Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 1/14/22 – MSNBC


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Summary11 members of the far-right extremist group known as the Oath Keepers are now facing the most serious charges we have seen the Department of Justice bring in the wake of and related to the insurrection. The 11 members of the Oath Keepers are charged with Seditious conspiracy. In 2012, a federal judge dismissed seditious conspiracy charges against five members of the Hutaree group. Marilyn Mosby indicted in the Eastern District of Maryland for perjury and for filing false statements on loan applications. Transcript JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Frederick Douglass, he`s doing a great job. He`s being recognized more and more. He won the week because he`s always winning the week until he gets banned by Florida because he`s critical race theory.Thank you, Dean Obeidallah, Bakari Sellers. Y`all are great. Have a great weekend. Buy Bakari`s book for your kids. And that is tonight`s "REIDOUT." ALL WITH CHRIS HAYES starts now.(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voiceover): Tonight on ALL IN.STEWART RHODES, FOUNDER, OATH KEEPERS: We have men already stationed outside D.C. as a nuclear option. In case they attempt to remove the president illegally, we will step in and stop it.HAYES: As the Oath Keepers` leader appears in court, the shocking case already in public view.UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were quite fixated on the idea that Trump was going to activate them as a militia under the insurrection act.HAYES: And as Roger Stone`s insurrection day bodyguard is charged, just how far up does the seditious conspiracy go?Then, how to make a seditious conspiracy case by way of the last major attack at the Capitol.In Washington D.C., ruthless phonetic violence erupted in the halls of Congress.HAYES: Plus, has Baltimore officials face perjury charges, is there a reason this guy hasn`t been charged yet?And Marc Elias on a surprise court victory for Democrats when ALL IN starts right now.(END VIDEO CLIP)HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. Today, two of the people facing seditious conspiracy charges in connection with the attack of the Capitol on January 6 appeared in court for the first time.63-year-old Edward Vallejo answered questions from a judge remotely from an Arizona jail. And 56-year-old Elmer Stewart Rhodes III appeared in person in Plano, Texas. Both will remain in detention until their next hearings later this month. They are among 11 members of the far-right extremist group known as the Oath Keepers. They are now facing the most serious charges we have seen the Department of Justice bring in the wake of and related to the insurrection.And as we are learning more about these defendants and their plans and actions leading up to the sixth, it`s clear that we`re not hiding their intentions. Just days after the 2020 election, Rhodes, the founder and leader of the Oath Keepers, told conspiracy theorist Alex Jones if he was already positioning his members around the Capitol.(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)RHODES: We have men already stationed outside D.C. as a nuclear option. In case they attempt to remove the president illegally, we will step in and stop it. So, I`ve got good man on the ground already. We`ve been doing recon there last week. And we`re sorting out, we`re going to be staging, and we`ll be there.We`ll be inside D.C. and we`ll also be on the outside of D.C. armed prepared to go in if the President calls us up. Its either President Trump is encouraged, and bolstered, strengthened to do what he must do for -- we wind up in a bloody fight. We all know that. The fight is coming.(END VIDEO CLIP)HAYES: Of course that was not it appears bravado. Rhodes and the Oath Keepers really did apparently, allegedly, plot and prepare and show up ready for violence on the six according to prosecutors.The DOJ laid out their case in the indictment they released yesterday. "On December 22 2020, in an interview with a regional Oath Keepers` leader, Rhodes stated that if President-Elect Biden were able to assume the presidency, "We will have to do a bloody -- massively bloody resolution against them. That`s what`s going to have to happen."The next day Rhodes wrote on the Oath Keepers website "Tens of thousands of Patriot Americans both veterans and non-veterans will already be in Washington D.C. and many of us will have our mission-critical gear stowed nearby just outside D.C." Rhodes stated that he and others may have to take two arms in defense of our God-given liberty.In January, Rhodes began buying weapons, according to the indictment, spending more than $15,000 on firearms and related equipment, much of it purchased on his way from Texas to the Washington D.C. area.On January 6, at around 2: 12 p.m. Rhodes entered the restricted Capitol grounds on the northeast side, where he began directing other members of the Oath Keepers, some of them joined the mob, and broke into the Capitol building.Now, another key figure with the Oath Keepers that day who has also now been charged by the federal government with seditious conspiracy is frequent Tucker Carlson guests, Thomas Caldwell. He`s a 67-year-old Navy veteran known to other Oath Keepers as Commander Tom. And the indictment details his role in amassing firearms on the outskirts of Washington D.C. to distribute them among the quick reaction force or QRF teams in support of their plot to stop the lawful transfer of presidential power."And late December, Caldwell identified the Comfort Inn Boston in Arlington, Virginia as the location that the QRF would use as its base of operations for January 6. On the second, Caldwell sent messages to his contacts about seeking boats in support of a QRF. Yes, he literally suggested sailing the weapons across the Potomac.And after providing the QRF with firearms, ammunition, and related items on the sixth, Caldwell marched to the capitol where he joined with others and storming past barricades and climbing stairs up to a balcony in the restricted area.Last night, this guy who was, according to the indictment, amassing a cache of weapons to violently overthrow our democracy, who is charged with seditious conspiracy for that, that guy joined Tucker Carlson on Fox News and denied just about everything.