tv CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto CNN March 19, 2019 6:00am-7:01am PDT
what are you learning? >> so there are hundreds of pages of documents that were just filed and released by the government relating to the search warrants. what we have learned is that the search warrants the prosecutors in new york had didn't start there. this was referred by the special counsel's office. we are learning the special counsel's office had already obtained several search warrants on michael cohen's e-mails beginning back to the summer of 2017. then the special counsel referred that case to the u.s. attorney's office in manhattan in february of 2018. that's when they began their investigation and issued and asked the judge for approval for various search warrants on michael cohen's cell phone, gmail account, office, hotel rooms and home looking for information related to campaign
finance violations and other crimes including false statements to banks, tax fraud. when we start to go through this, we are learning a lot of documents the prosecutors were looking for, they have interviewed multiple people at banks and they had seen michael cohen's wife was on a lot of the documents. that's something we have reported was a concern for michael cohen and perhaps is a reason why he agreed to plead guilty because of pressure that could have existed on charging his wife. they don't say they were going to charge his wife but you see her name in there as someone on the financial statements that prosecutors believe were false and who is on the tax returns. the interesting part of this and michael cohen pleaded gill toy to campaign finance slielgviola. the judge said that could be redacted because of the ongoing investigation. it is an area they were looking to see if there would be additional information about the findings that the government had or who else they might have believed were involved in the
campaign finance payments. that's redacted here. we have not learned new information on that. but we are starting to get a sense of the scope of the u.s. attorney's office investigation in michael cohen looking at the financial transactions, looking at his business and the evidence they amassed by the time they had applied for the warrants in early 2018, speaking to numerous bank representatives and others. so we are still combing through this. it's several hundred pages of documents to support the search warrants. this is all the probable cause, the reasons they believe there is enough to get a warrant to conduct the raid, examine michael cohen's e-mails and his cell phones. >> great reporting. stand by. i have a few questions for you. first of all, your note about the campaign finance part being redacted. i suppose it's all up to the judge what is redacted here or
not. does the white house, trump campaign team have a say in that? >> no. when the media, including cnn, made the request for this to be redacted saying it is in the public interest the office in manhattan objected to the disclosure saying it relates to an ongoing investigation. they didn't believe it should be made public. the judge hearing both sides agreed and said he thought there was a first amendment right, a public interest in having these materials made public, but because of the ongoing investigation he said that the prosecutors could redact the information. he reviewed the information and yesterday ordered for the release of the warrants with the redaction. >> just to tell people about what we know in terms of what items were taken during these raids of michael cohen's various properties, 12 audio recordings, documents related to alleged hush money payments, bank records related to cohen's personal finances.
his cell phone, computer. lanny davis, one of his attorneys said in a statement that the release of the material, quote, only further cohen's interests in continuing to cooperate and provide information and the truth about donald trump and the trump organization to law enforcement and congress. why is it beneficial to michael cohen to keep cooperating despite the fact that he's about to go to jail? >> what michael cohen is gambling for here is his ongoing cooperation will lend the government to issue a letter asking the judge to give him some leniency in sentencing. he didn't get it at the outset because he didn't enter into an official cooperation agreement where he would have to admit to knowledge of crimes he's committed or others have committed. he said he didn't want to do that. he wanted to move forward and get through the process more quickly. he's trying to look for leniency on the back end saying, look, i have been instrumental in the ongoing investigation.
