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Transcript: The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, 6/29/22

Guests: Laurence Tribe, Michele Bratcher Goodwin, Jamie Raskin, Edward Caspar


Confidence in the Supreme Court is at a new low with polling finding 57 percent of Americans believe the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was mostly based on politics, not law. You have to travel far from Washington to find a Republican politician who is willing to admit what the Supreme Court has done to the victims of rape and incest and what is going to happen now to 12-year-old-girls who are forced to give birth. Vladimir Putin, the man Donald Trump called a genius for invading Ukraine, ordered the bombing of a crowded shopping mall in central Ukraine this week, killing at least 20 people. Cassidy Hutchinson`s testimony fully justified the subpoena to Trump White House counsel Pat Cipollone that the committee issued today. Interview with Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD).


LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: History made in more ways than one at 12:00 noon tomorrow.


O`DONNELL: And another reminder, Ali, of why we vote for president. No matter what their issues are, no matter where your concerns are about specific legislative ambitions, most voters do have a preference for a Supreme Court justices being nominated by a Republican, or by a Democrat. And if you are prepared to live with Supreme Court justices from either party, then you are a very unusual voter.

So this is the product of all of those votes, all of those people who went out and voted for Joe Biden, that is how this has happened tomorrow.

VELSHI: A little piece of good news, I`m looking forward to your show tonight, Lawrence. Have a good one.

O`DONNELL: Thank you. Thank you, Ali. Thank you.

Well, tonight, we have a new reason -- I knew apparent reason -- why the January 6th committee rushed into that special session yesterday, to hear the public testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson. They want the White House counsel. They want him. And that`s why they had to have that hearing yesterday, because Cassidy Hutchinson`s testimony fully justified the subpoena to Trump White House counsel Pat Cipollone that the committee issued today.

The last time a president was destroyed by a congressional investigation, the White House counsel was a key witness. Richard Nixon`s White House counsel, John Dean, helped bring down the Nixon presidency, with his testimony in the Watergate hearings. And now it looks like Pat Cipollone could be the witness who locks in Donald Trump`s guilt for the January 6th committee.

When presidents break the law, the White House counsel knows. The White House counsel`s job is to prevent presidents from breaking the law, among other things. That is to say, prevent them from breaking the law intentionally or, as can happen, unintentionally.

When someone in the White House has a bright idea, like banning all Muslims from entering the country, it is the White House counsel`s job to say, we can`t do that, that`s unconstitutional. The White House counsel is not the president`s personal lawyer. The White House counsel does not represent the president as a lawyer. The White House counsel represents the Constitution.

The White House counsel is the defender of the Constitution, the principal defender of the Constitution, in the White House. The White House counsel is the Constitution cop in the White House.

The White House counsel also has other duties, like advising on judicial appointments. But there is nothing in the White House counsel`s work that is protected by the attorney-client privilege with the client being the president. Some of the communication between the president and the White House counsel could, arguably, the protected by executive privilege, as long as that president is still in office.

But that executive privilege does not outlive the presidents term in office. That does not mean that Pat Cipollone will not try to hide behind those privileges and response to the committee`s subpoena. He`s being ordered to testify exactly one week from now. And he has no legal right not to show up for that testimony.

In response to certain questions, he might try to claim attorney-client privilege or executive privilege. Those will be legally false claims. But the committee doesn`t really have the power to force him to answer those questions on the spot if he claims as false privileges.

The privilege that Pat Cipollone does have, and that he might need to invoke, is the Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself in a possible crimes that he may have committed. And here is one passage in Cassidy Hutchinson`s testimony yesterday that gives Pat Cipollone a fully valid claim of his Fifth Amendment right now to answer the question that I would ask him about this testimony.



CASSIDY HUTCHINSON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE AIDE: On January 3rd, Mr. Cipollone had approached me knowing that Mark had raised the prospect of going up to the Capitol on January 6th. 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 a terrible idea for us. We`re -- we have serious legal concerns if we go up to the Capitol that day.

And he then urged me to continue relaying that to Mr. Meadows, because it`s my understanding that Mr. Cipollone thought that Mr. Meadows was indeed pushing this, along with the president.

REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): And we understand, Ms. Hutchinson, that you also spoke to Mr. Cipollone on the morning of the 6th as you were about to go to the rally on the Ellipse, and Mr. Cipollone said something to you like make sure the movement to the Capitol does not happen. Is that correct?

