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CNN TONIGHT: Mulvaney: Pat Cipollone Will Tell the Truth to January 6 Committee, Will Have to See if He Corroborates or Counters Hutchinson; Former WH Counsel Pat Cipollone to Testify Before January 6 Committee; Georgia Prosecutor: Donald Trump Subpoena "Possible". Aired 9-10p ET

Aired July 06, 2022 - 21:00   ET




JIM LAMON, (R) ARIZONA SENATE CANDIDATE: The people of this state realize that the President hasn't always made the right decisions. He's made a really bad one, in this particular case. Just put them on, big boy pants, and let's go make sure that we continue to get our message out.

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): But Masters contends, Lamon, and the rest of the field, are a part of Arizona's past.

LAH (on camera): We talked a lot about bringing new blood, new vision, to the Senate.


LAH (on camera): Tell me a little bit about it.

MASTERS: You know the average age of the Senate?

LAH (on camera): Oh, it's 60s (ph), yes.

MASTERS: 64.5. I think we got to get some new energy, new fight, right? Pretty soon, like I said, we're going to have a young, dynamic America First caucus.

LAH (voice-over): Kyung Lah, CNN, Phoenix, Arizona.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: The race goes on!

The news continues. Let's hand it over to Kasie Hunt, and CNN TONIGHT.


KASIE HUNT, CNN HOST, CNN TONIGHT: Anderson, thanks so much.

I am Kasie Hunt. And this is CNN TONIGHT. There is so much news, on the multiple ongoing investigations, into Donald Trump's efforts, to overturn the 2020 election. We are going to spend the whole hour, unpacking it all, this evening. We have not one, but two, former Trump White House insiders, who are going to help us do it, tonight.

In a moment, you'll hear from former Trump Acting Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney. His message, for some of his fellow Republicans? "Pay attention to the January 6th hearings." And there are big developments, tonight, on that front.

You'll also hear, from former Trump White House press secretary, Stephanie Grisham. She, like Mulvaney, resigned from her administration repost, on the day that our Capitol came under attack.

Stay tuned for both of them.

The Select Committee, meanwhile, apparently just finalized plans, for what could be its most critical testimony, yet. Our sources say, the committee struck a deal, for a closed-door recorded interview, with former White House Counsel, Pat Cipollone. Set to happen, on Friday.

He met with members, in April, for an informal interview. But since his name came up numerous times, during last week's explosive testimony, from former White House aide, Cassidy Hutchinson, the committee subpoenaed him, for formal testimony, under oath.


REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): White House Counsel, Pat Cipollone.


Mr. Cipollone.

Mr. Cipollone.

I see Pat Cipollone, barreling down the hallway, towards our office.

STEVEN ENGEL, FORMER UNITED STATES ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL: Pat Cipollone said, "Yes, this is a murder-suicide pact."


REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): White House Counsel, Pat Cipollone.

CHENEY: Mr. Trump's former White House Counsel, Pat Cipollone.


HUNT: There you go!

There will, of course, be limitations. Those are due, likely, to executive and attorney client privilege. But it's still a very big deal. This is someone, who spent a significant amount of time, with the ex-President, while he was in office, before, during and after January 6th. He is a witness, who can potentially help fill in lots of critical blanks.

Remember, Hutchinson testified that Cipollone expressed very serious concerns, about the legality of some of Donald Trump's actions.


HUTCHINSON: Mr. Cipollone said something to the effect of, "Please make sure we don't go up to the Capitol, Cassidy. Keep in touch with me. We're going to get charged with every crime imaginable, if we make that movement happen."


HUNT: So, will we see some of Cipollone's upcoming testimony, at the committee's seventh public hearing that is set for Tuesday? TBD!

But meanwhile, another former close Trump aide has gone from doggedly defending the ex-President, in his White House days, to now defending what we've been hearing, in those House committee hearings, investigating Trump's actions, on January 6th.

Why? I put that, and more, to former Trump Acting Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney.


HUNT: Sir, thanks so much for being here.


HUNT: So, you previously predicted that the committee was going to work, on getting Pat Cipollone's testimony, and that ultimately, he was going to show up. And now, that is happening. What do you think he's going to offer to the committee?

MULVANEY: The truth. I know, Pat. I worked very closely, with Pat, for 15 months, actually, more than that, when I was in the White House, in the West Wing. And Pat will tell the truth. There is no question about it.

Will he corroborate what Cassie Hutchinson had said? Will he counter what she said? I don't know. But I do know that Pat Cipollone is an honorable guy. And once he puts his hand, on that Bible, he will be telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. So help him God.

HUNT: You clashed a little bit, with Pat Cipollone, when you were working, in the White House, alongside him. You guys did overlap. What's changed, if anything that gives you a higher estimation, of Mr. Cipollone, now? MULVANEY: Oh, no, nothing, because that hasn't changed. I always held Pat at high esteem, in terms of his integrity. We just disagreed on policy, disagreed on procedure, disagreed on how to handle the impeachment. But I didn't think that he was a dishonorable or a disreputable kind of person.

You have those kinds of discussions, in every White House. It's not always everybody sitting around, singing Kumbaya. And when you're having discussions, at the very highest level, yes, things can get pretty tense. But my opinion of him, as a person, has not changed.

And again, I absolutely believe the man is going to tell the truth. I just don't know what he's going to say.


