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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
NY Times: Ivanka Trump Expressed A Different View On 2020 Election To A Filmmaker; January 6 Committee Lays Out How Trump And His Team Pressured Election Officials, Intimidated Workers; January 6 Committee Meeting On Thursday To Focus On Trump's Attempt To Use DOJ To Support His Election Disinformation. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired June 21, 2022 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CO-HOST: It has been a riveting and consequential day, here, in Washington. A top Republican official who, first time in these hearings, offered testimony, that former President was directly involved in the fake electors scheme.
We saw Republican officials, speaking out against the leader, of their own party, explaining how the former President, and his legal team, were told that there was no legal basis, to decertify the election results, nor to install those fake electors, but who pressed on anyway.
There was also testimony that linked two Republican members of Congress, Wisconsin senator, Ron Johnson, and Arizona congressman, Andy Biggs, to both of those efforts, to overturn the election. Ron Johnson denies any involvement.
And we also heard from witnesses, whose election duties would otherwise not make them household names, finally getting to testify, to the intimidation, and threats of violence that they have faced, and continue to, simply for trying to make sure the 2020 election was an honest one.
Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): The same people, who were attempting to pressure Vice President, Mike Pence, to reject electoral votes, illegally, were also simultaneously working, to reverse the outcome, of the 2020 election, at the state level.
WILLIAM BARR, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Took a look, hard look, at this ourselves. And based on our review of it, including the interviews, of the key witnesses, the Fulton County allegations were - had no merit.
RUBY FREEMAN, A FORMER FULTON COUNTY, GEORGIA, ELECTION WORKER, MOTHER OF WITNESS WANDREA "SHAYE" MOSS: There is nowhere I feel safe. Nowhere. Do you know how it feels, to have the President of the United States, to target you?
MS. WANDREA "SHAYE" MOSS, FORMER GEORGIA ELECTION WORKER: It has turned my life upside down. I no longer give out my business card. I don't transfer calls. I don't want anyone knowing my name.
BRAD RAFFENSPERGER, (R) GEORGIA SECRETARY OF STATE: After the election, my email, my cell phone was doxxed. And so, I was getting texts, all over the country. And then eventually, my wife started getting the text. And hers typically came in as sexualized texts, which were disgusting.
Started going after her, I think, just to probably put pressure on me. "Why don't you just quit? Walk away."
BARR: I told him that the stuff that his people were shoveling out to the public were bull - was bullshit. I mean, that the claims of fraud were bullshit.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): And, Mr. Secretary, why didn't you just quit, walk away?
RAFFENSPERGER: Because I knew that we had followed the law, and we had followed the Constitution. And, I think, sometimes, moments require you to stand up, and just take the shots, you're doing your job. And that's all we did.
RUSTY BOWERS, (R) ARIZONA STATE HOUSE SPEAKER: It is a tenet of my faith that the Constitution is divinely inspired, of my most basic foundational beliefs. And so, for me to do that, because somebody just asked me to, is foreign to my very being. I will not do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JAKE TAPPER, CNN CO-HOST, ANDERSON COOPER 360: I'm joined now by a Democratic member of the January 6 Select House committee, Congressman Pete Aguilar, of California.
Congressman, thanks so much for joining us.
So, the "New York Times" has new reporting, about Ivanka Trump, and what she told a documentary film crew, in the middle of December 2020.
According to the "Times'" Maggie Haberman, who broke the story, Ivanka said to that film crew that her father should "Continue to fight until every legal remedy is exhausted," because a lot of Americans, were questioning the sanctity of the elections.
This obviously, seems to contradict what she told the committee, about how she took Attorney General Bill Barr's announcement that there is no significant voter fraud.
Can you confirm this is true? And will we see any of this video, from this documentary filmmaker, at Thursday's hearing?
REP. PETE AGUILAR (D-CA): Well, I'm not going to talk about specific evidence that the committee has, in its possession.
But what I can tell you is that the investigative piece of this puzzle continues to be evolving. We've said that from the beginning, that as we learn new information, and take in more evidence that we're going to continue to adapt to that.
What I can tell you, though, is that, when people are deposed, they take an oath. It's our understanding, and it's our hope, like any American, someone would be truthful, when they are being deposed.
But if there is new information, within this, then we will adapt, and we will analyze, and carry forward, from there.
TAPPER: This documentary filmmaker apparently had extensive access, to the Trump White House, in the final weeks, of the 2020 campaign, and has given over his footage, to your committee. He acknowledged that, on Twitter, today.
What else should we expect, to see or hear, from the footage you received? I know you can't, or won't be specific. But can you at least give us some ideas, if there is important - if there are important moments in that footage that we're going to see?
AGUILAR: There's new information that we gather, each and every time.
For example, when the Chairman went on TV, and he gave the tip line, so individuals can reach out to the January 6 committee? We received lots of responses, back from that. So, it's a very positive step, when we can go on national TV, we can give the tip line, and we can receive information.
This is new information that's being reported. The committee is going through it, just like we would any other group of information that we've received. If it is meaningful, and substantive, to our investigation, and can be used in a hearing, and we feel that rises to the level of sharing, with the American public, we'll do so, at the appropriate time.
