tv Jose Diaz- Balart Reports MSNBC November 15, 2021 7:00am-8:00am PST
thank you for watching. i'm stephanie ruhle, and we are all keeping an eye on kenosha, wisconsin, where the kyle rittenhouse trial will resume any second. don't go anywhere. jose diaz-balart picks up breaking news coverage right now. and good morning. it's 10:00 a.m. eastern, 7:00 a.m. pacific. i'm jose diaz-balart on an incredibly busy monday morning. soon, closing arguments are set to begin in the kyle rittenhouse trial, in a city praying for calm, as this highly emotional case unfolds in that wisconsin courtroom. and just moments ago, former trump adviser steve bannon arrived at the fbi washington field office to turn himself in, after being indicted by a federal grand jury for refusing to comply with a subpoena from the january 6th committee. in washington, president biden is set to sign into law that sweeping bipartisan infrastructure bill. we'll talk to new mexico governor michelle lujan grisham
about what this investment means for her state. meanwhile, a rare day of protests expected in cuba today, but will demonstrators be allowed to take to the streets? nbc's morgan radford spoke to organizers in cuba about the intimidation tactics they are facing from the regime. at any moment, the judge in the kyle rittenhouse trial will deliver instructions to the jury. shortly after, the prosecution and the defense will give their closing arguments. and as the jury prepares to deliberate the case, kenosha, wisconsin, is on edge, with the governor putting 500 national guard members on standby. joining me now is nbc news correspondent, gabe gutierrez outside the courthouse. also joining me, nbc news legal analyst, maya wiley. gabe, let me start with you. you spoke with rittenhouse's mother ahead of closing arguments. what did she tell you?
>> reporter: hi, there, jose, good morning. she says that knowing what she knows now that her son probably should not have gone to kenosha that night, but she insists that once he was there, he acted in self-defense. she also says that he's undergoing treatment for ptsd, and i also asked her what her reaction was when he took the witness stand last week. she said that he was absolutely devastated. i also asked her what was going through her head as closing arguments were set to begin today. take a listen. >> i'm scared. i am overwhelmed. i think about everything, about what if he's found guilty, i mean, found not guilty. i go through everything in my head. it's up to the jury to decide. and with the jury, they have
been taking notes, they've been paying attention. 12 people has my son's life in their hands. >> reporter: and we also spoke to the attorney for the shooting survivor in this case. that, of course, was gage grosskreutz, who testified earlier in this trial. his attorney says that it was kyle rittenhouse who created the carnage here. that this would not have happened if he hadn't gone down to kenosha with an ar-15 style rifle and opened fire. so that attorney blames rittenhouse. of course, though, as you heard, the mom there insisting that he acted in self-defense. and jose, in just a few minutes, as you mentioned, that judge is expected to start giving jury instructions here. throughout the day, yes, we'll then hear from the prosecution and then the defense. it is possible that a jury could get this case by later on tonight. and by the way, 12 jurors will be randomly selected from the 18 that have been hearing this case so far, jose. >> gabe, thank you. maya, the judge said that he
would allow the jury to consider lesser charges against rittenhouse. why is that? can you explain that whole process? and what could that mean for the prosecution's case? >> yeah, thank you, jose. and look, the bottom line is it is often the case in a criminal prosecution that prosecutors later in the trial ask to add lesser charges. that's not uncommon. but the real issue here is whether or not their jury is being given more choices about ways to find kyle rittenhouse culpable, because as we've seen from the evidence, you know, certainly the case that the prosecution has the burden here, meaning, not only does it have to prove that kyle rittenhouse had a dangerous weapon, shot it, and actually killed or harmed or endangered people, which is pretty clear, but once he establishes that a self-defense claim, then their -- if the jury
believes that there was a self-defense claim, there's still an opportunity to say, yeah, but did he recklessly endanger people? in other words, he may have felt that he was in a situation that required self-defense, but how reasonable is that? and if it's not reasonable, there is a lesser charge, and still could carry quite a number of years in prison, potentially, if he's found guilty of it. that's why we're going to be paying close attention. and that's why what the attorneys for mr. grosskreutz is saying is, you know, he created the conditions and essentially provoked the situation that caused him to then feel afraid. and that's not self-defense. that's what the jury is going to have to decide. >> and maya, you were last week kind of helping us understand the legal process that we're seeing in wisconsin. what about the issue of the mistrial, right? it was talked about last week. what is the judge going to do