HUNT: If Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony, conflicts with Pat Cipollone's testimony? And again, they're both under oath. Who would you believe?

MULVANEY: Yes. It's a really good question. And sort of, it depends on how it conflicts, and is it directly opposed.

For example, if Pat says he never heard a story, about the President, grabbing the wheel, does that undermine Cassidy, when really what she testified was that she heard that story from Tony Ornato. They're not exactly, sort of contrasting statements.

But if he says, for example, "I never said I was worried about getting charged with all crimes imaginable?" Then that's going to create sort of this tete-a-tete, this head-to-head sort of differentiation between the testimony. And it'll be up to folks, to decide, who's telling the truth.

But, like I said, Pat's a very compelling, credible guy. And I will be paying very close attention, to what he says, next week.

HUNT: So, you left the White House, in March of 2020, which was obviously before the election, and before the events of January 6th.

But in the time that you were there that you were behind-the-scenes in the White House, did you ever witness Pat Cipollone, warning the President, or his other top advisers that they might be about to commit a crime, and advise them against taking action?

MULVANEY: No, the President never asked me to do anything immoral, anything illegal. We can rehash, if you want to, the withholding of the Ukraine funding, which was 100 percent legal and 100 percent moral.

I won't go to specific conversations, between the President and Pat Cipollone. That's his lawyer, after all.

But again, I didn't see this. I didn't see the story that Cassidy told about the President, last week, about somebody, who throws plates, and pulls tablecloths, off of tables. I didn't see that. I didn't see anybody who grabs a wheel, or accosts a Secret Service agent, did not see that.

Understand that things may have been very, very different, after the election, in 2020, than they were, when I was there. For example, the Chief of Staff, my previous role, Mark Meadows seemed to be, from Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony, completely detached, and not engaged in the process. That would have been a big change.

So, I didn't see what everyone saw, in January, when I was there, up until March of 2020.

HUNT: So, can you help us understand a little bit about why you are more vocal now, than you were, in the immediate aftermath, of January 6th? And, of course, the committee has been doing its work. I mean, we've gotten a couple new outspoken things from you.

There was obviously the tweet after Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony, where you called it, two stunning hours. We know that he assaulted his security team, that there may be links to the Proud Boys, et cetera.

And then, you also recently wrote an Op-Ed, in a nearby, a paper to you, in "The Charlotte Observer," arguing that Republicans, Americans, out there, should be paying attention, to the January 6th hearings.

Why did you decide that you needed to start being more vocal now?

MULVANEY: Yes, actually, I'm not being more vocal. It's just more people are paying attention, because I'm coming out with things that are against the President.

In fairness, for a year, I've been defending him, saying that while I resigned, because I didn't think he lived up to the expectations that I had, for my president, also didn't take some of the advice, I tried to give him, in the run-up to the transition of power, I was defending him, saying he didn't do anything that I thought was illegal, or impeachable. And no one really cared about that.

But since I've been watching the hearings? And I do what Chiefs of Staff do. We call them like we see them. Our job is to tell the President, things he doesn't want to hear. And that's all I've been doing.

And the evidence that has been presented, some of it, at least, by the commission, is very compelling. And I don't think that anybody should be afraid to watch these hearings, and make up their own minds, as to what's happening.

I don't believe anything that Liz Cheney says about this situation. I don't believe anything that Bennie Thompson says. They're hopelessly biased. But I do believe Republicans, when they put their hand, on the Bible, and say, "Look, this happened, and this might constitute a crime." I don't think I've changed--

HUNT: You don't believe anything Liz Cheney says, when it's clearly, she played a key role, in convincing Cassidy Hutchinson, to testify? You don't think that she's taking a noble role, in the Republican Party? MULVANEY: Yes, I can make my own decisions, based upon me watching the evidence.

I know when I'm seeing political BS, from people. I know when I'm seeing showboating. I know when I'm seeing the impact of hiring of the ABC television producer, to put on the show. Again, that's - that - I think most people can figure that out.

I have been moved by the testimony, which is what's supposed to move us. It shouldn't be the statements of politicians, on the outset, who clearly have an axe to grind, against President Trump, regardless what party they're in.

But the testimony, under oath, by Republicans, is compelling. And I wish more folks, in my own party, were watching.


HUNT: There's more, a lot more. Watch what Mulvaney says, about his successor, in the job, Mark Meadows, when it comes to January 6th. You won't want to miss it.

Part two of our interview, with the former Trump Acting Chief of Staff, when CNN TONIGHT, returns



HUNT: More now, from my conversation, this evening, with former President Trump's one-time right-hand, man, Mick Mulvaney. He talks about the impact, of these January 6th hearings, who you should believe, and how the Republican Party should view Trump, and 2024.


HUNT: When you say you wish more folks were watching, I mean, what is your assessment? You, of course, are a politician. Were, for a long time.

What's your assessment, of whether Republicans, are willing to be moved, especially in some of these key swing states, like Georgia, and perhaps Wisconsin, where those hearings, these hearings, might be getting a little bit more coverage?

MULVANEY: Yes, it's not determinative. But, I think, it was like - it wasn't Gallup that somebody came out with a poll, just in the last 12 hours that asked folks to rate, what the most important issues to them are. And it didn't prompt them to give an answer.