[20:05:33](BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)THOMAS CALDWELL, NAVY VETERAN: Tucker, I did not go into the Capitol and they know it. When they don`t know what to charge you with, they charge you with conspiracy. And now sedition, I have to tell you, I`m absolutely outraged. They don`t have any proof and I`m innocent.TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, FOX NEWS: They claim that you plan to bring "heavy weapons by boat across the Potomac River." Were you planning -- what kind of heavy weapons do you think that refers to? Were you planning to do that?CALDWELL: I have no idea. And no, I was not, Tucker. Look, I was a Navy guy, OK. Now, the Navy guys do know about water, but it`s like aircraft carriers, you know, we`re talking about blue water Navy here. So, this other stuff I don`t know anything about, didn`t have any role in planning any of it. It`s just more hooey.(END VIDEO CLIP)HAYES: Now, unfortunately for Thomas Caldwell, the Department of Justice appears to have evidence from Caldwell himself that indicates he is lying. In a December court filing they revealed a message Caldwell wrote after the sixth describing his actions at the Capitol, "I grabbed up my American flag and said, let`s take the damn Capitol, so people started surging forward and climbing the scaffolding outside. So, I said let`s storm the place and hang the traitors. Everybody thought that was a good idea, so we did."With all that bluster that Caldwell describes, the mob chanting hang Mike Pence, erecting a gallows on the Capitol grounds, and walking through the halls calling for Speaker Nancy Pelosi, you know, it`s tempting to think of the Oath Keepers as sort of ridiculous dress up operation.But remember, these guys were quite serious. I mean, they posted pictures online of the actual weapons they were actually bringing to DC that would be ready on the sixth, as the indictment says. They were preparing, it appears, for an armed barricade at the capitol to stop the peaceful transfer of power.And the other thing about this alleged seditious co-conspiracy is you don`t have to play some extended complicated game of six degrees of separation to connect them to the former president. It`s just one degree. Now, we`ve talked a lot about the war room that was assembled the Willard Hotel on January fifth and sixth. We have photos of the people who were there, including Michael Flynn, and Roger Stone, who you see here.Roger Stone, you`ll remember, got out of a prison sentence thanks to a commutation from his longtime friend Donald Trump in the summer of 2020. The President then issued him a full pardon at the end of December. It is a matter of public record that Stone and Flynn who was also pardoned by the President, along with the other Trump allies at the Willard Hotel, were plotting with the same ultimate goal as the Oath Keepers.That`s established. They all wanted to prevent the peaceful transfer of power and keep Donald Trump at office. And the Willard Hotel gang was not even at arm`s length from the Oath Keepers. The Oath Keepers were providing them with security.This is Roger Stone on the morning of January 6 surrounded by members of the Oath Keepers. The man on the left you see there with Stone in the black vest and hat is one of the Oath Keepers members charged with seditious conspiracy. His name is Roberto Minuta.Now, Roger Stone gave his own explanation for being around the Oath Keepers. And he did it looking like a bad movie character sitting in the back of a limo.(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)ROGER STONE, REPUBLICAN OPERATIVE: I had always used to off duty D.C. police officers and a retired officer from Prince George`s County who provided professional security for me and my family during the many hearings I had prior to my trial in which I was ordered by the court to be present, and during my trial itself.They were unavailable on January fifth and sixth. Like many of the speakers on the events of those days, I was provided voluntary security by the Oath Keepers. No, I didn`t know any of them on an intimate basis. My interactions with them were entirely professional, efficient. They were very polite, and they help protect me.(END VIDEO CLIP)HAYES: Which is to say an armed group of fanatics were allegedly plotting a violent storming of the Capitol providing security for one of the President`s closest advisors who are plotting their own attempt to forestall the peaceful transfer of power, and they were doing it right next to each other over the same few days in the same place with final -- Donald Trump finally pressing a green Go Button when he told the crowd to mark down the Capitol.The Oath Keepers did as Trump said. We have video evidence. Here they are walking up the steps of the Capitol information. And we know from their perspective they were doing their -- this on Donald Trump`s orders.This is another post from the very popular message board The Donald on January 5th. "Trump has given us marching orders. And basically, if you`re east of the Mississippi you can and should be there. He even included specific instructions. Keep