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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  April 16, 2019 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

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er the world. you heard the cardinal, he wants us to chip in here in new york. adorned as much as she was when she survived. we see signs, we look at how we came together. a sense of collective purpose, donations, do-gooders. simply people showing compassion. these are the signs i'm talking about. hearts and minds of a collective soul of goodwill. i haven't seen it burn this bright, and the cause of repairing and restoring beauty. crowns like this are fueled most days by anger and opposition. but not here. this is about what remains and the signs that show us it's worth coming together and we are stronger together. and hopefully she will be back with us soon. that's our show for tonight. i'm running late. let me get it to d. lemon right now. >> you are running late -- >> sorry. >> come on. i've got two hours. you did a really good job educating people about what you call our lady, the notre dame
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cathedral. i'm sure your family is very proud of you and i think you should be. you did a very good job with that, so i commend you for that. you've been to the border and talked about something that could be a fundamental change to our immigration system and people seeking asylum in this country. the "new york times" is reporting and the trump administration on tuesday took another drastic step to discourage migrants from seeking asylum, issuing an order that could keep thousands of them in jail indefinitely while they wait for resolution of their asylum. basically, the attorney general william barr is trying to make good on the president's promise to end catch and release. he has told judges they don't have to grant bail or let people go even if they had met the requirements for asylum that they are to continue to be detained. it wouldn't take place for about 90 days now, but it's sure to be fought in court. there you go. what do you think? >> circumstances go on to dictate the constitutionality of
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the measure. if they are found to have sufficiency in their early pleading stage, their early hearing stage, then holding them differently than the law currently allows is going to be problematic. obviously if somebody is detained illegally, then you have much more discretion in terms of detaining them. the problem, though, however, don, is not to be faked out by this move. because their problem is capacity. they're letting people go not out of any sense of compassion or humanity, they're doing it because they have to. and you can tell the judges whatever they want, they don't have any places to keep them. is so this is so this is a little bit of a distraction when they don't have the solution to the real problem, which is accommodating them. you're going to have habeas corpus problems, due process, you're going to have problems.
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>> if you don't pass the screening, you can now be indefinitely detained. she called the decision horrible news that could affect thousands of migrants at the border and people who come here to do what is legal, seek asylum -- >> i think he's going to have a very hard time supporting it, but that just shows you he will take a step, and this ag will do it for him, even though legally it's suspect. because they like the political message. it's not what the ag is supposed to be in the business of. they often are, and it seems that way again. >> it seems that the ag is coming out with this just hours before the mueller report is supposed to come out in full, minus a redaction, so we shall see. >> the mueller report releasing on the eve of one of the most holy weeks of the year, the passover, and that's when they plan to put it out. >> what are you saying? >> dirty pool, lemon. >> you are the attorney. you've been covering what the
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president refers to as the brown menace. i want to hear your response to that. >> glad to be on the record, d. lemon. i'll be watching. >> see you. we have a lot to cover. nice show. i am don lemon and we're really getting down to the wire. we're going to follow the report we talked about, but in a few hours, 36 hours, people around the country and around the world will finally see what is actually in the mueller report, at least as much as the attorney general will let us see. no matter how much is redacted of those 300 or 400 pages, we are bound to know a lot more come thursday than we do right now. and that's got a lot of people on team trump really worried tonight about what they said to mueller and how much of it could or will become public.
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some of them are telling cnn that they are dreading thursday, not looking forward to it at all, dreading what they fear will be a credible account of chaos inside the white house. you know it's not going to be sources said, it's going to be robert mueller's report telling him this is going to account for actual people inside the white house with names. even those who defended the president fear that anything they said about his temper or his work habits, it could set him off. think about that for a minute. i want you to imagine being one of those trump aides who said something about the boss, something that he wouldn't like, said it under the penalty of perjury, right? you had to tell the truth. so the president can't explain it all away as gossip or lies. and imagine the whole world, president included, about to hear what you said.
