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Transcript: The Beat with Ari Melber, 6/24/21

Guests: Sally Heyman, John Flannery, Libby Casey, Elie Mystal


President Biden announces a bipartisan infrastructure deal. Rudy Giuliani has his New York law license suspended for election lies. Nancy Pelosi announces the formation of a select committee to investigate the Capitol riot. Congressman Matt Gaetz goes after the feds while under a criminal investigation for sex crimes. A residential building collapses in Florida. George Floyd`s killer is set for sentencing.


NICOLLE WALLACE, MSNBC HOST: THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER with our good friend Jason Johnson, in for Ari Melber, starts right now.

Hi there, Jason.

JASON JOHNSON, MSNBC HOST: Hey, Nicolle. Thank you so very much.

Welcome to THE BEAT. I`m Jason Johnson, in for Ari Melber.

And there is a ton of news happening right now.

President Biden announces a bipartisan infrastructure deal, but there`s a twist.

And this story getting a lot of attention, Rudy Giuliani has his New York law license suspended for election lies.

But we start tonight with the MAGA insurrection and a major announcement from Speaker Pelosi. They will tap a select committee to investigate the January 6 riot at the Capitol. This is after Republicans blocked an independent committee designed to basically find out what was going on.

And Republicans stopped it even though their own lives were at risk.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): This morning, with great solemnity and sadness, I`m announcing that the House will be establishing an a select committee on the January 6 insurrection.

The timeline will be as long as it takes for them, the time they need to do the investigation of the causes of this.


JOHNSON: Speaker Pelosi basically flexing on Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans for blocking an independent commission into people that wanted to kill them all.


PELOSI: It is imperative that we establish the truth of that day and ensure that an attack of that kind cannot happen and that we root out the causes of it all.

It is clear that the Republicans are afraid of the truth.


JOHNSON: This committee will have subpoena power, so they can haul in any witnesses, under penalty of law, with questions about who knew what and when, including lawmakers, and focus on Trump`s role.

This news coming as the Department of Justice released new body camera video. I want to warn you this video is disturbing.




JOHNSON: Five hundred people have been charged in federal court in connection with the terrorist attack. And another far right group member just agreed to cooperate after a guilty plea for conspiracy and obstruction.

Joining me now is "New York Times" columnist Michelle Goldberg, Democratic strategist Juanita Tolliver and Elie Mystal, justice correspondent for "The Nation."

Elie Mystal, the Lewis Black of politics, one of my favorite people, I`m going to start with you.


JOHNSON: So, we, have got 500 people who have been under investigation. They have already been arrested.

How far do you think this is going to go? Look, I`m as confident as the next person that people who tried to overthrow this country are being brought in. But after news yesterday that you still have some people walking out with just probation, how many of these 500 people would you speculate right now might actually see real jail time for attempting to overthrow America?

ELIE MYSTAL, "THE NATION": Well, you`re starting with 500. And I say the total data set here is still 800.


MYSTAL: Eight hundred people breached the Capitol that day. Only 500 have been arrested. So, I guess 35 percent of you all, you all got off scot- free, right?

So, like, those people are just right now out of the mix entirely. We`re only dealing with the 500 that have been charging. And as you have said, Judge Royce Lamberth yesterday had some very strong words for what he`s going to do. But what he did do was allow the first insurrectionist off with probation, on the theory that she was super sorry about what she did, and now she`s read some stuff about Black Lives Matter, and she realizes that she might have been wrong.

So, that apparently let her get off with probation. Look, I`m not -- if I may play the Jason Johnson of this show today...


MYSTAL: ... my concern is that is that we are not doing enough to stop these people.

Select committees are great, but where`s -- and you said it. They have subpoena power. You know who also had subpoena power? The impeachment committees. And Don McGahn only showed up yesterday, after dodging them for two years, right? So I`m not psyched about the select committee really having enough teeth to investigate this.

And I`m still unconvinced that Merrick Garland`s Justice Department are going to bring the RICO conspiracy charges necessary to actually punish these people to the fullest -- fullest extent of the law.

JOHNSON: With that in mind, so, Juanita, look, we had the judge yesterday. When the judge handed out this ruling -- and we will bring it up on screen -- he said, look, it`s utterly ridiculous that you had members of Congress who still said that this was a tourist trip and people were just hanging out.

So, apparently, we have some judges who realize how ridiculous this is.

But, Juanita, my question for you is, look, this happens to be a judge who cares about America and has common sense. What do you think is going to be the result once some of these people end up in front of judges that maybe, I don`t know, Donald Trump selected, or Republicans put in office, who not only might let these people off scot-free, but might give statements encouraging future behavior?

Is that something we should be concerned about?

JUANITA TOLLIVER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: I think absolutely be concerned about it.

And, Jason, I also want to remind you that this is also the judge that told the defendant in this sentencing that he`s cutting her a break, right?


