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Transcript: The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, January 8, 2021

Guests: Eric Swalwell, Mikie Sherrill, Lawrence Tribe, Lance Dodes


House Democrats to introduce on Monday articles of impeachment against Donald Trump for incitement of insurrection. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) and Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) answer questions regarding the capitol riots, their experience, and the drafting of the articles of impeachment against Donald Trump. What the senate victories in Georgia mean for the Trump impeachment possibilities. Prosecutors have charged 53 people with criminal offenses committed at the United States Capitol on Wednesday. Today the American Psychoanalytic Association said Donald Trump should be immediately removed from office.


RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Well, here is that congressman, Andy Kim, in the pre-dawn hours the morning yesterday. Look at him. On his hands and knees literally cleaning up after the riot by Trump supporters who ransacked and looted and trashed parts of the U.S. Capitol. Congressman Kim stayed overnight personally cleaning up what they did.

Tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m. eastern, my friend Ali Velshi will be broadcasting live from the scene of that violent insurrection. This is interesting. Ali's show is going to be broadcast tomorrow from just outside the Capitol building.

He's doing a special two-hour live report on the aftermath of the attack this week. It starts at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow morning here no MSNBC. See you there. That does it for us tonight. Now it's time for "The Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell." Good evening, Lawrence.

LAWRENCE O'DONNELL, MSNBCH HOST: Good evening, Rachel. And if you asked me yesterday on the question of impeachment, I would have said I don't know, but I don't think so. If you ask me now, especially after hearing Adam Schiff, the chief prosecutor of Donald Trump in his impeachment trial minutes ago with you, it's happening. Adam Schiff is basically telling the world on your program this is really going to happen.

MADDOW: Yes, that's exactly my impression as well. I came into the show tonight thinking like this is an option. I wonder what will happen. I wonder how long they're going to dither. And it seems to me, my impression as well, is that this is going to be -- this is going to happen.

O'DONNELL: And, you know, the question that Mitch McConnell raises about you need unanimous consent in order to proceed to this before January 20th, I can't find any hole in that. And so, it may be that the House impeaches and there isn't a Senate trial before Donald Trump leaves office.

But Professor Lawrence Tribe is going to join us tonight and explain why you can have an impeachment trial of Donald Trump after he has left office and that there is a value to doing that. So, this story, Rachel, is taking turns that were unimaginable to me 48 hours ago.

MADDOW: When you talk to him, Lawrence, will you ask him a question for me?

O'DONNELL: Writing it down.

MADDOW: It's pretty simple, but as far as I understand it, the two-thirds vote to convict in the Senate is just two-thirds of the number of senators who are present. So, if 20 Republican senators decided they wanted nothing to do with this and they stayed away, you could get a two-thirds vote to convict which would allow you to move on to the vote to ban him for an office forever, with just the Democrats or just the Democrats and a handful of Republicans.

I think that's right as long as they didn't have a full deck of 100 senators sitting in the chamber. But I would love to check it with somebody like him.

O'DONNELL: Yes. We will get you an answer for that. Off the top of my head, my answer to that is you're right. Its two-thirds of the members voting, members of the senate voting. We will have that answer for our audience during this hour.

MADDOW: You are very kind. And now I owe you. You get to ask me stuff to ask people too from here on out.

O'DONNELL: Okay, will do that. Thank you, Rachel.

MADDOW: Thank you Lawrence. Thanks.

O'DONNELL (on camera): Thank you. Dr. Lance Dodes, a psychiatrist formerly on the faculty of Harvard Medical School has warned us on this program for four years now that Donald Trump is unfit to serve as president of the United States.

Dr. Dodes will join us once again tonight at the end of this hour to consider what risks the madness of Donald Trump presents in the final days of his presidency, and how his mind might handle being banned from Twitter as he enters a life of golf and appearances in court. Dr. Lance Dodes will get tonight's last word.

"Incitement of Insurrection" is now the title of the draft article of impeachment the Democrats in the House of Representatives began considering today in an hour's long discussion that Speaker Pelosi called "sad, moving and patriotic."

