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People Waiting for the Mueller Report; Bad Deeds Deserve Punishment; Interview with Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI); Singer R. Kelly Turns Himself In To Chicago Police After Being Indicted On Sexual Abuse Charges; New England Patriots Owner Robert Kraft Accused Of Soliciting Sex. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired February 22, 2019 - 22:00   ET


[22:00:00] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Thank you for watching. CNN Tonight with Don Lemon starts right now. Busy night.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: As you were reading that, this came to mind. If you care about what celebrity mind. If you care about what celebrity liar -- and you know what I'm talking about -- you got to equally care about another celebrity liar. A lie is a lie, and a liar is a liar.

So, you can't say one is, this is awful, this is terrible, which it is. And then say, but he lies because people force him to lie. You know what I'm saying.

CUOMO: I know what you're saying.

LEMON: You know what I'm saying.

CUOMO: I know what you're saying.

LEMON: If you're going to care about one liar, you've got to care about the other. And the bets line you have is a rich old guy paying for sex? Of course, he's not going to say about that because he's a rich old guy who has been accused of paying for sex.

CUOMO: But look, another layup. I was arguing earlier tonight with Niger Innis. Why doesn't he just call out these white supremacists. It's a layup. It's a layup. Just call them out. It's no-brainer.

LEMON: It doesn't help him.

CUOMO: Why didn't he say today these kids shouldn't have been trafficked?


LEMON: He wants his support.

CUOMO: These kids shouldn't have been trafficked. This is disgusting. I hate this. I hate seeing this.

LEMON: Can't do it.

CUOMO: Not a word. LEMON: Doesn't help him politically.

CUOMO: The Coast Guard guy, it's sad. It's sad when it happens like this. What's sad?


LEMON: It doesn't help him politically

CUOMO: It's sad that our names are on the list. It's sad to our families. He just doesn't say the right thing when he doesn't feel like saying the right thing, period.

LEMON: When it doesn't help him with his base. Not going to do it. It's a busy week. I know you want to get out of here. I wish I was going with you, but I got to go along with the folks at home because they need to get some new information.

CUOMO: You're coming with me in my heart. I'll see you tomorrow.

LEMON: I'll see you tomorrow. We have -- Chris and I will be appearing together.

CUOMO: Better eat your Wheaties.

LEMON: OK. See you, buddy.

CUOMO: A lot of goons.

LEMON: See you tomorrow, thank you.

This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon.

It is Friday. Usually, you know, Friday, quiet day. You can ease into the weekend. You know what that means now? It means fasten your seat belts because we've got a bunch of big stories tonight. We have a whole lot to talk about.

So, here's our breaking news. We're counting down to the deadline for Robert Mueller to submit his sentencing memorandum on Paul Manafort.

And we have breaking news on Michael Cohen. CNN has learned that federal investigators have new information from him on Trump family business. We're going to dig into that in a moment.

We've also got the latest example of billionaires behaving badly. The owner of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, Robert Kraft being charged with two counts of solicitation. The charges linked to a sex trafficking sting that's been going on for months.

Kraft is a longtime pal of the president, a fixture at Mar-a-Lago, which is just about half an hour away from the day spa where Kraft was allegedly caught on camera in the sting. Supposedly there's video of it as well. So, here's what the president had to say about the whole thing today.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's very sad. I was very surprised to see it. He's proclaimed his innocence totally, and -- but I'm very surprised to see it.


LEMON: We've also got some breaking news on R. Kelly, on the R. Kelly case. He has turned himself in tonight after he was indicted on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. That is a class two felony involving four alleged victims.

The incident -- the incident accuses Kelly of sexual acts with three children older than 13, younger than 17. That means 14 to 16, right? There is no age range listed for the other alleged victim. The charges say Kelly used force or the threat of force. He is denying the allegations, which came after decades of accusations from multiple young women of color.

And in the wake of the lifetime documentary Surviving R. Kelly. It's a fascinating documentary. We'll talk about that.

And there's also news tonight on Jussie Smollett, on the Jussie Smollett case. His job on "Empire" may be on the line tonight after producers cut his character, Jamal Lyons, from the final two episodes of the season.

Smollett insisted that he's innocent when he met with the cast of "Empire" last night. But if it turns out that police are right, if it turns out that he did falsely claim to be a victim, what does that do for real victims like the black women who for years couldn't get anyone to believe their accusations against R. Kelly? We're going to talk about all of that tonight.

