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McCarthy Choses January 6th Panel; Capitol Rioter Sentenced for 8 Months; Team USA Member Enters COVID-19 Protocols; Variant Spooks Wall Street. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired July 20, 2021 - 06:30   ET




BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Developing this morning, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy announcing that five Republicans are the folks that he is naming to the January 6th Select Committee. Last night, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez reacting to McCarthy's decision, including three picks who voted to overturn the 2020 election results in Arizona and Pennsylvania.


REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): Kevin McCarthy has decided that his role as a minority leader in the House of Representatives is to essentially be chauffeur of the clown car. And he believe that is his job is to champion some of the most ludicrous, irresponsible and dangerous members of his party, instead of centering, you know, some of the more even keeled and responsible members of his party.


KEILAR: Joining us now, CNN congressional correspondent Lauren Fox on this story.

He picked a number of proponents of the big lie, Lauren.

LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's exactly right. And, look, five members he selected for this committee, three of them voted not to certify the election in those two states, Arizona and Pennsylvania. Those members, of course, Jim Jordan, who has been a bomb thrower in past impeachment hearings.

You also have Jim Banks, who's the top Republican. He also controls the Republican Study Committee, which is the largest subgroup in the Republican Party. It's an important caucus and it's part of this discussion really about where the future of the Republican Party should go. So he's a key pick.

You also have Troy Nehls, who is a Republican from the state of Texas, who McCarthy told us last night he picked because of Nehls role on January 6th in trying to talk down some of the mob that was coming into the Capitol. Here's what Jim Jordan said about his role.


MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Mr. Jordan, what do you hope to accomplish on the Republican side in the investigation?

REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): We know what this is about. This is about going after President Trump, you know. I mean, the Democrats, they don't want to talk about anything else.


FOX: We've also got to get to the other two members who McCarthy picked because these are two people who voted to certify the election. You have Rodney Davis, who's the top Republican on the House Administration Committee. He also is a Republican who voted for creation of that commission. I mean that's a significant vote because many of the Republicans voted against the creation of the commission.

There's also Kelly Armstrong, who's a Republican from the state of North Dakota, who voted to certify the election.

We should also note that Pelosi can reject any of these picks from McCarthy. And you've heard last night from Benny Thompson, who's the top Democrat on the committee. He said these are picks that ultimately Pelosi will get to decide on. But here's what he said about their behavior in the hearings.


REP. BENNY THOMPSON (D-: You know, I've been here 28 years. My committee is one of the more bipartisan committees here in Washington. I anticipate to conduct the select committee in the same posture. And I respect and want to be respected by the other members of the committee.

But, you know, we do have a set of rules. And people who determine not to follow the rules, we'll deal with them. But my expectation is that we have a set of rules to follow. And as chair, I expect those rules to be followed.


FOX: And now the House speaker, of course, all eyes are going to be on her because she's going to have to decide, are these picks acceptable to her, especially those three members who voted against certification, Brianna.

KEILAR: Are you surprised he picked only white men for his picks?

FOX: Well, I think it's important to remember here that on the one hand, yes, I'm surprised, but on the other hand, McCarthy was spending his recess trying to reach out to members, trying to get people to serve on this committee. I would be very interested to know, who did he reach out to that wanted to be a part of this committee, who did he reach out to, if anyone, who said, no thanks.

KEILAR: Yes, it might be a job they didn't want. That's a very good point.

FOX: Exactly.

KEILAR: Lauren, thank you so much for that reporting.

JOHN AVLON, CNN ANCHOR: All right, a federal judge has handed down the first sentencing of a U.S. Capitol rioter charged with a felony. Paul Hodgkins of Florida received an eight month sentence for his role in the January 6th attack on the Capitol, despite prosecutor's request that he be sentenced to more than twice that time. So could this case factor into the sentencing of other Capitol rioters in the coming months?

Joining us now to discuss, Joseph D. McBride, attorney for Richard "Bigo" Barnett, seen here in a widely circulated image from the January 6th attack, sitting in a chair in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office.

Mr. McBride, what's your reaction to yesterday's eight month sentence?


Does that seem fair to you?

