tv CNN Tonight CNN July 20, 2022 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
empire as it was. the president called it a very sad day but at the same time a celebration of a wonderful and beautiful life. ivana trump was found unconscious and unresponsive at the bottom of a staircase. she died of blunt injuries to her torso. i want to hand it over to laura coates and "cnn tonight." anderson, thank you so much. i'm laura coates and this is "cnn tonight." and it's the final countdown. i mean, less than 24 hours from now, the january 6th committee's last public hearing, at least for now, and it's a prime-time, too. there's certainly a lot of anticipation building on what new revelations could be coming. so, now does the panel plan to make its case tomorrow in this sort of series finale? we're on number eight, mind you. we just got another clue. committee member jamie raskin just confirming to cnn that the committee plans on showing outtakes from a video donald
trump recorded the day after the riots on january 7th. the whole thing is only about three minutes long of what we saw. but it took an hour to shoot, according to "the washington post." and even then, it still needed to be edited. watch for when the camera position changes. >> now congress has certified the results. a new administration will be inaugurated on january 20th. my focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly, and seamless transition of power. this moment calls for healing and reconciliation. 2020 has been a challenging time for our people. a menacing pandemic has upended the lives of our citizens. >> so, how was the other 57 minutes spent? what's in those outtakes? and why was it so hard for him to condemn the violence? now, those outtakes, we're told are going to be part of the committee's case that donald trump abandoned his duties as
president, like to stop his own supporters from attacking the u.s. capitol for more than three hours, mind you. and tonight, we have a former white house communications director in that administration who very publicly pleaded with the ex-president during the insurrection to call off the mob. condemn this now, she begged on twitter. you're the only one they will listen to. for our country. we actually have a trio of trump world and committee insiders this evening to help us walk through exactly what to expect, including someone who led initial questioning of two key witnesses we're going to be hearing from tomorrow. now, remember, this is a congressional investigation, of course. and it could go on for many more months. committee members are promising their probe is not winding down, only ramping up, but so much new information coming in, it seems almost daily. but remember when it ends, whenever that is, it ends with the report, not a verdict. you'll have a conclusion, not
criminal charges or some sort of answer of who did what, when, why, what you should do about it in a court of law because that power lies with the justice department. and there's news on that front apparently tonight as well. there's still a huge question mark hovering over the doj's ongoing investigation, namely, will attorney general merrick garland ever charge donald trump with a crime? does he have the evidence to do so, to indict, let alone convict? and he was pressed about it today. listen to his answer. >> no person is above the law in this country. nothing stops us -- >> even the former president. >> i don't know how to -- maybe i'll say that again. no person is above the law in this country. i can't say it any more clearly than that. >> he'll be asked again many more times, rest assured. anyone criminally responsible for an attempt to undo a democratic election needs to be held accountable, garland says. we don't actually know, though,
how high up indictments will go and just how far above the law some might try to be. talk about more of that and more throughout the entire hour of this show. but let's start with what is right in front of us, this prime-time hearing that starts tomorrow. i want to get to the former white house communications director alyssa farah griffin. she knows the former trump aides will be testifying tomorrow. alyssa, i'm glad to see you here today. a lot is being made of the prime-time hearing. that's a big deal in itself. but about these two witnesses, tell me what you think of their ability to testify credibly tomorrow. >> so, i think it was extremely start of the committee to pair these two witnesses together. i know matt pottinger was the senior most national security aide on site in the west wing on the day of january 6th. robert o'brien was not in the white house. this is a person with an incredible career, credibility
across the aisle. he served as wall street wall street bureau chief. he went on to be one of the most renowned on a bipartisan basis. oon the other side, you have my friend, sarah matthews, who is a tried and true republican. she was hand picked by the trump campaign to come to the west wing. she worked with republican leaders on capitol hill. you can't claim it's a never-trumper or a r.h.i.n.o. so, they bring in credibility from two different arenas. and both are there and are going to be able to tell you what happened in those critical minutes, what the former president was able to do to call off the mob, and shed some light on what the senior advisers around him were willing to say, how far they were able to push him. >> so far we only have through mark meadows. that's as far as we get with cassidy hutchinson's testimony. we will get from people the whys, the idea of the national