But I really want to begin with our breaking news on Michael Cohen. CNN has learned that federal investigators are talking to him about the Trump family businesses, including their insurance policies and claims at Trump properties.

[22:05:00] And that's not all the president has to worry about tonight. He doesn't know what is in that Mueller report, which a Justice Department official tells CNN is not expected next week after all.

So that dark cloud still hanging over him, over the administration, over his family businesses, over him and his family. It's not going away. When will it be delivered? And will the American people ever get to see it is a big question. After all, guess who's paying for it? All of us, the taxpayers. That means you. The president says he hasn't talked to his attorney general about releasing the report.


TRUMP: At some point I guess I'll be talking about it. But you know the nice part? There was no collusion. There was no obstruction. There was no anything, so that's the nice part. (END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: No anything? No anything? Really? No anything. OK. Well, let's go through this, then, since he says there's no anything. Facts. How about 37 people and entities charged by Robert Mueller. No anything? Thirty-seven people charged, including Michael Cohen, including Michael Flynn, including Rick Gates, including Paul Manafort, including George Papadopoulos, including Roger Stone.

Who you call that anything? Not anything? I wouldn't call it not anything. Don't forget the president's former fixer and keeper of secrets, Michael Cohen, is going to be on Capitol Hill next week. He's going to sit for closed-door interviews with the Senate and the House intel committees. He's set to testify publicly on Wednesday before the House oversight committee.

So, with all of this hanging over the president's head, here at home he is prepared for his second summit overseas with Kim Jong-un next week in Hanoi. An international trip with a firestorm brewing at home. What could possibly go wrong? OK.

So, well, what could possibly go wrong? Let's recap. May 2017, the president's first foreign trip to Saudi Arabia came just days after Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel.

July 2017, the president travels to the G20 in Hamburg, meeting twice with Vladimir Putin. Remember, we have since learned that Trump took away his interpreter's notes after talking with Putin at that meeting.

With the president in Hamburg, the New York Times breaks the news that Donald Trump Jr. arranged that infamous 2016 meeting at Trump tower with a Russian lawyer who promised dirt on Hillary Clinton. While on Air Force One, the president dictates his son's misleading statement claiming the meeting was about adoptions.

November 2017, the president heads to Asia for a 12-day trip just days after the first charges are filed in the Mueller investigation. January 2018, he travels to Davos. As the New York Times reveals that he had tried to get then White House counsel Don McGahn to fire Robert Mueller. McGahn threatened to quit.

July 2018, the president travels to the U.K., meets with Queen Elizabeth. That's days before his disastrous summit with Putin in Helsinki.

Meanwhile, at home the Justice Department announces indictments against 12 Russian nationals as part of Mueller's investigation. Not anything? OK.

November 2018, Trump travels to the G20 in Buenos Aires telling reporters he was canceling a planned meeting with Putin because of Russia's meddling in Ukraine. We later learn that he had a 15-minute conversation with Putin without a U.S. note taker or translator.

That as Michael Cohen pleads guilty to making false statements to Congress about the Russia investigation. That is an awful lot of big developments on Trump's trips.

And now the president is packing his bags for Vietnam with more big developments waiting in the wings. What could possibly go wrong? Lots to discuss. Shimon Prokupecz is here. Jack Quinn as well, Max Boot. We've got more to come.

Another one of our big stories tonight, R. Kelly surrenders, 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Listen to this shocking statement from his attorney moments ago.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think these women are lying?



GREENBERG: I think all the women are lying, yes.



LEMON: So here is the breaking news. At least one of the breaking news stories we're going to talk about. Special counsel Robert Mueller due to file his sentencing memorandum about Paul Manafort with a federal judge in Washington by midnight.

And in the filing, prosecutors will outline the facts they believe the judge could consider when sentencing Manafort, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy and witness tampering.

Let's talk about this now. Shimon Prokupecz, Jack Quinn, and Max Boot. Max is the author of "The Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I Left the Right." Good evening. Mr. Prokupecz.


LEMON: We're expecting this sentencing memo tonight. This is the filing where Mueller could potentially tell all ahead of this report. What might we learn?

