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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Oath Keepers Leader And 10 Others Charged With Seditious Conspiracy Related To Capitol Attack; Interview With Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD); Supreme Court Blocks Biden Admin. Vaccine Rule For Large Businesses; Allows Mandate For Some Health Care Worker; Senators Manchin And Sinema Meet With Pres. Biden To Discuss Voting Rights; Prince Andrew Stripped Of Military Titles And Charities Amid Sex Abuse Lawsuit. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired January 13, 2022 - 20:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: All right, Amber, thank you so much. I really appreciate it.


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AC 360 starts now.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, ANDERSON COOPER 360: Good evening. In so many ways today, the stakes for democracy only grew higher and perhaps so to do the cost of defending it, because now for the first time in its criminal investigation, the Justice Department has brought charges of seditious conspiracy in connection with the January 6th attack on the Capitol.

Conspiring, in the words of the law to quote, "Overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the government of the United States." Short of treason, the stakes can't get any higher. Eleven members of the right- wing group, the extremist group, the so-called Oath Keepers have been charged including their leader, Stewart Rhodes, the highest profile individual charged so far in connection with January 6.

The so-called Oath Keepers are the ones we saw in tactical gear and combat formations that day. You can see them there.

The indictment says that Rhodes and the others engaged in a conspiracy to quote, "Oppose the lawful transfer of presidential power by force by preventing, hindering, or delaying by force execution of laws governing the transfer of power."

Now according to the prosecutors, the so-called Oath Keepers stationed themselves around the D.C. area, some near the Capitol with a group waiting in a nearby Virginia hotel with a cache of weapons. They also say the plotting did not end with the attacks and that Rhodes and others met later to celebrate the day and quote, "discuss next steps."

This was by any stretch a big deal, which as, we will discuss with our legal team in a moment could get much bigger. Attorney General Garland may have telegraphed it last week with this.


MERRICK GARLAND, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: The actions we have taken thus far will not be our last. The Justice Department remains committed to holding all January 6 perpetrators, at any level, accountable under law, whether they were present that day or were otherwise criminally responsible for the assault on our democracy.


COOPER: Well, the stakes rose as well in the House Select Committee's investigation. The Committee issuing subpoenas to social media companies saying they provided quote, "inadequate responses to requests for documents and other information over the summer." And of course, there is House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy last night, just after we left you, he said, no to a Committee request to talk to the panel, which now sets the stage and just think about it, for a newly established House Committee to subpoena a member of the House leadership with the possibility of seeking contempt charges against him for not following the very rules of the body that he helps lead.

It's upside down.

In his answer to the Committee he accused it of quote, "not conducting a legitimate investigation," which is pretty rich coming from a guy who once said this.


MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Would you be willing to testify about your conversation with Donald Trump on January 6 if you were asked by an outside Commission?

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): Sure. Next question?


COOPER: Okay, so by "sure" he really meant sure until they actually ask me. Here is how he tried to explain away saying one thing then doing another.


RAJU: You battled the creation of an outside commission from the start, you also opposed the Select Committee.

MCCARTHY: That's not true.

RAJU: Well, you also said --

MCCARTHY: Go ahead and ask me a question and I'll verify it. RAJU: Okay, I would. I appreciate that. But you said sure, you'd be willing to testify about your conversations with Donald Trump.

MCCARTHY: What was the date of that?

RAJU: That was in May of last year.


RAJU: And you're now saying you won't agree to voluntarily cooperate. So why should the public now conclude that you're trying to hide something here and hide the facts from getting out?

MCCARTHY: Great question. I hope everything gets corrected at CNN.

RAJU: Well, can you answer?

MCCARTHY: With all of your employees.

After January 6th, you can state it, who was the first person to offer a bipartisan commission to look at that day? Was it me? I'll help you. The answer is yes.

You asked me that question in May. That was two months before Nancy Pelosi decided for the first time in history by any Speaker to deny the minority to even put their individuals on a Committee.

So when you asked me that question, never did I think a Speaker would play such politics.


COOPER: Really? Which doesn't exactly answer the question why he won't simply talk to the Committee, but one does wonder if these new sedition charges may alter his thinking? Likely, the answer is no, and which is pretty depressing, but beyond the state of his conscience, far beyond it for the purposes of the investigation and for justice is this simple notion -- here is a guy who was speaking to the former President as the attack was happening.

