The far right of the Republican Party has been stoking political polarization on vaccines. FBI has seized a Capitol Lego set from an alleged riot leader on January 6 Capitol insurrection. Legal experts are now pointing to former first daughter and advisor to the President, Ivanka Trump, as the next member of the Trump Organization who should be very concerned of an indictment. Gun violence has skyrocketed over the last year as gun sales increases.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: She called door-to-door campaigners medical brown shirts, making a direct comparison to a group who helped Hitler rise to power. So, tonight the absolute worst is everyone on the right who`s fueling panic over President Biden`s comments instead of pleading for their constituents and voters to get vaccinated so they don`t die, and so we can actually beat the virus.
That`s the show tonight. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice over): Tonight on ALL IN.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Now, we need to go to community by community, neighborhood by neighborhood, and off times door to door literally knocking on doors to get help to the remaining people protected from the virus.
HAYES: The Biden push to stop COVID death intensifies and toxic right-wing politics keeps getting people killed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How about don`t knock on my door? You`re not my parents, you`re the government.
HAYES: Then, why the FBI seized a Lego set of the U.S. Capitol building for a January 6 riot suspect. Plus --
MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER LAWYER OF DONALD TRUMP: There are many more other individuals that are going to be receiving the same indictments that Allen had received.
HAYES: Why it may be more than just informed speculation that Ivanka Trump could be facing an indictment of her own, and how the national rise in violent crime can be traced right back to the explosion of gun sales in America when ALL IN starts right now.
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HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. I`m going to start off tonight showing you an image that in my humble opinion perfectly represents the state of the country right now, the state of American politics, the state of our battle against Coronavirus and the challenges we face. And at first, this image will probably make no sense depends on you know your background here, because it needs some unpacking.
But here it is. Just to start out with, Chip Roy, a Republican congressman from the suburbs of San Antonio and Austin tweeted this. Come inject it. Get it? Like the basic meeting here is more or less you can give me the vaccine over my cold dead body more or less.
OK, so first of all, some background on Chip Roy, the man who tweeted this. He comes from a conservative district that has been generally trending towards Democrats the way that a lot of suburban districts has, but he`s held on to his seat. Around January 6, he made some headlines because he said that he would vote to certify the electors for Joe Biden. Remember, a majority of Republicans did not, going so far as to object to the seating of fellow representatives who said they would challenge Biden certification. And then he roundly condemned Trump`s words and actions leading up to the insurrection.
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REP. CHIP ROY (R-TX): The President of the United States deserves universal condemnation for what was clearly, in my opinion, impeachable conduct, pressuring the vice president to violate his oath of the Constitution to count the electors.
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HAYES: Now, Roy did not end up voting for impeachment, despite the fact you see him there saying it`s impeachable conduct, but he did get attacked by Trump for it. And since then, of course, he has had to pay the price. We know how this goes. He challenged Congresswoman Elise Stefanik for that leadership position that was vacated by Congressman Congresswoman Liz Cheney who was booted out by Kevin McCarthy in the caucus because she was critical of the president whipping up a violent insurrection.
Chip Roy threw his hat in the ring for that and he got soundly drubbed after Trump endorsed, of course, Stefanik, despite the fact that Roy has a much more conservative voting record. So, that`s your Chip Roy is, fairly standard conservative Republican who is adapting himself to Trump world.
Chip Roy is also a cancer survivor who tweeted in December, "My dad survived polio. I`m for widespread availability of effective vaccines. If when I choose to take it, I won`t carry a card." Now, I don`t know whether he`s been vaccinated or not. It would be logical to conclude that he has gotten the vaccine. I truly hope he has.
We did reach out to his office to ask. We`ve gotten no response. He`s told other reporters it`s none of their business. But it`s Congressman Roy`s tweeting that image, the one that we started the show with, the you know, come inject it, again, which there`s a lot going on there. It`s important to know there is a very big divergence happening in this country right now day by day by day, to paths divergence between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated.
Over 67 percent of adults in the country have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine. But we`ve hit a wall. And the wall is not about supply. Remember, we had a wall, supply wall back in January, February and March. We have more supply than almost anywhere in the world. But wall is not really due to logistics. You can get a vaccine just about anywhere in the country. The reality is there`s a chunk of the country that does not want to take the vaccine or at least has not gotten around to it.
Now, the not gotten around to it, we can work on that. And I think we`re going to talk to our next guest about that. But the biggest resistance right now and you`re seeing the data is coming from a hardening political, socio-political cultural opposition to the vaccine among conservatives, particularly in rural America. And this has been cultivated by right-wing politicians, people like Congressman Chip Roy, and by right-wing media like Fox News who have done segments encouraging people not to get the vaccine.
