tv Dateline Extra MSNBC April 21, 2019 7:00pm-9:00pm PDT
behind the scenes. long before all the leaks that gave hints to how wild it was. also, what happens when donald trump leaves office given what mueller put out in writing. there's a road map for a potential prosecution. the question is if anyone would pick that up later. also tonight we'll dpo something special part of this hour. we took your questions over the weekend, viewers and moms and many more. we'll answer them. if you want to get in on it send us questions on twitter. or on the show account. at the beat or facebook and instagram. or e-mail us. if you don't like social media. we'll solicit questions and i promise to answer them. here's the leading news. speaker nancy pelosi holding a private call tomorrow with democrats.
the topic, what they want to do from here and whether she's respond to what happened over the weekend. which is increasing calls from democrats to impeach donald trump. to unify on the first next steps now that mueller determined that the rules deck at a time you don't indict a sitting president. you have to look at other options if you'll do anything. there was a care here in the report that bill barr exploited. he misled the public and made is sound like mueller couldn't make up his mind. that's not true. the confusion over now. what is the point? of a meticulous, detailed, evidence road map of what mueller calls substantial evidence of obstruction. if you don't indict the president? i'm not asking a rhetorical question. i'm leading off the second hour by explafrs what the answer could be. not what they will be. but could be. mueller lists two specific ways
a president can be held accountable. congress may apply the obstruction law to the president corrupt exercise of powers of office. rejecting the trump claim the president's can't obstruct. mueller elude to the fact that in american history congress has pursued impeachment based on obstruction. and the second option. the one that nixon was so worried about. it was a big deal his replacement pardoned him. mueller noting a president doesn't have immunity after he leaves office. that this russia probe helped quote preserve the evidence when memories were fresh. and documents were available. now, fresh compared to what? mueller shot across the bow. may scare trump. nothing new, nothing legally creative. the whole reason so many people remember that former president nixon accepted a controversial
pardon. he knew everybody knew a former president could be indicted and convicted like anyone else. what was true then, what was controversial then. the next president taking the pardon he needed to avoid the prosecution legally possible. as a constitutional matter that is true today. we begin with the big stakes with former federal prosecutor joyce advance. and david corn. nixon looms large over so many of the discussions. your view of this reference to potential later prosecution. >> it should scare donald trump. i don't know if it does. the idea of later prosecution is very something we should talk about later. right now there's a crisis facing the country. anyone who reads the report and i'm encouraged to see some
republicans, not elected republicans. but people on twitter who say they have been shocked by what they read in the report. anyone who reads this report realizes a question about whether he should remain in office or not. the next step is how the democrats in the house side figure out what to do. i know i have heard you and others talk about moving straight to impeachment. i think that the best thing first and this happened a little bit in water gate. get the story in front of the american public. that's a congressional hearing. >> let me clear. i'm not talking about moving straight to impeachment. i am reporting on the legal fact. that the evidence of obstruction is something that traditionally goes to an impeachment analysis or not. which is such an important distinction. given barr muddying the waters. >> point taken. and i think this report is 448
pages. not everyone will read it. i tell you, if you bring mcgahn and trump jr. saider and corey lewandowski. jeff sessions up for hearings. on this and other related matters, the country will be gripped by that. and that's the best way to present a case whether or not you should move ahead with impeachment. or censure or something else. clearly some action is called for. no action is not really i think acceptable at this point. for any democrat. they need to figure out how to proceed. it's about getting the truth out. so it's wider than the audience that just reads the report. >> i think you make a vital and insightful observation. which is the whole thing depends on whether there's a government process to educate the public. and then do we have a functional substive way to deal with it. joyce, i don't want to go too
met. i'll real the cable news on the screen. having finished the entire mueller report there are footnotes that quote cable news headline as evidence of what trump was reacting to. we have a president who is known to react to them. this may concern him. it is merely a factual report. mueller details obstruction evidence geps trump, notes ex-presidents can be charnled. he didn't have to put that in there. who he charged and declined to charge. he put that in there. i want to read the footnote. quote recognizing an immunity from prosecution for a sitting president wouldn't procollude such prosecution once the president's term is over. or he is otherwise removed from office by resignation. or impeachment. joyce, why is that in the
report? what does it mean in. >> we're all having what i think is really a political conversation about this presidency. mueller and his team were writing a report that was grounded in the law. it's a very careful and thorough analysis. they walked through the steps, you can tell they were thinking what happens at this point and they conclude they can't indict. so they then think what happens if we can't indict? they walk through the steps they see two options. impeachment. or the other process is that some prosecutor down the road could indict because that sitting presidential immunity doesn't follow you into private citizen ship once you're out of the white house. like any other american. a former president could be indicted. interestingly had notes those are not mutually exclusive options. you can be impeached and indicted. what he's done is put together a
package of evidence. so future prosecutors whether on capitol hill or u.s. attorney office somewhere can fulfill the obligation. >> betsy, i want to play a chairman nadler speaking to all of this. to making sense of what mueller was doing with the very careful very footnoted references to what accountability could be. >> the special counsel made clear he didn't exonerate the president. the responsibility now falls to congress. to hold the president accountable. >> if you choose to go to impeachment. how important would this report be? >> it was probably written with the intent of providing congress a road map. >> betsy? >> what's important here to remember also in the context that nadler is talking about that bill barr the attorney general appears to have deliberately mischaracterized how mueller wanted his report to be read.
and let's remember not to make the mistake of con flating the intent of the person writing the text was. with the text itself. if you read the four corners of the report. it makes clear that it was not written from the deliberate hope that bill barr or the current attorney general would make a decision about whether or not to prosecute. because mueller himself couldn't make the choice. rather mueller in the text of the report leaves that option open. that stands in direct contrast to the waybill barr characterized the report. when he read it weeks before anybody in the public was able to read it. he said mueller couldn't decide and passed the baton to me. that's not what he said in the report. that's part of the reason this moment is so crucial for nadler. he has to say was mueller, do the four corners of the report mean that i rather than bill barr need to make this decision
about what to do with this 200 pages of evidence pointing to potential obstruction of justice. >> she lays that out so well. we're doing a special and can go deeper and longer. i'm curious of your diagnosis of the problem in washington. you have studied this town for a listening time. including pretrump. reporter skeptical in the bush era on the iraq war. you were like many people initially for that and it turned ot you got that right. i think the panel is discussing the fact that while it would seem obvious given the attention, you don't have to be an expert to hear the fact you can't indict a sitting president. when barr leaked on what she described, there were many in washington who gave that more credibility than it deserved. do you know why? >> thank you for making he feel
old and having paid attention to what i have done in the past. i appreciate that. i do think there's -- you can call it an throe polg. here in washington. always deference paid to official dom. it's not the media is right or left. it's people who work here in washington and media. not all. but they know the people who run the government. and they often want to trust them more than not. so they defer to them and take the queues from them. and not all the time. that is a baseline for a loot here. the idea is jeff sessions obviously a political hack and when he's out of here bill barr who is here with george hw bush and this long established credential. he'll be the adult in the room. the great search in the trump years for the adult in the room. and so when he comes out and
says no collusion. exoneration. and it was my job to take care of this. i'm the adult in the room. mueller wanted me to do this. people naturally believed him. they believe his press conference. an hour before the report came out. and to me the mystery is not that the tie goes to the runner he gets the say. it's he went so far out on the limb and said things that were so much a mischaracterization of the report. he read it he knew what he was saying. and i don't understand why fellow with that standing previously that standing would do something so hand in hand he would be made to be seen basically as a liar. an hour after the press conference. that is a big mystery too. >> i think that it's clear that he wanted to prove to his boss not only a type of loyalty.
