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Attorney General Gets Personal About Martin's Death; Alcohol and Heroin Killed "Glee" Star; Protests Not Letting Up After Verdict; Mayor Accused of Sexual Harassment; Drug Cartel Leader Captured

Aired July 16, 2013 - 17:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Happening now, breaking news -- powerful words from the attorney general of the United States, Eric Holder, sharing for the first time his personal take on the death of Trayvon Martin and slamming -- slamming the Florida self-defense law in the spotlight after George Zimmerman's not guilty verdict.

Also, the first juror to speak out in the case tells our Anderson Cooper in an exclusive interview it was Trayvon Martin who threw the first punch. A Martin family attorney is here in THE SITUATION ROOM to respond.

And breaking news out of Canada. In the last few minutes, we've learned what killed the 30-year-old "Glee" actor Cory Monteith.

I'm Wolf Blitzer.

You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

We begin, though, with the breaking news and a dramatic development in the aftermath of George Zimmerman's not guilty verdict. The first African-American U.S. attorney general, Eric Holder, for the first time today, sharing a deeply personal connection to Trayvon Martin's death and questioning "Stand Your Ground." That's Florida's controversial self-defense law, in the spotlight because of the case.

The attorney general addressed the NAACP convention in Orlando just a few moments ago, an organization of activists that's now amassed one million signatures calling for federal charges against George Zimmerman.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ERIC HOLDER, ATTORNEY GENERAL: These laws try to fix something that was never broken. There has always been a legal defense for using deadly force if -- and the if is important -- if no safe retreat is available.

But we must examine laws that take this further by eliminating the common sense and age-old requirement that people who feel threatened have a duty to retreat, outside their home, if they can do so safely. By allowing and perhaps encouraging violent situations to escalate in public, such laws undermine public safety.

The list of resulting tragedies is long, and, unfortunately, has victimized too many who are innocent. It is our collective obligation. We must stand our ground --

(APPLAUSE)

HOLDER: -- to ensure --

(APPLAUSE)

HOLDER: -- we must stand our ground to ensure that our laws reduce violence and take a hard look at laws that contribute to more violence than they prevent.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: All right. Let's bring in our chief political analyst, Gloria Borger.

Also joining us, the former federal prosecutor, Tanya Miller, as well as criminal defense attorney Anne Bremner, for some analysis on what we just heard.

Tanya, let's go to you first.

What do you think of the attorney general now saying these "Stand Your Ground" laws, you've got to do away with them?

TANYA MILLER, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: I think that that is a very powerful statement. I think that's probably one of the strongest takeaways from his speech there at the NAACP. You know, it was interesting, Wolf, he also put a very personal face on the issue of racial profiling, which, as we see, when it meets up with your -- with these "Stand Your Ground" laws, can have deadly consequences for young African-American men -- males.

I thought that it was very powerful for him to do it. He did not, however, give any indication about whether or not the Justice Department will, in fact, file charges, not that we would expect him to at this point. Obviously, the investigation continues.

But I think what he said will resonate with lots of African-Americans. And I think that he is probably feeling a good deal of personal pressure to take some action in this case --

BLITZER: All right --

MILLER: -- whether he ultimately can or not.

BLITZER: Anne, what do you -- what did you think of his recommendation to do away with these state laws in Florida, for example, "Stand Your Ground?"

ANNE BREMNER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I think that if he was going to announce today more on investigations for civil rights violations, charges investigating further and/or hate crimes, we would have heard it. So I think there's a lot of an outcry saying, let's get rid of some of these, you know, laws out there that made all of this possible or impossible, in terms of the prosecution. I'm not surprised to hear him talk about it. That's a statute in Florida, although most states -- many states have "Stand Your Ground." I think it was really a problem in this case and the reason the case didn't get charged from the get go.

BLITZER: And it's very hard, Gloria, as you know -- and you've been doing your own reporting on this -- for the Justice Department, the attorney general, to go ahead and charge George Zimmerman with violating hate crimes or civil rights abuses. The evidence may or may not be there. But I think from everything we're hearing, it's probably not enough to go ahead with these formal charges.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITCAL ANALYST: Right. You know, he did make the case today that the Justice Department has an open investigation, as he called it, that he's going to look into it. But the bar, as you point out, is very, very high, Wolf. And my sources over there at the Justice Department say to me it's not likely, at this point, that they would bring some kind of civil rights charges.

