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Erin Burnett Outfront
Prosecutors Looking at Trump's Role in Inciting Mob; Calls Grow to Invoke 25th Amendment; Dems Eye Quick Impeachment; Sources: Dem Leadership Weighing a Quick Impeachment Vote if Pence Rejects Attempt to Remove Trump from Office; Trump Releases New Video Addressing Capitol Violence Amid Slew of Resignations, Including First Cabinet Member. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired January 07, 2021 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM. You can always follow me on Twitter and Instagram @WOLFBLITZER. Tweet the show @CNNSITROOM. Erin Burnett our front starts right now.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next breaking news, CNN learning Democrats are eyeing a quick impeachment vote as federal prosecutors are refusing to rule out charges against Trump for his role on the attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Also breaking, the U.S. Capitol Police Chief is resigning in the wake of the riot as we learned that pipe bombs were also found at the RNC and DNC headquarters as well as on Capitol grounds.
And tonight, we are uncovering new details about the rioters and exactly who they are. You will see. Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.
OUTFRONT tonight the breaking news, the President of the United States is in increasing legal jeopardy at this hour. Federal prosecutors say they are looking at President Trump's role in inciting the insurrection that the entire world witness live in our nation's capital yesterday. Also, tonight calls growing from both parties to invoke the 25th Amendment to immediately remove Trump from office.
And if Vice President Mike Pence and Trump's cabinet don't go ahead and do that, we are now learning that Speaker Nancy Pelosi is considering a lightning quick impeachment process which could be done in a couple of days. All of this because of what transpired, thanks to Trump yesterday.
The U.S. Capitol security breached, its offices ransacked, a mob marching on the Capitol, Congress forced to stop counting the Electoral College vote forced to flee and evacuate, offices ransacked, four lives lost, and it was with words and deeds. Many of them we've all seen, but ones like this one from the President of the United States, this was just before they started marching, here's what he told them. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're going to walk down to the Capitol and we're going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women, and we're probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them. Because you'll never take back our country with weakness, you have to show strength and you have to be strong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And then they went to take back their country extensively. And the President also tweeted, "Big protests in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild." Well, there were people who listened to that, and there were people who took it literally and there were people who did it. And apparently this is the final straw for some who waited a long time.
At the 11th hour, 13 days to go before Trump is gone, people who have worked with him stood by him as he lied to the American people and stoked countless conspiracy theories are now speaking out. The former Attorney General Bill Barr telling CNN, "The President's conduct yesterday was a betrayal of his office and supporters."
Trump's former National Security Adviser, H.R. McMaster tweeting, "The sad reality is that President Trump and other officials have repeatedly compromised our principles in pursuit of partisan advantage and personal gain."
And the former Chief of Staff John Kelly. He now says he supports using the 25th Amendment to remove Trump, his former boss. He spoke just a short time ago on CNN.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEN. JOHN KELLY, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: The behavior yesterday and in the weeks and months before that has just been outrageous from the President. And what happened on Capitol Hill yesterday is a direct result of his poisoning the minds of people with the lies and the frauds.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Well, that is exactly what he did, he poisoned the minds and then they acted. The one person who could possibly save the President from this and he's investigated any charges, federal charges, well, that would be the person that right now the last person he threw under the bus, Mike Pence. Mike Pence, of course, could decide to invoke the 25th Amendment and he is also the person who if Trump is then not in office would be the one able to pardon Trump from federal charges.
But sources tell CNN there is now a deepening divide between the President and his vice President. They haven't even talked through all of this. And as Trump throws Pence to the wolves setting him up to take the fall for Trump's loss because he's so angry that Pence actually did his job on Capitol Hill. We're learning that Trump and other White House officials did very
little to check up on the Vice President. He was in the Capitol with his family at the time of the riot. The President did not check in with him, did not call, haven't spoken since.
Kaitlan Collins is OUTFRONT near the White House. So Kaitlan, what is the President's mindset at this point?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I think we're seeing a president who is very isolated, because as you noted you're seeing not only his former officials coming out and disavow what the President did yesterday and criticize him.
You're also seeing several officials leave the White House. Of course, they're only leaving two weeks early, but it's still significant to see a cabinet secretary resign in direct response to something that the President said and the way the President responded to what we saw on Capitol Hill yesterday as we did with Elaine Chao, the Transportation Secretary today.
But Erin, we haven't actually seen the President himself. So, we got that statement overnight about the President committing to an orderly transition of power, of course, that was a response to these growing calls for his removal from office and those resignations that we've been seeing. They're trying to basically tamp those down and stave off that talk of removing the President from office, because it is a real conversation that people around the President are having that certainly his Republican allies are fed up with him.
And so the President put out several iterations of a response yesterday, a lot of them were widely criticized, including the one where he defended the people who are his supporters on Capitol Hill. We are told that he has since made another video. It's not clear when that's actually going to be released. It's not even clear if the President has access to his Twitter feed again, because, of course, it's not 24 hours ago on this show when we talked about how he had been suspended from Twitter and he has not since tweeted, though, we are told he's deleted the offending tweets.
