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CNN TONIGHT

President Trump Impeached For The Second Time; A Level Of Planning For Capitol Attack; Law Enforcement And Military Investigating Whether Members Took Part In Capitol Riot; Retired Air Force Reserves Officer Charged For Role In Riot; 20,000 Troops Expected In D.C. For Biden's Inauguration; Hawley Defends Himself After Spreading Election Lies By Trying To Deflect Blame; Seventy Charged In Capitol Hill Riots, Hundreds More Expected. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired January 13, 2021 - 23:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[23:00:00]

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DON LEMON, CNN HOST (on camera): Historic day in America, unprecedented times. The House voting to impeach President Trump again, this time for inciting the deadly insurrection on Capitol Hill, ten Republicans joining Democrats, voting in favor.

Today's action will not force him from office as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says, Trump will not face trial during the seven remaining days of this term. It will take place after Joe Biden becomes president.

Biden responding tonight calling on the Senate to hold the impeachment trial while at the same time, working on what he calls the other urgent business of this nation. And speaking out against quote political extremists and domestic terrorists, who were incited to this violence by President Trump.

The president likes saying that as we learn tonight according to a source evidence uncovered by investigators, indicates the riot was not a protests that spiraled out of control it was a planned attack.

The perfect people to discuss this, CNN's White House Correspondent, John Harwood, CNN senior justice correspondent, Evan Perez and former Nixon White House counsel, John Dean. Gents, good evening. John Harwood, impeached twice, isolated lame duck, it's hard to believe but the president problems might get even worse for him?

JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Oh my gosh, Don. His problems are just getting started. But look he's got a fragile psyche despite all the bluster and bravado. He's going to have to live with the embarrassment and shame of being regarded as the worst president in American history. Only one to be impeached twice. He might end up being the only one to be convicted.

But even if he doesn't, then he's got layered on top of that big legal problems. Yes, maybe he can try to pardon himself and maybe he can make that stick, maybe he can. But even if he can make it stick, he's got big legal problems that are beyond the reach of a presidential pardon in New York, from the state Attorney General and the Manhattan District Attorney.

[23:05:02]

And his conduct over the last several weeks, has incinerated any incentive they have to move on, go easy on him, and ignore it. Once you provoke an insurrection against United States, you've got big problems.

Finally, huge financial problems, he will come out of the White House owing hundreds of millions of dollars. His brand reputation is now garbage. Corporate America and established institution are sprinting away from him and people associated with the postelection lies and the insurrection.

That is going to make it very difficult for him to figure out, how to repay his debts, foreign deals are going to be much more difficult to come by. Yes, he still has the support of 70 percent of Republicans on that working class base. But how exactly is he going to monetize that base in the way that he has become accustomed to, and he's children have become accustom to. It's not going to be easy?

LEMON: John Dean, The New York Times is reporting tonight that advisers say that Trump wanted to go to the House floor today to defend himself. He is still reportedly saying that he won the election. Imagine if he had done that today. And what if he does that at all? I mean, at this Senate trial.

JOHN DEAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR, FORMER NIXON WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL (on camera): Well, it's not clear if he wanted to defend himself or just wanted to be in front of a camera, since he's been out of focus lately. You know, that would have -- that might have brought out 20 more Republicans to hear the pathetic kind of defenses and self- justification as he offers, while he probably has the right to do that in both chambers during an impeachment proceeding, it's certainly unprecedented and not smart.

But he has not shown really any wisdom at all, anywhere along the line, Don. He's in the position he's in just by his own blundering stupidity and narcissism, driving him to make these rather criminal decisions and stupid decisions.

LEMON: Evan, now -- this reporting. A very disturbing reporting that this wasn't just a protests that got out of control, you have new reporting on the level of planning that went into the attack on the Capitol. What are your sources telling you?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Don, I think what they're seeing is indications that there was a lot more weaponry, there's a lot more tactical you know, planning here that is definitely visible from some of the surveillance video. From some of the video frankly that we've seen including the one that you played just in the last half hour. So, there is, there are indications that some people who were at the

Trump rally, at the ellipse outside the White House that they left a little early so that they could go back. By the way at the White House they weren't allowed to bring all of the weaponry. They had to leave those bags behind.

