tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN October 27, 2017 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
continuing to be on the ground and tell the story. thanks so much to all of you for joining us. doenl forget you can watch out front any time anywhere. go to cnn go. "ac 360" starts right now. good evening we have breaking news ahead, a push by the president himself to speed up the release of unpublished hillary clinton's e-mails. it appears to be the focus into the campaign on the woman they defeated. today the president started with a tweet, it is now commonly agreed after many months of costly looking that there was no collusion between russia and trump, was collusion with hr, hillary clinton. this afternoon sanders picked up on the president's theme. >> i think that our position hasn't changed since day one, and i think we are seeing now that if there was any collusion with russia it was between the dnc and the clintons and not our
campaign. >> certainly sanders is rivering to the dnc and lawyers that hired gps to do research. as for the collusion with russia she's alleging there, that's anyone's guess. keep in mind when it comes to the president's claim that it is quote, now commonly agreed there was no collusion between his campaign and russia that is a matter of opinion. however it's the line that's been coming from team trump for quite a while. >> the russia story is a total t fabrication. >> did anybody in the russian campaign have anybody that was involved in the investigation? >> of course no. >> are there any ties between mr. trump, you, the campaign and putin and the regime? >> no there is not. >> there's no collusion between us and russia. >> did anyone involved in the trump campaign have any contact
with russians trying to meddle with the collection. >> absolutely not. >> in the meantime, no collusion, no obstruction. >> so according to former trump members there's nothing to see here, and they may be right, it's nothing that we or anyone else have learned so far as to the president of russia working together to put donald trump into the white house or to 00 obstructing justice. keep in mind, special counsel muller has not said that nor has the intelligence committee. and that's from the republican ko chair. >> the committee continues to look into all evidence to see if there was any and/or collusion. i'm not going to even discuss initial findings because we haven't any. >> they have no findings. the senate judiciary committee has no findings, the house judiciary committee has no findings nor does robert
mueller, those are facts. cnn's jim akts acosta with more. has the white house given any evidence to back up these claims? >> they have not arneson, keep in mind the president has repeatedly called the russian investigation fake news. during the briefing today i asked the white house press secretary where was the evidence that the president tweeted about earlier in the day that hillary clinton had colluded with the russians. here's what she had to say. >> the president made a charge that hillary clinton -- i think i've addressed -- >> i think i've addressed that pretty thoroughly. >> so you're saying -- >> i'm saying i'm calling on your colleague. >> okay you didn't address that question. >> every time the question came up of the russian investigation,
sar sarah sanders from the white house medium says if there's any collusion going on it's with the hillary clinton kploen, the dnc and with the russians but she's never backed that up throughout that briefing. they are saying that -- that led to the so-called russian dossier. anderson, even that is less evidence than the president's own son meeting with an attorney. we all heard that promising information from the kremlin that would incriminate hillary clinton and her campaign. >> jim, in the last hour we've learned who originally hired the firm to do anti-trump research. >> that's right. that was one of the shoes that we expected to drop. we learned earlier this week the hillary clinton campaign and the dnc reached out to this firm to
develop this dossier that allegedly said all these things about then candidate trump. as it turns out late tonight, the conservative website, "the washington free beacon" came out and said, yes, they hired this firm to do some i guess dig digging. the announcement here is that donald trump was one of those candidates. they say they did not hire christopher steel as part of that investigation, that it only involved fusion. this is only going to lead to more questions because the owner of "the washington free beacon" was backing some of the candidates in the 2015 field -- 2016 field. >> jim acosta thanks. perspective from karen finny,
former trump campaign jack kinston and ryan lisa. ryan, it may be commonly agreed in the white house but this is an active investigation and there's been no conclusion. >> the whole point that this is being invested. when he says the subject been invested and some how there's a conclusion about it, that's just wrong. there wouldn't be a serious investigation by the special counsel if that conclusion had been reached. he goes farther and says there is evidence of hillary clinton's collusion with russia. i assume he's probably talking about these alleges between this iranian concern that was granted permission to acquire those uranium mining rights in the united states back in 2010 when hillary clinton was secretary of state. that's been debunked by every fact checking that i've read.
