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tv   Deadline White House  MSNBC  April 9, 2021 1:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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they appear to be fresher to you. would you agree with that? >> i want to be careful in the answer. there is not any literature to date those kinds of injuries with any precision. presumably there's contextual data to know that he didn't have the abrasions an hour before he died or whatever. could i tell you how old they are as a pathologist? no. not with any precision. >> in terms of abrasions on mr. floyd's body, they could have been from the period of time he was restrained on the ground. agreed? >> correct. >> could have been consistent with the period of time where he was taken to the ground or brought to the ground. right? >> well, that would be true as long as there's something in the environment to explain the abrasions. some would take a fairly rough surface to produce. a smooth surface you don't
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expect to cause those. >> understood but if you were in the midst of a struggle with police officers and the police officers brought mr. floyd to the ground, the moment of impact with the ground could have resulted in some of those abrasions. >> objection, your honor, beyond the scope and calling for speculation. >> overruled. >> would you mind repeating the question? >> sure. the abrasion, some abrasions we looked at, it would be consistent with mr. floyd being taken out of a police car and putt on to the ground. >> same objection, beyond the scope of the yupgs. >> overruled. >> yes. depending on how he made contact with the ground. if the direction of motion is correct and enough abrasive force, yes. that contact could explain those abrasions. >> okay. would awe gree with the general proposition that the prone position is not inherently
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dangerous? >> as far as i know based on my understanding of the medical literature that is true. >> now, in terms of your autopsy reports, there is no -- you dissected mr. floyd's shoulder and neck area, right? >> correct. >> you found no blooding into the tissues of the neck and back. >> that is correct. >> there's no bleeding into the muscles of the back. correct? >> that's correct. >> you don't have any section in your autopsy report to describe any injuries whatsoever to mr. floyd's neck and back like you do other areas of the report? >> that's not true, counselor. there's a specific paragraph that describes me dissecting his back and not finding any. >> you took pictures of that, as well? >> correct. >> and all of those procedures were documented in the normal
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course of how you -- when you conduct an autopsy. right? >> yes. all of those things were photographed. >> you did that so other people would have an opportunity to review your work. correct? >> correct. >> and you understand that people have done that. right? >> yes. >> now, you have i'm assuming conducted many autopsies in your career? >> i have. >> if you had to venture a guess, how many autopsies have you conducted? >> i've never kept a spreadsheet but i would say it's in the neighborhood of 2,900 to 3,000. >> you have done other autopsies why where asphyxiation was the suspected cause of death? >> yes. asphyxia is a very common cause of death in my line of work. >> right. you see it manifest itself in many ways, right? >> correct. >> there are certain things you
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look for in the course of your autopsy to determine whether or not this death would be consistent with asphyxiation? aeed? yes and no. as pathologists we want to make sure we know the type of asphyxia we are talking about because the signs to see vary from one type to another. >> and including you look at the brain for signs of lack of oxygen, right? >> we do. but the person has to survive the brain injury for a considerable period of time bmp we can see anything. in most asphyxias we investigate we don't see acute changes in the brain. >> you look for mus ku lo skeletal changes to the body, right? >> yes. depending on the degree. >> you may look for perhaps if the asphyxia from the front to
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the back broken hyoid bones, for example? >> correct. looking at the muscles of the neck, the hyoid bone and strangulations and hangings where there's pressure on the neck. >> okay. and you formed some opinions ultimately about the amount of pressure and whether the pressure was applied to the neck. right? >> could you be more specific, counselor? >> ultimately you have your -- you have described your cause of death, right? >> correct. >> part is neck restraint. right? >> i believe i used the term neck compression but that is on the top line of the cause of the death statement. >> in the course of the many conversations with various prosecutors, and law enforcement officers, you after watching the video you made some statements about where you thought mr. chauvin's knee was placed. >> yes. >> and did you feel that mr.
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chauvin's knee was compressing his neck? >> yes. >> did you describe it being more on the back or in this lower part, base part of the neck? >> so in my impression from the video and i want to be very clear, i have no special expertise in looking at videos. i'm looking at them as another person trying to figure out what happened. it is my 07 that the knee was on the back or the side or the area in between on mr. floyd's neck. >> did you see any evidence that he was occluding the carotid artery? it did not appear to me that his knee would have been able to occlude the carotid artery. normal people have two carotid artery and the one occluded would continue to supply blood to the brain. >> okay. and when you look at deaths by
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manual strangulation, for example, are you also looking for bruising? >> yes. >> you're looking for bruising. do you consider -- do you see that bruising in the majority of the cases or not in the majority of the cases? >> keep in mind that my patients are all deceased so if my patients were strangled it was so significant that they died and i say that because if you were to ask an e.r. doc for her experience looking at living victims you might get a different answer. in my world we see bruises on the outside of the neck, abrasions on the neck, bruises to the small muscles of the neck. depending on the type of strangulation we could see fractures of the thyroid cartilage and the hyoid bone and tiny blood spots on the lining of the eyes, sometimes you can see them on the face, the inside of the lips and the mouth.
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>> did you observe any of those signs in this case? >> no, i did not. >> and in terms of when you think about just kind of a classic strangulation, taking my fingers and hands and applying pressure to your neck, you would expect to see bruises consistent with the size of my fingers. right? >> again, in my line of work we more often than not say bruises. consistent with the size of the fingers. that might be true on television shows but in the real world there's not a correlation. but we are looking for those telltale bruises. >> in terms of in this particular case, the knee, the placement of the knee being a pretty bony, hard round object, right? >> yeah. i mean, pretty continue traced right under the kneecap the force. >> of course, the shin bone is
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just below the skin. right? >> yes. >> and it's sort of triangular in the nature. right? >> on cross-section, yes. >> so if a substantial amount of force was being used by the knee or the shin bone on the neck or back area in your line of work, and if that force was sufficient to asphyxiate him would that -- would you expect to see bruising? >> i would expect to see bruising but i don't know that the lack of bruising excludes. we pivoted from strangulation which is pressure to the front of the neck to the back of the neck and not something we see pressure to the back explaining a strangulation. >> or asphyxiation. >> correct. >> is there an objective finding in your autopsy that shows a
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sufficient or significant amount of pressure to the back? >> again, i think we have covered this. i didn't find any injuries to mr. floyd's back, not the soft tissue. i didn't find any bruises on his back. >> okay. did you find any hypoxic changes to mr. floyd's brain? >> i did not. again, a person has to survive for many hours before we see them. >> you're familiar with the hypoxic death and how that occurs? >> it really depends on the nature of the asphyxia. in my world it is hangings, strangulations, carbon monoxide poisoning, drownings. all different ways. it depends on which mechanism you are talking about. >> generally regardless of the mechanic inch would you generally see still toms consistent with hypoxia? would a person exhibit certain
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symptoms? >> symptoms is outside my ballywick because i don't treat living people. >> so i mean, dr. thomas who just testified testified that you may see confusion, when someone is going into a hypoxic state. >> objection. a characterization of the testimony. >> rephrase. >> so your role as a medical examiner, right, you take into consideration information from lots of different sources. agreed? >> that is true. >> there may be cases where you -- where you just don't know what's going on. right? you can't figure something out. >> could you be more specific? >> you have a descendant in your medical examining table.