And so they left early so that -- perhaps go retrieve some of these things that they then used on for the assault in the Capitol. That includes sledgehammers, climbing ropes, helmets. Frankly that were better than the Capitol police had with them, they were using bare spray. They have their own clubs.

LEMON: They have more of those sort of toxins and I'm told than the police.

PEREZ: That's right.

LEMON: So, essentially, are you saying that they had a staging area?

PEREZ: It appears that they had, some of them had vehicles nearby that they were storing that stuff, I saw with my own eyes, I saw vehicles pulling up, people pouring out of them. So, it appears there was a lot more organization to this then perhaps was first thought as you pointed out. People first thought, oh man, this was just a protest that got out of control. That appears increasingly more distant.

LEMON: We are also learning Evan, that lawmakers are calling for an investigation into one member of Congress, one member of Congress that was calling reconnaissance tours at the Capitol, right before the attack, what can you tell us about that?

PEREZ: Right. There are some videos that the FBI is aware of. They are looking at it. They are trying to authenticate it. And what's disturbing about it, is that it appears to show some members perhaps and staff maybe who were giving tours to people beforehand. And the question is, where those people then ones who participated in the assault on the Capitol.

Again, this is something that's being looked at, nothing has been determined. But again it goes to this idea of whether or not -- whether people were planning this, and who help them? And so you have to look at travel records, you have to look at the communications. A lot of this work is going to be done in the coming weeks perhaps months, before we get a final answer.

LEMON (on camera): I want to play something for you, this is for John Dean. All of you listen but, John, I'm going to ask you about it. This is Congressman Peter Meijer, one of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach the president. This is what he said about the upcoming Senate trial. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PETER MEIJER (R-MI): It's been a week and this has been unprecedented fast impeachment at the same time the assault on our Capitol was likewise unprecedented. And what we know now is damning and disqualifying and I'm sure there is more information that will come out and it will not be exculpatory.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[23:10:02]

LEMON (on camera): So, more and more information coming out every single day. What impact could a little more time passing have on the Senate trial?

DEAN: I think it's actually one of the benefits of the fact that there's going to be a delay. We don't know when the speaker, Nancy Pelosi is going to send the article over to the Senate. That's when things start when she sends it over. But clearly Mitch has made it very clear that they're not going to do anything until after the inauguration.

So this period of time gives the House manager's time to assemble their case, possibly a stronger case as time passes, more information is coming out. So, I think this Don, could play to their advantage in the delay that's built into the proceedings right now.

PEREZ: They're going to learn more from enforcement, Don, you've seen briefings already kind of changed the tenor of the conversation. And I think you're going to see more of that information be provided to lawmakers.

LEMON: John, John, Evan, thank you all. I appreciate it.

As the investigation to the insurrection unfolds, we're learning that members of law enforcement and former military are being charged. Here discuss now, CNN crime and justice correspondent, Shimon Prokupecz and former FBI special agent, Mike German. Good to see both of you, let's see Shimon let's talk about what we're learning about two off-duty police officers from Virginia were charged for their role in the riots. What can you tell us?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER (on camera): You know Don, from the outside I should say -- outside I should say that this is something that's very concerning to investigators. That there have been so -- they are filing a lot of police officers, law enforcement officials who are inside the Capitol. And this has caused widespread investigations, all across the country, police departments to see if any of their officers were inside the Capitol.

So, these two officers, one by the name of Jacob Fracker and Thomas Robertson were arrested over the weekend by the FBI and they are part of the Rocky Mount police in Virginia.

The people in the town recognize them because one of them posted a photo on Facebook showing that they were there, saying how proud they were, of what they did. There you see the photo now. So, people in the town saw this photo. And they notified the FBI and that is how the FBI found them, Don.

LEMON: And what are you hearing Shimon, about this former Air Force Reserve Officer seeing carrying flexible handcuffs during the riot, people called and refer to them, you know, locally as zip ties.

PROKUPECZ: Yes, zip ties, flex cuffs. So, he actually, this guy, FBI found him. And one of the ways the FBI found them was through his ex- wife. He's ex-wife actually called the FBI. He's there in that photo he's wearing the helmet.

