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A Second Impeachment on the Horizon for President Trump; POTUS Warn Democrats of Political Consequences; No One is Above the Law; Perpetrators Now Being on FBI's Top List; United Kingdom Hits Another Record on COVID Deaths; Europe Far from Easing Restrictions; Ontario and Ottawa Under a Stay-at-Home Order; U.S. House Hours Away from Second Trump Impeachment Vote; Top Senate Republican Says he Believes Trump Committed Impeachable Offenses; In The Capitol Siege, Investigators Probe Police, Military Roles; YouTube Suspending Trump's Channel for at Least a Week; Deutsche Bank Cutting Business Ties with Trump; U.S. to Ramp Up Vaccine Efforts as COVID Deaths Climb; Navalny Announcing he will be Returning to Russia; Kanoa Igarashi Featured in the CNN's Local Hero. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired January 13, 2021 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR (on camera): Hello, and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. You are watching CNN Newsroom. And I'm Rosemary Church.
Just ahead, the stage is set for the U.S. House to impeach President Donald Trump once again, making history as even some Republicans revolt against him.
And new details with many more likely to come in the capitol attack, among the mob of extremists were people who were once swore to protect America.
Plus, the U.S. government is leaving it up to the states to ramp up their vaccination efforts as the country suffers its deadliest day of the pandemic.
Good to have you with us.
Well, a week after the U.S. Capitol was attacked, the House of Representatives is set to hold an historic vote to impeach President Donald Trump a second time. Democrats are leading the effort, but a growing number of senior Republicans are joining in, including the third ranking House Republican, Liz Cheney.
She says, quote, "The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the president."
Cheney's concerns were also voice by her fellow Republican John Katko. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN KATKO (R-NY): The president's role in this insurrection is a undeniable, both on social media ahead to January 6th, and in his speech that day. He deliberately promoted baseless theories creating a combustible environment of misinformation and division.
To allow the President of the United States to incite this attack without consequences is a direct threat to the future of this democracy. For this reason, I will vote to impeach this president tomorrow.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH (on camera): Still, most Republicans are expected to oppose the article of impeachment including Jim Jordan who sparred with Democrats for supporting the move.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): The cancel culture doesn't just go after conservatives and Republicans. It won't stop there. It will come for us all.
REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): The cancel culture of violent white supremacy is trying to cancel all of our lives last Wednesday.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH (on camera): The top Senate Republican has reportedly signaled that he is pleased with the impeachment effort. According to the New York Times, Mitch McConnell believes the move would make it easier to oust Mr. Trump from the party. A source says he's upset with the president for inciting last week's riot. But he still hasn't indicated if he would actually vote to convict Mr. Trump if impeached.
Meantime, the president is still refusing to take responsibility for the capitol attack. Instead, he issued this threat to the lawmakers trying to impeach him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Be careful what you wish for. The impeachment hoax is a continuation of the greatest and most vicious witch hunt in the history of our country and is causing tremendous anger and division and pain far greater than most people will ever understand, which is very dangerous for the USA, especially at this very tender time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH (on camera): Earlier, the House passed a resolution urging the vice president to oust Mr. Trump by invoking the 25th amendment, but Mike Pence has rejected that call, telling the House Speaker and I'm quoting here, "with just eight days left in the president's term, you and the Democratic caucus are demanding that the cabinet and I invoke the 25th amendment. I do not believe that such course of action is in the best interest of our nation or consistent with our Constitution."
So, let's talk now with Elie Honig, CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor. Always great to have you with us.
ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Thanks, Rosemary.
CHURCH: So, Donald Trump's legal team would argue at his impeachment trial that he did not incite this mob. That they attack the capitol on their own volition and all he did was make a speech. How difficult will it be to prove he incited this mob and led an insurrection against his own government?
HONIG: I don't think it will be difficult at all, Rosemary. I mean, first of all, the star witness in the case, if I am prosecuting this impeachment, so to speak, is Donald Trump himself. And all the evidence is things that he has done publicly, his tweets, his statements from behind the lectern, to the riled-up mob. And there is also just a very basic common-sense element to this, I would say
First of all, is there any way that mob goes into the capitol and ransacks the place and causes bloodshed and death if not for Donald Trump? If Trump had never called them down to D.C., had never made the speech that he made, is there any way that happens? I don't think so at all.
And to me, the number one most compelling piece of proof is look at Donald Trump's reaction after they went into the capitol, after he knew what they had done. What did he do? He praised them. He called them great patriots. He said remember this day. That shows you they did exactly what he hoped and intended. I don't know how they are going to defend that piece of evidence.
CHURCH: Yes, it will be interesting to watch. And of course, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is apparently telling associates he thinks President Trump did commit impeachable offenses. What does that signal to you about how Republicans will vote on this? And do you expect a conviction in the end?
Because we are talking about politics not law when it comes to impeachment, and that is a critical point here. So, you know, they need to get, the Democrats need to get enough Republicans on their side with this.
HONIG: That is a very big deal. The current majority leader, soon-to- be minority leader, but leader of the Republicans in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, seems to be on the fence at best. I mean, if Mitch McConnell comes out and says I am in favor of conviction, that is a game-changer.
