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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  October 27, 2017 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT

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if you've got a garage full of used sports equipment, those soccer balls your kids don't use anymore or the rakts from the time you thought you'd take up tennis, this weekend's cnn hero has found a creative way to give forgotten sports equipment new life. >> a lot of kids learn the importance of work ethic on the sports field. there we go. good job. both of you. do it again. >> sports were the most important part of my childhood. so many kids can't afford to play sports. there's millions of dollars of sports equipment that is not being put to use, that is either being thrown away or wasting away in garages. i thought why don't we just create a food bank for sports equipment. >> to see how it's really making a dinners go to cnn
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and get ready. next week we reveal the top ten cnn heroes of 2017. that's it for us tonight. thanks for watching. good evening. we have breaking news just ahead. a new push by the president himself to speed up the release of unpublished hillary clinton state department e-mails. it caps a week of at what appear to be efforts from shipping focus from president trump's campaign on the woman they defeated. today the president started with a tweet making this claim it is now commonly agreed after many months of costly looking that there was no collusion between russia and top. was collusion are hc. this afternoon sarah huckabee 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 chin tons and certainly not our campaign. >> well, sarah huckabee sanders is referring to the dnc and lawyers for the clinton campaign
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hiring fusion gps to do opposition research on candidate trump. as for the collusion are russia, she's alleging there, that's anyone's guess, but keeping them honest when it comes to the president's claim that it is now commonly agreed there was no collusion between his campaign and russia that to put it charityably is a matter of opinion. it's definitely the line that's been coming from team trump for quite a while. >> the russia story is a total fabrication. >> did any adviser or anybody in the trump campaign have any contact with the russians who were trying to meddle in the election? >> of course not. >> so there has been absolutely no collusion. it's been stated that they have no collusion. >> are there any ties between mr. trump, you or your campaign and putin and his regime? >> no, there are not. it's absurd. >> there was no collusion between us and russia. >> did anyone involved in the trump campaign have any contact with russians trying to meddle with the election?
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>> absolutely not. >> in the meantime, no collusion, no obstruction. >> so current and former members of team trump have long agreed there's nothing to see here and to that point they may be right. it's entirely possible that none of what they or we or anyone else has learned so far will add up to the campaign and russia working together to get donald trump in the white house or to him and anyone else object strubting justice. keeping them honest, though, the person who counts, special counsel robert mueller has not said that or anything for that matter. nor has the senate intelligence committee and that's from the republican cochair. >> the committee continues to look into all evidence to see if there was any hint of collusion. now, i'm not going to even discuss initial findings because we haven't any. >> well, 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 acosta has more on the story.
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you know you asked sarah huckabee sanders about all of this today in the briefing. has the white house given any evidence to back up these claims? >> they have not, anderson. and keep in mind the president has repeatedly called the russia investigation fabing news but now that i suppose it involves the clinton campaign and the dnc they think it's very much real news. during the briefing today i asked the white house press secretary where was the evidence that the president tweeted about earlier tht day that hillary clinton had colluded with the russians and here is what she had to say. >> how about evidence of collusion by -- sarah, the president made a charge that hillary clinton -- >> i think i've addressed that pretty thoroughly. mike, go ahead. >> you're saying that -- >> i'm saying that i'm calling on your colleague. >> okay. well then will you address that question? >> now, with he saw a pattern throughout the briefing today, anderson and that is every time that the question came up of the russia investigation sarah huckabee sanders from the white house podium said if there's any collusion going on it's with the
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clinton campaign, the dnc and the russians. and she basically never really backed that up throughout the entire course of that briefing. but of course, they are talking about the fact that it was reported earlier this week that the clinton campaign and the dnc had hired that firm that led to the so-called russian dossier, but anderson, even that is less evidence than the president's own son meeting with the russian attorney. we all recall this last summer promising information from the kremlin that would incriminate hillary clinton and her campaign. that is obviously more evidence than what the white house has offered so far. >> and, jim, just in the last hour i know we've learned who originally hired the firm gps to do anti-trump research. >> that's right. we did learn earlier this week that the clinton campaign and the dnc had reached out to this firm to develop is this dossier that allegedly said all these sorts of things about then
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candidate trump. but as it turns out late tonight the conservative website the washington "free beacon" has come out with a statement saying that, yes, they hired this firm, fusion to do some, i guess, digging, some opposition research on what they say were various republican candidates in the field in the 2016 race. and i guess the acknowledgment here is that donald trump was one of those candidates. they say they did not hire christopher steele as part of that investigation, that it only involved fusion. but of course, this is only going to lead to more questions because the owner of the washington "free beacon," one of the major funders is paul singer, who is a big gop fund-raiser who was backing some of the candidates in the 2016 field. and so this is obviously one of those shoes that dropped, but may lead to other shoes dropping in the days to come, anderson. >> jim acosta.