But there are more hearings planned. After the hearing, on Thursday, we look forward to getting through this, and piecing this puzzle together, and sharing with the American public, just how close, we came, to democracy ending, on the 6th.
TAPPER: I know that the committee is, as of now, taking a position, where it's up to the Justice Department, whether or not they want to prosecute, or take any legal steps.
But just as a legal matter, are there any laws being violated, if somebody submits fraudulent slates of electors, to the Congress, or to the National Archives? Is that illegal?
AGUILAR: Well, what I can tell you is what the Department of Justice has charged people with, already.
[21:10:00] I can't speak to anything that they're working on. But clearly, they've charged individuals, with obstructing our official activities, on January 6. They've charged individuals with sedition, and conspiracy. So, they're very substantive charges that they have leveled.
Our job is to pull together all of the information, to share with the American public, exactly what happened, on January 6, and what the causes and circumstances that led up to it are. That's our mission, and our mandate, and our charge.
From an accountability perspective, that's on the Department of Justice. But we're not going to be shy, about showing and displaying this information, in our final report, when we release it.
TAPPER: Congresswoman Liz Cheney, the Vice Chair of the committee, ended the hearing, today, saying the committee wants to hear from former White House Counsel, Pat Cipollone.
Let's run a little bit of that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHENEY: The American people, in our hearings, have heard from Bill Barr, Jeff Rosen, Richard Donoghue, and many others, who stood up, and did what is right. And they will hear more of that testimony soon.
But the American people have not yet heard, from Mr. Trump's former White House Counsel, Pat Cipollone.
Our committee is certain that Donald Trump does not want Mr. Cipollone, to testify here. Indeed, our evidence shows that Mr. Cipollone, and his office, tried to do what was right. They tried to stop a number of President Trump's plans, for January 6.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Where - what's the status of the committee, vis-a-vis, Cipollone? Have you extended a formal invitation, to Pat Cipollone, to testify? Has he officially rejected that invitation? Has he given any response?
AGUILAR: Well, I'm not going to talk about the specifics of potential witnesses that we could hear from.
But what I can tell you, we've had - and you've heard this time and time again, Jake, I'm sorry. But a 1,000 interviews that we've conducted is a part of our process. And so, we've gathered information. We're piecing this together. We look forward to sharing the information that we can, with the American public.
But I think it's fair to say that we've talked to dozens of individuals, in and around the White House, at the time. In the hearing that I led last week, we heard specifically, testimony from individuals, saying that Pat Cipollone had told them that he knew the Vice President did the right thing, on January 6, by certifying the election.
So clearly, there is more here that we would like to dig into. Obviously, it would take a willing witness. And we look forward, at the appropriate time, to having more conversations, about that.
TAPPER: Congressman Pete Aguilar, thank you so much. Appreciate it.
COOPER: We're joined now by "New York Times"--
AGUILAR: Thanks, Jake.
COOPER: --joined now by "New York Times" Foreign Affairs Columnist, Thomas Friedman. He's the Author of numerous best-selling works, including "Thank you for Being Late: an Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations."
Tom, thanks for joining us.
You've reported, from a lot of countries, where political leaders exact scorched-earth revenge, on their perceived enemies. Did you ever think, you would see a version of that, in the United States, and coming in the testimony, today?
THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN, NEW YORK TIMES FOREIGN AFFAIRS COLUMNIST: No, Anderson, I didn't. I find it all shocking.
I think that we have to seriously wonder whether the United States of America will continue to be a functioning constitutional democracy, in the next five years. I think we seriously have to worry whether we will see significant political violence, in the next five years.
What strikes me so much, about today's testimony, our - overriding is the number of principled Republicans, who stood up, and put the Constitution, before Donald Trump. They actually saved the country, in this election. And my hat is off to them.
Now, they have a bigger mission. A group of them have to get together. I would love it to be Liz Cheney, and Adam Kinzinger, from the committee, or whoever, Liz Cheney and Mitt Romney. And they have to run a different Republican Party, in the next election, to ensure that Donald Trump never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever sits in the Oval Office, again. They have to take that one for the country.
At the same time, Democrats have an obligation, to not hue so far left, that Republicans feel that, in choice between living with Donald Trump, and having a Democratic government, they can't afford to have a Democratic government.
That is the two tests, before our two parties, today, to save our democracy. It is on the line.
COOPER: You think the threat is really that great, in the next five years?
L. FRIEDMAN: Well, I have absolutely no doubt about it. Look Anderson, we saw, first of all, what Trump tried to do, with Ukraine, to try to leverage a foreign leader, in order to win the election. He was impeached for that. But it failed to deter him, basically. He got away with it. Then, he tried it again.
We know one thing about Donald Trump. He's a quick learner. You can bet, if he were to ever take the White House, again, do you think he would ever surround himself with anything other than clowns, unprincipled clowns, like Rudy Giuliani, and John Eastman?
He will never let a principled Republican, the very people, who saved us, in this election, to ever be in his next White House.
COOPER: I keep thinking about something you'd said, a while ago, when we talked once, about your - when you were in Lebanon, and watching the country descend, into civil war, about how politicians there, they all played this game?
They all chipped away at the institutions, they all chipped away at the state, thinking, "Oh, well, when I get in power, then I can, I'll fix things, and it'll be fine. But I just got to do this, to get into power."
