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CNN NEWSROOM

House Dems Give Ultimatum over Trump's Tax Returns; Pelosi Slams President for Provocative 9/11 Tweet about Rep. Omar; Man Arrested for Allegedly Throwing or Pushing Child off Third Floor; Roger Stone Demands to See Special Counsel Report. Son Helps Solve Own Mother's Murder Mystery; Chasing Life. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired April 13, 2019 - 11:00   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:59:59] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning everyone. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

This breaking news in the 11:00 Eastern hour.

House Democrats have just sent a new letter to the IRS demanding it turnover President Trump's tax returns. This comes after the Treasury Department missed the one-week deadline to turnover the President's tax information.

House Ways and Means Committee chair Richard Neal says the law is on his side. And the IRS now has ten days to respond.

CNN politics reporter Lauren Fox joining me right now.

So Lauren -- the standoff between Congress and the administration over the request is expected to launch an unprecedented legal battle. Where are we now with this new letter?

LAUREN FOX, CNN POLITICS CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: This is a new letter from the Democratic chairman basically just making the request once again for six years of the President's personal and business tax returns.

Now, in this letter, Richard Neal is very clear, he's responding to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin's letter from last week. This letter, of course, is addressed to the IRS commissioner. But in the letter he says, quote, "I am aware that concerns have been raised regarding my request and the authority of the committee. Those concerns lack merit."

He then goes on to say, "I" quote, "expect a reply from the IRS by 5:00 p.m. on April 23rd, 2019. Please know that if you fail to comply, your failure will be interpreted as a denial of my request.

Now this, of course, is just setting the ground work for that legal fight that we expect to see in upcoming months, but again, Richard Neal wants to see the President's tax returns. He's argue that under the law, the IRS statute, has the authority to do that, whether or not the administration agrees. We know the administration has said Democrats are never going to see the President's tax returns. So we are setting up this fight, again, between Congressional Democrats and the Trump administration. The showdown, of course, over the President's tax returns that he has refused to turn over, both during the campaign and when he entered the White House -- Fredericka.

WHITFIELD: All right. All right. Lauren Fox -- keep us posted. Thank you so much.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is calling out the President today saying he's wrong for his recent attack on freshman Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. Pelosi is coming to Omar's defense after Trump tweeted a video showing snippets of a recent speech Omar gave to the Center for American Islamic Relations and it's cut with images of the September 11th attacks.

We're not showing you the tweet or that video due to the sensitivity of the matter, but Trump is seizing on the moment. Omar referenced 9/11 when she said, "some people did something". Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ILHAN OMAR (D), MINNESOTA: Far too long we have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen and, frankly, I'm tired of it. And every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it.

CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognize that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Omar's comment received harsh backlash, the "New York Post" had this cover criticizing her remarks. Democrats say Trump is using Omar's words out of context to incite violence against here.

And one fact check, CAIR was not founded after 9/11. It was founded in 1994.

Let's get to the White House with CNN's Sarah Westwood on the President's inflammatory tweet. So Sarah -- is the White House responding now to the backlash and to those who are saying Omar's comments have been taken out of context?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, Fred -- so far the White House is staying silent on this wave of support that we are seeing for Congresswoman Ilhan Omar in the wake of President Trump's controversial decision to post that provocative clip.

But this morning, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi became just the latest Democrat to line up behind Congresswoman Omar in the face of this backlash that she's receiving for her comments. Pelosi wrote in part, "The memory of 9/11 is sacred ground and any discussion of it must be done with reverence. The President shouldn't use the painful images of 9/11 for a political attack." Now just for context President Trump's tweet comes after Congresswoman Omar has received death threats including one from a man who was charged with threatening her life just recently. So some Democrats are accusing the President of attempting to incite hatred and even potentially violence against Congresswoman Omar.

Meanwhile, Republicans are accusing Congresswoman Omar of minimizing the threat of terrorism. But President Trump continuing his pattern of seizing on the controversial comment of one Democrats to attack the entire Democratic Party -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: And now Sarah -- I also want to ask you about this immigration battle that's ongoing. Trump says he is actually considering bussing immigrants into so-called sanctuary cities in part to spite Democrats.

