Interview with Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA). Interview with Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA).
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Rachel.
I`ve been sitting here trying to do the math, which you know is a big challenge for me, to figure have I interviewed 150 people since January 6th? And I think the answer is close to yes, somewhere in the neighborhood of yes.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: You`re closer to it than I am.
O`DONNELL: It`s a lot. Of course my interviews are five minutes, so, you know, it`s a lot. That`s -- they are really moving along. We`re going to have Adam Schiff joining us. He`s a member of that committee.
O`DONNELL: And we`ll get some insight into that.
And Rachel, I was listening and taking notes on your report on that lawsuit against the NRA. We`re going to have Tim Mak join us tonight and he has the people -- the book coming out.
MADDOW: He has his new NRA book.
O`DONNELL: Yeah, entitled "Misfire: Inside the Downfall of the NRA." He`s going to guide us through this lawsuit, and everything that has led the NRA to the place where it is tonight.
MADDOW: Well, A, Tim Mak is a fantastic guest. B, I`ve not red that book yet but can`t wait because it`s a fantastic interview.
But those lawsuits are really interesting because they are alleging an ongoing scheme, one who brought the lawsuit that`s already dumped $35 million in illegal contributions into various Republican campaigns. The NRA`s responsibility to pay those things back itself would be a significant chunk of change. But that`s alleging a bunch of crime around the Trump campaign and Senate and House campaigns among Republican candidates. That`s a serious thing, that`s a serious lawsuit.
O`DONNELL: Yeah, we`re going to get into that later in the hour.
MADDOW: Great. Thanks, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel.
Well, one grand jury is not enough for investigating Donald Trump and his businesses, and so the Manhattan district attorney, Cy Vance, has empanelled a second grand jury. NBC news has confirmed that the second Manhattan grand jury is expected to examine how Donald Trump`s company valued its assets.
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez focused on exactly that issue when former Trump lawyer, Michael Cohen, testified to the house oversight committee two years ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): To your knowledge did the president ever provide inflated assets to an insurance company?
MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY: Yes.
OCASIO-CORTEZ: Who else knows the president did this?
COHEN: Allen Weisselberg, Ron Lieberman and Matthew Calamari.
OCASIO-CROTEZ: And where would the committee find more information on this? Do you think we need to review his financial statements and his tax returns in order to compare them?
COHEN: Yes. And you find it at the Trump.org.
(END VIDEO CLI)
O`DONNELL: And that is something a grand jury will know how to do.
"The Washington Post" reports that the second grand jury was expected to hear evidence for the very first time today. The first Manhattan grand jury investigating Donald Trump and his business returned indictments of tax fraud against Donald Trump`s company and his chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg. We`ll have more on the new grand jury investigation, which will be led by the newly elected Manhattan district attorney later in this hour.
We begin tonight with the most absurd federal court hearing in history on the issue of presidential executive privilege. It was the most absurd such hearing because the person claiming the privilege is not the president of the United States.
Judge Tanya Chutkin who was appointed by President Obama is presiding over the case of Donald Trump versus Bennie Thompson. Bennie Thompson is the chair of the special House Select Committee investigating the January 6th attack on the Capitol. Donald Trump`s lawsuit claims executive privilege to prevent the House committee from obtaining written records of the Trump White House that are kept at the National Archives.
President Biden has ordered the archives to comply with the committee`s subpoena for those records. Today, the judge invited Donald Trump`s lawyer to speak first, and he did not get off to a good start. In a rambling, rhetorical opening speech, which has no place in a court hearing like this, had nothing to do with the facts of the case, the lawyer, Justin Clark, found himself saying: It`s not only just an important argument and a monumental argument, but it also is one that is going to have consequences down the line for generations potentially.
The judge interrupted by saying: Thank you for reminding me of that, sarcastically, and then forced Mr. Clark into a discussion of the actual legal questions before the court.
The judge asked Donald Trump`s lawyer the single most important question in the case. Judge: How should I weigh a previous president`s assertion of a privilege when the current president has said there is none?
