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Transcript: The ReidOut, 11/22/21

Guests: Joyce Vance, Kurt Bardella, John Huber, David Henderson, Eric Boehlert


January 6th committee issues new subpoenas. Alex Jones says White House was involved in organizing the march on the Capitol. 1/6 select committee subpoenas, Stop the Steal organizers. 1/6 select committee subpoenas roger stone, Alex Jones and three others. Right wing endorses violence and vigilantism.


ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Thanks for watching "THE BEAT." THE REIDOUT with Joy Reid starts now. Hi, Joy.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: How are you doing, Ari? Thank you. Have a wonderful evening.

All right, good evening, everyone. We begin THE REIDOUT tonight with breaking news from the January 6th committee, which has issued subpoenas of five more people involved in the planning of the so-called Stop the Steal rally, including marquee names, like conspiracy monger Alex Jones and Trump confidant Roger Stone. Another subpoena targets include rally organizers Dustin Stockton and his fiancee Jennifer Lawrence as well as current Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich.

Alex Jones stoked the big lie for months on his radio show and was instrumental in helping Trump pull off the rally at The Ellipse. As the Wall Street Journal first reported, he was key to its financing, helping to secure a large donation from the heiress to the Publix supermarket chain. He later said the donation covered 80 percent of the total cost. The committee also cites a video in which Jones says he was directed by the White House to lead the march to the Capitol where he was told that Donald Trump would meet the group. In other words, he was literally giving marching orders by the Trump White House. Here is that video.


ALEX JONES, RADIO HOST: The White House told me three days before, we`re going to have you lead the march. The Secret Service before Trump finishes 30 minutes before so we`ll lead you to point, take you out of the front row and lead you to the place where they want you to start the march and Trump will tell people, go and I`m going to meet you at the Capitol.


REID: Okay. Meanwhile the committee`s subpoena to Roger Stone notes he was in D.C. to speak at rallies in support of support of Trump and also solicited donations from supporters to pay for security for his appearance at the Stop the Steal event. As The New York Times reported last winter, six people associated with the Oath Keepers served as bodyguards to Stone just before they laid seeds to the Capitol. At least one has since been arrested.

In a statement, Committee Chair Bennie Thompson said we need to know who organized, planned, paid for and received funds related to those events as well as what communications organizers had with officials in the White House and Congress. We believe the witnesses we subpoenaed today have relevant information and we expect them to cooperate fully.

Today, the subpoena brings the total number of witnesses and entities under subpoena by the committee to 40 and it`s a sign that the committee`s work isn`t slowing down any time soon.

With me now is Joyce Vance, a former U.S. Attorney and Kurt Bardella Advisor to the DNC and the DCCC. Thank you very much for being here, my friends.

And, Joyce Vance, let me start with you. So we go through -- these -- we`re getting a little more specific now. We`re now talking about the funding and the financing of these events that led to what we saw happen on January 6th. But there is also a little bit more.

So, Taylor Budowich, let`s go to him first. He is Trump`s current spokesman, spokesperson. In their subpoena, the committee notes, it says that you, Mr. Budowich, solicited a 501(c)(4) organization to conduct a social media and advertising campaign to encourage people to attend the rally. The select committee has reason to believe your efforts included directing the 501(c)(4) organization approximately $200,000 from a source or sources that was not disclosed to the organization to pay for advertising. What would be the significance of figuring out who funded this whole thing?

JOYCE VANCE, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: Right. You know, prosecutors love to follow the money, Joy, and apparently now Congress does too, because you can learn a lot. You learn the important elements of who wanted to do something, what they wanted to do and what they were willing to do to get there.

So, this has been, I think, a piece of this puzzle from get-go. There was reporting early on that the Republican Attorney General`s Association was also involved in making robo calls to solicit people to attend the rallies. Well, why do you want to bring this large group of people to Washington? What was the purpose behind that? Who funded it? What conversations were had? Are there emails? Is there a paper trail? A lot of different pieces of the puzzle snap into place when you follow the money.

REID: You know, and, Kurt, everyone who`s watched the film, Get Me Roger Stone, really, everyone should watch it. Because in it, he goes on at length about how after Nixon he wanted to find the perfect new Nixon and that in his mind Donald Trump was the perfect person, right, to put in place because in his mind he had the celebrity and all the ingredients that he needed sort to be the kind of autocrat Roger Stone, I guess, he`s always dreamed of having as president.

So, in one of these letter, the letter to Roger Stone, and also to one with Alex Jones, they talk about Ali Alexander. His name has come up before. And so these are people who were working with somebody who has bragged about being a part of these whole thing, they`re a part of it.


What do you take from these letters and who actually has been subpoenaed in this case?

