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Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 1/20/22

Guests: Ron Klain, Jamie Raskin, Tamar Hallerman, Rebecca Roiphe, David Plouffe, Michelle Goldberg


President Joe Biden takes a victory lap on vaccine rollout and economy at his press conference yesterday. One-on-one with White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain. The January 6 Committee is asking Ivanka Trump to give her voluntary testimony. The Supreme Court did not block the release of Trump documents to the January 6 Committee.


JUANITA TOLLIVER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: And that is who they`re banking on not having vote in the midterm.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Amen. Be like Arya Stark, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina. Go take all those states y`all. Watch everything change. Juanita Tolliver, Stuart Stevens Want me to tell her steward Stevens. Thank you both very much. That`s tonight`s "REIDOUT." ALL IN with Chris Hayes starts now.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voiceover): Tonight on ALL IN.

With democracy in peril, the economy, and recovery in a domestic agenda at a crossroads, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain of the Biden administration. Then --

IVANKA TRUMP, FORMER WHITE HOUSE SENIOR ADVISOR: Throughout our history, brave men and women have faced daunting challenges, and they have embraced the adventure.

HAYES: A new adventure for Ivanka. The January 6 Committee reveals stunning new evidence in their letter to Ivanka Trump. I`ll ask Jamie Raskin why they want to interview the former president`s daughter.

And is Donald Trump going to be criminally charged in Georgia?

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What are we going to do here, folks? I only need 11,000 votes. Fellows, I need 11,000 votes. Give me a break.

HAYES: What today`s announcement of a special Grand Jury means for the case against Donald Trump when ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. The date is January 20, 2022. It is exactly one year into the first term of the 46th President of the United States, Joseph R. Biden. And one year since this moment, the end of the one term of the twice impeach disgraced ex-President Donald Trump.


TRUMP: But we really did. We`ve gotten so much done that nobody thought would be possible. But I do want to thank Congress. I do want to thank all of the great people of Washington D.C., all of the people that we worked with to put this miracle together. So, have a good life. We will see you soon. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you very much.


HAYES: Have a good life. I got to tell you, we are trying. We`re trying. It`s not easy, but we`re trying. Of course, President Joe Biden came into office to do more than just rid us of Donald Trump. And his inauguration speech included some pretty big-ticket items. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We can write wrongs. We can put people to work in good jobs, we can teach our children in safe schools. We can overcome the deadly virus.


HAYES: Now, it`s striking to me someone has been covering politics since 2007, particularly politics in Washington, since right before President Barack Obama took office, this is the second successive Democratic President inheriting a country in the midst of a dire acute crisis.

President Obama took office amid a once-in-a-century global financial crisis, the lingering effects of which we still feel to this very day. And of course, President Biden has inherited a once in a century pandemic that has so far left more than 800,000 Americans dead, sicken nearly 70 million more probably far, far more than that. And that`s to say nothing of the economic catastrophe that comes with those circumstances and disruptions.

And both men, Barack Obama and Joe Biden, had to walk this fine line with their messaging, where they tout that things are improving, but they can see there`s still a long way to go. That was the biggest hurdle for Barack Obama as we dug ourselves out of the great financial crisis. And we saw again yesterday during Joe Biden`s remarks.


BIDEN: 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 6 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. Still, for all this progress. I know there`s a lot of frustration.


HAYES: So, as we approach the two-year anniversary of the pandemic that has meant complete disruption in the lives of millions, if not most Americans, not to mention a coup attempt, and this growing anti-democratic authoritarian formation in American politics. If you take a step back, you recognize there`s been a lot done by the administration, really tangible accomplishment, particularly on economic recovery and vaccinations, which were two of the main pillar promises.

I mean, here`s one stat that I keep coming back to I think people don`t realize. Joe Biden oversaw the biggest increase in wealth share among the bottom 50 percent of households ever. And that`s largely thanks to the unprecedented federal stimulus in response to the virus. This is a stat that as Ezra Klein -- New York, New York Times` Ezra Klein quoted. Since March 2020, Americans saved at least $2 trillion more than expected and that is not just a function of the rich getting richer.


A JPMorgan Chase analysis found the median household checking account balance was 50 percent higher in July 2021 than in the months before the pandemic. Of course, the stakes right now are very high for American democracy among other things, the future of our economic recovery, the recovery from this pandemic, the future of the climate catastrophe, and our free and fair elections. All these things hinge on what happens in this next year as we approach the midterms, whether this anti-democratic increasingly authoritarian political faction returns to power.

So, I can think of no better person to talk about that with shorter the President or Vice President themselves, than the White House Chief of Staff. Joining me now is the White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain. It`s great to have you on, Ron.

