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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Supreme Court Overturns Roe V. Wade; Rep. Barbara Lee, (D-CA), Is Interviewed About Roe V. Wade; Justice Thomas Calls For Contraception Ruling To be Revisited; Supreme Court Overturns Roe V. Wade; AZ GOP Chair Subpoenaed In Federal Investigation Of Fake Election; Jeffrey Clark: Feds "Took All The Electronics" In Raid. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired June 24, 2022 - 17:00   ET



JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Justice Clarence Thomas writing in his concurring opinion, quote, "in future cases, we should reconsider all of the courts substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell." Those rulings Thomas called errors and said the court has a duty to correct them.

As CNN's Manu Raju reports for us now, Republicans are largely celebrating today but for abortion rights advocates. The ruling has unleashed a torrent of criticism, grief, panic and fear.


MULTIPLE SPEAKERS (chanting): We cast women, we won't go back.

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Casting aside 50 years of settled law, the Supreme Court ended a woman's constitutional right to an abortion. And in the process, broiled the nation's political landscape.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): I am spitting mad over this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Roe vs. Wade belongs on the ash heap of history with Dred Scott and Plessy.

RAJU (voice-over): Justice Samuel Alito writing for the conservative majority in a fight for opinion called Roe v Wade "egregiously wrong and deeply damaging." The three liberal justices dissenting warning the ruling will lead to "the curtailment of women's rights, and of their status as free and equal citizens." On Capitol Hill, the reaction was swift.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), HOUSE SPEAKER: Disgraceful, disgraceful judgment.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is absolutely a major issue on the ballot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Largest governmental overreach in the history of our lifetime. RAJU (voice-over): House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy told CNN he supports codifying a 15-week abortion ban at the national level. The Supreme Court upheld Mississippi's 15-week ban and its ruling overturning Roe with the support of Chief Justice John Roberts, who oppose overturning Roe entirely.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA), MINORITY LEADER: The right to life has been vindicated. The voiceless will finally have a voice.

RAJU (voice-over): Congressional Democrats left with little recourse given they lack 60 votes in the Senate to overcome a GOP filibuster.

REP. RUBEN GALLEGO (D-AZ): The senator from my state, the senator from West Virginia, senators from everywhere, if you say that you're for women then do not use an old law that was not even, again, in the country's United States to stop protection for them.

RAJU (voice-over): But two Democratic senators stand in the way of changing the filibuster rules fearing future GOP majority would enact an even more conservative agenda. At the White House, President Biden called for electing more Democrats to Congress.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This fall Roe is on the ballot. Personal freedoms are on the ballot. The right to privacy, liberty equality, they're all on a ballot.

RAJU (voice-over): While Democrats hope the issue motivates voters in November, many Republicans believe the midterms will turn on the economy.

REP. BILL HUIZENGA (R-MI): Most people are pretty entrenched with what they believe on this particular issue and what ought to happen.

RAJU (voice-over): But the fight ultimately maybe on the state level, 26 states likely to ban abortion completely, including 13 that set abortion bans into motion as soon as Roe is overturned. The emotion palpable in the streets.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This decision is an outrage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is one important victory. It's not the end, but we are dancing on the grave of Roe versus Wade.


RAJU: Now, some reaction from the two key senators who played the decisive role to ensure that Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed in 2018, Susan Collins of Maine, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, both of them contending that Kavanaugh and Gorsuch were not necessarily straightforward, in fact, misleading in how they said that they would uphold legal precedent, both in their testimony, and when they spoke with them. Collins saying that the decision is inconsistent with what Gorsuch and Kavanaugh said in their meetings and they were -- because they both were insistent of the importance of upholding long standing legal precedent. Jake. TAPPER: All right, Manu Raju on Capitol Hill, thank you. Today's Supreme Court decision has near immediate impact in 13 Different states that have so called trigger laws, specifically banning abortion once the court has overturned Roe. This has already gone into effect and half of the states you see highlighted in this map, the other half will go into effect in the next 30 days.

We should note, we know another dozen or so states that have plans to introduce laws banning abortion after this rolling. CNN's Nadia Romero joins us now live from Jackson, Mississippi where an abortion ban will go into an effect within 10 days with almost no exceptions.

