistake contraception, acting like it is abortion. It is not, people.
But people are getting -- pharmacies and counties and I don`t think a whole state yet are getting rid of that. There is so much ignorance about a woman`s body -- we have to also say -- that these people are going to go all out passing new laws, trying to enforce laws they think are already on the books. And providers are terrified.
WALSH: And, obviously, abortion providers are some of the most brave people in our country, but they don`t know -- they just don`t know how this will be either interpreted or expanded.
And so we`re in a world of pain.
REID: Well, I mean, that`s the thing, Dr. McNicholas.
I mean, you`re talking about providers having to take a risk on whether the state they`re in will consider what they`re doing to be abortion care. If somebody has an ectopic pregnancy, they have to think twice: Do I treat this person? Could I get arrested?
You have seen in Missouri the confusion so much that the Republican governor is now putting out saying, oh, no, no, Missouri law has not changed with the legality of contraception. They`re not -- abortions are not affected by the right to life of the Unborn Child Act.
REID: You have had a Missouri hospital resuming emergency contraception.
We`re talking about the pills, the Plan B pills that rape victims are given. Doctors are getting nervous about prescribing those. And even though this Missouri governor is trying and right -- the forced birth people are trying to say, oh, on, no, no, we don`t want to take away birth control, those of us who are familiar with the evangelical community and that world know they do think that IUDs are abortifacients.
They think that birth control are abortifacients. They think that God should decide if a woman with an ectopic pregnancy lives or dies. They are coming after -- I mean, they have signaled it, right?
How afraid are you, as a provider, that they`re going to go for all of it, contraception too?
MCNICHOLAS: Absolutely, Joy.
I mean, we have already seen many examples of how the Missouri legislature is coming after things like birth control. Just two years ago, we fought this very issue, where the legislature was trying to eliminate access to Plan B and to IUDs for Medicaid populations.
We have spent the last 24 hours undoing some massive confusion around the difference between abortion and birth control. And I 100 percent agree with you. They are coming for it. But in these moments, it`s incredibly critical to make sure that patients have the most up-to-date information and know that they can still get birth control.
MCNICHOLAS: Medical emergency exceptions, which you talked about too, very narrow exceptions, completely unworkable and dangerous.
We have doctors out here now contemplating, how sick is too sick enough before I can take care of somebody? Is one stroke-level blood pressure sufficient? Do they have to be bleeding so heavily that they need a blood transfusion before I can take care of them?
It is unnecessary and preventable harm to pregnant people on a scale that we won`t know the full consequences are for years.
REID: Yes. And these laws are being passed by men who couldn`t pass a seventh grade biology test, because they don`t know anything about women`s anatomy.
Last word to you on this, Joan. A word for you to those who told us not to be hysterical about the United States Senate or Donald Trump, because there`s no way that the Supreme Court would go after Roe, who are now telling us, stop being so hysterical about a national abortion ban or bans on contraceptives.
WALSH: Oh, I`m going to be hysterical. And I hope we all will. I`m going to be absolutely hysterical, because they will do whatever they can.
And I really love the fact that lying liar Brett Kavanaugh, who lied to get his Supreme Court seat -- poor Susan Collins -- told us, oh, no, we`re not coming after contraception or gay marriage. This is -- this is going to stop. It`s just going back to the states.
He`s a liar. They`re all liars. They are coming after our rights. And it`s going to get worse before it gets better, Joy.
WALSH: And thank you to Dr. McNicholas, because you are a hero.
REID: Indeed. Thank you for all that you do, indeed.
I mean, they were on the Bush v. Gore team, and that Supreme Court promised us that was not precedent. And now look, poof, the entire Supreme Court are politicians inside the Republican Party. It`s all lies. Don`t believe any of it.
Dr. Colleen McNicholas, I join Joan Walsh`s thanks to you for all you do.
And, Joan Walsh, my friend, thank you.
Up next: the latest on the January 6 investigation, including Select Committee member Liz Cheney urging Republicans to ditch Donald Trump, calling him a domestic threat to the Constitution.
REID: The House January 6 Committee is warning allies of the twice-impeach former president about interfering with the ongoing investigation.
Today, Committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney said that the panel is prepared to make a criminal referral on anyone who tries to influence witness testimony.
That warning follows a speech last night where Cheney excoriated the former president and her fellow Republicans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): At this moment, we are confronting a domestic threat that we have never faced before. And that is a former president who is attempting to unravel the foundations of our constitutional republic.
