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Transcript: The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, 2/11/2021

Guest: Jim McGovern, Evan McMullin, Michael J. Moore�


MSNBC`s coverage of Donald Trump`s second impeachment trial. This is

what the Trump Republican Party has become, the home of Holocaust deniers,

the home of poisonous anti-Semites who believed that Hitler did not execute

enough Jewish people, that six million were not enough. Georgia`s Fulton

county district attorney Fani Willis is conducting an investigation into

Donald Trump`s phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad




Rachel, I`ve been waiting to see, hear, and I hope someday to talk to Fani

Willis since the story broke in Georgia last month. I remember the first

night we covered it as a possible criminal prosecution of Donald Trump in

Georgia, remember saying then that Fani Willis is on the threshold of

becoming the most famous district attorney in American history, period,

done, because if she ends up being the first and only district attorney in

history who prosecutes a former president of the United States, her place

in history is assured.

The mystery for me as we`ve been covering it, and reading all these

articles about it, is who is she, what is she like, and you answered that

tonight, Rachel. This is someone who knows exactly why she`s investigating

this. She`s very solid and sure about what she`s doing. Very, very

impressive interview in this last hour.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: I was really, really, really psyched to book

her. And credit to my staff, credit, I will -- I`m not supposed to do this,

but credit in particular to a staff member of mine named Valerie who did

incredible work on this. I`m really happy that we got her.

And I was -- that`s kind of as far as I went. I`m not sure that I was

setting expectations in terms of what I expected from the D.A. I was just

prepping for the interview. But, oh my god, like, she --


MADDOW: -- blew me away. And I think about this whole part of the future of

Donald Trump as a former president differently now than I did before that

interview. Seeing how grounded she is in the material of this case and what

she has to work with. It`s just, like, it`s -- it has blown my mind.

That very rarely happens to me on live TV with something that I planned to

do on my own show, but I am blown away.

O`DONNELL: It was -- it was great. I really -- I feel like I now understand

this case so much better than just reading what we`ve been reading about


And, Rachel, little historical note, that presidential phone call that she

is investigating as a possible crime occurred the day after she was sworn

in as district attorney. You`re sworn in one day --

MADDOW: Oh, my god, that`s right.

O`DONNELL: -- the next day, the president of the United States makes a

phone call into your jurisdiction and decides, this is a good day to commit

some crime.

MADDOW: That`s a felony.

O`DONNELL: Yeah. Yeah.

MADDOW: That is --


MADDOW: That is --

O`DONNELL: An amazing --

MADDOW: -- astonishing.

O`DONNELL: -- role of history for her.

MADDOW: I mean, yes, her future (ph) is incredible.

O`DONNELL: Yeah, really is.


O`DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel.

MADDOW: And, you know, Lawrence, I will say that -- thank you very much.

Thank you very much. I have to go to collect my thoughts. Yes.

O`DONNELL: No, no, please, please, no, go ahead, Rachel, well -- come on.

You got to finish it. What were you going to say?

MADDOW: Okay. I am very sorry. I am flustered, like I am -- my brain is

going a million miles an hour. I will just say, it now occurs to me that if

you -- whatever happens with the impeachment article in the Senate, with

this Senate trial, we`ll see the president`s defense tomorrow, all those


There are really two specific crimes under the one article as laid out in

the impeachment article. It is the incitement of violence. The incitement

of the violent attack on the Capitol and it is the pressure on Georgia

elections officials to overturn that call.

The latter of those is being investigated as a potential state felony in

Georgia, potentially year in prison for the former president if he is

convicted of that. Charged and convicted of that.

But the other part of it could also be charged locally in Washington, D.C.

Again, by the D.C. district attorney`s office. In the same way that the

Fulton County district attorney`s office is charging the other half of the

impeachment article. And the evidence is just as fresh for criminal

prosecution of these things as it is for the impeachment trial that we`re

seeing now.

And this makes me newly very interested in the prospect that the incitement

part of it, the incitement to violence, incitement to riot, part of it,

could also end up being a serious criminal charge.

O`DONNELL: It seem like the Senate trial is very unlikely to be the last

trial of Donald Trump on these matters.

