tv Politics Nation MSNBC January 17, 2014 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
from kentucky rand paul to be a part of this and talk about the tpp and american jobs. he refused tonight to be on the program. we asked him about next week and got no response. the same with michele bachmann from minnesota who claims to be a big advocate for american jobs. i ask any republican in the congress bring your numbers to this program and let's talk about the tpp. that's "the ed show." i'm ed schultz. "politicsnation" with reverend al sharpton starts right now. good evening, rev. >> good evening, ed. and thanks to you for tuning in. tonight's lead, the investigation widens. we're tracking major developments in the chris christie bridge scandal. all day we've been learning details of the subpoenas sent to top christie aides in what has been a dramatic expansion of this case. investigators from the new jersey assembly and senate are trying to learn why lanes to the george washington bridge were shut down for four days in
september, and what efforts were made to conceal those closings. what is striking is how close the subpoenas are to the governor himself. they include top aides in his office, chief of staff o'dowd, chief counsel mckenna, spokesman drewniak, and communications director camella. also chairman david samson's, christie's political godfather, and david -- and bill baroni, who resigned in december at the campaign office we see former top political adviser bill stepien subpoenaed, and many other aides. what do they all have in common? they are all close to governor christie, bringing these subpoenas to the highest level of the administration.
also, late today, nbc news learned a subpoena has been served on a representative of bridget kelly, the former deputy chief of staff, who wrote the e-mail, "time for some traffic problems in ft. lee." although 17 subpoenas are going out for individuals and three are for organizations, including the office of the governor, the word is direct and broad. the subpoenas are asking for documents related to the lane closure. going back to september of 2012, a full year before the lanes closed on the bridge. they demand all books, papers, condolence, other documents and materials and electronic records and data related to the lane closings. and they demand delivery in two weeks. that's on february 3rd. the subpoenas ask for documents, no testimony yet.
but sources say it's only a matter of time before many of these officials will be asked to testify in public and under oath about their knowledge of the lane closings and efforts to conceal it after the fact. joining me now is nbc news national investigative correspondent michael isikoff. michael, thank you for being here today. >> good to be with you. >> today's subpoenas go beyond just the lane closings. they call for documents related to, quote, any other matter raising concerns about abuse of government power or an attempt to conceal an abusive government power. this is a broad investigation, isn't it, michael? >> yes, it is. and the key phrase there is attempt to conceal, because that gets to the -- what investigators or what new jersey lawmakers believe is the cover-up here.
the traffic -- who caused the traffic jams and why is still obviously a mystery. we do know that david wildstein is a key figure in that and had those communications with bridget kelly back in august. but it's the months that after that that the weeks and months after that that really is what is so politically perilous for governor christie here because -- >> what do you mean? what would be perilous about that time frame? >> well, because there is extensive e-mails and text messages showing that as these traffic jams created this political uproar, state lawmakers, local officials were demanding answers as to why these lane closures took place, what was going on, and the pushback from the christie appointees on the port authority, and then the governor's office was it was a traffic study.
well, we now know from the senate commerce committee yesterday there is zero evidence that such a traffic study was taking place. so why did they maintain the cover story of the traffic study? what did people close to the governor know about that? and did they ask questions as to what was really going on? and why did they maintain the story? governor himself, remember, he had that news conference in december, and he ridiculed the whole idea that there was some legitimate story here, pretending, oh, with some sarcasm that he personally put down the cones, causing those lane closures, sort of dismissing the whole thing. well, you know, it comes down to who knew what, when. that's what is going to be so dangerous for the governor's office. >> let me ask you, michael, were you surprised at how broad the
subpoenas were? i mean, they have brought in schar from illinois, who is a tough prosecutor, reid schar. were you surprised at schar coming in and how broad the subpoenas are? >> yeah, i was. because initially wisniewski, who heads the probe, was only talking about limited subpoenas to kelly and stepien, bridget kelly and bill stepien, the former campaign manager. and then reid schar, the prosecutor who put rod blagojevich in jail in illinois comes in, looks at this and says no, a wide net has to be cast here. and we end up with these 20 subpoenas going back, by the way, to september of 2012. more than a year before these lane closures took place. and the numbers of people who got the subpoenas, their names we're just learning today who had not surfaced publicly before who received subpoenas.