and when is he going to do that? >> yeah, look, i mean, technically, the judge still has time to decide whether or not he wants to call a mistrial. but the point here is, and i fall in the camp of people who don't believe there will be a mistrial. for there to be a mistrial, the judge has to decide that something so damaging and so unfair happened that it just simply taints the trial so badly, that there's no reason to give it to the jury. and i don't think we have that situation here, honestly. so while it's a possibility and it's certainly up to the judge, i don't think that's what we're going to see in this trial. >> maya wiley and gabe gutierrez, thank you very much for being with me this morning. and now to breaking news from washington, where moments ago, donald trump's former chief strategist, steve bannon, turned himself in to federal authorities. on friday, a federal grand jury indicted him on contempt of
congress charges. this came hours after former white house chief of staff mark meadows refused to appear before the panel for a deposition. committee member adam schiff hinted on "meet the press" that meadows could face the same face. >> when ultimately witnesses decide, as meadows has, that they're not going to even bother showing up, that they have that much contempt for the law, it pretty much forces our hand and we'll move quickly. >> with me now, nbc news intelligence and national security correspondent, ken dilanian at the federal courthouse in washington, where bannon is set to appear later today. and bashr mcquaid, a former u.s. attorney in michigan, now a professor at the university of michigan law school. she is an msnbc legal analyst. thank you. ken, give us a sense of how things will likely play out for bannon today? >> reporter: sure, jose, he's now already turned himself into the fbi washington field office,
which is a few blocks from here. later this afternoon, he will be arraigned inside this courthouse behind me in front of a federal magistrate judge. the way they're doing this arraignments here, these appearances, he will be in the courthouse, but not in the courtroom, we are told. it will be a virtual arraignment, where the charges will be read to him and he'll have a chance to enter a plea. he's being represented by a man named david schoen, who was a lawyer for president trump in his second impeachment trial. these are interesting charges that carry a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of a year in jail. if convicted, he would have to serve some time in jail. and there's some confusion as to the fine in this case. by some accounts, it's $1,000, by another, it could be up to $100,000. but this is the beginning of a long process for steve bannon here, as this prosecution for contempt of congress plays out. a rare move by the justice department to bring a case like this, but attorney general merrick garland says this is about the rule of law. you can't just flout the will of congress the way steve bannon
has done, the ag said, jose. >> reporter: and the january 6th committee says this indictment should serve as a warning to other trump officials considering defying their subpoenas. does something like this tend to get people to reconsider their actions and cooperate? >> oh, i think so. a big part of the decision making at the justice department when bringing charges is what will be the deterrent effect on other people, in order to promote respect for the rule of law. and so i suppose if i were somebody who were getting a subpoena from congress and i saw that steve bannon was being prosecuted criminally and could face up to a year in prison, actually two years, because of the to counts that the judge could stack, i think i would try to do my best to show up. and i think the reason steve bannon here has been singled out is that he hasn't even engaged with the committee. he hasn't said, i understand the power of this committee and i'll
assert privilege on a question by question base, which is the way it needs to be done, instead, he's just not showing up at all. and now the same with mark meadows. you cannot refuse to show up. they may want to ask you questions that are not in any way, shape, or form protected by executive privilege. what's your name, where were you on january 6th? those questions are not in any way protected by executive privilege. so this is to make sure people respect the power of law and the congress. >> i'm wondering, what are the legal -- yeah, the legal weight of a congressional committee, right? it's just, what is it that they can do and can't do? >> well, the scope of their investigative power is anything that they may legislate on. and so, courts have held that to be very broad. if, for example, with respect to the january 6th, they want to consider how to fill gaps in intelligence, they want to fill in gaps how the national guard
gets deployed, they want to fill in gaps in domestic terrorism laws. all of those things are a proper consideration for the january 6th committee. and for congress. and so investigating anything about this day is very much within the scope of their work. so to say that it's not relevant to their work, i think, is an argument not made in good faith. with regard to the executive privilege, we have already seen it is a privilege that can be waived. president biden owns that privilege, because he's the sitting president, and he has waived it. so these arguments about privilege are also unfounded. will ultimately fail. i think all of these witnesses that they want to appear will. the strategic question is, if you prosecute someone, that doesn't necessarily result in their testimony. so it's people like meadows, they may want to pursue civil remedies instead to coerce testimony as opposed to criminal punishment. >> barbara quaid, and ken dilanian, thank you very much for being with me this morning. still ahead, a 9-year-old becomes the tenth and youngest