Nadia, walk us through exactly what happens now for Mississippi women and girls who need or want to seek an abortion.

NADIA ROMERO, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, it doesn't happen right away. The law doesn't go into effect. There's about a 10- day grace period here because the Attorney General has to certify this into law.

So for the next 10 days or so, women can still come to this facility behind me. This is the only the last standing abortion clinic in the state of Mississippi. And right on that sidewalk behind me is where they're often met with dozens of protesters with signs and bull horns, trying to convince them to turn around and not get an abortion. And the folks that work here at this clinic tell me that they were out this morning telling women that this place had shut down, that they could no longer get an abortion, that it was illegal, that's not true.


And that's their big message, they want people to know that if you come out to this facility you can still get an abortion here in the state of Mississippi over those next 10 days, and they will still be performing those abortions. Many of the people here were very upset, feeling that there was a lot of misinformation out on the internet and in social media to encourage women not to come out here today. So you can still get an abortion in the state of Mississippi through the next 10 days. After that, women will have to turn to trust funds. The pink house behind me has a pink fund where women can access a different monetary amounts to help them travel to other states to get abortions to get that health care, Jake.

TAPPER: What's been the reaction like in Mississippi to the ruling today?

ROMERO: Well, for women here and a men who work at this clinic, this was the saddest of sad days. With that memo, the leak that this was coming, they tried to prepare themselves. But all of them told me, Jake, that there was no way to prepare for that ruling, that decision coming down from the Supreme Court.

Many of them had risked their own lives, getting death threats and being followed home by who they call religious terrorist, people who would come out and protest the clinic. And so, we saw a lot of tears, a lot of heads hung low. Many people who believe that this is the worst day in American history and during their lifetime.

But this is a very day full of jubilation and celebration for people who know that Mississippi is ground zero for this. We heard from the governor who says that this is a day to celebrate, because it was this law in Mississippi, the 15-week ban, Jake, that pushed this through to the Supreme Court and they saw plenty of failures being struck down by federal -- different federal judges. But since 2018, pushing this forward through the highest court of the land, and finally getting the ruling that they wanted, Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Nadia Romero reporting live for us from Jackson, Mississippi, thanks so much.

Joining us now is Democratic Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California.

Congresswoman, thanks so much for joining us. You've been very open about what it was like for you to seek an abortion in the days before Roe v. Wade. So what was your reaction to today's news that we are going back to that?

REP. BARBARA LEE (D-CA): Well, I tell you, Jake, even though we knew it was coming, this was gut wrenching. It's heartbreaking. And it's the first time my view that the Supreme Court has taken away, taken away a constitutional right, which has taken us backwards.

And yes, I remember the days before Roe, we cannot go back. This -- you heard earlier the types of decisions that could come down they're going to take away other rights from people. And so, this is a crisis. It's a constitutional crisis if you asked me.

TAPPER: Well --

LEE: Then in the day before Roe, it was illegal to have an abortion, now they tried to criminalize abortion once again. People should have their own right to make their own healthcare decisions, not judges nor politicians.

TAPPER: So I mean, Roe v. Wade became law of the land in 1973. So, probably most people watching us right now do not know or remember what it was like before Roe v. Wade. So what was it like?

LEE: Before Roe vs. Wade, first of all abortions were illegal. The primary cause of black women's death during that period were septic abortions. Yes, I had an abortion, it was illegal. I had to leave California, go back to El Paso, Texas, go across the border to Mexico, go to a back alley, and I was terrified.

First of all, I was terrified that I might die. But secondly, I was terrified because I knew it was illegal. And coming back across the border I didn't know if I was going to get stopped. I didn't know getting into California if I was going to get stopped and arrested. And so, back in the days now where abortions and abortion providers are going to be criminalized, and that is horrific, that's terrible, and we cannot let this happen. And so we cannot go back.

And we said earlier, trust women, we're going to deal with this, we're going to see those -- who are trying to take away a woman's right to make her own decisions about reproductive -- her own reproductive decisions, her freedom to decide, we're going to see them at the ballot box in November, because this is a terrible, terrible moment. But it's also a moment, like you said, when were many do not know a world without Roe, and believe you me, I am convinced, I am convinced that people are going to show up because you saw it and you mentioned what the poll said earlier, people support Roe whether you agree with abortions or not, people do support a person's right to make their own health care decisions about their reproductive rights.


