tv CNN Newsroom CNN June 20, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm EDT
people and this important investigative arm of the house of representatives. this is a very sad day for the united states of america when the president would engage himself at the last minute and try to exert executive privilege. >> that was florida congressman john mica speaking. he's joining me live. welcome. you have the president using executive privilege for the very first time during his presidency, we should remind our viewers of that to block your committee from seeing the fast and furious documents. we just heard you say it's a very, very sad day. what is this about the executive privilege that irks you so much? >> here you have one of the highest judicial offices of the united states, the chief officer, the attorney general, his office and possibly the attorney general was involved in selling weapons to drug dealers in mexico where an agent of the
united states was murdered with those weapons. all we're trying to do is get information to conduct an investigation about that matter. here, again, the president of the united states has done a great disservice to this whole process by trying to close down what we're trying to do. this may go back to another administration. what he's doing is wrong and it subverts the investigative process. >> just to go back to what you said, eric holder is possibly involved. i want to play a little something. this is what president obama said to cnn. this is back in 2007 whern he was just a senator running for president. >> there's been a tendency on the part of this administration to try to hide behind executive
privilege every time there's something a little shaky that's taking place. i think the administration would be best served by coming clean on this. >> so, congressman, care to say his views have changed. >> by his own words. this is a pretty serious matter. it's a pretty sad day. the department of justice, our chief prosecutorial office in the land, a u.s. agent was murdered with weapons the department of justice provided. they denied any knowledge about this then they changed their tune. this is unprecedented. there's place for executive privilege, and it should be invoked in certain instances. this isn't going after political
appointe appointees. this isn't going after some secret mission that should be kept confidential and you exert executive privilege. this is a very serious matter. >> it's a serious matter, if i may interject. he has the right to do this. i was glancing at my computer because i wanted to pull up this list of the past six presidents or so. president clinton used it 14 times. president bush one and two did it as well. here is my question. here is the map i was looking for. if congressman, mica, it protecs eric holder, my question is why go ahead with the contempt vote? for a lot of people this is republican versus democrat and they say this is just theater. it amounts to nothing. >> it isn't. i'm not sure how much of the executive privilege will hold. that will probably be contested.
we're going to go forward. it's our responsibility to go forward. he is in contempt of subpoenas of the congress and we want him to comply. last night he came in. he would provide us with some documents, if we would drop the investigati investigation. that's an offense to the american people, to the system of justice and to this whole process. we need to get to the bottom of what went wrong and make sure people are held accountable and that this doesn't happen again. >> i know that the other side never likes it when a president invokes executive privilege. george w. bush did it six times including blocking documents and testimony over justice department firings. that was back in 2006. how is president obama's use of executive privilege any worse than president bush's? >> again, you have to look at the instances.
it's been used by both sides and sometimes politically. there's no case, that i can think of, i've been on the committee, and it's a good thing to be there for some time to see how these different maneuvers are used. there's no instance in which you've had a department of justice or an agency like that involved in expediting the transfer of weapons into another country for drug dealers and a u.s. agent killed. there's nothing that compares to this. there's no reason this shouldn't be investigated. if he's invoking executive privilege and saying the white house knew something about this, this raises even more questions in my mind. we'll continue to contempt proceedings in a few minutes. then we'll see where we proceed from here. >> okay. we will be watching. >> he is in contempt. >> i hear you. thank you. i want to get to a little background here on executive privilege. presidents have used it 25 times
since 1980. i want you to take a look at a couple different presidents. president obama is time number one for him. former president bill clinton did the most, by far using it 14 times. jessica yellin. explain what happens if they do continue. you just heard him saying he is in contempt. if he is, then what? >> reporter: there will be a clash between the two branches. we have seen this before. the legislative branch can now have a vote in committee and that is committee could vote because it's republican overwhelming, republican, could vote to hold holder in contempt. then it could go to house floor. that could happen as soon as next week, hold him in contempt. then the executive branch could decide, nope, we're not turning over those documents and it goes
to the courts to figure out who wins. then it goes into that netherworld of forever, we'll see how long that takes to work it out. brooke, the white house has a different perspective on this as congress mica does. we have seen these kinds of clashes many times in the past. >> i said because of these clashes, these instances of executive privilege, i was ta talking to david and i said give me one of the infamous uses. i said why would president obama use it now. >> it occurred with richard nixon that used it widely with watergate. there are legitimate uses of executive privilege. it's a privilege that's recognized by the law.
