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Congressman Eric Swalwell Is Expected To Drop Out Of The 2020 Race Today; Jeffrey Epstein Pleaded Not Guilty To Federal Sex Trafficking Charges. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired July 8, 2019 - 14:00   ET



BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Hi there, I'm Brooke Baldwin. You are watching CNN on this Monday afternoon. We begin with breaking new numbers in the race for 2020. Senator Elizabeth Warren and her campaign say they raised $19.1 million in her second quarter raking in more than Senators Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris.

But what makes her haul even more impressive from the get go, Senator Warren swore off any cash from big money corporate donors, or political action committees. So let's talk through that.

CNN political correspondent, M.J. Lee and CNN political director David Chalian are both with me. And so, M.J. we know you've been traveling with the senator since she announced the beginning of the year. But when you hear this number $19.1 million. Where does the campaign say all that money is coming from?

M.J. LEE, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Brooke, $19.1 million in the second quarter. This is a significant haul for Elizabeth Warren. And so let's talk about where the money is coming in from. According to the campaign, 384,000 people donated to the campaign in the second quarter. And the campaign says that most of those people -- some 80 percent of those donors were actually new donors in the second quarter.

The campaign also says that some 683,000 donations were made in the second quarter, and that the average donation was around $28.00. Now, how does this total haul compare to the rest of the field?

Well, we already know that Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden raised more than $20 million. That's according to announcements from their respective campaigns. But now we know that Warren actually outraised Bernie Sanders, his campaign said that he raised around $18 million in the last quarter, and Kamala Harris as well, whose campaign said that she raised some $12 million last quarter.

Now, Brooke, the word that we are going to continue to hear from the Warren campaign is grassroots. From the beginning, the Warren campaign and the candidate herself has really emphasized the fact that she is not going into closed-door fundraisers and that she is not soliciting high dollar donors in the primaries. So this is a theme that she has continued to highlight out on the campaign trail. And to that point, her campaign manager, Roger Lau just put out an e-

mail to supporters. And as a part of that announcement, he wrote that they are building a presidential campaign without catering to wealthy donors. So no doubt, $19.1 million, this is a big haul for the Warren campaign, especially compared to what she raised in the first quarter. So they have to be pretty happy about this news today -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: $19.1 million, as you said, average donation $28.00. David Chalian, let's go way back to the Presidential campaign of 2016. Of course, we remember Senator Sanders then, you know, touting his own individual small dollar donors, but to swear off political action committees entirely, are you surprised, she managed to pull in as much as she did?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, I am not surprised necessarily because she's had such a strong quarter, right? So much of what was happening in the race in the second quarter was Elizabeth Warren finding her groove in this campaign.

So I expected her to boast a number. I think what she did here with the campaign, deliberately did here, let the other four of the top five contenders get their numbers out so that she could dominate her own news cycle with a very impressive number.

This is a significant quarter of fundraising. It's also -- if you look at it, you were just mentioning Bernie Sanders, Brooke, from 2016. I mean, if you were to add Sanders and Warren's number together, that is a lot of money that isn't really involving high level donors, high dollar donors in traditional fundraising methods.

I mean, you see how Elizabeth Warren, following in the footsteps of Bernie Sanders has completely transformed the way presidential campaigns on the Democratic side are being funded. And by the way, this is something that we've seen over the last few years that Republicans and the Trump campaign has taken a real note of here and are trying to implement a strategy to be able to tap this on their side of the aisle as well this season.

BALDWIN: Hang with me, David Chalian, I've got one more for you. M.J. thank you very much on all things fundraising and Elizabeth Warren.

Let me get to this, more 2020 News. Congressman Eric Swalwell is expected to drop out of the 2020 race today. This would make him the first major candidate to drop out since the campaign began in earnest. CNN political reporter, Rebecca Buck is with me now and do you know the reasoning behind the congressman's decision?

REBECCA BUCK, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, Brooke, our source did not get into the details. They said they wanted Swalwell to be the one to discuss this at his press conference later today.

[14:05:08] BUCK: But the writing was on the wall for Eric Swalwell. What we saw was that his campaign really failed to gain traction among this very crowded Democratic field. He and his campaign were really hoping for a breakout moment after the

first Democratic debate. He was on stage with some heavy hitters, including Joe Biden. And he tried to make a moment for himself when he told Joe Biden that it was time to pass the torch to a younger generation, including himself.