your guns hidden. Walk into D.C. Bring your plate carrier, your flag, radio and charging kits, your trauma kits. If and when it`s time to arm up, 180 rounds minimum for main rifle, another 50 for sidearm per person.They were doing what they thought Donald Trump wanted them to do. And as we learn more and more about this seditious conspiracy, it`s harder and harder to say that the President and his very closest allies and the Oath Keepers were running distinct plots that had nothing to do with each other.Ben Collins is an NBC News Senior Reporter who frequently reports on the extremist corners of the internet. Betsy Woodruff Swan is a national correspondent for Politico who has been covering the January 6 investigation and they both join me now.And Ben, let me start with you just because there`s a few things here that are notable. And one is the out in public nature of this in the extremist corners of the internet or on Alex Jones`s show where you have them saying like, it`s going to be bloody, we`re going to stage a bloody violent opposition to Joe Biden, not in secret backchannels.BEN COLLINS, NBC NEWS SENIOR REPORTER: Yes. I mean, reading this indictment this week, there was something ringing in the back of my head. I was like, I remember reading this somewhere. And it was on The Donald on January 5th. They`re talking about the stacks of six and 12.Once you get to the Capitol, make sure you find your stack, make sure you`re talking through walkie talkies, make sure you have your pieces, make sure you leave your ammo and homes specifically, because we`ll come back in the middle of the night. Once be secure the Capitol without the weapons, we`ll come back and we`ll bring the weapons along from the QRF.They brought this up, you know, the day before January 6 in a very public forums. And then it all comes up again in this indictment in the signal messages that the Oath Keepers were, you know, pushing in the days beforehand as well.So it`s -- this cannot be a coincidence, really. I mean, realistically here, how similar these plans were in public to the ones that were shared on signal between Stewart Rhodes, and all these other folks with the Oath Keepers. So yes, this was a very public plan. And like you said, there are a lot of loose threads here that are finally kind of coming together, I think.HAYES: Yes. One of them, I think, is Roger Stone. And Betsy, obviously, he has been subpoenaed by the January 6 Committee. And I think -- I don`t know if he`s come in yet and taking the fifth or he has announced his intention to do so. But, you know, Stone really is the linchpin here in, you know, we know he`s an associate the president, we know he`s a friend of the President and talks to the President. And we know he`s there in the Willard Hotel being guarded by Oath Keepers on the fifth and sixth.BETSY WOODRUFF SWAN, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, POLITICO: That`s right. Now, the closeness of Stone`s relationship with Trump certainly is not on that day what it had been in the past. But there`s no question that Trump knew Stone and knew him well enough, close enough, long enough that he issued him a literal get-out-of-jail-free card toward the tail end of Trump`s presidency.HAYES: Right.SWAN: Now, Stone has been adamant and consistent that he had no foreknowledge of the violence that was planned. And as that video of him that you played shows, what he says is, these were people who were protecting him. He didn`t know they were going to attack the Capitol.The juxtaposition with the public commentary that Oath Keepers was making is really interesting. And I don`t -- I don`t want to suggest that I`m aware of conversations that didn`t happen, because I`m not. But what we know, what we just talked about is that the Oath Keepers were being secretive about what they are going to do that day. And that raises questions that just make people in the security research space bang their heads against the wall.Why were journalists, researchers, people -- you know, private citizens reading this stuff on The Donald land and taking it seriously, but DHS and the FBI weren`t.HAYES: Right.SWAN: I obtained DHS emails this week, which showed analysts and DHS`s intelligence office saw "significant chatter" in the 48 hours before the attack on the Capitol, and assumed, concluded that it was hyperbole and chose not to share it with people outside their organization. If anything, after January 6, we`ve now entered a post hyperbole world.We`ve entered an era where everything that people are saying on the internet, when it comes to violent attacks on the government is something that people in the security space are taking seriously. It`s a fundamental change in the way that the American intelligence community looks at the Internet and assesses threats.HAYES: Well, and that -- I mean, that is the kind of crux of this, Ben, which is that I have to say like, reading -- like seeing that post of the guns in Virginia that someone posted -- I don`t know if it`s -- I don`t know if it`s Caldwell. Obviously, I have no idea. He denies that he did that. And then the receipts in the indictment about purchases, weapon purchases, things like that, and I think -- I didn`t quite think these guys were serious. I`ll be honest, I mean, I am surprised. But when you lay it all out there, and clearly a lot of people made that same mistake in very high-level positions. But that part of it seems crystal clear whatever happens to the cases here, that they were deadly serious.COLLINS: Yes, that`s the sort of motto of extremism researchers on the internet. Everyone`s always just trolling until they`re not trolling anymore. And there were hints of this, by the way, before the sixth bylaw enforcement. You know, they caught