But what the attorney general did was take it in a different direction, take on the "Stand Your Ground" laws, which, by the way, are laws in 22 states in this country, including the State of Florida, going out of his way to say that it foments violence.

And, you know, so it's very clear that along with the Voting Rights Act, which he talked about, now "Stand Your Ground," is going to be something else the administration will be talking about.

In many ways, Wolf, Eric Holder, up until this point -- and we may hear more from the president later today -- but up until this point, Eric Holder has become the spokesman and the voice of this administration on this case and now on "Stand Your Ground." And we may hear more from the president, as I said. But he's the person who has been out front and center on this.

BLITZER: And he was very personal today in speaking about Trayvon Martin --

BORGER: Yes.

BLITZER: I'm going to play a little clip from the speech, because he could relate -- he said he could relate to what the Trayvon Martin family is going through. And he also spoke about his own son.

Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HOLDER: Trayvon's death last spring caused me to sit down to have a conversation with my own 15-year-old son, like my dad did with me. This was a father-son tradition I hoped would not need to be handed down. But as a father who loves his son, and who is more knowing in the ways of the world, I had to do this to protect my boy. I am his father and it is my responsibility not to burden him with the baggage of eras long gone, but to make him aware of the world that he must still confront. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Powerful words, Tanya. I'm sure you agree.

MILLER: I do. I do. And I think many African-Americans agree with that and understand that uniquely. These are conversations that mothers and fathers have with their sons regularly, because, you know, the fact of the matter is, when these children go out into the world, there are people who view them as criminals based on just how they look or how they dress.

And I think that this is part of why we see many people so divided on the case of Trayvon Martin, because this issue of racial profiling, this sort of subjective viewing of African-American youths as thugs or as criminals, is something that many in America don't deal with, so they can't relate to it. And therefore, they don't understand it.

BLITZER: Anne, is there still, from a legal perspective, a double standard in the United States for young African-American boys and young white boys?

BREMNER: Well, that's part of the outcome of this case. I think that people have concluded that, that it started from the beginning, Wolf. It started first when he was viewed by George Zimmerman, and it didn't change. I think a lot of people see that.

And I think everyone has said -- or many people have said, that are critical of this verdict, that if you switched the races, you know, switched roles in this case, we wouldn't have had this outcome.

So I think we need to look, you know, are we either part of the solution or part of the problem, as Eldridge Cleaver once said.

But, you know, what did we learn out of this case and how can we make it different in the future?

You can't solve an issue in a trial, the kinds of issues we have in this case. You can't solve them in a trial. You have to solve them at a national conversation level.

And so --

(CROSSTALK)

BREMNER: -- you know, I am encouraged to see -- and, of course, I think we all are -- to see a lot of conversation about these issues, very, very frank and ongoing.

BORGER: You know, Wolf, what was the most affecting to me, not only was Eric Holder talking about his son, but he was also talk -- here you have an African-American attorney general talking about his own personal experiences, having being pulled over on the New Jersey Turnpike when he said he wasn't quite sure he was speeding or having been pulled over on his way to a movie in Georgetown, when, as he pointed out, he was a federal prosecutor. And so he talked about how this situation, how being so-called profiled, without using the word, how that has affected him. And I think that it's very important to hear that from the attorney general of the United States, who also happens to be black -- Wolf.

BLITZER: And I suspect we're going to be hearing more from the president of the United States on this sensitive subject, as well.

BORGER: Yes.

BLITZER: Gloria Borger, thanks, as usual. Tanya Miller, Anne Bremner, thanks for both of you for coming in, as well.

BREMNER: Thank you.

MILLER: Thanks.

BLITZER: When we come back, a Trayvon Martin family attorney reacts to Anderson Cooper's exclusive interview with the only juror in the case to speak out.

Plus, breaking news on what killed the 31-year-old "Glee" star, Cory Monteith. We'll go live to LA. That's coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BLITZER: The breaking news in the entertainment world. We've just learned what killed the "Glee" star, Cory Monteith. Tragically, it may not come as a huge surprise to so many people out there who knew about his long struggle with substance abuse.

