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CNN TONIGHT

Divided Party Over Impeaching President Trump; Question Looms On Grounding Boeing 737; Money Talks To Enter Elite Schools; The Largest College Admissions Scam Ever To Be Prosecuted; Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D) Illinois Was Interviewed About The Ongoing Mueller Investigation; Adam Schiff's Warning To The Justice Department; Nancy Pelosi Puts The Breaks On Talks Of Impeachment; Paul Manafort About To Be Sentenced For A Second Time. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired March 12, 2019 - 22:00   ET

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


(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

[22:00:00] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: And it gives their kids a chance to get there. Kids all over the country work in their assess off as well, one better be doing that in my house right now.

We can't let any of those people think that they're boxed out before the game begins. It's definitional to our promise as a people and a nation. This guy can't be the only one. We must shine a light and make an example, this time and every time.

Trust me, stay tuned. Thank you for watching. "CNN TONIGHT" with D. Lemon starts right now.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Don't you think there are a lot of parents out there going, a little nervous right now?

CUOMO: I think that there are lots of parents feeling lots of things, like, why am I even trying? I'll never be able to do that. I knew it was rigged. And kid who believe that they're boxed out because of social standing.

And you know, a lot of people with means and legacy and ambitions who are going to be pissed off as well, because they're going to be like, I can't believe that people were finding this end run around.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: There's a lot of wrong here and my biggest fear is we don't know the half.

LEMON: Yes, and that was my response to just about all the people who texted me today saying, can you believe this? And many more who said, I'm not surprised. Isn't this the way it works? I thought it worked this way. Maybe not to this level, but that's the way it works.

That's why that their -- you know, equity in college admissions, all of these standards and rules that many people don't seem to be abiding by. But for the most part, Chris, that's how it happens. That's --

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: I think that it feeds --

LEMON: I think that's the way the world works and especially in this --

CUOMO: It feeds the cynicism of that. You're right.

LEMON: It does. It does feed the cynicism. I'm not saying it's right, but I'm not so naive to think that this doesn't happen all the time and that there aren't people out there wondering what they did doesn't cross the line ethically or legally.

CUOMO: I don't disagree with that. Look, if these people hadn't been piggish, if they hadn't wanted a tax deduction for their gazy (ph) charity donation, it may have never triggered legal suspicion.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: If they hadn't been such pigs in, not only do I want to pay you for fixing the test, because that's not as easy a law -- there's no law against cheating on your SATs. You know what I mean? That's about how the admissions boards and how the standard -- you know, you don't go to jail --

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Well, apparently, if you did it this way, there was a law against it. If we have somebody else says --

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: Because of the mail fraud.

LEMON: Right.

CUOMO: Because of the use of different systems and the furtherance of a fraud with fraudulent donation to a non-existent charity or a charity that exited but was for really a different its special purpose.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: So, I think you have to learn to police this more. Because people have to know that passage to a better tomorrow is a real part of the dream.

LEMON: Yes. When I was looking for -- one of my guests coming up is Frank Bruni, who is getting placed in the studio now and he talked about, he interviewed someone he talked about, indeed, inner city -- he says, inner city schools aren't sending as many rowers or water polo players to the Ivy Leagues as the story boarding schools of New England.

So they were, you know, pawning these kids off at these, you know, fancy wealthy schools to be playing these Ivy League sort of sports. And then people complain about, well, you know, I didn't -- what about affirmative action and all of those things when the real crime seems to be people who are already affluent, who are already -- have privilege, privileged in some way, who seem to feel that they are entitled to break the law and to break the rules. That's where the real crime seems to be.

CUOMO: At best, it's people who have dreams for their kids, they're afraid they're not going to be able to achieve them, they believe they have the ability to manipulate the system and they lose sense of the most valuable lessons they ever teach their kids --

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: -- about what integrity is, doing the right thing, even when you don't think you're going to get caught for doing the wrong thing. And look, all of these things exist, legacy is a real thing, the private institutions, they want to value that, fine. Sports matters to these schools that make a freaking fortune off it.

LEMON: You mean legacy as in people who have gone to the university before?

CUOMO: That's right.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: A lot of universities favor that. It gives you like six, seven times the chance of getting into it and not being --

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: You know who had no legacy? You know who had no legacy? People who were not afforded an education.

CUOMO: That's true.

