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Don Lemon Tonight

Trump Documentary A Key Factor To January 6th Committee; Republican Party Fears For Their Political Fate; January 6th Insurrection Worse Than Watergate; DOJ Officials Testifies Tomorrow; Uvalde Community Called Out Chief Arredondo; Gas Tax Freeze Not Enough; One NFL Team Leader Facing Sexual Allegation Case. Aired 10- 11p ET

Aired June 22, 2022 - 22:00   ET




ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: The news continues. Let's turn things over to Don and DON LEMON TONIGHT. Don?

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Anderson, thank you very much.

This is Don Lemon Tonight.

And exclusive, exclusive, the first look at footage from the documentary on the January 6th committee that it is examining right now. The January 6th committee, I should say is examining footage from that documentary right now. This is a trailer for "Unprecedented." It's a three parts series by filmmaker Alex Holder including never- before-seen footage of Donald Trump and his family during the final weeks of the election and after, intimate interviews and their reactions to his election loss. Take a look at this.



IVANKA TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP'S DAUGHTER: My father, he's very honest, and he is who he is.

DONALD TRUMP, JR., DONALD TRUMP'S SON: He believes everything that he's doing is right.

D. TRUMP: I think I treat people well unless they don't treat me well, in which case you go to war.

UNKNOWN: Can we talk for a minute about January 6th?

D. TRUMP: Yes.


LEMON: So, again, that is exclusive footage and I need to tell you that we're going to talk with the filmmaker Alex Holder tomorrow night at 10, so make sure you tune in. The documentary series will be released by Discovery. Plus, which is also owned by CNN's parent company.

Now, the chairman of the committee, Bennie Thompson, says that he has reviewed some of the footage from the documentary and called it, quote, "important". It's part of what the committee says is a deluge of new evidence including information from the National Archives and tips to the committee's hot line.

So much that they've had to postpone next week's hearings to dig through all of this. But tomorrow we're going to hear from three Justice Department officials testifying how the then-president of the United States tried to weaponize the DOJ to spread his election lies.

But what we've already heard what we've already heard is really still shocking even after everything that we have heard and seen. It's still shocking and it goes against everything America is supposed to stand for. The President of the United States sworn to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution, right, trampling all over that Constitution, using and abusing every lever of power to try to hold onto the White House, attacking people in power, attacking the powerless.

And the threat is still very, very real. Members of the January 6th committee taking extra security precautions in the wake of calls for violence. A post on the former president's own social media platform including a picture of a noose and it reads, I quote, "the J. 6th committee is guilty of treason." It should be is guilty but they said are guilty of treason, perpetuation of an insurrection. Hang them all.

Another reads references Liz Cheney and Nancy Pelosi with a GIF of a guillotine and the message MGGA. Hash tag MGGA. I guess they meant MAGA. I don't know it's supposed to be MAGA and hashtag make guillotine great again.

Now CNN ask Truth Social about those post and got no response but they appear to have been removed for now.

Let's talk about all of this. We got to talk about. Alyssa Farah is here. Alyssa Farah Griffin, CNN political commentator and the former Trump White House director of strategic communications. Elie Honig is here as well, CNN senior legal analyst, and Nia-Malika Anderson, CNN senior political analyst.

We're glad to have one and all. Good evening. So, Elie, let's start with you. According to reports this doc covers the final weeks of Trump's presidency including and up to the January 6th, that insurrection. What will the committee want to know from him?

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, first of all, if I'm on the committee I want to see the documentary but I also want to see all the raw footage. I can imagine if this is a few hours documentary it's going to be five or 10 times as much raw footage.

All of that is admissible evidence if we're talking about a court proceeding, and it could be invaluable. I mean, nothing is better than videotape from an investigative standpoint. Witnesses you can always say they're not credible, they have an agenda. Videotape is videotape. And if this is sort of unvarnished heat of the moment comments, then that could be really valuable.

LEMON: And also, just to show minds, I don't know if they -- if they were -- listen, when there's a microphone and camera in front of you most people are usually, you know, pretty -- they keep it close to the vest, right, they are careful about what they say. But you never know with this family.

