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Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 2/12/21

Guest: Barbara Comstock, Gordon Humphrey, Alex Padilla, Chris Van Hollen, Joyce Vance


Lawyers claim Donald Trump did not incite insurrection. Donald Trump defense rests, senators finished Q&A. Report: Refused to call off rioters during January 6th shouting match with Kevin McCarthy. The defense rests on day four of the second Trump impeachment trial. Trump`s defense team used less than three hours to make their case. According to a report, President Trump refused to call off rioters during January 6th shouting match with Rep. Kevin McCarthy


JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Yes, indeed. It`s like a whole crime family. Michael J. Moore, thank you very much. I really appreciate you being here.

That is -- that is tonight`s REIDOUT. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts now.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight, on ALL IN.

MICHAEL VAN DER VEEN, LAWYER OF DONALD TRUMP: This is about the most miserable experience I`ve had down here in Washington D.C.

HAYES: Day four of the Trump impeachment trial is in the books.

REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): The counsel said before, this has been my worst experience in Washington. And for that, I guess we`re sorry, but man, you should have been here on January 6th.

HAYES: What did the President know and when did he know it?

CASTOR: I have a problem with the facts in the question because I have no idea.

HAYES: Tonight, how senators both Democratic and Republican expose the Trump defense during question time.

DEL. STACEY PLASKETT (D-USVI): If the defense counsel has exculpatory evidence, you`re welcome to give it to us.

HAYES: Plus, a new reporting about Donald Trump`s refusal to call off the insurrection during a confrontation with Kevin McCarthy and what all of it can mean for whatever happens next.

VAN DER VEEN: My judgment. Who asked that?


HAYES: ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. The impeachment defense of former President Donald Trump was over almost as soon as it started today. Despite being allotted 16 hours over two days to lay out their case, Trump`s defense team used less than three hours. The entirety of which was just performative umbrage right out of a Fox News monologue, blustering about Trump`s commitment to law and order, and in some cases, outright lying about the House impeachment managers case.

One of Trump`s attorneys David Schoen made the outrageous claim that the impeachment managers didn`t share their evidence with the defense ahead of time.


DAVID SCHOEN, LAWYER OF DONALD TRUMP: On Wednesday, this week, countless news outlets repeated the Democrat talking point about the power of never be sit -- never before seen footage. Let me ask you this. Why was this footage never seen before? Shouldn`t the subject of an impeachment trial, this impeachment trial, President Trump, have the right to see the so- called new evidence against him?


HAYES: Well, that would be quite a claim if it were true, but it is not. Every piece of evidence including new videos were given to the defense team before the trial. In fact, the rules of the trial agreed upon before it started said everything had to be shared ahead of time. Trump`s lawyers were not just stretching the truth or trying to shoehorn in an obscure legal argument, they were just lying about that.

Trump`s lawyers also claimed the impeachment managers were taking liberties with their evidence, recreating tweets, and presenting video without context right before recreating tweets of their own and playing several montages of Democrats speaking with no context provided and ominous music added, including as I mentioned, an 11-minute long montage of Democrats saying the word fight, an attempt to show that Trump`s rhetoric is no worse than that of anyone else.

After the defense rested, the trial move to the question portion when senators were able to ask both sides clarifying questions. And Trump lawyer Michael van der Veen continued the team`s weird, unprofessional behavior sneering as he talked, responding with one-word answers and sarcastic quips. At one point, barking a question insolently at a U.S. Senator.

Perhaps no moment better summarize the week as a whole than when Republican Senator Bill Cassidy, who seemed genuinely torn about which way to vote -- you remember he`s the one that changed his vote to vote with the Democrats in that -- whether they should go forward, right? He asked this question to both sides. And I want to play the whole exchange for you now.


SEN. BILL CASSIDY (R-LA): Senator Tuberville reports that he spoke to President Trump at 2:15 p.m. He told the president that the vice president had just evacuated. I presume it was understood at this time that rioters had entered the Capitol and threatened the safety of senators and the Vice President.

Even after hearing -- even after hearing of this at 2:24 p.m., President Trump tweeted that Mike Pence lacked courage. He did not call for law enforcement back up until then. The tweet and lack of response suggest President Trump did not care that Vice President Pence was endangered or that law enforcement was overwhelmed. Does this show that President Trump was tolerant of the intimidation of Vice President Pence?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The counsel has two and a half minutes.

