The Supreme Court has rejected former President Trump`s attempt to block the committee investigating the January 6 insurrection from accessing those documents from Trump`s time in the White House. There`s another round of subpoenas issued tonight from the January 6 Committee to far-right extremists and internet personalities named Nick Fuentes and Patrick Casey. The Senate is in the midst of intense debate as the Democratic caucus tries to pass a combined voting rights legislation package that`s already been passed by the House as two separate bills. President Joe Biden, in his press conference, predicts Russia will invade Ukraine.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voiceover): Tonight on ALL IN.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Supreme Court didn`t have the courage to take it up and they should be ashamed of themselves.
HAYES: The Supreme Court hands Donald Trump another loss. The January 6 Committee will get Trump`s presidential records related to the insurrection.
Tonight, committee members Zoe Lofgren on the high court`s decision, what to expect from those documents, and even more new subpoenas.
Then, former Attorney General Eric Holder and Attorney Marc Elias on tonight`s voting rights fight on the Senate floor.
And as the President marks his first year in office, while he`s raising alarms over what could happen in Europe.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There`s consequential things happen in the world in terms of world peace since World War II.
HAYES: Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman on Russian aggression to Ukraine, when ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. Tonight, we have some late-breaking developments regarding a trove of White House documents that the ex-president has been trying to block the release of.
In a huge rebuke to Donald Trump, tonight, the Supreme Court has rejected Trump`s attempt to block the committee investigating the January 6 insurrection from accessing those documents from Trump`s time in the White House.
This evening, the committee was set to receive a tiny handful of documents, just four pages. But in light of this decision, just happened about 90 minutes ago, the Committee will now have access to all of the hundreds of pages of documents it requested. That`s not the only big news tonight. We also have new round of subpoenas from the January 6 Committee which we will be getting to in just a bit.
But to put the Supreme Court ruling in context, Trump, of course, has been fighting the release of these documents since last October when he claimed they were protected by executive privilege even as the current President Joe Biden of the executive of executive privilege said they were not covered by executive privilege.
A number of appeals courts emphatically rejected Trump`s argument. And now the Supreme Court with of course, a six-three conservative majority has as well. Justice Clarence Thomas was the only announced dissenting voice in the decision. Trump now has nowhere left to appeal. The case is closed. The documents are yet turned over.
The ruling is also notable in the light of the fact that a number of close Trump allies including former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows have been relying on similar claims of executive privilege to defy their subpoenas to appear before the committee and offer testimony. It`s not clear at this time how this ruling will affect those arguments if at all. But we can imagine they will be resolved pretty soon.
Danya Perry is a former New York State Deputy Attorney General and New York state federal prosecutor. She and other lawyers at her firm filed an amicus brief on behalf of State Local officials asking the Supreme Court to do what they just did, reject Trump`s attempt to block the National Archives from releasing records about January 6. And Danya Perry joins me now.
Danya, first, let`s just start with what the court is holding here and what it means on the ground.
DANYA PERRY, FORMER NEW YORK STATE DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: Sure, so the court summarily denied Trump`s appeal. So, they are refusing to stand in the way of the release -- the immediate release of these January six records from the National Archives to the Select Committee.
If there`s someone working late in the halls of the -- of the archives, they may already be in the hands of the Select Committee. So, that is a resounding loss for President Trump -- former President Trump and the arguments he made. It`s a little cabin. The Court made clear that this -- they were not relying on one of the primary arguments that had been made in the courts below. That is that President Biden`s willingness to waive any claim of executive privilege, that that is the reason why Trump lost.
So it is not, I would say a perfect ruling. And it does remain to be seen, as you said in your intro, how this will affect the claim of privilege by various proposed witnesses before the committee. But for right now and for President Trump, it`s a terrible defeat.
HAYES: Right. So, we know that he wanted to stop a bunch of these documents. We think they include binders of talking points about 2020 election are some of the. We`re led to believe 700 pages of the 1600 requested. So, just to zero in on what you said, there`s sort of two things happening. One is the question of are these documents subject to executive privilege? And the other is the principle of is it possible for an ex- president to assert executive privilege in the abstract?
And what you`re saying is the court doesn`t reach that second question essentially here about whether they can or cannot. That remains to be seen perhaps in further litigation.
PERRY: That`s exactly right. Justice Cavanaugh would have he concurred, and he would have said he would have ruled that, in fact, a former President does have quite a bit to say about the nature of the privilege. But the court in that 8-1 ruling decided that it didn`t have to decide. In other words, it refrained from making any ruling, said that it didn`t have to, because as the Court of Appeals said, below, on any standard, Trump would lose.
