Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 3/28/22


    the january 6th committee is voting on the contempt recommendation for trump aides peter k. Navarro and Daniel Scavino Jr. bennie thompson, chairman of the january 6 inquest, says he is comfortable with the committee subpoenaing ginni thomas to testify in front of the committee.


    representative. bennie thompson (d-ms): the lady relents. Pursuant to the notice, I now request a report on a resolution recommending that the House of Representatives find Peter K. Navarro and Daniel Scavino Jr. in contempt of congress for refusing to comply with subpoenas duly issued by the select committee to investigate the january 6 attack on the united states capitol.

    The report was distributed in advance and hard copies are available. the secretary will designate the report.

    Reading: All in with chris hayes 3/28/22

    unidentified man: report on a resolution recommending that the house of representatives find peter k. Navarro and Daniel Scavino Jr. in contempt of congress for refusing to comply with subpoenas duly issued by the select committee to investigate the january 6 attack on the united states capitol.

    thompson: no objection, the report will be considered exceptional and will be open to amendment at any time. the chair recognizes the lady from california, miss lofgren.

    representative zoe lofgren (d-ca): thank you, mr. President. is a phrase we use all the time, no one is above the law. but it seems that some of the former president’s closest aides and allies seem to think they are including daniel scavino jr.

    now who is he? Mr. scavino met mr. trump around 1992 and worked for him for many years. first at trump national golf club, and then as director of social media for his 2016 presidential campaign, then as white house deputy chief of staff for communications and on his 2020 campaign, and later, in efforts to reverse the election results, that former vice president mike pence has been denounced as anti-american.

    according to many published reports, mr. scavino worked closely with mr. trump to use social media to spread lies about nonexistent voter fraud and to inflame a violent and angry crowd. for example, mr. trump’s twitter account praised a bogus report alleging voter fraud, tweeting and here’s a quote, “great report statistically impossible to have lost 2020 election. protest in d.c. on jan 6. be there. will be wild” .

    mr. scavino also followed domestic violence, violent extremist social networks, and did so on behalf of mr. triumph. this committee has reason to believe that doing so provided mr. scavino with explicit advance warnings of the violence that was to occur on January 6. and mr. scavino may have shared these warnings of violence with mr. triumph before January 6.

    According to reports, he attended several meetings with mr. trump and others regarding reversing president biden’s legitimate victory. Mr. scavino was also with mr. trump during the attack on the capitol while mr. Trump did not immediately try to stop it despite urgent bipartisan calls for him to do so.

    Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell correctly said that the public needs to know everything about what caused and happened on January 6th. and to inform both the american people and legislative reform proposals, this committee needs to speak with mr. scavino.

    You have to fulfill your legal and moral obligation to provide testimony and documents or face the consequences. That is why we are taking this action today. in the united states of america, no one is above the law. this committee is doing its job. the justice department has to do theirs. I give up, mr. president.

    thompson: the lady relents. the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. kinzinger.

    representative adam kinzinger (r-il): thank you, mr. President. and as the vice president mentioned, with ukraine, he reminds us that democracies are not defined by bad days or bad things that happened, but by how they defend it and how they recover from it. and that is the importance of this committee.

    so, dan scavino met donald trump when he was 16 years old. He became a longtime Trump employee and remains a true Trump loyalist. In the Trump administration, Dan Scavino served as Director of Social Media and, for his last two years, as Deputy Chief of Staff for Community.


    and as the select committee report points out, dan scavino was with then president trump on january 5th and 6th. He spoke with President Trump on the phone several times on January 6, and was with the President as many urged him to help stop the violence on Capitol Hill. he was always in all relevant moments a member of trump and the white house.

    social media as a means of monitoring and shaping friends: shaping trends was dan scavino’s core business. Reports tell us that Dan Scavino and his team monitored extremist social networking sites, monitored social media trends, and used extremist social networking sites to shape public perceptions.

    In short, there is a lot of very important information dan scavino has that the select committee needs to know. I want to focus on one aspect of that. What Dan Scavino could tell us about what then-President Trump thought was likely to happen on January 6. Did the president know that the rally could turn violent, that his rhetoric about the ellipse could send an angry mob storming the capitol? p>

    When trump noticed on the night of January 5 that he had an excited crowd, did he know they could take it literally when he told them the next morning to “fight hard.” dan scavino was there to tell us a lot about it. we need to know about him. by refusing to talk to us, he is harshly arming the American people and hiding the truth. it is illegal and there is no excuse.

    then president trump claimed he usually made his own tweets, but acknowledged that scavino sometimes helped shape them. We know that he often composed social media posts and discussed his language with Trump.

