The independent investigation has concluded that Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women and in doing so violated federal and state law. Minnesota Senior Senator Amy Klobuchar, chair of the Rules Committee is interviewed. COVID cases are rising in all 50 states as Delta variant surges.
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Yeah, I agree about those interviews of him when he becomes president of Harvard Law Review, the continuity there, the presence that`s already there at that moment is really kind of uncanny.
Jelani Cobb, one of the executive producers of "Obama: In Pursuit of a More Perfect Union" debuts tonight on HBO and HBO Max -- thanks so much for making time, Jelani. Can`t wait to have people watch that.
That is ALL IN on this Tuesday night.
"THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now with Nicolle Wallace, in for Rachel.
Good evening, Nicolle.
NICOLLE WALLACE, MSNBC HOST: So nice to see you at this hour in this way. Thanks so much, Chris.
And thanks to all of you for joining this hour. I know, I know. Rachel is on vacation, but we`ll get through this.
We have a lot to get to tonight. We start with the dramatic announcement this morning from the attorney general of the state of New York.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LETITIA JAMES, NEW YORK ATTORNEY GENERAL: The independent investigation has concluded that Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women and in doing so violated federal and state law. Specifically, the investigation found that Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed current and former New York state employees by engaging in unwelcome and non- consensual touching and making numerous offensive comments of a suggestive and sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: The investigation released today by the New York attorney general`s office documents allegations against Governor Cuomo by 11 women. The investigators interviewed 179 witnesses and collected tens of thousands of pieces of evidence to corroborate the allegations. Those investigators describe their findings at today`s press conference.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNE CLARK, ATTORNEY CONDUCTING GOV. CUOMO SEXUAL HARASSMENT INVESTIGATION: On November 16th, 2020, in the executive mansion, the governor hugged executive assistant number one and reached under her blouse to grab her breast. The governor also several times inappropriately touched a state trooper assigned to the unit to protect the governor. Employees recounted a pattern of similarly offensive comments and conversations, such as the governor repeatedly asking executive assistant number one whether she would cheat on her husband, saying to her, if you were single, the things I would do to you.
JOON KIM, ATTORNEY CONDUCTING GOV. CUOMO SEXUAL HARASSMENT INVESTIGATION: None of them welcomed it, and all of them found it disturbing, humiliating, uncomfortable and inappropriate. And now, we find that it was unlawful sex- based harassment. The executive chamber`s culture of fear and flirtation, intimidation and intimacy, abuse and affection created a work environment ripe for harassment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Shortly after the attorney general`s press conference, Governor Cuomo released a pre-recorded video in response to the investigation. He said that the facts are much different than the way they are portrayed in the report, claiming he never inappropriately touched anyone or made inappropriate sexual advances. But much of his response consisted of this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: I do kiss people on the forehead. I do kiss people on the cheek. I do kiss people on the hand. I do embrace people. I do hug people, men and women. I do, on occasion, say ciao bella. On occasion I do slip and say, sweetheart or darling or honey.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: The governor also released a written response to the allegations in the attorney general`s investigation. Of its 85 pages, eight of them are just photos of Governor Andrew Cuomo hugging and kissing people. Another 15 pages are photos of other politicians hugging and kissing people.
So far, this does not seem to have swayed too many people who have spoken out today, the list of lawmakers calling on Cuomo to resign seems to grow by the hour. It includes House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and much of the New York congressional delegation. This evening, the governors of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island released a joint statement.
It says this: quote: We are appalled at the findings of the independent investigation by the New York attorney general. Governor Cuomo should resign from office. The leader of the New York assembly says Cuomo has lost the confidence of the chamber`s Democratic majority and cannot remain in office.
He also says the assembly will move to conclude its impeachment investigation as quickly as possible once the attorney general has turned over all evidence from today`s report.
Just a few hours ago, President Biden joined the chorus, calling for Cuomo to step down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: In March, you said that if the investigation confirmed the allegations against Governor Cuomo, then he should resign.
So, will you now call on him to resign, given the investigators said the 11 women were credible?
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I stand by that statement.
REPORTER: Are you now calling on him to resign? .
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Joining our conversation, Jimmy Vielkind. He reports on New York state politics for the "Wall Street journal." Also joining us, Danya Perry, a former assistant attorney in the Southern District of New York.
