In This Episode
- The House select committee investigating the January 6th insurrection held its latest — and potentially last — public hearing on Thursday, and voted to question former President Donald Trump about his role in the attack on the U.S. Capitol. What a Day’s Juanita Tolliver recaps what we’ve learned so far, and what’s at stake with the midterm elections on the horizon.
- And in headlines: the Parkland school shooter was sentenced to life in prison, Social Security recipients will get their biggest cost-of-living increase in more than 40 years, and Netflix is set to launch a new, ad-supported subscription tier.
- BLK presents “No Voting No Vucking” – ft. Saucy Santana and Trina (YouTube) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KtAkBcd2PQ
- Vote Save America: Every Last Vote – https://votesaveamerica.com/every-last-vote/
Crooked Coffee is officially here. Our first blend, What A Morning, is available in medium and dark roasts. Wake up with your own bag at crooked.com/coffee
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Tre’vell Anderson: It’s Friday, October 14th. I’m Tre’vell Anderson.
Priyanka Aribindi: And I’m Priyanka Aribindi. And this is What A Day, the podcast that is very familiar with all of the ingredients of a negroni sbagliato with Prosecco in it.
Tre’vell Anderson: Yes, we are all at the exact same level of culturedness as cool young British actors on TikTok.
Priyanka Aribindi: It’s a huge thing on TikTok. Go order one this weekend. All of the kids will be doing it.
Tre’vell Anderson: Yes. Go treat yourself. [laughing] [music break] On today’s show, a Florida jury has spared the life of the Parkland school shooter who killed 17 people. Plus, more developments in the legal saga over the classified material seized from Mar-a-lago.
Priyanka Aribindi: But first, the House Select Committee investigating the January 6th insurrection held its latest public hearing on Thursday. The last one was back in July. And needless to say, there has been a lot going on since then. From the FBI search for classified documents at Donald Trump’s Florida estate and a separate Justice Department investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election results there has really been no shortage of material here.
Tre’vell Anderson: And Thursday’s hearing was also the last one before the midterm elections and maybe even the last one that will be televised. And while the investigation appears to be winding down, some members of the panel haven’t ruled out holding more hearings in the future before it’s expected to release its final report at the end of the year. In the meantime, the committee spent over 3 hours laying out new evidence and testimony to show that Trump knew he had lost the presidential election but still worked to overturn the results. And the hearing ended with an unusually aggressive move against Trump himself. To make sense of all of this. We’re bringing in our very own Juanita Tolliver. She’s been following the saga from the very beginning. Juanita, thanks for joining us.
Juanita Tolliver: Thanks for having me. And I’m glad this, you know, knowledge of this painful process can be used for something good. [laughter]
Priyanka Aribindi: We will get into what we saw and heard from the committee yesterday in just a moment. But the top line here is this.
[clip of Liz Cheney] This afternoon, I am offering this resolution that the committee direct the chairman to issue a subpoena for relevant documents and testimony under oath from Donald John Trump in connection with the January 6th attack on the United States Capitol.
Priyanka Aribindi: And the panel unanimously voted on this. Now, this is all incredibly remarkable, but can you explain what subpoenaing Trump will accomplish here? And considering that it’s Donald Trump that we’re talking about, do we actually expect that he’ll come forward? You know, what can the committee do to actually compel him to testify?
Juanita Tolliver: Look Priyanka I feel like remarkable is a tiny understatement. This is a massive cliffhanger like I think they recognize that there is no chance in hell he’s going to come and swear under oath for them and testify.
Priyanka Aribindi: Mm hmm.
Juanita Tolliver: But what they are doing is a direct call out. And they’re challenging Trump and his ego to step up. And we know how a man led by his ego is going to react. He’s going to want to make a scene. So even if he doesn’t come before the select committee to testify, expect him to try to make a moment on some right wing network and try to–
Priyanka Aribindi: Totally.
Juanita Tolliver: –Lay out his version of things, which will likely be all the lies he’s already repeated. I did appreciate that Chairman Thompson was a little bit coy when reporters were like, Oh, are you going to compel him? What are you going to make him do? And he was like, Ask Trump and shrugged shoulders. Right? Like–
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah.
Juanita Tolliver: That was his energy because he knows that will really get under Trump’s skin. But Trump, of course, knows they don’t have prosecutorial power. So he’s probably just going to sit back and wait for the DOJ who does have prosecutorial power to come after him.
Priyanka Aribindi: Got it.
Tre’vell Anderson: So how has Trump responded to this thus far. We know he’s famous for, you know, sending a barrage of tweets, but he can’t do that any more. So what is he saying in this moment?
Juanita Tolliver: Right. So apparently on bootleg Twitter, he’s like, oh, I would have loved to come forward and testify. Then why didn’t they ask me at the beginning? But the reality is, we know that he would not have come forward at any point. But what Trump does like is a show.
Tre’vell Anderson: Mm hmm.
Juanita Tolliver: So I fully expect him to try to put on a show for his followers on I don’t even know what that app is called Truth–
Tre’vell Anderson: Truth Social.
Juanita Tolliver: –Truth, lies. I don’t know. [laughter] So he’s going to try to put on a show, right? Like that’s his favorite thing to do here. Um. But we also know his favorite thing to do is try to run out the clock on subpoenas and avoid them like the plague. So this subpoena is one I think that is going to expire at the end of this congressional term anyway. So he’s probably looking at it like I’ll just run out the clock like I do on every other legal case when I get subpoenaed.
Tre’vell Anderson: I think it’s also important to note, right, that like he could have volunteered at any point, right?
Juanita Tolliver: Come on.
Tre’vell Anderson: He doesn’t need to be subpoenaed at all. I’m sure they would welcome him in with open arms if he–
Priyanka Aribindi: The whole country–
Tre’vell Anderson: –was a volunteer.
Priyanka Aribindi: –who would just love to hear from him. I want to go back to the new information that was presented here yesterday. So there was a lot of speculation going into this hearing that it would be just a recap of things we had already heard, but we ended up with a lot of never before seen video and testimony that was packed into these last few presentations. So I want to know what stood out to you when you were watching.
Juanita Tolliver: Look, the word of the afternoon was montage.
Priyanka Aribindi: Right.
Juanita Tolliver: We got a couple of big montages where they literally showed White House counsel talking about how we told Trump that he couldn’t win. There was no path to victory. And then they spliced that with Trump stepping up to the lectern, talking about stolen votes, talking about election fraud, all the things that he knew wasn’t true. I think the other montage that was amazing was of the staffers who were recounting when Trump told them himself that he knew he didn’t win. Staring at a TV in the dining room, talking about how did I lose to this effing guy? Referring to President Biden. Right? Like that testimony puts Trump clearly in his point of awareness that he knew he didn’t win and he was fully intentional about trying to overturn the election results to stay in office. Right. Like that’s what the select committee did masterfully. I think the other testimony that was revealed today was Secret Service materials. We saw the reports that over recent weeks Secret Service dropped off 1.5 million communications, emails, planning documents. And some of that communication showed how afraid Secret Service was about a mob of people armed with pistols and AR-15s and other weapons. How concerned even Pence’s Secret Service detail was about the fact that Trump was tweeting about them. And that leads me to the last piece of new information that I thought was just wild was the Twitter employee who was recounting how the spikes in calling for Mike Pence death went up every time Trump tweeted that he was a coward or he wasn’t doing what he was supposed to do. That is going to be critical, especially for the DOJ’s continued investigation, because it shows that Trump knows he had some degree of control over this mob, which he helped to convene, and he waited till the very last minute to tell them to go home. And, of course, that he loved them, right?
Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah. Well, you know, because you got to you got to have that message as well. You know, I particularly found the clips of Nancy Pelosi on January 6th as the insurrection was happening, frantically calling various government officials to kind of figure out a safety support plan for folks super compelling and revealing, especially in light of what we know was like a lack of action on Trump’s part. I wonder for you which of those videos was like most revealing or perhaps the most damning? You know, you think in this argument that the committee’s making.
Juanita Tolliver: Look, I agree with you wholeheartedly that the video of Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Schumer calling everybody who Trump should have been calling was critical because not only do you have Pelosi stepping up and doing Trump’s job for him, one thing that she repeatedly said while she was on the phone, especially to Trump administration staffers, was like, he sent them here.
Tre’vell Anderson: Mm hmm.
Juanita Tolliver: We’re in this issue because of him.
Priyanka Aribindi: Right.
Juanita Tolliver: Placing the blame as it should have been on Trump.
Priyanka Aribindi: Totally.
Juanita Tolliver: I think the other video was of Cassidy Hutchison’s testimony when she said, Trump told Meadows, we can’t let people know we lost. I’m embarrassed. It’s too embarrassing. We can’t let people know we lost. That shows the degree that he was going to to lie about the election results, which we know was the plan weeks before the actual election. What did the Roger Stone footage also show? We’re going to tell them f you. You lost. We won. You’re wrong. That’s it, right? That was the playbook. Bannon reiterated it. Roger Stone reiterated it and Trump executed it.
Priyanka Aribindi: Definitely. So based on how everything was laid out, you know, not only in this hearing, but over the course of the last eight hearings that came before this one as well. How well do you think the committee has kind of made their case?
Juanita Tolliver: What the select committee did is showed every single hearing that they are worth the wait, so much so that the DOJ was pressed to get every bit of testimony, every bit of video footage, all the evidence they compiled multiple times over the summer. Remember, the DOJ sent two letters to the select committee saying, please turn over what you have because we got some secret grand jury activity going on and your information can help us. The other thing is that the select committee kept this issue front and center for Americans. Now, did that have an impact amongst the viewers? I’m not sure. The people who support Trump and believe his lies still support Trump and believe his lies. But I think there’s an even greater percentage of Americans who are now concerned about the active threat that Trump presents to our democracy. And recent polling showed that number was about 60 plus percent of Americans who are going to be going to the polls this November with the health of our democracy as a deciding factor in how they’re going to vote.
Tre’vell Anderson: You mentioned the election. We are about 24 days away from Election Day. And obviously, we can’t stress enough how important these midterm elections are for a number of reasons. But as it relates to this investigation, could you tease out how important the midterms are as it relates to, you know, hopefully holding Donald Trump accountable.
Juanita Tolliver: All right. I got to start with the election as a deadline. This select committee knows that if Republicans win control of the House in the midterms, that they’re going to stop everything in its tracks. And they’ve made that explicitly clear.
Priyanka Aribindi: Right.
Juanita Tolliver: And so the select committee has been working backwards from that deadline this entire time because they know they needed to get their work done. They know they need to collect evidence. They know they needed to turn all that over to the DOJ before the midterm elections. And so that is a big driver here. The other big driver goes back to the truth, making sure that the American public understands the active threat that Trump presented to our democracy and continues to present. The threat is not over unless Trump is held accountable. And so I think that is going to be something that’s going to be a repeated message that we’re going to hear in the lead up to the midterms.
Priyanka Aribindi: Juanita, thank you so much for joining us.
Juanita Tolliver: My pleasure. I really like hanging out with you all and breaking this down.
Tre’vell Anderson: We will keep you updated as we learn more about the House Select Committee’s next moves. But that’s the latest for now. [music break] Let’s get to some headlines.
Tre’vell Anderson: A Florida jury has sentenced the Parkland school shooter to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He pleaded guilty last year to 17 counts of murder and more than a dozen counts of attempted murder for carrying out the 2018 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The jury foreman said Thursday that three of the 12 jurors ultimately voted against recommending the death penalty, though under Florida law, only one juror has to vote no to take that punishment off the table. March for Our Lives, the gun control advocacy group formed by survivors of the shooting tweeted Thursday, quote, “This is a heavy and hard day for so many of our allies and friends in this movement. We wish the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Community and all those suffering from the long term trauma of gun violence, healing and peace.”
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, we wish those very same things. Now to some updates on former President Donald Trump’s legal battle over the classified documents seized from his Florida home. And they are not particularly good for him. First, the Supreme Court, in a single sentence, rejected his request to intervene in the ongoing dispute over which documents can be seen by the special master appointed to that case. Trump’s lawyers asked the High Court to allow the Special Master to review about 100 of those documents. And that is important because the request, if it was granted, would have kept the Justice Department from using those materials in its investigation into whether Trump mishandled top secret information since leaving office. And it could have allowed Trump’s very qualified, super competent legal team to see these sensitive documents as well. Meanwhile, The Washington Post reported that a worker at Mar-a-Lago told the FBI that he was ordered by Trump himself to move boxes of documents after his advisers were subpoenaed back in May to hand them over. Sources have told The Post that there is also surveillance camera footage to back that up.
Tre’vell Anderson: As we saw with the January 6th hearings. I need the video because the video–
Priyanka Aribindi: Drop the tapes.
Tre’vell Anderson: Could be riveting. Okay.
Priyanka Aribindi: Drop the tapes. Make it into a montage. [laughter] We like the montages.
Tre’vell Anderson: Nearly 70 million Americans who receive Social Security benefits will get a big bump in their payments next year. The Social Security Administration announces cost of living adjustments for recipients every fall, but on Thursday, the agency announced an 8.7% increase for 2023. That’s the largest hike since 1981. The boost is intended to help people who depend on their monthly Social Security checks, like retirees, people with disabilities, and others who are struggling with rising prices on everyday needs like food and housing.
Priyanka Aribindi: Listen, that is so lit for people who uh will get Social Security. I definitely can’t count on that for myself.
Tre’vell Anderson: Unfortunately.
Priyanka Aribindi: We are entering an era of Netflix, consider buying life insurance and chill because the streaming giant will launch its ad supported option in the US on November 3rd. New information about the package came out on Thursday. It will cost $6.99 a month with 4 to 5 minutes of commercials each hour and users will be limited to slightly lower resolution video than what’s on Netflix’s standard plan now, which I find to be wild. Initially, about 5 to 10% of Netflix titles won’t be available due to licensing restrictions. Don’t worry, though, because based on my calculations, picking a movie will still take you 100% as long.
Tre’vell Anderson: You know, I know we’re all mad about the ad supported option now, but 4 to 5 minutes of commercials in one hour is not that bad.
Priyanka Aribindi: That’s not terrible. I think I’m more incensed about the, like, dropping the quality. Like–
Tre’vell Anderson: Yes.
Priyanka Aribindi: –I don’t think net neutrality ever became a thing, but that feels like the number one thing they were like warning against.
Tre’vell Anderson: Yes.
Priyanka Aribindi: And here we are. Living in that world.
Tre’vell Anderson: Living in that reality. Well, say goodbye to breakfast for dinner and hello to breakfast for liquor, because Kellogg’s is releasing an Eggo waffle flavored alcoholic beverage this holiday season. Yes, you heard that right. It’s called Eggo nog. And it’s a cream liqueur with flavors of churned cream, cinnamon and nutmeg. It’s the perfect drink–
Priyanka Aribindi: That’s wild.
Tre’vell Anderson: –To keep hidden with a ton of locks and security devices if you live in a house with children, and it’s great for recapturing that nostalgic feeling of getting ready for school. Only slightly drunker and with a headache that keeps getting worse. It’ll be available soon at select retailers nationwide.
Priyanka Aribindi: I don’t know about you. Whatever floats your boat, but that sounds disgusting to me.
Tre’vell Anderson: There’s somebody out there, Priyanka, who’s like, I have been waiting for a waffle flavored liqueur to change my life, and I love that they have this option now.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, listen, until Kellogg’s is sponsoring this show, that shit is disgusting. [laughter] And I will reassess my opinions once we get a check in the mail. Thank you very much.
Tre’vell Anderson: We’ve got to do a taste test for ourself, you know?
Priyanka Aribindi: That’s fair. Come back next week. We’ll [laughter] taste test [laughing] [indistinct].
Tre’vell Anderson: And those are the headlines. We’ll be back after some ads with a top contender for this year’s best voting based rap song.
Priyanka Aribindi: It’s Friday WAD squad and today we are doing a positive twist on our segment Bad Sound. So take a listen to today’s Good Sound:
[clip of song No Voting, No Vucking] He got mad jokes, he don’t seem broke. The only red flag, he said he don’t vote, this midterms for all the single cuties. Want to hit this booty, got to do your civic duty. No voting, no loving–
Tre’vell Anderson: Yes!
[clip of song No Voting, No Vucking] No voting, no touching.
Priyanka Aribindi: I’m obsessed.
[clip of song No Voting, No Vucking] No voting, no loving. No voting, no vucking, no voting vucking. No voting, no loving. [music fades out].
Tre’vell Anderson: Listen, if you want to hit this booty, you got to do your civic duty. Bars.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, you heard em’. Oh, my God. That was incredible. That was an excerpt from a new pro-democracy banger called No Voting No Vucking. Yes, that’s a V. It features the rappers Trina and Saucy Santana, and it’s produced by BLK, a dating app for Black singles. BLK also took on public health last year with the song Vax that thing up, and their ability to put clear, actionable instructions to a beat seems to be unmatched even by the music industry, which they are not even in.
Tre’vell Anderson: Mm hmm.
Priyanka Aribindi: But Tre’vell. What are your thoughts on this musical masterpiece?
Tre’vell Anderson: A great writer and person once said that desperate times calsl for desperate measures. Okay, and–
Priyanka Aribindi: Fair.
Tre’vell Anderson: –I love the fact that we are getting serious about the need for civic participation in the form of voting–
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah. Mm hm.
Tre’vell Anderson: By holding out our wondrous treasures, [laugh] you know, to make sure that people are going to the ballot box. I love this for us.
Priyanka Aribindi: It’s one way to get it done and it sounds effective, honestly, [laugh] that beat could get me to do anything.
Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely. It’s giving Lysistrata. Okay. If anyone knows that reference, you know, sometimes you just got to put things on lockdown to get the men in particular together. I love this for us. [laughter]
Priyanka Aribindi: That was incredibly good sound.
Tre’vell Anderson: Yes. [music break]
Tre’vell Anderson: That is all for today. If you like the show, make sure you subscribe. Leave a review. Don’t vuck them unless they vote and tell your friends to listen.
Priyanka Aribindi: And if you’re into reading and not just the sugar content of Eggo nog like me, What A Day is also a nightly newsletter. Check it out and subscribe at Crooked.com/subscribe. I’m Priyanka Aribindi.
Tre’vell Anderson: I’m Tre’vell Anderson.
[spoken together] And Leggo my Eggo nog. [laughter]
Priyanka Aribindi: It’s yours for the taking. Take it. Please.
Tre’vell Anderson: You can have it.
Priyanka Aribindi: I don’t even want to look at the back panel of that. Good Lord. Who knows what is in that?
Tre’vell Anderson: It might change your life. You might love it.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, it definitely might change your life. I don’t know for the better though. [laughter]
Tre’vell Anderson: What A Day is a production of Crooked Media. It’s recorded and mixed by Bill Lancz. Jazzi Marine and Raven Yamamoto are our associate producers. Our head writer is Jon Millstein and our executive producers are Lita Martinez, Michael Martinez and Sandy Girard. Production support comes from Leo Duran, Ari Schwartz, and Matt DeGroot with additional promotional and social support from Ewa Okulate, Julia Beach and Jordan Silver. Our theme music is by Colin Gilliard and Kashaka.