Mr. Clark: I think you need to weigh it by looking at each document that`s in dispute. I think that`s the only way to do it. I think under the Constitution and frankly under the Presidential Records Act. The only way to do this effectively and to have the former president`s, you know, rights to executive privilege to be heard is to have a review by the court of each document as it comes out that`s in dispute.
Judge: Other than slowing down the process what would this -- and can you point to me a case that says I`m required to do that?
Mr. Clark: No, I can`t.
Judge Chutkin said she agreed with Donald Trump`s lawyer on one point. One she said some of these requests are alarming broad, but some of them are very specific and are specifically, you know, geared or targeting events of January 6th.
The judge then cited a Supreme Court decision which she says held, quote, that the former president`s rights are less significant because he is a former president. And where the current president has waived privilege, the court must necessarily consider that waiver.
Leading off our discussion tonight is Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff of California. He is the chair of the House Intelligence Committee and he is a member of the January 6th select committee. He was a lead impeachment manager in the first impeachment trial of Donald Trump.
Thank you for joining us tonight, Congressman Schiff.
And as a former legal practitioner yourself standing in those courtrooms, what did you make of this hearing today?
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Well, the judge was clearly skeptical of what the Trump lawyers were arguing and for good reason. And I`m particularly pleased that in the quote that you excerpted just now, the court understands exactly what Donald Trump`s lawyers are trying to do, which is delay. The whole point is delay.
They understand as well as we do that it`s the current president who really has the dominance and executive privilege. So they understand. I think the Trump lawyers understand they`re going to lose this litigation, but their whole goal is to draw it out as long as humanly possible. And the judge in that exchange seems to be indicating that the judge knows exactly what they`re doing.
O`DONNELL: I mean, not only does this judge not want to delay the process, she doesn`t want to delay the hearing. She was up constantly interrupting and speeding it along to keep the focus on the actual issues and even from the rhetoric, even at one point telling Donald Trump`s lawyer to tone down his rhetoric. And the judge also seems in full command of every relevant case and every law that`s relevant to what`s being discussed in that hearing today.
SCHIFF: I think that`s right. I think that she could tell that the Trump lawyers were essentially trying to put on a show for the MAGA audience outside the courtroom, and that wasn`t really impressing the judge. That she wants to resolve the issue. She wants to do it in an expeditious way. The law is pretty clear here that where the current president finds that the national interest outweighs an assertion of privilege and the Biden administration has made that finding, that that is the dominant determinant, and for good reason. If you`re not going to waive executive privilege in circumstances where the country and its capitol are attacked and Congress is looking into that attack and trying to protect itself in the future, then it would be almost no circumstance where a waiver was appropriate.
So, clearly, the judge understands the case law and is working no effort to either deflect, to distract, or sensationalize the hearing.
O`DONNELL: So, Liz Cheney, the top Republican on the committee you`re serving on today said the committee has actually had over 150 interviews. Would you say there`s been information revealed in those interviews that would change our understanding of what happened on January 6th and leading up to January 6th?
SCHIFF: I think it`s too early to say. We have gotten a lot of cooperation from people which has not been in the public view. We have, you know, worked quietly behind the scenes at a rather frenetic pace.
And, you know, Representative Cheney`s statements also don`t go to the other big area of progress, and that is we`ve gotten really a significant number, thousands and thousands of documents that we still need to go through and are pouring through.
So we`ve made a lot of progress in a short amount of time but I`m not prepared to represent, you know, what kind of conclusions we may reach.
O`DONNELL: In those 150 interviews that we don`t know about, do they include Trump officials who have cooperated with the committee without needing subpoenas?
SCHIFF: They do include people from the former administration. They include people in the private sector. They include people are experts in some of the -- for example, the social media issues that we`re investigating. So they run the gamut.
But I think what has been encouraging to us is because we`ve had the cooperation of people in the public and private sector we know what to ask for. And we know when we demand production of documents and we`re not getting the full truth that we can hold those parties accountable.
O`DONNELL: What are you expecting in tomorrow`s deposition with Jeffrey Clark? And he`s the person at the justice department who was plotting with Donald Trump to first of all have a coup at the justice department and install him as acting attorney general so that he could then publicly allege as acting attorney general that there was a fraudulent election in Georgia and other places. He`s supposed to testify tomorrow.