But we're still waiting to really hear from him, because then you saw the Press Secretary come out and say the entire White House condemned violence. We haven't actually heard that from the President himself. We got that video yesterday, but the President himself has not come out and said the comment about committing to an orderly transition of power. He didn't come out and make the comments that you saw Kayleigh McEnany make earlier today.
And instead, he's remained behind closed doors, as you were saying, Washington still reeling from that chaos that unfolded yesterday from the supporters who were driven by his lies.
BURNETT: Yes. Well, I mean, it's amazing, as you say. And, of course, in the video statement that we got, it said fight on. And to get another video statement - I mean, he is the President, he could come out live and talk to the country whenever he wants. He hasn't done so. Joe Biden has done it twice, Trump nothing. Not at all.
So, all right, we'll see what happens here then in the next few minutes as Kaitlan's reporting, maybe we'll hear something else from him. As federal investigators are looking into the role that President Trump played inciting rioters who stormed the Capitol. Of course, that's part of the difficulty in condemning violence when you yourself are the one who stoked it and fanned the flames of it.
I want to go to Evan Perez. He's live from the Justice Department. So Evan, this is a significant development that you know have federal prosecutors looking at the President and his role. What more can you tell us?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, it's certainly a provocative idea. The idea that prosecutors are looking at everyone, including people who were playing the role of inciting some of these people who decided to storm the Capitol. And that includes not only the President, obviously his son. There were comments being made by Rudy Giuliani on that stage before these marchers then set to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue towards the Capitol and then ransacked the building with lawmakers still in session.
We're told today, though, that this is still, obviously, just the beginning of these investigations. I'll read you just a comment from Michael Sherman, the U.S. Attorney here in Washington, the Acting U.S. Attorney here in Washington. He says, "We're looking at all actors here and anyone that had a role, and if the evidence fits the elements of the crime, they're going to be charged."
We know that, Erin, that the investigators have already charged a number of people, 15 federal crimes were being charged just today. As many as 40 additional people were being charged in the municipal courts for various offenses. We're told that additional charges are expected in the coming weeks.
The FBI has hundreds of people looking at some of the surveillance video, trying to match it up with the faces that you see in social media postings, along with some of the footage that we've been showing to try to identify some of these people and we expect that more of those charges are going to come.
Now, some of these people made clear what they plan to do. That makes it easier for prosecutors to bring charges of what they were intending to do when they stormed the Capitol.
BURNETT: All right. Evan, thank you very much.
I want to go now to Dana Bash, our Chief Political Correspondent, David Gergen, who of course advised Four Presidents and Harry Litman, former U.S. Attorney and former Deputy Assistant Attorney General.
So Harry, how likely is it that Trump could face charges here? I mean, obviously, this all happened because of him, people who believe the lies that he's put out there and he said to them, "We're going to walk down to the Capitol." And then continued to say, "You'll never take back your country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong." What are the chances of charges?
HARRY LITMAN, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: They're serious. Look, you have to see this episode as a whole. So, when you look at the protesters, the different things they did, whether they were sort of low lives, or serious insurrectionists, that is of a peace with how you judge the top dog here who is Trump.
Now, the Acting U.S. Attorney is making announcements, but we should consider them as sort of placeholder bromides. Nothing that he does will in any way tie the hands of Merrick Garland when he does come in and he will be the one who sort of rationalizes the entire episode and decides whether, in fact, Trump deserves charges.
It would be passing strange to go tough against all of these protesters and then just give a pass to the people who actually fomented the insurrection. So, he's going to have to get a hard look.
Now, once he does, there's a many different consideration that will come into play, but they have to give them a hard look.
BURNETT: I mean, so David, this comes in the context of the President hasn't spoken live to the nation, refused to do so. First, it was a very tepid tweet. Then it was a video where he included to continue the fight and said the election that he won, but everybody goes home. And now we have another video coming out.
He has not himself come out and condemned this. It's too late now to do it in any meaningful way. His Press Secretary has come out and spoken. His social media, Dan Scavino, put out a statement. Trump himself has said nothing like he's refusing to.
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: No. Once again, he does not accept responsibility, does not accept accountability. And I think that's only made people angrier and more likely that people are going to be looking for charges. It seems to be very straightforward in the law, if you incite a mob to violence and they then commit violence and people were killed, you're guilty. You're guilty of a crime.
It's not just the people who were in the mob, it's the person who incites them is also bears guilt. And I think he's going to be treated harshly by the courts. But I must say, Erin, as we speak tonight and the tensions are growing and the Democrats are increasingly want to bring out the 25th Amendment or charge him with impeachment again, what we're also hearing is that from the Biden camp that he does not have an appetite, he doesn't have a strong appetite for impeaching or trying to throw him out of office.
I would suggest that people take a look at what happened with Jerry Ford and Richard Nixon, which was very similar in some ways. After Nixon sort of lost office, whether Ford should pardon him or not. And eventually, Ford pardoned him. It became a real political contention. He lost the presidency.