PROKUPECZ: Yes. So, there's a couple things going on so people understand and what we're waiting for here. The prosecutors and special counsel's office is supposed to file this by midnight. They're supposed to have this in the court system by midnight. Then the judge is supposed to review it. And then at that point hopefully it will be made public.

Clearly, you know, there's a holdup here. We did expect this to come at any point. We still expect this to come, and it could come by midnight. So, we don't know exactly what the holdup is yet, but clearly, we're all waiting.

And, yes, don, this could tell us a lot. You know, we're hoping to learn a lot of things concerning the Manafort investigation. We know a lot already, but there are a lot of questions that are still remaining.

Certainly, his relationship with that Russian agent, the person that the FBI and the special counsel's office have said was working for the Russian government. He was a Russian agent.

Paul Manafort, they say, had meetings with him. That meeting that Paul Manafort had with him was in August of 2016. And they have said that that meeting and his relationship with this Russian agent has been at the heart of the special counsel's investigation.

[22:15:05] So, perhaps we can learn more about that relationship. We can learn more about Paul Manafort's overseas work, specifically the Russians. And also, more information on why they feel perhaps he breached that cooperation agreement, and ultimately, what they want to see the judge do. How much jail time do they want to see him serve?

LEMON: Max Boot, how important will the details be surrounding Manafort's meeting with Konstantin Kilimnik?

MAX BOOT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, I think that that meeting seems to be pretty central, Don, in the story of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. I think that's one of the pivotal aspects of it along with the meeting that occurred earlier in the summer of 2016 at Trump tower with the Russian emissary.

But certainly, the relationship between Paul Manafort and Konstantin Kilimnik is highly suspect, and we've had indications before from the special counsel's office that they regard this as absolutely critical because they've suggested that Manafort and Kilimnik were cooking up a deal to lift sanctions on Russia for their invasion of Ukraine.

This was perhaps the meeting where Manafort shared internal polling data with the Russians that they could have used to target their social media campaign on behalf of Donald Trump. And this was only -- this was only a small part of this ongoing relationship that Paul Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates, had with a gentleman who is described as being closely connected to Russian intelligence.

This is not normal. And, remember, this is also a campaign manager who is deeply in debt to pro-Russian oligarchs and needed a way to make himself whole, as he put it.

So, this is, you know, highly suspicious, and I think that the more details that emerge about Manafort, the more damning it will be for President Trump that he had somebody like him as his campaign manager.

LEMON: Jack, remember when we were all confused. Why did Paul Manafort have this agreement and then he broke it. I mean, it's important to remember the special counsel had a cooperation deal with Paul Manafort. Paul Manafort broke that deal. Do you think we could get to some understanding why from this filing?

JACK QUINN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, Paul Manafort lied, and he was engaged in conversations with people, you know, who were at a minimum subject of the investigation, may have been targets of the investigation, withheld information about those communications from the special counsel.

Look, Paul Manafort's story, his life story, but certainly his story in the Mueller investigation is that he lied, and then he lied, and then he lied again. And he couldn't help himself about everything.

So, the cooperation agreement was thrown in the wastebasket, except it's important to understand that all that tearing that agreement up did was relieve the special counsel of the obligations it undertook in that agreement.

Paul Manafort's commitments, including his guilty pleas, stand. So, where we stand now is that the special counsel has an opportunity to tell us more. He also has an opportunity to throw the book at Manafort by asking for even more time than he's already facing.

I hope that the special counsel doesn't, you know, just pile on years in the sentence. The guy is 69 years old. I think it's much more important that, you know, as Max says, we hear an awful lot more about Konstantin Kilimnik and Paul Manafort and whether they were, as I suspect they were, critical links in the central question of the Mueller investigation, namely was there coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 election?


QUINN: That's critical information, that's what I hope comes out of this filing.

LEMON: Shimon, let me ask you about, let's talk about Michael Cohen, OK? The Southern District of New York prosecutors spoke with him to learn about insurance policies and claims at Trump properties. How much did they file and recover versus what they spent? I mean, was it done legitimately? Was it legal? This is a whole new set of problems for the president, it seems.

PROKUPECZ: It does seem that way, and certainly for the Trump organization. What's most interesting, I think, in this New York Times story that we've now confirmed is that they met with him in the last month. That I found to be the most interesting part, is that he has gone back to meet with the Southern District of New York. They found reason to believe that they should meet with him, and they did.