HUTCHINSON: That`s correct. I saw Mr. Cipollone right before I walked out onto West Exec that morning, and Mr. Cipollone said something to the effect of please make sure we don`t go up to the Capitol, Cassidy. Keep in touch with me. We`re going to get charged with every crime imaginable if we make that movement happen.


O`DONNELL: What do you mean we? We? We are going to get charged with every crime imaginable if we make that movement happen? We are going to get charged.

Mr. Cipollone, what do you mean, we are going to get charged? What were you going to get charged with if Donald Trump went to the Capitol on January 6th?


HUTCHINSON: In the days leading up to the sixth, we had conversations about potentially leading up to obstructing justice or defrauding the electoral count.

CHENEY: Let`s hear about some of those concerns that you mentioned earlier in one of your interviews with us.

HUTCHINSON: Having a private conversation with Pat late in the afternoon of the 3rd or 4th that Pat was concerned it would look like we were obstructing justice or obstructing the Electoral College count. And I apologize for probably not being so very clear with my legal terms here, but that it would look like we were obstructing what was happening on Capitol Hill.

And he was also worried that it would look like we were inciting a riot or encouraging a riot to erupt on the Capitol -- at the Capitol.


O`DONNELL: The committee wants to talk to Mr. Cipollone about more than that, much more than that. And their letter today to Pat Cipollone, the committee told him that they have questions about, quote, the submission of fake electoral ballots to Congress and the executive branch, the attempted appointment of Jeffrey Clark as acting attorney general, and efforts to interfere with the congressional certification of the Electoral College results on January 6th, 2021.

The committee also revealed that Cipollone, quote, previously set for an informal interview with the select committee on August 13th, 2022.

Cipollone`s father came to this country as an immigrant from Italy who Donald Trump was would have prevented from entering the United States, had Trump been in power at the time.

Pat Cipollone`s father worked at a factory. His mother was a homemaker. He lived in the Bronx as a child before his family moved to Kentucky, where he attended a Catholic high school and then Catholic college. He was a leader of the right-wing Federalist Society at the university of Chicago law school when he served as one of three clerks to a federal judge on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

He helped to create the least intellectual atmosphere I`ve ever heard of in a federal appeals court judges chambers. "The New York Times" reported in 2019, a fellow clerk, Jennifer Hall, we called sitting in Judge Boggs`s bookshelf lined chambers between Mr. Cipollone and another clerk, Steven Vaughn, now trade lawyer in Washington. They would yell at each other over me, she recalled, listening to Rush Limbaugh.

Pat Cipollone and his wife were close friends with Fox`s Laura Ingraham, have ten children. He was making a few million dollars as a lawyer a year before joining the Trump White House and he is surely making at least that much now.

The good news is, Pat Cipollone is a lawyer, which means he knows that fighting the subpoena in court is hopeless.


But the bad news is, he is a ditto head. Rush Limbaugh fondly called his devoted audience ditto, meaning they just said ditto to everything, every crazy thing Rush Limbaugh said. Pat Cipollone is as hard-core conservative as anyone who worked in the Trump White House. He was part of the defense team when Donald Trump`s first impeachment trial in the United States Senate. He saw nothing wrong with Donald Trump trying to extort Ukraine`s President Zelenskyy by asking President Zelenskyy to smear Joe Biden in exchange for Donald Trump sending military aid to Ukraine.

Pat Cipollone agreed with Donald Trump that his extortion phone call to President Zelenskyy was a perfect phone call. We learned today that Ali Alexander, who was involved in organizing the Trump rally on January 6th that occurred before the attack on the Capitol testify to a Washington D.C. grand jury on Friday, which is just about six months after he testified in an eight hour deposition to the January 6th Committee.

So, Pat Cipollone knows that the Washington, D.C. grand jury is operating about six months behind the January six committee`s investigation. So, if he tries to fight this subpoena, he might be facing another one. Six months from now, with no way out from that one.

Joining us now is Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland. He`s a member of the House Select Committee investigating the January 6th attack on the Capitol. He served as lead impeachment manager in the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump.

Thank you very much for joining us tonight.