And no one said January 6th - no one said the January 6th commissions. Things like the economy are still driving ordinary Americans, and what they care about.

That being said - and by the way, I don't think the hearings are moving that needle, one way or the other. Inside Washington, inside the political world, so outside of Washington, in politics, it is moving the needle.


And what you're seeing, I think, is folks, especially in my party, are looking at Donald Trump, as damaged, and as something that might weigh down, the party, going into the midterms, and into 2024, which is why, I think, you're starting to hear rumblings now about Mike Pence, running in 2024, against Donald Trump. Mike Pompeo, Ron DeSantis, Tim Scott, Nikki Haley.

Those were discussions that I don't think you would have had six weeks ago, or eight weeks ago, before these commission hearings started.

HUNT: Would you vote for Donald Trump in a Republican primary?

MULVANEY: In a primary? No. Keep in mind, I've got a lot of friends, who are running. I'm not going to tell you, who I would vote for. But there's a lot of folks, who I think would be a better president, than Donald Trump, in a Republican primary. And I will--

HUNT: That was going to be exactly my question. Do you already have someone that you have in mind?

MULVANEY: Kasie, I served in the state legislature, with Tim Scott. Ron DeSantis and I played on the congressional baseball team, together. Nikki Haley was my Governor. Mike Pompeo and I served in the cabinet together. These are all my friends. Mike Pence, and I, go back 12 years.

So, no, I don't have a favorite dog in the fight. I just think that it will be healthy, for the party, to have really good candidates, run against Trump, in 2024.

HUNT: So, let me bring us back, to the hearings, briefly. We talked about Cipollone, obviously, who is scheduled to testify.

The person that we are still waiting on, is Mark Meadows, who is, of course, your former colleague, in the House of Representatives. The Freedom Caucus, of course, a place where you two interacted, regularly.

Do you trust Mark Meadows to tell the truth?

MULVANEY: If Mark Meadows put his hand on a Bible, and said he was going to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? I would be inclined to believe that. I do not believe, at this point, he's the most credible, out of all the witnesses.

You asked me a fair question, five minutes ago, which is if Cipollone said X, and Cassidy Hutchinson said Y, I'd want to look at it very, very closely, and it'd be a close call.

If Cipollone says X, and Mark Meadows says Y, I'm absolutely believing Cipollone. I just am, and I think a lot of folks are.

Mark seems to have gone through a very dark period. He was apparently, according to Cassidy, detached from the job. I don't know, if he was having some sort of event, where he could not engage.

But, I think, Mark is in a really strange place. And my guess is, if he testifies? And he may be compelled to testify, because he's under - he's not under criminal indictment yet, but it's been a criminal referral, to the Department of Justice. My guess is we'll see him take the Fifth Amendment, more often than not.

HUNT: Do you think Mark Meadows betrayed the country with what we know now about his actions around January 6th?

MULVANEY: Certainly, that case is being made. But let's step back, for a second, and recognize, the hearings are not over.

No one's had a chance yet, to counter Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony. There may be five or six or eight witnesses, who come out, and say, "Look, she really was lying under oath," and I'll be wrong about giving her the benefit of the doubt that I have, up to this time.

So, it's too early, to draw sort of the conclusions. This process is not over, and we need to see it through to the end.

That being said, as a former Chief of Staff, I picked up on things, in Cassidy's testimony that really frightened me.

And it was the way the West Wing was running. It wasn't running. It was it was anarchy. It was chaos. It was a clown show, with folks like Rudy Giuliani, and Lin Wood, and Peter Navarro, in the Oval Office, when all the reasonable people, the smart people, seemed to be sort of disengaged.

And it was Mark - up to the Chief of Staff. And it's me, Mark Meadows, John Kelly, to make sure that the West Wing functions properly, because there are protections, in place, to make sure things like January 6th don't happen. And that system fell apart, under Mark's watch.

And while the President is ultimately responsible, for the people, he hires, the Chief of Staff, there's a great deal of responsibility, when it comes to running that office.

HUNT: All right, finally, before I let you go, do you have any regrets, about your time, in the West Wing? I mean, you did right, at one point that you thought that the former President would gracefully accept defeat, in the end.

MULVANEY: No, I'm not big into regrets. By the way, that piece, I've taken a lot of criticism, for that piece. You started this segment, by saying that my prognostication, about Cipollone, showing up, was a winner. That's good for me. I've got some bad predictions in my past.

But keep in mind. That was me with my Chief of Staff hat on. That was me, advising the President. That was me speaking to an audience of one. I hoped that it was true. I really did. And there was evidence, as I set forth, in that piece that it was true.

But I was also trying to speak to the President, as his former Chief of Staff, in a way that I knew he communicated, which was through the Washington - through the editorial pages--

HUNT: Interesting!

MULVANEY: --and some of the big pages. And he didn't take the advice that I gave him, in that piece, which is one of the reasons I quit, the day of the riots.

HUNT: He certainly did not.

All right, Mick Mulvaney, thanks very much, for this conversation, this evening.


HUNT: We really appreciate your time, sir.


HUNT: So much to discuss, there. A key question will be, who Donald Trump met with, leading up to January 6th? And that's going to include some of those, who spent time, inside the White House residence, away from the cameras, and the attention, of the West Wing.

The one person, not named Trump, who may know better than anyone, joins me next.



