Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Live Event/Special

Jan. 6 Cmte Presents New Evidence, New Testimony, Never-Before- Seen Footage. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired October 13, 2022 - 14:30   ET



MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So as you can see, Jake, they're not revealing a lot of details about exactly what they plan to subpoena Donald Trump for. But knowing full well that there is -- they're unlikely to get any cooperation from the former president, especially since this here -- this investigation is wrapping up in a matter of days. Mr. Raskin, can you explain this, we're live on CNN right now, can you explain the subpoena for Donald Trump? Is this for documents for interview? And why would --

REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD), JANUARY 6 SELECT COMMITTEE: I can't comment on that right now. Thank you.

RAJU: So we'll keep trying to get some more information about exactly what they're seeking here. But nevertheless, not expecting much from Donald Trump at least get it on the record that they sought his testimony. Jake?

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: All right, Manu, Raju, trying to get them to get a little bit ahead of the script there. They want to make this announcement dramatically in the hearing. And so, a little no comment for you from many members of the panel. Thanks so much.

Let's talk this -- about this right now with our panel here, George, our legal brain. If Donald Trump doesn't comply with the subpoena, and I admit -- first of all, if you were his lawyer, which would be an interesting thing. I assume you'll --


TAPPER: Well, but I assume his lawyers will not want him to comply.

CONWAY: And I think they'll make up, they'll write some letters saying, oh, it's not, you're politicizing this, and you took too much time, and so on and so forth.

TAPPER: But the risk is so great, that he incriminate himself.

CONWAY: Right. But you don't want also, but you don't want him to have to take the fifth, you know, that you don't want that. You don't want to embarrass him like that. Look, it's not going to be enforced, right. As a practical matter, they don't have the time to enforce it. It would -- and even though he absolutely has no privilege here, the D.C. Circuit and the Supreme Court found that when they allowed the National Archives to produce executive materials to this Committee, and he's a private citizen. So he could be in theory compelled. They could refer make a criminal referral like they did with Meadows and others.

But that -- none of that is going to happen, this is about laying a marker. This is about -- and triggering a response. He's going to say something, right, he triggered, he responded yesterday to his being ordered to be deposed in the E. Jean Carroll case and said things that just absolutely undercut his own defense in that case. You know, they're going to -- they're seeking your response and laying down a marker.

TAPPER: And so if he doesn't comply, which I assume he won't, do you think that Merrick Garland will not then refer that to the ticket or not to hear, I'm not Merrick Garland, will the hearing, will the Committee referred to Justice Department to say go after him for not complying.

DANA BASH, CNN HOST: They could. They could, I mean, they've done it for Mark Meadows. And they did it for Steve Bannon. The DOJ only has acted on Steve Bannon. That would be a whole another level, presumably. And George as the lawyer here, you can correct me if I'm wrong. If you're DOJ, you want to keep your eye on the ball.

TAPPER: Right.

BASH: And that ball is the case that they're building separately separate from what would effectively be contempt of Congress here.

CONWAY: Yes, they need to keep it simple.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN HOST: Yes, I mean, to me, this is an exclamation point on the big theme of the hearings, which is that this is all about Trump. Everything that we've heard today has been about his knowledge of what was going to transpire. You know, on January 6th, his knowledge of the fact that he lost the election. And I think the Committee has probably learned from the impeachment hearings, two of them that Trump went through, in which some of the complaints were that Trump didn't get to give his side of the story.

Well, now he has an opportunity to give his side of the story. He probably won't take it. But I do think it's important for them to say, we want to hear from you, Mr. President, come before the Committee, talk to us and tell your side.

JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: And not just an invitation, but a subpoena for a Committee that has talked a lot today about obstruction of justice -- of Congress, right?

JOHN KING, CNN HOST: And the Committee from the beginning, especially Congresswoman, Vice Chairman, Chairwoman Cheney, have tried to crack the code, if you will. Break the spell of Trump over his supporters, Donald Trump portrays himself as strong and strength and he fears nothing. Well, he did take the fifth when the New York State Attorney General tried to depose him. And the Committee is not going to get Donald Trump before this Committee. They want to lay the marker. We gave him a chance. We wanted him to come in and tell his side of the story. We're going to ask the questions. They're trying to make the case that Trump is Oz. He presents himself as all powerful. But when you look, it's actually a little guy behind the curtain trying to pull a machine to have a fraud on people.

TAPPER: And I do think that it's entirely possible that this is going to prompt some sort of unhinged rant on Truth Social, maybe even appearance on one of his favorite channels where everything he says goes unchecked.

