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New Capitol Riot Video Shows Mob Beating, Trampling Police; 1 Dead, 4 other Shot in "Random" Shooting Spree in Arizona; Some Progressive Democrats Urge Justice Breyer to Retire. Aired 9-9:30a ET
Aired June 18, 2021 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
T.J. ATKIN, CATTLE RANCHER: Such a large area. I mean, it's almost half of the United States now, if this goes one more year, it'll have a huge effect on everyone.
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And T.J. explained to me that not all cows are created equal. The cows that he has, they've been genetically trained over the years to live and that really arid, dry terrain. And so therefore, he can't just sell all of his cows and get new cows. And when he says this, he's pointing out that all of this, a lot of our food that we eat, a lot of the agriculture will be impacted by this and that means John and Brianna, that we will all see that when we go to buy our groceries.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: It is such a problem, Stephanie, thank you so much for telling us that story. Let's turn it over to Poppy. CNN's coverage continues right now.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Good Friday morning, everyone. So glad you're with me. I'm Poppy Harlow in New York. Jim is traveling back from the Biden-Putin summit in Geneva and we do begin this morning with horrifying video of the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol. The Justice Department releasing new police body camera footage showing just what officers were facing that day. The video shows a man wielding a flagpole, rushing an officers engaging in hand to hand combat with them. The man has been identified as Thomas Webster, a former Marine and retired NYPD officer. Before we play this video for you, we want to warn you it is uncensored, it is disturbing and it includes profanities.
(POLICE BODY CAMERA FOOTAGE)
HARLOW: What you saw was real right there. It was a riot and insurrection and attack and now, an attack on the truth, some Republican members of Congress downplaying or outright dismissing the events of January 6, refusing to acknowledge the heroism of the officers who put their lives on the line that day.
Let's begin with our colleague Jessica Schneider. She is in Washington for us this morning. Jessica, walk us through what we just saw, because this is video that, you know, CNN and media outlets worked very hard to obtain for more transparency.
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Exactly. And it's really disturbing Poppy, because you're seeing it from the officers perspective and what they went through defending the Capitol. So like you said, CNN and other outlets, they've been fighting to get this footage as well as other videos released. These videos have actually been shown in court by prosecutors and now the public we're getting this glimpse of what officers faced battling back the mob trying to get into the Capitol. And this particular video, you can see this former Marine in the red coats screaming profanities, wielding the flagpole, rushing it officers and this is that firsthand account of how these officers trying to defend the Capitol, had to engage in hand to hand combat with the rioters.
In addition to this video that's been released from the court, we've also seen photos in the charging documents of Webster grabbing at the officer who is wearing this body cam and then Webster throwing him to the ground. So Webster is a former Marine, retired NYPD officer. He's charged with seven federal crimes, including assaulting police unlawfully entering the Capitol. And we're actually expecting the release of more video showing this police perspective in the coming days and weeks, Poppy. Again, it's something that CNN and other outlets have been fighting for. And now these videos from the police perspective, as well as additional surveillance video from the Capitol, we are expecting them to be released in the days and weeks to come. Poppy.
HARLOW: And Jessica, before you go. Federal prosecutors are criticizing the Capitol rioter photographed that one, people will remember with his feet up on how speaker Nancy Pelosi's desk in our office. This is after he went on Russian state television to defend his actions. What can you tell us?
SCHNEIDER: Right and notably, prosecutors here didn't rebuke him for his appearance on Russian state TV but they did push back on what he said in that interview that was actually dubbed in Russian. So Richard Barnett in this interview, defended his actions on January 6, when he stormed into the Capitol into Nancy Pelosi's office. We know even stole a piece of mail and he admits he left Pelosi a note with a misspelled expletive. So this is what Barnett told Russia one, Russia state TV. He said, I exercise my first amendment rights every hour, every minute and every day and I will never stop.
Well, prosecutors responded sharply to those first amendment claims saying this, "The defendants conduct, bringing a stun gun into the U.S. Capitol during a riot, stealing property, obstructing Congress, threatening congresspersons, antagonizing law enforcement officer and touting violence is not protected first amendment activity." So, really sharp words there.
