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The Highly Anticipated Hearing Involving Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh And His Accuser, Now Officially Set For Thursday Morning At 10:00 a.m. Eastern; President Trump Heads To The United Nations To Chair A Critical Meeting On Nuclear Weapons; Hurricane Florence May Be Long Gone, But It Is Devastating Effects Are Still Being Felt In The Carolinas; Judge In Pennsylvania Is About To Decide Bill Cosby's Fate; President Trump's First 20 Months In Office Have Spun Off Two Dozen Books. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired September 23, 2018 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:14] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone. And thank you very much for joining me this Sunday. I'm Fredericka Whitfield.
We start with breaking news. The highly anticipated hearing involving Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser, now officially set for Thursday morning at 10:00 a.m. eastern. Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, the woman accusing him of sexual assault back in high school will both have a chance to tell their sides of the story to the Senate Judiciary Committee in an open hearing. Both parties just wrapping up a phone call to hash out more details but still a lot of questions remain.
CNN's justice correspondent Jessica Schneider joining me now. What are you hearing?
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Fredricka. Blasey Ford's attorney just now confirming that this hearing, yes, it will in fact happen Thursday at 10:00 a.m. It will be open to the public just as judge Kavanaugh's week long hearing was earlier this month.
So Blasey Ford's attorneys, they just put out this statement and they said despite actual threats to her safety and her life, Dr. Ford believes it is important for senators to hear directly from her about the sexual assault committed against her.
But Blasey Ford's same attorneys though, they are also voicing concerns about the particulars of this hearing. They say the committee is refusing to subpoena Mark Judge to testify. Of course, Judge was the classmate that Blasey Ford says within the room when this alleged sexual assault happened. And Mark Judge has since said he has no recollection of the incident.
So in addition that, the committee has also refused to invite other witnesses to this hearing. So for now, it will just judge Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, his accuser. Kavanaugh, of course, has issued several forceful denials that this incident ever happened. And other details as well about this hearing still need to be ironed out including who will ask the question for the Republican majority. Blasey Ford's team has called for the senators themselves to question
her. But there is also been some talk from Republican saying that they prefer a female outside counsel. So at this point, a date and a time now set. Thursday at 10:00 a.m. We are going to wait and see what other details emerge.
Blasey Ford's team, they are pushing for other witnesses. Some of those witnesses could potentially be a polygraph examiner who administered Blasey Ford's polygraph test as well as potentially two trauma experts.
So in the meantime, now that this hearing appears to be set, Democratic senator Mazie Hirono, she already has some plans on what questions she will be asking. Here's what she told our Jake Tapper earlier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: What specifically do you plan on asking Brett Kavanaugh?
SEN. MAZIE HIRONO (D), HAWAII: There are a lot of issues around Brett that involving what was happening in high school. We want to hear -- I would be wanting to hear what kind of environment it was in high school. Apparently, there was a lot of drinking and partying going on. This is why we need an investigation. We need an independent investigation that lays all of that out for us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHNEIDER: So Senator Hirono there still pushing for an FBI investigation before this hearing even goes forward. But for right now, the hearing is set. A lot of lingering questions though, Fredricka, including who will testify first. There has been a bit of back and forth here. Blasey Ford's team said it really wouldn't make sense to have judge Kavanaugh go first, but after today's called, they really seem to be backing down from that saying while they prefer judge Kavanaugh to go first, they will accept if he goes second and Blasey Ford has to testify first -- Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: And then, Ford's team has also raised concerns about her safety as you mentioned. But then, what about offering her comfort or, you know, security in transit to D.C. while there all about.
SCHNEIDER: Yes. We know that Christine Blasey Ford will get security. Because, of course, that is because she has received death threats. She has had her email accounts hacked. In fact, "the Washington Post" reporting she had to temporarily move out of her family home in California. Her boys staying with friends. Her and her husband staying in a hotel.
So we know that there are precautions in place for Thursday. She will have dedicated security with her. And she will also be sitting with two attorneys from her team at the table as she gets asked those questions at the hearing which will be interesting to watch, Fredricka. WHITFIELD: Indeed. 10:00 on Thursday. That's the latest schedule.
All right, Jessica Schneider, thank you so much.
So Brett Kavanaugh has spent hours preparing at the White House going during this past week over possible answers to questions about his teenage years and dating life.
