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Don Lemon Tonight

Steve Bannon Indicted By House Committee; January 6th Chairman Says No One Is Above The Law; Mark Meadows Could Be Next To Bannon; Britney Spears Finally Free. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired November 12, 2021 - 22:00   ET




CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST (on camera): That's what I said it. The sizzle is razzle now when it comes to messing with Congress' subpoenas. Now people know contempt has teeth. What will it mean for Bannon, but more importantly, what will it mean for the others that the probe wants to talk to? That's the question, now we take for the answer to the big show, DON LEMON TONIGHT and its big star, D. Lemon.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: The sizzle is for razzle. This is the second time I had to correct you today, but that's OK. It's not a big deal.

CUOMO: Wait, what did you to say that I have said differently?

LEMON: You said razzle.

CUOMO: And what did you say?

LEMON: For razzle.

CUOMO: Listen, you are no authority on anything. Do you understand that?

LEMON: Don't get all huffy with me.

CUOMO: I'm not huffy.

LEMON: Listen, you know, everyone has been saying, do you remember the old saying that they -- well, I shouldn't say the old saying, but that during the first Trump lock her up, lock her up.

CUOMO: We'll look, he could get two years in jail.

LEMON: he's not going to -- I don't think he's going to testify, I think he is going to go, this is a badge of honor for him.

CUOMO: Yes, it makes him a martyr --


CUOMO: -- to his cause to cause, you know, of basically trying to take down America to build the America he wants. And I really think that this is more about what it means for the other people.


CUOMO: I don't believe that you're going to see a lot of people who want to sit in jail for Donald Trump.

LEMON: Except for the people who tried to break into the capitol and, you know --


CUOMO: A lot of them aren't winding up in jail either.

LEMON: This is true. This is true. But yes, I agree with you 100 percent on that. But I think this is for Mark Meadows, this is for Kayleigh McEnany, this is for who is the other guy, Stephen Miller and Stepien, and all of those guys.

This is for them. And we have been saying what is taking Merrick Garland so long. Apparently, he was crossing his t's and dotting his i's, and then here we are on a Friday night, and Steve Bannon has been indicted with criminal contempt of Congress. So, I'm just saying --

CUOMO: Yes. I mean look, it's a big deal. And it's also a good instruction for our audience in terms of how you should view coverage. There was nothing wrong, and I'm not just saying this because one of them, in saying what's Merrick Garland doing? You know, why are they talking more about this.

Because it was such a political thing by nature, you would think that they'd be very expansive in their explanation of it. But they weren't. But then there was a whole other level of analysis that really was continuing right up until today, ironically.

That, here is why he's not going to do anything, here's why it's so much more complicated, here's why it's so hard for them. And all along he was presenting evidence to the grand jury.

LEMON: Yes. The committee --


CUOMO: So, you've got to be careful about what you listen to.

LEMON: Committee as no power, they've lost their teeth, nothing is going to happen, and whatever, they're going to disband. I mean, look, it's a -- it was all out there, but I think we've got so used to, over the last five years or so, everyone telegraphing, everyone boasting, everyone, you know, saber-rattling as they say.

We're going to go after those guys and the fake news in the blah, blah, and blah, and they're going to get all of this. And you know, nothing ever happened, it was all eyes, and now you have people who are just quietly behind the scenes doing their jobs, and then all of a sudden here's what we've got, boom, indictment, deal with it. So, that's where we are. CUOMO: And now look, an indictment is not a conviction.


CUOMO: But again. Bannon, Trump exercises the privilege, right? I don't know that he has one to exercise, but in any case, best-case scenario --


LEMON: Bannon has --

CUOMO: -- he has to do it. It was very broad, very expensive.


CUOMO: Really, what Bannon should've done, is show up to testify and said look, I can talk about this, I'm not going to talk about those things --


CUOMO: -- until that stuff is settled with the privilege.

LEMON: So, you take the fifth? Whatever.

CUOMO: You can take the fifth, but we understand why though you have the right, it often doesn't feel right to people.