It doesn't work that way. You see that happening here?
L. FRIEDMAN: Yes. I mean, Anderson, think about Vice President Pence. Donald Trump, we now know, when people were chanting "Hang Pence," we now know that Trump basically said, "Well, maybe - maybe that's - he's getting what he deserves, in those chants."
I don't know about you, Anderson. But if somebody actually said, I'd worked with closely, said, it'd be OK, if I was hanged, you know? I kind of wouldn't be out there, still defending that person, or still, having my lips sealed. I would be running a national campaign, against that person.
And the idea that that these people, who Trump has so embarrassed, and shamed, and defiled, even to the point of saying, "It'd be OK, if they got hanged," still, out of some crazy hope, of keeping alive, their prospects, for being president, still won't speak up, and out, and actually take action, against this Trump-led cult party. That's crazy to me.
And what it is doing - what it is doing is leading us to a place, where we will no longer be able to legitimately and peacefully transfer power. That's the core of our democracy.
And that's what I saw, in Lebanon. Leaders hacked away at the system. They cheated. They lied. They thieved. They all said, "Ah, I can do that. And then, when I take over, it'll be OK." And then, one day, it broke. And when it broke, it was gone. And when it was gone, it was gone forever.
COOPER: What I don't understand, about those who continued to circle the - circle the wagons, around Trump, hanging out at Mar-a-Lago, sucking up to him, playing his game, is that they must know that, in the end, he will turn on them, just as he has, on anybody else, when it's in his interest.
I mean, Kevin McCarthy can't honestly believe that he is so firmly entrenched, with the former President, the former President wouldn't drop him, and deny him, the one thing, he wants more than anything else, in the world, to become Speaker of the House.
I mean, you look at these loyal Republicans, today, who voted for the President, people of - you know, I don't know anything about Mr. Bowers' politics. He's very conservative. But he's clearly a very principled person, and a very honorable person, whether you agree with his politics or not.
And yet the President would be, was today, lying about him, completely, before his testimony, to try to discredit him.
COOPER: I don't have a question--
L. FRIEDMAN: And all of - I mean, all of them. I mean, all, Liz Cheney - I would just say if Kevin McCarthy, think about it, Anderson. I mean, he, on the night of January 6, met with Republicans, in the House, and said that this guy is going to be - "Trump deserves basically to be impeached. And I'm going to go over to the White House, and tell him, he's got to leave office."
And then, when we reported that, in the "New York Times" (inaudible).
COOPER: Unfortunately, we're having some technical problems, obviously. Tom, we appreciate, Tom Friedman, being with us.
TAPPER: I'm joined now by our Senior Justice Correspondent, Evan Perez.
Evan, although the committee cannot bring legal charges, Attorney General Merrick Garland, at the Justice Department, he's been facing pressure, to pursue a criminal case, against former President Trump.
What can you tell us about Merrick Garland's next move?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, I think this is actually one of the areas, where we're seeing some of the progress that, I think, some of the critics, have been so eager to see.
And look, there's a lot that, as you know, from the Attorney General, there's not a lot he's willing to say.
But one of the things we do know, from the subpoenas that witnesses have received, in recent weeks, we know that there's a lot of activity, by the FBI, by prosecutors, looking specifically, at the people, who were involved, in this alternate electors' scheme. And these are people, who had communications, with people, in the Trump circle.
So, what they're being asked, some of these electors, and some of these other witnesses, they're being asked, for communications, with people, like Rudy Giuliani, with people like John Eastman, some of these people, who were key, to try to set up this entire scheme.
And it appears, from what we can tell, from the - from what they've requested, in these subpoenas, is that they're trying to work, from the bottom-up, which is the way the strategy that the Justice Department pursues, in these types of investigations.
Obviously, we saw, an opposite strategy, from the committee, today. One of the things they were doing, was going from the top-down. They were looking specifically, at the people, who were in touch, with Donald Trump, and trying to make the case that he is at the crux of this, he is at the heart of it.
We'll see whether the Justice Department gets to that point. But, at a minimum, we know that they are circling around that they're focused on the people, who were around the former President. And that's the way they're approaching this case, Jake.
TAPPER: Evan Perez, thanks so much.
Back with me, Abby Phillip, Jamie Gangel, Kasie Hunt, and John King.
And Abby, let me start with you. Because we just experienced, a few days ago, the 50th anniversary, of the Watergate break-in. And the big question there, from Senator Howard Baker, was what did the President know, and when did he know it?
The President knew everything, in this case!
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN ANCHOR, INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY: Yes, pretty much.
TAPPER: In this case--
TAPPER: --this isn't some low-level breaking organized - you know, that Nixon found out about later.
This is - everything was because Donald Trump wanted it.
TAPPER: I mean, he might not have known every single little detail. But he was the impetus for all of it.
PHILLIP: Yes. And he was aware of all the elements, of the conspiracy. The fake electors. He was aware that the legal argument itself was not true. He had been told repeatedly that all the crazy theories, about what happened to the ballots, were also not true. So, he was aware of all of that.
I mean, it strikes me that the problem for the Department of Justice, is not actually a factual problem. I think we know what Trump knew. We know what he was involved with, and what he wasn't. It's really a political question. It's how far do they want to go?
