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January 6th Committee's Fourth Hearing; Laurence Tribe is Interviewed about January 6th; Flight Canceled as Travel Surges; Shooting Following D.C. Concert; Gloria Browne-Marshall is Interviewed about the Supreme Court's Possible Gun Ruling; Fears of Russian Election Interference. Aired 9-9:30a ET

Aired June 20, 2022 - 09:00   ET



JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: A very good Monday morning to you this Juneteenth. I'm Jim Sciutto.


A nightmare scenario in airport across the country, as you may have noticed. Over the weekend, as summer travel heats up, the busiest air travel weekend so far this year saw thousands of canceled flights and delays. According to the flight tracking website FlightAware, more than 900 flights were canceled on Sunday alone across the United States. Since Friday, there have been more than 3,000 flights canceled. Can travelers expect more of this as we enter peak travel this summer?

SCIUTTO: Also, new questions on whether the former vice president, Mike Pence, will be the next witness the January 6th committee subpoenas to testify. Ahead of tomorrow's fourth public hearing, in an exclusive interview with CNN, committee member Adam Schiff said that trying to speak to Pence for the investigation remains on the table.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): We're not taking anything off the table in terms of witnesses who have not yet testified. We would still, I think, like to have several high-profile people come before our committee.

DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR, "STATE OF THE UNION": So Mike Pence is a possibility still?

SCHIFF: You know, certainly a possibility. We're not excluding anyone or anything at this point.


SCIUTTO: Central to the investigation certainly.

Plus, new CNN reporting. Homeland Security and national security officials fear that Russia could significantly exploit U.S. political divisions during the upcoming midterm elections. We're going to have more on that in just a moment.

HARLOW: First, let's bring in CNN political correspondent Sara Murray for more on what to expect at the January 6th committee's hearing tomorrow.

Sara, good morning.

You've got committee member Adam Schiff making a lot of news in that interview with Dana just yesterday and saying that the panel will show evidence tomorrow about then-President Trump's involvement in a scheme to really pressure Republican election officials in a number of states on that issue of electors and fake electors. What is the goal here for the committee and what do they say? Because it sounded from Schiff like they're really making a very strong tie here directly from the president to that.

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Poppy. You know, I think what we've seen in the previous hearings is the efforts that Donald Trump made and his allies made to put pressure on Mike Pence. Now we're seeing how much wider this went and how these efforts extended into the states.

And, of course, a key part of this was this plot to put forward these fake electors. Now, the big question, of course, is, who can you tie this to around the president and can you tie it to the former president directly?

Here's what Adam Schiff had to say about that in his interview with Dana.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): We'll show evidence of the president's involvement in this scheme. We'll also again show evidence about what his own lawyers came to think about this scheme. And we'll show courageous state officials who stood up and said they wouldn't go along with this plan to either call legislators back into session.


MURRAY: Now, we've seen a lot of documents in previous months about the Trump lawyers talking about this scheme, but it will be really interesting to see what the committee can put forward about what Donald Trump knew directly, how he was directly involved in the fake elector scheme. That's also important because while this is a congressional hearing, we know this fake electors plot is the subject of two criminal investigations. One, the Justice Department is looking into the fake elector scheme, and, two, the Fulton County attorney down in Georgia is also looking into the fake elector plot as part of her criminal investigation.

Now, if we step back, we look at the witnesses, you know, we're going to learn a lot especially if, you know, people haven't been following every single twist and turn like we have about Donald Trump's efforts. We're going to hear from Brad Raffensperger, Gabe Sterling, as well as an Arizona official, Poppy. SCIUTTO: Sara Murray, thanks so much.

Joining us now to discuss, Laurence Tribe, a constitutional law professor at Harvard Law School. House Democrats, you may remember, consulted him on impeaching former President Trump for inciting insurrection.

Good to have you, sir.

I wonder if you could explain to folks at home what the legal standard is that the Justice Department would have to meet or feel that it could meet to justify charges for defrauding the United States and sedition.

LAURENCE TRIBE, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW PROFESSOR, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL: To bringing those charges, the Justice Department would have to be convinced that there is proof beyond a reasonable doubt, or at least that a jury could find proof beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant, whether it's the president or the people immediately around him, directly sought to overturn the government of the United States in the form of preventing the transition to the new government, the transition that was to be certified by the joint session of Congress on January 6th.


