The Supreme Court upheld two voting rules in the battleground state of Arizona, finding that the restrictions at issue in the case do not violate a key provision of the Voting Rights Act. New York Times has put together an incredible video that recreates timeline into what actually happened on January 6. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi named the members of the select committee that will investigate the January 6 insurrection, seven Democrats and one Republican. The Trump Organization and CFO Allen Weisselberg are charged with fraud and tax crimes.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: -- in the best interest of South Dakotans, and it`s totally political theater. So, Kristi Noem, for offering up South Dakota`s National Guard as mercenaries for a wealthy donor to stoke nativist fears and curry favor for your own political aspirations, you, my dear, are tonight`s absolute worst.
And that tonight`s REIDOUT. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight, on ALL IN.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Without access to the ballot box people are not in a position to protect any other rights that are important to them.
HAYES: The Roberts Court rolls back even more of the Voting Rights Act, making it harder to vote and easier to buy an election. Then --
REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): I`m honored to be on this committee. We have an obligation to have a thorough, sober investigation of what happened leading up to January 6.
HAYES: We now know who will investigate the insurrection as a new documentary reveals just how much we still don`t know. One of the Select Committee Members, Congressman Jamie Raskin joins me tonight.
Plus, the 15-count criminal indictment against Trump`s business and its chief financial officer laying out a years` long tax fraud.
And as climate change gets cut from the bipartisan infrastructure bill, and Exxon lobbyists reveals just who he`s talking to.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Joe Manchin. I talked to his office every week. He is the kingmaker. And he`s not shy about sort of staking his claim early (INAUDIBLE)
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
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HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. It has been a very, very news day on this July 1. Lots of moving pieces. Today, though, has shown above all else, I think the big takeaway from today, what unifies the American, right, the Republican Party and conservative movement in this moment, and why it is so dangerous.
Although we should start with one of the big headlines today which is actually about disunity among Republicans of which of course there is also plenty. Congresswoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming, you know, conservative royalty, super conservative by every voting metric, has one faults in the eyes of her fellow conservatives and Republicans that she just states the obvious truth that Donald Trump lost the election, he lied about it, lied about losing it, and whipped up a violent insurrection and attack on American democracy that came very, very close to utter catastrophe.
And because Congresswoman Cheney is not willing to lie about those simple facts, just those, a lie that has become the party line, she was run out of congressional leadership at the instructions of Donald Trump.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, you may remember, called the White House on January 6, begging Trump to call off his thugs, only to be told according to multiple reports, "Well, Kevin, I guess they love their country more than you do." It`s a good thing the mob didn`t find him and beat him to death. But now that Congresswoman Cheney has dared to accept a spot on the Democratic-led special committee investigating what happened on that day, McCarthy, as Trump`s stooge, is threatening her other committee assignments, which of course -- while of course, claiming he is not,
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REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): I`m not making any threats, but as you know how Congress works, if a person is Republican, they get to their committee assignments from the Republican conference. For somebody to accept committee assignments from Speaker Pelosi, that`s unprecedented.
I was shocked that she would accept something from Speaker Pelosi. It would seem to me since I didn`t hear from her, maybe she`s closer to her than us. I don`t know.
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HAYES: Now, the idea of Liz Cheney is closer to Speaker Pelosi than Kevin McCarthy or Democrats and Republicans is ridiculous. And it`s especially ridiculous on the one thing that Republicans care more about than anything, which is the law of democracy, voter suppression, who gets to vote and how, because there is full and total unanimity among Republicans on that issue across all factions.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don`t see any linkage between Donald Trump saying the election is stolen and then Republicans in all these state legislatures rushing to put in place these restrictive voter laws?
CHENEY: Well, I think you have to look at the specifics of each one of those efforts. I think everybody should want a situation and a system where people who ought to be able to vote and have the right to vote can vote, and people who you know, don`t shouldn`t. And again, I come back to things like what voter ID.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But what problem are they solving for? Like, there`s -- look at all these states doing.
CHENEY: Well, look, I mean -- no, I think -- well, each state is different.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: What problem are they solving for? And then blah, blah, blah from Liz Cheney, right? We saw that same unshakable unity across the totality of the caucus just last week, remember, when every single last Republican senator Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, the most conservative, they all lined up to say no, we don`t need federal oversights of elections, and they filibustered the For the People Act, the voting rights legislation.
Today, we saw it from the Supreme Court, the other branch of our government the conservative movement has taken over. Well, the court made a bunch of surprising and interesting decisions throughout this term. Today, they reverted to party lines. All six conservative Republican-appointed justices uniting to uphold voting restrictions in Arizona that would disproportionately affect voters of color.