Barnett is charged with seven federal crimes including disorderly conduct in a restricted building with a dangerous weapon, also theft of government property for stealing that bit of mail. He is pleaded not guilty. And, you know, Poppy while prosecutors aren't criticizing his appearance on Russian TV, what they have criticized is his online fundraising website. He's actually been selling autographed pictures of himself with his feet up on that desk in Pelosi's office to make money for people who potentially believe in his cause.
Now, prosecutors they've not stopped, the move to stop it yet, but it really could factor into this continuing case, so we'll see. Poppy.
HARLOW: OK, Jessica Schneider, thank you for the reporting on both of those fronts. And be sure to watch our CNN Special Report Drew Griffin talks to those who were there on January 6, Assault on Democracy: The Roots of Trump's insurrection that airs Sunday night 9 p.m. Eastern and Pacific.
Well, at least one person is dead, dozens injured following a series of shootings linked to one suspect this in Arizona. Four of those victims suffered gunshot wounds while others were hurt by shrapnel and debris. Police say there were eight different shootings. The suspect is now in custody. Our Senior National Correspondent Kyung Lah joins me this morning from Scottsdale, Arizona. Kyung, what do you know at this point?
KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, happen all within a very short period of time, just about 90 minutes when all of the shooting started to take place. This happened in the northwest suburbs of Phoenix. This is an outlying community, a lot of retirement communities are in this area. And police started to get reports of random drive by style shootings. You mentioned that there was a person who was killed, that person appeared to have just been driving down the freeway, was shot, drove off the freeway and then the car ended up in a concrete canal. So because of how all of this was so random, please say that this was absolutely frightening for the community, but also senseless.
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SGT. BRANDON SHEFFERT, PEORIA, AZ POLICE: We don't know the Nexus. We don't know what the motive was. We don't have an idea of what this person was thinking when he went on did this. Obviously we want to figure that out. Because there's a lot of scared people, a lot of people who this affected.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAH: Suspect was eventually arrested after that shooting spree, a firefighter who heard over the radio, the description of this white SUV called in and police were able to take the suspect into custody peacefully. Poppy.
HARLOW: Kyung Lah, more tragic shootings in America. Thank you for that update. Well, the shooting spree in Arizona comes as law enforcement officials across the nation brace for more violence over the coming days last weekend alone, 10 people were killed, 50 others injured in mass shootings across the country.
Natasha Chen, our colleague is with me now. Natasha, you have been sadly from state to state covering mass shooting after mass shooting this year. And they're bracing for more. And you see this often happen in the summer sadly, what are they preparing for?
NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Poppy, a lot of police departments across the country are dealing with similar issues, some of them launching special operations right now, perhaps putting more officers in troubled areas. But at the same time, they are still trying to hire more qualified officers in places like here in Atlanta there are more than 400 vacancies on the police force right now. At a recent public safety meeting this week, the Assistant Police Chief was pressed by city council members on why this surge of violence is happening in the greater Atlanta region. He said he didn't have an answer for that. But that's a conversation he's having with other law enforcement on daily calls from cities small and large across the U.S.
CHEN: From coast to coast, a plague of gun violence has cities on high alert. In the last week alone, there have been about 19 mass shootings according to the gun violence archive, where at least four people were shot. In West Baltimore Wednesday afternoon police described a quote brazen shooting when gunman fired indiscriminately and hit six people, killing one of them.
In Chicago Tuesday morning, four people were killed in a shooting at a home. One of the victims was set to graduate this week.
In Austin police now say an argument between two groups of teens escalated to a shooting that left one person dead and injured 14 others over the weekend. According to the gun violence archive gun deaths in the U.S. not including suicides are about 19% higher than at this point in 2020 and about 38% higher than this point in 2019.
Brian Lemek from the Brady PAC says this is an imperfect storm.
BRIAN LEMEK, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, THE BRADY PAC: The rise in background checks that we saw and the rise of new firearms flooding the market exacerbates all of those challenges that we've once faced before. We know that the loopholes that exist at gun shows, the loopholes that exist with online sales. And the introduction of ghost guns and 3D printed guns are a real problem for us.