HUNT: "A clown show." You heard how former President's one-time Chief of Staff described the administration, under Mark Meadows.

My next guest was in the Trump administration, from the very day that Trump was inaugurated, right up until January 6th. She worked directly, with both the former President, Donald Trump, and first lady, Melania Trump.

Stephanie Grisham, thank you so much, for being here, with us, tonight.


HUNT: So, let's start there. What do you make of the dysfunction that Mick Mulvaney described, under Mark Meadows?

GRISHAM: Well, I left, for that very reason. I left the West Wing because of Mark Meadows. So, I think that what Mick had to say was correct. And it does seem that towards the end there, perhaps Mark was more disengaged than usual, and allowed some pretty bad actors, to surround the President.

HUNT: Do you agree with Mick Mulvaney's assessment, of who is to be believed, in the context of these hearings? He suggested, he would believe Pat Cipollone, over Mark Meadows, if their testimony conflicts. Do you agree?


GRISHAM: Yes, I think that Mick was a lot more charitable, than I would be with--


GRISHAM: When it comes Mark, I would believe my dog over Mark Meadows.

So absolutely, I do want to say I agree with Pat, completely, or with Mick, completely, about Pat. He is a man of integrity.

I didn't always agree with Pat, also. I think it was the normal lawyers versus the PR person, kind of butting heads, about what to do. But he is a man of integrity. And I saw him, myself, constantly shutting down bad ideas, and telling the President that things shouldn't go certain ways.

Another thing that I saw, quite a bit, was the President wasn't great to Pat. The President would tell him, he was weak, and he needed better lawyers. And Pat stood firm, and did what was best, for the country. So, I believe that's what he will do now.

HUNT: Can I ask you, also, in the event that there are conflicts, between Pat Cipollone's testimony, and what we heard, from Cassidy Hutchinson? And both - we expect Pat Cipollone to testify under oath. She was under oath. How would you evaluate discrepancies between those things?

GRISHAM: That'll be hard. It'll depend on so many things. A lot of what Cassidy had to say, which she said, upfront, was what another person told her.

Now, obviously, if it was a conversation, between Cassidy and Pat, and he believes it differently, it'll depend on, I think, nuances of, will Pat say, "I absolutely didn't say that?" Then that'll be one thing.

But if it's just a discrepancy in a word, or two, or perhaps Cassidy thought he was saying it in a way that Pat wasn't quite saying it? It just depends.

And, in that White House, there's so many things going on, at so many, you know, in one moment, and there's so many conversations happening. So, I think, we all just have to watch and see.

I think that Cassidy was very believable. I did not work with her. I don't know her. But, I think, we'll have to wait and see.

HUNT: And did you ever personally witness instances, where the then White House Counsel, Pat Cipollone, informed the President, or those, around him that they couldn't do something, because it was illegal?

GRISHAM: No. I never saw that. Pat, to his credit, was great at having, I think, those kinds of conversations, with the President, privately. He often had conversations that it would frustrate me, as the press secretary, because I needed to be in there, so that I could then hopefully tell the press, kind of what was going on.

But I never saw him say no, in terms of you're going to - this is going to be illegal. But I did see him push back often.

And I did see him say, during the first impeachment hearings, that's a great example, Jenna Ellis, wanted to come on board, as legal counsel, and the President was OK with that. And Pat said, "No, I don't want her on the team. And we will step back." So, I've seen those conversations, take place.

HUNT: Remarkable what's - it really underscores - I mean, what you just said really underscores why Pat Cipollone's testimony, is so absolutely critical, here.


HUNT: Let's turn to what you were witnessing, in the White House, behind-the-scenes, around the time of January 6th, and the days before.

You wrote in your book, a little bit, about meetings that would happen, in the White House residence, after hours. Have you spoken to the committee about those meetings? And what can you tell us about who was in them and how they unfolded?

GRISHAM: Yes, I've spoken to the committee, extensively, about anything that I know, about the days leading up to January 6th.

But, as just practice, Mrs. Trump, understandably, always wanted to know, if people were going to be in her home, at night. And the President oftentimes didn't tell her. So, I, as Chief of Staff, needed to be notified. So, I was always told by the usher, who was going to be in the residence that evening.

And I do know that leading up to January 6th, there were a lot of the "Lawyers," I like to do that, up there, speaking that Mark Meadows would usher them, into the residence. I don't know what was discussed.

HUNT: And who are these lawyers?


HUNT: Just can you enumerate who those lawyers are? I mean, I think some of our viewers may know, but just for clarity,

GRISHAM: I apologize. Yes, Jenna Ellis, Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani, those are the three, I can think of, at the top of my head.

HUNT: And, of course, some of them were present, then, at a meeting at the Willard Hotel, right before January 6th, that's become of significant interest, to the committee.

In your experience, and based on your knowledge, of this period of time, do you think President Trump knew, who was meeting, at the Willard Hotel, and why?

GRISHAM: Yes. And the reason I say that is because nobody did anything without President Trump's blessing. Period! End of story!

I, as Press Secretary, any Chief of Staff that I worked with, which was literally all four of them, you didn't do - make a move, without first getting his sign-off. People didn't go behind his back, and make major decisions, and talk strategy, without him knowing.

So, I think that he was well-aware. But that's just me, knowing just from my own experience, this is just a guess.

