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President Trump Versus Joe Biden In Iowa; Rep. Mike Quigley (D- IL) Is Interviewed About About Mueller Probe and Impeachment Inquiry; Comedian Jon Stewart Not In The Mood For Jokes, Upset At Congress; Donald Trump Jr.'s Closed-Door Interview. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired June 11, 2019 - 22:00   ET


[22:00:00] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Do it because you made a promise to never forget and we all forgotten.

Thank you for watching. "CNN TONIGHT" with D. Lemon starts right now.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: They should have been there to listen to those gentlemen's story out of respect, but the really important part is that they sign the bill and they put everything in there and all of the right things into that bill or those bills to take care of the people who took care of those who were vulnerable, who ran into the smoking buildings, the falling buildings, who lost their lives and who were injured.

By the way, coming up, the first FBI agent who was on the scene at the Pentagon in D.C. is going to join us. He is suffering now from non- Hodgkin's lymphoma. He is going to tell us his story.


CUOMO: A lot of the cancers, mesothelioma, a lot of these different maladies don't manifest for many, many years and doctors understand that now. The key component of this is time. They keep making it for short intervals, three years, five years. It's got to be for the full duration because the stress of dealing against the clock is more than these people should have to deal with. Do it right, do it for the right direction.

LEMON: Especially for the people, you know, who wrapped themselves in 9/11. I remember 9/11 and I did this and I was there.

CUOMO: They all do. Who doesn't say that?

LEMON: Right.

CUOMO: Never forget, we love our first responders.

LEMON: Right.

CUOMO: We love our troops. And then when it comes to take care of them with our pocket, we fall shot. The G.I. bill falls short; the V.A. falls short. Now with the 9/11 first responders and the survivors, we fall short, making them have to come down and beg for money that you should have given them as a matter of right for what they did, denying the claims for so long and everybody knows it.

And now, we never covered this stuff. They have been fighting this stuff for years.

LEMON: For years.

CUOMO: But Jon Stewart comes out, a media darling comes. Everybody misses his outrage. He gets all the folks. But good for him, good for him for being there.

LEMON: But to Jon's credit, he has been doing it for a long time.

CUOMO: He has.


LEMON: He was doing it when he had a show.

CUOMO: He has.

LEMON: And he's been doing it at --


CUOMO: He has been the real deal for them.


CUOMO: A 100 percent he gets credit for putting his heart and his head together.

LEMON: Do you know --


CUOMO: But for the media, if it weren't Jon Stewart down there today, if it were some other detective or something like that, you know that this would have been a side bit.

LEMON: I think you and I would be covering. But listen, I just remember after 9/11 you know real estate is very expensive here and people were giving away apartments down there, no one wanted to live there because they knew the air quality was just terrible.

Chris, great show. I'm glad your closing argument, I really appreciate it. And I appreciated your interview with Bill Maher as well. Good stuff.

CUOMO: Thank you.

LEMON: I'll see you tomorrow.

CUOMO: All right.

LEMON: I'll see you tomorrow. This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon. We got lots to talk about. In fact, we got some breaking news because President Trump and Joe

Biden are in dueling speeches in Iowa tonight, the president returning to one of his favorite talking points about Democrats.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: The Democrat Party has never been angrier. They're so angry. Did you ever see a people so angry? For what? For what? These are angry people. Every day the Democrat Party is becoming more and more unhinged and more and more extreme. They are going crazy. Do you love it? I sort of love it.


LEMON: It should be Democratic Party, but that's another story.

While Biden leaned into the criticism of the president.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have complete power. No, you don't, Donald Trump.


BIDEN: Quotes from Donald Trump, I have absolute power." No, you don't, Donald Trump. Or "only I can fix it." Fix yourself first, Donald Trump.


LEMON: So it is interesting that the president never once mentioned Biden tonight, but he sure did earlier, and that's probably no surprise because the new Quinnipiac poll has Biden with a 13-point lead over Trump in a head-to-head matchup. The president clearly sees him as his main rival.


