tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN July 28, 2022 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
china, eu, korea and japan, they have collectively put together about 280marked that and they say that the competition is great and the money is just as great, wolf. >> miguel, excellent report, and thank you very much to the viewers and thank you for watching. erin burnett "out front" starts now. "outfront" exclusive, are federal prosecutors preparing for battle trying to force the former white house officials to testify about conversations with trump, himself? and the clearest sign yet that the investigators are zeroing in on the former president. and plus, president biden with a major win today and on the cusp of two others and are the republicans suddenly playing defense. and massie flooding in kentucky and towns under water, and yosemite burning, and
excessive climate change. good afternoon, i'm jim sciutto in for erin burnett, and "outfront" tonight, preparing for battle. cnn has learned that investigators want to force former trump officials to testify in court, and will use the court to do so. they want to know the actions of former president trump around january 6th, and this is the clearest sign yet that they are zeroing in on trump's actions as he tried to cling to power. this development is coming as the january 6th select committee is speaking to former acting chief of staff mick mulvaney, and former secretary state steve mnuchin, and a key witness, mnuchin had conversations with trump cabinet members hours
after the cabinet, and he had a conversation about trying to remove trump by evoking the 25th amendment, and a number of people that he spoke to included secretary of state pompeo, and tonight, pompeo also appears closer to sitting down with the committee. >> we have had discussions with them about potential appearing before them, and trying to understand what it is that they are asking for. i want to make sure that the american people get the full story of the things that happened in the trump administration. >> and evan perez is out front tonight in washington tonight, and evan, there is a lot to get to, and i want to get to the report of what you learning about the doj preparing to go to court to force these senior white house officials to testify. >> well, jim, this is a major step, and what they want to do is to challenge the former claim of executive privilege, and it has not been claimed, but what
the justice department wants is to talk to people who are in direct conversation, and direct communications with the former president, and get what was going on in the key days around january 6, and, you know, even before that as the former president was trying to essentially impede the transfer of power. this issue came up recently in the grand jury testimony of greg jacob and mark short, and these are the aides of the former vice president pence who appeared before the grand jury, and they sat for hours answering questions about the pressure campaign that the former vice president was under. what they did not answer, and what they could not answer was questions about their direct interaction with the former president, former president trump, because of the claim of the executive privilege. now, as i pointed out, this is something that, you know, the justice department has not tested before, and this is not even by the way tested in the mueller investigation which you and i covered if you remember,
and this is a big deal for the justice department to even broes broach this and to find out what was happening with trump in late 2020 and early 2021. >> so, evan, do stand by, and we are getting new details about the georgia's criminal investigations of trump's efforts to overturn that state's elections, and the president of the republican party david schaffer has appeared before a special grand jury there, and he was one of the 16 fake electors in trump's plot to subvert the will of the people, their vote, and nick valencia is outside of atlanta in the courthouse, and so, nick, what do we know about schaffer's appearance in court? >> yeah, good evening, jim.
we were expecting this to be a significant week, and following the criminal investigation knowing that 16 of the fake electors were expected to appear before the special grand jury, and we can confirm that the chairman of the republican party here in the state of georgia david schaffer was one who did appear earlier this week before the special grand jury and schaffer is one of the most recognizable names of the 16 so-called fake electors who participated in a scheme to participate in the electoral college to subvert the election and declare donald trump as the winner. we can confirm that, and we don't know what he said in front of the grand jury, but we know that he received a letter from bonnie willis who is leading the investigation, and saying that he may be indicted in her criminal probe, and he has been the target of several investigators including u.s. house select committee who is
investigating the january 6th attack, and it was earlier this year that the house told this committee that the elector scheme came at the direction of the trump campaign after they lost this state's vote. and we reached out to schaffer's attorney, but this is a major development in bonnie willis' investigation that is wide reaching and broad in scope as she is continuing to methodically gather information on racketeering and other charges. >> it is certified and they had lectors, and they attempted to replace the electors because trump did not like the results. and now, joining us is kelly cordero and jonathan dean, and now, if you can begin with us, on the justice department investigation, what does it tell you that the investigators are going to such battle over the executive privilege claims that
four former trump white house official, and is that about the former officials those around trump or about trump himself? >> i think it is a legal issue and it is being used as a device to suppress testimony. trump is calling on a very thin and unlitigated area of executive privilege. big picture, there is no privilege. biden has said that he is not invoking executive privilege, and the presidential records act which was adopted in 1978 says it is the president's call. he is the incumbent, and he is the one who has authority over executive privilege, but there is an opinion from the year before 1977 that says prior presidents can invoke executive privilege, but there are no documents involved in this, and this is the exchanges between themselves and trump, and he claiming executive privilege