TAPPER: Last month you told me that one of your many concerns about today is how this ruling will disproportionately impact low income women who are disproportionately minority because they will not have the same ability to travel the states where the -- where abortion remains legal. Some states such as Missouri have even sought to ban residents from traveling outside the state to get an abortion.

Now Justice Kavanaugh is trying to tamp down concerns on that. He wrote, quote, "May a state bar a resident of that state from traveling to another state to obtain an abortion? In my view, the answer is no based on the constitutional right to interstate travel."

But how concerned are you about this issue?

LEE: I'm very concerned, because like I said, they're trying to take away all of our constitutional rights, quite frankly. So, we have to be very concerned. I'm glad the President spoke out today about that.

Black and brown women disproportionately are low income, unfortunately. And so, they don't have the money. We don't have the money to travel to other states. We don't have the money to provide -- to be able to pay for childcare. We don't have the money because we're primarily low wage workers.

So how in the world are we even going to travel even without a travel ban? And so yes, this is impacting rural women, younger women, women of color. It's impacting black and brown people in disproportionate rates. And so, you understand the racist nature also of this decision. And again, the ballot box, we have got to elect state and local officials who trust women and who know that a personal decision about their own reproductive decisions is personal, it's private. Just like it was with me, I did not want to talk about it because it was private, but I was forced to behind what was taking place in Mississippi and Texas and now, and that's the decision that people should be able to make without interference.

And so, we're going to have to help fund people who want to travel. We're going to have to make sure the states elect people who really support and trust women and their decisions that they make. So, we're going to fight though. We're no way taken this sitting down. We're going to fight and show up at the ballot box like, I believe it's galvanize a heck of a lot of people who never thought they would see this day.

TAPPER: Congresswoman Barbara Lee, thank you so much. Appreciate your time.

How will the monumental Supreme Court decision stripping the right to an abortion impact women's health care? You're looking at live pictures right now of the crowds gathered outside the high court in Washington, D.C. A doctor is going to join us to weigh in on the medical impact of this all, next.

Then, a historic vote in the House, the most significant federal gun reforms in a generation now headed to President Biden's resolute desk. Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our health lead, the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling will impact women and girls reproductive health care around the United States. U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy issued a statement on the ruling today saying, quote, "The health of women and pregnant people is put at risk, an effect that will be felt disproportionately in historically marginalized populations, including communities of color, low income Americans, and rural residents."

With us to discuss the health impact of this all is OBGYN Dr. Jennifer Gunter.

Dr. Gunter, thanks for joining us. So, according to Guttmacher, nearly one in four women in the United States will have an abortion by age 45. So what does this ruling mean to one quarter of American women and girls?

DR. JENNIFER GUNTER, OBSTETRICIAN & GYNECOLOGIST: Yes, I mean, it means poverty. We know lack of access to having abortion increases your likelihood that you will live in poverty. It means an increased risk of maternal deaths from illegal abortion, from complications during pregnancy that we now can't manage because there's fetal cardiac activity and maternal death from pregnancy complications.

It also means people who have a miscarriage might have difficulty getting access to drugs to treat that or an ectopic pregnancy. And it could even impact contraception. It's absolutely far reaching and devastating.

TAPPER: Let's talk about the pregnancies that are complicated -- complication issues, health issues, what is the ruling mean for those patients?

GUNTER: Well, it means we, you know, in many states, doctors won't be able to do anything, because many states don't have a health exception. But even if they do, they're uninterpretable. You know, I've personally been in a situation with a sick patient who had a serious medical condition and her physicians felt her health would be improved if she were not pregnant. And we had a law where we couldn't do abortions at our medical facility. And I had to call the politician who wrote the law at home to get permission. TAPPER: I know someone who had a very problem pregnancy where the brain of the fetus was actually growing outside of the skull. There was no way that this baby was going to live. And the mom got an abortion. That mom would be forced in some of these states like South Dakota or Oklahoma, forced to carry the child to term?

