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Don Lemon Tonight

Impeachment Trial For Donald Trump Starts Tomorrow; QAnon Followers Obey Trump; Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) Is Interviewed About The Scheduling Of The Impeachment Trial; Private Citizen Can Still Be Impeached; Super Bowl Effect Expected In Two Weeks; QAnon Shaman Only Eating Organic Food. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired February 08, 2021 - 22:00   ET




CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST (on camera): Time for the big show. "CNN TONIGHT" and its big star, D. Lemon.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Look at you, right on time. You came back from the break real quick.

CUOMO: Spot on --

LEMON: Spot on.

CUOMO: -- on the eve of an historic trial. Your man, the former president, has a commission and an omission problem.

LEMON: Meaning?

CUOMO: He has a commission problem because when you have the actual insurrectionists saying they did what you thought you had been telling them to do, and then you did not move with alacrity, known as speed.

LEMON: Speed.

CUOMO: To stop it, you have a commission problem with what they think, and an omission problem with what you failed to do.

LEMON: Now --

CUOMO: That is a tough nut to deal with in this trial.

LEMON: But you yourself as an attorney know --

CUOMO: Yes, sir.

LEMON: -- that this isn't a legal process. This is a political process. So, all the legal experts -- just being honest. All the legal experts in the world can tell you, yes, and people over at state news will tell you the same thing. I think he did it. But do I think he's going to be convicted? No. Is he going to be removed from office? He already is. So, will he

be able to run again? That depends. Maybe there will be a censure after this. Who knows? But, you know, I just think it's a fait accompli. It's already, people already know.


CUOMO: But this is the problem for people, too. This is so obvious because it is a political argument and not a legal one. I think the Brandenburg test presents problems.

LEMON: In a court of law, he has major problems.

CUOMO: Yes. I think -- I think that, look, I mean, that Brandenburg test is very specific. But this is not that. And you hear these people, all the things he said for so long, and then him failing to do anything about it, it is going to be a bad look on those senators for hours --


CUOMO: -- 16 hours of hearing how obvious this is, and then vote to acquit. That's why they were trying to lean on this propriety argument whether or not this trial should even be going. But that's weak sauce, man.

LEMON: I think you're right on that. But I just wonder in this environment, I'll tell you what the former president did. He made our attention spans even shorter because --


CUOMO: What did you say?

LEMON: -- the news -- he made our -- see. So that's good. So now they're seeing our actual relationship in person. So, this is even shorter. So, there was so much news every single day. Think about it. We haven't had as much news with President Biden. We haven't had as many, you know, fake news, all the people calling, you know, calling your names, the border wall --


CUOMO: I haven't had a bottle thrown at me in like three weeks.

LEMON: I haven't had people yell at me on the streets.

CUOMO: It's getting boring.

LEMON: It's kind of interesting, right?

CUOMO: I have to start taking off my helmet.

LEMON: I tell you what. But anyways, so I just think our attention spans are so short. I just wonder if that -- if the same thing is happening when it comes to our politics as well. CUOMO: Counter factual.


CUOMO: This will be the first time a lot of folks see and hear what he said on January 6th.


CUOMO: Because they weren't watching it.


CUOMO: And we weren't covering it because there was an insurrection, you know, going on and fomenting and things going on.


CUOMO: And hearing his words, I think this is going to be a real problem. And this is the interesting aspect, then I'll leave you alone. So, you go to acquit him because you don't want to be upset with his base. OK. When you acquit him, he will own this party forever, for the next four years --


LEMON: Yes, he does.

CUOMO: -- as long as he decides.

LEMON: Even if he's convicted.

CUOMO: So, you will be in his pocket by acquitting him --


CUOMO: -- and you're going to acquit him anyway. The only chance you get your party back is to convict him. You're not going to do it because you don't want to upset the base. And then he's going to own the base and you're going to have to beg him for everything you get.

LEMON: Yes. I just want to tell you. So, Chris and I did not see each other this weekend.


