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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Second Day Of Donald J. Trump's Impeachment Trial; Democrats Lay Out Their Case Against Trump Using His Own Words; Impeachment Managers Present New Security Footage That Shows Rioters Inside The Capitol; Impeachment Managers Highlight Trump's Inaction During Riot As His Vice President Was Hiding From Mob Calling For His Execution; Former Capitol Top Cop And The Heroes Of January 6th; Interview With Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO). Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired February 10, 2021 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST (on camera): Good evening, it's Senate Republicans really want to exonerate the 45th president of the United States who had been inciting the insurrection that might have killed the Speaker of the House, the vice president and perhaps many of them as well we'll have to close their eyes a lot.
More tonight than ever after House impeachment manager spent the day confronting them with a minute-by-minute creation of it all. Easing new video and audio they painted a devastating picture as for the former president's defenders, "The Washington Post" each (inaudible) put it this way, in his new column tonight, those who vote to acquit the former president will now own it all. There is new reporting tonight in what those Senators are signaling they will do. First though, CNN's Jeff Zeleny on what they saw today.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The rioters were on the hunt for Vice President Mike Pence.
CROWD: (CHANTING) We want Pence.
ZELENY: And for the first time today, the images revealed that a secret service detail rushing him, his family and aides down a back stairwell of the breached Capitol barely escaping the mob.
UNKNOWN: You can see Vice President Pence and his family quickly move down the stairs. The vice president turns around briefly as he's headed down.
UNKNOWN: We could hear the mob calling for the deaths of the vice president of the United States.
ZELENY: On the other side of the Capitol, the target was Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
UNKNOWN: Nancy, oh Nancy! Nancy! Where are you, Nancy!
REP. STACEY PLASKETT (D-VI): The Capitol police deemed a threat so dangerous that they evacuated her entirely from the Capitol complex. Rushing her to a secure off-site location. We know from the rioters themselves that if they had found Speaker Pelosi, they would've killed her.
ZELENY: This never-before-seen video from both inside and outside the Capitol right out in the greatest detail yet, a timeline of the siege on January 6th. Officer Eugene Goodman, a shining hero of that day, saving Senator Mitt Romney, approaching him in the hallway just off the Senate floor. Instructing him to turn around to escape coming face to face with the insurrectionists.
And Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and his security detail abruptly turning back and nearly running away after their passage to safety was blocked in the bowels of the Capitol. The silent security footage unveiled by House prosecutors for the first time spoke volumes and offered a new perspective of democracy under attack.
Stacey Plaskett, one of the impeachment managers, helped narrate the chilling images for Senators who are certifying the Electoral College vote that day, and now must decide whether to convict or acquit President Trump.
PLASKETT: They were coming at the urging of Donald Trump to keep Congress a separate branch of government from certifying the results of a presidential election.
ZELENY: She and other House prosecutors offered a new soundtrack. This time with newly-unveiled police radio traffic to show how the attack escalated.
UNKNOWN: This is now officially a riot.
UNKNOWN: Declaring it a riot.
ZELENY: Pelosi was taken to safety while her aides rushed into a conference room in the speaker suite of the offices on the front of the Capitol. The rioters tried to break into that room, pushing again and again before moving on. As members of Congress took steps to hide.
UNKNOWN: Take your pins off.
UNKNOWN: Pins out.
REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): It's the other end of that hallway, where the mob has amassed, and the officers are rushing to protect you.
ZELENY: The dramatic presentation was aimed at the jurors. All 100 Senators who will decide whether Trump incited the riot, yet it also was for history to chronicle the insurrection for the ages.
REP. MADELEINE DEAN (D-PA): Because the truth is, this attack never would've happened but for Donald Trump, and so they came draped in Trump's flag, and use our flag, the American flag to batter and to bludgeon.
ZELENY: lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin called it a meticulous and well-orchestrated plan. Long in the works by Trump and his allies.
REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): The evidence will be for you to see and hear and digest. The evidence will show you that ex-President Trump was no innocent bystander.
ZELENY: Trump's own words echoed through the Senate chamber as prosecutors sought to use the former president's rhetoric to show his intent to incite the riot.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We are not going to let this election be taken away from us. That's the only way they are going to win it.
ZELENY: But once the deadly Capitol siege was underway, it was his silence that prosecutor said was damning.
REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO (D-TX): Even when President Trump knew what his words were causing, he didn't do any of those things to stop the crowd. In fact, he did the opposite. He fueled the fire.