And that's where the evidence seems to point.

HARLOW: Professor Tribe, over the weekend former President Trump posted on his own social media platform that he never asked Pence to overturn the election, but he did say that he asked Pence to, quote, send the votes back to the state legislature. I suppose two questions there. One, do you read that as an admission of guilt? And, given that, how important is it now, perhaps increasingly so, for this committee to hear directly from Vice President Pence, who Adam Schiff, as you heard, did not rule out subpoenaing?

TRIBE: I do read it as an admission of guilt, although he's playing semantic games. He was trying to overturn the election by having a recount where the laws don't provide for one. He was basically saying, let's have a do-over. He admitted that that's what he was trying to pressure Pence into doing.

Given that, it's very important to have Pence testify, though not indispensable. We have the sound of one hand clapping. That is, we have the side of the conversation that represented what Donald Trump said. The people around him, his family and others, have testified to hearing him pressure Pence on the phone the night before the insurrection, having him say to Pence, well, you're a wimp. He also used the p-word. Basically saying, you better do it or else. And the it really amounted to obstructing what Congress planned to do on January 6th. It was a step in the plot that the president had hatched up with some of his aides, like Giuliani and his lawyer Eastman.

SCIUTTO: Yes. Some of the committee's work has been on establishing that the president knew or should have known that he did, indeed, lose the election. You have the attorney general testifying that he told him that those claims were BS and others here.

From a defense standpoint, what would the president have to show to undermine that argument? I mean, is it as simple as saying -- finding one, you know, helpful witness to say, well, I told him he did win the election and he believed me. I mean is it that simple?

TRIBE: It's not that simple. There are two very basic problems. Judge Luttig point to them. George Conway has pointed to them. One is that willful ignorance of the facts wont' do. You can't say, well, you know, I chose to believe that I got more votes, even though all of the facts point the other way. You can't be an ostrich and have a defense. And the other is willful ignorance of the law. That is, regardless of who got the most votes, we have a legal process in place for determining whose electoral votes should be certified. That was the process that the president has now confessed messing with by trying to get Pence to interfere with it and make it into sort of a do-over. And that's not what the law says. If the president says, well, I'm not a lawyer, I didn't understand that, even a fourth grader understands that our system isn't set up to have one person, let alone the vice president who has a stake in the matter, decide that we need a do- over.


HARLOW: Laurence Tribe, we always appreciate having you on. Thank you.

TRIBE: Thank you. Thanks.

HARLOW: Well, hopefully you didn't experience the travel nightmares this weekend, but this morning airlines are trying to get back on track after a weekend loaded with disruptions. Thousands of flights were delayed and outright canceled in what has been the busiest travel weekend of the year so far.

SCIUTTO: CNN's Pete Muntean, he's at Reagan National Airport with more.

So, Pete, I mean, goodness, some lousy stories from a busy travel Sunday. What exactly behind it? Is it once again a shortage of staff?

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: So true, Jim. You know, it's these big staffing shortages, and there is no elasticity in the airline system. There is no slack anymore because these new cancellation numbers are huge, but the cause of this really is not new. Airlines got a lot smaller over the pandemic. We've been reporting that over and over again. But that has led to these massive flight crew shortages.

And the deck of cards really comes tumbling down when summer weather strikes. We saw major storms on the East Coast on Thursday and on Friday. Look at these cancellation numbers from FlightAware. More than 1,700 flights canceled nationwide on Thursday. More than 1,400 on Friday.

Now, airlines really tried to play catch-up over the weekend, but they were pretty unsuccessful in doing so. Eight hundred cancellations nationwide Saturday. More than 900 cancellations nationwide on Sunday.


This really struck some of the biggest hubs for the airlines, including Charlotte, but also New York's LaGuardia.

You know, listen now to one passenger we talked to at LaGuardia. She had her flight canceled on Saturday, was rebooked on a different flight on Sunday, then had that flight canceled.

Listen to what she said.


TERRIE CHERRY, AMERICAN AIRLINES PASSENGER: We left North Carolina on Sunday, came to New York, was supposed to go back to North Carolina yesterday, and got delayed. And we got on the plane, went out on the tarmac, sat on the plane for four hours. Four hours before they took us back to the terminal.

Anyway, they told us to go to gate 11. Gate 11 was 400 people trying to rebook a flight.