over that, and that is not litigated, and they don't want to have to litigate this, because it would go to the district court, the court of appeals and to the supreme court, and with a 6-3, and the sixth being very unpredictable since they don't always follow the law, this is a troublesome area, and this what they are gearing up for, and it appears to me, and they are getting ready to mount a fight if necessary. >> kerry, you have often wise lwisely injected some caution as to how far this investigation may go, and based on the latest moves, who do you see as the target of the doj steps the here? folks in trump's circle, as i asked john, or trump himself potentially? >> well, i think it is definitely folks in his circle, including potentially his former chief of staff, and the people close to him in the white house. this most recent information really demonstrates as a practical matter that some of
the witnesses including the former pence advisers have more to say. so, there is clearly some information that they could have provided to the grand jury and did not and they are potentially relying on the executive privilege, even though the current president is not, and the justice department is trying to figure out how they can get more of that evidence, and the ability of the grand jury and the ability to get information from witnesses with a purposeful lawful subpoena is how the justice department determines if they have potential charges against individuals, and whether those are folks close to the president or potentially the former president himself. but it is an investigative step, and it is going to indicate that the justice department is thinking through ahead of time, because traditionally the justice department would be arguing to protect presidential prerogatives. >> and evan, you can learn a lot on the witnesses that the
prosecutors are asking the witness, and you are learning a lot about the question, and what do you know and what is it telling us? >> well, you know, jim, these two witnesses in particular, jacob and short, they were asked directly about the pressure campaign, and they answered those questions, and they spent hours talking to the grand jury about those meetings, and especially the one on january 4th where we know that the former president and john eastman were pressuring pence to say that he had the power to set aside the election results, but what i am told they were able to answer a lot of the questions around the edges, and provided a lot of information, and even though they could not reach the exact discussions between the former president and vice president pence for instance or between mark short and greg jacob and the former president, there is a lot of information that they were able to provide to the grand jury, and so what we can expect as carrie is
pointing out, this is a beginning, and we expect they will be coming back, and able to come back to them, and try to, you know, get through the presidential privilege issue to try to get additional information from the witnesses. >> john, we learned that the january 6th committee spoke with secretary mnuchin, and one of the things that they asked about is this effort by john carl tovs own cabinet member, and why would the committee focus in on that? would bit be the state of mind, and what the president was capable of then? >> it is certainly showing the feeling of those around him about the president's state of mind. it is not a good process to invoke the constitution to place him on a disabled list. it is really awkward. i happened to work on that amendment when i was with the house judiciary committee, and
the vice president has to send a letter to the speaker and the president protem of the senate telling him that the president is uncapable of carrying out his responsibilities under the constitution. the president, all he has to do is to neuter that is to send a letter saying that i am perfectly capable, and these people are trying to get me out of the way, and they don't like my decision, and to put that in play, then the vice president has to send another letter back to the congress, and say, no, no, he is in bad shape, and then the congress has four days to resolve it. i think that, you know, it is likely that they would have ruled in favor of trump even if they did not like his policy, because this amendment was not designed for this activity. >> it is a good point, because it is not a swift or easy process, and carrie, you think that the committee could hurt its case by going down the path of investigating 25th, and tell
us why. >> so i think that the committee if they were to argue what is their interest to do that, and it is to create a historical record of what transpired surrounding events of january 6th, and from the historical perspective, i understand why they might be interested in it, but it is not a great use of their time if what they are really trying to do, which they have communicated both in the hearings and in many of the other statements as the hearings have taken place is that they are trying to demonstrate that there is a criminal case to be made against the former president which is something that they are try to produce the evidence that is relevant to a justice department investigation, and with that perspective, arguing or exploring in more detail the arguments that the former president was lacking in mental capacity actually is counter to a potential effort to demonstrate that he had intent
and that he was of sound mind and purposely trying to overturn the election, and so they have to potentially think through cross purposes. >> that is good point, because we have talked about the intent and how that is to the criminal side of the investigation. evan, carrie, and john -- thank you, all of you. and now, the win on capitol hill for the president, and should the republicans get nervous? and putin is continuing to keep the president guessing as to not answering so-called merchant of death's exchange for brittney griner. and also, a woman whose husband died in 9/11, and she has snog say about this exchange.
