The Senate Judiciary Committee released a report detailing the extremes then-President Trump allegedly went to overturn the 2020 election. The Senate votes to move forward with the Debt Ceiling. Republicans across the party are enabling former President Donald Trump on his democracy blitz. A federal judge press pause on Texas` abortion law there which prohibits the procedure after a fetal heartbeat is detected, usually, before most women even know they`re pregnant.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: The openly racist elements of the Republican Party are tonight`s absolute worst. And that`s tonight`s REIDOUT. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN. America was closer to a successful Trump coup than we ever knew.
SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): I don`t think I`m overstating the case. We were a half step away from a full-blown constitutional crisis.
HAYES: Tonight, the damning new report on Trump`s push to subvert democracy, the Republican members of Congress were aiding and abetting, and the entire Republican Party that is fully and completely on board with the next coup.
REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): Who won the election in Arizona, Donald Trump or Joe Biden.
REP. ANDY BIGGS (R-AZ): We don`t know.
HAYES: Then, the fallout in Texas where women`s full constitutional rights have been restored but for how long?
Plus potentially game-changing news on vaccines for kids. And what we know about Mitch McConnell`s big date debt limit cave on taking America over a financial cliff when ALL IN starts right now.
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HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. We got some news happening right now. The Senate, as I speak to you, is voting on whether or not to move forward with a bill to raise the debt ceiling the short term as the U.S. can pay its bills and not precipitate a financial cataclysm.
Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said he could muster enough Republicans to get to 60 votes and surpass the filibuster, so he needs 10 deliver from his caucus. We`re waiting to make sure if he can make good on that promise, after several members of his own caucus publicly criticized him.
So far, only nine Republicans have voted to move forward in the bill, one short. The vote is still open. We will keep monitoring what happens we expect them to get to 10. Now, as we wait for the Senate to finish voting on a short-term solution to -- for stalling unprecedented financial cataclysm, we turn to another cataclysm barely missed on January 6.
Now, there`s not a single thing we`ve learned about the former president`s attempted coup that has made it seem less dangerous, less of a threat or more, but benign. In fact, just the opposite. Every single time we`ve learned some new revelation about what Donald Trump and his henchmen were up to, we get a fuller picture of what we all live through, a democratic near-death experience, swerving the car on the road at the just the last second, in which the sitting leader attempted to use the force of the state to retain power against the will of the people.
And he had a lot of willing collaborators, just not quite enough. So, today, more on that front. The Senate Judiciary Committee released a bombshell report based on documents they obtained, an in-depth on the record interviews of a variety of the key players. This report sheds new light on just how extensive this effort was. It`s titled Subverting Justice: How the former President and His Allies Pressure the Department of Justice to Overturn the 2020 Election.
Now, let me just start off by reminding you who those key players in the Department of Justice are. We have Jeffrey Rosen. He ran the DOJ as Acting Attorney General after Bill Barr left in December of last year quite abruptly with the statement about how great Donald Trump was.
Rosen`s deputy, his number two, is that guy. He`s a man named Richard Donoghue, previously served as a U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. And then there`s a third character here. This guy, this guy you got to keep in mind. His name is Jeffrey Clark. He`s a lesser-known official in the department. And he went full insurrectionist and essentially plotted with Trump to use the Department of Justice to foment Trump`s coup, even if that required getting rid of his own boss, Jeffrey Rosen.
Now we already knew about that plan to push out Rosen and replace him with the coup lackey Clark. But Senate report provides new context and new revelations. It details a meeting on January 3rd, three days before the fateful day, in the Oval Office, in this meeting, you`ve got Rosen, right, the guy that`s running the Department of Justice, his deputy Donoghue, and Clark was there along with White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, and his deputy.
Now, according to Rosen, Trump open the meeting by saying, and I`m going to read this quote to you and I want it to sink in, by saying, one thing we know is you, Rosen, aren`t going to do anything to overturn the election. Over the course of the next three hours, the group had what Donahue called a wide-ranging conversation focused on whether Trump should replace DOJ`s leadership, install Clark and Rosen`s place and send Clark`s proposed letter.
That was the letter, of course, that he wanted to send to Georgia officials as well as maybe other states, falsely claiming the DOJ was aware of election fraud there and basically inviting those states to reject the electors of Joe Biden and send their own for Trump.
This came just one day after Clark revealed to the acting Attorney General and his deputy that he had spoken to a witness who testified at a Georgia Senate hearing and claimed he had seen trucks moving ballots to a location where they would be shredded. Now, keep in mind, this is like total utter madhouse nuttery from the darkest depths of the internet, OK. This is like 9/11 was an inside job level stuff that Jeffrey Clark is interviewing witnesses about.