It is very, very sick. It`s sick. It`s gotten a lot of people killed. It will get many more people killed. That`s just the simple fact of the matter. Right now the Delta variant is spreading. We are seeing what happens in the death data.
In the month of June, nearly 100 people died of COVID in Maryland. And thankfully, that`s a very small number relative to the peak of the pandemic. According to state officials, 100 percent of those deaths were people who were not vaccinated. The CDC says that it May, 99.2 percent of COVID deaths in the U.S. were people who are unvaccinated.
The vaccines, and they`ve been tested, and we`ve got real-life data now, not just clinical trials. Remember, these are going into millions and millions and millions and millions and millions of arms around the world, different populations, we`re getting the data back. The vaccines are essentially magic.
I mean, you might remember last year when we were covering this pandemic, sitting here, talking to you into this camera, I used to say all the time, we had two bad options, we wish for a third, right? We do our number one, was shutting down the entire economy and save lives. That was awful. Kids couldn`t go to school. People lost their livelihoods. People didn`t -- couldn`t go out of their house, right? They couldn`t hug their relatives.
The door number two was letting the virus run rampant so the economy could stay open. And that was worse, hundreds of thousands of excess deaths. And we had to figure out a way to get to door number three, a way to have a life and an economy and family dinners and people you can hug without letting the virus run rampant and kill off hundreds of thousands of people.
And we got exactly door number three. We`ve got the solution, the vaccine. And basically, nothing else in life functions this way. Think about it. None of your problems like in your work life, your relationships can be solved by someone just saying here, take the shot, it`s fixed.
You`re staring at financial problems, you`re in debt, you`re upset about a breakup, you don`t get a shot. That`s not how human life works. It`s complicated and it`s hard. But this is one exception. This is literally what the vaccines offer. And it`s in this context that we have you right- wing movement mobilizing to refuse that solution to nihilistically cultivate skepticism in their flock to stick it to the liberals, but also get lots of people killed.
And that brings us this image we started with. It is a play on a very famous Texas image, a Texas meme, if you will, this one called the Gonzales battle flag, which depicts cannon and says come and take it. Now, the flag dates back to the first military engagement of the Texas revolution with Mexican authorities who tried to seize a small cannon they had lent to the Texas settlers. The phrase itself dates back even farther back, is attributed to King Leonidas of Sparta, who supposedly gave that response to demand his soldiers to the demand that his soldiers lay down his weapons. Like no, come and take it.
So, you can see why Texas likes a slogan. It`s a very Texas slogan. It was a Texas slogan for a long time. We`re Texas, the Republic of Texas, come and take it. Recently, it`s become a very gun rights slogan. You know, just try to come and take our guns. Just try to come and take our weapons. Texas Senator Ted Cruz tweeted a Thanksgiving version in response to efforts to limit big gatherings during the pandemic, come and take my turkey.
OK, real tough guy, that Ted Cruz. So, here`s Chip Roy, Ted Cruz`s former chief of staff tweeting it out July 2021 as the Delta variant is spreading in unvaccinated communities. We`re seeing case numbers go up. We`re seeing case numbers go up faster, higher per capita in counties that were run by Trump than those won by Biden. We`re seeing what the data says about the protection the vaccines provide, the fact that death is the cost of non- vaccination for unknown -- untold number of people that Congressman Roy represents in his Texas district.
I mean, take a step back for a second too. Remember, his fellow congressman in Texas`s sixth district, next door, Congressman Ron Wright, died in February of COVID. None of this makes sense. It doesn`t make sense. It`s -- I don`t know. It`s like a dark force. They like COVID. They want to see people die. I don`t know. I don`t know. It`s part of what makes this one image such a perfect encapsulation of our moment.
He appears to be saying, how dare you say you`re going to come and inject me with this life-saving medicine. But this is now the mainstream right- wing conservative view. You do have -- it`s true. And you know, God bless them. Good for them. Establishment figures, Sen. Mitch McConnell saying vaccines are good, Tommy Tuberville down in Alabama did a pro-vaccine message, but the base of the Republican Party, let us be clear, people like Congressman Roy, if not anti-vaccine, they`re anti-pro-vaccine, saying the vaccine you shouldn`t be foisted on people. It`s some government plot. It`s something being foisted upon the loyal people. You`re shoving it down our throats and you can come in and inject me.
Yesterday, President Biden in the context of us hitting this wall and trying to get a vaccine in many arms as possible to save as many lives as possible so people can do normal stuff and hug their family members and go to work and like, live, said they will go door to door to bring the vaccines to people so we can get those numbers up. And Republican Congressman Marjorie Taylor Greene compared that effort to the Nazis, again, apparently learning nothing from her visit to the Holocaust Museum, no surprises there.