    With that in mind, let’s take a closer look. On December 19, 2020, Trump retweeted a video that ended by urging viewers to “fight for trump, and here he is.” January sixth was then only two and a half weeks off. dance scavino might tell us something useful about why donald trump retweeted that particular post. President Trump also retweeted a video titled “How to Steal an Election.”

    among other things. he argued that covid-19 was created to ensure that trump lost the election. and here’s that one. qanon had already retweeted that one when trump did. We’d like to hear what President Trump’s director of social media has to say about it.

    and what extremist trump supporters on donald and other far right social media sites make of all that, from president trump urging them to join a wild protest on january 6th. Some of his followers on the Donald Fringe site took it as marching orders.

    dan scavino had every reason to know they would be violent. dan scavino was well aware of what his boss wanted, and violent extremist users who use the site like donald trump, or like donald. dan scavino himself sent a video that a user of the same site understood as “literal war drums”.

    president trump had already been president for a full four years with dan scavino at his side. him, they knew that on January 6th – that the January 6th crowd could turn violent. they knew exactly what they were doing. And the select committee needs to hear directly from dan scavino about his and president trump’s role in inciting violence that day. Thank my Lord. President. I give up.

    thompson: the gentleman relents. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. schiff.

    representative adam schiff (d-ca): thanks to our president and vice president for convening us today. our committee has the singular purpose of ensuring that our nation never again experiences the violence of January 6, that there is never again an effort to annul a presidential election or interfere with a peaceful transfer of power. that’s our object.

    and all witnesses called before this panel must cooperate. It is a patriotic duty to help Congress and the American people understand how the tragedy of January 6 came about. And more than a must, it’s a necessity when you’re served with a summons to appear, which is why we’re here today.

    peter navarro and dan scavino have refused to comply with the duly authorized subpoena, offering, again and again, spurious and unjustifiable excuses. in mr. scavino’s case, he was – has clearly relevant testimony for our committee. Scavino was intimately involved in former President Trump’s social media content and strategy, serving as Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications while also actively promoting the Trump campaign.

    the select committee believes that scavino was with trump on january 5th and 6th, including during a period when the capitol was under attack. who participated in discussions with trump about challenging, disrupting, or impeding congressional proceedings to certify election results, and who may also have had advance knowledge of the likelihood of violence on January 6 through his monitoring of networking sites where such violence was discussed and predicted.

    Specifically, through press reports, we are aware that on January 6, mr. scavino, was advising trump throughout the day, possibly even directing, messaging directly from the white house, and potentially playing a role in the video message trump posted hours after rioters stormed the capitol.

    It has also been reported that Mr. Scavino was president during a strategy session with trump on January 5, as they planned how they could convince congressional Republicans to successfully challenge the certification of the election and thus nullify it.

    that’s why mr. scavino has an obligation to appear before us. however, mr. Scavino claims to be protected by executive privilege. but that claim is not based on law or reality. executive privilege does not allow a person to simply refuse to appear before a congressional committee. It does not apply to Scavino’s campaign activities on behalf of the former president. it does not apply to a potentially illegal scheme to obstruct Congress. and it does not apply to his official duties when, as he or the current president of the United States claim, it is not in the public interest to do so.

    I have one more thing to add tonight. the justice department has a duty to act on this referral and others we have submitted. without the execution of congressional subpoenas, there is no oversight. and no oversight, no accountability, for the former president or for any other president, past, present, or future. Without application of its due process, Congress ceases to be a co-equal branch of government, and the balance of power would be forever altered to the lasting detriment of the American people.

    Finally, I want to return to Judge Carter’s remarkable opinion, finding that a former President of the United States may have committed a crime and fraud against the United States. the judge said that dr. Eastman and President Trump launched a campaign to overturn a democratic election, an action unprecedented in US history. his campaign was not limited to the ivory tower, it was a coup in search of a legal theory.

    The plan sparked violent attacks on our nation’s seat of government, resulting in the deaths of multiple law enforcement officers and deepening public distrust in our political process. And as the vice president pointed out, he also said, if the country does not commit to investigate and hold accountable those responsible, the court fears that January 6 will be repeated.

    that the responsibility to investigate and seek accountability extends to those who hold the highest position in the country or to those who do not hold any position. if no one is above the law, then no one should be above the law. we are fulfilling our responsibility. the justice department should do the same. I give up.

    thompson: the gentleman relents. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. aguilar.

    representative pete aguilar (d-ca): thank you, mr. President, Madam Vice President, distinguished colleagues. our committee is dedicated to getting to the truth and taking the necessary steps to do so. When material witnesses fail to comply with legal subpoenas, we have no choice but to refer them for contempt of Congress.

