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CNN Reports, Pfizer Vaccine May Be Avail to Young Kids by End of Month; New Evidence and Trump's Admission Show Blatant Coup Plot; Oath Keeper Leader's Lawyer Responds to Trump Pardon Pledge. Aired 7- 7:30a ET

Aired February 01, 2022 - 07:00   ET



BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: So, what do you think parents will do here? We've seen some reticence of folks to their kids vaccinated, for some people, I will not be one of them, to be clear. But do you think the parents are going to say, yes, let's get this done?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, I could show you what has happened so far if you look sort of just based on the age groups that the vaccine has already been authorized for. You'll find that it really does go significantly down when you start to get into the 5 to 11-year-olds. So, 22 percent thus far have been vaccinated. So, I don't know. It's tough to say what that's going to mean for younger children. I think a lot of it will depend on sort of what's happening with the pandemic at any given point as well when the vaccine is authorized.

Let me show you just weekly cases. We pulled this. People often asked me what is going on with children overall in terms of their likelihood of being infected with this. And they can show you that it's very clear, omicron really changed the infection rates among children. It was sort of bouncing along there for some time. And then when you got over the last month or so, it really skyrocketed up. It's starting to come down now. And I think people are going to pay attention to that and see what's happening in terms of their own willingness to get their own children vaccinated.

But it's pretty clear when you look at some of these early trial results. And we'll see what the FDA specifically says, but when you look at some of the early trial results in terms of providing immunity for these children under the age of five, the vaccine can be very effective. It can help prevent infection and potentially help prevent some of the long-term symptoms that we talk about as well.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN NEW DAY: Yes. We said at the top, it could end the pandemic or this phase of the pandemic only if people take it, right? It will only have a public health impact if kids take it or parents let their kids take it, not 20 percent, like we're seeing 5 to 11- year-olds. It's got to be much, much higher than that.

And, Sanjay, I'm sorry to go back on this again. The initial tests of the two-dose vaccine ages -- for the higher range, two to five or two to four, didn't show much antibody production or didn't show much increase in boosted immunity, totally safe. They found it was totally safe, which is why I think they're willing to give an authorization right now. But what's interesting to me is why move forward until they've seen data that it's protective?

GUPTA: Yes, that is the big question. I think for up until just recently, I think the thinking was let's wait to see what that third dose data sort of shows here. I think that the belief is that, look, we have this other data from older children. We have seen what the boost the third dose might actually do. Should we wait to get that third dose data, which probably be end of March or even later than that or should we say, based on the fact that we see that the safety data looks good, it's two doses while in 6 months and 24 months did provide good immune response. The older group did not get as strong an immune response. Should we wait on that two to five-year-old group or should we say, let's just give them the two doses now or at least get that authorization so that ball is rolling and then wait for that third dose information to come back.

They may have to adjust the dosing ultimately on this. They may adjust the number of doses. We'll see. But the question is do you wait for all that data to come back when you have the numbers of cases that I just showed you or do you just start getting things rolling?

KEILAR: Yes, it's such an important question. I will tell you, I can't wait. And I think the expectation for so many people having looked at what happens with other groups is things will go in that direction, right? So, that's the hope.

Before we do let you go though, Sanjay, I want to talk about your latest episode of Chasing Life, which focuses on memory. What can you tell us?

GUPTA: You know, I've been fascinated with memory for a long time. I mean, I'm a neurosurgeon. I think memory is one of those things in the brain that it hits on so many different aspects of how the brain works. And people oftentimes have these various misconceptions about memory, what it's exactly supposed to do. What I really wanted to do in this podcast is talk to these memory researchers and talk to people who have both astounding memory, remarkable autobiographical memory, people who have real challenges with their memory and see what the problem is.

There's a guy, Michael Yassa, who's memory expert at U.C. Irvine, who I talked to quite a bit for this podcast. Listen to what he said.


GUPTA (voice over): I'm just wondering, what do you think is the biggest misconception about memory or some common misconceptions?