TRUMP: Seventy-six times in his speech, that means he's in trouble. When he mentions my name that many times, I guess I should be complimented.


LEMON: Even those sources tell CNN some aides advised President Trump to stop mentioning Biden so much. I guess he listened to them tonight. Biden though mincing no words today calling the president an existential threat and harkening back to a theme of his campaign from the beginning, Charlottesville.


BIDEN: Look, I believe that the president is literally an existential threat to America for three reasons. One, he is a genuine threat to our core values. And if you wondered about that, remember what happened in

Charlottesville. What happened when he was asked to comment on it, he said, quote, "there were very fine people in both groups."

[22:04:59] No president of the United States, Democrat or Republican, has ever, ever, ever said something like that. Never.


LEMON: And it should probably be no surprise that President Trump today returned to a favorite attack line from the 2016 campaign. Remember when he pushed the baseless conspiracy theory that there was something wrong with Hillary Clinton's health?

Well, he was at it again today. This time targeting Biden.


TRUMP: Now, I have to tell you, he's a different guy. He looks different than he used to. He acts different than he used to. He's even slower than he used to be.

No, I'd rather run against I think Biden than anybody. I think he has the weakest mental. And I like running against people that are weak mentally. I think Joe is the weakest up here. The other ones have much more energy. Look, look, but I don't bring them up.


LEMON: It's pretty rich that the president would imply that Biden who is three and a half years older than Trump is too old to be president.


BIDEN: You know it's a ridiculous assertion on his part. But, anyway, look, people have a right to question all of our ages. That's totally a legitimate thing. All I can say is watch me. Just watch me.


LEMON: And did you hear about this today, President Trump who continues to hint that there's a secret edition to his immigration deal with Mexico even though Mexico says there's no such thing, he pulled out a piece of folded paper from his pocket, telling reporters it was the agreement, but refusing to let them see it.


TRUMP: Inside here, and I would love to do it, but you will freeze action it, you will stop it, you will analyze it. Every single letter you'll see. But in here is the agreement.


LEMON: Joe Biden, not buying that and saying that the people of Iowa who are being hit by tariffs would love to see it. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BIDEN: Apparently he has a secret, important document from Mexico.

And I'm sure that there are a heck of a lot of Iowans being crushed by those tariffs who would like to see that paper document.


LEMON: And, by the way, guess who was reportedly at the president's Iowa event tonight? None other than Congressman Steve King, yes, the same Congressman Steve King whose long history of racist remarks got him booted from his committee assignment earlier this year.

The same Congressman Steve King who, to officials who told CNN was not allowed to fly on Air Force One with the president to Iowa. He can't fly with the president but he's invited to the event? But there was a moment tonight of genuine good feeling as the former vice president talked about the president he served.


BIDEN: I want to say something we don't say often enough to our party or to our nation. Barack Obama was a president of extraordinary character and decency.


BIDEN: Extraordinary. He was a president our children could and did look up to. I know I missed the dinner that was here not long ago. I guess it was last Sunday because my granddaughter was graduating from high school. And her best friend is Sasha Obama. They've been in school together for the whole time.

So Barack and I and Jill and the whole family, we got together afterwards to have a little light lunch and dinner for the families that all these girls grew up together with.


LEMON: Biden's strategy to become the next president may depend quite a bit, but probably not entirely, on our last two presidents and how the public feels about them.

The current president, Biden is throwing punches at the former president he is embracing. But put politics aside, if you will, and listen to what Jon Stewart had to say today on Capitol Hill as he slammed Congress over the treatment of 9/11 first responders.


JON STEWART, FORMER LATE NIGHT HOST: The official FDNY response time to 9/11 was five seconds. Five seconds. That's how long it took for FDNY, for NYPD, for port authority, for EMS to respond to an urgent need from the public, five seconds.

Hundreds died in an instant. Thousands more poured in to continue to fight for their brothers and sisters.

