tv Alex Witt Reports MSNBC October 23, 2021 10:00am-11:00am PDT
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good day, everyone, from msnbc world headquarters here in new york. welcome to "alex witt reports." barack obama is hitting the campaign trail today. the former president will be rallying in virginia for democrat terry mcauliffe as the race for governor there is neck in neck. election day is nearing. we're going to be there live for you. meanwhile, democrats may be close to reaching an agreement on president biden's agenda, house majority whip steny hoyer has told lawmakers, democratic leaders aim to hold votes next week on both the reconciliation
package and the bipartisan infrastructure package. last hour, democratic congressman ruben gallego gave us an update on where things stand this weekend. >> it's possible, but i also don't want to rush a bill if it's not actually going to do anything to change the lives of americans, right? >> yeah. >> i do think we need to land this plane and land this plane quickly because americans hate process below the outcomes. we shouldn't rush something to say we got something done. new developments in the january 6th committee's investigation, cnn reports former doj official jeffrey clark may be one of the first to actually comply with the committee's subpoenas and testify in front of the panel next week. that is according to two sources familiar with that inquiry. it comes as the department of justice is now weighing possible criminal charges against former trump aide steve bannon after he refused to cooperate with the committee. earlier today, former manager for trump's second impeachment, congresswoman madeleine dean gave her reaction to those latest developments.
>> i'm delighted that mr. clark is absolutely adherent to the rule of law. he's a member -- he was in the justice department, so it will be very important, and i really think that it's refreshing. we shouldn't have been in the place we were four years with donald trump using the department of justice and putting people in place who would simply protect him. and the are supreme court is leaving the texas abortion law in place for now, but they want to hear arguments in the case. those arguments set to begin on november 1st. they'll help the justices determine whether the law, which imposes a near total ban on abortions should be blocked while legal challenges continue. to help us get started this hour, nbc's josh lederman joins us from wilmington, delaware, where he's covering the president. and gary gum bach is in richmond, virginia. josh, what are you hearing about the time line for a vote on president biden's economic agenda, and who's going to be unhappy potentially at the end
of this? >> reporter: well, a new time line is sometime this week they're hoping to have a vote, alex. but let's face it, they have blown through time line after time line and deadline after deadline already. most recently on friday, which is the last deadline to have a vote on this legislation, and as far as who's likely to be disappointed by this and a sign of true compromise, there's something for everyone to like and something for everyone to dislike. democrats still holding on to some of their key priorities here including free universal pre-k education, some paid family leave, although it's going to be down, it looks like, to four weeks according to president biden from the original 12 weeks that democrats had wanted, and other major priorities such as that free community college and that clean energy plan likely to be cut out of the bill. but that's the nature of a compromise, and we heard this morning on msnbc from
congresswoman ja mill la jayapal, here's how she put the current state of negotiations. >> we do have to get it done right, and so if it takes an extra week, to me that's worth it. we are getting much closer and i think that's what the american people need to know. and at the end of the day, even some of the things that you had on the chopping block i don't think are actually gone. so we're still working very hard to make sure that there is a some form of medicare expansion. again, not everything that we would do if it were -- if we had everybody with us, but we need 50 votes in the senate. >> congresswoman jayapal obviously referring there to those last two democrats they need to get to 50. senators joe manchin of west virginia, and kyrsten sinema of arizona. there is growing frustration among democrats at the fact that despite the fact they control both chambers of congress and the white house, they have been taking so long to actually be able to try to get this massive
piece of legislation done. republicans ready to bounce on that next year to say this is what happens when you elect democrats. they can't get their act together. they can't deliver. and so democrats trying to head that off, make sure they do have something they can show to voters to argue for why they should continue to control washington next year, alex. >> thank you so much, appreciate that, josh. let's go from there now to virginia where president obama will speak soon. he's rallying democrats and he's campaigning for terry mcauliffe in the very tight race for governor. gary grum back is there. what are voters saying about how important this election is? >> hey there, alex, you know, hit me with your best shot is playing on the speakers, and that's exactly what democrats are feeling right now. i talked to voters who are telling me, yeah, this is a race for terry mcauliffe, but the results of this election are