I mean, if you do the math, there's going to be 50 Democrats in the Senate, 50 Republicans. The Democrats have the edge because they'll have the tie breaker, which will be Vice President Kamala Harris, very soon. So, if everybody votes, then the Democrats will need to get 17 Republicans. They are already getting significant numbers. I think were up to four
or five in the House of Republicans who were going to vote along with Democrats. If that trend sort of builds, and I expect it will build, and then carries over to the Senate trial, we actually could see a conviction. There's a realistic chance.
And one of things that I think is important to note is any member of Congress votes no on this impeachment at their own risk because prosecutors know a lot more than we know in the public. And we heard that today from the U.S. attorney. He gave us a little bit of a preview, he said that the evidence he has seen is shocking. I mean, we've seen plenty of shocking stuff, but it sounds like he has even more shocking stuff. So, if you vote no, you don't get to go back and take that back. You live with that vote.
CHURCH: Yes, it's an opportunity for Republicans to be on the right side of history, here. We'll see whether they take up that opportunity. And of course, President Trump is refusing to take responsibility for the attack and digging his heels in despite his advisers warning him of legal jeopardy unless he tones down his rhetoric. Could Trump be sued for his role in the siege as well as being impeached?
HONIG: Sure. Look, he can be impeached, I believe he can be prosecuted, I believe there is a significant case to prosecute him. He can be sued civilly for money. And I think it was good advice that he should scale it back, but he didn't react to it until it was way too little, way too late.
I mean, unfortunately for the presidents, you can't un-incite a riot. And, he didn't even do it right. If you look at his statement today, it's the usual sort of mixed messaging. On the one hand, he says we don't want violence, on the other hand, he says if they continue with this impeachment, it will be very dangerous for our country. So, I do not think that he really did any help to himself or to the country with his sort of retraction statements today.
CHURCH: Right, and just very quickly. CNN is reporting that a key organizer of the capitol protest claims he was getting help from three members of Congress, Paul Gosar, Mo Brooks, and Andy Biggs. How culpable are these Republicans? And the likes of Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, should and could they all be expelled?
HONIG: Well, yes. And I would divide culpability into two categories here. First of all, all of the people who espoused this absolute lie that there was election fraud. That the election was stolen are culpable. Because that lie is what's -- is what sits at the heart of what drove those rioters into the capitol. Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, many, many others.
On an even higher level of culpability though, if the facts are there, if it's proved out that members of Congress helped assisted, help plot with the rioters to come into the capitol. That is grounds for expulsion and grounds for criminal prosecution as well.
CHURCH: We'll watch to see what happens with all of this. Elie Honig, many thanks.
HONIG: Thank you.
CHURCH (on camera): And we are learning stunning new details about exactly what went on inside the U.S. Capitol including rioters engaging in open handed combat with police. The acting U.S. attorney for D.C. says people will be shocked when they hear the full story.
CNN's Shimon Prokupecz reports.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL SHERWIN, ACTING U.S. ATTORNEY, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: You will be charged, and you will be found.
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER (voice over): That's the message from federal investigators tonight for the insurrectionists who stormed the capitol January 6. Speaking publicly for the first time since the attack, FBI and DOJ officials announcing over 170 active investigations. And possible charges of sedition, conspiracy, and felony murders.
SHERWIN: Just the gamut of cases and criminal conduct that we're looking at is really mind-blowing.
PROKUPECZ: There is now a nationwide manhunt for those involved as federal officials conduct an investigation, they call unprecedented. But sparing no resources to deliver justice.
SHERWIN: We are looking at and treating this just like a significant international counterterrorism or counterintelligence operation. We're looking at everything. Money, travel records, looking at disposition movement, communication records.
STEVEN D'ANTUONO, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR IN CHARGE, FBI WASHINGTON FIELD OFFICE: The FBI has a long memory and a broad reach. So even if you've left D.C., agents from our local field offices will be knocking on your door.
PROKUPECZ: The FBI also responding to questions over an intelligence failure leading up to Wednesday's attack on the capitol. The Washington Post reporting a day before the January 6 insurrection, a Virginia FBI field office issued a dire warning extremist were going to Washington for violence and war.
Despite the warning, the FBI says it shared with its law enforcement partners no preparation were made by the capitol police.
D'ANTUONO: All that information was shared with our partners. And then we went from there.
PROKUPECZ: The investigation news comes as chilling new details emerge about what federal investigators fear are more plots to overthrow the government all across the country. REP. CONOR LAMB (D-PA): They are talking about 4,000 armed patriots
to surround the capitol and prevent any Democrat from going in and they have published rules of engagement, meaning when you shoot, and when you don't. So, this is, this is an organized group that has a plan.
PROKUPECZ: With the inauguration on track for next week the FBI is warning of threats of violence and mayhem on a massive scale. In a memo obtained by CNN, quote, "armed protests are being planned at all 50 state capitols and at the U.S. Capitol."
