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President Donald Trump Continues To Attack Republican Senator Mitt Romney; Manhunt Is Underway After A Deadly Bar Shooting In Kansas City, Kansas; Gordon Sondland, Ambassador To The European Union, And Maria Yavonovitch, The Ambassador To Ukraine Are Scheduled To Give Depositions Before Congressional Committees; Former Vice President Joe Biden Unleashing A Scathing Op-Ed In The "Washington Post," Slamming President Trump's Unfounded Allegations Against Him And His Son, Hunter; A Key Witness In The Murder Trial Against Now Convicted Former Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger Was Shot And Killed Friday Night; U.S. Supreme Court Is Set To Begin Its New Term This Week Taking On Issues Of Abortion And LGBTQ Rights. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired October 6, 2019 - 14:00   ET




[14:00:34] FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone. Thank you much for joining me this Sunday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

All right. New today, a second whistleblower is coming forward with accusations concerning the President and his interaction with Ukraine. The person's attorney tell CNN the new whistleblower works in the intelligence and has firsthand knowledge that supports claims made by the first whistleblower. This revelation coming as Democrats ratchet up their impeachment inquiry. They have now subpoenaed the White House a requesting documents related to Ukraine from vice president Mike Pence.

And this week, key testimony on Capitol Hill up coming. The U.S. ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland and the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yavonivitch are scheduled to give depositions to three House committees behind closed doors.

Today, the President continues to attack Republican senator Mitt Romney for his criticism of Trump calling on Ukraine and China to investigate his political rival. This as some top Republican scrambled to defend the President.

Today, one GOP senator even questioned the credibility of the nation's top law enforcement and intelligence agencies


SEN. RON JOHNSON (R), WISCONSIN: Chuck, I just want the truth. The American people want the truth.

CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST, MEET THE PRESS: Do you not trust the FBI? You don't trust the CIA? JOHNSON: No, I don't. Absolutely not.


WHITFIELD: All right. Here to break this all down is CNN senior justice correspondent Evan Perez.

So Evan, what do we know about this new whistleblower and the status of the complaint?

EVAN PEREZ, SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: We know, Fred, that this whistleblower has now come out forward and has spoken to the inspector general. That's one of the reasons why the inspector general was able to say that there have been some corroboration for the original complain. And why they said that it was a credible and an urgent concern, something that needed to be notified to the lawmakers in Congress.

What we do know is that this person also shares the same lawyer as the original complaint. We know that they work in the intelligence community. And this person allegedly has firsthand knowledge. We don't know exactly what that means. We know that the center of all of this, of course, is the July 25th phone call between the President and the Ukrainian President. And so this person claims to have firsthand knowledge of what happened there and some of the events, perhaps, that surround it, the effort to try to pressure the Ukrainians to do this investigation.

WHITFIELD: And so what could this mean for the impeachment investigation into the President?

PEREZ: Look, I think this propels it, simply because you have somebody who allegedly has firsthand knowledge. We also know that, you know, a bunch of the things, a lot of the things that the original whistleblower said in the original complaint have now been corroborated. We know Kurt Volker has now testified behind the scenes, behind closed doors to lawmakers and has essentially corroborated that, you know, he followed up, essentially, this July 25th call with his own meetings and his own communications with the Ukrainians.

So a lot of what the original whistleblower came forward and said appears to have at least been verified by the transcript that the White House has now released publicly and some of the other things that have now transpired and we have also been able to learn from our own reporting. So I think members of Congress that are saying that, oh, this is hearsay and should not be believed, it's, I think, getting tougher and tougher to make that argument.

WHITFIELD: All right. Evan Perez, thank you so much. We'll check back with you.

All right. Here to discuss is former Republican congressman and House manager in President Clinton's impeachment trial, Bill McCullum.


with you.

WHITFIELD: Thank you. What is your reaction to the news that there is now a second whistleblower who has come forward with firsthand knowledge of Trump's actions?

MCCULLUM: I'm not surprised that you would see those who were relied upon apparently by the first person come forward. That's what we need to see. We need to see people come forward and hopefully in public and tell us about what they observed, if it's any different from the transcript.

The transcript itself, in my opinion, does not express anything of a criminal behavior or to be impeachable, abuse of power, et cetera. I just think we get lost because there is so much bias in this on both sides as to what we think or don't think.

