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"Once In A Generation" Storm Blasts United States; Records Contradict Santos' Claim His Grandparents Fled Holocaust; January 6 Committee's Final Report Has Been Filed With The House Of Representatives And Will Be Made Public This Evening. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired December 22, 2022 - 21:00   ET




JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: The news continues. So, let's hand it over to Laura Coates and CNN TONIGHT.

LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: Good evening, everybody. I'm Laura Coates. And this is CNN TONIGHT.

We've got a dangerous winter storm that's bearing down on really most of the entire country, tonight. We've got millions of Americans, who are on the move, traveling for the Christmas holiday. And the storms are brutal. They are unleashing frigid temperatures. You've got blizzard conditions, and very strong, powerful winds. The airlines are canceling thousands of flights.

And tonight, as we are waiting for the final report from the January 6 committee, which is still not here, we've got transcripts from star witnesses, and like Cassidy Hutchinson that show that she testified that she felt pressured by Trump allies, not to cooperate with the Committee, or the questions, and instead possibly just risk contempt.

And an incoming Republican congressman, now saying that he will address discrepancies, shall we say, in his biography, as allegations are mounting that he falsified his resume, and family background, before being elected.

Let's begin now with the powerful winter blasts, bearing down, on most of the country. It's been called a "Once in a generation" storm. Chicago's among the many, many cities, getting slammed. And CNN's Omar Jimenez is there, tonight.

Omar, I'm so glad to see you, although I wish you were inside of a building, looking at the breath coming off of you, right now. Tell me what is going on there. I mean, it's hitting major cities.

What are the conditions like for you, right now? It's not snowing. But, you look cold, my friend!

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Look, I'll get out in the elements, for you all, just to make it happen. There's some people out and about. What's going on man? How are you?


JIMENEZ: People out and about, still a little bit, few and far between. And you can see some of the snow, in the air. It's a lot lighter than it was, earlier in the day. But really, what tonight is about, is about how hold the temperatures are going to plunge, and how much the wind is going to pick up, in the overnight hours.

We are dipping into the negatives, now. And the National Weather Service thinks - says we're going to get potentially past negative 30 degrees Fahrenheit and, by the time, we get to the morning, wind gusts potentially in the 40 miles per hour. And what that's going to do is blow around all the snow, and make visibility, a real issue here.

COATES: Which, of course, thinking about that, Chicago is a major hub for transportation. You've got major airports as well, Omar that are there. How is that weather impacting flights, if there's not a lot of visibility? I mean, obviously pilots are VFR- and IFR-rated. But what's the impact?

JIMENEZ: Yes, well, in short, not good. I mean, we've already seen more than 400 flights canceled, at O'Hare, in the last 24 hours alone. And the airports said the airlines have proactively canceled more than 500, because of this winter weather. We've already seen more than 100 canceled, just since about 5 o'clock.

And the City's Department of Aviation said that over this holiday period, through New Year's, they anticipated nearly 3 million people, to pass through its airports, O'Hare and Midway, and that today was supposed to be the busiest day, for travelers. So, obviously, not a great situation, to then coincide with the type of weather that we're seeing, here.

COATES: I'm from Minnesota, as you know, Omar. And we often battle Chicago, to figure out who's colder.


COATES: So, I know Chicago knows what it's like, to be cold, and there's not the ample skyways, like we have back home. But this is, I mean, even for normal Chicago cold, it's much worse, right?

JIMENEZ: Yes, yes, definitely. I mean, look, in my years, living in here, there are two places I look, to make me feel better about the weather, and it's usually Minneapolis, and then Fargo, after that. So, all of us, we know how to deal with cold, in Chicago. Especially, it's got a huge fleet, of snow trucks, out on the roads, salt trucks, as well, to try and take care of some of these roads.

But, as you can see, it's not going to be snow that's the issue. It's trying to battle the ice. It's why we went to Chicago Salt dome, as it's known. It holds about 50,000 tons of salt. Just to try and see a little bit of some of the process, and how it's happening.

And we spoke to a city official, who helps manage that facility. And take a listen to some of what he said.


COLE STALLARD, CHICAGO COMMISSIONER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STREETS AND SANITATION: We're going to have over 300 pieces out on the street, pretty much now, through the end of this thing, overnight, to try to keep up with this snow. The goal is to keep up with it. But, like I said, we're going to be fighting that wind. That wind's going to be coming at us. And we can be getting snow about an inch an hour.



