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tv   MTP Daily  MSNBC  July 1, 2021 10:00am-11:00am PDT

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♪♪ welcome to a very busy thursday. it's "meet the press daily." i'm chuck todd. we do have another jam packed hour and conservatives were handed another legal victory on the issue of voting restrictions. biden is in surfside, florida, as we speak as the search and rescue efforts have been put on hold due to concerns of an additional collapse. speaker pelosi has just announced her picks to lead the select committee in its investigation into the january 6th capitol attack and includes a republican, a big-time one. all of it is covered but begin with the breaking news. the chief financial officer of the trump organization, allen
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weisselberg, is seen surrendering to authorities very early in the 6:00 hour after being indicted by the manhattan district attorney and the new york attorney general. remember, they had merged their investigations and their grand juries. the criminal charges expected to stem from an alleged scheme to compensate weisselberg and possibly others off the books by the trump organization. your basic tax evasion case. we are expecting those charges against weisselberg and the trump organization to be unsealed shortly. weisselberg will be arraigned in court and already has said he intends to plead not guilty. a trump representative tells nbc news they expect proceedings will get under way in the next hour or so. now, donald trump himself has not been accused of any wrongdoing in these cases yet. legal experts sees it as a first step for prosecutors to try to compel weisselberg to cooperate with what they believe should be a broader investigation into trump's business dealings, the idea this is how he handled allen weisselberg, what else did
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the trump organization do to evade taxes? that and any charges tied to trump or not could take years, not months, years to complete. in fact, this criminal case is just one thread in a web of personal and political perils facing the former president and some are bigger than others. and some are bigger financially and some bigger politically. his finances and family are facing this probe of the trump organization. but perhaps it doesn't have a political impact. his actions involving the january 6th siege on the capitol, that's going to be scrutinized by a select congressional committee which will have subpoena power. the information the congressional investigation could represent what may be the biggest near-term threat for this former president and his future political ambitions. and there's also an ongoing criminal investigation from local prosecutors into trump's efforts to subvert the election results in georgia. that too could be far more harmful politically to the president than what happens in
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this tax evasion case in new york city. so while today's developments sloughing the trump respiration are morn, they're serious, they're gist one of many legal fronts facing this former president. nbc's tom winter is following the latest with the charges against allen weisselberg. senior washington correspondent ali jackson is surrounding all things covering the former president and carol lamb, a former u.s. attorney for the southern district of california and msnbc legal analyst. tom, let me start with you here. what do we expect in the next hour? we know there's going to be an arraignment. is this something where mr. weisselberg, is he going to be just released on his account? does he have to do bail? explain some of the processes we're going to see. >> right, so here are the mechanics and i think this is probably the last time you see me on msnbc until i actually come out of the courthouse. that's what we expect. the mechanics of today, i'll go
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in shortly. cy vance, the only thing he said see you in court at 2:15 so we know the time. it'll be 2:15. his office is driving the bus here. while the attorney general's office certainly has an impact on the investigation and contributed to it, this is all the manhattan d.a. today. they're pushing this forward and bringing forward this case. as you said, allen weisselberg, with respect to bail really particularly with new york state bail laws, very few people get a high bail these days or high bond set for them. very few people are denied bail. this is a nonviolent crime and expect him to be out just as soon as they process the paperwork. to your point personal recognizance or some sort of very minor type of bail set up here so that's really a non-issue. as far as the trump organization, tough to put handcuffs around buildings so for them no sort of bail or issue there. the president's sons who have huge impact on the business,
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they're not expected to be here, the attorneys for the trump organization that are going to be the ones representing them. we go into court. the judge reads the specific count, the violations of new york state law and the rye why we're here today and will not read the entire indictment into the record and wait after to get the paperwork and go over the bail and take a plea entry. if either one of parties wants to do it if weisselberg's attorneys say we'll plead not guilty, get that in there and i expect it to take not more than 15 to 20 minutes under way to be out of there. we'll come out and report what we heard immediately afterwards then we'll get the court paperwork, chuck. >> i find it intriguing only a "new york times" photographer got allen weisselberg coming in. you and i both know how this works. if a prosecutor wants to
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embarrass somebody they're charging, a lot of news organizations get tipped off and you're able to get -- i think it's interesting that that didn't happen. the point being is this just yet a small sign of this indictment is about cooperation, that's what they're looking for. >> well, i think a couple different things, first off there were a number of different ways to get into the courthouse and sometimes it's possible to sneak in. "the times" being inside is probably a little bit of good gamesmanship and easier for a photographer to get inside without getting too in the weeds with it but you're right. what it does say is this is about cooperation, this is about whether or not allen weisselberg once he sees his name on those charging document, once he is charged in the state of new york does this change his calculus, does he want to engage with the discussion? what does he actually have to offer? i think another thing that's important today, we're talking about off the book payments and
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benefits, alleged that are being charged here today. what am i not talking to you about insurance fraud. i'm not talking about bank fraud. i'm not talking to you about a whole host of potential violations that we know from court filings and from the supreme court battle, two of them that occurred in this investigation. i'm not talking to you about any of those aspects in the investigation. so that's something that will come down the line. that's something washed out? and donald trump's tax returns, we have hundreds of thousands of pages of documents, not just the tax returns but the underlying documents that are involved and we're not hearing about any of that today so back to i think your original point, this does feel specifically targeted at an individual at a specific set of conduct for something that might overtime become much larger. >> all right, my friend, stay dry. and we'll see you when you come out of the courthouse there. let me move over to halle jackson and, halle, this battle.
