This is a rush transcript from “Special Report” February 9, 2021. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR (on camera): I’m going to have a grizzly bear
filter one time when he talks to me.
PERINO: We’d love it.
BAIER: All right, thanks, Dana. Good evening. I’m Bret Baier. Welcome to
Breaking tonight, in just the last hour, the Senate voted that the
impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump can move forward. Six
Republicans joined with Democrats in a 56-44 votes saying the impeachment
trial is constitutional. The trial has now adjourned until noon tomorrow.
And the former President Donald Trump remains at his home in Florida
refusing to testify in this trial. Tomorrow, the House managers will
present their opening arguments that the former president incited an
insurrection on January 6th, a charge his legal team denies.
While we wait for the case to be laid out, we certainly got a preview
today. Congressional Correspondent Chad Pergram joins us live from Capitol
Hill with a look at today’s proceedings. Good evening, Chad.
CHAD PERGRAM, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera):
Good evening, Bret. Well, the Senate voting 56-44 to forge ahead with the
trial, six Republicans saying the trial is in fact constitutional. They
were Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse, Pat Toomey and
Bill Cassidy. He voted two weeks ago with his party to short circuit the
This was a precedent setting day as the Senate considers for the first time
an article of impeachment against a former president.
Lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin wanted senators to relive the horror
of January 6th. Democrats played a violent graphic 13-minute video showing
the chaos of the attack.
Raskin asked “You ask what a high crime and misdemeanor is? That’s a high
crime and misdemeanor under the Constitution.”
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): President Trump may not know a lot about the
framers, but they certainly knew a lot about him.
Given the framer’s intense focus on danger to elections, and the peaceful
transfer of power, it is inconceivable that they designed impeachment to be
a dead letter in the president’s final days in office.
PERGRAM: Raskin brought his 24-year-old daughter Tabitha and his son in law
with him to the Capitol on January 6th, during the melee, they hid under a
desk. They sent what Raskin described as final texts thinking they would
later die, but they were rescued.
RASKIN: I told her how sorry I was. And I promised her that it would not be
like this again the next time she came back to the Capitol with me. And you
know what she said? She said, dad, I don’t want to come back to the
Capitol. Of all the terrible brutal things I saw and I heard on that day.
And since then, that one hit me the hardest.
PERGRAM: Now, today’s debate focused on the constitutionality of the trial,
Mr. Trump’s attorneys argued the trial would so further division.
DAVID SCHOEN, TRUMP IMPEACHMENT ATTORNEY: This trial will tear this country
apart, perhaps like we’ve only seen once before in our history. The House
managers in their wisdom, have hired a movie company and a large law firm
to create, manufacture and splice for you a package designed by experts to
chill and horrify you and our fellow Americans.
BRUCE CASTOR, TRUMP IMPEACHMENT ATTORNEY: So, the slippery slope principle
will have taken hold if we continue to go forward with what is happening
today and scheduled to happen later this week.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PERGRAM: But Article 1, Section 3 of the Constitution says that the Senate
has the right to try all impeachments. The House impeachment managers lay
out their case against the president tomorrow and Thursday, then the
president’s counsel at the end of the week. The trial probably won’t wrap
until next week.
The founders wanted impeachments to be political. Democrats certainly are
using this as a political wedge against Republicans. Democrats believe the
best foil they have going into 2022 is President Trump. Does that work for
Well, it did not work in the House and Senate races last November. So, the
Senate voted this afternoon 56-44 that the trial is constitutional. It all
resumes at noon Eastern tomorrow, Bret.
BAIER: Chad Pergram live on Capitol Hill. Chad, thanks. The panel on that
in just a moment.
At the White House, President Biden says the Senate will handle the
impeachment and he will handle the business of the nation. As White House
Correspondent Peter Doocy reports President Biden’s focus is on the minimum
wage and jobs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): President Biden
is brainstorming ways to help low wage workers hurt by the COVID-19 economy
with the heads of giants like Walmart, the Gap and J.P. Morgan.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The American people are hurting,
a lot of people are in real, real trouble.
DOOCY: And Biden thinks it would help to raise the federal minimum wage to
$15.00 an hour, something that CBO projects could lift 900,000 people out
of poverty, but eliminate 1.4 million jobs. So, the White House is pointing
to a different part of that projection.
JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: 27 million American workers would
be able to get — would help get them out of poverty. So, there’s a huge
impact of raising the minimum wage.
DOOCY: There are also questions about who qualifies for a full $1,400
stimulus check. House Democrats favor sending them to individuals making up
to $75,000 a year.
Does President Biden support sending stimulus benefits to undocumented
PSAKI: Again, I don’t — if somebody has a social security number like a
child or a spouse, then they would be eligible.
DOOCY: Laid off Keystone pipeline workers have been told they’ll soon be
eligible for green jobs, including Kristina Dickerson.
KRISTINA DICKERSON, LAID-OFF KEYSTONE PIPELINE WORKER: Why does it have to
all be green, no — you know, oil and gas? Why can’t it be a little bit of
the both until we can see how it’s going to work out?
DOOCY: 14 Republican attorneys general have the same question, asking
President Biden to reconsider pulling the plug in the pipeline and
threatening legal action. Writing: It’s cold comfort to suggest to now
jobless Americans that by turning the page on projects like Keystone XL,
workers can look forward to high paying green energy jobs that don’t yet
DAVID DICKERSON, LAID-OFF KEYSTONE PIPELINE WORKER: We’re not going to
build real solar panels. Solar panels are going to be built by the cheapest
bidder, with the cheapest parts that we can get.
DOOCY: The Biden family’s business deals are under new scrutiny by ethics
experts curious about the son-in-law who wants advised candidate Biden on a
COVID-19 response while working for a company invested in various parts of
the COVID-19 response, Dr. Howard Krein.
Dr. Krein has been at the White House since the inauguration. Is he still
advising the president on COVID-19 response?
PSAKI: Well, Dr. Krein is his son-in-law. The president —
DOOCY: Do you deny there are questions about a potential conflict of
PSAKI: Well, and I think he was here because the President was inaugurated
recently, which is understandable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOOCY (on camera): We do not expect to see President Biden on camera again
this evening. We’re told he has not been following or watching the
impeachment arguments and that we should not expect to hear him give
updates on what he thinks about the impeachment proceedings in the days to
follow. Jen Psaki says that is because he is the president, not a pundit,
BAIER: Peter Doocy live in the North lawn. Peter, thank you.
Let’s bring in our panel early Bill McGurn columnist for The Wall Street
Journal. Mara Liasson, national political correspondent of National Public
Radio and former South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy.
Mara, first to you, the opening arguments on the constitutionality today.
There were a lot of people online commenting that the emotional
presentation by the House managers hit a chord obviously with that video,
and then kind of rambling on the Trump lawyers open but then closed on a —
on a constitutionality question that failed in a vote 56-44.
MARA LIASSON, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CONTRIBUTOR (on camera): Yes, I think that
if you’re just going to score these presentations on legal points, you
know, the Democratic House managers probably had more.
As a matter of fact, the Trump lawyers even said they changed some of their
arguments after they heard what the House managers have presented.
But you got six Republicans to vote to go ahead with this trial. I don’t
know if they were convinced if Bill Cassidy had his mind changed today, but
now we’re going to go forward and we’ve gotten over the process part of
Yes, this trial can go forward. It is constitutional according to the
Senate, and now, in the days to come, we’re going to hear about Trump’s
behavior and senators are going to decide if that behavior merits any kind
of punishment or not.
BAIER: Trey, what about the presentation today, and what is this vote today
on the constitutionality tell you about the way forward?
TREY GOWDY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CONTRIBUTOR (on camera): You know, Bret, Jamie
Raskin is one of the few law professors I’ve ever known that actually can
connect with a jury. I mean, he’s a very, very good trial lawyer, so was
the impeachment manager from Colorado.
And if the Republican — if the president’s lawyers continue to risk — to
cite to the Hastings trial, which was what 200 and something years ago, 300
years ago? They need a factual defense for what the president was doing and
why while the siege was going on. And if they don’t have that, they may win
the verdict, but they’re going to lose the war.
BAIER: Bill, it was one of those days where I really wanted to see
President Trump’s Twitter feed to see what he was thinking about the
BILL MCGURN, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CONTRIBUTOR (on camera): Right. Well, he
seems to have decided better not to let people know what he’s thinking
Look, to me the most interesting aspect is how anticlimactic it was. I
think we more or less knew the vote before we go into it. We went into — I
think Mara’s right — Mara’s right, in the sense that, there’s a lot of
questions about the constitutionality of what they’re doing, because the
Constitution is silent on the particular issue of first impeaching in
trying a president after he left office. That means there’s no clear-cut
answer on either side and people could have it.
