tv Katy Tur Reports MSNBC October 21, 2021 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
oklahoma, in the piece tonight you'll not only meet dr. whitfield and see what his life has become, you'll also get into a school in oklahoma where they're dealing with the exact same law and trying to find their way through this precarious situation. >> antonia, it's a terrific piece. dr. whitfield, i have to say, somebody walk a day in his shoes and you'll understand why we're spending so much time on this issue. i can't wait to see you later on this next episode, thank you for all your hard work. catch the full episode of "meet the press" reports streaming on nbc news now. it will be on demand tomorrow on peacock. i'm running late. we'll be back with more "meet the press daily" tomorrow. msnbc coverage continues with geoff bennett. i owe you 30 seconds, buddy. it is great to be with you. i'm geoff bennett. as we come on the air, we are awaiting a vote in which the
house of representatives is expected to hold trump confidant steve bannon in contempt of congress and refer the matter to the justice department for prosecution. then it's up to the acting u.s. attorney in dc and ultimately the attorney general on whether to bring criminal charges against bannon. >> the house of representatives votes for referral of a contempt charge. the department of justice will do what it always does in such circumstances. it will apply the facts and the law and make a decision consistent with the principles of prosecution. >> the pressure on merrick garland will be intense. and his decision on whether to prosecute will be consequential, not only for bannon and donald trump, but also the future ability of congressional power to call witnesses, demand information and documents, and enforce subpoenas for those who refuse to cooperate. now, if history is any indicator, the doj has
historically been reluctant to use its power of prosecution against witnesses found in contempt of congress. and so far, the ag has stressed removing any hint of politics from the doj after the norms destroyed during the trump administration. but the circumstances surrounding the attack on the capitol could push garland to make a move. so will he or won't he? and if he does, how quickly could we see bannon charged? and is it all headed for a cliffhanger at the supreme court? joining us to talk about it are nbc news capitol hill correspondent ali vitali, "washington post" white house bureau chief ashley parker. you've got all the democrats voting for it, expected to, anyway, plus cheney and kinzinger. could any other republicans join them? >> kinzinger told a member of our team when they spoke earlier that maybe five or ten
republicans could join democrats on this. but it's a handful in comparison to the larger republican caucus. and that really goes to underscore what you and i talk about all the time, which is the hold that former president donald trump continues to have over his party, especially as it relates to january 6. over the course of the last 36 or so hours, we've seen people like liz cheney speak directly to other members of her own party, trying to appeal to, in many ways, the better angels of the conservative movement, trying to unlink that movement from donald trump and the lies he told about the 2020 election and the ways those lies if he had fed into this deadly day on capitol hill. that's what aides will remind you is at hand here, reminding of what happened on january 6 and the committee's work to get to the bottom of it both so it never happens again but also so there is a fuller, more holistic understanding of how it came to be in the first place. what we expect, though, on capitol hill, once that vote
does come to the house floor, we expect it to pass and it will land at the feet of the justice department where, you're right, attorney general merrick garland will have a lot of pressure on him because the other thing i hear from my sources up here in regards to this is that yes, it's in regards to the specific work the committee is doing right now, but this is also about the larger precedent that's set, retaking that power of congressional subpoena and being able to enforce it after seeing it trampled all over so many times during the years of donald trump and his administration, where allies and other members of his white house repeatedly would just ignore the subpoenas that were sent to them by congress or just mire them in the courts to slow the investigations down. that's what's at hand here. yes, the microevent of investigating january, but also in the macro sense, taking back that power of oversight for congress and setting that precedent here both at doj and in this building. >> and ashley, on the specifics of the investigation, what did democrats hope to uncover here with bannon specifically? is bannon's knowledge of what
happened on january 6, what led up to it, is that supposed to be a proxy for what donald trump himself might have known? >> in part, yes. you know, there's one very intriging conversation that my colleagues at "the post" have reported on on december 30, where bannon speaks to then-president trump on the phone who is at mar-a-lago. bannon basically says to the president, you have to get back here, you have to come back to dc, january 6 is the end game, that's where it is, that's what the play is. and donald trump, i remember, at the time, for those of us covering him, he did something unexpected. his entire team had to scramble, his advance staff, his wranglers. he did return to washington before new year's eve. so there's certainly very real and fair questions of what did
then-president trump say back, what was steve bannon saying was the play on january 6, what was the plan? again, why rush back from mar-a-lago? he is a proxy in some ways, but if you're trying to understand exactly how this deadly insurrection happened, steve bannon is certainly one of the people you would want to talk to, because of not just his role but the conversations he had with the sitting president. >> and that podcast he did on january 5 when he talked about what was going to happen on january 6 and said all hell will break loose. so cynthia, merrick garland, the attorney general, he's trying to keep politics out of the doj after everything we saw transpire during the trump years. but i think these days, whatever he decides here is going to be viewed through a political lens. based on what you know of him and the doj, what's your best assessment of what he's going to do here? >> my assessment is he will file the charges, that he will hem and haw about it a little bit, but eventually the pressure is too great.