person to die from injuries sustained at the astro world festival. we'll bring you the latest on that investigation. plus, president biden will finally sign his bipartisan infrastructure bill while congress continues to work on his plan to shore up the social safety net. and we're keeping our eye on that kenosha, wisconsin, courtroom. there you see the judge. closing arguments are set to begin this morning in kyle rittenhouse's homicide trial. you're watching "jose diaz-balart reports" on msnbc. you're watching "jose diaz-balart reports" on msnbc. with less moderate-to-severe eczema, why hide your skin if you can help heal your skin from within? dupixent helps keep you one step ahead of eczema with clearer skin and less itch. hide my skin? not me. don't use if you're allergic to dupixent. serious allergic reactions can occur, including anaphylaxis, which is severe. tell your doctor about new or worsening eye problems, such as eye pain or vision changes, or a parasitic infection. if you take asthma medicines, don't change or stop them without talking to your doctor.
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15 past the hour. now to washington and a momentous day for president biden's agenda. this afternoon, the president will hold a big ceremony at the white house to sand the landmark bipartisan infrastructure bill, ten days after it was approved by the house of representatives. this comes one day after the president appointed former new orleans mayor mitch landrieu to oversee implementation of the bill. over on capitol hill, congress returns to work today. the house could vote as soon as this week on its version of a bill aimed at reopening the social safety net and fighting climate change. with me now, nbc news's white house correspondent, mike memoli, and nbc news capitol hill correspondent, ali vitali. thank you both for being with me. mike, what's the message that the president is hoping to send with today's signing ceremony? >> jose, we've been talking about it. this is a president that needs
badly a political victory and when the house finally passed this, it was late on a friday night. ali was up working the hill at the time. today is the moment where the white house is really finally going to get a chance to celebrate this moment. and the president will use this big bill signing event on the south lawn to really send two messages. first, about a promise kept to voters that he was going to finally deliver on infrastructure. we've been talking so long about the needs that this country has and the president will highlight the billions of dollars that's going to be going to roads, to bridges, to expanded broadband, to replacing lead water pipes. we're also going to hear the president talking about another promise that he is going to keep true to. which he said in the campaign, he was going to be able to work with republicans to get things done, and there are republicans invited to be part of this bill signing ceremony. here is karine jean-pierre, the white house deputy press secretary, laying out what they see as a big win for the white house, as well. >> this is tremendous. this is an historic investment. we're talking about not just jobs, but also making sure that we're getting that lead out of water so our children can drink
clean water. making sure that we have affordable broadband internet for communities across the country. so this is a big day. >> reporter: there's another big item on the president's schedule, it's tonight, when he has a virtual meeting with china's president xi jinping. and the white house has noted the fact that he'll be heading into that meeting after signing this big piece of legislation. so much of the rhetoric of the president and so much of the case he's been making about why they need not just the bipartisan infrastructure plan, but his larger social spending program is that countries like china have been outcompeting us. have been making these kind of investments for a long time in the white house, and the u.s. is finally catching up. a big juxtaposition. >> 19 republicans in the senate, 13 republicans in the house voted for that bipartisan infrastructure bill. they were all invited, as you say, to the spoken today. how many of them are expected to show up? >> it's interesting, we know senator mitch mcconnell, for instance, the minority leader, he called this legislation a godsend for his state. he's not showing up. but the white house is saying,
so far, we'll see a handful of republicans. rob portman of ohio, bill cassidy of louisiana, susan collins of maine, and lisa murkowski of alaska also confirmed to attend. but there has been considerable amount of political pressure on republicans who supported this legislation, including from former president trump. he called this bipartisan infrastructure bill the elect democrats in 2022 act. he's attacking republicans for giving in his view president biden a political victory. >> and ali, mike was mentioning that the night that was reached, you were up all night working on it. how likely is it that the house will hold a vote this week on its version of that reconciliation bill? >> reporter: i bring my coffee to work every day, jose, and renew it several times throughout the day, but this is the week where we expect them to vote on that larger social spending package, but there will be a lot of angry progressives in this building if that vote doesn't happen or gets pushed.