WHITFIELD: You don't think the transcript establishes that the request coming from the White House is that money, aid be withheld to Ukraine unless or until they investigate the Bidens?

[14:05:13] MCCULLUM: No, I don't think it establishes that at all. I think what it establishes is that money was owed -- we were going to give money to Ukraine subject to certain things happening to clear up the corruption concerns the President has had for a long time.

WHITFIELD: Except that's not what it says. It was pretty clear in that transcript, though, and I'm wondering what is missing from that verbiage to convince you otherwise.

PEREZ: What's missing from that verbiage is the predicate to all of this is the discussion about crowd strike and the alleged interference of the Ukrainian government in the 2016 election in working in collusion, apparently, with the folks who were doing the investigation for the democrat national committee.

Now, we don't know. That's what he first talks about, the President talks about. Then he said, by the way, which to that effect. Here we have this thing where the prosecutor who is going to look into this company that is paying $50,000 or was paying $50,000 to Biden's son was told to lay off by the vice President, for the government to do that or else. I mean, there is as much to investigate about Biden as there is about the President.

WHITFIELD: OK. So that remains to be the centerpiece of the dispute between the White House's point of view and other bodies who are now investigating this.

MCCULLUM: Right. Correct.

WHITFIELD: So this person, this second whistleblower, is represented by the same attorney as the first whistleblower, we understand that to be. And you know, in 1978, the civil service reform act promises their anonymity, their protection. Is the second president violating this protection? He called the first whistleblower a spy and now he is accusing this new whistle blower belonging to the deep state. How concerning is it to you that the protections in place will not be honored?

MCCULLUM: Well, look. I'm not concerned they wont be honored. I think they will be honored. I think the President has a long history that bothers a lot of people about badgering folks and bullying people and making statements that don't always turn out to be true. But the fact of the matter is we've been living with that for a long time, and one of the big problems the Democrats has is the fact that this looks highly political, that people went after this President from the beginning, that they are biased that, that they're not really waiting for the results of finding anything solid and they're trying to move forward very, very rapidly.

WHITFIELD: But it is concerning to you hear the President say, Ukraine, China, investigate my political opponents in time for this 2020 election? Is it at all concerning to you that the transcript says that diplomats interpreted the same thing, an invitation to look into the political opponent of the President and withholding or holding up aid unless they do so.

MCCULLUM: Well, the unless they do so at holding up aid was a conclusion in what we call in law circumstantial evidence. I don't think it's very strong. If it were that he said that, and there were quid pro quo, yes, I would be concerned. But I don't see that yet. Maybe I will see it eventually, but I don't see it yet.

I don't see anything to support the idea that so many Democrats say, too, that there's nothing to look into Biden about. I think there is just as much circumstantial evidence there. And I think it's wrong that he's not being investigated or his son is not being investigated or the company is not being investigated or the prosecution or the failure of it just the same as people want to investigate the President.

The President doesn't have yet anything that I would consider to be impeachable out there on the table, Fredricka. I just don't see that. I'm looking at it very hard. I have looked add it before, and I have said on your show that I'm open-minded. Maybe there will be a witness will bring something new up. Maybe there will be something solid here. But that's all in the future. We don't have it right now and it's not going to convict this President. It's probably not going to impeach this President.

WHITFIELD: Potentially there will be a new complaint from the second whistleblower. Perhaps that will reveal some information. And of course there is testimony this week including that of the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, who was removed from her position rather abruptly, according to other foreign service workers.

Bill McCollum, thank you so much.

MCCULLUM: You are welcome.

WHITFIELD: All right, still ahead, vice President Joe Biden on the attack in a new op-ed. He rips into President Trump over his quote "abuse of power" saying the attacks won't destroy him or his family. What about his political campaign now?

But first, breaking news. An active manhunt underway right now after a gunman opens fire inside a crowded bar. CNN is on the scene next.


[14:13:15] WHITFIELD: Welcome back. We are following breaking news. Right now a manhunt is underway after a deadly bar shooting in Kansas city, Kansas. Police say four people were killed and five others were shot at the Tequila Casey bar early this morning, and now police believe there are possibly two suspects on the loose.

CNN national correspondent Natasha Chen is live for us now in Kansas city, Kansas. What are you learning?

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fred, I have been talking to some of the friends of the people involved here. It's very upsetting to everyone. The good news is that the five people who were injured with gunshots, they were told will be OK.

