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January 6 Committee Releases New Video; Heat Wave; Federal Reserve Set to Hike Interest Rates. Aired 1-1:30p ET

Aired June 15, 2022 - 13:00   ET



JOHN KING, CNN HOST: Thanks for your time today on INSIDE POLITICS.

We will see you tomorrow for our special coverage of the January 6 hearing.

Don't go anywhere, a busy news day. Ana Cabrera picks up our coverage right now.

ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Hello. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Thank you for joining us.

From Wall Street to Main Street, the big question, can the Fed fight high prices without sparking a recession? We're about to find out. One hour from now, the Central Bank is expected to hike interest rates to tamp down inflation.

This comes as we're learning that Americans are cutting back on spending with the cost of food and gas and pretty much everything spiking. The president, meanwhile, is ramping up pressure on big oil with the national average above $5 for a gallon of gas right now. His message? Boost the supply and work with us to help bring prices down.

CNN's Rahel Solomon and Alison Kosik are leading us off today.

Rahel, first to you.

What more can we expect with this decision from the Fed coming up next hour? And, bottom line, what does it mean for American families?

RAHEL SOLOMON, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think hearing from Powell at about 2:30 today is going to be very interesting and, by the way, highly scrutinized, but also, I think, economic projections.

We're going to hear how Fed officials are feeling about the state of our economy, not just right now, but also for years to come in terms of things like GDP growth, inflation, for sure, but also unemployment.

But the belle of the ball here, the star for sure is interest rates. And if you take a look at interest rates over the last few years, Ana, you can see that they were pretty much at zero during the pandemic, as the Federal Reserve tried to encourage borrowing and spending.

Now rates are on their way up. The first hike was in about March. Then we saw rates hike last May, I want to say, last month. And so we know they are on their way up. And I think what's important to know is that there is wide consensus that there is much more room to go in terms of where we're going to see rates go.

Deutsche Bank putting out a note yesterday saying that, ultimately, it expects rates to hit about 4.1 percent by early next year, as the Fed now tries to pull down demand, as it tries to get us to spend less and try to get a bit more balance in terms of the supply of goods, which is disrupted, of course, because of supply chain issues,and the demand for goods.

And that's what the Fed is trying to get ahead of right now.

CABRERA: And so everybody's anticipating this big announcement.

Alison Kosik is there at the stock exchange for us.

How are markets reacting?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Ana, I am feeling sort of a real sense on Wall Street here that the Federal Reserve needs to play catchup, because the thinking is, is that the Fed kept interest rates too low for too long.

And it's something that really hit home after we got that inflation report on Friday showing inflation is accelerating. So, despite the fact that chair, Fed Chair Jay Powell in May said he wouldn't raise rates more than a half-a-percent, there is widespread belief among many investors that the Fed does need to go stronger, because they believe that the Fed misjudged how hot inflation is and misjudged the market reaction, which we are seeing stocks in a bear market.

The S&P 500 is down 20 percent for the year, the Nasdaq down about 30 percent. So you're seeing stocks in the green right now, because the expectation is, is that the Fed is expected to get tougher on inflation and raise rates three-quarters-of-a-percent.

But, Ana, quickly, not everybody agrees. I spoke with David Kelly with J.P. Morgan, who says 75 basis points, three-quarters-of-a-percent, would be over doing it -- Ana.

SOLOMON: And, Ana, I just want to circle back to something you just asked in terms of what does this mean for the consumer, because that's really the most important part here.

Well, it means the cost of borrowing is going up, not just after today's meeting, but again, because rates are increasing in the future as well. So, plan accordingly. That's why you're hearing personal finance experts say, if you are carrying a balance on credit cards where the rate is variable, you want to pay it off as soon as you can, if you can.

CABRERA: OK, we're going to dive into that more coming up later this hour. Thank you, ladies, so much for that preview of what we can expect. Extreme heat is the number one killer of all natural disasters, and

today, from Michigan to Florida, nearly 100 million Americans are dealing with triple-digit heat. Add in humidity, and it is downright dangerous, especially if you don't have A.C.

