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Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 10/22/21

Guests: Michael Schmidt, Tim O`Brien, Elaine Luria, Robert Reich, Betsey Stevenson


The Department of Justice has added two top prosecutors to the Matt Gaetz case, a sign of the complex and high stakes nature of the inquiry. Former President Donald Trump fell off the Forbes richest 400 list for the first time in 25 years and he`s getting the cold shoulder from the business world. CNN is reporting that a former Department of Justice official Jeffrey Clark will testify before the committee a week from today. A new documentary from executive producers Brad Pitt and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. called Civil War examines the roots of the divisions in the U.S. tracing them back more than 150 years to the Civil War.



CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN. From cursing the President on the House floor to scoring political points after a tragic death on a movie set. Tonight, how the shock jock caucus has taken over the Republican Party.

Then, one day after the contempt vote for Bannon, a key actor in the DOJ coup comes forward. Tonight, what we know about Jeffrey Clark`s deposition.

Plus, why critics are saying Trump`s social media platform could be his biggest scam yet. And then demonstration on how not to explain the Build Back Better agenda from our old friend, Mitt.

SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-UT): Just to give you some perspective, a trillion seconds ago, Neanderthals run the earth.

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. You know, in general, politicians try to be likable and try to appeal to people, being an obnoxious jerk, generally not the best bet in public office or public or public life. Of course, there are exceptions. I mean, there have been all sorts of awful scoundrels throughout history who have thrived in public life.

There`s something happening right now, in this moment, particularly in the political right, that is incentivizing, cultivating nastiness as a political virtue. And I think it`s part of something that`s broader and more broken with the way that our political coalitions are functioning.

Here`s what got me thinking about this today this morning. Ohio Senate candidate J.D. Vance, Republican, tweeted "Dear Jack, as Jack Dorsey, the co-founder and CEO of Twitter, let Trump back on we. Need Alec Baldwin tweets.

Vance is referencing the truly horrifying news that`s of course in escapable. Today, actor Alec Baldwin was involved in a fatal accidental shooting involving a prop gun while filming a movie called Rust near Santa Fe, New Mexico. Just before we got on air, the Associated Press reported that Baldwin was handed a loaded weapon by an assistant director who indicated it was safe to use and the moments before the actor fatally shot a cinematographer.

That executive assistant director did not know the prop gun was loaded with live rounds according to court records released today. Baldwin killed the film`s cinematographer, a woman named Halyna Hutchins and wounded the director. Thankfully, the director is now out of the hospital. Law enforcement has not charged anyone at this time. In a statement, Baldwin said he is cooperating with investigators and wrote, "My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna."

I mean, this is just an unfathomably terrible situation. And of course, look, humans often deal with terrible thing. Dark humor is part of our coping mechanisms. But J.D. Vance is running for office, who wants to represent millions of Ohioans. He wants to be in the United States Senate, and the first thing he does, reading this news like there`s a woman who`s dead, her family is grieving, her children, everyone around her is grieving, and these awful things happens and he`s kind of to write a gloating joke about it on Twitter. Like, won`t that be funny? Won`t that trigger people?

It`s a shtick, of course. It`s your shtick. I know. It`s meant to trigger people like me. But it`s a weird thing when you think about it. He`s not a morning shock jock going out of his way to trigger people, performing being a bad person, whether he really is or not, because he thinks there`s an appetite for it politically.

He`s a guy running for Senate. Of course, he`s right. He`s correct. There`s an appetite. People want it. That`s what Donald Trump proved. And it`s not just coming from J.D. Vance. Again, it`s it -- he`s doing a very pathetic shtick that`s very transparent and almost hard to watch. But it`s become a broader ethos on the right.

I`ve been noticing it and thinking about it. Like, conservatives, they have this term they like to throw at liberals, virtue signaling. And that`s what they say liberals are doing when liberals express concern about things like quality or social justice, and to conservatives, and I think a lot of them really believe this, that it`s not real those concerns with equity or social justice. It`s a kind of performative etiquette.

And again, that`s not a crazy critique. I think sometimes it is true that people are virtue signaling. But I`ve come to think of what those on the right like J.D. Vance are doing now as vice signaling. Look at me, I am a loud, ostentatious jerk. That is increasingly what it means to be a right- wing politician in America these days, which again, is weird. It`s perverse.

Take Congressman Bill Posey, a Republican of Florida. He`s been around a while. He`s a guy who he signed on to the Texas Attorney General`s lawsuit attempting to overturn the election in 2009. Shortly after he entered Congress, he introduced a racist birther bill requiring presidential candidates to provide a copy of their birth certificate. We all know what that was about.

And yesterday, while railing against Democrats and Joe Biden`s Build Back Better plan on the House floor, he embraced another gross message.