KURT BARDELLA, DNC AND DCCC ADVISOR: You know, Joy, so much of the attention on the committee`s work is who is not cooperating with the committee. I think what these new subpoenas that and the way that they were phrased tells us is that there are a lot of people who are indeed cooperating with the committee and the evidence that they have acquired, the testimony they have, the depositions that they have taken point a line very directly and clearly to these figures, including Alex Jones, Roger Stone and some of the current people in Trump`s orbit.

And, really, one of the things that really stood out to me, Joy, is what they are trying to get at is who communicated directly with the White House, who communicated directly with White House senior staff with Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, with people in Trump`s or orbit? How much notice did the White House have about what was going to happen on January 6th and were there concerns that were elevated to them about it being dangerous, about it being violent, about it being kept.

Imagine if at the end of the day this committee uncovers the reality that the Donald Trump White House knew an insurrection was going to happen in advance and yet they did nothing to stop it, they did not deploy the resources needed to roll it back, they just sat there and let it happen, reading these subpoenas, it makes me think that they have testimony and witnesses who have said to them, there was information that was conveyed to the White House about the severity of what was going to happen and the White House did nothing.

REID: Well, we know Roger Stone has a history of dirty tricks that involves sort of making sort of kind of violent sort of looking attacks on the vote count. He`s a dirty trickster. It`s what he does.

But on that point that you just made, Kurt, I want to point to Joyce -- I want to let Joyce deal with this question because you have two people who were subpoenaed right now who are not the marquee names, and they are Dustin Stockton and Jennifer Lawrence, they`re girlfriend and boyfriend. They were subpoenaed.

They told ProPublica that they actually were concerned that it would get violent, a last-minute march without a permit without all the metro police that usually would be there to fortify the perimeter felt unsafe. Dustin Stockton said, and these people aren`t there for a blanking flower contest. Added Jennifer Lynn Lawrence, Stockton`s fiancee and co-organizer, said they`re there because they`re angry.

In the subpoena request to them, that is specifically pointed out that those concerns did go up to the White House for Dustin Stockton. The question is whether or not he actually did talk to the White House and say that he was concerned that there could be violence. So, it sounds like the answer to Kurt`s question is probably yes.

VANCE: You know, it seems like the ultimate question is not did they talk to the White House, there is very little doubt that they did based on the way this is laid out in the subpoenas in other reporting we`ve seen. The real question is what was the reaction from inside of the White House and who did they get it from? Was it Mark Meadows? Was it the former president himself?

And the really tempting piece of information here that has, I think, always begged this question is the fact that Trump did nothing on the day of the insurrection, watched television, by all of the reporting, was delighted with what he saw and didn`t understand why the people around him in the White House weren`t as happy, weren`t as exhilarated by the insurrection as he was.

So, now Congress is going to find out what exactly was involved in that really odd behavior by the then sitting president. Was there a full layout in advance? Did everyone understand that this was going to happen or at least that it was a risk?

This is the stuff that insurrection and sedition charges are made of, Joy. I mean, I know we`re talking about Congress and not prosecutors. But at some point, when the evidence is laid out in public, we`ll know precisely what we have here.

REID: Right. I mean, Kurt, you have, you know the sort of the bombast, the people like Alex Jones, you have the dirty tricksters like Roger Stone, but you also have people who are reporting up to the White House. You have the Defense Department. You have the Eastman memo. You have sort of him laying out this case for how you could actually overturn the election.

It`s hard not to see this as a pretty well-formulated plan to stop by any means necessary the conclusion of a peaceful transfer of power, to disrupt Congress so much with all sorts of chaos of every kind that it couldn`t go on, right, that we could not have a peaceful transfer of power. It`s sort of like we kind of know where this is going. The question is whether or not crimes were committed.

And I wonder if you think it matters whether or not this does end up being about prosecution or whether it might be enough for the American people to just get a full narrative of what happened.

BARDELLA: Well, I think nothing is more important than getting a true, full detailed account of what happened, why it happened, who knew what when and why certain things didn`t happen like the deploying of resources to stem the tide of what was going on January 6th.


But I`ll tell you, Joy, there is a part of me that just feels very strongly that if planning a coup and paving the way for a domestic terrorist attack isn`t criminal, what is in this country? I mean, this has to be a very clear standing by the United States of America that we are not going to tolerate the deliberate and calculated effort to overturn a free and fair election and to commit violence and mayhem. Because I`ll tell you, if we don`t do anything now, if we don`t hold people accountable legally, then it`s just going to tell everybody it`s like taking out a big billboard saying do it again, do it bigger, make it more violent because nothing will happen to you if you do.

I mean, we`ve said time and again on this show what happened January 6th may just very well be a dress rehearsal for the future if we don`t start getting the truth and holding people accountable. Democracy cannot be allowed to be injured this way without some sort of push back, some sort of defense. That`s what this committee is really about. And whether it plays well (INAUDIBLE) or not, I can`t really give a crap. This is the foundation of our country. And if we aren`t willing to defend it, and stand up for it, then there is really no point to it going forward.