but a willingness to do it in public that yolks himself to donald trumps -- >> why. >> in donald trumps view that's the ultimate. >> i get that. why does bill barr want to be roy cone? at this stage in his life. why does he want to do that. you have to do that if you're working for trump. but what's in it for him? >> having held the job before and back in the same job. i don't know. we have all covered complex issues here. some of them are understandably so difficult that when people make mistakes, i get it. the way that at least part of washington was so credulous about what barr said when it was obviously from day one what we reported here the barr letter tells you what barr thinks. not mueller. that strikes me normal reporting.
barr is the attorney general. what's important when we report it. the numb of people who said this shows what mueller did. no way. and i thought obviously as with all past probes of the president, indictment is not the issue. whatever mueller did was for congress. that's my addition. we have extra time. we lose david corn after this. thank you. joyce and betsy stay with me. we have the big question. why didn't mueller use his powers to force a sit down interview with trump? we'll get into that. we have the report. will we hear from mueller himself. he caught got by a reporter. we got a no comment. we could if he shows up and testifies under oath. that's what the democrats are demanding. i can tell you we have the mueller report 448 pages has so much to unpack, tonight i'll answer some of your questions directly. coming up. coming up.
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plenty of celebrated mullers apparent integrity and careful research on the probe. there's one decision that has led many to debate what he did. and like any other government official he is not above debate ore reproach. he never demanded and used his potential subpoena power to force an in person interview with the president. for months trump claimed he would do it. >> i would love to speak. i would love to. nobody wants to speak more than me. against my lawyers -- most never speak on anything. i would love to speak. >> that wasn't really true. donald trump was doing something he does. try to dominate the headlines. not unlike what we were discussing at bill barr. saying something that would prove to be false. trump talking to mueller under
oath didn't happen. >> extraordinary thing. to interview a president of the united states. >> it seems like the worst possible strategy for someone in his position. anybody interested in wanting to know what trump knew will get their answers when he sits down with mueller. >> he didn't. and only submitted written answers. now mueller explains why he didn't force quote the president because he declined to be interviewed and there's a grand jury redaction. which is tantalizing. he says we believe we had the authority and legal justification to issue a grand jury subpoena to obtain the president testimony. we chose not to do so. mueller explains there would have been a substantial delay. that would have been produced. it went very differently for bill clinton. the fight over his testimony took time. but not forever by legal standards. half a year in 98. ken star subpoenaing here and clinton testified within 12
days. >> the president has been subpoenaed by the independent counsel. >> the president will testify. about his relationship with a former intern. under oath and on tape for the grand jury. >> those statements got clinton in a lot of hot water. but from a legal perspective the point was he did face the ngt tors. and george w. bush was interviewed as president. by a special counsel. and occurred in the white house in the negotiation was that the discussion would help the probe but not technically be under oath. >> in washington today president bush did something only handful
of sitting presidents have ever done. >> he met for an hour this morning with the special prosecutor investigating the leak. >> joined now by former federal prosecutors. welcome to both of you. john, your view given everything we know having digested the report. would an in person interview with trump provide information or duply kative. should mueller have pushed harder? >> he should have pushed harder to get it. explanation is weak stuff when you consider he spent a year it felt like begging for him to testify. and then he got answers to written questions. but they were all i don't recall, i can't recollect and so forth. about things we all know he did recollect. and did talk about after bragging about his perfect memory. and the mueller said that that
information that interview was vital to the investigation. yet he didn't pursue it. if you focus your energy you can get an interview. unlike the other presidents we had a situation here where he had given written answers. i don't know what fifth amendment was left after that. and in addition because his team decided to cooperate with the mueller information, i don't think there was executive privilege possible. most of the evidence we were concerned about involved the period before he was the president. there's no executive privilege. the chairman of judiciary committee is fond of pointing out. there's no privilege conducting a criminal act. we had evidence that would have been before trump pushed by documents and letters and contradictory statements by excellent people. it would have been useful. the thing about people who do not recall, we make prosecutions
of people like that. because right around the thinking they don't recall, they recall a lot. people are convicted in situations. we have a lying president. you can trust when he admits he did something wrong. with skilled professional prosecutors, he would have gotten the information that would have gone the rest of the distance in my opinion. even though i think he had a lot of evidence and sufficient evidence to go forward. but did not. >> you may make a subtle legal point. which is that they could have used the written answers to dial up a around the fifth amendment. for anyone who thinks donald trump is sloppily making it up as he goes along, there's ample evidence he is incredibly canny when it comes to avoiding criminal liability. how he got the experience has been well documented. take a look in the 90s. when he was defending bill
clinton. against a special counsel probe. and talking about how you could invoke the fifth. >> his lawyers in particular the lawyer i won't mention names. representing him with respect to jones. did a terrible job. i'm not sure he should have taken the fifth amendment. i don't get along with star. he's after me. he's a republican. and take the fifty amendment. it's a terrible thing. but he should have done it. >> explain your legal argument that they could have used the written questions to prevent a later indication of the fifth. >> he answered each of the questions by saying i don't recall. and he used reference to certain documents and so forth to suggest innocent things. by talking about the subject matter, each of the things that were put before him in the questions, how could he then say i have a right to remain silent?
