tv CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto CNN March 19, 2019 7:00am-8:00am PDT
it handles everything, and reaches everywhere. this is beyond wifi, this is xfi. simple. easy. awesome. xfinity, the future of awesome. this is cnn breaking news. >> good morning everyone. top of the hour. i'm poppy harlow in new york. our breaking news is a virtual flood of never before seen details leading up to the fbi raids of president trump's former lawyer michael cohen. this morning a federal judge in new york has released hundreds of partially blacked out documents related to a search warrant served almost a year ago. among the revelations, many
months before those raids stunned the nation, the special counsel was searching cohen's e-mails. as you have been trying to read through these hundreds of pages of documents between coming on live with us to talk about them but that is what struck me, too is back to between you had mueller's team of prosecutors looking at the e-mails that guy back to 2015. >> reporter: we learned two months into the special counsel's investigation they had already asked for their first warrant of michael cohen's e-mail accounts. they in total obtained four search warrants for three accounts and one of his i cloud storage accounts. the information was provided to the u.s. attorney's office in manhattan by february of 2018 when the investigation into campaign finance violations was referred to them. since then the u.s. attorney's office in manhattan had made
their own search warrants. they got search warrants for all of michael cohen's current e-mail up until february of 2018. that was just a few weeks before the raid on michael cohen's hotel room, apartment and safety deposit box in early april when all of this broke into the public eye. for months behind the scenes the u.s. attorney's office had been reading michael cohen's e-mails going back to june of 2015. they received a pen register warrant which allowed them to see who was calling michael cohen. they were able to learn who he was in contact with over this time period. they were really almost a fly in the wall on michael cohen's life being able to see who he was communicating with. they did reveal that they did have a filter team in place to protect any potentially
attorney/client privilege communications. essentially they were following michael cohen along. what we don't learn in the documents is a lot of detail about why they believed he was committing campaign finance law. >> will they release that information once that investigation wraps up? people are going to want to know. evan, you have hundreds of pages. you have a lot of redactions including that entire campaign finance part here. >> that's right. there is almost 20 pages that are redacted from the release of this document. one of the most interesting things is it appears to relate a language specifically to michael cohen's relationship with president trump, candidate trump before the election, obviously. so that's one of the most interesting things here. i will read just a part of it where the manhattan u.s.
attorney and the fbi say that they are investigating a criminal violation of the campaign finance laws by michael cohen, a lawyer who holds himself out as the personal attorney. there is probable cause to believe that and it is redacted. so the judge essentially approved this. we don't know exactly what is in the nearly 20 pages of redactions. we know there is an ongoing investigation by the u.s. attorney's office in manhattan now that the mueller investigation is coming to a close. if you talk to the president's attorneys, they expect that this investigation that is going to continue through the end of donald trump's presidency. >> many more questions on that which i will get to with our attorney in just a moment. before you go, we are learning that the acting attorney gene il rod rosenstein might not be
leaving. the expectation generally was that march 15 was going to be his last day. now our reporter at the justice department was told by an official that he is stay ag little longer. we don't know exactly how much longer. he hasn't given his notice yet to the white house of exactly his date of departure. we know that rod rosenstein, one of the things that is the guiding force behind his decision making here is that he wanted to make sure that he stayed until he was satisfied that the mueller investigation was either complete or nearly enough to completion that he had protected the investigation. that appears to be still the driving force. obviously, we had expected there had been expectation from the justice department officials that mueller was going to hand him his report to the attorney general certainly by now by the end of february.
