According to a report, former President Donald Trump expects to be reinstated to the White House by August. The FBI is investing Postmaster General DeJoy over fundraising. The FBI is looking into whether Rep. Matt Gaetz obstructed justice during a phone call with a witness in that sex crimes investigation. The White House unveils plan for sending 25 million doses of vaccine abroad. The White House warns companies to boost cybersecurity as cyberattacks for ransom surges.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- Minneapolis Police Department to get Chauvin off the force. If there had been that kind of accountability, George Floyd might still be alive.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Amen, amen, amen. Katie Benner, Paul Butler, thank you both very much. That`s tonight`s REIDOUT. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts now.
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN.
MIKE LINDELL, CEO, MY PILLOW: All the evidence I have, everything is going to go before the Supreme Court. Donald Trump will be back in office in August.
HAYES: The delusion, deception, and slow-motion insurrection continues. Tonight, Congressman James Clyburn and former Senator Doug Jones on the urgency for Democrats to act even as Manchin and Sinema standby. Then --
REP. JIM COOPER (D-TN): Did you pay back several of your top executives for contributing to Trump`s campaign by bonusing or rewarding them?
LOUIS DEJOY, POSTMASTER GENERAL, UNITED STATES: That`s an outrageous claim, sir, and I resented it.
HAYES: What we know about the FBI investigation of Donald Trump`s Postmaster General. Plus, NBC News confirms a federal investigation of Congressman Matt Gaetz, what does it mean now that the Biden administration says it will treat ransomware attacks as a national security threat? And today`s big announcement on America`s actions to help vaccinate the world.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today, we are announcing our plan for sharing the first 25 million U.S. vaccines with the world.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. It is hard to tell what is more dangerous to American democracy at the moment, the big lie or the big delusion. The key question emerging from the alternate reality the right has been constructing for years is what to do with the lies the people will themselves into believing.
Now, that question is loomed over us long time. It presented itself for one instance when Republican Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma, a famous climate crank, brought a snowball on the Senate floor is proof there was no global warming. And ask yourself, was Inhofe lying? Is the snow was proof there was no global warming, or was he delusional who actually believes that? And which is worse and does it even matter?
The ultimate reality on the right has gotten crazier and more intense over time, was cultivated around climate for a while and then President Barack Obama`s birth certificate and voter fraud. Remember the acorn panic? And it grew even more intense, of course, from the cult of Donald Trump and the subsidiary cult of QAnon with its expectation of upcoming moment of Cataclysm, the damned shall be punished and exiled and saved shall inherit the earth.
The big delusion, believing in the alternate reality has now become the unifying litmus test around the 2020 election for the Republican Party. That delusion, that lie, whichever it is, is a sustained assault on American democratic legitimacy on all fronts. It is being engineered in part by the discredited loser who was exiled to Mar-a-Lago whose contributions and thoughts are so lame, so boring, so basic that he shut down his blog after less than a month because no one would read it. Of course, why would they?
Trump ordered his team Tuesday to put the blog out of its misery, his advisor said. And yes, in the same way that say, cult members might follow it a self-described prophet who seems like an obvious crank to outsiders, the people inside the movement are true believers. And that`s where we are right now. Except the movement is one of two of America`s two major political parties. One half of the viable political coalitions we have.
According to multiple reports, Donald Trump believes he will be "reinstated as president by August." That is, of course, flatly ludicrous. It is not that different from saying that the world will end on August 1st or that I will turn into a dragon on Father`s Day. But it is driving that sustained assault on our democracy.
Yesterday, we told you about the diehard Trump support in the Pennsylvania State Senate. Doug Mastriano is an elected official and he traveled to Arizona to learn about their ongoing, ridiculous, toxic ballot audit because he wants to bring it back to his home state.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you plan to replicate this process in Pennsylvania?
DOUG MASTRIANO, REPUBLICANS STATE SENATOR, PENNSYLVANIA: Yes, if we -- if we do an audit in Pennsylvania and we got a lot of issues in Pennsylvania. We need to do an audit. And this is the process to follow right here. I mean, this is the model.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: This effort to reverse engineer and overturning the election is starting to spread. And the exiled disgraced ex-President is following along closely of course. The Washington Post reports he`s increasingly consumed with the notion that ballot reviews pushed by his supporters around the country could prove that he won according to people familiar with his comments.
That obsession is leading him to believe another ludicrous figure, the MAGA pillow guy, remember him, who`s taking credit for planting the seeds of the idea of the August restoration, which to be fair, he kind of did.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LINDELL: Now election of 2020 is going bye, bye. It was an attack by other country, communism coming in. I don`t know what they`re going to do with it after they pull it down. But if (INAUDIBLE)
STEVE BANNON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF STRATEGIST: Hang on -- hang on a second.