the way that friday unfolded, in order for this caucus to move forward on the bipartisan infrastructure bill's passage was to get an agreement from moderates, just a handful of them who were holding out their support for the build back better act, the larger social spending act, because they wanted to see a congressional budget office score. they wanted to get a sense of what the fiscal impacts of this legislation would be going out over the course of the next few years. that's not to say that they don't have a view of what that would look like. they have gotten several different scores from the white house and joint tacs that tell them what this would look like, but this was the agreement that was struck between moderates and progressives, that once they got those cbo scores, which several of the committees have already gotten their scores for and we expect more to come in today, once those scores are in, moderates have agreed to go along with the more progressive parts of their caucus and vote for the build back better act, sending it over to the senate. that being said on saturday,
congressman ro khanna, a key progressive, seemed to open the door to the fact that vote khan vote could happen soon before thanksgiving or soon after. that's a shifting window, though. >> and soon after could be december, right? we don't know what that means. >> yeah. >> ali vitali and mike memoli, thank you very much for being with me. both of you, mucho cafe correspondents. time now for a look at the headlines out west as we start with some sad news this morning. 9-year-old ezra blunt has died from injuries he sustained during the crowd surge at the astroworld music festival last week. we had been in a medically induced coma. ezra is now the tenth and youngest person to die from the disaster. here with more is nbc's emilie ikeda. what more, emilie, can you tell us about what happened to ezra? >> reporter: jose, an incredibly tragic development. as you mentioned, ezra blunt is
the tenth victim since the astroworld disaster and at 9 years old, also the youngest. the boy was on his father's shoulders at the concert when the crowd began to surge, causing truston blunt to pass out, ezra then falling to the ground. ezra was put into a medically induced coma after he suffered brain, liver, kidney trauma, but ultimately did not make it. his family releasing a statement reading in part, this should not have been the outcome of taking their son to a concert. what should have been a joyful celebration. live nation says it continues to support and assist local authorities in their ongoing investigation. well travis scott's lawyer says finger-pointing from city officials that sent inconsistent messages, insisting that scott didn't fully understand what was happening from the stage. we're told that the rapper is trying to connect with every family impacted. >> emilie, meanwhile, california is getting hit with near-record-high gas prices. >> reporter: yeah, jose, this is
something i can attest to driving in l.a. we're seeing record-breaking gas prices in america's most populated state, today hitting an average cost of $4.68 per gallon. before this month, we last saw a high in 2012. and keep in mind, we're talking about the average, some areas in california are seeing greater costs, nearing $5. prices nationwide have been on the rise for weeks, following higher crude oil costs and pent-up demand from the pandemic, not to mention here in california, tremendous amounts of rain have led to production hiccups. jose? >> and kaiser permanente have reached a tentative deal avoiding a planned strike. >> reporter: a strike was averted this weekend hours before some 30,000 kaiser permanente workers were set to walk out. the agreement between alliance of health care unions and kaiser permanente includes wage increases and addresses concerns about adequate staffing plus new
hire's pay. i should also note, bargaining continues with some units still in the northwest. >> emilie ikeda in los angeles, thank you so much. still ahead, a rare day of protests in cuba, but the government there is already cracking down. it's been cracking down for three months now. we'll talk to an activist and daughter of the well he have known late cuban dissident, next. and we're watching the courthouse in kenosha, wisconsin, courtroom, where the judge in the kyle rittenhouse homicide trial is about to give the jury instructions. you're watching "jose diaz-balart reports." tructions. you're watching "jose diaz-balart reports. [music: "i swear"] jaycee tried gain flings for the first time the other day... and forgot where she was. you can always spot a first time gain flings user. ♪
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gift with your first box when you enter code free. today anti-government protests are scheduled to take place in cuba, but it remains unclear if protesters will actually be able to take to the streets. authorities there are carrying out a total military shutdown, detaining and intimidating key players and everyone else involved in planned demonstrations. take a look at this. officials at the door of an independent journalist, and here a group of pro-government supporters gathered to block the house of an activist. that's been going on in the past 24 hours. meanwhile, around the world, including in miami, hundreds have already demonstrated for the freedom of cubans.
