tv NBC Bay Area News Tonight NBC July 21, 2022 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT
house residence for the night. on the screen is the last photograph of the president that night as he went into the residence. as he was gathering his things in the dining room to leave, president trump reflected on the day's events with a white house employee. this was the same employee who had met president trump in the oval office after he returned from the ellipse. president trump said nothing to the employee about the attack. he said only, quote, mike pence let me down. ms. matthews, what was your reaction to the president's 6:01 tweet? >> at that point i had already made the decision to resign. this tweet just further cemented my decision. i thought that january 6th, 2021, was one of the darkest days in our nation's history, and president trump was tweeting it as a celebratory occasion
with that tweet. so it just further cemented my decision to resign. >> others agreed with your assessment of that tweet. let's look at what they had to say. >> who asked you about this tweet before it was sent? >> the president. >> tell us about that conversation, everything that you said and he said to the best of your recollection. >> sure. so he said what do you think of this? and i believe i saw the text -- or the on his phone. i remember saying to him, the wording on the first sentence -- i guess it's one long sentence. but the wording on the first sentence would lead some to believe he had something potentially to do with the events that happened at the capitol. >> what did he say? >> i don't recall him saying anything in response to that. i believe that was the end of the conversation.
>> did he change anything in light of your comments? >> no, sir, he did not. >> what about this made you think that someone might perceive the president having a role in the violence at the capitol? >> it was my interpretation of the words -- you know, i don't write speeches or anything. but the phrase "these are the things that happen" to me, sounded as if culpability was associated with it, to me. >> i don't think it's a patriotic act to attack the capitol. but i have no idea how to characterize the people other than they trespassed, destroyed property and assaulted the u.s. capitol. i think calling them patriots is a stretch, to say the least. >> is that all it is, a stretch? or just flatly wrong?
>> i don't think it's a patriotic act to attack the u.s. capitol. >> would you call it unpatriotic? >> criminal, unpatriotic, sure. >> what happened at the capitol cannot be justified in any form or fashion. it was wrong and it was tragic and it was a terrible day. it was a terrible day for this country. >> i thought it was inappropriate. >> why? >> to my mind, it was a day that should be remembered in infamy. that wasn't the intent of this tweet. >> despite the violence of the day, the effort to delay the certification continued. that evening rudy giuliani called several of president trump's closest political allies in the hour before the joint session resumed. representative jim jordan and
senators marsha blackburn, tommy tuberville, bill haggerty, josh hawley, lindsey graham and ted cruz. we know why mr. giuliani was calling them because at 7:02 he left a voice message for senator tuberville that became public. >> senator tuberville or i should say coach tuberville, this is rudy giuliani, the president's lawyer. i'm calling because i want to discuss to you how they plan to rush this hearing and how we need you, our republican friends, to slow it down so we can get these legislatures to get more information to you. >> mr. giuliani did not even mention the attack on the capitol. instead, he was pushing on behalf of president trump to get members of congress to further delay the certification. even though some members did proceed with objections, vice president pence and congress stood firm and successfully concluded the joint session in
the early morning hours of january 7th. here is some of what members of the president's a party said in the days and weeks after the attack. >> there's no question, none, that president trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day, no question about it. the people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president. and having that belief was a foreseeable consequence of the growing crescendo of false statements, conspiracy theories and reckless hyperbole which the defeated president kept shouting
into the largest megaphone on planet earth. >> the violence, destruction and chaos we saw earlier was unacceptable, undemocratic and un-american. it was the saddest day i've ever had serving as a member of this institution. >> today the people's house was attacked, which is an attack on the republic itself. there is no excuse for it. a woman died. people need to go to jail. and the president should never have spun up certain americans to believe something that simply cannot be. >> after 3:00 in the morning, congress certified the 2020 election results. soon after this statement by president trump was posted on dan scavino's twitter account because the president's twitter account had by now been suspended. as you can see, president trump stuck with his big lie that the election was stolen, but he did
say there would be an orderly transition. we learn, though, that the statement was not necessarily his idea. jason miller, a campaign advisor, told us that after the joint session started, he heard nothing from president trump or the white house about assuring the nation that the transfer of power would take place. so mr. miller took it upon himself to draft a statement and call the president at 9:23 that night to convince him to put it out. let's listen to what he had to say about the call. >> did he disagree with something you had put in the statement, some particular word or phrase that he did not want included? >> i'd say just he wanted to say peaceful transition. i said that ship's kind of already sailed, so we're going to say orderly transition. that was about the extent of disagreement or pushback from the conversation. >> the last person president trump spoke to by phone that
night was johnny mcinti his head of personnel. he told us they talked about the events of the day and the multiple resignations by administration officials. the decision whether to resign was one that weighed heavily on people in the administration. on the one hand, people like mr. pottinger and ms. matthews here, as proud as they were to have served, refused to be associated with president trump's dereliction of duty. but others were seriously worried that leaving president trump to his own devices would put the country at continued risk. listen to what we heard. >> and then after that, some people were resigning over january 6th. we know who they were. did i consider it? yes. did i do it?