MADDOW: Yeah. Exactly. I`m sorry to fall all over myself but that`s what I


O`DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel. Thank you.

Well, lead House Manager Jamie Raskin named his son, Tommy, after Thomas

Payne. Congressman Raskin told us at the beginning of the Senate trial that

he buried his 25-year-old son, Tommy, the day before the Trump mob attacked

the capitol.

And so in a powerfully poignant final moment on the Senate floor today, you

could feel Congressman Raskin`s two favorite Thomases standing with him as

he quoted Thomas Payne in his last line.


REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): The more difficult the struggle, the more

glorious in the end will be our victory. Good luck in your deliberations.


O`DONNELL: The more difficult the struggle. Jamie Raskin could not have a

more difficult struggle than trying to convince Republican senators to hold

the Constitution and their oaths of office above their public fealty to

Donald Trump. The more difficult the struggle.

Jamie Raskin is facing another struggle with astonishing dignity and grace.

Norm Ornstein, who lost his son, Matthew, when Matthew was 34, wrote this

today: When I lost my son I was in a fog for weeks nearly paralyzed with

grief. To imagine that Representative Raskin has not just gotten up every

day but has done this master class and constitutional law, philosophy,

logic, patriotism, and more, with eloquence, force, passion, my God, what a


Yes, there are heroes in that room. There are more cowards in that room.

And those heroes are speaking directly to those cowards in a noble hope of

trying to change their minds. They`re not trying to turn cowards into

heroes. They`re trying to turn cowards into minimally decent human beings

for the first time since those cowards surrendered themselves completely to

Donald Trump.

Congressman Raskin told the cowards what they should be listening for

tomorrow when Donald Trump`s lawyers speak in his defense.


RASKIN: We would pose these preliminary questions to his lawyers, which I

think are on everyone`s minds right now, in which would have asked Mr.

Trump, himself, if he had chosen to come and testify about his actions and

inactions when we invited him last week. One, why did President Trump not

tell his supporters to stop the attack on the Capitol as soon as he learned

of it? Why did President Trump do nothing to stop the attack for at least

two hours after the attack began?

As our constitutional commander in chief, why did he do nothing to send

help to our overwhelmed and besieged law enforcement officers for at least

two hours on January 16th after the attack began? On January 6th, why did

President Trump not at any point that day condemn the violent insurrection

and the insurrectionists?


O`DONNELL: Donald Trump didn`t just refuse to condemn them. He told them

that he loves them.


REP. JOE NEGUSE (D-CO): When they -- the police -- still barricaded and

being attacked with poles, he said in his video to the people attacking

them, we love you. You`re very special.

What more could we possibly need to know about President Trump`s state of



O`DONNELL: When Donald Trump put out that video saying "we love you" to the

Trump mob attacking the capitol, he had already seen them on television

attacking police officers. And he still said, "we love you". And he never

said, "we love you" to the police officers.

He never said "you are very special" to the capitol police. He has never

said one word of regret about the murder of Officer Brian Sicknick by the

Trump mob. Not one word of sympathy from Donald Trump about Officer Brian

Sicknick killed by the Trump mob.

And what did Donald Trump mean when he said, "we love you." Who is the

"we"? Does the "we" include the Republican cowards in the Senate? We will

find out when they vote on the verdict in this trial.

That vote will tell us if they love the Constitution or if they love Donald

Trump or whatever Donald Trump loves more than the Constitution, including

the mob who invaded the Senate chamber where they all sat today.

We`ve always known that Donald Trump was lying every single time he told

you how much he loves the police, but now we know that the Republican

cowards in the Senate and the House have always been lying about their

support for police.


REP. DAVID CICILLINE (D-RI): Listen into how the Trump mob talked to these

officers. You heard that with your own ears.


CICILLINE: F-ing traitor. So much for backing the blue. Just a couple more



CICILLLINE: They called law enforcement officers traitors. You have to

wonder who these rioters sworn to, to whom do they believe the police owe

their loyalty?