But what it also means is sort of not alluded to, is that the senators make
the decision, we can say it’s unconstitutional or its constitutional. What
they do basically decides the issue.
And for the most part, they’re not second guess, because the courts are
reluctant to step in when they consider it, you know, a matter of political
spheres, a political argument that needs to be settled between the
president or in this case, the ex-president and the Senate.
BAIER: You know, they’re in Congress walking and chewing gum, Mara, they’re
moving forward with this COVID relief package and specifically on minimum
wage. It looks like despite what President Biden said in that interview
with CBS, and what was heading into this week, that they’re going to try to
get this thing through increasing minimum wage to $15.00, phased over four
LIASSON: Well, there’s still a question as to whether the minimum wage hike
meets the rules to be included in a reconciliation bill. And the
parliamentarian is going to have to rule on that. The White House seem to
get some good news because it affects the deficit. That’s one of the
criteria for being included in this type of legislation that can be passed
with only 51 votes, but we’ll see.
I mean, I think, yes, the minimum wage got a new lease on life,
potentially. But Joe Biden was pretty convinced that it didn’t belong in
reconciliation and that he was going to have to try to push it another way,
but we’ll see when it actually comes up.
BAIER: But Trey, Chuck Schumer wasn’t. He’s saying he’s going to work with
the parliamentarian, they’re going to write it in a way that it fits under
these rules. And that brings up a whole list of questions about small
businesses and how that will affect them over the next four years if it
GOWDY: You know, Bret, he doesn’t even have to work with the
parliamentarian. I mean, she could rule and then the Senate can overrule or
overturn her finding, because they’ve done it before.
I think Joe Biden is smart enough to know that running on a campaign
platform of congratulations, you got a raise, sorry you lost your job is
not a winning platform in 2022. And I think he’s smart enough to know that.
MCGURN: Yes, I think this is what’s going to be interesting, whether they
decide to overturn the parliamentarian.
I mean, in my mind, you know, the president talks about a divided country
that needs to be brought back together. Well, it’s not going to be brought
back together by getting people to agree on policy. They have very
different principles, very different philosophies, and they want very
different policies. So, Biden administration naturally is going to look
very different from the Trump administration.
But I think where we have to be careful is procedure and process, and
custom and tradition, not to just override anything that gets in the way of
a goal. That’s what really sows bitterness.
You know, in a regular fight, if you just lost the votes, people say, well,
I made my case and I was voted down. But when people sort of, you know,
change the rules in the game, that leads to a lot of bitterness, and then a
lot of people like talking about we’ll get revenge when it’s our turn.
BAIER: But Mara quickly, Senator Joe Manchin was on this show said he
wasn’t for the minimum wage being included, and yet his votes over the past
few days seem to indicate that he’s going to fall in line.
LIASSON: Yes. Well, what’s really interesting about Joe Manchin who I would
say is the absolute most important Democrat in the Senate right now,
nothing is going to pass unless he wants it to pass. He’s kept alive this
idea of reconciliation if needed. He has said that he prefers something
that’s bipartisan, you can have reconciliation with a couple of Republican
votes. I don’t know if you can get 10 to break a filibuster.
But he has also said after that interview that he did with you that there
is a trillion-dollar bipartisan package that could be had today. I’m
waiting to see the details of that. But he’s still is hopeful that
Republicans and Democrats can come together on something that can pass the
BAIER: I’ll see how much the pressure is on him on this reconciliation
vote. Panel, thank you. We’ll see you later in the show.
The Justice Department is asking dozens of U.S. attorneys appointed by
former President Donald Trump to resign from their posts as the Biden
administration moves to transition to its own nominees, but the
administration is allowing two investigations to continue.
Correspondent David Spunt has our report from the Justice Department.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID SPUNT, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dozens of Trump-
era U.S. attorneys are preparing to resign.
This afternoon on a phone call, acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson
expressed his wish for 56 U.S. attorneys to step down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congratulations Mr. President.
SPUNT: The move is not unusual. When a new administration takes power, U.S.
attorneys from the prior administration usually leave.
JEFF SESSIONS, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES: I, Jeff
Sessions do solemnly swear.
