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tv   Don Lemon Tonight  CNN  July 26, 2022 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT

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new signs that the justice department is zeroing in on the trump white house. the washington post reporting tonight the doj is looking at trump himself as part of its criminal investigation of january 6th. and asking witnesses about conversations with trump and seizing the phone records of top aides. that is january 6th committee is releasing new video tonight, refuting a major trump claim as
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they continue to push towards their january, excuse me, there september hearing. joining me now cnn congressional correspondent ryan nobles, and karen cordero, and cnn global affairs global analysis susan glasser. good evening one and all, first, rhino both. cnn reported earlier today that marc short, greg jacobs testimony shows how the investigation inside the trump white house. but the post tonight going even further with that, ryan, give me some details on conversations with trump. how does this all fit together, sir? >> well, you know, don, for a long time there has been at least some criticism of merrick garland and the attorney generals office that they have not done enough to specifically linked the events of january six to donald trump. but their actions over the past two weeks or so show that garland's investigation is getting increasingly closer to trump itself. and the post reporting tonight, coupled with what we have
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reported about the grand jury testimony and the different people who have come before and answered questions about this investigation showed that garland and his team are not just satisfied with this band of advisers around trump, who were influencing him and basically telling him what he wanted to hear as related to the election and the role mike pence could play. but that they are specifically interested in trump's conduct himself. that includes the conversations he may have had with john eastman, rudy giuliani, and others. so, this is something that the critics of the attorney generals office have said for sometime. garland has always said that nobody is above the law and to be patient. this is now the time where we see him actually taking steps that a lot of people have been asking him to do for sometime. including, i should say, members of the january 6th select committee. >> ryan, another question for you. what more are we learning, if anything, about who has spoken to the investigators about what is happening at the doj? >> so, what we know is when you have somebody like marc short and you have somebody like greg jacob, these are inside players
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inside the white house and in the west wing in the days leading up to january 6th. and they are the ones who can talk specifically about the pressure campaign that was put on mike pence. and that pressure came directly from donald trump. and i can just tell you from my experience covering the january 6th committee, when short and jacob broke through, and when the committee was able to subpoena them and get that in front of them, that is when you really saw the floodgates begin to open in terms of the direction of this investigation. it became a lot more about donald trump and the role that he played as kind of the conductor of this whole thing. so, as of right now, we see the department of justice in many ways mimicking the work the january six committee has already done. if they continue down that path, and on, we see this play out over the course of the nine or so hearings that we've held, they have not been swung by holding donald trump himself responsible for what happened on june six. that is the direction the department of justice is headed now. there's a long way to go and
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much higher bar to clear with the criminal investigation. that certainly seems to be where there are headed, at least at this early stage. >> karen, the justice department has even sees the phone records of top trump aides. what does that tell you about the status here? >> while, that would be a standard investigative technique. and this is a really giant investigation. it is a massive investigation that they are conducting into all aspects of january six, including the effort to overturn the election and the so-called saint electors, plot or conspiracy. so i would certainly expect something like using legal process to obtain records, including phone records in this kind of investigation. it should not be surprising at. all and the investigation is progressing. the interesting piece is the timing a little bit in terms of some of these witnesses going before the grand jury after their appearances before the january six committee. usually, those involved investigations, former doj folks like me tend to think the justice department would be
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ahead of where the committee is. so i do find the timing a little bit interesting. >> susan, how do you see all these developments? i mean, there is a lot happening behind the scenes right now. >> well, that is exactly right. don we don't know what we don't know. but i do agree with carrie that is notable that this is also playing out a year and a half after the events in question. marc short, and greg jacob, the two senior aides to former vice president mike pence, these weren't surprise witnesses in the sense that we knew all along they were crucial firsthand witnesses. and information about donald trump's pressure campaign on his vice president emerge almost contemporaneously with the events of january 6th. so, one interesting question when we see the full historical record, is why did it take so long? why was it that the january six committee interviewed them before they were brought before the grand jury? does this mean that the grand jury only recently has turned its attention to the issue of upper level culpability.
