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Victim's Brother Hugs & Forgives Botham Jean's Killer; Freedom from Religion Foundation Files Complaint Against Guyger Case Judge for "Overstepping Judicial Authority"; FBI Running Facebook Ads Targeting Russia Spies in Washington; Sanders Traveling Back to Vermont Today & Plans Campaign Trail Return. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired October 5, 2019 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, again, everybody. Thank you so much for joining me. I'm Fredrick Whitfield. We begin with a flurry of new developments on the impeachment inquiry into President Trump and his new verbal offensive against his critics. Democrats for the first time have subpoenaed the White House for documents on Ukraine. This coming after President Trump announced he will not comply with their investigation until House Speaker Nancy Pelosi holds a formal vote on the impeachment inquiry in the House.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We'll be issuing a letter. As everybody knows we've been treating very unfairly, very different from anyone else.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: The House speaker is pushing back against the President arguing that American democracy is at stake.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Some people say, why are doing this? He's not worth it to divide the country, so, he may not be. But our constitution is worth it, our democracy is worth it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: House democrats are also now demanding that the Vice President Mike Pence hand over documents on Ukraine. The vice president has 10 days to respond. This as the U.S. Secretary of State has Mike Pompeo missed his Friday subpoena deadline. Meantime, the New York Times is reporting a second potential whistleblower is considering filing a separate formal complaint.
The Times reporting that an intelligence official with more direct knowledge of President Trump's dealings with Ukraine than the original whistleblower whose complaint sparked the impeachment inquiry. And new today, President Trump is now going after one of the few Republican critics speaking out against the President on these phone calls and this interaction with foreign countries and inviting them to be part of the U.S. elections.
The President has launched a Twitter attack on Senator Mitt Romney after the GOP lawmaker called the President's invitation to China wrong and appalling. CNN's Kristen Holmes is at the White House for us. So, Kristen, Trump seems to be sending a message to fellow Republicans especially if they're critical of him.
KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Fred. And he is really launching some deeply personal attacks here and I want to pull up the tweets before we get into it and just to show you exactly what I mean. The first one, saying, somebody wake up Mitt Romney and tell him that my conversation with Ukrainian president was very congenial and very appropriate one and my statement on China pertain to corruption not politics, if Mitt worked this hard on Obama he could have won. Sadly, he choked.
And the next one, Mitt Romney never knew how to win, he is a pompous A who has been fighting me from the beginning except when he begged me for my endorsement for his senate run, I gave it to him and when he begged me to be secretary of state, I didn't give it to him. He is so bad for Rs. Of course, Rs there being Republicans. And I want to point out two things. One is that we don't know if any of this is true.
We have no idea if Mitt Romney did in fact begged for Donald Trump's endorsement or begged to be secretary of state, they did have a dinner and talked about it but we don't know about that exact language. The only thing I want to point out is this, I have been spending a lot of time on Capitol Hill talking to House Republicans, House Republicans aids who are all talking about how they want to craft a message strategy as they work towards -- work through this impeachment inquiry.
Donald Trump is sending a clear message as you said here that he doesn't really need that messaging or that strategy. He is going to take this on himself and he's showing exactly how he's going to do it. He is going to attack, he is going to try to discredit, try to humiliate anyone who stands up to him whether it'd be Democrat, a Republican or a whistleblower for that matter which is what we've seen over the last couple of weeks.
WHITFIELD: All right. Kristen Holmes, thank you so much from the White House. We'll check back with you. All right. So with me now to talk more about all of this, Bob Baer who is a former CIA operative and a CNN intelligence and security analyst. Also with me, CNN's Crime and Justice Correspondent Shimon Prokupecz. Good to see you both. So Bob, let me being with you and this report that another potential whistleblower is considering coming forward and filing a complaint.
The Times, you know, reporting, says that this person is an intelligence official who has more direct information about the events and has already been interviewed by the intelligence inspector general. So, as a former CIA operative yourself, you know, what concerns do you have about an announcement now, a publication about a possible second whistleblower before a formal complaint can actually be filed -- be filed?
ROBERT BAER, FORMER CIA OPERATIVE: Well, I mean, this is what the CIA does, officers assigned to the White House or anywhere in the world see a crime, breaking America law what they think is, they do a crime's report, it goes to the I.G, it goes to Congress, it goes to the Department of Justice.