And that`s because making it harder for people to vote, particularly people of color and young people is the thing that the conservative movement is animated right now. It is what they are radicalizing on. Today, the conservatives use their majority in the Supreme Court to further weaken the Voting Rights Act, the single piece of legislation in this country`s history that functionally turned American democracy after the 15th amendment was essentially gutted by Southern white terrorism.
In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law. It prohibited state and local governments from denying citizens the right to vote based on their race. Of course, the 15th amendment already done that, but it erected entire structure to ensure that right was preserved. And the law was incredibly effective and politically popular. In fact, it was reauthorized multiple times, most recently in 2006 by an overwhelming bipartisan vote in the House and a unanimous vote in the Senate.
Senator Mitch McConnell, then the majority whip, not only got every Republican to vote for it, he then took to the floor and spoke in favor of it.
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SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): Members of Congress realize that this is a piece of legislation that has worked. And one of my favorite sayings that many of us use from time to time is that if it isn`t broke, don`t fix it. And this is a good piece of legislation that is served an important purpose over many, many years.
This landmark piece of legislation will continue to make a difference not only in the south, but for all of America and for all of us whether we`re African Americans or not.
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HAYES: So, how could you not reauthorize the Voting Rights Act? If it isn`t broken, don`t fix it? It`s worked for everyone, right? I mean, the Voting Rights Act. It`s what made American democracy as we know it, American democracy, it overcame totalitarian apartheid rule in the south. It`s part of our national civic canon, the heroes of the Civil Rights Movement who fought and died for it.
They are celebrated to this day. They shed their own blood to make America a true democracy for all. People like Lamar Smith who organized black Mississippians devote and then was shot dead by a white man in broad daylight on the courthouse lawn in 1955. And people like Medgar Evers, the NAACP is first field Secretary in Mississippi who was shot and killed, murdered in his own home in 1963. And people like John Lewis who led a group marching across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama in 1965, and was brutally beaten with inches of his life by state troopers.
I mean, you can`t be against the Voting Rights Act. What, you`re going to be on the side of the state troopers? You`re going to be on the side of those with dogs and fire hoses? You can`t be against the voting rights act without desecrated the martyrs who fought and died for it and the religion that built up around it unless, unless you`re John Roberts, the conservative on elected Chief Justice Supreme Court. He doesn`t have to have any voters vote for him, right, lifetime appointment.
Well, in 2013, Roberts and the conservative majority invented a new constitutional principle to gut a key section of the Voting Rights Act known as preclearance, requiring areas that historically had discriminatory voting practice -- discriminatory voting practices to receive approval before changing any voting rules.
Now, Roberts could do that without any political consequences. And in fact, he came up -- came up with this torture ruling the formula Congress came up with to figure out who got preclearance was indefensible. It offended the sovereign dignity of states. And he gave his fellow conservatives plausible deniability because he then said, well, Congress, you fix it. I mean, yeah, well, it`s still good. Congress, fix it.
But he knew what he was doing. You`re smart people. He knew Republicans in Congress would not do anything to revive the law. He just dumped the body on their doorstep and said -- and what do we see predictively, a wave of voter suppression state after state that otherwise would have been stopped crucially. It would have had to go through preclearance if Roberts and the conservative and the court hadn`t gutted it.
And that was the first wave. Now, it`s gotten worse. We`ve seen it exacerbated and turbocharged in the wake of Donald Trump`s assault on American democracy, the big lie, the attempt to overturn election, the first interruption of a peaceful transfer of power in hundreds of years, in Republican-controlled states across the country passing restrictive voting laws, on the fictitious predicate of widespread fraud. Solutions in search of a problem as Jonathan Swan put it in that interview with Liz Cheney.
And then came this challenge to Arizona`s law on the Supreme Court. The law requires election officials to throw away ballots cast at the wrong precinct. Let`s say you got two voting areas near you, two places to vote. You go to the wrong one, you vote there. That gets thrown out. It also makes it a crime for anyone except family members, caregivers, and election officials to collect and deliver ballots to polling places.
Now, we know those provisions have a disparate impact across racial lines. They ran the numbers. They found that tossing ballots cast to the wrong precinct has the effect of disproportionately undercounting minority votes by a factor of two to one. Allowing someone else to drop off a ballot is particularly important for indigenous communities in Arizona.
But today, the Supreme Court`s conservative majority said all that stuff is fine. And I could give you the legal reasoning, but here`s the real reasoning. It`s because they in all other parts of the right are working in tandem against America`s multiracial democracy.
