One Capitol Police officer is dead and another injured after a suspect rammed a car into a security barricade and then jumped out wielding a knife. New York Times reported that there are text messages, receipts, and interviews that Rep. Matt Gaetz allegedly took the mood-altering drug ecstasy with women that he allegedly paid for sex. Republicans in Capitol Hill balk at the Capitol`s security in the walk of the insurrection. Governor Brian Kemp expressed outrage at Major League Baseball`s decision of moving their All-Star game out of Atlanta because of their new voting law. Police officers are taking the stand against Derek Chauvin.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: That`s tonight REIDOUT. Happy Eastern in advance to everyone. Stay tuned to MSNBC all night for the latest on the attack on Capitol Hill that killed a Capitol Police Officer. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MEHDI HASAN, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight, on ALL IN. A police officer is killed in an attack outside the Capitol.
Major League Baseball steps up to the plate against Georgia`s voter restriction law.
And new reporting that looks even worse for Congressman Matt Gaetz. Tonight, as the Florida lawmaker denies paying for sex, what we know about the text messages appointed federal investigators at Matt Gaetz.
Then, why baseball`s decision to move its All-Star game out of Georgia is already having a big impact.
And another police witness takes the stand to denounce Derek Chauvin`s actions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is your -- you know, your view of that use of force during that time period?
RICHARD ZIMMERMAN, WITNESS: Totally unnecessary.
HASAN: ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HASAN (on camera): Good evening from Washington D.C. I`m Mehdi Hasan in for Chris Hayes. This was the scene today at the U.S. Capitol after the worst attack there since the Trump mob insurrection on January 6th. One Capitol Police officer is dead and another injured after a suspect rammed a car into security barricade and then jumped out wielding a knife. That suspect was shot and killed. We`ll have the latest for you on that attack in a moment.
We`ve gotten someone immune to scenes of violence at our Capitol after January 6th. And while this incident appears entirely unrelated, it is in many ways a reflection of the political moment that we find ourselves in, regardless of the culprit or the motive. And I want to talk about that political moment.
The Democratic Party has shifted to the left to some extent, but the mainstream of the party, including its left flank operates squarely in the realm of reason, facts, reality. Meanwhile, the difference between the mainstream Republican Party and the conspiracy-addled far-right has essentially vanished.
Indeed, over the past few years, we have reached the point where people who believe that Democrats are Satan-worshipping cannibalistic pedophiles are embraced by a Republican president, as well as elected officials in his party, fueling their delusional conviction on January 6th that they had the right to assault our Capitol and attack our democracy.
There`s this new book about the Republican Party that tries to explain what happened, how it is that the right descended into, "crazy town." The author points out the well before the rise of Trump, even as far back as 2010 and the rise of the Tea Party, you could be a total moron and get elected just by having an R next to your name, and many such morons were.
The author continues compromise. That wasn`t their thing. A lot of them wanted to blow up Washington. He goes on to say that many Republican members of Congress were just thinking of how to fundraise off of outrage or how they could get on Hannity that night, adding they didn`t really want legislative victories, they wanted wedge issues and conspiracies and crusades.
The author goes on to say that the GOP was infiltrated by wild-eyed crazies backed by a Fox News obsessed with kooky conspiracy theories. So, who is this author, some liberal leftist Trump-hater? No. It`s former Republican House Speaker, John Boehner.
In his new book, an extract from which is in Politico today, Boehner is positioning himself as the voice of reason. A wine-drinking, cigarette- smoking old school Republican who can`t stand the new breed that`s taken over.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BOEHNER, FORMER REPUBLICAN SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Take it from me. You`ll never know where you`ll end up. That`s freedom. I`ll raise a glass to that any day. P.S. Ted Cruz, go fuck yourself.
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HASAN: John Boehner wants us to pine for a simpler time where Republican politicians were not conspiracy theories so actively working to subvert democracy, but rather simple, hardworking corporate stooges, who would literally distribute big tobaccos campaign checks on the House floor as Boehner did in 1995.
The problem with Boehner`s attempt to separate himself from this new class of Republicans is that he literally helped usher them into power. Boehner thought he could manage and use the tea party to his benefit. As one former aide of his said, he thought of himself as someone who was of the Tea Party mentality before the Tea Party were the thing.
And back in 2009, Boehner effectively threw in with the Tea Party appearing with Michele Bachmann, the Marjorie Taylor Greene of her time at a rally at the Capitol in front of thousands of far-right Tea Party protesters, who were an early manifestation of the Republican Party`s more conspiratorial and dark future.