Now, there was a lot of pushback. White House Counsel Pat Cipollone called Clark`s letter a murder-suicide pact. Deputy Attorney General Donoghue made clear that all of the assistant attorney general would resign if Trump replaced Acting Attorney General Rosen with Clark, the coup lackey. And the two White House lawyers indicated they would also resign, right?
So, everyone is sitting in the room. You`ve got Trump and his coup lackey Clark who were like, let`s do the coup, and all the other lawyers are like we will all resign if you do the coup. According to Donoghue, Trump did not reject the Clark corporate action until the final 15 minutes of the two to three-hour meeting. That sounds exhausting and incredibly tedious, but I guess it worked out kind of in the end.
That was just one of nine calls and meetings listed in the report, OK. This wasn`t like a one-off. This wasn`t casual stuff. Nine calls and meetings Trump held with the Acting Attorney General Rosen and his deputy Donoghue pressuring, pressuring, pressuring them to overturn the election results. He told them in that sentence according to the report, overturn the election. That`s the phrase he used.
In fact, the photo that you see there included the report is from another Oval Office meeting with DOJ leadership on December 31. The report confirms that pressure was simultaneously coming from Trump`s Chief of Staff, another coup lackey, another person who collaborated in an attempt to murder American democracy, Mark Meadows, who asked Acting Attorney General Rosen to initiate election fraud investigations on multiple occasions, violating longstanding restrictions on White House DOJ communications about specific law enforcement matters.
Meadows also asked the DOJ to meet with the President`s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, about conspiracy theories, including one called Italygate -- by the way, this is one of my favorites. It takes some time to Google it -- and other election fraud claims. Seriously, we don`t have time for Italygate here, but it`s a good one.
In addition, the committee confirmed that former President Trump forced the resignation of U.S. Attorney BJay Pak whom he believed was not doing enough to address again, false claims of election fraud in Georgia.
And they reveal new details about the involvement of a Republican Congressman Scott Perry of Pennsylvania who led the objection to counting Pennsylvania`s electoral votes on the House floor in the hours immediately following the January 6 insurrection. That was the violent storming of the Capitol where they bashed a bunch of cops brains in and then Scott Perry came in and said we should do what the mob wants.
Now, Perry has acknowledged introducing Jeffrey Clark to Trump and documents and testimony the committee confirm he directly communicated with deputy attorney general Donoghue about his false Pennsylvania election fraud claims. So, that guy Scott Perry, sitting member of U.S. Congress, aiding the president in his seditious fight. You`ve got Perry, you got the President, you`ve got -- you got coup lackeys like Meadows and Clark.
As the committee`s report concludes, all of these efforts, in turn, created the disinformation ecosystem necessary for Trump to incite almost 1000 Americans to breach the Capitol in a violent attempt to subvert democracy by stopping the certification of a free and fair election.
We also have news tonight about the investigation into that day. The House Committee investigating January 6 has just issued subpoenas to the organizers of the Stop the Steal rally which preceded the riot at the Capitol. Now, that`s in addition to subpoenas they already issued to 11 individuals affiliated with the planning of pro-Trump rallies before the attack.
So, again, a lot more detail about what we knew was happening, which is Donald Trump really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really wanted a coup, and a bunch of people really wanted to help them but not enough. But in some ways, even more disturbing than all the revelations about how close we came to catastrophe after the election on January 6 is the fact that right now the entire Republican Party has more or less become a coup supporting party.
We all know Donald Trump obviously does not believe in democracy, and if given the opportunity, he will, like I said, murder American democracy. And we also know that after a brief pang of conscience, just a little one in the wake of the images of rioters storming the Capitol and with the echoes of hang Mike Pence ringing in their ears, Republicans have all fallen back in line with the former president.
I mean, a few exceptions, but basically everyone, including even the most established figures in the party, like seven-terms Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, a Republican elder statesman. Today, Senator Grassley put out this minority staff report attempting to rebut the findings of the Judiciary Committee`s majority report. It basically amounts to, well, he didn`t pull it off.
And then this weekend, Chuck Grassley is going to be joining Donald Trump at a rally in his home state. Again, sharing the stage with the man who tried to stab American democracy in the heart who just yesterday said, "The real insurrection happened on November 3, that would be the day of our free and fair elections, the Presidential Election, not on January 6.
And it`s not just Chuck Grassley. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina who briefly jumped off the Trump train in the wake of the insurrection is right back on it, saying recently he hopes Trump runs again in 2024. You got former ambassador of the United Nations, Nikki Haley, who obviously harbors presidential aspirations. And after the election, she gave this hilariously tortured interview to journalist Tim Alberta saying Trump went down a path he shouldn`t have, and we shouldn`t have followed him, and we can`t let that ever happen again.
