The White House records from January 6 that were turned over to the Select Committee investigating the attacks show seven hours and 37-minute gap in Donald Trump`s phone logs. Democrats led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington sent a letter to Justice Clarence Thomas and Chief Justice John Roberts demanding Thomas explain his failure to recuse himself from previous cases and that he promptly recuse himself from any future Supreme Court cases involving efforts to overturn the 2020 election. President Biden echoing other Western leaders who are skeptical of Russian promises to pull back from the assault on Ukraine`s capital.
TOURE: CREATIVE DIRECTOR, THE GRIO: But I also don`t know that a white comedian would be repeatedly attacking Jada from the Oscar`s stage. Let`s not forget, this is Chris Rock`s second time attacking Jada. And she`s not a huge actress.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Well, we`ve got to go. We got to go. Toure, I appreciate you, brother. And listen, I am — I am for both of them healing and winning. So, that is my verdict. Toure, thank you very much. And that is tonight`s “REIDOUT.” ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES starts now.
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CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voiceover): Tonight on ALL IN. Who did the president call, and when did he call them?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 1000 people attacked the capitol right at that time that there`s this gap. Who is he talking to? What is he doing?
HAYES: Blockbuster new evidence from the January 6 Committee showing a missing record of White House phone calls on the day of the insurrection.
Tonight, what we know about the disappearing records and what they can tell us about criminal intent.
Plus, as the Ginni Thomas scandal grows, new calls for recusal and the resignation of a Supreme Court Justice with Senator Elizabeth Warren.
And what we really know about peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, and why the U.S. government remains skeptical.
JOHN KIRBY, PRESS SECRETARY, PENTAGON: Nobody should be fooling ourselves, by the Kremlin`s now-recent claim that it will suddenly just reduce military attacks near Kyiv or any reports that is going to withdrawal all its forces.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
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HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. As the investigation into the former President`s attempted coup nears a crescendo, we are learning of what appears to be a massive and blatant cover-up.
White House records from January 6 that were turned over to the Select Committee investigating the attacks show a gap in Donald Trump`s phone logs of seven hours and 37 minutes. The Washington Post and CBS News obtained the actual document which raised a lot of questions as Robert Costa explained further this morning.
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ROBERT COSTA, ELECTION AND CAMPAIGN CORRESPONDENT, CBS NEWS: As chaos engulfed the capitol building on January 6, President Trump spoke repeatedly on the phone with allies and supporters. Some of whom urged him to put an end to the violence but none of those calls are reflected in the 11 pages of those white house records for January 6 given to the House Select Committee. There is a massive seven hour and 37 minute gap in calls from 11 17 a.m. to 6 54 p.m. which includes the most violent period of the attack.
The committee is now investigating whether the president and top aides use so-called burner or disposable phones to avoid scrutiny of their calls during that time.
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HAYES: Now, those 11 pages of records include five pages of the Trump`s official daily diary detailing some of his movements and calls and these six pages called presidential call log. Now, the log includes information from the White House switchboard and from the ex-president`s aides like phone numbers blacked-out here and the times and durations of calls.
It shows outgoing calls placed by Trump. This is the first one of the day at 8 23 a.m. to aid to Dan Scavino and incoming calls for him including this one from Steve Bannon at 8 37 a.m. The log shows that Trump spoke with at least eight people the morning of January 6th and 11 people in the evening.
But it lists zero calls incoming or outgoing from the end of Trump`s call with Republican Senator David Perdue of Georgia about quarter past 11 am and nearly 7:00 p.m. when he asked the White House operator to call Dan Scavino.
Now, that of course includes the time that Trump was actually speaking at the Stop the Steal rally at the Ellipse but it also covers basically the entire insurrection from when Trump`s supporters at his invitation marched to the capitol until the building was finally cleared and secured.
If you just step back for a second, it is just impossible to believe what those documents indicate and allege that no one called Donald Trump and he called no one for more than seven hours while on national television, in front of the eyes of the nation, a violent mob besieged the capitol.
Of course, in fact, we know that`s not true because there has been extensive reporting on at least two conversations Trump had during that time. One call that Trump made to Senator Mike Lee of Utah seeking to talk to Senator Tommy Tuberville of Alabama and a call he received from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. So, these records, the official White House records that were turned over the January 6 Committee, they are just preposterous on their face.
