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Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 12/13/21

Guests: Pete Aguilar, Katie Benner, Angelo Carusone, Elie Mystal, Peter Hotez


The January 6 Select Committee votes to hold Mark Meadows in Contempt of Congress. The January 6 Select Committee reveals text messages from Donald Trump Jr. to Mark Meadows urging former President Trump to intervene on the U.S. Capitol riot. The January 6 Committee reveals texts from Fox News hosts pleading with Meadows to get Trump to stop the riot. South Dakota teachers competed for $1.oo bills on a hockey rink which critics called terrible and dehumanizing.


MAYA WILEY, AMERICAN LAWYER: And you know, one of the things that come up about Mark Meadows is Mark Meadows was actively spreading the conspiracy theories on Italy gate. So, there`s no question that (AUDIO GAP)

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: From inside the White House. He was a firsthand witness inside the White House. Joyce Vance, Maya Wiley, Claire McCaskill, thank you all very much. That`s tonight`s "REIDOUT." ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES starts now.

MEHDI HASAN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Good evening from new -- D.C. I am Mehdi Hassan in for Chris Hayes. On January 6, Donald Trump just stood there in the Oval Office as lawmakers and members of the press and Fox News hosts and his own family members begged and pleaded for him to stop the siege, to step in and tell the mob to leave the Capitol.

And Donald Trump refused. He stood by and did nothing. And we know this because all those people reached out to Donald Trump`s chief of staff Mark Meadows, and he then turned over those messages to the committee investigating the January 6 attack.

Tonight, Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the vice-chair of the committee, laid out all of that damning, damning evidence.

REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): For 187 minutes, President Trump refused to act when action by our president was required, essential, and indeed compelled by his oath to our Constitution. Mr. Meadows received numerous text messages which he has produced without any privileged claim imploring that Mr. Trump take the specific action we all knew his duty required.

These text messages leave no doubt the White House knew exactly what was happening here at the Capitol. Members of Congress, the press, and others wrote to Mark Meadows as the attack was underway. One text Mr. Meadows received said, "We are under siege here at the Capitol." Another, "they have breached the Capitol. In a third, "Mark, protesters are literally storming the Capitol. breaking windows and doors, rushing in. Is Trump going to say something?" A fourth, there`s an armed standoff at the House chamber door."

And another from someone inside the Capitol, "We are all helpless." Dozens of texts including from Trump administration officials urged immediate action by the President. "POTUS has to come out firmly and tell the protesters to dissipate. Someone is going to get killed." In another, Mark, he needs to stop this now. A third, in all caps, "Tell them to go home." A fourth, and I quote, "POTUS needs to calm this shit down."

Indeed, according to the records, multiple Fox News hosts knew the president needed to act immediately. They texted Mr. Meadows, and he has turned over those texts. "Mark, the President needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home. This is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy." Laura Ingram wrote. "Please get him on TV, destroying everything you have accomplished," Brian Kilmeade texted. "Can he make a statement? Ask people to leave the Capitol," Sean Hannity urged.

As the violence continued, one of the President`s sons texted Mr. Meadows, "he`s got to condemn this shit ASAP. The Capitol Police tweet is not enough." Donald Trump Jr. texted. Meadows responded, "I`m pushing it hard. I agree." Still, President Trump did not immediately act. Donald Trump Jr. texted again, and again, urging action by the President. "We need an Oval Office address. He has to lead now. It has gone too far and gotten out of hand." But hours passed without necessary action by the president.


HASAN: He knew. They all knew, even Sean Hannity. Well, just moments ago, that committee voted unanimously to hold Mark Meadows, Donald Trump`s chief of staff, in criminal contempt for refusing to comply with their subpoena.


And the amazing thing is that Mark Meadows served in that body for seven years. And tonight, every single member on that bipartisan committee, many of his former colleagues, voted to hold him in criminal contempt. Tonight`s vote comes ahead of a vote from the full House of Representatives. That is expected to happen tomorrow.

If the House votes in line with the committee as they are likely to do, the Department of Justice will then get the case and they will have to decide whether or not to prosecute Mark Meadows. And if DOJ moves forward with those charges, Meadows could fight -- he could face time in prison. We`ve already seen that process play out with Trump ally Steve Bannon who was indicted last month on two counts of contempt of Congress. He faces up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $100,000 for each count. A judge recently set Bannon`s trial date for next July.

Earlier this month, the January 6 committee also voted in favor of holding Jeffrey Clark in contempt. You remember him. He is the former Department of Justice official who tried to help Donald Trump steal the election especially in Georgia. But this vote tonight on Mark Meadows is a particularly big deal.