COOPER (on camera): CNN's Jeff Zeleny joins us now from Capitol Hill. Did any of what we saw today move the impeachment managers closer proving their case for Senate Republicans? Are there any chance we will see witnesses?
ZELENY (on camera): Anderson, there's no question that Senators on both sides removed by the arguments. Republicans said they were moved as well. They found them emotional. They found them compelling. But at the end of the day, our team here talked to so many Republican Senators, and there are still many who say, look, they do not believe that the president actually caused this riot.
They are troubled by the, right they remember, you know, what happened in those hours. But you know, even the Senators who lived through this were seeing some of these things for the first time. They did not realize what was happening in other parts of this building. But at the end of the day there is still not a groundswell towards convicting him as for witnesses.
It looks like the House impeachment managers are largely relying on these new searing videotapes. And the audiotapes as well. So, at this point, it doesn't look like witnesses, but they still have eight more hours to make their case, and then the president's lawyers have their turn, Anderson.
COOPER: Jeff Zeleny, thank you very much. Perspective now from CNN's senior political commentator and former top Obama adviser, David Axelrod. Also, someone (inaudible) experience building prosecution cases, former New Jersey Attorney General, former Federal prosecutor and CNN legal analyst, Anne Milgram.
Anne, you prosecuted cases at the federal state, local level. For you today was -- how will you describe on what you heard today from the House managers?
ANNE MILGRAM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST (on camera): Yes. I mean, it was an incredible day and it was I think a painful day to sit back and to watch this, and to really take in the 360 of what happened on January 6th.
Up until today, I think, I've read a lot about it, I've seen pictures of different pieces of it, but this is the first time that we really brought home all together, and what kept going through my head, Anderson was, what Fiona Hill said shortly after January 6th, which was that this was an attempted self coup.
That Donald Trump was trying to preserve his power, and stay in power by any means that he possibly could. It was ultimately not successful, but as I watched that today, all I could think is just how close he came and how much he orchestrated this really as the House managers showed, starting in June and going through January 6. And so, I saw thought the presentation was masterful. I think there was a lot for us to talk about, and a lot still to come. But it was also very, very painful to watch.
COOPER: David, I mean, a number of the Republican Senators came out of the chamber today, acknowledge what they was chilling as Jeff Zeleny said, but minds remain unchanged. Senator Lindsey Graham called the impeachment manager's legal argument, quote, absurd, and went on to say, quote, I think there is more votes for acquittal after today than there was yesterday. Does that make sense to you?
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR (on camera): Clearly not. I mean, let's dismiss Lindsey Graham for what he is now. He's like a -- kind of a barker for Donald Trump. But look, you know, this is different then what Anne is accustomed to.
This is not a judicial proceeding, and the jurors are not impartial jurors. They are partisan politicians and 45 of them or 44 of them I should say have kind of signaled which way they're going to go with their vote on whether this trial should proceed.
So, I don't expect that -- I think that the case was devastating today for the reasons that and said, the description of what happened that day was absolutely riveting and troubling. But really, the case they built about what Donald Trump did to provoke that day going back to June, and how little he did once the insurrection was underway to try and stop it were absolutely damning when you consider what the oath of the president of the United States is, to preserve, protect, and defend the constitution.
All that said, this is a political proceeding and I expect that most of these Republicans are going to stay right where they are. And the idea that Democrats, no matter how compelling their final day is are going to switch, and you are going to get to 17. I think that's highly unlikely. COOPER: Anne, I mean, it was fascinating. The impeachment manager
spent a lot of time today praising the actions of Republicans. Mike Pence, Georgia election officials, even the Attorney General at the time, William Barr, and the roles that they've played in upholding the election. It was interesting. The message was, you know, you too can do the right thing. You know, they said Mike Pence did the right thing. You know, he was a patriot. Do you think that made for an effective argument?
MILGRAM: Yes. I actually did think it was effective.
I thought one of the things Representative Swalwell did was said -- first he said, look, there were a lot of people out that rally who weren't involved in the insurrection. And we should separate those two groups. And then they made the effort to really separate out Mike Pence from Donald Trump, and say, you know, look, this is a conservative, this is someone essentially with whom we disagree on a lot of things, but at the end of the day, we all take this oath to United States government, as David said, to protect.