because the case is strong. here's the problem that i think many doj-watchers see. he is fundamentally a federal appellate judge. they are accustomed to sitting on the mountain top and contemplating great thoughts. and that's not what's called for here. this is a pretty straightforward case. steve bannon was subpoenaed. he did not comply with his subpoena. he asserted executive privilege which is specious. even trump didn't assert executive privilege for him. executive privilege was not covered in this case. and he also refused to provide the information that has nothing to do with trump. there's lots of information about his planning of the rally, his meetings in the war room, his conversations with kash patel. he didn't provide any of that information or any of those documents either. so it's a strong case. it should be indicted. and while it seems to me the attorney general is moving very slowly, timidly, ultimately i think the career prosecutors in the department of justice will convince him that he needs to go
forward. >> and how long should we expect this process to take? because the january 6 committee, they're up against a political calendar. if republicans take back the house, that could be the end of this january 6 committee as we know it. >> yeah, i completely agree. i think that's a huge problem. the way the process works is, the case could be presented -- i could present this case to a grand jury in an afternoon. and there are grand juries sitting in dc on fridays. there could be an indictment and arrest and arraignment fairly quickly. but it could take a long time. they'll have to walk and chew gum. he'll have to be indicted and they'll have to go forward. they have many other witnesses to hear from and they need to go forward with them. they seem very competent, i think they will. >> ashley, there could be a vote today? >> the process may muck it up a
bit, our dinner plans are on hold. >> luckily for us, you're on the house floor, you can keep us honest. i appreciate it. in florida forensic teams are examining partial human rains found in a nature preserve near a backpack and a notebook believed to belong to brian laundrie. joining me now, nbc correspondent stephanie stanton and analyst cedric alexander. stephanie, you're at the house of brian laundrie's parents. what can you tell us from there? what are you seeing, what are you hearing? >> good afternoon to you, geoff. it is very quiet here outside the laundrie home. we have not seen any activity from any family members. but that park, that scene where they are searching for evidence, that's about five miles from where i am standing. and earlier this afternoon, i should say late this morning, officials from the lee county sheriff's department and the north port police department held a news conference. it was a very short news conference and quite frankly,
not a lot of information was revealed. they started out by offering their thoughts and prayers to the petito family. they then talked about, shifted into what the search crews have been up against over the last several weeks as they've been searching the areas around here, the wetlands, if you will. they mentioned chest-high water. they mentioned alligators, snakes. and that was about it. they wrapped it up at that point. you may recall yesterday the fbi did confirm there was that backpack that was found as well as a notebook at the myakkahatchee environmental creek park. and that was found at the same time the laundrie parents set out yesterday morning to search themselves for brian laundrie. that is when those human remains were also found. at that point we are told the laundrie family was asked to leave the area and that is when the sarasota county medical examiner was brought in. that's when and where the search for evidence continues at this hour, geoff. >> and cedric alexander, based
on what we know so far about this investigation as it unfolds, do these new developments in your mind put more scrutiny on laundrie's parents? >> well, it certainly is going to raise a question for law enforcement as to what did they know when. those questions are probably going to have to be answered at some point. i think the question that a lot of people are beginning to ask is the laundrie family goes out for a walk in search for their son and happened on his remains and some of what appears to be his property and what appear to be his remains, which is going to be determined here very soon through forensics science. so i think some questions are going to come about as to what the family may or may not have known under the circumstances in which his remains may have been found. >> and there are questions about law enforcement too. one of the questions is, why didn't they search this area sooner if laundrie's parents
knew to search there. they knew that that was one of his favorite places to go. >> yeah, well, i don't want to get too far ahead of what their investigation -- but i think external to what we're looking at, that may be a question that may be asked internally to that agency, as to, if the family did indeed give them that information. but we also have to keep in mind too that the terrain was not like it is -- as it's been found more recently. i think it had been covered with a great deal of water, so that may have played a part. but i think the questions that are coming about are questions that will need to be answered in that community and people are going to continue to raise those questions as to what knew what, when, in terms of where laundrie has been, considering the fact that authorities have been looking for him across this
