Return to Transcripts main page
Erin Burnett Outfront
January 6 Panel Subpoenas Trump White House Counsel Pat Cipollone; ; Interview With Governor Asa Hutchinson Of Arkansas. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired June 29, 2022 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Thanks to Wolf.
Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.
OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news, a major move by the January 6th Select Committee. The committee having a subpoena for Trump's former top attorney, Pat Cipollone.
This is an important and significant move because Cipollone was there. He was there, and he was with the president in the White House, the days leading up to and on January 6th, an omnipresent person there.
He was involved or present during many of the moments that Cassidy Hutchison described in her testimony, including this moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CASSIDY HUTCHINSON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE AIDE: I saw Mr. Cipollone right before I walked out that morning, and he said something to the effect of, please make sure we don't go up to the Capitol, Cassidy. Keep in touch with me. We're going to get charged with every crime imaginable if we make that movement happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Manu Raju is OUTFRONT live on Capitol Hill.
Manu, you know, you heard her recount her conversation with Pat Cipollone. She spoke more about him, of course, in her testimony.
So this subpoena, obviously significant. What are you learning about it?
MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, this subpoena here sent to Pat Cipollone today, demanding that he appear before this committee, saying that they have spoken to him in an informal basis, acknowledging that it did happen on April 13th, but now wanting his testimony, especially in light of all the new information that's come out. One of the big things that has come out through the course of these
hearings and the investigation is that Cipollone was a key individual resisting the efforts to lean on different levels of the federal government, as Donald Trump and allies tried to do to overturn the electoral results, and as you noted, played a big role in Cassidy Hutchison's testimony, saying that he made very clear that if Donald Trump were to come to the Capitol on January 6th, they could be in some serious legal trouble, saying that every crime imaginable, they could be charged with if Donald Trump got his way and came to the Capitol as rioters were breaching the Capitol.
And also, Hutchison revealing yesterday that Cipollone wanted Donald Trump to do more on January 6th. Went to Mark Meadows, the chief of staff at the time and said to him, we -- I want to talk to the president. Meadows responded, he doesn't want to do anything.
So, Cipollone could provide corroborating evidence if that, in fact, happened, especially since he had firsthand, direct conversations with the president. But, Erin, it's still an open question about how he will respond, whether he will fight this at all, despite him standing up to the president, he's not been willing to testify yet to the committee. He has believed that informal interview that happened in April was sufficient.
So whether or not this is enough, this subpoena to compel him to testify, remains to be seen. And what will the committee do if he does not do it, do they try to hold him -- refer him to the Justice Department to be held in contempt? Because as we know, Erin, time is running out on this committee.
RAJU: We have until the midterm elections. If Republicans take control this election, this investigation is essentially over. So this could draw out for some time if he does not agree to come to this committee. But a big move in trying to force the Trump White House counsel to come before them.
TAPPER: Manu, thank you very much. As you find out more, please let us know. Of course, any response from Pat Cipollone who is, you know, widely known to be an incredibly private person, and as Manu said, you know, that informal appearance with the committee, but has steadfastly refused to come and do more.
OUTFRONT now, Norm Eisen, former counselor to House Democrats during Trump's first impeachment trial, our political correspondent and co- anchor of "STATE OF THE UNION", Dana Bash, and David Urban, who is an adviser to Trump's 2020 campaign.
Look, so lucky to have all three of you.
And I know, David Urban, that you know Pat Cipollone. You worked with him, of course, in the Trump world.
Norm, you also know Pat Cipollone, and have had a lot of respect for him over the years. So, let's just start here.
Norm, what do you think happens from here? Pat Cipollone has, you know, said he was a lawyer, you got attorney/client privilege, issues of privilege, these are the rules and restrictions of the office and hasn't wanted to come forward.
Is he going to stick with that? Or does this change anything, Norm?
NORMAN EISEN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Erin, thanks for having me back.
This ratchets up the pressure considerably. We know he did informal cooperation, so the privilege issues can be addressed. The Biden White House owns those privilege issues, that's been litigated.
So, Pat can't hide behind privilege. Now that he has legally binding process, is he going to want to go the way of Steve Bannon and Peter Navarro, who are being prosecuted for criminal contempt?
Pat's a working lawyer. He can't afford to have that happen. He has a legal obligation to show up. He can attempt to dodge, assert privileges or answer questions however he may think is right. But he can't refuse to show up, or he faces what Bannon and Navarro are confronting -- criminal prosecution. So he's got some tough decisions to make.
BURNETT: Well, as you point out, he is a working lawyer. I mean, there's a lot at stake.