And what's very concerning about him, his name is Larry Randall Brock. He's 53, he was arrested in Texas. Very concerning because he was wearing tactical gear, he's also an army veteran. A pretty, you know, from people in the town say that he was highly respected, to see him take this path is certainly has been troubling.

But again, you know, there are law enforcement officials who were inside the Capitol and there are also a lot of military, certainly a lot of people dress like they were part of military retired. And this is all of course very concerning for investigators as they try to dig in to who is inside the Capitol.

LEMON: Mike, Houston's police chief says that one of his officers, an 18 year department veteran is on administrative leave could face federal charges after allegedly participating in the riot. You're not surprised that we are learning law enforcement and former military were part of mob at the Capitol, why is that?

MIKE GERMAN, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT (on camera): Well, this has been a persistent problem for decades. And of course going back to the civil rights era. Police officers in Ku Klux Klan, often work hand in hand. And while we come a long ways since then there has been a persistent presence of active white supremacist in association with far-right militant groups within law enforcement.

And particularly over the last couple of years, what we've seen at these Black Lives Matter rallies is that oftentimes far-right extremist will come there and commit acts of violence. Within the view of law enforcement officers who don't take any actions to prevent the violence or to arrest them. And often as in this event, travel interstate in order to accomplish this violence and yet we don't see the FBI following up afterwards to address it.

LEMON: Yes.

GERMAN: Though many of the people who were at this event at the Capitol, I will be very surprised if we don't find that they have been seen committing violence in previous far-right rallies where violence occurred.

LEMON: Wow. So, Mike, if the government discovered that ISIS had infiltrated U.S. law enforcement agencies, there would be a massive effort to identify them. So how do officers with ties to far-right extremist groups, how do they basically just fly under the radar? Because you just said, you'd be surprised if you didn't see them committing similar acts at other rallies.

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GERMAN: Because the federal government hasn't made it a national priority to address the problem. Now, it's fascinating, because when I was an FBI agent and since then, the FBI routinely warns its own agents, working domestic terrorism investigations. That the subjects in their investigations are often have active links to law enforcement, they do that to make sure that the agents know how to protect their cases by changing, altering their tactics.

The problem is the FBI recognizes the threat it poses to the integrity of the investigations, but it doesn't do anything to address the threat they pose in the communities that they serve. And that's what it got to change.

And for the state and local law enforcement agencies, they have to acknowledge the problem and that's why it's great to see a statement from the Houston police chief, Art Acevedo, because they have to acknowledge it, acknowledging that there's a problem is the first step towards actually addressing it. And I think that's a good first step.

LEMON: Shimon, thank you. Mike, I have to mention your book. You are also the author of Disrupt, discredit, and divide. Pick it up. It's a good read. Thank you, gentlemen, I appreciate it.

GERMAN: Thanks very much.

LEMON: There are more National Guard troops in Washington right now than active duty troops in Iran, Afghanistan, and Syria combined. What does that tell you about the danger in this country with Inauguration Day just a week away?

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LEMON: With President-Elect Biden's inauguration just under a week away, National Security officials are sounding the alarm over the potential for violence.

Tens of thousands of National Guardsmen coming in to secure the Capitol with the source telling CNN that FBI officials are warning local law enforcement nationwide, they are concerned about extremists getting violent at the upcoming rallies. The National Guard and law enforcement preparing for the threat of IEDs like pipe bombs, and Molotov cocktails at the Inauguration.

Joining me now, William Cohen, a former defense secretary and former United States Senator from Maine. Secretary, thank you. I was like, am I just -- what I just read to you and the world, it's like -- we are talking about America. I feel like I'm talking about another country, right? Where a duly elected president is about to be inaugurated, and you have all these possibilities of violence from terror. What an odd place we are in. Go on.

WILLIAM COHEN, FORMER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: If I just parachuted in from the parallel universe that Trump and his surrogates inhabit, I would have looked at the scene today and thought that a military coup had taken place. LEMON: Well, let's put up the pictures, though. As you are speaking. I

want to put it because when you look at all these National Guard, thousands of troops in the Capitol, trying to -- I think it's what we are talking about, and the second impeachment, what goes -- what is going through your mind? Go on.

COHEN: Well, I could have say, I would have assumed that the military had created and taken over the government itself. Here, we have the military trying to protect the elected government coming in. But if Joe Biden as president and the vice president are not safe under these circumstances, none of us are safe. And the real problem is not only the inaugural next week, but what follows after that.

