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Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 1/25/22

Guests: Zoe Tillman, Kyle Cheney, Michael Schmidt, David Remnick, Barbara Walter


Eighteen members of the Oath Keepers who were charged with criminal conspiracy for their involvement in the attack on the Capitol are scheduled for trial in April, while the other groups including the group`s founder, Elmer Stewart Rhodes III will face trial in July for the separate, more serious charge of seditious conspiracy. Alex Jones met with January 6 Committee and pleaded the Fifth almost 100 times. A team of reporters at The New York Times has been looking through those filings and connecting the dots to determine what the committee and the public could learn from the hundreds of pages of document from the Trump White House. David Remnick, in his New Yorker piece, talks about any attempts that Russia occupies Ukraine will provoke resistance and lead to bloody disaster.



JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: So, Glenn Youngkin, for creating an atmosphere where teachers not only need to worry about your unsaved ban on mask mandates, but also getting reported on for teaching difficult topics that might cause some discomfort or introspection, you`re tonight`s absolute worst.

And that`s tonight`s "REIDOUT." ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES starts now.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voiceover): Tonight on ALL IN. A big day for the seditious conspiracy case against the Oath Keepers as a MAGA mouthpiece meets the committee.

ALEX JONES, RADIO HOST: They asked me if we were with Proud Boys or kept asking me who was your White House connection or who was it?

HAYES: Tonight what we learned from today`s hearing. What the January 6 Committee wants to know from Alex Jones and new reporting of what`s in those newly released White House documents.

Then, the race to uphold the rule of law as one of two major parties abandons it.

NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: They`re the ones who are in fact, going to I think face a real risk of jail.

REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): You know what? Newt is right.

HAYES: Plus, the New Yorker`s David Remnick on America`s response to Russian aggression.

And as COVID keeps claiming lives, Florida picks a new fight with science.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Florida is going to absolutely positively put data as number one in deciding -- in making --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Forgive me. Are you saying that the Food and Drug Administration are not an experts as to what drugs to approve and what drugs not to approve?

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. There`s now a trial set. There`s going to be a trial, the government`s case against the far-right extremist gang known as the Oath Keepers stemming from the group`s involvement in plotting the January 6 insurrection.

Today, 18 members of the Oath Keepers were in virtual court, some of them are just charged with regular old criminal conspiracy for their involvement in the attack on the Capitol. Their trial date is set for April just three months from now. Other groups including the group`s founder, Elmer Stewart Rhodes III will face trial in July for the separate, more serious charge of seditious conspiracy.

And that`s an important distinction. Seditious conspiracy is a rarely used statute, basically, only ever leveled at extremist groups who are trying to overthrow the government. I`ll read the relevant section. According to the Criminal Code, "If two or more persons conspired to overthrow, put down, to destroy by force the government the United States, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States."

And just in the face of it, that does seem to be exactly what happened here. A heavily armed right wing group plotted to storm the Capitol on January 6 in order to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power as outlined in the Electoral Count Act and the Constitution.

And believe me, we could spend the entire hour just reading some of the details from these indictments. Take for instance, this guy. You may have seen him before, Thomas Caldwell. He was in charge the so-called Quick Reaction Force. That`s at least according to court documents by prosecutors whose purpose was to rapidly transport weapons into DC once the group had successfully taken control of the Capitol.

That`s the same guy who Tucker Carlson puts on the show as just a poor old disabled veteran who was only in D.C. in January 6 to stand up for his beloved country.


TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: They claim that you plan to bring, "heavy weapons by boat across the Potomac River." Were you planning -- what kind of heavy weapons do you think that refers to? Were you planning to do that?

THOMAS CALDWELL, CHARGED WITH SEDITIOUS CONSPIRACY: I have no idea. And no, I was not, Tucker. Look, I was a Navy guy, OK. Now, the Navy guys do know about water, but it`s like aircraft carriers. You know, we`re talking about blue water Navy here. So, this other stuff I don`t know anything about. I didn`t have any role in planning any of it. It`s just more hooey.


HAYES: Now, maybe he`s right. Maybe the whole thing is entirely fabricated and ludicrous. The seditious conspiracy indictment does paint a very different picture, I should say. The indictment lays out how Caldwell booked a hotel room in Arlington that have -- could have quick access to DC and that a fellow Quick Reaction Force member "said we`ll have goodies in case things go bad and we need to get heavy."

Going on to note, "Caldwell was asking context if they or anyone they knew could lend a boat so that we could have our quick response team with heavy weapons standing by, quickly load them and ferry them across the river to our waiting arms."

Caldwell pleaded not guilty today, as did Stewart Rhodes, the alleged brains behind this entire operation. Again, the indictment lays out how after the election he "began encouraging members and affiliates of his organization to oppose by force the lawful transfer of presidential power. You can see there this sort of call back to the seditious conspiracy language.