Thanks so much to both of you for joining us.
Jimmy, you could not be horrified and gobsmacked by the presentation and the detail and the meticulous -- I guess they describe it as corroborating evidence that they had to all the allegations, which were only periodically visible, I think, to the viewing public.
What did you make both of the report that was released and the press conference today?
JIMMY VIELKIND, NY STATE THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Well, Nicole, I think what was clear was that, as you said, the allegations that have been publicly aired were corroborated with the weight of an investigation that reviewed documents, that subpoenaed witnesses, testimony that was made under oath.
What was also striking to me is that there were new details in this report alleging new harassment. You mentioned in the top of the show that there was a female state trooper who was placed onto the governor`s protective detail after he met her at an event some years ago. There was a requirement that was apparently fudged in terms of length of service that allowed her to serve on the detail. And she described the governor touching her belly, described the governor running his finger up her spine.
She said that when the governor asked her why she would get married because marriage would just reduce your sex drive and also take away your money and end in divorce. She made a very fine point on this.
The governor never spoke this way or interacted with male members of his security detail in that way. And that was a common theme among all the women who spoke out, that they were treated differently as a result of their gender and that the commentary and the physical interactions all produced what many of them describe as a ceiling of diminishment.
To quote, on the list, one of the women who spoke out said she felt when it comes to Governor Cuomo, she was reduced to, quote, just a skirt.
WALLACE: Danya, can you explain this to a non-legal audience like myself? From the report, it says this: While the governor engaged in unlawful sexual harassment, we do not reach in this report a conclusion as to whether the conduct amounts to or should be the subject of criminal prosecution.
How is that the case?
DANYA PERRY, FORMER SDNY PROSECUTOR: It`s a fair question when you see a report of this magnitude, which is researched, just corroborated in so many ways, which is meticulous, to use your word, and which cites allegation after allegation and that has the type and the quality of proof that we see here, not just witnesses, but we have audio recordings, and there`s live stream video, contemporaneous text messages and the like.
So, when you see that kind of evidence, when you see the harm that it`s done, naturally your mind tends to go to a place of, well, how is this not criminal matter? Clearly, there are going to be -- there should be civil lawsuits, I would imagine. And I don`t know that that`s going to -- I don`t think anything has been filed yet. But certainly there is evidence, and I think the elements would be met for certain at least misdemeanor counts of unwanted sexual touching and the like.
So, the scope of this investigation was not to find or even to refer any matters for criminal prosecution. But of course as we know, they draw up that footnote in the middle of their 165-or-so-page report and we know already that the D.A. in Albany County has been looking at this and has said he`s taking this seriously.
So, we see, you know, certainly there will be some activity on the civil side of the lectern, and it seems there will be investigation on the criminal side as well.
WALLACE: And, Danya, I`m going to play this. This is the comment from the Albany County D.A. who spoke exclusively to "Nightly News" tonight.
But I want to ask you about sharing evidence. All this work doesn`t have to be done again by an investigative body, such as the Albany D.A., does it?
PERRY: Absolutely not. I`m sure they will turn over all of their files, and I`m sure they advised all the witnesses at the time that this could very well be turned over and made public, of course.
So, that`s not unusual at all. They certainly -- David Soares up in Albany County has a road map and he will get boxes of evidence, so to speak, or hard drives, and we`ll already have a lot of the work done for him. And we`ll just have to make prosecutorial decisions about them.
WALLACE: And with that insight, let me play David on "Nightly News" earlier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID SOARES, ALBANY D.A.: We are conducting our own separate investigation. I think after today`s presentation, which here in Albany County, we were witnessing at the same time that the rest of the New Yorkers were witnessing, it`s pretty clear that we have an obligation here and thus we`ve reached out to the attorney general`s office seeking all of the evidence upon which they uncovered and relied upon in their report.
The allegations early on certainly led myself and other prosecutors to believe that criminal activity in fact had taken place. But we will conduct our own independent investigation. It will be done expeditiously, and we will arrive at those conclusions.
For any victim that`s out there who is watching this transmission, please reach out to our office, and we will conduct our investigation as discreetly as possible.