second thing, he's obviously referring to is this dossier that we now know which certainly should have dispose disclosed by the senate previously. that the hillary clinton campaign paid for the research that have produced this dossier. none of these thing amount to the collusion that was referred to -- >> can the white house really say on the one hand, commonly agree to collusion between trump and russia but there is collusion between the hillary clinton company and russia. >> most important of this administration is that after 10 months after being hit with the absolute hardest evidence or what ever allegations there are, the trump administration is still standing and there's no evidence of collusion there's a
lot of hearsay. people from finestein and mansion have all said repeatedly there is no evidence of collusion. but on the other side -- >> that's just not true. >> i think the story about the uranium sales to russia and the potential play offs, almost at the same time to the clinton foundation i think that's scary as heck. i think the fact the clintons have run from this dossier, now it appears they were involved and paid $9 million for this research and possibly used runner services and perhaps the fbi i think there's a whole lot there. >> karen. >> karen aisle yield to you. >> that's a pack of lies. let's actually talk in facts because there are actually facts here. the actual fact, number one is this investigation has not concluded so we don't know what the findings have been. we know what people are saying what the president wants us to
believe in progress but that's not the same thing as a final conclusion of this investigation. we also know that the more this investigation goes on, the closer it gets to donald trump. we know that paul manafort, just this week, very close ties to the president is basically on the verge of being indicted. we continue to learn things about conversations or contact between carter paige and michael flynn previously undisclosed with the russians. tonight there was a story in the "new york times" that says that meeting in trump tower in june attended by don junior and others that there was a document signed off on that have been seen by the kremlin. to try to say there's no there there is lewd chris. what happens is the more the investigation goes on the deeper it goes. and until we have the final
results from bob mueller we won't know what the final results are. >> karen -- >> hold on. >> they did not know that . >> let her finish. >> hold on. that's two more points i'll make. also with regard to the dossier, remember it had started with the republicans, and it is a very formal practice. as a campaign we paid an american based company to do opposition research. and you're so right i'm going to use your words, jack, we knew about manafort and ties with the russians. we also knew about trump's ties with the russian which suggest it would have been criminal, negligence on our part of the campaign to not have that looked into. >> karen what i -- i thi. >> i think it's an american base -- >> what i don't understand is no one from the dnc or clinton
campaign has stood up and said, oh yeah i knew about this i actually authorized these payments, i was getting the memos. right now nobody seems to be saying they received any of this research or knew it was being done and how was that possible? >> well, look, it's my understanding -- look i just assumed frankly when it was reported back in october that this dossier was out there and it said was being paid for by democrats, it was somewhere in the democrats universe, that's pretty practical. again it's an american based company -- >> i'm wondering why no clinton person stood up and say i paid for this, this was done and i few this. >> i'm not sure why that didn't happen i was busy doing work in this campaign like other people. i think others have said it was clearly a small group of people who at that point were involved with how money was being spent in regard to opposition
research. but even if you understand you were paying for opposition research that doesn't mean niecely you know what specific projects it was going to. why does it matter when we know the money was spent -- >> if you make the arguments that the russians may have wanted to influence the information given to christopher steele and given this information through that as part of a disinformation campaign. again there's no evidence of any of this, it hasn't been investigated. i don't know why the white house is saying there's collusion there because there's no evidence of that. just as there's no evidence at this point and the white house can't say the president has been cleared on this. >> but it -- >> karen i think it matters for this reason. there is a huge amount of fog about what happened in the election last year. we were attacked. it bothers me quite a bit that the democrats decided not to -- during all this debate about
fusion and the dossier that no one decided to step forward and sort of lay out the story of why that happened. and as this gets processed through the partisan lens the conservatives will come out and say, this is just collusion. and the american public does not have one comprehensive time line in place to go to understand about what russians did in the election last year. >> let's just end it on that note. ryan, karen, congressman kingston thanks for your time. more ahead tonight, including the president's focus on a subject, clinton's e-mails. and the amazing cast of contractors and untold stories we are getting from the the kennedy assassination files when we continue.