Also how he and his allies "began recruiting others to travel to D.C. to participate in operations aimed at stopping the transfer of presidential power that coordinated travel across the country to enter Washington D.C., equip themselves with a variety of weapons, donned combat and tactical gear, and were prepared to answer Rhodes call to take up arms at Rhodes direction."


And again, to be absolutely clear here, those are all quotes from an indictment Rhodes and Caldwell and their associates. They`re all innocent until proven otherwise in a court of law. But we shouldn`t say this. Rhodes did do a fair amount of this plotting in public.

Take this November 10 2020 episode of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones internet show were in the middle of detailing a truly bananas theory about Deep State pedophiles trying to sabotage Donald Trump, Rhodes just openly admitted he already had Oath Keepers stationed near D.C. to keep Trump in power.


ELMER STEWART RHODES, FOUNDER, OATH KEEPERS: We have men already stationed outside D.C. as a nuclear option. In case they attempt to remove the president illegally, we will step in and stop it.

So, I`ve got good men on the ground already. We`ve been doing recon there last week. And we`re sorting out and we`re going to be staging and we`ll be there. We`ll be inside D.C. We`ll also be on the outside of D.C. armed and prepared to go in if the President calls.


HAYES: Oh my God, he did admit it. I mean, this was not -- this was not some high-tech surveillance by the FBI. This wasn`t some wiretap. Stewart Rhodes just went on Alex Jones` show and said this is what we`re going to do. And it sure sounds like just in his own words, what he was going to do is seditious conspiracy right there.

Armed men stationed outside DC is a nuclear option to use force to try to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power, the peaceful transfer of power being getting rid of Donald Trump, because he lost the election.

And speaking of Alex Jones, the guy who is on your screen there, the man to whom Rhodes admitted the plot, amidst his peroration about the deep state pedophiles, Alex Jones had his own run-in with investigators just yesterday. In fact, Alex Jones sat down before the bipartisan House committee investigating January 6, and oh, to be a fly on the wall.

He pleaded the Fifth nearly 100 times instead of answering questions. He`s not the first to plead the Fifth. And he is absolutely within his constitutional rights to do just that. But then he went on his show and blabbed about the whole thing to his followers.


JONES: You can`t walk into something like that with people like that. I don`t know these lawyers are running it. I don`t know if they`re good people or bad people. They came always polite and nice. But when you got predators like Schiff back in the background like a moray eel and the rocks ready to come out in eat you, then there`s no reason to even dignify it, because it`s not legitimate.

That said, the questions were overall pretty reasonable and I wanted to answer the questions. But at the same time, it`s a good thing I didn`t because I`m the type that tries to answer things correctly, even if I don`t know all the answers, and they can then try to claim that that`s perjury.


HAYES: I mean, put that on the January 6 Committee movie poster. Pretty reasonable, Alex Jones. So, Joe`s admits the investigators were polite, and that their questions are reasonable, but that he nonetheless refused to answer because he did not want to get charged with perjury.

Now, Jones also shared much of what the committee asked him. We`ll get to that shortly, and it`s interesting. But he also went out of his way to add this little tidbit about his friend Stewart Rhodes.


JONES: I saw it all as larping. I mean, I didn`t see the Oath Keepers as bad people. But I saw a lot of it as playing soldier in the backyard. Their mission was something I really agreed with for most of its operations. But if the indictment is true that they thought that they could foment and kickstart and detonate a rebellion at the Capitol that would then lead to a larger war, that is not something I knew about or something I support or something I want.


HAYES: Oh, my goodness. Your Honor, I don`t know. They were dressing up. We were cowing around. I got an internet show. I get new tropics to sell. I don`t know what`s going on. Now, a certain amount of this is likely just Jones covering his own legal exposure. But I think it`s worth asking why Jones platform the head of Oath Keepers Stewart Rhodes and allowed him to articulate his plan to use armed members to potentially disrupt the peaceful transfer of power if he didn`t think they were actually serious about doing just that.

Zoe Tillman is a senior legal reporter at BuzzFeed News, Kyle Cheney is Senior Legal Affairs Reporter at Politico, and they both join me now. Zoe, first, let me start with you because I was watching your coverage in real time of this virtual court situation, this hearing today. What was happening today across these many defendants involved in what are I think two alleged conspiracy?


ZOE TILMAN, SENIOR LEGAL REPORTER, BUZZFEED NEWS: That`s right. You know, this was a more than two hour long marathon hearing. An attempt by the judge, Judge Amit Mehta here in federal court in DC to get a handle on what is the largest and arguably most complicated case of all of the January 6 prosecutions.

