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tv   CNN Newsroom With Alisyn Camerota and Victor Blackwell  CNN  January 13, 2022 11:00am-12:00pm PST

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shoulders. they organized. they communicated well before january 6th, and they were probably the largest group at the capitol, about 17 people have already been charged with conspiracy, ana. >> thank you so much, jessica schneider, jeffrey toobin and elliot williams. i appreciate all of you. that does it for me today. i'm ana cabrera in new york. the news continues right now with alisyn camerota and victor blackwell. ♪ >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. and thank you for being with us. i'm victor blackwell. welcome to "newsroom." >> i'm alisyn camerota. we start with breaking news. for the first time, federal prosecutors have filed charges of sedition for the january 6th attack on the u.s. capitol. the justice department just announcing charges against 11 people with the count of seditious conspiracy. >> among them is stewart rhodes, the leader of the far-right group, the oath keepers. now, there have been more than
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725 people arrested in relation to the attack on the capitol. let's go to cnn senior justice correspondent evan perez and cnn senior legal analyst, elie honig. talk about this arrest of stewart rhodes. >> yeah, victor and alisyn, this is a major, major step in this investigation. and the arrest today of stewart rhodes and another prominent member of the oath keepers, his name is edward vallejo, his arrest happened in arizona and in rhodes's case, he was in texas. they're now charged with seditious conspiracy and this is a case that the justice department has been hinting at in court filings against some of the other members of the oath keepers who are already facing conspiracy charges that they were building this case. and what you hear -- what you see in the documents that were unsealed today is this allegation that they say that after the november 3, 2020, election that rhodes and these
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other members of the oath keepers conspired to oppose, by force, the execution of the laws governing the transfer of presidential power by january 20th, 2021. this is a charge that prosecutors have been looking at for some time. merrick garland and the leaders of the justice department tapped the brakes a little bit over the last few months to make sure before this went ahead that they could -- that they could sustain this in court, and you heard hints of this from the attorney general in his speech on the anniversary of january 6th, where he said that the department was not just going to stop at some of the lower level people, that they were going to pursue people, even people who were not inside the capitol that day. in the case of stewart rhodes, according to prosecutors, he was coordinating. he was giving locations to other people using signal, the encrypted app, to communicate with other members of the oath keepers, telling them, essentially, what weapons to
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bring, what they could get away with inside the district of columbia, and helping to coordinate the assault on the u.s. capitol that day. alisyn, victor? >> this is major. so, elie, seditious conspiracy, what does it mean? >> so, alisyn, let me break that down into its two component parts. first of all, sedition, the legal term, sedition, as it's charged here, means made an effort to interfere with a lawful function of the federal government. as applied here, they're talking about the effort to obstruct congress from counting the electoral votes and the second part is conspiracy. conspiracy just means an agreement between two or more people to commit a crime. here, they allege conspiracy goes way beyond two or more people. now, the thing to keep in mind is, this is really a landmark charge by the justice department. we have seen up to this .700-plus charges. this is the first time we've seen the justice department charge sedition or seditious conspiracy. i think those -- these charges, based on the complaints in the indictments that i have seen are
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well founded here. if anything, they're overdue, and focusing again on the conspiracy piece. we now know that according to the justice department, a domestic extremist group, an organized domestic extremist group, was behind a significant part of this attack on the capitol. that's an incredibly important statement by the justice department. >> all right, evan, break down this indictment for us, because there's a lot of information about how prepared and what steps this group was going to go to, to stay prepared on january 6th. what do you know? >> right. so, the -- this indictment charges a total of 11 people as being part of this conspiracy which includes, according to prosecutors, the decision to transport firearms and ammunition into washington, d.c., recruiting members and affiliates to be part of this conspiracy, organizing, training, and to teach and learn