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great rates for great rides. our breaking news tonight, president trump's push to get more hillary clinton e-mails out there. the president call the department or using the -- hillary clinton. on the campaign trail, certainly candidate trump never tired bringing up her e-mails, now he's doing it again sources familiar with the thinking -- joining us now karl bender stein, also the author of a woman in charge. also with us, maria cardona and jack king sston is back.
carter isn't this just a distraction by the president. >> yes. -- and with their relationship financial and otherwise and political has been through russians seeking to influence our politics. that's the issue. yes. hillary clinton is a very convenient, foil and often enables donald trump to make her the issue as she has done by not getting up and saying, okay, we financed part of this so-called dossier. here's when i came on board and knew something about it. she should have done, still should do it, it has nothing to do with muddying the waters. 2007 a sprawling -- we have a industrialing investigation -- sprawling investigation looking into all the trump family, business and finances, how they relate to russia.
he ought to be able to have the luxury and decency gaving him free range to conduct the full investigation that gets the fact. period. >> is this a distraction by the president? >> first of all i think he does get free rein particularly given his involvement perhaps in the uranium one during his watch when $2.35 million was donated to the clinton foundation in exchange from uranium one getting approved. i think there's a lot of reason for concern. here's what i want to say about the dossier, why even for the clintons to go to the extreme they had a part of it. $9 million was spent but not one person at the dnc seem to knowing knowing in about it. if $9 million was spent it should have been reported --
>> you're absolutely right jack, it should have been and she should have came on bored saying when she knew about it. but i want to ask you a question, is it time for republicans to say we need to know everything about what the russians did and when the president's business, family, president of the united states -- why doesn't he get up and say mr. mueller i'm here to talk to you, i'm going to send in my family and party in. >> they can shut down these investigations any time they want but instead -- >> they can't shut down mueller's investigation. it's not a legislative function to shut down an inquiry by the special counsel at all. >> first of all they allowed the special counsel to go down, they could have shut that down. number two, house investigations
has been going on vig vigorously. if they tried to hide something and shut it down they would not. what i want to know about the dossier is did they use it? how much russian influence was in this dossier. >> maria, do you see this as a distraction? >> it is a total distraction, anderson. i think it shows two things -- >> if the russias were using disinformation through christopher steele, shouldn't that be investigated? >> well, look if there is something there, let's look into it. but the fact of matter is is that this dossier was opposition research. and as you noted and cnn has noted, started five of republicans paid for by a right leaning investigate entity. it doesn't matter who paid for it, opposition research happens
in all campaign. in fact the clinton campaign and dnc would have been negligent to not follow through with everything in that dossier, i'm grad they did it. the big issue is what is in that dossier. perhaps what is in there is more true than what we know. i think that is -- that's what trump -- >> you're saying this is great opposition research. if the people in dnc and the clinton campaign believe that why doesn't somebody stan up and say, oh yeah i was the person -- >> okay let me answer that. it's my understanding that the person who knew about hasn't been asked yet. i don't know if at this point they're going to come out -- >> hasn't been asked. >> yes. >> it's time for them to come forward. come on. >> it's been asked, she said she doesn't know i believe that. john pa december that was asked -- >> they can call anybody and
just say -- >> sure they could. but again that's not the issue. >> to say they haven't been asked. >> have you asked, have you asked them. >> they have been asked and it's a legitimate question to ask why do the democrats who do know about this and the chain of events continue to enable donald trump to muddy the water. >> and let me jump in -- >> let's just say. >> one at a time. >> if it is just plain ole normal opposition research why have the principals fusion gps played the 5th and why had they -- >> i have no idea. here's the thing, jack, you are so obsessed with this dossier and with fusion gps. and to me that is you wanting to -- with the clear connection -- >> it's about because -- >> hang on. about the trump campaign and
getting into go to wikileaks and asking them -- >> let me say this -- >> just as you are willing of spending the $9 million spending to gps are you interested in spending of the 5 or $6 million? >> yes, i do. i don't have a problem with that because what's good for the goose is good for the gander. the american people really don't trust any of us and you can't blame them -- >> especially trump. >> and hillary's the -- >> hillary lost. trump is the president of the united states why is he obsessed with her? >> four republicans to say you know what, here's what we know about wikileaks. in terms flats should say here's what we know about fusion gps -- >> yes, i'm all for it. >> and let us look at their bank account and who ordered --
>> it doesn't change what's in the dossier and that's what you guys don't want to talk about. >> first of all i would have trouble believing that hasn't been bank accounts subpoenaed. but going back to the basic question, jack, the republicans out loud finally saying what they're saying, been saying for months about doubting the president's ability, stability, competent, fitness in office. now we see hillary as the issue. >> let's take a break. >> coming up when we come back what could be the biggest development in the hush story. if you move your old 401(k) to a fidelity ira,
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>> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. >> we have breaking news tonight, a land mark in the russian investigation. let's go to pamela brown. what have you learned. >> we learned a federal gararan jury in washington, d.c. on friday approved an investigation led by counsel robert mueller. the charges are still sealed, under orders from a federal judge at this hour.