no. people in the counsel's office left, who would replace me? i had some concerns it might be somebody who had been giving bad advice. >> on the morning of the 7th, the decision i arrived at was that the most constructive thing i could think of was to -- the cabinet. i thought that trying to work within the administration to steady the ship was likely to have, you know, greater value than simply resigning, after which point i would have been powerless to affect things within the administration. >> jean thought there should be a cabinet meeting. >> do you know why? >> i don't remember why. i think it probably had something to do with mark's view
of how the president might react and things like that. >> it was a couple of calls where meadows and pompeo, how is the president doing? and meadows would say, well, he's really in a dark place. but here's one for example on the 7th of january. so this is the day after, right? potus is very emotional and in a bad place. meadows. >> hearing secretary scalia wanted president trump to convene a cabinet meeting. he put his request in a memo to the president. here's what it said. you can see that secretary scalia recommended that the president, quote, no longer publicly question the election results. after wednesday, no one can deny this is harmful. secretary scalia also highlighted the importance of the public knowing the president
would invoke his cabinet in decision making and not, quote, certain private individuals. the secretary scalia did not say it, but he was referring to rudy giuliani and the rest of the so-called clown car working with president trump to try to overturn the election. secretary scalia understood that the president needed to do more to reassure the public about the last few weeks of the trump administration. mr. pottinger, when you made the decision to resign, did you walk out of the white house immediately? >> no. i wanted to first talk to my immediate boss. that was the national security advisor, robert o'brien. robert o'brien was traveling on the 6th. i reached him at about 4:30 p.m. and told him that i was submitting my resignation.
he accepted the resignation, but he also asked whether i could stay until he could get back to the white house. and i agreed to that. we both wanted to make sure i was leaving in a responsible way. we still have foreign adversaries to worry about, hackers, terrorists, nation states. and i did not want to leave my chair empty given that i was the top national security staffer in the white house. so i ended up staying at my desk through the night. when robert o'brien arrived back at the white house the next morning, the morning of the 7th, i debriefed with him and left for the last time. >> so you and i both share a passion for national security of our country. can you share with me, what's your view on how january 6th impacted our national security?
>> well, when you have a presidential transition, even under the best circumstances, it's a time of vulnerability. it's a time of vulnerability. when you have a contested election, i was certainly concerned that some of our adversaries would be tempted to probe or test u.s. resolve. as an example, in late december the iranian government attacked the u.s. embassy in baghdad using some of their terrorist proxies. president trump did handle that. he sent a very clear warning to the ayatollah and his regime, which i think had a useful effect. i think that we would have handled other threats of that nature. and luckily, no other threats materialized before the
inauguration on the 20th. but our national security was harmed in a different way by the 6th of january. that is that it -- i think it emboldened our enemies by helping give them ammunition to feed a narrative that our system of government doesn't work, that the united states is in decline. china, the putin regime in rush rush, tehran, they're fond of pushing those kinds of narratives. by the way, they're wrong. you know, we've been hearing for the entirety of u.s. history from kings and despots that the united states is in decline. those kings and despots have been proven wrong every single time. nonetheless, january 6th helped
feed a perception that, i think, emboldened our adversaries. the other part i think is simply our allies. i heard from a lot of friends in europe, in asia, allies, close friends and supporters of the united states that they were concerned about the health of our democracy. so i think it's incumbent upon us to put their minds at ease, to put our own hearts at ease by investigating what happened on the 6th and making sure that it never happens again. >> i've always said democracies are not defined by bad days, they're defined by how they recover from those bad days. that's what we're doing here, is to bring accountability to that so we can come back even stronger than we went into objection. ms. matthews, as you left the white house for the last time that night, january 6th, what did you think americans needed to hear from president trump? >> i think that the american