TOLLIVER: I`m also concerned about other judges cutting these defendants a break.

And, as Elie said, this is not accountability. What, community service probation, a nominal fine, like, that`s it? Like, we know black people have faced worse penalty for sitting outside the corner store, right?

Like, these are people who walked into the Capitol Building. And while she`s saying she`s sorry, she wants "Schindler`s List," like, that`s not enough. It`s the epitome of white privilege to go and say, I`m embarrassed, I did the wrong thing, even though I posted that I had a great F`ing time on the day, but now I`m contrite, and that`s why I shouldn`t get at least six months of jail time.

Look, these judges need to get it together and hold these people accountable. And I`m also looking to Pelosi`s select committee to hold elected members accountable for their efforts in riling up this crowd.

Remember, there are GOP members who tweeted, today is like 1776, be prepared to defend the White House. Let`s do this for Trump.

So there`s a lot that needs to come out of the select committee. And even though their subpoena power might not be far-reaching, as Elie mentioned, I think we can uncover a degree of truth that is absolutely going to have an impact on the American public as we head into the midterms.

And Pelosi said, this is going to go for as long as it takes. And I`m sure Republicans are just cringing at the idea that this is going to be a drumbeat of communication going into 2022.

JOHNSON: You know, Juanita, it is interesting to me that you can hear these people who get busted. They say, oh, I read a book, and now I know slightly better.

I would love to hear somebody up on drug charges, say, you know what, I watched season four of "The Wire," and now I realize I`m wrong.

I don`t think that would work. I don`t think that`s going to get anybody...

TOLLIVER: Come on.


JOHNSON: ... jail time.

But, Michelle, I want to ask you this. We`re going to focus sort of on -- Pelosi is putting together this committee.

The value of these committees is twofold, in my mind. One, obviously, we can find out more information about the people who tried to overthrow the country, but, two, as we have seen Republicans use them in a previous administration for Benghazi and things like that, they are also communication. They are performance art.

What kinds of people do the Democrats need to put on this committee to make sure that we`re getting those kind of loud viral Jim Jordan moments, so that the public doesn`t forget about the fact that the Republican Party is complicit in the attack that happened?

MICHELLE GOLDBERG, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think it`s not just about performance.

I mean, if you look back to the Benghazi committee, arguably, without it, we would have had a Hillary Clinton presidency, because it was the Benghazi committee that unearthed the fact that she had these e-mails on this server that we then heard about through all of 2015 and 2016.

Look, I think that we had -- we had two impeachments, both of which had a number of superb prosecutors from the House. Anybody from either of those impeachments could do a phenomenal job on this committee.

But the job of this committee, I think, is not just to have these moments, as important as that is. These 500 cases are going to give us a sort of fractured version of what happened that day.

But in order to give us a holistic version, and a version that doesn`t just look at the people who actually stormed the Capitol, but the people who encouraged them, the people who maybe funded them, the people who knew that this was coming, Donald Trump, the people who set up that rally, the people who -- the members of Congress that encouraged him, and also looked at what was going on at the White House as it was -- as it became clear that there had been this breach and that we were on the verge of sort of decapitation of a branch of government.

In order to get that holistic picture, you need basically people who are skilled investigators and skilled legal fighters...


GOLDBERG: ... because you`re right that Don McGahn was able to resist for two years, but, eventually, he wasn`t. And this is going to go on for a long time.

JOHNSON: So, Juanita, when we have this committee together -- and just thinking about it from a communication strategy standpoint, where do you want to start?

Does Pelosi want to start with just some good storytellers? Does she want to start with dragging in men and women who might be under investigation already? Where do you think a good starting place for this select committee would be for the Democrats, knowing that, again, they want this to not only enlighten the public as to what happened, but lay the groundwork for what they need in 2022?

Where should they start?

TOLLIVER: I think Jason is about perspective-setting of the individuals who were in the building that day, showing the active threat that they faced.

I`m talking about custodial workers, which no one has talked about, largely, who also had their lives threatened on this day.


TOLLIVER: Set the tone by talking about the threat, so that, when you do start to paint the fuller picture about what was happening behind the scenes, whether GOP members were giving tours to insurrectionists before the attack on January 6, what Trump was tweeting before and after, when they decided to move the rally date to January 6, like, when you start to fill that in, it all comes back to, and this was the active threat that people were failing and facing.

And not only the tangible threat to individuals, but also the threat to our democracy, which we know is still under attack through voter suppression bills and other tactics too that we still have coming from Trump, where he`s still claiming that the election was stolen in 2020.

And so tying all of that together, under the perspective-setting of, this was an active threat to humans, as well as to our democracy, is going to be a big deal.

JOHNSON: So, Elie, I like the idea of the committee. I think this is a good move. I had a feeling that Pelosi was going to do this after everything failed in the Senate.

