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New Day Saturday

House Democrats To Introduce Impeachment Resolution Monday Against Trump; Twitter Suspends Trump Permanently; Biden: "Good Thing" That Trump Will Not Attend Inauguration; More Than 3,400 COVID Deaths Reported Friday As Virus Surges; CDC: No Evidence Homegrown Variant Is Fueling Virus Surge In U.S.; AP Photographer Captures Historic Moments From Inside Capitol Hill During Insurrection. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired January 09, 2021 - 06:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED MALE (Voice over): Wolf Blitzer hosts CNN Special Report, "THE TRUMP INSURRECTION" tomorrow at 10:00.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (Voice over): This White House has been in crisis management mode. They have been reaching out to outside lawyers about the potential for impeachment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (Voice over): At minimum, it sets the historical record string. It's accountability.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (Voice over): This is a historic moment where Twitter has stepped in and said no, that world leader, the United States president, is too dangerous to use our platform.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (Voice over): Executives in Silicon Valley might have woken up on Thursday morning and maybe they realized that they were culpable, that allowing conspiracy theories and hateful speech to fester on their platforms for years had a role to play.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (Voice over): The nation's top infectious disease experts said the government is actively monitoring new variants, including one from the U.K..

ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Right now, the data indicate that the U.K. mutant is still quite sensitive to the antibodies that are induced by the vaccine.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (Voice over): This is NEW DAY WEEKEND with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good Saturday morning to you. There is now a growing number of lawmakers who say that 11 days is too long to wait for President Trump to leave office.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: There is now a bipartisan call for his resignation or for the 24th Amendment to be invoked. Now, both are seen as unlikely, but House Democrats plan to introduce an impeachment resolution on Monday. The latest draft obtained by CNN includes one article of impeachment for, quote, "incitement of insurrection."

BLACKWELL: Now, Twitter says incitement of violence is why they're kicking him off their platform permanently.

PAUL: In the end, his final tweet announced that he would not attend the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. That's something only three other outgoing presidents have done and now he could soon be the first president in American history to be impeached twice.

BLACKWELL: Let's go now out to CNN's Sarah Westwood. She's at the White House. Sarah, good morning to you and President Trump is seeing his power slip away pretty quickly in the final days. How is he? How is the West Wing reacting to this?

SARAH WESTWOOD, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Good morning, Victor and Christi, and yes, President Trump is watching as allies and cabinet members, aides, one by one this week either resigned or publicly denounced him in the wake of the violence at the U.S. Capitol that the President incited earlier in the day. The President saw two cabinet secretaries resign in protest this week and he's heading into a very uncertain final stretch of his presidency.

As you guys mentioned, the last tweet that he sent from his Twitter account before the social media company banned him from their platform was saying he would not attend the inauguration.

That really came as no surprise there because the President has refused to concede so far, but it also further opens the rift between him and Vice President Pence who has made clear that he will attend the inauguration if invited. That rift deepened this week when the President was on Twitter attacking Pence for performing his constitutional duty to certify the election results.

Now, on Capitol Hill, there is growing pressure to remove the President by impeachment even though there are only 11 days left. The White House came out and said that is not serving unity, the unity that they say Democrats want and I want to read you the statement the White House said. "As President Trump said yesterday, this is a time for healing and unity as one nation. A politically motivated impeachment against a president with 12 days remaining in his term will only serve to further divide our great country."

Now, as CNN has reported, there was talk among cabinet members of invoking the 25th Amendment in the wake of this week's events, but Vice President Pence is unlikely to go along with that plan. Pence is prepared to stick around until the end of the President's term, Victor and Christi.

PAUL: All righty. Sarah Westwood, so appreciate it. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right. Let's go to Capitol Hill now. CNN has obtained articles of impeachment drafted by House Democrats. CNN national correspondent Suzanne Malveaux is their. Suzanne, good morning to you.


BLACKWELL: First let's go through the draft, but also how is this likely to play out with so few days left before the inauguration?