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ly you-- you'd be nervous, too. one public source telling cnn, quote, they cooperated, had to tell the truth. he is going to go bonkers. that's a quote. you know anthony scaramucci. he was a white house director of communications for all of 10, 11, around 10 days? you know, you would have to call it an uncharacteristic understatement. >> there are likely paragraphs that are probably going to look not great for him or people in the administration or people in the transition. >> he also said to the hill or wrote in the hill that the press is the enemy of the people. interesting. anthony scaramucci. on thursday when we finally get the redacted report, we're going to find out just how much was left out of the barr letter. the president's nemesis, or one of them, anyway, the house
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speaker nancy pelosi weighed in today in a conversation with cnn's christiana amanpour. >> it isn't up to the attorney general who has said basically the president is above the law and the rest, so he's there to redact whatever he wants. well, let's just see what he puts forth. you can't make a judgment about something you haven't seen yet. so we look forward to seeing it. >> everybody, we're all counting the hours until we can read for ourselves, read the report on thursday for ourselves. you know at least one person who won't be reading it. want to guess who that is? one official tells cnn, president trump, who famously prefers one-page summaries with visual aids, not expected to read every page. the president's legal team will brief him once they've read everything, but i think it's a safe bet the president will be watching it all unfold on cable
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tv. many west wing officials say they'll read the report themselves. swoom wait until after they had left the office, which sounds like a good plan, doesn't it? cnn has learned that tromp it tromp what they will see in the march 24 if letter. a letter that was written to get out ahead of this roitd. even though barr only quoted 101 words out of mueller's report out of a 300 or 400-page report. many think the president has already been exonerated. the president has been shout tg on the rooftops for three weeks now. >> there was no obstruction, none whatsoever. it was a complete and total
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exoneration. >> the mueller report was great. it could not have been better. it said no obstruction, no collusion. it could not have been better. >> the finding was very, very strong. no illusion, no obstruction. >> the special counsel completed its report and found no collusion, no obstruction. i could have told you that two and a half years ago. total exoneration. a beautiful conclusion. there was no collusion at all. there never was. >> so the fact remains, facts are really important, spied or coordinated with the russian government. the special counsel did not reach a conclusion on obstruction.
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and barb quotes him, saying, this report does not prove that the president committed a crime. and it claims he was exonerated at the same time telling us what he really thinks in the same kay he always does. >> starting the day by tweeting, no collision, no obstruction. out of the gate again with his. here we are, some 36 hours away from getting what's likely going to be a whole lot of redactions. are you also going to get names
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like, who? what about the context of those few quotes from miller. will we learn anything new on contacts? what ploor be. we may not get all the answers. probably won't. less than 36 hours we'll certainly know a lot more. one of the people around you will guide us through exactly what to expect from the mueller report. he knows. he's a former u.s. attorney on i. the first dogs trained to train humans. stopping drivers from: liking.
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>> without editorializing, particularly in the area of obstruction. >> will we get that, do you know, with the redactions? >>keep thinking a lot of redactions would fall in the first section of the report. it's conspiracy and that kind of evidence and material falls to the grand jury. there might be a little more information there con sortisort between the russian government officials, but on obstruction, my sense is a lot of that information was obtained voluntarily through interviews and things that happened publicly, so there shouldn't be
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classified information related to obstruction, so we should get a full version of that. >> so the people you said were voluntarily interviewed and even those who testified, the grand jury, should they be worried about that becoming public? >> it depends on what they said. there have been reports over the last day or two suggesting that the people who were cooperative with the special counsel, who in fact were told by the administration lawyers to be cooperative with the special counsel are worried that their words may come back to haunt them if they paint the president in a bad light, which is not how it's supposed to work. you're supposed to go and tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may. it's unclear to me how much the attorney general is going to want to protect the source of that information. even if they don't use the names, sometimes it's very obvious in the same way that individual 1 in the michael cohen plea was obvious it was the president of the united states. it might be obvious who don mcgahn is in the document. >> you know the narrative that's been said, no collusion, no obstruction. but the president has denied any wrongdoing. he lied about aspects of knowing