Let's go to CNN's White House correspondent Boris Sanchez in New York where President Trump will head later on today to attend this United Nations Security Council.
So in D.C., the testimonies of Trump's Supreme Court nominee and his accuser are scheduled for Thursday at 10:00 a.m. What are you hearing from the White House?
[14:05:02] BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hey, there, Fred.
President Trump has been relatively quiet this weekend on twitter in terms of these negotiations and the announcement that Christine Blasey Ford would be testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Just a few days ago he went there. He openly asked why it took her so long to come forward with these accusations against Brett Kavanaugh. That did not sit well with some Republicans including senate majority leader Mitch McConnell who sources say called the President on Friday to tell him that those tweets were not helpful.
Now the White House did put out a statement this weekend about Ford's negotiations. I want to read you a portion of that now.
They write quote "one week ago, Dr. Christine Ford claimed she was assaulted at a house party attended by four others. Since then, all four of these individuals have provided statements to the Senate Judiciary Committee, denying any knowledge of the incident or even having attended such a party."
As you noted, Fred, "the Washington Post" is reporting that judge Kavanaugh spent several hours this week at the White House, at the Eisenhower executive building going through different scenarios being asked specific questions by aides, essentially mocking -- not mocking, but putting on a mock confirmation hearing asking him questions about sexual assault and other things pertaining to these allegations by Christine Ford.
Also, you noted that the President is headed here to New York. It is a big week for this White House with not only this testy confirmation hearing that is certain to come on Thursday but also, the United Nations general assembly. Big key meetings with important allies for the President coming up, Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right. Boris Sanchez, thank you so much.
All right. It has been one week since Christine Blasey Ford identified herself as the woman behind the sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh. And before going public, Ford met privately with California representative Ana Eshoo. Eshoo said today on CBS they met for an hour-and-a-half and that the matter should be handled respectively and delicately.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ANA ESHOO (D), CALIFORNIA: It was wrenching for her, I think to tell the story because there is a re-experience when the story is told. She went in to many details. And at the end of our conversation, I told her that I believed her. And that it was important that she tell me if what she wished me to do with the information if in fact she chose another path. And she did. She said she wanted me to take it to, you know, a different pathway. And of course, with anonymity and privacy. That's paramount in sexual abuse allegations or cases because the individuals are terrified. This is one of the highest unreported crimes in our country. So, she understood the risks and the consequences.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: This upcoming testimony from Ford and Kavanaugh is reminiscent of Anita Hill and her testimony during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings in 1991. Hill gave graphic testimony accusing Thomas of workplace sexual harass in front of him all male senate judiciary committee. It was humiliating and demeaning for both Hill and Thomas.
The specter of it all inspired a number of women to run for office. And four women would win U.S. Senate seats a year later. Among them, Carol Moseley-Braun. She is the first black woman elected to the U.S. Senate who also served on the Senate Judiciary Committee. A U.S. senator until 1999.
Good to see you, Senator Moseley-Braun.
CAROL MOSELEY-BRAUN, FORMER U.S. SENATOR WHO SERVED ON JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Thank you very much. Delighted to be here.
WHITFIELD: So before I ask you about comparisons, you know, between 1991 and now, what is your reaction to the conditions thus far about this Ford-Kavanaugh testimony scheduled for this week on Thursday, 10:00 a.m., no other witnesses as far as we know who re going to be called. We know that is still on the table. Will there be outside counsel or will there would be U.S. senators only who ask the questions. Your thoughts to all that?
MOSELEY-BRAUN: Well, the Senate has charged by the constitution to search for truth in this situation. My mentor, the late senator Paul Simon would say that the confirmation process requires of search of the - or an examination of both the head and the heart of the nominee. Remember, this is a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land, a court that will shape the direction our country will take for generations.
And so, in that examination, you have to look for not only credentials, but character as well. That's why this is so important because it does go to the character of judge Kavanaugh and how he has comported himself in his life. How he treats other people. How he sees the important issue of women and the respect that they will receive from men.
We just buried Aretha Franklin. Remember she sang the song, R-E-S-P- E-C-T. The fact of the matter is that it really does come down to respect for women. And whether or not - you know, obviously, without having prejudged the situation, the Senate will have to look into, what were the facts? What are the circumstances here? And how, does how this man comport himself as the member of the highest court in the land?