David Urban, I want to remind everyone, a moment ago, I played one of the sound bites of the Cassidy Hutchison describing the conversations, you know, she had with Pat Cipollone on that day, when he said don't -- basically don't let Trump go to the Capitol, okay, because they're going to throw every charge in the book if he actually goes ahead with that.
She also was there when he sort of -- her account sort of came charging in, full of stress to talk to meadows, and here is what she says Cipollone said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HUTCHINSON: Mark, something needs to be done or people are going to die and their blood is going to be on your f'ing hands. This is getting out of control.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: David, you also know Pat Cipollone. Here's the thing, she said that and that is significant. Him saying it and saying it under oath will carry an additional weight, right, because, you know, he was there with the president. He can talk about his conversations with the president.
Will the subpoena change Pat Cipollone's view?
DAVID URBAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: So, Erin, look, only Pat knows that, and his lawyer, right, might prepare to know it. At this point, Norm, as you know, they can litigate this for quite some time, until this committee has kind of run out of steam.
And let's remind everybody, Pat has cooperated. The committee has had the opportunity to ask him plenty of questions. They've had the opportunity to dig into this. I think what happened maybe was yesterday after the bombshell that Cassidy dropped about President Trump grabbing the steering wheel of the car and being this altercation, and then, you know, later we find out it was an egg, and, you know, the Secret Service pushed back and said they'll testify under oath.
When members of the committee were asked on this network, whether or not -- why didn't they ask Tony Ornato about that incident, they both -- Adam Schiff and Mr. Raskin both conveniently didn't have an answer for that question. Like why didn't they dig deeper?
So I think in this instance, maybe they're trying to cover their bases a little better. The committee should have done all this stuff prior to this point in time. They could have negotiated.
Pat has done the right thing up to this point. He's cooperated. He's given them testimony. He's done everything correctly up to this point. They had plenty of opportunity.
So now I think maybe they're up against it, and the committee had a big egg yesterday with this Secret Service piece. So maybe they're trying to --
BURNETT: Obviously, we know that she is standing by what she had to say about that incident with the SUV, and that --
URBAN: Erin --
BURNETT: Again, I hear you --
URBAN: Let's see if they call him in to depose him. If the committee is so strong about that, let's see if they bring him in.
BURNETT: And no one should have any issue with that if they do that. They should do that, right? But obviously, that was one of several things she said.
URBAN: But it was a big thing.
BURNETT: It got a lot of attention. I would hope you would agree, obviously, the more significant thing she actually said was that the president of the United States knew that people were armed and said take away the mags and march on the Capitol any way, right?
URBAN: Right. You can ask -- they can ask Tony about that under oath as well. Tony was the person -- she's relaying Tony Ornato's statement there. They could ask Tony under oath about that as well. BURNETT: Right. As I said, they should.
But, Dana, let me ask you about Pat Cipollone, because he would be privy to so much of this. What is the committee thinking in doing this now? Obviously, they had a chance to speak with him before. Now, Cassidy Hutchison has relayed these conversations. What is their strategy? Because they know full well he can fight this subpoena and run out the clock.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: They do. They've been inching towards this moment. They have been talking to Pat Cipollone in private about going beyond the informal discussion and really coming out and testifying publicly. That didn't work. So you remember last week, Liz Cheney publicly implored Pat Cipollone to come testify. That didn't work. And so, now they're at the point where they're sending the subpoena.
The question I have, and maybe Norm can talk about the kind of -- the delicate dance that is done in situations like this, is whether or not Pat Cipollone said because he is a working lawyer and because he is a loyal Republican, if you want me, you're going to have to subpoena me at this point, to compel me to go and do it.
That is a possibility.
BURNETT: I'm glad you said that, because you're sort of -- you're prescient here, Dana, because Maggie Haberman, obviously a contributor here at the network and of "The New York Times," Norm, just tweeted that a lawyer familiar with Pat Cipollone's deliberation says, of course, a subpoena was necessary before the former White House counsel could consider transcribed testimony before the committee. Pat Cipollone has previously provided an informal interview at the committee' request. Now that a subpoena has been issued, it will be evaluated as to matters of privilege that might appropriate.
What do you hear when you hear that? It's not a blanket denial, going to fight it. It seems -- it seems to me that is sort of what Dana is suggesting.
EISEN: Yeah, I hear the game show that we all grew up with, Erin, "Let's Make a Deal." You know, there's Pat and his counsel are now going to attempt to establish the parameters. They'll make decisions do they want to preemptively rush to court like Mark Meadows did? Do they want to roll the dice? Do they want to show up and assert privilege and challenge the committee to litigate that? That's the safest thing.
