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Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 12/23/21

Guests: Laurence Tribe, Kerry Howley, Ryan Reilly, Amy Gardner, David Henderson, Spencer Ackerman


Former President Donald Trump asked the Supreme Court on Thursday to block the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection from getting documents from the National Archives and Records Administration. Joe Biden won the election more than a year ago but Trump world people are still trying to overturn the results. This afternoon in Minneapolis Courtroom, former Police Officer Kim Potter was found guilty on all charges in the shooting death of 20-year-old Daunte Wright last April. This winter, more than half of Afghanistan is expected to go hungry and UN warns that nearly 9 million people are at risk of starvation.



JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Listen, it is a tough time right now, we know that you`re all tired and hurting and facing difficult decisions about the days ahead.

And we are not here to be Pollyanna about 2021 at all, but good has a way of showing up proving that kindness and resilience can always prevail even at a time like this.

So be safe out there, REIDOUT Fam, we love you, and Happy Holidays.

And that`s tonight`s REIDOUT.

ALL IN with Chris Hayes starts now.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC ANCHOR (voiceover): Tonight on All IN.

Donald Trump appeals to the Supreme Court, Jim Jordan begins his own delay tactics, and tonight why legal scholars are getting loud over the inaction of the Justice Department? Laurence Tribe joins me on that.

Then why the first cooperation agreement for a Proud Boy could be a big deal, alarming new reporting on the nonstop multi-state pressure campaign to overturn the 2020 election.

Why the verdict in Kim Potter`s manslaughter trial surprise so many?

And four months after our last troops left Afghanistan, why America and the world need to act to end the Afghan hunger crisis?

ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes.

Donald Trump is now trying to run out the clock on the investigation into his coup attempt.

He wants to stop the January 6 Committee from getting access to his records by claiming dubiously executive privilege.

Now, as I noted there, that claim was already rejected by the sitting President who gets to decide, one would think President Biden also by a federal judge, then by an appeals court earlier this month.

Trump was then given two weeks to appeal his case in Supreme Court before the documents were released.

And so today, exactly two weeks later, Trump`s lawyers finally filed that appeal to the Supreme Court on the last possible day.

That is, of course, intentional because it is all part of a larger strategy to drag the process out as long as possible.

Something has been incredibly, incredibly successful throughout Trump`s long career.

To try to stop the delay tactics, the House is now asking for the Supreme Court to expedite its decision on whether or not to take the case.

Lawmakers are planning to file a brief next week asking the court to make a decision no later than January 14.

If the Court were to follow their normal rules, they wouldn`t even discuss the case until mid-February.

Even if they expedited that the Trump stacks Supreme Court, a third of which was appointed, of course by the foreign President could still hear the case.

And if they do, it would require formal arguments, and on the normal schedule, again, if this were the normal schedule, there wouldn`t be a decision until June of next year, most likely.

A further six-month delay for records and the bipartisan committee investigating the insurrection first asked for back in August.

You see how this works, very effective, actually.

Of course, that`s the goal. To delay accountability for as long as possible, which is why Trump`s allies in right-wing media and in Congress, keep pushing this dubious claim of executive privilege.


REP. JIM JORDAN, (R-OH): We`ve had the executive privilege since 1794 when George Washington first asserted it relative to the J treating information Congress one.

So this is -- and it exists, the Supreme Court`s been very clear it exists not for the protection of the President, not for protection of the -- of the Chief of Staff, or the White House Counsel, the National Security Adviser, or the Top Adviser.

It exists so that we the people benefit -- the country benefits by having these candid conversations between the President and his top advisors and it`s wrong what they`re doing.


HAYES: One will note that George Washington was President at the time that he asserted it.

But, of course, that man giving that justification, Republican Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio, has his own motivations for wanting to stonewall the January 6 Committee.

As we have outlined in this show, Jordan was a material witness directly involved in the plotting of Donald Trump`s coup attempt.

Starting months before the insurrection itself, when he suggested the Democrats were stealing the election in August of 2020.

And culminating in a text message he forwarded to then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, outlining how Mike Pence could essentially unilaterally by himself throw out the results of the election on January 6.

Just yesterday, the January 6 committee sent Congressman Jordan a letter requesting information on "at least one and possibly multiple communications with President Trump on January 6," as well as "meetings of White House officials and the then-President about strategies for overturning results of the 2020 election."

Jordan, who has called the Committee a sham will likely ignore that request, we`ll see.

But Committee members have indicated a willingness to subpoena him if he doesn`t cooperate because there are real questions that Jordan needs to answer.

Specifically about meetings with top White House officials where according to The New York Times, Congressman Jordan helped craft a strategy that would become a blueprint for Trump supporters in Congress.

