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Transcript: The Beat with Ari Melber, January 12, 2021

Guests: Tom Malinowski, Libby Casey


As Democrats prepare to impeach President Trump a second time, does Mitch McConnell actually privately back the effort? New video evidence continues to emerge documenting the siege of the Capitol Building. Congressman Tom Malinowski discusses the effort to remove President Trump from office.



Hi, Ari.

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Hi, Nicolle. Thank you very much.

Welcome to THE BEAT. I'm Ari Melber.

We start with breaking news.

The House is on the verge tonight of debating a resolution that would call on Vice President Pence to do what was once considered unthinkable and what's never happened in American history, demand the vice president activate this 25th Amendment of the Constitution to immediately remove the sitting president, Donald Trump, from office.

Donald Trump has emerged today. This is the first time since the riot at the Capitol the Democrats now are moving to impeach him for inciting. He took no responsibility. He said the speech that he gave was totally appropriate.

Trump now faces a second impeachment. Democrats allege he fueled the insurrection.


REP. DAVID CICILLINE (D-RI): The consequences of not doing it are, it will likely invite the president to engage in more misconduct.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His actions have been inappropriate and have put this country in peril.

REP. ILHAN OMAR (D-MN): This is someone who has and will continue to pose a direct threat to all of us. And if we do not act today...

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): Donald Trump should not hold office one day longer.


MELBER: The impeachment vote is expected tomorrow, exactly one week out from the riot. Democrats are saying it will pass, making Donald Trump the first president to ever be impeached twice.

Also breaking right now, "The New York Times" with this scorcher of a headline, "The Times" reporting that Senator McConnell, a longtime Trump ally and Republican leader, is -- quote -- now "pleased" about the second impeachment. He thinks it will help purge Donald Trump from the Republican Party.

We have much more on that angle momentarily, but it's not the only thing happening right now.

Also breaking, a leader of House Republicans and a name you know, Liz Cheney, says she will vote to impeach Donald Trump, releasing this scathing statement, putting the blame on Donald Trump for assembling a riotous mob.

Meanwhile, Republican Congressman John Katko making news on the impeachment front here, saying there must be consequences.

All of this comes as the FBI and DOJ held their first briefing on the investigation into the insurrection, the feds expecting hundreds of more charges potentially, and not ruling out that there was a hostage plot in the works.


STEVEN D'ANTUONO, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, FBI WASHINGTON FIELD OFFICE: In six days we have opened over 160 case files, and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

We have received more than 100,000 pieces of digital media. We are scouring every one for investigative and intelligence leads.

MICHAEL SHERWIN, ACTING U.S. ATTORNEY FOR DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: We're looking at significant felony cases tied to sedition and conspiracy.

D'ANTUONO: The FBI has a long memory and a broad reach.


MELBER: What did the feds know and warn? What was the Trump administration on notice about?

"The Washington Post" has now reporting today that the FBI was warned of a -- quote -- "war" at the Capitol, which is in contrast to the claims that basically nobody knew anything in advance. Extremists, meanwhile, wrote: "Stop calling this a march or rally or protest. Go there ready for war. We will get our president or we die. Nothing else will achieve this result."

The FBI also revealing what they deem credible threats against lawmakers, as well as the news that 50 capitols must be on alert. Democrats briefed specifically about this, one lawmaker saying it's chilling and horrific, with a plan to surround the Capitol to try to murder members of Congress and Democrats, so that Republicans in one plan would somehow take over the government in response to the assassination.

Authorities now deploying 15,000 members of the National Guard to Washington, prepping for the inauguration during this tense time, with breaking news on the potential removal of President Trump.

I'm joined now by Michael Steele, who used to run the RNC, but endorsed Joe Biden this last cycle, and "Washington Post" political reporter Libby Casey.

Michael Steele, it is the Democrats who've led this. It's Speaker Pelosi that responded by Friday in pushing to impeach. Not everyone agreed on that. Your response to the news tonight that the top ranking Republican in government, in Congress other than Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, is open to this?