country for the last month or better. >> as the forensic team examines his remains, how long could it take to get the results back? >> well, that is certainly up to the science. i mean, we don't know how much material that they need to go through, how much remains, what conditions the remains have been found in. certainly, as we well know, there will be dna testing. and when some conclusion has been drawn, then we will know for certain those are the remains of mr. laundrie. and i think we all kind of suspect that it will be. but of course we have to let the science carry out its abilities to confirm all of that for us. and once that is determined, then there will be other questions. >> cedric alexander and stephanie stanton, thank you for that insight and that on the ground update there. ahead, the battle over boosters. a cdc panel meeting now on
booster shots for moderna and johnson & johnson. also ahead, an msnbc exclusive. new documents detail the embattled postmaster general's conflicts of interest and mismanagement of the postal service. and five advisers to arizona senator kyrsten sinema resign, accusing her of being, quote, an obstacle to progress. senator chris coons joins us to talk about biden's legislative agenda, that's coming up. ♪ there are beautiful ideas that remain in the dark. but with our new multi-cloud experience, you have the flexibility you need to unveil them to the world. ♪
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the fda has given the green light for both themoderna and johnson & johnson booster shots. the agency also gave the okay to mixing and matching boosters. nbc's kathy park has more. >> reporter: good afternoon to you. it could be just a matter of days, perhaps even this weekend when we could see the rollout of these boosters. all eyes are on the cdc right now for their final signoff. meanwhile, across the country, as you know, vaccine mandates are expanding, including right here in new york city. the mayor says, get vaccinated or be prepared to be placed on unpaid leave. tens of millions of americansner americans another step closer to getting a booster. adults 65 and older and adults
at high risk. those eligible would receive half the original dose given six months after the original shot. the johnson & johnson booster also authorized for anyone 18 and older at least two months after the initial immunization. the fda also authorizing a mix and match strategy, allowing providers to give boosters different than their original shot. dr. fauci telling lester holt about advantages to the mix and match campaign, hopeful that it will provide americans with more flexibility, amid concerns colder weather could worsen covid spread. and news the cdc is closely monitoring the uk which is seeing a new mutation of the delta variant, ay 4.2. >> at this time there is no evidence that the sublineage ay 4.2 impacts the effectiveness of our current vaccines or therapeutics. >> reporter: but as millions of
third doses are set to roll out, many city and state governments are pushing unvaccinated workers to get their first. in new york city, a new mandate. all city employees must get their shot by october 29 or be placed on unpaid leave. 16% of the city's total workforce is unvaccinated. that's roughly 46,000 employees. 40% of the city's firefighters are still unvaccinated, along with 39% of ems workers and 30% of police officers. the largest police and firefighters unions vowing to fight back. >> putting people out of work for making a personal health choice is something we will never accept. >> reporter: union leaders here in new york city say they're prepared to take legal action to block the vaccine mandate. meanwhile, city workers have an incentive to get vaccinated. they're eligible to receive $500 if they receive their first dose of the vaccine at a city-run
vaccinations site. geoff? >> thanks to nbc's kathy park. joining us now is former obama white house health policy adviser, zeke emanuel. it's great to have you with us. what does yesterday's approval and today's cdc meeting actually mean for anybody who is eligible for a booster? can people go to pharmacies right now to get their moderna or j&j boosters? >> no. you can't go to your pharmacy right now. you to be six months out, and the cdc's advisory committee on immunization policy will be the final arbiter of this as to what's appropriate. but i'm pretty sure they're going to approve the booster vaccinations. it is for moderna six months after your second shot. and it's a restricted group. it's 65 and older, those people who are younger who are at high risk because of jobs like health
care workers or have other conditions, obesity, diabetes, that put them at high risk. so don't rush now, it will be a week or two before that all gets settled. >> got it. i want to also ask you about covid vaccines and kids, because this morning, the u.s. surgeon general said that he anticipates schools and local governments will require the covid vaccine for students. on a policy level, is that the right move right now? because as you can imagine, there are parents who aren't anti-vaxxers but they would at least live to have a couple of weeks, a couple of months just to sit with it for a while. and those kids who are between the ages of let's say 5 to 7 who don't like to get shots, who instead of getting a flu shot might get the nasal mist, there's no option for them. >> yeah, let's be clear about the situation. over the next few years, as one expert put it, you're either going to get covid or you're going to get a covid vaccine.