And in the preceding days, was in touch -- extensive touch with him and his allies as they worked to use Republican lawmakers including himself to overturn the election.


So he has got a lot to tell the Committee potentially and to the extent he refuses to, he could be accused of being part of the cover up.

The second highest ranking member of the House leadership, a man who to this day is part of the group that is privy to the deepest Intelligence matters, a man who is also, one of 147 Republican lawmakers to vote to overturn election results.

And on that note, there is more as well tonight in those Trump allies in seven states who submitted phony electoral vote certificates signed by bogus electors to the National Archives, falsely declaring that he won there.

So as patently absurd as that sounds, remember, this was part of the Team Trump's legal game plan, having Vice President Pence declare a slate of electors invalid, recognize competing slates or simply kicking it all to the Supreme Court where the former President thought he'd prevail, which may explain why in January 6, the former Vice President added very specific language never used or needed before that day to the standard invocation as he read the results state by state. Listen.


MIKE PENCE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: After ascertaining that certificates are regular in form and authentic, the tellers will announce the votes cast by the electors for each state beginning with Alabama, which the parliamentarians advise me as the only certificate of vote from that state, and purports to be a return from the state that is annexed to it, a certificate from an authority of that state purporting to appoint or ascertain electors.


COOPER: Now credit to a political legal affairs reporter for noticing it just hours after the fact, the part about the parliamentarian advising him that about which certificates were or were not legitimate, that was new and novel, and appears to be how he procedurally avoided having to introduce rival slates of electors.

Now, speaking of which, a reporter for a Phoenix local affiliate managed to talk with one of them, Arizona State Representative Jake Hoffman, then he walked away and a second reporter confronted him. Watch.


QUESTION: Why in 2020 did you cast -- did you sign a phony declaration asking Arizona electors to cast their votes for -- the presidential vote for Donald Trump?

REP. JAKE HOFFMAN (R-AZ): When Bram wants to ask a real question, happy to have a conversation with him.


QUESTION: I'm asking you that question. I wonder on what authority did you find yourself as an electorate?

HOFFMAN: So in unprecedented times, unprecedented action has occurred. There is no case law. There is no precedent that exists as to whether or not an election that is currently being litigated in the Courts has due standing, which is why we felt it appropriate to provide Congress and the Vice President with dueling opinions.

QUESTION: Did you have direction from anybody in doing this? Was it you allowing yourself doing this? Or did someone give you advice on the manner in which you can do?

HOFFMAN: So I'm simply -- I was one of the electors.


HOFFMAN: I'm not in charge of the electors, so you would need --

QUESTION: How did you hear about it? How did you hear about it?

HOFFMAN: You would need to ask the Party Chair of that.

QUESTION: How did you hear about the plan? Just to hold the --

HOFFMAN: That you would need to ask the Party Chair that question.

QUESTION: Yes, but you're the -- you're the person who received the call. You showed up, right? How did you know to show up that day?

HOFFMAN: So as I said, you can go ahead and ask the Party Chair the logistics of it.

QUESTION: Ask him how you got a phone call to go somewhere.

HOFFMAN: You're welcome to talk to them about the logistics.

QUESTION: Did you not know how you arrived at the place?

HOFFMAN: Thank you. I appreciate your question.

QUESTION: Do you really not know how you got a call?

HOFFMAN: Thank you so much. Have a great one.


COOPER: Wow. That is an elected official, a public servant. Whether or not he is legally liable, he certainly seemed to look concerned, he is part of a fraud, which is worse than criminal. It's a fraud on voters, a sneak attack on democracy, which in turn is part of a larger scheme and a bigger lie, which now includes alleged sedition, and is now being stonewalled by one of the most powerful lawmakers in the land.

Rising stakes indeed.

With more on the charges today, we're joined by CNN's Jessica Schneider in Washington. So, let's talk about this indictment and why the Justice Department chose this very specific and serious charge of seditious conspiracy.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, serious, indeed, Anderson. It carries 20 years max in prison, but what is clear from what we're seeing in this very robust indictment is the Justice Department has been working methodically for this past year, even getting some members of the Oath Keepers to cooperate, and we are seeing that because we're seeing these encrypted messages. And all of it paints this full and really frightening picture of the violence that these 11 defendants were allegedly plotting, and what is striking is it didn't just involve January 6th. This plot extended according to the D.O.J. through the Inauguration.