i have continued to meet with prosecutors. i have testified on capitol hill. i have given private testimony to lawmakers and in hopes that the government will then step forward and say, well, michael cohen was extra helpful. he did provide substantial assistance to the investigation, so judge, could you lower the sentence, give him credit for the cooperation? >> feel free to look down. i know you have to read through these while i get paul cowan in on of pages. some redactions including the campaign finance section. what are you wondering the most out of this? >> first of all, it's extraordinary that michael cohen is not objecting to or trying to stop the release of the material. they have his computer material, cell phone material, all kinds of personal documents that could be embarrassing to cohen. his cooperation with the
government makes it clear that he'll do anything possible to help the government and get the president, i think. he's made it clear in public statements. we are getting a look here at what goes on in the sausage making of search warrants. this is normal. they have to appear in front of a judge and show probable cause to search, that a crime was committed. when you are searching a lawyer's office or home you expect the court to look at a higher standard in releasing and granting search warrants pertaining to that. we'll get an inside look at it once we have been through the documents. >> which our team the doing now. mj lee is with us. she's been on the cohen beat for a long time. his team wanted this, it sounds like, from lanny davis's statement. >> reporter: that's right. as others have already pointed out this just goes to the level
of cooperation that michael cohen is now willing to give with the various prosecutors that are looking into the many aspects of this investigation. that's going. i think it is important to note as we start going through the documents today the context of this in the cohen-trump relationship which we have been reporting on for so long now that in the beginning, there was this dynamic where michael cohen believed and hoped that the president and the white house and the people close to the president would have his back. that when the raid happened last summer in august, when the fbi raided his home, his office and hotel, there was a sense and a hope from michael cohen that he would get some kind of signal from the president whether it was from him directly or whether it was through his aide that he would show he had his back. that obviously didn't come.
i think the progression we have seen since that point, since that relationship really publicly soured is really important because all of that has sort of led to today. obviously the pathway to today has included that very public and sort of dramatic and fiery hearing. the open public hearing that michael cohen participated in on capitol hill a few weeks ago whether he openly aired his grievances. he openly sort of went after his former boss and said, this is what i know about donald trump, the person. this is what i know about donald trump and his business. this is what i know about donald trump and his conduct. it all just goes to paint a picture of the deep involvement that michael cohen appears to now have, again, in cooperating
with investigators in the investigations that are continuing. that's just so significant and worth underscoring today. >> you are so right and so significant for the person who said he would take a bullet for this president. look how much a year can change following the raids. mj, thank you for the reporting. stand by. kara, i will jump back to you. i'm interested in the fact that the judge agreed with the free press here and said these should be released. yes, redacted but released. the campaign finance part is redacted because of the ongoing investigation. does that lead you to believe when that investigation concludes, the campaign finance part minus some names is actually going to be unredacted? >> i think that's a real possibility. i'm sure cnn and other media organizations will follow up with the judge and ask for it to be redacted. the judge is saying the public has a right to know the information in this case.
once the investigation is completed i think he will allow this to be made public. the reason why all this information about michael cohen's personal finances and the fbi's effort to establish that he was committing crimes and there was probable cause is public is because that's resolved. he pleaded giuilty and admitted that in court. the same would be true on campaign finance. one argument the prosecutors made is they didn't want innocent third parties to be dragged into this. the judge is allowing for some redactions there. i think in his order he made it clear that if someone's name was in passing it was not grounds to continue to keep that private. it would be clear from the context that the person perhaps had not done anything wrong. there might be another legal battle down the road on this. the judge made it clear he does believe there is a public interest here. the reason for redacting this portion of the campaign finance is because prosecutors said it's ongoing. we asked the prosecutors for a
status report in mid may about the status of the ongoing investigations. that's a potential deadline where we might learn that the investigations are still going or if they have been completed. we may learn more information here. what's also interesting in just scrolling through the filings and from our colleagues doing the same is that the special counsel's office had executed three warrants on cohen's e-mails and one on an icloud account going back to the campaign finance period in 2016 when payments to women were made. they referred that to the u.s. attorney's office in manhattan in february of 2018. then the u.s. attorney's office here acted swiftly and raided cohen's hotel room office, safety deposit box by early april. that's one of the new details that we have learned. we also learned that they had what's called a pen register
warrant on wicohen. they could see the numbers calling cohen and the calls he was making. they could see who he was in contact with. that doesn't give them the content of the conversations but they could see who he was talking to at this period of time going back to 2016 and then subsequently up to early 2018. it was very unusual that the u.s. attorney's office raided cohen's hotel room office without any notice or just asking him for a subpoena. so this is an interesting tidbit to see they were watching who he was calling and receiving calls from. >> for two years, absolutely. great reporting. we'll let you get back to reading it. paul and mj, stand by. we are poring through the documents. back with breaking news after this. (vo) parents have a way of imagining the worst... ...especially when your easily distracted teenager has the car. at subaru, we're taking on distracted driving [ping]
