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tv   At This Hour With Kate Bolduan  CNN  June 7, 2022 8:00am-9:00am PDT

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hello, everyone. i'm kate bolduan. a new warning of a violent summer ahead fueled by the midterms. senators in late-night talks edging closer to a deal on gun safety. and the white house weighing new options for fighting inflation. this is what we're watching at this hour. thank you for being here, everyone. it is an alarming new threat assessment coming from the u.s. government. the department of homeland security warning america could face an even more violent summer ahead, depicting a perform storm of extremism from within, fuelled in part by the midterm elections. the dhs bulletin tying together recent mass shootings in buffalo, uvalde, and many other places, with potential acts of
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violence associated with the supreme court's eventual decision on abortion rights. this warning comes as the senate is holding a hearing on the threat of domestic terrorism, and lawmakers are still talking, trying to find common ground on something to combat the gun violence epidemic in the country. this morning, a teacher who survived the elementary school massacre in uvalde is speaking publicly for the first time. every single one of his students in his class were killed. >> i lost 11 that day. and i tell the parents i'm sorry, i tried my best. it's what i was told to do. please don't be angry with me. >> just gut wrenching. we'll have much more of his story in that interview in a
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moment. let's begin with this new threat bull fin. what more are you learning? >> reporter: this is the sixth time that dhs has issued this terrorism bulletin that makes clear that terrorism risk comes from within the united states, before january 6th, these advisories focused on terrorism from either foreign groups or those here in the u.s., inspired by foreign groups. it is a stark warning that shows the environment we were in, leading up to the riots at the capitol hasn't changed that much. this new advisory assesses that some of the risk still centers on elections. the bulletin motors that misinformation, disinformation on social media remains incredibly dangerous. and this is where foreign bad actors see an opportunity to incite violence based on domestic issues here. here's just a quote from this really alarming new memo. as the united states enters midterm election season, we assess that calls for violence
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by domestic violence extremists addressed at election events will likely increase. the abortion ruling is another concern for intelligence officials who note that people who advocate for abortion rights and those who advocate against abortion rights have, on public forums, encouraged violence. the incidents in buffalo and uvalde and other cases throughout the country show that the motivators aren't always the same. they don't necessarily fit into defined categories of terrorism. sometimes it is a specific ideology, sometimes it's a personal grievance, but what officials point out is that whatever the motivator, the pattern of behavior before a mass incident is often similar. so the hope here, kate, is that people on the local level, police, health care workers, faith leaders, community leaders will see this information from the department of homeland security and use it as evidence
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to affect a real intervention here before a crime happens. >> whitney, thank you for bringing that to us. happening right now on capitol hill, a senate committee is holding a hearing on the threat of domestic terrorism following the massacre at the grocery store in buffalo, new york, that killed ten black people. and the senators ns negotiating bipartisan bill on gun control -- lauren hill is tracking all of this for us. what are you hearing now? >> reporter: after about a two-hour meeting last night, kate, there is some sense of what could be included in this package. and one of the most interesting pieces of what is being discussed is how you access juvenile records for individuals who want to buy something like an ar-15 between the ages of 18 and 21. specifically tom tillis telling my colleague and i yesterday that this could create a waiting
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period for individuals in that age category who want to buy a semiautomatic style weapon. there's also discussion over school safety. more money for mental health records. off the table, however, is any kind of universal background check package. that's according to senator john cornyn, a leader republican negotiator, as well as an all-out ban on assault weapons. that is something you saw the president calling for last week. this is not going to be as sweeping as what the president or what many democrats really had been hoping for all of these years. instead, however, it is a moment that senator chris murphy and senator john cornyn both continue to express optimism about. they feel like they are close to a deal but they have not clinched one yet, kate. >> lauren, thank you for tracking that for us. for the first time, we are hearing from a teacher who survived the elementary school