[14:10:37] WHITFIELD: So Senator Lindsey Graham has said, you know, these 11 male politicians on the committee are out of practice in the courtroom. And that a neutral counsel instead would be best advisable. What's your, you know, response to him saying that, you know, those on the committee would be better served by having an outside counsel ask the questions?
MOSELEY-BRAUN: My first reaction is of course it's the Senate's job. That's what the constitution calls for. It is the senators who have a responsibility. And if they don't have republican women on the committee to participate or to give the optics that they want, then I would encourage my Republican colleagues to do a better job of recruiting women to run for the Senate in their party so they would have female members on the committee to help with the questioning.
When I got to the Senate, Joe Biden asked me to serve on the judiciary committee is because the Democrats had just gone through the same thing on the Anita Hill, Clarence Thomas confirmation hearing. And so, I have served on the judiciary committee. That's how you wound up with as many women at the time on the Democratic side on the committee. And you still have that on that committee now.
So I think that the gender balance is important, but you can't fudge gender balance by going out and hiring or hire gun somebody's stand in for the fact that you don't have women on your panel.
WHITFIELD: So now, take me back to when you watched Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas' testimonies in 1991, you know. And try to draw comparisons, if you could, to the tenor and the tone of what we are seeing leading up to the Ford-Kavanaugh hearing. I mean, at the time, I was a reporter in Washington, D.C. And I remember, you know, reporting on how people were, you know, both appalled, you know, and also they were riveted by what they were seeing. Transistor radios at the time, you know, at the ears of everyone whether they were at a bus stop, you know, or walking down the street. What are your recollections of what you saw in 1991 and how you would draw comparisons today?
MOSELEY-BRAUN: Well, I think, first off, we have seen progress. The fact that people recognize this today is an outcome of what happened almost 20 years ago now. And so, that's the good news. The bad news is that we still have to have these conversations at all. That women are still being victimized in many environments and many circumstances. And so, the difference is again, the changing times. I hope that this
is a watershed moment for women. And that men in power will recognize that they can't treat women like property any longer. They can't just continue to do, to act badly no matter what their age.
And so, I think that that hopefully will be the outcome of this iteration of the conversation about women and women in the workplace.
WHITFIELD: And now you just mentioned, you know, that the GOP needs to try to inspire more women to be in the Senate Judiciary Committee and then there by that will, you know, help out with the disproportionate numbers of men to women. But in 1991, there were no women, you know, on the Senate Judiciary Committee. And now this is what it looks like. No GOP women, as you underscore, but there are four Democratic women. So should - yes. And do you believe that will in any way impact the tone of this kind of hearing once it unfolds on Thursday?
MOSELEY-BRAUN: Well, I hope it will. I hope it will. I hope the Republican leadership will understand that they need to have gender balance in the U.S. Senate as well as on its committees, all the committees. Judiciary is just being one of them. But there are other committee which is important to have women participate.
I served on the Senate finance committee after my time on judiciary. And one of the things they were someone who proposed a tax on mammograms. And I have to raise my hand and say, fellows, you may not have to get mammograms so this is a tax on women's health. Well, you can see the light bulbs going on in the room. It is like they haven't occurred to them that that might be the outcome or the result of the proposal.
So having women involved helps make better policy. And so, I, again, would encourage my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to please do what they can do to go forward and to get women recruited into their party in to their caucus and so they can be more gender-balanced on these committees. And they won't have to go about finding a female to do their work for them.
[14:15:11] WHITFIELD: All right, former U.S. senator Carol Moseley- Braun, what a pleasure. Thank you.
MOSELEY-BRAUN: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: Still ahead, Senator Lindsey Graham suggesting lawyers should be asking questions at next week's hearings.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: We have 11 politicians who haven't done a trial in about 20 years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Plus, U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, insists the U.S. is not interested in regime change in Iran despite suggestions from the President own lawyer that sanctions could cause a successful revolution. We will get the former ambassador, Bill Richardson's take next.
And South Carolina is still under water and reeling from the aftermath of hurricane Florence. We are live with the unique perspective of the flooding and recovery efforts.
[14:20:13] WHITFIELD: Welcome back.
Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault back in high school has accepted a request to speak to the senate judiciary committee on Thursday. Negotiations are still under way on just how this high stakes hearing will play out. The big issues, should the FBI investigate the allegations and who will do the questioning.