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thanks. ryan, i mean, for the president to say it's commonly agreed no collusion between russia and trump, may be commonly agreed in the white house, but this is still an active investigation and there's been no conclusion. >> the whole point is that this is being investigated, right. so when he says that the subject that is being investigated has concluded and pronounces some conclusion about it, that's just wrong. there wouldn't be a serious investigation by the special counsel if that conclusion had been reached. but then he goes even farther and says that there is this evidence of hillary clinton's collusion with russia. i assume he's talking about a couple of things. he's probably talking these allegations between this uranium concern that was granted permission to acquire these 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 organization that i've read, at least the idea that there was some kind of pay for play between clinton and the raurnsz. and secondly, he's obviously
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referring to is this dossier that we now know which certainly should have been disclosed by the democrats previously that the clinton campaign paid for opposition research. >> right. >> that eventually produced this dossier. neither of those things amount to the kind of collusion that everyone has in general referred to. >> congressman, i mean, with a straight face can the white house really say on the one hand no collusion commonly agreed no collusion between trump and russia but there is collusion between the clinton campaign and russia? i get why -- can you have -- >> i think what we can say, those of us who are more supportive of this administration is that after ten months of being hit with the absolute hardest evidence or whatever allegations there are, the trump administration is still standing and there is no evidence of collusion. there's a loft hearsay, but people from clapper, people like fine steen and man chin have all
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said repeatedly on this network there's no evidence of collusion. but on the other hand hand -- >> that's just not true. >> hold on. let him finish. >> i think that this story about the uranium sales to russia and the potential pay ofs almost at the same time to the clinton foundation, i think that's scary as heck and the fact that the chin tons have run from this dossier and now it appears that they absolutely were involved in it and did pay $9 million for this op research and possibly used russian sources and perhaps the fbi did. i think there's a whole lot of stuff out there. karen, i yield to you. >> you know, you can't -- well, but also, i mean, that's just a pack of lies. i mean, let's actually talk in facts, because there are actual facts here. and 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
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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, we learned 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 contacts between carter page and michael flynn, previously undisclosed with the russians. we now just tonight there was a story in t"the new york times" that says that that meeting in trump tower in june that was attended by don junior and others, that there was a document that had been signed off on or had included talking points that had been seen by the kremlin. so i think to try to say there's no there there is absolutely ludicrous. and what's happened is that the more this investigation goes on, the deeper it goes. and until we have the final results from bob mueller, we won't know what the final result is. >> karen, to use a --
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>> hold on, that being said -- >> that's old news, man. quoting the russians. who did not know that. >> let measure finish. >> hold on. that's one of the other -- well, two more points that i'll make. also, with regard to the dossier, i mean, our -- the remember that it started with republicans and it is a very normal 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 of course knew about paul manafort's contacts and ties with the russians. we also knew about the trump ties with the russians, which suggests that it would have been criminal negligence on our part as a campaign to not have thought that there might -- to have that looked into. american based opposition research firm that was investigating that. >> what i don't understand is no one from the dnc, no one from the clinton campaign has actually stood up and said, oh,