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about the trump tower meeting. he lied about why he fired comey. do you think we'll find out about that? >> i think we'll find out a bunch. as i was saying right before we came on air, there are two things going on here. one are the legal ramifications. i don't know if those will change at all. it depends on what congress decides to do because bob mueller has decided his investigation is over. no crime, as far as he sees, with respect to conspiracy. he couldn't make a decision because it was too close to obstruction. but bob mueller is done with respect to his investigation. so will the legal issues change? probably not. but from the perspective of the core public opinion and congressional opinion, if there are new allegations we have not been familiar with over the last couple years and have not been normalized about things the president did that show his state of mind or show he was intending to stop the russia
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investigation, conversations between him and don mcgahn, the former white house counsel, conversations between him and the acting attorney general, mark whitaker, will show in that investigation. >> are you surprised they haven't claimed executive privilege? is it possible they still will? >> i don't know that they haven't yet. bill barr said in a way, i guess, that's a little bit promising that he wasn't going to submit information to the white house and let the white house make a determination about executive privilege, and the white house was deferring to bill barr. the last i saw he was ambiguous on whether that meant he wasn't going to be claiming executive privilege or he himself was going to be deciding as opposed to the president and the white house deciding whether or not there was executive privilege. >> thank you for talking to me about that. let's talk about your book. you wrote in your book, it's very hard for the fbi or the justice department to show
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convincingly the purity of the decision and others decide not to charge or decline to make a referral on president trump. it will be very difficult to show the purity of that decision, toor, even if it is pure. >> i forgot i wrote that. that's before we saw the mueller report and thought about criminality. i chose not to marry that job -- to take that job, chose not to marry that person. it's the same with prosecutal decisions. on the one hand, if you charge someone, it's an open charge and you can assess the quality of the charge, you can assess the evidence. there is a transcript prepared, it's not done in secret, so everyone can have an opinion based on facts and evidence and
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exposure to the process. on the other hand, if you choose not to bring a case because of the general, you know, policy and the fairness of not, you know, attacking somebody when you've decided to make a decision not to charge them, in a politically charged environment especially, it's hard to prove to a subset of the population who does not have faith that decisions are made on the grounds of evidence, but based on politics, it's hard to convince them it was a good faith decision. this is the kind of thing that got jim comey in trouble with a lot of people. he was operating from a good faith view that he wanted to defend the fbi and his institution from the allegation that the decision about hillary clinton and not prosecuting her was made in good faith and was based on the law and based on the merits. but he heard and saw a lot of people saying, i don't believe that, i don't buy that, and he wanted to explain. and i understand the impulse to explain, but it's hard to explain to people who have their minds made up in advance. >> more from your book. you don't mention the president
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in your book but you do write, a tax on prosecutors by the prosecuted are par for the course, but there are limits dangerous when breached. when leaders of nations, whether the president of turkey, russia or the united states join the attacks, of turkey, russia or the united states -- join the attacks, hurl the invective. are we at a tipping point in america? >> i don't want to say armageddon is coming, but i think reasonable, smart people who are republicans, democrats and independents are concerned about the degree to which this invective is being launched against people who have the temerity to investigate things that, by the way, were decided
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to be investigated by the president's own hand-picked people, like rod rosenstein. >> i got attacked all the time because people don't like to be investigated, people don't like to be prosecuted. i get that. there is a magnitude of difference when the people who are saying these things and crying witch hunt and underlying the motivation and the intelligence and the patriotism of the prosecutors and the investigators is the person with the largest megaphone on earth, whoever the president of the united states happens to be. he decided to use that megaphone to attack people who were conducting an investigation that were ordained by your own people. there are a swath of people who believe what was being said. i don't know if we're at a tipping point, but we're definitely not in a good place. >> for seven and a half years, you were the attorney general. >> i was. >> now they are doing a sensitive investigation on the president's business, also his