It seemed to me the speed of the Cipollone subpoena, the day after that testimony yesterday -- seems to indicate that this was a plan, that you would get this testimony where Pat Cipollone`s in the thick of it, all the way through the testimony, which clearly justifies the subpoena sent today.

REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): Well, Pat Cipollone is a material witness. He has a huge volume of relevant evidence. And he was there at every level of each of these assaults on democracy and the rule of law. So, he would know a lot about the president`s attempt to stage a mini coup at the Department of Justice.

He may know something about the counterfeit elector plot. He may know something about the -- Trump`s attempts to shake down different election officials, like Secretary of State Raffensperger. He certainly knows about the effort to force Mike Pence to step outside of his constitutional role and reject Electoral College votes. And, as we heard just yesterday, from Cassidy Hutchinson, undoubtedly he knew a lot about what was going on with armed followers of the president in the crowd. And the formation of a mob that came to storm the Capitol, to try to interference excessively did interfere with the counting of Electoral College votes.

So as the White House counsel, he has a lot to tell us. And I`m hopeful that we will be able to hear from him soon.

O`DONNELL: Did he say anything in his discussion with the committee back in April that contradicts anything we heard from Cassidy Hutchinson yesterday?

RASKIN: I can`t reveal anything about anybody`s private conversations with the committee at this point. But when anything is ready to be revealed, you will know it, obviously. And anything that`s relevant and significant, I think we will make public.

But at this point, I`ve not seen anything that has contradicted, on the record, anything that Cassidy Hutchinson said. I know there are now anonymously sourced allegations about what someone is saying or what someone might say. That`s very different from someone going under oath and contradicting it.

I found her to be an entirely credible witness, who spoke with great candor and honesty to the committee. But if other people have other interpretations of particular incidents or events I would love to hear from them as well. But nobody has contradicted the central important evidence that came out yesterday.

Donald Trump knew that he had heavily armed followers in the crowd and in fact wanted to waive them in and take down the metal detector so they could blend in with the rest of the crowd, swelling the size of the crowd before the march on the Capitol.


Nobody has contradicted that. And that to me is the central and most important thing that we learned yesterday.

O`DONNELL: You showed additional witnesses on the video today saying that they knew that Donald Trump wanted to go to the Capitol on January 6. One witness knew it before January 6th. Another knew it on January 6th.

Have there been any witnesses testifying saying the opposite? Saying that, no, I know Donald Trump did not want to go to the Capitol on January 6?

RASKIN: No. I have seen multiple accounts that he wanted very much to go, and to be part of it. And, of course, he said he would be part of it. He said he was going to go with the rally. We are going to march to the Capitol, we will go to the Capitol, and I will be there with you.

In fact, there are a lot of rioters who later stated that they thought that Trump was somewhere in the crowd. You can see lots of visual evidence of people saying to the officers, Donald Trump invited us here. Your boss told us to come here, and they thought that they somehow how the participation on the sanction of Donald Trump in everything that they were doing, because he led them to believe that. Of course, both the House and Senate had majority votes finding that Trump had incited the insurrection, but now we have so much more evidence to show that he not just incited the insurrection, but he actually helped to form, it someone the mob, to create the event, and to stage the whole arrangement for the march.

O`DONNELL: Congressman Jimmy Raskin, thank you very much for leading off our discussion tonight.

RASKIN: You bet.

O`DONNELL: Thank you.

And joining us now is Edward Caspar. He was one of lawyers representing eight Capitol police officers who have filed a civil lawsuit against Donald Trump for the attack on the Capitol.

Thank you very much for joining us tonight.

It seemed to me as I was watching the hearing yesterday that this was the most important discovery session that you have had so far. You know have evidence that the president knew that the mob that he was encouraging to go to the Capitol was equipped with weapons, weapons to go into battle with Capitol police officers.

What did you learn from the hearing tomorrow that you think affects your case -- the hearing yesterday?

EDWARD CASPAR, LAWYER REPRESENTING CAPITOL POLICE SUING DONALD TRUMP: That`s right, Lawrence. What`s the hearing did yesterday was bringing into sharp focus would lot of the public evidence already was suggesting. But the hearing yesterday made that concrete.

