As of March 24, Republican legislators have introduced 361 bills with restrictive voting provisions in 47 states. Texas Senate passes a new voter restriction bill. President Joe Biden would strongly support moving MLB All-Star Game out of Georgia. President Biden pushes a $2 trillion infrastructure plan. Derek Chauvin`s supervisor takes to the stand and admits Chauvin used unnecessary force on George Floyd. The Daily Beast reports that Republicans have been waiting for a Matt Gaetz scandal to break.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: So, Governor Kristi Noem, you are the absolute worst for being a whole governor who doesn`t understand what infrastructure is and for going on TV to criticize Biden`s plan instead of doing your job working to ensure the needs of South Dakotans are met. And that is tonight all -- is tonight`s REIDOUT. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MEHDI HASAN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR (voice-over): Tonight, on ALL IN.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Voter suppression in Georgia is alive today.
HASAN: The ever-expanding Republican effort against democracy.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is Jim Crow on steroids, what they`re doing in Georgia and 40 other states.
HASAN: Tonight, the anti-voter bills in state houses across the country. I`ll ask Beto O`Rourke what`s being done to stop them. Then --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When Mr. Floyd was no longer offering up any resistance to the officers, they could have ended their restraint.
HASAN: Derek Chauvin`s supervisor takes to the stand and admits Chauvin used unnecessary force.
Plus, the latest on the Matt Gaetz investigation and the Republicans leaving him out to dry.
Then, as the President rolls out his investment plan, the new head of Biden`s Economic Council joins me live.
And a study in contrast between the first Biden cabinet meeting today --
BIDEN: I`m going to ask you all to report back to me at the next cabinet meeting and now we`ve got a lot of business to do.
HASAN: And what cabinet meetings used to be like.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Mike?
MIKE PENCE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you, Mr. President. And just the greatest privilege of my life.
HASAN: When ALL IN starts right now.
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HASAN (on camera): Good evening from Washington DC. I`m Mehdi Hasan in for Chris Hayes. We`re in the midst of a war on democracy launched by the Republican Party and fueled by the big lie that the last election was stolen from Donald J. Trump. It wasn`t. He lost. But just look at these new numbers.
According to the Brennan Center for Justice, as of March 24, legislators have introduced 361 bills with restrictive voting provisions in 47 states. That`s 108 more than the 253 restrictive bills tallied as of February 9,. 2021, a 43 percent increase in little more than a month, a 43 percent increase. As in the side, congratulations to Delaware, Ohio, and Vermont, three states that have not brought in any restrictive bills yet.
We talked yesterday about the increasing backlash to Georgia`s recent voter suppression law with the CEOs of both Delta and Coca-Cola, two of the state`s largest employers, explicitly condemning the legislation, and the fallout continued today.
Georgia State Representative Park Cannon who was arrested last week while knocking on the office door of Governor Brian Kemp as he signed the voting bill into law spoke for the first time today since she was handcuffed and removed from the State Capitol Building.
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STATE REP. PARK CANNON (D), GEORGIA: When the late Congressman John Lewis took my hand, marched with me to the Fulton County Government Center and voted with me in 2016, and helped me understand why that was so important, I`ll never forget it.
But unfortunately, today, the only thing etched in my mind are two things. Why were they arresting me? Why were they doing that? And the photo of six all White men under a photo of a plantation taking away Black and Brown voters rights, as well as all voters rights.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HASAN: And while Coca-Cola and Delta eventually did the right thing, they are still under pressure for their delayed response. Today standing in front of the world of Coca-Cola, a group of faith and community leaders announced a national boycott of those two companies as well as Home Depot for their failure to speak up before the legislation was passed.
State Republicans are also furious at Delta and Coca-Cola for what they claim is a partisan and ill-informed attack on the law. Last night Republicans in Georgia`s House of Representatives outrageously passed the bill stripping Delta of a multimillion-dollar tax break before the measure stalled out in the Senate.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution described the scene that showed how personal things had gotten. "Moments after gaveling the legislative session to an end early Thursday, House Speaker David Ralston stood before a bank of TV cameras admitted something that many lifelong Georgians would never say publicly. He purposely cracked open a Pepsi. It wouldn`t be a surprise if either company doesn`t have a seat at the table when it comes to major policy decisions going forward, senior Republicans say. One spoke of a seismic shift in the Capitol away from the twin behemoths."
I mean, currently, the two most famous companies in Georgia does the hypocrisy of this snowflake brigade know no bounds. They lecture the rest of us for being too thin-skinned. The lecture is all on the need to defend free speech. So, why this ridiculously hostile response to the Delta CEO`s freedom of speech?