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raids of michael cohen's homes and his office. this comes because of a request for the public to see them from the media including cnn. let's get back to our lead reporter on all of this. just to show people, this is the first 150 pages and this isn't all of it. i understand you haven't read all of it. as you pore through, what's the most important thing that stands out to you? >> what's interesting and we are learning is that the special counsel's office had already gotten three of four warrants to search michael cohen's e-mails. the first application was in july of 2017, about two months after the special counsel's office was formed and began investigating. they started looking for e-mails, had warrants. they wanted cohen's e-mails going back to summer of 2015. they were investigating russia's interference in the election and cohen is a long-time trump personal attorney. he's been involved with the trump tower developments in
moscow. he's been involved with the trump properties that they have built in the u.s. so cohen has a long personal history with trump. of course, he's the self-described fixer. we are starting to learn that the special counsel's office began looking at cohen almost immediately out of the gate. we were looking for information, his e-mails, warrants for e-mails going back to at least the summer of 2015. then it was after several months of that now in february of 2018 they make the referral to the u.s. attorney's office in manhattan. that office issues and requests their own search warrant that the judge grants for additional devices that cohen has and for the properties where a lot of materials they are interested in would be located. that's for the bank fraud violation and campaign finance violations. >> before you go, we just got another nugget i would like for you to explain to people. on page 24 of exhibit 1 it shows michael cohen was paid over
$500,000 from columbus nova from january to august of 2017. the importance of that company columbus nova, llc, is owned by the russian national victor veselburg. what can you tell us about the company, him, and any relationship to cohen. >> this is something we learned later, that robert mueller's team looked at. he looked at consulting contracts michael cohen entered into including with novartis, at&t, the parent company of cnn and one he had a consulting contract with was columbus nova, a u.s. investment firm with ties to a russian oligarch, one of the wealthiest men in russia. he's someone who the fbi stopped when his plane landed in the u.s. to question him. that was part of mueller's investigation. all of that carried with it and became known as summer when
michael cohen's banking records became public. we learned he had all these consulting contracts. that was something that the special counsel's office had also investigated to see what the connections were. there was nothing ever charged related to the relationships or anything illegal about the relationships. but it was part of the effort by michael cohen once he did not go to washington with trump when he became president that he started to look for these consulting contracts with various companies. essentially selling his access to the president and his knowledge of the president. pop poppy? >> thank you. we'll let you get back to it. paul, let's talk about the significance of the fact we have learned from this that mueller's team of prosecutors was requesting multiple search warrants on michael cohen before the case was referred to the sdny. >> mueller had obviously developed leads suggesting a
russian connection with michael cohen. michael cohen being personal counsel to the president would be directly relevant to mueller's investigation. in the end though he tosses this over to the southern district of new york who are just the local federal prosecutors because the larger crimes that were developed were crimes relating to cohen in other respects and other felonies cohen pled guilty to. i'm seeing a second thing developing that i have been looking for for a long time. why did trump throw cohen under the bus? what was the reason for this? remember, this is the guy who went out and did the dirty work for trump who knows where all of the secrets are buried. all of the sudden it is clear the president won't give him a pardon. the two men hate each other. what caused that? we are beginning to see hints of what caused that. michael cohen was capitalizing on his relationship with the president to make money as a
consultant from russians and from others. i'm betting the president became very resentful of that, that he was capitalizing on the relationship in a major financial way. trump wasn't profiting from it. that may be what really soured the relationship between the two men. >> interesting. all right, paul, thanks for the legal expertise. mj, all the background on michael cohen and the feelings about this. we'll get back to you with more as we know it. we have breaking news. students are back in school as a chemical fire burns outside of houston, texas. it's been burning since sunday. our national correspondent diane gallagher has the latest. huge concern here obviously about toxic agents in the air, right? >> yeah. you can imagine for the parents who were there the school district said everything is okay. they can come back to school on tuesday. we just won't let them go
outside. the district and school facebook pages are any indication, it is hard to find a parent who is happy about this. a study conducted by the center for toxicology and environmental health determined there were low levels of chemicals in the air. they said, look, it's still safe for them to be in the air. the plumes of smoke are thousands of feet in the air. it is not affecting anybody. there are scientists and experts who say that might only focus on what the acute short-term damages could be. that we are really not sure what the long-term damages could be and it is better to be safe than sorry which most parents would agree for their children. itc, it started on sunday. one tank full of chemicals, essentially gasoline additives, caught on fire, spread to a half a dozen. they have gotten the fires out at some of the tanks, but they are still burning.
