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Don Lemon Tonight

A.G. Merrick Garland Reassure DOJ Will Not Be Bias; Donald Trump Under DOJ Investigation; Some Analysts Are Skeptical Trump Will Be Indicted; Donald Trump Gives Speeches In D.C.; Former V.P. Pence Sounds Like Trump Light; OB/GYN Under Criminal Investigation. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired July 26, 2022 - 22:00   ET




LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: That's it for us tonight. DON LEMON TONIGHT starts right now. Hey, Don Lemon.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Hey, how are you. Don Lemon.

COATES: I got my shoulder pads working today. I'm good.

LEMON: You do? I feel like it's dynasty night, again, are you like Blake Carrington coming over with Krystal, or Joan Collins? Or was it Alexis Carrington or Kobe Dexter?


COATES: They wish they wish they had this. They wish they had this. I was a Dallas fan. Thank you. This is not very South Fork, I admit that. It is not very Ms. Elliott, but I don't know, maybe it's Linda Gray. Who knows?

LEMON: No, it's Dominick Deborah, all the way you're giving. Thank you. Thanks, Laura. Good night. I've got to get to the news, I'll see you later.


There is a mountain of brand-new revelations from the January 6th investigation that I have to tell you about. And pretty soon we are going to have our chief legal analyst on here and I think he thinks this is a pretty big deal, OK, so, stay tuned, right?


LEMON: OK. That was a precursor. That is Jeffrey Toobin. New tonight, the Justice Department reportedly investigating the actions of the then president himself as part of its criminal investigation of efforts to overturn the election.

That, according to the Washington Post. Sources telling the Post that prosecutors have been questioning witnesses for hours before a grand jury about conversations with Trump and others in his inner circle related to the fake elector scheme, and his pressure campaign on Mike Pence to overturn the election.

We are going to have much more on that tonight, so make sure you stay tuned. And it comes as the attorney general, Merrick Garland says this.


MERRICK GARLAND, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Say again, that we will hold accountable anyone who is criminally responsible for attempting to interfere with the transfer, legitimate, lawful, transfer from one administration to the next.


LEMON: And you've got to sit back and pay attention to this, right? Because the gall, the nerve, everything that we have learned from this investigation, everything that we have seen and heard with these hearings, the president whose election lies set all of this into motion, he was back in Washington for the first time today. And what he said, you got to hear it for yourself, because you think that words might just stick in his throat. Here it is.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Police officers are heroes, performing a great public service, at great personal risk. It is an unbelievably dangerous job. And by the way, more dangerous today by far, by far than it has ever been.


LEMON: The law-and-order blue lives matter, right, crowd, beating police officers with flag poles and pepper spraying them. So, I want everyone to take a look and remember what we saw with our own eyes, what we heard with our own ears on January 6th, when hero police officers, and that's what they are, heroes, who attacked and brutally beaten, were brutally beaten, as they try to defend the capitol from Donald Trump's supporters. Here it is.


UNKNOWN: We are trying to hold the doors of the capitol. We need to hold the doors of the capitol.


LEMON: What happened to police officers at the capitol on January 6 was unthinkable. One officer testifying under oath before the committee that it was like a war zone.


CAROLINE EDWARDS, CAPITOL POLICE OFFICER: When I fell behind that line, and I saw, I can just remember my breath catching in my throat. Because what I saw was just a war scene. It was something like I'd seen out of the movies.

I couldn't believe my eyes. There were officers on the ground, you know, they were bleeding, they were throwing up. You know, they had -- I mean, I saw friends with blood all over their faces. I was slipping in people's blood. You know, I was catching people as they fell. You know, I was -- it was carnage.


LEMON: That was an officer who is there, testifying under oath. And what did Donald Trump do? Not only did he do absolutely nothing to stop the carnage, Officer Edwards and her fellow officers experience, he actually refused in a speech the next day to hold the rioters accountable.


UNKNOWN: It looks like here that he crossed out that he was directing the Department of Justice to ensure all lawbreakers are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.


We must send a clear message not with mercy but with justice. The legal consequences must be swift and firm. Do you know why he wanted that crossed out?



LEMON: So, you saw that in black and white for yourself, him refusing to hold lawbreakers accountable who brutally attacked police at the United States Capitol? Actions, or lack of actions speak louder than any words, especially on January 6th.