[22:10:03] The breathing problems started almost immediately and they were told they weren't sick, they were crazy. And then as the illnesses got worse and things became more apparent, well, OK, you're sick, but it's not from the pile.

And then when the science became irrefutable, OK, it's the pile. But this is a New York issue. I don't know if we have the money. And I'm sorry if I sound angry and undiplomatic, but I'm angry and you should be too and they're all angry as well.

Your indifference cost these men and women their most valuable commodity, time. It's the one thing they're running out of. And the idea that you can only give them five more years of the VCF because you're not quite sure what's going to happen five years from now, well, I can tell you I'm pretty sure what's going to happen five years from now.

More of these men and women are going to get sick and they're going to die. They responded in five seconds. They did their jobs with courage, grace, tenacity, humility. Eighteen years later, do yours. Thank you.


LEMON: Jon Stewart went on to tell CNN this.


STEWART: These are the most honored and venerated amongst us. And if we can't take care of them, what chance do the rest of us have? And that's the reality of it.


LEMON: He is right. If we can't take care of the people who risked their lives on 9/11, we have utterly failed.

President Trump, Joe Biden, taking plenty of shots at each other today, but this is not just personal. There's policy at stake that effects every American.

Former Governor John Kasich is here to talk about that. He's next.


LEMON: Iowa voters in the spotlight tonight. Both Donald Trump and Joe Biden who is leading in his Democratic rivals in the polls holding campaign events in the all-important Hawkeye state tonight.

I want to bring in John Kasich the former governor of Ohio who was a GOP presidential candidate back in way long time ago 2016 against President Trump.

FORMER GOV. JOHN KASICH (R-OH): Seems like a century ago, you're right.

LEMON: I'm sure it's a lifetime. You got --


KASICH: It was a century ago.

LEMON: You've got the battle scars to prove it, I'm sure. Let me ask you about Trump and Biden trading barbs today. The Biden wants to make this a two-person race, but it's pretty early for that. No?

KASICH: Listen, when you're running against an incumbent, you would pay the incumbent to attack you. I mean, that's great politics for you. And look, you had that big con fab out there in Iowa, what they have like, 125 candidates that were there on Sunday? I can't -- I don't know how many. But nobody heard anything. I don't know how anybody did.

And here we are -- here we are on Tuesday and who's in the news? Who's the headline?


KASICH: Joe Biden.

LEMON: Joe Biden.

KASICH: And what's the headline about? Donald Trump calling him, you know -- look, I try to teach my daughters about the way to conduct themselves around their friends and they don't go around saying, you know, this person is really stupid or they're of low intelligence or -- that's just really terrible.

And, Don, when I think about it, I don't know how many of our listeners will remember John McEnroe. He used to throw his racket all over the place. And when he started doing --

LEMON: John McEnroe. McEnroe.

KASICH: Yes, yes. When he is throwing his racket around, all the kids started throwing their rackets around. And when the president starts making fun of people like that and questioning their intelligence, guess what happens in the schoolyard? Kids start doing it to their classmates.


KASICH: This is not where we want to live. But I'm telling you Biden will pay to continue to have Trump attack him, attack him aggressively.

LEMON: But Biden --

KASICH: That means that it's between Trump and Biden.

LEMON: Or Biden, listen, he did, you know, some targeting of his own. He targeted the president tonight on tariffs. Take a look at this.


BIDEN: American farmers have been crushed by these tariff wars with China. And no one knows that better than the folks of Iowa, you know. He thinks that being tough, he's being tough. Well, it's easy to be tough when someone else is feeling the pain and taking the hit.

How many farmers across this state and the nation have had to face the prospects of losing their business, losing their farm because of these Trump tariffs? How many times have they gone to bed staring -- and I mean literally staring at the ceiling wondering what's going to happen tomorrow? Wondering whether are going to make it.


LEMON: How much, Governor, with this message resonate in a state like Iowa that has been impacted by Trump's trade wars, in your state of Ohio?

KASICH: Well, farmers are not happy about this as to whether that's going to switch their allegiance, I guess it depends on whether they're Trump people or not and they decide to say well, I'll just stick with him. I can't.