But going back to sort of what you mentioned before, this idea of how far the Democrats are willing to go, now, symbolically, a perp walk does wonders. Do you think the Senate -- do you think that House Democrats are committed to not only putting out subpoenas and saying, hey, you got to show up, but will they arrest people who don`t show up?

And what happens if they have to subpoena another member of Congress? I`m just -- my concern going into this is that it`s a brilliant idea, but if everybody thumbs their nose at this committee, then it`s going to be a bunch of members of Congress talking to themselves.

How far do you think they`re going to go or that they will need to go to make this actually effective?

MYSTAL: They will have to go all the way, and they won`t.

Like, that`s -- let`s just put that on table right now.


MYSTAL: The Democrats will not go far enough with this thing.

Look, I am happy that they`re doing it by themselves. We didn`t have al Qaeda on the 9/11 Commission. I don`t see why we have should have Y`all Qaeda on the 1/6 commission. Like, that is fine.

But, at the end of the day, the Democrats have to be willing to put some teeth behind it. And I don`t see them being willing to do that. And, quite frankly, just to -- not to blow up anybody`s particular spot, but to blow up all of our spots collectively, the media isn`t ready to back them up either, right?

One of the reasons that Michelle`s point about Benghazi was correct is because the media put Hillary Clinton, put her on camera for 11 hours drinking water, right? The e-mails that they uncovered, that worked because the media did one million, billion stories about her stupid e-mails for six months.

Is the media going to put this on TV? Is the media going to put the select committee on TV? Is the media going to focus in on the empty chair that -- where Lauren Boebert should be sitting or where Marjorie Taylor Greene should be sitting?

Are they going to do that? Or are they going to make excuses for why this isn`t good ratings, and we should be talking about something else? That`s also part of the problem.

So it`s not just Democrats` kind of unwillingness to go the full monty. It`s also the media`s ability to get bored when the problem is Republicans overthrowing the government.

JOHNSON: Michelle, along those same lines, is there any initial fear, right?

I mean, because Democrats have a way of sort of putting themselves in a circular firing squad. Are there any initial fears that you`re hearing from already with Democrats saying, OK, we want to do this, but we`re concerned because it`s not bipartisan, or we think maybe the public won`t like it because it`s not bipartisan?

Are you hearing anything like that now? Or are people pretty much like, let`s go ahead with it, Pelosi has got the right idea?

GOLDBERG: You know, the reporting that I have seen, has talked about sort of fears that it won`t appear bipartisan, but has not attributed those fears to anyone.

And so I think, look, I`m sure that there are probably some Democrats who are going to be spooked. It`s obviously why Republicans decided to take this gamble. And it really is a gamble, because if Republicans had agreed to a bipartisan commission, they would have some control over the subpoenas, they would have some control over who was called, right? They didn`t want to do that.

So the Democrats have full control. I think they just have to embrace the fact that, yes, people are going to call it -- are going to say it`s not bipartisan, and they have to be ready whenever anyone says that to say, and why is that, right? Why is it that only Democrats have been willing to lead an investigation into January 6, right? When we extended a hand, you slapped it away.

And so I just think that they have to not be worried about it. I don`t think most people care about this kind of process stuff. They care about what this commission is going to reveal.

JOHNSON: Exactly. They have got power. Now it`s time to use it.

Michelle Goldberg, Juanita Tolliver and Elie Mystal, thank you all so much for starting off our show today.

GOLDBERG: Thank you.

JOHNSON: Coming up: Giuliani`s New York law license suspended over election lies. We have new sound of him.

Also, Matt Gaetz goes after the feds while under a criminal investigation for sex crimes.

But first: There is a deal on infrastructure, but there is a catch for Republicans, a smart tactic from Nancy Pelosi -- next.



JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Really good meeting. And to answer your direct question, we have a deal.


JOHNSON: "We have a deal," a potentially huge, historic moment, Biden meeting with a bipartisan group of senators today on jobs and infrastructure and saying they have reached a deal.

But there`s a catch. It`s got $600 billion for bridges and roads, but leaves out a ton of what progressives want, nothing on climate change, childcare, education, social programs. Biden is vowing he will only sign the deal for bridges and roads if there`s a separate deal for all the other things.


BIDEN: Look, the bipartisan bill from the very beginning, it was understood there`s going to have to be the second part of it. I`m not just signing the bipartisan bill and forgetting about the rest I have -- that I proposed.

In tandem. Let me emphasize that -- and in tandem. We need physical infrastructure, but we also need the human infrastructure as well. They`re a part of my overall plan.


JOHNSON: Here`s the thing. The Senate has been talking about infrastructure first, reconciliation second for a larger spending bill.

The danger is that Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema would vote yes on infrastructure and then no to all the other stuff that actual Democrats want.

Pelosi says she won`t allow a vote on a Senate infrastructure bill until after reconciliation passes.