VAN DER VEEN: Directly, no. But I dispute the premise of your facts. I dispute the facts that are laid out in that question. And unfortunately, we`re not going to know the answer to the facts in this proceeding because the House did nothing to investigate what went on.

We`re trying to get hearsay from Mr. Tuberville. There was hearsay from Mr. Lee. I think it was two nights ago when we ended where Mr. Lee was accused of making a statement that he never made. But it was a report from a reporter from a friend of somebody who had some hearsay that they heard the night before at a bar somewhere.

I mean, that`s really the kind of evidence that the House has brought before us. And so, I have a problem with the facts in the question because I have no idea. And nobody from the House has given us any opportunity to have any idea. But Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence have had a very good relationship for a long time. And I`m sure Mr. Trump very much is concerned and was concerned for the safety and well-being of Mr. Pence and everybody else that was over here. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Managers and part of the House representatives have two and a half minutes.

RASKIN: Thank you, Mr. President. And you know, my counsel said before, this has been my worst experience in Washington. And for that, I guess, we`re sorry, but man, you should have been here on January 6th.

So, the counsel for the president keep blaming the House for not having the evidence that`s within the sole possession of their client who we invited to come and testify last week. We sent a letter on February 4th, I sent it directly to President Trump, inviting him to come and to explain and fill in the gaps of what we know about what happened there.

And they sent back a contemptuous response just a few hours later. I think they`ve maybe even responded more quickly to my letter than President Trump did, you know, as a commander-in-chief to the invasion and the storming of the capital of the United States. But in that letter, I said, you know, if you decline this invitation, we reserve all rights, including the right to establish a trial that your refusal to testify supports a strong adverse inference. What`s that?

Well, Justice Scalia was the great champion of it. If you don`t testify in a criminal case, it can`t be used against you. Everybody knows that. That`s the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. But if it`s a civil case, and you plead the Fifth or you don`t show up, then, according to Justice Scalia and the rest of the Supreme Court, you can interpret every disputed facts against the defendant. That is totally available to us.

So for example, if we say the President was missing an action for several hours, and he was derelict in his duty and deserted his duty as commander- in-chief, and we say that as inciter in chief, he didn`t call off the dogs, and they say, oh, no, he was really doing whatever he can. If you`re puzzled about that, you can reserve resolve that dispute, factual dispute against the defendant who refuses to come to a civil proceeding.

He will not spend one day in jail if you convict him. This is not a criminal proceeding. This is about preserving the republic, dear Senate. That`s what this is about, setting standards of conduct for the President of the United States so this never happens to us again. So, rather than yelling at us and screaming about how we didn`t have time to get all of the facts about what your client did, bring your client up here and have him testify under oath about why he was sending out tweets denouncing the Vice President of the United States while the vice president was being hunted down by a mob that wanted to hang him and was chanting in this building, hang Mike Pence, hang Mike Pence traitor, traitor.



HAYES: The House Impeachment Managers also use the question period to introduce new evidence that Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville admitted to since the trial began.


REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO (D-TX): After Wednesday`s trial portion concluded, Senator Tuberville spoke to reporters and confirmed the call that he had with the president and did not dispute Manager Cicilline`s description in any way that there was a call between he and the president around the time that Mike Pence was being ushered out of the chamber.

And that was shortly after 2:00 p.m. And Senator Tuberville specifically said that he told the President, Mr. President, they just took the vice president out, I`ve got to go. That was shortly after 2:00 p.m. there were still hours of chaos and Carnage and mayhem. The Vice President and his family were still in danger at that point. Our commander-in-chief did nothing.


HAYES: Since then, the question period has ended, the trial suspended until tomorrow morning. Two other things have happened that reveal more about Donald Trump`s intent on that day. One, Senator Tuberville stood by his comments telling reporters, and I quote him here. "I said Mr. President, they`ve taken the Vice President out. They want me to get off the phone. I got to go. Probably the only guy in the world hung up on the president of the United States."

That Senator Tuberville confirming that account, right? We also know that he spoke to him right before that tweet got sent out. He confirmed Donald Trump -- well, he told Donald Trump that Mike Pence was in danger before Donald Trump sent out that provocative tweet.

And two, CNN released a bombshell report of a phone call between House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Trump as the attack on the Capitol is happening. And according to the report, as McCarthy beg Trump to call the rioters off -- OK, he`s on the phone with the president, Trump responded, and I quote, "Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are."