It was an arraignment and it was a scheduling Bonanza. You know, it was trying to make sense of two different conspiracy cases. A third case involving another defendant, coordinating with lawyers about trial dates, evidence, trying to understand where these different cases stand.

And, you know, the overarching theme was how much can the judge keep this on track and not let this, you know, get into 2023-2024. This case was brought one of the earliest cases back January 2021. And the judge said today that he wants to get them to trial.

And he kept an April 19 trial date that had been on the books that`s for the non-sedition conspiracy defendants whose lawyers protested. They argued that the Sedition case changes everything. And they need more time and Judge Mehta said no. And he kept the July trial date and said that the seditious conspiracy defendants need to be ready to face a jury by then.

So, the judge is trying to keep things on track, trying to sort through all sorts of evidentiary issues, coordinating with a few defendants who are in custody and pretrial detention. So, it was -- you know, as much as the seditious conspiracy indictment was this big boom that went off, and this important moment in the prosecution effort today was the nitty-gritty practical logistics of shepherding multiple complicated criminal prosecutions through the justice system.

HAYES: Yes. And the nitty-gritty logistics here, Kyle -- I know you`ve been -- you`ve been covering this as well, has been overwhelming, right? I mean, it`s very -- it`s not often that that division of the U.S. Attorney`s Office has this kind of criminal case with hundreds and hundreds and hundreds, maybe over 1000 when all said and done who do -- who were involved in essentially the same crime on the same day who all have to be processed through the system, whether that`s please or trials.

But this trial, and particularly the summer seditious conspiracy trial, is set to be the kind of most high profile we`ve gotten would you say?

KYLE CHENEY, SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS REPORTER, POLITICO: Easily. I mean, this was the thing that everyone said, when is -- when are we going to see these kinds of charges emerge from what happened on January 6. People speak -- we call it an insurrection. Well, where are the charges that capture that conduct? Well, this is it, the sedition case.

And, you know, you talked about the complexities of it. There`s even complexities beyond these cases where some of the lawyers are representing some of the other members of the conspiracy in civil cases where they`re being sued for what -- for what they did. They`re being -- representing other defendants -- part of the Oath Keepers in front of the January 6 Committee who were seeking some of their testimony, like Stewart Rhodes, for example.

And so it`s extraordinarily complicated to tee up a case like this. And it`s going to be remarkable if the judge can keep to this April timeline. As Zoe mentioned, you know, there are people who are sitting in jail waiting for this to happen, so the judge is mindful of that when he`s trying to keep the wheels turning. But it seems almost hard, impossible to imagine that that timeline will stick as much as the judge wants to.

HAYES: Let me follow up with you, Kyle, also about the Jones testimony. I thought it was really fascinating just to hear a window into what he was asked. I want to play this section where he said he plead the fifth and then he sort of gave some information about getting asked about his White House contacts. Take a listen.


JONES: They kept asking me who was your White House connection or who was it? Well, I mean, I knew that Caroline Wren was a big fundraiser, headed up one of Trumps PACs. And I knew that she want to talk to other people and said, yes, she`s the one that sets up these events. It`s not the White House itself that sets up events, but when you say the White House, it`s those contacts in the White House.

So, yes, that was my contact for the fifth and the sixth was Caroline Wren. And that`s what I called White House contact and she`s there that day behind the stage with the Trump`s and the family.


HAYES: I have to say that I do find it sort of funny that he goes in, he pleads the fifth, and he says, look, you know, I don`t want to -- and he goes on his show and said, they asked who my White House contact. There`s a woman named Caroline Wren. I can, you know, give you her cell phone number if you want. Like, we get a fair sense here that you can hear him that like this is not nothing even to someone as sort of pugilistic as Alex Jones.

CHENEY: Right. You can see how careful he`s being here because Jones is not someone who`s known for necessarily his precision and care and exactly how he frames things.


CHENEY: You can tell in how he`s talking about it. He`s trying really to speak in a way that`s not going to cross certain boundaries. I think he`s talked about in the past very loosely about his connections to the White House on January 6. And what he`s saying here is, well, actually, it wasn`t directly with the White House. It was a person was a fundraiser who was herself connected to the White House.

And so, he`s really trying to thread some needles here about what he did and he -- clearly, he`s saying I`m not going to do this in a situation where I might be charged with lying to Congress. But I`ll tell him -- I`ll tell my listeners and still yet he still operate with a bit of care here so he doesn`t go too far on what he`s saying.


HAYES: Zoe, I think you can tell -- you know, you`ve got these -- you`ve got the Department of Justice now as, you know, continues to be involved in this massive investigation. It`s produced all these different criminal cases. There are conspiracy cases. There`s seditious conspiracy case. You`ve got the January 6 Committee.