And that is a problem in states like Ohio, West Virginia and Indiana, where thousands of people have been without power for days, creating a truly life-threatening scenario.

CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam joins us from Columbus, Ohio.

And, Derek, people there are being warned that they might not have power until tomorrow, I understand. How are folks coping with this heat?

DEREK VAN DAM, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, quite literally, the clock is ticking. When the power's out, the heat is on, right?

I mean, this is the recipe for disaster reminiscent of what happened in the Pacific Northwest last summer. We have got a brutal, almost excruciating heat wave, timing with severe storms that knocked out power.

Some residents here, thousands of residents in Columbus, Ohio, where I'm standing, have been without power, the ability to cool themselves via air conditioning for over 36 hours. So that's what I mean when I say that the time, the clock is literally ticking.


Now, just to give you an example, an idea of how hot it is here, it has never been this sticky in Columbus, Ohio. They literally set a record yesterday of dew point of 84 degrees. Dew point just measures how moist the actual air is. And you can feel it. In the 60s, it would be considered sticky. In the 70s, it would be oppressive. Imagine 84 degrees, which they said yesterday.

Heat indices values in the triple digits very easy. It makes it very uncomfortable for people without air conditioning, especially overnight. I caught up with a resident here and he told me just how hot it was inside his house. Take a listen.


VAN DAM: So this is how hot it is inside your house?

KRYSTAL LOVE, OHIO RESIDENT: Yes. It's about 89, 88 right now. We were literally trying to cool off, trying to breathe, like -- but it was too hot to just sit down in our house.


VAN DAM: Heat waves are already more likely to happen here in the United States and globally as well. In fact, we're about two times more likely to experience heat wave conditions than we were back in the '60s. And, of course, this disproportionately impacts people of low-income

status. And that just causes all other kinds of concerns. But the local power company here within Ohio have warned residents that they need to brace themselves for the loss of power here through Friday afternoon or evening. So time will tell.

We are really stressing the electrical grid here in Columbus, Ohio -- Ana.

CABRERA: The people behind you have the right idea, finding those watering holes, trying to get somewhere where you can cool off.

VAN DAM: Right. Yes. Agreed.

CABRERA: Thank you so much, Derek Van Dam. Stay safe in these hot temperatures.

We are seeing the hot temps also rising in the West ,which could actually compound the disaster in the next few days in Yellowstone National Park, where unprecedented flooding has already destroyed roads and bridges and forced thousands of people to evacuate. Many have had to be rescued.

CNN's Nick Watt has the latest for us there -- Nick.

NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Ana, this, the northern entrance to Yellowstone park, could be closed for the rest of the season. Why? The Yellowstone River and the damage it has done.

What happened here? There was a late snowfall, heavy snowfall. There were early high temperatures this summer that melted some of that snow. There was a lot of rain. This river rose to historic levels, about three months' worth of water barreling down this channel in just the space of three days, washing away what here -- this right here used to be a home for national park workers.

It was washed away into the river, as was the only access road from the north, which used to run parallel to the Yellowstone River, now washed away in many places. That is going to take months to fix.

Now, there are still some backcountry hikers, campers in there. They have spoken to park officials. They have been in contact. Apparently, they are not in danger.

But about 10,000 people were brought out of the park, many here to Gardiner. And the road from Gardiner North was also blocked, washed away, bridges down. So helicopters were taking people out to safety.

This part of the park, though, this entrance, this is going to be months before this opens. Now, the south and the west weren't hit as bad. They could be open sooner, but park officials are saying they might have to have some sort of reservation system in order to prevent that part of the park from becoming overwhelmed.

Now, there is also the potential of more to come. There is still about 12 inches of snowpack up there. And high temperatures are predicted, forecast again for this weekend, maybe up into the 60s and 70s. That could melt more of that snow. For now, this entire park, two million acres, 1,000 miles of trails, birds, bears, big sky all closed, the oldest national park in America closed to the public -- Ana.