I guess he`s people more upset about the election than you are. Now, if that`s true, that`s sociopathic. That`s a quote from a movie villain, not the president of the United States. It seems likely the Senate will vote on whether or not to convict Trump sometime tomorrow. It remains the case that the facts, at least the ones presented, the ones we have on the record, those are out in question.

We all saw what happened in January 6th. We all read the tweets. We all saw what happened in the days and weeks and months leading up to the attack. The senators who will vote lived it firsthand. Democratic Senator Patty Murray said in an interview tonight she was inches away from the mob and that her husband was holding a door close with his foot as the mob outside shouted kill the infidels.

The only question tomorrow is whether there are enough Republican senators to vote for what they know is true and right. Senator Chris Van Hollen sat for the past few days of Donald Trump`s second impeachment trial. He introduced legislation awarding Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman the Congressional Gold Medal. The Senate passed that bill by unanimous consent after giving Officer Goodman a standing ovation just hours ago. It`s a great.

Senator Van Hollen of Maryland, joins me joins me now. Senator, what struck you today with their questions and responses that you thought were particularly revealing?

SEN. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D-MD): Well, Chris, it`s good to be with you. And that moment, when we pass the legislation was a bright spot in an otherwise very difficult day. Because as you say at this point, there is no cover for Republicans who have listened to the testimony throughout this file. And particularly telling, this exchange about Senator Tuberville, because even if you somehow except this fiction that Donald Trump did not know what he was doing in directing this mob to the Capitol and did not intend for them to violently interfere with the count, you can`t explain why he didn`t say stop when he found out it happened.

And we know now that the facts clearly show that he knew that the Vice President of the United States was hustled out of the chamber to protect his life. And still, Donald Trump went on. He didn`t call off the mob, as Mick Mulvaney has said. All of the President`s -- a lot of his allies, Chris Christie have said, he knew how to stop this and he didn`t. And that shows that he intended this to happen from the beginning.

HAYES: There`s new reporting tonight, which I just mentioned and I want to get your reaction to it. And it comes to us -- there`s two Republican members of Congress on the record describing Kevin McCarthy`s account of the conversation he had with the president to them. That`s the sourcing on this.

There`s a more people who are quoted anonymously, in which Kevin McCarthy, like many others is getting -- understands that Trump is the one who can call these people off. I mean, they`re wearing Trump hats and carrying Trump flags, so you know -- and he`s asking them to do that. And the President says this. "Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are."

That according to lawmakers who were briefed from the call. A furious McCarthy told the president the rioters were breaking into his office through the windows and asked Trump, who the F do you think you are talking to, according to Republican lawmaker familiar with the call. What do you think of that?

VAN HOLLEN: Well, it just shows that the only thing on Donald Trump`s mind is what we know is on his mind, which was this was an effort to overturn the election. I mean, he timed this on January 6th for this specific purpose of sending a mob to prevent the counting of the votes so he could stay in office.

And now Kevin McCarthy is saying, Mr. President, we`re under attack by this mob. And here`s the president saying, well, Kevin, they`re the ones who care about this election, meaning Donald Trump`s fraudulent explanation that he was cheated out of an election. So, he undermines the entire defense that the president`s lawyers have put on.

And as Jamie Raskin noted, if Donald Trump wants to come put forward his side of the story, be our guest. Come sit in front of the Senate, be sworn in and tell the truth. They obviously don`t want him to do that because they know it will put him in even more legal jeopardy.

HAYES: Yes, but it also -- to me, it highlights that the factual record here is unclear. Obviously, much of the factual record is established. Much of it happened in person. Obviously, we saw the tweets. There are incredible amounts of video footage. But something like this indicates it`s not complete and would seem to suggest that witnesses might be appropriate here.

I mean, you could subpoena Kevin McCarthy. There are people that could come and talk under oath, not just the president. Why not do that?

VAN HOLLEN: Well, that will be a question that the House Managers have to decide as to whether or not they think they need that. I mean, we do have this testimony, the statements from Kevin McCarthy. It`s true that he`s not in person before the Senate, but we also have the statements of Tuberville. And then we have everything that happened in plain view that`s on videotape.

I mean, as you said, all of this was handed over to the president`s lawyers. In fact, they could see it on their own TV, much of it. So, look, I don`t know, Chris, about what the -- what the House managers are going to want to do. I think they`ve established a slam dunk case that the President incited violence for the purpose of overturning the election. If they make a decision to call witnesses, you know, obviously, we will welcome that but it`s their call at this point.