There can be no doubt now that the president intended to unleash a violent mob on the Capitol to use force to stop Congress from doing its job to certify the election. We heard yesterday how the president knew that the crowd that he assembled at the very time thought Congress was gathering to certify the election, they knew that the mob, the crowd, was armed and dangerous. And he knew that he wanted the crowd to go to the Capitol.

You know, we cannot lose sight of the fact that there was not only the Capitol that he was sending the crowd to. He was sending the mob to the U.S. Capitol police officers who where they are doing their job to protect it. They were brutally attacked by this crowd that the former president sent, and he needs to be held accountable for it.

O`DONNELL: It seems to me that a Washington, D.C. jury hearing this case, and seeing this evidence, they don`t need the standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. That is a criminal standard. In a civil standard, it is a more reasonable belief.

Do you believe that this is the way it was. It seems easy to see them returning $100 million dollar verdict for each one of these plaintiffs, $700 million, $800 million verdict against Donald Trump. This is the kind of case that could absolutely bankrupt him.

CASPAR: Well, one reason the Capitol police officers whom I represent are bringing this case is to see that this kind of thing doesn`t happen again. And for that to happen, the president has to be held accountable, because accountability is the deterrence that is going to pull this country back from the brink of authoritarianism. Once people see that he can be held accountable for engaging in this kind of political violence, we hope that this kind of violence will not be likely to happen again.

O`DONNELL: What more evidence do you need in terms of what you would need to present to a jury?


You have Cassidy Hutchinson`s testimony that will be available to you by the time you get to a jury. You would presumably have the full report of this committee.

CASPAR: Lawrence, yes, I think that is right. I think the committee report is going to be incredibly important to aligning the kinds of evidence thought it is going to prove our claims. I think it is undeniable now, though, that the president intended to use force to stop Congress from doing its job. That alone is enough for us to hold the president accountable.

O`DONNELL: Edward Caspar, thank you very much for joining us tonight, really appreciate it.

CASPAR: Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: And coming up, Congressman Jamie Raskin`s law professor was also Attorney General Merrick Garland`s constitutional law professor, and he was also Barack Obama`s constitutional law professor, and he is our next guest. Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe joins us next, and when he speaks, I take notes.




CHENEY: It`s undeniable. It`s also painful for Republicans to accept. And I think we all have to recognize and understand what it means to say those words and what it means that those things happened.

But the reality that we face today as Republicans, as we think about the choice in front of us, we have to choose, because Republicans cannot both be loyal to Donald Trump and loyal to the Constitution. At this moment --



O`DONNELL: That is a largely Republican audience at the Reagan Library tonight, in California, where Liz Cheney was speaking. Here is more of what she had to say.


CHENEY: 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. And he is aided by Republican leaders and elected officials who made themselves willing hostages to this dangerous and irrational man.

Now, some in my party are embracing former President Trump. And even after all we have seen, they are enabling his lies.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now is Laurence Tribe, constitutional law scholar and university professor of constitutional law emeritus at Harvard Law School.

Thank you very much for joining us tonight.

I want to get an answer, if you have one, to what you think Pat Cipollone was worried about if Donald Trump went to the Capitol. He seems to think that that would have gotten, we -- he said we -- we will be charged with everything, if that happens. But it`s not clear to me what is added to the criminality, by Donald Trump actually going up to the Capitol.

LAURENCE TRIBE, HARVARD LAW PROFESSOR: Well, that puts him in the middle of the action. He`s not just inciting. But he is aiding and abetting and participating in a violent insurrection, one whose violence he knows about.

When Pat Cipollone uses the word we, like you, I wondered whether that was the royal we. Whether he thought perhaps he should have acted sooner, perhaps he was involved with Donald Trump and his planning of these events. It was obvious that it was no surprise to Trump. It was a happy (ph) thing but no surprise, that the people who came to be with him were armed and dangerous.

In fact, he specifically said, take down the magnetometers so that these guys can come in with their ar-15s. I know they are not going for me. That was the most stunning and astonishing thing. Who would they be going for? Might it be Mike Pence, the very guy that Trump tried to get into trouble by saying that he was a coward after it looked like this mob had gone after pence, perhaps around the same time they had erected a gallows?

So, I don`t blame Mr. Cipollone. He may have some Fifth Amendment privileges to assert when he sits down. There`s no Fifth Amendment privilege to just stay home. And the idea that he has executive privileges triply defeated -- you know, it`s defeated by the fact that the current president holds the privilege. It`s the defeated by the fact that there`s crime fraud exception. It`s defeated by the large swaths of waiver that already seem to have occurred.