that was all the time that we were working on. it appears that rod rosenstein is staying just a little longer. >> thanks for the reporting on both fronts. let's bring in fbi special agent. good morning you guys. let me just get your read on sort of the why here for michael cohen. this is prosecutors that didn't want this stuff out there. the judge saw a public interest need to see these and a right to see them. michael cohen's attorney is supportive of this. i mean, he goes so far as to say it will help michael cohen and his desire to continue to cooperate here. why? >> well, it's really interesting. they redacted everything. surely there are some things that michael cohen has already testified about and that were contained in the sentencing documents for michael cohen that are already in the public realm and could have been left unredacted. prosecutors felt strongly that this is ongoing, that they have
work to do and people and facts that they don't want out which means that it looks like they are planning to charge more people. he told prosecutors they needed to come back in may to identify again why at that point these documents can't be unredacted than they are now. everyone seems to be on top of this. prosecutors must have convinced the judge that it would jeopardize the investigation to unredact this material. i think they are looking to charge some more folks in this. >> when you look at some of the details that we are getting here, let's take the e-mails, the fact that the special counsel was looking at e-mails back to 2015 from michael cohen, from 2015 to 2017 and then in 2018 referred this to the sdny, the significance? >> so you know what this reveals to me is the important
information that this was initiated by the special counsel's office as part of its mandate to look at links in coordination between the trump campaign and russia. they have probable cause on their own to obtain e-mails going back to june 2015. if they came across information that was evidence of a potential crime outside of that mandate they referred that to the southern district of new york which picked that up and carried it along. it is important to also note that this particular search warrant application notes that one of the things that michael cohen was doing was using his company essentially consultants to actually get money from foreign clients including russian-owned companies to basically give access to trump while he was president. and this is kind of going to the heart of some of that foreign influence whether there was any kind of, you know, quid pro quo
or back channel access going on which i think would be of interest to the special counsel. >> because of one of those companies and we are learning more in this document is columbus nova which is owned by a russian national that the fbi wanted to talk to when his private plane landed here in the u.s. and cohen was paid over $500,000 from that individual. significant? >> i think so. clearly cohen had this consulting business going. he was taking in money hand over fist from all sorts of folks from a bunch of american companies. what came out when we first learned about this business was supposedly he didn't do much consulting at all at least with american companies who tried to cover themselves. it is unclear what actually he did. so certainly the special counsel and sdny probably will talk to
him about that so we should learn more about that in the months to come. >> what about the pen register in terms of the calls on two separate occasions. these were on these requests november 7, 2017 and january 4 r, 2018. >> pen registers are really useful for providing information to other communications that are going on. so they can help substantiate whether cohen spoke with particular people on particular dates even if they don't have the contents of those communications they can corroborate other communications. we are following our breaking news with michael cohen. a judge unsealed documents
connected to last year's fbi raid of cohen's home, offices, hotel room, 200 pages. >> we are still combing through these documents. what we are seeing here is the probable cause that the u.s. attorney's office had for their search warrants. they are looking at financial crimes and the campaign finance violations. there is a lot of detail that relates to the financial crimes. we are not learning a lot of new information at all as it relates to campaign finance violations. that's redacted. it's the 20 pages that is now redacted. so that's because the judge had agreed that there is an ongoing investigation and they need to keep that private for now. but it's something that i would expect we will be revisiting at some point down the road. >> thank you for the update. coming up, scrap the electoral college. that is what white house hopeful
elizabeth warren is pushing for. my exclusive sit down with jamie dimon, his take on the 2020 race so far and the growing field of democrats. >> there is a lot of it at a local level. ♪ pardon the interruption but this is big! now with t-mobile get the samsung galaxy s10e included with unlimited data for just $40 a month. if you have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, every day can begin with flakes. it's a reminder of your struggles with psoriasis. but what if your psoriasis symptoms didn't follow you around? that's why there's ilumya. with just 2 doses, a majority of people were clear or almost clear. and over time, even more people were clear or almost clear. all with dosing 4 times a year... after 2 initial doses. plus, ilumya was shown to have similar risks of infections
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applause for elizabeth warren last night at the cnn town hall. listen. >> i would support removing confederate celebrations from federal lands and putting them in museums where they belong. that's right. >> mississippi is the only state in the country that has the confederate battle emblem on the state flag. do you think mississippi should adopt a new flag? >> yes. >> that was one moment of applause. that's not the moment i was talking about. let's listen to the moment which is the electoral college statement. we don't have it. let me read it to you. my view is every vote matters. that means get rid of the electoral college and every vote counts. you have called the electoral college quote one of few bone headed moves by the founding
fathers. do you think it will happen and do you think fellow democrats running will follow the the lead? >> democrats have won the vote of the people in six of the last seven presidential elections in all of american history no party has had that dominance. they went 6 out of 7 presidential elections in the popular vote but only have taken office in four of the seven. so it's a radical notion that the people of the united states should pick the president of the united states. the electoral college is a vestige. the founders were terribly worried about a charismatic populist backed and influenced by foreign power somehow taking office even though he is a demagogue. democrats think if it was ever going to work it would have worked against donald trump who lost the popular vote and who many believe is a demagogue and it didn't work nor should it.