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i thinkette a battle for the love of allen weisselberg. let me read part of the trump organization statement here before i get to you. allen weisselberg is a loving and devoted husband, father and grandfather who worked at the trump organization for 48 years. he is now being used by the manhattan district attorney as a pawn in a scorched earth attempt to harm the former president. so, this is a battle to win the hearts and mind of one person or perhaps one family, allen weisselberg. i can usually judge the former president's concerns by the number of things he tries to talk about in a 48-hour period before bad legal news and he has been as erratic as ever, so he clearly even though they tried to tell us he's not concerned, he seems highly concerned about this if you look at the nondenial denials about their concern. >> so what's interesting is that statement you just read, chuck that, we got from the trump organization today is basically -- can be summed up in five words which is, hey, allen,
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we got your back. that's what they're trying to say and that's what we've heard all along from those representing the trump organization. as far as the mindset of the former president i'm told by some in trump world, listen, we would be faking it if we weren't saying there was a level of concern. this is not unserious stuff, right? this is not insignificant despite the fact we do not expect the former president himself, donald trump himself to be wrapped up in these indictments. the public play on this, chuck, is to do two thing, number one, dismiss this as totally minor, totally insignificant, something like, okay, so he got a free ride to work whatever, this is political, pointing to, for example, what we've heard from the former predent in the past as he's painted this is as a continuation of a witch-hunt pointing to people in charge, cy vance, the new york attorney general saying they're democrats out to get him. this is political.
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that's one track. the other track is looking specifically at the idea that this is playing politics, right? here's the issue with the strategy as it is being presented publicly from those in donald trump's orbit. as tom notes, guess when we cece these indictments? when unsealed after court. there is a real question mark as to how significant these charges actually are, right? if it is the tax evasion charges and don't want to say just tax evasion but to tom's point, we believe based on our reporting this centers around fringe benefits, cars, apartments, et cetera, there is still an open question how much more serious this could get and the question too, chuck, listen, we can have a whole separate discussion about the trump brand. what happened to it over his four years in office and what could happen -- >> disaster. >> what could happen down the road once it comes through, collateral consequences is what the legal experts will call it, a separate concern and donald trump, listen, he likes to say he is a businessman, businessmen
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care about their brands and no matter how you slice it, right, it is tough to see how the trump organization as a brand is able to spin this as a positive that an indictment is coming down from the d.a. >> there's no doubt. look, politically, if you thought donald trump was a tax cheat you probably didn't need today's news for that. you probably thought that some five or six years ago. stick around for a minute. go ahead. >> let me jump in. if you thought donald trump was being wrongly persecuted by an unfair media and liberal prosecutors in new york this probably hasn't changed that either, right? >> right. exactly. let me bring in carol lamb. carol, walk us through the process of what we're seeing here today, which is the targeting of one individual who if he decides to take the fall himself there's one set of consequences. but let me ask it this way, if allen weisselberg is put on trial, will it mean that the
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d.a. failed? >> oh, that's really hard to tell at this point, chuck, of course, we still have to see the paperwork and what the charges are against both weisselberg and the trump organization but the way i see this today is that this is essentially the first layer of building blocks where they're trying to build a tower and i think if they had had enough, i think if the d.a. office had felt comfortable they had enough to bring additional charges or additional defendants into the case they would have done it today. but what they're doing is very cautious and i think it's smart. it would not surprise me and i think we need to look at the paperwork to establish this but it would not surprise me whether if the case was that at this moment in time they simply felt they were running out of time under the statute of limitations with respect to both weisselberg and the trump organization and by that i mean there's a five-year statute of limitations
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for tax charges in new york state. so there is an exception to that if the person is out of new york and we know that donald trump was out of new york for a good amount of time during the past five year, right? he was in washington but they can't say the same thing about weisselberg and the trump organization which is located in new york. so, you know, there comes a certain point when you've tried and tried and tried to get somebody to flip and cooperate where you simply, you know, he says, no, i'm not going to, he says we'll indict you. he says i'm not going to. you say we'll bring these charges against you, he says i'm not cooperating. you are running out of time under the clock and you just have to bring those charges. that may be what's going on here and it wouldn't surprise me if that's going on here and could be that there's something coming down the road but could be that the d.a.'s office is not sure they'll be able to build that case in the future. we don't know.
