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Transcript: The Beat with Ari Melber, 6/30/22

Guests: Michael Moore, Howard Dean, Cecile Richards, Anita Hill


Former White House lawyer Pat Cipollone subpoenaed after final warning from January 6th Committee vice chair Liz Cheney, following testimony from former aide to White House chief of Staff Mark Meadows, about the events around January 6th Capitol attack. Former Planned Parenthood president on the politicization of the Supreme Court after controversial rulings from abortion to the environment. Brandeis University professor Anita Hill joins Ari Melber and shares her views and analysis of that decision in Roe. Ketanji Brown Jackson makes history after being sworn in at the Supreme Court today.


NICOLLE WALLACE, MSNBC HOST: Thank you so much for letting us into your homes during these extraordinary times. We are so grateful. THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER starts right now.

Hi, Ari.

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Hi, Nicolle. Thank you so much. Welcome to THE BEAT.

We are tracking news in the insurrection probe with further fallout and cracks after that blockbuster testimony against Trump has really ricocheted around the nation. The testimony linked Trump to the violence of that coup attempt, turbocharging Trump-world anxieties as they prep for even worst- case scenarios.

And there are more and more dominos falling on the right because of the power of this factual evidence. Take a Republican former prosecutor that we have cited before, Andrew McCarthy. He`s a FOX News favorite who wrote a whole book defending Trump in the Mueller probe, and accusing others of pushing the real collusion, which is one reason he is on FOX quite a bit and has a huge conservative legal following.

He also was an appointee in the Southern District of New York under Rudy Giuliani himself, so he is a Reagan` appointee in that DOJ. But he is also someone who -- and you see his face on the screen you may recognize him if you ever do watch FOX, he`s on there a lot because he is someone who has always said he tries to also deal with legal analysis. Perhaps it is of a more confident variety.

He clearly was in the Reagan revolution but he is responding to the evidence. He says when you look at the evidence, as a criminal legal matter, it is devastating against Trump, and that the new evidence in that hearing makes a big difference. He`s saying this in public and this week, he is now emphasizing that really as far as he is concerned for the first time, there is now direct evidence showing Trump committed crimes and backed violence.

We`ll let you hear it for yourself.


ANDREW MCCARTHY, FOX NEWS LEGAL ANALYST: Trump was clearly aware just moments before he took the podium that you had a mob of heavily armed people. The critical things he says there are, they`re not here to hurt me, which implies that, in his mind, he knows they`re here to hurt someone. And the second thing he says if they can come in, they can hear me and then they can march to the Capitol.

So he is very aware that you have a mob that`s armed to the teeth, that he is planning to encourage to march on the Capitol. That knowledge opens up the possibility that you could prosecute for aiding and abetting the intimidation of federal officials, which is a pretty serious crime.

AIDAN MCLAUGHLIN, MEDIAITE: Do you expect we are going to see Trump prosecuted by the Justice Department on any of these charges?

MCCARTHY: I do now, yes.


MELBER: "I do now." That`s just three words. I gave you his credentials. He is saying what he thinks will happen based on the evidence. He does think there is a case to indict Donald Trump, and he does think it`s now passed the line from debatable evidence to really overwhelming evidence of a violent felony which he notes it`s serious, that`s true. And that last word now. It speaks to what everyone is wondering about these insurrection hearings, about this difficult interbranch process.

The now is that the evidence has passed a certain point. And I will just say on a personal note, Mr. McCarthy is a lawyer who talks about these issue, reports on them, and analyzes them on TV, as do I, that night of the hearing when I was sitting there, here on MSNBC in our coverage for you with Rachel and our whole team, I said that was a sad day. We marked that as a sad day because the overwhelming evidence showed this criminal intent and action and illegal order by the president.

And I`ll remind you when I said then it`s sad because when you get to that point, that`s a sad thing for the country. And if a former president has to be charged because that`s what has the evidence shows, that`s grave and serious. And I said that if a former president acts that way, that the evidence is that clear and is not charged, that is also sad because ultimately this is about what happened and what the United States or this Justice Department will decide to do about it, when there are no good options because when incumbent presidents do what that Reagan appointee just described, when they menace federal officials, when they openly encourage violence, when they issue illegal orders to help violence, when they attempt a coup, when they demand whether you think he did it physically or verbally.


