tv CNN Newsroom With Alisyn Camerota and Victor Blackwell CNN October 21, 2021 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
pressure right now in the spotlight. we wish you all the very best and hopefully a little bit of sleep. in the coming days. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> and that does it for us today. thank you so much for joining us. we'll see you back here tomorrow at 1:00 eastern. in the meantime, you can join me on twitter, @anacabrera. on twitter, @anacabrera. the news continues right now. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com hello, everyone, welcome to "newsroom," i'm alisyn camerota. >> and i'm victor blackwell. the house of representatives is expected to begin a historic debate on whether to recommend criminal charges against trump ally steve bannon. the vote will happen later this afternoon. you'll remember that bannon has refused to comply with the congressional subpoena from the committee investigating the january 6th insurrection. consider this. the last time congress has referred a criminal charge was in 1983. >> so, the decision whether to
charge bannon will ultimately be up to the justice department and attorney general merrick garland. garland was on capitol hill today promising lawmakers that he would make that decision based solely on the law. cnn's ryan nobles is on capitol hill, so ryan, explain what we will see this afternoon. >> reporter: well, what we're going to see, victor and alisyn, is a pretty standard legislative process here. this particular resolution offering up a criminal contempt referral of steve bannon has already made it through two different house committees and today it will come to the floor of the house of representatives. they will have about 20 minutes of debate around this -- i'm sorry, an hour's worth of debate around this particular issue, and then the members will vote, and we expect that vote to really fall along partisan lines. all the deputies expected to vote for it and maybe just a couple of republicans voting for it while the vast majority of republicans will vote against it. from there, the criminal contempt referral will then head to the u.s. attorney's office here in washington, d.c., and ultimately be overseen by the
attorney general, merrick garland, and the committee has gone to great pains to separate their work from any interaction with the justice department. they hope to hand him this referral and then let him make the decision as to whether or not the case should be prosecuted. and it just so happened that garland was on capitol hill today answering questions on a wide range of topics in front of the house judiciary committee and he was asked about this criminal contempt referral. this is what he had to say. >> there will be people who -- from the democratic party who disagree with my determinations, and you've already heard some of those, and there will be people from the republican party who will disagree with my determinations about our filings in civil cases. that comes with the territory. that's what happens to the attorney general. i'm doing my best to ensure that we make decisions on the facts and the law, and when i said i would protect our people from partisan influence with respect to investigations and prosecutions, i meant that.
>> reporter: and so there is going to be enormous pressure on garland and the doj to move swiftly with the prosecution of steve bannon, referred to a grand jury, take it to court, and then ultimately find him guilty so that he -- they can begin the process of trying to get this information from bannon, and along this process, there's always the possibility that bannon and the committee could begin negotiations to get him to come to the table to provide the information that they're looking for, although bannon has made it clear that he is not going to do anything until a court instructs him to do so, that he is going to work with the former president to defend executive privilege. that's the debate that's going to play out here on capitol hill over the next couple of hours, victor and alisyn, and it shows that this select committee is not going to take it -- they're not going to take it lightly if people defy their subpoenas. this is the step they are willing to go, not just with steve bannon but anyone that they're trying to get information from. >> ryan nobles on capitol hill for us. thank you. let's turn now to attorney
harry litman, former deputy assistant attorney general who now hosts "the talking feds" podcast and olivia troye who served as counterterrorism advisor to former vice president pence. welcome back to you both. olivia, let me start with you. i want to set the big picture here. it's been fewer than ten months since these members were hiding behind chairs and crouching in the gallery and running the safe rooms from people who wanted to hurt them, who wanted to attack them physically and the democracy and now there's nearly unanimity to undermine the committee to find out who sent them. >> right, well, it's their whole effort to obscure the truth about what happened that day, because they don't want it out in public and they know a bannon testimony would be pretty damning to the entire situation, i would say, and you know, i've no doubt that bannon will continue to unwaveringly be loyal to trump and he is going to force this hand until the end.