WHITFIELD: Right. But it hasn't been -- it has not been filed as far as we know base on the reporting. It's announcement that it might be coming. And so, how concerning is that to you that that has gotten ahead of the actual filing of the complaint if there's going to be one?
BAE: It is, it's been so leaking out, something like this you can't avoid it. People get winded as they leak it out, the whistleblowers, whoever they are are in trouble, their careers are over and may know this, it's professional suicide, absolutely. But I think you're going to see a lot more of this. The White House is staffed by CIA officers, they live in a fact-base world. And if they think the President committed a crime, they will report it and it will leak out. And --
WHITFIELD: So, Shimon, you know, you've been covering these damning text messages given to Congress and how they seemingly contradict Trump's claim that there was no quid pro quo between his administration and Ukraine. What is significant about the text messages, what they say, what they don't say, what they infer or even.
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: So there's really a lot we can learn from these text messages, right? It gives us a window inside what was going on from many people. You have career diplomats racing concerns about what was going on here. Then you have the whole political aspects, the political appointees and Rudy Guliani in the middle of all this waging this campaign trying to convince the Ukrainians to do ultimately what President Trump wanted them to do.
You know, just to read some of them, you have Kurt Volker who just testified on the Hill, where all these text messages were released and he talks about his conversation. He, you know, he texts Rudy Giuliani says, he had a good chat with Yermak, this is Ukrainian official, an adviser to the President there. He says he was pleased with your call, mentioned to the Ukrainian president making a statement. Can we all get on the phone to make sure I advise Z correctly as to what he should be saying?
Want to make sure we get this done right, and then he says thanks. Obvious concern, everyone wanting to get a message, stay on message, get a message to the Ukrainian president to ultimately do what the President wanted him to do, and then there is another very significant moment, there's another text messages from a career person, a career diplomat who seemingly has -- something is a foot.
And he says to Gordon Sondland who is a U.S. ambassador to the E.U., someone that is a friend of the President, President Trump and here's what Bill Taylor writes and he says, as I said on the phone, I think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with the political campaign. And then Sondland about five hours after that writes to him, Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump's intentions.
He then later on goes to write that there is no quid pro quo here and that if he has any concerns he should call some folks and that they need to stop this back and forth on the text messages. So very concerning obviously. Sondland is going to appear before members on the Hill on Tuesday. There's going to be a lot of questions about what was going on certainly in these conversations and these text messages.
WHITFIELD: It's going to be fascinating. So, Bob, you know, the President, you know, back to the whistleblower issue. The current whistleblower whose complaint has been filed, the President has been going after that whistleblower in tweets and did it again today, claiming the whistleblower's account of his phone calls with Ukraine is way off. This attack, you know, follows a trend by the President who has called the whistleblower a spy and has said that he wants to know the person's identity. So is that in and of itself a violation of any sort to attack possibly, even threaten or at least undermine a whistleblower?
BAER: Oh, absolutely. It is witness tampering. It's a threat, it's not only a threat from the public as this constitutes one, it's a threat from the President of the United States.
WHITFIELD: And who should be enforcing that law?
BAER: Normally, the President would but he's not acting like a president. He's, you know, he thinks this is a mafia settling of scores. It's bad, it's bad because whistleblowers, the law is very clear how they're going to be treated and not (INAUDIBLE) and he's clearly violating that, it's obstruction of justice. We just have to look at it that way.
WHITFIELD: Shimon, this is all coming as the House, you know, has subpoenaed the White House for documents as well, on Ukraine, wanting documents that involve the vice president, his interactions as it pertains to Ukraine.
WHITFIELD: How far is one believing it will go, will it boil down to not just documents but perhaps even members in the executive branch, maybe even including the vice president could be subpoenaed for testimony?
PROKUPECZ: Well, certainly all of that could happen but, you know, documents are going to play a key role in this but I think you do need the humans, the people to come in and to talk about this. Of course smart good people don't document suspicious activity. They don't communicate though, in this case, they clearly, you know, this is suspicious --
WHITFIELD: Kind of did.
PROKUPECZ: They kind of did when you look at these text messages. But what other documents are there? E-mails, things like that? Certainly will be important but I think we need to hear from the players in all of this. The folks like Bill Taylor who is a career diplomat, who is raising all sorts of concerns. Gordon Sondland, obviously, he's coming in on Tuesday. So we do need to hear from a lot of people.