MALVEAUX: Victor, it's going to be very dramatic. It's going to happen very quickly next week. We have heard from many House Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, saying, look, we are calling for the President to resign. They know that's not going to happen. They're calling for the vice president, majority of the cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove him from office. They know that's not going to happen.

They are using the only tool that they have in the tool box and that is, next week, the power of impeachment, the sole power of the House. On Monday is when we're going to see the House Rules Committee. They will set up the debate that will take place over the course of two days. If a simple majority can impeach this president. The Democrats certainly have that majority.


It is a single article of impeachment. It is written by representative Jamie Raskin and says that it is a -- simply a incitement of insurrection. This is for the President's role in encouraging the violence in overtaking the Capitol and changing the results of the election.

Now, Speaker Pelosi says there are many options on the table, including legislation regarding some language of the 25th Amendment, but she says what is not an option is doing nothing. This is Pelosi on "60 Minutes."


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Sadly the person who's running the executive branch is a deranged, unhinged, dangerous President of the United States and only a number of days until we can be protected from him, but he has done something so serious that there should be prosecution against him.


MALVEAUX: And so very likely that it will pass in the House, a simple majority to impeach the President. It will then go to the Senate for a trial and removal. Now, I covered the last impeachment of President Trump back in December 2019. There were no Republicans who were on board on the House side. One Republican, Senator Mitt Romney, who believed that the President should be removed.

We're seeing a very different situation now where you have a number of Republicans who are stepping up, Representative Adam Kinzinger as well as Senator Ben Sasse and Senator Lisa Murkowski calling on the resignation of the President, saying this, "He needs to get out, he needs to do the good thing, but I don't think he's capable of doing a good thing."

What does this accomplish? Well, if they get this two-thirds, they need two-thirds in the Senate, it could spill over into the next term of Congress. That is when the Democrats actually control the Senate, but they would still need some key Republicans to push it over the edge. So that could happen. If that doesn't happen, House Democrats and some Republicans are simply satisfied that they will make this president go down in history for the only president impeached twice.

PAUL: All right. Suzanne Malveaux, thank you for walking us through that. Real quick before I let you go, what Republicans are on board?

MALVEAUX: Say that again?

PAUL: Are there Republicans on board with impeachment?

MALVEAUX: Pretty close. Pretty close to impeachment. You've got people who are asking to resign. You have Senator Sasse, you have Senator Murkowski very, very close to supporting impeachment and of course you have Senator Mitt Romney who hasn't weighed in yet, but very likely to be in that group.

PAUL: All right. Good to know. Thank you, Suzanne. Always good to see you. We appreciate you. Let's talk with ...

MALVEAUX: Good to see you.

PAUL: You too. Let's talk with CNN political commentator Errol Louis. Also with us, Sophia Nelson. She's a contributing editor to "" and a former investigative counsel for the House GOP. So glad to have both of you here. Thank you. Also I should point out that she's the author of "E Pluribus ONE: Reclaiming Our Founders' Vision for a United America." Thank you both for being here.

I want to start with you, Errol. "Politico" reporting this morning this about Alan Dershowitz who says the Trump allied (ph) celebrity attorney argued that Trump's encouragement of this week's Capitol riots was, quote, "constitutionally protected speech." He said it would be his honor and privilege to take on the legal defense. Is that an arguable defence? I mean, given the limited time frame of 11 days.


PAUL: Prognosticate for us, you know, what the next 11 days are going to look like, Errol.

LOUIS: The question of all whether or not the President and others like Rudy Giuliani who incited the mob before it stormed and attacked the Capitol, whether or not they could be held criminally liable for inciting that mob I think is the question because why would you raise an issue of constitutionally protected speech? Well, it would be as a defense to possible criminal liability.

