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Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 5/19/21

Guests: Jim McGovern, Danya Perry, David Farenthold, Mark Pocan, Peter Hotez


Tonight, the House voted 252 to 175 with just 35 Republicans voting in favor to create a commission to investigate the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6th. The Trump Organization is under criminal investigation not just by the Manhattan District Attorney, but now by the New York State Attorney General who made this announcement last night. There`s a growing push from House Democrats to get the Biden administration to stop an arms deal to Israel. There`s still no definitive data for the protection of the COVID vaccine to the immunocompromised.


JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Yes, absolutely. It`s inextricable from U.S. politics what`s happening there. Thank you very much. Rashid Khalidi, Jeremy Ben- Ami, I really appreciated both of you coming on tonight. And that is tonight`s REIDOUT. Thank you all for watching. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.


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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have people scaling the Capitol hitting the Capitol Police with lead pipes across the head, and we can`t get bipartisanship?

HAYES: Every democrat and roughly three dozen Republicans come together in search of the truth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I urge all of you in the body to set aside politics just this once.

HAYES: Tonight, how the bipartisan commission to investigate the insurrection was passed and now Kevin McCarthy, Mitch McConnell, and Donald Trump plan to kill it.

Then, what we know about the now criminal investigation of the Trump Org after last night`s bombshell.

Plus, the AOC led push to block U.S. arm sales to Israel as the conflict and the bloodshed continue. And Dr. Peter Hotez on what you need to know about the small group of Americans who are not getting the full protection from a COVID vaccine, when ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. Tonight, the House voted to create a commission to investigate the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6th. The vote, 252 to 175 with just 35 Republicans voting in favor. This is a pretty remarkable moment.

On January 6th, of course, the leader of the Republican Party, Donald Trump, fomented a violent insurrection, hundreds and hundreds of writers marched for a rally near the White House to the United States Capitol at Trump`s explicit invitation, where they descended on the building attacking officers and sending members of Congress Republican and Democrat cowering, barricading themselves in their own chambers and offices fearing for their lives.

The crowd infamously erected a gallows just outside the Capitol Building, while a group that had forced their way inside chanted Hang Mike Pence, Hang Mike Pence, because the Republican Vice President refused to overturn the election in the way that Donald Trump wanted. And the purpose of all that was to steal the election, to stop the peaceful transfer of power to keep Donald Trump in the White House.

Now, it has been more than four months since that day. There is still so much we do not know about what happened on January 6th. I mean, look at this. Just today, the FBI released two new videos previously unseen of two new suspects in violent assaults on officers at the Capitol. This one, the suspect tries to rip off an officer`s gas mask, then picks up a baton and starts hitting officers with it. The other video shows a suspect wearing gloves with metal knuckles, punching officers as they try to defend an entrance to the Capitol.

The FBI also made six more arrests today bringing the total over 425 and marking one of the busiest days in the criminal investigation coming out of the Department of Justice. Every day, we see these small pieces of the puzzle coming together, jurisdiction by jurisdiction, law enforcement officer by law enforcement officer, indictment by indictment. But there is still at this moment no comprehensive investigation or record of what preceded the insurrection, what exactly happened minute by minute on that day, and what came after.

And Congressional Democrats are trying to change that by forming this very commission. Now, Democrats could have just passed legislation to establish the commission in a partisan fashion four months ago. They had the votes in the House, but they did not do that. Democratic Congressman Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, Chair of the Homeland Security Committee sat with his Republican counterpart, Congressman John Katko of New York who was deputized by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to work out a bipartisan deal on forming the commission.

They integrated Republican suggestions. They hammered out the statutory language line by line splitting the commission evenly between the parties and requiring a report by the end of the year so that it could not be used as a partisan cudgel in a midterm year.

And then, after all that, the four months of negotiation, after all that, Kevin McCarthy came out against the deal, railing against what he called the duplicative and potentially counterproductive nature of the effort. And then, of course, predictably came a statement from Donald Trump, the man who incited the insurrection, was impeached for it, telling his party, "Republicans in the House and Senate should not approve the Democrat trap of the January 6th commission."

And lo and behold, right on cue, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said he was undecided, took to the House floor -- the Senate floor this morning to follow orders.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): After careful consideration, I`ve made the decision to oppose the House Democrats` slanted and unbalanced proposal for another commission to study the events of January the 6th.


HAYES: I mean, the thing is that it`s literally balanced. Like you can call it unbalanced, but it`s literally numerically balanced. Just, you know, one number on this side, one number on that side. A few Republicans, including Congressman Katko who negotiated the deal actually did break with House leadership, speaking out in favor of the bill and against the horror of the insurrection.


REP. JOHN KATKO (R-NY): I strongly believe this is a fair and necessary legislation. I encourage all members, Republicans and Democrats alike, to put down their swords for once, just for once, and support this bill.

REP. PETER MEIJER (R-MI): There has been an active effort to whitewash and rewrite the shameful events of that day to avoid accountability and turn away from difficult truths.