JIMENEZ: And, of course, look, city officials, here, they've dealt with storms, like this, before. They told me that they really prepare all year, for situations, like this. But what's unique here, is it's not just snow.

It's the wind that again is going to kick up, the plunging temperatures, and critically, the demand for people, to get home, for Christmas, over the next few days, which as we know, from Trip Away, and just through years of being part of Christmas travel, most of that travel happens out on the roads. And so, if you can't see, or if the roads are particularly in bad shape, you see how this could create a dangerous situation.

COATES: Omar, please stay safe. I hope the residents of Chicago will as well, and everyone passing through.

I can hear, in my earpiece the sound, all familiar, of a car, going through the snow, trying to make its way over, what's happening, right now. So, please stay safe, everyone.

And everyone, speaking of temperatures that are plummeting, well, it's plummeting all across the country, due to the massive storm.

Joining me now is Patrick Sheehan, Director of Tennessee's Emergency Management Agency.

Patrick, thank you for, joining us, today.

I mean, we just went to Chicago, saw what's happening, there. And Tennessee also being struck, it's actually hitting not only Nashville, but other parts of Tennessee, as we are speaking, right now. Tell me about the conditions that are being experienced there.

PATRICK SHEEHAN, DIRECTOR, TENNESSEE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY: Yes. We're really expecting to see this affect the entire State of Tennessee. So, right now, about a third of Tennessee, or our Western Grand Division, is seeing temperatures, from the mid low-50s to mid- 40s, plummet into 21 degrees, so, a 25- to 30-degree temperature drop. With that is coming, some wind gusts, up to or exceeding 30 miles an hour. And behind that we have snowfall coming.

So, along in north of I-40, we expect, maybe around an inch or two inches of snowfall, a little more, as you move further north. But it's really going to affect the entire state, from Memphis to Mountain City, before the system's through with us, tomorrow morning.

COATES: That key words you said, "Expect," because maybe places like Chicago, maybe other parts of the country, expect to have the temperature drops, and maybe the wind chills. But this is not what's typical, in a place, like Tennessee.


COATES: And, for many residents, they're probably completely unaccustomed, and don't necessarily know how to prepare. What is it going to be like for people, who are there, who are not used to these kind of temperatures? Are there ways that you have been trying, to get the word out, to keep them safe, and knowledgeable, about what to do?

SHEEHAN: Yes. So, you're right. This is the coldest it's been here, in a decade. And so, we've grown a lot. We've had a lot of people move here from maybe some warmer climates or that haven't been here through a harsh winter.

And so, we've just really this week been emphasizing, preparing people, to pay attention to the forecasts, and prepare their homes, and their cars, for this weather that's coming up. So, detach their hoses, from their hose bibbs on their homes, and do other things to winterize their homes.

If they find themselves without power, make sure that they operate a generator, outside, and away from any place that carbon monoxide can accumulate, in the home, and to go ahead, and put some blankets, and extra coats, in their cars, along with gloves, just in case they have to be out and about, we encourage them not to be out and about, and they find themselves stranded for some reason.

COATES: I often wonder too, as many people are, especially, I mean, times have been very difficult, for many people, over the last several years, in particular. And home and housing insecurity remains a problem, homelessness, as well, in this country and, in parts of Tennessee, as every other state.

Are there things that are being done, to ensure, for those who are - don't have the luxury, of preparing within a home, are there precautions being taken, through shelters, or otherwise, to get people off the streets, and into a safe warm place?

SHEEHAN: Yes, we had conversations, with some of our cities, and our non-governmental organizations that deal with the unhoused, yesterday and today, about the increased actions, they're taking. And part of the reason the State Emergency Operations Center is open, behind me, is to be able to support any needs that are identified, to help them, if they have a larger-than-expected population surge.

We're also monitoring transportation, and then the impacts, to the electrical grid, just so that we can support our partners, to restore power, keep roads safe, and then if they need help, with sheltering the unhoused, during this next 100 hours, you're going to have, where we stay below freezing, that the State of Tennessee can be there to support our cities and our partners.

COATES: So important. Patrick, thank you. We'll be watching Tennessee, as many other States are bracing for what is ahead. Thank you so much.

SHEEHAN: Thank you.

COATES: Well, the massive storm, and it is massive, I mean, it's affecting really every part of this country, and it is walloping the upper plains, with blizzard conditions, and life-threatening wind chills.

I want to bring in David Hintz. He's Meteorologist in Charge of the National Weather Service, in Rapid City, South Dakota.


