Chauvin trial focuses on use of force training. St. Louis Officers were acquitted of charges they beat black undercover colleague at protest. Chauvin had 17 complaints against him before encounter with George Floyd. Officers say crowd distracted them during Floyd arrest. Biden moves up vaccine eligibility date to April 19. States race to vaccinate amid rise in COVID cases. Texas Rangers go against CDC guidance, host first full- capacity game. GOP Governors Abbott, DeSantis restrict vaccine passports. More than two dozen members of the white supremacist group, the Proud Boys, have been arrested in connection with the January 6th insurrection.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, everyone. We begin THE REIDOUT tonight with the latest witness testimony in the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin. With the prosecution spending another day reinforcing a crucial argument in their case, that Chauvin`s use of force with his knee on George Floyd`s neck for more than nine minutes was not part of department training.
That`s what Police Lieutenant Johnny Mercil, who oversees the Minneapolis Police Department`s use of force training and who trained Chauvin on defensive tactics in 2018 testified to when presented with the image of Chauvin with his knee on Floyd`s neck, which he -- which we warn may be disturbing for some viewers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is this an MPD trained neck restraint?
LT. JOHNNY MERCIL, MINNEAPOLIS POLICE: No, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Has it ever been?
MERCIL: Not that I -- neck restraint? No, sir.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Now, the department`s policy does not forbid the act of using a knee on a suspect`s neck, which Lieutenant Mercil acknowledged. But he did say that the technique is no longer authorized once the person is handcuffed and under control, as Floyd was.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Say, for example, the subject was under control and handcuffed, would this be authorized?
MERCIL: I would say no.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: But a cross-examination the defense countered that Chauvin`s knee was at times on Floyd`s back, but the prosecutors made the case that it`s not about the placement of the knee but the duration, which, again, was nine minutes and 29 seconds, longer than initially reported.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would it be appropriate and within training to hold a subject in that prone restrained position with a knee on the neck and a knee on the back for an extended period of time after the subject has stopped offering any resistance?
MERCIL: No, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Or has lost their pulse?
MERCIL: No, sir.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Out of Chauvin`s former colleagues who took the stand, five of them, including the chief of police, the man who fired Chauvin, and the other officers who participated in George Floyd`s death that day, all directly said that what Chauvin did was wrong and that he did not follow department policy.
And yet, despite what might seem to those who watch this trial to be an obvious case for abuse of power or manslaughter or murder, in this case, despite the fact that the killing took place on tape in front of the world, prosecutors still face steep legal challenges in winning a conviction against a police officer, while all the defense has to do is find just one member of the jury to take Derek Chauvin`s side.
But convictions, they do happen on occasion. One recent case also involving the Minneapolis Police Department exposes not just the challenges in prosecuting police but also the disparate ways in which justice is often served. That case involves former officer Mohamed Noor who fatally shot a white woman, an Australian tourist, while on duty. Noor, was ultimately convicted of third-degree murder and sentenced to 12 and a half years in prison. His case is now in appeal.
Chief Arradando, who testified bluntly and compellingly against Chauvin, took the stand in the Noor case as well. Noor, is one of the few police officers nationwide to get convicted for killing someone, and some point to the case as proof of a double standard in the criminal justice system and that race can play a role in who gets justice and who goes to prison.
Joining me now is Katie Phang, Trial Attorney and MSNBC Legal Contributor, and Marq Claxton, Retired NYPD Detective and Director of the Black Law Enforcement Alliance.
And I`m going to actually ask both of you this question but I`m going to start with you, Marq. There are a lot of cases and I have covered a lot of Black Lives Matter cases, too many, for my psychological health, but there are some in which you look at the case and you think, that`s an easy conviction. Walter Scott is one of them. Eric Garner is one of them.
In the Walter Scott case, a video emerged from a bystander showing the officer shooting Walter Scott in the back and literally dropping a taser to frame him for his own death, shot him in the back as he`s running away. Clear, convincing, jury hung.
The case of Eric Garner, the first case in which we heard, I can`t breathe, at least in the modern era. He`s on the ground, he`s struggling, police officers are choking him. He is, again, no, the officer is cleared in that case as well.
Eric Garner`s mom was actually in court today watching this and I`m sure it`s painful for her to be there and watch this, but can you just walk us through this, because the use of force continuum allows police to use all kinds of force up to killing someone. Why is it so hard to see justice in cases that look obvious to the layperson to convict a cop?
MARQ CLAXTON, RETIRED NYPD DETECTIVE: The painful realization is that the -- and history shows us this constantly, time and time again, there is no simple or straightforward police killing case when it involves black people. And it really is a matter of race and the perceptions of race, the bias, implicit in law enforcement, the toxic police culture itself, and the perceptions of those people who serve as our jurors.