I want to start with this statistic that to me embodies the conundrum of the economy that I think is at the core of the mission for this year for the Biden administration. If you ask people how the national economy is doing, is it doing well, their comfort with it on zero -- 100 -- they say 29 percent, bad marks. If you asked about their personal finances, they say 61 percent.

So, there`s this gap between how people are experiencing the economy and their pocketbooks in terms of the labor markets and their perception of the economy. How do you understand that and what can you do about it?

RON KLAIN, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: Well, first of all, thanks for having me, Chris. It`s great to be here as always. Look, I think those numbers you cite are telling of where we are, which is I think our economic plan has done an excellent job of raising incomes, of getting people employment.

When we got here, there are 20 million people on unemployment, that`s down to 1.7 million now. People are back at work. As you said, their savings accounts are up, the value of their homes are up. They feel well off personally. But we also have to be realistic. They`re living in an economy where there are still a stores that are shot, where people aren`t really back at work full time, where there`s there seems all kinds of dislocation.

All these disruptions caused by the pandemic, and the anxiety, the pandemic hangs over people`s heads. That`s what the President said yesterday at his press conference. I think that`s a realistic appraisal of where we are. And so, part of the job is -- the heart of the job here is really addressing that pandemic.

Now, we`ve made a lot of progress on that. 210 million people fully vaccinated, 210 million Americans who were at risk of death from COVID a year ago who now have that security. But we know there`s a lot more work to be done in the pandemic, way too many cases, hospitalizations. We need to get those things under control. I think that`s what it`s going to take to have people feel like the national economy as a whole is doing as well as they are in their own personal lives.

HAYES: In the last week, there`s been these -- or in the last two weeks, these two initiatives. The new -- using the Postal Service to mail four tests every household. I have to say the website really is very efficient and clean and easy to use. A plan to distribute masks, both of which are coming online. You guys probably should have done that six weeks ago, right?

KLAIN: Well, Chris, we had to ramp up both. I think, first of all, on the testing side, it`s worth remembering that when we got here, there were zero at-home tests, none. It didn`t exist in the United States of America. And so, over the course of the 11 -- first 11 months we were here, we built up from zero to 350 million at-home tests in December.

Now, we are taking it to the next step. We`re continuing to ramp up production so that we can have this easy website where you can go get for free tests. We`ve also changed the rules so that if you want to buy tests from a store or commercial website, your insurance company will reimburse you for those tests. So, we`re continuing to expand testing. We`ve made progress every month. We continue to make progress.

On the masking, again, I think the new CDC recommendation that tilts towards more use of the more specialized masks, the KN95, the N95, you know, that I think makes it incumbent on us to try to make those more easily available, more widely available.

So, our response has taken steps with the pandemic. You know, we continue to make progress. We`re going to continue to make progress.

HAYES: What -- I think part of the -- there`s a sense of frustration, I think, some despair sometimes in the country. And I think a lot of it is the accrued trauma of the -- of the pandemic, two years of pandemic, the biggest disruption to American daily life since World War II, maybe even before that, right?


HAYES: I think it`s easy to look past that. And every time you think, oh, OK, this is it, we`re there. We`re there. It`s like, oh, my God, there`s another -- now there`s Omicron, now there`s this. I`m back to like not -- my kids are getting sent home from school.

What is the message to Americans about -- what is your understanding? What`s the White House`s vision of what this year looks like in that respect?

KLAIN: Well, Chris, I think it`s important to step back and see how this wave is different than previous waves, to answer your question, which is yes, Omicron has created the most cases we`ve ever had in America. But in fact, because so many Americans are fully vaccinated, 80 million boosted, because we now have vaccinations that reach all the way down to age five.


In fact, even in this horrible wave of the pandemic, most schools are still open. When we got here, less than half the schools in America were open with even less COVID. So, now, we`ve done -- we`ve made a big investment in making the schools safer and improving ventilation and things in school. So, schools are open. Most businesses are open.

And so, we`re finding a way to help protect the country, make it resilient in the face of the pandemic. I can`t predict what the next wave will be, when it will come, if it will come. But what I can tell you is that we are ramping up every tool we need to combat the pandemic. We have more anti- virals than we had before. We have this new pill coming along. We have the first deliveries of and we got many more of in February and March. More in America than any other country. We`ve ordered them very aggressively.

That means that even if you`re not vaccinated and you get COVID, you`re going to be able to take this pill and not have severe health consequences. So, we`re bringing new tools to the fight every day. We`re increasing testing, increasing masking, increasing treatments, all these things, you know, expanding vaccinations. And I think that`s going to make this country more and more able to deal with whatever COVID throws at it.