HUNT: So you're saying that based on extrapolation on previous behavior, not necessarily because you knew, based on experience. OK.


And what about Mark Meadows? Do you know if Mark Meadows knew what was going on at the Willard Hotel? And do you have any insights, into the claims that we've heard from the committee that he was interested in attending that meeting?

GRISHAM: I don't - I don't know, personally. Again, when Mark Meadows took over as Chief of Staff, I left the West Wing, probably three weeks later. So, I was gone, and I was very much removed.

But again, knowing the way, the President worked, knowing the way, the West Wing worked? And this isn't even - this is just Mark Meadows, as Chief of Staff, would need to know about all of those things that were going on, for so many reasons.

So knowing how things worked, I can't imagine that he wouldn't have been aware, and I can't imagine that the President wouldn't have told him to go there.

HUNT: Do you recall - final question. Do you recall ever hearing any conversations, or discussions, around connections, to some of the extremist groups, the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers that we're going to see - we're going to see those links explored in the next hearing?

Does that ring true to you at all? Do you know anything about it?

GRISHAM: I don't know anything about it, with regard to January 6th. It does ring true to me, only that - and I'm not going to get into this, which is terrible, I know, for your show.

But there were people on the Trump campaign that had connections that I spoke to the January 6th committee about. So, it rings true to me. I don't know any factual connections that maybe Meadows had, or anybody in the West Wing had.

HUNT: Very interesting! Trump campaign officials' potential connections to the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers. We will, of course, be on the lookout, to see if that comes up, in subsequent committee hearings.

Stephanie Grisham, thank you very much, for your time, tonight.

GRISHAM: Thank you. HUNT: OK, we're going to take what we just heard, tonight, from Grisham, and from Mulvaney, and we're going to bounce it off yet another former Trump World insider, along with two former federal prosecutors.

What do they think this upcoming January 6th hearing might lead to? That's next.



HUNT: So, you just heard, Donald Trump's former Chief of Staff, speaking out, and his former Communications Director, who told us who was secretly meeting with Trump, in the days, before the mob attacked the Capitol.

We have so much, to break down, with our panel. We've got Doug Jones, the former U.S. Senator, and former U.S. Attorney. Elliot Williams, a former federal prosecutor. And Miles Taylor, the former Chief of Staff, to the Homeland Security Secretary, during the Trump administration.

Miles, you had a pretty strong reaction, when we were listening, to the Mulvaney interview, here, together, where he said that he, and I'm paraphrasing, saw nothing illegal, or immoral, in his time, in the West Wing.

Yes or no? True or not?


One, I do think it's important that Mick, and people like Mick, are starting to speak up. And I think that shows you that Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony is making people scared. It's good that he's out there.

However, I would add, there is no one, no one that was in Mick's job, during the Trump administration, who did not see him do things that were immoral, unethical, or try to do things that were illegal and unconstitutional.

I am telling you, I sat there in rooms, when Mick was there, when the President wanted to do things that were illegal. Now, did he do them? No. He was often talked out of them. But this was his daily impulse.

HUNT: Do you have examples, during your time?

TAYLOR: Absolutely. I mean, for instance, I mean, Mick was there, for meetings, where the President wanted to illegally, and unconstitutionally, seal the entire border, even though the law said, you have to allow asylum-seekers, to come in. In fact, he would berate people for that. And Stephanie was really right, in her interview, when she said, Pat Cipollone was often the one, who got berated by the President, because he was the lawyer that had to say, "No."

This happened in Mick's presence. It happened in John Kelly's presence. It happened in Mark Meadows' presence. This was a daily occurrence that Trump wanted to do things that were immoral and unethical.

But I think what was interesting about what you saw is we're now entering the stage of this investigation, where there's a lot of names coming forward. Mick versus Mark, and Cassidy, and Pat Cipollone. The finger-pointing that's happening now, shows you people are getting scared. And now, people are starting to come forward.

ELLIOT WILLIAMS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL: Something that, and I say this, as a former prosecutor, we fixate so much, in thinking about what is a crime, and what isn't, what you can charge, as a crime, and what you can't. And much of the conduct in the world that people shouldn't do can't be charged as crimes. And that's OK.

A lot of this was disgraceful, immoral conduct, for people, who were blessed to be able to serve the American public, and failed, and failed the country. And that itself is immoral, and indecent, and wrong. Now, some of it may not be criminal.

HUNT: Right.

WILLIAMS: But, I think, it was really important that he drew that distinction, noting that this was immoral conduct, and shameful, for anyone, to be engaging in, in the White House.

DOUG JONES, (D) FORMER U.S. SENATOR - ALABAMA: What has struck me, about Mulvaney, and some of the others? And I agree with you. I'm glad they're coming forward.

But you know what? I sat through a damn impeachment hearing, OK? And I saw people coming forward, then. And people, like Mulvaney, and others, just enabled the President, to berate those people, and to continue to do things.

Again, I'm glad they're coming forward, now. I'm happy they're doing it. But every one of those folks enabled Donald Trump. And when you enable, somebody like Trump, for that long, you're going to end up with a January 6th type situation. And that's what bothers me for the future.

But, to call everybody, call - look, again, I can't say it enough. I'm glad, they're coming forward. We see it, all the time, in investigations, like this. But if they had come forward, and did the things that they needed to do, back in the day, we - and it might not would have ever gotten to January 6th.