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would allow negotiation of medicare and prescription drives and establishs a corporate minimum tax to pay for all of this, and biden also urged congress the seize the moment. >> this is the strongest bill that you can pass to lower the deficit, reduce health care tax, and tackle the climate crisis, and pass it, pass for it the american people. >> this also is going to help boost chip makers and help the economy, and that bill is going to be headed to the president's desk after it comes passing both the house and the senate in a bipartisan fashion, and now it is out front van jones who is
special adviser to president obama and joel goldberg editor and chief of "the dispatch" and cnn commentator, and this is after bad news of the economic news. but the biggest hurdle was joe manchin, and until yesterday, nobody was talking about this deal being resurrected, but it has pieces of the original biden agenda, and how big of a move? >> well, that big sound in the background is the sigh of the relief of the democratic party to deliver on some of the stuff, and better to have happened earlier, but the reality is to lead is to go first, and biden has been there pushing to trying to get something done on the climate, and he promised the get it done, and it is going to be done. he has been pushing to get something done on the chips and the semiconductors the, and so, if you are erasing past six months of nutty stuff, it looks like you have a president who can get a infrastructure bill
done, and covid stuff done, and stuff done on the american people for climate, and chips, and this is a successful presidency, and you have to last six months of nonsense that takes away from it. >> and jonah, credit where credit is due? >> yes, i agree with what van says there, and it is a win for the biden administration to a certain extent, and when you are breaking up a logjam, you don't have to take away the biggest log, but get it going, and for people who want to see congress get something done, and biden to get something accomplished it is a win. but it is not the win that like -- the key phrase in joe biden's comments that we just played is that this is the best bill that you can pass. some of us can remember that, you know, bernie sanders wanted $6 trillion for build back better, and then he said that he was compromising for $3 trillion, and now they have 10% of that, and it is, you know, it is some good stuff and bad stuff and a lot of the green pork in
it. if you had told republicans six months, a year ago that, you know, the compromise is to cut the thing by 90%, and pass this stuff, you might have gotten it done a long time ago, but a lot of people didn't want to see it happen. >> van jones, it is coming in the midst of troubling economic news, and the second quarter of economic contraction and while i know that the economists look a lot of indicators including job growth, it is still shrinking, and i spoke to white house economic adviser who said that the economy is slowing, a it is the economy stupid when the elections happen, and how big of a headwind for the democrats in the midterms and the biden administration as a whole? >> well, it is a headwind and you cannot spin it. whether the administration says that there is a recession or not, you cannot spin that. and still, there is a global challenge, because no government
can solve it, but yo u can do what you have, and even what is green pork, is helping people get solar panels up, and this is a big mess, because of ukraine and covid, and biden did not cause either, and now he has a working majority to get it through, but you cannot spin away the gas prices. >> and now, jonah, the senate r republicans are not happy with this, and they were going to torpedo this chips bill, and they were going to as it happened the chips bill passed the senate and then the deal announced, and the republicans were saying, hey, we got played here, and have a listen. >> this betrayal is an absolute declaration of political warfare. they will look you in the eye, and then to do another is
absolutely unforgivable. >> ted cruz, he directed his fire at leader mcconnell's handling of all of this, and have a listen. >> i think that it was a mistake. if you make a threat, you should follow through on it. >> and that is a threat if you don't follow up. >> and to hold up the chips bill if they don't follow through. so did mcconnell get outplayed by the democrats? >> well, in the sense that he got what he wanted. a lot of the republicans feel like schumer dealt dishonestly by doing the sequence the way he did. but, you know, again, this is -- the people want to invest this as like this enormous win for democrats or enormous loss for republicans are missing point that this is a scaled down thing, and, you know, ted cruz
has been railing against mitch mcconnell since the plistacine era, and so with the mastery over the years, mcconnell has a lot more points on the board than chuck schumer does. >> and by the way, 10% of the second offer of what build back better would look like. and jonah and van, thank you for coming on. >> thank you for having me. >> thank you. and now, the prisoner swap offer that would bring americans brittney griner and paul whelan home. does the u.s. have leverage here? and trump's revisionist history, and trump says it is not clear who was behind 9/11, as he hosts a tournament backed by who? saudi arabia. to exercise morere,