We talked to one woman whose cousins are among the injured and whose friends are among the de deceased. And from her and in front of at least one other person who was at this bar prior to the shooting, they tell me that this was maybe someone who got into an argument inside the bar, was asked to leave and then came back and that's when this confrontation and shooting possibly happened, police say, around 1:30 in the morning. They arrived here and found four people dead inside the bar and five people injured outside. When I talked to the woman whose friends were killed, here's what she said for the suspects that are still out there right now.


TONI MACEL, FRIEND OF VICTIMS: Turn yourself in or yourselves in. Make it easier for yourselves. Find it in your hearts to do this, please, because nobody deserved this. We have brothers, sons, cousins, uncles that are no longer here because of your senseless act.


CHEN: She says this is a very tight-knit community. And it's likely that some people here may very well know the victims as well as the suspects. There is going to be a vigil here at 7:00 local time tonight. And it's going to be tough because this is a very close community, as she says. This is a family-friendly neighborhood. We are actually surrounded by homes at the back of this establishment and she says there's never really been any sort of violence here before.

What we know about the deceased victims is that they are Hispanic men ranging and age from 20s to 50s. Police look at surveillance footage and continue to search for those suspects, Fred.

[14:15:35] WHITFIELD: All right, Natasha, keep us posted. Thank you so much from Kansas city, Kansas.

All right, next, Trump closest to President Trump caught up in controversy over the President calling on Ukraine and China to investigate a political rival. But is the defense coming from Trump's allies helping? That's next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:19:57] WHITFIELD: This week two figures central to the impeachment inquiry are scheduled to give depositions before congressional committees. Gordon Sondland, the European ambassador to the European union, and Maria Yavonovitch, the ambassador to Ukraine. Their depositions could be key in helping to shed light on the President's handling Ukrainian matter, but there are many others in Trump circle who are caught up in the scandal.

CNN anchor and chief national correspondent John King has details.


[14:00:00] JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The President's conduct is the central focus of the impeachment inquiry. But the questions also involve several of his top deputies. Let's take a look.

One is the energy secretary, Rick Perry. He has had several meetings with Ukrainians, including the President. He says, his staff says he brought up corruption. They insist was not into the, you need to investigate the Bidens. Perry says he will cooperate with Congress. He went to the inaugural of the new President instead of Mike Pence. So some questions for Rick Perry.

Questions as well for the attorney general of the United States, William Barr. Trump told -- remember, if you read the President's call with the Ukrainian President in July, he told Ukrainians to work with Barr on an investigation in the Bidens. The whistleblower complaint was sent to the justice department, and many think, just simply buried and not seriously investigated. Barr also has been on a world tour trying to get to the origin of the Russian investigation, asking other countries what intelligence they provided to the FBI about the beginnings of what became the Mueller investigation.

The secretary of state, he is in the world stage right now. He was on that July call with president Zelensky and President Trump where the President said I need you to do me a favor. Brought up the investigation into Biden. He is the one Mike Pompeo was the one to recall the ambassador of Ukraine will be a key witness this coming week.

And here is a question for the secretary? Was he in the loop? Was he aware that Rudy Giuliani was using the leverage of the state department and state department officials to advance his agenda inside Ukraine? So questions for the secretary of state as well.

Now we come to the vice president. Democrats in the House want documents from him. His top national security adviser was on the call where the President said, I need a fare and favor and brought up the Biden investigations. The President instructed the vice president not to go to the Zelensky inaugural, historian inside the White House being. The President didn't think the president have done enough. He met with Zelensky in September, urged him to fight corruption. Democrats want to know, did you, too, bring up Joe Biden? The vice president, his public remarks echoing the boss.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: One of the main reasons we were elected in Washington, D.C. was to drain the swamp. And I think the American people have a right to know if the vice president of the United States or his family profited from his position. Clearly in this case there are legitimate questions that ought to be asked.


WHITFIELD: All right, John King, thanks for bringing that to us.

And vice president Pence's comments echo other Republicans who took to the airwaves today.


SEN. RON JOHNSON (R), WISCONSIN: He had this false narrative that resulted in him being set up by James Comey on January 16th. Then he has a central House appointed that has hampered this entire investigation, his entire administration. And now once he has been proven false, he would like to know and I would like to know, and I know his supporters would like to know, where did this come from? Who planted that false story? I have my third letter in to the inspector general who tell this committee asking just to confirm, just confirm, are you investigating those leaks that Peter Strzok talked about?