Last month, when NBC News reported on the existence of this gap in the call log, they described the possible causes. “The gap could be the result of Trump`s well-documented habit of using his or other personal cell phones to communicate with his aides and associates. It is unclear whether it could also be the result of incomplete or altered White House records.”
The Washington Post reports that the House panel is now investigating whether Trump communicated that day through back channels, phones of aids or personal disposable phones known as burner phones. In a statement, Trump claimed to have no idea what a burner phone is but he “was known for using different phones when he was in the White House according to people familiar with his activities.
And we know that at least around January 6, many people were trying to get messages to Trump through his chief of staff Mark Meadows. Documents that meadows turned over to the House Committee show that he received texts from dozens in people including Fox Host Sean Hannity, his son Donald Trump Jr., and as we have just recently learned the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Now, as we have talked about for years now, much of Donald Trump`s habitual almost compulsive wrongdoing is done out in the open. In fact, we just saw another example that today, when Trump called on Russian President Vladimir Putin whose army is currently marauding through Ukraine and committing war crimes killing Ukrainian civilians by the thousands, calling on that man, viewed rightly right now as a kind of global villain, to just do a masala and help him out by releasing dirt about his political opponent`s son.
Today, he did that. Hey, Vladimir, if you`re not too busy Ukraine, you know, hook me up. The brazenness of Donald Trump`s wrongdoing along with the fact he clearly has no real sense of right or wrong like deeply in his marrow has actually perversely protected him.
When he does something awful, his defenders have been able to say look, he can`t mean any harm. He`s doing it openly. He`s not trying to hide anything. He doesn`t even realize it`s wrong. He really thought his phone call with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy back in 2019 shaking him down for dirt on a political opponent was perfectly legitimate. And when he told Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to just find 11,780 votes, he really believed there was election fraud.
But what the seven-hour and 37-minute gap in Donald Trump`s phone records on January 6 shows is that there appears to be a real cover-up of who Trump was talking to while the mob was attacking and ransacking the capitol. And what a cover-up shows, and this is key, is consciousness of guilt, consciousness of corrupt intent. Donald Trump and his allies whether to remove calls from the log or they made secret calls on burner phones knew what they were doing was wrong and tried to hide it, as simple as that.
Of course, the obvious comparison here, right, is the Nixon tapes, the famous — infamous 18 and a half minute gap. During the Watergate investigation, tape`s recordings of President Richard Nixon`s conversations were key evidence that could prove whether or not Nixon himself knew what was going on and was involved in the wrongdoing. Of course, they all knew this. They knew what they had done, and so they just — well, they got rid of the evidence.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Los Angeles Times quotes a high administration official today as saying that President Nixon`s own personal secretary Rosemary Woods erased an 18-minute segment of one of the Watergate tapes. The administration official whose name could but not be used has told the times Miss Woods will testify in court tomorrow that she accidentally erased the tape which contained a conversation between the president and his once-top aide H.R. Haldeman, a conversation about Watergate.
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HAYES: Whoops, would you look at that? She managed to erase that Watergate convo. My bad. Of course, everyone flipped out when that happened for the obvious reason, right? Obviously, big arrow pointing to guilt.
The investigation to how the tapes could have been erased produced this infamous image of Nixon`s secretary demonstrating what came to be known as the Mary — Rosemary Stretch, one foot on the pedal controlling the recording while reaching over for the phone. Nearly 50 years later, we are in the midst of an investigation of another president and another apparent cover-up.
Now, this comes just one day after a federal judge looking at Donald Trump`s plot to overturn a free and fair election said the former president more likely than not committed federal crimes in trying to obstruct the congressional count of Electoral College votes on January 6.
All this heightens the scrutiny on Donald Trump and his co-conspirators and the criminal nature of what they appear to have done that.
Jackie Alemany is a Washington Post Congressional Correspondent. She`s been reporting on the January 6 Committee`s investigations and she joins me now. So, I want to start just with the — with a sort of technical question about these documents, right?
So, these documents came from the national security archive which turned them over to the investigators, right? But they were furnished to the national security archive originally by the White House. They`re what the White House gave them. What do we know about basically like the chain of custody of these documents and whether they`re accurate or not?