PELOSI: There ain`t going to be an infrastructure bill unless we have the reconciliation bill, plain and simple.

And, in fact, I use the word ain`t.



JOHNSON: Don`t start no bill. Won`t be no bill.

Joining me now is former Obama pollster and MSNBC political analyst Cornell Belcher and "Washington Post" political reporter Libby Casey.

Libby, I`m going to start with you.

Look, this is a good moment for Joe Biden. Clearly, he`s been listening to his critics. I want to play some of this sound and get your thoughts on the other side.


JOHNSON: Tonight, progressives calling on Biden to go faster, to go bigger, to go harder, and to do it alone, without Republicans if need be.

BIDEN: I know there are some of my party who discouraged me from seeking an agreement with our Republican colleagues, who said that we should go bigger and go alone.


JOHNSON: Somebody is listening.

Libby, clearly, look, Joe Biden hears the criticism. Joe Biden hears what Democrats want, the desire to sort of push forward, to not go for this sort of magical golden fleece of bipartisanship.

But within the White House, are they satisfied that this deal on infrastructure speaks well for future deals they might be able to make? Or are they just trying to get points on the board because they know they need to build up as much as they can before we head into the campaign season next year?

LIBBY CASEY, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Well, President Biden has told the American people that he can work across the aisle.

It`s a lot of what he campaigned on. It`s a lot of what he talked about and trying to show Americans the sense of unity at a time when America is so very fractured. So this is an opportunity for him to stand there with Republicans in front of the White House and say something we hardly ever hear, which is, "We have a deal."

Now, at the same time, there are progressives in his party who have big priorities. And so they`re going to be pushing for that other track to keep continuing.

But here`s the important thing. This infrastructure bill could pass with 60 votes, potentially, if you can get more than these 10 to 20 senators who say they like what they have put together here, along with the president.

OK, you got that one. On the other hand, you have got this reconciliation bill, this huge package that has so many Democratic priorities. We`re talking about things like extending the child tax credit. We`re talking about environmental policies.

We`re talking about what Democrats see as a potentially transformative legislative agenda. But if they do it through reconciliation, they only need the Democrats on board. They only need that 51 votes. Thank you, Vice President Harris, they can say, to get them over the finish line.

But, of course, they have to get Senator Manchin on board, Senator Sinema on board, some of those faces you saw today in front of the White House. The Democrats have to be together as a bloc. So President Biden has to talk to the Americans. He has to talk to a couple of those senators who won`t necessarily join with them for that liberal spending package.

And then he`s also got to talk to some of the Republicans.

JOHNSON: Cornell, there are a number of senators, obviously, who are saying, look, we need to make sure that we have this bigger package, we need to make sure that we`re actually following through with Democratic priorities.

I`m going to play some sound from two of those senators and get your thoughts on the other side.


SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D-CT): Way too small, paltry, pathetic. It has to be combined with a second, much more robust, adequate package to be deserving of a vote.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): We have to have the whole thing, not just -- not just cleave off a little piece of it.


JOHNSON: Bigger, badder, faster, stronger. Everybody wants a bigger bill.

Cornell, from a polling perspective, right, just straight empirical numbers, if the Democrats aren`t able to get through a reasonable number of things through reconciliation, is that actually going to harm them down the road? Because that`s ultimately what this is going to boil down to. Can they convince people like Sinema and Manchin and maybe even some other Democrats that, if you don`t get reconciliation, it`s going to hurt you at the ballot box.

Is that something that they can -- can they make that argument at this point?

CORNELL BELCHER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it`s problematic, because the people on the other side who would be making the argument against the Democrats don`t want any of it.

So, they don`t want any of it. So they`re going to attack the Democrats for it. No, I think -- so I think is problematic in that way, though, look, I think what you`re seeing is politics 101, right? And it is take what you can get when you can get it and then come back for more.

And of course, those senators going to say, we want more, we want bigger packages, and we want climate, and we want all these other things in it, because that`s politics. They would be crazy not to, right, to put up -- to put it on the table, and then have it, and then negotiate with it.

But I got to tell you this. That image of Senator -- of those bipartisan senators standing with Biden, that, my friend, is political gold. And it is -- because it`s all that Americans want and what they believe in Joe Biden is that he`s a guy who can work across the aisles.

And lord knows, I worked for a guy who struggled to get anywhere with Republicans and Mitch McConnell. And this guy is standing in front of the White House with these senators in a bipartisan way around a really -- I mean, we could argue about how it`s not everything in it, but it is a big infrastructure bill.

And as I`m sitting here in Washington, D.C., with bridges falling down on 295 here in Washington, D.C., Americans are going to take whatever infrastructure bill they can, because they know it makes us more competitive and they know it makes their lives better. So I think it`s a big victory, political victory, for President Biden.

JOHNSON: Cornell Belcher, Libby Casey, thank you all so very much for your time.