And so, this presents a new set of problems certainly for the Trump organization, that they're looking at this insurance policy issue. There were other questions concerning the organization. They also asked him about his knowledge of the Trump inauguration, right? They've been subpoenaed. They want all sorts of information from them.

[22:19:57] So he was providing information to the Southern District of New York on that. And for me, one of the most critical parts in all this, this happened in the last month. This isn't something that he told them initially, so he felt compelled, he felt a reason to go back to them in the last month and provide them more information. And just one final point. It could be what he's trying to do is still

reduce his sentence. So, he's hoping that if they perhaps deem this new information somehow helpful to their investigation, we've seen a subpoena now go out based on this information. Somehow perhaps maybe he could get a further reduction in his jail sentence.

LEMON: Max, Cohen is still talking to the Southern District of New York, talking to Congress next week. Is this the exact reason why we've seen the president attack his former fixer so much?

BOOT: Well, it certainly seems like President Trump is nervous about something. And if he has nothing to hide, why does he continue hyperventilating on Twitter as he does about Mueller, Cohen, everything else?

I think the Cohen investigation that the SDNY investigation that Michael Cohen is cooperating with, I think is a real threat to Donald Trump. And just to underline a point that has been made on your show repeatedly, Mueller is only one line of inquiry into Donald Trump, and ultimately perhaps not the most damning.

I mean, I've long thought that Donald Trump's business dealings do not withstand much scrutiny, and it sounds like the Southern District of New York is in fact looking into some of his business dealings, you know, according to this report that we have that Michael Cohen is coming with information about insurance claims.

There was an A.P. story that Trump claimed a $17 million insurance reimbursement for Mar-a-Lago after a hurricane in 2005 even though everybody who was there said there was basically no damage.

I mean, this is a fundamentally unethical businessman, unethical president, and this is I think why Donald Trump is so nervous. Remember, he laid out a red line for Mueller saying, you can't look into my financial affairs.

You know, it's hard to know exactly what Mueller looked into, but you know, reading the tea leaves, I get the sense that Mueller did interpret his mandate fairly strictly, fairly narrowly.

But the SDNY, the Manhattan district attorney, the New York attorney general, all these various other investigative offices, they do have the ability to look into Donald Trump's finances. And this is going to take a lot of unraveling. I think this is something that Donald Trump should be as nervous about as he is about the Mueller probe.

LEMON: Gentlemen, thank you. I appreciate your time. Have a good weekend.

House Democrats are demanding that Robert Mueller's full report be made public. Congressman Dave Cicilline is one of those Democrats. There he is. We're going to talk to him right after this.


LEMON: We're waiting for special counsel Robert Mueller to file his sentencing memo in Paul Manafort's conspiracy and witness tampering case, that as Democrats are demanding to see Mueller's report on the Russia investigation with Attorney General William Barr.

Let's discuss now with Congressman David Cicilline, a Rhode Island Democrat who sits on the House judiciary and foreign affairs committees. Never a dull moment. Here it is Friday night and we're talking very serious stuff. Thank you, Congressman. I appreciate you joining us here.

Now you're demanding this full Mueller report that it be submitted to the DOJ, that it be made public. Give us a preview of the battle that we're going to see if this new A.G., Bill Barr, only gives you a summary of this report.

REP. DAVID CICILLINE, (D) RHODE ISLAND: Well, we should remember, Don, that this investigation began on behalf of the American people to investigate allegations that there is a foreign adversary that attacked our democracy and interfered with an American presidential election.

So, this was done on behalf of the American people. It's an investigation which has taken two years. It has resulted in 199 criminal charges against 39 individuals or organizations with seven convictions and four people already going to prison.

So, there's a lot here. And the American people have a right to know what this report says. We'll first ask that it be produced. If the attorney general doesn't produce it, we will subpoena it before the judiciary committee. If they then contest that in court, we'll litigate that.

Next week we will introduce legislation, a group of us, that will require that this report be made public. Such legislation has been introduced in the Senate. It's bipartisan. But this is really essential that the American people know all the facts, see the report. They paid for it. This is their investigation. The American people have a right to know.


LEMON: You think you have enough votes?

CICILLINE: Yes. We'll pass it out of committee. We'll pass it on the House floor for sure. I hope it will pass the Senate and then the president will decide whether to sign it. But we're going to fight to make sure the American people know the truth. We will use the courts. We will use the legislative process. We will use the subpoena power, but the American people have a right to know what this report says and we're going to make sure they do.