The White House Chief of Staff is an extremely important role. Last year, Meadows was considered one of the most powerful people in the country, among the closest people to the then-president. People may know Steve Bannon`s name more than Mark Meadows is, but on January 6, Bannon was just a podcast and Jeffrey Clark was an unknown Department of Justice lawyer. Mark Meadows was in the Oval Office every day with Donald Trump. And we know that Meadows was involved in the planning leading up to and on January 6.

Last night, the 1-6 Committee released a 51-page report detailing their case for holding meadows in contempt. They highlighted some of the strongest evidence Meadows already provided to them in the more than 6000 pages of e-mails and 2000 text messages that he turned over.

In one of those emails, Meadows said that the National Guard would be present to "protect pro-Trump people, and that many more would be available on standby." He exchanged text messages with and provided guidance to an organizer of the January six rally on the Ellipse after the organizer told him that "things have gotten crazy and I desperately need some direction, please."

If this goes all the way, if the full House votes to refer Meadows` case to the DOJ, if they bring charges and Meadows is convicted, he could go to prison for up to a year if convicted on just one count. The last time something of this sort happened was in 1975 when President Nixon`s White House Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman was sentenced to prison for his involvement in the Watergate scandal. He spent 18 months in a federal penitentiary after being convicted of conspiracy, obstruction, of justice, and perjury.

Now, I keep asking myself on nights like this. Why are people like Mark Meadows are so willing to risk going to prison for of all people, Donald J. Trump, a man so disloyal? He recently called Meadows` new book a lie. What is it about Donald Trump that makes his allies willing to throw themselves under a bus for him even though he never seems to have their backs? Well, it looks like Mark Meadows is going to be the latest to find out if that blind loyalty is worth it.

Congressman Pete Aguilar is a Democrat from California and a member of the January 6 Committee. Congressman, thanks for coming on the show tonight. It`s a busy night for you, big vote. Explain to our viewers why it`s such a big deal, what a big step it is to go after a former White House Chief of Staff in this way.

REP. PETER AGUILAR (D-CA): Thanks for having me, Mehdi. This is important because we need to uphold the rule of law. That`s what the committee has been talking about, and that no one is above a lawful subpoena. So even because Mark Meadows served in this body, he doesn`t play by a separate set of rules. He has to come before us since we gave him a lawful subpoena.

And clearly, he demonstrated that a lot of the material that we were seeking was within balance because he gave it to us, over 9000 pages, 6000 documents. We shared some of those you heard some of those directly from my colleagues and I just less than an hour ago.

So, this is an important step that we`re taking, because fundamentally, this is about upholding democracy. This is about ensuring that this never happens again. And in order to do that, we have to understand exactly what happened on January 5 and January 6.

Clearly, Mr. Meadows played a role in that not just in his government hat either, which is very clear from the documents that he provided. He was a campaign advisor as well. And so, he -- we want to ask him questions about the documents that he submitted. And just because he`s asking folks to buy his book instead or he`s willing to talk to too friendly hosts in the media but not us, that`s offensive. And he should be held accountable for it.


HASAN: I`m glad you mentioned his personal role as well. I believe according to the report you put out yesterday, he was using personal phones and his own Gmail to communicate about all this. I seem to remember a time when Hillary Clinton got into a little bit of trouble for not using her government phones and accounts for issues of state.

I also find it fascinating that he didn`t turn up for his interview with you guys on the same day that his book came out. So, there`s a guy who really wants to keep conversations privileged. Let me ask you this, Congressman.

AGUILAR: It`s some curios timing without a doubt.

HASAN: It is. What work you`re doing -- the work that 1-6 Committee is doing is clearly valuable, important, you`re making progress. It`s revelatory. Look what we`re doing tonight. We`re leading on this huge story. But I have to ask, Congressman. It`s December. We are three weeks away from the 1/6 anniversary, the first anniversary. You guys came to office in January. Joe Biden has been president since January. Democrats control the House and Senate since January. Why has it taken this long to start getting to the bottom of what happened on 1/6?

AGUILAR: Well, it`s a good question. And I think it`s important to note the history of the committee`s work. Initially, you know, we passed -- we worked with Republicans here in the House to pass a January 6 commission that would have been 9/11 style commission, Democratic and Republican appointees. But Mitch McConnell asked his Senate caucus to do him a personal favor, and to vote against the measure.

So, then, we had to come back. And we had to pass this just where legislators would serve other body. And so, that took a little bit of time. And so -- but I`m comfortable going to my constituents and telling them it took a little bit of time because we wanted to get it right, because we wanted to make this above politics, because we wanted to make this not just bipartisan but nonpartisan. Those conversations take a little time.