What are you expecting from that testimony?
SCHIFF: You know, while I can`t confirm the timing of his testimony, I can tell you we`ll be taking his testimony. And we`re interested in he was involved in discussions with the former president, with high ranking justice department officials about efforts to get the Georgia and other states to either withhold the appoint of electors or send alternate slates of electors.
He was also involved in discussions about putting out there that the justice department was investigating massive fraud. And he is I think probably in a singular position to speak to those meetings and discussions both at the White House and within the Justice Department.
So, you know, Congress has heard from a variety of other witnesses who refuse those entreaties by Mr. Clark and the former president. And now we need to go straight to the horse`s mouth.
O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what Chairman Thompson said today in this interview with Leigh Ann Caldwell about additional subpoenas that he`s already signed.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
REP. BENNIE THOMPSON (D-MS): I signed the subpoenas.
REPORTER: You`ve already signed. Have they gone out?
REPORTER: Will they probably go out tomorrow?
THOMPSON: You know.
REPORTER: How many?
THOMPSON: Probably about 20.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Probably 20 subpoenas that have already gone out. What could you tell us about those subpoenas?
SCHIFF: I can tell you that with respect to some witnesses we`re going straight subpoena, where we don`t expect they`re going to cooperate. And in other cases where we`ve been trying to engage in counsel and making too little progress, or we think that individuals are holding back we`re providing subpoenas and demanding information.
So we`re moving very quickly using all of the compulsion we have. We hope and we urge the Justice Department also move quickly on the prosecution of Steve Bannon. We feel that will be very important in its own right to uphold the rule of law and secure his testimony. But we think it also sends an important message to other witnesses that they cannot ignore their lawful responsibilities when they`re subpoenas like they would before any court in the country. They better show up.
O`DONNELL: Congressman Adam Schiff, thank you very much for starting off our discussion tonight. We really appreciate it.
SCHIFF: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: And joining us now is Tim O`Brien, senior columnist for Bloomberg Opinion. The author of the book "Trump Nation."
And, Tim, we saw another demonstration of Trump lawyering today over these subpoenaed documents that Trump lawyers are trying to protect through the executive privilege of the person who`s no longer the executive.
TIM O`BRIEN, BLOOMBERG OPINION: Right, the executive who`s not an executive claiming executive privilege.
We`ve talked about this before when I litigated with Trump and we were trying to get his tax returns and other financial records. He delayed, he delayed, he delayed. And when we finally got his initial round of tax returns they`d been so heavily redacted, they looked like crossword puzzles.
I think the only line of income he disclosed in his initial disclosure to us was modeling income Melania had earned which is completely irrelevant to our case.
And, obviously, the reason he does this with Congress or with journalistic hacks like me or anyone else he`s doing legal battle with, is he`s consonantly hiding things. If you don`t have anything to hide, you have no problem generally turning over documents. And the reality is Trump has plenty to hide in the role he played I think in the months leading up -- the years leading up to and January 6th and January 6th itself. And I think in the D.A.`s investigation we got more information out today, that`s going to have financial accountability that he`s successfully avoided for a very long time. And it`s not going to be easy to do anymore.
O`DONNELL: And the reporting indicates -- NBC`s reporting indicates that they`re going after the question that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez raised in that hearing with Michael Cohen two years ago, which is what kind of games does he play with the valuations of assets, and are those games illegal?
O`BRIEN: Donald Trump inflates the value of his assets like someone sticking a pump into a bicycle tire. He does it all the time. He does it every day. It is willy-nilly.
When he does it with reporters, which he`s done for decades, this is not new behavior. Donald Trump absolutely inflates the value of his assets, and on some days his inflation will change by billions of dollars even by his own estimation. He played a game with it historically with reporters because it was important to him and his ego to stay on the Forbes list with the richest Americans. It`s a different matter when you go into a bank and you say you need a loan and you lie about your value of your asset in order to get a bigger loan you possibly can`t pay back later.