WALLACE: So, Jimmy, my question, a criminal investigation, calls to resign from the president of the United States and just about every leading Democratic lawmaker and policymaker, a spectacular fall from grace. Are people surprised?
VIELKIND: Many people have watched Governor Cuomo for a long time know that he has a very aggressive style, that he doesn`t broker criticism well. One of his top advisers famously said that he operates at two speeds, get along and kill.
So, one of the things that was conveyed to me when these allegations really first roared into the public light in February and March was that the governor didn`t come from a place of strength, that to the extent he had partisan allies, or rather allies in his own party, they were sort of friendships of convenience. Many people describe him as a bully, and many people said to me, when a bully gets knocked down, there`s nobody to pick him up.
So, in that regard, it wasn`t surprising to see support melt away as quickly as it had. What was more remarkable was that after that first crescendo in March, Governor Cuomo managed to stay in office and essentially buy himself the time between when this investigation was launched and today. Democrats who dominate the New York state assembly, which has the power of impeachment, by and large, gave Governor Cuomo this time.
This evening and today they are saying that they believe there`s a preponderance of support for an impeachment vote. Members of the chamber`s judiciary committee are undertaking an impeachment inquiry tell me they think it will take several more weeks, that they want to take the evidence brought by Attorney General James and combine it with evidence of their own investigation into other areas, including the state`s COVID-19 policies in nursing homes and the possible misuse of state resources to produce governor Cuomo`s pandemic memoir, which he expects to be paid $5.1 million.
So, there are many people who are saying that a resignation is possible, but clearly, there`s not anyone piping up in support at this point.
WALLACE: Jimmy Vielkind, New York state politics reporter for the "Wall Street journal" and Danya Perry, former assistant attorney in the Southern District of New York, thank you so much for taking time tonight to help us with our coverage of this tonight. We`re grateful.
I want to bring in the conversation, New York State Senator Alessandra Biaggi.
Senator, thanks so much for spending sometime with us today. You obviously had personal experience and I first want to ask you your reaction to what you saw today.
STATE SEN. ALESSANDRA BIAGGI (D), NEW YORK: Well, first, Nicolle, thank you very much for having me on. I think today was a mixture of feelings. I think there was a sense of gratitude to all of the women who bravely spoke out despite the real reputation of retaliation and toxicity that the executive chamber where the governor works has. They did so in such a way that allowed these independent investigators to have findings of not only toxic workplace, but also retaliation, violations of state and city law. So, that was on the one hand.
Then in response to this report that Governor Cuomo made, I think the overriding feeling was one of sorrow, not only for the women who stepped forward but really for all women and for all victims and survivors of sexual abuse because what it felt like was happening was the governor was attempting to really gaslight New Yorkers as to what the report had said.
The report was independent. We`ll get to that. It was very thorough. And that was probably one of the most disappointing but really one of the most sad moments of the day today.
WALLACE: I want to read something that you shared because I think it`s all connected, what one woman does in speaking out can often inspire someone who hasn`t done so yet. So, I hope you`ll understand that`s the spirit in which I`m reading this.
This is something that you describe in "New York" magazine in March about a run-in at a wedding after you had left his office to run for your seat in the state senate. Quote: He says, hi, Alessandra, and pulls me in and kisses my head twice and then my eye. He`s holding on to my arm, and he looks at my fiance and says, are you jealous? Biaggi says, I didn`t feel sexually harassed. I felt like he was trying to make me feel uncomfortable, to disarm me."
I play a bit of sound from the press conference where they throw all these words in there that aren`t often used to describe this toxic matchup of inappropriate intimacy, overfamiliarity, power, aggression. I wonder if you can speak to that. That was given voice today as well.
BIAGGI: Absolutely. And I`m happy to talk about that. One of the reasons why I shared that experience with Rebecca Traister who wrote that article is because I understand the importance of not only sharing these stories but also taking a stand because you never know who`s listening, who`s reading, who`s watching, who also has experienced similar behavior.
At that time at that wedding, what I recognized was that the governor was clearly trying to assert his power. He was certainly trying to make me feel less powerful. At the time, I didn`t experience it or his behavior as sexual harassment, but I know that that is also sometimes the point of sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment is not always about sexuality or sexualizing somebody. It`s about power. It`s about disarming the victim. And that goes in line very much with the way that his office is run.