And there are people we don't even know about, right? Like this perhaps second whistleblower, the whistleblower himself. So there is a lot more people that were involved in this. What were people thinking, what were people hearing, other folks in the intelligence community that we just don't know about? And I think the mystery in all of that is going to probably be the bigger surprise here and there's just seems like a lot more to come here, Fed.
WHITFIELD: Yes. All right. Shimone Prokupecz, Bob Baer, thanks to both of you. Appreciate it. Also straight ahead, President Trump reportedly ordering the National Security Council to cut its staff. What is behind that move, next. And can Democrats make the case for impeachment to voters? We take you to a divided district in the State of Georgia, coming up.
WHITFIELD: A new report from Bloomberg says the President of the United States has ordered a substantial number of cuts to his National Security Council. The move comes just weeks after the whistleblower complaint that jumpstarted the impeachment inquiry into President Trump however, sources tell Bloomberg that has nothing to do with it. Instead they say the reason for the cut is simply because Mr. Trump wants the agency to run more efficiently and also because there has been a change of leadership as the new National Security Robert O'Brien prepares to take the helm.
Here to discuss is CNN's Samantha Vinograd, a former senior adviser on President Obama's National Security Council. So, Sam, what's your initial reaction to this report of scaling back, reducing the size of staff of this very important agency?
SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, Fred, if President Trump wants his NSC to run more efficiently, he should probably start by actually engaging it. He's underutilized the NSC since day one. Nation Security advisors who run the National Security Council have been shut out of key meetings and it's no -- it's shocking to anyone watching right now to know that President Trump doesn't rely on the NSC for one of their co-responsibilities which is to keep him fully and currently informed about ongoing national security issues. This appears to be on its face, the President's legal strategy getting rid of witnesses to a crime or crimes in the future. But if the President does arbitrarily shrink the size of the national security council, regardless of the fact that he's not using them, that will have real implications for national security.
WHITFIELD: In what way? That's the biggest really concern, isn't it? The biggest concern.
VINOGRAD: Yes. I served on the NSC for four years. One of the key functions of the National Security Council whether it's a hundred people like it was under President Clinton or about 400 people like it was under President Obama. It's to leas with what we call the inner agency. The departments and agencies that make up the National Security team. I was a director at the NSC and part of my job was working with the statement department, treasury department, intelligence community on key issues.
If there aren't enough staff at the NSC, they won't have the opportunity to communicate with their peers in the inner agency on these key issues.
WHITFIELD: So, the big concern is that it makes the NSC more vulnerable and more potentially porous by having fewer people but the President is arguing it means making it more efficient. What could he mean by more efficient with fewer people?
VINOGRAD: Well, there is a real arguments he made that having what we -- a bloated National Security Council means that the NSC is micromanaging roles that should be performed by departments and agencies, so if the NSC gets too big and takes on too much work that the statement department should be doing, defense department should be doing or others, that is not an efficient use of U.S. government resources. This micromanagement.
That said, Fred, the President has not used his NSC from the get go, so this efficiency argument really doesn't really fly. And furthermore, the timing of his does not appear to be a coincidence. Member -- a member of the NSC allegedly is a whistleblower that really brought to light misuses and abuses by the President and by shrinking the size of the NSC, it appears to be me that President Trump again is trying to get rid of witnesses to a crime rather than trying to do something that actually relates to streamlining resources.
WHITFIELD: And talk to me about how -- if that is the case, you know, whether it's thinning NSC or perhaps even there have been people who have publicly said there is a thinning of the U.S. state department, by doing so, it means when someone see something and toward, wants to file a complaint, they're now in a position where they really don't know who to trust. I mean, reportedly this whistleblower in this Ukraine case, the complaint that was filed apparently went to the Intel community and Intel community said you need to get an attorney to then help you file a complaint when usually one can feel fairly comfortable within their agency or division that their complaint just going but to file their complaint is sufficient.
VINOGRAD: That's right.
WHITFIELD: So trust is a big issue here or lack there up with all the thinning of these important departments and agencies, right?
VINOGRAD: It is. But it also depends who is being thinned out. So, from the NSC perspective, if directors are being cut from roles that are no longer relevant in terms of the President's national security priorities, that's one thing. If the President is purposely getting rid of staff or if secretaries are doing that within their departments and agencies that are doing things that bring the President's abuses of power to light, that is something totally different.
