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Transcript: The ReidOut, 4/28/21

Guests: Michael Schmidt, Yamiche Alcindor, Marq Claxton, Chuck Schumer


President Biden is said to deliver first address to joint session of Congress. FEDs search Rudy Giuliani`s home and office. FEDs also search home of Giuliani Associate Victoria Toensing. Full scope of Giuliani investigation is unclear. Giuliani played central role in the Ukraine scandal. Parnas says Giuliani and Attorney General Barr were on the team. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is interviewed.


JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Just one hour from now President Joe Biden nearing his 100th day in office will deliver his first address to a joint session of Congress and he`ll deliver that speech in the very chamber that was breached by pro-Trump insurrectionists, the same chamber where the mob overwhelmed police and forced lawmakers into hiding, just 112 days ago. On that day, January 6th, Trump`s former personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, was inciting violence at a rally outside the White House just before all hell broke loose.


RUDY GIULIANI, TRUMP FORMER PERSONAL ATTORNEY: So, over the next ten days, we get to see the machines that are crooked, the ballots that are fraudulent, and if we`re wrong, we will be made fools of, but if we`re right, a lot of them will go to jail. So let`s have trial by combat.


REID: Wow. We bring up Rudy Giuliani because he abruptly became the lead story today. In a made for T.V. twist for a man who before he was the Mayor of New York City was once the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. Federal investigators in Manhattan executed search warrants early this morning at Giuliani`s home and office. The New York Times reports, it`s part of their probe into whether he violated foreign lobbying laws by doing unregistered work in Ukraine.

According to our reporters, agents presented Giuliani with a warrant and requested all electronic devices. Giuliani turned over one cell phone, one iPad and one laptop and nothing else. The agents were at the apartment for approximately 45 minutes.

Now, you may not remember all the details of this investigation given that a lot has happened in the two years since this story emerged. As you may recall, one of the many scandals hovering over the Trump administration was one involving Ukraine and at the center of that controversy was Rudy Giuliani. Back then, Giuliani was the personal/TV Attorney for Donald Trump, not a lawyer for Trump the president but for Trump the person. And yet he somehow became the point person for Trump`s pressure campaign to fabricate a scandal to pin on the Biden family in Ukraine.

We would later learn that Trump pressured Ukraine`s government to investigate Biden`s son, Hunter, and use military aid as leverage, which had the house launch an impeachment inquiry ending in Trump`s first impeachment. It was during that impeachment trial that a witness said that Trump wanted nothing less than the Ukrainian president to go to a microphone and say investigations, Biden and Clinton, words that would have damaged Biden, the same way that then FBI Director James Comey reviving the inquiry into Hillary Clinton`s e-mails help to cost her the election.

As we now know, the smear campaign against Biden did not work and Biden would be elected president only to choose an attorney general who may now be Rudy`s worst nightmare. According to The New York Times, during the Trump administration, senior political appointees in the Justice Department repeatedly sought to block such a warrant against Giuliani. But after Merrick Garland was confirmed as President Biden`s Attorney General, the Justice Department lifted its objection to the search.

And joining me now is New York Times, Washington Correspondent Michael Schmidt and Joyce Vance, former U.S. Attorney and MSNBC Columnist.

And, Michael, if you could just clear up for one -- sort of you have this information from your reporting, is this raid on Giuliani, which we now also know that the FBI also raided one of Rudy Giuliani`s associates, Victoria Toensing, and she`s a lawyer who`s close to Giuliani, she had dealings with several Ukrainians and she`s a former federal prosecutor herself and a Senior Justice Department official who`s represented Dmitry Firtash, when you remember his name, he`s Ukrainian Oligarch who`s also under indictment. So she`s got a lot mixed up in this too. Do you know if these -- the raid on Giuliani and serving this warrant to Ms. Toensing, is this information that existed during the Trump administration that was held back by William Barr or is this the result of new information that`s come forward?

MICHAEL SCHMIDT, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORK TIMES: I don`t think we have complete clarity into everything that the Justice Department has and knows about this issue. As The Times has reported, as my colleagues have reported in the past, the Justice Department senior officials in Washington had stopped prosecutors in New York from executing a search warrant at the end of last year.

I don`t think that it is a coincidence that we are seeing this happen now just a week after Lisa Monaco came in as deputy attorney general. She is going to be the person who oversees the day-to-day operations of the justice department. She`s going to be the person who all these investigations run through and if you were Merrick Garland and you were trying to get your feet under you and the department under you, you would make sense that you would hold off on making some of these important controversial moves until you had a full deck and a fully stocked team.

