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Don Lemon Tonight

Sources: Hutchinson Was One Of The Witnesses Trump World Sought To Influence; Trump Knew People In The Mob Were Armed; SCOTUS Limits EPA's Ability To Curb Carbon Emissions; Emmett Till's Family Calls For Justice. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired June 30, 2022 - 23:00   ET



RYAN NOBLES, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Witness intimidation among a growing list of potential crimes the committee believes Trump and his top advisers could be at the center of.

REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): It's a very serious issue and I would imagine the Department of Justice would be very interested in and would take that very seriously as well.

NOBLES (voice-over): But Trump and his allies are pushing back, attacking Hutchinson and questioning her credibility, all because of a dispute over one aspect of her testimony. The Secret Service arguing the details she recounted being told about Trump lunging at his detail inside a presidential suburban are not accurate. The former president clearly backing the Secret Service members who are part of the story, Tony Ornato and Bobby Engel.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: These are great people. They've devoted their lives to it. And I think they were very embarrassed by it --

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Yeah.

TRUMP: -- because it makes them sound terrible.

NOBLES (voice-over): But members of the committee saying that Ornato's story doesn't add up and they need to make it clear what he knows under oath.

UNKNOWN: Mr. Ornato did not have as clear of memories from this period of time as I would say Ms. Hutchinson did.

NOBLES (voice-over): Congressman Adam Kinzinger taking it a step further, saying in a tweet quote "There seems to be a major threat here. Tony Ornato likes to lie."

Meanwhile, the committee issuing a subpoena to former White House counsel Pat Cipollone, a key figure, members believe, has a lot to share.

UNKNOWN: There are quite a few things that he could tell the committee that would not be subject to privilege, and I think it's important.

NOBLES (voice-over): Cipollone already signaling that he may be willing to sit for a transcribed deposition. As for others who are fighting subpoenas, frustration is mounting from the lack of action from the Department of Justice.

REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): Mark Meadows and Dan Scavino have refused to come in and talk to Congress. We have the power of subpoena similar to what a court has, and the Justice Department has failed to indict them for that. And so, all it does is send a message you just have to resist the Select Committee and you may be able to resist all penalties. That has been a frustration.

NOBLES (voice-over): And Wednesday night at the Reagan Library in California, Cheney using the work of the committee to make a case that it's time for the party to move past Trump.

CHENEY: To the little girls and to the young women who are watching tonight, these days, for the most part, men are running the world and it is really not going that well.


NOBLES (on camera): And Don, tonight, we're learning new information about the testimony of Secret Service agent and the former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Tony Ornato. Sources tell us that he has met with the committee on two different occasions, once in January, another time in March.

Committee members have already said that his accounting of what happened inside that presidential limo on the day of January 6th is different than the testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson, who said that she was told by Ornato that the former president lunged at his Secret Service detail.

But we're also told that Ornato was asked questions about where Vice President Mike Pence was during the January 6th riot and what the president knew about it, and also what efforts were made to try and get the president to calm down his supporters and leave the Capitol. Don?


DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Ryan Nobles, thank you very much, sir.

I want to bring in now CNN political commentators Charlie Dent and Alice Stewart and senior political analyst Ron Brownstein. Hello, one and all.



LEMON: Let's see. Ron Brownstein --


LEMON: -- let's talk about January 6th investigation. You just heard Ryan lay it all out for us, witness intimidation, trying to discredit Hutchinson. It is all part of the Trump playbook. He is trying to send a message to other witnesses, but will it work?

BROWNSTEIN: Look, I mean, you know, this has been his playbook all the way through his career really, right? I mean, you know, as a real estate developer, as a celebrity, as president, kind of, you know, code of America, you know, and behaving in that manner. So that's not surprising.

I think witnesses are going to make their own judgment about, you know, their obligations to the country versus what they feel is their personal obligation to him. Certainly, the committee has, I think, exceeded expectations in the amount of evidence that they've been able to amass so far. And by all indications, it's nowhere near done.

