Yahoo News Editor in Chief Daniel Klaidman and Chief Investigative Correspondent Michael Isikoff present a special live recording of the “Skullduggery” podcast with guests Bob Woodward, Carol Leonnig and George Conway. During the discussion, they delve into the legal issues surrounding the Jan. 6 special committee hearings.
MICHAEL ISIKOFF: Let me just try and clarify the legal issues here a bit. On January 1-- January 6, 2005, 31 Democrats voted to block the certification of Ohio's electoral votes for George W. Bush, which-- an objection which, if it had been upheld, would have flipped the election from Bush to John Kerry. So can we agree that it's not a crime to oppose the certification of the Electoral Count, Carol?
CAROL LEONNIG: Yes. But we cannot agree that things you intentionally do to defraud the American people, to use the levers of power to intentionally, while you know it is a farce, claim it publicly as an excuse and justification for your actions.
DANIEL KLAIDMAN: But that's--
CAROL LEONNIG: But that's a conspiracy case, and that is what's-- so I want to just second what Bob said about the criminal statute he cited. It's important. But prosecutors have a much easier way to get at this, which is conspiracy. It's the grab bag, because this was a fraud perpetrated on the American people, not just in the instance of trying to pressure Pence.
How about contacting the Secretary of Homeland Security, asking him if we could declare martial law to seize some voting machines? How about insisting that Jeffrey Clark replace the acting attorney general so they could reject the votes in Georgia and declare through the Justice Department that that election and swing state was down?
MICHAEL ISIKOFF: So--
CAROL LEONNIG: The key piece is Trump knew what was true, or, at least, he was warned what was true.
DANIEL KLAIDMAN: That's the question I wanted to-- because you have to-- you still would have to prove corrupt intent on Trump's part.
CAROL LEONNIG: I mean--
DANIEL KLAIDMAN: Would you--
CAROL LEONNIG: --how much more do you need, that Bill Barr told him there is no--
DANIEL KLAIDMAN: Well--
MICHAEL ISIKOFF: Well, Bill Barr told him there's no fraud, as did the White House counsel told him there's no fraud, as did the Department of Homeland--
GEORGE CONWAY: The courts.
BOB WOODWARD: And Barr is saying--
MICHAEL ISIKOFF: --Security Council--
BOB WOODWARD: --I'm going to investigate--
MICHAEL ISIKOFF: Yeah.
BOB WOODWARD: --it anyway--
MICHAEL ISIKOFF: Right.
BOB WOODWARD: --just to see, and I'll point Durham to look--
MICHAEL ISIKOFF: Right.
BOB WOODWARD: --at this, the prosecutor in Connecticut. So one of the classics-- I think we all find this with Bill Barr. He magnificently rides both horses at the same time. He was criticizing Trump as much as anyone to his face, which-- and at the same time, he liked some of the policies, he liked the Republican line, and so he was with Trump on that.