They demand to go down to the Capitol, that`s not in doubt, to go help and join those armed supporters, yes, that is a sad day, and that`s now what`s been exposed and that was not to be clear proven, the violent part, the armed part, with regard to Donald Trump`s mind state, his mens rea legally, was not proven before these hearings began.

Now, that is McCarthy, an independent conservative lawyer. Then you have Donald Trump`s own lawyers, and you also can often track how bad it`s going by how they`re doing. From Giuliani having his license suspended to coup plotter John Eastman having his phone seized and a pat down by federal agents. You see him there, that`s the coup plotter with his hands in the air. He`s not under his control, he is under the control of federal agents who are doing a forcible, lawful pat down and they took his phone.

We actually have more on that story tonight. It`s something that at time has been overshadowed understandably by the hearings. So that`s Eastman and Giuliani. And now we have this development that Congress has had it with Donald Trump`s top government lawyer who was serving during the insurrection, White House counsel Pat Cipollone. You may recall his name, Liz Cheney had been publicly pleading and then warning him to cooperate.

He is a lawyer. He knows he has a lawful obligation here but he did not. Now he is facing this new subpoena. And there is an old saying, how many lawyers you got? A lot? Well, it`s not a good sign when you have too many lawyers. Let alone when your lawyers need lawyers, or when your lawyers need specifically criminal defense (INAUDIBLE), DOJ vet Jeff Clark specifically need criminal lawyers, they both face those kind of aggressive searches. I showed you one of them just now.

And tonight, I can tell you Cipollone will need a lawyer to at least handle this new subpoena clash, for starters. And if you want to say, OK, how does this all tied back to tie back to what developed this week? Well, the star witness not only was implicating what Andrew McCarthy says are indictable offenses committed by Donald Trump, a potentially criminal president, the star witness also recounted Mr. Cipollone`s, at times, pivotal role.


CASSIDY HUTCHINSON, FORMER AIDE TO WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF MARK MEADOWS: On January 3rd, Mr. Cipollone had approached me. Mr. Cipollone and I had a brief private conversation where he said to me we need to make sure that this doesn`t happen. This would be a legally terrible idea for us. Mr. Cipollone said something to the effect of please make sure we don`t go up to the Capitol, Cassidy.

Pat Cipollone barreling down the hallway towards our office. Pat was concerned it would look like we were obstructing justice or obstructing the electoral college count.


MELBER: That last quote is what she says Cipollone told her about two crimes he was worried that were in progress by Trump officials. And that`s what he told her. You may have heard this thing cropping up on the right where some folks who are sympathetic to Trump say well, some of this is hearsay. There`s two points on that. One, as a legal matter, some of this is hearsay. But this is not a criminal trial yet. If folks are indicted for those types of offenses, then you deal with the hearsay rules.

Two, the reason the Cipollone testimony is currently hearsay is because of one person, not her, not the star witness you just heard, not the other witnesses, not the committee. The only reason it`s allegedly hearsay is because Mr. Cipollone has not come in to testify fully on the record according to the committee. Any given day he or Mike Pence or anyone else who wants to address so-called hearsay can stand up, show a little bit of courage as much as all their other more junior aides have, and eliminate the hearsay and talk and cooperate.

Now, in fairness, I want to be clear with you. Cipollone is not in that category of the Bannons or Navarros who have just been opinion completely defying. He did take measures. He previously had a meeting with the committee but it was not under oath. He then refused to testify publicly when requested. And now with the subpoena, that`s more heat on him and there is a source saying he might consider sitting for transcribed testimony.

So he is not in the total defiance camp nor is he in the cooperation camp. Will the subpoena press him? Well, it`s brand new and we`ll find out.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump is seeing some cracks among his own former aides, lawyers, and supporters, and he`s not turning to run to FOX News which has featured some of the coverage of these damning facts. Instead, he actually went out to Newsmax, new this week, to deny the allegation, the key one that he knew people were armed and then to attack, again, yet another Trump aide who has been testifying under oath with ad hominem and personal attacks against her.

So you take it all together and what do you see coming into view?