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and there appears to be some sort of tropical disease. right? i'm assuming you are not a tropical disease or an infectious disease expert. right? >> certainly not an expert in tropical diseases. bedo diagnose a lot of infection disease at the m.e. office. >> you may go to another person and ask that person, are you familiar with this? >> objection to the question and in terms of relevance and beyond the scope. >> beyond the scope is overruled. relevance is sustained. >> sure. do you rely on the expertise of physicians when you conduct an autopsy? >> not always. but i am never above reaching out to clinical colleagues or other pathologists if they have an area of expertise that would help me. >> part of your job as a pathologist is attempt to determine whether there's asphyxia in a particular case, right? >> depend on the natural of the
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case but if it appears to be asphyxial death, we try to get to the root cause. >> as a physician, you are a physician and a forenszic pathologist familiar with what happens to the human body when someone asphyxiates, right? >> in general yes. again, i don't actually sere living people asphyxia. i don't treat living people in a clinical setting. >> in the context of research or education, you may go to a conference and they're saying here's an asphyxia death. let's talk about it. right? here's a picture of someone hanging from all the way fully suspended or on the knees and suspended forward with a belt or something. >> object to the question is vague and relevant. >> sustained as to relevance. >> are you familiar with the
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symptoms of hypoxia? >> very general symptoms and i don't know the diagnose for the symptoms would be. >> what would the general symptoms be? >> of hypoxia? >> right. >> probably a form of a mental status change. >> incoherent speech? >> again, the differential diagnosis is so long. could that explain it yes but there are many other things that could, as well. >> when someone is hypoxic does that cause that person to breathe faster? >> i honestly don't know. probably depends on the nature of the asphyxia. i would defer other questions to a pulmonologist because they're the expert in breathing. >> okay. would you based on your understanding, you reviewed the toxology of mr. floyd.
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right? >> yes. >> you would agree that fentanyl is a respiratory depressant? >> that's my understanding. >> it slows breathing resulting in a lower oxygen levels? >> it can, yes. >> and similarly increasing the carbon dioxide. correct? >> what it would do to carbon dioxide is outside my scope of expertise. >> methamphetamine is a stimulant. correct? >> correct. >> meaning, again, it causes the heart to beat faster? >> correct. >> causes the heart to work harder? >> yes. >> causes constriction of the arteries? >>ic you already asked me that and my answer was i don't recall if that's a specific cause but it increases the heart rate and the work of the heart. >> so have you certified deaths by overdose? >> hundreds of times a year. >> have you certified deaths as
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an overdose where the level of fentanyl was similar to the level of fentanyl in mr. floyd? >> yes. >> have you done so where levels were lower? >> yes. >> or were higher? >> yes. >> what's the lowest level of death by fentanyl overdose that you have certified? >> without doing a search of my office's records i'm not prepared to give you an answer on that. i have seen as low as 3 nanograms were ml and likely lower. like all death investigations if there's a drug overdose you want to piece together the history of how much they have been using it, how long, if they're tolerant at all. there's a lot of variables that go into it but i've seen levels as low as 3. in some cases lower if there's other intoxicants on board. >> so the combination of drugs in any person's system is a
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relevant consideration. >> ir real rant or -- >> a relevant consideration. >> yes. combinations of drugs and interactions can be relevant. >> that's why you included both the heart condition of mr. floyd as well as his toxicology findings as other contributing issues to his death? >> correct. >> i want to review with you the history of your involvement in this case, if that's okay. >> okay. >> you obviously mr. floyd was deceased on february -- excuse me, may 25th of 2020. correct? >> correct. >> you performed the autopsy on the 26th? >> yes. >> and after the autopsy, you had a meeting with some hennepin county attorneys. correct? >> correct.
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>> on may 26th. correct? >> yes. >> and do you recall telling them that the autopsy revealed no physical evidence that mr. floyd died of asphyxiation? >> i don't know that -- i don't know what my specific language is but that's what i conveyed to them, the lack of findings to determine that conclusion. >> you watched the videos at that point? >> until after i performed the autopsy, yes. >> all right. do you recall telling them certain factors that you thought contributing the death? >> object on the grounds of hearsay. >> the jury should consider any statements outside the court as impeachable.
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you may ask that question. >> do you recall telling the attorney's office after the autopsy what you thought contributing factors were to his death? >> i don't recall the specifics of that conversation. as far as i know the only narrative record of that conversation would be what they wrote down. i would be shocked if i did not tell them about the heart condition because obviously i knew that the moment the autopsy was done. i couldn't have known the toxicology results the afternoon of the autopsy because i wouldn't have those back for several more days. >> you found initially that the heart condition was instant? >> yes. i would know that walking out of the autopsy suite. >> you received the -- you received the toxicology on june 1st of 2020? >> could i refer to my record and see if that's correct? >> yes. on or object june 1st? >> that is correct.
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i'm going off the toxicology report itself. it appears that it was issued the morning of june 1st, 7:04. >> do you recall having a conversation with hennepin county prosecutors about the significance of the toxicology findings? >> i recall having the conversation. i don't recall the specifics of it but i'm certain i would have relayed the toxicology findings to them. >> do you recall describing the level of fentanyl as a fatal level of fentanyl? >> i recall describing it in other circumstances. it would be a fatal level, yes. in other circumstances. >> okay. would you agree that one of the causes of the pulmonary edema communicated to the county attorneys was also fentanyl? >> fentanyl can be a cause of pulmonary edema. as i indicated earlier it is confounded by the fact he had cpr and i find it much less
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specific given that he survived and made it to the hospital for a period of time. >> do you recall telling the county attorney's office that had you found mr. floyd under different circumstances you would have determined this to be a fentanyl overdose? >> i don't recall specifically what i told the county attorney but almost certainly went something like this. had he been home alone in the locked residence with no evidence of trauma and the only autopsy finding is that fentanyl then yes i would certify it as to fentanyl toxicity. >> you were also interviewed by the federal bureau of investigation on or about july 8th of 2020? >> i believe it was the federal bureau of investigation and/or the u.s. attorney. a lot of these took place over video calls and i wasn't entirely sure who was who at all
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times but i believe it was those two groups, yes. >> and that occurred on july 8th of 2020. correct? >> to the best of my recollection, yes. >> all right. were you asked four type questions? >> i was. >> were you able to form an opinion on but for the involvement of law enforcement whether mr. floyd would have died under these circumstances? >> objection, your honor. >> overruled. this is not the legal standard. simply his diagnosis. you can go forward on that basis. >> i'll answer the question. as i mentioned earlier there were multiple people on the video calls and at some point there was more than one person asking questions at a time. i don't normally think of things in the but for paradigm. perhaps it's a legal thing. so what i clarified for the u.s. attorney and the federal bureau
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of investigation is an opinion as to what happened to mr. floyd and that is he experienced an arrest in the context of a law enforcement sub dual overrestraint and neck constraint. the stress that tipped him over the edge given the understood lying heart disease. that was also clarified in a letter from the hennepin attorney to the u.s. attorney because of the confusion around how that meeting was run and the way the questions were asked. >> fair enough. thank you. again, the labeling this death as a homicide, that is a medical determination that you made. correct? >> correct. >> it is not the same standard as the legal standard. agreed? >> i don't even know what the legal standard is but they're two different worlds. >> okay.