It`s consequential when you go to tax authorities and low ball a property so you have to pay fewer taxes on it. It`s also consequential if you claim environmental write`-offs against a property by inflating the value of the asset in that case. And then it has a whole possible stew of problems with insurers in which he`s made claims for losses than are more excessive than the losses he possibly incurred and he possibly pocketed the differences.
All of that is in play right now. And I think the other thing significant about this second grand jury is it appears to be focusing much more directly -- this is tea leafing right now, but it appears to be focusing much more directly on Donald Trump himself and his own culpability than some of the matters that came before the first grand jury that resulted in Allen Weisselberg being charged. The first round smack of minions and people being rounded up who might testify against Donald Trump. Today`s -- what we learned today it does seem like it`s trying to land more directly in Trump`s lap.
O`DONNELL: What is Donald Trump -- you know him. What are his reactions to these kind of turns of events?
O`BRIEN: I think, you know, he keeps oh, he has other people fighting his battles for him. He does not like to be hounded. His first response will always be to denigrate or try to undermine faith in the people who are pursuing him.
And then when push comes to shove, he gradually unwinds. If he has to end up getting into a situation where he`s going to be deposed or he has to testify in front of a jury, he is going to completely unspool and do real damage to himself.
O`DONNELL: Tim O`Brien, thank you very much for joining us tonight.
O`BRIEN: Thanks, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Thank you.
And coming up, Congresswoman Katie Porter will join us next with the latest, the happening right now on the negotiations tonight among House Democrats that Speaker Pelosi hopes will allow votes on the Biden infrastructure legislation in the House. Those votes are now scheduled for tomorrow. Or are they scheduled? Is it something they`re just hoping for?
Katie Porter has the answers, next.
O`DONNELL: I just got off the phone with the president is everyone`s favorite thing to say in Washington. Our next guest just got off with the phone with the president. We`ll see what she can tell us about that.
This morning at 11:30 a.m., Nancy Pelosi said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): I was really very unhappy about not passing this last week. I was very unhappy because we had an October 31st deadline, and I thought that that was eloquent but not enough, I guess. So now we`re going to pass both bills, but in order to do so we have to have votes for both bills, and that`s where we are.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And that`s where they still are as of this hour with speaker Pelosi hoping to have votes on both bills tomorrow. House Democrats are still negotiating amongst themselves to reach an agreement on what should be in the latest version of the bill that Democrats plan to pass without any Republican support.
The other bill which Nancy Pelosi referred to as BIF is the bipartisan infrastructure bill that passed the Senate in august and would be ready for the president`s signature as soon as the house passes it. Today, Congress` nonpartisan professional staff on the Joint Committee Taxation released an official estimate of the tax provisions of the $1.75 trillion package of the legislation that the Democrats plan to pass through the budget reconciliation process that allows them to pass the bill in the Senate with a simple majority vote of just Democrats, as often happens with these estimates.
The Joint Tax Committee does not agree with the Biden administration`s own estimates of how much money will be raised by the tax provisions. The Joint Tax Committee estimates that the tax provisions will raise $1.48 trillion over ten years. The Biden administration issued a statement after the Joint Tax Committee`s report came out saying that the Treasury Department believes that those same tax provisions would generate more than $2 trillion in the next ten years. The Joint Tax Committee`s estimate is the only one that can be used by the Senate parliamentarian in evaluating whether certain provisions can be included in the bill according to some Senate rules.
Senator Joe Manchin has not yet reached a working agreement with his Democratic colleagues on what should be in that reconciliation bill.
And this morning on "MORNING JOE," Eugene Robinson asked the question everyone is wondering about.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EUGENE ROBINSON, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Will you commit to voting for legislation that`s within your parameters? Will you commit -- because I think that would end what you call the hostage thinking in the House?
SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): Eugene, it won`t end because you want me to write in blood that I`ll be for this, this and this. And I`m not for this, this, this and this, and they know it. They know it. I`ve been very clear.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining us now someone who just got off the phone with the president. Congresswoman Katie Porter, Democrat of California. She`s a member of the House Oversight Committee and the deputy chair of the House Progressive Caucus.
