tv CNN Newsroom With Ana Cabrera CNN October 29, 2017 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
you're on the cnn newsroom. i'm ana cabrera in new york. a cloud of suspension is hanging over washington. the first suspects may be in custody as early as tomorrow. right now we do not know the name or names of those accused or specific charges. those are under seal by orders from the federal judge but a former trump campaign ally says mueller's targets should be worried. watch. >> i think anybody who has been advised by the special counsel's office that they are a target in the investigation which i'm sure he has done to those people who are should be concerned. for us to have confidence in this process, we have to make sure that the grand jury process remains confidential, remains secret so that special counsel can work effectively to get to the bottom of all he's looking into. >> president trump is venting,
via social media. on twitter, unleashes a series of blistering twitter attacks taking shots at hillary clinton, democrats and really the entire russia probe. here's one and i quote, all of this russia talk right when the republicans are making their big push for historic tax cuts and reform. is this coincidental? not. cnn broke the story that a federal grand jury approved the first charges from mueller's investigation. let's get right to crime and justice reporter along with pamela brown and evan perez, shimon, give us the latest. >> the latest is basically we do expect some action tomorrow, law enforcement action and perhaps a court appearance sometime tomorrow from whoever it may be that was indicted. we still don't know who was indicted and who at least in the early stages is going to be charge tomorrow. my colleagues, evan perez and
pamela brown have spebt spent some time making phone calls and checking with lawyers representing some of the folks whose names have come up as being under investigation by the special counsel. so far we have not been able to verify that anyone has been contacted by the fbi by the special counsel's office to surrender tomorrow. it's still up in the air as far as we're concerned as to exactly who is going to appear in court and going to surrender and be arrested. >> now, mueller we know did not start from scratch in this investigation. he inherited investigations by the fbi counterintelligence divisions, the doj, fbi, irs investigation that was ongoing on paul manafort for example, former trump campaign manager. is that significant here. >> well, it's significant in the sense that this -- we know this investigation has been going on for well over a year with the fbi and the department of justice. it was -- it was first revealed when the former fbi director testified before congress and essentially said that they had
launched an investigation in july against the trump campaign. and so from that point on, the fbi has been investigating. it's well over a year. they have spent time gathering all sorts of information that they then presented to the special counsel's office. now some of the other key players here, like paul manafort have been under investigation for a lot longer. what we first reported on paul manafort he was involved in investigations that have to deal with his foreign transactions and business dealings with the ukraine. all of that was under investigation already by the fbi and the national security division of the department of justice. so all of this information has been sitting with the special counsel team since they were appointed in may and they may have just gone back and reviewed some of it and maybe some of that information was presented to a grand jury. we just don't know and really we don't know what these charges are about yet, so it's hard to
say whether or not this previous investigation -- all of that has already occurred has played a role in what we may see tomorrow. >> all right, shimon, thank you. meantime, president trump is gearing up for his first trip to asia since taking office and leaves washington this week. the president's trip will include stops in japan. south korea, china, vietnam and philippines. also happening this week, the gop races against the clock to meet a self-imposed wednesday deadline, a chance to unveil the details of their bill on tax reform, something republicans have been pushing now for years. and i want to bring in cnn's boris sanchez at the white house. if you look at the president's twitter feed today he seems more preoccupied with hillary clinton than overhauling the nation's tax system. >> that's right. you would think it was a year ago just days before the election the way that donald trump is going after hillary clinton and not ten months into his presidency. regardless the president was
fired up on twitter this morning, talking about what he perceives as a lack of investigations into hillary clinton. he specifically cites that now infamous dossier that was put together by fusion gps, the company at one point hired by the clinton camp to gather negative information about then candidate trump. he also tweeted about t eed abo uranium deal. and he mentions her e-mails and what he comes the comey fix, this idea that former fbi director jamtz comey didn't press charges against hillary clinton during the investigation into her use of a private e-mail server to carry favor with her. then very revealing portion he kind of puts it all into context. instead of these investigations, they look at trump/russia collusion which doesn't exist. we get a chance to ask white