That is, hammer home the idea the election was tainted, announce legal actions being taken by the campaign, bolster the case with allegations of fraud.


HAYES: We saw all that play out in real-time of course.

As Greg Sargent puts it in The Washington Post, "at a minimum, Jordan could shed light on the true nature of the effort to overturn the election in Congress.

A key question to what degree do participants fully intend for fake claims of voter fraud with Trump and others corruptly pressured the Justice Department to validate to be fabricated as a deliberate pretext for subverting the election results."

It`s been, of course, almost a year since the attack on the Capitol.

So far, despite hundreds of cases against the insurrections themselves, the people that were actually in that building, there has been almost no accountability aside from a historic second impeachment for the people who attempted the coup incited the attack in the first place.

Well, the January 6 Committee has been signaling it could go after Trump himself.

The latest just today, Committee Chair Bennie Thompson telling The Washington Post that Trump`s inaction for the hours during the insurrection could itself warrant a criminal referral, something that we`ve been covering here on the program.

As of now, the Department of Justice has apparently chosen not to pursue criminal charges against Trump and his allies.

As my next guest, Constitutional Law Scholar, Laurence Tribe points out, there`s a chilling effect on the future of our democracy.

The New York Times op-ed, which he co-authored with two other legal experts, Tribe says.

"To decline from the outset to investigate would be appeasement, pure, and simple, and appeasing bullies and wrongdoers only encourages more of the same.

Without forceful action to hold the wrongdoers to account, we will likely not resist what some retired general see as a march to another insurrection in 2024 if Mr. Trump or another demagogue loses."

And Laurence Tribe joins me now.

Professor, first, I guess, let`s start with the argument you`re making in the piece along with your co-authors.

What do you think the Department of Justice, under Attorney General Merrick Garland, former student of yours, should be doing right now that as far as we know from the outside, they are not doing?

LAURENCE TRIBE, PROFESSOR, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL: Well, we don`t know for sure what they`re doing because Merrick Garland is very good at holding his cards close and he`s very good at following the normal rules of not revealing things.

But by this time, in the Mueller investigation, a great deal had already happened of Manafort and Gates had been indicted, Papadopoulos had been charged and was cooperating fully of, Bannon and Mueller had been interviewed, according to media reports.

So it looks like the Department of Justice is waiting. And waiting is playing into Trump`s hand.

As you pointed out in the set-up to this piece, his whole strategy is to run out the clock.

The Committee itself may not exist after the next election because we are told that if the Republicans take over the House, first thing they`ll do is dissolve the Committee.

You can stonewall a Congressional Committee, and as we have seen, Trump is running out the clock on something as simple as an obviously invalid claim of executive privilege to withhold presidential papers, that every judge who has looked at it so far, say need to be turned over.

It`s not so easy to stonewall the grand jury.

And it seems to me that the key point because the blueprint for all of the criminal offenses that may have been committed by Trump and by others at the top, has already been carefully laid out by a number of scholars and former prosecutors.

The key point is not to try to decide right now whether to indict Trump. There are all kinds of arguments about, you know, maybe shouldn`t be indicted because maybe a jury would buy his claim that he was so deluded that he really thought that he had won the election, that all of that is premature.

What we need to do is not to wait before conducting a full-blown Department of Justice investigation with a grand jury and all the rest of it.

The investigation of everybody at the top getting the foot soldiers including some who pleaded guilty as long ago as April to cooperate.

And at that point, rather than waiting and waiting and waiting for the January 6 Committee to reach its conclusions, maybe give criminal referrals, you know, we can have two things going at the same time.

When a ship of state is leaking, you don`t say I`m not going to go and try to plug the hole, let somebody else do it first.

A lot of people who`ve looked at this say that time is really of the essence. It`s never too late to start.

And if Merrick Garland has not already ginned up a full-blown investigation, he should do so yesterday and if not yesterday, tomorrow, and the investigation doesn`t need to decide in advance whether all of the downsides of an indictment should or should not prevent us from indicting.


TRIBE: That`s for a later day, but the investigation has to go full speed ahead.

And when you are being investigated for criminal activity and may be informed that you`re a possible target, that tends to focus the mind and the mind of the country needs to be focused on this because however important other things are, we really are running out the clock on democracy itself.

You know, the leading expert on Civil Wars around the world, Barbara Walter of The University of California, San Diego has a recent book, in which she says by all objective measures, we`re about 50 percent of the way toward a Civil War.

Not a standard old blue -- you know blue costumes versus gray costumes Civil War, but utter chaos, breakdown of the rule of law.

And the rule of law depends on having institutions that we can trust. That depends on the idea that no one is above the law.