Thank you very much for joining us tonight.
What was the president calling you about, and where are you on this legislation tonight?
REP. KATIE PORTER (D-CA): The president called to express how pleased he is that we are moving forward tomorrow to pass both the Build Back Better Act and the bipartisan infrastructure bill, and he was calling to thank me and others for our hard work, for our continued hard work. And we talked a little bit about what these bills will mean for the American people.
O`DONNELL: And when you listen to Joe Manchin and his continued reluctance to say yes, I`m onboard with this framework as it is now at $1.75 trillion, what is your reaction to that in the House?
PORTER: Well, we have to do our job. We are each here. We are each sent here by our constituents, by the American people to pass policies that are going to help families and create a strong and stable and globally competitive economy.
And that is what`s in the Build Back Better Act. That`s why I`ll be proud to cast my vote tomorrow. It`s going to go over to the Senate, and I believe they will pass a substantial amount, most of the provisions that are in the Build Back Better Act will be passed by the Senate.
I am sure there will be amendments. There nearly always are in this process, but I think we have achieved the fundamental agreement on the main building blocks of this bill, and I think it`s time for the House to send it back over to the Senate so they can get it over the finish line.
O`DONNELL: So this is in fact just a restoration of what`s normally referred to as regular order in Washington. What the speaker was trying to do, which is understandable, is wire the legislation so there just had to be one vote in the House. You would be voting on the identical bill that would also pass the Senate. And ideally from the speaker`s standpoint have it pass the Senate first, come to you, you pass that identical bill.
In the world where you can`t pre-wire that agreement it has always been perfectly normal for the house to vote on the bill, send it to the Senate, see what happens, see what Joe Manchin ends up changing or not changing with Senator Schumer and see what the Senate then sends back to you. And that`s always -- and then you try to find an identical bill that you can both pass when you look at these two bills.
PORTER: Yeah, and I think what we`re going to see here is we`re going to send it over. I think they will make some changes. I think it will come back to us and we will have to pass it. And I think that`s what we`re prepared to do. At least this time we`ve had, these discussions we`ve had in good faith among House Democrats -- unfortunately not one Republican has wanted to step up and be part of solving some of these problems like elder care and child care, climate change.
But we`ve had good discussions. I think we`ve laid the framework. I think the Senate that will make some changes, that will come back to us and we`ll get it over the finish line. And we`ll start being able to let families see these positive changes in their lives as soon as possible in the next few months.
O`DONNELL: Earlier tonight, a few hours ago, Pramila Jayapal, leader of the progressive caucus said that there were just a handful -- you`re just trying to get a handful of members of the House onboard with the final version of this. Do you have the handful?
PORTER: Speaker Pelosi, there`s no one better than Speaker Pelosi in making sure that every single vote that is needed has been identified, has been found, has been pinned down and will be delivered. She simply does not fail.
So I know that she was working hard. I saw her working hard both on the House floor tonight and well into the evening in her office. We have just gotten noticed that we will vote on these bills tomorrow and when that notice comes out, then that is the end, we know we have the votes to get this done.
O`DONNELL: And you said when the Senate bill comes back, and you expect it to come back something different from what you send over there, that you believe the House will just take it up and pass it, will not try to negotiate another version of the bill, a compromise bill between the House bill and the Senate Bill?
PORTER: Well, because this is reconciliation, it`s a little bit more complicated than the usual conference process that you mentioned, where the Senate and House come together and kind of iron out the differences. So I think because of the Senate parliamentarian, because of things like the Byrd rule, I think we`ll try to be able to pass.
But I do also want to just tell the American people, just because it`s going over to the Senate, just because we`re going to have different people working on the bill doesn`t necessarily mean the bill will not get better. We may see some positive changes, we may see some things that they think of or that they`re able to identify and correct, we`ve been trying in the House for months and months to try to anticipate exactly what the Senate will accept. We`ve done our very, very best at that. I think there are probably things that we got wrong, I think there are probably things where the Senate is going to be willing to do a little bit better or a little bit different policymaking than we were.