LINDELL: Hold on. Donald Trump will be back in office in August.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: OK, here I am midway through my monologue. And it just -- it`s almost too ridiculous to describe to even say out loud here in front of the camera to you. The ex-President really believes he will be reinstated by August. OK, and I believe I can fly. But this is where we are. I mean, this is where we are, the influence of this figure, again, who has no formal power anymore. He can`t even sustain a blog that people read, has become a kind of avatar, a stand-in for a bunch of impulses that already existed that are so profoundly disconnected from the rest of American politics.
I mean, people in the Republican Party and the conservative movement are still beating down the door to get his approval as he slips further into his dangerous delusion having already struck what could have been a near- fatal blow to American democracy. Because if you want to have a future and one of the two -- again, we`ve got two major political parties, and if you want to have a future in one of them in this country, everyone understands, you have to suck up even if that means running on a platform of Donald Trump is right, my father is a huge loser.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thanks also to Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush for being here. Where`s George? Come here, George. This is the only Bush that likes me. This is the only one. Can we - - come here. I want to meet you. He`s a friend of my son and he`s a great guy. Truly, this is the Bush that got it right. Thank you very much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: So, that`s George Prescott Bush. He`s the son of Jeb Bush. He`s there with Donald Trump at April 2019. Now, he`s got big ambitions, right? The younger Bush is now running for Texas Attorney General. And his campaign is literally handing out beer koozies emblazoned with that moment. The quote, the image of the handshake, this is the only Bush that likes me. This is the Bush that got it right. I like him.
Do you remember how Donald Trump destroyed your father in the 2016 election? Low Energy Jeb. So, the campaign is Hi, I`m George P. Bush. My father absolutely sucks. Please vote for me. I mean, I guess, you know, it`s politics. You got to do what you got to do. But I go -- keep thinking people are going to hit their levels of humiliation, but I don`t know, maybe they all got a weird fetish for it.
Now, of course, as we watch this develop, the question is what the other half of viable political coalitions in the country do. What do Democrats do? What is the day-to-day functioning of American democracy look like under this dark cloud when they are entrusted by the majority to make it function? And there are a lot of pressing normal things that need to get done. Fighting climate change, repairing infrastructure, creating a kind of care economy that works for people, the infrastructure bill.
There are also the abnormal lengths that must be gone to in parallel to safeguard American democracy against the wickedness of this growing delusion. Because the idea of the election was going to be overturned for Donald Trump on January 6, yes, that was also delusional. And look what happened.
Democratic Congressman James Clyburn of South Carolina is the House Majority Whip, and he joins me now by phone. Congressman, thank you so much for your time tonight. I guess I start with the question of are Democrats doing enough at this moment, focused enough on this moment on the actions necessary to safeguard American democracy against the assaults we are continuing to see against it?
REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D-SC) (via telephone): Thank you very much for having me. I don`t think anybody in the country is doing enough right now. I think that this kind of situation is something the country`s never been faced with, and nobody expected to ever be faced with anything like this. I applaud President Biden for doing the things necessary to try and reach out across the aisle. But it seems as if the other side decided that they`re not going to reciprocate.
I applaud Nancy Pelosi for doing tremendous work when she put together this piece of legislation that Bennie Thompson and Mr. Katko in a bipartisan way, send it from the House over to the Senate. But Mitch McConnell said, do me a personal favor and don`t vote for this. We need to get to the bottom of what is -- this interaction was all about. The American people -- more than 70 percent of American people want to find out exactly what this is all about, so that we can do what`s necessary to safeguard this democracy.
Yes, we are making a lot of attempts. But we aren`t accomplishing much because we cannot get any kind of support on the other side of the House. I applaud those members of the Homeland Security Committee. We work in a bipartisan way to produce a very good piece of legislation. And Mitch McConnell has decided that he was more loyal to Donald Trump than he is to the constitution that he was sworn to uphold.
HAYES: So, there`s a number of aspects of this, the January 6 Commission in terms of figuring out really what happened in a kind of comprehensive, systematic fashion issuing a report. They`re safeguarding American democracy against incursions that are happening the state level. There`s two pieces of legislation. There`s the For the People Act, H.R.1, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, H.R.4, if I`m not mistaken.