So I think that, you know, we`ve seen a lot of news out of the Justice Department in the past few days not just about Rudy Giuliani but about other matters. And, look, in the Justice Department, you`re not supposed to take actions around an election. In the aftermath of the election, the election dragged on, not for legitimate reasons but it did drag on and Rudy Giuliani was at the center of it so there was a political mess there. And you know -- so, you know, look, I`m sure people would like for things in this country to move a lot faster. But seeing it here in April of 2021, I guess that`s where they are.

REID: But, you know, seeing it in April, not just any old day in April, Joyce, on the very day that President Biden, who`s the finalization of whose election Rudy Giuliani sought to stop, who`s election he sought to stop, on the very day of the near 100 day marker and the speech before joint session of Congress, is this -- do prosecutors -- am I wrong to read into it that they`re sending some sort of message here by doing this raid today? Or should we look at that as coincidental?

JOYCE VANCE, MSNBC COLUMNIST: I think it has to be entirely coincidental. You know, if this was a movie, we would assume that it was scripted. But prosecutors, by and large, really don`t care what`s going on outside of their office. They don`t time investigative actions to coincide with political ones. The thing that happens if you`re a prosecutor and if you`ve got the evidence you need, the probable cause you need to get this search warrant, is you want to go at the earliest possible moment because that search warrant isn`t given to you with permission to execute it whenever you want to.

You`ve literally got a very tight period of time. Search warrants require what we call fresh information, that means information that there is evidence or fruits (ph) of a crime in the location you want to search and it`s there now, not six months ago, not next week, now. So prosecutors are focused only on that goal of executing the search warrant within the constraints that the judge imposes on them.

REID: Okay, well, that`s good. Thank you for disabusing me of that notion. Let me -- for those of you who have forgotten this, and it`s gone into someone of the memory hall, here are some impeachment witnesses talking -- and this is during the impeachment -- talking about Giuliani`s role vis-a- vis Ukraine. Take a listen.


GORDON SONDLAND, FORMER U.S. ABASSADOR TO THE E.U.: Secretary Perry, Ambassador Volker and I worked with Mr. Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine matters at the express direction of the president of the United States. President Trump directed us to, quote, talk with Rudy.

DAVID HOLMES, U.S. EMBASSY OFFICIAL: My recollection is that Ambassador Sondland stated, quote, damn it Rudy, every time Rudy gets involved he goes and F`s everything up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you think he meant by his characterization of Giuliani as a hand grenade.

FIONA HILL, FORMER NSC OFFICIAL: That the investigations that he was promoting, that the storyline he was promoting, the narrative he was promoting was going to backfire. I think it has backfired.


REID: And the he in that case is John Bolton, a former national security adviser, and I want to thank Nicolle Wallace`s wonderful team who put that mashup together.

And so, Michael, can you give us a sense of what do we know about the contours? We know that this is about foreign lobbying without permission. We presumed that this is basically along the same lines as the impeachment, right, the contents of the first impeachment?

SCHMIDT: Yes. And in tied in with the case of Lev Parnas which came up many months ago, I mean many several years ago. I mean this is something that`s been going on for a long time. You know the impeachment of Trump was in -- it was the end of 2019, the beginning of 2020. I mean, it`s hard to keep track, I guess that was the first impeachment, then the second one and the such and the character, and it is good to have a refresher.

But this is an investigation that`s been going on for a long time. It`s looking at the question of foreign lobbying. Giuliani`s lawyer coming out today and saying that, that was on the search warrant, saying that they were also looking for communications with John Sullivan, a reporter who had done a lot of the Ukraine reporting that helped push the narrative that Giuliani was seeking.

You know, this is a search warrant that encompasses a lot of thorny issues for the Justice Department, that someone who calls himself a reporter, this is a lawyer in Rudy Giuliani, it`s the president`s lawyer. These are not easy questions and I could see why you would want, you know, someone like Lisa Monaco in that position before going forward with it. You know, there are search warrants are executed in the country every day. They`re not executed at lawyer`s offices or their homes and they`re not done in regards to communications with reporters.

REID: And you`re absolutely right, I mean, just thinking about it, you know, now two of Donald Trump`s lawyers have been raided by police, both Michael Cohen and now Rudy Giuliani. Just Donald Trump, if you just go through the rap sheet of people who have been a part of the Trump team, his former campaign manager, Steve Bannon, Michael Flynn, his national security adviser, George Papadopoulos, Paul Manafort who ran his campaign as the executive there, Rick Gates, Michael Cohen, I mean, it is sort of a bevy of all of these people connected to Donald Trump. It`s pretty extraordinary for an American president.

Let me quickly play, you mentioned Lev Parnas. This was an interview that Lev Parnas gave to our own Rachel Maddow. This was on January 15th, 2020, about a month before the February 13, 2020, impeachment. Take a listen.


RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Do you know if Mr. Giuliani was ever in contact with Mr. Barr specifically about the fact that he was trying to get Ukraine to announce these investigations into Joe Biden?