We have to choose, because Republicans cannot both be loyal to Donald Trump and loyal to the Constitution.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Just hours earlier, the committee issued a subpoena to former White House counsel Pat Cipollone.
And according to Chairman Bennie Thompson, the committee has obtained evidence about which Cipollone was -- quote -- "uniquely positioned to testify."
In a joint statement with Cheney, Thompson referenced evidence that Mr. Cipollone reportedly raised legal and other concerns about President Trump`s activities on January 6 and in the days that preceded, adding: "The committee needs to hear from him on the record, as other former White House counsel`s have done in other congressional investigations."
Joining now, Charles Coleman -- Charles Coleman Jr., a civil rights attorney and former prosecutor.
And, Charles, let`s go through this one by one.
So, Pat Cipollone, he`s now subpoenaed. We talked -- we have talked about this before, about whether he will testify or not, but what are the sort of litigable claims if he tried to stop it, if he tried to -- tried to defy the subpoena?
CHARLES COLEMAN, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Well, the first thing, Joy, that people need to understand that, even if Cipollone does ultimately end up deciding to testify, he does have a constitutional right to plead the Fifth Amendment.
And I suspect that we may not necessarily hear a lot of testimony out of him, if he decides not to cooperate, he decided to show up, but he`s not going to say anything. I think that is the middle ground for him and something that people need to be aware of.
When you saw the testimony given from General Flynn, if you can call it testimony, he pled the Fifth over and over and over again. And so I suspect that there will be a combination of one of two things. He will either plead the Fifth excessively, or he will claim executive privilege, although the Fifth is a stronger defense for him than the executive privilege, because, in his case, he was White House counsel, which means that his client was actually the White House, the office of the White House, not Donald Trump.
So, in that way, you see the committee trying to get around the issue of executive privilege, which has held up conversations with Mark Meadows, for example, and so many other people who were intimately connected to the president as advisers.
So I expect that those two things will be his biggest defenses, but that he will rely most heavily on pleading his constitutional right against self- incrimination.
REID: You know, it`s hard to imagine why he would want to resist, other than that he still wants to be an active member of MAGA world somehow, in some capacity, because he was on the right side of this, unlike somebody who might have more reason to be hesitant to come forward under oath.
And let`s move on to him. And this is Tony Ornato. Ornato is the one who the right is sort of hanging their whole defense of Trump at this point on him and on whether or not he would refute what Cassidy Hutchinson said about all the events that went on, especially that event in the car.
Now, the event in the -- it wasn`t the Beast. It was in the limo, in the SUV. It isn`t the most salient point, because they don`t dispute the fact that Trump insisted in the SUV that he wanted to go to the Capitol. That`s the most legally salient point.
But you now have the right sort of hanging their hat on it. Former White House aides, however, have said that Tony Ornato, who was is ultra-MAGA loyalist has lied, at least former White House aides, about events or deny things that have happened.
And here`s what it said by Alyssa Farah Griffin. It says: "Tony Ornato lied about me too. During the protests at Lafayette in 2020, I told Mark Meadows and Ornato that they needed to warn press staged there before clearing the square. Meadows replied: `We aren`t going to do that.` Tony later lied and said the exchange never happened."
You have Olivia Troye, who has been on the show a bunch: "Tony Ornato," who used to work for Mike Pence -- "Tony Ornato sure seems to deny conversations he`s apparently had, first along with Keith Kellogg in `I Alone Can Fix It.` And now he`s denying the story he told Cassidy Hutchinson. Those of us who worked with Tony know where his loyalties lie. He should testify under oath."
And now I want to play you one more thing. And this is committee member Stephanie Murphy, the congresswoman from Florida, on Mr. Ornato`s deposition, which he gave before.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. STEPHANIE MURPHY (D-FL): Mr. Ornato not have as clear of memories from this period of time as I would say Ms. Hutchinson did, if that`s a fair aside spent there.
But we`re always happy to have folks who have recalled things to come back and talk to us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Cassidy Hutchinson told her story under.
Isn`t now the main question whether Tony Ornato is willing to lie under oath for Donald Trump? Is he that loyal that he would lie under oath? Do they not need to put Tony Ornato under oath?
COLEMAN: Well, I don`t necessarily think so.
I think from -- speaking as a former prosecutor, what I will say is that it`s clear there Ornato has some credibility issues. And so whatever comes out of his mouth, if it corroborates what we have already heard from Cassidy Hutchinson, then perhaps it may have value. But if it refutes that, there`s a number of different reasons or a number of different things that you can point to in terms of prosecuting that evidence, if you will, that shows that he has credibility issues and consistency problems.
