tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN March 25, 2019 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
two years, donald trump himself lied to the american public about this. >> you also talk about the clues that mueller sprinkled all these bread crumbs in his previous court filings yet now, no resolution? >> yeah, and this is why i think you're going to see democrats continue to really push for the release of the full report. you know, we don't even know how long or comprehensive the report really is. but you know, we've seen mueller seemingly draw our attention to these very specific and unnecessarily specifically worded phrases in many of his court documents, including the famous bread crumb where he said after donald trump made his russia if you're listening comment on the campaign trail, that fwactually the russian gru military intelligence hackers returned to their office that night to target hillary
clinton's server for the first time. and that when myself and many others were drawn to that comment when it came out in the gru indictment by mueller, thinking that mueller was sort of casting some sort of future clue there. and again, we're sort of left with this dangling thread. not really understanding what the significance was of why, why bob mueller bothered to call this out. >> thus your millions of questions. i could keep going. you asked so many other great ones. you have excellent. thank you so much for just some of those highlighting some of those and we're going to come back to this the mueller report and the barr report here in a moment. but first, let's continue on. top of the hour, you're watching cnn. we continue with this breaking news regarding michael halve naty who has represented stormy daniels and the whole hush money scandal involving the president. he has now been charged.
he has been charged with extorres, bank fraud and wire fraud. so prosecutors in new york and california announcing these charges moments ago. keep in mind, these are two case. all this coming down on him today. new york prosecutors announced he had been arrested this morning on charges relating to this alleged $20 million scheme to extort nike then moments later, federal prosecutors in california announced the bank and wire fraud charges. >> the federal criminal complaint charges mr. avenatti with wire fraud and bank fraud and contains a series of allegations that paint ant ugly picture of lawless conduct and greed. on his twitter account, mr. avenatti describes himself as quote, attorney, advocate, fighter for good, unquote. but the allegation as in this case describe something different. a corrupt lawyer who instead fights for his own selfish
interests by misappropriating close to a million dollars that rightfully belonged to one of his clients. >> all right, so standing by for legal angalysnalyst, renaldo an watt in los angeles. you heard from the u.s. attorney there. talk about the charges he faces in california specifically. >> well, we have learned a lot more about those charges within the past hour. we were told by that u.s. attorney that the maximum sentence for all the charges avenatti is facing in this case, that would be 550 years in jail. that attorney and the irs investigators were off about the time of this arrest. now the arrest warrant was issued on friday, the same day that the mueller report dropped. they were asked is there a connection. the answer and adam dhs ant no. they say this investigation to michael avenatti began back in
2015 and it was a tax payroll investigation which in 2017, became criminal. now the allegations against him are that he lied to try and get more than $4 million in loans from a bank for his various commercial entities, that he also lied to an irs agent and that he in fact didn't file any personal tax returns at all for three years while at the same time, lying to this bank about how much he had paid in tax. now the other string to this bow is the fact that allegedly, he won a settlement in 2017 for a client he was representing in an intellectual property case. he won $11.6 million. he then showed that client a falsified settlement document which said the money would be paid in march 2018. in fact, the prosecutors alleged avenatti got $1.6 million in
january of 2018 and he used that money, which rightfully belonged to his client, he used a lot of for that for his own expensions. the investigator said it's hard to imagine a dpraeter betrayal of trust. those are the charges he is facing here in california. but as you say, brooke, two different investigations. that were apparently unrelated, but they concede they did coordinate between two investigations in order to arrest michael avenatti in new york today. >> thank you for the story in california. now the case in new york, we just listened to the attorney from the southern district of new york detailing what charges now, what they dug up on avenatti, what he's charged with and so this is all tied to this extortion plot against nike. >> through the alleged course of contact, he used legal terms
like claims and setmetlements a retainers, but these were mere devices to vid cover for his demands for a massive payday for himself by engaging in the conduct alleged in the complaint, avenatti was not acting as an attorney. a suit and tie doesn't mask the fact that at its core, this was an old fashioned shake down. >> so here's my first question. out of his mouth say iing that this was, first line, this is not aggressive add voe vocacy, s anticipating what avenatti's defense may be. how effective might that actually be and how much of a slam dunk is this case. >> while the southern district of new york case not a slam dunk. in fact there's a difficult legal line between aggressively negotiating to get a settlement