>> yeah, i mean, just to remind people why the committee thinks that steve bannon knows something, this is what he said the day before january 6th. just listen to his language here. >> all hell is going to break loose tomorrow. just understand this. all hell is going to break loose tomorrow. it's not going to happen like you think it's going to happen, okay? it's going to be quite extraordinarily different. and all i can say is, strap in. the war room, a posse, you have made this happen and tomorrow, it's gameday, so strap in. >> i mean, harry, he has this smirk, this sort of knowing smirk as he delivers this kind of tease of what's going to happen the next day when violence unfolded, and yet, today, we heard from kevin mccarthy, congressman kevin mccarthy, about what he thinks about the committee trying to get steve bannon to explain what he knows. so, listen to this. >> they're issuing an invalid subpoena.
issuing invalid subpoena weakens their power, not if somebody votes against it. he has the right to go to the court, to see if he has executive privilege or not. i don't know if he does or not, but neither does the committee. so, they're weakening the power of congress itself by issuing invalid subpoena. >> just because you say the word "invalid subpoena" three times, does that make it invalid? >> why, yes, it's a little known legal rule. no, of course not, alisyn, and you know, the validity of it could not be more in question. the focus on bannon, by the way, and also next scavino shows that the committee is really interested in knowing just what trump knew and when he knew it because bannon famously is not only predicting or knowing what's happening the next day, he's in continual conversation with the then-president of the united states. so it's an obvious topic for the committee to pursue, and by the way, bannon's executive privilege claim is all wet. he wasn't even in the executive
branch at the time. and biden has already said that it won't be asserted. so, it really is a flagrant disavowel of his legal duty and he deserves a criminal conviction. however, garland said today, facts and law, that's prosecutor speak for nothing at all. and what people need to understand, and i don't think they have yet, is there are policies at the department that not only say they get to decide but actually say they will not bring these cases, victor mentioned 1983, it didn't even happen then. it hasn't happened since 1960. usually it's because they accommodate the others and they talk about it. that's the hope here, because garland would really be bucking tradition and policy to charge a former member of the executive branch with criminal contempt of congress. he's got a way to do it because
the opinions say we won't do it if there's a valid claim, and he can say, this claim is spurious. but it's got -- he's got a lot more hurdles and obstacles to run than people generally understand, including two olc memos. >> so, harry, let me stay with you, and i want your take on an option that we haven't really discussed much but bob woodward of the "washington post" co-wrote this new book, "peril" that we've been talking about for some time. he suggests there's another route. let's watch. >> we have a very clearcut case, i would suspect it's quite possible that attorney general merrick garland will appoint a special counsel to look at this because the evidence is so clear for a massive watergate-style attempt to destroy the process of electing a president. >> so, what do you think about
that, that possibility? >> yeah. you know, we talked about it last week on "talking books" with him and costa, all respect to woodward who's done so much to ferret out presidential conduct. i can't see it. for one, it just delays things, getting a special counsel appointed, but more importantly, there's no real allegation of conflict here between, say, bannon and the current administration. that's when you need a special counsel. if trump were still in office. but simply to determine whether there's a good case to bring against a former executive branch official, no real conflict there, no real need for special counsel, no real reason why garland and his troops can't do it themselves. however, when they do it themselves, we have doj policies, which, as we learned under mueller, would apply anyway. that was the olc memo about not indicting a sitting president. here we have an olc memo about not generally bringing contempt
charges against -- for failing to comply with congressional subpoenas by former executive branch officials. >> so, olivia, while all this is going on, while we're watching this committee try to work through these traditional channels, there's former president trump, who just issues statements that are in upside-down world where he says the opposite of what actually happened and one of his most recent ones was the real insurrection happened on november 3rd. the presidential election. not on november 6th, which was a day of protesting the fake election results. everything there is false. i mean, it's all upside down. it's truly the opposite of what happened in bizarro world, but as you know, so many republicans hang on his every word, believe everything that he said, and i was so fascinated to read this new grenell college poll that was out yesterday, which is, how many americans think that democracy is in peril? but it's only a third of democrats. it's two-thirds of republicans
because they think what he's saying is true. i know you've been focused on this. i know this worries you about the upcoming next couple of elections. what's the answer? >> it certainly does, and look, trump is the king of spreading disinformation, and he has decided that that is actually the platform that works, and unfortunately, the republican party, most of the republican party, has followed suit, and they continue to spread lies in these echo chambers, and they continue to, i would say, radicalize, in many ways, americans to believe these lies and it's creating division across our country. so, i'm not surprised to see that republican voters, americans out there, are saying, yeah, our democracy is in peril. but they're looking at it from the complete opposite lens of what the rest of us are seeing. here is a wannabe autocrat. this guy wanted to be a dictator. we've seen the way he behaved and he was going to hang on to power at whatever cost. this is also the man who sat there while an angry mob attacked the u.s. capitol, put
