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187 Minutes, Committee to Focus on What Trump Did During Attack; DOJ Rests Case in Bannon's Contempt Trial, Defense Up Today; CNN Asked All 50 GOP Senators If They'll Support Same-Sex Marriage Bill. Aired 7-7:30a ET
Aired July 21, 2022 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROLYN MANNO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Coach Jim Valvano who died of cancer back 1993, and the 83-year-old Vitale who recently battled lymphoma himself, using that signature voices to stress the importance of cancer research.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DICK VITALE, JIMMY V PERSEVERANCE AWARD WINNER: Jimmy's dream was to beat cancer and we must do it because it doesn't discriminate. It comes after all. In fact, I want everybody in this room that knows somebody they love, knows somebody in their family or maybe themselves that's battled cancer to please stand.
Well, take a look at this room. It doesn't matter race, religion, it will bring you to your knees. There's only one way to beat it, my friends. We have got to raise dollars and give the oncologists a fighting chance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MANNO: One of many powerful moments, former heavyweight boxing champion, and current mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, also honored, guys, with the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage. Brittney Griner top of mind, her name also mentioned a number of times throughout the evening.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Absolutely. She's been at the top of minds for both athletes and the White House these days.
Carolyn Manno, thank you.
And New Day continues right now.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: So, the hearing the January 6th committee has been building up to tonight in prime time. I'm John Berman, Brianna is off, Chief White House Correspondent Kaitlan Collins is here. And they really have been building up to this.
COLLINS: We have a huge day ahead of us. I mean, people are waiting to see what are they going to say about that black hole of time of what happened on January 6th in the Oval Office. BERMAN: And they say they have new information. The focus is going to be the 187 minutes during which former President Donald Trump was at the White House and this mob of largely Trump supporters storming the U.S. Capitol.
The committee will present a minute-by-minute account of what they call Donald Trump's dereliction of duty, what he did not do despite pleas from his aides, his allies, his family. You are going to hear that phrase, dereliction of duty, we expect, quite a bit.
COLLINS: Tonight is also going to feature never before seen outtakes of this moment where former President Trump reluctantly condemned what happened the day after the Capitol attack. This video coming only after his efforts to overturn the election had failed and his staff members were warning him that members of his own cabinet were discussing invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office.
Two White House aides, Sarah Matthews and Matthew Pottinger, who quit in the immediate aftermath of January 6th, are both going to testify publicly in prime time.
BERMAN: All right. Joining us now, CNN Senior Legal Analyst and former Federal Prosecutor Elie Honig.
Elie, 187 minutes, this period from when Donald Trump told people to march to the Capitol at The Ellipse, between that moment, and later on when he finally released the video. What do we know about that time?
ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, John. So, all focus on this crucial timeframe.
Now, our story today starts at 1:10 P.M. on January 6th. That is right as Donald Trump was finishing up his speech to that crowd on The Ellipse. And Donald Trump made this famous statement, we fight like hell, and if you don't fight like hell, you are not going to have a country anymore, we are going to walk down to the Capitol. We know now, thanks to the testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson, that when Donald Trump made those comments, he knew that that crowd was armed.
Now, as to what happens next, it is a bit of a black hole but there are some important things that we do know. We do know that all manner of Republican dignitaries were frantically texting Mark Meadows, the chief of staff, begging him to get Donald Trump to do everything. One example, Donald Trump Jr., the president's own son, texted he's got to condemn this blank ASAP.
Also about one hour into this crucial 187-minute period, Donald Trump sends this fateful tweet at 2:24 P.M. You're going to hear a lot of references to the 2:24 tweet, that is this tweet where Donald Trump verbally attacks Mike Pence. And we've seen the video of the crowd reading this tweet in real-time and breaking into chants of hang Mike Pence.
And, finally, the end of that 187-minute period is when Donald Trump finally releases this video calling on his supporters to go home, a little bit of a mixed message here. We love you, you're very special, but go home and go home in peace. So, there is a lot we don't know. We do have a couple of fence posts, though.
BERMAN: The witnesses we will hear from tonight to help fill in this gap.
HONIG: So, two live witnesses. First of all, Sarah Matthews, former deputy White House press secretary, she was in the White House on January 6th. And, remember, she resigned that day and the main reason was that 2:24 tweet. Sarah Matthews testified in her deposition he was pouring gasoline on the fire by tweeting that.
We also will hear live from Matthew Pottinger, who was the deputy national security adviser at the time.
He, too, was in the White House during the crucial times. He also resigned on January 6th. He said. I read that tweet, again, the 2:24 tweet, and made a decision at that moment to resign.