LEMON: So, I have -- so Chris, I was on my way, you know, to the wing place that we go to, right? My car -- I have a four-wheel drive. Slid off the road. I swear, I was this close to a pole on 114. You know what I'm talking about?

CUOMO: Sure.

LEMON: I was on 114, though, it was division, whatever.

CUOMO: Yes, yes. LEMON: OK. So, and then I turned around and I went back to the town, you know my little town and I have wings, and then people said, what are you going to do, are you going to watch football. I said I think I'm going to go to Chris's. We tried and then but we slid off the road, so I stayed home. And I shouldn't, you know, I should have been out anyways. I thought -- I thought I had, you know, hey, I got a four-wheel drive, I'll just go to the wing place and then we'll head over to Chris's house.

CUOMO: But you have that Fugazzi four-wheel drive that are just for pretty people. It's not like, you know, I'm not going to give it away.

LEMON: That's true.

CUOMO: Because, you know, you do you.


CUOMO: But that's what you get for that vanity project that you have a truck you drive around.

LEMON: Goodbye. I love you.

CUOMO: I love you, D. Lemon.


LEMON: I'll talk to you later. Snowball fight soon. See you later.

This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.

And this is the eve, it really is. This is the moment of a crucial moment in our history. The moment the former president faces his second -- isn't that weird to say? His second impeachment trial in the Senate. Security is extraordinarily tight.

Just a little over a month since rioters stormed the capitol in full view of millions of Americans on live TV. Remember we watched it all go down? Right after the then president urged them to "fight like hell." That's a quote.

Now, his trial is set to begin at 1 p.m. tomorrow. Senators are agreeing to a speedy trial that could be done in less than half the time it took to try him the first time. So, they're hoping it will be shorter. We don't know. Still don't know about witnesses and all that, no decision yet on whether witnesses will be called, though the fact -- the fact is that the senators who will be jurors in the case are also witnesses.

And the trial will take place at the scene of the crime, a riot that began after the speech by the then president of the United States. The Trump legal team denying what we all saw and heard that day on that terrible day. Claiming that the ex-president said that he couldn't reasonably -- what he said couldn't reasonably be interpreted as a call to immediate violence. But I want you to listen to this video. This video is from Just

Security. Juxtaposing his own words with what people posted on Facebook and Parler. Here it is.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Now it is up to Congress to confront this egregious assault on our democracy. And after this we're going to walk down -- and I'll be there with you -- we're going to walk down --


TRUMP: -- we're going to walk down, any one you want, but I think right here. We're going to walk down to the capitol --


TRUMP: We're going to walk down to the capitol.


TRUMP: And we'll probably --


TRUMP: Take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength.




UNKNOWN: Invade the capitol building.

UNKNOWN: Take the capitol.

UNKNOWN: Take the capitol.

UNKNOWN: Just take it.

UNKNOWN: Take the capitol.

UNKNOWN: Take the capitol.

UNKNOWN: Take the capitol right now!


LEMON (on camera): And then there is this, the ex-president urging his supporters to fight like hell.


TRUMP: And we fight, we fight like hell. And if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country any more.


LEMON (on camera): The Trump legal team claiming the president only used the word "fight" a handful of times in his speech, and only in the figurative sense. He used versions of the word fight 20 times, which is a lot, and the crowd definitely got the message, marching right to the capitol, storming the seat of our government.

And here we go again. That old argument that we have heard since Trump took office. Don't take him literally, take him seriously. Remember? I mean, even before he took office, we heard that. We saw where that got us. And the court documents show you that they believe all the things the president said that day, and in the days leading up to the riot.

The Washington Post is reporting the QAnon wrote that he would be there to celebrate or, quote, "I'm there if Trump tells us to storm the f-ing capitol, I'm going to do that then."