But later on, it was recognized that by taking the steam out of things, taking the animosity out of things, it really settled the country down, the country was able to move on.
BURNETT: So, Dana, this context, obviously, the 25th Amendment, you now have calls from both sides of the aisle. You have all of these resignations. Mitch McConnell, obviously, had spoken out last night and his wife, the Labor Secretary, Elaine Chao, has now resigned. Vice President Pence is now in a position that it appears he didn't see coming, which is sort of hard to understand, given every other person that has had this happen to them, which is Trump turns on them.
But here it is and we're finding they haven't spoken. The President didn't check in on Pence yesterday when he was on Capitol Hill. And yet his fate really rests in Pence's hands.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It does rest in Pence's hands. But this is, as you said, anybody who has watched the President interact with everybody and anybody who isn't his immediate family should have seen this coming when it comes to saying or doing anything that the President considers an affront to what he wants, even when what he wants is based on lies that he is spewing to the people who we're seeing still in the videos from yesterday who listened to him. Even when what he wants completely flies in the face of the constitution that allowed him to be President of the United States in the first place.
So, you're exactly right and what I am hearing, what my colleagues here are hearing when it comes to the President's mood is that he is incredibly isolated. He's not talking to some of the people he generally talks to and there is a small group of people still around him, trying to manage him as best they can and trying to get him to realize that he can't double down on this.
First of all, he's got no way to get it out because he's not allowed to be on social media right now, unless he actually goes to the podium of the White House or uses other means. Meaning, he can't get it out in his normal way. He's got to actually formulate some communication to America, to the world to make them understand that he understands.
Getting him to that place is very, very difficult as you can imagine. And so far, it has been almost impossible.
BURNETT: And Harry, when it comes to this issue, though, of possible charges and what happens, we've heard again and again that the President cannot pardon himself. Although we do understand that in recent days and weeks, he has been extensively asking people around him about his ability to do so. But if he's put in a position where these are real risks of charges than they are, then his only option would be to somehow leave office in time for Mike Pence to pardon him, right? I mean, Mike Pence truly would control his fate.
LITMAN: Or do it himself, because they're so at odds. It goes to David's point, however, because if he does do so and the better view is that he doesn't have the power, the Department of Justice previously expressed it. But unless the department decides to charge him, it won't be tested by the courts. And I agree with David that the state in play previously was the absence of appetite to go forward with any kind of prosecution of Trump. But I think yesterday is a game changer, a reluctant game changer for them, because in some ways it's too bad choices.
BURNETT: All right. I'm sorry to interrupt you, but I do want to play the video. As we said the President was putting out another video and he just has. We've obtained it from the White House. I'll play it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I would like to begin by addressing the heinous attack on the United States Capitol. Like all Americans, I am outraged by the violence, lawlessness and mayhem. I immediately deployed the National Guard and federal law enforcement to secure the building and expel the intruders. America is and must always be a nation of law and order.
The demonstrators who infiltrated the Capitol have defiled the seat of American democracy. To those who engage in the acts of violence and destruction, you do not represent our country. And to those who broke the law, you will pay.
We have just been through an intense selection and emotions are high. But now tempers must be cooled and calm restored. We must get on with the business of America. My campaign vigorously pursued every legal avenue to contest the election results. My only goal was to ensure the integrity of the vote.
In so doing, I was fighting to defend American democracy. I continue to strongly believe that we must reform our election laws to verify the identity and eligibility of all voters and to ensure faith and confidence in all future elections.
Now, Congress has certified the results. A new administration will be inaugurated on January 20th. My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power. This moment calls for healing and reconciliation. 2020 has been a challenging time for our people. A menacing pandemic has upended the lives of our citizens, isolated millions in their homes, damaged our economy and claim countless lives.
Defeating this pandemic and rebuilding the greatest economy on earth will require all of us working together. It will require a renewed emphasis on the civic values of patriotism, faith, charity, community and family. We must revitalize the sacred bonds of love and loyalty that bind us together as one national family to the citizens of our country serving as your president has been the honor of my lifetime.
And to all of my wonderful supporters, I know you are disappointed, but I also want you to know that our incredible journey is only just beginning. Thank you. God bless you and God bless America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OK. Just over two minutes there. The President of the United States 30 hours after what happened coming out on tape, not speaking live. Calling in an outrage, the mayhem, the desecration, reading from a prompter there, he did notably say that the election had been certified and that a new administration would be taking over on January 20th.
He, of course, did not use Joe Biden's name. He did not formally concede. He did say, of course, that a journey was just beginning with his supporters. This is though very different than what he said yesterday. My panel is with me. So, Dana, what's your reaction to this as we hear it now?
BASH: Well, it is obviously a very different tone. You asked about what's going on inside the White House. The fact that there was a lot of pressure on him and has been a lot of pressure on him from the very few people who remain around him.
Some of whom had wanted to resign and have been asked not to resign to try to keep him as sort of on target as he possibly can be. So yes, he, for the first time, accepted the reality that there will be a new president. Claimed that he wants a peaceful transition, because he was begged to do that after the violence that took lives, violence that he incited.