I mean, Nia, this filmmaker Alex Holder had access leading up to the election inside the White House at Mar-a-Lago, the campaign trail, he speaks to Donald Trump and his kids, and according to press reports he speaks to Vice President Mike Pence, Jared Kushner as well.


The committee is speaking to him tomorrow morning before the televised hearing, and then they are taking a break. What do we want to know about all this?

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. I mean, he has hours and hours and hours of footage, and a lot of this information the fact that he got such access to Trump and his inner circle, Trump's family, this comes as a surprise to a lot of folks in the Trump campaign, certainly comes as a surprise to folks in the committee.

This is why they'll sit down with the filmmaker tomorrow, depose him and get as much information as possible and then sift through. They are trying to put together an easily digestible puzzle piece and portrait of what happened in the lead up to January 6th, on January 6th.

And this filmmaker has all sorts of access to the principal people involved, people like Donald Trump, people who were there in the run up to January 6th and on January 6th as well. So, this is going to be invaluable information that they're going to get from this filmmaker. They'll start tomorrow in terms of them deposing him and then we'll see how they fit that into upcoming hearings, which we'll see a bit of, you know, some hearings tomorrow, but then we'll see how this fits into later hearings into July.

LEMON: Alyssa, to you now. You've been inside this White House. You know all the players involved, right? You've had personal relationships with them. This is interesting because we hear so much about Jared and Ivanka. Supposedly they're, you know, they were standing in between trying to hold up the democracy, and then they said, well, I told my dad that, you know, he shouldn't go along.

But we know that Ivanka told Holder December 2020 that her father should continue fighting until every legal remedy was exhausted. I'm not sure what the real story is, which one she told him, not to or to do it, whatever.

But when she spoke to the committee, she said that, you know, Bill Barr said there was no evidence and that's what she was going to -- that's where she was going with this. I want you to watch this and then I'll get the answer to your questions.


I. TRUMP: I respect Attorney General Barr, so I accepted what he was saying.


LEMON: So conflicting stories.

ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, one point I want to make is this documentary surprised a lot of people who worked in the former White House, myself include. So, I was the White House communications director until December 4th when I resigned. I had no knowledge that this was being filmed. And traditionally any of this would have gone through my office for approval.

My understanding as I've caught up to speed on it, is that it actually came from Jared Kushner who thought that this was a good idea and encouraged members of the family and the former president to participate in it.

LEMON: You knew nothing about it?

GRIFFIN: Knew nothing about it. So, that, I think this was something that was probably close hold, a select group knew about it. And you know, the point you made this is the unvarnished footage in what's behind the scenes, the kind of b roll, the outtakes, that's going to be incredibly valuable. And I do think it helps kind of capture mind- set.

The clip that was played, you know, where the former president is saying, you know, if you disagree with someone it's war, that kind of helps paint a picture of where the man was in those final months leading up to the insurrection.

LEMON: But we don't know. Listen, I think people think every time there's something new this is going to be the smoking gun. We don't know that because we don't know everything that's in there. Correct?

GRIFFIN: Very much so. And I want to be incredibly clear. I think the work the committee is doing is very important. I've sat down with the committee, I want to help in any way I can, but I think people kind of need to pump the brakes and let the --

LEMON: Right.

GRIFFIN: -- let the work be done, let the investigation take place.

LEMON: And let's see what's in the documentary before we decide --

GRIFFIN: Correct. Correct.

LEMON: -- this is the one thing. GRIFFIN: This is the one thing.

LEMON: Nia, you were nodding in agreement I could and hear you --

HENDERSON: I think that's right. It's been sort of the story of Trump's, you know, presidency. This is the one thing that is going to bring him down. This is the one thing that is going to change his followers' minds about him.

And so far, we haven't necessarily seen that from this committee even though it has been incredibly damning, even though we know that Trump is watching, and certainly hasn't liked what he has seen, particularly testimony from Bill Barr, testimony from his own daughter, agreeing with Bill Barr.

So, they have done, I think they've done a much more thorough and better job than people I think they would going into this. There was all this talk about, this would be partisan, but how is it partisan if it's Trump's own people essentially saying that he was the leader of this plot to overturn the election?