[11:05:03] At the same time, the acting Secretary of Defense says he expects to send more troops to the southern border.

What more can you tell us about these competing ideas?

WESTWOOD: We've seen over the past couple of weeks Fred is the Trump administration responding ever more dramatically to the surge of migrants coming over the southern border. And President Trump yesterday confirmed that he is indeed considering a policy of bussing, as you said, migrants into sanctuary cities and releasing them there instead of just into the general southwest as Customs and Border Protection is doing now.

And that came hours after White House officials, administration aides tried to convince reporters that this idea about sanctuary cities was something that was informally brought up in a meeting and quickly dismissed. President Trump contradicting his own officials yesterday when he confirmed it. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITES STATES: We are looking at the possibility, strongly looking at it to be honest with you. California certainly is always saying we want more people and they want more people in their sanctuary cities. Well, we'll give them more people. We can give them a lot. We can give them an unlimited supply and let's see if they're so happy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WESTWOOD: The acting Defense Secretary is discussing potentially sending more troops to the border. So we're seeing, Fred, an aggressive policy shift from the Trump administration right now.

WHITFIELD: All right. Sarah Westwood -- thank you so much for that.

All right. Joining me right now David Swerdlick, assistant editor of the "Washington Post"; and "Time Magazine" contributor Jay Newton- Small. Good to see both of you.

DAVID SWERDLICK, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Hey -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: Let's talk first about this video that the President has used in his tweet illustrating Ilhan Omar's comments when she was speaking before the CAIR audience.

And, you know, Jay -- some presidential candidates have also come out, you know, talking about these matters. Pete Buttigieg tweeted in part, "I served overseas at risk to my life in the struggle against such terrorism, but it can only be fully defeated if we have leaders at home who defuse his capacity to sow hate, hate against Islam or against any number of others."

So talk to me about how the President is tapping into Islamophobia. How he is using Congresswoman Omar in his arsenal in which to do so?

JAY NEWTON-SMALL, CONTRIBUTOR, "TIME MAGAZINE": This is just the latest example of Donald Trump's sort of divisive politics. And it's the us versus them wedge that he's always run on starting in 2016 and we're coming into the 2020 election season.

And so, you know, it's always been one of his favorite cudgels to sort of say, hey look -- and combining his two favorite things -- the caravan is coming and it's full of terrorists that are going to come and kill you and do horrible things to you.

And it's playing on voters' fears, it's playing on the fears of his base on sort of the security moms that George W. Bush won his 2004 re- election on.

But it takes us to another level of really saying that if you're not with me, you're against me and therefore you're against the Unites States of America and that's really getting to the immigration piece of this.

That's really what he's saying here with the Democratic sanctuary cities. He's saying these are my enemies. These are people I want retribution against politically and so I'm going to use these immigrants to get revenge on them as if somehow dropping them off in the cities is going to do something bad to those cities.

WHITFIELD: And so David -- you know, these kinds of attacks -- this latest one, you know, using Omar -- you know, it certainly will, you know, stir up the base. But how strategic overall will it be as we all enter this, you know, re-election, you know, cycle for the President. And does this also give, you know, more ammunition to his opponents in this race?

SWERDLICK: Yes. Good morning -- Fred.

I agree with Jay -- sorry, I'm having a little trouble with audio. I agree with Jay that this is divisive. It's another example of the President's, you know, us versus them politics. I also think the problem here is that you have the President using his huge bully pulpit to paint a target on the back of a sworn member of Congress.

I mean this is a situation where we're asked as citizens to treat the President as, you know, the commander-in-chief and as the leader of the free world. We're asked that members of congress, you know, to treat them with respect and a certain level of authority in these matters and yet earlier in the year you had a situation where Congresswoman Omar was called out for anti-Semitic comments and tweets for which she apologized.