Let's go to Los Angeles.

CNN's Tory Dunnan is standing by.

She's got the latest information -- Tory, what have we learned?

TORY DUNNAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, the coroner's office just released new information regarding Cory Monteith's cause of death. And autopsy and toxicology testing concluded that the "Glee" star died of a lethal combination involving heroin and alcohol.

Monteith's body was found in his hotel room, remember, in Vancouver on Saturday afternoon. That was after he failed to check out on time.

Video surveillance showed that the actor was going out with friends the night before, but came back to that hotel room alone.

Now in previous interviews, the 31-year-old actor had described himself as an out of control teen who abused drugs and alcohol, that he would often skip school to drink and also smoke pot when he was just 13 years old.

The bottom line, his teen years were really a far cry from the character that he often portrayed onscreen. And, Wolf, it's important to point out at this point that he has been relatively open about his struggle. In fact, it was just this past spring that he checked himself into rehab.

Now, Monteith's family has been notified as to the cause of death. The coroner's office is saying at this point that there is nothing to suggest this is anything other, Wolf, than a very tragic accident.

BLITZER: Very tragic. What a tragedy, indeed. And what a good, good actor, a singer and all of that. What a waste.

Thanks very much, Tory Dunnan, for that.

Report.

Cory Monteith, only 31 years old.

Coming up, so what happened inside the jury room?

The juror revealing dramatic details about their emotional path to a verdict in Zimmerman trial. We have new information coming in.

Also the musician and activist, Stevie Wonder, weighing in on the Zimmerman verdict.

Stay with us.

You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: We're getting a truly fascinating glimpse inside the jury room and what jurors really believed happened on the night that Trayvon Martin was shot and killed. Our Anderson Cooper sat down for an exclusive interview with the only juror to speak out in this case, the juror called B37.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, AC360: Do you think Trayvon Martin threw the first punch?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think he did.

COOPER: What makes you think that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because of the evidence of -- on the T or on the sidewalk where George says he was punched. There was evidence of his flashlight and keys there and then a little bit farther down, there was a flashlight that he was carrying. And I think that's where Trayvon hit him.

COOPER: So, you think based on the testimony you heard, you believe that Trayvon Martin was the aggressor?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think the roles changed. I think George got in a little bit too deep, which he shouldn't have been there, but Trayvon decided that he wasn't going to let him scare him and get the one over up on him or something. And I think Trayvon got mad and attacked him.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: So, let's get some reaction from Natalie Jackson now. She's the family attorney for the Trayvon Martin family. Natalie, what's your reaction when you heard this juror explain her sense and one of the reasons why she and the others apparently decided that George Zimmerman was not guilty?

NATALIE JACKSON, MARTIN FAMILY FAMILY ATTORNEY: I was kind of shocked because I was shocked to hear so much personal opinion as opposed to her -- you know, them looking through the law or saying that they're confused with the law. Even when asked the question that was just posed, I think her answer was, yes, I thought that George was the aggressor but then she said the role's changed in her mind.

But she wasn't able to point out how she thought the roles changed except that she thought that Trayvon sucker punched George.

BLITZER: Yes. She thought that Trayvon Martin threw the first punch and that he was apparently on top. She also said she believed that it was George Zimmerman who was crying out for help. He thought his life was in danger and that's why he shot him. That was her explanation why she decided, and she went into the jury deliberations convinced that he was not guilty.

JACKSON: Right. And I watched the interview, too. And I think once again, i was just surprised that the amount of benefit that -- when she talks about even Rachel Jeantel and she didn't feel that she was honest, I understand that. But then, she said in the same token that George had inconsistencies but she felt he was telling the truth.

And really, the whole self-defense of George Zimmerman was based on George Zimmerman. I think many thought that his credibility being a problem was, you know, was one of the reasons that the jury would convict him.

BLITZER: Have you had a chance to speak with the family, the mom and dad of Trayvon Martin, about this interview that the juror gave to Anderson Cooper?

JACKSON: No, not about the interview. We just spoke to them after the verdict came down, and one of the things that Sybrina said. She said that she was not going to allow this verdict to define her son. And she said that she would define her son. There are many people in the community who are, you know, upset because they felt that verdict -- and we kind of heard the jury insinuate that Trayvon Martin was responsible for his own death.