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again, many of the events that we are talking about now that the january 6th committee has brought new details about into the public sphere, in reality these are events that have been known in a general sense for quite some time. and so, it feels like there's some lag time between investigative timetable and what we are seeing. >> susan, to talk pence aides have testified and there is this focus that we are seeing placed on the pressure campaign against the former vice president doesn't say anything to you that this is becoming such a focus, a focal point for investigators? >> yeah, don, i'm glad you brought it up. because i do think it goes directly to the issue of donald trump and his personal orchestration of the campaign against his own vice president. trump was the one who called in john eastman, the constitutional law professor who is advancing this sort of bogus theory. they wanted pence to apply to his own role.
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and it was trump who literally hosted in the oval office, force pence to confront this law officer directly. so it goes directly to the presidents own potential vulnerability to charges in the case. so i think it is very significant indeed if it does turn out the justice department is focusing on the pence pressure campaign. that means they are focusing on trump. >> karen, listen, the doj this, testimony that we're hearing from people who were inside the white house after, after we have learned about not only trump but the enablers around him. how many people could be in a legal jeopardy here? >> well, you know, what is interesting don is there is this washington post report that focused on the testimony of in front of the grand jury by witnesses. but there's also a separate new york times report that talked about that really named names in terms of, i counted in that report, about 19 different people who were aware of the effort within the white house
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to orchestrate fake electors and orchestrate an effort to overturn the election. and about half of those were lawyers. so i think part of what is coming out of the new reporting that's coming out today is that so many people knew what was going on, and had knowledge of it, including individuals in the white house who were intricately involved in receiving the pressure that was taking place, and placing the pressure, depending on whether they were on the vice president side of thing or or on the former presidents side of things. but i just want to make one note with respect to the grand jury testimony. i think it's four important for our viewers to know that is not the justice department that is confirming in any way at, least in the way that i read this reporting, that the former president himself is under investigation. what the washington post report says is the justice department
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is investigating his actions, which reads to me that these witnesses have come out of the grand jury, has spoken to reporters, and are relaying what the questions where that were asked that indicated there is probing investigation into his actions. but that is different than a justice department confirmation. >> right, which would lead one to believe if you have any knowledge, or at least a fair amount of knowledge of the justice system, and how these things where, where this is going. >> will we know we are conducting an investigation -- >> where could possibly go. >> for those who were concerned that the justice department would certainly look the other way, they would not probe in their investigation where the facts would take them and they would intentionally not look at the former president, i do think this new reporting indicates that that is not the case. that they are, in terms of their investigation, going where the facts are leading them. >> speaking of men, ryan, let's talk about the attorney general
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merrick garland. he sat down with nbc news today and was asked about possible investigations into trump. what did he have to say? >> i think what he had to say today, don, he did not have to say very much, but what he did say was very significant. let's take a listen and we will explain after. >> we intend to hold everyone, anyone who was criminally responsible for events surrounding january 6th, or any attempt to interfere with the lawful transferal of power from one administration to the other accountable. >> so if donald trump were to become a candidate for president that would not change your schedule or how you move forward, or don't move forward? >> i will say again that we will hold accountable anyone who was criminally responsible for attempting to interfere with the transfer, legitimate lawful transfer of one administration to the next. >> so don, i think the reason that this was so significant is
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that merrick garland has never said with such degree of specificity that the justice department is investigating the peaceful transfer of power. he has talked at length about how he wants to hold every rider accountable, he has talked about how there is no one above the law, above the breach of prosecution, including donald trump. but to put into words this idea that the department of justice believes that there could be a criminal connection to standing in the way of the 2020 election results i think is very significant and then when you couple it along with this grand jury testimony that we know, the reporting about the questions that have been asked, it lends, you know, a lot of credence to what carrie is saying about where this investigation is heading it does not mean that donald trump is a target. the other thing that merrick garland did, he was very careful not to say the word that they would not hesitate to prosecute donald trump. he was talking about it from a more global perspective then anyone could be subject to prosecution. but it shows at least where