Now you have the President of the Unites States who has the biggest megaphone in the world putting a target on her back by sending a message out to his millions of social media followers. And it's not that I think that the President wants her to be harmed, but I do think that it's giving permission for people to engage this back and forth food fight which eventually can lead to, you know, very serious potentially dangerous consequences.

[11:09:56] Just to get to your point, Fred, about 2020. The President got into office by playing those us versus them politics that Jay mentioned and I think he feels like, until it doesn't work for him, he's going to continue to do it.

WHITFIELD: And Jay -- the President has to be aware, right, at this juncture, has to be aware of the power of his words, the power of his actions, whether it be, you know, in front of a microphone or even by way of a tweet.

You know, the President also turned a whole lot of heads yesterday when he confronted and confirmed, I should say, that the administration is, contrary to what the White House was saying, is considering transporting undocumented migrants to sanctuary cities across the country.

So you know, outside of political retribution, what could the President really be gaining with this strategy, with this style?

NEWTON-SMALL: Well Fred -- I mean this is all just hyperbole and rhetoric because frankly, it's almost impossible for the IRS to actually -- or sorry, for the Customs and Border Patrol and ICE to do this. They don't have the staff. They've been critically short- staffed for years.

And to suddenly imagine they're going to hire thousands of drivers, buy thousands of buses -- Congress will never give them the money to do this. And then logistically bus these people over however many states what even defines a sanctuary city is a political term, not an actual, sort of real legal term and there are actually eight states that are quote-unquote "considered sanctuary states".

Where do you begin? Where do you choose to sort of say these are the places I'm going to send them?

And then there's also the questions of liability. What happens when those people are on the buses if something happens to them? They can sue ICE Or sue the U.S. government for problems they might have.

There's just so many problems in actually implementing this that it's physically impossible. But what it does do successfully as Donald Trump intended is rile up his base, get people sort of saying, yes, that's a great idea. And angry and saying, look, he's doing something to address this terrible immigration issue that nobody else is doing anything to do.

WHITFIELD: And then David -- now on that breaking news with the new request from the House Ways and Means Committee chair Richard Neal, you know, demanding copies of the President's returns giving a new deadline of April 23rd by 5:00 p.m. If that request, you know, is not adhered too then they will take the next step -- that from the Chairman Neal.

Is this persuasive? Will this give the House Ways and Means some leverage for the IRS to acquiesce?

SWERDLICK: Well, I think it's persuasive if you look at the law. It's probably not persuasive to the White House or to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin.

The law is very clear. 26 US code Section 6103 says that the chair of House Ways and Means or the chair of Senate Finance can access any American's tax return that is up to and including the President of the Unites States. It's pretty unambiguous --

WHITFIELD: -- return -- just quoting that -- shall furnish any return or return information specified in a request by the head of the House or Senate tax writing conferences.

SWERDLICK: Right. So the House Ways and Means chair here Congressman Neal is on pretty firm ground. It's his second letter. I don't expect the White House or the Treasury Department, which is essentially controlled by the White House to comply. And I think we're probably headed to court sooner rather than later on this.

Contrast this with Congress's efforts to get a hold of the Mueller report where even though Attorney General Barr in my view is not playing within the spirit of the law, I think he has the letter of the law on his side. In this case Congress has the letter of the law on his side.

(CROSSTALKING)

WHITFIELD: Yes. And quickly Jay -- Mnuchin seemed to really have his heels dug in pretty deeply this week that those tax returns are not likely to be handed over, at least not by him if he had it his way.

NEWTON-SMALL: (INAUDIBLE) They've spent months if not years laying the ground work to protect those tax returns. It's something that, you know, that frankly Donald Trump's -- the one thing that he's remained on message about since the beginning of his presidency is not releasing his tax returns. And they're doing everything they possibly can to make sure those aren't released. We'll see what the courts ultimately decide and if they can force the release of them but it's a going to be a long drawn out process.

WHITFIELD: David Swerdlick, Jay Newton-Small -- good to see you both. Thank you so much.

SWERDLICK: Thanks -- Fred.