And Mike Pence said the right thing, when push came to shove, and Donald Trump did not. And so, I thought it was effective. And one of the things I thought was really effective, Anderson is that, the House impeachment managers, they weren't telling people the conclusion to draw. They were telling them and showing them the facts. They showed the picture of Mike Pence being pulled out of the Senate to safety with his family. They showed the pictures of the rioters coming in.
They showed the tweets that President Trump was making and the statements he made on January 6. So, I think it's a really compelling argument, and I think they also were sending this message of what this is one branch of the government, the executive branch attacking another branch, the United States Congress, and I thought it was very effective.
COOPER: David, I thought it was -- Mike Pence, you know, saying to these Republican Senators who are scared to actually vote what -- I'd say the majority of them probably actually believe, you know, they are scared about not winning reelection. They are scared about being heckled in an airport like Lindsey Graham was, and that seem to be enough to get him, send him scuttling back into the embrace of you know, President Trump.
But they were essentially was saying, look, Mike Pence did this. Essentially these Republican Senators are leaving Mike Pence out to dry. I mean, Mike Pence did the right thing. He is now persona non grata among the MAGA crowd. And these Senators could have sided with him, and gone away with Trump, but they are not.
AXELROD: Well, his persona non grata with a lot of the Republican base. And Anderson, you know, I've said this many times here and elsewhere, there's a reason profiles encouraged with a thin volume. The natural things for politicians to do, is to do what they need to, to preserve themselves in office, and preserve themselves in power. There is a tremendous amount of fear among these Republicans that if
they oppose the president on this, if they vote to convict him and disqualify him from public office that they will face a backlash among Republican primary voters in their states. And most of them are not going to be willing to do that and I give a lot of credit to those who are.
You know, the history of impeachments is that very few people stray from their own party, and those who are willing to stand up, the 10 in the House, the six who voted as they did yesterday, and however many who vote when this thing is done for conviction, they deserve an enormous amount of credit. Because it is courageous. You know, if you are not risking anything, it's not courageous. They are risking something by doing that, and yet they are doing it anyway.
But the last thing that I would say about this is, whatever happens, whatever the outcome is, the fact that the nation is watching this very compelling case, and history of what happened, is really, really important. This is not an empty exercise. Whatever happens at the end, it is important to really understand how it happened, why it happened, and who is responsible.
Senator Murkowski was asked today about the final vote, and she's thought to be one who would vote for conviction, and she said I don't believe that Donald Trump can ever get elected president of the United States again. And part of the reason is because of what is happening in the Senate this week.
COOPER: David Axelrod and Milgram, I appreciate it. Next, Congressman and decorative army ranger who was ready to put his life on the line all over again for his country, in his country's Capitol, Jason Crow, joins us. And later, former Capitol police chief on the remarkable bravery law enforcement showed, and all the lives they saved on a day that really could have been so much worse.
COOPER (on camera): It was strange today launching a presentation for witnesses to what happened to them a month ago. That was design solely to remind them what happened to them a month ago. Strange and sad that it was necessary after all we remember the smallest moments from decades ago. We have somehow Senate Republican need reminding that so recently their place of work was overrun by people wanting to murder some of them or any of them. Republicans and Democrats alike.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNKNOWN: Pins off.
UNKNOWN: Take your pins off.
UNKNOWN: What the F-k. UNKNOWN: Take your pins off.
UNKNOWN: Pins down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER (on camera): Taking their pins off in order to hide from the crowd. One of the voices you here in that clip is out of Colorado Congressman Jason Crow, a veteran and foreign and now domestic combat. Here he is trying to comfort his counterpart from Pennsylvania, Congresswoman Susan Wild with the mob trying to break into the upper part the chamber. Congressman Crow joins us now.
Thanks so much for being with us. You tweeted that today was the first time you saw exactly what was on the other side of the barricaded door while you were under attack on January 6th. What was it like seeing that?
REP. JASON CROW (D-CO) (on camera): Good evening Anderson, thanks for having me. Yes, it was tough to see. I'm not going to lie here, it was dramatic to live through, it was dramatic again sitting in my living room with my family and watch that video.
I mean, we knew that there was a violent mob on the other side, we've been watching that mob descend on the Capitol. We have heard what they were chanting. Heard the words of the president and the other speakers leading up to the riot. We knew what they were going to try to do.
We knew our lives were in grave danger but seeing the number of folks, the beatings of the police officers. What they were doing to get their way in, it was pretty shocking stuff. And I don't think there's anything more clearly than the decision that before the senators has point.