LEMON: Charlie, Trump is hurling nasty jabs at Hutchinson, but no one is -- no one disputes the real substance of her account. How scared must Trump and his allies be about what Hutchinson had to say? They must be really worried if they're going to these lengths.

CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, FORMER PENNSYLVANIA REPRESENTATIVE: I think they have good reason to be concerned. I mean, Ms. Hutchinson, who is very courageous, she provided a lot of context and details about what happened on that day that corroborate what many of us have thought or believed for some time, that the former president, you know, sicced the mob on the Capitol. He cheered them on. He did not lift a finger to help. In fact, he seemed to encourage it all and certainly was sympathetic to those who wanted to hang Mike Pence.

We heard a lot, and she just -- she was there right in the room where he was misbehaving.


So, I think that -- I think Republicans right now in Congress probably really regret the fact that they did not appoint anybody to that Select Committee to provide an alternative point of view. They chose not to. And so, you're hearing an argument that's very powerful and, frankly, it's one-sided. And I think that's why these people in Trump world ought to be really nervous.

And I suspect, you know, DOJ, they're watching all these hearings. The committee doesn't -- the Select Committee doesn't have to send anything over to DOJ. The DOJ can bring about indictments on their own.

But I would be very, very nervous right now if I were some of those folks who worked in the White House and some on the hill, you know, who may have aided and abetted in what happened on that day.

LEMON: Before I get to Alice, Ron, let me ask you this. Considering what you just said, no one wants to face Trump's wrath, does this explain the deafening silence from elected Republican officials and why we haven't heard from, you know, them come out and condemn a president willing to send armed rioters to the Capitol? Ron?

BROWNSTEIN: Oh, I'm sorry. I thought it was for Alice. Yeah, look --

LEMON: I said before we get to Alice.

BROWNSTEIN: That is the clearest -- I think that silence is one of the most important dynamics of this whole thing. We've talked about this before.

People forget that Richard Nixon's approval rating during Watergate fell 40 points among Republicans. And one of the reasons for that was that there were Republican elected officials at every stage of the process who participated in the investigation, who vouched for the investigation, and ultimately vouched for the seriousness of the allegations and the evidence that accumulated --

LEMON: And Ron, let me just jump in here.


LEMON: Let me just jump in here. And people didn't care during Watergate until they cared. It took them a while. I'm not sure we have the same sort of Republican, you know, in office now. But go on. Sorry to interrupt.

BROWNSTEIN: No, we don't because, you know, what we really had among Republicans are just two branches. One, like Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Stefanik, who have preemptively dismissed the hearings before a word of testimony was heard. Marco Rubio called it garbage and a circus.

And then the other side, those who recognize that what's happening is important -- and Kevin McCarthy is kind of in that first camp -- they will not in any way vouch for or validate what's happening. Mitch McConnell says he's too busy to watch it.

So, what you've got is that leaves a vacuum for conservative media, which is operating in kind of full-on rebuttal mode, and Republicans are not hearing from voices they trust about the seriousness of the evidence that's being accumulated, the seriousness of the implications of the evidence. And a result, it is a very hard road for moving public opinion. Having said that, I do think it is taking a bite out of Trump and his future prospects of being president.

LEMON: Okay, Alice now. Alice, it is worth noting -- I know you want to jump in. You have to admit it is worth noting that people going after Hutchinson like Jim Jordan, Mark Meadows, Kevin McCarthy, they're also the ones hiding and refusing to talk to the committee. So, I mean, that sends a message, doesn't it?

STEWART: Sure. Look, this is classic. It's classic Trump. If you cannot refute the message, you rebuke the messenger. That's exactly what they're trying to do, trying to question her credibility, and all of the people that are in line with Trump are doing the same thing. And they also have had questions and concerns from the very beginning about this hearing, the fact there is no Trump allies on the panel, which they should have had to counter some of this testimony.