Boehner thought he could ride that Tea Party wave just like Paul Ryan thought he could ride the Trump wave in 2016. For them, the Tea Party and the Trump base were a means to an end, an injection of energy that could help them stay in power. And the reason we are where we are today is because these "old school Republicans" didn`t stand up to the crazies. They embraced them. However uneasily and now the crazies are ascendant.
And John Boehner wants to be celebrated for calling them crazy for now, finally calling in like it is. Well, too little too late. And that brings us unfortunately to Matt Gaetz. The other day, the current House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, called the allegations against Gaetz serious and threatened to remove him from a committee if true, which isn`t much to be sure, but at least it would be an expression of disapproval.
But Matt Gaetz should have been dealt with long before these latest headlines. Gaetz is exactly the type of elected Republican that John Boehner claims to so disdain, a man who has always cared more about getting on television and inflaming the base than getting things done.
And it`s not like -- it`s not like there haven`t been red flags. We now know that according to CNN, Gaetz showed nude photos of women he said he had slept with two lawmakers in the Florida House. ABC News reports some women referred to him as creepy Gaetz, and he was part of a group of young male lawmakers who created a game to score their female sexual conquests.
The Daily Beast reported that Republicans have been waiting for a Matt Gaetz scandal to break and that more than a half a dozen lawmakers have spoken to reporters about his love of alcohol and illegal drugs, as well as his proclivity for younger women.
We haven`t mentioned that when we had the co-author of that piece on last night, because we wanted to give Gaetz the benefit of the doubt. But now there`s new reporting from the New York Times as well citing text messages, receipts, and interviews that Gaetz allegedly took the mood-altering drug ecstasy with women that he allegedly paid for sex.
It seems almost impossible that Kevin McCarthy didn`t have some inkling that Matt Gaetz was a disaster waiting to happen. Yet McCarthy did nothing just like John Boehner did nothing and Paul Ryan did nothing. And so the Republican Party got Trumpier and Trumpier, crazier and crazier.
That New York Times report on Gaetz is absolutely shocking. It alleges that Gaetz who is being investigated for potential sex trafficking involving a 17-year-old girl and another man, Joel Greenberg, were involved with multiple women who were recruited online for sex and received cash payments.
One of the sites they allegedly use is called Seeking Arrangement, which helpfully explains the difference between a sugar baby and a sugar daddy, if you needed to know that. Gaetz has denied sex trafficking in any relationship with a 17-year-old and calls the allegations against him, "totally false." He also says he never paid for sex.
His office issued a statement reading, "Matt Gaetz has never paid for sex. Matt Gaetz refutes all the disgusting allegations completely. Matt Gaetz has never been on any such Web sites whatsoever. Matt Gaetz cherishes the relationships in his past and looks forward to marrying the love of his life."
For the latest on the Gaetz story, I want to bring in Jose Pagliery, political investigations reporter at The Daily Beast, who has some amazing reporting on the text messages that pointed the Feds towards Matt Gaetz.
Jose, thanks for coming on the show. So, what are these texts you got that connect the feds to Joel Greenberg to Matt Gaetz?
JOSE PAGLIERY, POLITICAL INVESTIGATIONS REPORTER, "THE DAILY BEAST": Well, these text messages are pretty astounding. There are two sets of text messages that we were able to get ahold of. And what they say essentially is that a politician that most of the country otherwise would never have heard of, Joel Gaetz, a tax collector in Florida that this local politician had a relationship with Matt Gaetz. And by all accounts was bringing him in to the office late at night on a weekend to look at IDs that now, if you believe prosecutors, IDs that were being fabricated.
And then another instance was actually calling in a favor trying to get Matt Gaetz and ID outside of proper channels. Now, we got copies of these text messages that eventually got into the hands of federal law enforcement. But they raised a ton of questions, both for Matt Gaetz and also for his friend Joel Greenberg.
HASAN: I mean, even if there were no child sex trafficking allegations involved, just hanging out with a tax collector on government property late at night checking out IDs is, I think, questionable to say the least. Let`s talk about Matt Gaetz`s own questionable reputation. How well well-known was this stuff? When you started digging into this, there are so many stories out there now suggesting he was just out of control. How much do we already know about and people just kept silent about or it was just in the rumor mill?
PAGLIERY: What so many of my colleagues at The Daily Beast have known a lot about his past and have been reporting on it for some time, I mean, this is a guy who grows up with Trump`s politics, right. And President Trump himself, right really just surrounded himself with this lawless behavior and he was part of that. He supported it every step of the way. He was the lap dog for a long time for the President.
Now, what we know about Matt Gaetz now is that to understand what exactly could be the thing that`s bringing him down now, we have to understand what it was that his friend, his colleague, Joel Greenberg in Florida is accused of doing. And that is -- I`ll tell you I`ve had a few days on this case. This is one of the most complicated, headache-inducing cases of alleged corruption I`ve ever seen.