Jeffrey Toobin is here. John Dean as well. Good evening to both of you. Thank you very much.

Jeffrey, I'm going to start with you here. As I'm looking at this, I'm going to talk exactly but what they're doing about this report from the Washington Post. The prosecutors have asked hours of detailed questions about meetings Trump led in December 2020, and on 2021, this high-pressure campaign on Pence, and so on.

So, the Department of Justice asking these witnesses in front of a grand jury about their conversations with the then-president, they're asking questions about meetings he led, the pressure campaign on Pence s and instructions Trump gave to his attorneys and advisors about fake electors. What does that sound like to you?

TOOBIN: That Donald Trump is under criminal investigation. I mean, you know, I was thinking today, imagine if you and I were to discuss today that George W. Bush or Barack Obama was under criminal investigation. We go like, what? Like, that's just like, it's inconceivable.

But we see that Donald Trump is under criminal investigation and we go, well, of course. Because given the amount of evidence, and given the fact that we have hundreds of prosecutions of people who were sent to the capitol by Donald Trump for his benefit who have been prosecuted, at this point it's really almost only fair that Trump is under investigation as well. Because, like, who benefited from all those crimes that we know were committed?

LEMON: You think the evidence is so heavy that you go, well, of course. Do you, is that what you believe?

TOOBIN: Of course, he should be under investigation. I'm not prepared to say at this point that he should be indicted or he should be convicted.

LEMON: Got it.

TOOBIN: But if you look at -- I mean, you know, it's very important that these two witnesses we know about from earlier this week, that Pence's former chief of staff, his former lawyer, they can talk about the effort to intimidate and force Pence to try to overturn the election that the Justice Department could be corrupted to help Trump, and the fake elector scheme could go forward.

All of that is relevant testimony from these witnesses, and all of it is relevant to the fact that Trump is now under investigation for conspiracy to defraud the United States and potentially obstruction of Congress. These are --

LEMON: John --

TOOBIN: These are the charges.

LEMON: John Dean, I want to bring you in. I want to hear what you think about this, when you heard the news and you read the report, what were your thoughts?

JOHN DEAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: My first -- I was encouraged to read that there were actually also investigating seditious conspiracy. Now, that, you need some violence, and you have to tie and connect Trump somehow to it. Which hasn't really happened yet. But I think it's inevitable that they're going to find it through a Roger Stone or somebody like that.

You know, that was Trump's inclination and disposition. So, it's encouraging that that is certainly on the menu that they are looking at. But I think also it's important to realize this is the first sort of, official leaked that has confirmed what's really been going on probably for a good number of months now.

Marc Short and Greg Jacob just didn't pop up. Somebody talk to them, knew what they were going to talk about in front of the grand jury, and then process them just last Friday, had them appear. Now, we're getting a story of much more depths about the, really the nature of this investigation. It hasn't said that Trump is the target, but it's hard to believe he isn't.

LEMON: OK, those two players that you mentioned there, Greg Jacob and Marc Short, how close is this now to the former president with these key players talking? John?

DEAN: It's right in the Oval Office. It's right in the Oval Office, Don. They were present for the key meetings when the president was trying to bend his vice president into doing an illegal act. And they were, they were helping support the vice president to do the right thing.

So, they are not part of the conspiracy, but they certainly witnessed and experienced the attorneys that reach out to them to try to bend the vice president and all the others. So, they are key witnesses and big witnesses.

LEMON: How long has this been going on? You said it's the first sort of official leak I would, that's your words, that we've had. But let's listen to the attorney general just tonight, here it is.



GARLAND: We have been moving urgently since the very beginning. We have a huge number of prosecutors and agents working on these cases. It is inevitable in this kind of investigation that there will be speculation about what we are doing, who we are investigating, what our theories are.

The reason there is this speculation and uncertainty is that there is some fundamental tenet of what we do as prosecutors and investigators is to do it outside of the public eye.


LEMON: Go ahead, Jeffrey.

TOOBIN: You know, he said something very significant, Garland did, I thought in his interview with Lester Holt, when he talked about what was -- what they were investigating, he didn't just say the insurrection at the capitol. He said interference with the peaceful transfer of power.

LEMON: Right.

TOOBIN: And that goes to issues like the intimidation of Pence, the justice -- the corruption of the Justice Department, the fake electors. So, he said they are investigating something broader than just the violence at the capitol, which is what his critics said that that, that's all they were doing.