MADDOW: Mr. Barr knew about that?

PARNAS: Mr. Barr had to have known everything. I mean, it`s impossible.

MADDOW: Did Rudy Giuliani tell you he had spoken to the attorney general specifically about Ukraine?

PARNAS: Not only Rudy Giuliani, I mean, Victoria, Joe, they were all best friends. I mean Barr was -- Attorney General Barr was basically on the team.


REID: So, okay, he mentions Joe and Victoria. That`s Victoria Toensing and Joe diGenova, they are married couple, they`re both lawyers. He mentioned William Barr and I`m going to play one more sound bite. This is Donald Trump denying any knowledge of what Rudy Giuliani was up to in Ukraine. Take a listen.


REPORTER: Mr. President, how much has Giuliani shared with you about his recent trip to Ukraine?

DONALD TRUMP, U.S. FORMER PRESIDENT: Not too much. But he`s a very great crime fighter. He was probably the greatest crime fighter over the last 50 years, very smart. He was the best mayor in the history of the city of New York. He`s a great person who loves our country and he does this out of love, believe me, he does it out of love.


REID: Joyce Vance, Victoria Toensing has said that -- her lawyer has said she`s not a target of the investigation. But if you`re making a witness list in doing this investigation and this is your case, are you including Joe diGenova, are you including William Barr, are you including Donald Trump?

VANCE: It`s a really interesting question, Joy, because we don`t know what the charges are yet. For instance, if you look at the Parnas and Fruman indictment, they`re charged in connection with bad election contributions, with straw donors and foreign donors, which, of course, violate you as law. Could this be part of that? Is it part of Giuliani`s conduct in Ukraine trying to dig up dirt in Biden? It`s not really clear what the full scope of this is yet. It feels certain that it`s more than failing to register when you`re representing a foreign country.

Some people of these could be witnesses. They could be suspects. They could even end up being targets of prosecution. It`s premature to say at this point, but there`s an awful lot of smoke around the president`s foreign lawyer.

REID: A whole -- lawyers around of his own whole team. This is pretty incredible. What a news day today. Michael Schmidt, thank you so much for being here. Joyce Vance, thank you so much for being here. I appreciate you both.

And up next on THE REIDOUT. Is it the historic night in Washington, that was just the pre-big story. President Biden is going to deliver his address to a joint session of Congress. And for the first time in American history, the president will be flanked by not one but two women leaders, Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. And it`s the first such address since that House chamber was defiled by the January 6th MAGA insurrectionists.

And later, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the man responsible for shepherding President Biden`s agenda through the Senate joins me.

THE REIDOUT continues after this.


REID: As his first 100 days come to a close, President Joe Biden is set to give a major speech to a joint session of Congress in just under two hours. And while it`s not technically a formal State of the Union Address, it will serve the same function. With a decades` long political career that began at age 29, there are few, if any, people in modern politics who have sat through more of these speeches than Joe Biden has, first as a senator for 36 years and then as vice president for eight.

He knows it`s a big opportunity to not only highlight his accomplishments but to frame the debate over his agenda moving forward. According to excerpts released late today, Biden will declare America is on the move again. But he`ll emphasize the need to prove democracy is still works and our government still works and can deliver for the people. Biden will unveil his proposed American families plan which invests in school programs, like universal pre-K and community college, as well as providing child care and paid leave.

But this year the president`s speech will look a little different. Thanks to COVID the audience in the chamber will be paired back to 200 people. That means fewer lawmakers, no guests, no cabinet officials and just one Supreme Court justice in attendance.

This is the first joint session of Congress since the January 6th insurrection, when a violent pro Trump mob temporarily halted the count of electoral votes and literally forced members of Congress to flee for their lives. That means that Joe Biden will be addressing some of the very people who not only promoted the big lie but who voted with the mob to overturn his election.

Advance excepts of Biden speech show that he will refer to the events of January 6th as the worst attack on our democracy since the civil war.

This evening also represents the significant landmark for this country. Since the dawn of the T.V. age, the overwhelming majority of these speeches have featured a similar backdrop, that is, two white men filling the seats reserved for the speaker and the House -- speaker of the House and the vice president.

It was Nancy Pelosi who broke the mold in 2007, when she became the first madam speaker. Now, with the election of Kamala Harris, tonight`s speech will mark the first time in history that two women, including one woman of color, will be seated in the dais behind the president of the United States.

And joining me now is Yamiche Alcindor, White House correspondent for "PBS NewsHour," and Michael Beschloss, NBC News presidential historian.