GUNTER: Right. And though imagine, say, you're pregnant with, you know, and so now you have all these people touching your belly and asking you, you know about your baby that that, you know, is going to be born to die. But imagine if you get a pregnancy complication, so you get really high blood pressure at 32 weeks, and then we do it -- we want to deliver you early. But that fetus is going to die when it's born so have -- we now done an abortion. I mean the laws are really uninterpretable.


TAPPER: Something else, and you touched on this, I don't know if folks understand. Quite often a woman who miscarries has to then go get an abortion. Can you explain that?

GUNTER: Yes, absolutely. So, sometimes when people have a miscarriage, they have what we call a, you know, a missed abortion or an incomplete. And so, the process starts but it doesn't finish. And so, we prescribe medications, the same medications that we use for medical abortion.

There have already been women reporting online, I've seen reports on Facebook of them showing up to pharmacies ask -- you know, asking for their prescription and being turned away because the pharmacist was worried they were having an abortion.

TAPPER: Wisconsin Planned Parenthood says that they've paused all abortion procedures until there's clarification on whether or not Wisconsin's 1849 law is enforceable. We've heard the argument that even if abortion is not legal in one state, a woman can travel to another state to receive the procedure. But what's your take on whether this increased influx to abortion clinics and other states might make it more difficult for women to have access to time sensitive appointments?

GUNTER: Yes, I mean, if you have to book airfares and travel, nevermind the cost or knowing how to find access to people who might be able to provide funding for you, and then it's time away. And if, you know, many people who have abortions have other children so then you have to, you know, arrange childcare.

Every single time you make it harder. You make it harder for people to access care. You increase costs. The point is the cruelty.

TAPPER: So, Justice Clarence Thomas argued in a concurring opinion that the court should also reconsider other related rulings on same sex relationships. That's Lawrence on same sex marriage, it's a (INAUDIBLE). And on contraception, that's the Lawrence -- I'm sorry, that's the Griswold, Griswold v. Connecticut. Now this is not part of the ruling itself, but what was your reaction as an OBGYN? There are a lot of women out there who obviously rely on birth control pills and contraception.

GUNTER: Well, I mean, my response is fascism. I mean, it's really what it is. We should call it what it is. This is fascism.

Restricting people how -- you know, making up lies about how contraception works, making up lies about abortion. You know, to sort of get your ideology across is fascism. We have -- contraception saves lives, having people being able to control their reproductive destiny is so important, nevermind all the medical conditions that hormonal contraception can treat. And so I mean, we already have a problem with contraception when we had the Hobby Lobby case, which, you know, allowed basically employers, you know, if they believe a contraception is abortion, they're allowed to sort of use that as a back way around it. And, you know, this is this is absolutely absurd that we're even thinking about this and what's on the table is huge.

TAPPER: Dr. Jennifer Gunter, thank you so much. Appreciate your time today.

GUNTER: Thank you for having me.

TAPPER: The other Supreme Court precedents that might be at risk are same sex marriage and contraception next on the chopping block? Stay with us.




TAPPER: Neil Gorsuch for whom you voted, don't you think he's probably going to vote to overturn Roe vs. Wade if given the chance?

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R-ME): I actually don't. I had a very long discussion with Justice Gorsuch in my office and he pointed out to me that he is the co-author of the whole book on precedent.


TAPPER: That age well. We're back in our politics lead with more on the shockwave and impact from the nation's highest court striking down Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.

Let's discuss. Now Jonah, you have written that Roe v. Wade should be overturned because it was a, quote, "fatally flawed constitutional ruling" and that overturning it would be good for the country. Why?

JONAH GOLDBERG, CO-FOUNDER AND EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, THE DISPATCH: Well, I can get into it because it's made up law in terms of its being bad.

TAPPER: It's basically what Alito said. GOLDBERG: It's basically -- and look, that's what Ruth Bader Ginsburg said. She said it would be much better if they grounded the abortion rights and equal protections that have a due process claim. I think it's good for the country, because for the first time in a very long time, this question gets put back to the States and to voters and to legislatures, all these politicians, whether they're prochoice or prolife, can't hide behind the Supreme Court making these decisions for them, they have to make the arguments themselves. They'll send the stuff back to the places where it belongs.