REID: You know, and I guess that is the big question, Joyce. At what point is it illegal? Because you have these people who are bombastically claiming Donald Trump is going to remain president by any means necessary. They show up at these two different rallies, they do rallies on multiple days leading up to what happened. They clearly have in mind stopping the peaceful transfer of power, stopping Mike Pence from certifying the election results. That is very clear and it`s very public and then we saw what happened play out on television. At what point is it criminal?

And I even think of the Publix heiress who gave all that money and who`s now bank rolling Ron DeSantis and backing him and others. She`s still out there involved in our politics. At what point does financing this, planning this and participating this become a crime?

VANCE: So, there is more than enough, much more than enough for serious investigation on multiple fronts here. And, frankly, we don`t know. DOJ may be fully engage in a criminal investigation. They may have decide that they want to take a pass on this for whatever reason but investigation is fully predicated here.

The difference between investigation and prosecution is this. The government bears the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt in a criminal trial. You have to marshal your evidence. You have to make sure that it`s sufficient to get that conviction and that there are no legal impediments, nothing like the First Amendment or other defense as a defendant could raise.

But that said, if at some point Congress, in collecting the evidence, if it crosses that Rubicon of proof beyond a reasonable doubt and if DOJ does not act, that will forever be a dark mark, I think, on our democracy. People have to have confidence in the criminal justice system, and we see a lot of cases prosecuted for crimes that are far less serious than insurrection and sedition.

So, while I`m mindful of the importance of not indicting cases that you can`t convict then by the same token, there are some cases that have to be indicted. I note that insurrection, which carries only a maximum ten-year penalty, also carries a penalty of barring anyone who`s convicted from future service in public office. So, that would seem to be something that would serve us all very well.

At a minimum though, DOJ, at some point, is going to have to step out of its usual box of being quiet and it`s going to have to explain its decision to the American people if it wants people to continue to have confidence.

REID: Yes, I second that, absolutely. Thank you very much, Joyce Vance, Kurt Bardella, thank you.

Up next on THE REIDOUT, in the aftermath of the Rittenhouse verdict, the right goes all in on vigilantism and violence.

Plus --


LINDA DUNIKOSKI, LEAD PROSECUTOR: You can`t create the situation and then go I was defending myself. You just can`t do it.


REID: The prosecutor shreds the argument of self-defense from Ahmaud Arbery`s killers during closing arguments.

And tonight`s absolute worst with an audience in the millions is taking right wing propaganda to a dangerous new level and two mainstream Republicans say they`ve had enough.

THE REIDOUT continues after this.



REID: Now to the question dividing America, Kyle Rittenhouse hero or vigilante?

Days after Rittenhouse was acquitted of all charges including double homicide, the American right including some of the most craven openly inflammatory bomb throwers in the Republican Party celebrated the gunning down of three fellow Americans, leaving two of them dead like it was the super bowl.

Some of these professional right wing trolls who get paid with your tax money as political representatives are now fighting over who gets to hire Rittenhouse as an intern keeping in mind members of his own family wouldn`t intern for Paul Gosar because they believe he`s an unstable white nationalist and then saw Republican Hitler tourist Madison Cawthorn react to the verdict, what else, encouraging more violence.


REP. MADISON CAWTHORN (R-NC): Kyle Rittenhouse is not guilty my friends, you have a right to defend yourself, be armed, be dangerous and be moral.


REID: Even Rittenhouse`s criminal defense attorney called that disgusting that some of these Republican have tried to cash in on his client acquittal.

Meanwhile the same grafters, who would use the killing of human beings to rack in a few more clicks and a little more pack cash are also putting Rittenhouse`s victims two of whom cannot speak for themselves because they are dead on trial. Or just erase them all together.

Three people were shot when Rittenhouse crossed state lines into Kenosha with an assault style weapon equipped for war. Many people still don`t even know their names. Gaige Grosskreutz is the lone survivor, who testified that he confronted Rittenhouse with the gun because he thought he was an active shooter. Then Rittenhouse nearly shot his arm-off and was acquitted for it.


The other two men were fatally shot by Rittenhouse who -- are named Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber.

And with me now is Anthony Huber`s father, John Huber.

So, Mr. Huber, thank you for being here.

I have spent some time today sitting with this "Washington Post" piece that went through a really detailed timeline of what happened the night your son was killed.

And I want to wish you condolences for losing your son.

But it also talked a little bit about his life, which was tough. It was difficult. He had a lot of issues, personal issues with his mom and hoarding in the house and other things.

Talk a little bit about your son and what he was dealing with when he was alive.

JOHN HUBER, FATHER OF ANTHONY HUBER: Yes, I don`t know where that information came from about his home life.

He had a good mom. And he had a good family. He had an incident with his brother, got out of hand, and the mom called 911, and like anyone should. It got out of hand. And, from there, it just got worse.