JOSEPH D. MCBRIDE, ATTORNEY FOR CAPITOL RIOT DEFENDANT RICHARD "BIGO" BARNETT: I'm not going to get into whether or not it seems fair.

Good morning, by the way.

What I can say is there appears to be three categories of defendants who will be sentenced at this point. You have the misdemeanor trespassers or illegal protester. You have an individual like Mr. Hodgkin's who made it into sort of the Senate chamber, into the holy of holies, during that time, during that sacred event. And then you have people who conspired to be violent and or were violent that day. Obviously, those people have not been sentenced yet.

When you look at the sentencing that happened yesterday, in light of Richard Barnett, it's not too far of a jump to see that Richard did not make it into the holy of holies, he did not make it into the Senate chamber. He was also not violent that day. So in terms of analyzing it where he might come out on this, if an appropriate offer were to be made, it would have to be something in the realm of misdemeanor protest, trespassing with probation, like Ms. Morgan-Lloyd was sentenced to, unlike Mr. Hodgkins. Definitely (INAUDIBLE) going forward.

AVLON: Right. Well, obviously, your client did not make it into the Senate chamber. He did make it into the speaker's office, of course. You acknowledge that. Because that's just a matter of fact.

MCBRIDE: Sure, I acknowledge that. AVLON: So let's just talk about one of the judge's rationale, though,

if you want to draw a parallel between this sentence. She cited specifically the fact that he pled guilty early and he showed sincere remorse and that he recognized that Joe Biden's the legitimate president of the United States. Has your client expressed remorse or does he recognize Joe Biden is the legitimate president of the United States?

MCBRIDE: Sure. Well, obviously, this is an ongoing criminal case, an active criminal case, so I can't get into his state of mind, prior state of mind or current state of mind.

What I can say about the situation is that my client believes that his actions were protected by the First Amendment of the United States, that he showed up to peacefully protest, to petition this government for a redress, along with throngs of other citizens. We all know what happened that day. There are groups of people --

AVLON: So, sir, just so I'm clear -- like, just -- but just so I'm clear, are you saying that attacking the Capitol is, according to yourself and your client, an extension of First Amendment rights?

MCBRIDE: No, I am saying that there are people who showed up to attack the Capitol. There are people who showed up to protest. And there are people who showed up to protest that got involved with the greater events of that day. And it is very important not to lump everybody in, not to define every protester that showed up that day as an insurrectionist, which, by the way, no one has been charged with.

Jeffrey Toobin, one of your own legal analysts, has said that insurrection should not be used in this case. It is not appropriate.

My client has not been charged with insurrection. My client was not violent that day. My client showed up to protest. Mr. Barnett has no criminal record, showed up to protest peacefully. Ended up in the office that day. That does not equivocate to an attack on democracy.

AVLON: Well, I think showing up to protest and somehow winding up in the speaker's office seems to be a very different standard. You don't enter the speaker's office as part of a violent mob and just sort of wind up there willy nilly. I think there's a clear difference on that point.

But I want to press you on something that you've said. You wrote an essay for LinkedIn in which you said this. Like the gestapo did in Nazi, Germany, the federal government is targeting anyone who dares criticize the decision-making process, questions its motives or challenges its legitimacy.

Look, Nazi comparisons are usually a sign you've lost the argument, but do you still believe the federal government is acting like Nazi, Germany, in its prosecution of the Capitol attackers?

MCBRIDE: Look, let's leave Nazis out of this conversation. I wrote that to prove a point.

AVLON: Well, you brought them into it, sir. You brought them into it.

MCBRIDE: OK, fair enough. Like the Nazis, like the Soviets and the Gulag, innocent men are -- and women are being held in what we are calling D.C. Guantanamo Bay, pre-trial, absent any finding of fact. Pre-trial they're being held for hundreds of days in solitary confinement. They're being beaten, they're being starved, they're being denied medical care, they're being denied the right to worship, they're being cut off from their attorneys, they're being cut off from their family. This is pre-trial. Pre-trial.

AVLON: Mr. McBride, first of all, has he been denied the right to communicate with you? Has your client been denied the right to communicate with you?