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paramilitary combat tactics, which, you know, if you look at some of the video, you see some of the ways these men moved on to police officers who were trying to defend the capitol. you can tell that they had practiced some of the paramilitary tactics that you see used there. and that's one of the things that the prosecutors are referring to. they said that they helped organize the bringing of weapons and supplies, including knives, batons, camouflage combat uniforms, and tactical vests, helmets, eye protection and radio equipment, all in order to carry out what, again, prosecutors are describing a very well-organized conspiracy that goes back weeks before january 6th. again, a lot of the questions have surrounded january 6th has been, you know, was this just a spontaneous reaction by this group of people to storm the capitol? was this something that they had planned well in advance? and according to this charge
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that you see being unsealed today in federal court, prosecutors are saying, no, this was something that was well-planned and that these men, these -- this group, the oath keepers, were a key part in essentially serving as the front end of what became, you know, over 1,000 people who went into the u.s. capitol and took control of it for several hours, you know, preventing the certification, at least for a time, of the u.s. president -- the new u.s. president. >> well, there you go, elie. i mean, all of the, you know, poppycock, about, this was a spontaneous reaction, there were people in combat gear, battle fatigues and some of the oath keepers have already begun cooperating with some of the investigators. >> yeah, exactly right, alisyn. let this put to rest the myth making and the revisionist
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history and the outright denialism around january 6th. i mean, it's laid out there in black and white by the justice department with, by the way, quite strong proof to back it up laid out in the indictment, including quoted electronic communications. this indictment, when you read it, it is clear this was an organized effort. this was an effort that was organized not on the spot but for days and weeks in advance. there were elements of weaponry, of armaments, of tactical movements, and again the group that was putting this all together or one of the groups that was putting this all together was the oath keepers. we know who they are. that is a domestic extremist group. these are facts. the justice department lays them out very clearly in the indictment and that's why this is such a high-impact charge. >> yeah, for some of those on capitol hill who have tried to whitewash what happened that day and talk about what they claim was spontaneous, we're learning from this indictment, the allegation that stewart rhodes wrote this. quote, we aren't getting through this without a civil war.
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too late for that. prepare your mind, body, and spirit. evan, you talked about how the doj was pumping the brakes on a seditious conspiracy charge to make sure they could make the case. were they holding it specifically for rhodes and viajjo and these others or they were holding off on charging anyone for this until they had this level of proof? >> i think there was some prosecutors, certainly, the former acting u.s. attorney who was running these cases, mike sherwin. he thought this was ready the go at least against some of the defendants that you already knew ab about, some of the 19 or so members of the oath keepers who already are facing charges. he thought this was ready to go. he said so in an interview on "60 minutes." merrick garland was not so ready. he wanted more work done by
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prosecutors, and i think that's what has happened in the past eight, nine months or so is you see, for one, one of the things that happened is the fbi was able to talk to stewart rhodes, probably not something his lawyers would have wanted, but stewart rhodes actually did talk to the fbi. they seized his communications devices, and so they were able to talk to him, and we don't know what exactly was said in those interviews, but that's going to be part of what the prosecutors are going to be using against him, his own words, and some of those communications, some of the things that you just pointed out, just read from the indictment. i think what it was, you know, for the attorney general, he's very cautious. some would say, risk averse. he wanted to make sure, before you go to a charge that, again, hasn't been used successfully in the united states for decades, right, this is not a charge that you bring every day, he wanted to make sure that the prosecutors had done the work, and it appears that's what these -- this indictment is
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about. it's describing a conspiracy that goes way beyond what we have seen laid out in court documents until now, victor and alisyn. >> really interesting. elie, when you read through all the details, it just comes back, what we all witnessed with our own eyes that hideous day. because it's been more than a year for this to come out, there were those seeds of doubt that were planted by all the trump loyalists, no, it was just basically a tourist visit. senator ron johnson said, this wasn't an armed attack. and now, when you read the indictment, it's just all in such vivid technicolor again. >> yeah, alisyn, it's really a reality hit, and one of the talking points of people who were trying to downplay january 6th was saying, well, just look at the charges from doj. all they've charged is a bunch of trespass and misdemeanors. that was true, really, up until this moment, and i have been