MICHAEL STEELE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: The -- you're right, Ari. The Democrats led this, and they got this thing rolling, but only the Republicans can make it happen.

And I think what we have heard in the last couple of hours from both the majority leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell, and the number three member in the House, Liz Cheney, is part of that now movement.

She represents the second House member to say impeachment, yes. And I think that that's going to potentially create a domino effect and move this thing along a lot faster than people realize. Particularly, when you look at the stature of those two individuals within the Republican Caucus on the Hill, that is a significant step forward, that McConnell would go, well, I'm fine with it, and Liz Cheney would then come out on the heels of that and go, I'm voting for impeachment.

That is a level of coordination and conversation that I think is reflective of a broader movement that will emerge within the caucus itself over the next 12 hours or so.

MELBER: And we have more on that in the minutes ahead. I wanted to get your immediate reaction.

Libby, turning to the Democrats, take a listen to Congressman Jim McGovern.


REP. JIM MCGOVERN (D-MA): If we want to talk about healing, we have to talk about truth. And if we want to talk about healing, we also need to deal with the issue of accountability. And what this president incited last Wednesday is unforgivable and unconscionable.


MELBER: Libby?

LIBBY CASEY, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Well, you saw there Jim Jordan for a moment. And he is one of those House Republicans who is just pushing back against this and is still living in a parallel universe, where he's still questioning the validity of the election.

He is downplaying what happened. And so we were wondering if people like Mitch McConnell would make a move at this moment. So, the timing, not only of Liz Cheney's statement, but, as Michael pointed out, of Leader McConnell indicating that he is taking a hands-off approach to this and he might even be OK with the process moving forward is very significant, because it comes right before the House will take up these articles of impeachment tomorrow.

And remember, Ari, that this article specifies that Donald Trump could not hold office in the future. He would be disqualified from that. So, this goes farther than just even removing him from office on this limited time frame that's left. It also looks to the future.

MELBER: Yes, Libby, I'm curious what you think about the Democrats trying to make that point, because there's people in the country, however concerned about what lies in the days ahead, who say, well, the Trump era, the Trump administration, President Trump, that ends next week.

As you just put your finger on it, many Democrats saying that what's vital here, given what they view as this insurrection, given what we have reported, is actually having accountability next week. You could still have the Senate trial in February or whenever.

But if you indeed got that two-thirds vote, it would end what they argue is a traitorous menace to the United States, end it for good legally.

CASEY: I'm also hearing from House Democrats that they feel like they need to take a stand for history at this moment in time, and that, even with the limited window of President Trump's term in office, they're looking at the big picture of what this moment in democracy is about.

But they are also -- and Republicans as well are getting increasingly rattled, Ari, as they get briefings on what actually happened, as they get more and more details. What we're seeing is members of Congress not sort of walking away and getting removed from it and feeling calmer about it. They are getting more outraged, more furious, and more frustrated as President Trump in his statements today continues to downplay what happened and refused to take any sort of responsibility.

You know, you might not have seen the statement come out from Liz Cheney tonight if we'd seen President Trump just today say something very difficult about, look, I didn't mean to start something. Everybody, stand down. Everybody, calm down. The inauguration is in a few days.

But no surprise that didn't happen, given President Trump's track record.


CASEY: But people are getting more frustrated and more angry.

And so having Leader McConnell indicate that he's not going to whip the caucus, that we're hearing Republicans in the House are not going to whip the caucus to be on Trump's side tomorrow gives Republicans permission to take a vote of conscience, and we will see if they do.

MELBER: Yes, it's fast-moving.

Libby Casey, thanks for your reporting from Washington.

Michael stays.

We turn to an update with breaking news on Mitch McConnell. The explosive report from "The New York Times" tonight, it's upending everything. Mitch McConnell, who has been, of course, one of Donald Trump's most ardent supporters, the self-proclaimed Grim Reaper of anything that would oppose Donald Trump over the past four years, his prime enabler, the most senior Republican, reportedly -- quote -- "pleased" that Donald Trump is being impeached as soon as tomorrow.

