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The Lead with Jake Tapper
Ex-White House Aide Provides First-Hand Account Of Trump's Actions On January 6; Cheney: Committee Has Evidence Of Potential Witness Tampering By Trump Allies; Cheney: Committee Has Evidence Of Potential Witness Tampering By Trump Allies; CNN: Trump Aides Left Speechless By "Bombshell" Testimony; States Adjust Abortion Laws Based On Supreme Court Ruling Overturning Roe. Aired 4-5p ET
Aired June 28, 2022 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Jamie Gangel, let me bring you in.
Jamie Gangel, what are you hearing from your Republican sources about today?
JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: Even my Republican sources who normally just privately say things, they say it is worse than we ever imagined. This wasn't one bombshell. It was multiple bombshells.
And I think the thing that is resonating is that Cassidy Hutchinson had access. She was credible. And this isn't one story. It is account after account. She is a first-hand fact witness to what was going on on January 6th and the days that followed.
TAPPER: All right. Jamie Gangel, thank you so much.
We're joined now by a member of the January 6th Select Committee, Congressman Jamie Raskin, Democrat of Maryland.
Thank you so much for joining us, Congressman.
So, one of the most stunning revelations today in this testimony from, again, conservative Trump supporting White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson -- I just think that point can't be made enough.
REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): Chief aide to Mark Meadows. What else --
TAPPER: Right, exactly, to Mark Meadows -- is that Trump, she overheard Trump in the tent at the site of the rally, the, quote/unquote, Stop the Steal rally January 6th, saying that he didn't -- specific quote, I don't fucking care that they have weapons. They're not here to hurt me. Let my people in, they can march to the Capitol, unquote -- talking about all of the individuals in the crowd who had weapons and we heard testimony today that Cassidy Hutchinson had been told by Secret Service and others that those weapons included AR-15s and knives, et cetera, et cetera.
Does that establish criminal intent? Is that a smoking gun? RASKIN: Well, you've identified a central moment because it's at that
moment that we realized and we were able to show that Donald Trump knew that there were members of the crowd who were violent, armed, certainly, and who were refusing to lay down their arms to come in, which is why they weren't going through the metal detectors.
But he was saying he wanted the crowd all together. He said forget the mags. Get rid of the mags. Let my people in.
In other words, let in the people who were carrying, according to the testimony, guns, knives, there were even people with AR-15s there that day. Let them all in. They're no threat to me --
RASKIN: -- said Donald Trump. They're not going to harm me.
Now, whether they were going to harm other people, that was a matter of no import to President Trump.
TAPPER: But does that establish intent of a crime? I have seen legal commentators say that's a smoking gun. That is -- bring these armed people and, quote, they can march to the Capitol, that that is -- that that's criminal.
TAPPER: I'm not a lawyer. I don't -- you are a lawyer.
RASKIN: Yes, indeed. Let's put it like this. I mean, let me be clear that our committee is a legislative investigative committee. We're not a prosecuting authority, but I could certainly see prosecutors looking at that, and if they're making charges of seditious conspiracy, which is conspiracy to overthrow or put down the government of the United States, that crowd could be or people who are ringleaders in the crowd, could be charged with seditious conspiracy --
TAPPER: They have been.
RASKIN: They have been.
TAPPER: Yeah, Oath Keepers and Proud Boys.
RASKIN: And several have already pled guilty to that charge.
So in any event, it debunks the lie you sometimes hear that the violence was all a surprise to Donald Trump or the fact that people were armed was somehow a surprise to him. It was no surprise.
TAPPER: So there was another important clip today, and this might be the only thing that Cassidy Hutchinson described today that she was not a witness to, that she was told by two Secret Service agents, according to her.
And I want to play this clip, and then I want to ask you about it. It's about Donald Trump getting into the car to go back to the presidential limo, and I think it was the Suburban, not the Beast, but to go back to the White House, although he wanted to go to the Capitol, January 6th.