    Peter Navarro’s testimony is an integral part of our investigation. and despite the fact that he has given multiple television interviews regarding our subpoena, he did not comply with our investigation in any way. Mr. Navarro has publicly stated that he is protected by executive privilege, but he has never sought legal counsel as others have, he has never filed any case seeking relief from his responsibilities to comply with our subpoena.

    an economist with a doctorate from harvard, mr. Navarro ran unsuccessfully for office in my home state of California five times, five times. he wrote several books on economics and trade, many of which focused on china. He was hired by the Trump campaign in 2016 to advise the former president on economic and trade issues.

    he was such a top adviser to the former president and an office was created in the white house just for him to oversee, the white house national business council. he was the architect of the president’s trade policies which, according to a study commissioned by the us business council. uu. and China, “harmed the US economy and failed to achieve major policy goals.”


    now, mr. president, i think the american people might wonder why our committee would need to talk to a trade official about attempts to nullify the 2020 election. as the vice president pointed out, that’s because mr. Navarro held that title as director of the White House National Business Council, but he devoted much of his time to White House political endeavors outside the scope of his official duties.

    in fact, americans probably know mr. Navarro only in his political quality. he was so active in the 2020 re-election campaign that the united states special counsel ruled in 2020 that mr. Navarro repeatedly violated the hatch law. that’s because the former president trusted mr. Navarro as spokesman and confidant.

    he was so intimately involved with these efforts that mr. Navarro reportedly led a January 2 call with a group of state lawmakers about the effort to convince Vice President Trump – Vice President Pence to delay voter certification by 10 days. a text delivered to this committee by mr. Meadows of a member of the press read, and I quote: “eye, I am contacting you because I have details about the call that Navarro helped to call yesterday with the legislators as part of his effort to get money to delay the certification of the elections for 10 days , including the chairman’s involvement. Were you on the call when the chairman spoke?”

    among the many questions we have for mr. Navarro, we need to hear from him about this conversation and about that phone call. and we need to hear from him about his other calls with steve bannon, whom the house has already despised, that took place during and after the attack on the us. uu. capitol.

    we know that mr. navarro believes that he and mr. Bannon devised a strategy to nullify the election, because he details it in his book, which I know my colleague from Florida will discuss in more detail. this is as clear a contempt case as we’re likely to see, mr. President, and I surrender.

    thompson: the gentleman relents. the chair acknowledges gentleman from florida, mrs. murphy.

    representative stephanie murphy (d-fl): thank you, mr. President. and I’ll pick it up from my colleague, mr. aguilar, left. over a month and a half ago, mr. Navarro was summoned by this committee. we sought documents and testimonies about their efforts to discredit the election and prevent the results from being certified. this information is critical to our committee’s investigation.

    mr. Navarro refused to comply by making a perfunctory claim of executive privilege. There are many reasons why this general assertion of executive privilege lacks merit as a matter of law and common sense. more fundamentally, neither the incumbent nor the former president has asserted privilege with respect to mr. Navarro’s testimony or the production of documents to the committee. and mr. Navarro has no unilateral authority to assert the privilege on his own.

    beyond that fundamental flaw in mr. navarro has privileged right since the election, he has spoken and written extensively on the precise issues that are the focus of our citation. clearly mr. Navarro is eager to tell his story as he sees it, as long as he can do it on his own terms.

    for example, in 2020 and 2021, mr. Navarro posted a three-part report on his website called the Navarro Report. in it, he makes accusations about voter fraud that have been debunked. moreover, in november 2021, mr. Navarro published a book called in time of triumph. describes in detail the actions he took to change the outcome of the election.

    for example, mr. Navarro claims credit for working with Steve Bannon to invent a scheme they called the Green Bay sweep. The core of this plan was to encourage Vice President Pence to delay the certification of electoral college votes on January 6 and return the election to state legislators.

    in your book, mr. Navarro also writes that he called attorney general william barr-he also writes that he called attorney general william barr to ask the justice department to support president trump’s legal efforts to challenge the election results, which barr sees refused to do. particularly mr. Navarro acknowledges that he kept a diary detailing this episode and other post-election actions he took.

    and finally earlier this year, while refusing to comply with our subpoena, mr. Navarro made multiple media appearances, during which he spoke about his various roles in the events that culminated in the January 6 attack. I would like to play the media clip right now. can you indicate the clip?

    (start of video clip)

    Peter Navarro, Former Business Advisor to President Trump: It was about this interview, which is quite interesting, it’s like I have a lot of knowledge to share with you about what was involved in what I know.


    ari melber, msnbc host: since you’ve told me you have a plan you’re pushing to delay or deal with certification, you told me 100 members support you and publicly said trump was on board. if he says all those things here, why risk a legal battle or go to jail for refusing to discuss them with the committee under oath?

    Navarro: Because I have loyalty to the constitution and loyalty to the president. The president has invoked executive privilege in this matter. I have no authority to revoke that privilege.

    melber: you say it’s not your privilege to resign, but let’s look –

    Navarro: it is the law. it’s the law.

    melber: – how often did you quit. Let’s see some of the news you’ve done on these topics. take a look.

    Unidentified woman: Former Trump adviser Peter Navarro is spilling the beans.

    Navarro: We had more than 100 congressmen and senators in the capitol ready to implement the raid.

    steve bannon, former white house chief strategist: peter navarro, right.

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    navarro: boss tells penny to take my damn call.

    unidentified woman: navarro tells rolling stone –

    Navarro: It was about returning the votes. most or all of those states would uncertify the election.

    melber: how do you expect people to take seriously your claim that this is secret and privileged when you came out to talk about it? and when you at bannon said the committee dog would not bark, they were afraid of you in the report, it now appears, peter, that the dog is barking.