David, thank you for being here. I mean, this is - normally, people talk about a weather issue, and it's focused on a certain region. All eyes are on this storm, because so many people are impacted, and it continues all the way, likely, through the weekend.

This has been called a "Once in a generation" storm. And I'm wondering, can you just recall, have you seen anything, like this, in recent history?


COATES: David, I think you're having a difficulty hearing me, at the moment. We're going through a little bit. If you can hear me, jump into the conversation. But I think we're - get his connection up, in just a moment.

But I can't underscore this point enough, just how serious this storm is, and how, all across the country, we'll be covering today, and thinking about ways, to inform the public. And please, be sure to actually watch along.

The biggest part here, are the actual drops, in temperatures, and, for many people, who are talking about, sometimes 30 degrees, up to 50 degrees, in drop overnight, of places like Washington State, you're seeing in places like Denver, Colorado and beyond. And these temperature drops are going to have a significant impact, on the way, in which the energy infrastructure, in this country, is impacted.

You're seeing so much happen. And these screens, these current wind chills are really indicative of the dangers ahead. So, please stay with us. Stay tuned to CNN. We're going to be covering this, and many other stories that are impacting the entire nation.

Not to mention what's happening, right here, in Washington, D.C., because speaking of dropping, well, the transcripts are dropping, in Washington, D.C. I'm talking about the January 6 committee, releasing more interview transcripts, this very evening, from their closed-door session, with key witnesses. I'll bring you all the details we've got, so far, after this. [21:15:00]


COATES: So, what's the delay? I mean, we don't have the final report, now, from the House January 6 Committee. It still has not been released. It was supposed to be made public, you recall, yesterday. But the Committee, they are releasing more transcripts of witness testimony.

I want to turn right now to CNN Justice Correspondent, Jessica Schneider; CNN Political Analyst, Margaret Talev, Managing Editor at Axios; and Nick Akerman, former Watergate Assistant Special Prosecutor.

Glad to have you all here.

Let me begin with you, Jessica. Because, I know, you're waiting, for these reports. We've all - I know, you're tapping your watch, right now.


COATES: We all are going "Where is it?" Supposed to be yesterday. We thought maybe, "OK, with Zelenskyy, visiting, that might be the delay."


COATES: Where is it?

SCHNEIDER: At this point, Laura, we're really almost two days beyond what the Committee said. They initially said, "Wednesday, at noon." The time slipped a little bit, with Zelenskyy's visit. We said, OK. It was supposed to be today. Here we are, 9 PM, still nothing.

So, what we heard, earlier tonight, from the committee members, Zoe Lofgren, on our air, she said the issue, here, Laura, typos. So, the Committee staff has been going through this nearly 1,000 page report. They're finding typos. They have to fix them. And then, of course, this all has to go through the printing process.

So, I guess, the culmination of those factors is what's led now, to this nearly two-day delay, at this point.

COATES: Typos, as in, they're getting the words wrong, or we're talking about like ellipses are missing?


COATES: What's going on here?

SCHNEIDER: Zoe Lofgren has said commas, grammar, ellipses missing--


SCHNEIDER: --things like that that they're trying to fix, before they get it out.

COATES: Nick, I want to turn to you here on this. Because, I wonder what you make of the typo and grammar police notion here. I mean, I have to say, it's nearly two years, after January 6 actually happened.

And don't get me wrong. I've written a book. I get the editing process is a problem. But the idea of editing is not what's happening here, right. We're talking about transcripts. Why do you think there is a delay?

NICK AKERMAN, FORMER ASSISTANT SPECIAL WATERGATE PROSECUTOR: Well, it could be that they want to make sure that when they're quoting transcripts, that they're absolutely accurate. I mean, I think that people are going to go through this. Certainly, people on the opposition, are going to go through this. And they want to make sure that everything is absolutely 100 percent accurate.

If you don't quote somebody, from a transcript, of a deposition, and you don't put in the right words, and you change the meaning, even in the smallest way, that is going to open the Committee, to criticism. So, checking typos is absolutely a valid excuse, here. And a day or two isn't going to make a difference.

Last week, we got the summary that was about 100-and-some odd pages, with 50-some-odd footnotes. And I think that was a pretty good outline of what they found. Now, I'm sure we're going to get a lot more detail, in this 800- or 900-page final report. But the summary isn't bad.

COATES: Well, this is literally the embodiment, Margaret, right, of dotting one's I and crossing the Ts.


COATES: And it is a very fair point to say, look, because you know, any typo, any problem, will be fodder for "Ah, well, what else did they get wrong?" right? That's what will happen.