I mean, there`s a 33-count indictment that ranges from everything. Everything from sex trafficking of underage girls, to fabricating IDs, to using a government office to actually create and mine Bitcoins. But what`s fascinating about this is that if you put together the allegations in that lawsuit, of all of the alleged behavior for Greenberg and the shared interest that he had with Matt Gaetz, this is a friend of his where they`ve interacted online talking about a lot of this stuff up to an including their interest in Bitcoin.
And so, what so many of us now are trying to do is piece together just how does this connect back to them. And it`s worth talking about these text messages, because we have to ask ourselves what is a present U.S. Congressman doing visiting a local tax office at night next to IDs? I mean, if he lost his ID, as one of these text messages claims, if he lost his ID and was about to board a flight, why was he calling in a favor to a friend to get him a duplicate, particularly one that is -- one of those higher standards, security standard IDs called real ID? This is just not the way that it`s done.
HASAN: No, it`s not. And, of course, Gaetz is on record endorsing Greenberg for a congressional run, so they were clearly close. He says he won`t resign, the Florida Congressman. His communications director just stepped down. Jose, what are you hearing about his future within the House GOP?
PAGLIERY: I mean, as our reporting already clearly indicates, the GOP is really just waiting for him to come crashing down. And right now, Matt Gaetz`s world is coming crashing down. I mean, we`ve talked to the people who have been talking to law enforcement now for quite some time. And this has been a long time coming.
This investigation started with stuff involving Bitcoin and some financial fraud, but it quickly escalated. And what we know is that federal law enforcement has had Matt Gaetz on the radar for at least a year. I mean, we heard that in January 2020, the U.S. Secret Service was surprised when his name came up in these text messages and has -- I mean, the text messages have now ended up in the hands of law enforcement in Florida and another federal agency. So, we`re not just talking about a one-pronged effort here. I mean, the world is coming for him.
HASAN: Yes. It`s not looking good for Matt Gaetz, but then again, he`s never been someone who`s a fan of reality. So let`s see what he does next. Jose Pagliery, thanks for your reporting and thanks for being with me tonight.
g PAGLIERY: It was a pleasure. Thank you, Mehdi.
HASAN: Now, for some perspective, broader perspective on today`s bizarre GOP, I`m joined by Elizabeth Neumann who served in the Bush administration and the Trump administration before resigning in disgust. She is now the director of the Republican Accountability Project.
Elizabeth, thanks so much for coming on the show tonight. What is your response? Let me start with this very basic question. What`s your response to this escalating Matt Gaetz situation and what we`re hearing every day?
ELIZABETH NEUMANN, DIRECTOR, REPUBLICAN ACCOUNTABILITY PROJECT: Well, he clearly needs to resign, but you know what -- at what point does the GOP kind of pause and take a look in the mirror? I mean, they incited a violent attack against the Capitol on January 6th, that didn`t cause a pause.
Now, they`ve got a member of Congress who, quite frankly, was almost a poster child for the new GOP that`s fighting for the working person, the working man and woman, and now he`s falling down in the -- falling into flames of fire burning to the ground. You know, at what point you start to realize, hey, maybe this approach doesn`t work, maybe we actually need to return to truth. Maybe we need to actually remember some of our core principles and values and work with people of integrity. Maybe we should recruit candidates that have integrity.
Like, it`s sweet justice to see him go down, but he`s just one of many, many members of Congress that lack integrity. And unless they have some sort of moment where they look -- are able to look at themselves in the mirror and realize how much they`ve messed up, repented and apologize to the country, I think the only choice we have is to get them out of the office and that`s why the Republican Accountability Project exists to remind the voters of why they need to be ousted for their lack of integrity.
HASAN: So, in terms of reminding people about the Republican Party, I would argue the reason Gaetz was able to become a household name and a TV personality is because Paul Ryan and John Boehner didn`t do their job. The GOP establishment didn`t or couldn`t prevent the crazies from taking over. Am I wrong?
NEUMANN: I don`t disagree. I actually have spent quite a bit of time over the last year going back into our history and understanding all of the subtle missteps, all of the times when the fringe were tolerated a little too much. But there`s also -- there`s an aspect here that is tied up into the monetization of the conservative infotainment echo chamber. And it`s hard to say how an individual member of Congress or even a collective group of them, it could take on the likes of Fox News by the time you get to 2010 or 2015.
It just has become such the moneymaker spinning the lies and feeding the grievance and the outraged anger cycle. It`s hard to say how a member of Congress could have stopped that. But certainly, going back even to three decades ago, it seems to be where some of those original missteps were made.