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now, in terms of your again involvement in this case, you have actually testified twice in connection with other proceedings. right? >> yes. >> regarding the death of mr. floyd. right? >> yes. >> and the first of those testimonies occurred 20th of august 2020? >> yes. >> i understand that those were transcribed and under oath. correct? >> correct. >> and you have had an opportunity to review those transcripts? >> i have. >> all right. and the first time you testified in connection with the death of mr. floyd at any point do you recall saying that i have to defer to a -- some other specialty? >> i believe i said that multiple times. >> the first time you testified or the second time you testified? >> i recall it was much more frequent the second time. i don't recall how often it happened the first time if at
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all. >> in terms of the placement of mr. chauvin's knee, would that explain anatomically why mr. floyd -- would that anatomically cut off mr. floyd's airway? >> in my opinion, it would not. >> did you testify extensively about the significance of the coronary arteries and the heart disease? >> i'm not sure what you mean by the word extensively, counselor. i'm not sure what the word extensively means in this context. >> you had talked about the
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issues surrounding mr. floyd's death involving his coronary arteries. right? >> again, i have no -- i can't quote you the grand jury transcript but if you would like to pull it out i'd be happy to refresh my memory. that almost certainly had to have come up. >> may i approach the witness, your honor? >> for what purpose? >> to refresh his recollection as he requested. >> let's lay the foundation first. >> in this proceeding, did you testify about, do you recall testifying about how the coronary arteries work relevant to providing the heart with blood? >> i'm almost certain that i would have. i can't imagine that i didn't but i don't recall how extensively that took place without looking at the transcript again. >> would looking at the transcript refresh your
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recollection about your testimony in that connection -- >> sure. >> may i approach? >> yes. [ inaudible ] >> what date? >> 26. >> does that refresh your recollection about your
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testimony? >> it does. >> what was the problem with the coronary arteries in this context? >> i believe it's essentially the same answer i gave the jury earlier which is because of the degree of narrowing of mr. floyd's coronary arteries they have a limited ability to supply extra blood and oxygen to the heart muscle when he needs it. on top of that he has a larger heart than a man his stature would have and so that heart needs more oxygen which the coronaries have a limited ability to deliver. >> how do you think the introduction of methamphetamine to that scenario impacts? >> again, i can only give that a high level answer as a forensic pathologist. i don't treat living people but my understanding is it is hard
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on the heart, increase heart rate and the work of the heart because it's a still lantd. >> in the circumstances of this particular case, in terms of a person with an enlarged heart, narrowing of the arteries, right, how does the introduction of methamphetamine affect that? >> as i just said, it increases the heart rate, the work of the heart. it is not something that i would want to see in the blood of someone that has heart disease. >> did you describe it as a multifactorial process, the death of mr. floyd? >> that sounds like something i would have said, yes. >> okay. and then you testified a second time, correct? >> to the federal grand jury in. >> yes.
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>> yes, i do. >> and that was in february of 2021? >> yes. >> and ultimately, you deferred to experts far more extensively in that second testimony than the first. correct? >> so the short answer to that is yes. the long answer is i believe i deferred to a pulmonologist repeatedly because there were so questions about things like gradations of chest wall movement and would this, that or the other thing impair a person's ability to breathe and at some point i clearly said, look, this is outside the scope of my expertise as a pathologist forensic. i'm going to say i said the word pathologist a half dozen times in that testimony. >> do you recall referring to emergency medical doctors? >> i know i did reference emergency medicine doctors
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because some of the questions were like when do you think mr. floyd really died? >> cardiologists? >> yes, if the question was clearly their expertise i would have referred to them, as well. >> thank you, your honor. i have nothing further. >> dr. baker, i'm going to be brief. so if we could look up the section on cause of death. so, dr. baker, taking into
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account the entire exchange with mr. nelson on mr. floyd's medical conditions, on whatever testimony you gave, wherever you gave it, i want to bring your attention back to what's reflected in exhibit 193. and taking all of that into account, what today remains your opinion as to the cause of death for mr. floyd. >> so my opinion remains unchanged why what i put on the death certificate last june. arrest complicating law enforcement subdual restraint and neck compression. that was the top line then and would stay the stop line now. >> if we look at the other con trikting conditions, those other con trikting conditions are not conditions you consider direct causes. is that true? >> not direct causes of the death but contributing causes. >> in terms of manner of death,
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you found then and you do you stand by today that the manner of death of mr. floyd was as you would call it homicide? >> yes. i would still classify it as a homicide today. >> thank you, mr. baker. no further questions. >> anything further? >> no. >> counsel, need a side bar. >> hi, everyone. this is niccole wallace watching with you on a vital and intense day ten in the murder trial of derek chauvin where the chief medical examiner that performed that initial autopsy on george floyd is back now facing examination, cross-examination, that was just a redirect from the prosecutors after a lengthy cross-examination. listening along with us nbc news correspondent shaquelle brewster in minneapolis, reverend al sharpton host of "politics
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nation." and former u.s. attorney harry lipman. if you could just explain how vital the witness is and why. >> right. well so this is the one card left for the defense to play. i don't think it is that big of a card but a 6 or 7 but trying to use him to say he actually didn't die of asphyxiation. it was a heart attack but of course the jury will be informed and instructed that if the knee on the neck was a substantial cause it is still homicide and what he said at the beginning. what he says now. at the end of the day i think they're in the weeds but not to go to the defense's benefit given all they have seen already. >> harry, you know, some of what the press following this closely focused in on and i'll get shaq on the record on this, too, is that the original use of the word complicating was focused in
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but what was clarified, dr. baker transcribed the word, comply kating which led to confusion about the meaning. the full phrase is cardiopull lo their arrest complicating law enforcement sub dual restraint and neck compression and agreed in the case that complicating meant in the setting. it's clear that what he attested to was that without the knee on the neck there wouldn't have been a death. is that your understanding of what he testified to today, harry? >> that is my understanding and that's the core quote. that's what also dr. thomas said in reinforcing what he said. that's what really matters here at the end of the day and the prosecution will say to the jury asphyxiation, heart attack. what we do know is that knee on the neck is a substantial force. that's all you have to find.
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>> shaquelle brewster, who we have turned to day after day to understand what's going on in the courtroom joins us now. shaq? >> reporter: i think you know that testimony from dr. andrew baker, the reason it's so highly anticipated is because there's genuine uncertainty at least from the outside over what exactly he would say. you would hear the defense during their cross-examination mention the drugs in george floyd's system, mention his previous health conditions including that heart condition that he has. and you would think it was leading the suspicion to believe that they were going to get something out of andrew baker pointing to the autopsy he did to help prove their defense. he didn't provide them much. he made very clear he explained the language in the autopsy and back in june when it was released it was controversial. people saw that and thought he was excusing the officers and frustration he didn't use the
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word asphyxia but through his testimony and the testimony of dr. thomas earlier today it was clear and putt it in c context d what people suspected didn't happen and seemed to confirm what the prosecution was saying that he had health conditions and drugs in the system but he was restrained and the neck restraints he had on may 25th of last year. >> rev, chuck rosenberg says this every time he joins us that what jurors are asked to do is to bring along with them their common sense and it seems that as i think shaq put so perfectly, this was ball game for the defense. this was where they were hoping to sow the seeds of doubt. this medical examiner made clear without a knee on the neck the other conditions likely would not have led to death that day.
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>> we were playing basketball and there i think the defense took three shot and missed the basket. because the prosecutor laid out a case that at the very end in the redirect the medical examiner said explicitly top line was homicide caused by compression. i said it then. i said it now. and i say it now. i think the reason that is important and the reason i'm saying they missed the basket to the three shooter in is because they needed him to say that the contributing factors were the factors that led to the death. you don't have to prove that it was the only factor. but it was the lead factor, if it was a factor had he not been there the contributing factors may not have caused the death is all you need for the charges. i think this was a -- all of us
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very concerned about this can kind of exhale and say it's not nearly what it was built up to be by the defense. >> i want to play this part of his testimony that we're all focused in on. let's watch that and talk about it on the other side. >> he has a heart that already needs more oxygen than a normal heart by virtue of his size and it is limited in its ability to step up to provide more oxygen with whether where there's demand because of the narrowing of the coronary arteries. in the context of an altercation with other peoples with physical restraint, things like being held to the ground, involves things like the pain to incur from having the cheek up against the asphalt and abrasion on the shoulder, those events cause stress hormone it is pour out into the body like adrenaline and what it is going to do is ask your heart to beat faster. it is going to ask your body for
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more oxygen so that you can get through that altercation. and in my opinion, the law enforcement restraint and the neck compression is just more than mr. floyd could take by virtue of those heart conditions. >> so, harry litman, that testimony right there, again, if you are not a medical examiner and not a lawyer, you're focusing on the things that just connect to other pieces of testimony. and what he is testifying to is the adrenaline that coursed through the veins given the preexisting conditions from the sub dual and restraint by law enforcement is the variable. it is what it sounds like he's testifying to led to his death. is that the right way to understand that specific piece of testimony? >> i think. or maybe you put it a minute ago is how it's going to be framed in closing arguments. i'll go with the rosenberg axiom of exxon sense. what the defense has to try to
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do is have a jury believe but for this knee on neck he would have died anyway which will appear to them i think propostrous so that will be the basic way it trance lats for the jury. if -- but for the knee would he have keeled over from drugs and a bad heart? if that's the answer and no and the thrust of what the first week showed then this is much adieu of nothing. heart attack. asphyxiation. it is caused by knee on neck for legal purposes and i do think as the reverend says this was kind of a last card and it's been played out. >> shaq, i want to bring you back in. this is some reporting from "the new york times" live blog. it is a viewer's guide. a reporter said the defense suggested that george floyd swallowed a pill when the officers approached him.
