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Day One Of Second Trump Impeachment Trial Makes History; Democrat House Managers Play Video Timeline Of Insurrection; Defense Lawyering Draws GOP Fire; "New York Times" Reports Trump's Anger Over Attorney's Performance; Senate Finds Donald Trump Impeachment Trial Constitutional On First Day Of Proceedings; Six GOP Senators Join Dems In The Vote; President Biden On Trump's Impeachment Trial. Aired 11p- 12a ET

Aired February 9, 2021 - 23:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[23:00:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST (on camera): Good evening. At the end of a historic day in Washington, the first day of the twice impeach president's second trial that never happened before. The first trial of trial of a former president and the first in the crime scene where five people were killed and many more suffered terrible injuries.

Today, where democracy was tested like it hasn't been since the civil war, the man behind it all went on trial. A proceeding the former presidents defense team tried to get dismissed, unconstitutional grounds with the support of all but six Republicans. The Democratic House managers, successfully made their case to continue in part, by citing conservative legal scholars who agreed with them.

They got help from a fumbling, stumbling inept performance by one of the defense attorneys. The Democrats presentation began tough with a documentary style Video that will no doubt have an impact beyond today. A moment-by-moment timeline of the insurrection, seemingly chronological. There's a portion of it with a warning first, it is not easy to watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(RIOTERS SHOUTING)

CROWD: (CHANTING) Heave-ho. Heave-ho. Heave-ho.

Fight for Trump! Fight for Trump! Fight for Trump!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER (on camera): This is what the defense is asking Senators to put behind them, barely a month after that happened. Now whether they choose to or not, lead impeachment manager Congressman Jamie Raskin wasn't about to let anyone off the hook. He made this legal and political moment intensely personal, his youngest daughter Tabatha and son in law Hank, the husband of Raskin's oldest daughter who were at the Capitol last month. Here is his account of it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): My chief of staff Juliet Hagan was with Tabatha and Hank locked and barricaded in that office. The kids hiding under the desk, placing with a thought with their final text, and whispered phone calls to say their goodbyes, they thought they're going to die.

My son-in-law had never even been to the Capitol before, and when they were finally rescued over an hour later by Capitol officers and we were together, I hug them and I apologized and I told my daughter Tabatha. Who's 24, and a brilliant algebra teacher in Teach for America, now, I told her how sorry I was and I promised her that it would not be like this again, the next time she came back to the Capitol with me. And you know what she said? She said dad, I don't want to comeback to the Capitol.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER (on camera): This was followed by the former presidents two defense attorneys, the first of whom Bruce Castor put on a symbolic display that sources tells us angered his client, appalled even a number of Republican Senators and denied and pressed the lives of Conservative Attorney George Conway who spoke with us earlier tonight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE CONWAY, CONSERVATIVE LAWYER, HUSBAND OF KELLYANNE CONWAY: It's a really extraordinary thing. I mean, this man is supposedly and probably worth a couple billion dollars. He's a former president of the United States, and this is the best he can do, in terms of lawyering? These guys were terrible.

I mean, in 30 years I practice law for 30 years, I've seen good lawyering and I've seen bad lawyering. I have never seen such an extreme juxtaposition of good lawyering and bad lawyering in one proceeding, at one time. And these guys were just absolutely awful.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER (on camera): In the end though, all of that bad lawyering combined with the Democrats well-honed presentation, managed to sway only one unexpected Republican Senator in today's vote to continue the trial.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BILL CASSIDY (R-LA): President Trump's team were disorganized, they did everything they could but to talk about the question at hand. And when they talked about it, they kind of glided over it, almost as if they were embarrassed of their arguments.

[23:05:08]

Now if I'm an impartial juror, on one side is doing a great job and the other side is doing a terrible job on the issue at hand, as an impartial juror I'm going to vote for the side that did a good job.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER (on camera): So starting us off tonight, CNN political commentator and former Obama senior adviser, Van Jones. Also CNN senior political analyst and USA Today columnist, Kirsten Powers and CNN legal analyst Elliot Williams, who serves a Deputy Assistant Attorney General during the Obama administration. So, Van the first day of the second impeachment of the former president, what stood out to you?