And that doesn't mean I'm sympathetic to Justice Roberts' concurrence. I think the argument of the majority is correct on the merits. But this is also just a huge shock to the system. And it's going to be a while before it works itself out. And it could have political consequences that are bad for Republicans or good for Democrats or something totally unforeseeable. But as -- on the merits, I think it's the right decision.



FINNEY: -- three of us at this table today now don't have the same rights as the two of you to control our own bodies. That's what happened today. And so I disagree, because, fundamentally, obviously, what we're talking about in the way Americans see this right is it's not just about abortion, it's about the fundamental right to control your own body. And frankly, it is also about whether or not government should be making these personal private decisions or women.


Now that it does go back to the states, and frankly goes back to the electorate in the context of the selection, I think you're going to see Democrats obviously pushing this issue. A majority of Americans support Roe v. Wade. So as an Republican candidates are going to have to take a position, not just on Roe v. Wade.

Thanks to Clarence Thomas, they're also going to have to talk about contraception. They're also going to have to talk about marriage equality, because he certainly made it clear that this underlying right to privacy is also something that we consider.

GOLDBERG: As a political matter, I think you're entirely right or that's entirely fair. Justice Thomas was riding alone. Brett Kavanaugh directly rejected that. You can't get to majority without Brett Kavanaugh. He's been in the majority more than any other justice. You don't have five votes to get rid over that (ph).

FINNEY: Brett Kavanaugh also said something about the precedent of Roe v. Wade in this hearing. So I'm not sure I take his judgment. I'm not sure we can trust him.

GOLDBERG: And look, I think media has been completely wrong about these guys misleading the public about what they say -- TAPPER: Do you think that's not true? Do you think it's not fair,

because --

GOLDBERG: I can't speak to what he said -- what anybody said to Susan Collins in private.

TAPPER: Because Manchin says the same thing, too. They -- Both of them have said that they -- that Kavanaugh and Gorsuch misled them.

GOLDBERG: Yes. Look, they gave political answers in a political process. But like the quotes attributed to Amy Coney Barrett about, you know, precedents can't be overturned, was taken out of context.

TAPPER: Totally. A 100 percent. She was pretty clear about what she was going to do. No question about that.

Let me ask you something, because -- Jonah alluded to this, it does seem like John Roberts, as somebody said earlier, this is not the John Roberts' court anymore. He had a path and the other conservative justice, he wanted to allow Mississippi to ban abortions at 15 weeks and that was, I guess, going to be some sort of middle ground on this but not overturn Roe v. Wade. And the other justices said, nope.

JOAN BISKUPIC, CNN LEGAL ANALYST & SUPREME COURT BIOGRAPHER: No. Two things. First of all, it is still John Roberts' court on racial remedies, on religion and on guns, remember. So this is -- but this is one area where he wanted a compromise. He said, not yet.

He did -- he want -- who was ready to uphold a 15 week ban on abortions from Mississippi. But he reminded everyone when we -- when they took this case, they said they were only going to be looking at that, they weren't going to be looking at overturning Roe v. Wade. But Mississippi officials seen Amy Coney Barrett take her seat, they push for more and he said we should wait. He's certainly sympathetic with where the majority is. But he just didn't want it to go now.

And he had a really interesting line, Jake, that I think reflects a kind of over humility that we haven't seen from him where he said, both sides, the majority in dissent, seem to be free of doubt. I don't share that freedom from doubt here. I think that this is more complex. So that's where he's coming from.

It's not entirely John Roberts' court the way it was before Anthony Kennedy -- you know, right after Anthony Kennedy left and he had so much control. Having this supermajority removes him from many equations.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think that's such an interesting point about his concurrence and this idea of doubt, because both the gun decision and the abortion decision were rooted in this idea that they know what history is, and that if it's not rooted in history, it doesn't exist. And that -- I mean, their understanding of history is what it is but I think that as the American people evaluate the court's role in setting the terms of their lives, that's going to be a big issue. How many Americans are going to be looking at what is rooted in our country's history and saying they want that to be determinative of the rights that they have today in the year 2022? It's one of the reasons why on abortion, when you have a country where almost 70 percent of Americans say they want to keep Roe versus Wade in place, and then the court does what the 30, you know, the 35 percent or 36 percent of Americans wants, it leads to real questions about how long that kind of imbalance between what the court is doing and what the public wants can continue.