NEWTON-SMALL: Thanks -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right. Still ahead -- terror at the mall of America in Minnesota. Police saying a man threw a child from the third floor balcony to the first floor. Details on why he had already been banned from that mall.

[11:14:28] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: Welcome back.

A five-year-old boy is fighting for his life after being either thrown or pushed off the third floor at the mall of America. And according to court documents, the man under arrest had been banned from that mall and once told police that he had anger issues.

CNN correspondent Kaylee Hartung is with me now with this extremely disturbing set of events.

KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Fred -- it turns out this wasn't the first time that this man was arrested at the Mall of America. He has this history of trouble at that mall, in fact.

As this five-year-old boy lays in a hospital with life-threatening injuries we are learning court records show that this man had a long string of arrests and convictions for misdemeanor criminal offenses in recent years and had even been twice banned from the mall.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have a report over on the south side that someone just fell from the third floor to the first floor.

HARTUNG: Images from the Mall of America just outside Minneapolis where police say a five-year-old boy was either thrown or pushed from a third floor balcony. Police and witnesses rushed to help the victim and emergency crews could be seen performing CPR.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I heard the mother screaming please pray for my kid, please pray for my son. Everyone please pray.

HARTUNG: The unidentified boy was taken to the hospital with life- threatening injuries.

[11:19:56] Under arrest, 24-year-old Emanuel DeShawn Aranda. He's been charged with attempted homicide. Police say he did not know the child.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At this time we do not believe there is a relationship between the suspect and the child or the family of the child. And we are actively investigating as to why this incident occurred.

(END VIDEOTAPE) HARTUNG: So the suspect has a troubling history at the Mall of America. Back in 2015 he caused damage inside a store, threw things off the upper level balcony then and he was first banned for that.

But he returned a few months later. He harassed shoppers at a restaurant. He threw drinking glasses at people. And this man reportedly has a history of mental health problems.

So, Fred -- his record showed a string of misdemeanors that he's been convicted of but now he's facing attempted homicide.

WHITFIELD: Have we heard anything about the details just preceding it, like how was this child grabbed or how did, you know, this five- year-old, you know, get in this person's space?

(CROSSTALKING)

HARUTNG: We have not heard -- we have not heard any comments from the five-year-old's family. I think their focus now is on the health and well-being of the child who is like I said, in a hospital this morning with life-threatening injuries.

WHITFIELD: Oh, my gosh. Everyone's praying for his welfare -- that poor little 5-year-old.

All right. Thanks so much -- Kaylee Hartung. Appreciate that.

All right. Chicago prosecutor Kim Foxx is calling for an independent review of how her office handled the Jussie Smollett case after fielding heavy criticism for dropping, rather, the charges against him.

Foxx has asked the Cook County inspector general to review the case after prosecutors dismissed all 16 charges against the "Empire" actor who is accused of staging a hate crime. The city of Chicago is also suing Smollett after he failed to reimburse the city for the $130,000 spent on the police investigation.

Foxx released a statement saying, quote, "Ensuring that I and my office have the community's trust and confidence is paramount to me which is why I invited an independent review of this matter."

Still ahead, the fight for the Mueller report just got an unlikely ally. Roger Stone -- why the former top Trump advisor is breaking with the President.

[11:22:07] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: U.S. Attorney General William Barr is expected to release a redacted version of the Mueller report any day now. And now longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone and his attorneys are demanding to see the full Mueller report to help in preparing for Roger Stone's defense.

This week, during two days of intense grilling on Capitol Hill, Barr vowed to turn over a redacted Special Counsel report within a week. Democrats in Congress are vowing to subpoena the unredacted version and say they are prepared to take the case to court if they don't get it.

Today President Trump is criticizing Democrats' demands tweeting this, "Why should radical left Democrats in Congress have a right to retry and examine the $35 million, two years in the making, no collusion Mueller report, when the crime committed was by crooked Hillary, the DNC and dirt cops? Attorney General Barr will make the decision."

CNN reporter Marshall Cohen joining me right now. So Marshall -- good to see you.

So what kind of legal and political battles should everyone expect upon the release of the redacted Mueller report?