Or does Pat want to do his duty? He is a working lawyer. He is an officer of the court. He has sworn an oath to defend the Constitution. We have seen the most serious attack on our government in generations, never before from the Oval Office.
He has critical information about that. He has a duty to his country, to the rule of law, to the constitution, as a human being and as an American.
And, Pat, if you're watching, do the right thing, buddy.
BURNETT: David Urban --
BASH: Can I just say --
BURNETT: Yeah, Dana, go ahead.
BASH: Let me add one thing, because we're understandably very focused on this incredible testimony that we saw yesterday from Cassidy Hutchison, where she got talked about and invoked Ppat Cipollone for several different reasons.
But we have to remember last week's testimony with the top justice officials, the three top officials at DOJ who testified in public, under oath, about that -- about the unbelievable meeting they had in the Oval Office, and Pat Cipollone was there, the meeting where the president said he wanted the DOJ to send a letter to Georgia saying they were going to overturn their slate of electors and Pat Cipollone did not want that to happen. I mean, that's one other example of something that if it was only that story pre-January 6th, that would be a bombshell.
BURNETT: So, David, the context here too, you know, when we hear that Pat Cipollone said to Cassidy Hutchison, this is what she said he directly told her. He said, just -- you cannot let him go to the Capitol. They will throw every charge at us in the books. This cannot happen.
And in that context, that conversation, she said that she had with Pat, I'm thinking about what Ty Cobb, a former Trump attorney, told our Katelyn Polantz today. She's reporting that he told her, if this isn't an insurrection, I don't know what is.
And he's saying that based on what he took away from Cassidy Hutchison's testimony. You know, warts and all, to your point, warts and all. His takeaway from her, if this isn't an insurrection, I don't know what one is.
Do you think that anything is changing for some Republicans here, David?
URBAN: No, again, I don't think that the people who are tuning into these hearings are base Republican voters.
URBAN: I just -- I don't think that's the case. I think they're tuned out. Most Americans, I think, are either on holiday already going on holiday, or focused on the economy, pocketbook issues.
I think, you know, in the general election, people will look back on this and may remember this in 2024, they may remember parts of this. But I don't think it's really sticking. And if we just go back to Pat Cipollone for a second, I think what
we're talking about, let's not lose focus. We're talking about a transcribed deposition, not appearing before the committee at this point if I'm not mistaken.
BURNETT: Yeah, you're right, that is what you referred to, yes.
URBAN: So nobody -- I wouldn't expect to see Pat with his hand raised before the committee testifying before Liz Cheney. This will be -- and it may not be videotaped, maybe just transcribed.
Pat is a great American. He's done the right thing so far. So I suspect he will do that moving forward as well.
BURENTT: Dana, one of the questions, if it occurs, of course, will be on what -- you know, what charges do you think they were going to throw? What charges do you think would have been appropriate, right?
And that's where we are now, where you have one Republican congressman, a senior House Republican, I'm not -- we're not naming. A senior house Republican who did not back impeachment, told CNN today that Hutchison, quote -- about Hutchison's testimony -- this testimony will lead to indictments.
Dana, the question, is would indictments mean anything to voters, who thus far to David's point have not shifted opinion in response to these hearings as of yet.
BASH: I mean, in a -- in a normal political world, how could they not? I mean, what if he's indicted, and what if he's convicted? I mean, then what? It has to change some voters' minds. I know David is saying when it comes to the base, they haven't changed their mind. Of course.
But this isn't about the Trump base. They're never going to change their mind. This is about other Republican voters, Republican primary voters, who might be looking beyond, maybe to the governor of the state you live in now, David, of Florida, or maybe the governor of South Dakota or other options in the Republican field.
BURNETT: So, Norm, how does this play out from here regarding Pat Cipollone and the subpoena? He's responded very quickly but, I mean, you say it's a game. We know there is a clock ticking. How does it play out?
EISEN: I think we'll see just the issues that David and I are talking about, the mechanics of it. Those are the things that are negotiated. Will it be on video, won't it be on video? If I were, as I once was a lawyer, up there on the Hill, I would really press to get this on video so you can show it to the American people at a future hearing.
How long will it be? What questions are on limits? What questions are off limits?
But I agree with David. I think the likelihood is, he has the subpoena, he's not going to defy the subpoena. Even if he litigates, he could be held in contempt and prosecuted for failing to show. I think Pat Cipollone is going to be walking up those steps to talk to this committee.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you all very much. I appreciate it as we cover this breaking development.