SPUNT: In March 2017, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions asked for the
resignation of 46 Obama-era U.S. attorneys but received heavy blowback as
the attorneys were told to leave immediately.
The Biden administration is giving them several weeks. But at least one
U.S. attorney is being asked to stay. U.S. Attorney David Weiss of
Delaware, who is investigating Hunter Biden’s business dealings.
Last month, President-elect Biden made it clear the Department of Justice
would operate on its own, free from White House pressure.
BIDEN: I want to be clear to those who lead this department who you will
serve. You won’t work for me.
SPUNT: John Durham, the U.S. attorney for the District of Connecticut will
resign in that role, but he’ll stay on a special counsel to investigate the
origins of the Russia probe.
THOMAS DUPREE, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL, DEPARTMENT OF
JUSTICE: I think President Biden had a limited role of choice here. I think
that had he terminated those U.S. attorneys; he would have come under
attack for making political decisions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SPUNT (on camera): The U.S. attorneys have until the end of the month to
BAIER: David Spunt at the Justice Department. David, thanks. The number of
people who have received both doses of the coronavirus vaccine is
approaching 10 million, as the Biden administration continues to increase
the vaccine supply to states.
COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients says states will see their allocation of
doses rise to 11 million per week next week, a rise of more than 2 million.
The White House is also planning to distribute vaccines to 250 community
health centers, which primarily care for low-income and the uninsured.
Meantime, the World Health Organization is dismissing the idea that the
coronavirus leaked from a Chinese lab, setting off the chain of events that
has now claimed more than 2 million lives worldwide. But not everyone is
convinced by what’s coming out of the WHO and that investigation.
National security correspondent Jennifer Griffin joins us live from the
Pentagon with details. Good evening, Jennifer.
JENNIFER GRIFFIN, FOX NEWS CHANNEL NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (on
camera): Good evening, Bret. The delegation which did not include American
scientists said at a press briefing in Wuhan today, the coronavirus is
extremely unlikely to have leaked from a Chinese lab and most likely jump
to humans from an animal outside the lab.
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo questioned whether the WHO had enough
access from the Chinese government.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE POMPEO, FORMER UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: Look forward to
seeing the results. I continue to know that there was significant evidence,
Bill, that this may well have come from that laboratory.
BILL HEMMER, FOX NEWS CHANNEL ANCHOR: So, nothing has changed in your view
that it came from the lab?
GRIFFIN: Five days before leaving the state department, Pompeo quietly
issued a fact sheet accusing China of deceit and disinformation. Hinting
the virus originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology based on three
pieces of partial evidence. Several lab researchers had COVID-like symptoms
in the fall of 2019, research at the lab on Bat coronavirus since 2016, and
the removal of some of that research along with new evidence of secret
military activity at the Wuhan lab involving animal experiments.
PSAKI: We haven’t looked at the data specifically ourselves. So, we’d like
to do that. We’ve expressed our concerns regarding the need for full
transparency and access from China, and the WHO to all information
regarding the earliest days of the pandemic.
NED PRICE, SPOKESPERSON, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE: I think the
jury’s still out. I think clearly the Chinese, at least heretofore, had not
offered the requisite transparency that we need.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRIFFIN (on camera): Senior U.S. defense officials tell me they have not
seen intelligence to suggest the virus came from the Wuhan lab. China’s
ambassador to the U.S. added to the finger-pointing this weekend,
suggesting the virus may have originated in the U.S., requesting access to
American labs. Bret?
BAIER: Jennifer Griffin live at the Pentagon. Jennifer, thank you.
In December, President Biden said in his first 100 days, he wanted the
majority of schools in America to be open. Today, the White House press
secretary said that remains the goal, defining open as some teaching in
classrooms at least one day a week.
This, as Chicago public school teachers are voting on a deal to get
students back into classrooms there as soon as Thursday.
Senior correspondent Mike Tobin has our report.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It’s school.
MIKE TOBIN, FOX NEWS CHANNEL SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: The White House says the
goal is to have more than half the schools in the nation open for in-person
instruction by the end of April.
PSAKI: That means some teaching in classrooms. So, at least, one day a
week, hopefully, it’s more. And obviously, it is as much as is safe in each
school and local district.