Another posting on Facebook the day before the alleged -- he allegedly stormed the capitol. Trump just needs to fire the bat signal. Deputize patriots. And then the pain comes. That's what they heard. In a text exchange a week before the riot, an army veteran and volunteer firefighter from Ohio saying, if Trump activates the Insurrection Act, I'd hate to miss it.

And listen to this. A so-called QAnon shaman flat-out telling to exactly who he was listening to.


UNKNOWN: Donald Trump ask everybody to go home. He just said, he just put out a tweet, it's a minute long, he ask everybody, go home.

UNKNOWN: Why do you think so?

UNKNOWN: Because of we want to (muted). He (muted) won.

UNKNOWN: How do we win?


UNKNOWN: Well, he won by sending a message to the senators and the congressmen.


UNKNOWN: We won by sending a message to Pence. OK? That if they don't do it, as their oath to do, if they don't uphold the Constitution, then we will remove them from office one way or another.


LEMON (on camera): Well, you heard his attorney. His attorney said that he is now deeply disappointed that -- Q shaman is, deeply disappointed in the former president and that he regrets storming the capitol on January 6. Of course, I bet he does now. You know, organic food and all that behind bars.


But the former president's legal team wants you to believe that he told rioters to go home. Well, he did. But it was hours after the deadly violence and mayhem, and they left out something else, the then president said.


TRUMP: Go home. We love you. You're very special. You've seen what happens. You see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel.


LEMON (on camera): We love you. One former senior White House official saying the then president was, quote, "loving watching the capitol mob, the mob that broke into the seat of our democracy, hunted for lawmakers, and then tried to overturn the government."

Yet the Trump legal team says today, quote, "there is no legitimate proof, nor can there ever be that President Trump was delighted by the events at the capitol. He like the rest of the country was horrified at the violence.

We love you. I'm horrified at something -- do I say I love you? Horrified? Come on.

Let's remember what Senator Ben Sasse told Hugh Hewitt just two days after the riot.


SEN. BEN SASSE (R-NE): As this was unfolding on television, Donald Trump was walking around the White House confused about why other people on his team weren't as excited as he was, as you had rioters pushing against capitol police trying to get into the building.


SASSE: That's what was happening. He was delighted.


LEMON (on camera): Maybe they want to call him as a witness. He'll be right there. And make no mistake. We're not just talking about the then president's speech stirring up the crowd that went on to storm the capitol. It was part of a long effort to push his big lie, try to overturn the election.

The article of impeachment quotes him demanding the Georgia secretary of state find enough votes to give him the win in Georgia. And we're learning tonight that Brad Raffensperger's office is investigating that call when the then president said this.


TRUMP: So, look, all I want to do is this, I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have, because we won the state.


LEMON (on camera): Well, it seems like senators who are the jurors in this case would want to hear from Brad Raffensperger who by the way is a Republican. Seems like that would be a key piece of evidence for them to consider. That as we are hearing a literally incredible theory from Senator Ron Johnson. Literally incredible, as in utterly unbelievable. Listen to this.


SEN. RON JOHNSON (R-WI): Well, again, I've always believed the Russian hoax was a diversion operation from the corruption that was occurring within certainly the FBI and potentially some of our intelligence agencies. You know, you have to kind of ask the question, what is this impeachment all about? We now know that 45 Republican senators believe it's unconstitutional. Is this another diversion operation? Is this meant to deflect away from potentially what the speaker knew and when she knew it? I don't know, but I'm suspicious.


LEMON (on camera): Anything to deflect. Really, Ron Johnson? Come on.

So, Ron Johnson apparently expects you to believe that the former president's second impeachment trial for inciting a riot at the capitol is nothing but a diversionary tactic by Nancy Pelosi. He apparently expects you to believe his spooky hints that she was involved in something nefarious that he doesn't know, but he's suspicious, suspicious that the Speaker of the House had something to do with the riot at the capitol. Because she sent out all those invitations, right?

This is 100 percent crazy. That violent mob was out to get Nancy Pelosi. Listen.