LEMON: Yes. All of, it's all been Trump's before. Just let me real quick. So, which was it? Did she believe that her dad should fight or did she not believe that her dad should fight but she was -- is it the Bill Barr thing or is it what she -- I don't know.

GRIFFIN: I think the Bill Barr thing was probably blown a bit out of proportion. If you listen to her actual words, she's really dancing around saying that he lost.



GRIFFIN: She clearly doesn't want to get on the wrong side of her father on this. I mean, she was there on January 6th on the ellipse, you know, behind the scenes. And ever -- you know, it's been reported that she was in the West Wing that day, so I think she's probably more of the mind to stay and fight.


HONIG: Let me just say from experience, if this is a daughter telling her father something that she thinks the father wants to hear and then telling somebody else something else, wouldn't be the first time in history that happened.

LEMON: Let's talk about tomorrow because tomorrow is another very important day, tomorrow afternoon. So, give us a preview of what we might hear tomorrow from the testimony, from the former, this former DOJ witness?

HONIG: This one hits home for me as a DOJ alum. This is about the attempt to infiltrate and take over the Justice Department and use it to legitimize the election fraud lie. And one thing that we've seen what this administration, the Trump administration was desperately in search of was validation, somebody to give some credence to their theories, as Rudy Giuliani put it -- no facts, only theories about election fraud.

And they failed at every turn largely because Republican appointed career professionals like people we hear from tomorrow, Jeffrey Rose, Richard Donoghue, said absolutely not, we're not going to make things up. And so, I think we'll see DOJ holding its ground but a really dangerous effort to infiltrate and weaponize.

LEMON: Yes. Wasn't Rudy Giuliani, the top prosecutor in New York at one time. And he's --

HONIG: Well, it pains me to say so because I work at that same office, so yes.

LEMON: For him to say, well, we just have, we have theories, but we have no evidence. It's just like, wait, prosecutors especially a top one. Don't you --


HONIG: He was the U.S. attorney right here --


HONIG: -- for the Southern District of New York. Hard to believe.

LEMON: Yes, hard to believe. Nia, so the chairman, Bennie Thompson, tonight says that there is going to be a conversation -- there will be conversations about pardons in tomorrow's hearings. What do you think we might learn here?

HENDERSON: I think this is about Scott Perry. And Scott Perry was sort of the tip of the spear in trying to have someone in the Justice Department installed as acting attorney general and essentially advance Donald Trump's plot to overthrow the election.

He has been -- according to Liz Cheney he actually asked for a pardon. She also said that there were other Republicans who asked for pardons as well. They haven't said yet who that is. Maybe they'll reveal that tomorrow. Scott Perry, who, again, Liz Cheney said asked for a pardon, has denied that allegation. So, we'll see what kind of evidence the committee has tomorrow.

LEMON: So, if they're asking for pardons, Elie, would have -- why, if you didn't you anything wrong why do you ask for a pardon?

HONIG: Yes, I think that's the obvious question.

LEMON: A blanket pardon for all of the bad stuff that I did or like what?

HONIG: Right. And this is a really interesting showdown. Because we have the committee saying Perry asked for a pardon, and him saying absolutely not. Now this is in contrast to John Eastman where we saw from Eastman saying, I'd like to be added to the pardon list. I mean, that he can't argue with, right? It came out on me and my thing.

But here we have just yes, he did, no, I didn't. So, I want to see tomorrow does the committee have evidence to prove that? And if so, what is it? They clearly have testimony to that effect; do they have something beyond that?

LEMON: Yes. You know, listen, the calls of violence against January 6th committee members, it's outrageous. But we're seeing them on the same platforms that fueled the lies that led to the insurrection. Committee members beefing up their security. I mean, it's unbelievable that they're having to do this, all of this being pushed by the former president of the United States. Do you think this threat will remain?

GRIFFIN: Absolutely. I mean, it's the right call that the capitol police have decided to provide security details for some of the members who received threats. But to put a finer point on it, I mean, the hearing earlier this week you heard rank-and-file civil servants, an election worker, a staffer for the secretary of state in Georgia who had their lives up ended, who were threatened directly by a former President of United States.