MUNTEAN: So many people are traveling this weekend. Not only the long Juneteenth weekend, but also Father's Day weekend. TSA screened 2.38 million people at airports just yesterday, 2.44 million people at airports on Friday. That is the highest number we have seen since Thanksgiving 2021. This all comes with a stern warning for airlines from transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg telling them to get their act together. In fact, he had his flight canceled last week when he was trying to get from New York to Washington. Had to drive instead, like so many passengers are having to do right now.


HARLOW: Yes. And we're paying so much for these tickets, it seems like recently.


HARLOW: That is just adding to the frustration of it all.


HARLOW: Pete, thanks.

SCIUTTO: And the airlines got tens of millions of dollars in the federal aid during the pandemic.

HARLOW: Right. That's so future. SCIUTTO: Tens of billions.

HARLOW: That's a great point, Jim.

MUNTEAN: $50 billion.

HARLOW: With a b. Thank you, Pete.

Still to come, one teenager was killed, three others, including a police officer, injured. This all happened after a concert shooting in D.C. this weekend. What we're learning this morning.

Also, a host of major decisions expected in the coming weeks in the Supreme Court. We'll talk about them.

SCIUTTO: Later, I'm going to speak one-on-one with the daughter of the Russian opposition leader, former presidential candidate, Alexei Navalny, after he was transferred to a maximum security Russian prison. What we're learning about his condition and what happens next.



SCIUTTO: It was, sadly, another weekend of deadly gun violence in cities in this country. In Washington, D.C., a 15-year-old boy was killed, three other people, including a police officer, were shot Sunday. This following what was an unpermitted concert in downtown Washington, D.C.

HARLOW: So, authorities say the shooting happened after two separate incidents caused several hundred people in the crowd to run for safety.

Our national correspondent, Suzanne Malveaux, has been following all of this.

It's another gun tragedy in America.


Good morning.

I mean I know this area very well. It's near 14th and U Streets in northwest Washington. And I attended the livelily music dance, artistic festival at that very corner for last year's Juneteenth celebration. And this year tragedy struck late in the day in what was an otherwise beautiful celebration of freedom here in the nation's capital.

A 15-year-old boy died, three other people shot, including a police officer, after a shooting broke out close to a concert site that did not have a permit. Now, D.C. Police say that the venue was not equipped to handle this number of people that were attending. There were upwards of 100, police officers responding to this event. Even before the shooting, there were two earlier incidents that caused panic, trampling at the concert. It was not clear what actually sparked the chaos, but people scattered, some enduring injuries to legs, ankles. And then the actual shooting happened. Several firearms were -- illegal firearms discovered on the scene, including a handgun on one of the two civilian adults who was shot and transported to a local hospital.

And the ATF is now assisting with the D.C. Police Department to investigate, to find out here what was behind all of this. And, of course, you know, this was -- this happens at a time when we are seeing an increase in gun violence throughout our country.


Suzanne Malveaux, thanks so much.

Well, New York law enforcement officials are bracing for a potential major ruling from the Supreme Court on guns. It is expected to come down perhaps as soon as tomorrow. The court, it's believed, is likely to overturn New York's proper cause law and offer the majority opinion that a person has a constitutional right to gun ownership beyond their home to places such as restaurants and shopping malls and street concerts.

HARLOW: Here with us to discuss what impact that would have on some of the other big cases ahead is Gloria Browne Marshall. She is a constitutional law professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the author of the book, "She Took Justice: The Black Woman Law and Power 1619 to 1969."

Professor, thank you for being with us.

And to Jim's point about this case, if the proper cause law that New York has right now gets overturned, it would mean it's legal to conceal -- to carry a concealed gun in a lot more places.

Let's listen to what New York City Mayor Eric Adams said about what he thinks that would mean for this city.


MAYOR ERIC ADAMS (D), NEW YORK: If this right to carry goes through the Supreme Court and becomes the law of the land, can you imagine being on the four train with someone having a 9-millimeter exposed? Everyone on the train is carrying? It's just like -- this is not the wild, wild west. And this law is, you know, it's frightening to think that we are even thinking about that.



HARLOW: I should note, it's possible here that the majority, even if it strikes down this New York law, could make carveouts for special places, like the subway. It seemed in oral argument like it might do that. But, still, there's a chance here this gun rule could go way beyond that, right, and it could change the framework for how we look at the Second Amendment, and then all of the gun laws since Heller could be relitigated, right? That's the big picture here, is it not?