HAYES: Let`s talk about the President`s domestic agenda, the Build Back Better Bill particularly, which we don`t -- I don`t know its status. Joe Manchin today saying basically there hadn`t been talks, it`s going to have to start from zero, the President yesterday talking about carving into chunks. What is the message? What should we understand about what the goal is here legislatively for the President`s domestic policy priorities given Manchin and Sinema and what can be salvaged from this legislation?

KLAIN: Well, Chris, I`m cautiously optimistic. I think Senator Manchin has made it clear publicly that he`s interested in putting together the key pieces of Build Back Better. He`s spoken favorably about the climate elements of Build Back Better. He spoken favorably about many of the childcare and senior care and preschool elements of Build Back Better. He spoke in favor of a lot of the health care elements of Build Back Better.

Look, it just makes sense, right? We have this problem now with inflation. And so, what could be more responsive to that than saying, we`re going to limit what people have to pay for their childcare, we`re going to help people pay for eldercare for their seniors, we`re going to bring down the cost of prescription drugs dramatically, we`re going to lower people`s health insurance premiums? I mean, these this is just a common-sense approach to dealing with these problems.

And we`re going to tackle the problem of climate change by building a clean energy economy. It`s going to bring down what people pay for energy in both heating their homes, cooling their homes, all these things, and of course, get us ready for a clean energy future.

So, I think this is a very strong common sense agenda, it has very broad support among Democrats. You know, as you know, a version of this bill passed House with every single Democrat left, right, center, except one. All of the voting for it. And I think we`ll find a solution to get some version of this bill through the Senate.

HAYES: One last and really important question and it has to do with Afghanistan, and the President got a question about withdrawal yesterday. The U.S. has sanctions against the Taliban, has not recognized the Taliban government, both of which I understand why those are in place.

We`ve also put a freeze on about $9 billion in the Afghan government`s assets which are actually held here, which means they can`t access it. Human rights groups estimate that as many as 20 million Afghans are now facing famine in a country that is the poorest in the world. What possible justification is there for the U.S. government to keep freezing those assets or to block aid or recognition of the Taliban if the result of it is 10s of millions of people facing starvation?

KLAIN: Well, I`d say, Chris, the rationale is the horrible acts of the Taliban regime. And that`s why these assets are frozen. I do think, though, we have to be part of finding a humanitarian solution to avoid a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. And it`s something we`re working on here every day.

HAYES: Okay, Ron Klain, I really appreciate your time tonight. Thank you very much.

KLAIN: Thanks for having me, Chris. I appreciate it.

HAYES: All right, we have a new name to add to the January 6 Committee`s potential witness list, Ivanka Trump. Now, we`ve seen our fair share of letters, subpoenas from the committee. I have to say, they aren`t all created equal. Some of them just lay out information that we already know as sort of a summation of public reporting. You read them, and I follow this closely, it`s nothing new.

Then Then other ones like we have tonight that had a lot new, that pull back the curtains on things we`ve still largely been in the dark about. Namely, what was Donald Trump doing during the attack. The new details from that letter including a potential conversation between Trump and Vice President Pence on the morning of the sixth, next.




REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): We know as he was sitting there in the dining room next to the Oval Office, members of his staff were pleading with him to go on television to tell people to stop. We know Leader McCarthy was pleading with him to do that. We know members of his family, we know his daughter, we have first-hand testimony that his daughter Ivanka went in at least twice to ask him to please stop this violence.


HAYES: A few weeks ago, when the vice-chair of the January 6 Select Committee, Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney, name-checked Ivanka Trump on national television, you had to have an inkling that it wouldn`t be long before the first daughter of the disgraced ex-president would receive a rocket from the committee like she got today, 11 pages long filled with some really awkward new details and a request to voluntarily cooperate with the investigation.

The committee begins by asking what Ivanka Trump knows about Donald Trump`s efforts to undermine the electoral vote count on January 6, specifically. And I quote here. "The Select Committee wishes to discuss the part of the conversation you observed between President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence on the morning of January 6. Similarly, the Select Committee would like to discuss any other conversations you may have witnessed or participated in regarding the President`s plan to obstruct or impede the counting of electoral votes."

"For example, the committee`s information suggesting that President Trump`s White House counsel may have concluded the actions President Trump directed Vice President Pence to take would violate the Constitution or would be otherwise illegal."

I mean, that`s a lot just right there. The conversation that took place apparently that she witnessed. The committee wants to know about that conversation between Trump and Pence that Ivanka witnessed herself on the morning of the insurrection. I didn`t know about that. They also say they have information suggesting that Trump`s own White House Counsel thought what Trump was telling Pence to do was illegal.


Next, the Committee asked Donald Trump -- about Donald Trump`s actions during the insurrection itself, those hours, infamous. In one lengthy section, the Committee focuses on a tweet. Trump said at 2:24 p.m., minutes after the rioters had first broken windows and entered the Capitol while Congress and the vice president were still inside.