MARSHALL COHEN, CNN REPORTER: You should expect a lot. Democrats have already authorized a subpoena, House Judiciary Committee said, you know, we're going to get it just in case we need it.

They haven't issued it yet but they have it ready to go in their back pocket if they're not happy with Attorney General Barr's redactions. And as you mentioned, they're ready to go to court. If the Justice Department fights the subpoena, they'll probably sue.

That could take months, it could even take years, all the way to the re-election next year. So really you should just get ready for an even longer battle.

WHITFIELD: And then there's Roger Stone. I mean he's making new arguments by way of his attorney with this Mueller probe. He wants the report made public. They want to see what kind of information could assist them in their defense.

COHEN: Right. So Stone said that he wants to read the report. He actually doesn't want it to go public and he put this in a bunch of filings last night. He's fighting a whole bunch of charges. Even though the investigation is over, Roger Stone's case does continue. They want the charges thrown out and they're saying, look, there was no collusion, so how could he possibly obstruct an investigation of collusion if there was no collusion.

WHITFIELD: All right. Marshall Cohen -- thanks so much.

COHEN: You bet.

WHITFIELD: Let's talk more about this.

Michael Zeldin is with me. He's a former federal prosecutor and was a special assistant to Robert Mueller at the Justice Department. Good to see you -- Michael.

MICHAEL ZELDIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Hi -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right. So we expect, you know, Barr to release a redacted version of the Mueller report any day now. It is mid-month. Democrats and Roger Stone's attorneys, as you just heard, you know, demanding the unredacted version. So is the law on Congress's side and, you know, thereby also being on the side of Roger Stone's attorneys?

ZELDIN: So the problem here is that the Special Counsel regulations which govern Barr -- those regulations that were put in place after they let the independent counsel statute sunset do not give Barr any clear path to send to congress an unredacted report. Therefore, Congress must resort to subpoena to get it and that could as Marshall said take time.

I think that Congress will have the right to see it. There will be some fighting over classification which could go into a separate behind closed doors sort of procedure and grand jury secrecy but I think Congress gets it in the end.

[11:30:04] It's just unfortunate they don't have a, you know, regulatory process that gets it to them right away.

WHITFIELD: So even though there's precedent, you're saying it really is the discretion of the Attorney General which to supply that unredacted version?

ZELDIN: Under the current regulations that Barr is under. This is what Barr has been saying. He's saying, look, Congress in the Clinton era let this independent counsel statute lapse.

I have new regulations. Those regulations don't allow me to do what you're asking me to do. So if you want to subpoena me or pass a new statute that authorizes me to do it, be my guest. But I have to follow the regulations that govern me and that's the problem he faces.

WHITFIELD: All right. And then Attorney General Barr this week when he was before lawmakers, you know, he told them that, you know, he thinks spying on the Trump campaign did occur. Let's revisit what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SENATOR JEANNE SHAHEEN (D), NEW HAMPSHIRE: You're not suggesting though, that spying occurred?

WILLIAM BARR, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I don't -- well, you guess you could -- I think there's spying did occur, yes. I think spying did occur.

SHAHEEN: Well, let me --

BARR: But the question was whether it was predicated -- adequately predicated and I'm not suggesting it wasn't adequately predicated but I need to explore that. I am not saying that improper surveillance occurred. I'm saying that I am concerned about it and looking into it. That's all.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: So the second pass he used vernacular that would be more typical, you know, of the Attorney General by saying, you know, surveillance. But then in the totality of it all, we're talking about yet another investigation. Why would Barr feel the need to, you know, launch a new investigation when the inspector general is already looking into how the investigation was conducted?

ZELDIN: It's hard to understand why Barr would need to do that which Michael Horowitz the inspector general is, in fact, doing it, has been working on it for a year.

It is his prerogative. He is the Attorney General. He can inquire of this to satisfy himself with his own people. I don't know that he needs that because Horowitz's is a well respected federal prosecutor.