This is not the sign of some random kind of Washington process that`s just winding down. The committee is not acting like that. The witness aren`t acting like that. The Justice Department is not acting like that as it seizes phones and raids home. And interestingly, not even Donald Trump, a master of lies and denial, he is not acting like that. It would appear that the binding and serious evidence that`s been submitted here on the record, that is accumulating and that is not done, is making its mark.

With that in mind, we turn to two special guests and experts who know their way around these issues. A former U.S. attorney, federal prosecutor in Georgia, Michael J. Moore, and a former governor and chair of the DNC, Howard Dean.

Welcome to both of you. Mr. Moore, your take on that same question of what people like Mr. McCarthy are seeing when they say evidence supports indictment and whether there is a mark being made by some of this evidence.

MICHAEL J. MOORE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: Well, I`m glad to be with you. I may be in the other camp and, you know, anybody that thinks I`m defending Trump, that`s not my point here. But I do think we`re in a place where we have seen a lot of hearsay. We`ve heard some allegations. We`ve seen some details that, you know, we talk about can we prosecute the Trump orbit or people in the Trump orbit? That`s not how you prosecute.

So, hopefully, with the media sort of narrowing down to decide, who`s the target? Is there some way that they can show in fact Trump was pulling strings, as sort of the leading, being the godfather if you will of the -- of the event there?

Let me throw this out, though. I think probably the most serious thing that I have heard about a prosecution, and I would agree that this may be a real threat to him and that is this idea of witness tampering. If they can link the witness tampering that we heard about in the committee hearing back to Trump or at Trump`s direction, then I think that`s a much more likely scenario that you may see a prosecution on.

It removes the political obstacles. It removes the issues that you`ve to deal with because he was a candidate at the time. And even when we talk about just the facts of the case that came out, this idea that he was directing people to come through the magnetometers. If you just change the inflection of his statement that`s attributed to him, and that is, you know, they are not here to hurt me versus you`re not here to hurt me, it changes the entire context of the discussion.

And so those things would have to be overcome. You don`t have those same hurdles to jump over if you just took about the fact --

MELBER: No, Michael, I`ll jump in.

MOORE: He`s directed --

MELBER: I`ll jump -- I`ll jump in to litigate this a little and then when we`re done lawyering, Howard can just come in and talk like a normal person. I don`t think you go through an armed insurrection and the only Capitol attack in the United States in the last century to do tampering. I mean, it`s important and people go to jail for it. But this ain`t a tampering case. If prosecutors see that -- wait, I`m going to finish and then you`ll finish. OK.

If prosecutors want to deal with that, they can do so. It`s not nothing and we`ve seen federal mafia cases and others deal with it. But we are talking about an armed attack on the seat of government with multiple people in Trump`s orbit saying -- admitting in public, their goal was to overthrow the election. They are claiming the Fifth over that pursuant activity. And he issued with what one expert on this program called an illegal order.

I get you on the inflection, and yes, everyone gets their day in court to explain what they meant what they said. But he also asked them to let in the armed people, and I don`t care whether you`re the president of the United States or a random agent, you do not let armed people in. The magnetometers are there for a reason, and that alone would seem to be an illicit order. So with all that on the table, I`ll let you respond.

MOORE: Yes. No, I don`t put much stock in this whole idea about coming in out of magnetometers. This guy is such a narcissist. He`s worried about his crowd size at every event. And the magnetometers weren`t an issue at the Capitol. There were issue down at the Ellipse there. So this is not a -- this is not a situation where he was lining up people from the Capitol steps.

I`m all for prosecuting who deserves to be prosecuted but you better have something more than are some speculation and possibility and little hearsay there, a little hearsay there. You better have some texts, some messages, some witnesses who will come and say he did this. He said that. And that`s what makes a prosecution. We can all write good books about the history of this thing and that`s -- and again, I am not defending him. I`m not here as a --

MELBER: No, I know you`re --


MELBER: You`re here doing what we asked you to do which is independent legal analysis, we`re talking it out.

MOORE: That`s right.

MELBER: Do you think Mr. Eastman -- do you think Mr. Eastman has criminal liability? He certainly seems to think he does.

MOORE: He may have some criminal liability. And that is -- we`re going to see what`s on his telephone. We`ll know, did he make false documents?


Did he make some statements or the things that they plan -- those are very different things than talking about a sitting president of the United States being charged for conduct while he was sitting president. I guess a former president being charged.