And that`s when Trump seemed to sic the mob on Pence. Even at the time, it was appalling and shocking in real time. He wrote, "Mike Pence didn`t have the courage to do what should have been done." The committee says they`re "particularly interested in discussions inside the White House and with the president before and after his 2:24 p.m. tweet." The testimony obtained by the Select Committee indicates and members of the White House staff requested your assistance on multiple occasions to intervene in an attempt to persuade President Trump to address the ongoing lawlessness and violence on Capitol Hill.

And according to the committee, a lot of people thought Ivanka Trump might be the only one who Trump listened to. Quoting again, "The President was According to one account, stubborn. And the staff recognize you may be the only person who could persuade him to act. And Ivanka Trump was not the only person trying to convince Trump do something he didn`t want to do.

In today`s letter, we also got new insight into the efforts of the 9:00 pm.. host on Fox News to try and change Trump`s tone of the days after the insurrection. Now, we already knew Sean Hannity had been kind of part of the Trump inner circle. I mean, almost like a staffer to the President. He`d been texting with Trump`s chief of staff.

And today we learned he was also in communication with Trump`s chief spokesperson, Kayleigh McEnany. "On January 7, Mr. Hannity texted Ms. McEnaney laying out a five-point approach for conversation with President Trump. Items one and two of that plan reads as follows. No more stolen election talk. Yes, impeachment and 25th Amendment are real and many people will quit. In response, Ms McEnany replied, Love that. Thank you. That is the playbook I will help reinforce."

I mean, wow. That`s Fox News host Sean Hannity, you know, game planning a post insurrection approach which current Fox News commentator Kayleigh McEnaney happily accepts.

We`ve got lots to talk about on this letter. I`m very pleased to be joined by Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland. He`s a member of the January 6 Select Committee, author of the excellent new book Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth and the Trials of American Democracy, which I spoke to him about on the podcast Why Is This Happening? which you can get wherever you get your podcasts.

Congressman Raskin, there`s a lot here. I guess the first question is, this isn`t a solicitation of cooperation. How do you understand -- how should we understand this letter to Ivanka Trump?

REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): Well, we`re closing in on the target, Chris. It`s been a very good week for us with the Supreme Court decision rejecting Trump`s efforts to block release a whole bunch of documents. Lots of people coming forward to testify and we`re really developing a fine grain portrait of what happened on that day.

Ivanka Trump is a critical figure because she was there in the morning. We believe she was there when Trump was still trying to twist Mike Pence`s arm. Remember the "you will go down in history as a patriot or a pussy" overcharge towards him. And she was also a key figure in trying to get to pull Trump back apparently.

So, she could really, you know, perhaps complete the portrait of what happened on January 6 for us.

HAYES: Yes. And I didn`t know about this conversation she saw with Pence. There`s another item in that letter I want to ask you about because it talks about testimony from General Keith Kellogg. So, I`m going to read again. This is nothing that`s not public because this is in a letter and ask for you to sort of maybe give us some context here.

It says in the letter, in his sworn testimony, General Keith Kellogg explained the White House staff wanted the President to take some immediate actions to quell the unrest. Did you think that she Ivanka Trump could help get him, President Trump, to a place where he would make a statement to try to stop this? Yes.

Question. He didn`t say yes to Mark Meadows or Kayleigh McEnany or Keith Kellogg, but he might say yes to his daughter. Answer, exactly right. So, tell us -- tell us about what you`ve learned about this effort, this apparently desperate effort to get him to stop this.

RASKIN: Well, the impression we have is of successive entreaties directly to former President Trump to essentially call off the dogs and to tell everybody to go home. Obviously, it was a matter of walking 20 pieces over to the cameras and just making a speech. And there were repeated efforts to get him to intercede.

And I think that, you know, Ivanka Trump figures highly now in this because people thought that he might listen to her. But what we`re getting is a very clear sense that the people in the media entourage of Donald Trump knew what a terrible thing this violence was, that it was illegal, it was unlawful, it was unconstitutional.

We believe that the White House Counsel was rendering advice to that effect. And yet Trump continued to, you know, try to march everybody off of the plank.


HAYES: And it also seems -- and again, this is from the letter here, these video outtakes. And there`s been some reporting about multiple outtakes necessary to get Trump to say leave, even though he says I love you and you know, you`ll never forget this day. It`s a very bizarre performance, but the Select Committee understands that multiple takes of the video were filmed but not utilized. Information in the Select Committee`s possession suggests the president failed in the initial clips to ask rioters to leave the Capitol.

I mean, more and more and more and more detail that he was utterly resistant to doing the one thing it seems that everyone agreed was necessary to stop the violence.