At the same token, they are up against, an impatience clock, from the public, right? There's the idea of adding on unfairly, I think, to the Mueller report. This is not the Mueller report. This has nothing to do with Mueller. But many will think about the impatience, of trying to get finality.

And I wonder what you make of what has been released so far, Margaret.

TALEV: I think this isn't really about the public anymore. This is about a final document that is going to go to the Department of Justice, essentially, and become a resource, for the potential prosecutions, of the former President, or people around him. At the same time, it is a document that's going to be used, by the former President, and his legal team, to try to blunt the vulnerability, of any prosecution, around them.

So, those details are important. It has an impact on the public, perhaps in the 2024 race, perhaps in the long run, for history. I think, in the transcripts, we've seen really, so far, I really take away kind of two camps of people, who have testified.

One is a much more cynical camp, who have said "Plead the Fifth! Plead the Fifth! Plead the Fifth!" don't want to make themselves vulnerable, don't want to cooperate, in any way, and kind of knew that there was really never any doubt about the election.


Then there's the second camp. Sarah Matthews, Cassidy Hutchinson, younger aides to the President, who seemed to have this kind of crisis of conscience, or this moment of revelation, where they thought, "I don't want to be part of this."

And the testimony suggests that at that moment, the pressure that came down upon them, their realization that their entire career structure, friendship structure, support structure, could be over, could turn in on them, that history could judge them, that their peers could judge them, that they could judge themselves? That's such a strikingly different set, Roger Stone versus Cassidy Hutchinson--

COATES: Right.

TALEV: --and then that sort of spectrum moving forward (ph).

SCHNEIDER: And the transcript, we saw, released today, from Cassidy Hutchinson, it really embodied that. It illuminated that internal struggle that she was having, throughout the three depositions, where Stefan Passantino represented her, where he continually said, "Just keep saying you don't recall, and you really don't need to be thorough about your resource."

COATES: The White House Ethics lawyer?

SCHNEIDER: Exactly. And he was retained by her, but paid for by Trump- world. So, it was this constant conflict that she dealt with. And, of course, she ultimately jettisoned him, as an attorney, got outside attorneys, to represent her. And that's, of course, what led to her testifying, in public, before the Committee.

But Margaret, you're absolutely right. It was really this wrestle, wrestling that she had, with herself.

TALEV: The fear, the idea of being completely alone?

COATES: Right.

TALEV: Completely exposed.

COATES: Well, let me ask you, Nick, and bring you in this conversation, because that testimony that she has alleged to have said, about the attorney, who initially represented her, a White House Ethics lawyer, at one point in time, I might add, what do you make of it? Because there seems to be some reaction, there's a range, I'm seeing, either it's well, is that what he really meant? Was he trying to suborn a perjury, in some way? Or just the kind of run-of-the-mill advice that lawyers always give? What did you see?

AKERMAN: No. This is not the run-of-the-mill advice that lawyers always give. This was a very concerted effort, to obstruct the Committee, and basically, to intimidate and influence a witness, both extremely serious felonies. Witness tampering by itself is a 20-year felony.

You don't tell a witness to say, "I don't recall," when you actually recall. You don't tell a witness that if they say, "I don't recall, you can't be charged with perjury." That is just not true. We had, in the Watergate prosecution, I believe it was Nixon's appointments secretary was convicted of multiple counts of perjury, for saying, "I don't recall."

You don't tell witnesses to be a team member, to be part of the team that Donald Trump reviews your transcripts, and he's going to see what you did. You don't offer them jobs, and tell them that "We're going to take care of you."

This is the kind of activity that I used to prosecute with the mafia. I mean, this is just not something that a lawyer can do, is supposed to do. And it's against the law. The question here, though, is really going to be one of proof.

You mentioned Roger Stone, before. He was convicted of obstructing a committee investigation, and intimidating a witness, for doing very much the same thing. Except there, what he said to that witness was recorded in a message. We don't have that here.

We've got Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony. You've got the lawyer denying it. But then again, you've got lots of circumstances, surrounding what happened, with Cassidy Hutchinson. There were other people she spoke to, about this. She went back to the Committee herself, because she felt that she had done wrong, by not revealing certain information.

So, if I were the prosecutor, I'd be examining all of these different people that she spoke to, I'd be looking at other witnesses that appeared, before that committee, who apparently were treated, the same way, by the lawyers that were paid for, by the Trump Organization, and try and put together a case. It is not going to be as easy as it was, in prosecuting Roger Stone.