guard, potentially, why it wasn't deployed sooner. the idea of them being republicans and not just republicans -- one recruited by kayleigh mcenany, one to white house press secretary as well. there are ideas on part of this being a partisan job on the part of the committee. are you -- are either of these two witnesses vulnerable to those sort of attacks as well? are they seeing it already? >> they're certainly going to receive them. i would guess sarah matthews would get them worse, because as we've seen from trump world, women who speak out tend to get the worse criticism, the worse smear campaigns and threats. i hate to say it because she's my friend and i'm thanking her and proud of her for coming forward, but it comes with the territory. cassidy hutchinson has to have security for doing her role for her country and speaking out when superiors like mark meadows wouldn't. these are credible people with integrity who aren't there for any partisan reason, only to assist the committee in this
investigation. >> why are we just hearing from them? cassidy seemed to be a surprise witness in many respects. people were caught off guard, a little bit flat footed that she would be testifying. were these two witnesses, at least your friend sarah, were they in the works along for this prime-time event? >> sarah has been connected with the committee several months. she resigned on january 6th, as did pottinger. so, she's been working with the committee since kind of the outset. i don't know when the decision was made to put her in this final hearing. my understanding was pottinger had sat down with the committee but i think decided to be somebody who might be used in this capacity after hearing the cassidy hutchinson testimony and wanting to speak out more forcefully. i should note also, i should mention this before, matt pottinger was very popular with mike pence. he and sarah matthews have stated to the committee that it was when the pence tweet went out that they were like, this is enough. i cannot stand by him.
>> you spoke to sarah matthews this morning, as recently is that? what is she feeling about testifying? is she nervous? is she feeling there's a lot she can contribute. >> i think she's going in clear eyed because she got the criticism. i think she knows what she's walking into and she knows it's her duty. it shouldn't be a deputy press secretary who has to be the one to testify before the committee. it should be the white house chief of staff or white house counsel. she's ready for it. the natural nerves are there because smear campaigns will begin immediately, if they haven't already. but there are many of us who are there to defend her integrity and matt pottinger. >> what is on the outtakes for tomorrow? outtakes, 57 minutes worth from donald trump? what are we going to see do you think? >> i think you're going to see a lot of staff coaching him to say things more forcefully and directly and using certain language.
i can imagine he was not wanting to condemn violence, not wanting to talk about a transigs of power. while this is interesting and this is going to be revealing footage, we haven't seen the footage of the january 6th video shot in the rose garden. there are other outtakes from that where he said, you're wonderful, you're beautiful people. there's apparently other versions of that i think might be more revelatory in terms of how he was feeling on that day. and i don't believe the committee has gotten those in their possession yet. >> i wonder why they wouldn't have that and they would have january 7th instead. we don't know what happened in helsinki still, so the idea of knowing what's happening on those dates i get it. he seemed like he was almost forced to do so. i wonder what the outtakes of that may have looked like. i'm back on sara matthews and her testimony in particular. how do you feel and how do you think she's feeling about the fact that it's her and not, say, a mark meadows testifying, it's not others who were there. kayleigh mcenany, we've seen
videos of her during the course of this hearing, what does she make of the fact it's her in the hot seat? >> i can't speak for her, but i imagine there's a level of frustration at the cowardice for officials not speaking out. also spending dollars on lawyers, spending time away from job. she's being brave by stepping forward, and it just kind of shows who, you know, the lack of leadership that was there in the final days, that it's her and it's 26-year-old cassidy hutchinson that are speaking out. >> we're going to see more about exactly what happened, alyssa. please stand by. much, much more with our conversation in just a moment. and our insiders ahead. plus a new allegation that donald trump is still actively trying to overturn the 2020 election, as in the word "still" was just used, talking more than a year and a half later. i'll tell you why. right back. minions are bitin' today.