REP. FRED UPTON (R-MI): If it had not been for the brave Capitol and Metropolitan Police, men and women that day, who knows how many of our heads would have been swinging on those gallows.


HAYES: And now, some members the Capitol Police are speaking on as well and this incredible letter from an anonymous group of officers writing directly to members of Congress. "On January 6th where some officers served their last day on a U.S. Capitol Police Officer uniform and not by choice, we would hope the members when we took an oath to protect, would at the very minimum support and investigation to get to the bottom of everyone responsible and hold them 100 percent accountable no matter the title or position they hold or held. It is inconceivable some of the members we protect would downplay the events of January 6th. Member`s safety was dependent upon the heroic actions of USCP. It is a privileged assumption for members to have the point of view that it wasn`t that bad. That privilege exists because the brave men and women of USCP protected you the members."

Today, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer spoke on the Senate floor about what he thinks Republicans are up to here.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): What the republicans are doing, the House Republicans, is beyond crazy to be so far under the thumb of Donald J. Trump. Letting the most dishonest president in American history dictate the prerogatives of the Republican Party will be its demise. Mark my words.


HAYES: This is about what the boss from Mar-a-Lago wants and he does not want an investigation to happen. There are likely a lot of things surrounding January 6th that Trump and his party do not want Americans to find out. Also, it`s important to remember that a lot of the party can only view these kinds of things through explicitly partisan terms because when Republicans were in power in Congress, that`s how they did it, like the Benghazi committee.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together Benghazi Special Committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she`s untrustable. But no one would have known any of that had happened had we not thought --



HAYES: Remember? Investigations, commissions are not for fact-finding, they are to bring someone down according to Kevin McCarthy. They view all this solely in zero-sum terms. And they`ve just stopped pretending or maybe it was a real feeling for a few weeks that January 6 was what it was, a horrifying assault on American democracy.

And now, the vast majority of the caucus has once again thrown in their lot with the hang of Mike Pence crowd.

Democratic Congressman Jim McGovern of Massachusetts chairs the House Rules Committee, manage today`s debate on the vote on the bill to create a commission to investigate January 6, and he joins me now.

I want you to start with responding to this idea that this was some sort of partisan effort from the beginning where you just steamrolled the Republicans and just got your way because you want to use it as a weaponized political cudgel.

REP. JIM MCGOVERN (D-MA): Well, as you pointed out at the beginning of the show, Kevin McCarthy got basically everything he wanted. I mean, he sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi, talking about his demands including an equal representation of Democrats and Republicans on the commission. He got it. He got everything and yet he walked away.

So, he`s either a worse negotiator than Donald Trump, getting everything he wants and then walking away, or he`s a coward. He`s afraid of Donald Trump. Donald Trump does not want the truth to be known, does not want this commission to move forward. And what was really frustrating about today`s vote -- again, I commend those 35 Republicans who stood with us, notwithstanding incredible pressure put on them by the Republican leadership, but there should have been a unanimous vote.

And, and what was really also frustrating about today was that Kevin McCarthy didn`t even have the guts to come on the House floor and defend his position. I mean, I don`t know where the hell he was, maybe hiding under his desk, maybe talking to Donald Trump, you know, who`s in exile in Mar-a-Lago, but he`d even have the guts or the decency to explain to the American people why he`s not interested and them knowing what actually happened on January 6th.

HAYES: Right. So, he issues this -- he -- could you show me that letter again, just because -- so he`s writing a letter to the speaker, saying these are the things I want in the commission, right?


HAYES: And the big thing about equal representation was big. That`s the way 9/11 --

MCGOVERN: Equals subpoena power, he get that too. So, all the -- all the things in this letter he got.

HAYES: So, was that -- I don`t get -- what is your theory of the case here? Is it that he was lying then and was -- and was just fussing around to kick the can or he had a change of heart or he basically -- he got the phone call from the Mar-a-Lago, you know, prison phone saying, no good.

MCGOVERN: So, I think he was hoping the Democrats would negotiate -- would negotiate in bad faith. He was wrong. Chairman Thompson deserves a lot of credit. He negotiated --

HAYES: Oh, I see. He just thought it wouldn`t happen.

MCGOVERN: Yes, he just thought it wouldn`t happen. That`s number one. And then when it happened, you know, he panicked, and he got his orders from Donald Trump to, you know, to kill it.

Again, you know, at a time when the American people really want their leaders of both parties to stand up for principle, to do what`s right, and especially when it comes to getting to the truth about an insurrection, an attempt to overthrow our democracy, people want to know the truth.

And we want to -- we want -- we want it to be done in a way that is bipartisan, similar to what we did with the 9/11 Commission. So we presented that, and Kevin McCarthy couldn`t take yes for an answer. I mean, it is really quite sad. And I can`t -- I don`t quite know what Donald Trump has on him. But clearly, Kevin McCarthy is afraid to death of Donald Trump, and that`s pathetic.