Joining me right now Ken Cuccinelli, CNN Legal and political commentator and Walter Shaub, CNN contributor and former director of the office of government ethics. Good to see you both.
All right. So Senator Lindsey Graham today says that he wants a special litigator brought in to question Dr. Ford and take a listen as to why.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRAHAM: We have 11 politicians who haven't done a trial in about 20 years. I thought it would be really smart to have somebody come in and knows what the hell they are doing, to ask the question, to be respectful. You know, I don't know what Doctor Ford expected us to do with an anonymous letter. If she wanted to stay anonymous, those who betrayed her need to apologize but she will be treated respectfully but she will challenged just like judge Kavanaugh.
I may ask questions if I feel the need to, but I think it would be smart to have a professional litigator do this. Give Dr. Ford a chance to be heard. Give judge Kavanaugh a chance to be heard. Compare what she says with everything else in the record and I will make a decision.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right. So, Ken, the GOP members of the judicial committee had no problem questioning, you know, Kavanaugh before on an array of topics and certainly had no problem, you know, questioning the most recent Supreme Court justice, Neil Gorsuch. So, suddenly now, they are not qualified to question Dr. Ford or even Kavanaugh?
KEN CUCCINELLI, CNN LEGAL AND POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't think it's a question of being qualified. I have long believed what Senator Graham just mentioned makes the most sense in far more situations than just the one we are talking about. But here we are talking about a particular incident. So this is a fact finding undertaking for the senators. And if you watch these hearing, and of course, most Americans, most people watching us now, don't watch these sorts of hearings. You will see incredible repetition between the senators when a situation like this arises.
WHITFIELD: So then, are you laying out now the justification for then a separate investigation, FBI investigation or the hearing before the testimonies?
CUCCINELLI: Yes. No, no, no. What I'm laying out is a single questioner in a situation like this where I agree with Senator Graham. These folks don't have experience, certainly not recent experience. Some of them do have some experience in it but it has been a while. And it also shortens the time and for the witness, it actually makes it easier in my view because you don't have to be there for three hours to get through one hour's worth of information just by way of example.
CUCCINELLI: And it's much more effective at getting to the truth.
WHITFIELD: All right. So Walter, isn't this under the article two, you know, definition of the duties of the U.S. Senate to be able to, you know, conduct the questions and answers? And if there is a special litigator or an outside counsel, are we now talking about something that amounts to a trial?
WALTER SHAUB, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. I mean, there doesn't seem to be any aspect of trying to get to the truth in this matter. They are limiting the number of witnesses, the amount of time that can be questioned. They have resisted having the FBI expand its background check. And it just is a real inconsistency in suddenly saying they are not qualified to conduct this kind of hearing or that it would be more convenient or faster to conducted a different way.
I have sat in the hot seat and had members of Congress grill me before. Getting done quickly and getting to the heart of the matter efficiently has never been part of their game. And so, if this is about the truth, they need to send the FBI in to fulfill its job of expanding the background check or they need to at least call in some additional witnesses.
And if the real concern is that they don't like the optics of a bunch of male members of Congress grilling her, then maybe they should think about the fact that they only have all men on that committee from one of the two sides.
WHITFIELD: OK. So now, let's switch gears, if we can. Let's talk about that "New York Times" report this week. Deputy, you know, attorney general Rod Rosenstein suggesting that he were to wear a wire, record the President and that he reportedly was discussing invoking the 25th amendment to remove him from office.
Of course, we know, Walter, you know, Rosenstein has denied those accusations not once, but twice. Senator Lindsey Graham, however, still called it a bureaucratic coup. So which is it? And how believable is it that this actually took place the way it is being reported, in your view?
[14:15:06] SHAUB: One of the difficulties about this story and a lot of stories we see these days is that when you are being asked as a member of the public to evaluate competing accounts from different anonymous witnesses or you have a few witnesses who come forward who have their own issues because they have been terminated, it becomes very hard to evaluate it.
I think when you step back and you look at the circumstances, it's somewhat hard to believe, partly for the objective reason that he didn't do it. In any case, though, in terms of the 25th amendment, I'm not sure how that's supposed to work but members of leadership to get together and talk about it. So I think that might be a bit of a red herring because that's a constitutionally established mechanism where they are supposed to consult one another.