JACQUELINE ALEMANY, CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT, THE WASHINGTON POST: Yes, Chris, that`s a really good place to start. You know, that is something that all reporters should be trying to verify right now whether or — and it`s something that the House Committee investigating the January 6th insurrection is also looking at according to our reporting this morning from Bob Costa and Bob Woodward whether or not the committee was — is investigating a possible cover-up, meaning that potentially some of these calls that were made during this 457-minute gap were potentially erased.
That being said, you know, the documents would get archived by the archivists working in the White House through the — through NARA, the National Archives and Records Administration. And then NARA would then be charged with properly archiving these documents in a way that could be usable potentially by investigators if need be.
And obviously, this court ruling then handed over — force NARA to hand over these documents to the January 6 Committee investigating the insurrection. But along the way, it is possible that potentially some of these calls could have been scrubbed at the request of the president if he made that request.
HAYES: Right. So, that`s under — again we have nothing confirming that. We just have the — you know, the sort of facially unbelievable call record that we have. That`s one possibility. I guess, the thing I`m stuck on here, right, is we see from the places where there isn`t the gap that there are outgoing and incoming calls.
And we see that people like Steve Bannon and Dan Scavino going through the official White House switchboard the fact that the incoming call seems to be significant because it just — it`s one thing if you say well we`re up to sketchiness or it`s a weird situation, we`re going to go offline and use our burner phones. But no one calling into the president is a tougher sell, right?
Like, that there`s no in-going call to the president while the mob is ransacking the capitol and everyone unanimously agrees that he`s the one person who can call them off.
ALEMANY: Right. And we already know that the committee has collected other evidence showing Fox News hosts, lawmakers, reporters inundating White House staff including White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows with urgent and panicked text messages and calls to intervene with the president to get him to put out a statement during that 187 minutes when the attack began to when he finally issued a statement on Twitter.
So, this is why though the White House is also — sorry, the January 6 Committee is also investigating whether or not the president or people around him used burner phones disposable phones or maybe use the phones of his aides, the people around him. But I think you are right there is a big question mark here as to what about these incoming calls. There must have been people, people like Vice President Mike Pence who are actually in the white — in the capitol at the time in hiding as, you know, protesters and pro-Trump insurrectionists breached security who were probably trying to reach the president as well to get him to do something, to intervene.
HAYES: Yes, that`s a great point. And just to — just sort of last point here to set the table here. The normal standard operating procedure, the White House switchboard is like a real thing. You know, it controls the communications of the president. And if the Vice President is somewhere and wants to talk to the president urgently, it`s like get me the president through the White House switchboard. It`s not like you take out your iPhone and you start like texting with him on some burner number they slipped you earlier. Like, that would be the official protocol and yet we have no record of that.
Jackie Alemany who`s been doing great reporting on this, thank you very much.
ALEMANY: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: Congresswoman Elaine Luria is a Democrat from Virginia and she serves on the select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the capitol and she joins me now.
Well, I guess I want to start by thinking, how do you understand what seems like this obviously implausible gap in the official records furnished by the White House.
REP. ELAINE LURIA (D-VA): Well, Chris, you know, it`s something that the committee received a while back from the national archives. And it`s always appeared very strange especially because we`ve had reporting from different, you know, senators, other people who have explicitly and publicly talked about the calls they had with the president during that time. So, it raises a lot of questions.
And I think it`s really easy to pivot back to the content hearing we had last night because who was with the president during this time. Dan Scavino was there by the president`s side during the events of January 6. And you know we need to understand what events happen that day and who can tell us.
I said last night in my comments, you know, what is he hiding and what is he trying to cover up? Who is he trying to protect? So, you know, your reference back to Watergate, you know, about 50 years ago, a very infamous cover-up. This definitely, you know, has overtones of that again, because there`s just really no explanation for the seven hours.
And if I was to go even further, you know, we`ve talked a lot in the committee about the 187 minutes the three-plus hours that this was happening on national TV that the president sat and watched this. We understand that he was watching what was happening at the capitol. And you know, as someone who`s a naval officer, that`s how I spent my career before coming to Congress, what this brings to me is this idea of dereliction of duty.
The president has a duty to take care that the laws of the nation are enforced and carried out. And if I think about it, you know, any officer in the military who the president commissions, officers in the military, you know, any officer in the military who sat and watched something like this for three hours and took no action, they`d be court-martialed.