Yes, the 50 Capitols, but these people are still out there. And I'd like to remind your audience, by the way, I agree with everything you said during the handoffs between Chris Cuomo and yourself about the origins of our problems, but if we can't protect the people from this, then we are all vulnerable.

The Doctor King's Memorial Holidays is next Monday, think about this -- Dr. King was infiltrated, he was videoed, he was photograph, he was surveilled, he was tape recorded, he was demonized, he was communize and so if the FBI could have infiltrated the civil rights movement, surely they can go after the white supremacists movement. And any notion that we have to look a special laws for, they can start tracking them and following them and arresting them.

And there are things you've been asking, what can we do? Well, what we can do is we can follow the money. Who are the people who supported this mass exodus or infiltration of Washington? And then we have to stop the money. There are companies like Hallmark, who said we are not only going to support you, Senator, we want our money back.

And if all of the major corporations go to those who still support the Trump agenda, they have to tell them, no more money is coming to you, not now, not two years, not four years, not ever. They have to stand up because they have the power. They have the power to prevent the spread of Trumpism to the point where it's decaying and destroying our country from within.

LEMON: The current President Trump is calling for an end to political violence, in a video released today. First of all, his words are totally empty, but also it's not too little too late, it's a lot little. Way too late. He created a threat that he cannot control anymore.

COHEN: Well, I know he's lying when he's reading from a script. That's when you know he doesn't mean it. Any other time on script, you are seeing the real Trump and what he really means. And what we saw during that rally was him encouraging that mob to go to Capitol Hill, and to do whatever they had to do in order to take the government back.

And the question is take our government back to what? Back to clans territory? Back to neo-Nazi activity? We saw the shirts they were wearing, Camp Auschwitz, 6 million not enough, blood and soil, etc. So this goes back to what you are talking about earlier. [23:25:16]

These are the people who are fomenting hate, and they want to go back to white supremacy and to deny equal opportunity, which is what our constitution talks about. Equal opportunity, equal justice under law, one man and woman want to vote, they don't want you to vote, Don.

They don't want anybody of color to have the vote because they've already said if everybody has the right to vote, and they vote, we lose. So, all we can do is suppress the vote. And that's what they've been doing.

And that's what this whole is about. We want to take the country back from the way we used to dominate everything, suppress everything, and rule by white supremacy. That's what they are after and that's what Trump has been promoting. And today, during his saving grace speech, he said our supporters would not do this, our movement. What is the movement he is talking about? What exactly going back to different times.

LEMON: The library is open. And Secretary Cohen has just read everybody. So, what you said was right on. We love having you on. I love your perspective. Thank you for speaking the truth that we all need to start discussing and getting pass nice and ease and all of that. And really discussing what is going on in this country, and you do it all the time.

COHEN: There's one recommendation I could make, go back and read George (inaudible) speech that he gave back in May 21st 1944, about freedom, lies in the hearts of men and women. And when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it. But as long it lives there, there's no need for this.

And what he is saying is, freedom means not to do whatever you want, because that leads to anarchy. But you understand that we cannot do everything we want. Freedom is not without restraints for the rights and the roles of others. And that speech is in the same category as the Gettysburg address in my perspective.

LEMON: Secretary Cohen, thank you very much.

COHEN: My pleasure.

LEMON: It is the most bipartisan impeachment in American history. Will the Republican Party survive Trump?

Plus, one Republican losing donations, supporters and even his mentor for his election lies, but he's not exactly apologizing.

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[23:30:00]

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LEMON: So President Trump impeached for an unprecedented second time just seven days before he leaves office. And while the GOP is facing -- is facing a reckoning over how they've enabled him, Trump still has a sizable grip on the republican base. So what's next for Trumpism?

Joining me now is Timothy Snyder, Levin Professor of History at Yale University and author of "Our Malady: Lessons in Liberty from a Hospital Diary." You may have read his incredible essay in The New York Times magazine called "The American Abyss" about Trump, the mob, and what comes next.

It's so good to have you, Tim. Thank you for joining.

TIMOTHY SNYDER, AUTHOR, LEVIN PROFESSOR OF HISTORY AT YALE UNIVERSITY: My pleasure (ph).