FINNEY: Well, especially given that and actually the numbers I've seen are closer to 80 percent of Americans support Roe v Wade. About 75 percent say that they actually would not vote for someone who did not support Roe v. Wade. But also just remember, man, I'm 55 years old, for 50 years of my life I've had that -- I've had a right that I now no longer have.

I think the court also doesn't under has -- not understanding how this feels what this means to people to say, we are taking this away from you. You had a right at the beginning of the day --

BISKUPIC: It's not where there head is at.

FINNEY: No. They don't care.

BISKUPIC: They know. They know how people feel.

FINNEY: But that goes to this legitimacy issue.

BISKUPIC: They know how people feel but that didn't matter.

FINNEY: That's right.

TAPPER: I think they would disagree, though. I mean, I think if I were Samuel Alito, and I'm not --


TAPPER: -- but I think he would say, I'm just letting the states decide. You have in Washington, D.C., the same rights that you had --


TAPPER: -- yesterday. And that's what I believe Alito --

GOLDBERG: Yes. Well, moreover, like I understand that the polling on Roe v. Wade called Roe v. Wade is what it is. The polling on actual sort of limit restrict -- unfettered restrictions in the first 15 weeks --


GOLDBERG: -- versus mid -- you know, second term and versus third term are much closer to the pro-life position or at least the anti-Roe position than a lot of people are talking about.


Moreover, what, you know -- like I agree emotions are high and all this but politically and sort of culturally get ready for a lot of people to obsess about Oklahoma City. Because in California and in New York, women have not had this right taken away in practical terms, they're going to have the same access to abortion that they had before this decision. And so all of the media, like, all of the rhetoric from Democrats is going to be aimed at states justifiably at places where abortion rights are going to be restricted or access to abortion is going to be restricted.

You're going to see in purplish states these fights play out. Virginia already has said -- Glenn Youngkin has said he's going to look at a 15-week.

TAPPER: The governor.

GOLDBERG: And that's actually still better access to abortion than a lot of European countries.

FINNEY: But actually you're going to see, I can tell you, the Democratic strategy is, you have Mitch McConnell and Republican thing, they are open to a 100 percent all out ban on abortion. So when we are talking about control of the Senate, and again, our data shows, this is not only an issue that motivates voters that mobilizes voters.

PHILLIP: I mean, I think that that's exactly right. The problem, Jonah, is that the reality is that the position that a lot of conservatives have, top to bottom from Oklahoma all the way to Washington --


PHILLIP: -- is that abortion should be illegal nationwide. And as long as that is the position, it's not hyperbole to suggest that that is what is coming next. And beyond that, I mean, there are some pretty large states where a lot of people live where abortion is restricted today and could be severely restricted. Just think about the state of Texas, a lot of Democrats and liberals live in Texas --


PHILLIP: -- but their rights to an abortion are going to be restricted.

TAPPER: Let me -- what do you think it means that the governor of Florida, who may well be the next president or the next Republican nominee, DeSantis, that he -- and he could -- let's be honest, he could pass anything. And the Florida Legislature would, you know, if he wanted to Mount Rushmore of his face four times, they would do it.

This Ron DeSantis pass 15-week ban. He did not pass a all out there. I'm not saying the 15-week ban is great or not. But I mean, he went to the muddy middle, you know what I mean? Which is probably where polling indicates people are. BISKUPIC: That's exactly right. And that's where, you know, John Roberts, who's very politically savvy, I should say it's for most of my time covering the Supreme Court, I never thought they'd reverse Roe, because they were smart Republicans who didn't want to hand Democrats an issue. I don't know if this decision is going to do that but let me just say, talking about the middle, John Roberts, that's where he wanted to go.

TAPPER: I'll let you have the final word, but keep it quick.

FINNEY: This middle that we're talking about, a ban is a ban is a ban, and the issue for a lot of these voters is who decides. Is it a politician or is it the woman regardless of the place (ph).

TAPPER: Well, we're going to keep talking about for many, many months, so thanks, one and all for being here.