Also, we will hear not live but we will see video of the White House counsel, Pat Cipollone. Remember, John, he testified for eight hours in front of the committee. We saw a couple snippets last hearing but that's only a minute or two. I think we are going to hear a lot from him.
And, finally, I think this is important. Stephanie Grisham, who was working for the first lady at the time, she told you, John Berman, right here on New Day a couple months ago about what she saw on January 6th. Grisham said, he, Trump, was in the dining room gleefully watching T.V., as he often did, look at all these people fighting for me, hitting rewind, watching it again. That's what I know. So, that's who's going to help fill in the gaps.
BERMAN: It's interesting. I think you're right about Pat Cipollone too. There's a lot more we could be hearing from him tonight.
What are the unknowns still?
HONIG: So, there are certain known unknowns as we head in. Remember, the White House call log, there is that seven-hour gap where we can't see who Donald Trump was calling. It will be interesting to see if the committee is able to piece that together through phone records from Verizon and the like.
Video outtakes, this is the video of the next day, January 7th. We're going to see the earlier cuts of this, which could be revealing as to Donald Trump's state of mind. And, finally, we know we have these missing Secret Service texts from January 5th and 6th, the explanations thus far about why they are been missing will be questionable we will say charitably.
John, big questions though, of course, what did Donald Trump know about what was happening at the Capitol? If he's watching on T.V., he should know a lot. And what did he do and not do?
And just for perspective, here are a few things that are shorter, less time than 187 minutes, The Godfather, 175. Godfather II is actually a little longer. But the original is shorter than that. The official world record for the marathon is about an hour shorter than that and a flight from Philly to Miami is also shorter than 187 minutes. So, that's how much time Donald Trump had where he did not call off his followers.
BERMAN: All right. Elie, an interesting development from the U.S. Senate, this bipartisan deal reached on a proposal to overhaul the Electoral College, the Electoral Count Act of 1887. Why is this important and why is it relevant to what's going on here at the hearings?
HONIG: This is the law that Donald Trump and his crooked lawyer, John Eastman, who has now taken the Fifth and been searched, tried to exploit to steal the election.
Now, two big changes. So, the original act from 1887 says that the vice president has two jobs, open and announce the votes. Sounds straightforward, right? Not according to Trump and Eastman. They argued that that meant Mike Pence can throw out votes if he doesn't like them. The new proposal would make entirely clear that the vice president has, quote, solely ministerial role and he cannot reject the votes.
The other thing is part of the plan was to gum up the works by having members of Congress object to certain states. All that took is one representative and one senator. 2 out of 535 members of Congress could object to every state. The new proposal would up that to one-fifth of the Senate, so about 20 senators, exactly 20 senators, and one-fifth of the house, about 87 House members. So, it is going to be a lot harder to do that.
BERMAN: I will tell you, if I'm John Eastman and I'm seeing the Senate saying, oh, you have got to change the language. What I'm saying is, oh, what you're saying that it wasn't clear, that maybe I was right, that there was some room?
HONIG: That is actually a great legal argument, John, and he may make that.
BERMAN: Elie Honig, thank you very much.
COLLINS: It also shows why you want to overhaul that law.
Let's bring in New York law school professor and former prosecutor Rebecca Roiphe, CNN Legal Analyst and former House Judiciary Special Counsel in Trump's first impeachment trial Norm Eisen, and CNN Political Analyst Natasha Alford.
Thank you all for being here on what is such a really big day of what's going to happen on this. Certainly a lot of anticipation about what this hearing is going to look like. We have got these two witnesses and they are people, certainly Matt Pottinger, very high profile, the former deputy national security adviser is quite a significant role. And so what does it say to you that they're coming forward and testifying publicly, Norm? NORM EISEN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, first, it says that Matthew had a crisis of conscience when he saw that tweet in the middle of an insurrection. We now know Trump knew the mob was armed, he wanted to march with them, and Trump targets his own vice president and we know that tweet was read on a megaphone to the crowd. That shows Trump's murderous intent. Pottinger reacted to that.
But the other thing it says to me, Kaitlan, is Pottinger was there, deputy national security adviser, very high ranking, he's going to have a lot of blockbuster testimony what was going on during this mysterious 187 minutes.
BERMAN: And the committee is putting this hearing in prime time. Before the Cassidy Hutchinson hearing, this was really the one that they were building up to the most. Why? Why is this their finale at least for now?
REBECCA ROIPHE, PROFESSOR, NEW YORK LAW SCHOOL: I think it makes complete sense that this is the prime time finale for now in part because we all witnessed it.