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dr. baker the medical examiner who performed the autopsy on floyd said he didn't find any pill fragments in the stomach. what is your sense of how the prosecution now sort of comes in and knock back testimony like that? that they have put in the water and the jury has heard? >> reporter: you know, this is something that we have heard from eric nelson and the defense through cross-examination of prior witnesses. that goes to the idea of it was a defense attorneys that found that chewed up pill with george floyd's dna in the back of the squad car. not found until january when the defense attorneys went back and examined it. so this is something that's been a part of the process throughout. that's something they asked the investigators about and that's something you heard eric nelson ask dr. baker about. i think the key thing and the bottom line is there's no evidence to suggest that this
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contributed significantly to his death. something you heard from dr. thomas. she said his death wasn't consistent with what you would see in the fentanyl overdose. you heard from mr. tobin yesterday and you have expert after expert saying it is not the drugs but the restraint, the subduel. that's the reason why he died. yes drugs in the system and prior medical conditions but absent of the knee on the neck my shorthand he would be alive today so that's the thing i think you have to focus the jury on and i think likely come up when we get to closing arguments which we have a little bit of news on that. the prosecution will be resting the case early next week and that can happen as soon as monday. possibly tuesday. we know that based on the conversations that were overheard in court this week with the defense bringing back a witness but we do know that the prosecution is just days away, possibly hours away from
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officially resting their case. >> that's a big headline there from you, shaq. rev, i have two questions now. one, how's the family holding up? obviously this testimony is so central to the case. the cause of death. but this is the family member, their loved one, a brother, a father, a son. how are they doing? >> it is a very, very, very painful experience for them but they are strong. i've dealt with a lot of families and not dealt with any family that has been stronger. i talked with the brother sometimes rudy, sometimes all of them every day and pray with them and go out once a week and was there tuesday and i'm amazed how determined they are. they are pained. this is very painful to them. they watch the video over and over again of their brother, their cousin, their father narrating his own death so this
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is very painful but just as determined. sometimes when i was there tuesday they said you told me keep fighting. i will keep fighting. like they talk themselves into continuing. it's a very, very painful thing for them though. >> it is a good reminder that we can get so clinical in the analysis. we watch it day after day. it's hard to look at what the jury is asked to look at, the final moments of a man's life. harry, on the heels of shaq's news, the prosecution may rest the case early next week, perhaps early as monday, what do you make of the case presented to the jury by the prosecution so far? >> so they have done a really solid job. especially with the centerpiece. they said in opening you can believe your eyes and they had us look at it many different
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ways and a sense of the community and the police invading as opposed to just a kind of isolated skirmish. now we move to the defense. the big question, will chauvin testify? it is probably the last thing he wants to do. but maybe the only thing he has left. the reason he doesn't want to do it is there are all these other allegations of misconduct that if he testifies the jury will hear about, to assess the credibility but everybody knows that their thinking will be 18 times? then you know he did it again. it's a very, very hard decision for them. my best guess is they won't call him but it is the last card to play. the final thing to think about now that things go so well, will the jury be able to distinguish and piece together the second-degree murder charge and
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the third-degree? because the second degree is pretty confusing. it's kind of legalistic and if there's a third degree conviction and not a second degree, i would defer to shaq, and the reverend, but i'm not sure that will play as a victory so that kind of big drama remains notwithstanding that the core of the prosecution's case has been presented so strongly and they seem on a glide path to some sort of conviction. >> your name is invoked, shaq. any insights into either whether the defense plans to have chauvin testify or how the prosecution plans to present some of those really technical legal issues between murder two and murder three? >> reporter: no. i think that's the big question everyone is asking, whether or not derek chauvin will testify. the defense gave no signals in the opening statement whether or not derek chauvin will take the
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stand in defense of himself. one thing that we saw during jury questioning is the defense reminded the jurors as they were being questioned that derek chauvin didn't have to take the stand. there doesn't have to be a defense. the burden of proof is on the prosecution so you saw they were trying to prime the potential jurors and now the jury sitting there for the idea of derek chauvin not coming up, not explaining himself and his actions. but we haven't gotten any word, any wind of whether or not derek chauvin will take the stand and then you go to the complex legal issues, the fight once we get past the defense witnesses and the closing statements what the instructions will say and what specifically told to the jury who these are not legal professionals. they don't know the law and agreed to follow the law as it is given to them by the judge. what those instructions will say that's going to be a pretty major fight once we get to that
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point. >> rev, your name was invoked in terms of what might be deemed an accept level of acceptability. i know you don't like to get ahead of these questions but what is your gut at this point? >> my gut is that the people in the -- around the country want to see a conviction. and i think that the conviction at the highest level is something they would want. anything less than that we would have to deal with at that time. i don't want to say because i don't want to suggest what the family would want since i've been close to the family but i would say i would remind everybody when you talk about whether chauvin is going to testify, i do not see how you can present in front of this jury as evidence that chauvin was impacted by this angry mob that no one has seen in the videos. or that there were other factors. how you put that in as evidence
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unless you put cha vin on the stand. there is no other witness to establish the state of mind and may have put them in a bad position and if they put him on the stand you can guarantee that all of those 18 complaints about him about him being excessive, using excessive force will come out which is very risky. but the thing i think people keep forgetting, nicole, when you always bring us back to looking at this with common sense, when you make that quote, we're talking about a man that at worst was accused of a $20 billion being counterfeit. the one he gave it to said he's not sure he knew it was a $20 billion counterfeit. does a man lose his life over that? what happened to let's talk to the man? did you know this is counterfeit? can you pay with real currency? we're talking about not a man that had a gun, not a man that had someone in danger.
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a $20 bill and a man is dead. >> yeah. and harry, you go back to the testimony from last week. this is to shaq's point what the prosecutors will use the closing arguments to pull back to front of mind. you had 9-year-old bystanders. you had an off duty emt worker. you had store workers. all of the bystanders had the same reaction. they were watching excessive force. they were watching a handcuffed man face down on the pavement have the life literally suffocated out of him. so what the jury will be asked to contemplate is whether all that testimony going back to the very beginning of last week whether all of that was answered by the few attempts at poking holes that the defense has made and as you all analyzed today without a ton of success. what do you think the -- harry, i want to ask you, how much that early testimony will play in?
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i've been told they're back in. do we have 20 seconds? are we back in the courtroom? we're back. let's listen. >> not done by 4:30. all the parties agree that you had enough. we're going to send you home. come back on monday. so we will probably be here past 5:00 if we bring the next witness. it's been a long week for everybody. so let's all go home and have a good weekend. don't talk to anybody about the case and don't read any media and we'll start monday at 9:15. actually, it will be at least 9:30. >> so they are done for the day. the judge there telling them to have a good weekend. saying that if another witness were called, it would go too late tonight. so harry, i'll let you answer that question. help us understand how the prosecution will pull all that early testimony which is on this point we're all making. the common sense of bystanders that most of them never met before, had nothing in common other than witnessing this horrific event. >> yeah. they did a really effective
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thing here, nicole. it stands in real contrast to other cases. they brought the community in. a normal day. a $20 billion as the rev says. that is not something someone should die for. they were not only able to show the video, the hold card again and again, but they were able to show the attitude of the community in the sense that it was the officers who came in and really completely disrupted everything. not only is it the simple $20 that results in the death, the 9:29 boot on the neck, i mean, normally you have a crazed sort of altercation where an officer can say in the heat of the moment i had to make a quick decision. not here. he's just lackadaisically keeping his knee on the neck. they'll come back to exactly
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this. and the couple efforts that the defense have made to poke holes, i think they will look really trivial in the context of the big fact of just the video, the video and again, the video. >> you look at the history of cases like this, police are given benefit of the doubt. in some instances it's what harry describes, the heat of the moment. fear plays in. a split second. this was an action that took 9:29. are we to expect the prosecution to come back and bring us back to that period of time, that length of time which played so prominently in the early days of the prosecution's case? >> it will be hard to see them not doing that, nicole. this is how they started the case in the opening statements.