Enrique Tarrio with magazines and weapons that he said he was going to sell once he got to D.C. That`s why Tarrio who effectively ran the Proud Boys at that point, was not there on the sixth.And by the way, we knew they were his -- the Proud Boys` magazines because they had a Proud Boys sticker on the magazines. Like, this was just straightforward stuff. These people were not messing around about this. And the weeks beforehand, you could tell -- like, you know, people in the lawn -- in law enforcement community, and also Congress people who were reaching out and saying, this is not the same thing.Like, we know, when people are joking around. We know when people are making idle threats. These are plans to attack the Capitol. They were -- you know, there were maps of the subway system underneath the Capitol posted on these things. And people saying, we need to take -- we need to cordon these off so they can`t leave. That`s the sort of stuff that they were saying in the days beforehand.So, yes, look, I don`t know why they didn`t take it seriously. Everyone seemed to know, but there was no, I guess, chain of custody here. I don`t know where it got lot.HAYES: Yes. On the -- on the sort of question of what happened that day and the reaction to it, the Acting Secretary of Defense, Christopher Miller, who was -- who was installed quite, quite, quite late in the Trump years, Trump term, and was the acting SecDef when January 6 happened, we got news today, came before the January 6 Committee and talk to them for quite a while, Betsy. Do you have any reporting on that?SWAN: That`s right. What we know is a top priority for The Select Committee is looking at why it took the National Guard so long to deploy members of the D.C. National Guard to the Capitol building after that attack had started. One key document that the committee has received in recent months is a multi-dozen-page report produced by a senior official in the D.C. National Guard who alleges that the official story coming out of the Pentagon regarding the amount of time that it took the National Guard to get there is essentially an elaborate whitewashing and that the people pushing that story, generals, senior Pentagon officials are lying.I can guarantee you that that question, what actually happened in the hours after the attack started, why did it take so long, that`s a key focus for this committee, something they`re exploring. And it`s just -- when you take a step back and think about it, it really boggles the mind.One of the most important questions that comes up both in the whistleblower document and in the Pentagon official explanation of what happened is what exactly was discussed a phone call at about 2: 30 p.m. at the -- on January 6 during the attack.At that point, the head of D.C. Capitol Police had been begging basically everyone he could reach on his phone to send in the D.C. National Guard. He was desperate. He wanted them to be there. He knew his people were overwhelmed and facing intense violence.Then this phone call happened and we had, right off the bat, there were conflicting narratives who said what. But one of the key moments as described in this whistleblower document is that there were generals on that call who said they didn`t want to send in the National Guard. They wanted a more detailed plan. They weren`t ready to send it in right then because they were worried about optics.That`s something that`s such an important question, because the delay and getting the Guard in had immense consequences, horrific consequences. It`s a major focus for the committee.HAYES: All right, Ben Collins, Betsy Woodruff Swan, thank you both.SWAN: Thank you.HAYES: So it`s pretty rare to see a charge of seditious conspiracy. It`s hard to tell if there will be any convictions, but it`s worth noting that one of the last times that happened when seditious conspiracy charges ended in a conviction was all the way back in 1954 when a violent group stormed the Capitol. Sound familiar?What happened the last time radicals made their way through the halls of Congress? What it could tell us about the charges related to January 6 after this.(COMMERCIAL BREAK)[20:20:00]HAYES: On January 6, the Trump mob stormed the Capitol. Some carrying weapons, others used flag poles and bats to make their way inside. Once they got in, they walked the halls of Congress looking for members and made their way into the House and Senate chambers to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power.In fact, Ashli Babbitt was killed trying to propel herself into the House chamber before the members could be evacuated. Back in 1954, four members of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party actually made it into the House chamber while members of Congress were inside, firing as many as 30 rounds on the floor and injuring five representatives.It was the last time before January 6 that a violent group was able to infiltrate the Capitol and to inflict violence.(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In Washington D.C., ruthless fanatic violence erupted in the halls of Congress. Three men and a woman believed to be members of the Puerto Rican Nationalists Gang, that in November 1950, attempted the assassination of President Truman, opened fire from the visitor`s gallery of the House of Representatives.Five congressmen were hit, Ben F. Jensen of Iowa, Clifford Davis of Tennessee, Kenneth Roberts of Alabama, George H. Fallon of Maryland, and Alvin Bentley of Michigan who was seriously injured. Observers noted the attack came as the Inter-American Conference opened in Venezuela, and it suggested the motive may have been to arouse anti-United States feeling in Latin America, through an act of apparently blind violence carefully calculated twin flame Americans relations with our neighbors.Estimates of the numbers of shots fired ranged from 15 to 30. And each bullet hole found as a grim reminder to those who were present of the terrible surprise attack.