we're not quite sure why. but it does look like they've got evidence that has not been made public that suggests that there was a -- at least they want to look at a much broader net than we had initially thought. >> michael isikoff, we'll be watching this. this is broad. and this going forward. thank you for your time tonight. >> thank you. >> joining me now is the man michael referred to, new jersey assemblyman democrat john wisniewski. he has been leading the assembly's investigation from the start. thank you for coming on the show tonight, assemblyman. >> thanks for having me back on. i appreciate it. >> assemblyman, 20 subpoenas for a lot of documents. why you casting such a wide net? >> we have so many questions. and we're not really sure where the answer lies. and the important thing is we try and get to the heart of this as quickly as possible. the question that remains is why bridget kelly thought she was empowered to send an e-mail to
close lanes in ft. lee. it's clear that she didn't come up with the idea on her own, and it's clear that someone else had to work with her. so when you look at all of the names that come up in all of the documents we have received so far, you see a lot of possibilities. no clear answers. and the subpoenas we're sending doesn't mean that anybody in that list has done anything wrong. but we want to get information so we can get to the bottom of this. >> now, you asked for documents going back to september of 2012. why that date? why going back so far? >> well, you know, the interesting thing we learned is when we did the subpoena to david wildstein initially, we asked for documents from august 1 forward. and when we looked at those documents, we saw there were communications that seemed to be a continuation of something that happened before then. so we recognize that this goes back further. we thought one year was an appropriate period of time to go back. >> now, you know this week the assembly announced the hiring of a big legal name to his counsel. >> right.
>> as your counsel. >> reid schar. >> and he is advising your committee on the investigation, reid schar who we just discussed with michael isikoff. why such a big name? >> well, this has become very complicated. this started out as a very simple investigation into the operations of the port authority. and we followed it piece by piece through the lane closures and we wound up finding ourselves in the governor's office. not because we wanted to, but that's where the governor's people led us. because of the complexity now, because there are so many other investigations, the office of inspector general and others, we wanted to make sure that we were doing it right, that we were respecting boundaries, and that we were doing it efficiently. and that's what reid schar is going to do. >> assemblyman, when the governor first addressed the scandal last week, he pledged his full cooperation. listen to this. >> listen, i have absolutely nothing to hide. and i've not given any instruction to anyone yet.
but my instruction to everybody will be to cooperate and answer questions. >> now, this week, his language seemed to change. listen to this. >> i'm the governor. and i'm ultimately responsible for all that happens on my watch, both good and bad. and without a doubt, we will cooperate with all appropriate inquiries to ensure that this breach of trust does not happen again. >> now, now he is saying all appropriate inquiries. i mean, do you see that as a change in what he is saying, and is yours appropriate? and who decides who is appropriate? >> well, ours is appropriate. it's authorized by statute and our constitution that the assembly can look into issues such as this. i'm concerned about the choice of words, but i would prefer to hope that because the governor both times said cooperate, that he will cooperate. i think he'll be judged by his actions.
>> now, he has also brought in also on his side a high-powered attorney, randy mastro. so it looks like they're digging in to prepare for a fight if you have a high power powered attorney, he has one. are you ready for a fight? if this gets down to a real dig-in fight, are you and your committee prepared for that? >> we're prepared to do what is necessary to get at the truth. we have the same mission, essentially. i don't think it needs to come to a fight. i think we can work to get to the truth. i think really the ball is in the governor's court. if he wants to get the answers as to why bridget kelly did this, then all he needs to do is cooperate with the investigation so we can all get an answer and we can move on. >> if they come in and plead the fifth, as david wildstein did. >> right. >> are you prepared to hold people in contempt? are you prepared to really be firm and hard in these
interrogations? >> we're going to firmly pursue this investigation. we're going to fight to make sure that we get what we're entitled to as an assembly committee. we're going to hope for cooperation. we're going to take the governor at his word, and we'll judge the outcome by what he does. like i said before, this is in the governor's court. he can cooperate. we can get through this quickly, and we can all move on. but if there is going to be a resistance to what the assembly is doing, that is just going to protract this and raise suspicions as to why is the governor resisting providing information. he himself said he wanted to provide. >> give me a sense of the timing. you have given them two weeks to bring the documents. then what? >> we sent the first subpoenas out, we got thousands of pages back. and it took staff quite a while to go through. now we have 20 subpoenas. i don't is a good idea on how many documents we'll get, but there will be quite a fluchlt will be a week or two or three in which staff reviews the documents. and then likely after that we'll make decisions as to who we want to hear testimony from.