And I want to start where I ended there with you, Yamiche, because it`s kind of odd to me -- and I don`t know if it is to you as a journalist that`s covered the White House and has covered multiple White Houses -- that the ascension of that back row, of Kamala Harris and Speaker Pelosi, who will be seated there -- and this has never happened in American history, a woman of color and a woman speaker -- it kind of happened kind of without comment.

It`s weird how it`s just happened, and it`s not controversial or remarkable anymore.

YAMICHE ALCINDOR, "PBS NEWSHOUR": Well, that really is because so many people have been pushing to make this, in some ways, unremarkable, making it somewhat normal to see women in high-powered positions, to see a woman as vice president and as speaker of the House.

Nancy Pelosi herself has been a trailblazer in the Democratic Party, really putting a face to exactly what women can do. Talking to people at the White House, talking to sources at the White House today, my understanding is that President Biden will be leaning into the historic nature of this address.

It, of course, is his first address to Congress. But he will also be talking about what you were just talking about. Only 112 days ago, a mob stormed into the building that I`m now standing in, trying to stop President Biden from being president, even though, of course, he was legitimately elected.

So this is also a moment where White House officials tell me he`s going to really be leaning in on the idea that we have to restore faith to democracy, that we have to really be giving Americans the tools to survive and thrive. And part of that is also focusing on workers, specifically focusing on women workers.

We know a number of them have dropped out of the work force during the pandemic. So he`s going to be talking about that. So, while this isn`t going to be something that he`s going to -- I think, going to be focused on, the two women standing behind him, what he`s going to talk about in his speech goes straight to that, talking about racial justice, talk about the need to change policing in this country.

All of those things are going to be top of mind as he takes to the podium with those two women in those historic positions.

REID: Yes, I mean, it will be remarkable to see.

But, Michael, that is the thing that is different. I mean, I don`t know how people have tried to minimize what happened on January 6. I can`t get it out of my mind. I`m sure that you can`t get it out of your mind as a historian, as -- just as a human being.


REID: But it strikes me that not only will Biden, as Yamiche said, be there talking about what he`s calling the most -- the worst attack on our country since the Civil War, strong language, but he will be doing it in front of some of the insurrectionists` supporters.

Ted Cruz will be there, people like Kevin McCarthy, who voted to overturn the election, Lauren Boebert, Representative Andy Biggs, who was said by even Ali Alexander, who was one of the organizers: Hey, he helped me do this.

Cindy Hyde-Smith, Roger Marshall, Rick Scott. That, to me, is -- I don`t know. What is it to you?

BESCHLOSS: I think it is strange and horrible and something we didn`t even see at the time of the Civil War, because, when Abraham Lincoln would send a message to the Congress, he wasn`t sending it to Jefferson Davis and people like that who had served in Congress, because they fled.

The South seceded, and they were gone. And the result was that Lincoln, at least when he sent messages to Congress, was sending messages to people who, by and large, wanted to see the nation survive. So that`s a little bit different.

And this was the worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War. You know, Pearl Harbor cost maybe 2,400 lives, and 9/11, another terrible attack, 3,000. But, in those cases, our democracy was not in jeopardy, just as Yamiche was saying. Think of the 6th of January.

If those terrorists who committed that attack on our Capitol had been a little bit faster, they could have and probably would have executed the vice president, executed the speaker of the House, executed other members and leaders of Congress, possibly started a hostage crisis, kidnapped the mahogany boxes in which there were ballots that were saying that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris would be the next president vice president.

Had that happened. I have no doubt they would have demanded that Joe Biden`s inauguration be suspended and perhaps insisted that Donald Trump be re-inaugurated as president as the price of ending this hostage crisis.

REID: Yes.

And so, just to make that point, let me play for you -- and those of you who haven`t seen the whole interview, you should really see it. Commendations to my friend Don Lemon at CNN, who interviewed Michael Fanone.

You have seen him on TV before talking about his experience, but not like this. This is part of that interview where he talked about what he experienced on January 6, as a Capitol Police officer.


MICHAEL FANONE, D.C. METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT: I experienced a group of individuals that were trying to kill me to accomplish their goal.

Yes, I mean, I experienced the most brutal, savage hand-to-hand combat of my entire life.

How we managed to make it out of that day without more significant loss of life is a miracle.


REID: And these are people that Senator Ron Johnson has described as people he didn`t fear at all. He thought they were fine. Donald Trump said he loved them.

I cannot get past that, Michael Beschloss. And there will be Capitol Police officers stationed there as well. And they`re -- I -- it`s an interesting thing that they`re all going to have to reexperience together on this momentous night.

BESCHLOSS: That`s exactly right.

And one nice thing about this evening is that, for Joe Biden to go in there and give a speech in a way that seems similar to the way that other presidents have all the way back to George Washington sort of closes the circle.

But the danger to democracy is still there, as Joe Biden is also going to say tonight. There are still groups in this country, even in Congress, just as you were saying, Joy, who would like to see this union torn apart, who are plotting against our democracy.