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the january 6th committee's prime-time hearing turns directly to the commander in chief, or former commander in chief. the focus lays not only on the witnesses who were in the room where it happened but on donald trump himself. and for anyone who says we need to just move on, enough already, well, the former president still appears quite focused on the election that he lost. and that was almost two years ago. new evidence from cnn affiliate wisn, which reports that donald trump called the top lawmaker in the wisconsin state assembly, republican robin vos -- wait for it -- last week. here's how vos describes the former president's request. >> he makes his case, which i respect. he would like us to do something different in wisconsin. i explained that it is not allowed under the constitution. he has a different opinion. >> constitution? opinion?
details. alissa farah griffin, just one of the three key insiders we have, miles taylor, former chief of staff homeland secretary under donald trump. with great hair as always. you see it right there. i'm making him laugh. also john wood, equally great hair, by the way. >> you don't have to say that. >> the senior investigator for the house select committee. he's running for the senate as an independent in missouri glad you're all here. i've made you blush. look, everyone. john, you have been somebody who's been on this committee. we're also on the outside looking in. you were on the inside. i've got to know, with these two witnesses, is there anything to think that these were sort of the last of them, the blockbuster, or are we reading too much into the fact that it's those two? >> i wouldn't read too much into the fact that it's those two because while those two are live, i think you're going to hear from a range of witnesses. one of the things the committee has done really well is use
video tape depositions and interviews and weaving it into the hearing. i think while there may just be two people sitting live at the witness table, we're going to hear from a lot of people who worked in the white house for donald trump. and i think it's going to be very compelling. the two witnesses are extremely credible. i led the staff interviews of both of them, and i can tell you they came across as sincere and credible. so, i think they're going to be powerful. but we're going to hear from others. i expect to hear from people like pat cipollone and people close to donald trump. >> i wonder in those moments where you were having the initial witnesses and interviews, were there moments you had the jaw drop and the aha moments and have we seen those moments playing out already? is there more in reserve? >> every hearing so far has had more information, and i think the same is going to be true of this next one. i don't know if there's going to be anything that's going to quite match what we heard from cassidy hutchinson. that was really jaw dropping. that's setting the bar really high. i think we're going to learn new
information. and there's been a buildup through these hearings. they've somewhat gone chronologically in the sense that we've heard about the pressure the president put on state officials, on the justice department, the vice president, the buildup to january 6th. and now we're going to hear about that critical 187 minutes while the attack was going on before the president finally and somewhat reluctantly, i think, said go home. >> take out the word "somewhat" and you've got that right. this is where matthew pottinger comes into play. what do you think he's going to say? >> let's talk about that number. let's talk about that number for a second. i've said before, laura, i think this is the closest thing to a smoking gun in the whole insurrection. and it's a gun that smoked for 187 minutes. let me compare it to something. i haven't heard anyone make this comparison. after 9/11, george w. bush was villainized for waiting seven minutes in a classroom to go make the phone call to check in
after a terrorist attack on the united states. >> he was reading a book. remember that moment? i remember that. you're right. >> he was reading to children in an elementary school. seven minutes. they even made a film about it, "fahrenheit 9/11," they excoriated him. donald trump was watching the terrorist attack unfold. that's stunning. we'll hear about the what in this hearing from sarah and matt. but the important thing is the who here. if you were watching a terrorist attack unfold and you were president of the united states and it was a domestic event like we had on january 6th, you could do one of two things. one, you might call your communications professionals and say, immediately put out a statement telling these people to, you know, get out of there and condemning this attack. that would have gone to sarah matthews. she would have been the one who likely crafted the statement and probably would have issued the statement. or you would have called and said to the national security adviser, we need to pick up the phone and call the secretary of defense or the capitol police. we need an armed response of
some kind to prevent this from happening. that would have been matt pottinger. these two people did not get the call from the president. in matt's case, he rushed to the oval office to say, what is happening? and they wouldn't let him in. >> that's when he saw mark meadows apparently, right, and asked the question about whether they're going to have the person -- you're nodding. you must know this. the guy at the committee is like, yes, laura, that's right. i can't multiply like you just did, but i don't have my iphone. >> i was told there would be more math. >> we're lawyers, we don't do this. alyssa, on this notion, when you think about the statement he would have made being the president of the united states, his statements were always in tweets. i mean, overwhelmingly. i mean, we were aware of how people were hanging on his every word. we heard someone testify to that very effect. what would have been the impact had donald trump, the former president of the united states, at that time said that to his followers. you know quite well. >> and you opened with my tweet that day. i resigned about a month prior. but where i said condemn this
