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Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, January 7, 2021

Guests: Katherine Clark, Chris Van Hollen, Elizabeth Neumann, Ilhan Omar, Jelani Cobb


The House of Representatives appears to be moving closer to impeaching Donald Trump for a second time. Speaker Nancy Pelosi earlier today called upon the president's cabinet and Vice President Mike Pence to immediately invoke the 25th Amendment and declare the president unfit to dispatch his duties. Interview with Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA) about the House's plan to impeach President Trump. Interview with Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) about impeaching the president or invoking the 25th Amendment. Interview with Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) about the President's mob breaching the Capitol.


WILL SOMMER, POLITICS REPORTER, THE DAILY BEAST: I mean, there were some truly scary groups involved there. I think this kind of gets it a larger block going on in my politics.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Yes, indeed. They now know as does Isis, as does al-Qaeda, as does any terrorist in the world. You can just get in the Capitol, but you better use white folks because it's going to make it a lot easier for you. Will Sommer, thank you very much for being here and you're reporting. That is tonight's REIDOUT. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts now.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight, on ALL IN.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): The President of the United States incited an armed insurrection against America.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: Don't dare call them protesters. They were a riotous mob, insurrectionists, domestic terrorists.

HAYES: One day after the Trump-inspired siege of the Capitol.

PELOSI: My phone is exploding, impeach, impeach, impeach. The president must be held accountable again.

HAYES: Tonight, the growing urgency to remove Donald Trump from office before it gets worse. The reckoning for everyone who enabled the President's insurrection, the alarming crop of Republicans continuing to support sedition for Trump, and the National Security failure that allowed the President's mob to breach the Capitol, when ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I'm Chris Hayes. Tonight, the House of Representatives appears to be moving closer to impeaching Donald Trump for a second time. That would be the first time in history that's been done.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi earlier today said Trump needs to be removed the White House, called upon the president's cabinet and Vice President Mike Pence to immediately invoke the 25th Amendment and declare the president unfit to dispatch his duties. It would immediately move the power into the hands of Mike Pence. And failing that, Congress will act.


PELOSI: I joined the Senate Democratic leader on calling on the vice president to remove this president by immediately invoking the 25th Amendment. If the vice president or cabinet do not act, the Congress may be prepared to move forward with impeachment. That is the overwhelming sentiment of my caucus.


HAYES: You might have caught that "may" there which I've been thinking about, maybe moving forward with impeachment. Now, there's new reporting tonight that Vice President Pence will not budge on the 25th Amendment. And again, why would he? He has hitched to Donald Trump for all eternity. Mike Pence, Donald Trump, those two names will be together forever. They will be judged together forever, for better or most likely for worse.

And so, Congressman Jerry Nadler, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee that impeach the president one year ago, said it's time to do it again, saying, "I support the immediate impeachment of the president and his removal from office. In the wake of this deadly attack on the Capitol, in the face of this insurrection, we must act. There must be consequences. Those consequences must be commensurate with the offense, and they must begin with the United States."

And Chairman Nadler is absolutely correct. Donald Trump needs to go now. It is no coincidence that in less than an hour ago, the president released a stilted teleprompter video condemning the assault in the Capitol and conceding a new administration will be inaugurated on January 20. It was clearly a bid to halt a 25th Amendment or impeachment even as Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal editorial page says he should resign.

And despite his hostage video concession, it is still clear that Donald Trump cannot be trusted to hold the office for a minute longer. You know, when history comes knocking, when we arrive at these moments, it's strange and surreal because it feels weirdly normal. But our country is, I'm telling you this right now, in the midst of a national emergency, as acute and severe as anything since the Civil War.

It is urgently important the United States be removed from office as quickly as legally possible. The President is a clear and present danger to American democracy, as exemplified by many things, but certainly by his actions yesterday. As Eric Levitz aptly put it in New York Magazine, "He must be evicted from our White House immediately -- our white house immediately. He must be frog marched out of our civic life in disgrace." Amen.

Donald Trump has 13 days left, not even two weeks. But in that time, he is the commander in chief of the most powerful armed forces in the world, in fact, in human history. He has access to the nuclear codes. But short of that, there's all kinds of powers that adhere to him as the President of the United States, among them the pardoning power which he is now reportedly discussing to use to pardon himself, which again would be unprecedented.