There`s a proposal to restore the section of the Voting Rights Act that was gutted. These are all floating around. But they`ve all sort of hit a roadblock in the Senate, and partially because all of those would need to fill -- clear filibuster. Joe Manchin, among others, I think the Senate Democratic Caucus thinks there`s a viable means to create a bipartisan compromise for it. And I want to play for you what he was saying today about the infrastructure bill, similar kind of thinking about working with Republicans to get the votes necessary. Take a listen. I want to get your response to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you ready to go it alone with just Democrats?
SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): I don`t think you should. I really don`t.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At all, anything?
MANCHIN: And I don`t think -- right now, basically, we need to be bipartisan. If we can`t become -- I`ve always said this. I`ve never seen a pothole that had a Republican or Democrat name on it. It will bust your tire. I don`t care who you are.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: What do you think about Senator Manchin`s approach and what it what it spells for these different parts of the agenda?
CLYBURN: Well, I agree with Senator Manchin that it`s better not to go it alone. But I cannot understand in feeling that if the only way to get it done is to go it alone, then you should not get it done because that`s what he is saying. Something is amiss with his thinking. This country has massive need. Bridges are crumbling, all around us. This isn`t about potholes. This is about bridges. This is about broadband.
We`ve got children who are about to lose a second year of school because they cannot get broadband in their homes. And so, if you can`t get broadband in a bipartisan way, and we got the Democrats to do it, then we ought to go it alone. It`s not the first time that something is going to happen for the benefit of the country and did not get any Republicans to vote for it. We couldn`t get them to vote for the Affordable Care Act. They said we have just left that out because we couldn`t get bipartisan support. Come on, Joe Manchin. Let`s Get Real.
HAYES: Congressman James Clyburn joining us on the phone, of course, member of House leadership, represents the district in South Carolina. Congressman, thank you so much for your time tonight.
CLYBURN: Well, thank you very much for having me.
HAYES: All right, I want to bring in former Democratic Senator Doug Jones of Alabama. Senator, I want -- I wanted to talk to you because I thought, well, you`ve got an interesting perspective. When you were in that Senate caucus, you were in a very sort of small category of Senate Democrats representing states that, you know, Republicans carry by 20 or 30 points.
From that perch and from that experience, what do you make of the question now, the sort of fork in the road for Democrats about which road they travel in pursuing the Biden Democratic agenda?
DOUG JONES, FORMER DEMOCRATIC SENATOR FROM ALABAMA: You know, Chris -- well, first of all, thanks for having me. It`s good to be back with you again. Look, I don`t think we`re at that fork just yet. Folks have to remember, we`re only four and a half months into this administration. A lot has happened. And the focus of the Biden administration was on the pandemic, getting the economy going back again, getting things -- getting shots in arms. That has been a main focus.
Now, we`re looking at H.R.1, we`re looking at voting rights, we`re looking at making sure that folks have an infrastructure bill. Progress is being made on infrastructure. And it`s important because I think folks are holding out for bipartisanship. I think voting rights is a little bit different issue. What we`re seeing happening across the country is really attack on democracy. And at some point, I think very soon, Democrats are going to have to decide whether or not Congress can be the backstop for this. And I`m hoping that they will do that.
But Chris, let me say this. You know, as we talked about Jim Crow laws and we talked about voting rights, H.R.1 which is a great bill, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act all great bills. But if you want to stop this immediate assault, this immediate assault on voting rights, then you got to narrow this bill to a little bit and focus on stopping that assault. There`s a lot in those other bills that really will are good bills, good things -- pieces of legislation. Let`s focus on getting this like, standards, you know, uniform standards around the country.
And I believe, and I think Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema believe that if you can focus on that, you can get enough votes. But if you can`t, if you can`t, on that issue, then I am absolutely -- Congress has got to be the backstop of what`s going on in this country across the country.
HAYES: So, you said a few very interesting things that I just want to -- I want to sort of follow up on. So, I think the conceptual distinction in your mind between the infrastructure bill, well, you think maybe a deal a strikable. And these sort of more core issues on democracy, right, that there`s no real deal that`s going to be struck on H.R.1 or four, right? That`s the For the People, right?
But that may be there`s a place for a narrower deal. And I should say that Joe Manchin and Lisa Murkowski wrote that letter to their Senate colleagues saying let`s restore the part of the Voting Rights Act that John Roberts court struck down for no reason other than their own whim, essentially.
But I just don`t see 10 votes for that from Republicans. You got one and Lisa Murkowski. It`s like, I feel like I`m losing my mind. Maybe I`m wrong. But you work with these people. You`re in the U.S. Senate. What incentive do they have to restore the Voting Rights Act to create safeguards against their comrades in the states who are making these attacks on voting?