But it's not a good message when you're out there trying to cut -- when you're out there doing things that cut off the markets for farmers to be able to ship their products to.

But let me point this out, Don, Biden was attacking Trump on the issue of tariffs. That's an issue. He wasn't saying that Trump was, you know, not very intelligent or he was feeble. You know, there's got to be a coarseness in our society has to stop. You know that.

Look at the way that you've been personally attacked, OK? It's becoming increasingly clear that you can be as coarse as you want, as nasty as you want, below the belt as you want, because that's kind of getting to be what we can expect.

No, it is not appropriate in your country. There are certain standards of behavior that we all adhere to. And when we violate that over and over, we create a problem for the coarseness in our culture. That's not good.

[22:20:02] LEMON: Let's talk some more issues then, OK? Because, listen, I agree with you on that last statement. So let's stick to some policy issues.


LEMON: The president talked about helping farmers by cutting regulations and he also talked about his renegotiated trade deals and how it impacted Iowa. Watch this.


TRUMP: We've got the USMCA, it's going to be fantastic. We got to get it approved. So you got to call those Democrats and say, let's go, we want to vote because it's going to be phenomenal for your state and phenomenal for the farmers and for the manufacturers, and frankly for the unions. It's great for everybody.


LEMON: You hear him talking -- the president talking about policy there. But he's putting farmers in a tough spot. Do you think they're going to stick with him?

KASICH: Yes, I don't know, Don. I know that Iowa is a very tough state for Donald Trump to win. What I will say is if they can get the Mexico, Canada, U.S. agreement through, that would be good. It's a free, you know, it moves us in the direction -- frankly it's like the very first NAFTA that we had. There's not that much difference. And getting that trade agreement through would be a very good thing.

And so I think that would be something that farmers would like and farmers would appreciate.

LEMON: One thing we didn't hear President Trump -- from President Trump, he didn't mention Biden once tonight. Do you think his advisors finally got through to him? You said if the incumbent is attacking you, you're winning.

KASICH: I think today they got through to him or at least tonight, but you know, before he left Washington, he was still attacking him.

And look, I don't have any problem with Trump attacking Biden flip- flopping on the Hyde Amendment and all those other kind of things. I don't mind that. But let's keep it above the belt.

Let's not get into this name calling and sort of this kindergarten or first grade antics. We don't want that in American politics, and frankly, I think it works against the president when he does that. His base may like it, but other people do not.

LEMON: You know, Biden talked about health care. So let's talk about health care. He talked about Trump's tax cuts.


LEMON: He talked about climate change. He talked about Charlottesville, he's talking about all of these issues. But it's all in context of President Trump. I'm wondering by doing that, right, he's framing the -- his policy issues with Trump in mind. Is that a winning strategy?

KASICH: Don, look, I watched some people comment earlier, you got to have all these issues. OK? Well, he came out with something on climate change. I don't even like what he had to say about that. But he did talk about that.

At the end, though, do you think people are sitting down at the kitchen table saying, honey, did you see the details of that economic program? Honey, did you see exactly what the heck the trade deal is with the World Trade Organization? That's not where people are. People get a sense of who you are, Don.

You know, remember when we were in high school, we'd vote for best of the class or class president, it wasn't the policies, it's what we felt about somebody. It's not much different than big-time politics. We get a sense of whether somebody can be a leader.

Remember they used to say they liked George Bush, Jr., you know, W. Bush --


LEMON: They want to have a beer with him.

KASICH: -- because you could have a beer with him.


KASICH: And they didn't like Al -- yes, they didn't like Al Gore because he was huffing and puffing or they didn't like John Kerry because he was wearing that silly suit while he was wind surfing. You know, you want to be with the guy that you can have a beer with. Somebody that you think is smart, somebody that you think is compelling, somebody that you think would be a good leader in a time of crisis.