In a new interview this week, she has changed her tune. "We need them in the Republican Party. I don`t want us to go back to the days before Trump." They`re all doing this because, as Jonathan Chait points out in New York Magazine, there is no middle space anymore. All Republican politics is now functionally an authoritarian. The project to pursuing the aims of the Republican Party is the project destroying American democracy and returning power to this man who would kill it in a heartbeat.
That`s the consensus view in the Republican Party that he should be the leader. They`re behind the man who attempted a coup, who tried to destroy 240 years of democratic conditions, and we`ll do it again the next chance he gets, and they will help them do it.
Senator Amy Klobuchar is a Democrat from Minnesota. She serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee which released that major report today. She joins me now. Senator Klobuchar, moments ago, it looks like enough Republicans voted to move forward with the vote on the debt ceiling. So, let`s just start with that. Is that correct?
SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN): That`s correct. I literally, Chris, am a few yards away from the Senate floor because we have a series of votes tonight with Senator Blunt`s vote as well as Senator Rounds` vote, 11 Republicans. But I will note, only 11 Republicans voted with every single Democrat, all 50 Democrats, to make sure that we stand by our country`s obligation, otherwise, our credit rating would have plummeted. We would have basically brought regular people with interest rates rising and unemployment going up.
It`s unbelievable that they brought us to this brink. But in the end, they caved. And Senator McConnell after saying he wouldn`t do it, agreed that through December, and that`s what we have now, through December, to work this out.
And most importantly, for us, this is a time period where we can get the Build Back Better bills done. And we`re not going to go into that tonight. But you know, there`s a lot of work to do. We`re excited about that possibility. And I`m just so glad that the Democrats push this and we were able to do this without going through some crazy procedural mass and put the country`s credit rating at risk.
HAYES: Yes, although we`ll see where we are in a month. I will say that you`re right. McConnell did cave. Not only did he cave, he really screwed his caucus on this. I got to say, I`m I rarely sympathetic to the Ted Cruz of the world, but it didn`t seem like he was like we`re united, we`re united. Well, no, we`re going to -- we`ll provide the 10 votes. And you can see it in the fact that he only got 11 today. They don`t seem very happy with them.
KLOBUCHAR: They seem in a bit of a disgruntled mood about it, but such as life. What I care about is that we stood united, we had a strategy, and our strategy was to govern and govern with the President of the United States, and we did it.
HAYES: So, let`s talk about this report. It`s pretty shocking the stuff in there, the new detail, the level of tracker that was being brought to bear on these officials. And it was real, serious sustained pressure. What is your big takeaway from what you`ve learned in the course of this investigation and the final report?
KLOBUCHAR: Well, my first is actually what you said in your opening which really went into the weeds which people need to do on this. As you said, nothing about this makes us better, right? What we knew before, this only makes it worse and more troubling.
I think the first thing is just the repeated pressure. We knew about the lawsuits, hundreds of lawsuits all over the country and false claims thrown out by courts. We knew that he tried to get the local officials fired. Look what happened in Georgia. But what this report shows is the repeated pressure on the Department of Justice, nine different meetings.
I think one of the scariest things to me with that no, I`m reading from the report where there`s a handwritten note of a phone call during which President Trump tells Department of Justice leadership just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest. And you see with Barr`s departure, more and more pressure on Acting Attorney General Rosen who actually was a witness.
I attended this part of the questioning when Acting Attorney General, then- Acting Attorney General, now private citizen Rosen, was asked questions. And that was pretty damning. And I think you see this in the report as well as what we`ve learned about Georgia where the U.S. Attorney was fired for not violating the law, basically, that U.S. attorney said no, I`m not going to do what you want.
HAYES: I want to ask about your colleague Chuck Grassley. Now, you`ve known Chuck Grassley a long time. I`ve covered Chuck Grassley for a long time. I would -- I would call Chuck Grassley a kind of capital N, capital R normal Republican. He cares about foreign policy. He`s been there for a long time.
You know, here`s this Minority Report that basically is like use the kind of thing you would like to see in a segment on OAN or Fox News. It, you know, it attempts to defend the president by basically saying he never actually pulled off the coup, and then he`s going to go be at a rally with him this weekend. Like, what does that say that Chuck Grassley of all people is aligning himself with this man who tried to do this?
KLOBUCHAR: I think we`ve seen very few exceptions where Republicans have been willing to really stand up to this. One of them is Liz Cheney, over in the House. And I will note, I`m not sure how much you focused on this. As we look as we go forward that House investigation which is bipartisan over in the House where they`re really digging deep issuing subpoenas, something that we are unable to do unless we have bipartisan support in the Senate Judiciary Committee, that they are doing that and moving forward is going to be really helpful.
And our report here, which is, you know, uncovered a bunch of new stuff, I think will be helpful to them in that effort as well.