So, I mean in my mind, President Trump is — it`s a dereliction of duty. And if he was a military officer, he`d be facing a court-martial for that dereliction of duty under these circumstances. So, there`s so many questions uh that the committee is trying to answer and that`s why we need to hear from people like Dan Scavino who we referred contempt charges on because he`s decided he`s above the law and he doesn`t want to come talk to congress under subpoena.
HAYES: Yes, some context for Scavino that seems important. Obviously, he`s — I think he was at one point the president`s caddy. He then became his social media manager. Obviously, being a social media manager involves, you know, having access to the account of the president and some close proximity of his — of the phone you`re using or his phone.
There`s also a subpoena for his phone records that he`s been fighting very hard. The legal mystery of this anonymous objection to it began on January 5th this year when a person only identified as the plaintiff filed a lawsuit contesting a subpoena issued to Verizon by the special congressional committee. U.S. District Chief Judge Beryl Howell said no and Scavino refilled the complaint under his name in the same case on Friday.
So, the committee not having access to an actual call log has gone about subpoenaing phone records. Dan Scavino is fighting that. How important is that aspect of the investigation?
LURIA: Well, all of these pieces, it`s really important that we have them to put them together to determine what was the web of communications that happened that day. So, it`s not just Dan Scavino but there`s others who had we think and we understand through testimony. You know, we`ve had 800 witnesses come talk to us. We know about other people who talked to the president that day, people who talked to his chief of staff Mark Meadows.
And you know, although those people have objected to coming before the committee to this point, we have a lot of information about the calls and communications that happened that day. And so this is yet another piece of painting that picture of everything that went on, who he talked to, and ultimately what is he covering up.
HAYES: In the vote to refer contempt to the Department of Justice for these two witnesses, one of them uh being Dan Scavino last night, you said Merrick Garland, Attorney General Merrick Garland, do your job was quite a striking moment. What do you mean by that?
LURIA: Well, you know, this is not the first time the committee has come together, that we`ve referred contempt charges. It`s been over three months since we referred those charges relative to Mark Meadows. And you know there is a constitutional duty to appear before a subpoena in Congress. And you know, Mr. Meadows has, you know, claimed executive privilege and all these other things as has Dan Scavino and others. And the truth is, there`s a process for that.
They have to come before the committee. They have to legitimately lay out those items that they believe are covered by privilege. And the committee will consider those things one by one. But just not appearing and just essentially rejecting or ignoring a subpoena from Congress is against the law. That`s why we referred contempt charges.
The Department of Justice did move for Bannon, but they`ve been intransigent. They haven`t moved yet, haven`t done anything for Bannon, and there`s two new important witnesses here. And you know, it wasn`t just me others on the committee said, you know, the Department of Justice needs to move swiftly and do their job so that, you know, we can do our job and analyze this information as part of our investigation.
HAYES: All right, Congresswoman Elaine Luria who sits on that January 6 Committee, thank you.
LURIA: Thank you.
HAYES: Next, my interview with Senator Elizabeth Warren on her letter to the Supreme Court calling for Justice Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from any future January 6 cases. Don`t go anywhere. Senator Warren joins me right after this.
HAYES: Back in February of 2021, the Supreme Court decline to hear an appeal from Pennsylvania Republicans who wanted to disqualify mail-in ballots from the 2020 Presidential Election that arrived after the election, even though all the people have been told those would count.
Now, at the time, three justices dissented from that decision not to take up the case. Justice Clarence Thomas was one of them. And he wrote an 11 page opinion calling the refusal to hear the case “inexplicable.” A year later, January 2022, the Supreme Court rejected Donald Trump`s attempt to block White House records from being sent to the January 6 Committee, records like those we were discussing earlier in the program. Justice Clarence Thomas was the lone public dissenter in that order.
Part of the reason those two cases are so relevant at this moment is because we now know that Clarence Thomas`s wife, Ginni, was essentially an ally to the seditious conspiracy to overthrow the 2020 election. Not only did she openly admit to attending the Stop the Steal rally on January 6, that while, you know, legal in a sense of the First Amendment, had a corrupt intent to overthrow an election.