LEMON: Do you believe Bill Barr and what do you think he means when he says that he wants to be as transparent as possible? As possible.


CICILLINE: Well, I mean, I'm very concerned -- as possible. You know, during Mr. Barr's confirmation hearing, I mean, first of all, remember, he auditioned for this job by doing a 20-page memo arguing very expansive executive power. They share with the president's legal team before he was appointed.

Very unusual as a private citizen to be kind of currying favor with the appointing president. But he did that. When he was confirmed, he said he would not recuse himself even if the ethics officials suggested he should. He also would not commit to making this report available to the American people.

That's very concerning. I think he has not demonstrated independence from the president, and I think we're going to have to fight for the disclosure of that report on behalf of the American people.

LEMON: Congressman, I want your reaction to the reporting that Paul Manafort is expected to face charges in New York if the president pardons him.

CICILLINE: Well, look, I think, you know, the prosecuting authorities in New York who already have apparently begun an investigation and convened a grand jury have an oath. They have a responsibility to investigate and prosecute violations of the criminal law.

And the fact that Mr. Manafort is facing a whole series of charges in the federal system doesn't relieve him from his culpability for any state offenses. They have a responsibility to uphold the rule of law. I think they intend to do that. And obviously that's very serious for Mr. Manafort. He's facing a very long sentence in the federal prison system, and he may be facing prosecution for state crimes as well.

LEMON: Congressman, we're waiting on a lot of things to happen, and they could happen at any time. We may be seeing you tonight, who knows, over the weekend. We don't know. But thank you so much. I appreciate your time.

CICILLINE My pleasure.

[22:29:56] LEMON: Within the last hour, R. Kelly surrendered to police after being charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. The details next.


LEMON: R. Kelly turning himself in to Chicago police. There he is right there, earlier tonight. He has been indicted on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, a class two felony, involving four alleged victims. Let's get right to CNN's Sara Sidner in Chicago with more.

My gosh, Sara, what a busy time for the folks in and around Chicago. Horrifying allegations made against R. Kelly. Give us the details.

SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. You just mentioned that there are 10 counts of criminal sexual abuse against four different women. That is coming from the state's attorneys. He was indicted today. We have known and they have been reporting that there has been a grand jury. That grand jury convened last week.

[22:35:03] We know that there was more testimony that was done this week, and then the grand jury made a decision to indict. The state's attorney then put charges in front of him. Now, what we have learned in those charges is that three of the women that are mentioned -- three of them all were under the age of 17, so minors when this alleged sexual abuse happened, according to the state's attorney.

And one of them, we can now tell you according to two sources who are familiar with the girl at the time, say that one of them is the same girl that R. Kelly faced charges in, in 2008 for those 14 child pornography charges, the same girl who was allegedly on a tape that was used in that particular case.

We have now heard some details, but we have been watching, haven't seen R. Kelly in days. We saw him, though, at his studio just about three miles away from central booking here in Chicago. Our photographer, Mike Love, catching him on camera as he came out of his studio and went into a van.

From there, R. Kelly came here to central booking where our photographer Jordan Guzzardo captured him going into central booking and finally being in police custody.

We know that the state's attorney has asked for no bail, which means tomorrow, a judge will have to decide whether or not R. Kelly can post bail in order to get out before his trial. If the judge decides that he will keep the no bail or no bond, then that means that R. Kelly would have to be in custody until his trial.

Significant developments after decades of women who have come forward and accused R. Kelly of sexual misconduct, some of them saying that he had sex with them when they were minors. We are now seeing 10 counts against him by the state's attorney's office. This is a huge day for a lot of the women who say their stories have been ignored.

R. Kelly, for his part, has always maintained his innocence. We have not directly heard from him yet, though. Don.

LEMON: Yes, but we've heard from his attorney, who is Steven Greenberg, speaking out to the media outside the police station. What did he have to say on his client's behalf?

SIDNER: So, he basically came outside of central booking right after his client was booked. He was there with him. We saw him at central booking as R. Kelly was walked into the police department. We do know that he was given the option of whether to turn himself in or not, but we asked him, of all these allegations over all these years, including the ones that are now charges against R. Kelly, what does he think? Does he think these women are lying? Here's how he responded.