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clamoring and i know others have been clamoring that what we saw happen on january 6th does meet the definition of sedition and seditious conspiracy, and now doj has taken that action, and one of the big questions that i have now is, how much farther does this go? how much more broad does it go out? how much does it go perhaps to even higher levels? we shall see. people might flip off of this indictment. doj may have other evidence. but for now, this is a very powerful statement. >> we have our sara sidner on the phone with us, who has covered this group and these leaders more comprehensively than any reporter i know. sara, first, tell us more about this stewart rhodes, edward viejo, the leaders of the oath keepers. >> i have had several conversations with stoewart rhodes, who is the national leader or at least was of the oath keepers, and there was -- it was really interesting because when we looked at what happened with the oath keepers,
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several members of the oath keepers were the first to be charged with conspiracy charges in the january 6th insurrection. that's what led us down the road to start looking at whether or not stewart rhodes was there at the time in d.c. on that day, and he indeed was. there are pictures of them. there is video of him standing outside of the capitol, though not going into the capitol, but there's always been this question of whether or not he helped plan what ended up going down. there is video of some of the members of his oath keepers inside the capitol, saying they f'ing stormed the capitol, they're excited, they did this on their own social media, which is how in some ways they got busted. but for him, he has kind of stayed in the background since all of this has been going on. however, about 24 days -- actually, 24 days exactly after the attack at the capitol, stewart rhodes was still spewing the big lie, and he was egging on his followers to act against
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what he called the illegitimate biden regime. he called biden a king instead of a president and said that, you know, this administration is afraid of us, and they have plans for us because they know we oath keepers and we who believe in the stop the steal big lie mentality are well armed. he said that. he said it very plainly. he was online, doing interviews with different far-right interviewers, and so he has been instrumental in pushing forward this -- the big lie, pushing forward this idea of fighting back against what they say is an illegitimate regime, which, you know, the numbers show is not. and so there's been a lot of talk about whether or not he would be charged in this, because if he took part of the planning, in the conspiracy that some of his other members have been charged with, that he would naturally be a target for being
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arrested and charged, and here we are. you know, fast forward, these many months, and this is what has happened. it is stunning, though, because he has been very vocal and someone who has not shied away from making, you know, threats, whether veiled or just outright, and encouraging people to literally fight against the biden administration. >> sara, stand by, if you would. elie, we're seeing more passages from the indictment. on december 11th, 2020, rhodes sent a message to an invitation-only signal group chat titled "december 12th, d.c. security leadership." rhodes stated that if president-elect biden were to assume the presidency, quote, it would be a bloody and desperate fight. we are going to have a fight. that can't be avoided. it's just all spelled out. >> a few things jump out to me
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about that passage, alisyn. the date, december 11th, virtually a month before january 6th. that tells you something about the level of preplanning. also the use of that encrypted app. encrypted means it can't be read normally. law enforcement can get it, as we've seen in this case, but if you're using an encrypted app, it's usually for a reason. you're trying to hide something. and finally, that passage, i think, lays out the object of the seditious conspiracy. that's been charged here. to interfere with the transfer of power, to interfere with congress doing its job to officially appoint joe biden as president. so i think that's a really important passage and there are passages like that throughout the indictment, and i think it's a statement about how strong doj's case is here. >> all right, here's one more. december 22, 2020, again, weeks before the insurrection. this was an interview with regional oath keepers leader. rhodes stated if president-elect biden were able to assume the presidency, quote, we will have to do a bloody, massively bloody
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revolution against them. that's what's going to have to happen. very clear here, the intention for that day. evan, to you. there were others, in addition to rhodes and viejo who are now charged with seditious conspiracy. additional members of this group and should there be others who expected this charge would be coming? >> yeah, i think you can bet that one of the things that's happening is they're trying to figure out whether or not there's additional people that can be charged but one of the things that stands out to me, guys, in some of these documents and trying to read up on this as we're going through it here, is, you know, we're getting a little bit more information about essentially the conspiracy the prosecutors have been laying out for more than a year, including the fact that according to prosecutors, the oath keepers had organized themselves to the point where they had essentially designated three different, what they called, quick reaction forces.