COOPER: What was the moment like, when you and other lawmakers, you know, said, take your pins off? I was wondering what's going through your minds, you know, knowing now what was going on outside of the door, you know, you worked hard for that pin. It's something to be proud of. What was that like?
CROW: We are just trying to figure we had to do to survive, that is the bottom line. We knew we had been cut off, we were surrounded and we had barricaded the doors. There was no way out, many of us had called our families. I've called my wife and told her I loved her.
And I asked her to tell the kids that I love them as well. And as soon as I hung up the phone I kind of immediately got back into my combat frame of mind and just start to go through a checklist of what I had to do to get through the situation.
So, we knew that there were looking for us, that they were going to try assassinate us or capture us. So, taking the pins off made sense, looking for weapons, just doing anything we could to try to assess the situation. You know it was horrific. And you know, I'm glad that this video and all of the stuff that is
portrayed today was portrayed to the American people. The American people had to understand what happened there, we can't move on, we can't glosses over. This is one of the darkest days in the history of our democracies.
COOPER (on camera): One of things like I keep coming up to or the radio calls that we heard today from the Capitol Metro police, and I just want to play some, one in particular, I thought was really just so disturbing, but I think it's important to hear. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNKNOWN: Cruiser 50. I copy. We're still taking rocks, bottles, and pieces of flag and metal pole. Cruiser 50. The crowd is using munitions against us. They have bear spray in the crowd. Bear spray in the crowd. The crowd is using munitions against. Us Barrister in the crowd.
UNKNOWN: Multiple deployments U.S. Capitol with pepper spray (inaudible). DSO, DSO, I need to re-up. I need a re-up up here.
UNKNOWN: Cruiser 50. We lost the line. We've lost the line. All MPD pull back. All MPD, pull back up the upper deck. All MPD, pull back to the upper deck, ASAP. All MPD come back to the upper deck. Upper deck. Cruiser 50 we're flanked. 10-33. I repeat. 10-33. West front of the Capitol. We have been flanked and we've lost the line.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER (on camera): That phrase, we've lost the line. We've lost the line. I mean, your former army ranger serving in both Iraq and Afghanistan, to hear that from an American police man talking about losing the line to their fellow countrymen and women attacking them.
CROW: Yes, Anderson, you almost say a word about courage, given a lot of thought in the last couple of weeks about what courage means, as the words has been past around enough a lot. You know, we hear some people talking about political courage, people talking about exercising courage for a vote. No we're not (inaudible) these senators exercise courage actually.
This Congress makes decisions and votes all the time to send young men and women to war. Some of whom don't come back. I've seen young men get their lives for this country. Those officers who threw their bodies into the breach, to try to save our lives. There are lots of examples of courage in this world and in this country, and in this democracy. And what we're asking this Senators to do, is not that.
We're asking them to make what should be a pretty clear decision to put aside politics and to fulfill their duty and their obligations. But let's not say this is some big moment of courage to stand up against constituents or risk losing your job, because it doesn't do justice to what courage really means and what some people have done to demonstrate that.
COOPER: And one of the, you know, the House managers today was pointing out the passengers onboard the flight that was heading toward the Capitol, heading toward Washington on 9/11. Who you know, took over the plane, who attacked the terrorists in order to protect the Capitol? And that is courage as well. Congressman Crow, thank you so much tonight, I appreciated it.
CROW: Yes, thanks, Anderson.
COOPER: There's more to come on what the Congressman said about courage in the new images of the Capitol insurrection. We saw during the second day of the trial, the heroes who put their bodies on the lines to the lawmakers and their staff, so they could be saved.
COOPER: The House impeachment manager's case today include raw intense imagery from January 6 on Capitol police getting crushed by the rioters. I mean, their bodies between a mob and those who they were sworn to protect. Giving lawmakers and staff those few precious moments they need to get to safety.
Officer Eugene Goodman is one hero from that day, he help direct Senator Mitt Romney away from the rioter's path, before confronting those rioters and diverting them for more lawmakers. Today Senator Romney said he expressed his gratitude to Goodman. Romney said Goodman explained to him he was exhausted by that point and was nausea from a bear spray and tear gas that he inhaled.
I'm joined now by retired Capitol Police Chief, Kim Dine. Chief Dine, I appreciate you being with us. This has obviously been a difficult day for you, you are the chief of Capitol Police from 2012 to 2016.