The bulletin warns of a potential uprising if the president is removed from office prior to January 20th, inauguration day. But even if Trump is allowed to finish his term the bulletin warns, quote, "an identified group planning to storm government offices in the District of Columbia and in every state regardless."
LAMB: We are in the midst of an ongoing series of crimes and an ongoing threat to the United States Capitol, to our institutions, to communities all around the United States.
PROKUPECZ: And inside the walls of the U.S. Capitol, the federal government has conducted readiness drills to ensure a smooth transfer of power. A public event Biden says he is not afraid of.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I'm not afraid of taking the oath outside.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PROKUPECZ (on camera): A top priority for investigators, FBI, and prosecutors is to figure out if anyone was helping fund this effort to take over the capital. The FBI and U.S. attorney say they are going to be reviewing financial records and other records to see if there was sort of a command and control structure.
They feel there are some indication that this was much more organized than they had initially thought, and now they are working to investigate and see if that was the case.
Shimon Prokupecz, CNN, Washington.
CHURCH (on camera): And we just heard Shimon mention readiness drills in Washington ahead of inauguration day. Now the U.S. National Guard is beefing up its security presence around the capitol. And the Pentagon has just authorized arming members of the National Guard who will be supporting capitol security.
This is notable as officials have historically avoided militarizing the capitol.
Well, the former deputy director of the FBI says that there remain significant questions following last week's riots. Andrew McCabe talk to CNN about the investigation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: When you get a piece of intelligence that has such monumental importance, you don't just hope that the right person will see it. You complete an effective hand to hand handoff. You confirmed that the right people have what they need to know.
I mean, this is exactly what we talked about in the aftermath of the Boston marathon bombing. Right? There was a lot of discussion in the FBI about how effectively are we really feeding even our JTTF partners, our closest partners with the things that they need to know.
So, I think there's still some significant questions around that one. And beyond that, I just felt like that the -- you know, what we heard from the acting U.S. attorney was almost more of an argument to convince us that the investigation is going well rather than telling us actually what's happening.
There were a bunch of references to I'm going to clear up misperceptions, and what the public should know is x. Well, the fact is that people are having misperceptions and don't know things because we haven't been told anything until this moment.
I think all Americans should be concerned. Right? We saw that orgy of violence on the capitol just six days ago. And so that's hanging and all of our minds. But I will say that the inauguration can be secure.
This is one of the times that the federal government brings the absolute most resources, best technology, highest degree of cooperation to the table to essentially create a bubble around the affected areas in D.C. and ensure that no one goes in who shouldn't be there and nothing bad happens.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH (on camera): And America's most senior military leaders have taken the unprecedented step of issuing a statement condemning the sedition and insurrection at the capitol. The joint chiefs of staff reminded service members of their obligation to support and defend the Constitution.
The statement reads in part, we witnessed actions inside the capitol building that were inconsistent with the rule of law. The rights of freedom of speech and assembly do not give anyone the right to resort to violence, sedition, and insurrection.
As service members, who must embody the values and ideals of the nation, we support and defend the Constitution. Any act to disrupt the constitutional process is not only against our traditions, values, and oath, it is against the law.
Well police officers fought back an angry mob during the siege on the U.S. Capitol, but now investigators are looking into whether some officers played a role in that attack. We will have the details coming up. And tough weeks ahead, that is the sober warning from one European
leader even as the continent's health officials work to get more vaccines approved. The latest on the COVID-19 fight, that's next.
CHURCH (on camera): Welcome back, everyone.
Well, Europe is struggling with COVID-19 even as vaccines promise hope for the future. The United Kingdom has just suffered its second deadliest day of the pandemic, reporting Tuesday 1,200 more people had died. And you can see deaths are spiking past last year's peak.
On the vaccine front, Switzerland is the latest country to approve the Moderna shot. Two COVID-19 vaccines have now satisfied the country's requirements. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was approved last month.
Well joining us now with the latest, Salma Abdelaziz in London and Melissa Bell in Paris. Good to see you both.
Salma, let's go to you first. Of course, the U.K. suffering its second deadliest day of the pandemic. What is the latest on that, and of course vaccination efforts?
SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN PRODUCER: Rosemary, it's an absolutely tragic consequence. And yet another consequence of this new variant of COVID- 19 that authorities here say could be up to 70 percent more transmissible. People are dying at such a rate that morgues are running out of space. Temporary morgues are being used in parts of the country because that is just how quickly people are losing their lives to this terrible virus.
There are contingency plans now being put into place because of course this isn't about the death toll, this is about the hospitalization rate. In the last seven days, 35 percent increase in the rate of hospitalization, a sustained tsunami, essentially, of COVID-19 patients hitting this country's health care system.
The health secretary, Matt Hancock was just on the air just before I came to speak to you, saying that contingency plans are being put into place, including the use potentially of hotels for step down patients, for patients who are being treated for coronavirus, once they are better that they could be seeing their recovery in a hotel.
I mean, that just tells you how desperate the situation is. And the health secretary was asked point blank have we hit the peak. And he said, you know what, that's up to everyone in the population. It's up to everyone following the rules, following the restrictions.