But above all that, yesterday, the man charged with protecting the country and defending the Constitution and American democracy, led an armed mob to the Capitol and unleash them to overrun it.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And we're going to have to fight much harder. And Mike Pence is going to have to come through for us. And if he doesn't, that will be a sad day for our country. We're going to walk down to the Capitol and we're going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women. And we're probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them because you'll never take back our country with weakness.


HAYES: Let's all go down to the Capitol. Don't be weak and don't cheer the ones doing the wrong thing. In suing assault in the Capitol Building resulted in the deaths of at least four people. There are four people who are dead after that. And members of the article one branch of Congress, the first branch described in the Constitution, cowering behind makeshift furniture barricades as the armed mobs rampage around and the president rooted them on.

At one point, after the capital is breached, as people had guns drawn in that building, the president tweeting out an attack on Mike Pence who at that moment had been cleared in a secure room by Secret Service. It's a miracle more people didn't die, a miracle. It could have been much worse, as his Justice Department confirmed two explosive devices found the Capitol yesterday were real explosive devices. Also reports of devices outside the RNC and DNC.

Today, the acting U.S. Attorney for Washington D.C. said President Trump was not off-limits to this investigation on what happened yesterday. Well, he sure shouldn't be. The plain truth -- this is not hyperbole or partisanship. The plain truth is that the President has been openly engaged in sedition and seditious conspiracy since he lost the election. In fact, before it, honestly. Yesterday was just the capstone of it.

He needs to be removed from office quickly, and then he should be arrested and tried for sedition. That's where we are right now. Anyone who pretends otherwise is diluted, is disqualified from the sober duties of public life at this important moment. Congress needs to take the steps they can control.

They cannot rely on people in Donald Trump's cabinet to do the right thing. Why would they? They're the people who have colluded with the President as he has overseen the deadliest year in American history and lied to us about an epidemic that as of today is killing a 9/11's worth of people every day. Senator Chuck Schumer made that clear moments after Pelosi spoke.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): Speaker Pelosi and I tried to call the vice president this morning to tell him to do this. They kept us on hold for 25 minutes, and then said the vice president wouldn't come on the phone. So, we are making this call public because he should do it and do it right away.


HAYES: The President incited a violent mob to attack the Capitol. There is no analogue or precedent really for it in American history, perhaps the caning of Charles Sumner in 1856 and 10 years later with a civil war. It should live in infamy and blood-soaked dishonor as that moment does. And the Vice President is a moral coward, complicit in all this, ducking Congress' calls. So, Congress should move immediately to impeach Trump. They absolutely should not go home, as apparently many have.

He sent His armed mobs into your workplace, Congress. They sent the Speaker fleeing into secure room while they ransacked her office at the President's behest. If that is not a crime, I do not know what is. What are we doing here, everyone?

Last night, Senator Mitt Romney, the only republican voted to remove Trump for office, and for that he deserved credit, said we are going to have to hold our breath until Trump is gone. I have a newsflash, Senator. You can't hold your breath for 13 days. It's not good enough. We are in completely uncharted territory here. Everyone is grasping for the right word or analogy, whether in our own history or comparatively in other countries.

And everyone wants normalcy, but this is what it is. We face what we face. The President is a threat to the Republic and to American democracy. He's not just plotting to overturn American democracy. He's actively trying to make it happen. He needs to go right now.

Assistant Speaker of the House Katherine Clark was one of the lawmakers caught up in yesterday's seditious riot. The Massachusetts Democrat became the first member of House leadership to call for the President's removal by the 25th Amendment or impeachment, and she joins me now.

Congresswoman, first, let me just ask you, at a human level, how you are doing, and I guess how you're processing yesterday and what happened yesterday.

REP. KATHERINE CLARK (D-MA): Thank you, Chris. It's difficult to take in. I am never going to forget that scene as I walked up Independence Avenue towards the Capitol to go to work, seeing hundreds of people carrying Trump flags, Confederate flags, the smell of tear gas and burning in the air up on the steps of the Capitol. It's a scene that I thought maybe would happen in some other country, but not here in the United States.

And that fear for my colleagues, for the safety of the staff, of everyone who works in that room -- in that building has been replaced by rage. Rage that this President would commit this seditious act, would commit this act of treason against our country.

HAYES: What -- explain this to me. This morning, I saw the Congress, both houses, had entered into recess with the next plan to convene, I guess, right around the inauguration. And I thought it was a joke or I was misunderstanding something.

Like, it seems to me, there are these battling imperatives. It seems to me that much of the governing class and the political leadership in Washington, Democrat and Republican, would like to avoid some final confrontation with the president. Move on and turn the page, let him walk off.