His office is run as a very toxic environment designed to undermine staff, to destabilize staff, to make you second guess yourself. It`s a constant where it feels like a whiplash between praise and also being valueless that leads a lot of people to wonder whether the thing they experienced is the reality of what they experienced because, again, there`s a gaslighting that goes on.
So, I think that in light of the report today and given how similar the cases are, all of the victims were very young. I mean -- not all. Many of them were very young. They were at the beginning of their careers. They were at the beginning of their careers. They were subordinate.
And so, there was a vulnerability. This demonstrates the governor`s abuse of power. It`s not only inside the executive chamber. It is outside the executive chamber. It is pervasive.
And that impacts not just the women that work around him but also the function and integrity of New York state government.
WALLACE: Do you believe he will resign?
BIAGGI: I do not believe that he will resign. So, that is why I continue to call on the assembly because they are the ones with the power to write the articles of impeachment to impeach the governor. And so, what that effectively means is the assembly will draft those articles of impeachment. Those articles of impeachment will be delivered to the Senate. There will be a trial effectively and there will be a vote that takes place to remove him from office.
I think at this point in time it is very wise for the governor to heed the calls of not only Democrats but many different leaders across our government who are calling for this governor to resign. But I do not believe that he will. He is still fighting.
I believe he will fight even if he`s removed from office because this is the essence of who Andrew Cuomo is. I think at the end of the day, the most important thing is that New York has someone in place, has a leader that is strong, that is able to lead this state because I`m sure it`s not lost on anybody that we`re also still working through COVID recovery.
So, we have a lot to do, and I think we need somebody at the helm who really respects New Yorkers and takes seriously their job in a way that does not cause harm to any other person moving forward.
WALLACE: New York State Senator Alessandra Biaggi, we`re really grateful for your time to talk to us tonight. Thank you so much for your time.
When we come back, the fight for voting rights continues. Senator Amy Klobuchar will join us with the latest on what the Senate is doing on voting rights. The senators prepare to go home for the August recess.
We will be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STATE REP. TREY MARTINEZ FISCHER (D), TEXAS: Our job was to rally the nation, and our job was to rally the nation and bring people to Washington, D.C. because just by chance if we came together, we would not only get the Senate to hear us. We would also get them to act.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: We will get them to act. That was Texas State Representative Trey Martinez Fischer, today addressing a rally gathered outside the United States Capitol urging Congress to pass the For the People Act.
The sweeping election bill is aimed at expanding and protecting voting rights and it remains stock in the U.S. Senate.
Martinez-fisher is one of the Democratic legislatures from Texas who fled to D.C. last month in a bid to deny Republicans there the quorum they need to pass the states voting restrictions laws. At today`s rally in D.C., they were joined by more than 100 state legislatures who travelled from states all across the country to asked the Senate to cancel the august recess to focus on voting rights bill.
Some of the legislators in attendance were from places like Georgia and Arizona, places where Republicans have already passed restrictive voting bills and launched phony audits supporting Donald Trump`s false claim of election fraud. These legislatures have the same concerns as the Texas Democrats do. They worry that alone they can`t stop the current wave of Republican anti-voting laws and the false narratives fuelling them in their states.
They, too, need help from the Democrats in Washington. Today, they received some reinforcements as they were joined on stage by some of the Democratic Party`s biggest stars.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RAPHAEL WARNOCK (D-GA): Some people don`t want some people to vote. This is the delta variant of Jim Crow voting laws. And the only vaccination is federal legislation.
SEN. JEFF MERKLEY (D-OR): No recess until we pass the voting rights act for every American. No recess until we stop the gerrymandering in which politicians pick their voters instead of voters picking their politicians.
SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ): We must let everyone understand that freedom is not free, that progress will never remain unless it is struggled for and fought for and worked for and sacrificed for. That is the story of America.
SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN): Voting rights are people`s rights. Voting rights are about our democracy, and the people will overcome. We will pass this bill.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: These senators want a voting rights bill passed this summer, but they also know that all Democrats are not yet on the same page. So, how do they overcome this? More importantly how far are they willing to go to do so?