COATES: Really important point. And Margaret, it also brings up the point you raised, about sort of the intersection, of the politics of this, right?

The idea that she was able to get - went on to get a different attorney, she felt that she had Trump looking over her shoulder, at one point, and the idea of believing, "Who am I really working for? Am I thinking about this, from my own perspective, if it is about trying to protect somebody else?" And I wonder how this plays, facts like that, knowing that it is the credibility assessment, between two people.


Cassidy Hutchinson, of course, who's already been called into question, about her comments, surrounding Mr. Ornato, and the allegations about whether Trump reached, and grabbed the steering wheel or not. She's been taken to task, for that unfairly or not.

But the idea of her being questioned, how does, this play, in the court of public electorate?

TALEV: Yes. I mean it's a great question.

I think there are two questions. One is how's it going to play in a Republican primary, in 2024? I think that is a separate question from, how will the dust settle? How will Americans over time come to understand what happened?

And I think when any nation goes through a time of crisis? And that's what the last two years have been, that's what January 6 was. There is almost like, several layers of acceptance, like that come with it, right?

In the initial, in the last couple of years, I think the sense has been, we survived, the Republic survived. The Constitution survived. The Judicial branch did, but it had to do the 2022 elections one OK. "See, everything's OK, everything's fine." But like, American democracy is not particularly healthy or robust, right now. It's still extremely vulnerable.

And I think the granularity that may come out of all of these depositions, this thousands of pages, the kind of the connection of what one person said, what another person said, those kind of details about intimidation, about political threats, about how the people, who are supposed to be in charge of ethics, did things that--


TALEV: --do not fall within the normal rubric of ethics, like all of that stuff will tell the story of what really happened.

COATES: Well that's the work of prosecutors, right?

SCHNEIDER: And by - right.

COATES: The granular detail.

SCHNEIDER: And, by the way, you mentioned how she's come under criticism, Cassidy Hutchinson, about her testimony that Trump lunged at the driver, for his presidential vehicle.

This recent transcript, that was released, it was from when she talked with the committee, again in September, and she doubled down, on her testimony, to that effect. She specifically said, "Not only did Tony Ornato say it, but he recollected that to me, in subsequent conversations."

So, she has been criticized for this. And there's been some denial. But even as recently as September, when she talked to the Committee, again, after her public testimony, she says, "No, that conversation happened. He told me what Trump's actions were." So, she has doubled down on that, the specific details (ph).

COATES: That's so important, and thinking also about how this is going to impact the Special Counsel, and what the DOJ is doing, because, it's not as if they were waiting, on criminal referrals. I hope they weren't waiting, for Congress to act, before they do their jobs, and wherever they need to do.

But just thinking about the currency here, and I'm ending with you, Nick, the currency here is not really the referrals. It is the information. It is the transcripts. And they are the things that the DOJ would not have already been privy to, if they had not had access to a witness, for whatever reason, had done an interview to witness, or deposed, or had a grand jury hearing.

The currency here, we're dealing with, and trading with, DOJ, at this point, will be those substantive transcripts to compare and contrast, and work with them, right?

AKERMAN: It all comes down to the evidence. And Jamie Raskin said, at the hearing, the other day, they had substantial evidence that Donald Trump committed certain crimes.

The question for the Department of Justice is not substantial evidence. But can they prove those crimes, beyond a reasonable doubt? There has to be sufficient evidence, to prove those crimes, beyond a reasonable doubt. And that is something that the Department of Justice, is within their expertise. It's out of the lane of the Senate Select - the Senate - the House Committee.

And Jamie Raskin's put it pretty correctly by saying it was substantial evidence, not beyond a reasonable doubt. And that's what has to be decided, whether or not Donald Trump, or anyone else, is going to be charged with specific crimes.

COATES: Well, Margaret, Jessica, Nick, for now, still dotting I's, crossing T's, in furtherance of that whole endeavor.

The list of lies keep growing. We'll tell you what CNN is discovering, about a Republican congressman-elect, who seemingly lied about his work, and his charities, and his family, next.



COATES: So, what's truthful, and well, what is not the truth?

Tonight, Republican Congressman-elect George Santos facing mounting allegations that he falsified multiple parts of his biography, and his resume, of course, before, getting elected to Congress. Now, the latest scathing misrepresentation, revealed by our own CNN KFILE, its investigation has found that Santos' claims that his grandparents survived the Holocaust, by escaping the Nazis, are contradicted by multiple sources, and records, reviewed by genealogists.

CNN's Jessica Dean has the latest.


