Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Tonight

January 6 Committee Releases Its Final Report; John Eastman First Called The White House Prior To Insurrection; Too Many Topics Not Brought Up In Hearings; Rudy Giuliani Called GOP House Members On January 6. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired December 22, 2022 - 22:00   ET




LAURA COATES, CNN ANCHOR: Our breaking news this hour certainly is breaking indeed. The January 6th committee has now released its final report just moments ago. It is here.

I want to bring in CNN Justice Correspondent Jessica Schneider. Jessica, I understand the committee is making very specific recommendations about how law enforcement and also, of course, legislative bodies ought to proceed now in the wake of this report and their findings. Tell us what are you learning.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Laura, that's the big takeaway from this report. So, it is 845 pages. The vast majority of that actually encapsulates eight chapters where they lay out the entire narrative surrounding up to and including January 6th. But the real meat of this is not until page 689, and it lays out about, let's see, 11 different recommendations this committee is making. I want to highlight a few for people.

And, Laura, you were asking before where can people go to actually read this entire report. It is up on the committee's website. It's

The big takeaway from this is very interesting. They are outlining several steps that many different bodies, whether it's Congress, bar associations within different states or law enforcement agencies, the steps that they should take as a result of this comprehensive report from this committee.

The biggest one that I'm seeing here is that this committee is recommending that there be steps taken to enforce the 14th Amendment Section 3. This committee says, of course, that that part of the Constitution says anyone that incites an insurrection should be barred from holding any future office. So, specifically, it says the committee believes that those who took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution on January 6th should be barred, disqualified and barred from holding government office.

And if you read between the lines there, of course, they are pointing directly at the former president, Trump, who has already announced his candidacy for 2024. So, that's a big step for this committee saying that, look, it's right there in the Constitution. If you incite an insurrection, you are barred from holding future office. Unclear if that would be actually implemented, but the committee is urging that.

And one other important thing here, Laura, they're talking about how law enforcement agencies, federal agencies, Secret Service really need to take a hard look at violent extremism, because, of course, that's part of what amplified and sort of fed into this mob movement that moved to the Capitol on January 6th, breached the Capitol, stormed inside, resulted in injuries, even a few deaths. So, they're saying that law enforcement, other agencies need to take a big look at that.

And then, of course, they're also saying -- I'll end here, Laura -- they're talking about the Electoral Count Act. And, of course, they want to codify that no vice president, no other official can ever overthrow the electoral count, the electors that have been chosen via individual states. Of course, that was something that the former president was pushing Vice President Mike Pence to do. It's something ultimately the vice president refused to do.

But the committee here pointing out that the House of Representatives has passed what's called the Presidential Election Reform Act. They're now urging the Senate to pass that as well, so that it is codified that the vice president does not have any power in this process, which, of course, sort of was one of the initial points that the former president tried to seize on and urged the vice president to overturn the election.

But a lot in here, Laura, most of it, though, the narrative here, and really expounding upon everything they've shown in testimony, in public testimony, putting it in black and white and then in these appendices detailing the recommendations that they're making about what can be done now.

COATES: Jessica Schneider, thank you. Keep going through it and bring us exactly what you have.


I appreciate so much.

I want to bring Liam Donovan, former National Republican Senatorial Committee Aide, also former Federal Prosecutor Shan Wu and CNN Political Analyst Margaret Talev, Managing Editor at Axios.

I mean, to summarize what we're hearing here, it's the now what part of the actual January 6th committee, the now what, involving waiting for what happened. We knew what happened from the different hearings, ten public hearings. You had, of course, the 11 summation hearing that happened a couple days ago. But the question was always going to be now what, now what for the electorate come the midterms, presidential election coming up, but now what for the other agencies and entities.

And going through and thinking about a legislative solution, one for law enforcement, one for Secret Service and intelligence, all very important to think about what to do now. What do you make of it, Liam, in terms of the presentation to encompass here's where we go from here?

LIAM DONOVAN, FORMER NATIONAL REPUBLICAN SENATORIAL COMMITTEE AIDE: Well, first of all, I think the fact this is coming out 10:00 on a Thursday night means they will be very careful making sure this was completely ready to go. Because if they released this and it had any iota of errors or mistakes, I think that would be leapt on immediately by the former president and by Republicans. So, I think that's one of the things they've been very deliberate and methodical. I think this is no different.