MELBER: Yes. Let me bring in --

MOORE: While he was sitting --


MELBER: Let me bring in Howard.

MOORE: You know, do we want that as a country? I think that`s a question that --

MELBER: Well, that`s a different question, sir. But that`s a different question.

MOORE: I agree with you.


MELBER: I would encourage you -- hold on. I would encourage you not to conflate the evidence with the prudential matter. Gosh, Howard, I feel like I`m really on a bad day in law school but the prudential matter is the ultimate question over whether at a policy level indicting certain individuals in a certain way under the structure of government is a good or bad idea. And you could take the position, can take Nixon. Let`s take Trump out of it.

You could take the position that indicting Nixon after he left office was not prudentially right. That`s very different than saying did Nixon commit crimes? The evidence shows he did. So first, you did the evidence, then you did the call -- I`ll come back to you after Howard. But, Howard, your thoughts on all the above.

HOWARD DEAN, FORMER DNC CHAIR: OK. So, since I am not an attorney and I have no ability to argue with either one of you about any of this, let me tell you about the politics of it. Herschel Walker is now trailing Raphael Warnock in Georgia by single digits but it`s getting bigger. Mike Lee is in trouble in Utah because there is a young independent out there who`s moderate and he was endorsed by the Democrats but he`s not a Democrat. J.D. Vance is in trouble -- is behind Tim Ryan in Ohio.

So now, this is not all -- and this is in spite of the fact that the Democrats are running are 10 points ahead of Biden in terms of favorability. Usually what you see in the midterms is the president is unpopular and he drags the Congress down. Not happening. There`s two explanations. Most people today believe that the Supreme Court is a rogue organization. And that`s a fact.

Their approval rating is down around 33 percent after these -- and after today it`s going to be worse. And if they start screwing around with the elections as they`ve said they were going to do next year, they`re going to be in the same boat as Trump in terms of their respectability.

So you`ve got that, and then you`ve got all this stuff about Trump and whether he is a crook. But it doesn`t -- I mean, this almost doesn`t matter if he`s a crook or not. I`m for the rule of law and I think he should be treated like every other American citizen and I`ll leave it to you gentlemen to figure that all out. But what the American public is seeing every single day is this guy is a crook. Because when somebody gets charged, the American people contrary to the jury instructions is, believes their guilty.

It may not be right but that`s how the system is. Until -- actually, you do better in a courtroom than you do in the court of public opinion in this country.


DEAN: So I think -- look, I think the guy is a crook. I grew up in New York. He`s never done an honest thing in his life. People don`t lend him money in New York because they know they`ll never get paid back. All this stuff with Deutsche Bank. I mean, the guy is filth from beginning to end of his whole life.

That`s what`s important. So all this stuff about the hearings, which is pretty bad, and having a credible young woman come and say here`s what really happened, and everybody -- he threw the plate against the wall and all this kind of stuff. That`s what people are going to remember. And then, Tish James has got another thing in New York and who knows what`s going to happen there.

People -- the reason Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff are in the Senate today are because of Donald Trump because during that runoff, there were a whole lot of moderate Republican, particularly women, white women in the suburbs who said this is not somebody -- shouldn`t be going on in this country. That`s what`s going to happen again in the midterms. I think we`re going to pick up a lot of seats. I do not think we`re going to lose the House at this point.

And, you know, you guys can Mumbo Jumbo about the legal stuff and I`m not making fun of it. It`s a really critical stuff, but it`s above my head and it`s above the head of most American people.

MELBER: Well, if we`re going to --

DEAN: This is a bad show for the president.

MELBER: I think you walked through a lot of the key elements, Howard. I have another question for you on that. If we`re going to do Mumbo Jumbo, I get to be Mumbo, Michael, you`re Jumbo, OK. And we have to have some rules of the road here.

DEAN: And I support Mumbo Jumbo. We have to have a legal system. It`s just that the average doesn`t understand it.

MELBER: Well, and Howard, the follow-up then goes to this apparent panic on the right because I was careful to quote, there are some people on the right who, of course, are diehard Trump to the end. Hannity and stuff on FOX are still doing that. And yet this crack may also reflect political self-interest to your point. "The Wall Street Journal" editorial board was moving this week. And that`s Murdoch. And they weren`t yet saying, oh, they have some great concern about democracy.