JONES: Well, Chris, that`s only one piece of that. Restoring the Voting Rights Act and the preclearance, I think that it`s possible. It`s possible. I don`t know what else going on behind the scenes, but I do think that it is possible to get 10 votes. The Voting Rights Act was passed almost unanimously in the last Congress the last time it was renewed. And so, I think there`s opportunities. And remember, folks, that this bill was passed initially with bipartisan support, and was renewed with bipartisan support.
Now, the second thing, though, Chris, is that we keep talking and we hear so many people talking about the election -- what`s been called the big lie, the election was stolen, election fraud. Well, if you want to stop this, if Republicans really want to get at this, let`s have uniform standards. We have federal elections every two years in this country. We need to have a uniform set of standards on early voting, mail-in voting, all of those absentee voting, all of those things where people think that is fraught with peril. Let`s get some uniform standards instead of this hodgepodge from around the country.
And if folks focus on that, I do think there`s an opportunity to get 10 votes, because I don`t believe that there is -- that what we`re hearing from all these things going on around the country is representative of the entire 90 percent of the folks in the Senate. I think that there may be opportunities there. I really do believe that.
HAYES: Well, that`s a really interesting perspective and some optimism which I`m always in the market for. Former Senator Doug Jones, of Alabama, thank you so much.
JONES: My pleasure, Chris.
HAYES: All right, Trump, megadonor Louis DeJoy, remember him? He`s still serving to this day right now, right, as the Postmaster General despite his efforts to basically gut the Postal Service in the run up to the election. In fact, you may recall this exchange from last year. Congress brought DeJoy in, right, to find out what the heck was up with the mail slowing down, and also his fundraising for Trump happened to come up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Did you pay back several of your top executives for contributing to Trump`s campaign by bonusing or rewarding them?
DEJOY: That`s an outrageous claim, sir, and I resent it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m just asking a question.
DEJOY: The answer is no.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Outrageous, cries Louis DeJoy. How dare you, sir. Do you know who doesn`t think it was such an outrageous question? Apparently, the FBI. That story is next.
HAYES: Donald Trump`s first active assaults on our democracy and our election process began all the way last summer, right, in the lead up to the election. Remember, we were in the middle of a pandemic, there was very, very real concern about physically going to polling stations to vote. And so, there was a flurry of people trying to vote by mail, and many states trying to make voting by mail as accessible as possible.
Now, that prospect of making voting easier did not sit well with Donald Trump or his administration who railed against mail voting every chance they got. And so, that attack on democracy appeared to manifest itself in the dismantling of the way that people would vote by mail, the Post Office, destroying the way they would get -- send their ballot -- they would get in send their ballots.
The great mail slowdown of 2020 was executed by Trump`s Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. He`s a wealthy businessman and prolific Republican donor who contributed over $1.5 million to Trump`s campaigns in 2016 and 2020. Now, before he was named Postmaster General, he was named one of the three national deputy finance chairman for the Republican National Committee along with, drum roll, Michael Cohen and Elliott Broidy, both of whom have since pleaded guilty to federal charges.
After taking office in June, DeJoy enacted a number of new policies including eliminating overtime for Postal workers, limiting the number of mail trucks, removing hundreds of sorting machines from postal facilities, including those in battleground states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, Florida. Then, in September 2020, the Washington Post reported that at his previous company, DeJoy had urged his employees to write checks for Republican candidates and attend expensive fundraisers only to inflate their bonuses to make up for the donations.
"He asked employees for money. We gave them the money and then he reciprocated by giving us big bonuses, said David Young, DeJoy`s longtime Director of Human Resources who had access to payroll records."
It was something that the DeJoy was asked about in a congressional hearing last August before that Post story broke.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Did you pay back several of your top executives for contributing to Trump`s campaign by bonusing or rewarding them?
DEJOY: That`s an outrageous claim, sir, and I resent it.
COOPER: I`m just asking a question.
DEJOY: The answer is no. I`m fully aware -- I`m fully aware of legal campaign contributions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)]
HAYES: You notice he is blinking a lot in that last part? Just something that struck me. Last summer, Louis DeJoy testified under oath. He was fully aware how illegal campaign contributions work. Well, now, today, the Washington Post published another scoop. Guess what. The FBI is investigating Louis DeJoy in connection with his past political fundraising. According to the report, and I quote, FBI agents in recent weeks, interviewed current and former employees of DeJoy in the business. Prosecutors also issued a subpoena to DeJoy himself for information.
Now, a spokesman for DeJoy said Mr. DeJoy has learned that the Department of Justice is investigating campaign contributions made by employees who worked for him when he was in the private sector. He`s always been scrupulous in his adherence to campaign contribution laws and has never knowingly violated them. Knowingly.