HAYES: Final question for you is about accountability for Jeffrey Clark. I want to note there`s a letter from the chair, the chairman of your committee, asking the D.C. Bar to open investigation to Clark`s compliance with the applicable rules of professional conduct. Why is that important?
KLOBUCHAR: Well, you have got a lawyer that was basically not -- in my mind, when I look at this report sitting in on a lot of the questioning. When I look at this, I think, wow, this is the lawyer that wasn`t following a line. He was -- your oath, and he took oath in his job. Your oath is to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. It`s not to be the President`s lawyer when you`re at the Justice Department.
And so, when I look at what he did, and the pressure and what he tried to do, I understand why Senator Durbin believes we need to call this to the attention of the people that decide legal ethics in the jurisdiction in which he practices.
HAYES: Senator Amy Klobuchar who I think paid me the compliment of saying I got into the weeds in my opening monologue which I`m going to take it -- I`m going to take --
KLOBUCHAR: Well, you`re Chris Hayes. That`s it.
HAYES: I`m going to take it as a compliment. Thank you.
KLOBUCHAR: I meant it all positive.
HAYES: I know you did.
KLOBUCHAR: It was so good.
HAYES: I know you did. Thank you very much, Senator.
KLOBUCHAR: Thank you, Chris Hayes.
HAYES: All right, today, October 7, 2021 nearly a full year after the election, the House Oversight Committee held a hearing on the sham audit in Arizona. That`s the one that dragged out for ages until they finally announced that yes, of course, Joe Biden won and Donald Trump lost.
Unfortunately, we didn`t get to hear from the Cyber Ninjas CEO since he skipped the hearing on his own audit. We did hear the big live is alive and well because the Republican Party, there`s no truth beyond it, only Trump. That`s next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RASKIN: Do you accept this audit which show that Joe Biden won and indeed by more votes than --
BIGGS: That is not what the audit concluded, Mr. Raskin. You know better than that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Congressman Andy Biggs is a Trump Republican through and through. He represents Arizona`s deep red fifth congressional district firmly entrenched in the pro-insurrection, pro-coup caucus within Congress. So, as Congress today during a hybrid hearing of the House Oversight Committee on the sham election on Arizona, it did not exactly come as a surprise, but still worth listening to.
Just listen to Congressman Biggs response when Congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland asks him who won Arizona last November?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIGGS: President Biden`s effect --
RASKIN: Who won the election is my question. Mr. Biggs. I`m happy to yield to you for that. Who won the election in Arizona, Donald Trump or Joe Biden?
BIGGS: We don`t know because the -- as the audit, it demonstrates very clearly, Mr. Raskin, there are a lot of issues with this election that took place. We`re going to go through those today, but you can continue -- speaking of the big lie, you could continue to perpetuate it as long as you want, but we`re going to find out.
RASKIN: Madam Chair, there is the problem that we have. Donald Trump refuse to accept the results. And unfortunately, we have one of the world`s great political parties, which has followed him off of the ledge of this electoral lunacy. And it`s dangerous for democracy. So, I`m glad we`re having this hearing today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Congressman Raskin not wrong at all. It`s not just the fringe MAGA guys in the House, OK, it`s the entire party. And not that the entire party will say, oh, we don`t know who won the election. Most of the people in the party will say Joe Biden won, most, 50-50, something like that.
As we note earlier in the show, even the most establishment figures like Senator Chuck Grassley who has been a senator for 40 years, are basically on board with the slide into authoritarianism. Again, as Jonathan Chait puts it in this very good new piece in New York Magazine, it`s basically impossible to be a Republican in 2021 without tacitly supporting Donald Trump`s attempts to subvert free and fair elections in this country for this reason, right? The Republican Party is presumptively a vehicle for Trump`s authoritarian ambitions. Therefore, anything advancing the Republican Party is a vehicle for Trump`s attack on the Constitution.
Cynthia Miller-Idriss is the director of the Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation Lab at American University where she tracks the ongoing threat of an increasingly radicalized American right. Jennifer Rubin is a columnist for the Washington Post where she`s chronicled the Republican Party`s slide towards authoritarianism. Her new book is titled Resistance: How Women Save Democracy from Donald Trump.
Jennifer, let me start with you. So, Ross Douthat, I think you know, who`s not at all a Trump fan, a conservative columnist for the New York Times, has been making this argument that says it goes the following. It says, you know, you liberals want Republicans to abandon all their other principles and sort of join you in a popular front to save American democracy. But that`s not really a fair ask because Donald Trump isn`t that much of a threat and Republicans are Republicans and they have things they really care about. So, stop you know, trying to sort of morally blackmail Republicans who stay with the party because it`s not -- the threat to democracy is not that great. And I`m curious your response to that.