>> big, big, big investigation. we'll be watching. assemblyman john wisniewski, we thank you for your time tonight. >> thank you. >> have a good weekend. >> thank you. coming up, ready to break his silence. the man at the center of the scandal with all the secrets is asking for immunity. this is about to get interesting. plus, obama derangement syndrome strikes again. did rand paul really say this? >> the danger to majority rule, to him sort of thinking well the majority voted for me, now i'm the majority, i can do whatever i want and that there are no rules that restrain me, that's what gave us jim crow. plus, a major victory in the fight against right-wing voter suppression today. you got to hear about this. and a big day for the first lady and the champ. big show on friday. stay with us. [ female announcer ] who are we?
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the man with all the secrets is ready to break his silence. he is asking for immunity. today my colleague steve kornacki who knows him well will be joining me next. we don't have to. the experts have spoken. now it's your move. ♪ because an empty pan is a blank canvas. [ woman #2 ] to share a moment. [ woman #3 ] to travel the world without leaving home. [ male announcer ] whatever the reason. whatever the dish. make it delicious with swanson. over the pizza place on chestnut street the modest first floor bedroom in tallinn, estonia
and the southbound bus barreling down i-95. ♪ this magic moment it is the story of where every great idea begins. and of those who believed they had the power to do more. dell is honored to be part of some of the world's great stories. that began much the same way ours did. in a little dorm room -- 2713. ♪ this magic moment ♪ is the man with the secrets ready to break his silence? he is david wildstein, the christie appointee, who directed those lane closures.
who got that e-mail. time for some traffic problems in ft. lee, and responded, "got it." but wildstein appeared before the state assembly last week, he took the fifth, refusing to talk. but late in the hearing, his lawyer said this. >> if the attorneys general for new jersey, new york, and the united states were all to agree to clothe mr. wildstein with an immunity, i think that you would find yourselves in a far different position represent with respect to information he can provide. >> that's your job. we just want answers to your questions. >> understood. i'm suggesting a way you can get there. >> today wildstein's lawyer made the same assertion to associated press. "if he has immunity from the relevant entities, he'll talk." could the man at the center of
this story be ready to talk, or is this seasoned political player working another angle? joining me now is steve kornacki. steve, thanks for coming on the show. >> sure. happy to be here. >> now, you worked for david wildstein when he ran a nonpartisan political website in new jersey. and i was struck with what you said about him on your show. listen. >> i can also tell you this. i worked for him for three years, from 2002 to 2005. of all the people involved in this, i think he is the sharpest. i think he is the savviest, and i think he is by far the most strategic their. he doesn't do anything without thinking ahead, without considering the possible outcomes and planning for contingencies. i think that is worth keeping in mind as this story plays out. >> now given what you said, what do you think is going on with this talk of immunity? what is that really all about? >> it struck me, you know, last
week when his lawyers at that hearing and what you have the associated press today, it strikes me as so interesting. at the same time these statements are being made you have bridget kelly, you know, former deputy chief of staff to governor christie who has basically sent word through an article in "the new york times" that she has no interest in, you know, causing any more damage here for the governor. she is very embarrassed by the damage she has caused for the governor. it speaks to the difference between somebody like bridget kelly who still seems very protective of governor christie and a guy like wildstein as i tried to portray on the show, they're commonly portrayed in the media as the long-time friends going back to high school. he's what had this long protective -- >> he and the governor. >> and that's not true. of course they go back to their childhood together, livingston, new jersey. but they really haven't been that close through the years. they weren't that close in high school. what christie was saying in his press conference was true. >> but he was an appointee of christie at the port authority. >> but the key to remember is that he didn't say i want to put