If you don`t start holding everybody at the top accountable, at least to the point of being subject to full-blown investigation, then we`re really giving up --

HAYES: So --

TRIBE: -- And I don`t think we should give up on this democracy.

HAYES: So the big -- the big question here, right, I mean, obviously, it`s a novel.

There`s not really great precedent in any direction, right?

TRIBE: Right.

HAYES: The actions taken by the President were unprecedented, what happened was unprecedented, so when you`re trying to sort of figure out -- you know, if you`re Merrick Garland, are your folks in the Department of Justice, who are approaching this question in good faith.

I mean, one question is, is there sufficient, factual predicate to open a criminal investigation, knowing that doing so would be very hard to keep close, right?

And my understanding of reading your op-ed and your view is that like what is entered into the public record, the actions taken by the President in public are sufficient to open a criminal investigation into specific possible crimes in the U.S. Criminal Code that he committed.

TRIBE: It`s very clear that there are specific crimes, of which even the public evidence is very, very strong.

HAYES: Right.

TRIBE: We saw him foment an insurrection. We saw him give aid and comfort to those who did, we`ve watched while for three hours, he did nothing.

We now know that all kinds of messages were reaching him through Meadows saying you`ve got to do something.

We know that he was engaged in a plan, or at least it certainly looks like he was engaged in the plan, there`s enough evidence to have an investigation.

The point of which is to generate further evidence of it exists, a plan to overturn the election.

He was asking reference burger. Just find me 11,780 NAVY votes.

He was pressuring people in the Justice Department, just say the election was stolen --


TRIBE: -- I`ll take care of the rest.

He was obviously doing any number of things in public, that if they don`t warrant an investigation, nothing would.

And if any other person in the world did what he did, they would be the subject of a criminal investigation already.


TRIBE: So we have to pray that this guy is because he should not be above the law.

And what happened last time is going to be multiplied because certainly, they`ve learned lessons from how they didn`t do it as effectively as they might.

And we`ve got to learn lessons as well.

HAYES: Final question for you on the -- on the court and the petition for a cert from the President`s attorneys.

I mean, this is not, as far as I can tell, from the legal minds that I trust, including my wife, particularly close call, but --


HAYES: -- you know, I guess there`s a question of the court could just not grant cert allow the lower -- the appellate court`s ruling to stand, just not touch it.

If it were anyone else, they probably wouldn`t do that. They don`t grant search a lot of cases and there`s no real controversy here.

What do you think the likelihood is that they`ll do that?

TRIBE: You know, if they care more about seeming like a real court and several of them have indicated over and over again, Steve Breyer, Amy Coney Barrett, others have said, you know, we`re not political hacks --

HAYES: Right.

TRIBE: -- We`re not politicians in robes, we`re real judges.

If they want to prove their real judges, they would do it.

Any real court I can imagine would do with any other President in any other circumstance and that is when non-existent claims of executive privilege are invoked to keep secret information that is vital, not only for exposing and holding accountable but for planning how to strengthen our democracy with new legislation.

Any normal court would say, get out of here, there`s no right legal claim worth anything.

HAYES: Right.

TRIBE: Now, if this court doesn`t do that, that will reinforce my belief that it`s hardly a court at all, and that we`re big tragic.


HAYES: Professor Laurence Tribe, thank you so much for your time, and enjoy the Holidays.

TRIBE: Thank you, Chris, you too.

HAYES: All right, for the first time a Proud Boy is now cooperating with investigators, what he told them about the group`s plans to overturn the election on January 6 next, plus new insight into some of the thousands of other people who showed up at the Capitol.


GINA BISIGNANO, SALON OWNER: We, the people are not going to anymore. You`re not going to take away our Trumpy-bear. You`re not going to take away our vote and our freedom that I thank God for.

This is 1776 and we the people will never give up.


HAYES: From Trumpy-bear to plea deal, how a salon owner from Beverly Hills ended up storming the Capitol and what she told prosecutors, next.



DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What do you want to call them? Give me a name. Give me a name.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: White Supremacism.


TRUMP: Who would you like me to condemn?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: White Supremacism.



TRUMP: Proud Boys, stand back and stand by, but I`ll tell you what -- I`ll tell you what, somebody`s got to do something about Antifa and the left.


HAYES: In the immediate aftermath of January 6, it was obvious that the MAGA-loving far-right gang, known as Proud Boys did anything but stand by during Donald Trump`s attempted coup.

In fact, they were a big part of it, members were.

Yesterday, for the first time, one of those Proud Boys admitted he was there to stop the transfer of power as part of a cooperation agreement with the government.