So the planning here allegedly started as far back as November via these encrypted messaging apps like Signal. One of these members is even accused of taking a reconnaissance trip here to Washington before January 6th. They also are accused of stockpiling weapons.


The D.O.J. says they formed what they called Quick Reaction Force Teams in three separate states, and then leading up to January 6th, they stashed their weapons in a hotel in Virginia according to D.O.J.

So this indictment spelling it out in many, many pages at one part saying: "The QRF team, (this is the Quick Rapid Force Teams) were prepared to rapidly transport firearms and other weapons into Washington, D.C. in support port of operations aimed at using force to stop the lawful transfer of presidential power."

And the extent of that violence, it didn't transpire as we know, but that night, Anderson, D.O.J. says Stewart Rhodes and others met at a restaurant in Virginia to plot out their next steps. In fact, Rhodes allegedly bought close to $18,000.00 worth of firearms and gear and then told his followers to organize local militias to oppose the Biden administration after the Inauguration.

He wrote this in a Signal message, Anderson. He said: "After this, if nothing happens, it's War, Civil War 2.0." That on January 20th.

So the D.O.J. in this indictment carefully detailing what was a wide and long ranging plot to violently overthrow the government, leading to these very serious sedition conspiracy charges, Anderson for the first time the D.O.J. laying this out.

COOPER: Yes, so what's next for the defendants?

SCHNEIDER: So there are 11 defendants now charged with seditious conspiracy. Some of them are actually already facing charges, but they'll now be upgraded.

However, the Oath Keeper founder, Stewart Rhodes, he was arrested today at his Texas house, around one o'clock. F.B.I. agents out of Dallas arrested him. He is scheduled to appear in Federal Court tomorrow afternoon, but really, the big question tonight is Stewart Rhodes the biggest fish the D.O.J. will get or does he potentially have information about other people may be involved in this plot? And could there be more charges down the road for people even higher up?

That's the big question, and who knows if Stewart Rhodes might cooperate -- Anderson.

COOPER: Jessica Schneider, thanks very much. Appreciate it.

Now, CNN's Sara Sidner.

Sara, you've reported extensively on these so-called Oath Keepers, including Mr. Rhodes. Tell us about him.

SARA SIDNER, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Look, he was certainly unapologetic after what happened on January 6th. Then we went looking at some video and found that he was actually there, he was standing there. You can see him in pictures and video with other members of the Oath Keepers.

And then you see these pictures of a group of Oath Keepers, nine or 10 of them all together in a row in a stack, very much how the military might operate. They're in military garb, many of them, and we see them go in and breach the Capitol.

Some of the members of the Oath Keepers, there are three of them, they were the first people to be charged with conspiracy for the January 6th insurrection. Stewart Rhodes though, was never seen going into the Capitol. But about 24 days after the insurrection happened, we heard from him and we heard exactly what he thought about what was going on with this new administration, the Joe Biden administration, and he was encouraging people to basically carry arms and try a revolution against this particular administration.

I want to let you hear from him just a couple of weeks after the insurrection happened. He was on a right-wing forum online.


STEWART RHODES, FOUNDER, OATH KEEPERS: We've got to declare this regime to be illegitimate. We've got to declare everything comes out of King Biden's mouth as illegitimate and null and void from inception, because he is not a legitimate President.

They have plans for us that they know we will rebel against, and they are afraid because there are 365 million of us. We outnumber them vastly.

And we're armed, we are well-armed. So there they have a problem, and so they're afraid.


SIDNER: He's talking about being well-armed. He is talking about the big lie. He is pushing that. He is encouraging people to stand up against it.

And so that is the mentality in his own words that you're hearing. Now, you're seeing some of the conversations and just as Jessica Schneider had pointed out in this indictment, there were conversations going on that makes it seem very much like there was a plan and that the Oath Keepers were part of the plan to storm the Capitol and use violence -- Anderson.