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a lot they made clear that a lot of the focus is going to be on the video. you saw the narrative, the arc of this trial. how they started with the bystanders. how we went to law enforcement. how we went to the first responders. medical experts of this week to come and testify sending with the medical examiner. it seems like they will likely bring the jury back to that video. that 9:29. now with the context of everything that they've heard over the past two weeks. so that seems likely. the prosecution has not given us a schedule of witnesses. so it is always hard to guess what is next and who's next. but it will be shocking to not see that video come up one more time. >> rev, i want to give you the last word. you wrote the book on 9:29 at the eulogy for george floyd. your thoughts as we end another week in this trial? >> i think that the prosecution has to bring back the video to the jury and i think that they
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will have to even send in the jury. they may get in the jury room, you need to nail down for 9:29 and explain why you in those nine minutes wouldn't think of your training, why wouldn't you think of that you have been dealing with somebody begging for their life. all of these things you heard testified to from the experts, from the people that train this officer and all, none of that went through his mind and those nine minutes. why would he not take his knee off this man's neck? and if he didn't, then you have to vote that he is guilty of what we're charging with. because clearly, he had the time and the obligation to uphold his oath to deal with everything that he was trained to do. he discarded all of that in 9:29. >> including input from a 9-year-old bystander and an off duty emt.
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my thanks to shaq, rev and harry. thank you so much for watching along with us all hour. when we come back, could the case against trump loyalist congressman matt gaetz include political corruption in addition to sex trafficking? we'll look at the post trump gop emerging as, dare i say, worse than the trump era itself. that's what it looks like. itse. that's what it looks like.
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hi again, everyone. 5:00 in the east. trump loving gop congress mab matt gaetz facing a house ethics committee probe as well as the first call for him to resign. it's in light of a federal investigation into whether he violated child sex trafficking laws. he denies all allegations. this as a report in the "new york times" reveals for the very first time that the investigation into gaetz could also include an examination of potential political corruption. specifically gaetz is being
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examined for his possible involvement in ghost candidacies. that means running candidates whose sole purpose in an election is to serve as a spoiler for one of the other major party candidates. it's only illegal if the ghost candidate has been paid by someone. from that "new york times" report, investigators have also learned in recent months about a potential allegation involving a state senate race in 2020 in which an associate of mr. gaetz ran for an open seat. gaetz, a republican, represents the florida panhandle an and ally in florida politics, he discussed the possibility of putting a third party candidate on the ballot to help him. according to people told of the conversation. mr. broeder's race of third candidate did appear on the ballot. she had no party affiliation. raised little money until the funl months of the raus and did little campaigning. still depicting her as a democrat were sent to voters.
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one featured a photo of a black woman and said she will always be there for us. she is white. neither gaetz nor his aides have commented on that report. broeder denies any connection to the candidate or the flyers. and gaetz's associate tells the times he can't recall a conversation about running a third candidate. sex, drugs, and political corruption. those are the allegations swirling all around one of the most visible agitators in the trump gop. but it pales in comparison to the flagrant racism paraded out in prime time last night by the trumpian gop's most individualible media figure warning the following comments are extremely offensive. >> this is one of about ten stories that i know you covered where the government shows preference to people who have shown absolute contempt for our customs, our laws, our system itself. and they're being treated better than american citizens. now i know that the left and all
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the gate keepers on twitter become literally hysterical if you use the term replacement. if you suggest that the democratic party is trying to replace the current electorate, the voters now casting ballots, with new people, more obedient voters from the third world. but that's what's happening actually. let's just say it. that's true. >> so those comments are right in line are the chants heard in charlottesville. an jind pinning of white see premcy. the comments inviting a rebuke from the anti-defamation league. he tweeted, tucker carlson replacement theory is a tenant that the white race in danger by a rising tide of nonwhites. it is anti-semitic, racist and toxic. it informed the ideology of mass shooters in el paso, christchurch and pittsburgh. tucker must go. joining this conversation katie benner, "new york times" just report and pete struck and msnbc
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contributor and "washington post" contributing columnist our friend former maryland congresswoman donna edwards. it all hangs together as the face of the post trump gop which i have said this to raised eyebrows. but what was underneath trump and his policeman boins is every bit as toxic and racist and dare i say in some ways worse than what trump himself stood atop. >> well, it's all there for you, in i coal, in plain sight. the racism, the fear, all of those phobias, all wrapped up into one neat package by today's republican party. and, you know, the fear that, you know, people are going to come and they will replace all the white people who will be disappeared from the context of the united states. i mean, it is ridiculous, nicole. and what, you know, sits out in front is they don't even need
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trump anymore to trumpet this none sense. they everybody else doing it for them. >> and you know, katie, it hangs together as well. how bad was gaetz's situation? it was so bad that trump white house refused to pardon him after pardoning all sorts of really bad actors. and i wonder if if you can pull back the curtain a little bit on this latest report. it broke late last night. i think in the 10:00 hour. but the investigation in addition to examining potential child sex trafficking and some use of campaign money, it may now include political scandals in texas. talk about what we know about what you guys write as an early stage of looking at whether gaetz was involved in running ghost candidates? >> the fbi was told of a conversation between matt gaetz and a lobbyist in florida and in which the discussion surrounded
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the idea of whether or not to run a candidate. you could be a spoiler in a key senate race in florida. it was a district that democrats hoped to be able to flip. they thought there was a chance. and the conversation entailed perhaps running a woman as the third candidate because people would mistake the woman for the actual legitimate democratic candidate. now as he pointed out, he cannot remember the conversation. it wouldn't be illegal so long as no money changed hands. it shows that investigators are willing to really pull back and not just look at the sex crimes that we already talked about, but to look beyond to see if there is other bad behavior and also speaks to a struggle the republican party is having. how do we win elections? we're seeing this in georgia around voting laws and around tucker carlson's clup. east asian, south asians and
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hispanics supported donald trump. it is a big struggle for the party and we're seeing it play out in a myriad of ways. >> katey, so interesting that was your reaction. of course, my first reaction was emotional, horror, ashame this was an american broadcaster saying these things. but my second was political analyst to say it's not even correct. i mean, donald trump's margins among the voters you just described were pretty good. so it's such an interesting point in that the right is turning to voter suppression laws and racism that isn't even based on facts. that isn't the articulation of a racist theory rooted in anything other than another lie. >> i think it really shows how much power he had. they do soul sfrping around immigration legislation, other things that could help appeal to nonwhite voters. they try to grow a base. and now we're seeing almost a retrenchment which could cut out potential support because like you said, there were people not
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white who supported donald trump who still support donald trump. it is almost like the party has to make a decision do we try to embrace those people or not? >> you know, pete, i wonder if you can help us understand how an investigation and, again, people conducting the investigations look at this and stay private. katie and her colleagues broke the stories and some other news organizations have as well. that's why we know what we know. but it seems that what the fbi is doing is simply investigating crimes and then they start turning over rocks and perhaps find more crimes. but can you just help us understand how mr. gaetz who became ensnared in an investigation into one of his friends and political -- he's been described as a wing man to him, mr. greenberg, how that can turn into a investigation like katie reported, the ghost candidates? >> absolutely. so investigators when they're looking at information, they're not limited to the one allegation that they may have started looking at.