when he was not silent in print. he had waived his privilege. and i think you can argue he waived his privilege almost everything by the way his counsel had positioned themselves. in their defense structure meeting the investigation of mueller. so i don't think there was anything left that he could have avoided. that would have been made it an even stronger argument had they gone to court. they keep saying you can't call the president to testify. criminal investigation which was one of the factors in the nixon case when the court considered it. and this case you had a waiver of the privilege and executive privilege. which i think wouldn't have stood anyhow. i can't understand why any prosecutor would have stopped. especially when you are getting the thumb all the time about i'm not going to testify. you close that gap. win or lose you have the fight. and he didn't do that. i can't think of a good explanation for why you wouldn't
have asked him questions. >> you put it so strongly. like lawyers do. it sound like gosh, what else is there? what was he thinking. do you agree that they should have gone harder to get the testimony in person? >> far be it from me to disagree with the d.c. bar robert red ford. i see it differently. mueller had some of the most accomplished lawyers in the country on his team. they would have been in a really good position to calibrate. just how long it would take them to appeal the presidents refusal to testify. pursuant to a subpoena. he would have refused. and could have assessed the likelihood they would have won in the supreme court. they decided not to pursue. not because they wimped out. they were acquiring evidence
along the way on obstruction. they realized en though they weren't going to make the buy nar choice indict or not indict. they were on a different path, they realize they had enough evidence to prove obstruction charges against the president. they realize they didn't need the president of the united states to come in for an interview. and it might not have produced results. it could have been a painful excursion with trump asserting the fifth amendment. that's not a good look for a sitting president. he could have done that. there would have been delay and controversy. and mueller is very confident. that the had evidence on a couple of the different obstruction -- >> this is the core question. now that we have seen already the spin and the echo and the smoke and the bar of it all. would mueller have done a better job if he would have at least forced trump to come into a room
and say i invoke the fifth. on the ground that my answer may incriminate me. would that have helped land it, yes or no? before i fit in a break. >> mueller made the calculation it wouldn't. i'm inclined to trust him. i suspect he would have never gotten trump into the room. it would have been a long process. it would have been a couple years down the road. before we got to that. the real question is why did mueller feel so much time pressure. he moved so quickly. almost surgically for a prosecutor. most cases like this go on for years. mueller felt time pressure. i'd love to know the answer. >> he might be asked moving forward. we have a sense of the answer. he maybe asked under oath whether mr. barr gave hem a deadline. >> you can't win the lottery unless you buy a ticket. we can talk ourselves out of
doing what is necessary. if he had sufficient evidence the report didn't say that. if he had sufficient evidence and said i can prosecute him for obstruction. that's an argument i agree with. >> he didn't go that far. i'll have both of you back this week. we have a thing at 6:00 p.m. called the beat. we'll continue the debate. i appreciate good faith disagreement. on strategy and law. breaking in silence. mueller may testify before congress. he was asked today for comment. of course he said none. the chaos in trump land. what the mueller report revealed. run with us. on a john deere x300 series mower. because seasons may change... ♪ ...but true character doesn't. ♪ wow, you've outdone yourself this time. hey, what're neighbors for?
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you inspired us to create internet that puts you in charge. that handles anything. that protects what's important. and reaches everywhere. this is beyond wifi. this is xfi. simple, easy, awesome. the report is a legal document. it's evidence goes beyond legal analysis. the prosecutor powers run beyond what most reporters or tv interviewers can force sources to give up. that makes part of this report a gripping read than some of the best accounts of this white house to date. i was thinking about that this
weekend. the scheming, back stabbing, fear and paranoia. white house on the edge of a constitutional crisis and appearing out of control. sense of doom after trump fired comey. is this the beginning of the end? trump himself looking at mullers appointment as the end of his presidency and saying i'm fed. he became obsessed with getting rid of mueller. the crazy stuff. except move your imagination. a saturday night mass car. trumps press secretaries would loi based on orders. and while plenty of lawyers are known to keep a copy of the constitution in their pocket. in the trump administration jeff sessions of keeping his resignation letter in his pocket. he knew his job was hanging by a thread. both parties say apart from the legal debate that will continue into next week, these stories
expose mueller's documentary evidence of a white house that was dangerously teetering out of control. i'm joined by back with me. and political reporter for the daily beast. what did you think of the straight up reporting and story telling here? i would say it was as fierce as as much as what we see in other articles from the last several years. >> what you get from the mueller report is the essence poft place we have been reading about for some time. all the reports that people around the president were essentially shielding him from himself. they were taking his orders and listening to him. and nodding their head and saying yes mr. president. as soon as the door shut they said that's crazy. we're not doing that. we know for a fact they were telling that to investigators and with know there are people in the white house ignoring the president. which has to infuriate him chl
the idea the president was pushing back on the idea the white house is an adult day care. you can even corey lewandowski someone who is close to the president. former campaign manager. he said i need you to give this speech. this dictated speech to jeff sessions. he doesn't do it. he passes it off and it doesn't happen. over and over again this happens in the white house. >> i'll put up some of the what was just referred to the day care. here's all the references to anger. the president angry. directing anger, angry. became angry. president-elect was angry. it's important. it's not an article taking cheap shots. it's mueller showing that the defenses we have heard from the white house team about donald trump don't always carry water. because he was an angry out of
control, chief executive hell bent on under mining the rule of law. >> bwhat makes the narrative so important and different from journalistic reporting. everyone spoke on the record and under oath. which means anyone who characterized the president as angry to mueller. who was lying about it. could be indicted. the way george papadopoulos and michael flynn have faced criminal charges because they lied to mueller. one thing about the report that popped out to me, there's a moment where any reporters that covers the intelligence community sort of churned with envy. the fact that mueller got to talk to edward. a career official in the office of the director of national intelligence. he briefs the president. multiple times a week. depending on what the week looks like. it might be every day. he goes in with dan coats and haspel. or the deputies. and he gets to see so much.
this is a guy who knows not only everything that's going on in the world. from an american intelligence perspective. but also how donald trump responds to those revelations. when they are shared with him. if you could pick one career official in the federal government to talk to you about how donald trump reacts to the most consequential things happening. arguably. it's not on earth. the fact mueller got him to walk him through this key moment. is just it's not amazing. it's his job. but it's the kipd of thing as a reporter you're like oh, man. i wish i could have been there. >> how does this inform the reporting you will do given the it's narrow. are we to assume this is the only topic area where donald trump was acting like this with
people trying to stem his worst instincts or will this be business as usual? >> a couple different questions. the first is people shielding the president from his worst instincts. a lot of them are not working there anymore. mcgahn. so many people aren't there to shield the president. who now is shielding the president from his worst instincts and there was an idea who had to take with a grain of salt what sources. >> reporter: telling you. sanders says it's a slip of the tongue. she was saying she was in touch can dozens of agents and said it was based on nothing. that wasn't exactly true. you have the press briefings that reporters still think are important. because american people can hear us ask questions of the a administration. she nits she wasn't telling the truth there. >> that's a great point.