And I wonder how you as a reporter who sort of mired in this every day think about those two tracks, because what we see from Jones is, of course, there`s a lot of interest in the possible connections between the alleged, frankly, criminal activity that the Department of Justice pursuing and the sort of plot from the top down to the White House.

TILLMAN: Well, you know, it`s interesting in that I think Alex Jones is also speaking in a way that is mindful of the fact that the criminal investigation is ongoing, and that one of his associates at InfoWars, Owen Shroyer has been charged. You know, Owen Shroyer was with Alex Jones at the Capitol. Owen Shroyer has been charged with illegally being in an area of the capitol where he wasn`t supposed to be.

And, you know, I think there`s some careful language from Alex Jones wanting to be mindful of what he says about where he was and who he was with and how he -- why he thought he was where he was supposed to be.

So, you know, I think that for some of these key top level witnesses or individuals of potential interest, you know, I think they were listening closely when the Attorney General said a few weeks ago that they are, you know, still actively pursuing this, willing to go in multiple directions, not just sideways but up the ladder and building up cases.

So, I think there is an awareness of the fact that Congress is interested that the investigation is open and they know it.

HAYES: Zoe Tillman, Kyle Cheney, thank you both. It`s great.

Donald Trump did everything he could to keep hundreds of pages of documents from reaching the hands of the committee investigation January 6, taking the fight all the way to the Supreme Court. Last week, he lost. Now, the committee has over 700 pages of handwritten notes, calendars, talking points, and more to sort through.

So, what was Donald Trump fighting so hard to keep from seeing the light of day? Next, the latest reporting on what is in those documents and what the Committee is trying to piece together, after this.



HAYES: The January 6 Committee finally has a trove of documents that Donald Trump and his lawyers fought for months to keep hidden. Last week, the Supreme Court ruled against Trump eight to one to allow the National Archives to release the documents, giving the committee access to at least 770 pages from Trump`s White House relating to the January 6 insurrection.

So far, we`ve only seen a fraction of these documents like the draft executive order to seize voting machines Politico made public on Friday that we covered. The committee is now going through the pages as part of its investigation. And while we do not know specifics about what they include, we do know broad strokes from the various court filings.

A team of reporters at The New York Times has been looking through those filings and connecting the dots to determine what the committee and the public could learn from the hundreds of pages detailing the Trump White House`s response to one of the darkest days in recent American history.

And one of the reporters going through those filings is Michael Schmidt, New York Times Washington Correspondent, and he joins me now. Michael, I found your reporting here very helpful in sort of -- as a kind of schematic for what we`re dealing with here. Maybe you can sort of sketch out your understanding of the kind of categories and scope of this.

MICHAEL SCHMIDT, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORK TIMES: So, what these documents are or at least they appear to be -- and what we`re doing here is we`re gleaning from a court filing different descriptions of the documents, different sort of like headers and brief sentences about them.

And what it shows here is things related to the seizing of the voting machines, documents about that. Was there a national security document that was created to make that argument, handwritten notes from senior White House officials, back and forth about what was going on on January 6 on the President`s calendars.

In a normal White House, these types of documents, these sort of insider documents would be super helpful because most White Houses are run down to the minute, and they`re very planned and orchestrated. This White House was far different, though. They didn`t -- they didn`t really operate on a schedule, and they didn`t really -- you know, I don`t even know how to describe how they operated, but it was atypical for any type of White House. And because of that, I wonder how helpful the documents will be.

The funny thing about it all is that there`s like 700 pages or so of documents, and it was only as we were finishing the story last night that I realized that that more than -- more than half of them, hundreds and hundreds of them are about talking points, and that could be used in the media about the election, hundreds and hundreds of pages of this.

So, in some ways, may be very revealing. In other ways, it could just be a lot of clips of nonsense from you know, far right, you know, conspiracy theorists.

HAYES: Right. I mean, that`s a good point because we heard the talking points. These talking points were definitely not kept secret. They were the public talking points. You write about the proposed talking points for Mr. Trump`s press secretary documents related to allegations of voter fraud.

There was one thing in here that jumped out at me and I don`t know how much you can say about this. Again, this is just gleaned from court documents about a draft proclamation honoring the Capitol Police and two officers who died in the riot, Brian Sicknick, who died subsequently and Howard Liebengood who died by suicide subsequently.

What do you know about that? And I think that`s an interesting ask insofar as it seems on theme with that document we appear to know they got which was the speech for national healing, proposed or drafted proposals inside that White House to kind of turn some page, condemn the violence, memorialize it, etcetera.