I could throw in another one. A lot of the conversations were not with the president. So, he has no legitimate basis for staying away and he surely doesn`t want to be a coward when he`s -- you know, somebody like this young woman, who was a real patriot, had the spine to show up and answer questions even though she was a loyal Trumper.


O`DONNELL: There could be -- I was thinking, as we were hearing the testimony yesterday about Mark Meadows just gazing at his phone when the city is burning.

One wonders how many Ginni Thomas messages were on his phone that he was gazing at on January 6th. And what that would mean to the Supreme Court, to be that involved in that way on January 6th.

TRIBE: I`ve never seen anything like it before. I mean there is a law, 18 USC, Section 455, it makes it illegal -- it doesn`t have an enforcement mechanism -- but illegal for a justice of the Supreme Court to take part in a case in which his spouse or her spouse looks like they are involved.

Well, she was involved in the case in which he was the one and only vote who said that the documents in the archives that showed how involved she was should be suppressed. 8 to 1 the court disagreed.

So, clearly the committee wants to hear from her and she seems to be backpedaling. She said I`d be glad to come around but they called her bluff and she said, my husband and I are having a tough time now because we are getting threats as a result of the abortion decision.

Oh, poor, poor Ginni. I mean what about the tens of millions of people whose lives are hurt by that decision, which was the result of a kind of cabal in the Supreme Court?

But I`m getting ahead of myself. What else --


O`DONNELL: If you had a minute with your former student, Merrick Garland, what would you present to him as the legal highlights of yesterday`s hearing?

TRIBE: I guess I would say, Merrick, I hope you watched carefully and you will see, as I did, the ravings of a man who was desperate, by any means possible, to prevent the transfer of power. The fact that his first national security adviser, Mike Flynn, took the Fifth when they asked, do you believe in the peaceful transfer of power, tells you a lot of what you needed to know about Donald Trump`s state of mind.

But the fact that -- I hope you noticed, Merrick -- the fact that he said that he wasn`t worried about these guns going after him, well, that means he sure didn`t think it was the Antifa group. It means that he had some advanced knowledge of what those guns were for. And surely they were not just for decorous purposes.

These people were armed, dangerous, violent, and he fomented them. So, I hope you won`t be distracted, Merrick, by some people`s claims that we don`t really know his state of mind, whatever his state of mind was. Keep in mind that even if you genuinely believe that the IRS had stolen 11,780 ballots from you. I use that number because it`s familiar from the Raffensperger dialogue. Even if you really believe they stole it, you can`t break into Fort Knox or lead an armed mob up the stairs of Fort Knox, to grab that money, that`s what we seem to have seen.

So, Merrick, I hope you look up the U.S. Code, the section on conspiracy, to defraud the U.S., the section on witness tampering, the section on corrupt attempts to impede an official proceeding, inciting or assisting an insurrection.

But Merrick, you are a great student, you don`t need me to remind you of all that. What you need to focus on is how dangerous it would be to let this be held unaccountable. Because that would mean, truly that no future president would never have any incentives to obey the law if, by violating it, he could hang on to power forever.

That`s what, I guess, I would tell him. And then I would say, would you like a drink?

O`DONNELL: Well, He was very lucky to have you as a teacher when he did. And the country would be lucky if he was listening to his teacher tonight.

Professor Laurence Tribe, thank you so much for joining us again tonight.

TRIBE: Thank, you Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: And coming up, forced births for 12-year-old girls who are rape and incest victims is now a Republican policy. And we have the video to prove that. That`s next.



O`DONNELL: Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson will be sworn in at 12 noon tomorrow at the 116th Supreme Court justice and the first black woman to serve as a Supreme Court justice. She will replace Justice Stephen Breyer, who will retire tomorrow. Confidence in the Supreme Court is at a new low with polling finding 57 percent of Americans believe the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was mostly based on politics, not law.


O`DONNELL: You have to travel far from Washington to find a Republican politician who is willing to admit that the Supreme Court -- what the Supreme Court has done to the victims of rape and incest and what is going to happen now to 12-year-old-girls who are forced to give birth.