CUOMO: Because it seems like you're hiding something, and he is just the opposite. Right? He wants to be on the attack.

LEMON: Yes. Well, remember that, too, because the folks who were today and yesterday saying when the prosecution, or I don't know, sometime this week was, you know, criticized and I think rightly so for talking about Kyle Rittenhouse's silence. Right, before he got on the stand. And the judge said that is your right.

So, you have the right to be silent, you have the right to take the fifth and you have a right not to incriminate yourself. So, I just think those on the right who are looking at what happened with anyone, or who -- with anyone, people have the right to be silent. Right?

CUOMO: You changed stories. They are very deftly right way.

LEMON: I did.

CUOMO: But I'll tell you what. Just because you have a right, doesn't make everything right, and that judge going after the prosecutor about that constitutional point.


[22:04:57] CUOMO: And I don't understand what the prosecutors thinking was in attacking the silence. He'll have to explain that after all this is over. But when that prosecutor went into it with a judge, he wasn't talking to the judge about his Miranda ruling.


CUOMO: He was talking to him about his prior inconsistent statement ruling --


CUOMO: -- and saying how can the defense doesn't have to live at that.


CUOMO: How come they get --


LEMON: We're talking about the Constitution.

CUOMO: And I think that, look. Remember this though, brother, if he is acquitted there is no second bite at the apple in all likelihood for the prosecution.


CUOMO: Because the judge stunk.


CUOMO: Unless you're appealing it in real-time, like right now, as you're doing that litigation as well. It's not going to happen. If he's acquitted, double jeopardy is going to protect them and that will stand, if it's a hung jury --


CUOMO: -- you may see that come out as a new argument.

LEMON: This is -- and I'm going to definitely change the subject again. OK? Because I'm just going to do something today to you that happened today. I'm going to free Chrissy Cuomo like free --


CUOMO: What did you just call me?

LEMON: Chrissy, like --


CUOMO: Call me that again, see what happens, I'm seeing you this weekend. LEMON: I'm good. All right. See you, Carmen.

CUOMO: I love you, D. Lemon. I'll just fight you.

LEMON: I'm reserving judgment this evening. I'll let you know --


CUOMO: You've never reserve judgment in your life.

LEMON: -- on Sunday at dinner -- at dinner on Sunday. Take it easy, I'll see you. Safe drive home. I'll see you later.


Well, we've all been asking when Merrick Garland's Justice Department was going to do something about Steve Bannon stonewalling, and now we know. Tonight, is the night. Tonight, is the night. Remember that song, who was that, I forget her name. I'll think about it.

And this is huge. This is huge. Steve Bannon indicted on two counts of contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena for -- from the January 6 committee. Bannon was charged with one count related to his refusal to appear for a deposition, and another related to his refusal to produce documents.

Each count carries a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of one year in jail. That's according to the Justice Department. A source tells CNN that Bannon is expected to self-surrender on Monday and appear on court on Monday afternoon. So, stay tuned.

The attorney general, Merrick Garland issuing a statement, and I quote, "since my first day in office I have promised Justice Department employees that together we would show the American people by word and deed that the department adheres to the rule of law. Follows the facts and the law, and pursues equal justice under the law.

Today's charges reflect the department steadfast commitment to these principles." Quote, Merrick Garland issuing today.

The committee chairman Bennie Thompson and vice chair Liz Cheney saying, and I quote here, again, "Steve Bannon's indictment should send a clear message to anyone who thinks that they can ignore the select committee or try to stonewall our investigation. No one is above the law. We will not hesitate to use the tools at our disposal to get the information we need."

Committee member Ro Khanna also weighing in tonight.


REP. RO KHANNA (D-CA): It sends a message that no American is above the rule of law, that the same rules apply to everyone and I don't know why Steve Bannon thinks that he shouldn't have to answer questions from the United States Congress or produce documents to the United States Congress when every other citizen would comply.