Joining our conversation, Minnesota Senior Senator Amy Klobuchar is here, chair of the Rules Committee.
Senator, thank you so much for making time for us.
KLOBUCHAR: It`s an honor.
WALLACE: I wonder -- it`s great. Look, we`ve covered this issue every day in the afternoon, and it`s really a privilege to get to talk to you. And I wonder if you could pull the curtain back.
The Democratic legislators feel optimism. They feel they`ve conveyed to all of you they don`t need the whole package. They just need something. Is that -- has that focused efforts in the Senate?
KLOBUCHAR: Yes. And your first speaker you featured was Trey, who I consider a friend from Texas. Those legislatures and really legislatures from across the country have come to Washington just as they did in the 1960s asking for salvation. They can`t get this done in their states because as Reverend Warnock pointed out in the clip you featured, some people don`t want some people to vote.
And that is really, really put in stark focus in Georgia where their laws literally say the runoff period where Warnock and Ossoff won and registered 70,000 people, they changed the law just a few months ago and said you can`t register people. You can`t vote on weekends during the runoff, and you can`t give water from non-partisan volunteers to people who have stood in line for five hours, six hours like the people we met when we were down there for a field hearing.
So, what the For the People bill does and your question is can we focus it on what really matters in these states to get at all of these heinous things that are going on to stop people from voting? My answer is yes. And that is what we`re doing right now with Senator Manchin.
And let me be very clear, he has publicly said that he supports the Disclose Act to focus on the dark money in our politics, the gerrymandering, and then also what I am working on right now is to make sure that all of the voting rights from mail-in balloting to early registration to making sure that what happened in Georgia, which will be a new part of our bill, that you can`t have state legislatures usurping the power of local election officials.
Those are the things we`re talking about, and we are very close to getting an agreement on a final bill.
WALLACE: An agreement among whom, though? Because from the outside -- and please correct me if I have this wrong -- it looks like you`re still corralling Democrats and even if you get all of them locked in, there`s no appetite for doing away with the filibuster. Then what?
KLOBUCHAR: OK. First of all, corralling Democrats is never easy. We have a broad party and we have a group that`s working on this from Senator Merkley, who just saw, to Senator Padilla, Senator Schumer, and, of course, Senator Angus King who serves on the rules committee with me and many others.
So, what we`re doing is we`re putting together legislation, and we`ve already voted to proceed. It was the Republicans that stopped us. Once we get that legislative package, then we will deal with first of all can we get any Republican support? I honestly don`t think we can. But one must always try.
And then the second thing is what can we do with our procedural rules in the Senate to stop this evil?
And there are things, Senator Manchin has indicated a willingness to look at a standing filibuster. I personally think I would abolish the filibuster myself. I think it`s being used to stop all kinds of things we need to get done.
There is Republican support in immigration reform. We can`t get it done because of filibuster. There is Republican support on climate change, 60 votes. Those things were set up in another time in another place and it has always changed over time and it is time to change it again.
And those are the discussions we need to have. But my obvious focus right now is getting an agreement that will make a difference, not some small ball thing that won`t help but will actually make a difference for these kinds of voter suppression efforts that are going on across the country.
WALLACE: I know you see this the same way the folks on the front line see this. Are you confident that all of your colleagues in the Senate see it that way?
KLOBUCHAR: Yes. They have heard from Reverend Senator Warnock, as I love to call him, who when I was down in Georgia spoke to his congregation and said vote is really a prayer for a better world, for a better America.
They have heard from people like Jon Tester, who`s a strong supporter of the bill and campaign finance reform because he`s seen the changes they`ve made in Montana, which once had much better election laws, or people like Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin, who saw her own voters standing in line in makeshift masks in garbage bags in the rain in the middle of a pandemic just to exercise their right to vote.
And so I think that makes a difference. And so that`s the kind of discussions we`re having. I know that we will have unity on a bill. And if I don`t, I`ll come on the show and say, sorry, I failed. But I know we will, Nicolle. I know we will.
But from there, we have to figure out the procedure and how we get this done. And I just refuse as so many people in the past in American politics whether it is civil rights or other efforts that have advanced our country, it seemed impossible at the moment. But then we found a way to get to the right place.