BASH: Yes, I mean, just like George said, that is clearly part of the goal here, in addition to just laying down a marker for his --

TAPPER: To trigger him.

BASH: To trigger him. And it's not just a sort of a political poke in the eye. It's potentially a legal strategy because if he responds officially in a way that the DOJ could use that's a win legally.


TAPPER: The hearing is about to resume. Our conversation will continue in one minute.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: The last hearing by the January 6th Select Committee before the midterms is about to resume. CNN has learned there will be a bombshell ending, a Committee vote on whether to subpoena former President Donald Trump to testify. We're also waiting to see extraordinary never before seen video. Sources say it'll show top congressional leaders from both parties behind the scenes after they were rushed to a secure location as the insurrection was unfolding. It is like watching history, we are told.

We're here with our panel in New York, as we wait for this Committee to resume. Let's turn to our attorneys. Elie, the idea of subpoening Donald Trump any likelihood we were just, Jake Tapper is talking about it, very unlikely he would actually appear.

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: I'm going to bet on, no. I think it's very unlikely that he will appear. But here's how this could play out. First of all, theoretically, Donald Trump could choose to testify if he does, I mean, imagine that. It's a theoretical possibility at best. If he declines to testify, then this Committee will have to decide do we vote and hold him in contempt? And if so then it will go to the full House, which will decide do we vote on contempt of Congress?

If that passes, then it goes over to the Justice Department where DOJ, the Attorney General Merrick Garland will have to decide do we bring criminal charges for criminal contempt of Congress. Now, let's remember that's been done four times already by this Committee. Two of them have been charged. Steve Bannon has been convicted of this and he's going to go to jail for at least 30 days. He'll be sent in soon. Peter Navarro was charged with this as well. And he has a trial day coming up.

DOJ chose not to charge two other people who were sent over Mark Meadows and Dan Scavino. So that's the way this could play out. As a practical matter, I think it's unlikely we see this ever sent over to DOJ. But those are the legal channels here.

LAURA COATES, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: And the reason why, there's no time. I mean, none of the things were accomplished within a 26 day period of the midterm elections. Everyone is talking about Bannon had that referral, on the 14th to the 21s, he was indicted on the number 12th. That's not a timeline that works within the confines of the midterm elections. And we know that the power balance shifts, this Committee will be ignited. But remember, they also have a track record. The Mar-a-Lago document issue is instructive here.

A subpoena is for testimony and for documents at times. And we already know the track record says he doesn't hand things over, he fights it for over 18 months on things that don't even belong to Him. And this is the talking point they're trying to undermine.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: But there's a little bit of theater going on here, because after all, you know, a lot of theater going on, you know, because after all, this public vote, which I assume will be unanimous, because they've talked about it before will come after hours and hours of a hearing in which they've made the case they believe that Donald Trump intentionally not based on election results but tried to overturn an election and they've given you chapter and verse. And so they're saying the American public, OK, it's time to hear from him.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, and I think that's people may look at this and say, why are they doing this? It's because time and time again, they just pointed to the fact that he is central in the role of everything that they're investigating. That is really what they're doing today by painting this broad picture of all of his testimony from Ivanka Trump to testimony that we've not seen before from people like Cassidy Hutchinson, when they retestified.

I have reached out to Trump's world to ask if he what his responses to this plan by the Committee. They have not responded yet but he has all but certain to fight this and time will be on his side. Because if things go the way that they look like they're going and in three months this Committee has been disbanded by a Republican majority, then that works in his favor, but I do think it makes sense why the Committee is doing this given they've interviewed 1,000 witnesses, they've subpoenaed other people, they've spoken to other people, of course why would they not speak to the person who's at the center of it, as their argument is making.


COATES: And they started at the hearing, say, you heard Congresswoman Liz Cheney say today's hearing will be about and focusing on Donald Trump's state of mind. And the learning immediately went, well, we're going to be talking around the state of mind then, because aid of mind to me can often be and we know the direct evidence, not what people are saying about not the talking around. And so you got to get it from the proverbial horse's mouth.

And again, his talking point has been up to this date, or no one's asking me, you're talking about this is a witch hunt all these things, this is a say a time of put up or shut up, put up the talking point. You want to shut up, Mr. President. You can actually speak right now. And if he does not do so, or if he invites the Fifth Amendment to things that is problematic.

HONIG: Yes, that's exactly right. This move of issuing a subpoena will give the Committee a rhetorical talking point. And that's important. That's not unimportant. And they will essentially blunt what has been Trump's defense and his defenders defense so far, which is this is one sided, nobody's got a chance to come in and tell their side of the story, the Committee will say, we asked you, we commanded you with the subpoena, and you fought it.