it goes to the public service that comes out ot report. regardless of whether anything else is done about it. thank you so much for being part of the special. all the great work you have been doing throughout on the story. coming up. when bob mueller gets to call to testify what happens? and what will law makers ask. we'll take your questions and we are. i'll answer them live. non-drowsy claritin. and relief from symptoms caused by over 200 indoor and outdoor allergens. like those from buddy. [ dog whimpering ]
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one of the biggest remaining questions now that mueller has spoken in writing. will he testify. democrats setting a deadline. im joined by someone who knows his way around the issues in washington. former obama cabinet secretary. will mueller testify. if so, will he do what he's done in the past and say look to the report? >> he will testify. i think he will be i hope he will be comprehensive in answering the questions from the
committee. there are so many questions. not only on the obstruction issue and collusion. there's many things i want to ask about. i want to ask about the 140 contacts between trump associates and russian and why there were so many and so many lies about that. i would want to know how the obstruction the president obstruction actions influenced or hinder the collusion investigation. certainly want to know about the 37 instances where the president claimed he couldn't recall. and whether that hindered the investigation. >> you think he'll get boo it? or not. >> i think he will. i think he'll probably hold back from making judgments about the credibility of people that he didn't have a chance to interview. like the president. he will be fulsome in his answers to committee questions. >> john, robert. yes? >> we have a lot of precedent
here. and so as an analytical matter of not what people hope or might like. this is not the very first potential constitutional crisis landscape mueller has been through. he was such a great pick. when he dealt with this in the past, there was a very famous stand off many people recall. about potentially unlawful orders during the bush administration. and involving then deputy attorney general comey and attorney general. and hospital bed with ash kroft. i want to show how careful and non-disclosive the mueller was when asked under oath later about it. >> were you vised when you received the phone call from comey? there was going to be this visit to mr. ash kroft. by gonzalez. >> it was out of the ordinary. >> why did you make notes of the
conversation? >> it was out of the ordinary. >> what was? >> being asked to go to the hospital and be present at that time. >> out of the ordinary is about the most restrained while still accurate statement you can make about that. he wasn't giving much up. >> i think that he has to be pressed to answer a couple of questions besides the one mentioned. one thing that really concerns me is why a prosecutor extend a grand jury and in january for six months. conducts a serge of the stone house. and office and find such material. and has additional information from cohen. but closes down the investigation. i wonder if it isn't a fair hypothetical to test if he wasn't observing and maybe participating in what nixon tried to do when he tried to set up fall guys for himself but ultimately went down with them
in part because of january dean. that's to say did we get big fish but not the the don. not trump himself. >> do you think in addition to all the other comments i make about you and your bow tie. you have participated in several congressional investigations. as a lawyer. is it acceptable for a prosecutor in his position to say my answers on that are in the report. to the extent i didn't answer the report i can't say more. is there a lawful obligation. >> he might try it. maybe she should have subpoenaed and compelled to testify. the concern i have that i think would be shared on the hill. is why he dropped this case the way he did. no prosecutor who has that information does it. no prosecutor allows a subject of the investigation in this case trump not to be examined
and questioned. and so i think that we have some serious questions about how the investigation was run. when you read the report is looks like several different writers. >> i want to get chris in. final thought? >> i think that the bigger challenge for congress is whether they can hold a hearing that will elicit details. they have a way of getting away from people. you need an expert questioner to get the information. >> that's a great point. that means some of the congressional egos if they want to use it for fact finding. thank you so much. up ahead, you are in the next segment. i answer the big questions you submitted that remain about the mueller report. the unmistakable lexus is. lease the 2019 is 300 for $329 a month for 36 months. experience amazing at your lexus dealer.
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i'm ari. we asked you before the show what you msnbc viewers still want to know about the mueller report. now, i will answer your questions. my first one comes from realricci rea realrikki. she asks does barr have the ability to stop or interfere with the 14 pending cases? the answer is, no, he is not supposed to down any case be it independent like mueller or a jurisdictions in order to protect the president. the reason this is such a great question is give want we have seen by mr. barr thus far he has not done anything in public to break the law or standing doj rules, he has done a lot to
protect and put the best spin on things for donald trump. the question is what he will do in these other cases is one we will keep our eye on. this is from ccpatter74 on twitter. what does mueller say about the rnc convention and the russian friendly change in the rnc platform. this was a huge mystery and weird thing. republican platforms aren't usually pro russia. mueller found in the investigation there was not enough evidence to suggest the platform change came directly from trump or a quid pro quo. had it been that might be the type of thing you look at as conspiracy evidence. instead it looked like a campaign advisor, j.b. gordon who said he changed the platform based on his view what trump would want, public position but not part of some deal. i will read this to you from @fayecook19 on witter. can barr be imreached for
misleading about the report. mr. barr gives his opinions or vours conclusions or spin, that alone is not the kind of thing that leads to negative consequences in a legal sense for attorney general like being held in contempt or impeachment. while i've been quite clear what mr. barr said was incorrect that alone is not the kind of thing generally rising to the level of impropriety. but if he made those same statements to a court or court filing or congress under oath, it can be a whole different ballgame. that is one reason why the upcoming hearing he testifies under oath is so interesting. another question you all submitted comes from linda on twitter asking does congress need to open impeachment hearings to subpoena the grand jury transcripts in evidence. the short answer is not really. there is evidence maybe you heard about this they can question the press, precedent the watergate case jaworski's
grand jury report to the house of impeachment inquiry. it was this impeachment inquiry that got it. there are other ways preliminary to impeachment to get you grand jury material or in the house's case part of their oversight powers. another question i have. this is from @surrealtees. yes. the handles can be hard to read. how can we send mueller a thank you beer. great question on this holiday weekend and "game of thrones" weekends, everyone has a sense of humor. i don't know if you can get in touch with mueller or if he drinks beer, i can tell you all of us at the end of a long weekend can enjoy a break, beer, wine, tea, whatever you think
you deserve after get through all of this. i want to thank all of you, you may be wondering if your question didn't get picked you may find it on "the beat." thanks again for watching. i will tell you 6:00 p.m. eastern tomorrow, a special edition of "the beat," neil katyl, the former solicitor general and david kelley. i can tell you "dateline" is up next. xxx
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they call it the gold coast. the sun, the sea, and in this million dollar home, a mystery. >> he was talking on the telephone when he heard a loud bang. >> a woman murdered. her husband left blind. >> are you bleeding do you see any blood? >> i'm bleeding all over, yes. i can't see. >> but who? >> everyone is somewhat of a suspect. >> and why?
>> what brings someone to make a decision they're going to do this. >> was it love? >> what we learned was he was having an affair. >> was it money? >> nobody really knows what happened except for him and garrett. >> or was the truth hidden here on this tropical paradise. >> it was an assassination, a hit. no question. >> "blind justice." good evening. welcome to "dateline extra." i'm craig melvin. what started for the suttons ended as a nightmare. had the wealthy couple both been victims of a targeted attacks? possibly a robbery gone wrong. it would take months of digging for investigators to uncover the dark betrayal at the heart of this crime. here's keith morrison. >> reporter: it was august hot in coral gables.
the air was shirt-sticking thick as night fell. the small, damp breeze pushed weakly at limp palm fronds. in the artificial cool of attorney john sutton's house, an intimate party was winding down early. it was susan sutton's birthday, attending his son, girlfriend and john's law partner. daughter melissa, just off to college in north florida couldn't be there. so she phoned her mother to say, she missed her. were you two close? >> extremely. that's my best friend. >> reporter: i was going to ask how old your mom was? >> 57. no, you can't put that on. she was a nice 45. let's put it, leave it at that. >> the guests left. the law partner went home. son christopher and his girlfriend went to a movie. john settled in to watch tv in the master bedroom.
susan in another bedroom talked on the phone with a close friend. a quiet end to a pleasant evening. quiet. but not for long. >> coral gables, 911. >> i need the police at my house. i have just been assaulted. >> what happened, sir? >> somebody came in and shot me. >> shot you? >> yes. >> who did it? >> i don't know. i can't see. i need police and i need, an ambulance. >> okay, where did he shoot you? >> in my face. >> john sutton, as tough as nails, take no prisoners lawyer was barely conscious as he begged the 911 operator for help. he told the operator, blood was gushing from his head wounds. he couldn't see. >> where is she? >> i don't know. >> somehow he made it out the front door on his own. he was met by a paramedic. >> he had holes in his head, in his face. i couldn't believe how mr. sutton made it out of the house walking to us.