Now, Donald Trump`s version of that is more vulgar, cringe-inducing, whipping up a mob to go beat up cops and chant, hang Mike Pence and storm the Capitol, and go marauding through the building trying to find legislators that they could beat to death maybe. Now, the polite way to do it, the way to do it if your credentialed, if you`re a former Supreme Court clerk, or you`re Mitch McConnell, and you meet with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the polite way to do it is to use the official channels to cultivate elite lawyers at the federal society who gets to become judges and then become justices, and they get nice op-eds written about them about all the people they worked with about how collegial they are.
And then you bring those lawsuits and those justices chip away at it. Just a snip here, cut there, death by 1000 blows, until they have functionally done away with the single most important law in the history of America multiracial democracy. I mean, we did this once before, the 15th amendment, and it got killed. The only reason the Voting Rights Act was necessary is because a successful effort to gut the 15th amendment. And now we`re watching them gut the Voting Rights Act. It`s not the first time, people.
And that`s because multiracial democracy is the thing Conservatives are mobilizing and radicalizing against across every single faction of the party. Sherrilyn Ifill is the President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. She also serves on President Biden`s Commission on the Supreme Court. And she joins me now.
Sherrilyn, I think people expected a bad ruling today. I think they expected something like what we saw in the Brnovich case at Arizona voting law. Just first year sort of reaction to the actual holding here by the court.
SHERRILYN IFILL, PRESIDENT AND DIRECTOR COUNSEL, NAACP LEGAL DEFENSE FUND: Well, I would be lying if I said I was surprised by the outcome. I will say however, I was surprised by the audacity of the opinion. I think Justice Kagan got it right when she said that the court, the majority rewrote a statute that has been a monument to American greatness.
You know, I was listening to your opening, Chris. You really cannot begin to even talk about this country as a true democracy until 1965. True democracies do not keep citizens, eligible citizens from participating in the political process because of their race. And so, until the Voting Rights Act is passed in 1965, we`re not even really a true democracy. So, that makes us really 56 years old as a democracy.
And we have seen now the steady dismantling by the Supreme Court of the Voting Rights Act. We saw it with the Shelby County decision as you pointed out in 2013 which effectively gutted Section 5 of the Act, and now the dismantling of section two.
And when I say the audacity, I mean, the actual rewriting of the history and of the standards used in these cases for decades. I began my career in 1988 as a voting rights lawyer, and the first thing I was given was the Senate report that accompanied the passage of the Voting Rights Act. And in that Senate report with the factors that were set forth that were to be used to evaluate cases under Section 2, the totality of the circumstances test.
And while purporting not to overturn that test in the decision today, Justice Alito just writes a new test, his own five factor test unmoored from the text of the statute, unmoored from the intentions of Congress. And that`s what I mean by the audacity. This -- the Voting Rights Act is regarded as the most effective, most important civil rights statute ever enacted. And today, what the Supreme Court did to it is just shameful.
HAYES: There`s a passage in the majority opinion, which is authored by Samuel Alito who, you know, I think, with Roberts and others on the conservative majority have been sort of licking their chops at this kind of thing, where he basically says, look, you know, if there`s disparate impact here, because there`s disparate levels of wealth or access or mobility of minority and non-minority groups. I mean, what are you going to do? I mean, you can come up with a neutral rule, but I mean, if minority and non- minority groups have disparate life behaviors, they live in disparate places, you`re going to have disparate impact.
And my thought reading that was like, yes, that`s literally exactly why Southern governments came up with literacy tests back during Jim Crow was because the literacy was disproportion -- was desperately shared by the population, so they could facially neutrally test for that and get the desired racial disparity they wanted.
IFILL: Yes, when Georgia was -- enacted its Omnibus voter suppression law a couple of months ago, you know, I was in a lot of these conversations in which people said, well, the law on its face. I had to remind them that exactly what you say, the poll tax was also facially neutral. The literacy test was facially neutral. They knew what the result of it would be.
Remember the grandfather clause that said you could vote in places like Oklahoma if your grandfather was able to vote in 1850? Facially neutral, but whose grandparents were able to vote in 1850, black people? No. So, the idea that somehow just this disparate impact that just kind of happens is so outrageous. And more importantly, Chris is this was explicitly referred to in the Senate report. It has been recognized -- it was recognized by Congress that these are the kinds of laws, these facially disparate laws that were meant to be attacked by section two.
And so, essentially, what the majority does is ignore Congress again. First, it ignored Congress in the Shelby County decision by ignoring the record Congress had accumulated to reauthorize the voting rights act in 2006. And now, they`ve got all the way back and ignored Congress in enacting the voting rights act in the 1982 amendments to the Voting Rights Act, and essentially supplanted a view that several members of this court have long held about the voting rights act in particularly section two for many years. And now they`ve had the chance to codify it into a Supreme Court decision.