We`re going to get back to this issue. I think this infrastructure thing is going to matter for a while.

Coming up in just 60 seconds: Rudy Giuliani faces accountability for his role promoting the big lie.

And, later, Matt Gaetz`s own incredible self-own.

Back in just 30 seconds.


JOHNSON: The former president`s lawyer can no longer practice law.

Rudy Giuliani today having his New York law license suspended, a court statement with a blistering rebuke of Giuliani, saying he -- quote -- "communicated demonstrably false and misleading statements in his capacity as lawyer for former President Donald Trump" -- unquote.

It goes on to say his bolstering of the false narrative that the 2020 election was stolen due to widespread voter fraud immediately threatens the public interest.

Giuliani calling his suspension baseless.


RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: These judges take action without giving me a hearing. They listen to the false allegations that are made by the Democrats and disregard the other side of it.

Same thing they did to President Trump. They`re basing it on "The New York Times," "The Washington Post," CNN, MSNBC.


JOHNSON: The scathing 33-page decision comes on the same day that Trump ally Sidney Powell -- she`s the QAnon-sympathizing lawyer -- and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, and, yes, Rudy Giuliani himself asked a D.C. judge to throw out a trio of billion-dollar defamation lawsuits brought against them by Dominion Voting.

Dominion claiming it has suffered -- quote -- "unprecedented reputational and financial harm" -- unquote -- due to falsehoods spread by spread by the trio in a -- quote -- "viral disinformation campaign."

That disinformation campaign sounded a little something like this:


GIULIANI: Gee, just about the 700,000 votes that President Trump was ahead by two days ago that disappeared.

President Trump`s campaign was denied its right to a fair count.

SIDNEY POWELL, ATTORNEY: We have evidence of how they flipped the votes, how it was designed to flip the votes.

GIULIANI: The machines can be hacked. There`s no question about that. Their machines can be hacked.

POWELL: We are going to clean this mess up now. President Trump won by a landslide. We are going to prove it.


JOHNSON: Joining me now, former federal prosecutor John Flannery, who worked with Giuliani in the Southern District of New York.


JOHNSON: John, so I have to start with this, because I find all of this bizarre and strange.


JOHNSON: And I don`t know how all of these people haven`t lost their law licenses at this particular point.

Giuliani`s argument is that, well, it wasn`t really me lying. I was just sharing what witnesses said.

So I`m going to play this sound and get your thoughts on this as a lawyer on the other side.



GIULIANI: Everything I said about this case comes from a witness, sometimes two or three witnesses.

I have a woman who was willing to testify that she was taught how to cheat by the Democrat Party in Detroit. Before you can say I was acting improperly, you got to listen to these witnesses.


FLANNERY: It`s outrageous.

JOHNSON: So, in other words, his argument is basically like, the other people lied to me, so I`m just lying for them.

Like, does that actually work in court, unless it`s like "Night Court" or something?

FLANNERY: Well, it might delay the conviction a few minutes, but it ends up in the same place.

I have dealt with a number of prosecutions in which you have the "I don`t know" perjury. And, usually, you can prove that because they remember everything around it, except the incident that they claim not to remember, which is inculpatory.

He makes a big mistake here. He assumes that people aren`t going to read the 33 pages that they wrote describing why he was a danger to the community, that is, to courts, to legislators and to the public, for the lies that he told.

And when he was in Pennsylvania -- and this is why New York has a stake. It was because he had a New York license he got to appear in the Middle District of Pennsylvania, the first time in 20 years in a courtroom. That`s a lawyer for you.

But when he was talking to the court, he was saying fraud, fraud, fraud, fraud, fraud. And the court at one point said, well, is that in your complaint? And he said at first it was, and then it wasn`t. And that, in and of itself, is a lie.

But he had a whole series of factual misstatements that were demonstrably proven false. He even said Joe Frazier is still voting in 2021. Well, he -- when he died in 2012, for a couple of months, he was on the rolls. And then he was removed, like other people are when they`re aware of it.

So his lies are petty. And they`re large. And they`re big. And, as a result, 75 percent of Republicans think the election was stolen because of his lies. So, this had an effect.

And so when they say in New York, we`re going to suspend you, they`re suspending him. And they might normally give you a chance to rebut it. But what he said was so dangerous and so terrible that they invoke procedures they have. And he gets to challenge them. And at the end of the day, there`s a good chance he will be disbarred.

So I`d like to think that this is the spring of the reckoning. This is -- we`re now able to surface the reckoning, because America is nuts for somebody to actually be punished for the wrongs they have done, Rudy Giuliani right at the top, right next to Trump and several other people.

JOHNSON: So, John, and this is the thing. And I hear you, because, clearly, whenever Giuliani gets in trouble, it`s somebody else, somebody -- he initially goes to the Shaggy defense: It wasn`t me. It was somebody else.