and extortion. now mr. avenatti appears to have crossed that line if the allegations made by the southern district of new york are accurate and really to me the turning point is that he seems to be seeking money for himself for this investigation that he was going to be doing as opposed to just seeking anything for his client that would be focusing on what his client would want. but it is often the case that in a negotiation, there's going to be about claims, there's going to be very aggressive tactics that are used and courts are very reluctant to characterize that as extortion. i'll use for example, jeff bezos went online, the founder of amazon, and talked about how he had these negotiations with the parent company of national enquirer and i said publicly i didn't think that was criminal. but here, mr. avenatti has crossed the line. there's a defense there. the other case we just heard about in california. not so much. >> so the new york case, when i was listening to jeff detailing
it at the point where clearly according to the complaint, one of the nike lawyers was wearing the wire and gets all this you know, we'll call it colorful language from avenatti. he at one point just says okay, just pay me 22.5 million and i'll just ride off into the sunset. if you're michael avenatti, how do you defend yourself? >> what you would have to say is that somehow, there's a claim against nike and you were trying, this was going to end up you know, resolving in some way. the problem b for mr. avenatti is that that doesn't appear to be strongly related to a claim. in order, what would typically you have a is negotiation where you're representing a client with a claim and you're trying to get money for that client. you could be aggressive and say you're client's going to go public, about to go public or file a complaint tomorrow unless you pay x amount of doll hardolt
here it seems like he's focused on enriching himself. but at least in court in front of a jury would be able to argue it was an aggressive negotiation. he's a lawyer. he has i think an argument to make there. and then i think it stands in stark contrast to the other case. >> in california. stand by because i want to go from one massive legal case to another. so the other huge story today, this four-page letter from the attorney general signals the end of the mueller investigation and likely the start of a new political bat a l. the white house is seizing on the news mueller didn't find collusion or conspiracy. they are ooempb taking it a step further claiming the president was also cleared of any potential obstruction. >> lasted a long time. we're glad it's over. the a 100% the way it should have been. >> in cataloging the president's actions, many of which took place in public view, the report identifies no action that in our
judgment, that's rosenstein and barr, constitute on o strucktive contract. that's a complete exoneration. >> they made a decision there was no obstruction. so that makes it a complete and total exoneration. >> we should point this out. that bob mueller did not write that in his report. this was bill barr, the attorney general, and rod rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, who decided there was not enough evidence to prosecute trump when it came to obstruction of justice, but mueller is a bit less definitive. let me read for you this excerpt from the attorney general's letter. the special counsel states that quote while this report doesn't conclude the president committed a crime, it doesn't exonerate him, end quote. one more thing in the barr letter, it is his summary of the mueller report. so most lawmakers and general public and some in the white house haven't seen the full thing, but if jerry nadler, the r chairman of the house judiciary committee, gets his
way, they will. >> president trump is wrong. this report does not amount to a so-called total exoneration. the attorney general's comments make it clear that congress must step in to get the truth and provide full transparency to the american people. >> pamela brown is in washington for us. she covers the white house and pamela, the president said again today, he wouldn't mind the public sees the mueller report saying that mueller acted honor bly, which is certainly a far cry. what's next in this process? >> well that's a big question. we know the attorney general is scrubbing mueller's report, to see what else can be released. and just sort of reading through this memo, the attorney general made clear he is mindful of making sure the information
isn't released publicly. when it comes to the obstruction of justice, you have mueller say he didn't commit a crime, but hasn't been exonerated and barr saying we don't believe he met the threshold. that's an area where they very well could be releasing more information because to our understanding, that doesn't have to do with grand jury testimony. a lot of this is what the president has already said publicly if you read the memo, it's a lot of it is already out there to our knowledge. mueller's investigators did interview people on on obstruction of justice, so it's not protected under the secrecy rules, so we could be learning more about what mueller found in his argument, the evidence on both sides of the case as it has to do with on trux. but the democrats are made clear they're not going to accept anything short of the full mule rer report so this could end up