[20:25:03]The gang seized by shot bystanders as they entered their guns was held at police headquarters as a widespread search was launched for others who shared in the plot. To Irvin Flores, Rafeal Miranda, Mrs. Lolita Lebron, Andres Cordero, the gun wielders. And to their accomplices goes the evil distinction of having perpetrated a criminal outrage almost unique in America`s history.Violence that shocked and stirred the nation and did only harm to the cause of the Puerto Rican people.(END VIDEO CLIP)HAYES: Wow. That was one of the most violent attacks of the Capitol in the end, 17 members the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party, including the four that stormed the Capitol were convicted of seditious conspiracy among other charges. That charged seditious conspiracy is the same one levied against 11 members of the far-right group the Oath Keepers, including their leader Stewart Rhodes for the role in the January 6 insurrection.The question is, will it stick? How high up in the conspiracy can prosecutors go? Next.(COMMERCIAL BREAK)[20:30:00]HAYES: Seditious conspiracy, the charge now leveled at 11 members of the Oath Keepers is pretty rare charge. This isn`t the first time it`s been brought against members of a far-right group.In fact, in 1988, a group of white supremacists, including members of the KKK in the Aryan Nation, were put on trial for murder and sedition. Nine of the defendants faced seditious conspiracy charges after prosecutors said they were plotting to overthrow the government and start an all-white nation in the Pacific Northwest.All were acquitted by an all-white jury in Fort Smith, Arkansas after a two-month trial.(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was the first serious setback in the federal government`s war against suspected white supremacist groups. 13 defendants were found not guilty of all charges, which included murder, robbery and conspiracy to overthrow the government.One of those freed was Louis Beam, a former Grand Dragon of the Texas KKK and a member of the Aryan Nations in Idaho.LOUIS BEAM, MEMBER, ARYAN NATIONS IDAHO: One, I want to praise your always holy and precious name. Two, I want to say to hell with the federal government.UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The not guilty verdict meant little for six of the 13 white supremacists. They are already serving long jail terms for other crimes, including the murders of an Arkansas State Trooper, a Jewish radio talk show host in Denver and an armored car robbery in the Northwest.Government attorneys well disappointed said they had no regrets for bringing the supremacists to trial.MICHAEL FITZHUGH, ATTORNEY, FORT SMITH, ARKANSAS: And we weren`t persecuting them for what they said or did. We were prosecuting them for what we thought that they`ve done.(END VIDEO CLIP)HAYES: 22 years later in 2010, the federal prosecutors in Michigan also brought charges including seditious conspiracy charges against members of a far-right group, a self-styled Christian militia called the Hutaree. They were allegedly planning to kill a police officer and attack the funeral with bombs.(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All were members of a militia group that called itself the Hutaree saying on their website that they believed in preparing for an Antichrist and in getting ready to defend themselves.Videos they posted on the internet showed them in their own distinctive uniforms conducting paramilitary exercises.After monitoring the group for months, the FBI moved in over the weekend, believing the group planned to practice run next month. The Hutaree website says a training mission was planned for April 24th.(END VIDEO CLIP)HAYES: The charges however didn`t stick. In 2012, a federal judge dismissed seditious conspiracy charges against five members of the Hutaree group saying, "The government`s case is built largely on circumstantial evidence while this evidence can certainly lead a rational factfinder to conclude that something fishy was going on. It does not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that defendants reached a concrete agreement to forcibly oppose the United States government."The Hutaree`s leader was represented by criminal defense attorney William Swor. He`s also defended Arab American clients against charges of domestic terrorism after 9/11 and is the Commissioner of the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission. He joins me tonight, along with MSNBC Legal Analyst Dan Goldman, former federal prosecutor as the lead counsel with the first house impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump.Mr. Swor, let me start with you since you`ve actually defended people accused of this crime to just lay out your understanding of how it works in the criminal code and why to your mind it has been difficult for prosecutors, at least in these two cases to make stick?WILLIAM SWOR, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY, MICHIGAN: Boy, that`s a lot in a very -- a very short time. But the fact of the matter is the government has to establish that this is not just talk, that the folks really were intending to do something violent to overthrow the government.As your introduction noted, in the -- in the case of the Hutaree, they were planning for the Antichrist, for the apocalypse. They were not intending to carry something out immediately. They were confined to a very small area, about 90 miles away from Detroit. They never had the ability to carry out any attacks or the desire to interfere with the operation of the United States government.HAYES: Yes, I mean, it`s so fascinating to think about, because I mean, obviously, there`s sort of interesting constitutional questions here. You know, you can -- you can ideate onto the stuff, you can write a column saying I think the U.S. government should be overthrown, that`s protected by the First Amendment.You know, the point to Bill`s point, Dan, the difference you have in this case with the Oath Keepers is it`s not like the FBI rolled them up in December 30th saying you guys are planning on doing a bunch of stuff.