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tv   Washington Journal Kimberly Wehle  CSPAN  July 22, 2022 12:39pm-1:01pm EDT

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white house as well as journalists and authors. go to for a fast and easy way to watch what you cannot see alive. >> on saturday, jamie raskin and former federal judge jointed discussion on the events surrounding the u.s. capitol attack hosted by the virginia bar association, watch live at 10:45 eastern on c-span. c-span now, our free mobile app, or online at >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government. brought by these television companies and more, including charter communication. >> broadband is a force for empowerment. that is why chartered has invested billions building
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infrastructure, empowering opportunities in communities big and small. charter is connecting us. >> charter communications support c-span as a public service along with these other providers, giving you a front row seat to democracy. us this morning is kimberly whaleywehle thank you for being here. we had a lot of callers bring up throughout these hearings what can come of this? guest:two important things going on here. on one hand we have the hearings which is in congress and congress has said they will produce a report but more important is will this produce new legislation that will shore up some of the holes in the scheme of legislation that a january 6 possible peer after
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watergate, when president nixon presided there was a flurry of legislation that was put in place for example put a lot on inspector general's could they were appointed after watergate so congress can do some things. we talk about separately there is the department of justice which is under the president. it is not a part of the united states congress and of course the department of justice would have to bring a criminal charge if there were a basis for that against the former president or some of his close associates like rudy giuliani and some of these, mark meadows that were so embroiled in the crimes that were committed on january 6. host: a viewer described these hearings as a grand jury. they are trying to set the stage for the justice department to then take it over. would you agree? guest: yes and no.
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i like to think about the hearings as an education for the american people in light of the possibility of a grand jury indictment. that is, we have never seen a president or former president indicted. a lot of people say that is hard to imagine, that that with -- would create a ping-pong effect. i think the point of these hearings is to wake people up to the severity of this. i like to think of them as a play in four acts, planning, execution, cover up, and then i think the fourth one which is the most important could this happen again? i think the answer is 100% yes. everyone in america needs to, regardless of political party, join hands and say we don't want that. we actually want to control our own government going forward. host: the cost of not indicting
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trump's presidency without guardrails. guest: i did this thought experiment with my students were we went through under the constitution all the ways that presidents can be held accountable. if we know there is no ticket we picked through them all and they have all blown through the last administration. impeachment is supposed to be the biggie and that is pretty much dead now for think about incentives paired that is why we have a three-pronged system. everyone was worried about their papers being graded by someone else. if you think about incentives, there really are not any's incentives to not use the massive powers of the office to commit crimes other than their own conscience. we have seen conscience doesn't do enough. we also happened on january 6.
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the justice department needs to bring high-level indictments to send a message to future presidents that, listen, this isn't going to fly. the argument that you are special, you are president you are above the law, there will be accountability. it is vital if we are to retain a presidency with guardrails that are not abused regularly for self-promotion and power. host: liz cheney, the vice chair used word premeditated. guest: that jumped out at me as well. it tends to be used in connection with murder, the idea of reader meditation, you are planning, you are thinking about appeared the idea that you planned it makes you more criminally liable then if you are just negligent driving a car for example and someone ends up killed. she used that very specifically because there has been so much
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discussion, is there enough evidence donald trump's criminal intent. showing intent is the difference between civil liability and criminal liability. criminal liability you go to jail. civil liability you pay fees. was cheney's implication is has knowledge of intent of what he was doing great i think he -- she used that to get out of this debate around knowledge of intent under the criminal code. she is saying he planned this. he was aware of it. and as recently as a phone call to wisconsin general assembly member recently he still is peddling this massive lie that almost took down the entire united states government. host: what laws did he break, allegedly? guest: we don't know because we have not seen any indictment. i think the range of laws would be some that we have already
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seen, people of the capital. obstruction of an official proceeding, the idea of counting electoral votes you cannot interfere with that. conspiracy to defraud the united states through these lies. then there are also criminal laws preventing incitement of an insurrection and incitement of a riot. there is a talk of potential witness tampering, liz cheney has singled out there have been witnesses who were contacted by either the president or others appeared we are in a system where it is illegal on many levels to interfere fraudulently with an election that is why it is illegal to vote fraudulently with someone else's id. it is illegal across the range of various procedures to interfere with government, to interfere with a grand jury, to bribe a judge, to stop congress from doing its duty on january 6. that's illegal.