HAYES: Well, and now you`ve got the Senate too. I mean, there`s a hurdle there. So, 35 votes -- but let me just ask you this. 35 votes in the House, was that around? What was your over-under? What did you set the line at today?

MCGOVERN: Well, you know, I was hoping for at least 30 votes or 40 votes, you know, in the aftermath of the Republican whipping against it.

HAYES: Leadership, yes.

MCGOVERN: Yes. So, I mean -- so, you know, I think it`s a solid bipartisan vote. But again, the frustrating thing is it should have been unanimous. And you know, as far as Mitch McConnell goes, I mean, I don`t know what it is about these Republicans, the more Donald Trump insults them, the more they want to cower to him.

I mean, when Mitch McConnell said this was a partisan, you know, bill, maybe he wasn`t paying attention. Kevin McCarthy got everything he wanted in this bill. This is a truly bipartisan bill and yet, they couldn`t take yes for an answer.

HAYES: Yes. I mean, 35 members of the House Republican caucus would equal around nine Republicans in the Senate, if you have the same percentage, which would maybe get you close to a filibuster-proof majority. Now -- I mean, now it goes to the Senate, right, and the filibuster is in play there. I guess, you know, if you`re Chuck Schumer, you got to force him to filibuster obviously.

MCGOVERN: Right. Yes. And -- but here`s the deal. My hope is they won`t filibuster and the Senate will pass this. But if not, we need to --

HAYES: Congressman, I have news for you.

MCGOVERN: Well, well, I mean -- yes, there`s always hope, right? But if not, we need to proceed anyway. And if we have to proceed through a Special Select Committee, we`ll have to go that way. But the American people deserve the truth. I mean, I was there on January 6th. I was the last person off the House floor. I was presiding when that attack came.

And I walked down into the speaker`s lobby, and I saw this angry mob of homegrown fascists, you know, banging and breaking the glass trying to get at us. I mean, people walking around the Capitol with Confederate flags, with anti-Semitic shirts that say Camp Auschwitz. I mean -- I mean, this is -- this is the group that attacked our democracy.

And to just not acknowledge that -- but I have some members, as you mentioned, try to say that nothing really happened that day is insulting and disrespectful, by the way, not to me and not to members of Congress, but to our staff, to the people who work up here, from the cafeteria workers to the Capitol Police.

It`s insulting to the American people who expect us, you know, to respect our democratic institutions and to respect elections. So, we`re going to get -- we`re going to pursue this. My hope is that we can pursue this in a truly bipartisan way. And if that`s not possible, we`ll have to move forward with the Select Committee.

HAYES: All right, Congressman Jim McGovern who chairs the rules committee, thank you so much.

MCGOVERN: All the best. Be safe.

HAYES: I want to bring in Mehdi Hasan, the host of the "MEHDI HASAN SHOW" on MSNBC and streaming on Peacock. So, Mehdi, the half -- the glass half full here is you got 35 votes bucking leadership, which is not nothing in these days at all. The glass half empty is that more Republicans voted against this commission, then voted to not seat the electors, right.

So, things are moving in the wrong direction in terms of the percentage of the Republican caucus, you know, voting the wrong way on these elemental questions.

MEHDI HASAN, MSNBC HOST: It`s a very good point that you make, Chris. It is moving in the wrong direction since, you know, the last four months have been really bad for the Republican Party, and by extension really bad for American democracy. I mean, we all -- you know, I`m old enough to remember when Liz Cheney won her first vote to stay on and leadership and everyone celebrated.

You see there are still Republicans willing to do the right thing. And within a few months, Donald Trump won. He got rid of Liz Cheney, and the same issue is happening now. As you say, you know, the seating the electors was one thing. Now four months later, it`s well, let`s not look into the violence that happened that day.

On the one hand, as Congressman McGovern points out, it should have been a unanimous vote. It should have been. In an ideal world, every member of Congress would want to investigate and attack on Congress. On the other hand, as many have pointed out, it`s a provocative statement, but it`s true, supporters of al-Qaeda would not have voted for the 9/11 Commission. So, why should we expect supporters of Donald Trump and promoters of insurrectionists to vote for an investigation into Donald Trump and insurrectionists?

And unfortunately, that`s what the Republican Party is now. Just look at them across the board. Look at Andrew Clyde of Georgia who on the day of the attack was barricading the door inside the House. And today, now, goes into the house and does hearings where he says it was a normal tourist visit. Someone like that is never going to vote for an investigation. Of course, he`s not.

HAYES: You know, someone who`s been absent from this and has not weighed in is Mike Pence of the Hang of Mike Pence chant. He was the person that the crowd was referring to when they said they wanted to hang him. They wanted to execute him in public. And again, like, you know, I think there`s this sense on the part of a lot of Republicans that like they didn`t mean it. This is -- you know, they didn`t -- or they didn`t carried off, so like, who cares?