i want to bring in morgan radford, co-anchor of nbc news now at 11:00 through 1:00 p.m. morgan, always a pleasure to see you. you have been speaking to cubans on the island. what have you learned? >> reporter: so much. i mean, all the cubans there on the island have said they have simply been brought to the brink. they're only asking for freedom and asking for freedom now because of this perfect storm that's come about. you have the shortage of basic necessities, these wild prices because of inflation and you can't get those things without the premium to have them. i want to show you something an artist, a mother, she said she plans to go today, even though she was locked up for ten days. take a listen to what she said. are you afraid?
>> remember, the internet right now is their biggest weapon of defense. so idis sent me a video yesterday of the same guard who dragged her away in july standing outside her home, just so she couldn't go protest today. and then you also saw earlier, salila has been organizing those protests this morning, she sent me voice mails in hushed tones of an entire group of people and state agents, including neighbors who came just to block her passage. so these are the challenges they're facing today. but they're using the internet to ask us, as the international community, to help them get libertad, freedom for the cuban
people. >> an internet that is controlled 100% by that government. morgan, they have said they want to take to the streets, they want to have a white rose in their hand, maybe wear white today. it's very difficult to see that happening today when the regime has been waiting for four months to avoid something like that. >> they have not just been waiting, they've been actively trying to keep them from doing this. they organized, for example, kids are going back to school, and i think it's also important to show, jose, that today is the day that cuba reopens for tourism. this was the day and the reason they planned these protests, because they want people to see. they want people to see and understand from a visceral perspective what they're up against right now, jose. >> morgan radford, great job, as always. thank you very much. joining me now, rosa maria, founder of cuba desia, and an associate professor at the university of pennsylvania's graduate school. thank you for being with me. rosa, you said that you plan to go today to cuba to witness
what's going on. that's going to be a difficult thing. i mean, you could probably be arrested if they did let you in. >> yeah, and that's a possibility, but to return to our country is our right, jose. and we are going to try until the last moment and we are not going to stop. actually, i'm talking to you and behind me is the airplane in which we planned to go to havana. the pilot just made the last call, the last request for permits 20 minutes ago and the authorities just said it's denied. when we asked for a reason, they say, they say we cannot disclose, but it is denied. and it's obvious just the fear that the cuban regime has to their own people. it's obvious that this threat with a very aggressive way of
violence is taking place already. and that's why they don't want new eyes on the field. that's why they denied the enter to our entire delegation that was formed also by several neps, members of the parliament that were heading to havana just to observe the protests, as impartial watchers, that we need, because we need that kind of solidarity. we need all eyes on cuba right now. >> and one of the key organizers of this movement who was planning to walk outside, dressed in white, with a white rose, not allowed to leave his house. can you describe what this is all about? i mean, they brought a bus load of people, people who have been outside his house, screaming. the bus is closing off. there you see it. the bus is closing off. this is actually not the organizer, this is just one of the activists.