people needed to hear and see him publicly commit to a peaceful or at least orderly transition of power. in the aftermath of the capitol attack, it wasn't just enough for us to ask him to condemn the violence. he needed to agree that he would peacefully transfer power over to the incoming administration, because that's one of our fundamentals on what it means to live in a democracy. so that evening when i resigned, the resignation statement they drafted, i referenced this. i said, our nation needs a peaceful transfer of power, in hopes that it would put some sort of public pressure on the white house and president trump to publicly agree to an orderly transition. >> thank you. i yield to my friend from virginia. >> thank you, mr. kinsinger. the staff who remained at the white house on the morning of january 7th knew the president needed to address the nation again. they had a speech prepared for
him that morning, but he refused for hours to give it. as you heard cassidy hutchinson testify, the president finally agreed to record an address to the nation later that evening, the evening of january 7th, because of concerns he might be removed from power under the 25th amendment or by impeachment. we know these threats were real. sean hannity said so in a text message that day to press secretary kayleigh mcenany. he wrote, no more stolen election talk. yes, impeachment and 25th amendment are real. we obtained the never before seen raw footage of the president recording his address to the nation that day on january 7th, more than 24 hours after the last time he had addressed the nation from the rose garden. let's take a look.
>> whenever you're ready, sir. >> i would like to begin by addressing the heinous attack yesterday and to those who broke the law, you will pay. you do not represent our movement, you do not represent our country. if you broke the law -- i can't say that. i already said you will pay. the demonstrators who infiltrated the capitol have defied the seat -- defiled, right? i can't see it very well. i'll do this. let's go. but this election is now over. congress has certified the results. i don't want to say the election is over. i just want to say -- congress has certified the results without saying the election is over, okay?
>> now congress -- right. okay. i would like to begin by addressing the heinous attack yesterday. yesterday is a hard word for me. take the word yesterday. it doesn't work with it. the heinous attack on our country. say on our country. want to say that? my only goal was to ensure the integrity of the vote. my only goal was to ensure the integrity of the vote. >> on january 7th, one day after he incited an insurrection based on a lie, president trump still could not say that the election was over. mr. pottinger, you've taken the oath multiple times in the
marines and as an official in the executive branch. can you please share with us your view about the oath of office and how that translates into accepting election results and a transfer of power? >> sure. this isn't the first time we've had a close election in this country. president trump certainly had every right to challenge in court the results of these various elections. but once you've had due process under the law, you have to conform with the law no matter how bitter the result. once you've presented your evidence in court, judges have heard that evidence, judges have ruled. if you continue to contest an election, you're not just contesting an election anymore. you're actually challenging the constitution itself.
you're challenging the societal norms that allow us to remain unified. i think that one example, for example, you've got vice president richard nixon back in 1960 had lost a hard fought election against senator john f. kennedy. there were irregularities in that vote according to a lot of the history. a lot of vice president nixon's supporters asked him to fight, contest it, don't concede. but in one of his finest moments, vice president nixon said no. he said it would tear the country to pieces and he conceded to jack kennedy and announced that he was going to support him as the next president. we have an example of a democratic candidate for president, vice president al
gore, who faced a very similar dilemma. he strongly disagreed with the supreme court decision that allowed president george w. bush to take office. but he gave a concession in mid or late december of 2000 where he said this is for the sake of the unity of us as a people for the strength of our democracy, i also am going to concede. i'm going to support the new president. his speech is actually a pretty good model, i think, for any candidate for any office up to and including the president and for any party to read, particularly for right now. the oath that our presidents take, it's very similar to the oath of office i took as a u.s. marine officer and the oath i
took as a white house official. it is to support and defend the constitution. it's to protect the constitution, to bear true faith and allegiance to the constitution. it is a sacred oath. it's an oath we take before our families. we take that oath before god. and i think that we have an obligation to live by that oath. and i do still believe we have the most ingenious system of government on earth despite its imperfections. i don't envy countries that don't have this system that actually allows for a predictable, peaceful transfer of government every four to eight years. it's not something we should take for granted. >> thank you. as we heard at the start of the