But, again, the reason they're coming out with this now is they lose power in a few weeks. These are suggestions but that's about all they have. The good news regarding the Electoral Count Act is the Senate they did pass it today as part of the omnibus. But as far as the 14th Amendment questions, those sorts of things, I don't think that's going to persuade many people. I will leave that question to the lawyers. But I think that's takeaway, is how careful they've been, and this is just a punctuation mark on what has been a broader exercise.

COATES: Well, from punctuation mark now, Shan, to the question mark of whether the 14 Amendment part can actually can be implemented, and remember there is part of a criminal charge referred about Donald Trump, about an incitement of an insurrection, where the language does track the 14th Amendment to have a similar consequence if he were convicted of that charge. What do you make of the question of whether that's a possibility to pursue it in that matter?

SHAN WU, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I think that's a possibility. And I think it's important to remember for the 14th Amendment language, that's not really defined as being only triggered by criminal conviction. So, as there had been some attempts to do that across the country, people could raise that to try to stop certain candidates from getting on the ballot.

COATES: Madison Cawthorne, Marjorie Taylor Greene, for example, right?

WU: Yes, they haven't been successful so far, but they can raise it.

And we've talked a lot more about how this could be a blueprint for DOJ, the referrals and such, but it's very much also a blueprint for the country. Maybe Congress can't do anything at the moment, but this tells them what they can do. I mean, the recommendations, for example, to clarify the 15 12C of the obstruction of the proceeding issue really important for Congress to think about that.

Similarly, there's civil enforcement power for the subpoena is also on the recommendations. And we've seen just how blurry that is, how long it takes to get any compliance. So, these are things that Congress can do. The committee is putting forth these ideas. And, frankly, it's time for Congress to take back some of this power instead of letting everything be decided by the Supreme Court. But that's a different story.

COATES: Well, yes. We have a whole show about this, Shan, you talk about. But the idea of clarifying things, remember, this is legislative body, they are the ones that make the laws. So, if there's a loophole or shortcoming something no longer relevant or unclear, that is part of their role to do.

On the issue, Margaret, in terms of the amplification on the intelligence is one part, but the Electoral Count Aspect of it, I mean, there was bipartisan support for the premise of, look, we don't want there to be some confusion as to whether you can pressure someone or can I, can I not, of a Vice President Mike Pence back in 2020. They're trying to solidify to prevent it from happening again because democracies, of course, require elections to keep happening.

MARGARET TALEV, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: And yet that act, the Electoral Vote Act reform, may be the end of the road legislatively at least for now. You've got a Republican majority coming into the House. You see Kevin McCarthy who I think is going to become speaker. You see what a teeny tiny narrow margin he has to work with, what kind of pressure he faces from his right flank.

Most of the action now on the details of the report are going to move to Justice Department. It's an 845-page report for everyone, all the viewers who are Googling it right now furiously. But just it begins with a statement from the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, from Bennie Thompson, the Democratic chair, African-American man from Mississippi, Liz Cheney, the Republican vice chair, Republican from Wyoming. Their statements, I think, frame the way they want the public and the history books to understand the purpose of these findings.

Pelosi writing that this committee did a job of vigilantly guarding our democracy and is calling on Americans to vote only for those who are dutiful in their defense of our Constitution, meaning, don't vote for election deniers, don't vote for people who try to block the legitimate results of an election.


Bennie Thompson saying he thinks most Americans are going to turn their backs on what he calls enemies of democracy, but saying that he believes white supremacists and violent extremists are going to rally to the side of election deniers, so trying to frame it in those terms, and Liz Cheney, a Republican talking about her great, great grandfather joining the union army to try to help Lincoln hold the country together.

Those are the three narratives that the House speaker and the two chairs and the vice chair of the committee want to frame this, to say this is not about partisan politics, this is about American democracy.

COATES: And what's so interesting about those three perspectives, and I'm glad you detailed especially the journey and the personal story behind it, Congresswoman Liz Cheney spoke to this issue at her final statement, right, talking about, of course, Lincoln, speaking about Ronald Reagan as well, talking about this need. And all of that really speaks to, in my mind, the current threat as opposed to a retrospective look at what was.