TOBIN: Wednesday, we will learn if Chicago school districts will start
opening. After a bitter drawn-out struggle with the mayor and the chief of
Chicago schools, the union voted on a tentative agreement that guarantees
vaccinations for teachers, creates thresholds to shut down in-person
instruction if the virus surges, and starts phasing students back into the
classroom on Thursday if passed.
In San Francisco, teachers and the school district reached a tentative
agreement for a return to class, but with the spread of COVID at its most
severe state and no timeline for a return, the city is taking its own
school district to court, attempting to force safety measures.
LONDON BREED, MAYOR OF SAN FRANCISCO: I am worried that the tentative
agreement proposed by the union will not get us to a place in the city
where we will even open schools this year.
TOBIN: Philadelphia teachers at the urging of the Federation of Teachers
defy their school district and refused in-person instruction.
JERRY JORDAN, PRESIDENT, PHILADELPHIA FEDERATION OF TEACHERS: The school
district is hell-bent on forcing thousands of educators into unfazed
building, held together in some cases quite literally by duct tape.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TOBIN (on camera): Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC has said a
vaccine is not necessary for a safe return to the classroom. And said, the
data does not show the virus spreads aggressively in environments like a
President Biden says official guidance from the CDC about reopening schools
could come as early as tomorrow. Bret.
BAIER: Mike Tobin live in Chicago. Mike, thanks.
Up next, a hacker tried to poison the drinking water of one Florida town.
We’ll look how close that was to a disaster.
And later this hour, why some gun stores say they’re having a problem
keeping up with the demand.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We’ve had lines around the door, inside here, out the
building, and the parking lot for months.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: For years, security experts have been warning of the danger of U.S.
infrastructure being hacked. What happened in Florida last week when a
hacker breached the water treatment plant and tried to taint that water
supply with a caustic chemical?
Correspondent Jonathan Serrie looks at the nearly disastrous attack and the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JONATHAN SERRIE, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was a
high-tech attempt to disrupt one of life’s basic necessities, drinking
water. As investigators try to determine the source of a cyber-breach at
this water treatment plant in Oldsmar, Florida, city officials are warning
ERIC SEIDEL, MAYOR OF OLDSMAR, FLORIDA: These other bad actors are out
there. It’s happening. So, really take a hard look at what you have in
SERRIE: Although, part of the sprawling Tampa Bay area, Oldsmar has its own
municipal water system serving nearly 15,000 residents.
On Friday, an operator at the treatment plant noticed someone had gained
remote access to the computer system and was increasing the release of
sodium hydroxide. The chemical also known as lye is used in small amounts
to balance pH levels.
However, the hacker had set the controls to release more than 100 times the
BOB GUALTIERI, SHERIFF, PINELLAS COUNTY, FLORIDA: Because the operator
noticed the increase and lowered it right away, at no time was there a
significant adverse effect on the water being treated. Importantly, the
public was never in danger.
SERRIE: City officials say even if the increase had gone undetected, pH
monitoring sensors throughout the system would have set off alarms to
prevent any harmful water from being released to the general public.
But the FBI and Secret Service have joined the investigation because of the
threats cyber-attacks posted to critical infrastructure. Florida Senator
Marco Rubio tweeted, “This should be treated as a matter of national
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SERRIE (on camera): The Oldsmar water facility is temporarily disabled
remote access while it upgrade its software to prevent future cyber-
BAIER: Jonathan, thank you.
Mixed day on Wall Street today. The Dow lost 10, the S&P 500 dropped four.
The NASDAQ finished up 20 with a new record high close.
Up next, investigators reveal their findings in the helicopter crash that
killed nine people including NBA star Kobe Bryant.
First, here is what some of our Fox affiliates around the country are
covering tonight. Fox 9 in Minneapolis, where police say five people were
wounded in a shooting in a Minnesota health clinic.
A 67-year-old man who police say is well known to law enforcement there has
Fox 11 in Los Angeles, where a judge has blocked some of the county
district attorney’s criminal justice reforms aimed at reducing sentences
for criminals. Saying, District Attorney George Gascon cannot order his
prosecutors to ignore laws that protect the public from repeat offenders.
Gascon said he would appeal that ruling.
And this is a live look at Las Vegas from our affiliate, Fox Five. The big
story there tonight, Mary Wilson, the legendary Motown singer, founding
member of — member of the Supremes died Monday at her home in Las Vegas.