WHITFIELD: But you strike on a really important point. And that is -- when I worked at the White House, the National Security advisor's door was always open. The chief of staff's door was always open, the legal advisor's door was always open for anybody that wanted to voice the difference of opinion. Let alone, voice, a concern about an activity that maybe wasn't quite legal. We've seen people in those positions complicit in these abuses of power rather than being a sounding board for their staff.
WHITFIELD: Wow. And Sam, so now the Washington Post has a story that's caught so many, you know, the attention of so many, coming from the President's aid about his phone calls with other world leaders which left at least one former White House official "genuinely horrified." Should the transcripts of the President's calls with other leaders be released?
VINOGRAD: Well, Fred, on the genuinely horrified point, generally horrified is one thing but speaking up is quite another. And we don't know if any of these genuinely horrified aids went to council or went to inspectors' general to voice their concern. So, more than a feeling is important in these kinds of circumstances. With respect to the calls, I hope that they're released to relevant Congressional committees with appropriate security clearance as rather than release publicly.
At this point, foreign leaders have very little incentive to speak with members of the U.S. government out of fear that their conversations could end up on the front page of the New York Times, on CNN and other media outlets. There is no protection anymore for these communications not to mention the fact they could include classification information.
WHITFIELD: All right. Sam Vinograd, thank you so much. Appreciate it.
VINOGRAD: Thank you.
WHITFIELD: All right. So what do you have to say about the scandal enveloping the White House? Voters in a divided Georgia district weigh in on Democrats efforts to impeach President Trump, next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [13:25:43]
WHITFIELD: As the impeachment inquiry intensifies in Washington. Joe Biden is ramping up his rebuke of the President's Ukraine allegations against him and his son, Hunter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: All of this talk with the President about corruption comes from those corrupt presidents we've had in modern history. He is the definition of corruption. He's indicted himself by his own statements. It's not about me, it's not about my son, he talks about how we should handle whistleblowers. He talks about there will be a civil war. This is the guy that is unhinged. He is unhinged.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: CNN National Correspondent Natasha Chen spent this morning speaking to Republican voters in Georgia's politically divided sixth Congressional district. And you got an ear full from people, right?
NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. They're very vocal about this issue. We're talking about a divided district that elected the very first Democrat to Congress, Lucy McBath in 40 years during last November's midterms. And so, the Republican voters this morning, they were talking about this impeachment inquiry with me. They echoed President Trump's words and calling it a sham.
They told me they feel like Democrats are just grasping at anything to try and get rid of President Trump. And when I ask specifically about this phone call between President Trump and the president of Ukraine, this is what they said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHEN: Do you feel it's OK to ask foreign governments for helping our elections?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, hey, what did he ask for? He wanted to know about a criminal act.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel like it's helpful. I feel like people are mad. People are sick of this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHEN: And we also spoke with some Cobb county voters who were not at this breakfast who feel very differently. One woman told me, you know, if there is a president on television admitting to saying these things to the Ukrainian President, if the White House is releasing a phone transcript that corroborates the whistleblower's complaint, then what other option is there than to pursue an impeachment inquiry.
A Cobb county Democrats also said told us that at a recent local fair they've had available copies of the Mueller report and the transcript of that phone call at their booth because they feel that the primary source material, it speaks for themselves in calling for a more thorough inquiry. No Representative Lucy McBath did not -- she was not available for an interview but she did release a statement saying that more thorough inquiry is important.
She says, as I have continued to say from the beginning, the judiciary committee's investigation has always been to find the facts for the American people. I voted to formalize the impeachment inquiry process on September 12th and continue to support the responsibility of this Congress to uncover the truth and defend the constitution. And Fred, whichever way this goes, it's going to really heat up in this district that is very much divided because her race was extremely close last time and they are gearing up for another battle in 2020.
WHITFIELD: Yes. A very purple district. All right. Thanks so much. Natasha Chen, appreciate it. All right. Coming up. The judge overseeing a murder trial, now under fire for hugging the person who was convicted just moments after she was sentenced and then giving her a bible. Did she blur the lines between church and state? The legal battle, next.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: Welcome back.
A moment in a Dallas courtroom this week has sparked some controversy following the 10-year sentencing of a former Dallas police officer, Amber Guyger, who was convicted of shooting and killing Botham Jean in his own home.
CNN correspondent, Ed Lavandera, has more
BRANDT JEAN, BROTHER OF BOTHAM JEAN: Can I give her a hug, please? Please?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When Brandt Jean hugged the former Dallas police officer that shot and killed his beloved brother for nearly a minute, the embrace, felt around the world, sparked a wave of reflection about mercy, grace and punishment.