SCHMIDT: As far as I can tell, Trump has said very little about the deaths of the Capitol officers. So what that document could be is his insight into what the President`s aides were trying to get them to say about those deaths. Those deaths received massive outpouring from certainly Democrats and a lot of elected officials across the country. They were, you know, obviously, hugely tragic things about what happened on January 6, and they were universally seen as terribleness.


And if you`re trying -- if you`re the committee, and you`re trying to paint a picture of a president who truly did not care about the consequences of what happened on January 6, that document could be helpful if it indeed shows much more than what the president has ever said publicly.

And that`s the thing about the documents. There`s the draft speech of what Trump was supposed to give on the Ellipse. What`s the difference between what the draft of the speech was and what Trump said. When Trump said, you know -- you know, we`re going to fight like hell, and you know, we`re going to march down to the Capitol, and he implies that he`s going to go with them, were those things that were in this speech? Were they in this speech because it was part of a coordinated effort to try and get the folks at the rally to go to the Capitol, or was it something that Trump adlibbed?

If you`re the committee and you`re doing a wide-ranging effort to try and understand every aspect of how you ended up with thousands of people trying to break into the Capitol, that would -- that would be a helpful place to start.

HAYES: Yes, that was actually the next item I was going to ask you about, because I had exactly that thought. And we`ve had on this program two individuals that were involved in planning that rally on the Ellipse. And their contention is the question of whether to march the Capitol was a hotly debated one with different factions inside the group. They thought that they had essentially won that debate by pointing out the fact there`s insufficient security that could secure the position. And they were shocked when the President said it.

And so there`s an open question, I think, just from the public reporting on this and what those individuals say about, where that came from, whether the President overrode internal discussions not to do that, which does seem significant when you say about, well, how do you get thousands of people to the Capitol. The President didn`t tell them to go.

SCHMIDT: I mean, that`s the thing about January 6 is that a lot of what went on happened out in the open. And many times with politicians, we have to go and figure out what they did in private and see how that contrasts with what they did in public, and how what happened in private is revealing about them.

With Trump, so much of it happened in the open that many times during the Trump era, we would go out and do this reporting and find out that he did something in private, only to then look online and see that he had said it or done it publicly. So, that is one of the difficulties that the January 6 investigation has is that so much of this stuff was done out in the open.

Donald Trump does not run from any of the accusations about what happened on January 6, you know, what his hopes were for January 6. There is no remorse for it. Nothing.

HAYES: Yes. The big thing about those three hours which I think they`re sort of getting at with some of the proposals and the drafted tweets will be interesting because that we don`t have. We just have the public statements from him and the silence. Michael Schmidt, great reporting as always. Thank you very much.

SCHMIDT: Thanks for having me.

HAYES: Ahead, Ukraine prepares for a Russian invasion, but is a ground war still avoidable? New Yorker`s David Remnick on what we know about Vladimir Putin`s strategy after this.



SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT): My impressions were that Vladimir Putin is likely getting really horrible advice. Reporting suggests that some are telling the Russian president he`s going to be created as a liberator if he enters Ukraine, at least if he moves further than he already is in eastern Ukraine.

And what I saw in Kiev when we were there for 24 hours is a country that is ready to defend itself, a country whose military is stronger than Russia thinks it is.


HAYES: That`s Senator Chris Murphy freshly back from a trip to Ukraine who told us here last night Ukraine is prepared to mount a long-term counterinsurgency, his words, if Russia were to actually invade. It`s a sentiment echoed by Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist David Remnick.

Remnick has spent years reporting from Moscow for The Washington Post as the Soviet Empire collapse. And he points out in a new piece on the New Yorker that "Younger Ukrainians have been born into a far less autocratic political culture than half the Russian counterparts. It`s not a sure thing that Putin will invade. What is certain is that any attempt to occupy the nation will provoke resistance and lead to bloody disaster." And David Remnick, the editor of New Yorker joins me now.

It`s great to have you, David. And I was looking forward to talking to you precisely because of your presence in Moscow in the -- in the wake of the fall of the Soviet empire. And I want to sort of lay out what I understand is the Russian case here about what has brought us to this moment, which I think parts of it are true and parts that are wildly overstated, but it basically is, the Russian empire falls and you guys just keep NATO.

You tell us that NATO won`t encroach and you keep expanding, expanding NATO. And basically what you`re trying to do is squeeze us and encircle us, and now we`re getting stronger and trying to push back, and you say we`re the aggressor. That`s essentially the case Putin makes. As someone who`s sort of present at that moment to now, what is your understanding of why we`re here?

DAVID REMNICK, EDITOR, THE NEW YORKER: It`s very complex. I mean, there`s a -- there`s a new book called Not One Inch by Mary Elise Sarotte which I highly recommend. It`s written about by Josh Yaffa in the New Yorker today, and it`s all about this struggle that followed December 1991 and the -- and the fall of the Soviet Union was actually began during the collapse of the Berlin Wall.