in a subpoena fight with democrats issuing a subpoena for the full report and a just spoke to a white house official today who said if the democrats do that, the white house is writing it has been preparing for this, for this b possibility and worth note i noting that bill barr likely knew that one day mueller's report could be made public through a court order and so that is why talking to one person who was close to barr, close to the process, who said that is likely why barr included that line from mueller's team, not exonerating trump on obstruction. because he knows he can't hide anything because one day, this could be made public. >> which is precisely what many people in the country hoped for and as we started out, 'en the president says it's okay to do that. thank you very much. obviously a lot to discuss including why mueller would not make this decision on obstruction. plus, we'll talk about the democrats moving forward with their own investigations now and
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we are back. you're watching cnn. the white house take iing a vicy lap today after's conclusion that the president and his associates did not collude with russia and interfere in the presidential election. the president who has spent the past two years calling the investigation a witch hunt and labeling mueller as con fliflic is now changing his tune. gloria borger, michael smerconish and renaldo is back with us.
so let me kick tings off to you with this is laura jarrett at the justice department, that barr knew three weeks ago that mueller wouldn't reach a conclusion on obstruction. wasn't like he just found out over the weekend. this is three weeks. what does that signal to you? >> it's really interesting because what it does mean is that he had more than just a couple of day to reach that conclusion that he did. one of the media take aways i had is that he spent two years martialing evidence and pondering it and didn't reach a conclusion on obstruction and barr reached a decision in two days. he had three weeks. he mentioned in the letter that he spoke to other officials and he said that he reviewed the report. one thing that i would be interested in knowing over those
three weeks is did he review the evidence or talk to some of the ac agents and di he dig into the understood lying information. not exactly the ideal person to be make iing the determination, how he went about the process is very important. >> thank you so much. gloria, and michael, let me just dig deeper with you here. so i keep hearing this is the best way that was explaineded to me, this football analogy and the fact that barr, gloria, did barr intercept what's already been perceived as this mueller punt when it comes to obstruction? the barr bser intercepted the punt to congress. >> i think he intercepted it and ran with it himself. we saw in his letter that he said well, you know, clearly, a decision was not made about exoneration or whether the
president committed a crime, so therefore, he said that you know, rod rosenstein and i have c concluded that there's not sucht evidence to establish that the president committed an obstruction of justice crime. so he took it. he clearly consulted with rosenstein and perhaps others about it. the question that i have is and that's why i think you need to get into the report, is why mueller could not come to a conclusion. was there -- >> that's the million dollar question. >> was there a disagreement among if attorneys? was it because they didn't interview the president? you know, was it the fact of the charge of b obstruction? he wasn't going to be able to uphold it in court? e weather don't know the answer and i hope we get the apss soon. >> michael, what do you think? >> so, i'll sting with your football analogy and i would say that the ball was caught by barr
but he lateraled to rosenstein. and this is one of the lingering questions that i have. the key milestone moments along the way in any potential obstruction case would certainly include the firing of jim comey. don't forget the fact that the paper trail was provided by rod rosenstein handed over to jeff sessions who was then the attorney general who then provided the cover letter to the president of the united states that was the paper justification for the firing of comey. i've said for months that when this probe would end, i don't know how rosenstein, i thought he'd be still in the acting capacity for sessions, but how could he be a determiner of fact in this case or legal conclusion the obstruction issue when he was a fact witness. he was a participant in that process. so i'd like to know more as to
what was rosenstein's role in concert with bill barr in making that determination. i thought for sure he'd have to recuse himself from passing judgment on that issue. >> what about something else you said, michael. you know we hang on, both of your every word when it comes to smart analysis and you have made this point earlier that part of barr's letter says the following. i'm quoting. the, with the t capitalized in brackets. the investigation did not establish that members of the trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the russia government activities and i highlight the bracket as you did because you were making this point that this was an excerpt. this is not a full sentence and so what is your inference there? why does that matter? >> i have to say ellie and i together were conspireing as to the meaning of this and we'd like to see what worded proceeded it. it seems like it's an although.