house attorney ty cobb about these tweets and whether or not the president was meaning to address the news coming out of the special counsel's probe into alleged ties between the trump campaign and russia, here's his response. he writes, contrary to what many have suggested, the president's comments are unrelated to the activities of the special counsel with whom he continues to cooperate despite that denial. if you look at the president's own words, it's clear that he's unhappy there are multiple investigations into these allegations about collusion with russia. and the fact that he's bringing this up now, thez attacks on hillary clinton with as you said, a full week of things on the agenda ahead, the timing of course is curious and leads to a lot of speculation that he's doing this to distract from negative headlines. >> boris sanchez at the white house, thank you. let's bring in our cnn legal analyst and former prosecutor
michael zelden, robert mueller's special assistant at the justice department and cnn political analyst ron brownstein for the lancaster tick. what do you think we'll see tomorrow? >> assuming there's been an indictment, what we'll have is an arrest or voluntary surrender. then we'll have a presentation of the individual before magistrate judge in the federal district court. the magistrate judge will advise the individual of the charges against him and the rights that they have under the constitution. and then they will set the case down for an arraignment for the person to ent are a plea of guilty or not guilty and the case will move forward. that's the black letter of the way these things work. what we'll see in terms of what charges and who is being charged, that's another whole matter which as shimon said we just don't know. so some because manafort and
flynn were the earliest under investigation, they are the logical ones to be charged first, but that's jcust speculation, we just don't know. >> are you surprised to hear that it stounds like perhaps nobody, their legal representatives have been contacted yet? >> well, we have a sealed indictment sealed indictments tend to be because they are fearful that an individual may flee or they don't know the exact whereabouts of an individual. if they are fearful of flight they might not notify counsel ahead of time for the very reason their client may flee. it's not ill logical they wouldn't notify counsel. they could notify them tomorrow and say we want you to bring in your client and voluntary surrender or knock on the indicted individual's door and arrest them and not tell counsel until after the fact.
ron, the president spending a lot of time calling this whole situation a witch hunt, pointing fingers at hillary clinton and democrats. this was a week that was supposed to be about tax reform. what is the risk here of the fallout from whatever comes tomorrow beyond i mpacting president's agenda. >> the flurry of tweets, the president is existing on a separate plane from policy makeri makering. it almost feels as though he has a wheel in the office in the morning and spins and decides which of a rotating series of pretty familiar by now targets he will go after and attack on twitter through this unending series of pefrsonal confrontations and feuds. >> that worked in the campaign. >> but he has not shown the ability to drive a message in a way that moves public opinion behind an agenda.
by the end of the health care debate, 20 or 25% of the public supported the bill. the tax bill now is under water in terms of public opinion. the president's oin approval rating has reached record low in the nbc wall street poll out today and gallup at 35%. he has shown he can dominate the news cycle but he hasn't shown the ability to change public opinion around a policy agenda. that is really the most important thing a president can do for congress, in many ways it feels like he's not trying. as you say, he is kind of recapturing or resurfacing these disputes that are longstanding with hillary clinton. >> feels like da ju view. that's the politics of this. but should the president be sending out these tweets that come anywhere close to the russia investigation? can he use anything he says against him? >> two things about that. one, when the white house comment was no comment, i thought to myself thank god,
finally they are doing what they should do, keeping quiet and letting the case proceed. today of course is a different day. with respect to can the president do something that hurts his legal standing in jae, he could do stuff. he could obstruct justice or obstruct the investigation. he could for example, pardon people preemptively. he could say to people, if ke keep quiet, i'll pardon you later. both of those things could be seen as obstructive behavior or impeachable behavior. we haven't seen that from him but with this president you can never take anything for granted. >> right now one of his tweets is suggesting there should be another investigation all together and say that's where the focus should be. the president often encourages people to watch fox news. he's close with a number of anchors there, and listen to what judge janine was pushing on
her show last night. >> it's time folks. it's time to shut it down, turn the tables and lock her up. that's what i said, i actually said it. lock her up. >> so you had a president that is increasingly unpopular as you mentioned, that poll, that approval rating in the wall street journal/nbc. there's another number in there that's standing out to me at least and that has to do with his base. it shows that he is losing support among whites without college degree. 51%. last month 58%. are the president and supporters what we just showed there, are they now trying to shift the momentum by rallying around uniting republicans around a common faoe? >> i think so. since the health care debate, you saw the numbers among those blue collar whites who were the core of his coalition in the