If Joe Biden fails as president, that might be more likely.

REID: And if -- exactly.

And then there`s if he succeeds as president, Yamiche, because Joe Biden has given himself a very lengthy to-do list. What -- the things that he`s already gotten through -- the Recovery Act was $1.9 trillion. It`s pretty huge. Rejoining the Paris climate accord and things like that, the sanctions on Russia, the -- ending the war in Afghanistan and bringing our troops home. So that`s a big deal.

But the things he wants to do, another $1.8 trillion in this American Family Plan, $2 trillion in American infrastructure plan, voting rights legislation, the George Floyd Justice Act, which seems awfully urgent, the COVID-19 hate crimes act, rolling back tax cuts to corporations, things that are really popular, that poll really well.

He`s already accomplished probably the biggest thing on his to-do list, which is start to beat back the pandemic that`s killed more than half-a- million Americans.

What does the White House -- how big is he going to go on the pressure that he will use this speech to try to put on those selfsame Republicans who he`s got to deal with to try to get this agenda through?

ALCINDOR: Well, this speech and this big moment for President Biden is going to be all about pushing Congress, pushing lawmakers, the people standing right in front of him, sitting right in front of him, to do something and to legislate.

He`s going to be talking about $6 trillion in spending, if you take them all together. There`s the American Rescue act, which, of course, was focused on COVID, the jobs plan, which is really about jobs and infrastructure, and roads and bridges, and then the families act, which is, of course, education, and health care, and medical leave, and all of the different things that the president says will be really a generational investment to help Americans survive and thrive amid this pandemic and this economic crisis, along with a racial reckoning.

So, a lot of this is going to be the president ticking through, saying, you need to pass the Policing Act, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. You need to pass immigration, so that DACA recipients, dreamers, as well as farmworkers and immigrants in this country who have contributed so much without legal status, that they should all get a pathway to citizenship.

He`s going to be talking about the role that the vice president is planning in trying to root out the root causes of immigration issues, working with the Northern Triangle countries.

And he`s also going to be focusing on trying to also just pass legislation gun reforms, talking about the tragedies that we have all had to live with, these mass shootings. So, the president really is going to be talking at length about all the different ways that he wants to see these lawmakers actually act and pass legislation.

REID: Yes.

I will say it again. People like government they can see and feel in front of them. They know they can see it in their bank account. They can see it in the roads. They can see it in a bridge. They can see it in their lives. That`s what people -- and he understands. That is his superpower, one of his superpowers. The other one is kindness.

Yamiche Alcindor, Michael Beschloss, thank you both very much.

Coming up, we are still waiting for authorities to release bodycam footage from that deadly shooting last week in North Carolina.

Meanwhile, there`s yet another case of a man dying under an officer`s knee, this time in California.

We will be right back.


REID: President Biden is expected to make police reform a central focus of tonight`s address, and it couldn`t come at a more critical time.

Despite a week of protests from the community in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, today, a judge denied a request to release body camera footage of the shooting of Andrew Brown Jr. by sheriff`s deputies to the public for at least the next 30 days. He cited ongoing investigations.

And Brown`s family won`t get to see additional footage until the faces of the deputies involved are blurred to protect their identities. The judge did order that four bodycam videos and one dash-cam be made available to the family within the next 10 days, as opposed to the 20-second video the family viewed on Monday.

In a statement, family attorney Ben Crump said he was disappointed -- quote -- "In this modern civil rights crisis, where we see black people killed by the police everywhere we look, video evidence is the key to discerning the truth and getting well-deserved justice for victims of senseless murders" - - unquote.

Body camera footage is the focus of another death in police custody, this one of 26-year-old Mario Gonzalez in California on April 19. Video released today showed Alameda police officers pitting him to the ground for several minutes face down.

And we should warn you, this video is disturbing.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, no wonder. Yes, I got it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got it. What do you have?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, it wasn`t that. Hey. No.



REID: Police claim today they attempted to detain Gonzalez, and a physical altercation ensued, and that he suffered a medical emergency.

And if that sounds familiar, it`s because Minneapolis police made the same initial claim about the death of George Floyd. So, we`re just going to wait to see how that investigation plays out.

At a rally demanding release of the bodycam video yesterday, Gonzalez`s brother said his brother`s death in police custody was in the same manner as George Floyd`s.

President Biden is expected to make a renewed push tonight to pass the police reform bill named for George Floyd, the Justice in Policing Act, which Vice President Kamala Harris co-authored as a California senator.

Joining me now, Paul Butler, Georgetown law professor and former federal prosecutor, and Marq Claxton, retired NYPD detective and director of the Black Law Enforcement Alliance.