COOPER: Sara, stay with us. I want to bring in CNN national security analyst and former Assistant Secretary for Homeland Security, Juliette Kayyem; also seen in chief legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin.

Jeff, how significant are these indictments? Again, the Justice Department is pretty clear in what it is alleging that these people had a variety of weapons, tactical combat gear.

They also allegedly had a so-called Quick Reaction Force. I'm not sure how quick these folks actually are. But what's your reaction to all this?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Well, my reaction is the Justice Department is far from finished here and what happens when you indict a large group of people with very serious crimes in Federal Court is you put tremendous pressure on them to flip.


Now, it is already true, as Jessica, I believe, noted that several members of the Oath Keepers have flipped already.

COOPER: But wait a minute, they are Oath Keepers? How can they flip?

TOOBIN: Because they are trying to save their own skin, just like members of the mafia, take an oath, and the oath goes out the window when they are in trouble.

COOPER: Sort of Oath Keepers.

TOOBIN: That's right, sort of Oath Keepers. And you know, what you see, I mean, one paragraph in the indictment that really jumped out at me was Paragraph 70. This is one of these text messages -- one of these Signal messages from Rhodes, to his leadership group, and he says, "There are many, many others from other groups who will be watching and waiting on the outside in case of worst case scenarios."

That just shows that the Justice Department is interested in identifying everyone involved here. Who are these other groups? Did they really exist? And of course, the big question is, was there leadership from an even higher authority? Anyone associated with the President? Were they aware of, involved with, supportive of this conspiracy? Or were the Oath Keepers just sort of a silo on their own?

The pressure for these people to cooperate has just gone up a lot because of the magnitude of these charges.

COOPER: Juliette, how do you see these indictments?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, legally, I mean, just to completely agree with Jeff and that paragraph that he cites suggests that they were all waiting for some trigger to move in with their weapons. You know, remember, as Sara said, this is a frightening indictment.

There are lots of weapons around the Capitol, ready to be moved in. That trigger never happened. So we don't know why they're not moving forward. But the overall legal indictment, I also, as I have been for a year with you view it through the lens of counterterrorism. For me, I read this, and it's a sort of a good news story in the sense that organizations that would use violence, to undermine our democracy, terrorists, they are domestic terrorists, and their leader or the person they view as their leader, Donald Trump, are now not just disbanded, they can't grow and that is one of the most important factors in undermining or abolishing a terror movement, is you make sure that they can't recruit or raise money.

And the background of this indictment is, of course, how the heck are they raising this much money? So that is going to be another part of this legal piece. But if they can't raise money, they can't organize. They are turning against each other.

They are a very unappealing movement, not just this group, the Oath Keepers, but the movement overall, that will utilize violence to support Donald Trump.

Now, we can debate what words you want to use and people feel uncomfortable using the word "terrorist." Donald Trump is leading a domestic terrorism movement to promote violence to undermine our vote. And until we start calling it that, we will not be able to minimize the radicalization that he brought forth over the last couple of years.

COOPER: Sara, we know from your past reporting, that these so-called Oath Keepers were at President Trump's Inauguration in 2016, and they expressed solidarity, obviously, with his nationalistic views. They are certainly aligned with the big lie, as we just heard from, you know, the leader there.

Is it clear to you what sort of access leaders of this group like Stewart Rhodes actually had to the White House or, you know, the mishmash of the President's allies?

SIDNER: Well, we know that they have long said that they are the guards, if you will, for VIPs, and they were there in Washington on January 6th doing some of that. We saw some of them with people like Stone, who was there, Roger Stone.

So we know that they have some access to those who are very close to Donald Trump. That was part of their mandate. They were there trying to protect VIPs as a part of the Stop the Steal Rally.

Just how close? We don't know.

But we know that they were -- there are pictures of them with Roger Stone outside of his hotel, for example, on January 6th, and so that has always been a through line. They have always said it, you know, we are there for protection.

They also made comments during the election, saying that they were going to go to polling places. They are almost always armed, wearing often sort of Army Guard or police type of garb and protect Trump voters. So there was a fear that they were going to be standing there and having people come and vote and people will be intimidated seeing their weapons.