The 18-year-old says he forgave Guyger to set himself free and not live with hate in his heart.
JEAN: That was just my gesture, my decision of letting her know that I truly forgive her. And that was just my way, no one else's way, my decision. It was my way of letting her know that she is truly forgiven.
AMBER GUYGER, FORMER POLICE OFFICER CONVICTED OF MURDER: I wish he was the one with the gun that killed me. I never wanted to take an innocent person's life. I'm so sorry.
JEAN: I will forgive someone who asks. I waited one year to hear "I'm sorry" and I'm grateful for that. And that is why I forgive her.
LAVANDERA: But even as many around the world debated what they would do in the same circumstance, in Botham Jean's family, not everyone is ready to forgive.
BERTRUM JEAN, BOTHAM JEAN'S FATHER: I wish I could extend the same the courtesy to tell her, I'm broken, my family is broken. We're hurting every day. It is still very fresh. But I have no hatred for her and I would like to befriend her. That's my sentiment.
LAVANDERA: But it was this hug in the courtroom that triggered an angrier debate. Judge Tammy Kemp gave Amber Guyger her Bible.
TAMMY KEMP, DALLAS JUDGE: This is the one I use every day.
LAVANDERA: The Freedom from Religion Foundation filed a formal complaint saying he judge's actions were inappropriate.
KEMP: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
LAVANDERA: CNN reached out to the judge but has not received a response.
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The imagery that's seen not just at that moment but also the judge hugging Mrs. Guyger later, it infuriates me. It drives me crazy. Because you see a place and a posture in which African-Americans, black folk are having to show forgiveness when it is not reciprocated.
Someone once asked me about reciprocation, and they said, when can we get to a place where white people in this country say, "I'm sorry," and black people say, "We forgive you."
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR & CNN HOST, "REDEMPTION PROJECT": There's some desire, some tension or something where people are trying to figure out, how do we come together.
LAVANDERA: Two jurors in the trial say there were many tears shed in the deliberating room and that they tried to do what Botham Jean would have wanted.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I told everyone, I was like, I'm really having a hard time with this because we all agree it was a mistake and I don't think -- I don't think that Bo would want to take harsh vengeance. I think he would want to forgive her.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know a lot of people are like, you know -- this case was not like any other case. You can't compare this case to any of those other officers killing unarmed black men.
LAVANDERA: It was a trial that unleashed unexpected emotions.
Ed Lavandera, CNN, Dallas.
WHITFIELD: For more, I want to bring in Avery Friedman, a civil rights attorney and law professor, and Richard Herman, a criminal defense attorney and law professor.
Good to see you both.
Last weekend we talked about this and we said it was likely we would talk about it again, but a completely different direction.
I want to start on this complaint that has been filed by the Freedom from Religion Foundation against the judge. It reads, "We, too, believe our criminal justice system needs more compassion from judges and prosecutors, but here, compassion crossed the line into coercion, and there can be few relationships more corrosive than a sentencing judge in a criminal trial and a citizen accused and convicted of a crime."
Avery, when you look at that complaint, they're arguing compassion cross the line into coercion by the judge, you know, hugging and handed over the Bible. Is this a violation under the Texas code of judicial conduct?
AVERY FRIEDMAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Not only is it not, Fredricka, it is something that occurred after the fact, after the sentencing. And frankly, I look at this decision, including the hug by the judge, as a profound redemptive chapter in American justice.
The idea that this judge took the time, made that expression of compassion, giving her a Bible, so what, it is not the state forcing religion. It is an act of compassion. It had no effect on the outcome.
This is so Texas to me. You've got to be from Texas to understand it.
FRIEDMAN: Yes, it appears to be a mixing of church and state. It is not. It is an act of compassion, nothing more. The complaint will be dismissed.
WHITFIELD: You say no to any violation.
So, Richard, was this a case of the judge being moved by Botham Jean's brother extending a hug and forgiving Guyger? Or do you see it as something else --
WHITFIELD: -- another way?