HAYES: Let me play for you -- I want to play what the Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had to say about officer Goodman before he was awarded -- before this bill passed by unanimous consent which you had proposed. Just take listen.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): In a moment, I will ask the Senate to pass legislation that would award Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman the Congressional Gold Medal. Here in this trial, we saw a new video, powerful video, showing calmness under pressure, his courage in the line of duty, his foresight in the midst of chaos, and his willingness to make himself a target of the mobs rage so that others might reach safety. Officer Goodman is in the chamber tonight. Officer Goodman. Thank you.


HAYES: Why was it important to do that, Senator?

VAN HOLLEN: Well, Officer Goodman is a person who goes to work every day, dedicated to defending the Congress, but never would have expected to find himself in these circumstances. And yet, when he was faced with this violent crowd, he kept this cool, he was incredibly brave.

And he as we saw in that video, first encountered the crowd, the mob, led them up the stairs, lead them away from the door that enter the Senate Chamber and also the door that would have taken them down to where Vice President Pence was hiding.

So, instead, he led the mob around to the corridor, where he had some reinforcements from other members of the Capitol Police. So, this is a moment where we as a Senate can thank Officer Goodman for his bravery and protecting the Senate, protecting the Capitol, protecting our democracy.

And we saw so much bravery and courage from so many officers that day. And I know Speaker Pelosi is also going to be recommending that we expand the acknowledgement recognition to others. We wanted to do this today because we saw Officer Goodman`s special role he played at that vital moment in protecting the United States Senate and the Vice President of the United States. It was a good moment.

HAYES: All right, Senator, Senator Chris Van Hollen, thank you after a long day for taking some time with us. I appreciate it.

VAN HOLLEN: Good to be with you, Chris.

HAYES: Still ahead, the Trump attorneys had a really hard time presenting any facts or evidence that would clear their client today. They also had a hard time maintaining Trump`s big election lie. Plus, there`s some new reporting we`re going to bring you just on the other side of this break with Joyce Vance and Paul Butler in a remarkable day in the Senate. Don`t go anywhere.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The House prosecutors have stated over and over again that President Trump was perpetrating a big lie when he repeatedly claimed that the election was stolen from him and that he actually won the election by a landslide. Are the prosecutors right when they claim that Trump was telling a big lie or in your judgment, did Trump actually win the election?

MICHAEL VAN DER VEEN: My judgment? Who asked that?


VAN DER VEEN: My judgments is irrelevant in this proceeding. It absolutely is.

My judgment is irrelevant to the question before this body. What`s relevant in this impeachment article is, were Mr. Trump`s words insightful to the point of violence and riot. That`s the charge. That`s the question. And the answer is no, he did not have speech that was insightful to violence or riot.


HAYES: You saw what he did that, right. This evening, the ex-president`s lawyer dismissed Senator Bernie Sanders question, impertinently I would add, and refuse to even acknowledge that Donald Trump lost the election. He wouldn`t do it. That was pretty typical for the performative outrage the defense team put on all day long.

I want to go through defense that Trump`s team put up today with two people who understand the legal system for the inside, former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance and Paul Butler, professor at Georgetown Law and MSNBC Legal Analyst.

And I want to get your reaction to that, but first I want to get some more reporting we`re getting now. This comes from Jim Acosta at CNN who says -- who is reporting that a person close to the vice president says that the President Trump`s legal team was lying when they said that President Trump had no knowledge that the vice president was in danger.

You can see the tweet there. That`s from Ana Cabrera. Asked whether Van der Veen was lying, the source said yes. Now that strikes me is a pretty big deal given how much of this case now, Joyce, centers on this question of why didn`t the president do anything to stop it, and did he know Pence and others were in danger?

JOYCE VANCE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: It is a really big deal. And it`s a problem for the president, even in this trial with the deck stacked in his favor, to be perceived as having his legal team lie about key facts. The reason that this matters is that this late in the day during the insurrection, Trump sends out a text message that actually targets Pence.

And so if he`s actually on notice, and there`s so much reason to believe even before this that he`s aware of the vice president situation, if for no other reason than because of the monitoring screens that are kept throughout the White House with the location of key Secret Service protectees.

So, here he is further targeting Pence when he`s already in danger. How does senators, even Republican senators fail to convict him if that`s the case?