LEMON: But also, again, and I'm sure you agree with me, you have to be careful there, because as you said the bar is very high for any sort of criminal, right?

TOOBIN: Very, very high.

LEMON: very, very -- I mean, look at what happened with the Russian investigation. Even though, if you look at the report for the Russia, you can weigh on in this as well, John, if you look for the Russian investigation, there were -- the report itself shows that it was interesting that there were -- that there were players who were conspiring or had the potential to conspire, except the former attorney general then spun the report. But still.

TOOBIN: That's right. And you know, you should, I mean, we should be very cautious --


TOOBIN: -- in saying that all of this is an investigation at this point. But you can't have charges without an investigation.

LEMON: Correct.

TOOBIN: This is the first step, but it doesn't mean it will go farther. But it couldn't go farther without this first step.

LEMON: Without the first step. Go ahead, John.

DEAN: One of the things also that struck me is how -- in how -- this has been very silent. It's been very in-house. No special prosecutor being selected. And I think that's something that Garland wants to avoid, is this ever going there. And it would be part of the rehabilitation of the Department of Justice, which got shamed during Watergate, and got shamed during the Barr-Trump era. And I think he wants to rehabilitate the department, and they are doing a wonderful job, I think, of doing that.

LEMON: So, you were talking about other things, Jeffrey. The Post is also reporting that DOJ investigators also received phone records in April of key officials and aides in the Trump administration, including of Mark Meadows. Is the DOJ investigation a lot further along than people may have thought?

TOOBIN: I don't know how far along it is but it is --


LEMON: But you know how these things work.


LEMON: I have been hearing prosecutors and former prosecutors and lawyers all day saying, if they are talking to Marc Short, and if they have gotten this far and it appears that the former president is being investigated.

TOOBIN: Right.

LEMON: And has been for a while. TOOBIN: And the Washington Post explicitly says he is being

investigated. But also, you know, remember, testimony is very important from witnesses. But if you doing a serious white-collar investigation, it's not just testimony, it's getting the e-mails, it's getting the texts, it's getting the memos.

I mean, all of the underlying documents, which is always so important for corroboration, because you can't build cases exclusively on people's memories. You have to show what the contemporaneous records are. And presumably, the Justice Department has at least most of them, if not all of them.

LEMON: John Dean, a past is prologue, and being involved in Watergate, what are we seeing here? What's happening?

DEAN: Well, we are seeing a case being built step-by-step. In Watergate, they would actually go after Nixon's lower aides first. And then as chief of staff, and his top domestic adviser. I think that's probably going on right now with people like Meadows, maybe Giuliani, who was Trump's private lawyer in this manner.

And I suspect they will try to put the squeeze on those people as they try to build their case. And so, that would be the natural evolution of this. And it follows a pattern that Jeffrey is very familiar with, because it's kind of standard operating procedure.

TOOBIN: And it also takes a while, you know. Everybody is frustrated, I mean, a lot of Democrats --

DEAN: Yes.

TOOBIN: -- are frustrated with Garland. If you look at Iran Contra, if you look at Watergate, it took a year and a half to two years to get the big conspiracy case indicted. So, this is not on the slow boat to know where that a lot of Democrats thought it was.

LEMON: It has been a year and a half, but we shall see. Thank you, thank you both. I appreciate it.

We've got a lot more on January 6 news tonight. New details on the DOJ looking at the former president's actions in its criminal investigation. Plus, what Trump's acting defense secretary told the committee that directly contradicts his former boss.



LEMON: OK. So, we are back now with this developing news. Attorney General Merrick Garland saying empathically tonight that the Justice Department intends to pursue anyone who may be criminally responsible for the events surrounding January 6 including anyone who attempted to interfere with the lawful transfer of power.

That is important. And I'm going to talk to our CNN legal analyst, Norm Eisen, the former House judiciary special counsel in Trump's first impeachment trial, and senior legal analyst Elie Honig, a former federal prosecutor.

I'm glad to have both of you, gentlemen. Thank you very much.

Norm, Attorney General Merrick Garland tonight telling Lester Holt over in NBC that they hold -- they will hold anyone and everyone who is criminally responsible for attempting to interfere the lawful transfer of power, they are going to hold them accountable.