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one from arizona, one from north carolina, and one from florida to be here in washington. again, gives this impression, at least according to prosecutors, that this was a paramilitary operation, that this wasn't just a spontaneous riot by a group of people who were upset about the president's or being driven on by the president's rhetoric on the speech that day. that these guys, as you just read those signal chats from mid-december, it's prosecutors are saying that these guys had organized themselves in a way that they were able to take advantage of the size of the crowd, which overwhelmed the capitol police. one of the other things we learned and it gives it a sense that perhaps they have some cooperation from some of the moebz of the oath keepers, i believe that's already been made public before, but that's how they can build a charge like
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this is they clearly have the help of somebody who has some of the inner mechanics of the group who has described to them what was going on that day, including, perhaps, some reconnaissance missions that were done in washington before that day, gives you the sense, again, that this was not a spontaneous riot, that this was a -- that this was a conspiracy that was hatched well before january 6th, and what we saw before our eyes was something that was well planned. weeks before. >> yeah, i mean, i'm just, again, still reading from the indictment here, sara, and it says here that, you know, we saw some of the people with walkie-talkie, communicating with their team, if we still have sara on the phone. >> yeah. >> so, here it is where watkins is making the announcement, it's spread like wildfire that pence has betrayed us. we're sticking together and sticking to the plan. that suggests there was a plan. and also, i mean, as you point out, like, stewart rhodes is an interesting character. he himself was an army paratrooper, i'm not sure if you mentioned that, and had a law
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degree at yale, so he was putting his organizational skills, it appears, into a lot of this. >> that is what everyone from the investigative side has been looking at. and what we all suspected right after, having seen the uniforms, the military uniforms, many of the people, we should also note, many of the people that the oath keepers have tried to recruit, they try to recruit former or current members of the military. they try to recruit former or current law enforcement officers, both federally and locally, and they have been able to do that. and so, they have people who have those skills that have been trained in war, that have been trained in policework, who know tactics, who know weapons, and so this was the concern all along when we actually saw this group of about 9 to 10 people going in, in a very clear,
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military style line to get in. they were one after the other, right next to each other, and the question has always been, you know, how much planning went into this? but if you look at some of the indictments before stewart rhodes has been indicted, you will see some of the same things. there was this idea from one of the alleged oath keepers that they were going to, you know, take guns and run them across the potomac to a specific place. so, there are a lot of little details in some of the other conspiracy charges that are starting to match up with what you are now seeing in the charges against the national leader of the oath keepers, and i want to make this quick point. there was -- there are a lot of different groups of oath keepers, right, and a lot of different places, a lot of chapters, if you will, and one of the chapters in north carolina wrote a letter to their sheriff right after january 6th and the attack, and they decided to break off from the national oath keepers, and they said they
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were really disturbed by what happened on january 6th, that they wanted no part of this and suspected that rhodes was involved, and they didn't want anything to do with it. so they break off. you can bet that the investigators in this have been trying to talk to people like that who may know something but as well as those who have either already been convicted or already pled, and those who are currently incarcerated and, you know, waiting for their day in court. so, this is a very big deal, to put it plainly, that someone in his position, who has been running this pororganization fo many years is now being charged with such a seditious conspiracy, like, one of the highest charges they can charge people with, who took part in this, someone, by the way, who i don't think there is any evidence that he actually breached the capitol that day. this is about planning.
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this is about conspiring. this is about creating the world that you saw that day on january 6th. creating that and making it something that could -- they could go through with it, and they did. some of the members of the oath keepers were the first, like i said, to be charged with conspiracy charges in this case. >> sara sidner, evan perez, elie honig, thank you all so much for helping us understand the background and understanding this big breaking news. >> thanks. all right, meanwhile, president biden is meeting with democrats on capitol hill right now, hoping to do something very challenging, and that is push his voting rights legislation over the goal line. but two key democrats are still standing in his way, so we'll go live to d.c. for all that. king, you'll get closer to iconic landmarks, to local life and legendary treasures as you sail onboard our patented, award-winning viking longships. you'll enjoy many extras, including wi-fi,
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the honest to god answer is, i don't know that we can get this done. is this mic on? i guess. anyway. and i'm not sure either. but anyway, i hope we can get this done. but i'm not sure. but one thing for certain, one thing for certain, like every other major civil rights bill that came along, if we miss the first time, we can come back and try the second time. we missed this time. we missed this time. and the state legislative bodies continue to change the laws not as to who can vote but who gets to count the votes. count the vote. count the vote. it's about election subversion, not just whether or not people get to vote. who counts the votes. that's what this is about. that's what makes this so different than anything else we've ever done. i don't know that we can get it
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done, but i know one thing, as long as i have a breath in me, as long as i'm in the white house, as long as i'm engaged at all, i'm going to be fighting to change the way these legislatures have moved. thank you. >> president biden there after meeting with senators, trying to get this voting rights bills across the finish line. of course, that will require some movement on the filibuster. this morning, the house -- let's just bring in manu raju, who's on capitol hill. following everything that's happening there. what can you tell us, if anything, about this meeting and the effort? we also have her hndon with us well. >> reporter: it's not going very well for the white house. th in fact, they are bound to fail. there's virtually no path for this happening. kyrsten sinema shut the door to any changes to senate filibuster rules even before joe biden came