Next, the Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, you remember him. He was working at the Capitol on the day of the insurrection, right, ushering Mitt Romney away, saving people, who was attacked by the mob, had racist insults hurled at him. Tonight, he has a question for Cassidy Hutchison.
Plus, "The Washington Examiner", a conservative news outlet, slamming the former president, calling him a disgrace, saying, quote, no one should think otherwise, much less support him ever again.
And the R&B singer R. Kelly just sentenced to 30 years in prison. The details ahead.
BURNETT: Breaking news. CNN just learning that the January 6th Select Committee has subpoenaed former Trump White House counsel Pat Cipollone, as one of the hero officers from that day calls out Trump allies who did not do more to stop him from inciting the riots. Hours after aide Cassidy Hutchison testified before the committee, U.S. Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn tweeting, I'm always conflicted when I see these courageous men and women coming forward their testimony.
Like sure, I appreciate it tremendously, I really do, but there wasn't anything you could have done before we got our asses beat? And then also tweeting, to be clear, I'm not blaming her or any other witness that we have heard from so far from what that happened that day, the blame belongs with the former president and the people who attacked us, period.
Officer Harry Dunn is now OUTFRONT. He confronted in clash with rioters that day, many who subjected him to horrible racial slurs, screamed in his face.
And I will point out, of course, Officer, you are speaking to me tonight in your personal capacity. So, you know, the development here about Pat Cipollone getting a subpoena to appear.
So, as you know, Officer, Cassidy Hutchison testified that Pat Cipollone directly, in a conversation with her, said, you know, you can't let the president go to the Capitol. You can't let that happen. Because there will be serious legal consequences, all sorts of charges, right, could happen.
And then she testified, as the riot unfolded: Cipollone tells Mark Meadows people are going to die and the blood is going to be on your f'ing hands. How much do you think you could learn from hearing Pat Cipollone
OFC. HARRY DUNN, U.S. CAPITOL POLICE, RESPONDED TO JAN. 6 ATTACK: Well, thanks for having me on.
I don't think there's any -- well, I say that reluctantly. I don't know how much more we can really learn versus how much more we can corroborate about what actually happened. You know, like I said, I don't know how much we can learn, but it's important for these people, especially the deniers and the liars about saying what didn't happen.
Myself and all the other witnesses, the other officers, Ms. Hutchison, everybody that's appeared before the committee, that's appeared under oath, these individuals are just appearing on Twitter with their opinions. So it's a lot more credible when you are under oath, and under penalty of perjury.
So, you know, I take all that noise with a grain of salt. If you have something to say, and you dispute what is true, then come under oath and say what is true.
BURNETT: Yep. So now, I read your tweets. I thought it was just very powerful when you said: I'm always conflicted when I see these courageous, which you put in quotes, men and women coming forward with their testimony. Make sure I appreciate it tremendously. But there wasn't anything you could have done before?
I mean, it's a powerful point. Does Cassidy Hutchison, do you think, officer, deserve credit for testifying publicly when so many other Trump allies have frankly not cooperating behind closed doors with the committee?
DUNN: I think it's a very difficult question, but I do give her the utmost credit for doing what she was supposed to do and doing what's right. I'm not criticizing her at all.
But I ask that question not in a rhetorical sense. It would be fair to get an answer, was there anything that could have been done before to stop that?
Sure, everybody has all these opinions, but really could have been done? And I appreciate her coming forward and every other witness. And I especially want to point out how the individuals who have come forward have been few and far.
DUNN: So maybe it is -- we do need to give a little more credit to people who have come forward because whether it's intimidation, fear, whatever it is, people aren't coming forward without being legally compelled to do so.
But I do think it's important to acknowledge that she did the right thing. I'm thankful for that. So, I do ask that question, not, you know, rhetorically, or even sarcastically.
DUNN: Was there anything that could have been done? I think that's a fair question to --
BURNETT: It did, yeah.
DUNN: -- individuals, 100 -- over 140, 150 officers who got hurt, and to Officer Brian Sicknick's family, is there anything that could have been done to prevent that from happening? So --
BURNETT: And, you know, the more we find out, one of the most troubling parts, as you keep hearing, you know, people knew that, you know, that this was -- there's going to be blood on your hands. I mean, there was a lot more where that comment came from.
And during the hearing yesterday, you know, we played things that Cassidy Hutchison said. And she talked about a conversation that her boss, mark meadows, had with the deputy chief of staff. And the conversation was about how heavily armed the Trump supporters were on January 6th. They knew they were armed.