But at the end of the day, a lot of what we're hearing and especially from Ms. Hutchinson, is damning, and it shows that the president not only stood by the sidelines while the crowd was growing, gun-wielding protesters were growing, he didn't do anything to stop it even when they said, "hang Mike pence," and furthermore, his behavior behind the scenes. I do think with all of that being firsthand testimony from Ms. Hutchinson, that is impactful.

The only thing that is secondhand that may need some corroboration is what happened in the "beast" in terms of him grabbing the wheel and going after Secret Service agent. I would love to hear them under oath testify.

I do believe that Cipollone is going to do the right thing and testify as to what he can do. But as to whether or not this changes anything, for the first time after Ms. Hutchinson testified, I heard members of the conservative media where Republicans get their news, saying, this is damning and this moved the ball down the field.

So, her testimony, I do think, moved the needle and more people are paying attention to it. Whether or not that will change hearts and minds, you know, at the end of the day remains to be seen, but she certainly has made a difference in this hearing.

LEMON: I want to get to Charlie. I was just handed this information. According to "The New York Times" "The New York Times" is reporting this.


Former President Donald J. Trump's political organization and his allies have paid for or promised to finance the legal fees of more than a dozen witnesses called in the congressional investigation into the January 6th attack. How is that not interference?

DENT: Well, it sure sounds like interference to me. And, again, you know, any time, you know, somebody who is under investigation, you know, tampers with witnesses, you got yourself a heap of problems. So, it really just sounds to me that Trump is trying to buy people off. That's what it sounds like. I'll pay your legal fees, you kind of get the message, you know, you're going to be speaking up there, you know, they'll probably be inclined to be more sympathetic.

I can't tell you I'm surprised by that information you just revealed, Don, of what "The New York Times" just revealed. It's hardly shocking, but it's nevertheless disturbing.

And I suspect that's one of the things that DOJ will look at. I was chair of the Ethics Committee. We used to look at this stuff all the time. We didn't want anybody trying to talk to our witnesses or intimidating witnesses, particularly those who are under investigation. So, I think this is potentially problematic. If I'm Donald Trump, I think it's a problem and for many of his allies.

LEMON: Alice, I mean, we're going to pay your legal fees? I mean --

STEWART: Look, they're raising millions and millions of dollars for Trump and Trump-related entities, and a large part of that money is going to pay for legal fees.

And here's the travesty with all this, Don. Money is being raised from people that don't have expendable incomes or people on fixed incomes that are giving their hard-earned money to Donald Trump to help in this process. The problem is it's all based on lies. It is based on his ill-conceived notion that there was widespread election fraud and he actually won the election.

That is the travesty here, is that we're still a year and a half later still litigating the 2020 election, when the American people are concerned with inflation and gas prices and food prices and how they're going to put food on the table, yet we're still litigating the 2020 election.

That being said, we do need to find out what happened and led up to January 6th. We need to hold people accountable to that. But the fact that good people with good intentions that are strong Republicans are still buying into this ill-conceived notion of widespread election fraud.

LEMON: Well, listen, I think that people can -- listen, Americans can juggle many things and can be concerned about a number of different things. They can be concerned about gas prices and the economy and concerned about what happened on January 6th as well. I don't completely buy into that people don't care about January 6th. I actually think that they do. I think the other priorities are just -- hits closer to home when you need to pay your mortgage or get gas. It's more immediate.

Here's what I want to say. This, to me, almost sounds like the equivalent of paying off witnesses, Ron Brownstein.

BROWNSTEIN: Yeah. Well, look, you know, I'm not a lawyer, but certainly when you're offering that kind of material help to people, there is a strong implied -- you're not offering to pay their lawyers if they're going to say something unflattering about you, right? I mean, that is not the goal.

Can I say that the one potential-- the people have raised as the one potential blind spot in the January 6th investigation which, as I say, has exceeded expectations from the beginning, is really the same issue that Biden faced in the 2020 campaign. To what extent is this personalized in Trump as a unique risk and to what extent are the attitudes and the behaviors that he exemplifies spreading more broadly through the Republican Party?