HASAN: Yes, and as critical as I am of John Boehner, as you heard me a moment ago in the introduction, there was a moment when I was reading the Politico piece today, the extract from his book, where a small violin did play for him when he talks about how he tried to discipline Michele Bachmann, the Marjorie Taylor Greene of her time, and she just says to him, OK, you won`t give me the committee seat, I want -- I`m going to go on Sean Hannity and talk about it tonight.
And there is that sense where Fox News -- I know you really can`t understand the modern GOP without understanding the control and power that Fox News has over the base and over these elected representatives. And so, my question to you, Elizabeth is, is there a future for the GOP which isn`t Trumpy, which isn`t controlled by Fox News, which isn`t filled with QAnon and various cooks and grifters? I don`t see in the short term, at least,
NEUMANN: I tend to agree with you. I had hopes after January 6th that that would provide the wake-up call for many, but they reverted back. And what I`m hearing, and you`ve seen it reported, but I`m hearing it privately as well that most of them have done the calculus and realized it would take too much. They don`t have enough money. They don`t have enough time to rebuild a party separate from Trump by 2022.
And so, their bet is, well, we got to -- we got to like tacitly cozy up to him. We can`t condemn him. And that`s just in my view. That`s short- sighted, it`s the wrong answer. And maybe it wins you some seats in 2022 because of the way that the electoral map look, but that certainly is not the long-term solution.
And rebuilding the GOP looks like it`s going to take them losing a number of elections, letting it burn down. And then I don`t know if what gets rebuilt is the remnants that is still the GOP that is trying to hold integrity, but they`re so small.
HASAN: I know. The problem -- the problem, Elizabeth -- I used to think about that too. Maybe if they lose, they will reassess. The problem is they now have a get-out. When they lose, they say, well, we didn`t lose. So, that doesn`t seem to work either. We`ll have to see what happens next. Elizabeth Neumann, thank you so much for your time and your insights tonight. I appreciate it.
NEUMANN: Thanks for having me.
HASAN: Coming up, it was the breaking news that brought Washington D.C. and the nation to a standstill today. Well, tonight we`re learning so much more about the attack on police outside the Capitol building and the enduring security gaps in the wake of January 6th. That story after this short break. Don`t go away.
HASAN: We`re continuing to learn more about today`s attack on the Capitol that resulted in the death of a Capitol Police Officer. Officer William Billy Evans was killed today after a man drove a car into a security barricade outside the Capitol striking him and another officer. Evans was an 18-year veteran of the force and a member of the Capitol division`s first responder`s unit.
The Capitol Police say the other officer that was hit is stable and not in a life-threatening condition. The acting Capitol Police chief said the driver of the car was shot and killed after jumping out of the car with a knife, failing to respond to verbal commands, and lunging at the officers. Four senior law enforcement officials briefed on the investigation identified the suspect as a 25-year-old man from Indiana, Noah Greene. We`ll continue to update you on this story as we learn more.
This attack comes a week after the fencing was removed from the outer perimeter of the Capitol Complex following the deadly assault on the Capitol on January 6. That fencing had been a hot-button issue for Republicans who had been pushing for its removal.
Just two weeks ago Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene posed in front of the fence with a sign reading, Welcome to Fort Pelosi. She was far from the only Republican trying to score points out of this situation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. LAUREN BOEBERT (R-CO): Welcome to Fort Pelosi where Democrats decry walls from within their own heavily guarded razor wire wall.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): The no serious threats against the Capitol. With all this razor wire around the complex, it reminds me of my last visit to Kabul.
SEN. JOSH HAWLEY (R-MO): I think the idea of keeping them there indefinitely and keeping a barbed wire fence around the Capitol indefinitely is crazy.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): The U.S. Capitol has giant fences with razor wires and 5000 National Guard standing out front because the Democrats are convinced that political theater helps them. Let`s be clear, this is not about security at this point. This is about political theater.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HASAN: And it`s not just about removing fences, it appears that many Republican members just do not care about the safety of their colleagues. Take for example, Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert who`s been fined $5,000 for failing to go through a metal detector before entering the House chamber or Maryland Congressman Andy Harris who`s being investigated by Capitol Police for allegedly trying to take a gun onto the House floor.
And perhaps not by chance, Gohmert, Harris and Greene, as well as Florida as Matt Gaetz, remember him, were all part of a group of 12 Republicans who voted against awarding Congressional Gold Medals for the Capitol Police who protected them on January 6th. Police like Officer William Evans who gave his life today protecting the Capitol.
Politico White House Correspondent Natasha Bertrand has been following the story all afternoon and she joins me now. Natasha, thanks so much for coming on the show. What is the latest you`re hearing on this attack?