going to have impacts far beyond the border of the commonwealth. democrats are coming out in force today. we're going to hear from former president barack obama rallying forcauliffe. we've heard from the vice president, stacey abrams, the current dnc chair. mcauliffe is the former dnc chair. on tuesday we're going to see president joe biden coming to northern virginia, and he is going to be stumping for terry mcauliffe as well. on the republican side, you're not seeing the show of force. they've got a 50 stop ten-day bus tour that glenn youngkin is starting today. over the next ten days he's going to be all across the commonwealth talking to voters, not necessarily with the fire power democrats are bringing here. two different strategies. i talked to reporters this morning about their importance, they think the importance of this election is going to be. >> virginia seems to set the tone and give us a peek inside on what the midterm elections are going to look like, so there's a lot on the line. >> i hope it's a spring board
for political leaders who have the country at heart, not just a particular person, not just people who's in a particular financial group, but for the whole nation as a whole. >> reporter: now, this is not former president obama's only stop. he's headed to new jersey where he's going to rally with governor phil murphy for his election dra. >> virginia and new jersey, thank you so much, gary, for that joining me now is florida congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz. welcome back to the show. it's good to see you. let's get to the negotiations for the build back better bill. let's take a listen to what president obama -- president biden talked about about how to pay for this bill, and here it is. >> here's what i'm willing to
do. i'm willing to make sure that we pay for everything without anyone making less than $400,000 paying a single cent more in taxes. that's my objective. but no actual rate hikes. >> i don't think we're going to be able to get the vote. >> how tough do you think it's going to be to pay for this bill? i mean, can a vote really be anywhere near without nailing down how to pay for it first? >> well, here's what i know, that when all is said and done, alex, when we sent a bill to president biden, we're going to pass transformative change for millions of middle class families that will include tax breaks for them, that will include tax hikes on the people who are the wealthiest most fortunate americans, so we can pay for making sure that people have affordable quality child care, you know, reductions in their health care costs. making sure we have universal pre-k, making sure we have
expansion of medicaid. what i also know having been a legislator for a long time, having been through the affordable care act, having been on the show and discussing the affordable care act drama and the american recovery reinvestment act debates, at the end of the day, we're going to have two packages, an infrastructure package and a build back better act that we're going to be able to take on the road and talk about how we transformed the lives of millions of americans without help from a single republican. and that's -- right now, the fault lies and the choice for people in the future lies in republicans who want to still take care of the wealthy and democrats who are fighting to help people improve people's lives who are struggling to make ends meet and who want to stay or reach the middle class. >> and you referenced your long tenure in politics, and many times we've spoken over the years, you were the chair of the democratic national committee. so from that perspective, how much of an impact do you think the outcome of these bills will ultimately have for democrats
across the 2022 midterm elections. will it influence voters either way? how do you get that message out? >> sure, absolutely it will influence voters. when we passed the infrastructure legislation, which, for example in florida we have 400 bridges and 3,500 miles of highways that are in poor condition and when we get the infusion of the billions of dollars that will come our way to make sure we can repair those and move people around in our tourism driven economy, that's going to be huge in materials of job creation, making sure that we can get those tourists coming back and spending more money here. and when we can take it on the road that we passed that bill, that we passed a bill that expands the child tax credit cutting poverty in half further for, you know, all children across this country that are living in poverty now, we're going to make a huge difference for our candidates that are running in congressional districts, for legislative candidates, for candidates for mayor, governor, and as a result
i think it's going to make a big, big difference when we contrast our priorities with the republicans who essentially are trying to stop people from being able to vote and also who really want to support donald trump and continue their ability to try to overthrow and overturn the outcome of fairly run elections. >> i like that. >> we're going to talk about a hot button issue here where there's some contrast in your state. you have a supreme court that will be taking up a case against texas's near total abortion ban in november. however, they're leaving that law in effect in the meantime. aside from the national implications, how critical is this case for florida? as you well know republican lawmakers looking to file an abortion bill that's somewhat similar to texas. >> yeah, the republicans immediately filed copycat legislation that would impose similar really vile restrictions on a woman's right to make her own reproductive choices.
