All In With Chris Hayes, Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014
Read the transcript from the Wednesday show
ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
October 22, 2014
Guest: Vassy Kapelos, Tom Clark, Julia Kuan, Steve Kornacki
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN.
Attack in Ottawa. Shots fired at the national war memorial and inside
the Canadian parliament. One soldier guarding the memorial is dead
tonight, and one suspect, too.
Tonight, questions remain.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We don`t yet have all
the information about what motivated the shooting, whether this was part of
a broader network or plan or whether this was an individual or series of
HAYES: We`ll go live to Canada for the very latest.
Then, new details from Ferguson. We now have the official autopsy for
Michael Brown, and a cascade of leaks from the grand jury. What is going
Plus, midterm turnaround. Democratic funding heads back to Kentucky
as the race tightens up. We take an in-depth look at the Republican
governors in blue states who are up for re-election.
ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
We`re awaiting an address from the prime minister of Canada tonight as
that country reels in the wake of a deadly shooting in the nation`s capital
of Ottawa. At this hour, the shooter has been identified as Michael Zehaf-
Bibeau, formerly Michael Joseph Hall, a 32-year-old Canadian who is a
convert to Islam. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported he had a
criminal record involving drug related offenses.
The lone victim has been identified as 24-year-old corporal Nathan
Cirillo, a reserve officer who was guarding the National War Memorial, seen
here on the left, where the shooting begun.
And Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers is the man who shot and killed
Zehaf-Bibeau in the capital`s parliament building where the melee came to
The hours-long chaos and the lockdown of the Canadian capital, as well
as the wide range of precautions taken in the U.S. began at 9:52 a.m. this
morning, when police received 911 calls of shots fired at Ottawa`s National
Corporal Nathan Cirillo, who was guarding the memorial, was shot. He
was rushed to Ottawa hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Multiple witness accounts say the shooter carrying a long-barreled
weapon ran toward the nearby street. There`s also amateur video purporting
to show the gunman getting into a car by the National War Memorial.
Authenticity of the video has not been verified by NBC News.
Members of Canada`s parliament had just started caucus meeting when at
approximately 9:56, four minutes after the shooting of the war memorial,
shots rang out inside the halls of the parliament building. A reporter for
"The Globe and Mail" captured the moment that happened.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
HAYES: As that incredible footage indicates, there were multiple
rounds fired inside the parliament building, although unclear which were
from the gunman and which were from those trying to apprehend him. But at
some point, the shooter which since identified as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau,
formerly Michael Joseph Hall, was shot and killed by Kevin Vickers, the
parliament sergeant-at-arms, a former member of the Royal Canadian Mounted
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper apparently was in the
parliament at the time and was hustled out by security. Police rushed to
evacuate the building, secure the site. Some parliament members reacted to
the shooting by piling chairs against doors, according to NBC News. SWAT
teams methodically escorted people to safety, and while police ultimately
secured the site, part of the initial chaos centered on concern over
possible multiple shooters.
There were also reports of shooting at a third site, the Rideau
Centre, a shopping mall police later said there was no shooting at that
Three people were admitted to the hospital with minor nonlife
threatening injuries related to the shootings. They have all been
After the shootings and ever-widening lockdown of downtown Ottawa
ensued, police fanned out across Ottawa, and there was a manhunt on the
presumption that there might be more than one shooter amid a situation that
Ottawa police described as fluid and ongoing.
Part of the context for the Canadian reaction was the fact that Canada
had elevated its terror threat level last week. And two days ago, a
radical jihadist ran over two soldiers at a suburban mall in Montreal,
killing one of them. It`s been declared a terrorist attack.
This afternoon, President Obama called Prime Minister Harper to voice
America`s solidarity with Canada and later had this to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: It emphasizes the degree to which we have to remain vigilant
when it comes to dealing with these kinds of acts of senseless violence or
terrorism. And it pledged as always to make sure that our national
security teams are coordinating very closely, given not only as Canada one
of our closest allies in the world, but they`re our neighbors and our
friends, and obviously, there`s a lot of interaction between Canadians and
the United States where we have such a long border.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Immediately after the incident began today, the North American
Aerospace Defense Command was placed on high alert. The U.S. embassy in
Ottawa was placed on lockdown. Security was increased at the Tomb of the
Unknown Soldier in Washington.
Canadian interests in New York and Washington were also reportedly
provided extra security.
Joining me now from the scene is Vassy Kapelos. She`s parliamentary
correspondent for "Global National".
My understanding, Vassy, is that you were there this morning. What
was the scene like?
VASSY KAPELOS, PARLIAMENTARY CORRESP., GLOBAL NATL: I was. Our
studios, actually, Chris, are just above the war memorial. And we had a
bird`s eye view of what happened.