the lives of leaders at risk, caused many hurt on the u.s. capitol police and also charged at the sitting vice president at the time of our country. and so that is the picture of the scenario of january 6th and why accountability matters, and so i think that january 6th committee, holding these people accountable outside of, you know, the only ones that have been held accountable so far are the insurrectionists themselves, some of the members of that ugly mob that are actually facing trial, but there's been no accountability for what got us there, for the people that led the charge, such as bannon, calling to action the day before, and what did he know and who was he talking to and why did he know such details? what was the true plan? and we need to get to the bottom of that. >> yeah. well, we will bring everyone that debate as soon as it begins, which will happen very shortly. harr harry litman, olivia troye, thank you. police in florida are describing the treacherous conditions that they are work
in, in this area where they found human remains and items of brian laundrie's, so we'll discuss what's happening at this hour in this investigation. and president biden will face questions from americans in a cnn town hall tonight as the white house says they're inching closer to a deal on that spending package. listerine® cleans virtually 100%. helping to prevent gum disease and bad breath. never settle for 25%. always go for 100. bring out the bold™
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those remains are, in fact, laundrie's. >> the county sheriff talked about the harsh conditions the search teams are facing. >> i got to see firsthand the treacherous conditions that they were working under. we're talking about water levels up above almost the chest area. rat ra rattlesnakes, moccasins, alligators and these heroes go out there. we can bring justice. >> let's bring in steve moore, a retired supervisory special agent with the fbi. and maurn o'connell is a former fbi special agent. great to see both of you. let me pull up a map so we can get our heads around what's happening in terms of the -- where everything is in connection to each other. you see the big carlton reserve. that is a area of hundreds of acres that they had been looking for a month, steve, as you know. then that, in the red, area of interest and that's close, we understand, two to three miles from this parking lot. you have to walk in 45 minutes
and that's where these items were found yesterday and of course the timing of all of this does raise some questions about, you know, the parents, brian laundrie's parents told the fbi they wanted to go yesterday morning. they wanted to research that area. and then brian laundrie's father found something himself. he found something that belonged to brian laundrie, so after a month of nobody finding anything, yesterday morning, and he -- the attorney for the laundrie family explained what chris was doing, the father, when he found this item. so, let me just play that for you. >> chris couldn't find law enforcement because they were then out of sight because chris had been in the woods so he didn't want to leave the bag there with the news reporter standing nearby so he picked it up. >> so, steve, that is the lawyer saying that brian laundrie's dad, chris, found a bag and he himself picked it up and handed
it over to law enforcement. does that strike you as strange? >> well, the defense attorney, i mean, i guess you get what you pay for, but he has done nothing but incense the public, incense the police the whole time with saying things that are just patently offensive, hard to believe, to say the least, and so i wouldn't put much import on what he does say. as far as the timing of the discovery, it's really kind of discouraging that for weeks and weeks and weeks, they have been looking and when the laundries decide to, they come out and they just, surprisingly, find it. so, i think that speaks for itself. >> maureen, you were shaking your head there. what's your take on that? >> i'm of the opinion that the laundrie parents were in contact with brian throughout this process via a burner phone,
possibly, with a solar charger. and when they couldn't get in touch with him for several days, they realized something was really wrong and then they went out there to try to find them. the fact that he picked up that bag and walked out with it, i mean, i'm shaking my head because has he never seen a crime show? but as long as the authorities are well aware that he did not have that bag when he came in, that's one thing. there's going to be a treasure-trove of information within that backpack and definitely within that journal. >> i mean, all of that said, obviously, steve, this is a very sad story on every level and it's really sensitive, and you know, a source did tell cnn that they do believe that the remains found are likely brian laundrie's. and so, i just don't know what to make of any of this. and the other thing the source said to randi kaye was it seemed
like they had been there for some time so the timing and the finding of all this is so curious. with your investigator hat on, what do you think happened? >> well, you know, as an investigator, you always go for the thing that is statistically most probable. what is most likely? aliens were not involved, statistically. so, what you do is you go to what you've seen in the past so many times, a person does something horrible, he comes home, he confesses it, he goes off by himself, he writes down everything he can so that he at least his family understands his actions, and then he takes his life. this looks very much like one of those situations, and it looks like he's been out there for several weeks, at least deceased. so the fbi's going to find this. the fbi's going to understand how long he's been dead, and the fbi is also going to understand -- and i think, by the way, what they are telling us is the tip of the iceberg.