So I`m eager to see them do their jobs, to see them step up to the plate and deliver for the American people and I`m glad the House is leading the way.
O`DONNELL: When you get the final bill here, if there is a, what the joint tax committee score is as a gap in the funding, they`re currently saying you`re only pulling in about one only. You`re pulling in $1.4 trillion, $1.48 trillion or so in taxation. The bill`s cost is $1.75, that`s the kind of gap that Joe Manchin has said he just can`t live with but those gaps are actually quite common in this kind of scoring.
Is there any discussion of what the solution might be to try to raise more tax revenue, to try to close that gap?
PORTER: Well, I think there are a couple of things for people to know. One is that there`s a difference between how the Joint Committee on Taxation scores things in reality. So you alluded to this, the provisions that would enforce the tax code against the ultra wealthy and big corporations that aren`t paying their fair share, those provisions are not necessarily scored in the same way as they will work in reality and that`s why you`re seeing the White House say that they think that this bill will generate $2 trillion, will more than pay for itself and that`s because they`re looking at how this will actually work. And because of some different accounting rules, the Joint Committee on Taxation doesn`t do that.
We also have prescription drugs in the bill and that`s going to be generating revenue, so I think the Joint Committee on Taxation needs to get the very final, final copy, which they`ll be able to do tomorrow when the House Rules Committee approves it to get an updated score. But I feel very, very confident that not only is this bill fiscally responsible in terms of making investments that are going to grow our economy, it`s also fiscally responsible because we`ve not only paid for everything, we`ve actually created additional revenue to meet future investment needs.
O`DONNELL: Congresswoman Katie Porter, thank you very much for joining us and keep the phone open for the President to call.
PORTER: Thank you very much.
O`DONNELL: Thank you.
And coming up, Republican senators Josh Hawley, Ron Johnson and others have been accused of taking illegal campaign contributions from the National Rifle Association according to a new lawsuit. You heard the lawyer bringing that lawsuit discussing that with Rachel in the last hour. The reporter who has literally written the book about the National Rifle Association, Tim Mak, join us next.
O`DONNELL: Republican Senator Josh Hawley took illegal campaign contributions from the National Rifle Association as did Republican senators Ron Johnson, Tom Cotton and Thom Tillis according to a lawsuit filed by the gun safety organization founded by former Democratic Congresswoman Gabby Giffords who was wounded badly and almost killed by a mass murder who opened fire in a parking lot where she was speaking 10 years ago.
Our next guest, NPR Washington Investigative Correspondent Tim Mak has been covering the National Rifle Association for years. His new book is Misfire: Inside the Downfall of the NRA.
Tim Mak writes, "In the dark wake of the shootings at Sandy Hook, the NRA made a strategic choice: to double down. It took part in negotiations over the Manchin-Toomey universal background check bill, only to withdraw at the last minute and mobilize NRA supporters against the legislation. In the aftermath, it marched into the conservative culture war. It shifted further to the right, embracing Republicans entirely and abandoning even the pretense of outreach to Democrats. This would work for a time during the Obama years, but a crash was coming. The NRA`s decline started with its greatest success: the election of President Donald Trump.
And joining us now is Tim Mak, Washington Investigative Correspondent for NPR and author of the new book Misfire: Inside the Downfall of the NRA. And Tim, I hope you heard Rachel Maddow say at the beginning of this hour, she is eager to read your book.
She was reporting on this lawsuit that I just referred to during her hour tonight.
Let`s talk about, first of all, the state of the NRA and where is it in its downfall.
TIM MAK, WASHINGTON INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT, NPR: The NRA is facing its most serious crisis it`s ever faced. It`s facing a revolt from some of its members, protests from members of its own board of directors, a serious financial crisis.
I mean, in Misfire, I outline that in 2018 it almost didn`t make payroll. That`s a serious, serious problem. And then the New York Attorney General which has investigated the National Rifle Association has found 10s of millions of dollars in misspending and misconduct inside the organization. It is right now in court trying to dissolve the NRA entirely. It`s a serious existential threat.