HUNT: What do you think the motivation is? I mean, you've prosecuted cases. You know how this works, with one witness saying something-- JONES: Sure.

HUNT: --and bringing other witnesses up out of the woodwork. I mean, why does Mick Mulvaney switch now?

JONES: I think it's a combination of things, for people. I think that Cassie Hutchinson did embolden people. People were afraid.

Look, anybody that spoke out against Donald Trump, was going to get slaughtered, in the social media. They were going to get bullied. And, I think, people are seeing this now that they can actually speak out, and tell the truth, and they are people with character.

I think other people are also thinking, "Oh, my God, did I do something wrong? I better talk to somebody." Because I see all of this now. There's a combination of things. We see it all the time--


JONES: --in federal investigations, where the media comes out, and people get, they either get emboldened. They get frightened. This is a very similar pattern, in a democracy (ph).


WILLIAMS: And this is happening on a public scale, in a way that criminal trials--


WILLIAMS: --and investigations don't. Because Congress is Congress. It's a public body. They have political interests too. But they get to be out there in a way that prosecutors wouldn't.

So, necessarily, they see what's going on. They see that it's fine the world - the sky doesn't fall, and you do the right thing, when you come forward and testify--

JONES: But Kasie?

WILLIAMS: --right now.

JONES: I'm cynical about a lot of this stuff, too. I watch Bill Barr. I watch Mick Mulvaney. I questioned them, both on hearings, especially Mick Mulvaney and others.

I think there's also a, you know, it's a new tour. It's a kind of a self-righteous tour that all these people are going on, to try to rebuild an image that got tarnished, incredibly tarnished--

TAYLOR: Well and--

JONES: --with the things from--


TAYLOR: --I have to add to that, Senator. You can't serve in that administration without coming out with a PhD in cowardice analytics.

JONES: Absolutely.

TAYLOR: I mean, I can tell you, I witnessed it at every single stage.

And in 2020, when I was trying to recruit every single senior official, in the Trump administration, to go oppose his reelection? The first motivation, in saying "No," was fear. A lot of them were afraid to be intimidated.

JONES: Right.

TAYLOR: But another motivation was they didn't want to lose out on money-making prospects, in Trump World. Especially, if he came back one day.

One of the things we're seeing now is a different type of fear, fear that they're going to be prosecuted, and people are starting to change their tune.

And I hate to say it, and I said this to you guys, during break, also, perversely, some of them saw Cassidy Hutchinson became a hero. And a lot of them left the Trump administration--

JONES: Absolutely.

TAYLOR: --being villainized by the American public.

HUNT: Yes, they could have done a little earlier.

TAYLOR: And now they see "Oh, I can go become a hero."

HUNT: Yes.

TAYLOR: "And I can get famous on TV."

JONES: "I can redo my image."

WILLIAMS: But I'd be curious, for the elected official, at the table, is it just politically wise now that maybe folks are seeing that the emperor--

HUNT: Yes. Is it - that's a good question.

WILLIAMS: --right?

HUNT: Is it changing significantly?


JONES: Well, I don't--

HUNT: I mean?

JONES: --I still haven't seen that much changing, in the Congress of the United States, and the Senate. Everybody's still talking behind closed doors.


JONES: We have seen January 6th, now, how many hearings? Seven? We got more coming up. And we have nothing but crickets coming out of the House of Representatives--


JONES: --the Republican leadership, and the Senate leadership.

HUNT: So, let me ask - I take your point, on Congress. But the point that Mulvaney was making, about how this might actually break the dam, on 2024? Because, I mean, it's clear, right, in races, in House and Senate races, Trump is still, especially in primaries, kind of the be- all and the end-all.

But there is this group of Republicans that are just itching to - they all want to be president, right?

And does this, I mean, Miles, do you think that this creates - or sorry, Doug, Senator, and then Miles--

JONES: Yes. Not a--

HUNT: --that this creates space?

JONES: --not a single one of them have come out and criticized this president that much. Not a single one of them have come out.

HUNT: And is that a prerequisite, do you think?

JONES: I think they - if they are going to have any credibility? Because they were all enablers.


JONES: Everyone that Mick named, were enablers, during the time. Not a single one is talking about this hearing, to say it's a witch-hunt that and "Yes, we need to move on, we need to," they would love to get Donald Trump in the rearview mirror, as we talked about, last night.

WILLIAMS: Oh, Mike Pence was probably one of the biggest stars of, I think, the--


WILLIAMS: --first hearing.


WILLIAMS: Clips of his testimony, and so on. And if you notice, he was very careful, and measured, in the tones--

JONES: Right.

WILLIAMS: --he'd talk, when speaking about the former President.

JONES: If they want to--

WILLIAMS: And - right--

JONES: --they want to break?

HUNT: Yes.

JONES: If they want to break?


JONES: Let's get a break. And, I think, the country needs it. I think, quite frankly, I'm not a Republican, but I think the Republican Party, needs that break.

TAYLOR: I'm not anymore, either.

JONES: As well.

TAYLOR: And I'm very happy not to be. I left it - maybe a little too late.

I will say to your question, though, Kasie. I talked to three different people, today, who served at high levels, of the Trump administration, have not yet come out publicly, to ask that question. "What will it take?"