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their heads are right now in terms of the investigation. >> i think we left on something significant in that soundbite. i think the more significant part was when he said susan -- he said without fear or favor, and he said, that's our job at the justice department, is to investigate people and to possibly prosecute them without fear or favor, which means it doesn't matter if you're the former president of the united states, it doesn't matter who you are, it doesn't matter where you are in a campaign or political process. and i thought that that was possibly the most significant part of that interview, susan. >> well, in a way, don you are right. no president, no former president of the united states has ever been indicted or charged in any case, never mind one -- >> exhibit this type of behavior, but go on. >> i mean, look, even richard nixon was never charged. he was given a pardon by jury ford, which was such a politically significant act that it almost certainly
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contributed to jerry ford's defeat in the subsequent presidential election. so a political decision of enormous consequences it does not mean that it would happen, but to be a political decision of enormous consequences for a very president conscious attorney general like merrick garland. and a very conscious president like joe, biden who has been elected politics ever since the watergate era so i think both of them will feel the burden of history very much if it comes down to donald trump. they may definitely decide to go ahead with it, given the grounds of potential charges they are looking at. and the ongoing crisis in the country. i don't know about it at all, but i do think that the burden is heavy on them, knowing that they would be establishing a new precedent in american politics. >> carrie, again, reiterating in that interview tonight, garland saying that the house
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criminal referral would necessarily affect the house january six probe. but is it still important that the committee or congress to send that message? >> i think the committee needs to send whatever criminal referrals it deems appropriate. so, the committee, that is part of what the committee is set out in its investigation an oversight to do. it has not shied away from criminal referrals for intent when it thought there was evidence individual obstructing congress's work. so, they've done that. and i think they should not send them -- to send a political message. they should only send the referrals if they truly assess that there is an evaluation from the justice department to be done, regarding the criminal manner. and it is up to the justice department to evaluate those. and even in the contempt cases that have been sent, some of the justice department has prosecuted, and in at least one case, they have not. >> carrie, susan, ryan, thank
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you all. i appreciate it. more and more revelations coming out on the january six investigation. tonight, the investigation may be on hiatus. tonight, a newly-released video of a top official contradicting the former president. then paying him right there on ththe spot. we'll drive you happppy at carvana.
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wanted them to do. the guy who is sitting there now in the secret service, is someone that they did put. that donald trump did put in there to do exactly what he wants to do. we need an independent investigation. >> thank you both! i appreciate it!
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>> thank you! >> red states in a full offensive to rollback lgbtq rights, abortion rights, and more. how they're doing it, and why it could get worse! it could get worse and it is now! we'll talk about the next!
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some red states and republican appointed judges are gains to a multi state approach to democracy, and rollback rights. even though democrats are in power. that is according to cnn political analyst ron brownstein who joins me now. fascinating article on,
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thank you sir, good evening to you. so, an expert that you spoke with said that division hasn't been this bad since the civil war, white? >> yeah, donald kettle who is the former da of the policy school -- says the only thing comparable to what we're watching now among the red states is what we saw in the backlash that developed in the south against reconstruction in the decades after the civil war, that ultimately led to -- an 1896. i think what we are watching, as you noted, is a multi-front effort by the red states, with support of republican appointed judges and justices, and the important blocking of actions of republicans in the senate. but to rollback rights, revolution of the past six decades, to move social policy sharply to the right on everything from abortion, to lgbtq rights, the voting. and at the same time, hobbled
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the ability of either the federal government, or their own local large metro areas that are trending blue. it really adds up to, i think, an effort to create a nation within a nation that is fundamentally rejecting many of the cultural, demographic, and economic changes reshaping america and the 21st century. >> can you talk about this very strategic, the years long process to use the judicial system as a political tool. i mean, we all see it at the supreme court. but it goes way beyond that. >> right, i mean look, certainly in the career of someone who is emblematic, there is been no higher goal throughout his entire career. then placing as many republican judges and justices on the courts as he could. and you see here in the particularly now, with the super's conservative majority on the supreme court. in the great reporting on cnn today, also we saw how even john roberts ran against that brick wall on abortion. now how it is paying off.