HAYES: Matthew Greene of Syracuse New York says he now disavows his membership of the group where he was described as a low-level member.

Yesterday in a statement of the offense upon entering a guilty plea, Greene described different ways Proud Boys coordinated their actions on the day of the insurrection.

Including top-down orders to not wear the group`s identifying black and yellow garb, the walkie-talkie system they used to coordinate their movements.

According to the statement, Greene`s intent and conspiring with others to unlawfully enter the restricted area of the Capitol grounds was to send a message to legislators and Vice President Pence.

Greene knew the lawmakers and the Vice President were inside the Capitol Building conducting the certification of the Electoral College vote at the time the riot occurred.

Ryan Reilly has been an invaluable reporter on every angle of the massive federal investigation into January 6 for HuffPost.

And Kerry Howley has an incredible new piece in New York Magazine profiling three different MAGA foot soldiers and their different paths to radicalization, which I really, really suggest you read.

It`s great to have you both.

Ryan, let`s start with Matthew Greene. If you can give me a little bit of who he is, and what his cases in the development of him now saying that he`s entering a guilty plea and cooperate.

RYAN REILLY, SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT, HUFFPOST: Yes, you know, Marcy Wheeler, I think accurately described him as a schlub.

He is this sort of low-level defended. He`s from Syracuse, New York. And it`s sort of his -- if you compare this to a drug deal, this is sort of, you know a guy who`s very low on the chain of command here.

He only joined the Proud Boys a little bit before the actual attack on the Capitol. He wasn`t a member for that long.

But what is significant about this is he`s laying out what the purpose of the conspiracy was.

He`s saying exactly what their intent was, which was to stop the certification of the election, to go into the Capitol, and to influence and have an impact on what was happening that day.

So that is a very important part, an important component of this overall investigation, and this overall his specific conspiracy because you need to have that intent sort of laid out.

I don`t know if he`s going to be the highest person who`s going to flip the -- under this because there are people higher up in the chain of command.

So to speak, in the Proud Boys who probably have more valuable information and probably their best out is still flipping, but I think that it`s significant.

And definitely, it really firms up this conspiracy, as prosecutors move forward.

HAYES: Yes. And I -- just to put that together with you know, Bennie Thompson saying today, they`re investigating the Donald Trump`s "inaction or his delay for those three hours while this is all happening."

I mean, the point, that the thing that Donald Trump wanted that day was for the vote not to be counted, entered into the record, that thereby transferring power, that`s the same thing the mob wanted.

And so when the mob is there succeeding in causing everyone to not do that thing, I mean, it was actually delayed till that night, the question of, well, why didn`t Trump do something is like, well, that`s -- it was a feature, not a bug.

Everyone`s texting saying, oh, no, like, you have to do something. He`s like, no, no, this is -- it`s working. This -- look, you`re -- it`s working, they have delayed.

And so for him to say, yes, the point was, we knew they were in there and we wanted to stop it is sort of key in that regard.

Kerry, your piece focuses on three different people who sort of, you know, we`re not masterminds, I think it`s fair to say, including a Gina Bisignano.

And I want to play that sound of her again because it was so striking to me and have you tell us a little bit about how she got from Beverly Hills to the Capitol in an insurrection with a bullhorn.

Take a listen to what she had to say.


GINA BISIGNANO, SALON OWNER: We, the people are not going to take it anymore. You`re not going to take away our Trumpy-bear. You`re not going to take away our vote and our freedom that I thank God for.

This is 1776 and we the people will never give up. We will never let our country go to the globalists.


HAYES: How did she end up there?

KERRY HOWLEY, FEATURES WRITER, NEW YORK MAGAZINE: So Gina is based in Beverly Hills where she owns a salon -- owned a salon.

And she, like a lot of people in Southern California became more politically involved during the pandemic.

She attended anti-masking events where she connected with other people who were very upset about the lockdowns, about restrictions.

She`d gotten into conspiratorial thinking through pizza gate and started listening to I think more radical podcasts.

And on January 6, she believed that the President had called her to be there. The election was stolen, and it was her responsibility and those of others to be there that day to support him and do what he asked.

HAYES: Yes. This -- the key part of the belief -- just to follow up on that and I want to ask Ryan, this.

I mean, I do get the suspicion as I go through Ryan`s reporting these cases, that if you administered a lie detector test, a perfect lie detector test, a magical one that could truly divine whether a person was lying, and said like was the election stolen and is Joe Biden you know -- did Donald Trump defeat Joe Biden?


HAYES: They would say yes, like they did -- I think on the over -- I mean not that it matters in some ways for what they did.

But that was also the sense I got from what had happened to the minds of the people that you profiled.