HAYES: Sherrilyn Ifill who is one of the great resources on this, thank you so much for making time with us.
IFILL: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: I want to bring in Ari Berman, senior reporter of Mother Jones, author of Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America. There`s so much to talk about here. I want to start though to just take a step back. There`s another opinion issued by the court today in which Roberts writing for the majority, strikes down a California law that requires nonprofits to disclose their donors to the state tax board as essentially facial violation the First Amendment the constitution, making it easier for dark money to flow and for the state not to see it.
And when you take that, and Citizens United, and Shelby County, and this, you get the totality of the Court`s jurisprudence is make it harder for voters and easier for donors.
ARI BERMAN, SENIOR REPORTER, MOTHER JONES: That`s absolutely right, Chris. That is really the slogan for the Roberts` court, making it easier to buy elections and harder to vote for them. And it was really fitting that they came at the same time because what are the rights of the Roberts` Court is concerned about. They`re worried about the rights of dark money groups to keep their donors secret. And they`re worried about the rights of states to be able to suppress voters, not the rights of voters who are facing discrimination.
And that was a complete inverse of what the Voting Rights Act was supposed to do, Chris. As you know, the Voting Rights Act was supposed to protect minority voters who are facing voter suppression in places like Georgia and Alabama. Now, the Roberts Court, led by Sam Alito in this opinion is saying we`re going to protect the rights of states to pass whatever voter suppression laws they want, even if there`s no evidence of voter fraud they`re intending to solve, but we`re going to dramatically raise the bar for the kind of voter suppression that minority voters have to show to be able to win these cases in the future.
HAYES: I want to read a section because you`ve done so much reporting on this. It is so key to understanding that while Donald Trump and his cronies have the most like, again, cringe inducing version of voter fraud, that the ghost of Hugo Chavez, or like Chinese ballots, or UV, or like, you know, turn the election, that fraud plays a crucial role in the intellectual structure for everyone from McConnell, to Roberts, to Alito, to Trump.
Here`s a lead on the majority opinion. Fraud can affect the outcome of a close election. Fraudulent votes dilute the right of citizens to cast ballots to carry an appropriate weight. Fraud can also undermine public confidence in the fairness of elections, oh, heavens to Betsy, and the perceived legitimacy of the announced outcome. Yes, well, you see how important the work of voter fraud myth is so that Alito can use it to justify these kinds of laws.
BERMAN: Yes. This opinion by Alito is really the institutionalization of the big lie and of the myth of voter fraud over the past two decades. In Shelby County, John Roberts invented a principle as you mentioned in your intro, equal sovereignty of the states. Well, Alito just took the Republican playbook in terms of lying about voter fraud.
And the amazing thing is, he said, a state can do whatever it wants if it tries to stop voter fraud even if there is no voter fraud. But if minority voters face all these burdens, that`s not enough to strike down these voter suppression laws. So, he`s enacting all of these things new tests that minority voters have to show to be able to strike down discriminatory voting laws while basically giving states carte blanche to suppress voters, as long as they point to some perceived threat of fraud, even if there is no fraud, which is exactly what Donald Trump said in 2020. There`s fraud going on. I know it. Find 11,780 votes. It was all BS. But now that BS has literally led to Samuel Alito rewriting the Voting Rights Act.
HAYES: That`s exactly, exactly right. Ari Berman who is, of course, a must read on this topic. As always, thank you so much.
BERMAN: Thanks so much, Chris.
HAYES: Like I said at the top, it was a huge news day on top of the seismic Supreme Court ruling. There are criminal charges against the Trump Organization and one of Trump`s longest-serving executive Allen Weisselberg, and they`re really something else. We`re going to talk about what`s in the 15 felony counts and what isn`t.
Plus, we found out today who will serve on that select committee tasked with investigating January 6. Former lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin is on that list and he joins me right here next. Don`t go anywhere.
HAYES: New York Times has put together an incredible six-month investigation into what actually happened on January 6, stitching together all this different video from social media and from security footage, body cam footage. And what`s amazing about it is that if you watch it, and I really recommend you do, it finally gives you a sense of the scale and the placement of the danger of the mob that stormed the Capitol and tried to overturn a presidential election.
Watching it allowed me for first time to weave together time and space to understand what was happening when and where. To give you an example what I`m talking about, we`re going to pick up the video just after Capital Officer Eugene Goodman, right, that that famous police officer led the rioters away from the Senate chambers.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: First, we`ll go to the crypt in the center of the Capitol below the rotunda. The mob is already at its entrance. If they get through here, there was more easily fan out across the building.