wildstein at the port authority. is that christie put a guy named bill baroni at the port authority. bill baroni very good friends with wildstein. he told the administration, now that you're putting me here, i want to bring in david wildstein. they said okay, you can bring in david wildstein. sure he is an appointee of chris christie, be he is a friend of bill baroni. >> two things. one that struck me was the language of the lawyer. he didn't just say we want immunity in case we inadvertently say something that can hurt him. he also implied he has something to say. >> yeah. >> he went very clearly saying, well, you'll get what you want if he gets immunity. like yeah, i know you want answers. and the inference there was a little more than you usually hear with lawyers. but secondly, if in fact wildstein is not as close as it has been projected to the governor, even though they went to school together, that's all the more reason to question whether he has this great
loyalty to the governor if they really weren't that close. >> that's my point. when i listen to and i read that story about bridget kelly and how much loyalty she still now a week later feels, and i watch the comments from david wildstein's lawyer and i just know my own experience with david wildstein, it wasn't that he had an adversarial with chris christie, but he certainly, you know, was not going out of his way in my view, we've got to enhance, we've got to protect chris christie. you know, i think, quite the opposite. so i just look at it as david wildstein is in a tough situation here, potentially has a lot of valuable information. when you look at the e-mails and the texts that were released through these suches, he left a lot of tantalizing hints in there hey, was there a meeting between chris christie and david samson, the chairman of the port authority a week before the "time for some traffic in ft. lee" e-mail came out from bridget kelly. he seems to suggest he has some knowledge of that. >> and this came from wildstein's document. >> right. >> which is suggestive of more
which really makes the assembly even digs deeper into these meetings and -- >> all the questions that have been raised in the last week and a lot of the subpoenas that are now flying around are the result of little hints that were left in wildstein's, in what came out from wildstein. now, let's see, if you have two dozen subpoenas throughout, and they get answered and they get answered in the detail that wildstein provided, maybe that answers this thing in a way that you don't have to give anybody immunity. but if these people are as loyal to chris christie as bridget kelly is indicating she is going to be, maybe you need somebody like david wildstein who is willing to talk, willing to provide answer. and that might be what they're looking for. >> do you think that wildstein, who you said on that tape i played, thinks two or three steps ahead, has already calculated that he has certain options he better exercise now before others do, or he feels he has nothing to worry about because clearly somebody has
something to worry about, whether it's the governor's involvement or not, somebody ordered that bridge closed, which is clearly is a wrong thing to do if not an illegal thing. >> you know, i think everybody has something to worry about here. it's a question about how much are they going to put their own loyalty to governor christie and loyalty to his political future and protecting him above the opportunity potentially to save themselves. and i just look at david wildstein, and he really stands out at this point as a person at this point who seems most likely to look for some kind of a deal. >> steve kornacki, you have been amazing on this story. thanks for being here. >> happy to be here. >> and you don't want to miss "up with steve kornacki" tomorrow. he's got an exclusive with the hoboken, new jersey, mayor. and they will break news. ahead, one of governor christie's allies now serving on the committee investigating the bridge scandal?
plus, president obama invokes dr. king while calling for changes at the national security agency today. and the first lady and muhammed ali have reason, both of them, to celebrate. i'll explain. stay with us. [ sneezes, coughs ] i've got a big date, but my sinuses are acting up. it's time for advil cold and sinus. [ male announcer ] truth is that won't relieve all your symptoms. new alka seltzer plus-d relieves more symptoms than any other behind the counter liquid gel.