i think it should be a popular vote. i think elizabeth warren is on to something. >> biden, cnn's reporting that joe biden who is not officially running for president quite yet. we're hearing that he is mulling over when he does announce picking a running mate early. good strategy or a little prumpsuous? >> i think it is unwise. joe has been vice president. he knows this better than anyone. this is the first presidential decision that a candidate makes. who should step in if something happens to the president. it ought to be vetted for weeks and months. he was a hero, but the late john mccain many democrats believe he made a mistake when he picked sarah palin. they felt like he didn't vet her
as carefully as perhaps he would have. i wouldn't council joe to make that choice now. i think at the beginning of an election to pick a running mate is almost weakness. >> the trump economy, it's really good. and it is the trump economy now. our new cnn poll shows that not only does more than half the country approve of the way the president is handling the economy, 71% feel their current economic situation is good. it's the best number since 2001. how do you run against that as a democrat? >> that's a great question. i saw your interview with jamie dimon. he seemed to point that we are not doing enough for a lot of people left behind. and i think democrats ought to
listen and pay attention. i think democrats can say there is more you can do. i think the fact that 71% think it is a strong economy and 42% approve of the job overall. that margin is a problem for president trump. the democrats are going to have to not only run against trump, they will run for something. they have to say what they are for to make the economy better for everybody. >> the issues, the issues they matter. so nice to have you, my friend. tomorrow democratic presidential candidate, former colorado governor john hickenlooper takes part in a cnn town hall. that is 10:00 p.m. eastern only right here on cnn. more breaking news. hundreds of pages of documents from the fbi raid on michael cohen released. we are learning the special counsel investigated cohen for money laundering and breaking foreign lobbying laws neither of which he was charged with, but they were looking into that. what is the significance? we'll talk about that.
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documents of why the dvds might be significant, but we did learn through the course of the litigation over the raid materials that michael cohen had a number of audio recordings. cnn has obtained one of those and played them of a conversation with cohen discussing with president trump potential payment to american media, the parent company of the national enquirer relating to the payment of karen mcdougal. this document is filed to obtain search warrants. they don't know what is going to be in the materials but it comes up in the filings that it is something they did obtain. so it's possible that these audio recordings were on the dvds. it looks like michael cohen had labelled them potentially as dates from march 7, 2018 and february 28, 2018. so it could provide a clue as to what he had put on these dvds. but all we know from this is
that the two dvds and usb drive were obtained. >> thank you for the update. also want to get to breaking news in texas. this huge chemical fire that is still burning tanks fuel. this is happening outside of houston, texas. firefighters say it may be another day before they can get it under control. this started at a petro chemical storage facility. the pictures are remarkable. the concern is the toxicity in the air. the schools are saying kids can come back today. >> school went back into session today. you can imagine the parents not exactly thrilled about that. the kids were off yesterday because of these fires and the smoke that is coming from them. the district said that things were safe as long as they didn't send the kids outside to play or have recess or anything today. part of that comes from testing
that was done by the company itself. they say that when they tested the air immediately around the plant that the levels were below hazardous levels. what has scientists a little dodgy about that is that they're worried about the long term effects. no hospitals have reported anybody coming in with respiratory illness associated with this. everybody has been accounted for at the plant. but they say that these particular chemicals and the ones that were inside the barrels, eight of them burning at this time. and it is the one that scientists are concerned about. there are theories who say there are no safe levels to be exposed to. so firefighters continuing to try and get these flames out. they actually intensified overnight due to a water pressure issue that has sense been rem readied.
the firefighters working as hard as they can. the community concerned about the what long term effects of this could be. >> of course. keep us posted. those pictures are just stunning. thank you. ahead, how strong does the ceo of america's biggest bank really think the economy is? plus his read on the 2020 race and the fundamental question i asked jamie dimon. is washington working? >> is our government comp teten right now as a whole? >> we see certain mayors and certain governors at a local level. >> you didn't hear him say the federal government is comp tent. that conversation next.
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i can worry about it, or doe. something about it. garlique helps maintain healthy cholesterol naturally, and it's odor-free, and pharmacist recommended. garlique just how strong is the u.s. economy right now? i asked jamie dimon and does he think the president's tariffs on china are working? his answer might surprise you. plus his take on 2020. here is the second part of our exclusive sit down with jamie dimon. >> let's talk about the state of the economy. how confident are you right now that this bull run can continue? >> how are you feeling? >> it looks pretty good. if you look at the underlying data we are growing at 2% plus. consumer confidence is still quite high. capital expenditure is going up. you and i can make a long list of the problems which may
disrupt us someday. it may not be one thing. it may be factors of events the straw in the camel's back that looking back that is what did it. >> what keeps you up at night on that front? >> i think bad policy they don't fix. we want issues seriously looked at and resolved. on the other hand, a trade war, every time you see the effect on the market place. a trade war wouldn't be a good thing. i do believe that both the u.s. administration and china are trying to get to a proper deal. >> what does it mean if we do not see a comprehensive trade deal in the next few month snz. >> in the long run america will be fine. >> we heard from gary cohn who said tariffs don't work. you have an $891 billion trade deficit. both records after the president said i can solve this.
is he right they don't work? >> i agree with him. they don't work technically because they cause various other things. the president said they worked, i got them to the table and no one else did. as a negotiating strategy it might have worked. >> you have said many times you are willing to pay more in taxes and said we should have a progressive tax system. >> and the focus should be on helping people at the lower end. do you support a 70% marginal tax rate on the wealthiest americans? >> i understand we have to fix these things. i think if you are a democrat or a republican you should justify what you are doing. to me you have to link the two f. we are going to tax people more we should justify what it is. we have a progressive tax system. i think the government has to justify how it spends money better.