WHITFIELD: So Ken, how might that report either, you know, dictate the next actions for the White House or, you know, will this go away?
CUCCINELLI: Yes. I don't think there should be next actions from the White House. But it does bring the attention back once again to deputy attorney general Rosenstein. And frankly, given the continued discussion by the special counsel of the notion of obstruction, he is a witness for that anyway.
I have long felt that he should have long ago recused himself from managing this investigation, which is his role in the absence of the attorney general, and it should be passed on to the next person down the line. And this, again, as I said, just brings the attention back to the deputy attorney general, who by the way, didn't even identify an underlying crime on May 17th of 2017 when he appointed the special counsel. It's just one more problem with this investigation. It doesn't help the deputy attorney general not only do his job, but have the appearance of impropriety of doing his job. And that is a problem.
WHITFIELD: Well, we will leave it right there.
Ken Cuccinelli, Walter Shaub, thanks to both of you. Appreciate it.
All right. Coming up, just days before President Trump heads to the United Nations to chair a critical meeting on nuclear weapons, Ambassador Nikki Haley is doubling down on a top rhetoric against Iran. Her message and the potential strategy, next.
Plus, Bill Cosby is about to be sentenced for his sexual assault convictions. We will take a look at what can be expected from that court and judge.
[14:32:04] WHITFIELD: President Trump says he will put the focus on Iran, the Iran threat when he chairs a U.N. Security Council meeting this week. The President has accused Iran of backing terror groups across the Middle East and pulled the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is blaming U.S.-backed regimes for deadly attack on an Iranian military parade this weekend.
U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley said on CNN today, Rouhani should be more concerned with his domestic issues right now instead of launching verbal attacks on the U.S.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UNITED NATIONS: You have a lot of rhetoric coming from Rouhani. The United States condemns any terrorist attack anywhere, period. We have always stood by that. I think what Rouhani needs to do is he needs to look at his own home base. He has got the Iranian people are protesting. Every ounce of money that goes to Iran goes into his military. He has oppressed his people for a long time and he needs to look at his own base to figure out where that is coming from.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right, with me now is Bill Richardson. He is a former ambassador to the United Nations and was U.S. negotiator with North Korea.
Good to see you.
So, Haley insists that the U.S. is, it is not looking for a regime change in Iran. This after Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani indeed that is the goal. So who do you believe?
BILL RICHARDSON, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UNITED NATIONS: Well, I believe secretary of state Pompeo and the national security adviser and Nikki Haley. I think they are little concerned about governor Giuliani's entrance into some of these issues.
What I'm thinking is that the policy is to squeeze Iran to get the Europeans to push for sanctions to not invest there and to change Iran's behavior. Basically, to stop them from proceeding with terrorism in Yemen especially Syria right now where the situation is very serious.
You know, Fredricka, I would have stayed in the Iran deal because Iran was compliant. But their behavior has been a (INAUDIBLE). Now that we are out of the deal, I think it is best that we continue pressuring them as much as we can at the U.N. to change their behavior.
WHITFIELD: And that's exactly what I wanted to ask you in terms of after U.S. pulls out of the deal. Has it lost its leverage or ability in which to be influential in that matter for Iran?
RICHARDSON: Well, yes. We in a sense lost our leverage with Iran. But our allies have leverage - France, Germany, Britain. They trade enormously with Iran. Russia has leverage with Iran, but they don't want to help us. So we are not exactly in a very strong position.
I think what Ambassador Haley said is true that Iran is having serious domestic problems. Their economy is in shatters. There is a lot of opposition to their foreign policy. Iranians are saying pay attention to u us, not the foreign policy. And you are also seeing the standard of living go down and freedoms curtail. So domestically, they are having serious, serious financial and democracy problems.
[14:35:18] WHITFIELD: So now, I want to turn to North Korea. It has accused the U.S. of being gangster-like, you know, for demanding full denuclearization and talks seem to be going nowhere. But secretary of state Mike Pompeo has proposed meetings with his North Korean counterpart this week. Might that be beneficial?
RICHARDSON: Well, yes, because you are right. The North Koreans have done nothing to denuclearize. Nothing on missiles. Nothing on fissile material. Nothing on nuclear weapons. Detonations maybe have stop but they have 60 nuclear weapons. They have basically been paying lip service to the Singapore summit.