Paul, I want to go to you first on the refusal to release this video.

They`re making the statement that, essentially, people will see the video and jump to conclusions. But people are already jumping to conclusions. What do you make of this denial of the release?

PAUL BUTLER, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, the judge is claiming releasing the video now will impact the investigation.

That`s a common excuse when the cops don`t want the public to see something. Joy, we have seen more transparency in other high-profile cases. In Columbus, Ohio, video was released within hours of the shooting of Ma`Khia Bryant, the same in Chicago after the police killed Adam Toledo.

With Mr. Brown`s killing, I think there is a legitimate concern about a cover-up. If the video exonerated the cops, I think we would have seen it by now.

REID: That is the point. And I think that is clear.

And, Marq, just on the Alameda case, because we`re trying to keep all of these cases in our minds at the same time, but there are similarities between that case, the statement that was put out, and the statement that was put out on George Floyd.

In George Floyd`s case, they say: "Officers were able to get the suspects into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress. Officers called for an ambulance. He was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center in an ambulance, where he died a short time later."

That was a lie.

And, here, the Mario Gonzalez case is that: "Officers attempted to detain the man and a physical altercation ensued. At that time, the man had a medical emergency. Officers immediately began lifesaving measures and requested the Alameda Fire Department to the scene. Alameda Fire Department transported the male to a local area hospital, where he later died."

These almost read like cookie-cutter statements that are put out that just pop out of a vending machine. And that`s why I like to refer to them as claims. I don`t even say they said. I just say they claimed, because you really -- they fall apart so often.


And, unfortunately, we`re stuck in this tragic time loop, where black and brown bodies are routinely now, on a regular basis, just killed at the hands of law enforcement.

We`re getting to witness not only the apathy of government in large part over these killings, but the ugly underside of what has become the policing profession, which forces us to make some harsh decisions moving forward as to whether or not -- how we want to proceed with this policing thing.


REID: And let me ask you this question.

Marq, let me ask you this question, because you`re a former law enforcement officer. What is going on? Does -- it feels like, after the initial Black Lives Matter movement started to build up, there was a reduction in violence, that police took a second thought and took a step back before committing violence.

This feels like an escalation. Does it feel like that to you?

CLAXTON: The only reason it does not feel like an escalation to me is because I realize, and I have been connected to some of these stories for a very long time, that this has been happening for a long time.

It`s just that we are now more in tune and covering it differently and really discussing the issues much more in-depth than we have ever done.

But, if you look historically, these cases are not new. It`s just that there`s more video, and there`s more opportunity to discuss these issues.

REID: Paul, the -- one of the jurors in the Chauvin trial has spoken out. He was on "The Today Show." This juror was on "The Today Show."

Let`s take a listen to what they said.


BRANDON MITCHELL, CHAUVIN TRIAL JUROR: I thought the evidence that -- the evidence was overwhelming that he was guilty, in my opinion, I thought it was a no-brainer, like I said, after Dr. Tobin and all the other witnesses.

We`re everyday civilians that put our families, our jobs and our days aside to serve justice, to serve justice. And we walked in with an open mind. And we were waiting to see -- we did our due diligence to see what the defense was going to come up with. We just felt like the evidence was overwhelming for our verdict.

It had nothing to do with pressure from anywhere.


REID: And it`s important that he said that at the end.

But it did, I think -- I wouldn`t be wrong when I had to say that it had something to do with also the makeup of the jury being multiple races, not being an all-white jury, being a jury that included people who had a bit more skepticism of police`s side of the story.

BUTLER: It was a jury that looked like America and that made a huge difference. We learned from this jury that the video impacted the jury the same way it impacted the world.

They watched it, what they were deliberating, and they chose to believe their own eyes.

REID: Yeah.

I want to also note for you fairly quickly, stay with you, Paul, for just a moment. We do know that the Georgia men who killed Ahmaud Arbery are going to be charged with hate crimes. Three Georgia men, they were indicted today by a federal grand jury in the Southern District of Georgia, charged with hate crimes and attempted kidnapping of Ahmaud Arbery, and the indictment also charges two of the men with separate counts of using firearms during that crime of violence.

What`s the significance of that? Because one of these men is a former police officer, too.

BUTLER: Yeah. So, the significance, Joy, is that race matters. Race will be an issue in this case. In other cases like the Chauvin trial where everybody knows racism is an important factor, it doesn`t come up.

So I think this will give the victim`s family some resolution, some if not closure, at least acknowledgment that one reason that Mr. Arbery was killed is because he is black.

REID: Let`s take a big step back, Marq. I`ve seen you talking about this on other shows and I want to get you back on this again. And I`m sorry you`re asked this every time you`re on TV.