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exchange brittney griner and paul whelan held in russia for vicktor bout, and cnn was told that his operations were on a scale beyond comprehension capable of slaughtering thousands of people. quite a trade. and now, joining us is the man who is responsible for negotiating the exchange of two prisoners in north korea in 2013, and the state department says this offer has been repeatedly conveyed to russia over the course of several week, and it has been 24 hours since cnn has been reporting it exclusively, and it is out there, and what is in russia's delays here, and it is to drag it out or might they refuse it? >> well, jim, i think that it's first not that we need it, but a
reminder of the cynicism and duplicity of the russians. and i believe they will stretch it out for perhaps quite some time simply because this is the one of the few areas these days where the russians have some leverage over us. and we have been leveraging them a lot with the sanctions is and the support to ukrainians and so on, and so they know they have prize or prizes in american hostages for pawn, so i believe they will stretch it out for a long time. and i also believe they may demand more than just vicktor bout who i don't believe they care too much about in the first place. >> we don't normally hear about the swaps deliberately until after the place, and your trip to pyongyang until after the swap took place, and why do you
believe this is? >> well, a couple of factors, one, you know, public pressure for what it is worth on the russian, but i also think it is in response to the mounting pressure for the government to do something to get these americans freed up. so, i think it is a combination of factors, and you are quite right, that the typical practice is not to publicize these things the until they are over, and in fact, the government does not like to engage in them, because the rational is that doing so simply encourages more hostage-take, and more pawns. >> that was going to be my question there, and does this incentivize, and you can see the comparison that vicktor bout sold arms to everyone plotting to kill americans, and supplying them to the farc separatests,
and brittany griney griner is a player, and paul whelan's crimes don't match up, and so does pit incentivize a country like china or iran to take more americans? >> yes, it does. that is the risk/gain calculus here that the administration had to make, and i think that in the end, they made the right judgment. but that is always a concern. that by negotiating and publicizing the negotiation, what you are doing is encouraging more of the same. and so, that is a dilemma part of the endless dilemma that people who meet in the white house situation room face day in, day out. >> and another phone call between president biden and
president of china xi jinping, the read aout of the call is notable, because xi warned the u.s. that those who play with fire get burned and not the first time we have heard that phrase, and is this concerning to the visit of nancy pelosi going to ta juan, and is this saber rattling or just escalation? >> well, anything can happen, but to me, jim, it is saying something about the maturity or the lack thereof of chinese foreign policy. they are making threats like this over a visit by speaker pelosi -- really? we have had many other senior official, and admittedly all formers visiting taiwan with, you know, the nary a beep.
but as much as we did with putin's rhetoric about threatening the potential use of nuclear weapon when the russians invaded ukraine, i think that we should take a breath here and not roll over and take, to me, that seriously a threat like this over a visit. >> thank you so much, director clapper, and we appreciate having you on tonight. >> thanks, jim. >> "out front" next, donald trump trying to defend this weekend's saudi-backed golf tournament in his new jersey golf course saying that nobody has gotten to the bottom of 9/11, and who is responsible, and we will speak to a woman who lost her husband on 9/11, and in kentucky, a trail ofil of destrn
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the bottom of 9/11, and who did the horrible thing to our country, our city and our world, and so nobody has been there. >> only 15 of 19 hijackers were from saudi arabia, and classified reports that were released last year, found that those saudi individuals were living in the u.s., and saudi arabia denies the attacks, and president trump pointed the finger at saudi arabia in 2016. >> who blew up the trade center? it was not iraqi, and take a look at saudi arabia, and open up the documents. >> and "out front" kimberly lost her husband terrence in the attack, and it is good to have you on, kimberly, and i know they bring up for you horrible memories. i just wonder, what does it feel to hear these years later, comments like that from a former
u.s. president? >> well, i would have to say that i feel disappointed, because when he was our president, he swore, he took an oath to protect all americans against foreign and domestic threats. and so it is very, very unfortunate to hear that after all of these years. >> yeah. trump is not the only u.s. official, and only u.s. president who has made contact right with saudi arabiians recently. president biden fist bumping the crown prince, and circulating very photo there, and his son-in-law apparently scored a $2 billion investment for a saudi fund for his own equity firm, and do you feel as you look at that, that officials are letting you down, letting terrence down by letting the saudis off in effect? >> in some way, i do feel that