But there has been some progress. North and South Korea, tensions have lessened. There was a good summit there last week. Secondly, North Korea is not detonating or shooting missiles.
But there are three problems. One is that China and Russia are loosening sanctions because President Trump has said, you know, things are so much better with Kim Jong-un. Secondly, I think Kim Jong-un is basically extending the negotiations, playing a long-term game. Not taking serious steps. I think we have to find ways to get them and squeeze them harder. And lastly, I hope the administration doesn't agree to a summit very soon with North Korea. Let them do more. Let them put an inventory of their nuclear and fissile out there before we make any more concessions.
WHITFIELD: And then let me ask you about, you know, the boundaries of diplomacy. You know, secretary of state Mike Pompeo has come out. He chastised a former secretary of state John Kerry, accusing him, you know, of going too far as a former diplomat by continuing to reach out to other countries and carry out forms of diplomacy. Is there a sense of overreach? Has he gone too far as a former secretary of state, you know. Do you end diplomacy once you leave that job?
RICHARDSON: No. You know, I talked to the Iranians, I have talked to (INAUDIBLE) getting American political prisoners out. And I'm not in government. I think secretary Kerry also said he did this while the United States was still having the nuclear agreement. The President had not pulled out.
Look. This is politics. I think secretary Pompeo, he is doing, I think, a commendable job on the North Korea issue. And they are little sensitive on the Iran issue. This will blow over. I don't think it's a case of the Logan Act. I don't think it is terribly harmful. The policy has taken effect, you know, the President Trump and his team are representing the United States, thus, the official policy. So I think this will blow over.
WHITFIELD: All right. Ambassador and Governor Richardson, thank you so much.
Hurricane Florence may be long gone, but it is devastating effects are still being felt in the Carolinas. The storm left 44 dead and floodwaters are in some areas continuing to rise. A live report is straight ahead.
[14:43:03] WHITFIELD: It's a tale of two states this afternoon in the wake of hurricane Florence. In North Carolina floodwaters are starting to recede, but it's leaving a bizarre sight. Fire crews hosing down interstate 40 which was covered with dead fish from the flooding. But in South Carolina, it is very different story. The Waccamaw River is already at historic levels and is not expected to crest for a couple of days to come.
CNN correspondent Nick Valencia is in the air above South Carolina getting a bird's eye view of the flooding there. What are you witnessing?
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fredricka, it's absolutely remarkable to see a community here more than a week after hurricane Florence made landfall still dealing with flooding, major flooding at that.
We are high above one of the subdivisions that is one of the hardest hit areas on Conway, South Carolina where this water has just inundated these communities. It is worth noting that this water in some places is about eight to ten feet deep but most of it is pretty shallow water and starting to creep into the areas. Some areas didn't expect any water at all.
At its high, the Waccamaw River was just causing all of this overflow, was rising at about two feet per day. But as we understand it, our last check, it only has gone up about a foot. But it has already broken a record more than 20 feet high and it is not expected to crest until Monday, perhaps even Tuesday morning.
The bad news in all of this is what you are seeing right now above Conway is what is expected to hit Georgetown sometime next week. This water is flowing downriver. All of this water coming from North Carolina is causing the Waccamaw River to bruise (ph) at the scene.
And Fredricka, it gives you a sense at just how much rain was dropped down on North Carolina. All of this water now making its way to Conway. The good news in all of this, thought, is there have been no injuries reported. No water rescues so far. Just some water assists. But we have really gotten a better perspective of just how widespread this flooding is here up in the air -- Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: Yes. It's a powerful view of what people are up against.
Nick Valencia, thanks so much for you and your crew for bringing that us. Appreciate it.
All right. Coming up, a judge in Pennsylvania about to decide Bill Cosby's fate. We have a preview of what we can expect at the comedian's sentencing on three counts of assault next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [14:49:46] WHITFIELD: The sentencing hearing for Bill Cosby begins tomorrow morning in a Pennsylvania courtroom. The 81-year-old entertainer faces up to 30 years in prison for three counts of aggravated indecent assault. Cosby was convicted in April of drugging and molesting a former Temple University athletics administrator.
CNN's Polo Sandoval is following the story for us.
So Polo, Cosby's sentencing could take a couple of days. What's the expectation?