But it`s a highly disputed history. And there is no question that the West pressed its advantage. And George H.W. Bush, you know, wanted not only to reunite Germany, but he also realized that there were countries in Eastern Europe in the Baltic states that had historical reasons for wanting to be in NATO, security reasons.


Russia, obviously, was in a position of weakness. And right now, Putin seeks to reverse what he sees as the disasterous negotiations by first Mikhail Gorbachev, and then Boris Yeltsin. Now, he has political reasons for wanting to do this too. What is the real legacy of Vladimir Putin after all these many years in office? Has he had great success economically? No. Has he expanded Russian liberties or -- no.

He`s become the spokesman of a kind of counter-enlightenment. He`s pronounced the liberal democracy obsolete. And he has become the center of a kind of anti-democratic and illiberal movement around the world, which has been, unfortunately, quite successful.

So, this struggle has as its results, a democratic country that is now hostage to Vladimir Putin`s historical resentments. Let`s remember, Ukraine is a sovereign nation. That is very important here. And I think it`s very important to hear from Ukrainian voices, Ukrainian experts, Ukrainian people on the street and hear what they have to say. And they feel they`re being held hostage and they were.

HAYES: Yes. Just to just be clear on my own view on this, I mean, I think to sort of understand the Russian perspective is important from just basic geopolitical standpoint.


HAYES: But I think that there`s no justification to invade another country, particularly not in this setting. Usually, the -- you know, the sort of moral judgment here about who`s mounting the tanks on whom tends to be a pretty reliable indicator in this -- in this regard.

When you talk about -- I mean, Murphy used that word counterinsurgency. And I mean, the thought of a mass ground invasion in Europe is horrifying. The thought of an extended counterinsurgency there is horrifying. How do you understand what would follow should Putin do this as many are fearing he will?

REMNICK: Yes, I don`t know that it`s inevitable. And the very interesting thing, Chris, is that I think there is a -- it`s calmer in Kiev right now than it is in Washington and many other foreign capitals. Why? Because Ukrainians realize this -- they got -- the notion that is the language of will put in invade, will he not invade, he`s already invaded twice. Let`s please remember that Russia invaded and still occupies Crimea, which is a very strategically important part of what we`d have to say used to be Ukraine. There it is in the south.

And also, it has invaded the eastern part of Ukraine, Luhansk, Donetsk, in that area, and thousands of casualties have already -- have already occurred. People are buried under that Ukrainian earth. So, this would be a third invasion of Ukraine. We don`t know if it`ll happen, we don`t know to what extent it will be, but it will be the third time that Russia has invaded a country that is not threatening them in any way, in any way.

It is very worried that Ukrainian-ness has taken hold. Part of the Russian argument is Ukraine doesn`t exist as a country. I shouldn`t say Russian argument, I should say Putin`s argument, Ukraine is a fiction. And Ukrainians would beg to differ, all 44 million of them, despite their political differences and what problems they may have.

HAYES: Yes, that is a key part here. The assertion -- I mean, the idea that they`ve indulged this fiction which is Ukraine long enough, it runs through a lot of the -- a lot of the Putin rhetoric. Joshua Yaffa, I will look up that piece. He was the great correspondent for The New Yorker in Russia whose job I always think is tough because he can report to David Remnick who had tough too.

REMNICK: No, it`s OK. He knows a lot more than I do at this point. That was a long time.

HAYES: He puts himself incredibly well. Thank you, David.

REMNICK: My pleasure. Take care, Chris.

HAYES: Coming up, the FDA halts the use of a COVID treatment found to be ineffective against the Omicron varied, but don`t dare try to explain that to Florida`s governor. That`s next.



HAYES: Interesting development today in the weird ideological battle lines around monoclonal antibodies. Monoclonal antibodies have been a Republican- approved treatment for COVID ever since Donald Trump called the drugs a cure after he received them back in October 2020 when he was quite sick. But no one has pushed the treatment quite as hard as Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida.

Now, I got to be clear, these treatments did protect high-risk patients against severe disease in previous waves. There was data to show them safe and effective. That said, DeSantis basically threw all other COVID fighting tools completely by the wayside. He banned mass mandates in schools, he allowed up to one million COVID test to expire, fought vaccine mandates, and doing just about nothing, I mean, really close to nothing to promote vaccination efforts, including getting very weasley and mealy mouthed about whether he`s boosted.

But on monoclonal antibody, he`s all in. He has spent hundreds of millions of dollars, dozens of hours in front of the cameras hyping up the monoclonal antibody treatments, setting up state-run sites to distribute them. This despite the fact they cost thousands of dollars to the government, which is a lot.