I think what makes this case in particular unusual, at least thus far, and let me be clear about something, I had no delusions of grandeur in regards to this particular case. I`m not confident that this case is a slam dunk even with the overwhelming evidence, but what is important, at least is the discussion about the critical decision-making process that police engage in.
It seems as if when there is a black or brown person involved, all of a sudden, the decision making process goes awry and that leads to these tragedies and fatalities that we have experienced. But history shows us, it`s about race.
REID: It`s hard to get away from that. I mean, this is (INAUDIBLE) from my producers, there`s a story about a St. Louis Police Officer who was beaten up by his own colleagues while he was off duty working a Black Lives Matter event. They thought he was a Black Lives Matter protester, beat him up, he ended up having to get surgery. No convictions. The white officers beat this black cop. Nothing happened to them and that`s just the way it seems to always go, Katie.
And I feel like one of the reasons is, police get a lot of leeway from juries who want to believe the police, particularly juries if there are lots of white members on the jury, let`s just be blunt, and trust the cops. But also, you find out so much more about the dead black person than you ever do about the cops.
In this case, Derek Chauvin had 17 complaints against him for excessive force, 17 of them. All but one of them ended with no disciplinary actions. This man only served for 19 years. That means all but -- almost one excessive force complaint for every year he was a cop. That`s not coming in, but George Floyd`s using drugs, that gets to come in. Please explain how that can happen.
KATIE PHANG, MSNBC LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it`s the legal double standard because the case law allows it to happen. And, basically, the reason why we`re not hearing about Derek Chauvin`s past is that there is a concern that the jury will race to judgment and basically convict him for his, quote, prior bad acts.
And so, the reason why the jury is hearing about George Floyd`s drug usage and his history of drug usage is it is a defense that is being raised by Derek Chauvin. It doesn`t seem to make sense but it`s exactly what happens.
And in terms of the legal burden of proof, in a criminal case, it`s beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt, so in and of itself, and understandably so, because somebody`s liberty is at stake, the criminal burden of proof is higher than in a civil case.
But what we`re finding, Joy, is that the reasons why cops get such leeway is because it`s a reasonable person standard that is applied, meaning, is the cop acting reasonably in the circumstances provided?
But in the George Floyd case, as we`ve heard now today, through the parade of police experts, as well as yesterday through the Chief of Police himself, Arradando, from the Minneapolis Police Department, the deviation, the complete disregard and the unauthorized use of neck restraints could be exactly what the prosecution needs to be able to get Derek Chauvin convicted. Why? Because he didn`t act reasonably.
The use of force matrix allows, like you said, cops to be able to go as far as lethal force when they`re doing their job. But it is a constant, fluid evaluation and Chauvin`s defense keeps on saying that that is exactly what allowed Chauvin to be able to do this, that the crowd was getting unruly, that they were threatening and menacing the police officers.
But the reality is, you cannot substitute the welfare of people on the street and who your arrestee is. You cannot do that. And with George Floyd saying, I can`t breathe, and them being unresponsive for almost five minutes, Derek Chauvin deviated from the standard of care that professional officers have to apply and that`s the reason why, beyond a reasonable doubt, he should be convicted for these crimes.
REID: And I should note that the complaint against Derek Chauvin, they were not all for excessive force. They just were 17 complaints in his 19- year history.
Let`s show the crowd just a little bit because this has been a big part of the defense case. They`re trying to show the crowd. This is cut five. This is them yelling at the police while this is happening. Here they are. There`s a still and there`s also five, which is the actual crowd moving. Here they are.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bro, he was just moving when I walked up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, you all are going to wait for the ambulance?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does he have a pulse?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m busy trying to deal with you guys right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bro, (BLEEP) breathing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s three of you guys. You guys should be able to (BLEEP), that`s your (BLEEP) job, right?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: I also just want to note for you, Marq, number one, Officer Thao, who you see standing there, never called for back-up. If the crowd was so threatening, he didn`t call for back-up. Also one of the officers ended up leaving and getting in an ambulance and going with George Floyd to the hospital so they were down to three officers. And Derek Chauvin, if you look at his face, looked perfectly calm and relaxed as he`s choking this man to death.
But I want to come to you on another thing because you brought this up a little bit. This whole thing about excited delirium, we`re now seeing the defense try to essentially make it that George Floyd basically died, basically of a drug overdose that had nothing to do with Derek Chauvin. This whole excited delirium has come up before. There`s a piece in The New York Times, says, according to a report by the Brooking Institution, the term excited delirium is disproportionately applied to black people and was first used to in 1985 to explain a series of sudden deaths in cocaine users occurring primarily while in police custody.