RASKIN: Well, you know, he had been setting this political coup in motion directed at Vice President Pence. He had helped to activate, we believe, these domestic violent extremist groups. And obviously we`ve got seditious conspiracy charges now against one group of them, the Stewart Rhodes Oath Keeper group.

But also he had been activating this huge demonstration of tens of thousands of people to become a mob by essentially sticking them on Mike Pence. And we have statements from a lot of people who were in the demonstration saying they were waiting to hear what Mike Pence would do. And when they got the message that he was not going to cooperate and bowed down to the president, at that point, all bets were off, and they decided to tear up the place.

HAYES: Yes. And the mention there of the tweet about Mike Pence, as I said in the intro to the segment, I mean, at the time, it was appalling. I mean, it seem very clearly to be essentially painting a target on the man`s back. Your letter suggests that perhaps Ivanka has some knowledge of the -- what went into that or what the reaction was to it. Is that right?

RASKIN: Yes. I mean, there are different ways of interpreting this. I mean, obviously, there were people participating in this political effort up until the point when everything got really deranged and insane. But it`s also suggestive of the possibility that there were people who felt like they had to try to contain and control Donald Trump and psychologically, he was just out of control, and they were looking at ways to try to rein him back in.

HAYES: We should note that Ivanka`s press person put out a statement that`s essentially non-responsive and says that she didn`t speak at the rally and that she publicly stated that the violence must stop immediately, please be peaceful. That seems non-responsive, but I suspect we will get a more response of request -- response from Ivanka Trump at some point.

Congressman Jamie Raskin who is the subject of the new MSNBC documentary Love and the Constitution premiering next month, thank you so much, Congressman.

RASKIN: The pleasure is all mine. Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: Coming up, remember the investigation into Donald Trump`s call to Georgia`s top election official when Trump demanded they find him more votes? Well, the DA is asking for a grand jury and that is a really big deal. I`ll explain why next.


TRUMP: I just want to find 11,780 vote, which is one more than we have because we won the state."




HAYES: We have the phone call. There`s no disagreement on the facts. On January 2, 2021, then-President Donald Trump picked up the phone, called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and urged him to find the votes to reverse Joe Biden`s win in that state.

The next month, the District Attorney in Fulton County, chief prosecutor, launched an investigation into Trump`s efforts to overturn the election. And today, that investigation took a significant step forward with the district attorney now requesting a special grand jury for the probe.

She sent this letter to the chief judge of Fulton County Superior Court saying she needs the grand jury because, "A significant number of witnesses and prospective witnesses have refused to cooperate with the investigation, absent a subpoena requiring their testimony."

Even Brad Raffensperger has essentially said he would only cooperate with subpoena. The DA cited these comments he made in October of last year.


BRAD RAFFENSPERGER, SECRETARY OF STATE, GEORGIA: If she wants to interview me, there`s a process for that. And I will gladly participate in that because I want to make sure that I follow the law, follow the Constitution. And when you get a grand jury summons, you respond to it.


HAYES: The grand jury request must be approved by majority of the superior court judges in Fulton County, so we will have to wait for their decision. We do know thanks to my colleague, Rachel Maddow`s reporting, that the ex- President`s lawyers have already met in person with prosecutors from the DA`s office. And the DA recently told The Associated Press a decision on whether or not to bring charges against Trump could come as soon as the first half of this year.

I have to say, I really think this should be the thing that should take down Donald Trump. I mean, not that you can take him down in any way. But we have the then-president on tape soliciting election fraud. This is not a case of someone down the chain of command preparing some documents for him with plausible deniability. And no other single piece of evidence we`ve learned has surpassed the raw criminality of Trump telling the Secretary of State to just find him the votes he needs to win.


TRUMP: I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have, because we won the state.

So, what are we going to do here, folks? I only need 11,000 votes. Fellows, I need 11,000 votes. Give me a break.



HAYES: This is not a situation where there`s an alibi or lack of reliable witnesses. He`s on tape. The call is not disputed. The facts here are crystal clear. It is just a question of what the law says. And there`s no reason for Donald Trump not to be indicted. It is a crime to pressure officials to interfere and change the results of an election.

The Fulton County district attorney is looking at multiple potential violations of Georgia law here including criminal solicitation to commit election fraud, intentional interference with the performance of election duties, conspiracy and racketeering among others.

Now, it`s not a slam dunk case, we should be clear, because the prosecutors would need to prove to move forward with these charges that Trump knew what he was doing was unlawful, that he had criminal intent. What was his state of mind? What was his intent to make the call? Was he doing it correctly or in good faith? And that can be hard to prove for sure. My feeling is let a jury decide.

Because I`ll tell you what we`re going to talk next, just how open and shut this case is when we come back.