I heard one of my colleagues shout out, someone say someone`s being
shot. And I literally immediately went down on the elevator and got
outside. I think I was outside about two minutes after the actual
The scene, I can tell you, was -- you know, it`s a very public area.
It was just before 10:00 this morning. There were a number of passersby
who witnessed what happened, you know, had eyewitness accounts really.
They were stunned. They were shocked.
A number of them actually went towards the victim, starting performing
CPR. After that, within minutes, police had arrived, a huge police
presence. They started, you know, making -- backing us up, making,
cordoning off the area. And from then, you know, the situation kept
unfolding. And as you mentioned earlier, it was a very fluid situation.
HAYES: There was -- there were reports earlier of possibility of two
shooters, that there was one at each location. It`s a little unclear in
the subsequent events of the days that played out. And we`ve heard from
Ottawa police authorities and Canadian authorities whether there remains an
active manhunt or an active search for any possible accomplices. What`s
the latest on that?
KAPELOS: Yes. That`s a great question. And it`s one that`s being
asked continually throughout the day, because I can tell you that even
though once we had confirmed the one shooter was dead, the one suspect was
dead, much of this area was still under lockdown. In fact, I`ve just
received word that lockdown in parliament has finally been lifted.
But just even 45 minutes ago, we were told, no, if you`re in downtown,
stay where you are. The situation is still very fluid.
There has been no confirmation there are other shooters or other
suspects. But, you know, the situation wasn`t totally resolved when the
first shooter was shot dead, which led many to wonder whether there are
other suspects. RCMP never confirmed that specifically. It`s clear they
were looking for more. We don`t know at this point if more suspects have
But perhaps the prime minister who is expected to address Canadians
very shortly will be able to tell us about that.
HAYES: Yes, we`re getting word, actually, that Prime Minister Harper
is just about to address the nation. Vassy Kapelos, thank you for being
That is Prime Minister Steven Harper. He has been set to address the
nation tonight, and he is about to speak after the shooting today.
There he is.
STEPHEN HARPER, PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA: My fellow Canadians: For
the second time this week, there has been a brutal and violent attack on
Today, our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of
Corporal Nathan Cirillo of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.
Corporal Cirillo was killed today, murdered in cold blood, as he
provided a ceremonial honor guard at Canada`s National War Memorial -- that
sacred place that pays tribute to those who gave their lives so that we can
live in a free, democratic and safe society.
Likewise, our thoughts and prayers remain also with the family and
friends of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, who was killed earlier this
week by an ISIL-inspired terrorist.
Tonight, we also pray for the speedy recovery of the others injured in
these despicable attacks.
Fellow Canadians, we`ve also been reminded today of the compassionate
and courageous nature of so many Canadians, like those private citizens and
first responders who came to provide aid to Corporal Cirillo as he fought
for his life. And, of course, the members of our security forces and the
RCMP, the city of Ottawa police and in Parliament, who came quickly and at
great risk to themselves to assist those of us who were close to the
Fellow Canadians, in the days to come we will learn more about the
terrorist and any accomplices he may have had.
But this week`s events are a grim reminder that Canada is not immune
to the types of terrorist attacks we have seen elsewhere around the world.
We are also reminded that attacks on our security personnel and on our
institutions of governments are by their very nature attacks on our
country, on our values, on our society, on us Canadians as a free and
democratic people who embrace human dignity for all.
But let there be no misunderstanding -- we will not be intimidated.
Canada will never be intimidated. In fact, this will lead us to strengthen
our resolve and redouble our efforts and those of our national security
agencies to take all necessary steps to identify and counter threats and
keep Canada safe here at home. Just as it will lead us to strengthen our
resolve to strengthen and redouble our efforts to work with our allies
around the world and fight against the terrorist organizations who
brutalize those in other countries with the hope of bringing their savagery
to our shores. They will have no safe haven.
Well, today has been, without question, a difficult day. I have every
confidence that Canadians will pull together with the kind of firm
solidarity that has seen our country through many challenges. Together, we
will remain vigilant against those at home or abroad who wish to harm us.
For now, Laureen and Ben and Rachel and I join all Canadians in
praying for those touched by today`s attack. May God bless them, and keep
our land glorious and free.
HAYES: All right. That was Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper,
addressing the nation of Canada today after the attack in Ottawa, defiant,
saying the nation would not be cowed, referring to the attack as a
terrorist attack. He is now, of course, giving that same address in
And joining me now is chief political correspondent for "Global
National", Tom Clark.
Tom, we learned I guess it was about an hour or two ago, the name of
this individual identified as the shooter who was shot and killed by
actually the sergeant-of-arms of parliament, which is a pretty remarkable
This individual Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, that name is not his given name
-- what do we know about him so far?