HOWLEY: Yes, absolutely. All three of those people, I think, absolutely believe that they were there doing what the President had called them to do.

I mean, he said, "this election has been stolen from you." He said you can`t take back this country with weakness. He said, when there`s a fraud involved, the rules change.

HAYES: Yes. And Ryan, I mean, I got to say that this pops up a lot of times in the filings of the folks that you`ve been covering.

I mean, which again, it brings us back to this like weird bifurcation of responsibility here, which is, to the extent that you were to buy the premise that essentially an unlawful coup is taking place in which an election have been stolen and Joe Biden installed against the will of the people, that would justify fairly radical action.

And in many of the pleading documents that have appeared in the courts that I`ve read from your reporting, that`s precisely what lawyers say about the motivation of their clients.

REILLY: Yes, precisely. I feel like a little bit of a broken record on it.

But if you actually believe the election was stolen, and you follow that logic, their actions make sense in their own mind.

You know, Danny Rodriguez, who is the author -- rather the insurrectionist, who drove a stun gun into the neck of Officer Mike Fenone, he was actually an associate of Gina and they knew each other.

And subsequently, actually, he went over to her house after this attack took place, they were at a bunch of these rallies together in California, they knew each other well.

And now Gina is sort of actually cooperating against these -- him and two other defendants he`s charged along with.

But his video and his confession to the FBI really does lay this out.

Like he actually believed the election was stolen, he actually believed that the Commander in Chief was calling him to, you know, DC to, basically to take over the government and he -- that`s the mentality that he went into this width.

So I think it`s not shocking when you realize that these people actually believe that they took action that makes sense in their own mind if they actually believe that the election was stolen.

So certainly, you know, the moral responsibility here is separate from the legal responsibility.

And I think ultimately, it could be we are in a situation where a lot of these pawns so to speak in this -- in this investigation are the ones who ultimately face the longest consequences as opposed to the people who are spreading these lies about a stolen election.

HAYES: Yes. Someone early on of this mentioned the Abu Ghraib model of accountability and I`ve been thinking about that ever since were the people that saw punishment, were the people implementing at the lowest level and the higher up you got the more people escaped accountability.

Ryan Reilly, and Kerry Howley, thank you both.

HOWLEY: Thank you.

REILLY: Thanks so much.

HAYES: Joe Biden won the election more than a year ago but Trump world people are still trying to overturn the results, an awful last one, like this week, they were.

The nonstop pressure campaign at the local level, next.



HAYES: Just in case you thought Donald Trump and his supporters` attacks on the 2020 election were all blusters. There is right now, an ongoing day-to- day effort to force state election officials to constantly continual you have to debunk false election fraud claims about the last election.

According to recent reporting of the Washington Post, the onslaught is exhausting and troubling for officials as they launched preparations for the 2022 midterm elections and is further eroding faith in the nation`s voting systems.

A North Carolina State Board of Elections spokesman tells the Post if we want to continue to provide safe, secure, and accessible elections, constantly running down absurd conspiracy theories is not sustainable.

One of the reporters on that story, Amy Gardner, National Political Reporter at The Washington Post joins me now.

I have to say I didn`t quite -- until I read your story, Amy, and I follow this quite closely, I didn`t realize how much active work there was around literally going back to like, undo the results of the last election like me -- make it go away, get a redo.

What is this effort look like, and who`s spearheading and what are they doing?

AMY GARDNER, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Sure, yes. I actually didn`t realize that either, until we dug in and reported this out in the last couple of weeks.

There are two principal figures at the helm of this.

One is Mike Lindell, the founder of MyPillow, and one of his associates, a gentleman named Douglas Frank, a longtime math and science teacher from Ohio, who has claimed without any evidence that an algorithm was used to change Trump votes to Biden votes in the 2020 election.

They`ve been going around the country talking to -- what they say are dozens of scores of state officials, attorneys generals, secretaries of state, as well as local election officials, trying to persuade them to let them examine their data, their systems, and claiming that they have evidence that there`s widespread fraud.

In our reporting, we found among Republican and Democratic officials that these gentlemen have not actually presented any evidence of what they`re claiming.

But it`s true that they are trying to decertify the 2020 election even now, 13 months later.

HAYES: And they are -- I mean, what was striking is they`re getting meetings.

I mean, they are -- they are getting audiences and meetings with like fairly, in some cases, fairly high-ranking like state -- like attorneys general of states if I`m not mistaken, right?

GARDNER: That`s correct. And Secretaries of State, I spoke with several Secretaries of State and some attorneys general, I think it -- I mean, look, if you`re a Republican Attorney General or a Republican Secretary of State, this is a really difficult political situation to be in.