UNKNOWN: Tell Pelosi we're coming for that (muted).

UNKNOWN: Tell (muted) Pelosi we're coming for her.

UNKNOWN: (muted) traitor. We're coming for her.


LEMON (on camera): According to the criminal complaint, the FBI says one woman sent a video to her children saying, quote, "we were looking for Nancy to shoot her in the fringing brain, but we didn't find her." But Senator Ron Johnson wants you to believe it is all a plot.

And that's why this impeachment trial is so important. We need to cut through the lies. The big lie about a stolen election that wasn't stolen at all.


Lies by the former president. Lies by his enablers who even after the capitol insurrection tried to overturn the Electoral College vote. America needs to hear the truth. We can't sweep what happened under the rug.

Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger who voted to impeach knowing it could be the end of his political career writing an op-ed in the Washington Post titled, convincing Trump is necessary to save America. And I quote here. "Even now, many Republicans refuse to admit what happened.

They continue to feed anger and resentment among the people. On January 6th, that fury led to the murder of a capitol police officer and the deaths of four other Americans. If that rage is still building, where does it go from here?

That's a question we need to answer. Where does that rage go from here? Where does America go from here? And I want you to think about it this way. If the President of the United States had not perpetrated a hoax on the American people that the election was stolen, that the Democrats were somehow the enemy, or even Republicans who didn't go along with the hoax, would those people have even showed up? At the capitol? Or Washington?

The whole reason they were there was because of him. He brought them there. What more do you need to know? No more shiny objects. No more obfuscation. None of that. Those folks were there. They were enraged and angry and ready to storm the capitol because the President of the United States lied to them. Bottom line.

The ex-president's second impeachment trial is beginning in a matter of hours and America needs to hear the truth. Senator Bob Casey will be one of the jurors in the trial. And he's here, he's next.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: Ultimately, senators will decide on the one true question at stake in this trial. Is Donald Trump guilty of inciting a violent mob against the United States?




LEMON (on camera): So, here's our breaking news. With hours to go until the beginning of the second impeachment trial for the former President Donald Trump, tonight his lawyer David Schoen withdrawing his request to pause the trial during the Jewish Sabbath. Friday evening and all day Saturday. That as the Senate is laying out a set of rules giving each side both

House impeachment managers and Trump's legal team up to 16 hours to present their case. Trump's lawyers already arguing that the trial is unconstitutional because he is no longer president.

So, I want to bring in now Senator Bob Casey, he's a Democrat of Pennsylvania. Senator, good to see you. Thank you so much.

SEN. BOB CASEY (D-PA): Thanks, Don.

LEMON: So, first off, let's talk about David Schoen, Trump's attorney withdrawing his request not to hold the impeachment on the Jewish Sabbath Friday night through Saturday. He just won't participate during that time. I'm curious what you think about the scheduling time. Do you think they're trying to rush this trial through?

CASEY: Well, I don't know, Don. But certainly, that request would have been accommodated, of course, to take time-out. The original idea, I guess, was to break at somewhere around 5 o'clock on Friday, not have any trial proceedings on Saturday, but then pick it up again on Sunday. But we'll see how it proceeds.

But regardless, I think we're going to have enough time to have a fair trial and to consider all the evidence. I'm actually glad we're going to start with a constitutional debate. It will give the American people time to hear the back and forth on the constitutional question, which I think is pretty clear that a president -- trial of a president can occur after that official leaves office.

LEMON: Do you think everyone there has pretty much made up their minds? Is this just for the American public -- is this for the court of public opinion?

CASEY: No, I think senators take the oath seriously. Don, the interesting thing about this, as much as we know, we know a lot because there's a lot of people who said we are both jurors and witnesses to a certain extent. But there is still a lot we have not seen yet. Video evidence and other evidence, so I think senators are waiting to see what is presented, what the defenses are, and then to make a determination. But we'll have a thorough review.