BLITZER: Listen to what Rachel Jeantel. She said -- what she said to Piers Morgan in the interview about Trayvon Martin and his use of marijuana because I'm anxious to get your reaction. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RACHEL JEANTEL, TRAYVON MARTIN'S FRIEND: No.

PIERS MORGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Did you ever see him with a gun?

JEANTEL: No.

MORGAN: What about drugs?

JEANTEL: Drugs. OK. Weed, you say marijuana, but in my area, we say weed. My area, weed, for Trayvon, I can say one thing, weed don't do -- make him go crazy. It just makes him go hungry.

(LAUGHTER)

JEANTEL: Best thing I can say, it makes him hungry.

MORGAN: Did he take a lot of weed?

JEANTEL: No.

MORGAN: How much would you say?

JEANTEL: Like twice a week.

MORGAN: Twice a week.

JEANTEL: Yes.

MORGAN: What the defense again tried to paint a picture over somebody who because of the drug use, that would make him more violent?

JEANTEL: No. Like I said, that's B.S. That's just their opinions. That's the problem in this case. That was their opinion.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: So, what do you think about that, Natalie?

JACKSON: I think it's very revealing. And even the question that Piers asked, because marijuana was never introduced as evidence in this case. So, the fact that we're talking about it means that we, you know, it's a part of a conversation surrounding Trayvon and what we think and who we think Trayvon is when it wasn't even introduced as evidence in the case.

BLITZER: The parents, how are they doing?

JACKSON: They are -- they are continuing on. They're disappointed in this verdict. Like I said, they won't let it define their son and the conversations that are trying to be had around their son such as the marijuana question in the context of the trial, it's not fair because it was not evidence in the case.

And I think we need to talk about that, like why is it that those are the conversations around Trayvon? BLITZER: Natalie Jackson is a family attorney for the Trayvon Martin family. Natalie, thanks very much for joining us.

JACKSON: Thank you.

BLITZER: Up next, the Zimmerman juror reveals what happened during the first vote. How many wanted a guilty verdict from the start?

Also, we have word of a major arrest in the drug war as a man who's been called an absolute demon.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER (voice-over): Happening now, a member of George Zimmerman's jury reveals what happened during their difficult and emotional deliberations.

Also, compromise, compromise lives (ph). Stand by for details of how Capitol Hill dodged the major crisis today.

And the mayor of a major city despite allegations of sexual harassment, he says he is not quitting.

I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in the SITUATION ROOM.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER (on-camera): Nationwide demonstrations in the wake of the Zimmerman verdict have not let up, most remaining very peaceful, though with some few exceptions. CNN's Martin Savidge is working this part of the story for us. He's joining us now with the latest. What are you seeing across the country, Martin?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, you know it's interesting that the last 18 months, the city of Sanford here was essentially the epicenter of controversy when it came to the Trayvon Martin death and the George Zimmerman trial. The trial is now over. This community has remained calm, but across the nation, that's not necessarily the case.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(CHANTING)

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Reaction to George Zimmerman's not guilty verdict continues to reverberate across the country. Most of the demonstrations have been peaceful, like this one in Tallahassee, Florida where close to 100 young people staged a city (ph) outside the opposite governor, Rick Scott.

A noon rally also wound through the heart of Houston. In Atlanta, demonstrators took to downtown streets. In Cleveland, they gathered outside the Cuyahoga County Justice Center.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is what we need. This is who we are.

SAVIDGE: But not all the protests have heeded the calls for calm. Oakland and Los Angeles have seen several nights of limited violence. The Los Angeles chief of police saying enough is enough. And more police will be on the streets tonight. Celebrities have added their own twist.

Musician, Stevie Wonder, says Florida is off his concert list, singling out the state's controversial self-defense law.

STEVIE WONDER, SINGER: And until the stand your ground law is abolished in Florida, I will never perform there again.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SAVIDGE (on-camera): There are also efforts under way, Wolf, to target the state of Florida online. There is at least one petition that is asking for people to boycott the state, trying to hit it where it can be hurt most, with the tourism industry.