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here. and remember just the process of how this would play out. in order to pass bill through the regular order, to overcome a filibuster in the senate, that requires 60 votes. that means 50 democrats, 10 republicans. republicans are steadfast against these two bills that democrats are trying to approve, the freedom to vote act and also the john lewis voting rights act. they oppose that. the other way is to change the rules. in order to change the rules to allow the bill to pass by just 51 votes, 50 votes with kamala harris breaking the tie, they need all democrats on board in the 50/50 senate. sinema said she will not support lowering the 60-vote threshold. she worries that could have drastic ramifications for the country in the long-term. joe manchin has not been in favor of that as well. he also opposes changing the rules along party lines, meaning there is no path for joe biden to move this, despite him investing political capital, despite him going to georgia earlier this week and despite him coming up here to the senate democratic lunch in which he told democrats, i'm told from a
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democratic senator, if there is no voting rights bill, there are no rights at all and i'm told manchin asked a question to biden, also in this meeting, and kyrsten sinema, according to bob menendez, did not speak to president biden at this lunch. we'll try to get a further readout from other members as they're now just starting to depart here, but ultimately here, guys, joe biden made it clear. i'm not sure this can get done, because they simply just do not have the votes and the question will be, what do they do after the almost certain failure here that's bound to happen here in just a matter of a couple days? >> so, that's the important process. i want to talk about the substance. are senators sinema and manchin as worried about what we just heard there in president biden's, i think, very forceful comments to journalists where he just said, this isn't about who gets to vote. it's about who gets to count the votes. you know, mitch mcconnell came out yesterday and said,
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basically, that president biden was fear mongering and that some states are increasing their hours of voting. it's about who's going to be overseeing the voting. that's what sends a shiver down a lot of democrats' spines. >> exactly. and i think that's the evolution of this issue. originally, we saw voting rights specifically as the kind of classic question of voter suppression, the images we're used to seeing, the famous things from the civil rights movement, the bull connors, the poll taxes but you have president biden now talking about another issue, election subversion, which has become the topic of specifically after the 2020 race. >> i'm sorry to interrupt. hold on. here is senator chuck schumer giving his impressions. >> doing everything we can to pass these two bills. thank you. >> that was short. he's saying he's going to do everything he can to pass these two bills, but again, i come back to you, and you're right, the vision of what is at stake here has shifted and do senators sinema and manchin -- do they
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talk about that? are they worried about that? >> yeah, in their words, they say they share those same concerns but where they differ is on the process. they are, you know, it is their argument that removing the filibuster would cause so much more harm in the future and change the process of the senate so deeply that they don't want to do that, even for this big of a question. the irony here is that that was the joe biden position of two to three years ago. that's the joe biden position of the democratic primary where he wasn't willing to embrace that filibuster ending. he is arrived at this point because of the stakes are just so clearly high. but let's be clear, the white house knew the senators were not going to be easily swayed by just that georgia speech. they did it because they think that the white house needs to show that it's fighting for this issue. they need to show voters that it is putting pressure on it and that they want to be able to keep their promise rhetorically, even if they can't keep it legislatively. the question is whether voters buy that, and that -- that is something i'm not sure of. >> manu, the white house typically reserves this visit to the hill to seal the deal, but
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they knew before the president even announced it that they wouldn't have it, and i found it, you know, we talked about kyrsten sinema's remarks today, significant that we don't hear from her very often, but she saved this until minutes before the president arrived. . >> reporter: yeah, that was something that caught a lot of democrats by surprise, that she made those remarks just before the president came to capitol hill to make his final pitch to try to convince senators to come along here, but she has been pretty clear for months, so has joe manchin, for months, that they do not support what the democrats are doing here and despite them engaging in meetings that they have not indicated any willingness to move on the idea of changing the senate filibuster rules the way the democrats want, because of fears about how this could impact the senate in the long-term. now, the surprise for the -- the reality for the white house here is the president has, last year, recall how he came to the house
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democratic caucus, couple times, asking them to move forward on his agenda. they initially said no to him a couple times, moving forward. he's coming up here to the senate democratic caucus now. they're saying they're not going to have the votes to do what the president wants, showing the real limits of his power in this narrowly divided senate, narrowly divided house, and facing an agenda that is completely stalled. the build back better plan they tried to get through, stalled, has no real path for passage in the senate. it's unclear if that's going to happen before the november elections. they don't have passage of the voting rights bill. they did pass an infrastructure bill last year, bipartisan bill, they did pass a covid relief law, but from now until the midterm elections, getting major legislation done seems highly, highly unlikely other than just a simple functioning of government, keeping the lights on, which they have to do to avoid government shutdowns, but all these other major issues, being stymied not just by republicans but also the president's own party and his
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sales pitch isn't working for some of his members. >> and manu, we only have a few seconds left, but have you ever asked senator manchin or has he ever told you, is he worried about who counts the votes now that all of these state legislatures have changed the rules? >> reporter: he has made clear that he believes that each state should have its own rules, and he has been supportive of the democratic legislation, the larger democratic legislation, the freedom to vote act that would impose a whole series of federal standards, so he doesn't express it the same way as other democrats, do, the way that joe biden does, but he's -- he says he's on board with the policy but not the process. >> okay. are we going to -- are we wrapping here? okay, manu, astead, thank you very much. we do have breaking news. let's go to breaking news from the supreme court. straight to cnn's jessica schneider. what do we know? >> reporter: yeah, victor and alisyn, the supreme court has issued two decisions related to the biden administration's vaccine mandates.