my match up is on although blanc blanc, the veinvestigation did t establish that members of the trump km conspired or coordinated. just one example of how we're trying to sparse what went on here with what limited information we have. and we're just not going to be able to put it together unless we get more. >> right and the democrats of course are charging that what you see in this document is precisely the cherry picking of the quotes and that you can you know, we all know that you can cherry pick quotes. so they want to, they want to see the whole thing. and i presume and barr has said he's now working with mueller to figure out what exactly they can reveal without revealing sources and methods or grand jury testimony or classified information, et scetera, et cetera. but i think mueller probably did this knowi ining full well that some point, at some point, this was going to become public.
>> can we talk about when that some point may be? may it be tomorrow? once trump's out of office? what's the overunder on that? >> i have no idea. but i want to pick up on something that gloria just said. if i could know one thing right now, i would like to know what robert mueller is thinking. i would like to know what robert mueller thinks of bill barr having take ben the ball as you've explained and rendered the decision where he mueller for whatever reason wouldn't do so. is he cool with that? i'd love to know the answer. >> knew in advance what barr was likely to do because don't forget, barr's june 2018 memo. in which he said that the obstruction case was redick louse. so mueller had to know where barr stands on obstruction against the president because he made it very clear. and you know, mueller was acting
as a special counsel here just as a federal prosecutor effectively. so what he did unlike ken starr who had to come to a conclusion, he just gave it to barr and maybe that's because they couldn't come to any decision. >> is it that the way in which it was written by mueller was with the expectation that the congress would ultimately have to render a decision and not bill barr. >> i think mueller wasn't born yesterday. he's been around washington a long time and he knows these things tend to be made public. so it may be prescrubbed and we may see it sooner than we think. >> we'll leave it. f guys, thank you so much. what must he be thinking. multiple sirens going off
near the gaza border as we learn israel has hit opposite the leader of hamas. we'll take you there. plus, this is so devastating. three people who lost loved ones in school shootings have now taken their own lives in the span of one week. a father who lost his daughter in the parkland shooting just held a community meeting about these deaths. let's talk to him about this. next. rk. bold color. urban edge. liquid matte formula. up to 16 hour wear. super stay matte ink. only from maybelline new york. i'm a fighter. always have been. when i found out i had age-related macular degeneration, amd, i wanted to fight back. my doctor and i came up with a plan. it includes preservision. only preservision areds 2 has the exact nutrient formula recommended by the national eye institute to help reduce the risk of progression of moderate
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a father whose daughter was killed in the sandy hook cool sho school shooting has died in an apparent suicide. he dedicated his twork helping prevent mass shooting after his -year-old daughter was killed in december of 2012. and in florida, the parkland community is grieving two student suicides. parents held this emergency meeting after a male student at marjory stoneman douglas high school took his life on saturday and that news comes a couple of days after another survivor of t the shooting took her own life. so with me now, ryan petty, a father who has been socially and politically active after his daughter was killed in parkland. ryan, thank you so much for being here and speaking up on this and obviously all of us
just we're gutted over this constant tragic news. but i know that you were, this is your home. you were at that meeting last night. how is everyone in your community? >> well, brooke, i think we're still struggling to understand what's happening and you know, it's an unfortunate follow on tragedy to, that the community still hasn't recovered from. we're in trauma. the students are in trauma. i worry about the students and staff at the school. just an unfortunate set of, just three unfortunate and untime ly deaths this week. just really have caused the