election begin to decline because he was taking health care from many of them in the republican bills. what they have done is really amp up the cultural and partisan confrontation with a familiar cast of targets hoping to bring those voters back. and i think if you look at the way the president has responded to today, it's just very much of a piece where you're essentially leaving aside this policy debate and there's going to be a big debate whether this tax plan really does anything for blue collar republicans and raising taxes on many while giving the biggest tax break to people at the top. i think they are counting on these cultural con frontations to energize and hold those voters, a week from tuesday, we're going to see in the virginia governor's election, ed gillespie, not an easy fit with the trump constituency of blue collar, really turn to trump like themes on immigration and crime trying to energize them at the price of potentially ali
alienating more of the white collar voters. >> going back to the polling. it looks like republicans are more behind trump than the republicans in congress. so hence like you say, there's -- >> if you look at the broader coalition and look -- just look only at republicans, that's a third of the country or 35%. you can't win elections by holding republicans, you have to perform well among republican leaning independent voters as well. he got to 46% of the vote. he's now approval rating between 35 and 38% of the vote. that's a very big difference. it's a big difference for him potentially in 2020 and big difference for republicans in 2018 thank you both for joining us. it has been over a month since puerto rico was ravaged by hurricane maria. a controversial deal is under major scrutiny. what it means for the recovery efforts, we're learning that contract will be canceled. that's next live in the cnn newsroom. >> tech: so you think this chip is nothing to worry about? well at safelite, we know sooner or later every chip will crack.
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>> we're following breaking news out of the puerto rico this evening. the island's electric power authority wants to cancel its largest contract with an energy company working to restore power in the wake of hurricane maria, 70% of the u.s. territory is still without electricity. a whole month after maria made landfall in the island. the controversial $300 million contract was awarded to whitefish energy, a 2-year-old montana based firm that had a couple of employees before the storm hit puerto rico last month. democratic senator maria kant well was among those calling for investigations into how whitefish energy got this contract and she's joining us live now from seattle. senator, thanks for being with us. you asked the government accountability office to review this whitefish contract. what is the reaction to news that puerto rico's power authority now plans to cancel this deal? >> well, it should be canceled.
what we keep getting are bits and pieces of information but what we can glean now from what's transpired is that this company is charging the u.s. taxpayer maybe as much as 30 or 40% more than what would go as normal rates to do repairs in this kind of disaster recovery. so we should cancel it and get a fair deal for u.s. citizens and u.s. taxpayers. every dollar that we spend in puerto rico is going to be dear so we shouldn't be overpaying. the governor there today wants to make the process as transparent as possible. is that the issue for you as well, trans pirntcy and how this contract was awarded. >> we want to continue to investigate how they got contract and language in the contract and why we would ever expect to pay 30 to 40% more
than the going rate in this kind of situation. so that will be a question, but what needs to happen, a lot of utilities have relationships which are called mutual aid. they already sign up in advance to help sistering state or region of the country and they know when a disaster happens they are going to need to go and get the repairs done quickly. they don't go in and gouge. it looks like whitefish gouged that maybe they said well, we won't require you to pay up front but they then gleaned a higher return and thereby costing the u.s. taxpayer more money than we need to pay in such a disastrous situation. >> of course officials on the ground had said in part one of the reasons was because they didn't require some kind of fee up front and immediacy is crucial there when you look at the numbers, 70% of the island is still without power.
but now if this contract is canceled, what does that mean for restoring power? >> well, we need to go back to those mutual aid agreements. i guarantee you practically every state in the union has offered to help puerto rico. i'm sure that every utility who has manpower would happily send workforce there to help and my guess is what will happen is we'll make more progress now. the fact that they know that they can do this kind of res prosty and will get paid and that issue has been flattened, we'll see a more expeditious plan to get this done and not as expensive as what we've been charged by whitefish. >> will the federal inquires into the whitefish contract continue? >> oh, yes, yes, there are issues here in how this contract came about and issues in the contract itself and the question
as we all would want is, we would hate to see in any disaster, anywhere in the united states of america, someone coming in and having the ability to make a lot more money off of the disaster than is necessary for the recovery. and i think what we want to make sure is that we learn from this situation and never let it happen again. >> senator maria cantwell, thank you for your time. >> thank you. >> the president calls the russia investigation a witch hunt and calls on fellow republicans to do something. but what is that something? i'll ask a republican congresswoman next.