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yeah, i knew about this, i actually authorized these payments because right now nobody seems to be saying that they actually received any of this opposition research or even knew it was being done and how is 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 it was being paid for by democrats that it was somewhere in the democratic universe. that's pretty common practice. and again, it was an american-based company -- >> very wise no dnc or clinton person standing up and saying we paid for this, this is how it was done and i knew this. >> i don't know the answer to that because i was not one -- i was busy doing other work at this point in the campaign like a lot of people and i think as others have said it was clearly a very small group of people who at that point were involved in how money was being spent with regard to opposition research. but even if you were saying -- you were paying for opposition research, that doesn't
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necessarily mean you know specifically what projects it was going to. i guess the question that i have is why does it matter when we know that the money was spent, again -- >> well, okay. if you make the argument that the russians may have wanted to try to influence the information that was being given to christopher steele and was giving disinformation through that as part of a disinformation campaign, again, there's no evidence of any of this. 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 conclusively and there's an investigation so the white house can stay that the president has been cleared on all this. i mean, ryan. >> karen, i think it matters for this reason. there is a huge amount of fog about what happened in the election last year. >> absolutely. >> and we were attacked. and i don't know, it bothers me quite a bit about the democrats decided just not to reveal -- 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
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that happened. and now it happens this just processed through everyone's partisan lens. this is evidence of collusion and a lot of democrats will get their back up and be defensive about it. and the american public does not have one comprehensive timeline and place to go to understand about what russia did in the election last year. >> let's end it on that note. we're not going to resolve this. let's just end it on that note. appreciate it. thanks for your time. a lot more ahead tonight including the breaking news at the top. the president's new subject hillary clinton e-mails. the amazing cast of characters and untold stories we're get frg the kennedy assassination files that have just been released when we continue. ♪ one is the only number ♪ that you'll ever need ♪ ♪ because one is the only number ♪ when everything you do is focused on being the best...
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side effects can lead to dehydration, which may cause kidney problems. ask your doctor about victoza®. our breaking news tonight, president trump's push to get more clinton e-mails out there can be read two way, i suppose, as the president calling for greater transparency at the state department or the president using the guys of transparency to shift focus away from his own problems on to hillary clinton. on the campaign trail candidate trump never tired of bringing up her e-mails now he's doing it again. sources close to his thinking he has made it clear he wants to accelerate the release of any hillary clinton e-mails in his possession as soon as possible. joining us now carl bernstein, also the author of a woman in charge, the life of hillary rod ham clinton. also former senior campaign
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adviser and former republican congressman jack kingston is back as well. carl, is this just a distraction by the president? >> yes. look, there is one issue that is par amounted. what the russians did in our election and how it relates to donald trump, his family and associates in his campaign and businesses and what their relationship, financial and otherwise and political, has been through ethno russians and russians seek to go influence our politics. that's the issue. yes, hillary clinton is a very convene 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 is when i came on board and knew something about it. she should have done it. she still should do it. but it has nothing to do with trying to mud i didn't go the waters. we have a sprawling investigation by a very
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qualified special counsel looking into all aspects of the trump family, business organization, finances, how they relate to russia or don't. he ought to be able to have the luxury and decency by republicans giving him free rein to conduct a full investigation that gets the facts. >> jack, is this just a distraction by the president? >> first of all, i want to say to carl i think he does get free rein. most republicans are appalled at how much free rein he has particularly given his involvement, perhaps, in the uranium one during his watch when $2.35 million was donated to the clinton foundation in exchange for a uranium one getting assets for america approving the sale. i think there's a lot of reason for concern. here is what i want to say about the dossier. why are the chin tons, even going to an extreme to deny that they had a part of it. $9 million was spent but not one person at the dnc seems to know anything about it.