The officers in these videos are -- aren't just heroes for you, they're part of law enforcement family. What was it like witnessing today's proceedings?
KIM DINE, RETIRED U.S. CAPITOL POLICE CHIEF: Well, Anderson, thank you for having me. Today was a tough day. It has been a tough one. But today, to see how organized, how premeditated, and how violent this attack on our democracy was --- and this attack literally on our officers was -- was truly hard to watch.
COOPER: You know, to see individual officers as we did today in these videos, not just Officer Goodman but others, you know, confront this mob, mobs are really terrifying when you're in the midst of them, and to be confronting them with no backup at times, I mean, that's just an extraordinary thing. I think it's something that -- I hadn't seen a lot of those videos where it was just one officer trying to stop this flood of people.
DINE: You know the United States Capitol Police is a wonderful department, a very diverse federal department. The women and men there both sworn and civilian have an immense pride in what they do every day.
Their mission is clear. They literally protect the people, the place, and the process that makes us the United States. And they take that mission so incredibly seriously.
Their pride -- they just exude pride every day. And obviously, they showed that when you see that in these videos, literally putting their lives on the line to protect the lawmakers and to protect the democratic process. It was amazing to watch.
COOPER: I mean you've devoted a lot of time to thinking about security of the Capitol. Did you ever imagine a sit -- siege like this?
DINE: I don't think we did. I've been doing this for 41 years. I've worked with a lot of people who have been doing it for that time or even longer. Many of us have managed demonstrations with hundreds of thousands of people. But a lot of that is predicated on at least some agreement of a civilized interaction.
Obviously, the police in this country, which number about 800,000 to 900,000, were outnumbered by 320 million Americans. So, there has to be some type of agreement. So, we don't think about over literal assaults like we saw today. Clearly, it was unique.
COOPER: You know, if it weren't for the Capitol police, things could have been so much worse. We really saw that in such stark reality today, you know, not just Officer Goodman, you know, telling Senator Romney to turn around, get him away from the rioters, distracting them. Former -- you know, Vice President Pence being evacuated to a location with his family.
You agree this could have been much worse if it wasn't for the officers' actions that day.
DINE: Absolutely, it could have been much, much worse. I mean, the lawmakers were protected. As bad as this was, it could have been much, much worse. The officers have a lot of ingenuity, massive amounts of bravery. They know that building and the entire campus like the backs of their hands. So they knew where to go and what to do.
COOPER: We've had some reporting from inside the Senate chamber. When impeachment manager Eric Swalwell was talking about the brutality the police faced, he recited a bible verse titled, blessed are the peacemakers. At that moment, the officer assigned to the press gallery, today we're told, had tears in his eyes.
How personal, do you think, today was for not just for police officers who were involved but really for all law enforcement?
DINE: Well, I think it was an attack on our democracy. It was an attack on the police department. Obviously, my heart also goes out to the Metropolitan Police Department, where I spent 27 years. They bravely came and helped save lives, as well.
So I think all of us felt literally attacked by this and -- but we're proud of the actions of the women and men of those departments for sure.
COOPER: Chief Kim Dine, I appreciate your time and your service. Thank you so much.
DINE: Thank you, sir.
COOPER: Just ahead, a live report from Florida on the former president's reaction to the evidence presented today, and the video that showed just how close his former vice president came to the mob.
COOPER (on camera): Senate Republicans were presented with an array of evidence today tying the former president's words with the rioters who were repeating his violent rhetoric as they stormed the Capitol. Republicans tonight indicating they still plan to acquit.
Senator Ted Cruz said a direct link from Trump to the pro-Trump riot was -- quote -- "strikingly absent." Their stand is a (ph) hallmark of the former president whenever he was confronted by uncomfortable facts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Just remember what you're seeing and what you're reading is not what's happening.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER (on camera): For more on the reaction from the former president, we are joined by Jim Acosta in West Palm Beach, Florida. Do we have any indication that the former president has shown -- well, I don't even know why I'm asking this question. I know he hasn't. But remorse for the danger that former Vice President Pence was in?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: No, Anderson, none. I've been talking to advisers about this, talked to one earlier today, who said, you know, what Trump wanted to see on January 6th was a show of force and that's what he got.