I understand where we are right now due to incredible work by thousands and thousands of people, researchers support staff, the people giving the shot, the people who gave me a shot who I wanted to hug in gratitude, right, all these people working towards this project, this great project to save people`s lives. We have safe, effective free vaccines that can be acquired almost anywhere. And those vaccines will save lives, they will save money, they will help the economy reopen schools. The benefits are almost impossible list. There`s nothing on the other side of the ledger, nothing. There`s nothing on the other side of ledger. It`s not a trade-off.
And yet, increasingly, one political movement is trying to turn the vaccine into a cultural wedge that their people don`t get vaccinated. So they could like, tweet out snarky memes and stick up their middle finger, the other parts of America, to cost of American lives. That`s where we`re at right now.
David Leonhardt is a senior writer for the New York Times. His latest piece today is titled More Red-State Trouble, about how the U.S. looks increasingly like two different countries when it comes to COVID. And he joins me now.
David, you`ve been looking through the data and seeing the same worrying trends that I am. What do you see?
DAVID LEONHARDT, SENIOR WRITER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Chris, for a long time, the trends have been messy. I mean, they didn`t neatly fit partisan patterns at all. And it was -- and it was -- some of that is the COVID disease we don`t fully understand, right? Some of that is that the places where people have been less interested in getting the vaccines, are conservative places which often also tend to be warmer, like Texas and Florida, so people can go outdoors in the spring.
Some of it is also I think, it`s important to say, I think a lot of progressives have tended towards some things that don`t actually make a difference. Masks outdoors don`t seem to do anything to combat COVID. Wearing a mask after you`re vaccinated doesn`t seem to matter. And so, it`s been messy, but it`s becoming a lot less messy, because what`s happening is that more progressive communities are getting to the point with vaccination, that they really are just crushing the disease.
I mean, you look at -- you look at communities where they`ve got vaccination rates up into the 70s, and 80s, and even 90s, and COVID is just going away. And then you look at rural counties in places like Arkansas and Missouri where vaccination rates around 25 and 30 percent. And you combine it with this highly contagious new variant, and we see these surges of COVID.
And so, you look at the nationwide line on COVID cases, and it`s flat. But what that hides is that it`s -- COVID is plummeting in metropolitan America. And it is on the rise in small towns and in rural areas. And it`s scary.
HAYES: Yet, that point about the messiness I think is important. I remember when we did a segment early on about vaccination, about how West Virginia was doing a really good job ahead of other states. There`s lots of ways in which the data doesn`t sort in this kind of red-blue way partly because the worst-hit place was the first place, which is the Northeast, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut. You know, we had the no testing, we had hospitals melting down, when you look at the death data, it`s awful there, right?
But one of the things that I find so hard to get my head around here is when you have the lockdown, you had this argument, and I disagreed with the people on the other side about it with a cost-benefit, but it was a cost- benefit argument. At what level - what`s too restrictive, what cost -- what price are we paying for this restriction and what are we trading away? What`s effective, what`s not? We don`t have that anymore. There`s no cost.
I mean, in a literal sense, but also just a deeper, substantive philosophical sense, like, you just go and get the shot. That`s it. You have to stay in your house for six weeks.
LEONHARDT: Your arm hurts a little. It`s like you`re back in middle school and someone punched you, basically, that`s the cost. Not, a big cost, yes.
I mean, I think my friend and colleague Nate Cohn sometimes says that the way he`s able to understand partisan motivated reasoning is he thinks about his own affinity for the Seattle Seahawks, and how irrational sports can make us. And so, I guess what I would say is I don`t understand this hostility to the vaccinations particularly when it could kill some more or kill your family members. It is deeply, deeply irrational.
And I want to be clear here, there is no equivalent right now among Democrats of this behavior. There is none. But I think it`s important for Democrats try to think how this could be happening. And I mentioned that outdoor masks for a reason. There is no evidence that wearing masks outdoors does anything, right? There is no evidence that wearing masks after you`re vaccinated does virtually anything. And yet, I know that it is a very important piece of behavior to many Democratic voters.
And so all I would say is it`s worth remembering many of us are not rational, right? We care about our identity, we care about doing things that kind of make us feel like part of something larger.
HAYES: Totally. But --
LEONHARDT: So, I think that`s some of what we`re seeing among Republicans. And I`m not defending it.
HAYES: Totally. We all have -- everyone`s got the same -- we`ve all got the same wiring. We`ve all got cognitive biases, we all do, we all -- the negative partisan plays, that`s all true. My point isn`t really about the people, it`s about the leadership, right? That`s what`s so to me, and I`ll use my own words, despicable here.