The members of the committee have faced it, I've faced it. Anyone who speaks out against this man and has any sort of a platform gets the mob unleashed on them. I mean, Donald Trump pressured, stress tested democracy in a way that I don't think anyone was ready for. And then throw in the social media environment we live in and just the changing media environment.

We are at a very dangerous point in our country. Lies can be amplified in a way they've never been able to before. And people who can be completely misrepresented, they can be threatened by dangerous people. And it's sad. I think this is something that really, really needs to be taken seriously. And I'm shocked that Republicans can't see directly what a threat this is to some of their own colleagues.

LEMON: You're leading me into the -- my next question, which I asked Scott Jennings last night. Where is the, when I said, you know, where is the -- where are the parade of people going out and going to town halls all around the country, but where are the people who are coming on CNN, the Republicans or any networks besides, you know, the ones who hold up the big lie?

Where are they, you know, saying this person is dangerous for our democracy, this isn't the kind of person we want leading the party, let alone -- leading the country let alone our party, right? So, where is that and why, why not?

GRIFFIN: So, this is the kind of pathetic part of it all is that Georgia election worker Shaye Moss had more courage and more integrity than most elected Republican senators or House members. Because they were afraid of what speaking out against Donald Trump might do to their careers.


Many have said they're afraid of what it might do to their families and their personal lives. Because they know the kind of man he is, they know the mob that he can unleash on them. So, they're just going along and hoping for somebody else to speak out.

That is the truth of it. I have -- people have said it to me directly and privately. I'm hoping that this moves the needle, but the political courage in Washington is very bleak right now.

LEMON: Listen, Nia, it's kind of what we, during the 2016 election what we would hear in the greenroom and then we'd get on television and sit next to a panel and somebody would say wait a minute, what happened to that person and what you said in the greenroom? This is the exact opposite of what you said about this man who is running for President of the United States and who then became president.

HENDERSON: That's right. You would talk to Congress people privately and they would say one thing about Donald Trump and then publicly they would say something else. And this essentially gave -- this was the permission structure for Donald Trump to do whatever he wanted to do, and it meant that he got away with it.

It meant that when it came time for Mitch McConnell to say, hey, maybe we should impeach Donald Trump after January 6th, something that Mitch McConnell did lay the blame at Donald Trump's feet for, he essentially whiffs and said, you know, he's out of office already, you know, why would we impeach him at this point?

So that was a real missed opportunity, but it also really, I think speaks to the larger problem that Republicans have with this president. This president -- former president, his idea of power was it's better to be feared than respected. And that's what you have at this point. His followers certainly respect him and admire him. A lot of the folks in elected office simply fear him and don't necessarily respect him.

LEMON: Thank you all. Thank you, Nia. Thank you, Alyssa. Thank you very much, Elie, right? I appreciate that. Make sure you guys tune in tomorrow to the hearings. We are going to have special coverage here on CNN. And also tune in tomorrow night, filmmaker Alex Holder will be on this program.

So, they want Trump's White House counsel to talk publicly. Could Pat Cipollone on -- Pat Cipollone be the John Dean of 2022? I'm going to ask John Dean. He's next.


REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): Our committee is certain that Donald Trump does not want Mr. Cipollone to testify here.




LEMON: The January 6th committee gearing up for tomorrow's hearing on the then-president's attempts to use the Justice Department to give cover to his voter fraud lies. We're going to hear from Jeffrey Rosen, Richard Donoghue and Steve Engel. All top DOJ officials while Trump was president. But there's a key witness who hasn't agreed to testify and that's former White House counsel Pat Cipollone.

Joining me now, someone who used to have that very job, and that's John Dean, he is the former Nixon White House counsel. John, thanks so much.


LEMON: I appreciate it. Thank you. I have to tell you before we get started. I learned so much more about Watergate with the CNN documentary that you did. Everyone should watch. The parallels to what's going on now, it's just unbelievable.

DEAN: I did a nice job.


DEAN: Really.