This notion that black people, particularly black men have super human strength and any drug that they`re taking means they can rise from the dead, basically, which is what you have to believe to believe Derek Chauvin`s defense, and still attack police officers, they`re always a threat. As long as it`s a black man, they`re a threat even after death. Your thoughts.
CLAXTON: Yes. It`s part of the -- you know, it`s the racializing of individuals. It`s creating the boogeyman. It`s creating the superhuman strength from all black people. It`s increasing the threat level that is allegedly inherent in being black, and that`s part of the problem. The perception of black people by law enforcement, the criminal justice system as a whole, creates these environments where, you know, our lives are in jeopardy on a more regular basis than anyone else, and it is strictly about race.
And let`s be clear about something and it`s come out during this trial. It`s important to note that police officers across the nation, across the world, are taught to use the least amount of force necessary to accomplish the goal. That is it. Everything else is extra and additional, tactics, training, all of this stuff is extra and additional, the least amount of force in order to accomplish the goal.
Now, apparently, the goal for Mr. Chauvin was killing George Floyd.
REID: It is very hard to watch the video, but to me, the creepiest thing is to watch Chauvin`s face. He looks unbothered while people are yelling at him, you`re killing him.
CLAXTON: It`s police form.
REID: Right. People are -- yes. It`s hard to watch.
CLAXTON: (INAUDIBLE). It is actually see -- you can actually see Chauvin - - you can actually see Chauvin staring and glaring at the witnesses there and imagining, I`m assuming, just based on his police form, just imagining those witnesses that he`s glaring at under his knee. That`s what I took from that video.
REID: It`s scary to watch. Thank you both. Katie Phang, Marq Claxton, you guys are great thanks for being here again this evening.
And up next on THE REIDOUT, President Biden announces an acceleration of the vaccination timeline amid the spread of deadly new coronavirus variants.
And frankly jarring scenes like this one with maskless baseball fans packing a crowded stadium in Texas.
Plus, General Russel Honore, joins me to discuss the results of his official review of Capitol security in the wake of the January insurrection.
And tonight`s absolute worst is a rogue`s gallery of bad actors pushing the latest right-wing fabrication about that insurrection. There`s a stunning new poll that indicates how potent those lies have been.
Plus, the latest on Matt Gaetz and a tribute to the late Florida Congressman Alcee Hastings.
THE REIDOUT continues after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: By the end of May, the vast majority of adult Americans will have gotten at least their first shot. That`s success. That success is going to save lives and get this country back to normal sooner.
But it`s not enough. By no later than April 19th, in every part of this country, every adult over the age of 18, 18 or older, will be eligible to be vaccinated. No more confusing rules.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: That was President Biden today announcing that he`s moving up the deadline for adults to be eligible for vaccines. As he toured a vaccination site earlier today, states across the country have aggressively ramped up their vaccination programs. An average of roughly 3 million Americans are getting vaccinated every day. Back in January, when Biden took office, that figure was well under 1 million.
And while this is tremendous news for the country, the stark reality is we are not out of the woods. Health officials are racing to vaccinate people before new mutations take hold. Cases are rising sharply in parts of the country, including the northeast, Midwest, and the Sun Belt states. The country is averaging around 65,000 cases a day, which is on par with the infection levels we saw back during the second surge.
Some politicians seem to be ignoring the current reality, however. Last night, the Texas Rangers hosted its first full capacity baseball game against CDC guidelines. Texas Governor Greg Abbott, the genius who green lit that potential super-spreader, is also banning state agencies, political subdivisions, and organizations that receive public funds from requiring proof of vaccination.
It`s an idea he seems to have cribbed from another super genius, Ron DeSantis, the Florida governor, who banned private corporations, like the cruise industry, from doing the same thing. That`s right. We`re currently getting lectures about businesses overstepping their bounds from the party that spent years defending a Colorado baker`s right to refuse service to LGBTQ couples who dared to want a wedding cake.
Joining me now, Dr. Vin Gupta, critical care pulmonologist, and Kurt Bardella, former House Oversight Committee spokesman.
Let me go to you first, Dr. Gupta.
I feel like I might be the most scared of COVID on Earth. I think I have gotten tested more than anyone else. I`m -- and I have gotten one vaccine.
But I`m seeing people around me even who I know who are relaxing significantly, and trying to go back to normal life, which feels very premature to me. What does the data say?
DR. VIN GUPTA, NBC NEWS MEDICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Joy, good evening. Good to see you.
And I think your team -- I`m going to go reference it right now. Your team has a slide that I`m hoping we can show on air...
GUPTA: ... about what progress -- what our progress is right now, which is real, but it`s tenuous.