GLORIA BROWNE-MARSHALL, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW PROFESSOR, JOHN JAY COLLEGE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE: It really is because even though the issue before the court is the right to have a concealed weapon in New York state. And the court majority conservatives, now that we have Amy Coney Barrett, as well as Gorsuch and Kavanaugh on the court, are poised to expected the Second Amendment well beyond that. They're looking at other states where people can walk into the grocery store with a weapon as long as it's not concealed. And now we're saying to allow concealed weapons and not for self-protection.

In the oral arguments, the New York State Rifle Association argued we shouldn't have to say that we're using this weapon for self- protection. We shouldn't have to give any reason. We just want to have the weapon and have it concealed as well.

And so you don't know if your neighbor next to you is carrying this concealed weapon at a time when we've had all of these mass shootings. It's so unnerving to be a citizen in this country and never know who is standing next to you carrying a weapon of mass destruction that could kill dozens of people, especially with the automatic weapons that are on the streets today.

SCIUTTO: So let me -- to follow up on Poppy's question, I mean we're seeing right now negotiations on The Hill on a modest set of gun safety reforms. Would this decision potentially make negotiations like that effectively moot, right? I'm just curious how broadly the court is expected, with this new conservative majority, to expand that right? And by expanding that right, or their interpretation of the right to bear arms, what kinds of gun safety regulations does that make unlikely to pass constitutional muster?

BROWNE-MARSHALL: Well, on the one hand, Congress is looking at the age to buy a weapon. And so that age limit is not before the court at this point. The issue about whether or not it should be an automatic weapon is not what the Supreme Court is looking at. So there is this narrow passage that can allow both reform, as well as this decision to go forward.

Unfortunately, the way the National Rifle Association backed Justices Coney Barrett, Kavanaugh and Gorsuch are looking at this, they're poised to get this foothold and, just as in Heller and the McDonnell decision, and then use it to expand later to go to those issues, why should it be a certain age? Why is it - why is it should be -- the limit should be automatic weapons as opposed to another type of weapon? So, I think this is just a foothold to expand Second Amendment rights even going further in the future.

SCIUTTO: Yes. I mean Heller, relevant to the current conversation, right, because that was a D.C. handgun law struck down by the Supreme Court.

Gloria Browne-Marshall, I'm sure we'll have you back to discuss as we see these decisions come down. Thank you. BROWNE-MARSHALL: Thank you.

SCIUTTO: Another story we're following this morning, is Russia preparing to once again meddle in a U.S. election, the midterm elections coming up? It is a possibility national security officials are watching very closely. Up next, the challenges of keeping the ballot box safe from foreign interference.



SCIUTTO: Right now, U.S. officials are concerned that Russia will try new ways to exploit U.S. divisions to interfere in yet another U.S. election, the upcoming midterms. Among the scenarios being considered, Russian hackers might hack local election systems, try to get caught, and then take credit in public in order to undermine faith in the outcome of elections. Officials tell CNN this remains hypothetical, but it's one of the scenarios they are considering.

CNN's senior reporter Isaac Dovere joins me now.

So this is interesting because you have American officials questioning the outcomes of elections and saying, you know, right up to Trump, that they're not an infectious (ph) party now, saying the election of 2020 wasn't legitimate.


SCIUTTO: So, you have Russia here, it seems, trying to exploit that.

DOVERE: Yes. This is -- that's the play here. And, of course, exploiting and exacerbating divisions has been Russia's intention all along, to undermine our faith in America, turn Americans against themselves.


DOVERE: But here what seems to be evolving method that American officials are tracing is that the Russians will try to get caught going into our systems. And there's so many vulnerabilities. Eight thousand or so election (INAUDIBLE) across the country. You have local county clerks going up against the GRU. It's tough, right?

And if they then get caught and spread that news through their disinformation networks, it creates this angry, conspiracy feedback loop that could be very dangerous.

SCIUTTO: Yes, I mean, deliberately get caught. You could make that happen, right?

DOVERE: Right.

SCIUTTO: You don't even have to rely on - goodness. So, something to watch closely.

I mean do you have a level of concern that they're expressing about this?

DOVERE: Listen, I think it's fair to say that if it's coming to me, then the -- it's been a conversation among national security and Homeland Security officials.