it's not an unqualified privilege. it's a gray area about when a president can use it and when they can't. typically the parties settle and agree to negotiate long before you spend two years in a courtroom over something like this. why did president obama do this? because what's happening here now is republicans would very much, would they would like to do is force eric holder to resign. they would like to have a major, major resignation five months before the elections and claim one of the top officials of the united states in a quote, scandal. the president doesn't want to let that happen. he respects eric holder. he wants to fight. >> jessica, david's point was is th is such a bigger issue. this is election year politics. it's a public battle. it's less about the status of the attorney general. >> reporter: let me show you that a little more. there are two things i'd like to point out. we're not talking about the documents that relate to the
actual case, the actual details of this case whether guns, how guns crossed the border, et cetera. what we're talking about is e-mails and documents that followed the investigation. they are looking to now subpoena documents about how should, what should we turn over, press inquiries related to the investigation. they are specifically talking about the exchanges between the white house and the justice department related to the congressional investigation. it's after the fact. it's not necessarily like the criminal wrong doing. it has to do with the follow up and the pr. secondly, i think it's not only necessarily about getting holder to resign, but there's also this larger effort to make the president in an election year seem political, very political. he's just another politician.
the more that congress can make him look that way and seem that way, that plays very well into the larger narrative that's on the campaign trail right now, and this certainly goes to that end. >> jessica yellin thank you for the context. they are minutes away of holding this vote, this contempt vote on capitol hill. keep watching. a prediction from the nation central bankers, ben bernanke said the rate of unemployment will remain above 8% through the end of this year. let's take a listen. he spoke live a short time ago. >> based on their projeks for economic growth, participants will see slower progress in reducing unemployment than they did in april. committee participants projections to the unemployment rate in the fourth quarter of this year have a central tendency of 8.0 to 8.2% declining to 7.0% to 7.7% in the
fourth quarter of 2014. levels that would remain above participants estimates of the longer rates of unemployment. >> alison kosik live at the new york stock exchange. walk me through how the markets responded and before we do that, if we look back to last fall, last winter we saw the rate of unemployment dropping. a lot of people thought we're out of the woods. we hit the wall in february. we're not sitting at 8.2% the chairman bernanke saying not going to go too much lower, if at all for the rest of the year. >> reporter: not exactly sunny. it's interesting, you look at how his take was on the committeconomy earlier this year. he thought we're going to see the jobs market get better. it's not going to be getting better faster. he's lowered his expectations of the job market and the economy. as for jobs, you put it up on
the screen. unemployment rate, he sees it ending this year. we're at 8.2% now. if we're going to end the year at 8.2%, it means we're expected to run in place and muddle through this economic recovery. two months ago the fed was much more optimistic saying the unemployment rate would fall faster. bernanke just fin tished up this press conference and he said people are finding jobs. they're just not finding these jobs at the rate he'd like to see. >> part of the o news he made, he said, yes, we will extend operation twist. it's the bond swapping program that's supposed to expire at the end of june. this is another effort to free up credit. as you and i were talking last hour, you can't force banks to lend and consumers to borrow. >> reporter: it's about creating demand. banks don't want to face a risk of default. the last thing business owners
want to do is take out another loan in a bad economy. by exthe ending this operation twist, the fed felt it had to do something. by lowering the long term rates, they are hoping it could spur the economy just a little more. you see how much it's done so far. it just hasn't done much. investors not too happy. you see the market reaction. the dow down 61 points. >> alison kosik. thank you. a lot more news unfolding. take a look at this. one passenger calls it four hours of hell. a problem forces pilots to pull off a nightmare ride. i'm brooke baldwin, the news is now. sex, politics and confessions. john edwards mistress tells all and we've got an inside look. plus, an american with a ridiculous amount of ammo in his truck says he took a wrong turn as he sits behind bars in mexico. new calls to get him out.
and as the former egyptian president clings the life, a power struggle inside egypt. a country that gets more than a billion dollars a year from the u.s. an accident doesn't have to slow you down. with better car replacement, if your car is totaled, we give you the money for a car one model year newer. liberty mutual auto insurance. sven's home security gets the most rewards of any small business credit card! how does this thing work? oh, i like it! [ garth ] sven's small business earns 2% cash back on every purchase, every day! woo-hoo!!!