REP. BILL POSEY (R-FL): People are understandably frustrated. Actually, they`re very angry and they`re not going to sit back and take it much longer. Instead of the bogus Build Back Better plan and reconciliation plan, you know what they want? They want you to help put America back where you found it and leave it the hell alone. Let`s go Brandon.


HAYES: Let`s go Brandon might sound like a bizarre ending for that speech. You may have followed this. It`s actually a right-wing euphemism for F Joe Biden. It came about just weeks ago at a NASCAR race when reporter suggested to driver Brandon Brown the crowd was cheering let`s go Brandon in his honor, but anyone watching could hear clearly that`s not what the crowd was cheering.

Senator Ted Cruz, a person who I think really pioneered like being super unlikable and being elected retweeted a video of himself repeating the phrase at the Houston Astros game the other day. And again, play whatever. It`s a dumb little troll. We`re all grown up here. One of the great things about living in a free country is you could tell the president to eff off. That`s fine.

But again, like who`s this -- who is this for? What`s the audience here, right? It says something about who Congressman Posey and Senator Cruz particularly again, who`s like, really up there in unlikability and using that, right, what they think their audience wants to hear.

And here`s the crucial thing. This is deeper than just rhetoric. Stay with me here. There`s a connection between this vice-signaling and a profoundly broken part of right-wing politics that actually are imperiling all of us. The right has convinced their base that they are basically being deceived by the entire structure of mainstream establishment American life, the media, science, public health, all of it.

They have convinced them that all of those people are out to get conservatives, that they cannot trust anything from anyone who is not also a committed diehard right-winger. And that is an extremely useful tool in the hands of people seeking and wielding power.

It was on display in this video from Congressman Jeff Fortenberry who we covered -- of Nebraska when he posted on Monday speaking from his vintage pickup truck with his wife and dog when he revealed he expected to be indicted for lying to the FBI about illegal donations to his campaign.


REP. JEFF FORTENBERRY (R-NE): I told them what I knew and what I understood. They`ve accused me of lying to them and are charging me with this. We`re shocked. We`re stunned. I feel so personally betrayed. We thought we were trying to help.


HAYES: Now, Fortenberry was indicted the next day charged with lying the FBI who he felt personally betrayed him. And there`s all kinds of people coming to his defense on the right because they view the FBI of all things as a sucking horse for Democrats.

Now, there`s nothing wrong with skepticism to the law enforcement. In fact, that`s a central principle of good journalism is to be skeptical to law enforcement, OK. But you can see how useful it is when anything that contradicts the conservative worldview, or that would seem to reflect poorly on a right-wing politician can be discounted, and just given the metaphorical finger.

Now, whatever it is, that comes out of the vast world out there, vaccine advisor, moving to get rid of Confederate statues in public places, or legal charges, like all of it`s just from these people that hate you and look down on you and you want to tell them to go F themselves and don`t listen to it.

And that brings us of course to congressman Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida. Recently, Gaetz has been on an America first tour with Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene holding Trump-style rallies around the country. He`s a kind of, you know, MAGA hype man.

He`s also a troll. This is what he does. He wear gas masks on the House floor in March of 2020, mocking concerns about the Coronavirus that was about to kill hundreds and hundreds of hundreds of 1000s of people, and impose immense human suffering and misery, which was very funny to him.

He`s a backbencher. He has no accomplishments to speak of whatsoever. He`s a legacy case, the son of a prominent Florida politician with an infamous mug shot from DUI arrest in 2008. That`s who he is. It`s not like an impressive dude. It`s just -- it`s just this guy. He`s troll whose daddy was a politician.

Well, he wears all that as a badge of honor. And right now, he is facing the kind of allegation that`s generally pretty tough to overcome as a politician. Gaetz is being investigated for child sex trafficking. Put those three words together and put it underneath a politician, child sex trafficking.

Federal authorities are looking into whether Gaetz broke the law by providing goods or services in exchange for sex with a child, a child, a 17-year-old girl. Investigators believe that an associate of Gaetz, a former Florida official named Joel Greenberg connected with women online through websites meant to facilitate dates and exchange for gifts, fine dining, travel, and cash allowances.

Mr. Greenberg would then introduce the women to Mr. Gaetz who also had sex with them in Florida hotels. Although we should say here, women is not correct because the accusation that it was a child. Greenberg pleaded guilty to multiple crimes including sex trafficking of a minor earlier this year and is cooperating with federal authorities. Gaetz denies he paid for sex or had sex with a minor.