HAYES: And it connects, Paul, to -- I mean, when we saw the lawyers there, the strangeness of this lack of providing any affirmative evidence, right? So the open questions where they say, you know, what was the president doing? Why did he do this? What -- well, you tell me House managers. You didn`t investigate enough. That`s a very strange way to put on your case.

PAUL BUTLER, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Yes. So, this latest reporting confirms that Congressman Castro was entirely correct when he told the senators that Trump left everyone in the Capitol for dead. It`s talented, melodramatic, but this is more evidence that it`s true.

And here`s the crazy thing, Chris. It may not make a difference with most Republican senators. Not only are they unprincipled, they`re gutless. They don`t even have the self-respect to be outraged that Trump was willing to put their own lives on the line in service of a lie about the election.

HAYES: Well, that`s why I thought, Joyce, I thought that Bill Cassidy`s question about this directly -- and again, we have this new reporting now that -- in which someone, a source close to Vice President Mike Pence says that the president`s lawyers lied, that they lied about whether Trump knew that vice -- the vice president was in danger, that he had been evacuated.

Now, there`s already a circumstantial case to think that because Tommy Tuberville said, yes, I told him that happened, and then he tweeted it. Now we have this additional, what would appear to be corroboration of that. But you saw the Bill Cassidy question. I mean -- and I think that House Managers have been very adept here, which is, well, you don`t like Democrats, fine. You don`t care about us. Maybe you don`t care about yourself. But him targeting his own vice president explicitly, like that`s pretty bad, right. That`s been a big theme here over the last few days.

VANCE: This really confirms how different an impeachment is from any sort of proceeding that we`re used to seeing in a court, Chris, where we would have expectations about lawyers being candid with the tribunal, not lying in an outright and flagrant fashion to the court only to be caught in the lie a couple of hours later.

So, look, this ultimately is a political decision by the Senate about how much they can stomach the former president`s misconduct. They`ve certainly stomached a lot of it over the last four years. Now, Democrats are arguing, for God`s sake, save yourselves. He was targeting you, he was targeting his own vice president, what won`t he do next?

And we`ll see whether or not the Republicans will finally have some standards when it comes to former President Trump.

HAYES: Well, and Joyce`s point about how this is different than a sort of, you know, normal criminal trial, right. You know, one of the big things that the Trump lawyers were pointing out today, which they`re not wrong about, even though I don`t think it helps them, Paul, is it the factual record here is very incomplete. It just is. Like, I don`t -- we don`t know what Trump was doing or what we`re reporting about it.

And I do wonder whether you think that witnesses are needed here, or you would advise them to be called given the fact that there are factual holes to fill in.

BUTLER: I would call Officer Goodman. I would have him explain what these terrorists said to him and what they tried to do and how they kill one of his colleagues. And an impeachment trial without witnesses didn`t make sense the first time Trump was impeached. I don`t know if it makes any more sense on the second impeachment.

I think in this case, there are three audiences. There`s the Senate, there`s the American people, and there`s history. And most of the Republican senators are acting like that shirt Melania Trump wore that said, I really don`t care. Do you? But the American people care, history cares. And I think in both those judgments, the House managers have made the case that Trump is guilty as sin, but we need witnesses to confirm that for history.

HAYES: Joyce Vance and Paul Butler, thank you both for that analysis. That was great. I appreciate it.

Ahead, did the roughly three hours of jumbled arguments with Trump`s legal team provide Republicans enough cover to vote for acquittal? We`ll talk about that next.


HAYES: Lawyers for Donald Trump today had one main goal; give Republican senators the excuses they need so they have the cover to vote to acquit. They played montages of Democrats complete with ominous music that could have come straight from Fox News and acted extremely offended by the case against the ex-president and the very existence of the trial and they just generally sought to give senators cover for not holding Trump accountable.

So, did they do enough to prevent 17 Republicans from voting to convict? Our insights into that question, I want to turn now to two Republican former lawmakers. Former Senator Gordon Humphrey from New Hampshire and former Congresswoman Barbara Comstock from Virginia.

Congressman, maybe I`ll start with you. You serve a little more recently about how you think the case worked on the Republicans in that chamber?

BARBARA COMSTOCK (R), FORMER REPRESENTATIVE FROM VIRGINIA: Well, I don`t think their lawyers -- Trump lawyers changed anyone`s mind. It really sounded like a Trump Twitter feed. They didn`t have a lot of information.

And already, we know two false things that they said. The Tommy Tuberville, you know, did tell the president what was going on there.