Let's play that clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CASSIDY HUTCHINSON, FORMER AIDE TO WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF MARK MEADOWS: The president said something to the effect of, I'm the f'ing president. Take me up to the Capitol now. To which Bobby responded, sir, we have to go back to the West Wing. The president reached up towards the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel.
Mr. Engel grabbed his arm, said, sir, you need to take your hand off the steering wheel. We're going back to the west wing. We're not going to the capitol. Mr. Trump then used his free hand to lunge towards Bobby Engel. And when Ornato had recounted the story to me, he had motioned towards his clavicles.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: OK, that is Cassidy Hutchinson relaying what the Secret Service agent in charge, I believe, was positioned, Mr. Ornato, told her. And so it's a story that only Engel and Ornato I think were present for, theoretically, she was not. She did not see it happen.
Do you have any corroborating evidence? You have interviewed both Ornato -- the committee has interviewed both Engel and Ornato, two Secret Service agents. Do you have any corroborating evidence that that story is true or do you only have it from Cassidy Hutchinson?
RASKIN: Well, the story that she told is the evidence that I'm aware of, at least within --
TAPPER: Her story is the only version you know.
RASKIN: And I have not seen anything to contradict it, and, of course, it's corroborated by everything we know about Donald Trump's eagerness to not just incite this march and assemble the march and form the march and exhort the people in the march, but also to participate in it.
He wanted to go into it. And you know, he's being told by the White House counsel, being told by others, don't do this. And Ms. Hutchinson testified about how Mr. Cipollone was telling her, please, don't let him go on that march.
RASKIN: You have assured me he's not going to go into it, because then he said at that point, we're going to be guilty of, I think she said, tons of offenses or, you know, hundreds of crimes because at that point, he's not going to be able to assert any kind of ignorance of what was about to happen.
TAPPER: Right, I get it, but what I'm saying is your committee interviewed Tony Ornato and Steven Engel who supposedly told her this story. And I don't doubt her. I'm sure Ornato told her the story.
But your committee interviewed them. Did you ask about this story? It is a shocking story. Maybe you didn't know about at the time, I don't know.
RASKIN: I was not involved in either of those interviews, so I can't say. And I don't have any knowledge of that. I will just say -- I'm not aware of anything that contradicts the account that she just gave.
TAPPER: Right, but you would agree that story would be stronger if you had corroborated evidence from the individuals who were in the presidential limo.
RASKIN: Sure, and we're encouraging anyone who has information to come forward to tell us.
TAPPER: But you've already interviewed -- but you have already interviewed these two.
RASKIN: Well, you know, anybody is free to come back. And again, I have not been involved in the questioning of those particular witnesses.
TAPPER: It is just an incredibly damning and dramatic story. I would just as a journalist and as an American appreciate more corroboration for the story since as of now, it is heresy.
RASKIN: Oh, sure.
TAPPER: It is somebody saying this is what I heard.
RASKIN: Yeah, of course, we're not in a court of law and we're not charging anybody with any particular offense. Our job under House Resolution 503 is to assemble the most meticulous and comprehensive account of the details of that day that we can as well as the causes of these events as well as making recommendations as to how to fortify democratic institutions against coups and insurrections and political violence and --
RASKIN: -- attacks on our elections. So, that's what we're working on.
So, that obviously is just one detail --
RASKIN: -- of many details. And so far, I'm not aware of a single fact that the committee has put forward that has been contradicted or debunked by anybody. But that's not to say it couldn't happen. But you have to look at the entire mass of facts -- TAPPER: Sure.
RASKIN: -- that we have put forward, and we have a very clear story of the president's attempt to overthrow, President Trump's attempt to overthrow the presidential election in 2020 to seize power.
TAPPER: Absolutely, over months and months. I'm just saying that corroboration for that story would be good.
Do you happen to know if Cassidy Hutchinson is cooperating with the Justice Department probe that's going on?
RASKIN: I do not know anything about that.
TAPPER: You don't know anything about it.