And I want to talk to something that Juliette Kayyem just pointed out that is important. She is like, how are they raising money? Well, people had to pay dues, so that was part of it. If you have enough people paying dues towards this national organization, the Oath Keepers, then they can continue to operate.

One more thing that I think a lot of people were, you know, taken back by that didn't know about this group. They heavily try to recruit current and former military members, current and former law enforcement -- members of law enforcement, current and former Intelligence members, they will go after anyone are in those positions, which means they have the training.


Some of those people were former military, former law enforcement, some of them were current law enforcement. They have the training -- tactical training to go forward with something like swarming the Capitol.

COOPER: Sara Sidner, Juliette Kayyem, Jeff Toobin, appreciate it. Thank you.

Coming up next, we'll talk more about the implications of all this with a member of the House Select Committee, Congressman Jamie Raskin joins us.

And later, the other hugely consequential news today, the Supreme Court striking down President Biden's vaccine mandate for big businesses. That and more on a very busy Thursday.



COOPER: Whether it is 11 people charged with seditious conspiracy in connection with a Capitol insurrection or the House Select Committee issuing subpoenas to big social media companies, it's been quite a day.

Joining us, a member of the Committee, Maryland Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin. He is the author of a very moving new book "Unthinkable: Trauma, truth, and the Trials of American Democracy."

Congressman Raskin, thanks so much for being with us.

I want to get your reaction first of all, to these seditious conspiracy charges. Jeff Toobin, in the last segment saying it is all about trying to determine if these so-called Oath Keepers were acting alone, or had some sort of help from, you know, people either in the White House or the acolytes around the former President.

Do you agree with that? And how does that track with the work your Committee is doing?

REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): Well, it seemed perfectly obvious to me, Anderson, for many months now that within what I call that second ring of the action on January 6th, there were people who had been planning, coordinating, and organizing to come to smash our windows, to break down our doors to break in and to go and interrupt the proceedings of the Joint Session of Congress counting Electoral College votes.

And they obviously were armed in lots of different ways. They were well funded.

I hope that this arrest and this prosecution will shut up those of our colleagues who keep saying, well if it was a conspiracy, how come there are no conspiracy charges? If it was seditious, how come there are no sedition charges?

So there we go. We've got those. And undoubtedly, with a lot more to come soon.

COOPER: I want to ask about the new subpoenas that your Committee issued to social media companies, including Meta, which is the parent company of Facebook. They've still not turned over key documents or responded to specific requests for information according to your Committee's letter.

How far you go to get the information if they don't cooperate?

RASKIN: Well, look at Donald Trump recruited tens of thousands of his followers to come to Washington for a wild protest, and the social media were used basically as the organizing and recruitment channel for doing this. There were whistleblowers within all of the major social media saying a nightmare is about to transpire in January 6th.

We want to know exactly what the social media entities did, if anything to prevent it, or did they simply take the posture that it wasn't their problem. And so, we're going to get to the bottom of it.

I mean, remember, our Committee is interested in getting at the causes behind these events, and what exactly took place and what America needs to do to fortify our institutions against such a nightmare taking place again in the future.

So it's not all about, you know, people being focused on prosecution. That's not what accountability means exclusively. Yes, there's individual accountability, but there's also social and political accountability and that relates also to the modes of communication that were used to create the insurrection, the coup, and the demonstration that turned into a riot.

COOPER: I want to talk about you're really moving new book "Unthinkable." You write so lovingly and movingly about your son, Tommy, who died by suicide.

You describe yourself as a radical optimist in the book, but you also say you're bracing for the worst in 2024, you know, rule out street violence and Electoral College violence. How does that scenario leave room for radical optimism?

RASKIN: Well, I'm fundamentally optimistic about the history of American democracy that we have always moved towards being a more perfect union. There has been backsliding, there has been reaction, there's been resistance.

But in the big picture, we move forward. If you look at our Constitution at the 17 Amendments we've adopted since the Bill of Rights, the vast majority of them have been pro-democracy, suffrage expanding, and equality deepening amendments.

And so history is moving in the right direction, and I also think, and this is going to sound partisan, but in partisan terms, look, Hillary beat Trump by more than three million votes. Joe Biden beat him by more than seven and a half million votes, and the young people are increasingly on our side.