PERRY: And that was because he did not make particularize showing at all. As he often does, he just claims a blanket and absolute privilege. That has not worked for him in the past and it didn`t work for him here. He made no showing with respect to any single document as to why that privilege would apply. And that did not fly with a Court of Appeals, and ultimately, where the Supreme Court.
HAYES: Yes, the court`s ruling say because of the Court of Appeals, which is, of course, they`re upholding here, because the court of appeals concluded President Trump`s claims would have failed even if he were the incumbent. His status as a former president necessarily made no difference to the court`s decision, meaning they don`t read that.
I mean, I guess just to take a step back here, the committee gets the documents, Trump loses. But we should also note like, this wasn`t a close call legally by any stretch of the imagination, right? I mean, it would have been a shocking, a truly shocking and lawless action had the court found another way.
PERRY: 100 percent. What he was trying to do, which has worked for him so well in the past, is gum up the system. Let this case, you know, take its time going up and down the court system.
PERRY: That has worked successfully for him before. And I`m sure his gambit here was to have the injunction in place pending (INAUDIBLE), pending a full review on the merits. And I`m sure his hope was that with the 2022 elections that the focus would change. And so, the real issue here, and this is something that we focused on in our amicus brief to the court, is the urgency, the immediacy, the continuing threat, and that this had to be decided quickly.
And they did. This was, I think, three months to the day, maybe three months and a day from the time that Trump filed his initial petition to the date that the Supreme Court decided. It`s remarkable. So, we`ve seen many times before, this doesn`t always go so smoothly and so quickly. Happily, it did in this case. And the Select Committee can move on to do their important work.
HAYES: Yes, I just wanted to reemphasize that point, because I made a snarky comment to Congressman Schiff. I think it was last night noting how expeditiously they moved to block the vaccine or testing mandate under OSHA that the Biden administration tried to put in showing that when motivated, they can move fairly quickly.
To their credit, this was lightning pace by the Supreme Court standards essentially and what they came to today, and does mean that the delay tactic doesn`t work, because right now, those documents are probably being transmitted. And that`s kind of the end of that, right?
PERRY: That`s the end of that. As you say, there will be other fights. They`re coming up quickly. There`s been a new flurry of activity of subpoenas being issued, a number of witnesses who have to come up. So, they`ll have to decide how this ruling affects them. I believe it will -- it`s very clear now they cannot make these kinds of blanket statements, the kinds that, you know, Mark Meadows and Steve Bannon, particularly have made. They must show some particularized focus why a particular document is or is not privileged.
HAYES: Right. I think that`s an important point because the sort of theory of executive privilege often put forward by this President in particular -- ex-President Donald Trump is a kind of magic wand. Like when you`re like, on a schoolyard, you`re playing tag and like you invoke some invisible shield that covers you.
And I think it`s important that the court is saying like, there has to be an actual showing of something that pertains to what the jurisprudence on what creates the privilege is not just to kind of like you can`t touch me, and so we`ll see if that -- if that works going forward. Danya Perry, thank you very much.
PERRY: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: We have another round of subpoenas as I mentioned tonight from the bipartisan committee investigating January 6. And there are two prominent far-right extremists and internet personalities named Nick Fuentes and Patrick Casey.
It`s possible you`ve heard of Nick Fuentes before. He`s a white nationalist. He`s an internet troll guy. He`s sort of around bull horns and trying to get attention. He spreads the great replacement conspiracy theory. He`s flirted with Holocaust denial using an absolutely grotesque analogy involving cookies and Cookie Monster, really disgusting stuff.
Fuentes was a very common presence at Stop the Steal rallies. He was present at the Capitol on January 6. According to his subpoena, "On January 6, 2021, you rallied with your followers outside of the Capitol. You called on your followers to continue occupying the Capitol until the election results were overturned and proclaimed a glorious day on your Twitter." Going on to say, "The next day you wrote on Twitter on Twitter, the Capitol siege was effing awesome. And I`m not going to pretend it wasn`t."
The subpoena for Patrick Casey, a fellow white nationalist and one time ally of Fuentes also mentioned this foreign funding potentially tied to the plotting of the insurrection, "As the capitol attack began, you wrote on telegram at 2:30 p.m. it`s happening. Further, you reportedly received about $25,000 worth of Bitcoin from a French computer programmer, the funds the Federal Bureau of Investigation is reportedly scrutinized to assess whether funds from this donor will link to the capitol attack. Mr. Fuentes report the received about $250,000 worth from the same donor.