It's not -- issues are only a way to display your leadership, but people get a sense -- they want to know who you are because once they know who you are and they know you get them and care about them, that's why Pennsylvania is so easy for Biden and difficult for Trump because those blue color workers in their guts understand that Biden gets them, period. That's why it works.

LEMON: So let's work on those things. We'll have a beer first, and then we can work on the other things for you. You know, like the --

KASICH: Look, you know, one last thing. You know, when Obama, Biden Boehner and I got together after our golf game, after our golf game --


KASICH: -- we had a beer.


KASICH: And at that point I said Boehner and Obama, you guys need to sit down and work this stuff out. We had fun at playing golf, we're having a beer, sit down and work it out. And you know what, they got close.

LEMON: All right.

KASICH: It didn't get all the way there, but it got close. OK?

LEMON: Well, there's hope. We got to go --

(CROSSTALK) KASICH: We'll have a beer soon too, Don.

LEMON: Yes. And it's on you, too.

KASICH: All right.

LEMON: Thank you, John.

KASICH: All right.

LEMON: We'll be right back.

KASICH: Thank you.


LEMON: Donald Trump, Jr. is heading back to Congress. He'll be returning to answer questions behind closed doors from the Republican- controlled Senate intelligence committee after he initially refused to comply with a subpoena from committee chairman Richard Burr.

Joining me now to discuss all of this is Congressman Mike Quigley. He is a Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.

Congressman, I appreciate you joining us. I know it's not your committee. But what are the big outstanding questions right now about Donald Trump, Jr.?

REP. MIKE QUIGLEY (D), ILLINOIS: Well, first of all, I find the Senate intel Republicans, I'm thinking the same thing if I have a fair reading of the Mueller report, there are questions as to his credibility.

When he testified before my House select committee on intelligence, he didn't answer a whole lot of questions. And finally, there's this little information in addition to the Trump tower meeting in New York about his direct private communications with WikiLeaks. To me, that's enough information to bring him back before both committees.

LEMON: The house voted today to authorize judiciary chairman Jerry Nadler to go to court to enforce the subpoenas issued to A.G. Barr and Don McGahn. Nadler says that he wants to file lawsuits as soon as possible. How quickly could this play out, do you think?

QUIGLEY: Look, I think it could play out as quickly as it need be. What we're starting to see is the Justice Department responding to some of the subpoenas. It gives the chairman Nadler and other committee members the opportunities and the tools they need to move forward.

In the end, this is a broad-based approach. I think you saw compliance by the Justice Department because there's additional talk about impeachment inquiries, about the actions that took place in court today, the fact that we've had some initial court victories.

Clearly, the president and the Trump association has -- they understand one thing, strength and action. If we sit around and wait for them to respond because we ask nicely, it's not going to happen.

[22:30:02] LEMON: Let's talk about impeachment now, OK? Nancy Pelosi said today that it is still on the table but isn't moving forward with it. I want you to listen now to what Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said earlier when Manu Raju asked if she's satisfied with that strategy. Here it is.


REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D), NEW YORK: No. Personally, I am not. I think that an impeachment inquiry is right on our doorstep. I am concerned at what the line is, you know? And I think that that's really what people want to know is that if now isn't the time, what Barr needs -- what is the bar -- what is the line that we're waiting to be crossed for an impeachment inquiry, and so far it doesn't seem like there is one.

And so without a clear boundary, it seems as though we're kind of sitting on our hands. So if now isn't the time, then I think a lot of us would like to know when is the time?


LEMON: OK. So Congressman, what are you hearing from the caucus on impeachment? Do members agree with her or do they agree with Pelosi? Are there heated conversations behind closed doors?

QUIGLEY: It's a whole range of views. Obviously, this is clearly the most important decision in Speaker Pelosi's two-year term here. It's not an easy one. She can count votes in the Senate. What moved the needle for me was the fact that -- when Special Counsel came back and spoke, he said I left this up to you. I didn't exonerate the president. In the report, he clearly delineated multiple instances of obstruction.