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR (on camera): Just, you know, the power of words, you know? Donald Trump's words field, you know a horrific attacks. If anybody has not watch the video, please watch the whole video it needs to be shown every year, you know, on the anniversary, just to remind people what happened.

But then, other words are coming through, Jamie Raskin did an extraordinary job. You know, Amanda Gorman, the young poet did an extraordinary job. Words of truth telling but trying to bring us together and pose a higher ground. But the power video, the power of story telling the power of words for good or ill, with on full display today.

COOPER: Kirstjen, you know we start the day not knowing if any Senate Republicans would change their minds, we just know that Senator Bill Cassidy to his credit did just that. Saying that the impeachment managers did the better job today, which I think is clear to anybody who watched. Does it give you any hope that they're more swayable Senators out there for the rest of the trial?

KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST (on camera): You know, based on the last four years I have to say no. Prior to that I might have had that kind of hope. But I think you will just find yourself usually disappointed when you expect the Republicans to focus on facts and what's put in front of them, over what is best for them in terms of basically kowtowing to Donald Trump.

And unfortunately, that's been the story of the last four years. Which is that Donald Trump owns the Republican Party. And even if they know in their hearts, that the Democrats are putting forward a better case that they have a better case, that they have the video, they're showing, you know, all of these things that make it pretty clear I think to anybody who's watching that, but for Donald Trump this wouldn't have occurred.

I mean, we know it wouldn't have occurred just on really basic level, right? If Donald Trump had said what his lawyer said today, which is that he lost the election. None of this would have ever happened. So, you know, and then you have the fact that he's having a rally where he's telling people to go down there, it's pretty clear that he's the one who instigated it.

COOPER: Elliot, George Conway said in the last hour that he's never seen such good lawyering juxtapose with such bad lawyering, would you agree with that? ELLIOT WILLIAMS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST (on camera): It was pretty bad and

pretty good, Anderson we could have seen this earlier this week with simply the filings that the parties made. The Democrats put forward a very well reasoned 80-page brief that laid out their legal arguments well. The president's bereaves more full of typos and that's -- and I'm not picking on them producing something sloppy, but this is an important aspect of lawyering, but it was just missed today.

You know, in the end doesn't ultimately matter? And I don't know if it does. Here's a good example of that, Anderson. Something that's not really being talked about today, is the fact that the morning started with a vote on the rules of the trial. How long, how many hours of debate and so on. And 11 Republican Senators voted against that.

Now these are rules that were negotiated by Mitch McConnell on behalf of the Republican caucus. These are rules that were agreed to by President Trump's attorneys, yet for 11 Republican Senators that was still -- they were still even more aggressive and even more out of touch than even the president's lawyers were.

So, when at not insignificant portion of that whatever you want to call them the jurors of Republicans in the Senate, are staking out a position that's even further than the president is. It gives you a sense that really the lawyering doesn't matter, and to some extent they know how they're going to vote. And it doesn't seem like, right. This is piggybacking. On Kirsten's point, it doesn't really seem like many minds are going to be changed in the Senate right now.

COOPER: Yes. I mean, then it is kind of -- if you actually view this as a trial which it is and the Senators are the jury. I mean, if this was a trial in the courtroom and you have 12 jurors and you had these, the defense, and prosecution, you know, offering up the cases that were offered today. And the jury still just kind of, was unmoved by anything they heard enough to actually, you know, vote. That would be a pretty depressing outcome in a court of law.

JONES: Well, in a real jury, you could disqualify a whole bunch of people. They wouldn't be qualified, you've already said things that are, you know, not what you expect from Senators to say about the role. I mean, we've departed so far from what is expected and what's proper. I will say one thing, you know, looking at that video again and seeing the amount of lawlessness and criminal behavior.

[23:10:00]

If that had been a bunch of African Americans, you know, running up anything and somebody got killed. What would've happened is every single person would be in jail right now for felony murder. For accessory to murder. That happens everyday in the Black community. A bunch of kids are in a car, one kid jumps out, shoots somebody, all five kids go to prison for 30 years, they're all going down for felony murder. If you're committing a crime and somebody gets killed, that's called felony murder.