We talk about the big lie that Trump put forward. You know, that has inspired an awful lot of legislation in red states, either making it more difficult to vote or changing the way elections are administered or promoting -- people promoting falsehoods about 2020 running for positions of control over the machinery of 2024.

This is bigger than Donald Trump, and there is a risk in viewing simply as if he is marginalized or indicted, that the challenge to democracy has been solved. That's not true anymore.

LEMON: Yeah. That's why it's important to both sides. Listen, Democrats have their issues, but what the Republican Party is doing to this country right now is frightening and everyone should be concerned about it.

Thank you all. I appreciate it. Again, this is just in to CNN. According to "The New York Times," former President Donald J. Trump's political organization and his allies have paid for or promised to finance the legal fees of more than a dozen witnesses called in the congressional investigation into the January 6th attack. Again, that's "New York Times" reporting.

We'll keep digging into it and figure out -- we'll talk to our legal experts. Is this interference? Let us see. Jeffrey Toobin and Areva Martin are going to be along a little bit later. We'll see if we can get some answers from them.

So, we'll move on now. The then president knew people in the mob were armed, but he didn't care. He said they weren't there to hurt him. But they did hurt the brave officers trying to defend the Capitol.


I'm going to talk to one of them. There he is, Michael Fanone, next.


LEMON: So, a week of explosive testimony and damning new evidence from the January 6th Select Committee revealing what then-President Trump and his allies knew heading into January 6th.

I want to bring in now former D.C. Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone who defended our Capitol on one of the darkest days in our history. He is now a CNN law enforcement analyst.

Mike, thanks for joining us this evening. You have some pretty specific feelings after hearing the then-president was aware of the rioters, that they were armed on January 6th, but then sent them to the Capitol anyways, said get rid of the mags, send them in.


MICHAEL FANONE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST, FORMER D.C. METROPOLITAN POLICE OFFICER: Yeah. I don't think he was just aware of it. I mean, I'm at the point now where I'm convinced that the violence was part of the plan. You know, the president and his -- you know, the people in his immediate orbit, that was their anticipation, that, you know, these individuals that they brought there on the Ellipse would target U.S. Capitol members of Congress and that there would be violence. LEMON: Uh-hmm.

FANONE: And that was part of -- not the full plan for January 6th, but it was part of the plan, was to have, you know, that violent interaction between Trump supporters and law enforcement and members of Congress.

LEMON: You said you were ticked off. I know because you texted me. And I said, how are you doing? You said, I'm pissed.

FANONE: Yeah. I think I said my blood was boiling. You know, I guess it's one thing to have a gut feeling that that was the case and then to hear somebody, you know, express, you know, the conversations that were taking place, the things that the president -- or former president had said and the indifference on the part of not just him, but people like Mark Meadows and the other, you know, members of the Trump inner circle is infuriating.

LEMON: You know, this is something that you had been talking about and, you know, and others had been denying in Trump land, in Trump circles. The Select Committee released a police radio transmission from the morning of January 6th describing the weapons people were carrying near the Ellipse. Take a listen.


UNKNOWN (VOICE-OVER): They had Glock-style pistols in their waist.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Eighty-seven, 36 (INAUDIBLE) subject. Weapon on his right hip. He's in the tree.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): (INAUDIBLE). Make sure PPD knows they have an elevated threat in the trees, south side of Constitution Avenue. Look for the "don't tread on me" flag, American flag face mask, cowboy boots, weapon on the right side of hip.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): I get three men walking down the street in fatigue carrying AR-15s (INAUDIBLE).


LEMON: Listen, this is something I had talked to you about when I interviewed you, I interviewed (INAUDIBLE), I interviewed the other officers at -- that there were weapons. You saw guns. People had guns. But if you listen to Trump supporters, the conservative media, they're like, these people were not armed. The danger was clear--


LEMON: -- but, you know, as we said, Trump told us, you know, take the mags away. But your life was put in danger that day.