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we could know as early as tomorrow who has been charged as part of the russia investigation. president trump hasn't responded directly but trying to shift attention to a familiar foe, hillary clinton, saying he never has seen such republican anger and unity about an investigation that isn't happening, citing the involvement in the funding of that now infamous trump dossier. he ended his twitter spree today with this order, do something. i want to bring in one of the republican lawmakers the president is presumably talking to, congresswoman claudia teny represents new york and on the financial services committee. thank you for spending part of your weekend with us. what does the president want you and other republicans to do exactly? >> well, i guess he wants us to -- i'm not on the oversight 'and reform committee. i'm on financial services and
also an attorney. he wants us to weigh in on the fact that somehow grand jury testimony was leaked. that is a violation of federal law as far as i know. i would assume he's directing that to the oversight company on trying to hold maybe a hearing or committee meeting investigating that. i'm certain that they want to look into whether or not mueller is doing the job he needs to do and whether he's fair and impartial. i think that's what's maybe coming to light here. i can only speculate because i don't have access to the type of information that that committee has access to because i'm not on it. but certainly would be following the news and our chairman trey gowdy is capable and competent prosecutor. so i'm sure he's -- >> in fact, today trey gowdy as you mentioned, he weighed in and said he's one of the few republicans who thinks special counsel robert mueller should not resign and believes he's apolitical and impartial where
do you stand on the investigation into whether there was collusion between russia and trump campaign and whether there may have been any obstruction of justice? >> it's hard to comment when all i see are news accounts. i'm not in the committee meeting itself or holding the hearings and we don't really get access to that other than news. this has become a very exciting issue. again, i emphasize i'm concerned that there's been a leak from the grand jury. that's the sacred place where people go to make determinations about indictments and the fact it's been leaked to the media, it sounds like it -- i don't know if it's drib or accidental but that's been an issue going on in government for quite a while this year, something that's really come to light. i think trey gowdy is probably interested in getting to the bottom of why there's been a leak on something so important as grand jury testimony about the nature of an indictment. we don't know who's going to be
indicted and we shouldn't until that's been released. >> do you have confidence in robert mueller's investigation? i don't know him personally, i'm a freshman member don't know all of the parties in government here but i don't really have any evidence to show that something is good or bad about the investigation. i would love to see the issues as they come out. a lot of light has been shed on just who is really in collusion with the russians and that's going to be really interesting to find out as oversight committee continues to pursue it. >> there have been a number of republicans this week who have claimed that the investigation is taking too long and the fbi investigation we know into hillary clinton's private e-mail server lasted approximately a year, mueller's investigation only been open for five months or so. is it a good move politically for republicans to say it's time to wrap this thing up? >> i don't know about wrapping it up. we want to get to the truth of the matter. that's the issue and whether the
truth takes two months or four months or a year, i don't think that really matters. i think what matter is we have a truthful and thorough investigation to get to the bottom of the issues so the american people have the facts and it's transparent. it's not how fast you do it but how thorough and how the investigation is going to be. >> what would you do if president trump tried to fire mueller? i don't think i have a say in whether he would like to fire mueller. i would like to see the reason why if it was in fact mueller responsible for the leak for grand jury, he should be removed. if it's not him and there was something that was innocently leaked out or it's not innocent when it gets leaked but it was through no fault of mr. mueller and his key people, then we have to get to the bottom of who that person was who's the leaker. this has been a perpetual problem in government. i've been a strong government reform person in my years in the state assembly, which was in new york and also now government.