    (end video clip)

    murphy: thank you. has a lot of knowledge to share with a journalist, but refuses to share that knowledge in response to a legal subpoena. obviously mr. Navarro only cares about the executive privilege of keeping certain matters confidential when it suits him.

    Unfortunately for him, unfortunately for the American public, that’s not how the law works. no current or former president has claimed privileges with respect to mr. Navarro’s testimony and documents. and in any event, his claim of executive privilege is severely undermined, if not nullified outright, by his extensive public disclosures on the very issues on which the committee seeks to question him under oath.

    as a result of his actions, mr. Navarro is clearly in contempt of Congress and should be referred to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution. I give up.

    thompson: the lady relents. the chair recognizes gentleman from maryland, mr. raskin.

    representative jamie raskin (d-ms): thank you, mr. President. You know, my hero, Tom Paine said that the cause of America is the cause of mankind. and today, democracy is under siege all over the world. And just as we are working to defend and strengthen democracy abroad in Ukraine and elsewhere, we are working to defend and strengthen democracy here at home.

    the assault on American democracy that broke out on January 6, mr. president, had two coordinated elements that we have been able to see. one was a violent insurrection from abroad infused by propaganda and disinformation and led by domestic violent extremist groups like the sworn ones, the proud boys, the three percent, the qanon networks, the militia groups. but the other component was a secret internal campaign to replace our constitutional process and presidential election governance with a fabric of lies and falsified processes that make a mockery of American democracy.

    This is what political scientists call a self-coup. it is not a coup against a president like most coups, but it is a coup organized by the president against the constitutional framework itself. The two contempt citations we are voting on tonight will go to people who have critical information about both components of this assault on America and the coordination between them.

    peter navarro worked to bring down the election by nullifying 79 electoral college votes cast by tens of millions of americans living in arizona, georgia, pennsylvania, michigan, new mexico and wisconsin. had their so-called green bay sweep, which by the way is an insult to green bay baggers across the country, but if their so-called green bay sweep hadn’t been blocked by the bravery of our police officers, 150 of whom were injured, wounded, or hospitalized by the insurrectionary violence, and by Vice President Penny’s refusal to abandon his constitutional duties, this attempted coup would have “permanently ended the peaceful transition of power in the United States,” threatening survival and democracy – of democracy in the constitution, as united states district judge david carter put it so forcefully in his remarkable decision today in rejecting the claims of navarro’s comrade in these efforts, john eastman.


    We summon Navarro to present documents before February 23, 2022 and appear for his statement on March 2. you did not file any documents and did not show up for your scheduled deposition. peter navarro should be held in criminal contempt of congress and the american people because he is acting in criminal contempt of congress and the american people. the American people want to know what puts them above the law.

    the supreme court said in 1950 in the us. v. Bryan that a subpoena creates a public duty that every person within the jurisdiction of the government is required to perform when properly summoned. in 2020, the supreme court emphasized that it is the duty of all citizens to cooperate with a subpoena.

    but navarro invokes the words executive privilege, he repeats the phrase over and over again, it is not my privilege to resign. and he believes that he has found a magic wand to nullify the powers of the us. Congress just like him thinks he has found a magic wand to override the powers of the states to cast their own votes in the electoral college.

    Now, Navarro’s statement that executive privilege is “not his to relinquish” is indeed accurate. but if the executive privilege is not in Navarre to resign, then neither for exactly the same reason, and by definition, it is up to him to assert it in the first place.

    The Supreme Court has made it clear that executive privilege belongs to the President of the United States. and on february 28, 2022, white house counsel notified mr. Navarro that President Biden determined that the assertion of executive privilege is unwarranted with respect to Navarro’s effort to cover up evidence of his involvement in this assault on American constitutional democracy.

    so navarro seems to fall back on the vague claim that executive privilege here belongs to former president trump, which is not only dubious, but completely irrelevant because our committee has not received any attempted invocation of executive privilege by donald trump, either formally or informally, indirectly by peter navarro or directly by donald trump. nothing, clearly no assertion of executive privilege here by either the current president or any previous president.

    and even if there was, even if president biden tried to assert executive privilege on peter navarro, he would immediately feel it because the privilege does not apply to private political matters, let alone criminal activities like staging coups or insurrections against the government.

    The privilege applies only to professional speeches on government policy by advisers providing confidential advice on matters within their field of professional responsibility. now, peter navarro was the white house trade adviser. it was not in his job description to topple presidential elections, coerce vice presidents into abandoning their constitutional responsibilities, or impose counterfeit regimes in place of the American one. constitution.

    When Navarro was plotting to overthrow the election, nullifying the electoral college votes of 49 million Americans in six states to seize the presidency from his chosen candidate for four years, he wasn’t giving advice on trade policy. We are not looking for documents or testimonials from Navarro related to his official duties as business advisor. And indeed, in a press call announcing the publication of his outlandish and cartoonish three-part report on outright fraud in the 2020 election on his personal website, Navarro publicly acknowledged that he was writing as a private citizen and not as a federal government official.

    so please spare us the bullshit about executive privilege now being rejected by every court that has ever looked at it. this is america and here there is no executive privilege for presidents let alone business advisers to plot coups and organize insurrections against the people’s government and the people’s constitution and then cover up evidence of their crimes. the courts don’t believe it and neither do we.