now for our country. they will only listen to you. and sarah matthews has said that when the mike pence tweet went out, that was pouring gasoline on the fire. not only was he not stopping what we know, saying the words that could have stopped this attack. he was making it worse and inciting it in real time. i think, to miles' point, you're going to get an assessment of i think the national security threats and the threat environment leading up to it. matt pottinger would have had visibility on things like weapons people were potentially trying to traffic into the capitol, any sort of different briefings they were getting on the high side there. but then you also have sarah matthews who's going to know what the back and forth looked like between the press office and the oval office that day to get him to denounce this attack. and, yeah, it went on three hours and he didn't do a thing. >> and we have sound of matthews talking about this new -- let's play it -- thinking about we thought the president needed to tweet something and immediately. >> we thought that the president needed to tweet something and
tweet something immediately. and i think when kayleigh gave us that order of, don't say anything to the media, i told her that i thought the president needed to tweet something. >> now, he didn't, obviously, and part of what they tried to convince the american public or persuade last time was connecting the dots of not only this person had the power but they were taking some kind of an order from the president of the united states. does it match and square with you that they were able to accomplish that mission? >> so, at the last hearing, one of the things we heard from one of the witnesses is that the reason that he finally left the capitol -- this is somebody who breached the capitol, was in the capitol, one of the rioters. the reason he finally left was simply because the president asked him to. why didn't the president do more during the 187 minutes to ask his followers to leave? i think if he had, maybe some of the violence could have been prevented. >> we'll see and we'll get the answer to that soon. we're coming back to this panel as well. don't worry. more of what we've learned so far and where the committee's
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for her part, the vice chair liz cheney has spoken consistently to her own party. >> i think we all have to understand what it means. we take our oath to defend the united states constitution, and that oath must mean something. i think we all have to recognize and understand what it means to say those words and what it means that those things happened. were even more chilling and more threatening than we could have imagined. we have to choose. it's also painful for republicans to accept because republicans cannot both be loyal to donald trump and loyal to the constitution. we cannot let america become a nation of conspiracy theories and thug violence. >> she's facing quite an uphill battle. the polling shows 69% of republicans believe that trump bears little to no responsibility for that attack. we're back here with our three key insiders.
when you hear that -- i see you shaking your head. she keeps repeating this notion. we have to do it. it's a moral imperative. it's going to be painful to realize the truth. the epiphany is going to be painful here. why are these epiphanies so painful? >> i can relate. i have immediate family members who think the election was stolen. there's a part of you that just wants to shake people and be like, come on. but i will say that i think these hearings are breaking through. it's always been a dual tract for the committee. one is to tee up a case for the doj and let them decide what they're going to do. but the other is swaying the public. the testimony has been almost all republicans, by the way. >> right. >> and i think it's having an impact. liz cheney, to her credit, she's still running, and it's smart that she is because it shows she's not going to be intimidated. even if she loses, she will have made her mark on history, and she will be part of the change that hopefully comes at some
point in the republican party. >> she began talking about one day donald trump will be gone, but what you've done -- i'm paraphrasing here. look at her poll numbers here though. she's very, very vulnerable when you think about her race and how her primary is shaping up. john, you're running for office right now. i want to know about that. but i also want to know, was that the dual tract purpose to the committee? was it equal parts refer to the doj and also look, there's a moral imperative here. i need everyone to be on the same page that what happened was wrong. we all get that. is that part of what the goal was? >> i think the goal was to make sure the american people understand what happened so it will never happen again. we need to get back to having a consensus around following the constitution and protecting our democracy. i'm a republican. i've been a republican my whole life, even though i'm running as an independent, i'm a republican. the fact is donald trump did not win the election. you have to accept the results of an election, even if your
candidate or your party doesn't win. >> you can't vote -- you're not entitled to vote for the winner. miles, i mean, republicans are paying quite a price. i mean, you're a republican running as an independent largely i'm sure because the price it's paid for admitting what's the truth. >> well, this is also a self-fulfilling prophecy. i want to take you all the way back to 2016. when trump was running, i was working under paul ryan's leadership when he was speaker of the house. we were worried about him even rising in the republican pact because he was going to do immense brand damage to the gop. that feels like a naive understatement because he's done incredible damage to the entire country. but to republicans, it's long-standing, sustained damage. and john wood here is an exemplar of what happens because of that. you've got lifelong republicans running as independents. i know in the last segment we joked about numbers. i want to bring numbers into this though.
