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tv   Don Lemon Tonight  CNN  July 26, 2022 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

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>> i got my shoulder pads working. today >> you do, i feel like it's dynasty night, again, is blake carrington coming over with krystal, or joan collins? >> they wish they wish they had this. i was a dallas fan. not very south fork, not very miss elliott, but i don't know, maybe it's linda gray. >> no, it's dominick deborah, all the way. thank you. thanks laura. i've got to get to the news, i will see you later. this is don lemon tonight. there is a mountain of brand new revelations from the january 6th investigation that i have to tell you about. and pretty soon we are going to have our chief legal analyst on here and i think he thinks this is a pretty big deal, okay, so, stay tuned, right? >> totally. >> that was a precursor. that is jeffrey toobin. new tonight, the justice department reportedly investigating the actions of the then president himself as part of its criminal investigation of efforts to
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overturn the election. that, according to the washington post. sources telling the posts that prosecutors have been questioning witnesses for hours before a grand jury about conversations with trump and others in his inner circle related to the fake electors scheme, and his pressure campaign on mike pence to overturn the election. we will have much more on that tonight, so make sure you stay tuned. when it comes, attorney general merrick garland says this. >> say again, that we will hold accountable anyone who is criminally responsible for attempting to interfere with the transfer, legitimate, lawful, transfer from one administration to the next. >> and you've got to sit back and pay attention to this, right? because the gall, the nerve, everything that we have learned from this investigation, everything that we have seen and heard with these hearings, the president whose election lies set all of this into motion, he was back in to washington for the first time today. and what he said, you got to
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hear it for yourself, because you think that words might just stick in his throat. here it is. >> police officers are heroes, performing a great public service, at great personal risk. it is an unbelievably dangerous job. and by the way, more dangerous today by far, by far than it has ever been. >> the law and order blue lives matter, right, crowd, beating police officers would fly balls and pepper spray. so, i want everyone to take a look and remember what we saw with our own eyes, her their own ears on january 6th, when hero police officers, and that's what they are, heroes, who attacked and brutally beat, were brutally beaten, as they try to defend the capitol from donald trump's supporters. here it is. >> [noise] [inaudible]
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we need to hold the doors of the capital! >> what happened to police officers at the capitol on january six was unthinkable. one officer testifying under oath before the committee that i was like a war zone. >> when i fell behind that line, and i saw, i can just remember my breath catching in my throat. because what i saw was just a war scene. it was something i would have seen out of the movies. i could not believe my eyes. there were officers on the ground, you know, they were bleeding, they were throwing up. you know, they had -- i saw friends with blood all over their faces.
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i was slipping in peoples blood. you know, i was catching people as they fell. you know, i was -- it was carnage. >> that was an officer who is there, testifying under oath. and why did donald trump do? not only did he do absolutely nothing to stop the carnage, officer edwards and her fellow officers experience, he actually refused in a speech the next day to hold the riders accountable. >> it looks like here that he crossed out that he was directing the department of justice to ensure all lawbreakers are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. we must send a clear message not with mercy but with justice. the legal consequences must be swift and firm. do you know why he wanted that crossed out? >> i do not know. >> so you salt and black and
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white for yourself, him refusing to hold lawbreakers accountable, brutally attacked police at the united states capitol? actions, or lack of actions, speak louder than any words, especially on january 6th. jeffrey toobin is here, john dean as well. good evening to both of you, thank you very much. jeffrey, i'm going to start with you here. as we're looking at this, i'm going to talk exactly but what they're doing with this report from the washington post. prosecutors have asked hours of detailed questions of trump meeting december 11, 12, 2021, this high pressure campaign on pants. the department of justice asking these witnesses in front of a grandeur about their conversations with the then-president, asking about meeting c's lead, the pressure campaign on pants and instructions -- his attorneys in his advisors about fake electors. what does that sound like you? >> that donald trump is under criminal investigation.