    Navarro insists only on adding insults to his contempt. More than a year after Biden was outvoted by more than seven million votes, Navarro continues to spread the big lie that Trump won, saying, “Without question, this election was stolen.” He brags about his work with Steve Bannon to pressure Vice President Pence into doing the wrong thing. tells the full story in his book in time of triumph, and in his three part report which was made up of such titles as immaculate deception and the art of theft how they tried to get pennies to abandon their constitutional duties and force the contest in an election presidential contingent under the 12th amendment in the house of representatives.

    and appears on the steve bannon podcast, and talks about the upcoming insurrection. a year after the election ended, he said, if you want an insurrection, keep pushing this, you’re going to push the American people to the brink.

    mr. President, Madam Vice President, the American people opposed the January 6 insurrection, and the American people oppose future insurrections and coups against our government. we are fighting to defend the institutions and values ​​of democracy at home against coup plotters and insurgents and we are supporting other democracies around the world besieged by autocrats and kleptocrats, thugs and despots.

    we erred on the side of the people of ukraine against vladimir putin, who is not a genius but a mass murderer. and we stand strong on the side of democracy, freedom, the constitution, and the rule of law against the people who smashed our cops in the face with confederate battle flags and tried to overturn the results of our presidential election.

    Both of these men are in contempt of Congress, and we must cite them both for their blatant disregard for their duties and for our laws and institutions. I give up.

    thompson: the gentleman relents. the chair recognizes a lady from virginia, mrs. luria.

    representative elaine luria (d-va): thank you, mr. President. and I want to thank my colleagues on the committee for their commitment to providing a full and factual account of everything leading up to January 6, the events of that day, and to ensure that such an attack on our republic never happens again. /p>

    mr. President, I served in the Navy for 20 years. and when you talk to people in the military, that’s what they say. They say they serve in the military, they serve the American people. Today, I continue to serve as we all do on this committee. when mr. scavino and mr. Navarro entered the administration, they agreed to serve the American people.

    The president who serves the American people has a unique duty under the constitution to see that the laws are faithfully executed. and those who serve under the president, especially those closest to him in the administration, are integral to fulfilling that duty to see that laws are faithfully executed, not undermine those laws.

    Congress has a constitutional duty to investigate, and we have a duty to the American people to investigate the violent attack on our capitol that attempted to prevent the peaceful transition of power. Mr. scavino and mr. Navarro has a duty to respond to subpoenas from this committee. however, they have apparently decided that they are above the law.

    50 years ago this year, a small group of people in the nixon administration also decided that they were above the law. they designed a cover-up to cling to political power. They almost succeeded, but it took Congress and the Senate to get to the truth, a truth that the American people deserve.

    This committee has conducted more than 800 voluntary statements and interviews with more scheduled, including witnesses who worked in the previous administration. The committee received nearly 90,000 documents related to January 6, and we followed up on more than 435 suggestions received through the committee’s suggestion line.

    Hundreds of witnesses have come forward voluntarily and cooperated with our investigation. however, mr. scavino and mr. Navarro refuses to respond to this constitutional duty. why are they special? Why is it that when we get closer and closer to the former president, his inner circle, those closest to the president, why are they the ones who refuse to tell the American people what they know? what are they hiding?


    now mr. scavino and mr. Navarro has tried to attack the search for justice and obstruct the work of this committee and hide the truth despite publicly acknowledging his roles and promoting electoral fraud conspiracies and advising the former president on how to change the outcome of the elections.

    what mr. scavino and mr. Navarro are you covering yourself? who are you covering? We’ve been through this process before. what mr meadows are you covering and who are you covering? when given the chance to tell the truth about the january 6 attack, both mr. scavino and mr. Navarro continues to put loyalty to Donald Trump before the Constitution and the American people.

    tonight, i will vote to retain mr. scavino and mr. Navarro be held accountable for their actions and recommend that the House of Representatives cite them both for contempt of Congress. and the justice department must act quickly. I will echo what my colleagues have already said. but more bluntly, attorney general garland, do your job so we can do ours. and I give up.

    thompson: the lady relents. if there is no further debate, I now acknowledge the lady from wyoming, miss cheney, for a motion.

    representative liz cheney (r-wy): mr. Chairman, I move that the committee report favorably to the house on the committee’s report on a resolution recommending that the house of representatives find peter k. Navarro and Daniel Scavino Jr. in contempt of congress for refusing to comply with subpoenas duly issued by the select committee to investigate the january 6 attack on the united states capitol.