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if $9 million was spent, it you have sh been reported. and it doesn't seem to have been reported properly. >> you're absolutely right, jack. it should have been and she ought to say now when she came on board knowing about it, if she did. but i want to ask you a question. as a republican, isn't it time for the republicans to say we need to know everything there is about what the russians did and whether the trump family business, president of the united states had interactions that we should be concerned about? why not call for that? why doesn't the president of the united states get up and say mr. mueller, i'm here to talk to you, i'm sending my family in, my associates in. let's clean this up. >> as you know, republicans are in the majority in the house and senate. they could shut down these investigations anytime they want. but instead these investigations having going on -- >> they can't shut down -- >> the senate investigation. i'm talking about -- >> it is not a legislative function to shut down an inquiry
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by the special counsel at all. >> first of all, they allowed the special counsel to go forward. they could have shut that down. number two, house and senate investigations have been going on vigorously and if they were trying to hide something or shut it down, they would not. what i would like to know also, though, about the dossier is did the fbi use it and did they use it to unmask american citizens? did they use it to call for an investigation of the trump campaign? how much russian influence was in this dossier? >> i want to bring in maria. you see this as a distraction. >> it is a total distraction, around son. but i think it's also more than that. i think it shows two things -- >> let me just jump in. if the russians were using disinformation through christopher steele, shouldn't that be investigated? wouldn't that be part of russian somehow trying to impact the election. >> look, and if there is something there, then yes, let's look into it. but the fact of the matter is that this dossier was opposition research.
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and as you noted and cnn has noted, started by the rs, paid for by a right leaning investigative entity. it doesn't matter who paid for it. opposition research happens in all campaigns. in fact, i would say the clinton campaign, the dnc would have been negligent not to follow through with the information in that dossier. i am glad they did it. the question is, though, 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 what -- that's what trump -- >> you're saying this is great opposition research. if the people at the dnc and the clinton campaign really believed that, why doesn't somebody stand up and say oh, yeah, i was the person on this -- >> okay. let me answer that. it's my understanding that the person who knew about it hasn't been asked yet. and i don't know if at this point they're going to come out -- >> subterfuge here by the democrats and it's time for them to come forward.
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>> debbie wasserman schultz has been asked. she said she doesn't know. i believe that. john podesta was asked -- >> they could call anybody and say they did it. >> sure, they could. but again, that's not the issue. >> you say they haven't been asked. >> have you asked them? have you asked them? then ask 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 mudy the waters. it's quite astonishing. >> and let me jump in also. fusion gps -- >> one at a time. one at a time. >> but if it is just plain old normal opposition research, why have the principles of fusion gps pled the fifth and why haven't they closed their bank accounts? >> i have no idea. i don't know who the principles -- >> but as a good -- >> here is the thing, jack. you are so obsessed with this dossier and with fusion gps and
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to me that is you wanting to object few skate with the clear connection -- >> it's because you don't want to -- >> about the trump campaign and they're getting into -- wanting to go to wicks i leaks and asking them to release -- >> let me say this -- e-mails of hillary clinton. >> if you are interested in the spending of the $9 million or however much it is to fusion gps, are you interested in the spending of 5 or $6 million -- >> yes. i think that's legitimate. >> yes, jack. >> i don't have any problems with that because what's good for the goose good for the gander. the problems here on the day of the kennedy files being released is that the american people just really don't trust any of us. and you can't really blame them. >> especially trump. >> well, but they -- >> hillary is the standard -- >> hillary lost, okay. trump is the president of the united states. why is he so obsessed with her? >> let me just say this. four republicans to say you know what? here is what we know about the wikileaks release, fine. we should do it.
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in turn democrats should say here is what we know about fusion gps and about christopher steele -- >> yes. i am all for it. >> and and we're all -- >> letting us look at their bank accounts and who ordered those -- >> it doesn't change in the dossier. and that's what you guys don't want to talk about. >> first of all, i would have trouble believing that there haven't been bank accounts subpoenaed. i don't know that for a fact. but i think we've got to go back to the basic question, jack, especially during the week that republicans out loud finally started saying what they're saying, been saying for months about they're duty doubting the president's stability, competent, fitness in office. >> we've got to take a break. we have a big story coming up. you want to stay tuned. when we come back r what could be the biggest development yet in the russia story.