JESSICA DEAN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight, incoming Congressman George Santos, finally acknowledging the growing scrutiny surrounding many apparent discrepancies, in his biography, tweeting quote, "I have my story to tell and it will be told next week."

GEORGE SANTOS, (R) NEW YORK CONG.-ELECT: Shabbat shalom to everybody!

DEAN (voice-over): One part of the New York Republican's background, now in question? His family history.

SANTOS: You know my grandparents survived the Holocaust.

I'm very proud of my Jewish heritage. I'm very proud of my grandparents' story, my grandfather fleeing Ukraine, fleeing Stalin's persecution, going to Belgium, finding refuge there, marrying my grandmother, then fleeing Hitler, going to Brazil.

DEAN (voice-over): But those claims are contradicted by sources reviewed by CNN's KFILE, including family trees, records on Jewish refugees, and interviews with multiple genealogists.

SANTOS: As I always joke, I'm Jew-ish. I come from a Jewish family. My mother's family, Jewish. I grew up, and I was raised Roman Catholic.


DEAN (voice-over): Megan Smolenyak, an author, and professional genealogist, who helped research Santos' family tree, at CNN's request, said in an email, quote, "There's no sign of Jewish and/or Ukrainian heritage, and no indication of name changes along the way."

SANTOS: Today, I live that American Dream.

DEAN (voice-over): It's just the latest development, since the "New York Times" first reported, and CNN confirmed that Santos may have misrepresented parts of his resume, regarding his college education, and employment history, saying he attended schools, and worked at companies that have no records, of his attendance, or employment.

While some are calling for an investigation and potential consequences?

DANIEL GOLDMAN, (D) NEW YORK CONG.-ELECT: This is what, is, clearly, a serial effort, to defraud voters, in his district. And if George Santos did that, and he certainly appears to have made false statements, in his disclosure forms, to the FEC, I think it's worth the U.S. Attorney's office looking into this.

DEAN (voice-over): On Capitol Hill, today, House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy refused to answer any questions, about what may happen, to Santos, or if anything should be done.


DEAN (voice-over): Santos is part of a very slim four-seat majority Republicans will hold, when they take over the House, in January.


DEAN: And, of course, the looming question here is what comes next, especially here, on Capitol Hill?

Will Santos be seated as a new member? Will House GOP leadership do anything? And if so, what, when it comes to Santos? As I mentioned in my story there, we did see House Minority Leader, Kevin McCarthy, today, as he was on and off the floor, for votes. But he did not respond to any questions about this issue. Will the House Ethics Committee get involved?

These are all questions that we'll have to keep an eye on, in the coming weeks.


COATES: Jessica, thank you so much. What a stunning story!

Well, the question is, I mean, what would make someone do, what he's doing? If he lied, in this way, why would someone lie like this? Are they not aware of the risks, or what would happen, if they're found out, and how far could you possibly get, at this point?

Well, my panel is here, and they all have a lot to say about this. And we're going to talk to them, in a moment. So, stay with us.



COATES: We're getting some breaking news in, about that January 6 full report. They apparently have now filed it, with the House of Representatives. And we are going to be able to see it, they're saying, tonight.

As we learn more information, about how that process will unfold, at what point it will be made public, and who will essentially be receiving the actual full report and, in what capacity, we'll bring you that information, live here, on CNN.

I want to bring in you two as well on this, because, we've been waiting for this. I've got, of course, Maria Cardona, here, and Kristen Soltis, as well, to talk about a number of issues. And I'm glad you're both here. But tell me, like, what has been your reaction, to this delay? Has it made you anxious about the credibility, or the issues of the report, or just the regular rigmarole of bureaucracy?



SOLTIS ANDERSON: Rigmarole of bureaucracy. It's not my sense that the timing is, is the sort of thing, frankly.

I look at this from the perspective of a pollster, right, is what's in this report, is how it's released going to affect public opinion, in any way. I haven't necessarily viewed this delay, as being something that would be hugely consequential, in terms of how the public will receive it.

I think what we've seen, over the last year, has been that as this Committee has rolled out things, even though there hasn't necessarily been one blockbuster that has been an earthquake in the polls, slowly over time, it really has re-asserted to a lot of people that democracy is a garden that needs tending that there is - that you can't just take things for granted.

I think we saw, in the midterm elections, with voters saying that they did have these anxieties, about the state of our democracy, and division. That stuff's all still here very present.

So, even though we've had a little bit of a delay, on this report, I think, for most Americans, that's the kind of thing that we talk about, here, in the news, and that you talk about, in Washington, but isn't the sort of big thing that's going to move numbers.