TOM CLARK, GLOBAL NATIONAL: Well, we know he`s known to police,
Chris, because he`s got a long criminal record. Possession of marijuana,
PCP, for which he served 60 days. That was in Vancouver.
And the other end of the country in Montreal, he was arrested for
robbery, he was arrested for what`s called uttering threats. I think he
served a day for that and then he sort of went underground for about three
years, lost track of him.
But here`s what else we know about him, Chris, is that the security
services in Canada known CSIS had their eye on him for some time. They
were so worried that he was radicalized and may go over to Syria and Iraq
to join ISIL, that they lifted his Canadian passport so he couldn`t travel.
We also know that the person who ran over those other Canadian forces
members just yesterday was also on that watch list and also had his
passport taken by our security services.
So, he wasn`t a complete surprise to authorities. They had their eye
on him. But there wasn`t much they could do.
HAYES: So, this is -- this is interesting to me. There has been a
lot of talk about ISIS, about people being radicalized in the U.S. or
Canada, Australia or -- a number of places and going to join ISIS. It
seems Canada implemented a policy in which they have sort of preemptively
disallowed travel by people that they feel are possible threats.
But there is no crime to charge them for which puts them in what
appears in the last week a strange space in which you have people that
you`ve kept in the country who you view as possible threats, and then, it
seems in the span of the week, two of them have actually gone on to commit
pretty heinous acts.
CLARK: And that`s going to be looked at, Chris. I mean, that very
question that you raise, because we know that there are 88 of them. Now,
we`ve got to start looking pretty quickly at the other 86 whose passports
have also been lifted, who are also on the watch list by CSIS, because is
there a connection between these two things?
But, you know, it`s kind of like that movie "Minority Report." You
try to prevent a crime before it actually happens. And that is fraught
with all sorts of difficulties and problems. However, at the same time,
these people were prevented from going over to the Middle East to create
atrocities over there. Unfortunately, they committed atrocities here.
HAYES: So, do we know anymore -- obviously, it`s an early stage of
reporting. We have the name of this person. I haven`t seen news outlets
with the confirmed photo of him. There was an ISIS account that was
tweeting a photo they said of him.
Do we have a back story about this individual`s conversion? His
influences, his motivation? Anything like that as of yet?
CLARK: No, we don`t, and I`ll tell you why. It is that when he sort
of submerged for three years.
Now, he did, supposedly, convert to Islam. But -- and that could have
been the thing that brought him to the attention of authorities. But
clearly, it was his criminal record. I mean, here`s a guy who has been
known to police since 2004. They know this is a bad guy.
And now, this extra layer came on. And he changed dress, he changed
demeanor, and that`s what brought him to the attention of authorities.
But beyond that, we really don`t know. Is there another gunman around
Ottawa tonight? The authorities don`t know. They knew that there were two
people or like eyewitnesses said, there were two people in that car that
rolled up to parliament hill and they haven`t found the other one yet,
which is why even though the lockdown supposed lockdown is over.
What`s really happening is that they`re evacuating women and children
from the center block, the main building on parliament hill first. Others
will then be allowed to go. But it`s part of an evacuation of parliament
hill because they are going to go office by office, nook and cranny, by
nook and cranny, just to be absolutely sure that there is no second
accomplice still on parliament hill.
HAYES: Tom Clark, thank you very much.
More on this breaking story to come. Today`s incident was the second
time this week the Muslim convert killed a Canadian soldier. What happened
in Canada on Monday, ahead.
HAYES: Reporters and photographers on lockdown at the White House
after yet another person jumped the fence. Officials tell NBC News
tonight, the jumper got 20 to 25 yards from the fence before he was tackled
by officers and dogs. He`s being treated for his injuries, no word yet on
HAYES: Ottawa`s parliament this morning, reporter Cormac MacSweeney
with 680 News Radio was on the phone with his editor when shots rang out.
Here`s what he recorded.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
CORMAC MACSWEENEY, PARLIAMENT HILL REPORTER: I don`t know. There`s a
bunch of gun shots. A guy with a shotgun?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I saw him come in.
MACSWEENEY: Where do we go? Where do I go? This way? This way?
OK. Thank you.
Yes. Are you rolling on me right now?
OK. I`m in -- I`m in a security office right now, apparently,
somebody has walked up to the front steps of parliament hill. A single guy
came in with a shotgun.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
HAYES: The attacks in Ottawa come amid a heightened atmosphere of
alert in Canada over the potential threat of Islamist terrorism.
Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, who Canadian authority say opened fire inside
parliament today, is the second Muslim convert to kill a Canadian soldier
this week. Just two days ago, a lone assailant in Quebec rammed two
service members with a car in a hit and run, killing one in what officials
are considering a terrorist attack.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVEN BLANEY, CANADIAN PUBLIC SAFETY MINISTER: What took place
yesterday is clearly a link to a terrorist ideology. I am horrified by
what took place here. This is a terrible act of violence against our
country, against our military, against our value.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The assailant Martin Rouleau who was fatally shot by police
found in a high-speed chase became radicalized after converting to Islam
about a year ago, according to Canadian authorities, Rouleau was stopped at
the airport in July as he was attempting to leave for Turkey, officials
said, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police seized his passport. Lacking
evidence to charge him, the RCMP released Rouleau, adding him to a list of
90 people being monitored for ties to terrorism.
Canada has been on alert since authorities detected would-be
terrorists, discussing potential ISIS-inspired knife and gun attacks
against U.S. and Canadian targets inside Canada. That discovery coming
shortly after Prime Minister Stephen Harper`s announcement earlier this
month that Canadian war planes would deploy to fight against ISIS.
Last month, an ISIS spokesman explicitly called on followers to launch
their own attacks on civilians in the West. Quote, "If you can kill a
disbelieving American or European or an Australian or Canadian or any other
disbeliever from the disbelievers waging wars, including the citizens of
the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then
rely upon Allah and kill him in any manner or way, however it may be."
Yesterday, the Canadian government confirmed it had raised its own
domestic terror threat level late last week from low to medium. Not a
response to a specific threat, they said, but to, quote, "an increase in
general chatter from radical Islamist organizations."
Joining me now is Laith Alkhouri. He`s NBC News counterterrorism
analyst, senior analyst for Flashpoint Partners.
So -- we don`t have all the details at all about this individual
Michael Zehaf-Bibeau. It appears that he is a convert, converted and
became radicalized and undertook this. We do know that it appears a
Twitter handle associated with the Islamic State, with ISIS, was tweeting
out congratulations and or photo of him. You`re seeing that`s the photo
they`ve been tweeting out.
What do you make of all this?
LAITH ALKHOURI, NBC NEWS COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: Well, this photo
was actually originally tweeted out by a Canadian French language news
outlet and ISIS supporters took that and ran with it.
However, after the Monday incident ramming the two soldiers, Islamic
State Canadian fighters in English went on to their twitter accounts and
started tweeting messages in celebration of the Monday attack. One actual
ISIS Canadian fighter said, "I don`t care if my parents get killed because
they are infidels." So, he encouraged attacks to follow suit, basically,
the -- today`s attack, we don`t know if it`s associated with the Monday
attack. But we don`t know if it`s even inspired by the Islamic State.
But what appears is this individual was somewhat radicalized. He
converted to Islam recently. And that probably put him on the watch list
of the Canadian forces.
HAYES: We`ve now seen a situation in talking about Monday`s attack in
which we know a bit more, right? We`re seeing a situation in which you
have a certain segment of people, very small in number, right? In absolute
number. We`re talking about a tiny segment of people, but some people from
Australia to France to Canada to the U.S. are being kind of caught up in
this ISIS propaganda.
Many of whom are converts. They`re not even born to the faith. It`s
not their tradition. And they are being stoked into perhaps committing
these lone wolf acts.
ALKHOURI: Indeed. As a matter of fact, the Islamic State featured a
Canadian Muslim convert Andre Poulin a few months ago who was killed later
in battle. He was actually one of the leaders in a battle in Aleppo. And
it featured them in an official video. He spoke in English. He spoke
directly to brethren at home.
He said, "I used to be just like you, I played hockey, I used to fish,
but now I found the truth. So, join me in the truth, whether in the region
or in the ranks or do it at home, if you adhere to the ideology.
HAYES: There is this kind of cult-like quality to this. I was
reading some of the Twitter feeds of English-speaking ISIS folks. Some of
whom who have joined ISIS who come from abroad. It reminded me of the kind
of -- the Mason trial, the Manson family, sort of this world that has just
become complete and whole, this cutting off all ties with people in the
past, this kind of deranged sociopathic view of the world.
ALKHOURI: Except that, they find a sense of belonging in this group.
So, as you said, it`s everywhere around the world. They`re finding this
group to be very attractive.
I think it`s more than just a cult or the way they see it or the way
we should be viewing it. You know, I think this announcement of the
caliphate has really created this euphoric feeling around the world, among
many radical Muslims thinking this is, indeed, the return of the caliphate.
This is the true Islamic State.
So, there`s a lot more acceptance to this Islamic State than any cult
that we`ve had in the United States.
HAYES: In terms of the broadness of it.
ALKHOURI: Broadness of it. So it really reflects on the global
aspirations of the Islamic State itself.
HAYES: So, one of the operational questions. The idea of these lone
wolf attacks terrifying because it seems there`s no rhyme or reason, right?
Random attacks on random locations. At the same level, it seems to me,
from everything I`ve read, ISIS doesn`t have anywhere near the operational
command and control and sort of logistical sophistication that al Qaeda
had, for instance, pre-9/11.