the supreme court, i'm thankful they're going to take something up quickly. they're not going to rule on the constitutionality of the law. what they are going to do is two things, take a look at whether a state like texas or any state can restrict the ability of a challenge in court by bypassing state enforcement, and then also whether or not the law should take effect while it's working its way through the courts. certainly it should be halted, and i hope they decide the right way on the games that texas played to try to stop enforcement. but the bottom line is that that's another contrast going into '22. if you go back to 1996 when bill clinton was running for re-election and there was a similar situation in the midterms after that where, you know, usually the party in power loses seats. you had suburban republican women who were fed up with the right wing extremism and the
restrictions, if you remember on the late term abortion ban that was attempted by the republicans, and we won we're opportunity to draw that contrast between the extremism on the republican party on voting rights, on trying to overturn democratically held elections and dramatically trying to restrict women's reproductive rights. i think we're going to have a lot of folks come over to our side that might not normally. >> i want to get something that hits very close to home as well because this week brought a pretty new development in the 2018 mass shooting at the marge rhode island stoneman douglas high school. the gunman nikolas cruz entered a guilty plea on 17 counts of first degree murder, 17 counts of attempted first degree murder. he apologized to the victims as well, but do you have a sense of how the families are viewing that apology and what they want
to see happen to nikolas cruz? >> what the families who were devastated in our community, was devastated by the marjory stoneman douglas tragedy, they want to make sure that the focus stays on their children and the three adults that were murdered in cold blood by this vicious killer, and he had no regard for their life, and so focusing on making sure that we can honor their memory is important to them. and the way we can do that is by taking legal steps like passing legislation that we've passed already out of the house to increase and close all the loopholes in terms of background checks by passing hr 8. by passing jamie's law, which i've introduced to make sure that we can enforce the law that already exists, because you can't buy ammunition for the same reasons if you are prohibited from buying a gun, and we need to make sure we do background checks on ammunition purchases as well. we have to make sure that something like this never happens again, and honor -- and that's the best way to honor those victims. >> amen to all of that.
florida congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz, thank you so much. good to see you. new information on that alec baldwin movie set shooting. what we're learning about what happened just before the gun went off next. ♪ 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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. new details now on the deadly movie set shooting. tonight new mexico film office will hold a candlelight vigil to honor cinematographer helena hutchins. she was killed on the set of the film rust when actor alec baldwin fired a prop gun. nbc's emily ket ta is joining me from los angeles. what more, emily, are you learning about this? >> reporter: still a lot of unanswered questions leaving the film industry reeling from what many are calling an unfathomable mistake with new details about the moments before this traj skpik deadly accident. alec baldwin seen in anguish after firing a prop gun on the set of "rust" killing halyna
hutchins and injuing joel souza. another crew member grabbed a prop gun off a cart, handed it to baldwin and yelled cold gun, apparently unaware it was loaded with live rounds. hutchins took a lethal shot to the chest, and souza was wounded in the shoulder. souza writing in part, i am gutted by the loss of my colleague, she was kind, vibrant, incredibly talented, fought for every inch. nbc news learning from a source familiar with the matter the prop gun blamed for the deadly shot has misfired on set before prompting some crew members to walk off the work site. they were not made aware of any official complaints concerning weapons or prop safety on set, but added they will be conducting an internal review of their procedures. the actor says he's cooperating with police and is in touch with
hutchins husband. tributes are pouring in for the 32-year-old rising star in the film community. overnight, the american film institute announcing the creation of a new scholarship in her name focused on helping female cinematographers. alex. >> that is also great. as you said, this has left hollywood reeling, emily. to what extent is this literally the buzz? it seems like it's all anybody can talk about right now. there's so much shock and dismay. >> yeah, absolutely. shock waves sent just across industry wide. i've talked to a number of people who are typically the people who are handling things like this, and really some brought -- moved to tears in hearing about what happened. just really a lot of frustration around where was the safety protocol, alex. >> 100%. okay. emily, thank you for that. joining me right now to help answer some of those questions, dominic patten, senior editor at "deadline hollywood." do you think how the director joel souza is doing after being shot in the shoulder?