PROF. MICHAEL YASSA, MEMORY EXPERT AT U.C. IRVINE (voice over): So, I think the first misconception is that any time that you forget or you reconstruct the memory that that's a memory problem. I would say, no, it's really a feature of the system. It evolutionarily got wired to do exactly that. And forgetting is a naturally and perfectly thing to have. In fact, some might argue that forgetting is just as important as remembering.



GUPTA (on camera): Forgetting just as important as remembering. I thought that was really a good way of putting it. But also, really quickly, people say, I'm losing my memory all the time. I can't remember where I put my car keys. People will often say it's not a problem if you forget where you put your car keys. It's a problem if you start to forget what those keys are actually for. A quick little tidbit there, but just fascinating podcast.

BERMAN: I'm going to use that as an excuse, Sanjay, forgetting is just as important as remembering. Next time I forget something around the house, I'm supposed to do, honey, the doctor it's okay. This is medically improved forgetting.

KEILAR: Don't worry about it. Very good. Sanjay, great to see you, thank you.

BERMAN: All right. This morning, we have a CNN exclusive. In his final lame duck weeks in office, Donald Trump's advisers drew up more than one executive order to seize voting machines. Now, we knew the one was crafted for the Pentagon. What we learned overnight is there was another for the Department of Homeland Security.

Also, The New York Times reports that Trump himself was directly involved. Listen to this, quote, President Donald J. Trump directed his lawyer, Rudolph Giuliani, to make a remarkable call. Mr. Trump wanted him to ask the Department of Homeland Security if it could legally take control of voting machines in key swing states.

KEILAR: Now, we've also learned that some of the White House records that were handed over to the January 6th committee arrived torn up. It was Trump who personally ripped them to pieces and they had to be taped back together by the National Archive staff. Sources tell CNN also that Marc Short, former Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff, testified before the House select committee last week, which indicates that Pence's team is cooperating with the probe.

BERMAN: CNN Legal Analyst and former Federal Prosecutor Jennifer Rodgers Joins us now.

Jennifer, The Times reports that Trump asked Giuliani to call Homeland Security about seizing the voting machines. Trump asked. What's the significance of the fact that Trump appears to have been, according to The Times, directly involved here?

JENNIFER RODGERS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, John, this has always been the challenge, right, with looking at an investigation that would go all the way to the top of this particular scheme to overturn the election is how do you get evidence that President Trump knew what he was doing, what everyone was looking at doing was illegal and that he actually directed it. So, here, you now have the evidence as they gather evidence from people who were in the room during these discussions. You finally learn what the former president himself knew.

So, it's crucial. I mean, if DOJ is ultimately to charge criminally former President Trump, they need that state of mind evidence. They need his involvement. They need his direction. They need him to have known that what he was asking for was illegal and to have ordered it. And that's the evidence that's seemingly now is starting to come out.

BERMAN: The significance of the fact that it was never carried out, the voting machines were not seized?

RODGERS: Not much. I mean, a conspiracy doesn't have to be completed. It's object doesn't have to be actually accomplished in order for the conspiracy to be illegal. The illegality is in the agreement to do the illegal thing.

BERMAN: So, if you're Merrick Garland now and just reading what's in the public record, if you're just reading or the papers this morning, is this, in and of itself, enough to empanel a grand jury?

RODGERS: Well, nothing in the paper is going to be enough to actually charge the crime. To empanel a grand jury, yes, I think they certainly now have enough information, evidence coming out through public sources and through what the committee is working on that they can start a grand jury investigation.

Will he? Has he? I don't know, but, yes, I think they certainly have enough for that stuff.

BERMAN: So, will he, has he? Again, we don't know. But the fact that there is enough right now, how unusual would it be not to start an investigation with this much publicly known?

RODGERS: You know, John, this whole thing is unusual. We've never had a situation like this, an investigation like this, if there are charges, there have never been charges like this, so it's all new territory, but I personally think that he has to. For the good of the country, you have to at least look at charging this kind of behavior.