KASIE HUNT, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Yes.
PHILLIP: How much do they want to be involved in the turmoil that the country is going to be in, one way or another?
And that is not a question that has easy answers. I mean, there are people, who would - who would tell you, "Yes, you must prosecute, to prevent this, from happening again." But if you prosecute, and you don't get a conviction, what happens then?
And I think that's one of the biggest problems, facing DOJ, right now is - is we've had two impeachments, of this former President. Neither of them were successful. So, the bar is actually quite high, for a criminal prosecution, of a former President, which would be unprecedented.
HUNT: Yes. And I think that there's a very real risk. I mean, there's risks on either side. If you do it, you risk tearing the country apart. If you don't, you risk the future of the country, if you let it stand.
I think there's also a fear, among - there are obviously plenty of Democrats, who want to see Merrick Garland, doing a lot more than he's doing, at the Department of Justice. But, I think, there are others that fear that prosecuting the former President just makes him politically stronger, gives him more ammunition to work with.
And I think that that's going to be a real key test, if we end up in that kind of a universe, of what the committee has been able to do, throughout this process. Have they been able to convince, a wide enough swath, of the Americans, who quite frankly, are sick of a lot of what's going on in our politics? I don't even want to like, say both sides. That's not what I mean.
There are a lot of people that are turned off by the tone of what's happening. They've tuned out. They've stopped watching the news. They've gotten frustrated, with the violence. They don't want to do it anymore.
But those are the kinds of people that the committee needs to reach, as voters, if in fact, we find ourselves in this kind of a situation.
JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: I would just raise one other thing. We have not seen all the evidence yet. Although today, we certainly saw he was on phone call--
GANGEL: --after phone call. We know about the public tweets, what he - what he did, to Mike Pence. I think that my understanding, from sources, on the committee, is we have had a lot of new information come in over the transship (ph), during the course of these hearings.
Congressman Aguilar said, the tip line.
GANGEL: I - now we have this documentary film producer. But I'm told, there is a lot more to come in. So, there's the political side. But there's also what is the evidence going to be? And if there is enough evidence, do you not indict, and let someone, be above the law?
TAPPER: So another thing, John, that's interesting, is this idea of the people, who should be watching these hearings, are not watching it. David Urban said it earlier.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN ANCHOR, INSIDE POLITICS: Right.
TAPPER: He's completely right. The people, who need to see the evidence, who people need - who need to see conservative Republican officials, who have gone through this--
TAPPER: --and have had their lives torn upside down, are not aware of it. But, at a certain point, I have to say, just to play devil's advocate, here, so what? Like the--
HUNT: Well, yes.
TAPPER: --I'm sorry that millions of Americans were lied to, and believed this lie. That doesn't mean that the law enforcement apparatus, in this country, should walk on eggshells, around the fact that obviously, this is not legal.
I mean, I don't know, who gets charged with the crime, and for what. But beyond just the QAnon Shaman, I mean, there are a lot of laws that have been broken here.
KING: You raise critical legal questions, and critical political, cultural questions, if you will.
To the legal point, justice is supposed to be blind.
KING: No one is supposed to be above the law. That blindness is supposed to mean, whoever committed the crime, whether it's the President of the United States, or a janitor, somewhere, or whatever the political climate is, you can't be affected by that.
However, you also have to face the reality of that. So, one theory, you hear from a lot of former federal prosecutors, is do you indict the people, around Trump, and have an unindicted co-conspirator, who clearly is Trump, win convictions, and try to disqualify Trump that way? And you - then you don't violate the tradition that we don't prosecute, politically - we don't do political prosecutions, right?
KING: Is that fair? A lot of Democrats watching, right now, it'd be - that would be outrageous. And Merrick Garland has to make some very tough choices.
TAPPER: But Ford pardoned Nixon, right?
KING: Right. Right.
TAPPER: Why? Why did Ford pardon Nixon? Because he was going to be charged with crime.
TAPPER: He was probably going to go to jail.
KING: And he thought it was bad for the country.
TAPPER: I understand that.
TAPPER: He got the Profile of Courage Award.
TAPPER: I'm not even saying he did anything wrong.
TAPPER: But I'm just saying like, it was out there. That's why he was pardoned, because it was possible that President Nixon was going to be charged with crime.
KING: Right. But to your other question?
TAPPER: His Attorney General went to prison.
KING: His Attorney General went to prison. So, do you send other people, to prison, and try to send a signal that way?
Merrick Garland, I understand, Democrats want him to be more aggressive. He's in a very difficult position. Just given the history of the country, given how difficult it would be, read, "Smart prosecutors," how difficult it would be, to prove these crimes, to Kasie's point--
HUNT: Yes. KING: --that if Trump was charged again, and got off, might it actually help him politically?
Politically, though, you raise what I think is actually the key question of this moment. Do Republicans - what's more important to Republicans? The next two years or four years where they can have power, or the next 25 years?
Look your children and grandchildren in the eyes. Listen to what you have heard. Forget sham committee. Forget "Shifty" Schiff. It doesn't matter, who was leading the committee. Listen to what these people have said, the people around Donald Trump, the last three weeks, and listen to what you're going to hear in the next two weeks.