Yesterday, the New York Times reported by the Department of Justice has added two top prosecutors to the Gaetz case, a sign of the complex and high stakes nature of the inquiry. The prosecutors want a public corruption investigator with an expertise in child exploitation crimes, and the other top leader of the public corruption unit have been working on the Florida- based investigation for at least three months according to two people briefed on the matter.

The Times also reports to Joel Greenberg told authorities that he saw Mr. Gaetz and others have sex with the underage girl. He saw Matt Gaetz have sex with a child. Greenberg made the same claim in a letter he wrote while trying to get a pardon from Donald Trump as a daily beast reported back in April.

In any other universe, a member of Congress facing an investigation, I guess it again, it`s just investigations, and it`s an allegation, but a serious one of alleged sex trafficking of a minor. That`s some pretty serious stuff. It`s serious stuff at a moral level, it`s serious stuff at the legal level, you think it`d be pretty serious stuff at a political level.

But Matt Gaetz, and again, perhaps not wrongly, thinks that the vice- signaling impulse among his base is strong enough that he can survive. The impulse to discount whatever all the pointy-headed elites in the New York Times and the FBI, whoever else says, the ability to make people believe that`s all nonsense, or maybe that it`s true, and they don`t care, because you`re sticking your finger in the eye of them. And that is the dangerous political superpower that all of these people, Matt Gaetz included, are desperate to develop.

Michael Schmidt is a Pulitzer Prize-winning correspondent at the New York Times where he reported on those new details about the investigation to Matt Gaetz today. And he joins me now. Michael, first, just take us through your reporting on the status of the investigation, some people being added to the team. I think are officially added about three months ago and have been working on this. Who they are and what import, we can infer from them.

MICHAEL SCHMIDT, CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORK TIMES: So whenever you have a member of Congress, or a big time politician around the country under investigation in something that is serious and serious, like this case, you are -- the case is aided and overseen by a prosecutor from Washington, someone who has a lot of expertise in these types of cases.

And that is what has happened here. We have had these two senior corruption prosecutors from Washington added to the local federal investigation being led by investigators in Orlando, into Gaetz. And those investigators have a massive decision to make. And that is a decision whether to charge Gaetz with sex trafficking of a minor the same thing as you were pointing out that Joe Greenberg has associated has been charged with.

That charge comes with the 10-year mandatory minimum. That means that if you plead guilty to it, you`re found guilty to it, you`re almost certainly going to be spending 10 years in prison. Bringing charges against anyone is a very serious thing, obviously. Doing it to a member of Congress is even a bigger deal because of the perception of politics in that. A 10-year mandatory minimum is even another level of seriousness in the entire thing.

And that is the decision that the Garland Justice Department will have to make in the coming weeks and months. Are they going to indict him on this massive charge which would almost certainly go to trial?

HAYES: Yes. And just to be clear, I mean, what -- the significance is that we`re this just an investigation of Joel Greenberg who we know is cooperating with prosecutors and was going to stop there, you wouldn`t be getting public integrity prosecutors from D.C. on the case.

I mean, their presence, which is reported and established by you, it`s like, yes, they`re looking at Matt Gaetz. I mean, that`s -- I think that`s unquestioned. Tell me about what Greenberg has said or what we know about the status of his cooperation, because obviously he is the key witness here.

SCHMIDT: So, the federal government had a massive amount of leverage against him because Joel Greenberg committed a bunch of different crimes. As a local tax collector in Florida, he took money, he committed fraud, he -- other corruption charges. There`s just a massive amount of time that he could spend in prison.

So, he pled guilty, and his lawyer Fritz Schiller agreed to a cooperation agreement that forced him to tell the government everything he knew. And he told the government, as you had pointed out at the top of your show, that he saw on that Gaetz have sex with this 17-year-old girl. He was an eyewitness to that.


Now, in any type of investigation that involves sex in these, you know, very significant allegations, you are going to need as many witnesses as possible as much evidence as possible.

So, the government has not only received that testimony from Joel Greenberg, but his lawyer has provided them with documentation that backs up Greenberg`s accounts, whether it`s Venmo, you know, transactions that he had with the women or that he had with Matt Gaetz or different hotel receipts from when they spend time together with these women.

And what the government will do is they will look at all this. They will look at the documentation, they will look at what Joe Greenberg says. They will look to see whether other witnesses backup, Joel Greenberg`s account. And you know, what type of witness would Joel Greenberg be on the stand? What type of -- you know -- you know, if -- when the 17-year-old girl is called, what would that testimony look like? These are all the decisions that have to go into what they are going to do with Matt Gaetz.

HAYES: Just the final point here -- and obviously Gaetz denies this. He denies paying for sex with anyone. He denies ever having had sex with anyone underage. That -- it`s also established. Like Greenberg and Gaetz or associates. Like we know -- it`s not -- this is not coming out of thin air. You know, these two men work together, knew each other. There`s pictures of them, etcetera.