McConnell -- quote -- "believes Trump committed impeachable offenses," "The Times" reports, citing people around him, and says Donald Trump is -- quote -- "impeachable," and, as we were just discussing, that a vote to bar him from office could purge him from the GOP forever.

Now, I want to be clear with you tonight because this is a story that will invite immediate skepticism for anyone familiar with Mitch McConnell and his entire political career. Everything we're seeing is a reaction to Speaker Pelosi's timeline, not Mitch McConnell.

Everything we're seeing, what our guests were just reminding us, in terms of what might be a change in Congress, is because Democrats are not waiting. They have moved forward. This is a political fact. They're about to take over both houses of Congress completely. And this is a speedy impeachment push.

"The Times" adds that McConnell reflects "the politically fraught and fast-moving nature of a crisis the party faces in the wake of last week's assault by a pro-Trump mob during a session to formalize president-elect Joe Biden's electoral victory."

Michael, this is a potential earthquake. It seems to me as an observer, that it is not really about anything McConnell's done in the past. He remains the political animal that he is.

But very rarely would two people who have friction within a party, in this case, the soon-to-be Minority Leader McConnell and the outgoing president, be at loggerheads over one vote that could de-credential and legally bar Donald Trump from office forever, turning him from an ex=president who at least can talk about 2024 into a miniature Mini Me of Alex Jones, if they voted to bar him.

STEELE: Well, this is the somewhat perfect off-ramp, if you will, for Mitch McConnell and a number of Republicans relative to Donald Trump.

Note what the majority leader said, that this could be the way to sort of rid the party of Donald Trump, which I think is a gross underestimation of what life is going to be like after Donald Trump is gone, after all this has played out for the GOP.

But for right now, this presents an appropriate off-ramp where, yes, you can look to the Democrats, and if they get a little outlandish in their rhetoric and a little hot with their process, you can sort of come in and sort of throw some cold water on it.

But Nancy Pelosi yet again has played this very well and has positioned it in such a way, compounded with the revelation, as Libby was noting, of what actually happened. Now these members know, you cannot, in the face of what the facts are saying occurred, and probably some revelations that we don't know yet about who did what when and how certain things were allowed to play out how they did, has put the Republican Party back on its heels.

And so they want to get in front of the story before it comes out. They want to stand a little bit ahead of it, so that, when it hits, to see the level of complicity and culpability involved possibly by some members of the GOP in fomenting this thing, they can create some distance and say, well, hey, we helped him out the door, you know?

But the reality is, the stench from this, the stain from this will remain. And that's what I have been saying since the 6th of January, that the party opened this Pandora's box, and everything inside of it now is in your lap, and you can't move it off that quickly or that easily, despite efforts to now come out for impeachment or to acknowledge the sins of last Wednesday.

MELBER: You make it very clear, Michael, and you have spoken out about this before we got to this point. You have spoken out substantively, and from I know what your morals and ethics are, the record is clear on that.

But you also use your keen political sense tonight, because you did used to run this party, and you're reminding everyone that, whatever everyone thinks of Mitch McConnell, which is a whole debate, his political instincts are keen. It's usually how he operates.


MELBER: You're reminding us that he thinks he is ahead of what is potentially a huge backlash to Donald Trump even within the Republican Party.

Michael, as always, thank you for being on tonight.

STEELE: All right, Ari.

MELBER: Appreciate it.

We have our shortest break of the hour. It's just 30 seconds.

When we come back, our special report we have been working on, accountability, new evidence of what happened inside the insurrection, why it matters to the impeachment vote and more.

Later, we have an FBI agent on the warning signs that were missed and how to stay safe in the days ahead.

Also, a live interview with one of those lawmakers briefed on the story I mentioned -- all when we're back in 30 seconds.



REP. TIM RYAN (D-OH): I do believe that there was some level of coordination here, as we talked before, because of the pipe bombs at the RNC and at the DNC immediately drew sum attention away from the breach that ended up happening not long past being informed about the pipe bombs.

So, there was some level of coordination. We're going to just continue to dig and find out.