But he`s been noticeably absent. I do know, however, his own brother voted against the commission today, which says a lot about the Republican Party.

HASAN: It says a lot on the Republican Party, probably it also says a lot about the Pence family. But yes, he has been AWOL. He`s given a few speeches, but hasn`t said anything about Donald Trump, all the people who chanted for his death. On my show, Chris, I`m sure you have to play that image many times of him with his family, wife, and daughter, fleeing from that chamber. It`s on tape. It was played at the impeachment trial. We should never forget that even if Mike Pence wants to forget it.

But look, Chris, at some point, you have to stop saying what`s Kevin McCarthy doing? What`s Mitch McConnell doing? What`s Mike Pence doing? You have to ask the question, what are the Democrats doing? The Republicans are the Republicans?


HASAN: We expect no better from the people who held 33 hearings into Benghazi over 22 -- over two and a half years, made Hillary Clinton testify for 11 hours. We expect nothing from that party. But what are the Democrats doing? I mean, the Congressman just ended his interview with you saying, I hope this is going to be bipartisan after everything he said.

There is still -- look, banish the B word from your vocabulary. There is no bipartisanship with a party that does not believe in democracy and that is willing to run interference for domestic terrorists. Sorry, there is no bipartisanship.

HAYES: Yes. Then, that point about the example of Benghazi. I mean, that`s -- it`s an interesting kind of perfect apples to apples, right. Kevin McCarthy didn`t go through regular order to pass a piece of legislation because he couldn`t, right? They put together a select committee which precisely what the threat that hangs over all this from Jim McGovern was. But the Republicans cut right to the chase when they had the chance.

HASAN: But so many liberals which is on Twitter today and just outraged over Benghazi. And my point is, why don`t learn from that? Why don`t Democrats do this? Instead of complaining about how Republicans did this, what are you doing? And I hate to quote James Carville, but James Carville said to Vox, the former Clinton advisor, he said to Vox a couple of weeks ago, why are Democrats not banging on about this 24/7 in every media interview, in every appearance, in every house.

Imagine if it had been Black Lives Matter that stormed the Capitol on January 6th to prevent the seating of Trump voters. You think Republicans would have moved on for months after? You think Republicans would be trying to do a bipartisan deal over that?

HAYES: Yes, that`s a good question. Mehdi Hasan, thank you so much. I know you did a full hour on Israel and Palestine tonight. I`m going to watch that when I get home, so thanks a lot.

HASAN: Thank you.

HAYES: Tonight, the Trump Organization is under criminal investigation not just by the Manhattan district attorney, we knew that already, but now by the New York State Attorney General who made this announcement last night. I`m sure you`ve seen it, right? Late in the day, short statement, kind of cryptic, honestly left me with a lot of questions.

How big a deal is this? What does it actually mean for Donald Trump? What`s our timeline looking like here? Fortunately, I have two incredible guests who will help to get to the bottom of this so do not go anywhere. That`s next.



DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Now I hear that these same people that failed to get me in Washington have sent every piece of information to New York so that they can try to get me there. They want to take not me but us down and we can never let them do that.


HAYES: Well, Donald Trump is facing a significant degree of legal peril and has been for some time now. We know the district attorney in Fulton County, Georgia opened an investigation into his attempt to bully and coerce Georgia election officials in multiple phone calls into basically inventing votes for him, right, to steal the election, just find one more vote that I need.

We also know that for the second time in just over three years, Trump`s personal lawyer, this time it`s Rudy Giuliani, last time Michael Cohen, has been raided by the FBI. That`s going to be some kind of record. Federal investigators are currently in the process of sifting through everything they seized from Giuliani. And while that is happening, Rudy Giuliani`s allies have been pressing Donald Trump to pay his legal fees.

Then there`s the state of New York where the former president is facing multiple investigations. Now, we know that for over a year the New York State Attorney General Letitia James has been investigating the Trump Organization. At the same time the Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance has been conducting a criminal investigation into the former President`s business practices. Earlier this year, his office was finally able to get ahold of the former president`s financial records.

And then last night, the latest development. New York Attorney General`s Office raised the stakes. They released this cryptic statement and said, "We have informed the Trump Organization that our investigation into the company is no longer purely civil in nature. We are now actively investigating the Trump Organization in a criminal capacity along with the Manhattan D.A. We have no additional comment at this time."

OK, the New York AG`s office is teaming up with the Manhattan DA`s office. Now, as far as we can tell, we can`t find an instance of when this happened before to get a sense of what the comparison is. In response, Trump released a rambling, incoherent denial, but it`s not clear exactly what the AG`s announcement means for Trump and the Trump Org.

Danya Perry is both a former federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York and a former New York State Deputy Attorney General who worked out of the very office that released that statement yesterday. David Farenthold, of course, is the Washington Post reporter covering the Trump family and its business interests. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of Donald Trump`s false charity claims that ultimately led to Trump agreeing to shut down his foundation.