CABRERA: Nick Watt there in Gardiner, Montana, thank you.

Roads and bridges, in some cases, houses washed out by this historic flooding in Montana. You have seen this image by now. It's just incredible how powerful the water is. So many people have been forced to evacuate, and some have been trapped without safe drinking water.

Joining us now is Greg Coleman. He's the Manager of the Disaster Emergency Services in Park County, Montana. That video was taken in Park County.

Greg, give us an update on what you're seeing right now. Have you seen anything like this before?


No, this is definitely record flooding for us, surpassing what we experienced in '97-'98. We started out early Monday morning, and the floodwaters isolated many of our communities.

Cooke City, Silver Gate, Gardiner, Cinnabar Basin, Tom Miner, and the southern end of Paradise Valley, they were all cut off from roadways for a number of days, for a number of hours to a number of days.



COLEMAN: We have restored access to those communities, at least for emergency vehicles.

Water is receding. We had two shelter operations going, one in Bozeman and one in Livingston. And we're shifting that to all Livingston now. And we're -- we have brought in an incident management team to help us out. And their focus right now is going to be on damage assessment. We still have ongoing...


COLEMAN: I'm sorry.

CABRERA: No, forgive me. I'm just looking at -- when you say damage assessment, we see the videos of these homes being swept away, of the rocks coming down the mountain into the roadway.

We know that bridges are gone. I mean, it sounds like an incredible undertaking that everybody has in the days ahead. Can you give us a better sense as to how many houses and roads and bridges and the like were impacted?

COLEMAN: I can't. I don't have that number now. There's -- at least two homes were washed into the Yellowstone River,

numerous homes and businesses impacted with floodwaters. And that's what we're doing, focusing on today, is really trying to get out and start documenting that, so we can prioritize where resources are needed.

CABRERA: Yesterday, we know people had to be rescued by aircraft and there were swiftwater rescue teams out there. Take us back to those moments when you were just racing to get people out. What was that like?

COLEMAN: It -- there was a lot going on all at once. Of course, life safety is our number one priority.

And that was our focus really for the first day-and-a-half at least, the search-and-rescue missions. We had 11 search-and-rescue ops. Two of them were using air. The other nine were swift rescue. That was everything from rescuing single individuals up to parties of eight. I don't have a total number.

CABRERA: OK, well, Greg Coleman, I'm glad to hear that the water is receding. And it sounds like things are looking up, but obviously a long road ahead.

Thank you for sharing with us and for the work that you're doing. Let's stay in touch.

COLEMAN: OK. Thanks, Ana.

CABRERA: Talk about a preview. The January 6 Committee just teed up its third hearing with a clip of really stunning testimony.


ERIC HERSCHMANN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE ATTORNEY: Now I'm going to give you the best free legal advice you're ever getting in your life. Get a great F'ing criminal defense lawyer. You're going to need it."


CABRERA: What that video signals one day before we learn more about the pressure campaign on Mike Pence.

And we know gas prices are high, but will targeting the oil companies fix it? We look into President Biden's push.



CABRERA: This time tomorrow, the January 6 Committee should be starting its third hearing on its findings.

And the focus this time will be on the pressure then-President Trump and his enablers put on Vice President Mike Pence to try to illegally block the certification of the 2020 election. The committee teased tomorrow's session by releasing part of a taped deposition with a former White House lawyer.

He recounts his stern warning to John Eastman. Remember, he is the conservative lawyer who helped lead the failed effort to overturn the election. Listen.


HERSCHMANN: He started to ask me about something dealing with Georgia and preserving something potentially for appeal.

And I said to him: "Are you out of your F'ing mind?"

I said: "I only want to hear two words coming out of your mouth from now on, orderly transition."

Eventually, he said: "Orderly transition."