they hope it might be done by tomorrow. according to itc, nobody was injured. hospitals around the deer park area have said they don't have respiratory patients who have been brought in. even on social media, the pictures from airplanes of giant black plumes of smoke over deer park which is 20 miles outside of houston, one of the most populated cities in the country are astounding to see. now the chemicals in question here, xylene,in tolulene and naa which many are concerned about. there are no safe levels to be exposed to. again, the concern being the kids are back in school. people haven't been asked to evacuate. now all testing says the air is okay there right now. >> diane, thank you for watching that for us. we'll stayen on it. for the first time, elizabeth warren calls to nix the
electoral college. will other candidates follow her on that? we are moments away from the opening bell on wall street. all eyes on the federal reserve today. they'll give us insight into what the fed is thinking about the economy right now. stay with us. [leaf blower] you should be mad at leaf blowers. [beep] you should be mad your neighbor always wants to hang out. and you should be mad your smart fridge is unnecessarily complicated. but you're not mad, because you have e*trade which isn't complicated. their tools make trading quicker and simpler. so you can take on the markets with confidence. don't get mad. get e*trade and start trading today.
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how this investigation evolved. what we learned from the filing is that the special counsel's office had initially asked a judge for and received search warrants for michael cohen's cell phones. they received three search warrants for e-mails and an icloud account and they were looking back to -- as far as the summer of 2015 was when they started looking at some of michael cohen's dealings. the special counsel office is tasked with looking at the election and russian interference. they started going back way far into michael cohen's history with the trump organization and with the president which was right around the time these deals were reached for the hush money payments to be made to the women who accused that they had afi firffairs with the presiden years ago. we are learning the special counsel's office looked at this and referred the materials to the u.s. attorney's office in manhattan.
that prompted them to seek additional search warrants that sees hundreds of pages of material outlining many perspective crimes from campaign finance crimes. the campaign finance section is redacted because of the ongoing investigation. >> let us know when you get more updates. elizabeth warren with a big pitch drawing big cheers. watch this from the cnn town hall last night. >> my view is that every vote matters. that means get rid of the electoral college. [ cheers and applause ] >> with me now, political anchor of spectrum news, errol lewis. it's clear how the audience felt about it. there are many arguments for the electoral college in terms of equal representation with a populous state like california versus alaska, et cetera.
what do you make of what elizabeth warren said and do you think other democratic candidates will follow her lead? >> other candidates probably will follow her lead and make their own somewhat unusual or even extremist proposals because that's how you get the big applause line and get on talkin warren. that's what she wants and that starts you on the road to the white house. on the other hand, when it comes to the details of a proposal like this the logistical problems, the vote fraud issues, the tremendous destabilization that would be presented by having a massive popular vote is something i don't think she's necessarily thought through. >> can you talk about what those risks are? >> sure. look, in any given state -- new york is not an exception -- it is done at the county level.
