Return to Transcripts main page

CNN RIGHT NOW

"Double Jeopardy" Case May Impact Trump's Pardon Power; George H.W. Bush's Family Boards Bush 4141 Train to College Station. Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired December 6, 2018 - 13:30   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[13:31:39] BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: A short time ago, the Supreme Court heard arguments for a case that could directly impact the Russia probe and President Trump's pardon power. At the center, the double jeopardy exception that allows federal and state governments to prosecute suspects for the same crime.

Joining me now, CNN Supreme Court reporter, Ariane De Vogue.

Give us more details about the case. Even though the Trump situation is not the point, it could be affected.

ARIANE DE VOGUE, CNN SUPREME COURT REPORTER: Absolutely. It's about the double jeopardy clause. An individual can't be tried twice for the same offense. There has been an exception and an individual can be tried twice if it's in state and federal court. The Supreme Court allowed that and the government, the Trump administration and the Obama administration allowed it. This case went after that exception. Some say that leads to harassment of defendants. Even Ruth Bader Ginsburg said it's a double whammy, you can be tried in both places.

Here's the connection to the Mueller investigation. Look at Paul Manafort. He has been tried of a federal offense and the president might pardon him. The president hasn't said he won't. If the president did and the Supreme Court were to throw out the exception, could a state go after him? That's the question and the connection here. I don't want to overplay it and say this was a case about the Mueller investigation. But it's one of those interesting things. The Trump administration didn't ask for it, but it could benefit somebody like Manafort at the end of the day.

KEILAR: No doubt it's on his mind. He's probably keeping an eye or those close to him are keeping his eye on the Supreme Court today.

Ariane, thank you so much for that.

The Bush family is saying their final goodbye today in the late president's adopted home state of Texas. The family set to board the Bush 4141 train any minute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[13:38:03:] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to our special coverage of the state funeral of President George H.W. Bush. The presidential hearse arrived at the train station. The special train, Bush 4141, as is being called, will take the 41st president of the United States and the presidential delegation to where we are right now, College Station, Texas, Texas A&M University, the home of George H.W. Bush Library and Museum. Full Honor Guards for the president right now.

I'm Wolf Blitzer reporting. We will get to full analysis and watch all of this unfold.

CNN's Suzanne Malveaux is on the scene for us in Texas where the family will soon be departing.

Suzanne, walk us through where we are about to see.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Certainly, Wolf. What we are going to see, and the motorcade just arrived, so expect this to happen momentarily. The family and friends as well as staff and dignitaries will get out of the motorcade. It will be a brief ceremony, 10 minutes at most. It is raining as you can imagine. God's tears, is what some people refer to. This is a very special time. Let's listen in.

[13:41:16] BLITZER: So the presidential hearse is there, the casket of George Herbert Walker Bush is about to be remove and carried by the military Honor Guard over to the train, Bush 4141, a special train with the colors of Air Force One on the side. It will take about 2.5 hours to get to where we are, College Station, Texas, the home of the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library. There you see Bush 43, the 43rd president of the United States, George W. Bush, Laura Bush, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and his wife there as well. They will be participating together with the entire family as this casket is being removed.

Let's take a listen to all of these events.

UNIDENTIFIED SERVICEMEMBER: Attention. (INAUDIBLE)

(MUSIC)

UNIDENTIFIED SERVICEMEMBER: Produce arms.

(MUSIC)

[13:46:12] UNIDENTIFIED SERVICEMEMBER: (INAUDIBLE)

BLITZER: There you see the 43rd president of the United States and Laura Bush. They will be boarding the special railroad and train that will take the presidential delegation, that will take the casket of the 41st president of the United States from this location outside of Houston, Texas, to where we are in College Station, Texas, the home of Texas A&M University and the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

Suzanne Malveaux, I think you're still with us. You're there on the scene. A very moving ceremony. All of these ceremonies have been so powerful.

MALVEAUX: Yes, I am, Wolf. We are just watching George W. Bush get on the train and it is that car that will carry the family members and close friends and clergy, who will be right behind the funeral car. What you will see is the casket that will be loaded onto the funeral car, the one with the flag of course. What you see is that square with the black draping, they will remove the curtains when the train takes off. What this will enable people to do, there's plexiglass on both sides of the casket and a light that will be above the casket and people will be able to see the casket as the train rolls along through various towns.

You did see, as well, the locomotive, 4141, in the colors of Air Force One and the presidential seal that had been commissioned by the Bush library as well as Union Pacific in 2005, something that President George H.W. Bush loved and adored when it was unveiled to him. He simply said, wow, we are told. He said, can I take it for a ride. He did. He loved the train. We are told he got a little bit of training and a lot of supervision and operated this very train for a couple of miles. It was a train in operation. It is now a very special occasion in which it will be retired after this very, very special and somber mission -- Wolf?

BLITZER: We are sold, Suzanne, once it leaves where you are, the Union Pacific facility in Spring, Texas, outside of Houston, it will be a 2:25 minute train ride to where we are in College Station, Texas.

John King, you are watching this together. Give us your thoughts as you see this moment unfold.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: After several days of celebration, the ark is bending towards finality. You can see that on George Bush's and Jeb Bush's face, the family's faces. They wanted a celebration of their father's life and his presidency and career in public service. They know this train ride is bringing him here to where they are in College Station for the final goodbye. And that has to be tough.