And then also, I`m sorry, that president did know about Mike Pence being in danger.

HAYES: Senator Humphrey, I know that you have -- you`re a strong Trump critic. I`ve had you on the show to talk about that before. My question more is about what the Senate is as a body right now, what it`s evolved into being? Whether you have faith that there is any -- if people are good faith weighing the evidence, or this is fundamentally a kind of preset outcome?

GORDON HUMPHREY (R), FORMER SENATOR FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE: Good evening, Chris. Good evening, Barbara, everyone.

Chris, I`d like to cut through the fog, if I may.

HAYES: Please.

HUMPHREY: This is not about cover. This is not about the political vote. This is really about the oath of office to which senators take to bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution.

It`s down now -- it`s down to a constitutional question. It`s down to the oath of office. It`s down to conscience, and better angels. It`s down to the rule of law. It`s down to upholding our reputation around the world as the seat of rule of law, as an example of rule of law.

So, I`m hoping for the best. I`m hoping that tomorrow, Mitch McConnell will reveal his conscience and announce before the vote that he will vote to convict, I think that will bring over a substantial number of Republicans.

HAYES: That`s a very good point that I mean, I don`t expect that to be the case. If you`re asking me to place money, I would not place that on happening.

But it does strike me, Barbara, that that is the -- that is the scenario in what -- when which one could imagine a conviction.

And again, I think the cases merits are independent of whether enough Republicans vote for it, because I think it`s overwhelming. But that is -- there do seem to be signals to me from Republicans tonight, Republican members of the House, someone close to the vice president, that they are continued to be appalled by the president -- ex-president`s conduct?

COMSTOCK: Yes, they certainly are. And we know if it were a secret ballot, most Republicans would vote for conviction. It will be the most bipartisan impeachment conviction in history, because there will be more than one. And so, there -- and I think there will be a number. I certainly am cautiously optimistic that there will be more.

I don`t think history will treat kindly those who vote against impeachment, because the case has been made very (AUDIO GAP) did not meet his duty in any way. And now we know, also, that he -- you know, he was gleeful about this.

You know, those reports certainly are realistic and I think accurate. And I think most people who have seen Donald Trump in action over the past four years, understand that he knew this was his mob. He was probably gleeful about this and he didn`t want to call it off.

And so, I think the manager`s case was very effective. It was very damning. And I think other than people who just want to run away from this, you`re going to -- you know, the public gets it.

And I don`t -- I think the future of the Republican Party is going to be with those who hold with their oath as the senator said. And you will not see somebody, for example, be a Republican president who refuse to vote for conviction here for something that was such a gross violation of their office.

HAYES: You know, when you talk about the sort of numbers Politico reporting that the Trump defense made its argument, Republicans privately estimated between five to 10 of their senators are seriously weighing conviction. I don`t know if that`s a kind of expectations setting.

What does it say about the Republican Party in the future of it, Senator, when we have a majority of the Republican members who served in Congress in both Houses if you put them together who voted to overturn the election, right? In pursuit of the same aims as Donald Trump and the mob, and were they to vote en masse to acquit Donald Trump for what he did here? What would that mean for this party?

HUMPHREY: I`m very much less concerned about the party than I am about the country, this is about the Constitution and the rule of law. And if the Senate acts unconscionably in my view to acquit, that is going to strike a very heavy blow against constitutional authority and dignity and against the rule of law.

That`s the greatest, you know, the country`s in real trouble. We`ve got a very sharply divided society; we need to address that.

But first of all, we need to have the rule of law. We can`t have any more of this lawlessness on the part of certain citizens, and on the part of certain members of Congress. We really have to get our act together, seminar, best angels, examine our consciences. Think of all of the sacrifice that has gone before to produce what we have. Sacrifice of life, liberty and fortune. We`re so very blessed. We need to protect that blessing and it starts with the Senate.

COMSTOCK: And you know, you think of (INAUDIBLE) they honored Officer Goodman and gave him, you know, a medal. I think in his honor, as well as those other Capitol Police officers who were injured that day, the three who died, this is why conviction is so important.

It is about the country and the rule of law and about honor. So, honoring Officer Goodman and others, we need to be true to the Constitution.

HAYES: Well, I know the Republican Senate Caucus, we are appointment viewing for them and I hope tonight is no different. They`re watching both your messages former Senator Gordon Humphrey and former Congresswoman Barbara Comstock. Thanks to you both.