JOHNSON: But I also think it`s really important the way you were focusing on the danger that he caused by spreading the lies and what those consequences have been at a local and a federal level.

I want to play you this really quick sound of him again, in his own words, questioning the election. And we will talk about that on the other side.


GIULIANI: Those are the ballots that were stuck in the machine eight times, nine times, 10 times. I don`t know what the vote in Michigan is.

Our vote is owned by two Venezuelans who were allies of Chavez.

Now, if they ran such a clean election, why wouldn`t they make all the machines available immediately?


JOHNSON: What amazes me was when the same arguments were being made by Democratic activists and organizers in Florida and Georgia, they all said they were crazy.

John, after hearing something like this, what kind of defense? Because you said, look, it`s suspension now.


JOHNSON: He could eventually be disbarred. What would be the line? What else does Giuliani have to do to actually be disbarred in New York?

FLANNERY: Well, we have a limp prosecutorial team in various places. And I mean New York, D.C. and Georgia, which don`t act.

And I don`t understand it, because, as a young prosecutor, this kind of outrageous crime would just turn the juices. I mean, you would have fire in the belly to bring down people like this, and we`re not doing it. And that itself works against us.

So what we really have is an interference in the election, from the 2016 election, to the 2020 election, and every place in between, cover-ups to avoid it. And nobody`s punished for it.

It`s not enough to wring your hands and say, oh, you shouldn`t do that, that`s really terrible. And then we do nothing for it. And we still invoke terms like no man is above the law...


FLANNERY: ... when, plainly, these guys are.

And I wish New York would get off its buns. And I wish both the Southern District and the DA`s office in Georgia would do it, and we stop talking about rioters. Let`s go -- let`s look at what the intelligence people were doing, not doing. Let`s look at what the Hill was doing, not doing.

That`s the big case. It`s not about the rioters. They`re the facility for an incitement, for an insurrection. Who was really behind it?

JOHNSON: John, really quick. We have got 30 seconds.


JOHNSON: I just have a quick question.

Now that Giuliani`s law license is suspended, does this mean that conversations that he has with people no longer have attorney-client privilege? Would that also be a new opening?

FLANNERY: No, I will bet you that very few of the conversations that we would be interested in hearing were attorney-client privilege.

But an attorney-client privilege in the past persists in the past through the present, even while he`s suspended. Now, a nice question would be, if I talked to him now, when his license is suspended, can he advise me?

And I think the answer is, A, I don`t ask, and, B, why would you ask?

JOHNSON: Nobody would listen.

John Flannery, thank you so very much for your time. I appreciate it.

FLANNERY: Thanks, Jason.

JOHNSON: Ahead: preparations under way for the sentencing tomorrow for George Floyd`s killer.

And Matt Gaetz makes a legal mistake amid a federal sex crimes probe.


JOHNSON: Turning now to the Miami area, search-and-rescue teams are desperately searching for survivors after a high-rise apartment building collapsed overnight.

Security footage caught it all on camera. I will warn you, the video is disturbing. You can see here that part of that building begin to trouble -- part of the building begin to crumble. One person is dead so far; 10 more have been injured. And officials say 99 more people are currently unaccounted for, as rescuers battle fire, smoke and turbulent weather.

The rescue operation is expected to last for days.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We did hear screams, but I couldn`t tell where they were coming from, from the rubble, from the apartment.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was there. She was there. She was amazing. She was an amazing person.

And it`s not fair. It`s just unfair.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It feels like a horrible nightmare, you know? It`s like it`s not for real.


JOHNSON: Joining me now is Miami-Dade County Commissioner Sally Heyman.

Commission Heyman, thank you so much. My condolences to your constituents and those who are suffering and those who are left in anxiety right now.

I`m going to hit you with this question first. So, apparently, this building was determined to be unstable about a year ago. I have to ask, how common is that? Is it common to have buildings that were built in the late `70s and early `80s be deemed unstable in and around the Miami-Dade area?

And if it is common, what percentage of the buildings could we be worried about? Is it 5 percent, 10 percent? How common is this?


One of the answer is, for this, it`s considered a somewhat young building, a young structure, when you look at some of the other structures around the country, let alone in Miami-Dade. And, two, we have a 40-year inspection that is standard, where all buildings, regardless of where they`re located in Miami-Dade, are required to do.

As far as a year ago, hearing that the building was deemed unstable, I heard that for the first time. I`m a county commissioner in this area -- town of Surfside is one of my cities -- for 19 years. This is the first time I`m hearing about it.

And we have brand-new structures and older structures surrounding this complex. And I find that troublesome from an academian, who only brought it out today.

JOHNSON: Goodness gracious.

HEYMAN: Yes, great concern.

JOHNSON: Commissioner Sally Heyman, thank you so much for that information.

Turning now to NBC`s Vaughn Hillyard. Hillyard it is in Surfside, Florida, near the collapse site.