it doesn't matter that these hearings are not winning over the mega-maga cohort. that was never going to happen. we were never going to dissuade that 69% that believe the election was stolen, that it wasn't. what happens is what happens with independent voters in this country. 50% of americans do not consider themselves to be democrat or republicans. that's the highest the number has been in history. those are the people who are the majority makers. that is the pro-democracy coalition in this country. and they are breaking heavily in the direction of thinking this committee has made han impact and donald trump should not be president again. there, it is moving the needle. >> on that point, even those who have been life long republicans, even rusty bowers who testified. she was talking about the moment it was emotional. he was talking about the idea it was antithetical to his oath. he couldn't do it. he was a man of faith, to be able to tell a lie or break it
in some way. that same person, he was just formally censored by the arizona house. the republican party executive committee. why? because of what he testified to and what he said. and there was this chairwoman kelly ward who tweeted and put on the screen that he is no longer a republican in good standing. and we call on republicans to replace him at the ballot box in the august primary. >> i want to be clear about one thing. rusty bowers, as incredible as his testimony was, he did an interview and said if trump was the nominee, he would still support him. you can't have 1 foot in and 1 foot out because the mega mega will savage you. there's got to be that clean break at some point of republicans saying enough of this person. and by the way, i would like to remind you all, if and when donald trump announces that he's running, likely next month, i think, other republicans should run against him and they should be up on a debate stage and say only one of us lost to joe biden
and it's you, donald trump. that moment needs to happen. >> that's called a sick burn. is that what you do? by the way -- >> she can do that for a living. i've got to say, now is not the -- this is going to be really ironic coming from me, and i'm going to say it. and bring it on, twitter. that is, now is not the time for anonymity. >> oh. >> that's right. >> miles' twitter remains undefeated. call the hornets nest. >> i can say that because i'm telling you, you know, criticizing him from the shadows -- ultimately i wanted to unmask myself and i did. but don't even do that, folks. go straight to the mics. go straight to the light, right? we need ex-trump officials to come live in the light and say who this guy is. otherwise, it could happen on. he's the odds on favorite to be the republican nominee for the republican party. i cannot believe that's the
reality, but he is. >> and joe biden's approvals are in the tanks. so, there is a perfect storm scenario where donald trump could be demander in chief in not a lot of time. and we will probably be fleeing the country if that happens. >> a lot of people are furious with both ends of the spectrum. joe biden is unpopular but people are uncomfortable with donald trump. they like his policies but think he was a danger to our constitution and our democracy. that's why we're seeing a lot of people who are in that vast group who are in the main stream who reject extremes they get as a result of our primaries from both the republican party and the democratic primaries, and that's why i'm running for the u.s. senate as an independent, even though i'm a life long common sense conservative republican. >> well, we will see what happens. insurrections are hard to compartmentalize. i wonder if congresswoman liz cheney will run as an independent next. i'm putting it out there. somebody cross their fingers.
alissa farah griffin, thank you so much. >> thank you. coming up, more on merrick garland answering the question as much as he's willing to answer that question, of course, about a potential donald trump prosecution. he's facing, as you know, mounting pressure from some on the left and the select committee to move a little bit faster on his decision. but benjamin with it tis is making a case of his own when it comes to doj's work, and i wonder if it wilill silence gagarland's critics? we'll see next. when high quality is the only quality that matters, we fit your standards, with no-compromise quality and a lifetime guarantee. bath fitr. it just fits. visit bathfitter.com to book your free consultion.