FANONE: Yeah. Let me explain why -- yeah, I see these conservative news outlets or the far right-leaning news outlets and they try to talk about -- and even, you know, politicians. Ron Johnson, that was like a big argument that the made. It wasn't an insurrection because there weren't any guns there. Listen, Ron, there were guns there. That's a fact.

There were arrests made at the Ellipse. There were arrests made en route to the U.S. Capitol building. There weren't a lot of arrests made at the Capitol because we were busy fighting for our lives. You know, even if had we made arrests, there was no place to put these people.

Every officer that was at the U.S. Capitol was busy fighting to protect Ron Johnson's life, all the other members of Congress that were inside the building and their staff, and their own lives, and the lives of the other police officers that were dragged into this, you know, crazy mess because of the former president of the United States and, you know, the lies that he spewed and those that were around him spewed.

LEMON: I want you to take a listen to what we heard from Liz Cheney tonight.


CHENEY: There's no question that what we saw happened on January 6th was clearly an attempt to delay the count of the electoral votes. Anybody who was there understands the violence that was involved.

I'm frankly stunned that one of my opponents on the stage who is a member of the Wyoming bar, who has sworn an oath as many of us on this stage have to the Constitution, would be in a position where she is suggesting that somehow what happened on January 6th was justified or that somehow what happened that day, the people have the right to ignore the rulings of the courts.


LEMON: Do you think that -- did you ever think that a lawmaker like Liz Cheney would be fighting for her political life against someone who denies what happened on January 6th?


FANONE: Yeah, I mean, I'll be honest. I didn't particularly follow Liz Cheney's political career prior to January 6th. But somebody who, you know, has developed a reputation, I mean not just coming from the Cheney household, but developed a reputation as one of the most conservative members of Congress, you know, fighting for her job simply for the fact that she denounced Donald Trump and his actions, I mean that's just become like par for the course.

There's a lot of us who have suffered for simply denouncing Donald Trump. And that's, you know, the terrifying thing about the Republican Party right now, is that people that participated in the January 6th insurrection are hailed as heroes and people who support the idea that the 2020 election was stolen, which, you know, by Trump's subordinates' own admissions, was absolute B.S.

But, you know, unfortunately, the conservative media outlets are not interested in informing their viewers as to the reality of those lies and nor are the elected members of Congress who, you know, benefit from them.

So, we have, you know, the crime itself of January 6th and then we have a lot of accessories after the fact, people that, you know, continue to profit from, you know, from those lies.

LEMON: What do you think should happen to them?

FANONE: Oh, I mean -- you know me really well, Don. Like use your imagination. But seriously, I think, you know, we have to have accountability. You know, Merrick Garland has got to grow a pair and pursue justice. You know, we're done with the idea that modeling good behavior is somehow going to make these people behave well.

You know, I said before, it doesn't work with people that are shooting up our streets and it certainly is not going to work with someone like Donald Trump or Mark Meadows. You know, if they committed a crime, which to me, I feel like there's more than probable cause to warrant them, you know, getting a perp walk out of Mar-a-Lago or wherever the hell else they happen to reside, you know, they should be put on trial, and if they're convicted, go to jail.

LEMON: Michael Fanone, thank you, sir. Appreciate your candor always. Don't change.


LEMON: Thanks.

The Supreme Court dealing a blow to the EPA that could set the country back years in fighting the climate crisis. Will it erode the court's legitimacy with the public even more?




LEMON: A major defeat today for the Biden administration in the battle against the climate crisis. The Supreme Court limiting the EPA's ability to curb carbon emissions from power plants. The conservative majority ruling that Congress did not give the agency such broad powers to regulate emissions, that those broad powers rest with Congress itself.

So, let's talk about this ruling, other issues regarding the high court with CNN's chief legal analyst Mr. Jeffrey Toobin and legal analyst Areva Martin. Good evening to both of you.