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with 20s subpoenas today, the investigation into the christie investigation is widening. but already there are real questions about whether governor christie will cooperate fully. joining me is new jersey state senator leah gill. she is on the senate committee investigating the bridge scandal. thank you for being here. >> thank you for having me. >> senator, governor christie says his administration is fully cooperating with appropriate inquiries. what is your reaction to that? >> my reaction is that the senate investigation committee and the assembly committee is certainly an appropriate investigatory body. i think that the governor attempted to limit his participation and cooperation in an investigation as we go forward. >> now, senator, i wanted to
bring in e.j. dionne and melissa harris-perry. let me start with you, e.j. e.j., governor christie tried getting back to ordinary business this week. but this investigation only seems to be getting hotter. and hotter. doesn't it seem that way to you? >> yeah. i think that the governor now has a real damage control problem. let's put aside the question of what we find out in the end about what he knew or didn't know, because once this process starts, it's hard to turn off the story, which he would love to do. the subpoenas went out. that's a story. they're will be responses to the subpoenas. if people try to sort of resist them, that's a story. if they produce information that pushes, gives us more of a sense of what happened, that's a story. if the governor cooperates, decides not to cooperate, that's a story. something he does not want out there at a time when republican
activists, republican fundraisers, republican politicians are beginning to make judgments about the next presidential election, having all these opportunities to have this story grow, that's just not what chris christie wants right now. >> now, melissa, you know, the governor said this week, this about his staff last week. let's go to last week first. listen to what he said about his staffers. >> there is nobody on my staff who had any knowledge of this issue until after the issue was already done. >> but from e-mails, we know at least six different officials with connections to the governor knew about the bridge traffic when it was happening. they all got subpoenas today, bridget age kelly, deputy chief of staff. christina rinna, director of regulations. evan ridley, bill stepien,
campaign manager. regina egea, incoming chief of staff, michael drewniak, christie's spokesperson. while it was going on, they knew, which was truly contradicting what the governor said. >> it's interesting listening first to state senator and then to e.j. about this. there really are two separate issues that the governor is facing. one is really what the people of new jersey through their representatives will be concerned about. and that is what actually happened, was there actual wrongdoing, and was any of that wrongdoing illegal, and was any of it at the feet of the governor, right. and those are the very specific things that ultimately can't be decided yet, but will be decided in the context of this process. but as e.j. points out, certainly happening alongside that process, but almost irrelevant to it at this point is the politics and particularly the kind of visual politics that are occurring now. because this governor who was being upheld as the republican
who could win in a blue state, who was seen as the guy who stood for his people and embraced the president, even during a difficult partisan presidential campaign, this person is now recast as someone who clearly appears to be willing to either himself use or set a tone where his aides are willing to use their office to abuse those who are political opponents. >> but isn't that, senator, part of the concern, not getting into the evidence and all that you have to see? but isn't that the concern when melissa talks about he wanted to prove he could win a blue state, isn't it a concern raised by some to your committee that he wanted to much to do this that they punished democrats that were not willing to help him do that. and now we're hearing allegations from other mayors. but even if one is to believe this was done for some kind of revenge or some kind of
punishment, they would be doing it on behalf of someone, and that someone would have to be the governor. >> well, you know what really sticks out for me is the involvement of samson. >> samson, the chairman -- >> of the port authority. >> right. >> the former attorney general. i cannot imagine that he was involved in closing down three lanes on the george washington bridge in order to get retribution against a democratic mayor because he didn't endorse chris christie. i think as we move forward we're going to find there is a wider discussion and other things that may have implications here that have not yet been uncovered. >> something more nefarious? >> such as? >> oh, i won't say nefarious, but i will say things that may be more complicated that we're not focusing on. and that's why it is so important with respect to the
committee and we have subpoenaed the documents, but i think there is another story to be told as to what other interests may have been interested in the retaliation. >> now, in looking in the interests as you so eloquently put it, may have been interested in this, will the fact that there is such a wide net of subpoenas also help look into other possible interests that we may not be looking into yet in the media? >> i think, yes. and i'm a practicing attorney. i've been an attorney for 29 years. so you know that in these investigations, and i was with the racial profiling investigation. >> yes, i remember. >> in new jersey. and we worked together on that. >> yes. in full disclosure, we did. >> in full disclosure, we worked together on that. so how they evolve is very
important as to where they're going. so i think there is this other level that we need to take a look at in a very focused, deliberative and effective and efficient manner. an i think we would be somewhat interested in what those findings may be. >> e.j., michael isikoff used the term politically peril louts. do you agree with that? >> i do. i think when i go back to the news conference, the one thing that i thought christie left on the table is why he didn't have more curiosity, more urgency about getting to the bottom of this right at the beginning, or at least when the resignations happened. and the notion that he just didn't ask any questions at all until the smoking gun of that e-mail emerged, that's really -- that is just mysterious to me.