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so in the course of an investigation like this, allegedly which you know may or may not involve mr. gaetz, but certainly investigators are going to do things like getting subpoenas and search warrants, things like e-mail accounts, phone records, financial records. and as you start going through that data, you're not -- if you see evidence of other crimes, you're allowed to pursue that. you're allowed to see it. so as an investigator, if i'm looking at some allegation about whether or not there is sex trafficking going on, perhaps i get financial data that is talking about bank records or venmo transactions. if i see evidence of other crimes, well i'm allowed to look at that and pursue it. and i think that is, again, if "the new york times" and other reporting is accurate, that is a very common occurrence when you get a large volume of material that frequently when you see people who are engaged in some crime criminals tend to engage in a variety of crime. they don't always limit themselves to one illicit act. and so i think what you're seeing here is a very logical
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progression of good investigative work following leads with a lie and you see this mounting evidence of very widespread criminal activity. had. >> just to follow up. some of what katie reported son the actual receipts. people hold the press and people in the political arena to that standard, bring the receipts. they published the receipts. based on what we've seen and other news organizations and also reported on transactions, what -- where would you say this investigation is? we learned yesterday that mr. greenberg who is sort of the one who maybe brought attention to mr. gaetz is nearing the point where he might make a cooperation deal with the government. where would you think the investigation is based on what you've seen? >> i think you see a lot of people that are talking. they agree with witnesses that are witnesses and defendants and many have attorneys.
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i think you see a lot of different sources of information. but what i read reporting that, you know, one of the alleged folks who may have made this trip to the bahamas had their phone taken away and interviewed potentially back in december, that tells me that we're four plus months from then. in any investigation, where it is a complex crime, you're going to start at the bottom and try to work your way up. and so when i see a variety of people who have sources of information who are leaking or going to the press and coming out, when i see a very critical individual, you know, let's not forget mr. greenberg is facing 33 charges and 12 years in jail. if he's looking to make a deal that comes at a later stage. i think you'll typically see the people coming next. the people facing charges are at a higher level. and so that's a fairly standard practice to build up in cases like. this but it shows me that this is an advanced fairly complex and robust investigation.
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>> donna, adding to mr. gaetz's criminal exposure is an investigation we learned about, an ethics probe. his office just released a statement. once again the office will reiterate the allegations are blatantly false and not validated by a single human being willing to put their name behind them. that is gaetz's reaction to news today that broke that there will be a house ethics investigation into him. let me just share some of the reporting that i imagine and has been reported to be in that scope. the counts of showing nude pictures of women he had allegedly or reported to have slept with to colleagues on the house floor. how skilled is the house ethics committee at examining this kind of conduct? >> i think i have skilled. i know how the process works. let me just say that ordinarily
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especially when there is a significant criminal investigation that is going on, that the ethics committee might open an investigation but would actually step back until there is a resolution of those -- that criminal investigation. on the other hand, there may be things that don't turn out to result in criminal liability for matt gaetz but are still unethical under the house rules and they would continue to investigate that. they conduct robust investigations. sometimes people are upset with how slow the process works. but i have seen the process work. and i think that -- they're going to step back until the fbi has had its say, the justice department has had its say before moving forward. and there may not be a need to move forward depending on what happens with matt gaetz in the end. >> so, katie, there is breaking news today about matt gaetz,
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criminal defense strategy. he has retained white collar criminal defense lawyer mark mccasey and isabel kershner to head his team. notably defended seal eddie gallagher who was acquitted of murder in 2019. it's a good point to report that last attorney general that you covered brilliantly, bill barr who green lit the opening of this investigation and was briefed on it pretty regularly. just talk about this now spanning two attorneys general running out of a u.s. attorneys office and now bringing in some familiar characters as part of his defense team. >> remember the isabel kershner, she represented eric snyderman who was accused of sexual
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battery in a searing and memorable new yorker story. this is a team that is used to and willing to and successfully defend people accused of very heinous things. and also shows that gaetz is starting to take this investigation much more seriously than he did. just a week ago he had the former counsel, local lawyer in tampa. he is taking the investigation much more seriously. he brought in a serious team. one thing i will say this defense team will probably exploit is currently the key witness that we know of is mr. greenberg. mr. greenberg has a lot of issues. he violated bail. he is known to lichlt he was charged with trying to attack one of his political opponents by spreading lies. he has not proven himself to be the most credible witness. i think that they're going to pry into that. they're going to push on that to show that mr. gaetz is probably innocent and that mr. greenberg may be lying.
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>> it's playbook that all of us watched and you lived some of this history. the treatment of michael cohen who went on television all through 2016 and said he would take a bullet for mr. trump. he famously flipped on him, cooperated and not not one two federal investigations and the mueller probe and is still, i believe, cooperating with prosecutors the state and city of new york. that only gets you so far. a witness facing years in prison can offer testimony that can be corroborated. can you talk about where this might be inside an investigative phase and a prosecution's office? it will be an onslaught of attacks for mr. gaetz and his
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lawyers. >> absolutely. there's fewer better investigative techniques than having an inside cooperator in which you see mr. greenberg is very much what you see with a lot of cooperators. i mean these people are allegedly criminals. so they are going to be subject to attack by other defendants to their credibility, motivations, they're trying to make a deal with the government. these are logical things that any other defense attorney is going to try to paint them in a negative light. these are all crimes that involve a lot of people. one of the most important things greenberg can do is pull back the curtain and show all the different things that occurred. but as soon as you do that as an investigator, you know, there are allegedly women who are involved in this trafficking. there are hotels that have cctv cameras. there are flights that occurreded, manifests, there are all the different sources of information. so when you get that key cooperator, yes, of course their reliability is attacked. the value they provide is giving
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you not only a map but a key to that map and showing you all the critical elements that can you go on your own and independently develop additional sources of information where you can overcome some of the credibility issues that you're going to run into with certain cooperators. so it's a huge deal that if greenberg in fact is cooperating, the things he might provide for this investigation is absolutely invaluable. and goes beyond any sort of concerns that might exist with his reliability or truthfulness. >> we'll stay on it. katie, pete, thank you for starting us off and helping us understand the developments. donna is sticking around. after the break, revealing new video pulls back the curtain on the voter suppression effort underway right now today as we speak in texas. plus, a never before seen inside look at the january 6th insurrection. some of the rioters who to this day remain behind bars. and vaccinating our kids. the significant step forward by one vaccine manufacturer that is bringing the country closer to
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republicans in texas appear to have georgia on their minds in the 2020 election. georgia turned blue voting for democratic president through the first time since 1992. and sending two democratic senators to washington. now they appear worried over in texas that their state will meet the same fate. according to the brennan center for justice, 49 bills are being considered by texas' gop led legislature, all under the guise of ensuring election integrity
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that they would actually restrict access to the ballot box. mostly for black and minority voters. newly leaked audio of a presentation given last month by a local republican official and harris county shows just how focused gop efforts are in targeting the state's urban centers. the official speaks about building up a election integrity brigade. it was published by a group common cause in texas. take a look. >> it's very messy. we're trying to build an army of 10,000 people in harris county that are motivated and highly confident folks to serve as election workers and poll watchers to safeguard our voting rights and our voting obligations. i'm trying to get, encourage and recruit about 30 peoples in my precinct that will have the confidence and courage to come
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down in here in these areas where we really need poll workers. because this is where the problems occur. so me finding poll watchers is not -- it helps, yeah. but it's a pretty safe precinct. we have to get folks in these suburbs out here that have that have a lot of republican folks that have the courage. if we don't do that, this is going to really continue. >> this is a good point in the program to issue our daily reminder. there was no widespread voter froud in 2020 so ted bill barr and many republicans. to explain what you just watched, he was talking about how he needs republicans from the suburbs outside of houston to "have the courage to go into the city's denser, more urban areas and act as poll watchers and fend off this nonexistent fraud. harris county chair confirmed in
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a statement to nbc news that the program aims to recruit an army of volunteers throughout the county as a way to engage voters for the whole ballot top to bottom and ensure every leel legal is vote is counted. they're blatantly mischaracterizing an effort to bully and intimidate republicans. again, we repeat for the 1,000th time number voter fraud is documented in texas or in any other state for that matter. joining our conversation, former san antonio mayor, former secretary of housing and urban development under president obama and now on the advisory board of the texas right to vote, the advisory committee which has been helping to push back on these voting restriction laws moving their -- making their way to the legislature there. also joining us, former aide to the george w. bush white house and nbc and "time" magazine contributor. mr. secretary, let me ask you if
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your plan was changed at all after you saw what happened in georgia. the real push on companies, the real push on baseball was too late. the law has been passed. voter restrictions are now placed in georgia and at least one of them which would have stripped the republican secretary of state of some authority over the state's elections and handed it to trumpy republicans could have impacted the 2020 election. so i wonder if if this was your plan all along, knowing this would be the republican sponsor if there was something that happened in georgia that made your work in texas more urgent. >> well, what we saw happen in georgia is republicans were successful in -- [ inaudible ] the difference here in texas is companies like delta, we applaud them for coming out against the legislation. but it was too late.