The G.O.P. is a shrinking minority party, which is why they're hanging on to every anti-Democratic lever of power they've got, the gerrymandering of congressional and state legislative districts, the filibuster, the packing of Courts -- all of these things are covering up for the fact that the vast majority of the people reject what they have to offer.

So we're in a titanic struggle here because it is a race between the vast majority of the American people who want democracy to keep going forward, and then a party that has positioned itself outside the constitutional order, which is attacking our elections, which is passing voter suppression statutes in which it is trying to deny majority rule in the country.

COOPER: Congressman Jamie Raskin, I really appreciate your time tonight. And again the new book is "Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth and the Trials of American Democracy."

Thank you so much. Appreciate it.

RASKIN: Thank you, Anderson.


COOPER: There's a lot more heads on including more breaking news and major bloated Biden White House the Supreme Court blocking the vaccine or testing rule for large businesses but keeping another vaccine mandate in place for other workers. What the President is saying about it, next.


COOPER: There's more breaking news. The Supreme Court has blocked President Biden's vaccine are testing requirements for millions of Americans who work for businesses with more than 100 employees. That decision is a blow to the White House with a record number of Americans infected with COVID largely due to the rapidly spreading Omicron variant. But in a separate case, the justices are allowing a vaccine mandate to go into effect for certain health care workers who work for companies to get federal money.

CNN's Kaitlan Collins joins us now from the White House. What's the reaction been so to the Supreme Court defeat?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, they're pretty disappointed. They were bracing for this based on how those oral arguments had gone with the Supreme Court. It didn't seem likely this was going to stand muster based on what the justices had been asking. But still this is a massive blow to the White House and they are not saying otherwise. Because this is the biggest step that President Biden had taken to try to get more people vaccinated and it was not one that he made lightly. He had initially been opposed to any kind of vaccine mandate. But they spent months crafting this rule so it can withstand legal challenges. And of course as we saw today it did not and the White House


And the White House hasn't really said what the next step is here, if they're going to try to pursue a narrower, narrower mandate. That seems pretty unlikely at this point. So really, now businesses are kind of on their own to make a decision of whether or not they're going to impose a mandate like this. And of course, we know that is something that has been fraught with controversy. And so, it's kind of up to businesses now.

COOPER: The court did allow for another vaccine mandate.

COLLINS: Yes, this is one that has to do with health care workers. And the court was more favorable to it, because it has to do with them getting government money. And so, then regulating it requiring vaccines seemed like something the court was more likely to lead in favor of when they had those oral arguments. And that was the decision they made today any entity and health care workers that work for somewhere that gets Medicare or Medicaid funding.

But we should note that while the White House is touting this as the good news that came out of the Supreme Court decision today, it affects far fewer million millions of people than the other mandate does. It's about 2 million people, we believe that will be affected by this.

And so of course, this decision to strike down the other vaccine mandate probably couldn't come at a worse time for the administration, because they're dealing with this surge in Omicron cases, they're trying to ramp up testing, give out free mask potentially starting next week. And so, it just it's a big blow for the White House in their efforts to get more people vaccinated.

COOPER: Yes. Kaitlan Collins, I appreciate it. Thank you.

Joining us for more perspectives, Kathleen Sebelius who served as Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Obama administration. She's also the former governor of Kansas.

Secretary Sebelius, I'm wondering what you what your takeaway was from the ruling?

KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, FMR SECRETARY, HHS: Well, I don't think there's any question that the Supreme Court ruling that OSHA, the Occupational Safety Agency under the Department of Labor could not issue the rule that they did is not only disappointing, but pretty scary. OSHA has workplace safety as their mission and they issued what they called temporary orders. Given the rare circumstances of real danger presented by an unvaccinated person proximate to a vaccinated person in a workplace and people back to work in close conditions. They left open the door, as was suggested that a narrower ruling about certain workplaces and certain times could be maybe authorized. But it's very disappointing that the government and the President can't take the steps that we know are very effective to keep workers safe in workplaces.

On the other hand, I'm pleased that they Supreme Court majority said it is absolutely appropriate to withdraw Medicare and Medicaid money from any --


SEBELIUS: -- health care providers who do not comply with vaccine mandates --

COOPER: Are there next step --

SEBELIUS: -- keeping people safe and healthy.