hearing in the immediate aftermath of january 6th, republican leader kevin mccarthy understood that president trump bore responsibility for that day and should have taken immediate action to stop the violence. he was even more candid in calls with republican colleagues. as you'll hear in a moment, recordings of some of these calls that were later published by the "new york times," the context for these calls was that a resolution had been introduced in the house calling for vice president pence and the cabinet to remove president trump from power under the 25th amendment. let's listen. >> i've had it with this guy. what he did is unacceptable. nobody can defend that and nobody should defend it. the only discussion i would have with him is that i think this will pass and it would be my recommendation -- that would be my take, but i don't think he
would take it, but i don't know. >> let me be very clear to all of you and i've been very clear to the president. he bears responsibilities for his words and actions, no ifs, ands or buts. i asked him personally today if he holds responsibility for what happened, does he feel bad about what happened. he told me he does have some responsibility for what happened. then you need to acknowledge that. >> president trump has never publicly acknowledged his responsibility for the attack. the only time he apparently did so was in that private call with kevin mccarthy. there's something else president trump has never acknowledged, the names and the memories of the officers who died following the attack on the capitol. we're honored to be joined tonight by police and first responders who bravely protected us on january 6th. your character and courage give
us hope that democracy can and should prevail even in the face of a violent insurrection. we can never thank you enough for what you did to protect our democracy. on january 9th, two of president trump's top campaign officials texted each other about the president's glaring silence on the tragic death of capitol police officer brian sicknick, who succumbed to his injuries the night of january 7th. his campaign officials were tim murtaugh and one of his deputies matthew walking. they knew his heart, his mind and his voice as well as anyone and they knew how he connects with his supporters. here's what they had to say about their boss.
murtaugh said, also shitty not to have acknowledged the death of the capitol police officer. walking responded, that's enraging to me. everything he said about supporting law enforcement was a lie. to which murtaugh replied, you know what this is? of course if he acknowledged the dead cop, he'd be implicitly insulting the mob. he won't do that because they're his people. he'd also be close to acknowledging that what he did at the rally got out of control. no way he could acknowledge something that could ultimately be called his fault. no way. president trump does not then and does not now have the character or courage to say to the american people what his own people know to be true. he is responsible for the attack on the capitol on january 6th.
thank you and i yield to the gentleman from illinois. >> thank you. tonight's testimony and evidence is as sobering as it is straightforward. within minutes of stepping off the ellipse stage, donald trump knew about the violent attack on the capitol. from the comfort of his dining room, he watched on tv as the attack escalated. he sent tweets that inflamed and expressed support for the desire of some to literally kill vice president mike pence. for three hours he refused to call off the attack. donald trump refused to take the urgent advice he received that day, not from his political opponents or from the liberal media, but from his own family, his own friends, his own staff and his own advisors. in the midst of an attack, when
there was no time for politics, the people closest to trump told him the truth. it was his supporters attacking the capitol, and he alone could get through to them. so they pled for him to act, to place his country above himself. still, he refused to lead and to meet the moment to honor his oath. it was only once the vice president and the members of congress were in secure locations and the officers defending the capitol began to turn the tide that then president trump engaged in the political theater of telling the mob to go home. and even then he told them all they were "special" and that he "loved them." whatever your politics, whatever you think about the outcome of the election, we as americans
must all agree on this. donald trump's conduct on january 6th was a supreme violation of his oath of office and a complete dereliction of his duty to our nation. it is a stain on our history. it is a dishonor to all those who have sacrificed and died in service of our democracy. when we present our full findings, we will recommend changes to laws and policies to guard against another january 6th. the reason that's imperative is that the forces donald trump ignited that day have not gone away. the militant, intolerant ideologies, the militias, the weird fantasies and disinformation are all still out there ready to go.
that's the elephant in the room. but if january 6th has reminded us of anything, i pray it has reminded us of this. laws are just words on paper. they mean nothing without public servants dedicated to the rule of law and who are held accountable by a public that believes oaths matter more than party tribalism or the cheap thrill of scoring political points. we the people must demand more of our politicians and ourselves. oaths matter. character matters. truth matters. if we do not renew our faith and commitment to these principles, this great experiment of ours, our shining beacon on a hill will not endure. i yield to the gentlewoman from virginia.