They`re probably not going to be happy to hear that other major corporate leaders are also exercising their right to free speech, like Apple CEO Tim Cook, who said today, American history is the story of expanding the right to vote to all citizens. And Black people, in particular, had to march, struggle, and even give their lives for more than a century to defend that right." Gosh, I wonder what made him say that.
To be clear, Georgia Republicans aren`t the only ones doing everything they can to make voting harder. Today, Arizona Senate Republicans had an advocate of the stop the steal movement who repeatedly allege the election was rigged against Donald Trump to yes, you guessed, examine the results of the 2020 election. While Republicans in the Texas Senate followed in the footsteps of their Georgia colleagues, passing a package of election bills that would ban overnight early voting hours and drive through early voting while restricting how election officials handle mail voting.
And these are not random changes. These restrictions impair the exact tools that helped Harris County, Texas, the home of Houston, a multicultural Democratic Party stronghold turnout over 1.6 million voters in 2020, a 25 percent increase on 2016. More than 127,000 people around Houston used drive-through early voting, and more than half of those voters were Black, Latino, or Asian said Democratic State Senator Carol Alvarado.
As usual, there is no fact-based reason for these changes because the big lie is just what it sounds like, a big lie. The Houston Chronicle reports, "The Texas Attorney General`s Office spent nearly twice as much time working on voter fraud cases this year, as it did in 2018, logging more than 22,000 staff hours, yet resolved just 16 prosecutions, half as many as two years ago records show. 16, one-six. Texas Republicans are not doing this to stop voter fraud. They`re doing this to stop people of color from voting.
Republicans know they are going to lose Texas at the presidential level very soon. They already lost Georgia. And they want to make sure Texas never enters swing state territory whatever the cost to American democracy.
I want to bring in Beto O`Rourke, a former Democratic congressman from the state of Texas who is the founder of Powered by People, a grassroots organization to mobilize Democratic voters.
Thanks so much for coming on the show. What is your reaction this new voting bill in Texas and what can people in Texas do about it?
BETO O`ROURKE, FOUNDER, POWERED BY PEOPLE: Well, it`s pretty bad. And I`m saying this from the perspective of a state that is already the hardest in which to register to vote and to cast your ballot. We ranked 50th of the 50 states.
So on top of 750 polling place closures over the last eight years, more than any other state concentrated in the fastest growing black and Latino neighborhoods, on top of the racial gerrymander, on top of the most restrictive voter I.D. laws in the country, we have this legislation that you were just reporting on right now, which limits voting hours and the manners in which people can vote -- whether that`s 24 hour voting or mail in voting.
It gives so called poll watchers free reign inside the polling place to include even filming voters as they attempt to cast their ballots, which is going to be another avenue of intimidation especially against lower income voters, Mexican American voters, and African American voters.
And new criminal penalties, and this may be the most insidious part of it, Mehdi, because when you look at what our twice indicted Attorney General Ken Paxton has done with his election fraud unit, 72 percent of the actions that they`ve taken have been against black and Latino voters in the state of Texas.
Well out of proportion to the representation within the population. So, this is targeted at certain voters, namely voters of color in Texas.
HASAN: So that`s what I wanted to ask you about. The Republicans want us to believe this is all about election security integrity, they say. But isn`t it really about demographics and race and how Republicans know they cannot hold on to states like Texas going forward, given they rely so heavily on old white voters?
O`ROURKE: The incidents of voter of fraud in Texas, it`s .00004 percent. You are more likely to be stuck by lightning in Texas than you are to encounter voter fraud. And when asked, the chairman of the House committee that`s currently holding hearings right now as you and I speak, when he could not cite a specific incidence of voter fraud, he said; well, people are concerned about it when we poll them.
They`re concerned about it because he and others and the president and (inaudible) traffic in the big lie have stirred this up and -- and now they seek to be the firefighter and the arsonist at the same time, trying to solve a problem that we don`t really have that they made up in the first place.
And we don`t lack for problems in Texas. 50,000 dead of COVID so far and counting. Nearly 200 died in the winter storm a month ago. This is a new number from the reporting at the Houston chronicle.
Folks who froze to death in their beds, people who died of carbon monoxide poisoning because the states that`s the energy capital of North America could not find the power to turn the lights and the heat on. There are real problems in Texas to pursue.
HASAN: Yes, there are.
O`ROURKE: Vote fraud is one of them.
HASAN: So, it`s great that corporation like Delta and Coca-Cola are finally speaking up about this. But if there`s one thing we`ve learned about the Mitch McConnell Senate is that Republicans don`t care what other people think about them. They don`t care about that.
They care about donations. If corporations are speaking up in Georgia, shouldn`t they also be doing so in Texas now? I know American Airlines is based in Fort Worth has. Who else should? Which other companies do you want to see speaking out and should they be pulling their donations from the politicians backing these voter suppression laws?