So, Jeffrey, let's talk about the EPA. We're going to get -- we'll talk about the EPA in just a little bit. First, let me ask you about this before we go on. We just got this in, that the former president -- this is according to "The New York Times" -- Donald J. Trump -- it's his political organization--


LEMON: -- not the White House. His political organization, not in a government role, and his allies have paid for or promised -- and his allies have paid for or promised to finance the legal fees of more than a dozen witnesses called to the congressional investigation into the January 6th attack. How is that not interference?

TOOBIN: It is not improper.

LEMON: How is it not interference, though?

TOOBIN: Well, it's not interference. The custom -- and this has been done for years -- is when an organization is under investigation, whether it's a campaign or a company, it is often the case that the company or the organization will pay the legal fees for the people in the organization.

LEMON: Jeffrey, this isn't his campaign. This is when he was in the White House.

TOOBIN: Well, that's right. And, look, you know, when Bill Clinton was investigated in the whole Lewinsky matter, he helped some of his people get -- helped pay their legal fees. I mean, this is something that happens. It is suggestive --

LEMON: That was improper, too, no?

TOOBIN: No, it was not improper --

LEMON: I should say that could be construed as interference.

TOOBIN: It could be construed as improper, and it is true it creates a bond among people. And it is worth noting that when Cassidy Hutchinson decided that she wanted to tell the full story to the congressional committee, she dropped her original lawyer, you know, who was part of the club --

LEMON: Right.

TOOBIN: -- and got an independent lawyer. So, I mean, it is relevant, but, you know, it's not against the rules for the organization to pay the legal fees of the people involved.


LEMON: Areva?

AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Yeah, I think the bigger issue here, Don, that we are learning is that these witnesses, many of these witnesses have been pressured. They've been pressured by folks associated with Donald Trump and maybe even with some of these law firms to either not give full testimony to the January 6 Committee or to give false testimony.

So, I hear what Jeffrey is saying, but I think there is something here that the committee really needs to take a look at. And Liz Cheney made it very clear that, you know, pressuring witnesses can be a crime.

TOOBIN: That's certainly true. That's certainly true, Areva. I agree with you, but that's a different issue than paying legal fees.

LEMON: Okay.

MARTIN: Well, I think it's intertwined because they're saying these legal fees are being paid by perhaps some of the same lawyers that may be part of this pressure campaign. So, I think that's where we need to do further investigation.

LEMON: Okay. But isn't this just one in a number of things like Areva is saying? I mean, it all sort of adds up, Jeffrey? Okay, they're paying for the legal fees for all of these people, there's a pressure campaign. Isn't it --

TOOBIN: Well, I mean, I think you have to draw distinctions. I mean, paying the legal fees is not improper. If they are pressuring her, pressuring Cassidy Hutchinson or anyone else to protect the president, former president, that's wrong. But, I mean, the story in the "Times" is about paying legal fees. If they're telling people to tell a false story to protect the president, that's wrong. They're different.

LEMON: All right. Areva, you want to respond to that?

MARTIN: Yeah. I was just going to say I think implicit in what we're hearing from Cassidy Hutchinson is that she dumped those lawyers that were being paid by the Trump team because in some ways they were restricting her in what she was able to say or felt comfortable saying.

So, although, you know, we haven't heard that directly from her lawyer, but I think we read between the lines. That's exactly what Cassidy Hutchinson is saying, look, I got rid of those Trump lawyers and now I am free to tell the truth about what I witnessed and observed on January 6th.

LEMON: The law and politics, strange, strange, strange. Thank you both. I really appreciate it.

The Biden administration facing heavy losses with recent SCOTUS decisions. My next guest says it is time to curb the court's power. Congressman Ro Khanna is here with me. He is next.




LEMON: The Supreme Court today limiting the EPA's ability to regulate carbon emissions. The 6-3 ruling is not only a huge setback for the Biden administration, it also goes against warnings from scientists

that countries should limit greenhouse gas emissions as the pace of global warming continues to speed up. President Joe Biden calling the ruling another devastating decision that aims to take our country backwards.