We've heard from the U.S. attorney for the area and while they're very, very concerned because the question on the table got a whole lot serious with the death of a Capitol police officer, the reality is that it's very tough to make those kind of cases. So as much as Mr. Dershowitz might like to get up and posture and speak a lot of grand words about his friend and client who ordered a murderous armed attack on the U.S. Capitol to try and overturn the election, there may not be much need for that.

I don't know if anybody ever seriously questioned, frankly, the right of the President to go out and say whatever crazy things he wants to say and to whip up a mob. He's always had that right and he used that right. The question is what the rest of us will do about it. Alan Dershowitz, of course, is reverting to type and doing what he has always done these last four years -- try and find a way to defend Donald Trump no matter how outrageous his actions.

PAUL: Sophia, we just heard Suzanne say that there are some Republicans close to the thought of impeachment.

[06:10:00] You wrote about Republicans in "TheGrio." "Republicans are hypocrites and must own what transpired at the Capitol. This wasn't activism, it was full blown anarchy." It's important to hear from you because you are a former Republican and you have specific feelings towards the party. Why did you -- why did you leave the party and what do you think the future is?

SOPHIA NELSON, FORMER HOUSE GOP INVESTIGATIVE COUNSEL: Well, I joined the party in 1988 after hearing one congressman, Jack Kemp, who was then the HUB secretary -- well, he was running actually for president and became the HUD secretary, but I was inspired by Jack Kemp's sunny optimism and entrepreneurship and just someone who was a figure that really was a bright light in the Republican party.

Fast forward to 2021, Donald Trump's Republican party is not that same party. The Republican party's been headed this way for a long time and if you were to go back in Google articles that I've written for 20 plus years, you would see me screaming about this, saying you're headed into a dangerous place if you keep becoming this white, monolithic party and you don't expand and you don't grow. That's the first thing.

To your question, how many Republicans are on board for impeachment? I think Suzanne is correct that I think there is at least the openness now in the House with those members that you saw vote against upholding the objections to the electoral college and I think in the Senate, you can probably get maybe a dozen of them now if the article was, I think, very tight and if there's time I think is going to be the issue here.

But I do think you're going to have a Republican party that's going to have a civil war internally. There's going to be a fight for what's going to happen next after Trump. That's going to happen.

PAUL: OK. So let's talk, Errol, about what happens to Trump after all of this. What is the looming threat that awaits him once he's out of office and he loses some of these protections? We know New York courts may be waiting for that, but in light of this attack on the capitol, is there anything else he could face? LOUIS: Well, yes. He's got a stack of commercial litigation that's waiting for him. He's facing potential criminal liability not just in New York, but in other jurisdictions. There's more than a dozen cases of sexual assault that are pending against him. He's got a lot of different problems related to that.

With regard to the attack on the Capital that he ordered, there are some potential -- look, the political liability I think is the thing that might spring from the attack that he ordered on the Capitol this week. It is possible, for example, and there's some back and forth about it. I've been reading about it overnight. There's some possibility that an impeachment could result not in removal because it wouldn't even be relevant at this point, but in a bar on his future service.

In other words, in theory, he could be impeached, the Senate could then vote not for removal, but to say you can never run for office again. Now, that hasn't happened before at this level and with this kind of timing, so there would be a lot of legal questions about whether or not you can make that stick, but those are the kind of issues that he's facing.

And I should also mention, Christi, that he owes $400 million to somebody. He refused to disclose it, but whoever those creditors are, presumably they're going to come knocking and they're going to want their money back from this president.

PAUL: Sophia, I want to read to you something that is in "The Washington Post" this morning. They write about vice president -- or President-elect Biden, I should say, speaking from Delaware this week and he said this, "He essentially offered a divided response, calling some Republicans shameful, praising others for their enormous integrity. He said his goal of bipartisanship is, if anything, more achievable after Wednesday's assault on the Capitol, citing Republicans such as Senator Mitt Romney who he said has talked to him in disgust about those rioters."

Now, you have said, however, as I understand it -- and correct me if I'm wrong -- that you don't believe President-elect Biden can unite the country. I mean, he's in a dicey position. What do you make of that?