He is not going to allow that. I don't know how it could be any clearer. Do you all understand that? You are going to have to confront him. There is no other option. Is that understood by you and members of the caucus?

CLARK: It is well understood, appreciated. And we are resolute about holding this president accountable. And we are also resolute in holding our Republican counterparts accountable. They have enabled this president. And after the outrageous and horrifying and dangerous events of yesterday, to have over half of the Republican caucus continue the myth, the lie that is fueling this violence, that somehow our elections were anything but fair.

They voted, you know, to say that these elections somehow shouldn't be certified. So, we have to move forward, and we have to do it on parallel tracks. We have to push for the 25th amendment, but we don't have a good record with Vice President Pence of doing anything to stand up to his oath of office, the same one that I took, that every member of congress took just on Sunday to uphold this constitution. Now is the time to step up.

So, we will ask them to do what's the fastest thing to remove this president, TO go forward with the 25th Amendment removal process. But if they won't, we will act. We will move forward with impeachment and we can do that on a parallel track. There are 13 days left of this presidency, and each one of them is too long for the security of Americans.

HAYES: Yes. There are two sources of urgency it strikes me as here. The first source of urgency is that there are 13 days in which he's president of the United States. He has demonstrated that he is a threat to the republic yesterday. That's just clear. So, there is a threat to America's constitution and democratic order occupying the most powerful position. We have to deal with that.

But second of all, even as the clock ticks, what does it say about American public life and democratic health if someone can do that, and then just leave and maybe run again? I mean, this is it. This is what -- this is how democracies fall, right, when this kind of thing is brooked?

CLARK: That's exactly right, Chris. There's a moment in all of our lives and in our collective lives as a country where history shows us there aren't really any options here. We cannot only not do this to the American people, to our fundamental belief in the constitution to this American experiment in democracy, we also can't do it to the world.

Our Capitol is a symbol with deeper meaning for the world about a democracy and what that means, what elected leaders by the people of a country represent that freedom, our quest for equality and justice for all. And although we are we don't have that perfect union, if we let this act, these horrible seditious acts stand unchallenged, we are sending a message not only to the country, but to the world that we have given up that, we have turned our back on those very ideals.

And because this is the president, it means that we have a responsibility to act and to act swiftly and decisively. And we know that we have to have Republicans find this moment to step up to honor their country over this one person who seems to have such a grip on them.

But there's a point in everyone's life, if it's a political decision, or a personal decision, where you just have to listen to Martin Luther King and do what's right. It is always the right time to do what's right. And there's no gray area here. This is a clear decision. This president is a danger, this president is a traitor, and this president must be removed from office.

HAYES: Catherine Clark of Massachusetts, I'm glad you're safe and I'm glad you're well. And I'm grateful for you coming on. I know that David Cicilline is working on drawing up impeachment in the House Judiciary Committee, and Chairman Nadler supports it along with Ted Lieu and Jamie Raskin. Thank you so much for making time tonight.

CLARK: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: So, if the president impeached, he'll face trial in the Senate just as he first did almost exactly one year ago. Senator Chris Van Hollen would be one of those sitting in judgment, again, of this president. He joins me now.

Let me start with you, Senator, with the same question I asked Congresswoman Clark. How are you doing? How do you understand the events of yesterday?

SEN. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D-MD): Well, Chris, it's good to be with you. I'm still in shock that we had a violent mob attack the capital of the United States and attack our Capitol. At the same time, it was predictable given the lies and the poison and the incitement that fed so many people by the President of the United States that something like this could happen, something violent could happen in the attempt to prevent the peaceful transfer of power.

And that's what we witnessed yesterday with the result of a president inciting insurrection and sedition and people trying to essentially overturn the will of the people in the election in our country. It's a sad day for our country. There has to be active and urgent reaction here.

HAYES: Yes. So, I have no illusions about anyone's come to Jesus moments about the nature of this president. Everything, I think, on well, largely in Capitol Hill, but I think precisely now with the Republicans that are sort of cynical calculations. But it is striking to me, Elaine Chao, who is Mitch McConnell's wife step -- you know, resigned extensively in protest 13 days before it all ended.

Today, Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal editorial page is now calling for him to step down. The President also helped lose those two Senate seats. It's now kicked over to the Senate to the Democratic Party. It's the thing that people like Rupert Murdoch and Mitch McConnell care about more than anything else, frankly, including insurrection.