O`DONNELL: And how much of this was Wayne LaPierre buying the custom made suits in Los Angeles that we all read about in those expense documents that came out that was obviously misspending within that organization? How much more was going on?
MAK: Well, Misfire brings color to all of that and takes you behind the scenes, describe some of these characters in real detail. The thing about the NRA is that it`s kind of a black box. But I`ve been able to kind of pull the curtain back. The whole book starts with a scene at Wayne LaPierre`s wedding in the late `90s and he doesn`t show up for it.
The thing is that Wayne didn`t really want to get married. His best man slaps $100 bill on the dashboard and says, hey, I don`t think you should get married today either. But he does go inside and he gets kind of harangued into the wedding to Susan LaPierre.
Ultimately, it`s a very weird and interesting moment and it tells us something about Wayne LaPierre and the problems that the NRA is facing now both legally and financially. Powerful people inside the NRA have realized that if you harass Wayne long enough or yell at Wayne LaPierre long enough, he`s eventually going to approve millions of dollars in contracts for sweetheart deals, for contractors working for the NRA or former executives who get golden parachutes.
So many of the problem from inside the NRA stem from Wayne LaPierre and his personality, which we outlined in Misfire.
O`DONNELL: And how did all of that contribute to what we`re reading about in this lawsuit which seemed to be an established pattern of illegal campaign contributions to Republicans?
MAK: Well, it`s just the latest allegation. In misfire, we talk about millions and millions of dollars in spending on private jets, lavish meals, exotic vacations, the Bahamas, Lake Como in Italy and six figures in Italian menswear at a boutique on Rodeo Drive for Wayne LaPierre.
I mean, it`s just tons of color in some of the personalities and stories, but what`s been happening inside the National Rifle Association as it declined? Misfire is based on more than 120 interviews with people inside the NRA universe and orbit and thousands of pages that I`ve obtained of secret depositions, internal NRA emails and private documents from inside the organization.
O`DONNELL: Tim Mak, thank you very much for joining us. Thank you very much for the work you do. Really appreciate it.
MAK: Thanks so much.
And coming up, a second grand jury has been convened in Manhattan to investigate Donald Trump and his business. The newly elected Manhattan District Attorney who will take office in January has a history with Donald Trump. That is an important history and that is next.
O`DONNELL: We began this hour with the news that the Manhattan District Attorney has convened a new grand jury in the case of investigating Donald Trump`s business to examine whether the Trump Organization manipulated the value of its assets. The Washington Post reports that the second grand jury`s term in indicates that it could outlast District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. who leaves office at year`s end and extend into the term of newly elected District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
The Associated Press reports Bragg and Trump have history. As a top deputy to New York`s attorney general in 2018, Bragg helped oversee a lawsuit that led to the closure of Trump`s charitable foundation over allegations that he used the nonprofit to further his political and business interests.
In June when Alvin Bragg was still campaigning to be Manhattan`s new District Attorney, The New York Times reported, "Mr. Bragg reminds voters frequently that in his former job, he sued Mr. Trump`s administration `more than a hundred times.`" Alvin Bragg refused to comment on the substance of the current investigation while he campaigned for District Attorney. He did tell The New York Times in June that his experience with the lawsuit against the Trump Foundation was `one reason he was qualified to oversee the District Attorney`s Trump investigation. I have investigated Trump and his children and held them accountable for their misconduct with the Trump Foundation,` Mr. Bragg said, `I know how to follow the facts and hold people in power accountable.`"
In an interview with Ari Melber in June, Alvin Bragg said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALVIN BRAGG, MANHATTAN DISTRICT ATTORNEY: I`ve spent a career following the facts wherever they go. At the Attorney General`s office, I lead the team that held Trump and his children accountable for their misconduct with the Trump Foundation. So I go where the facts go.
We can`t have a system where anyone is above the law, all right, that is a bedrock principle of our entire judicial system, one standard of justice for all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And joining us now, Adam Kaufmann, a former Executive Assistant Manhattan District Attorney and former Chief of the Investigation Division at the Manhattan District Attorney`s office. He served as a prosecutor there for 18 years. Adam, what do you make of this in paneling of a second grand jury?