There is a very strict stay-at-home order here, Rosemary. And quite simply, the doctors, the nurses, the health care workers of this country who have suffered so much are ringing the alarm and saying listen, you have to stay at home. Otherwise, the health care system will simply break under the pressure of this COVID-19 wave. Rosemary? CHURCH: And what about their vaccination progress?
ABDELAZIZ: That is the key portion here. Because essentially, this country is trying to vaccinate its way out of the health crisis, inject its way out of the health crisis. You have the goal, the very ambitious goal of vaccinating 15 million people. This country's most vulnerable people by mid-February. That includes over 70s, people who live in nursing homes, or work in nursing homes, frontline health care workers. And of course, those who are clinically vulnerable.
So that group of people making up 15 million people all by mid- February. They've only started on this. They want to ramp up that number of vaccinations that you are getting per week to two million per week. That's why you see every effort going into this, Rosemary, the military, health care workers, some 80,000 people recruited to help make this happen. It is a huge national effort, but it is the only solution right now.
CHURCH: Absolutely. Salma, many thanks. Melissa, let's turn to you now. And talk about the numbers, the infection numbers, hospitalizations, deaths across Europe, and of course vaccinations, how they are progressing.
MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, first of all, the question of how bad things are on the continent, nothing like what we just heard from Salma, and yet a lot of fears here in continental Europe as well, Rosemary, about the spread of that new variant.
We know that the situation in Germany remains extremely tense. The southern part of the country, Bavaria, has just announced extra restrictions there to try and bring its soaring numbers back under control. We know that Germany is particularly worried about the spread of the new variant.
At a meeting yesterday of her party, Angela Merkel spoke of a difficult period for the next 8 to 10 weeks. And there are fears that the current partial lockdown that is planned to be in effect until the 31st of January may have to be extended.
We heard today in the German press from the vice chancellor explaining that it was very difficult to imagine that we would be able to relax - in the word that he used with the newspapers - beyond that. So, there are fears that that is what the government is now going to have to consider.
Elsewhere, what we've seen on Tuesday is a particularly difficult day. Spain reporting its worst infections in a single day since the pandemic began. Portugal, its highest number of COVID-19 related deaths. Here in France, nearly 20,000 new cases announced yesterday.
And we've been hearing just this morning, Rosemary, from the head of the scientific council that advises the French government on what it should do and where things are with the pandemic, warning especially about that fear of the spread of the new variant, and really urging the government to bring in fresh restrictions, because although he said the fresh -- the new variant could not be stopped, it could be slowed.
So that is a concern in a lot of European countries right now, that increased infectiousness, that increased contagion, just how difficult it will make things over the coming weeks.
As for vaccinations, a very different situation again than in the U.K. The campaign has started later here in continental Europe, and although the procurement to the vaccines was organized by Brussels, Rosemary, the rollout was dealt with on a national level. And so, you've seen huge variations.
More than 790,000 are vaccinate din Italy, for instance, 680,000 in Germany. In France, just over 190 -- 189,000 people. So big variations there and for the time being, that is not what's going to bring things back under control for now.
CHURCH: Yes. That is one of big challenges right now for so many countries getting those vaccinations done on mass.
Salma Abdelaziz and Melissa Bell, many thanks to both of you for bringing us up to date on the situation.
Well, Ontario, Canada's most populous province has issued a stay-at- home order after a surge in COVID-19 cases. And officials say there is a real threat the region -- the region's hospital system will collapse.
CNN's Paula Newton has more on the new restrictions coming into effect.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Two out of every five Canadians will now be under a stay-at-home order for at least four weeks. And that includes the city of Toronto and the nation's capital, where I am right now, Ottawa. And the reason is that public health authorities here say that the hospital system is under threat of collapse.
One in four hospitals, think about it, have already run out of ICU beds as the cases continue to rise. The issue is that look, a lot of the provinces is already been under shutdown since Christmas. In fact, the city of Toronto had been under pretty much shut down since the end of November. And still, the coronavirus continues to spread.
Authorities saying that they believe that private social gatherings in homes again to blame, as well as those outbreaks that continue to happen in nursing homes and where people work.
Now at issue as well are the vaccines here. The vaccine rollout has been quite slow, but add to that, the problem with getting enough doses in time. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today promised every Canadian who wants a vaccine will get one by September. That can't come soon enough for many people in this country as the second deadly wave of COVID continues to take hold, with really daily case counts as high as they have ever been here now since the beginning of the pandemic.
Paula Newton, CNN, Ottawa.
CHURCH: And still ahead here on CNN Newsroom, metal detectors installed outside the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. Democrats say it's for their own safety, but some Republicans are condemning the move.
And multiple rioters from the attack on the U.S. Capitol have been identified as former military or police officers. The danger those skills could pose to future gatherings, when we return.
CHURCH (on camera): U.S. lawmakers, and their staff will now have to walk through metal detectors before entering the floor of the House of Representatives. We're told capitol police installed the devices on Tuesday. The acting House sergeant-at-arms said in a memo that the move was to ensure everyone complies with rules banning guns and other potential weapons from the chamber.