What's more important? To be Speaker of the House, or Senate Majority Leader, next year? Or, for your grandchildren, to live in a democracy, where people respect the law, respect elections? Don't count the votes. And if you lose, you say, "Damn it!" And you organize and you win the next one.
TAPPER: Everyone, stay with us. We have still more to come, tonight.
We're going to discuss the testimony, we heard today, from multiple individuals, about the threats and intimidation they faced, simply for doing their jobs. And always after, they were publicly called out, by Donald Trump.
Someone who's faced, and previously testified about this, this cycle of threats, will join us.
And later, what to expect, two days from now, during the committee's next hearing? As our special coverage of the January 6 hearings continues.
TAPPER: Much of that testimony, we heard, today, was about how Donald Trump, used his position, as president, truly as a bully pulpit, in the worst sense of the word, bully.
There was repeated testimony, about how Donald Trump would publicly, call out the witness, for not helping to overturn the election, and then how those witnesses, faced threats, and harassment, from Trump's followers.
That included Arizona's Republican House Speaker, Rusty Bowers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOWERS: There was one gentleman that had the three bars on his chest, and he had a pistol, and was threatening my neighbor - not with the pistol, but just vocally. When I saw the gun, I knew I had to get close.
And, at the same time, on some of these, we had a daughter, who was gravely ill, who was upset by what was happening outside.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Rusty Bowers mentioned his daughter, who was gravely ill, at the time all this madness was happening. Kacey Bowers died, in January 2021, just weeks after the January 6 riot.
I'm joined by another Republican, who faced the same hideous anger, and intimidation tactics, and threats, against his family and children. Al Schmidt, former City Commissioner of Philadelphia, he testified before the January 6 Committee, last week.
Commissioner Schmidt, thanks for joining us.
To hear other Republican officials, recount threats, and pressure, from Donald Trump, to overturn votes, and overturn electors, submit false electors, what did you make of that, as someone, who has testified, before the committee, and also received similar threats to yourself?
AL SCHMIDT, FORMER CITY COMMISSIONER OF PHILADELPHIA, TESTIFIED IN FRONT OF THE JANUARY 6TH COMMITTEE ON JUNE 13TH: Well, I think it's important that people know how widespread this was, especially for Republican election officials, across the country, and that the former President intentionally targeted them, targeted them by name, and just unleashed his deceived, sort of, followers, and all of the ugliness, in their direction.
TAPPER: And let's recall. Because you and I talked about this before. There were - in Philadelphia, a lot of the counting was being done, in the Civic Center, in the Convention Center rather, downtown. There were lunatics, arrested, heading there, with guns.
SCHMIDT: And I think that's a very important point. And that example really ties a lot of this together.
They headed to the Pennsylvania Convention Center, where we were tabulating the votes, with - up from Virginia, with guns and ammunition, and all sorts of other materials, to sort of straighten things out, or whatever, they said they were going to do, in Philadelphia. They were arrested, right outside, of our facility, with guns, handguns, and an AR-15, and their vehicle.
And then, later, those same two men were arrested, because of their activity, on January 6, on Capitol Hill.
Again and again, the same people, believing the same lies, and being motivated, into sort of acting out, a physical manifestation, of all of these lies, and doing so, well-armed.
TAPPER: The former President continues to paint his enemies, who are in the Republican Party, as RINOs, Republican In Name Only. He's gone after you by name, saying you're being used by the, quote, "Fake news media."
To be clear, you and I have talked about this before. You're a Republican. You are a Chairman for the John McCain campaign. You were elected, on a platform, of battling voter fraud, in Philadelphia.
What is it like, when you hear Donald Trump, tell these lies about you?
SCHMIDT: Well, it's a little bit surreal. And also, to see people like Speaker Bowers, and Secretary Raffensperger, and others? And they are deeply conservative Republicans. And to hear them referred to as RINOs, or many others, just because of telling the truth, about the 2020 election, and all the grief that sort of went their way? It's really surreal.
It has nothing to do with being a Republican at all. It has to do with whether you're willing to lie, for the former President, or not.
TAPPER: Former Philadelphia Commissioner, Al Schmidt, good to see you again. Thank you so much.
COOPER: Once more, it's David Urban, former Campaign Strategist, for the 45th President. We also welcome Elliot Williams, a former Deputy Assistant Attorney General, to the conversation. Gloria Borger, and Alyssa Farah Griffin, are back with us, as well.
Elliot, we haven't heard from you, about your thoughts, on what stood out, today.
ELLIOT WILLIAMS, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL: OK, a couple of things.
One, it's a miracle of stagecraft that they're putting on. Having had to present to audiences before both, in Congress, preparing senators, but also as a prosecutor, you have to know your audience. And they're doing this magically and masterfully. It is hard to do. Now, number one.
Number two, I think the moment of the day was the name-check, of Pat Cipollone, the White House Counsel. It is clear that they are trying to get, in Donald Trump's head, and find out how specifically, and how explicitly, he was told that what he was doing was unlawful. And the one person they want to hear from, is the White House Counsel.
So that - that's a name, we're going to keep hearing, over the next couple days. But they're building a lot of evidence, in a strong case.
COOPER: David Urban, did it make sense, to you, what Liz Cheney was saying, at the end of this, making - clearly, it seemed to be some sort of a message, to Pat Cipollone.