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now that's personal pricing. would you believe extra chairs had to be brought in for all the people that came this for the jerry sandusky rape trial today. they were there expecting to hear from the former football coach taking the stand, and they were disappointed. let's go to jean casarez. he was prepped to testify and ready to testify. what happened? >> reporter: he looked like a man that was going to testify. he had a complete suit on. he had shiny shoes. here is what happened. there was a long conference in the judge's chambers before the moment would come that he would take the stand. if he takes the stand, he can say anything he wants to on the direct examination. it's the cross-examination, he
can open himself up to have any question what so ever. i think the defense wanted to know if we can tailor this narrow examination and the prosecution can't ask the tough questions. the answer they got may have been one the defense didn't like, so he didn't take the stand. >> i know there were a lot of breaks this morning and a juror was replaced last minute. why? >> reporter: she was sick. juror number six. she was a female. she was one of the very few jurors that did not have a connection to penn state. she doesn't watch the news, doesn't listen to television. worked for a property management company. she was so sick she couldn't come to trial. it was alternate number one, also a female. she jumped up and went and sat down in juror number six's seat. penn state connection. graduate of penn state in human development. she will now be part of deliberating jury. >> i appreciate you. we will talk again tomorrow as we know closing arguments begin
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we've all experienced some plane trips that could be described as a rough flight but probably not like the 155 people on a jet blue flight. some describe it as hours of hell after the pilot reported a double hydraulic failure after take off. >> how long? >> we got lots of stuff to deal with so maybe 30 minutes. we're going to have to burn a lot of gas. >> a lot longer than 30 minutes. looks like your son or daughter scribble. this is the flight path flying hours and hours in circle to burn off fuel. the plane circled so many times the, passengers got sick. the plane turned into a
vomitorium. the plane finally burned enough fuel to head back to the airport. you can see it there on the runway, landing safely. we asked jet blue about flight 192. it confirmed the plane lost a hydraulic system. compared to this one, comped this one and offered us a free round trip ticket for our flight from hell, end quote. the u.s. gives more than a billion dollars to egypt each and every year. there's this intense power struggle happening there right now could change everything and leave america vulnerable. should something happen in middle east. ♪ [ male announcer ] aggressive styling. a more fuel-efficient turbocharged engine.
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more than a billion dollars, that's how much the u.s. gives to egypt every year. right now the relationship could be in trouble as egyptians are waiting to hear if their former leader is alive. they are also waiting to hear who the next president could be. ivan is in cairo. >> reporter: a lawyer for the family of mubarak says his condition has improved since he was moved from the prison where he supposed to be serving his life prison for the role in killing a hundred demonstrators to a military hospital. he's been taking off a res piratp res practice tra rater and his wife has been allowed to visit him. many of them say they don't care about his current condition. they are much more concerned about who won last weekend's presidential elections. was it mubarak's land picked
minister or the man from the brotherhood. both campaigns are claiming victory. we are waiting for the official results to be published. there's another twist and that's the military counsel that governed egypt has issued a number of decrees over the last week dissolving parliament, for example, and usurping power. that's triggered a power trug l with the muslim brotherhood which sent thousands of supporters out to chant no, no to military rule. a military spokesman said if the opposition candidate is declared the victor in the elections,
then the muslim brotherhood will call this sheer forgery and reserve the right to take to the streets again in defense of their candidate. hard to tell whether or not that's bluster or not. >> thank you. for every parent, it's really the ultimate, what would you do? one dad kills man who is sexually abusing his daughter. not only are we hearing the dad's 911 call for the first time, we're hearing whether he will be punished. ums. calcium rich tums goes to work in seconds. nothing works faster. ♪ tum tum tum tum tums
or more emotion that they think this man did what any father would do? >> under texas law justifiable force, deadly force can be used to stop a sexual assault. there is no question that the law supported what he did and protected what he did. did emotion play a part in it? of course it did. i believe it did considering just all the feedback that i've been getting on twitter, on facebook. people are really, really fired up about what happened here. >> speaking of emotion, have to play this 911 call. this is the father's call to 911 for the first time. this was played during the prosecutor's news conference. >> find where i live. i don't know nothing. i don't know what to do. i don't know what to do.