We have already heard from members of the committee that he essentially could not recall certain events. And so now if he comes back under oath and says, well, yes, I remember this, so on and so forth, as a prosecutor, what I would be saying is, especially if it refutes the point that I`m trying to make, well, didn`t you earlier say that you couldn`t remember that?
So now are you saying that, further away from the time period when the events occurred, you remember better than you actually did closer to the time of the events actually having occurred? You remember more now than you did remember then?
So he has all sorts of credibility issues. I think that his committee -- his testimony to the committee could be valuable. But I don`t necessarily think that the committee needs to hang our hat on things one way or the other.
It does, however, expose how important Cipollone`s testimony is, in that it becomes a matter of credibility and balancing the word of one person vs. the other. So you need another person who was in the room to either corroborate or refute the testimony we have heard from Hutchinson in order to make it more credible.
And so that`s why hearing from Pat Cipollone is much more important that people realize.
REID: Do you do you think that the Department of Justice, because you would think hearing from Meadows would be even more important, because he`s the former chief of staff -- what do you think is the holdup with the Department of Justice?
Because there is a contempt referral out there.
COLEMAN: I think the Department of Justice is really being careful about how they approach this executive privilege issue. They do not want to get embarrassed by trying to do something or force some testimony that ultimately the court decides that they don`t have the ability to do.
So I think that that`s really the big holdup. So they have to figure out, number one, what it is that they can ask, if anything, and how do they narrowly tailor the information that they need to get around the notion of executive privilege in such a way that they get the information that`s going to be valuable for whatever they`re looking to actually pursue in terms of charges?
REID: It`s always so fun talking to you, Charles Coleman -- Charles Coleman Jr. I feel like I learned something. It`s like my little law class. I love it.
Thank you very much. Really appreciate.
COLEMAN: I appreciate it. thanks, Joy.
REID: All right, thank you.
And up next -- cheers -- up next, a stunning development in the 1955 abduction and murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till in Mississippi, and the apparently ongoing legal drama surrounding that case.
Stay right there.
REID: It has been nearly 67 years since Emmett Till was abducted, tortured and lynched in Mississippi, after the 14-year-old black boy from Chicago was -- who was visiting family in Mississippi was accused of making advances at a white woman.
In an amazing discovery last week, a team searching a Mississippi courthouse basement for evidence in the case uncovered an unserved 1955 arrest warrant charging that same woman for Till`s kidnapping. Included in that team were relatives of Till.
They`re now calling for the woman, Carolyn Bryant Donham, now in her 80s, to be arrested. Donham was married to one of the two white men who were tried and acquitted for Till`s brutal murder, shockingly, by an all-white jury. Maybe not so shockingly, given this country`s history.
They later confessed to the killing.
The arrest warrant against Donham was publicized at the time. But get this. The sheriff told reporters that he did not want to -- quote -- "bother" Ms. Bryant, since she had two young children to care for. Ah, American history.
With me now is Deborah Watts, Emmett Till`s cousin and co-founder of the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation. She was part of the team that discovered the warrant.
Thank you so much for being here, Ms. Watts.
And I want to take you back to that discovery. What were you all looking for in that courthouse? And how did you come upon this incredible document?
DEBORAH WATTS, CO-FOUNDER, EMMETT TILL LEGACY FOUNDATION: Well, I will just tell you, it was a team of about five of us.
And this was the second opportunity to search. There was a team that went towards the end of March, after we had a meeting with the Department of Justice, the FBI investigator and the DA, Richardson. And so, at that time, they told us there was nothing else that they could do.
And we knew all along that this warrant for Carolyn Bryant`s arrest was never served.
Keith Beauchamp, who is an award-winning filmmaker and was responsible for the investigation that reopened the case in 2004, made sure that we understood that. And so a collective group of us went to the courthouse in Leflore County, Greenwood, Mississippi to search for that warrant.
And we knew that that one that one bit of evidence had never been served. And we wanted to find it amongst other things that we thought might be there. But we did find it. And we are hoping that this leads to the -- at least the execution of the warrant to Carolyn Bryant Donham, charging her in the kidnapping and murder of Emmett Louis Till, because she`s culpable in that.
Without malice, without hate, or without vengeance, we want justice served. And so we were just excited, ecstatic, happy, very emotional at the time when we found it in the lower level of the Leflore County courthouse area in the basement there.