[20:35:03]In this case the stuff was done in some cases on camera.DANIEL GOLDMAN, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, absolutely. And I think the indictment lists numerous steps that they took that make this very clearly not an issue of puffery or planning in the future.If trying to overthrow the government or interfere with the peaceful transfer of power is not seditious conspiracy, the question is what is.So, I think, unlike those recent cases, or not-so-recent cases, I feel like we`re in the T.V. way back machine tonight. But those other cases where it was much more tenuous -- attenuated, I should say, and much less clear as to what the actual official act was that they were trying to interfere. It was much broader issues of trying to overthrow the government.Here, the Department of Justice has, I think, very specifically alleged that the effort here was to prevent the counting of the votes and the certification under law that Congress has to do.It is broader than that specific January 6, counting of the votes. So, it may not run into the overly narrowly prescribed issues that occurred in some of these recent cases. But it`s also not so broad as to be just simple overthrow of the government.So, I think the combination of laying out in detail efforts -- I mean, the fact that they bought ammunition and arms, etcetera, the efforts to that they went to to prepare with a force.And then, the allegations and the video that we`ve seen, and I think most importantly, detailed text messages within the group, because there are four cooperating witnesses who have likely given over their own text messages, which include most or all of these defendants, I would guess.HAYES: Yes, Bill, as someone who defended against exactly this charge in a very different context that you know, which I think is a sort of key difference here. I wonder what you make of the federal government`s case here, or the applicability of this particular charge in this context?SWOR: Well, the statute is certainly broad enough to cover this kind of conduct, because it`s hinder and obstruct, or to oppose the activities of the United States government.Clearly, if the government can establish what it claims it can, then you have evidence consistent with this clear language of the statute.HAYES: Yes, and part of it too, I mean, you know, in sort of thinking about this crime, right? I mean, plotting to overthrow -- there are crimes you could -- you could, you know, attempt to steal something, someone fail, or you can succeed. You can attempt to attempted homicide and fail or succeed.In the case of overthrowing the U.S. government, like you`re only going to be charging people who failed, they sort of definitionally, so it`s not like the crime could ever have come to fruition.So, and that -- I mean, so the closest we`ve come to fruition, you know, certainly in my lifetime and arguably since the firing of the cannons of Fort Sumter of someone attempting to use force to stop the government -- you know, overthrow the U.S. government is January 6, Dan.GOLDMAN: That`s right. And there is no crime as an example of sedition. It is only seditious conspiracy for the reasons that you pointed out.So, if anyone says, oh, when they don`t have anything, as I think Mr. Caldwell did on Fox last night, when they don`t have anything, they charge conspiracy.First of all, that`s complete baloney generally, but particularly in this case, where there is no crime of sedition, for the reasons that you`ve stated.But I do think, Chris, there`s an important message sent by this indictment that the department did not need to charge seditious conspiracy, to charge all of these individuals with the same conduct. And they could have charged as many of them were previously with obstructing the lawful proceeding and of counting the electoral votes in Congress, which is a serious crime.But the department went further, and I think that`s notable because it really does stress and it underscores what you`re saying, which is that this was one of the most catastrophic events in American history, and it needs to be treated as such.[20:40:02]And I think that the strong statement of charging seditious conspiracy based on very detailed facts that I think fit the requirements of the statute, if they can be proven a trial, really does set the stage for, I think, future additional investigation. I know we`ve talked a lot about Roger Stone.Let`s remember that Roger Stone is a convicted liar. I don`t think anyone should take anything that he says at face value. But he has a potential go between, between the Oath Keepers and members of Congress in the White House. And that may be a lynchpin to get some conduct on the other side of things.That being said, I don`t think that we will see members of Congress or White House officials charged with seditious conspiracy, unless we have some foreknowledge of the use of weapons etcetera.HAYES: Yes, you better have quite a case there if you`re going to do that. Bill Swor and Dan Goldman, thank you both. Appreciate it.GOLDMAN: Thank you.SWOR: Thank you.HAYES: Up next, why Baltimore`s top prosecutor is facing federal charges and the twice impeached former president is not. I`ll try to explain after this.