We had witnessed it in real-time and this is like behind the scenes. So, there is a lot of drama in that. Learning what we didn't know when we were watching, having the sort of the outtakes, the literal outtakes for the speech and all the outtakes for what was going on that whole time that we were watching the mob.
COLLINS: Yes. And that was a speech that he was reluctant to give, according to his own staff. And Cassidy Hutchinson testified that a lot of it had to do with talking about the 25th Amendment. And so when he did eventually give the speech, this is what part of the final product looked like.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: I would like to begin by addressing the heinous attack on the United States Capitol. Like all Americans, I am outraged by the violence, lawlessness and mayhem.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: How effective do you think it's going to be to have what people saw on January 7th versus what was actually happening behind the scenes in these outtakes?
NATASHA ALFORD, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think it's a great opportunity to highlight Donald Trump's character, right? There's been a lot of media coverage about who he is but then there is who he presents himself to be to his followers.
And when you show the actions versus the impact, right, the fact that there was violence and that this was something that, you know, he was gleefully pouring that gasoline on, you ask yourself, is this the character of a president? A president is supposed to protect and defend the Constitution. And, really, Donald Trump protected and preserved himself in that moment. He preserved his own interest.
I think that's really important for an audience that believes that Donald Trump is their protector, their defender, that he is somebody that advocates for them. When you see that he was willing to put them in harm's way for his own interest, hopefully that highlights what a problem that is.
BERMAN: Let's say, it might be captivating, titillating to see these outtakes that no one has ever seen before, but I am curious of the legal significance, and I do understand this isn't just about the law. What's the legal significance of things he didn't say or a speech he didn't give?
EISEN: It's very important because the first part -- the first five hearings established these two crimes, that a federal judge in California found were likely as to Trump, conspiracy to defraud the United States and the obstruction of an official proceeding in Congress.
Those then -- the second half of the hearings have pivoted to Trump's intent, which you have to prove in any criminal prosecution. And these outtakes are going to show us his facial expressions, his gestures, what's going on in his mind. That's gold to trial lawyers to have that footage. So, it goes to the intent that prosecutors are going to have to prove.
COLLINS: And for what the committee is trying to prove is that he wanted the violence that happened that day, he was fine with it. Not only did he not try to stop it, he was fine with it. We were told at the time by sources on January 6th that he was borderline enthusiastic as he was watching what was happening on Capitol Hill.
And so I guess the point -- well, I know the point that the committee is trying to make is that he violated his oath of office. By using outtakes, by having this testimony, is that going to be kind of what seals their argument today?
ROIPHE: Absolutely. I mean, I think one of the things that has been so well done about these hearings is showing the contrast between what he was told, what President Trump was told, and how he reacted. Because it goes to show he can't deny this whole notion, I was just doing what I thought was lawful in terms of contesting a problematic election. Increasingly we see that defense whittled away.
Now, of course, you know, if this ultimately were a criminal case, it would look very different because we don't really have his side. However, they've done a very good job in terms of public presentation of shooting that and having that defense in part by doing just this, what did people tell him to do and what did he do in response.
People in the outtakes might have been saying to him, look, you need to say this, you need to be more adamant. If he was refusing to do that, that's key and I do think really important both for what the January 6th committee is doing and ultimately if there were a prosecution down the line for proof of his criminal intent. COLLINS: And I will be interested in these outtakes because Cassidy Hutchinson said that there were several lines that didn't make it in there about prosecuting the rioters or calling them violent.
BERMAN: You have all convinced me that the outtakes are going to be really worth watching and potentially interesting with potential legal implications. Now, I really do want to see what they show.
There may be two audiences here for the January 6th committee. There's the American people, clearly all of us watching, that's why they're putting it in primetime, but they do seem to be focusing their arguments in a way that the Justice Department, whether federal prosecutors or Merrick Garland, can see and say, hey, this is a legal case we can or should be making.
And Merrick Garland has been pressed on this by people speaking out in public and by reporters speaking to him about where he is on the idea of potentially prosecuting a former president of the United States.
Listen to what he just said about this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MERRICK GARLAND, ATTORNEY GENERAL: No person is above the law in this country. Nothing stops us --
REPORTER: Even a former president.
GARLAND: I don't know how to -- maybe I will say that again. No person is above the law in this country. I can't say it any more clearly than that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Almost as frustrated as I think we've seen Merrick Garland. What's going on here?
ALFORD: Well, you know, I'm really fascinated in public opinion and the shift. It felt like there was so much coverage of January 6th that the public almost checked out, they felt like, well, nothing is going to happen, right, what can we prove? And then you get to this point where the hearings build this case that this wasn't spontaneous, that there was a lot more planning to it and I think that hopefully that points to something being able to be done.