Rioters jostled the policed here for six minutes and then flood through. It`s now 2:24 p.m. some 90 minutes after the siege began, and the mob is about to overrun the building. As this is happening, and as thousands more spread outside, Trump composes a tweet, not to calm his supporters, but to blame his vice president. He writes, "Mike Pence didn`t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country and our Constitution."
At this very time, Pence and his family are being taken to safety, along with an aide who was carrying the country`s nuclear launch equipment.
At 2:25 p.m., there`s another major breach on the opposite side of the building, the east side. Rioters have been battling a handful of officers at these doors for almost half an hour. The tide turns when rioters who came through the crypt reach these doors and pull them open. Then an active duty Marine Corps officer Christopher Warnagiris kicks that door open for the mob to flood in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t touch me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dude, hey, we are one of you. We are one of you.
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HAYES: That went on for several more hours resulting in injuries to more than 150 police officers, the deaths of five people. You could actually understand a few of those deaths much better from this video as well. Six months later, we are still learning about what happened that day. And it is for that reason it is so important we have an investigation, a full one.
Today, we learned the names of the eight members that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi picked to serve on the select committee that will investigate the January 6 insurrection, seven Democrats and one Republican. Congressman Jamie Raskin, Democrat from Maryland, a member of the select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection. And he joins me now.
Congressman, I don`t -- I don`t know how the selection process worked for this. Obviously, you were involved in impeachment. But why would you want to serve on this committee?
REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): Well, we got to see it through, Chris. You know, it was a terrible attack not just on the Capitol, but on democracy itself. It was an attempt to overthrow the counting of Electoral College votes. And we can never forget that inside that violent insurrection, that was fueled by white supremacists who were descending on Washington was a coup, and it was an attempt to coerce Mike Pence into declaring powers that had never been exercised or claimed before, which was the power of the vice president simply to nullify Electoral College votes from the States.
And all they wanted them to do, they said, was to return and reject those electors coming in from Arizona, Pennsylvania and Georgia. And that would have lowered Joe Biden`s Electoral College vote total below 270, thereby kicking it into a contingent election under the 12th amendment.
And they wanted that because in a contingent election, we don`t vote one member, one vote. We vote one state one vote and the GOP had 27 states in the bag at that point. So, we were not that far from Trump actually succeeding and accomplishing that political coup. And we know that Michael Flynn and his other military advisors were urging him to declare martial law. And that probably would have been the next step had they succeeded in winning in a contingent election, they would have declared martial law to put down the insurrection and the chaos that he had unleashed in the Congress.
HAYES: When you think about what the question -- what the areas of knowns are an unknowns, I, in watching this video have a whole bunch of questions that that occur. There`s things that I feel like I have a pretty good sense of, and things I still don`t really understand. What are -- what are the areas that you feel like you don`t really understand, that you really want to -- this commission to get into?
RASKIN: Well, my focus as an impeachment manager and our team was focused on incitement. And we think that we overwhelmingly and meticulously documented the President`s incitement of a violent insurrection. But to say he incited it leaves open the question of who organized it, who mobilized it, and who financed?
RASKIN: What were the structures of power that were in place that allowed for it actually to happen? What were the interactions between the White House, the Trump team, Roger Stone, and the Three Percenters, the Oath Keepers, the Proud Boys, and so on? That`s something that never became clear before.
There were reports in the middle of our trial about how there were lots of Trump campaign employees who were moved over from the campaign on to organizing for the rally in the march. We need far more intensive investigation into how that happened. And then, of course, we need an investigation into what we need to do to prevent being overrun in the future by violent white supremacists, domestic violent extremists. HAYES: Liz Cheney, obviously, the only Republican-appointed by the Speaker there, eight of you, and Kevin McCarthy seems unenthused about appointing any others. Is it your expectation that it will be the eight of you?
RASKIN: No. I mean, right now, we`re very hopeful that McCarthy will do his duty under this legislation and appoint his members. It is bipartisan right now, as you say. But we would like him to, you know, to do his job and to appoint members, but they`ve been trying to stand back this from the beginning, of course. I mean, we had literally given them everything they wanted, five Republicans, five Democrats, a 9/11 style outside independent commission with equal subpoena power distributed between the two sides. And they could not take yes for an answer, because there are just far too many things they don`t want America in the world and history to know. And we don`t even know everything they don`t want us to know.