Now, some people are being moved by Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony. But a number of people said to me, today, in these conversations, that it will be the primary process, in 2024 that hopefully, is Trump's political death knell.

It's going to be ambition, countering ambition. And, in their view, it's all the ex-Trumpers, going to work for the next crop of GOP people, whether it's Pompeo, or whether it's Nikki Haley, that will ultimately be able to sink him.

Now, I wish they would just come out anyway. But if that's what it takes, is the primary process, for them to get into the fight? Well, by all means, get in the fight, and try to take him out in the primaries. But I hope we never have to get to that, although it sounds like the former President is angling to--

JONES: Well not a--

TAYLOR: --get back in.

JONES: --not a single one of them, is going to be protecting democracy, if they do that.

TAYLOR: It's absolutely right.

JONES: Not a single one of them. And that's--

HUNT: You mean, if they run without criticizing Trump?

JONES: If they just - if they just - just go to other people, nobody is going to be protecting the democracy, as we know it, which needs to be protected. That is one of the most critical things that this country is facing, right now. And those folks that are not coming out, and not speaking out? They are doing serious damage, to this country.

WILLIAMS: It's not just Trump. It's the underlying causes--

JONES: Absolutely.

WILLIAMS: --that led to January 6th.

JONES: Absolutely.

WILLIAMS: And it's cutting that stuff out, and attacking that stuff that's - it hasn't gone away. It's not going anywhere, regardless of what happens, with Donald Trump.

HUNT: And it's part of why what's unfolding, with faith, in our elections, the way those laws are being changed, and meddled with, is so incredibly important, in the context of this conversation.

All right, we've got a lot more to talk about. Stick around. Because we have another investigation, on efforts, to overturn the election that is also heating up, tonight. The prosecutor, who just subpoenaed Senator Lindsey Graham, won't rule out a subpoena, for Donald Trump.

We'll discuss that, next.



HUNT: Could former President Trump be subpoenaed, as part of a grand jury investigation, into whether he criminally interfered, in the 2020 election, in Georgia?

Fani Willis, the District Attorney, in Fulton County, Georgia, says, yes. Take a look.


BLAYNE ALEXANDER, CORRESPONDENT, NBC NEWS: Might we see a subpoena of the former President himself?


ALEXANDER: So, we're not ruling out, it is possible to subpoena (ph)?

WILLIS: Absolutely.


HUNT: "Anything is possible." That Grand Jury just subpoenaed a handful of key Trump allies, including his former attorney, Rudy Giuliani, and South Carolina senator, Lindsey Graham.

Back with me now, Doug Jones, Elliot Williams, and Miles Taylor.

So, there's a lot to talk about here. Elliot, let's just like talk nuts and bolts, here.


HUNT: What happens, if the Fulton D.A. does subpoena Donald Trump?

WILLIAMS: Well, you got a legal fight, on your hands, because just like Lindsey Graham has said he would do, the President, I think, would move to quash the subpoena, saying it's either political, or not based, in fact, or something like that.

HUNT: I mean, if there's anyone that's an expert at, like dragging out subpoenas, and legal processes, it is--

WILLIAMS: Talk about the PhD! People with PhD!

HUNT: --former President Donald Trump.

WILLIAMS: He's got a PhD, in dragging out legal processes, right?


Now, look, if he is subpoenaed, it would have gone to a court, and a judge anyway, and the judge would have approved the subpoena, saying there was a basis for it. But you got a legal fight on your hands, if the President gets subpoenaed.

JONES: And it's not normal practice, to subpoena a target of an investigation.



JONES: I mean, it's not normal practice. You run a real risk of potentially having a grand jury tainted, if you put some - a target in there--

HUNT: How so? What does that mean?


JONES: If they know that they're going to take the Fifth, which - and I know that people would think that Donald Trump is incapable of doing that.


JONES: But, if he had any decent lawyer, I mean, even a court- appointed, I mean, lawyers of any stripe, would tell him "Do not testify. Take the Fifth."


JONES: "It is protecting you."


JONES: Well, there can be serious ramifications, for a case, in which somebody puts a target, in front of a grand jury, just knowing that they're going to take the Fifth.

WILLIAMS: Look, you have the right to remain silent, right?

JONES: That's Right.

HUNT: Sure.

WILLIAMS: You watch Dragnet. That's what people think about.

JONES: That's Right.

WILLIAMS: And literally, if they - if they bring you into, with a subpoena, and they're asking you to testify, and then if they charge you with a crime? That might throw the whole thing off.

TAYLOR: It's another, to your point--



TAYLOR: --he's clinically incapable of remaining silent, right? And any prosecutor is going to know that. And honestly, that's what the trail that Donald Trump has created, frankly, is what puts him in the most vulnerable position, here.

I mean, one of the reasons Trump World is panicking, right now? They genuinely feel totally besieged, not just by the January 6th Select Committee, but by this investigation, and any number of investigations, is because they know, at some point, the shoe's going to drop, the penny is going to drop, and something is going to stick.

He's not Teflon Don that nothing will stick. Something will stick, at some point. And it's one of the reasons why the former President, is itching to announce his candidacy--

JONES: Sure.

TAYLOR: --in 2024.


TAYLOR: Is the people around him are worried that they're going to get hit. But if he's a candidate, for public office, he can say, "This investigation is partisan. They're just trying to end my candidacy." That's the talking point, he's trying to rush, into existence. WILLIAMS: Now, look?

