Transcript: Rep. Zoe Lofgren on "Face the Nation," June 19, 2022
The following is a transcript of an interview with Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a California Democrat and member of the House Select Committee investigating Jan. 6, that aired Sunday, June 19, 2022, on "Face the Nation."
MARGARET BRENNAN: We now want to go to Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren of California. She is in San Jose. Good morning to you. You're one of the investigators on this Select Committee, and I think one of the most powerful moments was when the retired conservative judge Judge Luttig said that he sees a clear and present danger today. He said there could be further attempts to subvert American democracy in 2024. What exactly is the threat you see?
REPRESENTATIVE ZOE LOFGREN: Well, I think Judge Luttig said it very well. And by the way, he is a very conservative man once considered by Republicans for the Supreme Court. I think his concern and I share it is that the former president is continuing on his campaign to undercut confidence in the election system. They are installing a loyalist who say that the election was stolen and states were going to count the votes. They clearly tried to get the Vice President to throw the actual votes out and replace electors with the losing candidate. And it looks like that's in the works for the next election as well. It's a great concern.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So to be clear, there are about 100 Republican candidates for office right now who are repeating that they are election deniers they're repeating some of what President Trump still claims. At least five of them have won their primaries. Have you found any direct links between any of those candidates and the grift that you have been tracking?
REP. LOFGREN: Well, we are going to release additional information. I've got the staff working on it right now. Obviously the hearings are a couple of hours each and you can't lay out all the information that's been compiled. So I know there's been substantial interest in the- the big rip off and we will provide additional information to the public soon.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You're saying establishing direct links between those individuals standing for election to office now and the scheme you're laying out?
REP. LOFGREN: Not necessarily. We will lay out what we have.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hmm.
REP. LOFGREN: And people can look at it. I don't want to just pop off irresponsibly here.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Your colleagues on the committee, Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger said on another network this morning that he just received a death threat against him, his wife, and his five-month--
REP. LOFGREN: Right.
MARGARET BRENNAN: --old child for the work he's doing.
REP. LOFGREN: Right.
MARGARET BRENNAN: He said there is violence in the future. Do you agree that you have a fear of political violence and have you received threats?
REP. LOFGREN: Well, I don't want to go into the threads I've received. I think it just encourages more of them. But it's very concerning that Adam and his wife and his little baby were threatened. I saw the threat. It was a written threat. We saw that Republican Congressman, a very conservative representative, Crenshaw was roughed up over the weekend at a Republican meeting, because he was not conservative enough and I think that's what the former president has unleashed here. You know, when he sent out the tweet, attacking his vice president, he already knew that the violence was underway. The only conclusion you can--
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hmm.
REP. LOFGREN: --reach is that he intended to- to accelerate that violence against the former vice president. So, we're in a very rough time in America right now. And we all of us elected officials, but also just Americans and their neighbors need to stand up for the rule of law. And against political violence. It's not what America is about.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hmm. Well, for the busy American people who may not have been watching the hearings as closely as we were, exactly what is the endgame here? Are you laying out a roadmap for the Department of Justice to ultimately try to prosecute the former president?
REP. LOFGREN: We are doing what we were asked to do when the committee was formed, which is to find the truth, lay it out, and we will also be making legislative recommendations. For example, the Electoral Count Act was violated, Dr. Eastman admitted as much, but we think we can tighten that up so it's less susceptible to abuse. We're working at, especially Liz Cheney and I, are working on that. The Department of Justice has to make its own decision. We're laying out facts, they can see it, but I'm sure they have access to other information because they've got grand juries meeting with various defendants. We are going to be helpful to them in terms of specific information that they wish from the- our own investigations, but they got- it's not the role of Congress to decide who gets prosecuted.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, a number of your committee members your fellow committee members have criticized Attorney General Garland for not moving faster. So, they do want to see some kind of action here. And there was this letter--
REP. LOFGREN: Well that was for--
MARGARET BRENNAN: --from the Justice Department asking for transcripts and saying that your committee's failure to immediately hand them over was complicating their investigation. Exactly what is going on here?
REP. LOFGREN: Well, that was kind of- we were surprised by that, frankly. And we will engage. We're not going to be an obstacle to the Department of Justice prosecution of individuals. We're in the middle of putting these hearings together. The staff is working, I mean, incredibly hard along with the members of Congress where we will get, you know, particular information that they need over to them in an orderly way. Certainly, by- by the beginning of next month.
MARGARET BRENNAN: By the beginning of next month. In the next week, you have a number of Republican officials from state local governments coming including Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, who said he had been pressured by the President, the former president's attorney Rudy Giuliani and by the former president himself to retroactively change Arizona law to choose a different slate of presidential electors. He also has said he received emails from Ginni Thomas to reverse Trump's loss and she is the wife of course of sitting Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, will you ask Bowers about that link to Thomas?
REP. LOFGREN: Well, I'm not going to step on the- the committee's lines for the hearing. But obviously, as you know, we've invited Ginni Thomas to come in and visit with the committee, answer our questions, and we've received actually additional information when we got evidence from the Eastman emails that have now been ordered released by Judge Carter in California. And so we have questions for her and we may have questions for him as well.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Will Ginni Thomas appear or do you need to subpoena her? Will her husband appear?
REP. LOFGREN: Well, we've asked her to appear. She- it was a private letter, she decided to disclose it, which is her right to do. And she said publicly that she looks forward to coming in and talking to us. So I take her at her word that she intends to come in and we look forward to talking to her.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Congresswoman Lofgren, thank you for your time, and we will be watching. Face the Nation will be back in a minute. Stay with us.
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