It should be pointed out that in this community, they cite one of the reasons that it has remained calm despite the fact that there is still division over the verdict is the fact that Trayvon Martin's parents continually ask that people respect and observe peace -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right. Thanks very much, Martin Savidge, in Sanford for us.

Jurors, as you know, they deliberated more than 16 hours before finding George Zimmerman not guilty Saturday night. What you may not realize is just how emotional and grueling that entire process turned out to be for the jurors. More now from Anderson Cooper's fascinating and exclusive interview with the juror called B-37.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Did you take an initial vote to see where everybody was?

JUROR: We did.

COOPER: So where was everybody? How was that first vote?

JUROR: We had three not guilties, one second degree murder and two manslaughters.

COOPER: Can you say where -- do you want to say where you were on that?

JUROR: I was not guilty.

COOPER: How do you then go about deciding things?

JUROR: We looked through pretty much everything. That's why it took us so long. We're looking through the evidence, and then at the end we just -- we got done, and then we just started looking at the law. What exactly we could find, and how we should vote for this case. And the law became very confusing.

COOPER: Tell me about that.

JUROR: It became very confusing. We had stuff thrown at us. We had the second-degree murder charge, the manslaughter charge, then we had self-defense, Stand Your Ground. We actually had gotten it down to manslaughter, because the second degree, it wasn't at second degree anymore.

COOPER: So the person who felt it was second degree going into it, you had convinced them, OK, it's manslaughter?

JUROR: Through going through the law. And then we had sent a question to the judge -

COOPER: You sent a question out to the judge about manslaughter?

JUROR: Yes.

COOPER: And about --

JUROR: What could be applied to the manslaughter. We were looking at the self-defense. One of the girls said that -- asked if you can put all the leading things into that one moment where he feels it's a matter of life or death to shoot this boy, or if it was just at the heat of passion at that moment.

COOPER: So that juror wanted to know whether the things that had brought George Zimmerman to that place, not just in the minute or two before the shot actually went off.

JUROR: Exactly.

COOPER: Did you feel like you understood the instructions from the judge? Because they were very complex.

JUROR: Right. And that was our problem. I mean, there was a couple of them in there that wanted to find him guilty of something. And after hours and hours and hours of deliberating over the law and reading it over and over and over again, we decided there's just no way -- other place to go. Because of the heat of the moment and the Stand Your Ground. He had a right to defend himself. If he felt threatened that his life was going to be taken away from him or he was going to have bodily harm, he had a right.

COOPER: Even though it's he who had gotten out of the car, followed Trayvon Martin, that didn't matter in the deliberations. What mattered was those final seconds, minutes, when there was an altercation, and whether or not in your mind the most important thing was whether or not George Zimmerman felt his life was in danger?

JUROR: That's how we read the law. That's how we got to the point of everybody being not guilty. COOPER: When you all realized, OK, the last holdout juror has decided, OK, manslaughter does not -- we can't hold George Zimmerman to manslaughter. There's nothing we can really hold him to, not guilty. In that jury room, emotionally, what was that like?

JUROR: It was emotional to a point, but after we had put our vote in and the bailiff had taken our vote, that's when everybody started to cry.

COOPER: Tell me about that.

JUROR: It was just hard, thinking that somebody lost their life, and there's nothing else that could be done about it. I mean, it's what happened. It's sad. It's a tragedy this happened, but it happened. And I think both were responsible for the situation they had gotten themselves into. I think both of them could have walked away. It just didn't happen.

COOPER: It's still emotional for you?

JUROR: It is, it's very emotional.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: And let's discuss what we just heard with three CNN legal analysts, Jeffrey Toobin, Sunny Hostin and Mark Nejame. Sunny, were you surprised there was this split among the six women in the jury right in the beginning of negotiations?

SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: No, I wasn't surprised. You often see that, Wolf. I'm much more surprised by the fact that there were two jurors leaning toward manslaughter, one even for second-degree murder and those three were able to be sort of swung all the way to not guilty. That surprises me a lot more, and it really says something. Because so people said this prosecution team didn't prove second-degree murder, this prosecution team didn't prove manslaughter. Well, they started out with three jurors in favor of conviction, so I think that speaks volumes.

BLITZER: Were you surprised, Mark?