RICHARD HERMAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: The movement by this judge will buy her at least some sort of sanction from the disciplinary board for judges. Judges have, throughout the United States, whether state or federal
court judges, they're guided by canons and rules and ethics. When you're in a robe, and you're a judge in a courtroom, and you're sitting there doing anything in the courtroom, you have to elevate yourself. There can be no appearance of impropriety. There can be -- you have to act --
WHITFIELD: There could be potentially a reference to that moment, right? There could potentially be a reference to that moment, if, say, Guyger is up for early release or if there's an appeal. I mean --
WHITFIELD: -- would there be -- I mean, didn't this just offer some weight against the judge's point of view or compassion or something in anything potentially down the line?
HERMAN: Fred, Fred, you have to stop and step back for one second. This woman was convicted of murder. She broke into this man's house and blew his head off, two shots. He was 28 years old. The jury rejected her defense of her state. Yet --
HERMAN: -- based on the state. She will do five years here, Fred. Five years.
HERMAN: I have done federal insurance fraud cases where defendants have gotten 25 to 845 years in prison. The --
HERMAN: The president can walk down Fifth Avenue and shoot someone and not even be prosecuted.
HERMAN: Five years for murder, Fred. This judge acted inappropriate. The jury acted inappropriate in sentencing. This whole case is outrageous at this point.
HERMAN: And the judge --
FRIEDMAN: You think it will be reversed? Do you think it's going to be reversed, Richard? HERMAN: I don't think will be reversed.
FRIEDMAN: There you go.
HERMAN: But I'm just saying it is outrageous.
WHITFIELD: He was shot in the chest. It was lethal.
FRIEDMAN: Right, he was shot in the chest.
WHITFIELD: Avery, do you see in any way that this bridges the divide that is constitutionally set in place between church and state?
FRIEDMAN: No, Fredricka. I mean, where you have coerced religion, that would be a good argument. The Supreme Court has addressed that issue.
The fact is that after the verdict, after the sentence, these were acts of human compassion.
And you want to know something? Think about this. It came from the Deep South. It came from Texas. We were able to show in America that -- you now have a jury there were 16 people, 12 jurors, four alternates, the majority of which are nonwhite. And you don't get on the jury, Fredricka, unless you're registered to vote.
There's a direct correlation between the empowerment of the vote. Not just electing people but serving on juries and watching the system work. This is actually a very proud day for America, the way I see it.
WHITFIELD: Richard, last word?
HERMAN: It's not proud, Fred. It's not proud.
And if you want to get back to the point, the conduct of the judge, if the judge had done this outside of the courtroom, in her chambers, privately, OK, I have no problem with that. I understand the compassion. That's nice. I'm a defense attorney. I want compassion from everyone.
But to do it in a courtroom, in a robe, that was inappropriate. And I guarantee she will be sanctioned for this at a minimum. I spoke to some judges who think she should be thrown off of the bench for this.
HERMAN: But at a minimum, she's going to --
HERMAN: Let's take the bet. Let's take the bet on sanctions.
WHITFIELD: All right, Richard Herman --
HERMAN: A conviction last week. OK.
(CROSSTALK) WHITFIELD: All right, Richard, Avery, thank you so much. Appreciate you.
FRIEDMAN: Go to see you.
HERMAN: Thanks, Fred.
FRIEDMAN: Thank you, Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: Next, a CNN exclusive, the FBI running ads on Facebook targeting Russians. Their strategy, coming up.
WHITFIELD: CNN has learned the FBI is now running Facebook ads targeting Russian spies in the U.S. The goal is to convince those spies to switch allegiances and cooperate with the U.S. government.
The FBI did not confirm any details about the campaign, but CNN confirmed that these ads are powered by the bureau's verified Facebook page and are publicly viewable.
David Shortell has been tracking the story.
So who is the FBI targeting?
DAVID SHORTELL, CNN CRIME & JUSTICE PRODUCER: Fred, a number of ads taken out by the FBI here in D.C. aimed at Russian spies among us.
CNN found three ads running on the FBI's official Facebook page -- you've been looking at them -- that have stock photos with Russian text overlaid that have these messages that include, "It is time to make a move." "It's time to draw bridges." One even saying, "It's good for the future of your family if you come work for the U.S. government."
The FBI is not giving us many details about who these are directed at, but they have been running here in the Washington, D.C., area since the beginning of the summer. That's according to a person familiar with the ad buy.
Fred, these are ads not directed at the Russian threat we've become so used to in the past couple of years. We've spent a lot of time talking about threats from Russia hacking operations aimed at disrupting the 2016 election as well as social media influence campaigns.