there you see that. what's going on, amalia? >> well, and in his house, he actually put in the window the behind the blinds the words "i am blocked from leaving my house," and the cuban regime brought down a flag to cover the window of his house, so that we could not see what -- his face. so we could not see that he was being blocked from leaving his home with a white flower in his hand to go and peacefully walk the streets, just to walk streets of cuba, to announce to the world that they want a democratic cuba. they want to free political prisoners. over 2,000 people were arrested after july 11th, and just in the last 24 hours, there have been 53 detentions, arrests, and intimidation moments that cuban people are facing. and so, this is what's happening right now on the ground, intimidation. there are youth that are
clandestinely hiding and wanting to come out from different bar barios, that we're getting information through that they're on. that cubans are on twitter space right now, which is actually very surprising, because we thought that the cuban government was going to block the internet since yesterday. so they are getting through. >> amalia, i'm just wondering, for those that are not cuban, outside the island, what is and why is this important? >> why is this important? because cuba has had a political apartheid for 62 years. and cuban people have been repressed, have been silenced, have been put in prison. many of these cuban people have been people of african-american descent, although the movement is a multi-racial movement, black cubans have been the ones to carry the brunt of both political repression and racial repression. and so this is key, because this part of the movement is being silenced, because it doesn't align with ideology.
and so we have to really focus on these human rights issues, the violations of the cuban regime, and the freedom that is on the brink in cuba by cuban people across racial lines. >> rosa maria, if people today in cuba are not loud to leave their home, to even with a white rose, just walk their neighborhoods, what does this mean if they're not allowed, if all of a sudden, this discussion of protests, 15th of november, and there are none, what does this mean? >> it's just the nature of the communist regime, as maria said, the apartheid against their own people. but jose, it's just -- this is just a delay. that regime is unable to contend
the determination of a whole people, of a whole population, of a whole nation, that lives inside and outside the island and that is saying, we are fed up. we want freedom. we want life. that's the conviction of the cuban people right now and of course, at the other side, they are work trained, police agents that are ready to shut down unarmed protesters in the streets, as they did on july 11th. that's why it's so important the eyes of the international community. that's why it's so important that the declarations start to become actions. actions that support to the cuban people. actions of pressures of that regime, for them not to rise their hands and their weapons against a whole population that is only demanding their own right to have a free and a fair
life. >> and this is happening 90 miles away from the coast of the united states. rosa maria, amaria, thank you both for being with me this morning. i so appreciate your time. covid infections are up now, double digits in 20 states. coming up, we'll talk to the governor of new mexico where cases are surging faster than any other state. plus, we're keeping our eye on the kyle rittenhouse homicide trial. closing arguments are set to begin soon. we'll take you there live once they start. you're watching "jose diaz-balart reports" on msnbc. t. ♪♪ (calls dog) buttercup... (whines) ♪♪ ♪ ohh ohh ♪ ♪♪ things you start when you're 45. ♪♪ coaching. new workouts. and screening for colon cancer. yep. the american cancer society recommends screening
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being fully vaccinated. now they're expanding booster availability to prevent new infections. joining me now, michelle lujan grisham. governor, it's great to see you. thank you for being with me. as of now, the fda has not recommended the booster to people under 65 who have no significant vulnerability. so why are you recommending the booster to everybody over 18? >> well, thanks, jose. thanks for having me on. >> thank you. >> we know the way through this pandemic is vaccines. and we believe that new mexico and many other states are the tip of the spear for reinfections and increasing infection spread. largely by unvaccinated individuals, but if you are vaccinated, you can still get it, still carry it and we think we have waning immunity. six to eight months, you have waning immunity, because we were one of the lead states in the
nation to get folks vaccinateded, then we are now more vulnerable. and given that pfizer is asking the fda to recommend or to look at their data related to 18 and over boosters, we really want another aggressive vaccine strategy, because we know unequivocally, that is the only way through this issue and through the next probably 24 months, as this country continues to grapple with covid. >> governor, turning now to the massive infrastructure bill the president is set to sign today, talk about what new mexicoens can expect to see from this boost of funding. >> jobs. and really transformational investments in getting all the work done. i mean, states find themselves depending upon the economic conditions of their state. you know, we do a little bit in roads, we do a little bit in water infrastructure. we do a little bit in broadband. and this incremental work is not
only expensive, but it really means making very hard decisions between one community and another. and frankly, we need to get thousands of miles of our highways redoechb. more than 3,800 miles in new mexico. we have hundreds of bridges that are dilapidated and in need of repair. nearly all of our dams get a "d" or "f" rating. and in this environment, we can do all of it at once in terms of allocating and preparing to get the work done. we have five years to draw down money. it is incredibly exciting in every community, particularly rural communities, are going to benefit by both this investment and this economic effort. >> and governor, just this morning, "the new york times" reported that the white house plans to block new federal oil and gas leasing within a ten-mile radius around chocco canyon in northwest new mexico.