These subpoenas come just one day after the four the committee sent yesterday to a number of Trumps top election lawyers including of course, Rudy Giuliani, who worked to aid has attempted coup by pushing the big lie of election fraud in the months running up to January 6.
Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren is a Democrat from California. She sits on that bipartisan committee investigating January 6, and she joins me now. These two individuals, Congresswoman, what -- how would you explain their significance?
REP. ZOE LOFGREN (D-CA): Well, and they were very active in whipping up mobs to overturn the election. We want to find out the extent of their ties, who else they were connected with. We`re also very interested in the rather large amount of Bitcoin funding that came in and how that connects with their activities to overturn the election.
So, we think it`s pretty meaty. But I don`t want to talk about that without saying how gratified I am at the court decision on the archives material. Some of the material has already been received at the committee, the material that had not been protected through air in the drafting by the former president`s lawyers, and we expect other material to flow very promptly. So, this is a very important decision along with of course, these two subpoenas.
HAYES: Yes. Are you -- are you surprised, gratified by the -- by the pace here which of course is --was always the biggest question. I think there wasn`t that much question about the merits, which is a very, very weak case put forward by ex-President Trump, but whether he could drag this out. Were you expecting this to happen at this pace?
LOFGREN: Well, I was hopeful that it would. We asked the court to put this on the docket for discussion during their conference on January 14. Obviously, it`s -- we don`t know if they did, but my guess is they must have because this, of course, was released here Wednesday, Monday was a holiday.
So, that`s exactly what we asked them to do in terms of the pace. And I think it`s important that the decision was apply the law. As I think I`ve said before on MSNBC, the former president failed to make his case. He failed to show irreparable harm, he failed to show how he would prevail at trial. He didn`t -- he didn`t make a case. And so, that`s what the court found.
They did cite the Nixon case, Nixon versus JSA. There is a possibility that a former president would have a claim, but they didn`t have to reach that in this case. It just had no case. And so, I think it`s very important that this material will start flowing very soon, documents, videos, notes, logs, etcetera.
HAYES: Yes, so there`s a bunch of documents. I wonder if you could just sort of describe the parameters. I know it`s about half of the documents requested that are going to be going towards you. The significance of actually getting some look into the -- what was going on in that White House in the run up to January 6.
LOFGREN: Well, we`ll be getting the visitors logs, the call logs, the outtakes from the videos that he made as people were trying to talk him into asking the mob to leave the Capitol. Notes, drafts of remarks, it`s all in the public record and we will get it all. And it will help us put together the picture of what happened leading up to the riot and on the day of the riot.
HAYES: Yes, just to -- just for folks that don`t know this, of course, there`s three hours I think that that go by before the President releases a video statement in which he tells the rioters that he loves them but that they have to leave. And there`s reporting into indicating that there were multiple attempts -- there are multiple takes that were not on message enough to be released to the public. And apparently, those are in the category of documents that will be moved from the National Archive into the custody of the committee.
LOFGREN: Well, that`s our request. And we -- you know, if they exist, we will get them. I do think it will give insight into what the President was doing as rioters were terrorizing the Capitol and trying to overturn the government. What was the President doing? How was he fulfilling his oath to protect and defend the Constitution?
We`ve had testimony on this from people in his inner circle, but I think this will augment our understanding of that. And I`m looking forward to getting this information, getting the truth out the door.
HAYES: All right, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, thank you as always, for your time. I appreciate it.
HAYES: Don`t go anywhere. We`ve got eyes on the Senate floor where Democrats are fighting what could be their last battle on the Voting Rights bill. They`ve been debating all day. We have voting rights lawyer Marc Elias and former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder here to talk about the implications of this vote, and what it means if it fails just ahead. We`ll be right back.
HAYES: Right now, at this very moment, the Senate is in the midst of intense debate as the Democratic caucus tries to pass a combined voting rights legislation package that`s already been passed by the House as two separate bills. Now, this combined legislation is now known as the freedom to vote John R. Lewis Act.
Here`s some of what it would do. For voters, it would make Election Day a national holiday. Lots of other countries do that. States would be required to keep voting lines at a wait time of 30 minutes or less. It seem sensible. There`d be a minimum number of early voting days and access to no excuse absentee voting.