O`ROURKE: They absolutely should. You know where is AT&T on this? You know these big companies, corporations and businesses, these are their customers who are being affected, intimidated, suppressed and who will not be able to participate in our democracy, which as you pointed out, whether it`s service members on the field of battle, whether it`s civil rights marchers and freedom writers, people have given their lives in order to protect and promote the right to vote.
And that`s being taken away from our fellow Texans, our fellow Americans at a level not seen since the Voting Rights Act passage in 1965. This is the greatest coordinated attack on Democracy we`ve seen in our lifetimes and it`s happening right here in Texas. This is now ground zero.
HASAN: So, I`m glad you`re describing it in such blunt and direct terms because that leads me to my next question. What do you do about it as a Democratic Party, what do you do at a federal level to stop this great threat, this -- you know since the 1960s the biggest threat?
Doesn`t this all come down to getting rid of the filibuster because how can -- I just have to ask you, how can Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, Joe Manchin of West Virginia -- how do they sleep at night knowing the SR1 needs to get passed, you need to get rid of the filibuster to pass it, the For the People Act as quickly as possible to protect black and Latino people in Texas, in Georgia, and Arizona and elsewhere?
O`ROURKE: Well, right now, Mehdi, as -- as you and I speak, there are Texans who drove from all over the state to our capital to testify against House Bill 6, the companion bill to that Senate bill that passed earlier today.
Groups like MOVE, the Texas Civil Rights Project, other grassroots organizations are doing the important work in Texas right now. We need to support them. But you`re right. In the United States Senate, we need to amend the rules to the filibuster so that we can pass democracy bills on a simple majority.
And it -- here`s -- here`s my -- my opinion on -- on Senators Manchin and Sinema. I believe that ultimately, they will put country over party and they`ll put our democracy over any self-interest.
They will do the right thing because I think they also understand that this is the single greatest attack on our democracy in their lives -- at least in their political lives. And they`re going to do the right thing at the end of the day, but they need to hear from all of us and especially their constituents in West Virginia and Arizona.
HASAN: I do hope you`re right. We`ll have to leave it there. Beto O`Rourke. Thank you so much for your time tonight.
O`ROURKE: Thank you.
HASAN: The backlash to Georgia`s repressive voting law extends beyond the words of a few corporate CEOs. Today following the Major League Baseball Players Association, saying they`d be open to moving the league`s All-Star game from Georgia. President Biden voiced his support for the players.
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BIDEN: I think today`s professional athletes are acting incredibly responsibly. I would strongly support them doing that. The very people who are victimized the most are the people who are the leaders in these -- in these various sports and it`s just not right. This is Jim Crow on steroids what they`re doing and in Georgia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HASAN: Jemele Hill is a contributing writer for The Atlantic where her latest piece argues for moving the All-Star game out of Georgia. She`s also the host of the Spotify podcast, Jemele Hill Is Unbothered and she joins me now.
Thanks so much for coming on the show. Stacey Abrams today is calling for companies and leagues to hold off on boycotts for now. What is your argument against that?
JEMELE HILL, CONTRIBUTING WRITER, THE ATLANTIC: Well, I definitely understand where Stacey Abrams is coming from. And obviously given her role in getting Georgia to become a blue state, it can`t go unnoticed or certainly can`t be dismissed. However, I would love to enter into evidence what the track record has been in sports already.
In 1991, as I pointed out in my column, the NFL announced that it was moving the Super Bowl out of Arizona because Arizona refused to make Dr. Martin Luther King Jr`s holiday a paid holiday. Just recently, the NBA decided to move the All-Star game out of Charlotte because of the controversial "bathroom bill."
So, throughout history, we have seen instances where sports has chosen to get in -- they`ve chosen to get involved in various specific cases so that people can understand the gravity of what is happening. We`re talking about a game, one game. I mean, I wasn`t calling for the Braves to relocate, for the dream, the Atlanta Dream, the W NBA teams to relocate, or for the Hawks to relocate.
But I think this would be a powerful symbolic gesture to show Georgia legislators, Republican legislature that their actions have consequences. And one of those consequences is you shouldn`t get to have a banner signature event in your state when this is the type of disrespect that you show your constituents.
HASAN: That`s a very good point and well-argued. Let me ask you this. We heard Georgia Representative Park Cannon tonight talking about restrictions on Sunday voting. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CANNON: Sunday voting is not just about voting on Sunday. It`s about voting in a place where you feel safe, where you know that you have access to, accessibility, ramps, where you can get some water, maybe you can actually take a nice stop at a garden while you are protecting your community.