This comes after Democrats told CNN that they were worried some Republicans were ignoring the regulations.
Well, in the coming hours, House lawmakers are expected to hold an historic second impeachment vote against President Donald Trump. No other sitting U.S. president has been impeached twice.
And after last week's riot at the Capitol, some Republicans are finally breaking with the president. CNN's Ryan Nobles has the latest developments from Washington.
RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGON CORRESPONDENT (on camera): The United States House of Representatives one step closer to impeaching President Donald Trump for the second time in his presidency, the first time it has ever happened in the United States.
The House voting on Tuesday to ask Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th amendment with a threat that if he did not go through with it that they were prepared to move ahead with impeachment. Pence already letting Speaker Nancy Pelosi know that he is not going to do that. So tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. Wednesday morning, the House will move forward with those articles of impeachment.
It's going to be a little bit different than it was the last time around. It should go much quicker. There are fewer articles of impeachment to go through and the other big difference, is that there will be Republicans that vote in favor of impeachment this time.
There will be many it's not going to be the majority of the Republican caucus, but there will be some notable names including Liz Cheney, who is the third ranking Republican in the House of Representatives. She has said that she will vote for impeachment.
And then of course the next question is, what happens in the United States Senate? Mitch McConnell signaling that there may be some opportunity for his conference to pick up these articles of impeachment and eventually convict President Trump. It's not clear how that whole process is going to work, but we're told that McConnell has been in contact with President-Elect Joe Biden.
If that were to happen, there is the potential and opportunity for President Trump to be convicted on these articles of impeachment after he already leaves office. Still a lot of unknowns though in that process between when it gets through the House and before it gets to the Senate, that process all beginning Wednesday morning here on Capitol Hill.
Ryan Nobles, CNN, Capitol Hill.
CHURCH (on camera): Joining me now is a Tara Setmayer, a CNN political commentator and former Republican communications director on Capitol Hill. Good to have you with us.
TARA SETMAYER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR (on camera): Thank you for having me.
CHURCH: So, President Trump doesn't think his responsible for the attack on the Capitol last week, but that's not how Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sees it. He apparently thinks the president committed impeachable offenses, and believes this will help rid the GOP of Trump. What might all this signal politically? And is this a turning point for the party and for Trump himself?
SETMAYER: You know, it has been an extraordinary turn of events in so many ways. And the fact that Mitch McConnell, who has been one of Donald Trump's chief enablers throughout his entire presidency, may ultimately be the one who cast the final ballot to prevent Donald Trump from ever running for office ever again is just remarkable.
Mitch McConnell is quite upset with Donald Trump, because despite the fact that he did his bidding for so long and he used Trump in order to get judges and put forth his agenda, Donald Trump cost him the Senate. He cost him his title as Senate majority leader, which is the most powerful position for Republicans in Washington.
And you know, political actors don't respond or course correct until they lose power, and that's what we are seeing happening with Mitch McConnell. It's clear that someone like Mitch McConnell, who is an institutionalist, could not bear the insurrection at the Capitol last week. And he is looking at his legacy. He is 79 years old and this is probably his last term in the Senate.
And does he want his legacy attached to what happened with Donald Trump? Or will he go out finally standing up to him and move forward with the impeachment hearings and conviction in the Senate? I will believe it when I see, but the fact that he is even open to it is remarkable.
CHURCH: Yes. And the fact that he has put those views out there, however he did it, a few House Republicans now say that they will vote to impeach the president, including Liz Cheney, who says what he did was a betrayal, given Trump's role in last week's attack on the Capitol. How surprised are you that more Republicans are not outraged by his actions? And why aren't they appalled? What will it take?
SETMAYER: You know, when I made the decision to leave the Republican Party after the election this year, it was because I felt the party had been such a profile and cowardice. And that they were irredeemable, because Donald Trump was not repudiated.
Trumpism has been a malignancy on this country for the last four years. And against the anathema of everything that Donald Trump has represented to what Republicans claimed they stood for has just been glaring.
And the fact that now, after a violent insurrection, where people died, a law enforcement officer was killed, murdered. That still, 140 Republicans went forward with protesting the election results, this continuing to support this big lie propagated by Donald Trump, which led to this whipping up of this frenzied mob and this violent insurrection at the Capitol is just hard to fathom.
Now, all of the sudden a few have found religion and decided to stand up and do the right thing, including Liz Cheney. They had opportunities in the past to do it, but when it impacted them in their own House, now they have a problem with it.
I guess it's better late than never, but the fact that we are talking about that we were thrilled that four or five or maybe 10 out of the 120 plus are now coming forward and standing up for America?
It's shameful. I mean, they really have a choice. It's America or Trump, that's the bottom line. Do they stick to the oath of office that they took to uphold the constitution? Or do they continue to go down this rabbit hole of conspiracy theories and insurrection with Donald Trump? It should be an easy choice.
CHURCH: And I think most Americans find it abhorrent watching what is happening with the Republican Party. We don't know how many Republicans in the end will of course cross and vote with the Democrats with this in the House. But what happens to the Republican Party if they don't? I mean, will a lot of Republicans, the moderates, look and say I am over with this Party. I cannot stick by them?