It would also create uniform standard for acceptable IDs for states that enact voter ID laws and restore voting rights to felons after their prison time ends. On a sort of broader structural level, it require neutral redistricting, make harassing or coercing election officials of federal crime, and change campaign finance laws to require donors giving more than $10,000 in election cycle to disclose their identities, as well as crucially, reinstating the Voting Rights Act preclearance provision, which gave the Department of Justice authority challenged new voting laws in jurisdictions with a history of discrimination. That was destroyed, essentially by the Supreme Court under John Roberts.
Now, of course, the obstacle here is that Republicans don`t like this. There`s not one vote for it. They`re not going to vote for any of it. They will, of course, filibuster this legislation, and only 48 members of the Democratic caucus are on board with carving out an exception to the filibuster to allow Democrats to bypass that 60 vote threshold that`s been used increasingly more and more in recent years.
Now, that`s not a hard and fast rule. The 60 vote threshold, it`s a long complicated history, but between 1969 and 2014, there have been 161 exceptions to the filibuster, according to analysis by the Brookings Institution. In fact, just last month, a carve-out was made to allow Democrats to raise the debt ceiling to pay bills incurred by the Congress and Trump administration.
But Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Kirsten Sinema are adamantly opposed to making a carve-out for the voting legislation. They are also expected to vote against Majority Leader Chuck Schumer`s plan, which is to not get rid of the filibuster, but change the rules on it for this one piece of legislation.
So, if those two Democrats hold the line in tonight`s vote, they keep the rules as is. It would be the first time other than cast a decisive vote against the president`s agenda. President Biden wants the rules change. In some ways, this is an exercise for the Georgia Democratic Party to shine a light on the obstacles to voting rights, as well as the peril that American democracy finds itself in today.
Joining me now from the frontlines of that peril is Marc Elias, founder Democracy Docket and a nationally recognized voting rights litigation expert. Mark, they`ve been going for a while. They have been debating as the Senate sort of is designed to do. Where -- how are you feeling right now watching this?
MARC ELIAS, FOUNDER, DEMOCRACY DOCKET: Look, I wouldn`t be being honest with you if I didn`t tell you that I am saddened that it appears that this bill is not going to pass. You know, the times that I came on your show and said how essential this bill was, I wasn`t saying that because I thought it was a nice to have. I was saying it because our democracy needs it.
And so, I appreciate all the senators having opportunity to say their piece. But at the end of the day, tomorrow morning, voters are going to wake up around the country and face an onslaught of voter suppression legislation and Congress will not have helped.
HAYES: You were mentioned yesterday, but one of the key players in this drama, Senator Joe Manchin. Now, we should be precise here. Manchin is on board with this legislation on the merits. All 50 Democratic senators are. He is not on board with changing the filibuster rules to make it allowed to pass. You can decide whether that`s a distinction without a difference.
When asked about what will happen if this doesn`t pass, he explicitly mentioned you. I want to play that for you and get your response since he mentions you. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are a lot of people out there who are saying that you`re making it so that they`re not going to be able to vote in the next election.
SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): The law is there, the rules are there, and basically the government. The government will stand behind them and make sure they have a right to vote. We have that. The things they`re talking about now are in court. Marc Elias has an awful lot in court. The courts have struck down, like in Ohio, they struck down the gerrymandering. Things are happening, OK. We act like that we`re going to obstruct people from voting. That`s not going to happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I mean, the message from Joe Manchin is don`t worry, we got Marc Elias. So, I asked you, Marc Elias, is he right?
ELIAS: Look, I`m worried. So, I appreciate the confidence that the Senator has and that others have had in me in the litigation that my team and I bring. We are -- we are in fact litigating in a lot of places, including in the Ohio case that he mentioned.
But let`s be clear, litigation is not an alternative or solution to the problem of mass voter suppression. It is not enough to say that we as lawyers will go to court to protect voting rights. It is the obligation of Congress to pass the laws necessary to ensure that those rights are protected, that states are following them and to give tools to litigators like me to be in court.
So, sadly, no, it`s not enough that me or lawyers for the government are in court. We needed Congress to act and now that they`re not going to, we will need to redouble our efforts in court, but it`s not going to replace the needed legislation.
HAYES: Yes, I just -- to add one more thing, which I`d be curious to hear your response to. I mean, I saw -- when I saw Joe Manchin say that, we`ve covered the Ohio case. We had you on to talk about it. I mean, the Ohio case essentially went in your plaintiffs favor because there was laws, there was a referendum and I think a constitutional amendment to Ohio that created these protections for non-partisan gerrymandering. It was a legal change affected by the state of Ohio along the lines of some of what`s in this proposed legislation that created the safeguards you could then litigate with.