But I will tell you, Vice-Chair Cheney and Chair Thompson have done an amazing job in making sure that we are focused, we are driven. The committee staff has done an amazing set of workload on our behalf. 300 interviews that we`ve -- that we`ve conducted so far. There`s a lot of work product, even though I know the public is only seeing a little bit of it. You saw a glimpse of the text messages and the additional work that we have been doing.

HASAN: I mean, the clock is ticking as you know better than me. We`ve got Midterms coming up and Republicans are likely to take the House and shut down everything you`re doing on day one. So, let me ask you this before we ran out of time.

AGUILAR: Well, I don`t -- I don`t think that`s going to happen, but you know, we`re going to -- we`re going to work to make sure that`s not the case. But --

HASAN: Well, I would be shocked, Congressman -- I would be shocked, Congressman, if you didn`t think -- if you were going to tell me live on air tonight that you think Republicans are going to win the house next year? We`re almost out of time. I`ve got to ask. We`re spending a lot of time --

AGUILAR: But we feel that sense of urgency.

HASAN: We`re spending a lot of time talking about the people who are not cooperating. But Chairman Bennie Thompson said in his opening statement tonight that he expects more than a dozen key witnesses will provide testimony to the committee this week. What can you tell us about the people who are cooperating and what the committee is learning?

AGUILAR: Well, we`re learning different facets of what happened. And clearly one of the things that we`ve been focused on and having a lot of testimony about is the planning of January 5 and January 6 rallies. These were multiple rallies. And the individuals and their coordination with people inside and out of government has been key to a focus that we`ve been looking at.

So, our work continues. We`re not going to be deterred even by Mr. Meadows and his -- and his book tour. We`re going to continue to do the work to get to the truth of what happened. We`ll do more public hearings after the start of the year. And it will culminate in a report that we`re going to put out to the American public and to Congress.

HASAN: A lot to look forward to. Congressman Pete Aguilar, thank you for your time tonight. I appreciate it.

AGUILAR: Thanks, Mehdi.

HASAN: Do not go anywhere because there is a lot to get to from that contempt vote including that bit about the Fox News hosts texting Mark Meadows while the attack unfolded at the Capitol on January 6 is kind of different to what they were saying on their shows. We`ll come back to all of that just ahead.




REP. BENNIE THOMPSON (D-MS): Mr. Meadows put himself in this situation. He must now accept the consequences.

REP. ZOE LOFGREN (D-CA): It certainly appears and Mr. Meadows played a key role in events that culminated in the violent attack on the Capitol and on our democracy.

REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): Mark Meadows has committed a crime. In this case, a premeditated one. No one is above the law, not even a former president`s chief of staff.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): And I expect the Justice Department to move as swiftly in dealing with Mr. Meadows as it did with Mr. Bannon and prosecute him for violating the law and his duty as a citizen.

AGUILAR: The Select Committee has a lot of questions about what the President said and did on January 6. We have a lot of questions about the protests that day and how they escalated into a riot. And Mark Meadows says he can`t discuss those details with us. But apparently, he can put them in his book.

REP. STEPHANIE MURPHY (D-FL): Mr. Meadows was a central participant in the events that culminated in this assault on our capitol, our country, and our core democratic values.

REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): This witness must testify like 300 other witnesses before him if done.

REP. ELAINE LURIA (D-VA): The extent of this effort reached the highest levels of our government, and it runs right through Mr. Meadows.


HASAN: The House committee investigating January 6 did not mince words before voting unanimously to recommend a report holding former Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in contempt for defying the committee`s subpoena. And don`t forget, the members of the committee know Meadows very personally. He was one of Donald Trump`s most devoted sycophants in Congress.

So it should come as no surprise that he brought that same sense of blind loyalty when then-President Trump appointed him White House Chief of Staff in March of last year, and what has become clear is that Meadows was in fact one of the leading masterminds behind the attempted coup, the coup to try and keep Donald Trump in office.

Every day, we continue to learn more and more about just how involved he was. As White House Chief of Staff, he traveled to Georgia during the week of Christmas last year to oversee an audit of the state`s election. And when he returned, he named names getting Trump to call the woman in charge of that audit and pressure her into alleging fraud.

During that same time period, meadows was also pressuring the Department of Justice, trying to get acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen to investigate those bogus fraud claims, including the wild, the bonkers conspiracy theory that the people in Italy were using military satellites to change the U.S. vote count.


In January Meadows was also part of that now infamous phone call where Trump tried to intimidate Georgia secretary of state Republican Brad Raffensperger to find the votes he needed to win.


MARK MEADOWS, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: But in some of these areas where there seems to be a difference of where the facts seem to lead. And so, Mr. Secretary, I was hopeful that, you know, in a spirit of cooperation and compromise is there something that we can at least have a discussion to look at some of the allegations to find a path forward that`s less litigious?