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we have breaking news tonight. it is a landmark in the russia investigation. let's go right to efb and pamela. what have you learned in. >> reporter: we've learned a federal grand jury in washington, d.c. on friday 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 orders from a federal judge at this hour. and anderson, we're told that plans were prepared friday for anyone charged to be taken into custody possibly as soon as monday, these sources said. it's unclear exactly what these charges are against the indictment is under seal. a spokesman for the special counsel's office declined to comment on this story. and as you know, mueller was appointed in may to lead the investigation into russian meddling in the 2016 u.s. elections. and he was given broad authority under the mandate given to him by rod rosenstein. so this is a significant
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development in the investigation. top lawyers who are helping to lead the mueller firm, the probe we should say, including veteran prosecutor andrew wise man were seen today entering the courtroom at the d.c. federal court where the grand jury meets to hear testimony in the russia investigation and reporters present saw a flurry of activity at the grand jury room, but officials made no announcements. but we are learning today, around son, that the grand jury approved the first charges in the mueller investigation. >> so just to be clear, pam, with he don't know what the charges are at this point and we don't know who has been charged? >> that's correct. we have ideas of who has been charged, but we are not naming those people. weapon don't believe that they have actually been notified yet. typically what happens is the grand jury will approve an indictment. it will stay under seal and then they will go through a certain process that takes a few days or a couple of days to get the arrest warrant and so forth before perhaps the attorney is called asking for that person,
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for the attorney to have their clients turn themselves in. so we believe that may be at play because we are told, again, as early as monday, possibly monday or perhaps beyond that is when we may see some law enforcement activity related to these indictments under seal, anderson. >> evan, can you say or do we know if it's more than one person? >> reporter: well, anderson, we believe it's more than one person, but again, they have not been notified. and that's one of the things we were trying to do today. we were working on this story for several hours as we were trying to contact some of the lawyers of the people involved, some of them did not get back to us. so we'll be continuing to work on that over the weekend. you know, it is something that obviously because it's under seal, it makes it -- 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 here who is handling this -- who is overseeing this investigation. he is the deputy attorney general, but for this case
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because the attorney general jeff sessions is recused. he is acting as the attorney general. and so he oversees this, and he has the right to review the charges and if he thinks that they are not appropriate, he can tell robert muscle that he doesn't approve them. he can reject them. so at this stage, anderson, we don't know exactly what interaction there was, but we do believe that given the regulations that govern what mueller is doing that he would have had to give rod rosenstein notice about this and at least, you know, told him what he was preparing to do and given rosenstein the chance to say you can't do this if he plead it was not appropriate. >> would that information be given to the white house as well or be given to attorney general jeff sessions since he requeued himself? >> no, not under this circumstance. under the circumstance it would be something that rosenstein, who is, you know, for all intents and purposes the attorney general for this case, he is the one, the ultimate authority to oversee this and it
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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. >> pam, how significant -- i mean, let's put it this perspective. and again, we don't know what the charges are or who has been charged or haven't confirmed it or we're not saying it. how significant of a development is this in the russia investigation? >> it's a landmark development. i mean, this is what in a sense we've been waiting to see if this will happen, if robert mueller's team will bring any indictments related to the russia probe. this is an investigation that's been going on for well over a year. it started in the 2016 campaign, the fbi opened it. and then as you know, robert mueller took over in may. and it had groups of investigators looking at possible collusion, looking at paul manafort, the former campaign chairman, flynn, michael flynn, the former national security adviser and also looking at obstruction of
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justice with the president's firing of james comey and the circumstances surrounding that. and so this is certainly a big significant step and an acceleration, an indication that the investigation has accelerated to a point where they believe they have the case, its probable cause. you have to show probable cause when you go before a grand jury. 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. and we should also mention that it will be interesting to see what the charges are because if they have nothing to do with the campaign or russia, you can expect mueller to draw a lot of heat especially from the white house. you heard the president say that this is a waste of taxpayer dollars and if this has nothing to do with that that will be really interesting to see. but mueller has broad authority under the regulations to investigate anything that may arise from the russia probe. >> do you have a sense for what the process for this is?