DAVID URBAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. But I guarantee you one thing. You will not hear from Pat Cipollone.
COOPER: He's not going to testify?
URBAN: Right, sure. He is - of the few people that have the privilege, the White House Counsel has the privilege.
URBAN: And well it would be - it would be really, I think, it'd be litigated long past this January 6 Commission.
URBAN: And Pat Cipollone would have to voluntarily come before the committee, which he's not going to do.
URBAN: So, we're not going to hear it.
So, Liz Cheney can talk about Pat Cipollone, and all these great things that he may or may not do, and kind of hang it out there. But he's not going to show up.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well it's--
URBAN: He's not going to testify.
BORGER: --it's not like Pat Cipollone is a huge fan of the President's, at this point. We know he defended him, in impeachment. But we also know that he has been complaining, about the President. Even, remember, Jared Kushner said that he thought he was just whining, at one point.
And Cipollone was in these meetings, with these top Justice Department officials, where he said, "We'll quit. We're going to leave. We're not going to - we're not going to stand for this."
So, it'd be important, to hear from him. They know, privately, what he would say, publicly.
URBAN: I'm pretty sure it would--
BORGER: They do.
URBAN: --mirror the Attorney General, would be my guess.
ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: But I'm surprised, as a legacy point--
BORGER: Well, right.
FARAH GRIFFIN: --Pat Cipollone doesn't like - like the former Attorney General, want to come, and tell his side of the story. That's what I'm most surprised at.
BORGER: And I think should be pushing it.
FARAH GRIFFIN: Yes.
COOPER: Alyssa, the term, RINO, now, we just heard it, in this campaign commercial, from Greitens, who's running for Senate. Is this now - I mean, is anybody a RINO, who is not willing to support the lies, of the former President? I mean, I guess that is what--
FARAH GRIFFIN: Yes.
COOPER: --it now.
FARAH GRIFFIN: It's essentially how it's been redefined. You're not going to find a lot of people, more conservative than myself, and who've worked for more conservative politicians, than I have.
Republican now is inextricably linked to MAGA being, in favor of Trump, and the election lies that he's spread. So, RINO gets thrown around left and right, like the previous guest, with Jake, who is a lifelong Republican, who is elected, as a Republican.
But one thing I do want to mention? Because, I think, all of this bears, on 2024, and the former President's chances, if he is to run. I would say this. This is a moment, for the American people, where it's not a binary choice, between Trump and Biden.
So, if nothing else, if Merrick Garland doesn't indict, if there aren't legal charges brought up, it is a moment that the American people can say, "Well, it might be time for a different Republican leader." And that may end up being the biggest take-away from that.
BORGER: Well, and maybe Trump is not the Republican. Do you ever think that? Trump is not conservative. Trump is not as conservative as perhaps you, or Liz Cheney.
FARAH GRIFFIN: Or Mike Pence, yes.
BORGER: Or the others we saw, or Bowers, or whoever.
But it is a cult, and it is a Trump cult. And, at some point, the Republican Party has to figure out what it is, and someone's got to stand up, to Donald Trump, and say, "You know what? That's you're - you're not the party."
URBAN: But, right now, let's just--
URBAN: --make it clear. Right now, Donald Trump still is the guy, right? I mean, amongst the majority, of Republican primary voters, across America, we see this time and time again that--
URBAN: --that Trump candidates, Trumpism, MAGA that--
COOPER: But to get--
URBAN: --fills the party.
BORGER: But how--
COOPER: But this gets to what John King brought up with Jake earlier, which is the question that John said is facing Republicans, about what's more important? Continuing these lies, to win the next election cycle? Or being able to look your kids, your grandkids, in the eye, and say you did the right thing?
You were saying it's not so easy?
URBAN: I just don't think it's - I mean, if it were that easy, you'd have people standing up, and doing that.
I think politicians are responsive to their electorate, right? So, whether it's in Pennsylvania, or Indiana, or Florida, people are going to their town hall meetings, their fire halls. They're going to their fairs. They're hearing from their constituents.
And people are saying, "We don't believe this. We don't watch the January 6 thing. We don't think it really happened." Whatever the conspiracy theory may be, whatever their reasoning may be, they believe it, OK?
And unless you - until you convince those people, that it really happened, and it was a really bad thing? Donald Trump will remain king.
FARAH GRIFFIN: But David, I will say, you're probably, like me, hearing from Republican potential candidates, who have been watching the last few weeks, and are thinking, "This might be my moment, this might be what weakens Trump enough, for me to run in 2024."
URBAN: I think they may be hopeful.
BORGER: But look at Congressman Rice. He voted for impeachment. And he just lost.
URBAN: Yes, and he lost.
BORGER: His primary.
URBAN: And he lost. He got--
BORGER: And he is--
BORGER: --he was a really conservative member of Congress, so.
URBAN: So, to John King's point, right? You can have your Profile in Courage moment. But you won't be a member of Congress. You won't be a senator. You won't be in the Governor's Mansion. You won't be Secretary of State.
URBAN: You'll be gone. And so, can you effectuate change, if you're not sitting in the chair?
WILLIAMS: And that gets to the point of the hearings, though. I think everybody's fixating on my stuff. Is it - is it a crime or not? And there's a few different purposes of it, right?