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>> let me ask you this hypothetical. had the former president actually divested himself of the trump organization as every ethics adviser, many of his own lawyers, advised him to do, he refused to do it, had he actually divested himself before taking the oath of office, would he actually be free and clear right now of this? >> i think that's unlikely. when you bring criminal charges you bring charges against the entities that were in control or the individuals who were in control if you have the evidence at the time the crime was committed so simply divesting himself of the organization when he became president would not immunize him from liability. now, if there is a continuing crime that took place, you know, and i suspect it will be conspiracy charges here to bring more of the conduct within a more recent time period, he might not be liable, you know, for continuing conduct but certainly the conduct that was
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in play at the time the charges for the crime that the charges are alleging he would be liable for that. >> and very quickly, given what we know about why weiss weisselberg was targeted and how because of the ex-wife of his son who seemed to be the key, one of the key cooperators here, are you surprised that more members of weisselberg's family aren't indicted? >> not necessarily. and this is why, as targets go for a financial type of crime, you don't from the prosecutor's perspective get a much more attractive target than allen weisselberg. he is an accountant by training. he was the cfo and treasurer at one point in time for the trump organization. they are trained to document and trained to know exactly what they're doing in the financial world. so they cannot hide behind the kind of screens that other people can hide behind saying, well, i didn't understand the tax laws, i didn't understand
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the accounting. he was responsible for both of those areas, so it doesn't surprise me that at this point in time they brought charges only against weisselberg. >> all right. hallie jackson and carol lam and hopefully still dry tom winter as he makes his way into the courthouse. we're following breaking news from the supreme court. they upheld what many believe was a restrictive set of voting laws out of the state of arizona. jim clyburn will talk about that and the select committee to investigate the january 6th riot. brad raffensperger joins me as the justice department sues his state over voting restrictions as well.
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one of the most closely watched cases this term, the supreme court that upheld what two restrictive voting laws in arizona which challengers said would make it harder for minorities to vote and violated the voting rights act. today's decision effectively rejects that argument. also today the court struck down a california law that would require charities to reseal the identities of major donors. joining me is pete williams. so, pete, let's go with the arizona case first. and i want to start with there were two parts challenged. one had to do with the collection of ballots, the other had to do with this idea if you voted in the wrong precinct what would happen to those ballots? was there any thought of splitting those two? did the challengers at all, you know, sometimes they'll make an argument, look, if you're going to uphold that this is more egregious, the throwing away of ballots was more egregious.