Wilson along with Diana Ross and Florence Ballard made up the Supremes,
Motown’s first and most commercially successful girl group. The group’s
first number one, millions selling song, Where Did Our Love Go was released
in 1964. Four more consecutive number one songs quickly followed. Mary
Wilson was 76 years old.
That’s tonight’s live look “OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY” from SPECIAL REPORT. The
Supremes, as we had to break. We’ll be right back.
BAIER: Federal safety investigators say it was a pilot error that led to
the deaths of former NBA star Kobe Bryant and eight others, including his
daughter. The findings come a year after the horrific helicopter crash into
a California hillside. Correspondent Jeff Paul has details from Los
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: L.A. County fire 83?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I’m just reporting a hillside fire.
JEFF PAUL, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: More than a year after Kobe Bryant, his
13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others were killed in a helicopter
crash near Calabasas, California, investigators are pointing to the pilot.
ROBERT SUMWALT, NTSB CHAIRMAN: It was an issue of judgment and decision-
making that led to this tragic situation.
PAUL: The NTSB says it was cloudy during the January 26, 2020, flight, and
the pilot was relying on his eyes for a sense of direction. The pilot
eventually told air traffic controllers he was climbing to 4,000 feet to
get out of the clouds.
SUMWALT: It was the beginning of a series of events that ended two minutes
later with the tragic loss of the helicopter, it’s pilot, and all eight
PAUL: In reality, the pilot was banking left, descending, and
accelerating. Investigators say the pilot was experiencing spatial
disorientation, confusing up from down.
SUMWALT: There were opportunities along the way to have reversed the
chorus and prevented this crash by simply landing.
PAUL: NTSB officials also adding they believe there’s evidence the pilot
didn’t want to disappoint Kobe Bryant.
SUMWALT: The pilot always flew this particular client, and we do feel that
it was reasonable to draw the conclusion that there was self-induced
(END VIDEO TAPE)
PAUL (on camera): Numerous lawsuits have been filed. The helicopter
company involved has denied responsibility, saying the crash was an act of
God it could not control. Bret?
BAIER: Jeff, thank you.
Guns are flying off the shelves, so much so that gun store owners say they
are struggling to keep up with the demand. So what’s the reason for this
increase? FOX Business Network correspondent Jeff Flock takes a look from
New Lenox, Illinois.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
JEFF REGNIER, KEE FIREARMS: Right now, I don’t see an end in sight.
JEFF FLOCK, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK CORRESPONDENT: Jeff Regnier, KEE Firearms
in the Chicago suburbs, sold more guns last month than ever before.
REGNIER: It’s been crazy. We’ve had lines around the door inside here, out
the building, in the parking lot for months.
FLOCK: It’s been a perfect storm spur to gun sales, starting with a panic
over the coronavirus, then demonstrations over the death of George Floyd, a
divisive presidential election campaign, culminating in the storming of the
U.S. Capitol, followed by the inauguration of a new administration and the
promise of new restrictions on gun ownership.
REGNIER: They are buying them two, three at a time, because they think
they are going to ban them with the new administration. They think they are
going to ban AR’s specifically.
FLOCK: In January, the FBI processed 4.3 million gun background checks,
that’s a 60 percent increase, and an all-time record.
JEFF BONNER, OIL PIPELINE WORKER: You are going to sell me on this one
before we leave.
FLOCK: Oil pipeline worker Jeff Bonner says the world has changed as he
looks at concealed carry options.
BONNER: I feel like if you’re not admitting that there’s a problem,
especially in Chicago, with car-jackings and that kind of stuff, you are
kind of burying your head in the sand.
FLOCK: Bonner is adding to his collection, but many are getting their
What percentage would you say are first-time buyers?
REGNIER: About 60 percent of our business is first-time buyers right now.
FLOCK: And women?
REGNIER: About 40 percent of that is women.
FLOCK: Top sales increases in the states of Michigan, New Jersey, and the
scene of the Capitol riot, Washington, D.C. The dramatic spike forcing some
gun shops to close for lack of inventory. It’s not just guns in short
BONNER: You can buy the gun, but it’s hard to find ammo for it.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
FLOCK (on camera): Jeff Regnier’s father was a Chicago police officer for
30 years. He said people used to be able to count on the police to protect
them. But based on what’s happened over the course of the past year it
seems that an increasing number feel the need to protect themselves. Bret?
BAIER: Jeff, thank you.