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i was thinking today imagine if you and i were to discuss today that george w. bush or barack obama was under criminal investigation. like, that is just inconceivable. but we see that donald trump is under criminal investigation and we go of course. because given the amount of evidence, and given the fact that we have hundreds of prosecutions of people who were sent to the capitol by donald trump for his benefit who have been prosecuted, at this point it's really almost only fair that trump is under investigation as well. because, like, who benefited from all those crimes that we know we're committed? >> you think the evidence is so heavy that you go, of course. is that what you believe? >> of course he should be under investigation. i am not prepared to say at this point that he should be indicted or he should be convicted, but if you look at -- you know, it's very important that these two witnesses we know about from earlier this
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week, pence's former chief of staff, his former lawyer, they can talk about the effort to intimidate and force pence to try to overturn the election that the justice department could be corrupted to help trump, and the fake elector scheme could go forward. all of that is relevant testimony from these witnesses, and all of it is relevant to the fact that trump is now under investigation for conspiracy to defraud the united states and potentially obstruction of congress. these are the charges. >> john dean, i want to bring you in. i want to hear what you think about this, when you heard the news and read the report, what were your thoughts? >> my first -- i was encouraged tree that there were also investigating seditious conspiracy. now, that, you need some violence, and you have to tie and connect trump to it. which has not really happened yet. but i think that is inevitable
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that they're going to find evidence of roger stone or somebody like that. you know, that was trumps inclination and disposition. so, it's encouraging that that is certainly on the menu that they are looking at. but i think also it is important to realize this is the force sort of official leaked that has confirmed what has really been going on probably for a good number of months now. marc short, and greg jacobs just did not pop up. somebody talk to them, knew what they were going to talk about in front of the grand jury, and then process them just last friday, had them up here. now, we're getting a story of much more depth about the nature of this investigation. it hasn't said that trump is the target, but it is hard to believe he is not. >> okay, those two players that you meant in there, jacobs and short, how is this close now to
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the former president with these key players talking? john? >> it is right in the oval office. it is right in the oval office, don. they were present for the key meetings when the president was trying to bend his vice president into doing an illegal act. and they were, they were helping him support the vice president to do the right thing. so, they are not part of the conspiracy, but they certainly witnessed and experienced the attorneys that reach out to them to try and bend the vice president and all the others. so, they are key witnesses and big witnesses. >> how long has this been going on? you said this is sort of the first official leak, that's your words, that we've had. let's listen to the attorney general just tonight, here it is. >> we have been moving urgently since the very beginning. we have a feud number of prosecutors and agents working on these cases. it is inevitable in this kind of investigation that there will be speculation about what
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we are doing, who we are investigating, what are theories are. the reason there is this speculation and uncertainty is that there is some fundamental tenet of what we do is prosecuted investigators is to do it outside of the public eye. >> and, go ahead jeff. >> he said something very significant, garlanded in his interview with lester holt, when he talked about what they were investigating, he did not just say the insurrection at the capitol. he said interference with the peaceful transfer of power. and that goes to issues like the intimidation of pants, the corruption of the justice department, the fake electors. so, he said they are investigating something broader then just the violence at the capitol, which is what his critics said, that's all they were doing. >> but also, again, do you agree with me, that you have to be careful, as you said the bar is very high for any sort of
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criminal, right? >> very, very high. >> i mean, look at the russian investigation. if you look at the report from russia, you can weigh on in this as well john, if you look at the russian investigation, there -- the report itself shows that it was interesting that there were players who were conspiring or had the potential to conspire, except the former attorney general and then spun the report. but still. >> that's right. and you should, we should be very cautious in saying that all of this is an investigation at this point. but you cannot have charges without an investigation. this is the first step, but it does not mean it will go farther. but it couldn't go farther without this four step. >> john? >> one of the things also that struck me is how this has been very silent. it has been very in-house. no special prosecutor being selected. and i think that is something that garland wants to avoid, is this ever going there. and it would be part of the
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rehabilitation of the department of justice, which got shamed during watergate, and shamed during the bar trump era. and i think he wants to rehabilitate the department, and they are doing a wonderful job, i think, of doing that. >> you talk about other things, jeffrey. the post is also reporting that doj investigators also received phone records in april of key officials and aides in the trump administration, including mark meadows, it brings investigation along further than people thought. >> i don't know how far along it is -- >> but you know how these things work. i have been hearing prosecutors and former prosecutors and lawyers saying all day, if they are talking to mark short, and if they have gotten this far it appears that the former president is being investigated. >> right. >> and has been for a while. >> and the washington post says he is specifically being investigated. but remember, testimony is very important for witnesses. but if you doing a syrian
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white-collar investigation, it is not just testimony, it's getting the emails, it's getting the emails, it's getting the memos. i mean, all of the underlying documents, which is always so important for corroboration, because you cannot build cases exclusively on peoples memories. you have to show what the contemporaneous records are. and presumably, the justice department has at least most of them, if not all of them. >> john dean, a pass is prologue, at being involved in watergate, what are we seeing here? what's happening? >> well, we are seeing a case being built step-by-step. in watergate, they would actually go after nixon's lower aids first. and then as chief of staff, man's top domestic adviser. i think that is probably going on right now with people like meadows, maybe giuliani, who was trump's private lawyer in this manner. and i suspect they will try to put the squeeze on those people
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as they try to build their case. and so, that would be the natural evolution of this. and it follows a pattern that jeffrey is very familiar with, because it's kind of standard operating procedure. >> and also takes a while. everybody is frustrated, i mean, a lot of democrats are frustrated with garland. if you look at iran contra, if you look at watergate, it took a year and a half to two years to get the big conspiracy case indicted. so, this is not on the slow boat to know where that a lot of democrats thought it was. >> it has been a year and a half. thank you, thank you both, i appreciate. we've got a lot more on january six news tonight. new details on the doj, looking at the farm presents actions in the criminal investigation. plus, what trump's acting defense secretary told the committee that directly contradicts his former boss.