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remember, there were challenges that were heard just about a week ago in the supreme court, and this is what the supreme court has just come down with. they have blocked that vaccine mandate that applied to large employers, employers with 100 people or more. this was a vaccine mandate that effectively went into effect on monday, just the masking portion of it, and the vaccine portion of that mandate was supposed to go into effect february 9th. now that mandate is completely blocked. this is a mandate that would have affected about 80 million workers across the united states at large employers. businesses had said to the supreme court, you need to block this. the agency does not have the power. that's osha. they do not have the power to put this mandate into effect. the supreme court agreeing with t them. so that mandate is blocked. on the other hand, there was also another mandate that the supreme court was looking at. this was for healthcare workers, affecting about 10 million people. it was put into effect by health
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and human services. the justices during arguments indicated that that might be okay and turns out the justices saying that mandate is okay. so we have a bit of a mix here for the biden administration. they wanted this mandate that arguably affected a lot more people, about 70 million more people, to be allowed to go into effect, but it will not. large employers now no longer have to enforce this mandate that their employees had to wear masks for the time being and beginning in february had to be vaccinated. that mandate has been blocked by the supreme court. now, granted, the legal challenges are going to continue to play out in the lower courts on the merits of this case, but the supreme court was acting here to immediately block that mandate. on the flip side, healthcare workers will have to get vaccinated. again, affecting about 10 million healthcare workers, and the difference here, guys, is in the agencies that are administering this, and the
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powers that they have as related to certain workers. the justices indicated in oral argument that the federal government, osha, the agency, could not put this mandate into effect so widespread for all of these businesses with 100 or more employees, it was just beyond the power of osha. it was maybe something that congress had the power to do, but in this case, an agency had acted, and we've seen from the supreme court, these conservative justices very skeptical of agency power, so that's why that mandate has been blocked. on the other hand, the healthcare mandate applies to healthcare workers at healthcare facilities, hospitals and otherwise. they get federal funding, medicaid, medicare, and the justices here saying that because it gets federal funding, the biden administration does have the power to enforce, enact this mandate for healthcare workers. so we've been waiting for this ruling, this decision for the past week. the biden administration has
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been waiting for this. the white house has been waiting for this. and alisyn and victor, they've got a bit of a mixed bag here. the bigger mandate that would have affected more workers won't go into effect. the smaller mandate that affects about 10 million healthcare workers will go into effect. >> jessica, really helpful on helping us understand all this. let's bring in elie honig. split decision. do either of these surprise you? >> no, alisyn. the key question in both of these cases, both of these mandates, is, is the mandate too broad and who gets to decide? on the bigger mandate, the vaccine or test mandate applicable to all businesses of 100 or more employees across the countr country, if you listen to those arguments, the conservative majority on the court clearly felt that the mandate was too broad, that it was not tailored to any particular industry, that it applied regardless of local conditions or what other precautions a business might have taken, and the conservative majority seemed to be of the view that this is not up to an
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agency, as jessica said. this is not the kind of thing osha can do within its powers, unless congress specifically authorizes them to do it. and it should be up, according to the conservative majority, to the states and to localities. this is not something for the federal government. so, the bigger mandate, the nationwide mandate for large employers is blocked. now, on the other mandate, requiring vaccines for healthcare workers, who do business with the government in any capacity that receives medicare or medicaid, which is essentially every medical capacity, that's much narrower. and the court there seemed to be persuaded by the fact that, well now we're just talking about people in a very specific industry, a very specific field, a field that obviously has a direct tie to covid and a direct need to have this kind of sort of more aggressive action by the federal government. so, i think that's how you understand why the supreme court struck down the bigger, broader one, but allowed the more focused, more narrow mandate to stay in place. >> all right, we're just getting this as we learn more from this