so 5,000 simultaneous mini elections with boards of election that maybe are appointed, maybe are honest, maybe are less honest. what do you do in the event of a recount? anybody who remembers the 2000 recount knows it is not a simple matter, even just going to 67 counties in florida to try to figure out county by county what's being done. they have different hours, machines, protocols, rules, ballot structure. the underlying issue the framers were concerned about, new york city alone where we are right now would be the 16th largest state. what you don't want is for people to just say, i'm going to campaign in the five biggest cities and see if i can win a national election that way. that's not how you gain the consensus and stability the framers wanted when they created the elect call college. >> she also made headlines and was a first in terms of
democratic presidential candidates to say she would like to see the bill on potential reparations to descendents of slaves. it's been put forth again and considered. she stopped short when jake asked if she supports financial payment. she stopped short of putting her full support behind it. it is a significant moment given the fact that you have two other candidate, senators on the congressional black caucus. >> right. this is an issue that's been kicking around for decades. the specific proposal, poppy, is to create a national commission that would explore the question. >> right. >> this is not a rush to judgment, certainly no financial consequences would come from it. but elizabeth warren knows, as bernie sanders does. he waffled at a recent town hall on this question. it's a controversial issue that can spur a level of backlash even the most liberal democrat is not prepared to face. it is an unusual question for
people. those of us who were around in the '70s when the question was first being really put forward at the tail end of the civil rights movement know it is a conversation that's just worth having. the reality is it becomes an excuse to explore a lot of different questions out there about whose family owned slaves, what happened to the wealth? who is owed what? what stolen labor can we track down and compensate descendents for? it is an academic exercise mostly, but the large black base of the democratic party wants to hear it talked about, not just skipped over or waved away. i saw elizabeth warren giving lip service to the reality. >> all right. both really important consequential moves if they happen. thank you very much on all of it. >> thank you. tomorrow, democratic presidential candidate former colorado governor john hickenlooper takes part in a cnn town hall moderated by our dana
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♪ sam i thought i told you never to play. >> we are back with breaking news. the teams are poring through hundreds of pages of documents just released to the public by a judge. these are regarding the warrants to search michael cohen's properties. kara spkinnell is back with us. one thing we have learned is about the e-mails and how far back mueller's team went in terms of searching michael cohen's e-mails. i think it was 2015 to 2017 and the next year referred it to the
sdny. how significant is it? >> it shows mueller's team which was formed in may of 2017, just two months later in july of 2017 had sent an application to a judge in d.c. which gave them a search warrant to search michael cohen's e-mail accounts looking back as far as june of 2015. right at the outset of the launch of the special counsel's investigation they started looking at michael cohen and looking at his e-mails going back several years at that point. michael cohen, of course, at that point donald trump still one of his closest allies, his personal attorney, his quote/unquote fixer. so they are looking right away into michael cohen's communications. we learned it wasn't just limited to the e-mails. mueller's team was getting pen register warrants looking at
incoming and outgoing calls to cohen over a period of time. they were watching his electronics and who he was talking to. poppy? >> kara, thank you very much for the reporting. we'll get back to you soon. meantime we want to bring you this update. u.s.-backed forces in syria captured several isis militants they believe are linked to a january suicide attack. of course you will remember the attack because of the four americans it killed. officer jonathan farmer, navy technician shannon kent, scott wirtz, and ghadi taher who was working as an interpreter with the army. they were killed in the explosion. barbara starr has more from the pentagon. what do you know? >> reporter: good morning, poppy. you will remember the horrific video that shows the suicide attack unfolding that day in january in northern syria that killed the four americans and several syrians, of course. now a u.s. defense official
confirming to cnn that the u.s.-backed fighters in northern syria have, indeed, captured up to five militants they believe were part of the planning and execution of the attack. the suicide bomber killed in the blast, of course. this apparently -- the capture happened in february. since then the u.s. has had access to the detainees being held by the syrian democratic forces and have been able to interrogate them. there is a belief they were very much involved in the attack. one of the key questions, what will happen now? will the syrian democratic forces continue to hold them? would there be enough evidence to turn them over to the united states and engage in some kind of credible federal prosecution? we don't know the answer to that. all of this, poppy, coming as the debate continues about how many u.s. forces will remain both in northern syria and in the south to continue to wage
