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Don Lemon Tonight

Florida Judge To Hold Hearing On Request To Unseal Mar-a-Lago Affidavit; Rudy Giuliani Appears Before A Grand Jury; Liz Cheney Lost Bid For Reelection To Trump-Backed Candidate Harriet Hageman; Trump Has Long, Strained Relationship With The FBI; Texas School District Removes 41 Books From Libraries Pending Review. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired August 17, 2022 - 23:00   ET




DON LEMON, CNN HOST: So, in just a few hours, a judge will hear arguments over whether or not to unseal the affidavit behind the FBI's search of Mar-a-Lago. And tonight, CNN is learning that some Trump allies are pushing him to publicly release surveillance video of the search.

Let's discuss now. CNN senior law enforcement analyst and former FBI director Andrew McCabe. He is the author of "The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump." Also, Kim Wehle is here. She is the visiting professor of law at American University and the author of "How to Think Like a Lawyer." I'm so glad both of you are on. Good evening. Thank you so much.

So, Andrew, you know, we are talking about the former president here threatening to release a surveillance video. Wouldn't that put this investigation somehow in danger, especially the agents as well who are executing this search warrant?

ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST, FORMER DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF FBI: Sure, absolutely. There are couple things that the agents are going to be really concerned about. First and foremost, they're focused on the work. They go into that space to recover materials, highly classified, sensitive materials that shouldn't be in there. They're going to be concerned that any video coverage might have actually captured images of some of that information that could be used to disclose it.

And then secondly, undoubtedly, the people captured in that video, the agents doing their work as authorized by a federal court, are now going to be identified and thrown around on social media like you've seen what has happened to the two folks that were identified last week from the documents that Trump released. They will become the subjects of these sort of threats and pressure that we've seen over the last few weeks.

LEMON: And for what? Why would they -- I mean, I don't understand -- I don't understand it. Kim, Trump's son, Eric, told Hannity earlier tonight that they were going to release the video at the right, and I'm quoting here, the footage at the right time. What would the consequences of that be?

KIM WEHLE, AUTHOR, VISITING PROFESSOR OF LAW AT AMERICAN UNIVERSITY: Well, it sounds like for Donald Trump, it could be more campaign dollars, right? He has raised a lot recently compared to prior to the search. As far as -- I can't really add much from what Andrew said from a legal perspective, but certainly, this creates -- this feeds this narrative that somehow, it's the FBI and the DOJ that are the bad guys here.

And we need to pivot off of that and back on the facts which are that Donald Trump stole classified information from the American people and from the White House, and despite multiple attempts to get it back, he wouldn't give it back.

And the question really is, what happened to it? Who else saw it? How compromised potentially is the American public in this moment?

LEMON: If this -- if this were to benefit him, why wouldn't he have released it already?

MCCABE: I think there's probably a bit of a dilemma within the Trump camp as to whether or not it actually benefits them, right? So, it is good for him in the way that Kim just mentioned. It enables him to kind of stoke the fire of this grievance, of this terrible perceived defense of these federal agents abiding by a court order, doing their jobs but doing it in the president's house.

On the other hand, it's also going to show them taking reams and reams of boxes of evidence out of his house, essentially bearing the truth of the assertions in the affidavit that there was evidence of a crime in that location.

WEHLE: But that's, of course, assuming that he releases the whole thing and doesn't just cherry-picked pieces and added it and frame it.

LEMON: Using campaign video.

WEHLE: Yeah. It's not -- it's not a piece of evidence from one court.

LEMON: Let's turn to this affidavit because Trump says that he wants it released. But would that give people a roadmap to the investigation? That's what the Department of Justice is saying, we cannot do this because it will give sources and methods, who is the target of the investigation, information on witnesses, and it will stop witnesses possibly in the future from coming forward. What do you make of that?

WEHLE: Sure. It can also hurt Donald Trump, right? So, part of the reason to the affidavit, as you know, is it's a sworn statement, someone writes it out. It's a narrative, a story of the facts that give rise to probable cause to believe there was evidence of a crime.