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inaugural committee. they've interviewed people like keith schiller, like hope hicks. schiller was his bodyguard, and hope hicks was an assistant of some sort, a press person. do you think that this presents a bigger danger to the president than the mueller investigation has more exposure here? >> i don't know what the fact are. he has more exposure in the sense that the mueller investigation, even though some people thought it crossed red lines and the president was always upset about that investigation, it was related to interference in the election and potential involvement in the trump campaign, and one of which was obstruction. congress does not have any circumspection. it can look at finance abuse, as it is with the michael cohen
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case they're overseeing. if the president has done wrong in some of these other aspects of his life, like the trump organization or the inaugural committee or something else, then the southern district of new york is free to look at all those things. i still think they have the constraint that a lot of people don't like -- >> from the doj. >> -- from the doj about not being able to indict a sitting president. but that does not mean they can't investigate people close to the president, related to the president, his businesses or otherwise up to and including the president himself. whether or not they can take action on the president is a separate matter. >> so what do they do, then? >> they can wait -- >> can't they define wrongdoing? >> if they find compelling wrongdoing, if they believe they can prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, it was a normal citizen, don lemon, and we believe it was a serious crime and in the interests of justice, they decide to bring a case, i guess
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they have a couple choices. they could, i guess, it looks like bob mueller did this. they can make a referral to congress. i think there is an argument you can make the indictment under seal and wait until a later point when the policy and practice doesn't matter anymore. that's a pretty extraordinary thing. >> when he's out of office. >> yes, to tell him to stop running. all of those things are very extraordinary, and i think they would need to be very, very thoughtful about it, very apolitical about it, which i think they are, and it would have to be something that is very strong and very clear and very provable. >> one more thing, beth, i want to ask you. so when this report comes out, redacted or otherwise, do you think it will be sort of a political rorschach test, people will see what they want to see, even if there are things not so favorable for the president of the united states? >> i think the battle lines are drawn. we already see what the president's allies see about the
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document, some of which is not borne out over parts of sentences quoted that the barr letter. such as the president does not deny the issue of obstruction. the allies of the president are going to cherry-pick those things that they like and are favorable to them. the president is probably not going to do. i'd like everyone to sort of take a deep breath a. in the ordinary course, if you didn't have all the spin, you didn't have all this fighting deviance, you didn't have all the things that would fell the president, literally you can't
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survive, that you think, if it's clear rkts, would this be something you would want to investigate and maybe hold the president accountable on? i think that's the test. >> it's a best seller. congratulations. the book is called "doing justice colon a prosecute's thoughts on crime, punishment and the rule of law." make sure you pick it up and read it. current staffers are dreading the mueller report and the potential wrath of the president along with it. we'll tell you why. that's next.
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there are some current and former officials in the trump white house that are dreading the release of the mueller report on thursday. they say it can be embarrassing and they fear trump's reaction if their testimony is revealed. good evening to both of you. thank you so much. we have a lot to cover here, so let's talk about it. less than 36 hours away. a lot of people are worried, ellie, about how the president will respond when he hears their testimony. what kind of damaging information might come out? >> don, let's start with this. we know mueller's report is approximately 400 pages. just for a little bit of real world reference point. i went back and looked, the classic version of "to kill a mockingbird" is just about 400 pages long. think about when you read that
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in high school or college, that's the amount of information we're going to get. it's going to be damaging for people around donald trump in his administration and in his campaign. first of all, the people that had contacts with russians, and there were over a dozen of them, we know that those people had contact with russians. many of them then lied about it. we know that robert mueller concluded there wasn't enough type of evidence to prove a conspiracy crime beyond a reasonable doubt. but that does not mean nothing bad happened. i'm very interested to see what robert mueller had to say about those russian contacts and the subsequent lies. >> susan, just think about how this president reacts every time there is a tell-all book. every time a tell-all book comes out, he lashes out. we have current and former officials in trump's orbit who had in-person interviews. that's a big list. people who submitted written testimony. what are you expecting to see from the president?