COATES: And, on that point, it does seem like, I mean, that in some respects, although I am eager to get it, in my hands, and read it?


COATES: I will admit that. I am impatient about wanting to see it.


COATES: But the date is arbitrary, in terms of why it has to be today, or yesterday.


COATES: But we have, also to Kristen's point, we've seen a lot. We've seen 10 public hearings, and 11 summation hearing as well.


COATES: The summary transcripts are out. We've seen video as well.

What are you looking for, Maria, to see more information about, at this point?

CARDONA: I think - well, first of all, to back up what Kristen said, it is, I think, something that we expect, from this committee.

Because they've been very serious, throughout this whole thing. And I think they are focused on being careful, and being correct, and being precise, as opposed to being quick, and making news, right, though they have made news throughout.

And, I think, what I'm looking for, Laura, is what additional tidbits are there, in this report they're going to add to - I do think there were some quite bombastic news pieces, in this report throughout, and then all of the testimony that really did bring to light, just how close we were, to losing our democracy.

And I think that to the point about what Americans were so concerned about, in the midterm elections, this report, I think, it's going to put everything, in a bigger and broader context, for us to never forget, what happened here, and more importantly, how can, we avoid, for it to never happen again.

And we already saw Congress take some steps, to do that, right, with the passing of the Electoral Vote Act. That was a big piece of this. Though you would think that we wouldn't need to do something like that, but it clearly was something that was needed, given what happened on January 6.

So what else needs to happen to make sure that we are never on the brink of losing our democracy, again?

COATES: Let's bring in Jessica here, Jessica Schneider, at the moment. And she is a Justice Correspondent.

Jessica, what are you learning, tonight?

SCHNEIDER: Well, Laura, I was just on set with you. We were saying when is this report coming out?


And then, literally, I got off set, and we got the word that this final report has, in fact been delivered to Congress, and that it will in fact be delivered publicly, tonight. So, now it's just a matter of when exactly this report is released.

We have a whole team of people, standing by, ready to jump on this report, as soon as it's publicly released. Of course, this is going to be a massive report. We're expecting close to 1,000 pages. We've already seen that executive summary spanning about 150 pages.

But there's a lot more to come, we understand, several chapters. So, it's something that our team is going to be parsing through, at this pretty late hour now that we've been waiting for this report, probably since about midday, Wednesday.

But yes, Laura, it has been filed with the House of Representatives, and we are expecting it to be publicly released, really, at any minute here. It's just a waiting game.

COATES: Do we have any information, I wonder about the - whether it's available online? Are you going to be able to actually click through, and read transcripts, or the video? I wonder how this will unfold.

I know we're still getting information. But I am very curious about the vehicle by which it's going to be publicized, and how people can actually get and see it.

SCHNEIDER: That's actually--

COATES: Do you have any information?

SCHNEIDER: That's actually a really good question, here. Because one of the things that we knew is that of course, they had to send this to their printer, to get everything printed, and ready to be read, by the public.

At this point, though, I'm actually not exactly aware, of how they're going to release this, to the public. I know how they're going to release it to the media. They're going to send it out to the people who have been covering this Committee.

But it's not clear, at least I haven't had the information, as to how exactly this is going to be publicly released. Perhaps on the House of Representatives' website? That's something that I'll actually check out, right now, Laura, and probably get back to you on.

COATES: It's so important. Thank you, Jessica. I know it's difficult to get all the information. And you're doing such a wonderful job, trying to bring us what you have, when you have it. It does feel urgent to people. And thank you for all that you are doing.


COATES: And I want to turn back to our panel here, because Maria, and Kristen, I mean, there's a lot.

And again, I can't underscore enough. We have been watching, for months now, these hearings. I would be surprised, if there were many surprises, contained in these documents that did not make it to air, right? You know the value of the medium, the visual medium that is television, right?


COATES: And so, if you're sort of hiding your ace, and waiting for that proverbial trump card, so to speak, and just have it buried in the footnote, I mean, I would be stunned. Dumber things have happened in Washington, D.C. I'll admit that.

But in terms of why it's important, now, let's just contextualize this, because, we are going into 2023. As we go, right into 2024, and a presidential election year, and an outgoing Congresswoman, Liz Cheney, a Republican, has been stressing time after time, why this is urgent, because it's a continuing threat. You're a pollster, and you're constantly having your thumb on the pulse of what people are thinking about, and what matters to them. Are you getting a sense that there is still interest, and a concerted interest, in getting this information, even now?