So, it's going to have names of people. It could have classified information. It could have grand jury information. Not something that typically gets disclosed if at all, and if it is, it's much later in the process, not now. And it's for First Amendment purposes. You know, there are news outlets that want it as well. But for Donald Trump, again, I think this is just rhetoric, this is just to confuse people and divert them off the real issue.

LEMON: I've heard, Andrew, that the argument -- well, this this is different. The American people need to know. There's too much going on. This is unprecedented. Of course, the affidavit should be -- I know that it's not usually released unless someone is charged. Correct? Is that correct?

MCCABE: That's correct.

LEMON: So, then, do you think that it's different this time, that it should be released?

MCCABE: Certainly, these circumstances are unique, but not unique enough to tramp all of the very serious reasons for keeping this document sealed. I think DOJ laid it out in their opposition that it's a danger in telegraphing exactly what's happening in the investigation.

It will -- it runs the risk of identifying witnesses and cooperators who provided information to the government and who they may need to provide information in the future. It will chill others from coming forward and telling what they know to the government to get to the bottom of this.

And it also runs the risk of pre-judging the target of the investigation, who is likely Mr. Trump himself. We don't know that for a fact, but it certainly -- he is certainly the most likely candidate. To have those facts out in the press for the world to see significantly prejudices his ability to later get a fair trial, if in fact he's indicted.

LEMON: So, it tells the story, as you said, behind this, but isn't there an extraordinary burden of proof that comes when you're trying to get a warrant for a judge to sign off on a warrant, especially with the former president's home?

WEHLE: Well, there is. It's probable cause. It's not the same as a conviction of trial, which is beyond a reasonable doubt. It's a serious burden. And I have no doubt that the judge here and the head of the FBI appointed by Trump and Merrick Garland had many other people, had a very sober, careful assessment in making that determination here.

LEMON: Trump knows that. I mean, he has to know that.

MCCABE: Yeah. But, Don, let's think about this, right? Should the burden be different because it's a former president? Because it's Donald Trump? Absolutely not. These should be held -- these decisions should be made the same way they're made for every other citizen in this country.

WEHLE: And he had to hide the classified documents that should be in his gift and only he has to know.

LEMON: He had them. The whole thing is that he had them.

WEHLE: He had them, and he wouldn't give them back. This is not hard.

LEMON: And they're not his.


LEMON: And whether he -- these excuses about -- there was, I think, a "Politico" report saying that it was so chaotic in the final days of the Trump administration. They were just throwing stuff into boxes. That's still not an excuse.

WEHLE: Well, and he could've given them by subpoena.

MCCABE: He could've given them back.

WEHLE: He could've given them to the FBI when they knocked, knocked, knocked on the door and said, please, let me have them back. He didn't do it. So, we need this back.

LEMON: What if they had said -- you know, when they discovered that, I'm so sorry, we inadvertently took them, pardon us, sorry.

MCCABE: The whole thing is over.

LEMON: Would have been over.

WEHLE: And his lawyer signed an affidavit or a statement saying --

LEMON: It was a lie, yeah.

WEHLE: It's -- yeah.

LEMON: Let's talk about Georgia. Rudy Giuliani appearing before a grand jury in six hours today. How much trouble could he be in?

WEHLE: Rudy Giuliani is kind of in the middle of a number of these schemes, not just Georgia, of course, January 6, and he is caught on videotape lying about the election, and not just lying, but let's be clear here, the effort was to try to get Georgia to hold a special legislative session to change the outcome of that state's election, as well as these fake slates of electors.

So, he is certainly in trouble and as are others that are in the mix of both of those investigations, one state, one federal.

LEMON: If you look at these cast of characters that we have been looking at -- look, the lies that they spew and all of the crazy rhetoric. John Eastman, Jenna Ellis, remember, standing behind Rudy Giuliani with the -- dripping down his face, stay here, whatever, they have been ordered to testify.

With all of the attention going on at Mar-a-Lago, how big of a threat does this fake elector investigation remain to the former president? MCCABE: I think the fake elector scheme is one of the most serious that we've seen in the course of the January 6 Committee investigation.

LEMON: This is concrete fraudulent attempt.

MCCABE: Absolutely. This is an intricate, well-organized, fully- executed, but nevertheless scheme to completely undermine the results of the election. And it happened not just in one place but with teams of people in multiple states. There's a lot of evidence to go on.