>> you can hear the sort of voice waivering. i don't know what to do. i don't know what to do. it's impossible to know what role the phone call played in the decision, but obviously it factored in. >> it had to have been a factor. what's interesting to note on that call he is calling 911. he is explaining under that clear emotional distress what he had done and what he had seen happen. medical authorities did confirm that a sexual assault did take place. we're talking about a 5-year-old little girl. there was a witness who saw this man forcibly take her behind a shed. that witness ran to get the little girl's father. he responded to her screams. i'm certain that while that phone call played part in this grand jury's decision, there was evidence supporting what this father said happened. >> it's horrendous. does the outcome of this case, do you think it could give cover for other parents who might find
themselves in similar situations? >> i don't think so. this was appropriate under texas law because deadly force is justified to stop a sexual assault in texas. remember, this man saw a sexual assault being perpetrated upon his daughter. a parent's worst nightmare. i can't imagine being confronted with something like that. it certainly, the message here is not to encourage vigilantism. he did the right thing in calling 911 and reporting what happened. thank you. sex, politics and confessions. john edward's mistress tells all. we've got the inside look. the natural oatmeal formula improves skin's health in one day, with significant improvement in 2 weeks. i found a moisturizer for life. [ female announcer ] only from aveeno. in here, every powerful collaboration is backed by an equally powerful and secure cloud.
the all-new cadillac xts has arrived. and it's bringing the future forward. you can see these live pictures. this is the house oversight committee. we are minutes away from this contempt vote regarding eric holder, our attorney general over this botched gun running scheme, fast and furious operation. the president jumped into this today for the very first time executing executive privilege. we are watching and waiting for that vote on capitol hill. now to this. rael hunter is perhaps not the most hated woman, but she is one of them. she went on oprah and told about
affair she had. she has written a book. a book that gives the details o. six year affair. it's entitled really happened. she gets pretty down and dirty in this book and putting her first sexual encounter with edwards. how does she explain how she hooked up with him in the first place? >> she said she met him in bar. on that first night it was sleepless night. it was extraordinary and she completely surrendered to him. she said she followed his lead. >> okay. the obvious follow to that is, is she giving any hint in the book as to her relationship with edwards right now, on or off? >> well, there's going to be an
article coming out where she says they are still together. here is what we know. i want to read you this excerpt from the book if which she says i have no idea what will happen to us. the jury is still out. the ending is of no concern to me anymore. the love is here, and that's happy as it may sound, i love living in love. >> i love living in love. let's play a little clip of rielle hunter. >> first and foremost, i'm a mom. rielle hunter is a mom. i'm also a woman who fell in love with a married man. i'm not the first woman who has done that, and i'm not going to be the last. >> the tabloid fodder. is there anything in this book that might change the negative perception of hunter as a
husband stealer? >> i think they may be hard to do but she's trying her best. we're going to see it wasn't just rielle hunter after john edwards. it takes two and he pursued her from the beginning and the two of them were adults. we're going to find out from her side of the story that the relationship between john and elizabeth edwards was over before their relationship started, including he had affaired with other women. he said i'm in a couple of situations. he said that because he didn't want her to get too close. we find out that john edwards isn't as great of a man as he says he was. she wasn't the only woman that fell in love with john edwards and she isn't the only woman to have sinned and fallen in love with someone she shouldn't have, but that's what we're going to learn. it wasn't her alone. it takes two and as far as the marriage, you never know what happens between two married
couples behind closed doors. we don't know the extent of the relationship and elizabeth edwards isn't here anymore. >> thank you. when he talks, people listen. just a short time ago ben bernanke wasn't ray of sunshine, if you will. what he says, the economy's not getting better any time soon. we' at liberty mutual, we know how much you count on your car, and how much the people in your life count on you.