And I`m going to draw all your viewers` attention to that pink line through the end -- into July. That`s the worst-case scenario. We don`t think that`s likely, but that`s the worst-case scenario, about 100,000 new infections a day, 1,500 infections well into the summer -- or 1,500 deaths, rather.
That green line is what we think is likely to happen, Joy, but that presumes that, for the next two-and-a-half months, we continue to stay vigilant while we await broad vaccination. If we do not do that, there`s enough uncertainty, whether it`s the new strains potentially impacting younger people in ways we didn`t previously recognize.
I just came from a week in the ICU down in Tucson. I was seeing a younger population in intensive care. This virus is unpredictable. The more advantages we give it, the greater the likelihood this doesn`t end. We have time. Time is not on our side. But we have science on our side and vaccines on our side. We just need a little bit more time.
And I feel like people are so eager to get back to their lives that they`re just sort of pretending it`s over, when it`s not over. We saw that packed stadium. We have seen -- have heard about packed movie theaters for the Kong vs. Godzilla movie. It`s scary to me.
But, Kurt, it`s all become so political, right? I mean, my poor team is so sick of me hearing -- describing the -- COVID as basically the alien in "Aliens." And just when you think it`s over, right, and you think that you have got it under control, it morphs into a whole different kind of alien.
And then it pops out of somebody else`s chest. And we`re just constantly being Ripley trying to chase it down. But it feels like that`s what it is. And Republicans are that guy who keeps like letting the alien on the ship, so it can go back to Earth.
REID: Like, can you explain, having lived in sort of that political world, why they seem to be pro-COVID-spreading? Do they want COVID to spread, do you think? I don`t understand it.
KURT BARDELLA, FORMER HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE SPOKESMAN: Well, I think, Joy, we have to go back to the beginning and the acknowledgement that, for the better part of the duration of this epidemic, the Republican Party has been the party that`s been trying at every step of the way to downplay the severity of this virus.
We had a president who wouldn`t even acknowledge the American people its severity, despite knowing months in advance how serious it was, acknowledging it in those Bob Woodward tapes from that book from last year.
We had a president who multiple times said, we`re turning the quarter, we`re getting through this, it`s not a big deal. We had a president who recommended that we inject ourselves with bleach to get through this virus.
So, for the better part of a year, the Republican Party made a calculated decision that it was better for them and their political fortunes to downplay the virus, rather than do the responsible, moral, ethical, and smart thing, address it head on, and maybe we wouldn`t be at this place right now with more than half-a-million Americans dead. They wouldn`t do that.
Now here we are again. And, on one hand, they want to tell you that they should get credit for the speed of vaccines in this country. On the other hand, half the people who voted for Donald Trump don`t want to take the vaccines in the first place because they have this fear of it.
They have this unfounded, ridiculous, baked in from conservative propaganda Republican media, that this isn`t something that we should be taking seriously, that it`s OK to congregate, it`s OK to fill 40,000 people with a stadium in Texas. By the way, you want to know where the next super- spreader is going to happen, it`s going to be in Texas, all the while they`re doing everything to undermine the progress that President Biden`s putting forward.
Part of the reason why we`re seeing him move the goalposts to expand broader reach of vaccinations is because we need more people to get it now because Republican states are acting irresponsibly and helping spread the virus at the same time we`re finally making progress in defeating it.
REID: But, Dr. Gupta, politics is politics, but dead is dead, OK?
You have now this thing where not only are you seeing this politicization of vaccine passports, which are just companies saying, hey, if you want to get on my cruise ship, I need to know you`re vaccinated. That seems, like, perfectly logical.
But now there`s even on the vaccine, which, as Kurt just said, you all want to credit Donald Trump for it, but now they don`t want to take it. There is a poll now showing that -- there`s a Marist poll that shows 47 percent of Republican men said that they wouldn`t not be vaccinated. That compares to 34 percent of Republican women.
The reasons? Mistrust, with common threads around skepticism of government and what government officials say, mistrust of science. We`re also seeing a similar thing among evangelical -- white evangelicals.
Dr. Gupta, all it take was you to come on TV one time to convince me, go ahead and get the vaccine to take any vaccine. I just needed to hear from one doctor one time, you.
These were -- I am terrified that we`re going to start to see a political division, when Republicans are more likely to be sick and spreading this disease, just because of their political party. This scares me.
GUPTA: Well, and Joy, this is where I think we have to make difficult decisions. And, ultimately, it`s going to be up to the 50 governors and the president here.
But, in my view, once we all have broad access to the vaccine, so come -- so there`s -- one, there`s eligibility, like what President Biden just referenced, towards the end of April. One -- and the second thing is going to be access. When can you actually get your hands on the vaccine?
GUPTA: Probably not until the middle of June.