How does that sound now giving -- given the Post new reporting that the DOJ is asking witnesses about conversations with Trump. And that's why he said, hold anyone responsible. Lawful transfer of power.


LEMON: That stands out to you.

EISEN: It does. It's great to be back with you, and Elie of course.


We've seen a steady escalation of Garland's language as without revealing grand jury secrets or violating prosecutorial ethics. He is trying to signal the seriousness of DOJ's investigation.

Look, I've known the guy for over 30 years. He's a human being like any of us. And he is getting hammered by the 1/6 committee. It's not just the rhetoric. It's the action of the committee. You've got this dynamic D.A. down in Atlanta, Fani Willis. She is moving. And so, Garland sent that signal to Lester Holt. That is, I believe, a specific reference, as specific as we have seen to Donald Trump.

LEMON: You think the peaceful -- to interfere with the lawful transfer of power, you think that is -- again, why does -- what does that stand out? Do you think that's the strongest language he has used?

EISEN: It is the -- it is the most specific language he's used and it's the most pointed at Trump because Trump was, above all, at the top of that pyramid of folks who we now know from the January 6 committee were attempting to interfere with the peaceful transfer of power. Trump was at the top. I think those remarks were a signal and then it was followed by the Post reporting.

LEMON: All right. Elie, Merrick Garland says that a House criminal referral wouldn't necessarily affect the DOJ's January 6 probe. Committee member Jaime Raskin found that encouraging. What do you think that means?

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: I agree with both of them, Don. I think Merrick Garland is absolutely right that a criminal referral from the committee is pure politics. It has zero impact on DOJ or any prosecutors. A referral does not require DOJ to do anything. DOJ does not need anything from the committee in order to investigate.

And in fact, according to the new reporting, they are investigating and they are investigating Donald Trump. So that's absolutely right by Merrick Garland. And you mentioned Jamie Raskin. It's interesting. He was on earlier with Erin Burnett. And I was on set with her. And it seemed quite clear to me that Jamie Raskin was saying the same thing. That he believes that a criminal referral will not help, will not help Merrick Garland maintain the veneer of impartiality and will not be productive in anyway.

So, it actually seems to me that they are on the same page, and as a former prosecutor, I concur.

LEMON: But Merrick Garland, I think for me, the most important thing that stood out, he seemed to say that it doesn't matter if Donald Trump runs again. It doesn't matter that he is the former President of the United States. Again, reiterating that no one is above the law. And he used, Norm, the term without fear or favor.

EISEN: Well, that is --

HONIG: So, Don --

EISEN: That is what a prosecutor is supposed to do, Don. Without fear or favor.


LEMON: But everyone is thinking it's never going to happen. Everyone is thinking you are never going to prosecute. You are never -- you may investigate. You'll never going to prosecute, never going to indict a former President of the United States. It's a dangerous precedent.

And I thought Lester was very specific in his language by asking that. I thought he was precise. And I thought Merrick Garland answer the question, he said, none of that matters. That's what he's saying. Whether he does it or not is a different story. But I thought that was significant.

EISEN: Well, you and I have talked about this on and off the air. And so have Elie and I, for months. That the evidence is there. And you know, you have to, sometimes, logic does apply, right? There's a mountain of evidence. There is two federal crimes that have already found likely by a federal judge, conspiracy to defraud the United States and obstruction of an official proceeding in Congress.

How could Garland not investigate, particularly after this overwhelming presentation of the eight hearings of the January 6 committee? And frankly, I think he is feeling the heat from D.A. Willis.

LEMON: You want to weigh in on that, Elie?

HONIG: Yes, I agree with Merrick Garland in part but I also dissent in part. He's absolutely right to say the fact that Donald Trump is a former president or perhaps a future candidate, has no bearing, it doesn't put him beyond the reach of prosecutors, in particular, DOJ.

However, here's where I disagree. We have to live in reality, prosecutors have to live in reality. And if Donald Trump declared his candidacy tomorrow, the fact of the matter is, he becomes a much more difficult target for DOJ. Why? Because an indict -- look, we're at in investigation now. We know that from the Washington Post reporting.

It is a major, major step from investigation to an indictment. And it is another massive leap from indictment to conviction. And so, if we are talking about somebody who's a declared candidate, perhaps even the nominee by the time this thing gets to trial, if this case gets indicted tomorrow, it's not. But if it gets indicted tomorrow, we are not going to have a trial until 2024, realistically.