SCHMIDT: Correct. Joel Greenberg was someone who wanted to be an up and comer in Florida State Republican politics. He saw his way into that through people like Matt Gaetz, and not just building a relationship with Matt Gaetz, but bringing Matt Gaetz along with the things that he was doing. You know -- you know, soliciting women, you know, to have sex with them, buying drugs, you know, having these parties in hotel rooms.

These were all ways that Joe Greenberg was ingratiating himself with other local Republicans in Florida state politics. And that is how this relationship came together and how it leads to this point where the Garland Justice Department will have to decide whether to indict one of Donald Trump`s most vocal allies on Capitol Hill, someone who has gone to extreme lengths to embrace Donald Trump, his rhetoric, and to -- you know, to advocate for him.

HAYES: Michael Schmidt, thank you very much. I appreciate it.

Just one day after the House voted to hold Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress, we can report the January 6 Committee has gotten its first really high-profile person to testify. The former DOJ official who reportedly helped plot a coup with Donald Trump, nearly sending the country to the brink, is expected to answer questions about his role and attempting to overturn the election. We`ll talk about it with a member of the January 6 Committee next.



HAYES: Donald Trump has always wanted to be known as one of the world`s richest men even when he wasn`t. As the New York Times has documented the first public record, Mr. Trump`s financial exaggerations came in 1976. Mr. Trump just few years at a college, boasted to a Times reporter he was already worth more than $200 million.

Years later, it emerge in the public filing that his 1976 taxable income had been only $24,594. A former reporter for the Forbes 400, the magazine`s annual ranking of America`s richest people says that back in 1984, Trump called him while posing as his alter ego John Barron to argue the magazine`s valuation of Trump`s wealth at $200 million wrong. "With all the home runs Trump was hitting in real estate, Barron told me, he should be called a billionaire."

And a former senior editor of Forbes notes that Trump used to endlessly lobby and occasionally bully the staffers who assembled a list trying to get them to move his net worth number up. Because for Trump being seen as rich as in many ways just as important as actually being rich. He`s made a lot of money convincing people that he was incredibly wealthy and successful.

Remember that despite presiding over six chapter 11 bankruptcies, he made many millions of dollars pretending to be a successful businessman on The Apprentice. In fact, it`s the one thing he was sort of good at.

This year though, Trump`s ability to capitalize on his carefully nurture rich man image has taken a big hit. He just fell off the Forbes richest 400 list for the first time in 25 years. And he`s getting the cold shoulder from the business world. As a New York Times reports "after decades of bankruptcies, loan defaults, business abuse, and commercial failures, not to mention a polarizing presidency that ended with a violent mob storming the Capitol, Donald Trump was shunned by much of corporate America.

So, what is a former president to do and nobody will do business with him, especially when he`s trying to launch a brand new social media platform he wants to monetize? Well, he just found a way to get incredible access to a huge pool of cash by using a shell company Work Around.

Here to help explain is Tim O`Brien, a senior columnist for Bloomberg opinion. One of the few people who has seen Trump`s financial records after Trump sued him for arguing Trump was worth about 10 times less than he claimed. Trump lost. And Tim O`Brien joins me now.

Tim, there`s -- so there`s a thing called a SPEC that we have to understand to understand what has happened. So, maybe just first walk me through that.

TIM O`BRIEN, SENIOR COLUMNIST, BLOOMBERG: Well, always remember, any time people with a lot of power, a lot of money, have an acronym that is inscrutable, it`s because they`re trying to hide something. Usually, that`s pretty -- either simple in concept and possibly scamming in an outcome.

A SPEC is an acronym for a special purpose acquisition company. All it is a way of raising money without having to do a lot of disclosure. Historically, Wall Street has taken companies public on the premise that they are inviting outside investors to give them money to fund their operations. In exchange, they`re providing transparency, an operating history that would suggest the kind of expertise that merits giving them your money, as well as some demonstrable financial outcomes in their financial statements, a proven financial track record as well.

The IPO process initial public offerings are traditionally the way that small, unknown companies go public, again with the idea that they have to go through a rigorous vetting process before they come to you, the investor because they have bonafides in their operations and in their finances that make them investment worthy.


Then along comes the SPEC several years ago. It`s a -- it`s a new name for an old thing on Wall Street. These used to be called reverse mergers. All they are essentially is a way for a company to become public and raise money from public investors without having to go through all those other steps of disclosure, showing what kind of operating success you`ve had, showing that you`ve actually been profitable over a period of time, again, making you visibly trustworthy to get someone else`s money.