All right, Danya, let`s start with you just as someone who worked in that office. I mean, I tend to think of Attorney General`s offices or I guess, attorneys general offices as largely civil investigations. So, what was your reaction when you saw that? What is your understanding of the meaning and implications thereof?

DANYA PERRY, FORMER DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL, NEW YORK STATE: I think it`s a real bombshell. As you say, the sweet spot for the Attorney General`s Office really is a complex frauds on the civil side. So, this matters we know has been humming along for well over a year. And it seemed that Tish James was perfectly content to meet with witnesses and review documents. And that is chugging along in parallel with a criminal investigation just a few blocks over.

And something causes Tish James to say, hold up, this is a problem. I`m moving this over from the civil side of the ledger to criminal side, so out of her typical comfort zone into a criminal investigation. So, I think, you know, from the vantage point of people who have been reviewing the evidence and speaking with witnesses for a long time now, for them to pick up their heads and say, no, no, this is actually a criminal case, does tell you something about the quality and quantum of evidence that they`ve amassed over the past many months.

I also think it`s a bombshell because I think, look, this was -- this was a big move. This was very 00 this was flashing. And I think it really signals that she thinks now is this a strong and, you know, likely she believes it`s a winnable criminal case, but that something`s going to happen relatively soon. And I have a bunch of reasons for saying that, but amongst them, I think her civil investigation has largely got to be over.

HAYES: Right.

PERRY: Once you (INAUDIBLE) a criminal investigation, witnesses, of course, are going to clam up and they`re not going to be that (INAUDIBLE) civil case. So, I think that`s -- I do think it`s a --it`s a major development in the case against Donald Trump.

HAYES: I mean, David, you know the ins and outs of the Org as well as anyone outside it or as well as anyone who doesn`t have subpoena power. That`s something I think you would have loved to have and don`t. What was your reaction to this?

DAVID FAHRENTHOLD, REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Similar to Danya`s. It`s a big deal, because it to me, it indicates that the attorney general has not only found evidence of somebody doing something wrong, but there is an element of intent that she`s found. That`s one thing that we talk to people about, you know, what this mean to go from civil to criminal. Often the trigger for the in cases like this is they found evidence that they can tell you what somebody was thinking. Not only they did something wrong, but they knew it was wrong and they did it anyway.

That doesn`t mean that they found evidence that Trump knew -- you know, that Trump is the person who`s attempting to find, that it could be somebody else in his orbit. And that`s a significant step. It`s a much higher bar than she would normally have to prove or to meet to prove civil claim.

HAYES: Danya, what is -- I mean, this is a real Law 101 question, and it`s one that I actually still have a hard time with. But when we`re talking about this context, like, what`s the line between civil and criminal. Like, you can -- there -- you know, Attorney General will find like civil claims against some business that like defrauded millions of people, you know, of $50 million, and it`s like, you know, if you did that as a person, you`d be a criminal. But you`re a corporation, so it`s civil. I don`t even get where the line is or what it says to you that it might be over that line.

PERRY: I think David could teach that in class. I think it has to do with specific criminal intent. And if she`s pursuing, for example, a case against Donald Trump himself, as David said, we don`t know that that`s the case. Look, there`s going to be, let`s say, tax returns that he`s signed. He`s going to have any number of defenses against that including, you know, I had all kinds of professionals around me and accountants and lawyers advising me who I didn`t know.

You know, there are built in defenses that go around knowledge. And so, you really -- to meet that extra bar, you have to show not just that he knowingly signed this but that he did so knowing it was a fraud.

HAYES: Right.

PERRY: So (AUDIO GAP) he was aware he was signing a document, but did so while knowing inflated certain assets deflated (AUDIO GAP). So, that`s the --

HAYES: That`s a -- that`s a really useful and helpful explanation. And that gets to the question, David, for you. When you talk about the Trump Org as some entity, I mean, you know, we`re not talking about Ford Motor Company or Comcast in terms of how big this thing is. I mean, this is like -- it`s just a handful of people.

FAHRENTHOLD: It`s a really small company, especially at the top. And it`s run by people who`ve been around Trump a long time. It`s -- I mean, it`s not -- as you said, it`s not what you might think of as a large professional organization. It`s basically a bunch of family members and other people who`ve been with him for 20 or 30 years.

So, the circle of people within the company who have been subpoenaed, who`ve been deposed, it`s a small circle of people. It includes the President`s son, Eric, the CFO of the company, Allen Weisselberg, who`s sort of -- he`s called himself the eyes and ears of Trump`s finances. It`s not that many people.

And so, I think if you were -- that`s a good and a bad thing I think if you`re an investigator. There`s a small number of people you need to look at, but you got to flip one of those people. You need to get -- if you want to turn somebody, you don`t have infinite choices. You have kind of a small number of choice.

HAYES: That`s a really, really good point. Danya Perry and David Fahrenthold, that was illuminating. Thank you very much.