There's a tension there, though, Liam, right? On the one hand, you've got the idea of by focusing on what happened on January 6th, it being no longer January 6th, we are all retrospective in looking at that. We're looking at the past hoping it'll become prologue. On the other hand, you talk about turning the page and thinking what next. Is that tension reconcilable in terms of how to move forward with the now what philosophy in this report?

DONOVAN: Well, there's a couple of different split screens here. Republicans on the one hand would love to move forward, would love to tell Democrats to stop living in the past. But the former president is living in the past. He's the one that wants to keep re-litigating this. So, that's problem A1.

COATES: And current candidate.

DONOVAN: And current candidate, excuse me. But the other thing here, as you mentioned, Liz Cheney, she's essentially been chased out of the party. It's persona non grata, which has its own -- there's a lot happening there. But the split screen with the fact that the Senate without incident passed with broad bipartisan support the Electoral Count Act today.

So, there is a sort of recognition at some level that these things were important and had to be done and were unquestionable, because even people that opposed the omnibus were doing it on grounds of $1.7 trillion spending, not on this reform. So, even as they grumble about these RINOs that are dwelling in the past, they realized the past had holes that needed to be reformed and plugged up. So, I think they'd love nothing more than to move forward. The question is will the former president allow it to.

TALEV: But you make such a good point because we all talk about how Congress is dysfunctional, can't get anything done and how they've become a weaker branch of government. If Congress agreed on stuff across bipartisan lines, they could be extremely powerful and get a lot of stuff done.

COATES: Imagine that. Imagine what that -- what is this world you speak about? Is it in Washington, D.C., whatever it is --

TALEV: I think what we saw with the select committee is that when things devolve along partisan lines and when it turns into a food fight, hearings are weak, the subpoena power is weak. You just say Fifth Amendment, Fifth Amendment, Fifth Amendment, and nothing happens to most of the people who say that. If this had been -- it was a bipartisan committee but if it would have been a truly bipartisan effort with bipartisan buy-in, these -- the past year of hearings would have been incredibly powerful. I mean, they learned a lot anyway but if members of both parties had said, you know what, everyone here needs to be held accountable, you need to answer those questions, I actually think their results would have been even more --

WU: What's the name for that simulation?

COATES: It's called democracy. They call that that. But you know what? It's also called transparency, and I'm not making light of it because that was part of the reason that you heard the committee say they wanted this to be in this full format, offering the transcripts as well. We're combing through the more than 800 pages as we speak. And, of course, we've all seen the ten-plus public hearings up until now. But Congresswoman Liz Cheney and others, including Congressman Thompson, the chair, were very clear, if somehow you missed all of that, here it is.

And we're going to bring you more here, much more on the breaking news coverage ahead, the January 6th committee releasing its final report. Stay with us.



COATES: Our breaking news tonight, the House January 6th committee releasing now its final report just a short time ago.

I want to bring in former U.S. Attorney Harry Litman. Harry, I'm so glad that you're with us tonight. This is a very significant day. We've been waiting for this not just since Wednesday but really since, well, probably January 6th when the committee was actually empanelled.

I'm wondering in terms of -- you've seen the recommendations. There's about 11 of them that goes beyond the initial executive summary. It includes things like the Electoral Count Act, it includes accountability, a deeper dive into violent extremism, it includes national special security event and the protocol that you do to prevent this from happening.

But one in particular that I'm really curious about your take as a former prosecutor is this 14th Amendment Section 3, the one where, frankly, you recall from the second impeachment of the former president, Donald Trump, a focus was on the disqualification of somebody from holding office -- now we're in the future -- if they participated or helped to incite or give comfort and aid to insurrectionists, for example. Tell me about this particular section, what stands out to you about this recommendation.

HARRY LITMAN, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: The first thing that stands out is the committee is actually going for it. So, Raskin made it clear in his remarks, so did the vice chair, Cheney. It's a bit of a constitutional puzzle, and I've thought about this and studied it a lot, how exactly you effectuate this provision in the 14th Amendment that says, once you have sworn an oath to the Constitution and then committed an insurrection, you may not serve in the future.