At that point, if you don`t want to get the vaccine, I`m of the belief that we need to introduce friction into the system. At that point, if you`re not going to get it, and you`re not going to engage in some level of personal responsibility, well, then, you know what, you`re going to have to show a negative test before you want to go to the ballpark?
Here, I`m advising a few ball clubs, including the Mariners. That`s part of the paradigm there. You know what? If you`re not going to get the vaccine and once it`s available to you, show a negative test, continue wearing a mask. Those are the -- those -- there`s going to be a certain way of life for those who want the vaccine and will get the vaccine and a certain way of life for those who are not willing to get it past that point where it`s broadly available.
I think we need to introduce friction into the system. We need -- there is, in my -- vaccine passports will allow normalcy. They`re not going to prohibit it.
GUPTA: And that`s just a false argument to the contrary there.
We need more of these types of interventions. We need transparency, not less of it.
REID: And, bottom line, you can`t -- Governor DeSantis and the governor of Texas can`t enforce that on people`s lives, because I did a little -- just a little Twitter -- nonscientific Twitter poll, and people are like, people are not going to get in my house if they haven`t been vaccinated.
People will not let you into their lives if you`re not vaccinated. You`re going to limit where you can travel. And for other countries, the United States doesn`t control other countries. You will not be flying to Europe. You will not be going on vacation in certain countries.
If you don`t -- listen, I`m at the point now where I would almost like write Donald Trump a huge check for him to do a PSA to tell these people to get vaccinated. Give him money. He loves money.
But, Dr. Vin Gupta, Kurt Bardella, I am clearly very terrified of this.
REID: Thank you very much, both of you.
Still ahead: the Matt Gaetz saga.
I`m telling you, just give him a check.
The saga gets filthier and nastier and grosser every single day. It turns out the chief opponent of a bill being pushed in the Florida legislature to stop people from sharing sexually explicit images of their ex-lovers was -- you guessed it -- then Florida state Rep. and plasticky up-hair enthusiast Matt Gaetz, because of course it was.
Stay with us.
REID: As the investigation into the sex trafficking allegations against Matt Gaetz continue, we`re learning more and more about his sordid past.
CNN reported last week that Gaetz allegedly showed off to other lawmakers photos and videos of nude women he claims he had slept with. And now "The Orlando Sun-Sentinel" is reporting that, as a member of the Florida legislature, Gaetz was the chief opponent of legislation that would outlaw so-called revenge porn, when someone shares intimate photos or videos of former lovers without their consent.
The Republican sponsor of that legislation told "The Sun-Sentinel": "Matt was absolutely against it. He thought that any picture was his to use as he wanted to, as an expression of his rights."
What`s particularly ironic about this is that Gaetz was one of the few former congressmen that Katie Hill -- that defended Katie Hill when photos of her were leaked without her consent, as she noted in "Vanity Fair."
Hill writes that: "Sharing intimate images or videos of someone without their consent should be illegal, plain and simple. It shouldn`t matter if it was done to hurt someone or to brag about your sexual conquests, like Matt has been accused of doing. If there`s even a fraction of truth to these reports, he should resign immediately."
Gaetz has continued to resist calls to resign. And FOX News reported this afternoon that Gaetz is scheduled to speak at a conservative organization on Friday at the former president`s Doral Golf Club, because where else he can speak?
Joining me now, David Jolly, former Republican congressman from Florida who is no longer affiliated with the party, and Marc Caputo, national political reporter for Politico.
I`m going to start with you, Marc.
Matt Gaetz seems to me to be on a smaller and smaller island.
REID: Donald Trump isn`t there anymore to save him. And it seems like he did have a lot of haters even inside of Trump world who were rolling their eyes at him before and are now sort of snickering in him. And he went up against Liz Cheney, who, last time I checked, is still in Republican leadership. And he`s kind of sailing out to sea.
So, where does he stand, as far as you know, politically?
MARC CAPUTO, POLITICO: He`s told his friends that he`s in the minority of the minority.
He didn`t come to Congress, as the former congressman and his colleague can tell you, to make friends. And Matt Gaetz quickly decided that he wasn`t going to have a lot of influence doing policy and legislating. He was going to be Trump`s number one guy on FOX News.
Well, now that Trump has gone, and now that Republicans are in the minority of the House, and now that he`s gone after folks like Liz Cheney and torched a lot of people, again, he feels like he`s in the minority of the minority.
He was looking at an exit plan to get out. Now all of these legal problems and these allegations that he`s facing probably make it more likely he`s going to wind up running for reelection, I think, than not.
Had this stuff not come along, he might have wound up, as Axios first reported, with for a Newsmax contract or a pundit gig on -- or a media gig on some other network. But, right now, that`s probably on ice.