But what was the most unfortunate thing is what you just pointed out, his use of the word "spying" instead of "surveillance". I think he probably meant surveillance. I hope he meant surveillance and the question of whether or not there was a predicate for the FISA warrant but that use of the word "spying" is such a politically pregnant word that it's really unfortunate that he walked into that and hasn't walked it back.

WHITFIELD: And for a moment just watching it in real-time, it seemed like he struggled or was thinking through, you know -- there were pauses there but then he went ahead, you know, with that language, which, you know, probably pleased the President because that's the same language that he uses.

Then a discovery was made or was revealed by Barr that, you know, Robert Mueller, the Special Counsel himself, did not ask him nor congress, you know, to come to a determination on whether President Donald Trump, you know, obstructed justice but says he made the conclusion because that's how the DOJ works. What did he mean by that?

ZELDIN: Well, the DOJ makes decisions in the ordinary course of investigations that it is prosecuting. In this case, however, there was a Special Prosecutor appointed, Special Counsel appointed because the Justice Department was deemed not to be able to do this without an appearance of conflict or actual conflict.

So for Barr to say that it is in the ordinary course for the Justice Department which has essentially recused of involvement in favor of the Special Counsel to step in and make that decision to me makes no sense.

I think Barr made a terrible mistake on the 24th of March when he issued that conclusionary letter and concluded that which Mueller was not prepared to do himself, which is to say that there was no obstruction of justice.

WHITFIELD: Michael Zeldin, we'll live it there for now. Thanks so much.

ZELDIN: Thanks.

WHITFIELD: Hillary Clinton is weighing in on the Mueller investigation. She spoke to CNN's Fareed Zakaria yesterday at the Tenth Annual Women in the World Summit in New York. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: So we're in this bit of a twilight zone, aren't we. There's a report that depending upon which figure you believe is somewhere between maybe 300 -- 400 pages long and it is not being delivered to the Congress, which has an absolute right to see it. It is not being presented to the public.

[11:34:58] So I think that what we saw in congress with the Attorney General's presentation in both the House and the Senate is someone who considers his principal duty to be protecting Donald Trump, not protecting the rule of law and the democracy that the Justice Department should be defending.

And I remember when Nixon was really upset because there was an investigation going on and he fired people who would not do his bidding until he finally ended up with somebody who would do his bidding, but it didn't save him because the information that had been collected was made available to the Congress, to the courts and eventually to the public.

So I would hope that the law is followed, that the information is provided, that the American public and the press has a chance to go through these 300 to 400 pages with as few redactions or cross-outs as possible. And I think the Congress has to take a very hard look a what their remedies are if they are not given that information.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: And see the entire interview tomorrow morning on "FAREED ZAKARIA: GPS" starting at 10:00 eastern time.

All right. Still ahead, 4.5 million "Instant Sleepers "are being recalled after the deaths of more than 30 infants. The recall alert parents need to know next.

[11:36:35] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: Nearly 40 million people from Texas to Alabama are under some kind of severe storm threat today. And we're talking the possibility of life-threatening tornadoes, damaging winds, and baseball-sized hail.

CNN meteorologist Ivan Cabrera is tracking this dangerous storm system -- Ivan?

IVAN CABRERA, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. Fred -- no question about it. And in fact, you mentioned the hail there. We have actually had reports north of San Antonio of baseballs made of ice coming out of the sky. So that's already happening.

So this is partially a forecast but actually it's already under way right across eastern Texas. So from San Antonio heading all the way into Shreveport and Alexandria, a severe thunderstorm watch in effect and these conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms to happen and it's more than favorable. It's happening right now.

Austin about to get hit again with another line and then Dallas, you look to your south, it's right on top of you right now.

Frequent lightning and torrential rain. This is more of a straight line wind event that's occurring right now. What I'm showing you here is for the potential not only of straight line winds but also large hail and tornadoes.

Not the isolated kind, we're talking about the potential for strong tornadoes to come down. We're talking the upper scale right, category three and above and those could be on the ground for a very significant amount of time and that is going to be from essentially now through around 8:00.

I want to time this for you. This is how it's going to transpire between 3:00 and 6:00. Look at Louisiana getting smacked there. That is the worst of.