But he was a good kid. He wouldn`t hurt anybody.

REID: Now one of the other things...

HUBER: He loved to skateboard.

REID: And I do -- I did get, that he was a skateboarder. And that was sort of the thing that brought him joy and happiness, was skateboarding. That was his outlet.


REID: He was a part of some of these protests partly because he knew Jacob Blake, who was the man, the black man who was shot by police multiple times and left paralyzed. So he knew him.

Is that your understanding?

HUBER: Right. Yes.

REID: And so...

HUBER: And he expressed his (AUDIO GAP) for what happened to Jacob Blake.

REID: Yes.

And so, in your mind, why do you think he was there that day?

HUBER: Well, for one thing, his -- he loved to skateboard. He was there skateboarding. There was probably 1,000 other people on the street that night. And that`s his -- that`s where he skateboarded. He had every right to be there.

REID: And do you...

HUBER: And he was there helping people.

REID: Yes.

And, in your mind, was your son the type of person who would have confronted somebody he saw have a gun? Is that something that reads with what you knew about your son?

HUBER: We -- it was a pretty dangerous and heroic attempt by him.

And I don`t think I would have had the nerve to do that, what he did. And he was trying to stop -- stop a shooter. He was trying to stop an active shooter. He -- they all saw Rosenbaum get killed. Everyone saw that. Everyone that was there saw Rosenbaum get killed.

That kid turned around and mowed down Rosenbaum. He just mowed him down. I don`t know what videos these other people are watching. And I don`t know how the jury came to that, except for the fact that the judge had his hand on the scale of justice, that -- I saw video where he just turned and mowed that guy down. Rosenbaum didn`t touch him.

REID: Do you...

HUBER: And, from there, he became an active shooter, and he ran away. He ran away from a murder scene like a coward. And he was just trying to get away. And he used deadly force to get away. That`s it.

REID: And what would you say if you could talk to this judge and to this jury about the decision that, I mean, you could say they collectively made? Because the judge made it pretty clear that that was what he supported happening.

HUBER: I don`t know how they were able to decide that Rittenhouse was in danger, that his life was threatened, because a little guy was screaming obscenities at him?

REID: Yes.

HUBER: He went there with a gun to be a menace and to be a big man with a gun where he didn`t belong.

And what did he think was going to happen? What did the police think was going to happen with this little kid out on the street with an AR-15? Nobody questioned him, because he was on their side, because he picked their side. A little white kid with an AR-15: Oh, he`s on our side. We don`t have to question him.

Matter of fact, we will coordinate with him, give him a water bottle, and say: Good job kid. Now go home. Oh, you killed somebody? We`re not interested.

REID: And I guess my last question to you before I have to let you go is, what is the family -- what is your family dealing with right now?

I mean, how -- you`re having to absorb the loss of your son and this verdict. What do you -- how is the family handling it?

HUBER: When we heard -- when he heard the verdict, it was like he got killed all over again.


We had to relive this all over again. And every time we seen it on TV, and every time it was brought up, and all these attacks on him and us, those people should be ashamed of themselves.

And we feel like we have been raped. We have been raped by half of the country that supported him. And those people should be ashamed of themselves. He`s a murderer. That guy is a murderer. He murdered two people. And he has two murders on his conscience. And he doesn`t have a conscience.

I believe he lied on the stand. And that Richards guy, in order to say, oh, well, we don`t promote violence that the gun people are saying, but he`s the one who called in the gun people to help his cause.

It shouldn`t have been about the gun, or it shouldn`t have been a Republican/Democrat issue. Nobody`s wanting their guns. Nobody wants their guns. What are they afraid of?

And the president shouldn`t have spoke up about it either. Trump had no business weighing in on it. I stopped supporting him that day he offended me when he said: Oh, it looks like self-defense.

We didn`t even know all the details. Nobody even seen all the videos. And he spoke up on it. Who does he think he is, an expert? You know, I lost all respect for him.

REID: I want to let you talk back to Marjorie Taylor Greene, because Marjorie Taylor Greene, she was tweeting at me and thinking that she was hurting me.

I`m a -- I do TV for a living. You`re not going to hurt me by tweeting at me. But she also disparaged your son and the other two victims, Joseph Rosenbaum and Gaige Grosskreutz. And she called them a child rapist, a woman beater, both convicted, both white, both men, who they -- who says tried to kill a 17-year-old.

And she was referring to Mr. Rosenbaum having had a criminal record and having spent a lot of time in prison, having had a lot of issues, personal issues, of abuse of itself, and abuse, and was really in prison for a while dealing with a lot of mental health issues.

You`re saying that the things that were said about your son having some issues as well, legal issues, et cetera, you`re saying those aren`t true.

What do you make of her attacking your son and the other person who died, who was killed?