JENNIFER RUBIN, COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: And you`re going to -- whether this is just ridiculous whistling past the graveyard of democracy or whether this is just bad faith arguing so he can continue to support the party that he`s always supported. I don`t think you can look at the kind of evidence that is being uncovered, the Senate Judiciary report that you just were discussing and not see that there was a grave threat to democracy.
I don`t know how you look at the wave of voter suppression and voter subversion legislation around the country. And I think it`s extremely dangerous for people who know better for people like Ross, for people in the Senate who do know better, to kind of go along with this.
This is what allows totalitarian demagogue to seize power, to control truth. And so pretty soon, if you don`t believe him, at least you don`t know what to believe. And that`s straight from a demagogue and a dictator`s rulebook. This is how we get into deep, deep trouble.
HAYES: Cynthia, as someone who is steeped in research on polarization and extremism, how do you diagnose this fact that you`ve got -- you`ve got sort of Trumps control on the party, you`ve got a wing of people who are sort of ferociously on the side, right? So, there`s a relatively small number of people say the election was stolen, who were like elected members. And then you`ve got a much broader swath who are kind of willing to play footsie. And then you`ve got the rest of the established Republicans who just go along. And what does that add up to about what the party means in America`s two-party system right now?
CYNTHIA MILLER-IDRISS, DIRECTOR, POLARIZATION AND EXTREMISM RESEARCH AND INNOVATION LAB, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY: Well, I think if we were seeing these conditions exist anywhere else in the world. The U.S. and our allies would be sending, you know, electoral monitors, would be sending election support for a fragile democracy essentially.
And I think that when we live for so long in a country that likes to think of itself as a beacon of democracy, it can be really difficult to really recognize how dangerous the conditions have become. But I do think that what we`re facing right now is a kind of gaslighting situation where we have, you know, millions of people who genuinely believe that there was an illegitimate election and that they`re believing wide swaths of disinformation that`s being sent their way from people they`re supposed to trust as the sources of their information.
And honestly, if this were happening anywhere else, we`d be the ones sending aid to help that democratic process.
HAYES: It`s funny too, Jennifer, because even -- you know, the Trump line is too sort of vulgar and preposterous even for a lot of close allies to deal with. So, you get these like gradations of nuance in which -- in how people try to flirt with it. So, here`s Gosar, OK. Gosar is, you know, quite MAGA-aligned. And he has not struck me as the like, most sophisticated thinker in the United States Congress. But here he is talking about the audit today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL GOSAR (D-AZ): Yes, the results we see here supposedly don`t change the outcome. But there`s more to the story. It`s how those votes can be manipulated by the machine. And then the calibration or the certification of those ballots is covered up by the machine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I leave it to viewers to ascertain whether they find that persuasive. But I will say that you`re seeing retreat to this kind of like unspecified questions or Glenn Youngkin in Virginia saying, well, we all audit the machines. It`s this way essentially of not fully coming out and saying a thing which is obviously indefensible, which is Donald Trump won the election, and yet still giving credence to the people that want to hear that Donald Trump won the election.
RUBIN: Right. And just to be clear, that notion that the machines did it, and then they hid it from the rest of us, is complete nonsense.
HAYES: Yes, it`s nonsense, totally, yes.
RUBIN: So, yes, it is. And you`re exactly right, that there are the people who, you know, come from the oh, I couldn`t see the tweet club. I couldn`t get the latest that he said. There are the people who said, well, who`s to know, how do you know anything? Those are sort of the moral and intellectual nihilist. And then you hear the people who say, well, you know, how do we know that there weren`t a lot of illegal immigrants voted. That`s what Trump`s line. Remember, three to five million of them supposedly voted?
So, when you`re in a cult-like setting, there is no fact that you cannot absorb. There`s no bad information that you can`t somehow bend to reaffirm the doctrinal center of your cult. That`s how these things operate. And it`s very, very dangerous because someone who hasn`t spent any time or hasn`t spent much time on listening to the fact that this audit, the phony audit show that actually Joe Biden won by more votes than we had thought, and that there was no evidence of widespread irregularities, those people will believe this.
And the entire process here is designed to make us believe that elections are unreliable.
RUBIN: That they are not final thing. It`s just like first round. That`s the first suggestion in an election. It really comes out when you get into voter subversion, when you get into violence, and threats of violence. They`re trying to delegitimize elections.
HAYES: Quickly and finally, to you Cynthia. Is there any way you interpret Chuck Grassley showing up at a Trump event this weekend as anything other than essentially a test endorsement of what Trump tried to do?
MILLER-IDRISS: I mean, I think what we`re seeing here is a lot of erasing of the past and trying to just move forward in ways that pretend things didn`t happen. And so, I don`t see how we can continue to see that kind of situation without interpreting it as some kind of tacit support. So, yes, I think that`s the situation we`re in.