and you can pick. getting covid's a lot worse than getting a covid vaccine, no matter how you sort it out. for children, it's a good thing. and i think parents, understandably, look, we're all very concerned about our children, we want the best for them. we don't want to put them at risk. but having them potentially exposed to covid really does put them at risk. so getting the shot, yes, there might be some transitory pain, there might be a little fear of it. but kids get a lot of shots. and it's not just this shot that is going to be necessary for school. and i certainly do hope that states and localities make it mandatory to attend school. that's 28 million kids between 5 and 11. and that will really bring our whole population immunization rate up. we won't quite get just with them to the 85 or 90% that we need. that's got to be the goal to really get to near normal or
normal. >> a big picture question for you on the pandemic. is delta the last of it? you've got case numbers, you've got hospitalizations coming down. is this delta variant, is this it? or dare i ask, is there something on the horizon? >> we don't know, to be honest. anyone who says -- there is this variant in england, it doesn't seem to be explosive the way delta is. delta is probably 99% of all the isolates we have in the country at the moment. maybe this other ay 4.2 is going to grow. but it doesn't seem to be very transmissible compared to delta and/or worse than delta. so its threat i don't think is going to be high. given how fast delta spreads, i'm not convinced that we're going to have another variant. but we have to be alert to that possibility. and we have to prepare for that possibility. and we can't just -- this isn't a game of hope. this is a game of careful
preparation in anticipation of problems. >> and i will take the good news where i can find it. dr. ezekiel emanuel, thank you so much. ahead, gop blockade. is there any path to voting rights in the senate that republicans won't try to highsman? and later, spending showdown. is the key to passing the biden agenda talking to manchin while isolating sinema? senator chris coons joins me next from capitol hill. m capitol i'm still wowed by what's next. even with higher stroke risk due to afib not caused by a heart valve problem. so if there's a better treatment than warfarin,... i want that. eliquis. eliquis reduces stroke risk better than warfarin. and has less major bleeding than warfarin. eliquis has both. don't stop taking eliquis without talking to your doctor
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a nine-way teeter totter. that's how one senior white house official described the negotiations among democrats over president biden's multitrillion dollar legislative agenda to politico. the ongoing talks between the white house, progressives, and moderates have yielded a series of concessions but no firm framework yet. according to punchbowl news, democrats have a new strategy, isolating senator kyrsten sinema. according to punchbowl, they think it may be more productive to get joe manchin on board and then, quote, dare sinema to block it. here is manchin talking about the state of talks earlier
today. >> reporter: senator, president biden has floated $1.9 trillion. is that acceptable to you? >> i'm saying negotiations are ongoing, i've been at 1.5. we'll continue to talk. >> sinema wasn't as talkative this morning, refusing to answer questions posed by our own ali vitali as you see right there. sinema is under pressure even from other own inner circle. "the new york times" reported today five veterans who had advised sinema have resigned, writing in a letter, quote, you answer to big donors rather than to your own people and we shouldn't have to buy representation from you. joining us from the white house is my colleague nbc news white house correspondent monica alba. monica, we don't know what we don't know about the private conversations among the white house and progressives and moderates. but we do know that the white
house has dramatically downsized their ambitions. and yet there seems to be still no deal in hand. what's the state of play, what are white house officials telling you today? >> reporter: exactly, geoff. it's not just the price tag that's shrinking here, it's also the amount of time left to try to get something done, which the white house is keenly aware of. and they have been in a very behind the scenes mode yesterday and today with these flurry of meetings and calls ahead of tonight, the president participating in a town hall where he's going to be pressed on all these kinds of questions. he, i'm told by white house officials, is still going to strike this note as the always optimist, he still believes something can get done here. but we're talking about things that were complete pillars of his programs and this agenda now being stripped out. the length of time. and something that for a while wasn't as much of a subject of debate, how to pay for it. remember, that for months the president has been saying the price tag of this is zero, that all of it would be paid for by