So, I guess the question is, like, do you feel we're headed towards a Joseph McCarthy denouement here where for a bunch of self-interested reasons people are like, enough with this dude or is it going to be the same nonsense we've seen for four years of like, well, it's only 13 more days?

VAN HOLLEN: Well, look, you've got the rats leaving the sinking ship here, and trying at the 11th hour to somehow redeem themselves. That's not going to happen. And that's why it's so urgent, that we take steps to remove the president because he remains an active threat to our democracy. And we need to establish very clearly the precedent that this is unacceptable conduct.

The 25th Amendment would be the fastest and most likely successful route to actually removing the president power and getting his finger off the nuclear button. But obviously, impeachment needs to be pursued if the 25th Amendment won't work. And I have to say, Chris, the possibility of bringing a criminal indictment against the president for sedition has to be pursued.

HAYES: You're saying, after the president is no longer the president -- and that would be by the Department of Justice, which obviously would be very difficult politically, but you -- but I mean, I agree with you on the merits, it's all there. He's been doing it for weeks in front of everyone. But you think that has to be pursued?

VAN HOLLEN: Look, one thing we know about the incoming President Joe Biden is he will allow the Justice Department to be independent.


VAN HOLLEN: It will not be his political pawn. But in the interests of preserving our democracy, I think that they need to look into charges of sedition. A lot of the elements of, you know, the conspiracy and sedition are there. And it needs to be -- it needs to be pursued, again, totally independent, obviously, from the president -- the next president of the United States.

HAYES: Senator Chris Van Hollen who represents the state of Maryland. In the Capitol yesterday, if I'm not mistaken, I saw you giving a speech late in the night. Thank you very much for making time.

VAN HOLLEN: Good to be with you. Thanks, Chris.

HAYES: Ahead, as the senator just mentioned, some of the Trump enablers are jumping ship abandoning the president extensively as his days in the White House take down. What those political calculations could mean for the country after this.


HAYES: We have come to the point where we always feared this presidency would come to. Its brought about something of a reckoning with the people who have been all too willing to enable Donald Trump because it served their own personal cynical purposes.

And that's a lot of people, there's an entire universe, right, of the institutional Republican Party and political appointees, K Street lobbyists, congressional staffers, staffers in the White House, people in the White House, all of them have been part of this project. This project that's led us to hear the deadliest year in American history, a plague that's killing almost 4,000 people a day and violence and insurrection into the Capitol.

And they've all told themselves all sorts of stories about why it was OK that they were empowering this transparency -- transparently narcissistic sociopath who is obviously a threat to American democracy. Some of them actually liked him and they share those traits. Some of them just said, well, it would be worse if I wasn't here.

And now, with less than two weeks left, with the Capitol reeling from the mob assault and occupation directly egged on by the President, these people in the institutional (INAUDIBLE) are making all kinds of calculations about what to do in the final days to salvage their reputations, and or stop Trump from pulling down the temple on all of our heads.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, as I mentioned, a cabinet member announced her resignation today citing the mob attack. Former Trump Chief of Staff John Kelly said he would vote to remove Trump using the 25th Amendment if he were still a member of the cabinet. The former chief of staff Mick Mulvaney resigned as special U.S. envoy to Northern Ireland, and claimed absurdly that Trump was not the same as he was eight months ago. You bet, Mick.

This is a list of some of the resignations we've seen in the wake of yesterday's assault in the capital, people who stuck with Trump all the way until now when there are just two weeks left before he set to leave office.

I'm joined now by a lifelong Republican who do not wait until now to quit this administration, Elizabeth Neumann, former Assistant Secretary of Counterterrorism and Threat Prevention at the Department of Homeland Security, who resigned in April over the administration's refusal to address the threat posed by right-wing extremism. And it's good to have you on, Elizabeth.

First, let me start on that. I mean, this was what you resigned over. It is what you talked about in the ad that you cut for Republican voters against Trump. And yesterday, we saw people wearing shirts that said things like Camp Auschwitz, and six million was not enough, and things like that, as they violently stormed the capital. I can't imagine what you were thinking as you saw that happen.

ELIZABETH NEUMANN, FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF COUNTERTERRORISM AND THREAT PREVENTION, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY: Well, look, we have seen people like that march before. We saw it in Charlottesville. So, seeing it wasn't the shock. The lack of security around the Capitol, the fact that they could break through that, that was a shock. But that they were going to march, that they had plans for violence, that was pretty well known in the lead up to what happened yesterday.