BERMAN: All right. Last question has to do with torn documents. The National Archives reporting and also the January 6th committee that some of the records that were turned over from the Trump White House now were torn up and taped together, which I guess is the way that Trump operated inside the Oval Office. He would tear up papers on his desk. So, is that legal?

RODGERS: Yes. This was reported at the time that that's how he did things. He would tear up documents and that they told him at the time he couldn't do it that way because everything needed to be preserved. It's not how it's supposed to be done. It's technically some sort of violation of the Presidential Records Act, but not the sort of thing that I think anyone is going to go after, especially given the bigger picture here of what folks are looking at.

BERMAN: Jennifer Rodgers, I really appreciate this discussion. It helps put it all in perspective. Thank you very much.

RODGERS: Thanks, John.


KEILAR: Former President Trump also teasing a run for re-election in 2024 and making this promise.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: If I run and if I win, we will treat those people from January 6th fairly. We will treat them fairly. And if it requires pardons, we will give them pardons because they are being treated so unfairly.


KEILAR: Joining us now is Jon Moseley, he is one of the attorneys for Kelly Meggs and Stewart Rhodes, two members of the Oath Keepers. He represents Rhodes in the January 6th committee proceedings, and Meggs in the criminal proceedings. Both have been charged with seditious conspiracy among other charges. Jon, thank you so much for joining us this morning, we certainly appreciate it.

And I just want to know, since we last spoke, we've heard this overture from President Trump. Is this something that your clients welcome?

JON MOSELEY, ATTORNEY FOR OATH KEEPERS LEADER STEWART RHODES AND KELLY MEGGS: To a lot of extent, yes. If Candidate Donald Trump, as a candidate, is saying, I'll give a blanket, automatic umbrella pardon if you vote for me and support me, that could be a problem legally for him and there are some people that I wouldn't want to see a pardon from January 6th. If he's talking about a case-by-case basis as an individual review, then, yes, I think they absolutely would support that.

There are January 6th defendants who have publicly said and they think Trump should have done more for them. He could have pardoned some or all of them before he left office between January 6th and January 20 last year, help with legal defense. And there's some grumbling and feeling he abandoned them. And I'm not sure what people think he should have done in every case, but there's a feeling that he could have done more.

Now, the thing is, that would be three years from now. And the criminal cases would be over. Some people might still be serving sentences at that point. But I think it would definitely be welcome.

Now, we don't always know what Trump means. He's not clear. Maybe that's intentional. But, I think that as a general matter, yes, a lot of people think that, depending on their individual circumstances, he should do more. I don't know if he'll be re-elected or not, but that's, I think, their attitude.

KEILAR: You think Stewart Rhodes and Kelly Meggs are candidates for a pardon? MOSELEY: Yes. And, I mean, because the government has admitted they committed no violence, didn't tangle with police and didn't damage any property, that the indictment doesn't say that, but they admitted in writing. There are violent people that I think should be in jail for a long time and I wouldn't want to see them pardoned, who actually injured over 100 police officers and damaged property, broke windows. There's one idiot in particular I have in mind who's making trouble for the Proud Boys in that regard, things like that.

So, I'm saying that if the president, if re-elected, if he would look as an individualized review, one-by-one, I don't think that would be a problem. And I'm not saying that people should quibble with people being treated fairly. The Kavanaugh protesters got a $35 fine. But if he's talking about everybody getting an automatic pardon, I think that is -- that would be very troubling. And, again, it's not always clear what Trump is saying, and I think he probably wants it that way.

KEILAR: Your clients planned for something, which is part of what they were seditious conspiracy charges, right? Stewart Rhodes, according to the indictment, and this was new information, cashed weapons, right? He bought a lot of weapons. And the Oath Keepers cashed weapons in Virginia with a quick reaction force so that they could respond. And all of this was in the words of the Oath Keepers what they had planned for, a civil war is what Stewart Rhodes said he was planning for. That's not nothing, Jon.