The fact that all those people are still wondering around. Some of them get to go to Mexico for vacations or get organic food is just absolutely insane. So, it's not just that the Senators are acting terribly, the whole system has been exposed as incapable of meeting out fair justice to Black folks and to white folks. And it's on full display, it's horrific and none of those people in jail right now.

COOPER: And Van, I remember, you and I were watching this that day and talking about this, and they were allowed to leave. And they were just allowed, you know, by enlarge to walk off. Sorry, Kirsten go ahead.

POWERS: They also -- many of them would have been shot. I mean, let's be real. You know, there would -- the police would have opened fire on them no question more than the one person. And so I think that, you know, Republicans also are the people who talk about personal responsibility and accountability, and all of these different things.

And then when it comes to this, they don't want President Trump to be held accountable, they are willing to just say, yes, of course, those people let, you know, whatever happens to them, that's fine. But they don't want any accountability for the person who incited it. And as I said, have the president just acknowledge that he lost the election, this never would have happened.

COOPER: Well, also, I mean, we just showed this video, one of the close ups, of one of the initial encounters between this mob and the police on the barricade. And one of them is carrying a Blue Lives Matter flag.

POWERS: Yes.

COOPER: And they proceed to attack physically the police officers whose lives they claim matter. You know, an officer's eye was gouged out, three fingers were lost, which is the first time I heard about that today. Obviously one officer was killed, two have died by suicide. I mean, the idea that the people who were there have any claim to being patriots, or supporters of law in order is just a joke, Elliot?

WILLIAMS: Yeah absolutely, and the other thing Anderson is that, you know, common sense, just put aside all the legal minutiae, put aside all the constitutional minutiae, and common sense is why were there? And the president's lawyers today attempted to make the argument that independent of President Trump, this rally and this rioting and this damage would have happened. When literally it was the president going back to last July, we started talking about undermining, July 19th, I believe on Fox News, Sunday, undermining the results of the election.

And in December, he first tweeted about January 6th, be there it will be wild. And then on up including the rally the day up. So it's hard to see how -- number one the irony of, you know, who lives matter, the nature of the conduct. But also they were there at the behest of the president.

Now, whether this rises to the level -- you know, criminal incitement, we can quibble about that, but the simple fact is just use common sense everyone. These people were there because the president sent them there. You cannot look at that crowd and come to any other conclusion. COOPER: Kirsten, and also just watching that video again today, you

know, it's been a month and we've all seen the images a lot. But to you see it and as Van referenced early on, just to see it in the chronological order, the violence of it and the individual acts of violence. I mean, it is just a devastating indictment of what happened.

Kirsten thank you. Van Jones, Elliot Williams, I appreciate it. Coming up next, a live report on the defendant's reaction to the day and his legal team performance or lack of. Later, given the day on the trial, we saw history today, we're going to be joined by a historian, Doug Brinkley.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:15:00]

COOPER: Breaking news tonight on how displeased the former president is at the defense team in the second impeachment trial comes from the New York Times Maggie Haberman in a report titled, Meandering performance by defense lawyers enrages Trump.

She says people briefed on his reaction are familiar with it who say he did not like what he saw especially from Bruce Castor, whom the president was reportedly furious at for acknowledging the effect on this on the House manager's presentation, one source telling the Times that his anger on a scale of 1 to 10, quote, "was an 8," unquote. And that's not all we know about how he saw the day.

CNN's Boris Sanchez joins us now with light reaction from Mar-a-Lago so what more can you tell us, Boris?

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Well, Anderson, according to people who are familiar with President Trump's reaction, he was furious. Sources indicate that the president was nearly, former president I should say, was nearly yelling at his television washing his legal team make their presentation and it's not hard to see why.

Even allies of the president acknowledged that the expectations for his legal team were not high considering that they were scrambled together just over a week ago. There are a couple things that stand out here as to what might draw the ire of former President Trump.