Good luck getting a jury unanimously, 12, zero, this is not an election, this isn't majority rules, 12, zero, to find beyond a reasonable doubt that a guy who is a front runner or a nominee in early 2024 is guilty of a crime. I'm not saying it's impossible but they're making their task harder on themselves.


LEMON: Yes. I think in this case they got to do something, considering the egregiousness of what happened, but that's just what I think.

Also, this. The former acting defense secretary Chris Miller -- told the 1/6 committee that Trump never gave him a former order to have 10,000 troops already -- 10,000 troops ready to deploy at the capitol on January 6. I mean, this contradicts what Trump has previously said, that he had requested troops. How significant is that, Norm?

EISEN: Well, this is individual. This is why I have to disagree with Elie about getting a conviction against Trump. This is an individual, who the Washington Post found lied over 30,000 times. Are you really surprised to learn that he did not give this order with the 10,000 troops?

Part of the difficulty the Garland has in not charging Trump, Don, as you point out, if the egregiousness of the behavior and the incessant lying is an important part of that. And Trump has not stopped. He is continuing to challenge the 2020 election.

Elie, that's another reason Garland has to charge. And D.A. Willis is also marching towards charges, I think. Because the offensive conduct is still going on. He call -- he's calling politicians, who are in power in the states to get them to try to overturn the 2020 election. So, I think after this week, the prosecution train is rolling federally and in Georgia.

LEMON: And what is to stop the next guy from doing it, Elie Honig? Respond to that and what Norm just said.

HONIG: Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Garland or Fani Willis should not charge. I'm saying that now that they have both wasted a year and a half and only now are we seeing their investigation really rounding to any type of form -- be realistic here. You have to be realistic; you have to think about this.

How is an indictment going to go if it's dropped in 2023? I don't think anyone realistically thinks anyone is going to be indicting Donald Trump in the next couple months. When is that trial going to happen? Twenty-twenty four. You are going to ask a jury, it's not about good or bad, it's not about whether Donald Trump has lied or not, it's about reality of getting 12 jurors unanimously in Fulton County, you are going to have Trump jurors on that jury for sure as a mere mathematical certainty.

And in Washington, D.C. even as heavily as blue as it is, it's very likely you'll have some Trump jurors in there as well. You are going to get all 12 of them to find him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.


LEMON: I can read Norm's --

HONIG: That is a major, major leap.

LEMON: I can read Norm's and I'm thinking --


HONIG: I'm not saying -- I'm not saying he shouldn't be indicted.

LEMON: I -- Elie, you are a cynical New Yorker and you are making -- that this is not going to have --


HONIG: No. No. I live in -- I live in reality.

LEMON: I believe in our justice system. I (Inaudible) prosecutor like you. I know. Go on.

EISEN: Well, Elie, the -- of course, all of those are challenges. By the way, we don't know that Fani Willis won't indict. She has a keener sense of the calendar. We can't be sure that she won't move this year. As you know, she has issued 16 target letters. So, she is on the rocket docket.

But there's a higher principle here. And I have faith in these jurors and of course, you know well, both of us have done this in front of juries many times. You strike the ones with bias. I have faith in those jurors, who raise their right hand and swear an oath or affirm that they are going to follow the law and the facts where they lead.

And I think it would be a betrayal of the idea of America if you had a president, Elie, that evidence is so overwhelming -- if you had a president who could escape when any other American would be charge federally or state. And because of an election we didn't move against him? And I'll tell you something else. Merrick Garland is not going to let politics affect him one way or the other.

LEMON: That was Norm's closing statement. And what's yours? Closing argument. Quickly, please, counselor.

HONIG: Fani Willis is on rocket docket after wasting a year and a half, let's start with that. And again, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying they should not be charged. I don't know why we keep going back to this false argument that I'm not making. I'm making the argument that here we are in the middle of 2022. If you're going to charge Donald Trump soon, you have a massive uphill climb in order to convict him. That's what I am saying.

LEMON: We didn't say that. We are just saying that we have more faith in our justice system than you do, that's all we are saying, Elie.

HONIG: I have plenty of faith but I also know that human beings sit on jury (Inaudible).

LEMON: You should have been in the studio to defend yourself better.

