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tv   ABC World News Tonight With David Muir  ABC  June 23, 2022 3:30pm-4:00pm PDT

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kristen: tonight, two major stories as we come on the air. the supreme court's ruling on guns, striking down new york state's concealed weapon law. what this now means for new york. new york city's mayor before the ruling warning it would be like the wild west. imagine the subway if everyone is carrying a gun. and the explosive testimony late today before the american people. president trump and the extraordinary pressure on the department of justice. the former president telling his acting attorney general and deputy attorney general of the false claims on the election, saying, just say it was corrupt and leave the rest to me and republican congressmen. even though they repeatedly told him they'd investigated the false theories and that they were not true, that they were absurd. he wanted to move forward with it and if not, he planned to
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replace his a.g. with the third attorney general in a matter of weeks. it wasn't until the threat of a mass exodus that the president halted the plan. and tonight here, the testimony under oath revealing the members of congress who then asked for pardons after january 6th. one white house attorney saying even nixon didn't issue pardons this broad. jonathan karl and rachel scott live in washington. also tonight here, new york's governor and new york city's major outraged over the major supreme court ruling on guns. its impact will be significant, well beyond new york. gun rights advocates celebrating tonight. the 6-3 decision undoing a gun law in new york that has stood for more than a century. the state's concealed carry law. new york governor kathy hochul calling the decision reckless and reprehensible. new york city major eric adams tonight calling the decision, quote, not rooted in reality. so, what now, and how many other states will see their laws challenged? terry moran at the supreme
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court. linsey davis with reaction from new yorkers tonight. the dangerous heat alerts across several states tonight. temperatures up to 105 degrees. and now the next heat wave already moving in. and the threat of dangerous storms, damaging winds. we're tracking it all. the dramatic pool rescue. an american synchronized swimmer losing consciousness during competition. her coach jumping in to save her. and best in show. america's new top dog, trumpet is his name, and it's a first. good evening and it's great to have you with us here on a very busy thursday night. we have two major stories tonight. the supreme court's major ruling on guns, overturning a new york state gun law on the books for more than 100 years. this will be felt not just in new york, but well beyond. reaction from new yorkers on both sides of this in just a moment. but we begin tonight with
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the eye-opening testimony late today before the american people from the january 6th committee. the level of detail we had not heard before. former president trump's relentless pressure on the department of justice to find fraud in the election so he could stay in power. his acting attorney general and deputy attorney general who he put in the job telling him there was no merit to the claims. at one point, the former president saying, just say it was corrupt and leave the rest to me and republican congressmen. and when they wouldn't, he prepared to replace them with someone who would. then the president was told there would be mass resignations and that any new a.g. would be presiding over a graveyard, the president was warned. so, testifying today from left to right here, stephen engel, formally legal counsel at the department of justice, jeffrey rosen, who trump appointed, and former acting deputy attorney general richard donahue. all pointed by the president himself. all pushing back against what the president wanted them to do. and tonight here, the testimony
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under oath, the members of congress who pushed the president's false claims even though the doj told the president they were not true, the members who then requested pardons after january 6th. one white house lawyer saying even nixon didn't issue pardons this broad. rachel scott on the requests for pardons tonight, but first, our chief washington correspondent jonathan karl on the hill leading us off again tonight. >> reporter: tonight, top officials in the trump justice department describe the immense pressure donald trump put on them to use the power of their department to help overturn the presidential election. after attorney general bill barr, who had told trump there was no election fraud, resigned in late december 2020, trump put pressure on his replacement, jeffrey rosen, to do what barr had refused to do. >> so, between december 23rd and january 3rd, the president either called me or met with me virtually every day with one or two exceptions, like christmas day. >> reporter: trump relentlessly
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pushed rosen and his deputy richard donahue. >> the president ebecame more urgent. we need to step up and do our job. and he had this arsenal of allegations that he wanted to rely on. i went piece by piece to say, no, that's false. that is not true. >> reporter: rosen at one point told president trump doj can't and won't snap its fingers and change the outcome of the election. >> how did the president respond to that, sir? >> he responded very quickly and said, essentially, that's not what i'm asking you to do. i'm just asking you to say it was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the republican con congressmen. >> reporter: one of them, scott perry of pennsylvania, pointed trump to an obscure official in the justice department, jeffrey clark, who ran the department's environmental decision. clark drafted a letter for the