And at the same time, we get the noncompliance from the Trump administration to try to find these things out. What moved the needle for me was it may be the strongest tool we have, the strongest argument we have with the courts to get the information we need to decide whether or not additional obstruction took place after the Mueller report was put forward.

LEMON: You know, Nadler also announced yesterday that he had reached an agreement with the DOJ to review some of the underlying evidence behind Robert Mueller's report in exchange for not holding Barr in contempt. But now, a source is telling CNN that the White House may exert executive privilege over those documents. What do you think is going on here?

QUIGLEY: Yeah. I think it's -- the fact is the White House is not going to comply unless it's absolutely forced to. You're going to see little bits and bursts of activity occasionally. But for the most part, they're going to be using executive privilege and trying to fight this out in the courts as long as possible.

And that gets back to why I finally decided to move forward and support an impeachment inquiry. Because again, I think it gives us a much stronger argument in the courts to push back against this sort of obstruction.

LEMON: Congressman, thank you for your time.

QUIGLEY: Thank you.

LEMON: Just how worried should team Trump be tonight between Don Jr.'s closed-door testimony tomorrow and everything else that's going on? We'll be right back.


LEMON: Donald Trump Jr.'s closed-door interview tomorrow with the Senate Intel Committee is his second appearance before the Republican- led committee. I want to talk about this with CNN Legal Analyst, Anne Milgram, and with Jim Baker. Jim is a former FBI general counsel.

Good evening to both of you. Thank you so much. Jim, we're going to start with you. This is what we know.

Don Jr. will testify for two to four hours, OK? He'll have to answer questions on everything from the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians to the Trump Tower Moscow project. How big of a deal is this? Is it a big deal?

JIM BAKER, FBI FORMER GENERAL COUNSEL: Well, it's a big deal, I think, for the Senate Intelligence Committee. I think it's probably low risk, I guess, for Don Jr. himself. And I think probably low risk for -- I mean I am not a politician. But I think low risk politically because the Senate Intelligence Committee has been very good and very professional about keeping quiet with respect to what's been happening in front of it.

So I think we're just not going to know a lot of detail about actually what happens there. For Don Jr., I am not sure he really had a choice. He got subpoenaed. The Mueller report is out. It did not determine that there -- it determined that there were no criminal violations that occurred. So I think that if Don Jr. goes in and tells the truth, answers all the questions, then, you know, he's not going to really have any legal exposure presuming that what was learned in the Mueller report is actually what he talks about tomorrow.

So, you know, I don't see this as some big negative for either one of them, honestly.

LEMON: But Anne, I mean should he be worried about perjuring himself given the details that the, you know, all the details in the Mueller report are out? And we know what his prior testimony was.

ANNE MILGRAM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, and it's also clear that he didn't want to go back. So he was scheduled twice and wasn't coming through. And then finally they issued a subpoena to get him to come through. So there's no question that he has to go in and tell the truth, like Jim said. If he does that, hopefully, there won't be a need for perjury charges to be brought.

But, you know, these are critical moments. He's represented by counsel. Any good lawyer is going to tell him exactly what Jim said. Go in and tell the truth. But there is -- got to be a reason also why he didn't want to return. And so I agree. We probably will never know, but it is still high stakes for him.

LEMON: You do?

MILGRAM: Tomorrow. I think he's got to go in and be truthful and honest and say what happened and what his involvement was. And so as long as he does that, he probably won't have exposure. But, you know, you still got to be willing to walk in and tell the truth.

LEMON: You heard the House Speaker, Jim, Nancy Pelosi saying impeachment was not off the table. But then she argued this. Watch this.


REP. NANCY PELOSI, HOUSE SPEAKER: If you open impeachment inquiry, does it -- do you get more information? You still end up in the court. Do you get more information by having an inquiry than if you just have investigations? Well, I don't have a straight answer on that. But even if you could, you can't do it without going to the courts.

[22:40:08] And (Inaudible) to go to the courts, we have to have the strongest possible case, ironclad. Impeachment, if you're going down that path, you don't go to court with your weakest case. As long as you keep getting more information to build your case, you have a responsibility to do that.