HUMPHREY: Hi, Mitch, come here for us, buddy.

HAYES: Still to Come -- love it. That`s for you Mitch McConnell.

Still to come, one of the most notable non answers from Trump`s defense team about the president`s inaction during the riot. That incredible moment from the well of the Senate after this.


HAYES: Because Donald Trump`s lawyers couldn`t be bothered to actually clear their client on their own arguments today, two Republican Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska had to ask them specifically to do that. And they literally got no answer.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Exactly, when did President Trump learn of the breach of the Capitol? What specific actions did he take to bring the rioting to an end? And when did he take them? Please be as detailed as possible.

MICHAEL T. VAN DER VEEN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR FORMER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: The House managers have given us absolutely no evidence one way or the other onto that question. We`re able to piece together a timeline and it goes all the way back to the December 31st. January 2nd, there is a lot of interaction between the authorities and getting folks to have security beforehand on the day. We have a tweet at 2:38, so it was certainly sometime before then. With the rush to bring this impeachment, there`s been absolutely no investigation into that.

And that`s the problem with this entire proceeding, the House managers did zero investigation and the American people deserve a lot better than coming in here with no evidence, hearsay on top of hearsay, on top of reports that are of hearsay. Due process is required here and that was denied.


HAYES: All right, keep in mind, that`s Republican Senators Collins and Murkowski saying teeing up the Trump defense team to say just tell us the exculpatory story of your client not doing the thing that he appears to have done, which is just sit there and munch on popcorn while this horrible things happening, like what did he do?

And the lawyer saying, I don`t know. And it`s the prosecution`s fault. That non-answer should be enough for Republicans to vote to convict the former president.

But we know they have bought into his big lie, the basis for his plot to undermine the election. I`ll talk to the senator who asked the House impeachment managers about that today, next.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Having been on the frontlines of combating the big lie over the past four years as California`s chief elections officer, it is clear that President Trump`s plot to undermine the 2020 election was built on lies and conspiracy theories.

How did this plot to unconstitutionally keep President Trump in power lead to the radicalization of so many of President Trump`s followers and the resulting attack on the Capitol?

REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO (D-TX): Donald Trump spent months inciting his base to believe that their election was stolen. Think about that, what it would take to get a large group of thousands of Americans so angry to storm the Capitol. That was the purpose behind Donald Trump saying that the election had been rigged and that the election had been stolen.


HAYES: Less than a month after being sworn in to replace Vice President Kamala Harris, Senator Alex Padilla has found himself in the middle of an impeachment trial asking the prosecution how Donald Trump radicalized so many of his followers. And Senator Padilla Democrat from California and juror in the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump joins me now.

Senator, how central do you think this sustained big lie and the inability for the president`s own lawyers to refute it? How central is that to the case do you think?

SEN. ALEX PADILLA (D-CA): Thanks for having me, Chris. Look, I think this is huge. The House managers have presented a more than compelling case, more than sufficient evidence to connect the dots not just on Trump`s insightful language the morning of January 6th. But as you heard, Representative Castro mentioned for the month leading up to not just violent but deadly event.

And I can tell you, having been in the election space for the last four plus years, this has been years in the making. He invited the mob on the 6th, he incited the mob on the 6th. And then he turned them towards the U.S. Capitol.

And here`s another important point, Chris, this wasn`t -- he didn`t tell them towards Democrats or towards Republicans, he tell them towards Congress. And so, this was clearly an attack on Congress and an attack on our democracy.

HAYES: We`ve got two new reports tonight shedding additional light on what happened obviously. Senator Tommy Tuberville confirming that indeed he did tell the president the vice president been taken away. There`s a report of Kevin McCarthy calling the president and tried to get him to call off the mob and the president instructing him that well, looks like they care more about the election than you do.

And then just moments ago, a source close to the vice president, saying that the president`s lawyers lie about whether he knew that the vice president have been evacuated.

Given all this new evidence, does it make you want to see witnesses in this trial to get a fuller picture of the factual record?

PADILLA: Look, I think that this new reporting that you`re sharing is still consistent with the overwhelming amount and quality of the evidence that has been presented.

It`s not the first time we hear, for example, about Kevin McCarthy. I mean, he was well have worked into the presentations, the video of some of his statements, the language of some of his statements in the case presented by the House managers.

So, frankly, all he`s doing is reaffirming what we`ve known officially from the House managers, but frankly, what the public has done for a long, long time.