SIDNER: Do you think these women are lying?


GREENBERG: I think all the women are lying, yes. One of the charges appears to involve the same alleged victim from the earlier case, and double jeopardy should bar that case. And he won that case. A jury heard the facts of that case. A jury acquitted him, fair and square. It's over.


SIDNER: We pushed back, because, obviously the state's attorney believes otherwise, or else they would not have brought the charges against R. Kelly. They have certainly looked into whether double jeopardy applies in that one case, but there are three other cases as well that have been brought up here now as well.

And so, as you might imagine, the women would be very, very upset to hear that their stories are disbelieved, but he is, R. Kelly's attorney, and this, Don, is the very first time that we have heard anything from R. Kelly's camp when it comes to these particular allegations. We've been waiting all day, asking all day for a response. We have finally gotten one right here on your show, Don.

LEMON: Sara Sidner, thank you. Doing a great job out there. Sarah, thank you. I want to bring in now, Joey Jackson and Areva Martin to discuss this, two very smart legal minds here, Areva is the author of "Make it rain," by the way. So good evening to both of you. Let's talk about this, Joey. I'm going to bring you in first. So he is in custody tonight. Obviously there's some strong evidence, but clear it up. Is he, are they gonna -- what does this mean with the no bail thing?

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: All right. So let's back it up. First of all, there's reason to pause. This is an indictment. Let's be clear about an indictment is. Indictment is when you have 16 members of the community convene, a majority of which -- that is nine -- say that there's probable cause to believe that a crime was committed and that R. Kelly committed it. It's not a finding beyond a reasonable doubt. It's not that they were vetted, in other words, there's no cross-examination. There's no judge there. It's an indictment. Very significant, but it's an accusation. So not ready to convict him just yet.

Now, what ends up happening ultimately, though, is that it has to go -- he tomorrow will determination as to whether or not he gets bail. I do believe that he will get bail. A no bail warrant says, hey, you're not going anywhere until you see me. That is the judge. The Judge then makes a decision about what bail, if any, is going to be offered. It may be a very high bail. He may get his passport that he has to surrender, but I do believe he'll be released.

[22:40:06] There are problems, however, that he is facing, and I have three major concerns. The first concern is the climate that we're in. We are in a time's up, Metoo movement climate. That is people are mad as heck, and they're not going to take it anymore, and the chickens are coming home to roost, and the wheels of justice may move slow, but they're moving. That is one thing I'm concerned about if I'm defending him.

The second and very important thing I'm concerned about is in that indictment there, four separate victims. You imagine those victims going and testifying in front of that jury, and it's not one. It's not two. It's not three. It's four.

The final thing, Don, I'm concerned about is the prior bad act evidence. That is not convictions that he has of his past, not suggesting that, but there are other women who the judge may allow to come and testify. And if a judge allows other people to testify, that is very compelling as to your motive, your intent, and who you are. And that is a problem.

LEMON: Those are your concerns, if you are defending him.

JACKSON: Without question.

LEMON: That's the first.


LEMON: Those are the three things that are at the top of the list. So, he's broken it down, Areva. So, let's bring you in here. He was the subject -- you remember this high profile documentary. We talked about it, which was "Surviving R. Kelly." It was on the lifetime network. It eventually led to the mute R. Kelly social media campaign and then on and on. Let's listen to some of the accusers in this documentary, and then you and I will talk about it.


LIZETTE MARTINEZ, R. KELLY ACCUSER: I'd just like you to know that you really hurt me. I was a little girl in like a bad man's world. I never really recovered from it.

LISA VAN ALLEN, R. KELLY ACCUSER: I would hope that he would want to be a better person and quit hurting -- quit hurting people, quit hurting these girls.


LEMON: The film helped bring his abuse to light, Areva, but why did it take a documentary to possibly get some legal action here?

AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, lots of theories about that, Don. One starting with just the way black women and black girls are devalued in our society. There's been studies done on it. There have been reports written about it. You know, there's scientific, you know, studies that show that black women just aren't treated the same as non-African-American women and girls.

The adultification of black girls, you know, black girls appear to be older. They don't need the kind of protection that, you know, little white girls need. This whole sense in the black community sometimes that when black men are successful, there's this racist conspiracy against them, and we don't want to see, you know, them brought down. We saw that with Bill Cosby. You know, he cried that this was a whole attempt to bring him down. We saw it with Clarence Thomas. He said it was a high-tech lynching when Anita Hill brought those sexual assault, sexual harassment charges against him.