NELSON: Well, a couple things. One, I voted for President-elect Biden, I'm excited about my sorority sister Kamala Harris being VP, but here's the thing. Wednesday showed us that this country is deeply divided. Now, Joe Biden's going to have a 50/50 Senate which means his vice president will cast any tie-breaking votes, putting them in the majority.

So he's got to do this kabuki dance where he has to rebuke or rebuke as necessary for people like Cruz and Holly and then he's got to embrace and try to bring over people like Romney and Murkowski and Collins, et cetera who will help him to get legislation passed, help him to get his nominees.

But I would like to address something Errol says. There is no free speech protection for sedition and insurrection. None. Zero. I'm a constitutional lawyer. There is not. It does not exist. It is just like yelling "fire" in a crowded theater. You can't do it. So you cannot incite the Insurrection and Sedition Act addresses this. So I just kind of wanted to throw that in there.


But I think Joe Biden will do his best to be positive and hopeful as he always is, but if we ignore this, we do it at our peril. This is not over. These people are not going away. In fact, I expect them to get worse because Trump has been disband from Twitter, they're going to say that their rights are being infringed and this is going to get worse before it gets better.

PAUL: Errol Louis, Sophia Nelson, we so appreciate your voices, your thoughts, your perspective, your expertise. Thank you so much.

LOUIS: Thank you.

NELSON: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Now as we continue to watch what is happening in Washington, let's not take our eye off coronavirus because the United States is breaking a record after a record almost daily now and the vaccine roll-out is falling short of expectations. Now, President- elect Joe Biden has a new strategy to get the vaccine doses to you at a much quicker pace. We're going to have the details of that.

PAUL: And think about it. Less than two weeks to go until the inauguration. You can imagine there are some new security concerns now regarding the nation's Capitol. The fallout from this week's siege at the Capitol and what to look forward to. Stay close.

BLACKWELL: And you've likely seen this picture. We're going to speak with the photographer who took it. Capitol police with guns drawn trying to keep these rioters from breaking into the House chamber on Wednesday. Hear his perspective on what happened inside that chamber.




PAUL: Just 11 days now until his inauguration. President-elect Biden says he's focused on taking office and he's leaving it up to Congress as to whether to impeach President Trump.

BLACKWELL: CNN's Jasmine Wright is with us now. Jasmine, the President-elect wants to unite the country, but starting potentially his administration with an impeachment trial, that has the potential obviously to do the opposite.

JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN VIDEO PRODUCER: Good morning, Christi and Victor, and that's exactly right. Listen, yesterday in Wilmington, Biden did not pull any punches. He laid the criticism of President Trump down. He called him an embarrassment. He called him unworthy to hold this office, but as you said, one thing he did not weigh in on is that question of impeachment. He kicked it to Congress, saying that he was focused on those three things -- the vaccine, the virus and economic recovery.

But he did add, of course, that if it were six months ago, things would be different. They would be trying everything that they could. One thing that he did weigh in on is President Trump saying that he would not be coming to the inauguration. Take a listen.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: I was told that, on the way up here -- way over here, that he indicated he was going to show up at the -- at the inauguration. One of the few things he and I have ever agreed on. It's a good thing, him not showing up.


WRIGHT: And Biden added that, you know, if it were six months ago, of course he would be pushing to get them out of office, but now and to unite the country really, the time -- the quickest way to get Trump out of office is to inaugurate both him and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in those 11 days.

He did, however, say that Vice President Mike Pence was welcome at the inauguration. Aides have told CNN that's something that we can expect as a possibility and if he did come, he would join some former presidents like President Barack Obama, former President Bill Clinton and former President George Bush.

PAUL: All right. Good to ...

WRIGHT: Christi, Victor?

PAUL: Good to know. Jasmine Wright, always good to see you. Thank you, ma'am.