COLLINS: But also look at the context in which this is coming because Trump has been furious in the past few weeks over all of the investigations that are happening. I mean, this is often the way he's described it, especially so lately, with the Mar-a-Lago investigation, he is set to be deposed in the lawsuit with E. Jean Carroll about defamation. He was deposed in another suit recently. He's got all of these issues facing him. And so it's been a real problem for him lately, as he's been talking with his attorneys. He's been especially fuming over this. So this subpoena that we're now expecting come from the January 6th Committee will only add to that.

BORGER: You know, and this is historic, right? I mean, it is. And it's also a way for the Committee to say for history, we have done our job here, because we have spent months and months talking about this president trying to engineer a coup. And the question is, how can you not reach out to Donald Trump? How could you have ended these hearings? And again, they may not end today, they may continue? But how do you do this without asking him? And for people who are watching today? I think they want to answer that question and say we did, we are.

COOPER. Would there have been a legal reason for them to have done this earlier?

HONIG: To have a better chance to actually get it? I mean, if the Committee was serious about forcing Donald Trump to testify, they would have done it eight months ago, a year ago when they were formed. And now here we are, with the election with just weeks away and the changeover in Congress just months away. As Laura said, they're not going to -- the Committee is not going to have time as a practical matter, either to go into court to try to get a judge to force Donald Trump to testify, or to go through the whole contempt process, send it over to DOJ and prosecutors.

COATES: But to be fair, I mean, what -- if this person is the pseudo target as in you're the person as they said initially, today, that this was the person who was personally and substantially involved in the central cause was one man, Donald Trump, the way that you have to sort of confine that person into a corner is to have all the corroboration in advance to be able to call BS, if you do it, initially, you're going to not have the -- you might have one bite at the apple, one bite at the apple, and that apple might have to come after you. You've tried every other piece of fruit to confirm where the worm is. They're telling you it's here. That's probably part of the delay.

And you know, one thing to avoid if you want to be not known as a political exercise, et cetera. I think it undercuts to say, look, we don't even care enough to have it so far in advance the midterm elections now is when we'd had the information, now is when we're talking.

COOPER. We should just point out the doors are open. The Committee members are walking back in. As soon as they gavel in, we'll go back to the hearing. We anticipated going on for at least more than an hour. We're also expecting to see some never before seen video. Video that's not seen publicly before, taken behind the scenes, not only at the Capitol during the insurrection, but also in the secure facility that Congress members were evacuated to. This is never before seen images. It is very dramatic stuff. We're not sure how much the Committee is going to be playing of it. But we anticipate seeing that shortly.

REP. BENNIE THOMPSON (D-MS), CHAIRMAN, JANUARY 6 SELECT COMMITTEE: The Chair, recognizes the gentleman from California, Mr. Aguilar for an opening statement.

REP. PETE AGUILAR (D-CA), JANUARY 6 SELECT COMMITTEE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. In the morning of January 6th, President Trump knew that the crowd was angry. He knew that they were armed and dangerous. And he knew that they were going to the Capitol. It's important to understand the length the President was willing to go to physically be at the Capitol because it was part of his strategy to disrupt Congress and to stay in power. is the time for the ellipse rally approached an e-mail was circulated among intelligence officials, including Secret Service intelligence official attaching communications among rally goers, that specifically content played in violence.


Trump has given us marching orders one post on the Donald.when (ph) wrote, basically if you're east of the Mississippi you can and should be there, advance on the Capitol. Keep your guns hidden. Don't fuck around. Full kits, 180 rounds minimum for Maine rifle, another 50 for sidearm per person. What is clear from this record is that the White House had more than enough warning to warrant stopping any plan for an ellipse rally, and certainly for stopping any march to the Capitol.

And this evidence from our prior hearings is suggested the President was aware of this information. But despite awareness of the potential for violence, and weapons among the crowd, the ellipse event nevertheless went forward. And Donald Trump instructed the angry crowd, some of whom were armed to march to the Capitol.

As my colleague Mr. Schiff just described, the Secret Service reported that thousands in the crowd near the Washington Monument would not enter the rally area. Because magnetometers used in screening attendees wouldn't detect any prohibited items they carried. Mr. Trump knew this, his secret service had told him about it that morning. Even in spite of these warnings, Cassidy Hutchinson overheard the President say this shortly before he took stage.