They were just saying, gosh, Republicans should face Trump`s weaknesses here before you have to commit to him as a nominee. It seemed like political advice to your point because they see him as highly wounded. Howard?

DEAN: I agree with that. And I, frankly, at this point, I did not say this in 2016.


I warned that Donald Trump could win the election. In fact, he even called me up to -- for whatever reason. I don`t return calls from people like that so I never returned his call. This time, I would prefer to face Donald Trump than any other Republican who is running. I think the younger people, DeSantis, and who are actually scarier because they`re actually competent and they don`t have all the narcissism problems that Trump does, but I think some of the younger people in the Republican Party are more scarier than Donald Trump from our point of view.

MELBER: Hmm. Well, all very interesting. We ran over on time. I appreciate the colloquy as we call it. We`ll continue it, Howard, Michael. We`d love to have you both back.

Coming up, we have a legal breakdown which I mentioned as you look at those pat-downs. We have a special report on the Supreme Court. Cecile Richards is here. And tonight, Anita Hill back on THE BEAT to talk about human rights, women`s rights and the future of justice in America.

This is a special edition of THE BEAT. Stay with us.



MELBER: Today we got the final decision to the Supreme Court term, including a controversial ruling gutting federal powers for environmental regulation.


JOSE DIAZ-BALART, MSNBC HOST: We have the first decision today from the Supreme Court. Pete?

PETER ALEXANDER, NBC NEWS JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: So the first decision is a loss for the Biden administration. The Supreme Court by a 6-3 vote has ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency does not have broad authority to try to set national energy policy.


MELBER: I guess that`s news to the EPA and the Republican administration that founded it. This Trump-backed conservative majority no longer needs even a center-right influence of Bush appointee John Roberts. It is moving forward, stripping away as mentioned today the EPA`s energy powers. It departed from its claimed originalism to change and further expand gun rights this term, amidst even this shooting epidemic.

It rolled back an over hundred-year civil rights law that offered to be clear, relatively minor protections to defendants against police misconduct. It departed from a current balance that has existed in the law and religious freedom to grant more public prayer support to public school employees, who while paid by you, want to pray in front of everybody else. And it overturned of course Roe, the privacy and liberty and abortion, choices for women and others who can become pregnant.

On Roe, it`s the first time ever that the court has individually rescinded a human right. And researchers who track this actually estimate this court is now more conservative than fully 75 percent of Americans when you compare what it`s doing to what people believe.

Howard Dean just said that this has become an illegitimate court and it`s not just about Roe, although on that important issue, and more, we will be joined by Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, a veteran of that organization and very knowledgeable about these women when we`re back in one minute.


MELBER: And we`re back with former Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, co-chair of American Bridge.

Welcome. Your view on what we just walked through, what this court is doing on women`s rights and more?

CECILE RICHARDS, FORMER PRESIDENT, PLANNED PARENTHOOD: Well, clearly, this is the court that does not represent where this country is on a whole host of issues. And I think, Ari, what has been happening is people feeling this complete loss of freedom. In fact, the Republican Party has now kind of become the anti-freedom party. And I have seen of course over the last few months what this has meant in the state of Texas where women basically lost the right to safe and legal abortion back in September.

It`s created complete chaos. A feeling of fear, of people not knowing where to turn, and that is only going to get worse. We`re now going to see that multiply across the country. I think the most important thing is even though this is the Supreme Court, it is making these decisions and they obviously don`t seem to care about precedent or where the American people are at, they were put on there by the Republican Party.

And so, to me, one of the things that is probably underreported is that this has been the goal of the Republican Party, particularly in the issue of abortion for many, many years was to completely eliminate safe and legal abortion. And I think the -- obviously the human impact we are seeing already in terms of what`s happening to women. But the political impact I think is coming.

MELBER: You say human impact. And that`s such an important part of this. We try to cover the facts, the law, but the real people impacted and with regard to pregnancy, men have a role here, too. And all of this has to be dealt with and it has to be understood. We put together just a little bit of what people are saying, this is not reporter interviews, this is from people`s own posts things they chose to share online on TikTok, and elsewhere about all this take a look.