Everyone is taking signals from people they trust. Everyone is, you know, navigating this through the prism of identity and what team you`re on and what those people over there, what my people do, etcetera, and trying to evaluate. But for the leadership, to get -- to get behind this strikes me is just so deeply nihilistic and reckless. And it`s -- and that to me is where the asymmetry is, and we`re seeing it play out on the ground.
LEONHARDT: I agree.
HAYES: David Leonhardt who`s been great on this topic throughout, thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it.
LEONHARDT: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: I want to bring in Dr. Anthony Fauci to discuss what is going on with COVID and Delta variant. He is the Director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He`s also the Chief Medical Adviser to President Biden. And he joins me now.
So, Dr. Fauci, you and the Biden administration, you inhabit the world as it is not how you want it to be. And the world as it is, is hitting a wall in this country on the vaccine and vaccine uptake. How to get over that wall? How -- what -- it seems like, whatever it takes, we got to do. If it means I go on my program and say like, nothing would infuriate me more as a liberal if people in these counties got the vaccine, I`ll be very upset. You`ll completely own me. I don`t know what it is. But what`s the -- what are the brainstorm? What is your understanding in the administration of how to get over the wall?
ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Well, Chris, I think you said the words, whatever it takes, because this is, as you mentioned, very correctly, life-saving. You know, it`s not like we`re out there trying to sell encyclopedias. We were out there trying to get people to save their lives, those of their loved ones, and those of the community. So, whatever it takes.
I mean, one of the things that we`ve done, and I think has helped somewhat, and a maybe a lot, is to employ trusted messengers, as opposed to what you heard from that clip of somebody who doesn`t want the government knocking on their doors. Well, we`re not talking about the government knocking on your door, we`re talking about people who you can relate to in the community who you trust, and whoever that might be.
I mean, I`ve been speaking, for example, to a number of people on their Instagrams, I know people at barber shops, or beauty salons, or physicians, family, doctors, people you trust, sports figures, people in the community that really get it, that what we`re talking about, is trying to save lives. And the piece that you just gave is absolutely accurate. That where there are high levels of vaccination, there`s low levels of infection, low hospitalization, and almost no deaths. Where you have no vaccination, you have higher levels of infection, high risk, and hospitalization.
It`s not complicated, Chris. And you said that, you know, very passionately, and I agree with you completely. This is not complicated. We`re not asking anybody to make any political statement one way or another. We`re saying try and save your life, and that of your family, and that of the community. It`s -- you know, we have so many things, as you said, so many diseases that I deal with that don`t have solutions. It`s very frustrating. You don`t have a treatment or you don`t have a vaccine. Here we have a vaccine that`s highly, highly effective in preventing disease and certainly, in preventing severe disease and hospitalization. It`s easy to get, it`s free, and it`s readily available.
So, you know, you`ve got to ask, what is the problem? Get over it. Get over this political statement. Just get over it and try and save the lives of yourself and your family.
HAYES: I want to complicate the picture a little bit because, you know, it`s a complicated country. It`s big and complicated country and I don`t want to put everyone into one bucket. And I thought this -- this is from the Tampa Bay Times last Friday, really interesting statistics.
So, two zip codes. In the Tampa -- you know, in the -- in the Gulf Coast area there, similar populations, one of them 92.6 percent vaccinated, one of them 30 percent vaccinated. One of them overwhelmingly white, the very vaccinated one, the other one, only 41 percent white, much more Hispanic. And much higher poverty rate in the second zip code there, 20 percent, more than double the first one. And that just makes me think like, there`s also an obvious socio-economic issue we`re dealing with here beyond whatever political messaging people are getting. That there are people in areas that are not getting the vaccine that is associated with higher poverty rates, lower socio-economic opportunity, and that`s a solution that`s got to get - - that`s a problem that`s got to get solved.
FAUCI: It does have to get solved. And we are making attempts of reaching out to people like that to just essentially extend yourself. As a matter of fact, you mentioned Tampa Bay, about a week or so ago, I went down to Tampa Bay -- Tampa Bay with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden. And we were there encouraging and seeing Hispanics. Once you get out there and show yourself there and say why it`s so important, you can make headway. So, we don`t give up on that group at all. There`s still a lot that can be done. And again, it`s with trusted messengers.
So, I think it was really a great trip we made and I believe we really made some headway in that regard. It`s sort of interesting and coincidental that you mentioned Tampa Bay.
HAYES: Where -- what are the -- what`s the target? I mean, what`s the worst-case scenario, I guess? Which is that if you hit the wall in these places, and you`ve got counties in America that are 20 percent vaccinated, like, what does that look like going into the winter?