She said if the president does not resign, she's not going to do. The House Rules Committee will consider what she called a "privileged resolution for impeachment" in a taped interview with "60 Minutes" to be shown this weekend. The speaker said this.


LESLEY STAHL, CBS NEWS HOST: Is anybody running the executive branch of the government? Who is running the executive branch?

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Well, sadly, the person running the executive branch is a deranged, unhinged, dangerous president of the United States. And only a number of days until we can be protected from him, but he has done something so serious that there should be prosecution against him.

STAHL: Well, I gather that the 25th amendment is off the table?

PERLOSI: No it isn't, nothing is off the table.


O'DONNELL (on camera): Congressman Adam Schiff, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, was the chief prosecutor of Donald Trump in his Senate impeachment trial. You just heard him tell Rachel in no uncertain terms that the House is determined to go forward with impeachment.

Today, he put out a written statement saying that "Congress should act to begin impeachment proceedings as the only instrument wholly within our power to remove a president who has so manifestly and repeatedly violated the Constitution and put our nation at great risk."

Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska became the first Republican senator to demand President Trump's resignation. In an interview with the "Anchorage Daily News," Senator Murkowski said, "I want him to resign. I want him out. He has caused enough damage."

Senator Murkowski added, "I think he should leave. He said he's not going to show up. He's not going to appear at the inauguration. He only wants to stay there for the title. He only wants to stay there for his ego. He needs to get out. He needs to do the good thing, but I don't think he's capable of doing a good thing."

Senator Murkowski essentially made the case that Donald Trump is in fact guilty of insurrection. Senator Murkowski said, "I will attribute it to the president who said, even after his vice president told him that morning I do not have the constitutional authority to do what you have asked me to do, I cannot do it, I have to protect and uphold the Constitution.

Even after the vice president told President Trump that, he still told his supporters to fight. How are they supposed to take that? It's an order from the president. And so that's what they did. They came up and they fought and people were harmed and injured and died."

This morning before Donald Trump was permanently banned by Twitter, he tweeted something that viewers of this program have known for years. He is not going to attend the inauguration. I have been telling you that for years at this point. President-elect Joe Biden welcomed that news.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: I was told that on the way up here, way over here that he indicated he wasn't going to show up at the inauguration. One of the few things he and I have ever agreed on. It's a good thing him not showing up.


O'DONNELL: Today Joe Biden said this about a second impeachment of Donald Trump.


BIDEN: If we were six months out, we should be doing everything to get him out of office. Impeaching him again and trying to invoke the 25th amendment, whatever it took to get him out of office. But I am focused now on us taking control as president and vice president on the 20th and to get our agenda moving as quickly as we can.


O'DONNELL: Today, President-elect Biden was asked what should happen to the people who invaded the capitol building.


UNKNOWN: In the storming of the capitol, how should they be treated by your Justice Department? Should they be treated as domestic terrorists?

BIDEN: Yes, they should be treated as they're a bunch of thugs, insurrectionists, white supremacists, anti-Semites, and it's not enough. I mean, come on. You know, these shirts they're wearing. These are a bunch of thugs, thugs, and they are terrorists, domestic terrorists. And that will be a judgment for the Justice Department to make as to what the charges should be. But fact is, they should be prosecuted. They should be prosecuted. The difference here is this had the active encouragement of a sitting president of the United States.


O'DONNELL (on camera): Last night on this program we focused on the anti-Semitism of some of the invaders of the capitol that Joe Biden referred to today. There was this man who has not yet been identified but is the subject to federal arrest and prosecution for invading the capitol and possibly more crimes.

If we zoom in on his hoodie there under that beard, you will see that it says Camp Auschwitz. And here he is outside of the capitol, that's a better shot of him. We're going to leave his face up here on our screen for our national television audience in the hope that there is someone out there who can help the FBI identify and find this man.

The words on the lower part of his hoodie, under the skull are work brings freedom. As we pointed out last night, that is a rough translation of the German words that appeared across the top of the gate to Auschwitz that every Jew entering that death camp saw on the way to their deaths.

Last night, we showed you an example of the shirts Joe Biden referred to today that say 6MWE. Here is the example of that shirt that we showed you last night. This picture was taken last month at a rally of Trump supporters in Washington, D.C. that also ended in violence.