O`DONNELL: Of course, all that profanity was not bleeped live on the Senate

floor today when that was played. And all those profane words will appear

in print in the congressional record where they will live forever.

The Trump mob and the Trump cowards in the House of Representatives and the

Senate do not care about police because they don`t care what happened to

those police officers on January 6th. The Trump cowards in the House of

Representatives and the Senate do not care that Donald Trump got capitol

police officers killed by that mob.

How many capitol police officers does it take to separate the Trump cowards

in the house and the Senate from Donald Trump? We don`t know.

While Donald Trump was watching the capitol being invaded on live

television, he tweeted this: Mike Pence didn`t have the courage to do what

should have been done to protect our country and our Constitution, giving

states a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent

inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands

the truth!

And that, that tweet, was one of the many smoking guns that the House

managers exhibited today.


NEGUSE: The fact that he didn`t stop it, the fact that he incited a lawless

attack and abdicated his duty to defend us from it, the fact that he

actually further inflamed the mob, further inflamed that mob, attacking his

vice president, while assassins were pursuing him in this capitol. More

than requires conviction and disqualification.


O`DONNELL: Our first guest tonight tried to preside over the House of

Representatives and keep the House in session after Speaker Pelosi was

rushed out of the chamber. That left House Rules Committee Chairman Jim

McGovern as one of the very last members on the House floor.


REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): Chairman McGovern was one of the last members to

leave the floor. As he left through the House lobby just after 2:40 p.m.,

he was spotted by the mob.


SWALWELL: Minutes later, at 2:44 p.m., Ashli Babbitt attempted to climb

through a shattered window into the House lobby. To protect the members in

the lobby, an officer discharged his weapon.


O`DONNELL: Leading off our discussion tonight, Democratic Congressman Jim

McGovern of Massachusetts, he`s the chair of the House Rules Committee.

Mr. Chairman, thank you very much for joining us tonight.

And I have to ask, that video that we saw of you being that close to the

invaders, had you seen that video before it was presented in the trial?

REP. JIM MCGOVERN (D-MA): I did see it before. A "Washington Post"

journalist had shared it with me, but it`s a moment I`ll never forget as

long as I live.

O`DONNELL: And what were you feeling as you were looking -- seeing the mob

that close to you?

MCGOVERN: Well, first, I was in disbelief because I couldn`t believe that a

mob that size could reach the United States Capitol.

And then my other emotion was one of sadness and one of anger. You know,

that these -- that this mob of white supremacists, of neo Nazis, of

homegrown fascists, stormed the Capitol, were breaking a glass window that

leads into the speaker`s lobby, and I looked right into their eyes and I

saw hate.

And I knew that these weren`t protesters, that these people weren`t here to

make a political point, that they weren`t here to hand me a leaflet. They

were here to kill us, and they were here to destroy and desecrate the

United States Capitol.

And, so, you know, my feeling then was, how dare you? How dare you do this

to the United States Capitol? How dare you threaten my colleagues, the

staff, the people who support the Capitol, the cafeteria workers, everybody

who was there?

And I`m still angry, to be honest with you, and I`m angry at them. I`m

angry at Donald Trump for inciting this mob to attack the Capitol. And I`m

angry at some of my colleagues who gave oxygen to Donald Trump`s big lie,

to -- that created a culture that resulted in this terrible insurrection,

you know, that took place on January 6th.

O`DONNELL: When I -- when I hear your anger, which is so perfectly

understandable, I`m sure that that is a very common feeling in the House,

and yet when I see the House managers on the Senate floor, they are

handling this so professionally under these circumstances. They must have

found a place to put their anger before going out there.

MCGOVERN: They`re incredible. I`m proud of all of them. I mean, and they

have presented the case in the way it should be presented. They`ve stuck to

the facts. They`ve told the truth.

And quite frankly, the facts are irrefutable. Donald Trump incited this mob

to attack the Capitol, to threaten the lives of all those who were there

including his vice president and the other fact he is did nothing when the

attack began. I mean, he basically sat and watched as they ushered his vice

president out to safety.