BLACKWELL: So you got Republicans and Democrats now who are expressing real concern about what could happen if President Trump is left in charge of the country for the next week and a half, but there's no consensus on really what to do about it.

Let's bring in with us now Juliette Kayyem, former Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security Department and CNN security analyst. Juliette, good morning to you. Let's start there with the President's last tweet announcing that he would not attend the inauguration. The President- elect says it's a good thing from his perspective.


BLACKWELL: From a national security perspective, I understand you also believe it's a good thing. Why?

KAYYEM: Absolutely. I was trying to come up with a word for the last 24 hours that is a combination of the President is totally petty, but this is a good thing, right? Because the presence of Trump as an inciter of domestic terrorism on a day in which there's a transfer of power, legitimate transfer of power, will serve as a galvanizing force for the terrorists that he, that Trump, has essentially welcomed into politics for the last four years.

And so without that bull's eye, without -- it's essentially are you taking the terrorist leader out of the mainframe and that is important to do. You don't give them the attention and then we can look forward and deal with the terrorist threat in other ways in terms of securing the facilities on January 20th.

BLACKWELL: Let's talk about -- I mentioned that that was his last tweet. Let's talk about the ...


BLACKWELL: ... social media suspensions. The President's account permanently suspended from Twitter, other platforms as well. Sidney Powell, one of his attorneys, is down from Twitter. General Michael Flynn, his account suspended as well. Steve Bannon, one of his accounts. Others as well. What's the value of those limitations?

KAYYEM: So I mean, the value is in stopping people from using their platforms to incite terrorism. So it wasn't -- you shouldn't -- one should not view these as punishment for what's happened in the past. Twitter made it clear -- excuse me. Twitter made it clear that this had to do with threats that were rising on their platform about dates between now and January 20th.


So one way -- Victor, for four years I've been saying we have to view this through the prism of terrorism. That is what the President is inciting, the breakdown of democratic institutions by white supremacists, and if you view it through the lens of terrorism, then the question is should Twitter take down a terrorist platform? The answer is obvious. Absolutely.

And unfortunately, where we are now, the President is the terrorist platform. Twitter was absolutely right. This has nothing to do with free speech. It has to do with incitement for violence which we saw him do this week.

BLACKWELL: I just imagine the President now has lost this platform on Twitter.


BLACKWELL: Right? He's losing cabinet members, he's losing other members of the administration. There are Republicans who, for a while, have been the most staunch supporters, i.e., Lindsey Graham and others ...


BLACKWELL: ... who are now backing away. Again, from a national security perspective, the next few days you would describe as what?

KAYYEM: So elevated risks. We don't know what the President's going to do. I don't think he has sort of full control of his faculties, but what you're seeing is you're seeing institutions, I think, just at least try to hold on with as -- with as little damage as possible. Those include military institutions and the hints we're getting from the Pentagon that they are, you know, essentially laying low or going outside the chain of command to private institutions like Twitter and social media.

Two, I have to say, the FBI, which has, you know, spent the last 48 hours going after these guys. All of those are important, but this -- I have to say this is necessary. This is how -- I've studied terrorism a long time. This is how terrorist organizations end. They end by a combination of, you know, lack of leadership, loss of elections or loss of land, as you might say in Georgia, loss of a platform because what you want to do is you want to make it more difficult for them to be successful in their movement.

We saw them be relatively successful, I would say, this week. So you basically just want to make it more difficult. You're not going to end the ideology overnight, but you're going to certainly take on the movement.

I think if we can view -- you know, it's hard to do. It's hard to do, but, you know, view the President as an inciter of terrorism, everything that's being done, the lack of -- the going around the chain of command to ending his Twitter feed is in preservation of American democracy. So I don't want to say everything's good. It is going to be a really rough couple of weeks ...


KAYYEM: ... or less than two weeks, but this is necessary. This is necessary to end what this President wrought on our democracy. It just is.