Carolyn Bryant Donham, she -- the book "The Blood of Emmett Till," which a lot of -- which brought a lot of people, younger people, to this story that they only knew about it from history class, if it`s legal to teach, that -- in that book, Carolyn Bryant Donham, she actually gave an interview to that author.
And then she took back her and her previous admissions that she lied about your cousin, about Emmett Till. Do you want her arrested and put under oath to get her to, under oath, say what she did?
WATTS: Well, we think the evidence speaks for itself.
And we think that the sheriff needs to serve that warrant to Carolyn Bryant, the DA needs to impale -- or impanel -- excuse me -- a grand jury, and then they need to bring in Carolyn in to be a part of that and indict her being culpable in the murder...
WATTS: ... and, first of all, the kidnapping of Emmett Louis Till.
WATTS: But Carolyn definitely was there. I mean, the FBI investigation and other reports and the admission by Dale Killinger, who was the FBI investigator at the time -- he received an admission from -- that two other young men had been brought to her to identify them.
And, of course, we know what happened with Emmett. Those two other young men were accosted. They were thrown out, beat up. Some of them were beat up.
WATTS: And -- but, Emmett, what happened to Emmett?
WATTS: He was kidnapped and murdered later.
WATTS: So there has to be an identification. Carolyn Bryant could be the only person that would do that.
And, in fact, in the documents that we found, there was an affidavit for her arrest as well. Also, the (AUDIO GAP) of Mose Wright, who identified her? He had to.
WATTS: So, to talk to him.
And this kidnapping took place, of course, Joy, before the murder.
WATTS: So, us needs to be served. It`s time.
And Carolyn needs to be brought to justice.
REID: I just want very quickly, before we run out of time, ask.
I mean, you were, what, 6, 7 years old when your cousin was murdered. How did his murder and this historic funeral that Mamie Till opened the casket, so that the world would have to see the results of it -- were you at that funeral? How did that -- his death impact your family?
WATTS: I was not as a funeral. I was actually a toddler at the time, not quite 6, 7 years of age.
But I heard about it. When Mamie Till-Mobley traveled across the country to speak out, along with the NAACP, she came to my hometown, Omaha, Nebraska. And I was able to see a booklet that was created by a photojournalist, Ernest Withers, who identified and -- photographed, I should say, the trial and that famous photo of Mose Wright pointing at the two murderers.
And so I was able to see that and connect the tears, the emotions with Mamie`s visit, and see --even as a toddler I was able to become emotional about it. But later in years, Mamie Till-Mobley is my shero. And we oftentimes had conversations about what happened, who was responsible, and what kind of justice she wanted.
WATTS: She did not want -- excuse me -- she did not -- I would say this.
She didn`t want to have any type of hate towards Carolyn Bryant or vengeance. And we hold that in our hearts as well. We just want justice served on.
WATTS: ... we wanted.
WATTS: Just as so many people wanted it as well.
REID: Indeed. Indeed.
Deborah Watts, it`s such an honor to talk to you. Thank you so much. And the best of your family. And we wish you very much luck in this -- pursuing this case. Thank you, Deborah Watts.
WATTS: Thank you.
REID: And up...
REID: Thank you.
And up next, my thoughts on this historic day, as Ketanji Brown Jackson is sworn in as Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson on our deeply troubled Supreme Court.
REID: So today was an historic day for the United States Supreme Court.
And, no, I don`t mean the egregious rulings that we have seen coming from the conservatives. For the first time in the court`s 233-year history, a black woman sits on the bench as an associate justice. Ketanji Brown Jackson is only the sixth woman to be seated on the highest court in the land.
She replaces Justice Stephen Breyer, who stepped down this morning, then helped swear in his former clerk.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACKSON: I, Ketanji Brown Jackson...
BREYER: ... do solemnly swear.
JACKSON: ... do solemnly swear that I will faithfully and impartially...
BREYER: ... discharge and perform...
JACKSON: ... discharge and perform...
BREYER: ... all the duties...
JACKSON: ... all the duties...
BREYER: ... incumbent upon me...
JACKSON: ... incumbent upon me...
BREYER: ... as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
JACKSON: ... as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States...
ROBERTS: On behalf of all the members of the court, I am pleased to welcome Justice Jackson to the court and to our common calling.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Wow, wow, wow.
In a written statement, Justice Jackson writes: "With a full heart, I accept the solemn responsibility and supporting -- of supporting and defending the Constitution of the United States and administering justice without fear or favor, so help me God. I`m truly grateful to be part of the promise of our great nation."
And that is tonight`s REIDOUT.
"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts now.