LEMON (on camera): Like I said, this is huge. The DOJ hasn't charged anyone with criminal contempt of Congress in 38 years. And let's remember why the committee subpoenaed Steve Bannon in the first place. They want to know more about moments like this one. We're going to show the day before the attack on the United States Capitol.


STEVE BANNON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF STRATEGIST: All hell is going to break loose tomorrow. Just understand this. All hell is going to break loose tomorrow. It's not going to happen like you think it's going to happen, OK? It's going to be quite extraordinary different and all I can say is strap in. The war room, a posse, you made this happen and tomorrow it's game day. So, strap in.


LEMON (on camera): That's what he said out loud. Imagine what he knows that he doesn't want to tell. And there is this from Bob wood Woodward and Robert Costa in their book "Peril." OK? Bannon reportedly telling the then president, quote, "we're going to bury Biden on January 6th."

Now the fact is, this indictment may never force Steve Bannon to talk, but make no mistake, this is a warning shot aimed at the other members of team Trump. Let me explain. The message is loud and clear.

If you defy a subpoena, there will be consequences. That's got to have a whole lot of them shaking in their boots tonight. OK? Stephen Miller, Kayleigh McEnany, Michael Flynn, and maybe most of all, Mark Meadows who failed to appear for a deposition before the committee today.

If he was counting on stonewalling like Bannon, he maybe rethinking that strategy tonight. Bennie Thompson and Liz and Cheney saying, and I quote again. Here it is. "It is unfortunate that Mr. Meadows has chosen to join a very small group of witnesses who believe that they are above the law and are defying a select committee subpoena out right.


Mr. Meadows and Mr. Bannon and others who go down this path won't prevail in stopping the select committee's efforts -- effort, getting answers for the American people about January 6th."

But in that same statement, there is this intriguing quote. "Indeed, Mr. Meadows has failed to answer even the most basic questions including whether he was using a private cell phone to communicate on January 6th and where his text messages from that day are."

I'm going to talk to our experts tonight about what investigators may be focusing on there. And it comes on the same day that we have stunning new audio of the former president defending the January 6th rioters who chanted hang Mike Pence, defending rioters who wanted to hang his vice president.

Jon Karl from ABC.


JON KARL, CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, ABC NEWS: Were you worried about him during that siege? Were you worried about his safety?

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: No, I thought he was well-protected and I had heard that he was in good shape. No. Because I had heard he was in very good shape. But, but no --


KARL: Because you heard those chants, that was terrible. I mean, you know those

TRUMP: He could have -- well, the people were very angry.

KARL: They were saying hang Mike Pence.

TRUMP: Because it's -- it's common sense, Jon, it's common sense, that you're supposed to protect. How can you -- if you know a vote is fraudulent, right?

KARL: Yes.

TRUMP: How can you pass on a fraudulent vote to Congress?


LEMON (on camera): I mean, and any other time, think about it what he just said, in any other time, who were in a different time, that would -- people would just be outraged.

Number one, you have someone who is condoning violence, condoning people saying, condoning violent language and people saying hang Mike Pence, hang the vice president. Two things. On the right it has become the norm. They have become desensitized to this stuff, right? They're just -- OK. Whatever. This is what it is. This is we're going to -- this is how we operate. Their modus operandi.

On the left, they're just dialed out because they're exhausted from it. They're like, my gosh, again. Dialed out and people who think it's a norm now. It's OK to want to hang the vice president over a lie. That is outrageous even for this former president. His then vice president had to run for his life on January 6th.


CROWD: Hang Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence!

(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON (on camera): And a reality check, as I said, the vote was not

fraudulent. The election was not stolen, it was the most secure election in our nation's history. According to all involved. His own attorney general said that there is no evidence of wide spread voter fraud that could change the outcome.

Arizona's election fraud-it turned up more votes for Joe Biden and fewer for the former president. Let me say that again. The fraud-it that was supposed to show fraud in Arizona that the election was tilted towards Joe Biden, right, because it was fake and they were going to uncover all of these fake votes and voter fraud actually turned up more votes for Joe Biden and fewer for the former president.