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decision from the court, it is not our role to weigh such tradeoffs, and our system of government, that is the responsibility of those chosen by the people through democratic processes. that from the majority. jessica, let me come back to you, and i know this is early on, just breaking, but do we know if this decision came down along ideological lines, 6-3 in these -- the first decision on the large company mandate? >> yeah, you know, i have to check on the vote count. >> that's okay. >> but we knew it was 5-4 for one of these decisions, so i'm going to have to get back to you because i just came on the air so quickly, didn't get a chance to totally hone in on that. but it does look like, you know, 5-4 in one of these decisions, but i'll get back to you on that, victor. >> understood. because there was the question of where chief justice roberts would fall on this. >> right. >> as he often, in these cases, is -- the questions about on which side he will fall. >> yeah, and he was -- victor,
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during these arguments, specifically as it pertains to osha, that larger mandate for employers with 100 employees or more, he was sort of weighing the arguments on both sides, but where it came down, he seemed much more inclined to block that mandate. he talked about the fact that this would be something that congress would have to explicitly tell osha that they could do. i mean, he said, wouldn't this just be unprecedented? this is something we've never seen before, that osha would implement this sort of mandate. so, he did express skepticism, then was trying to understand the other side as well. >> yeah, i mean, and elie, as you point out, not surprising. this is, as you would -- as we all would expect, in terms of conservatives thinking that it should be up to elected officials and states. >> yeah, alisyn, in a way, listening to the argument felt like a throwback to the old days when conservatives were skeptical of federal power and more in favor of states' rights and liberals were more in favor
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of sort of the regulatory state and agency action and you could hear that in the justices' questioning and the quote that victor just put up on the screen and read, i think, reflects that sort of concern where the supreme court, in that quote, is saying, it shouldn't be up to unelected officials at osha or other federal agencies. this really should be up to congress. the proper role of congress is to say, okay, executive branch, whether it's osha or any other agency, we hereby empower you to take a certain action or a certain type of action. now, osha does have the power to issue certain regulations if there is a, quote, grave danger, and the liberal justices at this argument said, well, of course this is a grave danger. this is a one in a century pandemic, but the conservative justices plainly seemed to disagree. >> and you know, guys, you know, these justices, the conservatives, have been very skeptical of agency power. we saw it just a few months ago when the biden administration tried to hold on to that eviction moratorium, citing the pandemic, and the emergency
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conditions of the pandemic. the justices in that case just a few months ago struck that down, saying that the cdc just didn't have the power to issue an eviction moratorium so this is in line with what we've seen from these conservative justices just a few months ago during the pandemic. >> certainly a blow to the strategy from the biden administration. we should point out that many of the largest companies in this country have already enacted vaccine mandates that cover tens of millions of americans. jessica snider, elie honig, thank you both. . all right, some hospitals reeling because so much of their staff, out sick with covid. they could get some relief soon. president biden says military medical teams will be deployed to several states. with ww, is and i feel incredible. i love the new program because the app does all the work for you. it's never too late to start. download the ww app today
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callouts right now, and his overwhelmed staff is grateful for this news. >> i was just -- i was jumping for joy, to be honest with you. it is saying that i've been telling my staff we've been trying to do for weeks. we put in the request last week. fema came on monday, which gave me a lot of optimism, but we didn't get confirmation until this morning and i was frankly in the car on the way to work when i heard and i wanted to just jump for joy. it is just going to be so, so helpful to us at a critical time. >> joining us now is pentagon press secretary rear admiral john kirby. great to see you. >> you too. >> you just heard the gratitude there from one hospital. let me put up the list again of these hospitals that will be getting these special military medical teams. obviously, hospitals, we've heard, are so desperate, but then there's this other news of the seven-day averages in new york that appear to be, god willing, ticking down a little bit. it's possible that we've seen the peak and that we've crested there in new york.
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similarly in new jersey. it's possible that cases are coming down, so what's your strategy to stay ahead of the curve since this is such a moving target? >> this actually is part of that strategy, anlisyn, to make sure we can alleviate some of the burdens on the healthcare system, if we are getting past the peak, we can fill in for folks in the civilian healthcare system that are either out because they're sick or just overburdened and hopefully this mission of ours won't take that long because we will be hopefully on the back end soon, but we want to be ready and we want to pitch in. this is not new for us, as you know, the department of defense has chipped in, in the >> understood. i think the people are really desperate for it. but it is whack-a-mole, for lack of a better term. just as cases come down in one place, then you see them spiking in michigan or texas or wherever.