HASAN: Meadows was not just listening in on the call. He was right there making threats about trying to find a path forward. And we now know thanks to the 1/6 Committee that just days after that call on January 5, Meadows reportedly sent an email in which he said the National Guard could be used to protect pro-Trump people, pro-Trump people the next day on January 6, the day the mob, the pro-Trump people stormed the Capitol and tried to undo our democracy. Even though less than a week ago Meadows claimed he had no idea what would happen on the sixth of January.


MEADOWS: We can all condemn what happened on January 6, and rightfully so. But I`m not aware of anybody in the West Wing that had any advanced knowledge that the security was going to be breached at the Capitol.


HASAN: Matt Miller was the chief spokesperson for the Department of Justice during the Obama administration under Attorney General Eric Holder, and Katie Benner covers the DOJ for the New York Times. They join me now. Thank you both. It`s a busy night. Katie, let me come to you first.

The Bannon case was pretty cut and dry. Meadows was the Chief of Staff at the White House, though, which means him being referred for criminal contempt is a much bigger deal in the grand scheme of things. But also as chief of staff on 1/6, he would say he has a stronger privileged claim. Is that a case or does him spelling all these beans in his new memoir undermine that claim?

KATIE BENNER, JUSTICE REPORTER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: I mean, he does have a stronger case than Bannon did. But let`s take a look at what the prosecutors will have to weigh should the full House refer him to the U.S. Attorney`s office here in Washington for possible contempt charges.

Now, they`re going to look at the fact that he did in fact speak about many of these things publicly in his book. They`ll also look at the fact that you can tell from the text messages and the things that the committee wants to ask, they want to talk about things that had nothing to do with running the country.

Keep in mind executive privilege is generally extended so that when you`re in a part of a deliberative process, when you`re trying to run the federal government, your decisions and decision-making is not scrutinized by people after you. That`s a privilege that we extend so that people can in good faith make great decisions about how to run the country.

This was not about running the country. It`s very clear from the text messages that we`ve heard from the committee. It`s clear from the documents the committee has already released. It`s clear from the way that they have characterized them. What Mr. Meadows is talking about is the election. And running for election and trying to remain an office are not things that you do as president. You do that as a candidate.

So, again, prosecutors will be weighing what are the facts that the committee is trying to look at and do they -- you know, generally fall under privilege? And the Committee will also look at the fact that he spoke through his documents, but then decided not to speak in person.

HASAN: Yes. I`m no lawyer, but I`m pretty sure executive privilege wasn`t designed to cover conversations with Sean Hannity. Matt, there is a lot of pressure on Merrick Garland, the AG, to do more to hold the Trumpists accountable for this pretty serious coup attempt. Bannon is going on trial next year. If the full House votes to hold Meadows in contempt and send his case to the DOJ, how much pressure is Garland going to be under them from liberals, from Democrats?

MATT MILLER, MSNBC ANALYST: He`s going to be under a lot of pressure. But I have to be honest. From everything I can tell from the Justice Department, I don`t think he feels the political pressure in the way that, you know, some of the more political actors inside the administration do.

He said he wanted to be an attorney general who would look only at the facts in the law. And I think that is how he`s approached the job so far. I do think, to echo what Katie said, this is going to be a much closer case for the Justice Department than the Bannon prosecution was.

Meadows privilege claim is clearly weak. You know, it`s been rejected by the sitting president. It covers ground that is clear clearly involves government misconduct. And I think if it were to go to the courts, ultimately, he would lose the claim. But that`s not the same thing as proving a criminal case that he knew he was required to testify and didn`t show up and do it.

And I think that his lawyer has been -- one thing he`s been successful at is kicking up a lot of dust. You know, he filed a lawsuit last week to try to quash the subpoena. And I think they will go -- his lawyer who is a former Deputy Attorney General will go to the Justice Department and try to make the case that this is a disputed claim that is before the courts right now. You can`t possibly indict my client.

And look, he has left himself vulnerable by not coming in and at least testified about things that are privileged but -- or excuse me, that are not privileged, but I think it`s going to be a very close call. That will first at the first line be made by the career prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney`s Office and decided by the U.S. attorney before it goes up to the Attorney General.

So, I think we have to remember that this is a first order of business is not just Merrick Garland`s decision. There will be people inside the department that weigh in well before it gets to him.

HASAN: Katie, I don`t want us to get all lost in the Meadows story because we`re learning a lot about a lot of people involved in this curtain. Jenna Ellis, Trump`s personal lawyer, we`re learning that she wrote a second memo suggesting how Mike Pence could overturn the election in defiance of the law and the Constitution on the sixth. That`s an addition to another cool memo she already wrote.