But there are a couple things we need to call out, the most egregious, Erin, is at the beginning, where he talked about the fact that he immediately deployed the National Guard. No, he didn't.
BURNETT: Right. Yes, not true.
BASH: Not only did he not immediately deploy the National Guard, you had his vice president who he wasn't talking to in a secure location after he was whisked off the Senate floor being called by the Republican and Democratic leadership in Congress saying where is the National Guard, we cannot get this under control. And it was the Vice President who had to make an additional call to the Pentagon to say we need help. So that is a total lie.
And the other thing I will just say, just in terms of the mechanics of this, he put this video on Twitter. So I said before he had tweet it seems as though his Twitter account is back.
BURNETT: Right, his Twitter account is back and let's go back to Kaitlan here. Again, this is not something that he did live. Joe Biden has addressed the nation live twice in the past 30 hours. Donald Trump has not yet done so. Kaitlan, this is on video, but obviously done under immense pressure from those remaining around him.
COLLINS: Yes. Well, and also, he's saying a lot of things that were not consistent with what we were told by people who were speaking to the President and around the President yesterday. But I do think this is Donald Trump's concession speech. This is as close as we were getting to it. We've talked about other moments where the President kind of acknowledged he might not be in office.
This is the first time even though he does not name Joe Biden that he is clearly acknowledging that there will be a new administration. And when he says that he's not talking about a second Trump administration as he said so many times over the last few months, as he's contested these results and fought back against them. He is finally acknowledging that and he is committing to a peaceful transition of power on camera, in his own words, though, of course, scripted here but it is the President himself actually saying it, which does mean something different to his supporters as they are receiving this and they're being receptive to what it is the President is saying.
Though, of course, we should note, it is January 7th and it took this long for the President to get here. And it took a mob of his supporters breaching the Capitol for us to get this video from the President. We didn't get this video yesterday. This is like his fifth iteration of a response to what happened yesterday, but it is the President acknowledging he will not be in office two weeks from now.
And I do think it's in response to a lot of the threats of mass resignations that talk about removing him from office. This is the President trying to tamp down that response and what these final few days could look like. And we should note he did not instantly deploy the National Guard as he claims at the beginning of this video. Multiple sources said he pushed back against it.
He also says that he doesn't agree with the - he's outraged by the violence, lawlessness and mayhem from yesterday. That's not what we were told by sources who have been speaking to him who said he had a much different reaction, but it is notable he is finally coming out with this video now.
BURNETT: Right. And I know that many had said he was borderline enthusiastic and, of course, that is clearly the truth because he didn't condemn it. He didn't do anything of the sort until now.
So David Gergen, contextualize this. Obviously, it appears - look, he couldn't bring himself to say Joe Biden's name, that he wasn't able to go that far, but this is an admission that he will not be president at on January 20th. I guess this is what we'll get?
GERGEN: Yes, it is valedictory in many ways. I think Kaitlan is right, it sounds the concession speech, but Erin, this man has incredible hutzpah. To come out and make that speech after he was the one who incited a mob to capture Capitol Hill as if he was the one who's rescuing the country and to come out and claim and make all of these other claims, I don't know how we're going to resolve his future. But he no longer deserves the benefit of the doubt when he makes a presidential speech in which he probably doesn't believe about half of it or more than that.
BURNETT: Certainly not. Again, yesterday what he was saying about the rigging and all of the things, so he didn't use the word rigged this time. There was no way that was going to be allowed. I think it's been made clear to him by people around him.
Harry, a question to you is what impact does something like this have? We're talking about 30 hours after the fact. When you talk about the whole situation here of people looking at him, and people resigning, and 25th Amendment, and people investigating his role and the possibility of charges, this is not relevant at all to the charges, obviously, correct? But could be to people's 25th Amendment pursuit.
LITMAN: Yes. I think it is what motivated it, but it isn't relevant. A couple points, first, there's a chilling aspect here at the very end where he says this is just beginning. So, he's announcing that Trumpism will continue. That has to give everyone pause.
Second, these are the same people who he said yesterday literally he loves them. So, it's going to be hard to find that very persuasive and there was overall sort of robotic quality to the speech. But he was obviously woodshed and felt he had to do this perhaps in part because he's persuaded that even his 13-day handle on power may be slipping.
BURNETT: And to be clear, Harry, he also said those who broke the law, to those who broke the law you will pay. Obviously, that is opposite of what he was saying yesterday. But when you look at sedition and inciting, he himself may have broken the law, he incited this.
LITMAN: Very much. So, there's the seditious conspiracy and irregular sedition, assuming no 25th Amendment, which I think will not happen and no impeachment, which I think is a little less likely. That's what they'll be looking at. And one of the two charges disable him from holding office permanently. That'll be a serious upside that the department will consider.
BURNETT: Dana, he's also playing the game here. I think it's safe to say that he's played again and again. You go up to the line. This is what he's tried to do before and then you do just enough to get your Republicans back on board, back on board, everybody, get back on board. How different will this be?