LEMON: So, first, let's talk about today, in the wake of impeachment, OK? So, you say that the more we learn, the less this looks like a coup bound to fail and the more it looks like a plain -- like plain luck that all of our legislators and our vice president were not murdered. Where is this going?

SNYDER: Well, I think --first of all, I mean, just to reaffirm that statement, sometimes you just get lucky, and what happened on January 6th seems like an absolute catastrophe and it is. It's a turning point for the country as a whole and for the Republican Party in particular.

But now that we know more about the timing, it's -- we should be, you know, thanking our lucky stars or whatever we believe in that it was -- that there wasn't just a mass murder at this place.

Where do we go from here? I mean, like at so many important turning points in history, this depends upon a few people deciding, making decisions about what they think is important.

LEMON: Mm-hmm.

SNYDER: The Republican Party can either continue to support the big lie of Mr. Trump that he won the election, and this will then all continue or get worse, or more of them can take the simple step of just telling the truth of what happened, let the air out of this big lie, and move forward to a different kind of politics.

LEMON: Yeah. So Tim, in your piece, you write, you say, right now, the Republican Party is a coalition of two types of people, those who would game the system, most of the politicians, some of the voters, and those who dream of breaking it, a few of the politicians, many of the voters.

So, talk to me, if you will, about the gamers and the breakers and how Trump has used them to get us to this point.

SNYDER: Yeah. I am trying to find some terms that can help us get our minds around the recent history of the Republican Party. On the one hand, you have folks who I'm calling the gamers. A good example would be Mr. McConnell, who is good at using the system as it is.

So they are good at taking advantage of the limitations of American democracy, of the strange rules we have left from the Constitution, the possibility for gerrymandering, dark money in politics, inherit republican advantages in the Senate, rules in the Senate, and so on. They take advantage of the limits of our democracy, but they are in favor of the system as it stands.

And then you have the smaller group that I call the breakers, people like Mr. Cruz, Mr. Hawley, who have seen in 2020, if not earlier, that what you can do is lose an election, cry fraud, and then try to win with a big lie and violence. That's a very -- that turns out to be a very different alternative and that's where the republican stand.

In fairness, there is a third, much smaller group, which you can call the honorable few. I think the interesting thing to watch is whether the gamers led by Mr. McConnell shift away from the breakers and towards the honorable few.

[23:34:52]

SNYDER: The dark scenario is that the breakers, the people who want to repeat 2020 in 2024, that they managed to get a hold of this big lie about how the people who voted for Trump or victims, and Trump was a victim, and they try to ride that big lie themselves to office in 2024.

LEMON: I wonder if that big lie is going to -- is sustainable anymore if people have seen right through it. Let me ask you in this way, because you talk about Trump's lying, right, how he has small eyes, medium lies, medium-sized lies, and the big lie about election fraud. That big lie is going to outlast the Trump presidency. So what is the impact of that, Tim?

SNYDER: Yeah. I mean, the thing -- I mean, a little lie you might forget, you know, in 20 years, maybe we won't remember that Trump claimed that Mr. Obama was born in Africa. But in 20 years, we are going to remember that Trump claimed that he won the election.

It is a big lie in the very special sense that once you believe it, you have to disbelieve everything else. That is why it is powerful. I mean, obviously, many people do see right through it, most people don't believe it, but for those who do believe it, it is something like an article of faith and they are going to distrust other people.

So we can't just say the big lie is going to go away. You have to encourage Republican political leaders to simply tell the truth. You have to encourage truth as a value. In the long run, you have to pluralize the American media scene, so we have more facts all around us.

But you have to take the big lie seriously. I mean, in German history, the big lie in 1918 was the Jews lost us the world war. It was 15 years later that Hitler was still telling that big lie. He wasn't the first to tell it, but he brought it on later when he came to power. So that is the kind of thing that worries me.

LEMON: Well, Trump was able to co-op Twitter for his lies and you compare it to other autocratic leaders in history who were able to spread propaganda. The social media isn't going away, though. I mean, it could still help another demagogue like Trump rise (ph). Maybe God forbid one, you know, a little smarter or even more capable.