anderson, we were told plans were prepared friday for anyone charged to be taken into custody, possibly as soon as pond, the sources said. it's unclear what these charges are, the indictment is under seal. as spokesman from the county's office declined to comment on this story. as you know, anderson, mueller was appointed in may to lead the investigation in russia meddling in the 2016 u.s. elections and he was given broad authority. so this was a significant development in the investigation. top lawyers who are helping to lead the mueller firm, the pro we should say, including veteran prosecutor, andrew wiseman was seen entering the courtroom at the dc federal court where the grand jury meets to hear testimony in the russian investigation. and there was a flurry of activity at the grand jury room but the officials made no announcement. we are learning today the grand
jury approved the charges in the mueller investigation. >> just to be clear, pam, we don't know what the charges are and who has been charged? >> that's correct. we have ideas of who has been charged but we are not naming those people. we don't believe they have notified yet. typically what happens is the grand jury will approve an indictment, it will stand or seal and it will go through a certain process which will take a few days or a couple of days to get the arrest warrant before the attorney is called asking for that person for the attorney to have the clients turn themselves in. we believe that may be at play. we are told again, as early as monday, possibly monday or perhaps beyond that is when we may saw law enforcement activity relating to these endorsement ideas. >> evan can we say or know it's more than one person? >> anderson, we believe it's more than one person but again
they have not been notified. we were working on this story for several hours as we were trying to contact some of the lawyers of the people involved. some did not get back to us. we'll be continuing to work on that over the weekend. this is something that obviously, because its under seal it's actually one of the more difficult parts of this story to cover. >> so, evan to bring charges like this, who would have to approve them? >> well, rod rosenstein is the attorney general whose overseeing this investigation, he's the deputy attorney general, but for this case, because the attorney general jeff sessions is recused, he is acting as the attorney general. he oversees this and he has the right to review the discharges -- charges. if he thinks they are not appropriate he can tell robert mueller he doesn't approve of them. so at this stage, we don't know what interaction there was but we do believe, that given the regulation that governor what mueller is doing he would have
to give rod rosenstein notice about this and at least told him what he was preparing to do, and giving rosenstein the chance to say you can't do this if he believed it was not appropriate. >> would that information be given to the white house or given to the attorney general jeff sessions since he'd accused himself? >> no, not under the circumstance. under the circumstances it would be something that rosenstein who is for all intensive purpose the attorney general for this case. he is the one, the ultimate majority to oversee this and it would not under these circumstances be notified to the white house. simply because, anderson this is a case that involves so many people at the white house, of course including the president. >> so, pam how significant -- let's put this in perspective, and again we don't know what the charges or, or who has been charged, how significant in development is this in the russian investigation? >> it's a land mark development.