ELIAS: That`s exactly right. I mean, the case in Ohio that you and I did discuss, was based on a constitutional provision that the voters had put in place in Ohio to prevent excessive partisan gerrymandering. And you`re right, that exact concept, a provision very similar to that is contained in the freedom to vote act. And that would give much-needed tools to bring this kind of case successfully elsewhere throughout the country.
HAYES: I was listening to some of the debate today on the floor and to some more of the Republicans were saying. And one of the arguments you hear from conservatives, Republicans, is that this is essentially a partisan exercise and that you symbolize the partisan nature of it. You are a lawyer who has represent the Democratic Party.
You are a Democrat. I don`t think you make any bones about that. That`s the party you are loyal to. It`s the party on whose behalf you`ve litigated. This legislation was written by Democrats. It was written by Democrats so that they have a better chance of getting elected. And now along simple party lines, they want to force it on America so that they can increase their chances of being reelected. What do you say to that?
ELIAS: Yes, so, look, I think this is a place where the media, your show, notwithstanding, has a lot of work to do. Because the fact is the goalposts have moved. In 2006 voting rights -- the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act was passed in 98 to 0 in the -- in the Senate. Walmart and the Business Roundtable pushed for its passage. It was signed into law by a Republican conservative president.
What has changed is not the Democratic Party. What has changed is not the lawyers like me are somehow advancing, you know, pro-Democratic Party legislation. What`s changed is the Republican Party. There was not a single vote in the House of Representatives, not Liz Cheney, not Adam Kinzinger, no one on the Republican side who voted in favor of this pro-voter legislation.
There is not a single Republican who will vote today in favor of it. And that is a real problem for our democracy. Because I have made this challenge and offer to Republicans over and over again, if they will identify a piece of legislation that they believe is so -- is suppressing voters, that is preventing lawful voters from exercising their right to vote, I will join with them in striking -- in seeking to strike down that law.
But there`s nothing they want to do to remove barriers to voting. And that`s the problem. It`s not a both sides issue. It`s a one-side issue.
HAYES: Yes. I mean, the last point I would make here is that if you want -- if you want to get rid of Marc Elias partisan democratic lawyer essentially, you know, enforcing voter access via litigation, like we had a process called the preclearance process to the justice -- the Department of Justice, the duly elected and constituted executive branch, which under the statutory authority of the Voting Rights Act, did -- you know went through and looked at possible changes as a kind of like neutral arbiter on behalf of the voters that has been taken away that is trying to be restored as one of the things we`re doing here.
ELIAS: Yes. I mean, if they want less litigation for me, they should vote for this legislation. Because if you have this legislation, there`d be less need for me to bring litigation.
ELIAS: If the Republicans want less Mark Elias litigation, engage in less voter suppression, I`ll make them a deal. If they stop suppressing the vote, I will stop suing them for suppressing the vote.
HAYES: All right, Marc Elias, thank you very much. I appreciate it.
HAYES: A lot of breaking news tonight between the Senate fight, the Supreme Court ruling. And I can think of no better person to break it all down with than the former United States Attorney General Eric Holder, and he joins me next.
HAYES: We are keeping an eye on the Senate at this hour where the attempt to bypass the Republican filibuster and voting rights legislation is expected to get under -- underway any minute now. You see Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer there addressing his colleagues.
Eric Holder is the Chair of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee and he served as Attorney General under President Barack Obama. He has been closely following these voting rights fights. And he joins me out.
It`s great to have you. Let me first ask about why after your time as Attorney General, the sort of law of democracy, voting rights protections, redistricting have been your big focus in public life.
ERIC HOLDER, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Well, what I said when I left the Department of Justice was that I was never going to leave the work. And specifically, I was never going to leave the work of protecting the right to vote. But it`s something that animated my professional life and something that I have given a substantial amount of time too.
I`ve got a book that`s coming out in May of next year that talks about the fights that we`ve had since we have become a republic, to try to make sure that everybody had the right to vote and the battles that that ensued. And it seemed to me that this is the most important thing that I could focus on.
Our democracy is at stake. I`m nothing hyperbolic, I`m not being alarmist, I`m not exaggerating things. Our democracy is at stake, the passage of these bills is critical. The voter suppression that`s going on is unbelievable. The subversion of our of the infrastructure of our electoral system is just hard to fathom. These are things that we can put a stop to or we have to address it. And that`s why I decided that this would be something I would focus on.
