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CNN Live Event/Special
January 6 Committee Votes To Subpoena Trump For Docs, Testimony; Supreme Court Rejects Trump Request To Intervene In Mar-A- Lago Documents Case. Aired 4-4:30p ET
Aired October 13, 2022 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Extraordinary move by Congress. A short while ago, the January 6th Select Committee just voted unanimously to subpoena former President Donald Trump, seeking his testimony and documents in their investigation of the insurrection. I'm Anderson Cooper.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Special edition of THE LEAD. Committee members are demanding answers and accountability from Donald J. Trump after presenting damning new evidence designed to show that he was at the center of violent and unlawful efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
We're breaking it all down this hour, including with Democratic video seen publicly for the first time today. It shows congressional leaders at a secure location while the riot was unfolding, making calls, scrambling to end the violence. A stark contrast to the three-plus hours the committee says Donald Trump did nothing to end the violence, perhaps even enjoying it.
We want to replay all the striking images right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, JAN. 6 COMMITTEE EXHIBIT)
CROWD: We want Trump, we want Trump!
POLICE OFFICER: We're starting to get surrounded. They're taking the north front scaffolding.
POLICE OFFICER: Unless we're getting more munitions, we're not going to be able to hold!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A door has been breached and people are gaining access into the Capitol.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We have got to get -- finish the proceedings, or else they will have a complete victory.
CROWD: USA! USA! USA!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Senator Schumer is at a secure location and they're locked down in the Senate. PELOSI: There has to be some way we can maintain the sense that
people have that there is some security or some confidence that government can function and that we can elect a president of the United States. Did we go back into session?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We did go back into session, but now apparently everybody on the floor is putting on tear gas masks to prepare for a breach. I'm trying to get more information.
PELOSI: They're putting on their --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tear gas masks.
PELOSI: Do you believe this? Do you believe this?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need an area for the house members. They're all walking over now through the tunnels.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bring her out here! We're coming in if you don't bring her out!
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): I'm going to call up the effin' secretary of DOD. We have some senators who are still in their hideaways. They need massive personnel now. Can you get the Maryland National Guard to come, too?
PELOSI: I have something to say, Mr. Secretary. I'm going call the mayor of Washington, D.C. right now and see what other outreach she has to other police departments as Leader Hoyer has mentioned.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Officer down. Get him up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hold him up. Hold up!
PELOSI: Hi, Governor. This is Nancy.
Governor, I don't know if you have been approached about the Virginia National Guard. Mr. Hoyer was speaking to Governor Hogan. But I still think you'd need the okay of the federal government in order to come in to another jurisdiction? Thank you.
Oh, my gosh. They're just breaking windows. They're doing all -- all kinds. It's really -- they said somebody was shot. It's just horrendous. And all at the instigation of the president of the United States.
Okay, thank you, Governor. I appreciate what you're doing. If you don't mind, I'd like to stay in touch. Thank you. Thank you. Bye-bye.
SCHUMER: Virginia guard has been called in.
PELOSI: You know, I was just talking to Governor Northam. What he said is they sent 200 of state police and a unit of the National Guard. They're breaking windows and going in, obviously ransacking our
offices and all the rest of that. That's nothing. The concern we have about personal harm.
PELOSI: Personal safety is to just transcends everything. But the fact is on any given day, they're breaking the law in many different ways. And quite frankly, much of it at the instigation of the president of the United States, and now if he could at least somebody --
SCHUMER: Yeah, why don't you get the president to tell them to leave the Capitol, Mr. Attorney general in your law enforcement responsibility? A public statement they should all leave.
CROWD: USA! USA! USA! USA! USA!
SCHUMER: This cannot be we're waiting for so and so. We need them there now, wherever you've got.
REP. STENY HOYER (D-MD): You also have troops -- this is Steny Hoyer. We also have troops at Andrews Air Force Base, other military bases.
PELOSI: Thank you.
HOYER: We need active duty national guard.
SCHUMER: How soon in the future can you have the place evacuated, pulled together and cleaned out?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't want to speak for the leadership that's going to be responsible for executing the operation.
So I'm not going to say that because they're being on the ground and they're --
PELOSI: Just pretend for a moment this was the Pentagon or the White House or some other entity that was under siege. And let me say you can logistically get people there as you make the plan.
PELOSI: We're trying to figure out how we can get this job done today. We talked to Mitch about it earlier. He is not in the room right now, but he was with us earlier and said we want to expedite this and hopefully they could confine it to just one complaint, Arizona, and then we could vote and it would be just move forward with the rest of the state.
The overriding wish is to do it at the Capitol. What we are being told very directly is it's going to take days for the Capitol to be okay again. We've gotten a very bad report about the condition of the House floor with defecation and all that kind of thing as well. I don't think that that's hard to clean up, but I do think it is more from a security standpoint of making sure that everybody is out of the building, and how long will that take.