Just in the last few weeks, Governor DeSantis has been fighting the Biden administration for more courses of the antibodies even claimed the administration has blood on its hands for not doing more to promote the therapy.


GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): Failure from the outset to really focus on therapeutics I think it`s caused a huge number of lives. It`s been a huge problem from the pandemic response and particularly under the Biden administration where not only are they not promoting therapeutics, they`re actively trying to stymie the distribution of things like monoclonal antibodies to states like Florida and Texas.

BRIAN KILMEADE, CONTRIBUTOR, FOX NEWS: That`s criminal. People are dying. People are dying because of this.



HAYES: Just to be clear, the federal government bulk purchased all of these treatments. It`s why they`re the ones distributing it. So, they`re not like standing in the way of it. It`s literally facilitating it.

But yesterday, the governor`s grand plan came to a screeching halt when the Food and Drug Administration revoked the emergency use authorization it had granted for monoclonal antibodies, the drugs made by Regeneron and Eli Lilly. "Because data show these treatments are highly unlikely to be active against the Omicron variant." The FDA goes on to say, Omicron is now estimated to account for more than 99 percent of cases in the United States. And so, these drugs are essentially just no longer working.

Well, Ron DeSantis is having none of that. Again, he staked his whole identity on these treatments. And today, in the wake of that announcement, he slammed the Biden administration`s decision and vowed to fight it.


DESANTIS: Early this morning, thousands of Floridians woke up to news that their appointments to get treatment for COVID-19 infection were canceled by the by the administration which revoked, outright revoked authorization for two very popular monoclonal antibody treatments.

So, this is something that they claim shouldn`t be used because we have Omicron and what we would say in Florida is we have had people use it, and we`ve had good results. This is not the way, you know, that you help people. And our view is people have a right to access these treatments, and to revoke it on this basis. It`s just fundamentally wrong, and we`re going to fight back.


HAYES: Now, you can see him here. This is a perfect fight for him, right. And it`s very politically advantageous to do so. But again, like the data is the data. It just is what it is and it`s quite clear here. Several studies have shown the monoclonal antibodies are not holding up against the Omicron variant. And get this. The drug manufacturers themselves both say so, OK.

Let me just say that again, the two big pharma companies who developed and are selling these treatments at a lot of money to the federal government say they don`t work. So, Florida has had to shut down their state-run treatment sites, but they will still not agree to the fact. The Surgeon General of the state says that they`re basically going to find their own science to support their agenda.

Keep in mind, this is the new Surgeon General DeSantis appointed after the last one was sidelined for being too anti-COVID.


DR. JOSEPH LADAPO, SURGEON GENERAL, FLORIDA: Really, we are -- we are laser-focused on data. I mean, it`s just -- I think if the pandemic has taught us anything, it`s the importance of looking at data and not necessarily listening and following what other people or people that the media labels as expert say.

So, we`re -- you know, whatever anyone says, Florida is going to absolutely positively put data as number one in deciding in making --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Forgive me. Are you saying that the Food and Drug Administration are not an experts as to what drugs to approve and what drugs not to approve?

LADAPO: I`m saying that Florida is going to make decisions about what we treat patients -- how we treat patients, how we manage patients, how we inform health policy in Florida based on data. That`s what I`m saying.


HAYES: Now, to be clear, we have other tools to fight Omicron, booster shots, the most important, please get boosted. Please, please, please. They`re 90 percent effective against preventing hospitalization with the variant. If you`ve been putting it off, please do it tomorrow.

And we`ve got a promising new antiviral treatment that is taken orally and is being scaled up was we speak and what the Biden ministration is pushing to get it out to people, OK. But for some reason, the Republican Party has decided that actively promoting the vaccination is not acceptable, while promoting the treatment that Donald Trump got is. And so, Ron DeSantis will choose to die on the hill of the drugs that no longer work. And in the state of Florida, 64,000 people are dead.



HAYES: Just the past few days, we`ve heard both a former Republican Speaker of the House and a current elected congressman making what sure sound like fascistic threats about investigating and jailing members of the House Committee investigating the January 6 insurrection when Republicans get back into power.


GINGRICH: And I think when you have a Republican Congress, this is all going to come crashing down and the wolves are going to find out that they`re now sheep, and they`re the ones who are in fact, going to -- I think face a real risk of jail for the kind of laws that they are breaking.

GAETZ: You know what? Newt is right. We are going to take power. And when we do, it`s not going to be the days of Paul Ryan and Trey Gowdy where the Republicans go limp-wristed, where they lose their backbone and fail to send a single subpoena? No, it`s going to be the days of Jim Jordan and Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene. And you know what, we`re going to get answers.