HAYES: Cynthia Miller-Idriss and Jennifer Rubin, thank you both. Ahead, a victory for Reproductive Rights in Texas as a federal judge suspends the state`s unconstitutional near-total ban on abortion. But how long will last? That`s next.
HAYES: Almost exactly five weeks ago, a ban on nearly all abortions went into effect in the state of Texas. Texas abortion providers had sued, you might remember, to stop this nakedly unconstitutional law from going into effect. But a narrow majority of five conservative Supreme Court Justices, including all three Trump justices, said there was nothing they could do.
They issued a five-four ruling in the dead of night arguing they could not block the law because the law pioneered an entirely novel structure in which the curtailment of the constitutional right to an abortion was left entirely in the hands of private citizens to enforce, and ergo there was no one for the court to enjoin.
But then the Biden ministration stepped in and they sued the state of Texas, which is something they can do, but private parties cannot. The Department of Justice argued the state resorted to an unprecedented scheme of vigilante justice that was designed to scare abortion providers. So far, it`s working.
Last night, a federal judge blocked the Texas abortion ban for now. They`ve sided with the burden of justice in a strongly-worded 113-page ruling. The judge siding with the Biden administration writing, "From the moment the law went into effect, women have been unlawfully prevented from exercising control over their lives in ways that are protected by the Constitution. That other courts may find a way to avoid this conclusion is there to decide. This court will not sanction one more day of this offensive deprivation of such an important right."
Nancy Northup is the President and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, a nonprofit law firm that has been leading the legal charge against abortion bans, including in the state of Texas. And she joins me now.
Nancy, I have not read the entire 113 pages of decision, but I`ve read a big chunk of it. And I found myself saying -- I mean, again, I`m not a lawyer and I`m not a judged, but like yes, obviously, yes, yes. They tried to get away with it. And basically, the decision is like we see what you`re doing.
NANCY NORTHUP, PRESIDENT AND CEO, CENTER FOR REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS: It is a beautiful decision by Judge Pittman. He makes very clear in those 100-plus pages that it is a blatantly unconstitutional law. It is a devious scheme that Texas set up and that it can`t just deputize other people to do its work and get away with it.
So, it`s very carefully reasoned. It goes through every argument that the state of Texas makes and rejects it. And is a very, very wonderful victory after these five weeks to get such a thoughtful well-reasoned. And I felt like, hurrah, the rule of law lives.
HAYES: OK, so, on the ground, you know, this Rube Goldberg machine that they set up worked for five weeks with the consent of five justices in the Supreme Court. This issue -- this ruling was issued last night, and this is from Whole Women`s Health, an independent abortion provider in the state today.
"We are providing abortions in accordance with Judge Pitman`s ruling out of compassion for our patients. SB8 left our patients with two choices, carry a pregnancy to term against their will or travel out of state to receive care. This ban hurts Texans and now we can help them."
Is your understanding that the abortion providers that had not been providing abortion after six weeks are now doing so in the state?
NORTHUP: Yes, as you talked about, Amy Hagstrom Miller, the President and CEO of Whole Women`s Health talked to the press today about the fact that their doors are open. And they have seen patients past six weeks. And it`s not an easy feat because, you know, Texas has a 24-hour waiting requirement. So, they had to have consented these patients earlier and they were on a waiting list just in case this happened.
HAYES: So, Steve Vladeck is a law professor down in Texas who has been writing about this and I think might be involved in some of the litigation. And he made this point that I think is really important. So, we know this law was very deviously constructed precisely to avoid or give conservatives on the court a reason to avoid in joining it.
There`s another provision which is relevant here. And I`ll read from what he said. In the interim, it`s not clear whether providers will resume offering services though it appears they have. One of the many novel provisions in SB8 provides that abortions performed while a preliminary injunction is in effect can still be a basis for liability if the injunction is later state and reversed. How is that possibly legal?
NORTHUP: I mean, it`s not. It`s another, you know, mechanism of this law that is seeking to achieve unconstitutional ends. But he`s right. That is what the law says. It says if there`s an injunction and you go ahead and perform abortions after six weeks, which are guaranteed by the Constitution, and then that gets reversed, then you can be sued by countless number of people.
So, you know, the very dedicated providers like Whole Women`s Health are doing today is exposing them to this potential reversal and then these lawsuits could follow. So it`s really -- I mean the chaos that this really devious law has put into effect in Texas is just unconscionable.
HAYES: There`s something I think that I`ve only really kind of understood recently, and partly because of something Melissa Murray said on the Strict Scrutiny podcast, which full disclosure, my wife co-host with her and Leah Litman, which is that all of this crazy structure to get around an injunction is all about basically shutting down the abortion providers as long as you can and just chasing them out of business.