I mean, he basically turned his back at a moment when his vice president

could have been murdered, and what a disgusting individual to even -- to

allow that to happen. And, again, I hope that the Senate will vote to

convict. I mean, to me, this is an open-and-shut case. I don`t know where

the gray area is here. The evidence is overwhelming.

O`DONNELL: Mr. Chairman, when I saw the vote in the House on impeachment, I

realized a certain -- at a certain moment in the vote clock as it was

ticking down, look at the numbers and how many Republicans, that really it

wasn`t a vote on the evidence. It wasn`t a vote on what they -- for the

Republican side. It wasn`t a vote on what they actually experienced on

January 6th. It was a vote about who the Republican Party is in the House

of Representatives. That`s the way it felt to me.

Is that the way it feels to you now when you look at the Senate, that

what`s on trial is not the evidence, but what`s on trial is the Republican

side of the United States Senate?

MCGOVERN: I think that`s an accurate description. Look, the evidence is

overwhelming. We know what happened. We know who`s responsible.

The issue is whether enough Republicans have the guts and the courage and

the love of country to do the right thing. I mean, there too many

Republicans who feel they need to genuflect to the altar of Donald Trump.

They`re still afraid of him. And it really is disheartening.

I mean, there are people who I`ve worked who have I have respect for who

caved, who voted to not certify the election results, who voted to

basically acquit him when we had the impeachment vote in the House.

They did so not because they think he`s innocent, not because they think

he`s a great man or a good president. They did so out of fear. And that is

really disappointing to me.

Donald Trump is a criminal. And what he did in terms of inciting that crowd

to attack the United States Capitol, to threaten the lives of so many

people -- people died. People died. Blood is on this president`s hands. And

to do nothing, how dare he?

And for the United States Senate to acquit him, for Republicans not to do

the right thing, is really disgraceful.

Now, look, there was some Republicans who we know will never it the right

thing -- Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley.

Quite frankly, you know, they look at this differently because if they met

face-to-face with the mob on January 6th, they had no fear for their lives.

They would have been embraced. They would have been cheered. The rest of us

would have been killed.

But, you know, they approached this from the point of view that Donald

Trump approached it. You know, maintain power at all costs. No matter what

it means, no matter how many lives.

And so, I hope and pray that the Senate will do the right thing, but our

House managers presented a case that I thought was impeccably argued and

I`m incredibly proud of them. And I`m especially proud of my friend, Jamie

Raskin, who I serve on the Rules Committee with. He`s an incredible human


O`DONNELL: Certainly is.

Mr. McGovern of Massachusetts, thank you very much for leading us off

tonight. We really appreciate it, Mr. Chairman. Thank you.

MCGOVERN: Be safe.

O`DONNELL: Thank you.

Coming up, former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance will join us with her take

on today`s Senate impeachment trial.



REP. DIANA DEGETTE (D-CO): On January 6th, we know who lit the fuse. Donald

Trump told these insurrectionists to come to the Capitol and stop the

steal. And they did come to the Capitol. And they tried to stop the

certification. They came because he told them to.

RASKIN: There`s no merit whatsoever to any of the free speech rhetoric, the

empty free speech rhetoric you may hear from President Trump`s lawyers. He

attacked the first amendment. He attacked the Constitution. He betrayed his

oath of office. Presidents don`t have any right to do that. It`s forbidden.

NEGUSE: He reacted exactly the way someone would react if they were

delighted and exactly unlike how a person would react if they were angry at

how their followers were acting.


O`DONNELL: Joining our discussion now, Joyce Vance, former U.S. attorney.

She`s a professor at the University of Alabama School of Law and MSNBC

legal contributor. And she is the co-host of the podcast, "#sistersinlaw."

Joyce, thank you very much for joining us tonight.

And with your local experience, I don`t want to presume to guide you, I

just want to open it up for, give us your highlights of what you saw in the

Senate trial today.

JOYCE VANCE, MSNBC LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: I think the first thing we have to

say, Lawrence, is that this was a real prosecutorial dream team, seasoned

professionals through and through. Just about the facts and the law with an

elegant presentation that will create the record for history that we need

of these events.