You have the Barr, you have McMaster, you have Kelly just calling for the 25th Amendment, people who had worked for him left and remain silent now speaking out. You have multiple Republicans on Capitol Hill calling for the 25th Amendment. You have mass resignations. Does this change anything?
BASH: Yes. Because you said that we've seen so many times the President go up to the line and then pull back. He crossed the line. He's stumped on the line. He desecrated the line and that is the reason why we have seen so many people come out from John Kelly to Barr to, I mean, people who had to resign or not had to but they felt the need to resign currently from his administration. That is the big difference.
And he is finally seeing some form of the light, but it is obviously too little too late when it comes to his legacy. It is too little too late when it comes to people in his party following him blindly like they have for the most part or at least biting their tongue like they have for the most part. That is not going to change.
And yes, Trumpism will be around even what happened yesterday won't stop that. But the fire is a lot less intense than it was. BURNETT: All right. Thanks very much to all of you.
I want to go to Capitol Hill now on Ryan Nobles, because Ryan with all of this happening, federal prosecutors look at the President, he's trying his last-ditch efforts to get people to back off. You've got new information on Speaker Pelosi has plans here on impeachment, the impeachment angle of this story. What are you learning?
RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Erin, no doubt listening to the President's remarks last night, you have to - or that he just posted a few minutes ago, you have to believe that was in part motivated by the ground swell of support for Speaker Pelosi and Democrats here on Capitol Hill to push to impeach the President once again.
And we just learned in the last few minutes that Speaker Pelosi and minority, soon to be majority leader Chuck Schumer, tried to get Vice President Mike Pence on the phone today to talk to him about whether or not the 25th Amendment is an option because, as Speaker Pelosi said earlier today, she is willing to take the step of bringing the House back to an attempt to impeach the President if the 25th Amendment is not invoked.
The issue, however, Erin, is that of course impeachment is a political process, not a legal process. And that requires time and votes. So tomorrow at noon, we're told that the speaker is going to have a conference call with her caucus to see exactly just how serious they are about this impeachment process.
Now, there are some legislative options for them to make the process quicker than what we saw the last time President Trump was impeached, move it along so that it can fit within this 13-day window. But of course, there are two big impediments from impeachment to actually moving President Trump from office. It would still require a conviction by the United States Senate. Despite everything that's happened, there isn't a lot of optimism that there's the motivation with Republican senators to make that happen. And then there's, of course, the long-term political consequences of all of it.
And our Jeff Zeleny reporting tonight that at this point President- elect Biden just doesn't think it is a good idea to go through that entire process.
NOBLES: However, Speaker Pelosi getting a lot of pressure from her caucus right now, Erin. She's going to find out how much pressure during that noon call tomorrow -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Ryan.
Let's go OUTFRONT now to Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono.
Senator I appreciate your time.
SEN. MAZIE HIRONO (D-HI): Sure.
BURNETT: I know that you are ready to come on the air, so you heard the president's tape that he just put out, about two and a half minutes.
What's your reaction to what he said? Which clearly was done under pressure from those around him, and with the goal of reducing pressure, that's being put to remove him from office?
HIRONO: It's very clear that he was reading off that teleprompter under extreme pressure. And once the teleprompter is gone and the pressure is off, I think he'll revert to his usual self, spewing lies. Even in the teleprompter speech, he lied about the National Guard being deployed.
And so, I agree with David that you just can't give this president the benefit of the doubt. Because he'll say one thing one day, the next thing you know, he's doing something else. He just needs the adulation of his supporters so much that I just don't expect him to act normal for any length of time.
BURNETT: So you're calling on the vice president in the cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment.
BURNETT: This Senate majority leader, I'm sorry, soon to be a majority leader, the Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said today that he and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Vice President Pence to urge him to invoke the 25th, but Pence would not speak to them on the phone. We understand Pence has not discussed it with any cabinet members.
When you put all those things together, do you think it was clear that Pence to move on this, or do you think there is a chance?
HIRONO: For all the years that this has been effectively that he lapped up of the president, for all the people around the president, with the people that have been enabling him for the past four years, why would it surprise us to know that they're not going to stand up to him at this point? They would have to grow our conscience.
And so, it would not be surprising that they do not do what I would call the patriotic thing as he exits the door. Though some of them are resigning, big deal. You know, that's saving themselves. They are not doing the country any favors.
So, at the same time, if Nancy Pelosi goes ahead with impeaching the president, I would welcome the chance to vote and convict him the second time.
BURNETT: So what are you most concerned the president may do in the next 13 days if he does remain in office?
HIRONO: He may do other things that will incite further violence and further mob action. Notice that he didn't take any responsibility for the role he played, and what happened yesterday, and I am really concerned about what's going to happen during the inaugural ceremony for example. And anything else that you might do, militarily, that might bring us to the brink of war.
So, I think that we need to be very vigilant as to his actions and Congress needs to act if he tries to do something that is really crazy, and if we can do something about it. Or militarily, the Joint Chiefs and others will have to say to him, that is an unlawful order and we're not going to obey it.