CASSIDY HUTCHINSON, FORMER AIDE TO MARK MEADOWS: He wanted it fall. And he was angry that we weren't letting people through the night with weapons. What the Secret Service deemed as weapons in our arm. I was in the vicinity of a conversation where I overheard the President say something to the effect of, you know, I don't think that they have weapons. They're not here to hurt me, take the effing bags away. Let my people and they can march the capital from here, let the people in, take the effing mags away.


AGUILAR: And when he went on stage, President Trump himself asked law enforcement to let his supporters in the rally site.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And I'd love to have if those tens of thousands of people would be allowed the military, the secret service that we want to thank you and the police, law enforcement, great, you're doing a great job. But I'd love it if they could be allowed to come up here with us. Is that possible? Can you just let him come up, please?


AGUILAR: President Trump then told his supporters to march to the Capitol. Let's pause at this point to consider President Trump's state of mind, his motivation at this moment. By that point, it was known to Secret Service that members of the crowd were armed. President Trump had been told, and there was no doubt that President Trump knew what he was going to do, sending an angry mob, a number of whom were clad in tactical gear and military garb, armed with various weapons to the Capitol. There is no scenario where that action is benign.

And there's no scenario where an American president should have engaged in that conduct. It did not matter whether President Trump believed the election had been stolen or not. This could not be justified on any basis for any reason. You may also recall testimony from our summer hearings regarding Mr. Trump's efforts to lead the mob to the Capitol himself in his angry altercation in the presidential SUV when the Secret Service told him it was far too dangerous for him to go.

As we detailed in testimony from the Metropolitan Police and White House personnel during our July 21st hearing, information about the altercation was widely known. So widely known that one former White House employee with national security responsibilities, explained the disinformation was in fact water cooler talk in the White House complex. As that professional told us they remember hearing in the days after January 6th, how angry the President was when he was in a limo that afternoon.

That professional also testified that they were specifically informed of the President's irate behavior in the SUV by Mr. Ornato, in Mr. Ornato's office. It was Mr. Engel with Mr. Ornato in that office, they'd expressed to me that the President was irate, you know, on the drive up. Mr. Engel did not deny the fact that the President was irate. That, of course corresponds closely with the testimony you saw this summer from Cassidy Hutchinson, a metropolitan police officer who was in the motorcade and from multiple sources.

Additionally, after concluding its review of the voluminous additional Secret Service communications from January 5th and January 6th, the Committee will be recalling witnesses and conducting further investigative depositions based on that material following that activity we will provide even greater detail in our final report.


And I will also note this, the Committee is reviewing testimony regarding potential obstruction on this issue, including testimony about advice given not to tell the Committee about this specific topic. We will address this matter in our report. We also want to remind you now of how security professionals working in the White House complex and who reported to national security officials responded when they learned that Mr. Trump intended to lead the mob to the Capitol.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To be completely honest, we were all in a state of shock.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because it just, one, I think, the actual physical feasibility of doing it and then also, we all knew what implicated and what that meant. That this was no longer a rally, that this was going to move to something else, if he physically walked to the Capitol. I don't know if you want to use the word insurrection, coup, whatever. We all knew that this would move from a normal, democratic, you know, public events into something else.

Why were we are alarmed?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The President wanted to lead tens of thousands of people to the Capitol. I think that was enough grounds for us to be alarmed.


AGUILAR: President Trump was still considering traveling to the Capitol even after returning to the White House. He knew well before 2:00 p.m. that a violent riot was underway at the Capitol. He was aware of the ongoing lawlessness, but his motorcade was held on West Executive Avenue outside the White House, because he still wanted to join the crowd. Here's Kayleigh McEnaney, the White House press secretary describing an exchange she had with the President as soon as he arrived back at the White House.


KAYLEIGH MCENANY, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: So to the best of my recollection, I recall him being wanting to saying that he wanted to physically walk and be a part of the march and then saying that he would ride the beast if he needed to, ride in the presidential limo.


AGUILAR: From the Secret Service, the Select Committee has also obtained important new evidence on this issue. It shows how frantic this hour must have been for the Secret Service, scrambling to get the President of the United States to back down from a dangerous and reckless decision that put people in harm's way.

Take a look at the Secret Service e-mail from 1:19 p.m. on January 6th, the minute that President Trump got out of the presidential vehicle back at the White House. As soon as the President left his motorcade, leadership from the Secret Service contacted Bobby Engle, the lead agent for the presidential detail and warned him that they were quote, concerned about an OTR and off the record movement to the Capitol.