MARK NEJAME, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: No, not necessarily. I think a jury is often a microcosm of society. If you were to poll the country, I suspect we'd be pretty much split 50/50 from all that I read and see on Twitter and other social media. And I think it breaks down exactly along those lines. A percentage think it should have been manslaughter, a smaller percentage think murder two, and half the country thinks it should in fact be not guilty. But once you get into the group dynamics and you get into the interaction, things often change. There's really something strong to a jury dynamic rather than an individual looking at a case without that.

BLITZER: And as you know, Jeffrey, they spent, those women on the jury, some 16 hours or so discussing the final decision, the final not guilty verdict. So I guess it shouldn't be all that surprising that people change their minds in the course of those intense kinds of deliberations.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALSYT: Not at all. In fact, this is how the system is supposed to work. This is why jurors deliberate together. They talk about the evidence, they listen to each other. If we had a system where they simply cast a vote by pushing a button at the end of testimony, that would be one kind of system. But we have a system where judges encourage the jurors to listen to each other, to talk. And there is no shame, and there's certainly nothing at all unusual about jurors changing their mind. And the only verdict that matters is the one at the end, the unanimous one, not the first straw poll that jurors often take.

BLITZER: And the juror said that in the end, they unanimously, all six of them, came around to the conclusion that George Zimmerman had a right to defend himself. And they specifically heard this charge that the judge Debra Nelson gave them on Friday just before the deliberations. I'll play the little clip on what the judge said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VOICE OF DEBRA NELSON, SEMINOLE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT: If George Zimmerman was not engaged in an unlawful activity and was attacked in anyplace where he had a right to be, he had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he reasonably believed that it was necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: And as a result, the juror told Anderson Cooper they decided he was not guilty. I think in part because of those words from the judge. Sunny, you want to react to that?

HOSTIN: Yes, it's remarkable because we really -- the defense did a very good job of sort of taking the focus of taking the focus off Stand Your Ground. Remember, when this case first broke, everyone was sort of outraged and really scrutinizing Stand Your Ground.

Well, Stand Your Ground never really left this case. I mean, this notion that you can be outside, not even in your home and have no duty to retreat, have no duty to sort of back off and say OK, let's let cooler minds prevail, was very much a part of this trial. And could you see that because that is one of the things that the juror, Juror B-37 referenced when she spoke to Anderson. She said we believed that he could stand his ground.

So I think there's much reflection that needs to be made on the Stand Your Ground laws. It was very much a part of this case.

BLITZER: But as you know, Mark, a lot of people are upset about this verdict, they say that Trayvon Martin, who was walking in an area that he had every right to walk in, he had a right to stand his ground as well when he felt threatened by some guy who was following him. What do you say to those folks? NEJAME: I think that the prosecution did not prove that beyond a reasonable doubt, and that becomes the rub here. Stand Your Ground laws have been in Florida and now they're really taking over a majority of the states for a long time. We had that in Jeb Bush's administration as governor of Florida.

And even though there was not a Stand Your Ground hearing, it's been in the self-defense instruction for a long time, and we all knew that it was there. And I think that too many, especially the prosecutors, glossed over that and they did not address that head on because they knew it was going to be coming. So I think that they really, really simply did not anticipate the jurors listening to the jury instructions, and they did not properly prepare during the course of the case to defeat that. Exactly the point that you just made. You did not hear the prosecution strongly or convincingly bring that out to many.

BLITZER: Button this up, Jeffrey, for us.

TOOBIN: Well, I'd just like to say if you listen to those jury instructions, good luck understanding them. Jury instructions in this country are legal gobblyity-gook. I've heard that instruction three or four times. There must be three or four negatives in a single sentence. And yes, it's true that self-defense was a successful defense here, but it would be a better system if we had clearer, simpler jury instructions that everyone could understand.

NEJAME: Couldn't agree more.

BLITZER: Well, maybe there will be -- I'm not holding my breath for that, but let's see what happens. Guys, thanks very much. Jeffrey Toobin, Sunny Hostin and Mark Nejame.

NEJAME: Thank you.

BLITZER: There's still a lot more from Anderson's interview with that juror, B-37. Part of the interview that have not yet aired. You can watch the rest of the interview tonight 8:00 p.m. Eastern only here on CNN.