BLACKWELL: Let me wrap here with this letter to colleagues in the House. Speaker Pelosi informed them that she spoke to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley, to discuss the available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike. There's one way to look at this is that she's a member of the Gang of Eight, has been for ...


BLACKWELL: ... 17 years now, so maybe she knows the answers to this and the point was to release this statement ...

KAYYEM: Right.

BLACKWELL: ... to get this reaction from people, but also what are the options to keep the President from making some type of rash decision?

KAYYEM: So the option is the famous Pentagon slow roll that anyone who has been in government knows, which is the Pentagon will say we absolutely can do this and if they kind of don't want to do it, they'll slow roll it till January 20th. I don't love this, I don't think it's great, but the chain of command has been broken.

Milley has made it clear his communications are with the Vice President. He did not -- he did not throw Nancy Pelosi under the bus for that release. So while he may not have condoned it, he certainly has no problem with her making it known that she also is engaged in stopping the military and this has been going on for a couple months with Milley and the -- and the Pentagon leadership.

So you know, this is -- this is not great. I know that, but one of the responses to the terrorism incitement is the military simply taking a, yes, we'll call -- you know, we'll call you after January 20th, you know, which is -- which is good.

BLACKWELL: All right. Juliette Kayyem, a crucial 11 days. We will ...


BLACKWELL: ... of course lean on your expertise. Thanks so much.

KAYYEM: Thank you. Good morning.

BLACKWELL: Christi? You too.

PAUL: So there are daily COVID deaths and they're continuing to hit these tragically high numbers right now.


And frustrations growing over the slow rollout of the coronavirus vaccines. There's a new strategy however from President-elect Joe Biden that could potentially speed up the process. We'll talk about it.


BLACKWELL: President-elect Joe Biden says that he's going to break away from the Trump administration's strategy. He's going to aim to release almost every available dose of the coronavirus vaccine when he takes office.

PAUL: And that's a change from the current approach which currently reserves half of vaccine production to ensure a second dose later.

BLACKWELL: Now, this is a critical period in the country as it relates to the pandemic. Vaccine distribution is going much slower than anticipated, and the virus is spreading like really never before. CNN's Polo Sandoval is covering this for us. He's live in New York. What's the latest, Polo? Good morning.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Victor. That's right, it is certainly spreading this morning, sending an even higher number of people to area hospitals. Let's start your look out west first, where hospital officials in some L.A. County hospitals are essentially preparing to ration healthcare entering which is called Crisis Care Mode. Meaning triage officers will now be faced with that very difficult decision of what patients get what kind of treatment. It's their latest desperate move to try to keep up with that relentless stream of COVID-19 patients.


SANDOVAL (voice-over): By nearly every measure, it's as bad as it's ever been. The first full week of 2021 brought yet another record average daily COVID-19 death count. More strain on the nation's hospitals and a warning about a possible COVID-19 variant from the U.S. Reports from the White House coronavirus taskforce sent to states last week suggesting the current spike in cases could be partially due to a new mutation of the virus in the U.S.

The CDC however says there is currently no evidence of that at this time. The nation's top infectious disease expert said the government is actively monitoring new variants including one from the U.K. to make sure existing vaccines were made effective.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: If anything changes, then we will be able to make a modification in the vaccine. But right now, the data indicate that the U.K. mutant is still quite sensitive to the antibodies that are induced by the vaccine.

SANDOVAL: In California, a sobering sign of the state's staggering death toll. Nearly 90 refrigerated trailers are being dispatched across the state that will serve as mobile morgues for storage of those who have lost their COVID-19 battle. Hard-hit L.A. County saw another 318 people die to COVID-19 on Friday, the most ever in a single day. And in some of the nation's hospitals, there is little to no bed space left.

With every day this week seeing more than 100,000 hospitalizations. Much of the country remains behind on vaccine efforts. According to the CDC, these states have administered less than a quarter of their vaccine supplies with only three administering over half of their allotment. As Michigan prepares to offer shots to teachers, frontline workers and people over 65, the state's governor calling on the government to release more vaccine doses.