LEMON: Thank you. So, thank you for responding to that. Listen, the committee has been laying all these pressure campaigns on the former V.P. Pence and local officials, and we're about to hear what was going on in the DOJ. How important will tomorrow's testimony be in piecing all of this together you think?

DEAN: I think it will be very important. First of all, these are seasoned lawyers. They know what evidence is. They resisted pressure from the President of the United States. He was not acting properly. And so, I think they'll be powerful witnesses. I have little doubt they will.

LEMON: Yes, and you understand all too well the position that Pat Cipollone is in tonight. I mean, he cooperated with the committee informally behind closed doors, and he thinks that that's enough. Why do you feel it's critical that he testifies publicly?

DEAN: Well, I assure you my president didn't want me testifying either and did everything he could to try to undercut me before I did. I think Cipollone is important because in his place of observation, he told Trump there are things he could do and couldn't do. But Trump isn't his client. It's the post-Watergate White House counsel represents the Office of the President.

There is a difference. The office is ongoing. The person who holds the office is very temporary, sometimes four years, sometimes eight years. What Cipollone needs to do is protect the presidency. He took an oath of office at least three times to my knowledge -- twice for bar examinations or bar admissions, and once to become White House counsel.

He's not honoring that if he shields this with silence, this behavior of Trump's. That's why I think he has a moral obligation to come forward, explain what he did. And will it lose him some clients as a Republican lawyer? Probably. But it'll give him a clear conscience.

LEMON: Well-said, so specific questions. You said he needs to come forward and tell the committee what he did, but specific questions that he needs to answer?

DEAN: Well, he needs to answer exactly what he was told Trump was doing and why they were doing it and why he thought that just stopping or his telling Trump not to do it and then he observed it going on. Don, this gets dangerously close to his own involvement in a conspiracy.

Once he became aware of what they were doing, we don't know all what he counseled against. But a lawyer -- one of the things happened post- Watergate because of my situation, they wrote rules where a lawyer can use some leverage and tell his client not only to do it, but he will publicly leave and make a noisy withdrawal if the client doesn't stop it.


And clearly, they saw the fraud that was going on the public, and they just zipped it up. They haven't said anything, maybe quietly to the committee, but we'll find out from his -- some of his staff is obviously going to come forward. I think Pat's law license could be in jeopardy if he doesn't do the right thing here.

LEMON: The former assistant Watergate's prosecutor, his name is Nick Akerman, says that Cipollone should be subpoenaed. What do you think?

DEAN: Well, I think that would force the issue. If he then proceeds to fight it in court, just to delay it, which is a standard Trump tactic it will tell us a lot. If he does honor the subpoena, which he should, then we'll get some more information we need.

LEMON: I want to ask you about these new subpoenas issued by the DPJ relating to the fake elector scheme pushed by the Trump supporters. One of them is for the Georgia Republican Party chairman David Shafer played essential role in organizing fake electors in that state. What does that tell you about how the DOJ is looking at this right now?

DEAN: Well, they're looking very broadly now. They've -- now that they're focusing on the fake elector issue that's a very -- that involves multiple states. The subpoenas have gone to Arizona, Michigan. They're going all over the country, and they're not going to let this fake elector ploy out of their sight. It is probably a serious federal election law crime, plus it's fraud on the United States.

LEMON: That's what I was going to say. Isn't that fraud?

DEAN: Yes, it's fraud on the United States, as well as probably some election laws were violated depending on the state.

LEMON: Well that seems -- that seems huge, John.

DEAN: It is. It is. Could be very big and could involve a lot of people. This whole thing is so much more massive than Watergate, it's hard to fathom.

LEMON: You just took one of my questions. I was going to say that Carl Bernstein said this is actually what Trump is accused of doing is worse than Nixon. But a lot of people have been waiting for, you know, this John Dean moment, right, in these January 6th hearings. That John Dean moment happened during Watergate. They want a moment that will fundamentally influence how Americans understand what really happened. Have we heard that yet, or you think we're going to hear it?

DEAN: I don't know someone will come forward. It may happen in bits and pieces. Some of these lawyers on the council staff may come forward and do the right thing. They know a lot more than most other people. Lawyers sometimes get it on a privilege basis, sometimes they just catches -- catch can. A lot of my information was of that nature, but it was able to take and put things in a different perspective and make them understandable.