Are there going to be any consequences for people like Ellis, for these people who were doing on the face of it seemingly -- you know, advocating seemingly illegal maneuvers?

BENNER: Well, I would think what they would argue is that they were writing these memos, and they were making these suggestions to the former president because they did truly believe that he had won, or that there have been so much fraud, that it was impossible to say that Joe Biden had won. They will say that their intent was not to overthrow the government, but to stop some sort of illegal overthrow, or to prevent, you know, the -- prevent this sort of massive voter fraud which they very ardently and publicly pounded the table on.

Now, we can say that they were wrong. We know that the national security, the Intelligence Community has said that this was one of the most secure elections, if not the most secure election that we`ve ever had. We know that every hand recount has shown that the results were as predicted whether they went for Joe Biden or whether they went for Donald Trump.

But the people who were working with the former president to try to keep them in power, they would argue that they were doing this with the intent of stopping a steal, not the intent to overthrow the government. And that would be their -- you know, that would probably be their best defense.

HASAN: Matt, we`re almost out of time, but I have to ask, did you have Kanye West publicist turning up in Georgia to intimidate a Georgia election worker into admitting to false election fraud on your 2021 bingo card and should that be investigated?

MILLER: I didn`t have any of this on my bingo card. It`s hard to -- hard to imagine that any of the things that have happened in the last year, four years, five years, you could have predicted in advance. Yes, I think it absolutely should be investigated. It may be that there`s an investigation going on into that conduct. The Justice Department has been very quiet about what it`s doing.

It surprises me, though, that if there have been -- I`ll say this, if it were under investigation, though, I would have expected to have leaked by now. You know, to conduct this type of investigation, you have to go out and interview people. And we haven`t seen any reports of anyone close to the president or any of the people in his kind of second or third rings of influence reporting grand jury subpoenas. So, no clear signs that it`s happening as of yet.

HASAN: The story gets crazier and crazier and more and more disturbing to be honest. Matt Miller and Katie Bennett, I appreciate your analysis tonight. Thank you so much.

When we come back, the most jaw-dropping moment of the contempt vote of Mark Meadows. The Fox News hosts who were texting meadows in a panic during the January 6 attack, and you might be surprised who. We`ll get to it all right after this. Don`t go away.



HASAN: The evidence that the January 6 Committee laid out tonight against former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows was truly extraordinary. And it was all evidence that Mark Meadows himself turned over to the committee at his own will. That evidence showed that a slew of Fox News hosts from Laura Ingraham to Sean Hannity were begging Mark Meadows to get Donald Trump to stop the siege and he refused.


CHENEY: Indeed, according to the records, multiple Fox News hosts knew the president needed to act immediately. They texted Mr. Meadows, and he has turned over those texts. "Mark, the President needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home. This is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy." Laura Ingram wrote. "Please get him on TV, destroying everything you have accomplished," Brian Kilmeade texted. "Can he make a statement? Ask people to leave the Capitol," Sean Hannity urged.

As the violence continued, one of the President`s sons texted Mr. Meadows, "he`s got to condemn this shit ASAP. The Capitol Police tweet is not enough." Donald Trump Jr. texted. Meadows responded, "I`m pushing it hard. I agree." Still, President Trump did not immediately act. Donald Trump Jr. texted again, and again, urging action by the President. "We need an Oval Office address. He has to lead now. It has gone too far and gotten out of hand." But hours passed without necessary action by the president.


Hasan: I for one am shocked that Fox News hosts are saying stuff in private different to what they say in public. Shocked. Angelo Carusone is the president of Media Matters. He joins me now. Angelo, the Fox News hosts that Liz Cheney quoted are very pro-Trump, I think it`s fair to say. But even they were worried in private about what was happening on January 6. That`s a big deal, is it not that they were in contact with the White House Chief of Staff asking him to get Trump to call off the mob?

ANGELO CARUSONE, PRESIDENT, MEDIA MATTERS: Yes. I mean, it is it`s a big deal because if you -- for two reasons, one, this is a stunning illustration. And it`s rare to use the word stunning in relation to something Fox does. But this is a stunning illustration of the Trump Fox feedback loop because it shows that in real-time on January 6, they knew there was a problem. They tried to protect and advise Trump to address that problem in real-time. Then after January 6, they ran cover for him. And then to this day, continued to rewrite history.

And the second reason is that you -- we actually have their words that they were saying on air at the same time they were sending these messages.


HASAN: OK. Angelo, I going to -- I`m going to jump in because you just said we have their words on air, and our brilliant producers here at ALL IN, well, they`re going to show you what the -- what the Fox guys are saying. Have a watch.


