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El Chapo's Lawyers Want to Question 12 Jurors Who Found Him Guilty; Key Cooperating Witnesses Sign Plea Deal in College Cheating Scam; Daughters of Actress Lori Loughlin Still Enrolled at USC; Ohio Neuropsychologist Has Last Perfect Bracket for March Madness. Aired 2:30-3p ET
Aired March 26, 2019 - 14:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:30:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: There's another huge legal story breaking right now. Attorneys for El Chapo want to question all the jurors who found him guilty. What are the odds a judge actually allows that?
New details today in the college cheating scam case. What we've learned about key cooperating witnesses and a plea deal.
BALDWIN: Billionaire drug lord, Juaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, never took the stand in his trial but now there's a chance his jurors may have to be the ones in the hot seat. Lawyers for El Chapo want to question the 12 jurors who found him guilty on 10 federal counts, including running a criminal enterprise. Today, El Chapo's attorneys filed a motion for a court review and a possibly new trial in light of a report that at least five jurors violated the judge's orders by following media coverage about the case. One juror told others about the judge wanting to question them about whether they heard stories that the kingpin had sex with underaged girls. One of the jurors told "Vice News," quote, "We did talk about it. Jurors were like, you know, if it was true, it was obviously disgusting, you know, totally wrong. But if it's not true, whatever, it's not true. That didn't change nobody's mind for sure. We weren't really hung up on that."
[14:35:35] Barrett Berger is a former federal prosecutor.
Berit, how easy is it to prove that other jurors violated the judge's prohibition saying no news for you?
BERIT BERGER, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Courts are hesitant to try to get into what happened in the jury deliberation room. If these are allegations that have come up in the middle of trial let's say, if this happened in trial and said the jurors are following the news, I can see the judge pulling them in and asking them. Judges are very reluctant to bring jurors back in after a verdict. I can't even think of a case in my time as a prosecutor where this happened. And I think it would be extremely unlikely in a case like this where you don't have evidence of, you know, serious fraud. You really just have evidence of improper influence from the media.
BALDWIN: Which, by the way, you said to me during commercial break, you assume the judge knows they're peeking here and there.
The judge -- one retired federal judge said, calling jurors back for question would be a, quote, "very rare event." The judge said it only happened in her -- once in her 22 years on the bench.
And I know you agree with that. What can you give me some far-flung example of why a judge would ever do this?
BERGER: Yes. Hypothetically speaking, if it came out after a trial that one of the jurors that had been sitting on the panel had received money from the defendant's family, for example, in exchange for that money they were to return a not-guilty verdict. That's the kind of allegation I can see a judge saying, this is have I serious, this is real jury tampering, I'm going to bring them back in to see if anyone else has been affected by this. An allegation of some jurors following the news isn't going to cut it, because that juror actually said the news that the jurors had heard, they discarded, and said, even if that's true it doesn't change our ultimate out verdict.
BALDWIN: OK. Berit Berger, thank you very much.
BALDWIN: That's the el Chapo trial. We'll see you in a bit.
More on breaking news, all charges dropped on "Empire" actor, Jussie Smollett. Police and the mayor are livid about this. We have new details ahead.
Also, passengers on board a British Airways jet got a free flight to Scotland. You heard about this? The problem is they were supposed to go to Germany. So what happened?
We'll be right back.
[14:42:09] BALDWIN: Yale University is now the first school to officially rescind the admission of a student linked to the college admission scandal. This comes as Yale and several other major universities are still dealing with the fallout. Prosecutors have arrested 50 people, including 33 wealthy parents and celebrities. They're accused of carrying out a scheme to cheat on standardized tests and/or bribe college coaches to gain admission to elite schools.
This Yale announcement comes as we learn that the daughters of actress, Lori Loughlin, who has been charged in the case, are still enrolled at the University of Southern California.
CNN's Brynn Gingras is with me now.
Brynn, on this Yale tory, how much money did the parents of that student pay to get in?
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN REPORTER: Yes. Brooke, prosecutors say that parent paid $1.2 million to get their daughter into Yale through the women's soccer team, even though she never played soccer. The person who helped facilitate that admission is Rudy Meredith. He's the former Yale women's soccer coach. He was there for 20 years before resigning and now formally charged. Rudy Meredith we know was cooperating with authorities. He was one of the first people to begin cooperating with authorities in this case and his cooperation agreement, the details of that were recently unsealed. Now let's remember, he's pleading guilty to two felony charges. He was facing some serious jail time, up to 20 years and in return for his continued cooperation in this case, he is going to likely see less jail time. And we also know he's going to have to pay back $865,000 and that's the amount of money that he made off of these deals that he struck with William Singer, the central figure to this whole college admission scheme. Rudy's going to be in court on Thursday and we shall learn more about his particular deal with the government.
But more people, mostly parents, will be in court on Friday for this -- for their first court appearances in many cases getting in front of a judge for the first time. This case ongoing.
I want to also add that we're learning from sources that more arrests could be coming. We're hearing five to 10 more arrests could be coming in the next month or so. And we're hearing they're likely going to be of students or parents. It doesn't seem like any schools will be associated with this case as it continues in the investigation -- Brooke?
BALDWIN: OK. As you keep your ear to the ground on those arrests, I did want to follow-up with you on -- do we know how much -- what more do we know about why Actress Lori Loughlin's daughters are still enrolled at USC?
GINGRAS: We just know it's ongoing. USC says it's determining each case on a case-by-case basis looking into each student who could have been affiliated with this scheme. USC, we know did see the most people enrolled as part of this scheme or at least trying to get enrolled. They're still monitoring their whole situation there at USC. And as you've reported, they are still there. It's unclear what their future holds there with that university, though.