MELBER: A top congressman on the committee overseeing the Capitol Police, Tim Ryan, on mounting evidence of the coordinated attacks at Wednesday's insurrection, a crime spree and national security breach that authorities and journalists are still learning about, as more evidence comes in, as more arrests are made, as these disturbing details emerge.

Which brings us to our special report right now, going deeper inside the MAGA attack on Congress. This is important for accountability and truth, because the first information and videos that emerged in real time didn't tell the whole story or even necessarily a proportionate story, which is understandable.

Even when a crime unfolds on live television, and viewers may feel like they're seeing much of the action, it takes far more time to get all the evidence. Authorities can spend months or years investigating to gather facts for just a single murder case.

The Mueller probe took over a years with tremendous resources. Investigations into terror cases can take over five years. We are inside a week out of this attack, the first invasion of the Capitol since 1812.

So, the government and this nation must be ready to keep learning about what actually happened. The truth matters. You see that in the reactions in Congress tonight, however belated they may be. The truth matters to see what this really was and how it must be addressed.

Tonight, we have even more evidence that's pouring out, some gathered at great personal risk, as reporters and government staff and other independent observers gathered this, some of it also captured by mob sympathizers and mob members cataloging their own particular crimes.

New video in particular shedding light on the exact plans, methods, and motivations of the rioters, which may inform both their prosecution and the current impeachment of the president who agitated for what you see here.

This is a view from right in front of the Capitol as the mob tried to break through one of those barricades. Police were shouting orders. They were trying desperately to contain a crowd that was becoming this mob riot, but it wasn't just a riot. In other pockets, we're learning how organized it was, which is different than a random traditional mob, police deploying pepper spray, you will see, trying to physically hold back a crush of people.

And you will see how they were responding to that. We have video here of a violent conspiracy, of teammates attacking officers, putting officers lives in danger, attacking blue lives, and then telling officers they were -- quote -- "traitors."

Take a look as they finally prevailed in overwhelming police to breach to the Capitol.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, they're going in. There they go. Go, go, go, go, go.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's go! Let's go! Let's go! Let's go!


MELBER: Once inside the building, those same people you see on this crime spree planning attacks and violence, they got some of the chaos they wanted.

The new video evidence shows a variation of some of what we saw outside, but much of that was incomplete through moments and clips. Here, you can see how law enforcement was completely overwhelmed. We have reported on how the feds botched the preparation, how they approached this differently than other gatherings, and that's true.

We have reported on the police officers who have now been investigated or even disciplined for being warm towards some of these trespassers.

But I want to be clear with you. The video that continues to emerge shows the full picture of how the officers who were left to cope in that setting kept losing ground, losing people, as the crowd literally chanted the words of the president who spurred them to act.


UNIDENTIFIED RIOTERS: Stop the steal! Stop the steal! Stop the steal! Stop the steal!


MELBER: The emerging evidence shows how these trespassers then teamed up to keep swarming and attacking, you see here.

They were relentless and sometimes arguably quite fearless or entitled as they pushed forward to attack these armed officers with anything they had.

Our colleague Chris Hayes reported extensively on the significance of much of this emerging video on Friday night, showing how the tactics inside the Capitol revealed police in far more danger than some initial views outside in front of it on Wednesday.

MAGA fans turning one of the building entrances into a choke point to attack front-line officers. Other disturbing video showing them trying to beat and possibly kill an officer, dragging him out, beating him with anything they had, from stolen shields, to crutches, to an actual American flag as they chanted "USA."




MELBER: Let's pause on this part.

Every person in the United States should watch that footage, see that reality, and watch it again. This is what the coordinated mob was doing. It wasn't one person or two. It wasn't a fringe group within the crowd. It was the main activity among a large crowd assembled outside.

Now, some people did yell out not to hurt the officer, but the thrust of the crowd was trying to beat or kill an officer while chanting "USA."

Any moral person can easily condemn that. Any law-abiding patriot can condemn it. Now, think about Donald Trump and other Republican politicians, not all, but many, who still won't plainly condemn this. Think about them any time you see or think of this reality.




MELBER: That was one crime spree attack with violence.

