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Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 12/14/21

Guests: Eric Boehlert, Jennifer Rubin, Elaine Luria, Hunter Walker, Vann Newkirk

Summary

The House of Representatives is preparing to vote on holding Donald Trump`s former chief of staff 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. January 6 protest organizers says they participated in dozens of planning meetings with members of Congress and White House staff. Republicans weaponize the myth of voter fraud and use it to make stricter laws.

Transcript

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: And we need to recognize this poverty porn for what it is because American inequality and our consistent refusal to address our broken system is the absolute worst.

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

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.

REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): Mr. Meadows received numerous text messages which he has produced without any privilege claim. Indeed, some of those text messages, madam speaker, came from members in the chamber right now.

HAYES: The full House votes on contempt for meadows, and the MAGA mouthpiece goes silent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There has been zero mentions on Fox News of their host`s texts to Mark Meadows.

HAYES: Tonight, new evidence around Donald Trump`s attempt to overthrow the government and the right-wing media organ abetting him.

LAURA INGRAHAM, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: There are some reports that Antifa sympathizers may have been sprinkled throughout the crowd.

HAYES: Plus, new reporting on unnamed lawmakers working with the White House. Why a judge tossed Trump`s lawsuit to keep his taxes away from congress. And a closer look at the ongoing human victims of the big lie. when ALL IN starts right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. Right now, as we speak, the House of Representatives is preparing to vote on holding Donald Trump`s former chief of staff Mark Meadows in contempt of Congress, a body in which he once served, for refusing to comply with subpoena from the January 6 Committee.

The debate on this resolution started this afternoon around 4:15. There`s a bit of a hold-up by Republicans over accusations that House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer disparaged Republican Congressman Jim Banks. Once they sort of throw all that, they picked up the debate around 5:30 p.m.

The debate is done now. There`s some other House business happening. We`re waiting them to vote on whether to refer Mark Meadows to the Department of Justice for contempt of Congress as they have previously done with Steve Bannon. If he is held in contempt, the case goes to the DOJ where they will decide whether or not to prosecute.

The actual vote is expected soon. We`ll continue to bring you the latest on what`s happening on the floor. Of course, this all comes a day after the House committee investigating the insurrection voted unanimously in favor of the contempt resolution the House takes up tonight.

And part of the reason that happened, a big part of the reason is because Mark Meadows, former chief of staff, his defense that he didn`t have to comply with subpoena because of executive privilege is basically been invalidated. I mean, Meadows has been claiming he cannot talk about certain interactions with former President Trump because of his active privilege, but then he published a 300-page book discussing those interactions in detail and also provided the committee with more than 6,000 pages of emails and 2,000 text messages.

Yesterday, we got a tantalizing peek at some of those documents when the Republican vice-chair of the January 6 Committee, Congresswoman Liz Cheney, read them into the record.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHENEY: "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, "We need an Oval Office address. He has to lead now. It has gone too far and gotten out of hand."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: The unifying theme from those messages sent to Mark Meadows from three Fox News hosts and Donald Trump`s own son when the mob was attacking the Capitol and trying to undo our democracy is that everyone watching what happened that day was horrified in the moment. They were desperate for Donald Trump to condemn the insurrection and call of the mob.

Everyone, even these prominent figures from the right, understood the mob would listen to one person and one person only, that they were -- to use the metaphor here -- the dog Trump had sicked on the Capitol and everyone wanted Trump to call them to heel.

The only exception was Donald Trump himself. That`s why those texts are coming into Meadows who`s with Trump. Everyone agrees not Trump. Maybe not Meadows, we don`t know. Trump delayed and he delayed and he delayed saying anything on January 6 hence the barrage of messages. And he finally released a video calling the insurrectionist very special and saying he loved them.

[20:05:07]

Now, after these texts came out, the right has a hilarious morally backward scandal on its hands because this new evidence revealed by Liz Cheney last night shows that a bunch of them had the correct moral, not to mention PR instinct in the moment that the insurrection was bad and dangerous and must be stopped. But of course, that deviates from the official party line that they have been repeating for almost a year.

So, not only does this humiliating episode reveal they have been lying directly to their viewers which is not that surprising, but still amazing to see so concretely, but they also cannot even talk about this good thing they did. It`s hard to figure out how to take a victory lap. I`m sure they`ll try to do it tonight or even pat themselves in the back for momentarily doing the right thing, for using their connection to Mark Meadows to try to get him to do something to get Donald Trump to act and stop the insurrection.

But the first instinct they had wasn`t to do that. Because to do that would only further enrage Donald Trump, the man they all still bow before. In the 24 hours since Congresswoman Liz Cheney read those text messages out for the whole world to hear, there has been barely any mention of them on Fox News. And when Fox News really want to pump a story, they can.