BURNETT: Senator Hirono, I appreciate your time. Thank you.
HIRONO: Thank you, aloha.
BURNETT: And next, the breaking news, the U.S. Capitol police chief resigning after the national security failure. Questions now mounting about how the attempted coup was allowed to happen.
Plus, "The Wall Street Journal" just published a scathing op-ed about President Trump, the operative line is this: take personal responsibility and resign.
And then inside the insurrection, somebody actually in there with the crowd as they broke in. The eyes of a British TV crew, look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: What's your message to Capitol Hill police and lawmakers here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is our country. This is our house. That's it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: I'm going to speak to the correspondent who is in the middle of history.
BURNETT: Okay. Breaking news, the U.S. Capitol Police chief is resigning, and it comes after the massive failure in security. You know, the rioters reaching the capital as lawmakers sat inside. A non- scalable fence is now going up around Capitol Hill. It's going to stand for the next 30 days.
More than 6,000 National Guard members are heading to Washington from several other states.
Alex Marquardt has been on the ground throughout all of this, OUTFRONT now.
So, Alex, obviously, they are worried about anything happening in the future.
What are you seeing outside the capitol tonight? ALEXANDER MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well,
Erin, things are very different out here tonight. For starters, there almost no Trump supporters out here. Security has been dramatically stepped up. You mentioned that offense, it is right there. It has encircled the capital complex, in the last few moments, they've added those large white blocks to reinforce it. You can see some D.C. National Guard behind that fence line.
Now, there has been a lot of questions about arrests, some 80 arrests have been made in connection to yesterday's riots. Officials are now saying there could be dozens of local and federal charges.
MARQUARDT (voice-over): With peace now restored in the Capitol, demands for answers. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the violent insurrection a shocking security failure.
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi demanding the resignation of the chief of the Capitol police, who now says he will step down on January 16th.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: There was a failure of leadership on the top of the Capitol police.
MARQUARDT: Pipe bombs were also found at the headquarters the Democratic and Republican National Committees, as well as on the grounds of the United States capital.
Congressional leaders are calling for an investigation. Why capital police seem so unprepared for the chaos, despite Trump supporters and Trump himself promoting the rally for weeks.
CHARLES RAMSEY, FORMER WASHINGTON, DC POLICE CHIEF: There is just no excuse for. The intel was there, it was open source, it was open source information that was there.
MARQUARDT: It was shortly after 1:00 p.m. when pro Trump protesters breached these barriers in front of the Capitol building, confronting capital police and overwhelming them.
The rioters smashed windows, and stormed through the halls, even breaking on to the Senate floor.
Nearly five hours later, just before curfew, D.C. police, National Guard and the FBI reinforced the Capitol Police and finally clearing the complex of rioters.
Signs have emerged that law enforcement didn't always resist. An officer was seen taking a selfie with a rioter, police opening a barricade for riders after the capital had already been breached, demonstrating was now being blasted, as a clear double standard. Federal law enforcement treating pro-Trump almost entirely white rioters, far differently than they treated Black Lives Matter protesters in D.C., last summer.
This was what met protesters in Washington then following the death of George Floyd.
PATRISSE CULLORS, CO-FOUNDER, #BLACKLIVESMATTER: Black leaders, black organizers, black protesters are treated completely different. We spent an entire summer, last summer fighting for people like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and we were met with rubber bullets.
MARQUARDT: We are in front of the White House at Lafayette Park, when on June 1st with little warning, in response to a largely peaceful protests that day, officers were ordered to quickly clear the area, using different chemical irritants and projectiles. Moments later, the president strode across the park for a photo-op to hold up a bible.
So, why the difference?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Capitol Police were trying to do something a little softer, as we try to welcome protesters up there. But it got out of hand.
MARQUARDT: Almost immediately, many asking what would've happened had been black or Muslim protesters.
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT-ELECT: No one can tell me, that if it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesting yesterday, there wouldn't have been treated very, very differently, then the mob of thugs that storm the Capitol. We all know that's true, and it is unacceptable, totally unacceptable.
MARQUARDT: Erin, it's not just how differently these protesters were treated, that is so glaring. It's why they came out as well, those Black Lives Matter protesters coming out demanding an end to deadly violence at the hands of police. While supporters of the president coming out rioting against these wild crazy conspiracy theories, that have been widely debunked, that have been pushed by the president of the United States himself, Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Alex, thank you very much.
And now, to quote the rioters we want our country back, they don't get to steal it from us. That is exactly what one reporter heard as he witnessed every bit of the pro-Trump rioters storming Congress. He captured it all, apparently scenes of chaos and destruction.
Watch for yourself.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT MOORE, ITV CORRESPONDENT: We follow the aggrieved and infuriated Trump supporters, as they stormed the building, through broken windows and doors at forced open.
And for a few heavy moments, they felt that they had won a precious victory.
CROWD (chanting): USA! USA! Stop the steal! Stop the steal! Stop the steal! Stop the steal!
MOORE: We're now in the very heart of the congressional building.
