Return to Transcripts main page


Singer R. Kelly Granted Bond After being Indicted for Criminal Sexual Assault Involving Minors; Special Counsel Mueller Files Sentencing Memo for Paul Manafort; Interview with Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, (D-IL); Michael Cohen to Testify Before House Intelligence and Oversight Committees; New England Patriots Owner Robert Kraft Charged with Soliciting Prostitution. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired February 23, 2019 - 14:00   ET


[14:00:00] SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We also know that there are families here who have daughters that are still with R. Kelly that are concerned about their daughters. They, too, are in court, watching all of this happen. We noticed that one of the family members lowered her head. She started to get quite emotional. Another family member put their arm around her as she was listening to the description of some of the evidence that the prosecution has.

They went through each of the different counts. They went through each of the different women, who they say are victims of R. Kelly, one of which they said there was physical evidence. And we heard from the prosecutor for the first time today, a description. I want to warn you that this description is graphic. It is of sexual nature. But this is the reality of what is being alleged against R. Kelly now, 11 years after he was acquitted on 14 charges of child pornography, now facing 10 charges of aggravated sexual abuse.

And here is one of the cases we had not heard the details of before. The prosecutor, and I'm just looking down at my notes because we just ran out of court, the prosecutor says in one of the counts the victim told R. Kelly that she was under the age of 17, and yet, she ended up saying she had oral and vaginal sex with Mr. Kelly multiple times, and that he spit on her and choked her, and that she had some physical evidence that she had saved some of his DNA on a shirt that she kept. So that is just one of the stories that has been told to the judge.

There has also been a request by the prosecution, by the state's attorney's office, here, that he have no contact with, first of all, any of the victims, none of his people have any contact with the victims, that he stays away from and does not have contact with any person under the age of 18, and that he not possess any firearms or use social media. So those are some of the things that the prosecution has been requesting, when it comes to this particular case, and the details of it.

The courtroom is absolutely packed. One of the reasons is because of R. Kelly, the famous R&B star. I'm sure there are some people in there who are curious about him, but there are also people there for other bond hearings as well. R. Kelly was the second hearing called. This is a significant development, hearing some of the sordid details of what prosecutors are alleging, and seeing the emotion on the faces of family members that are there.

There are also two girls in there that family members are telling us, one of whom they believe still is with and lives with, and has been with R. Kelly for quite some time. We are waiting to hear reaction from the families. We expect to hear from them after court, which should be done shortly. We are waiting also for the judge to decide whether or not he is able to bond out, to pay a bail bondsman and leave, or whether he is going to have to stay in custody until his trial comes up. Those are questions the judge, only the judge, can answer at this point. Dana?

DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR: Sara, I know you want to get back into the courtroom, but before I let you go, for the girls whose families don't know where they are, would R. Kelly's properties be searched? Would that be part of this? Maybe not the bond hearing, but more broadly, this court case, these charges against him?

SIDNER: It's a great question. There was no search warrant that we saw when these warrants came down. That is something that remains to be seen. What we can tell you, though, is that these girls, they said went in when they were, and met them when they were around 16 or 17 years old. Now they are of age, so they are of age of consent and they can do as they please. There is nothing illegal about that.

And so the families, though, very concerned about their mental and physical well-being. This will be an interesting time to see if they are able to reconnect with their daughters at this point in time. This has been a very, very tense time inside the courtroom. As you might imagine, emotions very high. And the judge warned everyone that if a single person yells out or screams out something, even if they scream out I love you, I'll see you later, if somebody gets taken into custody, that they will be remanded into custody themselves, and so made a very stern warning, because he can feel the emotion in that room, Dana.

BASH: I can't even imagine the emotion in that room. Sara, thank you so much, appreciate it.

And back to discuss what we just heard from Sara, Caroline Polisi, a federal white-collar crime criminal defense attorney, and Renato Mariotti, who is a former federal prosecutor and also a CNN legal analyst. Caroline, let me start you with. We know the prosecutors are making the case that R. Kelly should get bail. Just even given that brief description of what Sara heard, and is still going on, I should say, that this hearing is still going on as we speak, what do you think the attorneys are going to do with that information?

[14:05:00] And as a defense attorney, would you be concerned that just that story alone could prevent their client from going free with bail?