way. i do feel that way, but i am also realistic. i am realistic in the fact that politics is a very, very tricky game. i always, you know, all of these years later, i still hope and pray that the right thing will be done. >> yeah. >> the right thing will be done. and here's the thing, you know, it is a game of patience. and time. you know, it took all of this time for the fbi documents to be declassified so we could find out who actually really was responsible. >> yeah. >> so, i just, like i said, i am very faithful and hopeful that the right thing, because in time, everything is revealed. >> yeah, the world has already demanded a lot of patience from you, and we should acknowledge it. and when you are looking at the international golfers and some of them americans going to this golf tournament for a whole lot
of money, and they have been asked about where that money comes from, and not just related to 9/11, and the murder of u.s. resident jamal khashoggi, and phil mickelson acknowledged the human rights abuses, but he said that the tournament is going to do a lot of good for the game, and do those words ring hollow to you when you see the americans take big checks? >> yes, it does ring hollow, because it is going to do good, then what do they, the golfers, what do they plan on doing with the money? do they plan on, you know, donating to certain charities that are much needed, and a lot of charities in this country need help with, and, you know, poverty and homelessness, and taking blood money, and doing something good with it? it is definitely ringing hollow to me, and i would have to say hearing about charles barkley was very disheartening, because my husband was a basketball
player, and he was one of his favorite players, and so that was very disheartening to see that. see how he was involved. so, yeah. >> my thoughts continue to go out to you and your family kimberly trimmingham-aiken. >> thank you for having me. >> out next, kentucky flooding from massive rains could be a billion dollar disaster and one that has altered a lot of lives and lost lives as well. and six months into the war, and the most significant and ambitious military action is under way by ukrainian forces and some experts believe that ukraine is gaining momentum against russia. . we will have an update. with best western rewards you get rewarded when you stay on the road and on the go.
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sorry i'm late! dude, dude, dude... oh boy. your cousin.from boston. [whiff] [water splashes] is it on the green? [goose squawks] i was just looking for my ball. 19th hole, sam adams summer ale. [goose squawks] (here you go.) (cheers guys!) tonight, you are looking at catastrophic flash flooding in kentucky. ten towns underwater, and ten people are believed dead, and kentucky's governor called it one of the most significant floods in the state's history and it is coming as the climate crisis continues to worsen the extreme events across the midwest, and wildfires becoming more frequent and deadly.
bill weir is out front. >> it started over here? >> right at the ridge here, and then in the first 24 hours, this fire grew 10,000 acres. >> now, putting it in perspective, is that crazy fast? >> crazy fast. >> reporter: the oak fire is the biggest fire in california and because the fire winds have not started to blow yet, there are almost 4,000 firefighters here from all corners of the state. they have managed to keep the flames out of yosemite national park, but not the smoke. they say they won't be able to fully contain this blaze for weeks. so what makes this oak fire especially scary is that it devastated a lot of land devastated really fast, and not with the help of the santa anas like the diablos. >> right. >> and any college will tell you that a forest needs an occasional fire to rejuvenate itself, but since world war ii
smoky the bear has been teaching fire suppression, and this area has been loading up for a fire drought for the old fashioned drought, and the 22-year mega drought, and this combination is making californians rethink everything they know about property values and insurance markets and defensible spaces. >> in the course of my >> in the course of my career, i've seen the biggest fire happen year after year after year. it's impressive. >> no offense, you don't look like a grizzled veteran. it's not the years, it's the fires these days, right? >> the fires, yes. >> to that, these fires have been happening within the last 10, 15 years. you can back to, you know, 2003 and then all of a sudden, something happened. >> i wonder about folks who live in amazing spots like this, a great find in the '70s, when a fire like this was once in a lifetime. now it's once every couple
years. do you see a change of psychology of folks in these wild places? >> it takes a special person to come live out here. with e hope if you decide to live out here, you learn how to prepare yourself, prepare your property, prepare an emergency plan and create defensible space like you see here. this person did a great job of clearing out combustible vegetation and brush. >> you told me some time ago that the patterns we're seeing now wouldn't have been in the worst predictions forecast maybe ten years ago. so, when you look at something like fires, is there any end in sight for this? what's the outlook for the rest of this season? >> you know, it's the kind of thing, jim, where they can only predict up to a point because you don't know what's going to evolve in terms of plant life when it's 1.5 degrees celsius warming. this is what we're seeing at 1.1. what's it going to look like at