ACOSTA: According to this adviser, what Trump saw was his supporters out there fighting for him, showing force, the kind of force that he wanted to see on January 6th. And so no, in recent weeks, he has not been showing any remorse for any of this. But as you were saying, none of that really should surprise any of us. COOPER: Yeah. One of the former president's impeachment attorneys was on Fox tonight. I'm surprised that he had -- I guess he is confident in -- he has plenty of time because given the quality of the defense they gave the other day, you would think you would be studying. But he was on Fox, and he said that the house managers were -- quote -- "just trying to drum up emotion with the videos they played today."
ACOSTA: Yeah, David Schoen was on fox earlier tonight, Anderson. You know, he was having as much trouble coming up with a cogent argument on Fox News as he was, you know, making his presentation to the Senate yesterday.
This is essentially what they're going to be arguing when they get their turn at the plate, that they're going to be saying that the House impeachment managers were trying to drum up emotion. He was saying on Fox earlier this evening that they were playing to the cameras.
I don't know how, you know, you can make an argument like that with some of the video that was being shown earlier today. I talked to a source who has been speaking with Donald Trump since he left office about some of these legal problems that he's facing. This person described the video that was shown by the House impeachment managers as tragic.
To see Mike Pence rushed out of an area of the Capitol by secret service agents and to see a Capitol police officer turned Mitt Romney around in the nick of time before he was overwhelmed by the mob, I mean, that is stunning video that the public has not seen before.
That isn't just some sort of, you know, parlor trick that the House impeachment managers were unloading on the American people and unloading on the senators today. That is obviously very relevant video and it gets to their case that none of this would have happened had the president not been out there on January 6th whipping people up into frenzy and lying about the election results for weeks and weeks after the November 3rd election.
And so, yeah, I mean, that is what they're going to be arguing. They're also going to be arguing, Anderson, that, you know, there's, you know, some -- there are some problems on the House manager side.
There were Trump team advisers and aides earlier today retweeting all sorts of social media posts and videos showing Ted Lieu or showing Eric Swalwell or showing some of the House impeachment managers using language like fight like hell and so on.
It is kind of a ridiculous argument, Anderson, because there was no insurrection that followed their use of the term fight like hell. When the president was using that terminology on January 6th, it was essentially a call to action that ended in an insurrection. So --
COOPER: And people died.
ACOSTA: There's no equivalence there by any stretch. And people died.
COOPER: Yeah. Along -- yeah, I mean, it's hard to compare it. Lastly, how confident is the former president and his allies that they're still on the path for him to be acquitted? I would imagine, quite confident.
ACOSTA: Yeah, Anderson, they are confident. They believe that there is just no way that there are going to be enough Republicans, 17 Republicans to join with the Democrats to convict the former president in all of this.
But, you know, as I think -- you and I were talking about this earlier today. Donald Trump's problems extend well beyond this Senate impeachment trial. He has the very real prospect facing him that he can be brought up on charges of election fraud in Georgia. That was announced earlier today.
The Fulton County prosecutors are looking into that phone call, investigating that phone call that he had with Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state.
And, you now, I've talked to a source who speaks with the president from time to time, who said he's concerned about other potential criminal matters outside of this Senate impeachment trial.
And so, you know, he may be able to sail through all of this without any kind of accountability, but that is, you know, hardly the end of his legal problems by any stretch.
ACOSTA: Anderson, I think that the president knows what is coming and what may be coming may be very serious for him outside of the Senate impeachment process.
COOPER: Yeah. Jim Acosta, thanks very much.
Coming up, reaction to the former president's lawyer saying Democrats were just trying to drum up emotion today. We'll be right back.
COOPER: As the Senate heads into the third day of the ex-president's second impeachment trial, the question remains what will be the outcome? You've already heard several Republican senators cast serious doubts about obtaining what in effect would be a guilty verdict.
Republican Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina says he thinks, at most, five or six Republicans would vote to convict.
Let's get perspective now from Kirsten Powers, a USA Today columnist and a CNN senior political analyst. Also with us is Amanda Carpenter, former communications director for Senator Ted Cruz and a CNN political commentator.
Amanda, Jim Acosta is reporting the former president isn't remorseful at all. I know the answer to this, but are you surprised at all and could the lack of remorse make it, you know, into the impeachment managers' prosecution?
AMANDA CARPENTER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, FORMER SENIOR COMMUNICATIONS ADVISOR AND SPEECHWRITER FOR SENATOR TED CRUZ: This is the thing that worries me the most. I think Republican senators have the inability to play this tape forward. They all think that this is Donald Trump's problem and they can just acquit him and move on.