It is no accident that SPECs have attracted people who don`t want to go through that, because they`re looking for a workaround.

HAYES: Right.

O`BRIEN: And their track record this year has been bad. They haven`t -- you know, they have not performed well. They typically have big initial bursts. And then over time when that when they have to actually prove their mettle, they can`t do it. And their returns have not been -- they`ve been subpar.

HAYES: So, you`ve got this -- so this SPEC thing is -- the way -- my understanding is something called blank check companies where the company goes public, you don`t know what the company is, it`s just a -- it`s a vehicle basically.

O`BRIEN: It just says -- it just says we want to do something. At some point in time, give us money. And within two years, we`ll do that. And if we can`t, we`ll give you your money back.

HAYES: And so, in this case, you`ve got -- you`ve got a SPEC that has now going to merge with the Trump entities. The SPEC is out there, it has shareholders, it`s listed. It`s a blank check company. And the big announcement is that basically it`s going to do a deal with Trump. Is that right?

O`BRIEN: That`s right. But here`s the thing. The idea is, you know, when you give your money to a SPEC, to begin with, they have no operating history, they have no financials. When they finally say we have a company when the stuff inside that is investment worthy, it should have an operating history and it should have financials.

HAYES: Right.

O`BRIEN: And is Trump bringing that to the table? No, the fact that they filed was hilarious. It had pictures of Trump giving a trophy to a sumo wrestler. It had all of this marketing high jinks in it and nothing that would say oh, he`s actually--

HAYES: Right, because it`s not --

O`BRIEN: Go ahead.

HAYES: They`re not actually merging with an extant business. It`s not like there`s this vehicle and they go out and they`re like, hey, there`s this great mattress maker we found. They make these great mattresses and we can give them capital and expand their operations and return the money to you. It`s like, it`s a dream. It`s a -- it`s a marketing deck of like a future multifaceted Trump Corporation basically.

O`BRIEN: Yes. It`s suspiciously crummy asset management or a scam is what they actually should call it. And, and this is -- this is part and parcel of Trump`s whole history. When people say Trump`s been a good businessman, what they -- what they`re not actually defining is that he is an indefatigable and tireless self-promoter. And he`ll do anything to get his name out there. And he`s done a very good job of convincing people that somewhere behind that sizzle is steak.

The reality is he`s a serial bankruptcy artists time. And again, anytime he`s been asked to actually put his hands onto a company and manage it well over a long period of time, he screws it up time and again, for decades. And as you know and I know, running media company is not easy. And if he`s actually going to use this money to start successful social media platform or some sort of the news site is going to require good management, hard work, and imagination. And he lacks all three of those things.

HAYES: Yes. We should say that the stock went up on this sort of frenzy like sort of buy the rumor sell the deal kind of thing. Like, oh, it`s going to happen. But again, the proof of the pudding --

O`BRIEN: But again, that`s been consistent with SPECs all year. It`s consistent with IPOs. People love the buzz in the beginning and then it`s once the haze goes away, and you say, well, what have you done for me lately? Can you really run a company? Oh, you can`t, and then it tanks.

HAYES: I guess you`ve -- I guess if you really want to make the bet, here you could just, you know, try to find some way to short this and see what (INAUDIBLE)

O`BRIEN: I think you and I should pool -- let`s pool our money, Chris, and short it together.

HAYES: I don`t think I`m allowed to do that.


HAYES: I think correctly, I`m not allowed to do that for standards reasons.

O`BRIEN: I`m not either. I`m not either.

HAYES: But just -- and I don`t get that stock tips, but I`m just saying, a short position is a thing that exists out there for people that think a certain entity is not going to return a lot of money. Tim O`Brien, thank you very much.

O`BRIEN: Thanks, Chris.

HAYES: Up next, a major player in Trump`s failed coup attempt is going to testify to Congress. And we`re going to talk to a member of that committee who will question him right after this.



REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): If you get subpoenaed by a court or by Congress to come down and testify, you think you might have a Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination to invoke at some point, you take all of the questions starting with what is your name, what is your address and so on.

When you get to a question where you think you might incriminate yourself as to a bank robbery or an insurrection or whatever it might be, you say, I take the Fifth Amendment. I assert my privilege.

At that point, the committee has an option. Will the committee just accept that or will the committee say we will give you some immunity which means you`ve got to testify, but we will guarantee that nothing that you testify about will be used against you.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: The select committee investigating January 6 has been very clear that they are not messing around. If you refuse to come and testify willingly, they will come after you.

And it`s barely even been 24 hours since the House voted to hold Steve Bannon in contempt for refusing to testify asking the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution over his refusal to cooperate. And now it seems another key witness has been shaken loose.