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>> there is a quote in a cnn story, according to a republican source, he's going to go bonkers. it's a safe prediction, as you pointed out. we've had some experience with various books and insider reports from the white house. what's interesting about it is it usually tend to be not the release of a book or presentation itself but the news coverage around it that tends to trigger the president. he already seems like he's moved into 24-hour-a-day pundit mode, as if he's watching tv, preemptively getting ready for what's coming out. that reporting today has already suggested -- it's so damning, right, the picture of the president painted by his own advisers and aides. we don't expect the president to read this about himself, but we know he'll be very hands on with
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the television coverage, for example. so it's hard to determine what is new news in here. that list of witnesses you put up is very appropriate and long. many of them still work with the president every day. i remember when the bill clinton report, the starr report, came out. again, we actually had access in that report and its annexees to the unfiltered grand jury testimony. it was the people surrounding president clinton who gave this testimony, it was the stewards who gave some of the most embarrassing information. they are told to testify truthfully. >> and under the risk of perjury, right, if they didn't tell the truth. he wi ellie, let's look at the former white house attorney, don mcgahn.
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he sat down for questions for 36 hours. cnn reported last year that trump was unsettled by all this, and we may now learn why. >> don, so don mcgahn spent 30 hours with robert mueller. that's a long time. i've spent 30 hours but only with the most important ones with the most relevant information. i do think people ought to be concerned about don mcgahn because he had inner, inner circle access to the president in the white house. he was in the room when key decisions were being made. he was the person who had to talk the president out of trying to fire robert mueller. i think when we're looking at the obstruction question, which we know ended up being very close to a crime, so close that robert mueller decided not to decide, we're going to be looking at his intent. someone like don mcgahn is going to say, here is what the conversation was.
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here's what the intent was, for example, trying to fire robert mueller. and another thing that made the president concerned about someone going bonkers. go ahead and yell and scream, but it is careful, witness retaliation. if the president starts firing people or taking significant action against people because they spoke to robert mueller, that in itself could be a federal crime. >> it's really incredible that what these aides are fearing is essentially retribution for telling the truth. >> well, look, first of all, excellent point about witness retaliati retaliation. president trump, it seems to me, one of the ways in which
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accountability has allude donald trump, because he's been sort of transparent. >> this was a terrible wrongdoing, and in this -- this could be one of the most important things we learn on tuesday. is there new evidence store largely a potential act of wrongdoing on the part of the president interviewed. this is one of the ways in which donald trump is changing our political system, is getting us to ep things where he has publicly stated a motive that in any other and everybody something congress would be ready to ang up.
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. are we going to find out new information that changes that? the facts as we already know them toly doesn't do anything or affect our political process. >> because what's already out there is bamming above . new details of the fire at notre dame and how 20 minutes went by before officials actually found the fire. that's next. ♪ applebee's bigger, bolder grill combos. now that's eatin good in the neighborhood. if you have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, every day can begin with flakes. it's a reminder of your struggles with psoriasis.
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in paris, investigators sifting through the charred rubble at the notre dame cathedral and potential remains of what's left of the building. though it's structurally sound
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overall, pictures show gaping holes in the roof into the knave. the cause of the fire, strictly accidental. today investigators got their first good look at the damage caused by this fire. it raged for nine hours. what do we know about how it spread so quickly? >> what we know is a fire alarm went off inside the cathedral about 6:20. and it was heard by the security officials within the cathedral, and they executed their policy, which was to evacuate the building. so they got everyone out of the buildi building. 26 minutes later, 6:43, the alarm went off again and that's when they saw the fire, the first indication they saw the fire. so it does seem as if those 23 minutes, while valuable to save lives, weren't perhaps used as
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well as they could have been to try to figure out where the root of the fire was and what was causing the alarm to be triggered. we don't know if they chose to completely ignore that first alarm or only go searching diligently after the second alarm. undoubtedly, that's the sort of question investigators will be asking. but it does seem at least the fire alarm system in the building itself was working. what it wasn't able to do, it seems, was actually pinpoint where everything was going wrong. >> it seems as though they may have gotten a lucky break because many of the artifacts were out because they were renovating the building, and when it spread to the roof, they were busy inside trying to get some of those artifacts out. >> yeah, some of the artifacts were literally saved by a human chain of people that were formed to get them out of the building, even while the fire was underway. there are cases, we know, of the chaplain who is the fire
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services chaplain, chaplain jean marc fornier, went with the police and helped the police rescue the crown of thorns and other sorts of holy sacraments held within the cathedral. this is a fire service chaplain who served time in afghanistan and also here in paris on the streets dying and injured in the paris attacks in 2015. this is a priest going well above the call of duty regularly, but hopelessly trying to save the holy relics from the cathedral. >> thank you very much for your reporting in the u.s. donations have been pouring in to help rebuild the notre dame cathedral.
