Return to Transcripts main page
At This Hour
Schiff: Next Hearing Will Show Trump's Role In Fake Electors Scheme; President Biden Speaks During Visit To Rehoboth Beach, DE; NASA Maps Out Timeline For Moon Rocket's Pre-lunch Test. Aired 11:30a- 12p ET
Aired June 20, 2022 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR: We're just 24 hours away from the next hearing for the committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol and the lies that fueled it. And we're learning new details about what the committee's focus will be tomorrow, including evidence that the former president himself was involved in a scheme to submit fake slates of electors to overturn the 2020 election.
Joining me now is former federal prosecutor Shan Wu. Shan, thank you so much for joining me, I appreciate it. I want you to listen to what Congressman Adam Schiff told me yesterday about the focus of the hearing tomorrow, which he's going to lead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM SCHIFF, (CA): We'll show evidence of the president's involvement in this scheme. We'll also again show evidence about what his own lawyers came to think about this scheme. And we'll show courageous state officials who stood up and said they wouldn't go along with this plan to either call legislators back into session.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: Legally speaking, Shan, how important is it to directly link with evidence to the former president to this fake electoral plan?
SHAN WU, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: That blinks really crucial, then as the Department of Justice considers, you know, whether and what charges could be there. The key part is kind of what I call the mind- body connection connecting Trump's mind to the body, meaning the muscles, some of its violence, some of the legal that was needed to carry out these ideas, so that evidence of linking that mind-body connection is really important because without it, while we have great factual reporting, great factual investigation, we have to link those actions taken by others to Trump's own intent. Because at the end of the day, AG Garland and DOJ are going to be most concerned about what kind of intent can they prove.
BASH: And, Shan, we've just been watching so much and getting so much information, a lot of new information, any one of these things for a sort of a president in any time in history would have a big problem on his hands. But because there is so much, it's hard to figure out what is the most egregious, potentially and the most potentially criminal. When it comes to the slate of electors, which we're going to hear a lot about tomorrow, just looking ahead, how big of a deal is this especially in the context of everything else we're seeing?
WU: It's a very strong charge standalone. I mean, it goes to a conspiracy to defraud the government as they show evidence that lots of people knew that this was not a legitimate slate, and yet Trump still pushed them to go forward with it. I think, though, at the end of the day, from a criminal accountability standard, it's just one more piece in showing Trump's intent, meaning you have Eastman saying these aren't legitimate, was going to work, to begin with. Other lawyers may have told him that all goes to show that even though Trump was full of knowledge that all of this was baseless, including the idea of using an alternative slate of electors, he kept pushing forward, he kept telling people to pursue it, kept trying other things, and that really will help prove his intent.
BASH: I want to ask about Mike Pence. We heard really compelling testimony of both live last week from his chief counsel and on tape from his chief of staff. The question is hearing about -- hearing from Mike Pence himself. He didn't speak privately to the committee. And the question is whether or not there's any chance the committee will call him to testify. Adam Schiff told me that the possibility is still on the table if he doesn't testify to potentially subpoena him. Should that happen? How important is it to hear from him?
WU: I think that would be very, very powerful evidence because we've been hearing reports of how Trump wanted to pressure him but to hear it directly from him, the person -- the vice president of the United States being told by the president what was to be done, which was inappropriate, that would be very powerful.
And I do think he should be subpoenaed. I mean, I think we have to be careful of adjusting this new situation we're in where there's been so much blatant fraud, so much blatant efforts to undermine our processes. Have to be careful of treating that as a new normal, meaning we treat it with the old normal, which is Congress very hesitant to subpoena its own members, very careful about subpoenaing members of a different branch of government that needs to be put aside here because a subpoena is a subpoena, Congress is doing a legitimate investigation and it shouldn't matter who it is that has the information they need to be compelled to come forward.
BASH: Shan, we're out of time. I just have one follow-up there. Can't the vice president of the United States, at least, a former claim executive privilege?
WU: Well, the executive privilege like attorney-client privilege goes to communications and thoughts and analysis. He can certainly claim it but I think at the end of the day legally here similar to the crime- fraud exception, I don't really think you can claim is that -- you can't -- you can't claim executive privilege to hide the fact of a criminal action going on and that's what the issue is.