SETMAYER: You know, that remains to be seen. There are a lot of discussions about what this looks like after January 20th when Trump is no longer in power. There is a lot of soul searching that needs to happen. If the Republican Party does not fully repudiate Donald Trump, this impeachment process should not even be a partisan issue. This is an America issue. It's clear that he violated his oath of office. And Republicans have
to decide what they stand for. The Party doesn't even have a platform. So, if they don't take a stand, and this is the exit ramp for them, right?
This is the off-ramps. If insurrection is not a bridge too far, I don't know what is. And the Republican Party will end up going the way of the wigs or the know nothing party into the ash sheep of history has a failed party, because they didn't stand up for the right thing. It's up to them.
CHURCH: We will find out in just a few hours. Tara Setmayer, many thanks.
SETMAYER: Thank you for having me.
CHURCH (on camera): Well, the U.S. Justice Department is looking into at least 170 cases from the Capitol insurrection last week. Among those being investigated, current and former police officers, and members of the U.S. Military. CNN's Alex Marquardt reports.
ALEXANDER MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The violent insurrection at the Capitol has put law enforcement and the military in the spotlight. Their failures, their victims, and potentially their participation, while some officers were violently beaten by the mob, crushed, even killed, others moved aside, as the attackers tried to break through a door.
One Capitol Hill officer in a selfie with a rioter. According to Congressman Tim Ryan, that officer and a different one, who appeared to direct some in the mob, have been suspended? A Congressional aide tells CNN at least 17 others are under investigation. But this video posted on the day of the insurrection highlights the difficulty of figuring out what, exactly, happened.
A Capitol police officer is seen in a red Make America Great Again hat. It's unclear whether he is showing his allegiance or trying to avoid becoming a target for the mob. He asks for help getting fellow officers out of the building.
UNKNOWN: That you guys could help me (inaudible)?
MARQUARDT: Then, the man who he is speaking to agrees, and appears to flash badge.
UNKNOWN: I can help. I can help.
MARQUARDT: Also unclear whether that man, possibly a police officer, is a protester or undercover. Moments later, the two men helped this line of riot police leave the Capitol building. Officers around the country are also being investigated.
ADRIAN DIAZ, SEATTLE, WASHINGTON INTERIM POLICE CHIRF: If any SPD employee participated directly in assaulting the U.S. Capitol, I will terminate them.
MARQUARDT: So far, the activities of at least 14 police officers, from Seattle to New York, are being looked into for possible roles in the insurrection. CNN has just learned that seven of them are transit police officers from Philadelphia.
MAYOR JIM KENNEY (D-PA): That is certainly a person's right to participate in a first amendment activity, but it is not a right to attack the Capitol. So we will see what the investigation brings forth.
MARQUARDT: What experts have seen has them worried there may be larger numbers of well trained, current or former law enforcement and military in the crowds.
JOHN SCOTT-RAILTON, SENIOR RESEARCHER, THE CITIZEN LAB: What we are seeing again and again is men, and some women, with a military bearing who are wearing the right gear, carrying it right, in the right ways. And this really concerns me.
MARQUARDT: The rioter who was shot and killed as she tried to climb through the broken pane of a door, Ashley Babbitt, was an Air Force veteran.
Larry Brock, who is seen here is a retired lieutenant colonel in the Air Force reserves. He has now been charged. Before his arrest, he told the New Yorker magazine, he assumed he was allowed into the building. There are reports of others with military training.
REP. RUBEN GALLEGO, (D-AZ): One civilian, the judicial system has done, the military system should be involved.
MARQUARDT (on camera): We asked the U.S. Capitol police about that officer in the red Make America Great Again cap. They did not respond about him specifically, but they did gave CNN a statement in which they said that they are actively reviewing videos and other materials of officers and officials who may be in violation of their department's policy.
They said that disciplinary action could include termination, and they note that several and CNN has reported two officers have been suspended. So far, we know of no law enforcement here in D.C. or across the country that has yet to be charged or arrested. Alex Marquardt, CNN, Washington.
CHURCH (on camera): YouTube has suspended President Trump's channel for at least one week after removing a video the company said incited violence. It is the latest social media platform to suspend Mr. Trump's account in some way. YouTube says it will revisit the decision after the week is over.
And joining us now from Dubai is John Defterios. Good to see you, John. So big tech companies continue to apply pressure on the president, giving him fewer options to get his message out. What is the latest on this?
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR (on camera): Well, we have moves from both technology and finance coming fast and furious against the president. As you suggested, YouTube overnight from California saying that they -- postings incite hate and violence and why they took the action, which is going to last right through the inauguration. I'm sure not by accident.