And unfortunately, Senate Bill 202 takes away the rights of Georgia voters to vote on Sunday, because it limits it. It says counties must choose Saturday or Sunday. And we say no, we`re not going back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HASAN: What do you make of the fact that here is a state representative making some pretty eloquent arguments there. And when she goes to try and witness the signing of the bill, this state representative, this Black woman, is dragged away by police arrested and charged in 2021.
HILL: Well, I hope people are thinking about this image of this lawmaker being taken out, this Black lawmaker, this Black woman, by male police officers, and think about it in the context of what we witnessed at the Capitol. That on January 6th, we saw a bunch of White people, some of them armed, being let into one of our most sacred places of which they destroyed, and they disrespected.
HASAN: It`s so true.
HILL: And they had it -- if they had it their way, they would have done something far more nefarious than what actually occurred on government grounds. So, the White people were allowed to storm a Capitol. This black woman who is a paid elected official was disrespected and thrown out just from wanting to witness what was happening in where -- in her place of work.
And so, I just find this to be one of those examples where we as a country have to ask ourselves, what are we doing and what are we really about? Because if you`re this proud of this bill, if this is about election security, as Brian Kemp has claimed, the governor of Georgia, then why would you allow her to witness it if it`s so up and up?
HILL: But see, this is also the value of continuing to intimidate people of color, especially Black people showing force and showing intimidation even for those who are elected officials.
HASAN: Jemele, I`m going to jump in because we`re out of time. But I have to ask you this question. Very briefly. You called Donald Trump a white supremacist back in 2017. You got in trouble with ESPN. People slammed you for it. I wonder, do you wish more people had been listening to journalists like yourself, like me, other journalists of color in particular, when we were saying this is all about race?
HILL: I wish they would have listened because the extension and what we`re left to deal with now -- I mean, we`re just dealing with the aftershocks of what was the earthquake. And I hope people understand that Donald Trump did not invent racism. We`re not going to give him that much credit. He was the extension of the things that were already there. And what we`re seeing now is an extension of all the ugliness that he brought to the surface. And one of those things is to continue to restrict Black and Brown voters.
HASAN: It`s so true. Yes, it is, depressingly. Jemele Hill, thank you so much for your insights tonight. I appreciate it.
Coming up, the White House may not need any Republican support for their new massive infrastructure plan. But the question is, do they have enough Democratic support? I`ll talk to one of the architects of the plan, Top Biden advisor, about the criticism from the left too after this.
HASAN: This week, Joe Biden unveiled a $2 trillion infrastructure plan. It`s big, its bold, its historic. It`s popular. The question is, why didn`t Donald Trump do one? Wasn`t he the infrastructure guy, the guy who liked to build things or at least slap his name on things? And yet infrastructure week was something that we waited for four long years.
Time and again, Trump pitched trillion-dollar plans. Time and again, House Democrats said they`d work with him, but it never happened. As New York Times columnist Ezra Klein pointed out yesterday, it`s become a punchline, but it really is remarkable that Trump didn`t do an infrastructure plan in his four years in office, particularly at the beginning. He could have peeled off scared Democrats. The whole country could have roads and bridges with his face on them.
Is it remarkable though? It`s Donald Trump. He wasn`t interested in governing, only performing. Infrastructure was just a punchline for him. Because as Ezra himself acknowledged, he just didn`t want to do the work. Exactly. You know what Trump did want. He just wanted to be on TV all the time, ideally being praised, adored, cheered, whether it was at rallies or even his own cabinet meetings.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PENCE: Thank you, Mr. President. And just the greatest privilege of my life is to serve as vice president to the President who`s keeping his word to the American people.
ALEXANDER ACOSTA, FORMER UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF LABOR: Mr. President, my privilege to be here, deeply honored. And I want to thank you for keeping your commitment to the American workers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can`t thank you enough for the privilege that you`ve given me, the leadership that you`ve shown.
ELAINE CHAO, FORMER UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION: I want to thank you for getting this country moving again and also working.
REINCE PRIEBUS, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: On behalf of the entire senior staff around you, Mr. President, we thank you for the opportunity and the blessing that you`ve given us to serve your agenda, and the American people and we`re continuing to work very hard every day to accomplish those goals.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HASAN: I think I feel my lunch coming up. I think you have your answer as to why we never got to infrastructure week. It was just a reality show presidency, a pretend administration. By contrast, Joe Biden use his first full in-person cabinet meeting today to ensure that everyone was on the same page when it came to pushing his infrastructure plan.