NATASHA BERTRAND, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, "POLITICO": Yes, well, there are a lot of developments coming in. We now know that the suspect has been identified as a 25-year-old man who was originally from Indiana, but he was living in Virginia. It`s not clear at this point what his motivation for this attack was, although there are postings on his social media account that suggest certain ideological belief, certain indications that he was struggling in the final months of the pandemic, that he felt like people were following him.
BERTRAND: There are a lot of indications here that perhaps he was he was mentally unwell. And that`s important because this also goes to the idea that this was very much a lone wolf attack. And when we talk about the preparations, the Capitol Police and that the National Guard and that the Metropolitan Police had been making for a potential future attack on the Capitol.
This is a hard one, because this is not something that perhaps intelligence could have picked up, right. This is not something that perhaps there was chatter about. This was someone who acted alone. And it`s going to be difficult moving forward and trying to figure out how to address something like this.
HASAN: Indeed, especially with the loss of life. And this is another bad day, another bad month for the Capitol Police. And it`s only April. Do you expect security protocols to change based on this attack given, we`re still digesting the changes in security protocols post January 6th?
BERTRAND: I do think there`s going to be, well, certainly new discussions about what can be done because the fencing surrounding the entire perimeter on the complex was, as you said, just removed about just over a week ago, and traffic actually was opened up around the Capitol as well. And if it hadn`t been, then this individual would not have been able to drive his car as close to the Capitol Complex as he was able to today.
Of course, he was stopped by a barrier, but the fencing was not in place that would have prohibited traffic from entering that general area about a week and a half ago. That fence was taken down, of course, because there were lawmakers, particularly Republicans who were complaining that I did look fortified.
It`s not just Republican lawmakers, it`s also members of the community who were saying, this is supposed to be the people`s house. We want it to be more accessible. We don`t want it to look like, you know, we`re living in this heavily fortified complex.
So, it`s been -- it`s a bit of political issue. It`s also been a community issue. But we`re going to have to now be asking lawmakers and asking Capitol security what they think should be done here, because clearly the Capitol is seen now it`s a very soft target. You have Capitol Police and National Guard standing around the complex, and people who are unhappy with the government for one reason or another, now see that this is perhaps something easy that they can -- that they can kind of target. And with other fences there, perhaps that could be limited in the future.
So, there is still a fence surrounding the Capitol further in. But whether or not a retractable fence or a mobile fence is going to be set up for the longer-term security is something we`ll be watching for.
HASAN: As you say, people are unhappy with the government or just unhappy as you mentioned, if you look at some of the stuff we`re learning about this guy. Clearly, he had issues in his private life. We just played a clip of Senator Ted Cruz and others in the Republican Party, basically, using the security fence to score political points and wind up their base.
Ted Cruz is among those who rush to give condolences today. Do you think we`re going to see a shift, dare I ask, from politicians like Cruz and others, when it comes to the security situation, have a sober, balanced debate about what the right level of security is rather than just trying to score points like he did at CPAC or Lauren Boebert did with her video of Fort Pelosi?
BERTRAND: It`s a -- it`s a great question. And the answer is I don`t know how this is going to play out politically. Obviously, a U.S. Capitol Police officer has died and the other has been injured. He is in stable condition at this point. But whether or not this is used by -- for bipartisan agreement that something more long term needs to be done about the security of the Capitol remains to be seen because lawmakers, especially Republican lawmakers, really have made this a political issue about not wanting the fence to be surrounding the Capitol, about Democrats wanting to stay inside of their kind of fortified area while the rest of the country is exposed to danger. That`s kind of been the talking point.
So, now that again, another one of a Capitol -- another Capitol Police officer who is protecting lawmakers day in and day out has died, I think that, you know, hopefully, it will force some kind of meaningful conversations among lawmakers about what really can be done here. Not just to protect them, but to protect the people that protect them.
HASAN: Yes, it`s a double whammy. Let`s see. I hope you`re right. I hope something will happen. But I`m not raising expectations or hope for this group of politicians. Natasha Bertrand, thank you so much for your time tonight. I appreciate it.
BERTRAND: Thanks, Mehdi.
HASAN: Ahead, a profound warning for states considering Georgia-style voter suppression laws. Tonight, how Major League Baseball`s decision to move its All-Star game out of Atlanta is rippling through state houses across America. We`ll talk about it next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you want to depression, doom, and despair, vote for Sleepy Joe Biden -- and boredom. You know, the great thing -- I always say someday these people -- look at all of them. Look at all those cameras. You know what I say? Someday they`re going to get smart. They`re going to endorse President Joe. Because if you had Sleepy Joe, then nobody is going to be interested in politics anymore. That`s going to be the end of that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HASAN: During his reelection campaign, Donald Trump repeatedly tried to paint Joe Biden as the boring option. But that sounded pretty good to a lot of Americans who voted to elect Biden by a margin of over seven million votes. And you know what? Boring really isn`t that bad.