The people sworn to protect the safety of the President of the United States and who routinely put themselves in harm's way were convinced that this was a bad idea. Secret Service documents also reveal how agents were poised to take President Trump to the Capitol later that afternoon. Agents were instructed to down their protective gear and prepare for a movement. A few minutes later, they were told the President would leave for the Capitol in two hours.

It wasn't until 1:55 p.m., the President's lead Secret Service agent told them to stand down. We're not doing an OTR to the Capitol. By then rioters had breached the Capitol, and were violently attacking the efforts of the brave men and women in law enforcement trying to resist the mob. President Trump may not have gone to the Capitol on January 6th, but what he did from the White House cannot be justified.

While congressional leaders both Democrats and Republicans worked with Vice President Pence to try and address the violence. President Trump refused urgent pleas for help from nearly everyone around him. And what he did do only made the situation worse. Mr. Chairman, I yield back.

THOMPSON: The gentleman yields back. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Maryland, Mr. Raskin for an opening statement.

RASKIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The President was still exhorting his supporters at the ellipse to go fight like hell at 12:50 around the time that the first wave of rioters first breached barricades defending the Capitol. Secret Service documents we recently received give a timeline of precisely what the White House knew and when.

At 1:19, the President's Emergency Operations Center sent an e-mail to Secret Service, National Security, and military advisors to the President and Vice President informing them that quote, hundreds of Trump supporters stormed through metal barricades at the back of the Capitol building about 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, running past security guards and breaking fences.


When the President returned to the White House around 1:20, he entered the Oval Office and was told right then about the onset of violence at the Capitol. From that point until approximately 4:00 p.m., over the next two hours and 40 minutes, the president stayed in the White House dining room attached to the Oval Office and watched this unprecedented assault take place at the Capitol.

We have testimony from several members of the President's White House staff, establishing that President Trump refused in treaties from his closest advisors and family members to tell his supporters to stand down and leave the Capitol. Here's the testimony, President Trump's White House Counsel Pat Cipollone.


PAT CIPOLLONE, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: I can't talk about conversations with the President. But I can generically say that I said, you know, people need to be told there needs to be a public announcement fast, that they need to leave the Capitol.

REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY), VICE CHAIR, JANUARY 6 SELECT COMMITTEE: And Pat, could you let us know approximately when you said that?

CIPOLLONE: Approximately when? Almost immediately after I found out people were getting into the Capitol or approaching the Capitol in a way that was violent.

CHENEY: Who on the staff did not want people to leave the Capitol?

CIPOLLONE: On the staff?

CHENEY: In the White House?

CIPOLLONE: I can't think of anybody, you know, on that day, who didn't want people to get out of the Capitol, particularly once the violence started. No. I mean.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What about the President?


CIPOLLONE: Well, she said the staff. So I answered.

CHENEY: No, I said in the White House. CIPOLLONE: Oh, I'm sorry. I apologize, I thought you said who else on the staff? Yes, I can't reveal the communications, but obviously I think, you know. Yes, I can't.


RASKIN: Mr. Cipollone's testimony is corroborated by multiple other White House staff members, including Cassidy Hutchinson. Here's Ms. Hutchinson describing what she heard from Mark Meadows.


HUTCHINSON: He said something to the effect of, you know, you heard him had. He doesn't want to do anything more. He doesn't think they're doing anything wrong.


RASKIN: A former White House employee with national security duty similarly recalled an exchange between Mr. Cipollone and Eric Herschmann about President Trump's inaction against the mob assault underway at the Capitol. Mr. Herschmann said something and Mr. Cipollone. He seemed to relay that, you know, the President didn't want anything done.

Throughout this period, some of the President's most important political allies, family members, and senior staff all begged him to tell his supporters to disperse and go home. They included Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and other allies at Fox News, his son Donald Trump, Jr., the House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, others in Congress and officials in the cabinet in the executive branch, all of them made appeals to Donald Trump, which he rejected and he ignored.

The Select Committee interviewed several people who were in the dining room with Donald Trump that afternoon, and every single one of these witnesses told us that he was watching the violent battles raged on television. He did not call his Secretary of Defense or the National Guard, the chief of the Capitol police or the chief of the Metropolitan Police Department.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And to your knowledge, was the President in that private dining room the whole time that the attack on the Capitol was going on or did he ever go to again I want only to your knowledge to the Oval Office to the White House Situation Room, anywhere else?

MCENANY: So that's my recollection, he was always in the dining room.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did they say, Mr. Meadows or the President, at all during that brief encounter that you were in the dining room? What do you recall?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know whether he was watching T.V. in the dining room when you talk to him on January 6th?


MOLLY MICHAEL, FORMER EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT: It's my understanding he was watching television.