Jacob Bogage is a business reporter at the Washington Post who broke the news of the Postmaster General`s investigation today, and he joins me now. Jacob, what do we know about the scope of this investigation, how long it`s ongoing and where it`s at?
JACOB BOGAGE, BUSINESS REPORTER, "THE WASHINGTON POST": What we know is that these people, these current and former employees of DeJoy`s former company have been interviewed in the past about two weeks to 10 days. And that the postmaster General`s personal spokesperson confirmed to us this morning that he`d been personally contacted by the FBI.
That takes this investigation from covert, so keeping them under wraps to over just asking people in broad daylight. And then the fact that they`ve subpoenaed the Postmaster General tells us how far along they`ve gotten and what they think they had on.
HAYES: It was striking when the news broke today, we went back to look at the August reporting and that Jim Cooper exchange. I mean, these allegations weren`t hiding anywhere. They were published in the, you know, one of the top two papers in America. And apparently, nothing happened until fairly recently. Do we know the timeline?
BOGAGE: We know -- well, I mean, let`s go back a little bit further. I mean, Louis, DeJoy is appointed the Postmaster General in May of 2020. And immediately, like any journalist does, you start making calls to find out what his past business dealings have been like. Maybe they`ve been great. And literally, in the first 10 minutes of phone calls I`d have with former employees, they say this is part of (INAUDIBLE) logistics, were encouraged to attend these fundraisers to make donations to his favorite candidates, and he would make you whole for it.
So, it`s not like these allegations have been -- are new, let`s put it that way. In terms of the timeline here, we think -- we go back to August, which is when DeJoy testifies. Shortly thereafter, the story in the Washington Post that I helped report breaks in September. And the House Oversight Committee says it`s going to launch its own investigation. And talking to sources, today, that doesn`t appear to have gone very far. The FBI picking up the baton now is significant.
HAYES: Well, just to be clear on what the law is here. I mean, there are lots of places, say, white-shoe law firms in Washington D.C. that have a culture of a lot of political giving, right? That they have a lot of -- they`ll have a number of events at the law firm conference office, and it`s sort of expected that you`re giving. That`s fine. It is kind -- I mean, it may not be the ideal way to run campaign finances, but it`s fine legally.
What you absolutely cannot do like, bright, bright, bright, bright red line is reimburse a person and essentially use them as a funnel to exceed the contribution limits.
BOGAGE: Yes. It`s what`s called a straw donor scheme. And you know this, Chris, but it`s the campaign finance equivalent of asking your older brother to go to the liquor store for you to buy you a six-pack because you can`t get in. And this is a common thing that law enforcement officials look at not just in campaign finance, but in firearms. I mean, the straw donor scheme is a very basic form of investigation.
HAYES: Yes, it`s basically criminal campaign finance violation 101. Like, on the first page, if you were giving a briefing to someone on things to avoid, like getting someone else to donate and reimbursing them would probably be on the first page.
BOGAGE: Yes, that would be like you said, bright red underlined. These are legal limits of what you can and cannot donate. And also, please don`t co- opt people to donate for you. And that`s what`s being investigated here.
HAYES: And what`s striking to me just to put two and two together here is that, you know, this is a bright red line thing. And what you`re telling me is, as a reporter, you would pull up this company and they would be telling you this volunteering it in the first 10 minutes. Like, it`s -- those two things are both striking because this is -- this is like a flagrantly illegal thing if true.
BOGAGE: Yes, it was striking to me back then, as well. And you know, Jim Cooper asked that question in the August hearing it. This was something that I`d been reporting on my colleagues had been reporting for months before that on end to try to nail that down. And so, you know, that`s why we were so enthusiastic about being able to do our job and do the work that this beat requires and to take it a step further today and on earth that the FBI has been looking into it as well.
HAYES: All right, Jacob Bogage, great reporting. Great reporting then, great reporting now, it`s a moving story, we`ll have you back to update us. Thanks a lot.
BOGAGE: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: All right, next, new investigation into Congressman Matt Gaetz on whether he obstructed justice -- gosh, the FBI is busy aren`t they -- when he spoke to a witness connected to his sex trafficking investigation. That -- the details on that after this.
HAYES: It`s been a little while since we heard about the federal probe and two Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida. And last we left him just a few weeks ago, Gaetz`s associate, remember, him former Florida tax official named Joel Greenberg, a picture there with Matt Gaetz with Roger Stone, pleaded guilty to six charges including sex trafficking of a minor, greed to fully cooperate with federal investigators.