But the ultimate takeaway here, I think this is your comment, the Senate is

actually on trial here and the prosecutors very deliberately gave senators

the option that they could be in the Trump camp, that they could be part of

the insurrection or there was a possibility for Republicans and Democrats

alike to stand up for what was good in our country and to say, you cannot

do this, you cannot tell the big lie. You cannot threaten the Georgia

secretary of state. You cannot bring the crowd to D.C. on January 6th. You

cannot set them on the Capitol. You cannot stand by and do nothing as they

overrun the Capitol.

And making the point which I think is the ultimate argument and so

compelling, if the Senate votes to acquit former President Trump, all of

that conduct, that entire series of circumstances, is something that a

future president can do or that president Trump could do if he runs again.

It`s a compelling argument for conviction.

O`DONNELL: Joyce, were you able to find in this presentation the single

thing that you would end your closing argument on and in that last moment

in this trial which is coming for Jamie Raskin?

VANCE: I wouldn`t presume to be half of the prosecutor that Jamie Raskin is

because it -- what he did today was word perfect. You know, his invocation

of Thomas Payne and summer soldiers and making the point that it`s easy to

stick up for democracy when the going is easy, but now the going is tough.

That`s a brilliant point.

But I think where they`re likely headed with this is the most compelling

piece of evidence, the evidence that Trump intended precisely the outcome

that he got here was his long-term insistence of winning at any cost, but

the fact that he sat silent and did nothing for so many hours as Congress

was being overrun, that he let the Capitol Police go to great risk. You

know, he was watching it on TV like everybody else.

We know he had a call with Tommy Tuberville, and he knows that Mike Pence

was ushered very quickly out of the Senate and the rest of the senators had

to leave. He knew precisely what was going on and he did nothing.

There is no possible scenario under which that`s not a violation of a

president`s oath of office, and I suspect we`ll hear a lot more about that

when the Democrats close.

O`DONNELL: Joyce Vance, thank you very much for joining us tonight.

VANCE: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Thanks.

And after this break, John Heilemann and Professor Eddie Glaude will join

us to consider who and what is really on trial in the United States Senate

this week.




REP. TED LIEU (D-CA): President Trump`s lack of remorse shows that he will

undoubtedly cause future harm if allowed. Because he still refuses to

account for his previous high-grade crime against our government.

You know, I`m not afraid of Donald Trump running again in four years. I`m

afraid he`s going to run again and lose because he can do this again.


O`DONNELL: Joining our discussion now: John Heilemann, the host and

executive producer of Showtime`s "The Circus" and host of the "Hell and

High Water" podcast from The Recount. And also with us, Professor Eddie

Glaude Jr., chair of the Department of African-American studies at

Princeton University. Both are MSNBC analysts.

Professor Glaude, let me start with you and what we just heard from

Congressman Lieu. That notion of the real thing to fear in Donald Trump

running again would be what would happen if he lost.


challenge to the legitimacy of our democratic process. We saw when he ran

against Hillary Clinton that he did this. We saw this in this moment that

there is this congoing effort on his part to delegitimize the basic

elements, the foundations of our democratic process. So, I thought that was

a very powerful point, a very powerful point.

But I want to pick up something really quickly, Lawrence, that you

mentioned with Chairman McGovern and with Joyce. And that is who`s --

what`s on trial, who`s on trial in this moment, right? And I`m reminded

September of 1955 and I want you to bear with me for a second

Remember the trial of the murderers of Emmett Till, it wasn`t about the

facts. According to the jurors, and according to Blunt and Neelam, it was

about what was at stake was a way of life. So, we -- I mean, everything

that the managers presented today just seems spot-on to me.

But the facts don`t matter. It seems to me that the senators, Republican

side, that they are in some ways defending a way of life. And that`s what

we need to see that there are two Americas that are on full view in this

moment. And we see one side defending one version of America and another

side defending another if that makes sense.

O`DONNELL: Yes, exactly.

And John, to that point, the sides are also the pro-Capitol police side and

the "we don`t care about the Capitol police" side. We don`t care how many

get killed when Donald Trump sends his mob up to the Capitol.