>> reporter: they stabilized sutton. rushed him off in an ambulance. an hour north of sutton's home, homicide detective, larry bellevue was just getting home after a long shift. >> i was pulling into my driveway. he was critically injured. called 911. he made his way to the door. >> they didn't want to go in ton till he came out. >> there was no way of knowing if the persons involved were still inside. they backed off until the s.w.a.t. team arrived and made entrance into the house. >> not knowing if the gunman was still in the house. s.w.a.t. teams cleared the house room by room, entering the bedroom where susan sutton had been on the phone. >> when they went into the room in which mrs. sutton was. they didn't see anybody. >> karen keagan was on homicide duty that night and called out to the scene. >> they saw a mound on the bed covered by a blanket. there were bullet holes in the blanket. and they had to yank the blanket down. when they did that they found
mrs. sutton in bed with her hands up. she had been holding the blanket and covering herself, literally ducking under the covers for cover. >> reporter: susan sutton was dead. a bloody phone beside her. she must have dropped it as she pulled up the covers in her vain attempt to hide from her killer. house secured, no shooter around the s.w.a.t. team withdrew. a dispatcher warned the detective bellevue this might be the deadly result of a domestic dispute. sutton's 911 call an perhaps an attempt to cover up what he had done. >> when i got the phone call and said there was a murder/suicide down in coral gables. we heard that the husband was en route to the trauma center. and in critical condition. >> reporter: en route with two bullet holes to his head. had sutton killed his wife and turned the gun on himself. no, that theory was quickly dismissed when the paramedic who took him to the hospital put out
and update over the radio. >> he can't provide any info. >> he had wounds to his hands which would make it clear like it was defense type wounds that somebody else must have shot him. he put his hands up. >> reporter: obviously. first clue. >> this is not murder/suicide. >> reporter: who or why would anyone want to harm john or susan sutton? the suttons had lived exemplarily lives, seemed to have it all. a beautiful house with a 31-foot boat out back. in exclusive coral gables, the upscale enclave south of miami. his law practice, susan worked as office manager was booming. just that week he received a check for $1 million for a case he had settled. so, was robbery the motive? and if so, how did the killer get into the house? officers saw a curtain blowing in the wind, through a sliding glass door near the rear of the house, near the pool, the door
latch showed signs it had been broken long before that night. >> the killer had gone in through the sliding glass door, had walked all the way through that house, no ransacking. drawers were not opened. and in the master bathroom, on the vanity was some beautiful diamond and gold jewelry. so, clearly, early on, it was pretty easy to detect that robbery was not the issue here. >> reporter: no. >> it was apparent they were targeted it was an assassination, it was a hit. >> an assassination? a hit? that sort of crime just didn't happen in staid coral gables. whatever the motive there was little to go on, no murder weapon, no fingerprints, no dna. there was however one possible lead. susan sutton as it was painfully obvious from the blood-stained evidence had been on the phone when she was shot five times. someone heard the screams and bullets ripping through the silence of that steamy august night. but who?
coming up. >> and what did he know that police didn't? he was given a polygraph, wasn't he? >> he passed on certain information. but he was deceptive in others. >> when ""blind justice"" continues. >> when ""blind justice"" continues. the doers. the 'hit that confirmation button and let's go!'- ers! because bookers know that the perfect place to stay... is right there for the booking. be a booker at booking.com the world's #1 choice for booking accommodations. but allstate actually helps you drive safely... with drivewise. it lets you know when you go too fast... ...and brake too hard. with feedback to help you drive safer. giving you the power to actually lower your cost. unfortunately, it can't do anything about that.
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had been talking to. a man named teddy. now, detectives were eager to talk to him. what exactly did he hear? finding teddy wouldn't be hard since he showed up at the crime scene with a gun. here's keith morrison with more. >>an august morning, 2004, melissa sutton, 19 years old awoke to her new college dorm life in northern florida, unaware of what happened to her parents the night before, unaware that her mother was dead, unaware in a miami emergency room, doctors were fighting to save her father's life. who told you and how? >>i actually got a call from a friend who, said i hope your dad is going to be okay? i just went what? like, maybe, he had a heart attack or something. >>just out of the blue? >>out of the blue.
>>frantically, melissa called every number she could back home. >>i called my mom. she didn't answer. i called teddy, my dad's partner, extremely close family friend. and he didn't answer. i called my brother, he said he couldn't talk right now. >>were you frantic in the sense that you knew something bad happened? >>i didn't know what. i didn't know what level. >>eventually melissa reached montodo who reluctantly broke the news to her on the phone. he brought her back to miami and the hospital where her father was in intensive care. her brother, christopher, had already arrived. both of them were reeling from loss of their mother. and now they kept vigil at their gravely wounded father's bedside. >>we didn't even know if he was going to live for a long time. >>pretty touch and go wasn't it? >>to say gruesome is, if i didn't know his hands and know little intricate pieces of him you wouldn't have known it was him. >>you faced the shocking prospect of becoming an orphan.
>>i don't think that ever crossed my mind. he was still alive. >>melissa wondered -- why her parents? who could have done this? investigators describing it as a hit. >>did you have any sense at all of what happened? >>teddy told me what happened. i didn't know who, i thought it was some sort of break in. was my first instinct. that's what i thought for a long time until we started talking about my dad's clients. >>the homicide detectives were also thinking about sutton's clients and those he sued on their behalf. at this point, john sutton couldn't provide any information. he was clinging to life in a drug-induced coma. >>i went several times to try to talk to john sutton. he was on pain medication. he was intubated. we are looking at maybe, incidents in his law firm, he may have had made people angry.
>>civil attorneys take a lot of money from people and make people mad. >>i said find out if any of these people had reason for revenge on john sutton. >>john sutton ran his law firm like most things in life. efficient and hard driving. in fact, detectives heard about one woman who lost a $97,000 lawsuit and was so mad she threatened to shoot up john's firm. and the very night of the murder, the neighbor heard a boat roaring down the canal just behind john's house over here and it turned out that that woman owned such a boat. >>she was interviewed down the line also, and she was not the person responsible. >>what about the phone call susan was on when she was shot to death. detectives found the bloodstained handset susan dropped when the gunman opened fire. who was she talking to? had that person heard something? detectives got their answer almost right away. john sutton's law partner, teddy montodo had shown up at the
house even before the first reports of the shooting hit the news that night. he was also armed. >>he was talking to susan sutton on the telephone when he heard a loud bang or what he said maybe gunshots he didn't know. >>at least that's what he told the police. >>depending on the amount of truth in his statement, he could be a suspect? >>absolutely. >>that said melissa had to be impossible. teddy and susan worked together they talked often and frequently late at night. >>he was my mom's best friend. i call him my godfather pretty much. like a relative. >>police were suspicious. why had montodo arrived so quickly after the shooting? why was he armed with a handgun? they had a few questions and perhaps more importantly, some testing to do. >>we interviewed him extensively. we did take gunshot residue from his hands. >>he was given a polygraph wasn't he? >>yes, he was. >>how did he do? >>he passed on certain information but showed he was deceptive in others.