    Thompson: The question is about the motion to report favorably to the House. those in favor say yes. Yes. those who oppose, no. in the opinion of the president, the yeses have it.

    cheney: mr. Chairman, I requested a recorded vote.

    thompson: a recorded vote as requested. the secretary will call the roll.

    unidentified male: miss cheney.

    cheney: yes.

    unidentified man: miss cheney votes yes. miss lofgren.

    lofgren: yes.

    unidentified male: miss lofgren votes yes. Mr. schiff.

    schiff: yes.

    unidentified man: mr. schiff votes yes. Mr. aguilar.

    eagle: yes.

    unidentified man: mr. aguilar votes yes. Mrs. murphy.

    murphy: yes.

    unidentified man: mrs. murphy votes yes. Mr. raskin?

    raskin: yes.

    unidentified man: mr. raskin votes yes. Mrs. luria.

    luria: yes.

    unidentified man: mrs. luria votes yes.

    thompson: did you record the chair?

    unidentified man: mr. president, you are not registered and –

    thompson: the president votes in favor. Mr. president.

    kinzinger: mr. President, I have been –

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    unidentified man: and mr. kinzinger?

    kinzinger: kinzinger votes yes.

    unidentified man: mr. kinzinger yes.

    thompson: the clerk will report the vote.

    unidentified man: mr. President, in this vote, there are nine eyes and zero nos.

    thompson: The motion is carried. the vice president is recognized.

    cheney: mr. Chairman, in accordance with clause 2l of rule 11, I request that members have two calendar days to present to the secretary of the committee supplemental or additional opinions on the measure order reported by the committee tonight.

    Thompson: As far as the audit, without objection, the staff is authorized to make any necessary technical or compliance changes to the report to reflect the actions of the committee. There being no further business, without objection, the select committee is adjourned.

    (end video)

    alex wagner, host of msnbc: good evening from new york. I’m alex wagner instead of chris hayes. we just saw the bipartisan house committee investigating the January 6 insurrection vote move forward with a contempt referral.

    Moments ago, the hearing concluded when committee members voted unanimously to hold former White House Deputy Director of Communications Dan Scavino and former Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro in contempt after they both refused. to comply with committee subpoenas.


    Those references now head to the chamber for a full vote and then to the Justice Department where Attorney General Merrick Garland will decide whether to criminally charge the two men.

    ari melber is the chief legal correspondent for msnbc and host of “the beat with ari melber.” and he joins me now. ari, the video of your interviews with peter navarro was just shown at that committee hearing. part of the reason it was done was to basically rip mr. Navarro’s defense that somehow these correspondences, these documents are shielded by executive privilege.

    tell us why it is significant that peter navarro came on your show to talk about the role he played with mr. trump in the insurrection of January 6.

    melber: well, it definitely caught your eye and I was sitting here, we had no advance notice. We don’t know what they are going to present. the report that came out today had a short footnote. but here we saw, as you mentioned, evidence offered. And among the evidence is what Peter Navarro has said in public.

    and that’s for two basic reasons why it’s very simple. one, in part of the efforts to annul the election, peter navarro said, i did it, i did it. he calls it a green bay sweep, other people call it a hit. I think people just saw some of that exchange that I and others have had with him. I did.

    Number two, you say I can’t talk about it. the problem with that alex is, peter, you’re talking about that right now. and you have all the legal rights that are given to individuals, including any claims of privilege. but since your question alludes to that, those were shredded for among other people and reasons first and foremost, peter navarro, because you break your own privilege if you say something so privileged that you can’t discuss it, and then you release it to the public. that’s true whether you do it in the interview like he did, or in the writings he did as well.

    And one more point I’ll mention, because we were looking at it. They both showed some of what Peter Navarro said, which was basically a confession.

    wagner: yes.

    melber: but they also showed our exchange where i told mr. navarro, respectfully, you understand that by talking so much about this, you broke the privilege, and we played those clips. so, here we had almost that look – – through the mirror, and then looking at that back, looking at that back, and the committee looking at her.

    newswise what’s going to happen next is a potentially full vote on the floor of the house if it passes, and it has previously when the committee does, and then merrick garland has to decide if there’s accusations here.

    wagner: well, and there’s going to be enormous pressure on merrick garland, the a.g. accuse these people, right? Committee member Stephanie Murphy said at the end of her remarks, Attorney General Garland, do her job.

    now, so far, steve bannon has been indicted, jeffrey clark has been indicted. mark meadows, he is in a holding pattern, so to speak. but do you think garland moves forward with an indictment of navarro and scavino given where we are and given how flimsy his defense seems to be here?

    melber: yes. this is one of the weakest defenses because both mr. navarro mr. scavino was not involved in any significant way. Mr. Meadows was engaged and, in fact, cooperative to some extent. So regardless of what you think of Mark Meadows, he turned in some papers, confronted, and then walked away. they have very weak claims to say that they can simply challenge the citation entirely.

    merrick garland’s job is to look at the evidence and just decide if it’s an illegal citation violation or not. when pressured by members of congress, they may share their views, but the attorney general shouldn’t really respond to that. we’re seeing that kind of pressure.

    what the attorney general needs to answer without holding back just because these people were connected to either the white house or work for someone who might run again for president is, is there any reason you can challenge this subpoena right? and there are some privileges that exist and there are some reasons.