AMELIE ZILBER, POLITICAL ACTIVIST, AND SOCIAL MEDIA PERSONALITY: Humans are not pro-life. They`re pro poverty and pro inequality.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are cool with the government forcing us to have a baby even though we`re not ready. Yes, you have no rights over your own body.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So always kind of awkward when you`re arguing with someone about abortion and they don`t know that you had an abortion, right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know what the treatment for miscarriage that won`t leave your body is, it`s an abortion. If you can`t get these treatments, these abortions, you die.

JILLIAN PHILLIPS, SOCIAL MEDIA PERSONALITY: And I am not ready to be a labor and delivery nurse in a world post-Roe versus Wade.


RICHARDS: I mean, it`s very rare that a Supreme Court decision literally reaches into the lives of everybody in this country. And that is exactly what`s happened. I know that people have heard the Republican rhetoric for many, many years about their pro-life, you know that this is what they were going to do. But now it`s actually happened.

Of course, in Texas, we`ve seen a young woman jailed for an attempted miscarriage. We`ve seen women literally who have never left the state of Texas have to pack all their kids in their car and drive hundreds of miles to try to get to another state. And I think the interesting thing, I`m glad you showed men there because this is an issue that affects everyone.

And when I look at what`s happening in terms of the reaction, there are as many men as women in this country who believe the government has no business making decisions about pregnancy. And this is -- I really feel like the Republican -- you know, the Republican Party is kind of like the dog that caught the bus. They`ve been able to have the rhetoric without really the impact.

And now we`re seeing with this Supreme Court -- again, put on largely by Donald Trump, we`re seeing the impact in everyday people`s lives. The one other thing, Ari, that is just really striking to me and underreported is we just had a generation of young people totally lose all of their rights. And these guys never -- they were never asked. These justices never even thought about the impact.

I believe this Supreme Court is going to -- is going to impact a complete realignment of young people in America away from the Republican Party, on abortion, on climate change, on LGBTQ rights, on voting rights, you name it. I -- you know, maybe they`re going to win this in the short run, but in the long run, they have become a minority party in the United States.

MELBER: Really striking which is why we wanted to come back to you on the story. These stories row and the -- and the way that the court is impacting people, in general, are something we`re going to stay on. So, Cecile Richards, thank you.

Let me tell everyone what`s coming up. We have these raids, arrests, phone seizures. Why are so many Trump aides ending up in situations like what you see on your screen? That`s coup plotter, John Eastman. We have a breakdown on that, I mentioned. Coming up this hour.

But first, something we think is significant. Anita Hill on THE BEAT, as we look at Justice Thomas`s scandals, what he argues should happen on the court. And a day that also today is there`s so many things going on marks history. With the swearing-in of the justice, you see now on your screen. Anita Hill live, next.



MELBER: The Supreme Court is curbing women`s rights in America with a larger crisis for the High Court itself. And tonight, we are joined as you see by civil rights lawyer and professor Anita Hill who spent decades working in this field. I should note before we begin that she became initially known to many Americans when she took a great risk to share her own testimony and work experience under oath about then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas.

At the time, she faced an all-white, all-male panel, as she explained what sexual harassment entailed as a legal matter and what she faced as a personal matter. She has an esteemed career, including several best-selling books at the intersection of social justice, gender, and race. And too many Americans that we`ve discussed this on the program before, we are told she`s become a true example.

For how to lead, how to overcome adversity, and in her case, be a leader in justice in the Me Too movement before it was called that. I welcome Brandeis University professor Anita Hill. Her most recent book is Believing. Thank you for coming back on THE BEAT. Appreciate you being here.

ANITA HILL, PROFESSOR, BRANDEIS UNIVERSITY: It`s good to see you. And good to be -- be able to talk about the topics that today.

MELBER: Yes. Let`s start with your views, your analysis of that decision in Roe, and for people out there who are disappointed in it or feel that it`s a marking and ending. What do you say to them both as a lawyer and a human?

HILL: Well, I think they have every reason to be concerned. I think that the reality is that Roe versus Wade has been overturned. And that there will be -- I believe, even stronger restrictions put on reproductive freedom in this country over the next few years. And you know, it reminds me of a case that I`m sure you`re -- you know, the Shelby County versus Holder case.

As soon as that -- the protections around voting rights were lifted by the Supreme Court, states throughout the country began to pass more restrictive laws and change the voting patterns of many people. And I think this is what is going to happen in the case of the Dobbs decision.