SEAN HANNITY, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: Now, the Democrats case rests on two incredibly flawed and extremely weak arguments. Now, the first, that the President said fight like hell, and those words are unacceptable, and they incited an insurrection on January 6.

LAURA INGRAHAM, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: The core claim of Democrats impeachment article is that Trump`s speech incited the January 6 Riot, his speech on January 6.


INGRAHAM: Well, it`s language that they`ve used -- that Republicans have used. Big deal. It shows nothing.


HASAN: There`s a word for it we just saw, Angelo. It`s gaslighting. And now, thanks to these texts, we have the evidence, the clear evidence for that gaslighting.

CARUSONE: That`s right. And on January 6 itself, the same day that they were sending these text messages, all three of these individuals, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, and Brian Kilmeade, went on Fox News, and while they were telling Donald Trump that he needed to call off his supporters, they were telling Fox News viewers and the rest of the -- you know, the American public by extension, that the people that were actually attacking the Capitol were not Donald Trump supporters, but accurately -- actually secretly Antifa or Black Lives Matter.

I mean, Laura Ingram called in, Sean Hannity did a show that night, Brian Kilmeade did the same thing. So, they recognize in real time that this was actually Trump`s supporters, and yet they spent an enormous amount of effort that very day lying, explicitly saying and blaming this on Antifa and Black Lives Matter.

HASAN: So, I want everyone to carry on watching MSNBC tonight as they will. I know your organization monitors Fox News and watches the shows. I`m going to ask you a question, Angelo, tonight at 9:00, is Sean Hannity going to address his role in all this? Is Laura Ingraham going to address her role in all this? I`m not holding my breath.

CARUSONE: No, they`re not. Just like they didn`t cover Liz Cheney, his remarks for the January 6 Committee`s, you know, vote in real-time, they`re not going to respond to this tonight. They`re going to wait until they have a chance to deflect an attack. And if they can`t find an effective deflection, they will just ignore it, and instead direct their audience`s ire toward something else.

And that`s actually the part about this that`s so scary is that not only does it illustrate the brazenness by which they`re willing to lie, to deceive people. I mean, it`s one thing if it happened after the fact that they were trying to rewrite history and engage in political cover-up. But the idea that at the same time that they were texting Mark Meadows, they were actually spinning something totally different for the -- for Fox viewers, for their viewers is actually is genuinely stunning.

But beyond that, it shows that they -- that we are in an environment right now where impunity is what is in control. And that`s scary because an environment where there`s impunity means you start to have no rule of law, and you basically have authoritarianism.

HASAN: One thing that is slightly reassuring from all these texts in a weird kind of way, the silver lining to this cloud is that -- you know, I look at these polls showing that Republicans say, well, it wasn`t that bad on 1/6, they were all patriots, they were all tourists, it wasn`t violent, it was Antifa. And then I say, well, do they really believe this stuff? And it turns out people at the top, they don`t believe this stuff. They know the truth.

CARUSONE: Yes. Well, I mean, I hope so. And I hope that this is a little bit different than the way that it plays out with their COVID disinformation, right? Because while at the same time that the these very same people are telling people not to get vaccines and not to wear masks, we all know that they`re well vaccinated and making sure that they`re protecting themselves and their family.

HASAN: Yes. good point.

CARUSONE: So, you know, that disconnect I hope doesn`t -- you know, I hope in this one instance, that disconnect actually doesn`t apply. That the fact that it`s actually Fox host, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, Brian Kilmeade, acknowledging that it`s actually Trump supporters that were perpetuating this attack, that maybe that resonates a little bit differently. I really do hope that this is a -- that this is different. And part of it`s going to depend on all of us, the American public.

HASAN: Angelo, we in the "liberal media," and people like yourself at Media Matters, are often accused of disrespecting conservatives in America. No one disrespects those conservatives more than the actual conservative media as we`ve discovered exhibit 776 tonight with these texts. Angelo Carusone, we`ll have to leave it there. Thank you for your time. I appreciate it.

CARUSONE: Thank you so much.

HASAN: Next, funding our schools by throwing cash on the ground and making teachers fight for it while an arena full of people cheers on. A South Dakota dystopia after this.



HASAN: It cannot be said often enough. We live in the richest country in the history of the world. But often, it`s hard to tell. We`ve gotten used to people in this country setting up GoFundMe pages to try and get their fellow Americans to help pay for life saving medical treatment, the kind of health care that our Canadian cousins to the north and our European cousins across the pond take for granted.

But I wonder is there anything more depressing, more disgusting, more dystopian than watching public servants have to perform in public, humiliate themselves to get a tiny bit of extra cash for the most basic of supposedly government-funded public services? Because that`s what happened at the dash for cash event in Sioux Falls, South Dakota over the weekend at a junior hockey game where $5,000 in $1.00 bills was dumped onto a carpet in the middle of the ice, as 10 local teachers ready themselves to shovel up as much of it as they could.