It has to be -- it has to be the case it can be brought into effect. And yet there's some law out there that suggests Congress has to vote it. There's some law that suggests just a judge or a jury could find it.

I think the committee wasn't Sure, but they really want to make this play. And you can see it, the kind of grand compromise to just dislodge from the body politics. So, the big thing is they're going for it. And remember just this week, 40 Democrats in the House of Representatives have done a motion to try to effectuate just this.

Raskin is clearly the author of it. He's the constitutional law professor. It must be able to be done but how exactly is a mystery, and they want to get it right because the risk is you go through all the steps and the Supreme Court then backs it down. So, that's something that really jumped out at me, jumped out even on Monday.

COATES: It's a really important point because the idea of the proof and the going for it, given the fact, I mean, on the one hand, Harry, it's great news. It's not a whole lot of precedent on a case like this, right? You don't want there to be volumes about case law that actually talks about people who were aiding and abetting or giving aid and comfort or actually inciting insurrections against our government. But because of that and in this case law and common law system that we're in when we look at former cases, and we decide how to go forward based on the former holdings of the court, it is a difficult thing to address.

But in their criminal referrals, you remember, there was language about the incitement statute they were trying to articulate. The language tracks in some respects the same outcome. Was that a way to try to nudge the DOJ to look into a statute that would do this very thing if it was politically unavailable to them through the impeachment?

LITMAN: I think 100 percent, although they also want to do it on their own. It's smart precedent there, but the last time it was done, it was by vote of Congress. There's a 19th century precedent that says it has to be voted by Congress. They want to do it both ways. They want to do belt and suspenders, and there's all kinds of different reasons why it's tricky. I think you'll remember this is a qualification. There are only three or four in the Constitution. You have to be 35 years old, you can't be foreign-born, and you may not have done this.

Now, the Supreme Court has made it clear you can't add to those qualifications. But if you're doing that insurrection, that's what tracks the 14th Amendment. And it's a hard charge, Laura, as you know. It's got a checkered history. We have Trump saying, be peaceful, there's no real agreement here. They have to go by aiding and abetting. That's why, though, I believe it showed up in this final list of four, and it was the surprise entry of the four. We're really going to see in subsequently weeks how this plays out.

COATES: I also want to address this because, you know, you and I have had these conversations over the better part of six years at this point about the notion of subpoena power and what it takes as prosecutors -- when you give someone a subpoena, it's not like an invitation to a tea party you can sort of just decline. You're supposed to show up. But then in recent years, the subpoenas that have been issued by Congress, their noses have been thumbed at Congress for a variety of reasons.

One of the recommendations in this very report deals with the House's civil subpoena enforcement authority. And they say the current authority on how to enforce their own subpoenas through civil litigation is unclear. This is a really interesting take because they probably anticipate the fact that there has been a precedent set about people no longer seeing the gravitas that ought to be attached to a congressional subpoena.

LITMAN: It's a great point. And, really, it's the same. It's gotten (INAUDIBLE), say, well, you can ignore a congressional (INAUDIBLE). The only reason is Congresses only last two years and once they expire, a subpoena expires while Trump in particular. And before four years ago, it was honor or negotiated, but they developed this strategy of just playing it out until Congress folds. So, you're right, it is one of the big recommendations.

There are four appendices at the end. You've dealt with almost four of them. There's also the foreign corruption and the big lie, the graft, as it were, where Trump raised all this money and used it for bad purposes. But that's about half of what's big here.

And the other half, there are little snippets that they didn't present to us.


They did a very good job, the committee, of really putting their best feet forward. But now, there's a whole bunch that we didn't see because it wasn't in the front of the hearings, but that really does fill in the details. Roger Stone, for example, or the way the Proud Boys took Trump will be wowed as a summons to come to D.C., the way he knew about the big lie, those little shadings are be done.

Other than that, though, I think the 14th Amendment thing you just mentioned is huge and these series of recommendations in the appendices.

COATES: So important, Harry Litman, thank you for your insight. One I'm going to get to as well tonight, they recommend about the role of the media. And it's important that we go there as well and the Congress to make a point to address the role of the media in disinformation, in false information and also social media.