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let's just eavesdrop for a moment. this is the house oversight committee. they are talking back and forth before they hold this contempt vote. >> there was a beginning to this story. not just where we are now. we will never get to the bottom of it by pretending that this is about fast and furious and not
about its former name, wide receiver and how the decision was made in the first place. >> would the gentlewoman yield? >> i have the yield. >> wolf, i'm sure you're on this. here you have this back and forth between demonstrate democrats and republicans over the contempt status of our attorney general. you have the president for his first time in his four years issuing this executive privilege. what do you make of all this? >> i've gone through the executive privilege debates on many occasions over the years. democratic presidents do it. republican presidents do it. there's always this turf battle between the executive branch and the u.s. government and the legislative branch and occasionally the judicial branch, namely the supreme court has to intervene. these are co-equal branches of
the u.s. government. it's not the first time and won't be the last time. we're going to into our senior legal analyst. he will be joining us. we'll get his full analysis. we have some historic precedent to mull over as well. there's a lot of news going on. also, the interview, i conducted an interview with the deputy prime minister of israel, and he spoke very bluntly on the situation with iran and its nuclear program, on syria and the tense relationship that could emerge between israel and its largest, most important arab neighbor, mainly egypt. we have all that and a lot more coming up. >> we'll see you at the top of the hour. i do want to go back to ben
bernanke. not exactly mr. sunshine today. he said the rate of unemployment will remain at 8% through the end of the year. we heard from him about 90 minutes ago. take a listen. >> participants will see slower progress in reducing unemployment than they did in april. committee participants projections for the unemployment rate in the fourth quarter of this year have a central ten di si of 8.0 to 8.2% declining to 7.0% to 7.7% in the fourth quarter of 2014. levels that would remain above participants estimates of the longer run rates of unemployment. let's go to erin burnett. he painted a dark dismal picture. here is my question for you. somebody say hang on. if it's really that bad, there are steps you could have taken today, and taken today and you didn't take them, right? >> that's right, brooke.
there are still more bullets left in the fed's arsenal as we'd like to say. there are still more things that they can do. but i think one way to look at this is to say, look, he did say growth is coming back very gradually. we parse every word of these statements. the last time the fed came out with its statement, it was only gradually. as you say, every ajektive he could have put in there, they put in there. a big bang sort of another round of what we call quantitative easing, he didn't go that far. and i think that's a good thing in the sense that, a, he wants to leave it in case he really needs it, but also even though things are getting worse, he doesn't think that we're at that dire of a strait. so in a sense it's kind of a vote of confidence that things aren't that bad. >> that's the micro. i want to sort of look out macro sort of 20,000-foot view above. here we are looking at ben bernanke holding a news conference. we carried part of it live. how quickly we forget, right, this is brand new, this openness
at the fed. did we learn anything else from what he said today? >> you know, it's interesting. it only started just over a year ago when he started talking in this whole bid to have the fed to be more transparent. learned, as you said, brooke, concerned about the economy. the sound bite you played which i thought was the perfect one to choose that he's saying unemployment could be between 7% to 7.7% all the way to the end of 2014. that means we are still multiple years away from getting unemployment to at the best case scenario 7%. this economy really if it's at full employment, everyone who has a job and the job they want really would put that unemployment rate a lot of economists say somewhere between 4% to 5% or 3.5% to 4% 5%. that means it will be years before we get back there. that's the takeaway that this financial crisis was deep and severe. even if we're succeeding in climbing out of it, it's going to be a long and painful process. there's no magic wand, here you go, here's a solution. >> 30 seconds, are we going to
be using the r word again, erin burnett? >> this is tough. you know, brooke, so many people it feels like we are in a recession when you look at that rate of people who want better jobs than the ones they have even. i think it's really going to come down to europe. if europe doesn't get it together, yes, you will have another recession. >> erin burn et, thank you. look for you tonight at 7:00. thanks a lot. an american with a ridiculous -- we'll go with that, ridiculous about of ammunition in his truck, oops he took a wrong turn. now he's in a maximum security prison in new mexico. there are new calls to get him out. where ? where ? it's getting away ! where is it ? it's gone. we'll find it. any day can be an adventure. that's why we got a subaru.