ADAM KAUFMANN, FMR. EXEC. ASST. DISTRICT ATTORNEY MANHATTAN D.A.`S OFFICER: Very interesting, Lawrence. Thanks for having me on tonight. It suggests a few things.
First, of course, it suggests that there`s more work to do, that the prosecutors are not done presenting evidence and there are still channels, theories and prosecution they want to pursue, they want to continue to put evidence and witnesses before the grand jury. The fact that they`re in paneling a second grand jury certainly it suggests that at the first grand jury, a grand jury especial or technically a supplemental grand jury is scheduled to sit for six months, it could sit longer.
And so they`ll probably and some of us thought that this grand jury might have extended itself to continue to hear evidence, but it`s at the grand jury`s own discretion to continue their work, they have to vote to continue sitting and hearing evidence. And it`s fairly common by the time a grand jury has sat three days a week for six months, they`re done.
They don`t want to continue. They want to get on with their lives. They`ve done their service and so this may just be a situation where the District Attorney had more evidence to produce and they needed a grand jury to come in and continue. And the one that`s sitting now just did not wish to continue.
O`DONNELL: The Office of the District Attorney, the elected Office of District Attorney does not change hands very often, we have had some very long runs. And so there`s not a lot of experience with changing administration`s but what do you expect to happen in relation to this investigation, as we change with the newly elected district attorney taking office in January?
KAUFMANN: Sure. So I was in the DA`s office under Mr. Morgenthau. And then when District Attorney Cy Vance came in, I became his Chief of the Investigation Division and there was a lot of close coordination. Of course, we had a lot of people carrying over and so there was a degree of continuity between the offices.
I imagine that with Mr. Bragg coming in, you will see some degree of continuity, you will see some people carrying over. I would imagine that a lot of the Trump team will continue in their roles with the new administration. I would imagine just knowing Cy Vance that he`s going to do everything he can to make it a smooth transition.
And for all accounts, I don`t know Mr. Bragg. I`ve never met him. I`ve spoken to former colleagues who have worked with him, who know him, who have met with him on the campaign. And by all accounts, he`s a real professional. He`s a guy who knows. He`s been a prosecutor both state and federal. He knows how to follow the evidence. He knows how to run an investigation.
And from what I`ve heard, he`s going to come in and hope hopefully we`ll see a seamless transition with the investigation going wherever it should go, either to more charges or not, depending on what the evidence shows.
O`DONNELL: Adam Kaufmann, thank you very much for joining us tonight. We`re very lucky to have your expertise as we cover this story. Really appreciate it.
KAUFMANN: Thanks, Lawrence. It`s a pleasure.
O`DONNELL: Thank you.
And tonight`s last word is next.
O`DONNELL: What a difference a presidential election makes. The United States` Department of Justice is now suing the state of Texas. The Justice Department is suing the State over the anti-voting bill asked by Texas Republicans and signed by Governor Greg Abbott.
This is the same bill the Texas Democrats tried to stop by leaving the state earlier this year. In the lawsuit, the Justice Department argues the Texas law violates portions of both the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act with restrictions on polling sites and absentee ballots.
In a written statement, Attorney General Merrick Garland said, "Our democracy depends on the right of eligible voters to cast a ballot and to have that ballot counted. The Justice Department will continue to use all the authorities at its disposal to protect this fundamental pillar of our society."
Democratic leaders in the Texas House released a statement that reads, in part, "We are grateful to the U.S. Department of Justice and the Biden Administration for taking decisive action to stop Texas Republicans` continued attacks on our democracy. This bill was never about election security or voter integrity. It was always about Texas Republicans using the Big Lie to justify restricting access to the ballot box."
That is tonight`s LAST WORD. "THE 11TH HOUR WITH BRIAN WILLIAMS" starts now.
BRIAN WILLIAMS, MSNBC HOST: Well, good evening once again, day 289 of the Biden administration and the focus tonight is squarely on Capitol Hill where Democrats are finally expected to vote tomorrow on the President`s spending plan.