When the competition began, the teachers all wearing hockey helmets crawled into the pile of cash, frantically stuffing the bills into their shirts as an arena of spectators hollered and cheered until every dollar was snatched up. That description in the Washington Post doesn`t convey the sheer insanity and the awfulness of it. I simply cannot describe how bad it was, so just watch for yourself.



HASAN: What have we come to as a country? On what grounds do we call other countries failed states? How in the United States of America in 2021 are we asking teachers, teachers to scramble on the ground for cash as a stadium full of people cheer and jeer. Cash, by the way, not for themselves, but to pay for classroom improvements, to pay for flexible seating such as standing desks or wobble chairs, or document cameras so they could upload lessons online? Why? Why should they have to do that in the richest country in the history of the world?

In recent decades, Republicans have gutted our public services, often with Democratic Party support, or at least with very little democratic resistance. And so, you`ll be shocked to hear that South Dakota, a deep red state, ranks 29th in the country in pre-K through 12 education, 38th in per student spending, and 50th in teacher pay among the 50 states and D.C.

Remember, this is a choice to not spend on our kids to not pay our teachers to not invest in education. We have the money. The Senate right now is about to pass a $778 billion bill to fund the Department of Defense, a bill which has already passed in the House. But spend some of that money on schools or teachers, no, no, no, it`s Squid Game for them.



HASAN: More than 800,000 Americans have died from COVID 19. That`s more than the entire population of North Dakota. More people have died from COVID in America than in any other country on Earth. And 75 percent of the dead here was 65 or over. And that means one in every 100 older Americans has died in this pandemic.

It turns out there were death panels, but from President Trump, not from President Obama. The question now is will there be any legal accountability for those deaths because many of those people did not have to die. It was negligence. Some would argue criminal negligence.

Trump knew how deadly the virus was all the way back in February of 2020, even as he publicly played it down.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It goes through air, Bob. That`s always tougher than the touch. You know, the touch, you don`t have to touch things, right. But the air, you just breathe the air. That`s how it`s passed. And so, that`s a very tricky one. That`s a very delicate one. It`s also more deadly than your, you know, your -- even your strenuous flus.


HASAN: Millions of Americans got sick, some of them directly because of Donald Trump.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You had always suspected that you got it from the President. Is that right?

CHRIS CHRISTI, FORMER GOVERNOR OF NEW JERSEY: Well, the only reason I suspected it was because he was the only person who I didn`t know his testing regimen that was -- I was in close contact with. All the other people, we spoke about the fact that --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So did this confirm for you that you did in fact get it for the President?

CHRISTI: Oh, I think it`s undeniable.


HASAN: And yet, Trump has yet to face any consequences for his actions during the pandemic. And 800,000 Americans are dead, many of whom did not have to die. How do we just move on from that? Well, somebody be held responsible, legally responsible.

Elie Mystal is a justice correspondent for The Nation Magazine. And Dr. Peter Hotez is the co-director of the Texas Children`s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development. He`s also dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, and he`s the author of Preventing The Next Pandemic.

Thank you both for joining me tonight. Elie, let me start with you. Former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner, he laid out the case against Donald Trump, criminal case, with me recently. Have a listen.


GLENN KIRSCHNER, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: I would have already been in the Grand Jury presenting Donald Trump`s words to the American people as juxtaposed against Donald Trump`s words to Bob Woodward. And ultimately, after a full fair presentation to the grand jury, I would have asked the grand jury whether there was enough evidence to indict Donald Trump for an admittedly low level of homicide, negligent homicide or involuntary manslaughter.


HASAN: Even if you think you can`t go after Donald Trump but it`s too hard, how can we not hold anyone criminally responsible for 800k dead?

ELIE MYSTAL, JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT, THE NATION MAGAZINE: Yes, look, I`m Catholic. My people invented a conception of hell in order to have a place to put people like Donald Trump and his enablers who have led to this massive, unnecessary death. But that is a moral question.

The legal question, the law is simply not very good at holding public officials accountable for their policy choices. And the monstrous thing that we have to wrestle with as a country is that allowing people to die of COVID was a policy choice by Donald Trump. It is now a policy choice by the Republican Party and various Republican governors around these United States.

And when it comes to making that policy choice, it is hard for the law to kind of pierce the veil of that policy choice and get in there and hold them accountable. The accountability is supposed to be political in this case. That`s not happening because of the -- of the nature of our policy at this point. And if there`s -- if there`s additional kind of accountability, it shouldn`t really be.