Here we are. In just the 73rd day of Joe Biden`s presidency. And even though COVID cases are again spiking in states across the country, this time there`s a plan. Biden has communicated the importance of waiting to reopen the country and the need to keep wearing masks.
And today, we saw a record number of vaccinations, nearly 4 million. There have been 20 million shots administered in the last seven days. That is all great news and a huge improvement on Trump. The U.S. economy added over 900,000 jobs in March, the most since August. And we`ve talked about this at length, but Biden`s infrastructure plan that he announced this week would actually help a lot of ordinary people.
For one thing, the President`s plan would replace all of the country`s lead pipes and service lines, dangerous infrastructure flows that predominantly affect communities of color, such as Flint, Michigan. Trump always talked about improving the country`s infrastructure, but Biden is already executing a plan to make it happen. Sleepy Joe.
America is also reentering the world of international diplomacy as Biden tries to undo Trump`s many catastrophic errors abroad. The New York Times reports that the U.S. and Iran have agreed to indirect talks on returning to the nuclear agreement that Trump scuttled, something that would make the entire world a safer place.
Look, there is a lot to still hold Biden accountable for and a lot more he needs to get right. But he`s already proved that boring isn`t bad. In fact, the exact opposite. And that matters, as former President Barack Obama put it --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: With Joe and Kamala at the helm, you`re not going to have to think about the crazy things they said every day. And that`s worth a lot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BETO O`ROURKE, FOUNDER, POWERED BY PEOPLE: 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 Riders, people have given their lives in order to protect and promote the right to vote.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HASAN: Last night, we open the show with news of the Republican efforts to restrict voting rights across the country, particularly in Texas and Georgia. And after former Texas Congressman Beto O`Rourke called on Texas- based corporations like AT&T to take a stand, they did putting out this statement saying they support efforts to enhance every person`s ability to vote.
Jemele Hill, a contributing writer for The Atlantic, was also here and argued that Major League Baseball should pull that All-Star game from the state of Georgia, which is something President Joe Biden also said yesterday, he would support.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, what do you think about the possibility that baseball decides to move their All-Star game out of Atlanta because of this political issue?
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think today`s professional athletes are acting incredibly responsibly. I would strongly support them doing that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HASAN: Today, Major League Baseball announced that they will indeed move their All-Star game out of Atlanta because of that Republican-led law to restrict the rights of Georgia voters. Governor Brian Kemp, who signed this restrictive bill surrounded by white men in front of a painting of a slave plantation, expressed outrage at Major League Baseball`s decision.
It`s important to remember, this isn`t just about Georgia. The Brennan Center for Justice has tallied up just how widespread these legislative efforts to suppress the vote are. "As of March 24, legislators have introduced 361 bills with restrictive provisions in 47 states." Right now, the corporate response is happening in a very piecemeal fashion. Georgia passes this odious law, and everyone precious Coca-Cola, and Delta Airlines, and Major League Baseball.
Texas is about to pass a voter suppression law and people call out American Airlines or Dell or AT&T. Should we all be focused on the big picture, the national picture. Shouldn`t corporations now be saying across the board, we are going to oppose these bills everywhere.
Nse Ufot is the CEO of the New Georgia Project, which along with other civil rights organizations is challenging the new Georgia law in court. She joins me now. Thanks so much for coming on the show.
Stacey Abrams said yesterday that there shouldn`t be boycotts of Georgia yet. Today, the MLB announced it is moving the All-Stars game from Atlanta. Where do you stand on this? Do you welcome that move?
NSE UFOT, CEO, THE NEW GEORGIA PROJECT: Listen, our actions have consequences. We`ve said for months now that voter suppression is bad for business. We`ve set it directly to corporations. And what you`re seeing now is American voters who are voting with their dollars, that we`ve not seen a retraction or retrenchment that we`ve seen Republican legislators across the country double down, that there are -- there`s been a 43 percent increase in the number of anti-voting bills in legislatures across the country.
I maintain that this is one of, if not the central organizing issue for the GOP in this moment. The white lash that we are living through that we are experiencing as a result of elevated voter participation has been severe and it`s been widespread. And that`s why we`re suing and that`s why we`re calling on Congress to pass H.R.1 and H.R.4 because fighting this piecemeal state by state by state is inefficient.
UFOT: And we don`t have time. That there are municipal elections that are coming up this year in Georgia and in states across the country and we need to make sure that we protect the fundamental freedom to vote.
HASAN: You mentioned your lawsuit. What do you hope to achieve with your lawsuit? What`s the plan?