and so i think that the notion that they are digging deeper like this, it's really going to test, tell us more what christie knew and when. and i agree with the senator that there are lots of theories about why this happened, but there is great uncertainty. is it to get at the mayor, as steve kornacki said? is it about that big development in ft. lee? is it as rachel maddow said about judges? we don't know the full extent of what caused them to do this. so i do think that's one of the reasons that the reach of the subpoenas is so broad. >> all right. i'm going to have to leave it there. new jersey state senator democratic nia gill, and we're certainly going to have you back on. >> good to see you. >> nice to see you. >> melissa harris-perry and e.j. dionne. thank you. >> good to be with you. >> we don't know. it may be all of the above, e.j. don't forget to catch melissa harris-perry weekends at 10:00 a.m. eastern, right here on
msnbc. up next, rush limbaugh says the president is a dictator. get this, because his american flag is too big. plus, senator rand paul invokes jim crow in attacking the president. and this 94-year-old woman voted in every election since 1960, but a radical id law stopped that streak. today a huge victory for her and against voter suppression. it's a hot one, and it's coming up. (vo) you are a business pro. seeker of the sublime. you can separate runway ridiculousness... from fashion that flies off the shelves. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle... and go. and only national is ranked highest in car rental customer satisfaction by j.d. power. (natalie) ooooh, i like your style.
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while all the attention has been focused on governor christie this week, the right wing has been going crazy. case in point, senator rand paul. last night he had this to say about the president's governing philosophy. >> the danger to majority rule, to him sort of thinking well, the majority voted for me. now i'm the majority. i can do whatever i want and there are no rules that restrain me, that's what gave us jim crow. >> the president's idea of government is what gave us jim crow? jim crow? did senator paul think we forgot that he told rachel maddow he wanted to modify anti-discrimination laws? he is about the last person who should be invoking jim crow in
his arguments. but it gets the newly revived line from the right that president obama ignores the constitution, that he tirancal, a dictator. >> now, he might have a pen, and he might have a phone. but what he does not have is the constitutional power to run this country like a dictator. >> rush limbaugh says that the president doesn't have the power to run the country like a dictator. is that what the president is doing with executive order or something else? >> i am deeply troubled by the president's use of his executive authority. >> let what the republicans should do is boycott the state of the union. say we have a lawless president doing lawless things. >> did you happen to see the size of those flags behind obama? those flags are getting bigger and bigger and bigger every
speech he makes. and you know it's what dictators do. >> the president's flags are getting bigger? so he is a dictator? that's a pretty small argument. joining me now is angela reid. thanks for coming on the show tonight. >> thanks, rev. >> angela, is this all the right has, accusing the president of being a dictator? >> and big flags, rev. can you imagine what you can do with a big flag? you know what is really troubling to me is the comparison that rand paul made to the jim crow south. >> yeah. >> the fact that this gentleman, like you said, that went on rachel maddow show and actually defended the segregation at one point, the same guy that surprisingly, though, the gop used to open up their african american outreach office -- >> in detroit. >> yes, in detroit, in motown, and then also you have this same guy who went to howard university and said hey, everybody, did you know the
naacp was republicans and darn near gets booed off the stage because who are you to go and tell howard university about history? it's almost as troubling, rev, as that argument we often see in our twitter feeds from some of the very strange and speaking of deranged gop talkers that say hey, the democrats are the party of ku klux klan. well, all of these things were made and propelled into our nation's history by people. and these are people that were very troubled and did some very scary things. but our president? come on, he is hardly near what we're talking about. >> let's deal with the issue for those who may not understand. if president obama is a dictator, then what are we going to say about past gop presidents? hoare is a look at their first term executive orders. past gop presidents, first term executive orders. ronald reagan his first term had
213 executive orders he signed. george h.w. bush had 166. george w. bush had 173. but president obama, he had just 147. so are these guys dictators and better at it and more invasive of what we would call the constitutional rights of citizens than he has been? >> no, rev. what you have there is they agreed with those executive orders. so they're vastly different. i was looking earlier at a "new york" magazine post that actually came out a year ago today and before newtown, president obama had issued the fewest number of executive orders. his constitutional, authorized power, right, this is a former constitutional law professor. so he is not just traipsing across the constitution and abusing its power. he is using the power of the