FAUCI: Well, as I`ve said multiple times, Chris, it is a situation where you have almost two Americas, an at risk continuing to get infected, continuing to get hospitalized, unvaccinated America, and a vaccinated America that has very low level of infection, very low level of hospitalization, and very low death.
So, for the individuals within those areas that don`t want to get vaccinated, it`s going to be very risky from an individual health standpoint, from the country as a whole. It`s going to prevent us from just completely crushing this outbreak. So, what we will have, because certain sections are not going to want to get vaccinated, is this smoldering threat that`s always there. And the one of the threats that`s worrisome to everybody is that the more circulation of virus you have, without completely crushing it, the greater chance of the evolution of yet again, another variant, which we may not be able to handle as well.
Lucky for us, the variants that have circulated are handled quite well by the vaccines that are available. But we`re pretty lucky in that regard. If we keep allowing the virus to circulate, wherever it is, whatever red states or whatever states are not the ones that are getting vaccinated, then you have the threat of the entire system getting in trouble because you have a new variant.
HAYES: Yes. Dr. Anthony Fauci, as always, good to talk to you. Thank you so much for coming on tonight.
FAUCI: Good to be with you. Thanks for having me.
HAYES: We`ll be right back with the story of the insurrectionist and his Lego set. Seriously, right after this.
HAYES: Fans of Lego like myself, honestly, might be familiar with the brand`s architecture line which I love. It`s a series of buildable models of famous buildings around the world, including the Taj Mahal, the Empire State Building, and until it`s late 2019 retirement from the line because it`s changing all the time, believe me I keep track of this, the United States Capitol.
If you can put it -- put it together, it`s more than 1000 pieces, you can own a detailed model of the building and "Discover its architectural secrets. Remove the dome to access the redundant interior depicting the National Statuary Hall with columns, eight statues, and tiled floor."
Well, Lego may no longer be manufacturing the model. But one of the Capitol rioters managed to get his hands on it. When 27-year-old Robert Morss of Pennsylvania was arrested last month, officers recovered a fully constructed U.S. Capitol Lego set, according to court documents obtained by the Web site The Smoking Gun. They also found a notebook in his car that contained a list titled, and I quote, Step By Step To Create a Hometown Militia, including reminders like bring assault rifle and four magazines.
Morss showed up at the Capitol on January 6 dressed in camouflage wearing a tactical vest containing a pair of scissors and a knife. He`s accused of stealing riot shields from officers, leading and organizing rioters and assaults against police, and entering the Capitol building through a broken window. His next court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday, when a judge will decide if he should remain in jail.
More than 500 people have been arrested in connection with the January 6 attack. Each day, we get more and more details about them what happened at the Capitol. Scott MacFarlane is covering the cases for NBC4 Washington where he`s an investigative reporter. And he joins me now.
Scott, this detail, all I could imagine is whoever is searching the home, coming upon this being like, well, this seems relevant to what happened.
SCOTT MACFARLANE, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, NBC4 WASHINGTON: Chris, a lot of these cases have shapes or patterns or symmetry. This case has a shape all its own. Robert Morss is from State College Pennsylvania. And yes, they say he came to the Capitol with a tactical vest and those scissors. They also said he had a tourniquet. And the Fed say he joined multiple fronts of what was a multi-front war January 6. First scraping with police outside, grabbing up a time, coordinating the theft and movement of police shields, then they say he joined the fracas with the rioters in that west tunnel against police. Then they say he broke into, was unlawfully inside to destroyed private hideaway office in the Capitol.
We knew some of that from the original charging documents, but it`s what the Fed said when they tried to get him held in jail pre-trial that included some of these new revelations. They say when they arrested him, they found guns, they found that tourniquet. They say they found a handwritten notebook with writings that included step by step how to create a hometown militia. And yes, they say they found that fully completed Lego set of the U.S. Capitol.
They mentioned it just once, Chris. They didn`t provide context as to what they think that meant. But prosecutors rarely put things in documents without some reason. We hope to find that reason today. There was supposed to be a detention hearing for Robert Morss today. That`s why I was reporting on this case this morning and why other reporters did so today, but it was postponed. So maybe we find out Tuesday, Chris.
HAYES: One question that of course has confronted judges in all these cases is whether to hold people pretrial or not, the assessments of degree of danger or flight risk. There are two brothers right now who are attempting to a petition to be able to attend their third brother`s wedding. There`s been a lot of folks who are trying to be pre-trial released. Tell me about the case of these two brothers and what the pattern has been in terms of who has been detained pretrial and who hasn`t.