HAYES: The reason we know about Donald Trump`s call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is because of how desperate he was to overturn the election. On January 2, 2021, Trump called Raffensperger to try and get him to produce votes out of nowhere.

The whole reason that we know about the call and have audio from it is because the next day, January 3rd, Trump sent out this tweet saying I spoke to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger yesterday about Fulton County and voter fraud in Georgia. He was unwilling or unable to answer questions such as the ballot of the table scam, ballot discretion, out-of-state voters, dead voters and more. He has no clue.

Now, all the things he listed there are plainly untrue. And a few hours later, that same day, the Washington Post published the audio of the call that had been recorded by Raffensperger`s team. The call went on for an hour. And not only can you hear Trump illegally ask for more votes than they actually got, you can hear him pleading, bargaining at times, threatening, and becoming increasingly frustrated when he does not get his way.


TRUMP: So, there are many infractions, and the bottom line is many, many times the 11,779 margin that they said we lost by. But the ballots are corrupt and you`re going to find that they are which is totally illegal. It`s more illegal for you than it is for them because you know what they did and you`re not reporting it. That`s a -- you know, that`s a criminal -- that`s a criminal offense. And you know, you can`t let that happened. That`s s a big risk to you and to Ryan, your lawyers. That`s a big risk.

In Fulton, where they dumped ballots, you will find that you have many that aren`t even signed and you have many that are forgeries, OK. You know that. You know that. You have no doubt about that. And you will find -- you will be at 11,779 within minutes, because Fulton County is totally corrupt.

So, look, all I want to do is this, I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more that we have because we won the state. So, what are we going to do here, folks? I only need 11,000 votes. Fellows, I need 11,000 votes. Give me a break.


HAYES: And that is what should and likely will be played to the special grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia should it be convened.

Joining me now are Tamar Hallerman, a senior reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution who broke the news about the Fulton County DA`s request for a special grand jury in the Trump investigation. Rebecca Roiphe, law professor in New York Law School, former Manhattan Assistant District Attorney.

Tamar, let me start with you. Just -- maybe you could just tell us the significance of this, what it means and what happens next.

TAMAR HALLERMAN, SENIOR REPORTER, ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION: Well, so DA Fani Willis is asking for a special grand jury, which is a little different from your typical grand jury that we have in Fulton County. Your normal Grand Jury lasts for about two months. And this jury is considering hundreds of different cases, any kind of felony that would happen in a city everything from murders to robberies and thefts and that sort of thing. So, they`re constantly juggling different issues.

What DA Wallace is asking for this time is a dedicated grand jury, 16 to 23 individuals, who will only be focused on this specific case. Not only that. They won`t be rotated off after two months. They can stick around for as long as the DA needs them to be there, which a lot of legal observers say maybe a good thing for such a lengthy and complicated and novel cases is expected to be.

HAYES: Yes. And just one more follow up and then I`ll go to you, Rebecca. Is the expectation that the majority of superior court judges are going to grant this -- is that fairly pro-forma or is that up in the air?

HALLERMAN: My understanding is that when these are requested, which is a pretty rare thing in general, they generally are granted. So, yes, we are expecting that to go through.

HAYES: So, Rebecca, what is your interpretation of this? I mean, there`s a weird thing happening here, which is like, again, the facts are in dispute, I think the law is pretty clear. To the extent there`s a criminal case, it does come down to intent. I know intent can be hard to prove. But it seems to me worth trying. What do you think?

REBECCA ROIPHE, LAW PROFESSOR, NEW YORK LAW SCHOOL: So, you know, it is absolutely true that intent can be hard to prove even when you have all the facts written down on a piece of paper, recorded as they are here. You saw that -- you showed that tweet, which is Trump out in the open saying what happens. In fact, that`s good for his legal case, because what he`s essentially saying is, look, I have nothing to hide. You know, yes, this call happened and I have nothing to hide, because he actually is going to make the defense that he believed that the election was stolen from him.

So when he was talking to the Secretary of State, he was just urging him to do what he`s required to do under law. And that is, you know, consistent, though, implausible, as you say, it`s certainly consistent with the documents that we have and the way that he has conducted himself.

So, intent is going to be a very difficult element to prove. And leave it to the grand jury. And this particular grand jury will issue a report and recommendation to the judge. And from there, we`ll see where it goes.


HAYES: So, yes, walk me through that step because it -- you know, there`s many ways to interpret this. I mean, what is your interpretation of this request for a grand jury and what -- and what that means?

ROIPHE: So, grand juries are different in every state, which makes it complicated. And in Georgia, the special grand jury serves a different purpose than the special grand jury does in New York. So in, in Georgia, the special grand jury cannot indict. It can call witnesses, it can subpoena witnesses, it can look at evidence, and then it issues a report and recommendation. So, that`s slightly different from in Manhattan where it could actually issue an indictment itself.