The whole reason to front load all this nonsense, and then to put in this thing, and the liability that even if the injunctions reversed, the whole game of the law is get courts to a set to shutting it down so that these providers all just die off. Is that -- is that the correct way of understanding this?
NORTHUP: I think it is. And unfortunately, that`s what happened more than six years ago in the Whole Women`s Health case that went all the way to the Supreme Court. There was a provision in that case which the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional in 2016. But it was too late. It had shut down almost half the clinics in the state of Texas.
NORTHUP: And you can`t just, you know, pop up against 50 years later, you don`t have a facility, you don`t have your staff. And so, it is the pernicious effect of this law that it can have not only the impact it`s having on people right now in the state of Texas, but that if they can drag this out long enough, that some of these clinics can`t stay open.
HAYES: Final question for you. It does seem to me, and this is a narrow procedural point that we don`t have to get into, but the Department of Justice being the party here seems to have solved some of the procedural issues that were present in the earlier case. Are you more confident about that enduring all the way up to the Supreme Court as we imagined it probably will?
NORTHUP: Well, I am confident about that. And you know, I also am confident that the original lawsuit that so many coalition members and providers filed which is now actually sitting at the Supreme Court asking for cert should also prevail. So, it is a good thing that we have now multiple lawsuits going against this very, very unconstitutional and unfair law.
HAYES: Nancy Northup, thank you so much.
Coming up, why the head of one of New York City`s largest police unions had his home raided and was stripped of his badge and gun. The federal investigation after this. Plus, the news from Pfizer that could mean a much safer and smoother school year -- please, please, please. What you need to know just ahead.
HAYES: While we are on air Tuesday night, the news broke that Ed Mullins, the head of one of the largest police unions in the country had resigned after his home and office were raided by the FBI. Since then, things have not gotten any better for the now-former president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association. New York Post reported today, "High ranking law enforcement official told the Post the Feds are investigating the possible misappropriation of union funds and seeking evidence of mail and wire fraud.
Union officials told members Wednesday that its funds are good and said it would not be providing loans with legal representation, which is pretty extraordinary considering that Ed Mullins was the face of that union for nearly 20 years and you know, stuck it out, stay in the job throughout countless controversies like the QAnon mug that was positioned behind him for multiple TV interviews and the time he tweeted the arrest record of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio`s daughter who was attending a protest, and the time he called the City Health Commissioner a bitch with blood on her hands and the time he called then-city councilman Richie Torres a "first- class whore."
Again, these weren`t like off the record things he tweeted those, or the time he suggested cops should be allowed to sue the estates of people they shoot for emotional damages, or the time he emailed a racist video to thousands of police sergeants with a personal message saying and I quote, "Pay close attention to every word, you will hear what goes through the mind of real policemen every single day on the job. This is the best video I`ve ever seen telling public the absolute truth."
What was in the video? Well, the narrator in the video that Mullins tells people to listen to every word of calls the absolute truth -- says things like, "The projects will always be dens of crime and violence. Cops will continue to wade into that fray and Blacks will continue to attack and ambush us forever."
Mullins later claimed he hadn`t seen the whole video even though he wrote to listen to every word adding, "I have Black friends, White friends, Asian friends. I wouldn`t want to insult anyone. I don`t think one incident defines who I am."
It wasn`t just that one incident, it was multiple incidents over decades as the leader of one of the largest police unions in the entire country. Ed Mullins has now been stripped of his gun and badge, put on modified duty. But he`s still a sergeant in the NYPD. He doesn`t have his gun, but had been for the last 20 years deputized by the city to enforce laws, kill if necessary.
How can you ask people to trust a system that gives a man like Ed Mullins so much power?
HAYES: In a move that could potentially provide inoculation to nearly 30 million additional Americans, Pfizer has asked the FDA to authorize emergency use of its COVID vaccine in children between the ages of 5 and 11. If approved, the Pfizer vaccine would be the first authorized COVID vaccine for kids under 12.
An FDA advisory committee will meet to discuss approval later this month with a decision expected sometime in November. Pfizer says the shots provide a robust immune response in kids according to clinical trials.
Dr. Richard Besser is a pediatrician, former Acting Director of the Centers for Disease Control, and he joins me now. This was not exactly unexpected. I know -- we know the clinical trials been happening. In fact, I have friends who`ve got their kids into the clinical trials. What is your reaction to this in terms of the timing of this? Does this seem about what you expected?
RICHARD BESSER, FORMER ACTING DIRECTOR, CDC: Yes. You know, Chris, I have to say I`m excited. And I`m working to temper that excitement because it`s so important that FDA has the -- has the room to do their independent evaluation of the data from Pfizer, and then that their advisory committee has the ability to look at that and see whether they feel they should be authorized.