HAYES: Yes, that`s what nags me. I will say the one other question I have watching a video is just why and how there were -- they were so unprepared. And I know, we`ve looked into that a little bit, but I feel like I still don`t have the answer. Having covered protests in Washington D.C., having been around protest before, I`ve never seen anything like the outnumbering of the police that happened there, ever in my life in 20 years of reporting on street actions. It`s really, really striking, particularly after that video. Congressman --
RASKIN: Yes, it`s pretty astonishing --
HAYES: Congressman Jamie Raskin, I hope you guys --
RASKIN: I was just going to say that what`s astonishing is the New York Times video that you described before, it shows how there were literally thousands of rioters up against five or six police officers in some places. So, we want to figure out exactly how that happened, make sure that it never happens again, and make sure that we`re not compromised by Donald Trump in his attempts to inject this kind of racist extremism directly into the government to try to overthrow democratic institutions.
HAYES: Congressman Jamie Raskin who will have his work cut out for him along with the other committee of yours, thanks for joining us this evening.
RASKIN: Thank you so much, Chris.
HAYES: All right, tonight, they are here. They`re finally here. Indictments, we can read them in the public record, 15 charges against Trump Org and CFO Allen Weisselberg. The biggest takeaways, signs there could be more to come, after this.
HAYES: In an absolutely astonishing 15 count criminal indictment, prosecutors today charge the Trump Organization and its longtime Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg with a massive wide-ranging scheme to cheat on their taxes and defraud the government.
According to Manhattan district attorney Cy Vance, between 2005 and 2021, the Trump Organization was compensating executives including Weiselberg off the books, while keeping secret internal records of the compensation as compensation. They allege Weisselberg alone got indirect employee compensation from the Trump Org in the approximate amount of $1.76 million. That includes rent and utility payments for a luxury Upper West Side apartment, a lease on to Mercedes Benz cars used by Weisselberg and his wife, and private school tuition for his family members. All of which, according to prosecutors, Weisselberg failed to report to federal state and local tax authorities.
When you add it all up, the indictment estimates that Weisselberg dodged at least five $900,000, almost a million bucks in federal state and city taxes that he got to keep that he could have -- should have been paying. Both the Trump Org and Allen Weisselberg pleaded not guilty and are expected back in court in September.
As to what happens next in the criminal investigation and what this all means for Donald Trump himself, I`m joined by former Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Rebecca Roiphe, who`s now a professor at New York Law School. Rebecca, first just your first line reaction after reading the indictment today.
REBECCA ROIPHE, FORMER ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY, MANHATTAN: This is an incredibly powerful indictment. It`s detailed in such a way as it seems like it will be not too difficult to prove. And you know, I think first of all, this really takes some of the wind out of the sails of that defense, if you can call it a defense, that this is a politically motivated prosecution.
This is the bread and butter of the DA`s office. A kind of attacks case like this is certainly one that the DA`s office would pursue. I mean, you know, think about it. If a business owner were paying his employees to this tune off the books, there is no doubt that the DA`s office would pursue this, absolutely. So, I think that the idea that the Trump Organization lawyers were floating that this was politically motivated because fringe benefits are no big deal is off the table. I mean, they`ll certainly keep trying that. But you know, that`s my take on this.
I think, you know, the key question that everybody`s asking themselves is, is this the tip of the iceberg or not? And that`s another question.
HAYES: Well, but it also seems -- excuse me, sorry.
ROIPHE: Bless you.
HAYES: It also seems to me that they have him -- I mean, again, he`s innocent until proven guilty. And of course, indictments are going to assemble the most damning picture of the facts. We haven`t heard the defense weigh in on this. But here`s an example that stuck out to me, and there`s a few of these in the indictment.
The Trump Organization booked cash that they gave to Weisselberg as holiday entertainment, right, like, oh, we`re reimbursing you for holiday entertainment, but they maintain internal spreadsheets showing the cash to be part of Weisselberg`s employee compensation. And the picture that emerges here is a very clear and obvious scheme of tax evasion where they basically say, look, you`ve got your taxable compensation, and then as a bonus, we`re going to give you all this untaxed compensation which you don`t have to pay taxes on, even though legally you do, because you can hide it from the government. And that`s like part of the deal of your total compensation package essentially.
ROIPHE: Right, exactly. I mean, so you have to ask yourself, like, OK, is this scheme designed to benefit Weisselberg? Was he the person who was supposed to benefit from this? And it seems to me when you ask yourself that question, kind of probably not, because this has to be -- you know, especially when you think about all the other executives that were named in this indictment, you know, this is an organization that`s shady at the top.
And I think that this -- you know, they`re -- this is -- there`s no question in my mind that this is the tip of the iceberg. The question is, is this the only tip that the DA can prove or can he prove more? Because it seems to me that these are such vivid charges and there`s, you know, there were -- there was second set of books and records. I mean, they were spreadsheets. It`s not like the organization didn`t know what it was doing. Clearly it did.