HAYES: All right, I want to talk -- we just talked to Marc Elias about some of the substance the bills here. And I know, obviously, you want to talk substance. And we agree I think largely on the -- on the substance case for this.
You know, your work to the upper echelons of the Obama administration and have been in the upper echelons of democratic politics. And what strikes me is that the Democratic Party is 99 percent on board with this and Sinema and Manchin or not, at least not in changing the filibuster to do it. And that essentially, no one can make them do this thing they don`t want to do. And that`s where we are tonight.
And so, tonight is essentially spotlighting that these two individuals are standing in the way of this. And that is what tonight is about unless I`m misreading what tonight or today has been about.
HOLDER: Yes, it`s likely that this is not going to be a good night for democracy. But that doesn`t mean that the battle ends tonight. It means that, you know, I`ll be working with Marc, and we`ll be coming up with more lawsuits. We`ll be trying to come up with ways in which we can use state constitutions as we did in Pennsylvania, as we`re using now in North Carolina, to bring lawsuits and to force greater amounts of transparency.
It means we`ll be trying to engage citizens around the country as we do through our all-on-the-line component for them to -- for people in this country to get involved in this fight. You know, this is -- this is the loss of a battle, but it is not necessarily the loss of the war. And this war will go on. This fight for voting rights and voter protection and for our democracy will continue.
HAYES: What do you think Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema`s relationship the Democratic Party and Democratic caucus will be?
HOLDER: That`s an interesting question. This is something that I think is core to the Democratic Party. That is the fight for voter protection. It has been something that is animated this party for, you know, for decades. This is something that is a clear differentiator between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party.
We stand for democracy. We stand for the voters having a say in the direction of this nation. They are putting themselves outside the ambit of the Democratic Party in that regard. What their relationship to the party will be going forward, I guess, you know, we`ll have to see.
I know, as a Democrat, I am extremely disappointed in the positions they have taken especially given the fact that Senator Schumer has come up with a way in which he said right, you want to keep the filibuster, we`ll allow you to keep the filibuster, we`ll simply make it a talking filibuster. And apparently, that is not even enough for them.
And given what`s at stake here, the protection of our democracy, the change, a slight change in how the filibuster would be conducted in the Senate, I thought that might be enough to work to bring them on board.
HAYES: I want to ask you about some other big news we got tonight about the Supreme Court and the Trump administration. The Supreme Court moving quite expeditiously to allow those documents to be transmitted for the National Archives to the committee rejecting the claims of executive privilege.
How significant you think that is, and your general sense of the January 6 Committee`s work since it`s part of the effort that you`re talking about is sort of safeguarding American democracy?
HOLDER: Well, I think the committee is hitting on all cylinders. I`m really kind of heartened by the pace at which they are proceeding. They are moving expeditiously. I`m heartened also by the court`s decision today. It didn`t take much time for the court to get to what I think is an appropriate decision.
And if you look at the opinion, it really is kind of a back of the hand to the assertions made the claims forwarded by the Trump legal team. The opinion is basically I think about a paragraph, maybe a paragraph and a half, and it essentially says that all the claims made by the Trump lawyers in the lower courts were rightfully denied.
The fact that the committee will now have access to these documents is extremely, extremely significant, both because the documents themselves will be valuable, but also will be a guide to help the committee decide if there are additional witnesses who need to be called in or whether or not you need to request your witnesses you`ve already spoken to. This is a very critical and important decision.
HAYES: We`ve gotten more and more news about the various interlocking parts of the Department of Justice`s cases against the people that were present at the riot or in recent last week, the seditious conspiracy alleged by the department to stop the peaceful transfer of power.
And I know that you`re both a prudent and loyally enough individual that you`re not going to step on the toes of Merrick Garland, the current attorney general. But I will just ask, is it -- people that look at the facts surrounding Donald Trump and think, God, it looks like there`s some criminal exposure here in his activities to stop the peaceful transfer of power. Are they crazy or not?
HOLDER: No. I think that, no, you`re not crazy. I think that the use of the seditious conspiracy charge is something that is extremely significant. That is an indication that the Department of Justice is going to be looking at a whole variety of people, not only the people who there as Merrick Garland said, but people who were not there.
The fact that he said in that speech he gave on January 6, three words, at any level. I think that is really, really important. Conspiracy at any level is an indication that the Justice Department is looking at anybody who might be connected to what happened, the insurrection on January 6.