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how can you tell where to deploy them? >> that's a great kquestion, an we're going to be in constant communication with the states. they'll be doing all kinds of things that doctors and people in the civilian community won't have time to do. so we'll be working closely with hospitals around the country to find the best fit. where is the need the most and for how long do you need that help? every team will be kind of deployed in an individual way for a different period of time. >> meanwhile, cases of covid in the military have doubled in just the past week. thank goodness hospitalizations have not followed suit. what's the plan for keeping service members safe? >> more than 90% of the active duty force is vavaccinated. we're grateful to that. we want to get that to 100%. we're going to work hard at
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getting people to get the vaccine. here at the pentagon we moved our health conditions up to what we call charlie, more significant, more severe, spacing people out, encouraging teleworking. so we'll apply not only cdc guidelines but guidelines inside the department to keep people safe. >> i want to ask about north korea while i have you. there was a missile launch this week and it traveled 435 miles, it hit a velocity more than 10 times the speed of sound, we're told. our cnn reporting is that there were a few u.s. officials who were connected to this or knew about it who felt it, quote, demonstrated surprising capabilities. what part was most surprising about this? >> i'm going to be careful here not to get into an intelligence assessment of this launch which isn't complete. our intelligence analysts are still trying to pick this apart so i want to be careful here. we certainly assessed at the very least we were looking at a ballistic missile launch. that is, of course, a violation of multiple u.n. security
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council resolutions. we continue to call on north korea to stop these provocations. we have a so fphisticated defen missile system in that area, but ultimately this is coming down to if north korea wants to get down to negotiations, be serious to lead the international community to feel safe sitting down with them for something that would be effective. >> there was ground talks. that felt different this time. >> i think the faa has spoken to this. let them speak to their decision of making the ground stop. we are monitoring this in realtime, as you expect we do when we detect launches in north korea, and we try to share information in the early morning ours with the agency, with the department when we can. >> i've read the biden administration has tried to
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reach out to north korea several times with no real response. obviously the former administration, the trump administration, tried on his contact with north korea. why do you think the biden administration isn't being as successful? >> well, i think that's a great question for kim jong-un. we have made it very clear that we want to sit down and negotiate the denuclearization. we want to see complete denuclearization of the korean peninsula, but we haven't seen any sincerity on north korea's part to sit down and debate how we get to a denuclearized north korea. in the meantime, while we continue to explore the past, we need to continue to work on that alliance, make it more robust and more capable and make sure we can handle provocations if
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they lead to more conflict. >> thank you, john kirby, for your time. house minority leader kevin mccarthy feels very different than he did one year ago, january 13, 2021, when he was sure donald trump would take responsibility for the insurrection on january 6. but today kevin mccarthy is adamant he will not help the january 6 committee figure that out. he was asked to voluntarily provide information that could give insight into president trump's state of mind into the insurrection and the weeks that followed. >> liz cheney said mccarthy is clearly trying to cover up what happened on january 6 and did not rule out a subpoena for him. c cnn's ryan nobles joins us now. kevin mccarthy just spoke and he deflected comments from the committee. where are we now? >> reporter: there seems to be information that mccarthy has on
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what happened on january 6, what happened leading up to january 6 and what happened beyond january 6 that he won't reveal publicly and that the committee feels is part of the investigation. the committee would like mccarthy to shed light on this investigation, and mccarthy just isn't interested and believes this committee has become too partisan, that it's basically just a political witch hunt to go after the former president donald trump and his allies, so, therefore, he won't participate. just listen to his excuse that he gave earlier today as to why he doesn't think it's appropriate for him to participate. >> i didn't wait a year later. on january 6 i spoke to the public. not one network but many networks. my conversation was very short advising the president of what was happening here. there is nothing that i can provide the january 6 committee
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for legislation moving forward. >> reporter: obviously they want to know more about this phone call, victor and alisyn, but there are other things they're interested in, conversation leading up to january 6, the talk of censure and impeachment after the fact, and the committee wants to know more. >> ryan nobles, thank you. we just saw more in the january 6 probe. the leader of the oathkeepers and ten other defendants now charged with seditious conspiracy. we have much more on our breaking news ahead. ♪ ♪making your way in the world today♪ ♪takes everything you've got♪ ♪ ♪taking a break from all your worries ♪ ♪sure would help a lot ♪
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