So the next question that`s looming over all of this is to what end? Who was benefiting from this? And it`s sort of hard to think to yourself, oh, yes, it was just -- this is like the mastermind Weisselberg. Probably not. So, the question is, who else was making money off of this? And, you know, the like -- the logical thing is, well, former President Trump. The question is, can the DA prove that?
HAYES: Right. And we should note a few things. One is that Weisselberg is not the only executive who has compensation structure this way. And then there`s this, of course, from at least 2005 to the date of this indictment. The named defendants and others, including unindicted co-conspirator, number one, agreed to and implemented a compensation scheme with the object of enabling Weisselberg to underreport his income to federal authorities. Of course, everyone wants to know who his unindicted co-conspirator number one.
ROIPHE: Right. And I don`t have any insight on that. But I do think that, you know, if you read the entire indictment, that`s not the only other person mentioned there. There are a bunch of other people mentioned. So, this is not just one person. These are not just random and small fringe benefits. This is a lot of money, as you mentioned before. It`s over a long period of time and there are a number of people who are benefiting from it.
So, the question is, you know, why, who, how much, and how is this organized? And, you know, this is the kind of situation where, you know, I do think this was brought to try to put pressure on not just Weisselberg but these other officials to cooperate because it`s hard to get the person at the top if you can`t, you know, if you can`t get somebody to help you out.
HAYES: Rebecca Roiphe, thank you so much for joining me tonight. I appreciate it.
ROIPHE: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: Coming up, amazing undercover video of an Exxon lobbyists revealing how they work to undermine climate legislation with the help of 11 crucial senators. You do not want to miss it. That`s next.
HAYES: We are starting to get the death toll from the record heat in the Pacific Northwest. Oregon Health officials said more than 60 deaths have been tied to the heat. In Washington, more than 20 deaths in the town of Lytton in British Columbia. The one that set the all-time record high for Canada of 121 degrees on Tuesday, burst into flames yesterday, had to be evacuated, and is now reduced entirely to ash. It basically doesn`t exist anymore.
Forest fires got so intense the heat itself set off clouds that made their own weather events. If you look at this, two things to keep in mind. One is that right now, there`s a fight in Washington D.C. over infrastructure legislation with a bipartisan group of senators having struck a deal that cuts out nearly all of the ambitious climate investments and regulation of the initial Biden plan.
Number two, when you look at Canada literally burning, people dying, and the climate investments being cut out of the bipartisan deal, a big part of the reason for all of this, a huge part is the tireless work over decades of fossil fuel companies like Exxon Mobil to pollute the planet while making billions of dollars and making sure no one can stop them.
And one of the chief ways they do that is through lobbyists. They hire professionals in suits who lend their talents to an enterprise that has gotten and will get many, many, many people killed. That`s what it`s doing. Now, we have rare video of what that looks like when they think no one`s listening. In a sting setup by Greenpeace U.K., members pose as recruitment consultants looking to hire a Washington lobbyist for a major client.
Then they set up a Zoom call with senior Exxon lobbyists Keith McCoy. Britain`s Channel Four news recreated that call with the original footage. Here`s just part of their report.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEITH MCCOY, LOBBYIST FOR EXXON: We`re playing defense because President Biden is talking about this big infrastructure package, and he`s going to pay for it by increasing corporate taxes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who`s the crucial guys for you?
MCCOY: Well, Senator Capito who`s the ranking member of Environment and Public Works, Joe Manchin. I talked to his office every week and he is the kingmaker on this because he`s a Democrat from West Virginia, which is very a conservative state. And he`s not shy about sort of staking his claim early and completely changing the debate.
So, on the Democrat side, we look for the moderates on these issues. So it`s the Manchins, it`s the Sinemas, it`s the Testers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: In a statement, Darren Woods, Exxon`s chief executives said the lobbyists comments in no way represent the company`s position on a variety of issues, including climate policy and our firm commitment that carbon pricing is important to addressing climate change. At another point in the video, the lobbyist says they don`t actually believe that.
Also, none of the senators responded to Channel Four news but we`d love to have them here on ALL IN to talk about it.
HAYES: In just this last short week, there`s a big bipartisan infrastructure deal that basically took out all the climate stuff while temperatures in the northwest hit record highs like 116 degrees in Portland, Oregon. COVID cases are up 10 percent from last week thanks for the highly transmissible Delta variant. We finally have a select committee to investigate what happened in the January 6 Capitol attack. The Supreme Court term is over and today they took another big jab at the Voting Rights Act. Oh and the Trump Organization and its CFO were indicted.
If you`ll need to process this all, here to help do that, Zerlina Maxwell, co-host of Signal Boost on Sirius XM Radio, host of Zerlina on Peacock, and Mehdi Hasan, host of the Mehdi Hasan show on Peacock and MSNBC.