what they know is ten times as much. they're going to be able to make a good prosecution on the remaining family members, at least the mother and father, for accessory after the fact. >> accessory after the fact based on what? >> well, the fact -- you need three things for accessory after the fact. a person committed a crime. the people who are being charged with accessory after the fact knew that the person committed a crime, and three, they assisted in preventing that person from being arrested or punished. i think those are all obvious right at this point. and justice really demands that -- i mean, it offends the public consciousness. at this point, you need to go after them. >> i don't know if we have the hard evidence to prove those, but that's what the legal system is for. maureen, let me wrap up with you here. you said that this journal, this book would offer so many answers. if it's just a sketchbook because we know that brian laundrie did sketch designs for
t-shirts, and these are his remains, if there is no confession, there are no details in the book, will investigators be at some point able to definitively say that brian laundrie was involved with the killing of gabby petito? >> i believe so. because he's been getting backed into a corner more and more as the evidence has evolved. and the sign of any true -- of any good investigation and any great investigator is to follow the facts. and if, as you say, there's nothing in this notebook other than drawings, let's see what those drawings have to say. the bureau has all kinds of unbelievably talented behavioral scientists and we also have forensic linguistics that can look at whatever words are in there and help determine what, in fact, he might have been thinking while he was etching those diagrams. >> all right, maureen o'connell, steve moore, thank you. now in just a few hours,
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another wrench in the works for democrats in negotiating the deal on president biden's social spending plan. senator kyrsten sinema reportedly opposes tax hikes on corporations and the wealthy, which leaves the white house and the other democrats scrambling for how to pay for this deal. >> but today, house speaker nancy pelosi left the door open to possibly financing the package another way without those tax increases, and she says that they are on track to meet their self-imposed october 31st deadline. cnn congressional correspondent lauren fox is joining us now from capitol hill. so, this getting higher earners to pay their fair share, as democrats have said it, has been a priority of the party for years. they say they need it to pay for this. just talk us through how big of a concession this would be. >> reporter: it would be a huge concession and i just spoke with a progressive representative, pramila jayapal, outside the
chamber. she told me it would be outrageous if democrats did not include raises in the corporate tax rate or on the individual side of things on wealthy americans because she said, look, this is a popular provision. this is what we have campaigned on since republicans passed their tax overhaul in 2017. so it would be a massive concession, and yet, the house speaker noted today at her press conference that there are potentially other opportunities to pay for this bill. here's what she said. >> well, that's one of the options. that's for sure. the last couple of days, just to answer your question, the last couple of days we've come to narrowing what the possibilities are as we see what we need to cover because the bill will be paid for. >> reporter: and behind the scenes, senator sinema has been making it clear that she had issues with increasing the corporate tax rate but there had been a feeling among some senate democrat leaders as well as the white house officials that perhaps she would change her
view as these negotiations have continued, and yet here we are with democrats trying to get a framework by the end of the week, and she is standing firm in this position. it is leading a lot of concern up here on capitol hill, given the fact that they need these tax increases to pay for this bill. they're going to try to find another way to do it but the numbers just aren't adding up right now. >> yeah. and time is running out toward that deadline. lauren fox on capitol hill for us, thank you. let's bring in now the cnn political director, david chalian. david, good to see you. kyrsten sinema is being framed almost as a pariah of the party. we've got five members of her advisory board now who are quitting today because they're unhappy with what they call her stubbornness. "you have become one of the principal obstacles to progress. we shouldn't have to buy representation from you and your failure to stand by your people and see their urgent needs is alarming." that's before you get to what
some of the house democrats are saying about her. what do you make of all this? >> these are volunteer folks, veterans who advise her on veterans issues. it's not good when members of your own team like that are abandoning you over a principled stance here. listen, kyrsten sinema has curved out this space of being opposed to certain things that democrats overall as a party have been running on for years now, and one of the issues being those taxes that you just talked about with lauren, so that inevitably opens up sinema to potential incoming from the left and from democrats in her party. we know she's not up for re-election, of course, until 2024, so there can be time for her to deal with her politics on this back home, but nonetheless, clearly, by being sort of a thorn in the side to the party in this process, she's clearly ruffling feathers. >> david, that leads us to tonight. it's a big, important night for the president.