EISEN: You read my mind! You are, Don, because you didn't caveat.

LEMON: Thank you, Elie. Thank you, Norm. I appreciate it. That's the end of conversation.


EISEN: Thanks, Elie.

LEMON: Thank you. Thank you. Nice to smile a little bit with such serious news. I appreciate you, guys.

Former Vice President Mike Pence trying to dance around just how closely he still stands with the one time -- his one-time boss despite that whole hang Mike Pence thing. We are going to discuss that next.



LEMON: So, the former Vice President Mike Pence trying to distance himself from his former boss with the veiled criticism of wanting to focus on the future. You know, not focus on the 2020 election and the lies surrounding it, but on everything else. On everything else. Pence says that he sees things the same way as former President Trump.

So here to discuss that and the future of the GOP, CNN political commentators Alice Stewart and former Congressman Charlie Dent.

Good evening. Let's talk about the GOP, OK?

Alice, listen, this is what the former vice president had to say when asked about the divide between him and his former boss. Watch.


MICHAEL PENCE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: So, I don't know that our movement is that divided. I don't know that the president and I differ on issues. But we may differ on focus.

[22:35:08] I truly do believe that elections are about the future. And it is absolutely essential at a time when so many Americans are hurting, so many families are struggling, that we don't give way to the temptation to look back.


LEMON: OK, Alice, is he saying, except for that part where you stick that mob on me, I am still MAGA with you. Is this not hypocritical?

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, he is 100 percent correct in terms of the Republican Party, conservatives are united on policy and the policies that unite us. The separation and division is how we are going to use that moving forward, and who is going to carry us forward with that.

And Pence made it quite clear that they agree on policy, but not on focus. Look, you can't find two more polar opposite people than Mike Pence and Donald Trump. But they came together, united to campaign and govern this country. That came to an abrupt halt on January 6th, as Pence was let out of the capitol to fight Donald Trump's war.

And what we saw today clearly was Mike Pence making a very strong case for looking to the future and focusing on policies and not looking to the past. Whereas, Donald Trump never once mentioned Pence today in his statements. He talked about crime, he talked about immigration, but he also did touch on his nonsense about the fact claiming yet again that he won, which he did not. And saying that the January 6th hearings was about the Democrats attempt to keep him away from continuing to serve the American people.


STEWART: That's not true.

LEMON: All right.

STEWART: And look, they just agree on policy, just how they go about leading is where the difference is.

LEMON: You're very good at what you do, Alice. It sounds to me that Mike Pence was speaking out of both sides of his mouth. Charlie, I don't know, are you buying what Alice is saying?

CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think I have to say I disagree with my friend Alice on this point. Look, to say that Mike Pence agrees with Donald Trump on all policies, you know, is no way to run a campaign against Donald Trump. You have to draw a hard contrast.

I remember the old Mike Pence, who was a budget hawk, a free trader, a man who wanted entitlement reform, all sorts of things that Donald Trump does not want or is against in many cases. And so, I'm trying to figure out where Mike Pence is now. There was the old Mike Pence, there was the Trump Mike Pence, when he was vice president, and now there is the new Mike Pence. So, I'm just trying to figure this out. I don't think they do agree on

policy, and if Donald Trump and Mike Pence run against each other, I'm sure Trump will draw the contrast. He'll talk about how Mike Pence wants to cut Medicare. He'll say -- he'll say things like that, I don't think it's true. But he'll say things like that.

He will also talk about his trade differences. You know, he wants free trade, Trump is a protectionist. So, I don't think they agree. And for Mike Pence to stand up there and say that, you know, we agree on everything except that thing that happened on January 6th.

LEMON: Right.

DENT: And even though he tried to hang me, hey, I'm still good with him. I mean, how does that work?

STEWART: Look, it's clearly - it's clearly not to going to be a binary choice for the GOP domination in 2024 with Pence and Trump.

DENT: Yes.

STEWART: We're going to have -- if Trump announces, which it looks like he may, there are many, many people --


LEMON: But Alice, don't you think it makes him seem weak? Why not stand there and say look, I disagree with Donald Trump. Donald Trump tried to get me to defy my oath. He tried to get me to do the opposite of what the Constitution says. And as a Republican, I cannot do that. As a conservative, as a principled conservative, I can't do that.