Vaughn, I have to ask you this, because this is the concern. The county commissioner just said that this is considered a relatively young building. This building was built in 1981. Now, that may be -- it may be older than you, may be older than some of us, but I can imagine that there`s going to be lots of buildings in that city that were built in the `60s and built in the `70s.

Has this collapse led to a concern about the safety in other locations?

VAUGHN HILLYARD, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, the foremost concern right now is the other half of this very complex.

You can see it right here. Essentially, about 40 percent of the complex, 55 units, collapsed. But that other half is still standing here. The electric, the water, but also the gas had been shut off here in the surrounding areas.

There is also a hotel here across the way, as well as this -- another condo complex just across the street that were also all evacuated here because of the concern about the infrastructure here that led to this implosion this morning, because, frankly, we don`t know.

Was it simply a gas explosion? Was there a sinkhole of sorts? Or was it more of an infrastructure issue here? We know that there were concerns about this particular building, about cracks in the wall. But was there also issues with rusting steel or with the concrete deteriorating?

We still do not know the answers to those questions. Building collapses like this are not normal.


HILLYARD: Most folks are saying we haven`t seen something like this in decades.

But what we do know here this evening is that there is still a search operation here. There are 99 individuals presently unaccounted for at this time, Jason. Now, are there necessarily 99 individuals missing? We don`t know that. Essentially, they went through these 55 units. And they added up the number of individuals who would normally be staying there overnight.

That`s how they got to that 99 number. But the hope is that there are fewer than that are actually missing. But this was a tough afternoon for these search crews here -- Jason.

JOHNSON: Yes, I can imagine that, Vaughn.

I want to follow up on this real quick. So, of those 99, is there hope that, like, maybe they`re trapped underneath a part of the building that collapse, and that people are underground and trying to survive with water and air? Do they think it`s just like, hey, somebody wasn`t home that night because they were working late?

Like, what`s the timeline for trying to find some of these 99 people?

HILLYARD: That`s exactly the case.

This is Florida, Miami, and there`s a large snowbird population, a great number of folks who aren`t necessarily here during the summertime, but come in the wintertime. And so there`s a hope that there were some of these units that were unoccupied.

But then, also, you`re dealing with the fact that we already know that there were six Paraguay citizens who were here, living here. We also know that there were three Colombian citizens that were here. And so that is where now these officials are trying to go, through unit by unit, but they`re also asking folks to reach out and call, because they are trying to get a true sense of just how many individuals here were missing at this time.

We have seen in earthquakes past where individuals were able to find and survive within these small pockets, if they`re able to find some avenue of oxygen here.

But, again, I can`t underscore the unfortunate circumstances of this afternoon were particularly difficult. There was a thunderstorm that held up the search operations. There was also a fire that was kind of smoldering here, in which there was a large plume of smoke that made its way over the course of about an hour here through the rubble, which really put the search operations and the search teams in difficult circumstances, Jason.

JOHNSON: Vaughn Hillyard, thank you for bringing this story to us. Thank you very much.

Coming up: Matt Gaetz`s mistake amidst the federal sex crime probe. I will explain.

And, later, George Floyd`s killer sentenced tomorrow. A preview here on THE BEAT.


JOHNSON: Congressman Matt Gaetz is not helping his legal case.

He is under federal investigation for possible sex crimes, including sex trafficking and sex with a minor, allegations he denies. Gaetz is definitely the kind of client that has his lawyers considering their life choices.

Gaetz was tweeting defund the FBI. He deleted the tweet in less than a minute, but he`s attacking the agency that`s investigating him.

But this is his Trumpian defense:


REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): I`m a marked man in Congress.


GAETZ: I`m a canceled man in some corners of the Internet. I might be a wanted man by the deep state.

I do believe that there are people at the Department of Justice who are trying to smear me. I`m just troubled that the lack of any sort of legitimate investigation into me would then permute, would then convert into this extortion attempt.


JOHNSON: Is he try to catching a case or catch a predator?

ABC News reporting the feds are interviewing more women and a decision charging could come as early as July.

Meanwhile, Gaetz is declaring himself team Britney and calling for a federal investigation into Britney Spears` conservatorship.

Way to deflect, Matt. Isn`t she a little old for you?

Gaetz denies all wrongdoing, has not been charged with any crimes. But he might want to stop going after the very people who are probing him.

The officer guilty of murdering George Floyd will be sentenced tomorrow.

Next, a reporter who has been on it from day one. Trymaine Lee will be with you next.


JOHNSON: We`re back on the eve of the city thing of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

Chauvin faces up to 40 years in prison after being found guilty of second- degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and secondary manslaughter in the death of George Floyd, that killing sparking nationwide protests and demands for police reform over the treatment of black Americans by law enforcement.

Joining me now is MSNBC correspondent and host of the "Into America" podcast, Trymaine Lee.