So, to me, this means that it`s reached a stage in which the prosecutor wants to hear evidence from live witnesses and that she`s having trouble doing that in an informal way, and had to convene a grand jury to do so in this -- in this particular way. But that doesn`t necessarily mean she`s reached a conclusion or they`re necessarily going to be charged as at the end of the road.

HAYES: And Tamar, you`re nodding your head in agreement. How public has the district attorney been about this case? How much has it been something in the news there?

HALLERMAN: Well, she`s been quite quiet in the years since she announced that she was launching this investigation. You know, she sent letters to our governor, our Attorney General, of course, Secretary of State Raffensperger, of course, asking them to preserve any relevant documents for this case, but that`s been about it.

She`s given a couple of interviews saying that she`s going to let her prosecutors do their work. She wasn`t necessarily on a strict timeframe. Of course, she told the AP about a week or so ago that she does believe to have some sort of action within the next six months. But really, she`s been keeping very quiet and just saying she`s going to let the facts lead her working well.

HAYES: And I guess the last question, Rebecca, is just what your judgment is here. I mean, again, the sort of plausible deniability of intent is powerful and yet the corrupt purpose is so evident. And so like, you know, the fact that recorded the phone call, because they sort of understood that they were the -- they were on the other end of something like, deeply wrong that was happening. What do you think about it?

ROIPHE: If it weren`t for the burden of proof, I`d say you`re 100 right. But every element has to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt, including intents. So, is -- do you have a reasonable doubt there? I mean, you know, he went he went out and tweeted about this the second it happened. Doesn`t that show a lack of consciousness of guilt? Isn`t it at least consistent with the notion that perhaps he really has convinced himself that the entire election was stolen from him?

I do think that that poses a significant problem for prosecutors here. And, you know, we`ll have to see what the grand jury thinks and in turn what prosecutors do in response to their recommendation if that grand jury is in fact convened.

HAYES: You know, it`s funny, he -- Trump issued a statement today putting this phone call in the same -- phone call -- the phone call of the Ukrainian president that, of course, led to his first impeachment. In both cases, a kind of argument that like, I was so self-deluded that I believed in the ridiculous things that I was claiming in pursuit of essentially a corrupt solicitation of bad acts in both cases. But because I am genuinely diluted, what can you do?

Tamar Hallerman and Rebecca Roiphe, thank you both. I appreciate it.

HALLERMAN: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: Up next, David Plouffe and Michelle Goldberg on what voters will make of all these Trump investigations and Joe Biden`s performance one year in. We`ll be right back.



HAYES: It has been one year of the Biden ministration. As we look ahead to the rest of his presidency and beyond, there`s one big challenge looming all overall. One of the two major political parties in this country is under the sway of an authoritarian leader. And voters don`t seem inclined to penalize the members or the elected officials of that party for that.

So, how do you campaign against a party when they are threatening democracy? What do you even do about it?

I`m joined now by David Plouffe, the former campaign manager and White House senior advisor for Barack Obama and Michelle Goldberg -- and Michelle Goldberg, and op-ed columnist for the New York Times. It`s great to have you both.

I think, David, as we sort of take stock a year in, that`s one lesson I think, and we`ve talked about this here is, voters are not going to penalize Republican Party for this sort of anti-democratic thrust. The question is, can that be changed and is it even worth changing? Or should people be thinking about the sort of more meat and potatoes messaging that steers clear of that kind of thing?

DAVID PLOUFFE, FORMER CAMPAIGN MANAGER AND WHITE HOUSE SENIOR ADVISOR FOR BARACK OBAMA: Well, this is an existential crisis, Chris. I don`t think you can hide from it. There`s no question in Senate races and House races, people are going to be drawing contrast with the Republican opponents on health care, on infrastructure, on who gets tax cuts, who gets their taxes raised.

But I think a lot of the people who get nominated are going to be true believers in Trump. And I think that in those races, you can hang this on them and say, if you hand over control to Republicans, all they`re going to do is basically engage in retribution on Donald Trump`s behalf.

So, I think that -- I think picture is really important because whether people say I want to save democracy or not, I think it`ll help with Democratic turnout. You think that will help. But swing voters, I think they want people to focus on their problems, not basically fight or rearguard action on behalf of Donald Trump.

But we have to keep this front and center. And I think that you`re going to have to try and find those pockets of voters, both swing voters and turnout targets, where this is the thing that motivates them and reach them and communicate to them.


HAYES: Yes, there was -- so there was one data point that I found interesting and in some senses encouraging, Michelle. And it came in a Quinnipiac poll that was a brutal poll for Biden. I mean, it was probably the worst poll he`s had. It has approval rating at 33 percent.