>> yes, alex, he's released a statement earlier this morning essentially saying he's gutted. he is extremely upset about the death of halyna hutchins. the statement can really be summed up as gutted. >> yeah, absolutely. so the reports of crew members walk off the set near hours before the incident, i think six hours was one time line. they walked over safety concerns. what prompted that? >> well, this is obviously what's known as a tier one movie, which is a low budget movie, approximately $6 million budget. it looks like crew members were not paid. crew members were not housed properly, and there had been previous what have been called misfires on the set, issues of safety that people felt were untenable for them to work at. not only did they walk off the set, alex, they wrote letters of resignation. they stated this in writing, and yet the producers still went ahead with that additional day of shooting and those three guns, one of which was loaded.
>> do we know for sure what kind of projectile was in that specific gun. i have to say i was shocked to hear any sort of projectile that could injure someone would even be used on a set in a prop gun. >> the very specific rules is that there is to be no live ammunition on a set. these three prop guns were actually outside the structure in which the fatal shooting happened of helena hutchinson. there was a gun given to him, he was told it was a cold gun. there could have been various things that happened. i'll give you an example. in the case of brandon lee, there was some live -- there was live rounds in a gun. it was taken out, a blank was put in, but the tip of the gun, the tip of that live round had gotten stuck. there was debate yesterday about what was actually in the gun. iatse, the union who represents members of people who would have walked on a film like this referred to it as a live single round. earlier on friday police put that into some consideration saying they didn't know, but when the affidavit was filed with the courts by detective
joel cano, he referred to it as a live single round. so they have some sense of this. they do have the gun in question, though it does seem like as the statement and the affidavit stated, the armorer in question took out the casings before handing it to them. that's going to make their investigation a little bit more complicated. >> okay, armorer, what specifically is an armorer, what does that person do, and i mean is it only relative to guns or firearms on a set? >> well, pretty much. i mean, it's in the word arms. that is an individual who's in charge of firearms and firearm safety fundamentally on a set. that person -- that person answers to the producer. that person is licensed to do these type of jobs. they are trained to do these jobs. it is their responsibility to be on top of them. also, though, within the chain of command on a film, everyone who is around something like that does go through training and is supposed to have a visual check at the very least. an armorer, if an armorer is not
available, what is known as a prop master is then responsible. ha is a prop master who's been trained as an armorer. this is a very specific line chain of command, and something clearly went off the rails here. >> okay, but you're talking about safety checks that are in place like what? i mean what kind of training do they go through? is it days? is it weeks? is it just a couple of hours on the set? and do we know if those safety protocols were followed to the t on "rust?" >> i would say clearly they were not followed to the t. the training is extensive, and it's ongoing. you do it repeatedly over the years of your career. what we know here is an a.d., an assistant director went outside of the structure, the church structure where this happened in on the bonanza creek ranch outside santa fe, grabbed one of three prop guns that was there, handed to alec baldwin and declared cold gun. this is some of the visual and verbal cues that people do on sets that they are trained to do. alec baldwin thought he was holding something that didn't
have any live rounds in it. he thought he was doing what he was supposed to do, and then of course what happened happened. >> how is he doing? i mean, what's the latest from him? because he sure seemed to be in a state of shock immediately after the incident. there was one shot of him just sort of bending. he looked like he was going to fall over. >> well, i mean, as he said in his own statement that he put up on social media yesterday, devastated by what has happened. i mean, alec baldwin, former msnbc host i might add, is a man who's had some ups and downs personally. in the professional career is widely esteemed by his colleagues and seen as a total pro, drama, comedy, what have you. also interestingly enough here, alec baldwin is not just the star of "rust." he's one of the producers. we have been told by the santa fe sheriff's office that he has been interviewed almost right away after the incident on thursday night, and he was released and they're referring to him as a free man. so there is no hindrance on his travel in and out of new mexico or what have you, but of course
this investigation is going to continue. there are already a number of government bodies involved and i'm sure we're going to see some more. >> dominic patten thank you so much. the road ahead for steve bannon after the house votes to hold him in contempt of congress. congress or there... start here. walgreens makes it easy to stay protected wherever you go. schedule your free flu shot and covid-19 vaccine today. the best things america makes are the things america makes out here. the history she writes in her clear blue skies. the legends she births on hometown fields. and the future she promises. when we made grand wagoneer, proudly assembled in america, we knew no object would ever rank with the best things in this country. but we believed we could make something worthy of their spirit.