In fact, get this. Sean Hannity actually interviewed the one and only Mark Meadows for seven minutes last night just after that bombshell and somehow managed not to mention the news. Never to mention that he reached out to Meadows on January 6 trying to get the president to stop the violent insurrection he had fomented.

That whole thing in that interview never came up. Hannity did however manage to give Meadows a platform to praise Donald Trump for his admirable actions on January 6th.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK MEADOWS, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: President Trump wanted to make sure that the people that came, that there was a safe environment for that kind of assembly. And I`ve said that publicly before, the 10,000 National Guard troops that he wanted to make sure that everything was safe and secure. And yet the way that some of the Democrats are spinning this trying to spend some nefarious purpose, I think at the end of the day, they`re going -- they`re going to find that not only did the president act but he acted quickly.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Dude, there`s nothing to find. We know the timeline. It is public. We watched it. I remember where I was. It was less than a year ago. You might too. This is the whole bad face scan on a nutshell. Here`s Mark Meadows, a guy who`s in the process of being referred to the DOJ for criminal contempt lying on Sean Hannity`s show claiming that Donald Trump "acted quickly on January 6."

Sean Hannity knows that`s a lie because well, oh, right, he himself texted Meadows in the middle of the attack as the insurrection was happening, pleading the president needed to hurry up and say something. "Can he make a statement? Ask people leave the Capitol. He is asking that question because the president is not acting quickly as we all know because we were all watching it in real-time.

But of course, Sean Hannity can`t say anything about that. Because if he does, he tips his hand and he tips all their hands at Fox News because they have been lying through their teeth to their audience for a year now. I mean, not just about this, but a lot of things about what they say with their own eyes -- what they saw with their own eyes and recognizing the time. In fact, they started lying that very night claiming it wasn`t their people mobbing the Capitol.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

INGRAHAM: Earlier today, the Capitol was under siege by people who can only be described as antithetical to the MAGA movement. Now, there were likely not all Trump supporters and there are some reports that Antifa sympathizers may have been sprinkled throughout the crowd.

HANNITY: There`s always bad actors that will infiltrate large crowds. I don`t care if they`re radical left, radical right. I don`t know who they are. They`re not people I would support.

BRIAN KILMEADE, CONTRIBUTOR, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: I just thought the tone, the attitude of defiance played out in the Capitol. The lack of security stun me. I do not know Trump supporters that have ever demonstrated violence that I know of in a big situation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Can I just take a second to hold that Ingraham statement up to the light? There are reports Antifa supporters may have been sprinkled throughout the crowd. There are reports that I may be able to dunk a basketball. There are reports that I may have just broken the record for the NBA three-point title. There reports, may.

So, here`s the raw truth that is exposed in just those few text messages. Everyone, except for the actual mob and Donald Trump watching was on the same page as they watched the horrifying insurrection transpire, everyone except for those two entities. The mob cracking the skulls of cops stealing their guns, and Donald Trump, everyone else immediately recognized it was wrong, it was horribly dangerous and destructive, a horrible line have been crossed, and that the President alone was controlling it and could stop it.

[20:10:19]

Eric Boehlert is the founder and editor of Press Run media where he monitors Fox News and other right-wing propaganda. Jennifer Rubin is an opinion columnist of the Washington Post, also the author of Resistance: How Women Save Democracy From Donald Trump. And they both joined me now.

You know, Eric, I think it`s so striking the awkwardness here and the fact that that Fox wouldn`t talk about it today. And I think they`re going to address it tonight because at a certain point, it becomes just untenable. But I saw a few consumers being like, look, this shows that they were on the right side of things. And it`s like, that`s one interpretation. But they can`t say that and they can`t brag about it precisely because of the fact they`ve been telling the opposite story of their viewers for a year.

ERIC BOEHLERT, FOUNDER AND EDITOR, PRESS RUN: Well, I think Chris Wallace picked a good week to quit Fox News. You know, this is -- what`s so interesting about these texts is it provides this rare unfiltered look, right? Fox News is a closed society. They do not have anyone on Fox who disagrees with them. None of these people venture into the public square to have actual debates, so they lie without consequence and they`ve done it for years. And it`s just gotten more and more extreme.

So, this is our one time we get an unfiltered view into Fox and what do we find out, they`re all raging hypocrites. And trust me, this is the tip of the iceberg. If anyone thinks Hannity, Ingraham, and Kilmeade only texted Mark Meadows on January 6, that`s just not true. They all know Trump doesn`t read emails or texts, so they got out their White House contacts. They were texting everybody at the White House, I guarantee you.