BLITZER: It will be the final goodbye. They'll have about 2.5 hours, as I said, Dana, to reflect as the train moves through Texas.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Look, they had several days, six days to reflect, but as John was saying, this is no question going to be a different part of the journey. It is the final journey. Anybody who has lost somebody and had the benefit of living long, knows that you expect it. You do celebrate their life. If somebody is that big of a presence in your life, it is even though it's a celebration and it's very tough when you get to this final, final point.

[13:50:12] BLITZER: And, Mary Kate Cary, you used to work the Bushes. You wrote speeches for the Bush family for many years. You've spent a lot of time with the family. You know how important the trains were for President George H.W. Bush.

MARY KATE CARY, FORMER SPEECH WRITER FOR GEORGE H.W. BUSH: Yes, I remember being on the believe it was the same train, when we came here to open the library, the Bush library, all the staff got on the train with the president. Same thing. He picked the food. I'd be willing to bet there were some pork rinds, John, on that train today. And that was a very celebratory thing. And this is kind of coming back full circle. As the day goes on, we see the group of people getting smaller and smaller, closing in just the family there on the train. Hopefully, they'll see an outpouring along the way, with people coming out to wave at the train tracks and pay their respects.

BLITZER: It is raining a little bit where we are.

CARY: Yes.

BLITZER: Certainly where they are right now. We'll see.

CARY: Yes.

BLITZER: The thought was as the train moves through Texas, through the approximately 100 miles, there will be people watching and waving and paying their respects to the 41st president.

CARY: I think all families when they lose a parent like this may or may not get a special train ride at the end, but what everybody can identify with is that time at the end where it just the family and you say your good-byes and how hard that is. I think it's probably time for the Bushes to be alone in the middle of all this craziness this week. I'll bet it's a hard time for them.

BLITZER: I'm sure it's a very hard time for them. It's a hard time for you.

CARY: I'm sorry.

BLITZER: It's hard time for everyone who loved George Herbert Walker Bush and his family. Remember, it was only in April that Barbara Bush passed away. The family went through a rough period then.

They were married for more than 70 years, Dana. It's an amazing family.

BASH: Yes.

BLITZER: An amazing family. And we've soon the grandparents, the grandchildren and great grandchildren.

BASH: Wow, look at that.

BLITZER: There you see the curtain being removed so people will be able to see the casket as it travels through Texas.

BASH: If you don't get the chills looking at that, then, you know, I don't know what. I mean, it just so poignant, so personal, so human, so patriotic, all rolled in to one.

CARY: So George Bush.

KING: So George Bush.

CARY: So George Bush.

KING: There's just a simple dignity and grace to it. That is just remarkable.

To the point Mary Kate was getting choked up about, she knows the family better than anyone here, but to watch them. Barbara and George H.W. Bush were the glue, the central organizers, mother and dad. So it has been a celebration. The family wanted it that way. It just has to be, whether it's the new patriarch or leader of the family, President George W. Bush, or the young grandkids, to know this has to be the toughest part of it, as Mary Kate put it. The big crowd at the National Cathedral, a smaller group of friends and family at St. Martin's in Houston, and now a tiny group coming here for is, by design, once they do get here, a private ceremony. This is Bush family business. This has been the country's business for six days. It about to be Bush family business.

BLITZER: Once it does arrive where we are at Texas A&M University, the Bush Presidential Library and Museum, we're told there will be about 700 or 800 invited participants, invited guests who will take part in receiving the delegation, in receiving the casket. And the 41st president of the United States eventually will be laid to rest at the presidential library.

Mary Kate, talk a little bit about what this means for the family, the final moments we're going to see in the next couple of hours.

CARY: What nobody seems to be talking about is, when they get here and they go to the burial plot, everybody is very aware that Robin got reinterred.

BLITZER: Their little daughter who died of leukemia.

CARY: The daughter that they lost -

BLITZER: She was only 3 years old.

CARY: Yes. She was originally buried in Connecticut and moved here. And Mrs. Bush is already buried here.

BLITZER: Barbara Bush.

CARY: Barbara Bush. But what people don't know is that the Bushes took in a young man in his 20s during one of the 1960 congressional campaigns named Don Rhodes. Don was an orphan, who was hard of hearing and a bit of a lost soul. But a delightful guy. They took him in. He had no family and they knew it. He became part of their family. He worked for the Bushes on his personal payroll for 50 years until he died a few years ago. He was the guy that would drive the truck with all the stuff from Texas to Kennebunkport every summer. He was in charge of the dogs. He was in charge of the family check book. He was a big part of their lives. A big fishing buddy of the president's. [13:55:10] When Don died -- actually, right before he died, he made

the plaque that was on the president's desk for years that said, "Preach the gospel at all times, use words when necessary." That became sort of a metaphor for how the Bushes lived their lives with Don Rhodes. And Don Rhodes' ashes are spread in that burial plot at the Bush's request, not at Don Rhode's.

BLITZER: You see Bush 4141, the special train, getting ready to leave the Houston area for College Station, Texas.

Our special coverage will continue right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:00:09] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, there. I'm Brooke Baldwin.