So it actually didn't account enough for Joe Biden. State and federal judges dismissed more than 50 of the lawsuits by the then president and his allies. And he is condoning a bunch of vigilantes who put a gallows outside the capitol and threatened to hang Mike Pence. That's real gallows.

So much for law and order. So much for law and order. That can be said about a lot of things that's happening right now. And let's not forget really what this is all about, OK? This is about more than a legal case. This is about the death of our democracy. That's not hyperbole.

Look at your screen. This is about a violent attempt to overturn our free and fair election, a bloody attack on the United States Capitol. Yes, just regular tourists and patriots.


Duly elected representatives of the American people forced to run for their lives as the mob surged through the seat of our democracy.


UNKNOWN: Where do they go? Where do they go? Where do they go?

UNKNOWN: These people, these people -- these people are not giving us choice. These people --


LEMON (on camera): Bloodthirsty seething. Rioters beating police officers trying to defend our capitol. Yes. American flags, blue lives matter flags. All kinds of poles. Just -- I mean, yes. Look at all those red caps, too. I'm sure it was antifa.

This is about a president who told rioters this, that the whole blood and broken glass were still being cleaned up. While that the blood and broken glass was still being cleaned up, he said this. Watch.


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. (END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON (on camera): He knows how you feel. Never forget. Never forget. Never forget. This is about a former president who doesn't want you to know what he did on January 6th. And in the days leading up to the insurrection because that's what it was an insurrection, a violent insurrection, a violent attempt to stop the peaceful transfer of power.

He doesn't want his inner circle to answer questions. You got to wonder, what's he trying to hide? So, the big news tonight is that Steve Bannon is indicted on two counts of contempt of Congress.

We've got CNN senior legal affairs correspondent Paula Reid, CNN senior legal analyst Preet Bharara here tonight.

Paula, good evening. And Preet, I want to start with Evan Perez first and Jessica Schneider. They broke this tonight.

So, Paula, I'm sorry, I'm going to start you. Paula, listen, we are expecting Steve Bannon to turn himself in on Monday. So, what is going to happen after that?

PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Don. We expect him to self-surrenderer on Monday and then appear in court the same afternoon. Look, it's not expected that he would be detained while this all plays out but like anyone, he has the option to potentially plead guilty, not -- not something that would be on brand for him or he could fight this in a trial.

Look, not everybody has the resources to take on the Justice Department but he does. And if, big if, he is convicted, he would also have the opportunity to appeal. And this could be a really long-drawn- out process but it appears right now, right out of the Trump playbook his approach is to delay, delay, delay, fight, fight, fight.

Now, while it is possible that the House could change hands and the committee could go away, the indictment will not. These charges will not just go away. So even though he tries to delay, these will remain.

Now, it's also important to note that one thing that they're not likely to get here is his cooperation. They cannot compel him to cooperate. This is just punitive for completely defying the subpoena. It's unlikely the committee will ever hear from Steve Bannon.

LEMON: So, Paula, Mark Meadows and some other Trump allies are stonewalling the committee, obviously, how much pressure does this Bannon indictment put on them to comply?

REID: Well, as I just said, look, not everybody has the resources to fight criminal charges in the federal system. I've been speaking with sources in this case and we know that some of the witnesses who have been stonewalling they've been watching to see what happens to Steve Bannon. Will there be any repercussions for his blanket refusal to comply? I know that if there no indictment, if no charges were brought, some of those witnesses I'm told would have felt more emboldened to do the same thing but now, they see look, there could potentially be consequences and a cost.

But again, that does not mean they're going to run to the committee and give them everything they want. Some witnesses will likely engage with the committee in a negotiation to try to narrow the topics that they would be willing to cooperate on. Some could also potentially shell up and plead the fifth.

It is more likely that will get more engagement from these witnesses, it's highly unlikely that we're going to see too many more of these blanket refusals but it's certainly no guarantee that they're going to get total cooperation from anybody.

LEMON: All right. Thank you, Paula, I appreciate that. The committee says that Mark Meadows has failed to answer whether he was using a private cell phone on January 6th and where his text messages from or where they are from that day.