WEHLE: They sent it into the National Archives. They sent these fake slates. It wasn't just let's talk about it over cup of coffee. It happened. So, that's illegal.

LEMON: So, will someone be held responsible for this? I mean --


MCCABE: I think there's a good chance, but as with all of these January 6 crimes, the folks most likely to get in trouble first are probably the farthest away from the top-level drivers.

LEMON: As he would want it.

WEHLE: It's also kind of interesting that we got the state and the federal, like, they're not necessarily two different governments, two different apparatuses. So, it's almost -- I wonder, a race to an indictment, right? Because things are happening on multiple fronts here.

LEMON: I have to catch myself sometimes with the investigations because there are so many different -- I'm not talking about January 6, this is about Mar-a-Lago. Oh, no, this is Georgia. This is -- you know.

WEHLE: And you're so right in there, for viewers who don't live with this all day.

LEMON: I think to the folks at home, it all sort of blends together. It is madness.

Thank you both. Good to see you. Thanks so much.

MCCABE: Thanks.

LEMON: Now, I want to bring in David Aronberg. He is the state attorney for Palm Beach, Florida. Dave, I mean, hello to you. You live in west Palm Beach right near Mar-a-Lago. This is all in your wheelhouse. We appreciate you joining us.

Listen, the same Florida-based judge who approved the search warrant will hear arguments about releasing this affidavit tomorrow morning. What do you expect to see?

DAVID ARONBERG, STATE ATTORNEY, PALM BEACH, FLORIDA: Good evening, Don. It's going to be right down the street from me, and I expect that he will keep the affidavit sealed. And if it is unsealed, I think it will be elaborately redacted, where it will be of no use to anyone outside of prosecutors, because this is the type of document that is never released, especially before an indictment and before anyone has been charged in a case.

Maybe down the road, after there's a charge, then the court can order it to be released, but there's often protective orders. And so, no, this is not going to get out there, especially with all the threats against the FBI. This is going to cause more violence against investigators. It will target individuals who would be witnesses. The suspects could collaborate on their stories. And so, no good to come of this.

Plus, this could undermine the case because it could damage any future defendants, Sixth Amendment right, to a fair trial, because what if there is some evidence that comes out and later suppressed at trial? Well, that would be a Sixth Amendment problem and thus it doesn't benefit anyone to have this stuff released.

LEMON: Someone has alluded the free world should be smart enough to know all of that.

ARONBERG: Well, yeah, but this is a political move. Remember, the politicians out there live by a different set of rules than prosecutors. Prosecutors cannot litigate cases in the press, but politicians can. Politicians are litigating this in the court of public opinion. And so, they want to embarrass prosecutors by saying, where is the transparency, knowing that the transparency can't really happen.

Now, Merrick Garland went as far as any prosecutor could in releasing the search warrant and releasing the inventory in other documents, but that's it, and I thought it was a great move because it put Trump in a box where he had to say, okay, let's release it.

LEMON: Yeah, but he did that -- he said he did that because the former president is the one who went public with the search, right? And he is saying, well, since he went forward with it, it's his right, he has all the information that he wants me to release, if he wants it released, he can just release it himself. Am I correct?

ARONBERG: Correct. He always had the power to release it himself. He didn't want us to know that, though.

LEMON: Yeah.

ARONBERG: He wanted to say, where is the search warrant? Well, here it is. Where is the inventory? Well, here it is. Now, they're saying, where is the affidavit? That's a bridge too far. They're not going to get that. But they're using that just for political points.

LEMON: Well, you know what my saying is here. Don't fall for the okey doke. And a lot of people do, and apparently have. So, we are learning about Trump considering releasing the surveillance footage, Dave, of the FBI agents. I mean, last week, Trump reportedly sent Garland a message saying -- quote -- "the country is on fire" and asking how he can -- quote -- "reduce the heat." Okay. Will releasing these tapes possibly and political ads do just the opposite?

ARONBERG? Yeah, exactly. I mean, there is prohibition on Trump releasing it. He can do so. But this is going to be a strictly edited production. They are not going to release anything that makes the former president look bad. And they may even send it to sinister music just for effect. They have the ability to edit it as they want to.