You know, Fox is this is a cancer on this country. It has been for years. And this is really one of the most despicable examples that we`ve ever seen. And to your point, they`re absolutely boxed in. But they don`t care, right? They know they can lie to your viewers. Their viewers expect to be lied to. And so this is their cushion that they`ve always had.

But they hate being exposed like this. Fox News hates being on the defensive like this. And it`s so blatant to everybody. And again, I think this is the tip of the iceberg. The 1-6 hearings are going to be amazing.

HAYES: I mean, you know, Jennifer, there`s different levels, right? Like, they`re people -- you can have an argument with someone who believes differently than you. Sometimes you can argue with people who I think in a kind of maybe slightly bad faith way of convince themselves to believe a thing they don`t really for sort of partisan purposes.

But then there`s just like outright like, realizing what`s happening and lying about it on air and having this sort of private set of views and public side views. And I think we`ve seen some of this the vaccine which has led I think -- has been part of the many causes that have led to tens of not hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths. A very similar dynamic which is like it`s -- they know. They know.

And to Eric`s point, it`s enough of a close society they could try to keep it all hermetically sealed but that was punctured here.

JENNIFER RUBIN, OPINION COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: Yes. This is such deep, deep cynicism. Whether it`s encouraging their own viewers to put themselves in a harm`s way by not getting vaccinated or whether it`s continuing to shell for a president who Laura Ingraham said this is bad for all of us.

HAYES: Yes.

RUBIN: Notice the us. Laura on team Trump there. You know, these people are just deeply cynical. And you know, you could think well, maybe they had some philosophical issue, maybe they were doing it because they really believed in Trump. No, this is about money. This is about fame. This is about keeping an audience.

And the extreme bad faith is so cringe-worthy. And it`s not just these people. It`s the people who put them on air, it`s the board of directors including oh, by the way, Paul Ryan who used to be Speaker of the House. And it really is the whole kitten caboodle that has become so corrupted.

I will note that Liz Cheney keeps repeating a number which I really love and that`s 183. That was the number of minutes Trump waited before he did anything. She keeps repeating it because of this lie that now Mark Meadows is telling that the President responded somehow expeditiously or appropriately which we know not to be the case.

And of course there are a bunch of congressmen who have a problem too, because some of these texts came from Members of Congress. And we heard last night, we heard today on the floor that there are a whole bunch of texts from Members Of congress. I can guarantee you they`re Republicans on both before January 6 and on January 6 about the attempt to overthrow the election. And that is going to get really interesting.

[20:15:00]

HAYES: Yes. To your point there when Laura Ingraham says this is hurting all of us, which the terrible interpretation is like the republic and the whole country, the uncharitable is like all the people that got on this bandwagon that are associated with the sociopath that you`re enabling.

And then, he is destroying his legacy. Kilmeade says destroying everything you have accomplished. And Eric, I mean, the irony here is like, they didn`t give themselves enough credit because in the moment they thought that was happening, they thought this was like he had finally gone too far. But in fact, Fox and Trump together have successfully thrown the car in reverse in the past year to basically paper over what people saw with their own eyes such that in the eyes of the people they talk to every day, that legacy is not destroyed.

BOEHLERT: Yes. Last week, Brian Kilmeade who is making fun of news organizations, they`re spending too much time covering the insurrection, news organizations that literally can`t look like left or right without new revelations about the coup tumbling into their laps. I mean, it is a -- it`s a -- it`s a torrent at this point thanks again to -- I think to the 1- 6 Committee.

You know, Tucker Carlson in September said these aren`t terrorists, they were tourists. Look, they have gone -- their job now, they`re -- they are paid to show up to work every day to whitewash this coup and to whitewash this insurrection. Everybody knows they lie to their audience. They`ve been lying to their audience about climate change, about COVID, about taxes, about immigrants, you name it.

This is unique because this was a uniquely grotesque event on January 6. There was this momentary flash of morality in this window for maybe 20 minutes on the afternoon of January 6th. And that window had slammed shut. And as you say, it has been -- it has been thrown into reverse and we`re -- you know, now, we`re just in Orwellian speak over there.

HAYES: Well, and I think, Jennifer, you cited Liz Cheney. It`s clear to me that her goal in all this is to essentially try to use this platform to remind everyone and perhaps regain the in-the-moment consensus feeling of horror that I think was shared essentially across the country and across the political spectrum with the exception of Donald Trump and the mob. That is the project she`s engaged in as far as I can tell.