pen, as rush limbaugh said, to ensure that he is offering guidance to governance, to folks that report to him in these agencies, and that is not an abuse of power by any stretch. >> well, i can say one thing, angela. they don't quit, and neither do we. that's why we are all -- >> no, sir. >> going to keep punching away. >> absolutely. >> anderson angela rye, thanks for coming on the show tonight. >> thank you, rev. vivian applewhite is 94, and she can vote again. today's victory for her and for the right to vote. that's next. ♪ they lived. ♪ they lived. ♪ they lived. ♪
today a major victory for voting rights. a judge in pennsylvania said the state's voter id laws is unconstitutional, writing, quote, voting laws are designed to assure a free and fair election. the voter id law does not further this goal. the lawsuit was filed by 94-year-old philadelphia resident viviette applewhite. she voted in every election since 1960 and marched with dr. martin luther king jr. she appeared on this show two years ago. >> i think it is because they don't want obama in there. so i think they're trying to do something to keep the black
people from having the right to vote. >> but governor tom corbett and other republicans defended the law, saying it was a reasonable way to stop voter fraud, even though state officials said in court documents there have been, quote, no investigations or prosecutions of in-person voter fraud in pennsylvania. no investigations for in-person voter fraud. so what was really behind the law? the pennsylvania house majority leader let the cat out of the bag. >> voter id, which is going to allow governor romney to win the state of pennsylvania, done. >> that didn't work, because a judge temporarily blocked the law in 2012, and it won't work this year, thanks to today's ruling. but that doesn't mean the fight is over. there are still ten states that have strict voter id laws, and
more than half of those laws were signed into law in republican-controlled states after president obama was elected in 2008. we must continue to fight voter suppression laws across this country, and we will. you can count on that. in the meantime, congratulations to ms. applewhite. [ male announcer ] this is the story of the dusty basement at 1406 35th street the old dining table at 25th and hoffman. ...and the little room above the strip mall off roble avenue. ♪ this magic moment it is the story of where every great idea begins. and of those who believed they had the power to do more. dell is honored to be part of some of the world's great stories. that began much the same way ours did. in a little dorm room -- 2713. ♪ this magic moment
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we strive for the moments where we can say, "i did it!" ♪ we are entrepreneurs who started it all... with a signature. legalzoom has helped start over 1 million businesses, turning dreamers into business owners. and we're here to help start yours. finally tonight, happy 50th birthday to first lady michelle obama. she is the amazing advocate for our children's health, working to reverse childhood obesity. the self-proclaimed mom in chief to her kids. the white house celebrated by tweeting this adorable photo of michelle obama as a child. she has weathered unprecedented vitriol from the right with dignity, grace, and of course that winning smile. she is 50 years young today, and we're a better nation for it. and from the first lady to the
champ, happy 72nd to the greatest boxing legend muhammed ali. >> who do y'all think the champ is? >> one of the most mesmerizing figures the sport of boxing has ever seen there is so much to celebrate him for. it was his wit, his smile, his determination, and his generosity to others. but on this day, especially we celebrate ali for his greatness outside of the ring. at the height of his career, ali gave it all up, standing for a principle, refusing to enlist into the u.s. military because of his religious beliefs and opposition to the vietnam war. >> my conscience won't let me go shoot my brother or some darker people, or some poosh, hungry people in theed me for big,
powerful america. and shoot them for what? they didn't rob me of my nationality? how can i shoot them poor people? just take me to jail. >> the epitome of standing for something bigger than himself. ali was banned for four years only to come back and become champion again. still, his fight for religious freedom, racial justice, and ultimate defiance that may be lost by others. it may be his most lasting legacy. happy birthday to the champ. i've known many people in my journey, many that were famous. many that were lauded and applauded, but i've only known a few that i would call great. and i certainly mrs. obama has approached greatness. i certainly think there are overs i have met, two or three that have approached greatness. but the great southeast the man that i saw with my own eyes as a youngster who let me become
close to him. i used to hang out with him when he would come to town. he put it all on the line, never knowing what the results would be. the greatest is he that gives up the most. he will in turn receive the most. happy birthday, champ. you stood up. we'll never forget it. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. have a great weekend. "hardball" starts right now. operation road hog. let's play "hardball." >> good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this, with at least a dozen subpoenas issued by this week's end and a growing list of office holders past and present scurrying for protection, both legal and political, the reputation of new jersey itself standsn