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the legislation had a already passed and signed into law. the company here, whether we're talking about at&t or southwest airlines or usaa, they still have an opportunity to use their influence to stop this. and we have seen companies marshal their influence to stop bad legislation from the texas legislature in their recent past. there was a session thez pushed back on and they can help stop the voter suppression and intimidation effort it's they get into the fight. >> mr. secretary, what is the case you make to the companies? as you said, some of the big ones in texas have come out opposing the laws before they were inacted. but the bills are making wait through 47 states. and to just hold the line in terms of the support that president biden and vice president harris got, you need
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access to stay the same or improve, not go the other way. so is this something that you would scale to a national effort? this is about those that are eligible to vote. as you noted and many pointed out, study after study has shown that the incidents of voter fraud is tiny. it almost never happens. it would make it harder to exercise the fundamental rights
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that they have. these are customers, consumers of the companies and not only here in texas but across the united states people are watching. and customer -- consumers will make the choices based on whether these companies support people's right to vote or whether they're on the side of suppressing and intimidating voters. i think it's an easy choice for the companies. >> and i know this is hypothetical and skilled politicians don't like answering hypothetical call questions. if there were a marquee sporting event heading for texas, would you call for a boycott if the laws went through? >> i hope it doesn't get to that. what i hope is that they're able to get in this fight, use their voice the way that we already seen dell and microsoft and american airlines which all of them, of course, have a huge presence here in texas, my hope is that these other companies will do the same. and that texans, every day
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texans will also call their representatives, let their voices be heard. everybody wants for texas to succeed for our economy to do well. and so, of course, we don't want boycotts. but is it possible? is it likely that if this kind of jim crow 2.0 legislation passes through the texas house and senate and signed by the governor that sporting events may leave the state because of it like we saw the mlb move the all-star game from atlanta to denver? yeah. that's possible. i think these companies should be very aware of that and the state legislature and the governor should be very aware of that. >> you know, i want to ask you to stay with us. i want to bring donna into this conversation. you know, donna, it strikes me and everyone that watches this show knows i still watch republicans to try to understand what they think they're doing. and it's clear that they don't even think of what they're doing is what they're doing.
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they don't think that there is an election security crisis in this country. and you know that because the smart ones go on tv and they lie about what is in the bills. and what's in the georgia law, i mention this to the secretary, is this really frightening measure that would disempower a person who happens to be a republican. the secretary of state. i wonder if you can sort of break down what's in this bill, the texas version, that gives you the most pause. >> well, i mean, i think one of the things in the texas bill is one, limiting same day -- the voting. limiting polling places. limiting the kinds of people who can be at the polling place doing poll watching. i you this that all of this legislation is just about republicans not being confident. we know this in their message or in any kind of policy and
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unstead wanting to constrict the number of voters that show up. they only want them to be their voters. there are so many pieces of these bulls, this one that has passed sb 7 i think got through the senate already and is ready to go to the house. that go at some of the things that were really successful in this last election. a 24-hour voting site for one day. that's been eliminated. things like mail in drop by voting. you can drive by and cast your vote. that's being eliminated. these are really pernicious laws. you can hear in the voice of that republican party official if he was circling around the precincts in the densest parts of black and brown communities of denver where this army, this
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squad of poll watchers would come and really effectively intimidate voters, that would be legal. but it wouldn't be legal to have a 24 hour voting period. and keep in mind that in harris county, the turnout in harris count you in 2020 was 68%. that's a lot of voters. most voters who voted i think since 1992. so these laws are really designed to suppress black and brown voters. we have to say that all the time so that we don't forget what's at stake and who's being targeted. >> and, you know, we don't use the word pernicious. it is based on the pernicious law that there is voter fraud. it is stunning. i'm sure that dude on the presentation that we play is -- i don't know. i'm not sure. but he could be smart enough to know that it's actually all based on a lie. bill barr said it was, john
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boehner said it was in his new book. lots of republicans with their synapsis intact have acknowledged it is a lie. mitch mcconnell did. but the policies being put in place based on the lie -- and georgia to their credit, the lieutenant governor acknowledged that the laws were predicated on a big lou. the damage that trump did by repeating and perpetuating the lie that he lost by anything other than a good old fashioned, you know, political butt kicking, is not just cost us lives and the insurrection but will now push with some political force through these voter suppression laws which will be the biggest stain of the trump legacy in a pretty tough competition for the biggest thing. >> nicole, it's so just tragic that this is the direction that
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the republican party has chosen. the aftermath of the january 6 th insurrection, he called out donald trump. these voting restrictive laws are a demonstration, case exhibit a that donald trump's grup on the republican party on what limited policy they actually do have and true to pursue is as strong as ever. so even if donald trump does not run again, attempt to get the republican nomination, he is still driving the republican party agenda. the republican party is digging in on race. they have decided this is the path that we're going down and they're calling it election security when it is the end of the day and all about race. i think it's an electoral strategy. i spoke to a former bush administration officials who acted in texas plucks today. the official made the point this wouldn't have happened in george w. bush's day.
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it wouldn't have happened in the pretrump era. but now donald trump is full will you in control of the texas gop and the entire gop. >> and so, mr. secretary, i come back to you with this question obviously, there is federal legislation. but most democrats in washington are pessimistic that it will become law. where do you come down on that? what is plan b? >> well, you're right. it does face tough time. i you this this ties back as so many issues do, these days, to the filibuster and in the very least reforming it. can you get real pro voting rights legislation through if there is a carveout or some sort of reform to filibuster that will allow democrats to do that. i'm hopeful that's going to happen. i think in terms of plan b,
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look, here in texas, republicans control the texas house. they control the texas senate. and they control the governor's mansion. so what we have is using our voice and the people of this state pushing back as much as they can, companies that we talked about doing what some companies in georgia did a little butt late. we still have time to stop it. this is not about whether somebody that is going to vote democrat or go vote republican. it's about the right of people to exercise their right to vote. and to do so in a way that gives them a good access to it. and so to me, that's not a hard choice for people who are still sitting on the sidelines. my hope is that companies, the people that are still sitting on the sidelines will get off the sidelines and push back
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immediately. >> we'll stay on it. thank you all so much for starting us off in this discussion. when we come back, painstaking investigations by our colleague richard engel providing a new window into the january 6th insurrection and the rioters that carried out that attack. rs that carried out that attack e we energy in just two weeks! ( sighs wearily ) here, i'll take that! ( excited yell ) woo-hoo! ensure max protein. with thirty grams of protein, one-gram of sugar, and nutrients to support immune health! ( abbot sonic )
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it's been over three months since the january 6th capitol riots.