But he didn't get the boost after that that we saw from Kamala Harris, Julian Castro in the first night of the debates. And so, I think he saw, Brooke, that the writing was on the wall for his campaign that this wasn't going anywhere.

And look, he had a decision to make as well. He's going to be up for reelection. He's a member of the House from California. And he clearly was in no place where he wanted to sacrifice his congressional seat to on this Presidential campaign -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: So, bigger picture question to you, David Chalian. Rebecca, thank you very much. You know, the obvious question is, will this be like dominoes, right, one to fall? And then and then how many more to go? Perhaps even before our big CNN debate in a couple of weeks in Detroit, and who might be next?

CHALIAN: Yes, I wouldn't expect a ton more dominoes to fall prior to our debates, and here's why. Eric Swalwell is an interesting case study in this. The way that the DNC rules are written -- and we're still a week away from the qualifying window of our debate to close, Brooke.

But it was quite possible that the way the polls looked at today's snapshot, if they look this way a week from now, that Steve Bullock, the Governor of Montana may have bumped Eric Swalwell from the debate stage in a tiebreaker format that the DNC had established.

It's not certain that that would have happened, but that that clearly was something that was quite possibly going to happen. So I don't think you're going to see many of the other candidates who have made the debate stage already and qualified, say, "You know what, I'm going to pack it up before I get before another," I don't know, "50 million people or so." What is going to happen --

BALDWIN: Who could be on the shortlist?

CHALIAN: Well, I think you're going to see the whole lower tier after our debates, Brooke ...


CHALIAN: ... are going to reassess, do they have the money to keep funding staff and travel to the early states and actually build an organization? Are they making the September debate where the DNC has doubled the threshold to get in? When the answer comes back -- no and no, I think you'll see people like Hickenlooper or Bennet or some of the other --Williamson, Gillibrand are going to have to take a hard look at their operations and say, "Do we have the stuff to move forward here?" BUCK: And it's worth noting that Hickenlooper recently, as we

reported, shook up his campaign, you had the departures of a number of senior staffers on Hickenlooper's campaign. And so I think you'll be able to see this happening over the course of the next weeks and months with some of these lower tier candidates as well.

BALDWIN: And as we're reporting, there are some of those staffers were leaving, weren't they kind of encouraging the governor as well?

We'll look -- we'll stay tuned to it. We've got the big debate coming up in Detroit. Let me remind everyone about that. David and Rebecca, thank you very much.

The next Democratic Presidential debates will take place in three weeks. That's July 30th and 31st in Detroit, and will air right here on CNN in the United States and all around the world. The debates will be hosted by Jake Tapper, Danna Bash, Don Lemon, and the candidates vying for the White House will be divided into two groups to face off against each other and answer questions from these moderators.

Before that, CNN will conduct a draw to determine which night each candidate will appear. The draw to determine the participants for each debate night will air live July 18th, in the 8:00 P.M. Eastern hour here on CNN. CNN is doing the draw live on the air for full transparency, everyone will get to see it for themselves.

Moments ago, multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein who can count President Trump, former President Bill Clinton and Britain's Prince Andrew as acquaintances pleaded not guilty to charges of sex trafficking after being accused by Federal prosecutors of not only -- not only sexually abusing girls as young as 14 years of age, but also paying some of those victims to recruit other girls.

The 13-page indictment spanned several years in at least two states. We're talking New York and Florida, where officials say Epstein with the help of employees and others, quote "created a vast network of underage victims to sexually exploit."


GEOFFREY BERMAN, U.S. ATTRONEY, SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK: Epstein is charged in a two-count indictment. First, conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and second, the substantive crime of sex trafficking of underage girls.

The underage girls were initially recruited to provide Epstein with massages, and often did so nude or partially nude. These massages became increasingly sexual in nature and would typically include one or more sex acts as alleged. Epstein also paid certain victims to recruit additional girls to be similarly abused.

[14:10:06] BERMAN: This allowed Epstein to create an ever expanding web of new victims. The alleged behavior shocks the conscience. And while the charge conduct is from a number of years ago, it is still profoundly important to the many alleged victims, now, young women. They deserve their day in court. And we are proud to be standing up for them by bringing this indictment.