Zerlina, I want to start with the court`s decision today on the January 6 Commission and the kind of through line of the fact that you have unanimity on the conservative side about restricting the franchise, sort of bulwark against American multiracial democracy. And so far, the Democratic Party isn`t all on the same page about doing everything that needs to be done to reinforce it.
ZERLINA MAXWELL, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, it`s a really peculiar situation. It`s frustrating to watch the Democrats try to figure out what to do. I mean, essentially, they`re playing whack a mole with voter restrictions all over the country popping up, while the Republicans are essentially like destroying the board. They`re destroying the whole thing. They blew it up. There is no place to play the game.
And I think, you know, fundamentally, what this is all about, everything is connected, Chris. You`re right. I wrote a book, The End of White Politics about that multiracial coalition that will form the majority of the American electorate of the future. But it`s also the present. So, this is happening because Arizona went blue. This is happening because Georgia went blue. And Republicans understand the numbers are not on their side going forward, nor in the present in those critical states, including Texas, which is a lot closer than they would have wanted.
And so, they are implementing a plan to restrict voters, the votes of voters that are less likely to vote for them. And Democrats better understand what`s happening here. It doesn`t matter if you have the best message if your voters don`t have access to the ballot box.
HAYES: Well, and this comes back to the question of using the power you have, right? I mean, this was the lesson of McConnell on Merrick Garland. It was a lesson of McConnell and Amy Coney Barrett. In both cases, it was audacious, it was, you know, against the norms. But that was the power that he had, and he wielded it. And unless you can get Manchin and Sinema, Mehdi, on board for basically majority rule in the Senate, 50 votes to wield the power you have, then you can`t wield the power you have.
MEHDI HASAN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: I mean, maybe we should all start lobbying ExxonMobil to get them to lobby Manchin and Sinema because they seem to have more influence over Manchin and Sinema than the American people. But let me say this to you.
HAYES: Yes. Let`s -- can we hire the Exxon lobbyist.
HASAN: Exactly. That`s what the indivisible and grassroots activists should do. But let me say this, if the Republicans were in control of the White House, the Senate, the House of Representatives, and they believed that giving D.C. statehood, getting rid of the filibuster, and adding justices to the Supreme Court would be in their advantage, do you think they wouldn`t have done it by now? They would have done it on day one, Chris. They have done it on January 21st by 9:00, maybe 10:00 a.m.
This ridiculous Democratic Party desire to will the ends but not the means -- we want to protect democracy but we want to -- we won`t take on the forces that are threatening democracy, the filibuster, the anti-democratic Supreme Court. The Republican Party itself, those images, Chris, last week of Democrats and Republican senators hugging each other, back slapping outside the White House over a bipartisan deal. All I could think was yay, our bridges are going to stay up while our democracy dies. What a great trade off.
HAYES: Yes. And that -- and that was also that sort of dichotomy, right, that we see -- we pointed this out that like where you can make compromise and where you can`t. And these core issues that are stopping American democracy are the places where you can`t increasingly compromise, where it is kind of total war of all against all. And I thought also, Zerlina, that Exxon lobbyists clip -- well, people should go and check out the full clip. But it was -- it`s a great window just into how the folks who work this full time view it too, right? Like these people that we view as the fulcrum are the fulcrum. And they`re the ones getting worked over by the lobbyists with a lot of money to go out and campaign donations and a lot of connections to try to steer things away from what Joe Biden proposed. That`s the boogeyman in the -- in that speech.
MAXWELL: And I think, fundamentally, the American people understand that there`s something wrong with this system, and that it`s not that individual members of Congress are just "bad people" or mean or something like that, right? It`s not that reductive. It`s really about the structures that are in place that limit their ability to do things because they`re baked in interest is reelection.
And these let dark money groups and Exxon Mobil funneled money through these groups that keeps these people in power. And they have a vested interest in keeping the policies, the way they are and deregulating, so that they can make more money while we burn, while we die. And that is the danger that we`re facing here.
HAYES: And Mehdi, quickly, I think also, it`s important on the last day of the term for liberals to be clear-eyed about what this court is and not have any confusion about what that 6-3 majority means.
HASAN: I mean, Chris, it`s not for liberals to be clear-eyed, it`s for the liberal court justices themselves. Stephen Breyer should have announced his retirement today, but he didn`t because he thinks retiring now would politicize the court. It`s already politicized. Get on with it. Fix the court.
HAYES: Zerlina Maxwell and Mehdi Hasan, thanks to have you -- great to have you both on. Thank you so much.
That is ALL IN on this Thursday night. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.