RUBIN: Absolutely. And she`s doing it brilliantly. The White House isn`t doing it. The Democrats in general aren`t doing it. Of course, Fox isn`t doing it. But she has figured out how to get people`s attention by specifically reading out these very incriminating texts, by making sure people understand the timeline and by making sure people understand particularly on the floor of the House today that there were Republican congressmen involved in this.

And she`s doing something else. And she is explaining the legal predicate for what`s going on. What`s it going to get Trump on if they ever get him on is not inciting the mob, it is corruptly attempting to obstruct the congressional vote. That`s the crime. That`s obstruction of justice. And if you listen to her last night, and you listen to her today again, she keeps repeating that phrase, corruptly interfering with the House count. That`s the law.

HAYES: Yes. We`re going to actually play a little bit of that sound from today. Eric Boehlert and Jennifer Rubin, thank you. You at home, stay with us. Tonight, as the House prepares to vote on holding Donald Trump`s former chief of staff Mark Meadows in contempt, how much has the January 6 Select Committee learned from the documents he`s already turned over the investigation? It sure seems like a lot. What we know so far.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHENEY: Mr. Meadows received numerous text messages which he has produced without any privileged claim. Indeed, some of those text messages, Madam Speaker, came from members in the chamber right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:20:00]

HAYES: We are keeping an eye on the House of Representatives this evening. They are scheduled to vote tonight on whether to refer former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows to the Department of Justice to be charged with criminal contempt of Congress for his refusal to cooperate with subpoena from the committee investigating insurrection.

Now, earlier this evening, one by one, members of the House took to the floor to make their case and share new damning information that shows just how involved Mark Meadows was in the plot to steal the election.

REP. BENNIE THOMPSON (D-MS): You`re making excuses as part of a cover-up and if you echo these excuses, if you base your arguments on these excuses, if you adopt these excuses as your own to explain why you won`t take action, then you`re part of that cover-up too.

CHENEY: Mr. Meadows received numerous text messages which he has produced without any privilege claim. Indeed, some of those text messages, Madam Speaker, came from members in the chamber right now.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): One of the texts to Meadows on January 3rd came from an unknown caller and referred to efforts to replace the leadership of the Department of Justice and said the following. I heard Jeff Clark is getting put in on Monday. That`s amazing. It will make a lot of patriots happy. And I`m personally so proud that you are at the tip of the spear and I could call you a friend.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: They`re referring to those text messages sent to Mark Meadows released last night by the committee investigating the insurrection, from Fox News hosts, President`s son, Don Jr., but also from members of Congress. Yesterday, the chair of the committee said that they were going to name names.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Unnamed lawmakers were in -- talked about text messages to Mark Meadows saying they were sorry that it didn`t work out. Who were they?

THOMPSON: Well, they were revealed to us in the information that we received from Mr. Meadows, but I can`t give you the names.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are those names going to come out yet? And what --

THOMPSON: They will come out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Right now, the committee remains tight-lipped about which of their colleagues were in contact with the White House during the attack on the Capitol.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PETE AGUILAR (D-CA): The committee knows a lot of details and communication but at this point I don`t think that that`s relevant to where we are. But I don`t think at this point it`s important to know the names of the individuals. But when the chairman feels compelled to relay that information, I`m sure you`ll be the first to know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: And so, now, as we wait to find out exactly who those members are, Republican Congressman Liz Cheney, Vice-Chair of the Committee is dropping another bombshell. Today, she implied the committee is also looking into potential criminal activity by Donald Trump.

[20:25:01]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHENEY: Mr. Meadows` testimony will bear on another fundamental question before this committee, and that is whether Donald J. Trump through action or inaction corruptly sought to obstruct or impede Congress` official proceeding to count electoral votes. This committee is entitled to Mr. Meadows testimony and it will inform our legislative judgments.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Congresswoman Elaine Luria is a Democrat representing Virginia`s second Congressional District. She sits on the bipartisan committee investing in the insurrection, and she joins me now. Congresswoman, let me follow up just starting there with your co-committee members, your fellow committee members language there which echoes a part of the federal criminal code around obstructing official proceedings.

In fact, those charges have been brought against many of the members who entered the Capitol unlawfully. And I wonder what we should take away from that language and whether that -- the contours of some sort of criminal referral are front of mind for members of the committee.

REP. ELAINE LURIA (D-VA): Well, Chris, thanks for having me again. What I would say is that as a committee, we`re trying to paint the full picture of what happened before leading up to and during January 6th and certainly any elements of that that reflect criminal activity or something that the committee is very interested in and all of the pieces we`re putting together and especially this testimony we`re trying to seek for Mr. Meadows is part of that because Mr. Meadows was the closest to the president.

He was with him during that day, during the 187 minutes, over three hours, of inaction and you know, I think it`s very important to me keying into what my colleague Liz Cheney said, either through his action or inaction, he corruptly sought to impede the proceedings of Congress.