For one, the content. You know that President Trump was angry at Bruce Castor. At one point during his presentation, Castor commended House Democrats for their presentation acknowledging that the Trump defense team had to scramble and rearrange their strategy because of the effectiveness of it.

Further, you saw no mention of electoral fraud or many of the conspiracy falsehoods that Trump is peddled about the 2020 election being stolen from him. Remember, that's part of the reason that he has new lawyers. He parted ways with his previous legal team because they wouldn't argue that case further. This really wasn't compelling television. Bruce Castor at different points was meandering his legal team. He used very few if any visual aids for a former president, a person

who is obsessed with optics, this wasn't exactly the kind of show that he wanted to have the impact to make the case that he's innocent, Anderson

[23:20:07]

COOPER: And the former president's team sent out talking points at GOP senators. What did they say?

SANCHEZ: Yeah, largely these talking points from Ben Williamson, one of the president's staffers, former president staffers argues that this isn't unconstitutional impeachment. That this is cancel culture on the constitution. An attack on the first amendment, a number of other things that really swing and try to spin the president's involvement and the riot on January 6th. This just underscores the ineffectiveness of his legal team and the third string nature of their approach.

In fact, allies of the president have acknowledged that he could be in very serious legal trouble if he faces criminal charges, because no reputable attorneys, even people who worked with him in the past like Jay Sekulow, Pat Cipollone, even Alan Dershowitz none of them are willing to stick out there necks for him at this point, Anderson.

COOPER (on camera): Boris Sanchez, I appreciate it. Before we speak to our next guest, two former Republican congressmen. I want to play a moment for my conversation earlier tonight with the sitting member, Adam Kissinger of Illinois who talk about what he saw and heard on the House manager's video.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): I mean, it's incredible. I've become friends with one of the gentlemen, I won't name him. But was involved in that and was really hurt. He is a police officer and to hear his story, he said, you know, these people are walking around acting like they support law enforcement officer and they're saying things that are chilling. It's like, I think there was, not to get overly spiritual, for me there was just a serious level of evil that descended over that.

And you see what happens when you take rhetoric and you let that anger go overboard and I think the president bears serious responsibility for what we saw on the 6th and it's not just the speech that day. It's the four years of building the groundwork leading up to that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER (on camera): Joining us now, former Republican Congressman, Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania and Denver Riggleman of Virginia. Congressman Riggleman, thanks for being with us. While the Democrats were playing their video rioter storming the Capitol, a handful of Republican Senators including Rick Scott, Tom Cotton, Marco Rubio barely even looked at the screen, according to reports and Rand Paul was looking down at a paper in his lap where he had begun doodling the pencil, according to the Washington Post. What do you think that says?

REP. DENVER RIGGLEMAN (R-VA): Well, I'll tell you, listen to, Adam I get pretty emotional because when you have evil, right? Or bad things happen like that you, I mean, look at the Capitol siege. I guess I can sum up what I think Adam was trying to say was that it starts with a disinformation siege and we've had that for so long now that you have to cultivate this. You have to breed this. There was fertilizer they're willing to do this.

And I think what people aren't paying attention to something that heinous, things that happened to law enforcement, those happen to individuals. People died here. It starts to give you pause that either they've already made up their minds on a level we can't even imagine. They just don't care, or maybe they don't have the intellectual capability to absorb what's happening.

Really when it comes down to is just reelection fund-raising. I think when it's that nakedly political, we have a real problem in our system today and again, listening to Adam's was just very emotional for me because I've been, he's been in military and we know how that feels.

COOPER: Yeah, Congressman, that was literally the scene of the crime. To me, just watching that video again. It just -- it reminded me of the importance of leadership and how, you know, a lot of those people who we saw attacking the Capitol, some of them served their country honorably.

Claimed to be supporters of police and yet there they are attacking police officers, desecrating democracy. I mean, you've known Bruce Castor, the former president's lawyer who is getting the most of the criticism. Yes, I think you've known him for like more than two decades. What was your initial reaction from what you saw today?