Tonight, CNN is reporting that a former Department of Justice official Jeffrey Clark will testify before the committee a week from today.

Now, to reset the situation here, you may remember Clark was subpoenaed by the committee last week. He`s a lifelong Republican lawyer who served both in private practice and in the George W. Bush DOJ ultimately becoming Acting Assistant Attorney General for the DOJ`s Civil Division at the very tail end of Donald Trump`s term. And that`s a big job, that`s up there in the, you know, upper echelon in the department.


Once Trump lost the election, Clark, that gentleman you see there, became one of the leading voices if not the leading voice as far as we can tell, pushing the Department of Justice to aid Trump`s attempt to overturn the election. He even reportedly plotted with Trump himself to take acting Attorney General`s Jeffrey Rosen`s job.

Clark met with Trump personally after the election and urged the DOJ leadership to intervene in the Georgia election. In fact, providing a letter ready for the Attorney General`s signature.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse emphasize just how important Clark is to the investigation earlier this month.



SEN. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE (D-RI): He`s the person of interest, he`s the -- he`s the central person in this saga. And at some point, in the committee before a grand jury someplace, his testimony is going to be obtained.


HAYES: Congresswoman Elaine Luria Democratic Virginia is a member of the select committee investigating January 6th, and she joins me now.

Congresswoman, I guess first I just want to ask if you`re in a position to confirm this, that Mr. Clark will be testifying before the committee a week from today?

REP. ELAINE LURIA (D-VA): Well, as you know, we`ve issued a subpoena for Mr. Clark`s testimony, but as far as when and if particular witnesses testify, I`m not going to comment specifically on that.

But you know, as Senator Whitehouse said, as the subpoena indicates, he`s definitely a person of interest, who we think has information that`s important for this investigation.

HAYES: There`s a question now about the what happens next on the Bannon situation, which is the vote came out, there`s a referral to the Department of Justice. What is your expectation about the timeline here?

LURIA: Well, I`d say that, you know, we didn`t waste any time after the timeline ran out on the subpoena. Within a week, we voted, we`ve referred that from the committee to the full House floor as you saw the vote happened yesterday, and the speaker confirmed that.

And you know, that was taken over to the Department of Justice applicably within hours. And you know, we expect that to move forward quickly.

You know, we`re not messing around here. You know, this is not the previous administration. With this investigation, specifically into the violent acts of January 6 with an attempt to stall the certification of the election results.

This is important and we are not going to allow people to defy the subpoenas from Congress, it`s essential that we get information from them. And you know, I fully expect that the Justice Department will evaluate all the facts in the case. And you know, I`m hopeful that they will move with speed on acting on the criminal contempt referral that we`ve sent to them.

HAYES: There was also some news today suggesting a fairly accelerated pace for briefing and hearing arguments in the lawsuit the former president has filed to attempt to stop the National Archives from turning over those materials that are being sought.

I`m curious if you`re encouraged by the pace there because it does seem to me that a big question is whether the courts drag their feet or not, whether the courts understand the importance of reaching decisions on these evidentiary issues quickly or not?

LURIA: What I would say is that the indication with the timeline that we were given today is that they fully understand that. They understand the importance of this investigation and obviously, the Judiciary is independent branch of government. And they will evaluate all of these facts and move accordingly.

But every indication I have today is that they are moving with utmost speed to address these issues and make sure that, you know, any cases brought before them that impact the work of the committee will be handled quickly and without delay.

HAYES: Another key figure in this drama, as far as we know from public reporting and actually, just, you know, public appearances is the law professor John Eastman who authored that. And I have a very interesting interview with him in the National Review in which he attempts I think to kind of wriggle out from under the sort of shameful weight of what he authored.

He says he disagrees with some major points in the two-page memo. So, anybody who thinks that`s a viable strategy is crazy. He told the National Review about part of it.

I wonder if you anticipate Eastman being someone that you would be possibly interested in speaking to at some point as well?

LURIA: You know, we are certainly interested in everyone who has information about the events leading up to January 6, the big lie and sort of where that came from, and this, you know, plot to pressure the vice president to change the results and choose different electors.

So, you know, I think anyone who`s familiar with the events surrounding this would understand that, you know, those memos, you know, everything that he stated in that interview with the National Review is something that, you know, is of utmost interest to the committee in this investigation.


And, you know, I did read that article and you know, did find that he kind of tried to backstep on things that he actually admitted in writing, so I found that quite interesting.

HAYES: I did too, that was also my interest -- my reaction. Congresswoman Elaine Luria, thank you very much.