So, I think that all of that picture is becoming more clear. And if there are criminal elements to this, certainly those things will be made clear to the public and provided to the Department of Justice as we move forward. There`s been talk about members of Congress who are texting with Mark Meadows which again, at one level, members of Congress, Republicans texting with the White House chief of staff is not surprising. Presumably, that happens all the time.

It`s in the context of this that those are quite striking, including the one yesterday that sort of mournfully talked about -- it didn`t work out yesterday, what a sad day. There`s a question about who those members are and whether the public has a right to know who they are, and when we would find that out.

LURIA: I certainly think the public has a right to know. I would say that the committee chair is being very deliberate about when we release that information because we don`t want to impede or interfere with the investigation and other witnesses we`re speaking to at this point. But you can certainly expect to hear those names and probably very soon.

But I think that maintaining that within the committee until we`re ready to release it publicly is very important to the progress of our investigation right now.

HAYES: The referral -- I imagine you anticipated we voted out tonight, will pass probably a near party line vote although I imagine uh Kinzinger and Cheney will vote with Democrats on this. What is the goal here? Is the goal -- the goal is I imagine to actually get Meadow`s testimony because it seems to me that unlike some of the other people all of whom testimony seems relevant, Meadows testimony is probably the single most germane witness in all this because of the reason you cited which is he`s side by side the president for those three hours.

LURIA: I think the goal and all of this, the goal is not to go after these people. We want these people to come speak to Congress. There are over 300 people who`ve already come voluntarily and provided very valuable information. So, the ultimate goal in all of this is to get this testimony because it`s key and very important to this investigation.

HAYES: It`s striking too that all of these people including the president`s own son are texting with the chief of staff. I don`t know if they`re texting or emailing with the president, but in some ways, those texts demonstrate his proximity that he essentially is acting during that period of time in the crucial three hours as fun -- as a sort of communicative adjunct to the president if you`ve got his own son texting him.

LURIA: It`s very interesting to me. I would think, gosh, the president`s own son should have a line of communication with him. And to know that he`s going through someone else or perhaps he`s not responding to anyone during this time -- so, perhaps his own son has to desperately try to contact someone who he thinks might be near to him standing next to him. So, it is very interesting that so many people use Mr. Meadows as a way to communicate with the president. And obviously, that`s exactly why we need to hear from him.

HAYES: It`s sort of sad and poignant in its own small way. Congresswoman Elaine Lauria, thank you so much for your time.

LURIA: Thank you.

HAYES: Next, two key organizers of the January 6 rally are coming forward to testify. They`re ready to name names. What we might learn from their communications of White House staffers and members of Congress and what they said at the deposition or at least one of them today after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:30:00]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you personally in contact with Mark Meadows that day and other White House officials to urge Trump to do more?

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): Yes, I was not. But I do think we`re all watching as you are what is unfolding on the House side. And it will be interesting to reveal all the participants who were involved.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: It`s one of the big questions in the January 6 investigation, what lawmakers were involved and to what extent. And back in October, Hunter Walker reported at Rolling Stone the people planning events on January 6 "Communicated with members of Congress throughout this process, and the members who participate in these conversations or had top staffers join in included Republican Congressman Paul Gosar of Arizona.

At the time, Walker had sourced that to two people who were involved in planning a number of protests around the country including on January 6th. Those two sources told them that Congressman Gosar dangled the possibility of a blanket pardon in an unrelated ongoing investigation to encourage them to plan the protest.

Now, that is something Congressman Gosar denies calling the article categorically false and defamatory in a statement. But we`re now learning who those two people are. Their names are Dustin Stockton and Jennifer Lynn Lawrence. They are conservative activists who helped organize the January 6th rally on the Ellipse.

[20:35:16]

Back in November, they were subpoenaed by the committee investigating the insurrection and they have been cooperating. Today, Stockton, the man on the right side of your screen gave his deposition to the committee as his lawyer characterized the documents he provided.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSH NASS, ATTORNEY FOR DUSTIN STOCKTON: There are people that are very senior in the former president`s orbit and there are also even lawmakers among them who I believe have good reason to be quivering in their boots today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are we talking text messages, emails, phone records? What are we talking about?

NASS: We`re talking about an all-encompassing slew of documents that include all sorts of communications. That means email correspondences, text messages, and the like.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: So, that was today. Tomorrow, Jennifer Lynn Lawrence appears before the same committee. Hunter Walker interviewed that couple. He`s been covering the investigation into connections between rally organizers and government officials on January 6 extensively for Rolling Stone. And he joins me now.