I mean, you know, there is -- we have talked about this before, David, that there are this sort of cadre of sort of creepy young Trump bros who seemed like their whole purpose in running for office was just to become Twitter famous and to become famous on the right.
You have your Madison Cawthorns, also who has allegations of creepy former behavior, Matt Gaetz, who now we`re learning more and more about his behavior in Tallahassee.
Politico, Marc`s outfit, reports that Gaetz`s own aides would regularly send embarrassing videos of their boss to other GOP operatives, meaning they didn`t even like the guy himself.
I wonder why this model, if it`s so unsuccessful at politics, as Marc just said -- they don`t accomplishment much for their constituents -- why does this seem to work so well in the GOP?
FMR. REP. DAVID JOLLY (R-FL): Well, look, politics has changed.
And you could make a case that Congress is not as serious as an institution that it was once, evidence being Matt Gaetz`s election and his continuance in service in the body.
And I think the story around -- coming out of the Florida legislature, the story about his aides in Congress right now just reflect that Matt Gaetz really is a man on an island, whether he runs for reelection or not.
The intriguing thing is, you do have candidates beginning to swirl, Republican candidates beginning to swirl in the Panhandle of Florida, assuming that he might not make it to his next reelection. And in the Congress itself, he does not have support among Republican leaders.
In fact, I think it`s been reported, I know colleagues, former colleagues have confirmed to me that they are waiting on the shoe to drop. They are waiting on an indictment. And if that happens, Republicans are going to go first. Republicans are going to go before Democrats in kicking them off his committees, essentially expelling him from the caucus.
And you will likely see Republican votes to expel him from the Congress, should he be indicted on charges that center around causing a minor to engage in a commercial sex act.
REID: Well, right.
I mean, the QAnon people seem to have forgotten all about their whole thing about protecting children from sexual predators when it comes to Gaetz, because you`re standing by him. But that doesn`t mean that the members of Congress have to.
Let`s talk a little bit about the leadership there, Marc, because there`s been an issue with trying to control the QAnon caucus. And they are a fairly large caucus,. obviously. They`re all -- there are like 20 of them that believe in the QAnon conspiracy or whatever -- whatever number.
And they have been somewhat out of control. Does this give Kevin McCarthy an opportunity to sort of stand up and look like he has some control, because he hasn`t appeared to up to now?
CAPUTO: You mean if McCarthy wants to bounce Matt Gaetz from the caucus?
CAPUTO: I think, if McCarthy did that -- McCarthy`s record is not one where he`s going to take those sorts of risks.
Now, to Jolly`s point, there is actually an indictment, well, that might change the calculus. But, otherwise, I mean, Matt Gaetz is very popular among the MAGA base. And while Donald Trump has been silent, I imagine that McCarthy would probably get an earful from the former president if he made such a move without so much as any evidence that`s come out.
I mean, as Gaetz`s defenders have pointed out, he`s gone quite a number of days with any named accusers. There is no indictment yet. We haven`t seen any physical evidence. So, McCarthy`s record up until now -- you saw it with Liz Cheney, you saw it with Marjorie Taylor Greene -- is to just kind of kind of go along to get along and stitch together his caucus.
His big thing is: Look, we`re going to win the midterms, if this midterm is going to be like any other midterm. We just need to hang together and not hang separately. And he`s going to try that as best he can.
REID: In other words, cowardice.
Let`s go to you, David Jolly, because the Florida legislature has some options, too. We note the passing of Alcee Hastings, who was a lovely guy, I have to say...
REID: ... really a great, great man.
And a lot of the folks that I know who know him are not only lamenting his passing at age 84. And I can remember being in his district office. I mean, they really gave great service to constituents. A lot of immigrants would be in there. There are a lot of Haitian Americans or Haitian immigrants in his district. And that district office was one of the most active I have ever seen in terms of really helping people.
REID: He was a great guy.
But now the concern among a lot of folks is that the Florida legislature will try to use their power to redistrict his district away, or to at least try to make it more competitive for Republicans.
Could you see something like that happening, not just to Representative Hastings` district, but maybe to Matt Gaetz`s, because that one way they could solve that problem?
JOLLY: Well, probably not to those two districts.
And I will tell you, first to Alcee Hastings, somebody who is the exact contrast to a Matt Gaetz, right, somebody who spent 30 years in the institution, as you mentioned, put his constituents first, not social media and some type of following that doesn`t relate to his own constituency.
And I would also say as a student of the Congress, many people might know Alcee Hastings was the first African-American federal judge in the state of Florida who was impeached by the House and convicted in the Senate and turned around and said, I`ve got the support of my community so he ran for Congress and got elected.