Still to come, Senator Mitt Romney says he opposes Joe Biden`s big bill because one trillion seconds ago, Neanderthals walked the earth? A little confusing. We`ll explain it for you and the senator in just a bit.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: America is kind of like a big family that tore itself apart during the Civil War. And in order to make peace, we told ourselves a certain story about it. And for a long time, we had trouble telling the difference between that story and the truth.


HAYES: For years, we have covered dozens of different stories about this divided country from people rallying to keep the Confederate flag at the South Carolina Capitol to the white supremacists chanting Jews will not replace us as they marched to protect Confederate statues, to people protesting the teaching of critical race theory in America`s history of racism.


A new documentary from executive producers Brad Pitt and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. called "CIVIL WAR" examines the roots of the divisions in the U.S. tracing them back more than 150 years to the Civil War.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ve never really had a racial reckoning. The problems started first immediately after the war. If you want north and south to get together and get along again, you don`t talk about causes and consequences, you talk about the mutual valor on that battlefield.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When we look at southerners and how they try to twist the narrative of what happened, I want us to put ourselves in their shoes and look at why.

If you can teach empathy when it comes to history, it is such a powerful thing for the rest of your lives.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No one on the civilian side on the Confederate presidency was ever forced to concede and repudiate what they believed and we allowed a group of people that waged an armed insurrection against the government to build statues to their heroes, so that has kept it alive. We have never solved the core problem of the Civil War.


HAYES: The Peacock original film "CIVIL WAR" offers an intimate look at our race, heritage, tradition, geography shape, our beliefs, and the different ways Americans portray the story of our Civil War, as well as the stories that we refuse to tell.

Tune in Sunday 10:00 p.m. Eastern on MSNBC.



HAYES: Democrats are in control of Washington, which means right on cue, it is time for Republicans to start caring about the deficit again.

The Biden administration is currently negotiating with Senate Democrats over the cost of spending bill which is expected to contain provisions addressing everything from health care and child care, to education and climate change.

Republicans are not too happy about the idea of the government spending money, at least in this particular case. Spending money to materially improve the lives of regular people in the country.

Just listen to Senator Mitt Romney outline his concerns.


SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-UT): So, you may be hearing about the presidents` social spending bill in Washington. The amount of money he wants to spend is really an astronomical amount of money.

Just to give you some perspective, a million seconds ago, a million seconds ago was just earlier this month. A billion seconds ago, George Herbert Walker Bush was president. A trillion seconds ago, Neanderthals were on the earth. A trillion seconds ago, a trillion is an extraordinarily large number.

So, whatever number the Democrats come up with one, two, or 3.5 trillion, it`s a heck of a lot of money on social spending.


HAYES: Terrific. Listen, communicating large numbers is hard, I know this firsthand. But telling someone how long a trillion seconds is or expecting them to know or care exactly how long ago the Neanderthals walk the earth.

I mean, Mitt, what if I told you that if you go -- that if -- that if you go back one second for every dollar in the annual military budget, you`d arrive at the year of the cave bear went extinct over 700 billion seconds ago?

You know what you`d say if I told you that? You`d say, what the hell are you talking about? See how useless that is for a tool for explaining government spending?

First of all, the money being proposed here will be spent over the next 10 years, not all at once. Romney leaves that out of his Jurassic Park math, because really that`s in line with and often less than what he and fellow Republicans are happy to spend on other things.

Let`s break it down for you, Mitt, say one dinosaur equals $1 trillion. While the details are still being negotiated, let`s also say for the sake of argument, the cost of the Democrats spending will be $1.5 trillion over 10 years. That would be less than the $1.9 trillion cost the Trump tax cuts over the same period of time.

And every single Senate Republicans supported those tax breaks primarily for the rich and for corporations, so it`s less. And that $1.5 trillion price tag from the Democrats that senators seem so worried about is equal to what we`re about to spend on national defense in just two years, in two years, just the Pentagon budget.

If you project that defense spending out over the same 10-year window, well, golly, that`s a heck of a lot of dinosaurs.

Robert Reich served as Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton. He`s also the author of The System: Who Rigged It, How We Fix It. And Betsey Stevenson served on President Barack Obama`s Council of Economic Advisers and as chief economist to the Labor Department in the Obama administration.

Let me first start with this big picture here, Robert, the big numbers around budgets are essentially meaningless to everyone.

I mean, no one actually can get their heads around them. I work with this all the time and a trillion is like meaningless to me whether you tell me it was Neanderthals or whatever.

I think the goal is always to scare people with big numbers, but I`m not quite sure if it works. What do you think, Robert?

ROBERT REICH, FOMER SECRETARY OF LABOR UNDER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: Well, unfortunately, it`s working a little bit this time around, because remember, the original number was going to be 3.5 trillion, that was Biden`s opening. And now, it`s getting squeezed down to the range of maybe 1.5 to two trillion.