And that`s where we need to get because we simply can`t deny people the right to vote and tell them they can`t get water in line and tell them that, oh, no, you can vote on the weekend sometimes but you can`t vote on the weekends. And oh, by the way, people of Georgia -- and they did this -- you need to put your birthday on the inner envelope. Your birthday. Not the day you`re casting the ballot, your birthday, which they know will lead to nothing but confusion.
This is wrong. And this is, I believe, against the election laws. But I believe that the vast majority of Americans would agree that no matter who wins, Democrat or Republican -- and, by the way, we have strong support for this, both parties that we have to have election laws that make it so it is safe for people to vote whether they`re in the middle of a pandemic or not, they can vote how they want, they can cast their ballot how they want. That is the freedom of America. That is our democracy.
WALLACE: Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, it is a real pleasure to get to talk to you about this issue. I`m really grateful that you had time to come on tonight. Thank you so much.
KLOBUCHAR: Thank you, Nicolle. See you soon.
WALLACE: This Friday will mark seven months since the deadly attack on the United States capitol. Many police officers are still reeling from the events of that day. What is being done to help them and to further protect our Capitol?
We`ll have much more on that story when we come back.
WALLACE: It was a week ago today that Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn made this impassioned plea before the house select committee investigating the January 6th riot.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OFFICER HARRY DUNN, U.S. CAPITOL POLICE: I want to take this moment to speak to my fellow officers about the emotions they`re continuing to experience from the events of January 6th. There`s absolutely nothing wrong with seeking professional counseling. What we went through that day was traumatic. If you`re hurting, take advantage of the services available to us.
I also respectfully ask that this select committee review the available resources -- the services available to us and consider whether they are sufficient enough to meet our needs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: When Officer Dunn pleaded with fellow officers to seek out professional mental support if they needed it, we know that two of the officers who defended our nation`s Capitol on January 6 had died by suicide.
Yesterday, two more of Mr. Dunn`s fellow officers had their deaths ruled suicide by law enforcements.
The news comes as former President Trump supporters in Congress continue to stoke conspiracy theories about that day and as we continue to learn new details about the former president`s efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
Today, ABC News is reporting just over a week before the January 6 insurrection, one of President Trump`s DOJ officials tried to get the acting attorney general to sign off on a letter urging Georgia`s governor to investigate and potentially overturn Joe Biden`s victory in that state. Top justice officials refused to sign off on the request, but ABC News has obtained emails detailing the plot.
Those emails have now been turned over to the House Oversight Committee. Every day it becomes clear that to fully understand what happened on January 6th, we have to look beyond the events of that day. The riot did not materialize out of thin air. Its impact on our country and its impact on our first responders continues to raise serious questions that must be answered.
Joining our conversation, California Congressman Pete Aguilar who serves on the January 6 Select Committee, and Frank Figliuzzi, former assistant director for counterintelligence at the FBI and MSNBC contributor.
Thank you both for joining us tonight.
Frank, I`m going to start with you because I want to try to understand what people maybe outside law enforcement can`t see about the trauma that the officers that responded to January 6th must still be enduring.
FRANK FIGLIUZZI, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: What we`re still doing is we`re still learning of the casualties of what happened at the Capitol. These officers, four of them now, ruled death by suicide, are casualties of a battle that took place in the course of defending our democracy. The culture of law enforcement is a closed culture. It`s a culture in which seeking help may be seen as a sign of weakness.
But it`s clear at least to me that when you have four officers from two different departments, Washington Metropolitan Police and the Capitol Police, who are experiencing death by suicide, then one commonality is their battle for us, the battle for democracy on January 6th. Then that seems to be linked to their demise.
And those two departments have got to collaborate on an in depth study of what happened and why but most importantly, most imminently, they must offer very professional experienced help, even mandated if necessary. Because while we don`t keep accurate statistics on officer suicides in this country, the available statistics we have seem to indicate that suicide may be the number one cause of death for police in this country.
WALLACE: Congressman, you don`t have to be an expert to understand that trauma is exacerbated when people deny both the trauma and the traumatic event itself. Is there nothing of a break through that can be reached with your Republican colleagues to at least honor the sacrifices made by the men and women who protected all of you that day?