BIDEN: I`m asking five cabinet members to take special responsibility to explain the plan to the American public. Working with my team here in the White House, these cabinet members will represent me in dealing with Congress, engage the public in selling the plan, and help work out the details as we refine it, and move forward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HASAN: OK, it sounds serious. It sounds like a plan. For more on that plan, let`s talk to one of its architects. Brian Deese is the director of the White House`s National Economic Council, and one of Joe Biden`s top advisors.
Brian, thanks so much for coming on the show. $2 trillion is obviously a huge amount of money. But there is a huge job to be done as well. And some people are arguing that this money is great, but simply is not enough. Have a listen to Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez last night.
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REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO CORTEZ (D-NY): This is 2.2 5 trillion over eight years. For context -- because these huge numbers are hard to understand, for context, we passed an almost $2 trillion COVID relief package that`s supposed to last us one year with some provisions lasting up to two years. So, the $1400 stimulus checks, that big package that we felt in our lives were deployed on a shorter timeline.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HASAN: Brian, doesn`t AOC have a point?
BRIAN DEESE, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: Well, it`s great to be here. And I would say this is a historic plan. It`s the largest -- single largest investment in jobs in modern American history. And its goal is to do something a bit different economically than the rescue plan.
The rescue plan was intended -- is intended to speed relief to families and businesses right now. This jobs plan is a capital investment plan in America. And so, the design is really intended to allow us to build, rebuild, repair, and position the country for the future.
So, this is a big and bold plan, but to the -- to your intro, the details matter, the specifics matter. And we feel really good about the fact that targeting things like upgrading all that pipes in the country, making sure everybody has access to high-speed internet, the largest investment in R and D in the nation`s history, rebuilding 10,000 bridges across the country. These are the kinds of concrete goals that we need to do and it`s spaced out right over time.
HASAN: And one of the goals, Brian, isn`t it -- one of the goals is to fight climate change, an existential threat to humanity. There are a lot of climate activists who again, say great start, good money, but they worry it doesn`t do enough to address the danger. A lot of these climate activists, as you know, they`ve criticized you for having worked at the investment giant BlackRock. They question the agenda of some people in the administration.
They say that if the administration seriously believes, if you, Brian, genuinely believe that climate change is an existential threat, that a few 100 billion dollars over eight years is just not enough and we don`t have the time. What do you say to those critics?
DEESE: Well, look, I would say if you look at this plan, every element of this plan is designed to both build to the resilience of the future, where climate change is affecting every element of our lives, but most importantly, is investing in the foundations of moving our transportation sector, our power sector, our industrial sector in a low carbon zero-carbon direction.
So, again, I think the specifics matter, but what`s so important and exciting about this plan, I think, the President made clear, is that this plan will allow us to fight climate change, while creating millions of clean energy job. Jobs, upgrading our nation`s power lines, jobs, transforming the transportation sector and investing in electric vehicles, and making sure that we build those components, we build that new power from transportation sector here in the United States.
HASAN: And Brian, we all want more clean energy jobs. We`re glad it`s in the bill. But the New York Times is reporting on union concerns and quotes one staffing firm as saying a standard solar project would employ about 250 workers for just under a year, about 1/3 of the workers make $30.00 an hour or more, the other two thirds have fewer skills, make hourly wages of less than $20.00.
By contrast, the construction of a gas-powered electricity plant typically last two to three years and employs hundreds of skilled unionized tradesmen who make $75,000 a year or more. Brian, how do you convince union members they`ll still be able to support their families under this infrastructure package?
DEESE: Well, look, I think you design and put a plan out just exactly as Joe Biden did in Pittsburgh. You heard Joe Biden explain he is a union guy. And this plan reflects the reality that we need to invest in good jobs. And as we make federal investments, we need to make sure that they`re connected to requirements that we`re improving job quality, we`re giving people an opportunity to join a union.
You know, you mentioned the cabinet meeting at the top. One of the things we talked about in the cabinet meeting today was the issue of buy American. As we make these insignificant investments in America, we have to make sure that these investments are tied to U.S. production and us jobs. It`s not easy, but I think the way you do it, the way you bring everybody along, is you show that these investments can actually have benefits to our communities as they are going right at the existential threat of climate change.
And I think you`ve seen from the UAW to the IBEW and others, there`s energy around the prospects of making this kind of historic investments in building things and rebuilding things here in America again.
HASAN: I hope so. I truly hope so. One last question, Brian. Back in the day, the Democrats, especially under Bill Clinton, were obsessed with balancing budgets. You yourself during the Obama days, used to talk a fiscal discipline. Is it fair to say the Democrats have now ideologically moved in a more progressive direction where deficits aren`t inherently evil, where government spending is a good thing, something to be proud of?