UFOT: With the plan, the hope is to A, stop a lot of this trash from happening. So, while we are forcefully advocating for H.R.1 and H.R.4, the truth is that it doesn`t neutralize all of the awful things that are in the Georgia bill that passed.
For example, there are provisions in the Georgia bill that allowed the state legislature to take over county boards of elections who they deem are underperforming. And that won`t be addressed in H.R.1 and it won`t be addressed in H.R.4. And so, the hope is with the lawsuit that all -- that A, it will confirm that this was an unconstitutional move by Georgia Republicans. And B, that we can ameliorate and stop this madness in the interim before H.R.1 and H.R.4 is eventually passed.
HASAN: If that`s passed indeed. Let`s see what happens in the senate with that whole filibuster debate. Nse, you have the CEOs of Coke and Delta coming out pretty strongly against the new Georgia voting law. But it`s already law, of course. It passed. So, is it too little too late from the CEOs? And can they do better, speak louder sooner in other states like Texas where these laws are now being pushed as well?
UFOT: Absolutely. Unfortunately, it`s too late to stop the bad bill from passing in Georgia. That work is done. Governor Kemp and the six dwarfs signed it into law under a photo of a plantation, removing any doubt about what their intentions were, when they signed this bill.
But again, there are 46 other states that are deliberating similar or worse anti voting bills right now. And so, they need to be louder, and they also need to walk it like they talk it, right? H.R.1 one and H.R.4 absolutely have the ability to neutralize these anti-voting bills and they also need to defund this GOP voter suppression effort.
The reason that we brought up Coca-Cola, the reason that we called out Delta is because collectively them and other Georgia-based corporations have given over $7 million to the Republican sponsors of these of this legislation. And so, you know, it`s not just that, you know, corporations have a role in sort of defending our democracy, but they are -- they have a role in responsibility to the tens of thousands of Georgia voters that they employ.
That is because we have a democracy that they are able to make profits and do business. And I wonder what -- how they would fare under authoritarian rule, that we have Republicans that are trying to insert their will, for the will of the people, for the will of the voters. And so, there are a number of reasons why they need to speak up in this moment, not just because, you know, they are being called out or there are boycotts or people that are, you know -- you know calling them to task and bringing them to the carpet right now.
HASAN: Yes, there are a number of reasons, as you say, for them to do what they`re doing. You`ve explained them very well. Nse Ufot, we`ll have to leave it there. We`re out of time. But thank you so much for coming on tonight. Thanks for sharing what`s going on in Georgia. I appreciate it.
UFOT: Thank you.
HASAN: Next, another major crack in the so-called blue wall of silence in the murder trial of Derrick Chauvin. The police testimony that could be crucial to the prosecution after this short break.
HASAN: The blue wall of silence, that`s the name given to this unspoken bond of loyalty and solidarity between police officers when one of their own commits an unjustified act of violence. And they either don`t step into stop it or they help with the cover-up afterwards.
But in the Minneapolis courtroom this week, we have seen that blue wall torn down brick by brick. Yesterday, former officer Derek Chauvin`s own supervisor testified against him saying Chauvin should not have used -- should not have continued using force on George Floyd as long as he did.
Today, the senior-most officer in the Minneapolis Police Department condemned Chauvin`s actions even more forcefully.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is your view of that use of force during that time period?
ZIMMERMAN: Totally unnecessary.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you mean?
ZIMMERMAN: Well, first of all, pulling him down to the ground face down and putting your knee on a neck for that amount of -- that amount of time is just uncalled for. I saw no reason why the officers felt they were in danger, if that`s what they felt. And that`s what they would have to feel to be able to use that kind of force.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, in your opinion, should that restraint have stopped once he was handcuffed and thrown on the ground?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HASAN: David Henderson is a former prosecutor, now a civil rights attorney, and he joins me now. Thanks so much for coming on the show. As a civil rights attorney who`s followed these kinds of cases, have you ever seen anything like these where multiple members of the police force are testifying against someone who was one of their own?
DAVID HENDERSON, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Thanks for having me, Mehdi. No, I`ve never seen something like this before. And I think that George Floyd is going to continue to transform the world in more ways than one. I think there`s going to be a clear line drawn between how these cases are tried prior to George Ford`s death, versus how they`re tried after George Floyd`s death.
At the same time, this is met with a degree of skepticism from me because I don`t want to see the police exchange one bad habit for another. I`m thankful that they`re being honest about the fact that what Derek Chauvin did was wrong at the same time, police problems are systemic and not based on individual behavior. Lone wolves don`t run in packs.
HASAN: It`s a very good point. That`s a very good point. The idea of, you know, there`s -- you could argue the cynic might say, is this them hanging out to dry to say, well, it wasn`t us. This is just one bad apple which of course, as you say, it`s not right. It`s a systemic problem.