And if they are not careful, it can really come back to hurt them because it could show the FBI agents just doing their jobs, walking around peacefully with the Secret Service in plain clothes at a reasonable hour where there's daylight, not a pre-dawn raid, no guns blazing, and they could have shots of some of the confidential documents that the foreign president wasn't supposed to take.

So, it could backfire. But I think --and I think that is why they are not sure yet whether they want this released. But in the end, they want this to rally their base, they want to make sure they can keep raising money. And the dark side of this is that it will increase the ire towards the FBI and make some of the threats against the individual agents even more dangerous.

LEMON: A lot of people will believe it. That is the sad part.


Dave Aronberg, Dave, are you going to run down the street and check it out for us and come back and report?

ARONBERG: Yeah. At about what? Twelve hours? Thirteen hours? Yeah, maybe.

LEMON: All right, Dave, thank you very much. I appreciate it.

ARONBERG: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: Rudy Giuliani, who is a target in the Georgia investigation of Trump's attempts to overturn the election in that state, appearing before the grand jury for almost six hours today. What could have been going on behind closed doors?


NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Mr. Giuliani, when you met with Georgia lawmakers, did you lie to them?

RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER NEW YORK MAYOR, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY: We will not talk about this until it's over. It's a grand jury, and grand juries, as I recall, a secret.



[23:20:00] LEMON: Rudy Giuliani appearing for six hours behind closed doors today in front of a Georgia grand jury investigating Trump's attempts to overturn the election in that state.

Giuliani has been told that he is a target of the investigation. CNN's Nick Valencia caught up with him outside the court today. Listen.


VALENCIA (voice-over): Mr. Giuliani, when you met with Georgia lawmakers, did you lie to them?

GIULIANI: We will not talk about this until it's over. It's a grand jury, and grand juries, as I recall, a secret.


VALENCIA: Do you believe President Trump is the ultimate target of this investigation?

GIULIANI: I'm not going to comment on the grand jury investigation.


LEMON: All right. Joining me now, another Nick, Nick Akerman, the former assistant special Watergate prosecutor. Nick, thank you very much. So, this one, they want to keep secret. The other one, they want it released. I don't know. They can't make up their minds.


LEMON: Yeah, right. So, six hours of testimony. Does that tell you anything about what could have been going on in that court today?

AKERMAN: Oh, absolutely. There is only a couple of possibilities here, Don. One is Rudy Giuliani just testified and told the truth about everything. Pretty unlikely. He has been told that he's a target of the investigation. His lawyer, Bob Costello, is a well-seasoned criminal defense lawyer. Rudy Giuliani knows what the stakes are. So, anything that would incriminate him, he would have asserted his Fifth Amendment privilege on the grounds that truthful answer would tend to incriminate him.

With respect to Donald Trump, I bet that the reason this took so long was because every time they ask him about a conversation with Donald Trump, he wound up asserting attorney-client privilege as opposed to the Fifth Amendment.

And I think it took so long because the prosecutor wanted to detail all of these conversations having assert the attorney-client privilege with respect to all of these conversations with Donald trump, and then go back to the judge and have the judge order him to reveal those conversations on the ground that these are conversations in furtherance of criminal activity and are not covered by the attorney- client privilege.

LEMON: There are a lot of big players involved in this Georgia case, Nick. Giuliani, Senator Lindsey Graham, John Eastman, Jenna Ellis and, of course, Trump. Let us remind our viewers what he said to his secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger. Here it is.


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


LEMON: I mean --


LEMON: -- he kind of just said it right there. I don't understand what the big deal, why you need all the secret investigation. He said it. I mean, there is a lot of discussion about Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis possibly using RICO statute to prosecute, often used in organized crime cases. Explain why and how that would work.

AKERMAN: Well, the way the why it would work is because you do have a tape. If you listen to that tape, Trump becomes more and more worked up as he goes along. And it's pretty obvious that he is pushing Brad Raffensperger to come up with these votes. He's threatening him to come up with these votes. He's appealing to the fact that they are fellow Republicans.