So, joining me now, Representative Ro Khanna. Thank you, representative. Appreciate you joining us. Good to see you.

REP. RO KHANNA (D-CA): Always good to see you, Don.

LEMON: So, listen, forget about politics, you know, for a minute if you can. What is this ruling going to mean for the future of this planet?

KHANNA: Well, I think Justice Kagan summed it up best in her dissent. She said, this is a court that doesn't know much about climate change. I mean, they're not scientists. And they're basically handcuffing the EPA. They're saying the EPA can't have emissions regulations on coal plants systemwide. They can't have caps.

So, this is going to mean that there's going to be no regulation, no caps on carbon emissions, and it's devastating for the fight against climate.

LEMON: So, representative, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra called the decision a public health disaster, and the data shows that people of color are most impacted by the climate crisis.

A 2021 report from the American Lung Association shows people of color are 61% more likely than white people to live in a county with a failing grade for at least one pollutant. Are you worried that this ruling will disadvantage these communities even more?

KHANNA: Yes, Don. And your question gets to the heart of the problem and why this court has a crisis of legitimacy. The reason we have Congress make these decisions is that they are more representative. They have representatives from Black communities, from Latino communities, from around the country.

You have a court that is completely unrepresentative, that is not elected, and for six unelected people to make decisions on climate and take that power away from Congress, take that power away from the president, who is appointing the EPA, is just flat-out wrong. And this is a court that's disconnected and really is abrogating to itself power and taking it away from democratic decision making.

LEMON: A crisis of legitimacy or just unpopular?

KHANNA: It's a crisis of legitimacy. There are times that a court can make counter-majoritarian decisions as a check on majoritarian power. But this is a court that has totally been oblivious to any sense of public sentiment in modern life. I mean, they're oblivious when it came to taking away freedoms on Roe v. Wade.



LEMON: They're oblivious when it comes to talking about possibly taking away the right for gay marriage, possibly even Justice Thomas writing about taking the right for a way for contraception.

That's why I've come out for term limits, and the president's own commission has suggested term limits. I mean, why should people who are appointed 40 years ago be making decisions today for our democracy about fundamental rights?

LEMON: I just want to ask you this because, listen, it sounds almost similar to when Democrats say a crisis of legitimacy, similar to the former president saying just because he didn't agree with something, that it was illegitimate, that it was fake or that it was -- it's not -- you don't think that's a slippery slope that you're going down by saying that the Supreme Court is a crisis of legitimacy? It may not be popular.

KHANNA: Well, I think Lincoln said that about the Dred Scott court. FDR has said that about the Lochner court. The difference is I'm not saying go disobey the Supreme Court's decisions. I'm not saying that just because the Supreme Court ruled this way, that somehow, we have to defy the decisions. What I'm saying is this court no longer has the confidence of the American public and we need to have fundamental reform.

And like Lincoln called out the Dred Scott court and FDR called out the Lochner court, we need to be campaigning against this court. We, the people, the American people, who get to decide about fundamental rights and get to decide about the Constitution, get to direct policy about climate. It's not unelected justices who are taking away too much power.

And I think they're doing their jobs incorrectly, and we ought to point that out. And they're partisan. They're partisan. They're not some deliberative body. They are -- they are following a partisan agenda and they're not -- they shouldn't be treated as some holier than thou people with some deliberation. They are ideological.

LEMON: I think there's no denying that it is partisan, right? When you have a Democratic president or a liberal president, they nominate liberal and Democratic judges. Same thing with the Republican and conservative president, right? You're right, it is by nature political, the Supreme Court.

Thank you, Representative Khanna. I appreciate you appearing. Thanks so much.

KHANNA: Thank you. Appreciate it.

LEMON: We'll be right back.




LEMON: An amazing turn of events in the case of Emmett Till. The kidnapping and brutal murder of the Black 14-year-old in Jim Crow Mississippi in 1955 helped spark the civil rights movement.