LEMON: People who look like me, no legacy.

CUOMO: That's true.

LEMON: Right.

CUOMO: That's true. But you know what, as we've learned tonight and I've known this for a long time, being the first in a family to go to college can also be something that institutions shine a light on.

LEMON: Amen. And they should.

CUOMO: And that's a good thing. But I'm saying, you can have lots of different preferences and people can like them or not like them and you should pick your institution based on that.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: However, this is different.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: This is wicked stuff.

LEMON: I've got to go, but I've got to say, a lot of it was probably, look, neighbor Williams or whoever -- got their kid got into Harvard, so we've got to our kid into Princeton or Harvard. A lot of it had to do with the parents more so than the children. I've got to run.

CUOMO: Father Beck taught me the lesson of the eternal quest for more, the appetite will never be sated.

[22:05:01] LEMON: Yes. Keeping up with the Joneses. That's what my -- that's what my mom would say, we don't need to keep up the Joneses, we're the Lemons.

CUOMO: We don't. Only got to impress one person whereby yourself person, yourself.

LEMON: Thank you, sir. See you soon.

CUOMO: Later, brother.

LEMON: Nice singing.

This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.

And we got a bunch of big stories tonight and a whole lot to talk about. So, we need to move it along here. While we're waiting for the Mueller report, awaiting that Mueller report and with the second Manafort sentencing due tomorrow, Democrats are lining up on both sides of the impeachment debate. Did you notice that? There's a side that says, hold on, it's too soon for all of this impeachment talk.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JERROLD NADLER (D), NEW YORK: I think that with regard to impeachment, we're a long way from that. We're a long way from facing that. We have to know all the facts. We don't know all the facts. Once we know all the facts, then we'll have to make judgments.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), MINORITY LEADER, NEW YORK: Look, I'm going to wait for the Mueller report. We have to see what the Mueller report says, I think, before making any conclusion.

REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D), NEW YORK: We didn't run on impeachment. We did not win on impeachment. We are not governing with a focus on impeachment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Well, sounds like they agree with the House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, who said, impeaching President Trump wasn't worth it. She said, he's not worth it. Though, I should point out that she left a big hole, a hole that you could drive a truck through when she said, quote, "unless there's some conclusive evidence." But not everyone is onboard with the wait-and-see approach. There's

the Democrats, their new guard, like Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib who announced last week that she plans to file an impeachment resolution, an impeachment resolution this month.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. RASHIDA TLAIB (D), MICHIGAN: We look forward. Obviously, at some point, there's a transparent process. No one, not even the president should be above the law.

Speaker Pelosi has always encouraged me to represent my district. Has never told me to stop, has never told me to do anything differently. Ever.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: In just a moment, I'm going to ask Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi to weigh in on all of this.

And then there is this story. It's a story that has airline passengers everywhere up in arms. The FAA doubling down tonight, insisting there is no basis, no basis to order the grounding of Boeing 737, the Boeing 737 MAX, even though two of the planes have crashed in just the past five months.

Even though 346 people died in those two crashes. Even though countries and airlines around the world are grounding the 737 MAX.

President Trump weighed in this morning, pretty much the way he always does, harkening back to some nostalgic time when his life was simpler and everything was great, saying, airplanes are becoming too complex to fly, and quote, "often old and simpler is far better." Sometimes that's the case. Sometimes it's not.

He is ignoring the fact that flying today is safer than it was back in the day. Last year, there was one fatal accident for every three million flights, one fatal accident for every three million flights.

And proving there is a tweet for everything, remember when the president gave himself a pat on the back for airline safety last year? A tweet for everything. I mean, there really is, for everything, but I digress.

Shortly after he tweeted about planes being too complex to fly, the president got a call from the CEO of Boeing, who reportedly told him the 737 MAX is safe. It may or may not be a coincidence that the acting defense secretary worked for Boeing for 30 years.

Now Boeing is insisting its planes are safe. The FAA is refusing to ground them and a whole lot of passengers are wondering if they should get on their next flights, more to come on that. We'll talk a lot about that.

But we've got to talk about this college admissions scam story, the one that exploded into the headlines today. The biggest one ever prosecuted. Yes, the celebrities charged are shiny objects in all of this. It's pretty shocking to think that an Oscar nominee like Felicity Huffman, who starred in "Desperate Housewives" and Lori Loughlin from "Full House" fame, remember her, they are charged with fraud.