But in any kind of tape case, which is always a better case than just having witnesses, there always some ambiguities that the defense lawyer can pull out of there.

What they are doing in Georgia is putting this together in the context of all of the other evidence, in the context of what they did with the phony electors, what they did in other states with the phony electors, what they did on January 6th, and they can put that all together in a RICO case, which mean that they can take individual crimes and put them together as a pattern with one goal, the goal being to keep Donald Trump in power and to stop the peaceful transfer of power.

So, the RICO case here would be very powerful. This particular prosecutor is well-versed in RICO. She brought a very successful RICO case against some teachers in Atlanta, Georgia on a cheating scandal. She knows how to use it.

I've used it on the federal side and it can be very powerful in putting together an entire picture for a jury with lots of different crimes that makes it very difficult, when you look at that central tape that Donald Trump is on, to not come away with a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt.

LEMON: I was just going to say, I mean, if you, shouldn't the trial be similar to this? You are charged with this, played the tape, okay, I rest my case, judge?

AKERMAN: Well, I don't think he can just use the tape.


LEMON: I mean, I'm just being a bit for fictitious (ph) here, but I mean, that is some pretty big evidence. He said it. It is on tape.

AKERMAN: Oh, he is the start witness in his own criminal trial.

LEMON: Yeah.

AKERMAN: No question about it. But you really want to put it in the context of everything else he did to show motive, intent --

LEMON: Got you.

AKERMAN: -- purpose and pattern (ph).

LEMON: Let me ask you just really quick about this because I have a short time, please, Nick. A judge yesterday ordering Trump attorney, Jenna Ellis, to appear before the grand jury, John Eastman as well. Could they become targets?

AKERMAN: Oh, absolutely. I mean, they very well could be and they could be targets as we speak right now.

LEMON: Got it.

AKERMAN: We don't know what the prosecutors told their attorneys.

LEMON: All right.

AKERMAN: But they're certainly going to be ordered, and they have been ordered to show up in Georgia to testify.

LEMON: Nick Akerman, thank you. I appreciate it.

AKERMAN: Thank you.

LEMON: Representative Liz Cheney losing her primary last night to an ardent election denier. But with this loss and other victories for big lie believers, is there any room in the Republican Party for truth tellers? I'm going to ask Georgia's lieutenant governor, next.




LEMON: Donald Trump is tightening his grip on the Republican Party with Liz Cheney's primary loss in Wyoming. But Cheney is undaunted, telling Republicans that she will carry out her fight or carry on her fight against his lies, and that she is not afraid to stand up for the truth, no matter what it costs her.


REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): Two years ago, I won this primary with 73% of the vote. I could easily have done the same again. The path was clear. But it would have required that I go along with President Trump's lie about the 2020 election. It would have required that I enable his ongoing efforts to unravel our democratic system and attack the foundations of our republic. That was a path I could not and would not take.


LEMON: Liz Cheney is an endangered species in the GOP, but it wasn't always that way. Harriet Hageman, Trump's choice to defeat Cheney in Wyoming's primary, was once so critical of Trump that she worked with Ted Cruz in 2016 trying to force a vote at the republican convention between Trump and Cruz. And we know who that worked out. And she's not the only one who knuckled under to Trump's stranglehold on the GOP. Remember this?


SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): Donald, you're a sniveling coward. Leave Heidi the hell alone.

I'm going to tell you what I really think of Donald Trump. This man is a pathological liar. He doesn't know the difference between truth and lies. He lies practically every word that comes out of his mouth. And it's a pattern that I think is straight out of a psychology textbook. His response is to accuse everybody else of lying.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): You know how you make America great again? Tell Donald Trump to go to hill. He's a race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot. He doesn't represent my party.

I'm not going to try to get into the mind of Donald Trump because I don't think there's a whole lot of space there. I think he's a kook. I think he's crazy. I think he's unfit for office.


LEMON: It's like they don't even remember that they're on tape. Let's not forget what Lindsey Graham tweeted back in 2016 when he was willing to tell the truth. And I quote here, "If we nominate Trump, we will get destroyed and we will deserve it."

Let's bring in now Georgia's lieutenant governor, Geoff Duncan, who is a Republican, and senior CNN political analyst Ron Brownstein. Wow! Forget.