he's going to take questions from the town hall audience, voters. this will be hosted by anderson. and the president spoke today. this was at the tenth anniversary of the celebration of the dedication of the martin luther king jr. memorial in washington and today he talked about his agenda and what a pivotal moment it is. so here is what he said. >> it's up to us together to choose who we want to be and what we want to be. i know -- i know the progress does not come fast enough. it never has. and the process of governing is frustrating and sometimes dispiriting. but i also know what's possible. if we keep the pressure up, if we never give up, if we keep the faith, we're at an inflection point. i know i've maybe overused that phrase but it is an inflection point in american history. and delivering on economic justice. >> so, how much of tonight do
you think he's going to spend trying to sell his agenda? >> well, i think that was a little bit of a preview of what we may hear tonight. i do think he will be sort of the salesman in chief this evening. we know from polling across the board that americans are not very dialed into exactly what is inside this package, whatever may emerge as the package, so i would imagine that the president's going to use this unique opportunity in a town hall setting, primetime television audience, to detail what he sees as the real priority items in here and the things that he thinks can really transform america for the better and improve the lives of americans that he thinks will be ultimately in this package. so, i think that's one thing to watch for tonight, alisyn. the other thing i would watch for is how does he handle the pieces that it looks like are going to be concessions on his part? again, you were just chatting with lauren about one potential key concession on how to get this all paid for, but we know
that we've read reports of the concession on his desire to have two years of tuition-free community college already out of the bill. so i would be listening for that too, how does he deal with what he's willing to get -- >> david, excuse us. >> to get a deal done. >> sorry to interrupt. we have live events happening. as you know, right now, because this is the vote on -- well, first, let me tell you that we have a town hall tonight, as you know, with president biden and anderson cooper but this is happening live right now. >> this is the chairman of the 1/6 committee, bennie thompson. let's listen. >> i'm a grandfather, and when i talk to my grandkids about that horrific attack on our democracy on january 6th, my mind jumps ahead to the future in store for them. questions about whether american democracy as we know it now will remain strong, whether it will withstand future tests. that's got to be the legacy of this committee's work. to be sure, we're going to answer questions about what
happened on that day. but we also need to draw a road map for making sure our democracy remains strong tomorrow. we'll work backward at what happened and try to explain how and why the insurrection came about. but we'll also look forward and generate recommendations for legislative policy and process changes that will help ensure that nothing like this ever happens again. and when we get to the end of this process and look back, we're going to ask ourselves, did we do everything in our power to uncover every fact? did we use the tools at our disposal to get a full accounting, or did we let someone stand in our way without facing consequences? did we learn what we needed to know for congress to forge legislation to help ensure we never experience another january
6th again? that's why we are taking up this resolution today, citing steve bannon with criminal contempt and referring him for prosecution by the justice department. we didn't choose to be here. this isn't about punishing steve bannon. the select committee would prefer and, frankly, expect all witnesses to fully cooperate, but steve bannon has led us down this path by refusing to cooperate in any way with our investigation. we believe mr. bannon has information valuable to our probe. he was deeply involved in the so-called "stop the steal" campaign. he was reportedly in a war room meeting the day before the riot and had been pressuring the former president to try to stop the counting of the electoral college ballots. he himself warned that all hell would break loose on january