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you said arrests could be made monday or tuesday or in that time frame. >> right. >> but in terms of what the charges are, is that announced at some point? does the department of justice announce who is going to be arrested. >> right. well, understanding -- or understanding, anderson, is that that is the plan is that once these people have been arrested, then the special counsel 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. i mean, in this case they would probably call their lawyers perhaps on sunday or monday and tell them you have until a certain hour to have your client turn themselves in. and obviously if they don't do that then the u. s. marshals and the fbi will try to federal government out how to bring them under arrest. and then the procedure would be then to bring them to court here in d.c., in washington, and then
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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 just saying, i mean, one of the things -- and look, this is not -- i don't think this is affecting how robert mueller is handling this case, but you've got to think, right, if you're running an investigation like this and you're starting to hear republicans are now starting to say that the time is ticking away and that it's time to try to end this and you hear the president now sending out tweets about the costlyness of this investigation, look, they do have to do something to show what it is they're coming up with, and i think that's partly what's happening here is that i think they believe that 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. appreciate it. i want to bring in the panel. carl bernstein, david gergen,
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paul cal lesson, laura coats, done steen and jeff tu been. michael, let's put this into perspective for us. what does this mean for the mueller investigation? >> well, what it means is that he's indicted somebody. we don't know whether it's to the core charge of collusion or whether it's to the collateral charge of money laundering or tax evasion. we can surmise from pamela's reporting if it was andrew wise man who was at the courthouse who was returning the indictment, wise man has been on the manafort case and that it therefore might beological to conclude that it is manafort. manafort has been under scrutiny for both collusion and also for his real estate dealings and for tax and money laundering investigatio investigations. so you could have an investigation of manafort separate from the collusion but which implicates his dealings with the monies that he earned in ukraine and elsewhere over seas. >> jeff, is what's your take on this from a legal standpoint?
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>> well, it's a peculiar situation because indictments are rarely announced without knowing who the defendant is or what the charges are. but it is certainly a major landmark in the course of this investigation. the other point to make that -- two points. one, in white collar investigations usually the first indictments are against individuals that you hope will plead guilty and cooperate against others. you don't indict the big fish first. you indict smaller fishes in hopes of getting the big fish. and the other point to make is that these white collar cases take a long time, and it's very unlikely that this case would even 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 guarantees that the mueller office will be up and
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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 hopes that they will essentially flip or sum come to pressure? >> well, typically that's the case, but it's not necessarily that this is a typical case. if you look back at whitewater, for example, they indicted sefl people for bank fraud. none of them were really small fish. none of them had anything to say about the president's corruption. but there were significant financial transactions that were alleged and were indicted and were proved and these guys went to jail. so it could well be that manafort or a flynn or somebody who has dealings on the outside of the collusion gets indicted for that activity. it's been five months. wise man if it's his case is a fast moving prosecutor and it well then could be that if it is one of those guys and they are found guilty or they plead
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guilty, that then they have something more to sell with respect to the collusion inquiry. because you have to remember it's collusion and then other things that may arise out of the investigation. this may be the arise out part, which leads back into the collusion, if there's a to her to tell there. >> carl, stunning night. >> well, jeffrey tu bin has got it exactly right. i've talked to some of the lawyers who knew this was coming. they believe that the intent is toe get one or more of these people to cooperate and turn over some more facts about what the prosecutors think may be a conspiracy. whether or not these charges go directly to, quote, collusion -- and one of the things, correct me if i'm wrong, 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
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ethical, moral and legal questions raised. and 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. >> paul? >> you know, anderson, in the united states criminal indictments are usually public things. we keep our criminal proceedings public in the united states. when you see a sealed indictment like this, it almost always happens for one reason. there's a fear that the defendant is going to flee the juris particular. occasional in big organized crime type cases you might be worried about a threat to a witness whose name is revealed in the indictment, but i don't think we're going to see that in this case. so this suggests whoever they're dieting, they're afraid he's going to flee. >> laura coats, how do you see this. >> well, the irony here is quite thick that the folk is of the day has been on the dossier, as if that was the only basis for robert mueller's collusion investigation. which of course has many, many