Now, we may agree on some policies. But as far as that, he is wrong. And what I did for the American people and for the country on January 6 was the right thing to do and I will always disagree with the former president. Why can't he have the fortitude to say something like that? Because that makes him seem weak.

STEWART: Look, the bottom line is what today was, was an opportunity for both of them to speak to the base. Clearly, Pence wants to do what he can to keep Trump's base on board. But the key is we have to grow from that. We can't just have Trump's base. We have to grow from that. And in order to do that, we have to make sure that we do what we can to focus on policy. And look at how we can and deliver the same policies and ideas without all the chaos.

There are many people out there, I can give you a long list of people that can deliver the conservative policies without the chaos. They can look at how we can --


LEMON: I don't disagree with you on that. But then --

STEWART: -- bring people together, unite people without the division. LEMON: I don't disagree with you on that. But people say there is a long list of conservatives who are doing this, and the only people you see, pretty much, right? Or the Kinzinger's and the Cheney's of the world who are actually in politics now who are standing up and saying that.

I think if more people said what you said and said it emphatically in front of cameras, I think that that might actually convince some people that they actually mean it.


Take a look at this poll, Charlie, this is a new CNN poll. Forty-four percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning voters still want Trump to be on the 2024, to be the 2024 GOP nominee. Fifty-five percent want someone else.

But here is the thing. That minority may be enough for Trump to secure the nomination. Is there any way that he is not the future of the GOP right now?

DENT: Yes, I think there is a way. But we have to very much limit the GOP primary field. The more candidates who jump into the presidential primary against Donald Trump will accrue to the benefit of Donald Trump. Because the anti-Trump vote will be split in many ways.

Right now, it is suggested that 44 percent want him. But against, you know, one or maybe two other opponents, I think somebody else could breakthrough and defeat Donald Trump in the primary. But if we have a whole cast of characters, six, seven, eight, maybe 10 Republican candidates, Donald Trump will just love that. Because his base is big enough to get that plurality first across the line.

And by the way, just on Mike Pence, to me, when I listen to that speech today, he sounded like Trump light.


DENT: I mean, really. I mean --


LEMON: He's not going to get anywhere being mealymouthed, being sort of the Trump like, you know, the milk toast Trump.

DENT: Yes. Why not --

LEMON: That's never going to get him anywhere.

STEWART: Again, there are many other Republicans, we can just look at Ron DeSantis, Tim Scott, Nikki Haley, we have Ted Cruz, Issa Hutchinson, Tom Cotton, a long list of Republicans that are ready to step in there and take it to Donald Trump --

(CROSSTALK) LEMON: But they are all -- they are all Trump acolytes. I mean, you

talk about -- Cotton is saying, you know, he got -- he got criticized by Kinzinger today because he is saying I didn't watch the January 6 hearings. I mean, they are all defending Trump. They are basically, they are Trump might as well.

DENT: Don, when you run a campaign, I run 13 campaigns, and you know, when you are running against your opponent, you have to assume your opponent is not benign. And you have to really draw a sharp contrast and go at them aggressively. That is how you defeat them.

You don't say how much you are like your opponent. Then why -- then why vote for me then? If we are the same, why would you want to vote for me? You have to explain the difference. You have to explain you want to fire your opponent, Trump, and then hire Mike Pence in this case.

LEMON: Alice, last word, quickly please.

STEWART: One last thing, in the CNN poll, I think, you know, we're looking at the GOP numbers. I think the disturbing number out of this poll for Democrats is that 75 percent of Democrats said in the CNN poll that they do not want Joe Biden to be the nominee.

LEMON: That's true, but that's a whole another segment. That's a segment about the Democrats. We're talking --


STEWART: That's a whole other segment, but I do think it's worth noting.

LEMON: We're talking about Pence and the Republicans right now. That is. Thank you both, I appreciate it.

STEWART: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: The Indiana doctor who helped a 10-year-old rape victim have an abortion is speaking out tonight. Now she says that she feels threatened and is warning about the consequences of a post-Roe nation.



LEMON: The Indiana OB/GYN under investigation after providing abortion services to a 10-year-old rape victim finally speaking out. Dr. Caitlin Bernard telling CBS that things have been very difficult since her own states attorney general announced that she would be investigated. Listen.


NORAH O'DONNELL, ANCHOR, CBS NEWS: Have you felt threatened?