So Preet Bharara, what could -- I mean, what could be on that phone that they want? I mean, don't answer that. Let me get to you after the break because I got to take a break and I'll come back with Preet.





LEMON (on camera): So here is our breaking news tonight, Steve Bannon is expected to surrenderer on Monday following his indictment by a federal grand jury for contempt of Congress for ignoring a subpoena from the House January 6th committee.

Bannon is a major Trump ally and now he is charged with refusing to appear for a deposition and refusing to turn over documents. Bannon's lawyer told the committee that the former Trump strategist would not cooperate because his old boss told him not to, claiming executive privilege.

A lot to discuss with CNN's senior legal analyst, Preet Bharara, a former U.S. attorney. Sorry for the wait, Preet. I had to get a break in. I went a little long at the top.

BHARARA: It's all right.

LEMON: But I wanted to give you your -- the time that you deserve here to go through all of this. So, thank you for joining us.

Let's talk about it. It is a huge development. You can't deny that it is a standoff. Bannon indicted two counts for refusing to testify or provide documents. Is this a slam dunk case for the Justice Department?

BHARARA: I wouldn't say there is no such thing as a slam dunk case when you talk about a criminal prosecution because it depends on the judge, it depends on the jury but I think it's pretty strong.


And, you know, part of the reason it's pretty strong is it's the first time the Justice Department as you said earlier, has brought such a case, criminal contempt of Congress in 38 years. And of all the cases that we've been talking about and all the people who have been intransigent and defiant of the subpoenas, it's probably true. We don't know the full list yet. And more are coming.

It's probably true that Steve Bannon has the least good argument for defying the subpoena because he wasn't in the government at the time, and so his claim of executive privilege I think, you know, it falls very short of the mark.

And it's kind of good, I think, for the Justice Department and for the committee that Steve Bannon was almost so defiant that he was, you know, practically begging the department to indict him, again for the first time in 38 years, which sends a message to everybody else.

It will take time for his case to unfold. He'll be arraigned on Monday. He will plead not guilty. At some point, I'm sure he'll insist on a trial and that will take some time. In the interim he'll move to dismiss the case. We'll see what happens with that. But it's not a slam dunk but pretty strong.

LEMON: So, Mark Meadows failed to show up to testify today before the committee. The committee chairman Bennie Thompson and also Liz Cheney, right, the chair, as well, they say that they're going to consider pursuing contempt charges against him. There is a good chance that Bannon is relishing in all of this but what about Mark Meadows and others? Does this change the calculous for them?

BHARARA: You know, the psychology of individuals varies from person to person. In prior conversations that you have not -- that you and I and others have had on the question of whether or not someone will flip, it depends on what their tolerance is for defending themselves, paying the money it costs to defend yourself and possibly having a prison term in your future.

Some people are built a certain way like Steve Bannon as other folks have been saying earlier in the program, he may like the idea of being a martyr, may like the idea of the attention, may like the idea of the battle. Other people may not relish it so much.

Unclear where Mark Meadows is on that, but you know, probably the rest of the group is not as excited about being charged, prosecuted and potentially sent to jail for a minimum of a month as Steve Bannon.

LEMON: Yes. I want -- I want to read this. This is from Thompson and Cheney's statement on Meadows. It says, "indeed, Mr. Meadows has failed to answer even the most basic questions including whether he was using private cell phone to communicate on January 6th and where his text messages from that day are."

I mean, he -- Meadows was possibly using a private cell phone to raise the idea of missing texts as well there. Text messages.


LEMON: It seems like no accident that they would include this in their statement. What could be on that phone and why is he using a private phone?

BHARARA: Well, there are -- you know, people who are in government understand that the official phones they use, the official blackberries in the old days and iPhones more recently, those documents are preserved. Those communications are preserved and sometimes it's the case that they want to use other devices to have surreptitious conversations with people around them up to and including the president of the United States.