Are we seeing a change in tactics or is this a demonstration that is
doesn`t have the infrastructure in place to carry off something larger and
ALKHOURI: Well, ISIS became the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, was
later became the Islamic State. So, between 2013 until today, it
considered a new entity. But as the Islamic State going back to 2003, it`s
not a new entity.
So, it has a lot of power. It has a lot of seasoned fighters. The
United States and the West generally speaking were not its main focus.
However, starting with the attacks on Iraq and Syria, now, the United
States and other Western allies are being at the top of the helm of the
priority list to target.
HAYES: Laith Alkhouri, thank you very much.
ALKHOURI: Thank you.
HAYES: All right. There`s an incredible bit of footage from Ottawa
that is worth taking a second look at, given some of the images we`ve been
seeing at home this year. That`s next.
HAYES: One of the most remarkable moments from the tragic shooting in
Ottawa earlier today was when we watched live police evacuating people one-
by-one from the post office in downtown Ottawa.
Seven heavily armed officers escorting civilians out of the office and
into a police vehicle then crouching down and looking upwards apparently,
fearing live fire than falling back to their original position preparing to
ferry the next person to safety.
Meanwhile, another woman walks out, holds back for a few seconds and
is rushed into the car surrounded by several officers. In the picture, you
see police, some in face masks and bulletproof vest, guns pointed upward
and the police vehicle where people are being evacuated, too.
And if the armored truck this man and woman are being escorted into
for safety looks familiar to you. You`re not alone. We`ve seen a
variation of this police vehicle on the news in the U.S. for months.
It played over and over again in Ferguson brought out by police tackle
units trying to contain what were largely peaceful protests. It`s those
images of those military-style vehicles on the streets of Ferguson that
So in that context, it was striking today to see the armored vehicle
being used in a totally appropriate situation. In this country has become
a sign of police militarization, the police use of force against the people
there sworn to protect.
Today, its use in Canada was a reminder. These types of military
vehicles can serve a purpose under extreme circumstances as today
unquestionably was. That`s what they were built for and should be used
for, and only used for.
There is news from Ferguson, Missouri, tonight. We`ll bring that to
HAYES: All right, there is more big news today out of the Ferguson
grand jury, which we will bring to you in a moment. But before we get to
that, it is worth starting by reiterating what the purpose of a grand jury
Because I think a lot of people, heck, even most people have quite a
bit of confusion. It`s important to note, a grand jury`s job in the
judicial system we have is not to determine guilt or innocence whether
someone committed a crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
That`s what a trial is for. A grand jury is convened to determine
whether there is sufficient evidence to indict a person and then that
indicted person either pleads or goes to trial where guilt or innocence is
And the bar for indictment is far below beyond a reasonable doubt. In
the vast majority of cases, cases I`ve covered as a reporter, particularly,
prosecutors go before grand jury and present their evidence and only their
evidence for why the person should be indicted.
It`s the prosecution`s side of the story and the grand jury weighs
that evidence and then decides whether it should proceed to indictment.
Now from day one, St. Louis County Prosecutor, Bob McCullough has taken a
different approach, which is fairly unusual.
Instead of presenting the prosecution`s case seeking indictment, he`s
decided to present what he says is all of the evidence. As it becomes
available, essentially leaving it to the grand jurors to sort it out.
McCullough has said he`s decided to do things this way, quote,
"because of the interest this case has generated and the concern it has
generated in the community."
And over the last few days in a series of leaks from unnamed sources
to a variety of media outlets, we have basically been given accounts that
appear to back Officer Darren Wilson`s side of the story from the grand
A few days ago, government officials said the "New York Times" -- what
government officials gave the "New York Times" what they called the first
public account of Officer Wilson`s testimony to investigators.
Stating, he told investigators he was pinned in his vehicle and in
fear for his life as he struggled over his gun with Mike Brown and today,
citing a source with knowledge of Wilson`s statements.
The "St. Louis Dispatch" what they`re calling the most detailed
account of Wilson`s version of August 9th event to be made public, which
comes on top of the paper releasing a copy of Mike Brown`s entire autopsy
report and a medical examiner who is not part of the official investigation
told "The Dispatch."
The autopsy shows Mike Brown was shot in the hand at close range
instead of, quote, "does support there was a significant altercation at the
car." Then there was a "Washington Post" story today titled "Evidence
supports officer`s account of shooting in Ferguson."
In which the report states that according to people familiar with the
investigation, more than half dozen unnamed black witnesses have provided
testimony to a St. Louis County grand jury that largely supports Wilson`s
account of the events of August 9th.
This steady stream of leaks has turned what is supposed to be a secret
proceeding driven by the prosecution into a public proceeding taking place
in the media that seems far more beneficial to the defense.