HUNT: And--

WILLIAMS: Sorry, go ahead.

HUNT: No, no, go ahead.

WILLIAMS: No, I was going to say, I mean, we were talking about, in the break, the risk of trying to prognosticate, when charges are coming? And it's never a good idea. Prosecutors know this.

JONES: Absolutely.

WILLIAMS: But, however, if the President, is to be charged, the former President is to be charged? It's probably in Georgia, because they're just - and, I think, quicker than the federal government.

HUNT: Right.

WILLIAMS: Because they're just more straightforward crimes. It's straight-up election law.

HUNT: Right.


HUNT: And the evidence is very clear, as well.

WILLIAMS: It's just clearly--

HUNT: The recorded phone's record.

WILLIAMS: And it's not this lofty constitutional stuff, yes.

JONES: Well, look, everybody's talking about how clear that is?


JONES: Let me tell you something. I did a little defense work too. And a good defense lawyer is going to rip that tape to shreds, OK?


JONES: He's going to rip that tape to shreds.

HUNT: Why?

JONES: Because, you can say, if you're in the heat of something, and you've got, and you've lost a close election, for the governor, for president, whatever?


JONES: And you can say, "Oh, my God, I just - I just need to find 11,000 votes." WILLIAMS: Yes.

JONES: That can be an innocent conversation. If you're asking someone, to redo the count, "Do it again, please?"

HUNT: It's a very generous interpretation.

JONES: No, no, but no--

HUNT: But I do take your point.

JONES: But remember, it's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. And if there's a different hypothesis that's consistent with innocence, then you don't get a conviction.


WILLIAMS: And it's undermined by the fact that he asked for exactly the right amount of votes, he would need to win. But it actually muddies the water enough, I think, for a defense attorney, to get the jury's ear (ph).

JONES: Absolutely - oh it's going to be crazy.

HUNT: So, Senator Jones, let me ask you, from a political perspective, because I think all of these things are layered together, perhaps less so, in Georgia, but definitely, in the case of the Department of Justice, Merrick Garland, making decisions about what to do?

Is there, in your view, as someone, who understands what the legal system, and how this works, on the ground, in politics, a risk, to charging Donald Trump that will potentially elevate him, in the context of a 2024 run?

JONES: Of course, there is. I mean, look?

HUNT: And how significant is it?

JONES: Well, it's, I think, significant. I mean, you only go back to my old nemesis, Judge Roy Moore. Roy Moore got elevated because he got sued by the ACLU. And he rode that horse, as far as he could. Not his regular horse. He rode the legal horse, as far as he could. Sorry!

But yes, there is a risk. But I will say this. That is not the kind of risk that is going to be determinative, for the Department of Justice, and the Attorney General of the United States. They're going to look at the pros and cons. They're going to look at the strength of the evidence. They're going to look at the policy behind it.

They're going to understand that when you're trying to indict a former President that has never been done, in the history of this company - country that you've got to raise the bar. It is going to there - and there's long term ramifications, for doing that. And that's what it's going to be. It's not going to be the political risks.

HUNT: Right. So-- JONES: I do not believe it'll be the political risk at all.

HUNT: So, raising that bar, it occurs to me, and I actually want to circle back, because we haven't talked about, what Stephanie Grisham said, at the end of her interview, with us--


HUNT: --which is that she has testified to the January 6th committee about potential links between the Proud Boys, and then the Oath Keepers, to the Trump campaign.

I mean, Miles Taylor, what do you know, if anything, about that? And is that going to be the center of whatever the Department of Justice does?


TAYLOR: Well, look, I talked to someone, the other day, who actually said to me, when they would go on advance trips, with the President, and you get these drivers that drive staff in the cars that there would be these QAnoners, and Proud Boys types, who would be brought on as volunteers, to drive the staff vans.


TAYLOR: And they were worried about it then. And that was years before January 6th.

One thing was very clear before I left the Department of Homeland Security. And that was the White House didn't want to talk about domestic terrorism.

Because the people that the law enforcement - law enforcement community considered domestic terrorists, were the people, the White House considered supporters. They considered them very active supporters, and they didn't want to launch cases against these people. I mean, the red flags were being aired, then.

So, I think, you can draw a line, from what happened, on January 6th, way back, into the administration. But there's a really crucial point here. I mean, for many years, we've--

HUNT: Final words. We've got to wrap.

TAYLOR: --we've hoped that investigations would save us from Donald Trump, that impeachments would save us from Donald Trump.

One thing is very clear. This may ultimately go back to the people. Donald Trump may make it into a primary process. And that's ultimately what the Constitution says, is the people have the final word, here. And we may have to be prepared to have the people vote, to keep this man, from being in public office, again.

HUNT: And I think--

JONES: And hope that the people have the final word, and not some partisan election official.

HUNT: And I think that's also what Liz Cheney is going for here that when every time she speaks to the camera, I think, that's what I think about, in the back of my mind.

Doug Jones, Elliot Williams, Miles Taylor, this was great conversation, we could go online.

We'll be right back.


HUNT: Thank you all, for watching, with us, tonight. I will be back, tomorrow.

"DON LEMON TONIGHT," with Laura Coates, sitting in, starts right now.

Hi, Laura?