LEMON: Yes. John Dean, thank you. And again, I have to say I encourage everyone to watch the Watergate documentary that CNN did with John Dean. The only difference between Watergate, one of the -- the biggest difference, I should say, between Watergate and now is that Republicans had backbones then, and they stood up to Nixon and said it's time for you to go. Republicans will not do that with the former president. It's a different time.

DEAN: I'm afraid not.

LEMON: Yes. Thank you, John.

DEAN: It's sad.

LEMON: Yes, thank you.

The Uvalde school district chief of police placed on administrative leave tonight. The community making moves to hold them -- hold him to account. We're going to tell you about that next.



LEMON: New tonight, Uvalde school district police chief Pete Arredondo placed on administrative leave effective immediately. That is in the wake of the school shooting in Uvalde that left 19 children and two of their teachers dead and more and more questions about the police response. Arredondo has remained mostly silent since the day of the shooting.

And that's where my next guest, Kim Hammond comes in. I had spoken with her before. She lives two doors down from Robb Elementary. And at a city council meeting last night the council was about to vote on whether to grant Arredondo a leave of absence when Kim Hammond stood up to speak. Listen to what she said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) KIM HAMMOND, UVALDE RESIDENT: Your agenda number six is a decision on

whether or not to give him a leave of absence. Why the hell would you? Let him miss. Three meetings, he's my councilman. Let him miss three. Don't waste any more time on him, but you can do something right now tonight and not table whether you're going to decide to give him that leave of absence.

I implore you do not give him that leave of absence. I don't know if this is a special meeting, this counts toward his absence, but if it does that's two, you only need one more. He's gone. Do the right thing. Thank you.


LEMON: Well, the council voted unanimously to deny a leave of absence. Kim Hammond is here with me now. Kim, good to see you. Thanks so much for joining.


LEMON: Listen, before I get to that city council meeting last night, I need to get your reaction to the news that Arredondo was placed on leave from his role as a police chief of the Uvalde school district effective immediately. What's your reaction to that?

HAMMOND: It's about time. That's my reaction.

LEMON: That simple?

HAMMOND: I'm glad. It's a step forward in the right direction.


LEMON: Yes. Let's talk about that council meeting. Tell me how you figured out how to block his requested leave of absence from the council?

HAMMOND: I would like to say it was dumb luck, but I had been thinking of it for several days. One of the parents had enlightened me to the fact that the council was going to make a decision on whether to grant him leave. And in my brain, I'm like, why would they want to give him leave unless they're hiding something.

So, I thought on it for a few days, I did not plan on speaking last night, and shortly before we left to go over to the civic center to the meeting, I thought there's got to be a way. So, I opened up their city charter and went down. And I thought, you know, he's missed a couple, I thought, you know, one for sure. If he misses tonight there's got to be something, and I found it in the chart.

LEMON: Do you think Arredondo, you think he's going to show up to the city council meetings and not answer any question?

HAMMOND: I doubt it. I really can't speak for him. He has every right to show up to one. I don't know if he doesn't have -- if he doesn't have enough courage to put himself between children and a shooter, I don't know if he would have the courage to put himself in front of us.

LEMON: You know you've had some very strong words for him, Arredondo, in the past. What do you want to hear from him?

HAMMOND: I resign.

LEMON: Wow. That's it.

HAMMOND: That's it.


HAMMOND: There's no apology, there is no, for me I can't speak for the families, they don't want to see him. They made that very clear last night at the city council meeting. I'm getting a lot of attention because of what I said, but there were a lot of family members that stood up last night and had just as much to say that was just as impactful that swayed that council. I'm the only one that quoted their by-laws to them. So, it was a very impactful meeting. The council was put on the spot.

LEMON: You know, Kim, we found out yesterday that the classroom door that we were initially told was locked, that it wasn't locked. It was unlocked the entire time. I know how close-knit the Uvalde community is. I saw that first-hand when I was there. You talked about how people don't want to hear from Arredondo, but how is everyone handling this particular news about the door?