HAYES: The language about prosecuting your political enemies used to be shocking until Donald Trump just made it a regular part of his campaign speeches in 2016.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They are criminals. Remember that. They`re criminals.

CROWD: Lock her up! Lock her up! Lock her up!

TRUMP: This is well documented. And the establishment that protects them has engaged in a massive cover up of widespread criminal activity at the State Department and the Clinton Foundation in order to keep the Clintons in power.


HAYES: Again, that`s just not true what he said there, but hundreds of Lock Her Up chants later, that scene is still disturbing. Language has become ingrained in the messaging of the Republican Party. If you come after Donald Trump, you will be punished. And it`s just the latest example of the unraveling of what we prize, I think, in American democracy.

In a new opinion piece in The Washington Post, International Relations Professor Barbara F. Walter writes it yet another indicator shows our government and society are in trouble. In the last weeks of Donald Trump`s presidency, the respected center for systemic peace calculated that for the first time in more than two centuries, the United States no longer qualified as democracy. It had over the preceding five years becoming an autocracy.

Joining me now is a woman who wrote that piece, Barbara F. Walter. She a Rohr Professor of International Relations School of Global Policy and Strategy at the University of California in San Diego, and the author of How Civil Wars Start: And How To Stop Them.

Barbara, I will -- I will admit that I never encountered that word before your op-ed. What -- anocracy, what is that?


BARBARA F. WALTER, ROHR PROFESSOR OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS SCHOOL OF GLOBAL POLICY AND STRATEGY, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA IN SAN DIEGO: That`s just a fancy political science term for partial democracy. It`s a government that`s neither fully democratic nor fully autocratic. It`s something in between. And it usually is in countries that are transitioning towards democracy, they`re becoming more democratic, or it`s countries that are backsliding, and they`re becoming less democratic. They enter this middle zone.

HAYES: How should we think about -- how to be precise and rigorous about these categories? I mean, I think what I like about the idea of this sort of middle zone, right, is it named something strange, sort of surreal about the sleepwalking nature of quality of this all. Like, American life in many ways is recognizable and I`m here on air saying Donald Trump is terrible and you know, criticize the Republican Party, that no one will come knock on my door, you know.

And yet it does seem clear that there has been real fallbacks in in democratic health. How to think about that in a rigorous way?

WALTER: Yes. Well, I`ll tell you why it`s really important to understand in anocracy. I`ve studied civil wars and political violence for 30 years all over the world. And between 2017 and 2021, I was asked to serve on a task force run by the U.S. government called the Political Instability Task Force. And our job was to come up with a predictive model of where around the world political instability and violence could break out.

We were not allowed to look at the United States. We never talked about the United States. We were studying Asia, and Central Asia, and Africa, and the Middle East. And we included in the model every possible variable we thought could matter, poverty, ethnic diversity, income inequality, over 30 of them. And only two factors came out highly predictive.

The first was this anocracy variable. Partial democracies are three times more likely to experience political violence and civil war than full democracies. And the second factor, which is even more troubling, is an anocracy isn`t really enough. You need anocracy together with a population that has begun to organize itself politically, not around ideology, not around liberal, conservative, but around racial, ethnic, or religious parties.

It`s when -- it`s when you get these two factors that the risk of civil war, political violence, increases substantially.

HAYES: What have you learned -- you talked about interviews you did in the former Yugoslavia in your research as someone working on this. What do you -- when you look at America right now, which obviously, we feel very divided in many ways. I think polarization by all the metrics you measure in political science is very high. There are profound and deep racial components of that polarization.

But yet at the same time, it doesn`t feel that unrecognizable from the ways that Americans interacted 20 years ago or is that naive?

WALTER: It is naive. What`s different today is our democracy is weaker than it was 20 years ago, a lot weaker. The executive branch has become increasingly strong, it`s now significantly stronger than any other branch. Arthur Schlesinger years ago already called it an imperial presidency. Partisan politics is meddling more and more in the elections and that`s really troubling.

But what`s also quite different from 20 years ago is that we do have one of our two big parties, which is now really what we call an ethnic faction. It is organized around identity and religion, and not around ideology.

As late as 2008, White Americans were equally likely to be part of the Democratic or the Republican Party. And that began to shift with the election of Barack Obama. When Obama was elected, the White working-class began shifting towards the Republican Party, which is not their ideological home. They are better served economically by being Democrats than Republicans, and yet they shifted for racial and religious reasons. Today, the Republican Party is 90 percent White. That`s the definition of an ethnic faction.

HAYES: All right, Barbara Walter, that piece is in the Washington Post. You should check it out. A lot of thought-provoking stuff there. Thank you very much.

WALTER: My pleasure. Thank you.

HAYES: That is ALL IN on this Tuesday night. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.