JOHN HEILEMANN, MSNBC ANALYST: Right. Lawrence, this is like -- for the

Republicans who -- who are, we think -- again, I keep saying that we have

to be open to the possibility that some minds will be changed and that

we`ll end up with more Republican votes. Let`s hope and pray, given the

strength of the case that the prosecution`s put forward and what we know

now, what the defense is going to look like tomorrow from the president`s


It`s going to be, you know, the clear right outcome here is pretty obvious,

but if we end up where we think we`re going to end up, we will have a

Republican Party in the senate saying they don`t care about Capitol police,

saying they don`t care about the whole history of Republican legal thought.

They`ll be rejecting originalism, constitutionalism, framers`, founders`

intent, original intent. All the things Republicans said they believe

because they all are going to claim that this is an unconstitutional


They`ll be not caring about that, not caring about their integrity,

ideology, and electoral consistency, the facts, the truth. All of the --

they`re saying they don`t care about all that. All they`ll be saying they

care about is their own careers.

They have convinced themselves that to go against Donald Trump would be to

imperil their careers and so they will look away from everything else and

pledge oath to Donald Trump and really by doing so pledge oath to Donald

Trump`s voters because they think that`s the only way that they can keep

their jobs.

I think they`re wrong in that assessment but we can talk more that but, I

mean it`s incredible display of vacuousness but also stupidity because I

think we`ve learned now that Donald Trump was loyal to no one but Donald

Trump as his behavior towards Mike Pence so vividly laid out by the

prosecutors yesterday and today makes clear.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what Senator Bill Cassidy had to say. He`s one

of the six Republican senators who voted to have this trial. This was after

today`s trial session.


SENATOR BILL CASSIDY (R-LA): I still have people back home who swear that

the Dominion machines were rigged, even though -- even though different

news outlets have printed retractions, apologies, and otherwise

disassociated themselves from that story.

But obviously, the president repeated it over and over. That clearly had an

impact. So when the point was made, people felt as if they had no recourse

because their vote was being stolen. Well, the president built that story.


O`DONNELL: Professor Glaude, he seems to be able to evaluate the evidence

clearly. He doesn`t have the impediments that apparently the cowardly side

of the Republican Party has.

GLAUDE: Right. So, there is this openness to the facts. He`s willing to be

convinced. He`s in some ways fulfilling his oath. But then you contrast

that with what we heard -- what we read in Lindsey Graham`s tweet about the

profane -- how profane and absurd this was. Right?

So, I think it`s really important for us to understand. I think John -- you

know, the self-interested politician may very well be the generous read. It

may very well be the case that these folks are self-interested, and they

are committed to the world view that is being put forward by those who

sacked the capitol.

And I think that`s what we have to get at. What is motivating this? I don`t

think it`s just simply fidelity to Trump. I don`t think it`s just -- I

think it`s, obviously, self-interest.

But I think what we are confronting here is a clashing of two Americas. A

dying America that is clinging to life and a new America that`s trying to

be born. And I think we need to, you know, dive deep into the substance of

that difference in this moment.

O`DONNELL: John, the Republican Party is now a party that knows it cannot

win the big elections if everyone has a fair chance to vote. They know they

are outnumbered. They`ve become the anti-democratic party -- anti-democracy

party. And they might just be at the point where they`ll take the fight

wherever the fight goes. And one day, the fight happened to go into the

Capitol. But it`s a fight against democracy that they will continue to

fight in other ways.

HEILEMANN: Yes. Think that`s right. And to Eddie`s point, I don`t dispute

Eddie`s deeper analysis. I think we`re saying -- this is are the and/both

situation as opposed to either/or situation.

I think, you know, this is the demography -- you know, Eddie has a moral

layer on top of the demography, which again I agree with. But in the purely

political terms, the older America, the dying America, is the America that

is the white America, the white grievance America more particularly.

And Republicans had a chance coming out of 2012, they told themselves that

they needed to modernize the party and try to open themselves up to non-

white voters. They made a choice with Donald Trump to go in the opposite


And now as you say, Lawrence, they are -- they are fighting democracy

itself, and the tide of that that`s attached to the changing America. So,

yes, I think that`s right.