Sadly, anybody who`s been paying attention to a Donald Trump has been saying, is not surprised of what happened on January 6th.

But now, the time has come. It is in the hands of the United States Senate to convict Donald Trump. I know Democrats are there and it`s now literally down to Republicans choosing between their conscience and their political motivations.

HAYES: How much faith do you have that your colleagues, your very new colleagues, you`re very new to the role that you`re serving, you were sworn in after this attack actually happened on the Capitol. How confident are you just this being the one of the first experiences you`ve had in the U.S. Senate to be in that body with all these senators? That everyone across the aisle is taking their duty seriously, that they`re listening, and they`re listening with an open mind?

PADILLA: Right, and their oath of office very seriously. You`re right, I`m one of the three that was not in the chambers as the events happened on January 6th. They had, you know, a different vantage point of watching what`s happening inside the Capitol and outside the Capitol in real time. Most of my colleagues just seeing that side by side for the first time this week.

And so, I think we`re all reminded both sides of the aisle, our oath of office is to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States against to all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Domestic, that`s what we saw play out on January 6th, and if people are true to their oath, then we should be convicting Trump in short order. And if we don`t, then I think there`s going to be a lot of Republicans with a lot of explaining to do.

HAYES: What do you -- what do you think of the slippery slope argument that Republicans have tried to make here? Which, again, this is not a defense the president`s conduct in the merits, which I think is basically no one has defended his conduct from the merits, because it`s indefensible.

But the notion of, well, you did this, and now we`re going to be doing much more impeachment, there`s going to be all this partisan pressure to do it, particularly if we get a majority, maybe we`ll try to impeach x officials. What do you -- what do you make of that?

PADILLA: Yes, no, I think it`s simply an attempted distraction. It`s a weak defense, because the actions of Trump on January 6th and the years leading up to it are indeed indefensible.

And so, if you`re looking for an excuse, you`re going to find one. But if you look at the facts of the matter before us and the constitutionality, that question has been answered. There`s only one clear and right thing to do, and that is to convict.

HAYES: Yes, that question on the constitutionality, I thought that was a bunch of interesting exchanges today. Jamie Raskin saying, look, the Senate has settled this. The Senate has spoken, they took a vote, we`ve moved past that.

And the president`s lawyer is trying to say, he said something like, if you want to vote on that, you vote on it, whatever you want, it doesn`t matter. You can vote on whatever you want to vote to acquit. That was revealing, I thought.

PADILLA: Right, the issue of constitutionality was addressed on day one of this trial, and that`s where the United States Senate. And there`s also what the whole rest of the nation and I think the world understands; nobody should be above the law. Donald Trump especially is not above the law.

And if you break the law, there must be consequences. There`s no January exception for the argument that well, you can`t convict him because he`s no longer president.

Let`s remember that the House impeached him while he was president, it was McConnell that delayed the impeachment trial. And this may be the first time a former president is indeed convicted but it`s absolutely constitutional and legal and more than appropriate in this case.

HAYES: Final question for you, how do you like being a senator?

PADILLA: OK, I`m enjoying. It`s normally a moment to sort of celebrate an opportunity like this, but it`s under unique circumstances between impeachment, the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic climate that we`re in, the security situation around the Capitol as a result of the insurrection of January 6th is just reminders of the significant and the urgency of the work.

HAYES: Senator Alex Padilla from California, final question for you. And I don`t know if you`re communicating with the caucus, but how much is this -- how much coordination do you -- do you Senate Democrats have -- or understanding of what the expectation is for how long this goes on, what are you being told about that?

PADILLA: Well, I mean, I think the plan has been laid out right there, whether it was a question on constitutionality, x number of hours, or x number of days afforded to the House Managers to present their evidence in the case, equal amount of time for the defense, time for questions, which we saw a happened for a couple of hours today that may or may not continue tomorrow morning. Guess we`ll find out soon enough. And then, it`s, you know, time to cast our votes one way or the other around this. So, I do see this coming to a closure sooner rather than later and the justice will prevail enough of our Republican colleagues will be true to their conscience, true to their values, true to the oath they`ve taken, and vote to convict Donald Trump.

HAYES: All right. Senator Alex Padilla, new senator from California, first time we`ve gotten a chance to speak. Thank you very much for coming on tonight.

PADILLA: Thank you, Chris. Hope to be back soon.

HAYES: All right. That is ALL IN on this Friday evening. The "RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.