She said she left before fellow Trump supporters stormed the capitol. The Washington Post reported she “repeatedly pressed White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to pursue unrelenting efforts to overturn the 2020 Presidential Election in a series of urgent text exchanges in the critical weeks after the vote.
So, in that most recent ruling from February 2022, when Clarence Thomas alone argued against Trump having to turn over those white house records which included “call and visitor logs, handwritten notes, and other files previously kept by senior Trump aides like Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. He was ruling on turning over a body of evidence that very well could have included his wife`s plotting.
She was corresponding with major players in the White House like Mark Meadows. And he in his official capacity is saying that none of that material should be given to the committee investigating the insurrection. It`s pretty clear conflict. As a result, a handful of house Democrats including Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York have called for Justice Thomas to resign or be impeached.
Today, a group of 22 Democrats led by Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal of Washington sent a letter to Thomas and Chief Justice John Roberts demanding Thomas explain his failure to recuse himself from previous cases and that he “promptly recuse himself from any future Supreme Court cases involving efforts to overturn the 2020 election or the January 6th attack on the capitol.
And Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts joins me now. Senator, i want to start with an argument that I`ve seen Republicans make and that others have made through the long career of Clarence Thomas when it has — it has been known that his wife is an activist, that she works with conservative groups, she was involved in the tea party, that essentially this is it`s unfair to go after a justice for whatever their spouse`s politics happen to be. She`s an independent adult. She`s going to do what she wants, and this is democrats barking up the wrong tree. What is your response to that?
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): Well, I have two responses to that. The first one is no one`s going after her for her political point of view. The question is her participation in an insurrection against the government of the United States of America. That is something that is appropriate to investigate. And that then raises the question of conflict of interest for a sitting justice to have anything to do with a case involving that insurrection.
But the second part I want to point out is that we have all kinds of times when if you are in a position of public authority like a Supreme Court judge or justice, then you do have to disclose certain information about your spouse, things that other folks out of the public wouldn`t have to do. And the specific example here is that federal law requires that the spouses of the Supreme Court Justices disclose payments that they have received, something that Clarence Thomas and Ginni Thomas have failed to do in violation of law multiple times. She received more than 680,000 from the Heritage Foundation, and yet somehow the Thomas has just failed to report that.
So, I`m sorry. I think the Republicans are the ones who are just trying to throw up some smoke and hope people will start looking in some other direction. That`s not going to happen.
HAYES: Yes. I have to say, I mean, the conflict here particularly on this – – the question of the records at issue seems like about as direct to conflict as you can get. I mean if you`re ruling on whether your wife`s texts conceivably might be made public. Like, that`s a pretty straightforward conflict it would seem to me. I`m no law professor, ex-law professor or senator.
WARREN: You don`t have to be an ex-law professor to figure that one out. And remember, the standard is conflict of interest or appearance of a conflict in a way that could undermine public confidence, because ultimately that`s what this is about. This is about the fact that a city justice, obviously, should not be making rulings that could directly affect his spouse but it`s also about what it does for the rest of the public to say wait a minute, what`s going on there?
For the rest of the public to see that a sitting justice very well may be trying to protect his spouse. And since we don`t know all the pieces to the puzzle yet, we`re not quite sure all that he may be protecting his spouse from.
HAYES: Yes, I want to — I want to just play what — you know, again, you and others have called for this. There`s been in some ways I think a little bit of strange lack of outrage over this because it seems like an incredibly incriminating set of facts on its face. But Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer essentially echoed this today. I want to just play you what he had to say.
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SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): I do think he should recuse himself. The information we know right now raises serious questions about how close Justice Thomas and his wife where to the planning and execution of the insurrection. And yes, I believe — I`ll answer both of your questions. You were very clever. I think there should be some kind of code of ethics for Supreme Court Justices.
HAYES: On that last point, Senator, there is a code of ethics for uh Article 3 appointees, lifetime confirmed judicial judges, that that I know — you know, my wife clerked for federal judges and it`s important — you know, you`re not — if you`re — even a clerk, you`re not giving money to, you know, candidates, things like that. It gets — it stops at the Supreme Court, right? Is that my understanding? That like, the Supreme Court just – – it just like do what you feel and kind of vibe out. And that does seem a little odd too.