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there were three churches sfwroid ars destroyed by arson. notre dame had been pled hundreds of thousands of millions, but the louisiana churches, they were still struck. you can also go on twitter and look him up. he was very instrumental for men. notice that my hips are off the ground. [ engine revving ] and then, i'm gonna pike my hips back into downward dog. [ rhythmic tapping ] hey, the rain stopped. -a bad day on the road still beats a good one off it. -tell me about that dental procedure again! -i can still taste it in my mouth! -progressive helps keep you out there.
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earn points with each restaurant reservation on opentable and redeem them for hotel discounts on kayak. get started at a source with knowledge of the investigation into the college emissions scandal to seek a sentence of four ten months behind bars for actress felicity huffman. she pleaded guilty to conspiracy
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to commit fraud. the author of dashholo to both of you. does a punishment of between four and ten months in prison fit efelicity huffman's crime? >> one thing they've been pretty clear in this case is they were going to ask for jail time for anyone that was convicted or who took a plea deal in this case. she's paid allegedly $15,000, which and a lot less money than some of of the other targets ordefendants who were in the even hundreds of millions of dollars. i think there's some sense that these people shouldn't serve any jail time. i'm not of that frame of mind. i look at theageicato educators
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atlanta teaching scandal. they were charged with rico charges for the changing standardized test scores. so i think jail time and accountability is important. a lot of people were hurt in this college scam. >> especially the students who worked really hard. >> who worked hard and should have got into these schools. >> felicity huffman wrote a seemingly sincere apology letterer. seeming to take responsibility for her actions. she said it's on the low end of the spectrum. >> it was worked out before she got her statement. this is a federal case and that's driven by the full sentencing guidelines. it's the right range for this level of crime.
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she's an actress and we all know her. >> think she should go to prison? >> i don't think she should go to prison. >> before we run out of time, i want to ask you about actress, lori laughlin. her husband, mossimo and others are doing skpakt opposite, entering not guilty pleas. is that a better choice? >> they are presumed innocent until they are proven guilty in the court of law. now, they can change their minds and they may work out a plea deal and unlike felicity we're not hearing any statements from them or their representatives suggesting the gravity of acts they engage un. i don't know if it's denial or delusion. but they've decided to fight and
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that's their right to do so. >> it could be denial, delusion or i'm innocent. and we've all seem to have convuktco convilkted everyone in the case. we don't know all the facts. she might say i was duped. >> some children of the parents facing charges received letters warning them they could be targets in a cruminal probe. what's the purposes? >> to threaten them. and i find it very distasteful. they're hurt enough. these kids will never be normal again. kids who were influenced by their parents' decision is not the right thing. >> do you think anything will happen to ariba? >> i think who's right there are 18 year old kids and some may be a lot older and some may be
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adults who were complisant and involved in and had complete knowledge of what theraparents were involved in. i don't want to assume they're going after innocent quds. i would hope if they're sending target letters to the adults, that it's because they have evidence to support what they're doing. we're out of time. >> if these were adults engaged, why should they get a pass. >> thank you both. every day, visionaries are creating the future. so, every day, we put our latest technology and unrivaled network to work. the united states postal service makes more
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to save 30% on all the medications we carry. so go directly to now. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. we begin with breaking news on two fronts. a major reversal on immigration policy by william barr, that could be led to thousands more immigrant said


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