Shirts like that were reportedly seen on the capitol grounds yesterday. The meaning of the poisonous code on that shirt is -- 6 million were not enough. That is exactly what Adolf Hitler believed. His extermination of 6 million Jews was not enough for him. Hitler wanted to exterminate every Jew in Europe.

But Hitler killed himself in the last days of World War II when American soldiers were liberating Hitler the death camps. American generals who thought they had seen every manner of human suffering in war cried and some bent over and vomited at what they found in Hitler's death camps.

Those generals and the soldiers who served under their command, including the hundreds of thousands of Americans killed in World War II put their lives on the line to stop Hitler's Nazism from taking over all of Europe. They knew Hitler was not capable of mounting a transatlantic invasion of the United States.

They knew that Nazi uniforms would not be coming ashore on the beaches of Cape Cod or South Carolina. They knew that Nazi uniforms would never make it on to American soil and they never dreamed that people would be walking around this country, gathering in our nation's capital and invading the capitol building in support of a president of the United States dressed in clothing that publicly declared something that Hitler himself did not ever dare to say publicly.

Six million were not enough. Never forget. While the invaders were rampaging through the capitol, Donald Trump said to them, we love you, you're very special, never, ever forget that. This is the same president who said there were good people in Charlottesville who were chanting angrily, Jews will not replace us. Never forget.

We learned nothing new about Donald Trump this week, nothing. We learned nothing new about the Nazi element of his supporters who have been with him every single day of his political career, every day. Donald Trump has been embracing American Nazis every day of his political career.

He has never stopped embracing them because they love him. Americans who want to exterminate Jews see themselves in Donald Trump. And Donald Trump smiles back at them and says we love you. Joe Biden said it yesterday. We could see it coming.


BIDEN: I wish we could say we couldn't see it coming, but that isn't true. We could see it coming. The past four years we've had a president who has made his contempt for our democracy, our Constitution, the rule of law, clear in everything he has done. He unleashed an all-out assault on our institutions of our democracy from the outset.


O'DONNELL (on camera): Leading off our discussion tonight, two members of Congress who voted on the impeachment of Donald Trump and who may be doing it again. Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell of California. He's a member of the House Judiciary Committee. And Democratic Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey. She is a member of the House Armed Services Committee.

Congressman Swalwell, you will have direct committee jurisdiction over impeachment. It sounded to me like chief prosecutor of Donald Trump in the impeachment trial tonight, Congressman Adam Schiff, when he was speaking to Rachel, this is really happening, you're going to be doing this next week.

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): We prefer, Lawrence, for the president to step aside. We know he won't do that. If that's not going to happen, we prefer for the vice president to step up and show some courage and invoke the 25th amendment. We know he probably won't do that.

So, we know our act and we know our scene. We are the House of Representatives. We are vested with the authority to impeach the president and we're going to be ready to do that. We're going to do it because it could lead to his removal if there's enough courage in the Senate.

We're going to do it because we believe it will be bipartisan. We're going to do it because we hope it will deter the president and people around him from further criminal acts. We're going to do it because it's a standard that must be met for his conduct.

We're going to do it because we must hold others in the House and perhaps in the Senate accountable and put them on record. And we're going to do it because we believe that once this president leaves office the only regret we will ever have Lawrence is that we never did enough.

O'DONNELL: Congressman Swalwell, let me ask you about proceedings because in 19th century we had an impeachment in the House without judiciary committee hearings, without any hearings at all. It just went straight to the House floor. Can you go straight to the floor with a simple article of impeachment on incitement to insurrection without the committee process?

SWALWELL: Yes. We don't want to do that, but we have to move at the pace of the president's corruption and chaos. It moved quite quickly on Wednesday so, we have to move with a sense of urgency. People are asking me, why aren't you in Washington right now on the floor? Why aren't you there over the weekend? We would love to be, but just one Republican member could object and that would prevent us from doing so. So Monday is the earliest we could do it.