WARREN: Kind of. Remember, there`s federal law about conflicts and it applies across the board. The trick is that there`s enforcement against circuit court judges, district court judges, bankruptcy court judges, immigration court judges, anyone that violates those rules. With the Supreme Cour,t it`s basically you guys will take care of yourselves on this, right?
And this is why for years now, I have advanced legislation, I have argued publicly that we need a set of enforceable ethics rules in the Supreme Court as well as in the other courts. And by the way, this should be about conflicts of interest, but it should also be about things like Supreme Court Justices should not be able to own individual stocks or trade in individual stocks.
Again, we know that the justices, there have been instances where the justices are deciding opinions and they hold stock in the companies that will be affected. All of that presents a conflict and undermining public confidence in our courts. It is time to say self-policing is not working. We`re going to put real rules in place and we`re going to have real enforcement of those rules.
In the meantime though, 22 of us have written a letter to Justice Roberts and to Justice Thomas asking both for an explanation of how it is that Justice Thomas participated in a decision that so clearly involved his own wife and asking for a firm commitment that there will be no participation in anything that remotely bears on what happened in the January 6th insurrection going forward.
HAYES: And it seems likely that the court will have more opportunities for that based on the way things are going. Senator Elizabeth Warren, thank you so much for your time tonight. I appreciate it.
WARREN: Thank you.
HAYES: Coming up, just how big of a legal red flag is the seven-hour gap in the White House call logs. We`ll check with someone who once served as Associate White House Counsel after this.
HAYES: For nearly his entire life, at least his public career, Donald Trump has dodged one legal bullet after another legal bullet. Much of that has to do with the fact that he operates with a kind of almost organized crime mentality. He doesn`t write things down. When he does, he tears the paper up afterwards. There`s no record. He says things in public, so you can plausibly deny that he knew it was wrong.
This latest reporting from the Washington Post and CBS about the 457-minute gap in the official White House phone records, it`s a really big deal. There`s a reason it was a big deal for President Richard Nixon when just 18.5 minutes of gap were found in his secret White House recordings.
It started to look like an attempt to cover up. This gap and Donald Trump`s White House phone records is starting to appear that way too.
Ian Bassin served as Associate White House Counsel under President Barack Obama. He`s now the Executive Director of Protect Democracy, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to fighting efforts to undermine democracy. And he joins me now.
Ian, first of all, let me ask you as someone who worked in a White House, a White House that was extremely, almost neurotically obsessive about compliance, particularly compared to the guy who came afterwards, your reaction to this record, just the plausibility of it on its face.
IAN BASSIN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, PROTECT DEMOCRACY: Well, look, there`s no way that that happens without someone directing it to happen. You know, there`s an office outside of the Oval Office called Oval Office Operations with a whole set of staffers whose whole job it is to record everything the President does, every call he makes, every call coming in, make sure it`s preserved, complies with the Presidential Records Act.
There`s no way that something like this if these records really are missing happens accidentally, which means multiple people were involved in some what appears to be cover up of, you know, probably one of the greatest crimes ever attempted in the history of the country.
HAYES: On that point, we have now a judge`s ruling out of — a federal judge, in the matter of John Eastman trying to basically shield his records from the committee claiming privilege, right? I`m a lawyer, this was my client, you can`t — you can`t get the stuff. It`s privileged. There is what`s called a crime-fraud exception to privilege, which is that if you and your lawyer or essentially, you know, conspiring to commit a crime together, you don`t get to smuggle that in under privilege.
The Department of Justice files a brief saying, look, we think this fits under crime-fraud exception here. A federal judge saying, yes, there is enough that we know already that it`s possible, more than likely than not the President committed a crime and you can`t use privilege. And I feel like that also hasn`t quite resonated to the degree it should given the significance of this determination.
BASSIN: Yes. I mean, it`s more than that. So, first off, it should have led newspapers yesterday that a federal judge said it is more likely than not that the former President committed multiple felonies in attempting to overturn the 2020 election. But that`s not the only judge who has weighed in like that.
So, we represent with our co-counsel several Capitol police officers in a case accusing the President of conspiring to lead up to the events January 6. And in that case out of Washington D.C., Judge Mehta rule that that case can proceed and rejected the former president`s motion to dismiss that case.