And Rosemary, this means within the last five days, we've had all five major tech companies that have a social media platforms take action against the outgoing president, Donald Trump. He had a trip outside the White House yesterday and responded with some fury of his own. Let's take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think that big tech is doing a horrible thing for our country and to our country and I believe it's going to be a catastrophic mistake for them. They are dividing, and divisive, and they are showing something that I have been predicting for a long time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DEFTERIOS (on camera): Many would say, Rosemary, over the last four years, its Donald Trump's policies that have divided the nation and there's also criticism for Silicon Valley. Why did you wait so long to take these measures, perhaps because they've been spoiled by the traffic driven by Donald Trump and those right-wing supporters? So, there is blame on both sides, if you will.
CHURCH: Yes. Good point. And John, banks are vowing not to do business with Donald Trump as a result of his role in the siege on the U.S. Capitol. What impact might this unprecedented move have on his financial future?
DEFTERIOS: I cannot say anything but a very big impact, Rosemary. The lifelines are being cut out here for Trump personally and the Trump organization.
Let's cover the biggest lender from Germany, which has had a blind spot here, lending to the Trump Organization for years exposure of $2.5 billion overall, more than $300 million due by 2024, so over the next three years. They've had senior executives resigned because of the lending, that was kind of a pushed back over the last 10 days. That took a long time to take place.
And then the private lender to the president's small bank in New York taking a very big move itself, saying it's closing down the personal accounts of President Trump and then even said, you should resign as a result. They didn't want to do this, obviously, if he was going to get reelected. Now the floodgates have opened against the president from Silicon Valley to Wall Street.
CHURCH: All right. John Defterios, many thanks, joining us live from Dubai.
And we are tracking new developments out of Iran. That country's president is calling out Donald Trump and his legacy. Hassan Rouhani says the damages the American president inflicted on the U.S. will not be remedied soon, and that restoring the world trust in America will take time.
The comments are part of the latest tit-for-tat between Iran and the Trump administration. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday al-Qaeda had a new home base in Iran. He did not provide any hard evidence.
Well, more Americans than ever before are dying from COVID-19, while the U.S. shatters another daily record. The government is updating its vaccine distribution plan. We will have more on that, next.
CHURCH (on camera): Welcome back to CNN Newsroom. I'm Rosemary Church, live from Atlanta. Well, here in the United States, staggering numbers as the country marks its deadliest day of the pandemic. 4,327 Americans lost their lives to COVID on Tuesday.
The nation is averaging well over 3,000 deaths a day. That is according to Johns Hopkins University. And as these numbers soar, states are desperately trying to ramp up vaccination efforts.
CNN's Nick Watt reports on how the U.S. government is changing its distribution strategy.
NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): After four weeks of faltering vaccine rollout, a new phase.
ALEX AZAR, U.S. SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: The next phase has several components. First, we are expanding the groups getting vaccinated.
WATT: Everyone 65 and over can get one, and anyone under 65 with a comorbidity. Next.
AZAR: We are releasing the entire supply we have.
WATT: No more holding back second doses. Team Biden also planned to release them. Next up, were vaccines will now be given.
AZAR: States should move on to pharmacies, community health centers, and mass vaccination sites.
WATT: Plans already in place for city field in New York, Dodger Stadium in L.A. Also time today for Buck passing and Trumpian praise for the federal distribution effort. AZAR: Which has now successfully delivered to over 14,000 locations,
essentially without a hitch. State restrictions on eligibility have obstructed speed and accessibility of administration.
WATT: The latest data, more than 27 million distributed, just over 9 million actually administered. The president has not uttered a word in public about COVID since December 8th. The domestic terrorist to storm the Capitol are almost certainly spreading this virus and the mobilization of the National Guard to stifle them.
REP. TIM RYAN (D-OH): This is also probably going to take away from some of the vaccine distribution issues in some of the states with the National Guard was involved.
WATT (on camera): Here in L.A. County, some pretty startling advice. If you are an essential worker, you have to go out to work, and you live with vulnerable people, you are now being told that you should really be wearing a mask, even inside your own house.
Nick Watt, CNN, Los Angeles.
CHURCH (on camera): Well, CNN medical analyst Dr. Esther Choo is with us now from Portland, Oregon. Thank you Doctor for being with us and for all that you do.
ESTHER CHOO, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR AT OREGON HEALTH AND SCIENCE UNIVERSITY: Good to be with you, Rosemary.
CHURCH: So, this country is in a very dark place right now, hitting a record number of COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday. But now the federal government has changed policy on vaccines, calling on states to vaccinate adults 65 and older, and committing to the release of all vaccine doses previously on hold. Is that exactly what needs to be done here to turn the corner?
CHOO: There is a lot of divided opinion around that, because of course, the vaccines were designed to be a two dose regimen. Nothing has changed about that. That is still the plan. But the initial rollout was of course to hold back that second dose and make sure that people were able to do it.
I think deciding to distribute the vaccine widely to a larger swath of the population makes sense though for a couple of reasons. First of all, production is ramping up very quickly. Today, Pfizer announced a more ambitious production goal of two billion, from 1.2 billion. Moderna has bumped up to 600 million, possibly as high as 1 billion and we will get another 100 million doses of Moderna by the end of March.
And so, it looks like we can ramp up production in parallel with this new plan, and also the issue really has not been how much are we holding back and how much are we giving out. The distribution has been slow. So there is a lot simply sitting there.