I think there's a huge security failure in what happened yesterday. And I am so puzzled at what seems to be a blind eye that was turned to this threat. And I've talked to my former colleagues. It's not that they didn't see the same thing that I have been seeing on open source, social media, but they clearly did not take the steps that they needed to be prepared for these violent threat actors.

So, the shock is not that they culminated to this crescendo. It was inevitable. Trump was inciting them, pouring fuel on the fire. It was just a matter of figuring out when it would happen. And I'm just -- the shock is that somehow our law enforcement and counterterrorism agencies weren't prepared. And we've been warning about this for months, even years, and it's shocking that they were so prepared.

HAYES: As someone who worked in this administration, who spent a life as a professional Republican, essentially, I feel like things are balanced on a knife's edge in terms of how the party institutionally relates to Trump. They have essentially seen him as a useful vessel for their purposes, if you're Mitch McConnell, retaining power, getting the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. Which by the way, I would just remind everyone, that's still the case.

So, if you're feeling bad about things, there's still the corporate tax cut. That now as he is proven to be a loser and lost them the Senate and is a threat to American democracy, like what do you think those calculations are? I thought the Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal editorial page saying, if Trump wants to avoid a second impeachment, his best path to take personal responsibility and resign was an interesting cue from some of the most powerful people in those circles.

NEUMANN: It would be great if he would resign. That would save us all a headache. There's huge security concerns about him continuing to be the president for the next 13 days. But with regards to your question about the Republican Party, honestly, I have a kind of a sick to my stomach feeling about the way that Republicans are reacting. There are a handful that like Senator Romney who have been pretty clear and consistent in their viewpoint that Trump was dangerous. He would work with them -- with him when it -- when it was, you know, from a policy standpoint appropriate to do so. But he would not kowtow to, you know, Trump's bullying.

But there are so few people that stood up. And then, I was grateful when a few of them did post-election. That matters in terms of -- I'm not giving them credit, but from a counterterrorism perspective, we needed those voices to try to break into the echo chamber and say, hey, he lost. That's for real. He lost. We need those critical voices.

So, I'm glad they're finally starting to do that. But the sickening feeling is, I think they think they can just rebrand themselves and move on, and they don't appreciate the depth of the ride. They have got to do some serious introspection and confess to the American public all of their grave mistakes here and own it well way before they can move forward. Like there's a lot of work to be done before they can do.

HAYES: There's been lots of stories that we've gotten top White House officials led by O'Brian National Security Adviser consider resigning that Kaitlan Collins tweeting about how Pompeo, Ratcliffe, and O'Brien got similar messages from people who are calling them saying you have to stay for continuity government. We have a CNBC report just now that Mnuchin and Pompeo discussed the 25th Amendment.

And I have to say, I'm just curious your view on this. I can't tell how much of this is essentially brand management and how much is real. I mean, are people concerned? They should be. They shouldn't be talking about this. They should move for it. Or is it like, hey, world, I know this is going to be done soon. I won't be secretary of state but just know I like -- I was thinking about it.

NEUMANN: Yes, I'm kind of Pompeo in the political category of those that are trying to preserve whatever is left of your political career because he wants to run for president. You know, O'Brien, he has some pretty legitimate ability to try to contain Trump if Trump decided to follow his worst instincts. I'm glad he decided to stay. That was probably the right decision.

And when all of this started bubbling up yesterday, I was having conversations with colleagues that had left like me a couple of months ago. And the consensus was while we totally wish they would have resigned way earlier, it probably is necessary for them to stay on for the security of our country. It's only 13 days, and that's what they need to do.

But certainly, there are some that are absolutely doing this for brand management and it's kind of obvious and disgusting.

HAYES: Yes. The problem is at the top, obviously. The president needs to be removed from office. Elizabeth Neumann, thank you so much for your time tonight.

NEUMANN: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: Up next, just hours after the mob attacked Capitol yesterday, majority of House Republicans still voted to invalidate the will of the voters and keep the president in power against the people. Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is going to react to that after this.


HAYES: After a semblance of order was restored at the Capitol yesterday, and the blood was still on the floor and on the statues and the windows the Capitol were still smashed in, lawmakers emerged from their hiding places and returned to the House floor where the majority of House Republicans then voted to overturn the will of the people in key swing states and keep the president in power against the wishes of the nation's voters.