Everyone, stay with us, much more on the breaking news ahead, the January 6th committee releasing its final report this evening. We'll be right back.



COATES: The breaking news tonight. The long-awaited final report of the House January 6th select committee is finally public.

I want to bring in CNN justice correspondent Jessica Schneider, who has further information on the plot to overturn the election and how it was formulated. What do you got?

SCHNEIDER: Yes, our team has been parsing through this 800-plus page report, and we're learning a lot more fine details about this fake elector plot, and sort of how it all began and who really pushed it.

And of course, we've all heard the name John Eastman, that conservative attorney who is really the architect of this plan to overturn the election. Well, some more details that the committee is releasing in this report is that John Eastman, it looks like might have first tried to make contact with President Trump at the White House on December 23rd, 2020, almost exactly two years ago.

And the committee is documenting how John Eastman put in an e-mail to President Trump's assistant, Molly Michael at the time, at 1.32 p.m. that day, and then was eventually connected to the White House through the switchboard.

It was a call that lasted 23 minutes, and John Eastman apparently talked about his memo to ensure that President Trump is reelected. And in it he talked about the way that Vice President Pence could potentially overturn the election, of course, something Pence refused to do.

In addition to that, the committee's report also talks about a little- known Trump attorney named Kenneth Chesebro. And Kenneth Chesebro was actually, the architect of this fake elector plot coming up with these fake elect doors in battleground states who would be in favor of Trump, who they would try to insert as the actual electors in those states that Biden won instead.

Of course, what's interesting about this is this is a key line of investigation for state prosecutors, particularly in Georgia, as well as federal prosecutors now with the special counsel's office. They're really homing into this idea that there was this broad conspiracy potentially to put forth this fraud with these fake electors. Trying to get these people together to present themselves as the real electors for President Trump in those states that President Biden actually won.

So, Laura, just a few more threads that the committee maybe didn't necessarily get to with the public testimony that we saw throughout the summer and these numerous hearings, but a little bit more detail that is in this report that we continue to parse through here about just how detailed this plot was to overturn the election.

COATES: The idea of having this laid out in this way in the details, I think is so impactful to really further understand. As you know, there were 10 public hearings. Not everything was contained in those hearings. You had things that were obviously part of the transcripts, things that were almost the high level highline headlines that were going on.

But this idea of the switchboards you talk about is so interesting. Because remember, there was a lot of conversation, Jessica, about the phone logs and about who was calling it the White House. Were these numbers traced in some meaningful way? Who was responsible? And also, the process by which people were instrumental on this broad conspiracy, as you say about the fake elector plot, about that Eastman memo. I mean, this cast a very wide net in this particular report. SCHNEIDER: Yes. And they're also giving this roadmap to the

investigators, the committee is saying we've gathered all this information. Investigators, whether you're the local D.A. like Fani Willis down in Georgia, who has been actively investigating this fake elector plot, or whether your prosecutors from the special counsel's office, Jack Smith, who's that position was created just a few weeks ago to take over this investigation.

The committee has a lot more details that presumably state and federal prosecutors already have. They've been doing these investigations on simultaneous tracks. But you're right. And interestingly that note about John Eastman's call into the White House, that did come from John Eastman's phone logs, not the White House.

So, it doesn't appear that the committee actually got White House phone logs, but they of course, were able to subpoena phone records from various people that they were targeting -- targeting. Notice -- notably here John Eastman did in fact go before the committee, but he pleaded the fifth for pretty much every question that he was asked and did not get to the heart of this.

But they were able to glean this information from e-mails, phone records, and potentially other witnesses as well, Laura.

COATES: It's so important to think about where we are. Jessica, thank you so much.

I want to bring back to the conversation in just a moment. After a quick break, we're going to delve more into this with our prosecutors or our political analysts as well going deep into a deep dive over what's happening now in this report, and unpacking some really important passages that you need to hear about.

We'll be right back.



COATES: All right. The breaking news tonight, everyone. You finally have it. It's the House January 6th select committee. They've got their final report. It's been released within the hour.

Back with me now, former federal prosecutor, Shan Wu, and CNN political analyst, Margaret Talev is also here as well. You know, I want to go through this with you all, but there's a really interesting part that I think we want to focus on as well.