An arrest warrant never served in the case has been discovered. It was for the white woman who accused Emmett Till of making advances towards her, which led to his murder. That woman is still alive, and Till's family is demanding justice.

The story now from CNN's Ryan Young.


PAGE PATE, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: There was probable cause for an arrest back then and nobody did anything about it.

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After nearly 70 years, a stunning find unearthed in a Mississippi courthouse is bringing hope to the family of Emmett Till, that justice may finally be served.

PATE: I can understand how difficult this may be for the family to have gone through this whole process and to now find what may be a smoking gun.

YOUNG (voice-over): Last week, an arrest warrant was discovered by Till family members inside a dusty box in a Leflore County courthouse, dated August 29, 1955. The warrant charged J.W. Milam, Roy Bryant, and Bryant's then wife Carolyn Bryant with kidnapping African-American teen Emmett Till and ordered their arrest.

Both men on the warrant were charged and eventually acquitted by an all-white jury, although they later admitted to the murder in a magazine article. Both men died decades later. But Bryant's widow, now Carolyn Bryant Donham, was never charged.

Now in her 80s, Till's family is hopeful the discovery of the warrant will lead to her arrest and justice, something they've longed pushed for.

JOSHUA HARRIS TILL, EMMETT TILL FAMILY: Does she still think of how her actions directly led to the most egregious racism and aggression towards a child?

YOUNG (voice-over): Till's murder in 1955 is believed to be a catalyst for the civil rights movement in America. It happened when the 14-year-old Chicago teen was visiting relatives in Mississippi. Twenty-year-old Carolyn Bryant falsely accused Till of making unwanted advances on her in a grocery store. Just four days later, her husband and his half-brother abducted Till from his uncle's home.

UNKNOWN: I woke up, I saw two white men standing at the foot of my bed. One had a gun and a flashlight in his hand. They made him get up and put his clothes on.

YOUNG (voice-over): According to Till's cousin, the men took Till outside to a car where a woman was waiting.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): They said, is this the right boy?

YOUNG (voice-over): The two men beat and tortured Till before shooting him in the head and tossing his body in a river. Till's body was returned to Chicago disfigured, beyond recognition. But his mother insisted on an open casket at his funeral, wanting the world to know what happened to her son.

Investigators charged both men with Till's murder. Months after their acquittal, both men told "Look" magazine that they actually did kill Till, but double jeopardy laws prevented them from being tried again.

In 2004, the Justice Department reopened the case, even exhuming Till's body. But a grand jury declined to indict Donham and the case was closed in 2007.

In 2017, "Vanity Fair" published an article which an author claimed he asked Donham about Till's alleged advances. He said she replied quote-- "That part is not true," adding, "nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him."


UNKNOWN: All along, we knew that she was lying about what Emmett said. He never threatened her. He never grabbed her hand. None of that never happened.

YOUNG (voice-over): In 2018, the Department of Justice reopened a probe into Till's murder, but the agency's civil rights division concluded it could not prove Donham had lied and investigators say she denied that she had recanted her testimony.

UNKNOWN: What we want is accountability.

YOUNG (voice-over): CNN has reached out to Donham but has not heard back. Now, the question remains, could Donham, who now lives in North Carolina, finally be arrested and charged?

PATE: I don't think they're going to arrest this woman and put her on a bus, given her age and the age of this arrest warrant. I find it unlikely that both Mississippi and North Carolina would agree to put her on a bus and bring her back to a jail in Mississippi without a new judge passing on this issue before that.

YOUNG (on camera): Don, the fight for justice for this family hasn't stopped since 1955. They've been trying since that very moment to get some sort of justice for Emmett Till. Now, this is another part that they've discovered on their own, inside that courthouse in the basement. They're hoping for change, they're hoping for justice to finally be served. Don?


LEMON: Ryan Young, thank you so much.

And thank you for watching. Our coverage continues.