DEESE: I think what you see -- you see for President Biden and certainly his whole economic team is a view that we are in a historic moment, this crisis has exposed big weaknesses in our economy. And what we need to do is we need to deliver with big, bold solutions for the American people. The American rescue plan was a case in point. We`ve made the case that we needed the risk of doing too little far outweigh the risk of doing too much. And these investments in the American Rescue Plan are going to more than pay off in terms of growth for the economy.
Look, we need to do this smart. We need to invest well. But now is the time to do big, bold things for the country and I think you`ll see that reflected in the American Jobs Plan.
HASAN: Well, I for one, I`m glad to hear you say that. Brian Deese, we`ll have to leave it there. I`ve got to say, great painting behind you. I don`t know who did it. But thank you for making the time tonight. I appreciate it.
DEESE: Absolutely. It was my daughter.
HASAN: Good one there. Next, George Floyd`s girlfriend takes the stand. We`ll play her moving testimony and talk about the strategy we`re seeing from Derek Chauvin`s defense team after this.
HASAN: The fourth day of the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derrick Chauvin is now wrapped up concluding with damning testimony from the man who was Chauvin`s supervisor who said that Chauvin should not have continued using force on George Floyd as long as he did.
Today, we also had deeply moving testimony from George Floyd`s girlfriend of three years, Courteney Ross. She told the court the story of how they met in August of 2017. Ross was visiting a Salvation Army shelter where her son`s father was staying. She was upset and Floyd who worked there as a security guard tried to comfort her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COURTENEY ROSS, GIRLFRIEND OF GEORGE FLOYD: So, he came to me and boy, he has this great deep Southern boy raspy. He`s like sis, are you OK, sis? And I wasn`t OK. I said, no, I`m just waiting for my son`s father. I`m sorry. He said, can I pray with you? I thought I was so tired and we`ve been through so much, my sons and I, and this kind person just come up to me and say, can I pray with you when I felt alone in this lobby? It was so sweet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HASAN: Rachel Paulose is a former U.S. Attorney for the district of Minnesota, now a professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law, and she joins me now. Rachel, thanks so much for coming on the show. Former Officer Chauvin`s supervisor testified today that Chauvin should have stopped restraining George Floyd when he was no longer resisting. Basically, that Chauvin used excessive force. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE SCHLEICHER, PROSECUTOR: Do you have an opinion as to when the restraint of Mr. Floyd should have ended in this encounter?
DAVID PLOEGER, RETIRED SERGEANT, MINNEAPOLIS POLICE: Yes.
SCHLEICHER: What is it?
PLOEGER: When Mr. Floyd was no longer offering up any resistance to the officers, they could end their restraint.
SCHLEICHER: And that was after he was handcuffed and, on the ground, and the longer resisting?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HASAN: What does testimony like that mean for this case for the defense?
RACHEL PAULOSE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY, DISTRICT OF MINNESOTA: Well, the defense worked hard to keep that particular testimony out, and now we know why. The fact that Derek Chauvin`s own supervisor testified that based on his review of the factual evidence in this case and his understanding of city policy, as well as his understanding of reasonable use of force as a former line officer himself, are all incredibly legally significant. The jury will regard his testimony as both credible and authoritative.
And I think it`s particularly significant in a police brutality case where frequently we have seen that the blue wall of silence has prevented prosecutors from obtaining convictions.
HASAN: Very good point there. And what do you think about the defense and their arguments, their approach? Do you think the defense is guilty of introducing certain stereotypes into this case, the angry mob, the drug- addicted Black man?
PAULOSE: I`ve been very disturbed by the stereotypes that the defense has been relying on since the beginning of this case. If you look at the video, it is baffling to me that a group of seven or eight onlookers including four children, one wearing a T-shirt saying love, could constitute an angry mob. Unless what he`s really signaling is that it`s a mob because it`s people of color.
It`s strange to me that his complaint about the off-duty firefighter who tried to render aid was really this bossy woman who should have compliantly submitted to the authority of the four men on the scene who were choking the life out of a human being.
It`s really strange to me that the points he wanted to elicit from Mr. Floyd`s girlfriend today were that she was a drug-addled addict, as well as he who had frequent run-ins with abuse. I find it really baffling that when one of the onlookers repeatedly tried to intervene and plead with the police to show humanity that he tried to characterize that witness, Mr. Williams, as an angry Black man.
HASAN: Yes, we all saw that.
PAULOSE: All of these bring out really disturbing stereotypes that I think are designed to appeal to very base instincts and really have no place in the courtroom.
HASAN: And that witness, of course, push back against that description. You were Minnesota`s first Asian-American U.S. Attorney. Keith Ellison, who is Black, is the A.G. right there right now. He brought the case. What impact if any, do you think having more diverse prosecutors has on issues like police violence and institutional racism?