I said: "Good, John. Now I'm going to give you the best free legal advice you're ever getting in your life. Get a great F'ing criminal defense lawyer. You're going to need it."


And then I hung up on him.


CABRERA: Let's bring in CNN senior legal analyst former federal prosecutor Elie Honig and Alan Baron, a lawyer who has been special counsel to both Senate and House committees over the past three decades.

Gentlemen, thank you.

So, that was kind of a colorful video clip just giving us a teaser for what we can expect tomorrow.

Elie, what are they trying to cue up here, do you think?

ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, Ana, the he who's referenced in that clip who was -- quote -- "out of his F'ing mind" and needs to get a criminal defense lawyer is John Eastman.

He is going to be a central focus of tomorrow's presentation. He is the lawyer who came in at the very end of this. At this point, Donald Trump had lost all the lawsuits. All the states had certified their electors. And he comes up with this theory that Mike Pence, as vice president, has unilateral power to disregard, to throw out whatever electoral votes he does not want and to declare Trump reelected as president.

Now, Trump sees this, he likes it, and he uses that as a springboard to put this pressure campaign on Mike Pence, which ultimately results in people storming the Capitol and chanting "Hang Mike Pence." And we have all seen the video of Pence fleeing from the scene with his staff. So, tomorrow is going to be focused on that pressure campaign on Mike


CABRERA: And we know that we anticipate, at least -- we don't know specifically who they're going to call before them and before the American public as witnesses, but we know that it's likely to be people who were around Mike Pence who were privy to all of the behind- the-scenes maneuvering that was taking place.

Alan, this whole pressure campaign on Mike Pence, do you see a crime there?


The -- they are trying to prevent the orderly transition of power, and that may well constitute a crime. I think that something has to be recognized here, that Mike Pence throughout the years of the Trump administration, when he was vice president, was kind of a cipher. I mean, he was there under Trump's thumb.


And the fact that he stood up at the 11th hour and said, no, I'm not going to do what you are demanding, I mean, he deserves a lot of credit for that. And I don't think he's really gotten it.

CABRERA: Well, he did have people around him who were close to him that were giving him fuel to push back on this idea, right, Elie?

And we're expecting to hear from some of those people who also are great, brilliant legal minds who said, no, this actually -- this legal theory is not something that is workable. It's not constitutional.

HONIG: Exactly right. I think that will be the central theme of tomorrow. We're going to hear from Pence staffers, from other lawyers, reportedly from Judge Luttig, who was one of the most respected conservative judges out there, all of whom told Mike Pence, you cannot do this. This is ludicrous.

Eric Herschmann, the guy in the video, told John Eastman to his face, this is crazy. You need a criminal defense lawyer.

So it's essentially the weight of legal authority on the one hand saying absolutely no way you can do this vs. the one guy, John Eastman, on the other hand, telling Donald Trump, yes, you can do this.

CABRERA: And, Alan, we have seen so much evidence that's been presented through these video, recorded depositions. We have seen allegations made by the committee that they say they have evidence for.

And yet we don't know yet if there will be additional criminal charges that come from this. But we do know that there's at least one new criminal investigation that's been open. The New York attorney general just announced that she's opening a probe into the $250 million that the committee says went to a Trump election defense fund that really didn't exist.

Your thoughts there? Do you see a there, there?

BARON: I -- there could be, but I think it's a little too early to tell.

Of all the possible charges against Trump, this seems to me to be the weakest. Is it really necessary that you have the formal entity that serves on his behalf to take this money? Do we know where this money ended up? I mean, there's a lot of unanswered questions. And, of course, what role did Trump himself play with regard to this fund?

I mean, it's easy to start calling it a slush fund and all that, but that's a long distance from a criminal charge or a criminal conviction.

CABRERA: Yes, to get a lot of the details filled in. And then, of course, you have to have all the evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

And, Elie, can a judge -- I mean, can a prosecutor go before a judge and use some of this evidence that's already been put out in the public sphere? Would that go in a court of law?