Here's what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CASSIDY HUTCHINSON, FORMER AIDE TO TRUMP WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF MARK MEADOWS: I remember Tony mentioning knives, guns, in the form of pistols and rifles, bear spray, body armor, spears and flagpoles. Spears were one item, flagpoles were one item. But Tony had relayed to me something to the effect of, and these f'ing people are fastening spears onto the ends of flagpoles.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: I mean, incredible detail, Officer Dunn, that they knew what that -- that mob had. And she says it's not just that, you know, the deputy chief of staff knew about this. The former president knew about all of these details, as well.
Here's that part.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): Is it your understanding that Mr. Ornato told the president about the weapons at the rally on the morning of January 6th?
HUTCHINSON: That's what Mr. Ornato relayed to me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: I mean, officer, there you have it. They were armed, in great detail. The president of the United States knew it, and his response was, take the mags away and let them go to the Capitol, where you were, doing your job, and those weapons were used to assault police officers. People died. How does it feel to hear this?
DUNN: I said yesterday that betrayal is one of the toughest emotions that you ever have to deal with. Whether you like somebody's politics or policies in that, everybody has a job to do. Somebody cannot like me as an individual, but when they see me as a police officer, they expect me to do my job and to protect, no matter what. And that's what I expected from the president.
And whether I agree with his policies or not, he failed at his job. Not only did he fail at his job, he incited -- he sent those people armed towards us. So that's very -- it's a disappointing feeling. And like, I don't have -- I didn't have high expectations any way, but that totally just, like, what is lower than no expectations at all? So, it's just disappointing.
BURNETT: Betrayal is a powerful word. You have been in that room for every hearing of the January 6th Select Committee has had. Any hearing that was public, you were there.
You've been a source of comfort and support repeatedly. We've seen that. We're showing you on the screen. Witnesses like Officer Caroline Edwards, the former Georgia election worker, Shaye Moss, the families of Brian Sicknick, and Howard Liebengood, the officers who died. You were there with them.
You've been moved to tears watching and hearing and seeing some of what we've had in these hearings. Yet, Officer, you go, because I know it's important for you to bear witness to it.
How hard is it for you to keep reliving that day over and over and to be a source of strength for so many at those hearings?
DUNN: Well, thank you for pointing that out, but I know your last segment, you mentioned I think with Dana about how this isn't influencing voters or anything like that. I don't go -- I don't care if anybody's mind is changed.
I'm going because I'm seeking accountability and justice, whether that influences votes or not, I don't really care. I care about the Justice Department examining all the facts and getting to the bottom and holding the individuals that committed these crimes responsible no matter at the presidential level or some aide level. It doesn't matter.
Anybody who had anything to do with the failures of that day needs to be held accountable. It's very important for me to show the committee my face every day, to show that I'm holding them accountable to do their job. I did -- me and my co-workers, we did our job that day. And I expect them to do theirs also.
So, I guess, my face and presence is a friendly reminder that hey, we're still involved in this. So do your job, respectfully.
BURNETT: Officer Dunn, thank you very much. I appreciate your time. Everyone appreciates you and your actions. Thank you.
DUNN: Thank you for having me on.
BURNETT: All right.
And next, the governor of Arkansas will be OUTFRONT. He signed one of the strictest abortion law bans in the country before the Supreme Court overturned roe v. Wade. No exceptions in Arkansas for rape or incest. But he's going the take our questions and he's my guest. He's next.
Plus, new police audio just coming of the moment police arrived in the worst catastrophe in the United States that left 53 migrants dead.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
SAN ANTONIO POLICE SCANNER: Can I also get one more here? I have too many bodies here.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BURNETT: Tonight, a conservative news outlet saying that Cassidy Hutchison's stunning testimony before the January 6 committee should be the death knell of Donald Trump's political career. "The Washington Examiner" publishing an editorial that says, in part, quote: Trump is a disgrace, no one should think otherwise, much less support him ever again.
That's just one line from -- it's a powerful indictment of the former president from, as I said, the conservative "Washington Examiner".
OUTFRONT now, Republican governor of Arkansas, Asa Hutchison.
And, Governor, I really appreciate your time.
So, you hear that context, this is in the context of the breaking news this hour, the January 6 committee moments ago subpoenaing the former Trump White House counsel, Pat Cipollone. He obviously was present throughout all of this. He was with the president throughout all of this.
He was depicted in Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony as warning that Trump would face criminal liability over the insurrection and saying that there, you know, blood on your hands to anyone who -- as this day continued.
How important is it to hear from Pat Cipollone, Governor?
GOV. ASA HUTCHINSON (R), ARKANSAS: Well, he's a key person in all of these discussions. And Cassidy Hutchinson yesterday certainly indicated that he was right in the middle of it. He understood what was going on. He cast warnings as to what would happen if the president encouraged people to go to the Capitol.