Reports indicate that particular officer escaped whatever else the rioters had in store for him, while police fought back the mob in the struggle at that increasingly dangerous checkpoint. They were forced to put their own lives and limbs in service to the blockade, these officers.

And when the MAGA rioters saw that that was actually the case, they didn't stop, they didn't cease. You will see several ruthlessly attacking officers in the front of that line, new tapes also record the crowd threatens the officers, telling them to stand down, and, if they didn't, they would get hurt even more.

This is some of the first video released by a media group, Status Coup, and then broadcast, as I mentioned, by our colleague Chris Hayes. A warning: This video is violent and graphic.




MELBER: That disturbing video sheds light on the tactics, on the cruelty, and, legally, on the coordinated conspiracy.

Now, this is significant. That's also just a moment from within six hours of violence and chaos. It's one moment where the up-close video is actually available to us, across six hours from when the crowd first breached the Capitol steps around 2:00 until police re-secured the Capitol at 8:00 p.m.

That incident of a single officer crushed by the mob was captured as part of a much longer video that is shot from inside, basically, the conspiracy mob view. It's from their vantage point, presenting about 30 minutes of the continuous and coordinated attack.

And those 30 minutes comprise just roughly 8 percent of the grueling six hours of rioting on Wednesday that I mentioned. Investigators and prosecutors, they sift through these kind of videos in their entirety. They look for the full truth, not clips or not a viral moment.

And, sometimes, more evidence can make things look very differently. Sometimes, that can even be positive for the defendants. Other times, it makes them look worse or more culpable or criminal. And that is the case for much of the emerging evidence here.

If we are ever going to face what was actually done inside this insurrection, we do have to face and examine this in all of its horrific detail.

Right at the outset, two minutes into this long video I mentioned, rioters initiate attacks on the police. They apparently spray mace at the officers. Other reports later found bear spray on the scene, which is actually more dangerous than the type of spray police are allowed to use.

Then you can see rioters seizing a police body shield. They pull it out into the crowd. That's just minute two of this video. Four minutes in, the crowd presses forward into the barricade of police. Some are holding poles. They chant "USA" again. They yell, in order to coordinate these attacks, chanting "Use the shields" and "Make a wall," as they again advance criminally on the officers.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Use it. Use the shield. Use the shield.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Use the shield.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Use the shield. Use the shield.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hold your shield!



MELBER: That's just five minutes into this. Then they try to break through the line of the building, hitting officers with a pole and yelling for the mob to push.




MELBER: That continues. You see there in minute seven all of that beating and attacking.

By minute nine, two minutes later, you see officers able to partially pull some of those glass doors closed. The rioters then begin attacking with poles and shields, trying to pry those doors open again.

By 12 minutes into the video, people are spraying apparently mace at the officers, and there is more conspiring among group to break through with these chants of heave-ho.


UNIDENTIFIED RIOTERS: Heave-ho! Heave-ho! Heave-ho! Heave-ho!


MELBER: That is just some of the 20 minutes out of the six hours. That last escalation led to the now infamous crushing of the officer you saw earlier.

All of this, I want to be very clear with you tonight -- there is a lot going on, but this is the crux of it, this insurrection, this violence, four years-plus in the making.

All of this is under a tenth of what transpired during the insurrection, which is increasingly looking far more organized and more legally sinister than it might have to a passing observer on TV or to someone who saw a little bit of it online last week.

There is other evidence emerging about the plotters who appeared to be targeting elected officials for potential hostage-taking or assassination. This man, apparently carrying double cuff zip ties police use to detain individuals, federal prosecutors say they have identified and indicted him.

Mounting evidence underscoring that all of this, as terrible as it was, could have been, was close to being much, much worse. Those motivated, coordinated attackers were breaching multiple entries, while, throughout the whole time, many lawmakers were still inside these buildings, including Vice President Pence. And the rioters knew it.


UNIDENTIFIED RIOTERS: Hang Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence!


MELBER: The goal, to seek through violence that which America, which voters rejected at the ballot box in our democracy.

That is the backdrop to tonight's developments towards impeaching the president for incitement of insurrection.