SOLTIS ANDERSON: I think for folks on the Republican side, there's an exhaustion and a desire, to move on.

Now, that's not to say that a lot of Republicans don't look at what happened, on January 6, and think it was horrible. But there is still a pretty big difference, in the polls that I'm seeing, in terms of how the parties are viewing, not was January 6 terrible or not, but what should we be doing about it now.

And, for Republicans, there is a lot of the sense of "I want to turn the page and move on." Now, the one way that that could perhaps be good news, for some, who don't necessarily like the former President, is that that also means for many Republicans, they're sick of re- litigating 2020, altogether.

So, not just re-litigating January 6, and who was responsible, and what have you, but also the re-litigation of the 2020 election, entirely, that there are a number of Republicans out there, in focus groups, I conduct, in the surveys, I'm seeing, that say, "Look, I think Donald Trump did some good things in policy. But I'm sick of the re-litigation of that election. I'm ready to turn the page."

So, that's how that dynamic could play out in a way that somebody like Liz Cheney might actually be in favor of.

COATES: And real quick, Maria, I'd give you the last word on this. You saw that fatigue, with re-litigation, from the midterm elections, and the red wave that did not materialize.


COATES: Is this going to help in that effort?

CARDONA: I actually think this is going to be a huge challenge for Kevin McCarthy, who is coming in as a supposed - well, we don't even know yet. But he wants to be Speaker of the House.

But what we're seeing is he doesn't even have the votes yet. He's trying to get to 218. And what is he doing to get to 218? He's engaging in a corrupt bargain. He is selling out to his MAGA caucus, who knows what, promises on investigations, promises on impeachment. And all of that comes back to the re-litigation of 2020, because it's all based on the Big Lie. The MAGA caucus believes the Big Lie.


Everyone in that Congress, who Kevin McCarthy is going to have to kneel to, in order to get their votes, and then who knows what else, he's going to have to do, to placate them, in the next two years? It's going to be a huge challenge for Kevin McCarthy, to then demonstrate to the American people that they deserve to continue to have control of the House, if they're not going to be able to show that they're interested in governing, and they're interested in legislating, on solutions for the American people, which is what they promised during the election.

COATES: A lot at stake, clearly, for everyone involved.

We're going to keep bringing you information, as we get it here, tonight. The January 6 committee, releasing their report, tonight, all 845 pages of it, and we are downloading it, right now. Our speed readers are standing by. We'll bring you what we are learning, next.

And up next, a huge storm, bearing down the entire nation, just a few days before Christmas. We'll tell you who's getting hit the worst, after this.


COATES: The January 6 committee releasing its report, tonight. CNN now has the report. Our team is going through all 800-plus pages, right now.

And also, happening now, more than half of the United States' population is facing extreme wind chill alerts, as a bomb cyclone sweeps across the entire country.

Britley Ritz is at the CNN Weather Center.

Britley, where is this storm moving to now?


BRITLEY RITZ, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, right now, what's currently happening, over the Ohio Valley, and the Great Lakes, soon moving into the Mid-Atlantic, and right up the Eastern Seaboard into New England.

And all these areas highlighted in yellow, or orange, even red, and purple, indicating more of that major to extreme travel issue, all across the Ohio Valley, dealing with it, at the moment.

Winter storm warnings, in place. Now, mind you, this is a holiday weekend. So, the best advice I can give you is just stay home. If you have to travel, slow down.

Blizzard warnings, by the way, still in effect, too, as the snow continues to come down, now, switching over through the Miami Valley, down into the Tennessee River Valley, starting to see some snowflakes into Nashville, believe it or not. Otherwise, it's rain, and heavy rain, impacting Washington, D.C., on up into Philadelphia.

But see that rain snow line? That's where the cold fronts moved through, and that cold frigid air continues to follow behind it, again, why we're dealing with so much snow.

Across the Great Lakes, that cold air rushes over the warmer waters, and we get that lake enhancement, and these are areas that could pick up roughly 24 inches, by the time it's all said and done. And of course, when that front moves through, now we're talking about wind chills that are dropping down to nearly 35 below, if not colder.

COATES: Britley, thank you so much.

Unbelievable to think about this storm, and just looking at that, the swath, the scope of this, arctic blast, and these below-zero temperatures, and wind chill, unbelievable!

Thank you for keeping us so up to date.

Everyone, continue to watch. And up next, the breaking news, the January 6 committee releases its final report. It is here. Our CNN team is going through it all, right now. Stay with us.