BALDWIN: CNN crime and justice reporter, Shimon Prokupecz, is just outside that court. And Shimon -- so what's next for Epstein after this not guilty plea?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: So right now he is making his second appearance, Brooke, before Judge Berman. This is a judge who's going to be overseeing this case, once it gets moved out of the Magistrate's judge.

So far, right now, no bail for Epstein. He is going to remain in jail. They're going to have a bail hearing for him on July 11th, where ultimately the judge will decide if he is going to get out.

Prosecutors here obviously arguing strongly against it, citing his wealth. The other significant thing that they said, and this just came out moments ago, was that they believe they may have new victims now.

New people have come forward since he's been arrested to say that they've been victims of Jeffrey Epstein. And so, prosecutors now will be going and interviewing these people perhaps adding to this already pretty damning case, against Epstein.

The other thing we learned is that when police executed and the FBI executed search warrants, at his home, they found a trove of lewd photos. Photos of underage girls, photos of women partially naked, some fully naked, obviously more evidence against him.

And now, prosecutors -- really the whole point of all this them -- what is important is trying to keep him from getting bail.

We also got an indication of from his attorneys, from the defense attorneys of how they're going to argue this. They're saying in court that this is old news to them, because these are just charges and facts of a case that they've already litigated, they feel.

They feel this is something that is old and that happened, obviously back between 2005 and 2008, information that he has already pleaded guilty to. So we're already kind of seeing some of the dynamics of what the defense attorneys at least are going to do.

But at this point, Epstein is still in court here, he's seen another judge, and then we'll go from there. He'll be back here in a few days. And we will see if the judge releases him or he'll be detained as prosecutors want.

The other thing they are going to -- I just want to make this one point, is that ...


PROKUPECZ: ... there is a concern that if Epstein was to be released, that he is going to continue to be a danger to the community, And that is something that they argued in a letter to the judge. And they're hoping obviously the judge takes that seriously. So we'll be back here on July 11th for that detention hearing -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: Keep us posted as things continue to develop, down in the courtroom, Shimon Prokupecz, thank you very much. Stay with me, everyone. We will be right back to bring in the experts and talk about how this impacts Epstein's social circle, including the President, and a member of his own Cabinet.

And, in just a couple of minutes, the women's World Cup champions will be back on U.S. soil. Their celebration begins in New York, will they end up at the White House?

And Californians are still wondering and waiting after two strong earthquakes just a couple of days ago, is the big one now closer than ever? You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin.


[14:13:36] BALDWIN: We are back, you're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Have more now in the indictment of Jeffrey Epstein who has pleaded not guilty to Federal sex trafficking charges. Mindy Marquez, is the publisher and the executive editor of "The Miami Herald" and Jaimie Nawaday is a former Federal prosecutor as well as a former existing U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.

So ladies, thank you both so much for being on with me. And Mindy, first of all, just kudos to your paper and obviously the extraordinary investigative work that you have done, led by Julie Brown.


BALDWIN: Beginning with -- the U.S. Attorney would not disclose how this investigation began but said that the team was quote "assisted with some excellent investigative journalism." And Julie, as I mentioned, "The Herald" reporter spearheading all of this tell CNN and she was actually preparing to interview another Epstein victim today. And instead she had to go to the news conference. Can you just talk to me about how this all began for your paper?

MARQUEZ: Correct. And thank you so much for having me.

BALDWIN: Of course.

MARQUEZ: It started -- actually, it was a result of another investigation that Julie did around women's prisons and it got her interested in the problem of human trafficking.

And as she started to look into that, Jeffrey Epstein's name kept coming up again and again. And when Julie first came to me pitching the story, I really asked what -- you know, this is really very well- covered at the time, what can we bring you to the table and Julie said, we've never heard from the victims.

[14:20:06] MARQUEZ: No one has ever talked to the victims and it was true that their voices had not been heard.

And so, Julie set out really primarily to tell the victims' stories and in the process of also uncovered the plea deal that really was incredibly lenient for Jeffrey Epstein.

BALDWIN: And Jaimie to, you know, the incredible work of "The Herald," you've said that, you know, when a story like this breaks, it forces the higher ups, to have to do something, to start asking questions. What do you mean by that?