what does this mean? >> it means that we're going to protect this incredible historic archaeological site in new mexico and be really clear that there is a balance. and new mexico is an interesting juxtaposition. we have more world heritage sites than any other state in the country. we have incredible archaeological and historic sites in the state. our sovereign nations, we have more sovereign nations in the state than any other state in america. and so we are really clear that even though we are also an energy state, we can invest in renewable energy, we can be robustly transitioning out of fossil fuels, and we can protect all of our assets and historic sites and really do the right work by protecting sacred sites for our sovereign nations. you can do all of it at once. gone are the days where we're choosing between one issue and other.
we can do right by all of these things. governor lujan grisham, thank you. and breaking news in the kyle rittenhouse homicide trial, one of the charges have been dropped. let's go to gabe gutierrez outside the courthouse in kenosha, wisconsin. gabe, what exactly was dropped? >> reporter: hi, there, jose. this is extremely controversial. this is the sixth count, the gun possession by a minor charge. the judge just dismissed that count. and the reason being is that there was a discussion happening as the defense and prosecution were waiting to go into jury instructions. the defense was arguing that the state statute here in wisconsin makes it illegal for minors to carry a handgun or a short-barreled shotgun or rifle. the statute is apparently written to allow teenagers to go hunting with rifles and shotguns. so there was a debate on the barrel length and the prosecution acknowledged that the barrel length of this rifle
was more than 16 inches. and so the prosecution was arguing, okay, fine, we're haggling about the details of this law, but put it before the jury, let the jury decide. the judge just a few moments ago came out and said, no, he dismissed the charge. so kyle rittenhouse will now face five counts, no longer six. the judge dismissing the sixth charge, which was a misdemeanor, but some legal analysts had argued that there was a strong case against him, there was no dispute, he was underage, he was 17 when he had this rifle. but based on the length of the rifle, apparently, the judge has just dismissed that sixth count against kyle rittenhouse. >> and gabe, when do we expect both of the jury -- the prosecution and the defense to do their concluding statements? >> reporter: well, you know, we've just been listening in the past few minutes, it was a bit of a housekeeping in terms of the wording of some of those
jury instructions. that will happen any minute now. we expect that to last an hour or so, at least. we expect the prosecution and the defense then to get into their closing arguments later on throughout the day. but again, that breaking news, jose, count six against kyle rittenhouse, the possession of been dismissed by the judge. apparently on a technicality. >> gabe gutierrez in wisconsin. thank you very much. time for a check of the headlines beyond our borders. breaking overnight, american journalist danny fenster is free after spending almost six months in myanmar. his release is seen here on a tar mack. joining us with the latest on that and other headlines, what can you tell us about how this release came about? >> good morning, jose. we learned it, he said he's
apart from being the former u.s. ambassador to the u.n., he's also a very experienced hostage negotiator. so he negotiated the release of fenster with the myanmar authorities and finally gave the good news that fenster was on his way home. and essentially, this came about as he -- richardson essentially saved fenster's life. let me tell you what happened to the journalist. he was arrested in may, when he was trying to leave the myanmar to go back to the u.s. the reason why he was arrested was on charges of spreading false and inflammatory information while he was working as a managing editor of an english-speaking online news magazine in myanmar. now, on friday, just last friday, he was sentenced to 11 years of hard labor in myanmar.