CAROLINE POLISI, FEDERAL AND WHITE COLLAR CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, first of all, I would just like to comment on the fact that the prosecution is detailing in open court that they have actual physical DNA evidence. We heard Sara talk about that. That is just not the type of evidence you typically have in cases of this nature. When we talk about sex crimes, and particularly sex crimes against minors, we talk about the statute of limitations. One of the things that everybody has been commenting on is just how far back these allegations date. The statute of limitations in Illinois is 20 years after the child becomes 18 years ago old, So until age 38, they can actually date back that far in time.

But the reason that we have statutes of limitations in our system is to prevent -- to really get at real evidence when it comes to trials and make sure you can secure a conviction when it comes to it. So the DNA evidence, to your question, that's not going to impact the analysis when it comes to whether or not R. Kelly gets bail. Again, bail is not punitive. It doesn't have anything to do with sort of the overarching elements of the case. I think it's a bad fact. It's a bad fact to have sort of from a P.R. standpoint and certainly when it comes to the merits of the case, but I don't think it is going to impact the bail analysis here.

BASH: And Renato, Caroline just said her takeaway from Sara's report was the physical evidence. What's yours?

RENATO MARIOTTI, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: That is certainly one big takeaway as well. I noted the same thing. And I would also say, though, I do think that some of these soft factors do impact a judge's analysis. And what the judge is asking himself about the situation is, if I release this guy, is he going to commit some more crimes while he's out on bond? Is he going to flee? Those are the two questions.

And I think the first question is the bigger issue. He's got to be concerned. I understand that R. Kelly was acquitted the first time, but the judge is aware that there are very serious allegations made against him in the past. He is aware that while he was on bond there's new allegations here. The fact that the prosecution is detailing physical evidence, they talk about how the woman referenced her age, that probably is the 14-year-old reference that we've heard about publicly. What they're suggesting to the judge is there's a strength of evidence here that means you should give these allegations some weight.

And if I was the judge, I would be worried about what crimes this man could commit if he is out on bond. And I really think that a judge might be concerned about that and may keep him detained simply because the risk of a child being harmed is too great.

BASH: And let's just talk about, you mentioned the judge, this courtroom, this particular judge, has been extremely busy this week. It turns out this is the same judge, John Fitzgerald, I believe you pronounce, Lyke, and you can correct me if you guys know the answer if that's wrong, was the same judge that presided over Jussie Smollett. That's pretty remarkable. Right? And Chicago is not exactly a small town.

POLISI: You heard here from Sara's reporting that the judge was running his courtroom in a very pragmatic and strict fashion, which judges don't put up with antics, really. So you heard Sara say there, if anybody, if R. Kelly were to be remanded, he wants to make sure there are no outbreaks in the courtroom. There really are rules and regulations that you have to follow when you get inside a courtroom, and it doesn't sound like he is messing around here.

BASH: And it sounds like --

MARIOTTI: That's a good choice.

BASH: Why?

MARIOTTI: Why? Well, we've got, I think we've got some squirrelly attorneys on both sides on this case, and I think there is a value having a judge who keeps control of the courtroom in a case like this, because, look, there is a lot of media attention that is brought here. There are attorneys who are making lots of grand statements, but this is ultimately about these women who are allegedly victimized. That's what this is about, bringing someone to justice who allegedly victimized women.

And that is the judge's role here is to do justice, to ensure that Mr. Kelly's Constitutional rights are respected and these women have their day in court, and that their rights are vindicated as well, and their interests are vindicated. So I think it is right to keep the antics out, keep control of the proceeding, and have it happen in an orderly fashion.

POLISI: And Dana, if I could make just one point. In the narrative here, everybody is referring to these victims as women, and they are women now. Certainly, the timeframe has elapsed, they are of the age of consent now. But really we should be calling them children, because three of them were between the ages of 13 and 17. And those are children. So I think that we should call them what it is. This was an alleged sexual predator of children.

BASH: That's a fair point. OK, guys, stand by. I want to get to Sara Sidner, who I believe has Nick Watt with her. Nick has been in the courtroom the whole time. Guys, there you go. Sara, take it away.

SIDNER: OK, so we have just seen folks come out of court. There is something going on just behind me where there are two women, you can hear them, talking in high voices. We believe those are two of the women who have been with R. Kelly.