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any attempt to split that? >> no, not really. i mean, there was different analysis during the challenges about the effect they have on voters but what justice alito says in his majority opinion, any time you change the vogt rules it imposes some kind of burden on somebody somehow. and there's always been a burden to voting. he says you got to get up, go to the poll, apply for a ballot. you got to put it in the mailbox. those are all to some extent inconveniences so the test, he says, under the voting rights act is what kind of disparity does that create among the different voting groups and he says you're always going to have some disparity based on where people live, what their level of education is, what kind of jobs they have so what he says for the majority in the 6-3 opinion today under the voting rights act as long as that disparity is small and can be measured pretty carefully and doesn't -- doesn't have a huge disparity, and the
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state has some justification for it, then that passes muster under the voting rights act so this was the first time the supreme court has ever applied the voting rights act or what's left of it to voting law changes and the past it's always been used to measure redistricting tests, you know, when you redraw the lines for congressional or state legislative boundaries. that's the test, he says, he says in the opinion we're not announcing a test but here's guideposts so it's sort of the next best thing to being there. the dissenters say this eviscerating what's left of the voting rights act that these disparities can be measured and they do have a different impact on minority voters and in some states these things seem tailor made to make it harder for some populations to vote. >> the other case coming down
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had to do with the idea of can anonymous donors stay anonymous to -- in california and it was to nonprofit charities? what was the definition of a nonprofit charity in that front because i think that's another aspect of this, is this about political dark money or not? >> well, ostensibly it wasn't. the statute isn't aimed at that. what it said is that the charities have to disclose, make financial disclosures every year to california and have to include something they give to the irs anyway a list of big donors. this was attacked by a number of conservative groups led by the americans for prosperity, the koch brothers organization. sometimes this stuff becomes public. it makes donors subject to harassment and intimidation and they're less likely to open up their wallets and so on that basis the supreme court said, yeah, we agree this violates the freedom of association. in 1958 the supreme court defeated a state law that said
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members, the naacp had to disclose its members and for the same logic, it said this could lead to intimidation but what the dissenters said today is, you know, this sets up a challenge for people to come back and say, okay, now people who make donations to political campaigns shouldn't have to report their contributions either. court didn't go that far but that's what the dissenters said they fear. >> got you. very quick, what if congress had a new voting rights act say in the last year and a half, had redone it, what would have happened to the arizona case? would it have been punted, sent back, would it have -- how would they have handled that? >> it would have been test -- well, i know you -- if congress had a new law in place, it could -- it could have been used to defeat the arizona law and i think the outcome would have been different especially if the so-called preclearance law was still in effect because under
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that regime the state had to prove it wasn't discriminating. now the burden shifts and challengers have to say, oh, yes, it is discriminating. >> all right, pete williams, thank you and, pete, i used that last question to tee up my first question for democrat congressman and house majority whip from south carolina nonother than mr. clyburn. always a pleasure to have you on the program. you just heard my question there to mr. williams about the voting rights act which brings me back to where is it? i got to ask, where is this law? there's no doubt the courts gutted it but the courts gutted it and the assumption was congress was going to tighten it up and do something and here we are eight years removed and we don't have one. >> well, thank you very much for having me, chuck. to begin with, slightly disagree with pete williams on that part of it. the fact of the matter is this
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decision today in section 2 rather than what we call the preclearance which was basically section 4, the civil rights act, preclearance 5 but 4 is where the formula was and so we have not submitted legislation yet in this congress on that question so i think it's a little bit different, though i agree that what the court did here was do the section 2, what will lead, i think to more onerous burdens on people of -- let's say lesser means because what we're talking about here is people who move and then have to -- last thing you think about when you move is
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changing your voter registration and so you show up at the wrong polling place and find yourself with difficulty simply because you are more mobile than others so it is onerous and it is a 6-3 decision. a lot of us anticipated it would come to this and maybe we can aggress that issue in hr-1 or s-1 since it's still there to be worked on. >> i keep -- i'd like go back to hr-4, the john lewis voting rights act. whether we want to go back to when this roberts court originally basically gutted what was the voting rights act that we knew and lived with for a generation, this has been -- there's been a lot of people on, you know, even some republicans who were committed to renewing the votes rights act, to improving it, to modernizing it
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and possibly putting all 50 states in the preclearance -- under the preclearance umbrella and it's eight years later. why hasn't hr-4, the voting rights act been issue 1 politically it feels as if hr-1 and s-1 have sort of diluted something that could be used right now to deal with what's happening in the state legislatures. >> well, when it comes to hr-4 you're absolutely correct and the reason is it's only now that so many states are demonstrating that it has preclearance. 48 states have passed something that we might call restrictive laws when it comes to voting. way back when we first passed the voting rights act of 1965 i think it was only about seven states, maybe five or six total states and maybe about two states that were -- so this opening up a new avenue for us
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and so what we're doing here, with section 4, is we're looking at whether or not the law applies to all 50 states which would be a big change, and now 48 states have demonstrated that maybe they should be subjected to preclearance so i would vote that the congress would move before our others break to deal with s-1 and hr-4 and i don't know that you have to have all of the records you're trying to develop if it were to apply to all 50 states. it's so, put preclearance into hr-1 and you'll have basically what we're looking for. >> well, it was always one of those things, how would roberts have voted if it did apply to all 50 states, so perhaps it's worth testing that theory as you say. let me talk about the january 6th select committee.