RASKIN: I will say, though, that Cassidy Hutchinson to my mind is an American hero and a young American hero at that, 25 years old.
TAPPER: Twenty-six. Just had a birthday.
RASKIN: She just had a birthday, okay. She turned 26, but I took note that she was 25 because I have a 25-year-old daughter. I didn't realize. Happy birthday to Cassidy Hutchinson.
But she showed remarkable courage with millions of people watching her, to come forward and tell the truth. And the Vice Chair Cheney's remarks at the end were chilling because there are apparently forces out there that are trying to engage in intimidation of our witnesses.
That's an offense. That's a federal crime. It's a crime in the District of Columbia. It's a crime in all of the states.
You can't try to force somebody not to tell the full truth, and nothing but the truth.
TAPPER: Well, they're not -- the way it was described in those witness -- anonymous witness descriptions of how they're being discouraged from testifying in their view --
TAPPER: -- is the kind of language that you hear in mob movies or, you know, about like, you know, nice restaurant you have here. It would be a shame if anything happened to it, which is not a direct threat but certainly an implied threat.
TAPPER: Are you saying, is the committee saying Donald Trump and his team are committing crimes, are intimidating witnesses?
RASKIN: Well, all we're saying is that witness tampering is a crime.
[16:10:02] And people should be aware of that. You can't mess with witnesses. Everybody owes the government in this case, this committee, his or her honest and truthful testimony, and those people should not be deterred in any by explicit or implicit threats that are leveled against them.
TAPPER: I think one of the things that bothers a lot of Americans is they hear about thesis very vivid descriptions of potential crimes committed by Donald Trump, and there's no evidence right now that the Justice Department is investigating Donald Trump for any crimes, and it's hard to look at Attorney General Garland and think that he's the kind of guy, the kind of attorney general who has the appetite to go after a former president.
And so, you're doing -- the committee is doing a very thorough job of creating what seems to be a criminal scheme. And yet I do wonder how much accountability is there going to be at the end of the day.
RASKIN: Well, I have a somewhat more optimistic analysis of that, Jake. I mean --
TAPPER: You know that a lot of people feel that way though.
RASKIN: I see it wherever I go.
TAPPER: You represent part of Maryland. I'm sure you hear it all the time.
RASKIN: There's a great hunger not just for us to figure out what went wrong and prevent it in the future but also for individual criminal accountability, all the way to the top. And I understand that and I share that, but more than 850 charges have been brought already against people for assaulting federal officers.
RASKIN: For interfering with a federal proceeding. Seditious conspiracy, which means conspiracy to overthrow or put down the government of the United States.
So they are working their way up. This is my perception, from the bottom, the way you do in a mob prosecution. You start with the little fish and then you learn more about the bigger fish and work your way up to the top.
I hope that by laying this out, we're going to educate the country about what happened and that there will be evidence available to prosecutors to help them make cases where they find that there is credible evidence that people have committed crimes against the United States.
TAPPER: All right. Congressman Jamie Raskin, appreciate your time. Thank you so much.
RASKIN: Thanks, Jake.
TAPPER: Still ahead, I'm going to talk to another member of the Select House Committee investigating January 6th, Stephanie Murphy, congresswoman from Florida.
THE LEAD continues after this.
TAPPER: Welcome back.
Today we heard some of the most damning, stunning testimony we have heard to date, not only in the January 6th hearings but frankly in American history. This testimony about what exactly former President Trump and those closest to him knew and did and on and before January 6th.
For those of you who are just tuning in, today, 26-year-old Cassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, publicly testified on Capitol Hill. She says that Trump knew that some of his supporters had gathered in Washington, D.C. on the National Mall with weapons and body armor on January 6th. He wanted security to remove screening checkpoints with magnetometers because he felt, quote, they're not here to hurt me. And then he wanted them, according to Hutchinson's testimony, to go to march on the U.S. Capitol, knowing many of them were armed.
I want to bring in a member of the committee, Democratic Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy of Florida.
Congresswoman, thanks for joining us.