HUBER: Man, I hope she`s never sitting in our shoes. I hope she never has to deal with a death of a child and then have all this controversy and scandal around it, so we can`t even grieve his death.

We haven`t even gotten to grieve yet.

REID: Yes.

HUBER: And how do they know?

What does she think? It`s OK to kill people that have something on their record like that? So, let`s just shoot them in the street? That`s what she`s saying. She`s saying, OK, go kill them in the street. Go kill them in the street because they have a record for being a child rapist or because my son got in a fight with everyone in his house.

REID: Yes.

HUBER: He did. His brother used to pick on him. He finally fought back.

And Anthony was a pacifist. He was a pacifist. And, eventually, he just -- he got mad about it.

But this stuff with Rittenhouse, he was trying to save people. He was trying to stop a mass shooter. That`s what it was.

REID: John Huber, thank you for spending some time with us this evening. We really appreciate your time.

And, again, our condolences to you and your family for your loss. Thank you.

HUBER: Thank you, Joy.

REID: And join -- thank you so much.

And joining me now, Michael Steele, former chairman of the RNC and host of "The Michael Steele Podcast."

I`m sorry. I`m getting to you a little bit late, but I couldn`t -- he`s so emotional. And this is a loss. And what really strikes me, Michael -- and you and I are friends, so we -- I`m going to just talk to you like a friend. It is so crazy to me that people can cheer like they won a football game over two people being dead that they didn`t even know.

They don`t know anything about that man, Mr. Huber. They don`t know anything about his son. "The Washington Post," he said they didn`t even know, that the stories they told about his son weren`t even true.


REID: He knows his son. And his son is gone. And they`re out there, Madison Cawthorn, and Marjie three names and these people don`t even do their jobs. They don`t even do it. They don`t even work. They get our tax money for doing nothing -- are out there tweeting, thinking they`re hurting me.

STEELE: Yes. I know. I know.

REID: Go on. Your thoughts.

STEELE: No, I saw that -- I saw that tweet from stupid. And I just -- I just laugh, because she reflects the soullessness of my party.


You heard the anguish of a dad, who has stated several times that he and his family have not had an opportunity to even grieve. They have had to deal with the trial, in which they felt, and I think casual observers would agree, that the scales of justice had a little extra weight on them, not so much in favor of their son`s death, in terms of dealing with that, when you start the trial by saying, well, you have to refer to him not as a victim, refer to his son not as a victim, but as a rioter and a looter.

REID: Yes.

STEELE: He was a skateboarder. That`s where he always skateboarded. All these people came into his backyard that night.

So, I think that this -- this reflection of attitude that we have from the Cawthorns and the Marjorie Taylor Greenes, as a nation, we need to repudiate it. You were right to ignore it, because they`re trying to draw you out.

And it`s like I just tell them straight up, you all don`t want any of this, OK? You all don`t want any of -- any Joy Reid to get up in your business. Trust me on that one, OK?


STEELE: Because that gets ugly for you real fast.

But they think that they can grift, they can lie, they can put out this kind of hot, ugly rhetoric, and get rewarded for it. And that for me, Joy, is the biggest thing here. There are no consequences for these fools. There`s no consequences at all. There`s none inside the party, as we have seen. There`s none outside the party.

I don`t -- I don`t see where the public -- in the Tucker Carlson situation, FOX should be shut down. And you got to two well-established conservatives who are just like, this is just crazy what`s happening over here.

REID: Yes.

STEELE: And yet the checks keep rolling in.

REID: Yes.

STEELE: So, there we are.

REID: If I was out doing a secret documentary on a story that I was reporting on here, we have a standards and practices department.

STEELE: Right.

REID: When I tell you I would be walked out of here, it is not -- it is unreal.

Anyway, Michael Steele, thank you very much. Really appreciate you.

STEELE: No, thank you.

REID: Really appreciate it. Thank you, Michael Steele.

Still ahead: The prosecutor kicks off closing arguments in the trial of three man accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery with a blistering presentation.

More on her arguments and the defense team`s kind of ridiculous counterarguments next.




LINDA DUNIKOSKI, COBB COUNTY, GEORGIA, ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Ran away from them for five minutes, that`s what he did, with his hands out at his sides, in his baggy shorts he had on, no weapon, no threats, no way to call for help. Didn`t even have a cell phone on him.

The bottom line is, but for their actions, but for their decisions, but for their choices, Ahmaud Arbery would be alive.


REID: Closing arguments began today in the trial of the three white man accused of murdering Ahmaud Arbery.

The defense, at least for Travis and Greg McMichael, are relying on the claims of citizen`s arrest and self-defense. But to any normal, rational person, their story sounds ridiculous. They cornered this 25-year-old black man who, in all rationality, ran from two trucks full of white men armed with shotguns, who they had not seen him commit any crime, which they had to have actually just witnessed in order to make a citizen`s arrest under the now repealed Georgia law.