>> thank you, mr. kinsinger. throughout our hearings, we've provided many facts and painted a vivid picture of the events of january 6th, the violence, the human toll, both emotional and physical, including the tragic loss of life, the threats to our constitution, the rule of law and the danger to this nation, a nation we all love as americans. in tonight's hearing we've gone into great detail about the events inside the white house on january 6th. we've described how the president of the united states who was bound by oath to the constitution and by duty to assure the laws are faithfully executed took no action when the cornerstone of our democracy, a peaceful transition of power, was under attack. but it's more than that. donald trump summoned a violent
mob and promised to lead that mob to the capitol to compel those he thought would cave to that kind of pressure. and when he was -- a man who just wanted to do his constitutional duty. in the end this is not a story of inaction in a time of crisis, but instead it was the final action of donald trump's own plan to assert the will of the american people and remain in power. not until it was clear did his effort to violently disrupt or delay the counting of the election results had failed did he send a message to his supporters in which he commiserated with their pain and told them affectionately to go
home. that was not the message of condemnation and just punishment for those who broke the law that we expect from a president, whose oath and duty is to ensure the laws are faithfully executed, but instead it was his newest version of stand back and stand by. to me, this is personal. i first swore an oath to support and defend the constitution against eneies foreign and domestic when i entered the u.s. naval academy at age 17. i spent two decades on ships at sea defending our nation from known and identifiable foreign enemies who sought to do us harm. i never imagined that that enemy would come from within. abraham lincoln 23 years before the civil war said, if destruction be our lot, we must
ourselves be its author and its finisher. donald trump was the author. we, the people, for ourselves and our posterity, should not let donald trump be the finisher. thank you. and i yield to the vice chair. >> thank you very much. i want to thank our witnesses for joining us today. members of the select committee may have additional questions for today's witnesses. we ask that you respond expeditiously in writing to those questions. without objection, members will be permitted ten business days to submit statements for the record, including opening remarks and additional questions from our witnesses. i'd now like to turn things to chairman thompson for a few closing words. >> the members of the committee and i appreciate and thank all persons who have come forward voluntarily to provide
information to help protect our democracy. and our work continues. as we've made clear throughout these hearings, our investigation is going forward. we continue to receive new information every day. we are pursuing many additional witnesses for testimony. we will reconvene in september to continue laying out our findings to the american people and pushing for accountability. in the first hearing of this series, i asked the american people to consider the facts and judge for themselves. the facts are clear and unambiguous. i thank the american people for their attention over the past several weeks. i wish you all a pleasant evening. >> let me again thank our witnesses today. we've seen bravery and honor in these hearings. ms. matthews and mr. pottinger,
both of you will be remembered for that, as will cassidy hutchinson. she sat here alone, took the oath and testified before millions of americans. she knew all along that she would be attacked by president trump and by the 50, 60 and 70-year-old men who hide themselves behind executive privilege. but like our witnesses today, she has courage and she did it anyway. cassidy, sarah and our other witnesses including officer caroline edwards, shea moss and her mother ruby freeman are an inspiration to american women and to american girls. we owe a debt to all of those who have and will appear here. that brings me to another point. this committee has shown you the testimony of dozens of republican witnesses, those who
served president trump loyally for years. the case against donald trump in these hearings is not made by witnesses who were his political enemies. it is instead a series of confessions by donald trump's own appointees, his own friends, his own campaign officials, people who worked for him for years and his own family. they have come forward and they have told the american people the truth. for those of you who seem to think the evidence would be different if republican leader mccarthy had not withdrawn his nominees from this committee, let me ask you this. do you really think bill barr is such a delicate flower that that he would wilt under cross examination, pat cipallone, eric hirschman, jeff rosen, richard donoghue? of course they aren't. none of our witnesses are. at one point in 2016 when he was first running for office, donald trump said this.
i could stand in the middle of fifth avenue and shoot somebody and i wouldn't lose any voters. that quote came to mind last week when audio from trump advisor steve bannon surfaced from october 31st, 2020, just a few days before the presidential election. let's listen. >> it was trump's idea to declare victory. more of our people vote early that count. they're voting now. so they're going to have a natural disadvantage and trump's going to take advantage. that's our strategy. so when you wake up wednesday morning, it's going to be a firestorm. >> also if trump ising by 10:00 at night it's going to be even crazier.