Up next, the Biden administration pushes for a major increase in accepting
refugees, as a Texas judge prevents the new administration from overhauling
one of former President Trump’s policies.
BAIER: A Texas judge has approved a 14-day suspension of the pause on
deportations ordered by the Biden administration while a lawsuit continues.
The Texas attorney general has sued over the deportation freeze, calling it
unlawful and perilous.
President Biden is boosting the number of refugees allowed to enter the
U.S. to 125,000, up from 15,000 cap that was put in place during the Trump
administration. Critics say more people means more stress on a
deteriorating system. State Department correspondent Rich Edson has our
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
RICH EDSON, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: A major component of President Biden’s
immigration overhaul, a massive increase in the amount of refugees the
United States welcomes each year.
JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We shine the lighted lamp
of liberty on oppressed people. We offered safe havens for those fleeing
violence or persecution.
EDSON: The president is targeting 125,000 refugee admissions for next
year, more than eight times the cap of 15,000 the Trump administration set
for this year, a historic low. The State Department now faces a
considerable challenge, boosting a refugee resettlement system to handle
such a substantial increase.
NED PRICE, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON: We are starting from a very slow
EDSON: There also is immense demand. The International Rescue Committee
says, quote, “With 80 million forcible displaced people worldwide and
counting, restoring the U.S.’s longstanding and bipartisan resettlement
program is absolutely critical.” In lowering the refugee cap, the Trump
administration State Department argued there’s already a backlog of more
than 1.1 million asylum-seekers waiting for the U.S. to evaluate their
claims. A report from the Republican staff on the House Judiciary Committee
says, quote, “At a time when Americans are suffering from a global pandemic
and the American people are trying to jumpstart the economy, admitting high
numbers of refugees is a poor decision that will only exacerbate economic
Proponents argue that immigration expands the U.S. economy. As for the cost
of rebuilding the refugee admission program, a State Department
spokesperson says officials will consult with Congress.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
EDSON: The administration is also pushing to accelerate special visas for
Afghan and Iraqi combat translators who have helped the U.S. military,
trying to alleviate a backlog of thousands of those applicants. Bret?
BAIER: Rich Edson at the State Department, Rich, thank you.
Up next, the panel is back to look at changes coming to immigration
enforcement. We’ll talk about that.
First, Beyond Our Borders tonight. North Korean hackers stole than $300
million to improve North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs in
defiance of U.N. sanctions. United Nations experts say while the latest
hack is significant, it’s less than the $2 billion, with a “b”, it stole in
2019. Just this week a State Department spokesperson said the Biden
administration is planning a new approach to North Korea, including a full
review with allies on ongoing pressure options and the potential for any
The growing population of hippos is concerning some in Columbia. The
animals were illegally imported by drug kingpin Pablo Escobar and are now
flourishing around the palace turned theme park. Some scientists want to
control the population because of the danger to humans and the areas
And a spacecraft from the United Arab Emirates successfully entered Mars
orbit in a triumph for the UAE. It’s the Arab world’s first interplanetary
mission. Two more unmanned spacecraft from the U.S. and China are set to
arrive at Mars over the next few days.
Just some of the other stories Beyond Our Borders tonight. We’ll be right
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TOM COTTON (R-AR): The Biden administration is going to place a
moratorium on deportations, all deportations. So murderers, rapists, drug
dealers who shouldn’t be in our country to begin with are not being
deported. They further are proposing that they will ignore serious crimes
like assault or DUI when it comes to deportations.
JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The priority for the enforcement
of immigration laws will be on those who are opposing a national security
threat, of course, a public safety threat, and on recent arrival.
KEN CUCCINELLI, FORMER HOMELAND SECURITY DEPUTY SECRETARY: That doesn’t
leave ICE a lot to do, and yet we have 11 million, maybe tens of millions
of illegals here, and they are inviting hundreds of thousands more who are
rushing our border.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: Immigration and border issues becoming a big issue, 51 House GOP
members sending a letter to the Biden administration saying “It is
concerning to see that your administration perceives our border security
issues as a political game instead of the version serious threat that open
borders provide to Americans and the migrants seeking to come here. We are
once again on the brink of a huge humanitarian crisis, endangering the
lives of migrants and law enforcement officers at the hands of violent
cartels that your administration has further empowered. Given the emergency
that this presents the United States, we ask that you instruct Secretary
Mayorkas to provide immediate briefings to all members of the U.S. House on
this matter.” These are from border Republicans, most of them, 51 of them.