And then from 6:00 to 9:00 it moves to Mississippi and then eventually into Alabama as well. We'll be tracking it for you throughout the afternoon. We have a life-threatening day here with violent tornadoes possible this afternoon -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: All right. Thank you for that. Ivan Cabrera -- appreciate it.

An important safety alert that every parent needs to hear. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is ordering the immediate recall of all Fisher-Price Rock 'n' Play Sleepers after it was discovered more than 30 babies have died in them. The parents of some of those children are speaking out in hopes that this doesn't happen to anyone else.

Here's CNN Christi Paul.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KEENAN OVERTON, FATHER OF CHILD WHO DIED IN FISHER PRICE SLEEPER: I looked up and I found him in a standing position but face down in the chair.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Keenan Overton describes finding his son's body just three days before Christmas.

OVERTON: His face was on the back of the seat and he has already passed away.

PAUL: Five-month-old Ezra Overton died while in the Fisher-Price Rock n Play Sleeper, he's one of more than 30 deaths the Consumer Products Safety Commission now links to the same product.

The inclined sleeper was once a favorite among new parents. Now the commission's recalling all 4.7 million units from stores.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's pretty scary when you hear the warnings that other parents have had such tragedies happen.

PAUL: The CPSP says the danger comes from infants rolling from their back to their stomach or side while unrestrained. They recommend anyone with the Rock n Play immediately stop using it and contact Fisher-Price for a refund. The recall brings a small relief to Ezra's parents.

EVAN OVERTON, MOTHER OF CHILD WHO DIED IN FISHER PRICE SLEEPER: I just really want them to take into account all of the parents' stories and all the families who are grieving and just save other peoples' heartache.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: Heartbreaking. Thanks to Christi Paul for that report.

For more information about the recall, customers can contact Fisher- Price at service.mattel.dot. and click on recalls and safety alerts. Or call the number on your screen from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Eastern Monday through Friday.

All right. Next, the heartbreaking end to a 26-year-old mystery, a Florida man's discovery puts his father behind bars for the murder of his mother. That story straight ahead.

[11:44:27] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: It's took jurors in Jacksonville, Florida less than an hour to reach a guilty verdict in a decades' old murder case. 23- year-old Bonnie Haim disappeared in 1993. Authorities had little to go on except the haunting words of her three-year-old who said, I'm quoting now, "daddy hurt mommy". But there was no proof and the case went cold until that little boy grew up and solved the whole thing by accident.

Here's CNN's Martin Savidge.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This case dates back to 1993 when Bonnie Haim went missing. She was a mother of a three-year-old and married to Michael Haim who said that their marriage had been on the rocks and that one night after an argument, she simply walked out.

But there were family members that never believed she would have left behind her three-year-old son. And it was a statement by that three- year-old to Florida child protective services that was startling to law enforcement. The child supposedly said "daddy hurt mommy".

[11:49:58] It wasn't that authorities didn't believe the child. It was just that they had no other evidence really beyond that statement that could prove that the husband had in fact murdered his wife.

They did think that Aaron Fraser, as he became known, may have witnessed his mother's own murder. But without hard evidence the case went cold until 2014 when then, 21 years later, Aaron Fraser was all grown up had and took over the family home and begun some renovations in the backyard.

And while digging found what he thought was a coconut inside a plastic bag that turned out to be a human skull. He had a pretty good idea who it was but forensic testing proved that it was in fact his mother.

His father then was charged with second degree murder and that's the trial that's been playing out here in Jacksonville, Florida all this week. He was found guilty of second degree murder.

The sentence could possibly be life. But for Aaron Fraser it is the end of a long and painful story. First he told authorities when he was three, then finding his mother's remains in 2014 and now finding something else, justice for his mother.

Martin Savidge, CNN -- Jacksonville, Florida.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: And still ahead House Democrats are demanding Trump's tax returns sending a new letter to the IRS with a hard deadline. The escalating battle for the President's taxes coming up.