REP. PETE AGUILAR (D-CA): Well, first our thoughts and our prayers go out to these officers` families and their colleagues. And as Officer Dunn noted, his plea for his colleagues to seek the help that they need. You know, we`re going to continue to offer the resources we can. The best way to honor our law enforcement heroes who were that last line of defense on democracy on January 6th is to get to the bottom of what happened leading up to January 6th and the role that the big lie played.
But also we passed a supplemental appropriation bill, a fancy term for more resources for the Capitol Police and the National Guard. But making sure we put those resources into wellness for these officers. Those are the types of things we can do if we really want to honor their commitment that day.
WALLACE: Frank, what would you say is the most important thing to make sure that these first responders understand that the vast majority of Americans do, as you write today, have their back?
FIGLIUZZI: It`s important for them to get up out of the rabbit hole that law enforcement officers often find themselves in. It`s often an "us versus them" mentality. You only speak to each other. You only get your news from a certain source, and boy, doesn`t that describe many Americans today.
They need to get their heads up and realize that the vast majority of America is with them because they were with us and that we are rooting for their success. We want the changes to take place at the Capitol. We recognize the incredible security review done by retired General Honore. We recognize there is a sitting select committee to get to the truth, get to the bottom of this.
That`s the majority of America. That`s what they need to know. That`s what they`re protecting is truth and freedom and justice.
WALLACE: Congressman, you talked about getting to the truth of what was behind the attack. It seems increasingly clear that will include subpoenas for some of your Republican colleagues in the House. When are those expected to go out?
AGUILAR: Well, I`ll let the chairman speak for the timing of this, but what he has said and what we have said very clearly is that no one is above a subpoena. And we will get to the truth. And we will use every tool available to compel folks to help us get to the truth.
But as you mentioned, that isn`t just what happened on January 6th. It`s everything that led up to this. How is this funded? How was this organized? What role did these groups play in trying to overtake our democracy, trying to overrun the Capitol.
So, if we truly want to honor those law enforcement professionals, we look to them.
And they told us directly last week seven days ago, they told us to get to justice and accountability. That`s exactly what this select committee will do in a non-partisan way with Democrats and Republicans around that table.
WALLACE: I believe the exact quote, their directive to you was that when there`s a hitman, you send the hitman to jail but then you go and find the person who hired and paid for the hitman. That was their request of all of you.
Congressman Pete Aguilar of California, and former assistant director for counterintelligence at the FBI, Frank Figliuzzi, thank you both so much for joining us tonight and being part of our coverage.
WALLACE: It is no secret that the delta variant is spreading in the United States. Can we stop the spread? One major city just took a step designed to encourage more people to get vaccinated. We`ll have more on that breaking news after the break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: We`re doing everything we can to get more people vaccinated and we`re seeing real results.
In the past two weeks, we`ve seen a 55 percent increase in the average number of new people getting vaccinated every day. In the last seven days alone, nearly 3 million Americans have gotten their first shot. That`s the highest seven-day total in a month.
Importantly, over the past two weeks the eight states with the highest current case rates have seen a doubling of people newly vaccinated each day. The message is getting through apparently.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: This afternoon, President Biden updating the nation on the fight against the coronavirus, both here at home and abroad, as we cross an important vaccination milestone. As of today, more than 70 percent of the American adult population has received at least one shot of the coronavirus vaccine.
Obviously, time is of the essence. For that reason a growing number of private sector businesses and offices have recently mandated vaccines for all their employees as well as their customers. In New York City, they became the first city in the country to require proof of at least one shot of the vaccine to dine indoors or go to the gym or attend a performance. Question now is will it work to keep cases down and will other cities and states follow suit.
Joining our conversation is Dr. Vin Gupta, critical care pulmonologist and faculty member of the at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.
Dr. Gupta, it feels like it`s the point in the pandemic where one, we should celebrate good news. There has been so much to be alarmed by and the fact that these harrowing accounts coming out of mostly southern states either had an impact or they were seeing things up close and personal that they couldn`t process, maybe from the nation`s capitol, and vaccine and vaccine participation is way up.
DR. VIN GUPTA, CRITICAL CARE PULMONOLOGIST: You bet, Nicole. Good evening.