Hunter, first let`s just start with a little sort of context-setting of who these people are.

HUNTER WALKER, CONTRIBUTOR, ROLLING STONE: So, Dustin Stockton and Jennifer Lynn Lawrence are this couple that are really veterans of the Republican activist world. They bonded first in the 2012 RNC. At the time, Jen was working for Herman Cain, Dustin was working for Newt Gingrich.

They later began a lengthy association with Steve Bannon. And they worked on the "special projects desk" for Breitbart. They tell me they reported directly to him. And these special projects included sort of somewhere between mischief-making and dirty tricks including embedding with Bernie Sanders protesters and spurring the anti-Hillary Clinton protests at the DNC in 2016.

So, they`ve had this long association with high-level figures on the right including Amy Kremer. Dustin Stockton met her in the tea party world and she went on to lead women for America First which as you know was the main organization that got the permit for the ellipse rally so they have a long history in Republican circles.

HAYES: So, one of the things here. So, there`s the Ellipse rally. And there`s no -- like, that -- we know that was organized. We know the members of Congress are involved. Mo Brooks spoke at it. We saw John Eastman spoke. The President of the United States spoke there. We saw the Trump crew like in the tent, right? They were involved in that Ellipse rally. They were some of the chief organizers of that, right?

WALKER: So, you know, you made such an important point earlier in the broadcast which is that so much of this played out right in front of our eyes. There were members of Congress speaking on stage at that ellipse rally. There were even members of Congress speaking or scheduled to speak at the more rogue wild protest which was the name of the event that took place right on the side of the Capitol.

So, we know there was this involvement. But you know, what Dustin and Jen have told me in the documents that they`re providing to the committee shed a little more light on what exactly that involvement may have looked like.

HAYES: So, let`s talk about the allegation against Gosar here. They say that they spoke to Paul Gosar at some point. That he dangled a presidential pardon which by the way, it was due to the fact that their involvement with We Build the Wall, the organization that Steve Bannon had been involved with and he was indicted for essentially bilking die hard MAGA people who were giving money to this essentially fictitious entity and using the money for their -- on their own personal pockets. They were involved in that as well. And Gosar tells them what, maybe that goes away if you keep it up.

WALKER: Well, to be clear it wasn`t a fictitious entity. I mean, they brought in about $25 million and they did erect about three miles of wall along the border. The issue with Steve Bannon is that you know he represented it as a situation where he wasn`t being paid and allegedly according to the DOJ, he and a couple other leaders of the group, you know, took a lot of money while saying they were doing this sort of pro-bono.

Dustin and Jen had this dramatic raid on their RV in August 2020 out at the Casablanca Resort and Casino in Mesquite, Nevada but they were never charged. So, they felt like this was hanging over their heads. And according to them, Paul Gosar and his chief of staff Tom Van Flein called them in December 2020 as they had begun this anti-election bus tour with Amy Kremer, and it was basically represented to them, they say, that you know, the pair had just left the Oval Office, they talked with Trump, and according to them Gosar said something along the lines of everybody sees what you`re doing, keep it up.

And the strong implication was that Trump was more likely to consider a pardon for them based on the work they were doing protesting the election.

HAYES: And we should say that Bannon was pardoned -- I mean, it`s not a crazy notion when you think of the fact that Bannon was indicted over his involvement with the exact same organization. He was then pardoned by Trump after he tried very hard to essentially pull off the insurrection on Trump`s behalf. So, it`s not like a crazy fact pattern just to dismiss out of hand.

We don`t know if it`s true. Gosar denies it. I want to read here what they told you about why they are cooperating with the committee. Behind those noble sentiments about why they`re cooperating with the committee is a hard reality. Stockton and Lawrence are running out of options. We`ve seen what happened with Bannon. We don`t have the resources that Steve Bannon has. Stockton says referencing Bannon`s multi-million dollar fortune. Our options are in a lot of ways limited. And indeed we saw Stockton there today and Lawrence is headed there tomorrow.

[20:40:21]

WALKER: Yes. So, you know, they`re facing these subpoenas from the committee. That raises the possibility of intense legal bills. And you know, they feel abandoned by Trump. I`ve reported on how Matt and Mercy Schlapp and Matt Whitaker, the former Acting Attorney General have this legal fund that they`ve set up for some of the Trump aides caught up in this investigation.

Stockton and Lawrence have gotten no such aid and they also claim to be feeling really abandoned when they watch the rank-and-file Trump supporters who heeded the president`s call, went to the Capitol that day, and also received no support.

One thing i just want to say about Paul Gosar denying this. When i did the first story where Dustin and Jen were anonymous, he claimed he never met them even though they hadn`t been identified. They did in fact meet and we published the photo of them together on the Ellipse on January 6th. And Gosar admits he did pursue a pardon for Bannon.