LEMON: Is she right, Jim? Does an impeachment inquiry actually strengthen Democrats' fight in court?

BAKER: I -- you know I have a little bit of a hard time understanding exactly the point that the speaker was trying to make, to be frank. But look, I mean an impeachment inquiry, hearings, if they're pursuing their legitimate legislative mandate, then that's -- they're going to have, I think, a good place, a good standing in court to make their arguments.

I honestly don't know why they've focused completely on impeachment. I think there's so much that could be done if they focus on hearings with respect to, you know, volume one of the Mueller report all having to do with Russia that there's a lot there that they could focus on something other than impeachment, but have a clear mandate legislatively from, you know, trying to draft new laws about what rules there should be when people are contacted by foreign governments in the course of a political campaign, for example.

They should figure out whether we should have different laws there. You could tell the story. I mean impeachment at the end of the day as we all know is a political thing. And they need to get the American people behind them if they're going to pursue that route. And they need to get facts in front of the American people. And I am not sure what their strategy is to do that at this point in time.

LEMON: Let's follow up on this, Anne, because House Democrats voted today to authorize committees to bypass House floor. Go directly to court to enforce subpoenas. What does that mean if anything for this impeachment debate?

MILGRAM: It means a huge amount. I mean what we've seen is that every time Congress is asking whether it's the president, the White House staff, or someone from the executive branch, Bill Barr, the Department of Justice. What the executive branch has been doing is say, no, we're not going to come. We're not going to provide you with documents.

They reached a resolution on one thing this week, but really they've been shutting down what our -- you know, Congress' absolute right to ask for information from the executive branch. And there's a process that Congress then has to go through when they don't come through. People don't show up for hearings. Take down McGahn. They don't provide documents.

What this basically says is when that happens, we're just going to be able to immediately go into a court and say to the court, this is a legitimate congressional subpoena. We want you to direct the executive branch, whether it's Bill Barr or Don McGahn or anyone that they have to comply with the subpoena. So it gives the enforcement mechanism that right now there isn't one.

And, you know what we've been relying on and what Congress has been relying on is that for years the precedent has been Congress -- everyone understands, Congress has a legitimate right to ask for it. And the executive branch generally does comply. And this has not been the case.

LEMON: And now they're saying, OK. Now, we're going to show you that you have to comply because they're saying they're not. OK, so Jim, look. There's this -- the Democrats stuck in a -- struck a deal yesterday with the DOJ to review some of the Mueller documents. But now, we're learning that the White House may assert executive privilege on some of that evidence. So give us the inside view. Was this coordinated? Was this a setup? How do you see this?

BAKER: Yeah, I think it's kind of tough to figure out. I mean I am guessing that there's may be some tension between the Department of Justice and the White House on this. I mean I think the deal that they worked out that we heard about between the department and the committee is a good thing. I think it's a sign that as aggressive as the attorney general is with respect to Article II, he does recognize that the Congress has a legitimate basis to ask for some of this material.

And I think it's an effort to try to accommodate a legitimate interest of Congress. I think, though, that there are folks probably in the White House who are uneasy about that. It's inconsistent with their overall strategy in terms how they want to deal with Congress. And so my guess is there's a bit of tension between the two organizations. Who will win out at the end of day?

I don't know. Obviously, the attorney general has a lot of influence as we've seen. So maybe he will. But we'll have to see.

LEMON: All right. Thank you, Jim. Thank you, Anne. I appreciate your time. Jon Stewart ripping into lawmakers today who didn't show up to the hearing on funding for 9/11 responders.


JON STEWART, FORMER LATE NIGHT HOST: Sick and dying. They brought themselves down here to speak to no one. It's shameful. It's an embarrassment to the country, and it is a stain on this institution.


LEMON: More on what Stewart had to say, next.


LEMON: Jon Stewart is angry. You might be too when you hear why. The former Late Night host was in Washington today abdicating for 9/11 first responders to get funding for their desperately needed medical care. Stewart slammed the lawmakers who didn't show up to the House Judiciary Committee hearing today. I want you to take a look at this picture, and look at all of those empty seats.