Let`s talk about the defense. Can the defense legal team recover from the testimony we`ve heard from Lieutenant Zimmerman today and from other very powerful witnesses this week? If you were the defense lawyer, what would your strategy be to try and win this case?
HENDERSON: The defense can absolutely recover. From what I`ve seen it a team so far, I don`t expect that to happen. Let me say this in full disclosure, I think Derek Chauvin should have been charged with a higher level of offense than what he was. I think he should be convicted. I think he should serve a long sentence for what he did to George Floyd.
But that in mind, the way you win this case is by putting the Minneapolis Police Department on trial. And the reason I say that is because they didn`t pay $27 million to the Floyd family to be nice. They paid that money because they were sued. And in the lawsuit, it was alleged that Derek Chauvin was acting pursuant to their policies, which included being violent specifically towards Black men like George Floyd.
And I think that if you were to cross-examine them on that point, the police chief wouldn`t be able to stand up and answer those questions between that and the doubt you`d be able to raise us to medical causation, that would be a path to victory if Derek Chavin also took the stand.
HASAN: Isn`t that a double-edged sword though? I remember when the trial started, I was speaking on this show and my other show about, what about the pros and cons of that lawsuit? On the one hand, that lawsuit, that`s $27 million settlement. It could look like well, justice was done. The jury might say, you know what, they got $27 million. I don`t want to send this ex-cop to prison.
On the other hand, if you focus as a defense lawyer on that $27 million suit, isn`t that just reminding people that the city, the police have already accepted some level of responsibility for what happened?
HENDERSON: I think it is. I think it`s both of the things that you just said. Now, my experience when you`re in court, is that juries normally take the position that you first expressed. Hey, if money has already been paid, then what`s the point in sending someone to prison?
We literally saw that happen in Breonna Taylor`s case. Once the settlement came through, the criminal justice system forgot about what happened to her, which was wrong. Here, when you combine that lawsuit, what the rest of what you need to argue, and there`s no way around this, when you are charged with an unintentional killing, you have to take the stand and admit fault.
And so, here with Derek Chauvin would need to do is say, what I did was wrong. I wish I could take it back and I can`t. I don`t know if he`s capable of doing that. But then he should also say, listen, it`s clear, I wasn`t acting on my own and the lawsuit reflects that. And I think the Minneapolis Police Department would be forced to admit that if they were pressed.
HASAN: Interesting. As a veteran observer of these kinds of cases, what surprised you about the trial? Apart from the police stuff that we`ve discussed, what surprised you about the trial and the witness testimony that we heard this first week? What stood out to you?
HENDERSON: What stood out to me, Mehdi, is what I`ve been thinking about every night when I`ve gone to bed. And when I think about the most is not what I observed as a lawyer, but I was surprised how much the video footage and in combination -- I`ve seen the video before, of course, but in combination with hearing the witness testimony, I was surprised how heavily it weighed on me when I laid my head down on the pillow. I kept hearing words like hopeless, helpless. And I found myself thinking that the bystanders are speaking on behalf of people of color in general in terms of how we feel when we`re dealing with policing. That`s how I felt personally.
Professionally, I was surprised how effectively the paramedics testified. And I think that they`re positioned to turn the tide in the overall battle that`s coming between the experts.
HASAN: And as someone who`s been a prosecutor as well, you`ve been on both sides of this, you`ll be feeling pleased if you`re one of the prosecuting lawyers tonight after a first week of testimony that pretty much went not just according to plan, but I think many would argue better than expected in terms of the way that the testimonies were delivered the impact of some of those witness testimonies.
HENDERSON: Now, as a prosecutor, Mehdi, I have mixed feelings about this case, and I`ll tell you why. Whenever you`re dealing with a violent crime, what it really comes down to as a prosecutor is sitting down with the family and making sure they understand what you`re doing, and that they feel comfortable with the direction that you`re proceeding.
You also need to send that message to the community. Because I think I`m a good lawyer. Like, I can handle myself well and speak well. But what I always tell people is listen, the only thing I can promise you is you`re not going to have a lawyer who cares about you more, who fights harder, and that`s what tends to heal families and communities.
I worry that we`re not seeing enough of that in this case. They`re going all in, but at the end of the day, this needs to help people heal and I hope we achieve that.
HASAN: I hope we achieve that too, David. Thank you so much for your time tonight. David Henderson, I appreciate it.
HENDERSON: My pleasure.
HASAN: That is ALL IN on this Friday night. Chris Hayes will be back on Monday. I`ll be back on "MSNBC LIVE" this Sunday 8:00 p.m. with my own show. My guest will be Senator Bernie Sanders. I`ll see you then. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.