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the investigation is on going. with more than 300 people charged including 40 members and associates of far right extremist groups, the proud boys and oath keepers. we have an exclusive new look inside the events of the january 6th riot thanks to a joint investigation by nbc news and the volunteers giving us a never before seen look at the siege on the people's house. it includes this new evidence of the advanced planning on the day of the attack. watch. >> a group forms a stack. a military formation. used to enter and clear buildings. in the stack is jessica watkins. 38-year-old jessica watkins served in the army and deployed to afghanistan. she is a transgender woman and according to her own account,
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she received an other than honorable discharge when the army determined her presenting as a female was unacceptable. she ran a bar in ohio with her boyfriend. earlier on january 6th, she had been at president trump's save america rally. providing security, she claims, with the group called the oath keepers, a militia made up of former military and police. as watkins walks from trump's rally from the white house to the capitol, she speaks on a walkie-talkie app on her phone. the conversation suggests advanced planning. >> what kind of numbers do we have going to the capitol? any estimates? what percentage of the crowd is going to the capitol? >> 100%. everybody's marching on the capitol. it's about two blocks away.
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police are not doing nothing. they're not trying to stop us at this point. >> joining our conversation, richard engel. i was riveted. i can't wait to see the whole piece. but this seems to be the central question to whether or not the justice department will bring more serious charges like sedition. tell me what you learned about the question of advance planning and coordination. >> so we went through thousands of hours of video, of intercepted audio recordings, police audio. and when you lay out all of these little bits of information, a lot of the video was cell phone video taken by the rioters themselves. you lay them out and start to see patterns. and like when you lay out pieces of puzzle. you start to notice clusters. one of the patterns we noticed is there is considerable advance planning. people arrived with weapons. they arrived with personal protection equipment like gas masks or baseball bats.
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but there was also a lot of improvisation. they couldn't have known how certain things developed. for example, they found an opportunity when they stormed the scaffolding. it played major factor. for the inauguration, the capitol had a lot of scaffolding built there, bleachers built there to welcome guests would are going to watch the inauguration. the scaffolding was still under construction and the rioters managed to penetrate this scaffolding and use the machinery or the workings of the scaffolding in order to get up to the capitol's windows and doors. that is something that developed on the ground. like in all battles, the terrain is important, preplanning and then a lot of adjustments and luck that happen. so it was a combination of improvisation and planning. and then people who were just
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swept up in it no doubt. >> i want to ask you about that. in watching all this video, is there anyone that ar tick lats remorse or, oh, my gosh, i didn't want to be here for this. any remorse picked up? >> not really. the sense was that this was something they were very proud of. they thought the winds of history at their backs throughout the videos. they're consistently yelling out and calling out to the police that the police should really be on thur side. that they were doing all of this to defend america, to defend law and order, to defend the cops even as they were in cases using blue lives matter flags to attack police officers. but certainly at the time there wasn't a sense that oh, this has gone too far. there were debates about what
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they should do once they were in the capitol building, whether they should respect it, whether they should occupy it, how they should behave. but the general sense was that what they were doing was justified, legitimate and it was a new spirit of 1776 which was a main battle cry we heard in practically countless videos. >> remarkable piece of reporting. i can't wait to watch it. nbc's richard engel, thanks for spending tomb with us. you can catch "on assignment our house" on nbc. >> breaking news on the vaccine rollout and what means to get shots into the arms of our kids. shots into the arms of our kids.
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before we board... and you have thinkorswim mobile- -so i can finish analyzing the risk on this position. you two are all set. choose the app that fits your investing style. ♪♪ there is breaking news on the vaccine roll-out to tell you about. pfizer has asked the fda to expand use of its covid-19 vaccine to children age 12 to 15 after clinical trials show that the vaccine was 100% safe and effective. pfizer is also studying how the vaccine interacts in children between the ages of 6 and 11. public health officials are trying to find ways around vaccine hesitancy to get a majority of americans vaccinated. new reporting looks at mississippi as what many countries may face as vaccine supply grows. there were 73,000 appointment
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slots available to get a vaccine and as the times reports, quote, the pile-up of unclaimed appointments in mississippi exposes something more worrisome, the large number of people hesitant to get inoculated. dean of brown university school of public health. first, i mean, what do we do about mississippi? >> yeah. it's a challenge. there are two sets of issues happening in mississippi. one is access. there are a lot of people living in rural mississippi, especially black americans in rural mississippi, where the access is not great. so we have to work on access. but the second issue is the issue of hesitancy you raised, particularly among conservative white men where we have seen a high degree of hesitancy. we need leaders. we need political leaders, religious leaders to speak up about the value of these vaccines. that's what will drive the valuing across.
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>> and we talked last night at 9:00 about michigan. can you just explain. it seems like a totally different crisis in michigan. but what is to be done now to help them and to turn back the surge that they're seeing and to make sure it doesn't spout off and spread into surrounding states? >> yeah, absolutely. and thank goodness there has actually been progress. the biden said they will start more testing and more vaccines to michigan. right now we have, in many states like mississippi, these two stories are connected. mississippi has plenty of vaccines and michigan needs more. right now what the government should be going is surging more vaccines to michigan, to other places having surges in cases and making sure that places where the demand outstretched supply gets priority for
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vaccinations. that's how we will get this virus under control and that's an important part of this strategy. >> i have followed the announcements about the vaccine manufacturers moving to trials in kids. and this is just a remarkable piece of information that pfizer is now seeking authorization to use their vaccine in kids 12 to 15. talk about how -- i mean, people without kids don't understand that kids are the most vaccinated people in the country. and a lot of vaccines are tested on kids first because they're vulnerable. can you talk about how this is different and how there is a long history of vaccinating our kids at the youngest ages. >> yeah, absolutely. i think today's announcement by pfizer was terrific. first of all, if we are going to achieve herd immunity, 23% of the population are kids, and we need them vaccinated. first of all, we tested this in older people because that's the group that's most vulnerable. that makes sense.
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that's where we started the vaccinations. but now testing in 12 to 15-year-olds is really important. the data looks really good. we will see what the fda has to say, but i am optimistic. i really do think that by this summer we will see 12 to 15-year-olds get vaccinated. my closest friend has a kid who is about to have his bar mitzvah over the summer and he was asking if he could get vaccinated and he can. i think this is really good progress. >> it is all in the bucket of hope if we do the right things. science has done their part. we now have to do our part acid sevens. always a pleasure to get to talk to you. thank you for spending some time with us. >> thank you. finally, as we do every day, remembering lives well-lived. barbara had her own personal tradition. her sister told us barbara would go to the trouble of making baked goods for her entire apartment complex, hundreds of people every year.
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it was evidence of her enormous heart overflowing with her generosity. whatever she had to give, she gave. barbara possessed an unrelenting sense of humor and the ability to make people around her feel valued. she should be celebrating her 68th birthday with friends and family this week. instead, they're left to mourn her passing. please join us in thinking of them this afternoon and in the days and weeks to come. we will be right back. because of the research that i've started to do on ancestry, with documents, with photographs, i get to define myself through the scores of people who lead to me. bring your family history to life like never before. get started for free at ancestry.com we made usaa insurance for members like martin. an air force veteran made of doing what's right, not what's easy. so when a hailstorm hit, usaa reached out before he could even inspect the damage. that's how you do it right. usaa insurance is made just the way
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thank you for letting us into your homes for another week
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of shows during these extraordinary times. we are grateful. "the beat" with ari melber starts right now. >> hi, nicole. thank you so much. we're tracking a lot of news at the end of this week. this dealing with the exact cause of george floyd's death. that's later tonight. the evidence meanwhile piling up in the trump money probe, and we have a very significant key witness joining us live tonight. you may have heard of him. former trump lawyer on "the beat" later tonight. matt gaetz now involved in this ever widening scandal. now, gaetz team is responding, quote, these allegations are blatantly false and have not been validated by a single human being willing to put their name

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