It appears that a certain group of people are determined to get this
information out to the public perhaps to prepare the people of Ferguson and
greater St. Louis for the coming announcement sometime in the next month or
two of whether or not the grand jury will ultimately indict Officer Wilson.
Joining me now is criminal defense attorney, Julia Kuan. Julia, I
wanted to set this in a context. You defend people for a living.
JULIA KUAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes.
HAYES: OK. What is it normally like? Someone gets picked up for
assault or a shooting. The indictment process usually plays out quite
differently than this in terms of the grand jury, right?
KUAN: Absolutely. So what you said before is absolutely true.
Normally, a prosecutor will present the evidence against the accused that
normally is beneficial to the prosecution`s case.
HAYES: And they have no obligation, right? There`s no legal
obligation for them to say, well, also, there`s these people who say he
didn`t do it.
KUAN: Well, they don`t have to at that point present exculpatory
KUAN: Especially if there is evidence supporting the people`s case,
which is that the defendant --
KUAN: Should be charged.
KUAN: And that a grand jury can find that there`s sufficient evidence
to charge the defendant. So they don`t have to present other accounts or
other evidence if it does not support a charge against the defendant. Now,
there`s some certain circumstances in which a defendant who is accused has
a right to testify in the grand jury.
And in that kind of situation, for example, in this situation, the
officer is permitted and has a right to go before the grand jury and tell
his side of the story.
HAYES: And how common is it that you have the accused testifying
before the grand jury? Obviously, you know, there`s a fifth amendment and
there`s a reason that often you would hold back your client from doing
that. How common is that?
KUAN: It`s pretty uncommon. However, it seems, and I`ve -- and
being that I`ve been doing this work for over 20 years now, usually
whenever you see a police shooting, often times officers do testify in the
grand jury. Sometimes the grand jury will hear that testimony and credit
the officer and not vote to indict. And other times, they will, but that
simply just says there`s sufficient evidence to charge the police officer
with a crime.
HAYES: If you were representing a police officer in a situation in
which they had shot and killed someone on duty. What would be your advice?
Take Darren Wilson`s case, would you advise him, get on the stand, get your
story in the hands of the grand jury because you`re a police officer and
you`re going to be presumably they will view you as credible?
KUAN: Well, I think it always depends. There`s no black and white.
But in a situation like this, I could see why a defense attorney would have
his client, the police officer testify. I have put clients who are not
police officers in the grand jury where I think that they`re very credible,
they`re very believable, and a grand jury will not indict them and then end
the case early.
HAYES: How often do you get out of a grand jury without an
indictment? I mean, my experience when I`ve covered, prosecutor wants an
indictment, they get an indictment.
KUAN: Well, you know, the phrase, the grand jury will indict a ham
sandwich. That`s absolutely true. Most times the grand jury will indict
any case presented by the prosecution and the reason --
HAYES: Let`s keep in mind also they`re working together every day.
It`s the same person coming before them day in and day out. I`ve got this
case. I`ve got this case, boom, boom, boom. Here are the facts,
indictment. Here are the facts, indictment.
KUAN: That`s right. So the grand jury is supposed to be independent.
However, the way it works --
HAYES: In reality.
KUAN: In reality, they see prosecutors time and time again, day in
and day out. Usually grand jurors sit for a lengthy period of time and
sometimes it`s a month, sometimes it`s longer, and they will hear the
evidence from just the prosecution`s side. So they often times rarely hear
any evidence from the defense.
HAYES: What we are hearing, what we are seeing play out in this
process, something that looks a lot more like the actual trial. I mean, it
seems to me that this grand jury`s been presented with evidence that is
exculpatory, testimony from the officer involved.
There`s forensic evidence. You know, it seems -- basically, this is a
weird kind of pre-trial trial happening in secret with a lot of leaks,
KUAN: Yes, it does seem that way. Thank you.
HAYES: All right, in a handful of blue states, it`s time to go to the
polls and decide whether to re-elect Republican governors. So far, it`s
actually looking pretty good for Democrats.
Plus, the worst political candidate I think I have ever seen, also a
HAYES: All right. When people talk about midterm elections, they
usually focus on who is going to win control of the House and especially
the Senate. And that`s understandable. It`s a national story. It`s easy
to grab on to. It`s undeniably important.
But when people go to the polls for midterm elections, they end up
casting a whole bunch of votes in a whole bunch of different races. And
one of the big reminders we got in 2010 is that midterms are much bigger
than Washington, D.C., Republican wave that year.
It didn`t just give us a Republican-controlled House of
Representatives. It also resulted in a ton of Republicans taking power at
the state level, state legislatures, state Senates and gubernatorial
mansions and that had huge implications.
Look at a state like Maine where Tea Party-backed Republican Paul
LePage, one that was basically a three-way gubernatorial race in 2010.