[14:10:08] Our Nick Watt was in court as the judge gave some instruction, and it is important to know exactly what that is, because that's what we're waiting for, whether or not he was going to give bond. Nick, what happened in court?

NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He was granted bond, $250,000 on each case. There are four cases, so that's $1 million. But it is what is called a D-bond, so he only has to put forward $100,000. Now, his lawyer had argued for a lower amount, saying that his finances are a mess. That he's been dropped by his record company. That he can't afford much bail.

They also offered to surrender his passport. They said, contrary to the song, R. Kelly does not like to fly and he has no tours planned. That was the only moment of levity, I would say, during the entire event, because there were some grim facts that were put forward by the state here. Remember, we have four alleged victims here. One of them, the first, it was detailed by the state, was allegedly R. Kelly's hairdresser. She was waiting to do his hair. He came in and said I don't want you to braid my hair. He had his pants down and tried to force her into a sex act. She resisted.

Now, the next victim who we heard about, was allegedly 16-years-old. She was at an a restaurant celebrating her 16th birthday when one of R. Kelly's aides gave her a business card. This young woman's mother allegedly --

BASH: OK, looks like we lost the shot from Chicago. We're going to get back to them as soon as we fix that. Let's get to Renato and Caroline, as we just heard the beginning of the debrief, from Nick Watt, the fact that he did get bond. That's the headline, right? He got out on bail, $1 million, but he only had to pay $100,000 at the beginning. Caroline, let's start with you.

POLISI: Yes, I'm not surprised there. Again, I think that would have been -- it wasn't a slam dunk case for, certainly, he would be let out on bond because there were certainly factors that would indicate that maybe, as Renato said, he could be a danger to the community. But it's typical that the presumption is that a criminal defendant should be out on bail pending his trial because we should note he is innocent until proven guilty. So I'm not surprised there. I would just say, though, cry me a river, that R. Kelly's label has dropped him and that he is having financial problems and that his lawyer is saying that he can't make bond. Well, you know what, he is one of the most successful R&B singers in the world. I don't think the judge likely took kindly to hearing that he's having financial difficultly.

BASH: OK, guys, stay with me. I think we have Sara is back up. Sara, if you can hear me, go ahead with your debrief of Nick.

SIDNER: So Nick was just detailing what the judge was listening to, and everyone in the court was listening to from the prosecution detailing some of the sordid and difficult details of these cases involving underaged girls. And what is significant in what you said in the first two is that the second girl told R. Kelly's aide that it was her 16th birthday. So the inference there is that he had to have known that she was underage at the time. What happened to the third and fourth victims.

WATT: A similar issue, actually, Sara, with the third one. Now, this third alleged victim apparently met R. Kelly during his last trial on similar charges. If we remember back in 2008, he was acquitted of those charges. Now, this young lady apparently met R. Kelly outside the courtroom, asked for her autograph. She was also under 17 years of age. They then engaged in a sexual relationship from that point on.

The fourth, there is video evidence allegedly of this. And a relative, an aunt, we believe, of the alleged victim here has identified her niece on that tape involved in sexual relations with R. Kelly. Now I just want to give you a couple of other details that were thrown

out there throughout a number of these cases, that allegedly R. Kelly choked one of the women, he spat on a couple of the women, on the hairdresser, he allegedly spat on her after she rejected his sexual advance, and he also, there is some DNA that is allegedly found on the clothing of I believe two of the victims.

Now, having said at the beginning, R. Kelly's lawyers said I'm not going to challenge any facts, that's not what we're here for, this is just a bond hearing. He then did say, hang on a second, that DNA is not a match. So the judge pushed the state attorney and said, was it a match? The state attorney said initial tests were a match, yes, but more testing will be done.

SIDNER: Really excruciating to hear, I know, for the families in there. Can you give me a sense of what the families were like? Because I was in there for just a few minutes listening to the details, and you could see and feel a heaviness, a very emotionally charged area. What would you say about what you were seeing in the crowd there?

WATT: There was silence in the crowd, as the state laid this out. And then at the end, remember, it is the same judge that we had for the Jussie Smollett bond hearing the other day.

[14:15:00] At the end of it all the judge then went through in excruciating -- and you know when words come out of a judge's mouth, they seem to land even heavier. And he is detailing instances of alleged sexual abuse, of girls under the age of 17. And another thing that the state also did, and the judge did again at the end, was the dates for every alleged offense, they said how old R. Kelly was at the time. He is now 52 years of age. These alleged offenses took place over a long period of time.