LEMON: I've seen all the soundbites. You know, I'm reminded. Good evening to both of you. Lieutenant governor, I'm glad you're here. Let's discuss. With Cheney's defeat, she lost in a landslide, is there room for politicians like her or you in Trump's Republican Party? LT. GOV. GEOFF DUNCAN (R-GA): There is, with one exception. It's not going to be Trump's Republican Party. It's going to be the people's Republican Party. And it's going to take time to get there.

You know, unfortunately, there was no surprise to Liz Cheney's defeat yesterday. You know, when a former president spends that much time and money and political capital on trying to defeat one of the most conservative members of that republican caucus, you might have a problem.

LEMON: Yeah.

DUNCAN: But it's going to take some time to get folks back on their feet.

LEMON: How do you get there? How do you get there? Not to cut you off.

DUNCAN: Yeah. You tell the truth. You tell the truth. The way to reality is going to be right. It is just going to take us time to get there. You tell the truth and you put solutions on the table that fixes problems. It fixes Joe Biden problems, it fixes Americans' problems, it fixes inflation, national security, immigration. We go to work and become the party of solutions. That's how we win again.

LEMON: Even if you are like Liz Cheney and you're out of the job?

DUNCAN: Just because you're not an elected officer doesn't mean you can't make a difference. Liz Cheney is not going to be done making a difference in this country. She is going to speak her mind. She is going to speak the truth. She stood up when it mattered the most. Certainly, that is going to be worth something someday and it is going to be bigger than Donald Trump.

LEMON: Ron, Harry Enten, who is our numbers guy, our data, I call him data, you know, CNN points out that Cheney's defeat, I should say, may be the second worst for a House incumbent in the last six years, trailing Hageman by more than 37 points. I mean, Cheney voted with Trump more than 90% of the time, but when she assailed Trump for inciting a violent mob on the Capitol, that was a deal breaker.


BROWNSTEIN: Yeah. Look, I mean, you know, when Georgia voted in May and the governor and the secretary of state beat back Trump challengers in republican primaries, there was a kind of almost euphoria among many conservative commentators, saying the party was moving past Trump.

That was, however, Don, very clearly the anomaly. As we move through the summer, Trump-backed election deniers are winning in state after state, in Michigan, in Arizona, in Wisconsin, for the governor secretary of state nominations in Arizona and Nevada and Minnesota and Michigan. And, of course, only two of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach him will be returning. This is Trump's party at this moment. And what's very clear is that the minority, the one-quarter, the one-fifth of one-quarter of Republicans, who are resistant to that, who don't believe his lies about 2020, who believe that he acted improperly after the election, they have to decide what is their role in this party going forward.

Liz Cheney had put forward a very clear standard yesterday when she not only criticized Trump, but she said, no one should vote for any election denier that has been nominated by the Republican Party.

You know, the Republican Party in Georgia nominated an election denier to replace the lieutenant governor who -- that governor stripped of his committee chairmanship last year for his role in trying to undermine the 2020 election.

So, the question becomes, are there other Republicans who are willing to take the same stand as Liz Cheney and say the first step towards changing the direction of the party is to say, we will not support election deniers even if they're running under the republican banner.

LEMON: Harriet Hageman is an election denier, and she won.


LEMON: I mean, that was Liz Cheney --

BROWNSTEIN: What do other Republicans do, Don? Doug Ducey, the governor of Arizona, you know, the nominee, Kari Lake, basically has accused him of running a corrupt and fraudulent election in 2020 and certifying a corrupt and fraudulent election. He backed another candidate yet when that election denier won in Arizona, he has endorsed her.

And so, Cheney, I think, is offering a challenge to other Republicans who claim to want a different direction. Are they willing to give their votes and to support candidates who are advancing Trump's kind of efforts to undermine the validity of American elections?

And she had put that out there. I have not really heard anybody else do it, including in Georgia where there is a prominent election denier running along with those who did stand up for the election.

LEMON: Lieutenant governor, I mean, Cheney is saying today that she is now ruling out a run in 2024. What do you think about that?