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arms. including michael flynn, including paul manafort, including jared kushner's security forms, including roger stone boasting of wikileaks. the list goes on and on about all the people who are are potentially complicated by this indictment. and it's a reminder that he's running quite the tight ship. weeks after or months after investigations concluded by his team that you're hearing information. even leading up to today when you've got this sealed indictment. what it's indicated to me is they're trying to encourage cooperation but also it has taken on many different incan tagsz and one of them being the fact that this may be a tangentially to the overall claim but that's exactly the precise reason why robert mueller has the directive he does. whatever can come from the initial collusion investigation he's entitled to work with. this may be an indication that 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 the reason that he was
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able to do a surprise, no knock and announce warrant on paul manafort's home. there is an urgency that robert mueller is seeing, and it may be a flight risk. it may also be because there are some missing pieces that he's hoping to encourage to come together in this case. >> all right. for viewers just joining us first charges filed in the mueller investigation. the story just breaking just 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 obviously in the coming days. arrests could be made as early as monday. lawyers will be notified on sunday, according to our reporters or over the weekend at some point. david gergen, from what we know at this point, how serious is this for the trump administration? >> well, it certainly looks like the cam is starting to break now, anderson, after a long while. i think we're going to be in suspense over the next um can of days until we know exactly what the charges are. if the charges relate to collusion or conspiracy against
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the united states, as, you know, carl just pointed out, or if they're about money laundering. that's going to send a shutter through the white house because what that would suggest is first of all, the president has been wrong that there's nothing to this. there is probable cause to believe in mueller's mind that in fact criminal crimes were committed. and there's a much better chance of flipping somebody if that's the area that the -- where the evidence has taken them. on the other hand, if to say it's manafort and he's indicted for some sort of illegal money traction he had personally some time ago, that doesn't -- you know, that suggests that they've got very little on the question of collusion and on money laundering. so i think a lot depends on what the charges are. as in addition to, if it's money laundering or if it's collusion,
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i think that jeffrey and carl are absolutely right. there's going to be a big effort to flip whoever it is whose indicted. >> but jeff tu bin, if it is, you know, some past crime, financial crime from years ago, is it -- you know, david is saying, you know, someone at the white house will say, look, that'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, charging 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 ups. i mean, i know we are in a position here of spk lating, and that's not -- that's not ideal.
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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 persons, and they are going to try to win that case or get a guilty plea and a conviction and 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 that it's very possible, and it's been suggested to me by some of the lawyers involved, that mueller wants to send a signal to other prospective defendants. if this person who has been indicted or persons are facing 20 to 40 to 50 years for whatever these crimes are
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related to collusion or not, there are others who may be subject to similar charges who have further knowledge about dealings with russia. and so it may be aimed at these prospective indict he's as well, not simply this person or persons who they want to flip. so there are a lot of intentions that the special counsel is trying to convey here, i suspect. >> john, we haven't heard from you. >> well, it's not the intent of the special prosecutor here to tease. this is one of the largest independent special prosecutor tease of all time. i think the consensus that's emerging from the conversation is that this is an effort to flip somebody. this certainly seems to be the way to do it. we're left speculating right now, and we'll get a lot more information when we know the nature of the charges. it will tell us both the status and direction of the mueller investigation. it will tell us what the white
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house jeopardy may or may not be. but it's awfully early still, and mueller has held his cards very close, so this is a very interesting move. >> michael, pam brown talked about this -- i'm sorry, laura. you were wanting to say something. >> thank you. to be clear, the whied that the special counsel is simply hold be one card to hedge his way into a prosecution is not the issue here. it's not what he's ultimately trying to do. when you charge someone with -- when you have an indictment your intention is possibly to convict, not simply to flip. that may be an aspiration or a secondary issue there, but it's not the ultimate goal. but it's very important to consider that even though this is -- the speculation aspect of it, one charge today in a separate case does not for close or preclude the person who is dieted right now from being charged in other future cases involving other collusion related things or perhaps money laundering. so we're not talking about a closed universe of prosecutions right now. so we have to be very cautious about speculating that this would be the end for that
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particular person. they may be included in many others. >> michael, from your experience and for our viewers who have just been joining us who didn't hear pam and evan's reporting on sort of the timeline of what the next several days holds, can you give us a sense of when are lawyers notified that their clients, you know, have been indicted? i assume the lawyers are told the charges directly how are arrests actually carried out? >> well, typically the arrest should be voluntary surrender in a case like this, unless as jeffrey said there's a risk of flight, then they'll be arrested and handcuffed. some prosecutors do like to handcuff and arrest people in public, they call them perp walks where they display them. rudy giuliani did that a lot. i personally don't like that. i think that if a person is not a flight risk, they should voluntarily turn themselves in, but in this case they'll notify counsel that their client has been indicted, that will be over the weekend.