[11:51:28] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back. You know him as CNN's chief medical correspondent and renowned trauma neurosurgeon. Well now, in his new "CNN ORIGINAL SERIES: CHASING LIFE", Dr. Sanjay Gupta is on a new mission journeying across the world to find the secrets to living better for the mind, body and soul.

Here's a preview.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN HOST: My grandfather died very young of a heart attack. And my father had heart surgery when he was very young. It was my father and my grandfather I think unwittingly really motivated me.

We know that there's remarkable things happening all over the world that can help us live longer, happier, more productive lives.

It felt like the needle went almost needle to the bone.

I thought I was in pretty good shape. This takes you to a whole different level. Is this what helps you live long?

You could be arrested in the states for doing what I'm about to do. Could I work here?

Chasing life is an opportunity for us to travel the world looking for extraordinary health practices, experiencing them ourselves. That's my job.

That's chasing life to find those things and bring them back.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: And joining us now is Dr. Sanjay Gupta, host of "CHASING LIFE", and CNN chief medical correspondent. What an incredible journey to be along with you.

GUPTA: Thank you.

(CROSSTALKING)

GUPTA: Yes, It's such a privilege right there to be able to travel like that and do these things.

WHITFIELD: Yes. But this is medicinal even to watch it. I was lucky enough to see the preview. It's one of the perks of working here, to see your first episode which everybody else will be seeing ---

You talk about how the inspiration of your dad and your grandfather's health really helps you to be on this of journey of "How do I make sure that I'm doing all the right things for myself?"

GUPTA: Yes, I mean I think that, you know, when you have such a strong family history you think things are sort of preordained. That, you know, no matter what I do I'm still going to develop heart problems and you know meet that same fate. And then you see that there's places around the world, they worry about this as well and yet they've come up with these strategies over hundreds, sometimes thousands of years to try and combat this.

And you know, it's no secret that we spend $3.5 trillion on healthcare in this country and life expectancy continues to go down. Clearly -- there's got to be places around the world we can learn from.

WHITFIELD: Yes. And you found those places.

GUPTA: I feel like I did. I learned a lot.

WHITFIELD: Japan is one of those -- that's the first episode. Let's focus on the first episode. And I mean, what a place of contrast.

GUPTA: That's right. That's right.

WHITFIELD: Because I've had the privilege of being there. Tokyo I felt all those stresses that you will be focusing on. And then once you leave and the real pursuit of that.

GUPTA: That's exactly right. I mean, you know, Japan's considered one of the most stressed countries in the world. After World War II, you know, they were able to build the second largest economy in the world. They called it the miracle economy, explosive growth, maybe some of what you saw.

And the belief was that was the way it was going to be forever. But those expectations could not be met. What you find is the expectation on the younger generation is such toxic stress. Suicides have gone up, you know, significantly. They have a this term, Fred -- called Keroshi (ph) which means illness or death from over work. It's an inconsiderate culture that sort of things about work that way.

And then you have Okinawa which is a chain of islands where people are more likely to live to 100. So now you find people in the mainland to sort of trying to learn from Okinawa and apply these things for their own lives.

WHITFIELD: And a lot of it is prioritizing. I mean that was kind of the messages that I got from your depiction of Japan and how people are dealing with it. And you know, some of it is self-imposed and the others are just like be disciplined about, finding those places to destress from a hot bath to, you know, and ingest and your practices are routing.

GUPTA: No doubt. And I think one of the big things I learned was that, stress is not the enemy. You have stress. I have stress. We need stress. It's the relentless stress that you're seeing in Japan, you're seeing in places in the Unites States now as well.

If you can find time -- whatever it is. People have their own things. Not everything is going to work for everybody. I tried things that clearly didn't work for me.

But you find your thing and even if you can destress completely for a short period of time everyday, it changes your body and your brain.

WHITFIELD: And it's -- what are the messages of how stress -- managing stress can also bring on much more serious ailments.

[12:00:01] GUPTA: Yes. When people talk about the mind-body connection I think we use it as sort o a nebulous term. We see that. We can define that. And the other way to --