MOSELEY: Well, I'm not saying it's nothing, but that's what's alleged. And I believe that will not be proven true at trial. And it is interesting because the one thing that Stewart Rhodes is very public about is that he thought that -- in terms of your previous story, that President Trump would declare the Insurrection Act in terms of seizing the machines and things like that after the election to find out what happened in the election. And that was a big part of what they had in mind there. And --

KEILAR: Can I ask you, Jon, why did he and the other Oath Keepers think that, that Trump was going to use the Insurrection Act or invoke the Insurrection Act?

MOSELEY: I don't know. I think that Stewart Rhodes was actually trying to get Donald Trump to think that.


They were encouraging the theory. But I don't know that they actually thought it was a certainty. But it was a big part of their thinking and why they thought they needed to be prepared, but they didn't do those things. But that will have to come out at trial and things like that.

Now, Stewart Rhodes is going -- you heard it here first, he is going to appear before the select committee tomorrow remotely, at which his new defense criminal attorney will require him to plead the Fifth, for most of the questions. We're just figuring that out. So, they're still looking into all of that. And I would not -- I mean, I realize that there are various crimes alleged in this thing, but if someone were violent or beat up police, I wouldn't be representing them. They may be -- the Oath Keepers and others are being charged as leaders, aiding and abetting or conspiring or inciting other people. And that's not nothing. No, it isn't. But we'll get into the evidence about that as it progresses.

KEILAR: There is a lot of evidence to suggest the contrary that there were not violent intentions on the part of your clients. The weapons, which, I mean, the DOJ even released pictures of some of the co- conspirators with these weapons in Virginia, many, many weapons, cartloads of weapons that were part of a quick reaction force with the idea that they could be called into Washington, D.C.

I do want to ask you Stewart Rhodes' ex-wife, Tasha Adams, we spoke with her about how the Oath Keepers -- or this is what she said about how the Oath Keepers are going to hear what Trump has said about the possibility of a pardon. Let's listen.


TASHA ADAMS, EX-WIFE TO STEWART RHODES, HELPED HIM START OATH KEEPERS: They hear civil war. You know, to them this is a civil war they've been waiting for. You know, a lot of these guys, a lot of these guys live for this. They've been waiting for this. They've been -- they spent their lives preparing for it. They look forward to it. There's an air of disappointment when it doesn't turn violent with these guys, I think, a lot of them.

They hear it's their chance. I mean, they're afraid. He's speaking directly to the people who are afraid of being arrested now, I think. He's giving them an out. And now, if they see this as their out, they see this as their -- if they give their support to their president, they might get away with something. They might get away with not being arrested or if they're later arrested and may be par pardoned.


KEILAR: Is she right, Jon?

MOSELEY: Well, I don't know anything about her and I've only known Stewart Rhodes for a little while. I mean, I suggested and I think Trump is often intentionally vague.

KEILAR: But you represent these clients and so you are positioned to talk about how they see this. Is she correct in what she's saying about how they perceive this pardon? It doesn't sound too different what you said in your first answer.

MOSELEY: I think -- I don't think so. But like I said, I don't know anything about Tasha and her relationship with Stewart Rhodes. But I say that a pardon couldn't come before three years from now if Trump were re-elected. Would it motivate people perhaps to support his candidacy, perhaps, and that could be problematic in various ways.

But I'm asking right now for the actual documents of all these quotes. And I think it will show that they are more observations than plans. They're saying things are going south. If I say it's going to snow, it doesn't mean I'm going to cause it to snow. But that's where I think the evidence is going to come out. But I think it's going to encourage them, but I think they know that their trials are going to be long over before Trump could do that.

So, I mean, I think that these people are very worried about the state of our country, but I think they look at it more reactive than -- and being prepared than they do plan to --

KEILAR: I mean, I am just going to quote your client, Stewart Rhodes, we will have to do bloody, massively bloody revolution against them. That's what's going to have to happen. It sounds pretty proactive.

That aside, you mentioned that when I asked you where did your clients get this idea about Trump invoking the Insurrection Act, and you seemed to indicate that it wasn't necessarily Trump. It was your client, Rhodes, who was kind of trying to give Trump that idea?