So, you now have two cases in which federal judges have said, there are grounds to continue to look into whether the President bears some liability for the events of January 6. And of course, now you`ve got the revelation of this seven-hour and 37-minute gap on the tapes which only pads, as you alluded to in your opening monologue, the evidence of corrupt intent.
And look, the Attorney General has said that the Department of Justice will follow the facts wherever they lead no matter the position of the person they might implicate. And here is the ground truth. If federal judges had said about any other American, what Judge Carter and Judge Mehta have now written about the former president, you bet your tail that American would be under investigation by the Department of Justice.
HAYES: That`s a great point. And we should also note, the crime, the felony here of sort of, you know, obstructing a congressional proceeding, right, is a crime that`s been charged. I mean, there are people who went to jail for it. There`s people convicted or will lean towards. So, this isn`t just something on the books. Like, in the context of January 6, it`s like an active live part of the criminal code that`s been used for people that, you know, broke into the Capitol.
BASSIN: I mean, look, here`s the thing. I mean, you started with this. Mob bosses from Al Capone to the original Teflon Don, John Gotti, right, they invaded accountability for years. They intimidated witnesses, they tampered with juries, if they could have dangled pardons, I bet they would have done that.
But eventually, the law catches up with all of them, because no one is Teflon forever, not even the newest don. And I think that`s not only something that the former president should be minded, but all of his aides and allies who enabled him, they should be thinking about that too because this isn`t just about the past, this is about the future.
This is about what`s going to happen in 2024. And people need to know that in this country, there`s accountability if you break the law.
HAYES: Ian Bassin, as always, thank you, sir.
BASSIN: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: Coming up, Russian forces has still been unable to achieve one of their key objections capturing the capital city of Kyiv. And tonight, Russia claims it will scale back attacks near the city but the Pentagon says we shouldn`t be fooled by what looks like a de-escalation. The latest in Ukraine next.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Russian troops have stopped short of entering Kyiv, but they`re wreaking horror inside the homes of its residents from afar.
Devastation here, the windows just blew in, he says. Any stalling of the Russian offensive means nothing to those at the end of their missiles.
I don`t even know how to describe this, Mykhailo says. I don`t have the words. He pauses. He can`t quite find strong enough phrases for what his family is going through right now. There is no humanity here. This is not war with some army, he says. This is war with humans just eliminating other humans. This is an atrocity for which no judge would ever find any justification. It`s madness, he says.
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HAYES: There`s been 34 days since Russia invaded Ukraine. And while Russian forces are still, as you see, destroying Ukrainian cities and villages, and apartment buildings, and homes, there`s a potential sign of progress today when Russia announced it will fundamentally scale back military operations around the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, along with the northern city of Chernihiv.
The Kremlin saying its main goal now is gaining control of the most mostly Russian-speaking Donbas region in eastern Ukraine. U.S. officials were wary of the announcement warning that it is not necessarily a ceasefire or retreat, but he repositioning of Russian troops. And some officials expect a new offensive against Ukrainian forces.
On Sunday, as the fighting around Kyiv noticeably slowed, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a 90-minute video call with independent Russian journalist. He discuss the status of the war and peace negotiations and said that he is willing to discuss Ukrainian neutrality in return for peace.
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VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT, UKRAINE (text): The fourth issue is the guarantees of security and neutrality, the non-nuclear status of our state. We are prepared to go through with it. This is the most important point. This was the number one point for the Russian Federation as far as I remember. And as I recall, this is what they started the war over.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Now, ordinary Russian citizens would not have seen President Zelenskyy`s direct overture. The Washington Post reporting the Kremlin`s communications regulator and internet sensor notified Russian news outlets have the requirement to refrain from publishing the interview.
Right now, we have no idea what kind of settlement Russia would accept. But Ukrainian negotiators say they`re determined to keep the talks on track while enlisting Western governments to keep the pressure on Moscow. A member of Ukrainian parliament who`s doing just that joins me next.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is your view of Russia`s announcement today that it will “fundamentally scale back its military operations near Kyiv and another northern city in Ukraine? Do you see this as possibly the war beginning to come to an end or do you see this as Russia trying to buy time and to recalibrate for a new military effort?