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vote yes on 27. tax online sports betting and protect tribal sovereignty and help californians that are hurting the most. weith the january 6th committee wrapping up its initial set of hearings, the spotlight goes on the doj's criminal investigation, and that spotlight is only growing stronger. many critics have decried what they see as a very slow-paced investigation, even accused the doj of dragging its feet on indictments, especially when it comes to donald trump. here's more on how the attorney general did push back today. >> the way in which the justice department investigates, a
centra central tenet to the rule of law is that we do not do our investigations in public. we have to get this right. no person is above the law in this country. i can't say it any more clearly than that. there is nothing in the principles of prosecution, in any other factors which prevent us from investigating anyone. anyone who's criminally responsible for an attempt to undo a democratic election. >> so, how should we view this? is garland moving too slow or something different? in a new piece, my next guest makes a case in defense of the justice department. benjamin wittes joins me now. benjamin, welcome. i'm glad you're here. you've seen and heard all the criticism. too slow. people probably are adding on to the mueller probe, i would say, in their lack of patience of what's going on. do you think that they are
moving too slow, that they are dragging their feet waiting for the committee, as some people believe? >> i don't. i think they have moved actually remarkably quickly in general. when you look at the scope and scale of the investigation since january 6, 2021, we've had more than 850 indictments. a surprising number of them have been of people who are accused of very violent, very bad offenses. they have moved up the hierarchy of potential defendants relatively quickly. they've moved up to seditious conspiracy cases, and they are now knocking at the door of the political echelon. and if you'd said -- we had been sitting here january 7th, and you said, what would a congressional investigation look like? i would describe something exactly like that as the best case scenario for what an
investigation might look like. >> it's true they've moved up the hierarchy in terms of the charges. but they've been criticized, where he talks about the bottom-up approach, right? we often here the colloquial term about you go after the big fish. and who's the big fish? is the approach of the 800-plus indictments, they are pretty low-level actors, compared to, of course, the president of the united states. is that approach flawed? >> no. i don't think it is. i -- look. i agree with andrew weissman that if the justice department is not, today, looking at the broad range of activity that donald trump engaged in and others engaged in in the wake of the election leading up to january 6th, that would look like it has a certain institutional blinders on. but in fact we know that the justice department has executed search warrants against john eastman, one of the people who was helping the president plot
the fake electors. >> the eastman memo. >> there's been a search warrant executed against eastman. there's been a search warrant executed against jeffrey clark, the justice department official who trump tried to install at the -- as the acting attorney general. >> but these were quite recent, and they were after at least testimony about either in the committee. >> so, first of all, recent activity is a sign that the investigation is alive and doing its work, right? if you said there's been no recent activity, that's what would bother me. moreover, the justice department, you know, gets the benefit of a lot of different inputs, right? it gets the benefit of all the bottoms-up activity that it's engaged in. as they flip defendants th, the get cooperation. as they bring in new defendants, they get, you know, new allegations come in, right? but they also get the benefit of journalism. there's a lot of journalism.
they get the benefit of the work of the committee. the committee's conducted 1,000-plus interviews. so, i don't think -- i think it's a -- it's not a bug. it's a feature that the investigation appears to be assimilating inputs from all over the place. one important point about this, this is not like watergate where you have a relatively discreet fact pattern, right? i don't know how many total defendants there were in watergate. watergate, by the way, took five years to prosecute the whole thing. this is hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people scattered all over the country. even the activity that the committee is looking at -- if you think about it geographically, it involves people all over the place. >> yeah. >> this is going to take a while. >> speaking of hundreds and hundreds of people, i was a line career prosecutor. everyone keeps talking about attorney general merrick garland who i know you know well.
but at the end of the day, it's the career prosecutors who are going to be building these cases and presenting it to the attorney general in some form or fashion. what do you make of the perception, though, that people have that the attorney general or the doj, more broadly, is playing catch up? and i ask this specifically because there were these letters to the committee that the committee wasn't handing over information to doj. >> yeah, so, i -- so, first of all, in a situation in which the committee is doging a top-down investigation, the committee starts with the question, what can we say about political accountability and donald trump? they get to start with the king. they interview everybody around the king. they interview everybody -- that's not the way you conduct a criminal investigation, as you know. at the criminal investigation, you do it maybe not from the very bottom-up, but you're going to start with the people below. it is not surprising to me at all that the committee gets to some people starting at the top before you get them coming up