[14:45:22] BALDWIN: Brynn Gingras, in Boston. Thank you, Brynn, very much.
And 2020 contender and Senator, Kamala Harris, introducing a plan to give $13,000 to teachers all across America. Is it realistic? Where does she plan on getting the money? We'll discuss that.
Also, March Madness, how's your bracket? We'll talk to the man who has the last perfect bracket in the world. Meet the Ohio neuropsychologist who's the envy of college basketball fans everywhere right now, next.
[14:50:19] BALDWIN: Tens of millions of people, myself included, filled out brackets for March Madness. And 48 games later, only one person still has a perfect bracket heading into the Sweet 16. With me now is Mr. Perfect himself, Gregg Nigl.
I hope you're buying a lottery ticket with these odds.
GREGG NIGL, NEUROPSYCHOLOGIST: We did buy a Powerball ticket when we were traveling.
BALDWIN: There you go. Did you?
NIJL: Just before I found out.
BALDWIN: I bet a lot of people want to stay friends with you given what you pulled off here with the brackets. I heard you were sick on Thursday. Tip-off day, you almost didn't fill out your bracket. Is that correct?
NIGL: Yes, it was the fourth one I filled out and the last one I filled out and I was very close to going back to bed. I took cold medicine, I just did it on my phone real quick and kind of sort of mashed the other ones I had filled out with a couple other changes. So.
BALDWIN: So a little cold medicine maybe helped you out a little bit, wink, wink.
Seriously, how did you do it? What's your strategy?
NIGL: Well, you know, I'm living in Columbus, Ohio, I watch a lot of Big-10 basketball. I watch my teams, I'm pretty comfortable with picking the big ten schools but a lot of the other ones, there's so many games in college basketball you just can't see them all, so I definitely record bracketology on selection Sunday every year and watch that. And, again, I usually fill out two or three brackets every year and I know there's a core set of teams I'm going to pick on all three or all four and there's a few that could go either way and I do variations.
BALDWIN: And do you ever have those moments where you look at two teams and I have no clue? What's your final, I like the color of your uniform. I'm kidding but how do you figure it out?
NIGL: Yes. Ever since I was young, I've loved traveling and seeing places so it's usually which city or state I want to go visit or have been to visit.
NIGL: Geography, yes.
BALDWIN: I happen to bleed a lighter shade of blue than you do. I'm a Tar Heel, so it is easy for me to fill out my bracket every year. UNC usually goes all the way. I work backwards. I see that you have Kentucky beating UNC. You have Gonzaga beating Kentucky in the national championship. Why are you feeling Gonzaga so much this year? NIGL: Sorry. It was tough to pick them over Michigan. But last
year, I had Michigan going further and it didn't quite happen. So I figured maybe pick Gonzaga this time. They're a great team. They played an amazing season. So they're playing really great basketball right now. Kentucky, I don't know. We'll see with injuries.
BALDWIN: Can you describe for me what it was like realizing that you are Mr. Perfect so far?
NIGL: It's been surreal. My phone has been ringing off the hook. I feel it ringing in my pocket right now. I'm just getting text messages and emails and people calling and it's been -- it's been wild.
BALDWIN: He's on CNN, folks.
BALDWIN: Give him a minute. Give him a minute.
Gregg Nigl, congratulations. Go Tar Heels. Thank you so much.
NIGL: Go blue. Thanks.
BALDWIN: Thank you, thank you.
So that's the story of perfection so far.
But what about the math on all of this? And how amazing it is to pull off this perfect bracket.
CNN's Harry Enten, maybe Mr. Perfect on good day.
HARRY Enten, CNN POLITICS SENIOR WRITER & ANALYST: No, I'm never Mr. Perfect. I may be excellent but never perfect.
BALDWIN: It's so incredible. I love that he bought a lottery ticket. What are the odds?
ENTEN: What I did was I spoke with my friend, Neil, Vinnie, his dog, Bell, and we've had these discussions about what's going on. And Neil helped me crack the numbers. And what he found was, a lot of times there's just a 50/50 chance, but there's some skill involved. If you have a skillful bracket, Neil calculated there's a one-in-one-billion chance of being perfect through 48 games. That is incredible.
BALDWIN: That is what our friend just pulled off.
ENTEN: That is what our friend just pulled off. One in one billion. Those are worse odds than going out and winning the Powerball. This is Nutter Butter. I can't believe he's actually done it to be honest with you.
BALDWIN: And so are you --
(CROSSTALK) [14:54:59] ENTEN: We also -- look, what's the chance of staying perfect through 63 games, the entire thing? It's one in 120 billion. That's a really long shot. If he's able to do that, he shouldn't just buy a Powerball ticket, he should buy a Mega Millions ticket. I'll ask him who I should marry. I'll just ask him anything in the world. This would be just absolutely incredible. But he did it. And he's getting vibrations in his pocket because he's on CNN. I left my phone over there, though.
One other thing I should point out, this could have easily been wrong for him if UCF beat Duke. That's the beauty of this. You have to have everything go your way and, so far, for Gregg, it's worked out for him.
We'll leave it there.
Harry Enten --
ENTEN: Duke is awful.
BALDWIN: Harry Enten. As a Carolina girl, that's just what we're born and bred to say.
Harry, thank you very much. I appreciate it.
Let's continue on. More on our breaking news. As prosecutors mysteriously drop all charges against this man, Jussie Smollett, city officials are furious about this. Hear their strong words for this actor.