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justice department to send to the state of georgia. >> this letter claims that the u.s. department of justice's investigations have, quote, identified significant concerns that may have impacted the outcome of the election in multiple states. including the state of georgia. >> reporter: it was patently false. and the top lawyers at doj rejected it out of hand. >> it was so extreme to me, i had a hard time getting my head around it initially. i thought it was very important to give a prompt response rejecting this out of hand. >> reporter: january 3rd, acting attorney general rosen found himself in the oval office with clark, the president, and top doj lawyers. >> geoff clark was proposing that jeff rosen be replaced by geoff clark. and i thought the proposal was asinine. >> reporter: officials told trump he would do what the
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president was demanding and find real voter fraud. >> so, i said, mr. president, you're talking about putting a man in that seat who has never tried a criminal case, who has never conducted a criminal investigation. it's impossible, it's absurd, it's not going to happen and it's going to fail. >> reporter: trump then asked this question. >> he said, so, suppose i do this, suppose i replace him, jeff rosen, with him, geoff clark, what would you do? and i said, mr. president, i would resign immediately. i'm not working one minute for this guy. you're going to lose your entire department leadership. every single a.g. will walk out. >> reporter: ultimately, the threat of mass resignations worked. the president decided not to name geoff clark the acting attorney general. trump's pressure campaign on the justice department did not let up. after the horror of january 6th, a number of republican members of congress who had been pushing trump's lies -- >> there's widespread evidence
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of fraud. >> we are going to object to electors from states that didn't run clean elections. >> reporter: -- asked the white house for pardons. >> and was representative gaetz representing a pardon? >> believe so. the general tone was, we may get prosecuted because we were defensive of, you know, the president's positions on these things. a pardon that he was discussing, requesting, was as broad as you could describe, from the beginning, i remember from the beginning of time up until today, for any and all things. he mentioned nixon, i said nixon's pardon was never nearly that broad. >> and so let's get right to january karl live on the hill again tonight. and jon, as all of this was playing out today, we learned in the last 24 hours of another major development here, the justice department, of course, we know, has been conducts its
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own very quiet investigation of what led to january 6th. and this doj lawyer, an environmental lawyer, i should say, that the former president wanted to make acting attorney general in the 11th hour, now federal agents at jeffrey clark's home overnight? >> reporter: they raised his home on wednesday, david. this is a clear sign that the justice department investigation has gone beyond those who physically attacked the capitol on january 6th to officials in trump's inner circle and by the way, jeffrey clark did testify, give a deposition to this committee, but we heard today that he repeopledly refused to answer questions, citing his fifth amendment right against self-incrimination. >> all right, jon karl on the air all afternoon with us, thank you. so, now we turn to those requests for pardons. even though the department of justice, his own acting attorney general, the claims were not true, that there was no evidence of widespread fraud that would have changed the election in any
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of the battlegrounds after january 6th. tonight, the members of congress who then asked for pardons. so, let's get to rachel scott, also live on the hill tonight. and rachel, we heard testimony, of course, this testimony under oath, today about members who made these requests of who talked about pardons after january 6th. >> reporter: david, trump white house officials testified that at least five republican members of congress asked for presidential pardons. on that list, republican representative mo brooks of alabama, who sent an email to the white house asking for pardons not only for himself, but for the 147 republicans in the house who voted against certifying the 2020 election. the special assistant to the president at the time also testified that representative matt gaetz of florida was pushing for a blanket pardon since early december. representative andy biggs of arizona also sought a pardon, according to witnesses, as well as louie gohmert of texas and scott perry of pennsylvania. david, tonight, reaction is
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starting to come in from these republicans. scott perry's office denying this, calling it a ludicrous lie. mo brooks not denying it at all, but saying the pardons were unnecessary after all, but the worlds from republican adam kinzinger who says the only reason you would think to ask for a pardon is you think you committed a crime. david? >> rachel, thank you. of course, the other major story tonight, the landmark supreme court ruling striking down new york state law on the books for more than a century. it required gun owners to show a proper cause in order to carry a concealed handgun. the court ruling that violating the second amendment's right to keep and bear arms. the three liberal justices dissenting. justice clarence thomas for the majority writing that citizens shouldn't have to explain to the government why they're seeking to xerl size a constitutional right. but the ruling allows states to ban guns in, quote, sensitive places that could include schools, government buildings, courthouses, but he specifically