But what the hell do we do about this? Because, honestly, police have just lost so much credibility. You know, we just went through the fact when I see a police statement, I call it claim. I can`t even say they said, because you just don`t know whether to believe it or not. It seems so cookie cutter and designed to exculpate the officers no matter.

These police unions seem to stand in the way of any kind of reform. There`s no transparency. We can`t get the bodycam footage.

What the -- what do we do to make this a system that people feel that is worth paying tax money for?

MARQ CLAXTON, DIRECTOR, BLACK LAW ENFORCEMENT ALLIANCE: What we do is to demand full transparency and really take a good look at the underside that I mentioned earlier. Also, recognize that policing is just one arm of a, quote/unquote, crooked system, if you will. And all the calls for significant and substantive police reform, which I support fully, will not heal what ails us because you have court systems and you have that structure for part of this larger criminal justice picture. So, the first step is to really modernize your police concept and have clear national standards.

REID: And it feels, Paul, like there has to be a bifurcation. Jason Johnson has said this a bunch that you almost need to have a public safety position and you have about police system, because you do need somebody to investigate crime. Police are really good at that.

But this other thing where they`re out writing tickets for somebody with, you know, dice hanging in their car, or for minor infractions, responding to, you know, people who are having a mental health crisis. Sending a person who`s trained in violence to deal with most of this stuff just seems like nonsensical at this point, particularly when it comes to black and brown people.

BUTLER: That`s exactly right, Joy.

The man in Oakland, California, Al Madoff (ph), the call was for drinking in public. Eric Garner allegedly selling a Lucy cigarette. George Floyd using a counterfeit $20 bill. They all ended up dead.

To enforce those petty crimes, we don`t need people who are licensed to kill. People should get tickets for misdemeanor offenses.

REID: That`s right.

BUTLER: When the cops show up, the situation escalates into tragedy far too often.

REID: We have a whole kind of police that just give you tickets on your car. If you could come up with that system, which is also just revenue based, you can come up with something else for the majority of this stuff and let police be detectives and solve crimes. That to me seems like Occam razor solution. But you guys are the professionals.

Thank you both, Paul Butler and Marq Claxton. Thank you. Really appreciate you.

And up next, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is here to talk with us about Biden`s address tonight, voting rights, policing reform, infrastructure -- you name it. We have a lot to talk about.

And on Friday night, Hillary Clinton, former senator, former secretary of state, former presidential nominee, joins me as we discuss President Biden`s first 100 days. You do not want to miss that. Stay with us.


REID: Just about an hour from now, President Biden will return to the Capitol, the place where he spent more than three decades of his professional life. But this time, it will be to deliver his first address to Congress as president of the United States. While in the House chamber, still scarred from the Trump inspired Republican sanctioned insurrection, Biden will lay out an ambitious plan to invigorate the country`s infrastructure and invest in the American people.

The man in charge of confronting Republican obstruction and getting that legislative agenda through the Senate is Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who joins me now.

Leader Schumer, thank you very much for being here.

I`m going to jump right into the thing that I`m most obsessed about which is voting because it`s -- without voting you get nothing else, right?

And I want to let you listen to what Joe Manchin, the senator from West Virginia, has said about using -- or I`ll read to you what he said about using the filibuster to -- on the For the People Act, basically getting rid of the filibuster to put through this critical voting bill.

He says: How in the world could you with the tension we have right now allow a voting bill to restructure the voting of America on a partisan line? I`m not going to be a part of it.

To me, that contains a lie because it`s not restructuring voting on a partisan line, it`s letting everybody vote. That`s not partisan. That`s American.

If he`s talking like that, will anything else be able to get through? If he is -- if he is more, you know, devoted to the filibuster than he is to voting rights, how do we get anywhere?

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), MAJORITY LEADER: Well, first, let me say I couldn`t agree with you more. Voting rights is fundamental to our society. What these Republican legislatures are doing is despicable.

When you lose an election in a democracy, Joy, you try to win the people you lost. When you lose an election in an autocratic, dictatorial type of government, you take people off the rolls. And what they`re trying to do is make it harder for poor people, people of color, young people, urban people to vote. It`s despicable and it cannot stand.

REID: But --

SCHUMER: So the question is, how can we get it done?

REID: Uh-huh.

SCHUMER: And there are a number of members of my caucus who say let`s try things in a bipartisan way. Let`s see if we can get Republicans to join us in dealing with this sacred issue of voting rights. And they`re going to try.

And, hey, God bless them. If they can get Republicans to join us in big, bold reform, not dilute, half-baked reform, that would be the best way to go.

But if they can`t get us -- if they can`t get us to join them, then we will have to put our (AUDIO GAP) way (AUDIO GAP) to get it done. As I`ve said before and I`ve said this to all of my colleagues, failure is not an option. Voting is too sacred. And everything will be on the table to get it done. They want their chance to prove bipartisanship, they`ll have their chance. But that -- if we cannot get bipartisanship with big, bold relief, everything will be on the table.