6th. we believe he can help inform our inquiry as to how the riot came together and what it was intended to achieve. he's clearly an important witness. so, we subpoenaed him, and unlike other witnesses who have engaged and worked with our team to find a way to cooperate, mr. bannon told us he wouldn't comply because the former president told him not to. he hid behind vague and baseless claims of privilege. that's just not acceptable. the select committee told mr. bannon several times that he would face the consequences if he didn't change course. well, he didn't change course, and his actions have brought us to this point. madam speaker, we need to make it clear that no person is above the law. we need to make -- take a stand
for the integrity of the select committee's investigation and for the integrity of this body. what sort of precedent would it set for the house of representatives if we allow witness to ignore us flatout without facing any kind of consequences? what message would it send to other witnesses in our investigation? i'm not willing to find out. i'm not willing to get to the end of the select committee's work and look back wishing we had done more to uncover all the facts. not when we know what's on the line. when we know that our democracy isn't yet out of danger. when we know that the forces that tried to overturn the election persist in their assault on the rule of law. our investigation is going forward. we're hearing from witnesses, reviewing documents, analyzing
data, mr. bannon stands alone in his defiance, and we will not stand for it. we will not allow anyone to derail our work, because our work is too important. helping ensure tt the future of american democracy is strong and secure. i reserve the balance of my time. >> gentle d lady from wyoming. >> madam speaker, a year ago today, the election was still a couple of weeks off. we knew it would be a tight race, but most of us did not anticipate that president trump or any president, frankly, would ever simply reject the outcome of the vote. president trump had the right to challenge the outcome in our state and federal courts, which have an appropriate and constitutional role in resolving election claims. but what he did thereafter has no precedent in our history. he rejected the court's rulings
in dozens of cases, including the rulings of judges president trump himself appointed. he rejected what his own department of justice officials told him over and over again, that they found no evidence of widespread fraud sufficient to overcome the election. he rejected the conclusions of both the department of justice and the intelligence community, that the dominion voting machines had not secretly changed the election outcome. president trump had no factual or constitutional basis for his claims, and the lawyers he found who would carry his false claims forward have paid the consequences. rudy giuliani's license to practice law has been suspended. and sidney powell has been sanctioned by a federal judge. but donald trump persisted, attempting through every manner he could imagine to try to overturn the outcome of the election. and we all saw what happened.
the people who attacked this building have told us on video, on social media, and now before the federal courts exactly what motivated them. they believed what donald trump told them. that the election was stolen and that they needed to take action. today, madam speaker, we are here to address one witness, mr. steve bannon. i urge all americans to watch what mr. bannon said on his podcast on january 5th and 6th. it is shocking and indefensible. he said, all hell is going to break loose. he said, "we are coming in right over the target. this is the point of attack we have always wanted." madam speaker, there are people in this chamber right now who were evacuated with me and with the rest of us on that day during that attack.
people who now seem to have forgotten the danger of the moment, the assault on the constitution, the assault on our congress. people who you will hear argue that there is simply no legislative purpose for this committee, for this investigation, or for this subpoena. in fact, there is no doubt that mr. bannon knows far more than what he said on the video. there is no doubt that all hell did break loose. just ask the scores of brave police officers who were injured that day, protecting all of us. the american people deserve to hear his testimony. let me give you just four examples of the legislative purpose of this investigation. first, the plot we are investigating involving mr. eastman, mr. giuliani, mr. bannon, president trump, and many others.