Well, LePage vetoed legislation in April that would have provided health
insurance to tens of thousands of people through the Medicaid expansion as
part of Obamacare at no cost to his state in the first year.
That`s just one example of the policies Republicans have put in place
after they won elections in blue states during the 2010 wave. Well, it`s
been four years, and that means those blue state Republican governors are
now up for re-election.
And the news there looks a lot better for Democrats than it does right
now when it comes to the Senate. Our own Steve Kornacki is here with the
big board to break it down. Break it down, Steve.
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC: Yes, as you`ve said. There are nine blue
state Republican governors here and the big question is, these are states
that Obama carried twice, Republicans carried as governor in 2010, how many
of them can survive?
And as they`re up for re-election this year so we have nine of them on
the board and what we`ve done here is we`ve ranked them in order of
vulnerability. Basically the safest ones we`re going to list first and
what we think is the most vulnerable Republican governor will go last.
So let`s start going through the list here. We consider this the
safest blue state Republican governor. You see in this -- this is numbers
you`re seeing here.
HAYES: Cruising to re-election.
KORNACKI: Gary Reid has even given up on Goodman there so safest one
is right there. Next safest, this is a surprise.
KORNACKI: At the start of this year, we would have said that John
Kasich was in for a dog fight.
HAYES: This guy was underwater in approval ratings 12 months ago.
KORNACKI: Absolutely. Well, Ed Fitzgerald has run a disastrous
campaign, to even call it a campaign when some of the top people quit in
the middle of the campaign tells you something there was a personal scandal
about revelations of him being found with a woman who is not his wife at
4:00 in the morning in a car, never really explained that.
Second safest of the blue state, Republican Governor Terry Branstad in
Iowa, this would actually be Terry Branstad`s sixth term as the governor of
Iowa, a record, two different stints, one in the `80s and `90s, and again
since 2010. He is well positioned to win again out there.
New Mexico Susana Martinez, a little closer, she`s gotten a little bad
press this year, but again a double digit lead in the average of all polls.
HAYES: I would say, Martinez and Sandoval both Latino, both viewed as
sort of rising stars in the Republican Party because they`re blue state
governor, a lot of eyes toward their races.
KORNACKI: Exactly. This is where you can draw a big line between
number six and number five. Now suddenly you can see in the average of all
polls here. You`re looking at something a lot more competitive.
Snyder, the Republican, a little more than four points ahead in the
average. He talked about Medicaid expansion. The interesting thing here
is that Rick Snyder went to war with the Republican legislature in Michigan
to get the expansion.
Took a lot of heat from his own party, help him with the middle of the
electorate, though, it would be an upset if the Democrats were to pull it
off. It`s not out of reach. It`s very shaky.
HAYES: Also got Medicaid expansion and also have it in New Mexico and
Nevada where might be polling well.
KORNACKI: And they do not now. Here`s a state where they don`t.
Wisconsin, now, this is interesting. The average of all polls, Democrats
in 2010, Scott Walker got in there, had the war with public employee unions
in 2011. You had the recall attempt in 2012.
Now they are back to taking another shot at him. This is very
interesting. The average of all polls, the average of all polls shows
right now, Mary Burke, the Democratic challenger ahead of Scott Walker,
barely. This is a dead even race and the stakes here are higher than
Wisconsin, of course.
Scott Walker is a 2016 prospect. If you`re a Democrat and stop him
here, you are stopping a Republican presidential candidate, as well.
Moving on to the third most vulnerable Republican incumbent, Rick Scott,
there`s been movement here.
Because if you look at this a month ago, Rick Scott would have been
ahead in this average, he`s now fallen behind. The story here is that Rick
Scott spent $25 million. This summer, early fall when Charlie Crist was
not on the air, just savaging Charlie Crist.
He pulled ahead by a few points. Crist is now spending money, now has
a slight lead. Crist -- so we are ranking Scott as the third most
vulnerable. The second most vulnerable, he`s actually a little closer.
HAYES: He`s got the three-way race again!
KORNACKI: And here, exactly what it is. The reason why we say he`s
more vulnerable even though he`s closer than some of the other Republicans
is the assumption is 38.5 is about as high as he`s going to get. That`s
The question is, how split is it going to be between the Democrat and
Eliot Cutler, the independent. He lost by a point to Paul Lepage. Is he
going to fade out or climb and get Paul Lepage re-elected? And then the
most vulnerable --
HAYES: The biggest train wreck of a -- of the class of 2010 in blue
states, I would say.
KORNACKI: Yes, vulnerable is not the word here when you`re an
incumbent and down by more than 10 points in the average. When your
opponent`s over 50 percent on the average, you don`t want to say any race
is over, but he is in dire, dire straits right now.