So, your committee vice chair, Congresswoman Liz Cheney, says the committee has evidence of potential witness tampering from the Trump world. Cheney said the committee is considering, quote, next steps.
Does that include possible criminal referral for possible witness tampering or obstruction of Congress charges against members of the Trump team?
REP. STEPHANIE MURPHY (D-FL): As you heard from the vice chair, we asked this question of all of our witnesses, and we have gotten some troubling answers to the question of whether or not people have reached out to them to talk to them in ways that are inappropriate as it relates to them being a witness for the committee. And the committee takes this very seriously.
And so we need to have some further discussions as a committee, and that's pretty much where we are right now. I don't want to get beyond that and get in front of the committee.
TAPPER: So, the committee had more than 20 hours of taped testimony from Cassidy Hutchinson. We saw snippets of that in the proceeding hearings. Why did the committee feel it was important to have her testify in person in a public hearing today?
MURPHY: Well, she had -- she also had a fourth hearing or fourth deposition last week. And she has provided us with information that is cross cutting, across the pressure campaigns that we saw and had laid out in the previous hearings. She also has a lot of information about what we are going to be showing the American people in the next couple hearings. And so, we thought it was a good moment to have her in and have her share with the American people what she had shared with us as a committee.
TAPPER: Was it difficult to convince her to testify publicly?
MURPHY: You know, I don't think it's easy for any of the folks who have decided to testify publicly. Because they understand that they will be the target of the former president's wrath. And you have heard in previous hearings what that means, how it can upend an ordinary citizen's life.
And it's also difficult for people who were very much committed to the official work that the former administration did. They were proud of the policy work that they did. But when it came to participating in an effort to cheat to win, they were going to draw the line. So I don't think it's been easy for any of these witnesses, knowing what might lay ahead for them.
TAPPER: One of the most shocking parts of the testimony was Cassidy Hutchinson describing how Donald Trump wanted the people who were armed on January 6th in the capitol, meaning in Washington, D.C., wanted them admitted into his rally. Wanted the magnetometers put away so they could get in even though they had weapons and then they were all going to march to the Capitol.
Does that establish a criminal conspiracy by Donald Trump?
MURPHY: I think what it is a piece of evidence or a fact pattern that basically shows that Trump and his aides understood that the January 6th protest could get violent. They understood the extent to which his supporters had arrived in Washington armed. And they -- and he called for them to go to the Capitol.
I have to tell you, I was sitting there looking at the faces of Officer Hodges and Officer Dunn when that part of the testimony came out. And to see them understand that the White House knew that these people were armed, that they were getting reports that capitol police didn't have enough people to stop these people, that the Capitol was getting breached.
Watching them respond and react to that information was quite impactful. It was betrayal at the highest levels.
TAPPER: I think that Officer Gonell said afterwards that President Trump set them up. And I know a lot of people who were at the Capitol that day, journalists and politicians and staffers alike, can't believe that Donald Trump knew that there were individuals in the crowd who were armed and still sent them up to Capitol Hill.
MURPHY: Yeah, and in fact, you heard in the hearing today, Republicans who have since sought to whitewash what happened plead, put out public videos, make -- do interviews where they were pleading for the president to do the right thing while they were under siege. And I guess in that moment, in the fog of war, they understood the one man who could cause all of this to go away, that could save them too as Republicans as well as Democrats and all of the folks that were on the Hill that day, they were calling for him to call these folks off. It's been quite disappointing to see that they have changed their tune in the year since, the year-plus since.
TAPPER: You're specifically talking about the Republican leader Kevin McCarthy who was shown in today's clips on CBS talking about how Donald Trump needed to call off the mob. And also --
MURPHY: It wasn't just --
TAPPER: Also, Congressman Gallagher --
TAPPER: -- from Wisconsin, who also did that. Have you talked to them about it? Why when they were so clear-eyed as to what was going on on January 6th, why have, especially McCarthy, backed off so much on the clear and present danger they were experiencing themselves as human beings in the Capitol that day?