Isn't that problematic for your client if you're saying -- I mean, doesn't that just prove the conspiracy that he was concocting a plan based around invoking the Insurrection Act?

MOSELEY: Well, Trump -- I mean, Stewart Rhodes very publicly issued open letters to Trump, which is what I'm referring to. But that is a law. The Insurrection Act is an actual law. And if it applies and if it's used properly, that's not illegal. And Trump didn't and the Oath Keepers didn't do anything in response. They didn't follow up on that. They left.

KEILAR: Well, they prepared for it, Jon. No, Jon, they prepared for it. Your client alone before January 6th purchased $15,000 in weapons, including an AR-platform rifle, sites, mounts, triggers and other things while he was traveling from Texas, firearms and related supplies. You also had him purchasing stuff after January 6th. So, they prepared for this. They prepared very much for it. They had quick reaction forces in Virginia so that they could bring weapons into D.C. if they saw fit in order to obviously escalate what might happen.

And they entered the Capitol. They trespassed. And you know that it wasn't some peaceful little, you know, walking up the steps into the Capitol. We have video that the doors were physically breached on the east side where they entered. They weren't allowed to be there and they knew that.

MOSELEY: No, you don't. The U.S. Capitol Police has confirmed that the 20,000-pound, 17 foot high solid bronze doors cannot be opened from the outside. It's impossible.

KEILAR: No. They were open -- Jon, we have video, they were opened from the inside by insurrectionists.

MOSELEY: They were opened, but not by my clients.

KEILAR: After doors -- your client walked through -- your clients were there, walking through doors that had clearly been opened that they were not supposed to be in. You're saying, oh, they didn't do it. But they watched other people do it clearly where they were.

But can you speak to that? They prepared, they prepared. Speak to that. They prepared, your client in particular, with all of these thousands of dollars of weapons.

MOSELEY: Well, owning guns is legal in the United States. And he did prepare in case he was called up as the militia, and he wasn't. And they conformed to that lack of a decision by President Trump.

KEILAR: No, no. It wasn't about Trump. That's not true. You had -- you had Vallejo in Virginia, Edward Vallejo, saying, let me know. Say the word is what he said. He was indicating he was ready, just say the word. Stewart Rhodes called people -- Stewart Rhodes called more people to the Supreme Court side of the Capitol.

MOSELEY: Where there was a permit of demonstration to be set up. That's what they were there to do.

KEILAR: There was no permit to be where their clients were and they knew that. Jon, they had gone past barricades and they know that. They were in an area certainly they were not supposed to be that was forcibly entered. They went in there armed, kidded out like they were in the military. This was not a permit. Don't tell me that they were permitted to be there.

MOSELEY: There were six permits on the Capitol grounds. The Capitol Police released the permits.

KEILAR: Where was the permit for forcibly entering the east door of the Capitol?

MOSELEY: They can't -- it's impossible to forcibly enter the Columbus doors. It cannot be done as has been --

KEILAR: We're looking at pictures of broken glass and people struggling to get in. They did forcibly opened it. They forcibly opened it, moving benches and stanchions on the inside. Other participants here, and your clients walked through the door, clearly illegal, clearly illegal, while they had a quick reaction force in Virginia with thousands of dollars of weapons.

MOSELEY: I have had lunch in the Capitol for no reason. It's not illegal to go inside the Capitol.

KEILAR: Did you break through the window to get into lunch?

MOSELEY: Hundreds of people do it every day. So, I mean, the question -- we're getting into a lot of the weeds in terms of whether the signs making an exception that day were visible or not, but the fact that they didn't commit any violence in opening that doors --

KEILAR: Can we put up the picture of the broken glass, please, of the east doors? Can we put up the video of that? Let's put that up, Jon.

MOSELEY: But that's downstairs.

KEILAR: No, it's not.

MOSELEY: That's downstairs.

KEILAR: Jon, I'm sorry. You're their lawyer. Jon, you're their lawyer. You need to look at this video, okay? So, you should look at it after the interview, the east door.


MOSELEY: And there was no Oath Keepers in that video, and it's downstairs and it's a half hour earlier.