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i mean look at what is happening here. the supreme has authorized, and made various decisions over the years. shyer county back in 2013, weeding the voting act. last year, the abortion decision. they are empowering red states, giving red states more authority to rollback rights that had been previously considered settled, national, constitutional rights. at the same time they are inhibiting the ability of blue states to move against rights that conservative rights. which there it's gun control, or separation of church and state. and the important one that's really not getting enough attention, is all the ways in which the supreme court is inhibiting the ability of the federal government to act. we've seen it repeatedly on immigration, on environmental law, on climate, on the credit transgender protections. under title nine. by the way, those are precipitated by lawsuits from the same red states. so you have the republican
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controlled states, bringing a lawsuit before sympathetic republican judges. finding a pipeline all the way to the supreme, that limits the federal government to act. even though the same cords are allowing them to go for further than before. >> these are the things that need to be explored. and the platform needs to be given, they need to be echoed, people need to be heard. because they don't understand it, they don't get it. they don't understand it, because people, they're dealing with their pocketbook issues, and things that relates to them daily. but this is important because, this is the damaging parts to our democracy. right now, it is essentially of minority rule. you have these red states that are sparsely populated, making rules for blue states, or for densely populated areas. and, essentially, getting special rights. a party not voted into power. imposing their will.
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but what happens if republicans do control the congress? and the white house? what is gonna happen to them then? speak on what i just said please. >> yeah, first of all. we are obviously, there are a lot of things that people are concerned about. inflation, the economy. but we are seeing the fundamental cohesion of american economy challenge in ways that we really have not seen in a long time. where you have essentially half the states, solidly under republican control. some of them in part because the supreme court has also ruled that, severe partisan gerrymandering cannot be responded to by the federal courts. you have them setting a very different set of rules, for how people are going to live and moving aggressively, i think in a call and response with the courts as they continue to single sympathy for this, continuing to push it further but this does not seem to be, or to many experts who study this, as the end point. the goal of the republicans who are rewriting the rights and
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landscape in the states is not just to control what happens in texas, and georgia, and florida. it is to ultimately gain control of enough states where you can achieve a dominance over the federal governments, and apply these rules nationally! apply the red state model to the blue states. where it's on issues related to guns, certainly on abortion, and this is a battle that, i think, is only going to intensify in the years ahead. and it's only gonna become more fraught because of the supreme courts, i think, clear willingness to put a thumb on the scale at least. maybe a whole hand on the scale. in favor of with the red states want to do. blocking would boost aides want to do. hand blocking what democratic led federal government wants to do. we saw the pressure buildup in the 1850s with the dred scott decision, with the sod buildup in the 1930s, when the supreme court blocked a new deal. original do new deal legislation. each case there were ex cape
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valdez that's a tough fight in a different direction. and kind of a strange statement. but i think that we are just heading for rising social and political tension as the red states tried to, in effect, run the country from -- . >> and it always happens when you try to expand rights for people who are, you know, not white. that's when it happens. >> yeah. >> pay attention people! >> thanks don! >> we'll be right back, we're gonna talk about catastrophic flooding in missouri. thank you so much don. missouri, now they are declaring a state of emergency! new projects means new project managers. you need to hire. i need indeed. indeed you do. when you sponsor a job, you immediately get your shortlist ofuality candidates,
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deadly flooding, ripping through missouri. sparked by record breaking rainfall, floodwaters forcing rescues of people trapped in vehicles and homes. now we're looking to the governors to declare a state of emergency. here's cnn's, omar menendez. >> roads turned into rivers. >> that is the only road out of this area. and it is impossible. >> an interstate shut down. >> interstates 70. >> and firefighters forced to make dozens of rescues. all as a record amount of rain fell in the st. louis area in