So, I don't think we can underestimate what happens in this society when black girls come forward to tell their story, but we have to give Dream Hampton, who did that documentary so much credit, and then Kim Foxx. Kim Foxx went on national television after that documentary and says, we can prosecute predators --

LEMON: State attorney in Chicago.

MARTIN: -- that I need witnesses, and I need victims. Yes, she is the district attorney. And she made a national call for victims and witnesses to come forward, and it was shortly after that, that the grand jury was convened that led us to this day. So we just have to give the women so much courage. Can I just want to say one thing to that lawyer that just went on television and said all those women are lying? He needs to know it is a new day. It is time's up for lawyers and anyone that tries to intimidate women and call them the liars and the miscreants.

Women now are being believed as they should have been for years, but definitely in this climate, a lawyer that does that without giving any credence to the powerful stories that we've heard from these women, I would say my vote, my bet is on Kim Foxx, and I don't think that, you know, defense is going to go very far for R. Kelly in this climate.

LEMON: Joey, perhaps it would be better just to say, Mr. Kelly is innocent, and we're going to -- as the Smollett post it, we're going to mount a vigorous defense and then we move on to something. These women are lying, that doesn't seem -- that is not good.

JACKSON: It's problematic, and I get everyone does everything differently. I don't profess to have a monopoly on wisdom. But the problem is that when you re-victimize the victims, it's compelling to a jury. Look at what you just played, Don. You saw the women who were talking there. That is emotional, right? That affected you just now.

LEMON: OK. Let me ask you this.

JACKSON: It affected even people at home.

LEMON: So, then, this videotape, Areva, because the videotape is from Michael Avenatti. And that was just released, which apparently -- or allegedly shows R. Kelly having sexual relations with an underage girl. Was that -- did that have an influence on what happened?

[22:45:00] MARTIN: Oh, I'm sure that was powerful evidence that the District Attorney, Kim Foxx, looked at. What we know about that videotape from the great reporting from Sara Sidner is that, that video tape --

LEMON: Sidner.

MARTIN: -- Schneider --

LEMON: Sidner. Sidner.


JACKSON: The great (inaudible).

MARTIN: I'll get it right, that great reporting from Sara that in that videotape, there is reference to this 14-year-old genitalia and multiple, multiple references suggesting that the girl in this videotape is a minor, is 14 years old. And when you look at the reporting on that videotape, it had so many similarities to the videotape involved in the 2008 trial. Urination, you know, R. Kelly urinating on this young girl.

The young girl calling him "daddy." It was just chilling listening to Sara describe what she saw on that videotape and looking back to what was told and what was reported and what was testified about in the 2008 trial.

JACKSON: So here's the issue. Yes, but here's the issue, my defense hat now as it relates to the tape and that is this. You're going to question about the tape, the authenticity of the tape. You're going to question where did it come from.

LEMON: What is it?

JACKSON: What's the chain of custody? Is it technologically sound? Is anybody superimposed upon the tape? Because she is saying 14 years-old, are they play acting? People do kinky things, right. So, that fact that --

LEMON: It's a role player and --

JACKSON: Yes and he's --

LEMON: But let me ask you this. OK, OK, OK. I so understand. People are going to test the veracity of that tape.

MARTIN: Of course.

JACKSON: Of course.

LEMON: But, wasn't there a videotape the last time, because --

JACKSON: There was.

LEMON: And so, but he -- so he's gotten off charges like this before.


LEMON: Why is this different?

JACKSON: So, I think it's different, a couple of reasons. So let's talk about that. Right back in 2002 when it went to trial in 2008, so there were problems. First all, apparently that videotape is a little bit more grainy than this videotape. But defense attack the videotape suggesting it was not him on that videotape, and the victim in the videotape did not testify. People said, oh, it's her, it's her, but she did not testify. So, we will see who testifies this time.

LEMON: All right. Both of stay with me. Another famous and powerful man being charged with sex crimes tonight. Patriots' owner Robert Kraft accused of soliciting prostitution, and the story gets even worse from there.