if biden is winning, trump is going to do some crazy shit. >> of course, four days later president trump declared victory when his own campaign advisors told him he had absolutely no basis to do so. what the new steve bannon audio demonstrates is donald trump's plan to claim victory in 2020 no matter what the facts actually were was premeditated. perhaps worse, donald trump believed he could convince his voters to buy it whether he had any actual evidence of fraud or not. and the same thing continued to occur from election day onward until january 6th. donald trump was confident he could convince his supporters the election was stolen no matter how many lawsuits he lost. and he lost scores of them. he was told over and over again in immense detail that the election was not stolen. there was no evidence of widespread fraud. it didn't matter.
trump was confident he could persuade his supporters to believe whatever he said no matter how outlandish and that ultimately they could be summoned to washington to help him remain president for another term. as we showed you last week, even president trump's legal team, led by rudy giuliani, knew they had no actual evidence to demonstrate the election was stolen. again, it didn't matter. here is the worst part. donald trump knows that millions of americans who supported him would stand up and defend our nation were it threatened. they would put their lives and their freedom at stake to protect her. and he is preying on their patriotism. he is preying on their sense of justice. and on january 6th, donald trump turned their love of country
into a weapon against our capitol and our constitution. he has purposely created the false impression that america is threatened by a foreign force controlling voting machines or that a wave of tens of millions of false ballots were secretly injected into our election system or that ballot workers have secret thumb drives and are stealing elections with them. all complete nonsense. we must remember that we cannot abandon the truth and remain a free nation. in late november of 2020, while president trump was still pursuing lawsuits, many of us were urging him to put any genuine evidence of fraud forward in the courts and to accept the outcome of those cases. as january 6th approached, i circulated a memo to my republican colleagues explaining why our congressional proceedings to count electoral votes could not be where used to change the outcome of the
election. what i did not know at the time was that president trump's own advisors, also republicans, also conservatives, including his white house counsel, his justice department, his campaign officials, they were all telling him almost exactly the same thing i was telling my colleagues. there was no evidence of fraud or irregularities sufficient to change the election outcome. our courts had ruled it was over. now, we know that it didn't matter what any of us said, because donald trump wasn't looking for the right answer legally or the right answer factually. he was looking for a way to remain in office. let's put that aside for a moment and focus just on what we saw today. in our hearing tonight, you saw an american president faced with a stark and unmistakable choice between right and wrong. there was no ambiguity, no
nuance. donald trump made a purposeful choice to violate his oath of office, to ignore the ongoing violence against law enforcement, to threaten our constitutional order. there is no way to excuse that behavior. it was indefensible. every american must consider this. can a president who is willing to make the choices donald trump made during the violence of january 6th ever be trusted with any position of authority in our great nation again? in this room in 1918, the committee on women's suffrage convened to discuss and debate whether women should be granted the right to vote. this room is full of history. we on this committee know we
have a solemn obligation not to idly squander what so many americans have fought and died for. ronald reagan's great ally margaret thatcher said this, let it never be said that the dedication of those who love freedom is less than the determination of those who would destroy it. let me assure every one of you this, our committee understands the gravity of this moment, the consequences for our nation. we have much work yet to do and we will see you all in september. i request those in the hearing room remain seated until the capitol police have escorted witnesses and members from the room. without objection, the committee stands adjourned. >> a two hour and 45 minute session. this is the ninth hearing by the january 6th committee, now adjourned for the night, ending with liz cheney, republican
congresswoman, with an impassioned plea and message for those who would support donald trump. she is simply saying to them he abused their patriotism and love of country on january 6th. some of what we've learned in the second half of the proceedings, there was intense testimony about white house officials trying to get president trump to condemn the violence as it was unveiled at the capitol. they revealed efforts from outside the white house from republican leader kevin mccarthy, the president's son don junior, even fox news personalities. they also played outtakes of president trump's speech on january 7th where he refused to say the election was over. >> i would like to begin by addressing the heinous attack yesterday and to those who broke the law, you will pay. you do not represent our movement. you do not represent our country.