I think that these numbers only have meaning in comparison with other things that we are trying to do. Now, you compare it to national defense over the next 10 years, eight trillion. Now, compare two trillion to eight trillion, right? (INAUDIBLE) you don`t have to be an advanced mathematician to see that.

If you look at the amount of trillions of dollars that the Trump Republican tax cuts represented, that was two trillion right there, Chris.

And finally, if you`re looking at how much billionaires, the 775 billionaires in America actually how much they gained over the course of the pandemic, over the last year and a half, just in terms of their fortunes? 775 people, and that was $2.1 trillion right there.

I mean, compared to everything else, the numbers that Joe Biden is talking about for fundamental, fundamental things. I mean, childcare and Medicare, help for seniors, for vision and for hearing, for all kinds of other things, basic needs of America. Well, it`s more important, excuse me for saying so that another 85 F-35 bombers.

HAYES: The other way to think about this, Betsey, and the way I`ve been thinking about it is even with at the large, the $3.5 trillion and these numbers, it`s essentially like a very small increase over 10 years of total U.S. outlays to basically expand fundamental aspects of the American social safety net for eldercare, childcare, Paid Family Leave, dental care for seniors in ways that are not, you know, that other countries tend to have and we don`t. And as a price tag, it`s like an appreciably small amount of the total amount of spending.

BETSEY STEVENSON, FORMER MEMBER, PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA`S COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISERS: Also, I would agree with that, let me give you another way to scale it. You know, we passed Social Security in 1935 when our GDP was 20 times or 20 -- our GDP today is 20 times bigger than it was in 1935.

Yet in 1935, we said we`re too rich of a country to let our senior starve and it`s now 2021, and I`m telling you, we`re too rich of a country to let our children starve.

So, what -- you know, some of the important things that are in this bill are ensuring that we reduce child poverty through expanding the Child Tax Credit, and then making sure that families can make ends meet through basic safety net provisions and social supports that other developed countries have, as you said, like Paid Family Leave access to affordable childcare.

HAYES: So, here`s a big question I want to get you both your takes on this. As we`ve watched the negotiations, you got a bunch of stuff that was in that first initial package $3.5 trillion. Basically, Manchin and Sinema, just the two of them alone have basically, hacking and hacking and hacking.

There`s a question about how do you get down from 3-1/2 to 1-1/2? One way is you choose a smaller number of programs, but you do them full tilt, and you make them permanent for the full budget window. And the other is you keep all the programs, then you pair them all back in different ways?

Right now, the keep as many programs as you can and pair them back. So, instead of 12 weeks of family leave, you get four weeks, and instead of the Child Tax Credit being extended for 10 years, you get extended one year.

That`s the approach that`s being taken. There are some people think this is the wrong approach, Robert, and then Betsey, tell me what you think?

REICH: Well, Chris, having been in and around politics for the past 40 years, I can tell you, it`s better to try to get as much in as you possibly can with a hope that people actually like what you`re doing politically, and therefore we`ll put pressure on politicians to extend it.

That is the political rule. That`s how we have done a lot of things. And I suggest that Congress do exactly the same.

HAYES: So, you`re on board with that and that`s interesting as someone who`s a veteran of some of this stuff. Betsey, what do you think?

STEVENSON: You know, I think one of the things that frustrated me about this whole debate is we have focused on what`s the dollar amount, instead of what`s the value, and what are we getting.

And so, I think that it`s most important that we make the investments for children early on, so that we`re expanding that Child Tax Credit that we`re making the investments in the early childhood education, universal preschool.

Because, you know, those lay a foundation that allows our system to work better reducing equality -- inequality going forward, allowing kids to grow up and be able to be more productive as adults pay more into the tax system. And we actually know from decades of studies that at the end of the day, we end up raising more tax revenue from investing in kids.

So, those are investments that pay. I really want to see a lot of the emphasis there. But you know, I hear the argument that, you know, we got to give people a taste of things.

I have to admit makes me cry a little bit to hear four weeks of paid leave. But you know, I guess we got to get a paid leave system going, and then hopefully people will like it and they`ll ask for more.


REICH: I`m sorry, if I can -- if I can just suggest, I think that what the Republicans and also Sinema and Manchin, what they would like more than anything else is for Democrats to squabble about all this.

To say, oh, well, if you don`t do environment, I mean, it`s environment versus kids or it`s this versus this. I mean, in fact, we don`t have to make these decisions, should not make these decisions. If we can afford it. We are the richest country in the world, every other country is doing this.


HAYES: Pakistan has 12 weeks I think of leave. I just saw that today. Robert Reich and Betsey Stevenson, thank you both.

That is ALL IN for this week. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.