It's disturbing to think that well-off parents would go to such lengths given the advantages they and their families already possess. Huffman allegedly paid $15,000 to a fake charity to facilitate cheating for her daughter on the SATs.

And according to the complaint, e-mailed a cooperating witness, quote, "Ruh ro, looks like my daughter's high school wants to provide own proctor."

[22:09:52] Loughlin along with her husband, fashion designer, Mossimo Giannulli, whose brand was a big seller at Target and everywhere, allegedly, they paid bribes totaling half a million dollars to get their two daughters designated as recruits to the USC crew team, even though they didn't even row crew. That's a small detail here.

And there are more stories, more allegations about more parents. Test answers changed, parents falsely claiming their children had learning disabilities. Stand-ins paid to cheat on tests. Photoshopping students' faces on to athlete's bodies to get those students admitted as athletes.

Don't get me wrong. There's absolutely nothing wrong with wanting the best for your children. All parents do. All parents want the best for their kids.

But what we're talking about here is not wanting the best for your children. This is not wanting the best for your children. It's being willing to do the worst thing, to allegedly commit crimes, to get what you want for your children. Whether or not they deserve it or whether or not they even want it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDREW LELLING, U.S. ATTORNEY, DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS: The parents charged today, despite already being able to give their children every legitimate advantage in the college admissions game, instead chose to corrupt and illegally manipulate the system for their benefit.

We're not talking about donating a building so that a school's more likely to take your son or daughter. We're talking about deception and fraud, fake test scores, fake athletic credentials, fake photographs, bribed college officials.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: And for all those people who complain about affirmative action, who say it gives an unfair advantage to students of color and other minorities, this is the real scandal.

Elite parents gaming the system, allegedly knowingly participating in a nationwide fraud along with coaches at elite schools, a college administrator, an exam proctor, and two SAT ACT administrators.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSEPH BONAVOLONTA, SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE, FBI BOSTON FIELD OFFICE: This is a case where they flaunted their wealth, sparing no expense to cheat the system so they could set their children up for success with the best education money could buy, literally.

Some spent anywhere from $200,000 to $6.5 million for guaranteed admission. Their actions were, without a doubt, insidious, selfish, and shameful.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: It is shameful. Shameful that this is in America. This is in America that can be deeply unfair, where hard work doesn't necessarily pay off. Where if you have money, you can buy anything, because just about everything is for sale. Including integrity. For sale.

Where a whole lot of people have a real good reason to believe the system is rigged against them. Listen, this is what Donald Trump tapped into. In a lot of ways, guess what, he was right.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The system is rigged. Remember that. The system is rigged. Right now, it's rigged.

We have a rigged system in this country and we have to change it.

You remember what else I called rigged? I called plenty of things in this country rigged.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Now a lot of people will point out, and you know they have every right to do so, that Donald Trump himself is a beneficiary of a system that's rigged in favor of the elite. Let's not forget "The New York Times" investigation that revealed at age three, Donald Trump was earning $200,000 a year in today's standards. He was a millionaire by the age of eight.

And soon after he graduated from college, he was getting the equivalent of $1 million a year from his father. All of that is true, but none of it changes the fact that for far too many people, the American dream is rigged. And he spoke to that. Maybe he's questionable as the messenger for this, but it's a message a lot of people feel in their core.

Rigged in favor of the wealthy and the powerful. And a whole lot of people in this country on the left and on the right are angry about that. It's a lot bigger than this one story. Trust me. This is just the beginning.

So what message are the parents in the college scandal sending to their kids? CNN's Nick Watt is live in L.A. for us, as well as we're going to discuss with this Frank Bruni, Tiffany Cross and Areva Martin.

[22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: It is being called the largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted. There are 50 defendants across six states and millions of dollars in illegally funneled funds. The scheme also involves a handful of the country's most selective universities. But at its core, the alleged scam is remarkably simple and brazen.

CNN's Nick Watt has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FELICITY HUFFMAN, ACTRESS: You know what? One day I won't be able to help you because I won't be here and then maybe you'll understand!

NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Felicity Huffman, a "Desperate Housewife" and Oscar-nominated actress now charged with a felony. Her spouse also appeared in court papers, but never named as William H. Macy. No charges for him, but he was in court in L.A. this afternoon with his wife.