I think they have an increasingly -- it`s a path to political suicide, is

what it is, and that gets back to why I also think they`re such idiots to

be going down this path because I think it`s ultimately self-defeating.

It`s going to consign them to permanent minority status if they go this


O`DONNELL: John Heilemann and Professor Eddie Glaude, thank you both for

joining our discussion tonight.

HEILEMANN: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Thank you.

And when we come back, the Republican cowards in the Senate cast their

votes -- when they cast their votes at the end of this trial, they won`t

just be voting for Donald Trump. They`ll be voting in support of the racism

and anti-Semitism that filled the Capitol on January 6th. That`s next.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Prejudiced elements could be seen visibly in the

attack -- the crowd that attacked the capitol. Pictured here is Robert

Packer. Robert Packer is an avowed white supremacist and Holocaust denier

who proudly wore that sweatshirt which states quote: Camp Auschwitz.


O`DONNELL: This is what the Trump Republican Party has become, the home of

Holocaust deniers, the home of poisonous anti-Semites who believed that

Hitler did not execute enough Jewish people, that six million were not


The Trump Republican Party is the home of the mob who rampaged through the

capitol screaming the n word repeatedly, endlessly, at black Capitol police

officers. In the 1950`s a Trump-like Republican senator Joseph McCarthy was

famously challenged with the question, have you no decency?

That same question can now be asked of the entire Republican Party. Our

next guest hosted a conference call of over 120 Republican former

government officials who have been considering whether the Republican Party

should be saved or should be abandoned in favor of a new party.

Joining us now is Evan McMullin, executive director of Stand Up Republic.

Evan, thank you very much for joining us tonight. You`ve worked for

Republicans in government and House of representatives, elsewhere.

What was this call like to be taking place now with this Republican former

president on trial in the senate, where every single bit of the evidence is

so fully condemning and yet, and yet, you`re looking at a Republican senate

that seems to be leaning toward forgiving Donald Trump for all of this.


you for having me on.

And really, you just painted a picture that describes the impetus for the

meeting, for the gathering. I think, you know, together all of us are

looking at these circumstances. Looking at Donald Trump`s presidency. The

history of the four years of that presidency. How it really all led to

January 6th.

And then to see that violent -- that deadly insurrection happen that

threatened our democracy and then to watch a majority of House Republicans

still vote to overturn the results of the election, and then to watch all

of this additional evidence come to light and to still learn that Senate

Republicans will overwhelmingly vote to protect the president, even though

he committed -- or even though he led a violent insurrection to overturn an

election so that he could stay in power.

All of that just describes, of course, a party that is sick. That is rotten

to the core. Are there good Republicans out there? Look, I know some, but

there are -- they`re all deeply disturbed by what`s happening and

uncomfortable with the direction of the party and demanding something new.

For the last four to five years, many of us have fought for a new

direction. We were 10 percent to 15 percent of the party. Now we`re at 25

percent or 30 percent of the party that think it`s time for something new.

And so we gathered people from the Bush, Reagan, even from the Trump

administrations -- people in elected office and now Republicans in elected

office, recently -- people who`ve recently retired as well, 120 top

political and intellectual Republicans, intellectual leaders in the

Republican space, to talk about a new direction.

And we debated about whether it should be a faction within the party or

independent of the party. A pro-democracy faction to try to pull the party

back, or pull the party to a position of, you know, committed to our

founding values, committed to our democracy.

Or whether we need to start something entirely new. A new party.

O`DONNELL: It looks like your section of the party is represented by five

or six Republicans in the United States Senate and so even though you may

represent a larger amount of the actual Republican voting population,

you`re certainly not represented in the congress.

MCMULLIN: Well, that`s absolutely right. And, Lawrence, as you and many of

your viewers understand the reason why that is a reality is that our

primary systems are such that the base primary voter of the Republican

Party is -- they are supporting Trump-like candidates. And so those of us

who occupy a smaller part of the party can`t get our candidates through the

primary process in most cases, so we are not represented.