HAYES: That`s also a very useful context. The final thing here is there does seem to be a little bit of a breakdown among some of the rally organizers and we`re seeing this with Ali Alexander as well who was part partly behind that "Wild Protest." People trying to position themselves as yes, we were there for the peaceable assembly at the Ellipse which yes, we were trying to get an election thrown out, but we weren`t the ones storming the Capitol.

That seems the line that you`re hearing from some of the people that are demonstrably associated with the organization of that rally.

WALKER: Yes. I mean as we pointed out earlier, all of this played out on live TV essentially. But what various people among these groups are saying is we were responsible for the demonstration. You know, Democrats objected to the election in 2016. We were doing something similar but we had nothing to do with the violence.

And in the case of Dustin and Jen, they point a lot of the blame at Ali. Ali points the blame at other people. So, there`s a lot of infighting going on here. I will say that one thing Dustin and Jen told me is that the initial plan was for everyone to remain on the Ellipse while you know evidence was presented of alleged voter fraud.

We know that`s baseless but this was the plan. They claim it was Trump himself who changed that plan by you know, making the call to march to the Capitol in the final 120 words of his speech.

HAYES: We all saw it on TV. Now, we`re going to go down together, he told them. Hunter Walker, thank you very much. I should tell you, tomorrow night, Dustin Stockton and Jennifer Lawrence will join me here on ALL IN. I`ll have lots more questions. I`m sure you do too. Be sure to tune in.

Still to come, Donald Trump`s longtime accountant reportedly testifies before a New York grand jury. The latest on that investigation. Plus, what to make of the federal judge dismissing Trump`s bid to block Congress from getting his tax returns. Those stories next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:45:00]

HAYES: Even though the January 6 Committee voted to hold Donald Trump`s former chief of staff in contempt, it seemed clear from the words of the committee`s Vice Chair Liz Cheney that Trump himself is one of the other targets of their investigation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHENEY: Mr. Meadow`s testimony will bear on another fundamental question before this committee, and that is whether Donald J. Trump through action or inaction corruptly sought to obstruct or impede Congress` official proceeding to count electoral votes. This committee is entitled to Mr. Meadows testimony and it will inform our legislative judgments.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Interestingly, a federal judge appointed by Trump himself wrote last week that an effort to interrupt the county electoral votes can be a crime even if no violence was contemplated. That is exactly what Congresswoman Cheney is referring to there.

But as has been true of most of Donald Trump`s political career, he never has just one looming legal threat. Just a few hours ago, another federal judge, another Trump appointee tossed out Trump`s lawsuit trying to stop a House committee from getting his tax returns. Remember that?

Even if the former president is right on the facts, he is wrong on the law, wrote Judge Trevor McFadden, although he`s doing that two and a half years into this lawsuit. A long line of supreme court cases requires great deference to facially valid congressional inquiries. Even the special solicitude accorded former presidents does not alter the outcome.

Now, the judge did stay his ruling for two weeks to give Trump time to file an appeal. But while Congressional Democrats are still trying to get access to Trump`s taxes, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance already has them. And new reports indicate his investigation or the investigation soon to be of successor is moving forward.

The Washington Post reports "a longtime accountant for former President Donald Trump who helped prepare trump`s taxes and the financial statements his company used to woo lenders testified recently before a New York grand jury investigating Trump`s financial practices according to two people familiar with that investigation.

It doesn`t stop there. According to the post, in addition in recent weeks, prosecutors have interviewed a former managing director at Deutsche Bank who arranged hundreds of millions of dollars in loans to Trump. The banker`s interview was not before the grand jury. Instead, one person said, prosecutors pressed her about Trump`s role in dealings with the bank.

And that comes less than a week after the post-reported New York Attorney General Letitia James has requested Trump himself give a deposition on January 7th as part of a civil fraud investigation. Between all that and the revelations his friends on Fox and his own son were texting his chief of staff behind his back, it`s been a not a great week for Mr. Trump and it`s only Tuesday.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:50:00]

HAYES: Over 158 million people voted in the 2020 presidential election, the highest voter turnout in the century. The central premise of Donald Trump`s big lies that millions of those ballots, millions were illegally cast. And in reality, all data available across the board shows that voter fraud is extremely vanishingly rare, and widespread voter fraud just simply does not exist at all.

That simple fact was just born out again by the latest analysis by the Associated Press of the six battleground states repeatedly disputed by Trump, Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin. It found fewer than 475 potential cases of voter fraud, a number that would have obviously made no difference in the 2020 presidential election.