SIDNER: From 1998 to 2010.

WATT: So before every count, they would say at this point, R. Kelly was 42-years-old. At this point, he was 31-years-old. And again, remember, three of these alleged victims were under the age of 17, the age of consent here in Illinois at the time these alleged offenses took place.

SIDNER: I want to mention something that is important for the audience to know. You heard Nick detail the fourth charge, and that charge involving a girl who was 14-years-old at the time. We can now tell you that the tape that I have seen, the tape that was handed over by Michael Avenatti, actually is that girl who has been identified by her aunt to a grand jury. It is the same girl that charges were brought against R. Kelly in 2008. So one of these victims, some of her allegations, some of the allegations that prosecutors had, because she did not take part in that first trial, which is one of the reasons why the jury had a difficult time identifying her and R. Kelly, one of these cases is the very same victim from the first case that prosecutors alleged R. Kelly had inappropriate sexual contact with.

WATT: And that was another thing that R. Kelly's defense mentioned. He said, listen, one of these cases, we've seen it all before. This witness, the jury already didn't believe her in the last case, and the state came forward and said what you were just saying now, Sara, that no, in fact this person, this case was not part of the previous, the last time that R. Kelly was in court. That was another area where they disagreed.

SIDNER: Interesting. And it's interesting all these different details coming out. I can tell you we are hoping that we will be able to speak with one of the families who is here. We noticed that a group of folks went out. We understand that a couple of them are actually, came here in support of R. Kelly.

I do want to turn the camera right now, because this is the state's attorneys, one of the assistants standing there, you her in the fuchsia jacket, standing behind. And now you are seeing Kim Foxx, the state's attorney, come forward. This will be the second time she has spoken about this. At first she just detailed the charges that we have all now heard, the 10 counts of sexually aggravated abuse. Now you will hear from her.

KIM FOXX, COOK COUNTY STATE'S ATTORNEY: Kelly was indicted before a Cook County grand jury on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving four victims. The first victim, H.W., was involved in incidents which occurred between May 26th, 1998, and May 25th, 1999. A grand jury returned an indictment on four counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse based on the victim being under the age of 17, and Robert Kelly being more than five years older than the victim.

The victim met Robert Kelly on her 16th birthday where she was celebrating at a restaurant. At that encounter, the victim told Robert Kelly it was her 16th birthday that day. Robert Kelly's manager then gave the victim Robert Kelly's business card with Robert Kelly's personal cell phone number written on it, and told the victim Robert Kelly wanted her to call him. The victim's mother heard this and took the card, and told Robert Kelly's manager that the victim was only 16.

The victim later got that card from her mother's purse and called Robert Kelly. Robert Kelly told the victim to come to his studio. Robert Kelly told the victim, after her dad dropped her off at school, she could take a cab to his studio. The victim followed Robert Kelly's instructions. At that first encounter, at Robert Kelly's studio, located at 865 North Larrabee, in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, Robert Kelly had difficulty maintaining an erection, and penetrated the victim repeatedly vaginally and orally.

Afterwards, Robert Kelly told the victim to get an envelope with money from the receptionist, and that the victim assumed that that money was to pay for the cab rides to and from Robert Kelly's studio. The envelope contained a large sum of money, more than was needed to pay for the two cab rides. The victim had similar sexual encounters about once a month with Robert Kelly, from May 26th, 1998, to May 25th, 1999.

The second victim, R.L., was involved in an incident which occurred between September 26th, 1998, and September 25th, 2001. [14:20:03] A grand jury returned an indictment on two counts of

aggravated criminal sexual abuse based on the victim being under the age of 17, and Robert Kelly being more than five years older than the victim. In 2001, a witness had conversations with Robert Kelly and Robert Kelly's associates, where the witness was asked to retrieve videotapes showing Robert Kelly having sexual intercourse with the victim in this case, when she was only 14-years-old. The witness obtained that video and watched it. The witness eventually turned this video over to the Cook County state's attorney's office through his attorney.