Trymaine, you`re out with a new podcast looking at policing in the wake of George Floyd`s murder. We will get to that in a moment, but just first your thoughts on the eve of the sentencing. What`s on your mind right now?

TRYMAINE LEE, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Jason, thanks for having me.

This is a big deal tomorrow. A lot of folks have been waiting a long time to see Derek Chauvin finally delivered some form of justice.

But I would want folks to understand that they might need to temper their expectations here. While the maximum for a second-degree murder, unintentional murder, is 40 years, someone with a clean background rarely is sentenced to that much. The prosecution has asked for 30 years. The defense team has asked for probation.

So it`s likely better to fall somewhere between that. But, also, folks should remember that, in Minnesota, if we assume that Derek Chauvin will behave properly and have good behavior in prison, he will be out in just two-thirds of that time, right? So, if he is sentenced to, let`s say, 30 years, he will only end up spending 20 with good behavior.

And so I know folks are weighing this moment, right? Is this a moment of true accountability? Is it justice? Is it just someone who tortured and murdered someone in public getting their just due or not? We will see tomorrow. It`s a big day.

JOHNSON: Follow-up, do you know what -- do they have any sort of truth in sentencing? Like, is he going to have to serve at least a certain amount of it one way or another? Because, look, as a former police officer, they`re not going to put them in gen pop.

So do you know if there`s any sort of minimum that he would have to serve, whether he had good behavior or not?

LEE: I don`t know. I don`t know that answer.

But we`d have to assume that there will be special circumstances made for him. I`m not sure what the actual -- the law is in Minnesota. But, again, he is facing special circumstances as a former police officer.

But, also, the nature of his crime...


LEE: ... you would imagine that they wouldn`t want to have him just sitting in gen pop. I mean, as you said, that could be dangerous.

JOHNSON: So, Trymaine, you have a brand-new podcast called "Into America," which I am -- look, I`m a big fan of your writing and your reporting in general.

Tell us a little bit about this podcast and some of these early episodes, what you`re focusing on and what you`re bringing to the American people with it.

LEE: Well, thank you so much.

This is our glimpse into America. But we also always speak to stories through the lens of the black American experience. And on this week`s episode, we do something that you just rarely ever see. We are two black men here in media having this conversation.

But, in this space, what we did was, I got a black activist and a black police officer to engage on this idea of what reform actually looks like, could it look like? The black police officer says, you know what, reform has to come from the inside.

And then activist James Valsaint said this. And I think this is great perspective. He said, asking cops, black cops to reform the system from the inside is like asking the overseer to reform slavery, right? The overseer is in no position to reform slavery.

But, anyway, let`s just take a listen to a little piece of this conversation.


JAMES VALSAINT, ACTIVIST: I got a question for the sergeant.

In the 23 years that you have been on the force, have you ever held a single cop accountable for wrongdoing?

SGT. STANLEY JEAN-POIX, PRESIDENT, MIAMI COMMUNITY POLICE BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION: Me personally? Yes. As a sergeant, all the time. But is it common? No, of course not.

VALSAINT: Because that`s the issue.

It`s like, it`s weird to hear you say that other people got to hold police accountable...


VALSAINT: ... when all you got to do is slap some handcuffs on somebody when you see them doing wrong, whether they a cop or not.


VALSAINT: And we just don`t see that happening.


LEE: We just don`t see accountability.

But, again, to have this conversation with two black men on either side of the conversation, but, really, there was one thing they had in common. They both want the best for the black community and black people. And they believe that something has to change.

One just believes that you can tinker with the machine from the inside. The other says you might have to dismantle this whole machine.

JOHNSON: How did the officer -- I`m fascinated by this conversation, because I`m on the abolish the police side.

How did the officer respond to that? Did he understand what sort of the activist was saying? Or was he like, look, man, that`s crazy; this is the only way we can work with it?

How did he respond to that sort of difference in opinion?

LEE: He understood.

I mean, I think, on one hand, this officer -- you have some officers who are blue first and not black. This officer is a black man first. So he understands.

And he says that one of the issues is, is that the system does not care about the pressure from the outside. It only cares about what happens on the inside. And when you talk about defunding, they say -- officers would say, you`re taking money out of my pocket, but when there`s a guy with a gun, you`re still going to want me to show up.

Still, even with that, the officer allowed that, you know what, there might be some circumstances where the guys with the guns don`t need to show up. And so he`s not totally against the idea of redistributing some funding to other programs, but he says the bulk of officers are going to feel like, you know, the work still has to be done, and you will call me when the stuff hits the fan.

JOHNSON: Trymaine Lee, thank you so much for your time.

Definitely listen to the "Into America" podcast.

You can hear more from Trymaine and his excellent reporting on his new podcast, "Into America." The latest episode is "Black and Blue," a look at whether policing can be changed from the inside. Listen now wherever you get your podcasts.

That does it for me.