And of course, this programming note, if you're like me, you didn't get enough Abby Phillip just now, so, if you're like me, you can watch Abby Phillip on "Inside Politics" Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m. Eastern. Everyone tune in.

As gun reform legislation adds to President Biden's desperate signature, we're going to take a look at one section of that bill that almost tanked the whole deal. Stay with us.



TAPPER: President Biden is expected to sign the newly passed bipartisan gun bill into law marking the first major federal gun safety legislation in decades. It includes $750 million for Crisis Intervention Programs, a requirement for more gun sellers to register as a federally licensed firearm dealer, and a more thorough review process for 18 to 21 year olds looking to buy guns. The House passed the bipartisan bill today with 14 House Republicans joining the Democrats. The bill was in jeopardy at one point because of the provision called closing the so called "boyfriend loophole," that's a loophole that allows domestic abusers who are not married, not living with or do not have a child with the victim to own a gun. And believe it or not, there are folks here in Washington, D.C. lobbying to make sure that guys who beat up their girlfriends are able to buy guns.


TAPPER (voice-over): For the first time in nearly three decades,

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With an amendment is agreed to.

TAPPER (voice-over): Congress has passed a major gun safety bill with bipartisan support.

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT): I would argue it will save 1000s of lives.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: We're considering a bipartisan bill that will make our country safer, without making it any less free. This is the sweet spot.

TAPPER (voice-over): The compromise package does not include all the broad measures Democrats sought but it does include a variety of significant steps from increased funding for mental health to more comprehensive background checks for 18 to 21-year olds. And it includes one key provision that almost tanked the whole deal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Operating under the boyfriend loophole.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The so called boyfriend loophole continues to be the challenge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to close the boyfriend loophole.

TAPPER: Closing the boyfriend loophole, a long standing goal of advocates for domestic abuse victims.

ROBIN LLOYD, MANAGING DIRECTOR, GIFFORDS: The boyfriend loophole is a gap in federal law.

TAPPER (voice-over): A gap because right now federal law only bans domestic abusers from buying or owning guns if they were convicted of abuse of a parent, spouse or someone with whom they share a child or a significant other they were living with at the time. But what about abusive relationships where the couple is dating, but do not fit into those other classifications? According to the Johns Hopkins Center for gun violence solutions, "Partner homicides dropped 13 percent when protective orders covered dating partners."

SEN. CHRIS PURPHY (D-CT): We're going to make sure that every domestic abuser, whether it be a spouse or a boyfriend has their guns taken away.

TAPPER (voice-over): Yet, despite the fact that researchers have found more than half of the gunman who committed mass shootings between 2014 and 2019, either killed an intimate partner or family member or had a history of domestic violence.


The National Rifle Association has lobbied for years against closing that loophole, arguing that the move quote, "is exploiting real problems like domestic violence to opportunistically target civil rights, like the Second Amendment and constitutional due process." That's right, people who beat up their girlfriends have lobbyists fighting to preserve their ability to buy guns. And gun safety advocates say the NRA's due process argument is a moot point under the new bill.

LLOYD: This bill goes out of its way to ensure that due process protections are included.

TAPPER (voice-over): So with this newly passed bill, is the boyfriend loophole finally closed? No, it is not.

LLOYD: They went a long way toward addressing it, but it only includes people that have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

TAPPER (voice-over): So domestic abusers of a girlfriend or a boyfriend will only have to relinquish their guns if they are convicted of a misdemeanor, which means victims who have taken one of the first steps of getting a restraining order will still have to live knowing their abusers could be fully armed.

LLOYD: These are obviously extremely dangerous individuals but unfortunately, it does not include those who have been served with a domestic violence restraining order. That moment when somebody, a victim of domestic violence, goes to seek a restraining order is often the most dangerous time for that individual.

TAPPER (voice-over): And perhaps most significantly, this bill only applies to folks who beat their girlfriends after President Biden signs it into law. It does not apply to domestic violence before that point. It does not apply retroactively.