DUNCAN: Well, certainly, there needs to be a lane to develop of a commonsense conservative that's got a track record of being conservative and whose got it right, was able to tell the truth when it mattered the most, stood up for our country on January 5th and January 6th. And I think there will be a lane to develop.

Look, Donald Trump's high-water mark was 2016 when he won the election. Every day since he has lost support, not on a straight downward path, but incrementally, he has lost support. He no longer has enough to win a general election, maybe enough to short-circuit the system and win a primary. But I think enough Republicans are waking up to the fact that we've got to put real candidates, high-quality candidates, because here is one of the fallouts that is going to happen.

These House reps that are getting elected, these election deniers and others that are really not high-quality candidates, they just did one thing, they were willing to lie about the election. They're going to walk in to that House and they're going to be as effective as Marjorie Taylor Greene is. Right? She doesn't get anything done. She hasn't solved a single problem since she got there.

And that is going to be put on display then going into the 2024 cycle where we are trying to pick a new president. Hopefully, it's a Republican president.

And meanwhile, we are going to miss a layup and not win the Senate where we should have. With the poll rating -- with the approval ratings of Joe Biden, we should walk into the Senate with a majority, but that now is in question.

LEMON: But people like her and Matt Gaetz, I mean, they suck all the oxygen out of the room and they get all the attention. And people are listening to them in the party. So, I understand your frustration when it comes to that.

Let me ask you this. I've got to get this in, Ron. Pardon me. Lieutenant governor, I've got to ask you about what's happening in your state. Governor Brian Kemp asked a judge today to throw out a subpoena from the Fulton County district attorney requiring him to appear before the grand jury investigating Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Should he be required to testify?

DUNCAN: Well, I took a quick glance at it on the way in and I think he's not saying he doesn't want to testify, he's just trying to make sure that we remove any sort of political nature to it. I think he's asking to testify after the November election. He's got his head down, doing the right thing.

Look, Brian Kemp has been an incredible teammate through this whole process. I know Georgians rewarded him, especially Republicans against David Perdue. Have you ever seen someone get beat down more than 50% in an election like that? Georgians rewarded him. I think in the general election, they will, too.

But Brian Kemp has told the truth since day one and continues to push hard. I participated in that grand jury process, and so I'm going to be very careful on how I comment.

LEMON: All right. Thank you both, gentlemen. I appreciate it.

DUNCAN: Thank you.


LEMON: We'll be right back.


LEMON: CNN is learning that Trump is considering releasing surveillance video of the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago. But the search is just the latest incident hitting Trump against the bureau. He has been going after the FBI since his time on the campaign trail.


As CNN's Brian Todd reports, he has a history of getting angry when they don't do what he wants.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Donald Trump's contentious relationship with the FBI dates back to before he became president.

TRUMP: Please, FBI, please, go after Hillary.

TODD (voice-over): Those provocative days of 2016 campaign, when Trump was relentless in his badgering of the FBI to investigate his opponent's handling of her emails.

TRUMP: The FBI did not act. I have such respect for the FBI. I am so disappointed. How did they let that happen? She was so guilty.

TODD (voice-over): Then, from almost the moment he stepped in the White House, analysts say, Trump seemed to view the FBI as his own personal instrument to power.

GARRETT GRAFF, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Donald Trump, you know, upended and tried to usurp the FBI in that spring of 2017, and that relationship has never been smooth since.

TRUMP: He has become more famous than me.


TODD (voice-over): Soon after taking office, Trump pressured then FBI Director James Comey to drop an investigation into former national security adviser, Michael Flynn. That's according to Comey himself, who claimed that Trump put the squeeze on him personally.

JAMES COMEY, FORMER DIRECTOR, FBI: I got the sense my job would be contingent upon how he felt I conducted myself and whether I demonstrated loyalty.

TODD (voice-over): Trump denied asking for Comey's loyalty, but ended up firing Comey, later saying that he was frustrated over the ongoing Russia probe.

JULIAN ZEIZER, HISTORIAN, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: He wanted that investigation shut down. He saw it as a political problem and this was what Comey was up to.

MCCABE: The morale in the FBI definitely took a hit after the firing of Jim Comey. I think that was the watershed moment that made everybody kind of focus on this issue of the possibility that the administration is really trying to have a direct impact on how we did our work.