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a week ago today, those 17 christian missionaries in haiti were taken hostage. their fate at this hour, uncertain. with haiti embroiled in lawlessness on the streets and a $1 million bounty on the heads of each of the hostages, the white house insists rescue efforts continue. the state department describes its efforts as tireless. meanwhile, the ohio-based faith group christian ministries says it is praying for their members and the kidnappers. >> we thank him that he is god and ask him to hear our prayers and bring our families home. >> that prayer coming amid a
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a new documentary is providing fresh insight into why the country remains polarized. it is called "civil war." and it makes the case that deep divisions among americans are often related to different ways they tell the story of the u.s. civil war and what happened after. one educator says her upbringing led her on a mission to correct the history books.
>> i was raised in a racist family, racist community at the time in which i grew up, things have changed in a good -- now, but for me i think didn't want to repeat that and i feel responsibility with the profession that i've chosen to tell things accurately. >> and professor melissa jones is joining me now. she is director of public history at mississippi college. melissa, welcome. you know, watching you get choked up there, these topics of race and heritage, they provoke really strong emotions, and for you it goes back to childhood. can you share a bit of what you were taught as a child and when you became aware that it was racist, and then what made you decide you wanted to change people's attitudes? >> sure, so the n word was used quite regularly in my home, and i remember first noticing --
when i went to grade school. my very best friend from the get-go in kindergarten was an african-american girl, and i cherished that friendship but didn't understand why we could not go and play at each other's homes, so that's the beginning of my evolution. >> yeah, boy, you know, a mom of a couple of kids to have that, i know, with the play dates were like and how that would have been confusing for a child. let's talk about the film in which you discuss your effort to acknowledge the clinton massacre. that was in september of 1875. that's when black americans were killed for attending a political rally. what went through your mind? what compelled you to think, my gosh, everyone should know about this? >> it was actually when i discovered a missing historical marker. there was a marker dedicated to the city of clinton put up in the '40s, one of the first historical markers ever put up
in the state, and actually, part of that marker acknowledged the clinton riot. it also went missing sometime in the '80s or early '90s, and i just always wondered why it was never put back up or what happened to it, so that was the impetus. >> and we're seeing a picture of it. where is it now? do you know where that marker is? i mean, has it been restored? >> the original clinton city marker was never restored. we have put up two new markers dedicated solely to the clinton massacre, and you're looking at the green one is a state historical marker, commissioned by the department of archives and history for the state of mississippi. it was put up in 2015 or dedicated in 2015. unfortunately, it has been knocked down twice accidentally based on where it is, it is down right now. but a new marker that you see,
the darker marker that's the mississippi freedom trail marker is dedicated to the clinton massacre and was just put up at a different location along the highway. >> yeah, you know, as an educator, melissa, you're on the front lines of the current debate over how history should be taught in schools. let's play some of what pulitzer prize author isabel wilson told my colleague lawrence o'donnell. take a listen. >> in most wars, it is the victors who write the story. it's the victors who erect the monuments to their victory, and the civil war in this country, in our country, it was actually those who were defeated who ended up erecting monuments to themselves. >> you know, point well taken there. one does not often see monuments for those who lost a war. does that serve to challenge the concept of defeat? what is the most surprising fact of defeat that you think people are still not willing to accept?