their plot attempted to halt or delay our count of electoral votes and reverse the outcome of the 2020 election. the 1887 electoral count act is directly at issue. in our investigation will lead to recommendations to amend or reform that act. second, while the attack was under way, president trump knew it was happening. indeed, he may have been watching it all unfold on television. and yet, he took no immediate action to stop it. this appears to be a supreme dereliction of duty by president trump, and we are evaluating whether our criminal laws should be enhanced to supply additional and more severe consequences for this type of behavior. third, we know from our investigation to date that president trump was pressuring the department of justice in late december 2020 to support
his false claims that the election was stolen. several brave and honorable trump appointees at the department flatly refused to go along with this fraud and threatened to resign. we are evaluating what, if any, additional laws may be required to prevent a future president from succeeding in such effort. fourth, we know that president trump made efforts to persuade state election officials to, quote, find votes. to change the election outcome in his favor. we are evaluating whether this -- the criminal laws of the united states should be enhanced to make the penalty for this type of behavior even more severe. and if so, in what manner. mr. bannon's own public statements make clear he knew what was going to happen before it did. and thus, he must have been aware of and may well have been involved in the planning of everything that played out on
that day. the american people deserve to know what he knew and what he did. i reserve the balance of my time. >> gentleman from indiana. >> i yield myself as much time as it may consume. >> gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, madam speaker. three months ago, for the first time in the history of congress, speaker pelosi vetoed jim jordan and i from serving on the select committee to investigate january 6th. not all firsts are worth celebrating. it was a shameful and divisive decision with real consequences. today, because of that decision, there is no committee conducting a legitimate investigation into january 6th. congress is prohibited from conducting criminal investigations, period. but that's exactly what the select committee is doing. conducting an illicit criminal investigation into american
citizens. steve bannon was a private citizen before, after, and during january 6th. so, why is the select committee interested in steve bannon? it's simple. he is a democrat party boogeyman. the select committee despises steve bannon's politics, so they're abusing their power to put him in jail. the committee explained it's seeking documents from mr. bannon because he helped, quote, construct and participated in the permitted and legal "stop the steal" rally. to date, the select committee has subpoenaed 11 other private citizens for organizing the "stop the steal" rally. here, in the land of the free, 12 american citizens are under congressional investigation for the sole crime of planning a
legal political protest. never in the history of congress has a committee or a political party stooped so low. congress has no authority to conduct criminal investigations. congress can only issue subpoenas that serve a legislative purpose. the question that the committee must answer is, why are they seeking information about a permitted political rally? what legislative purpose does that serve? is the committee considering laws to limit americans' right to political protest? it's clear that the select committee doesn't give a lick about congress's subpoena authority. does the committee share the same disdain for the first amendment? i wouldn't put it past them. as we all know, the doj has a highly active criminal investigation into the january 6th attack. they've made something like 600
arrests. as i said, very active. even hyperactive compared to the biden doj's typical reaction to political violence. but the department of justice's investigation isn't comprehensive. there are still questions that only congress can answer. congress still has a role to play, but the select committee has completely abandoned why else does the select committee want to hear from mr. bannon? because on january 5th, mr. bannon warned that, quote, all hell was going to break loose tomorrow. so according to the select committee, no person could have predicted that violence might occur that day. according to the committee, that mr. bannon warned of violence on the 5th is proof, quote, that mr. bannon had foreknowledge. never mind that the attack
wasn't coordinated. never mind that the capitol police received actionable intelligence about potential violence occurring weeks before the 6th. never mind that every member of con congress, every american with internet access, knew that violence would be committed on the 6th. the question we should be asking is how did the washington, d.c. police, capitol police and everybody else have no clue that violence was going to break loose? steve bannon knew. so why did the police have ample amounts of shields? why did it take all day to deploy the national guard? these are questions they have the duty to answer, because january 6th was an enormous
failure. there was a breakdown in security, a breakdown was repeated to good friday when bobby evans was brutally murdered. they have not been fixed. according to a capitol hill police whistleblower, the actions on the 6th were promoted by speaker pelosi's team. to be clear, the select committee is engaged in unconstitutional, political investigation, a sham investigation conducted by a sham committee that refuses to answer real questions about what happened on january 6. the capitol was attacked. instead of figuring out what went wrong, the committee launched its own attack on congress' norms. the select committee's politicization of january 6 cuts both ways. the committee's inaction has made the capitol less secure,