And they feel more comfortable having conversations that are more dubious and maybe not proper and maybe that would be incriminating on these other devices, and so you always want to look for the other devices.

What's not clear to me is whether or not the committee knows the information about the other device and is just sort of, you know, playing psychological warfare here or they have already gotten some of that information from third parties knowing what the phone number is, knowing who the communications provider is but they also want to get the information directly from the witness. We'll have to see.

LEMON: If Congress decides to refer more criminal charges to other Trump aides who don't cooperate, and don't even both -- don't even bother to show up here, do you expect that Merrick Garland would seek prosecution on those too?

BHARARA: So, as I said, I think the easiest case to bring so far based on the nature of the arguments that they have and the nature of the witness and their relationship to the president, the former president and their placement in or outside of the executive branch, Steve Bannon was probably the lowest hanging fruit.

That doesn't mean there won't be other prosecutions but I don't think it will be the case that everyone who does not cooperate fully is going to be on the other end of an indictment by the Justice Department. That doesn't make sense, it's not efficient and probably wouldn't go well for the Justice Department.

I think they are going to have to pick their shots, pick their spots on who is being most intransigent, who does or does not have a viable case of being able to defend themselves based on executive privilege.

I think the worst-case scenario for people is people like Mark Meadows that don't give the respect of the committee of showing up invoking whatever privilege based on the particular question being asked.

[22:30:03] Jeffrey Clark who is another, you know, interesting figure in all of this, a former Justice Department official, basically didn't do much more than Steve Bannon but he show respect by showing up to the committee with his lawyer, answering probably some mundane questions that he didn't have any worry about and wouldn't incriminate him but then refused to answer other questions. Will he be charged if he doesn't bring more information forward? Maybe. But it's a little bit of smarter strategy on his part.

LEMON: Have you seen anything like this? I mean, beyond Watergate, have we seen anything like this?

BHARARA: I was young when Watergate happened. No, we haven't. And by the way, I think it's important to always go back to a fundamental principle and that is this. We see over and over again not just in this context but in the context of the pandemic and other things when some branch of the government, some element of the government says we need to do this extraordinary thing that's unprecedented whether it seek an indictment against someone who's invoke executive privilege or mandates for vaccines or whatever the case may be. The inquiry doesn't end there.

You have to look at what is the thing causing that action to be taken. And if the thing that's causing that action to be taken is itself unprecedented and extraordinary that explains the situation a little better.

And so, the thing that's important here to remember when you zoom out for a moment is what are they inquiring about? It's not a stock trade. It's not some a petty corruption at a corporation. It's a fundamental issue of an insurrection at the capitol during which people tried to bring physical harm to the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, they chanted that they wanted to hang Mike Pence.

And so, when you have a Congress that is trying to protect itself against attacks from within the country, I think extraordinary measures are called for and that's an important thing to keep in mind, and I think the judges who are adjudicating these cases will keep that fundamental principle in mind.

LEMON: Yes. Preet, thank you so much, sir. Have a good weekend.

BHARARA: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: Thank you.

We've got a lot more on former Trump advisor Steve Bannon being indicted today as audio emerges of the former president making excuses for the violent mob that stormed the capitol screaming hang Mike Pence.


UNKNOWN: You better run, cops!

(END VIDEO CLIP) [22:35:00]


LEMON (on camera):

LEMON (on camera): Steve Bannon's indictment turning the focus on other prominent Trump allies who have been stonewalling congressional investigators. People like the former chief of staff, Mark Meadows. He failed to show up for a deposition today putting him under threat of criminal contempt of Congress as well.

That, as new audio shows that the former president defended rioters who threatened to hang Mike Pence on January 6th.

So, joining me now, CNN political commentators Ana Navarro and Scott Jennings. The band is back together. Good evening to both of. Good to see you.

Ana, I'm going to start with you. The DOJ showing it is not playing around. Bannon predicted all hell would break loose on January 6th and it did. He kept stonewalling. I imagine that you have a few thoughts on this, this evening.

ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, I'm happy about it. I think it was about time. And I think you should really not be able to flaunt, you know, and be so -- be flaunt privilege and be so arrogant and have few risks and really just disregard the law and get away with it.

That's not what America is. That's not what America is founded on. So, I am glad that he is being taken to task and that the DOJ is taking action to hold him accountable. What's that going to end up here, I don't know.

As everybody else has said before me, I'm sure he's going to love this. I'm sure we're going to see a lot of images and videos of him going into the court and holding up his hand and a sign of defiance and he's going to bask in the attention.

Listen, Steve Bannon is worth tens of millions of dollars reportedly. The other people are not. And the other people need jobs and they need board seats and they need speeches and they need contributorship. I don't know many people who want to hire folks that are indicted or embroiled in a case like this about reaching from others.

LEMON: Scott, Mark Meadows, that's the next one, he could be facing his own criminal contempt referral, lawmakers especially want to know if he used a private cell phone on January 6th. Do you think those like Meadows who aren't compiling, try to go down as martyrs, holding on to, you know, undying loyalty to the former president or do you think they're going to cave?

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, Meadows and the other sitting White House staffers most likely have a better argument than Steve Bannon. Bannon has no argument. He was not a White House staffer, I mean, there is really no privilege here. He's obviously on the wrong side of the law here.

Meadows has a stronger argument. My suspicion is that they would rather not be in the position that Bannon, I think, is trying to maneuver himself into which is as Ana suggested to be sort of a totem for, you know, this whole movement.

I don't think that's in the best interest professionally of people like Mr. Meadows and others, and probably not what their angling for. One of the ways they could have potentially cure this was show up and answer some questions, try to invoke privilege on others and try to work with the committee that's something that's been done in the past to try to avert these sorts of situations.


So, I don't know what the ultimate end game is for him but my recommendation is try not be indicted if you can avoid it if it all possible.

LEMON: Good advice, Scott Jennings. OK. So, listen --


JENNINGS: I'm not a lawyer, hey, I'm not a lawyer but that's just my outside looking in.

LEMON: But you play one on TV. Listen, I've got to --


NAVARRO: Listen, get indicted --

JENNINGS: Yes, right.

LEMON: I've got to ask you --

NAVARRO: Federal -- Don, getting indicted in federal court it could add up to hundreds if not more in legal fees --


NAVARRO: -- very quickly.

LEMON: So, Ana, let's talk about the former president defending the threats from rioters to hang Mike Pence. I mean, any other time I think people would be outraged and it would be, you know, breaking news and that's all we would be talking about. Now I think this is -- it has sadly become the norm but it is insane.

NAVARRO: I'm not even sure what the news worthiness of it is. It would be news worthy if he had said something differently. But this is Donald Trump. He's going to be in his death bed and in his last breath he's going to be blaming Mike Pence for having allowed the election to be stolen from him in a fraudulent way.

He is never going to change his story. Donald Trump cannot accept that he is a loser, that he is a loser, a loser. Let me say it in Spanish. Um perderor. He can't -- his ego cannot take it. And so he has convinced himself of this even if it means, you know, not caring about the fact that there was literally actually a noose hanging there for Mike Pence.

And I, you know, but the Mike Pence thing I think is relevant who we were talking about before. Because if I'm one of these Trump loyalists who is looking at a possible indictment and I see the lack of loyalty towards somebody like Mike Pence who practically shined the guy's boots for four years, I really have to question whether it's worth the pain, the emotional distress, the financial distress and everything that comes with it.

LEMON: Yes. Ana, listen, next time I want you to just really tell us how you really feel. Scott, sorry, we don't have any more time to -- but your facial expressions said everything, I mean, a million words as she was speaking.

JENNINGS: Thank you, yes.

LEMON: Thank you.


NAVARRO: He always does --

JENNINGS: I try -- I try to emote and tell the viewers how I feel.

LEMON: Esquire. Scott Jennings esquire. Thank you. I appreciate both of you.

She didn't have power over her money, her body, her life. But now Britney is free.