Huffman allegedly paid this man, Andrew William "Rick" Singer $15,000 to have someone alter her daughter's SAT test so she could get into a good college. Her score rose by 400.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LELLING: Between roughly 2011 and 2018, wealthy parents paid Singer about $25 million.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LORI LOUGHLIN, ACTRESS: Hey, everybody. Get up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATT: This afternoon, Lori Loughlin of "Full House" flew home to L.A. to turn herself into authorities. Her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli was arrested this morning, both also now charged with felonies for allegedly paying $500,000 to Singer and an athletic director at USC to get their two girls into the elite school as athletes, coxswain on the crew program, though neither had ever been involved in the sport.

Singer pled guilty in federal court this morning to racketeering and other charges he's cooperating. Apparently, he used his contacts at college sports program across the country. He employed a smart guy to take or correct SAT and ACT tests and allegedly also had two exam administrators in his pocket.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[22:20:07] LELLING: Today, we have charged three people who organized these scams, two SAT or ACT exam administrator, one exam proctor, one college administrator, nine coaches at elite schools, and 33 parents. (END VIDEO CLIP)

WATT: The sailing coach from Yale plead guilty today. The water polo coach from USC was arrested.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LELLING: These parents are a catalog of wealth and privilege.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: FBI. Warrant.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATT: Among them, Martin Fox, president of a private tennis academy, who heard FBI agents knock on his door early this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BONAVOLONTA: Some spent anywhere from $200,000 to $6.5 million for guaranteed admission. Their actions were, without a doubt, insidious, selfish, and shameful.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATT: One father reportedly paid $1.2 million to Singer to get a daughter into Yale as a soccer player. They lied that she co-captained a prestigious club team. Four hundred thousand dollars went to the coach.

Another mother got her son into USC as a track and field athlete. He wasn't, using photo-shopped pictures of him pole vaulting. This, say authorities, is not a victimless crime.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LELLING: For every student admitted through fraud, an honest, genuinely talented student was rejected.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And overall today, sort of, just graduated from here. What's your feeling on this? Overall.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm just disgusted. I'm appalled.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATT: A mother from Beverly Hills allegedly paid $50,000 for a proxy to take the SAT for her son in a Houston hotel room, scoring an impressive 35 out of 36. Meanwhile, she asked for a dummy test that her son could take at home, so he wouldn't know of the scam. But this is an investigation that began almost by accident.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LELLING: Our first lead in this case came during interviews with a target of an entirely separate investigation, who gave us a tip that this activity might be going on. (END VIDEO CLIP)

WATT: The IRS got involved because a lot of this money was allegedly paid to a charity run by Singer, so payments were masked as donations and, well, they're also a tax write-off.

College administrations at the schools hit Georgetown, Stanford, UCLA, UCST, USC, the University of Texas, Wake Forest and Yale allegedly did not know of the scam and they are all now investigating.

And Don, this could just be the tip of the iceberg, just the beginning. One line in the court documents really caught my eye and it's an alleged transcript of a telephone conversation between Singer and a prospective client in this which guy, Singer, brags, boasts that he has orchestrated 761 of these so-called side door admissions.

So, listen, there could be many more college students out there who find out that their parents cheated to get them into college. But more importantly, Don, there must be so many people out there, poorer kids, who did not get into these schools, who are now wondering, did I not get in just because some rich kid's parent cheated? Don?

LEMON: Outrageous. Thank you very much, Nick. We appreciate that reporting. Let's discuss now with Frank Bruni, the author of "Where You Go Is Not Who You'll Be."

I appreciate you joining us. It is outrageous, don't you agree?

FRANK BRUNI, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: It's completely outrageous.

LEMON: It was an elaborate criminal scheme, right? So, what do you think, when you hear about all of these people and the lengths that they went through to do this?

BRUNI: It's funny, as I was listening to this and absorbing the details, I didn't think, I can't believe this happened. I thought, of course this happened.

Because there are -- there's so much money that changes. There's so many ways in which wealthy parents spend money and try to pull strings to make sure their kids have advantages, shortcuts, cut in line to get into these schools.