HAYES: Coming up a day after the President was confronted on the tarmac, the growing push from House Democrats to get the Biden administration to stop an arms deal to Israel. Congressman Mark Pocan is among those advancing the resolution, and he joins me next.


HAYES: After days of giving the Israeli governor -- government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a green light to bombard Gaza, today, President Joe Biden appeared to shift to at least yellow. In a readout of the call between the two world leaders, Biden said he expected a significant de- escalation today on the path to a ceasefire.

After speaking with President Biden, Prime Minister Netanyahu said he was "determined to continue this operation until its aim is met." Now, there`s widespread anticipation that things will scale back if for no other reason than the Israeli Defense Forces have run out of targets in Gaza`s densely packed 25-mile strip to hit.

Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip and has been firing rockets into Israeli territory has said they think a ceasefire could be reached in the next day or two. Though, the violence continues. Just today, new rocket attacks, these ones appearing to emanate from Lebanon, directed at northern Israel.

Israel responded with artillery fire directed at a number of targets in Lebanon. 12 people have been killed inside Israel since the conflict began including two children. While in Gaza, the human misery is difficult to fathom, 227 dead including 64 children, some of the largest office towers have been destroyed, the only COVID testing lab destroyed, one of those prominent neurologists in Gaza has been killed and over 58,000 people have been displaced.

Today, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, running an opinion piece with this Stark headline. Gaza Lives Erased: Israel is wiping out entire Palestinian families on purpose. But for many in Congress, the Biden administration`s willingness to abet this has grown intolerable.

Now, Congressional Democrats are mounting an effort to block a weapon sale to Israel. And one of the co-sponsors of that resolution to block the $735 million arms sale to Israel, Congressman Mark Pocan of Wisconsin, and he joins me now.

Congressman, this -- tell me what is the arm sale at issue here and how did Democratic members of Congress or any member of Congress come to learn about it?

REP. MARK POCAN (D-WI): Well, thanks for having me, Chris. First of all, let me say, we`ve asked for a ceasefire, many of us individually. And tonight, 138 of us wrote to the President demanding a ceasefire. Let`s take that yellow to a full red, because stopping hostilities period will save lives of both Israelis and Palestinians.

Unfortunately, Benjamin Netanyahu, just yesterday said he`s not ready for a ceasefire, which means scores more people, including children will die. We`re saying how can we continue to have weapons sales going to Israel at a time that it`s being used so disproportionately against the people in Gaza. As you`ve mentioned, hundreds of people including scores of children, but 58,000 people are displaced from their homes. That is an overreaction.

If you`re going to screw a chair together, you don`t use a jackhammer day after day after day after day. And that`s what`s happening right now to Gaza. So, most important is let`s have the President demand a ceasefire. But a tool we have, a pressure point is to really have a serious look at any additional military sales to make sure they`re not being used in a way that is not getting the best interest of the Middle East or of the United States stance.

HAYES: I mean, these rallies would say that the disproportionality is not their fault, and that no nation on Earth would tolerate the hundreds of rockets have been fired indiscriminately at civilian targets by Hamas by essentially a neighbor, and that they have a right to defend themselves.

POCAN: So, this didn`t start 1012 days ago with some rockets coming out of Gaza and some response from Israel. This didn`t start several weeks ago when there was an attack on a mosque in the middle of the holy holiday of Ramadan. This didn`t start a month ago when they were trying to take people from their homes in East Jerusalem or continue to have illegal settlements in the West Bank.

This is as you know, going on for years, decades. And the problem is at the end of the day, what right now, the only two beneficiaries of what`s going on are Benjamin Netanyahu in Hamas, and the people of Israel and Palestine are paying the consequences for those two entities.

HAYES: The way this went about was that there was -- the new chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Gregory Meeks, New York Congressman who took over after Eliot Engel was defeated at a primary. He had first said he was going to delay it, and then he decided against requesting a delay of a $735 million arms sale after the White House offered to hold an informational session for lawmakers on Wednesday. My understanding is you`re trying to force a vote on the delay now on the floor.

POCAN: Honestly, Chris, it`s going to be hard, right, because there`s a 20- day window and we`re deep into that window. But we are signaling that members of Congress maybe are saying enough. You know, I for one have supported the Iron Don`t Project because the intention is if a missile is sent out of Gaza, you take it out in midair. No one dies in Gaza. No one dies in Israel, and ultimately you have de-escalated the violence.

The problem is, that`s not what`s happening. The missile gets taken out, and then 20 missiles go back into Gaza killing scores of children and hundreds of people and taking away all sorts of buildings, including media buildings that house Associated Press, BBC, Al Jazeera, and roads to the some of the few hospitals that are there in Gaza.

So, we`re just trying to --


HAYES: Well, let me just say this, Congressman, though. I mean, what we`ve watched this week, it does seem to me clearly the case that in the absence of Iron Dome, and more rocket attacks actually hitting and a higher Israeli death toll, it`s hard for me to see how the situation would be better in the absence of these air defenses with more dead Israelis.