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We`ll see. I don`t read anything into it until I see what their actions are. We`ll see if they follow through on what they`re suggesting.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: President Biden echoing other Western leaders. They`re skeptical of Russian promises to pull back from the assault on Ukraine`s capital. I`m joined now by Yevheniya Kravchuk. She`s a member of the Ukrainian parliament. Her husband is fighting Russian forces in Ukraine. She`s in Washington D.C. tonight trying to get U.S. lawmakers to increase the pressure on Russia.
I wonder if you can start with your — the sense in the — in the Ukrainian Government about not just the announcement that Russia made but also in domestic propaganda in the sort of briefing that Russian military leaders gave, turning emphasis away from taking Kyiv or taking Ukraine and towards the Donbas, if that`s significant from your point of view.
YEVHENIYA KRAVCHUK, MEMBER, UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT: Good evening. Thank you for having me. I`m not sure, you know, I`m allowed to use this word in online. But, you know, Russians got their as kicked in Kyiv region before. So, that`s how they`re trying to save their faces in saying that they are withdrawing troops.
And we think it could be some sort of, you know, misleading of our military so they would think that Kyiv is safe and they would, you know, pulled out the troops from this region of a group, and then you know, Russians come back. We`re not naive. So, we did not believe Russians and do not believe Putin.
But we do believe in more weapons for Ukraine. We do believe in air defense system, more Javelins, more Stingers, more artillery, more tanks. And that`s what we`ve been talking to our counterparts on Capitol Hill today. We had a very good meeting with congressman from both parties. And that is, you know, Ukraine has, you know, United American people and has united both parties. And we really are thankful for that. And we really value that.
HAYES: When you — when you say for more — for more weapons, what are — what are the bottlenecks now in terms of that? Is it a — is it a supply issue? Is it a — is it a just an amount issue? Is it a transport issue in terms of resupplying armaments to the Ukrainian army?
KRAVCHUK: I really do believe that administration, you know, means it after announcement of these additional money that could be spent on weapons and weapons shipped. So, we actually asked members of Congress to put some pressure to check if, you know, if it`s working out because there was no time for bureaucracy.
I mean, you can`t do the process, the working process during the state of war as it was the peaceful process. It has to be, I don`t know, three times faster. Because, you know, we don`t need a situation when it`s too late and too little.
HAYES: There are some — and I think you`re right, that there`s a broad consensus across both parties and among the American public of supporting the Ukrainians in their fight. There are some I`ve seen who worry or questioned supplying arms to produce a sort of extended stalemate, right, a brutal extended stalemate.
We saw what happened, of course, in Syria over the course of that very long war and how brutal it was. What do you say to those who worry that in supplying the Ukrainian army, you will extend the horrible mayhem that this war has already visited upon your country in the first 34 days?
KRAVCHUK: You know, different intelligence services, American as well said that I mean, Ukraine and fall in two weeks. But our army actually proved that it`s much tougher than everyone thought and because of the high morale, and because we`re on our soil defending. And that`s actually the core of Americans. You know, freedom, brave, you know, just free choice. That`s what we are doing in Ukraine right now.
And that`s why I think Americans support us because they sort of see themselves in us right now. But, you know, no bravery can go to your enemy was bare hands. So, we already proved that we can stand, we can counterattack, but we would need these supplies to finish the job. Because for us, the end of this war is victory, because Putin doesn`t, you know, see any other choice than to erase Ukraine from the face to the earth — of the earth.
So, we would need this backup from Western countries and America to begin with, and add the most because, you know, you are leaders of the free world. Who would — else help us, you know, in bigger scale than America? So –and I would just put it this way. It`s not a war between Russia in Ukraine, it`s actually a war between civilized world and, you know, the terrorist state.
And if Putin does have the possibility to win in Ukraine, which I personally do not believe in, but still if it has this possibility, he will not stop. He will go to another country, another contribution, pushing it more and more. I`m doing this myself, and I read this propaganda news.
And what they say is saying — trying to humiliate Western world, trying to say that you know, they can`t, you know, back up Ukraine, will invade and will do whatever they want. Well, that can`t be possible in civilized world in 21st century for some person to do whatever he wants.
HAYES: Yevheniya Kravchuk, thank you very much for your time tonight. I really appreciate you making time for us.
KRAVCHUK: Thank you for having me.
HAYES: That is ALL IN on this Tuesday night. “THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW” with Ali Velshi starts now. Good evening, Ali.