FMR. REP. CHARLIE DENT (R-PA), CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, first on Adam Kinzinger. Look, fanaticism and anger are really bad combination when stoke up by the president and that led to obviously the insurrection and the madness that we saw a few weeks ago. But with respect to Bruce Castor, yes, I've known him for 20 years, right? Close to 25 years actually. We represented the same county, Montgomery County in Pennsylvania at one point.

But -- look, Bruce Castor has a bad client, he has bad facts, obviously he wasn't well prepared. He had a very bad day. And I'm not surprised the president is unhappy, I'm sure that Bruce and the other attorneys are not going to get paid because of this but I'm not at all surprised by, you know, what type of a presentation we witnessed today. They simply were not prepared, they were overmatched and again, the facts are not on their side.

And by the way, they're arguing constitutionality, Anderson, but that's a procedural gimmick. Everybody knows the Congress and Senate in this case, they don't determine constitutionally on legislation or given issue like this. That's up to the courts. This is simply a way to avoid this procedural maneuver is a way to avoid dealing with a substantive issue, but they're not going to be able to do it because they simply don't have the votes. [23:25:15]

COOPER: And, Congressman Riggleman, I mean, I think everything Charlie Dent said is, is accurate, but what does it say to you that given that dreadful performance and given the, you know the clearly even Republican saying the good performance by the House managers, particularly Senator Raskin that just one Republican, Senator Cassidy joined five others from last week saying the trials constitutional and should move forward and he cited the poor performance of the former presidents attorneys?

RIGGLEMAN: Well, and I look what happens to Senator Cassidy, Anderson. He was automatically reprimanded by the state party. Automatically. And that's what these individuals are looking at. These Senators aren't looking at what's right or wrong right now, they're looking about whether they should be reelected. And when we have people in leadership that aren't willing to face disinformation or conspiracy theories like this and it spreads and metastasizes. We talked about this before but we're seeing it right now.

And again, that's a warning that I would give to people is that we're seeing new world order and COVID 1984 hashtags in great reset hashtags. We're sort of seeing this happen again right now as it starts to, I guess bubble back up. You know, people are saying the president's teflon, that he's going to be still in control of the GOP and that is because there's individual scribbling of pieces of paper, their eyes wandering around the hall, or just not paying attention to what's going on right in front of them.

But when you see the case that was presented by the managers today, holy cow. Right? It was incredible. There was real talent there. And I think on the other side when you have a lack of moral high ground, you know, you have a lack of talent which you have a lack of facts, that puts you in a position that's impossible to win, but then to be in disinterested are not interested in anything's going on right now, I think it's disgrace.

I think you need people who care about others more than themselves, and care about service more than their careers. And I think if we can get to that point, we might have a chance but again, I think this going to be a long slog fighting disinformation and I think if we don't have leaders willing to step up and sacrifice their own careers for the betterment of America, again, we're in a sad place.

COOPER: Well, you know, just on that point, Congressman, remember, I was interested in -- that seemed that the president picked an attorney today to represent him who was going to represent Jeffrey Epstein. You know, I wonder what all the QAnon conspiracy cult out -- folks out there think about that. I mean, that sort of seems contradictory for since he was supposed to be leading, you know, their charge.

Congressman Dent, to the point, do you believe that the majority of Republican Senators buy the constitutional argument or is it just intellectually dishonest, giving them a cover? I mean, you've referenced this before but it just, it seems so stark today. DENT: I'm sure that this is simply a cover, as you say. And look, they

-- if this were a secret ballot vote, I bet there would be over 80 votes to convict the president. And so again the cake is baked. These members know how their voting which is unfortunate. This is a political process as we all know.

So I think again the status thing I've seen in my time is how many of my former colleagues are just afraid. You know, they are afraid and I'm so proud of people like Adam Kinzinger and Peter (inaudible) and the others who voted to impeach, Liz Cheney, you know, because they satisfied their fear. And they've gotten to the point where they resigned themselves, they're going to do the right thing and if there's a political consequence for it, so be it. But sometimes you have to risk your job in order to save it.