(COMMERCIAL BREAK)[20:45:24]HAYES: Baltimore`s top prosecutor, a woman named Marilyn Mosby was indicted yesterday in the Eastern District of Maryland for perjury and for filing false statements on loan applications.It`s a pretty big deal, Mosby is the state`s attorney for Baltimore City, the prosecutor for Baltimore and was thought to be a rising star in 2015. She gained national recognition after she charged six Baltimore police officers in the aftermath of Freddie Gray`s death.Ultimately, three officers were acquitted and Mosby then dropped all remaining charges against the other three. All six returned to the Baltimore Police Department.Now, Mosby has her own charges to worry about.(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The charges relate to the purchase of two vacation homes in Florida in 2020. Charging documents state Mosby claimed to have experienced financial hardship due to the COVID pandemic in order to withdraw from the city`s deferred compensation plan.Even though documents show she was receiving her full salary, the indictment stage she used that money toward the purchase of the homes. And the indictment alleges she did not disclose her tax liabilities on the mortgage applications, even though the IRS placed a lien against her property for unpaid taxes.(END VIDEO CLIP)HAYES: So, things don`t look great for Mosby right now. She I should say denies the charges. The indictment suggests investigators have a paper trail here, which is, you know, a hard thing to defend against.But I have to say, when I saw the news and that I read the indictment accounts of what had happened, I couldn`t help but think about Donald Trump.I mean, Marilyn Mosby who`s just indicted for a paper trail of lying on a mortgage application forum for two vacation homes and lying about financial hardship to get an early withdrawal from the pension fund, which I should be clear is wrong. And you know, if she did that illegal apparently.But nearly a year and a half ago, the Times published an extremely detailed Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation you may recall, laying out Donald Trump`s tax fraud over years, based on firsthand documents they have.Subsequently, there has been an investigation into Donald Trump by the Manhattan District Attorney`s office that has obtained Trump`s financial records, that offices heard testimony from Trump`s accountant and banker that led to charges against the Trump Organization and the Chief Financial Officer, but not against Donald Trump.And then, my next thought was, a thought that I`ve had before, I think I`ve said it on the show, what would a U.S. attorney, a federal prosecutor do if they got their hands on the tape recording of a phone call from say, a Baltimore City Council member to a local election official in their own party where the council member tried to bully and intimidate the election official and shake them down to fabricate a vote tally that had them winning reelection when they had lost?I think they would probably be indicted pretty fast.Of course, we have a recording of Donald Trump literally doing exactly that to the Georgia Secretary of State in the days before the election was certified.I just want to find 11,780 votes, one more than what he needed.And again, there`s an investigation there. There`s a Fulton County District Attorney investigation into that phone call and the activities around it, in which he`s caught on tape in what sure as heck sounds like soliciting election fraud.In fact, this week that D.A. said a decision on whether to bring charges could come as early as the first half of this year. OK.We also now have a set of seditious conspiracy charges leveled against the far-right group who stormed the Capitol by force so that Donald Trump can stay in power.There are a lot of investigations into Donald Trump`s activities and into the activities of his allies or cohorts. There`s a lot of evidence just in the face that he`s done. Wrong things, reprehensible things and even maybe criminal things.I mean, again, not like definitely, but there`s a lot of smoke there. I`ll just note I guess -- let me put it this way, people get indicted for a lot less. They do. And I know you need to cross your t`s before you come at the king, so to speak.But in the end, if the law cannot be brought to bear against someone as powerful as Donald Trump. And whether that`s because of political considerations or what it would do to the country or the security and safety of those who would bring those charges which is a real concern. If any of those stop the pursuit of the law, especially in this situation, then the law is not worth that much.(COMMERCIAL BREAK)[20:53:55]HAYES: For a second time this week, the Ohio State Supreme Court in a 4-3 vote has thrown out Republican-drawn maps that would have aggressively gerrymandered the state in that party`s favor.State Republicans have proposed a congressional map that would have given congressional Republicans up to a 12-3 advantage in a state that Donald Trump won by just eight points in the 2020 presidential election.In the decision, Ohio Supreme Court Justice Michael Donnelly noted that "When the dealer stacks the deck in advance, the house usually wins. That perhaps explains how a party that generally musters no more than 55 percent of the statewide popular vote is positioned to reliably win anywhere from 75 percent to 80 percent of the seats in the Ohio congressional delegation. By any rational measure, the skewed result just does not add up."And not only did state Republicans tried to skew the results, they did so by steamrolling the will of Ohio`s voters who just approved an amendment States constitution in 2018 to reform the state`s redistricting process and stop exactly the kind of gerrymandering Ohio Republicans just tried to pull off on congressional maps and state legislative maps.