But I'm a lawyer. I've been a federal prosecutor. I've been in Congress during impeachment trial, and I know how important that attorney-client privilege is, particularly when you're dealing with the chief executive of the United States of America.
I would expect Pat Cipollone, who is highly respected, to respond to the subpoena. I would expect that he would want to have a court tell him that the privilege does not apply here, or the public interest outweighs the claiming of the privilege.
And so, it's a very sensitive area that's important for all lawyers. It's important for me as governor, and someone who's president, to have confidence in that inner circle in the privileges that you can have as conversation.
But this is obviously of great national interests. The committee has certainly made a case that the president acted irresponsibly during this time.
HUTCHINSON: Irrationally during this time. But the question is, whether he acted criminally during this time?
The committee is trying to make the case. I don't think they're there yet.
BURNETT: You don't think they're there yet?
HUTCHINSON: They'll try to get the witnesses that will bring that. I do not.
BURNETT: So, you know, okay, which is interesting, because, you know, I want to remind everyone, Governor, you have come on the show several times. All the way back in February 2021, you and I spoke. At the time, you said Trump bears a great deal of responsibility, key responsibility for what happened at our nation's Capitol in January 6.
That's the truth. That's what you told me. I know you are saying now that they are not quite there on the criminal -- on the criminal level.
But where do you -- how close are they? I mean, a former Trump aide told CNN today that Hutchinson's testimony was a bombshell. And a senior Republican lawmaker predicts -- who had voted against impeachment, but now says that this will lead to indictments.
Do you agree?
HUTCHINSON: Well, it could, but let me stress that this is a public hearing that is clearly designed for the greatest public drama, and it is not designed for the usual fairness and cross-examination that you have in a courtroom. They really need to work at showcasing more fairness. For example, the personal eyewitness testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson
yesterday was very powerful. The rest was as well, but you can see the hearsay part is now being undermined and questioned.
And so, that's what they are presenting. And so, they've got to be able to call other witnesses. They're not subject to cross- examination. They're admitting hearsay. You're not hearing the other point of view.
And so, the public is watching this with some skepticism. And I know the Department of Justice will, as well. They understand how difficult a criminal case is. And so, they're going to have to be looking at it much harder than this committee is right now.
BURNETT: And your view is still that Trump bears the key responsibility for what happened. You just don't think that they proved it at the criminal level?
HUTCHINSON: At this point, that's correct.
HUTCHINSON: I mean, he -- former President Trump brought the people there. He obviously encouraged them to go to the Capitol. That's problematic in and of itself, whenever it results in the kind of violence that we saw.
BURNETT: I want to turn to another major story tonight, Governor, and that, of course, is abortion, in what is now a post-Roe America.
So, after the Supreme Court ruling on Friday, your state had a trigger law. So, a trigger law basically is if Roe is overturned, another law is going to go into immediate effect.
And the law in your state that went into immediate effect is a law that bans abortions in all cases, except to save the life of a mother in a medical emergency. So, that's the only exception. All other cases, it's banned.
Now, you signed that law in 2019, but I know, Governor, that you say that you would have preferred that your state ban was not as restrictive as it is. How come?
HUTCHINSON: Well, because whenever you look at rape and incest, the result of criminal conduct, there are credibly tragic circumstances.
And there is some of the legislature that supported those traditional exceptions of rape and incest, but the public policy in Arkansas is to protect the unborn child. They adopted that with one exception, which is the life of the mother. That was overwhelmingly supported, and that's the policy in Arkansas.
I expressed at the time that I would prefer those other exceptions to be in there, but my veto can be overridden with a simple majority, and clearly, they're reflecting the will of the people of Arkansas. So, it's a -- it is what the law is now in the state.
And so, we've got to make sure that we are providing the services that we need to the expecting moms, that we make sure that we improve our adoption services capability, our counseling during this time.
HUTCHINSON: That's the process that we're going through now.
BURNETT: Right. And, I mean, I'll say the Children's Defense Fund, you know, they ranked your state 47th on children poverty, 47th in child hunger, 35th in children with no health insurance.
So, obviously, there's significant work to be -- to be done there for children who are born into Arkansas. But on this issue of rape, Governor -- yeah?
HUTCHINSON: Well, it's just important. You're citing those statistics. You really -- I mean, obviously, a Southern state has challenges with our health outcomes. We work very hard to improve those, and that's why we're investing more into maternal health care.
But you have to separate that some from simply saying that that is a reason, then, not to have a pro-life position, or not to protect the life of the unborn. And so, we want to work on both of those together. We want to improve those statistics, but that's not a reason to say the unborn child should not have some level of protection.