That in a way, it was a matter of time before they actually bled into criminal activity. And what is the difference at the end of the day between, say, Jared Kushner's dad donating $2.5 million or pledging a $2.5 million donation to Harvard, just as Jared Kushner is applying with grades that wouldn't get him in, with test scores that wouldn't get him in, and lo and behold, he gets in.

Now, that's legal because he was pledging a donation. These people paid big sums of money in what turn out to be bribes. But at the end of the day, it's the same kind of dynamic. It's my kid can't do it on merit, I want my kid to have an advantage over kids who are from less- affluent backgrounds I'm going to buy a way in. LEMON: As I was reading your piece, so, and I was telling Chris that

people were telling me today are you surprised by this? What did Felicity Huffman and you know, what did they do that other people don't do all the time? They don't understand it. Where's the line?

BRUNI: Well, they cheated in a particularly egregious way and one that happened to run afoul of the law.

LEMON: Yes.

[22:24:58] BRUNI: But your question is right on point, it's all a kind of cheating, it's just that some of it is illegal and some of it is strangely legal.

LEMON: It's what, but it's what you said in here. I think you said -- here it is. You said, "While colleges pledge fair admission process as a more diverse student bodies, they don't patrol what's going on with nearly enough earnestness and energy to honor that promise. They are ripe -- they are ripe to be gamed, because the college admission process is a game."

BRUNI: Right. So, one of the myths we have in this country is that when all of these kids apply to Stanford or Harvard or Yale or even schools that maybe aren't quite as selective, they're engaged in some process where objective merit, as if you could ever measure that, is what's coming into play.

These schools are casting a freshman class, they're casting a student body and they're looking for, say, this many water polo players, this many people who play strings in the orchestra.

What affluent parents can do and have always been able to do is to know how that game is played and make sure their kids play the right sport, play the right instrument, take the right number of A.P. courses.

So, it is never been a completely even playing field or a fair fight, because if you are from a certain kind of background, you know how this game is played. You can hire someone. And a lot of parents do this. You will be shocked how many do it.

You can hire someone to basically advise your kid from the 7th grade to the 12th grade. You pay anywhere from $40,000 to $70,000. And that person will say, do this in the summer, take this course, et cetera. Because that person has studied the way admissions are done at say, Dartmouth, Princeton, et cetera, and they're trying to make sure your kid is attractive.

So how is it then fair if you're not from a background like that?

LEMON: That's a very good question. Frank, stay with me. We've got a lot to talk about. And we're going to get into that with Tiffany Cross. That with Tiffany Cross and Areva Martin. Don't go anywhere.

[22:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: LEMON: So celebrities like Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, wealthy parents, coaches all caught up in what's been called the largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted. Frank Bruni is back with me. Joining me now, Tiffany Cross and Areva Martin. Areva is the author of "Make It Rain."

Welcome to the program. I appreciate both of you coming on, as well as Frank, of course.

So Areva, I'm going to start with you.

The sums of money that we're talking about here, mind boggling. Take a look at this, everyone, Areva and everyone else. OK, so look, first to the left of your screen, $500,000 from actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, $15,000 from Felicity Huffman, $150,000 from an international lawyer named Gabe Kaplan, and $500,000 from an insurance executive, Toby MacFarlane.

Areva, you're a parent. You heard about this story. Was there one particular part that outraged you the most?

AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Two pieces of this story really outraged me, Don. One is the way that underprivileged kids were used as pawns. So this whole nonprofit scheme that was used so the parents could be, you know, so parents could allegedly make donations to this nonprofit. The reason for the donations or the stated purpose for these donations was to help underprivileged kids.

So here you have kids who really need help, you know, with financial aid to go to college being used as a pawn in this scheme by these wealthy parents. And the second is the lawyer. Here's a partner of a major law firm, flies his daughter into Los Angeles to get a bogus disability diagnosis. She goes to see a psychiatrist or a psychologist that gives her a learning disability diagnosis so that she can request extra time on the college admissions exam.

I have a child. Not only do I have a child who's in college, I have a child that is disabled. So now, every time a disabled child or a student requests additional time for test taking, which is completely legitimate and completely legal, there's some taint. There's some cause. There's some hesitation about whether this student really does have a disability or whether this is some bogus diagnosis that's been paid for by a wealthy family.

We're talking about a two-tier system here, Don, where wealthy and powerful parents get the advantages and benefits that poor kids and disabled kids don't get. And that's what made this story so outrageous to me as a parent and as an advocate.