These ads are seeming to go after a different kind of threat, the old- school espionage threat, the spy versus spy on-the-ground operations.
It is indicative of a 2010 case when you had 10 Russian spies, maybe you'll remember, who were arrested here in the U.S. and accused of being sleeper agents. They had been living everyday American lives with jobs and children, and actually, they had been taking direction from the Russian government to infiltrate policymaking circles.
So these are the kind of people that the FBI is apparently going after with these ads.
WHITFIELD: Is it too soon to say if the ads are effective?
SHORTELL: The FBI is not sharing any information about how many eyeballs these ads have gotten online or if they've led to any successful recruitment opportunities.
But the ads do include a link to the FBI's Web site, the Counterintelligence Division page for the Washington field office that discussed how you can share information if it's something you want to do.
Fred, they tell you, if you want to share information with the U.S. government, you should walk into the field office in downtown D.C. and essentially set up a meeting.
WHITFIELD: Oh, gosh.
SHORTELL: Yes, it sounds comical.
SHORTELL: But we've talked to counterintelligence experts that say the majority of Russian spies that have switched allegiances and come to work for the U.S. government, this is what they do. They're referred to as walk-ins. They walk into U.S. posts around the world and they volunteer their information.
These experts also said this does seems to be at least a good idea because it is planting a seed in these peoples' mind that, if this is something they want to do, the U.S. government --
WHITFIELD: There's a way out
SHORTELL: -- and the government can protect them.
We have a statement from an FBI official I want to share with you. It gives more behind their motivation. It is from the top counterintelligence official in the Washington field office.
It says, "Russia has long been a counterintelligence threat to the U.S. and election interference is essentially an important concern but it is not the only one. The FBI will continue to adapt our investigative and outreach techniques to counter the threat. We cannot comment except to note that Russia has a large number of intelligence officers based in Washington diplomatic facilities, and they're very active and pose a security risk to the U.S. and our allies -- Fred?
WHITFIELD: All right, David Shortell, thank you so much.
Straight ahead, just days after a heart attack, a confident Bernie Sanders says, quote, "I will see you on the campaign trail." An update on his conditions and future plans. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
WHITFIELD: All right. Today, Senator Bernie Sanders is traveling back to Vermont where he will continue to recover after a heart attack he suffered earlier in the week. The 78-year-old Vermont Senator was released from a Las Vegas hospital yesterday.
Despite the health scare, Sanders reassures his supporters he will return to the campaign trail soon.
CNN's Ryan Nobles has been following the Sanders campaign.
Ryan, along with the obvious health concerns, how concerned is Sanders' staff about what just happened to him?
RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: At this point, Fred, they're moving forward as if nothing happened. They're going to launch a $1.3 million ad buy in Iowa on Tuesday. They have surrogates spread out across those early voting states today and throughout this weekend. They believe that Sanders still has what it takes to be the next president of the United States.
Sanders himself feels a lot better after that procedure to put two stents in one of his arteries that was dealing with a blockage.
He promised his supporters in a video last night he would be back on the campaign trail soon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): Hello, everybody. We're in Las Vegas. I just got out of the hospital a few hours ago, and I'm feeling so much better. I just want to thank all of you for the love and warm wishes that you sent to me. See you soon on the campaign trail.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBLES: We still don't know exactly what that means, Fred. The only thing for sure we know is Sanders has committed to be a part of the CNN/"New York Times" debate on October 15. Between then and now, it's an open question.
He's on his way back to Burlington now where he's going to take a step back, rest, recuperate, and figure out what comes next -- Fred?
WHITFIELD: And he has the money to keep going, right?
NOBLES: He does. He had the strongest fundraising quarter of any of the Democrats in the field in the third quarter. He's going to have $33.7 million cash on hand. That's far and away the most of any Democrats in the field right now. That means he has the resources to keep going.
Even though this is a serious political problem for him, being a 78- year-old man just coming off a heart attack, it's certainly something that will be in the back of voters' minds as this campaign moves forward.
Sanders has the resources to push back and show he's able to overcome this and continue the campaign going forward. And of course, he's somebody who has a lot of endurance.
So they promise, once he's back on the campaign trail, it will be business as usual.
WHITFIELD: Ryan Nobles, thanks so much.
The fourth Democratic presidential debate is coming to CNN live from the battleground state of Ohio. Watch the CNN/"New York Times" Democratic president debate, Tuesday, October 15th, at 8:00 p.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.