I just got off with the vice president-elect.
SCHUMER: And I just got off with the vice president-elect. So, I'll tell you what she said, yeah.
PELOSI: OK, but what we left the conversation with, because he said he had the impression from Mitch that Mitch wants everybody back to do it there.
PELOSI: I said we're getting a counterpoint it could take time to clean up the poo poo that they're making all over literally and figuratively in the Capitol and it may take days to get back.
PENCE: I'm at the Capitol building, I'm literally standing with the chief of police of the U.S. Capitol police. He just informed me what you will hear through official channels. Paul Irving, your sergeant at arms will inform you that their best information that they believe that the House and the Senate will be able to reconvene in roughly an hour.
SCHUMER: Good news.
PENCE: The sergeant of arms will be in touch about the process for getting members back into the building.
PELOSI: Thank you very much, Mr. Vice president. Good news.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: You know, it's so interesting about that is that for months, the lame attempt at deflecting, John King, by House Republicans who don't want to talk about what Donald Trump did and don't want to talk about the role that their own lies about the election did will say well, where was Nancy Pelosi? What was she doing? Why wasn't she doing enough?
Nancy Pelosi was on the phone trying to get the national guard and the pentagon on the case. We saw it right there.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You saw it right there. You saw the vice president, her calling the Democratic governor of Virginia. Her deputy Steny Hoyer calling his Republican governor of his home state of Maryland. You see other Democrats and Republicans standing by being looped in on the conversation, including the number two in the House, Steve Scalise, the number one Republican in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, all there.
What name did you never hear? The president of the United States, the person who has the most power, the most authority to move rocks, bridges, stones, troops, everything he has to do to make things happen. You never hear his name. Now to the Pelosi point you make, there are legitimate questions about
like 9/11. What about January 4th and 5th? Everybody in Washington, the police agencies, the intelligence agencies, the Trump administration, the Secret Service had this information. The pentagon had this information, and the congressional leadership on a bipartisan basis, should they have done more? Should they have anticipated the violence? That's a legitimate question.
But in terms of Nancy Pelosi taking charge that day or Nancy Pelosi being AWOL that day, your eyes don't lie. You see it right there.
TAPPER: Let's bring in John Miller, former national security official, now our national security expert.
John, watching this national security event play out, what are your thoughts, especially after today's hearing?
JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: Well, I mean, I want to pick up on John King's question which is we're looking at the leadership of Congress hidden away at Fort McNair, trying to get control from a military base. The irony there is they managed to get Congress to the military, but they couldn't get the military to congress.
We know that on January 3rd, the Capitol police's intelligence arm issued a memorandum that said Trump supporters will look at January 6th, three days from the writing of that memo, as their last chance to overturn the election. The striking line from that memo is unlike previous post election protests, the targets of the pro-Trump supporters are not necessarily the counterprotesters as they were previously, but rather Congress itself is the target.
They talked about militia members and armed people, white supremacists being there and creating what they called a significant threat to the public and to police and law enforcement.
Steve Sund, the chief of the capitol police, met with the sergeant of arms of both houses, said he wanted the National Guard in advance. And what came back is, well, they don't like the optics of it.
So I think that they knew what they knew, and political decision overrode what law enforcement clearly needed as was proven.
TAPPER: Yeah, Jamie Gangel?
JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: Can I talk to that a little bit? I actually spoke to Nancy Pelosi in the days leading up to January 6th and asked her, because we were hearing from members of Congress they were worried about this.
And I am told that she went to the Capitol Hill police leadership sergeant of arms. I'm also told by multiple Republican senators who spoke directly to Mitch McConnell and also expressed their concern about it, that both Mitch McConnell, Republican, Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, went to the top security people at the Capitol Hill police, and that they were assured that everything would be okay.
Was that because they had never had something like this happen before? They didn't believe it? I think that's still unclear. But they were assured that it would be okay.
TAPPER: Just to be clear, there is nothing quite like this that had ever happened before.
TAPPER: But there had been violent, deadly attacks on the capitol before. Puerto Rican terrorists in 1954 and 1998 I think a gunman shot a couple of Capitol police officers. Even after this there have been a couple of violent attacks by disturbed individuals.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Listen, after 9/11, the key takeaway was failure of imagination.
BASH: And this is a different version of that. There is a reason why the law enforcement officials, the top ones that John Miller was just talking about at the Capitol Police and also the sergeants of arms were gone after this. There is a reason for it, because it was a massive failure.
The question of the exact conversations, your reporting is fascinating. But there are some conversations in reporting that everybody is going to have to continue to do, particularly in light of what we just saw for the first time today in the hearing, which are all those remarkable texts and emails from the Secret Service. Secret Service, the law enforcement agency responsible for protecting the president, why wasn't there a communication -- or was there between the Secret Service and people in the Capitol if they knew that this was going to happen?