What's the purpose of storming Congress itself?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because they work for us. They don't get to steal it from us. They don't get to tell us we didn't see what we saw.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We respect the law, we were good people. The government did this to us. We are normal, good, law-abiding citizens and you guys did it to us. We want our country back. We are protesting for our freedom right now! That's the difference.
MOORE: What's the purpose of storming Congress?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do I know that?
MOORE: They reached and entered the speaker's office, although Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers had already been evacuated to safety.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There you go, there you go, brother.
MOORE: As we filmed, protesters tore down Pelosi's nameplate.
And so, here we are right now inside the halls of Congress. This is exactly what so many anticipated, and yet the Capitol Hill police are doing their best, but failing to control the situation.
BURNETT: All right. The man you saw there, Robert Moore, Washington correspondent for ITV News, is with me now.
And, Robert, look, you have been unjustly lauded for that exceptional piece of reporting. You talk to some of the people we heard there but a lot of other people, who were there in the heat of the moment, who passionately believed every single where they were saying. Tell us what kinds of things you heard.
MOORE: That's exactly right, Erin. I mean, we were at that point at the vulnerability of Capitol Hill. There's been some scuffles outside. And then we followed this crowd of Trump supporters up into a side door. They broke the window. They went through the door and into the very sort of the corridors of power.
And we saw there, what we heard was a little blend of different views in a way. Yes, there where the ultra nationalists, the Proud Boys were there in that crowd, but there were also just people who were deep down the rabbit holes of some pretty dark and deep conspiracy theories, believing not only that the election had been stolen but many other things. For example, one person said to me, we are after pedophiles on Capitol Hill.
So, there were some extraordinary sort of diversity of views if you like. And in addition, there were also those assuming -- carried away, we're almost intoxicated by this heavy atmosphere, there was almost a sort of a (INAUDIBLE), you know, I guess all the odds, they had broken through the Capitol Hill lines, and were somehow humiliating the Washington political establishment.
So, a multitude of different views, yes, more undoubtedly unruly, yes, there was destruction as you saw. We witnessed the ransacking of Nancy Pelosi's office. But are they domestic terrorists as President elect Joe Biden put it today? That's debate I think that will unfold over the current -- over many weeks indeed.
BURNETT: So, you know, when you mentioned the pedophiles' point, that's a conspiracy theory, you know, as you say, a dark rabbit hole, QAnon. But what's interesting when I hear your report, I heard some of the exact words, the exact phrases that President Trump has used again and again at his rallies.
Here is one of the rioters you spoke to.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You all know that they changed the rules mid-game and they are not being held accountable and that's a shame.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And this was what you saw again and again. I mean, it's sort of heartbreaking to see the passion with which they are repeating things we know to be untrue. It is clear they really believe these things, isn't it?
MOORE: That's absolutely right. They feel it viscerally. You know, there was not just anger there. There was this kind of deep embrace of pretty wild conspiracy theories. Not wild in the sense that they have not come from the dark web, they come from the oval office. They've heard it from the president himself, and from his Twitter feed.
So, you know, we did hear that sentiment echoed time and time again. There really was a kind of disturbing sense that, you know, this story may be over in the sense that all of the disruption around Capitol Hill with this new fence installed, but this story is not going away because their world view is not going away. They are dispersing but they their views haven't in any way dispersed. And that is going to be the challenge beyond January the 20th.
These conspiracy theories really are out there. They are being held really deeply, far more than I would expect to hear. As you exactly put it, those were the echoes of President Trump's conspiracy theories. We've heard it for four years now.
BURNETT: Well, just to hear them so deeply held and believe.
Robert, thank you very much. I appreciate it. And I encourage everyone to watch all of Robert's footage of what we saw. It's remarkable.
Well, tonight, the FBI is asking the public for help with identifying the rioters, many of them were not hiding. They were happy to speak. They were proudly documenting their insurrection on social media, Twitter and Facebook. They were telegraphing when they were planning to do ahead of time. How did the FBI miss it?
So, Drew Griffin is OUTFRONT. He's been looking at this.
And, Drew, you know, that is the big question. How did they miss it? We knew that they -- it's like seeing same bad place, same bad people. You knew who a lot of these guys are?
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and they can't help but think about with that reporter just said, what Richard just said, to think that these people who were at the white -- at the Capitol we're really radicalized by Donald Trump. That is what happened. They were radicalized into believing a lot of this nonsense by Donald Trump and his compliant media, and actually may have been breaking the law and are going to face serious consequences.
We have found dozens and dozens, if not hundreds of potential instigators, but we wanted to point out four of them in particular. You are talking about members of hate groups. QAnon and conspiracy groups, Proud Boys, Neo-Nazis, these are not good people, these are not patriots. These are people that the FBI that the police want to see right now.
One of them made themselves famous. He is the guy dressed in buffalo horns. He is shirtless. His name is Jake Angeli. They call him the QAnon shaman of Arizona, currently apparently between jobs in Arizona, according to his cousin.
Just a couple of weeks ago, he was taking a selfie with Rudy Giuliani. Police want to speak with him.