2? it's really hard to know. it's not going to get any wetter. it's not going to get any cooler out west any time soon. so, adaptation is the only choice. dealing with that is fortifying places. the mindset used to be let's fight fires way out in the wilderness to save our towns. you can't do that anymore. there are too many fires. so, now it's about fortifying. it's about protecting places like paradise, like around these communities here, and protecting what you can and hoping to educate those who live out here. it's time to learn how to live with fire. >> protecting paradise. that says a lot. "outfront" next, residents of one city in ukraine just cannot take much more of war. >> i don't want to live here anymore. >> you don't? >> mm-mm. ♪ ♪ ♪ "shake your thang" byby salt n pepa
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but kids also need computers. and sometimes the hardest thing about homework is finding a place to do it. so why not hook community centers up with wifi? for kids like us, and all the amazing things we're gonna learn. through projectup, comcast is committing $1 billion so millions more students can continue to get the tools they need to build a future of unlimited possibilities. tonight, ukraine's counteroffensive to retake kherson from russia, the most ambitious and significant military action by ukraine of the war so far is now gathering momentum. that's according to britain's defense ministry. officials tonight say the city is now virtually cut off from other occupied territories after
a key bridge was destroyed. this comes as russia continues its brutal offensive on neighborhoods just outside the capital kyiv. our jason carroll takes us inside the unimaginable destruction after nearly six months of war now. >> we lived here, yes, in this apartment. this is our neighbors. >> reporter: nadia says there are times it is hard to recognize that this is the place where she and her husband and their son called home for ten years. >> this is the place where our son slept usually. so, we were very lucky not to be at home when it happened. >> reporter: "it" is when the russians fired missiles on the town of irpin during the early days of the war, destroying pockets of the city located about 45 minutes northwest of kyiv. the russians occupied irpin for about a month, until the ukrainians forced them out and stopped the russians' march toward the ukrainian capital. the town became a symbol of
strength and resistance. leaders stood outside her apartment complex and praised the heroic actions of the ukrainians. but now the attention is gone. what is left is wondering if they will ever be able to go home again. >> do you have any help at all, any assistance? >> not really. but, you know, the government is -- is busy currently with the war. so, they don't have time for people like us. so, i think they told us, try to -- try not to die. and after the war is over, we will rebuild everything. but still -- >> do you believe that? >> no. i think we have to do it by ourselves. >> reporter: according to the ukrainian government, the war has displaced million of ukrainians, all with uncertain futures. people such as irina now forced
to live with friends. she used to live in the same complex. >> you still want to come home? >> translator: of course, of course we want to come back home. we've lived here for seven years. we really like it here, she says. >> reporter: the family now lives in the country further away from the missile strikes. she still has home videos and pictures to remind her of what it used to feel like to be at home. as for their future -- >> i don't want to live here anymore. >> you don't? >> mm-mm. >> too many -- too sad or just -- >> yes, it's too difficult because we have built our apartment by ourself, by our own hands. and we have food and a lot of power, love, and our efforts. and now it's all gone. and i don't want to do it anymore. >> so, jim, as this war
continues to drag on, the question becomes what happens to those displaced people who don't have friends or family to rely on. i mean, at one point when we were out there today, we saw some folks who were forced to live on a train simply because they had no place else to go. >> sma families suffering. thanks so much. and thanks so much to all of you for joining us. for joining us. "ac 360" starts right now. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com good evening. there are major new january 6th developments tonight in the house investigation and the justice department criminal probe. first, the select committee and the key members of the administration who are now cooperating with it or could be about to. we're talking about former cabinet level officials with firsthand knowledge of what the former president was saying. last night on the program, we talked about pieces of a puzzle. and these could be significant ones because these are men who could speak if they choose about what the former president was asking their departments to do or even what some of
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