this is what, in a sense we've been waiting to see if this will happen if robert mueller's team will bring any indictment related to the russia probe. this is an investigation that's been going on for a year. it had groups of investigators looking at possible collusion, looking at paul manafort, michael flynn, and also looking at obstruction of justice with the president's firing of james comey and the circumstances surrounding that. so, this is certainly a big significant step and an acceleration and indication that this investigation has accelerated to a point where they believe they have the case, it's probable cause. you have to show probable cause when you go before a garage. so they believe they have enough to at least show probable cause for at least one person who has been under investigation in this
probe. we should also mention that it will be interesting to see what the charges are. if they had nothing to do with the campaign or russia you can expect mueller's shock to draw a lot of heat, especially from the warehou white house. you heard the president say this is a waste of tax payer dollars. if this has nothing to do with that, that'll be intersection to see. mueller has brought authorities and investigation to anything that may arise from the russia probe. >> evan, with the process for what this is, you said the arrests could be made monday or tuesday or in that time frame. >> right. >> but in terms of what charges are, is that announced at some part? does the department of justice announce whose going to be arrested? >> our understanding, anderson is that that is the plan. once these people have been arrested, then the special council would make a public announcement about what these
charges are and the people who are affected. again, part of the issue here is making sure you know where these people are. making sure that you contact the lawyers. in this case they'd probably call the lawyers perhaps on sunday or monday and tell them you have until a turn hour to have your client turn themselves in. if they don't do that, the u.s. mash shalls and the -- hard shalls and the fbi will figure out how to bring them under arrest. the procedure will be to bring them to court here in d.c., in washington, and then take them to get the charges read to them for the first time in federal court. i just want to add real quick to what pamela was saying. one of the things -- look, i don't think this is affecting how robert mueller's handling this case. if you're running an investigation like this and you're starting here, republicans are now starting to say that the time is ticking away, then it's time to try to end this. and you hear the president now
sending out tweets about the costliness of this investigation. look, they do have to do something to show what it is they're coming up with. i think that's partly what's happening here, is that i think they believe they have enough evidence to be able to bring charges against at least a couple of individuals or at least one individual here in this case. and that's what's happening here, anderson. >> evan perez, pamela brown i appreciate on you continuing to work your sources. the panel, bawl person steen, david, john dean, michael zeleny and jeff. michael, let's put there in perspective, what does this mean for the mueller envision? >> what it means is that he's indicted somebody. we don't know if -- but we can s surmise from pamela's reporting
that --wiseman has been on the manafort case and it might be logical to include that it is manafort. he has been under scrutiny for both collusion and real estate dealings and tax and money laundering investigation. you could have investigation of manafort separate from the collusion but which imdates his dealings with the money he earned in ukraine and elsewhere over seas. >> jeff tuesday man what's your take on this from a legal standpoint? >> it's a peculiar information because indictments are announced with out knowing who the defendant is and what the charges are. it's a major land mark in the course of this investigation. two points, one in white collar investigations, usually the first indictments are against individuals you hope will plead
guilty and cooperate with others. you indite smaller fishes in hope of getting the big fish. another point to make, these white collar cases take a long time. it's very unlikely these cases will get to trial for six months to a year. so, if anybody thinks the mueller investigation is going to be wrapping up in the next couple of months, this decision today pretty much karn gees the mueller office will be up and running well into 2018, if not through the whole year and beyond. >> michael, do you back up what jeff is saying that you go after the smaller fish first in the hope that they will essentially flip or succumb to pressure? >> well, typically that's the case. it's not necessary this is a typical case. if you look back at whitewater, they indicted several people for bank fraud.
none of them were really small fish or had anything to say about the president's corruption. there are transactions that were alleged, indicted and proved so these guys went to jail. so it could well be that manafort and flynn who has dealings on the outside of the collusion gets dieted for that activity. it's been five months. wiseman, if it's his case is a fast moving prosecutor. and it could be, like jeffrey says, if it is one of those guys and they're found or plead guilty then they have more to sell than collusion inquiry. this may be the arise out part which leads back into the collusion if there is a story to tell there. >> carl. >> jeffrey toobin's got it exactly right. i've talked to some of the lawyers who saw this coming,
they believe the intent is to get one or many of those people to corroborate and turn over the fact that the prosecute think this may be a conspiracy. i don't think collusion in itself is a crime, i think it would have to be part of a conspiracy, but this all goes really to a larger question of possible disloyalty to the united states by helping a foreign power undermine our elections. so, there's all kinds of larger ethical, moral and legal questions raised. now, what we're trying to see -- mueller is trying to do is to move this investigation to determine what happened in terms of whether there was a conspiracy to undermine our democratic system. >> you know, anderson in the united states criminal indictments are usually public things. we keep or criminal proceedings public in the united states.