The witness has identified the girl in the video as the girl he knows to be the niece of S.E. Additionally, the witness identified the scenes from the video as having been from Robert Kelly's house, located at One Maros Lane, Olympia Field, Cook County, Illinois. In the video, Robert Kelly -- in the video, the victim repeatedly, repeatedly says she is 14-years-old, and Robert Kelly is seen penetrating the victim orally and vaginally. And the victim performed oral sex on Robert Kelly. S.E. has identified the girl in the video as her niece, the victim in the case.

The third victim, L.C., was involved in an incident that occurred February 18th, 2003. A grand jury returned an indictment on one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse based on the transmission of semen by Robert Kelly upon any part of the body of the victim for the purpose of sexual gratification during the course of the underlying forcible felony of aggravated criminal sexual assault attempt. On February 18th, 2003, 865 North Larrabee Street, in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, the victim was 24-years-old and worked as a hairdresser for Robert Kelly. While the victim was waiting alone in a room for Robert Kelly to come in so she could braid his hair, Robert Kelly entered, saying he didn't want his hair braided that day. He wanted his head massaged. At the time, he said this, Robert Kelly had his pants pulled down, and he was pointing to his penis. Robert Kelly grabbed the victim by the head and tried to fort her mouth onto his exposed penis, but the victim was able to resist.

Robert Kelly then masturbated and ejaculated onto the victim and spit in her face several times. The shirt the victim was wearing was submitted to the Illinois state police for DNA testing, and the semen was identified on the shirt. The male DNA --

BASH: Some very graphic, very detailed explanation of the charges, what obviously, what Kim Foxx, the Cook County state's attorney said in the courtroom, trying to keep R. Kelly, Robert Kelly, from getting bail, failed to do that. There was $1 million bail.

As we monitor the rest of her press conference, I want to go back to Sara Sidner. There is obviously a lot to digest. Sara, the video that she is talking about is the one that you have seen, thanks to Michael Avenatti, and we won't -- you talked about as the specifics, as much as you can, or really want to. But I think one of the many things that I saw and heard that was new, and you correct me if I'm wrong, Sara, is how brazen he allegedly was, that it was during the trial, on this very subject, which he beat, but back in 2003, the trial for allegedly having sexual encounters with a minor, that he picked up a minor outside the courthouse. That's just is incredible.

SIDNER: Yes, that is a good way to describe it. It is one of those details in this case, that certainly, for those who don't know the case, has people, their jaws dropping. But if you have watched the "Surviving R. Kelly" series, the girl is in that series. She talks about having met him. She talks about when she met him. She cries on camera saying that she was abused. That girl talks about, she met him outside of this case.

This is a -- those who have accused R. Kelly, a modus operandi, if you will. There were people accusing him of hanging out outside of high school and trying to pick women up there. And these accusations have been going on for decades now.

[14:25:00] We do want to, again, warn you that the details of this case, because of what they are, we're talking about aggravated sexual abuse, including aggravated sexual abuse of minors, are, this is extremely, extremely explicit stuff, sexually explicit stuff. So I think it will be hard for the audience to listen to some of these details. We are talking about minors that are being engaged this way. You heard the state's attorney talking about the details.

I do want to let you know that there are families here. I am looking right now at a family who is here, they were hoping to be able to speak with their daughter. They were unable to do so. The mother, one of, her name is in Azriel Clary, the mother is in tears, holding her husband, and they are having a moment here in court. But this has been an emotional time for so many people, certainly, for R. Kelly, and his folks, too, who are here, who proclaim his innocence. His attorney says his client is innocence of the charges. We should have some sort of other hearing on February 25th, and that is Monday, Dana.

BASH: Sara, thank you so much for breaking that all down and staying on top of it there. We'll get back to you.

I want to bring back Caroline Polisi. Caroline, what are your initial thoughts on what we've heard from the state's attorney and reporting from Sara?

POLISI: It's just disgusting. It's very hard to listen to, quite frankly, Dana. And Sara noted there, I know exactly who that victim is, the one, if you watch the documentary, the young girl, who was an avid R. Kelly fan, who appeared day after day. She cut school to go to his trial, the first trial, for child pornography charges. And she says in that in the documentary, she said he thought he was innocent. And then he approached her, she approached him, at the courthouse, I think, Dana. The audacity, this guy thought he was untouchable.

He did a number of interviews thereafter, when somebody asked him do you like teenaged girls, and he said define teenage. That's what we're talking about here. So I think a lot of people feel vindicated. Even as we are at this step, obviously we don't have a conviction yet, and this is just a day of reckoning, and as Sara said, very emotional for the alleged victim's families there.