JOHNSON: That is a setup. It is entirely irrelevant to this point.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why a FOX News conspiracy propaganda stuff is popping up in here. I have no idea. I have no idea why we are going here.


JOHNSON: This is exactly why President Trump is upset and why his supporters are upset.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think it's appropriate for President Trump to ask China and Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden?

REP. JIM JORDAN (R), OHIO: George, you really think he was serious about thinking about China is going to investigate the Biden family?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He said it right there in public.

JORDAN: I think senator Rubio said a couple days ago, I think he is getting the press spun up about all this. Remember, this is the President who has been tougher on China than any other President.

LIZ HARRINGTON, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE SPOKESPERSON: How exactly was Russian disinformation infiltrated throughout our politics for over two years, pushing an insane conspiracy theory about President Trump and Russia that was completely false?

WHITFIELD: The intelligence community has already said that Russia did interfere.

JOHNSON: There are a lot of unanswered questions. Chuck, I just want the truth. The American people want the truth.

CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST, MEET THE PRESS: Do you not trust the FBI, you don't trust the CIA?

JOHNSON: No, I don't. After James Comey, Peter Strzok, John Brennan. No, I don't trust any of these guys in the Obama administration.


WHITFIELD: OK. That was all weekend long. Let's talk more about this.

Joining me right now is Lisa Lerer, national political reporter with the "New York Times," and Nathan Gonzales is the editor and publisher of "Inside Elections." Good to see both of you.

All right, so Nathan, you first, you know. Is this all about political survival and party over country for most Republicans? I mean, what do you make of the fact that so many Republicans are ignoring, you know, the President calling on Ukraine and China to investigate a political rival?

[14:25:13] NATHAN GONZALES, EDITOR/PUBLISHER, INSIDE ELECTION: I think the vast majority of Republicans have decided that President Trump is not only the President but the leader of the party and they're going to follow him. Now, part of there is an electoral component to that, that they feel like if they oppose the President or criticize the President, and they are fearful of losing in a primary in their home district and home state. I think that's a big reason why you see this rallying point. But the vociferous need to push back and add other stories about the Bidens, you know, sometimes that seems unnecessary. But it's about electoral survival for many of these members.

WHITFIELD: So, Lisa, you know, there is a deafening silence, you know, for a majority of Republicans at the President's admissions, his invitations of a vociferous dial in offering justification. You just saw some of the examples. Does this mean the White House is dug in on stonewalling on subpoenas, you know, the subpoenas for documents and for testimony?

LISA LERER, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER WITH THE NEW YORK TIMES: Well, look. I think what we have heard from most Republicans, you know some, of course, went on TV, but the vast majority of Republicans have been very, very, as you point out, deafeningly silent over the past week. And there is a lot of concern that's being aired privately in public circles about what's going to come out, what the White House plan is. There's no war room, there is no clear strategy coming from the White House. There is no guidance, really, being given to Republicans in the house or Senate. And that makes a lot of Republicans pretty nervous. They don't know what's going to come. They don't know how it's going to be handled, what the President is going to say and what he is going to say the next day, and it makes them nervous to really say anything and get out in front or defend him at all. They would rather see how this plays out.

WHITFIELD: So Nathan -- yes, go ahead.

GONZALES: This reminds me of -- I think there have been phases to Donald Trump and his Republican Party. I think when he first merged as a candidate and became the nominee, there was a response among other Republicans, let's just wait this out. He'll go away. And then I think everyone started to embrace him and they liked the judges and the two justices on the Supreme Court. And now I think it's back to a lot of what Lisa said, sort of waiting it out. If we just ignore it, it will just go away or he will go away and things will go back to how they were before. And I don't think it's going to be that easy.

WHITFIELD: You know, but it also seems that the walls might be cracking when you've got somebody like senator Mitt Romney, you know, calling the President's actions appalling, you know. Other Republicans, Will Hurd, have said something very similar. Ben Sasse, and now senator Susan Collins who said, I'm quoting now, you know, to the "Bangor Daily News," the President quote "made a big mistake. You know, by asking China to investigate the Bidens." So why is it that there are Republicans who are willing to say this but perhaps there is a lot of reticence still?