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i think we would cease art -- charges along those lines interfering with congress and also the violence as well. i think the committee made a pretty good case for donald trump's tweets inciting people to come and at 2:24 message were he went after the vice president for lacking courage allegedly. things risk that's really escalated. he was really the command center of those tens of thousands of people and people died. host: i want to read an opinion piece, if you believe that an indictment of the most likely candidate to run against joe biden in 2024 by the president's on justice department would be considered anything but a politicized travesty by about half of the country you have not been paying attention. institutions are not in robust health and are ill-equipped to withstand the turbulence that would result from prosecuting the political champion of
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millions of people. the case would presumably drive on for years. perhaps, all people appeals reaching to the supreme court. it would ensure a political and legal melodrama that would keep trump front and center even if he decides to retire to a quiet life of golfing at mar-a-lago. guest: he is a political pundit, he is a republican. if the tables were turned i'm not sure that is what would happen if it was under the leadership of a democrat. when it comes to the constitution and preserving that system, i think politics really takes a second seat. we are seeing this with the january 6 with both liz cheney and adam kinzinger and democrats working together. i like to think of the january 6 committee as the truth committee. it is really putting the truth out there through the mouths of
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primarily republicans, oil lists to donald trump --loyalists to donald trump. if he is adjusting you do nothing, you just hope things fall into place again, the proud boys, the oath keepers that showed up on that day that really want to have a police state reportedly that is not going to go away on its own. i am not comfortable with the idea of our kids and grandkids that will hold our breath and hope that we do nothing people will just decide that we -- wasn't a good idea. host: i want to invite our viewers to join the conversation. democrats (202) 748-8000. republicans (202) 748-8001. independents (202) 748-8002. you can text us with your question or comment at (202) 748-8003. this includes -- please include your first and, city and state.
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i want to show you and our viewers merrick garland was asked about the january sixth investigation at the justice department here he is. [video clip] >> there is a lot of speculation, lots of -- about what the justice department is doing, what the duties are and there will continue to be that speculation. that is the way the department of justice investigates. we do not do our investigations in public. this is the most wide-ranging investigation and the most important investigation of the justice department. we have done so because this represents the effort to upend a legitimate election, transfer of power from one administration to another.
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we have to get this right. for people who are concerned, as i think every american should be about protecting democracy, we have to do two things. we have to hold accountable every person who is criminally responsible for trying to overturn a legitimate election. we must do it in a way with integrity and professionalism the way the justice department conducts investigations. both of these are necessary in order to achieve justice and to protect our democracy. >> do you think you have the resources to do that? >> do you feel you need additional resources? >> the what almost like additional resources and would be happy to take them. but we are going to accomplish our mission here. the people of the justice department are committed to this. they are working 24/7.
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host: a former federal prosecutor, what did you hear there? guest: i heard he is doing a job that he was put in that seat to do. that is a neutral, thorough, fact investigation. he said this has to be done correctly. we have to get this right. he also said, listen, everyone is going to be held criminally accountable if they are criminally accountable. i think we lose sight of how important it is that it's not just republican, democrat whatever your party is in particular positions of government but people with integrity, people who care about the rule of, people who follow their own guideposts even under political pressure. what i saw, former federal judge, order -- former supreme court on many lead the oklahoma city bombing investigation, you know, he's not feeling pressured
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one way or the other. i do believe him. i do think we will see syria's indictment on the time schedule that is consistent with the facts and the law. host: he called it wide-ranging. how long do you think it will take? guest: that's really impossible, there has never been something that's -- this huge but there are 800 plus people that have already been arrested, indicted and/or tried and it has not been 18 months since the insurrection. i think they are going at a rapid pace. he is under a tremendous amount of pressure and also we just need to exhale and wait. let them do their work and that is how we should expect the justice department to work. we don't want a massive power of investigations, indictments, present time to be used as a political weapon. that is exactly what i think january 6 is about.