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liz cheney is obviously the sort of the headline, if you will, among the speaker's appointments here. if the republican leadership strips her of her committee assignments, but, you know, look, that's a political statement on their part, would there be any appetite on your side of the aisle to basically reappoint her to the committee she was stripped of if that happens? >> i don't know. i'll leave that up to those -- they're two steps above me. the leader is there. >> i hear you. >> the speaker. i'm going to let them make that decision. i will congratulate the speaker on being bipartisan as she has been. when thompson came forward working with the ranking member they produced a bipartisan document allowed knife and five on either side and have a joint
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authority when it comes to subpoenas. but for some strange reason, that was not good enough for our republican friends, but nancy pelosi has now moved forward with the committee and she made some bipartisan appointments, so i'm with her that we will go forward with this, find out exactly what happened and kwai it happened. to me that is more important than what happened. why it happened and you cannot get to that without a thorough investigation and i know bennie thompson very well and knew him for 20 years before we came to congress together and demonstrated that he knows how to be bipartisan and getting something done. >> congressman, very quick, do you think it's important to have this select committee -- i know it's hard to say, you know, you want to get to the facts however
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long it takes but do you think it will be more effective if they can have this investigation completed before the end of this calendar year? >> what would give us something to work with earlier but i would much rather them do it right than to do it quickly, so i want them to take their time because what we're doing here is trying to preserve this democracy and it's better -- bigger than any one election and it's bigger than any one party. this -- this democracy is teetering on edge. and we've just got to recognize that. what happened on january 6th was very, very serious. and what i've seen in the last 24 hours coming with these videos that have just been released, the whole american public needs to watch that and then reach their conclusion and then ask themselves, why would a member of the united states congress or several members refer to january 6th as little
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more than visitors to the capitol on a sightseeing tour? that is crazy stuff and we had better be careful. >> house majority whip jim clyburn, democrat of south carolina, i think it's fitting to end our conversation, i appreciate you coming on and sharing your perspective. >> thank you for having me. coming up, the georgia secretary of state, very familiar figure in the aftermath of the 2020 election joins me as the justice department files a lawsuit challenging a restricting voting law in his state. low cash mode, the financial watch out that gives you the options and extra time needed to help you avoid an overdraft fee. it's one way we're making a difference. low cash mode on virtual wallet from pnc bank.
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you're welcome. breyers natural vanilla is made with 100% grade a milk and cream and only sustainably farmed vanilla. better starts with breyers. welcome back. the supreme court's decision to uphold arizona's voting restrictions dealt a blow to civil rights groups hoping to challenge restrictive voting laws like the ones some states have put in place after the 020 election. georgia's new election law, parts of which do go into effect today being july 1st will continue to face scrutiny. a federal judge heard arguments saying it criminalized normal monitoring practices, one of eight lawsuits challenging their laws including one filed by the justice department arguing it discriminates against black voters. with me now is brad raffensperger, part of me says he needs no introduction, probably the nose famous secretary of state in the country these days. mr. raffensperger, i appreciate
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you coming on. nice to see you. >> good to see you. >> let me just simply start with this question, if donald trump had carried the state of georgia would there be new election laws in georgia taking place today? >> i believe so because for many years when i ran actually in 2018 i said we need to move away from signature match and move tors an objective measure like driver's license number. what was adapted in sp-202 is similar to what they're using in minnesota for absentee ballot voters. that's good solid election reform. >> okay. is taking away the powers of your office good solid election reform or response to what happened in the 2020 election? >> well, removing me as the chairman of the state election board, the decision the general assembly made, not one i supported but at the end of the day i do believe making sure we have accountability to counties that continually fail because we
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have had one county at least since 1993, fulton county has had massive failures every single election. people not just in fulton county are waiting for those results but actually people across the entire state because it represents about 11% of our total voting population. >> well, i appreciate you putting it that way because there's always an attempt on the right to pick on the large counties. and at the end of the day they're large county, period. maybe they need to be extra drop boxes or needs to be more polling places or needs to be the ability to do these things. do you understand why people that live in those counties think they're being unfairly discriminated against by a bunch of lawmakers who essentially resent that those counties have such a large influence on what happens in statewide elections? >> well, i live in fulton county and i resent having fulton county election official that