And then after that, it goes to CDC. And CDC, their advisory committee would make a recommendation as to where they would recommend it for all children, a subset of children, or what. Those are all critically important pieces in terms of ensuring that any vaccine that goes into a child is safe and effective. And that will be key in terms of parents trusting that this is something that children should get.
HAYES: You know, there`s -- it`s interesting because when we`re talking about this terrain, I think there`s a really wide spectrum of views. You know, we`ve talked about the vaccination, we look at vaccination rates for folks over 75. It`s very, very high. For the entire country, it`s basically 75 percent of adults have gotten one shot I think at this point.
I think there`s a little more -- I mean, I`ve heard different things on kids. So, there are people who are like, I want to be the first parent at getting the shot, day one. And then, there`s, you know, if you look at the polling, 34 percent say right away, 32 percent wait and see, 7 percent only if required, and 24 percent definitely not.
I think the wait and see there, you know, people have worries about their kids, and it`s new. And there`s also the fact that on the whole, this population isn`t at the risk that other populations are.
BESSER: Yes, I am not at all surprised by that polling. You know, I have people who stopped me all the time. I can`t wait for my kid to get vaccinated. They`re going to be first in line. You know, this is fantastic. You know, we can finally get together for the holidays. We can get together with family, and we`re not going to have to worry about this.
And then other parents, it`s like, no way. But the big group, I think -- and I think -- I think some of those who are the definitely not are going to move into the wait and see because, you know, when you start to see the relief that families experienced by having the entire family vaccinated and protected, that`s going to shift things.
But I understand some of the hesitancy. This is a vaccine that in their trials was not tested in the same kind of numbers that adult vaccines were tested in.
BESSER: You know, they just had to show that the children made a robust immune response. And the good news is that the kids did, but even with a third of the dose, they didn`t need as much material to make that response. And they had to show that there were not significant side effects.
But there are people who are going to want to say, you know, I want to -- I want to see what happens after it`s given to a hundreds of thousands of kids before I`m comfortable. And as a pediatrician, I really want to meet parents where they are, you know, so that -- so that there`s room for everyone to this.
It`s really exciting for those who want to get it right away. And for others, they need to have some space.
HAYES: Yes. And I actually think -- again, I`m not an epidemiologist, but having reported on this a lot now, I mean, the public health imperative of getting those numbers in the adult population up and up and up to kind of really press down community transmission. I feel like you`re not going to have that same imperative to the 5 to 11 cohort.
I mean, to the extent that it becomes available for parents that want to have it, hopefully, it`s going to be becoming available in a situation which adult vaccination has gotten to the point where we really are pushing down that community transmission more broadly.
BESSER: Yes. I think that`s true. But you know, I also think that, you know, when I think about vaccinating kids, it`s to protect those children. And thankfully, children are at lower risk of severe disease. But it`s real. I mean, it is a real disease. You know, more than 600 children have died from this. Thousands of children have been hospitalized by this and thousands of children have developed extended symptoms from this, so it is real.
But kids also play a role in keeping the adults around them safe. So, thinking about teachers, and food service workers, coaches, and bus drivers. You know, you really want to ensure that those individuals are vaccinated, but not everyone who`s vaccinated gets a robust response. Some people with immune problems don`t get a robust response.
So, having the kids who are around them be vaccinated, that provides protection to them. It provides protection to grandparents and people at home who may have medical condition.
HAYES: Yes. And just in terms of those numbers you`re citing, 30,000 children hospitalizations in August according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Roughly 500 Americans under 18 have died from -- 125 for children ages 5 to 11.
Final point, is there`s also a cascade -- there`s a knock-on effect here, which I`ve talked to several folks, employers, who are considering this back to work policy who basically said look, we can`t bring people back to work until their kids can get vaccinated because it`s not quite fair. You know, you can`t tell someone come into this office even you`re vaccinated when you`ve got unvaccinated kids at home. I think that`s something that`s hanging over a lot of these decisions about returning to work and stuff like that.
BESSER: Well, it does factor in there. You know, the more we can do to protect children, the less stress there`s going to be on working parents. You know, when these vaccines -- and I do expect there will be vaccines for kids when they are authorized. It`s going to be really important that we make sure that employers are giving their workers paid time off to get their kids vaccinated, so we don`t see the same breakdown in terms of the haves and have nots when it comes to kids vaccines.
You know, a third of workers in America don`t have any sick leave or personally. And so, it`s choosing between, you know, getting a paycheck that day or getting your kid vaccinated. We don`t want people to have to make that choice.
HAYES: Dr. Richard Besser, as always, great talk to you. Thank you very much. That is ALL IN for this evening. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.