if you broke the law -- i can't say that. i already said you will pay. the demonstrators who infiltrated have defied the -- defiled, right? see, i can't see it very well. i'll do this. i'm going to do this. let's go. but this election is now over. congress has certified the results. i don't want to say the election is over. i just want to say congress has certified the results without saying the election is over, okay? >> now congress -- >> right. let me see. go to the paragraph before. >> that's some of the material we had not seen before of the outtakes of the president the day after the capitol riot. obviously having difficulty saying the message that he wanted at that particular moment. let's bring back chuck todd, moderator of ""meet the press""
and senior washington correspondent hallie jackson and yamiche alcindor. let's start where it ended with liz cheney. it was really an eloquent speech. >> making the closing argument for this set of hearings and where the mission goes from here. this was a really passionate speech from the vice chair. she's given these statements before, but this one felt like she was putting her message there for americans to pick up. chuck, you made this point during this hearing. she didn't blame donald trump supporters. she blamed donald trump for taking van of -- advantage of them, for preying on them. she made this point, 50, 60, 70-year-old men going and lying about the election and pushing these fraud lies. it's women, women like cassidy hutchinson, like sarah matthews, like the people who worked on elections in georgia who came
forward, women who can be examples to women and girls in this country. she clearly layed out the the stakes as to why donald trump is not fit in her view to ever hold a position of authority ever again. this was an important closing message for her for now. she did the cliff hanger thing. she's done this before at other hearings. kind of said, hey, we'll see you again in a couple of months. if anybody didn't catch the hearings, listen to that 2 1/2 minutes and you have a pretty good sense of where things are going. >> yamiche, we heard the sessions will pick up again in the fall. what's left to make the case that this committee is trying to make, keeping in mind this is not a legal proceeding or an impeachment, it is simply a hearing. >> to keep on the topic of liz cheney, she said that the dam has broken. i think that was something that was very striking because she said there are new witnesses, new evidence, new information. lawmakers have said these hearings which they set out to really impact sort of the view
of the american people and to really make the case that donald trump should never run for office again and really did try to undermine american democracy. what they said was really inspire other people to come forward and say i'm seeing cassidy hutchison i'm seeing lady ruby and her family and it's moving me to say now is the time for me to take the stand. the lawmakers are saying there's going to be a lot more information. the bar has to be higher. we have new information every single time. i talked to a conservative judge that testified in hearing three. that struck me, because in some ways it tells you that even for someone like that who said donald trump is a clear and present danger that these hearings have been long and hard to digest in some ways. millions of americans are tuning in for sure. but it also shows that they're going to have to show there's a
need for this. >> chuck, where does this leave us now? >> look, there's the legal path here. what is the justice department going to do? that is going to take probably another year or so. i still can't fathom how they do this without a special counsel. because of the political overtones especially with what the former president is trying to do. i keep coming back to the quote i think should define this hearing. i don't want to say the election is over. it summarizes -- it sort of in many ways helped animate the closing argument that liz cheney was making. she put together the remember what he said about i could go down and shoot somebody on fifth avenue and i wouldn't lose a supporter.
she said he manipulated his supporters. what i keep coming back to is a lot of this information actually was known in february of 2021 when those united states senators had a chance to hear the evidence and decide whether donald trump should ever hold federal officer ever again. that was what that trial was about. that was the one piece of accountability there was going to be, the consequence. could never hold any federal office ever again. those republican senators chose not to do it. only seven of them voted. a number that liz cheney brought up today. another 20, she pointed out seemed to sort of vote to acquit
on a technicality. the fact that donald trump is actually still eligible to hold federal office, everything we knew as of february 2021 now you're filling in all these blanks. it really is surreal he's still a viable candidate. >> i'm wondering what you all think about this line the dam has broken. what are they hearing that moves the goal post or gets close to the goal post? >> that bar is high. what does that mean? does that mean mark meadows? i don't know what that means. is it more people talking, is it more people filling in the blanks? i go back to the larger picture has been painted here. even if more information is coming, it may be more effective than a potential criminal prosecution. >> this committee doesn't have forever to get this done. >> they sure don't. >> there are political realities looming. >> the clock is ticking. chuck knows this.