We're going to have much more ahead on the Zimmerman trial in our 6:00 p.m. Eastern hour. I'll ask the head of the National Urban League about Rachel Jeantel's use of the N word.

Plust, coming up, we're just getting some new information just coming into THE SITUATION ROOM about the former vice president's Dick Cheney's daughter, Liz Cheney. Now running for office. We'll give you the details when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: We have two political stories just coming in THE SITUATION ROOM right now. The former vice president Dick Cheney's daughter, Liz Cheney just announced she'll challenge Wyoming's Republican senator, Mike Enzi, in next year's Republican primary. She's 46 years old and the elder of Dick Cheney's two daughters. Senator Enzi is seeking a fourth term. He's conservative but sometimes works with Democrats.

We'll watch this race out in Wyoming.

Also just coming in, after years of Republican stalling, the Senate has just confirmed Richard Cordray as the head of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The vote -- bipartisan vote, 66-34, his agency has the power to crack down on scrupulous lenders and debt collectors. His confirmation is the result of a last-minute compromise in the Senate. Democrats were threatening to change the Senate rules to make it easier to course through President Obama's nominees. That compromise earlier in the day.

A couple of other big stories we're watching in THE SITUATION ROOM, the National Security Agency leader, Edward Snowden, has applied for temporary asylum in Russia. He's been hold-up at Moscow's airport for a little over three weeks. His Russian lawyer tells CNN if the request is granted, Snowden could leave the airport within days.

President Obama's spokesman today repeated the United States wants Snowden expelled from Russia and sent back to the United States to face trial.

And this story may leave you Vietnam War veterans scratching your heads a bit. Today McDonald's announced its first franchise in Ho Chi Min City which was known as Saigon before it fell to the communist at the end of the Vietnam War. When it opens next year McDonald's will join Pizza Hut, KFC, Starbucks and Subway in the one-time South Vietnamese capital.

Sign of change of the times.

Coming up, the dramatic arrest of a man called the most sadistic members of one of Mexico's drug cartels.

Plus San Diego's 70-year-old mayor denies sexual harassment allegations but some of his one-time supporter says he ought to resign.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: San Diego's mayor is 70 years old, but he's under fire for alleged behavior that would be unacceptable even for a teenage boy. Multiple reports alleging the mayor groped, forcibly kissed, and sexually harassed some women but he's refusing calls for his resignation.

Let's go live to CNN's Stephanie Elam, she's joining us from Los Angeles with the very latest.

What's going on here, Stephanie?

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, the San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, he says he's a demonstrative person. He's a hugger of both men and women. But some of the people who have been his biggest allies say it amounts to more than that. They're calling it sexual harassment.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DONNA FRYE, FORMER MEMBER, SAN DIEGO CITY COUNCIL: Bob Filner is to blame. And he needs to resign.

ELAM (voice-over): San Diego Mayor Bob Filner hasn't been in office a year yet, but he's already fighting for his job. Filner's chief of staff has resigned, his fiance has left him, and is now calling for his resignation. And heading up the chant, former city councilwoman Donna Frye who says she has evidence Filner was inappropriate with some women.

FRYE: We need to stand by our women who have been abused. Who have been sexually harassed. And stand up for them and get him out of office.

ELAM: The political firestorm prompted the mayor to release this video on YouTube.

MAYOR BOB FILNER (D), SAN DIEGO: When a friend like Donna Frye is compelled to call for my resignation, I'm clearly doing something wrong. I'm embarrassed to admit that I have failed to fully respect the women who have worked for me and with me.

ELAM: Marco Gonzalez, a lawyer for one of Filner's accusers, alleged the mayor has forcibly kissed and groped several women.

MARCO GONZALEZ, CIVIL ATTORNEY: He says things, come on, you know you love me. Just give me a kiss. Let's go up to my office. No one will know.

ELAM: But Filner made it clear that he's not going to step down.

FILNER: It's very important that I think we continue with my priorities. That's what I was elected to do with the vision I have for the city. And we have made some very good strides. And that -- those will continue. That's why I'm not resigning.

FILNER: Dan Schnur is the director of the Unruh Institute of Politics at USC.

(On camera): Is there any way you think he can come out of this and keep his job?