LEMON: New England Patriots' owner, Robert Kraft is facing charges of soliciting prostitution as part of a large scale sex trafficking crackdown in Florida. CNN's Polo Sandoval joins us from West Palm Beach with the very latest on this. Polo, good evening to you. Robert Kraft is one of the most famous owners in football. His New England Patriots won the Super Bowl just three weeks ago. Now he is caught up in an undercover sex trafficking sting operation. What are you learning there tonight?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is certainly catching many people by a surprise here, Don. And this is a massive about sex and human trafficking crackdown. We're told at least 190 so-called (inaudible) are already being basically pursued by authorities. Charges being filed against them. As you mentioned, the most notable one is Robert Kraft. The owner of the New England Patriots. That seems to be really the spotlight right now.

Authorities saying that he at least on two occasions came to the stay spa behind me in Jupiter, Florida and was engaged in what authorities are describing as paid acts, which some of the women who were allegedly forced to work here. Investigators now waiting basically to see what their next step will be.

What we are told is that he has been charged now with two charges of solicitation of prostitution. However, so far, we're told that he has not been arrested quite yet. He is speaking out through a spokesperson who writes, quote, we categorically denied that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity, because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further.

So the big question here tonight, Don, is, when or if Kraft will actually end up in custody. This is a misdemeanor charge. So it will be relatively interesting to see exactly how authorities move forward in the potential prosecution of something like this.

LEMON: Interesting. Thank you, Polo. I appreciate that.


LEMON: So back with me, Joey Jackson and Areva Martin. Joey, everyone's -- here's the thing. He categorically denies that. Police say that there's video of these acts or whatever. You know what everyone says? The guy is a billionaire. A strip mall? Seriously.

JACKSON: Yes, I think it causes a lot of people to shake their heads. Look, the fact of the matter is, misdemeanor, a hundred hours of community service, at the end of the day it will be a reduction in charges. He'll move on, he'll answer to the NFL. The biggest story to me is not the fact that he is soliciting a prostitute. The biggest story to me --

LEMON: Allegedly.

JACKSON: -- well, allegedly. Excuse me.


JACKSON: All right. As defense attorney Cardinal Sin.

LEMON: Allegedly.

JACKSON: The big story to me is the human trafficking element in this particular situation. And the fact that a big name can bring notoriety to something that is very significant. That is the issue that I think we need to really be addressing. People who are enslaved as women who are engaging in these activities for the pleasure of these men. And that is something that we need to get our head around and address as a society.

LEMON: You have just hit on his rehab, how he's going to -- he's comeback. Should fund sex trafficking and bring life to it and spend some real money to it.

JACKSON: And he will. And he does a lot of good.

LEMON: He does. He does a lot of good.

JACKSON: He's doing stuff with (inaudible)


MARTIN: You guys are already like, letting him off.

LEMON: Hang on. No, no, no, we're not. No, I'm not. No, I'm not. That was -- I was going to go back and say, but these are very serious and shocking charges and allegations. I just want to pick up on something that he said, because if there -- that is where he can put his money, right? Go on, Areva.

MARTIN: Absolutely. Joey talked earlier about the videotape in the R. Kelly case and I agree with him as an attorney, of course, issues of authenticity and you know, challenges from the defense team are going to occur whenever you have a videotape.

[22:55:00] But let's face it. Videotape is compelling. And what we know about the Robert Kraft case so far is that apparently he is been caught on videotape, engaged in sexual acts that apparently that he paid for. I think what is compelling about this story is that we're going after Johns. We're cutting off the demand for, you know, prostitution and addressing the issue of human trafficking.

All too often, women are the ones who are arrested. They are the ones that are criminalized in these kinds of stings and not enough states, not enough district attorneys are arresting and charging the men that are purchasing sex and causing women who are trafficking to be, you know, subjected to the violence.

JACKSON: It's a great point, Areva.

MARTIN: And the kinds of, you know, the ordeal that women face when they are involved in these kinds of rings. So kudos to whoever, you know, was responsible for this sting. And let's hope more district attorneys go after these Johns and arrest them and cause them that kind of pain that we know the women's felt.

LEMON: That is a perfect way to end. I've got to end it there, because we are out of time. But you're right on, Areva. Thank you both, I appreciate it.

JACKSON: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: Robert Mueller's sentencing memo for Paul Manafort is due at midnight. We are going to tell you everything we know, next.