Here is Philip Gunn, the speaker of the house of representatives in the state of Mississippi.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So that 12-year-old child molested by her father or uncle should carry that child to term?

PHILIP GUNN (R), MISSISSIPI SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: That is my personal belief. I believe life begins at conception.

And let me say this, let me say this, I want today to be about the Roe v. Wade decision. I want today to be about the fact that we have seen an end to abortion in this country.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now is Michele Goodwin, Chancellor`s professor of law at the University of California Irvine, she is the author of "Policing the Womb, Invisible Women and the Criminalization of Motherhood." Her latest "New York Times" opinion piece is titled "No, Justice Alito, Reproductive Justice is in the Constitution".

Thank you very much for joining us tonight.

When I heard Philip Gunn say that, he was asked if a 12 year old child molested by her father or uncle should carry that child to term and he said yes. He said that "my personal belief is life begins at conception".

I wondered, if you had an opportunity to speak with him, and assuming he was a person of enough goodwill to have a fair conversation about this, what would you tell him about that 12-year-old girl?

MICHELE BRATCHER GOODWIN, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA IRVINE: You know, what has made it difficult in these times, Lawrence, is the fact that some of what we see coming out of state legislators like Mississippi, and coming out of the mouths of legislators such as Mr. Gunn, is something that is so deeply unfathomable, that is so barbarous, that is so insensitive, that it is kind of rooted in a space that provides no empathy or compassion.

But is rooted, as he said in his own personal beliefs, where his personal beliefs have become weaponized against vulnerable girls. And it seems to me that there has been a galvanization amongst those in the GOP and state legislatures to support that point of view.

Now look, Lawrence, I mean right from the top, it is a deadly proposition. It is a death sentence for those girls. It is a death sentence in Mississippi, which has one of the highest maternal mortality rates, not just in our country, but in all of the developed world.

It is essentially sending that girl into a path of destruction. It is absurd, Lawrence, really to think about ten-year-olds becoming mothers by the force and will of individuals in the state legislature that they don`t even know. In another way, it is another form of a sexual violation.

O`DONNELL: And one of the difference in Washington when that question comes up is Republican politicians in Washington run away from it, pretend it doesn`t happen. What he did was say this is my belief. This is what I want to happen in these cases.

And the reason we showed the video, among other things, is it is so rare to get a Republican politician to not fight the concept, and say -- and basically say yes, that is exactly what we`re for.

GOODWIN: Well, so many now are saying that that is exactly what they are for. But of course, it has no rooting or bearing in law. The 13th Amendment abolished slavery and involuntary servitude. It was understood that there were girls -- 11, 12 years old -- who were forced into reproduction in the American Antebellum system.

You know Sojourner Truth spoke about, and I board 13 children, it`s like each one snapped from my arms and nobody heard my cry but God.

There were abolitionists who are listening and they listened in Congress and that is why they drafted the 13th Amendment that would abolish involuntary servitude, such as what is being proposed today.

The real travesty is that we have a Supreme Court that fails to take into account that version of originalism, that textualism that fails to lead history, and fails to understand the debates at the time of the 13th Amendment, and the 14th Amendment. Because exactly what is being proposed is what was struck down by those very amendments.

What he is proposing to do to the black girls, white girls, and all others in the state of Mississippi was something that our -- that the legislators who drafted and ratified the 13th Amendment said will not stand.


O`DONNELL: How would you expect a Supreme Court deliberation to change in the next term with Ketanji Brown Jackson as a Supreme Court justice?

GOODWIN: I think that what she is going to bring to the court is a level of sophistication, knowledge, experience, carrying in many ways the weight of history within her, and on her shoulders en such a way that will educate fellow members of the judiciary, of the Supreme Court.

There is a way that clearly one can read the Dobbs decision where there isn`t the centering of the lives of the most vulnerable women in our society. There`s not the centering of black women at all.

And Lawrence, what is so ironic about that is that the 13th and 14th Amendment which was actually referenced by Justice Alito was actually an act to free black people from bondage. You would not even think that given the way that this Supreme Court has addressed the 14th Amendment.

You would think that it was meant for something else, when very clearly, it asked the question, what was the purpose of the 14th Amendment? It was to eliminate the vestiges of slavery that was still persisting even after the 13th Amendment. And so I think she will bring a sophistication that helps to illuminate (ph) so many issues in that regard and beyond. I am really excited about what will happen with Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson becoming Justice Jackson.