i'm not on that committee and would love to be on the committee. i think that nonetheless we are going to be weighing in on government issues whether on the committee or not and i think there's something that's awry in leaks coming from anywhere, whether it's a committee or white house, i think the american people have the right to know. >> congressman claudia tenney, thank you for your time. >> i appreciate it. >> let's hear from a democratic congressman, the president attacking your party and hillary clinton as the first arrest looms in the mueller/russia investigation. do you feel there's a valid concern here that requires further action regarding hillary clinton? >> this is a total distraction. if you look at the facts on ukraine, it was approved by committee of nine people, hillary clinton wasn't even on that committee and it's atraction because the president knows that arrests or charges are a very serious matter, when
jaw jaworski did that in watergate and walsh in iran contract was serious. he knows this is an explosive issue and wants to distract from it. >> there's the dossier clinton's campaign helped fund the opposition research that ended upturning into that so-called dossier. now, clinton and other top democrats insist they were unaware of this dossier before it was made public. congressman, do you believe that? >> i think the investigation will show the effects but again, that's a distraction. right now we have an independent prosecutor bob mueller who's integrity is unquestioned who is systemically looking at things and what we should be doing is not speculating but letting him do his job. and what congress should be doing is upholding his independence. congress can make it clear that we will not tolerate president trump trying to fire him or remove him. and we should not be distracted
by president trump just making accusations against hillary clinton who by the way isn't even in the arena right now. is trying to relitigate an election to disinstruct from the under lying facts. >> take a listen to what senator susan collins, member of the senate intelligence committee said about -- -- had interviews with these investigations in these congressional committee, watch this. >> they absolutely need to be recalled. it's difficult to imagine that a campaign chairman, that the head of the dnc would not know of an expenditure of this magnitude and significance, but perhaps there's something more going on here. certainly it's worth additional questioning of those two witnesses. >> so congressman, does it hurt to ask more questions of them?
>> of course not. and i'm sure they will answer honestly, but right now, donald trump is the president of the united states. hillary clinton is isn't elected to anything. the congress's job is to hold the president accountable. mueller's investigation in scope is about collusion of the russians in our election and looking at the trump administration and what took place. so to try to relitigate a past election of someone who has lost and not making any decisions in the current environment just seems a total diversion. what we should be focused on is the fact that there's going to be an indictment and people who will possibly be arrested who are possibly close to the president. that is a very serious matter. >> what if the indictment the charges and person don't seem to have a direct tie to the election itself or to russia. perhaps it's a financial crime
from a decade ago for example. >> well, that's a possibility. and you know, the only person who really knows who it's going to be is robert mueller. because he's conducted an investigation where there have been few leaks. i heard the person before talking about leaks but it's very possible the leak came from the defense attorney and my view is we should not speculate. we should let bob mueller do his job. we should wait until his report comes out and we should in congress basically support the independence of this investigation and not allow for people to distract from the investigation by casting aspersions on people without any evidence. >> representative, thank you. >> thank you. >> coming up -- >> i touched him and he was cold. >> families across the u.s. torn apart by the opioid epidemic, we'll hear the story of two teenagers who grew up in the same neighborhood both killed by drugs on the same day.
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>> the opioid epidemic in the u.s. has washington's attention. president trump declaring a public health emergency this week but nothing paints a picture of the scale of the opioid epidemic like this next report. two georgia teenagers found dead on the same morning within an hour of each other in the same neighborhood. cnn's linda kincaid sits down with their parents still trying to come to terms with what happened as they work to fight this epidemic. >> we wanted to have two children because we wanted them to have each other and now matthew is an only child. never be the person i was. >> reporter: 18-year-old dustin manning and joseph abraham had so much potential. >> those are his football trophies up there. >> in a great place. >> joe was a very sensitive
young man. he was funny. he had a big heart. >> reporter: it was may 26, a friday morning, paramedics were called to this house at 6:09, dustinwas dead. less than an hour later, half a mile that way, the same situation. >> started yelling and yelling and yelling, joe, joe, wake up, man. >> as i walked through the door it was almost surreal. he was on 911 on the fphone cal and said we can't fix this. >> when i opened the door, he was crouched over on his bed. looked like he was tieing his shoes almost. >> i went over to him -- and i touched him and he was cold.
>> reporter: dave and cathy abraham and lisa manning share the same thing, their families torn apart. their sons teammates in little league, boast started dabbling in drugs in middle school. >> what drove him do you think to the drugs? >> he told us that the drugs was what gave him the out. it made him not feel whatever the depression was making him feel. >> giving these opiates to kids getting wisdom teeth out and they are addicted. >> reporter: both sets of parents got their sons into treatment centers. the night before they died dustin was in a treatment meeting while joe was at the friend's place. >> just to be clear, the boys weren't out together the night before but it appears they may have bought these drugs by the same dealer? >> exactly. >> reporter: so it looked like the same pill, same wrapping.