MURPHY: You know, it wasn't just my colleagues, Republican colleagues. It was also the Republican media. You saw Laura Ingraham, you saw Tucker Carlson, you saw people who were spinning a completely totally different narrative today on that day pled for the president to call off the crowd.
And so, I think it's really important that we ask the American people to set aside their partisan affiliations and with clear eyes listen to the evidence and the facts we're laying out for them about what happened in the run-up to January 6th and what happened on January 6th, which was not a spontaneous riot but rather an effort to overturn the free and fair election by a sitting president who knew there had not been fraud that had been committed, and was running out of options and ways to unconstitutionally change the outcome.
TAPPER: All right. Yeah, I think it was Hannity and Ingraham, just to be -- just to be clear.
MURPHY: Han -- right, sorry.
TAPPER: Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy, Democrat of Florida, thanks so much.
A lot more to discuss including the implied threat Congresswoman Liz Cheney laid out at the end of today's hearing.
Stay with us.
[16:28:20] TAPPER: We're back with our coverage of today's shocking testimony on Capitol Hill about Donald Trump and top aides, their actions on and around January 6th.
Jamie Gangel, let me start with you.
So, Vice Chairwoman Liz Cheney suggested Trump's team has been pressuring witnesses. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): This is a call received by one of our witnesses. Quote: A person let me know you have your deposition tomorrow. He wants me to let you know he's thinking about you. He knows you're loyal. And you're going to do the right thing when you go in for your deposition.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: So you, Jamie, talk to sources around the committee. How has that alleged intimidation, obstruction, how has that affected the investigation?
GANGEL: Jake, I just want to note, I know you're loyal to me, and I'm going to be -- I mean --
TAPPER: I am.
GANGEL: -- this is so transparent on Trump's part. This has been a big concern for the committee for months now. In fact, I have spoken to Vice Chair Cheney about it. This is witness tampering, plain and simple. And I think we're going to see more about it as the hearings go on.
TAPPER: So I grew up in Philly, and you know, I have not covered, I have followed a lot of mob trials. One thing you hear is nobody ever says, don't testify or we'll kill you, right? They're like, they say things like that.
We know you're loyal. We know you're going to do the right thing, et cetera. But what's a crime and what's not a crime in terms of that kind of suggestion, or intimidation?
CARRIE CORDERO, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: So, it's -- in this case, these particular examples are an implied threat.
And I think part of what the committee might be doing in this circumstance, they know of these particular instances, that they put out publicly, and I think they want to know if other witnesses who have come before them have experienced these same things. So, part of what I think they're doing is they're communicating, hey, we know some of our witnesses are being threatened, and they want more people to come forward.
What would help them, I think, make their decision about whether to refer this to the justice department for potential prosecution for witness tampering, is if this is a concerted effort, if they have multiple instances of it. The committee knows who is sending those notes to their witnesses. They're just not revealing that publicly.
TAPPER: So, Cassidy Hutchinson testified today that White House counsel Pat Cipollone, very loyal Trump official at the Trump White House, said this to her on the morning of January 6th about not letting Trump go to the Capitol after the rally.
Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HUTCHINSON: Mr. Cipollone said something to the effect of, please make sure we don't go up to the Capitol, Cassidy. Keep in touch with me. We're going to get charged with every crime imaginable if we make that movement happen.
CHENEY: And do you remember which crimes Mr. Cipollone was concerned with?
HUTCHINSON: In the days leading up to the 6th, we had conversations about potentially obstructing justice or defrauding the electoral count.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: So let me ask you. As a legal matter, well, first of all, the great advice by Pat Cipollone.
CORDERO: Well, those are words no White House counsel ever wants to have to say. That is the worst possible scenario for a White House counsel --
TAPPER: We're going to be charged with crimes.
CORDERO: Is we are going to be charged with every crime imaginable, according to Cassidy Hutchinson.
TAPPER: But I guess my question is, does it matter on a legal level whether or not Trump was inciting the crowd on Capitol Hill and he was present, or whether he had just done all the work and they were running to the Capitol anyway?
CORDERO: Well, it clearly mattered to Pat Cipollone.
So, in his assessment, he knew sort of all the facts that were going on at the time, and so he obviously underwent some kind of legal analysis within the White House -- what I'm presuming is they did a legal analysis within the White House Counsel's Office, and there was something about going up to the Capitol physically that made him in his judgment think that would have then the former president be specifically participating in the obstruction of Congress or in inciting the riot.
So, they knew violence was coming, they knew a riot was most likely about to occur and in his judgment had the president been there physically, that would have made a distinction. I think an argument can be made even without that physical presence, the president -- the former president has culpability.
TAPPER: So we keep hearing throughout this hearing, throughout the investigation, that Pat Cipollone and the White House counsel's office was advising them to do the right thing day in, day out. That they thought the nonsense about the election fraud should be dropped, that they thought that Trump shouldn't go to the Capitol, they were going to be charged with a crime.
Why won't they come forward? Specifically, why won't Pat Cipollone come forward?
GANGEL: So, my understanding from sources on the committee is that for months, Cipollone, Philbin, they have been cooperating. They have been helpful in an informal way. And I think the committee thought just the way Bill Barr, the former attorney general came forward, that they would come forward.
Pat Cipollone and Pat Philbin clearly do not want to come forward. I think what was so striking today was not only did you have the quote about every crime imaginable, but you have Pat Cipollone on January 6th running in to mark meadows' office saying something needs to be done or the blood is going to be on your f'ing hands.
TAPPER: Yeah. But is -- why does Cipollone think the blood isn't on his hands too? Why is this 26-year-old former aide braver than him?
Anyway, we have to go. Jamie Gangel, Carrie Cordero, thanks so much.
Former President Trump is now weighing in on today's explosive testimony from Cassidy Hutchinson. How his statement contradicts what we heard and know from the former aide who worked down the haul from Trump's Oval Office.
TAPPER: And we're back in our politics legal, former President Donald Trump is now responding to the explosive testimony of his former White House staffer, Cassidy Hutchinson. Aides to Donald Trump tell CNN that they were left speechless amid the torrent of revelations from Hutchinson and the January 6th committee today with one Trump adviser calling her testimony a bombshell.
CNN's Kaitlan Collins joins us live with more on this.
What are you hearing from folks familiar with Donald Trump's inner circle about today's hearing?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, a lot of people have said, you know, a lot of what she said today, Cassidy Hutchinson testified to today, sounds like Trump, his anger and how he responded in those days.
We should note that he himself is disputing Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony, calling it phony, implying she was a leaker, wanted a job at Mar-a-Lago after he left office and also relying on something you have seen Trump use in the past, when someone speaks out negative against him, Jake, which is that he hardly knew her is what he is saying today, as she was testifying actually in real time, even though she was a top aide to his chief of staff and often on Air Force One and at many events with him, as you can see in a lot of video and photos from his time in office.
And we should note, Jake, that even before Cassidy Hutchinson came and testified today, that some of those who worked with her in the West Wing, in Trump's White House, had warned that they were going to downplay her testimony.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE DIRECTOR OF STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS: Trump world is going to push back on her testimony and dismiss her as a low level staffer. She was anything but. She was a senior adviser to the chief of staff. She was a senior adviser to the chief of staff. She was a senior adviser for legislative affairs and she was a special assistant to the president.
She was so plugged in that I would often go to her as the White House communications director to get intel on the president's schedules, his movements, things were we considering as far as events.
She's also on a first name basis with most members of congressional leadership. She would text with them. So, she's seen everything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: I should note, Jake, that it's not just people downplaying her with no name attributed to the statements. There are some people on the record praising Cassidy Hutchinson who worked there. One of them was a deputy to Kayleigh McEnany in the press office, praising her bravery for coming forward and testifying today, like she did.
But I do think it raises the question when you see Trump's response is whether or not this weighs on other people who are potentially considering coming forward and speaking with the committee. Because one thing that Liz Cheney, there vice chairwoman of the committee brought up at the end is witness tampering. She says that they have evidence from unnamed officials that there has been a level of witness tampering as the investigation has gone on where people who were still firmly in Trump's orbit have reached out to those who have gone before the committee and said Trump knows you're loyal.
Continue to be a team player so you can stay in good graces and says that he's thinking about you. Those are messages that have been relayed apparently from former president Trump to people who have spoken to the committee, according to Liz Cheney. TAPPER: All right. Kaitlan Collins, thanks so much.
Coming up next, a whirlwind of legal actions states are taking not even a week after Roe versus Wade was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. I'll talk to one state's governor on why she felt she needed to act quickly. Stay with us.
TAPPER: We will have more on today's striking testimony on Capitol Hill in moments, but there are major developments in our national lead. Some abortions procedures can resume in Texas. A state court issued a temporary restraining order against some local and state officials that will stop them from enforcing Texas's abortion ban. This would allow the procedures to resume until the state's so-called trigger law goes into effect in a few weeks.
CNN's Erica Hill is tracking the changes happening in Texas and around the country in response to the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Abortion rights supporters in Florida rallying against that state's 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect on Friday.
GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): This will represent the most significant protections for life that have been enacted in this state in a generation.
HILL: Planned Parenthood and the ACLU suing to block that new law, which has no exception for rape or incest. Florida is one of more than a dozen states where bans or severe restrictions are likely to go into effect soon. Trigger laws in Louisiana and Utah now on hold, but in these ten states, bans are already on the books.
Harris County, Texas, seeing a temporary reprieve after restraining order issued Tuesday allowed some clinics to resume abortions until the six-week mark.
Ohio's six-week ban was in place just hours after Friday's Supreme Court ruling was announced.
DAVE YOST, OHIO ATTORNEY GENERAL: This decision returns abortion policy to the place it has always belonged, to the elected policy branches of government.
HILL: The city council will vote Wednesday on changes to their health plan, allowing city employees and their families to be covered for elective abortions.
JOHN CURP, INTERIM CINCINNATI CITY MANAGER: We'll also include other basic medical needs including birth control, in vitro fertilization, transgender care and other family health care needs if those treatments become unavailable in Ohio.
HILL: California also acting quickly in the wake of Roe being overturned.
GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D), CALIFORNIA: By just signed an executive order that solidifies California's status as a reproductive safe haven for women.
HILL: An amendment will now be on the ballot in November to formalize the right to abortion under the state constitution, the governor also signing an order banning state agencies from sharing patients' reproductive health care information with other states. As concern grows about how some states may use that information to prosecute providers or patients.
ELIE HONIG, FORMER STATE AND FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: So, there's a big legal battle coming. We're going to see I believe a spate of lawsuits with DOJ trying to strike down state laws that reach into other states.
HILL: Nearly two dozen attorneys general have pledged to support and even expand access to abortion care in their states, and Washington, D.C., as the legal battles intensify.
HILL (on camera): Jake, separately, CVS and Rite-Aid have announced they're limiting sales of emergency contraception to three per customer. Those pills are intend today reduce the chance of pregnancy after sex. CVS telling that CNN that while it does have supply right now, its goal is to make sure there's equitable access and consistent supply of those drugs. Jake.
TAPPER: All right. Erica Hill, thank you so much.
Joining us now to discuss is the Democratic governor of New Mexico, Michelle Lujan Grisham.
Governor, thanks so much for joining us.
So, in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision, you signed an executive order in New Mexico. You are offering protections for any women or girls who travel to your state to get an abortion and for doctors who perform them there. Minnesota and Massachusetts have taken similar actions.
What do you think would be the next step? Do you think that states that have bans that pass laws prohibiting women or girls from traveling to other states will sue New Mexico? Where does this lead, do you think?