COOPER: Are there next steps for the (INAUDIBLE) and what should be the next steps for the administration, in your opinion.

SEBELIUS: Well, I would hope that maybe they can recraft the work order very quickly and look at, you know, everything from meatpacking plants to manufacturing lines to various work sites where the court alluded to the fact that that the proximity of workers side by side crowded conditions whatever could withstand at the same time. Private employers can step up and do this tomorrow.


SEBELIUS: They can put into place their own workplace safety rules and many have. And Anderson, I think we have to keep reminding the American public this is about a frankly, Republicans who are determined to, frankly keep this COVID virus alive and well have fought the two basic principles that we know work well, vaccines and mask. And Republican attorney general after Republican attorney general has gone after these rules and regs and they criticize the President constantly for not getting a handle on it. And yet they fight the very public health rules that we know keep people safe and secure.

So --


SEBELIUS: -- he's in a bit of a catch 22. But I think that (INAUDIBLE) he's willing to use all the possible leverage in the arsenal. This one was struck down --


SEBELIUS: -- you go right back with a new narrower version and call on the private --


SEBELIUS: -- sector employers to step up and do the right thing.

COOPER: Secretary Sebelius, appreciate it. Thank you.

Moments ago, Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema ended a meeting on voting rights with President Biden, we have details of that ahead.

Plus, the epic fallout from Prince Andrews' sexual assault lawsuit here in the U.S. What action Buckingham Palace took (INAUDIBLE) him today?



COOPER: We have more breaking news tonight. Democrats, Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema met with President Biden tonight at a White House to discuss voting rights. This comes after both Senators rejected the President's push to change filibuster rules and an effort to pass the voting legislation. This afternoon President Biden met with Democrats on Capitol Hill saying he's hopeful they can get this done. But he admitted he's not sure. Just before the President arrived on the Hill, Senator Sinema made her casing she's not backing down on her position to uphold the filibuster.


SEN. KYRSTEN SINEMA (D-AZ): I will not support separate actions that worsen the underlying disease of division infecting our country. The debate over the Senate 60 vote threshold shines a light on our broader challenges.

When one party need only negotiate with itself, policy will inextricably be pushed from the middle towards the extremes.


COOPER: Well just before air time I spoke with Democratic Senator Jon Tester from Montana.


COOPER (on-camera): Senator, thanks very much for joining us. In your opinion, is a voting rights bill dead?

SEN. JON TESTER (D-MT): But I think we'll see I think there's an opportunity this weekend to have a good honest debate on both voting rights bills. It'll be in front of us. And it hopefully will change the minds and hopefully won't be done. I think it's pretty important if we're going to have a functioning democracy that we allow people to have access to the votes.


COOPER (on-camera): Whose vote do you think could possibly be changed?

TESTER: Well look, I think that first of all we need all 50 in the Senate, but to be honest with you, I think there's a possibility we could get some Republicans if we make the case for it. But, but I think we need to focus on 50 Democrats stood out.

COOPER (on-camera): I want to play a part of Senator Sinema's speech, where she appears to put some of the blame on Democratic leadership. I just want to play that for our viewers.

SINEMA: I wish there had been a more serious effort on the part of Democratic Party leaders to sit down with the other party and genuinely discuss how to reforge common grounds on these issues.

COOPER (on-camera): Do you believe there was any compromise that could have been achieved with Republicans either on Senate rules having to do with the filibuster or on voting rights?

TESTER: So on the voting rights piece address, and I think that all you have to do is look back when we wanted to debate the John Lewis Act, Voting Rights Act. And I think there was one Republican we got, and that was it. I think there has been plenty of efforts made by plenty of people in our caucus to talk about how we can get on the Voting Rights bill. And to be honest with you, I don't know what more could be done. There's obviously a red line drawn on voting rights in the Republican caucus. And they do not want to deal with the potential voter suppression that's going to be happening out there.

And I just think that hopefully, this debate will change the minds and we can get it done. But now there's been plenty of Democrats that have reached out to Republicans and talked about voting rights. There's been some on the filibuster also. Both of them have led to dead ends.