TODD (voice-over): Throughout the Russia investigation and afterward, Trump continued to berate the FBI for how that investigation played out.

TRUMP: These were dirty, filthy cops at the top of the FBI.

TODD (voice-over): Trump complained that texts between two FBI employees investigating the Russia connection were biased against him.

TRUMP: Look at these horrible FBI people talking about, we got to get them out, insurance policies.

TODD (voice-over): But one analyst says Donald Trump wasn't alone among presidents who believed the FBI should be beholden to them.

GRAFF: That is something that has long frustrated presidents going back to Nixon and Johnson and even John F. Kennedy, that the FBI was not necessarily loyal to them personally.

TODD (on camera): After lambasting the FBI again following the Mar-a- Lago search, there are hints in recent days that Donald Trump might have softened a bit toward the bureau, telling Fox -- quote -- "the temperature has to be brought down," and saying that he'll do whatever he can to help the country.

But many analysts are concerned that the latest battle between Trump and the FBI could be irreversible, especially if it unleashes more violence against agents.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


LEMON: Brian Todd, thank you.

The bible and an adaptation of the diary of Anne Frank, just two of 41 books, removed from library shelves in a school district in Texas. We are going to tell you what is going on, next.




LEMON: A book battle is brewing in Texas. The Keller Independent School District near Fort Worth suddenly removing and reviewing 41 books challenged by community members during the paschal year. Among them, the bible and the graphic novel adaptation of Anne Frank's diary. The bible?

I want to bring in now CNN senior correspondent Ed Lavandera. Ed, this is quite an interesting story. Hello to you. A lot of these books had already been reviewed by a challenge committee. Why are they under review again?

ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, let's give a little bit of back story. Last year, the Keller School District created this community panel that would review challenges and complaints about books from parents and members of the community.

These 41 books, which include the bible and Anne Frank's graphic adaptation as well as a lot of books dealing with LGBTQ issues, were reviewed. I should tell you, about two-thirds of those books were put back on the shelves or put in age-appropriate libraries like high school or middle school.

But in May of this year, three new school board members were elected in large part because of the work of a right-wing Christian political action group. Just a few weeks ago, this new school board adopted new policies, new guidelines by which the reviewed books will be reviewed on these challenges from parents. So, that is what is now happening again.

School started today in Keller. Principals across the district were told yesterday that these 41 books had to be pulled off the shelves while they get reviewed again.

LEMON: Okay, so, are they -- what are the reasons again they're giving for challenging these books?

LAVANDERA: Well, so, we obtained a spreadsheet from the Keller School District today which basically detailed and outlined the complaints. You know, parents can issue these challenges. They have to explain why they challenge them. Many of the complaints coming in from parents included issues about sexuality and the way sexual issues were discussed in the book.

As far as the bible was concerned, one person wrote that they described -- there was inappropriate context, had sexual contact, and misogyny and human sacrifice. Anne Frank, for example, the complaint was that the holocaust was a difficult subject matter for young people to have to learn about.


But when you look closely, there are also other books, and you can tell that some liberal parents are issuing complaints as well. One person, one parent, issued a complaint about Donald Trump's art of the deal, saying that no book written by a -- quote -- "criminal" should be included. And the same thing for the Fox News' website, saying that it should not be offered electronically to students across the district as well.

LEMON: Are there concerns that this could happen in other Texas school districts? Because, I mean, this is spreading all over the country, and there's already been controversy in Texas over how to teach students about race.

LAVANDERA: Yeah. No, it was a subject of a new law that was passed by the state legislator last year in terms of how race issues are discussed in classrooms. And it's not really a question of whether or not this could happen. It is happening, Don, in school districts, not just across the state.

But remember, these kinds of issues have really been the focus of a kind of Christian right-wing group across the country where there has been a renewed focus to get people involved on the small, local races, school board elections, that sort of thing. That is where they feel they can make the biggest impact. They're recruiting people to get involved in races like this. This has become a real focal point in politics across the country.

LEMON: Ed Lavandera, thank you very much.

Thanks for watching, everyone. Our coverage continues.