MACFARLANE: Yes, Jonathan Peter and Matthew Klein, both of Oregon, both accused of being in the Capitol illegally, both released from jail pending trial. They have a third brother who`s getting married next month. And they petitioned the court to allow them to go outside the restricted zone and attend the wedding. In fact, Matthew Klein is to be the best man.
The judge has agreed. That promises to be a heck of a wedding. But that being said, there is this huge range, Chris, between what judges are allowing for some defendants in others. Some defendants accused of laying hands on police are being kept in jail, believed to be a danger to the community. Others accused of laying hands on police are being released from jail. We`ll see if Robert Morris becomes one of them when he has his hearing Tuesday.
HAYES: All right, Scott McFarlane, as always, thank you so much those updates. I really appreciate it.
Ahead, does the Manhattan District Attorney have Ivanka Trump in his sights? What the Weisselberg charges tell us about where the Trump investigation goes next right after this.
HAYES: The Trump Organization took in more than $270 million last year, a steep decline from 2019. And it made at least $440 million, but it is still a relatively large business. Donald Trump has worked hard to make sure that that large business remains in the hands of a very, very small number of people. Still a private company, only a few employees besides Trump himself wield much power. You get cheap -- Chief Operations Officer Matthew Calamari, longtime Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg, recently indicted for tax fraud, and Trump`s adult children, or at least some of them, Don Jr., Eric, and Ivanka.
Because the team is so small, each of those people essentially have more exposure as the New York district attorney and the Attorney General`s investigation continues. Because there`s only a limited number of people you can blame. Legal experts are now pointing to former first daughter and Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump as the next member of the inner circle who should be very concerned. Like Allen Weisselberg, Ivanka Trump was reportedly paid consulting fees by the Trump work while she was an active employee there. And that can open her up to possible tax fraud charges as well.
Cynthia Alksne is a former federal prosecutor, one of those legal experts predicting Ivanka could be next on the chopping block. And she joins me now.
I`m Cynthia, just take me through your thinking here because I`ve seen a number of people who are informed and smart on this suggests similar or along these lines that there`s reasons to be worried if you`re Ivanka. Why?
CYNTHIA ALKSNE, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Here`s why. What we know from the Weisselberg indictment is that there`s a pervasive scheme that this company of text fraud. And there was a second set of books which is pretty detail. And there are lots of several people involved in this theme that, you know,different people are signing checks, different people know about it, so there`s witnesses there.
And it`s hard for me to believe that the Trump Organization would decide, you know, we`re going to figure out a way to save Allen Weisselberg almost a million dollars in taxes, but we`re not going to do it for anybody else. I mean, I don`t believe that, right? And I don`t believe they would do that and not do it for higher-ups in the company.
And right now, what we have is a situation where the only person indicted is Alan Weisselberg, and nobody named Trump. And I find that hard to believe that the scheme didn`t include them. Now, whether or not they can prove it, separate thing. But I do think that because of the pervasive scheme, and because we`ve known since November of 2020 that she has this issue about payments. And the issue is this. At some point in 2017, she was paid $2.2 million from Trump Organization. And also, there is a question of whether or not she got $750,000 in consulting fees.
Here`s the way the IRS works. Either you are an employee or you are an independent contractor, and you are not both.
HAYES: Correct. So, somebody I`m sure, some brilliant tax person in the New York DA`s Office is looking at this issue with a laser focus. And it seems to me a logical place for them to be looking.
HAYES: That -- so, two things. One that -- on the ladder point, I mean, that -- even when we found that out, right, that was a head-scratcher for anyone even you know, vaguely familiar with the tax code, vaguely familiar, like, you know, people all the time, they`ll be an employee to place and maybe they leave and they do some consulting afterwards, part-time on the side. You can`t control and be an employee for the same place, almost as a matter of definition. That looked weird even when we found out about it just knowing nothing else.
ALKSNE: But it sort of looks fishy. And then if you add it looks fishy, in essentially a swamp of tax fraud. That`s what makes me think that`s where they`re going to look. I mean, that makes sense to me. Calamari makes sense to me, because it seems to me that they are -- they have a system to save people tax money, and that`s part of the way they do their compensation. I mean, that`s what we know from this indictment. Now, whether or not they have the goods to prove it, we`re going to see, but that makes sense to me.
HAYES: That`s such an important point because one of the things I think that I`ve now understood having read the indictment is the perk isn`t the car, or the tuition. The perk is the tax evasion. Like, the perk you`re giving the employee is tax-free compensation which in real dollar terms is worth 40 to 50 percent more because at the income level you`re at, you`d be paying a ton of it in taxes.