And there's so much, again in this report. It's 845 pages. We got a lot going on here. I've -- I've read the entire thing. It's wonderful. But there's a part in here that really delves into Rudy Giuliani.

And the reason it's important is because one other recommendation that they have outlined here is about accountability. And they reference disciplinary proceedings and boards that have, and bodies that are responsible for overseeing the legal profession. [22:39:52]

Now remember, Vice President Mike Pence recently said, hey, I don't if you want to hold, I'm paraphrasing here, hold Donald Trump accountable for getting bad advice from a lawyer. Remember this moment?

Well, you have now the conversation about what is at stake when they do. So reading from, this is page 608 for those following along. It's available right now. He's talking about Giuliani. And saying, he began frantically calling the White House line the very minute that the president's video went up on Twitter. Failing to get through he called back once every minute, 4.17 p.m., 4.18 p.m., 4.19 p.m., 4.20 p.m.

He managed to get through briefly to Mark Meadows at 4.21 p.m. and then kept calling the White House line at 4.22 p.m. three times on two different phones at 4.23 and 4:24 p.m., and once more at 5.05 p.m.

Now it goes on that he finally managed to speak with the president at 5.07 p.m. and the two spoke for almost 12 minutes. Now, what's important here as well is who he spoke to in Congress. After he spoke with President Trump, the report says, Giuliani's phone calls went nearly, without fail, to members of Congress, Senator Marsha Blackburn, and then Senator Mike Lee.

He made three calls to Senator Bill Haggerty, then to representative Jim Jordan. He called Senator Lindsey Graham and he called Senator Josh Hawley and Senator Ted Cruz. Giuliani had two calls with Senator Dan Sullivan over the course of the evening, and there were another three calls to Congressman Jordan. None of which connected.

After 8.06 p.m. when the joint session resumed, the calls to members of Congress finally stopped until the afterwards he had one final call of nine minutes with the president.

And so, you think about that and remember that documentary footage that we saw of Speaker Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer, and Congressman McCarthy and so many others who were in that room that day underneath the capitol in different areas. And all the calls that were being made, and yet there were calls being made and spoken with the -- with the president of the United States, but not from those who were in danger. What does that strike you as?

SHAN WU, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, I mean, what really strikes me like they say in the report is they're still trying to stop it even at that stage. I mean, all of Giuliani's calls are aimed at that. There's a snippet of a voicemail that he left that's quoted in report where he's basically saying, we just need some more time because the legislators are so close to pulling it.

I mean, that is a very much of a smoking gun in terms of his intent, what he is trying to do. And apparently, he initially tried to resist answering questions, saying those was attorney-client privileged.


WU: You know, going to 0.2, the accountability, I mean, that is just completely baseless and there's good reason why he's facing potential jeopardy of his bar license.


COATES: Just so we're clear. Just because I'm an attorney and we're talking right now, our discussion is not privileged. You know, it is the idea that we're -- how we're having it, and so his claims these are all privileged conversations it's nonsensical, which has been raised many times.

But Margaret, as you're reading through this report and you're seeing some things we saw really completely in the public hearings and in these public videotaped statements, et cetera, what is striking you right now as you are reviewing it to see it all laid out this way in recommendation form as to the - now what.

TALEV: I do think it's the granularity of the detail and it is the connecting of the dots, as long and as fulsome as those hearings were, you can't put 845 pages and copious footnotes into televised hearings. Everybody's heads would explode --


TALEV: -- or people would pass out of confusion. So, there is a meticulousness a dot connecting here that simply can't translate to a televised hearing and can't be digested in one night. We're going to pick out parts tonight and we'll see new parts tomorrow and new parts the next day.

Even though I think you're right, that all of the sort of bombshell revelations, the stuff that's made for a TV audience has already, you know, been put out there by this committee. Sometimes in the big scheme of things the things that don't always seem obvious early on become important later.

And I think as this, as all of this evidence now moves into the legal venue, to the Justice Department venue, and potentially assists a Justice Department investigation, or potentially assists Donald Trump and his allies. We don't know. It is many of what seem like small details. The call log, the number of calls, who the calls went to, who the calls didn't went to. How you juxtapose those timeframes with, you know, Pelosi, McConnell and Schumer hiding for their safety in a bunker.