BASH: Got it. Shan, thank you so much. Appreciate it.
WU: Sure thing.
BASH: And a quick programming note. CNN's special coverage of the January 6 Hearing begins tomorrow at noon Eastern. We'll be right back.
BASH: President Biden spoke just moments ago in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, where he's spending the long holiday weekend. Let's listen.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm feeling great. I'm feeling great. What happened was -- you guys ride bikes?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
BIDEN: Well, they have some you have this finger put your toe --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like a bike?
BIDEN: Stranger's foot, so then it slides the pedal, all right getting off the bike, it's got stuck on the right side.
BIDEN: I was fine.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, are you still planning to go to Ukraine?
BIDEN: That depends.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On what?
BIDEN: On a lot of things relating to whether or not it causes more difficulties for Ukrainians, whether it distracts from what's going on, but I've been meeting with Zelenskyy and I've talked with him almost three, four times a week on the (INAUDIBLE). I'm going into Germany and I'm going to Spain and I'm going to Israel, and I'm going to Saudi Arabia for a larger meeting on the -- on the community there. And then I'll be coming home probably directly.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you're not going to Ukraine on the trip?
BIDEN: Well, on this trip, not likely.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) federal gas tax. Mr. President, we know that you're considering it and the Secretary, Granholm, spoke about it yesterday. BIDEN: Yes, I soon consider that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How soon can we expect to be seen?
BIDEN: I hope I have a decision based on that I'm looking forward by the end of the week.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Will you be sending Americans gas tax cards-- gas rebate cards?
BIDEN: Well, that's part of -- that's part of the whole operation. And just not in a position to answer that. Excuse me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you close to making a decision on student debt?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would you extend the pause for a couple of months at all, or is it on the table?
BIDEN: It's all on the table right now.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, Apple store workers formed their first Union. This is the first time this has happened in the company. You're obviously a big supporter of collective bargaining. I mean, do you have any thoughts on that?
BIDEN: Look, kid, I'm proud of them. Look, you know, workers have a right to determine under what conditions they're going to work for now. And I think that -- I think the thing that everybody kind of misunderstands about unions, they tend to be, especially in the trades, the best workers in the world. They go to a (INAUDIBLE) four years of college. They have four years of apprenticeship and they break their neck. They were paid partially while they were going. But they get paid so everybody's better off -- everybody's better off including the final product they sold in (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, have you had a chance to talk with lawmakers this weekend about the progress on guns? And on (INAUDIBLE) you might have something you may even say on them?
BIDEN: Well, I'm confident that they've done, that there's a serious, serious negotiation very close to coming into fruition. It depends on whether or not particularly Republican hve the courage to stay with one -- I'm sorry, they may have gone.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's your plan, Mr. President?
BIDEN: But look, I'm also very proud of some of the states like right here in Delaware on passing assault weapon ban my government pushing like I push the first time, and more state -- I could have up to 14 states, I think. So look, there's more than that. All I saw was one way to skin a cat but it'd be better if we had better regulation of the sale of firearms nationally and national mandate.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, are you confident that Ukraine is going to become a member of the European Union? Any questions for that?
BIDEN: I think that's likely -- very likely to happen. I know. Let's just ask my Press Secretary (INAUDIBLE). I promise.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, have you seen more recessions even more likely than ever?
BIDEN: No. The majority of them are saying that. Come on don't make things up, OK? Now you're sounding like a Republican politician. I'm joking. That was a joke. That was a joke. But all kidding aside, no, I don't think it is. I was talking to Larry Summers this morning thinking about that. And there's nothing inevitable about a recession. I hear -- he's -- I think we're going to be able to do. I think we're going to be able to get a change in Medicare and a reduction in the cost of insulin.
BIDEN: Insulin, if you know anybody who has type-two diabetes or has a child who has it, they need those shots during the week. It can cost them up to a thousand bucks a week it may not cost more than $35. And I still going to make three and a half times what they invested in insulin. We also can move in a direction that we can provide for the tax -- increase the taxes on those -- in the -- in the corporate area as well as individuals as it relates to Trump's tax cuts, which is inflationary. And they're -- you know going out by the yard it doesn't help the economy a whole lot. And we also -- I'm working with our team has put together at the same time.