POCAN: But could we put conditions on the dollars we`re giving them so that when we give you, and it is a good idea -- again, as I`ve said, to have the Iron Dome. But if you`re going to use it and send 20 times the missiles back in after you`ve supposedly should have used it to deescalate, that`s not the intention of it. Then you`re not using the very resources we`re giving you as intended.

And they think more of us are just at the point of saying, you can`t keep seeing -- doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result because that truly is the definition of insanity.

HAYES: Quick question. How many of you are there in your -- in your caucus? How -- when you say more of us, how many?

POCAN: So, it depends on the issue.

HAYES: On this.

POCAN: You know, on the military issue, it will be a relatively small number, but enough that we could have ability to put conditions perhaps the appropriations or the NDAA on future sales to Israel. So, it`s something that we definitely have a lever on. But when it came to 10 of us from a pretty diverse background asking members to sign in less than 24 hours a letter to ask for a ceasefire, 138 people, 60 plus percent of the House Democrats signed a letter. That`s pretty significant.

And that`s telling Joe Biden bring it to red. No more yellow, no more green, but let`s stop the violence.

HAYES: Congressman Mark Pocan, thank you for your time tonight. I appreciate it.

POCAN: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: Ahead, are the people who are most vulnerable to Coronavirus not getting full protection from the vaccines? Dr. Peter Hotez is here to explain ahead.



LARRY KRASNER, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, PHILADELPHIA: To me, it`s not that tough recall that we`re not going to prosecute sex workers. Does anybody think that`s a tough call?


KRASNER: The thing we have to do is we have to avoid falling into this pit of how government behaves, which is a pit of having meetings to talk about naming a committee to think about having a series of meetings. We`re here because we`re different than that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of the entrenched power in the city around these issues believes in things based on ideas they formed 25 years ago, right?

HAYES: There are two big trends we are seeing in criminal justice recently, all right. You have the election of all these progressive prosecutors, people like that man, Larry Krasner in Philadelphia who you heard earlier talking about not prosecuting sex workers.

You`ve got Rachel Rollins in Boston, Chesa Boudin in San Francisco, Wesley Bell in St. Louis County, Cook County`s Kim Fox, just to name a few. OK, all these folks have been elected on an explicit platform of reducing incarceration, bringing it down, rethinking our approach to crime and particularly violence.

And then at the same time, at least in the last year, this big spike in violence and the U.S. murder rate increased by around 25 percent in 2020. To put that in perspective, that`s more than 20,000 murders in a year for the first time since 1995. And that leaves this open question, right? Would a spike in violence translate into political defeat for all these progressive prosecutors trying to rethink our approach to violence and crime?

And as a person who follows this kind of thing, wrote a book about it. I was hoping it would not because I think interpersonal violence is a pressing policy issue, a trauma and a tragedy that we can address without ramping up incarceration. But I also would not have been surprised if a spike in violence did lead to some kind of political backlash, because it`s certainly happened in the past. My God. But not last night.

That is what is so amazing about Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner`s victory yesterday in his primary race for reelection. His challenger was a guy named Carlos Vega, a prosecutor for more than three decades who was fired by Larry Krasner. And Vega was backed by Philadelphia`s 14,000 member police union who asked their members to register as Democrats so they could vote in the primary before switching back to Republican for the general election.

And Carlos Vega, with the help the police union, made the race a referendum on Krasner`s criminal justice reform movement by pointing to a 40 percent increase in the city`s homicides particularly. And yet, when the Associated Press called the race last night, Krasner`s margin of victory was a whopping 30 points.

It was a stunning rebuke of the police unions power in a city famous for notorious former Police Commissioner Frank Rizzo who once boasted his police department was strong enough to invade Cuba and win. And former tough-on-crime Mayor Ed Rendell just happened to endorse Krasner`s opponent.

The story of Larry Krasner`s win is not just about Philadelphia where police unions have historically been a powerful force in local politics. It`s about how things are different from say, the 1970s or even the 1990s in terms of the politics of criminal justice reform across this country. Which is to say this is a story about how the politics of fear don`t play quite the way they used to.

Back in 2018, shortly after he took office, I had Larry Krasner on my podcast, Why Is This Happening? It`s a fascinating conversation, really useful glimpse into his theory of the work. Plus, this week`s episode is with sociologist Patrick Sharkey. It`s a great companion piece. And it`s all about what accounts for the rise or fall of interpersonal violence, rise like we`ve seen this year. I learned a lot from both episodes. I hope you do too.



HAYES: There was hesitancy in the beginning, I think, at the early part of the data to say that definitively because, and correct me if I`m wrong, there was worry that because the dependent variable that the drug trials were testing on were infections and not transmission. It remained possible though not likely that there was some hidden risk of transmission, right?