REID: You did tell my colleague Mehdi Hasan that you have a deadline in terms of passing major election reform.


REID: Probably around August.

Is that around the time that then you go back to a Joe Manchin, to a Kyrsten Sinema who, you know, sort of trolled her supporters with like, you know, some bling on her finger, she`s doing things that even seemed trolling at this point. And Manchin is being very ostentatious and basically saying I am more devoted to the old Jim Crow filibuster than I am to voting rights or to anything, to infrastructure for my own state, I don`t care. He`s made it very clear.

What tools do you have if we get to August and they`re still saying no? What can you do to get them off the dime?

SCHUMER: First, the reason August, I said on your colleague`s show, was because if we wait until much past August, then these horrible changes that these Republican legislatures are putting into effect may not be undone in time for the 2022 elections. But, you know, you have the primaries in some of these states, in February or March or whatever.

So we have to get it done by then, about then. And basically, we will look at every option.

Again, I have some colleagues who are not now, as you stated, for going at it alone. They want to try bipartisanship. I`m willing to give them a little time to try at that bipartisanship.

REID: Have they --


SCHUMER: But two points.

REID: Yeah.

SCHUMER: Two points.

One, we cannot have bipartisanship like we sort of did in 2009 and dilute everything so it`s not very real. It has -- this is sacred and you can`t have it half baked. You`ve got to protect voting rights, period.

And second, we will not let them drag it out and drag it out and drag it out. But I`ve already said to the handful of my colleagues, go start talking to the Republicans now and see what they`re willing to do. They may not be willing to do everything, but they want the chance at this -- at this time. I think that`s fair to give them the chance, but not to let it get in the way.

Failure is not an option no matter what the Republicans do.

REID: I promise this will be my last question, my last shot at this. What is your leverage, though? Is this -- is this a case where the Democratic Senate Congressional Committee says if you want to, you know, be fully supported by us, you have, you know, fund-raising leverage, what is the leverage that you have over people like Sinema and Manchin?


SCHUMER: The biggest leverage we have -- the biggest leverage we have first is the merits. This is not what a democracy does. And I think they admit that.

I mean, I think Sinema supports S-1. You know, I named it S-1 after HR-1 because I thought it was so important.

So the biggest leverage we have is this the right thing to do.

But second, there`s more leverage. Our caucus is going to know if we enact these laws, it makes the chances of us keeping the majority -- if we fail to, if we fail to block these laws, I mean, the chances of our caucus retaining the majority and people who are up for reelection like Kelly and Warnock winning is greatly diminished.

REID: Yeah, let`s go to some of these other things. I mean, you`ve got voting rights, infrastructure, police reform, gun reform, immigration, DACA -- it`s a very big menu of things.

SCHUMER: But, you know, here`s what I want to say, Joy.

REID: Yeah.

SCHUMER: Tonight is a great night.

First, we`re going to have President Biden, not President Trump sitting there, someone who`s interested in the truth, who`s interested in improving the lives of the poor and the middle class.

Second, you`re going to have two women sitting behind him -- Nancy Pelosi and kamala Harris, who is also going to be the first woman of color to sit there and be as vice president.

But third, and maybe more important than that great symbolism we have is he`s going to propose a big, bold plan to help America dealing with traditional infrastructure, dealing with green infrastructure, but also dealing with human infrastructure.

The parts of this bill are so important, human capital is as important -- I`m not saying one is better than the other, you need both --

REID: Right.

SCHUMER: -- you know, as well as roads, bridges, et cetera, to improve child care, to improve paid sick leave, to make pre-K universal, to make community college free. That`s going to make us a much stronger country, and it`s been ignored for too long.

REID: Yeah.

SCHUMER: So this is really a good day.

And then he will propose, you know, the way to pay for it by undoing a lot of the Trump tax cuts.

REID: Yeah, we are out of time.

SCHUMER: Which just went to the top 1 percent.

REID: We are out of time.


REID: Do you have a quick thought on your fellow New Yorker, Rudy Giuliani, and his travails? Very quickly.

SCHUMER: Well, you know, for the first time now, we have a Justice Department that will follow the law and unturn every stone. It`s not like the Trump Justice Department. I have faith they will find everything.

REID: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, thank you for spending some time with us this evening. Really appreciate it.

SCHUMER: Nice to be with you. Thanks.

REID: Thank you.

All right. Don`t go anywhere, everybody. I will be back in just a moment with my pals Brian Williams, Rachel Maddow, Nicolle Wallace for live coverage of President Biden`s first address to a joint session of Congress. You do not want to miss it. It`s going to be the gang all back together.

Stay with us.