My dear mother used to have an expression of everything lousy, something will happen if you look hard enough for it. We have a chance here to make a fundamental turn toward renewable energy, and electric vehicles, and not just like the vehicles that are across the board. And that's something we should be -- my team is going to be sitting down with the CEOs of major oil companies this week, we'll try to get an explanation of how they justify making $35 billion in the first quarter.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you planning to sit down with oil and gas CEOs, Mr. President?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why is that, sir?
BIDEN: Because my team is going to do that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would you do that with retailers and logistics companies and consumer companies --
BIDEN: Because I have already done it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How they can -- how can they cut more (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right.
BIDEN: Well, they can because what they're doing -- first of all, what they've done is they've cut back into refining capacity. All this stuff you hear about and you guys have to report, the Biden limited the amount of oil. They have 9000 leases -- 9000 users on public land, and they should give the user a loser. That's number one. Number two. The problem is what they've done is they've cut back on refining -- on refining. And they say because I don't want to get caught in a position where eventually they're going to move to alternative energy, renewable energy, and they don't want to get stuck. Well, guess what? There's a logical transition to be made here. And I want an explanation from them as to why they aren't refining more oil -- refining more oil and period.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, let's all can keep --
BASH: President Biden speaking on the beach at Rehoboth Beach. Arlette Saenz joins me now. Arlette, their a few headlines there starting with at the end, you heard him talking about pushing the oil companies to refine more oil. The Energy, Secretary Jennifer Granholm, told me that she's going to meet with them this week. But he also said on the question of a gas tax holiday, the federal gas tax is 18 cents a gallon and whether or not that will be put on pause in order to give people a break at the pump. He said he's making a decision now, but it will likely happen by the end of the week.
ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and really those high gas prices are chief among the concerns that Americans have right now about the economy as they seem the skyrocketing prices and the White House has been insisting that they are trying to do everything in their capacity to try to lower these prices. And the president is revealing there that he is expected to make a decision about a possible pause on that federal gas tax, whether he would support that by the end of the week.
Democrats have been pushing this idea up on Capitol Hill but so far it has failed to really gain any major traction. Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen, talking about this saying that it's something that maybe should be considered. There are some states who are already working to suspend the gas tax on the state level. But it's just one of those tools that the White House is examining as they are trying to find ways to lower these prices.
Now, in those comments, the president said he himself would not be meeting with those oil executives but last week, he did send that letter to those refining companies urging them to come up with more ideas for lowering prices. Additionally, it was interesting that the president said he spoke earlier today with former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers. He is one of those people who had been warning about inflation for quite some time. He's warned that a recession may be looming but you heard the president repeat his refrain that he does not believe a recession is inevitable in this country, even as many economists are predicting that one is looming.
BASH: I thought that was so interesting also, Arlette. Larry Summers told me on STATE OF THE UNION last week a recession is not inevitable and that does run counter to what the Biden administration is saying the fact that the president wanted to talk to him directly is quite telling. Arlette, thank you so much.
Big week for NASA and its mission to put a man back on the moon, live details next.
BASH: At this hour, NASA is one step closer to another moon landing. After three attempted rehearsals the effort to launch the Artemis 1 moon rocket is moving forward now. CNN's Kristin Fisher is live with details. Kristen?
KRISTIN FISHER, CNN SPACE AND DEFENSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Dana, after a brief delay this morning, the final test for NASA's Artemis rocket is well underway. We've now entered the wet portion of what's called this wet dress rehearsal, meaning that the liquid propellant is now being loaded into the rocket body. And that's liquid hydrogen, liquid oxygen, it's very flammable, of course. And this is important because what they're going to be doing is they're essentially doing everything all through the countdown up until just nine seconds before when this rocket would launch.
FISHER: They've not been able to do this three times before. This is a fourth attempt. And, Dana, if all goes according to plan, we could see this Artemis rocket technically called the Space Launch System with the Orion spacecraft on top. We could see this first launch at the end of August or the beginning of September. It is uncrewed, but Dana, it sets the stage for the first crewed launch and that would be the return of American astronauts to the moon, hopefully by 2025. Dana.
BASH: Very, very cool. Thank you so much, Kristin. Appreciate that. Thank you so much for joining me. "INSIDE POLITICS" with John King will start after a break.