community to be very concerned, but hopefully, this will drive us to action. >> you talk b about a community in trauma and i can imagine calls are going out to therapists after the tragic news in the last week. can you tualk to me about what parents are going through? >> well you know i think parents are wanting answers. they got a will the of questions and they're wondering you know, could this be my son or daughter. and so what we talk ed about yesterday in our emergency meeting was we really need to drive awareness. we need to make sure that everyone in the community especially parents, understand that their child may be at risk or their loved one may be at risk. so we wanted to drive that awareness. not to scare them or to create more concern, but to make sure ha they understand what to look for. and then we wanted to equip those parents with the right
questions to ask so we want to awareness, but make sure they have the right questions and the knowledge to determine whether or not their child is at risk or their loved one or their spouse in the case of teachers or staff and then get them, direct them to the right resources. >> so i want to hear those specific questions. i mean i was just talking to dr. kelly last hour. you know about questions everyone should be asking not just of pediatrician, everyone. andnd you ha i know you have se kids. what are those questions you should be asking of your children? have you had those conversations yourself? >> so i have. and i will continue to have those conversations and i want every parent in our community to hold each other accountable. we should ask ourselves on social media and at the store, have you asked the questions, right? what dr. posner has put together
at columbia university is a simple set of questions. let me roll through a couple of them. >> please do. >> one is have you ever thought about going to sleep and not waking up? the next question is have you ever thought about hurting yourself? have you, the next question is have you thought about how you might accomplish this? and those are three important questions that can help you quickly identify whether or not your loved one is at risk. the beauty of the columbia protocol that, what i love about it so much is that it's not something that you have to be a a trained therapist to be able to ask those questions. anyone can use it. parents, coach, teachers. the barber. pediatricians. anyone can use it. and it's so accessible and so important that everybody understand that they can be part of the solution. >> it's a tough conversation.
it is a necessary conversation. item going to put those up on my twitter page. ryan petty, thank you for your voice in you know, in parkland and also nationwide as so many parents are listening very kcl e closely. appreciate you. >> thank you. >> thank you. on to praeking news. sirens surrounding, sirens sounding near the israeli gaza border as we are learning israel has hit the office of a leader of hamas. we'll go live to our crew there just moments away.
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breaking news out of the the middle east. the israeli military is striking back at hamas militants, excuse me, hamas militants in gaza following a rocket attack and now sirens warning of incoming rockets are going off in southern israel. we're live, what is going on? >> at this moment, israel is carrying out a wide range of air strikes against hamas targets in gaza after herbally th early tha rocket struck a home in tel aviv. it's the farthest a rocket has been fired since the 2014 war. it injured seven home and now we're seeing the israeli response. israel has hit a number of
targets, major targets inside of gaza including an intelligence headquarters and the office of hamas leader. meanwhile in response to that, militants in gaza have fired a number of rockets and mortars in israel. that has triggered alarm sirens and the villages and towns there. we are on the beginning of a sharp escalation here. who knows where this night will go, but it is still early in the evening as we're seeing israel carry out the retaliation for the early morning rocket. >> and this is coming after the prime minister netanyahu had a significant moment at the white house today. president trump recognizing israeli sovereign thety. this is the weeks before netanyahu's own election where he is facing charges as well. >> he hasn't officially been charged yet, but you're right. they're making it clear they want netanyahu to win this election.