We are back with our panel. Trey, what about this issue? It seems like it’s
just gaining steam as these executive orders have changed the dynamics down
there on the border.
TREY GOWDY, FOX NEWS HOST: I think the Republican position, just out of
curiosity, asking for a friend, what is the rationale behind letting
someone who broke the law to come here, and then broke another law while
they were here, sometimes a serious one, remain in the country? What is the
rationale for letting someone who broke the law twice remain in the United
States, just out of curiosity?
MARA LIASSON, NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO:
Well, I can’t answer that question. It doesn’t seem right. Remember, Barack
Obama was called the deporter in chief by a lot of immigration reform
advocates, and Joe Biden wants to change the policies of the Trump
administration, obviously. He wants to reverse them in many ways. But he
also wants to pass some kind of comprehensive immigration reform. He sent
up a bill to Congress already that would include a strong border but some
kind of orderly process where some undocumented immigrants in this country
who are law-abiding and meet certain criteria could be on the path to
citizenship. And that would also include the recipients of DACA, the young
people brought here by their parents when they were very young children.
So the big challenge for Biden is how does he do that, move forward with a
new immigration policy, without creating this incredible crisis at the
border where his new policy or new attitude becomes a magnet for migrants
from Central America? He says he wants to keep them in their own countries
by giving more money to Central American countries, but that’s going to be
the big challenge going forward, can he do this without creating a crisis
at the border.
BAIER: On some of those immigration priorities, Republicans have suggested
that there is bipartisan compromise, especially on DACA and other things.
Here is the president signing these executive orders, and a father of a son
who was killed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What I’m doing is taking on
the issues that, 99 percent of them, that the president, the last president
of the United States issued executive orders that I thought were very
counterproductive to our security, counterproductive to who we are as a
country, particularly in the area of immigration.
DON ROSENBERG, FATHER: My son was killed 10 years ago during the Obama-
Biden administration. And even though he was convicted they refused to
deport him. This was a quote from USCIS, they would not deport him because
he has only committed one crime of moral turpitude.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: Bill, your thoughts?
BILL MCGURN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: It’s a tough issue. I was in the White
House. I bear the scars when George W. Bush and a group of Senate Democrats
tried to have a comprehensive immigration reform. The system is totally
broken, and it’s not going to be fixed by dueling executive orders when new
presidents come in.
So, I’m not — I think the first step is not a comprehensive immigration
reform. I think the first step is to have a modest tradeoff. We had a
chance for that in the Trump administration, say on the Dreamers and the
wall. We could have made one compromise. I think we need to do this
legislatively. But instead of starting out with the grandest plan that has
to most disagreement, find some area where you can get some Republicans on
board and some Democrats on board, and start repairing it that way.
I think there’s a real danger that the effort now is to just, let’s undo
everything Donald Trump did, such as those agreements with the Latin
American countries. I think we should be a little more careful about that.
I would like a more open immigration system, but I would like it orderly,
as Mara says. And I think it needs to be done legislatively by the elected
representatives of the American people, not by the stroke of a pen.
BAIER: Trey, quickly, do you think that President Biden is trying to make
up for Obama years? He got a lot of criticism in the primary about
deportations, and almost apologized for it in some debates. Is this a
result of that?
GOWDY: Well, then start with the Dreamers. Mara put her finger on it. Law-
abiding folks who have been here, the category that he was dealing with by
definition are not law-abiding. They’ve already committed crimes.
Reasonable minds can differ on the refugee but not on people who have
committed crimes against Americans.
BAIER: Panel, stand by. When we come back, the panel looks ahead to
tomorrow’s headlines tonight.
BAIER: Finally tonight, a look at tomorrow’s headlines tonight. Back with
a panel. All right, Mara, what’s your headline?
LIASSON: My headline is pretty obvious — impeachment trial continues,
debate moves from constitutional questions to president’s behavior. And I
think now that the constitutional question is over, Democrats are going to
try to put Republicans on the spot and challenge them to defend what the
president did and said on January 6th and in the weeks prior.
BAIER: Lightning headlines. Trey?
GOWDY: President’s lawyers need to get better, and soon.
MCGURN: As the Biden administration leads the great reset of capitalism in
America, in Cuba, the communist government says it needs more capitalism to
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