CHEN: Three weeks after a disgruntled employee shot and killed nine colleagues at a San Jose rail yard, San Jose has become the latest city to mandate filming of all retail gun purchases beginning in September, with footage to be kept for at least 30 days.
MAYOR SAM LICCARDO, (D) SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA: These measures are primarily focused on ensuring that those with criminal records, those who are the subject of restraining orders with domestic violence, et cetera are not able to get guns.
CHEN: On the other end of the gun policy spectrum in September, Texas will allow people 21 and older who can legally possess firearms in the state to carry handguns in public without permits. Meanwhile, on Monday in Decatur, Georgia, a supermarket cashier 41 year old Laquitta Willis was shot and killed by a customer. Witnesses say Willis asked the man to pull up his mask but he refused. Police say he left the store but returned later, walked up to Willis and shot her.
In nearby Atlanta where police say there have been nearly 60% more murders this year compared to the same period in 2020. City Council members pressed police for answers at a public safety meeting this week.
CLETA WINSLOW, ATLANTA COUNCILWOMAN: You know, I think we're always just seeing something different. That's a little more frightening. Where these people are trying to take over our city and send a message.
CHEN: The criminals may be sending a message but so we're the communities that are shaken by every one of these deaths. For example, in Decatur, Georgia near where we are, the community has been rallying around the family of Laquitta Willis. Her sister told CNN yesterday she was more than a cashier. She was a servant leader of her community, just one example of the deep loss felt by so many families across the country. Poppy
HARLOW: Natasha Chen, we so appreciate your reporting on this and staying on this for us, thank you.
Still to come, the House Judiciary Committee is demanding answers this morning from the Attorney General Merrick Garland over Trump era secret subpoenas that went after some members of Congress media. The Vice Chair of that committee is with us.
Also the CDC director this morning saying she expects the Delta COVID variant will become the dominant strain in the United States. What does that mean for you and for your family? Ahead.
HARLOW: Ramping up this morning, this probe and the secret subpoenas used by the Trump era Justice Department to seize data and records from some Democratic lawmakers and from multiple journalists. Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee want answers and they sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland requesting documents and a briefing from the DOJ by next week.
Let me bring in Democratic Congresswoman Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania. She's Vice Chair of the House Judiciary Committee.
Thank you for being here. Can you give us a little bit more insight? I read the letter and I know you want them to come talk to you guys. But what specifically do you want to know? And what documents do you want from the DOJ? REP. MADELEINE DEAN, (D) FINANCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE: Well, thank you for having me on, Poppy. It's good to be with you this first celebration nationally of Juneteenth. Yes, I'm Vice Chair of judiciary. Our committee is very concerned. I think all of Congress should be that it appears that the Trump administration's Department of Justice subpoenaed private records of members of Congress, their family, their staff. We want to know the basis for those subpoenas. We want to know who signed off on those subpoenas. Was it the attorney general or one of the Attorney Generals himself? So we have -- there's a lot of transparency that is needed because obviously, surveilling members of Congress, or as was also reported, surveilling Don McGahn the President's own counsel, is very troubling. What's the basis of that surveillance?
HARLOW: I'd like to talk to you about this new video that that has been obtained because of the fight that CNN and other media organizations put forth to get it for transparency purposes. We showed it at the top of the hour. Here's a little bit more of it. What you're seeing is the man in the red jacket is Thomas Webster, former Marine and NYPD officer. And you see him violently wielding a pipe, knocking an officer off the ground. And we see this at the same time that some of your colleagues in the House, Republicans, some of them are denying, dismissing that this even happened using words like a normal tourist visit to describe it.
Let me remind the viewers of you on that day, look at this picture of you with your head covered walking out of that chamber under attack, as were all of those Republican colleagues, some of who are dismissing it now. I wonder what your reaction is to them, and if you have said anything to them directly about it?
DEAN: Well, it's shameful, but sadly there's an awful number of my Republican colleagues who seem to not feel shame.