>> i think the fundamental question there is you have congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez saying 70% marginal taxes or you have elizabeth warren who is running for president saying a tax on all assets over 50 million, they are fundamentally trying to address the inequality issue. do you think they are misguided on that front? >> if you look at policy we need infrastructure. we need education. we need to reform a whole bunch of different stuff. just taxing more people is not necessarily going to do that. i agree on like doing a lot more for earned income tax credit. i agree to spend more on education. all my wealthy friends will say that is just money going to washington being wasted. they will use it to pay off special interest groups. they have to be linked. you can't separation taxation
from is it effectively done? >> this gets to what you wrote in your shareholder letter last year. the need for solutions collaborative and competent government. is our government competent right now as a whole? >> i think the most competent and capable we see is certain mayors and certain governors at a local level. there are places doing great and local mayors and governors working with community organizations, could be schools, working with business working together to fix that city. >> not washington. >> our federal government is getting more and more ineffective. the most important thing to fixing the problem is recognizing the problem. i don't personally care for some democratic republicans everybody saying it doesn't work. >> you have said that your heart is a democrat but your brain is more republican right now. what do you make of the direction the democratic party is going in as a whole right now? >> there is a lot of people
running, some are qualified. some are completely inexperienced which i find shocking. >> you guessed my follow-up question. >> let it sort out. >> i'm sure you saw this poll that democrats now have a more positive view of socialism than capitalism. >> these are slogans. traditionally socialism the government owned production of companies. i don't think the democrats want that. >> there is a democratic socialist running for president. >> a social democrat, stronger welfare nets. i think those are fundamentally different things. people are saying socialists i don't think they mean to give the government more to do. a lot of democrats i know wouldn't say that's the solution. >> you are not concerned about it? >> i'm concerned about bad policy.
you're not going to get away with saying socially. you will say what it means. how is it good for the average american. >> the green new deal said it will literally destroy the economy. is he right? >> i don't spend much time worrying about things i can't effec -- >> it's call ed co 2 or trading you better do it wisely because you could rip the economy which hurts everybody. >> you can listen to my full interview up on the podcast this morning. that is my boss files podcast. and we are continuing to follow the breaking news this morning. documents supporting the fbi raid on the home office and hotel room of the president's former attorney michael cohen are now available to the public. what they are saying straight ahead.
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a judge has unsealed hundreds of pages of documents connected to the fbi raids last year of cohen's home, office and hotel. let's bring in evan perez. i know you guys are pouring through these. there are significant redactions. what stands out to you most? >> i think one of the things that stands out the most is the fact that the prosecutors here went back as far as between to try to look at what michael cohen was communicating about. now, we don't know what the significance of this is.
there had to be some reason that they gave to the judge why they wanted to go back that far. we also know that part of the focus here was on the possible campaign finance violation, whether or not there was a campaign finance violation in the payment of those two women including stormy daniels. what we don't know is exactly what is behind the 20 pages of redactions. we do know that there is an ongoing investigation, that the u.s. attorney's office is essentially now leading this investigation with the forth coming mueller investigation coming to a close. we expect that that's going to be an investigation that is going to continue. the president's own lawyers believe that the prosecutors there are going to keep looking through, digging until president trump leaves office. the question is, what happens then? the president is protected from any charges while he is in office. the justice department says that you can't charge a sitting president. once he leaves office, that's an open question.