MCBRIDE: My client is out. I got Mr. Barnett out because the facts -- the law (INAUDIBLE) his case --

AVLON: Right. So -- OK, so let -- you know, I just want to -- I want to be clear about that because you're making extraordinary things. These sentences and the decision of the Biden Justice Department not to charge insurrection --

MCBRIDE: No, this is not extraordinary. Wait, no --

AVLON: Would indicate this is nothing resembling anything involving Soviet Russia or Nazi, Germany, obviously.

MCBRIDE: I completely -- I completely --

AVLON: But to belabor that point, you went on Russian -- you went on a Russian television station to plead this case and make this point.

Do you think if an attacker broke into the Kremlin and sat at Vladimir Putin's desk he'd be treated better or worse than your client's been treated after attacking the speaker of the House's office?

MCBRIDE: If the media and the United States government does not want to hold itself accountable for the human rights violations that are taking place at D.C. Guantanamo Bay, then who better to hold us accountable than the inventors of the Gulag themselves.


That is why I went there, to prove a point.

AVLON: That makes absolutely no sense, sir.

MCBRIDE: America needs to wake up and understand that people are being tortured -- tortured.

AVLON: Tortured?

MCBRIDE: Are you OK with people being tortured five miles from the White House right now?

AVLON: What's the example you have, sir? Would you like to cite that? Pardon me? You're saying people are being tortured by the White House.

MCBRIDE: Would I like to cite what?

AVLON: I just want to be clear, because that's an extraordinary statement, would seem to be utterly unbased in fact.

MCBRIDE: Tortured within five miles of the White House.

Oh, no, they are based in fact. And when the truth -- when the truth about the circumstances of confinement come out, you should be -- you should hold yourself accountable for what you're saying right now because I can tell you without any shadow of a doubt, American citizens are being tortured.

AVLON: Do you think people should be held accountable for attacking the Capitol and trying to overturn the election, sir?

MCBRIDE: Tortured. Are you OK with torture? Are you OK with what the ACLU has -- has called out, solitary confinement is torture.

AVLON: What about the people -- the Capitol Police who were tortured and attacked by the violent mob, sir? Does that bother you?

MCBRIDE: Solitary confinement is torture.

Answer that question for me, good sir, are you OK with pre-trial detainees being tortured. Solitary confinement, 24 hours a day.

AVLON: Mr. McBride, you seem awfully unconcerned with the violence done to the Capitol Hill Police, with the violence done to the Capitol, with the attempt to overturn an election by an insurrectionist mob. Does that concern you at all? Should there be accountability for that, Mr. McBride?

MCBRIDE: No one has been charged with insurrection. Why do you continue to push a narrative?

AVLON: Were they trying to overturn the certification of the election, Mr. McBride? Was your client trying to overturn and stop the certification of the election?

MCBRIDE: I can only -- absolutely not. Without any shadow of a doubt, my client showed up to protest what he believed at the time to be incorrect election results.

AVLON: Does he still believe that? Do you believe that?

MCBRIDE: He is well within his rights -- he -- he is -- look, I am -- I am -- I am -- my belief is -- is not at issue here. The good sir from Georgia, Mr. Vernon Jones, who is running for governor in Georgia at this moment, why don't you go talk to him and others like him who believe that the election was a farce (ph). My case -- my case is not --

AVLON: I'm talking to you right now. But you know what it sound like, Mr. McBride, it sounds like you and your client still believe the big lie.

MCBRIDE: The big lie, what does that mean? Seventy-five million people believe that the big lie is --

AVLON: It means lying about the results of the election.

Mr. McBride, I want to thank you for coming on NEW DAY but I hoped you would have more of a fact-based conversation with anything resembling a sense of perspective about an attack on our Capitol.

MCBRIDE: You know what, torture is never OK. Torture. Torture, torture, torture, torture.

Joseph McBride, keep yelling "torture," we'll stick with the facts.

MCBRIDE: Torture is not OK. I have the courage to speak out against it.

AVLON: Thank you very much for joining us on NEW DAY.

MCBRIDE: The facts are torture --

AVLON: Still to come, Football Hall of Famer Michael Irvin criticizing his former team when it comes to coronavirus.

KEILAR: And the move by Ben & Jerry's outraging some leaders in Israel.

AVLON: And the U.S. men's basketball team arriving in Tokyo but without another one of its key players. Andy Scholes has this morning's "Bleacher Report."