You're, number one, making the case to the American people.
Number two, you're making the case to the electorate. It's a political body.
And number three, maybe they will come out with criminal charges, to refer to the Justice Department, or not. The Justice Department can actually still be investigating, or choosing not to investigate, or prosecute, the President--
WILLIAMS: --right now.
COOPER: Thanks to all.
Ahead, the next chapter of these hearings, with former Justice Department officials, could reveal about the former President's efforts, to use disinformation, to overturn the election. That is next.
TAPPER: Tonight, members of the House Select Committee, tell CNN that the hearing schedule is now in flux, in part because of that newly- obtained documentary footage.
But we do know, the next public hearing is still set for Thursday, at least as of now. That's when three Trump Justice Department officials, including the Acting Attorney General, who replaced Bill Barr, are set to testify.
Jeffrey Rosen has already spoken, with the committee, in private. He has shown a willingness, to pursue the fraud claims that other Justice officials wouldn't.
This is what Barr told the Select Committee, behind closed doors, about the accusations, in Georgia, in video, revealed today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARR: We took a look, hard look, at this ourselves. And based on our review of it, including the interviews, of the key witnesses, the Fulton County allegations were - had no merit.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Abby Phillip, Jamie Gangel, Kasie Hunt, and John King, are all back with us.
And Jamie, that's significant. Because, I think, what people don't understand, the Trump supporters, don't understand--
TAPPER: --is Bill Barr, Jeffrey Rosen, all these other folks, the U.S. Attorney, BJay Pak, they would have loved to have found fraud, to have made their boss happy. These were Trumpsters! They wanted to please him!
But there wasn't any fraud!
GANGEL: As I frequently say about, all the testimony, coming out now, is better late than never. But where were they, at the time?
I'm told, the Thursday hearing, is going to be even more compelling, and effective than what we heard today. I'm told that Jeffrey Rosen, Richard Donoghue, that they are blunt, and they are going to lay out exactly what was going on, at the time.
I also just want to go back to Cipollone, and Liz Cheney, her calling him out, today.
David Urban, we heard him say with Anderson that there's no way Cipollone is coming in to testify. That may be true. But expect a lot of pressure, from the committee, to try to get him there.
PHILLIP: Because, of course, there's no reason, for Cipollone, to not testify, except for self-preservation--
PHILLIP: --in this particular case.
And there's a strong - you know, if you are a Republican, and you want to continue to have a law firm, where you have clients, in Republican spaces, you want to continue to operate, in your social circles, and go to the country club? It's hard to testify against Trump, and still do all of those things. And so, a lot of the witnesses that we are not seeing, are facing that dilemma.
But I will say about Thursday. It will be interesting to see what the lawyers have to say, about these insane, quote-unquote, "Legal theories," and also the machinations that were happening, in DOJ. I think, you don't have to be a lawyer, to know that all of these ideas, were probably illegal, but they didn't make any sense. But I think that the lawyers, who are lawyers, will be pretty blunt, in breaking down, why none of this really made any sense.
And we'll learn some things probably, about how close, we got, to some really unethical people, getting installed, in the Justice Department, at a really critical moment.
HUNT: I mean, one of the things, Abby, to go back to your point, about Cipollone, and it ties in with what John was saying, during our last conversation, is there is actually a big difference, between what happens, here, in Washington, in those social circles, in those country clubs, and what we've seen play out, in the States, right?
The difference between Brad Raffensperger, and some of the others that we saw, today, is that he was actually able to go back, to the Georgia voters, and get reelected. He received from his party - his Governor, Brian Kemp, was also reelected, at the objection of Donald Trump.
People, like Cipollone, are espoused (ph) here, in Washington D.C., and the decision has been made that "Well if I don't join this tribe, I'm going to get thrown out of it. And that's not tenable for me, politically." And that's the difference between courage and a lack of it.
And I am interested to see, because we're going to bring the conversation, on Thursday, back here, to Washington, what we learn about who was willing to stand up, inside the Department of Justice? I mean, we've had obviously some reporting about it.
But I think that's really going to be the question. Who are the Profiles in Courage that we don't fully understand?
KING: I think it's critical, to Jamie's point, can you be more compelling than today? Well, that's a high bar, because today was very compelling. But such - so much of the testimony has been compelling.
The committee is trying to disprove what you hear, from Trump, and the people around him.
The President thought he was being gypped, and he was venting.
No, the President was told, by his Campaign Manager, on Election Night, "We're unlikely to climb this hill," and then told repeatedly, in the two months, between then, and January 6, "Sir, we went to court. Sir, we tried. We had a recount. Sir, that's illegal. Sir, you cannot do that," that it was not just Trump venting.
And then that this - you continued to have Trump looking for additional actors. When you get the testimony, from Mr. Rosen, and Mr. Donoghue, and others, at the Justice Department, saying "This was crazy," the Attorney General - and then what did Donald Trump wanted to do? He wanted to place an environmental lawyer. He wanted to fire them all, and put an environmental lawyer, in charge of the Justice Department, because they wouldn't do his bidding.
Brad Raffensperger wouldn't do his bidding. The Speaker, in Arizona, Mr. Bowers, wouldn't do his bidding. Michigan officials wouldn't do his bidding. He couldn't get the Pennsylvania people to do his bidding.