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wrote all of manhattan could not be declared a sensitive place. tonight, president biden in a statement saying he is deeply disappointed and that the ruling contradicts both common sense and the constitution. new york governor kathy hochul calling the decision reckless and rep rehebsable and that make it harder to protect families. the governor calling a special session of the state legislature to respond. and new york city's mayor eric adams calling the decision deeply disturbing, saying for a city as densely pop ewe lated as new york, the decision is not rooted in reality. but it impacts seven other densely populated states where 80 million americans live. we have reaction here in new york tonight, but first, terry moran, who has covered the supreme court for years for us, on this story. >> reporter: for more than a century, new york state has held one of the strictest conceal carry laws in the nation, but today, the supreme court struck that law down. the new york law required anyone seeking a license to carry a
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concealed handgun to show they had proper cause, a special need for it. but by a 6-3 majority, the court today declared that law violates the second amendment right to keep and bear arms. justice clarence thomas writing for the court, "we know of no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officers some special need. it is not how the second amendment works when it comes to public carry for self-defense." the new york law thomas wrote for the court's six conservative justices gave local officials too much discretion over a constitutional right. >> why isn't it good enough to say, "i live in a violent area and i want to be able to defend myself?" >> reporter: now new york must revise the 109-year-old law in accordance, thomas wrote, with this nation's historical traditions of firearms regulation. today, the governor of new york, kathy hochul, swift in her reaction. >> this decision isn't just reckless. it's reprehensible. it's not what new yorkers want. and we should have the right of
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determination of what we want to do in terms of our gun laws in our state. >> reporter: president biden in a statement said the ruling "should deeply trouble us all." adding, "in the wake of the horrific attacks in buffalo and uvalde, we must do more as a society, not less, to protect our fellow americans." >> i think it's a bad decision. i think it's -- i think it's not reasoned accurately, but i'm disappointed. >> reporter: and in his dissent, justice stephen breyer mentioned the nearly 300 mass shootings that have occurred this year, saying the court's decision does not consider the "potentially deadly consequences." and that it burdens states' efforts in "preventing gun violence and protecting the safety of its citizens." but justice samuel alito firing back, writing, "how does the dissent account for the fact that one of the mass shootings near the top of its list took place in buffalo? the new york law at issue in his case obviously did not stop that perpetrator." the head of a gun rights group that brought the case saying he's relieved.
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>> we are not the problem. the problem is the criminals and the wrongdoers in the state and the politicians have to learn that. >> reporter: the decision is also being hailed as a "landmark win" for the nra. 80 million americans live in states with proper cause requirements and it remains to be seen how their laws could change. >> under this opinion, those laws are also likely unconstitutional and so, all of those states are now going to have to go back to the drawing board and pass new laws, you know, regulating the ability to carry guns outside of the home. >> all right, so, let's get to terry moran on this potential ripple effect across the country. he's live at the supreme court tonight. terry, do we expect to see a wave of challenges in states with similar laws to new york's? >> reporter: sure do, david. there are eight states by our count that have very similar laws to new york's, but this case has impact nationwide and on many other regulations, because under it, every american has a constitutional right now to carry a gun for self-defense in public.
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the court leaving the door open for regulation in those so-called sensitive spaces, like government buildings, maybe public transportation like the subway and private establishments like taverns or churches are exempt. but the bottom line here, there will be many more americans carrying many more guns in public. david? >> terry moran live at the court tonight. terry, thank you. and one more note on this tonight, gun rights advocates celebrating the supreme court ruling. though some asking tonight, in the wake of all these mass shootings, why would authorities want to make it easier to add guns to the streets? and then there's new york city's mayor eric adams who said before this ruling, what if everyone on a new york city subway could carry a gun? abc's linsey davis in new york with reaction from both sides tonight. >> reporter: within minutes of that supreme court decision, striking down new york's concealed carry law, mayor eric adams immediately condemned it. >> this decision has made every single one of us less safe from gun violence.