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and mike pence trying to distance himself from his former boss with a veiled criticism of wanting to focus on the future. you know, not focus on the 2020 election and the lies surrounding it, but everything else. pence says he sees things the same way as former president trump. so here to discuss that and the future of the gop, cnn political commentator alice stewart and former congressman charlie dent. good evening. let's talk about the gop, okay? alice, listen, this is what the former vice president had to say when asked about the divide between him and his former boss. watch. >> so, i do not know that our movement is that divided. i do not know that the president and i differ on issues. but we may differ on focus. i truly do believe that elections are about the future. and it is absolutely essential
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at a time when so many americans are hurting, so many families are struggling, that we do not give way to the temptation to look back. >> okay, alice, is he saying, except for that part where you stick that mob on me, i am still maga with you. is this not being critical? >> look, he is one hunted percent correct in terms of the republican party, conservative, are united on policy and the policies that unite us. the separation and division is how we are going to use that moving forward, and who is going to carry us forward with that. and pence made it quite clear that they agree on policy, but not on focus. look, you cannot find two more polar opposite people then mike pence and donald trump. but they came together, united to campaign and govern this country. that came to an abrupt halt on january 6th, as pence was let
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let out of the capitol to fight donald trump's war. and what we saw today clearly was mike pence making a very strong case for looking to the future and focusing on policies and not looking to the past. whereas donald trump never once mentioned pence today in a statement. he talked about crime, he talked about immigration, but he also taught did touch on his nonsense about the fact that yet again he won, which he did not. and saying that the january 6th hearings where about the democrats attempts to tape came away from continue to serve the american people. >> oh, god. >> that's not true. they agree on policy, just how they go about leading is where the difference is. >> you're very good at what you do, alice. it sounds sweet that mike pence was speaking out of both sides of his mouth. charlie, are you buying what alice is saying? >> i think i have to say i disagree with my friend alice on this point. look, to say that mike pence agrees with donald trump on all policies, you know, is no way to run a campaign against
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donald trump. you have to draw a hard contrast. i remember the old mike pence, who was a budget hawk, a free trader, a man who won it entitlement reform, all sorts of things that donald trump does not want or is against in many cases. so, i am trying to figure out where mike pence is now. there was the old mike pence, there was the trump mike pence, when he was vice president, and now they're the new mike pence. so i'm just trying to figure this out. i do not think they do agree on policy, and if donald trump and mike pence run against each other, i am sure trump will draw the contrast. he will talk about how mike pence wants to cut medicare. he will say things like that, even if it's true. he will say things like. that he will also talk about trade differences. he wants free trade, trump's for protectionism. i don't think they agree. and for mike pence to stand up there and say, we agree on everything except that thing that happened on january 6th. even though they tried to hang the, hey, i'm still good with them. i mean, how does that work? >> it is clearly not to going to be a binary choice for the gop domination in 2024 with
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pence and trump. if trump announces, which he looks like he may, there are many, many people -- >> alice, don't you think it makes him seem weak? why not stand there and say look, i disagree with donald trump. donald trump tried to get me to defy my oath. he tried to get me to do the opposite of what the constitution says. and as a republican, i cannot do that. as a conservative, as a principled conservative, i cannot do that. now, we may agree on some policies. but as far as that, he is wrong. and what i did for the american people and for the country on january six was the right thing to do and i will always disagree with the former president. why can't he have the fortitude to say something like that? because that makes him seem weak. >> look, the bottom line is is what today was was an opportunity for both of them to speak to the base. clearly, pence wants to do what he can to keep trump's base on board. but the key is we have to grow from that. we cannot just have trump's
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base. we have to grow from that. and in order to do that, we have to make sure we do what we can to focus on policy. and look at how we can and deliver the same policies and ideas without all the chaos. there are many people out there, i can give you a long list of people who can deliver the conservative policies without the chaos. they can look at how we can -- >> i don't disagree with you on that. i don't disagree with you on that. but people say there is a long list of conservatives who are doing this, not just once you see, pretty much, they kinzinger's, and the changes of the world, who are actually in politics, now standing up and saying that. i think if more people said what you said and said it emphatically in front of cameras, i think that that might actually convince some people that they actually mean it. take a look at this poll, charlie, this is a new cnn poll. 44% of republicans and republican-leaning voters still want trump to be on the 2024, to be the 2024 gop nominee. 55% want someone else.