One of the defense lawyers actually tried to claim that, despite all of those facts, it was the McMichaels who were the ones in fear for their lives, even as Travis McMichael pointed his shotgun at the unarmed Arbery.


JASON SHEFFIELD, ATTORNEY FOR TRAVIS MCMICHAEL: Aggravated assault, by the way, is a felony that can be committed by the use of fists. Fists are that weapon.

And, right now, as Ahmaud Arbery is running toward Travis McMichael, he could have a gun and he definitely has fists. He is afraid that he will beat him with his fists or whatever weapon he might have. And he`s scared.


REID: The mind reels.

Joining me now, David Henderson, civil rights attorney and former prosecutor, Katie Phang, MSNBC legal contributor.

Let`s throw the charges up here. They`re facing each of one count of malice murder. And I thought the prosecute was brilliant. She really walked through, explaining each of these counts, felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, meaning they cornered her -- cornered Ahmaud Arbery with the car, criminal intent to commit false imprisonment, chasing him, and attempting to falsely imprison him, really well done.

But I feel like this is the case -- David Henderson, I`m going to start with you on this because you`re a former prosecutor -- this, to me, was the case.

Here it is. This is cut two.


DUNIKOSKI: You expect, when you`re getting felonies, people are going to fight back, right? The convenience store clerk is entitled to fight back, right?

Imagine if armed robbers could come in and go, well, I had to defend myself against the victim of my crime. Could you imagine if that was the law, right?

But isn`t that what they`re saying? How dare Mr. Arbery defend himself against their four felonies?


REID: OK, Linda Dunikoski could be a teacher, because that was really brilliantly done.

But here`s the problem, David. That was the exact prosecution case in the George Zimmerman trial, that George Zimmerman chased a 17-year-old boy who was walking around with some icy and some candy for his brother. He followed him, said, oh, well, there`s crimes in the neighborhood, I was worried, and then chased him down.

The police said, don`t chase them. He still did, chase him. Then they confront each other. And because the teenager defends themselves, he saws, well, I was in fear for my life, shoots him.

That`s the same case, and Zimmerman walked. And in America, the absurd can work if you are a certain kind of person. Your thoughts?


And, honestly, what stands out to me even more when we compare it to the Zimmerman trial is not just the facts and the arguments, but the composition of the jury.

REID: Correct.

HENDERSON: If there`s anything that concerns me here, that`s what actually worries me.

Now, she did a lot of things right, though, that we didn`t see in the Rittenhouse trial. And the first one is, she walked the jury down through the charge, basically explaining, here`s how you vote on each charge. Here`s the reason why. That was critical.

She did two things that were -- it was harder to notice, but that are really important. She preempted the defense by doing what a smart trial lawyer will do, saying, hey, Judge, I`m looking over at their table. I`m noticing some things in their notes that make me think they`re about to argue some things they`re not allowed to argue, so I need you to go ahead and shut that down.


That defense was clearly thrown off their game. I think that`s the reason why.

Last point, in closing argument, you`re not really arguing. You`re just appealing to the jurors that are already on your side by giving them information they need to go back there and fight for you. I thought her Super Bowl analogy was great. If you`re on a team, you get a ring.

The reason why is because I have a hard time seeing a world where Travis McMichael doesn`t get convicted. But that`s less true for Gregory McMichael. And it`s even less true for William Bryan. And so focusing on that law of parties was critically important.

I think she did that.


So, yes, I mean, all right, I`m thinking this is going to be nullification, because they`re just going to be like, he looks like and we relate to him. We relate to them and not to Ahmaud Arbery.

Here`s the defense`s attempt to make their case. This is cut three. Play it.


SHEFFIELD: Travis also told you that, when he came face to face with Mr. Arbery, even though he didn`t speak, he looked very angry, he looked very upset, clenching his teeth, but not saying a word.


REID: I`m tempted to throw this paper.

They also said there were two sets of decision-makers. Arbery was the other decision -- literally, the guy who`s running from the two trucks full of white men with shotguns -- it seems like a scene out of 1953 -- that guy is the threat.

Your thoughts, Katie?


REID: The black guy is the threat. Yes, OK.


The best way, if you`re the defense attorney, to try to get your acquittal is to dehumanize the victim. Let`s just make the victim something, not a person. Let`s make it an object or something, that it`s OK that we disposed of that threat -- that threat, right?

And Greg McMichael`s lawyer, she sent me to places I`m not supposed to go when she said that the reason why Arbery is dead is because he ran? So, let me get this straight. He ran for his life. And, apparently, the McMichaels grabs their go bag, because, remember, according to Gregory Michael`s attorney, he`s a good neighbor.

Well, with good neighbors like that, who needs jury executioners, right -- or executioners at this point? But that go bag must have been gun, pistol, shotgun. I mean, I was waiting for them to say that they also came with their hood and all that other stuff and a rope to lynch, right, because that`s that law that they`re relying upon, an antiquated law that was tied to white slave owners being able to hunt down runaway slaves.