That the Dobbs decision impact is going to be harsh, and it`s going to be sustained if in some -- in some way, we don`t respond to impact at the state level beginning and then perhaps be able to pass legislation at the federal level to protect reproductive freedoms and rights.

MELBER: Yes. There`s also been much debate over where it ends. Justice Alito proclaimed about without much legal support, don`t worry, we`re not going to go farther than this. It struck me as not really legal reasoning, but more just an assertion. Then Justice Thomas, who he votes with more than just about anyone, wrote separately to say, actually, we need to make gay marriage or same-sex marriage illegal.

We need to ban contraception, he said. That make that lawful for states to choose to do. And he even went somewhere that I haven`t heard any other Republican-appointed justice go, which is to say that he supports the power of the government to imprison people who have sex, sodomy, sex between the same gender, as he put it. What was your response to Justice Thomas`s reasoning and statement there?

HILL: Well, I think that that`s probably a reflection of where many of the states will go. And the question is, will the Supreme Court allow it? What we have is the court that`s already said, we`re going to turn this over to the states.

And I suspect that in the -- even if there are challenges to more restrictive policies, that the Supreme Court is going to set a very high bar for overturning what the states have, will do. And I don`t think that those assurances are really worth anything until we see the cases that come through the core.

MELBER: Make sense. I`m curious your view of the wider hypocrisy or clash that we`ve seen because we just lived through the pandemic, which started as a health crisis, but very quickly became a crisis or debate over government powers, understandably so, we`re a society where people hear about liberty and justice and people have those debates, I get it.

And yet, I want to show you something that our team here put together. So, we`re airing this for the first time comparing some prominent Republican and conservative reaction to optional or partial government encroachments on liberty in the COVID emergency, to the choice and abortion case, take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In South Dakota, we`re going to be free and we`re going to make sure that we don`t overstep our authority.

Those babies are patients. So, they define them as patients, follow the science.

REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): This is a violation of their freedoms. This should be every American`s right.

The end goal, of course, is to completely end abortion, which is the most evil act in all of human history.

REP. GREG ABBOTT (R-TX): That`s more than freedom. That`s the right to control and secure your own body.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Correcting that flawed decision finally allows states and Congress to protect life in ways that we never were able to for the last 50 years.


MELBER: In the country, and in the court, is there even an honest discussion of liberty here?

HILL: Of course, there`s always a discussion of liberty. But what I think when I hear the differences in approach between the pandemic restrictions and abortion. What I hear is a lack of concern for women`s rights and inability to accept that women can make their own choices, just as the speakers were saying that we could all make our own choices and should be able to make our own choices during the pandemic.

So, what is the -- what is the -- the factor that really comes to mind is that when we`re talking about gender equality, there is an attitude that it is not something that we want to pursue as a country. Full gender equality. Which would include the right to your own reproductive choices. And so -- we need to have that discussion. Of course, we can have that discussion.

But in the meantime, what we have now is, the people are going to be put in great risk, you know, people commentary, people who have been fighting for reproductive freedoms. Will tell you that this case will impact people of color, low-income women, people in rural areas, people will not have access to the health care that they deserve, and that they want for themselves and for their families. So, this is the urgent issue that we`ve got to deal with.


MELBER: Right. And to your point that`s -- that affects sort of people`s actual lives. Before I lose you, I had to get in one other thing, which is we have you here today, and I wanted to get your response to history on the Supreme Court. Today, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson is sworn in, at a time when you`re talking about women`s rights, and what everyone is looking at in the court. She -- we see it here on the screen formally joins the court. Sworn in there by the outgoing Justice Breyer. Your reaction?

HILL: Well, it is -- it`s a -- it`s a historic day. It`s an exciting day for those of us who watch their hearings, and are looking forward to having her on the court. And she`s can begin her work now because she has officially been sworn in. I`m excited to see how she and the other will call liberal judges at the moment will -- will do and say with a super majority of conservative justices.

I suspect that we will see a number of dissenting opinions. I hope that they will be strong and will help us really build a roadmap for how we will be able to confront and address some of the pushback to rights, generally, that is -- that a goal -- that push backs that are going on in the court today.