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they will tell the client, the lawyer what they expect of their client, whether it's to be arrested or turned in. the indictments will be unsealed so that the lawyers have a clear knowledge of what their client is being charged with, then 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 family with the grand jury system. we know the grand jury -- i think there's two grand juries going on. how exactly does the 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
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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 the 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, and if they vote yea, the indictment is perfected, if you will, and the charges are joined. >> paul? >> i was going to say also. the thing you have to remember with the information that we have here now is that 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's been publically 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
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going to be handled in a lenient way in exchange for testimony going down the road. so there are an 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 is going to be brought in. we really -- we're really doing a lot of speculation, i think. >> but, 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
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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 is indicted doesn't mean 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 be bringing this case unless they felt they could put it in front of a trial jury. >> would the attorney or attorneys for one person or two people, however many have been indicted, would they -- i know they haven't been notified, but would they have a sense that this was going to be happening?
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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 they -- the people who were actually witnesses before the grand jury somehow indicated or told them they were. the whole premises 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's 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. but the whole premises is to operate in secrecy in order to have the subpoena power be most effective. because 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 we do not have the ability to have as much access to everyone else. so it would not be in the
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interest 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 -- i do think -- >> hold on. go ahead. >> 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 coming. >> michael, was that you saying you wanted to say something? >> i was going to just add what paul wanted. normally you'll get a target letter. if you're the target of a grand jury, meaning you have a likelihood of being indicted, you get that notification. and i don't think that anyone who has received a target letter would be under the assumption that bob mueller is sending that to them just for the fun of it. >> david gergen, from a political standpoint, how -- again, a lot of this will depend on actually what the charges are
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that have been filed, and again for those who are just joining, we do not know what the charges are. that has not been -- that has not been announced. nor do we know or saying who are the -- who charges have been filed against. but how does the white house play this? i mean, if it is -- if it is not something to do directly with russia, if it is a past allegation of a crime. if it is a past charge or 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, that again goes to the nature of the charges. if the charge comes back against a manafort for his personal unrelated to the white house financial transactions in the pst 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 something unrelated to the president and unrelated to the
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collusion and russia charge, you know, that makes it easy for them to say, we told you there wasn't much here. look what he's come up with. he had a massive investigation to 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, it's -- and put aside manafort. the trump team has been money laundering -- you know, 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 to, it's going to be 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 go -- land on their doorstep and indeed come inside the doors of the white house. >> mike, so -- >> i think in that situation, i would assume they will try to discredit mueller in a variety of ways. they will find friends to do that. i assume that they have had some kind of game plan to do that if something serious comes down.
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>> okay. >> but they're going to treat it a different way. it'll require a much more imaginative communications plan, frankly. >> well, michael, let me ask you, if you are on mueller's team or you are robert mueller, and you are aware of that, there's the legal case you want to make and then there's also obviously this politicized environment, how much do you -- how much does that seep into things? how much does that -- do you take that into account? >> i don't think mueller will take much of the politics of this into account. bob is a pretty serious guy who faces facts as he sees them and makes decisions about those facts. i think that if he has indited somebody on a collateral matter, let's say 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
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that may be 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 really all he's 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 are just at the top of the hour. for our viewers who are just joining us, there is breaking news tonight. it is big. the first indictment in special counsel robert mueller's wide-ranging russia investigation. now whatever you may think of the underlying allegations, this is the landmark. cnn's pamela brown joining us with the exclusive. what have you learned? >> reporter: our team, myself, evan perez, simone, have learned a grand jury -- a federal grand