O`DONNELL: Professor Michele Goodwin, thank you very much for joining us again tonight. We always learn something when you join us. Thank you very much.

GOODWIN: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Thank you.

And coming up, Russian forces launched an airstrike on a shopping mall in Ukraine killing at least 20 people, another war crime from Vladimir Putin. An attack that Ukraine`s President Zelenskyy describes as one of the most defiant terrorist acts in European history.

Former U.S. ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, joins us next.



O`DONNELL: Vladimir Putin, the man Donald Trump called a genius for invading Ukraine, ordered the bombing of a crowded shopping mall in central Ukraine this week, killing at least 20 people.

No comment from Donald Trump on that bombing. He is busy lying about other things these days.

The attack is the latest example of Vladimir Putin`s use of terror tactics that make Russia the biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world on a daily basis.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy released this video, calling the attack one of the most defiant terrorist attacks in European history. President Zelenskyy addressed the NATO summit in Madrid by video, saying the question is, who is next for Russia? Moldova? The Baltic states? Poland? The answer is all of them.

One of the reasons Vladimir Putin launched this war was to prevent neighboring countries from joining NATO. But Putin`s rank stupidity and unlimited cruelty has now produced the result he was trying to prevent.

With President Biden in attendance at the NATO summit, today NATO formally invited Finland and Sweden to join NATO, two countries that had never expressed an interest in joining NATO before Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine.

Joining us now is Michael McFaul, who served as the U.S. Ambassador to Russia from 2012 to 2014. He is an MSNBC international affairs analyst. And Michael, this is a huge event for NATO now to be right on the border of Russia.

MICHAEL MCFAUL, MSNBC INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well Lawrence, you summarized it brilliantly. Allegedly, Putin invaded Ukraine to stop NATO expansion. And he`s had exactly the opposite effect and really expanded the borders, not just to small nations, but this is the biggest expansion of NATO in the last 20 years. And it expands the border between Russia and NATO, with Finland and with Sweden.

And in addition, some really remarkable statements about how NATO is going to reinforce and expand deployments closer to Russia that came out today. So, I do give President Biden a lot of credit, leading that charge, leading NATO to unify and expand.

It might not have happened, by the way. There might have been a different reaction to what Putin did. But first and foremost, it was Putin that triggered this remarkable, historic day today within NATO.

O`DONNELL: And what is driving NATO and what is driving the neighboring countries toward NATO? It may seem obvious. But when Putin does a bombing like this, on a shopping mall, this is a war crime by any definition. This is just targeting civilians, just killing people where he can find them. Does that actually solidify NATO every time Putin commits one of these very grotesque war crimes?

MCFAUL: Absolutely. And by the way, I really liked the way you phrased it. This is state-sponsored terrorism. And I think the rest of the world, including the United States, should call it that and to designate Russia a sponsor of state terrorism. If Cuba is on our list, Lawrence, shouldn`t Russia also be on our list?


MCFAUL: But secondly, exactly -- Putin, in doing things like this, just says to everybody in the region, we want somebody to help us, to protect us against these barbaric actions.

And very strikingly today, President Zelenskyy said yet again, he wants to one day see Ukraine inside NATO. Even just a few weeks ago -- well several weeks ago by now he was talking about neutrality.

No longer. He wants to have a much closer relationship with NATO as a result of these terrorist attacks.

O`DONNELL: Is it fair to say that Putin has gotten everything wrong from his own list of ambitions here. He has failed at everything.

MCFAUL: I would say, almost everything. So remember, he wanted to unify the Ukrainians with Russians. He thinks Ukrainians are just Russians with accents. He explained that to the world. That didn`t happen.

Denazification? Remember that word? He was going to wipe out the Zelenskyy Nazis and put in his own puppet. That didn`t work.

Demilitarization? That obviously hasn`t worked. He hasn`t seized Kyiv. That was a major objective he didn`t do. And now he`s just left the fighting in Donbas. A far cry from were he started in February 24th.

O`DONNELL: Ambassador Michael McFaul, thank you very much for joining us again tonight.


O`DONNELL: Thank you. We`ll be right back.



O`DONNELL: That is tonight`s LAST WORD.