>>which is a red flag? >>yes. >>a red flag this early in the investigation, what exactly did the law partner have to hide? perhaps john sutton could tell them. because, the survivor of the slaughter, it was clear, was going to live. and when he came out of his coma, what story would he tell? what did he see? >>with one of his victims lying defenseless in the hospital, would the killer strike again? john sutton's son seemed to think so. coming up. >>i do recall him as very adamant that my dad be placed under john doe so that who ever did this could not finish off what they had started. >>when "blind justice" continues. when "blind justice" continues. woman 2: ...with humira. woman 3: humira targets and blocks a specific source of inflammation that contributes to both joint and skin symptoms.
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tell your doctor about all planned medical or dental procedures. eliquis, the number one cardiologist-prescribed blood thinner. ask your doctor if eliquis is what's next for you. >> >welcome back. who would want to hurt john and susan sutton? soon after the home invasion that left susan dead and her husband clinging to life, detectives had questions for one possible suspect. teddy montodo, john's law
partner and close family friend. just how close? investigators were about to find out. here again is keith morrison. >> >susan sutton was dead, shot five times and her husband was undergoing multiple surgeries to save his life. soon after the shooting, they had a potential suspect. john sutton's friend and law partner. >> he had a partner on the scene when the detectives god there. >> he told police he had been on the phone with susan and heard the unmistakable sound of gunfire and rushed with his gun to help. was that the whole story. they gave him a polygraph. it showed he had been deceptive and hiding something.
>> what we learned was that he was having an affair with mrs. sutton. >> so, montodo hasn't been straight with him. but was he on the hook for murder? he was still deceptive and told them the affair was brief but that's not what the phone records showed. did he have some secret reason to kill her husband? they checked him for gunshot residue. he told them he might test positive and was an expert marksman and been shooting that very day. >> what was the likelihood he was involved in this incident? >> again. it was early and a lot of investigating to do. >> mostly, they waited with everyone else to see if john
sutton would survive the attack, to see if they would ever be able to ask him what happened. until now, all they heard from sutton was this. >> are you bleeding? >> i can't see. >> it was almost a week after the shooting when sutton was awakened from a medically induced coma. he was going to live. but he was going to live with the scar os of the shooting. he had lost and eye but worse, far worse was the news the doctors gave him. he would never see again. >> shortly before i left the hospital, some ophthalmologist came around and very bluntly told me there was nothing they could do for my eyesight. i was very unhappy, very upset about the eyesight. >> did you know right away he was going to be blind?
>> no, i didn't. we didn't even know if he was going to live for a long time. >> it would be nice to look into his eyes and know he can see back and see you. >> it is different. different to look at some one who is blind. a different expression. >> for a long type, any expression was masked by truly dreadful injuries. how many bullets had you been hit by? >> i had two in my head, then, the right temple, and i'm told out the left jaw. one higher towards my ear and one in the lower part of the jaw. >> those were only the shots to his head. the tip of his ring finger was blown off. other shots hit his thumb and shoulder. >> there were six pretty good sized bullet holes. >> when he was well enough to talk to detectives, sutton told them what he could. the story of a man who barely witnessed the attack that killed his wife and almost killed him. he was a former college swimmer, so he was watching an olympic diving event in the master
bedroom, he said. >> next thing i know, somebody was standing there in a black hat or visor, black shirt, black pants. face shaded by the visor. and open fired. all i really remember was one bang. >> the bullets destroyed his right eye and severed the optic nerve in his left eye. the optic nerve connects the eye to the brain. without it sight is impossible. but the bad news, of course, didn't end there. >> how did you find out about susan? >> at some point, i asked melissa, how is mom doing? and melissa said she is not doing quite as well as you. they're working on her somewhere else. so you need to hang in there. didn't really mean too much to me. i think i was hallucinating an awful lot. at some point, somebody told me that she had died. >> in fact for weeks and weeks,
sutton drifted in and out of alertness and depended on others to save him. >> of course, my son was there. a bunch of my friends were there. i had multiple surgeries in that hospital. >> as he lay in that bed, sedated, medicated, breathing through tubes, a thought, half a dream, terrified him. was the killer a hit man? was he coming to try again? >> i thought somebody was trying to kill me one night. so i raised hell. i said, you know, call the police, you know, everything i could say, to get some assistance. >> he was wrong. there was no killer. still, christopher demanded the hospital take special precautions. >> i do recall him as very adamant that -- that my dad be placed under john doe so that who ever did this could not find him. and finish off what they had started. >> so you were a pretty paranoid guy lying there? >> most certainly. >> and with good reason.
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>> more than a dozen have been arrested in sri lanka attacks, and several hundred killed in attacks that targeted churches and luxury hotels. >> house speaker nancy pelosi is holding a conference monday to talk about the mueller report and democrats holding more investigations before impeachment hearings. >> welcome back to "dateline extra." i'm craig melvin. it was clear the gunman who attacked john and susan sutton aimed to kill. susan died at the scene. john, shot six times in the face, hands and shoulder, somehow survived his injuries. now, struggling to recover in a florida hospital, john was convinced the shooter was planning to finish the job. detectives were questioning
their business associates. was it possible the killer worked closer home? here's keith morrison. >> the fact that john sutton was alive at all after the mystery invader killed his wife and shot him in the face was a medical marvel frankly. the rest of the news was not so good. when he was finally able to talk, sutton received a visit from police detectives. susan, police discovered had been having an affair with sutton's law partner, teddy montodo. >> it is upsetting. i am not excusing teddy, i'm not excusing anybody. i don't focus on that. i can't change it. i can't change any of this. it's like a bad dream. >> then the dream got worse. teddy was a possible murder suspect. >> one of the homicides detectives related to me there has been a problem with the polygraph. >> he was actually a suspect. >> i suspect so. anybody that probably was anywhere near me was a suspect. >> but as sutton was absorbing
the news of his wife's apparent betrayal, mon to doe slipped off the list of top suspects. for one thing he couldn't have been the shooter he was on the phone with susan when it happened. records confirmed he actually called the police before rushing to the sutton house. so, as detectives eliminated early suspects like montodo. they went back to the basics of every homicide investigation. >> everyone is somewhat a suspect. you know you start with the family. and you keep working your way out. >> family. john and susan met on a blind date, were married a year later. from the beginning, made family a very big deal. but even though they were strikingly good looking and financially successful and happy, they were stymied. no matter how they tried, and oh, how they tried, they could not have children. >> she was sure that as much as anybody else want aid baby she want aid baby more than anyone
in the world. >> if wishing couldn't make susan pregnant, said her sister mary, it could make her a mother by adoption. >> she got her wish. as i said the happiest day of her life when she brought christopher home. >> christopher sutton was born april 13th, 1989. when they brought him home, john sutton remembers every minute, every detail, even the green suit he was wearing. >> when christopher came to us, about 2 days old, very cute, was a lot of fun. >> it was a happy time? >> absolutely. >> susan quit her job to begin be a full time mom. but susan kept trying to get pregnant. after suffering through years of failed fertility treatments and miscarriages. and finally, adopted a sister for christopher, melissa. >> she was and always has been a little angel. absolutely.
she would probably be upset with me saying this, but -- she was -- pretty close to perfect. >> which seemed to describe the family, too. they told the kids they had been adopted. didn't seem to worry them at all. >> my mom and my dad were my mom and my dad. there wasn't, you know, these are my biological and these are my adopted. i had a great childhood. >> there were advantages to having a brother seven years older especially when he grew to be a 6-foot, 200-pounder. >> he was my defender and protector. someone made fun of me at school one time, he came and kind of give the kid a stern look, what a big older brother did. and you know, i think he was protective of me. >> after the murder, in fact, christopher resumed that protective role, this time for his father, who insisted that melissa should return to college in northern florida.