GARDNER: You`re heading into a midterm election where you might be up for reelection where former President Donald Trump has signaled that if you are not all in on the -- sometimes fabulous theories on how the election was stolen last year, he`s going to campaign against you.

And so there are -- there are state officials who don`t believe the election was stolen, who believe that Joe Biden is the duly elected President of the United States, but who are trying to thread a little bit of a political needle here.

So they`re taking the meetings and they`re saying, I`ll meet with anyone, I`ll meet with Eric Holder, the former Obama Attorney General, I`ll meet with anybody who claims to have evidence of election fraud, but they`re not necessarily following through on their demands.

HAYES: Right. I mean, there is a little bit of, you know, I think, you know, sort of yessing them and then showing them the door.

So far, no one has really done a lot with it, there`s not much to do.

But, you know, this is -- of course, your point is that that`s just one step removed from what Donald Trump says and he, of course, the most powerful political figure in the party and so they kind of have to take it seriously.

And Doug Frank, you know, is, uh, you know, he said some pretty controversial things about, you know, they`re having to be like a Nuremberg trial and calling for executions and has been, you know, he is someone who has a fairly colorful public history.

GARDNER: Sure, I mean, the comments that he made over the weekend on social media -- on the social media website, Telegram calling for Jocelyn Benson, the Secretary of State of Michigan, a Democrat, to be tried by a jury with the power to sentence her to the death penalty, or a firing squad is rather dramatic. That`s one word for it.

And this is the kind of rhetoric that`s out there. I think it`s worth thinking about whether this is really about decertifying the 2020 election or about building the case for a couple of things.

New laws in 2022 that go even further than some of the new laws regarding voting that we saw in 2021 and about getting particular candidates to run for office as we head into the midterm elections, who will take a different tack than some of these folks who were guardrails for the democracy in 2020.

HAYES: Yes, no, that`s -- I mean, I think that`s very true.

And having -- there`s also just, it`s like a reminder of the threat in some ways at a political level.

It`s like putting the loaded gun on the table where, when Michael Lindell calls you up and you`re like, all right, I got to go meet with Mike Lindell, who`s got some math teacher buddy, who says there was an algorithm, that -- that`s a President -- that the hot breath that is on your neck like, and that I think has real consequences for how all of these political figures are operating in that environment.

Amy Gardner, a great reporting. Thank you very much.

GARDNER: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: Still ahead, the verdict in the case of Kim Potter. That`s a veteran police officer who shot and killed Daunte Wright, an unarmed black man, during a traffic stop this year. That`s next.



HAYES: This afternoon in Minneapolis Courtroom, former Police Officer Kim Potter was found guilty on all charges in the shooting death of 20-year-old Daunte Wright last April.

Potter, a 26-year police veteran was training other officers when they pulled right over in Brooklyn Center Minnesota. After police found out he had an outstanding warrant, there was a brief struggle.

Bodycam footage shows Potter repeatedly yelling the word Taser as she pulled out her firearm and shot Daunte Wright once in the chest, killing him.

Potter claim the shooting was an accident, but a jury found her guilty of first and second-degree manslaughter.

Kim Potter now faces up to 15 years in prison.

The judge ordered her held in custody without bail until sentencing in mid- February.

David Henderson is a Civil Rights and Criminal Defense Attorney and a Former Prosecutor, and he joins me now.

David, I think a lot of people were somewhat surprised by this outcome and not necessarily if they were -- they were following the jury, at least in the facts, as stated in the facts people knew and the leniency or charitable interpretation that juries tend to give police officers, what`s your read on the outcome?

DAVID HENDERSON, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Chris, I think calling this surprising is an understatement because you have to remember this is the same city that refused to convict a police officer who wrongfully killed Philando Castile.

And so we put it in that context in my lifetime, for me, this goes all the way back to the Rodney King case.

The police has already taken the position that hey, it`s a dirty job and if we make mistakes while you`re doing it, you`re just going to have to look the other way.

And for the most part, that has succeeded.

What this verdict says is that`s not going to be the case any longer, not only ever going to hold you accountable if you do something wrong on the job, but also if you make a mistake that results in wrongdoing, you know, bad outcomes result from bad intentions, we`re going to hold you accountable, at least in jurisdictions.

We`ve got prosecutors who are going to cling to that point of view.

HAYES: Yes. And describe for me the difference here.

I mean, she was charged with manslaughter, not Homicide. There`s a sort of different legal standard for each and what the legal standard was here. What the -- what the burden was the prosecution to show to secure that verdict?

HENDERSON: That was the really tough part about this case, Chris, because you heard both the prosecution and the defense characterize Kim Potter`s actions as a mistake at different points during the trial.