GOV. GRETCHEN WHITMER (D-MI): We still need a national strategy. I have been saying for months whether it was around getting masks at the beginning or getting testing or an economic recovery or relief, no vaccines. There still is not a national strategy. We're building this as states.

SANDOVAL: After weeks of waiting, the elderly and city workers in New York City will roll up their sleeves on Monday. That's also when President-elect Joe Biden is scheduled to get his second vaccine dose.

(END VIDEOTAPE) SANDOVAL: And that action by the state of New York coming after some mounting pressure here to actually make that happen. Now as for who else can actually get the vaccine here in New York, starting on Mondays, those city workers who have been working constantly through the pandemic, they will be offered that opportunity to get their vaccine as well starting on Monday. And it certainly can't come soon enough, Victor and Christi, as test positivity rate here in the city alone standing at 9.3 percent.

BLACKWELL: Wow, Polo Sandoval for us there in New York, thanks so much.

PAUL: Thank you, Polo. I know that you've seen a lot of the images of Wednesday's insurrection. Can you imagine being the person who was inside taking them? We're talking with the man who captured these moments that really stopped a lot of us and just had us in awe at what was happening. That he was there. We're going to talk with him, stick with us.



PAUL: So, what we all watched on television Wednesday, of this attempted coup of the Capitol building really cannot compare to what journalists and photographers who lived through it experienced. They were right there documenting the chaos and the violence and the history all in real time.

BLACKWELL: With us now is Andrew Harnik, a photographer for the "Associated Press". He was inside the Capitol building at the time of that insurrection. Andrew, good morning to you. Now, you've watched, I'm sure, over the last couple of days the conversations about what happened in that building. We've seen the pictures.

And I want to make sure we have enough time to get to these questions, so I'm going to ask it first. What's the variable that you experienced in the building that maybe we cannot appreciate covering it outside of the building? If you understand the question I'm trying to ask.

ANDREW HARNIK, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS: Sure, yes, I mean, I've covered politics in Washington D.C. for 18 years. We are accustomed to seeing protesters out on the street. It's their right and Washington is a place that we see it in front of the White House, on the National Mall, on the streets of D.C. and the Capitol building. I think the variable is it just seemed like a normal protest up until the point where they entered the building.

PAUL: So, we're showing some of the pictures and I want to focus on that because you look at them and you are kind of in awe at what's happening. So, we have this picture right now of you inside -- you were inside the building looking out at the crowd. Help bring us into that moment. I mean, did you feel -- did you feel any tension to the point that you thought -- was that before they were moving in or you thought that they would be moving in at that point?


HARNIK: Again, up until the point where we realized that people had made it into the building, it was a protest that happened in Washington all the time. My job was to cover the politics with the joint session going on indoors. We have a large team at the "Associated Press", where there were photographers outside covering that, the protests. Never before in any of our careers has something like this happened where they came into the building and suddenly, you know, all of us were covering just this unprecedented moment.

BLACKWELL: The -- my apologies for interrupting. The first picture we saw inside the building was this one. This is the one from inside the house chamber where there were guns drawn pointed at the door. Let's put that one up on the screen. Tell us the story of what led up to this and describe what was happening inside as we saw the picture.

HARNIK: Well, first of all, photographers are highly restricted inside the house chamber. Really only happens a few times a year. I had been in the chamber earlier and was working outside of the chamber in a press work room. And when the building went on lockdown, we found ourselves basically back in the house chamber sheltering in place with members of Congress.

Now, usually members of Congress are down on the house floor and the photographers and members of the media and guests to watch the proceedings are up on the gallery level above. But because of COVID distancing, members of Congress were shoulder-to-shoulder to myself as things were unfolding. You could -- you know, I was down on my hands and knees and security members were yelling at us and members of the Congress to keep our heads down.