    We have not heard anything from Navarro and Scavino that is very credible, which is what we have documented. so, the doj has this obligation. and this is a big problem because 750 people have cooperated. the doj is with them and the precedent that you have to cooperate with legal subpoenas almost always, there are some exceptions, or the doj starts to be with the navarros and the scavinos of the world.

    So, I think there is pressure on garland, but I think it would be better if they see it as evidentiary pressure. what is right, no oh, politicians want this or that?

    wagner: well, i mean, and the claim of executive privilege. I mean, bennie thompson, the chairman of the committee said at one point, peter navarro wasn’t chairman, right? like, you can’t claim that, peter navarro. and you two were employees of the American taxpayer. you can’t plan a hit as part of your job on behalf of the American taxpayer.

    you know, we know personally because we’ve seen your tv show, what is the role of peter navarro to a certain extent, right? he told us what it is, green bay sweep. But Dan Scavino may have been privy to some really important details. between them, and this was cited in today’s hearing, scavino monitor to pro-trump social media and the days and months leading up to the January 6 insurrection.

    and it’s notable that on december 19, 2020, the same day trump tweeted big protests in dc, on january 6, it’s going to be there, it’s going to be wild. That same day, users of, which is a website for trump supporters, began sharing specific techniques, tactics, and procedures for an assault on the capitol.

    communications included information on how to use a flagpole as a weapon, how to smuggle firearms into dc, measurements for a guillotine, and maps of the tunnel systems under the capitol building.

    We’ve taken a long, hard look at some of the communications, the evidence that’s been, we’ve been aware of, and of course, you know, the investigation into January 6th. this is something that happened on January 6, flagpoles were used. like guns, people armed with tunnels. and so, dan scavino, what he knew, what he saw forward on january 6, looks like critical information for his investigation.


    melber: that’s very important. and it goes to guilt potentially within the white house and among the people about what was being planned. there was a crime spree in the capitol. there was an insurrection. there is one accused of sedition, all are legally presumed innocent, but there is a case of sedition conspiracy. what hasn’t happened yet is to establish legal links that we know about it back to the white house.

    so the evidence that you just reference, people who have that knowledge and with that knowledge, and then say, we’re going to send people to the capitol with that kind of thing in front of the committee, you’re putting that evidence. comes out today.

    wagner: and the president tweeting, it will be wild. be there on January 6. ari melber, it’s always good to see you. you are a main player in the saga from now on. well, probably before now because of your interviews with peter navarro. It’s always good to see you, my friend.

    melber: thanks for having me for a great night of news.

    wagner: thank you. we will be back with more. we hope you are, we hope, we hope to bring you a member of that committee on the next January 6th. we’re going to ask him what happened tonight and what the committee will do about ginni thomas. that’s next don’t go.

    (commercial break)


    wagner: welcome back. the january 6 committee just voted unanimously to hold peter navarro and dan scavino in contempt of congress. The matter now goes to the Justice Department where Attorney General Merrick Garland will have to weigh in on whether or not to charge.

    Meanwhile, the committee is also grappling with what to do with ginni thomas, the wife of former – current supreme court justice clarence thomas now that text messages have been revealed showing she is involved in correspondence with him. Chief of Staff, former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. that’s a topic the committee is discussing right now.

    and now i want to bring our guests, harry litman, former deputy assistant attorney general in the justice department and former united states attorney. attorney for the western district of pennsylvania. and Barbara Mcquade is the former U.S. attorney for the eastern district of michigan. She is also a Professor of Practice at the University of Michigan Law School.

    Friends, let’s first talk a little bit about what was litigated in the last courtroom a few moments ago with the committee on January 6th. cited numerous times is a ruling that came out a few hours ago, one day, less than 24 hours ago from the clinton-appointed judge david carter in california, who announced in his ruling that he believes donald trump probably committed a crime by trying to overturn the 2020 elections.

    He writes that – in that ruling, “the illegality of the plan was obvious. president trump campaigned vigorously for the vice president to single-handedly determine the results of the 2020 election. as vice president pence said, no vice president in the united states history has ever asserted such authority all americans and certainly the president of the united states know that in a democracy leaders are elected not installed with such a bold plan president trump knowingly tried to subvert this fundamental principle.