AVLON: The U.S. men's basketball team arriving in Tokyo, but without another of its key players.

Andy Scholes has this morning's "Bleacher Report."

Andy, what's going on?


So, you know, not great for Team USA right now. The U.S. men's team already had to replace Bradley Beal and Kevin Love and now Bulls star Zach Levine is in the health and safety protocols, did not get on the plane to Tokyo yesterday. USA Basketball announced that Levine was going to stay behind for the time being. The team says the move was made out of an abundance of caution, adding that they home Levine's going to be able to join the team in Tokyo later this week. Only eight players were on the plane to Tokyo yesterday.

The U.S. opens Olympic group play on Sunday against France. The team hoping Sun's guard Devin Booker and Bucks players Chris Middleton and Drew Holiday are going to be able to join the team after the NBA finals. Game six is tonight. Bucks can win their first title since 1971.

All right, the Dallas Cowboys, meanwhile, open training camp tomorrow in California and Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Irvin says he's disappointed that the Cowboys have yet to reach the 85 percent COVID- 19 vaccination rate ahead of camp. Irvin telling ESPN's Todd Archer, nothing else is more important. And not being one of the team, he says, there's other things to a great number of people on this team that are more important than winning championships, and that makes me worry.

All right, the NFL tells CNN that 13 of the 32 teams have at least 85 percent of the players vaccinated and two teams have less than half of their players vaccinated.

And, John, you know, we really hope that number goes up as teams start to open training camp this week. And I tell you what, there is a big difference between the protocols players have to follow that are vaccinated compared to the ones that are unvaccinated. So we'll see if that maybe is an incentive to some of those unvaccinated players to finally get the vaccine.

AVLON: I mean whatever you've got to do. We've got to get those numbers up so play can go ahead. But, big week, Olympics, game six tonight.

Andy, thanks for enlightening us, as always.

SCHOLES: All right.

AVLON: All right, the delta variant is wreaking havoc on the stock market. Why rising coronavirus cases have investors spooked.

KEILAR: Plus, fully vaccinated athletes testing positive in Tokyo just three days before the start of the Olympics. CNN's Sanjay Gupta joins us live from Tokyo moments from now.



KEILAR: Spooked by a resurgence of coronavirus, the Dow tumbled more than 700 points on Monday over fears that the delta variant is pushing the country in the wrong direction. This was the worst day for the Dow since October, and the biggest decline so far this year.

Joining us now is CNN business anchor Julia Chatterley.

OK, tell us, Julia, what caused this fear. What are the concerns of Wall Street when it comes to the delta variant?


There's a couple of things here. To your point, exactly, I think Wall Street came back from the weekend and just looked at the situation and said, does delta destabilize the recovery and slow our return to normal life. And it's -- it's not just about the United States. It's also going on in Asia. We're seeing it in Europe. The U.K., of course, reopening too. So it was the whole world sort of shuttering in one particular day.

And we could probably cope with what we're seeing if it weren't for rising prices that we talk about on a daily basis. There's fears out there that, at some point, the central bank is going to have to step in to tame those prices. And then you've got the perfect storm. You've got slowing growth, you've got a central bank stepping in to try and calm prices and a lot of people, I think, were just thinking, should we be at record highs in stock markets if these are the kind of conditions we're looking ahead towards.


KEILAR: And tell us which sectors, you know, were spooked the most here. Who had the greatest losses?

CHATTERLEY: Absolutely tied to the outlook for growth, for the return to normality. So cruise lines, for example. Anything related to travel. The airline stocks got hit as well. Energy. Perhaps we'll be traveling less, less gas demand. So everything leveraged to growth fell yesterday. And we saw a sort of flood into safety things, like bonds and gold, for example. Though I have to say, futures a little bit higher this morning. So it may have just been a temporary blip. We have to see.

KEILAR: That may be some good news that it's perhaps a temporary blip.

Julia great to see you this morning. Thank you.

And a reminder that President Joe Biden is going to join Don Lemon for an exclusive CNN presidential town hall. That will be live tomorrow night at 8:00 Eastern.

And we are counting down to this morning's launch of Jeff Bezos' New Shepherd rocket. So is the weather going to cooperate? That's the key to all of this. The liftoff forecast, next.