Lawrence, just really quickly. You have Mikie Sherrill, my colleague on. I want to say that having veterans in the Congress like Mikie, they serve us well for the policy perspective they bring. But on Wednesday when the floor was assaulted, they served us well because of the experience they've had in the past in theaters of war, and where they were able to help other colleagues put on their gas masks, not panic, find their ways out. And I'm so grateful that Mikie was there to assist with us that day.

O'DONNELL: Congresswoman Sherrill, let's take this parenthetical detour here that Congressman Swalwell has just opened up, and please tell us about your experience in the House on Tuesday during the invasion.

REP MIKIE SHERRILL (D-NJ): Well, that was very kind of Congressman Swalwell. A lot of people showed a great deal of bravery. I was in the chamber when we began to get reports that (inaudible), the House office building was being evacuated.

We had broken up from the joint session to debate an opposition to Arizona's electoral being ceded. So, we were in the House chamber and I heard that the vice president had been removed from the Senate chamber shortly thereafter. The Speaker was removed from our chamber.

We locked down the doors and began to, you know, start to hear muffled crowds outside. I heard the crowds were in Statuary Hall which is adjacent to the chamber. As you know, the woman who was killed was killed in the Speaker's lobby, shot in the Speaker's lobby as she was trying to gain entrance into the chamber. The Speaker's lobby is right off the chamber.

So, we gathered, we started to pull out our gas masks, and yes, I was showing people how to use a gas mask it in the event that we needed to do that. I needed a refresher course from my colleague, Jason Crow. I'm a little older than he is, and these were a bit newer than what I had been used to.

And I showed some of our colleagues how to do that, helped lead them to the other side. We were then told to get down. We were in what we were afraid was an active shooter situation. Please, as you see, you're showing the picture now, police barricading the door and pulling out their weapons as people were trying to gain entrance into the chamber.

I was down on the ground. You know, other people around me were calling their loved ones, afraid that might be last time they spoke to them. We were finally able to get safe passage out. As I walked out of the chamber, there were protesters on the floor being held at gunpoint by the police.

We evacuated. I was walking with Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal who had just had knee surgery. So, I was helping her as we were walking down together and it turned out that we actually led the group of members from the chamber into our secure location. We said, you know, you can go ahead, but I think that, you know, it was unclear to some where we were going to. They stayed behind us and we led them into the secure location.

O'DONNELL: Congresswoman Sherrill, are you prepared to vote for impeachment based on the evidence you have seen?

SHERRILL: I am. I can't imagine anyone would need more evidence than what we've seen over the last few days. I really am hopeful that we see our Republican colleagues join us. I totally echo what Congressman Swalwell just said.

We hope the vice president comes out for the 25th amendment as he should. We would like to see the president resign as he should. But those things aren't entirely in the control of Congress. However, impeachment is, you know, articles of impeachment are totally in the control of the House of Representatives.

O'DONNELL: Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill and Congressman Eric Swalwell, thank you very much for beginning our discussion tonight. We really appreciate it.

SWALWELL: My pleasure.

SHERRILL: Thanks for have --

O'DONNELL: And so, we may have another impeachment trial upon us in the United States Senate. What if that trial extends beyond January 20th? Harvard constitutional law professor Lawrence Tribe will join us next with the answers to everything, including Rachel's question about impeachment.


O'DONNELL: Reports indicate that Vice President Mike Pence has absolutely no intention of using the 25th amendment to remove the powers of the presidency from Donald Trump. We have Speaker Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader and soon to be Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, saying that if Donald Trump is not removed, if he doesn't resign, then he should be impeached, but there's only 12 days left, 12 days in the Trump presidency.

What if the House impeaches Donald Trump, Republican-controlled Senate does not act on the articles of impeachment before Joe Biden is inaugurated? Can a Democratic Senate controlled by Chuck Schumer have an impeachment trial of Donald Trump while he is out of office playing golf in Florida awaiting the determination of where he will be a criminal defendant?

For the answer to that question and more, we are joined now by Lawrence Tribe, professor of constitutional law at Harvard Law School. He has won 35 cases in the United States Supreme Court and is co-author of the definitive book on impeachment "To End a Presidency: The Power of Impeachment."

Professor Tribe, thank you very much for joining us tonight. I think we can quickly deal with Rachel's question. In the Senate trial, does it require two-thirds of the senators present or is it always two-thirds of 100?