HONIG: So, Ana, a lot of the evidence that we're seeing would not be admissible in a criminal trial in the format that we're seeing it.

For example, in a criminal trial, you cannot just play a video, like we have seen all the video depositions of Bill Barr and Jared Kushner and Ivanka. You cannot do that. You have to call the person as a live witness, so the defense can cross-examine them. That's the Sixth Amendment confrontation clause. You have the right to confront, question the witnesses against you.

And there are some other pieces of evidence that the committee has shown us that simply would not be admissible on relevance basis. I think the committee has made a compelling showing thus far. But let's not mistake that -- let's not assume that all that evidence would translate over exactly into a criminal court.

CABRERA: Guys, stay with me.

I want to bring in CNN's Ryan Nobles on Capitol Hill.

And, Ryan, you have an update for us on the committee's investigation of a Capitol tour before the riot on January 6. Lay it out for us.


It was a talk given by Congressman Barry Loudermilk of Georgia. And what the committee released today was surveillance video of that tour that shows an individual on the tour taking pictures of things you wouldn't normally see tourists take pictures of, Capitol staircases, tunnels leading into the Capitol, security checkpoints.

And they married that with video of that same individual marching toward the Capitol on January 6 making direct threats at members of Congress, including the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi.

Now, Congressman Loudermilk has responded to the release of this video, which we should point out the committee has released because they want Loudermilk to come in and answer questions about what he knows about the individuals that were part of this tour and the purpose of this tour.

And in response to their request, Loudermilk said -- quote -- "The Capitol Police already put this false accusation to bed. Yet the committee is undermining the Capitol Police and doubling down on their smear campaign, releasing so-called evidence of a tour of the House office buildings which I have already publicly addressed."

Now, there are a couple of things we should point out about his statement. First of all, the only thing the Capitol Police responded to was the surveillance video itself. And Police Chief Tom Manger did say that his officers and investigative team deemed that the video that they saw was not suspicious.

Capitol Police had nothing to say about the subsequent video that reveals the same individual outside the Capitol on January 6. And we should also point out that there was a lot Congressman Loudermilk left out about the tour, including the taking of pictures of these different entrances in and out of the Capitol.

So this is something the committee wants more answers about it. It's the reason that they have asked Loudermilk to come before them. At this point, Ana, it doesn't look like he's planning to do so.


CABRERA: Ryan Nobles, thank you for that reporting.

Let's bring back our legal minds for us now.

Alan, do you think this new video, this new reporting is significant or not?

BARON: Oh, absolutely significant.

It's always been rumored that there were people sort of scouting the interior of the Capitol in order to make it easier for people who would subsequently breach the border and get in there. This is now, I think one could say, hard evidence that, in fact, that occurred.

And Loudermilk being, I don't know, un-forthcoming about it, maybe not -- and refusing to testify, that just gives credence to the idea that this was scouted out in advance, and that the people who breached the perimeter of the Capitol benefited from it.

CABRERA: Elie, how do you see it?

HONIG: There are aspects of this tape that are suspicious, for the reasons Ryan noted, but I do not think there's nearly enough evidence yet to conclude that Representative Loudermilk aided and abetted this attack on the Capitol. We would have to know, first of all, did the people who gave the tours to, did they enter the Capitol? We know that one of the people was at the Capitol grounds, reportedly did not enter the Capitol.

Were any of them charged by DOJ? And, most importantly, did -- is there any proof Representative Loudermilk knew that these people had bad intentions? Maybe he did, but we have not seen any evidence of that yet. So let's be careful before we claim that a member of Congress has engaged in disloyal acts, potentially traitorous act, until we have hard proof.

I think this video is interesting. It raises some questions, but we don't have all the answers yet. And let's be careful about the conclusion.

CABRERA: Elie Honig, Alan Baron, gentlemen, thank you so much.

We all know it's costing more to fill up our gas tanks. President Biden is now urging oil companies to do something about it. But how much can they actually do?

That's next.