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just continually cannot get his results done on time. now, we understand we had a detailed report from our monitor that was in place that there were no illegaliies but when you have massive dysfunction that they have there, mismanagement it creates a whole -- it really is a breeding ground for conspiracy theories. that's why the state election board having that authority to come in failing after they've proven their case and going to due process is a properly accountability measure. many are similar in size almost to fulton county, cobb county, gwinnett county have run good alex perez so not because of size, sometimes it comes down to a management issue. >> the issue of timing and motive has really, i think, created this environment of distrust. and i think that's got to be the hardest part to defend. you want to defend this law. but it certainly, you know, you know there's a saying in the
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south don't you know what on my leg and tell me it's raining. you know, it is regard to look at these laws and sit here and say, well, gees, why did they do this? oh, trump lost and, therefore, we're going to change these laws and how did he lose? we think absentee ballots. it seemed almost designed to target the counties and the areas that trump didn't do well with. don't you understand why there's so much distrust given how targeted and the timing of this -- of these changes? >> well, as it relates to timing if you look at it, we made some major revisions in 2019 as soon as i took office which was an odd numbered year and have to do these election form measure, modifications to the election law in odd number year, can't do it during an election year, this year in 2021 we passed a law and our session meets right after january, 40-day session. we were the first one out of the gate and first to pass legislation, other, you know,
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general assembly legislatures meet different types of year and longer than 40 days and that's why ours looked like it came right after the election. the fact ha it did we had the senate runoff elections that finished on january 6th. january 5th. >> all right. do you think the fulton county investigation into the former president's role in perhaps attempting to manipulate the voting results in georgia is a legitimate investigation? >> it's a law enforcement matter and i don't comment on ongoing law enforcement matters. >> are you -- have you cooperating with that investigation given the role, your role in it if you will? >> i always cooperate with the law. my job is i'm a constitutional officer. we follow law, follow the process, follow the protocols so we support and we will, you know, help any law enforcement agency that needs information.
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just like in the fall we called in the fbi and called in gbi when we heard all these allegations what was happening in fulton county in the absentee process and state farm arena and want to make sure we had lots of eyes on and independent law enforcement agencies. >> you've been the victim of quite the harassment campaign. you know what our political polarization has done to our politics. what misinformation has done. i'm just curious, has your view of public service changed given just how much misinformation has probably made your life miserable? >> well, back in really january, february of 2020 when i said to everyone was that coming out to see our new machines that we were putting in place with the verifiable paper ballot i understood we live in polarized times and it's important we got
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our new plans up and incorporated a lot of changes that we had to implement because of covid-19 to make sure voters could vote. i recognize that we do live in polarized times. but i think at the end of the day i think the character counts and inegg it grit counts and i think people during these times know, we have an honest person that is going to fight hard and have honest and fair elections that will stand the gap and take the flack. >> if you lose a primary in the republican primary simply because the former press, you know, does what it takes to defeat you, does that mean integrity didn't count? >> integrity always counts. you look at the history of america, maybe people don't realize the story of sam houston. he was the governor in 1861 and they wanted him to sign a piece letter and really pledge allegiance to the confederacy and he was a union man. he walked out that day and didn't sign the piece of paper so integrity always counts and
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always will. >> georgia secretary of state, republican brad raffensperger, appreciate you coming on, sharing your perspective with us. always a pleasure to talk to you. >> thank you. we want to note the passing of donald rumsfeld, both the youngest defense secretary of president gerald ford and the oldest under president george w. bush and served as ford's white house chief of staff and was an ambassador to nato. he was a navy pilot, a u.s. congressman from illinois, the ceo of two fortune 500 companies and, yes, he had and exploratory campaign for president before 1988. but his career was defined by 9/11 and the iraq war and his push to go after saddam hussein despite no proof to his connection to bin laden. on "meet the press" he conceded that the u.s. faced tough days ahead. but his prediction of the worst outcome proved to be far too optimistic.
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>> there have to be tough days ahead. wars are unpredictable. there are still a large number of the difficulties and things that can go wrong, there's still ahead of us. the young men and women that are out there are doing a superb job and the outcome is clear. it will end and saddam hussein's regime will be gone and the united states will be a safer place for it. >> donald rumsfeld was 88 years old. voiceover: riders. wanderers on the road of life. the journey is why they ride. when the road is all you need, there is no destination. uh, i-i'm actually just going to get an iced coffee. well, she may have a destination this one time, but usually -- no, i-i usually have a destination. yeah, but most of the time, her destination is freedom. nope, just the coffee shop.