DAN SCHNUR, DIRECTOR, USC'S UNRUH INSTITUTE OF POLITICS: Politics is ultimately about trust. When your own fiance turns on you, when your closest friends and political allies level these kind of accusations against you, it's almost impossible to rebuild that trust.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ELAM: Now attorney Marco Gonzalez says there will be a sexual harassment claim filed with the city. It's not clear yet at this point how many women are poised to make their case in court saying that they were victims of this alleged sexual harassment. But just in case we do know that the mayor has gone ahead and has hired legal counsel on his own dime to prepare, he say, that he should get due process just like every other American citizen -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Stephanie Elam, with the latest on this story. Thanks very much, Stephanie, for that.

When we come back, a major arrest in the drug wars. A man who's been called an absolute demon.

And in our next hour we have more on the breaking news reported. The alarming results from the autopsy on the body of the "Glee" star Cory Monteith.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Using troops in helicopters, Mexico's military swooped in and captured the suspected boss of one of the world's most notorious drug cartels. And get this, it happened only miles from the United States.

CNN's Brian Todd has the dramatic details of what one official is warning was a -- say it was a major, major bust.

What's the latest?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And Wolf, we have to warn viewers ahead of time some of the images in this piece are disturbing.

Wolf, the images and what the -- the accounts of what this man allegedly did are just jaw-dropping. Analysts say Miguel Angel Trevino Morales works his way up the Zetas cartel chain from a job as a gofer years ago to become a carter leader who not only instill fear in everyone he came across but who also relished in inflicting pain.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TODD (voice-over): In a world of bad characters, analysts say Miguel Trevino Morales held a special place.

PROF. GEORGE GRAYSON, COLLEGE OF WILLIAM AND MARY: He was the most sadistic cartel leaders in the Americas.

TODD: Trevino, leader of the notorious Zetas drug cartel is now in the custody of Mexican authorities, arrested Monday just across the border from the U.S.

William and Mary professor George Grayson, an expert on the Zetas, says with the capture of Trevino an absolute demon has been removed. One of his alleged favorite tactics, el gizo or the stoop.

GRAYSON: He delighted in putting his victims in barrels, pouring gasoline over them, and then setting them on fire until they were nothing more than a crisp set of ashes.

TODD: Trevino's other signatures? Beheadings and leaving the bodies of rivals or those who'd otherwise crossed the cartel hanging from bridges. Analysts say he and the Zetas in different incidents a few years ago killed dozens of migrants trying to get to the U.S. including these victims left in a warehouse just south of the border.

GRAYSON: He tried to recruit them as perhaps couriers or lookouts for Los Zetas and when that didn't work he bashed their heads in with sledgehammers.

TODD: Grayson cites another recruiting tactic of Trevino, detailed in a 2011 "Houston Chronicle" interview with a member of the Zetas. He told the "Chronicle" that on at least one occasion, the Zetas hijacked a bus, forced the young men out and gave them weapons.

GRAYSON: He would have them fight each other until the last man was standing. And then he would say well, you are now worthy to become a Zeta.

TODD: Analysts say Trevino relished in this kind of sadism but also did it to instill fear in rivals and the police. It was effective. The Zetas are now Mexico's second largest cartel controlling much of the drug flow into America. And Trevino's reach of violence also extend into the U.S.

DUNCAN WOOD, WOODROW WILSON CENTER: There are being reports that he was responsible for some executions or killings in the United States. And certainly the Zetas have, if not their own cells, but they do work with gangs and organized crime units in various American cities.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TODD: With Miguel Trevino's capture, who will now take over the Zetas? Analysts say his younger brother Omar is a potential candidate but they also say that Omar is a far weaker person. Meaning the struggle for control of this cartel will likely be very messy and very violent -- Wolf.

BLITZER: And there are reports, a lot of reports out there that Trevino and the Zetas were also responsible for killing a U.S. official.

TODD: That's right. In February 2011 a U.S. Immigration agent named Jaime Zapata and another agent were ambushed as they were driving from Monterey to Mexico City. Agent Zapata was killed, the other agent was wounded. The third ranking member of the Zetas who was just under Trevino was arrested in that attack.

BLITZER: Brian Todd, thanks very much.