GOV. MICHELLE LUJAN GRISHAM (D), NEW MEXICO: Well, that's the question. We don't know where it leads, but we don't want anything that's going to limit access or having a chilling effect on providers safety or safe harbor. You can't say that you're a state, and we are, that guarantees safe, legal access to reproductive support, abortion and abortion care services, if providers feel like they don't have the protections that they're going to need, particularly since lots of providers, lots of health care insurance companies are multi-state.
And now that the U.S. Supreme Court has basically said we're inviting states to rewrite the U.S. Constitution, in any way they want, they're now also free like Texas to persecute providers and women who seek to access reproductive services in other states.
So we're being proactive and making it clear that this is a reproductive safe haven state.
TAPPER: So how are clinics in New Mexico doing? Are doctors and nurses in New Mexico nervous to perform the procedure? Are they nervous to perform abortions given that there are other states that are criminalizing the process?
GRISHAM: I think I can reference it in another way, which is we eliminated an antiquated New Mexico unconstitutional ban on abortion that criminalized providers. And while it was never utilized, providers were in fact nervous about it.
Could see sort of the tipping point at the U.S. Supreme Court and were very clear that that needed to be removed from our statutory framework, which we did about a year ago. So, it is clear to me that it is -- there are too many unknowns and losing this Supreme Court constitutional right by the actions of the Supreme Court, you bet folks are feeling uneasy. And you bet that the fact that states are saying, look, we're inviting, right, tell on your neighbor policies. We will hold women accountable.
This is something that most states, I hope, will consider protecting the folks that provide health care services to their residents and to folks who legally are seeking abortion in our state.
TAPPER: The polls indicate that a majority of the Americans people disagree with the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. But the polls also indicate the American people as a whole do support some restrictions on abortion. What is the law in New Mexico? Are there any restrictions?
GRISHAM: There are no restrictions. Given that we interpret and I agree that, again, pre this new Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, is that this is a privacy right and a personal decision between a woman and her doctor. And to interfere in any of these medical decisions creates, and it has, unknown, untold reductions in civil liberties for any number of individuals, including women's access to contraceptives and other safe sex protections like the morning after pill or Plan B.
Here, we would love to do as much as we can to focus on maternal health and prenatal health, to make sure that we have fewer and fewer and fewer and eliminate all unwanted pregnancies. However, in these late term abortion issues, these are women who have picked a name, have enrolled in child care, who have a nursery. The kind of medical issues and deeply private, personal traumas that are occurring in those aspects, I don't believe government has any right to interfere and judge those decisions when two medical providers are providing that information directly to their patient.
But we're also a state that would like to do more to prevent unwanted pregnancies and to prevent the kind of violence that can result in a pregnancy. And those are things I would like to see not just New Mexico but the American people focus on in the same context as protecting our civil rights.
TAPPER: New Mexico Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, thank you so much for your time today.
Up next, I'm going to talk to someone who worked closely with the January 6th committee. Please, the legal predicament in today's testimony now poses for those who work in Trump's White House.
Stay with us.
TAPPER: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.
This hour, a cry for help leads to the discovery of dozens of dead and dying migrants in the back of a tractor trailer in Texas. At least 51 have passed away as we learn more about the truck.
Plus, a woman whose sister died because she could not access an abortion in a place where abortion has been banned for 30 years. Poland provides a glimpse of the new reality for millions of American women and girls.
And leading this hour, jaw-dropping testimony before the January 6th Select Committee from Cassidy Hutchinson, the former aide to Donald Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows. Plus, Hutchinson detailed how then-President Trump wanted the magnetometers removed from his rally at the ellipse so his armed supporters could attend his speech before urging them to march to the Capitol.
She also recounted being told about a dramatic and physical scene inside the presidential limo after Trump's speech. Trump reportedly lunging at his Secret Service agent and trying to take the wheel to drive himself to the Capitol, something Hutchinson says the White House counsel, Pat Cipollone, warned would result in the White House getting charged with, quote, every crime, quote, imaginable.