>> right. it is. and in terms of what else we are learning, the special counsel got warrants to search three of his e-mail accounts, looking at e-mails cohen sent and received from january 2015 through 2017. this was referred to the sdny in 2018. how significant do you think that is? >> i think the issue here is it appears to be a big volume of documents. they were even able to essentially follow him. they had a pen register where they were able to see calls coming in and out and essentially snooping on him as he continued to communicate. some of the investigative activity happened just after mueller took over the investigation in 2017. they were able to see what was coming and going from michael cohen's communications. i think that's one of the things that if you were michael cohen, if you were the president or anybody who was communicating to michael cohen at that point, that is something that probably
would concern you, you know? >> yes, i do. thank you very much. update us as you get more. we have breaking news from the supreme court, the high court ruling that the federal government can detain immigrants who have criminal records and they can be detained even years beyond when they have been released from custody. yes, it's an immigration ruling so it is very significant. how big is this one? >> this is really on statutory interpretation. it came down in a 5-4 vote. liberate justice steven brier read his descent from the bench and that is rarely done except when the justice believes the majority's opinion is particularly troubling. this involves a provision of immigration law that allows federal authorities to detain immigrants that have committed certain dangerous crimes without a bond hearing after they have been released from criminal
custody. the question is when can i.c.e. detain without the bond hearing. does it have to be immediately or could it perhaps be years and years later if i.c.e. just happens to pick them up? the aclu said it has to be immediately after they are released from criminal custody. the supreme court today ruling and siding with the trump administration that even if it is years after the immigrant was released from criminal custody ice can pick that immigrant up and hold them in detention without bond while the deportation is being considered. justice brier descented saying this opinion represents a quote serious constitutional problem and then he said this, as well. he says it runs the gravest risk of depriving those whom the government has detained, one of the oldest and most important of
our constitutionally guaraneed freedoms, the right not to be deprived of liberty without due process of law. this decision comes at a time when the immigration debate has been raging here in washington. this particular case really dealing with statutory interpretation here. 5-4 with justice brier really reading his quite scathing and dissatisfied descent from the bench. >> so significant because the justices will rarely do that. so if you have noticed, the president has been battling general motors for days now after they closed down a big plant in ohio. next we are going to talk to the workers there. do they think that the president has any power here? with my hepatitis c, i felt i couldn't be at my best for my family. in only 8 weeks with mavyret, i was cured and left those doubts behind.
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president trump is demanding that general motors reopen or sell the ohio plant that it shut earlier this month. the president promised auto workers he would save their jobs. now he is calling on gm to close a plant in china or mexico instead. i mean, you and i have been covering this story a lot. you have been there multiple times. i'm so interested in whether the people there especially if they voted for the president really think that he has the power to get gm to reopen or sell this plant. >> yes, some people think that he does have the power to put
the pressure on. others think it is really not up to him. it's up to gm to bring the jobs back. we know the president is frustrated. he took to twitter over the weekend and on monday calling on gm to reopen this plant here in ohio. i can't really under score the impact that losing 1,400 jobs from this plant has on the local economy here. we spoke to a retired gm worker and also to a waitress that works at a local restaurant here in town who says that business is now down 70%. take a listen. >> where was he at a year ago? i know it's not helping. i don't think it's helping a bit. >> not only did gm close but other little factories folded because of it. and that was our bread and butter. >> reporter: the people who have lost jobs here are sort of in a limbo state. they don't know whether to sell their homes and take gm up on an
offer to transfer to another location or whether the united auto workers union and gm can come to a deal to help bring a new car to this facility and potentially reopen work for them. >> and also there beto o'rourke made a surprise visit. good timing that you happen to be there. what did he say about the president's criticism? >> reporter: we happened to run into him as he was driving through town. he was here to see the local union president. he heard about him on twitter from the president of the united states who tweeted about him. he said he wanted to come to town to see what he could do to help. take a listen to what he had to say to me. >> after this country bailed out so much of the auto industry and this country through this president cut a $2 trillion tax
cut that used it to buy back stock from their investors not to pay their workers a higher wage. and to add insult to injury the president is tweeting at united auto workers union. their leadership and the very workers who are bearing the brunt of this disaster. >> and it's important to note that this is the first of four gm plants that are scheduled to close before the end of the year. so we shouldn't be really surprised if we hear from the president again on twitter talking about this story as we look to the end of the year. >> and we know what he told mary barra, the ceo of gm when they had that phone call a few days ago. gm putting out the statement saying it is between us and the uaw what we do with our plants. thank you all for joining me today. i'm poppy harlow. i'll see you back here tomorrow morning. "at this hour" starts right now.
hello, i'm ryan nobles in today. we are learning more about what led to the dramatic fbi raid of president trump's former personal attorney. this morning prosecutors released the search warrant documents from michael cohen's home, office and hotel room almost a year ago. the big headlines from the hundreds of pages released. the special counsel was investigating cohen far longer than previously known and investigators were able to reveal years of e-mails from the time that cohen worked for president trump. kara, what are you learning from these documents? >> reporter: we are scouring through these nearly 900 pages of documents. a couple of things that really jump out is that the special counsel's investigation began in may of 2017. just two months after that they had already applied and been granted searc