But there was real tension. I could hear conversations happening to the left and right of me with members of Congress, all kinds of emotion, anger, fear, sadness, disappointment. Other members were sort of trying to take charge and help the security to calm other members and sort of keep the situation as relaxed as possible before they were able to evacuate the house chamber.

PAUL: Yes, I think that was one of the things that was so -- that really hit you is when you saw our lawmakers taking cover, and you could see the fear on their faces. I just cannot imagine what that was like for you. Right, real quickly, before we let you go, and we do have to go, but can you -- can you tell us what some of those conversations were? Do you remember?

HARNIK: Well, it was everything from just trying to keep emotions down and focus on getting out. It's -- some -- a member of the Congress actually had the foresight to start shouting to ask their colleagues to remove the pin that signifies that they are a member of Congress so that if we found somebody out in the hallway, you know, they wouldn't immediately know that they were a member of Congress. So, it ran the gamut.

BLACKWELL: Well, Andrew Harnik, thank you for the work that you do in bringing us these pictures. We hope -- we are actually glad you are OK and thank you so much for your time this morning. HARNIK: Thank you, Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right --

PAUL: Thank you, sir --

BLACKWELL: Andrew Harnik, "AP" photographer. We'll be right back.



BLACKWELL: Federal investigators are now looking for the people who rioted on Capitol Hill.

PAUL: CNN's Pete Muntean has more on the charges that they could face if convicted.


PETE MUNTEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): New court documents detail the charges against Lonnie Coffman of Alabama who federal officials say packed his truck with 11 Molotov cocktails, a handgun and an assault rifle, and parked it only a block from the Capitol grounds. He is one of 13 people just charged by the Department of Justice as investigators are scouring the internet for images to identify those involved in Wednesday's attack on the Capitol.


MUNTEAN: Federal officials also just charged West Virginia state lawmaker Derek Evans after he live-streamed from inside the Capitol and identified himself.


MUNTEAN: Evans' attorney insists his client is not a criminal, instead exercising his First Amendment rights as a quote, "independent activist and journalist". Evans later deleted the clip, but West Virginia's Governor did not mince words about what he saw.

GOV. JIM JUSTICE (R-WV): It's a scar on West Virginia. How in the world can we possibly think that's anything but bad stuff?

MUNTEAN: Also arrested, the man seen sitting at a desk in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office. Richard Barnet of Arkansas now faces of trio of federal charges, including theft of public property. An act he detailed in a local television interview on Thursday.


RICHARD BARNET, PRO-TRUMP RIOTER: I set my flag down. I sat down there at my desk. I'm a taxpayer, I'm a patriot. That ain't her desk. We loaned her that desk. And she ain't appreciating the desk, so I thought I'd sit down and appreciate the desk. I threw my feet up on the desk.

MUNTEAN: But not all the consequences are coming through the justice system. A Texas attorney is no longer employed by his insurance company after posting what he called peacefully demonstrating on Facebook. A Maryland marketing company fired a worker seen inside the Capitol wearing his company ID badge. And former Pennsylvania state lawmaker Rick Saccone resigned from his post as an adjunct college instructor after he posted this video to Facebook.



SACCONE: And racing them up there, we're trying to run out all the evil people in there and all the rhinos that have betrayed our president. We're going to run them out of their offices.

MUNTEAN: Police in Washington are distributing photos of those who stormed the capitol, and now say they've received more than 17,000 tips. D.C.'s acting police chief says they will aggressively pursue persons of interest.

ROBERT CONTEE, ACTING POLICE CHIEF, METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT OF WASHINGTON D.C.: We still have a significant amount of work ahead of us to identify and hold each and every one of the violent mob accountable for their actions.


MUNTEAN: Investigators say photos are key for them. The FBI set up a portal so people can upload their own, but in an area already ladened with cameras, it will become especially hard to hide from the law. Pete Muntean, CNN, Washington.

BLACKWELL: All right, Pete, thank you very much. The next hour of your NEW DAY starts after the break.