>> i think one of my friends in the documentary, dr. stephanie millsap says it best in the documentary when she talks about after the civil war, the nation basically reconciled and soldiers reconciled around this idea of the south and common bower on the battlefield, and that's how that history was allowed to begin, but also there was an impetus to teach a certain version in the south that venerated these confederate soldiers. >> it is extraordinary as is your experience and the work you're doing on the front line and in education. thank you so much. "civil war" airs seasoned night here on msnbc from executive producers brad pitt and henry louis jr. you can watch it sunday at 10:00 p.m. eastern jts but now you've heard it's going to be a
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new numbers show why there's growing concern about record shortages and shipping delays ahead of the holiday season. according to new data from adobe analytics, out of stock messages online are expected to go up 172% this holiday season compared with last year. get this, up 360% over a two-year basis. these numbers come as shoppers rush to stores and onto websites. they're purchasing gifts exacerbating the backlog around the world. joining me is "the washington post" economic correspondent heather long. welcome back, heather. this is not something we all want to talk about. we are seeing the highest inflation in 13 years. we've been told this is short-term, but with the higher
demand, the the cost of consumer goods going up, that includes food, energy costs for sure, officials say that u.s. households going to pay more to heat their homes this winter. this doesn't feel short-term. why is that? >> it's looking less and less likely to be short-term. we even saw folks like fed chair jerome powell come out and say last week, at the end of last week, that he thinks it's going to last longer and longer and more and more into 2022. and you're right, i think what's really important here is it's not just in one area. you know, it's not just the used car, lumber prices that were such an issue in the spring and summer. we are now seeing rising prices almost across the board, pretty much any kind of protein you might buy from beef to poultry to pork to eggs is up 10%. of course those gas prices at the pump up about $1 from last year, but also rent prices. we are seeing some of the
highest rent in years in terms of the rent prices going up. so you put all that together, that's housing. that's transportation, that's good, and unfortunately these worker salaries are not keeping up. they're being eaten up by inflation, and that's why this is hitting the working class so hard, and in many polls are starting to show that inflation is as much of a concern as the coronavirus for many americans. >> wow. are those clogged ports off the coast of california causing a ripple effect in the economy, and the issue goes way beyond just unloading the containerships. the head of the california trucking association who says a state of emergency should be considered because the country lacks 80,000 truck drivers. that's a record. do you think this is going to be an ongoing issue? do you see any end in sight? >> it's definitely an ongoing issue, and that's why this is all lasting longer than any one expected. i think what we're all learning with how the supply chain works is there's so many parts that
can have failures right now, and what really seems to be the trouble at the california ports is they basically have a traffic jam. there are so many containers that have been unloaded from the ships that they are sitting in the ports in these various parking lots waiting to be taken by trucks or trains or any other mode of transportation, and there's just so many that it's like a total jam, and they can't even move anything around. and then these what are called chassis, the actual mechanism that you carry one of those containers that you can drive a truck off or you can drive to the rail yard. the problem is there's nowhere to -- when the trucking companies are bringing back the empty chassis, they have nowhere to put them because the parking lot is already so jammed. >> it's just a mess any way you look at it. let me ask you what about what you write about inflation and how that could impact consumer
behavior long-term. there are people who are uncomfortable about money right now, certainly. let's take a listen. >> i have to be very frugal on what i buy, especially now. the prices are really gone up. really high. >> i've noticed everything is going up, even if it's 20 cents, 30 cents, everything has started going up a lot. >> look to your earlier point, according to a fox news survey, 87% of americans are very concerned about inflation. 50% concerned about gas. what kind of decisions do consumers have to make if inflation remains high? there will be long-term behavioral changes, don't you think? >> that's where -- why i really think that inflation is likely to stay what i call uncomfortably high, even if it's not over 5%. it could still be in the 4% range or 3.5% range, which is going to feel a lot higher just like what many of those people were saying on the videos you just played, for a long time, and the reason is that there is
a psychological shift. people are starting to see these price increases across the board, and they are starting to change their behaviors. we're starting to see restaurants raise the prices on the menus because they just don't see any end to this any time soon. and we're starting to see a lot of workers saying, look, i need a pay increase to keep up with all of these rising costs, and so it sort of starts a seesaw. workers want higher pay, rightfully so, and then companies have to turn around and raise the prices to adjust for higher pay and higher supply backlog costs. >> yeah. a difficult time to say the least. heather long, thank you so much for writing about it and talking about it with us. we'll have you back, no doubt. the legal battle ahead for steve bannon. e you tired of cles that just don't smell clean? what if your clothes could stay fresh for weeks? now they can. downy unstopables in-wash scent boosters keep your laundry smelling fresh waaaay longer than detergent alone. pour a cap of downy unstopables into your washing machine
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the decision of whether to press charges against steve bannon is now in the hands of the justice department after the house voted thursday to hold the former trump aide in contempt of congress for defying a subpoena, this from the committee investigating the january 6th attack on the capitol. joining me now, hugo lowell, congressional reporter for "the guardian." when do we expect to get the justice department's decision, and is there any indication if it will indeed press criminal charges? >> i think that's the key question everyone's now looking for. it's not immediately clear is the straight answer.
i talked to a number of line prosecutes at the u.s. attorney's office, the district of columbia, and they are not sure either where or how they might proceed on this. the department of justice, merrick garland, and the office of legal counsel have to sit down and figure out how are they going to move forward bannon's prosecution, if at all. it could come as soon as days, and it could come as soon as years, so i think they have to look at the merits of the case first and then they will decide if they want to set new precedents on executive privilege in the bannon case. >> okay, back it up. days, i understand. you said years was an option here. how's that? >> it mainly stems from the fact that the department of justice is now looking at this as a criminal case. they don't care about whether the senate committee needs to finish its report by the end of this congress before the midterms. they're not constrained by that timetable. as far as the justice department is concerned, according to
sources both at the department of justice and the u.s. attorney's office, it's a case of, do we want to set new precedents and we want to make sure we're going to get this case prosecuted and indicted if they do move ahead with it so they're going to be very, very deliberative. if they think it's an open and shut case, which the select committee, by the way, thinks is the case, then they may move pretty expeditionary, but if they think there are other legal arguments that need to be untangled, for instance, that relate to former president trump's lawsuit to block the national archives to release the white house documents to the select committee, then there are a whole bunch of legal arguments that have to be untangled separately first before they can even get to the bannon case and i think this is the key question they're trying to find out. >> sounds like there's a log jam potentially. what about steve bannon? has there been reaction from him? >> so, steve bannon has spent no time on this whatsoever, and i talked to several people close to steve bannon on the day that
the house voted to hold him in contempt, he was in gettysburg giving a speech at a local republican party dinner. the day they recommended to hold him in contempt, he was watching msnbc, in fact, and he was -- he spent zero time on this. it's all handled by his lawyers. if there's one person in washington who is not concerned by the house select committee's investigation, it is steve bannon. >> kind of stunning. i'm curious, though, what information could he have since he wasn't officially with the trump administration on january 6th? >> so, i think steve bannon played a really key role in the events of january 6th, and this is why the select committee is so focused on his testimony and documents that he can provide and this is why they took this aggressive step to hold him in criminal contempt. it's because he served, according to our reporting at least, as the liaison between far-right groups and the trump campaign and the white house itself. and i think there's more reporting to come here and
there's more investigating to be done. steve bannon was intimately involved in efforts, along with john eastman and trump's first chief of staff, reince priebus, to figure out ways to reinstall trump in the white house, and somehow stop the certification or interfere with the certification at the joint session on january 6th. and he was in constant contact with the former president, and he was in constant contact with the campaign, and so he really is at the nexus of all of the spider web lines that are sent right to the middle and in the middle is steve bannon. >> hugh lowell of "the guardian," thank you so much. we'll be talking again soon. thank you. and on that note, a very good day to all of you from msnbc world headquarters in new york. welcome to alex witt reports. here's what's happening at 2:00 p.m. eastern. we begin with the breaking news in virginia. president obama will speak very