and the committee's actions have further separated congress from its constitutional roles. the american people and the united states capitol police deserve a real investigation into the 6th, and the select committee has abandoned them. i urge all of my colleagues to make the moral vote, do the right thing. i urge you to vote for the rule of law for the institution of congress, and against the select committee's dangerous abuse of congress' oversight authority. i reserve the balance of my time. >> the gentleman from mississippi. >> madam speaker, i heard the speaker opposing this amendment. we're not seeking, actually, information from mr. bannon because of his opinions, we issued the subpoena because we believe he has knowledge of relevant facts that we need to discover. we're not violating anything and
certainly not mr. bannon's amendment rights. the only violation we can talk about is a violation of this building on january 6 and mr. bannon's claim that the election was stolen helped formulate that attack. investigating that is also part of our charter. madam speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. >> the gentlelady from wyoming. >> thank you very much, madam speaker. madam speaker, i just wanted to correct the record. the gentleman from indiana asserted that the fbi found there was no coordination. that's just simply not true. the gentleman also said that he is not on the committee. he noted that the speaker had determined that he wouldn't be on the committee, so i would like to introduce for the record a number of letters the
gentleman from indiana has been sending to federal agencies dated september 16, 2021, for example, signing his name as the ranking member of the committee he has just informed the house that he is not on and, in fact, he is not on. i would like to introduce those for the record. now, madam speaker, i would like to yield to representative lofgren. >> how much time? >> i would like to yield three minutes. >> congresswoman lofgren is recognized for three minutes. >> we are not performing a law enforcement investigation. only the doj can do that. what we are doing is taking the steps provided for under the contempt statute that has existed for many decades. because the sleelect committee' charge is to get to the bottom of what happened on january 6. who planned it, who paid for it, and what was the intent?
and what legislative steps can we recommend to remove future threats to our constitution. to do that, we need information, both documents and testimony, and to get that, we issue subpoenas. what is a subpoena? is it just a suggestion, a mere request, an encouragement to testify? nope. a subpoena is a writ issued by a government agency, in this case the congress, to compel testimony or production of evidence. when you get a subpoena, the law requires you to comply. if you think there may be some valid reason that excuses you from telling the truth under oath, you have to come in and make your case to the committee. steve ban nnon is the only pers who has outright refused to engage with the committee. he thinks if he rejects congress by not showing up, he'll escape the consequences. but as theodore roosevelt said, no man is above the law and no
man is below the law. if you get a subpoena, you can't hide behind vague claims of privilege. nixon versus gsa, the mcgann case, executive privilege is limited to immediate white house advisors on government policy. b bannon is a private citizen. his claims can't shield his conversations in plotting with other private citizens. his status according to the cases doesn't get executive privilege protection. he has absolutely no immunity. america, what would happen if you received a subpoena from congress or a court? do you think you could get away with just saying, go fly a kite? you would be held accountable, and so should mr. bannon be held to account for defying the law regarding this subpoena. to defend the rule of law, we must vote yes on this resolution, and i yield back the balance of my time to the
gentlelady. >> the gentleman from indiana. >> madam speaker, no one has said that the select committee does not have a legislative purpose. let's be very clear. there is important work that frankly we wish they were doing, like answering why this campus was left unprotected and what we are doing to keep it from happening again. that hasn't happened yet. what we are saying is that the subpoenas that have so far been issued do not ask for information that would meet any legitimate legislative purpose. with that, madam speaker, i yield to my colleague from the great state of illinois, mr. davis. >> for what amount of time, please? >> as much time as he may consume. >> the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, chairwoman. i can tell you when i got elected to serve on this body almost nine years ago, i didn't expect to be standing here today
to talk about such an important is issue. i worked for a staffer, a men of congr -- member of congress who i looked up to and who recognized the status of this country. when i went to work for him, i had the utmost respect for this institution at the same time. that's why i wanted to be part of the house legislation committee. because i wanted to make this congress and this housework better, act in a much more bipartisan manner, make sure that we protect those who are on this campus but also at the same time protect those who protect us. madam speaker, we are now months and months in, months and months post january 6. my many conversations with u.s. capitol police officers and those who work on this campus,
they have the same concerns i have. the question they ask is why were we so unprotected on january 6 and what has changed since then? getting to the bottom of those questions should be the top priority for all of us in this house. there are serious security vulnerabilities that have been not addressed by this house in 11 months after january 6, and this is what the majority has decided to spend its time on. holding a private citizen who wasn't even part of the administration at the time in contempt for refusing to comply with house democrat subpoenas? this is after more than 600 people have been arrested for their role in the tragedies we saw on january 6
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