>> the day after the shooting was her first day of college. >> oh, my gosh. >> and i was then and i am still proud that she managed to stay in school. >> during a long, arduous recovery, the many surgeries, lingering fear, a protective layer formed around john's demeanor. he learned the hard way to keep focus in and emotion safely at bay. it was easier that way. survival mode. >> he just focuses on putting one foot in front of the other. i think i do the same thing. and if you were to break down emotionally all the time or dwell on what happened you wouldn't get out of bed. >> the doctors let him go home finally, but since home was not exactly livable, he moved in with christopher at his townhouse. >> my house was a mess because there was a crime scene. the most logical place for me to go was not where the incident occurred, because we didn't know who was responsible but this townhouse. that's where i went. >> a full time nurse looked after him during the day.
christopher and his girlfriend juliet driscoll were there for him the rest of the time. and three months after the august shootings when john decided he was ready to go home to the house in which the shooting happened, christopher went with him. eyes for his blind father. >> and at that point he was more involved in driving me around or some care giving. >> but now it was almost christmas. still no arrests. the detectives were certainly following up leads trying to find anyone with a motive to kill the suttons. oh, understand the digging they were doing was mostly in mounds of dry paperwork. records of phone calls and the like. and then, somewhere in the middle of that pile, there it was. and boy was it a doosie. >> we isolated within a four or
five hour period of the murder five or six different names. one of those came back to garrett. >> who was he talking to? on the 22nd there was probably, i want to say 13 phone calls if memory serves me right, made between garrett kopp and chris sutton's phone. >> a lot of calls? >> lots of calls on the day of the murder. that probably meant nothing at all. still, garrett was 20, a frequent visitor around the sutton house. he didn't seem to have any directions in life. christopher saw some good in him apparently, hired him on occasion to do odd jobs. after the murder, christopher had him rip up and remove the bloody carpets from the crime scene. >> what sort of person did he seem like? >> when garrett was in the house he was, shall i say, always at a distance.
i honestly cannot recall any conversations at all with garrett. >> but garrett and kopp called each other all the time, even after the movie. >> we pulled the video from the movie theater and it showed him getting on the cellular telephone, even just after the shooting happened here. >> was there a connection? probably not. just to cover all the bases, the detective ran a criminal background check on mr. kopp. what do you know. >> he was arrested august 23rd. >> the day after the shooting? >> the day after the shooting. i still get goosebumps when i remember that. he's sitting across from me and i look at him and go, pal, we have something here. >> indeed they did. one day after the murder, garrett kopp was arrested for aggravated assault for an
altercation at this apartment complex. big no-no. he pulled a gun on a couple of guys. happened in the town of homestead, florida, about 30 miles away from the crime scene. the detective called the homestead police department and talked to the arresting officer. >> i said, please tell me it was a handgun. >> he said, it was. >> i said, now, please tell me it was a glock 9 millimeter. he said, it was. i said, please tell me you have that weapon. he goes, i do. >> >> bingo. >> we have to get the gun. >> we submitted it to our firearm stack. >> the report came back, this was the gun that killed susan sutton and blinded her husband. >> obviously connects garrett kopp to that murder pretty intimately. >> absolutely. >> but detectives did not rush out and arrest kopp for a simple but very important reason. there was a bigger question that
needed to be answered. did his friend, christopher know ni? was he even perhaps involved? a shocking question, of course. this was sutton's son, the son who devoted himself to nursing his father back to health. something about christopher bothered them and had ever since she was interviewed the morning after the murder. he said that i was at the movie, said, do you want to see a ticket? >> just had it right there? >> basically to me, i want to prove i was at the movies. >> odd? perhaps. might be nothing at all. the gun implicated kopp, of course, but christopher? no real evidence to show he knew a thing. >> there was still a lot of pieces of the puzzle to put together. >> couldn't prove it yet. >> like for example, this big tantalizing piece of puzzle right here. what in heavens name might an island in the far off pacific
have to do with the shooting of john and susan sutton? >> years earlier, there had been trouble in a tropical paradise for young christopher and his family. >> coming up -- >> he was kidnapped in the middle of the night. he was 17 years old. >> we knew there were complaints he had been hog tied, beaten. >> when "blind justice" continues. >> when "blind justice" continues. ♪ ♪ this is jamie. you're going to be seeing a lot more of him now. -i'm not calling him "dad." -oh, n-no. -look, [sighs] i get it. some new guy comes in helping your mom bundle and save with progressive, but hey, we're all in this together. right, champ? -i'm getting more nuggets. -how about some carrots? you don't want to ruin your dinner. -you're not my dad! -that's fair. overstepped.
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>> to uncover the truth, investigators turned their focus to christopher sutton's past. what they found was startling. continuing with our story, here's keith morrison. >> amazing what the garden variety assault case in homestead, florida led to. garrett kopp was arrested with the gun that turned out to be the murder weapon in the sutton case. the very same garrett kopp who talked on the phone so often with christopher sutton. the friend who called
christopher right after the shooting. so, now the complexion of the investigation changed. >> trying to think why would garrett kopp do this? i mean he is like 20-year-old kid. obviously there is a tie with christopher sutton and him. >> as for christopher himself, the detectives had no trouble finding people with an opinion about him. >> the cops should be looking at christopher sutton. because of the lengthy family history of problems that john and susan had had with their son christopher who was a handful from a very early age. >> a very early age, actually. as john sutton recalled all too clearly. did he get into fights at school? >> i can remember that happening early on in preschool. >> it got worse as christopher got older. did he get into trouble? >> absolutely. there was vandalism, not only of our own things. there were vandalism of other
people's property. >> they sent him off to boarding schools then. but he didn't last at any of them. failed, got kicked out. of course, the whole family tried, said his sister melissa. the trouble wasn't the lack of love. not at all. was there a sense that christopher was loved? >> oh, no doubt about it. >> but neither love nor money could prevent christopher from always ending back in the same place, trouble. >> i know that he dealt drugs. and at one point he was arrested for it. when i was younger, and, you know that was something that my father being a lawyer and, as well as a parent, you know what do we do? >> in 1995 when christopher was 16, when counselors and boarding schools and tough love had all been tried and found wanting, john and susan looked away, far, far away to find some help.
on the pacific island of western samoa, there was a place called paradise cove. a so-called boot camp for troubled kids. behavior modification their specialty. it is a long way away, samoa. was that part of it? that it would be a good idea to have him far away for a while? >> we weren't focused on finding the farthest place we could possibly send him. we were very hesitant about samoa. we investigated it rather thoroughly. >> it was expensive. paradise cove charged $25,000 a year. but -- >> we just had enough. what else could we do? >> the suttons knew there was no way christopher would agree to go on his own. attorney sutton did what attorneys do best and got a court order to have christopher forcibly sent to samoa. >> he was kidnapped in the middle of the night. 17 years old. >> they kidnapped him. put him on a plane. he was sent to samoa.