And poll results showing how independents have even shifted watching these hearings might indicate that we have a little bit more to be hopeful about. And so Merrick Garland is being careful about the way he responds because there might be something there.
EISEN: And it's working in the state prosecution that is moving forward, it seems, on the part of D.A. Fani Willis in Georgia. We can't only talk about Merrick Garland. D.A. Willis has issued 16 target letters to the phony electors who signed that fraudulent certificate that Donald Trump won and they're his electors. And those target letters you start -- Rebecca knows this well -- you start low down the food chain, you try to flip some of those individuals to work your way up. Who is at the top of that pyramid? Donald Trump.
COLLINS: Who is still calling election officials in other states, like Wisconsin trying to get them to overturn the election.
Thank you all so much for being here. Natasha, Norm, Rebecca, you guys have been so helpful. So, thank you for breaking this all down for us.
COLLINS: Tonight at 7:00 Eastern, this is when you can watch the live coverage, special coverage here on CNN of the primetime hearing as the January 6 committee is going to turn to his conduct in office during the Capitol attack and what was or was not happening.
BERMAN: So, just hours from now, the Steve Bannon trial, the defense will present its case. The jury for all we know could begin deliberations as soon as this afternoon. This is for the contempt of Congress trial the former Trump Adviser Steve Bannon faces. The prosecution has now rested its case.
Let's get straight to CNN Political Correspondent Sara Murray for the details on what has happened and what we're expecting today, Sara.
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Sure, John. Well, the prosecution laid out its case in a pretty damning paper trial, honestly, for Steve Bannon. Yesterday, they pointed out in letters from the committee to Bannon, they said if you don't comply, you basically get a criminal referral. They rejected the claims he is trying to make about executive privilege, and they also that at no point did Bannon's team ever asked for the subpoena deadline to be extended.
The one thing Bannon had going for him yesterday, he doesn't have a lot of defenses, but the judge did allow in recent letters between Bannon's lawyers, Bennie Thompson and that letter from Trump about the sort of Hail Mary offer to testify. His lawyers are trying to make the case that, look, the subpoena was not a hard and fast deadline, we are still in negotiations and the House still wants information from Bannon.
The other thing that the defense tried to do on Bannon's behalf was to argue that the prosecutors in this case, or the witnesses in this case may have some kind of political bias. They pointed out that one of the prosecutors in the case and the House staffer who was a witness yesterday were in the same book club. It turns out neither of the women have participated in that book club for over a year. So, we will see how the jury takes that. And, of course, this could go to the jury as soon as today. We don't have a sense of what kind of defense they are going to put on yet.
BERMAN: This is moving very quickly. Sara Murray, thank you very much.
Extreme heat sidelining Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder. Why the band was forced to cancel a concert.
COLLINS: Also, what CNN learned when we asked all 50 Republican senators where they stand on legislation to protect same-sex marriage.
And the Biden administration is working on ways to protect the abortion rights of pregnant migrant minors now in government custody. We have brand-new CNN reporting next.
BERMAN: This morning, potentially deadly weather affecting 275 million Americans with temperatures of 90 degrees and above for the next several days. We're seeing record highs all over the country, 111 degrees in Lawton, Oklahoma, 110 degrees in Abilene, Texas, 103 in Springfield, Missouri, and Albany, New York, it tied its 1991 record at 97 degrees.
In Pennsylvania, officials are asking elderly residents to take caution. The Pittsburgh zoo said they are giving their animals frozen treats and access to air conditioning. In Norfolk, Virginia, one store clerk tells CNN affiliate WTKR he has sold 100 fans in the last week. Cities including New York and Boston are now bracing for their highest temperatures over the weekend.
It is worth noting also that CIA Director William Burns says the global climate crisis is an important priority for the U.S. intelligence community. Speaking at the annual Aspen Security Forum in Colorado, Burns said, we cannot afford to sleep on the threat and the potential consequences.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM BURNS, CIA DIRECTOR: So, if you assume, as I do, that, you know, the people's Republic of China is the biggest geopolitical challenge that our country faces as far as in the 21st century as I can see, the biggest existential threat in many ways is climate change.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: All right, the heat also affecting rock.
COLLINS: Some disappointed fans after Pearl Jam canceled its Vienna show after the lead singer, Eddie Vedder's throat was damaged, which he says happened after the band's outdoor concert in Paris.