Now, that`s bad news for Congressman Gaetz, who himself is under investigation for apparently, among other things, sex trafficking that same minor. Investigators are looking into whether he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old and paid for her to travel with him.
Gaetz has not been charged with any crimes. He`s repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. But now he`s facing apparently a new problem. Politico reporting that federal prosecutors are examining whether he obstructed justice during a phone call with a witness in that sex crimes investigation.
Arianna Berg served as a federal prosecutor in both the Southern District New York and the Northern District of California and she joins me now. I`m always curious about how kind of the crime and the cover of relate to each other in terms of obstruction investigations, right. So, there`s some underlying misconduct that might be criminal. And then there`s some conduct after the fact to obscure it. How to prosecutors treat those in this kind of investigation?
ARIANNA BERG, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Hi, Chris. Thanks so much for having me on tonight. As you mentioned in your lead-in, the reporting is that Representative Gaetz is being looked into for obstruction of justice. Now, oftentimes, we think of crimes like substantive crimes, child sex trafficking, for example, man act prostitution cases. Those are the sorts of substantive crimes that we typically think of when we think of criminal cases. But obstruction of justice charges are equally important.
It`s important to know that those can be charged as a stand-alone crime. Meaning, that even if investigators in this case, do not develop enough information to charge Representative Gaetz with the sex crimes that they`re reportedly looking into, they still could charge him with obstruction of justice. And those charges are incredibly serious.
Under the sentencing guidelines, which are the guidelines that federal judges look to for guidance and how to sentence crimes, obstruction of justice faces a minimum guidelines range of 15 to 21 months in jail. So, they really are quite serious, if proven true.
HAYES: Yes, the pattern you just identified there were the sort of precedent right, which is -- was what we saw largely in the Roger Stone prosecution, right. Stone was -- it wasn`t obstruction, but it was -- it was perjury, right? That he was -- he perjured himself under oath, that he also lied to Congress. And Stone was convicted unanimously by jury of his peers. He then was, you know, sentenced, and then he was pardoned by the President. So, there`s some -- there`s some precedent here.
I want to just read the -- what investigators apparently are zeroing in on and get your reaction to it, which is this. The obstruction inquiry stems from a phone call, a witness, some witness who has been talking to federal prosecutors had with Gaetz`s ex-girlfriend. At some point during the conversation, the ex-girlfriend patch Gaetz into the call, sources said.
While it`s unknown exactly what was said, the discussion on that call is central to whether prosecutors can charge Gaetz with obstructing justice which makes it illegal -- which makes it illegal suggest to witness in a criminal case lie or give misleading testimony.
So, I mean, generally as a lawyer, right, you`re advising someone in that situation not to be talking to anyone, any witnesses whatsoever, right?
BERG: Yes, that`s exactly right. If I were Representative Gaetz`s counsel, I would absolutely tell him to shut up at this point. He really should stop talking because as we can see, he`s exposing himself potentially to more criminal exposure. And what`s important to know here is that obstruction of justice to me as a prosecutor, if someone is working so hard to essentially do witness intimidation, which is what the reporting is sort of alluding to here, trying to influence a potential witness to alter what they otherwise would testify to in court or speak when they`re speaking with criminal investigators, then that shows me that there`s some consciousness of guilt here.
What is he working so hard to cover-up? And so, in fact, while it may be a standalone charge of obstruction of justice, it might end up bolstering any evidence that the prosecutors have of any substantive crime like sex trafficking.
HAYES: That`s a great, great point. Arianna Berg, thank you so much for that.
BERG: Thank you.
HAYES: Last night, during my conversation with CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, I pressed her on the lack of concrete actions the U.S. was taken to vaccinate the world. Tonight, a very hopeful update on that front. Don`t go anywhere. It`s next.
HAYES: The seven-day average of U.S. COVID deaths is now at the lowest level since March 29 of last year. 600,000 Americans have died since the pandemic began and the virus continues to produce misery and death day after day around the world. Here`s an example. Last month, 31 percent of COVID deaths worldwide came from Latin America and the Caribbean, even though it only has 8.4 percent of the world`s population.
India alone lost almost 120,000 people to the virus just in May. That is the deadliest month -- deadliest month any nation has seen since the start of the pandemic. And all that happened while we have incredibly safe and effective vaccines.
We have both the ability and the responsibility to do everything we can to vaccinate the world. As of three weeks ago, the total number of vaccines shipped abroad from the U.S. was abysmally low compared to other countries, only about three million doses. You see that export, the yellow, see how you can`t see the bar there. Yes, that`s us.