It is things that were not apparent in previous hearings may become important in the revelations that are in this report tonight.


COATES: You know, what you, what Margaret describes really is the essence of a closing argument, right? The idea of for most juries you are looking at information, you're seeing it and you're hearing the testimony come in, but it's up to the prosecutor of a case, or in this instance, the legislative committee to try to bring it all together and help you understand.

But I think what's so striking about this is we have a tendency in this world to try to harm the messenger and we will relegate to the trash, depending upon who the messenger is. But when you read it for yourself, combine with what you saw with your own eyes on January 6th, it's a horse of a different color.

We'll continue to read the 845-page horse today. And much more on our breaking news coverage up ahead. The January 6 committee finally releasing its final report. Stay with us.



COATES: All right, look everyone, we are back with our breaking news.

Tonight, we've got the January 6th select committee's final report. It is here.

And I want to bring in former assistant special Watergate prosecutor Nick Akerman to join the conversation. Nick, this is 845-plus pages with the footnotes and as well appendices, you've got forewords by the Speaker of the House, the chairman of the committee, Bennie Thompson, the vice chair of course, you've got Congresswoman Liz Cheney.

You've got at least 11 recommendations. That have been made already. One of course includes the 14th amendment section three, the idea of being disqualified from being able to hold office ever again. You've got discussion surrounding threats to election workers and the idea of adding more severe penalties in the event that their criminal statutes are not beefed up enough. You've got civil subpoena enforcement authority, just to name a few.

What is sticking out for you in terms of this report tonight?

NICK AKERMAN, FORMER ASSISTANT SPECIAL WATERGATE PROSECUTOR: I think what is most significant out of this report is that it actually lays out evidence now, admissible evidence in a court of law, whether it's in federal court in Washington, D.C. or state court in Georgia that proves Donald Trump is guilty of these crimes beyond a reasonable doubt.

Just to give you one little snippet here of a set of facts that are laid out by this committee that they uncovered during the course of this investigation. You can start with an e-mail from John Eastman on December 31st, 2000, where he writes to the other lawyers on the team, saying that they're about to file a federal lawsuit in Georgia federal court, but that they're concerned because they had initially filed a lawsuit in Georgia state court and that Donald Trump had submitted a declaration there, basically stating that so many dead people voted, that so many felons voted and that a certain number of people that didn't even live in the state of Georgia voted.

But the problem was that Donald Trump now knew as this -- as of December 31st that this was all false, but yet, they had to file a federal action, basically reciting these same facts. And the concern was that this would come back to bite Donald Trump because he knew it was false. Well, what did they do? They still filed that federal lawsuit. Donald

Trump swore under oath that these same facts occurred, but then on top of it all, two days later, January 2nd, Donald Trump makes this call to Brad Raffensperger, the secretary of state of Georgia, which as it turns out, Mr. Raffensperger tape recorded unbeknownst to Donald Trump.

And during that call, Donald Trump raised those specific issues. He said to Raffensperger, you know, X number of people, dead people voted, X number of felons voted, X number of people who didn't live in Georgia voted. And Brad Raffensperger took him through point by point and told him exactly that none of this was true, that they didn't investigate.

For example, there was only one dead person that voted, not 10,000 dead people that voted. And then, lo and behold, Donald Trump goes out a few days later and makes public pronouncements making the exact same lies all over again, even though he was told by the official in Georgia that none of this was true. So, you've got this evidence --

COATES: Now --

AKERMAN: -- just in a very short period of time on a very discreet issue relating only to Georgia that shows that he lied. And it's the same lies that were repeated in Arizona, that were repeated in Wisconsin. I mean, once you start to put together this web of evidence, the details, the minute details that are sprinkled throughout this report --


AKERMAN: -- becoming onto a case that can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

COATES: Well, you know, Nick, it occurs to me who might be watch reading this and I'm sure reading it thoroughly is not just say, a Jack Smith special counsel, but one Fulton County D.A., Fani Willis as well.

Much more ahead tonight, everyone on our breaking news. The January 6th committee has now released its report, all 845 pages of it. It's available right now for the public. We are going through it here. We're going to bring you the very latest here on CNN.




COATES: This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Laura Coates.