And that`s also what is an impetus for our meeting, for our gathering on

Friday and for the additional steps that we`re going to take. You know, the

party simply does not represent us, does not represent people, Republicans,

conservatives who are committed to democracy, committed to our founding

values, committed to truth, reason and decency.

And so, you know, we`ve got to continue our fight. Our fight is -- some of

us have been fighting for four and five years but now we have more joining

us and that`s a positive thing.

O`DONNELL: Evan McMullin, thank you very much for joining us tonight.

MCMULLIN: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Thanks.

Well, you saw Fani Willis in the last hour with Rachel in her first

television interview about the investigation of Donald Trump that she is

conducting as the district attorney of Fulton County, Georgia. We have been

covering this story all of last month.

Michael J. Moore will join us next. He is a former U.S. attorney in

Georgia. He has been analyzing this case for us, and now we have the new

information that we heard from Fani Willis tonight with Rachel. We`ll be

back with that discussion right after this break.


O`DONNELL: Here is Georgia`s Fulton county district attorney Fani Willis,

making news with Rachel Maddow just an hour ago.


RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: The way your investigation has been reported in

the press as I understand it is that it is centered on but not limited to

this phone call that former President Trump made to Georgia secretary of

state Brad Raffensperger. Is that a fair way to understand it?


this business now for 25 years, 19 of those years have been spent as a


What I know about investigations is they`re kind of like peeling back an

onion. And as you go through each layer you learn different things. To be a

responsible prosecutor you must look at all of those things in

investigation to be fair to everyone involved.

This is a very important matter as you`ve already highlighted. And so, yes,

the investigation seems that it will go past just this one phone call that

we`ve discussed and that you played for your viewers.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now is Michael J. Moore, former U.S. Attorney for the

middle district of Georgia. Michael, you were here just the other night

when the secretary of state announced an investigation.

You said on this program you didn`t like that very much. You thought it

would be better handled by the district attorney. The day after you said

that District Attorney Fani Willis announces that she`s doing the

investigation that the way you thought she should.

It seems she was clearly already underway with this, but what was your

reaction to tonight`s interview?


good interview, and I`m glad she watches the show and maybe she took some

advice. I do think she needs to move forward with the investigation.

I think that she`s right, that she`s probably the most non-compromised

elected official and investigative agency to do that. I think there are

real problems as I mentioned to you the other night about having the state

attorney general involved.

This is a Georgia crime. The law allows for this case to be investigated in

Fulton County, and I think it`s the right move.

I think she`s wise to take a slow approach to the investigation. That is

she referenced peeling back the onion. And I do think that an investigation

whether you talk about it being like an onion or pulling on a piece of

cloth -- pulling on a thread on a piece of cloth and the whole thing

starting to unravel. I think that`s what you see with a methodical

investigation and hopefully she`ll do that.

O`DONNELL: Look, Michael, the language of the statutes is so clear that

it`s very obvious that Donald Trump violated them. And so this

investigation although it may go slow, it doesn`t seem to have very

significant roadblocks in front of it.

You know, the unique thing about this case is that you essentially start

with a confession.

O`DONNELL: Yes, you do.


MOORE: You`ve got this hour-long phone call that really lays out the case.

And you hear him, essentially the former president threatening the

secretary of state with criminal prosecution or that bad things were going

to happen to him.

And this is just the language of a mob boss, and there`s -- you can listen

to about any tape of an organized crime case or a drug distribution ring

and you hear this kind of language. So she starts with that.

And that gets pretty close to solving our closing out the day on the

investigation for interference with the official performance of a

secretary`s duties in this case. And so I really think that that part puts

her head and shoulders above where she would be if she were to start from


He just made a bad decision to call into a state where one party can record

a call without consent and to get in front of a prosecutor who`s at least

willing to take a look at his efforts to commit election fraud.

O`DONNELL: Luckily for the truth Donald Trump has consistently had very bad

advice around him.

Michael J. Moore, thank you very much for joining us tonight. I`m sure

we`re going to be hearing from you again on this case. We really appreciate


MOORE: I`m always glad to be with you, thank you.

O`DONNELL: Thank you.

That is tonight`s LAST WORD.



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