whether you see a sealed indictment like this it almost always happens for one reason, there's a fear that the defendant is going to flea the jurisdiction. occasional in big crime-type cases you may be worried about a threat to a witness's name revealed. i don't think they're going to see this in this case. whoever they're indited i think think think he's going to flea. >> laura what do you think about this? >> if that was the only basis -- which of course has many many arms including michael flynn, paul manafort, jared kushner's security forms, robert stone boasting to wikileaks. the list goes on and own about the possible people whose in this indictment. whether you have months include investigation by his team -- what is indicating to me is one they are trying to encourage
cooperation, but also that their investigation has taken on many different contentions. one of them being is that may be a related notion to the overall collusion claim but that is exactly the precise reason why robert mueller has the direct that he does. what ever can come from the initial collusion investigation he's entitled to work with. this may be an indication he's not trying to show his hand because he doesn't want people to be able to either conceal evidence, destroy evidence. it may be a reason he was able to do a surprise, no-knock and announce warn on paul manafort's home. there is an urgency robert mueller is seeing, and it may be a flight risk. >> for you who are just joining us, first charges filed in the mueller investigation, story breaking a short time ago. we don't know exactly who those charges have been filed against
or the nature of those charges, we expect to hear that in the coming days. arrests could be made early as monday. lawyers will be notified on sunday according to our reporters or over the weekend. david, how serious is this for the trump administration? >> well, it certainly looks like the damage is starting to break, anderson, after a long while. i think we're going to be in expense ovsuspense over the nex couple of days as to what charges are. if they're about money laundering that's going to send a shutter through the warehouse. what that'll suggest is two things, first of all, the president has been wrong there's nothing to this. there's probably cause to believe in mueller's mind that in fact crimes were committed. and in that zone -- and there's
much better chance of flipping somebody if that's -- that that's the area that -- where the evidence has taken them. on the other hand, if you say it's a manafort and he's indicted for some illegal money trafficking he had some time ago, that suggests they got very little on the question of collusion and on money laundering. i think a lot depends on what charges are, as an addition to. if it's money laundering or collusion i think jeffrey and carl are right. there's going to be a big effort to flip who ever it is that's indicted. >> but jeff toobin, if it is some past crime, financial crime from some years ago, david saying, you know the white house will say, look there's nothing about collusion, this is reaching back in history years. is it possible those kind of charges are brought to your
point in order to get them to flip and kind of a smaller fish, charge them with something from the past to get them to flip on what they may know? >> right, people flip because they know they're going to be convicted and looking at serious jail time. it doesn't necessarily mean they have to flip on precisely the issue that they will testify against higher up. i know we are in a position here of speculating and that's not ideal, but, you know, i think the precise nature of the charges against whoever this is, one or more persons, doesn't necessarily tell you about the future investigation, the future course of the investigation. all it means is that the mueller team has found probable cause against somebody or some person, and that they are going to try to win that case or get a guilty plea and a conviction and/or
testimony. i think the precise nature of the charges will tell you something about the direction of the investigation, but it won't necessarily tell you everything that mueller has learned at this point. >> there's one other aspect of this and that is it's very possible, and it's been suggested to me by some lawyers involved, that mueller wants to send a signal to other perspective dfrts. if this person who has been indicted or person who has facing 20, 30, 40, or 50 years for whatever these crimes are, there may be others who are subject to similar charges who has something dealing with russia. so it may be aimed at these people as well specifically not the person they want to flip. so there are a who the of intentions that the special council is trueing to convey here i suspect.