LAWRENCE TRIBE, PROFESSOR OF CONSTITUTOINAL LAW, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL: Two-thirds of the senators present. Rachel was right. You were right. The Constitution is clear.

O'DONNELL: So, it is entirely possible. I've read Mitch McConnell's statement tonight and frankly, from a parliamentary standpoint, I can't see a way through it. He says that it is impossible without unanimous consent to have a Senate session on this impeachment articles before January 19th or Inauguration Day.

And surely there is some Republican in the Senate who will not give unanimous consent to that. So, taking that at face value right now, there might be a parliamentary way around it that I don't see, but for the moment, let's assume that's the case. Is there any value to beginning an impeachment trial on the first day of the trump -- of the Biden presidency and the Trump retirement?

TRIBE: Well, I do think that puts the cart before the horse. The first and most important question is, is there any value to impeaching this president immediately and doing everything we can to get rid of him. And the answer to that is certainly yes.

He has committed incitement to insurrection in front of the entire world so there is no question that he has committed impeachable offenses. No one really doubts that. He can do enormous irreparable damage with his fingers on the nuclear codes. There are 288 hours left until the inauguration.

There's every reason to impeach him and we cannot simply assume that the Senate will not do its duty. Mitch McConnell says it's impossible to come back (ph) before the 19th. That is ludicrous. If he wanted to, he could do it. You don't have to have unanimous consent.

But House of Representatives has its own responsibility. If any terrible thing were done by the president during any of the times that he remains in office and he is capable of doing enormous deadly damage. We have seen it with our own eyes. Then it will be on Mitch McConnell and the senators, anyone who has not done everything possible to remove this dangerous man.

And that's the key point. It's important to move forward, not only for history's sake, not only because it's right, but because it will be on all of us if we don't do everything we can and if he pulls some horrible act. He's capable of it.

Everyone says he's delusional, he's getting desperate. He desperately wants to cling to power. We have to do everything we can within our constitutional authority to impeach and remove him. And if the Senate will refuse to remove him in time, then it will be on the Senate.

O'DONNELL: I did read today about the impeachment of a general in the 19th century where the general resigned before the Senate trial and they had the Senate trial anyway and convicted him and prevented him from ever holding an office again.

TRIBE: That's theoretically possible. There are some scholars who doubt it. There is real scholarly debate about it, but I think it would put our emphasis in the wrong place to ask whether we could permanently ban Donald Trump from holding future office. The most important thing is to prevent him from using the power of the presidency now to do harm.

I'm not one of those who is in favor of trying him even if he's off golfing and is no longer president. Although, I do think the power to do it would be there. There is a question whether he would have to be removed from office before the Senate would reach the question by a majority of vote or whether to disqualify him.

He obviously can't be removed from office if he's already out of office. And the people who take that view would argue that you can't do an impeachment trial afterwards. But I think it would be a mistake to interfere with the important work of the country to deal with COVID, to deal with the economy, to have an elaborate Senate trial.

You don't need an elaborate trial for heaven's sake. We've seen what he did. If the senate were halfway responsible, it could hold a trial in a very short time. There's no need to wait ludicrously until an hour before the inauguration.

But if he had his own interests at stake, perhaps the president would resign so that Mike Pence could pardon him. That would give him an incentive. If he had any sense of responsibility, Mike Pence could consider invoking the 25th amendment. He could certainly corral a majority of the cabinet for that.

Everyone knows that this president is incapable of carrying out the duties of his office. But if neither of those things will work, we have to go ahead and impeach. I have an article, an op-ed in the "Washington Post" that's online now and it will be in the paper on Sunday, explaining why that needs to be done.

O'DONNELL: Professor Lawrence Tribe, thank you very much for joining us again tonight. We always appreciate it. Thank you.

TRIBE: Thank you, Lawrence.

O'DONNELL: And when we come back, Jonathan Capehart will join us to consider what those senate victories in Georgia mean for the Trump impeachment possibilities. That's next.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have called for unity and healing in this country. But after the events of Wednesday, does that make your job easier or harder?

JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT-ELECT: I think it makes my job easier, quite frankly.