there's a very real possibility that democrats will lose the house come midterms. there's an expiration date here. they have a limited amount of time for which to get this work done, to get this final report out that chairman benny thompson continues to talk about that will contain automatic all the information in one place and be a record of history. when you talk with committee members and ask them what they want from this and ask them this accountability piece, i've had them say to me this is about laying out the facts of what happened and creating a record for history. there is a deadline on it. there is a clock on it. there is also this piece of it that is very fluid look as it relates to not just donald trump in 2024. what about mike pence? i'm struck by another moment from this hearing when the description happened from a white house staffer who the president saw at the end of
january 6th, didn't say anything. this is after the riot happened. this is after the rose garden speech. this is after the video was playing all over fox news that he was watching. he said mike pence let me down. look at what's happening in 2024. there is widespread speculation it is going to be a donald trump/mike pence rematch. this isn't just past history. there are real forward looking implications for this and the way that the republican party grappled with this moment. >> let me bring in -- >> i was going to say really quickly that when i hear hallie talking about the forward looking consequences, i think of two things. first, the outtakes. i think we learned more from those outtakes and hearing ivanka trump coaching her father than we did from the video that day. we know this is the largest fbi investigation in history.
the fbi is prosecuting hundreds of people. the day after this happened you have the president of the united states saying i don't feel comfortable saying that. that's important when you think about mitch mcconnell and kevin mccarthy bothered about what happened on january 6th. then you fast forward and you have all of these different republicans, kevin mccarthy going down to mar-a-lago making sure they get as close as possible to donald trump. that are two things that really show the connection between objection and the way forward. >> let me bring in danny here. if this were to go to a prosecution, it's not going to happen tomorrow. this is a long process. if you don't go the special counsel route, what would that look like going through a traditional justice department prosecution? >> it would be a huge headache for doj. here's why. because the doj is watching like everybody else this committee
process, if they come in and start prosecuting after the committee finishes its work, then they will forever be concerned about this being labeled a political prosecution. that is something that merrick garland and justice want to avoid above all. they really want to keep the idea that this was something that the committee handed to them and they were essentially a puppet of this committee. >> they're not really controlling the tempo right now. >> we have to believe they are conducting their own investigation. my big question throughout this is where has doj been? are they secretly in possession of all this information and we don't know it? they could be. or are they really taking their cues from the evidence that we're seeing. are they seeing what we're seeing for the first time as we see it? >> we haven't talked much about civil litigation? was there anything you heard in tonight's proceedings that could represent civil cases?
>> it is a much lighter burden of proof to bring a civil case. the decision to sue is not made by merrick garland. it's made by a plaintiffs attorney. that decision is easier to make. you throw it against the wall and you see what sticks. you want to depose trump. that is something that will put a previously unknown plaintiff's attorney into the hall of fame if they can depose trump and make a civil case against him or against anyone else they perceive as legally causing, actually causing and foreseeably causing the harm that people suffered at the capitol. it's not a layup. it's not an easy case to make. they better be ready to invest some capitol in the lawsuit for storming the capitol. >> chuck, final thought here. changing any minds either way? >> in public opinion, it's an
erosion in a riverbed. it's hard to see in the moment. but then all of a sudden you look up in three months, you go wow, trump's numbers are still kind of stagnant. look, the reason why democrats have a boxer's chance in these midterms is because of all of this and donald trump. it is having some political ripple effect here. look, the end of the day, to me, these hearings, you'll judge them a success or failure based on whether donald trump ever holds office again. >> they're going to be back in the fall. where that leads, we'll find out, i guess. that concludes our coverage. we'll have much more tomorrow morning on "today." i'm lester holt. thank you for watching and good nit, everybody. gh tonight on "access hollywood" -- >> we saw your family, aisha and the kids. >> why? >> it's true. >> welcome, welcome, welcome. >> steph curry and family make
the espys a hit and a whole lot of couples made the most of this date night. >> hey, "access," welcome to my home. >> only "access" is at home with lindsey vonn as she gets red carpet ready for the festivities. >> i'm being held together in all the right places, i think. >> tiffany haddish turning the tables, giving us as good as she gets. the wild fan encounter. and surprise, leave it to lizzo to leave her fans speechless. are you ready? >> let's go. >> i'm ready. >> can't wait to see how that turns out. welcome to "access hollywood," from universal studios, hollywood i'm mario lopez. first, it is date night at the espys and my girl zury was feeling all kinds of love. >> absolutely, mario. a good time, such a fun night
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