ALKSNE: Right. I mean, certainly, this is not the biggest tax case in the history of time. I don`t think there`s any question about that. But if you`re the person who`s getting $235,000 -- $236,000 in a gift of getting - - and not having to pay tax on that because of your grandchildren, or you`re getting -- you know, Weisselberg close to $1 million he didn`t have to pay tax on. That`s pretty sweet. That`s exactly what the gift is.
HAYES: Every --
ALKSNE: Yes. And having said that, it bring loyalty. I mean, Weisselberg has been there for almost 50 years. Trump is taking care of his family. He employs his son. He may never flip.
HAYES: Yes, it`s a good point. And there`s -- the loyalty angle of this is interesting too to pursue. Cynthia Alksne, thank you so much.
Still ahead, what`s behind the national increase in interpersonal violence? The important detail that the headlines leave out. Don`t go anywhere. That`s next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHANNON BREAM, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: So, let`s talk about the crime wave sweeping through America`s big cities.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: There`s now a major crime wave all across the country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Seven in 10 voters think crime is on the rise nationally.
DAN BONGINO, CONTRIBUTOR, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: We have street chaos everywhere, crime is erupting in liberal cities all over this country.
REP. JIM BANKS (R-IN): Criminals in every city in America are liking what Democrats are selling. And that`s why you`re seeing unprecedented crime rate -- waves across America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: You`ve probably heard even if you don`t watch Fox, the crime is up over the last year. There`s been a lot of coverage of it. And whether this is the result or part of the cause of all the coverage, was to say Americans are more concerned about crime, they have been in a while, at least according to a new Washington Post poll that found that 28 percent of Americans believe crime is an extremely serious problem in the U.S., the highest number in 20 years.
And of course, conservatives are licking their chops as our police and other forces looking to rehab the old policies of mass incarceration, policies that, I should note, we never actually abandon. We remain the most incarcerated nation basically on Earth.
But here`s the thing about crime. It is not all the crime that is up. In fact lots of crime, so-called index crimes, those are murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, the ones using national statistics, many of those index crimes are down. For example, property crime was down 7.9 percent in 2020 relative to 2019. Property crime like shoplifting makes up about 85 percent of all major crimes reported by the FBI.
What is indisputable though is that murders and shootings are up. Over 19,000 people were killed in shootings and firearm-related incidents in 2020, the highest death toll in over 20 years. Based on preliminary FBI data, the US`s murder rate increased by 25 percent or more in 2020. That amounts to more than 20,000 murders in the year for the first time since 1995.
One piece of this puzzle that seems to not get much attention is the truly shocking proliferation of guns in the last year which coincided with this rise in shootings and murder. Now, the causal relationship not settled by any means. But 2020 was the biggest year for gun sales in American history ever, ever.
Last year, Americans bought 23 million guns, 64 percent increase over 2019 sales according to Washington Post analysis of federal data on gun background checks. That`s part of a larger trend which is an acceleration of gun sales in the U.S. in the last 10 years. Look at that chart.
America is a violent place. America has a lot of guns. And in the last year, American got a lot more guns and got more violent. Is it crazy to see relationship between these two simple stark facts? That`s next.
HAYES: Even back in, say 2012 or 2013 when the U.S. was at a historic low for gun violence and homicides, it was still more dangerous as a country (INAUDIBLE) nations more or less than the OECD developed democracies. So, we`ve always had higher homicide rates and more guns. Those are just two stark facts about America.
In the last year, we`ve seen homicides go up, shootings go up, and gun purchase go up. So, what`s going on? I want to bring an Amber Goodwin, the Founder and Executive Director of Community Justice Action Fund, a gun violence prevention organization, and Barry Friedman, the founding director of the policing Project at New York University Law School, author of Unwarranted Policing Without Permission.
Barry, let me start with you just from the kind of stats studying perspective on this about what the literature and data suggests about just this basic relationship between supply, more guns going into places, more being purchased, and gun violence and interpersonal violence?
BARRY FRIEDMAN, DIRECTOR, POLICING PROJECT: Well, because there`s obviously a relationship between supply and demand. That`s basic economics. But you have to distinguish between lawful and unlawful gun purchases. And it`s not clear to me that we`re seeing the homicides are a result of the kind of purchases that are going through background checks.
So, I take the point and we`re going to see an uptick in homicides, in fact, in suicides because there`s many guns out there in the world. We`ve seen an uptick in child suicides. I mean children killing themselves because guns were stored incorrectly. But I`m not sure the crime wave that we`re seeing the homicide rate is because of the gun sales.
HAYES: Amber, how do you think about gun violence as it relates to sort of the overall picture of both incarceration, policing, and safety for folks in communities that are that have seen some really upsetting increases in trauma and violence?