COOPER: Are they afraid? Sorry, the folks you know, are they afraid of losing their jobs or are they afraid of their family's safety. They are afraid of being, you know, harassed for the rest of their term and the rest of their, you know, lives in the districts that they live in?

DENT: I think it's mostly the job, but I think there's some legitimate concern about safety and their status. There's no question. But I mean, you have to be able to visualize defeat. I served for nearly 14 years and I really enjoyed my time but I said at one point that I really love this job, but you know, I'd rather be true to myself than stay, stick around for the next four or five years if it means I have to sell my soul to a man who is so flawed like Donald Trump and to support him.

When many of them privately will tell you how disgusted they are by him and how sick and they are by what's happened, you know, particularly since the election. And that's what I guess is so sad and so terrible but the good news is, there is a counter force emerging, Anderson. I mean, there are Republicans out there, Denver and I were part of a group on Friday when we were, you know, talking about the Republican leaders talking about a new direction.

You know, a Party based on truth and honesty and democracy, rule of law, and we can't do it within the party. You know, we create a faction within the party or independent of a party or even discussion of a new party. I mean, that's how people are starting to think, because the party is going to continue to contract if we don't get this House in order.

[23:29:59]

COOPER: Congressman Dent, Congressman Riggleman, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much.

As evidenced by the Senate vote, we have seen a great deal of history being played out not only today but in the last weeks and months, and frankly, years.

Coming up, we will talk with presidential historian Doug Brinkley about where he ranks the moment we are living through right now.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Today, the Senate's vote upholding the constitutionality of the former president's second impeachment was historic. As you know, six Republicans joined the Democrats to approve the proceedings moving ahead.

Perspective now from our own presidential historian, Douglas Brinkley, a professor of history at Rice University. So, Doug, if history is our guide, was there ever any doubt that this impeachment trial is constitutional?

[23:35:00]

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN, PROFESSOR OF HISTORY AT RICE UNIVERSITY: No, it was always constitutional. We had the 1876 Belknap case, the secretary of war, for Grant to rely on. So this was kind of a charade, way for the republican pack, the Trump people, and the QAnon citers to be able to stick together and have an excuse to just, you know, not pay attention to what really happened on January 6th.

Luckily, that 13-minute video today, I think, caught everybody short, Anderson, and people were hushed after it. It reminded us what a heinous and hideous crime the Trump insurrection really was.

COOPER: And according to The Washington Post, some of the senators, Republican senators were not even looking at it or at least not looking at it very much.

You've talked about how unique this tragedy is in American history where the trial is held at the scene of the crime and the jurors are essentially witnesses, you know, and/or victims of the crime.

BRINKLEY: That's what's so bizarre about this. Every one of the senators there knew what has happened. They were in the building. I mean, we have dramatic moments with the Kennedy assassination. We have a Warren commission report but you don't hold a trial in Dallas. So, after 9/11, you're not going to the World Trade Center site.

But here we are in the building where the insurrection of January 6th occurred, and I couldn't help thinking, but someday there will be museum there, a memorial about what happened here.

I don't know why the Republican senators that -- will keep wanting to cut Donald Trump a break because I don't think they're going to look well in history. You know, there used to be a Know-Nothing party in the 1840s and 1850s that hated Catholics and they were nativist and anti-immigrant.

And by backing Trumpism, not denouncing the QAnon movement, many of these Republican senators are going to look horrible in history and in that museum will be Josh Hawley with his arm up in solidarity with the people that killed Capitol police officer and others on that blood January 6th.

COOPER: Were there American (INAUDIBLE) back in the -- were it the twenties or the thirties?

BRINKLEY: Absolutely. And that's -- there's been a constant drumbeat in American history of this, you know, anti-elites secret societies, a part of what we're seeing.

But imagine if Lyndon Johnson was president in the 1960s and he embraced the Hells Angels. I mean, we had Donald Trump embraced the Proud Boys. And we still don't have these Republican senators denouncing these hate groups because they see them as potential voters who might participate in their primary coming up.

So it's a sad and difficult moment for the Republican Party. We'll see if they can do the right thing. If not, it's going to be the party of Donald Trump this year and the next year. He's going to own the Republican Party if they can't do the right thing these next few days.