CNN's Fred Pleitgen has more on this. And, Fred, obviously, people like we aren't happy about this, but what happened?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONALCORRESPONDENT: Yes, you're absolutely right, they're really unhappy about this. But it goes to show the big effect that these massive wildfires and this heat wave is having across Europe and indeed, as John just said, on rock and roll as well.
Apparently, Pearl Jam was playing a gig outside of Paris, just outside of Paris, at an outdoor venue, when heat, dust and smoke from nearby wildfire caused that damage to the vocal chords of Eddie Vedder.
Now, Pearl Jam says said that Eddie Vedder went to see a doctor, got medical attention, but his vocal chords simply did not recover in time to be able to play the next gig, which was supposed to be last night in Austria in Vienna.
I want to read you some of what the statement that Pearl Jam put out. They said, as a band, we are deeply sorry and have tried to find options to still play and Ed wants to play but there is no throat available at this time. No throat to be able to play a gig.
Now, the next gig on that Pearl Jam tour is supposed to be tomorrow night in Prague, in the Czech Republic. We will see whether or not that actually goes through. Right now, it actually is still scheduled to start, but we will wait and see whether or not that actually happens as, of course, Europe remains really in the grip of that massive heat wave and especially France has been hit really hard by those wildfires, again, also affecting Pearl Jam as well, of course, one of the greatest bands of all time. So, we do wish Eddie Vedder a speedy and full recovery because we do need him. He is great.
BERMAN: I feel like there's editorializing going on there.
COLLINS: John is disputing your characterization. I should note in the break, he was playing Pearl Jam out loud on his laptop.
BERMAN: Fred Pleitgen yearning for Pearl Jam there. We need him back, says Frederik Pleitgen.
COLLINS: We all hope that Eddie Vedder is okay.
PLEITGEN: We do. We do need him back.
COLLINS: Fred Pleitgen, thank you so much.
BERMAN: Fred, by the way, is a phenomenal guitarist, by the way.
BERMAN: Yes. Check out his various social media feeds. That guy can play.
COLLINS: I have seen him on multiple international trips. I have never seen him with a guitar.
BERMAN: He sings to me. Just know that.
BERMAN: So, everyone saw this important development in the House of Representatives, where the House passed with 47 Republican votes a measure called the Respect for Marriage Act, which would basically codify federally the right for same-sex marriage.
Now, if it is going to get through the U.S. Senate, it would need all 50 Senate Democratic votes plus the support of ten Republican senators. It would need that to get past a filibuster.
CNN has reached out to all 50 Senate Republicans to find out where they stand. So, joining us now, CNN Congressional Correspondent Jessica Dean with some interesting numbers, Jessica.
JESSICA DEAN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning to you, john. Yes, we did. My colleagues and I spent yesterday reaching out to all 50 GOP senators to kind of test the waters, see where they are on this. You're looking at the numbers right now. This is what we've got so far, four likely to support, eight no, 16 told us they were undecided, a lot of people saying they wanted to see the language first, they wanted to take a look at the bill. And then 22 we are still waiting on to respond.
Now, I want to say that they do expect on both sides that they will get the ten to overcome the Senate filibuster, something we talk about a lot. They have got to have 60 to get anything through.
These are the four Republicans who have said that they will support this measure, and key to this, Rob Portman and Susan Collins, both are going to be co-sponsors of this legislation. So, those are the four that we know are most likely a yes on this legislation.
These are the eight that have told us that they are going to be a no on this legislation, some Republicans really dismissing the need for this idea, Democrats really pushing this legislation because Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, in his opinion on overturning that constitutional right to an abortion, noted contraception and same-sex marriage might need to be looked at again. Some Republicans saying they simply don't think that's going to happen. Marco Rubio saying, as he went into an elevator yesterday, he thinks this is a stupid waste of time. So, those are the eight that are so far a no.
These are the undecided senators right now, again, as I mentioned, a lot of people waiting to see the language on this before they proceed forward, but Joni Ernst telling us she's keeping a very open mind, she just wants to take a look at things, for example. So, we will continue to see these numbers evolve. But, again, people on both sides of the aisle believing that they will get to ten and this will likely pass.
The question on this is going to be the timing, because right now, we are headed toward August recess, where all of these lawmakers, John, are going to go home for about a month. That's the schedule at this point. So, they have a lot of things on their plate right now they want to get done first. This is likely to slide until after August recess. But, politically, for Democrats, John, the thing to keep an eye on is they like that timing because then they are getting closer to the midterm elections, they can be talk about this issue.
They think it will really be key with voters going into the midterms. BERMAN: It is notable, Jessica, that you're hearing from both sides they think they will get the ten Republican votes.