from the bottom. to me, the question is the following: as you look at the way the investigation progresses, is it moving up? is there pressure from the cases they are making on the next wrung up the ladder? right now, it seems to me there is a lot. it's a very active investigation, crossing la lot f different territory, both legally and factually. so, as long as that's the case, i'm not going to sit here and worry that the subpoena that went out last week didn't go out last month. >> well, you know, the committee has the benefit of we have a public hearing, their business in the public. the doj is supposed to do their work in private. thank you for your time. benjamin wittes, i appreciate it. rudy giuliani, well, he may not be feeling peachy keen tonight about his next trip to georgia. a judge ordering him to appear
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patient as the investigation plays out. is the doj going about the probe the right way? john wood is back and elliott williams is here. you were a u.s. torn as well and you were well versed where you were. do you vie the notion of being patient? prosecutors know we athe averag time of the case. >> we have to be patient with the justice department but there is an important step the attorney general should make. i think inevitably at some point this investigation has to look at people in the immediate inner circle of donald trump. donald trump might well run for president of the united states against joe biden and this makes it as political as it conceivably can be. if you want to take some politics out of it, i think the attorney general should appoint a special counsel to be as free from politics as somebody can be
to look into anybody closely associated with donald trump. >> special counsel people are having mueller flash backs if they like it or not. >> another thing to add to that, john, i think the public just has a hunger for more information and something baked into the justice department, i was there for six years as deputy assist tanl ant attorney general at the end. they don't talk about investigations. that's incompatible with what the world has come to expect right now. certainly, there are places the justice department by law can't talk about what they're investigating but nothing stops the attorney general from saying hey, look, we're investigating this matter calm down. i don't know if i want him to do that but maybe that's part of what is whipping people up a bit. they don't know what is going on. >> the call me clinton fiasco makes people reluctant to say anything for good reason about these notions. you talk about inner circle, rudy giuliani. did you say ugh. was that a -- >> [ laughter ] >> just -- >> is that a legal analysis?
>> i know. >> do you have -- i can't top that. i'll pass. >> i'll take it from here. you got rudy giuliani ordered to testify right now in georgia. he had the chance to do it in new york. apparently, he blew that off and didn't show up. talk about the inner circle. what do you make of the fact giuliani has to testify in a case or investigation involving the big georgia phone call, the fake electors, you can go on with the list. >> and rudy giuliani's own testimony he gave and did similar things in other states. in the georgia legislature, my recollection is he showed a videotape of what happened at the state farm arena and edited to make it misleading and look like what he described of suitcases of ballots being brought in when in fact no such thing occurred. there was surveillance videotaped footage of the boxes, which were secure ballot boxes. videotape of them the entire time. they were never tampered with. and he misled the mpeople of
georgia and state legislature. >> pardon me. another thing driving the pace in georgia is that the crime that at least we sort of seem to know is being investigated conspiracy to commit election fraud is a simpler crime than the kinds of things we're talking about in the context of january 6th when you were talking about seditious conspiracy. it hasn't been charged since 2011. it's been years since anybody has tried. >> a good thing. >> you don't want it to happen too often. >> frequent crime. >> this is tree. it's just what is happening in georgia is more straightforward and not that surprising they would be further along and more out there. >> it's also, think about this, if you talk about politically speaking, i've heard often times you say you never want to prosecute a former president, it would tear the country apart, the gerald ford notion. people don't always buy that notion about it causing division but it would be politically comfortable for, say, a joe biden if it's not a federal
prosecution, right? if it's like i can't do anything about this, my hands are tied, the d.a. in fulton county, if it were me, maybe it would be different but does that make it cleaner for him politipolitical? >> it makes it eeasier but doesn't get rid of the question. if merrick garland brings charges or doesn't, either way it will be described as political because it will have m monumental political coal consequences. special counsel may not be the perfect solution. >> the best possible outcome is charging a former president with a crime and have him get acquitted. if you move forward with the charges, your case is tight and maybe that's what they're doing. >> maybe the real case scenario is knowing someone committed a crime and deciding no thank you. that would be above the law. special counsel, it won't be sydney powell. we're there -- okay. fine, we're good. no response to that. elliott williams, john wood, thank you so much. we'll be right back. >> thank you.
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hey, thanks for watching. i'll see you tomorrow night for the live coverage of the january 6th live time hearing. that starts at 7:00 p.m. eastern. now "don lemon tonight" starts now with don lemon. >> a preview, we have more details on what exactly we're going to see tomorrow. adam schiff is going to talk to us and give us more details on what is happening so we'll get to that. laura, i'll see you on -- thursday -- friday. >> tomorrow. >> yeah. >> i'll see you. i'll watch your show right now. i will literally see you. good-bye. >> it's been one of those days. thank you. i'll see you. >> thanks. this is "don lemon tonight."