COOPER: I mean, even if there is ultimately an acquittal in the trial. You've talked about the importance of creating a historical record for the future.

BRINKLEY: That's my big issue. I think what the Democrats are doing is creating a record by pulling together all of these videos, Anderson.

You know, when you deal with Andrew Johnson's impeachment or Bill Clinton, you didn't have this kind of visual record and we're in a visual aid. There is -- tomorrow, we're going to be seeing more new footage coming out from what was filmed in the Capitol on January 6th. It's the accumulation of all of this.

And we're going to get trials of people and get their affidavits. The body is going to build. There's going to be an entire line of studies about Trumpism, the trump insurrection, the big lie, and it will all be seen as a very dark stain in American history, like the no nothings or like McCarthyism red scare times in the 1950s.

COOPER: Mm-hmm. You even mentioned sort of the aftermath of World War II as a parallel. How so?

BRINKLEY: Well, you know, I think after World War II in the United States, you started having people that wanting to return to an isolationism, return to a nativism, a fear of globalization, of being left behind. Of course, that didn't happen.

We had a consensus really with Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, on and on until Donald Trump, that the United States would be a global power. Donald trump is (INAUDIBLE) at the party. And this was not a good day for Trump's legacy and he's down in the polls, in the 20s, getting smaller every second.

COOPER: Yeah. Doug Brinkley, I really appreciate it.

[23:39:59]

COOPER: Your shot doesn't look great but your words are great and we appreciate it.

Still to come --

BRINKLEY: Thanks.

COOPER: -- President Biden's reaction to today's event, the trial of his predecessor, when we return.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: As history unfolds down the road from the White House, President Biden is keeping his eye on key items on his agenda, they say.

Senior White House correspondent Phil Mattingly joins us with the president's reaction to what we witnessed today. So, President Biden is certainly doing everything he can, publicly distance himself from this trial happening on Capitol Hill.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN U.S. CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, that'sright, Anderson. He's not watching the trial. He's not talking about the trial. His senior staff, you can barely get them to say anything about the trial. And that's by design. There's a strategy here.

Part of it is, look, he has a job to do. He said that repeatedly today in the meeting with business leaders. That he has to focus on the dual crises his administration is facing, the public health crises and the economic crisis.

But there's a strategic element to this, as well. The White House staff wants the president to stay above what is going on. They recognized how this trial is going to end, very likely that former President Trump gets acquitted, and they want to ensure that President Biden keeps his focus on what he was elected to do, not focus on what his predecessor was doing.

And that has been their strategy. And Anderson, there's no sense at all that they're going to diverge from that anytime soon.

COOPER: How concerned is the administration that the length of the trial is going to impact the COVID relief package, cabinet nominations, just the momentum the president wants to carry?

[23:45:00]

MATTINGLY: It has been a significant issue they've been grappling with, administration officials say, over the course of the last several weeks. They made clear, the Democrats in the U.S. Senate and the House Democrats as well, they did not want this to be a long trial.

They wanted President Biden to have a chance to confirm his team. Perhaps most importantly, they wanted President Biden to have a clear path to pass his cornerstone legislative proposal, that $1.9 trillion stimulus package.

Right now, nominations are all but stalled. Nothing will happen in terms of confirming the remaining cabinet nominees until this trial is over. But behind the scenes, I'm told White House officials are working hand in glove with House Democrats as they start moving through the actual details of that proposal, trying to get that to the House floor over the course of the next couple of weeks.

They believe that is still on track. They believe Democrats are still united. But one thing I hear is there are concerns about momentum. They believe that over the course of the last several weeks, Democrats have stayed unified, have really coalesced behind this proposal President Biden put on the table, and they don't want to wane over the course of the next several days or even weeks.

They want to keep that going. And that is why you have seen the president and his team focused so much on that package, so much on what is necessary, so much on trying to get that to this desk over the course of the next several weeks.

They know all eyes are on the Senate floor over the course of the next couple days. But for now, they want to focus on making sure Democrats get their most important agenda item to the president's desk over the course of the next several weeks.