Basically, for first-degree manslaughter, you have to prove that she acted with recklessness.

That`s disregarding a substantial and unjustifiable risk, that the outcome or result from their conduct.

So an interest -- an -- in -- an easy example is, for example, it`s not illegal to make a mistake while you`re driving. It is though if you`re driving while intoxicated.

If while intoxicated you kill someone, you can be convicted of manslaughter instead of simply making a mistake.


HENDERSON: For the second charge, the second-degree manslaughter, she`s got to prove that she acted with something called culpable negligence which gets really confusing, it`s gross negligence plus recklessness, which is the standard I just explained.

But what those two have in common is, you have to prove some degree of intentional and conscious conduct.

HAYES: It`s also not the first time obviously, that we`ve seen police officers shoot someone with a gun when they said they thought they were using a Taser.

In fact, I have covered maybe four or five cases like that, just in the time that I`ve been hosting this television show.

And again, as far as I can tell, I think the others did not come out in this way.

You wonder if that has a downstream effect about training and about the way Taser is used etcetera.

HENDERSON: Well, you know, Chris, there was one that did turn out that resulted in the conviction is probably the example that most people are familiar with. That`s the Fruitvale Station incident from 2009.

HAYES: Of course, yes.

HENDERSON: They made a great movie about it with Michael Jordan.

But to your point, in that case, at the time when he was shot, the officer confused a gun with a kid -- Taser.

He`s laying facedown with his hands cuffed behind his back.

We`ve never seen a case quite like this one before.

And it`s not just what happened out there in the field that you have to pay attention to. Let`s compare this to the Derek Chauvin trial.

What was notable there is all the police who testified were on the same side.

Here, the police were divided.

You had a police chief who came in saying I was knocked down from my position because I wasn`t going to tell a lie.

It was to all of that evidence and all that testimony that the jury still said, uh-uh, we`re going to hold you accountable this time. You`re not going to walk away after having killed this young man.

HAYES: Wait, sorry. Say what the police chief`s testimony was, again?

HENDERSON: Yes, the police chief testified that he stepped down because he wasn`t willing to lie, he used those words. I`m not going to lie.

You also had an expert who testifies on use of force issues, who came into the trial and said that he chose to testify pro bono in this trial may typically charge upwards of three to $600 an hour because he felt like someone`s Liberty was at stake.

So, in that regard, what you have to remember is Kim Potter is a pawn in a game that`s going to play out over the course of the next few years with similar trials like this that are going to take place.

The officers who killed Atatiana Jefferson, Rayshard Brooks, and Elijah McLain are all going to have trials.


HENDERSON: And if you look at the way the defense has put this trial, I think they are virtually auditioning to take a role in those future trials.

HAYES: That`s really interesting. David Henderson, always really learned a lot from you -- having you gave me a debrief on these cases. Thank you very much.

HENDERSON: My pleasure.

HAYES: Coming up, the terrible crisis unfolding in Afghanistan four months after the U.S. finally left. That`s next.



HAYES: You don`t hear about Afghanistan a ton on TV news since the U.S. pulled out four months ago.

The country`s still there even if we don`t have troops there and it`s facing an acute and dire humanitarian crisis.

This winter, more than half of the country is expected to go hungry. UN warns that nearly 9 million people are at risk of starvation.

Poverty is soaring across Afghanistan, exacerbated by the climate crisis, and by U.S. economic sanctions of the ruling Taliban.

This week, the Treasury eased those restrictions on aid groups, but much more still needs to be done to prevent a total catastrophe in that country.

Spencer Ackerman has spent nearly two decades covering the fallout from the war on terror, including in his latest book, Reign of Terror: How the 911 Era Destabilized America and Produced to Trump?

And he joins me now.

Spencer, the basics, as I understand them here is that over the 20 years, the U.S. was in Afghanistan, a system was produced that was profoundly corrupt, but basically, 80 to 90 percent of the GDP of the entire country was foreign aid.

The Taliban comes in, the U.S. says we can`t give money to the Taliban, and now you`ve got this massive crisis in which essentially, the totality of the Afghan economy has shrunk past great depression levels.

SPENCER ACKERMAN, AUTHOR, "REIGN OF TERROR": Yes. And what we should be really clear about is what is at the heart of this, which is approximately speaking, the banking sector of Afghanistan.

And you look at where the currency reserves in Afghanistan are.

In August, when the Taliban took over, there were about $68 million worth of reserve assets that were on hand to be free -- to be freed up, instead, however, something like $7 billion of the Afghan Central Bank`s reserves are here in the United States.