CAITLIN BERNARD, OB/GYN: Yes. Yes, I have. And you know, it shows how, you know, abortion instead of being part of health care, which it is, a needed lifesaving procedure, which it is, has been used to create a wedge between people politically and personally.

O'DONNELL: Indiana's attorney general Todd Rokita described you as an abortion activist acting as a doctor. How do you respond to that?

BERNARD: I'm a physician. I spent my entire life working to have this position, to be able to be take care of patients every single day.


LEMON: Let's talk about this now. Dr. Tracey Wilkinson, assistant professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine is here. She's also a colleague of Dr. Caitlin Bernard.

We're so glad you're here, and it was a fascinating interview over with Norah O'Donnell on CBS News. An attorney for Dr. Bernard telling CNN that she received the first notice about the investigation from Indiana's attorney general today.

And we know Dr. Bernard has faced threats throughout her career because she performed abortions, but this has to be on another level for her. How is she doing, doctor?

TRACEY WILKINSON, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF PEDIATRICS, INDIANA UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: You know, Dr. Bernard is so strong, and we are so excited that her voice is out there with all of us given her expertise and extreme commitment to comprehensive health care for patients.

LEMON: Yes. You know, there is more from this interview that I want to play and get your response about. We'll talk about it afterwards. Here it is. Let's play some of it.


O'DONNELL: How would you address concerns by conservatives and those with deeply held religious beliefs that abortion is immoral and wrong?

BERNARD: What I would say is that if you don't believe that you would have an abortion, then don't have one. You cannot stop other people from accessing medical care that they need based on your personal religious beliefs.


LEMON: That seems pretty simple like common sense. Why is it so hard for people to understand this about medical care?

WILKINSON: Yes, you know we have been asking for this for decades. We would appreciate if politicians would stop legislating medical care. And they have been attacking and it legislating abortion care for decades. And Dr. Bernard --

(CROSSTALK) LEMON: But it's also -- excuse me, doctor, it's not just politicians, it's also religious people. Because this is about medical care, it's not about religion. It's not about as you said politics, this is about medical care. Sorry to interrupt, go on.

WILKINSON: No. I mean, I would say that there are many different religions in this world and in this country and even in the state of Indiana, and so you can't just pick one religion and legislate based on that.


And what we should be committed to is allowing patients to have these decisions in their hands and not at the state house.

LEMON: Protested in your own state, Indiana senators passing an amended abortion bill today that bans nearly all abortions. I mean, it has some exceptions like for rape and incest, but victims over the age of 16 get eight weeks to have an abortion. Girls under the age of 16 would have 12 weeks. I mean, you testified against it. Tell us why.

WILKINSON: You know, we anticipate some sort of legislation coming out of the state of Indiana, but this is an abortion ban. And today the amendments that were added to this legislation make the exceptions just basically on paper and not in practice.

When you have exceptions for rape and incest and then layer on top of that time deadlines where these decisions must be made for no other reason. No medical reason for these deadlines. It basically makes it impossible for these victims to access compassionate healthcare in a way that everybody should be advocating for.

LEMON: Yes. Dr. Wilkinson, thank you again for appearing on the program and our regards to -- give our regards to Dr. Bernard. Thank you.


LEMON: Sorry that she's having to deal with this.

WILKINSON: Thanks for having me.

LEMON: Thank you. And thank you for speaking for her. Thanks.

So, she is facing up to 10 years in a Russian prison for drug charges. Now, WNBA star Brittney Griner will testify at her trial.



LEMON: So, we have some news tonight on the Brittney Griner case, the WNBA star on trial for drug charges in Russia. Her lawyers say that Griner will take the stand tomorrow in her own defense. The two-time Olympic gold medalist was in court today where her defense team presented testimony from a narcologist who testified that the cannabis oil found in her luggage back in February was likely intended for medicinal purposes. And telling the court it is a popular treatment for the -- for athletes in many countries outside of Russia.

Brittney Griner pleaded guilty to drug charges a few weeks ago, and she faces up to 10 years in prison. Her guilty plea and her testimony tomorrow are likely moves to seek a more lenient sentence. Stay tuned. We'll continue to report and see what happens in court tomorrow.

New reporting from the Washington Post tonight that the Justice Department is looking at the actions of Trump himself in its January 6th criminal investigation. We've got all the details next.