Then, just over two weeks ago, the Biden administration and now it was going to donate 80 million vaccine doses to other countries to fight the virus. Great. You would think the number of doses sent out would have increased quite a bit since that announcement from three million right after the announcement.
But as of today, the number is just over four million. And that`s not just vaccines donated, it is total vaccines that have been allowed to leave this country even in commercial transactions. It`s nothing essentially. So, last night, I pressed the CDC Director Rochelle Walensky on what on earth the holdup was. Why are we dragging our feet while people die?
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ROCHELLE WALENSKY, DIRECTOR, CDC: We have a commitment and a plan to share 80 million doses of COVID vaccine by the end of June and we`re working through the logistics of that plan.
HAYES: I`ve been hearing 80 million doses, I`ve been hearing we`re looking through logistical issues. Weeks and weeks have gone by and we haven`t shipped doses.
WALENSKY: Yes, I want to be very clear to say that we have been -- first of all, here in the United States to this day, we have suffered the most deaths of anywhere in the world. We needed to put on our own oxygen masks before we were able to help others, and now we are actively doing that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: So, today, some very good news, an announcement of actual doses shipping out the door. 25 million doses will be shipped by the United States and the Biden ministration. About 19 million of those are going to go to COVAX which is this kind of global cooperative that`s focused on collecting and distributing vaccines to developing nations.
Again, very welcome news, but just the first step, right? The 80 million doses the Biden administration says will be shipped out by the end of this month should be the floor, not the ceiling. We have the rarest of opportunities to build a kind of arsenal of immunity around the world that can save lives. It can improve our relationships with other nations, help get the global economy back humming again. There is no excuse not to do it and the clock is ticking.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The U.S. in the meantime is going ahead with its plan to put armed guards on certain airline flights and the Senate committee heard some testimony about this today.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People that we`re going to put aboard the airplanes are mature, rational, well-qualified, and are not about to start anything or make any overt act that would add risk to the situation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: You know, there was a time in this country`s history known as the golden age of hijacking. Between 1961 when the first U.S. flight was hijacked and 1972, nearly 160 commercial flights were commandeered. For the end of that run, those hijackings were happening as often as once a week. There was no longer just planes in U.S. airspace. Hijackings were taking control of American air carriers anywhere in the world. It became a viral contagion, a full-blown epidemic.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were about 45 minutes out of Zurich when a different voice-over the loudspeaker announced this is your new captain, we are going to a friendly country. He did not identify the name of the friendly country and we did not know until after we had landed.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was pretty frightening. I saw the fellow up at the cockpit before he put on his stocking over his head. And I was hoping I wasn`t seeing correctly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: So, people would watch television news reports about those hijackings like the one you just saw, and they would see how it generated attention how it created the spectacle, and they would think, maybe I can hijack plane too. And they did. They did it for money, they did it for escape, they did it to bring attention to a cause. They did for all kinds of reasons. But eventually, tighter security measures were put in place. Hijacking became much rarer.
Then, of course, 9/11 happened. Security got even tighter, much, much, much tighter. All this is detailed in an amazing book by Brendon Koerner called The Skies Belong to Us. I really recommend you check it out. And I was reminded of that book and the epidemic of hijackings because it seems like now we`re on the cusp of an epidemic of ransomware attacks. Hackers shutting down a company`s operating systems and then demanding huge amounts of money just to restore access.
Last year, the FBI received reports of nearly 2500 ransomware cases up 66 percent since 2019. And get this. Victims paid out at least $350 million to make the attack stop. In November, a ransomware attack shut down Baltimore County Public Schools for three days. Last month, of course, a cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline which supplies nearly half the fuel on the East Coast, forced that company has shut down the pipeline for nearly a week causing gas shortages in parts of the country. And here`s how they got access back. They paid $4.4 million reportedly in Bitcoin to the hackers. Now, this week, an attack on the world`s largest meat processor, temporarily shutting down nine beef plants here in the U.S.
Ken Dilanian is an NBC News Correspondent covering national security and intelligence. His latest report is titled "They are hair on fire. The Biden Administration mulls cyberattacks against Russian hackers, and he joins me now on the phone.
Ken, I guess the first question here is, is this perception on my part or is this becoming more routine more common?
KEN DILANIAN, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: No, Chris, you`re absolutely right. The stats back you up and the officials that I`ve been talking to confirm that these ransomware attacks have become not only more frequent but obviously more serious and impactful. And the groups, the criminal groups behind them which are generally coming from Russia or Eastern Europe and are operating under the sanctuary of hostile governments are becoming more emboldened, greater in number, better funded. Because every time a company like colonial pipeline pays a $4.5 million ransom, that`s just, you know, adds to the resources that these groups have to continue these sorts of attacks.