O'DONNELL: We're joined now by Jonathan Capehart, he is an opinion writer for "The Washington Post" and host "THE SUNDAY SHOW" at 10:00 a.m. Eastern here on MSNBC.

Jonathan, that was a fascinating moment for me today with Joe Biden saying that believes that after everything that people went through at the Capitol, the people of this country witnessed on Wednesday it is now more possible in his mind to be able to bring people together, including bringing people together in Washington.

JONATHAN CAPEHART, MSNBC HOST: You know, Lawrence, I actually think that President-Elect Biden might be right. What we saw on Wednesday was so -- it wasn't surprising because we've been dealing with President Trump for four years. We have heard what he's said. We've seen what he's tweeted and we have seen him vacillate between mouthing the right things and then saying what he truly believes which was usually repugnant, morally vacant and -- and hurtful. So it wasn't surprising.

But what was shocking was to see those marauding band of domestic terrorists not only descend upon the Capitol but just run it over, overrun it. Breaking windows, busting through, and really just defiling a citadel -- the citadel of American democracy.

And I think the reason why we're seeing Republicans like Senator Murkowski saying he must go -- said President Trump must go and that she's thinking of leaving the Republican Party. Or Senator Ben Sasse, who has been on the air outraged by what happened is because what happened on Wednesday shocked the American conscience.

And only a true American patriot would be thundering with righteous indignation over what happened and not doing what Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley did which was even after the insurrection by people who cared nothing about the constitution or this country still voted for that sham exercise of approving those objections.

And so when you have a galvanizing event like this, and you know more about this than I do, Lawrence, having worked in the Senate. But there are those moments in American history that are so shocking to the national conscience that it moves members of Congress closer together.

And when you have an attack on their institution, one of the best ways to show that you will not win, terrorists, is to do your job. And so Joe Biden being a creature of the Senate after what, more than three decades in the Senate.

He knows that the opportunity is there now even more so to work with people on the other side of the aisle, to get things done for this country. Because it's not like there aren't other super pressing issues facing the country other than a rogue, dangerous president who has 12 more days left in his term.

We have a coronavirus pandemic that is killing record numbers of people one day on top of the other that the current president of the United States is doing nothing, nothing about.

O'DONNELL: We saw Donald Trump finally concede to Joe Biden yesterday two months after the election was decided. He did it on a kind of a hostage video that he would put out there, trying to hold on to his presidency, trying to fend off the 25th Amendment and impeachment.

Yesterday -- yesterday, after losing to Raphael Warnock by 2 percent of the vote, Senator Kelly Loeffler said this.


SENATOR KELLY LOEFFLER (R-GA): Unfortunately we came up slightly short in the runoff election. And earlier today I called Reverend Warnock to congratulate him and to wish him well in serving this great state.


O'DONNELL: And Jonathan, David Perdue didn't call Jon Ossoff and didn't mention Jon Ossoff but he did concede. He conceded to his opponent, having lost by 1 percent of the vote.

And so you're seeing in that moment these people who were so fully Trumpian themselves just days ago have taken their steps back towards normalcy.

CAPEHART: Yes. Taking the steps back towards normalcy, but folks like you and I will never let them forget what they did that defiled -- defiled the positions of honor that they were given by the people of the state of Georgia or in the case of Senator -- well now former Senator Loeffler, she was appointed to that seat by the governor.

But yes, this is the difference between people who revere the constitution, who respect the constitution, and a president of the United States who from moment one showed he neither cared for nor respected the constitution.

O'DONNELL: Jonathan, I think one of us for this year has to change the name of one of our shows to never forget. I do think it's going to have to be the theme of 2021.

Jonathan Capehart, thank you for joining us. And for now --

CAPEHART: Thanks, Lawrence.

O'DONNELL: -- Jonathan Capehart's show is named "THE SUNDAY SHOW" and he's on 10:00 a.m. right here on MSNBC. Thank you, Jonathan, very much. Really appreciate it. We'll be watching Sunday.

CAPEHART: Thanks so much, Lawrence.

O'DONNELL: Thank you.