That is the point they're trying to make methodically that this was not a President, who was venting. This is a President, who knew he lost, was told he was lost, who kept looking for people, to help him cheat.
TAPPER: One of the other things that I wonder about this, if Pat Cipollone is actually making this decision that we're all talking about, "I don't want to be completely on outs of Republicans," et cetera? He's already - we have known, because Liz Cheney said this, today, we know that he was internal, at the White House, trying to push back, on a lot of this stuff.
Donald Trump has already got him on his enemies list.
TAPPER: You know what I mean?
TAPPER: Like that's Don! That ship has sailed.
Donald Trump said something negative about Ivanka Trump, the other day, when the testimony came out that she believed Bill Barr.
HUNT: It doesn't take much, right?
TAPPER: Right. He said, she was out of the loop.
PHILLIP: I mean, you can say the same--
GANGEL: Checked out!
TAPPER: She was checked--
GANGEL: Checked out!
TAPPER: She was checked out! I'm just saying, it's not the kind of thing--
PHILLIP: You could--
TAPPER: --I would say, about my daughter. But--
PHILLIP: You could say the same about Mike Pence. I mean, Trump--
TAPPER: Right, exactly. PHILLIP: I mean--
PHILLIP: --it would be an under--
KING: Or Don McGahn, before that.
PHILLIP: --it would be an understatement to say that--
PHILLIP: --Trump threw Pence under the bus. He called him, the P-word, in a phone call, in the last days, of the Administration.
But you talk to Pence. He gave an interview, to the "Wall Street Journal," over the weekend, where he kind of didn't have really anything negative, to say about Trump.
Pence is the epitome, of someone, who is walking that line. You're really not on Trump's side, but you can't be overtly anti-Trump.
PHILLIP: That's the Liz Cheney lesson--
PHILLIP: --that a lot of Republicans are taking.
TAPPER: That's what - I think somebody called this the Brian Kemp, the Governor of Georgia, his method, which is "Trump might be mad at me. I'm not mad at him," right?
TAPPER: That's what Pence is attempting to do. That's not original. Somebody else came up with that.
But Cipollone doesn't have to do that. He's not depending on votes. He's just depending on business, right?
PHILLIP: Which is - and people are voting with their pocketbooks. I mean, in this town, I mean, I'm going to be honest, in this town, people need to remain employed. And that matters.
TAPPER: Thanks to all of you.
We're going to be right back, with some final thoughts, on this extraordinary day, in the search for answers, and truth, and facts, by the Select Committee.
One name that really stuck out, and how it reminded us, of a disturbing chapter, in the United States, nearly 70 years ago. That's next.
TAPPER: Former Georgia elections worker, Wandrea "Shaye" Moss, testified, before Congress, today, about what it was like, to be on the receiving end, of a Donald Trump smear campaign.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOSS: Yes, a lot of threats, wishing death upon me, telling me that, you know, I'm - I'll be in jail, with my mother, and saying things like, "Be glad it's 2020, and not 1920," yes.
SCHIFF: Were a lot of these threats, and vile comments, racist, in nature?
MOSS: A lot of them were racist. A lot of them were just hateful.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Her testimony recalled a different hearing, on Capitol Hill, with a different woman, with the last name, "Moss." She was also a government employee. She was also targeted, with lies, and smears, and demagoguery. And no small amount of racism!
But I'm talking now about Annie Lee Moss, who was dragged before Senator Joe McCarthy's committee, in March 1954.
McCarthy had sold to the public, the notion that there was a Soviet spy, in the code room, of the Pentagon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNIE LEE MOSS, FORMER CIVILIAN TELETYPE OPERATOR AND GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE: Annie Lee Moss.
SEN. JOSEPH MCCARTHY (R-WI) (ph): M-O-S-S.
LEE MOSS: That's right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Annie Lee Moss was not a Soviet spy any more than "Shaye" Moss was an election thief.
Annie Lee Moss was a civilian teletype operator, and a loyal government employee, who had absolutely no idea, what Senator Joe McCarthy, was talking about.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCARTHY (ph): Do you know the type of classification? Do you know if they were secret, top secret, confidential?
LEE MOSS: No, sir.
MCCARTHY (ph): In other words, you would not know the degree of classification?
LEE MOSS: No, sir.
MCCARTHY (ph): I see. I am afraid I am going to have to excuse myself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: It was a complete farce. Highlighted, a few days later, by Edward R. Murrow, the McCarthy smear campaign, against Moss, backfired on him.
Columnist, Drew Pearson, wrote, quote, "Wisconsin folks saw her as a nice old lady who wasn't harming anyone and they didn't like their senator, picking on her," unquote.
There were other McCarthy disgraces, of course, as well. By the end of the year, the Republican Party, and the U.S. Senate, had distanced themselves, from Joe McCarthy, and his smears, and lies.
One wonders what Wandrea "Shaye" Moss' legacy will be. Will the bullying, and smears, and attempted destruction, of her life, and livelihood, will that mean anything, to today's public, at long last?
COOPER: Well-said, Jake. The echoes of history, we heard today. Thanks so much, Jake.
Let's turn things over now to Don, and "DON LEMON TONIGHT."