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massacre in uvalde. he was shot more than once as the killer came into his ch classroom and what happened next is the definition of horrifying. every one of his students, he says, was killed. rosa flores is in uvalde and joins us now. rosa, the way that he describes it all, it's almost too much to take in. tell us his story. >> reporter: you know, it really is. he describes those intense moments when the gunman walked into that school. i want to set the scene for you, and then have him tell the story in his own words. this was on may 24th, a regular day towards the end of the school year, a lot of the kids were very happy. they had honor role awards that had been handed out to lot of these students. some decided to go home after the awards ceremony with their parents. some of them decided to stay at school. and so in this teacher's class,
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there was 11 children left. and they were watching a movie that morning. he tells abc news that gunfire went off, and the children heard this, and that the children asked him, the teacher, what was going on. he says he didn't know exactly what was happening. and here is what he says happened in his own words. take a listen. >> the kids started asking out loud, what is going on? and i said, i don't know what's going on. but let's go ahead and get under the table, get under the able and act like you're asleep. as they were doing that, and i was gathering them under the table and told them to act like they were going to sleep, is about the time when i turned around and saw him standing there. i told myself, i told my kids to act like they're asleep, so i'm
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going to act like i'm asleep also. and i prayed and prayed that i would not hear none of my students talk. >> you thought you were going to die? >> yes, ma'am. it all happened too fast. training, no training, all kinds of training, nothing gets you ready for this. you can give ut all the training you want, but it's -- gun laws have to change. >> reporter: kate, he goes on to say that he played dead for 77 minutes. and process that with me for just a second. all of those students were around him. he says that none of his students survived. kate? >> rosa, thank you. thank you for bringing us this story. joining me now for more on this is former republican congressman from texas will heard. good to see you, will. you represented uvalde while in
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congress. you heard that story there and him telling that day in his own words. i want to play one more thing that he said. what he said happened when a student he heard call out for help. >> one of the students from the next door classroom was saying, officer, we're in here, we're in here. but they had already left and then, umm, he got up from behind my desk and he walked over there and shot her again. >> he shot her again. what is your reaction to hearing from this teacher, and what he says happened? >> look, it's terrible. imagine this is something that he's going to have to live for the rest of his life, that the families and the communities that have dealt with this, not just in val, but all the other school shootings, this is something they have to carry for the rest of their life. and we don't want other people
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to have to go through this. that's why hearing these stories, as hard as they are, we need to hear them because maybe this is what is going to spur action and do something. look, there's not a one size fits all solution to this problem. we're going to have to do a lot of different things. i hope senators murphy and cornyn are going to be successful in what they have been working on this week. it's not going to be enough to fix all the problems. but movement matters. and we should be congratulating and thanking them for doing this. i know the far left and far right will criticize them for what's in it and what's not in it. but this can create that momentum to do more. this is a tragedy. and i've been getting calls and emails and texts from friends talking about the conversations they're having with their children right now in the event they're in this kind of situation.
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that's just terrible that our kids have to do that. there is a recent study that shows 50% of our kids are afraid of a school shooting happening in their schools. that is unacceptable. par anybody who thinks there's nothing we can do, they're absolutely wrong. and we hope to -- i hope that uvalde is something that spurs more action. >> let's talk about lauren fox laid out the possibilities that they're negotiating amongst the senators. if those are the proposals that go through, and you saw what they said is on the table and what's really off the table right now, do you really see this as progress if that's what goes through, or is this nibbling on the margin? >> is it nibbling on the ma margins? probably. but we need to build the mow
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member -- momentum so that the next conversation can happen, that we can bring something that gets votes. that builds confidence in the legislative process. we should be seeing states doing things, as well. and when states pass legislation, you know, i think new york just passed this week that you have to be 21 in order to have a semiautomatic rifle. when this kind of action happens, you can create a momentum to get more done. we have to address this. we know how a mass murderer is made. and it starts with some kind of childhood trauma. we have to make sure that we have the resources to deal with mental health. >> let me -- just to make -- give everyone the context is you, yourself, and you have written about it, you have had an evolution yourself when it comes to guns since you went to congress.