CARPENTER: That's the big mantra. But how will Donald Trump take this when he is exonerated again? What happens when he starts holding the rallies again very soon? Because what the takeaway from this is that there are very extreme elements who feel that they have standing in Donald Trump's Republican Party. And if there is not accountability exercise, they will exercise the power that they feel that they have.
And so I just -- I have a lot of questions. Even if the Republican senators think that they should acquit Donald Trump, what are they doing to mitigate the chance of violence in the future? Have any of them distanced themselves from the groups that organized that protest? Have they taken any kind of measure to denounce those figures? But instead, they just said, well, you know, this can be handled in the criminal courts and not my problem. That's what worries me, Anderson.
COOPER: Kirsten, I think Amanda raises really, really salient points. The idea -- it seems like the Republican senators are in this fantasy that, you know, the former president is going to remain in Mar-a-Lago just, you know, hanging out of the -- you know, table hopping. He's going to be doing rallies. He's going to be, you know, doing everything he can to claw his way back into, you know, prime time news coverage and, you know, make money.
I don't understand why these Republican senators do not move now to rid themselves of this former president hanging over their heads and tormenting them for the next four years.
KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Because I think they don't feel like they have the power to do that. I think they feel like he has all the power. And so they have to basically kowtow to him and do whatever he wants and not do anything that will upset him and not do anything that will upset that base that he has behind him.
And so I think that they have put their interest in getting re-elected above their interest in what's right. And this idea that we'll let the court system handle it, well, look, the founding fathers obviously understood that there were courts, and they still came up with the idea of impeachment.
And so impeachment is for a certain kind of behavior and it is certainly seems that what has occurred is exactly the kind of behavior that you would want to impeach a president over and that you would want to hold people accountable and you'd want to hold the person who actually incited this horrific act that we've been watching, you know, the video over the last many days, including new videos, and every time I watch it, I still have to say, wait, this happened.
POWERS: You know, it's still so shocking that this actually happened and that we actually have a president, former president, who still has not admitted that he lost an election. So, you know, there's so many things that he needs to be held accountable for even if this had never happened. He should be held accountable for the fact that (INAUDIBLE).
COOPER: Also, Amanda, it doesn't -- I agree with Kirsten about how shocking it is. It doesn't seem like these Republican senators find it all that shocking. Maybe they feel that the mob wasn't there for them. But, I mean, if Mike Pence had been caught and killed by this mob, would the vote be any different in this trial? I don't know that it would.
CARPENTER: Yeah, it's a difficult question to contemplate because I think we know what the answer is. They would say, oh, that's too bad, but it's not Donald Trump's fault.
I mean, really what we're witnessing here is such a closing of the republican mind, a complete denialism to the reality that they exist within. I mean really to hear the reports that these senators are just doodling in their books and staring off in the space while these videos are being played and maybe they're only interested if they can see themselves on the videotape.
That's just jarring, but that is really the story of what has happened to Republicans under Trump's control is that they've just closed off to reality and become so tunnel vision focused on protecting Trump and his interests that they failed to see anything and everything around them.
COOPER: You know --
POWERS: Can we talk about the fact that they don't think that Donald Trump is responsible for this even though it never would have happened if he hadn't said -- if he hadn't lied about the fact that the election was stolen and if he haven't had that rally?
But they think Democrats are responsible for Black Lives Matter protests, which when there's been violence, they have condemned, contrary to what they say. You know, Joe Biden has condemned when there was violence repeatedly. But nobody at Black Lives Matter protests is carrying a Joe Biden flag.
POWERS: This was a Donald Trump-inspired attack by people who were carrying Donald Trump flags and wearing Donald Trump hats, right? So it's just like -- it's just strange that they don't see like a connection there, but they can draw this connection in the other place even where there's been clear condemnation.
COOPER: Yeah. Kirsten Powers, Amanda Carpenter, I appreciate you being here at the end of a very difficult, long day. Thank you. We'll be right back.
POWERS: Thank you.
COOPER: Another historic day in Washington now in the books, and disturbing new video emerged. The bravery and heroism of officers assigned to protect the Capitol shown anew.
I will be back tomorrow morning with the whole team when day three of the trial begins. We will go on the air at 11:00 with that. But we are not done tonight. The news continues. Let us turn things over now to Chris Cuomo.