BURNETT: So, on this issue of rape, specifically, and I know that you -- you know, you've made it clear that you would have allowed those exceptions. So I want to just make that clear on the record. But according to the FBI crime data, the latest they have, which is from the year 2020, Arkansas actually ranks second in the United States for the most instances of rape per 100,000 people.
That's got to be painful to hear, Governor. Again, I know you yourself would've allowed that exception, but you say the will of the people, you, know, spoke. But it didn't actually happen, right, because you had Roe.
So I guess I'm curious, what are you going to do about it? Are you going to try to convince the legislature? Are you going to try to do something to change that part of it? Or are you simply, at this point, going to focus on children born out of rape or incest and Arkansas having better lives?
HUTCHINSON: It's a good question, and first of all, any rapist, anybody who commits a criminal act, assault against a woman, they need to be prosecuted. We need to make sure that we investigate, go after that person, hold them responsible.
Secondly, whenever you're looking at the exceptions, you're right. The trigger law was passed at a time that Roe versus Wade was still in place. Now that it's reversed, now that the real authority goes back to the state, the experience is going to be instructive. You know, how are we going to handle this? Are we going to see real
life examples that are going to change people's thinking on that, and the will of the people?
We're going to learn from that experience, and I think it could be a time that has to be re-addressed. But now, the will of the people is very clear on that point. And time and experience will dictate as to whether that will be changed in the future.
BURNETT: All right. Governor Hutchinson, I appreciate your time and I appreciate the conversation. Thank you.
HUTCHINSON: Thank you. Good to be with you.
BURNETT: All right. You too, sir.
And as -- you know, you hear Governor Hutchinson speaking, governors are on the front lines in the fight over abortion rights in America.
Jeff Zeleny is OUTFRONT in Michigan.
GOV. GRETCHEN WHITMER (D), MICHIGAN: I don't think many knew that Michigan would snap back 91 years to a law that would render this pro- choice state one of the most extreme in the country.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS COORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Governor Gretchen Whitmer is on the front lines of the new abortion fight, where a temporary court order is all that's keeping Michigan from reverting to a 1931 law that made abortion a felony.
WHITMER: No exceptions for rape, no exceptions for incest. This is how serious this moment is and how dramatic life could be upended in Michigan.
ZELENY: Meeting with women in the Detroit suburbs, Whitmer sounded the alarm about the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.
CROWD: This is what democracy looks like!
ZELENY: As fallout ripples across the country from courts -- to campaigns.
It is suddenly a central issue in battleground governor's races in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, where Democrats say they're the last line of defense from Republican challengers and GOP-controlled legislatures, pressing for more restrictions.
WHITMER: The most important economic decision a woman makes in her lifetime is when and whether to have a child. And this court decision threatens to rip that away from every woman in the country. And it's going to be up to governors. That's why this fight is so important.
ZELENY: Does this issue, do you think, overtake other issues, other challenges, headwinds that your party was facing?
WHITMER: Inflation has taken a toll, the cost of gas and groceries, it's tough. But I also know that you take away someone's ability to make their health care decision, that only compounds the pain that families are going to feel.
AD ANNOUNCER: Tudor Dixon, Michigan mom on a mission.
ZELENY: Tudor Dixon is the leading Republican candidate for governor, strongly opposed to abortion rights.
TUDOR DIXON (R), MICHIGAN GOV. CANDIDATE: On both sides, it energizes people. Certainly you have the pro-life people who feel like this was a win, and then you have the pro-choice people who want to see something different.
SHARON BASEMEN, ABORTION RIGHTS SUPPORTER: Have you signed the reproductive initiative petition yet?
ZELENY: Abortion rights supporters are collecting signatures put the issue on the November ballot, a movement under way for months that is catching new fire in the wake of the court's ruling.
BASEMEN: Friday, all hell broke loose. You know, people saying what can I do to help? We're getting a lot of people who aren't necessarily Democrats coming to sign because they just think it's wrong.
ZELENY: John Murray, a small business owner of a baby and children's store, said he will sign the petition, because it's an issue for men as well.
JOHN MURRAY, OWNER, "MODERN NATURAL BABY": If you have a daughter, if you're married, if you have a sister, if you have a mother, right, like if you don't feel like my wife feels like I'm less of a human right now than you are. She's like, you have more rights than I do right now.
ZELENY: A proposed constitutional amendment in Michigan is seen by the ACLU as a test run for other states, navigating the post-Roe world.
LOREN KHOGALI, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ACLU OF MICHIGAN: This will serve as a model for other sort of similarly situated states. It really will sort of be a beacon in the midst of a really difficult time for reproductive rights supporters.