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just a matter of hours. >> we had approximately eight and a half foot of water. it would've helped. in a low-lying area. and we were told by a civilian after it was in cars. the water was receding, and we had pulled the civilian out of the vehicle. that has passed. >> others went scrambling for shelter. >> i heard some thunder over there this morning. didn't think much of it, went back to sleep. in a couple hours later saw some water coming in the apartment. woke up in there was a couple feet into it. stepped in. it pulled it out. >> from midnight to 7 am st. louis got more than eight inches of rain. the previous record for one day was less than seven. which happened all the way back in 1950. the surrounding st. louis area saw anywhere from 6 to 10 inches overnight, according to the national weather service. area officials urged everyone to avoid travel. as they say, they were getting 9-1-1 calls of multiple people stuck. >> you don't know how deep it
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is. it's simply not safe. it's not worth the risk. >> torrential rain left parts of the area almost unrecognizable. trapping cars on the streets. flooding a train tracks, and homes. climate scientists say that such turbulent weather has been becoming more familiar. as rising temperatures in the atmosphere can hold more moisture. leading to more rain. and more extreme conditions. from deadly heat, two destructive fires. dangerous floods. it's a dynamic that officials are increasingly trying to be prepared for. across the country. >> whether it is the extreme heat affecting tens of millions of americans, or the hurricanes, or the drought. this is the new normal. this is a climate emergency. in >> st. louis, the flood waters are receding. but for scientists said the chances of this happening again we're only going up. >> omar jimenez, cnn. thank you omar! the former president defending
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his decision to host a saudi -backed golf tournament at the golf course. now families of the survivors are calling him out! answer a few questions and our techno wizardry calculatates your car's value and gives you a real offer in seconds we'll come to you pay you on the spot then pick up your car that's it at carvana
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the truth about trump. michael, good to see you again. this whole thing is so unusual, a former president promoting saudi arabia and their golf tournament at one of his properties. i mean, what is going on? this is just money, right, i want to see what is going, on by just money, greed. >> it's just money, but it's also such a feast of selfishness, narcissism and read that you almost don't know where to start. the greed, as you mentioned has to do with the fact that the saudis are going to pay him a hefty fee to use his golf course. and he hopes that he will get some publicity for it. although, i think he misjudged there because live doesn't have tv contracts. so, the number of people who actually watch the matches is very small. the narcissism is of course it's all about me. so, in the 9/11 families say that they want him to reconsider this, he does not
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care. this is a person who at one point excoriated his -- fourth supposed terrorist inclinations. and now he is closing up to one of the more radically fundamentalist regimes in all of the most muslim world. and the final thing about his selfishness is this is not -- this is the game of golf that he has always said he loves. this is the country he loves, supposedly, america. but he is abandoning the american game and its institutions in favor of this brand-new, get rich quick scheme. >> relatives of 9/11 victims, michael, are infuriated. they feel let down by professional golfers who are planning to participate. but here, this is what trump told the wall street journal and i quote here, i don't know much about the 9/11 families, i do not know what is the relationship to this and they're very strong feelings.
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and i can understand their feelings, he said. i cannot really comment on that, because i do not really know exactly what they are saying, and what they're saying who did white. i mean, it is fair to say that trump is intensely putting his head, you know, where. but go on. >> right, right, but this is a situation where almost all of the hijackers who attacked america on 9/11 where saudi. and the funding for al-qaeda came mainly from saudi individuals and organizations. this is all very well known. the fbi established a financial links, and it's easy to trace the origins of the attackers. so, you are not going to tell me that a person who was in manhattan in the day this happened, and later exaggerated his own engagement in the aftermath, does not know the truth about this. he really knows.
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>> and a former president of the united states, goodness. thank you, michael. i appreciate it. >> thank you don. >> thanks for watching everyone. our coverage continues.
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good evening we begin with breaking news in the january six investigation where the attorney general himself just called it the largest probe in history. it's on the breaking news, perhaps the highest reaching probe as well. new reporting in the washington post citing for people familiar with the investigation. the headline, justice department investigating trump's actions in


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