HAYES: And what I`m getting from you and getting from the CDC is like the data is coming back and that`s not a problem.

FAUCI: You nailed it, Chris. That`s correct.


FAUCI: It`s absolutely correct. The risk is extremely low of getting infected, of getting sick, or of transmitting it to anybody else, full stop.


HAYES: So, Dr. Anthony Fauci is very clear about the amazing efficacy of the COVID vaccines when we spoke earlier this week based on the data that we`re seeing in the real world, right, not just the trials. But what we didn`t talk about and we`ve been getting a lot of viewer feedback on this is the fact that there are millions of immunocompromised Americans, about three to four percent of the U.S. population for whom the shots may not work fully or at all.

So, what exactly should folks in that category be doing to protect themselves? And what does this new CDC mass guidance mean for them? As the co-director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children`s Hospital, Dr. Peter Hotez is someone who understands that vaccines are not as effective in immunocompromised people so they`re at higher risk for COVID infection even after vaccination. And he joins me now.

So, Doctor, let`s talk about who this group of people are, what are the various factors that could -- that could lead to someone being in this pool of folks that are immunocompromised?

PETER HOTEZ, CO-DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR VACCINE DEVELOPMENT AT TEXAS CHILDREN`S HOSPITAL: Yes, well, Chris, first of all, there`s a lot of them. You know, roughly, maybe three to five percent of the U.S. population that`s been getting vaccinated. And we`ve given out 158 million doses of vaccine. So, you do the math, that`s, you know, five, six, seven million people, and it`s probably the second most common reason why people send me e-mails.

I mean, every morning, I`ve got emails in my inbox from patients with various -- who are on various immunosuppressive therapies. I mean, they range from bone marrow transplant patients to solid organ transplant patients to those getting corticosteroids or chemotherapy or getting Car T therapy, T cell therapy, monoclonal antibodies, to B cells like rituximab, splenectomy, immune -- primary immunodeficiency patients. So, in aggregate, it`s a huge number.

And we`re only now starting to really get data on how they do in terms of responding to vaccines, because most of them were excluded in the phase three clinical trials that led to emergency use authorization. So, the good news is, it looks like in most of these individuals, the vaccines are safe or are about as safe as they are in patients with normal reconstituted immune systems, our normal immune system, so I think that`s good.

The not-so-good news is oftentimes they do not respond well to the vaccine, particularly after a single dose. So, individuals who with normal immune systems might have 50, 60, 70, maybe 80 percent response to a single dose of vaccines for at least the solid organ transplants, maybe the bone marrow transplants. Those getting other immunosuppressive therapies, it`s about 17, 18, 19 percent.

The good news is oftentimes does come up after the second dose. But even then, it`s not always complete. So, you know, the community of experts in this, the hematologist, oncologist, and rheumatologists who give a lot of immunosuppressive therapy are looking at the possibility and maybe we`ll need a third dose in order to achieve better protection. Or the other big question is when to give it? Do you give it before you start immunosuppressive therapy likely? But if they`re on immunosuppressive therapy, do you give it anyway? Or if you know, they`re going to stop it soon, do you wait for a period of weeks or months before you give it?

So, all of this is being looked at right now. It`s a bit chaotic in terms of doing that systematically. It`s kind of an informal network of hematologist, oncologists, rheumatologists that are talking to each other various registries of small numbers of patients. So, it`s going to take a little bit of time to work out.

HAYES: I mean, it seems like -- well, there`s two things. One is we want -- we want community-level suppression, right? I mean, we want to keep vaccinating as much as possible and drive the case number down, because the base rate of transmission is going to affect the risk for everyone. So, that`s a no-brainer. We want to push more vaccines, more vaccines, more vaccines, more vaccines, right?

So that`s the -- but for the particular sort of behavioral effects for folks that are in this category, or their loved ones, I mean, does it mean that they should still be wearing an N95, that they shouldn`t be doing some of the things like, you know, flying or getting in large crowded groups, all the things that, you know, we`ve been avoiding pre-vaccine?

HOTEZ: Yes, that`s right. So, I think, you know, if you`re a renal dialysis patient, or if you were solid organ transplant patient getting immunosuppressive therapy, or if you`re a bone marrow transplant patient, or a number of others on that list, I think what it means is you have to behave as though you`re not vaccinated. You may be protected, but we don`t have that full slate of data on it just yet.

HAYES: And I think it just -- it points to the larger issue here which is we just need to keep penetrating the population in terms of vaccination, because we`re seeing cases go down. We just got to keep that going because that is -- that`s the ultimate thing that is going to keep everybody safe whatever their particular exposure or risk or particular medical situation is. So, just keep that in mind.

HOTEZ: Yes. Here`s what we need to do. We need to get 75, 80 percent of the U.S. population vaccinated. Because the little kids are not yet eligible, that means just about all the adults and adolescents if we`re going to protect everyone. Dr. Peter Hotez, thank you for making time tonight.

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