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it's to get that kind of self interest, corrupt energy out of american politics. i believe merrick garland is not of that flavor of public official. i am quite comfortable waiting to see what he does. host: palm beach florida, democratic color. good morning to you. caller: good morning, greta. how are you? host: doing well. go ahead with your question or comment. caller: good morning. my question is just basically, i did like merrick garland said we need to do it honestly and ethically. i agree with that. my question is, how can we still get the answers on how trump incited the riot, how should set
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i say the people storming the capital how can we still get former president trump on him being responsible? and him people protecting him? what can we do to still get answers? guest: we will see a report from the january 6 committee. i assume it will be ready massive. there will be a lot of coverage of that. they had over 1000 witnesses, tens of thousands of documents. we are only seeing a tiny piece of it. if the justice department takes steps, the grand jury is secret. we will not see any information unless there are actually trials and witnesses and testimony and the documents but to a jury. it could be months, if not years away. i did a piece probably a year or so ago in politico on the 14th
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amendment. the 14th amendment specifically talks about keeping people out of office if they participated in an insurrection. that is in there specifically because after the civil war, there are two counts of thinking the north and the south, the union and the confederacy. there was a concern confederates would populate the government and try to corrupted because they were not on board with three unifying and reconstruction. that is in the 14th amendment. it would require the united states congress to pass legislation to make that something you can go to court and implement. but it is not just merrick garland who in this moment could take steps to protect against donald trump personally as a threat to democracy. host: so the congress could pass legislation naming the former president? pass a piece of legislation
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saying if you x, y,z. guest: anybody can file a lawsuit to institute, to see if you are in a position where you unconstitutionally would be holding future office. it would be against the constitution to pass legislation specific to him, but they could take steps to implement, kick into gear that 14th amendment provision which there is a statute but it is very old. it has never been old. they can give it a facelift and say, it's not just donald trump here there are hundreds of people across the country, 400 on the ballot in the next election who adhere to the big lie. the other thing that has happened is this cancer that has spread throughout our electoral system. people still believe that the last election was stolen and are
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willing to potentially violate the rule of law, ignore actual votes, cancel elections, do all kinds of shenanigans in the name of this fake big lie. it is donald trump and it is much more systemic. i think people miss that. we are at this moment where elections themselves could become a joke. could be not actually producing what the american people want. if that happens, if the election system is so infected that we can't trust it anymore, that is when democracy ends in america. host: sean in maryland, republican. caller: good morning. i guess chuck schumer and the rest of the crew should be going under the same they're putting trump under. i would challenge you to answer this question this way, would you adhere to being in a court of law going through the same roles that this --rules this
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committee is going under and putting it out to the public as truth? would you go and do the same thing question mark and your answer, please? give me your answer, no i think and know, just give me a professional answer on that. pretty much, everybody believes what you believe not everybody else. host: let's get a response. guest: i would be honored to testify before the united states congress in a way people like bill barr and the way people of the trump administration have done because we do have both. adam kinzinger said oath's matter and integrity matters. i couldn't agree with him or. the big difference, i think sean identifies, those between a court of law that could take your liberty away and put you in jail. that is where you have the high
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due process protections of cross-examination. this is about educating the public and deciding whether to pass new legislation. the implications of what is happening in our dress is very different from a court of law. that is not an apt critique of what is happening. host: melissa in las vegas, independent. caller: i believe [indiscernible] . host: why though? ok. brian in quincy, michigan. caller: hello, good morning. trump cult numbers are not watching the january 6 hearings. they could care less about truth or facts. there truth is whatever comes out of term's mouth.
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