UNIDENTIFIED RIOTERS: We want Trump! We want Trump! We want Trump! We want Trump!


MELBER: The mob rampaging.

They went after one of Donald Trump's targets, occupying Speaker Pelosi's office. At times, it was farcical because of the photos and the grandstanding, but it was also deadly serious, not only the deaths that day, but staffers were sheltered under desks in an adjacent room, we now know, Pelosi recounting this on "60 Minutes."


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): The staff went under the table, barricaded the door, turned out the lights, and were silent in the dark.



PELOSI: Under the table for two-and-a-half hours.


During which time, they listened to the invaders banging on that door, as you can hear on a recording from one of the staffers' phones.



MELBER: Chilling.

The mob rioted. It got deeper into the building as it approached the speaker's lobby, breaking the glass of a barricaded door, a woman apparently trying to climb through. That is when she was shot.

A warning: This is graphic.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a gun! There's a gun! There's a gun!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's got a gun!





MELBER: At least five dead, with the mounting evidence showing the goal was to attack and kill far more people, including the people who lawfully lead our government.

We are at the beginning of this, not the middle and not the end. And even as Congress decides what to do about it and how to reach its reckoning, and whether to hold the president responsible, and whether, as a separate and additional matter, to bar him from ever holding these powers again, we all have work to do as well, because we all have to face what happened, and we also have to be, as frustrating as it can be, thoughtful and reasonable and patient.

You may have seen something Wednesday that looks different today. You may have seen something today that you're going understand better in the future.

All I can tell you is that, in these six days, the evidence we have, the independent reporting we have, the view you saw there shot by the criminals inside their own conspiracy shows the depths of this insurrection, which was not an accident or a fringe activity.

It was the direct consequence of what Donald Trump had been doing for four years, trying to turn this country, your country, into an authoritarian nation that he would lead indefinitely. It is that serious. Keep that in mind.

We will be right back.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Back up! Back up!


MELBER: We're tracking the mounting evidence that shows the full scope of Wednesday's insurrection, mayhem at the Capitol.

We're joined now by Frank Figliuzzi, assistant director for counterintelligence at the evidence.

Frank, what do you feel and what is your view of what the evidence shows as it has really proliferated based on what we knew on Wednesday far less?

FRANK FIGLIUZZI, NBC NEWS NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: So, first, I have got to comment on the video that you played, because I'm glad you played it, as disturbing and stomach-turning as it is.

I carried a badge and a gun for 25 years. I have seen a lot of violence against police officers, but this particular video, because the violence was done under the rubric of a president who says he is for law and order, because the American flag was raised above these violent thugs and insurrectionists, is particularly disturbing.

That's my first comment and observation that I had to make.


FIGLIUZZI: But, secondly, I think, as the evidence develops, we're learning that, just like society right now, even police departments are polarized, and there is nuance here, that police officers did the right thing that day and police officers may have done the absolute wrong thing that day.

And I think they reflect the rest of society. But I want to say this.


FIGLIUZZI: Your video also shows, from a tactical investigative standpoint...

MELBER: Well, I will let you continue, but I wanted to mention, Frank -- I will let you continue.

But you are saying something important that we endeavor to cover here in our journalism, which is, we talk about different voting blocs not being a monolith. There has been a controversy about policing reignited in this country, as we all know, over the last year.

But it's certainly true, as we know, that these are human beings. These are Americans. Many of them are public servants, and they're not a monolith either. We documented some of the mistakes that are already evident that day. We also have documented -- and I think it's becoming increasingly clear beyond like a viral Twitter clip -- some of the officers who, as we saw there, they put life and limb in that doorway against these rioters.

And many of them exercised restraint. I have seen calls on the Internet to say, this is more restraint that we want for everyone, rather than too much explanation, but restraint, as these people with the red hats and the American flag, how dare they, waged insurrection and war and terror on the officers.


I can tell you that, while shooter restraint was a big part of my training, that went way beyond any restraint that I would have exercised.

But let me move on to what it says about the protests.

MELBER: Yes, sir.