And the United States after losing a 20-year war to the Taliban took the step of freezing all of those assets.

So something like nine plus billion dollars of Afghan`s own money, not ours, Afghans money, are completely off the table for them.

And the steps that the Biden administration is taking to allow some aid groups to do work there, that`s going to be routing around the banking system.

So unless the United States comes to terms with the fact that it lost this 20-year war, and allows Afghans access to their own money, money in a system that the United States, that any international community set up and shepherded, then as pawns in a geopolitical struggle that the United States has, just I reiterate lost, however, many millions of Afghans are going to starve as a result of that.

HAYES: That -- this is such an important point and I`m glad you laid it out that way that this sort of freezing of the -- of the foreign reserves that we had sort of custody of, that you know, essentially the kind of the lifeblood of the banking system has been frozen as well.


HAYES: But fundamentally, that it comes down to that issue right, which is that the Taliban is not a government that I would ever want to be under the reign of, it`s not a government that I would describe as like a good government or a Democratic one, but it is the government -- it is the state of Afghanistan now.

And so, like you either recognized that or you don`t, and the stakes right now are, there`s no one else to deal with. That`s who runs Afghanistan.

And if you want to make sure people don`t starve there, then the only way is through the government that now runs Afghanistan, which is the Taliban.

ACKERMAN: That`s right. The United States is using what it considers leverage against the Taliban government that leverages people`s lives, that leverage is the fate of all of these people who we heard from the United States` side during the days after the loss of Kabul, that the United States just cared so deeply about.

Well, now the United States has a chance to really do something, (INAUDIBLE) and show that it means what it says when it says that it cares about these people, and there are no indications that the United States is going to do that.

HAYES: This is the thing that has been really infuriating me because, the coverage of withdrawal, and it was understandable why the coverage, you know, was sort of done in this register, which is that it was awful to watch people trying to get out, people you know, sacrificing their lives being murdered outside the -- you know, the airport along with U.S. service members like it was brutal and horrifying.

But it was all tinged with the idea that like, we are leaving these people behind, and we care so much about them, and we`re failing them.

And now you have a very clear-cut thing that would obviously be necessary to stop mass misery, if not sufficient, and it`s like, it has nothing to do with like the honor of the U.S. and our projections of force.

And so there`s just not the same focus on it.

ACKERMAN: I reiterate. According to The Washington Post, $7 billion of the Afghan Central Bank`s reserve is here in the United States, not in Afghanistan, here in the United States, money that was set aside for Afghans, money that could go in a moment of extreme emergency to actually alleviating the widespread suffering among the Afghan people.

That is the legacy of the United States` lost 20-year war in Afghanistan.

It`s going to stay in the United States to very clear.

HAYES: Yes. And they`re -- there are people that are pushing the calling on the administration to do this. There are some voices in Congress who are calling on this as well.

Of course, citizens can always make their voice heard on something as specific and dire as this.

I want to also ask you about this because you have been covering the war on terror for so long, this remarkable bit of investigative reporting from New York Times it was on a -- one the other day in which they acquired a whole bunch of documents about the reviews that went into airstrikes.

And part of this precipitated by the monstrously awful airstrike that happened in the summer in Afghanistan in which it was essentially a case of mistaken identity of civilians were killed by this, these hidden Pentagon records, sort of show that that was not that much of an anomaly, which is not necessarily shocking to people that have followed this closely, but this is, in some ways, a kind of smoking gun for that.

ACKERMAN: That`s right. What the United States is doing for years and years and years, and particularly the timespan that Azmat Khan and her team at the New York Times looked at was, post-2014, after the first wave of the Afghan surge is done in Afghanistan, and after the anti-ISIS force starts interacting Syria.

Since then, the United States has been conducting strike after strike, like we saw in Kabul in late August.

That the requirements for determining that civilians and not enemy fighters they`re being told are so lacked as analyticity for what we saw in that strike.


ACKERMAN: Very significantly, every time these kinds of strikes happen and there are reports of civilian deaths, the Pentagon tells us, wait, wait, wait, we`re investigating, we`ll determine what in fact happens here, and it takes, you know, months, if not years to actually release the modicum of results that they find.

What the New York Times found, is it there`s no real investigation of the name at all.

HAYES: Right.

ACKERMAN: There`s basically a series of boxes to check that determines that the United States cannot be definitively told.

That it wiped women and children off the face of the planet.


ACKERMAN: That`s what this is. This is essentially a massive cover-up institutionalized by the Pentagon in order to keep the wars going.

HAYES: Great reporting. (INAUDIBLE) and the team of New York Times there. I just want to give a shout out. Again, Mr. Ackerman, as always, good to have you on. Thank you very much.

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