JAIMIE NAWADAY, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Exactly. Well, typically, when a story like this breaks, what happens inside the U.S. Attorney's Office is that obviously everyone's reading the papers, especially when something like this breaks. Allegations of a very serious crime, very significant crime, widespread, lots of victims.

So typically, what happens is you have the higher ups grab a few a few AUSAs, and you have a meeting right after a story breaks. And basically, the question is asked, what are we going to do about this? And how quickly can we do something about this?

So, I would imagine what happened here was, once "The Miami Herald" started running these reports, people got together within the U.S. Attorney's Office and figured out how they could investigate and charge something very quickly. So there would have been a lot of time pressure, I think, in this investigation.

BALDWIN: So, when you look at, I mean, "The Miami Herald" investigated this for months and months and months and yet the indictment from SDNY was 13 pages, which is not very long from all indications from the SDNY's reputation. What does that tell you?

NAWADAY: It tells us most likely that there's more coming. I mean, again, because there was most likely pressure to bring something quickly. They kept it simple. It's a straightforward simple complaint, sex trafficking, and conspiracy.

You would often see, especially in a high press case like this, a longer indictment what's called the speaking indictment, where prosecutors would lay out a lot more facts. But here I think both the time pressures and because they likely are bringing more charges and will develop more facts very quickly, because we know after all, that there was a search warrant executed --

BALDWIN: All those photographs they found.

NAWADAY: Exactly, and what's actually in the indictment is very old conduct. But in order for them to conduct a search warrant, they would have had to have had much more recent conduct of issue.

BALDWIN: Mindy, back over to you, because in 2008, Alex Acosta, the current Labor Secretary brokered a non-prosecution agreement for Epstein, which your people described as, quote, "the deal of a lifetime." And this is what the President of the United States said about his Labor Secretary just a couple of months ago.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: I really don't know too much about it. I know he's done a great job as Labor Secretary. And that seems like a long time ago, but I know he's been a fantastic Labor Secretary. That's all I can really tell you about it. That's all I know about it.


BALDWIN: And we are getting word from a senior administration official that this is a quote-unquote, "significant event" for Secretary Acosta and his fate, can you just walk me through? How did Acosta become involved and what were the deal terms?

MARQUEZ: So we actually started to look at this at the time that he was named, right? And we did an initial story that looked at this deal in particular, which had been widely criticized. But then we were able to step back and really take a look at his role.

And it was pretty clear, I mean, we even had the meeting at a hotel to negotiate some of the deals and the fact that they left out all the victims in this deal, and they didn't find out until a year after he had already served his sentence at that time. So, you know, clearly he had a hand in the way that this case was really brokered and ultimately resolved.

BALDWIN: Lastly, over to you, Jaimie, on just you know, waiting to determine a bail. I think they're back in court on Thursday, you know, he -- from jet to jail, I think is how you put the circumstances around his arrest. How do you think it'll play out and just talk to me about how they obviously felt they needed to get to him like that?

NAWADAY: I think that indicates one of two things. That they got to him, you know, straight from the plane, indicates obviously a sense of urgency, either because he is a flight risk, which I would imagine they do think and I expect it will hear that argument in court ...


NAWADAY: .. because of his extraordinary resources and travel schedule. But it also could be because there is some sort of ongoing criminal conduct.

Again, that would support the basis for the search warrant, but I expect we'll hear more about that in the coming days. But the government will certainly ask for detention and I think it's likely that he will be detained.

BALDWIN: Lastly, Mindy, to you, just quickly on the women. More and more coming forward. We've been reporting in the last 36 hours more alleged victims and attorneys are coming forward. What should we know about them?

MARQUEZ: We need to know that these women were under age. They were between 13, 14, 15, 16-year-olds at that time. [14:25:06] MARQUEZ: Many came from underprivileged homes and had

issues at home. They were recruited for this. These women have waited so long for their day in court. They're waiting for their day of justice. And I think that is the real, real story here. Is that, this is finally a time for the women to see justice done.

BALDWIN: Mindy and Jaimie, thank you both very much.

MARQUEZ: Thank you.

BALDWIN: Coming up here, they are the champions, again. So will they be paid like it and will they go to the White House? Plus, Starbucks forced to apologize again. Six police officers were asked to leave a store. What their chief is asking for today.