    Barbara, what is the significance of this ruling other than providing fodder for the Democrats as they move forward with their investigation?

    barbara mcquade, legal analyst, msnbc: well, it’s really an extraordinary ruling, alex, that we have a federal judge who is a neutral, independent arbitrator of disputes who found that he presented the evidence, he talked about what trump and others did they made. he spoke about his knowledge and intention. and said that it is most likely that they committed the crime of corruptly obstructing an official procedure, the congressional certification of the election.

    now of course this context matters here. that is, it was a civil dispute. focuses solely on john eastman’s effort to prevent his emails from being delivered to the january 6th committee. but they are nonetheless considering the same question that the justice department will consider when deciding whether to launch an investigation. and even if this is by preponderance of the evidence and not by fault beyond a reasonable doubt, it should at least be enough for the justice department to launch an investigation if it hasn’t already done so.

    wagner: harry, how did you read that ruling? And what are the implications as far as you are concerned?

    harry litman, former assistant attorney general: yes, i agree with barb. Look, it’s thunderous and unprecedented on one level. a federal judge is out and gathers evidence into a few seemingly overwhelming pages of criminal intent and marches through all the elements.

    it’s a very specific evidentiary ruling that says eastman is trying to protect this from the committee getting it, but guess what, they can’t. There is no attorney-client privilege if the client, who would be former President Donald Trump, is actually planning a crime. so he finds it and it’s true. it’s by preponderance, but it’s kind of a very significant development in the atmosphere.

    on the other hand, it doesn’t really raise anything in particular, it doesn’t put garland’s feet in the fire in the sense that garland will continue to exercise independent review, he’ll see that as a separate question. but it seems to me that this whole day, including the hearing that we just saw, he really opted for the pressure, the public pressure on the department to make a decision on trump that, to date, he has not been very keen to undertake. /p>


    wagner: we know, i mean, if the easement case can end up in the supreme court, which brings us to today’s second development, which is, if it ends up in court, it’s likely to be ruled by all judges, including clarence thomas.

    Clarence Thomas is in the news right now because his wife has a lot of email correspondence with Mark Meadows that puts Clarence Thomas in a terribly awkward position. We’re getting reports, barb, that bennie thompson, the chair of the january 6th inquiry, says he’s comfortable with the committee subpoenaing ginni thomas to testify in front of the committee, which makes the idea of ​​clarence thomas, her husband, be decisions regarding January 6, and his incredibly complex investigation. What are the legal complications as far as you see them? if jenny thomas is in fact quoted?

    mcquade: yes, this really, i think will bring up a critical point, the ethics rules in the supreme court where justices make their own recusal decisions. And so, in some of those widely circulated text messages, Ginni Thomas urges Mark Meadows not to give in, to keep fighting. And in fact, at one point, he even makes reference to talking to his best friend, who some believe is Clarence Thomas himself.

    and so, you know, people certainly have the right to live their own lives apart from their spouse and engage in certain kinds of political activity, even if their spouse is a judge. but when it comes to a direct conflict, clarence thomas is the one who decides if she has to testify, for example, that could be a very direct conflict.

    But even if it’s not directly about her, for example, the Supreme Court’s recent decision on whether the National Archives should release White House documents. he was the only judge who dissented from that opinion. and now, I think he quite questions his impartiality. Was it because he really believed that was the right legal decision or was he worried that they were heading down a path where his emails or text messages might be delivered?

    So, I think there is a very uncomfortable position on the conflict of interest. when chief justice john roberts is working so hard to try to maintain the court’s legitimacy that allowing these very deferential recusal rules for supreme court justices, i think it could really undermine public confidence in the court.

    wagner: so harry, what’s up? I mean, what is the probability that Judge Thomas will say, you know, the right thing to do here is for me to recuse myself?

    litman: two percent. First of all, they will probably try to call Virginia Thomas for a volunteer interview. and she has no basis to resist. then, she would really be the one to throw down the gauntlet, as she has done before. but if it’s thomas on a motion to recuse it’s like barb says, it’s wicked, but the supreme court can decide each justice for himself.

    however, there is this broader problem here. she is deep in the stew from all the striving through the meadows. turns out we have these 29 emails. there will probably be more. and she is a member of a kind of conservative elite that justice is too. so, I think there is a separate unpleasantness, even apart from the recusal. but yes, the hard fact about the recusal is that it will go right to him and no one would bet great odds that she would actually agree to step aside.

    wagner: yes. January 6 is just one of many issues that Ginni Thomas has been effectively lobbying on issues that are also before the court. I just want to – before we have to go here, I want to talk about ted cruz. there are many reports in the washington post that senator ted cruz was involved in planning a response to the election, so to speak, an effort to undermine his credibility and perhaps even stage a hit, legally speaking, with president trump .

    do you anticipate as we learn more about this, barb, that senator ted cruz might be subpoenaed by committee?

    mcquade: boy, this is one real hot potato. you know, the members of congress, these committees have always been so deferential to their own, to the members of congress, to the senators. it would be a very significant development if they were to cite it. however, it seems that he was another piece in this equation, a really instrumental piece.

    They needed someone in the House and someone in the Senate to agree to challenge the states’ certification. and agreed to be that senator. if he has the kind of intent that we’re beginning to see, like the judge described in that decision today, he could potentially even bring criminal charges. so, it’s – it’s more theater to come, I think.

    wagner: yes. imagine a sitting senator and the wife of a supreme court justice potentially subpoenaed. harry litman and barbara mcquade, thank you both. That’s all for this Monday. I’m alex wagner instead of chris hayes. “The Rachel Maddow Show” with Ali Velshi starts right now. Good night Ali.

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