SNYDER: Social media is like anything else. You have to think about what you want the rules to be. I mean, the Germans, the Nazis saw the rise of radio as an opportunity. They wanted a radio in every house. They wanted to tell everyone the same message.

Social media in the U.S. works the way that it does because we have the rules that we do. I mean, for me, it is obvious that the big companies should be broken up.

For me, it is obvious that the big companies should be taxed so we can bring local news back into people's lives so the people can have more reasonable conversations about the things that concern them directly as opposed to always falling into national politics or conspiracy theories.

LEMON: Mm-hmm.

SNYDER: Social media isn't going to go away, but it does have to change if we want to have a democracy in this country.

LEMON: Timothy, I really enjoyed this talk. Please come back. Timothy Snyder, thank you so much. I appreciate it.

SNYDER: My pleasure. Thank you.

LEMON: So, he promoted Trump's false election claims. He boosted the rioters on Capitol Hill. And tonight, Senator Josh Hawley is defending himself by blaming everyone else. Stay with us.

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[23:40:00]

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LEMON: Republican Senator Josh Hawley trying to distance himself from insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol last week, at the same time defending his leading role that day in objecting to Congress certifying Joe Biden's election victory. Hawley raised his fist in solidarity with pro-Trump demonstrators gathered outside the Capitol before the deadly ride began.

But today, in an op-ed for the Southeast Missouri, and he insisted that he was right to challenge the election results even after the violence, saying, and I quote, "Some wondered why I stuck with my objection following the violence at the Capitol. The reason is simple: I will not bow to a lawless mob, or allow criminals to drown out the legitimate concerns of my constituents."

So, let's discuss now with CNN political commentators Scott Jennings and Amanda Carpenter.

It sounds like he could have been -- talking about the people who were gathered there, who were drowning out the voice of the people who had -- this is all very odd to me, so help me -- help me understand this, Amanda, because it seems like President Trump is the only one who is worried about his legacy and his future tonight.

AMANDA CARPENTER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, FORMER SENIOR COMMUNICATIONS ADVISOR AND SPEECHWRITER FOR SENATOR TED CRUZ: AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: I mean, Hawley is trying to rewrite history here in saying he wasn't bowing down to the mob. He was doing their bidding. He was their guy in the Senate.

But, you know, I'm all for the scrutiny that Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz are going to get for objecting. But I want a greater role on the Senate. Number one, all these people that told us to vote for Donald Trump twice, I want to know, are you sorry for what happened?

But when it comes to the Senate, do not overlook what happened in Georgia and how the entire Senate republican establishment was in on stoking the big lie. The big lie that Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue campaigned on to try to win the Senate by acting like there is something wrong with the votes.

You know, Kelly Loeffler had a big cool rally with Donald Trump where she said she was going to object. And until the second those two senators lost their races, the entire Senate republican establishment was OK with that as a campaign tactic.

And so I want a lot of reflection, and how those people try to use the lie that rifts apart our democracy to try to win the Senate.

[23:45:05]

LEMON: Scott, you know, I've got -- Hawley is -- he is trying to say that he voted to overturn the election even after the riot as a matter of principle, right? But he knows that fraud allegations are lie. Trump lost 60 court cases. Why can't he just admit to making a mistake and that had terrible consequences for our country?

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, FORMER SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Are you suggesting that in our modern politics, Don, that anybody ever admits a mistake, that they had bad judgment?

(LAUGHTER)

JENNINGS: I mean --

CARPENTER: They should.

JENNINGS: -- I mean, for him to do that would be a novel item. And I agree with you that it would be the right thing to do. I mean, look, as I said the other night to you --

LEMON: But Scott, hold on, hold on. OK, you're about to say what I'm saying. After what happened on Wednesday, this is just -- I mean -- yeah. Go on. I'm sorry.

JENNINGS: Yeah. I mean, they had -- everybody had a perfect chance to get it right, you know, with the truth and with the facts, and they chose not to do that because they see political advantage in that.

And my question would be, we've already learned in three elections, and as Amanda pointed in the Georgia elections, we've learned the limits of Trumpism. It can get you so far, but not all the way. And now, after Wednesday, I am sure the limits of it are even lower.

And so the question is, if you think there is political gain in that, say in the republican presidential primary, what do you think it's going to do for you in a general election?