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>>a minute, mom! let's broaden the world's energy mix. let's go. i know we've all made wrong turns before, but few of us have landed in a mexican maximum security prison. for doing that, there are new calls here from the el paso, texas, city councilman to free an american truck driver who says he made a wrong turn and accidentally ended up in mexico. authorities down there, they
stopped him before he could actually get back into the united states. and you are looking at what he was carrying. some 268,000 rounds of ammunition, bullets. mexican police say he's an arms smuggler and they have held him now for two months. fernando is following the story for us. welcome. nice to meet you. >> nice to meet you. >> let's just begin with the councilman in el paso stepping in. >> yes. >> they want him home. >> yes. they want him home. actually, there was -- they have been considering asking the federal government -- the mexican federal government, to release this trucker because of this wrong u-turn. but actually they have been voting about because in terms of the laws in mexico, this is actually a felony. i mean -- >> he could go to prison for like 30 years, if this is the case. >> the other way around. if it happens from mexico to the u.s., it would be the same
thing. but now they're reviewing documents, actually, the federal authorities in mexico, are reviewing documents to prove that it was actually illegal cargo that the trucker was driving through the states. >> uh-huh. >> and they're going to have to base on that information to prove that he was actually legal and a bad u-turn. >> his bosses have come forward. they said, hey, he meant to go to phoenix, a wrong turn. it's easy to make the mistake and head into mexico. the inspection lane is the lane he wasn't in and, woops, he's in maximum security prison, right? >> yes. >> he's 200 miles from mexico city. >> yes. around that. >> what about the ammunition itself? initially they said it was hidden in the floorboards, which sounded bad for his case. but that's not the case, correct? >> no. that's not the case. they have been able to prove that the cargo was, i mean, just so you know, it was just exposed like regular cargo in any other truck. so that's one of the points.
the other point they're saying this is not the first time that this happened. actually, the lawyer who is defending him is saying that -- he's blaming the u.s. customs agents because he asked for help at some point. well, he got stuck in traffic. he asked -- that's what they say, he asked for help to make that u-turn that never happened until he was on mexican soil. so that's the case right now. now the mexican authorities have to evaluate all these documents that are presented to them to find out if it's true that it was a bad u-turn. if it's not -- it comes -- bottom line, they have to prove that the cargo was legally being transported here in the united states. and that might give them the chance to actually get the guy free. >> he's been in this prison since what, april? >> yeah. april 17 if i'm not wrong. >> that's right. has he been able to talk to his
family? >> no. actually, his mom has been claiming for a -- at the beginning it was humanitarian reasons to release him because of just a mistake, but he hasn't been able to. it's a maximum security prison over there in mexico. they won't allow him to talk to his family. >> so what exactly is next? in 30 seconds or less here, fernando. what is next? >> we need to wait for the mexican authorities to respond after they review all the documents that they just were presented. if they can prove that it was legal cargo here in the states and it was actually a mistake, he might -- he might, i'm saying, be released. >> fernando, thank you. >> thank you so much, brooke. nice to meet you. >> nice to meet you. that is it here. i'm brooke baldwin at the cnn world headquarters in atlanta. off to washington, d.c., now and wolf blitzer. "the situation room" begins right now. brooke, thanks very much. happening now, a bitter constitutional showdown between
the president of the united states and republicans in congress. it's exploding as a house committee prepares to vote on holding president obama's attorney general, eric holder, in contempt. this hour there are dramatic new developments in the election year fight over the botched operation called fast and furious. plus, the fed chairman lowers expectations for the jobs market and the u.s. economy and takes new action to try to boost the recovery. erin burnett standing by. she'll join us live this hour. she's got a new perspective on the economic suffering that's coming up. and big pizza chains are taking on the federal government so they don't have to tell consumers just how many calories they'll pack -- they'll get on every single slice. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room".