You're right I was there in the gallery at the time of the insurrection. We had to be escorted out in gas masks and held in a safe room for hours upon hours. It is shameful. Those who say that 1/6, maybe was an ordinary tourist tour. That was Representative Clyde, by the way, who was later shown in photographs to be barricading or attempting to barricade the door, as the insurrection -- that insurrection is broken. It's absolutely shameful.
The new video that you're revealing is more of what we were showing when we held the impeachment trial of President Trump in the Senate. Americans, beating Americans police officers with a flag. It's shocking. And you saw also what happened this week. I think it was 21 Republican members of Congress voted no on offering the gold medal to the police officers who frankly saved our lives. They saved hundreds, hundreds of lives.
HARLOW: They did. So let me ask you that about what happened after the insurrection. You guys went back to work and voted to certify the results of the election. But as, you know, not everyone did. And just in May, you told Republican Congressman Buddy Carter that he could not join you as a co-lead on an on an opiate addiction bill. And my question is that specifically about that, but it is about the broader picture of can you work with each other? And does that mean that you do not believe that you can work with or co-sponsor legislation as good as it may be with any Republican lawmaker who went back in that chamber and did not vote to certify the election?
DEAN: Well, I really thought long and hard about how do we move forward? I want bipartisanship, I prize it. But when they fail to talk about bipartisanship, and when they fail to recognize what happened on January the sixth, I decided that I would not allow members like that to co-lead with me.
DEAN: I did, right. I think until they reflect and they say, you know, what? You're right. On January 6, something devastating happens to our country inspired, incited by the President.
But let me tell you how I am operating. I just dropped a bill this week, the modernization of Notarization Act with a Republican co- sponsor. He is not somebody who voted certification of the election of Mr. Armstrong of North Dakota. So I want to work in a bipartisan way. Republicans need to come to us and work in a bipartisan way. You might remember that we passed the American Rescue Plan, hoping, of course wanting Republican support, not a single Republican member of the House or Senate voted for that extraordinary relief that every single one of our constituents is enjoying.
HARLOW: Let me ask you about a place where a majority of Republicans Democrats did come together and that is this week. And what we just saw President Biden sign making today, a federal holiday. Well, you know, tomorrow Juneteenth, but it's recognized by many institutions that are closed today in honor of it, a holiday. You saw Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, yesterday. What did she say?
DEAN: Oh, my goodness, we are all ecstatic. And she and I were talking -- we had a subcommittee, her subcommittee on crime. Yesterday had a hearing on the war on drugs and the devastation of the policies surrounding that. But I had the chance to talk to her to congratulate her she was headed to the White House for the signing at 3:30 or so yesterday. And she said have worked on this for 12 years. And what it reminded me of is what President Obama said years ago, which is that history doesn't move in a straight line it zigs and zags, but yesterday and the passage of a federal holiday recognizing Juneteenth is a part of educating all of us, educating our citizenry about the devastation of slavery, the moral stain, as the President said yesterday, that it was and that the stain remains, it took two and a half years for the troops to go to Galveston union troops to go to Galveston, and free slaves after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. History does not move in a straight line. It zigs and zags, and yesterday was a fantastic day for history moving forward in terms of educating our citizenry about our own past so and what we must do to get past the stain -- the moral stain of slavery.
HARLOW: Thank you for sharing that, that story in that encounter with her with us. But before you go, I do want to ask you briefly about the -- I don't know if I call it a growing chorus, but there are more and more of your Democratic colleagues in the house who are saying it is time for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer who penned the Obamacare decision yesterday, by the way, the majority opinion to retire whether it's Democratic Congressman Mondaire Jones, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whether it is Ted Lieu, what do you think, do you believe Justice Breyer should retire after this term?
DEAN: I don't have a fixed opinion on that at this point. I really don't. I want to really reserve my comments on that this point.
HARLOW: Fair enough. Congresswoman Madeleine Dean, thank you. Have a nice weekend.
DEAN: All right, thanks Poppy, you too.
HARLOW: We'll be right back.