And some of the few cases over voter fraud we do about know about involve Republicans, not Democrats. One example, in Florida, three residents of the villages in Sumter County were just charged with voting twice once, in Florida and once out of state. According to WKMG in Orlando, all three registered as Republicans during the election. It`s unclear if they voted in two different places by accident or on purpose though I`m willing to think it might just be on accident.

WKMG says this is the first time in 20 years that anyone in Sumter County has been prosecuted for anything like this, which is not surprising because again voter fraud is incredibly rare. Yet the myth of voter fraud is key to Trump`s big lie and it was key before Trump, key to Republican efforts to disenfranchise voters across the country before Donald Trump.

In an expansive new piece in the Atlantic, senior editor Vann Newkirk lays out those "extraordinary efforts the Republican Party`s made to demonstrate that fraud is being committed by minority voters on a massive scale. And Vann Newkirk joins me now.,

[20:55:27]

Vann, this is a great piece. It`s an interview with a woman named Crystal Mason who`s one of the most sort of infamous cases of this. Tell us about Crystal Mason`s story.

VANN NEWKIRK, SENIOR EDITOR, THE ATLANTIC: So, Crystal Mason, she is a Black grandmother, mother, just a hub of a family living just outside of Dallas, Texas. And in 2016, she was coming out of a federal prison sentence and was doing supervised release.

And she went out. Her mother told her go vote. Donald Trump has done some things in 2016 and put the fire to a lot of folks and she decided to go out and vote. She did not know that in Texas, she had to complete the terms of her release in order to get out and vote. So, she filed a provisional ballot. It was actually denied. Yet, a couple months later, she was actually prosecuted for illegal voting despite the fact that her vote did not count.

HAYES: That part of it, just to be clear here, the provisional ballot -- and this is one of the things the AP found in their analysis. Provisional ballot was not even -- it was caught. It was -- it didn`t even go into the system.

NEWKIRK: Yes. It did not count. She did not, by the actual definition of anything, vote. So -- but she was convicted of illegal voting and sentenced to five years in prison.

HAYES: Five years in prison.

NEWKIRK: Five years.

HAYES: And what role did this prosecution play in the sort of mythology building that Republicans in the state of Texas and other places have undertaken, again, even before Donald Trump, about this sort of scourge of this vast armies of non-white voters in the cities who are stealing elections through voter fraud?

NEWKIRK: Well, you have to remember that Texas has been at the center of a lot of these efforts to advance voter ID laws, to create this national case that these voter suppression laws are necessarily. So, Texas` voter ID, law has been in the courts over and over again. It`s been held up by the Justice Department.

And what they needed actually was cases to prove that such a law might be necessary. And so, over the course of the years, cases like Crystal Mason`s and other -- and other women of color in Texas who were prosecuted for "illegal voting," they became the bedrock for this narrative that built this law.

And then that law after Shelby County, became kind of the leading edge of a lot of these other laws in especially southern battleground states that have expanded voter suppression quite a bit, and also, at the same time, have created a narrative that there are more fraudulent voters.

HAYES: I mean, it`s really striking. This is the best they could come up with, someone who accidentally thought because she was on supervisory release and not completed the terms of release, that she could vote, cast a provisional ballot which was caught and not actually entered in. This was the big case.

This was like, oh, look, we`ve got our tangible evidence. And you sat down with Crystal Mason. What is her view of this now that she is -- she is out in the world watching all the big lie, watching the cases roll through the federal courts of people that did things like invaded the Capitol in an attempt to overthrow an election. What does she make of her case and where things stand?

NEWKIRK: Well, she keeps up with the prosecutions of the people involved in the January 6 insurrection. And obviously, she is fascinating to say the least by the fact that so many of them are getting -- might be getting no jail or prison time at all, or many of them are getting very lenient sentences.

And when you compare that to what she got to what she had to deal with -- she`s already had to go back and do eight months in prison because of this, and she`s facing five years now. So, you look at what she`s already given to this and look at how some of these folks are going to walk away with their lives relatively unchanged. And you really got to wonder, what`s the point? And she does.

HAYES: Vann Newkirk writing for Atlantic about the case of Crystal Mason. I want to just read one more quote where you say, They first gin up fear about fraud, then use a fear to aggressively prosecute voting infractions, then use those prosecutions to create stricter laws, and use the stricter laws to induce more examples of fraud, then use those examples of gin up even more fear. The potential impact on turnout is bad enough, but the cumulative effect of it restrictive laws corrodes the democratic process itself.

You can read more of that in the Atlantic, that piece by Vann Newkirk. Vann, thanks so much for coming on.

NEWKIRK: Thanks for having me.

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