they're effectively campaigning for him. this gives netanyahu a major political victory. a major diplomatic vikt vig as well as a major foreign policy victory and should give him a boost for the elections. of course now the fighting we're seeing may also affect that? how, that's more difficult to predict, but if it comes across to the public it's hamas that decided in gaza how to start this round of escalation and how to finish it, that could be a blow to netanyahu, so we may see this boost he got from the white house end before it begins but it depends on the next 24 hour ors programs longer, brooke. >> what are you hear frg the prime minister's office and what are hi plans as far as traveling home? >> he cut his trip short. he was supposed to meet with congressional leaders and speak at the policy conference that's going on, but he cut it short after the meeting with trump. he is having consultations with security heads in, so it seems his return to israel has been
delayed, but we exhecpect him o his plane shortly and on his way back. even bf the israeli military began, they closed the entries into gaza. for the communities around gaza, many have been ordered to open their bomb shelters in case of incoming rocket fire, so it seems israel is preparing for ha may be a very sharp escalation here in the coming hours. >> all right. thank you so much. overseas in israel for us on the break iing news there. we'll keep an eye on that. next, all of the democrats running for president in 2020 have now called for the full mueller report to be made public. but where do they go from here? they'll talk about the tricky situation they find themselves in now that the president is claiming total exoneration. ♪ limu emu and doug.
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david, how big of a win is this for president trump politically speaking? >> i think it's a huge political victory. it was the single best day of the trump presidency. i know there are continued questions you have talked about on the show and lingering sort of mysteries of what is actually in the report since we have just seen the summary. politically speaking the president couldn't ask for more than headlines all around the country saying exactly what he has been saying for the last couple of years. >> many of them are pushing for the full report. others seem to want to focus on policy. >> it is a good question. you played all of that sound. i know those are democratic for president but so too are
americans over aall. one of the things i have never seen consensus about anything is that the american people no matter where they sit politically they do want to see the mueller report released in the public domain. so that is something that is pretty safe political ground for these democrats to be on. you raised the question of making the calculus of how much to continue to talk about this. let's back up for a second. they haven't been talking about it a ton on the trail. reporters asked them questions. it's not top of mind for voters that are interacting with these candidates. so i'm not sure that these are going to be feeling very compelled to continue hammering away at bill barr or mueller's findings. some of them will want to fulfill constitutional responsibilities of continuing to hold the trump administration accountable. as a main thrust of their political message just like
democrats in the 2018 midterms learned this was not the galvanizing thing that got people very engaged politically. >> do you think this is the thing people are talking about? like as we -- i know we are still a little bit away from 2020 but is this the thing that americans care the most about? >> it is the thing dominating the news. the answer is no. an open-ended question that said what is the one most important issue in the 2020 presidential election? not one responded, not one, offered up the russia information or the mueller probe. >> how about that? >> some did answer about constitutional sort of balance of power issues and between the branches which have connections to the probe but not one responded said the russia probe
or mueller investigation was a top issue. >> i think that is telling anyone's guess. >> without a doubt. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. back to breaking news, the attorney that made a name for himself representing stormy daniels is facing his own charges. avenatti, we learned the flame of his coh-conspirator. -welcome to our complete freedom plan. -it's all possible with a cfp professional. ♪ -find your certified financial planner™ professional at letsmakeaplan.org. you might or joints.hing for your heart... -find your certified financial planner™ professional but do you take something for your brain. with an ingredient originally discovered in jellyfish, prevagen has been shown in clinical trials to improve short-term memory. prevagen. healthier brain. better life.
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>> they have charged michael av oh, natti who was involved in the stormy daniels, he was charged to shl in this scheme to extort nike. he has not been dlarjcharged wi crime. he represented a number of high profile clients including smollett most recently. apple in the streaming business the tech giant just announced a totally revamped tv app. it lets customers stream shows and cable movie channels when ever they want. >> also new, open rah is coming
apple tv. a subscription based gaming service called apple arcade. so there you go. the latest out of apple today. thank you for being with me. the lead with jake tapper starts right now. is this president trump's best 24 hours ever? the lead starts right now. president trump today saying he thinks the special counsel acted honorably after they cleared him on conspiracy with the russians. will we ever see all of robert mueller's work? a big win for the president, the new urgency to beat mr. trump at the ballot box. breaking this afternoon the same agents that pinched michael l cohen arrest an old trump nemesis