Today was a consequential day. We cannot minimize it. Number one, what you said, New York City mandating proof of vaccine for restaurants. This will be a paradigm where cities and local jurisdictions will emulate, because this will move people, people want to dine. They like doing that.
So, this is a smart move. I have been waiting for this day for the last two months since the CDC had their revised masking guidance in May. Number two, big, big move with Tyson. Tyson Foods, moving their essential front line blue collar staff, their hourly paid staff towards mandating the vaccine. If they don`t get the vaccine, they don`t have a job. That`s a big consequential move.
Except until now, it`s been corporations that have allowed the corporate employees to make that decision. Get the vaccine or you can stay home. This is a first move for a blue collar organization. You are going to see a lot of organizations who are fast follow.
Lastly and vital important, that the FDA acknowledgment that they are going to be moving towards approval of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine hopefully by Labor Day weekend.
A lot of domino`s will fall including, hopefully, Department of Transportation will consider mandating proof of vaccine for travel. Young people want to travel. If you have to show proof of vaccine to travel, that`s going to increase rates significantly in addition to schools, colleges, universities. If we mandate polio for schools, we should be able to do the same for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Many dominos are going fall. It`s going to increase rates.
WALLACE: I want to just ask you to sort of expand on that because people, I know viewers at Rachel`s program, viewers of this network, have a lot of trust and faith in the science and the emergency use authorization is something we covered very closely. It is a very careful and meticulous approval process. But among the vaccine hesitant, that final approval is a huge deal. Could you expand on that a little bit?
GUPTA: Of course. You know, there is in notion this has been a rushed process. It`s been anything other than that. What has been consolidated -- I get this question all the time, where, Doc, why did it take 12 months when it normally takes five to ten years? That`s on the top of mind to your point amongst many people who have yet to vaccine.
It turns out, it`s been all the non-science parts of the vaccine development waiting for money, waiting for people to enroll in the studies, waiting for the NIH to say you can go to the next phase. All that bureaucratic non-scientific components of vaccine development have been consolidated as part of operation Warp Speed.
And so, that`s why I think we need to take heart that the science hasn`t cut corners at all. It`s just been the bureaucracy of it. That`s why it takes five years.
And to your point, to emphasize again to all of your viewers, all of your Rachel`s viewers here, Kaiser Family Foundation came out with an important study important. Less than 1 percent of overall cases that are being detected, Nicolle, across the country are vaccine breakthrough cases. In some cases less than 0.01 percent, places like Connecticut all vaccine breakthrough cases, 95 percent of those hospitalized in the United States, we have 6,000 new hospitalizations every seven days for COVID-19, 95 percent of those are unvaccinated people.
These vaccines work. And we need to make that message really clear that you only need two shots of the vaccine to be kept out hospital, especially if you are otherwise healthy.
WALLACE: Dr. Vin Gupta, critical care pulmonologist, faculty member at the Institute for Health Metrics and University of Washington, constantly making since of these headlines for us -- Dr. Gupta, thank you so much for your time tonight. We are grateful.
GUPTA: Thank you.
WALLACE: A quick break for us. We`ll be right back.
WALLACE: It is election night in Ohio and polls have closed in two elections that could be marriage bellwethers for the future of America`s two major place. In Ohio`s left-leaning 11th district, the race to replace HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge has become a battle between the progressive wick of wing of the Democratic Party and the party`s establishment. Former State Senator Nina Turner is running for that seat with the backing of progressives, like Senator Bernie Sanders and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Turner is facing off against Cuyahoga County Counselor Shontel Brown who received endorsement from power brokers like Hillary Clinton and South Carolina Jim Clyburn. Right now, Brown is winning that race by 6.5 points with more of half precincts reporting there.
In Ohio`s more conservative 15th district, Republicans facing a test of Donald Trump`s influence. Just a few minutes ago "The Associated Press" declared the Trump-backed coal lobbyist Mike Carey the winner of the Republican primary in Ohio`s 15th congressional district.
MSNBC will continue to follow tonight`s election results as they unfold.
That`s it for us tonight. See you again tomorrow. I will see you tomorrow afternoon at "DEADLINE: WHITE HOUSE" at 4:00 p.m. Eastern.
Now, it`s time for "THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL".