Transcript for 'I don't know what's happening in the former president's head': Former GOP rep
- Today's testimony certainly leaves us with so many new details to take in and questions about the impact on the investigation. To help sort through that, Denver Riggleman joins us now. He's a former Republican Congressman who at one point also assisted the January 6 Committee.
Mr Riggleman, we thank you so much for joining us. So curious, right off the top, do you consider this a tipping point? Will it prompt people who have previously led the plead the fifth to talk?
- Well, you know Lindsey, when I get on here, M actually wanted to-- There was a text that was sent to me that really struck me because I watched the entire hearing. I was part of the data discovery for a lot of this.
But we have individuals that are actually sending me texts right now. And they have one that's talked about his lifelong Republican father-in-law, who said that he's finally starting to change his mind on January 6. And this individual texted me and said, it's the first time I felt hope that maybe facts are breaking through to some of these individuals who thought January 6 was just a peaceful protest.
And seeing the courage of Cassidy Hutchinson, that was really something to see. But I was also thinking about the United States Capitol Police today, what they must be thinking when you hear about individuals in the White House and the Ivory Tower, sitting on their couches or throwing food at the wall while an insurrection or a coup-like activities were happening around the Capitol building. It's just it's just a stunning thing to see.
But I do believe that Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony is a bridge to even more, I would say, massive types of testimony that's going to come out about data and about the operational planning of that day.
- And so I am curious that you bring up the point of that text message that you received because a lot of conversation has been, this hearing, is it just basically convincing those who are already convinced? Or do you feel that it is turning some minds around? The text that you mentioned suggests that might be true.
- When I started this, I thought maybe we could-- I know this is a small percentage, Lindsey. But what if we could turn the minds, change the minds of 3% to 5% of the voting population from the GOP. That is a massive margin.
I think today, you saw the beginning that maybe it's more. And I think we need to ask GOP representative at the state, local, and federal levels need to ask them, do you support the former President Donald Trump? And after listening to the hearings today, it's going to be very difficult for people to say that with a straight face.
However, we do have cult-like activities out there. And individuals really believe that Donald Trump was chosen at this moment for the United States. I think that's something we're going to have to get our arms around also by the conspiracy theories and fantasies that are driving people to believe some of this.
- Former President Trump's Chief of Staff Mark Meadows turned over thousands of emails and documents to the committee but then refused to testify, claiming executive privilege protected him from having to testify about confidential matters. What is today's detailed and damning testimony from one of his closest aides mean for him?
- I think it's a real challenge for his legal team. And I think it goes to show, I said initially that Mark Meadows was the MVP for this committee. And then I've also stated that he's the Rosetta Stone. He's sort of in the center of everything that was happening.
So if you think about all the different groups that are involved, you have to think that Mark Meadows had knowledge of most of what was happening. And if he saw things that were untoward, if he saw things that were awful or illegal or things that were leaning towards domestic terrorism, I find it a real problem, really somebody breaking their oath, being complicit in their silence that they didn't sort of jump out in front of that and try to stop it.
- Representative Cheney concluded the hearing with quotes from potential witnesses in what she called very serious concerns about efforts to influence their testimony. How serious are those allegations?
DENVER RIGGLEMAN: Well, not only those allegations serious. It doesn't surprise me at all. Just like, both political parties are tribes. And right now, you can talk about extremism on both sides.
But right now, the GOP is in a "hold my beer" moment. You have individuals that are very worried about this testimony. So they're promising jobs and promising these individuals that they can stay in the tribe. And there's also that underlying implication of a threat that they will no longer have those jobs if they say the wrong things in testimony to the committee. And that's something in America that we have to push back against very hard.
- We heard today that the former President was aware of the violence taking place at the Capitol and was even warned that the situation was not safe. Yet he still fought to go to the Capitol. What kind of light does that shed on his state of mind?
DENVER RIGGLEMAN: Well, it shows, number one, that he probably liked what was happening. But I want to say this. I don't know what's in the former President Trump's head or heart. And I don't want to.
It's just, you go with the facts. And the facts state right now that, by the way, that means everybody would have to be lying if you didn't believe it at this point right. Every single person went in front of the committee. The facts say that the president was aware and, if not overtly, tacitly supporting a domestic terrorism event.
Those who have supported Trump need to answer to the last six hearings, but especially the one today. And they better be prepared because what's coming up, I think, it's going to really shock the American people, especially when it comes to the data portion of the hearings.
- Oh, you think that there is still another shoe to drop, if you will.
- I think there's multiple shoes to drop. I think when you look at the groups that were mentioned today, you notice, they still haven't really dug deep into the Oath Keepers or the Proud Boys, other right-wing extremist groups. DOJ charged defendants, rally planners. Yeah, we talked about alternate electors. But there's still more to see there.
LINDSEY DAVIS: Denver Riggleman, we so appreciate your insight to all of this. Thank you so much for coming on the show.
- Thanks, Lindsey.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.