[14:50:14] POLO SANDOVAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Fred, possibly extended to Tuesday. We wanted to really break things down here. The sentence could range anything from probation to possibly even to 10 or 30 years. So as we prepare for what will likely be a highly watched punishment phase, we also wanted to pause to take a look back at the Cosby case and also look ahead.
SANDOVAL (voice-over): Bill Cosby has been under house arrest since being convicted of aggravated indecent assault in April. Prosecutors accused him of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in Pennsylvania home in 2004.
On Monday, the disgraced comic is set to begin the sentencing phase of this criminal trial and could be sent to prison for up to 30 years. These convictions could be merged because they all arise from a single incident. In that case, the maximum sentencing would be 10 years.
KEVIN STEELE, MONTGOMERY COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA DISTRICT ATTORNEY: He used his celebrity, he used his wealth, he used his network of supporters to help him conceal his crimes.
SANDOVAL: This next legal chapter is likely to bring you challenges. But the Cosby defense team will argue their client should receive a short prison sentence, if any at all, pointing to the 81-year-old is failing health and history of charitable giving, also the fact that their client's April conviction was his first.
The prosecution, however, may call other Constand and other Cosby accusers to the witness stand once again to give victim impact statements. Constand providing emotional testimony during Cosby's retrial. The defense team would have the chance to cross examine all of the witnesses. Last week, they also made an 11th hour attempt to have Judge Steven O'Neal recuse himself from the case citing bias against their client.
That same judge will decide if Cosby will have to register as a sex offender when state police the rest of his life, a man once known as America's dad can be forced to assume the title of sexual predator.
SANDOVAL: So clearly, a host of questions that we hope will be answered in the coming days. What will he be sentenced to. Will he have to register as a sex offender? And also, most importantly, could we hear from Bill Cosby himself, Fred. We have to remember that during the retrial, he did not testify. However, there is always a possibility or he always has the option actually of testifying on his own behalf and something that we often or at least we have seen before where convicts have a chance to ask for leniency directly from the judge.
WHITFIELD: We shall see.
Polo Sandoval, thank you very much.
All right. Coming up, we will have new details on the ongoing negotiations between Republicans on the senate judiciary committee and lawyers for Brett Kavanaugh's accuser. When she will testify and if requests from both sides ahead of the testimony are being met.
[14:57:22] WHITFIELD: Tonight, we see the first of the final episodes of "PARTS UNKNOWN" hosted by our late colleague, Anthony Bourdain. Take a look.
ANTHONY BOURDAIN, CNN HOST, PARTS UNKNOWN (voice-over): Who gets to tell the stories? This is a question asked often. The answer in this case, for better or for worse, is I do. At least this time out.
First time on this continent?
It is unbelievable.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I always wanted to do it.
BOURDAIN: New York in your mind is where the writers' life was?
Here we are.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ANTHONY BOURDAIN PARTS UNKNOWN, the final episodes start tonight at 9:00 on CNN.
WHITFIELD: And so many books and so little time. President Trump's first 20 months in office have spun off two dozen books as well as this week's state of the cartoonian.
TAPPER (voice-over): Who knew that Donald Trump, hardly a bookworm, would make America read again? He has inspired enough books to fill a Presidential library. Many of them start with F. There is "Fire and Fury." Bob Woodward's "Fear."
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This Woodward book is a total fraud.
TAPPER: And Stormy Daniels's new book, "Full disclosure."
We would guess he prefers the L-section of the library. The feel good books such as Judge Janine's "Liars, Leakers and Liberals."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, you know, after 18 months, not any kind of reference to any collusion.
TRUMP: There is no collusion. No phone calls. I had no phone calls and no meetings. No, nothing.
TAPPER: Trump may even be responsible for a four percent bump in nonfiction book sales according to a report this week.
TRUMP: If it has a four in front of it, we are happy.
TAPPER: So go ahead and curl up with a good book from the vast and expanding Trump presidential library everyone else is. Before you do it, a quick warning to readers.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, it is like I'm going to write everything and include it.
TAPPER: Some of these books are not safe for work and maybe not even for the bedroom.
[15:00:05] WHITFIELD: Hello again. And thank you so much for joining me this Sunday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. We start with the latest in the U.S. Supreme Court confirmation battle. The highly anticipated hearing involving nominee Brett Kavanaugh --