LEMON: Frank, in the last segment, you explained very accurately, I believe, how the system is gamed. The largest bribe was $1.6 -- one of the largest bribes, I should say, was 1.6 million, $1.2 million went to the man at the center of this scheme, his name is William Rick Singer, $400,000 thousand was paid to the former head coach of the Yale's women's soccer team. Is this just a perversion of what the college admissions process is supposed to be? FRANK BRUNI, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. I mean it's the ultimate

perversion. And these sums of money are incredible. You know, the other thing I think I want to say here, Don, is what do these parents think of their own children. They basically don't trust their own children to have the merit or the drive to get ahead on their own. And now that these kids -- some of these kids -- this was hidden from them.

I think others probably had some whiff of it. It's hard to believe you grow up with these parents and you wouldn't get the sense that my parents would buy my way into it out of everything. What sort of child have you raised? Have you really raised a child who's going to be successful in any meaning of that term that you and I would respect, a child who's going to learn the right values, have the right values, have a meaningful life?

No, you have simply tried to exploit your station in life to guarantee it for your child, whether your child is willing to work for it or not. These parents are, in a moral sense, monsters.

TIFFANY CROSS, CO-FOUNDER AND MANAGING EDITOR, THE BEAT DC: Right.

LEMON: Tiffany?

CROSS: Yes.

LEMON: Not Aunt Becky from Full House.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Lori Loughlin, from Full House, her husband -- you know, she and her husband have been charged for paying to get their daughter into the University of Southern California. Their daughter posted a video to YouTube about what she's expecting from her college experience. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know how much of school I am going to attend. But I am going to go in and talk to my deans and everyone and hope that I can try to balance it all. But I do want the experience of like game days, partying. I don't really care about school, as you guys all know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Listen, that young lady, you know, she -- she's a young lady. This is about her parents, but she's, like, I don't really care about school. Those comments are really salt in the wounds for anyone who tried to get into USC on merit. Is this about entitlement?

CROSS: Of course it is. And I want to respond to what Frank said, because he made a good point. We do know what type of kids these are when they grow up, because we sit aside them in cubicles and office spaces and occasionally on cable news panels. These are people where you show up, and you as a person of color have to prove yourself at every turn.

You can be an Ivy League graduate and show up to the table and somebody's going to question your existence there. Nobody ever asked how did this basic, ordinary person next to me, who isn't a person of color, earn their space here. And so these children, who have been given every opportunity, you know, rightfully or wrongfully, I should say, get to show up in these spaces as though they earned it when they didn't.

[22:35:13] There is a case right now in the courts, a group called Students for Fair Admissions. They're really a conservative group who are using the face of Asian students to say that they're taking admissions access from Asian students to give them to black and brown people. And it's interesting that the privileged people will have other people of color thinking that we stole something from them.

They're not going after privileged people. And to Frank's point with Jared Kushner's father, there is no difference. I mean, of course, one is legal and one isn't. But the fact that his father paid $2.5 million to get his son to go to Harvard, that is who he becomes. Jared Kushner becomes this privileged, entitled person who feels like the rules don't apply to me.

I can bypass anything, from security clearance processes, and just walk my way in the White House. That extends from government. That extends to the private sector and across all types of genres and industries. So we know exactly who these kids turn out to be. And their parents are, at the end of the day, doing them a disservice, a disservice that we end up paying the cost for.

LEMON: Well, it sounds like you're saying at the heart of this story, is about people who believe that their rightful place has been usurped by outsiders.

CROSS: That's certainly a part of it. You know, I think that's what the court case with the kids who are suing Harvard are trying to insinuate that you stole something from us. Like, we deserve to be there. And not going after the privileged people who bypass the process. So certainly, privilege is at the heart of it. But also, it extends beyond higher education.

When these people get out into the real world, they're really incapable of dealing with any type of adversity or hardship. While those of us, who have dealt with it our lives, I have friends who worked two jobs trying to put themselves through school. I have friends who are working two jobs now trying to put their kids through school.

And so when you see things like this, we now, we have all had all types of hardship in our life. And we've had to work for everything that we've gotten. And so when you see people who show up in a space, like, I deserve to be here, and have the temerity to question your presence there, this is how that happens, when you have these parents who are willing to write a blank check to afford their kids the opportunity. And just to be clear, it wouldn't stop after college. These parents

would still make a call to the studio exec to get their kid a part on the play. Make a call to the president of some company to get their kid a job. We didn't have that.