HAYES: Steve`s going to stick around. I will tell you who the worst
candidate I think I`ve ever seen is. I`ll see if you agree with me after
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Governor Scott, why the delay coming out over a
GOVERNOR RICK SCOTT, FLORIDA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: I waited until
we figured out if he was going to show up. He said he was going to come.
He said he wasn`t going to come to the debate. Why come out until he`s
CHARLIE CRIST, FLORIDA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: Did the attorney
general ask you to delay the execution so she could go forward with her
political fund raising?
MODERATOR: You can answer that, Governor Scott.
SCOTT: She asked me to delay it because it didn`t work on the dates
she thought it was going to be on.
CRIST: Did you know it was for a political fundraiser?
SCOTT: Charlie, she apologized.
CRIST: I didn`t ask about her. Did you know it was for a political
SCOTT: She apologized --
CRIST: He doesn`t answer questions.
HAYES: All right. We`re back with our own Steve Kornacki. Rick
Scott. So, obviously, put my cards on the table. Obviously my politics
are different than Rick Scott`s. I think, you know -- I have a lot of
problems, But putting that aside, I can recognize political talent when I
Chris Christie, enormously gifted politician, I think that`s true of
Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and a bunch of other people. I cannot believe this man
has been elected just in the basic kind of interpersonal attributes he has.
The way he reads is so strange and different than any politician I`ve
ever seen who has managed to ascend to the level that he has.
KORNACKI: Well, you know, and I think there are politicians like this
in both parties. You end up looking at and saying they are perfect symbols
of the year in which they were elected. And that is the story with Rick
In the story of 2010, the story of the rise of the Tea Party, Rick
Scott was running against a very establishment Republican, in the primary,
in 2010, and any other year, he would`ve lost that primary, but in the Tea
Party uprising, wins it.
HAYES: And spent a ton of his own money which did not hurt.
KORNACKI: And then he would have been in any other year with his
background, as it was, he nearly lost, but because the tide was so strong
for the Republicans in 2010, he wins by a fraction of a point in Florida.
And the question then becomes, OK, sometimes politicians will luck
into victories because they`re in the right place at the right time. Is he
going to take advantage of having the office, incumbency, the platform?
The thing about Rick Scott is we are seeing the momentum to this race
to the extent there is any seems to be with Charlie Crist right now. This
HAYES: Absolutely. Rick Scott looked like Tom Corbett to me a year
and a half ago. I just thought, this is Corbett, the other sort of class
2010 person who got elected and then, I think, the voters, Pennsylvanians
are going to send him packing, it looks like.
KORNACKI: The reason he`s recovered enough to be competitive in this.
Two things, one is money, but the second thing is voter optimism, optimism
among residents of Florida about the economy and where it`s going. It`s
improved in Florida, and a way that`s helped him.
HAYES: Fascinatingly, a big part of that has to do with the latency
of the amount of excess inventory in Florida in particular in the housing
situation. It took them a longer time to dig out. And as they come out of
it, they accelerate faster because such a huge part of the macro economic
problems they had in Florida was around housing.
KORNACKI: And there`s another example in the right place at the right
HAYES: That`s exactly right. Very quickly, DSDS announced they`re
packing up, getting out of the Kentucky race, Alison Lundergan Grimes.
Everyone was telling me it`s over, it`s over. You`re a fool. And the
polls don`t make it look over. They`re going to drop $650,000 in the race
KORNACKI: Well, we`ll see. Again, the polling average you were doing
last time. Look at the states where Democrats are trying to take
republican incumbents out. They`re trying, Georgia, Kentucky. Kentucky`s
definitely number three --
HAYES: Of those three.
KORNACKI: I think there`s an attempt here, obviously, to look like
you have some confidence, momentum. Maybe they can peel it off. McConnell
has never been that popular there, but Kentucky is definitely a
significantly longer shot at this point for Democrats than Georgia and
beating Pat Roberts with an independent in Kansas.
HAYES: Yes. It`ll be interesting to see. I keep thinking about the
fact that McConnell has watched two successive elections where Republicans
probably would`ve taken the Senate majority. He`s watched Tea Party
candidates screw him over, out of being majority leader and Christine
O`Donnell and Sharon Engel.
HAYES: Well, imagine the sort of tragic Shakespearean irony, if this
is the year the Republicans finally take the majority of the Senate, but
Mitch McConnell actually loses and doesn`t actually get to be majority
KORNACKI: We always say about Mitch McConnell, he`s never -- he never
wins big in Kentucky. He always --
HAYES: Just gets by.
KORNACKI: But the thing he always says is, I`ve never lost.
HAYES: Just like the bar exam, you`ve got to pass. Steve Kornacki,
thanks very much. You can catch Steve`s show weekends at 8 a.m. Eastern
here on MSNBC. The "RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening,
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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