You can see why he was so upset. Stewart did not hold back when he had a chance to speak. And I am going to play an extended clip of Stewart's comments, because his words are an important reminder of the debt that all of us owe to our brave heroes.


STEWART: What an incredible metaphor this room is for this entire process that getting healthcare benefits for 9/11 first responders has come to. Behind me, a filled room of 9/11 first responders, and in front of me a nearly empty Congress, sick and dying, they brought themselves down here to speak to no one. It's shameful.

[22:50:23] It's an embarrassment to the country, and it is a stain on this institution. And you should be ashamed of yourselves for those that aren't here, but you won't be because accountability doesn't appear to be something that occurs in this chamber. I am awfully tired of hearing that it's a 9/11 New York issue. Al Qaeda didn't shout death to Tribeca. They attacked America.

And these men and women and their response to it is what brought our country back. It's what gave a reeling nation a solid foundation to stand back upon to remind us of why this country is great, of why this country is worth fighting for, and you are ignoring them. They responded in five seconds. They did their jobs with courage, grace, tenacity, humility. Eighteen years later, do yours. Thank you.


LEMON: I want to bring in now Thomas Mohnal. He was the first FBI agent on the scene after the plane hit the Pentagon in Washington on 9/11. Mr. Mohnal, thank you so much for joining us and thank you for the sacrifices that you've made to this country. Thank you.

THOMAS MOHNAL, 9/11 FIRST RESPONDER: Don, thanks for having me.

LEMON: You were in the room when Stewart made those emotional pleas. Were you as upset as he was with the Congress and how the Congress has conducted itself?

MOHNAL: Well, I knew that it was a subcommittee, and I didn't expect it to be an entire room filled with congressmen. I did expect a little more than were there. But I did understand the fact that it was actually a subcommittee, and there was limited amount of people that were attending today.

LEMON: Yeah. Let's talk about -- I want to ask you about you now, because you've been battling Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma since 2016 after your work investigating the scene of the attack on the Pentagon. How are you doing now?

MOHNAL: I am doing fine. I have some real good treatments. I was diagnosed on August 4th, 2016. And it was a lucky scenario, quite frankly. I had appendicitis and I went in for a scan, and the technician happened to pick out the tumors on a CT scan during a routine appendectomy. And that's how the whole item stated.

LEMON: Wow, wow. Well, listen. We wish you the very best with that, and please keep us updated. I want to ask you more about Jon Stewart, because we caught with him after his passionate plea today and asked if he had been given any reason for hope today. Watch this.


STEWART: We've all been through this too many times to not be skeptical. And when it happens, then we'll believe it. But trust me, like it's not going to be a celebration. It's just going to be a sigh.


LEMON: What about you? Did you hear anything today that made you optimistic that Congress will step up and take care off 9/11 heroes? Do you think they'll do that?

MOHNAL: I do. I actually -- I felt very comfortable today. Chairman Nadler and the committee members seem to be positive that we're there. I think all the victims that actually testified today, I think was very powerful and I think it got the point across. So I am extremely hopeful at this point.

LEMON: The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund is set to expire in 2020. What does that money meant for you and for all the other victims who suffered after 9/11? And happens if it's not funded? MOHNAL: Well, I mean there's so many people out there, the

construction workers, and some of the volunteers, and some of the kids that were, you know, 6 and 7 years old at the time that this happened that were in the elementary schools close by that are now 22, 23 years old. And they just don't have the money to pay for some of the treatments that is going on.

[22:54:59] Cancer treatment and doctor appointments are extremely expensive. So I am hopeful that for some of those people that the fund actually gets refunded or there has got to be some people that have some major problems.

LEMON: Thank you so much. We appreciate you joining us, Mr. Mohnal.

MOHNAL: Don, thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

LEMON: We'll be right back.


LEMON: This is CNN TONIGHT. I am Don Lemon.