It`s kind of ultimate boss man move and he served that community for 30 years. What I would say is this. Look for Republicans in Tallahassee to actually make Alcee Hastings` district more Democratic so they can try to bring more Republican voters into those swing districts in south Florida that you see go back and forth between Republicans and Democrats to try to win the house for Republicans this next go round.
REID: Interesting. Well, okay, we need to talk more about that, because yeah, this redistricting thing is a thing we got to talk about going forward.
David Jolly, Marc Caputo, thank you both, gentlemen, very much.
And up next, what`s worse than stirring up a violent insurrection against the United States government? Well, how about turning around and straight- up lying about it and lying about who actually took part in that insurrection.
Tonight`s absolute worst is straight ahead. Stay with us.
REID: Since the January 6th insurrection, a predictable cadre of Republican sedition enthusiasts and supporters of the now twice impeached former president have spread a particular line of disinformation, including the infamously icky Matt Gaetz who went on the House floor literally hours after the siege to speculate about who was really behind the attack.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): Some of the people who breached the Capitol today were not Trump supporters. They were masquerading as Trump supporters, and in fact, were members of the violent terrorist group, Antifa.
MIK LINDELL, MY PILLOW CEO: There were some -- probably some undercover Antifa that dressed as Trump people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is some indication that fascist Antifa elements were involved, that they embedded themselves in the Trump protest to appear to be Trump protesters.
FORMER GOV. SARAH PALIN (R), ALASKA: I think a lot of it is the Antifa folks. I`ve been sent pictures.
SEN. RON JOHNSON (R-WI): Some obviously didn`t fit in, and he describes four different types of people, plain clothes militants, agents provocateurs, fake Trump protesters, and then disciplined, uniformed column of attackers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Nope. Nope. No, no, no. Nope, Mattie boy, not at all. Not to mention the weird My Pillow guy and the lady who can see Russia from her house. None of y`all.
None of them provided any evidence for their claims in the immediate aftermath of the attack, nor did Congressman Mo Brooks, who, reminder, spoke at the rally preceding the attack, to say nothing of Moscow`s favorite senator, Ron Johnson, who quoted a -- quoted firsthand an account from someone in the MAGA lynch mob that day who happens to work for a right wing think tank as proof of the siege member`s innocence.
They offered no proof because it`s not true. There were no fake Trump supporters. FBI Director Christopher Wray testified to that at a Senate hearing just last month.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): Based on your investigation so far, do you have any evidence that the Capitol attack was organized by, quote, fake Trump protesters?
CHRISTOPHER WRAY, CIA DIRECTOR: We have not seen evidence of that at this stage, certainly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: The chorus of Republican new sedition singers using their platforms to parrot the lie that left-wing agitators were the ones behind the stage is it`s the worst. But it`s not the absolute worst.
What`s even more egregious is that according to a "Reuters" poll, about half, half of all Republicans believe their lies, that the siege was largely a nonviolent protest or that it was the handiwork of left-wing activists trying to make Trump look bad. So, despite the numerous Trump flags and the mob, despite the fact that the Justice Department has arrested more than two dozen members of the white supremacist Proud Boys in connection with the assault, including leaders of the group in four different states, despite all that, Republicans embrace their own alternate reality about a violent attack that was perpetuated by the big lie about the election and left five people dead.
And for that, the Republican disinformation machine put in place to absolve themselves and the disgraced former president of responsibility is tonight`s absolute worst.
When we come back, I will talk to the man whose expertise the adults in government turn to sort out what happened that day, Lieutenant General Russel Honore.
REID: More than two dozen members of the white supremacist group the Proud Boys have been arrested in connection with the January 6th insurrection.
On Monday, the Justice Department said Proud Boys member and his brother were being held without bond, pending trial on charges of conspiracy. In a statement, in a statement, the department said the brothers worked together to forcibly open a secure door with federal officers visible on the other side, causing damage to the building worth more than $1,000.
Meanwhile, the list of current or former law enforcement officers charged in the siege also grew. Last Friday, a former Salt Lake City police officer, Michael Lee Harden, who posts for picture with the bust of Abraham Lincoln and bragged about entering the Capitol in text was arrested. He faces charges of unlawfully entering the Capitol and disorderly conduct.
He was awarded Officer of the Year back in 2012 for his involvement in a 25-year old murder cold case. But as "The Root`s" Michael Harriot pointed out, that case turned out to be the premise on a false accusation against a black man, and prosecutors dropped charges after found evidence that he was not involved in the murder.
With me now, retired Lt. General Russel Honore who led the Capitol Security Review Task Force and he`s also a former commander of the Hurricane Katrina Joint Task Force.
And, General Honore, Lt. General Honore, thank you so much for being here.