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on universal background checks for one, on supporting raising the age to purchase certain high powered weapons. so what is the argument, what do you say to your former colleagues, to republicans that this is something that they should get behind now? >> every responsible gun owner i know has been through a background check. this is, you know, having everyone go through background checks is not an erosion of somebody's rights. every responsible gun owner i know has done that. so that's the first one. you have to be 21 years old to have a hand gun. why is that different from a semiautomatic rifle? and this doesn't prevent you taking your kids or your cousins out to go shoot birds or to go hunting. it doesn't restrict that from
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happening. and -- >> everything you're saying, what you're saying is -- seems very common sense. seems very logical. which then comes to, why hasn't it happened? and it often becomes because of political influence, because they fear lawmakers, republicans especially, fear they will lose their seats or they will be primaried if they would move in this direction. when you say what you're saying to them, can you guarantee if they would support this, that they would not lose their seat over it? do you think the political pendulum is finally swinging on this for republicans? >> look, i think so. because here is what's fascinating. i think it was cbs did a poll about something needs to be done. and they kept focusing on how 44% of republicans said it's probably not likely. but 56% were the ones that said that something needs to be done, and we should be doing more. and so i think there is a -- you know, this narrative that the
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voters aren't supportive. yes, a fraction of voters are going to be critical. there is outside groups that raise money on this particular topic. you can't be afraid of your constituents and do the right thing. what i tell people all the time is if you are in uvalde, texas, and you met with one of the moms that just buried one of their kids, what are you going to tell that mother, that will make them feel comfortable, that their kid did not die in vain? that's what this issue is going to take. i wish i had better answers on why we're not seeing more movement on this issue. but we have to keep talking about it, and hearing stories like the teacher from uvalde we just heard are important in moving this -- in building momentum. >> and the point is, momentum can beget momentum. it can continue that way.
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that's what this is. that's what you say can happen. thank you for coming in, will. coming up for us, janet yellen offering a sobering assessment on inflation and what is fueling it. joe biden's commerce secretary is our guest. we'll be right back. ♪ age before beauty? why not both? visibly diminish wrinkd skin in just two days. new crepe corrector lotion only from goldond. champion your skin. ...years faster than our initial projections. when you see things differently, you can be the difference. capella university sees education differently. our flexpath learning format lets you earn your bachelor's degree at your pace. fishing helps ease my mind. it's kinda like having liberty mutual.
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[bacon sizzles] ♪ [electronic music plays] ♪ woo! janet yellen is on capitol hill right now, fielding questions in a senate hearing about the biden administration's response to soaring inflation. and the price of gas is one place people are feeling it in a very big way. the national average for regular gas hit another record high of $4.92 a gallon. cnn's matt egan is here and watching this hearing. what has she been saying?
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>> reporter: she said inflation is at unacceptably high levels but this is a global problem. that families around the world are dealing with the high cost of living right now. listen to this clip from the treasury secretary. >> we currently face macro economic challenges, including unacceptable levels of inflation, as well as the head winds associated with the disruptions caused by the pandemic's effect on supply chains and the effects of supply side disturbances to oil and food markets, resulting from russia's war in ukraine. >> the biggest pain point here is obviously high gasoline prices. national prices have hit a record in 28 of the last 29 days. the new record, $4.92 a gallon, up 30 cents in just a week. and a year ago, it was $3.05 a gallon. there's now 13 states that have
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an average of $5 or higher, with the latest being new jersey, massachusetts, and maine. ohio, pennsylvania, utah, idaho, they're almost there. yellen acknowledged that gas prices are high, but she said they would be even higher if the biden administration hadn't released all of this emergency oil, which is probably true. but unfortunately, this could get worse before it gets batter. g goldman sachs is calling for oil to average $140 a barrel, lifting prices higher. >> the question is, what can be done? >> no easy answers. >> thank you very much. another key and critical voice, though, in the biden administration's response to inflation and the economy is commerce secretary gina ramando joins us now. a white house press secretary was asked about what new moves the administration is considering to bring down gas prices, and the response was,
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everything is on the table. what is actually still on the table to bring gas prices down at this point? because the president has said and made clear there's not much left that he can do. >> yes, good morning. thank you for having me. unfortunately, that is the brutal reality. you know, this is, in large part, caused by putin's aggression. since putin moved troops to the border of ukraine, gas prices have gone up over $1.40 a gallon. and the president is asking for congress and others for potential ideas. but as you saw, the reality is that there isn't very much more to be done. some people have talked about a gas tax holiday. of course, that's something that congress would have to move on. but the president has already taken very bold moves by tapping a million dollars a day from the