[20:55:04]Both those sets of maps were immediately challenged by multiple lawsuits, including one from top democratic election lawyer Marc Elias, I was able to talk with Elias yesterday, before he won his case against the congressional maps in Ohio. But right after he had won his case against gerrymander maps of the state legislature.(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)MARC ELIAS, FOUNDING PARTNER, ELIAS LAW GROUP: It was a really important victory for the voters of Ohio, because what it means is that the Supreme Court of Ohio is going to stand up for the right of voters.The voters passed a constitutional amendment that said that you cannot have partisan gerrymandering in redistricting, notwithstanding that the Republican controlled redistricting process yielded a tremendously gerrymandered map in favor of Republicans. And the 4-3 decision of the state Supreme Court said no way that the people`s will needs to be abided by and said that the Commission needs to go back and take another shot at drawing fair maps.HAYES: So, that means that the proposed map, which I think would have added one Republican seat to an already quite lopsided delegation in a state that`s, you know, Republican plus eight, that that now is gone, right? I mean, they got to start from scratch, essentially and draw a new map.ELIAS: Right. This was the state legislative maps. So, yes, they`ve got to start over with using the proper criteria. And we are still awaiting a decision on the congressional maps.HAYES: I got you. I`m sorry. Yes.Now, there`s the North Carolina case as well. Again, similarly, this is proven to be a kind of fruitful avenue of cases brought before the state Supreme Court as a matter of the state constitution. And there`s a -- there`s a case that I believe you`re a party to in North Carolina. What is that case?ELIAS: Yes, so very similar. We -- my firm, along with others are challenging the North Carolina maps as a partisan gerrymander.Now, there, there is no prior -- there`s no popular initiative that requires fair maps. But prior court decisions have said that partisan gerrymandering is out of bounds.The lower court found that there was partisan gerrymandering but wasn`t sure that that`s illegal under the North Carolina State Constitution.So, that`s now going to go up to that state Supreme Court. And if that state Supreme Court also finds that there is a prohibition against excessive partisan gerrymandering, we expect new maps to be ordered there as well.HAYES: Eric Levitz wrote a piece for New York magazine, we had him on I think last week and talked about it and some other people have been saying that the gerrymandering picture as we go through the -- through the year looks better on balance than many, particularly in the -- in the Democratic Party or sort of progressives feared in terms of Republicans using their power to maximize the number of seats they could extract purely just through new maps. Do you agree with that characterization?ELIAS: Yes, and no. So, first of all, you need to realize that starting with the 2010 benchmark was already starting with a pretty skewed place to start.So, saying that it`s not much worse than 2010 is really not saying much, number one.Number two, a lot of places they may not be adding Republican seats, but what they`re doing is they`re doing it with swing districts.So, they`re taking a district that might have been a Republican plus two district and making it a Republican plus 10 district. So, they`re essentially making competitive districts less competitive.But there`s no question that we are as Democrats, we are fighting hard, we`re fighting in court, in a number of places, and we`re having some initial successes, both in the courtroom and also in organizing opposition to these terrible gerrymandered maps.HAYES: One of the provisions in one of the two pieces of voting rights legislation that had been passed to the House and are sitting in the Senate awaiting some consideration probably imminently, we`ll see what that looks like, would be a federal process of essentially independent commissions to deal with gerrymandering and redistricting.You`ve been very vocal about the need for these two pieces of voting rights legislation. I guess they`ve been combined into one now. And they still seem to be up against the Manchin Sinema refusal to change the rules on voting rights, the president talking to them making a personal appeal, but it looks like we are where we were a year ago. Is that your read on it as someone who`s pretty plugged in?ELIAS: Look, that may very well be the case. But the fact is that we need every member of the Senate to stand up and vote.You know, it`s all well and good for senators to give speeches, and to announce their positions. But we are talking about the fundamental building blocks of democracy and whether or not we will have free and fair elections in 2022 and 2024.So, you know, we have had debate after debate after debate democracy, and whether or not we will have free and fair elections in 2022 and 2024.[21:00:06]So, you know, we have had debate after debate after debate about the need to strengthen and protect democracy and it is time for every member of the House has already stood up and voted, and it`s time for the senators to do the same.HAYES: All right, Marc Elias, thank you so much for your time.ELIAS: Thank you.(END VIDEO CLIP)HAYES: That is ALL IN for this week. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now with Ayman Moyhledin in for Rachel. Good evening Ayman.
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