FIGLIUZZI: We're seeing signs, as you indicated, that at least a small core up front, those guys up front, they knew what they were doing. They were organized, and they were trained.

This is not your ordinary protester who finds himself floating in with the crowd and says, wow, we got in. This was organized. They had a plan, the bear spray, the use of shields, the extraction of shields.

People who are ready and willing to attack a police officer to the point that he may be killed, that doesn't happen with the average guy on the street. These are people with some training and intentions and some tactical experience.

So, the vast majority of the crowd was wandering around, couldn't believe they got in. But here's the other thing we have learned from NBC News reporting over the weekend. We have learned that the FBI actually disrupted the travel of well over a dozen predicated, active, investigative suggests who were considered by sources to be some of the baddest of the bad.

They tell me this could have been even worse, which is what you mentioned in the lead-up to the video. So, this is nuanced. We have learned that the FBI shared intelligence with the Capitol Police. So, this is complicated. We have got to get the answers to this, but, while we're doing all of this...


FIGLIUZZI: ... the law enforcement in this country is faced one of its most significant threats since 9/11, securing the capitol buildings and state houses throughout the United States.


Frank, and that's up ahead. And then it goes to the open investigations that need to be done top to bottom.

My colleague Chris Hayes, I mentioned, did some of this reporting, also made the comparison to other long-running investigations. Take a brief listen to Chris Hayes on MSNBC.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: There is a death toll which now stands at five.

We should note that is one greater than the number of Americans who died in the attack on the U.S. government buildings in Benghazi over eight years ago, the last time an American government building was overrun by a rampaging and violent mob.

And that led to more than two years of investigations, dozens of congressional hearings.


MELBER: I'm running over on time, Frank, but your views on the import of investigating all of this?


So, we have got the immediacy that has to be addressed. There is an immediate threat in the next few days and moving forward in this country. But then we need answer, 9/11-type commissions, who did what.

Look, when we don't have the acting attorney general and the FBI director showing up at a press conference today, when they send the field guys to do it, there is something wrong, and someone is getting gagged and someone is calling the shots from above them.

MELBER: All very important.

And there is legal -- there is legal exposure there, as I think you and I know. Frank Figliuzzi, we always appreciate your expertise.

I want to tell viewers, amidst all the breaking news, he has been all at work on a book. It's called "The FBI Way: Inside the Bureau's Code of Excellence." It's out today. So, we did want to minutes that.

Up ahead: House Democrats moving forward expeditiously to remove Trump and potentially help the Senate bar him from office for life. Three Republicans now joining that cause. It's a fast-moving story.

We have a Democrat in the middle of the action on accountability when we return.


MELBER: House Democrats have been putting on the pressure, and, increasingly, Republicans feeling it tonight.

"The New York Times" reporting Mitch McConnell telling associates he is -- quote -- "pleased with impeachment," and he thinks it will help him purge Donald Trump from the Republican Party.

Meanwhile, late today, a developing story, the very first House Republican coming out in favor of impeachment, followed within moments of a member of Republican House leadership, Liz Cheney now backing the impeachment of President Trump.

I can tell you, within our hour, a third House Republican joining this Republican side effort to impeach, Adam Kinzinger.

We're now joined by Democratic Congressman Tom Malinowski of New Jersey.

Good evening to you.

Tell us what's going to happen, in your view, tomorrow with the fastest impeachment ever. Will there be a vote to impeach President Trump by the end of the day? Will it be victorious? And what do you think of Republicans joining the push by you and Speaker Pelosi?

REP. TOM MALINOWSKI (D-NJ): I believe that -- I expect there will be a vote. It will absolutely be victorious. There will be Republicans joining us.

Liz Cheney is one of the leaders of the Republican Caucus in the House. That's a significant development. And don't forget, in all of American history, the first member of Congress to vote to impeach a member of their own party was Mitt Romney, Donald -- in the last impeachment investigation of Donald Trump.

We will have significantly more than one Republican voting in this case. And the reason is very, very simple. A lot of these people, for four years, gave their loyalty to Donald Trump. Some of them understood that he was bad news for the party, but felt, you know what, if you confront him, he only gets worse and worse and worse.