But it is -- one of the things that I will say about the three judges, I`m talking about Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Ketanji Jackson. They are going to be in a minority. But I can tell you that this is nothing new. For any of those women, they`ve each probably found themselves as a minority in spaces throughout their lives.

And I know that they will have to lead with grace and dignity and professionalism. And so, I`m very excited to see what`s going to come out of the court in the next few years.

MELBER: Yes, well, a fair point there, as you mentioned on their experience. Professor Anita Hill, thank you for being here. The book is Believing. We`re going to fit in a break. But when we come back, what I told you about, why Trump lawyers are getting pat downs by federal agents, and more. That`s next.



MELBER: So, we begin tonight`s program reporting on how a Reagan-era prosecutor says this new evidence against Trump shows that Trump could be indicted. Now we turn to federal agents executed as they sought evidence regarding the same plot. And this is recent video here that shows John Eastman the coup mastermind as federal agents search him, pat him down with his hands on his head.

They take and seize his phone there. Pursuant to a search warrant, which was approved by a judge and they later hand him, you`ll see that very search warrant. There it is, Mr. Eastman, who is a lawyer is talking about it and holding the warrant in his hand. You can see he`s apparently somewhat aggravated. He says he wants time to read it. This isn`t normal. This is Watergate-level stuff, if not worse.

Then you have Trump`s top coup supporter inside the DOJ. Remember Jeffrey Clark, he was the subject of a whole hearing by the January 6 Committee. And separate from that, that`s one process. The DOJ also decided that he couldn`t be trusted with evidence and that he may have evidence of a crime in his home because the Feds raided him.

He was outside in his P.J.s. According to a New York Times report, they quoted his own allies and a fellow employee and his current job. They`re searching for evidence of a crime there that Mr. Clark has. In fact, that`s the only way you get a judge to approve this. It can`t just be that you`re of interest, you actually have to have probable cause that you have evidence of a crime either something you did or something you have about what someone else did.

Overall, at least a dozen Trump aides or allies have been formally indicted, most of them convicted. That is more than any one-term president in all of American history. And then there`s Roger Stone. He is a valuable character. He is one of Donald Trump`s longest-serving allies. You may recall, the treatment he got, arrested, and footage showed Feds coming in with their guns drawn in full protective gear.

Stone was seen with his hands up as he went under arrest. He also, true to his nature, wore a Roger Stone did nothing wrong shirt was taken into custody for crimes that he would later face conviction for lying to Congress, among others, after a very long legal battle where he lost, lost, and lost again. You see him there as he exited his home. He was ultimately pardoned by Donald Trump.

Then there`s Steve Bannon, the former Trump advisor, who actually has been indicted more than once, all pursuant to his activities either for Trump or MAGA. Most recently you may recall it was his outright defiance of the January 6 Committee.



STEVE BANNON, FORMER TRUMP ADVISOR: Everybody watched it in the War Room we`re here today. I don`t want anybody take their eye off the ball about what we do every day. I want you guys to stay focused on the message. Remember, signal not noise. This is all noise that signal. Thank you very much.


MELBER: Signal not noise. And it was a January 6 coup plotter Peter Navarro who discussed his efforts with Bannon on behalf of Trump in public but followed Bannon`s cue there. The same move just defy the investigators out right despite a subpoena. He is now also facing a trial.


PETER NAVARRO, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE AIDE: I was on my way to Nashville today. What did they do? They didn`t call me instead of calling me and say hey, we need you down at court. We`ve got a warrant for you. We`ve gladly you come. What did they do? They intercepted me getting on the plane and then they put me in handcuffs. They bring me here. They put me in leg irons. They stick me in a cell. That`s punitive. That -- what they did to me today violated the Constitution.


MELBER: And then Trump aide Michael Flynn, convicted, pardoned but back in the sauce as he now claims the Fifth Amendment.


MICHAEL FLYNN, FORMER U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: I assert my Fifth Amendment right against being compelled to be a witness against myself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that statement in this memo true?

REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY), JANUARY 6 COMMITTEE VICE-CHAIRMAN: General Flynn, do you believe in the peaceful transition of power in the United States of America?

FLYNN: The fifth.


MELBER: And here`s what Donald Trump says about taking the fifth.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You see the mob takes of it. If you`re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?

(End VT)