LERER: Well, some of this depends on these individual people's situation. Will Hurd is, of course, retiring, so he can kind of say what he wants. He is not running for reelection again. Romney and Sasse have been at times critics of the President. Mitt Romney, just one, he is not up for reelection if he chooses to run for quite awhile.

Susan Collins is interesting. And the place you are going to want to watch if those cracks happen where they will happen first are in states like Susan Collins, senators who are up for reelection, who are in states that are a little bit more purple, where they go on this. So Colorado, North Carolina. What do those senators do and do we start to see more from them?

It's been really easy for a lot of these guys to stay silent because they haven't been in Washington. They are coming back in about week or so. And it is going to get harder and harder. They are going to be under more pressure to make public statements about whatever is happening with this inquiry which is moving very quickly, even, you know, particularly for the pace of things -- how things typically move in D.C.

So I think it will get harder. And I think the places where we could see those cracks first emerge, if they are to emerge, are in those purple states.

WHITFIELD: Yes. So Nathan, it seems like it's a concerted effort to not say anything. It's not that people are waiting it out. Meaning, among those who are silent about it, I mean, they are evading, you know, reporters and cameras in the hallways, not returning phone calls for requests to go on the air to, you know, explain their points of view. So you know, is this going to be a possible, you know, week of reckoning. If you are going to have testimony from the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, the former, that is if they get their eyes on the formal complaint of the second whistleblower? Do you see, Nathan, that it might potentially change the tune and the approach that many lawmakers are taking on this?

GONZALES: I mean, it might. We always have to leave ourselves open, and until we know what information comes out, we have to hold out for that possibility. But I think most Republicans and most Democrats have kind of already made up their mind about the situation. And if the President continues to say that he is innocent and it's a witch hunt, then a lot of Republicans are going to follow. I would say Republican-based voters, constituents of these members, and these members are going to be reluctant to go against their bases.

One 2020, another 2020 piece, another state that's interesting is Kansas where, actually, secretary of state Mike Pompeo is viewed as a potential United States Senate candidate and someone who could maybe save that open seat from falling into democratic hands. But now this is a little more complicated since he is -- it's becoming more and more that he's involved at a deeper level.

[14:30:37] WHITFIELD: Nathan Gonzales, Lisa Lerer, good to see you both. Thank you.

GONZALES: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right, straight ahead, President Biden versus President Donald J. Trump. The former vice President gets personal in a new op-ed blasting the President quote "abuse of power." Why he says the President's words won't destroy him or his family.


[14:35:09] WHITFIELD: All right. Today former vice president Joe Biden unleashing a scathing op-ed in the "Washington Post," slamming President Trump's unfounded allegations against him and his son, Hunter.

Biden writes, to Trump and those who facilitate his abuses of power and all the special interests funding his attacks against me, please know that I am not going anywhere. You won't destroy me and you won't destroy my family. And come November 2020, I intend to beat you like a drum.

Meantime, the former vice president continues to defend himself against Trump's allegations of conflict of interest in Ukraine.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's not a conflict of interest. There's been no indication of any conflict of interest from Ukraine or anywhere else, period. I'm not going to respond to that. Let's focus on the problem. Focus on this man, what he's doing, that no President has ever done. No President.


WHITFIELD: All right, I'm joined now by Maria Cardona, a Democratic strategist who once served as the communications director, and Ana Kasparian, host and producer of "the Young Turks," an online new show. Good to see you both.


WHITFIELD: OK. So Maria, you first, you know. Is Biden doing enough to combat Trump's narrative that it is the former vice president who is corrupt?

CARDONA: Well, I think this op-ed was a great step in making sure that he does defend himself very aggressively. It's not the last time he is going to have to do it. If there's anything we've seen from Trump is that he does not cease going after who he views are his strongest political rivals. And clearly he sees Joe Biden as the biggest threat right now. And so what that means is that Trump is not going to stop going after Biden. He is not going to stop going after his family. He is not going to stop being personal. He is not going to stop putting out there unfounded debunked complete lies, conspiracy theories, about Biden and his family.

And so, Biden needs to do the exact same thing. He needs to be as aggressive, if not more. He needs to be as unstoppable, if not more, and not just in defending himself and his family, but going after this President and how much of a threat he is to our democracy, our constitution and literally our republic and our way of life here in this country. That's what he needs to be doing.