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petroleum reserve. but what we need to do is get putin to end this war, and that is also something that we are working as hard as we can to do by denying him technology to continue his military operation. so i think -- what i know is the president is thinking about this every day, and pushing his team and congress to come up with any idea possible, because we're aware of how this is hurting american families. >> one idea we know is definitely in the works is part of this effort, are you comfortable with the president meeting with and working with the saudi crown prince to help try to cool things off. >> am i comfortable? i mean, i certainly support the president and his national security team. no one knows more about national affairs than joe biden. and i would say that he is very
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serious when he says he's going to use every arrow in his quiver in order to bring down gas prices for americans. >> even if that means he's working with what he called a pariah state in order to do so? >> again, for that, i would just refer you to the president and his national security team. but i have full trust in the president and his global policies. and each more than that, having spent a lot of time as it relates to inflation and economic policy, i know that he wants to do everything in his power to bring relief to american families on this issue. >> in terms of looking at ways -- another way to ease inflation, you suggested that you might be supportive of a move to lift some of the tariffs on imports from china to help ease inflation. the country's leading unions are
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speaking out against this, the head of the united steel workers union filed an official comment last night, saying our government must act in the national interest to strengthen our economy for the future. they do not want these tariffs lifted. they think it will hurt american workers. do you disagree? >> i do. let me say this, i've worked and the president has worked very closely with united steel workers. we have largely maintained the tariffs on, for example, steel and aluminum because we want to protect american industry and american workers. we're not going to do anything, i promise you, joe biden would never do anything that would harm or make more vulnerable american workers, manufacturing workers. quite the opposite. we're doing everything we can to make investments in that. having said that, some of the tariffs, which president trump
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imposed, make no sense. they're not on products that are going to be made in america. and they are, in many cases, increasing prices for consumers. so it's something that we're looking at -- >> what products specifically would you support lifting the tariffs on? >> oh, i wouldn't analyze it in that way. we're going through -- there's thousands of -- you know, there's hundreds of products. what i would say is, places where we think it could help the consumer, the consumer would feel it in their pocketbook when they go to the store, and we wouldn't be harming any american workers. so that's the lens that i would put on it. >> secretary, thank you so much for your time. really appreciate it. coming up, the department of homeland security issuing a new warning on the threat of
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a new warning just out from the department of homeland security, saying america is facing a summer of potentially heighten violence and domestic extremism. in part, secured by recent mass shootings with a big concern surrounding the upcoming midterm elections. the dhs is warning in this memo that threat actors have recently mobilized to violence due to personal grievances, reactions to current events. joining me now, cnn's senior law enforcement analyst andrew mccabe, former deputy director of the fbi. what do you think of this bulletin, andy? >> really fascinating bulletin, and very forward leaning of dhs
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to put this out. we have a number of high profile events coming up that could force extremists to justify acts of violence. some of those include the decision, the upcoming decision on the roe v. wade case, changes on border policy that could result in increased immigration, and the election at the end of the year. the second thing they're saying here is that the range of targets is enormous. they're concerned about schools, government facilities, religious institutions, large gatherings of people, government employees. so it's really putting everybody on alert. and finally, their concern that foreign actors, and you can insert the word "russia" here would be looking to take advantage of this strife and acts of violence to further sow discord and chaos. so it's a multilevel warning we're getting. >> you mentioned they do lean towards foreign adversaries. but this bulletin is the sixth issued sixth, and it keeps the
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pattern with dhs raising alarm from threats from within, not abroad. >> no question. the thing that's really keeping our national security folks, particularly those focused on the homeland right now, awake at night is the threat from domestic violent extremists. that covers a very broad range of folks motivated by, you know, racism or they're anti-immigration or maybe anti-government. there's idealologies that you scoop up with that extremist tag. but that is where we're most concerned about these can individual actors, lone actors, small groups perpetuating horrific crimes of mass violence, which we know are possible in this country because firearms are so readily available to anybody who wants them. >> what is the intent of putting a bulletin like this out? the obvious question is, dhs is
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clearly concerned, and wants people to know that. the threat is heightened. how do you stop these people before they act? before they commit acts of violence, and then before they inspire others to do the same? >> there's a couple of things that dhs is trying to accomplish here. one is just to increase general awareness with the hopes that folks who see things and come across anomalies that concern them will report them. which we know in our recent spate of mass shootings, we know that in most of those cases, people were aware that the person who committed the shooting was showing some signs. two, there's some interesting resources that are highlighted on the bulletin here that folks who are in charge of security at places like synagogues and religious institutions and schools can get to dhs to help them secure their locations. and third, it's kind of self-serving. dhs wants to get the word out that they know this is coming, they know the danger is high,