ZELENY: That is exactly why opponents of abortion rights vowed to fight the ballot initiative and hoped of stopping it in Michigan.
CHRISTEN POLLO, SPOKESWOMAN, CITIZENS TO SUPPORT MICHIGAN WOMEN & CHILDREN: We will either have a ban on abortion that protects human life or we'll have this anything goes abortion amendment. This is a little bit of a test to see what they could do in other states.
(END VIDEOTAPE) ZELENY (on camera): And now there are just a few more days to gather enough signatures to put that question on the November ballot. And, Erin, people on both sides of the debate expect them to reach the required 425,000 some-odd signatures.
This does not guarantee a specific outcome in November, but it makes one thing clear, this is going to be a motivating factor for both sides until November -- Erin.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Jeff Zeleny, thank you very much for that report from Michigan tonight.
And next, the new details about the alleged driver of the truck where 53 migrants were found dead inside. A Mexican official says he tried to pass himself off as a victim to escape.
Plus, singer R. Kelly sentenced to 30 years after behind bars for being convicted of sex trafficking.
BURNETT: Just in, new information on the deadliest human smuggling attempt in American history. We're now learning the name of the driver of the truck and the charges against him. The death toll today going up again. More people now dead from that, 53.
A Mexican official says the driver of the truck pretended to be a victim before he was ultimately arrested. U.S. officials have not confirmed that specific detail.
But Rosa Flores is OUTFRONT in San Antonio tonight.
And, Rosa, what are you learning about the charges and this drive?
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the name of the driver is Homero Zamorano. He's a 45-year-old man with residence in both Brownsville, Texas, and Pasadena, Texas.
And, Erin, the charges according to the U.S. attorney's office in western district of Texas is one count of alien smuggling resulting in death. If convicted, he could face life in prison or death.
We are learning a little more on what happened based on this press release just released by the U.S. attorney's office. Them describing that bodies were found inside the tractor-trailer, outside, and also in the brush, and that Zamorano was hiding in the brush when he was detained.
Now, Erin, I should add, there are four people total who have been charged so far. We've discussed the two others on your show before. The individuals were facing weapons charges.
But we learned today just now that an individual by the name of Christian Martinez is also charged with one count of conspiracy of human smuggling causing death. Now, according to these documents, they linked Zamorano to Martinez because of cell phone records -- Erin.
BURNETT: So, Rosa, also we are finding out, as this number have climbed, people who had been fighting for their lives when they made it to the hospital have also succumbed. We are now at 53 dead. And we've learned that among them are children.
What more do you know about that? And who are the survivors?
FLORES: You know, I just talked to the San Antonio police chief, and he was reluctant to really describe the scene, Erin, because he said it was so gruesome. But he found words to describe the indescribable. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM MCMANUS, SAN ANTONIO POLICE CHIEF: The floor of the -- of the trailer, it was -- it was -- it was completely covered in bodies, completely covered in bodies. And there were -- there were at least ten-plus bodies outside the trailer because when -- when we arrived, when EMS arrived, we were trying to find people who were still alive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FLORES: Now, 11 individuals are still hospitalized. My colleague, Nicole Chavez (ph), was able to talk to the archbishop of San Antonio, Erin. He's been able to visit some of these individuals, and he described them as in a condition not conducive to speaking.
A lot of them were unconscious. A lot of them still have tubes. And so it's very difficult to get the human side of this story when a lot of victims are either dead or in the hospital, unable to speak.
BURNETT: You say that number has gone up to 53 and the 11 unable to respond who are survivors.
Rosa, thank you very much.
And next, Grammy Award winning singer R. Kelly sentenced to 30 years in prison. The conviction is for sexually abusing women and underage girls and boys.
BURNETT: R. Kelly tonight facing 30 years in federal prison for the sexual abuse of minors. The disgraced R&B star was sentenced today after being convicted of nine counts of sex trafficking and racketeering. Prosecutors say he used his fame to ensnare victims that he then sexually and physically abused, an abuse that took place over the span of decades.
Survivors have been waiting for this day for many, many years speaking out. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOVANTE CUNNINGHAM, R. KELLY SURVIVOR: I started this journey 30 years ago. I was 14 years old when I encountered Robert Sylvester Kelly. There wasn't a day in my life up until this moment that I actually believed the judicial system would come through for Black and Brown girls. Thirty years that he do this and 30 years is what he got.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Kelly says he intends to appeal.
Thanks for joining us. You can always watch OUTFRONT anywhere you want, any time on CNN Go.
"AC 360" begins now.