That is exactly what that antiquated law is tied to. And that is the important law that David talked about, that the prosecutor talked about, the idea that a citizen`s arrest has to be for an offense that is committed in front of you or that you have immediate knowledge of.

Well, the only knowledge that anybody there had was the fact that, 12 days earlier, on some grainy surveillance photo, Mr. Arbery was seen inside of a home that was under construction.

And, Joy-Ann Reid, remember the following too. The 911 transcript, it militates toward a conviction in this case, . When they finally got around to calling 911, when they were effecting this alleged citizen`s arrest, they didn`t say that: I just saw a man committing a burglary. I am chasing a man who just committed a burglary.

They said: There`s a black man running down the street.

How is that a crime? Well, it`s only a crime in certain parts of America. And if this jury does not nullify, because that is a fear that I have, that the fact that these men are facing federal charges as well, that maybe the state jury says, you know what, I`m going to leave it to the feds to have to take care of this. That is a distinct possibility.

But Roddie Bryan moved to the sever this morning. He moved to sever his case from the remaining defendants. And so there`s a distancing that`s happening right now. And it`s like this idea that, if you go to the bank and somebody kills somebody during that robbery, you`re all guilty of that robbery and that murder.

I`m worried, as well as David, that maybe they`re going to make a delineation between each of these defendants.

REID: Right. Split them up. Split them up.

PHANG: That`s right.

REID: It`s -- we shall see what happens.

All I think of when I watch this trial is Emmett Till, because we saw how that turned out. They chased down a 14-year-old child, killed him, and walked into court and walked out in 10 minutes. That`s how that worked.

David Henderson, Katie Phang, we hope it`s different this time. We really do hope and pray. Thank you.

Still to come: resignations at FOX News because of an "Absolute Worst" repeat offender`s absurd and dangerous conspiracy theories. Can you guess who that is? And there are no signs that the Murdochs are willing to rein him in.

We will be right back.



REID: Internal divisions at FOX News boiled over and exploded into public view this weekend.

Longtime FOX commentators Stephen Hayes and Jonah Goldberg resigned their positions in protest of the network`s complete lack of editorial standards. The final straw was the release of Tuckums Carlson`s online documentary series on the January 6 insurrection called "Patriot Purge."

And while we have all known that FOX News has been problematic for a long, long time, they have really dialed it up to 11 with this one. According to PolitiFact, Carlson`s documentary describes the attack on the United States Capitol as a false flag operation contrived to frame, trap and purge Trump voters in a new war on terror.

As Hayes himself told "The New York Times": "Particularly disturbing was the imagery of water-boarding and suggestions that half the country is going to be subjected to this kind of treatment."

If that`s not scary enough, Tuckums Carlson reportedly tells his audience that we`re in an actual war, literally claiming that soldiers and paramilitary agencies are going to be hunting down American citizens.

That is not only false. It`s dangerous. And with the release of this documentary, FOX News has officially completed its metamorphosis from a mere conservative news channel to a right-wing propaganda outlet.

In fact, far bigger names than Hayes and Goldberg have registered their complaints, including veteran political anchors Bret Baier and Chris Wallace, who shared their objections with FOX leadership and also aired their own segments that refuted Carlson`s claims. That is according to NPR, which reports that their objections rose to Lachlan Murdoch, the CEO of FOX Corporation.


But the problem is that FOX News exists in a media environment where they are no longer the only game in town. They once held a virtual monopoly over right-wing news. But they`re now in a universe alongside OAN and Newsmax and Sinclair Broadcasting, who are actively competing to be the furthest right and Trumpiest networks of them all.

That`s why FOX News and all that it represents is the "Absolute Worst," not just tonight, but every night. They are literally willing to like this country on fire just to stay ahead of their rivals and keep the profits rolling in.

And Carlson`s documentary is proof of that. It is so unmoored from reality that they`re stoking the danger of actual violence.

And that is coming up next.


REID: FOX News has created a whole industry around denying the reality of January 6.

But with Tuckums Carlson` new documentary, "Patriot Purge," they`re not just whitewashing what happened. They are sowing irrational fears and dangerous disinformation.

Now, Stephen Hayes and Jonah Goldberg wrote upon resigning this weekend the documentary`s "message is clear. The U.S. government is targeting patriotic Americans in the same manner that it used to target al Qaeda. This is not happening. And we think it`s dangerous to pretend that it is."


It comes as public officials are increasingly being terrorized by threats of violence. It`s become so bad that some lawmakers are limiting how much they interact with the public.

Joining me now is Eric Boehlert, founder and editor of

And, Eric, this is the point where this isn`t media criticism at this point. What FOX News is doing is that they are inciting their viewers and essentially creating a false reality for them to live in that feels like it can`t do anything but incite violence. Your thoughts?