I think that's important for history that we hold officials accountable, especially for something as grievous and dangerous as inciting a mob to attack the capitol. I still can't get over that in a matter of days the president was able to incite a mob, not just to attack a building, but to try to hang or to expressed the desire to hang his governing partner, the Republican vice president.

LEMON: Do you think we'll see witnesses?

CASEY: We don't know that yet. I'm going to defer to the House managers on that. That determination may not be made by the managers until or final determination may not be made until after we hear the presentations. That could happen after the presentation by the managers and then the defense. Of course, we have one witness who has already called and refused to appear, that's the former president. LEMON: Should there be, would it be helpful in your estimation to see

or hear from witnesses?

CASEY: It might be. And I think we'll probably know more after the presentations. Obviously, there are a lot of witness statements, either, you know, video statements or testimony that you could elicit from even social media. But we'll have to see. And I don't want to get ahead of the House managers. They know the case well and they'll request witnesses if they think they are necessary to make the case.


LEMON: Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger who voted to impeach Donald Trump, he's out with an op-ed, it's in the Washington Post saying it's necessary to convict Trump to save America. And here is what he writes. He says, impeachment offers a chance to say enough is enough.

After all, the situation could get worse, much worse, with more violence and more division that cannot be overcome. The further down the road we go, the closer we come to the end of America as we know it.

Do you agree? And do you think most Republicans believe that even if they won't do anything about it?

CASEY: I don't know what they believe, but I'm certain based upon their actions, not just most recently, but over several years now, just they've got a whole political party -- the officials in the party for the most part with a rare exception like Congressman Kinzinger and others and Liz Cheney who are genuflecting to one person, one official, instead of doing what's right.

But we'll see. I don't -- I'm not in the camp of saying that there has to be conviction for accountability. The trial itself, the impeachment by the House, the trial itself is a substantial measure of accountability. And you can't have justice without accountability. I don't know what the conviction determination will be, but the trial itself is important, essential, I believe, for accountability. And it's also important to have a historical record of what happened here.

We all have sentiment, we all have different impressions, I do, as someone who was there that day. But we've learned a lot since then, and we're learning even more information even today.

LEMON: Senators Hawley and Cruz and other Republican colleagues of yours, they helped incite this insurrection alongside Trump by enabling his big lie that the election was stolen. And now even though they are complicit, they are asked to be impartial judges. Is that a farce?

CASEY: Well, look, the determination about Senator Hawley and Senator Cruz is now before the ethics committee. I think at a minimum, at a minimum there should be censure. In the history of the United States Senate there has been just a handful of times when there's been censure. And if you read the most recent ones from the last couple of decades,

the censure frankly in those instances was for offenses or infractions that were a lot less severe than I think both senators engaged in. At a bare minimum, it should be a censure for both those senators.

LEMON: I'm not sure you heard what I said at the beginning of the show, but the entire reason that the people showed up at the capitol was because the president invited them, and his enablers invited them. And not only that -- it wasn't just because of that. But because he lied to them, and his enablers lied. Had there been no big lie and no invitation, they wouldn't have showed up.

So, what gives here? What are people -- what are Republicans not seeing? They're not there because Nancy Pelosi invited them. They're not there because Senator Bob Casey invited them. They're there because the president and people like, you know, the ones who are complicit in this invited those people only a big lie.

CASEY: I think that's pretty clear, Don. This is a lie that he started to tell before the election. Remember, he set the foundation for this when he said over and over again, if I don't win, then it was stolen. Then when the votes went against him, when he was losing states like Pennsylvania and the Electoral College looked like it was going to be against him, he started manufacturing, then perpetuating the lie.

And all throughout, it goes back even further over a number of years. He has, he has spoken about violence itself at rallies and other times. That he was laying the predicate for the big lie, and then told the big lie over and over again. And then, every once in a while was injecting violent language.

Going back to the time he was a candidate the first time, and so you have a real tinder box there. And then directing people to come to Washington on January the 6th, and then within a matter of days leading up to the 6th, and on the 6th and even after the insurrection was underway as CNN has reported and others have, he was even still criticizing Mike Pence, inciting the mob to kill the vice president and to stop the counting.

Look, the objective was to stop the counting of the electoral votes. There are only two counters really. The vice president presides, and the speaker is there.


CASEY: So, it was not ambiguous what, in my judgment, what he was calling them to do.

LEMON: Yes. Thank you, Senator Casey. Be safe. I appreciate it.

CASEY: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: Thank you.

Democrats says Trump has no valid defense of his actions. Trump's team says the trial is not valid. What do the experts say? Next. [22:30:03]


LEMON (on camera): President Trump's second impeachment trial just hours away. The first four hours of the trial to focus on arguments about its constitutionality followed by a vote. Trump's legal team trying to argue in their pretrial belief -- brief, excuse me, that the trial is unconstitutional because he is no longer the president. And accusing Democrats of creating political theater. That argument being dismissed by most constitutional scholars, including many conservatives.

So, let's discuss now. Gregg Nunziata is here, he is a Republican attorney and former counsel to Senate Republicans. And CNN's legal analyst Elie Honig joins us as well. Elie, Gregg, good to see both of you. Gentlemen, thank you.


Gregg, Trump's legal team saying that it is patently ridiculous he's being tried since he is a private citizen. You say it's a garbage legal argument that this trial is unconstitutional. Tell us why.

GREGG NUNZIATA, FORMER COUNSEL TO SENATE REPUBLICANS: Well, look, if you give an honest, fair -- even a conservative reading of the Constitution, if you look at its text, its structure and its original understanding as conservative would want to do, it's very, very clear that public official can be impeached and convicted when they are out of office.

In fact, the most famous impeachment trial of the time which was happening in England when the -- our Constitution was written was a former official. It is very much clearly central to the understanding of impeachment at the time of the founding.

LEMON: Elie, listen, Trump's lawyers say that the former president -- they're counting words, right? That he only used the word fight a handful of times. But he actually said it 20 times. This is just some of it. Watch this.


TRUMP: You have to get your people to fight. And if they don't fight, we have to primary the hell out of the ones that don't fight.

We're going to have to fight much harder. And Mike Pence is going to have to come through for us.

Everybody had us down for a victory. It was going to be great. And now we're out here fighting.

We fight like hell. And if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country any more.

(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON (on camera): So, Elie, they say, you know, he also meant it figuratively. But some of those rioters say that they were taking their cues from President Trump. Listen to this, Elie.


UNKNOWN: You're outnumbered. There's (muted) million of us out there. And we are listening to Trump - your boss.

UNKNOWN: We were invited here. We were invited by the President of the United States.

Trump asked everybody to go home. All I can say is we won the (muted) day. Donald Trump is still our president.


LEMON (on camera): OK. So, seems like they took him both seriously and literally. What do you say to that, Elie?

ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Don, so Trump's lawyers are really twisting the first amendment here. They almost make it as if the president said anything short of, I hereby incite you to insurrection he's in the clear. That is not the way the law works.

What they do in their brief is try to cherry-pick out individual isolated sentences. He said isolated phrases. Of course, you have to look at the whole picture, the rhetoric leading up to that riot -- to the rally. All the things he said at the rally. Not all the times he said fight but will be wild.

And you can never concede, we'll never concede. And afterwards you're great patriots. Remember this day always. You have to look at the whole thing. And I don't think there's really anyway, when you do that, any common sense that you can justify or excuse his actions.

And by the way, the comments of his followers I think seal the deal. When you hear people saying, we're doing this because the president told us, that's exactly what's not protected by the first amendment.

LEMON: He did say, we're going to go to the capitol, and I'm going to go with you. He instructed them to go to the capitol. Gregg, this is what our Jim Acosta is reporting. That the former White House official says that Trump was -- he was loving watching the capitol mob. Senator Ben Sasse says that he heard Trump was delighted.