A second highly visible person, Richard Barnett. Take a good look at him, this is a guy who kicked his feet up at Speaker Pelosi's office, stole an envelope and then later came out and we have an audio of this guy bragging about what he did.
Take a listen to what he told one of our affiliates.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
RICHARD BARNETT, PHOTOGRAPHED IN PELOSI'S OFFICE: I set my flag down. I sat down there at my desk. I'm a taxpayer. I'm a patriot.
That ain't her desk. We loaned her that desk and she ain't appreciating the desk, so I thought I'd sit down and appreciate the desk. I threw my feet up on the desk.
(END AUDIO CLIP) GRIFFIN: So, he is still proud of what he is doing. Obviously, the police are looking for him. There are repercussions already beyond the arrest. We know several people who have lost their jobs and attorney for an insurance company has lost his job out in Arizona. A former Pennsylvania state representative lost an adjunct professorship at a college in Pennsylvania because of his involvement.
And Derek Evans, he is a West Virginia, actually a member of the House of Delegates. He is trying to defend himself through an attorney saying he was exercising his free speech even though he was Facebook- ing live as he was storming into the Capitol.
A lot of questions being asked, not only by police but by employers, by other members of these people's communities, just what the heck were you doing up there on Capitol Hill? Erin?
BURNETT: It is disturbing, and it is sad. It really is sad.
Thank you very much, Drew.
OUTFRONT next, legitimate concerns at this hour about more threats targeting the government, Michigan's capital shutdown today due to a bomb scare. Governor Gretchen Whitmer will be OUTFRONT.
BURNETT: Breaking news. We have learned now that a fifth person has died in connection to the act of domestic terrorism in the nation's capital. Three sources tell CNN that the victim is a United States capital police officer, a police officer dying yesterday.
And breaking news, "The Wall Street Journal" tonight calling for President Trump to resign, in an editorial they just published. They write in part, quote, Mr. Trump wants to avoid a second impeachment, his best path would be to take personal responsibility and resign. This would be the cleanest solution since it would immediately turn presidential duties over to Mr. Pence. And it would give Mr. Trump agency, a la Richard Nixon over his own faith.
Obviously, you know, opening up the door there for the pardon, too, from the vice president.
OUTFRONT now, the Democratic governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer.
Governor Whitmer, I don't know if you had a chance to see that op-ed. But what is your opinion? Do you think the president should resign?
GOV. GRETCHEN WHITMER (D-MI): Well, Erin, I think we have come to find that this president is not equipped for a lot of things. And whether it's fighting a pandemic or whether, it is bringing our nation together or simply avoiding an attempted coup on our nation's capital, this has been a harrowing moment for us in the United States. It is going to come to a close in 12 days at the most. If it comes to close before that, fine. But otherwise, we know that Joe Biden and his team, including Merrick Garland, who he announced today, is going to follow the law. They are going to stay tethered to our United States Constitution, and doing everything they can to serve the American people and what it refreshing change that will be.
Lives are on the line as we have a dramatic reminder and that of that in the last 24 hours. But we are so amiss about the global pandemic that has killed 4,000 people in the last day and a half, and that's why in this moment, it is important to keep that context front of mind.
BURNETT: We've just confirmed, you know, U.S. Capitol police officer died, died, in a riot incited by the president.
The president put out a video 30 hours after this happened, at the top of this hour. Governor, I don't know if you heard it but in and he did say that the Electoral College had been certified by Congress and that there would be a new administration on January 20th, that he was going to have a smooth and orderly transition.
He did not mention Joe Biden. He did not officially concede but he acknowledged there would be a new administration.
WHITMER: It's about damn time, and had he done this earlier, lives would have been saved. Had they invested themselves in a peaceful transition and started working with the incoming administration, lives would have been saved. If he'd spent the energy that he is trying to used to sow doubt and violence and seeds of division towards addressing the pandemic, lives would have been saved.
I'm glad he has come to that conclusion, finally. However, we paid an incredible price as a nation for his inability to see the facts and understand them and accept them.
This is where we are. We are in the midst of a global pandemic that has killed over 360,000 Americans, and we are not out of the tunnel yet. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but we are not out yet. And we need a president who understands that he is going to bring us together and heal this nation.
BURNETT: We are all trying to understand what could happen from here. I know your state capital was temporarily shut down today due to an earlier bomb threat.
Do you know any link between that and yesterday?
WHITMER: Well, Erin, you know, I was I know people were surprised to see would happen in the nation's capital yesterday. We saw it play out here it months ago in Michigan.
I called the president. I called the vice president. I called on Michigan Republicans to start to bring the heat down. Ultimately, though, same people, some of them were charged in the plot
to kidnap and kill me. Whether it was directed at me or Dr. Fauci or Republican secretary of state or Congress, every one of us has a responsibility to call it what it is, and its domestic terrorism. These people need to be held accountable and we as a nation of leaders need to say this will not stand.
BURNETT: Governor Whitmer, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much.
WHITMER: Thank you.
BURNETT: And thanks very much to all of you for being with us.
Anderson starts now.