HAMMOND: Well, it's just outrage. Really, I think there was a sense of, hey, you know, a week ago maybe a week and a half ago, did he even try the door? You know, there was like no evidence that anybody went over and actually tried the door. And if he was trying keys on that style door, did he test the door? No.

LEMON: Are people talking about that?

HAMMOND: Yes, in my -- in our friend circle, in the folks that are going downtown and were protesting for his removal, we've been talking a lot about it. So, amongst that circle of I'd say about 10 people, yes, we've had a lot of discussion about he didn't even try the door.

So, you know, when we found out that he had shields at 12.03, stuff doesn't add up, then we find out 19 minutes on scene. They had a -- they had one of those shields. They had smaller shields, but they had long guns in there. So, they all just have to go.

LEMON: Well, Kim, we wish you well and we thank you for appearing. Thanks so much.

HAMMOND: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: It's the president versus gas companies. Will anything he's done to lower gas prices crippling American families' wallets? Is there anything he can do? We're going to dig into it next.


LEMON: President Biden calling for a three-month suspension of the federal gas tax, which is about 18 cents a gallon on regular, right? But it's going to be an uphill battle to get lawmakers, states and oil companies onboard with this.

CNN economics commentator Catherine Rampell joins me now. She knows everything. You're going to tell us he's going to fix it, tell us everything, right. And set us straight.

Catherine, hello. I spoke with Paul Krugman last night, the night before -- last night. And he called the gas tax holiday a stunt. President Obama has said that it's a gimmick in the past. Do people care about that if they get some relief at the pump?

CATHERINE RAMPELL, CNN ECONOMICS COMMENTATOR: That's a big if. That's the question here. Given that the gas tax represents a relatively small share of the total price that people pay at the pump, and suspending it temporarily may not mean that all those savings actually go to consumers, that not all 18 cents will go to consumers. We don't know what exactly the break down will be, but probably companies, producers will pocket at least some, perhaps most of those savings.

It's not clear that regular consumers will feel much relief, and I think that's why people are referring to this as a stunt. It sounds like they're doing something, but it's not obvious that it'll make any meaningful difference in price.

LEMON: So, you think --


RAMPELL: But it will, of course -- it will of course have an impact on budgets, right? I mean, that's the tradeoff here.


LEMON: You think it's a stunt?

RAMPELL: Yes, basically.

LEMON: It's a gimmick. Yes.

RAMPELL: I think that -- it's a gimmick. I think they need to show that they're doing something because voters are understandably quite frustrated, and many of them are suffering from the fact that gas among other items that consumers buy has gotten much more expensive recently. So, they need to say they're doing something, and they have very limited tools available to be clear.

The main reason why gas prices have gone up so much recently has to do with the fact that there is this unprovoked war in Ukraine that has led to a lot of Russian oil being taken off-line. So, there's this big supply shock, demand is really strong and it's very difficult to fill in the hole that was basically created by all of that Russian oil becoming unavailable.

LEMON: Listen, we mentioned the former President Obama. Jason Furman, a senior economic official in the Obama administration is warning a gas tax holiday would add to inflation. Do you agree that lowering prices and potentially driving up demand could make inflation worse?

RAMPELL: I think it's possible. Because what's effectively happening is that demand for gas is already really strong as we've been discussing. And supply has not been able to accommodate all of that demand. If, in fact, you do succeed at making gas a little bit cheaper, you might actually increase demand for gas. And over time whatever savings you might have seen initially will disappear.

So, yes, it could end up driving up prices in the longer term perversely. That's why most economists would argue that the way to deal with the inflationary pressures we have right now are not by increasing demand for the things that are already in short supply. It's by trying to find ways to ramp up supply.

And obviously the Biden administration is trying to do that at some point, but it's really difficult to do for oil, for energy, for a lot of different reasons including that the long-term incentives for energy companies are to not make very expensive upfront investments today because fossil fuels are probably going to get phased out over time as they get displaced by much cheaper renewables. And renewables are getting much cheaper.