Coming up, there have been arrests. There are now charges pending against some of the people who stormed the Capitol. Police officer is now dead from what happened there in that attack on the Capitol.

Former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance joins us next.


BIDEN: These are a bunch of thugs. Thugs. And they're terrorists, domestic terrorists. And that will be a judgment for the Justice Department to make, as to what the charges should be. But the fact is they should be prosecuted.


O'DONNELL: Prosecutors have charged 53 people with criminal offenses committed at the United States Capitol on Wednesday.

Richard Barnett who was pictured sitting with his foot on a desk in the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was arrested this morning in his home state of Arkansas.

Lonnie Coffman of Alabama was arrested Wednesday night in Washington after police discovered 11 so-called Molotov cocktails in the back of his pickup truck parked near the Capitol.

We have no word yet on whether this man, Jake Angeli (ph) from Arizona has been arrested but he surely will be if he is not already in custody at this moment.

And news came today of the death of officer Brian Sicknick -- Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick who died after being injured in the attack on the Capitol.

Joining us now is Joyce Vance, former U.S. attorney for the northern district of Alabama and a professor at the University of Alabama School of Law. She's an MSNBC legal contributor whose new article on the attack on the Capitol is just posted tonight on "MSNBC Daily".

Joyce Vance, it's going to be the Biden Justice Department headed by Merrick Garland who prosecutes these cases. What can we expect to happen?

JOYCE VANCE, MSNBC LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think we'll see some natural clustering of the kinds of prosecutions, Lawrence. There will obviously have to be consideration about whether there's some sort of criminal culpability for the most serious offenses that we see here.

Whether there has been for instance a seditious conspiracy, a group of people who actually plotted to overthrow the government. But there will also be prosecutions of crimes related to illegal possession of guns and potentially of explosive devices.

There's a statute called the Interstate Travel in Aid of Racketeering Statute and that statute would reach people who traveled from their home states to Washington with the intent to engage in violence. These are serious, felony crimes that carry maximum 20-year sentences. And we'll see the most serious offenders get that kind of consideration.

But there are also lower array of crimes really all the way down to what would be local D.C. offenses, vandalism and trespassing, and they provide an entire panoply of options for the criminal justice system to hold people accountable for what took place on Wednesday.

O'DONNELL: But Joyce, in D.C. since it's a federal district, those lower crimes are still handled by the local U.S. attorney, aren't they?

VANCE: That's correct. D.C. Superior Court, the prosecutors are actually assistant United States attorneys who prosecute those crimes.

O'DONNELL: And so the people who are out there that we've seen pictured, some of whom may not have already been arrested, what can they expect? They're going to have, I presume, FBI and others tracking down, finding exactly where they are.

VANCE: Everything about this was really irregular, Lawrence. What you would normally expect to see once law enforcement reclaimed the Capitol, you would have expected to see all of these offenders arrested.

We didn't see that. Most of them simply walked out of the Capitol with no accountability whatsoever. I think by the end of the day today, the D.C. U.S. attorney announced that there were arrests or charges in just north of 50 cases. So just the very beginning of these cases.

Ultimately there's going to have to be I think some form of a task force run out of the D.C. U.S. attorney's offices that will prioritize cases for investigation and prosecution. And folks may hear a knock on their door if not this week, then a couple of months down the road.

O'DONNELL: Joyce Vance, thank you very much for joining us tonight. Really appreciate it.

Thank you Joyce.

When we come back, what will the world be like for Donald Trump when he no longer has a Twitter account? Psychiatrist will join us next.


O'DONNELL: Today House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that she spoke to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley about the remaining days in which Donald Trump will be in possession of the nuclear codes.

Speaker Pelosi said "The situation of this unhinged president could not be more dangerous."

This program brought you the first public discussion of using the 25th Amendment to remove Donald Trump from the presidency four years ago. Exactly one month into the Trump presidency when Donald Trump had already revealed himself to be an unhinged and dangerous president.


O'DONNELL: How long can this go on? Four years? Impeachment? The 25th Amendment? In the age of Trump, anything is possible.