You put out a series of recommendations in this task force that you led. And it included calling Capitol police understaffed, insufficiently equipped, inadequately trained, recommending hiring more police officers, 854 more, found other things saying that made their decision making too slow, calling for retractable fencing, et cetera.
But I wonder, how do you defend against what seemed to be a psychological barrier to Capitol police acting, meaning that this was the sitting president`s supporters so at least it felt like they held back.
LT. GENE. RUSSEL L. HONORE, LED OFFICIAL REVIEW OF CAPITOL SECURITY FOLLOWING JAN. 6 ATTACK: Yeah, you know, Joy, we looked very strong at mission we got from the house sergeant at arms from the speaker to look at things to prevent this from happening again. That was the focus of our investigation and analysis, and we spent six weeks doing that.
Much of the answer to the question you just posed is good one and solid one that Department of Justice and the FBI is spending enormous resources and they`re picking folks up every day because by their own action, they self- admitted that they were there.
But again, our action was, let`s harden the Capitol, let`s get the police what they need. And right now, we`re waiting on Congress to act to approve the supplemental to pay for those things, to support the police officers as well as to harden the Capitol.
REID: So, it`s possible, obviously, that Congress could just pass, you know, pass a bill to increase officers and budget. There is the Capitol Police union warning of people leaving the Capitol Police force after what happened, and worried about attrition.
But I wonder about the idea of accessing the Capitol, there`s been a lot of criticism, mostly from Republicans, but some Democrats, this is a public space. It`s sort of a sacred public space that people enjoy taking families to, open to the public. But it`s obvious that, you know, the person who wrecked a car into two officers and killed one, injured other, made it obvious it can`t be that open.
How open in your view should it be going forward?
HONORE: I`m so glad, yes, I (INAUDIBLE) because that`s the dilemma. Every member of Congress, House, Senate, Republican, Democrat we talked to, when we gave them our recommendations, they all left with one message -- General, this is the people`s House. They want that House open to the public.
Many of them reminiscence about coming there in high school busses on senior trip, walking around the Capitol, and there`s no greater feeling to those members of Congress than to see their constituents` children come see them and get enthralled by the idea of coming to the Capitol.
On the other hand, the Capitol is a target. It was a target in 1814 when the British came and burned it. The British didn`t take Washington in that attack, they wanted to burn the Capitol to show the American people that the government could not protect them.
And like on 1/6, people came with intent to disrupt democracy, that`s as far as I`ll go with that. Our mission is make sure it doesn`t happen again. And that police force needs resources and I`m convinced they will get the job done. They get it done 24/7, just like the officer put his life on the line other day to defend the Congress.
Now, it`s time for the Congress to stand up and give well overdue resources to the Capitol police to make sure they have the numbers. They did 720,000 hours of overtime last year, Joy. That`s the equivalent to over 350 officers equivalent they need, besides 233 they`re already short.
I think when they fix that and fix the retirement system, much of their retention issues is based on the fact that the Park Police have a better retirement system than the Capitol Police and the Capitol Police work for the Congress. And Congress funds the Park Police.
So, we got a dilemma here that does cause disruption for the officers. That will be fixed, I`ve got confidence in Congress. They`ve all promised to do what they have to do, because this is their police force. They protect them at the Capitol and to their homes.
REID: Let me read through a letter from former national security officials calling for 9/11 style commission on what happened. Here`s a little bit of what that letter read. In light of what we collectively see as an exigent and growing threat, the events of January 6 exposed several vulnerabilities in the nation`s preparedness for preventing and responding to domestic terrorism attacks.
And it was signed by 140 national security, military and elected officials, including former Homeland Security Secretaries Jeh Johnson, Janet Napolitano, Michael Chertoff and Tom Ridge, both -- people from both parties.
Based on what you learned in your commission, do you think that we need a 9/11 style commission to look at this attack from a bigger picture?
HONORE: I think from national perspective, we do need that, because we have to focus our government. Since 9/11, our government has been focused on one thing, foreign terrorism. We created joint terrorism task forces. They have not taken into account the rise of domestic terrorism and threat of homegrown terrorism on the nation and it got played out 1/6.
But not everybody there but enough to break into the Capitol and cause our vice president to be evacuated and speaker as well the leader. This is ridiculous.
And I think that study will refocus government to see what we`re going to do to suppress this violence. People got a chance to think about what they want, but they`ve started acting on it. Gone from talking to acting, and I think that commission will refocus government on what we`re going to do to prevent this from happening again, Joy.
REID: Always great talking to you, Lt. General Russel Honore. Always common sense answers and solutions, really appreciate you sir. Thank you very much.
That is tonight`s REIDOUT. Thank you all for joining us this weekend.
"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.