COOPER: You said White House staffers aren't talking about the impeachment so publicly. Are they in contact with the Democratic House managers about the trial or -- do we know?

MATTINGLY: Yeah, they've been in contact leading up to the trial. I think they were very careful not to lay a heavy hand on things. They wanted the House managers to be able to craft their own defense, build the way that they wanted to go. But again, it might be subtle --

(LAUGHTER)

MATTINGLY: -- like be implicit. But they've made clear they don't want this to be a lengthy trial. But so far, it looks like the Democrats are largely following along with what the White House is looking for, Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Phil Mattingly, thanks very much. I appreciate it.

Today, the Democrats talked about the many police officers injured defending the Capitol. We'll have more on that, next.

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[23:50:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER (on camera): The disturbing videos of the riot that were played during the Senate trial today underscore the very human cost of the insurrection on January 6th. As we all know, five people died as a result of the attack.

Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick died the next day of injuries he suffered. He was honored last week in a moving ceremony in the Capitol rotunda. And a protester was shot to death as she and others tried to force their way into the halls of Congress. Three others died among the crowd. There are also major injuries suffered by dozens of police officers assigned to the Capitol that day, something the Democrats included in their video compilation.

Randi Kaye tonight has more.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Capitol police officer's union chairman said in a statement some officers were not issued helmets prior to the attack on the Capitol and sustained head injuries. Another officer, he said, had two cracked ribs and two smashed spinal discs. Another was stabbed with a metal fence stake.

Acting D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee says his officers encountered hand-to-hand combat, leaving 65 NPD officers with sustained injuries and many others with more minor injuries such as scratches, bruises, and eye burning.

ROBERT CONTEE, ACTING D.C. POLICE CHIEF: I have talked to officers who have done two tours in Iraq and said that this was scarier to them than their time in combat.

KAYE (voice-over): This body cam footage shows what police officers at the U.S. Capitol building were up against on January 6th. They were no match for this violent mob, outnumbered and outmaneuvered. In all, more than 100 officers were physically wounded.

Rioters stole police batons and helmets, in one case using a hockey stick as a weapon. Officer Michael Fanone with nearly two decades of experience was dragged down the Capitol stairs and brutally beaten. One rioter used a flag pole with the American flag to hit him.

MICHAEL FANONE, OFFICER BEATEN BY CAPITOL RIOTERS: It was difficult to offer any resistance when you're only about 30 guys going up against 15,000.

KAYE (voice-over): Fanone says he was tased at least six times by the angry mob.

FANONE: Guys were stripping me of my gear. These rioters were pulling my badge off my chest. They ripped my radio off of -- off my vest, started pulling like ammunition magazines from their holder on my belt. And then some guy started getting a hold of my gun and they were screaming out, you know, kill him with his own gun.

KAYE (voice-over): CNN has also learned one Capitol police officer lost three fingers in the attack and another is likely to lose his eye. D.C. Police Officer Daniel Hodges was pinned and crushed by a door to the Capitol as rioters pushed their way in.

DANIEL HODGES, D.C. METROPOLITAN POLICE: Guy ripping my mask off, and he was able to rip away my baton, beat me with it, and he was practically foaming at the mouth. So just -- these people were true believers in the worst way. KAYE (voice-over): Five people lost their lives from that riot and there are psychological scars, as well.

[23:54:57]

KAYE (voice-over): Two other officers took their own lives after that terrible day, D.C. Police Officer Jeffrey Smith, a 12-year veteran of the force, and Capitol Police Officer Howard Liebengood, who is being remembered as an example of selfless service.

Randi Kaye, CNN, Tampa.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

COOPER (on camera): Still sickening to watch. We'll be right back.

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COOPER: At a moment in time when partisan division runs high, there was at least one show of unity today in the Senate. Senator Patrick Leahy, who is presiding over the trial, called for unanimous consent to adjourn and got no objections at all.

The trial picks up tomorrow noon, Eastern time, where Democrats are expected to present their main case. The defense is expected on Friday, followed by senators' questions over the weekend.

We, of course, at CNN will be there to bring it all to you live.