I mean, if you -- the Jonathan Karl interview with Trump a few months ago, and he was saying, hey, if you think the election was stolen, of course you`re going to be violent, of course you`re going to storm the Capitol.

And so this has become -- we`re beyond the big lie. This has become the fundamental world view, and people like Tucker Carlson are pushing it. Now, Goldberg and Hayes, them resigning, that`s not going to change anything at FOX News. Tucker Carlson runs FOX News, because Tucker Carlson has the biggest ratings. That`s how it works over there.

So if he`s going to glorify a deadly insurrection, then that becomes the pro forma de facto of position of FOX News.

But it`s important why they are resigning. They have been part of this community for 2025 years. If they watch Tucker Carlson, and they say, oh, this is going to lead to street violence, this is going to lead to guns, this is going to lead to vigilante violence, they know the mechanics of the right-wing media. They know how that mob works.

So I think it is important to listen to them in this case. Do I think they could have resigned 15 years ago? Of course.

REID: Yes.

BOEHLERT: When FOX was saying Obama was born in Kenya? yes, that would have been a good time to leave -- leave the building as well. But, again, nothing`s going to change, unfortunately, because FOX News functions as a sewer. It`s always going to function as a sewer as long as Rupert Murdoch owns it.

REID: And they`re -- I think the guy who was at a public meeting saying, when do we get to use the guns?

BOEHLERT: Exactly.

REID: Like, this is how their viewers are going to sound.

How much of this do you think is about the competition from Sinclair Broadcasting, which literally still calls Donald Trump, like, the president. Like, they are still treating him as if he`s the president.

You have got OAN, which still treats Donald Trump like he`s the president. You have got all of these other -- Newsmax, which used to be sort of a right-wingish -- but not like this, right?


REID: How much do you think this is about protecting their money from these other outlets, these other sort of different forms of the cocaine; they want to do the more pure form?


BOEHLERT: It`s a big part of it.

Late last year, I predicted FOX News was going to be its worst this year, specifically because it will never allow itself to be outflanked by the far, far right. It`s never worried about it up until this -- the big lie, the reelection, Newsmax, OAN came in and say -- they totally embraced Trump with the big lie.

And they have continued to grow. Newsmax continues to grow. They basically sponsored that Arizona charade recall. So, FOX News has real competition on the far right in a way they never did. And, like I said, they will never, ever allow themselves to be outflanked to the far right. They don`t care how many people they kill talking about a COVID hoax.

They don`t care how seriously they injure free and fair elections in this country. They have no -- they have no qualms. I mean, this is -- as you said, this is beyond conservative media. This is a threat to our democracy, and they know it.

REID: And you have people like Paul Ryan, who sit on the board, sort of normcore Republicans, who are looking the other way, clearly not doing anything, Lachlan Murdoch, et cetera.

What can be done? Because they don`t have to actually have commercials.


REID: What people don`t understand is, when you have basic cable, your basic cable is paying for FOX. So you can`t get at them that way.

They have no advertisers in some of these shows. They`re just promos for MyPillow.

BOEHLERT: Exactly. Tucker Carlson...

REID: What can the public do if -- well, if the people -- if the public feels that they`re dangerous, what can people even do about it?

BOEHLERT: It`s very problematic.

If we go -- just quickly, if you go back to Bill O`Reilly, Glenn Beck, they lost their shows because they lost all their advertisers.

REID: Correct.

BOEHLERT: That doesn`t work anymore.

Tucker Carlson does not have a single blue-chip advertiser left. It is a dollar a holler over there, whoever they can get. But, as you say, you and I are subsidizing FOX News with our cable bills every month.

So, we have kind of lost that weapon in our arsenal to go after advertisers with, hey, do you want to be associated with that? Every -- every major player on Madison Avenue said, no, no, we do not want to be associated with that.

So, there`s -- they`re cocooned. They have -- Tucker Carlson has Lachlan Murdoch`s ear. He`s got the support of Rupert Murdoch. And it`s a really difficult position, to go to your question, what do we do? We keep waiting for honorable people to do the right thing, and it`s almost impossible to get anyone.

I mean, yes, again, Goldberg and Hayes resigned. They`re barely on because everyone knows that they don`t support Trump, so they`re not even...

REID: Right.

BOEHLERT: They`re not even invited over there.

REID: They`re not even on, right.

BOEHLERT: So, it`s tough.

REID: And, as you and I -- I will pay you for a moment.

The media also -- the other journalists try to still treat them as a normal journalistic outfit, when, clearly, there`s something else going on over there than journalism.

Eric Boehlert, thank you.

BOEHLERT: And, super quick, Democrats should not be on FOX News ever.

Do not appear on FOX News if you`re...


REID: Indeed.

Thank you, Eric Boehlert.

That`s tonight`s REIDOUT.