and on top of that, even worse, i mean, if there is worse than that, is that he was given additional charges of sedition and terrorism that could have potentially led to a life sentence, but thanks to the work of the former u.n. ambassador to the u.n., bill richardson, he's on his way back home. good news there. >> meanwhile you said police declaring a terrorist i said dent outside a liverpool hospital? >> that's right. we actually received a video of that incident. let me just tell and warn viewers that there is very graphic details in there. look away if you're sensitive to that. now, let me tell you what we see in the video while we see it. there is a taxi that is approaching the entrance of a liverpool women's hospital on sunday at about 11:00 in the morning. and all of a sudden there is a blast inside the car. and the car catches fire. now, later on the investigators
called this a terrorist incident because it turns out the taxi driver picked up a man nearby in liverpool, and the man had an improposed explosive device that went off inside the car. now, the passenger who carried the bomb died on the spot. but miraculously, the driver, the taxi driver survived. not only did he survive. he also had minor injuries to the point that he was discharged from the hospital today. now, there are more details coming about, and the authorities believe that the taxi driver locked himself, locked the car doors when he realized what the passenger wanted to do. so preventing potentially a tragedy there if the man happened to be able to go inside the hospital. now, there is, of course, an ongoing investigation for people who were arrested in the liverpool area in connection to the incident, but also it wasn't a coincidence that that incident happened at that time yesterday.
at 11:00 yesterday was remembrance day. it was exactly the time when the nation was about to observe a minute for the fallen during the wars, jose. >> claudeio, thank you so much. we're keeping a close eye on kenosha, wisconsin closing arguments in the rittenhouse homicide trial. it's set to begin soon. you're watching "jose diaz-balart reports." diaz-balar. l knows everyone's unique. that's why they customize your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. oh, yeah. that's the spot. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty ♪
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we're back with breaking news out of wisconsin where the judge in the kyle rittenhouse trial is giving the jury their instructions. this is minutes after he dismissed the gun charge against rittenhouse. i was just looking for a twitter feed. you said whoa. what exactly whoa to this extraordinary breaking news that we're seeing? >> reporter: well, look, jose. the whoa is there is a wisconsin statute that is a criminal statute that says that if you are under 18, which kyle rittenhouse was at the time, you cannot open carry a weapon. period. so while the defense had been arguing that kyle rittenhouse didn't violate the law, they were using a different and very obscure state law on hunting and on kids 16 and younger being
able to hunt with a open under certain restrictions. a lot of firearms experts in wisconsin have been saying that's not really a very strong argument, doesn't really seem to apply here. so it's kind of a shock the judge did that. it's also important, frankly, to the coloring of this case. because if now kyle rittenhouse is saying i was not violating any law by carrying a weapon, then it is harder for a jury to find that he was not defending himself if joseph rosenbaum had no business trying to get the firearm from him. this goes to the premise of the prosecution, and one of the tools the defense was using that frankly, i thought was very weak, and now it appears that this judge thinks it was strong. >> perfectly defining whoa. maya, thank you for being with us. >> thank you. that wraps up the hour for
me. i'm jose diaz-balart. you can always reach me on instagram and twitter. follow the show online. thank you for the privilege of your time. craig melvin picks up with more news right now. and good monday morning to you. craig melvin live from msnbc world head quarters in new york city. we start with that breaking news. a major development in the kyle rittenhouse murder trial just a few moments ago. the judge there in wisconsin dismissing one of the weapons charges against rittenhouse. this update moments before closing arguments are set to start in the high profile trial. in fact, we can tell you that the jury is receiving instructions right now. rittenhouse shot three people during protests last year in kenosha, wisconsin. two of them died. he's pleaded not. his lawyers argued he acted in self-defense. the jury just came to the courtroom to get the jury instructions. we are going to dig into