>> but christopher would not break so easily. and paradise cove was no paradise. in fact, there were many reports of physical abuse and restraints used on those who were uncooperative. something christopher learned when he first arrived. >> we knew that christopher sutton had complained that he had been hogtied, beaten. >> when his family was allowed to visit him a year later they did seem to be a distinct change, a huge improvement. they found the buff, cleaned up young man who excelled at sports. it was, as you can clearly see, a happy family reunion. >> it was a really happy event. we cried. we hugged. we said, you know, our hellos, and loved each other, and he was proud of, you know what he had learned and showed off at least to us. >> then five months after this reunion. christopher turned 18. time for him to come home. or so he thought. >> he was banking on getting out
when he turned 18. but we also learned that john sutton, being a lawyer, had an order signed by a judge that said when you turn 18, if you haven't completed the course you are going to stay. which infuriated christopher sutton. >> why did you decide to keep him there when he turned 18? >> we had concerns he wasn't ready to return. he had not "graduated the program." >> how did he feel about that? >> he was quite upset. >> he wanted to come home. >> he wanted things his way. he always wanted things his way. >> this time, finally, tough love seemed to work. christopher was 19 and a changed man when he returned from his protracted stay in samoa. >> we met him at the airport, at l.a.x., on his birthday, april 13th. >> he was happy to see you? >> absolutely. >> there was a joyous reunion? >> thrilled. >> the suttons went on a family cruise, a reward for their son. that's where he met his future
fiancee, a young woman from boston named juliet driscoll. juliette moved and became a member of the family. john sutton got her a job at his law firm. >> she was what i would imagine if somebody was going to marry into the family. my mother embraced her. she was a great influence on my brother and the family. >> christopher got his act together. enrolled in college. started working. his parents helped out by buying him a $300,000 condo. >> he started up his own company which -- in retrospect looking at everything he had done from arrests to drugs, you know, this is good behavior. we were all happy that things were better. >> anyway by the time of the murder, christopher was 26. and samoa had receded into his distant past. >> i interviewed melissa in the very beginning. all she knew about her brother
was he was a little rebellious as most teenagers are at that age. >> i think i said something along the lines, no, i don't know any reason why he would want to do this. >> a belief her father shared. >> reporter: perhaps garrett kopp acted alone after all, but detectives were convinced that christopher had to be mixed up in that awful shooting somehow. someone must know. and they were right. someone did. coming up -- john sutton survived two bullets to the head. could he survive being home alone with his son? >> christopher made comments that his parents were going to pay. >> when "blind justice" continues. because seasons may change... ♪ ...but true character doesn't. ♪
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camp for troubled youths. could that experience somehow be tied to the attack on his parents? as detectives dug even deeper into christopher's time in the boot camp, they uncovered a dark secret and a possible motive for murder. we return now to keith morrison. >> homicide detectives larry bellevue and art manney had a problem. they were afraid the man who shot sutton was a frequent visitor at the sutton home. >> hear he comes. >> and they at least suspected the sutton's own son, now john's caregiver, was all mixed up in it somehow. >> i was becoming more concerned. >> was john sutton a sitting duck for another attack one that might finish him off. you must have found it a little worrisome that john sutton was actually living with his son christopher and being cared for by christopher. >> sure. >> still they worried but did not act.
even though they knew full well that garrett kopp, the shooter they were sure, was still hanging around. isn't that right that kopp was there? >> absolutely. again we still didn't want to tip our hand. >> should christopher have been a suspect at all. after all does this sound like the behavior of guilty men. garrett kopp and christopher sutton while ripping up bloody carpets actually called detectives to tell them they found new evidence at the crime scene. a bullet casing under the carpet. >> helpful handy man. by the way, i found another casing. i mean, come on. >> an indication maybe they didn't do it. >> i didn't think so. >> that's what any good defense attorney is going to point out. >> sure, sure. >> the casing was underneath something, and i don't know how we all missed it, but we missed it. >> we were a little pissed. >> detectives remain convinced christopher harbored a lingering anger at his parents for sending him to that boot camp in samoa.
so they talked to former alumni. this former resident was there when christopher got the news that he would have to stay well beyond his 18th birthday. >> i know he was upset. he was mad at his family for that. >> when detectives tracked down another paradise cove resident. he said christopher was a lot more upset than that. >> christopher made comments that his parents are going to pay for sending him, taking years out of his life. >> when they took a closer look at christopher's more recent history. they could easily see his improved behavior wasn't exactly lasting. even girlfriend juliette's influence couldn't keep christopher from slipping up. yes, he went back to college after he returned from samoa, but soon dropped out. he did form a company. but the company folded. >> he didn't seem to be motivated. >> yeah. >> we fried to get him to stay in jobs. nothing seemed to be working. >> what john sutton didn't know was that his son had gone back to the one job he seemed to be good at -- selling drugs.
nor did he know that christopher's friend, garrett kopp was one of his best clients. kopp it turned out had been buying and sometimes reselling the drugs, mostly marijuana and xanax. and he and christopher spent plenty of time sampling the goods according to the prosecutor kathleen hogue. >> is wasn't just drug deals. they hung around a lot. doing drugs. playing video games. whatever. >> in the months after the murder, phone records showed a spike in the volume of calls between the two. 300 calls in three months. >> the that is an awful lot of drugs to be dealing in three months if you have 300 some phone calls. >> could they have been talking murder? speculation of course. but -- then after the murder when kopp was arrested on the gun charge the prosecutors discovered it was christopher who put up the money to bond him out. even drove him to court. hardly the sort of thing a drug dealer would do for a mere customer.
>> going to court with him. bonding him out. there was more to this friendship. >> john and melissa sutton knew nothing. christopher and his girlfriend were still living with john. garrett kopp was still coming around. so, solid evidence or no, detectives decided it was time to act. they needed a confession to make their case. >> i told the investigate investigators, bring him to me. >> coming up a showdown with the killer. >> what did he want you to do? >> go in the back door, walk in and shoot him. >> case closed? far from it. when blind justice continues. ens faster. smarter. because to be the best, is to never ever stop making it better. there's never been a better time to become part of the mercedes-benz family.
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