PAULOSE: Well, I was proud to serve my country. But the truth is, we have a lot of work to do on racial justice. And we have a lot of work to do, specifically in Minneapolis, where we`ve seen some of the most disturbing statistics on African-American unemployment, housing, education.
And so, I hope that people like the Attorney General and me bring to our jobs the daily perspective of what it`s like to deal with implicit bias, and the knowledge that racial discrimination in this country is real and it is un-American and it is illegal.
HASAN: Indeed, it is. We`re out of time. Yes or no question at the end. Another good day for the prosecution, yay or nay?
PAULOSE: I think it was a good day for the prosecution.
HASAN: Rachel Paulose, thank you so much.
PAULOSE: And I think they`re moving forward in this case. Pardon me.
HASAN: Thank you so much for your time and your insights tonight. No, no, thank you for your insights. I appreciate your time.
PAULOSE: Thank you.
HASAN: The rest of you, don`t go anywhere. The latest on the investigation into Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz and the new reporting the Republicans have been waiting for Gaetz`s scandal to break. That story just ahead.
HASAN: The Matt Gaetz story just keeps getting weirder. As you likely know by now, the Florida Republican Congressman is being investigated by the Justice Department for potential sex trafficking involving a 17-year-old girl. He denies that he`s done anything wrong and says he`s facing an extortion attempt.
NBC News is reporting that Gaetz has a devoted fan base but few friends in Washington. And the Daily Beast is reporting that Republicans have been waiting for a Matt Gaetz scandal to break for a while now. The story claims that Gaetz has a "Less than Sterling reputation among his Congressional colleagues." Who would have guessed? Which Gaetz himself seemed to confirm telling the Daily Beast, as for the Hill, I know I have many enemies and few friends."
But he does have some friends including former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee who dismissed the New York Times which broke the story as a "joke," as well as Representatives Jim Jordan and Marjorie Taylor Greene with Greene decrying what she called a witch hunt in Gaetz`s home district in Florida.
One local official said people are deeply skeptical of the reporting. "Everyone is like, oh, another smear job. There`s a slight problem with that argument, though, which is that the Gaetz investigation reportedly began not under Joe Biden, but under Donald Trump. Trump, of course, was a close ally of Gaetz, and Gaetz was always eager to defend the former president.
According to numerous reports, not only did Bill Barr`s Department of Justice and by himself sign off on the investigation into Gaetz last summer, by himself as A.G. then sought to avoid Gaetz, according to Politico. At one point, Barr was scheduled for a meet and greet with Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee. But DOJ canceled its appearance at the event when they saw that Gaetz, a member of that committee had RSVP`d for it.
Remember what I said to you last night after Gaetz`s disastrous Fox News interview? If you`re a Republican, and you can`t win over Tucker Carlson, you`re in trouble. And that goes double for Bill Barr. This is a guy who shamelessly shelled for Trump, helped George Bush Senior cover up Iran Contra, ordered the removal of peaceful protests from Lafayette Square, protesters who are then tear-gassed.
If you`re Republican, and Bill Barr is avoiding you over a legal issue, then you should probably be worried, very worried.
When we come back, we`ll have much more on this story and an interview with a reporter who has been chasing some really eyebrow-raising allegations against Gaetz for years. That`s next.
HASAN: The federal investigation into Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz for possible sex trafficking involving a 17-year-old girl which he adamantly denies, has led to some really fascinating reporting about his reputation as a congressman. The Daily Beast has a striking new story which includes that numerous lawmakers have discussed Gaetz`s alleged proclivity for younger women and that "It`s well known among Republican lawmakers that Gaetz was dating a college student, one over the age of consent in 2018. She came to Washington as an intern."
I want to be very clear. MSNBC has not confirmed this reporting. And Congressman Gaetz did not directly address the claim to The Daily Beast. We reached out to his office seeking comment. They did not get back to us.
For more on Gaetz`s reputation on the Hill, I want to bring in one of the authors of that Daily Beast piece, senior politics -- senior politics editor Matt Fuller. Matt, thanks for coming on the show. When you tweeted out this story, you wrote that you`ve been chasing allegations around Gaetz for years. Why have you been working on this for so long? What exactly is his reputation that drew you to him?
MATT FULLER, SENIOR POLITICS EDITOR, THE DAILY BEAST: Yes, I mean, this actually started for me almost exactly three years ago. We had a tip that he was dating an intern not in his office, in another office. I sat across from that intern. I asked her questions. She later confirmed to me that yes, she was dating him. She was over 21 at the time.
We had some other concerns with the story, but the truth is, we never ran it because we knew that there was a better story right around the corner. I think you`re seeing a lot of this coming out that there`s so many rumors have been swirling around Matt Gaetz for years. There`s always been sort of questions about what he`s been up to in his extra-curricular life.