KEILAR: The Oath Keepers were aware of what was going on around the Capitol.

MOSELEY: No, they were not.

KEILAR: They were certainly aware of the forcible entry.


KEILAR: They were aware of forcibly entries.

MOSELEY: This building is the size of a cruise ship.

KEILAR: I've worked there. I've worked there.

MOSELEY: I cannot grasp --

KEILAR: Okay. I've spent more time in the Capitol than you, Jon. I've spent considerably more time there, years. So, please take my word for it.

MOSELEY: I took -- all right. Okay. We took -- I mean, the government gave us a tour on the 22nd. And I said, where is this broken window? They said it's nowhere around the doors. It's nowhere close -- the landing at the top and the center, they're not there. So, where you saw people coming through the window has nothing to do with the --

KEILAR: No. I'm showing video of the east side. That's what you're talking about.


KEILAR: I'm not talking about the west side. I'm talking about the east side. Last time we spoke, you tried to say that it was like, tra- la-la, they just walked in. What we have since seen and we see pictures here --

MOSELEY: They did.

KEILAR: No. They walked in through doors that had been forcibly opened from the inside by participants with windows in those doors that were broken. Here is a picture of your client, Kelly Meggs, he walked through this door. There's no reasonable person or anyone with eyeballs, Jon, would think that that is okay to do. MOSELEY: Where are the windows? They're nowhere near that landing.

KEILAR: Really, I mean, I'm showing pictures of it. So, I suppose you're not looking at that.

MOSELEY: I asked the Capitol Police. I asked -- we had a tour on the 22nd. And I asked the Capitol Police, show me this window. And it was nowhere near --

KEILAR: You're talking about a different window, I think. I think you must be talking about a different window. This is a breach through which the Oath Keepers went.

MOSELEY: I asked them, where is this window?

KEILAR: Well, I think maybe you're looking for the wrong window. I think that's --

MOSELEY: Yes. Because they're -- that window is at best downstairs under the thing. But it's apparently somewhere -- yes. People went in there and they opened the door from the inside, that's true, but nothing to do with my clients. And --

KEILAR: Yes, they walked through that door. Jon, I do not feel like you're having a discussion in good faith with me but I do appreciate you coming on today because I think --

MOSELEY: I would say the same but --

KEILAR: No. I am. I'm looking at video.

MOSELEY: I asked them. Look, let's go talk to these Capitol Police. Let's ask them to show us, because I asked -- I was in a tour set up by the prosecution.

KEILAR: I don't need police, Jon. I have video. There's tape. But I appreciate you being with us this morning.

MOSELEY: But it doesn't have anything to do with Oath Keepers.

KEILAR: I do appreciate -- we have video of them. I do appreciate you joining us this morning. It was certainly interesting to get your response to the pardon proposal from the former president.

MOSELEY: All right, thank you.

KEILAR: Thank you, Jon.


BERMAN: There was a lot there. But on that point you just made, the reaction to the pardon dangle there, they welcome it. I mean, that's everything, right?

KEILAR: Yes. BERMAN: If you have people being investigated, facing charges, saying sure, that sounds great, you can't tell me that's not going to affect the investigation, not going to affect their decision-making.

KEILAR: Yes. I also thought it was so interesting that, you know, yesterday when you spoke with Tasha Adams, Stewart Rhodes' ex-wife, and she told how she thought the Oath Keepers, which she actually helped found with Rhodes, she told you how she thought they would receive this, that they would receive it in a welcome way, it actually sounded very much like what the lawyer was saying there, what Jon Moseley was saying.

BERMAN: Yes. Clearly impact what the former president is doing probably knowingly.

All right, other news this morning, Nazis rallying in Florida, multiple synagogues vandalized in Chicago, daily acts of anti- Semitism.

Plus, Senator Ted Cruz calls President Biden's promise to nominate the first black woman to the Supreme Court offensive and insulting.

KEILAR: And show me the money, The New York Times buying the popular game, Wordle. Are we going to have to pay for it, because we don't want to? That's what we want to find out.