>> john, we haven't heard from you. >> well, it was not the intent of the special prosecutor here to tease -- this is one of the larger independent prosecutor teases of all time. i think the consensus merging from the conversation this is an effort to flip somebody, this certainly seems to be the way to do it. we're left speculating right now. we'll get more information when we know the nature of the charges. it will tell us the status of the mueller investigation, it will tell us what the white house jepordy may or may not be. it's still early. mueller has held his cards close and there is an interesting move. >> laura you wanted to say something? >> to be clear the idea that the special counsel is holding one card to hedge his way into a prosecution the not the issue here. when you charge someone and you
have an indictment your intention is to convict not to flip. they may be an aspiration but it's not the ultimate goal. it's very important to consider that even though this is a speculation aspect of it, one charge today in a separate case does not fore close or preclude the person who is indicted right now from being charged in other future cases, involving other collusion related things or money laundering. we're not talking about a closed universe of conclusion right now. we have to be cautious about speculating if this will be the end for this person. there may be any others. >> for people joining us and didn't hear pam, can you give us sense of when are lawyers notified that their clients, you know, have been indicted? i assume the lawyers are told the charges directly and how are ars carried out?
>> well, typically the arrest should be voluntary surrender in a case like this, unless there's a risk of flight and they'll be arrested and handcuffed. some prosecutors used i personally don't like that. i think that if a person is not a flight risk, they should voluntarily turn themselves in. this case they'll notify their client they've been indicted and that will be over the weekend. they'll tell the client, the lawyer what they expect of their client, whether it's a to-be arrested or turned in. the indictments will be unsealed so the lawyers have a clear knowledge of what their client is being charged with. the person will be brought to court and they'll be presented to the charges and they'll have to enter a plea in the future after that. and then the case goes forward. >> michael, we know obviously grand jury, this is the result
of a grand jury. can you just explain how that process works for those who, you know, aren't familiar with the grand jury system? you know, we know the grand jury, i think there's two grand juries going on. how exactly does a grand jury bring about charges? >> well, the grand jury is made up of a group of citizens who are brought in generally for about an 18-month period. the prosecutor only is the person that presents evidence to the grand jury. they meet in the courthouse. and they often meet like once or twice a week. evidence is put forth by the prosecutor. as they build the blocks of the case. and then once the prosecutor has enough information that they think is sufficient to allow the grand jury to indict, they present a grand jury indictment, draft indictment, they say we ask you to return charges as set forth here. and the grand jury then votes, yea or nay. if they vote yea, the indictment is perfected, if you will, and
the charges are joined. >> i was going to say, also, the thing you have to remember with the information that we have here now, is, it's possible, yes, that pressure is being used through these indictments to flip lower level people in the case. but it's also quite possible that on monday or tuesday of next week, someone, like manafort or somebody else who has been publicly identified in this case will voluntarily surrender with his lawyer, and that a deal may already have been made. and that the indictment is simply going to be handled in a lenient way, in exchange for testimony going down the road. so there are enormous number of possibilities here. we only know that a grand jury has found probable cause that a crime has been committed. and sufficient to warrant an indictment. and that somebody's going to be brought in. we're really doing a lot of speculation, i think. >> jeff toobin, in front of a grand jury, there's no defense, correct, it's just the
prosecutor? >> right. it doesn't even look like a courtroom. a grand jury room tends to look like a classroom, where there is a witness stand, but the prosecutor runs the show. and the jurors sit classroom style, and are allowed to ask questions often, sometimes directly, sometimes through the prosecutor. it is something that is very much controlled by the prosecution. there is no defense attorney. the witnesses are not allowed to have a defense attorney in the room. and a grand jury does not have to be unanimous to issue an indictment the way a jury has to be unanimous to reach a conviction. they need only to have a majority. the -- so, an indictment is not, you know, tantamount to conviction, i think people should be very much aware of that, just because somebody's indicted means they're guilty of anything. but obviously it is not a step
that responsible prosecutors take unless they feel like the case ultimately will end in a conviction. and certainly, the very experienced group that robert mueller has surrounded him with is well aware of that, and they would not bringing this case unless they thought they could present it in front of a trial jury. >> could the attorney, or attorneys for one person or two people, however many have been indicted, i know they haven't been notified, but would they have a sense that this was going to be happening? would they have a sense of the information that had been presented to the grand jury since they're not in the grand jury room? >> only if the people who were actually witnesses before the grand jury somehow indicated, or told them they were. the whole premise of the grand jury is to operate in secret. which, of course, is very different than what happens in a trial, where you don't want the notion that people are able to be convicted behind closed doors, and not in the public eye. you want the protections of the judge who is not present in the
grand jury scenario. so if the witnesses themselves somehow were able to disclose, or chose to disclose information, then they would have an inkling into whether or not their client was going to be indicted or what information they would have. the whole premise is to operate in secrecy in order to have the subpoena power be most effective. the most important notion, or role of a grand jury is to have subpoena power over documents, over people, to be able to come in and testify. so without that secrecy, you do not have the ability to have as much access to everyone else. so it would not be in the interests of the prosecuting team to have it disclosed. but a witness is able to disclose information if they choose. >> you know, i do think that -- >> hold on. >> the attorneys will see this coming. because when you're under investigation, subpoenas are issued for your bank records. and it's your friends who are being subpoenaed to the grand jury. and prosecutors may even have told you, the attorney, that your client is a target in the investigation.