HAYES: Eric Holder, former Attorney General for the United States, thank you very much. I should note before we let you go that just that the cloture vote is now happening. We expect cloture to fail. We will see what happens pursuant to that. Thank you very much, Mr. Holder.
HOLDER: Thank you.
HAYES: Coming up, President Biden holds a press conference to mark one year in office, takes a victory lap for his wins, calls out Republican obstruction, issues of really chilly warning -- chilling warning about the situation in Russia and Ukraine. I will explain ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: More than 200 correspondents are crowded in the chamber as the president strides briskly into face the press and the cameras.
DWIGHT EISENHOWER, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I see we`re trying a new experiment this morning. I hope it doesn`t prove to be a disturbing influence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Today is the 67th anniversary of the first-ever televised presidential news conference, It happened on January 19, 1955 years so and President Dwight Eisenhower answered reporters` questions on tape.
Look at the front page of the New York Times. President`s news conference filmed for TV and newsreels for the first time. Today, President Joe Biden marked one year in office by holding his 10th press conference. It ended up being the longest in presidential history. It lasted for one hour and 51 minutes.
Biden began with a vigorous defense of all his administration has achieved in its first year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We went from two million people being vaccinated at the moment I was sworn in, to 210 million Americans being fully vaccinated today. We created six million new jobs. More jobs in one year than any time before.
Unemployment dropped -- the unemployment rate dropped to 3.9 percent. Child poverty dropped by nearly 40 percent, the biggest drop ever in American history.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: While Biden stood firm in his accomplishments, he admitted there were things he wished he`d done differently, including doing more COVID testing earlier. He also pointed out that he has gotten no help from across the aisle, and that is largely he says because of Donald Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: One thing I hadn`t been able to do so far is get my Republican friends to get in the game of making things better in this country. Think about this. What are Republicans for? What are they for? They may one thing there for? Did you ever think that one man out of office could intimidate an entire party where they`re unwilling to take any vote, contrary to what he thinks should be taken for fear of being defeated in a primary.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Biden also took several questions on the looming Russian invasion of Ukraine. He was unequivocal in his warnings to Russia about the consequences of such an invasion, but also what a war in Europe would mean for the rest of the world.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: If he invades, it has it happened since World War II. There`s consequential things happen in the world in terms of war and peace since World War II.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The President is not alone in that incredibly stark assessment of where things stand. There are alarm bells that are going off all over Europe right now in the world and we`ve got the exact perfect guest to talk about it. Alexander Vindman is the former director for European Affairs for the United States National Security Council, and he joins me next.
HAYES: Right now there is an extremely volatile situation on the border of Ukraine where Russia has been amassing troops and tanks for months. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken arrived in Ukraine today where he met with Ukrainian President Zelensky. And President Biden is warning Russian platter President Vladimir Putin of severe sanctions if he invades.
Today, he also said he thinks Putin will "move in."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: Russia will be held accountable if it invades and it depends on what it does. It`s one thing if it`s a minor incursion, and then we end up having a fight about what to do and not do etcetera. But if they actually do what they`re capable of doing with the force of mass on the border, it is going to be a disaster for Russia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Now, that comment, it`s one thing if it`s a minor incursion, raised all kinds of concerns immediately about the U.S. response to a "minor incursion of Ukraine" at least from the Ukrainians who quickly put out a smoke signal saying, that does not help us. The White House then released a statement after press conference clarifying, "If any Russian military forces move across the Ukrainian border, that`s a renewed invasion, it will be met with a swift, severe, and united response from United States and our allies."
Alexander Vindman is a retired United States Army Lieutenant Colonel who`s the director of European Affairs for the United States National Security Council. He was removed from that position by the Donald Trump after Trump`s first impeachment, after he testified about the infamous phone call with Ukrainian president where Trump tried to extort his counterpart for fabricated dirt about Joe Biden.
Wrote a book about his experience titled Here, Right Matters: An American Story. And Colonel Vindman who is an expert in Ukraine and Russia joins me now.
Lieutenant Colonel, I guess let`s just start with setting the stage of why we are at this point. I mean, it`s very clear that Putin has had -- has wanted to create a kind of, you know, sphere of influence and control and strategic depth in what were the sort of former vassal states are under the sphere of influence of the USSR, and has attempted to kind of reconstitute that in various ways, including Crimea. But why are we here right now?