Eight Republican senators including several who clearly view themselves as rising stars and future presidential contenders also voted against the will of the people. And 45 percent of Republicans polled yesterday approved the storming of the U.S. Capitol. So, we are dealing with about half of the entire party if not more, that is essentially in the bag for sedition.

Joining me now is someone who was there on the Capitol grounds yesterday, Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota who's already prepared new articles of impeachment for Donald Trump. Congresswoman, first let me start by asking your experience yesterday, and as someone who has first-hand experience of places in which governmental authority has broken down, how you understood what was happening yesterday.

REP. ILHAN OMAR (D-MN): Yes, thank you so much, Chris, for having me. It was really astonishing to watch, you know, as our nation's capital was attacked by armed domestic terrorists to watch the storming of the Capitol, the preach that was taking place to hear about the warnings, the evacuations.

A lot of my colleagues have reached for third world analogies to utilize. They've spoken of like Somalia and Baghdad. And this is what America looked like yesterday. This is not, you know, other countries. And we have to reckon with that reality.

Our nation has seen just how fragile our democracy has been, just the danger of President like Trump poses and what happens when people are complacent to the warnings of that danger. And I'm just quite devastated to know that we had to endure what we endured yesterday.

HAYES: You are someone who obviously I think is often very targeted very publicly by the rhetoric from the President and the right. And I think also not to get into your security situation, but that raises security issues for you personally. I know that's been reported. What was it like to be in that secure position yesterday?

I was thinking about you specifically actually because of frankly, the target that's been put on you by the President and others in in on the right. What your experience was as you heard these people marauding through the building?

OMAR: Yes, it's been hard to be targeted by the President of the United States. I mean, my life has been altered by the threats that he has incited against my life and my family. And, you know, I think a lot of my colleagues did not appreciate the extent of what those threats meant until it showed for all of us.

And, you know, as I sat in my office and watched what was happening outside of the Capitol and heard about the evacuations that were happening in other buildings -- and I had to be evacuated from my building and, you know, it really sort of centers and put into context for people just how insightful this President has been and how many legs have been threatened by the violence that he has incited when he has -- when he told the Proud Boys to stand down and stand by. This is what he was talking about.

When he says, you know, we need to go and fight and we need to march and we need to show those people who don't have a backbone, how to stand up for our country. This is what he was talking about. And I think, for far too long, you know, so many people have excused his actions, have excused his rhetoric.

And today, we are all living with the reality that the Capitol of the United States was attacked. Members had to hide under their chairs, be summoned into one room, some members hiding in their own bathrooms in their own offices. I mean, this is just a complete tragedy. And that pain is not only being felt by the members, it's being felt by our staff, you know, everyone who works at the Capitol, every single person who cares about our democracy and the state of our Republic.

And to come back and to say, you know, we're just going to move on, and there's not going to be consequences and accountability is something that I am not comfortable with, and no one in the United States should be comfortable with.

HAYES: You have drawn up articles of impeachment. I talked to a member of House leadership Katherine Clark, earlier today -- earlier in the show. I think there's movement towards that. Let me ask you this about the vote that was taken where a majority of our Republican colleagues voted to block those electors, the seeding of those electors that represent the will of the majority of those states and of the American people, and how you -- what that means about one of two major parties that the country shares power with?

OMAR: Yes, I mean, I wasn't really surprised. You know, you had these members join the president in urging this violent mob to descend on us, the Capitol, as we carried out democracy on behalf of the American people in certifying the presidential election. And even after everything transpired, and after we made a conscious decision to uphold our oath and to show up to finish the job, these people still decided to object and to continue with the fallacy that our elections were not secure. That, you know, the people who had cast their votes to elect a president did not deserve to have their president be certified.

And it is, you know, again, not shocking because Republicans have been complacent in his crimes, they have been complacent in the danger that this President has posed. And, you know, it's completely devastating to know that they are still serving, they are craven in their serving, and that they're only worried about what this means for them politically and are not worried about fulfilling their oath of office.

They're not worried about protecting our republic. They're not worried about the strength of our democracy. They're not worried about how dangerous the president they're enabling is and what it means for our nation's history. I believe they have blood on their hands, and no one should forget that.

HAYES: Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, thank you so much for coming on tonight. I really appreciate it.

OMAR: Thank you for having me.

HAYES: Still to come, what led up to the massive security failure in our nation's capital. Jelani Cobb and Ben Collins join me ahead.