COOPER (on-camera): Senator Manchin today they're (INAUDIBLE) negotiations on Build Back Better. Is there a path forward to get the Democrats legislative agenda pass? And do you think the party, I mean, let alone the results of not getting things passed, but just politically that the party will pay a price in the midterms?

TESTER: Well look, I think there are components of Build Back Better than we can get across the finish line. I think that there's been focused on the Voting Rights Act right now, I don't know how much focus is on Build Back Better, but I can tell you that I believe that we can, we can get critical mass on Build Back Better, it will have to be changed some. But in the end, I think we can get a win there.

I think that, you know, there's other important work we have to do other than voting rights to Build Back Better, like the Appropriations Bill defend our government and the Defense Department and AG department, all those kinds of things. There's, there's other bills out there too, with, with our veterans, making sure that we're taking care of them and, and the list goes on and on and on.

But in the end, I think that we do have to have a record of accomplishment, we have to talk about that record of accomplishment. I think one of the mistakes that we made this last year is on the rescue plan and a bipartisan infrastructure package, which were huge wins huge pieces of legislation that that were passed in one year. We really didn't talk about it much. And I think that it's important that we tell people what we're doing so that they understand it. When steam start happening for the better and reducing costs for businesses and helping employment increase and reducing costs working families, people know who did that. And I'm not sure they know that because we haven't spent a lot of time talking.

COOPER (on-camera): Senator Tester, always appreciate it talking to you. Thank you.

TESTER: Thank you, Anderson.


COOPER: Up next, the action taken by Buckingham Palace against Prince Andrew as he faces possible trial here in the U.S. due to sexual abuse lawsuit.



COOPER: Today, Buckingham Palace announced that Prince Andrew has been stripped of his military titles and charities. This comes just a day after judge here in the U.S0 ruled a sexual abuse lawsuit against him connected to Jeffrey Epstein could move forward. Buckingham Palace in a statement today saying he's defending that as a private citizen.

CNN's royal correspondent Max Foster joins us now.

So, what is the perspective how significant is this, especially as the Queen prepares to celebrate 70 years on the throne?

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this year was meant to be about that Jubilee celebration, looking back, but also looking forward and there was a real risk it was going to be overshadowed by the salacious details coming out from the trial in New York. So, the institution, this 1000-year-old institution did what it always does in these situations, it goes into survival mode.

And if you think of it Anderson a family firm, what they've effectively done is sack Prince Andrew, they've taken away all of his military titles, his packages (ph) the sorts of things he needs to carry out a role, but also his HRH title, His Royal Highness, which gives them a seat at the top table at steak dinners and at family events. All of that is gone. And this is in an attempt to separate the monarchy, the institution from Prince Andrew, what's going on in New York.

So, many people saying it's, you know, it's quite late. Others are saying it's early because Prince Andrew hasn't been found guilty of anything here. But a clear separation and I'm told it follows family discussions. And you can assume that Charles and William are very essential to those discussions.

COOPER: Does he have - I mean, how does he pay for legal, I mean, does he have money? I don't know, like their finances are so you know, archaic. It's hard to kind of understand. How does he make a living?

FOSTER: Well, he does have a sort of a military pension very small. He has got family money. He does rely, frankly, on the Queen's income. That's not taxpayer income, but she has a private income as well. And this is where it gets complicated as well. We're talking yesterday Anderson about possible settlement, how would he pay for that? The Queen would be expected to contribute if he doesn't have the money, and that would involve her in the process as well. So, all very difficult.


So he does rely on her ears, hold on to her. He's the boss -- she's the boss not just as his mother.

COOPER: Wow. Max Foster, appreciate it. Thanks so much.

We'll be right back.


COOPER: Reminder, don't miss "Full Circle," our digital news show that gives us a chance to dig in some important topics and have in-depth conversations. You can catch it streaming live 6:00 p.m. Eastern at or watch it there and on the CNN app at anytime On Demand.

Also, if you ever missed "360," you can always listen to our podcast, go to or any of the major platforms, just search for "Anderson Cooper 360."

That's it for us. The news continues. I want to hand over Laura Coates in "CNN TONIGHT." Laura.

LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: Hey Anderson, thank you so much. Nice seeing you as always. And I am Lara Coates and welcome to "CNN Tonight."


Look I'm not going to mince my words this is a very big day we can't underscore that point enough.