ALEXANDER VINDMAN, FORMER DIRECTOR OF EUROPEAN AFFAIRS, UNITED STATES NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL: I think we saw this buildup start to occur really at the beginning of 2021. And I think that it was on the expectation that Russia had to act. Ukraine was slipping through its fingers.
Back in 2014 when this confrontation started, when Russia launched its military offensive against Ukraine, it did so because it saw a country choosing its own destiny, asserting its sovereignty, choosing a path towards European integration, towards democracy. And really, this is a continuing enterprise in a lot of ways.
He thought that he may have achieved what he wanted with a failed state and Ukraine, snapping up some seven percent of the -- of the country, millions of people. It turns out, he was wrong. The Ukrainians were successful in cauterizing some of those wounds and continuing to make progress on the democracy agenda, growing the economy growing national cohesiveness.
But the question is why now and it`s mainly because of a sense of opportunity, a sense of weakness within the United States. I have every reason to believe that if we had not had an insurrection on January 6, President Trump would not believe -- because of President Trump, President Putin would not believe that there`s an opportunity, there`s a vulnerability within the United States.
The hyperpolarization that Trump continues to, to nourish in the United States, helps, he has major talking heads on Fox News like Tucker Carlson, pandering to his interests, pandering to a drawn false equivalencies between the U.S. and Russia, really kind of (INAUDIBLE) over authoritarianism.
And then there`s also the perception of vulnerabilities between the -- and fractured between the U.S. and Europe. He perceives they exist. He sees that it`s only going to get harder to act in the future and the time to act is now. And this is likely to be as President Biden put it, the largest offensive in Europe since World War II.
It`s going to be enormously impactful on geopolitics, going to be a human catastrophe. And frankly, we should be doing everything in our power to avoid this from happening because when those shots -- first shots are fired, we don`t really have a good idea of how things are going to unfold. It`s better to prevent and to do everything to avoid this catastrophic outcome rather than deal with the consequences of a reshaped geopolitical landscape.
HAYES: I mean, I am not an expert, but I couldn`t agree more in that respect. I mean, you know, massive land war incursion on the European continent is, you know, a bad with horrible historical antecedents. I guess the question is like, what`s the diplomatic off ramp?
I mean, obviously, look, Russia`s nuclear power. The U.S. is not -- or NATO is not going to send ground troops into the eastern Ukraine to fight Russian soldiers. Blinken is in the region seeking a diplomatic off-ramp. What is the off-ramp?
VINDMAN: Yes. It`s not that easy to take pieces off the off the table right now. I think frankly, it`s one of the places where this administration fell short. They thought maybe -- they thought this was diplomatic coercion. They thought that the scale of this might be smaller or more limited, something that doesn`t drag the U.S. into a major -- another major confrontation in Europe. That`s what we`re facing.
I think it`s just not going to be that simple. I think we should be doing a lot more. And we shouldn`t be just considering a diplomatic track. There`s also a track -- a pressure track that makes a lot of sense right now. We have very anxious allies alone Ukraine`s western border. Those allies are going to want some assurances that Article Five actually still means something.
We have allies that already said that they`re prepared to pony up weapons and support to Ukraine. That already is some seepage to NATO not being involved, at least bilaterally or unilaterally in the case of individual states. They`re going to make some commitments to Ukraine because of their own national security interests.
So, we should be doing more. I think we should be positioning -- we talked about reactionary measures, positioning troops in Europe after an escalation. That is the wrong -- a wrong way to look at it. We should be doing things now.
It makes me -- think about it logically. Right now, we don`t have a war yet. If we position troops in Europe and say this NATO Article Five is ironclad, will protect NATO interests. How much more benign does that seem that positioning many troops in in Eastern Europe when shots are fired when there`s -- you know, when there`s Russian blood being spilled?
With regards to arming the Ukrainians, how much more sense would it make to do it now be to prevent rather than to do this after shots are fired. I`ve got a very long piece going into foreign affairs on Friday morning, that really kind of eliminates any wishful thinking about how limited this might be, or how the U.S. might be able to, you know, navigate, escalating into bilateral conflict.
There`s just not enough being done now. Senator Menendez proposed a very potent, wide ranging bill that is another powerful diplomatic tool to bring to bear in this situation. And we just need to pull out all the stops, to do the best we can to avoid this to safeguard U.S. national security interests.
HAYES: All right, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, of course, your brief -- when you were at the National Security Council was exactly this part of the world. And I know it`s been one that you`ve followed very closely. Thank you very much. I appreciate it.
VINDMAN: Thank you.
HAYES: That is ALL IN this evening. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.