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and they're on the job. >> just finally, what do you think about this kind of emphasis i was seeing throughout, that bad actors, they may be mobilized by this emphasis on personal al grieva. >> it's really interesting here. you see them use the word dynamic threat environment. that is analyst speak for we see all kinds of different actors reacting to each other's attacks. so in other words, you have, you know, people who follow al qaeda and isis are reacting to things that they see happening here in america, mass shootings, the new york city subway attack. they're using the attacks of other groups and other actors to try to inspire their own followers. so it's a very cross cutting view on the threat. we're no longer looking just in channels of foreign terrorists, domestic terrorists. we're acknowledging the fact that they all, to some degree, play off and are uneinspired byd
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motivated by each other's attacks. >> it is scary the way they paint it this way. thank you, andy. coming up for us, it's another big primary day. several states holding contests that a lot of people are watching closely. why folks are focused in on california now as a possible i would kay-- possible indicator things to come. i brought in ensure max protein, with thirty grams of protein. those who tried me felt more energy in just two weeks! (sighs wearily) here i'll take that! (excited yell) woo-hoo! ensure max protein. with thirty grams of protein, one gram of sugar,
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right now, voters are heading to the polls in seven states, holding primary elections today. there are several key races to watch, including in california, where the race for los angeles mayor is getting a lot of attention. democratic congresswoman karen bass facing a challenge from repu republican. what is going on with this race? >> reporter: kate, as you know, this is an overwhelmingly democratic city. but we have an opening where people are so frustrated with the level of homelessness and also rising crime, that it's really created an opening for rick caruso, a former republican, who has poured $40 million into this race, up against karen bass' about $3.2 million at this point, driving the message that career
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politicians have not been able to solve these problems. and it's really a good barometer of where we are in this country, where a lot of people are frustrated with the state of affairs. they feel like things are out of control. whether it's gas prices, which are the highest here anywhere in the nation, or crime and these other issues. and it's really showing how democrats are going to have a very rough time this year. this looks like a very tight race that is headed to a runoff. so it's just going to get m nastier as we go along, kate. >> so much to look forward to. thank you so much. coming up for us, the leader and other members of the far-right group the proud boys now charged with saeditious conspiracy. your car insurance, so you only pay for what y you need. woah! look out! [submarine rising out of water] [minions making noise]
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cnn getting new details about whot american public will be hearing from when the january 6th committee holds the first televised committee hearing. this first -- the first of the hearings is set for thursday night, and that now comes just days after leaders of the far right group, the proud boys, are charged with seditious conspiracy for their roles and the leadup to that day. we are live in washington with more details. what are you picking up? >> this week is all about the proud boys. yesterday the justice department brought new charges against five leaders. they have been charged before with conspiracy related to january 6th, but now they face a
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rarer more ambitious charge, seditious conspiracy. what's changed here in this case? we knew these guys before. the justice department has been working to get cooperators from the proud boys and have trickled out new detail in the indictment about how the proud boy's leader was texting about revolution on january 6th, and cautioning one of his contacts about how watching the day, how it would play out that day. and so when congress retreated from their chambers before they came back to certify the election, he was texting. that's important in in the version of the case. the big difference is the prosecutors believe that they can prove a case against the five where the group was not only working to block the congressional proceedings but intimidate government officials by force, potentially overthrow the government, and this is landing with some surprising timing this week, too. you mentioned the house hearings. the house select committee is heading into their first public hearing on thursday which will also focus on the proud boys. at least the first one. >> yeah. it's -- all kind of coming
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together in that way. it's good to see you. joining me for more on this is legal analyst jennifer rogers, former federal prosecutor. let's talk about the seditious charge. >> it's opposed to the conspiracy charges that have already been brought. it requires that they try to overthrow the government or interfere with the workings of government by force. so by force is the key phrase here. you're not just talking about perhaps the plot to put in the fake electors or to -- these other schemes that happened in the leadup to january 6th, but by force. the proud boys, the oath keepers, these are the people who came armed and had plans at least in the oath keepers to have the cue, the quick reaction forces outside of d.c. to bring in bigger arms if need be. they actually assaulted police officers. they broke down the barriers. that's where the by force comes in. that's important. you have 20-year maximum sentence with this count.