And what our new reporting tonight is saying essentially is that after years of the federal government treating this as kind of a criminal nuisance, because these are not nation-states doing this, these are criminals, the Biden administration is really moving into a mode of treating it like a national security threat that it is. And these two latest attacks really sharpen the focus on that because they disrupted, you know, supplies of gasoline and potentially supplies of meat.
And so, what that means treating it like a national security threat is that it`s no longer just about the FBI trying to figure out who did it and maybe indicting some people in Russia who will never see the inside of the American courtroom. It`s about all the tools of the national security state going after this problem. And that means intelligence agencies collecting on these criminals. And it potentially means us Cyber Command, America`s military cyber warriors, you know, taking action in cyberspace to disrupt these people.
Now, obviously, that comes with complications because they`re inside of a sovereign state, Russia, which can retaliate which will not take kindly to any American cyber action. So, before any of that happens, you know, Joe Biden is going to meet with Vladimir Putin. He`s going to put them on notice that Russia needs to stop harboring these criminals. But nobody I talked to expects Vladimir Putin to pay much heed to that.
And so, we`re coming to a point where the Biden administration is going to have to make some hard decisions about what exactly they`re willing to do to stop these attacks.
HAYES: Yes, we -- just to read that the lead of your piece, again, the Biden administration moving to treat ransomware attacks as a national security threat, using intelligence agencies to spy on foreign criminals contemplating offensive cyber operations against hackers inside Russia. We have this memo out today, from Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco to federal prosecutors, right, regarding a new approach. We must enhance and centralize our internal tracking of investigations and prosecutions of ransomware groups and the infrastructure networks that allow the threat to persist.
Here`s my question. Ransom is a classic collective action problem, right? So, if a loved one of yours were kidnapped, I speaking for myself and I think anyone, would do anything possible to get them back. And if that meant paying a lot of money, I would do it. And that -- the problem with that is that the individual incentive there to pay the ransom. But if everyone does that you incentivize further kidnappings, which was why the U.S. government will have a policy that doesn`t pay ransom, right, for Americans kidnapped abroad.
It seems like there`s a little collective action problem here, right? Like, I understand why Colonial Pipeline ponied up the money, but that`s just really kind of like inviting the next one.
DILANIAN: 100 percent.
I mean, that is absolutely the problem. If nobody paid the ransom, these attacks would go away because they wouldn`t be profitable. But everyone, almost everyone, that -- who has no choice, who can`t get their data back any other way is going to pay. And, you know, the Colonial CEO is out talking publicly now about why he made that decision. And he said, it wasn`t an obligation only to his company, but to the American public to get those gasoline supplies flowing.
And you didn`t hear a strong protest from government officials about that because they were starting to get frantic about gas prices going up and, you know, lines at the pump. And so, the solution to this, you really doesn`t lie in individual companies and whether they pay the ransom. It doesn`t even really lie in, you know, beefing up cyber defenses, although that`s part of it, because a lot of the companies that fall victim to this tend to have poor cybersecurity in the end.
But even if everybody had perfect cybersecurity, hackers given enough time and enough money, will always get through. And so, that`s why, you know, the U.S. government has to take this on as a global problem and bring all the resources to bear against it.
HAYES: Ken Dilanian, thanks so much. I want to also bring in Nicole Perlroth, Cybersecurity Reporter for The New York Times, author of the book This Is How They Tell Me The World Ends: The Cyber Weapons Arms Race. She joins me now.
Quickly on the -- on the currency here. I mean, cryptocurrency is being used for this. There`s always a sort of joke about it`s like a currency in search of a use case. This seems to be a use case, which seems like kind of problematic, I guess. I don`t have strong opinions either way, but it seems like it.
NICOLE PERLROTH, CYBERSECURITY REPORTER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Yes, cryptocurrencies have really fueled ransomware attacks. There`s no question about it. 10 years ago, when I was covering ransomware attacks, they were charging people $200 and they would tell them to go buy a prepaid debit card and hand over the pin to it.
Now, we`re seeing them use Bitcoin and Monero, which is a more anonymous cryptocurrency. And so, one of the things being discussed right now is why don`t government enforce Know That Customer Rules on the cryptocurrency exchanges. And I think unless we get this problem under control, ransomware will end up being the Achilles heel for cryptocurrency.
HAYES: That`s such a good point. Yes, I mean, you couldn`t make a normal bank transfer to this kind of thing. So someone is going to crack down on this as this keeps going. Nicole Perlroth, thank you so much for joining us tonight. I really appreciate it.
That is ALL IN on this Thursday night. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris.