Democratic primary for mayor of New York City was thrown into a state of confusion when election officials find a discrepancy in the vote tally. A Manhattan grand jury has filed criminal indictments against the Trump Organization and longtime Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg. Bill Cosby is released from prison after his case is overturned. For the second day this week, climate activists protested outside the White House demanding the Biden administration step up its response to the climate crisis.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: All right, well, David Fahrenthold, the best reporter on this issue, thank you very much for being here. That`s tonight`s REIDOUT. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.
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CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice over): Tonight on ALL IN.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): We will be judged by future generations as to how we value our democracy.
HAYES: As Republicans keep trying to find non-existent evidence for a stolen election, how about debacle in New York and a fraud in North Carolina disproves their whole point? Tonight, Congressman Jim Clyburn on the need for federal protections of American democracy. Then --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think everyone in this country has been looking for accountability, whether it`s on a federal or state level, and I`m very happy that there`s finally accountability and justice.
HAYES: News that criminal charges against Trump`s business, and his main money man could be coming tomorrow.
Plus, how exactly is Bill Cosby home free tonight after a state Supreme Court vacated his sexual assault conviction?
And lastly, why it`s so pointless to compromise the Republicans over doing something about climate change, when ALL IN the starts right now.
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HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. I just want to say right as we came on air, we`re getting some breaking news from the Washington Post. The Washington Post now reporting that a New York grand jury has indeed as was expected returned indictments of both Allen Weisselberg, the CFO of the Trump Org and the Trump Org itself. We`re getting more on that. We`re going to talk to folks about that just ahead as we check that out.
Now, for months and months, a lot of our fellow Americans, millions and millions of them, have been inundated with ceaseless, destructive, toxic propaganda from Donald Trump. Chief among them, about election fraud and election conspiracies and miscounting, and it is led to the enterprises that we`ve seen across the country, most notably the preposterous audit that`s going on in Arizona.
All of that propaganda has had the intended effect on its target populace. 86 percent of Republicans say vote by mail increases voter fraud. 79 percent are not confident in the national vote count. Perhaps most alarming is a number at the bottom, the 46 percent of Republicans who think state legislature should override their state`s popular vote.
Well, today we have an actual example in the news of a colossal election administration screw up in the bluest of blue areas, in the Democratic primary, in the very Democratic City of New York City involved in the mayoral race. At first, you should know, the board of elections in New York City which oversees elections there is one of the most notoriously incompetent election administration units in the country.
In 2013, the city`s department of investigation released a 72-page report on the board of elections detailing and competence and misconduct. Then in 2016, in the midst of the Democratic presidential primary between Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders, a member of the board mistakenly removed 100,000 voters from the Brooklyn voter rolls.
And just last fall, The New York Times did a piece on the board`s long- standing incompetence and highlighted how it`s made up a bunch of cronies essentially. "The official who overseas voter registration New York City is the 80-year-old mother of a former Congressman. The director of Election Day operations is a close friend of Manhattan`s republican Chairwoman. The head of ballot management is the son of a former Brooklyn Democratic district leader. And the administrative manager is the wife of a city council member."
So, that`s a snapshot of what you need to know about the New York City Board of Elections. Now, on June 22, just over a week ago, New York City had a mayoral primary. You probably heard something about it. They use this new tool called rank choice voting for the first time. It basically means that each voter ranks their top five choices.
Now, it`s not nuclear physics, but it can be fairly complex. Shortly after the polls closed last week, candidate Eric Adams, Brooklyn borough president, former NYPD officer, he`s been on the show, was shown to have a significant lead after counting the first-place votes cast in person that night, right?
Now, then yesterday, the city`s Board of Elections released results showing that another candidate named Katherine Garcia had almost all the close the gap on Adams once that everyone`s full preferences, remember their rank one through five, had been tabulated.
Everyone thought oh, well, that`s interesting, very close race, we`ll see what happens. We still got to count absentees. A few hours after releasing those preliminary results, the board of elections in New York City sent out this very weird tweet. I`ll quote it here. "We are aware there`s a discrepancy in the unofficial rank choice voting round by round elimination report. We are working with our rank choice voting technical staff to identify where the discrepancy occurred. We asked the public elected officials and candidates to have patience."
HAYES: OK, that`s a weird tweet. I don`t even understand it, and I sort of do this for a living. And then around 10:30 last night, the board came out and admitted that whoops, 135,000 dummy test votes had been left in a computer system that they use to test the vote tabulation. They never got cleared out. And then they tabulate it all together, and we`re still there. Our bad.
Today, the board announced the new results with the non-fake votes in there, which are very similar, though they still need to count absentee ballots, all right. Adams and Garcia received exactly the same share of the vote right down the decimal point on the rank choice voting results with 135,000 test ballots and without the 135,000 test ballots. Both counts had Adams, 51.1 percent and Garcia at 48.9 percent.
Now, obviously, the whole roller coaster ride here is wholly inexcusable. I mean, this is the kind of thing that damages people`s trust in elections at a time when we cannot afford that. Everyone on the board should be fired, I think, for this. It`s that bad. I mean, they should have been fired long ago. But it`s the kind of screw-up that haunts the imagination of the conspiracy theories and the people that are sniffing around with UV lights looking at ballots in Arizona.
But there is kind of a weird silver lining because it didn`t hide anywhere this error. It was discovered in a matter of minutes by people on Twitter and then hours. And that`s because any systematic election irregularities, whether incompetence or fraud will out themselves. I really believe this. I mean, you can`t pull it off at scale without getting caught. That`s one of the big lessons here.
And it`s not just for the New York City board of elections, which displayed one of the most astoundingly incompetent displays of vote counting we`ve seen recently, but also the only actual concrete tangible example of systematic voter fraud being undertaken by a campaign en mass that tipped the scales of an election, whichever one has memory-hold but was all the way back in 2018 in North Carolina.
It started out with far-right Republican candidate Mark Harris appearing to defeat Democrat Dan McCready in initial tallies by less than 1000 votes out of more than 280,000 cast. And people started looking at the results and they just didn`t make sense, especially when it came to mail-in ballots.
In every other county, mail and absentee ballots favor McCready the Democrat, by at least 16 points. In Bladen County, Harris the Republican, won by 24 points. Wait a second. So, in all but one of the districts counties, McCready the Democrats won mail-in ballots handily, but in one county, Bladen County, lost by a whopping 24 points. That`s weird.
Well, it turns out that`s because Harris worked with a guy named McCrae Dowless, a longtime fixture of Bladen County politics, who it turned out, paid folks to go door to door to collect unfinished absentee ballots, bring them to him so he could fill them out.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE:(INAUDIBLE) to tell people about certain candidates?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This bottom (INAUDIBLE) and Harris (INAUDIBLE). That`s who he was working.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) says she never discarded ballots or saw who people were voting for. But after picking them up, she did mail them. She gave them to McCrae Dowless.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did all the people that voted, did their votes count?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All I can say is, I don`t know what happened after I brought them up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, you don`t know of certainty whether they were sent to the elections officers.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, no, no. No, I don`t. I don`t know. I don`t know what they do (INAUDIBLE).
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HAYES: Eventually, Dowless and several others were arrested on charges of conspiracy and illegal ballot handling. And the reason was that the statistical fingerprint of their misdeeds was right there in the open. And what I want to try to convince you of and you may not need much convincing, but this is partly why the nonsense about voter fraud, not just from the Donald Trumps of the world that the election was stolen, but the Mitch McConnells of we need voter integrity, is that voter fraud on any scale big enough to matter will be big enough to be caught, that that`s a logical certainty.
Big enough to matter means it will be big enough to get caught. Those are the basic things you have to understand about election administration. And it is why the paranoid uncertainty the Republicans have been whipping up since all the way back in the days of ACORN stole the election for Obama, Which john McCain flirted with, and push for voter ID, that they`re all solutions in search of a problem.
Republicans are trying to create the image of some vast crime operating just outside of our view. But here`s the thing. We see and know what fraud or an electoral screw-up look like when they actually happen. The election fraud carried out Republicans in North Carolina was a big smoking fire that was caught. The Major electoral screw-up in New York City was caught.
Guess what? They were all in our view. Even though there are some ways in which the patchwork of election laws in this country under federalism helps. There are lots of, for instance, local officials who stepped up to the plate in 2020 when our election was tested by a president who wanted to steal it. Those officials at local level withstood the pressure. Some did. But ultimately, we do need some national standards, a basic standard of transparency and competence and election access, basic things people expect about when they cast their votes, when those votes are counted. A national standard set of them like those proposed in the huge voting rights legislation that Democrats are trying to pass called the For the People Act.
Those items, those standards are so necessary and crucial to a better version of the American democratic project. It is why Republicans who are so intent on casting aspersion on the integrity of elections and pursuing audits like in Arizona. When there is fraud, or then there`s electoral counting screw up, it`s caught pretty quick. New York Board of Elections caught it in a matter of hours. The Arizona audit has been going on for 68 days. What are they doing? They would have known by now if something was amiss.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to the basic core means by which we elect our leaders that we have trust in it competence, integrity, transparency, and crucially, participation. And it`s precisely the fight that Republicans are so dead set against. It`s why it`s so central to what this moment is for the Democratic Party and for our democracy as a whole.
Congressman James Clyburn, a Democrat from South Carolina is the House Majority Whip. He`s argued the Senate needs to get rid of the filibuster to pass the sweeping voting rights bill, the For the People Act. And he joins me now.
Where are things to your mind on the core question before Congress about national democratic access and democratic standards?
REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D-SC): Well, thank you very much for having me, Chris. I think we`re at a crossroads on that. I`ve been arguing now for some time that our democracy is at peril. All you got to do is look at the vote today, only two Republicans voted, you know, to get to the bottom of what happened on January 6 and why it happened. Only two Republicans, that`s just cannot be. We need to know why there was an insurrection on January 6. Who was behind it? Who financed it? Exactly what it was all about?
But that`s why we were parallel because that`s a bipartisan issue. There`s nothing partisan about trying to find out who is trying to overthrow our government, who is trying to overturn elections. These things are very, very important to find out if we are going to do what is necessary to preserve the integrity of this great democracy.
I`ve been wanting for a long time we need to look to history. And no matter how things may look, we have a democracy that has really been tested in a way that has never been tested before.
HAYES: You noted the roll call vote today. This was to impanel the select committee to investigate. It did pass 220 to 290. But you noted that only two republicans, it was Adam Kinzinger and Congresswoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming to vote in favor.
What does it say to you that it seems every one of these votes to come up, there are fewer and fewer Republicans willing to cross party lines? I mean, when you look back to like a majority of Republicans voted in the House not to seat the electors to overturn the election, but a sizable chunk did not. Then you go to the impeachment and you had about, you know, double digits of Republicans, I think if I`m recalling correctly, willing to impeach the president. Now, we`re down to just a committee and we`re down to two Republicans. It seems the further we get away from it, the worst those vote tallies get on their side.
CLYBURN: Well, often, the further you get away from any issue, it lessens the impact. If you remember the day after the insurrection, you remember what Kevin McCarthy said on the floor? You remember what Mitch McConnell said? These people were ready to lay the blame at where they thought it needed to be. And that is on Donald Trump.
Then a few days later, that story is changed. And it`s changed even more today. Now, Mitch McConnell is saying we don`t need to do anything. We don`t need to find out what happened. We don`t need doing a thing about voting. The further you get away, the more happy they are to think the danger has passed.
But it has not passed. It is there in our future. And I would say to the American people, it is time for them to demand that their elected officials do the things that are necessary to preserve the integrity of this great democracy, because he is at peril.
HAYES: Final question for you is on another vote that regards insurrection and regards the monuments and statues of traders to the United States that are in the United States Capitol to this day. 120 -- 67, Republicans voted, including Kevin McCarthy, with Democrats, everyone to vote to support the removal of those statues from the Capitol. But you still have the majority of Republicans who stood against it. How do you see -- what do you -- what`s your read from that vote?
CLYBURN: Well, my read is that there`s been a flip in the country. You know, this document on the floor, and he talked about those Democrats of old who tried to preserve slavery, and second-class citizenship for people of color. Well, those Democrats reformed themselves.
Back in 1948, they started making the move to change this country. And it was those Democrats who did not want to make that move, they left the party. And guess where they went? They went to the Republican Party. Strom Thurmond was one of them. He was a Democrat in 1948. And in 1964, over the Civil Rights Act, he left the party, and many of them became Republicans.
My parents were Republicans. They got chased out of the Republican Party, and those disaffected Democrats took over the Republican Party. And that`s who`s perpetuating this thing today. The Republicans, many of whom used to be Democrats have now decided they`ve got safe haven in the Republican Party.
John C. Calhoun has got a statue here standing in South Carolina. John C. Calhoun wouldn`t fight to preserve the Confederacy. He died 10 years, more than 10 years before the Civil War broke out. John C. Calhoun is here because he fought to preserve slavery. That`s what made him a big guy in the minds of many South Carolinians.
And now, in Yale University from which he graduated, change took his name off the college up there. Clemson University that he help to found, they have decided to take his name off the Honors College. Charleston, where he`s buried, took a statue down. But yet, the state of South Carolina keeps his statue up here. And we here in the Congress were going to do what`s necessary to put that in the dustbin of history.
HAYES: James C. Calhoun, one of the -- one of the great -- Calhoun, one of the great villains of American history. Congressman James Clyburn, thank you so much for making time tonight. I appreciate it.
CLYBURN: Thank you for having me.
HAYES: All right, like I said at the top of the show, I promise you we have breaking new. Just minutes before we went into the air, The Washington Post reporting that New York grand jury has returned criminal indictments against Donald Trump`s company and its CFO Allen Weisselber. Post reporter David Fahrenthold had the scoop. He joins me with all the details next.
HAYES: Breaking News just moments ago from the Washington Post reporting that a Manhattan grand jury has filed criminal indictments against the Trump Organization and his longtime Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg. The indictments came down tonight but will remain sealed until tomorrow afternoon, leaving us to the dark about the specific charges until then, although they are expected to be focused on tax-related crimes.
The Post also reports that Allen Weisselberg is expected to surrender at the Manhattan District Attorney`s Office tomorrow morning and will be arraigned later in the day. The Trump Organization, the entity, the company itself will also be arraigned represented by a lawyer.
These are the first charges resulting from the nearly three-year investigation into Donald Trump and his businesses. Trump himself is not expected to be charged with any crimes at this time. The charges against his business will of course exacerbate his legal issues and charges against Weisselberg could increase pressure on the longtime CFO to flip on his boss.
Joining me now by phone, one of the Washington Post reporters who just broke that story, David Fahrenthold. David, what more can you tell us?
DAVID FAHRENTHOLD, REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, tomorrow, as you said, we will learn more about the evidence that the Manhattan DA has against Allen Weisselberg and the Trump Organization. We anticipate that the charges filed tomorrow -- well, two things about that. We anticipate that they will relate to taxes that should have been paid on payments, benefits to the Trump Organization. You know, this will not just be one or two, you know, missed tax payments. This may be sort of alleged as a conspiracy or something that happened over a long period of time.
We also don`t believe this to be the end of the case. I think this will be the first service of this case, but I don`t think that we`re seeing the end. In fact, we may have sort of seeing the beginning as prosecutors put their pressure on Weisselberg in the hopes that he will flip and become one of their witnesses.
HAYES: Yes, and Weisselberg, obviously, has been the key her all -- this entire time. And the question I think was, you know, we knew investigators were looking around Weisselberg. We also know that in the past, you know, investigators look to Michael Cohen. Initially, Michael Cohen had not flipped. He had been, you know -- had a search warrant served on him. He had been charged and then he ended up striking a deal for testimony in exchange for leniency. Clearly, that`s the number one fear I would imagine for Donald Trump or for people in his orbit.
FAHRENTHOLD: That`s right. I mean, Michael Cohen, as you said, he had a huge amount of other liabilities that didn`t have to do much with his work with Donald Trump. He had some related to that. He also had a whole entanglement involving taxi licenses and loans in New York City that was part of the pressure on him to flip. Michael Cohen thought he might spend more than 10 years in prison. He changed his tune and started he testified -- pleaded guilty but also testified against Trump.
We`ll see tomorrow what kind of sentence is facing Weisselberg. You know, is he talking about some kind of offense that usually just gets off at the fine or are you looking at something that could be years and years in prison. Weisselberg is in his 70s. Will he feel the pressure that Michael Cohen felt? As I said, it`s really hard to evaluate this case until you know what`s going to happen with Weisselberg. And it`s really hard to know what`s going to happen with Weisselberg until you see what he`s facing tomorrow.
HAYES: And the arraignment of the -- I mean, again, it`s sort of strange to sort of encounter the legal fiction or legal entity of the corporation and its arraignment. Obviously, the corporation cannot march into court. It highlights I think how relatively rare criminal charges are against a business enterprise or a corporation. What do we know about that channel of charts?
FAHRENTHOLD: Well, as you said, the Trump Organization will be represented in court by a lawyer who will probably enter a not guilty plea on its behalf. It`ll be interesting to me to see what specifically they charged with the entity. The Trump Organization is more than 500 different LLCs. It`s created on purpose to be sort of this opaque nest of LLCs that all own pieces of each other all reporting back up to Trump.
So, I`ll be interested to see which entity they charge. You could -- you could see cases probably not that common. When they do happen, they often end in fines for the companies that have been charged. But there`s also sort of collateral damage or there could be collateral damage if it makes banks, lenders, you know, people who have contracts with the Trump Organization who are doing business with an indicted company.
HAYES: Yes. And in some cases, there are speculation about possible sort of automatic triggers in business relationships that may be affected by a corporate indictment. David Fahrenthold who just broke that story for The Washington Post three minutes before we went to air and then came on the program, and I appreciate that. Thank you, David.
FAHRENTHOLD: Thank you.
HAYES: I want to turn now to Deanna Paul, staff writer for The Wall Street Journal who has been covering the investigation to the Trump Org. She first reported today these charges were expected. He`s also a former New York City assistant district attorney, so a lot of expertise to bring to bear.
You had a detail, if I`m not mistaken, and I may be misrecollecting this so correct me if I`m wrong, about -- I think there was a line about real estate valuations in your story as possibly amongst the charges. I wonder what you`re reporting has suggested about the sort of portfolio of charges that are possible for tomorrow.
DEANNA PAUL, STAFF WRITER, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: So, as Dave said, that is a question a lot of people are asking, and we`re not going to know what the charges are until tomorrow. What we do know at this point is that the charges are likely to involve allegations that the Trump Organization and Allen Weisselberg evaded taxes on fringe benefits.
We also know that the district attorney`s office has been looking into perks by the Trump Organization, including cars and private school tuition and apartments.
HAYES: And all of those obviously are the kinds of things that if you give someone has to be reported in both directions as income. It`s a sort of like obvious hard and fast rule. And that seems to be the issue that they were at least investigators were looking at.
PAUL: Yes, that does seem to be something that investigators were looking at. And again, tomorrow, we`ll see what the final charges are. And it`ll be a big day. It`s the first criminal charges stemming from a multi-year investigation into the former president and his company.
HAYES: So, what should we conclude about the status of this grand jury? I`ve always found this sort of investigatory grand jury an institution that I don`t feel like I have a great understanding of. We know that they`ve been impaneled for this sort of special purpose, that these are the first indictments they`re handing down. Do they keep going now? Is that generally how it works in the past?
PAUL: So, with special grand juries, they sit for a longer-term, and you can continue them or ask for them to be continued if in fact, you needed to be there for longer. At this point, we do expect that the district attorney`s office will continue to pursue the broader investigation into financial crimes by the Trump Organization and its officers.
HAYES: The Manhattan District Attorney`s Office obviously is a very high- profile place. They have a lot of high-profile cases. One has to imagine that there`s never been a higher stakes or more pressure or attention on a single case that this office has ever brought in history. It`s hard to think of an analog.
PAUL: It`s definitely a high profile, high stakes case. And it`s been going on for a very long time. And we also know that at this point, the District Attorney`s Office has been trying to get Allen Weisselberg to cooperate. He`s refused those attempts up to this point. But tomorrow might change things and a felony indictment and the possible of a prison sentence could change the game and level the playing field and perhaps make him more willing to cooperate.
HAYES: All right, Deanna Paul, a reporter at the Wall Street Journal who first broke the story earlier today about the expected indictments which have now come down tonight. Thanks so much for making some time with us tonight.
PAUL: Thank you for having me, Chris.
HAYES: I want to bring in now David Henderson. He`s a civil rights attorney and former prosecutor and Katie Phang who is an MSNBC Legal Contributor and trial attorney and both joins me now. First, just yours -- this was not unexpected, but it`s still a pretty darn big deal for a former president`s business to be charged, for the CFO to be charged. Your top line reaction, Katie.
KATIE PHANG, MSNBC LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: Happy to see these indictments because it opens the door to further co-defendants or further superseding indictments to be able to be released. And I think it`s a critical move to start with Allen Weisselberg. I also think it`s equally important that they started with obviously the Trump Organization.
As you noted, Chris, a company being indicted is rare. But a company requires humanoids to be able to operate it. And those humanoids involve people like Allen Weisselberg, Donald Trump, and some of the Trump family members. And so, it is good to know that the leaks that we`ve heard that his indictments were going to be imminent, actually came to pass.
We did not expect this to be kind of just scuttlebutt in terms of innuendo. And we`re very happy to see that charges have been brought. I`m interested to see the unsealed indictments tomorrow. We currently don`t know what the charges are. And so, I`ll be interested to see exactly what are the stakes that are now being, you know, advanced against the Trump Organization and Allen Weisselberg.
HAYES: You know, Dave, it`s be interesting to watch the development of the reporting on this story, because one thing I`ve noticed is things will be sourced synonymously, and then Trump`s lawyers will go on the record to confirm the reports. And it seems pretty clear, and again, this is not insider information, just me as an astute reader that like they`re the source of the first anonymous scoop. And I wonder what you think the defenses first like strategy here is from a sort of PR perspective.
I think they`ve done a very good job in some ways of getting all of us to expect this so that the bombshell moment in which the next -- the last President of the United States` organization is indicted feels like a thing we knew was coming.
DAVID HENDERSON, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Well, Chris, I think that`s right. And I think the defense is aware of a much bigger question here that we will not have a clue about how it will be answered until tomorrow. And in that regard, there`s a common thread that ties this case together with the case we`re going to discuss next. And that is the defense knows prosecutors are like any other trial lawyers. They don`t like to lose. They especially don`t like to lose high-profile cases, because their professional existence is largely based on being reelected most of the time.
And in that context, they would not be coming forward with these indictments if they didn`t have to move forward. And they know what the real question is. Do you have enough to get Trump? And that`s why these indictments tomorrow beg the question, do you have enough to make WeisSelberg flip because he knows where all the bodies are buried?
And they`re going to be calm about that until they know what the answer to that question is going to be. That`s what we should all be anxious to find out tomorrow.
HAYES: Katie, what happens to a corporation that`s indicted? Obviously, a person who`s indicted has to show up and there can be, you know, a question about bail or whether they`re released on their cognizance. I mean, Corporation, none of that -- none of the materiality applies. But what -- but what happens to a corporation under indictment?
PHANG: It`s kind of the same concept when you`re looking at it from a criminal or civil perspective, Chris. You basically have somebody who is the corporate representative. And so you`re going to have a lawyer and or a corporate representative who`s going to be there with a lawyer tomorrow to be able to enter a plea presumably of not guilty.
And what`s going to happen is exactly the same process. There`s going to have to be the opportunity for that plea to be entered, and then the entire criminal procedural process of the discovery and the exchange of the information and the evidence in this case, that`s going to happen just as if the Trump Organization was an individual person.
But I think what`s important too, is that we have to realize that because it`s a company that`s been indicted, the company actually is representative of the people, the employees, and the policies that were going on there. And again, like I just said a few minutes ago, the company didn`t make decisions on its own. There were people that were the not only figureheads, but the people that are actually driving the bus on a daily basis. And that`s Allen Weisselberg.
And then it`s people like Allen Weisselberg`s son, the children that are also going to be collateral damage to this. And that`s exactly the incentivization that you would need to give someone like Allen Weisselberg. It`s not to save his own hide, it`s can you save the hide of your children as well?
HAYES: What are those conversations, Dave, like with someone who is in that situation that Weisselberg appears that he will find himself in tomorrow?
HENDERSON: You know, it depends on who`s having the conversation, Chris. It`s going to be curious to see who ends up representing him. Is it a lawyer who`s connected to the Trump Organization or is there enough at this point to drive a wedge between the two and force him to get his own attorney.
But oftentimes what ends up happening in a situation like this, for successful defenses of individuals in these positions, is whether or not you can get them to level with their point of view enough to realize that it`s wise to acknowledge when they simply got you, and you`re going to do that in a way that`s going to ultimately lead to you getting the best resolution you can in court.
And that`s not an easy thing to do. We`ve seen multiple public failures of lawyers who simply couldn`t pull that off. But that`s what this conversations is.
HAYES: I want to -- since I have you here, I want to ask you about another huge piece of legal news today, and I think it took a lot of people by surprise. I will confess that I did not -- I was not waiting or anticipating this. News that the Supreme Court of the state of Pennsylvania has vacated the conviction of Bill Cosby who was convicted for sexual assault, a woman named Andrea Constand who had accused him of drugging and raping her. Cosby has maintained his innocence.
Constand, of course, is one of 60 women who have come forward to accuse Cosby of sexual assault. The issue in the majority opinion of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court today was they contended that a decision not to prosecute Cosby back in, I believe, 2004 by then-district attorney Bruce Castor in Montgomery County, in exchange, as it was understood, for civil testimony was essentially a kind of, you know, immunity that had been granted and then that civil testimony being entered into the prosecution of Cosby violated his right against self-incrimination. I think I have that right.
What do you make of that reasoning, Katie, What is your reaction to the news?
PHANG: I read this 79-page opinion, Chris. The analysis is flawed. I mean, I have respect for judges and justices, but it`s wrong and let me tell you why. The deal that was never papered, there`s no document that anybody can point to say that the deal that was reached between then-DA Bruce Castor, who footnote, was one of Donald Trump`s impeachment attorneys, by the way. Then-DA Bruce Castor allegedly entered into some type of negotiation with Andrew Constand`s lawyers and Bill Cosby`s criminal attorneys back then to be able to agree to not prosecute Bill Cosby in exchange for a civil suit to proceed against Bill Cosby. And then he could testify without fear of any type of self-incrimination.
Well, timeout. There`s no written document. And let me tell you why this is so wrong. You had trial court on two separate occasions, find that this did not violate Bill Cosby`s due process rights. And then you had an appellate court say that that was the right decision as well. And the reason why the appellate courts sometimes get it wrong, Chris, is the following. The appellate courts look at something called a cold record. They only get the benefit of a transcript. But these trial judges, they can assess the credibility of the witnesses.
Bruce Castor testified the lawyers for Andrea Constand testified. They found -- his trial court judge found that Bruce Castor`s credibility was equivocal at best. I think it was the language that was used in the opinion. But Andrew Constand`s lawyers emphatically deny that they ever negotiated this. So, if there was never an agreement to be able to do this quid pro quo of whatever it is, then how can you have a violation of Bill Cosby`s due process, right?
It`s not the right result. It`s not the right result on the law. And I think it`s not the right result in terms of public policy. I think it`s the wrong decision that was made.
HAYES: Yes The footage we`re showing, of course, Bill Cosby actually was released today. He`s home now, a free man as of -- as of now. The case that I`ve seen -- well, the argument laid out in the dissent in this case is -- goes along the lines of Katie. The picture that is painted as I can best understand is that Castor, when he`s serving as a district attorney, basically doesn`t want to charge Cosby or decides not to, but recognizes later that it was -- it kind of look bad and sort of retroactively construct a story about how that was actually done to get his participation in this civil suit.
And to Katie`s point, like how much do you think it matters that there`s no actual written record of the suppose a deal that is an issue?
HENDERSON: Chris, I agree with everything Katie said. And it`s hard to overstate how much it matters. I`m going to put it in context, but first, there`s a bigger point that needs to be made clear based on that 79-page opinion. If you take CASTOR at his word, what he`s saying is, he allowed Cosby to reach an agreement that allowed him to pay his way out of being prosecuted for sexually assaulting someone, because the deal he suggested he reached have never been reached if Cosby wasn`t rich, which should be a problem for everyone.
But let`s take in context what the Supreme Court said here, because what they`re saying is if a prosecutor makes a public statement that he won`t move forward, then that is the equivalent of a deal for immunity that bars subsequent people who hold the same office. So, let`s look at a specific case that puts this injustice in context.
Ahmaud Arbery, the young man who was murdered in Georgia essentially by slave patrol had his case swept underneath the rug by the prosecuting authority who refused to move forward. A subsequent prosecutor said that was wrong and I`m going to make this right. Under today`s ruling, that second prosecutor would not have been allowed to prosecute his killers for murder, which works in extreme injustice as we`ve seen here.
HAYES: Yes. The point here is that Castor puts out a press release which is the only, Katie, to use you term, paper here, right, the only written record. Again, we`re all talking about lawyers who paper everything. That`s what they do. And the only the only written record is this press release which I think the prosecutors and others have argued, essentially, is a representation of active prosecutorial discretion.
And to David`s point, the question is like, does that bind future offices. Is an act of prosecutorial discretion actually some ironclad deal which then cannot be, you know, taken back by future prosecutors. I guess the question, Katie, also is, was the mistake on the part of prosecutors here entering that civil testimony even if they got the trial judge to basically say it was OK?
PHANG: No, because he could have still invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. And, you know, he didn`t and he gave completely -- he claimed it was consensual contact with Andrea Constand, but he gave exculpatory statements to law enforcement already. And so, it wasn`t like he was induced. And that`s the problem here.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court says, Bill Cosby was induced and he detrimentally relied upon this press release as the reason why he testified. We don`t have any evidence of that. And I think that is where this is so wrong. All of the cases cited to by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court majority opinion says that when a prosecutor makes a plea bargain with a defendant, then it violates the due process rights of the defendant if the defendant relies upon that which is promised by the prosecutor. What was the promise here?
Just because you exercise prosecutorial discretion and you don`t prosecute Bill Cosby, doesn`t mean I`m guaranteeing you the immunity that I was saying I`m giving to you. That is not -- there`s no evidence of it. And I`m really troubled by this decision.
HAYES: David Henderson and Katie Phang joining -- thanks for joining me. I really appreciate it.
Still ahead, why South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem deploying members of the military at the behest of a GOP megadonor? That story is next.
HAYES: It has been more than five months since Inauguration Day January 20, 2021 when Joe Biden took the oath of office and sworn in as our 46th President. And since that day, starting in day one, it has been clear I think to everyone Joe Biden had one key primary job, right, to suppress the Coronavirus.
He ramped up mass vaccinations, set targets, 160 million adults fully vaccinated, 70 percent of adults with at least one shot by July 4th. We are close to those goals. Over 148 million adults are now fully vaccinated. 66.5 percent of adults have received at least one shot. But we are now in a perilous moment. The daily rate of vaccinations slow, the highly infectious Delta variant is spreading. There`s still an expectation understandably, the buck stops with the president and as the Biden administration`s job to protect people from coast to coast.
But also, governance is a collaborative enterprise, particularly in a system like ours with 50 individual states. And the response to this pandemic should be an all hands on deck situation across the board, across party lines, across ideology, especially now at this key moment with this new threatening variant and the pressing need to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible to get us over those thresholds. And yet, a huge part of the governing structure of America has basically checked out.
Instead of actually governing, doing this very important thing, a lot of Republicans are busy performing, auditioning, hoping to rise in the party ranks. Just look at what Governor`s Kristi Noem of South Dakota and Greg Abbott of Texas are up to. Governor Abbott in Texas, you`ll remember, started lifting COVID restrictions all the way back in April of 2020, the first state to do so.
Now, vaccinations in Texas are not good. They are lagging. Just 48 percent of people receiving at least one shot. That`s not good enough. That`s a bad number. It is as bad as it gets for a big state. The others like California, and New York, and Florida are way ahead. And because of their low vaccination rate, Texas is right for an outbreak as this variance spreads.
But instead of focusing on that pressing issue, Governor Abbott was busy making a stunt appearance with Donald Trump today visiting the Southern Border to tour the former President`s unfinished wall.
And there`s Kristi Noem, the South Dakota governor who clearly has her eye on the Republican presidential nomination. She has made her name in the party as the I Don`t Care About COVID Governor. Last summer in the midst of the pandemic, she held a huge Fourth of July event with Donald Trump at Mount Rushmore. She let the Sturgis motorcycle rally in August go ahead, which brought 460,000 people from all over the country, and according to a number of experts, kicked off an outbreak.
For a time, Governor Noem`s state had one of the highest case and death rates in the entire country. And just like Texas, South Dakota`s vaccination rate is still low. 50 percent are residents receiving at least one dose. Again, not good enough. It will get people killed to not get those numbers higher. But Kristi Noem is more concerned with not being left out of Donald Trump and Governor Abbott`s fun at the border. Hey guys, can I get in?
Yesterday, she announced she`s deploying National Guard troops from South Dakota to Texas at Abbott`s request, get this, funding by a private donation from a billionaire Republican donor who has donated over half a million dollars to Donald Trump in last few years. I did not even know, I will confess, it was possible or legal to privately fund the movement of American troops. But of course, this makes sense when you think about the different prisms through which governing performance is evaluated.
We all understand that Joe Biden`s job is to get the country running again, to keep people safe and healthy and get America on its feet. And Republicans understand their job is to keep feeding performative nonsense to a base with an insatiable and apparently depthless appetite for it.
HAYES: Today, for the second day this week, climate activists protested outside the White House demanding the Biden administration step up its response to the climate crisis. One of their main grievances is something I was discussing with White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: If you tell me, well, we`re going to pass a bipartisan bill, and then we`re going to also get a federal renewable portfolio standard, then passing the bipartisan bill itself is bad because it takes away the possibility of that important thing. If you`re choosing between them, that`s not good.
KATE BEDINGFIELD, WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: President Biden has been very clear that he`s going to continue to fight for his priorities. He has said, of course, he is -- he stands behind this deal that he was able to strike, which by the way, is a very -- is a popular deal.
So, there is -- there are important pieces of this deal. And I think selling it short as it feels like maybe you`re trying to do is missing some of the really important pieces that are going to make a difference in people`s lives.
HAYES: Oh, I mean, I`m just a cable news host. It`s the -- it`s the planet and how much carbon it can take in the atmosphere and the fact that we have hard targets we have to hit. Like, plans and priorities are great. I don`t -- there`s very little -- you know, there`s lots of good stuff in this deal. It`s just like, if we don`t have the targets, we don`t have the targets, and you know, we have been not hitting the targets for 30 years, so I hope that turns around.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The vast majority of the critical climate investments and regulation, the initial White House American jobs plan proposal, including hundreds of billion dollars investments from everything to electric vehicles, to green buildings, to a first of its kind national clean energy standard, which is key, they`ve been left out in the bipartisan deal.
That`s why a growing number of Democrats in the House and the Senate are saying if the bipartisan deal is the only infrastructure legislation on the table, they`re going to vote against it, unless there`s a verifiable mechanism to make sure the full package is also passed by reconciliation.
Joining me now is Waleed Shahid. He`s the spokesperson for Justice Democrats, progressive organizations who has spoken out against the bipartisan infrastructure deal. Waleed, let me -- let me take the opposite side in this since I was -- since I was pressing Bedingfield from the other direction.
So, I think the argument you would make if you were the White House is basically like, look, we need 50 votes in the Senate. We don`t have 50 votes in the Senate for the reconciliation American jobs plan that we proposed and won. So, we got to take what we can get, right?
WALEED SHAHID, SPOKESPERSON, JUSTICE DEMOCRATS: Well, I would say look at the past week. 230 Americans have died in the Pacific Northwest from the heatwaves. And I think this is the last shot this country has to deal with the climate crisis that today millions of Americans and billions of people across the globe are dealing with. And what people are saying on the Hill is that this so-called bipartisan package might not have the votes to pass with Democrats in the House and Senate.
People aren`t calling it the bipartisan plan anymore, at least progressive Democrats. They`re calling it the Romney Exxon plan, because Exxon Mobil is very happy about this plan. It was just reported today that Exxon has been secretly lobbying this group of senators who are supporting the plan, the so-called moderates on both sides. And Exxon is doing whatever they can to ensure that the infrastructure package as a whole is one -- does the least amount of possible to rein in Exxon and deal with the climate crisis. And two, make the bill unpopular.
What`s popular is Biden`s American jobs plan. What they`re doing right now is not his jobs plan. And is was really great this past few months where the Biden administration defined bipartisanship as what was popular with Republican Democrats and Independent voters, not just politicians like Mitt Romney. And I think that`s what -- you know, that`s what voters are hoping for today.
HAYES: You know, the thing that I`ve been really focused on is the clean energy standard. And it`s what Exxon is focused on, and what a lot of fossil fuel companies are focused on. The single-most sort-of transformative piece of national legislation I think in the package -- there`s a huge investments, but outside of dollars and cents, like a national clean energy standard which is to every one of the 50 states you have these targets you have to hit. Here`s the standard, go out and hit it. Without that, we can`t hit the targets.
Today, there were some promising news the White House signals that the standard push would be in budget reconciliation. I don`t know if that`s clear with the parliamentarian. How much do you think this stuff is in flux from where you`re -- the folks that you`re talking with stand?
SHAHID: I think people are following news just like you are. But the thing about the clean energy standard, it`s critical. But 30 states have already passed the clean electricity standard. It`s a common-sense proposal. That`s a moderate proposal. It`s -- we should have it. It should be included in the plan. But there should also be a plan for transportation.
And currently, the Manchin-Romney plan has reduced the investment in electric vehicles by 90 percent. It`s also reduced the amount of money going into clean up lead pipes for clean water by half. And so if you`re going to -- if you`re not going to take this opportunity to make a down payment on the single biggest crisis facing American families and families across the globe, and grow the economy, and do the popular things that you can campaigned on, I don`t know how you`re going to find the votes with Democrats in the House or the Senate for this.
HAYES: Yes, at a game theory standpoint in terms of the legislative tactics here, it just -- I think it really matters like, where they think they can find the votes. And right now, we have people, you know, climate Democrats saying we won`t vote for this. That puts -- that changes the calculation.
Waleed Shahid, thank you so much for coming on tonight.
SHAHID: Thank you.
HAYES: That is ALL IN for this evening. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.