And unlike in Florida, where abusers have to prove they're now safe and got their act together, this law has an automatic restoration of all firearms rights after five years for one time offenders. All of which is a win for the NRA, according to the lead Republican negotiator on the bill Texas Senator John Cornyn, who touted these limitations and others to a roomful of his GOP colleagues. Most of his Republican Senate colleagues and the gun groups lobbying for the girlfriend beaters, they still oppose the bill anyway.

SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R-TX): I think we've threaded the needle away, you know, in a way that protects the rights of law abiding citizens but tries to get at the root of the problem that produced this shooting in Uvalde and has produced similar shooting elsewhere and I think ultimately will save lives. And to me, that's the ultimate test.

TAPPER (voice-over): Saving lives, that's what this bill is truly aiming to do to prevent another school shooting or grocery store massacre or a senseless death of a domestic abuse survivor. So, will it?

LLOYD: Without a doubt. It really is a momentous occasion and it should not be downplayed. But of course, in my opinion, the work is not done and we'll keep going and keep fighting to make sure that all of the loopholes in our gun laws are closed moving forward.


TAPPER: According to Everytown for gun safety, which is a nonprofit that advocates for stricter gun restrictions, 19 states have already implemented similar provisions to prohibit those convicted of abusing their current and former dating partners from having a gun.

A husband and wife in Arizona are subpoenaed as the probe into Donald Trump's fake electoral scheme grows. Stay with us.


[17:52:45] TAPPER: On the heels of an explosive January 6 hearing, today, a new subpoena was issued for the Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward and her husband, Michael Ward. A source tell CNN this is part of the federal investigation into those slates of fraudulent electors. Let's bring in CNN's Evan Perez.

Evan, what are the Wards suspected of doing and what does this tell us about the larger federal probe in Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the election?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, what this tells us, Jake, is that now everybody, anyone who played a part in this effort to organize this slate of fake electors is either already subpoenaed or they're about to get subpoenaed. And in this case, we know that these two -- we know Kelli Ward was very prominent in the effort to try to get this stuff organized in Arizona and the idea being that they would be alternate or so called alternate indexers for Donald Trump, if that time came to pass, obviously

TAPPER: Interesting. We also heard three former Trump Justice Department officials yesterday describing how woefully under qualified they thought Trump's Attorney General pick Jeffrey Clark was, they went into quite some detail. We also learned his home was raided before the hearing started. What did investigators take? What were they looking for?

PEREZ: Well, we know that this is part of this investigation is broader investigation into the effort to overturn the election. And these investigators came in, they spent three hours or so. And they had apparently a electronic sniffing dog. He says that they took electronics.

But he also describes what he says with this horrific circumstance because he was made to stand out in his jammies while the agents were doing this -- doing their search. Take a listen.


JEFFREY CLARK, FMR. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: At one point, you know, 12 agents and two Fairfax County police officers went into my house, searched it for three and a half hours. They even brought along something, Tucker, I've never seen before or heard of, a electronic sniffing dog. And they took all of the electronics from my house.


PEREZ: As you could tell, he's not very familiar with law enforcement.

TAPPER: Yes, I mean, I've heard of electronic, but he wanted to be the Attorney General. All right. Evan Perez, thanks so much.

We're going to take a quick break. We'll squeeze in this break. We'll be right back.



TAPPER: Tomorrow night join me for a CNN special report, Trumping Democracy, An American Coup. I talked to Republican congresswoman and vice chair of the January 6 Select Committee, Liz Cheney, plus Republican congressman and committee member, Adam Kinzinger, as well as Republican election officials from across the country about Donald Trump's efforts to undermine the will of the American people and the ongoing threat to democracy. That airs at 8:00 p.m. Eastern tomorrow.

And then Sunday, you can join me for a special edition of State of the Union in addition to covering the continued fallout from the Supreme Court decision. I'll be in Germany for the G7 and I'll sit down for an exclusive interview with the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. That's at 9:00 a.m. and noon Eastern on Sunday.

Until then, you can follow me on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter, on TikTok @jaketapper. You can tweet the show @theleadcnn. If you ever miss an episode, you can listen to THE LEAD wherever you get your podcasts, all two hours, just sitting there for you to enjoy on a hot summer day.

Our coverage continues now with Wolf Blitzer. He's right next door in a place I'd like to call "THE SITUATION ROOM". I'll see you tomorrow night.