so i think most certainly, whoever is the attorney for the client in this case, saw the indictment come. >> michael, you were wanting to say something? >> i would add what paul added which is, normally you'll get a target letter. if you're the target of a grand jury meeting, you have the likelihood of being indicted, you will get that notification. i don't think anybody who has got a target letter, that bob mueller is sending them that letter for the fun of it. >> for those just joining, we do not know what the charges are. that has not been announced. nor do we know, or i think are saying who are the -- who charges have been filed against. but how does the white house play this? if it is not, you know, something to do directly with russia, if it is a past allegation of a crime, if it is a past charge for money laundering or some sort of tax
fraud or financial impropriety, what does the white house do from a political standpoint? do they attack this? >> anderson, again, it goes to the nature of the charges. if the charge comes back against manafort for his personal unrelated to the white house financial transactions in the past, that somehow violated some federal laws, i think the white house is then going to go on the attack. they'll treat this as a weak opening move by mueller. if the first thing he brings in is unrelated to the president and collusion with russia charge, that makes it easy for them to say, we told you there wasn't much here. and look what he's come up with. he's had a massive investigation and come up with a mouse. on the other hand, if he comes in with something about collusion, that's much more serious. and if he finds something, frankly, about money laundering by the trump team, put aside manafort, the trump team has
been money laundering, there have been a lot of rumors among people in new york and the investment community that at the end of the day, that's what this is going to come down is much more about money laundering. those two things should put a scare into the white house. because that means he's building a case that could be very much land on their doorstep and indeed come inside the doors of the white house. i think in that situation, i would assume they will try to discredit mueller in a variety of ways, they'll find friends to do that. i would assume they have had some kind of game plan to do that, if something serious comes down. but they're going to treat it a different way. it will require a much more inclusive plan. >> if you are robert mueller, and you are aware of that, you know, there's the legal case you want to make, and then there's obviously the politicized environment. how much do you -- how much does that seep into things? how much do you take that into account? >> i don't think mueller will
take much of the politics of this into account. bob is a serious guy who faces facts as he sees them and makes decisions about those facts. i think if he's indicted, somebody on a collateral matter, hypothetically, it's a manafort for his personal business dealings with ukraine, and that's what he's indicting him on now, well, that sends a message to flynn, because flynn is also alleged to have had financial dealings with turkey. that sends messages to others that maybe flynn and manafort will talk about the jared kushner meeting, or the president's efforts to obstruct the justice department investigation of flynn. so there are lots of ripple effects that these indictments have. but in mueller's case, i think all he's really doing is looking at evidence, making determinations, bringing charges, and then the collateral consequences of those charges will be determined down the
line. >> everybody, just hold on. we're just at the top of the we're just at the top of the hour. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com breaking news is big tonight. special indictment in robert mueller's wide ranging russia investigation. no matter what you may think of the underlying allegations, pam, what have you learned. >> anderson, our team, myself, evan perez, a federal grand jury in washington, d.c., today, approved the first charges in the investigation led by special counsel robert mueller. this is according to sources briefed on the matter. the charges are still sealed under order from a federal judge at this hour. and plans are being prepared for anyone charged to be taken into custody, perhaps as soon as this monday. the sources told us. it's unclear what the charges are, anderson. as i