the fight against isis. this showing how important it is to keep the intelligence flowing about the organization. poppy? >> of course. i'm glad you brought up the point. so relevant because the attack happened just days after the president announced the withdrawal plan sparking a lot of questions over it. thank you for the update. ahead for us, why arguably the most powerful banker on wall street wants to hire more ex-felons. this is part of a new push to improve the future of work. >> they've got families, kids. they can't get credit. they can't get a home. they struggle to get a job. they deserve a second chance. >> my exclusive interview with j.p. morgan chase ceo jamie dimon is next. -i know, it's not much, but it's home. right, kids? -kids? -papa, papa! -[ laughs ] -you didn't tell me your friends were coming. -oh, yeah. -this one is tiny like a child. -yeah, she is. oh, but seriously, it's good to be surrounded
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he's arguably the most powerful banker on wall street. he runs the biggest bank in the world by market cap. jamie dimon is worried -- not about his bank or the state of the economy, but about the state of america and the future of jobs. he says way too much emphasis has been placed on getting a four-year college degree and not enough on training people for the good jobs out there. i sat down with him here in new york to jp morgan just rolled out a huge initiative in the future of work. what have you seen happening without this investment that you think makes it so necessary now? >> we look at america, we have grown at 20% in the last ten years. it should be 40. we have identified one of the
reasons is that kids are not getting the education they need to get a job. we see the local level in detroit that if you work in the local companies, the country needs automotive or nursing. done right you create the job, dignity. we think it is a critical thing to do. >> let's hang on the word dignity for a moment. has america forgotten about the importance of dignity of work and a path that doesn't necessarily mean an ivy league degree. >> we did have to go too -- 70% of americans don't. that's true in switzerland, germany, france. they need jobs, skills. we know what works. we have to implement it at the
local level with community organizations and governments who want to kind of get on board. >> did jp morgan ever make that mistake? >> we have been asking. our head of hr has removed it from a lot of jobs. even when it is removed my guess is the bureiocracy can say it is easier jobs required. we should eliminate that. >> you also are tying this announcement about the future of work to the inmate population, the prison system. what do you think this can do to actually reduce recidivism and reincarceration rates? >> we have 20 million ex-felons here. when they pay their price and the right to return and try. i met with ex-felons in chicago. they have family. they got kids. they can't get credit. they can't get a home. they deserve a second chance.
one of the things we are trying here. >> are you saying you want to hire more convicted felons at jp morgan? >> we developed specific programs for specific jobs. these aren't necessarily violent life long criminals. these are people who made a mistake when you were young. >> a lot of them are drug offenses. >> that was probably the biggest mistake of all. >> what do you mean? >> we shouldn't criminalize every activity. if you dig into it it was just unfair. even more unfair when you get out. >> you recently wrote a business piece about the disparity when it comes to income for black americans. has the american economy been fundamentally racist? >> i think you can say yes or no. i think it has been fundamentally antipoor. if you live in certain parts of
town you can pretty much be left behind. i think minorities have been hurt more by the flaws i mentioned. is that deliberate? maybe not. we have to focus on it and fix it. it's one of many issues we have that we need to focus on and fix. >> i was struck hearing fed chair jerome powell that we are essentially losing a generation especially of young men because of the opioid crisis. >> 70,000 people died. it's an absolute utter disaster. it's an emergency. it's more than died in vietnam and iraq and afghanistan. if you look at the workforce participation, 17 to 24 is a couple percentage points below where it would be in recovery. it's not just the people dying, it's the people unable to work
because they are addicted. we have a national emergency. we have to be a little more responsive when these things happen and how to go about and fix it. we need to ring an alarm bell and come up with policies that actually work. next hour more from that exclusive sit down with jamie dimon. we talk politics and 2020 and how strong he thinks the u.s. economy is right now. also, his argument that might surprise you about trump tariffs on china. another big bank is taking steps to increase diversity. right now women only make about 38% of the goldman sachs pl employees. the company is trying to change that. this is all from a new memo obtained by cnn where he says the bank must tackle diversity
that protects what's important. it handles everything, and reaches everywhere. this is beyond wifi, this is xfi. simple. easy. awesome. xfinity, the future of awesome. this is cnn breaking news. >> good morning everyone. top of the hour. i'm poppy harlow in new york. our breaking news is a virtual flood of never before seen details leading up to the fbi raids of president trump's former lawyer michael cohen. this morning a federal judge in new york has released hundreds of partially blacked out documents related to a search warrant served almost a year ago. among the revelations, many