>> yes. >> reporter: toxicology reports show a mix of heroin and fentanyl, which can be lethal in small doses. you know how much fentanyl it took to kill him. just explain it for us? >> according to the coroner's, the amount that was in his system was about three grains of salt. >> that's it. >> the equivalent of that. >> and it happened pretty quickly. >> in about 20 to 30 seconds after he sniffed it, he was gone. >> this is happening to middle class america. i never thought i would never get to see him grow old. you know, it's not the natural order of things and that's been a real hard pill to swallow. >> reporter: these grieving parents welcomed president trump's deck clairation, she was in tears when she heard the
president talk about a problem that shattered her family. they agree it doesn't release additional funds to deal with the crisis, a crisis that last year, ana, claimed 64,000 american lives. >> what a heartbreaking story. childhood friends dying an hour apart and this happened not that long ago, right? that's right, it happened just five months ago. the pain is still so raw. there wasn't a dry eye in the room as they told about finding their teenage sons on the floor. as a new mom it struck a chord, i can't imagine a child being prescribed a drug that they become addicted to and watch it so quickly spiral out of control. >> thank you for sharing that heartbreaking story with us. still ahead, investigators want to know how a mmry stick with high level security data ended up discarded on the streets of london filled with top secret information, including the queen's travel routes through the city. you're live and you'll go live to london next. tais really quite simple.est it comes in the mail,
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an investigation is under way after a computer memory stick containing sensitive information was found lying in the street. it included the queen's route to the airport as well as tv locations, guard timetables and other security details. cnn's samuel burke is joining us. tensions are high. has the security been compromised and the queen's safety put at risk?
>> it is stunning to think one of the busiest airports has the most confidential information on a thumb drive found 13 miles from the airport. the information didn't have encryption or password protection. they are launching an internal investigation. the airport is secure. routes for foreign dignitary. if the president is coming to visit the route he would take. maps of security cameras, if someone has ideas knows how to evade those if they got their hands on it. locations of secret tunnels and escape shafts were revealed in an underground network we have at heathrow airport. the queen doesn't use the same gates we do. she uses the royal suite. many intimate details were on that usb drive. i have been speaking to cyber security experts.
heathrow won't be looking at who may have been behind this, but checking the dark web to see if some of this information wasn't just on the usb and got to where terrorists could see it. that would be the worst case scenario. >> you talk about the fact this is on a memory device. it could suggest or does it suggest it could be in multiple hands. >> these usb drives cause huge headaches for security folkings. we talk about the internet a lot, but they have the internet and they are connected to each other internally, but not to the internet. the only way to get information in and out is on a memory stick. if one person was able to get it out, they may have been able to copy it. they have been involved in so many cyber incidents we have seen. you may remember a virus that got into the iranian nuclear program. they believe israel and the
united states was behind that. those researchers believe maybe a usb drive with information on it, the virus was set in a parking lot, somebody picked it up, said hey, free usb drive and that's how the virus is able to get in. you see the possibilities that can be open with a usb drive and what could be a secure network whether it's heathrow or other locations. >> samuel burke, thank you. in this week's parts unknown, anthony returns to see how the culture of food has changed. >> it's been eight or nine years since i have been to this beautiful country filled with lovely people, credible food, sri lanka.
last time i was here, let's put it this way, we couldn't see too much of the place. we are here in the middle of one of the most vicious, unrestrained conflicts you could have imagined. well, the war is over. what is sri lanka like now? >> make sure you tune into "parts unknown" tonight at 9:00 on cnn. stay with us. >> tech: so you think this chip is nothing to worry about?
well at safelite, we know sooner or later every chip will crack. these friends were on a trip when their windshield got chipped. so they scheduled at safelite.com. they didn't have to change their plans or worry about a thing. i'll see you all in a little bit. and i fixed it right away with a strong repair they can trust. plus, with most insurance a safelite repair is no cost to you. >> customer: really?! >> tech: being there whenever you need us that's another safelite advantage. >> singers: safelite repair, safelite replace. and the wolf huffed like you do sometimes, grandpa?
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hello on this sundays. i'm ana cabrera in new york. we may see the first arrest in the russia investigation led by special counsel robert mueller. right now, we do not know the name or names of those facing charges. the specific allegations are sealed under an order from a federal judge. one of the targets should be worried. watch this. i think anybody who has been advised by the special counsel's office therz a target in the investigation, which i'm sure he has done to those who are, should be concerned. for us to have confidence in the process, we have to make sure the grand jury