HAYES: As someone who has attended and covered many protests in my life, peaceful protest is obviously an important core for first amendment right. Being able to go to the Capitol and protest is important even if you do it in really loud or obnoxious ways, it's still protected. But there's a specific method of -- I don't know if you want to call it protest but a political practice the far-right has been developing that is distinct in that it is armed and meant to intimidate and overrun.

We saw this nearly a year ago in Richmond, Virginia. Remember that? More than 20,000 people gathered for a pro-gun rally. That was amid a push for stronger gun control measures in the state. Now, it was peaceful, but many rally-goers brought firearms and openly carried them to the street. Some even donning military-style tactical gear.

And then there were the protests against Coronavirus shutdowns this spring in Michigan late April. Hundreds of people showed up at the Capitol, some with firearms and stormed into the building to protest stay-at-home orders. Remember, the Michigan senator capturing this image of protesters in "standing menacingly in the gallery of the senate chamber carrying long guns and staring down at legislators." Is that first amendment protected? Two of the rally goers at the Capitol that they were later charged with plotting to kidnap the governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer.

The violence we saw yesterday was a culmination of all this it wasn't only happening in D.C. though, where at least eight people were arrested on gun charges. We now know there were bombs planted at the Capitol and elsewhere in the city. But in state capitals around the country, in Salem, Oregon, for instance, Trump supporters gathered to protest the ratification of Joe Biden's victory. Many looking like they were ready for battle in camouflage and tactical vests, armed to the teeth with military-style weapons.

Large weapons and military gear were also on display in Phoenix, Arizona were about 1,000 pro-Trump demonstrators showed up at that Capitol. In Olympia, Washington, a group of Trump supporters, oh, look at that, they broke through the gate in front of the governor's mansion, rushing on to the property where Governor Inslee was at home.

And there are those who have seen this danger coming. Two people who have been written extensively about the lead-up to what we saw yesterday are Jelani Cobb, staff writer for The New Yorker wrote back in September about our long-forgotten history of election-related violence. And Ben Collins, NBC News Reporter wrote a piece last month titled As Trump meets with QAnon influencers, the conspiracies adherence beg for dictatorship. And they both join me now.

Ben, let me start with you about how clear and obvious it was in public forums that this was essentially going to happen yesterday.

BEN COLLINS, NBC NEWS REPORTER: Yes, Chris, I think a lot of people think like, hey, it's on the dark web. It's hard to find this stuff. That's not where this was planned. This was planned in plain sight. It was planned on Instagram. You know, there was an occupy the Capitol event created by some of the people who went to Charlottesville.

You know, people who are on the radar, hopefully, of law enforcement, they put up an Instagram post saying, you know, go storming the Capitol on January 6th. For a month, these people planned this on public forums, on Facebook, on Instagram, on this website called the Donald, on 4chan, on (INAUDIBLE), where QAnon is, you know, posted.

They plan to this and they said Donald Trump cross the Rubicon, like Julius Caesar. You know, go kickstart the Civil War. They were saying this over and over for a month. It trended on Twitter. I don't know how this wasn't seen.

HAYES: You co-authored a piece about Trump supporters attacking the Capitol. A TikTok user saying, take your mother-effing guns. That's the whole point of going. We have people that showed up with their own merch sayings -- that said Civil War. A reporter saying, I asked these guys, is civil war what they wanted. Yes, they replied.

And Jelani is someone who -- you know, you and I think first met when we were covering Ferguson. You've written about policing. You know, the double standard here just smacks you over the head. But it is just -- it is very hard to watch the way police have dealt with peaceful protesters against a police violence and the sort of air of like intimidation, menace, huge amounts of people, the very quick deployment of tear gas, and then watch that footage from yesterday.

JELANI COBB, STAFF WRITER, THE NEW YORKER: Yes, it is. And just to the Civil War point which I think is part in it, you know, the Civil War sparked, you know, by people coming to the conclusion that Abraham Lincoln was going to be too favorable to the cause of the Negro. And that is essentially what we're looking at now.

When we look at that stream of kind of lost cause thought, it's also a lamentation for the unquestioned days of white supremacy. And that's what Donald Trump has promised to restore. Now, on a more significant level of analysis, these guys don't know (INAUDIBLE). But you know, this is just kind of embracing this concept of, you know, all dressed up, let's find someone to shoot, this kind of civil war cosplay.

And, you know, on the reality, what we saw was just, quite frankly, the inability of people to ever recognize those people as a threat. And that's a long historical thread. We've talked about this for forever. The parameters of American democracy map exactly to the parameters of their willingness to grant rights to African-Americans and the inability to see that the real threat comes from the people trying to deny those rights.