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there is no place in the nation that is going to impacted based on this decision more than new york city. >> reporter: home to more than 8 million residents, new york city is the most populated city in the u.s. and despite some of the strictest gun laws in the country, gun arrests are at a 28-year high following a spike in shootings. so far this year, the nypd has already taken more than 3,000 illegal guns off the streets. but tonight, the mayor warns the new ruling will put more guns on the street a p new in more danger. >> we're a densely populated city. millions of people use our transportation system. traffic accidents can escalate into gunfights. that's not what we want. we can not allow new york to become the wild wild west. >> reporter: tonight, people in new york city are reacting. >> the second amendment does support the right to bear arms. that being said, that is not working in our world today. we definitely need change. >> i think new york had a
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reasonable constraint that most people seem to support. >> reporter: now you feel less safe? >> i will, i think, when i feel like people are running around carrying guns and there are more guns on the streets, yes. >> and linsey davis with us tonight. talking to new yorkers on both sides of the issue. we heard new york city's mayor saying, imagine if anyone on the subway could have a gun. but bottom line for people at home watching tonight, what's different now? what does a new yorker no longer have to do to get a gun? >> reporter: things won't change overnight. you'll still have to, if you want to be able to carry a gun, you're going to have to get a l of that, but what you'll longerav t d have to try toe prove why you have this special need to be able to carry a concealed gun. bottom line, it's going to be a lot easier to get a license to carry. >> all right, linsey davis tonight, thank you. and of course linsey will have much more tonight on abc news live. as we reported last night here, the fda has now moved
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forward, ordering juul to pull all of its e-cigarette products off the market here in the u.s. the company has come under particular scrutiny for its marketing to teens. juul says they will try to block the move in court. when we come back on this thursday night, the dangerous heat alerts across several states at this hour. temperatures in some places will reach 105. and the next heat wave already brewing tonight. plus, the threat of dangerous storms and damaging winds. plus, the swimmer saved after falling unconscious in the pool. taking metamucil everyday can help. metamucil psyllium fiber, gels to trap and remove the waste that weighs you down. it also helps lower cholesterol and slows sugar absorption to promote healthy blood sugar levels. so, you can feel lighter and more energetic. metamucil. support your daily digestive health.
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or a parasitic infection. don't change or stop asthma medicines without talking to your doctor. ask your doctor about dupixent. well tonight, we're tracking dangerous heat and the to ten rl for severe storms. let's get right to rob marciano with us again tonight. >> reporter: hi, david. we nearly hit some all-time records across the south. mobile and jacksonville up and over 100 degrees today. not much better tomorrow. there you see it in shreveport 108. going to feel like 105 in dallas. portland, this is your first one of the season, getting to near 100 degrees over the weekend. in the upper midwest, the threat for severe storms. ohm maha up to sioux city, that whole area seeing potential damage tomorrow afternoon. david? >> rob, thank you. when we come back, the dramatic pool rescue, an american swimming losing consciousness during competition in the pool. the coach jumping in. this is the moment.
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>> now from abc 7, live breaking news. >> that breaking news is several fires in several counties. sky 7 is live over what is being called the phoenix fire boarding and dutch burning in port costa. >> the fire started before 2:30 in the area of scenic drive. people in the area are being told to prepare to evacuate and 10 minutes ago, sky 7 got this video here of retardant on the roofs. doing those drops, fire crews are doing everything they can to protect this community. >> let's give you a look at where the fire is burning. it is burning in the bowl valley station area. >> as you can tell, video not quite there yet. we will continue to monitor this scene. as you can see, the dark billowing smoke just rise into the air. now, just across the street, in other fire burning in venetia. this is sky 7 video from a few
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minutes ago. the fire is near the valero refinery. firefighters so far have not said how many acres of brush have burned. so far, no evacuations. >> another fire has kept fire crews quite busy. this one is burning in a heavily wooded canyon in the alameda county community of signal, which is near pleasanton. initial reports are that it is starting in a building this afternoon. flames rapidly jumped into the dry brush and trees soon after, where evacuation orders are in effect. abc seven news reporter is live in pleasanton, where he just spoke with residents. reporter: good afternoon, and pleasanton behind me is golden eagle estate country club. pleasanton police tell me the entire neighborhood is being evacuated because the fire is starting to come down the hill. now, it is hot out here. not as hot as it has been, but there is a slight breeze and we know if the wind picks up how
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qu