We got to go talk to the people in Geneva, right? Because these are -- we are now getting into the realm of crimes against humanity, much more so than something the American legal system is kind of designed to handle correctly.


HASAN: Elie, hold that thought and I will come back to you on that. I want to bring in Dr. Hotez. You calculated at the end of last month that about 150,000 unvaccinated people have died of COVID-19 this year since June alone. Who is to blame for that?

DR. PETER HOTEZ, CO-DIRECTOR, TEXAS CHILDREN`S HOSPITAL CENTER FOR VACCINE DEVELOPMENT: Yes, this is exactly right. And there are almost no words to describe it. You know, we call it misinformation or disinformation, Mehdi. It`s -- I don`t know what you call it, self-immolation or anti-science aggression. And this is people who had the option to get vaccinated, could understand that they needed to get vaccinated and deliberately chose not to.

Why? Because of the words of members of the United States Congress at the CPAC conference saying that vaccines are political instruments of control or first they`re going to vaccinate you, then they`re going to take your guns and Bibles away. And as ridiculous as that sounds to us, a quarter of the nation believed it and needlessly lost their lives.

It came out of the conservative news outlets night after night on Fox News discrediting vaccines. It came from a cultivated group of contrarian intellectuals or pseudo-intellectuals coming out of the far-right Think Tank who weave this false narrative about vaccines and other COVID prevention measures. This was deliberate anti-science aggression, and out of authoritarian rule.

HASAN: Elie, Brazil`s Senate has voted to recommend charges against their president, Bolsonaro, for crimes against humanity for his handling of the Coronavirus or mishandling of the Coronavirus pandemic. I mean, I`m not saying that Democrats should be calling for Trump to be sent to Geneva or to Hague, or wherever it is.

But I do wonder why the Democrats have not talked more about Trump`s responsibility for a massive death. They`re up against a party who went on and on about a handful of tragic deaths in Benghazi versus 800,000 dead, many of whom died on Trump`s watch, many of whom don`t because of Donald Trump.

MYSTAL: Look, I don`t usually defend Democrats. That`s not -- but they did try to impeach him twice. And -- sorry, did it successfully impeached him twice.


MYSTAL: Not for COVID. So, maybe that`s the next thing to go. But if you want to talk about Democrats, I think what we got to talk about is that it`s interesting to me that Brazil has a Senate that`s willing to hold its president and account -- its president accountable. And we do not have an attorney general that`s willing to hold the former President accountable.

When you`re talking about what Glenn Kirschner are talking about, when you`re talking about some of these more aggressive legal theories, we have to have a prosecutor. We have to have the United States Attorney General who is willing to take the fight to Trump, and we don`t have that right now.

I can`t get Trump indicted for tax fraud. I can`t get him indicted for election fraud. I can`t get him indicted for obstruction of justice. I can`t get -- I`m not done. I can`t get him indicted for sexual assault. I can`t get him indicted for sedition. I can`t get them indicted for treason. And those are all easier legal arguments to make than the crimes against humanity for his COVID mishandling.

HASAN: Fair point.

MYSTAL: So, until the prosecutor who was willing to go to the mattresses against this man, he`s going to continue to walk away free.

HASAN: Depressing points, but fair points nevertheless. Dr. Hotez, there are some researchers who believe that the current death toll we`re reporting it`s crossed 800,000. There are some who say that`s an undercount, and that the real number of death could be close to a million. We may have even crossed a million mark. Is that your view as well?

HOTEZ: Yes, because you know, so many times you had the paramedics come to the House and the individual had lost their lives was recorded as a sudden death event from a heart attack, but it could have been COVID-19. And look, we have to also stop talking about this like it`s over.

We`re waiting for the latest Institute for Health Metrics evaluation is coming out at the end of this week. But it`s likely that 800,000 deaths is going to increase to more than one million by the end of 2022. And again, that`s almost going to be all people who are defiant of getting vaccinated.

So that 150,000 defiant to the vaccines is going to double to 300,000, 350,000. It is just a massive loss of life all for showing allegiance to far-right extremism.

HASAN: Yes. It is deeply depressing to see hundreds of people still dying every single day from COVID-19 and yet we have columnist in the liberal media too saying well, let`s move on, you know, COVID is over. And it`s not over, and that`s part of the problem that we`re not holding Trump to account because so many people just want to move on. I`m not going to move on on this story. I want to hold him to account.

Elie Mystal and Dr. Peter Hotez, thank you both for your time. I appreciate it.

That is ALL IN on this Monday night. I`m Mehdi Hasan. Chris Hayes will be back tomorrow night. And you can find me Sunday night on this network 8:00 p.m. Eastern right here on MSNBC. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.