So, if you are an energy company right now and you're thinking about making an investment in, like, a big new refinery, that's going to not pay off for a couple of decades. A couple of decades from now there may not be much demand for the petroleum products that come from that refinery.

So, you have to think about the incentives that these companies face. I mean, Biden has been browbeating these companies, these energy companies for not ramping up refinery capacity. But, again, it's expensive. And it's not clear that it's in their long-term interest to do that.


RAMPELL: So, calling them unpatriotic or whatever I'm not sure is going to work either. But, again, Biden I feel like he has to do something.

LEMON: Catherine, thank you. I appreciate it.

RAMPELL: Thank you.

LEMON: Allegations of harassment, intimidation, sexual misconduct. The NFL commissioner forced to answer questions on the toxic work culture of one of the league's teams. That's next.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: Tonight, the head of the House oversight committee vowing

subpoena testimony from Dan Snyder, the owner of the NFL's Washington Commanders. And today, the committee questioned NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on the league's response to allegations against Snyder.

More now from CNN's Joe Johns.


JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: The House oversight hearing on the reported toxic work culture of the NFL's Washington Commanders featuring several big hits.

REP. GERRY CONNOLLY (D-VA): You keep saying you did everything possible. You are setting you have to do more. Yes or no, are you willing to do more?

JOHNS: Prior to the hearing the committee releasing a 29-page memo detailing findings from its own months' long investigation into the alleged misconduct of NFL team owner Daniel Snyder and the work environment he fostered.

CONNOLLY: You're aware that in 2009 Daniel -- Dan Snyder was accused of sexually assaulting an employee on a private airplane, correct?

ROGER GOODELL, COMMISSIONER, NATIONAL FOOTBAL LEAGUE: Am I aware of that, yes. I'm aware of that allegation.

CONNOLLY: And sir, Mr. Snyder, settled those claims for $1.6 million, but he did inform you in 2009 that he'd been accused of sexual assault, correct?

GOODELL: I don't recall him informing of that, no.

JOHNS: The committee concluding Snyder directed his own shadow investigation to target and harass those who made accusations against Snyder or his organization.

REP. CAROLYN MALONEY (D-NY): It shows the lengths Mr. Snyder went to harass, intimidate and silence his accusers including journalists, attorneys and former employees, anyone involved.

JOHNS: After Snyder who denies the claims refused to appear for the hearing, chairwoman Carolyn Maloney announcing the committee will issue a subpoena to compel a deposition from Snyder next week.

MALONEY: If the NFL is unwilling or unable to hold Mr. Snyder accountable, then I am prepared to do so.

JOHNS: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell testifying remotely about what the NFL knew and what it has done to hold Snyder accountable.

GOODELL: We impose unprecedented discipline on the club. Monetary penalties of well over $10 million and requirements that the club implement a series of recommendations and allow an outside firm to conduct regular reviews of their workplace. [22:55:00]

JOHNS: Committee Democrats questioning the NFL's lack of transparency regarding its handling of Snyder.

MALONEY: Rather than protecting women, the NFL is hoping to sweep this controversy under the rug.

JOHNS: And pressing Goodell why the NFL never publicly released any of its findings on Snyder and his team?

REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): That's what reduction is --


GOODELL: Congresswoman, with all due respect redaction doesn't always work in my world, I promise you.


GOODELL: We want -- we want to -- we need to take extra steps to make sure these people who did come through and courageously come forward --

RASKIN: All right. I've got to re-claim my time.

JOHNS: Meanwhile, several Republicans bash the hearings saying Congress has no authority over a private organization like the NFL.

MALONEY: The gentleman also spend --


REP. BYRON DONALDS (R-FL): What is the purpose of it -- you can bang the gavel all you want but I don't really care. What is the purpose of continuing this, Madam Chair?

UNKNOWN: This hearing is a sham, and it's a farce and it's a clown show.


JOHNS: A spokesman for Dan Snyder issued a statement before today's hearing. He said the committee's investigation into the team was predetermined from the beginning calling it a politically charged show trial and suggested that going forward the committee should focus on, quote, "more pressing issues instead of an issue the team addressed years ago." Don?

LEMON: Joe Johns, thank you so much. We'll be right back.