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welcome back. the president and the first lady are in surfside, florida, as we speak right now. they're meeting behind closed doors with families of loved ones who were killed or still missing in the condo collapse. the president is expected to make remarks later this afternoon. we will cover those live, of
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course, met with state and local officials and thanked first responders for their efforts. they were forced to pause the search over fears overnight that the rest of the structure may collapse. there's some of the building still up. engineers on site eager to resume as resume as soon as pos but no time line of when it may be and i hate to worry about the weather, but there is a tropical storm brewing out underneath the caribbean there that would certainly hamper the efforts as well. at least 18 people were confirmed to have died including two children, and 135 people still unaccounted for. and now we go to the cdc's chief who said that the delta variant is hypertransmissible.
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and director walensky said that over 1,000 counties have the vaccination less than 50%. so if you are not vaccinated, find a way to get them vaccinated. the only people dying are those unvaccinated and for those spreading misinformation. shame on you. shame on you. people are needlessly dying because of your misinformation. think about it. i don't know how some of you sleep at night who are doing this for a living on television. okay. turning back now, we are awaiting charges against the trump organization, and the cfo allan weisselberg. and it is a scheme to complicate weisselberg and others off of the books in the trump organization. and joining me is gretchen morganson. and so i want to start with
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explaining why is this criminal and not civil, and could vit easily been the other waysh and then grown into criminal or vice versa? >> well, tax evasion is a crime, and as you know, chuck, and so this is very typical to have a criminal cases being brought, and now they are mostly brought by federal prosecutors, and state prosecutors are also going to bring many of these cases, and so the fact that it is criminal is not really a surprise here. and we have seen a lot of commentary from the trump organization lawyers saying that, you know, these numbers are small, and these amounts are tiny and this case should have never been brought, and it is really not the case that these kinds of cases are common, and they are often going to involve relatively small amounts of money, and certainly amounts of money that the trump organization would characterize as small. so, yes, a criminal case is
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often common. >> one of the scapegoats that they may make is on the accounting firm. >> and one of them is the accounting firm in the spotlight, and can the trump organization offload this criminal liability to the accounting firm? >> well, they will certainly try to say that i think that if prosecutors move up the ladder, they will try to say that they didn't know about it, and that this is, you know, practice that they were not aware of, but, you have the problem, chuck, of probably a high level executives in the organization, and if not donald trump, himself, signing off on documents. so then you have to make the argument that you didn't know what you were signing, and that a difficult case to make, and so
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i don't think that argument is going to hold a lot of water. >> so, he is going to plead not guilty, alan weisselberg. i take it that if this ever goes to trial, it is, it's already a case that failed to achieve perhaps what the d.a. achieved. this is intended to be a building block. explain. >> correct. well, he can plead not guilty, and he is pleading not guilty, but that does not mean that latesha james does not have a case, and they have materials to rely on, and the fact that he is not assisting them at this point in the prosecution is not surprising, but it is not a deal-breaker for them in any shape or form, because they do have the documents that are
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necessary. one thing they want to point out is that these cases can start very small. they can start at a low level and really then move up. in fact, in 20 years ago in a very office of the manhattan district attorney, they brought a case against dennis kos lou -- koslowski who was a powerful ceo of a company, and they brought a case of evading sales tax on high-priced paintings that he had brought, and pretended to ship to new hampshire instead of new york so that he would not have to pay the sales tax. now, we were talking about at that point, $2 million sales tax that dennis koslowski was avoiding is the case that threw him in jail along with the cfo
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for looting the company. so these cases can start small, and i am not going to say that is going to happen here, but when you gate case in the beginnings of it, and really, it is not the end. we are only at the beginning here. >> how long did tyco and i want to remind people that was years and not months. >> it was two years after the indictment of dennis koslowski that he finally was found guilty. and you know, that is a long time. that is a very long time. >> yep. >> it was a small case that got very big. >> gretchen morganson, it is great to get your reporting and expertise on that. we will be back tomorrow with more "meet the press daily" and more coverage continues
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after this break. d more covera after this break. that causes covid-19 from treated air. so you can breathe easier, knowing that you and your family have added protection. ♪ ♪
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it is good to be with you. i'm geoff bennett joined by my friend ayman. and now, today, the president is
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