increasing the corporate tax rate, adding taxes to the wealthiest americans and corporations. and that now seems to be in doubt. so those are the really, really critical matters that we're going to be pressing the white house on when they hold a briefing here shortly. but the president is going to have to answer for himself and in particular, when it comes to senators manchin and sinema, we were told not to rule out that lawmakers could be coming to the white house again this afternoon before the president does leave for baltimore. we haven't seen that happen, so again, we know a lot of these conversations are happening over the phone. but for the longest time, we were discussing that senator manchin wasn't saying what his parameters were. the bigger question is where does senator sinema actually stand and did the white house know for a long time that she was opposed to this corporate tax rate that really the entirety of this bill hinges on at this point? that's something critical we'll be asking about this afternoon. >> monica alba, great to see you as always. let's head from the white house to the other side of pennsylvania avenue, to capitol hill, where delaware democratic
senator chris coons joins us now, good to have you with us. >> great to be with you, geoff, thank you. >> sure thing. i want to start with this question based off this reporting from punchbowl. is the key to passing the biden agenda talking with your colleague, senator joe manchin, while trying to isolate kyrsten sinema? >> geoff, the path forward is for us to get clarity from both of these colleagues of mine about both how much revenue they're willing to raise and through exactly which mechanism and which of the core policy proposals of the build back better bill can we get their agreement on. we have to have 50 votes but we also need to move forward. let me say one thing about how this is being framed. at any point in the last decade that i was serving here in the united states senate, if you had come to me and said, you can put together a $1.5 trillion bill to invest in childcare and pre-k, in helping reduce prescription
drug prices, and it will all be paid for, i would have been stunned, i would have said that's one of the biggest advances we've ever made as a democratic party. just because it is lower than the amount we were debating a few months and weeks ago, doesn't mean to me that we should be framing this as somehow a big defeat or a loss, either for the president or my party. in this year, we've passed a $1.9 trillion american rescue plan, and we've passed a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. president biden in his first year and the democrats this year, since we control congress, will have been able to pass really bold and significant legislation. and i just came from a lunch meeting of our caucus where jeff zients, who is leading the vaccination efforts here in the united states on behalf of the white house, gave us a remarkable report about how much progress has been made in vaccination. and a lot of that was made possible by the american rescue plan. >> and i take your point, and i
hear your pushback, but that is a significant downsizing from the $6 trillion that bernie sanders, senator bernie sanders floated months ago, to the $3.5 trillion that was agreed upon for a few weeks, and now to the $1.5 trillion. i mean, what's the level of frustration, such that it exists, within your caucus, that you had president biden run on a big and bold plan, he was elected based on those campaign promises, and now you have two democrats, essentially, who are whittling away at it. >> geoff, there is frustration that with just 50 votes we have to get agreement from all 50. but as i heard senator manchin say recently, he didn't want to proceed to anything after the infrastructure bill, because of his concerns about inflation and his views that we've already pushed trillions of dollars into the economy. he wanted us to put this off by six months. so somewhere between bernie sanders saying $6 trillion and
joe manchin saying nothing, i think it is significant that we are very close to finishing putting together a framework that would put hundreds of billions of dollars a year into meeting the costs that keep working families up late at night. that is what joe biden was elected to do, president biden, was to make a difference in the lives of working families. we are coming to an agreement on a menu that will have that impact, that will extend the child tax credit, that will provide support for day-care costs, that will support, for example, pre-k and other things that make a difference. and as we look forward towards the world coming together in glasgow, there are also key climate provisions in this bill that will move forward, that will allow our president to say on the world stage that we are making progress in combating climate change. >> we as reporters spend a lot of time talking to lawmakers. last night i talked to a couple of lobbyists who i happen to know. my takeaway from my conversations with them was that
it seems like a lot of the concessions being made are at the behest of corporate interests. energy and coal, natural gas interests are cutting the climate goals through senator manchin. drug makers want to stop the promises to lottery cost of prescription drugs, and now you have senator sinema who strongly opposes the tax increases for the wealthy and corporate tax hikes. again, this is coming from within the party. what should democratic voters make of that? >> democratic voters should focus on what is the finished product when we get done with this. i understand that it's taken a while, that it's been weeks and weeks, and it's gone this way and that way. but at the end of the day, president biden and the democratic congress are going to deliver significant results for the american people. i remain optimistic about that. i spoke to the president yesterday. he's spoken to, i think, most members of the caucus at this point. he is very engaged and very determined, and quite persuasive. and i'm optimistic we're going to deliver a reduction in health
care costs by reducing the cost of prescription drugs, and an impact on the costs that families face, whether it's from day-care, health care, elder care. so i'm optimistic still, geoff, that we'll get a significant result here for the american people. >> i was going to ask you about your conversations with the president, since you know him better than most, but you answered that question for me. senator chris coons, it's great to see you, thanks for your time. >> thank you, geoff. next, an msnbc exclusive. new documents detail the embattled postmaster general's conflicts of interest and allegations of mismanagement by the u.s. postal service. also ahead, if it seems like you're paying more for everything these days, it's because you are. one prominent investor thinks higher prices could be here to stay. we'll tell you about it, coming up. future where cancers can be cured. strokes can be reversed. joints can be 3-d printed. and there isn't one definition of what well feels like.
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debate is open on the house floor as to whether to refer steve bannon to the just department for a contempt order. >> the federal courts believed what donald trump told them, that the election was stolen and that they needed to take action. today, madam speaker, we are hear to address one witness, mr. steve bannon. i urge all americans to watch what mr. bannon said on his podcast on january 5 and 6. it is shocking and indefensible. he said "all hell is going to break loose." he said, quote, we are coming in right over the target. this is the point of attack. we have always wanted. madam speaker, there are people in this chamber right now who were evacuated with me and with the rest of us on that day during that attack.
people who now seem to have forgotten the danger of the moment, the assault on the constitution, the assault on our congress. people who you will hear argue that there is simply no legislative purpose for this committee, for this investigation, or for this subpoena. in fact, there is no doubt that mr. bannon knows far more than what he said on the video. there is no doubt that all hell did break loose. just ask the scores of brave police officers who were injured that day protecting all of us. the american people deserve to hear his testimony. let me give you just four examples of the legislative purpose of this investigation. first, the plot we are investigating involving mr. eastman, mr. giuliani, mr. bannon, president trump, and many others. their plot attempted to halt or
delay our count of electoral votes and reverse the outcome of the 2020 election. the 1887 electoral count act is directly at issue. our investigation will lead to recommendations to amend or reform that act. second, while the attack was under way, president trump knew it was happening. indeed, he may have been watching it all unfold on television. yet he took no immediate action to stop it. this appears to be a supreme dereliction of duty by president trump. and we are evaluating whether our criminal laws should be enhanced to supply additional and more severe consequences for this type of behavior. third, we know from our investigation to date that president trump was pressuring the department of justice in late december 2020 to support his false claims that the
election was stolen. several brave and honorable trump appointees at the department flatly refused to go along with this fraud and threatened to resign. we are evaluating what if any additional laws may be required to prevent a future president from succeeding in any such effort. fourth, we know that president trump made efforts to persuade state election officials to, quote, find votes, to change the election outcome in his favor. we are evaluating whether the criminal laws of the united states should be enhanced to make the penalty for this type of behavior even more severe, and if so, in what manner. mr. bannon's own public statements make clear he knew what was going to happen before it did. and thus he must have been aware of and may well have been involved in the planning of everything that played out on that day.
the american people deserve to know what he knew and what he did. i reserve the balance of my time. >> the gentleman from indiana. >> i yield myself as much time -- >> the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, madam speaker. three months ago, for the first time in the history of congress, speaker pelosi vetoed jim jordan and i from serving on the select committee to investigate january 6. not all -- >> we have been listening to the debate on the house floor as the members of the house, about two hours from now, are expected to vote on whether to refer to the doj the criminal contempt of steve bannon who has refused to comply with the january 6 subpoena. and you heard liz cheney earlier, the top republican on the january 6 committee, speaking of former president donald trump. and she said that the former president must have been aware of and may have been involved in the planning of january 6.
new documents detail more than a dozen conflicts of interest postmaster general dejoy faced over investments in ties with companies to the u.s. postal service. this was under the watchdog group citizens, also known as crew. here's one example. in august 2020 jpmorgan chase said it held talks with the postal service several months before about installing atms in post offices. at the time of those talks, dejoy's financial interests in jpmorgan chase was more than $15,000. they also show that dejoy had conflicts of interest related to the company he served. the u.s. postal service maintains dejoy acted in compliance with ethics regulations, saying in a statement, quote, when and how he divested reflects the process he was instructed to follow by
the postal service ethics office in compliance with federal ethics regulations. all right. joining us now is noah bookbinder, executive director of c.r.e.w. you contend the postal service mishannaled his conflicts of interest from the start. why? >> it's clear that both dejoy and the postal service really dropped the ball here. this was the head of the postal service who had millions in interests in the company that he used to work at, that everybody at the postal service knew he used to work at, that had multiple valuable contracts with the postal service. so, you know, whether or not he was in the room when decision ts were made about that company and what the postal service was going to have him do was recuse, was walk out of the room and have somebody else handle it. everybody knew what his interests were and we have every
reason to think that those interests could have played a role in decisions being made to help louis dejoy financially rather than do what was best for the american people. that's not acceptable. and you also had the head of the postal service, which affects every american, holding all of these financial interests in companies that had business before the postal service rather than doing what he should have done and just gotten rid of those. it really put the public interest at risk. >> and c.r.e.w. also contends that the refusal by the postal service to release these documents that that suggests they were trying to hide how badly they were trying to hide dejoy's mismanaged contracts. unpack that for me. >> sure. these are standard documents that usually we or others can obtain from federal agencies to show what steps were taken to
avoid conflicts of interest. rather than just turning them over, the postal service said, no, these were deliberative documents that helped them make decisions. they weren't final. they couldn't turn them over. that doesn't seem to be true based on what we can see in these documents or at least it's highly questionable. and it really suggests they may be trying to hide what happened because they understand that dejoy and the postal service didn't do what they had to do to protect the american people. >> and i should say c.r.e.w. shared these documents with me yesterday, and my colleague and i wrote a story on msnbc.com website. every time i do reporting about the postal service, one of the questions i get is that dejoy's tenure has been controversial from the start. the biden administration has said they don't want him in that position. and yet in that position he remains. and the minute we have left, help us understand why. >> well, the president actually can't fire postmaster general. that is up to the postal
service's board of governors. president biden did appoint new members, but there's still a majority of members of that board who were appointed by president trump. and at the moment they don't seem to want to take action. at this point the conflicts and scandals around dejoy are so great that it's really past time that they do something about it. and there needs to be public pressure on them. >> thanks so much for your time and your willingness to join us today. that will do it for this hour of msnbc reports. garrett haake picks up your coverage coming up next. e picks coverage coming up next. not caused by a heart valve problem. so if there's a better treatment than warfarin that's a trail i want to take. eliquis. eliquis reduces stroke risk better than warfarin. and has less major bleeding than warfarin. eliquis has both. don't stop taking eliquis without talking to your doctor as this may increase your risk of stroke. eliquis can cause serious and in rare cases fatal bleeding.
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