LEMON: You're preaching. You're preaching. You're preaching. Listen, I am way out of time. But I've got to ask you the question that everyone wants to know. Lori Loughlin, Areva, and Felicity Huffman, what do they face?

MARTIN: Very serious charges. This is mail fraud, wire fraud. These individuals who have been charged, these 50 individuals are facing, some of them 20 years in federal prison. And what we know from this press conference, this is just the beginning. This is not the end of this investigation. Allegedly, there are over 700 people that Rick Singer bragged about using this bribery scheme to get them into colleges.

So there could be hundreds of more students right now today sitting in seats, where they got there because their parents bribed college coaches, college admissions, or someone sat for a test for them that they didn't take so very serious felony crimes.

LEMON: And not just those two. They are the famous names in this story. A lot of people face some very serious consequences. Thank you, all. I appreciate it. We'll be right back.

MARTIN: Thanks, Don.

[22:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee is warning that if the Justice Department doesn't make the special counsel's report public and provide evidence to Congress, the House might have to do the whole investigation over. Here's Congressman Adam Schiff.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: If the department opts to adopt a new policy, opts to put forward a double standard and deprive the Congress of this evidence, it will mean that the Congress will have to recreate everything the Mueller investigation did.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Wow. So is that where all of this is heading? Joining me now is Democratic Congressman, Raja Krishnamoorthi, of Illinois who sits on the Intelligence Committee. Oh my, gosh. Wow, good evening, sir.

REP. RAJA KRISHNAMOORTHI (D), ILLINOIS: Do-over.

LEMON: What'd you say?

KRISHNAMOORTHI: I said do over.

LEMON: Oh, I know a do-over on this one. This is a tough one. You're the chairman of your committee -- says if Mueller's report is not made public and doesn't get the evidence, if Congress doesn't get the evidence that the House might have to do it all over again, would you call that a promise or a threat or both?

KRISHNAMOORTHI: I am not sure what I would -- how I would characterize it, except that the truth is that, you know, the American people deserve to know exactly what happened in 2016. And Attorney General Barr's statements give us no reassurance that either he's going to turn over the report produced by Mr. Mueller to Congress or the American people, or that he's going to provide the underlying evidence supporting those findings.

I think that Chairman Schiff is correct to say that the House Intelligence Committee is, in a sense, almost like a backstop to make sure that we do the investigation properly and that the American people know exactly what happened in 2016.

LEMON: So are you onboard with a do-over?

KRISHNAMOORTHI: I hope it doesn't get to that. I really don't. Because Mr. Mueller has done quite a bit of work already, and I am very much hoping that we can get access to his materials and then supplement them with further investigations.

LEMON: So Congressman, last week, your colleagues on the Intelligence Committee made a big deal about how explosive Michael Cohen's testimony was behind closed doors, and said that it would all come out in the transcripts. I want you to take a listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We learned a lot. The transcript will be released and made public.

SCHIFF: Those transcripts will be made public. The public can evaluate his credibility themselves.

[22:44:57] REP. JACKIE SPEIER (D), CALIFORNIA: I think once the transcript becomes public and the other documents become public, there is going to be new revelations that will be, frankly, as explosive, if not more so than what we heard in the open hearing. It's going to become public rather soon.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: But now, Chairman Schiff is saying that there's a long way to go before he can release any transcripts. So my question is what changed. Why can't you release the transcripts?

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Yes. I was actually part of that three-day Michael Cohen trilogy. I do think the transcripts will eventually be released. But I think what Chairman Schiff is having to weigh at this point, is by releasing those transcripts, we could be altering, shaping, or tainting the testimony of future witnesses in the investigation.

So I think he's airing on the side of protecting the integrity of the investigation, which makes a lot of sense right now.

LEMON: So do you think your colleagues overstated? Did they overstate the explosiveness of Cohen's testimony? Is there some politics being played here?

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Politics? I don't know what you're talking about. No, I don't think they're necessarily overplaying it. The -- as you'll -- as you'll see when you read the transcripts later on, Michael Cohen painted quite a rich picture of the operations of the Trump Organization, as well as the early transition into the White House.