And I'm just not sure people think they're earning -- they're not earning anything that's going to be ultimately as beneficial as they think it is in the long term. So I think it's a misguided calculation.

LEMON: Amanda, what I was going to say is even after what happened on Wednesday and seeing the pictures and people, Josh Hawley living through that and others who voted against, I mean, this is a whole another level of grift and wack-a-doodle.

CARPENTER: Yeah. I mean, are we even talking about this, about the limits of Trumpism as a campaign tactic? I mean, I'm happy Scott mentioned the chance for self-reflection, and we need a lot of that. I mean, Scott, you voted for the guy twice. Are you sorry?

JENNINGS: I'm not sorry for supporting the Republican Party and for supporting a republican agenda --

CARPENTER: But this is the problem. This is the limits of Trumpism.

JENNINGS: I am shocked as anybody else that the president of the United States fomented insurrection against his own government and sent a lynch mob to murder his own vice president.

Am I surprised about that? Damn right. And I don't like it and had been very clear about that. Are you sorry that you don't create the --

CARPENTER: I just --

JENNINGS: -- mythology that calls the rise of Ted Cruz? I bet you are sorry. And so, I mean, I don't particularly sit here on a day-by-day basis and apologize for having principles and values and supporting the party, but having an ability to react to circumstances as they occur, and I have reacted to the circumstances that have occurred since last week.

CARPENTER: Scott, listen, I know you are a good person, you are a family guy, but I think the tribalism is a precursor for the brain rot that paves the way for QAnon.

Because once you say it, I'm going to support the party nominee no matter what, hey, guess what, you live in a red district, guess what, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Miss QAnon for Congress, is now your nominee, when you will vote for anybody, the red team, no matter what. And that's how we got here --

LEMON: OK.

CARPENTER: -- the tribalism that infected our politics to this degree.

LEMON: All right. You both made really good points. I've got to run. So we will continue the conversation. Thank you both very much. I will see you soon.

An Olympic gold medalist, off-duty cops, retired military members, what are we learning about the rioters arrested so far? Next.

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[23:50:00]

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LEMON: OK. So, a week after rioters stormed the Capitol building, investigators are looking at the evidence that the siege may have been planned, that as more suspects are being identified and arrested. Around 35 defendants in the growing list of rioters are now facing federal charges. So what are we learning about the insurrectionists among us?

Joining me now to discuss is CNN's Donie O'Sullivan, who has been doing a great work. Donie, good to see you.

DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN REPORTER: Hi, Don.

LEMON: Let's get right to it. So, one of the people charged today for their alleged role in the riot is Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer Klete Keller, who went from representing this country to rioting in the Capitol. What do we know about Klete?

O'SULLIVAN: Yeah, you know, this is one of the incredible things about what happened last week. You know, it wasn't just a bunch of basement dwellers that laid siege on the Capitol. There were successful people there with families, with careers.

This guy had five Olympic medals. He competed in the Beijing and the Athens Olympics. And, you know, (INAUDIBLE) the criminal complaint actually. He said he stuck out because he is one of the tallest people in there that day. He is 6'6".

USA Swimming is telling CNN that while they respect people -- individual's rights to peacefully protest, that they in no way condone the actions taken by those at the Capitol.

So a guy like this, you know, who has won Olympic medals, who is 6'6," you had to go in there and knew he was going to get identified at some point.

LEMON: Wow! It is stunning. So today, they hauled in Robert Keith Packer, the infamous Camp Auschwitz rioter. What do you know about him? O'SULLIVAN: Yeah. Look, I think that again just goes to this incredible sense of entitlement here, right? That these guys thought they could walk in there wearing something as atrocious as that sweater and get away with it.

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O'SULLIVAN: Obviously, this image, the Camp Auschwitz logo on his sweater, really stuck out, and a lot of online (INAUDIBLE) were very, very quickly trying to track down this guy. He has actually been released on bail right now but with one condition that he has to -- one of the conditions, that he has to stay away from Washington, so he shouldn't be anywhere near the inauguration next week.

LEMON: Donie, that's just a few of the folks who have been arrested. There are going to be more. Donie will be reporting on it. Thank you very much, sir. I appreciate it.

O'SULLIVAN: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: Well, thank you for watching, everyone. Our live coverage continues now with Chris Cuomo.

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