Is that going to damage the argument from Trump's team, is that going to play, you know, that there is no legitimate proof, that he was delighted by what happened?

NUNZIATA: Well, it should. And they're also arguing -- they're also arguing in the wrong framework. I mean, they're trying to make a defense against perhaps a criminal charge of insurrection. That's not what's before the Senate this week. This is a matter of impeachment. It's not about a criminal offense. It's about whether the president fulfilled his oath of office to defend the Constitution of the United States.

And clearly, there was public commentary for months before January 6. He created a climate of division, distrust in our institutions and tried to interfere with the legitimate transfer of power to the next president. Even if January 6th didn't happen, there would be plenty of a basis for Congress to consider articles of impeachment.

LEMON: Yes. Elie, do you agree with that, even if it didn't happen there would be?

HONIG: I do, Don. If all that happened here was that Donald Trump tried to deny that he lost an election, tried to spread a big lie about who won the election, and then appealed to the vice president to go beyond his constitutional authority and to fail to certify the result, and on the side, by the way, try to lean on state officials like we saw down in Georgia -- even if there was no riot, no insurrection in normal times, let's put ourselves in a pre-Trump mindset.

That would be entirely impeachable. That would be a historic abuse of power. You had all that here plus you had the bloodshed, the murder, the mayhem that resulted in the capitol.

LEMON: Listen, I'm with you. I thought -- I'm with both of you. I thought after I heard -- I remember being in the super market on a Sunday night listening to that phone call on my phone on CNN, on the Sirius channel. And I was like, this is nuts. I cannot believe this is happening. And then the insurrection happening after that. I mean, how much more do you need? Thank you, gentlemen.

Elie, go get that phone call.

HONIG: Thanks, Don.


LEMON: Thank you, guys.

The CDC warning to keep your guard up about coronavirus, but the Super Bowl celebrations look like keeping your guard up? Look at that.


LEMON (on camera): So, I want you take a look at this. Huge crowds celebrating in the streets of Tampa after the Buccaneers won the Super Bowl last night. Man, if you could just animate the COVID being spread, the potential of that.

So, Tampa's mayor saying earlier today that she is very proud that the majority of people who were out celebrating last night did it responsibly. That didn't look like a socially distanced celebration to me, but there is some good news here. After hitting an average of almost 250,000 cases a day a month ago, our daily seven-day average is now down to a little over 109,000.

[22:45:02] Our daily death count and hospitalizations also on the decline and vaccinations are increasing.

So, let's discuss now. Dr. Michael Osterholm is here. He is the former Biden coronavirus adviser. I know that there is some good news in there. But you are going to tell me hold your horses with that. So, good evening.

Let's start with the Super Bowl though. Celebrations in Florida last night. We're almost a year into this pandemic and from full shutdown. When you see crowds like that so close together, so few masks, I mean, what do you think? Is going to the Super Bowl, is that going to spike?

MICHAEL OSTERHOLM, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASE RESEARCH AND POLICIES: Well, actually I think the situation in Florida surely could add to the number of cases. However, it was outside. Again, we know that that reduces transmission.

LEMON: Right.

OSTERHOLM: Potential. What I worry about is all the Super Bowl parties that were held in all 50 states in people's homes for which there were many, many, many thousands and thousands of people gathering. Those are the ones that have resulted in substantial transmission in the past. And I suspect that in the next two weeks we'll see the fruits of these Super Bowl parties in terms of transmission.

LEMON: So, the numbers will go up. That's why what I said, when I said there's some good news, but after these parties, who knows. I hope not.

OSTERHOLM: Yes, you know, we're in -- I'll call it the tale of two cities. You know, right now we have numbers coming down as you shared. This is good news. The problem is they're still high. I mean, when you think about when the house is on fire in July last summer at 70,000 cases a day, we're feeling comfortable when we get to 120,000.