WHITFIELD: So, Ana, Biden has said it in front of the cameras this week, now in this op-ed, you know, Trump won't destroy me or my family, but is this attention ultimately damaging the Biden campaign? I mean, just take a look at the fundraising, you know. Biden's fundraising compared to Bernie Sanders, 25 million in this third quarter. Do you believe that, you know, dip in fundraising for Biden is as a result of this kind of attention?

ANA KASPARIAN, HOST/ PRODUCER, THE YOUNG TURKS: To be quite honest with you, I think that there are multiple factors. And one of the factors is, you know, the messaging that he has had on the campaign trail about how he doesn't really want to change things, how he wants to protect the system that a lot of voters have been frustrated with.

But I do agree that Donald Trump's attacks toward him have been effective. And I also agree that he needs to be much more aggressive in addressing them. One thing that keeps coming up is the whole notion of a conflict of interest. Biden using his political power in order to get his son these lucrative business deals or positions.

But let's take a good hard look at the Trump administration and the nepotism that takes place there. Donald Trump has used his political power not only to encourage foreign leaders to meddle in our elections, but also to benefit himself and his family financially. If you look at his tax plan, that was specifically written in a way to ensure that his real estate dealings are even more lucrative in the future, and then you have both Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner serving in his administration. I think Biden needs to be clear and aggressive in the attacks against Trump --

WHITFIELD: Is he being aggressive in that area, then?

KASPARIAN: Not even close. Not even close. The way he handled that interview at the SEIU event was, in my opinion, terrible. And now Donald Trump is using that clip against him. Instead of saying, I don't want to answer that question, he should have said, you know what, let's talk about the nepotism in the Trump administration. Let's talk about the multiple violation of the emoluments clause. You have to fight.

WHITFIELD: Maria, so 2020 Democrats, at the beginning, did seem to be going after each other. But then there was unleashing on Biden because he was the frontrunner. Do you see that it's potentially dangerous for Democrats to attack Biden right now when he is in the midst of this fistfight so to speak with the President?

CARDONA: I do. And clearly, you know, I was a former a DNC spokesperson and communications director. And what we want as a party is for people to focus their fire on Trump, for people to focus how inept and how unfit the person at 1600 Pennsylvania avenue is right now.

[14:40:17] WHITFIELD: But we already heard from senator Amy Klobuchar who said, you know, I wouldn't allow my vice president's son or family member to serve on the board of a foreign country, so --

CARDONA: You know, but I think that's OK because the other reality, I think, that we have to talk about here --

WHITFIELD: That's not playing into the hand from the White House or Trump?

CARDONA: Well, it depends on what you say after that. And I think what she said after that, she focus on Trump. And look, let's be real here. I think Biden is going to get these questions, not just from his 2020 rivals, but I think the media is going to continue to ask him these questions about his comfort level in terms of having his son served on that board.

But look, I completely agree with Ana. There is a way to turn this around and to make this a ridiculous comparison when you are going to be running against a person who has lived on nepotism, whose kids survive on nepotism, who is a walking conflict of interest and who lies every single time he opens his mouth.

So let's not focus on false equivalencies here whether that comes from the media or whether it comes from his 2020 rivals. I think it's all going to be in Biden's hands in terms of defending himself and then turning the fire and the focus and the fury on who it needs to be. And that is this unfit, unqualified criminal President of the United States that we have right now. WHITFIELD: All right. We are going to leave it there for now and see

what happens in that net Democratic debate and if that ends up being that opportunity or what.

Maria Cardona, Ana Kasparian, thank you so much.

All right. Still ahead, two days after a Dallas police officer is sentenced for killing an unarmed man in his own apartment, a key witness who testified during the trial, according to attorneys, is found shot dead. What happened?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The sounds and vibration kind of act like a butterfly net. It's really helpful to catch that mind chatter that we are constantly bombarded with throughout the day.

Sound healing is the use of sound and vibration for supporting people in getting into what's called the relaxation response. The state in which we are able to go into deep rest and counteract the hormones of stress.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In the relaxation response, the body basically just chills. And lower blood pressure, lower heart rates, killing the body can kick in again. There is a reduced depressed mood. There is higher spiritual well-being physical pain reduction.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In a sound session, close your eyes and be open where you are hearing the sounds in the room and where you are feeling the sounds on your body. Because it feels like the sounds are washing over your body. It's going from that fight or flight into, I am resting, I am digesting, I am detoxing, I am repairing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I came with a really bad headache, pretty achy and I'm blown away by how I feel now. It's like night and day.