Emotional for the parents of alleged victims who aren't necessarily, crimes aren't being prosecuted against R. Kelly because the women are now of age, but there's a couple there whose parents feel that the daughters are being held against their will, essentially, as a sexual slave. So it is just unimaginable, absolutely unimaginable.

BASH: It is. And "audacity" is the perfect world to describe what allegedly happened there. And I also want to underscore what you said earlier, which is that when you are talking about girls who are in their teens, 14-years-old, for example, they are children.

POLISI: They're children.

BASH: Thank you. Thank you for that. And thank you again to Sara and Nick.

And more breaking news ahead. A redacted version of the sentencing memo for Paul Manafort has just been filed. What it means for President Trump's former campaign chairman, that's next.


[14:32:18] BASH: Breaking news. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has just filed a redacted version of the sentencing memo for Paul Manafort. I want to bring back CNN reporter and producer Marshall Cohen who, along with our team, has started to go through this. Also, before we get to Marshall, I want to introduce CNN Legal Analyst Renato Mariotti. Marshall, what do we know so far?

MARSHALL COHEN, CNN REPORTER AND PRODUCER: We've got this new filing from prosecutors. This is in his D.C. case. He's going to be sentenced next month. They did not give a specific recommendation of how much time he should do in prison. In this case the maximum is 10 years. That seems likely based on the litany of crimes that he pleaded to, and additional misconduct that they are pointing out in this memo.

BASH: And I just saw an e-mail from Kaitlyn (ph) Palance (ph) talking about the fact that prosecutors, everybody is going through this now, the prosecutors made clear, in no uncertain terms, maybe not these words, they don't ever want him to be a free man again.

COHEN: Paul Manafort is 69-years-old, he will be turning 70 soon. They told the judge in Virginia that he should go to jail for as much as 25 years, tacking on possibly another 10. They hinted to the judge in this D.C. case that she can stack the next 10 year, potential 10- year term on top of that 25. It would seem to all but ensure that he may never be a free man again. And one other thing in here, they say that if he does ever get out, they say he is at a very high risk of committing crimes again, recidivism.

BASH: I think that is the point that I think Kaitlyn (ph) was making.

Renato, put this in perspective. How damaging is this for Manafort when it comes to legal perspectives, and of course the president?

MARIOTTI: Well, Manafort, from Manafort's perspective, this is all devastating. He is in about the worst possible legal position you could be in. He was convicted in one case of multiple federal crimes, felonies. In another case, he pled guilty pursuant to a cooperation deal, then he blew the deal. This is after, of course -- while he was out on bond, he was engaged in another crime of witness tampering. So a lot of problems for Paul Manafort, he is looking at an immense out of time, the rest of his life in prison.

The good news for Paul Manafort is that the president of the United States, Donald Trump, appears to like him very much and may give him a pardon. I think that's the upside for him, although there are state charges that are ready to get filed in New York.

As to this filing, I know that this was -- there's been a lot of people awaiting this filing, a lot of speculation about it.

[14:35:02] I think that here it was understated by prosecutors. The filing itself looks like it's only about 24 pages. I read through it briefly, while over the last 10, 15 minutes. It did not go into detail, for example, as to the lies that Manafort told, presumably because the judge already is aware of all of that. The judge already knows about the lies, has already made decisions about that previously in a lengthy hearing. So I think they took the approach, Mueller and his team took the approach that I think they would in an ordinary case.

There's no need, this judge gets it. She is already heard a lot about Paul Manafort, she's seen his lies right before her eyes, detailed. I don't think she needed 100 pages on Paul Manafort, although you certainly could write that. They went with the less is more approach.

BASH: And Renato, you're right, there was a lot of anticipation for this. Marshall, our colleagues, we're burning the midnight oil literally waiting for this, which was supposed to come out before midnight last night. And one of the hopes for us journalists is that it would be a longer sentencing report and it would give more of the breadcrumbs that we've seen from other --

COHEN: A longer report.

BASH: A longer report, and breadcrumbs from the Mueller team about where they might be headed, particularly with one of the key questions, which is, or key issues, Manafort meeting with Kilimnik, Ukrainian, who had ties to the Russian intelligence services, more information about that meeting and what was behind that.