But I think the news it's really very important is that we now have confirmed that this variant virus, the one that came from the U.K., what we call B117 is now spreading widely through the United States. And its numbers are doubling about every 10 days.


LEMON: Well let me just read about that.


LEMON: Because just to give our viewers some context and I'll let you finish. Already over 200 cases of the U.K. coronavirus variant in Florida alone. There are 700 of them around the country already. So, go on. What do you know about the contagious --


OSTERHOLM: Well, that shifts the tip of the iceberg. That's what we found so far to look for. But the point being, this is how every one of the B117 epidemics in the countries of Europe started out. And they have been devastating. England has been in lockdown since before Christmas. Save with Portugal, Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland. Seeing it in the Middle East. Israel is in very serious trouble right now with this particular virus.

And it's just a matter of time before it happens here. As I pointed out, we now have data showing that the number of these isolates, infections are doubling every 10 days. Well, when you start doubling small numbers, it's not such a big increase. When you start doubling big numbers is what we've seen in Europe, we're going to be in trouble.

So, I think the darkest days of the pandemic are yet to come. As hard as that is for people to hear, they don't want to hear that. But that's -- I'm convinced that's what's going to happen over the next 12 to 14 weeks.

LEMON: Yes. Well, you know your stuff and you've been right throughout. Thank you, doctor. I appreciate it.

OSTERHOLM: Thank you.

LEMON: I'll see you soon. While most prisoners are eating canned food and baloney, get this, the QAnon shaman is getting organic food.



LEMON (on camera): So, I want you to take this and listen closely. The so-called QAnon shaman who is demanding organic food while in jail has been moved to a new jail so that his dietary restrictions can be met.

This all to satisfy federal judge's order because capitol rioter Jacob Chansley made several requests for organic food. He went on an apparent hunger strike, claiming regular food was against his religion and sickened him.

The Washington jail where he was being held could not provide organic meals. So he had to be moved to an adult detention center in Virginia that can.

If this seems like a lot of consideration for this man, it is. Prison food has a notorious reputation for being unhealthy, and sometimes inedible. And in prisons all across the country housing a disproportionate number of black people, the food is not organic.

Today, a spokesperson from the Bureau of Prisons could not confirm to CNN if the food they serve to inmates is organic. Just how bad can the food in the U.S. prisons be? Seventy-five percent of formerly incarcerated people say they were served rotten or spoiled food while in jail, that according -- that is according to a study by Impact Justice.

That same study says numerous inmates who were assigned to work in their prison's kitchen said they were asked to serve chicken or beef from packages marked as not for human consumption.

Last year, the DOJ inspector general found that the Bureau of Prisons did not have a protocol in place to ensure its food supply is safe. That was after the bureau bought $1 million of ground beef that wasn't really ground beef. It was cow hearts disguised as ground beef.

Only a few weeks ago, owners of a food company that supplied South Carolina prisons agreed to pay a huge fine after authorities found they diluted spices that were substantially comprised of filler agent. But is it organic filler agent? There are hundreds of thousands of people in federal custody potentially eating food that is not really food.

Tonight, Jacob Chansley's lawyers -- lawyer tells CNN that he regrets storming the capitol and is disappointed in President Trump.


But this is the reality. The guy with the horns, fur vest who broke into the capitol, and claims to be a shaman of an online conspiracy cult, he gets to eat well in prison? If that's not the standard, it needs to apply to everyone.

We're just hours away from the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump. Everything that is at stake next. But first, a look at our new CNN original series, it's called Lincoln, Divided We Stand.


UNKNOWN: Lincoln freed the slaves. But it's more complicated than that.

UNKNOWN: A new president, a prairie lawyer, with no experience trying to hold together the American experiment.

UNKNOWN: The stakes were extremely high.

UNKNOWN: This election is an earthquake.

UNKNOWN: The biggest misconception of Lincoln is that he was perfect.

UNKNOWN: The man who found a way to make democracy sing.