That didn't work. He got worse and worse and worse anyway. And now a mob that was mobilized by their president is trying to kill them. That has a way of changing hearts and minds.

MELBER: Yes. Yes. And you're close to it. So you know what some of your colleagues are saying after facing that down.

How important is your view -- is it, in your view, that tomorrow's debate, which the nation will clearly be riveted on, exactly one week out from the insurrection, focus as much on barring Donald Trump from ever holding office again, which is what Speaker Pelosi says is an important substantive result, rather than it being, however meritorious you feel it would be, another discussion of Democrats re-impeaching a president they already impeached?


So, the most important and most urgent matter here is that this is an ongoing assault. It's not just something that happened on Wednesday. There are people very well-organized, very well-determined, very determined who want to come back to Washington around the inauguration, and probably many times after that, to go after their perceived enemies.

At the top of their list of enemies, again, I want to stress, are Republicans who they perceive to be traitors to Donald Trump. And so the most important thing for us to do right now is to play offense on all fronts, so that these people do not believe that they are winning.

They have this fantasy that was formed by QAnon in their world of make-believe online that all they had to do was come to Washington and that Donald Trump had a plan, and that they would march on the Capitol, and the waters would part and the government would fall.

And every time we can set an example that disproves that fantasy, that shows law enforcement is not on their side -- the United States Congress marched back into that room.


MALINOWSKI: We certified the election. We are going to impeach Donald Trump with a lot of Republican votes.


MALINOWSKI: Every time we do that, they are weakened, and the country is stronger.

MELBER: And just briefly, you said stay on offense.

What is your response to some, like Republicans, "Wall Street Journal" editorial board saying Biden should call for unity now and back off impeachment?

MALINOWSKI: Biden should call for unity around the rule of law in this country.

There are two ways to have unity. Either we have unity around the principle that, whether you're a liberal, conservative, Republican, Democrat, we don't tolerate a violent attack on our seat of government, and we hold accountable people who commit crimes, or we have unity in forgiving that and moving on and allowing it to happen again.

So, obviously...

MELBER: Right.

MALINOWSKI: ... I want unity around the rule of law.

I think we're going to have that.


MALINOWSKI: And there are still going to be some Republicans who are afraid.

And, by the way, they're not just afraid now of being primaried.

MELBER: Right.

MALINOWSKI: It's not just a political thing. Like, they're literally worried about the safety of their families.

MELBER: And that's where we are.

Congressman Malinowski, thank you for joining me tonight.

MALINOWSKI: Thank you so much.

MELBER: After the break, we have another story we have mentioned, these two Capitol officers now suspended, new probes across the nation, another aspect to this -- when we return.


MELBER: There are probes of the insurrection and rioters, but there are also probes of groups charged with protecting the public, which includes our police and military.

Police departments reviewing whether their own officers were involved in any way in this interaction.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's the investigation under way by Philadelphia police into whether one of its detectives played any role in last week's deadly riot at the Capitol.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anne Arundel County say an officer is on leave while they're investigated for -- quote -- "the officer's involvement at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The police chief in Zelienople investigating after one of his officers was among the crowd in D.C.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A high-ranking Bexar County detention officer is under investigation after posting photos of herself outside the U.S. Capitol Building, as rioters stormed and then occupied the Capitol.


MELBER: Those are local reports around the nation, while the U.S. Army is probing whether an individual led a group to the Trump rally. It is unclear, though, whether those actions would violate any Pentagon policies.

This is an aspect of the reporting that I mentioned earlier in the hour. And we will keep an update on these investigations as they unfold for you.


MELBER: Thanks for joining us on THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER tonight during these tough times.

I want to tell you, on a programming note, of course, impeachment begins tomorrow, the scheduled vote. We have special impeachment coverage on MSNBC from 9:00 a.m. Eastern on. And I will be part of it. I'm anchoring from 1:00 p.m. on, on MSNBC.

As for right now, "THE REIDOUT WITH JOY REID" is up next.


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