COHEN: Yes, that played into the drama of the last several months. Manafort and Konstantin Kilimnik, this Russian national, who the FBI believes has ties to Russian intelligence and had those ties during --

BASH: We don't think we have -- we're just starting to --

COHEN: I took a quick look. Kaitlyn (ph) Palance (ph), our colleague, is going through all of the pages. It doesn't appear that they're getting into the campaign activity. Kilimnik does factor into the witness tampering charges that ended up landing Manafort in jail initially last year, but if you were hoping that this report would furnish some of the secrets of this investigation, you may be a little disappointed.

BASH: Maybe. And before I let you go, Renato, big picture, this is one of the last things we believe we were waiting for with regard to Mueller action in court before the report is completed, given to the attorney general. Does this tell you anything? Or do you have any thoughts about, after two years, this perhaps being the final move in court?

MARIOTTI: Well, I would not judge Robert Mueller based solely on this filing. He has generated a lot of charges and convictions for sure. What I would say is this is not -- people built up a lot of expectations for this document. I don't think that there is a lot new here. I suspect that there is going to be a lot in his report, but expectations should be managed there as well. This was not an investigation that was, if you look at the documents pointing him to collusion, it was an investigation into the links and connections and other various federal crimes, and he has generated a lot on that front, and we will see what develops in the weeks to come on that.

BASH: Thank you so much, Marshall, Renato, appreciate your insight, and Marshall and our team forgoing through this real fast.

And we are continuing to follow the breaking news. Up next, we are going to talk to a congressman about his thoughts, congressman who sits on the Intelligence Committee. Stay with us.


[14:43:17] BASH: We're following breaking news. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has just filed a redacted version of the sentencing memo for Paul Manafort. Prosecutors say Manafort's criminal actions were bold and that prison time in this case can be in addition to his first case. Prosecutors also outlined Manafort's, quote, deceit, including members of Congress, and also to members of the executive branch.

I want to bring in a member of Congress, Democratic Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois. He is both on the House Oversight Committee and the Intelligence Committee. I want to ask about a lot going on before those committees this coming week, but first, I know you haven't had a chance to read this redacted sentencing memo, but I'm sure you've heard us reporting on it. The gist is that Mueller's team is saying that this guy should be in jail for the rest of his life.

REP. RAJA KRISHNAMOORTHI, (D) INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Yes, thanks for having me on, Dana. Paul Manafort's deceit has now extended to virtually everybody he's met. I mean his nose is longer than Pinocchio's at this point, and I think that Robert Mueller has had it. And I think it is also a signal to other witnesses and people that are being investigated that they need to tell the truth in front of Congress, as well as to Robert Mueller.

BASH: Let's talk about what you are going to have in front of you next week, which is Michael Cohen. He is going to be before both of the committees that you sit on that I mentioned, both Intel and Oversight. What do you want to hear from Michael Cohen while he is on Capitol Hill?

[14:45:00] KRISHNAMOORTHI: Well, as you know, Michael Cohen was at the nexus of the president's personal business as well as his campaign affairs, and so he literally knows everything about a lot of topics of interest before Congress. My personal inquiry will be, how did he go from being one of the president's staunchest defenders to being now one of his staunchest critics? And we'll ask questions about everything from the president's personal finances to campaign finance violations, and pretty much everything in between. That would be in Oversight. With regard to the Intelligence Committee, that will be a closed session, and that will be related to Russia and classified information.

BASH: The reason, one of the reasons Michael Cohen is going to jail, is because he lied to Congress. So what makes you think he's going to tell you the truth this week?

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Well, I think that's a great question. I think the American people have to evaluate his credibility when he comes before Congress. But on the other hand, one of the reasons he is going to prison is because he lied to Congress. And so, he knows the consequences of lying in months and years at this point. And hopefully that's a warning to him and others not to lie again before Congress.

BASH: But you acknowledge, obviously, that your witness, even though you're going to be asking very important questions about the Trump Organization, about the president, about finances, about all of those things under the sun, that he's got a credibility problem.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Absolutely. He had a credibility problem, and that's why in part he is going to prison. But he is going to prison in May. And so he's going to be doing some significant time. And at this point, hopefully he's at least learned the lesson that lying to Congress means more prison time. And someone in his position, I would hope, would want to lessen their prison time, not extend it.