I think that Mr. Cohen, you know, being at the nexus of the president's personal, business, professional campaign life, really knew a lot about a lot of different subjects. And he provided documents to help corroborate that verbal testimony.

LEMON: Congressman, thank you for your time.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: Thank you.

LEMON: Will the House impeach President Trump? I am going to ask two men who know a lot about impeachment. John Dean is here, and Philip Lacovara, were right in the middle of Watergate scandal and they're here next.

[22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Democrats are split after Speaker Nancy Pelosi put the breaks on talks of impeachment, saying that the president is just not worth it and that the process would be too divisive. The White House today welcomed Pelosi's comments. But is impeachment truly off the table? Let's bring in now former Nixon White House Counsel, John Dean, and Philip Lacovara, the former Counsel to Watergate Special Prosecutors.

So glad to have both of you on, gentleman, John, I am going to start with you. There's so much talk of impeachment among Democrats right now, but the Speaker opposes it, saying it needs to be bipartisan. That's the only way impeachment would work, right?

JOHN DEAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: That's the only way of removal and finding guilty would work. The impeachment process takes a simple majority in the House. Conviction takes 2/3 or 67 votes in the Senate. We're not there yet or even close.

LEMON: Philip, this is what you write in your new piece in The Washington Post. You argue that it would be an abdication of responsibility for the House not to pursue a single formal systematic impeachment inquiry. Are you disappointed by the speaker's remarks on impeachment?

PHILIP LACOVARA, FORMER U.S. DEPUTY SOLICITOR GENERAL: I really am. I think that she's overlooking what I believe is the responsibility of the House of Representatives to conduct a formal inquiry into whether Donald Trump is fit to remain in office. And that's one of the functions that the framers of Constitution assigned to the House of Representatives. It's not an option like playing a baseball game between Democrats and Republicans.

LEMON: John, listen. This is a transcript I want to read from the FBI lawyer, Lisa Pages' testimony to the House. It has been released now. Republicans seized on the texts between her and FBI agent Peter Strzok. Remember that, including this one from -- this was from Strzok to Page in August 2016. And it reads I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy's office that there is no way he gets elected.

But I am afraid we can't take that risk. It's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40, Andy being the Deputy FBI Director, Andrew McCabe. Page says that they were discussing how the Russia investigation would be more important if Trump became president. So what do you think of that? What do you make of that?

DEAN: Well, they obviously had some early evidence. We don't have really much of any other than what's shown up in the form of indictments against the Russians. And some of the lies that the investigators have been against people who made a mistake in front of the grand jury. So they might know something there, and that may well be a hint as to where things are headed.

I am waiting still, as everybody else is, on when Mr. Mueller's report comes out, and I think that he will be indicting more people.

LEMON: Interesting. So Philip, Lisa Page is also asked about the text where she says this. She said, God, Trump is a loathsome human. She says it was during a Republican debate where genitalia size was discussed. She clearly had an opinion of President Trump, or then candidate Trump. Do you think it mattered that she was involved in an investigation into his campaign?

LACOVARA: I don't think it disqualifies her. I think you can't expect people to live in and around Washington without having a view about prominent political figures. The issue is whether it tainted the judgments that they made about a possible Russian connection. And I don't think there's any evidence that their decision that there was a basis for a foreign intelligence investigation was based on the actual intelligence community assessments.

[22:54:57] LEMON: Gentlemen, thank you. I really appreciate your time. See you next time. Don't miss John Dean in the new CNN Original Series, "Tricky Dick." It premieres Sunday night at 9:00. Paul Manafort has a big day in court today. He's facing up to 10 more years in prison. Will this sentence be shockingly short like the first one, or will he be facing more time?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: This is CNN TONIGHT. I am Don Lemon. Paul Manafort, President Trump's former campaign chairman, about to be sentenced for a second time. He'll appear before Judge Amy Berman Jackson in federal court in Washington, D.C. tomorrow. Manafort faces up to 10 years in prison for his guilty pleas to charges of conspiracy and conspiracy to obstruct justice, Judge Jackson has proved to be tough on him. She revoked his bail.

Put him behind bars last June after concluding he tried to coach potential witnesses. And last month, Jackson said that Manafort lied about his communications with Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian, who is a former business associate of Manafort's.