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: This is the thing also that sticks with me. Dana, exactly what you just said. What was laid out today was a lot of evidence all the way back into December there was information coming directly to the secret service about the threats that were out there. The day of January 6th, starting at around 7:00 in the morning, they were seeing people armed in the streets. They were noting how violent and chaotic things were about to become.
And yet in spite of that, it does not seem that there was really any effort made in that intervening time. From 7:00 in the morning to noon to fortify the Capitol, to protect one of their protectees who was going to be at the Capitol, the vice president of the United States, that requires more information.
And I would say this. It is hard for the president of the United States to not be involved at a moment like this in the country's history. He had to basically try. And it seems all the evidence that we have so far is that he really did try to stay out of it. He was watching television. He didn't -- we have no evidence to suggest that he lifted a finger to stop what went on.
GANGEL: He was missing in action, guys.
TAPPER: I think that the evidence suggests that it's possibly more nefarious than that when he said "Proud Boys, stand back and stand by." This violent right-wing militia took that as orders. We're standing by. And they thought on January 6th that he wanted them to come and stop the election.
Former President Trump was hit with more than a subpoena today. We're going to tell you about a Supreme Court ruling against him. That's next.
TAPPER: Former President Donald j. Trump is now facing a subpoena issued by the January 6th House Select Committee, capping its final hearing before the midterm election was a unanimous vote, 9-0 to compel Trump to testify and produce documents. As today's hearing was playing out, the U.S. Supreme Court was also delivering some bad news to Mr. Trump. The justices rejected his request that they intervene in the legal battle he's in with the Department of Justice over those classified documents that the FBI seized from Mar-a-Lago.
Let's bring in our Supreme Court analyst Joan Biskupic, and CNN senior justice correspondent Evan Perez.
Joan, tell us more about the Supreme Court decision.
JOAN BISKUPIC, CNN SUPREME COURT ANALYST: Sure. It was another setback for the president in another venue. The president had gone to the Supreme Court, asking to block an 11th Circuit order that had said that the Justice Department did not have to turn over to a special master about 100 documents marked classified from that Mar-a-Lago raid back in August.
The Justice Department said these documents relate to national security. They should not be turned over to the special master. They should not be reviewed by him. And Trump had tried to get the Supreme Court to intervene.
And I have to tell you, Jake, it just shows how thin his grounds were that the justices rejected it without any noted dissent in a one- sentence order. Not a single justice broke off to write any kind of caveat.
And the truth was that the former president had no legal grounds to say while this special master is reviewing these documents, he should also have accessed to these special classified ones. You know this arises from the department of Justice Department attempt to look at whether the former president had unlawfully retained documents from the White House and could possibly have obstructed justice. This was an intermediate action, and the Supreme Court at this point
said not part of it. Don't want to intervene. And the only thing I would say is predictable right now, Jake, it's not the last time that Trump has gone to the Supreme Court, and we'll probably see it down the road, too, given what happened today.
TAPPER: Oh, I'm sure. And, Evan, what does this mean for the broader investigation by the FBI and the Justice Department about those classified documents that Trump improperly took to Mar-a-Lago?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, it means full speed ahead pour the justice department prosecutors, Jake. It means, again, the fact that the appeals court had already given them the permission to continue to do their investigation, that already started. We know that witnesses have been going back to the grand jury, talking to the FBI. There has been a lot of investigative activity.
And as Joan points out, Jake, talking to people in Trump world, there was a feeling that this was a very narrow appeal that Trump and his legal team was making, perhaps to test the ground for what they expect is going to be a full appeal at some point when they try to challenge whatever it is the Justice Department tries to do here at the end of this investigation.
So they were testing the grounds to see where they stand with the justices. For now, it looks like they're not willing to intervene at this stage, which is still an investigation. No charges have been brought. It's very unusual for judges to be intervening in this. So that's the reason why perhaps the Supreme Court decided to stay out for now.
TAPPER: And let's get more on Trump's legal battles now with former U.S. attorney and CNN legal analyst Preet Bharara and Frank Foer, staff writer for "The Atlantic", as well as former Nixon White House counsel John Dean, and veteran journalist Carl Bernstein.
Preet, let me start with you. What's your reaction to the committee issuing these subpoenas to Donald Trump for testimony and documents?
PREET BHARARA, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it's a strong move. It hasn't happened much. It's happened before in American politics and wars between the branches. So it's not unprecedented, but it's a pretty bold step. I think it's largely symbolic, for a number of reasons. Donald Trump is never going to appear before that committee. That committee will probably be disbanded if the political pundits are right and the house is lost and goes to the Republicans in the House.