So, whether we are doing one dose for more people are two doses for a smaller number of people, we are not doing this very rapidly. So there is so much room to expand the population, but really focus on simply getting it out.
And that of course in some ways, is a state issue, but it's because they have been so under resourced and so not supported centrally for this process. And it's a tremendously expensive and time consuming process to distribute vaccine of course.
CHURCH: It did some of it rich of U.S. health secretary Alex Azar to be blaming the states, as you point out? They didn't get a lot of support from the feds, did they?
CHOO: Rich was exactly what I was thinking as I listened to that quote. I mean, to leave states dangling, with very little guidance, very little additional resources to do a massive effort for vaccine, when they have been doing a massive effort for testing, contact tracing, all the things that they have needed to do for pandemic control, is simply rich.
And you know, states right now are doing the best they can. Over the weekend, I spent an eight-hour shift doing vaccine distribution in my hometown. It really takes a lot of people volunteering on top of their regular jobs in order to do this.
And of course, it's very hard to ask health care workers to do this in this time, but that's the kind of thing we are relying on because we don't have the dollars to mobilize the workforce around this.
CHURCH: And Alex Azar also instructed states to set up mass vaccinations. We know at this point that the National Guard is administering COVID-19 vaccines in 12 states. Should that be happening in all states? And how do you make that happen? Do it on mass like that.
CHOO: Yes, I mean, I think that is the kind of effort that we need, and lots of creative solutions, mobilizing, kind of emergency workforces in order to do this. It doesn't take a lot of expertise.
I also think that you know, we have a huge unemployment problem and we have a huge need for a new workforce to administer vaccines. Perhaps those issues could be paired so that we can solve two problems at once. But again, that requires a lot of central coordination and an influx of emergency funds.
CHURCH: And two new polls are showing that there are an increasing number of Americans who now say that they are willing to get a COVID- 19 vaccine. Does that give you some hope that sufficient number of people will get vaccinated and therefore create the herd immunity that this country needs?
CHOO: It's very reassuring to see those numbers. There was a dip in confidence and willingness to take vaccine in September, and now it seems like reliably across the polls, the overall percentage of willingness is 60 percent or even higher.
Of course, the caveat is there is a lot of variability in some populations. We still see because of historical and ongoing racism in the health care field. There is a lot of mistrust among Black Americans.
So, that is something we really need to address with good information. And by minimizing any access to vaccines. But overall, numbers are going up. And I think another reassuring statistic is that among those who don't plan to get vaccines right now, about half of them say that they are watching. And if they see evidence of safety in the first rollout, they would be willing to get it at a later date. So that is a little silver lining to the slow rollout of vaccine.
CHURCH: Right. Indeed. Dr. Esther Choo, always a pleasure to chat with you, and thank you again for all you do.
CHOO: My pleasure.
CHURCH: And this just in, Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny says he is heading home.
He says he will return to Russia on Sunday. He was taken to Germany last August after being poisoned with a nerve agent. The Putin critic has tweeted there was never a question about him going back. He even invited people to meet him upon his return, something the Kremlin probably won't be happy about. And we will of course continue to follow this story here on CNN. And we will be right back.
CHURCH (on camera): Welcome back everyone. Well, all this week, CNN is bringing you stories of sporting excellence ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. Coy Wire has this look at an athlete representing Japan and a brand-new Olympic sport, surfing.
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR (voice over): He describes his relationship to the ocean as spiritual. For 23-year-old surfing hot shot, Kanoa Igarashi, the sea has always been a fixture in his life, both a friend and a teacher.
Winning his first surf contest at 6 years old, what is appetite for competition? But now that he's a professional surfer, competing on the international level since 2012, Igarashi says there's still barriers to entry for athletes like him.
KANOA IGARASHI, SURFING HOT SHOT: For me, as a surfer growing up, (inaudible) in the world championship tour, there was no Asian surfers. That's also another motivation for me now is that, hey, I want to be that guy. That younger Japanese surfers can look at or Asian surfers and say he can do it. Like, OK I can do it too. WIRE: For Igarashi, the burden of representation extends beyond
matters of identity. There is also the pressure to perform well in the upcoming Olympic Games, when he will be surfing for Japan.
UNKNOWN: Here we go. Kanoa Igarashi, representing Japan.
IGARASHI: This moment coming up in the Olympics is -- you know, sometimes I have a hard time putting it together into words with us spending the whole day talking about it.
WIRE: As for the next major athletic moment of his life, the Olympics, Igarashi is spending four hours a day, seven days a week training in the water.
IGARASHI: The ocean decides who is going to win and who is going to catch the waves. And it's just kind of letting go feeling. And you accept the feeling of, hey, I know that the ocean is much stronger than us. Surfing is a bit of an art form. It's like painting on a canvas that Mother Nature gives you.
WIRE: Coy Wire, CNN.
CHURCH (on camera): Wow. So impressive there. And you can see more of that story and others this Saturday on the local hero program, right here on CNN. Thank you so much for joining us. I am Rosemary Church and I will be back with more news in just a moment. You are watching CNN, stick around.