[14:47:44] WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back.

A key witness in the murder trial against now convicted former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger was shot and killed Friday night. Officials have not yet announced the man's identity, but an attorney for the family of Botham Jean, the man murdered by Guyger, confirms the victim was this young man, Joshua Brown. He was the neighbor who testified that he heard the confrontation between Guyger and Jean as well as hearing the gunshots.

CNN's Polo Sandoval is following the developments for us now.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Before his murder on Friday, Joshua Brown made headlines as a key witness at the trial of Dallas officer Amber Guyger.

JOSHUA BROWN, TESTIFIED AGAINST FORMER DALLAS POLICE OFFICER AMBER GUYGER: My apartment was right here. I could reach over. Both apartments are directly across from one another.

SANDOVAL: Amber Guyger was convicted of killing Botham Jean after walking into his apartment in 2018. She said she mistook his apartment for hers and that he was an intruder. At the witness stand, ten days before his own shooting death outside his home, Brown testified he heard the shot and saw Guyger outside his apartment. Brown got emotional recounting, hearing his neighbor's voice from time to time. Lee Merritt, a civil rights attorney representing the Jean family said on social media, Brown lived in constant fear of gun violence. And that his death quote "underscores the reality of the black experience in America. Merritt also said Brown deserves the same justice to ensure for the Jean family.

Investigators have released few details on Brown's death. Only that witnesses heard gunshots and that they observed a silver four-door sedan speeding away from the scene. Police have not said if the murder is in any way connected toe the Guyger proceedings.


SANDOVAL: And Dallas police continue to investigate Brown's death. They are hoping somebody who potentially saw something or heard something will actually reach out to them. Back to them.

WHITFIELD: All right. Polo Sandoval, thank you so much.

All right. Next, the U.S. Supreme Court is set to begin its new term this week taking on issues of abortion and LGBTQ rights. Why chief justice Roberts will play the most critical role on the conservative court, straight ahead.


[14:53:26] WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back.

Tomorrow begins a new session at the U.S. Supreme Court and justices facing now several highly contentious cases, and that includes cases on abortion, immigration, the second amendment and LGBTQ rights. And with a majority of justices appointed by Republican Presidents, conservatives are hoping for some big wins. It was just one year ago today that justice Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in, replacing the often deciding swing vote of Anthony Kennedy. Activists are on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court today, in fact, to protest Kavanaugh and the conservative direction of the court.

Let's discuss right now this new term with CNN's Ariane de Vogue.

So Aryan, the conservatives have cemented a majority, and we're seeing so many controversial cases now. What's kind of the landscape?

ARIANE DE VOGUE, CNN SUPREME COURT REPORTER: Well, you know, this upcoming term has these hot button issues. Gun rights, immigration among them. And then just last Friday they agreed to add the explosive issue of abortion, which will be heard this term. That means that President Trump's two nominees, Brett Kavanaugh and Neal Gorsuch, this will be the first time they hear an abortion case on the high court. And, of course, all eyes are going to be on Brett Kavanaugh celebrating his first year on the court just today.

And that's because this Louisiana abortion law requires doctors to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. Critics say that it's not medically necessary. And they point out that it was just three years ago that this Supreme Court heard an almost identical law out of Texas and struck that down. And what was different then, Fred? It was Kennedy who sided with the liberals in that case. And now, of course Kennedy has been replaced with the more conservative Brett Kavanaugh.

[14:55:18] WHITFIELD: And then what about the role of the chief justice, John Roberts, right?

DE VOGUE: He is facing now his 15th year on the bench. And he works really hard to try to keep the court out of the political fray. But these cases that we are talking about, of course, these are the cases that very often divide this court down along familiar ideological lines. So he might be working really hard to keep the court out of that political fray. But it's with the backdrop that each one of these cases, of course, will be decided by the next election. And on top of that, Roberts could face one of the most political events of all, because if this impeachment inquiry continues, he might have to be called upon to preside upon a Senate trial. So a lot going on here.

WHITFIELD: Understatement.

All right, Ariane de Vogue, thank you very much.

DE VOGUE: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right. Straight ahead, CNN is now learning a second whistleblower with firsthand knowledge of the President's interactions with Ukraine is coming forward, but Trump's allies are already dismissing those claims. Fact first next on CNN.