BASH: One of the things that my colleague, Chris Cuomo, was hearing, "The New York Times" did some reporting on this as well, is about the fact that Michael Cohen has been talking to prosecutors in New York about the Trump Organization, what the president had called the red line, getting information, giving information about the inner workings of the Trump Organization. Is that part of the point of inquiry that you're going to -- you and your colleagues are going to be following this week?

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Possibly. My understanding is that before the Southern District of New York, Michael Cohen has basically talked to them about dealings with the Presidential Inaugural Committee and a certain witness name Imaad Zuberi, who made an inordinately huge contribution to the campaign committee for no apparent reason. And then the other issue is with regard to various other dealings of the president and the Trump Organization, and illegality there. And so I think that these are very serious, and again, I think that we all need to get to the bottom of the truth with regard to those as well. BASH: The attorney general, new attorney general, William Barr, has

not been very clear about -- holding his cards close to the vest, about whether or now the Mueller report, which should be given to him, maybe not this week, according to our reporting, but probably soon after, whether and how it will be made public, never mind given more broadly to Congress. What tools do you have, now that you Democrats are in the majority in the House, to force it over?

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Well, first of all, I hope that Attorney General Barr not only turns over the report to the American people and Congress, for them to see, but also the underlying content, the documents that support the report. But if he does not, obviously the House Judiciary Committee and other committees of Congress have subpoena power to go after the report as well as the underlying documents.

And we could also call Robert Mueller himself to testify before Congress with regards to holes or gaps that might be in the summary that Attorney General Barr prepares regarding the Mueller report.

BASH: So subpoenaing the report and perhaps even Robert Mueller himself are both actively discussed, if you don't get it voluntarily?

KRISHNAMOORTHI: We hope it doesn't come to that, Dana. And that's in part why I believe letters have already gone out to Attorney General Barr to basically clarify what is he actually going to turn over. Regardless of what Mr. Barr does, we should also know that Chairman Schiff and the House Intelligence Committee, we are actively pursuing an investigation of the Russia situation, along with certain topics that we believe that special counsel Mueller has not pursued.

[14:50:07] And our plan is to fully release this report, at the conclusion of the investigation, to the fullest extent of the law. The American people deserve to know exactly what happened in 2016.

BASH: Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, thank you so much. A lot happening in your hometown of Chicago today. Appreciate it.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Yes, unfortunately. Yes, unfortunately, Dana.

BASH: Well, we'll leave it there. Thank you again.

And we want to tell our viewers to tune in tomorrow morning. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will join Jake Tapper on the STATE OF THE UNION. That's 9:00 a.m. eastern, right here on CNN.


BASH: Soon, a warrant will be out for the arrest of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft after a bombshell report from Florida police.

[14:55:00] They say the billionaire, and one of the most successful team owners in NFL history, was solicited sex at a day spa in Jupiter, Florida. CNN's Jason Carroll has a look at what police found and what comes next.


CHIEF DANIEL KERR, JUPITER POLICE DEPARTMENT: We are as equally stunned as everybody else.

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Police in Jupiter, Florida, shocked that New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is allegedly caught in their sting operation at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa. Kraft, charged with two counts of soliciting another for prostitution, which are misdemeanors.

KERR: Much of our evidence comes directly from the businesses, also, from body worn cameras of our officers, and also surveillance that we had been conducting.

CARROLL: Police say Kraft visited the spa on two occasions, and they say they have videos allegedly showing him in a room referring what detectives characterized as paid acts. Their investigation into human trafficking at the spa lasted several months. More than two dozen men, or Johns, including Kraft, are being charged for receiving illegal services.

KERR: He is being charged with the same offenses as the others, and that is soliciting another to commit prostitution.

CARROLL: Kraft whose team won the Super Bowl three weeks ago, is the chairman and CEO of the Kraft Group. His worth is listed by Forbes at more than $6 billion. And he is a friend of the president, and a frequent visitor to Trump's club, Mar-a-Lago.

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

CARROLL: A spokesman for the 77-year-old billionaire released a statement which says "We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity. Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further." The Kraft family has been active in philanthropic efforts over the years, but police now say they will be issuing a warrant for his arrest.

Jason Carroll, CNN, New York.


BASH: That's it for me. Thanks so much for joining me. Newsroom continues with Ryan Nobles after a quick break. Stay with us.