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it's the most serious one the doj can bring. >> doj also brought the same charges against the oath keepers. in the indictment yesterday it noted there's a meeting between the proud boys leader and the head of the oath keepers in a d.c. parking garage on january 5th. during this encounter, a participant rerchsz referenced the capital. that's detail. is it meaning ful that you have two groups facing seditious conspiracy? >> i think it is, and i want to know more about the background of the meeting you referenced. it's important because it isn't just the oath keepers and proud boys separately getting a great idea and heading to washington to do this separately. right? this overthrowing of the government by force. someone gave them that idea. right? someone coordinated between the groups. they met in a parking garage the day before. we know they were coordinated. that raises the question, who is the one who helped them coordinate and introduced put them in touch and put them into a grander scheme that started before the election to steal it?
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>> does the justice department need that detail to win a case against them with this? >> they don't need the other parts of the scheme. what they need is that they were trying to stop congress from doing its job by force. so they need basically what they allege in the indictment. that they did this planning and training and gathered their weapons and went and had communications. they wore the body armor. all the things alleged including the assaults, the property damage, the by force. that's what they need. they don't need the rest of it. but what that shows us is that i think that is the direction the doj is heading to bring in the big brains in the operation. >> the timing is what the timing is. this is happening as the january 6th th committee is ready to hold the first of the public hearings on thursday night. how does the fact that these charges against the proud boys which are just kind of announced, what does that do? how does that work with kind of these hearings and what we're going to be learning on thursday? the first focus or at least part of the focus is just that.
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it's the proud boys, the vidographer. >> it hasn't been clear to me what the coordination is between the committee and hearings they're holding and what doj is doing. we know doj issued a subpoena to the committee for some of the information and there was pushback. i don't know how closely they are coordinating. i don't know that there's any real information to be drawn from the fact that the indictment comes out right as the hearings from getting going. we know that doj is going to rely at least in some part on what information that the committee has been gathering. and i suspect some of the things that we'll hear about in the committee hearings that we didn't know before will be things that doj already knows or will use to further their investigation. >> how hard is it to prove this in court, seditious conspiracy? >> well, all charges are hard, but a case like this, seditious conspiracy is rarely brought. that makes it even more challenging. prosecutors are making up a play book when they think of how to convince a jury of this.
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you see the elements you have to prove, and it doesn't take a lot of brain power to say okay, here's a group that went. they had this purpose. that's clear in what they were doing. here's what they did to enact the purpose. and the by force, that could be challenging if you're talking about trying to charge someone who wasn't there on the grounds doing what many of them are doing. when you're assaulting police officers and communications are all about how we're going to as a unified group take over, i think it becomes doable. >> that's interesting. it's good to see you. thank you for walking us through it. thank you all so much for being here with us today. i'm kate bolduan. "inside politics" with john king starts after this break. lemons, lemons, lemons. the world is so full of lemons. when you become an expedia member, you can instantly start saving on your travels. so y you can go and see all those lemons, for less.
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welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king in washington. thank you for sharing your day with us. a new bulletin from the united states government. the government says there may be a wave of domestic extremist violence. a warning with the country reeling in anger and pain from the massacre in uvalde. a texas teacher who lost every one of his students. >> i lost 11 that


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