LEMON (on camera): She is free. I'm talking about Britney Spears 13- year conservatorship over. A Los Angeles judge terminating the court order arrangement today, fans of the singer cheered and celebrated outside the court just moments later. Look at them.

The pop star shared her appreciation in an Instagram post saying God, good God, I love my fans so much it's crazy. I think I'm going to cry the rest of the day. Best day ever. Praise the lord. Can I get an amen? hash tag freed Britney. Can I get a woop, woop?

So, joining me is CNN legal analyst Areva Martin, the author of "Awakening: Ladies, Leadership, and the Lies We've Been Told." I had to do the woop, woop.

AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: We all need a good laugh on a Friday night.

LEMON: Wait, can we -- can we put that book back up real quick, though? Can I put that book? Look at Areva, OK? Bring it -- now you make --


MARTIN: You had a good move, Don.

LEMON: Well, it's Friday. But awakening, you're making it rain on that cover.

MARTIN: I love it. Those are both of my book titles. I love you.

LEMON: Huge day for Britney Spears after 13 years finally free from this conservatorship. How long have we been talking about -- does she now have full control of every aspect of her life, Areva?

MARTIN: Every aspect of her life, Don, her finances, her personal decisions, her reproductive rights, who she dates, who she married, how many kids she has, every decision that an adult should be able to make Britney can now make. And thank the Lord, I agree with her. Can we get an Amen on that?

LEMON: Hast tag freed Britney. Her attorney, Matthew Rosengart said a safety net will be in place for Spears' finances and personal care. That's a good but what does it entail?

MARTIN: Well, what we know is that he's going to transfer her assets into a trust and there's probably going to be a team of lawyers and financial people and people that will help her make her own decisions rather than having her father, which is, you know, what happened for the last 13 years and other lawyers and conservators make decisions for her.

Clearly, Britney did not require conservatorship and unfortunately, there are over a million people in this country who find themselves in conservatorships and it's like $50 billion, Don, in assets that are controlled by other. So, you can imagine that these situations are right for fraud.

LEMON: Yes. I wonder if this legal battle with her father is just getting started. Because you know, she said that this was, the conservatorship was abusive. Her attorneys are asking for discovery related to allegations are that her father -- that use recording devices, all the stuff in a bedroom without consent. So, what do you think? Just the beginning?

MARTIN: Yes, I think it's the beginning. She has a really skilled attorney. He came in and turned this case around in a matter of months. He has filed a 110-page document and question the deposition and documents about how money was spent and how Britney was surveilled which are some, I guess allegations that, you know, she had listening and cameras in her bedroom.


So, this attorney is going to get to the bottom of things. You don't -- and these are serious matters, if there were, you know, if there was mismanagement, if there was embezzlement of funds, not only might there be civil charges filed or civil complaint filed, there could be criminal charges. So, these are very serious matters.

LEMON: Areva, thank you, "Awakening," "Making it Rain." I appreciate -- have a good -- I appreciate you joining us. Have a good one.

MARTIN: Have a good night, Don. Play some more of that Bobby Brown to take us out.



LEMON (on camera): So, take this. A Republican who lost an election has conceded the race and is rebuking any claims of voter fraud. Seriously. Don't believe me. I want you to take a listen to New Jersey Republican candidate for governor Jack Ciattarelli.


JACK CIATTARELLI (R), GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE, NEW JERSEY: I hate to lose. Ask Mayor Ducey (Ph). But I'm also someone who believes strongly in our republic and our democratic processes. Enough votes have been counted. There does not appear to be a path to victory or the basis for a recount. Nor do we know of any systemic or widespread fraud. So no, I see no proof that this election was stolen.


LEMON (on camera): Wow. See how easy that is? Telling the truth. See how easy that is? It goes to show not everyone is buying into the big lie and truth still matters to some Republicans. It should not be a race for an election loser to -- rare I should say for an election loser to admit that they lost.

Well, we'll let you know when it happens again.

Up next, Steve Bannon indicted. So will the rest of team Trump refuse to cooperate with the investigating committee on January 6th, are they thinking of talking now?