AMBER GOODWIN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, COMMUNITY JUSTICE ACTION FUND: Yes, I mean, the first thing I would say is that gun violence is a public health crisis. And for so long, communities across the country, especially communities of color, people on the front lines, people who are formerly incarcerated, people who have been on all sides of the gun have been screaming loudly from our communities and saying that we need to treat gun violence as a public health crisis.
So, the bad news is that crime is going up. But the good news is we have solutions that can actually work. And if you look at cities like Oakland, and Baltimore, and even New York City, in New York state where the governor just enacted a comprehensive approach to gun violence because of the work for decades that many communities have been doing on the ground.
Gun Violence is not only a public health crisis, but it`s preventable. If you look at what the American Public Health Association says, it`s the number one leading cause of premature deaths of people in this country. That means that it is preventable. And so, the good news is we have the solutions. We just need people, especially policymakers, to actually take them on.
HAYES: So, I want to come back to that, you know, to Baltimore, which has been a kind of bright spot amidst this, the city I`ve done a lot of reporting on which has not seen a spike. Barry, we`ve seen this rise in interpersonal violence. We`ve also seen other index crimes that have not gone up. We`ve seen interpersonal violence, particularly shootings and homicides across the 50 biggest cities. So, there`s this sort of fascinating consistency in terms of the data we have in 2020 to 2019 which is big and small places with different policies, whether you know, what different policing policies. How are you thinking about what we`ve seen the last year and what we`re seeing the first six months this year?
FRIEDMAN: Well, Chris, you know, the problem, I think, is that we`re all experiencing a sort of whiplash. I mean, a year ago, you know, a year and six weeks ago, George Floyd is killed and protests begin and everybody is talking about police reform. And now, homicides are shooting up and everybody is talking about getting tough on crime again.
And so, it`s very hard for folks to know what we should do. But I think the answer is, you know, as Amber says, we have a lot of answers. We have answers about what works and treating gun violence as a public health crisis. And we have answers in terms of not thinking that get tough policing is going to solve the problem. It actually exacerbates it much like beating on a fire.
HAYES: So, talk about the solutions, Amber. And then -- and then Barry, I`d like to hear what are concrete things that we`ve seen, tested, implemented, that that work?
GOODWIN: Well, one of the things I would say is that we need to start asking the right questions and framing the questions around gun violence as not just is crime going up, where is crime going up. We need to actually be asking, what do our communities need to be safer? And asking the question about safety from the people who are directly impacted.
So, what we`ve seen across the country and working with hospitals and working with credible messengers in places like Baltimore, in places like Cherry Hill, and neighborhoods in Baltimore, went on entire year without a shooting, which is remarkable, right? They were working with people who are -- we consider first responders, the people who are close to this pain every single day.
And so, a lot of the solutions that we see, including coming from people who are mayors, who are governors, sometimes aren`t enough because they`re actually not releasing the funds that actually are already there whether it`s through President Biden, what he did with American jobs plan and releasing funds directly for comprehensive approaches to gun violence, or through just different elected officials across the country, including Break the Cycle of Violence Act, which was just reintroduced last week by Senator Cory Booker and Representative Horsford, which will really make sure that we`re not only funding, things that we think may work and we can do experiments on, but funding evidence-based solutions that work with communities directly and are not tied just to policing and mass incarceration.
So, Break the Cycle of Violence Act is definitely something that can not only be modeled and needs to be pushed all the way through Congress, but the funds that have already been allocated with the American Jobs Plan need to go to every city in every state across the country.
HAYES: Barry, what -- how are you thinking about solutions as something that you study basically full time.
FRIEDMAN: Yes, I`ll tell you what I think doesn`t work and what works. And I want to begin by saying amen to Amber, which is we have to hear from impacted communities about their concept of public safety. So, what doesn`t work but we always do in moments like this is that we get tough through policing, and decide basically to conduct lots of stops, pedestrian stops, stop and frisk, automobile stops.
FRIEDMAN: And all this does is angers the communities that the police need cooperation from to deal with the violence in those communities. What does work, and Amber alluded to much of this is there are a lot of community- based interventions, things like Cure Violence, Credible Messengers, who actually can step in and deal with the violence.
We`ve also seen that things like job programs for young men in the inner city and after-school programs. Like, all of these things are demonstrated to bring down violence and that`s the direction you need to be looking.
HAYES: Amber Goodwin --- Amber Goodwin and Barry Friedman, thank you both so much for talking to us tonight.
GOODWIN: Thanks for having me.
HAYES: That is ALL IN for this evening. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris. Thank you, my friend. Much appreciated. And thanks for you at home for joining --