We're already on the eve of the election. It's only a few days left. It takes some time, as we learned with respect to other witnesses to enforce a subpoena. It took them months and months to get a criminal referral for contempt of Congress to the Justice Department for them to make the decision to indict. And all of that still doesn't get Steve Bannon's testimony before that committee.
So it's a bold step. I think they want it to end dramatically with the last investigative hearing. They did that. They didn't have to wait until the end. Excuse me.
But I don't think it will amount to getting his testimony in any way, shape or form.
TAPPER: John Dean, if they really wanted to bring Donald Trump in for testimony, should they not have done this sooner?
JOHN DEAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I think Preet is right, that they're not going to get him. It's not likely he is going to come forward voluntarily, and your questions suggests something they might have considered if they really wanted him, was to start much earlier on this, because he is going to litigate it. His standard playbook is to delay and see what happens and divert.
So I don't think they wanted him that badly. But they did make an appropriate closing for their presentation today.
TAPPER: Frank, do you think that Attorney General Merrick Garland, if Donald Trump defies the subpoena and Congress holds him in contempt, those are two ifs, but if that were to happen and they referred it to the Justice Department, do you think Attorney General Merrick Garland would pursue a criminal case against Donald Trump?
FRANKLIN FOER, STAFF WRITER, THE ATLANTIC: I mean, obviously there is precedent for the justice department pursuing contempt cases. We have the Steve Bannon and Mark Meadows examples. But I think given the timeline that Preet has just described and that John has just described, that there is really no reasonable expectation that he is going to appear before this committee.
I don't know if the committee will necessarily force the issue in that way. And Merrick Garland obviously has his hands full with these other investigations going on. I don't really know that this is something that he would relish pursuing in addition to Mar-a-Lago and the other January 6th investigations.
TAPPER: Carl Bernstein, the third most senior House Republican, Elise Stefanik of New York tweeted that the committee is nothing more than partisan sham. Realistically, what can the committee accomplish if Donald Trump's grip on House Republicans remains this strong?
CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, there is also the Senate, and there is also we got to see what happens in the election. But let's look at what was said there. The idea that this is a partisan witch hunt or something, let's look at Liz Cheney's role. And this is next to the Army McCarthy hearings, the Watergate hearings, this is one of the three great congressional investigations and hearings of our time.
What has happened? Look at that footage that we saw, the lead speaking bipartisan, the leaders of the House and Senate faced really with the actions of a mad king, gathered together at an army fort to try and make sure that American democracy lives. And they do it. We watched them in real time. So to say that this is a partisan exercise, given the voluminous open
and shut amount of information about Donald Trump's criminality, his responsibility for this insurrection, his actually being a seditious president of the United States, unlike any in our history, this is an extraordinary moment. We all ought to step back and consider.
TAPPER: And, Preet, as far as the Mar-a-Lago documents are concerned, these classified documents, now that the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to intervene, despite Donald Trump's request, what does that mean for that investigation and any potential prosecution against Donald Trump for that?
BHARARA: Yeah, so it's confusing because there is a lot of litigation going on in different forms. There is the Florida court, the district court, the Supreme Court, an a judge in the eastern district of New York.
The bottom line is with respect to all these litigations, the way they've been fashioned so far, they don't have a lot of effect except it might delay a little bit the main question I think you're getting at, which is when will the Department of Justice make a decision to proceed or not to proceed with criminal charges against Donald Trump with respect to the mishandling of those documents?
This litigation is about who gets to review, for what purpose. It's not about and it's not on the table with respect to some of these things that the Department of Justice can't continue its investigation. It's going forward. It might be delayed a little bit until they can make an assessment with national security assessment and a criminal law enforcement assessment. But it's happening one way or another.
And by happening, I don't mean a charge. But decision about a charge will be squarely placed on the desk of Merrick Garland, and he'll have to decide.
TAPPER: And, Frank Foer, what do you think he'll decide?
FOER: So, I think it's interesting to contrast the Justice Department investigation has been conducting which has been very circumspect, especially in contrast to the congressional investigation. And then there is the Mar-a-Lago investigation, which is a much more cut and dry case where you've seen that once Garland and the Justice Department has engaged, it's been incredibly aggressive, and it's moved forward in a relatively expeditious way.
You know, I don't know if Merrick Garland knows the timing of when he'll move or if he's even made a decision in his own head if he is going to go all the way and issue an indictment, but there is a certain logic that events start to have, and there is a momentum that the process starts to have. You have to say at this point, there is momentum. And the logic is unfolding.
TAPPER: All right. Still ahead, January 6th committee member Jamie Raskin, Democrat of Maryland, joins us straight from today's hearing and that vote to subpoena Donald Trump. Stay with us.