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but here is the thing. that minority may be enough for trump to secure the nomination. is there any way that he is not the future of the gop right now? >> yeah, i think there is a way. but we have to very much limit the gop primary field. the more candidates who jump into the presidential primary against all trump will accrue to the benefit of donald trump. because the anti trump oatly split many ways. right now, it is suggested that 44% want him. but against one or two other opponents, i think somebody else could breakthrough and beat donald trump in the primary. but, if we have a whole cast of characters, six, seven, eight, maybe ten republican candidates, donald trump just love that. because his base is big enough to get that plurality first across the line. and by the way, just on mike pence, to me, when i listen to that speech today, he sounded like trump light. i mean, really. >> he's not being anywhere
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nearly as mealymouth, milk truck trump, that will never get him anywhere. >> again, there are many other republicans, we can just look at ron desantis, tim scott, nikki haley, you have ted cruz, tom cotton, a long list of republicans that are ready to step in there. >> but they are all trump acolytes. cotton is saying he got criticized by kinzinger today because he is saying he did not watch the january 6th hearings. they are all defending trump. they are all trump might as well. >> john, when you run a campaign, i run 13 campaigns, and when you are running against your opponent, you have to assume your opponent is not benign. and you have to really draw a sharp contrast and go at them aggressively. that is how you defeat them. you do not see how much you are like your opponent. then why vote for me then? if we are the same, why would you want to vote for me? how you have to explain the difference. you have to explain you want to fire your opponent, trump, and then hire mike pence in this case. >> alice, one last word. >> one last thing, in the cnn
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poll, we're looking at the gop numbers. i think a disturbing number out of this pool for democrats is that 75% of democrats said in this cnn poll that they do not want joe biden to be the nominee. >> that's true, but that is a whole other segment. >> that's a whole other segment. >> we're talking about pence right now. thank you both, i appreciate it. the indiana doctor who helped a ten year old rape victim have an abortion is speaking out tonight. now, she says she feels threatened and is warning about the consequences of a post-roe nation. if you're turning 65 soon
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when i make decisions as a leader, it's not about me or the folks that are here. it's about the next seven generations coming behind us, making sure that they have the ability to move forward. prop 27 will help small rural tribes like mine get a seat at the table will be transformational for my tribal members. taxing online sports betting gives us an opportunity to really enhance the lives of our tribe and strengthen the future of our people. vote yes on prop 27.
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. but brittney pleaded guilty to drug charges -- her guilty plea and -- likely to seek a more lenient sentence. we will see what happens in court tomorrow. new reporting from the washington post tonight, the justice department is looking at the actions of trump itself in its january 6th criminal investigation. we have all the details next.
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seen this ad? it's not paid for by california tribes. it's paid for by the out of state gambling corporations that wrote prop 27. it doesn't tell you 90% of the profits go to the out of state corporations. a tiny share goes to the homeless, and even less to tribes. and a big loophole says, costs to promote betting reduce money for the tribes, so they get less. hidden agendas. fine print. loopholes. prop 27. they didn't write it for the tribes or the homeless. they wrote it for themselves.
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new signs that the justice department is zeroing in on the trump white house. the washington post reporting tonight the doj is looking at trump himself as part of its criminal investigation of january 6th. and asking witnesses about conversations with trump and seizing the phone records of top aides. that is january 6th committee is releasing new video tonight, refuting a major trump claim as

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