So, this is -- this is not a poll that`s, you know, oversampling Democrats or anything like that. But in the same poll, the same group of people, would you like to see Trump run for president in 2024? Yes, 33 percent, no, 59 percent of Americans.

I thought, that`s a pretty striking response there and says something maybe that`s hard to view under the surface of his current control the party over how unpopular he is broadly?

MICHELLE GOLDBERG, OP-ED COLUMNIST, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Yes. But part of the problem is that Democrats, at least in the few elections that we`ve seen so far, have not been successful when they`ve tried to link Donald Trump to Republicans, at least those Republicans who know how to speak and sort of slightly more innocuous or sort of slightly more coded terms.

And so that`s going to really be the trick. And to some extent, it`s going to depend on the outcome of these primary elections and how much Trump`s influence ends up, you know, kind of putting forward the candidates who are most slavishly and openly devoted to him.

HAYES: Yes. And I think also, David, there`s a few -- there`s two aspects here, because Michelle, I was making the same point today in the sort of talking about the segment that, you know, the Youngkin example in Virginia is, you know, McAuliffe very, frankly, tried to tie him to Trump. He tried to kind of have it both ways. He succeeded in having both ways.

I think that`s harder in House and Senate races. And I also think he`s going to be more front and center for the party this year, David, both because of the investigations that may be happening, the January 6 Committee, possible indictments, and because of the nature of his connection to House and Senate candidates.

PLOUFFE: Well, there`s no question. So much of this, as Michelle said, will determine -- be determined by who comes out of these primaries. But listen, he hasn`t ruled out serving the Speaker of the House. And my guess is he won`t for a long time because he wants to torture, you know, Kevin McCarthy.


PLOUFFE: So -- but that poll is fasting. Now, the problem as an American is probably the 33 percent who want him to run, a lot of those are Republican primary voters. But I think something interesting has happened in the last couple of weeks. You know, Mike Rounds stood up to him, and the sun came out the next day, and so is Ron DeSantis.

You know, my personal view, Chris, is I don`t think he`s going to run, because we`re literally this close to losing democracy because of his brutal ego because he lost to Joe Biden. Imagine if he thinks he might not win the nomination. And I think the interesting thing is, I think you may see more Republicans.

And listen, for anybody thinking about running for president in 24, for most of them, this is your one shot. This is it. So, I think you`re going to see more people take shots at this guy. A lot of that probably happens towards the end of `22 or `23. But yes, I think at the end of the day, we`re going to see who comes out of these primaries. And if a lot of them are like Glenn Youngkin, whatever his positions are, the TV ads he ran were basically on Mitt Romney 2.0.

And I think voters kind of want to reward Republicans who don`t all throw in with the Trump charade. But I think that`s going to be the question is who comes out of these. And I think in a lot of these House races, in particular, there`s going to be the MAGA candidate who emerges.

HAYES: Right.

PLOUFFE: And I think you`re going to have an ability to tie some of this to them.

HAYES: The other thing here, Michelle, is just the macroeconomic conditions. And I talked to Ron Klain, I think -- you know, I think people in the White House understand that like -- and he said it, right? I mean, if the disruptions continue, if it still feels like what on earth is going on, nothing works as normal and you can`t -- you can`t, you know, buy things at the store and things are expensive, and everything`s still off kilter. They`re screwed. And if it gets better, they`ve got a fighting chance. And like, that`s the core reality.

GOLDBERG: Right. I understand their frustration because a lot of what`s going wrong in America right now is not Joe Biden`s fault, right? It`s not Joe Biden fault that we have the Omicron variant. It`s not Joe that we have inflation in many different countries that have pursued many different policies.

But ultimately, American life right now was extremely dystopian. And people thought that the Biden era was going to be an exit from dystopia.

HAYES: Yes. And I think that`s the big question is can they -- can things get better in the end? And, David, the sort of bull cases, if inflation comes down, if omicron is the last big wave, although God knows, and you`re in a position where that promise of like, exit from dystopia that you can run on that record in the midterms, that gives you a fighting chance, right?

PLOUFFE: Well, and then to turn it not into a referendum on Joe Biden, and the Democrats put a choice. And I think you can make a powerful contrast there. But yes, that`s the big thing. There is no message at the end of the week, no talking point, no ad.


PLOUFFE: That`s going to clear the clouds of the pandemic. So, until that happens, they`re going to be stuck in political purgatory. If not --

HAYES: Well, I think we`ve --

PLOUFFE: If the clouds lift, then I think you do have a fighting chance as you put it, Chris.

HAYES: We`re in agreement. Let`s end the pandemic. Let`s solve it. David Plouffe and Michelle Goldberg, thank you both. That is ALL IN on this Thursday night. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.