And, you know, we just -- it sort of became a white whale for me. And I`ve heard all these different allegations. I`ve heard all the rumors. Members love to talk about Matt Gaetz because no one really likes Matt Gaetz. He doesn`t have many friends on Capitol Hill.
HASAN: And when you say --
FULLER: He`s really sort of -- yes, go ahead.
HASAN: When you say members love to talk about Matt Gaetz, you`re not just talking about Democrats, right, you`re talking about Republican members?
FULLER: No, I`m primarily talking about Republicans. Matt Gaetz didn`t make friends here. He really attacked Republicans for insufficient Trump`s support. He was one of those guys who came to Congress right with Donald Trump. And he came here to be an ally of the President, or now the former president. And he made that -- no mistakes about that.
And he went on cable news almost every night and sort of called out a lot of Republican colleagues. He did this most recently with Liz Cheney. He went to her district, the GOP conference Chairwoman and, you know, started the campaign against her to have her lose her job in the Republican conference. This is not a man who is well-liked in the Republican conference.
HASAN: So, he did go to Wyoming. I just want to show our viewers what he did when he went there. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): If Liz Cheney wants to assemble her supporters and advocate her America`s last policies, I invite her to do so. I`m here to be the masthead for the America first movement going forward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HASAN: Do you think Liz Cheney is partying tonight?
FULLER: I don`t know about partying. I think for every Republican, this is a little bit -- I mean, first of all, the allegations here are extremely serious. If true, he was, you know, victimizing a 17-year-old. We haven`t confirmed that. I can tell you that yes, I know that he dated women who were much younger than him in his -- their early 20s. But with that, you know, the Justice Department probe, that that still remains to be unverified at least by us at this point.
You know, I think it`s -- I think it`s certainly telling that Republicans haven`t jumped to his defense. He has this, you know, sort of insane theory about extortion. But there are -- there actually are a lot of indications that some of this might be true, or at least he has the patina of truth here. And yet Republicans aren`t jumping to his aid.
He`s put forward this whole scheme about a $25 million plot. And somehow Bob Levinson, this disappeared CIA -- former CIA agent has reemerged in the story somehow. But, you know, Republicans aren`t jumping to defend Matt Gaetz tonight. And I think that`s because a lot of them are hearing these allegations going, well, that kind of rings true.
HASAN: Although, come on, Matt, he`s got Marjorie Taylor Greene and Jim Jordan in his corner. Who wouldn`t want those two stalwarts of the party backing him?
FULLER: With those by your side. I mean, it`s sort of amazing in the entire Republican conference is Jim Jordan, who I guess in some ways is one of his closest friends in Congress. He`s the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee. Matt Gaetz is on the Judiciary Committee. He was the Freedom Caucus Chairman. Matt Gaetz is in the Freedom Caucus. And then of course, Marjorie Taylor Greene who makes no mistakes about, you know, disbelieving any media report that is negative on Republicans.
HASAN: Yes. The woman who thought a space laser was involved in the California wildfires tells us this all are witch hunt, so that`s useful. Let me ask you this. Gaetz had reportedly been looking into leaving Congress early to go work for right-wing media. Do we know what the status on that is?
Fox News seems out. They said in a statement yesterday, no one with any level of authority has had conversations with Matt Gaetz for any of our platforms. We have no interest in hiring him. Ouch.
FULLER: Yes, I think some of the interest there would have dried up pretty immediately when you have this probe hanging over you. I think, you know, part of this is on the same day that this information came out that he was looking to leave Congress and go pick a media job, we frankly -- there`s been a lot a large part of his actual congressional career is going on TV, you know, defending the latest Trump outrage.
But I don`t think it`s an accident that he was looking for his exit plan, because if this is, you know, proven to be true, these allegations, he`s not going to be able to stay in Congress. So, there`s, you know, obviously criminal ramifications for his actions, but there are also Congressional ones.
Speaker Pelosi said today that, you know, it wouldn`t just be him being removed from committees, the Ethics Committee would go after him. And you know, if it is true that he`s having a sexual relationship with a 17-year- old, I imagine he`d probably be expelled if he -- if he fought this.
HASAN: Of course. Yes, the committee thing is it`s just not enough if that`s the case. We`ll have to leave it there. Matt Fuller of The Daily Beast, thank you so much for your great reporting. Thanks for your time tonight. I appreciate it.
FULLER: Thank you. Thank you. I appreciate it.
HASAN: That`s ALL IN on this Thursday night. Thank you. That`s ALL IN on this Thursday night. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts now. Good evening, Rachel.