HAYES: Yes, there's obviously a colossal failure here. And we should know that the Capitol Police -- the head of the Capitol Police has tendered his resignation. He was asked for. I think, Ben, there will likely be, you know, sustained oversight hearings. There's videos that allege that there were members of the Capitol Police who are essentially fraternizing with folks.

Again, videos can be misleading in any given moment, but like, clearly there is a bottom to get to here. And it is striking that, Ben, we still don't have any -- as far as I can tell, there's been no official briefing. There's no readout. There's no -- there's no like -- there's no one's saying, like, here is what we know and what happened yesterday.

COLLINS: Chris, these people left the Capitol like they left the building. And you know, suddenly they're saying there's this manhunt and all this stuff. I've been covering some of these QAnon influencers and alt-right influencers for a while. I can give you their names. I can tell you some were in the Capitol. I don't know why this is so hard right now.

These people are in Nancy Pelosi's office and I know -- I know their names from covering them for years. And I know that they are planning this forever. And the other portion of this that's so frustrating is that half the aisle here, you know, still doesn't even believe that these people were in there. They say it was Antifa. You know, they said that, you know, one of the lamest excuses that I heard was that these people thought the Capitol was open, like it was like a Walmart or something and they thought they could just waltz right in it.

There needs to be accountability for this. This can't happen again. And the only way to do it is to make sure these people are arrested.

HAYES: Well, and I think, Jelani, again that, you know, this is not done, right? I mean, there's going to be an inauguration on those same steps of the United States Capitol on January 20. Now, it'll be pared back because of COVID, but there's very pressing questions and concerns about the security and integrity of that event.

COBB: Yes. And really, the security and integrity of the four years that follow it.


COBB: So, what we've just seen is the delegitimization of the incoming presidency before he has made one official act, before he has signed any piece of legislation. Before he has placed his hand on any Bible and taking any oath, he is already being set up to be viewed as an illegitimate president by a significant number of people in this country, the same way that birtherism function during the Obama era.

And that ratchets up the belief or that some radical cell or group of people, the same thing we've seen in Michigan, that were taken upon them (AUDIO GAP). These are very significant things. And these -- exactly to the point you made earlier, the way that democracies fail. But people are playing with very dangerous, very volatile things right now.

HAYES: The presence of weapon -- go ahead, Ben.

COLLINS: Oh, no, I mean, I don't really (INAUDIBLE) talking about weapons, but that is the missing piece here, right. This could have been so much worse. You're talking about improvised explosive devices, there were Molotov cocktails, a bag full of Molotov cocktails there. We are, frankly lucky this wasn't worse.


COLLINS: There was a large section of Trump supporters in the Boogaloo movement whose whole point is to get rid of the government and then go from there. Like there's no -- there's no second step for them. The point of it is to destroy the government. The fact that those people weren't organized enough is -- that just means we're lucky. And that's why it's so imperative that these people come to justice because if this becomes standard fare for American democracy, we're in deep trouble.

HAYES: Yes. I mean, Jelani, the thing I keep coming back to is that if I knock on your door and you're my neighbor, I'm angry that you have not kept up your fence, and I want to have a conversation with you, that's one thing. If I do the exact same thing with the exact same problem, but I have an AR-15 when you open the door, like we're just in different territory.

COBB: That's right.

HAYES: We're not doing the same thing. Those are not the same thing. They're not -- and that's where we are. I mean, it's just -- the sort of way in which armed men fuses all this just puts things in a different category.

COBB: And if you recall, there was that debate early on in the administration when Charlottesville was happening. Ahead of time, the city of Charlottesville was saying no, we do not think -- this is not a free speech rally.

HAYES: Right.

COBB: The people are coming here for a different purpose. But the people, members of the far-right build it as a free speech rally. They got people who were free speech advocates onto their side. And then they showed up with the long guns. And it was clear that they are using the constitution to subvert the Constitution. And they do that time and time again. Use one thing that's allegedly thought of as a virtue in order to undermine other things that are virtues.

And it seems that people have not gained out that that's the game plan and that's the strategy and they continue (AUDIO GAP) success.

HAYES: Jelani Cobb and Ben Collins, thank you both for making time tonight. I guess there's some breaking news that Betsy DeVos is resigning. She's got only a few days left. That is ALL for this evening. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.


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