O'DONNELL: It turns out the discussion of the 25th Amendment and impeachment went on for four years even after Donald Trump got impeached. In those four years I for one have learned nothing new about Donald Trump. It has been my observation that Donald Trump has been the same person every day of his presidency and every day of his adulthood including when he was inciting his supporters to storm the Capitol.

Donald Trump didn't care how many of them might get killed doing it. Donald Trump didn't care how many people they might kill as his niece Mary Trump has told us on this program and as other mental health professionals have been telling us on this program for four years now, Donald Trump is a dangerously sick man.

Anyone who said they learned that this week is either lying -- you know what -- there is no other explanation. They're just lying.

Today the American Psychoanalytic Association said Donald Trump should be immediately removed from office. They said "We have long believed that Trump is a dangerous leader as evidenced by his encouraging right wing extremists in Charlottesville, Portland and Kenosha. And his behavior this week makes this apparent to all. The combination of his publicly evident psychopathology and the power of the office he holds constitutes a clear and present danger to the health and well-being of the nation and its people."

And we are joined now by a member of the American Psychoanalytic Association, Dr. Lance Dodes, psychoanalyst and former assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Dodes contributed to the book "The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump", 37 psychiatrists and mental health experts assessed the president.

Dr. Dodes, you have been discussing this with me on this program for four years now. We really appreciate your input about this. What is your assessment of Donald Trump in these final days?

DR. LANCE DODES, AMERICAN PSYCHOANALYTIC ASSOCIATION: I think that you've said it exactly right, Lawrence. He hasn't changed, and that really was one of our main messages to begin with. That it's not about politics, it was never about politics.

It's that this is a deeply disturbed man, a delusional psychopath who has been the same his whole adult life and who we knew would get worse the more stress he was under because that's what happens with people with this kind of severe disorder.

So when Nancy Pelosi said that she was making sure that the nuclear button couldn't be pushed, that was very wise and made a lot of sense. It was not an overreaction in the slightest.

And when she said he's unstable -- absolutely, that is exactly the situation we're in and why he needs to be removed immediately, yesterday really because he is going to continue to get worse.

And after he leaves office, he will continue to get worse. We will not see the end of him unless he's locked up.

O'DONNELL: With the kind of addictive quality of Twitter, what does it mean to someone like Donald Trump to be banned from Twitter?

DR. DODES: You know, it's interesting. The 88 million people I think was the number that he has as followers, they're not just supporters. And they're not just fans.

From his standpoint they're worshippers. He sees himself in his delusional belief as a god. And the people who support him worship him. He doesn't care at all about them, mind you, as we know. It's an entirely one-way street.

But that number is meaningful to him. I think as somebody said it's more important to him that he keeps those 88 million than keeps -- than being impeached because he doesn't really tolerate -- he doesn't hear or know losses. If he's impeached it will pass and offers yet another backup(ph). And he would do that if he lost all the 88 million, too.

But he holds on to the things that he needs to believe and the rest goes by him because he is unable to tolerate that reality.

Why will his condition worsen after he leaves the presidency and is living a life on a golf course waiting for his next appearance in court as a defendant?

DR. DODES: Well, I think that's why. I think that to the extent that the reality sinks in to any degree, he's becoming more and more pressured. After all, you know, he is supposed to be the king of the universe from his standpoint. And the more he is not, the more it's evident that he's not, the more that he has to appear in court or under the worst case for him in prison, the harder it's going to be for him.

And it's not that he tolerates loss. He never becomes depressed about it. He becomes more delusional. So the risk of his having any power at all or having access to firearms, for example, is increasing.

The more desperate he becomes, the more delusional he is, the more he needs to prove to himself ultimately that he is still a god. So the less power he has, the more stress he's under, the more dangerous he is. And again, why he needs to be removed immediately.

O'DONNELL: Dr. Lance Dodes, thank you very much for joining us once again on this subject that you've been guiding us on for four years. Really appreciate it.

DR. DODES: Sure.

O'DONNELL: Thank you.

We have a programming note. Ali Velshi will have a two-hour special tomorrow morning, live from the grounds of the Capitol in Washington, D.C. That begins at 8:00 a.m. Eastern.

That is tonight's LAST WORD.


BRIAN WILLIAMS, MSNBC HOST: Well, good evening once again.


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